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To-day, Dec. 29, '97. Moscow. Morning.

I thought of Hadji Murad. All day yesterday
a comedy-drama, " The Corpse," 275 took shape.
I am still unwell. Yesterday I was at Behrs'. 276

I have received letters with threats of killing.
I regret that there are people who hate me, but it
interests me little and it doesn't disturb me at all.

Have jotted down something.

A conversation with N : what a pitiable youth :
understanding everything and at the same time not
having the capacity to put anything in the right
place and therefore he is living in unimaginable

Have been thinking:

i ) They say usually that Christ's teaching, the

DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

real Christ's teaching . . . destroys all union, that
it is a disuniting " individualism." How false this
is I Christianity only therefore preaches personal
salvation, " individualism," as they say, because
this personal salvation is indispensable, accessible,
joyous to all, and therefore inevitably unites peo-
ple not mechanically by the pressure of force
from without or by stirring with " culture," but
chemically by an inner, indissoluble union.

2) Sometimes you complain that they do not
love your soul, but love or do not love your body,
and you are angry at them, condemning them, but
you do not see that they cannot do otherwise : for
them your soul, the holy of holies of your soul,
that which as you know is the only real
thing, the only thing that acts is nothing, be-
cause it is invisible, like the chemical rays of the

3) [There are people, mainly women, for whom
the word is only the means for an attainment of
an end, and it is entirely devoid of its funda-
mental significance which is to be an expression of
reality. These people are sometimes terribly
strong. [Their advantage is like that which a man
would have who in fencing took off the cork from
the rapier. His adversaries are bound by condi-
tions that . . . No, the comparison is not good.
The best of all : they are like a gambler in cards, a
sharper. I will find one.


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1897

The examples of this are such: a man wants,
for instance, to steal; he takes other people's
money; he says that he was charged to do it, they
asked him to, and he believes that he was asked to.
And the proof of the untruth of his evidence he
refutes with a new lie. He kills: the murdered
one suffered so, that he begged him to kill him.
He wants to do something nasty or something
foolish. Well, to turn all the furniture upside
down or to debauch and he explains in detail,
how it was recognised by doctors, that it was neces-
sary to do this periodically, etc. And he convinces
himself that it is so. But when this proves to be
not so, he does not hear, he brings forth his own
arguments and then at once forgets both his own
arguments and other people's. [These people are
terrible, horrible.

4) The spiritualists say that after death the
soul of people lives on and communicates with
them. Soloviev, the father, 277 said truly, I re-
member, that this is the Church dogma of saints,
of their intercession and of prayers to them.
Evgenie Ivanovich also said truly that as the Pash-
kov Sect is a taking out of the dogma of the Re-
demption alone and the adaptation of everything
to it, so spiritualism is the taking out of the dogma
of saints, and the adaptation of everything to it.

5) But I say the following in regard to this
dogma of the soul : What we call the soul, is the

1 88

DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

divine, spiritual, limited in us in our bodies. Only
the body limits this divine, this spiritual. And it
is this limiting which gives it a form like a vessel
gives form to a liquid or a gas which is enclosed in
it. But we only know this form. Break the ves-
sel and that which is enclosed in it will cease to
have that form which it has and will spread out,
be carried off. Whether it combines with other
matter, whether it receives a new form we
know nothing about this, but we know for a fact
that it loses that form which it had when it was
limited, because that which limited it was de-
stroyed. The same with the soul. The soul af-
ter death ceases to be the soul and remaining a
spirit, a divine essence, becomes something other,
such that we cannot judge.

I wrote the preface to Chertkov. 278
Dec. so. Moscow. If I live.



Two days have passed. Jan. 1st.

I meet the new year very sad, depressed, unwell.
I cannot work and my stomach aches all the

Received a letter from Verhkolensk from Phe-
doseev about the Dukhobors, a very touching
one. 279

Still another letter from the editor The Adult
about free love. 280 If I had time, I would like to
write about this subject. Probably I shall write.
The most important is to show that the whole
matter lies in appropriating to oneself possibili-
ties of the greatest enjoyment without thinking of
consequences. Besides, they preach something
which already exists and is very bad. Why
would the absence of outer restraint 281 improve
the whole thing? I am, of course, against any
regulation and for full freedom, but the ideal is
chastity and not pleasure.

