The Journal of Leo Tolstoi, Volume 1 : 1899

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(1828 - 1910) ~ Father of Christian Anarchism : In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "People who take part in Government, or work under its direction, may deceive themselves or their sympathizers by making a show of struggling; but those against whom they struggle (the Government) know quite well, by the strength of the resistance experienced, that these people are not really pulling, but are only pretending to." (From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, Au....)
• "It is necessary that men should understand things as they are, should call them by their right names, and should know that an army is an instrument for killing, and that the enrollment and management of an army -- the very things which Kings, Emperors, and Presidents occupy themselves with so self-confidently -- is a preparation for murder." (From : "'Thou Shalt Not Kill'," by Leo Tolstoy, August 8,....)
• "It usually happens that when an idea which has been useful and even necessary in the past becomes superfluous, that idea, after a more or less prolonged struggle, yields its place to a new idea which was till then an ideal, but which thus becomes a present idea." (From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 1....)


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Jan. 2. Yasnaya Polyana.

The last time I wrote it was November 25, which means a month and a week. I made entries in Yasnaya Polyana, then I was in Moscow, where I did not make one entry. At the end of November I went to Pirogovo. I returned on the first and since that time have not been quite well—the small of my back ached and still aches, and lately I have had something like bilious fever. It is the second day that I am better.

All this time I have been occupied exclusively with Resurrection.[374] I have had some communications about the Dukhobors,[375] an innumerable pile of letters. Kolechka Gay is with me, with whom it is a rest to be.... I am calm in the fashion of an old man. And that is all.

There is quite a lot to write out. I am going to write it out on the pages I skipped. Lately I feel as if my interest in Resurrection has weakened, and I joyously feel other, more important, interests, in the understanding of life and death. Much seems clear.

Made an entry, the 2nd of January. To-day, Feb. 21. Moscow.

More than six weeks that I have made no entries.[270] Am all the time in Moscow. At first Resurrection went well, then I cooled off entirely.[376] I wrote a letter to the noncommissioned officer[377] and to the Swedish papers.[378] For about three days I have again taken up Resurrection. Am advancing.

Students’ strike. They are trying to drag me in all the time.[379] I am counseling them to hold themselves passively, but I do not feel like writing letters to them.

... As to me—my back is better. There is living with us, an interesting and live Frenchman, Sinet,—the first religious Frenchman.[380] There is very much that I ought to write out. Have been in a very bad mood; now all right.

Feb. 22. Moscow.

June 26. Yasnaya Polyana.

Four months that I have made no entries. I will not say I have lived badly all this time. I have worked and am working diligently on Resurrection. There is much that is good, there is that, in the name of which I write. During these days I have been gravely ill; now well....

Difficult relations because of the printing and translating of Resurrection,[381] but most of the time am calm.

Neglected correspondence. They continue sending money for the famine-stricken, but I can[271] do nothing else but send it to them through the post.[382] Kolichka is with me helping me in the work.


I continue to write out from my note-book:

14) Nearing the place of destination, one thinks more and more often of that place to which one is nearing. Thus also while nearing death, the change of destination.

15) Only always to remember that there is no other meaning in life, no other way of finding the joy of life, but through fulfilling His will. And how peacefully and joyously one could live!

16) In time of illness, to fulfill His will by preparing oneself for the going over into another form.

17) It seems to us that the real labor is the labor on something external: to make, to collect something; property, houses, cattle, fruit; but to labor on one’s own soul—that is just fantasy. And yet every other labor except on one’s own soul, the enlarging of the habits of good, every other labor is a bagatelle.

18) They do not obey God, but adore Him. It is better not to adore, but to obey.

19) No matter what the work you are doing, be always ready to drop it. And plan it, so as to be able to leave it.

20) The machine ... is a terrible machine.[272] If we would have clearly understood its danger, we would never have permitted it to be formed.

21) It seems strange and immoral that a writer, an artist, seeing the suffering of people, sympathizes less than he observes, in order to reproduce this suffering. But that is not immoral. The suffering of one personality is an insignificant thing in comparison with that spiritual effect, if it is a good one, which a work of art will produce.

