Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

484 Inspiring Quotes by Leo Tolstoy

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Leo Tolstoy.

Wikipedia Summary for Leo Tolstoy

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой, tr. Lev Nikoláyevich Tolstóy, IPA: [lʲef nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ tɐlˈstoj] (listen); 9 September, [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November, [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1909. That he never won is a major controversy.

Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, Tolstoy is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction. He first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1852–1856), and Sevastopol Sketches (1855), based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. His fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Family Happiness (1859), and Hadji Murad (1912). He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays.

In the 1870s, Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an equally profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work A Confession (1882). His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894), had a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He also became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing, particularly Resurrection (1899).


stars on outer space

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

gray concrete road between green trees during daytime

The Jew is the emblem of civil and religious toleration. Love the stranger and the sojourner, Moses commands, because you have been strangers in the land of Egypt.

--Leo Tolstoy

red rose in close up photography

A Gentleman is a man who will pay his gambling debts even when he knows he has been cheated.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

Error is the force that welds men together; truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth.

--Leo Tolstoy

blue painted wall with white paint

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

Levin tried to drink a little coffee, and put a piece of roll into his mouth, but his mouth could do nothing with it. He took the piece out of his mouth, put on his overcoat and went out to walk about again.

--Leo Tolstoy

crescent moon above mountain

There are no conditions to which a person cannot grow accustomed, especially if he sees that everyone around him lives in the same way.

--Leo Tolstoy

selective-focus photograph of gray bird on tree branch

He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love.

--Leo Tolstoy




photo of brown parquet

Great works of art are only great because they are accessible and comprehensible to everyone.

--Leo Tolstoy

person holding red and beige twin bell analog alarm clock

Life is fragile and absurd.

--Leo Tolstoy

person in black top carrying brown wicker basket

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

white wall paint beside white wall

Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man's life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible.

--Leo Tolstoy

two gold-colored skeleton keys

Dear Lord, what a madhouse the world is!

--Leo Tolstoy

red rope on three branch

It is no sin to look at a nice girl.

--Leo Tolstoy

stars in the sky during night time

She smiled at him, and at her own fears.

--Leo Tolstoy

green leafed plant

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.

--Leo Tolstoy



pair of white lace-up shoes

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of praying man

He began to pray, and was obsessed by the fear lest he should die without having done any good in the world; he longed to live, and to live so as to achieve the renunciation of self.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

In marriage the great thing was love, and that with love one would always be happy, for happiness rests only on oneself.

--Leo Tolstoy



a couple holding hands with a wedding ring visible

As long as there are slaughter houses there will always be battlefields.

--Leo Tolstoy

clear wine glass with red wine

Because of the self-confidence with which he had spoken, no one could tell whether what he said was very clever or very stupid.

--Leo Tolstoy

green palm tree during daytime

The improvement of life was only accomplished to the extent to which it was based on a change of consciousness, that is, to the extent to which the law of violence was replaced in men's consciousness by the law of love.

--Leo Tolstoy


raging waves through shores

You should look in suffering for the seeds of your future spiritual growth, or the bitterness of suffering will be severe.

--Leo Tolstoy


white wall paint with black shadow

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown grass field near gray rocky mountain during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

stars across the sky view at the desert

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

grey cliff near body of water

Anna smiled,as people smile at the weaknesses of those they love.

--Leo Tolstoy



close up shot of white flower

I often think that men don't understand what is noble and what is ignorant, though they always talk about it.

--Leo Tolstoy


white flower graphic wallpaper

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.

--Leo Tolstoy



red textile in close up photography

All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.

--Leo Tolstoy

woman carrying baby while walking

As often happens between men who have chosen different pursuits, each, while in argument justifying the other's activity, despised it in the depth of his heart.

--Leo Tolstoy


purple-petaled flowers

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.

--Leo Tolstoy



icy mountain scenery

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

tilt shift lens photo of sunflower

One need only to admit that public tranquillity is in danger and any action finds a justification. All the horrors of the reign of terror were based only on solicitude for public tranquillity.

