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of writing about another Russian brigand, Greg-
ori Nicholaev. He should see the whole lawless-
ness of the life of the rich, he should live as a
watchman of an apple-orchard on a rich estate
with a lawn-tennis?**

4) To-day I am in a very bad mood, and it is
very difficult for me to remember, to imagine to
myself what I am when I am in a good mood.
But it is absolutely necessary, so as not to despair
and not do something bad when in a bad mood,

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NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

to abstain from every activity. Is it not the same
in life? One ought not to believe that I am this
good-for-nothing which I feel myself to be, but to
make an effort, remember what I am there, what
I am in spirit, and live according to that remem-
bered " self," or do not live at all abstain.

5) " Toute reunion d'hommes est toujours in-
ferieure aux elements qui la composent."*** This
is so because they are united by rules. In their
own natural union, as God has united them, they
are not only not lower, but many times higher.

I read Menshikov's article. There is much
that is good in it : about one-God and many Gods,
and much that is very weak; the examples. 248
Nov. 75, Y. P. If I live.

Nov. 75, Y. P.

I worked badly on the preface to Carpenter.
After dinner, in the blizzard, I went to Yasenki.
Took Tania's letter. Returned and here for
the first time I knew prostration. Then drank
tea recovered. Read but did nothing. Wrote
a letter only to Maude in answer to his re-
marks. 247

I thought this trifle : that love is only good then
when you are not conscious of it. It suffices to be
conscious of the love, and moreover to rejoice in
it and there is an end to it.

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897
Nov. 16, Y. P. If I live.

To-day, Nov. 17. Y. P.

For the second day, I have been thinking with
special clearness about this:

i) My life, my consciousness of my personal-
ity, gets weaker and weaker all the time, will be-
come still weaker and will end in coma, and in an
absolute end of the consciousness of my personal-
ity. At the same time, absolutely simultaneously
and in the same tempo with the destruction of my
personality, that thing will begin to live, and will
live ever stronger and stronger, that which my
life made, the results of my thought, feelings; it
is living in other people, even in animals, in dead
matter. And so I feel like saying that this is
what will live after me.

But all this lacks consciousness, and therefore
I cannot say that it lives. But who said that it
lacked consciousness? Why can I not suppose
that all this will be united in a new consciousness
which I can justly call my consciousness, because
it is all made from my consciousness? Why can-
not this other new being live among these things
which live now? Why not suppose that all of us
are particles of consciousness of other higher be-
ings, such as we are going to be?

" My Father has many dwellings." 248 Not in
the sense that there are various places, but that

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NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

the various consciousnesses, personality, are inter-
enclosed and interwoven one into the other. In
fact, the whole world as I know it, with its space
and time, is a product of my personality, my con-
sciousness. As soon as there is another person-
ality, another consciousness, then there is an en-
tirely different world, the elements of which are
formed by our personalities. Just as when I was
a child, my consciousness awoke little by little
(which made it so that even when a child, an em-
bryo, I saw myself as a separate being), so it
will awake and is awakening now in the conse-
quences of my life, in my future " self " after my

" The Church is the body of Christ." 249 Yes,
Christ, in his new consciousness, lives now through
the life of all the living and dead and all the fu-
ture members of the Church. And in the same
way each one of us will live through his own
church. And even the most valueless man will
have his own valueless and perhaps bad church,
but a church which will create his new body. But
how? This is what we cannot imagine, because
we cannot imagine anything which is beyond our
consciousness. And there are not many dwell-
ings, but many consciousnesses.

But here is the last, most terrible, insoluble
problem: What is it for? For what is this
movement, this passing over from some lower,


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

more separate consciousnesses, into a more com-
mon, higher one? For what that is a mys-
tery which we cannot know. It is for this that
God is necessary and faith in Him. Only He
knows it and one must have faith that so it ought
to be.

2) And again I thought to-day, entirely unex-
pectedly, about the charm exactly the charm
of awakening love, when against the back-
ground of joyous, pleasant, sweet relationships,
that little star suddenly begins to shine. It is like
the perfume of the linden or the falling shadow
from the moon. There is no full-blown blossom
yet, no clear light and shadow, but there is a
joy and fear of the new, of the charming. This
is good, but only when it is for the first time and
the last.