22) Humanity, it is an enormous animal who seeks and cannot find what it needs. Very slowly, sensations call forth emotions, and emotions are transmitted to the brain and the brain calls forth acts. The activity of the liberals, Socialists, revolutionaries, are attempts to galvanize, to compel the animal to act by arousing its motor nerves and muscles. But there is one organ which does everything when it is not impaired; in the animal it is the brain, in the people, religion.

23) I am depressed and I ask God to help me. But my work is to serve God and not that He should serve me.

24) An individual, personal life is an illusion. There is no such life; there is only function, a tool, for something.

25) ... is vestigial, having no application, like the appendix.

26) We complain at our depressed spirits, but[273] they are necessary. Man cannot stay on that height to which he sometimes rises; but man rises and then hypnotizes himself for the time of his depression and in the time of his depression he already acts from the view-point that was disclosed to him in the moment of rising. If only to know how to make use of those moments of rising and to know how to hypnotize oneself!

27) The evil of the world, its cause is very simple. Every one seeks midi à quatorze heures—now in the economic system, now in the political. I just now read the discussions in the German parliament, on how to keep the peasants from running to the cities. But the solution of all problems is one and no one recognizes it and it does not even seem to be of interest to them. But the solution is one, clear and undoubted: ... The salvation is one: the destruction of false teaching.

28) The difference between people: N thinks about death, and that does not lead him farther than the question of how and to whom he should leave his money, where and how be buried. And Pascal also thinks about death.

29) ...

30) There is no future. It is made by us.

31) The infinity of time and space is not a sign of the greatness of the human mind, but on the contrary, it is a sign of its incompleteness, of its inevitable falsity.


32) We think of the future, we build it; but nothing future is important, because the important thing is to do the creative work of love, which can be done under every possible condition; and therefore it is altogether indifferent, what the future will be.

33) We get angry at circumstances, are pained, wish to change them, but all possible circumstances are nothing else than indications as to how to act in different spheres. If you are in need, you must work, if in prison—think, and if in wealth, free yourself ... etc.

It is just like a horse getting angry with the road on which he is being led.

34) The press—that is a lie: with a vengeance.[383]

35) Everything is divided. Only God unites us, living in everything. That is why He is love.

36) The conception of God to a religious man, is continuously destroyed and being replaced by a new, higher conception.

37) ...—is not only the loss of labor, of lives, but the loss of the good.

38) With many people it is possible to live only when you treat them as you would a horse: not to take them into consideration, not reproaching them, not suggesting, but only finding a modus vivendi. It is about them: “Not to cast pearls”[275] ... It is terrible, but without this rule, it would be worse.

39) Is it possible to imagine to oneself a Socialist working-man with faith in the Iversk Icon? Then, first of all, there must be a religious emancipation.

40) We are all agreed that only he is free who has overcome passion, and yet knowing this, we seriously trouble ourselves with the freeing of people who are full of passions.

41) A rational conviction can never be complete. A full conviction can only be irrational, especially with women.

42) Answer good for evil and you destroy in an evil man all pleasure which he receives from evil.

43) God is love. We know God only in love, which unites everything. You know God in yourself through the striving towards this union.

44) One continually thinks that the good will be good for him. But the good is, or it is not—it is not something that will be.

45) The important thing lies in thoughts. Thoughts are the beginning of everything. And thoughts can be directed. And therefore the principal task of perfection is—to work on thoughts.

June 27. If I live. Y. P.


To-day July 4th. Y. P.

All this time I have been ill with my usual stomach sickness. The work which absorbed me very much, has stopped.

Christ as a myth;[384] and Kenworthy’s book, a rational exposition of the life of Christ. The first is better. There is need of a philosophy of moral economy, i.e., of religious truth. There is such a thing.

I have had many good thoughts, being ill and nearing death. I think often with pain of brother S.

I have noted down the 4th:

1) The government destroys faith, but faith is necessary. Some violating themselves believe in the miraculous, in the absurd; others in science. But in which? In the contemporary. But in the contemporary, there is 99/100 of lie and error. In every contemporary science there are lies. Truth revealed by God is of course the right, it is religion; and truth obtained by the reason of man, by science, is also of course, the right. But the matter lies in recognizing what is discovered by God and what has been gained by human reason.

