Leo Tolstoy.

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there happened to be an obvious instance of serv-
ing, i. e. when it was unquestionably required and
I was drawn to it. But what is to be done when
it happens neither one way nor the other? Give
myself to God, negate myself. Do as Thou wilt,
I consent.

(Again, not what I want to say.)
I am going to dinner.

1 1 ) Kant, 115 they tell us, made a revolution
in the thought of men. He was the first to show
that a thing in itself is inaccessible to knowledge,
that the source of knowledge and life is spiritual.
But is not that the same which Christ said two
thousand years ago, only in a way understand-
able to men? Bow in spirit and in truth; the


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

spirit is life creating, the letter, the flesh, is bene-
ficial in no way.

12) Balls, feasts, spectacles, parades, pleas-
ure-gardens, etc., are a dreadful tool in the hands
of the organisers. They can have a terrible in-
fluence. And if anything has to be subjected to
control, it is this.

13) I walked along the road and thought,
looking at the forests, the earth, the grass, what a
funny mistake it is to think that the world is such
as it appears to me. To think that the world is
such as it appears to me, means to think that there
can be no other being capable of knowledge ex-
cept myself with my six senses. 116 I stopped and
was writing that down. Sergei Ivanovich 117 ap-
proached me. I told him what I was thinking.
He said:

" Yes, one thing is true, that the world is not
such as we see it and we don't know anything as
it is."
I said:

' Yes, we know something exactly as it is."
"What is it?"

1 That which knows. It is exactly such as we
know it."

14) One is often surprised that people are un-
grateful. One ought to be surprised at how they
could be grateful for good done them. How-


JULY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

ever little good people do, they know with certainty
that the doing of good is the greatest happi-
ness. How then can people be grateful to others
that these others have drunk themselves full,
when that is the greatest enjoyment?

15) Only he is free whom nothing and no-
body can hinder from doing what he wants.
There is only one such work to do to love.

1 6) Prayer is directed to a personal God, not
because God is personal (I even know as a matter
of fact that He is not personal, because the per-
sonal is finite and God is infinite), but because I
am a personal being. I have a little green glass
in my eye and I see everything green. I can not
help but see the world green, although I know
that it is not like that.

17) The aesthetic pleasure is a pleasure of a
lower order. And therefore the highest aes-
thetic pleasure leaves one unsatisfied. In fact, the
higher the aesthetic pleasure, the more unsatisfied it
leaves one. It always makes one want something
more and more. And so without end. Only
moral good gives full satisfaction. Here there is
full satisfaction. Nothing further is wished for
or needed.

18) A lie to others is by far neither as im-
portant nor as harmful as a lie to oneself. A lie
to others is often an innocent play, a satisfying of


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

vanity. A lie to oneself is always a perversion
of the truth, a turning aside from the demands
of life.

19) Although seldom, yet it has happened to
me that I have done good from pity, a real good.
In that case you never remember what you really
have done and under what circumstances. You
remember only that you were with God (this oc-
curred to me in regard to my favourite boots
which I remember I gave away out of pity and for
a long time I could not remember where they had
gone). It is the same way with all those mo-
ments when I was with God, whether in prayer
or in the business of life. Memory is a fleshly
affair, but .here, the thing is spiritual.

20) Man can not live a fleshly life, if he does
not consider himself in the right and he can not
live a spiritual life if he does not consider him-
self sinful.

21) . . .

I am going to sleep. It is 12:30 in the morn-
ing, July 30th.
July 3 r, Y. P. If Hive.

July 31, Y. P.

I am alive. It is evening now. It is past four.
I am lying down and can not fall asleep. My
heart aches. I am tired out. I hear through the
window they play tennis and are laughing. S.


JULY] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

went away to the Shenshins. 118 Every one is well,
but I am sad and can not master myself. It is
like the feeling I had when St. Thomas 119 locked
me in and I heard through my prison how every
one was gay and was laughing. But I don't want
to. One must suffer humiliation and be good. I
can do it.