--Leo Tolstoy


plain background

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

lights pattern swirls

People are always happy where there is love, because their happiness in in themselves.

--Leo Tolstoy


purple and black skies

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

--Leo Tolstoy


silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

History is the product of vast, amorphous and indecipherable social movements.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of stones during golden hour

I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.

--Leo Tolstoy


silhouette of woman during sunset

A bad mood is often the reason for blaming others; but very often blaming others causes bad feelings in us: The more we blame others, the worse we feel.

--Leo Tolstoy


mixed paints in a plate

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

--Leo Tolstoy

pink petaled flower

For if we allow that human life is always guided by reason, we destroy the premise that life is possible at all.

--Leo Tolstoy

raging waves through shores

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

red and pink flowers

One can no more approach people without love than one can approach bees without care. Such is the quality of bees.

--Leo Tolstoy



A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

silver bell alarm clock

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

--Leo Tolstoy

person on road at sunset

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.

--Leo Tolstoy



yellow sunflowers under white clouds and blue sky

The most important person is the one you are with in this moment.

--Leo Tolstoy

landscape photography of mountains with cloudy skies during golden hour

Let us forgive each other -- only then will we live in peace.

--Leo Tolstoy

Clear blue ocean washing on the sandy shore on a clear day in Cancún

ٰ"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.

--Leo Tolstoy

snowflake

Be bad, but at least don't be a liar, a deceiver!

--Leo Tolstoy

red textile in close up photography

The simplest and shortest ethical precept is to be served as little as possible ... and to serve others as much as possible.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of person's hands forming heart

It is not enough to be a hardworking person. Think: what do you work at?

--Leo Tolstoy

island during daytime

Human science fragments everything in order to understand it, kills everything in order to examine it.

--Leo Tolstoy

man and woman kissing under blue sky during daytime

'Thou shalt not kill' does not apply to murder of one's own kind only, but to all living beings and this commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai.

--Leo Tolstoy

green leaf

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.

--Leo Tolstoy



forest near mountain alps

Childhood candor... shall I ever find you again?

--Leo Tolstoy


Bryce Canyon National Park Sunrise Point at Utah

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

--Leo Tolstoy


Light blue to dark blue gradient

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

body of water during daytime

Man by violating his own feelings becomes cruel. And how deeply seated in the human heart is the injunction not to take life.

--Leo Tolstoy

pink and red flowers

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.

--Leo Tolstoy

close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

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

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow wallpaper

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?

--Leo Tolstoy

person holding red and beige twin bell analog alarm clock

Faith is the force of life.

--Leo Tolstoy


river between trees under blue sky

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.

--Leo Tolstoy




three pink tulip flowers

Patriotism is the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunflower with clear glass vase on gray table

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunflower with clear glass vase on gray table

There was no answer, except the general answer life gives to all the most complex and insoluble questions. That answer is: one must live for the needs of the day, in other words, become oblivious.

--Leo Tolstoy


rock formation surrounding by body of water

And so there was no single cause for war, but it happened simply because it had to happen.

--Leo Tolstoy

two women making peace sign near the Golden Gate bridge

Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.

--Leo Tolstoy

group of elephant on brown field under white clouds during daytime

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow -- that is patience. The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.

--Leo Tolstoy

rock formation in body of water

Eating meat is a leftover of the greatest brutality killing; the transition to vegetarianism is the first and most natural consequence of enlightenment.

--Leo Tolstoy

woman carrying baby while walking

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

blue

They were dealt with as in war, and they naturally employed the means that were used against them.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown labrador puppy

Kings are the slaves of history.

--Leo Tolstoy

chocolate

This history of culture will explain to us the motives, the conditions of life, and the thought of the writer or reformer.

--Leo Tolstoy

man kissing the woman wearing blue polka-dot dress

Wealth brings a heavy purse; poverty, a light spirit.

--Leo Tolstoy


close-up photo of two men shaking hands near beach at sunset

Whatever our fate is or may be, we have made it and do not complain of it.

