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' You must hide something, be afraid of some-
thing, something tortures you, something is lack-
ing," and suddenly: there is nothing to hide,
nothing to be afraid of, nothing to be tortured
over, nothing to want. The main thing is to go
away from the human court into God's court.

Oh, if this would only hold out unto death!
But even for that which I have experienced, I am
grateful to Thee, Father.


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

I jotted down the following:

1 ) People can in no way agree to the unreality
of all that is material. " But a table exists and
always, even when I go out of the room it is
there, and for all it is the same as it is for me,"
they generally say. Well, and when you twist
two fingers and roll a little ball under them do
you not unquestionably feel two? It is certainly
so, every time I take up a little ball in that way
there are two and for every one who takes up a
ball in that way there are two, and nevertheless
there are no two little balls. In the same way, the
table is a table only for the twisted fingers of my
senses, but it is perhaps half a table, a thousandth
of a table in fact, no part of a table at all, but
something altogether different. So that what is
real is only my ever recurring impression, con-
firmed by the impressions of other people.

2) ... I acted badly when I gave my estate
to the children. It would have been better for
them. Only it was necessary to have been able
to do this without violating love, and I was un-

3) You are often surprised how intelligent,
good people can defend cruelty, violence, savage
superstitions . . . ? But it is sufficient to re-
member the exilings, the oppressions, the offences,
which are beginning to penetrate the working-
classes and you see that this is only a feeling of


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

self-preservation. Only by this is explained the
tenacity of life. . . .

4) Pharesov told me about Malikov's 295 teach-
ing. All this was beautiful, all this was Chris-
tian: be perfect like your Father; but it was not
good that all this teaching had for its end influ-
ence over people and not inner satisfaction, not an
answer to the problem of life. Influence on oth-
ers is the main Achilles' heel.

So that my condition, which is false for people,
is perhaps the very thing necessary.

5) ... In order to wipe out one's sin, one
ought to ... repent before all the people for the
deception, to say: forgive me that I have deceived
you . . . What a strong scene ! And a true one.

6) Our art with its supplying of amusement for
the rich classes, is not only similar to prostitu-
tion, but it is nothing else than prostitution.

Feb. 20. Moscow.

To-day, Feb. 25. Moscow.

Have made no entries; corrected something.
Wrote letters to-day, more than 7 letters. But I
can't write anything, although I haven't stopped
thinking about Hadji Murad and The Appeal.
Feb. 26. Moscow. If I live.

Have made no entries for more than three
weeks. To-day March ig. Moscow.


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

Finished all my letters. During this time wrote
serious letters :

i) To the American colony, 296 2) Peter-
burgskia Fiedomosti about the Dukhobors; 297 3)
to the English papers also about the Dukhobors,
and 4) a preface to the English edition What is
Art about the censor distortions. 298

My inner life is the same. As I foresaw, the
new consciousness of life for God, for the perfec-
tion of love, has become dulled, weakened, and
when I needed it, these days, it proved itself to be,
if not exactly ineffectual, yet less effectual than I

The principal event during this time was the
permission to the Dukhobors to emigrate.

What is Art? seems to me to be entirely
finished now.

I have worked very little during all this time.

I made rather many notes; I shall try to write
them out:

i ) One of the greatest errors in summing up a
man, is that we call, we define a man as intelli-
gent, stupid, good, evil, strong, weak. But man
is everything, all possibilities, is a flowing mat-
ter. 299 This is a good theme for an artistic
work and a very important one and a good one,
because it destroys malicious judging " the can-
cer " and assumes the possibility of everything


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

good. The workers of the devil, convinced of the
presence of bad in man, achieve great results : su-
perstition, capital punishment, war. The work-
ers of God would attain greater results, if they
believed more in the possibility of good in people.

2) They want to become the masters of China
the Russians, Japan, England, the Germans:
there are quarrels, diplomatic struggles, there will
even be military ones. And all this is only for
the mixing of the yellow race into one Christian
batter, the propagating and the assimilating of
ideas like the Crusades and the Napoleonic wars.

