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now. It is not you who are suffering, but that
passion which you wrongly joined to yourself.

(b) Again, when you suffer, remember that
the suffering is not something disagreeable which
you can wish to get rid of, but it is the very work
of life, that very task which you have been desig-
nated to do. In wanting to get rid of it, you are
doing that which a man would do who lifts the
plough there where the earth is hard, just where,
in fact, it has to be ploughed up.

(c) Then remember, at the moment when you
suffer, that if there is anger in the feelings you
have, the suffering is in you. Replace the anger
with love, and the suffering will end.

(d) Also this is possible ; love towards enemies,
which is indeed the one real love. You must strug-
gle for it, struggle with toil, with the conscious-
ness that in it is life. But when you have at-
tained it, what relief!

(e) The principal thing is to turn the toy
upside down, find your true " self " which is only
visible without matches, and then anger will van-
ish by itself. That " self " is incapable of, can-
not, and has no one to be angry with loving, it
can only pity.


OCTOBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

During these latter days I didn't feel like writ-
ing. I merely wrote letters to every one and
sent to Schmidt an addition to the letter about the
incompatibility . . . with Christianity. 132 I have
begun the Declaration of Faith anew. I am going
to continue.

Went to Pirogovo with Masha. Serezha 133 is
very good. . . .
October 2 1. Y. P. If I live.

To-day probably October 23. Y. P.

All these days I have been out of tune with my
work. Wrote a letter yesterday to the com-
mander of the disciplinary battalion in Irkutsk
about Olkhovik. 134

It is evening now, I am sitting down to write
because I feel the special importance and serious-
ness of the hours of life which are left to me.
And I do not know what I have to do, but I feel
that there has ripened in me an expression of
God's will which asks to be let out.

Have re-read Hadji Murad it isn't what I
want to say. As to Resurrection I can't even
get hold of it. The drama interests me.

A splendid article by Carpenter on science. 135
All of us walk near the truth and uncover it from
various sides.

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

October 26. Y. P.

I am still just as indisposed and don't feel like
writing. My head aches. Serezha came yester-
day. 136 Wrote a letter to Sonya and to Andrusha.

But it seems to me that during this time of
doubt, I arrived at two very important conclu-
sions :

i ) That, which I also thought before and wrote
down ; that art is an invention, is a temptation for
amusement with dolls, with pictures, with songs,
with play, with stories and nothing more. But
to place art as they do ( and they do the same with
science), on the same level with the good is a
horrible sacrilege. The proof that it is not so,
is that about truth also (the right) I can say
that truth is a good (as God said, great good,
teib, i.e., good) , and about beauty one can say that
it is good; but it is impossible to say about good
that it is beautiful (at times it is homely), or that
it is true (it is always true).

There is only one good; good and bad; but
truth and beauty are good qualities of certain ob-

The other very important thing, is that reason
is the only means of manifesting, and freeing
love. It seems to me that this is an important
thought, omitted in my Declaration of Faith.


NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

To-day November I. Y. P.

All this time I have felt neither well nor like
working. I have written letters only, among the
number was one to the Caucasian disciplinary
battalion. 137 Yesterday, walking at night on the
snow, in the blizzard, I tired my heart and it
aches. I think I am going to die very soon.
That is why I am writing out the notes. I think
I am going to die without fear and without re-

Just now I sat alone and thought how strange
it was that people live alone. People ; I thought
of Stasov; 138 how is he living now, what is he
thinking, feeling. Of Kolichka, 139 too. And so
strange and new became the knowledge that they,
all of them, people are living, and I do not live
in them; that they are closed to me.
November 2. Y. P. If I live.

November 2nd. Y. P.

Am alive. Am a little better. Have written
on the Declaration of Faith. I think it is true that
it is cold because it endeavours to be infallible. 140
A blizzard. Sent off the letters to Schmidt and
Chertkov. Did not send the letter to Mme.

To-day I thought about art. It is play. And
when it is the play of working, normal people it
is good, but when it is the play of corrupted para-


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

sites, then it is bad and here now it has reached

to decadence.

November 3. Y. P. If I live.