I continue to copy :

1) The disbelief in reason is the source of all
evil. This disbelief is reached by the teaching of
a distorted faith from childhood. Believe in one
miracle and the trust in reason is destroyed.

2) ...

3) Christianity does not give happiness but
safety; it lets you down to the bottom from which
there is no place to fall.

4) I rode horseback from Tula and thought
about this ; that I am a part of Him, separated in
a certain way from other such parts, and He is
everything, the Father, and I felt love, just love,
for Him. Now, especially now, I not only can
not reproduce this feeling, but not even recall it.
But I was so joyful that I said to myself: Here
I was thinking that I can not learn anything new
and suddenly I acquired a wonderful blessed new
feeling, a real feeling.

5 ) What humbug 12 beauty, truth, good-
ness! Beauty is one of those attributes of outer
objects, like health, an attribute of the living body.


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

Truth is not the ideal of science. The ideal of
science is knowledge, not truth. The good can
not be placed on the plane with either of these,
because it is the goal of life.

(It is unclear, but it was clear and will be.)
6) I do not remember good works, because
they are outside of the material man of mem-
ory. August i f Ysn Pol If I live. which is
doubtful. My heart aches very much. . . .

It is dreadful to think how much time has
elapsed; a month and a half. To-day, Sept. 14,

During this time I took a trip to the monastery
with Sonya. 121 . . . I wrote on Hadji-Murad 122
very poorly, a first draft. I have continued my
work on the Declaration of Faith. The Chert-
kovs have gone away. . . . All three sons are
here now with their wives. 123

There was a letter from the Hollander who
has refused to serve. 124 I wrote a preface to the
letter. 125 I wrote a letter also to Mme. Kalmi-
kov 126 with very sharp statements about the Gov-
ernment. The whole month and a half has been
condensed in this. Oh, yes; I have also been ill
from my usual sickness and my stomach is still
not strong.

One thing more. During this time there was a

SEPTEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

letter from the Hindu Tod and an exquisite book
of Hindu wisdom, loga's Philosophy. 12 ' 1
In the meantime I thought :

1 ) There are many people, especially Euro-
peans and especially women, who not only talk but
who write things that appear intelligent, in the
same way as dumb people speak; as a matter of
fact, it isn't any more natural for them to think
than for a dumb person to speak, but both one
and the other, both the stupid and the dumb, have
been taught.

2) To love an individual man, one has to be
blinded. Without being blinded one can love
only God, but people can be pitied, which means
to love in a Godly way.

3) To get rid of an enemy, one must love him,
as it is also said in the " Teaching of the twelve
apostles." 128 But to love one has to put to one-
self the task for all one's life of love towards an
enemy, to do him good through love and to per-
fect oneself in love for him.

4) At first, one is surprised that stupid peo-
ple should have within them such an assertive
convincing intonation. But it is as it should be.
Otherwise no one would listen to them.

5) I find this note: "A decoration for peas-
ants, our happiness " I can not remember what
that means, but it is something that pleased me.

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

I think it means that to a poor man looking on
the life of the rich, it appears as happiness. But
this happiness is as much happiness, as card-
board made into a tree or a castle is a tree
or a castle.

6) We are all attracted to the Whole and one
to another, like particles of one body. Only our
roughness, the lack of smoothness, our angles, in-
terfere with our uniting. There is already an
attraction, there is no need of making it, but one
must plane oneself, wipe out one's angles.

7) One of the strongest means of hypnotism,
of exterior action on the spiritual state of man, is
his dress. People know that very well; that is
why there is a monastic garb in monasteries and a
uniform in the army.

8) I was trying to recall two excellent sub-
jects for novels, the suicide of old Persianninov
and the substitution of a child in an orphan asy-

9) When my weakness tortured me, I sought
means of salvation, and I found one in the thought
that there is nothing stationary, that everything
flows, changes, that all this is for a while, and
that it is only necessary to suffer the while while
we live I and the others. And some one of us
will go away first. (The while does not mean
to live in any way, but means, not to despair, to
suffer it through to the end.)


SEPTEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

10) I wanted to say that I was grateful, so
as to make the other one well disposed, and later
to tell the truth. No, I thought, that is not per-
mitted. He will ascribe it to his virtues and the
truth will be accepted even less. Man, not ac-
knowledging his sins, is a vessel hermetically
closed with a cover which lets nothing enter. To
humble oneself, to repent, that means to take off
the cover and to make oneself capable of perfec-
tion, of the good.

1 1 ) Barbarism interferes with the union of
people, but the same thing is done by a too great
refinement without a religious basis. In the
other, the physical disunites, and in this, the spir-

12) Man is a tool of God. At first I thought
that it was a tool with which man himself was
called to work; now I have understood that it is
not man who works, but God. The business
of man is only to keep himself in order. Like
an axe, which would have to keep itself always
clean and sharp.

13) Why is it that scoundrels stand for des-
potism? Because under an ideal order which
pays according to merit, they are badly off. Un-
der despotism everything can happen.

14) I often meet people who recognise no God
except one which we ourselves recognise in our-
selves. And I am astonished; God in me. But


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

God is an infinite principle; how then, why then,
should He happen to be in me ? It is impossible
not to question oneself about this. And as soon
as you question yourself, you have to acknowledge
an exterior cause. Why do people not feel them-
selves in need of answering this question? Be-
cause for them, the answer to this question is in
the reality of the existing world, whether accord-
ing to Moses or to Darwin it is all the same.
And therefore, to have a conception of an ex-
terior God, one has to understand that that which
is actually real, is only the impression of our
senses, i. e. it is we ourselves, our spiritual
" self."

15) In moments of passion, infatuation, in or-
der to conquer, one thing is necessary, to destroy
the illusion that it is the " self " who suffers, who
desires, and to separate one's true " self " from
the troubled waters of passion.
Sept. 15. Y. P. If I live.

To-day October 10. Y. P.

It is almost a month that I have made no en-
tries and it seemed to me it was only yesterday.
During this time, though in very poor form, I
finished the Declaration of Faith. During this
time there were some Japanese with a letter from
Konissi. 129 They, the Japanese, are undoubt-
edly nearer Christianity than 6ur church Chris-


OCTOBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

tians. I have learned to love them very
much. . . .

I want to write out the whole Declaration of
Faith from the beginning again. Yesterday
there was a good letter from Verigin, Peter. 130

All last night I thought about the meaning of
life and though there are other things to note
down, I want to note down this :

The whole world is nothing else than an in-
finite space filled with infinitely small, colourless,
silently moving particles of matter. At bottom,
even this is not so; I know that they are particles
of matter only through their impenetrability, but
the impenetrability I know only through my sense
of touch and my muscle sense. If I did not have
this sense, I would not know about impenetrability
or about matter. As to motion, also, I, strictly
speaking, have no right to speak, because if I did
not have the sense of sight or again muscle sense,
I would not know anything about motion either.

So that all that I have the right to assert about
the outer world is that something exists, some-
thing entirely unknown to me, as it was said long
ago both by the Brahmins and by Kant and by
Berkeley. There is some kind of occasion, some
kind of grain of sand which causes irritation in the
shell of the snail and produces a pearl (secretion,
secretion in the snail). This is our whole outside


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

What is there then ? There is myself with my
representations of myself, of the sun, trees, ani-
mals, stones. But what then is it that I call my-
self? Is it something arbitrary depending on my-
self? No, it is something independent of myself,
predetermined. I can not not be myself, and not
have that representation which I have, namely,
that I include in myself a small part of these
moving atoms and call them myself. And all the
other remaining atoms I see in the form of be-
ings .more or less like myself. The world ap-
pears to me to consist entirely of beings which
are like me or resemble me. 131

(I have become confused, yet have something to
say. I am going to try when I have the strength. )

I am continuing to write out what I had to say
and what I dreamt of all night, namely :

People think that their life is in the body, that
from that which takes place in the body; from
breathing, nutrition, circulation of the blood, etc.,
life flows. And this seems unquestionable; let
nutrition, breathing, circulation of the blood cease
and life will end. But what ends is the life of the
body, life in this body. . . .

