“People of limited intelligence are fond of talking about "these days," imagining that they have discovered and appraised the peculiarities of "these days" and that human nature changes with the times.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Both salvation and punishment for man lie in the fact that if he lives wrongly he can befog himself so as not to see the misery of his position.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Talent is the capacity to direct concentrated attention upon the subject: "the gift of seeing what others have not seen.”

Leo Tolstoy

“In historical events great men-so called-are but the labels that serve to give a mane to an event, and like labels, they have the last possible connection with the event itself. Every action of theirs, that seems to them an act of their own free will, is in an historical sense not free at all, but in bondage to the whole course of previous history, and predestined from all eternity.”

Leo Tolstoy

“But it seems to me that a man cannot and ought not to say that he loves, he said. Why not? I asked. Because it will always be a lie. As though it were a strange sort of discovery that someone is in love! Just as if, as soon as he said that, something went snap-bang - he loves. Just as if, when he utters that word, something extraordinary is bound to happen, with signs and portents, and all the cannons firing at once. It seems to me, he went on, that people who solemnly utter those words, 'I love you,' either deceive themselves, or what's still worse, deceive others.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Life did not stop, and one had to live.”

Leo Tolstoy

“To us, it is incomprehensible that millions of Christian men killed and tortured each other because Napoleon was ambitious or Alexander was firm, or because England's policy was astute or the Duke of Oldenburg was wronged. We cannot grasp what connection such circumstances have the with the actual fact of slaughter and violence: why because the Duke was wronged, thousands of men from the other side of Europe killed and ruined the people of Smolensk and Moscow and were killed by them.”

Leo Tolstoy

“If you want to be happy, be.”

Leo Tolstoy

“The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is meaningless.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Loving the same man or woman all your life, why, that's like supposing the same candle could last you all your life”

Leo Tolstoy

“He had learned that, as there is no situation in the world in which a man can be happy and perfectly free, so there is no situation in which he can be perfectly unhappy and unfree.”

Leo Tolstoy

“I have nothing to make me miserable," she said, getting calmer; "but can you understand that everything has become hateful, loathsome, coarse to me, and I myself most of all? You can't imagine what loathsome thoughts I have about everything."

Leo Tolstoy

“Whatever our fate is or may be, we have made it and do not complain of it."

Leo Tolstoy

“I have discovered nothing. I have only found out what I knew. I understand the force that in the past gave me life, and now too gives me life. I have been set free from falsity, I have found the Master.”

Leo Tolstoy

What did that show? It showed that he had lived well, but thought badly.”

Leo Tolstoy


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