3) And again I thought about that illusion
which all are subjected to, especially people whose
activity is reflected on others the illusion that,
having been accustomed to see the effects of your
acts on others, you verify the correctness of your
acts by their effect on others.

4) I thought still further: For hypnotism it
is necessary to have faith in the importance of that
which is being suggested (the hypnotism of all
artistic delusions). And for this faith, it is nec-
essary to have ignorance and cultivation of cred-

NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

To-day I corrected the preface to Carpenter.
Received a telegram from Grot. I want to send
off the loth chapter. A sad letter from Bou-
Well, Nov. 18, Y. P. If I live.

To-day, Nov. 20. Evening.

Wrote the preface to Carpenter. Thought
much about Hadji Murad and got my materials
ready. I still haven't found the tone.

... I think with horror of the trip to Mos-
cow. 250

Last night I thought about my old triple rem-
edy for sorrow and offence :

1) To think how unimportant it will be in 10,
20 years, just as is unimportant now that which
tortured you 10, 20 years ago.

2) To remember what you did yourself, to re-
member those deeds which were no better than
those which are hurting you.

3) To think of that which is a hundred times
worse, and might be.

This could be added ; to think out the condition,
the soul of the man who makes you suffer, to
understand that he cannot act in any other way.
Tout comprendre c*est tout pardonner.

The most important and the strongest and the
surest of all is to say to oneself: Let there not
be my will, but Thine, and not as I wish but as


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

Thou wilt; and not that which I wish but that
which Thou wilt. My work, then, is under those
conditions in which Thou hast placed me, to ful-
fil Thy Will. To remember that when it is dif-
ficult, it is just this very thing which has been as-
signed to you, it is the very instance which will
not be repeated, in which you may have the happi-
ness of doing that which He wishes.
Father, help me to do only Thy Will.

To-day I corrected the Carpenter translation.
My stomach is not good; bad mood and weak-
Nov. 21, Y. P. If I live.

Nov. 21, Y. P.

I am still thinking and gathering material for
Hadji Murad. To-day I thought much, read,
began to write but stopped at once. Went to
Yasenki, took S's letter. 251 Received nothing.

Maria Alexandrovna was here. She is evi-
dently tired, a poor girl and nice. 252

I thought and noted down:

i ) I thought about death how strange it is
that one does not want to die, although nothing
holds one and I thought of prisoners who have
become so at home in their prisons that they do
not want to leave them for freedom and are even


NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

afraid to. And so we have become at home in the
prison of our life and are afraid of freedom.

2) We have been sent here to do the work of
God. In this sense, how good is the parable
about the servants who in the absence of their
master, squander his fortune away instead of do-
ing his work.

3) When you are angry, when you do not love
some one, know that it is not you, but a dream, a
nightmare, a most horrible nightmare. As when
they stop mowing in order not to spoil the grass,
so it is here. One ought to pray.

Rozanov discusses Menshikov and makes fun
of him. 253 How ... (I have forgotten) made
fun of Nicholai, but he remained silent and smiled
at me gaily. How touching this always is.
Nov. 22, Y. P. If I live.

Nov. 22, Y. P.

I saw very clearly in a dream, how Tania fell
from a horse, has broken her head, is dying, and
I cry over her.

Nov., Y. P.

. . . Yesterday and to-day I prepared some
chapters to send them off to Maude 254 and to
Grot. There have been no letters for a long time
either from Maude, or from Chertkov. To-day


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

there was a nice letter from Galia. Exquisite
weather ; I took a walk far on the Tula road.

In the morning I worked seriously revising Art.
Yesterday I worked on Hadji Murad. It seems

During this time I thought:

1) What a strange fate: at adolescence
anxieties, passions begin, and you think: I will
marry and it will pass. And indeed it did pass
with me, and for a long period, 18 years, there
was peace. Then there comes the striving to
change life and again the set-back. There is
struggle, suffering, and at the end, something like
a haven and a rest. But yet it wasn't so. The
most difficult has begun and continues and probably
will accompany me unto death. . . .

2) It would be easy to treat erring people
mildly, simply, patiently, with compassion, if these
people would not argue and would not argue in
such a truth-like fashion. One has to answer
these arguments somehow or other, and this you
cannot stand.

