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had a good talk with Maria Alexandrovna 13 and
Ivan Ivanovich. 14 Waltz's assistant was here
and a Frenchman with a poem. . . .

November 8,9. Y. P.

Have written little on Resurrection. I was not
disappointed, but I was weak.

Yesterday Dunaev 15 came. Chopped much
yesterday, overtired myself. To-day I walked. I
went to Constantine Bieli's. 16 He is very much
to be pitied. Then I walked in the village. It is
good with them, but with us it is shameful. Wrote
letters. Wrote to Bazhenov 17 and three others.
Thought :

1 ) The. confirmation of the fact, that reason
liberates the latent love in man for justice is the
proverb, " Comprendre c'est tout pardoner." If
you forgive a man, you will love him. To for-
give means to cease to condemn and to hate.

2) If a man believes something at the word
of another, he will lose his belief in that which


NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

he would have inevitably believed in, had he not
trusted the other one. He who believes in ...
etc., ceases to believe in reason. They even say
straight out, one ought not to believe in reason.

3) ....

A very interesting letter from Holland, about

what a youth is to do who is called to military
service, when he is the sole supporter of his
mother. 18

November 10. Y. P.

Slept with difficulty. Weakness both physical
and intellectual and for which I am at fault
also moral. Rode horseback. Posha 19 arrived.
... A wonderful French pamphlet about war. 20
Yes, 20 years are needed for that thought to be-
come a general one. My head aches and seems
to crackle and rumble. Father, help me when I
am most weak that I may not fall morally. It
is possible.
Nov. 11. Y.P. If I live.

I write and think: it is possible that I won't be.
Every day I make attempts, and I get more accus-
tomed to it.

To-day November 75.

I have been so weak all the time I could write
nothing except a few letters. A letter to Shkar-


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1895

van. There have been here, Dunaiev, Posha,
Maria Vasilievna. 21 They left yesterday. Yes-
terday also I went to see Maria Alexandrovna ;
she is ill. To-day Aunt Tanya 22 and Sonya came.

I didn't sleep at night and therefore didn't
work. But I wrote on the girl Konefsky 23 and
a little in my journal. I am reading Schopen-
hauer's 24 "Aphorisms." Very good. Only put
" The service of God " instead of " The recogni-
tion of the vanity of life," and we agree.

Now 2 o'clock, I shall write out later what I
have noted down. 25

December 7. Moscow.

Almost a month since I have made any entries.
During this time we moved to Moscow. The
weakness has passed a little, and I am working
earnestly, though with little success, on the Decla-
ration of Faith. 26 Yesterday I wrote a little ar-
ticle on whipping. 27 I lay down to sleep in the
day and had just dozed off I felt as if some one
jerked me; I got up, began to think about whip-
ping, and wrote it out.

During this time, I went to the theatre 28 for the
rehearsals of the Power of Darkness. Art, be-
ginning as a game, has continued to be the toy of
adults. This is also proved by music, of which
I have heard much. It is ineffectual. On the
contrary, it detracts when there is ascribed to it


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

the unsuitable meaning which is ascribed to it.
Realism, moreover, weakens its significance . . .

N. refused to serve in the military. I called
on him. 29 Philosophov 30 died. . . . Wrote sev-
eral worthless letters.

I have thought during this time much in
meaning. Much of it I could not understand
and have forgotten.

1) I have often wanted to suffer, wanted per-
secution. That means that I was lazy and didn't
want to work, so that others should work for me,
torturing me, and I should only suffer.

2) It is terrible, the perversions ... of the
mind to which men expose children for their own
purposes during the time of their education. The
rule of conscious materialism is only explained by
this. The child is instilled with such nonsense
that afterwards the materialistic, limited, false
conception, which is not developed to the conclu-
sions which would show its falsity, appears like
an enormous conquest of the intellect.

3) I made a note, "Violence frees," and it
was something very clear and important, and now
I don't remember what it was at all.