I have been thinking during this time only
one thing and it seems an important thing,
namely :

i ) We all think that our duty, our vocation, is
to do various things: bring up children, make a


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

fortune, write a book, discover a law in science,
etc. But for all the work is only one thing: to
carry out one's own life to act so that life
would be a harmonious, good, and rational mat-
ter. And the work ought to be not before people,
to leave behind one a memory of a good life, but
the work is before God: to present to Him one-
self, one's soul, better than it was, nearer to
Him, more submissive to Him, more in harmony
with Him.

To think so and principally to feel so is
very difficult : One always wanders off for human
praise. But it is possible and ought to be done.

Help me, Lord. I sometimes feel this and do
at this moment.
Jan. 2. Moscow. If I live.

To-day, already the 4th.

I am a little better. I want to work. Yester-
day Stasov and Repine, 282 coffee. . . . When
will I remember that much talk is much bother?

I received a pamphlet uncensored.

Only one thing has to be noted down: that all
life is senseless, except that which has for its end
the service of God, the service of the fulfilment
of the work of God, which is unattainable to us.
I shall write that out later. Now I am in a hurry.

Dear Masha arrived, later Tania with Sasha. 283
Jan. 5. Moscow. If I live.


JANUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

To-day, Jan. 13.

It is more than a week that I haven't written
and I have done almost nothing. I have been
ill all the time, and depressed. At times, I am
good and calm, and at times uneasy and not good.
The day before yesterday was difficult. Then the
peasants arrived: Bulakhov, with St., Pet, and
two from Tula. I felt so light-hearted and ener-
getic. One need not yield to one's own circle, one
can always enter the circle of God and His people.

It is long since I have been so depressed. A
letter from Posha. Wrote to Posha, Ivan Mic-
hailovich, Chertkov, Maude and Boulanger.

I am still endeavouring to find a satisfactory
form for Hadji Murad and I still haven't it, al-
though it seems I am nearing it.

. . . To-day a telegram about the work,
" What is Art? "

Have made some notes and I think important

i) Something of enormous importance and
ought to be expounded well. Organisation, every
kind of organisation, which frees from any kind
of human, personal, moral duties. All the evil
in the world comes from this. They flog people
to death, they debauch, they becloud their minds
and no one is to blame. In the tale of the resur-
rection of hell, this is the most important and new
means. 284


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

2) Each one of us is that light, that divine
essence, love, the Son of God, enclosed in a body,
in limits, in the coloured lantern which' we have
painted with our passions and habits so that
everything we see, we see only through this lan-
tern. To raise oneself so as to see above it, is
impossible; on top there is the same kind of glass
through which we see even God, through the
glass which we ourselves have painted. The only
thing which we can do is not to look through the
glasses, but to concentrate in ourselves, recognise
our light and kindle it. And this is the one sal-
vation from the delusions of life, from its suffer-
ing, from its temptations. And this is joyful and
always possible.

I do this, and it is good.

3) Dreams they are nothing else than the
looking on the world not through the glasses, but
only on the glasses, and on the interweaving of
various designs interwoven on the glasses. In
sleep you only see the glasses; when awake, the
world, through the glasses.

4) A woman can, when she loves a man, see
merits in him which he has not, but when she
is indifferent, she is unable to see a man's merits
other than through the opinion of others. (How-
ever, I think it is untrue.)

5) The following when I wrote it, seemed to
me very important:


JANUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

Christians strive to a union, and unite among
themselves and with other people by the Chris-
tian tool by unity, humility, love. But there
are people who do not know this means of union,
do not believe in it and who endeavour to unite
(all people endeavour to unite) with other means,
outer ones, with force, threats. It is impossible
to demand of these people who do not know, who
cannot understand the Christian means of union,
that they do not make use of their means ; but it is
absolutely unjust and unreasonable when these un-
Christian people impose their own lower means
of union upon people knowing and using a higher
means. They say, " You Christians, you profit by
our means; if you have not been robbed and
killed, it is thanks to us." To this the Christians
answer, that they don't need anything which force
gives them (as is really the fact for a Christian).