2) Death is the destruction of those organs by means of which I perceive the world as it appears in this life; it is the destruction of that glass through which I looked and a change to another.

3) Educated people using their education not[277] for the enlightenment and freeing of the working-classes, but for befogging them, are like workers using their strength not for sustaining life but for destroying it. These are the intellectual Pugachevs, Stenka Razins, only a thousand times more dangerous.

July 5. Y. P. If I live.

To-day September 28. Y. P.

Have worked all the time on Resurrection; now I have stumbled on the third part. It is long since I have made no progress.

... I have wrought for myself a calm which is not to be disturbed: not to speak and to know that this is necessary; that it is under these conditions one ought to live.

There are here Ilya, Sonya[385] with the children, Andrusha with his wife, Masha with her husband.

I am thinking more and more often about the philosophic definition of space and time. To-day, if I have time, I am going to write it out.

I read an interesting book about Christ never having been, that it was a myth.[386] The probabilities that it is right—there are as many for it, as there are against.

Yesterday with the help of Masha I answered all the letters; many remained unanswered. I am still ill; rarely a day without pain. I am dissatisfied[278] with myself, also morally. I have let myself go very much—I do not work physically and I am occupied with myself, with my health. How difficult it is to bear sickness resignedly, to go unto death without resistance—and one must.

I have been thinking during this time:

1) Women demanding for themselves the work of man and the same freedom, mostly demand for themselves unconsciously the freedom for license, and as a result go down much lower than the family, though aiming to stand higher than it.

2) What is this memory which makes from me one being, from childhood unto death? What is this faculty connecting separate beings in time, into one? One ought to ask not what is it that unites, but what divides, these beings. The faculty of time divides, beyond which I cannot see myself. I am one indivisible being from birth until death; but to manifest and to know myself, I must do so in time. I am now such as I was and will be; but one who had to and even will manifest myself and know myself in time. I have to manifest myself and know myself in time—for communion with other beings and for influencing them.

3) I plucked a flower and threw it away. There were so many of them, it was no pity. We do not value these inimitable beauties of living beings and destroy them, having no pity not only for[279] plants, but for animals, human people. There are so many of them. Culture, civilization, is nothing else than the ruin of these beauties and the replacing them ... with what? The saloon, the theater ...

4) They reproach you with malice, debauchery, lies, thefts, bring proof, etc. What is to be done? Answer the question with What time is it? Are you going to take a swim? Have you seen N N, etc. That is the best and only means of bearing these accusations and even clearing them up.

5) The dearest thing on earth is the good relation between people; but the establishment of these relations is not the result of conversation—on the contrary, they become spoiled by conversation. Speak as little as possible, and especially with those people with whom you want to be in good relation.

6) In eating, I destroy the limits between myself and other beings; creating children, I do almost the same thing. The results of the destruction of material limits are visible; the results of the destruction of the spiritual limits and the union resulting from this are invisible, only because they are broader.

7) “People are divided (divided from other beings), and this appears to them as space. The fact that they are inseparable in essence appears to them as time.” That is the way I have noted[280] it. Space divides, time unites. But this is untrue. Both time and space are dividers and they form the impossibility of realizing unity. (Unclear, but I understand. I will make it clear later.)

8) Brotherhood is natural, proper to people. Non-brotherhood, divisions, are carefully nurtured.

9) Sometimes one feels like complaining childishly to some one (to God), to beg for help. Is this feeling good? It is not good: it is a weakness, a lack of faith. That which more than anything resembles faith—the beseeching prayer, is in truth a lack of faith—a lack of faith that there is no evil, that there is nothing to ask for, that if things are going badly with you, then it only demonstrates that you ought to improve yourself, and that there is going on, that very thing which ought to be, and under which you ought to do that which has to be done.

10) Just now I wrote this coldly, understanding with difficulty that state in which you wish to live for God alone, and I see through this how there are people who absolutely never understand this, not knowing any other kind of life besides the worldly, for people. I know this state, but cannot just now call it up in myself, but only remember it.

