Pierre was right when he said that one must believe in the possibility of happiness in order to be happy, and I now believe in it. Let the dead bury the dead, but while I'm alive, I must live and be happy.
Woman is more impressionable than man. Therefore in the Golden Age they were better than men. Now they are worse.
Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
Here I am alive, and it's not my fault, so I have to try and get by as best I can without hurting anybody until death takes over.
Why should I live? Why should I do anything? Is there in life any purpose which the inevitable death that awaits me does not undo and destroy?
Suddenly I heard the words of Christ and understood them, and life and death ceased to seem to me evil, and instead of despair I experienced happiness and the joy of life undisturbed by death.
He could not be mistaken. There were no other eyes like those in the world. There was only one creature in the world who could concentrate for him all the brightness and meaning of life. It was she. It was Kitty.
It is terrible when people do not know God, but it is worse when people identify as God what is not God.
What is important is not the length of life, but the depth of life. What is important is not to make life longer, but to take your soul out of time, as every sublime act does.
ٰThe Most difficult thing but an essential one -- is to love Life, to love it even while one suffers, because Life is all, Life is God, and to love Life means to love God.
Just think! This whole world of ours is only a speck of mildew sprung up on a tiny planet, yet we think we can have something great -- thoughts,, actions! They are all but grains of sand.
Through the influence of real art, aided by science, guided by religion... peaceful co-operation of man is now obtained by external means -- by law courts, police, charitable institutions, factory inspections... It should be obtained by man's free and joyous activity.
Do not resist the evil-doer and take no part in doing so, either in the violent deeds of the administration, in the law courts, the collection of taxes, or above all in soldiering, and no one in the world will be able to enslave you.
Art is a microscope which the artist fixes on the secrets of his soul, and shows to people these secrets which are common to all.
Both salvation and punishment for man lie in the fact that if he lives wrongly he can befog himself so as not to see the misery of his position.
I'll tell you truly: I value my thought and work terribly, but in essence -- think about it -- this whole world of ours is just a bit of mildew that grew over a tiny planet. And we think we can have something great -- thoughts, deeds! They're all grains of sand.
Love alone is the only reasonable activity or pursuit of humankind....Fo r Love not only annihilates our fear of meaninglessness but empowers us to seek the happiness of others. And this indeed is our greatest happiness.
Too much polishing and you spoil things. There's a limit to the expressibility of ideas. You have a new thought, an interesting one. Then, as you try to perfect it, it ceases to be new and interesting, and loses the freshness with which it first occurred to you. You're spoiling it.
Eating meat is a leftover of the greatest brutality killing; the transition to vegetarianism is the first and most natural consequence of enlightenment.
Vegetarianism serves as the criterion by which we know that the pursuit of moral perfection on the part of humanity is genuine and sincere.
From the child of five to myself is but a step. But from the newborn baby to the child of five is an appalling distance.
He remembered his mother's love for him, and his family's, and his friends', and the enemy's intention to kill him seemed impossible.
Man by violating his own feelings becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in the human heart is the injunction not to take life.
I had begun to feel that life was a repetition of the same thing; that there was nothing new either in me or in him; and that, on the contrary, we kept going back as it were on what was old.
Levin had long before made the observation that when one is uncomfortable with people from their being excessively amenable and meek, one is apt very soon after to find things intolerable from their touchiness and irritability.
Stepan Arkadyevitch had not chosen his political opinions or his views; these political opinions and views had come to him of themselves, just as he did not choose the shapes of his hat and coat, but simply took those that were being worn.
The government in which I believe is that which is based on mere moral sanction...the real law lives in the kindness of our hearts. If our hearts are empty, no law or political reform can fill them.
Human science fragments everything in order to understand it, kills everything in order to examine it.
Just imagine that the purpose of life is happinesss only-
then life becomes a cruel and senseless thing.You have to embrace what the wisdom of humanity,your intellect and your heart tell you: that the meaning of life is to serve the force that sent you into the world.Then life becomes a joy.
The epitaph that I would write for history would say: I conceal nothing. It is not enough not to lie. One should strive not to lie in a negative sense by remaining silent.
I think that when you remember, remember, remember everything like that, you could go on until you remember what was there before you were in the world.
Woman is deprived of rights from lack of education, and the lack of education results from the absence of rights. We must not forget that the subjection of women is so complete, and dates from such ages back that we are often unwilling to recognise the gulf that separates them from us.
It is within my power either to serve God or not to serve Him. Serving Him, I add to my own good and the good of the whole world. Not serving Him, I forfeit my own good and deprive the world of that good, which was in my power to create.
If you do not know your place in the world and the meaning of your life, you should know there is something to blame; and it is not the social system, or your intellect, but the way in which you have directed your intellect.
The life of our class, of the wealthy and the learned, was not only repulsive to me but had lost all meaning. The sum of our action and thinking, of our science and art, all of it struck me as the overindulgences of a spoiled child.
It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false.
I do value my work awfully; but in reality only consider this: all this world of ours is nothing but a speck of mildew, which has grown up on a tiny planet. And for us to suppose we can have something great -- ideas, work -- it's all dust and ashes.