And that is why, though it is legitimate for
people not knowing a higher means of union, to
use a lower, it is illegitimate, that they look upon
their own lower means as a general and unique
one, and want to compel those for whom it cannot
be necessary to use it. The principal step before
humanity now consists in this, that people should
not only recognise and admit the means of Chris-
tian union, but that they should recognise that it is
the highest, the one to which all humanity is striv-
ing and to which it will inevitably reach.


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1898

6) When you are full of energy, then you live,
and you ought to live for this world; when you
are sick, then you are dying, i.e., you begin to live
for that other after-death world. So that in
either phase, there is work. When you are sick,
dying, then concentrate in yourself and think
about death and about life after death, and stop
longing for this one. Both processes are normal
and in both there exists work proper to each

I feel somewhat fresher spiritually.
Jan. 14, Moscow. If I live.

To-day, 18.

My health is a little better. It is now evening.
Wrote letters, i) Chertkov; 2) Dubrovin; 3)
Dubrovsky; Tver; 4) Tula: N. 1. Kh.; 5) Naka-
shidze; 6) Ivan Michailovich.

To-day the plot of Hadji Murad became clearer
than ever before.

Jan. 19. Moscow.

Depressing and unproductive. I cannot work.
Several times a week I remember that everything
disagreeable is only an Ermahnung for an advance
onward towards perfection.

Help, Father. Come and dwell within me.
You already dwell within me. You are already
" me." My work is only to recognise Thee. I


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

write this just now and am full of desire. But
nevertheless I know who I am.

To-day, Feb. 2. Moscow.

Very weak and apathetic. All the time I either
read or corrected proofs of Art. There is
much to be noted. But I have neither strength
nor desire. There have been no events, no
Feb. 3, Moscow. If I live.

February 3, Moscow.

I am still as unproductive intellectually. In the
morning it flashed across my mind that I left out
the places in Art about the trinity, and doing no
work, I went to Grot and from there to the pub-
lishing house. I returned past two, read, lay
down, dined. Tarovat 285 arrived, then Menshi-
kov, Popov, Gorbunov, and then Gulenko, 286
Suller. 287

Read Liapunov's The Ploughman. I was very
touched. 288

Have noted down the following :

i) In moments of depression I want to ask
heJp from God. And I may ask it. But only
such help which might help me and not interfere
with any one else. And such help is only one
thing: love. Every other kind of help, material
help, not only might, but must come in conflict


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

with the material good of others. Only love
alone the enlargement of love in oneself
satisfies everything which one can want and does
not come in conflict with the good of others.
" Come and dwell within us."

2) Women do not use words to express their
thoughts, but to attain their ends, and it is this
purpose they hunt in the words of others. That
is why they so often understand people wrong
side out. And this is very disagreeable.

3) The meaning of life is only one: self-per-
fection the bettering of one's soul. " Be per-
fect like our Father in Heaven."

When things are difficult, when something tor-
tures you, remember that in life, only you are
the life and immediately it will become easier.
And joyful. As a rich man rejoices when he
gathers his wealth, so will you rejoice if you place
your life only in this. And for the attainment
of this, there are no barriers. Everything which
appears like sorrow, like a barrier in life is a
wide step which offers itself to your feet that you
may ascend.

4) If you have the strength of activity then let
it be a loving one ; if you have no strength, if you
are weak, then let your weakness be a loving

5) Inorganic matter is simply the life of that
which we do not understand. For fleas the inor-


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

ganic is my finger-nail. In the same way, evil is
the non-understood good. 289

6 ) To serve God and man, but how, with what ?
Perhaps the possibility doesn't exist? It is not
true : the possibility has always been given you
to become better.

7) Man is an ambassador, as Christ said, an
ambassador indeed for whom the important thing
is only to fulfil the errand given to him, and it
doesn't matter what is thought about him. Let
them think badly sometimes it is necessary.
Only let the errand be fulfilled.