3) Each of us is in such a condition that
whether he wants to or does not want to, he has
to do something, to work. Every one of us is
on the treadmill. The question lies only in this,
on which step will you stand ?

Nov. 25. Y. P. If I live.


NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

Nov. 25, Y. P.

. . . Corrected Art, it is pretty good; wrote a
letter to Maude. A good letter from Galia.

Have been thinking:

1 ) It always seems to us that we are loved be-
cause we are good, but it does not occur to us that
we are loved because they who love us are good.
This can be seen if you listen to what that mis-
erable, disgusting and vain man says whom with
a great effort you have pitied: he says that he is
so good you could not have acted otherwise. The
same thing, when you are loved.

2) " Lobsters like to be boiled alive." That
is no joke. How often do you hear it, or have
said it yourself or are saying it: Man has the
capacity of not seeing the suffering which he does
not want to see. And he does not want to see
the suffering which he himself causes. How often
I have heard it said about coachmen who are
waiting, about cooks, lackeys, peasants at their
work, that they are having a good time "Lob-
sters like to be boiled alive."

Nov. 26. Y. P. If I live.

To-day, Nov. 28, Y. P.

Two days I haven't written. I am still busy
with Art and the preface to Carpenter. . . .

This morning Makovitsky arrived, a nice, mild,
clean man. He told me many joyful things about


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

our friends. I went to Yasenki: a letter from
Maude, a good one, and from Grot not a good



All these days, have not been in a good mood.
How to be in Moscow in such a state ?

Have been thinking :

1) Often it happens that you are speaking to
a man and suddenly he has a tender, happy ex-
pression, and he begins to speak to you in such a
way that you think he is going to tell you some-
thing most joyful, but it turns out he is speak-
ing about himself. Zakharnin 256 about his oper-
ation, Mashenka 257 about her audience with
Father Ambrose 258 and his words.

When a man speaks about something which is
very near to him, he forgets that the other one
is not he. If people do not speak about abstract
or spiritual things, they all speak necessarily about
themselves, and that is terribly tedious.

2 ) You dash about, struggle all because you
want to swim in your own current. But along-
side of you, unceasing and near to every one, there
flows the divine and infinite current of love, in one
and the same eternal course. When you are
thoroughly exhausted in your attempts to do some-
thing for yourself, to save yourself, to secure your-
self then drop all your own courses, throw
yourself into that current and it will carry you


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

and you will feel that there are no barriers, that
you are at peace forever and free and blessed.

3) Only not to love oneself, one's very self,
one's own Leo Nicholaievich (Tolstoi) and
you will love both God and people. You are on
fire and you can't help but burn; and burning you
will set fire to others and you will fuse with that
other fire. To love oneself means to be niggardly
with one's light and to put out the fire.

4) When a man says an obvious untruth or an
offence to you, then certainly he doesn't do it from
joy : and both are very difficult. If he does it then
evidently he can't do otherwise, and doing it, he
suffers. And you, instead of pitying him, get
angry at him. On the contrary, you ought to try
to help him.

5 ) The tragedy of a man kindly disposed, wish-
ing only the good, when in this state and for this
state, which he cannot help but count as good, he
meets hissing malice and the hatred of people.
Nov. 28. If I live. Y. P.

To-day, Dec. 2. Y. P.

Agonising, sad, depressed state of body and
spiritual force, but I know that I am alive and in-
dependent of this condition, yet I feel this " self "
but little. . . .

I was busied all this time with corrections and

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

additions to Art. The principal thing during this
time, was that Dushan was here whom I love very
much and learned to love still more. Together
with the Slavonian Posrednik, he is forming a
center of a small, but I think divine work. 259
From Chertkov there is still no news.

An anguish, a soft, mild, sweet anguish, but yet
an anguish. If I were without the consciousness
of life, then probably I would have had an em-
bittered anguish.

