The Christian Teaching

By Leo Tolstoy (1895)

Entry 10491

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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.)
• "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....)
• "Only by recognizing the land as just such an article of common possession as the sun and air will you be able, without bias and justly, to establish the ownership of land among all men, according to any of the existing projects or according to some new project composed or chosen by you in common." (From: "To the Working People," by Leo Tolstoy, Yasnaya P....)
• "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,....)

Chapters

8 Chapters | 27,273 Words | 162,858 Characters

I have lived until the age of fifty, thinking that that the life of a human, which occupies the time between his birth and death, is all his life; and that therefore the goal of a human is his happiness in this mortal life. So I tried to find this happiness. But the longer I lived, the more evident it became to me that this happiness does not and cannot exist. That happiness which I was looking for I could not reach, yet that one which I gained, immediately ceased to be happiness. More and more misfortunes have happened, and the inevitability of death became more and more obvious to me. And I understood that after this meaningless and unhappy life, nothing waits for me but suffering, illness, old age and annihilation. I asked myself, &lsqu... (From: Wikisource.org.)
1. Ancient teachings 1. People always, from the earliest times, have felt the misery, instability, and meaningless of their existence, and looked for salvation from the misery, instability, and meaningless in belief in God or Gods who would rescue them from various calamities in this and after life and give them the well-being they desired yet couldn’t obtain in this life. 2. Therefore, from the ancient times among different nations there were different preachers who taught people about what the God or Gods are who can save people, and about what they need to do to please the God or Gods in order to get the reward in this or future life. 3. Some religious teachings taught that God is the Sun personified in various animals; other... (From: Wikisource.org.)
1. In order to fulfill his destiny, human must increase love within himself and manifest it in the world; and this increase and manifestation of love in the world is what is necessary to accomplish the work of God. But what a human can do to manifest love? 2. The foundation of a person’s true life is the desire for the well-being of all existing. Love in a person is enclosed within the limits of a separate being, and therefore it is naturally tends to expand those limits; so a person does not need to do anything to manifest love, it strives for its own manifestation; a person only needs to remove obstacles to its progression. What are these obstacles? 3. The obstacles that make it difficult for a person to manifest love are in the h... (From: Wikisource.org.)
1. The devastating effects of the sins for individuals committing them, as well as for society among which the sins are committed, are so obvious that since ancient times people saw that sins lead to disasters, they preached and published laws against sins, and punished for them: forbade to steal, kill, debauch, smear, drink; but, despite the prohibition and executions, people continued and continue to sin, ruining their life and lives of those close to them. 2. This is happening because of such false justifications according to which there exceptional circumstances in which sins are not only forgivable but necessary. These false justifications are what is called temptations. 3. Temptation in Greek means a trap, a snare. Indeed, temptatio... (From: Wikisource.org.)
1. If it were not for temptations, people would not continue to live in sins, since every sin punishes itself: people of previous generations would point to their descendants on the destructiveness of sins, and subsequent generations would be raised without falling into habit of sin. 2. But a human has used given to him reason not to learn from sin in order to get rid of it but to justify it; and temptation has appeared, and sin is legalized and rooted. 3. But how could a person with awakened reason take lies for truth? In order for a person not to see a lie and take it for truth, his mind must be perverted, because not perverted mind accurately distinguishes lies from truth, and this is its purpose. 4. Indeed, the mind of people raised ... (From: Wikisource.org.)
1. Having freed himself from religious deceptions, a person would be able to comprehend the teachings of Christ if it weren't for temptations. But – even being free of religious deception and having understood the meaning of the teaching of Christ, the human is always in danger of falling into temptations. 2. The essence of all temptations is that a person, awakened to consciousness, experiences splitting and suffering because of the committed sin, and wants to destroy the splitting and the suffering following it, not by conquering the sin but by justifying it. 3. And the justification of a sin can't be anything but a lie. 4. And therefore, to avoid falling into a temptation, a person, first and foremost, needs not to be afraid to ... (From: Wikisource.org.)
1. But, having freed himself from religious deception and escaped temptations, a human still falls into sins. A person with awakened consciousness knows that the meaning of his life is only in serving God, and yet he commits sins out of habit, impeding both the manifestation of love and the attainment of true well-being. 2. How can a person battle a sinful habit? 3. There are two means of battling sinful habits: first, to clearly understand the consequences of sins - that sins do not bring the purpose for which they are committed, and do not increase but rather decrease the animal well-being of the separate individual; secondly, to know which sins a human must begin to deal with, i.e. which to handle first, and which - after. 4. And ther... (From: Wikisource.org.)
1. In order to not to fall into deception, you must trust no one and nothing but only your reason; in order not to fall into temptation, you must not justify the actions that are contrary to truth, to life; in order not to fall into sin, you should clearly recognize that sin is an evil and deprives human of not only his true well-being, but also of his personal well-being and produces evil in people; and, moreover, you need to know the consecutive order in which you need to combat sins. 2. But people know that and still fall into sins. This happens because people don't know clear enough who they really are, what constitutes their true "self", or forget about it. 3. And in order to get to know yourself more and more, clearer and clearer, a... (From: Wikisource.org.)

Chronology

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1895
The Christian Teaching — Publication.

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July 13, 2021; 5:46:23 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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February 20, 2022; 6:49:45 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Updated on https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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