/ have remembered. December 23. Violence
is a temptation because it frees us from the strain
of attention, from the work of reasoning: one
must labour to undo a knot; to cut it, is


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1895

4) A usual perversion of reason, which is
made through a violently enforced faith, is to
make men satisfied either with idolatry or with
materialism, which at bottom is one and the same
thing. Faith in the reality of our conceptions
is faith in an idol, and the consequences are the
same; one must bring sacrifices to it.

5) I can imagine consciousness transferred to
the life of the spirit to such a degree that the
sufferings of the body would be met gladly.

6) A beautiful woman smiles, and we think
that because she smiles she says something good
and true when she smiles. But often the smile
seasons something entirely foul.

7) Education. It is worth while occupying
oneself with education, in order to find out all
one's shortcomings. Seeing them, you will begin
to correct them. But to correct oneself is indeed
the best method of education for one's children
and for others' and for grown-up people.

Just now I read a letter from Shkarvan 31 that
medical help does not appear to him like a boon,
that the lengthening of many empty lives for many
hundred years is much less important to him than
the weakest blowing, as he writes, (a puff) on the
spark of divine love in the heart of another.
Here then in this blowing, lies the whole art of
education. But to kindle it in others, one must
kindle it in oneself.


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

8) To love means to desire that which the
beloved object desires. The objects of love de-
sire opposing things, and therefore, we can only
love that which desires one and the same thing.
But that which desires one and the same thing is

9) Man beginning to live, loves only himself,
and separates himself from other beings in that
he constantly loves that which alone constitutes
his being. But as soon as he recognises himself
as a separate being, he recognises also his own
love, and he is no longer content with this love
for himself and he begins to love other beings.
And the more he lives a conscious life, the greater
and greater number of beings he will begin to
love, though not with such a stable and unceasing
love as that with which he loves himself, but nev-
ertheless, in such a way that he wishes good to
everything he loves, and he rejoices at this good,
and suffers at the evil which tries the beloved
beings, and he unites into one all that he loves.

As life is love, why not suppose that my "self,"
that which I consider to be myself and love with
a special love, is perhaps the union I made in a
former life of things which I loved, just as I am
making a union of things now. The other has
already taken place and this one is taking place.

Life is the enlargement of love, the widening
of its borders, and this widening is going on in


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1895

various lives. In the present life, this widening
appears to me in the form of love. This widen-
ing is necessary for my inner life and it is also
necessary for the life of this world. But my life
can manifest itself not only in this form. It man-
ifests itself in an innumerable quantity of forms.
Only this one is apparent to me.

But in the meantime, the movement of life un-
derstood by me in this world, through the enlarge-
ment of love in myself and through the union of
beings through love, produces at the same time
other effects, one or many, unseen by me. As for
instance, I put together 8 toy cubes to make a pic-
ture on one side of them, not seeing the other
sides of the constructed cubes, but on the other
sides are being formed pictures just as regular,
though unseen by me.

(All this was very clear when it came into my
head, and now I have forgotten everything and
the result is nonsense.)

10) I have thought much about God, about
the essence of my life, and it seemed I only
doubted one and the other and believed in my own
conclusions; and then, one time, not long ago, I
simply had the desire to lean upon my faith in
God and in the indestructibility of my soul, and
to my astonishment I felt so firm and calm a con-
fidence, as I have never felt before. So that all my
doubts and scrutinisings have evidently, not only


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

not weakened my faith, but have strengthened it to
an enormous degree.

n) Reason is not given that we should rec-
ognise what we ought to love; this it won't dis-
close; but only for this: to show what we ought
not to love.

12) As in each piece of handiwork, the prin-
cipal art lies not in the regular making of certain
things anew, but in the ever bettering of the in-
evitable faults of a wrong and ruined work, so
even in the business of life, the principal wisdom
is not how to begin to act and how to lead life
correctly, but how to better faults, how to liberate
oneself from errors and seductions.

13) Happiness is the satisfaction of the re-
quirements of a man's being living from birth to
death in this world only; but the good is the satis-
faction of the requirements of the eternal essence
living in man.

