Friday, January 7, 2011

Interesting Quotes from Leo Tolstoy

 I'm taking a lot of comfort from the writings of Leo Tolstoy, one of the greatest writers in our history.. I try to read something by him every night. (He has a book called Wise Thoughts for Every Day.) Gandhi was greatly influenced by him. Dr. King  practiced Gandhi's teaching as he describes them in Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Tolstoy respected all expressions of faith, and he incorporated them in his writing. He quotes the Koran, the Talmud, the Upanishads, Schopenhauer, along with his Russian Orthodox Bible. He understands the games we all play, and calls us on our bullshit. I'd like to share a few:

"To get rid of an enemy one must love him. "




"Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed. " from Anna Karenina


"To get rid of an enemy one must love him. "


"We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom."  from War and Peace. (This quote evokes the Upanishads and the Daodejing.)


“Let us forgive each other - only then will we live in peace” 

Which one do you like the best? Which one is silly to you?

9 comments:

  1. "To get rid of an enemy one must love him. "

    Also, I like the notion that when a person changes himself or his mind, he changesd everything.

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  2. Hello CV - long time, no see.
    Life has changed for many recently and seems we are all looking at dealing with it in new ways.
    Although still not accepting the BS thrown at us daily, one must fight it when those around you help continue to perpetuate it ; (
    Sorry to hear about "stuff" but glad to hear you are on the mend!
    Cheers!

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  3. Tinkerbell: Tolstoy is right about that one--the enemies, but I know I am unable to do that one on my own--they are called enemies for a reason. Something has to shift in me and that is where your other comment is so applicable. I really like that one quote from Anna K.

    Coffee! Dude, so good to see you. I will link you.

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  4. "To get rid of an enemy one must love him. "
    practically almost impossible...or, atleast, i've not sen anyone with this quality.

    I liked these two-
    "We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom."
    “Let us forgive each other - only then will we live in peace”

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  5. Hari, I think you need God to help you do that--I know there are some people I don't have the strength to forgive. But it did make me look up the definition of forgiveness.

    I like the one about the soul. I also like his relationship to truth. He writes a lot about that in his later works.

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  6. You quoted a Russian intellectual. YOU COMMIE TRAITOR!!!

    My fav from the list is ""I am always with myself, and it is I who am my tormentor."
    I love the two toons you've used in this post too!

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  7. Thanks, SJ. Are the Russians still commies?
    That quote describes me all too well. John always tells me I'm too hard on myself.

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  8. this one has resonated with me for a long, long time

    "To get rid of an enemy one must love him. "

    and goes hand in glove with

    "Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them."


    take five plus two: gracefully in E flat

    an enemy is merely who
    bedevils one's own mind
    stirring up in turmoil'd flow
    emotion's cast off rind
    which getting caught, crosswise,
    is not for only painful hearts
    but ties into those stony views
    that keep these lives apart.

    a fonder touch so feather light
    bestowed upon my son
    turned philip to a treasured name
    from a former hated one.

    divorce may come to enmity
    when mouths tell only lies
    an old dead wedding date in tatters
    is now my daughter's birth surprise.

    Namaste

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  9. "Happiness does not depend on outward things"

    So simple, but undeniably true.

    Thanks for the link. :)

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