3) Lebon writes: "Not only are they going
to make food in laboratories, but there will be no
need for labour." People have so badly distrib-
uted their two functions, food and labour, that
instead of joy, these functions are a torture to
them and therefore they want to be freed from
them. It is just the same as if people would so
pervert their functions of perspiration and breath-
ing, that they would seek a way of changing them
by an artificial method.

4) The longer you live, the less time there re-
mains for life. For an endless duration of life,
there would then be absolutely no life.

5 ) Only when you live without consideration of
time, past or future, do you live a real, free life
for which there are no obstacles. You are only
then dissatisfied, in straits, when you remember


MARCH] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

the past (the offences, the contradictions, even your
own weaknesses) and when you think of the fu-
ture: will something be or will it not be? Only
at one point, do you fuse with God and live your
divine essence: in the present (even when you
live your animal life). Whenever you use your
reason to consider what will be, then you are weak,
insignificant; but whenever you use it to do the
will of Him who sent you, then you are omnipo-
tent, free. You can even see this in the way you
immediately weaken, become deprived of strength,
when you consider the consequences of your act.

To-day, March 21. Moscow.

I continue copying. I am very indisposed,
weak, but thank God, in peace, I live in the pres-
ent. Just now I put in order the papers on

6) Socialists will never destroy poverty and the
injustice of the inequality of capacities. The
stronger, the more intelligent, will always make
use of the weaker, the more stupid. Justice and
equality of goods will never be attained by any-
thing less than Christianity, i.e., by negating one-
self and by recognising the meaning of one's life
in the service to others.

7) I have written down the same as in the 5th,
but differently. In order to live with God, by
God and in God, it is necessary not to be guided


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1898

by anything from without. Neither by that which
was nor by that which can be; to live only in the
present, only in this, to fuse with God.

8) Intelligent Socialists understand that for the
attainment of their ends the principal thing is to
lift the working men intellectually and physically.
This is possible to be done only by religious edu-
cation, but they do not understand this and there-
fore all their work is in vain.

9) " Seek the Kingdom of God and His Right,
the rest will follow you " this is the only means
of attaining the ends of Socialism.

10) For The Appeal:

All are agreed that we live not as we ought to
or as we could. The remedy of some is this: a
religious fatalism and, still worse, a scientific, evo-
lutionary one. Others comfort themselves by the
gradual bettering and bettering of things by them-
selves : the step by step people. The third assert
that everything will establish itself when things
will reach their very worst (Socialism), when the
Government and the rich classes will control every-
body fully, i.e., the working-men, and then the
power will somehow or other make a somersault
not only to working-men, but to unerring disinter-
ested self-sacrificing working-men, who will then
direct all affairs without error and without sin.
The fourth say that to improve the whole matter,
it is possible only by the destruction of evil people,


MARCH] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

the bad ones. But there is no indication where
the bad people end and where the harmless ones,
if not the good ones, begin. Either they will de-
stroy every one as bad or as in the big revolution
they will catch the good ones with the bad. As
soon as you begin to judge strictly, no one will
remain in the right. What is to be done? But
there is only one instrument : a religious change in
the soul of people. And it is this change which is
interfered with, by all imaginary remedies.

n) My body is nothing else than that piece
of everything existing which I am able to govern.

12) The whole world is that which I sense.
But what am I? It is that which acts.

13) How good it would be to write a work
of art, in which there would be clearly expressed
the flowing nature of man: that he, one and the
same man, is now a villain, now an angel, now a
wise man, now an idiot, now a strong man, now
the most impotent being.

14) Every man, as all people, being imperfect
in everything, is nevertheless more perfect in some
one thing than in another. And these perfections,
he puts over another human being as a demand,
and condemns him.

15) It is impossible to serve, not "God and
mammon," but " mammon and God." The
service of mammon every kind of vanity is
a hindrance to the service of God. Peace, soli-


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

tude, even boredom, is a necessary condition to the
service of God. In Moscow religiously they are
the most savage of people. In Paris they are
still more savage.