14) The essence of the teachings of Christ
consists in this, that man ought to know who he is;
that he should understand, like a bird which does
not use its wings and runs on the land, that he is
not a mortal animal, dependent on the conditions
of the world, but like a bird which has under-
stood that it has wings and has faith in them, he
should understand that he himself was never born
and never died and always is, and passes through
this world in one of the innumerable forms of


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1895

life to fulfil the will of Him who sent him into

this life.

Dec. 8. Moscow. If I live.

Mascha 32 is with Ilia, 33 a loving letter from
her to-day.

To-day December 23. Moscow.

It is long since I have made an entry. On the
3Oth, the Chertkovs 34 came. It is two days since
Kenworthy arrived. He is very pleasant. . . .

Have continued to write the Declaration am
progressing. Off and on, I think out the drama, 35
and yesterday I raved about it all night. I am
not well; a bad cold in the head, influenza. Be-
cause of the letter to the Englishman, I began also
a letter on the collision between England and
America. 36

Have been thinking during this time :

i) I have been thinking especially clearly of
that which I have already said many times; that
all the evil in the world comes only from this,
that people look upon themselves, upon their own
personality, as a worthy object of their conscious
life upon themselves or upon a group of per-
sonalities, it is all the same.

As long as a man lives for himself unconsciously,
he does no harm. If there is a struggle, then the
struggle is an unconscious one which is ended at


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

once when the struggle with surroundings is
ended ; man adjusts himself to it or he goes under,
and this struggle is neither cruel nor is it an evil
one. The struggle begins to be cruel only when
man directs his consciousness upon it, prepares it,
strengthens and multiplies its energy tenfold and

As Pascal says: there are three kinds of people;
one kind know nothing and sit quietly, and just as
quiet are those who know; but there are a middle
kind who don't know but believe they do; from
them comes all the evil in the world. They are
the people in whom consciousness has awakened,
but they don't know how to use it.

2) The whole thing lies in this that you
should always remember who you are. There is
no situation so difficult, from which the way out
would not immediately offer itself, if you only
would remember that you are not a temporary,
material manifestation, but an eternal omnipres-
ent being. " I am the resurrection and the life :
he that believeth in me shall never die, and though
he were dead yet shall he live. Believest thou

I walked on the street. A wretched beggar ap-
proached me. I forgot who I was and passed by.
And then suddenly I remembered, and just as
naturally as the hungry begin to eat and the tired


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1895

sit down, I turned back and handed him some-
thing. It is the same with the temptation to
quarrel, to insult, to be vain.

3) One can not voluntarily cease to remain
awake, i. e. to fall asleep. Just as little can one
voluntarily cease to live. Life is more important
than the will, than desire. (Unclear.)

4) Receive with thankfulness the enjoyments
of the flesh all that you meet on the way, if
they are not sinful in short, if they do not go
against your consciousness, if they do not make
it suffer. But use the efforts of your will, your
liberty, only to serve God.

I just wrote a letter to Crosby. 37 He is work-
ing in America.
Dec. 24. Moscow. If I live.

Yesterday I received the " Open Letter " of
Spielhagen, the Socialist, which appeared in the
newspapers with regard to Drozhin. 38



January 23. Moscow.

Just a month that I made no entries. During
this time I wrote a letter about patriotism 39 and a
letter to Crosby 40 and here now for two weeks I
have been writing the drama. I wrote three acts
abominably. I thought to make an outline so as
to form the charpente. I have little hope of suc-

Chertkov and Kenworthy went away the 7th.
Sonya went to Tver to Andrusha. 41 To-day Na-
gornov 42 died. I am again a little indisposed.

I jotted down during this time :

1 ) A true work of art a contagious one
is produced only when the artist seeks, strives. In
poetry this passion for representing that which is,
comes from the fact that the artist hopes that hav-
ing seen clearly and having fixed that which is,
he will understand the meaning of that which is.

2) In every art there are two departures from
the way, vulgarity and artificiality. Between
them both there is only a narrow path. And this
narrow path is outlined by impulse. If you have
impulse and direction, you pass by both dangers.
Of the two, the more terrible is artificiality.


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

3) It is impossible to compel reason to exam-
ine and clarify that which the heart does not wish.

4) It is bad when reason wishes to give the
meaning of virtue to selfish efforts.