--Leo Tolstoy




white printer paper on brown wooden table

I ask one thing only: I ask for the right to hope, to suffer as I do. But if even that cannot be, command me to disappear, and I disappear. You shall not see me if my presence is distasteful to you.

--Leo Tolstoy

selective focus photography of stones on sand

Our body is a machine for living.

--Leo Tolstoy

woman in white shirt sitting on brown rock near lake during daytime

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown butterfly perched on flower

Each person's task in life is to become an increasingly better person.

--Leo Tolstoy


adobe wall

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

red tulip in bloom during daytime

Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown and black tiger near body of water

Children: a torment and nothing more.

--Leo Tolstoy

telescope

I have learned what must be, and therefore have come to see the whole horror of what is.

--Leo Tolstoy

blue and white abstract painting

To regard Christ as God, and to pray to him, are to my mind the greatest possible sacrilege.

--Leo Tolstoy


pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

woman standing on beachfront

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

None

Live your life in such a way that you neither hide nor have a wish to display your life to people.

--Leo Tolstoy

plain background

You say: I am not free. But I have raised and lowered my arm. Everyone understands that this illogical answer is an irrefutable proof of freedom.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow tulip flowers

Whenever my life came to a halt, the questions would arise: Why? And what next?

--Leo Tolstoy


pink petaled flower

Once we're thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it's only here that the new and the good begins.

--Leo Tolstoy

green artificial palm tree on seashore

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

photo of brown parquet

By digging into our souls, we often dig up what might better have remained there unnoticed.

--Leo Tolstoy

pink tulips in clear glass vase

It's much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown sand beach during daytime

Everything intelligent is so boring.

--Leo Tolstoy



Arizona landscape

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.

--Leo Tolstoy



man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

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.

--Leo Tolstoy


lightning strike at night

Am I mad, to see what others do not see, or are they mad who are responsible for all that I am seeing?

--Leo Tolstoy



man in orange jacket and black pants doing snow ski during daytime

Well, pray if you like, only you'd do better to use your judgment.

--Leo Tolstoy

pink and red flowers

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette photography of mountains

Division of labor is a justification for sloth.

--Leo Tolstoy

Arizona landscape rain

Except life's usual answer to the most complex and insoluble questions. That answer is: live in the needs of the day, that is find forgetfulness.

--Leo Tolstoy

library shelf near black wooden ladder

In the midst of winter, I find within me the invisible summer.

--Leo Tolstoy




silhouette of stones during golden hour

A Christian cannot help being free, because in the pursuit and attainment of his object, no one can either hinder or retard him.

--Leo Tolstoy

None

A true work of art is the revelation of a new conception of life arising in the artist's soul, which, when expressed, lights up the path along with humanity progresses.

--Leo Tolstoy


close-up photograph of black dreadnought acoustic guitar

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.

--Leo Tolstoy



round black clock on linen

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

--Leo Tolstoy

body of water under blue sky during daytime

What doubt can you have of the Creator when you behold His creation?... Who has decked the heavenly firmament with its stars? Who has clothed the earth in its beauty? How could it be without the creator?

--Leo Tolstoy


blue mountains at daytime

The only happy marriages I know are arranged ones.

--Leo Tolstoy

man in black jacket and pants jumping on white rock

Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?

--Leo Tolstoy

red rose in close up photography

A wise man looks for everything inside of himself; a madman seeks for everything in others.

--Leo Tolstoy




woman standing between sunflower field during daytime

He looked at her as a man looks at a faded flower he has gathered , with difficulty recognizing the beauty for which he picked and ruined it.

--Leo Tolstoy

selective focus photography of pink petaled flower

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunflower with clear glass vase on gray table

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.

--Leo Tolstoy


brown wallpaper

We are forced to fall back on fatalism as an explanation of irrational events (that is to say, events the reasonableness of which we do not understand).

--Leo Tolstoy


yellow rose flower

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?

--Leo Tolstoy

man smiling while facing other person

Vegetarianism is the taproot of humanitarianism.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow and white painted wall

Man survives earthquakes, epidemics, the horrors of disease, and agonies of the soul, but all the time his most tormenting tragedy has been, is, and will always be, the tragedy of the bedroom.

