If people lacked the capacity to receive the thoughts of the men who preceded them and to pass on to others their own thoughts, men would be like wild beasts. And if men lacked this other capacity of being infected by art, people would be almost more savage still, and, above all, more separated from and more hostile to one another. Therefore the activity of art is a most important one, as important as the activity of speech itself and as generally diffused.
Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is all the very nature of the soul. Love is life. All, all that I understand, I understand only because of love. All is bound up in love alone. Love is God and dying means for me a particle of love, to go back to the universal and eternal source of love.
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At one time,' Golenishchev continued, either not observing or not willing to observe that both Anna and Vronsky wanted to speak, 'at one time a freethinker was a man who had been brought up in the conception of religion, law, and morality, who reached freethought only after conflict and difficulty. But now a new type of born freethinkers has appeared, who grow up without so much as hearing that there used to be laws of morality, or religion, that authorities existed. They grow up in ideas of negation in everything - in other words, utter savages.
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At the approach of danger two voices speak with equal force in the heart of man: one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it and the other, even more reasonable, says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger... better to turn aside from the painful subject till it has come, and to think of what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second.
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But she did not take her eyes from the wheels of the second car. And exactly at the moment when the midpoint between the wheels drew level with her, she threw away the red bag, and drawing her head back into her shoulders, fell on her hands under the car, and with a light movement, as though she would rise immediately, dropped on her knees. And at the instant she was terror-stricken at what she was doing. 'Where am I? What am I doing? What for?' She tried to get up, to throw herself back; but something huge and merciless struck her on the head and dragged her down on her back.
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The idea, shared by many, that life is a vale of tears, is just as false as the idea shared by the great majority, the idea to which youth and health and riches incline you, that life is a place of entertainment. Life is a place of service, and in that service one has to suffer a great deal that is hard to bear, but more often to experience a great deal of joy. But that joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.
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Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man's emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.
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