Kudinenko 43 was here. A remarkable man.
N. took the oath and is serving. 44 A letter from
Makovitsky 45 with an article on the Naz-
arenes. 46
Jan. 24. Moscow. If I live.

Jan. 25. Moscow.

During these two days the chief event was the
death of Nagornov. Always new and full of
meaning is death. It occurred to me : they repre-
sent death in the theatre. Does it produce
Koooooo of that impression which the nearness
of a real death produces?

I continue writing the drama. I have written
four acts. All bad. But it is beginning to re-
semble a real thing.
Jan. 26. Mosc. If I live.

January 26. Moscow.

I am alive, but I don't live. Strakhov to-
day I heard of his death. 47 To-day they buried
Nagornov and that is news. I lay down to
sleep, but could not sleep, and there appeared
before me so clearly and brightly, an un-
derstanding of life whereby we would feel


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

ourselves to be travellers. Before us lies a
stage of the road with the same well-known
conditions. How can one walk along that road
otherwise than eagerly, gaily, friendly, and ac-
tively together, not grieving over the fact that
you yourself are going away or that others are
going ahead of you thither, where we shall again
be still more together.

To-day I wrote a postscript to the letter to
Crosby. A good letter from Kenworthy. Un-
pleasantness with N. He is a journalist.
Jan. 26 [27?]. Moscow. If I live.

Almost a month that I have made no entries.
Today, Feb. 13, Moscow.

I wanted to go to the Olsuphievs. 48 ....
There is much bustle here and it takes up much
time. I sit down late to my work and there-
fore write little. I finished somehow the fifth
act of the drama and took up Resurrection. I
read over eleven chapters and am gradually ad-
vancing. I corrected the letter to Crosby.

An event an important one Strakhov's
death, and something else Davydov's conversa-
tion with the Emperor. 49

The article by Ertel 50 that the efforts of the lib-
erals are useful, and also the letter by Spielhagen
on the same theme, 51 provoke me. But I can not,
I must not write. I have no time. The letters


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

from Sopotsko 52 and Zdziekhovsky 53 on the
Orthodox Church and on the Catholic, provoke me
on the other hand. However, I shall hardly
write. But here yesterday I received a letter from
Grinevich's 54 mother on the religious bringing
up of children. That I must do. At least I must
use all my strength to do this.

Very much music it is useless. ... As re-
gards religion, I am very cool at present.

Thought during this time (much I have forgot-
ten and have not written down) :

i ) Oh, not to forget death for a moment, into
which at any moment you can fall! If we would
only remember that we are not standing upon an
even plain (if you think we are standing so, then
you are only imagining that those who have gone
away have fallen overboard and you yourself are
afraid that you will fall overboard), but that
we are rolling on, without stopping, running into
each other, getting ahead and being got ahead
of, yonder behind the curtain which hides from us
those who are going away, and will hide us from
those who remain. If we remember that always,
then, how easy and joyous it is to live and roll
together, yonder down the same incline, in the
power of God, with Whom we have been and
in Whose power we are now and will be after-
wards and forever. I have been feeling this very


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

2) There is no more convincing proof of the
existence of God, than the faculty of the soul by
which we can transport ourselves into other be-
ings. Out of this faculty flows both love and rea-
son, but neither one nor the other is in us, but
they are outside of us and we only coincide with
them. (Unclear.)

3 ) The power to kill oneself is free play given
to people. God did not want slaves in this life, but
free workers. If you remain in this life, then it
means that its conditions are advantageous to you.
If advantageous then work. If you go away
from the conditions here, if you kill yourself, then
the same thing will be put before you again there.
So there is nowhere to go.

It would be good to write the history of what a
man lives through in this life who committed sui-
cide in a past life; how, coming up against the
same requirements which were placed before him
in the other life, he comes to the realisation that
he must fufil them. And in this life he is more
intelligent than in the others, remembering the
lesson given him.