--Leo Tolstoy



selective focus photography of grey coin operated telescope

Always wetweating-always wetweating!

--Leo Tolstoy

white petaled flower

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

plain

Every revolution by force only puts more violent means of enslavement into the hands of the persons in power.

--Leo Tolstoy


man holding brown violin

Life is too long to say anything definitely; always say perhaps.

--Leo Tolstoy

road during night time

I have discovered nothing. I have only found out what I knew. I understand the force that in the past gave me life, and now too gives me life. I have been set free from falsity, I have found the Master.

--Leo Tolstoy

grass field under cloudy sky

Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.

--Leo Tolstoy



panoramic photography of mountains

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.

--Leo Tolstoy



pink and white computer keyboard beside yellow framed sunglasses

If you want to be happy, be!

--Leo Tolstoy

white and blue building under clear sky

I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt it in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life.

--Leo Tolstoy

four orange, green, blue, and red paint rollers

A holy spirit lives within you.

--Leo Tolstoy

man in black suit jacket and woman in blue dress kissing during daytime

Where there is love, there is God also.

--Leo Tolstoy

body of water during daytime

He was one of those diplomats who like and know how to work, and, despite his laziness, he occasionally spent nights at his desk.

--Leo Tolstoy





boat on sea far away from island

Why nowadays there's a new fashion every day.

--Leo Tolstoy

green textile

Pure and complete is as impossible as pure and complete joy.

--Leo Tolstoy


woman snorkeling

After the doctor's departure Koznyshev felt inclined to go to the river with his fishing rod. He was fond of angling, and seemed proud of being able to like such a stupid occupation.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

Everything was made bright by her. She was the smile that shed light all around her.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown tree branch during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

green plants beside brown wooden door

He liked to fish; he seemed to take pride in being able to like such a stupid occupation.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of person jumping in mid air

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

--Leo Tolstoy


pink and orange paints

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

There is no deed in this life so impossible that you cannot do it. Your whole life should be lived as an heroic deed.

--Leo Tolstoy

cluster of stars in the sky

Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

--Leo Tolstoy


black textile in close up photography

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

black and yellow wall sconce

If goodness has causes, it is not goodness; if it has effects, a reward, it is not goodness either. So goodness is outside the chain of cause and effect.

--Leo Tolstoy


bunch of tulips flower on wooden surface

Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

But every acquisition that is disproportionate to the labor spent on it is dishonest.

--Leo Tolstoy


purple flowers under cloudy sky

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


body of water photo

I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love.

--Leo Tolstoy

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

The first rule of achieving goodness is this: think only about self-perfection.

--Leo Tolstoy

smiling woman

Life is a transition from one form to another. The life of this world is the material for a new form.

--Leo Tolstoy




None

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

white satellite dish under starry night

He was always in a hurry to get where he was not.

--Leo Tolstoy

Arizona landscape

While I doubted, I had hope; but now there is no hope left and all the same I doubt everything.

--Leo Tolstoy

black bird flying under white clouds during daytime

The key to success in life is using the good thoughts of wise people.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of stones during golden hour

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

blue sky with stars during night time

There will be today, there will be tomorrow, there will be always, and there was yesterday, and there was the day before.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of mountain under blue sky during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

blue sky with white clouds

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.

--Leo Tolstoy


brown leaf on asphalt road

Happy people have no history.

--Leo Tolstoy

selective focus photography of woman taking selfie

The more upset a person is with other people, and with circumstances, and the more satisfied he is with himself, the further he is from wisdom.

--Leo Tolstoy

chocolate

The teaching of the church, theoretically astute, is a lie in practice and a compound of vulgar superstitions and sorcery.

--Leo Tolstoy

blue rose with water droplet

A cigar is a sort of thing, not exactly a pleasure, but the crown and outward sign of pleasure.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of person's hands forming heart

Debates conceal rather than reveal the truth. Truth is revealed in solitude.

--Leo Tolstoy

person standing on top of mountain

An agile but unintelligent and abnormal German, possessed of the mania of grandeur.

