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|Quotations by Leo Tolstoy|
|Admitting the falsity of our conclusions - I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.|
To get power and retain it - In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning, and cruelty.
Thinkings about changing the world - Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks about changing himself.
Freethinkers are those who are. . . - Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking.
The impulse to seek cause is innate. - The combination of phenomena is beyond the grasp of the human intellect. But the impulse to seek cause is innate in the soul of man. And the human intellect, with no inkling of the immense variety and complexity of circumstances conditioning a phenomenon, any one of which may be separately conceived as the cause of it, snatches at the first and most easily understood approximation, and says here is the cause.
A quiet secluded life in the country - A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor -- such is my idea of happiness.
A good army commander - Not only does a good army commander not need any special qualities, on the contrary he needs the absence of the highest and best human attributes -- love, poetry, tenderness, and philosophic inquiring doubt. He should be limited, firmly convinced that what he is doing is very important (otherwise he will not have sufficient patience), and only then will he be a brave leader. God forbid that he should be humane, should love, or pity, or think of what is just and unjust.
Bodies are machines for living - Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself, it will do more than if you paralyze it by encumbering it with remedies.
Sympathy for whom you hinder - I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his load by all possible means -- except by getting off his back.
Good but incomprehensible artwork - To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.
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