Have been thinking:

1) I was very depressed at the fear of vexa-
tion and severe conflicts, and I prayed God
prayed almost without expecting aid, but never-
theless I prayed : " Lord, help me to go away
from this. Release me." I prayed like this,
then rose, walked to the end of the room and sud-
denly I asked myself: Have I not to yield?
Yes, to yield. And God helped God who is
in me, and I felt light-hearted and firm. I en-
tered that divine current which flows there along-
side of us always and to which we can always
give ourselves when things are bad. 260

2) I had a talk with Dushan. He said that
since he has become involuntarily my represen-
tative in Hungary, then how was he to act. I was
glad for the opportunity to tell him and to clarify
it to myself that to speak about Tolstoyanism, to
seek my guidance, to ask my decision on problems,


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

is a great and gross mistake. There is no Tol-
stoyanism and has never been, nor any teaching
of mine; there is only one eternal, general, uni-
versal teaching of the truth, which for me, for
us, is especially clearly expressed in the Gospels.
This teaching calls man to the recognition of his
filiality to God and therefore of his freedom or
his slavery (call it what you want) : of his free-
dom from the influence of the world, of his slav-
ery to God, His will. And as soon as man un-
derstands this teaching, he enters freely into direct
communication with God and he has nothing and
no one to ask.

It is like a man swimming in a river with an
enormous overflow. As long as the man isn't
in the middle current, but in the overflow, he has
to swim himself, to row, and here he can be
guided by the course taken in swimming by other
people. Here also I could direct people while I
myself approach the current. But as soon as we
enter the current, then there is no guide and can-
not be. We are all carried along by the strength
of the current, all in one direction, and those who
were behind can be in front. When a man asks
where shall he swim, that only shows that he has
not yet entered the current and that he from whom
he asks, is a poor guide if he were unable to
bring him into the current, i.e., to that state in
which it is impossible because it is senseless


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

to ask. How ask where to swim, when the cur-
rent with irresistible force is drawing me in a
direction that is joyous to me?

People who submit themselves to a guide, who
have faith in him and listen to him, undoubtedly
wander in the dark together with their guide.

I think I have finished Art.
Dec. 3. Y. P. If I live.

My work on Art has cleared up much for me.
If God commands me to write artistic things, they
will be altogether different ones. And to write
them it will be both easier and more difficult. We
shall see.

To-day, Dec. 6, Moscow.

On the 4th I went to Dolgoe. 261 I had a very
tender impression from the ruined house ; a swarm
of memories.

Almost two days that I haven't written. I only
prepared the chapters on Art and packed my
things ... I have jotted down nothing. I woke
feeling badly.

Dec. 7, Moscow.

... I was at Storozhenko's. 262 Kasatkin was
here 263 in the evening. I asked for examples.
In the morning I corrected Art.

I jotted down nothing: there is much bustle.
Health good.

Dec. 8 t Moscow. If I live.

1 80

DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

To-day, nth.

I have already spent so many days in Moscow.
I have done almost nothing, only corrected Art.
A pile of people and letters. Thank God the
most important is good, i.e., I have done nothing
that I ought not to have done. To-day I wrote
a letter to Gali.

It seems to me that the divisions of Art have
turned out just as they were before.

A sad impression was produced by what N told
about Chertkov 284 and by the letter of Ivan Mi-
chailovich. Moreover, A, B, C, D, they are
all suffering. Well, it is forgivable in them, but
how can a Christian suffer?

During this time N N's condition became clear.
He is mentally diseased, like all people who are

I have consented to give to Troubetskoi by in-
stalments. 265

A sad letter from Chertkov. I want to write
to him.
Dec. 12, Moscow. If I live.

To-day, the ijth. Morning.

I wrote a letter to the Chertkovs. It seems
to me I have corrected the i6th chapter very well.

Yesterday I read the correspondence of Z on
the sex-problem and I was very indignant and I
spoke disagreeably to him at Rusanov's.


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

Rusanov has the head of Hadji Murad. This
morning I wanted to write Hadji Murad I lost
the outline.

I wrote down something. I now want to write
out the themes which are worth while and which
can be treated as they ought to be :

i) Sergius, 2) Alexander I, 3) Persianninov,
4) the tale of Petrovich the husband, who died
a pilgrim. The following are worse: 5) the
legend of the descent of Christ into hell and the
reconstruction of hell, 6) a forged coupon, 7)
Hadji Murad, 8) the substituted child, 9) the
drama of the Christian resurrection and perhaps
10) Resurrection the trial of a prostitute, n)
(excellent) a brigand killing the defenceless, 12) a
mother, 13) an execution in Odessa. 266

It is depressing in the house, but I want to be
and will be joyous.