--Leo Tolstoy



red rose in bloom during daytime

All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

Every man and every living creature has a sacred right to the gladness of springtime.

--Leo Tolstoy

red rose illustration

I have discovered nothing new; I have only perceived what I already knew.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunset with rainbow

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

--Leo Tolstoy


white ceramic mug with coffee on brown wooden table

One needs a vision of the promised land in order to have the strength to move.

--Leo Tolstoy

man in Burton shirt facing ocean

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.

--Leo Tolstoy




four handheld gardening tools on rack

It seems to me that what we call beauty in a face lies in the smile.

--Leo Tolstoy

white flowers in brown stem

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

high-angle photography of mountain at sunset

If you love me as you say you do,' she whispered, 'make it so that I am at peace.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of man in water

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

cluster of stars in the sky

War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves.

--Leo Tolstoy

white and black satellite dish on brown field during night time

We should show life neither as it is or as it ought to be, but only as we see it in our dreams.

--Leo Tolstoy

Bright orange to dark red gradient

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

blue sky with stars during night time

The greater the state, the more wrong and cruel its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded.

--Leo Tolstoy



person sinking on body of water

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of tree during sunset

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

eagle-eye view photography of brown pathway

A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor -- such is my idea of happiness.

--Leo Tolstoy

white shore under sunny sky

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

green artificial palm tree on seashore

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

shallow focus photography of orange flower

Never did Christ utter a single word attesting to a personal resurrection and a life beyond the grave.

--Leo Tolstoy


tall green flowering grasses under blue and white cloudy sky

Live in the needs of the day.

--Leo Tolstoy

red tulip flowers under calm blue sky

Art is not a pleasure, a solace, or an amusement; art is great matter.

--Leo Tolstoy

sun

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

purple and white clouds during night time

Woman is more impressionable than man. Therefore in the Golden Age they were better than men. Now they are worse.

--Leo Tolstoy

man in white shirt and black pants standing on top of building

How can one be well...when one suffers morally?

--Leo Tolstoy

Light blue to dark blue gradient

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.

--Leo Tolstoy


purple flowered hedge plants

In former times the chief method of justifying the use of violence and thereby infringing the law of love was by claiming a divine right for the rulers: the Tsars, Sultans, Rajahs, Shahs and other heads of states.

--Leo Tolstoy



brown wallpaper

Just fancy! One can hear and see the grass growing,' thought Levin, as he noticed wet slate-coloured aspen leaf move close to the point of a blade of grass.

--Leo Tolstoy

white wall paint with black line

Often a man goes on for years imaging that the religious teaching that had been imparted to him since childhood is still intact, while all the time there is not a trace of it left in him.

--Leo Tolstoy

pink flower with green stem

When you feel the desire for power, you should stay in solitude for some time.

--Leo Tolstoy

body of water during daytime

Violence produces only something resembling justice, but it distances people from the possibility of living justly, without violence.

--Leo Tolstoy

Arizona landscape snow

In order to obtain and hold power, a man must love it.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

There never has been and cannot be a good life without self-control. Apart from self-control no good life is imaginable.

--Leo Tolstoy

A view of the night showing stars

All we can know is that we know nothing. And that's the height of human wisdom.

--Leo Tolstoy

man and woman holding hand while walking on bridge

The activity of art is… as important as the activity of language itself, and as universal.

--Leo Tolstoy

white and red flower with green leaves

Progress consists only in the greater clarification of answers to the basic questions of life.

--Leo Tolstoy

pen on brown board

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

green trees on forest during daytime

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.

--Leo Tolstoy





solid background

One is ashamed to say how little is needed for all men to be delivered from those calamities which now oppress them; it is only needful not to lie.

--Leo Tolstoy


Light blue to purple gradient

We have become so accustomed to the religious lie that surrounds us that we do not notice the atrocity, stupidity and cruelty with which the teaching of the Christian church is permeated.

