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Leo Tolstoy

(1828-1910) [Count Lev Tolstoi] Russian Novelist, Moral Philosopher, Mystic


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Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.

All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

But now everything will be different. It is nonsense to believe that life will not allow it, that the past will not allow it. I must struggle to live a better life, a far better life.

Conceit is incompatible with understanding.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.

He never chooses an opinion, he just wears whatever happens to be in style.

Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.

History would be an excellent thing, if only it were true.

I am always with myself and it is I who am my tormentor.

I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back.

If so many men, so many minds, certainly so many hearts, so many kinds of love.

If you want to be happy, be.

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.

Man lives consciously for himself, but is an unconscious instrument in the attainment of the historic, universal, aims of humanity.

Music is the shorthand of emotion.

The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.

The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, but deeds can be done only for God.

The only thing that we know is that we know nothing and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.

The strongest of all warriors are these two - time and patience.

The truth is so evident, so binding, and so generally acknowledged, that it is only necessary to put it clearly before men for the evil called war to become quite impossible.

There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.

There is only one time that is important - NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time hat we have any power.

To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.

True science investigates and brings to human perception such truths and such knowledge as the people of a given time and society consider most important. Art transmits these truths from the region of perception to the region of emotion.

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.

What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.

We lost because we told ourselves we lost.

Without knowing why I am and why I am here, life is impossible.