To-day November 5. Y. P. Morning.

Yesterday was a terrible day.

... At night I hardly slept and was depressed.
I just now found the prescriptions 141 in my diary,
looked them over and began to feel better; to
separate one's true " self " from that which is of-
fended and vexed, to remember that this is no
hindrance, no accidental unpleasantness, but the
very work predestined me, and above all to know
that if I have a dislike for any one, then as long
as there is that dislike in me then I am the guilty
one. And as soon as you know you are guilty,
you feel better.

To-day, lying on the bed, I thought about love
towards God ... I wish I could say, the love
of God, i.e., divine love that the first and prin-
cipal commandment is divine love, but that the
other resembling it and flowing from it, especially
flowing from it, is the love for neighbour.

Yesterday I wrote 18 pages of introduction to
Art. 142

It is wrong to say of a work of art, " You don't
yet understand it." If I don't understand it, that
means that the work of art is poor, because its

NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

task is in making understandable that which is not


November 6. Y. P. If I live.

November 6. Y. P.

Am alive. It is the third day that I continue
to write on art. It seems to me it is good. At
least I am writing willingly and easily.

. . . Have received a good letter from Vander-
veer. Wrote another letter to the commander of
the battalion in the Caucasus. Chertkov sent me
his copy of a similar letter.

To-day I rode horseback to Tula. A marvel-
lous day and night. I am just now going to take
a walk to meet the girls.

Have been thinking.

1) Natural sciences, when they wish to deter-
mine the very essence of things, fall into a crude
materialism, i.e., ignorance. Such, besides Des-
cartes' whirlwinds, are atoms and ether and the
origin of species. All that I can say, is that it
appears to me so, just as the heavenly vault ap-
pears round to me, while I know that it is not
round and that it appears to me so, only because
my sight for all directions extends on only one

2) The highest perfection of art is its cosmo-
politanism. But on the contrary, with us at pres-


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

ent it is becoming more and more specialised, if
not according to nations, then according to classes.

3) The refinement of art and its strength are
always in inverse proportion.

4) " Conservatism lies in this "... That is
the way I have it noted, but further I can't remem-
ber now.

5) Why is it pleasant to ride? Because it is
the very emblem of life. Life you ride.

I wanted to take a walk. . . .
November 7. Y. P. If I live.

To-day November 12. Y. P.

I haven't noted down anything during this time.
I was writing the essay on Art. To-day a little
on the Declaration of Faith. A weakness of
thought and I am sad. One must learn to be
satisfied with stupidity. If I do not love, at least
not not to love. That, thank the Lord, I have

November 16. Y. P. Morning.

I still work just as badly and am therefore de-
pressed. The day after to-morrow I am going to
Moscow, if God commands. 143

... In the meantime I received a strange let-
ter from the Spaniard Zanini, with an offer of
22,000 francs for good works. I answered that


NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

I would like to use them for the Dukhobors.
What is going to happen? 144 I wrote to Kuzmin-
sky on Witte and Dragomirov 145 and the day be-
fore yesterday I wrote diligently all morning on
War. 146 Something will come of it.

I am thinking continually about art and about
the temptations or seductions which becloud the
mind, and I see that art belongs to this class, but
I do not know how to make it clear. This occu-
pies me very, very much. I fall asleep and wake
up with this thought, but up to now I have come
to no conclusion.

The notes during this time about God and the
future life are:

i) They say that God must be understood as
a personality. In this lies great misunderstand-
ing; personality is limitation. Man feels himself
a personality, only because he comes in contact
with other personalities. If man were only one,
he would not be a personality. These two con-
ceptions are mutually determined ; the outer world,
other beings, and the personality. If there were
not a world of other beings, man would not feel
himself, would not recognise himself as a person-
ality; if man were not a personality he would not
recognise the existence of other beings. And
therefore man within this Universe is inconceiv-
able otherwise than as a personality. But how


. The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

can it be said of God, that He is a personality,
that God is personal? In this lies the root of

Of God it only can be said what Moses and
Mohammed said, that he is one, and one, not in
that sense that there is no other or other gods
(in relation to God there can be no notion of num-
ber and therefore it is even impossible to say of
God that he is one (i in the sense of a number),
but in that sense that he is monocentric, that he is
not a conception, but a being, that which the Greek
Orthodox call a living God in opposition to a
pantheistic God, i.e., a superior spiritual being
living in everything. He is one in that sense that
He is, like a being to whom one can address one-
self, i.e., not exactly to pray, but that there is a
relationship between me, something which is
limited, a personality, and God something in-
conceivable but existing.