--Leo Tolstoy


orange abstract painting

Blessed are the peacemakers; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

--Leo Tolstoy

shillouette photo of person standing at the peak

"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



silhouette of stones during golden hour

Hard as Stepan Arkadyich tried to be a solicitous father and husband, he never could remember that he had a wife and children.

--Leo Tolstoy

body of water

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown humming bird flying in mid air

I simply want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself.

--Leo Tolstoy


white paint palette with black paint beside ink bottle and paint brush

Read less, study less, but think more.

--Leo Tolstoy


silhouette of man on top of hill overlooking lighted city at dawn

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

Everything presents itself to me, in the coarsest, most loathsome light.

--Leo Tolstoy



silhouette of kneeling man

The activity of art is... as important as the activity of language itself, and as universal.

--Leo Tolstoy

mountains under white mist at daytime

I often think how unfairly life's good fortune is sometimes distributed.

--Leo Tolstoy

man holding brown violin

Every misconception is a poison: there are no harmless misconceptions.

--Leo Tolstoy



plain background

Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunset

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

red flowers under the blue sky

Very often, all the activity of the human mind is directed not in revealing the truth, but in hiding the truth.

--Leo Tolstoy



selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

All the true heroes of history will be forgotten and all the villains will be remembered as heroes.

--Leo Tolstoy


feet in sand

If you want to be happy, be.

--Leo Tolstoy

man and woman kissing under blue sky during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

Art is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feeling.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow, orange, red, green, and blue abstract painting

Besides, to fall out of love and in love at the same time is to love twice as deeply as one did before.

--Leo Tolstoy

None

I have found that a #story leaves a deeper impression when it is impossible to tell which side the author is on.

--Leo Tolstoy



light blue

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

woman lying on pool

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

Vincent Van Gogh self portrait painting on wall

But there was something in her higher than what surrounded her. There was in her the glow of the real diamond among glass imitations.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunset

My principal sin is doubt. I doubt everything, and am in doubt most of the time.

--Leo Tolstoy

grayscale photography of elephant

Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.

--Leo Tolstoy

time lapse photography of fire

All governments are in equal measure good and evil. The best ideal is anarchy.

--Leo Tolstoy

shooting star in night sky

What's all this love of arguing? No one ever convinces anyone else.

--Leo Tolstoy


pink and blue painted wall

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunset

Konstantin Levin did not like talking and hearing about the beauty of nature. Words for him took away the beauty of what he saw.

--Leo Tolstoy

backdrop solid

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

Every man had his personal habits, passions, and impulses toward goodness, beauty, and truth.

--Leo Tolstoy

bare tress and mountain

Time is a perpetual motion, without a single moment of rest.

--Leo Tolstoy

green trees under white clouds

The political is not compatible with the artistic, because the former, in order to prove, has to be one-sided.

--Leo Tolstoy

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs.

--Leo Tolstoy

black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

A real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown leaf tree facing the lake

I can't understand how anyone can write without rewriting everything over and over again.

--Leo Tolstoy

shallow focus photography of woman standing outdoors

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.

--Leo Tolstoy


silhouette of a woman with pink and purple sky

A new conception of life cannot be imposed on men; it can only be freely assimilated. And it can only be freely assimilated in two ways: one spiritual and internal, the other experimental and external.

--Leo Tolstoy

elephant on green grass field during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

Bryce Canyon National Park Sunrise Point at Utah

Men are so accustomed to maintaining external order by violence that they cannot conceive of life being possible without violence.

--Leo Tolstoy



time lapse photography of lightning during storm

But believe me, my dear boy, there is nothing stronger than those two: patience and time, they will do it all.

--Leo Tolstoy

close up shot of white flower

Since corrupt people unite amongst themselves to constitute a force, then honest people must do the same.

--Leo Tolstoy


withered tree surrounded with snow during daytime

Art lifts man from his personal life into the universal life.

--Leo Tolstoy


selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones

If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.

--Leo Tolstoy

clear drinking glass with beer

By patriotism is meant, not only spontaneous, instinctive love for one's own nation, and preference for it above all other nations, but also the belief that such love and preference are good and useful.

