Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910), also known as Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He is best known for his novels, including War and Peace and Resurrection, but he also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays. His fiction consistently attempted to convey realistically the Russian society in which he lived. In the 1870’s Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an equally profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his nonfiction work A Confession.
Quotes by Leo Tolstoy…
We are enslaved by the laws we set up for our protection, which have become our oppression.
Human life changes not from the alteration of external forms, but only from the internal work of each man upon himself.
Even the strongest current of water cannot add a drop to a cup which is already full.
As we live through thousands of dreams in our present life, so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life and then return after death. Our life is but one of the dreams of that more real life, and so it is endlessly, until the very last one, the very real life of God.
The decrease of the general cause of suffering — illusion — is the only pleasant work which lies before a man, and gives him that true happiness in which his life consists.
Who has hired you as a nurse to this sick society?
The worst of human errors spring in most cases from the fact that men who stand on a low intellectual level, when they encounter events of a higher order, instead of trying to rise to the higher level from which these events can be rightly viewed, and making an effort to understand them, judge them by their own low standards, and the less they know of what they speak, the more arrogant and fixed are their judgements.
I have no inclination to assault myself; it would be of no use. You may do it yourselves if you choose — I refuse.
Man need not perform any acts or exploits, but has only to make an intense effort at consciousness.
If men who do not understand life would only approach nearer to the phantoms which alarm them, and would examine them, they would see that they are only phantoms, and not realities.