This is where the strength of the physician lies, be he a quack, a homeopath or an allopath. He supplies the perennial demand for comfort, the craving for sympathy that every human sufferer feels.
If the thought ever comes to you that everything that you have thought about God is mistaken and that there is no God, do not be dismayed. It happens to many people. But do not think that the source of your unbelief is that there is no God.
All men's instincts, all their impulses in life, are efforts to increase their freedom. Wealth and poverty, health and disease, culture and ignorance, labor and leisure, repletion and hunger, virtue and vice, are all terms for greater or less degree of freedom.
I asked: 'What is the meaning of my life, beyond time, cause, and space?' And I replied to quite another question: 'What is the meaning of my life within time, cause, and space?' With the result that, after long efforts of thought, the answer I reached was: 'None'.
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.
When I have one foot in the grave, I will tell the whole truth about women. I shall tell it, jump into my coffin, pull the lid over me and say, Do what you like now.
And so he who looks down at his feet will not know the truth, but he who discerns by the sun which way to go.
Anna spoke not only naturally and intelligently, but intelligently and casually, without attaching any value to her own thoughts, yet giving great value to the thoughts of the one she was talking to.
A Christian cannot help being free, because in the pursuit and attainment of his object, no one can either hinder or retard him.
And so the liberal tendency became a habit with Stepan Arkadyich, and he liked his newspaper, as he liked a cigar after dinner, for the slight haze it produced in his head.
When politics and home life have become one and the same thing, ... then,... it is evident that we will be in a state of total liberty or anarchy.
How strange it is that when I was a child I tried to be like a grownup, yet as soon as I ceased to be a child I often longed to be like one.
If you once realize that to-morrow, if not to-day, you will die and nothing will be left of you, everything becomes insignificant!
He had learned that, as there is no situation in the world in which a man can be happy and perfectly free, so there is no situation in the world in which he can be perfectly unhappy and unfree.
I say that the God who created the world in six days and who sent His son, and also his son himself, are not God, but that God is the one existing, incomparable good, the beginning of everything.
Since corrupt people unite amongst themselves to constitute a force, then honest people must do the same.
What time can be more beautiful when the one in which the finest virtues, innocent cheerfulness and indefinable longing for love constitute the sole motives of your life.
The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow- witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.
The magnanimity and sensibility of a lady who faints when she sees a calf being killed: she is so kindhearted that she can't look at blood, but enjoys eating the calf served up with sauce.
The business of art lies just in this -- to make that understood and felt which, in the form of an argument, might be incomprehensible and inaccessible.
Government is violence, Christianity is meekness, non-resistance, love. And, therefore, government cannot be Christian, and a man who wishes to be a Christian must not serve government.
If Mormonism is able to endure, unmodified, until it reaches the third and fourth generation, it is destined to become the greatest power the world has ever known.
Death is more certain than the morrow, than night following day, than winter following summer. Why is it then that we prepare for the night and for the winter time, but do not prepare for death. We must prepare for death. But there is only one way to prepare for death -- and that is to live well.
One may deal with things without love...but you cannot deal with men without it...It cannot be otherwise, because natural love is the fundamental law of human life.
The political is not compatible with the artistic, because the former, in order to prove, has to be one-sided.
People understand the meaning of eating lies in the nourishment of the body only when they cease to consider that the object of that activity is pleasure. ...People understand the meaning of art only when they cease to consider that the aim of that activity is beauty, i.e., pleasure.
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.
But there was something in her higher than what surrounded her. There was in her the glow of the real diamond among glass imitations.
He suffered from an unlucky faculty--common to many men, especially Russians--the faculty of seeing and believing in the possibility of good and truth, and at the same time seeing too clearly the evil and falsity of life to be capable of taking a serious part in it.
Kitty felt that Anna was perfectly unaffected and was not trying to conceal anything, but that she lived in another, higher world full of complex poetic interests beyond Kitty's reach.
Patriotism in its simplest, clearest and most indubitable signification is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason, conscience, and a slavish enthrallment to those in power.
The chief attraction of military service has consisted and will consist in this compulsory and irreproachable idleness.
Pierre's madness consisted in not waiting, as he had formerly done, to discover personal attributes which he called good qualities in people before loving them: his heart overflowed with love, and by loving without cause he never failed to discover undeniable reasons for loving.
Pretence about anything sometimes deceives the wisest and shrewdest man, but, however cunningly it is hidden, a child of the meanest capacity feels it and is repelled by it.
And yet, now that years have passed, I recall it and wonder that it could distress me so much. It will be the same thing, too, with this trouble. Time will go by and I shall not mind about this either.
And whatever people might say about the time having come when young people must arrange their future for themselves, she could not believe it any more than she could believe that loaded pistols could ever be the best toys for five-year-old children.
A real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist.
Instead of going to Paris to attend lectures, go to the public library, and you won't come out for twenty years, if you really wish to learn.
For if we allow that human life is always guided by reason, we destroy the premise that life is possible at all.
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.
Death destroys the body, as the scaffolding is destroyed after the building is up and finished. And he whose building is up rejoices at the destruction of the scaffolding and of the body.