1 6) There is a kind of English toy called
peepshow: behind a little glass, now one thing is
shown, now another. This is the way one ought
to show man Hadji Murad: a husband, a
fanatic, etc.

17) Not long ago I experienced a feeling, not
exactly a reasoning, but a feeling that every-
thing that is material, and I myself with my own
body, is only my own imagination, is the creation
of my spirit and that only my soul exists. It was
a very joyous feeling.

18) . . . does on the other hand the same
thing that a false religious education does; it ac-
customs people to deny their reason.

19) There are two points of view of the world :
I ) the world is something definitely existing, that
is, existing in definite forms, and 2) the world
is something continually flowing, being formed, go-
ing towards something. In the first point of
view, the life of humanity also appears as some-
thing definite, consisting in the peaceful use of
the goods of the world. In this point of view
there is a continuous dissatisfaction, and dis-
content with the construction of the world. It
does not fulfil the demands which are presented.


MARCH] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

In the second point of view, the life of humanity
is conceived as something which in itself changes
and helps to the change and the attainment of
the ends of the world. And in this point of view
there is no dissatisfaction or discontentment with
the construction of the world. And if there is
discontent, it is only with one's self, for one's in-
sufficient harmony to the movement of the world
and in not helping this movement. (Unclear.)

20) Administrative ambition and greed of
misers are therefore alluring, because they are
very simple. For every other end of life one
has to reflect much, to think, and often you do
not see the results clearly. And here it is so
simple: where there was one decoration there
will be two: where there was one million there
will be two, etc.

21 ) I spoke to Evgenie Ivanovich and said to
him that I envy his freedom; but he said to me
that things are very difficult for him just on ac-
count of this freedom and even on account of the
authority and the responsibility which is con-
nected with it. So that it only seems to me, that
some one is better off and that another is worse,
as the strong man to the weak, the healthy to the
sick, the rich to the poor. And it became sud-
denly clear to me that all the differences in our
conditions in the world are as nothing compared
with our inner conditions. It is just the same, as


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

it would be a matter of indifference if a man
fell from a boat into the Azov Sea, the Black, the
Mediterranean or into the ocean, in comparison
with whether he was able to swim or not.

22) I spoke with P about the woman question.
There is no woman question. There is the ques-
tion of freedom of equality for all human beings.
The woman question is only quarrel hunting.

23) The more one is guilty before his own
conscience, though hidden, the more willingly and
involuntarily he seeks the guilt of others and es-
pecially those before whom he had been guilty.

24) As soon as you go away into the past or
the future, you go away from God and then you
immediately become lonely, deserted, unfree.

25) I began to think about myself, about my
own hurts and my own future life and I came
to my senses. And it was so natural to say to
myself: and you, what business is Leo Nicholaie-
vich (Tolstoi) of yours? And I felt better.
Thus there is the one who is hindered by the base,
stupid, vain, sensual, Leo Nicholaievich.

26) As soon as you begin to think of the fu-
ture, you begin to guess. If the patience comes
out, then this will happen. But this is madness!
And it is bound to come, because to think of the
future is the beginning of madness.

I have finished everything. It is now past one,
the 2 1 st.


APRIL] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi
March 22. Moscow. If I live.

April 12. Moscow.

Among the events during this time was the
arrival of the Dukhobors, 300 the cares for their
emigration, the death of Brashnin. 301 Occupa-
tions: Carthago delenda est so2 and Hadji
Murad. Worked rather little. The spiritual
state rather good. Visitors most of them
peasants, young, good ones.

Since yesterday have been in a very depressed
mood. I am not surrendering, I do not disclose
myself to any one, but to God. I think that is
very important. It is important to keep silent and
to suffer a thing through. Otherwise the suffer-
ing will go over to others and will make them
suffer, but here it will burn itself down in yourself.
That is the most precious of all.

This thought helps very much, that in this lies
my task, in this is my opportunity to elevate my-
self, to approach perfection somewhat. Come
and dwell within me so that my baseness will be
stifled. Awake in me.

I want to cry all the time.