11) Everything which lives without consciousness,[281] as I live when I sleep, as I lived in the womb of my mother, lives not materially, i.e., not knowing matter, but lives. But life is something spiritual. Endeavoring to remember my state before consciousness, on the threshold of consciousness, I know only the feeling of depression, satisfaction, pleasure, suffering, but there is no conception of my body or of another’s. The conception of body (matter) manifests itself only when consciousness is manifested. The conception of body manifests itself only, because consciousness gives understanding of the presence in one’s self of the basis of everything (spiritual). And at the same time, as I know that I am the basis of everything, I know also that I am not the whole basis, but a part of it. And it is this being a part of a whole, these limits separating me from the whole, I know through my body: through my own body and the bodies surrounding me.

12) If you desire something, if you are afraid of something, that means that you do not believe in that God of love which is in you. If you had believed in Him, then you could not have wanted anything or have been afraid, because all desires of that God which lives in you are being always fulfilled, because God is all-powerful; and you would never have been afraid, because for God there is nothing terrible.

13) Not to think that you know in what the[282] will of God really lies, but to be humble; and then you will be loving. And the will of God in relation to you, lies only in this.

14) People convincing others that reason cannot be the guide of life are those in whom reason is so perverted, that they clearly see that they have been led into a swamp.

15) The only instance where a man can and ought to occupy himself with himself, is when he feels unhappy. Unhappiness is the best condition for perfection, the ascent to the higher steps. Unhappiness is a sign of one’s own imperfection. One ought to rejoice at these instances: it is the preparation of one’s self for work, a spiritual food.

16) Now I am an ordinary man, L. N. (Tolstoi), and animal, and now I am the messenger of God. I am all the time the same man, but now I am the public and now I am the judge himself with the chain, fulfilling the highest responsibilities. One must put on the chain more often.

Latterly I have got out of the habit, have weakened. I have only just now remembered.

17) Man is a being beyond time and beyond space who is conscious of himself in the conditions of space and time.

18) Games, cards, women, races, are alluring because they have been thought out for the blasés. It is not for nothing that the wise teachers have[283] forbidden them. Artificial play is corrupting. They are needed for the blasé, but the simple working people need the very simplest plays without preparation.

19) Only then will you produce true love, when you will resist offense, overcome offense with love, will love your enemy.

20) They desire, they are excited, they suffer only for trifles or for bad things. The good things are accomplished without excitement. It is from this that the word heart means malice. (Serdit, to get angry, to put into a passion, comes from sertse, the heart.—Translator’s note.)

To-day Oct. 2. Y. P.

I am still ill,—I am not suffering, but I feel threatened constantly. Morally I am better—I remember God in myself more often, and death. It seems to me I have come out of the difficult place in Resurrection.... Kolichka went away. Sonya arrived—she is ill.

I am continuing to write out from the notebooks:

1) I have made this note: Space comes from the consciousness of limits, from the consciousness of one’s own separateness; I am one, and the world is another. And in the world are similar beings with limits: 2, 3, 4, ... to infinity.

These beings can find place only in space.[284] From the consciousness of limits comes also time. I have thought this out again and can express it in this way: Separateness, the non-all-comprehensiveness of our selves, is expressed in recognizing a part of moving matter as ourselves. The part of matter which we recognize as ourselves gives us an understanding of space; that part of motion which we recognize as ourselves gives us a conception of time.

Or, in other words: We cannot imagine a part of matter in any other way than in space. To imagine a part of motion, we cannot in any other way than in time. Space comes from the impossibility of imagining two or many objects beyond time. Time comes from the impossibility of imagining two, many objects beyond space. Space is the possibility of representing to one’s self two, many objects at one and the same time. Time is the possibility of representing to one’s self two, many objects, in one and the same space (one goes out, the other enters).

Divisions cannot be in one space, without time. If there were no time (motion) all objects in space would be unmoving and they would form not many objects, but one space, undivided and filled with matter. If there were no space, there could be no motion and our “self” would not be separated by anything from all the rest. My body understood by me as my “self,” and[285] understanding all the rest, is that part of matter which moves for a definite time and occupies a definite space.