And in fact if you consider that life comes from
the process of the body and only in the body then
as soon as the processes of the body are ended,
then life ought to be ended. But certainly this
is an arbitrary assertion. No one has proven and


OCTOBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

can prove that life is only in the body and can
not be without the body. To assert this, is all the
same as asserting that when the sun has set then
the sun has come to an end. One must first de-
cide what is life. Is it that which I see in the
others as it begins and stops, or is it what I know
in myself? If it is what I know in myself, then
it is the only thing that is and therefore it can
not be destroyed. And the fact that in bodies
before me processes end which are connected with
life in me and in other beings, shows me only this,
that life goes away somewhere from my sensual
eyes. To go away entirely, to be destroyed, it
absolutely can not be, because outside of it there
is nothing in the world. The problem, then,
might be this : Will my life be destroyed, can it
be destroyed? And the destruction of the body
of a man, is that a sign of the destruction of his
life? In order to answer this question one must
first decide what is life ?

Life is the consciousness of my separateness
from other beings, of the existence of other beings
and of those limits which separate me from them.
My life is not bound up with my body. There
may be a body, but no consciousness of separate-
ness like for a sleeping one, an idiot, an embryo
or for those who have fits.

It is true that there can be no life without the
consciousness of the body; but that is because life


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

is the consciousness of one's own separateness and
of one's own boundaries. But the consciousness
of one's own separateness and of one's own bound-
aries happens in our life in time and space, but
it can happen in any other way and therefore the
destruction of the body is not the sign of the de-
struction of life.

(Not clear and not what I want to say.)
Oct. u. Y. P. If I live.

To-day October 20. Y. P. Morning.

I feel like writing down three things.

i) In a work of art the principal thing is the
soul of the author. Therefore among medium
productions the feminine ones are the better, the
more interesting. A woman will push her-
self through now and then, speak out the most
inner mysteries of her soul; and that is what is
needed. You see what she really loves, although
she pretends that she loves something else. When
an author writes, we the readers place our ears
to his breast and we listen and say, " Breathe. If
you have rumblings, they will appear." And
women haven't the capacity of hiding. Men have
learned literary methods and you can no longer
see him behind his manner, except that you know
he is stupid. But what is in his soul, you don't

(Not good; malicious.)

OCTOBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

The 2nd thing I wanted to write was that yes-
terday, in blowing out my candle, I began to feel
for matches and did not find them, and an un-
easiness came over me. "And you are getting
ready to die ! What, then, are you also going to
die with matches?" I said to myself. And I
at once saw in the dark my real life and became

What is this fear of the dark? Besides the
fear at the incapability of meeting whatever ac-
cident might happen, it is the fear at the ab-
sence of the delusion of our most important sense,
that of sight. It is fear before the contemplation
of our true life. I now no longer have that fear
on the contrary, that which had been fear is
now peace; there only has remained the habit
of fear; but to the majority of people the fear
is exactly of that which alone can give them

The 3rd thing I wanted to write was that when
a man is put in the necessity of choosing between
an act which is clearly beneficial to others, but
with the thwarting of the demands of conscience
(the will of God), then the problem is only one
of short-sightedness, because the man sees in the
immediate future the good which will arise from
his act, if he thwarts the will of God, but he does
not see in the more remote future the other good,
which is an infinite number of times greater, which


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

will come from the abstention of this act and the
fulfilment of the will of God. It is the same
kind of thing that children do, destroying the gen-
eral order of a house which is necessary for their
own happiness, for the sake of the immediate
pleasure of play.

The fact is that for the work of God and for
man accomplishing the work of God, time does
not exist. Man can not but represent to himself
everything in time, and therefore in order to cor-
rectly judge of the importance of the work of God,
he has to represent it to himself in the very re-
mote future, even in infinite time. The fact, that
I will not kill the murderer and will forgive him,
that I shall die unseen by any one, fulfilling the
will of God, will bear its own fruit ... if I in-
sist upon thinking in terms of time in infinite
time. But it will bear its fruit surely.