--Leo Tolstoy

trees under blue sky and stars during nighttime photo

It is a rude feeling, because it is natural only to people standing on the lowest level of morality, and expecting from other nations such outrages as they themselves are ready to inflict.

--Leo Tolstoy

person holding sunflower bouquet during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy


pink flower petals in macro photography

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.

--Leo Tolstoy



red and white petaled flower close-up photography

But she was not even grateful to him for it; nothing good on Pierre's part seemed to her to be an effort, it seemed so natural for him to be kind to everyone that there was no merit in his kindness.

--Leo Tolstoy


yellow rose flower

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!

--Leo Tolstoy


brown labrador puppy

Boredom, the desire for desires.

--Leo Tolstoy

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

Our whole life is taken up with anxiety for personal security, with preparations for living, so that we really never live at all.

--Leo Tolstoy

sea during daytime

Power is the relation of a given person to other persons, in which the more this person expresses opinions, theories and justifications of the collective action the less is his participation in that action.

--Leo Tolstoy

person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs

He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.

--Leo Tolstoy

light blue

Today, nobody sees, or wishes to see, that in our time the enslavement of the majority of men is based on money taxes, levied on land and otherwise, which are collected by government from the subjects.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow flower in green grass field

To tell the truth is very difficult, and young people are rarely capable of it.

--Leo Tolstoy

lion on green grass during golden hour

Follow the best way of life you possibly can, and habit will make this way suitable and pleasant to you.

--Leo Tolstoy

aerial view of blue ocean water during daytime

Anything is better than lies and deceit!

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

It's all God's will: you can die in your sleep, and God can spare you in battle.

--Leo Tolstoy


silhouette of mountain under blue sky during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy


blue and red bird during daytime

And the cause of everything is that which we call God.

--Leo Tolstoy

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

The chief attraction of military service has consisted and will consist in this compulsory and irreproachable idleness.

--Leo Tolstoy


closed white painted door with exit signage

Vegetarianism serves as the criterion by which we know that the pursuit of moral perfection on the part of humanity is genuine and sincere.

--Leo Tolstoy

white ceramic pencil organizer on top of stack of books

Much unhappiness has come from things left unsaid.

--Leo Tolstoy


macro shot photography of two votive candles

One must be cunning and wicked in this world.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown and gray brick wall

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.

--Leo Tolstoy


pink flower

In the spiritual realm nothing is indifferent: what is not useful is harmful.

--Leo Tolstoy


macro shot photography of two votive candles

Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown violin with black background

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

person holding white mini bell alarmclock

The most important time is Now.

--Leo Tolstoy

person in black and white mask

It is terrible when people do not know God, but it is worse when people identify as God what is not God.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow and red tulip in bloom close up photo

If religion is the establishing of a relationship between man and the universe, then morality is the explanation of those activities that automatically result when a person maintains a relationship to the universe.

--Leo Tolstoy




white analog wall clock at 11 00

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

--Leo Tolstoy

brown mountain under starry sky

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

glass window pane with yellow concrete wall

Men pray to the Almighty to relieve poverty. But poverty comes not from God's laws-it is blasphemy of the worst kind to say that. Poverty comes from man's injustice to his fellow man.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow and purple flower with white background

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

bonfire in forest

When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you'd like them to be.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunset

What is reason given me for, if I am not to use it to avoid bringing unhappy beings into the world!

--Leo Tolstoy

person wearing black top

Happiness is in your ability to love others.

--Leo Tolstoy

landscape photography of mountains with cloudy skies during golden hour

An inner voice tells us we are in the wrong if we are idle.

--Leo Tolstoy


yellow pen

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown wooden board

In order to get the power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness, but with qualities which are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning, cruelty.

--Leo Tolstoy

yellow and white color illustration

Christian love comes from the understanding that there is a unity of divine origins in oneself and in other people, and not only in people, but in all living things.

--Leo Tolstoy


beach during daytime

I've always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.

--Leo Tolstoy

Light blue to dark blue gradient

Excuse me' he added, taking the opera glasses out of her hands and looking over her bare shoulder at the row of boxes opposite, 'i'm afraid i'm becoming ridiculous.