(Not good, unclear, perhaps even untrue.)

2) Anarchy does not mean the absence of institutions, but only the absence of those institutions to which people are compelled to submit by force, but those institutions to which people submit themselves voluntarily, rationally. It seems to me that otherwise there cannot be established and ought not to be, a society of beings endowed with reason.

3) “Why is it that after sin, suffering does not follow that person who committed the sin? Then he would see what ought not to be done”—because people live not separately but in society and if every one suffered from the sin of each one, then every one would have to resist it.

4) Conscience is the memory of society assimilated by separate individuals.

5) In old age you experience the same thing as on a journey. At first your thoughts are on that place from which you are going, then on the journey itself, and then on the place to which you are going.

I experience this more and more often, thinking of death.

6) It is true that a great sin might be beneficial, by calling forth repentance before God, independently[286] from human judgment. Such a sin leads one away from the realm of human judgment, from vanity, which masters man and hides from him his relation to God.[387]

7) The physical growth is only a preparation of material for spiritual work, the service to God and man which begins with the withering of the body.

To-day Oct. 13. Y. P.

I am still not fully well. It is as it ought to be. But that does not hinder from living, thinking and moving towards a fixed goal. Resurrection advances poorly. Have sent away four chapters, I think not passable by the censor, but at least I think I have settled on one point, and that I won’t make any more great important changes. I do not cease thinking of brother Sergei, but because of the weather and ill health I cannot make up my mind to go.... Sonya was in Moscow and is going again to-day. To-day I had a kind of intellectual idleness, not only to-day, but all these latter days. For Resurrection I have thought out good scenes. Concerning separateness which appears to us as matter in space and movement in time, I am thinking more and more often and more and more clearly.

I have also received Westrup’s pamphlets from America about the money,[388] which struck me by[287] explaining everything that was unclear in financial questions and reducing everything as it ought to be, to violence.... If I get time I will write it out. I have another important, joyous thought, although an old one, but which came to me as a new one and which makes me very happy, namely:

1) The principal cause of family unhappiness—is because people are brought up to think that marriage gives happiness. Sex attraction induces to marriage and it takes the form of a promise, a hope, for happiness, which is supported by public opinion and literature; but marriage is not happiness, but always suffering, which man pays for the satisfaction of his sex desire. Suffering in the form of lack of freedom, slavery, over-satiety, disgust of all kinds of spiritual and physical defects of the mate which one has to bear; maliciousness, stupidity, falsity, vanity, drunkenness, laziness, miserliness, greed and corruption—all defects which are especially difficult to bear when not in oneself but in another person, and from which one suffers as if they were one’s own; and the same with physical defects: ugliness, uncleanliness, stench, sores, insanity, etc., which are even more difficult to bear when not in oneself. All this, or at least something of this, will always be and to bear them will be difficult for every one. But that which ought to compensate: the care, satisfaction,[288] aid, all these things are taken as a matter of course; while all defects as if they were not a matter of course, and the more one expected happiness from marriage the more one suffers.

The principal cause of this suffering, is that one expects that which does not happen, and does not expect that which always happens. And therefore escape from this suffering is only by not expecting joys, but by expecting the bad, being prepared to bear them. If you expect all that which is described in the beginning of “The Thousand and One Nights,” if you expect drunkenness, stench, disgusting diseases—then obstinacy, untruthfulness, even drunkenness, can, if not exactly be forgiven, at least be a matter of no suffering and one can rejoice that there is absent that which might have been, that which is described in “The Thousand and One Nights”: that there is no insanity, cancer, etc. And then everything that is good will be appreciated.