I have to finish the former :

4) Refinement and power in art are almost
always diametrically opposed.

5) Is it true that works of art are obtained by
assiduous work? That which we call a work of
art yes. But is it real art?

6) The Japanese sang and we could not re-
strain ourselves from laughter. If we had sung
before the Japanese they would have laughed.
The more so had Beethoven been played for them.
Indian and Greek temples are understood by all.


OCTOBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

And Greek statues are understood by all. And
our best painting is also understandable. So that
architecture, sculpture, painting, having reached
their perfection, have reached also cosmopolitan-
ism, accessibility to all. To the same point in
some of its manifestations has the art of speech
reached; in the teaching of Buddha, of Christ, in
the poetry of Sakia-Muni, Jacob, Joseph. In
dramatic art; Sophocles, Aristophanes did not
reach it. It is being reached in the new ones.
But in music they have been lagging behind en-
tirely. The ideal of all art to which it should
strive is accessibility to all but it, especially
music to-day, noses its way into refinement.

7) The principal thing which I wanted to say
about art, is that it does not exist in the sense of
some great manifestation of the human spirit as
it is understood now. There is play, consisting
in the beauty of construction, in sculpting figures,
or in representing objects, in dancing, in singing,
in playing on various instruments, in poetry, in
fables, in stories, but all this is only play and not
an important matter to which one could con-
sciously devote his strength.

And so it was always understood and is under-
stood by the working, unspoiled people and every
man who has not gone away from labour, from
life, can not look upon it in any other way. It
is necessary, one must, say it out loud how much


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

evil has come from this importance attributed by
the parasites of society to their plays !

8) The whole outer world is formed by us, by
our senses. We know nothing and can know noth-
ing about it. All that we can know, in studying
the outer world is the relation of our senses (sens)
among themselves and the laws of these relations.
There is no question but that this is very interest-
ing, and from the study of these relations are
opened many new situations which we can make
use of and which increase the comforts of our life,
but this is not only not everything, not all of
science as people busying themselves with this study
are now asserting, but it is only one minute particle
of science.

Science is the study of the relation of our spirit-
ual " self " that which masters the outer senses
and uses them to our outer senses or to the
outer world, which is the same thing. This re-
lation has to be studied, because in this relation
is accomplished the movement of humanity as a
whole to perfection and the good, and the move-
ment of each individual man to the same goal.
This relation is the object of every science; but
to-day the study of this relation is called Ethics
by our present-day scholars, and is considered as
a science by itself, and a very unimportant one
from out the great mass of other sciences. It is
all topsy-turvy; the whole of science is considered


OCTOBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

as a small part and a small part is considered as
the whole. From this comes the brutalisation of

This arises out of the astonishing ignorance of
most of the so-called learned. They are naively
convinced that the outer world is an actual real-
ity, just in the same way as the peasants are con-
vinced that the sun and the stars move around
the earth. Just as the peasants know nothing of
the work of Galileo, Copernicus and Newton, or
if they have heard of it do not believe so the
materialist scholars have never heard, do not know
or do not believe what has been done as to criti-
cism of knowledge by Descartes, Kant, Berkeley
and even before, by the Hindus and by all re-
ligious doctrines.

9) When you suffer, you must enter into your-
self not seek matches, but put out that light
which is there, and which interferes with the see-
ing of your true " self." You must turn upside
down the toy which stood on the cork and place
it on the lead and then everything will become
clear and the greatest part of your suffering will
cease all that part which is not physical.

10) When you suffer from passion, here are
some palliative prescriptions:

(a) Remember how many times you have suf-
fered before because in your consciousness you
have connected yourself to your passion; lust,


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

greed, desire, vanity, and remember how every-
thing passed away and you have still not found
that " self " which suffered then. And so it is

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