The most inconceivable thing about God for us
consists exactly in this, that we know Him as a
one being, can know him in no other way, and at
the same time it is impossible for us to understand
a one being who fills up everything with himself.
If God is not one, then He is scattered and He
does not exist. If He is one, then we involuntar-
ily represent him to ourselves in the shape of a
personality and then He is no longer a higher be-


NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

ing, no longer everything. But, however, in or-
der to know God and to lean on Him one must un-
derstand Him as filling everything and at the same
time as one.

2) I have been thinking how obviously mis-
taken is our conception of the future life in bodies
either more or less similar to ours. Our bodies
as we know them are nothing but the products of
our outer six senses. How then can there be life
for that spiritual being who is separated from his
body how can it be in that form which is deter-
mined and produced by that body through its
November //. Y. P. If I live.

November 77. Y. P.

Yesterday I hardly wrote anything.

. . . There is a fight in the papers over
Repine's m definition of art as amusement. How
it fits into my work. The full significance of Art
has still not been made clear. It is clear to me,
and I can write and prove it, but not briefly and
simply. I cannot bring it up to that point.

Yesterday there was a letter from Ivan Mi-
chailovich 148 and from the Dukhobors.

Amusement is all right, if the amusement is not
corrupted, is honest, and if people do not suffer
from that amusement. I have been thinking just


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

now; the aesthetic is the expression of the ethical,
i.e., in plain language ; art expresses those feelings
which the artist feels. If the feelings are good,
lofty, then art will be good, lofty, and the re-
verse. If the artist is a moral man, then his art
will be moral, and the reverse. (Nothing has
come of this.)

I thought last night :

We rejoice over our technical achievements
steam, . . . phonographs. We are so pleased
with these achievements that if any one were to
tell us that these achievements are being attained
by the loss of human lives we would shrug our
shoulders and say, " We must try not to have
this so; an 8-hour day, labour insurance, and so
forth; but because several people perish, is no
reason to renounce those achievements which we
have attained." I. e., Fiat mirrors, phonographs,
etc., pereat several people.

It is but sufficient to admit this principle and
there will be no limit to cruelty, and it will be
very easy to attain every kind of technical im-
provement. I had an acquaintance in Kazan who
used to ride to his estate in Viatka, 130 versts
away, in this fashion: he would buy a pair of
horses at the market for 20 roubles (horses were
very cheap) and would hitch them up and drive
130 versts to the place. Sometimes they would
reach the place, and he would have the horses


NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

plus the cost of the journey. Sometimes they
would not cover a part of the road and he would
hire. But nevertheless it used to cost him cheaper
than hiring stage horses. Even Swift proposed
eating children. And that would have been very
convenient. In New York, the railroad compan-
ies in the city crush several passers-by every year
and do not change the crossings to make the dis-
asters impossible, because the change would cost
dearer than paying to the families of those
crushed yearly. The same thing happens also in
the technical improvements of our age. They are
accomplished by human lives. But one has to
value every human life not to value it, but to
place it above any value and to make improve-
ments in a way that lives should not be lost and
spoilt, and to stop every improvement if it harms
human life.
November 18. If I live, then Moscow.

November 22. Moscow.

The fourth day in Moscow. Dissatisfied with
myself. No work. Got tangled up in the article
on art and have not moved forward.

. . . There were here; the Gorbunovs, 149 Boul-
anger, 150 Dunaev. I called on Rusanov myself. 151
Received a very good impression.

Read Plato; embryos of idealism.

