“The man who ten years earlier and one year later was considered a bandit and outlaw is sent a two-day sail from France, to an island given into his possession, with his guards and several million, which are paid to him for some reason.”

Leo Tolstoy

“As long as he followed the fixed definition of obscure words such as spirit, will, freedom, essence, purposely letting himself go into the snare of words the philosophers set for him, he seemed to comprehend something. But he had only to forget the artificial train of reasoning, and to turn from life itself to what had satisfied him while thinking in accordance with the fixed definitions, and all this artificial edifice fell to pieces at once like a house of cards, and it became clear that the edifice had been built up out of those transposed words, apart from anything in life more important than reason.”

Leo Tolstoy

. “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...

Leo Tolstoy

“The acquisition by dishonest means and cunning,' said Levin, feeling that he was incapable of clearly defining the borderline between honesty and dishonesty. 'Like the profits made by banks,' he went on. 'This is evil, I mean, the acquisition of enormous fortunes without work, as it used to be with the spirit monopolists. Only the form has changed. Le roi est mort, vive le roi! Hardly were the monopolies abolished before railways and banks appeared: just another way of making money without work.”

Leo Tolstoy

“He felt all the torment of his and her position, all the difficulties they were surrounded by in consequence of their station in life, which exposed them to the eyes of the whole world, obliged them to hide their love, to lie and deceive, and again to lie and deceive, to scheme and constantly think about others while the passion that bound them was so strong that they both forgot everything but their love.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Boredom is desire seeking desire.”

Leo Tolstoy

“the same question arose in every soul: "For what, for whom, must I kill and be killed?"

Leo Tolstoy

“What she did not know, and would never have believed, was that though her soul seemed to have been grown over with an impenetrable layer of mould, some delicate blades of grass, young and tender, were already pushing their way upwards, destined to take root and sendout living shoots so effectively that her all-consuming grief would soon be lost and forgotten. The wound was healing from inside.”

Leo Tolstoy

“I don't think anything," she said, "but 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....”

Leo Tolstoy

“I don't allow myself to doubt myself even for a moment.”

Leo Tolstoy

“at one time, a freethinker was a man who had been brought up in the conceptions of religion, law and morality, who reached freethought only after conflict and difficulty. But now a new type of born freethinkers has appeared, who grow up without so much as hearing that there used to be laws of morality, or religion, that authorities existed... In the old days, you see, if a man - a Frenchman, for instance- wished to get an education, he would have set to work to study the classics, the theologians, the tragedians, historians and philosophers- and you can realize all the intellectual labour involved. But nowadays he goes straight for the literature of negation, rapidly assimilates the essence of the science of negation, and thinks he's finished.

Leo Tolstoy

“...the role of the disappointed lover of a maiden or of any single woman might be ridiculous; but the role of a man who was pursuing a married woman, and who made it the purpose of his life at all cost to draw her into adultery, was one which had in it something beautiful and dignified and could never be ridiculous....”

Leo Tolstoy

“As it was before, so it was now; I need only be aware of God to live; I need only forget Him, or disbelieve Him, and I died. What is this animation and dying? I do not live when I lose belief in the existence of God. I should long ago have killed myself had I not had a dim hope of finding Him. I live, really live, only when I feel Him and seek Him. “What more do you seek?” exclaimed a voice within me. “This is He. He is that without which one cannot live. To know God and to live is one and the same thing. God is life.” “Live seeking God, and then you will not live without God.” And more than ever before, all within me and around me lit up, and the light did not again abandon me.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Her glance, the touch of her hand, set him aflame. He kissed the palm of his hand where she had touched it, and went home, happy in the sense that he had got nearer to the attainment of his aims that evening...”

Leo Tolstoy

“And those who only know the non-platonic love have no need to talk of tragedy. In such love there can be no sort of tragedy.”

Leo Tolstoy


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