But is it not in this, that the principal means of happiness in general lie? And is it not therefore that people are so often unhappy, especially the rich ones? Instead of recognizing oneself in the condition of a slave who has to labor for himself and for others, and to labor in the way that the master wishes, people imagine that every kind of pleasure awaits them, that their whole work lies in enjoying them. How not be unhappy under[289] this circumstance? Then everything: work and obstacles and illnesses—the necessary conditions of life—appear as unexpected, terrible calamities. The poor, therefore, are less often unhappy: they know beforehand that before them lie labor, struggle, obstacles, and therefore they appreciate everything which gives them joy. But the rich, expecting only joys, see a calamity in every obstacle, and do not notice and do not appreciate those goods which they are enjoying. “Blessed be the poor, for they shall be comforted; the hungry, for they shall be fed; and woe unto ye, the rich.”

Oct. 14. Y. P. If I live.

Oct. 27. Y. P.

We are living alone: ... Olga,[389] Andrusha, Julie[390] and Andrei Dmitrievich.[391] Everything is all right, but I am often indisposed: there are more ill days than healthy ones and therefore I write little. Sent off 19 chapters,[392] very much unfinished. I am working on the end.

I have thought much, and perhaps well:

1) About the freedom of the will, simply: Man is free in everything spiritual, in love: he can love or not love, more and less. In everything remaining he is not free, consequently in everything material. Man can direct and not direct his strength towards the service of God. In[290] this one thing (but it is an enormous thing), he is free: he can pull or be driven.

2) ... of the workers, prostitution and many other things, all this is a necessary, inevitable consequence and condition of the pagan order of life in which we live, and to change either one or many of these, is impossible. What is to be done? Change the very order of this life, that on which it stands. How? By this, in the first place, by not taking part in this order, in that which supports it ... etc. And, second, to do that in which man alone is absolutely free: to change selfishness in his soul and everything which flows from it: malice, greed, violence, and everything else by love and by all that which flows from it: reasonableness, humility, kindness and the rest. It is impossible to turn back the wheel of a machine by force,—they are all bound together with cogs and other wheels—but to let the steam go which will move them or not let it go is easy; thus it is terribly difficult to change the very outer conditions of life, but to be good or bad is easy. But this being good or evil changes all the outer conditions of life.

3) Our life is the freeing of the enclosed—the expansion of the limits in which the illimitable principle acts. This expansion of the limits appears to us as matter in motion. The limit of expansion in space appears to us as matter. That[291] part of matter which we recognize as ourselves we call our body; the other part we call the world. The limit of expansion in time we call motion. That part of motion which we recognize as ourselves we call our life; the other part we call the life of the world. All of life is the expansion of these limits, the being freed from them.

(All unclear, inexact.)

Nov. 20. Moscow.

Much I have not written out. I am in Moscow.... For 70 years I have been lowering and lowering my opinion of women and still it has to be lowered more and more. The woman question! How can there not be a woman question? Only not in this, how women should begin to direct life, but in this, how they should stop ruining it.

All morning I have not been writing and have been thinking two things:

1) We speak of the end of life—although it is true, not the one which we understand, but the one which would be understood by the highest reason. The purpose is just the same as the cause. The cause is looking backward, the purpose is looking forward, but the cause, the conception of the cause (and therefore of an end) appears only then when there is time, i.e., a being is limited in his conceptions by time. And therefore for God,[292] and for man living a Godly life, there is no purpose. There is life in which consciousness grows (?[393]) and that is all.

2) A drop fuzing with a great drop, a pool, ceases to be and begins to be.

To-day December 18. Moscow.

Almost a month I have not written. Have been severely ill.[394] Had acute pain for one day, then a respite, and weakness. And death became more than natural, almost desirable. And so it has remained now, when I am getting well—that is a new, joyous step.

Finished Resurrection. Not good, uncorrected, hurried; but it has fallen from me and I am no longer interested. Serezha is here, Masha and her husband, Maria Alexandrovna.

I am all right. Have not yet begun to write anything. More than anything I am occupied with             ,[395] but I have no desire for anything very much, am resting. Wrote letters.

I am attempting to write out my notes:

1) (Trifles) about many-voiced music. It is necessary that the voice say something, but here there are many voices and each one says nothing.

2) One of the principal causes of evil in our life is the faith cultivated in our Christian world, the faith in the crude Hebrew personal God, when the principal sign (if one can express it so) of[293] God is that he is not limited, by anything, consequently not personal.