I recalled two subjects which were very good:

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

1 ) A wife's deception of her passionate, jealous
husband; his suffering, his struggle and the en-
joyment of forgiveness, and

2) A description of the oppression of the serfs
and later the very same kind of oppression by
land property, or rather by being deprived of it.

Just now Goldenweiser 152 played. One thing
a fantasy fugue : 153 an artificiality ; studied,
cold, pretentious; another " Bigarrure " by
Arensky; 154 sensual, artificial; and a third a
ballad by Chopin; sickly, nervous, not one or the
other or the third can be of any use to the people.

The devil who has been sent to me is still with
me, and tortures me.
November 23. Moscow. If I live.

To-day November 25. Moscow.

Am very weak. My stomach isn't working.
I am trying to write on art but it doesn't go.
One thing is good; have found myself, my heart.
. . . A letter from Zanini with an offer of 31,500
francs. 155 Tischenko, a good novel on pov-
erty. 166 It is now past two, am going for a walk.

To-day November 27. Moscow.

Very weak, poor in all respects. And feel as
if I had only just now awakened. Have been
thinking :

i ) We are all in this life workers placed at

NOVEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstai

the work of saving our souls. It can be com-
pared to keeping up the fire given from heaven and
lighted on the hearth of my body. My work lies
in this, to keep up and feed this fire in myself (not
to spend the material of this fire as I have done
lately, except in burning it) and not to think how
and what gets lighted from this fire. It is not
a difficult matter to thresh with several flails, but
to keep in order, not to get confused (and not
only to thresh, but not to interfere with the oth-
ers), one has only to remember oneself, one's
own tempo while beating. But as soon as you
have begun to think of others, to look at them,
you get confused.

The same thing happens in life. Remember
only yourself, your own work and this work
is one : to love, to enlarge love in yourself not
to think of others, of the consequences of your
labour and the work of life will go on fruitfully,
joyously. Just as soon as you begin to think of
that which you are producing, about the results of
your labour, just as soon as you begin to modify
it in accordance with its results your work be-
comes confused and ceases, and there comes the
consciousness of the vanity of life. The master
of life gave to each one of us separately such a
labour, that the fulfilment of that labour is the
most fruitful work. And He himself will use and
guide this work, give it a place and a meaning.


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

But as soon as I try to find and fix a place for it,
and in accordance with this, to modify it then I
become confused, see the vanity of labour and
I despair. My task is to work and He already
knows for what it is needed and will make use of
it. " Man walks, God leads." And the work
is one; to enlarge love in oneself.

I am a self-moving saw or a living spade and
its life consists in this, to keep its edge clean and
sharp. And it will work well enough, and its
work will be useful. To keep it sharp, and to
sharpen and sharpen it all the time, that is to
make oneself always kinder and kinder.

2) Once more I wrote to N that she is wrong
in thinking that it is possible for one to renounce
oneself from the exploit of living. Life is an ex-
ploit. And the principal thing is, that that very
thing that pains us and seems to us to hinder us
from fulfilling our work in life is our very work
in life. There is some circumstance, a condi-
tion in life which tortures you; poverty, illness,
faithlessness of a husband, calumny, humiliation,
it suffices only to pity yourself and you become
the unhappiest among the unhappy. And it suf-
fices only to understand that this is the very work
of life which you are called to do; to live in pov-
erty, in illness, to forgive faithlessness, calumny,
humiliation and instead of depression and pain
there is energy and joy.


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

3) Art becoming all the time more and more
exclusive, satisfying continually a smaller and
smaller circle of people, becoming more and more
selfish, has gone crazy, since insanity is only self-
ishness reaching to its last degree. Art has
reached the last degree of selfishness and has
gone out of its mind.

I have felt very badly and depressed these days.
Father, help me to live with Thee, not to wander
from Thy will.
November 28. Moscow. If I live.

To-day December 2. Moscow.

Five days have passed and very torturing ones.
Everything is still the same.

