To tell the truth is the same as to be a good tailor, or to be a good farmer, or to write beautifully. To be good at any activity requires practice: no matter how hard you try, you cannot do naturally what you have not done repeatedly. In order to get accustomed to speaking the truth, you should tell only the truth, even in the smallest of things.
He who has a mistaken idea of life, will always have a mistaken idea of death.
The government in which I believe is that which is based on mere moral sanction … the real law lives in the kindness of our hearts. If our hearts are empty, no law or political reform can fill them.
I am sure that nothing has such a decisive influence upon a man’s course as his personal appearance, and not so much his appearance as his belief in its attractiveness or unattractiveness.
I am convinced that the teaching of the church is in theory a crafty and evil lie, and in practice a concoction of gross superstition and witchcraft
The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience … not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.
History would be an excellent thing if only it were true.
The only thing that we know is that we know nothing and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.
A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator the smaller the fraction.
Topics: Thoughts, Thinking, Thought
Remember then: there is only one time that is important—Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.
Topics: The Present
Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.
If a man earnestly seeks a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from animal food.
Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.
Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man’s life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible.
The subject of history is the life of peoples and of humanity. To catch and pin down in words—that is, to describe directly the life, not only of humanity, but even of a single people, appears to be impossible.
It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
The earth is the general and equal possession of all humanity and therefore cannot be the property of individuals.
There is one evident, indubitable manifestation of the Divinity, and that is the laws of right which are made known to the world through Revelation.
Though it is possible to utter words only with the intention to fulfill the will of God, it is very difficult not to think about the impression which they will produce on men and not to form them accordingly. But deeds you can do quite unknown to men, only for God. And such deeds are the greatest joy that a man can experience.
Topics: Goodness, Good Deeds, Deeds
Patriotism in its simplest, clearest and most indubitable signification is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason, conscience, and a slavish enthrallment to those in power.
Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.
Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us
We should show life neither as it is nor as it ought to be, but only as we see it in our dreams.
In historic events, the so-called great men are labels giving names to events, and like labels they have but the smallest connection with the event itself. Every act of theirs, which appears to them an act of their own will, is in an historical sense involuntary and is related to the whole course of history and predestined from eternity.
Topics: Greatness & Great Things, Greatness
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky Russian Novelist
- Anton Chekhov Russian Short Story Writer
- Maxim Gorky Russian Writer
- Vladimir Nabokov Russian-born American Novelist
- Konstantin Stanislavski Russian Actor
- Nikolai Berdyaev Russian Christian Philosopher
- Anna Pavlova Russian Ballerina
- Nikita Khrushchev Russian Head of State
- Catherine II of Russia Russian Empress
- Sophie Swetchine Russian Mystic, Writer