Thought and noted :

i ) I found jotted down : " Every victory
over the enemy is an enlargement of one's own
strength." I ought to remember that now espe-
cially. There is a struggle going on between my


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

spiritual and animal self, and all that I gain for
the former, by all this will I weaken the latter.
I carry over from one scale of the weights to an-
other. If I fall into temptation, it means a roll-
ing down the road to evil; if I resist, it is the be-
ginning of a rolling on a new road towards the

2) It is astonishing how we get accustomed to
the illusion of one's own individuality, separate-
ness from the world. We see, we feel that life
compels us every minute to feel our union and de-
pendence on the world, makes us feel our incom-
pleteness ; and we nevertheless believe that we our-
selves, our very selves, is something in the name
of which we can live. However, when you under-
stand this illusion clearly, then you are surprised,
how you could not have seen that you are not a
piece of a whole, but a manifestation in time and
space, of something timeless and infinite.

Women have always recognised the power of
men over them. And it could not have been
otherwise in an unchristian world. Men are the
stronger and men have ruled. It was the same
in all the worlds (with the exception of the doubt-
ful Amazons and the law of maternity), and it
is the same now among .0999 of mankind. But
Christianity has appeared and has recognised per-
fection not in strength but in love, and by this all
the subjected, the captive, the slaves and the


APRIL] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

the women have been freed. But that the free-
dom of slaves and women be not a calamity, it is
necessary that the freed be Christians, i.e., that
they affirm their life in the service of God and
people, and not in the service of themselves.
Slaves and women are not Christians, and never-
theless they are freed. And they are terrible.
They act as the main-spring of all the calamities
of the world.

What must be done ? Bring slaves and women
back again into slavery? That is impossible to
do, because there is no one who will do it: Chris-
tians cannot subject. And non-Christians will no
longer surrender themselves into slavery, but will
fight. They will fight among themselves and one
or the other will subject and hold the Christians
in slavery. What must be done? One thing
must be done : attract people to Christianity, turn
them into Christians. It is possible to do this only
by fulfilling in life the law of Christ.

Help me, Lord. Help me. Come into me,
awake in me.
Apr. 13. Moscow. If I live.

To-day April 27. Grinevka 3

The 3rd day here. I am all right. A little in-
disposed. . . .

The latter days in Moscow I spent finishing
Carthago delenda est. I am afraid I have not


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

finished it, and that it is still before me. Still
I did quite a lot. Here I have not worked at

The misery of the famine is by far not as great
as it was in 1891. There are so many lies in all
the affairs among the upper classes, everything is
so tangled up with lies that it is never possible to
answer any question, simply for instance, is
there a famine? I am going to try to distribute
as well as I can the money which has been con-

Yesterday there was a conversation about the
same thing: Is exclusive love good? The
resume is this : a moral man will look on exclusive
love, it is all the same whether he be married
or single as on evil and will fight it ; the man,
who is little moral, will consider it good and will
encourage it. An entirely unmoral man does not
even understand it and makes fun of it.

The Russkia Viedomosti was suspended be-
cause of the Dukhobors and of me ; that is too bad
and I am grieved. 304

1) The proverb: for a good son you do not
have to make a fortune, for a bad one, do not
leave one.

2) I have made the following note: "God
doesn't know when the awakening of people will
take place." This is what it means : I think that
the life of humanity consists in a greater and


APRIL] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

greater awakening, in an enlightening. And this
awakening, this enlightening, will be done by peo-
ple themselves (by God in people). And in this
is life, in this is the good, and therefore this life
and this good cannot be taken away from peo-

3) My awakening consisted in this, that I
doubted the reality of the material world. It lost
all meaning to me.

To-morrow Apr. 28. Grinevka. If I live, I'll

To-day Apr. 29. Morning. Grinevka.

Felt great weakness. Am better since yester-
day. But unable to write anything. Went to
Lopashino, 305 took notes. 306

Read Boccaccio it is the beginning of the
master-class, immoral art.

