Shared Wisdom

Quotes from Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910), one of the greatest writers of all times (War and Peace and Anna Karenina are among his masterpieces), and also famous, among many others, for his advocacy against war and meat consumption, for giving up his fortune into helping others or to supporting the causes and ideals he believed in, and for his extensive search for answers when it comes to one’s life meaning and soul, through observation and reflection:

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“There are two ways by which you can understand the external world.

The first way is the crudest and surest: to understand the external world through the five senses. If this were the only way, then it would not instil in us an image of the world as we know it, but it would merely be one of meaningless chaos.

The other way is to get to know oneself through love for oneself and then, through this love, to get to know other living creatures and substances: people, animals, plants, rocks, heavenly bodies, and also, in the same way, the relationship of these beings and substances among themselves, and from these relationship to build up a picture of the world as we know it…”

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The sense of joy which arises from our feeling of pity and compassion for animals far outweigh any pleasure which otherwise might derive from hunting or eating of meat

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The highest race of animals, the human race,…ought to unite into one whole like a swarm of bees, …, it should strive towards continence and not towards inflaming desire – to which the whole system of life is now directed…

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“Although it appears mankind is occupied with such matters as trade, treaties, wars, the science and the arts, it is actually engaged in only one matter that is really important: to make clear the moral laws by which it lives. And such clarification is not only mankind’s most important concern, but the only one that it should be engaged in”

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The more people believe that some external force, working independently of their will, can bring change and improvement to their lives, the less likely it will be for such change and improvement to take place!

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“We are indissolubly spiritually linked not only with all people but with all living creatures!”

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“However low we have fallen, we can always keep the ideal in view, and set our sights on that!”

from Leo Tolstoy, “A Calendar of Wisdom

a Calendar of Wisdom

3 thoughts on “Shared Wisdom

  1. These words are illuminating: pearls of wisdom! I did not know this work by Tolstoi, but I loved War and Peace even if sometimes I “got lost” in a very complex and compelling story.
    I think that, on occasion, I will ask the public library in Locarno, if they have listed the Italian or French version…
    Thank you for your suggestion! Serene week 🙂 c

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Claudine, happy to hear from you! I hope all is good on your side! The wisdom quotes are compiled by Tolstoy himself, and includes more authors, most quite famous of their time. However, I am in process of hand-picking few quotes more relevant for today’s times and for the theme of my blog, as many others are rather religious, Tolstoy himself being a very religious man…Nevertheless is a great book to read, if time allows! Keep well! Warm regards! Dan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Dan, here all under control. Strict “social distancing” and allowing us enough time to meditate. This period is the time for considering to express ourselves with even more determination towards the protection of species, looking forward to getting anthropocentrism out of our “modus vivendi”.
        We need to strengthener our grip with knowledgeable authority to enable us to protect the species in danger… here, there, everywhere.
        The more we speak about it, the more people will consider it.
        Wet market abolishment, reduction of consumption of animal products, the abolishment of “slavering” of animals for human pleasure, and so on.
        It’s a battle against all odds. But there is much still to do, and we must join forces.
        Philosophy will help, for sure great minds speaking about the respect of all sentient beings, which is a good start. And even if, unfortunately, many will not understand since having not reached the “right vibration” (my way of determinate or categorize), they will anyhow receive some kind of “empowerment” into this matter.
        Hugs! Thank you, and you be safe! Claudine

        Liked by 1 person

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