8) One of the most common errors consists in
this, that people are considered good, malicious,
stupid, intelligent. Man flows on and every pos-
sibility is in him: he was stupid, and has become
intelligent; he was wicked and has become good,
and the reverse. In this is the greatness of man.
And therefore it is impossible to judge man as he
is. You have judged and he is already another.
It is impossible to say I do not love him : you
have said it and he is already another.

9) ...

10) The fact that the end of life is self-perfec-
tion, that the perfection of the immortal soul is
the only end of the life of man, is already true
because every other end in the view of death, is

n) If man deliberates upon the consequences
20 1

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

of his act, then the motives of his act are not re-

12) The paper-knife on my knees fell over on
account of its weight, and it seemed to me that
it was something alive, and I shuddered. Why?
Because there is a duty to everything living
and I grew frightened lest I hadn't fulfilled
it, and lest I had crushed, squeezed a living be-

13) ... In this lies the whole matter to
destroy this hypnosis.

14) It is impossible not to wish that our acts
be known and approved. For him who has no
God, it is necessary that his acts be known and
approved. But for him who has God, it is suf-
ficient that they be known. By this can it be veri-
fied if a man has God.

4th Feb. Moscow. If I live.

To-day, the >>th. Morning.

I do not feel like writing at all. All these last
days, especially yesterday, I have been feeling and
applying to life, the consciousness that the end of
life is one: to be perfect like the Father, to do
that which He does, that which He wants from
us, i.e., to love; that love should guide us in the
moments of our most energetic activity, and that
we breathe with it alone in the moments of our
greatest weakness. Whenever there is something


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

difficult, painful, then it suffices to remember this,
and all this difficulty, this pain, will vanish and
only the joyous will remain.

To a man who seriously, truly uses his reason,
it is obvious that all ends are closed to him. One
alone is reasonable: to live for the satisfaction
of the demands of God, of his conscience, of his
higher nature. (It is all the same thing.) If
this is to be expressed in time, then to live so as
to prepare one's soul to the passing-over into a
better world: if this is to be expressed accurately
in terms outside of time, then it is to fuse one's
life with its timeless principle, with the Good, with
Love, with God. I am afraid only of one thing,
that this strong consciousness acting beneficially
on me, that the only thing reasonable and free and
joyous is the life in God, be not calloused, that it
do not lose its effect of lifting me out of the petty
annoyances of life, and of freeing me. Oh, if that
could be so to every one and if it could be so for-
ever! In this light last night I considered the
various manifestations of life and I felt so well and
joyous. I will await the examination. I shall
prepare for it.

When I wrote out the notes, I forgot :
i ) How absurd is the argument of the enemies
of moral perfection, that a man, sacrificing him-
self really, will sacrifice his perfection for the good
of others, i.e., that a man is ready to become evil,


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

in order to act well. If one understands by this
that a man is ready to act badly before people,
if only he could thereby fulfil the demands of his
conscience and not serve a certain cause or even
certain people, then this is true. The serving of a
cause and of people can sometimes coincide, and
can sometime not coincide with the demands of
conscience ; and not serving a certain cause or peo-
ple, can sometimes coincide and can sometimes not
coincide with the demands of conscience. These
are individual cases.

2) To doubt that the source of all evil is false
religious teaching, can only be done by a man who
hasn't thought of the causes of the daily manifesta-
tions of social life. The causes of all these mani-
festations are thoughts thoughts of people.
How then could false thoughts not have an enor-
mous influence on the social system? People,
some of them, are well off in a false system based
on false thoughts; it is natural that they support
false thoughts, false-religious teaching.

3) I cannot write and I suffer, I force myself.
How stupid! As if life lay in writing. It does
not even lie in any outer activity. It is not as I
will, but as Thou wilt. It is even fuller and more
significant without writing. And here now I am
learning to live without writing. And I am
able to.

