Education

Leo Tolstoy: Life & Words

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This book is an anthology of 199 quotes from Leo Tolstoy and 60 selected facts about Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy was educated at home by German and French tutors. His teachers described him as "both unable and unwilling to learn." Tolstoy read the works of Chinese thinker and philosopher, Confucius. Tolstoy and Gandhi shared a common belief in the merits of vegetarianism, the subject of several of Tolstoy's essays. Tolstoy became a major supporter of the Esperanto movement. Tolstoy was watched by the Russian secret police, named "Ohranka". War and Peace has over 400,000 words. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” “If you want to be happy, be.” “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, and look around you.” “The best stories don't come from "good vs. bad" but "good vs. good.” “To get rid of an enemy one must love him.” “Everything intelligent is so boring.”
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  • 1. Leo Tolstoy: Life & Words By Ann Kannings First Edition Copyright © 2014 by Ann Kannings ***** Leo Tolstoy: Life & Words ***** Foreword
  • 2. “All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.” This book is an anthology of 199 quotes from Leo Tolstoy and 60 selected facts about Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy was educated at home by German and French tutors.
  • 3. In 1844, he began studying law and oriental languages at Kazan University. His teachers described him as "both unable and unwilling to learn." In 1851, after running up heavy gambling debts, Tolstoy went with his older brother to the Caucasus and joined the army. Both Tolstoy's father and grandfather had a passion for gambling and had exhausted the family wealth. During his 1857 visit in Europe, Tolstoy witnessed a public execution in Paris, a traumatic experience that would mark the rest of his life. Tolstoy believed that the aristocracy was a burden on the poor, and that the only solution to how we live together is through anarchism. Tolstoy opposed private property and the institution of marriage and valued the ideals of chastity and sexual abstinence (The Kreutzer Sonata). During the Boxer Rebellion in China, Tolstoy praised the Boxers. Tolstoy read the works of Chinese thinker and philosopher, Confucius. Tolstoy was enthused by the economic thinking of Henry George, incorporating it approvingly into later works such as Resurrection. In his autobiography, Mohandas Gandhi labels Tolstoy "the greatest apostle of non-violence that the present age has produced". Tolstoy and Gandhi shared a common belief in the merits of vegetarianism, the subject of several of Tolstoy's essays. Tolstoy became a major supporter of the Esperanto movement. In 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War, Tolstoy condemned the war and wrote to the Japanese Buddhist priest Soyen Shaku in a failed attempt to make a joint pacifist statement. Tolstoy was watched by the Russian secret police, named "Ohranka". War and Peace has over 400,000 words. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” “If you want to be happy, be.” “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, and look around you.” “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” “The best stories don't come from "good vs. bad" but "good vs. good.” “To get rid of an enemy one must love him.” “Everything intelligent is so boring.” “If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” “Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.” “Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” “Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?” “When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you'd like them to be.” “Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.” “Be bad, but at least don't be a liar, a deceiver!” His Words “All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”
  • 4. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” “One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken.” “If you want to be happy, be.” “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, and look around you.” “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” “The best stories don't come from "good vs. bad" but "good vs. good.” “To get rid of an enemy one must love him.” “Everything intelligent is so boring.” “Every heart has its own skeletons.” “If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” “I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.” “If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, and look around you.” “Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.” “Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” “We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” “Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?” “When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you'd like them to be.”
  • 5. “Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed. ” “Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.” “Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking...” “Be bad, but at least don't be a liar, a deceiver!” “A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.” “I always loved you, and if one loves anyone, one loves the whole person, just as they are and not as one would like them to be. -Dolly” “Love. The reason I dislike that word is that it means too much for me, far more than you can understand." “Anything is better than lies and deceit!” “Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.” “I've always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.” “All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” “If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” “A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.” “Boredom: the desire for desires.” “Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.” “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” “Sometimes she did not know what she feared, what she desired: whether she feared or desired what had been or what would be, and precisely what she desired, she did not know.”
  • 6. “They've got no idea what happiness is, they don't know that without this love there is no happiness or unhappiness for us--there is no life.” “True life is lived when tiny changes occur.” “It's much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it.” “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” “If you love me as you say you do,' she whispered, 'make it so that I am at peace.” “But I'm glad you'll see me as I am. Above all, I wouldn't want people to think that I want to prove anything. I don't want to prove anything, I just want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself. I have that right, haven't I?” “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” “It's hard to love a woman and do anything.” “All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” “All the girls in the world were divided into two classes: one class included all the girls in the world except her, and they had all the usual human feelings and were very ordinary girls; while the other class -herself alone- had no weaknesses and was superior to all humanity.” “Pierre was right when he said that one must believe in the possibility of happiness in order to be happy, and I now believe in it. Let the dead bury the dead, but while I'm alive, I must live and be happy.” “I often think that men don't understand what is noble and what is ignorant, though they always talk about it.” “But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.” “Love those you hate you.” “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.” “He was afraid of defiling the love which filled his soul.” “If there are as many minds as there are men, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.” “A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction.”
  • 7. “You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love.” “Something magical has happened to me: like a dream when one feels frightened and creepy, and suddenly wakes up to the knowledge that no such terrors exist. I have wakened up.” “The whole world is divided for me into two parts: one is she, and there is all happiness, hope, light; the other is where she is not, and there is dejection and darkness...” “Muhammad has always been standing higher than the Christianity. He does not consider god as a human being and never makes himself equal to God. Muslims worship nothing except God and Muhammad is his Messenger. There is no any mystery and secret in it.” “Every lie is a poison; there are no harmless lies. Only the truth is safe. Only the truth gives me consolation - it is the one unbreakable diamond.” “Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.” “It's not given to people to judge what's right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.” “He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.” “Whatever our fate is or may be, we have made it and do not complain of it." “Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget...” “I'm like a starving man who has been given food. Maybe he's cold, and his clothes are torn, and he's ashamed, but he's not unhappy.” “She had no need to ask why he had come. She knew as certainly as if he had told her that he was here to be where she was.” “Music is the shorthand of emotion” “If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.” “He soon felt that the fulfillment of his desires gave him only one grain of the mountain of happiness he had expected. This fulfillment showed him the eternal error men make in imagining that their happiness depends on the realization of their desires.” “Which is worse? The wolf who cries before eating the lamb or the wolf that does not.” “I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.”
