“Every man had his personal habits, passions, and impulses toward goodness, beauty, and truth.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Was it through reason that I arrived at the necessity of loving my neighbor and not throttling him?...Not reason. Reason discovered the struggle for existence and the law which demands that everyone who hinders the satisfaction of my desires should be throttled. That is the conclusion of reason. Reason could not discover love for the other, because it’s unreasonable.”

Leo Tolstoy

“I have learned what must be, and therefore have come to see the whole horror of what is.”

Leo Tolstoy

“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.

Leo Tolstoy

I'm not living, I'm waiting for a solution that goes on and on being put off.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Looking into Napoleon's eyes, Prince Andrei thought about the insignificance of grandeur, about the insignificance of life, the meaning of which no one could understand, and about the still greater insignificance of death, the meaning of which no one among the living could understand or explain.”

Leo Tolstoy

“When the examination was over, the doctor looked at his watch, and then Praskovya Fyodorovna informed Ivan Ilyich that it must of course be as he liked, but she had sent today for a celebrated doctor, and that he would examine him, and have a consultation with Mihail Danilovich (that was the name of his regular doctor). 'Don't oppose it now, please. This I'm doing entirely for my own sake,' she said ironically, meaning it to be understood that she was doing it all for his sake, and was only saying this to give him no right to refuse her request. He lay silent, knitting his brows. He felt that he was hemmed in by such a tangle of falsity that it was hard to disentangle anything from it. Everything she did for him was entirely for her own sake, and she told him she was doing for her own sake what she actually was doing for her own sake as something so incredible that he would take it as meaning the opposite.”

Leo Tolstoy

“She did not want to talk of her sorrow, but with that sorrow in her heart she could not talk of outside matters.”

Leo Tolstoy

“In everything, almost in everything, I wrote I was guided by the need of collecting ideas which, linked together, would be the expression of myself, though each individual idea, expressed separately in words, loses its meaning, is horribly debased when only one of the links, of which it forms a part, is taken by itself. But the interlinking of these ideas is not, I think, an intellectual process, but something else, and it is impossible to express the source of this interlinking directly in words; it can only be done indirectly by describing images, actions, and situations in words.”

Leo Tolstoy

“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.”

Leo Tolstoy

“This was his acknowledgment of the impossibility of changing a man's convictions by words, and his recognition of the possibility of everyone thinking, feeling, and seeing things each from his own point of view. This legitimate peculiarity of each individual which used to excite and irritate Pierre now became a basis of the sympathy he felt for, and the interest he took in, other people. The difference, and sometimes complete contradiction, between men's opinions and their lives, and between one man and another, pleased him and drew from him an amused and gentle smile.

Leo Tolstoy

“I do not live my own life, there is something stronger than me which directs me. I suffer; but formerly I was dead and only now do I live.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Without knowledge of what I am and why I am here, it is impossible to live, and since I cannot know that, I cannot live either. In an infinity of time, in an infinity of matter, and an infinity of space a bubble-organism emerges while will exist for a little time and then burst, and that bubble am I.”

Leo Tolstoy

“He knew she was there by the rapture and the terror that seized on his heart. She was standing talking to a lady at the opposite end of the ground. There was apparently nothing striking either in her dress or her attitude. But for Levin she was as easy to find in that crowdas a rose among nettles. Everything was made bright by her. She was the smile that shed light all around her.”

Leo Tolstoy

O ye, who see perplexities over your heads, beneath your feet, and to the right and left of you; you will be an eternal enigma unto yourselves until ye become humble and joyful as children. Then will ye find Me, and having found Me in yourselves, you will rule over worlds, and looking out from the great world within to the little world without, you will bless everything that is, and find all is well with time and with you. KRISHNA.”

Leo Tolstoy


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