4) How does it happen that a clever, educated
man believes in the nonsensical? Man thinks that
which his heart desires. Only if his heart desires
the truth, and only if it does, will he think the
truth. But if his heart desires earthly pleasures
and peace, he will think of that which will bring


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

him earthly pleasures and peace or still something
else. But as it is not an attribute of man to have
earthly pleasures and peace, he will think falsely;
and to be able to think falsely he will hypnotise

(Unclear, not good.)
Feb. 14. M. If I live.

To-day February 22. Nicholskoe, at the Olsu-
phievs. 55

It is already more than a week that I feel de-
pressed in spirit. No life; I can not work on any-
thing. Father of my life and of all life ! If my
work is already finished here, as I am beginning to
think, and the ending of my spiritual life, which
I am beginning to feel, means a transfer into that
other life that I am already beginning to live
there and that here these remnants are being taken
away little by little then show it to me more
clearly that I may not seek and weary myself.
Otherwise it seems to me that I have many well-
thought plans, yet I have no means, not only for
carrying them through this I know, I ought not
to think of but even to do something good,
something pleasing to Thee as long as I live here.
Or give me strength to work with the consciousness
of serving Thee. Still, Thy will be done. If
only I always felt that life consisted only in the ful-


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

filment of Thy will, I would not doubt. But doubt
comes because I bite the bit and don't feel the

It is now 2 o'clock. I am going to dinner. I
took a walk, slept in the morning, read Trilby.
And I want to sleep all the time.

During this time, what has happened? Almost
nothing. I thought on the Declaration of Faith.
// / live. February 23. Nicholskoe.

To-day February 27. Nicholskoe.

Am writing the drama, it moves very stiffly.
Indeed I don't even know if I am progressing or
not. ... I am very comfortable here ; the impor-
tant thing it is quiet.

Read Trilby poor. Wrote letters to Chert-
kov, Schmidt, 56 Kenworthy. Read Corneille

Have been thinking:

i) I made a note that there are two arts.
Now thinking it over, I don't find a clear expres-
sion of my thought. Then I thought that there
was an art, as they rightly characterise it, which
grew from play, from the need of every creature
to play. The play of the calf is jumping, the
play of man is a symphony, a picture, a poem, a

This is one kind of art, the art of play, of

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

thinking out new plays, producing old ones and
inventing new. That is a good thing, useful and
valuable because it increases man's joys. But it
is clear that it is possible to occupy oneself with
play only when sated. Thus society can only oc-
cupy itself with art, when all its members are
sated. But as long as all its members are not
sated, there can not be real art, there will be an
art of the overfed, a deformed one, and an
art of the hungry ones rough and poor, just as
it is now. And therefore, in the first kind of art
of play only that part is of value which is at-
tainable to all, which increases the joys of all.

If it is like this, then it is not a bad thing, espe-
cially if it does not demand an increase of toil on
the part of the oppressed, as happens now.

(This could and should be expressed better.)

But there is yet another art which calls forth
in man better and higher feelings. I wrote this
just now something I have said many times
and I think it isn't true. Art is only one and con-
sists in this: to increase the sinless general joys
accessible to all the good of man. A nice build-
ing, a gay picture, a song, a story give a little
good; the awakening of religious feelings, of the
love of good brought forth by a drama, a picture,
a song give great good.

The 2nd thing that I have been thinking about
art, is that nowhere is conservatism so harmful


FEBRUARY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

as in art. Art is one of the manifestations of
the spiritual life of man, and therefore, as when an
animal is alive, it breathes and discharges the prod-
ucts of its breathing, so when humanity is alive, it
manifests activity in art. And therefore, at every
given moment it must be contemporaneous the
art of our time. One ought only to know where
it is (not in the decadence of music, poetry, or the
novel) ; and one must seek it not in the past, but
in the present. People who wish to show them-
selves connoisseurs of art and who therefore
praise the past classic art and insult the present,
only show by this, that they have no feeling for art.

3) Rachinsky 57 says: "Notice that contem-
poraneous with the spread of the use of narcotics,
since the ryth century, the astounding progress of
science began, and especially of the natural ones."
Is it not because of this, I say to him, that the
false direction of science has come, the studying
of that which is not necessary to man, but is only
an object for idle curiosity, or when useful, is not
the only thing really necessary? Is it not because
of this that from that time on there was neglected

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