  • 8. “Instead of going to Paris to attend lectures, go to the public library, and you won't come out for twenty years, if you really wish to learn.” “To tell the truth is very difficult, and young people are rarely capable of it.” “We are asleep until we fall in Love!” “I simply want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself.” “I sit on a man's back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that i am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible....except by getting off his back.” “Yes, love, ...but not the love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I knew that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. And I know that blissful feeling now too. To love one's neighbors; to love one's enemies. To love everything - to Love God in all His manifestations. Some one dear to one can be loved with human love; but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. And that was why I felt such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What happened to him? Is he alive? ...Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is the very nature of the soul. And how many people I have hated in my life. And of all people none I have loved and hated more than her.... If it were only possible for me to see her once more... once, looking into those eyes to say...” “Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself.” “Everything I know, I know because of love.” “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” “Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.” “All the diversity, all the charm, and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade.” “Enough or not...it will have to do” “It's all God's will: you can die in your sleep, and God can spare you in battle.” “And you know, there's less charm in life when you think about death--but it's more peaceful.” “My principal sin is doubt. I doubt everything, and am in doubt most of the time.” “He went down trying not to look long at her, as though she were the sun, but he saw her, as one
  • 9. sees the sun, without looking.” “The Kingdom of God is Within You,” “There are no conditions to which a person cannot grow accustomed, especially if he sees that everyone around him lives in the same way.” “How can one be well...when one suffers morally?” “Human science fragments everything in order to understand it, kills everything in order to examine it. ” “We walked to meet each other up at the time of our love and then we have been irresistibly drifting in different directions, and there's no altering that.” “Because of the self-confidence with which he had spoken, no one could tell whether what he said was very clever or very stupid.” “He in his madness prays for storms, and dreams that storms will bring him peace” “I am always with myself, and it is I who am my tormentor.” “Everything depends on upbringing.” “Here's my advice to you: don't marry until you can tell yourself that you've done all you could, and until you've stopped loving the women you've chosen, until you see her clearly, otherwise you'll be cruelly and irremediably mistaken. Marry when you're old and good for nothing...Otherwise all that's good and lofty in you will be lost.” “Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.” “God is the same everywhere.” “To educate the peasantry, three things are needed: schools, schools and schools.” “What am I coming for?" he repeated, looking straight into her eyes. "You know that I have come to be where you are," he said; "I can't help it.” “There is something in the human spirit that will survive and prevail, there is a tiny and brilliant light burning in the heart of man that will not go out no matter how dark the world becomes.” “The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is meaningless.” “Here I am alive, and it's not my fault, so I have to try and get by as best I can without hurting anybody until death takes over.” “The business of art lies just in this, -- to make that understood and felt which, in the form of an
  • 10. argument, might be incomprehensible and inaccessible.” “In the best, the friendliest and simplest relations flattery or praise is necessary, just as grease is necessary to keep wheels turning. ” “Energy rests upon love; and come as it will, there's no forcing it.” “What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.” “Life did not stop, and one had to live.” “Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not feel, to understand what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have. Music seems to me to act like yawning or laughter; I have no desire to sleep, but I yawn when I see others yawn; with no reason to laugh, I laugh when I hear others laugh. And music transports me immediately into the condition of soul in which he who wrote the music found himself at that time. ~The Kreutzer Sonata” “You say: I am not free. But I have raised and lowered my arm. Everyone understands that this illogical answer is an irrefutable proof of freedom.” “Am I mad, to see what others do not see, or are they mad who are responsible for all that I am seeing?” “He looked at her as a man looks at a faded flower he has gathered, with difficulty recognizing in it the beauty for which he picked and ruined it. And in spite of this he felt that then, when his love was stronger, he could, if he had greatly wished it, have torn that love out of his heart; but now when as at that moment it seemed to him he felt no love for her, he knew that what bound him to her could not be broken.” “A Frenchman's self-assurance stems from his belief that he is mentally and physically irresistibly fascinating to both men and women. An Englishman's self-assurance is founded on his being a citizen of the best organized state in the world and on the fact that, as an Englishman, he always knows what to do, and that whatever he does as an Englishman is unquestionably correct. An Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets. A Russian is self-assured simply because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe in the possibility of knowing anything fully.” “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” “Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy.” “There will be today, there will be tomorrow, there will be always, and there was yesterday, and there was the day before...”
  • 11. “Kings are the slaves of history.” “One must be cunning and wicked in this world.” “If so many men, so many minds, certainly so many hearts, so many kinds of love.” “Every man and every living creature has a sacred right to the gladness of springtime.” “Ivan Ilych's life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.” “Writing laws is easy, but governing is difficult.” “As long as there are slaughter houses there will always be battlefields.” “Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.” “Friends we shall never be, you know that yourself. Whether we shall be the happiest or the wretchedest of people--that's in your hands.” “In the midst of winter, I find within me the invisible summer...” “When one's head is gone one doesn't weep over one's hair!” “In infinite time, in infinite matter, in infinite space, is formed a bubble organism, and that bubble lasts a while and bursts, and that bubble is Me
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