--Leo Tolstoy

three people paddling in canoe

If you want to be happy, be happy.

--Leo Tolstoy




gray hummingbird

Man discovers truth by reason only, not by faith.

--Leo Tolstoy


yellow and white color illustration

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.

--Leo Tolstoy


green trees on body of water during daytime

The earth is the general and equal possession of all humanity and therefore cannot be the property of individuals.

--Leo Tolstoy

solid background

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown houses in front of hill under starry night

If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.

--Leo Tolstoy

shade under a green-leafed tree

It's hard to love a woman and do anything.

--Leo Tolstoy

purple flowers under cloudy sky

Man's mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find the causes is implanted in man's soul.

--Leo Tolstoy

red moon at night

But really, why should you distress yourself? Whoever stirs up the past -- out with his eye! Who is not a sinner before God and to blame before the Tsar, as the saying is?

--Leo Tolstoy

black bird on brown tree branch during daytime

Love those you hate you.

--Leo Tolstoy


empty brown concrete stairs beside green grass under starry sky long-exposure photography

And people strive not for the good in life, but for goods they can call their own.

--Leo Tolstoy



bonfire in forest

Upon meeting, you're judged by your clothes, upon parting you're judged by your wits.

--Leo Tolstoy

brown and gray brick wall

Don't seek God in temples. He is close to you. He is within you. Only you should surrender to Him and you will rise above happiness and unhappiness.

--Leo Tolstoy

landscape photography of mountains with cloudy skies during golden hour

The Jew is eternal. He is the embodiment of eternity.

--Leo Tolstoy

person looking at the milkyway

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of three men falling in line while walking during golden hour

Anna had the faculty of blushing.

--Leo Tolstoy

time lapse photography body of water

As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields. A vegetarian diet is the acid test of humanitarianism.

--Leo Tolstoy


stainless steel key on brown rod

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

milky way wallpaper

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

--Leo Tolstoy

purple flowers under cloudy sky

If you once realize that to-morrow, if not to-day, you will die and nothing will be left of you, everything becomes insignificant!

--Leo Tolstoy





silhouette of trees during nighttime

Life consists in penetrating the unknown, and fashioning our actions in accord with the new knowledge thus acquired.

--Leo Tolstoy



sunset

The best thoughts most often come in the morning after waking, while still in bed or while walking.

--Leo Tolstoy

aerial photography of forest

Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget.

--Leo Tolstoy

man in cowboy hat

He was afraid of defiling the love which filled his soul.

--Leo Tolstoy

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.

--Leo Tolstoy

black wooden louver door window

The question of how things will settle down is the only important question.

--Leo Tolstoy

white brick wall

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

--Leo Tolstoy

woman in white shirt sitting on brown rock near lake during daytime

Art must destroy violence, only it can do it.

--Leo Tolstoy


white brick wall

Then we should find some artificial inoculation against love, as with smallpox.

--Leo Tolstoy


yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

The ideas of the wise have been tested by centuries. Everything medium is lost and only original, deep and useful things are left.

--Leo Tolstoy

light match stick

Boredom: the desire for desires.

--Leo Tolstoy


person holding red and beige twin bell analog alarm clock

Vengeance is mine; I will repay.

--Leo Tolstoy

body of water under clear blue sky painting

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

--Leo Tolstoy

aerial's photo of metropolitan during night time\

He was fond of angling, and seemed proud of being able to like such a stupid occupation.

--Leo Tolstoy

sunset

God forgive me everything!' she said, feeling the impossibility of struggling.

--Leo Tolstoy

black and gray floral textile

The possibility of killing one's self is a safety valve. Having it, man has no right to say life is unbearable.

--Leo Tolstoy

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

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.

--Leo Tolstoy

silhouette of people riding bicycle

Can it be that I have overlooked something, that there is something which I have failed to understand? Is it not possible that this state of despair is common to everyone?

--Leo Tolstoy


white and gray cat

God knows, but He's waiting.

--Leo Tolstoy


We wish you a perfect day!