No letters. Serezha was here. 807

I continue. Thought:

i) You look deeply into the life of man, es-
pecially of women, and you see from what
world point of view their acts flow, and you
see, principally, how inevitably all argument
against this world point of view recoils and you
cannot imagine how this world point of view will
be changed in the same way as how a piece
of a date-stone has grown through a date. But
there are conditions when a change is produced


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [i

and accomplished from within. Live man can al-
ways be born, from seeds there are sprouts.

2) I look into the future, and ask: were I to
act as I ought to, would everything then be all
right, would all obstacles then be destroyed?
This question is pleonism. The question is this,
whether, were I to act in a realm where there
were no obstacles, would there then be any ob-
stacles ?

3) It is remarkable how we are without under-
standing and without gratitude. God arranged
our life so, that he forbade us all false paths, that
everything drives us from these false, harmful
paths, impoverishing us to ruination, and making
us suffer, onto the only free, always joyous path
of love but we nevertheless do not go on this
path and we complain that we suffer from the at-
tempts of going on the false, ruinous paths.

4) One of the most urgent needs of man, equal
with and even more urgent than eating, drinking,
sex desire, and the existence of which we often for-
get, is the need to manifest oneself, to know that
it is I who have done a thing. Very many acts
which are otherwise inexplicable, are explained by
this need. One ought to remember this both in
their bringing up, and in dealing with men. The
main thing is that one has to try to make this an
activity and not a boast.

5) Why is it that children and simple people


APRIL] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

are by such an awful height higher than the major-
ity of people? Because their reason is not per-
verted by the deception of faith or by temptations
or by sins. Nothing stands on their road to per-
fection, while adults have sin and temptation and
deception on theirs. The former have only to
walk forward, the latter must struggle.

6) They spoke about love and falling in love,
and I made the following conclusion for myself : a
moral man fights falling in love and exclusive love,
an unmoral man condones it.

7) Children are selfish without lies. All of
life teaches the aimlessness, the ruination of self-
ishness. And therefore old people attain unself-
ishness without lies. These are two extreme

8) I began to consider soup-kitchens and the
purchase of flour, and money, and my soul became
so unclean and sad. The realm of money, i.e.,
every kind of use of money, is a sin. I took
money and undertook to use it only so as to have
a reason for going away from Moscow and I
acted badly.

9) I thought much about The Appeal, yester-
day and to-day. It became rather clear how a bad
arrangement of life results in religious decep-
tion. If something is unclear in one's mind, if
life is disorderly and you don't want any-
thing. . . . (Somehow I haven't succeeded.)


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1898

10) In my sleep I thought to-day that the
shortest expression of the meaning of life is this :
the world moves, perfects itself; the task of man
is to take part in this movement, to submit himself
to it and to help it.

My weakness still continues. I have written
this out very badly.

May 4. Grinevka. (Evening.)

Yesterday there was a whole house full of
guests: The Tsurikovs, Mme. Ilinsky, 308 Stak-
hovich. I have done nothing during the day. In
the morning I wrote a letter to Chertkov 309 and
to S 310 and to still some one else. The day be-
fore yesterday I was in Sidorovo and at Se-
rezha's. 311 In the morning I read Chertkov's
article. 312 It is very good.

The ist of May, Lindenberg 313 was here and
a teacher 314 and they went to Kamenka. On the
3Oth, I went to Gubarevka.

What hurts me, is that I seem to have lost en-
tirely the capacity for writing. To my shame I
am indifferent. Latterly in my sleep, I thought
keenly about the contrast between the crushed peo-
ple and the crushers, but did not write it out.

To-day, yes and in the preceding days, it seemed
to me that Hadji Murad became clear, but I could
not write it. It is true they interfered.

Thought :


MAY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

1 ) Just as an athlete follows the growth of his
muscles, so you ought to follow the growth of love,
or at least the decrease of evil and lies and life
will be full and joyous.

2) Yesterday there was a discussion about the
old question : what is better to take part in evil,
to endeavour to diminish it (...) or to keep
away from it? The eternal objection is:
" There will be anarchy " yes, but now it is

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