3) One should conquer death—not death, but the fear of death coming from a lack of understanding of life. If only you understand life and its necessarily good purpose—death—then you cease to fear it, to resist it. And when you cease to fear it, you cease to serve yourself, a mortal, and you will serve an immortal: God, from whom you came and to whom you are going.

4) Matter is everything which is accessible to our senses. Science forces us to suppose matter inaccessible to our senses. In this realm, there can be beings composed of that matter and perceiving it, matter inaccessible to our senses. I do not think that there are such beings; I only think that our matter and our senses perceiving it, are only one of innumerable[396] possibilities of life.

5) “I am a slave, I am a worm, I am a Czar, I am a God.”[397] Slave and worm true, but Czar and God untrue. It is in vain that people attribute a special significance and greatness to his reason. The limits of human reason are very narrow and are seen at once. These limits are the infinity of space and time. Man sees the final answers to the questions he asks himself, recede and recede in time and also in space, and in both these realms.

6) I read about Englehardt’s book: Evolution, the Progress of Cruelty.[398] I think that here[294] there is a great deal of truth. Cruelty has increased mainly because division of labor has been brought to pass, which assists the increase of the material wealth of man. Every one speaks of the benefits of the division of labor, not seeing that the inevitable condition of the division of labor, besides the mechanizing of man, is also the removing of those conditions which call forth a human, moral communion between people. If we are doing the same work, as agricultural laborers, then naturally there would be established between us an exchange of service, a mutual aid, but between the shepherd and the factory-weaver, there can be no communion.

(This seems untrue; I shall think it over.)

7) What would God’s attitude be towards prayer, if there were such a God to whom one could pray? Just the same as would be the attitude of the owner of a house where water had been introduced and to whom the inhabitants would come to ask for water. The water has been introduced. You have only to turn the tap. In the same way everything has been prepared for men which is necessary to them, and God is not at fault that instead of making use of the clean water which was there, some of the tenants carry water from a stagnant pond, others fall into despair from lack of water and beg for that which had been given them in such abundance.


8) ...

9) One can by personal experience verify the truth, that God, a part of Whom is my own self, is love, and by the experimental way convince one’s self of this truth. As soon as love is violated, life ends. There is no desire to do anything, everything is depressing, and on the contrary, as soon as love is restored, as soon as you have made peace with those whom you quarreled, forgiven, received forgiveness—then you wish to live, to act, everything seems easy and possible.

10) It would be good to express even in approximate numbers and then graphically, that quantity of labor, of working days, which rich people use up in their lives. Approximately more or less, this could be expressed by money. If I spend 10 rubles a day, that means that 20 men are working constantly for me. (Unclear, not what I want to say.)

11) They generally say: “That is very deep, and therefore not to be fully understood.” This is untrue. On the contrary. Everything that is deep is clear to transparency. Just as water is murky on top, but the deeper it is, the more transparent.

12) One small part of people, about 20 per cent., is insane by itself, possessed by a mania of egoism, which reaches to the point of concentration of all spiritual strengths on oneself; another,[296] the greater part, almost 80 per cent., is hypnotized by the scientific, by the artistic ... and principally ... hypnotism, and also does not make use of its reason. Therefore progress in the world is always attained by the insane possessed by the same kind of insanity by which the majority is possessed.

13) I experience the feeling of peace, of satisfaction, when I am ill, when there takes place in me the destruction of the limits of my personality. As soon as I get well I experience the opposite: restlessness, dissatisfaction. Are these not obvious signs that the destruction of the limits of personality in this world, is the entrance of life into new limits?

I have finished.

December 19. Moscow. If I live.

To-day December 20. Moscow.

My health is not good. My spiritual condition is good, ready for death. In the evenings there are many people. I tire. In number 51,[399] Resurrection did not appear and I was sorry. This is bad.

I thought out a philosophic definition of life. To-day I thought well about The Coupon.[400] Perhaps I shall write it out.


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November 30, 1916 :
1899 -- Publication.

February 19, 2017 17:15:26 :
1899 -- Added to

March 19, 2019 13:29:48 :
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