Always the same. Now a spark of hope flashes up, then a sea of despair rages, and always pain; always pain, always despair, and always the same.
It's too easy to criticize a man when he's out of favour, and to make him shoulder the blame for everybody else's mistakes.
Music is the shorthand of emotion. Emotions, which let themselves be described in words with such difficulty, are directly conveyed to man in music, and in that is its power and significance.
War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves.
The teaching of the church, theoretically astute, is a lie in practice and a compound of vulgar superstitions and sorcery.
The essence of any religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me?
Reason unites us, not only with our contemporaries, but with men who lived two thousand years before us, and with those who will live after us.
We imagine that when we are thrown out of our usual ruts all is lost, but it is only then that what is new and good begins. While there is life there is happiness. There is much, much before us.
Spiritual activity, education, civilization, culture, the idea are all vague, indefinite concepts, under the banner of which it is quite convenient to use words that have a still less clear meaning and therefore can easily be plugged into any theory.
Meanwhile spring arrived. My old dejection passed away and gave place to the unrest which spring brings with it, full of dreams and vague hopes and desires.
The possibility of killing one's self is a safety valve. Having it, man has no right to say life is unbearable.
Every one who has a heart and eyes sees that you, working men, are obliged to pass your lives in want and in hard labor, which is useless to you, while other men, who do not work, enjoy the fruits of your labor that you are the slaves of these men, and that this ought not to exist.
Whatever question arose, a swarm of these drones, without having finished their buzzing on a previous theme, flew over to the new one and by their hum drowned and obscured the voices of those who were disputing honestly.
Violence produces only something resembling justice, but it distances people from the possibility of living justly, without violence.
The struggle with evil by means of violence is the same as an attempt to stop a cloud, in order that there may be no rain.
You think that your laws correct evil -- they only increase it. There is but one way to end evil -- by rendering good for evil to all men without distinction.
Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.
He stepped down, avoiding any long look at her as one avoids long looks at the sun, but seeing her as one sees the sun, without looking.
But there was another class of people, the real people. To this class they all belonged, and in it the great thing was to be elegant, generous, plucky, gay, to abandon oneself without a blush to every passion, and to laugh at everything else.
I felt a wish never to leave that room -- a wish that dawn might never come, that my present frame of mind might never change.
You can't imagine what a pleasure this complete laziness is to me: not a thought in my brain- you might send a ball rolling through it!
The ideas of the wise have been tested by centuries. Everything medium is lost and only original, deep and useful things are left.
And not only the pride of intellect, but the stupidity of intellect. And, above all, the dishonesty, yes, the dishonesty of intellect. Yes, indeed, the dishonesty and trickery of intellect.
I feel that I am entitled to my share of lightheartedness and there is nothing wrong with enjoying one's self simply, like a boy.
Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.
If you make it a habit not to blame others, you will feel the growth of the ability to love in your soul, and you will see the growth of goodness in your life.
A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction.
She had no need to ask why he had come. She knew as certainly as if he had told her that he was here to be where she was.
Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.
I often think that men don't understand what is noble and what is ignorant, though they always talk about it.
The hero of my tale, whom I love with all the power of my soul, whom I have tried to portray in all his beauty, who has been, is, and will be beautiful, is Truth.
A battle is won by the side that is absolutely determined to win. Why did we lose the battle of Austerlitz? Our casualties were about the same as those of the French, but we had told ourselves early in the day that the battle was lost, so it was lost.
Yes indeed, of the essence... from the mouth of the Tsar! came the sobbing voice of Count Rostov from the back. He hadn't heard a word, but in his own way he seemed to understand.
But perhaps it is always so, that men form their conceptions from fictitious, conventional types, and then--all the combinations made--they are tired of the fictitious figures and begin to invent more natural, true figures.
If once we admit, be it for a single hour or in a single instance, that there can be anything more important than compassion for a fellow human being, then there is no crime against man that we cannot commit with an easy conscience.
An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person's main task in life--becoming a better person.
An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person's main task in life -- becoming a better person.
Am I mad, to see what others do not see, or are they mad who are responsible for all that I am seeing?
I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.
He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.
One Cossack with a thin face burnt black by the sun, and evidently dead drunk, lay flat on his back under a wall which had been in the shade an hour or two earlier but was now exposed to the fierce slanting rays of the sun.
I'm like a starving man who has been given food. Maybe he's cold, and his clothes are torn, and he's ashamed, but he's not unhappy.
Our whole life is taken up with anxiety for personal security, with preparations for living, so that we really never live at all.
The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity by contributing to the establishment of the kingdom of God, which can only be done by the recognition and profession of the truth by every man.
The kinder and more intelligent a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people. Kindness enriches our life; with kindness mysterious things become clear, difficult things become easy and dull things become cheerful.
Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait ... there is nothing stronger than these two: patience and time, they will do it all.
Birthdays are of no importance to a rational being. It's a day like any other on which one has to do one's work.
Without the support from religion -- remember, we talked about it -- no father, using only his own resources, would be able to bring up a child.