. . . My feeling; I have discovered on myself
a terrible putrefying sore. They had promised
me to heal it and have bound it. The sore was so
disgusting to me, it was so depressing for me to
think that it was there, that I tried to forget it, to
convince myself that it was not there. But some
time has passed they unbound the sore and
though it was healing, nevertheless it was there.
And it was torturingly painful to me and I began to
reproach the doctor and unjustly. That is my
condition. The principal thing is the devil that
has been sent me. Oh, this luxury, this richness,
this absence of care about the material life 1 Like
an over-fertilised soil. If they do not cultivate


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

good plants on it, weeding it, cleaning everything
around them, it will become overgrown with
horrible ugliness and will become terrible. But it
is difficult I am old and am almost unable to
do it. Yesterday I walked, thought, suffered and
prayed and it seems to me not in vain.

Yesterday I went to Princess Helen Ser-
geievna. 157 It was very pleasant. I still cannot
work. I shall try to in a minute. I have written
nothing in the note book. Letters from Koni, 158
from Mme. Kudriavtsev. 159 Yesterday the fac-
tory hands came and a new one, Medusov, I

Dec. 12. Moscow.

I have suffered much during these days and it
seems I have advanced towards peace, towards
the good towards God. Am reading much on
art. It is becoming clear. I am not even sit-
ting down to write. Masha went away. The
Chertkovs came.

To-day I wrote the appendix to The Appeal.

Dec. 75. Moscow.

Now 2 o'clock in the morning. Have done
nothing. My stomach ached. Am calm; have
no desire to write.

... I have made some notes. I don't write


DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

out everything. Something struck me forcibly
it is my clear consciousness of the weight of the
oppressiveness from my personality, from the
fact that I am I. This gives me joy because it
means that I understood, that I recognised as
myself, at least partly, a " self " that was not per-
December 16, Moscow. If I live.

To-day December ig or 20.

Five days have passed and I feel the oppressive-
ness, the weight of my body and therefore the
consciousness of the existence of that which is not
the body has strengthened terribly. I want to
throw off this weight, free myself from these chains
and nevertheless I feel them. I am sick of my

All this time I have not worked at all and I feel
heavy melancholy. I am fighting against it by
seeking in my life a task which is beyond this life.
There is only one such: an approach to the per-
fection of God, to love. Yesterday it became so
clear to me that life here is nothing else than a
manifestation in these forms of the greatest per-
fection of God. " To live an age and unto the
night " that is in terms of time. To live
for a universal life and for this one that is in
terms of space.


The Journal of Leo Tolstoi [1896

I have done nothing during this time and am
unable to. I am living badly.
I have noted a few trifles on Art :

1 ) They bring as a proof that art is good, the
fact that it produces a great impression on you.
Yes, but who are you? On the decadents, their
works produce a great impression on them. You
say that they are spoilt. But Beethoven, who does
not produce an impression on the working man,
produces such an impression on you, only because
you are spoilt. Who then is right ? What music
is beyond question as to its value? That kind
which produces as impression on a decadent and
on you and on the working man; simple, under-
standable, popular music.

2) What relief all would feel who are locked
up in a concert-room listening to Beethoven's last
works, if a jig or a cherdash or something similar
would be played for them.

3) N. was here and said that he recognised
only sensation, that man himself, the " self " was
only a sensation. Sensation receives sensation.
He reached this nonsense because of the scientific
method; the limiting of the field of research, the
non-recognition of anything else than sensation, is
very good and profitable for the practical ends of
the science of experimental psychology, but it is
good-for-nothing as far as a living universal point
of view is concerned. And this error is often

1 02

DECEMBER] The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

made by people; they transfer to life the method
which is suitable to science.

4) Nothing so confuses the conception of art
as the acceptance of authorities. Instead of de-
termining by a clear concise conception of art
whether the works of Sophocles, Homer, Dante,
Shakespeare, Goethe, Beethoven, Bach, Raphael,
Michael-Angelo, come up to the conception of
good art and exactly how they do so, they de-
termine by the existing works of the recognised
great artists, art itself and its laws. But, how-
ever, there are many works of noted artists which
are below every criticism and there are many false
reputations, accidentally won fame ; Dante, Shake-

5) I am reading the history of music: 161 out of
sixteen chapters on artificial music there is one
short chapter on popular music. And they know
almost nothing about it. So that the history of

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