“War is not a polite recreation, but the vilest thing in life, and we ought to realize this and not make a game of it... as it stands now it's the favorite pastime of the idle and frivolous.”

Leo Tolstoy

“The most mentally deranged people are certainly those who see in others indications of insanity they do not notice in themselves.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Levin scowled. The humiliation of his rejection stung him to the heart, as though it were a fresh wound he had only just received. But he was at home, and at home the very walls are a support.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Each man lives for himself, uses his freedom to achieve his personal goals, and feels with his whole being that right now he can or cannot do such-and-such an action; but as soon as he does it, this action, committed at a certain moment in time, becomes irreversible, and makes itself the property of history, in which is has not a free but a predestined significance. ”

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

“the chief if not the sole cause of the enslavement of the Indian peoples by the English lies in this very absence of a religious consciousness and of the guidance for conduct which should flow from it—a lack common in our day to all nations East and West, from Japan to England and America alike.”

Leo Tolstoy

“I'll get angry in the same way with the coachman Ivan, argue in the same way, speak my mind inappropriately, there will be the same wall between my soul's holy of holies and other people, even my wife, I'll accuse her in the same way of my own fear and then regret it, I'll fail in the same way to understand with my reason why I pray, and yet I will pray--but my life now, my whole life, regardless of all that may happen to me, every minute of it, is not only not meaningless, as it was before, but has the unquestionable meaning of the good which it is in my power to put into it!”

Leo Tolstoy

“Every heart has its own skeletons.”

Leo Tolstoy

“Respect is an invention of people who want to cover up the empty place where love should be.”

Leo Tolstoy

“If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and you want to improve it, there is only one way to do so: you have to improve people. And in order to improve people, you begin with only one thing: you can become better yourself”

Leo Tolstoy

It is heavenly, when I overcome My earthly desires But nevertheless, when I'm not successful, It can also be quite pleasurable.”

Leo Tolstoy

“And for him, who lived in a certain circle, and who required some mental activity such as usually develops with maturity, having views was as necessary as having a hat.”

Leo Tolstoy

“But it was not only by this feeling, as Varvara thought, that he was guided. Mingling with his pride, with his need always to be first, was another motive, at which Varvara did not guess - a truly religious urge. His disillusionment in Mary (his betrothed), whom he had imagined such a saint, his feeling of outrage was so cruel that he sank into despair; and despair led him - whither? To God, to the faith of his childhood, which had never lost its hold upon him.

Leo Tolstoy

“Then he thought himself unhappy, but happiness was all in the future; now he felt that the best happiness was already in the past.”

Leo Tolstoy

“If there was a reason why he preferred the liberal tendency to the conservative one (also held to by many of his circle), it was not because he found the liberal tendency more sensible, but it more closely suited his manner of life.”

Leo Tolstoy


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