I am going to write out only two things :

1) That the physical union with an accidental
husband is one of the means established by God
for the spread of His truth: for the testing and
the strengthening of the stronger and for the
enlightenment of the weaker.

2) For people professing filiality to God, not
to rejoice in life, to yearn, is a dreadful sin, an
error. If you understood that the end of life is
the activity for God for no personal ends, then
nothing could hinder this activity, could hold it


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

back. The main thing is that life willy-nilly goes
forward to the better : one's own life and the life
of the world. How not rejoice at this movement?
One has only to remember that life is movement.

I write and I sleep and therefore express myself
badly. Until evening, if I live.

To-day, December 14, Moscow. Morning.

Yesterday I received an unpleasant letter from
Chertkov and sent him an answer (about the pub-
lications). 267

The day before yesterday, I read the corres-
pondence of Z about sex relations and became
vexed and went to the Rusanovs' and met Z there
and showed my condemnation of him sharply.
That tortured me and I wrote him a note yesterday
apologising and I received a nice answer which
touched me.

I feel very ill. I am in the worst mood and
therefore am dissatisfied with everything and can-
not love. And just now am thinking:

We find sickness a burden; but sickness is a nec-
essary good condition of life. Only it alone (per-
haps not alone, but one of the most important and
generally common conditions) prepares us for
death, i.e., for our crossing over into another life.
Therefore indeed it was sent to every one : to chil-
dren, to adults, to old people, because all, at all


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

ages, die. And we find it burdensome. The fact
that we find sickness burdensome shows only that
we do not live as we ought to : both a temporary
and at the same time an eternal life but we
live only a temporary life.

Sickness is the preparation for the crossing-over
and therefore to grumble against sickness is just
the same as grumbling against cold and rain. One
ought to make use of them and not grumble. In
fact, only those who live playing, get angry at the
rain, but those who live seriously rejoice at it.
The same with sickness. More than this : not only
sickness but a bad mood, disappointment, sorrows,
all these help to detach oneself from the worldly
and facilitate the crossing-over into the new life.

I am now in such a state of crossing-over.

Evening, the

The whole day I have been ill and I am in the
worst mood. I cannot master myself and every-
thing is disagreeable and burdensome. I did noth-
ing. I read and talked.
Dec. 75, Moscow. If I live.

To-day, December if.

To-day, I am still in the very worst spirits.
I am struggling with ill-will. I gave the essay
away. 268 Telegraphed to England. No answer
as yet. 269


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

A pile of people here, all evening. To-day I
wrote twelve letters, but did not work at all.

To-day I thought the very oldest thing: That
one ought to perfect oneself in love, in which no
one can interfere and which is very interesting.
But love is not in exclusive attachments, but in
a good, not in an evil attitude to every living

Wrote letters: i) Posha, 2) Masha, 3) Ivan
Michailovich, 4) Prince Viazemsky, 5) Bondarev,
6) Strakhov, 7) the school teacher Robinson, 8)
Priest, 9) Crosby, 10) Chizhov, 270 n) Nicholaev
in Kazan, and 12) 271

I am finishing the note-book in a bad mood.
To-morrow I begin a new one. To-day I am also
displeased with the essay on art.

The diary of the year 1897, Dec. 21, '97. Mos-

I am beginning a new notebook, almost in a new
spiritual mood. Here are already 5 days that I
have done nothing. I am thinking out Hadji Mu-
rad, but I have no desire or confidence. On Art
is printed. Chertkov is displeased and those here
also. 272

Yesterday I received an anonymous letter with
a threat to kill, if I do not reform by the year
1898 ; time is given only up to 1898. I was both
uneasy and pleased. 273


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

I am skating. A sign of an inactive mood is
that I have noted down nothing.

Just now I read through Chekhov's, On a Cart.
Excellent in expressiveness, but rhetorical as soon
as he wants to give meaning to his story. There
is a remarkable clearness in my mind, thanks to my
book on art.

Dec. 26, '97. Moscow.

The day before yesterday I fell ill and I am still
not well. 274 I am reading much. My heart is
heavy. Evening.
Dec. 27, '97. Moscow. If I live.

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