4) I see that I have made a note and have al-


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

ready said it here, namely, that to perfect oneself
does not mean to prepare oneself for a future
life 29 (that is said for convenience, for simplicity
of speech) ; but to perfect oneself means to get
nearer to that basis of life for which time does not
exist and therefore no death, i.e., to carry one's
" self " more and more away from the bodily life
into the spiritual.

5) Evgenie Ivanovich says about N: she is at
peace only when one occupies oneself with her.
Any occupation with anything not concerning her,
does not interest her. Every such occupation with
other people offends her. It seems to her that
she bears the life of every one near her, that with-
out her everybody would be lost. For the least
reproach, she insults every one. And in 10 min-
utes she forgets it, and she hasn't the least re-

This is the highest degree of egotism and mad-
ness, but there are many grades approaching this.
At bottom, to think that I live for myself, for my
own enjoyment, for fame, is absolute potential
madness. In living it is impossible not to live
for oneself, impossible not to defend oneself when
attacked, 291 not to fall on the food when hungry;
but to think that in this is life, and to use that very
thought given you to see the impossibility of such
a life, to use it for the strengthening of such a
separate individual life, is absolute madness.


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

6) A wife approaches her husband and caress-
ingly speaks to him as she did not speak before.
The husband is moved, but this is only because
she has done something nasty.

7 ) Jean Grave, 292 " L'individu et la Socle te"
says that revolution will only then be fertile when
I'individu will be strong-willed, disinterested,
good, ready to help his neighbour, will not be vain,
will not condemn others, will have the conscious-
ness of his own dignity, i.e., will have all the
merits of a Christian. But how will he acquire
these virtues if he knows that he is only an acci-
dental chain of atoms ? All these virtues are pos-
sible, are natural, in fact, their absence is impossi-
ble when there is a Christian world-point-of-view
that is, that we are sons of God sent to do His
Will; but in a materialistic world-point-of-view
these virtues are inconsistent.

It is now past one. I am going downstairs. I
am going to write to-morrow.
Feb. 6. Moscow. If I live.

To-day, Feb. IQ. Moscow.

It is long since I have made any entries. 293 At
first I was ill. For about 5 days I have been bet-
ter. During this time I was correcting, putting in
things and spoiling the last chapters of Art.
I decided to send away Carpenter with the intro-
duction to Sieverni Viestnik. Was correcting the


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

preface also. The general impression of this arti-
cle " On Science " as well as that of the 2Oth chap-
ter is remorse. 294 I feel that it is right, that
it is necessary, but it is painful that I hurt and
grieve many good people who err. It is obvious
that .0999 will not understand why and in the
name of what I condemn science, and will be in-
dignant. I should have done that with greater
kindness. And in this I am guilty, but it is now
too late.

The last time I wrote, I expressed fear lest the
carrying over of myself from this worldly life,
the offending, the irritating one, into the life be-
fore God, the eternal life (now, here) which I
experienced would become lost, would become cal-
loused. But here 13 days have passed and I still
feel this and felt it all the time and rejoiced and
am rejoicing.

Sometimes I begin to lay out patience, or hear
an irritating conversation, contradiction, or am
dissatisfied with my writing, with the condemna-
tion of people, or I regret something and sud-
denly I remember that it only seems so to me,
because I am bent over searching on the floor, and
it suffices to straighten up to my full height and
everything that was disagreeable, irritating, not
only vanishes, but helps the joys of triumph over
my human weakness.

I haven't yet experienced this in strong physical

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

suffering. Will it endure? It ought to endure.
Help, Lord.

Otherwise I am very joyous.

I am joyous, that in old age there has been dis-
closed absolutely a new condition of the great in-
destructible good. And this is not imagination,
but a change of soul as clearly perceived as
warmth and cold, it is a going over from confu-
sion, suffering, to a clearness and peace and a
going over which depends upon myself. Here, in
truth, is where wings have sprouted. As soon as
it becomes difficult, painful, to walk on foot, you
spread the wings. Why not always then on
wings? Evidently, I am still too weak; still un-
trained; and perhaps a rest is necessary.

It is interesting to find out if this state is an
attribute of old age, if young people can experi-
ence it also? I think that they can. One
must accustom oneself to this. This indeed is

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