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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It is horrible! It is not the suffering and the death of the animals that is horrible, but the fact that the man without any need for so doing crushes his lofty feeling of sympathy and mercy for living creatures and does violence to himself that he may be cruel. The first element of moral life is abstinence.
Every work of art causes the receiver to enter into a certain kind of relationship both with him who produced the art, and with all those who, simultaneously, previously, or subsequently, receive the same artistic impression. Art is a human activity- that one man consciously by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that others are touched by these feelings and also experience them.
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Real art, like the wife of an affectionate husband, needs no ornaments. But counterfeit art, like a prostitute, must always be decked out. The cause of production of real art is the artist's inner need to express a feeling that has accumulated...The cause of counterfeit art, as of prostitution, is gain. The consequence of true art is the introduction of a new feeling into the intercourse of life... The consequences of counterfeit art are the perversion of man, pleasure which never satisfies, and the weakening of man's spiritual strength.
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These loaves, pigeons, and two little boys seemed unearthly. It all happened at the same time: a little boy ran over to a pigeon, glancing over at Levin with a smile; the pigeon flapped its wings and fluttered, gleaming in the sunshine among the snowdust quivering in the air, while the smell of freshly baked bread was wafted out of a little window as the loaves were put out. All this together was so extraordinarily wonderful that Levin burst out laughing and crying for joy.
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War is like a game of chess ... but with this little difference, that in chess you may think over each move as long as you please and are not limited for time, and with this difference too, that a knight is always stronger than a pawn, and two pawns are always stronger than one, while in war a battalion is sometimes stronger than a division and sometimes weaker than a company. The relative strength of bodies of troops can never be known to anyone.... Success never depends, and never will depend, on position, or equipment, or even on numbers, and least of all on position.
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Memento mori-remember death! These are important words. If we kept in mind that we will soon inevitably die, our lives would be completely different. If a person knows that he will die in a half hour, he certainly will not bother doing trivial, stupid, or, especially, bad things during this half hour. Perhaps you have half a century before you die-what makes this any different from a half hour?
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I'll get angry in the same way with the coachman Ivan, argue in the same way, speak my mind inappropriately, there will be the same wall between my soul's holy of holies and other people, even my wife, I'll accuse her in the same way of my own fear and then regret it, I'll fail in the same way to understand with my reason why I pray, and yet I will pray--but my life now, my whole life, regardless of all that may happen to me, every minute of it, is not only not meaningless, as it was before, but has the unquestionable meaning of the good which it is in my power to put into it!
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A wound in the soul, coming from the rending of the spiritual body, strange as it may seem, gradually closes like a physical wound. And once a deep wound heals over and the edges seem to have knit, a wound in the soul, like a physical wound, can be healed only by the force of life pushing up from inside. This was the way Natasha's wound healed. She thought her life was over. But suddenly her love for her mother showed her that the essence of life - love - was still alive in her. Love awoke, and life awoke.
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These prin ciples laid down as in variable rules: that one must pay a card sharper, but need not pay a tailor; that one must never tell a lie to a man, but one may to a woman; that one must never cheat any one, but one may a husband; that one must never pardon an insult, but one may give one and so on. These principles were possibly not reasonable and not good, but they were of unfailing certainty, and so long as he adhered to them, Vronsky felt that his heart was at peace and he could hold his head up.
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The whole trouble lies in that people think that there are conditions excluding the necessity of love in their intercourse with man, but such conditions do not exist. Things may be treated without love; one may chop wood, make bricks, forge iron without love, but one can no more deal with people without love than one can handle bees without care.
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It seldom happens that a man changes his life through his habitual reasoning. No matter how fully he may sense the new plans and aims revealed to him by reason, he continues to plod along in old paths until his life becomes frustrating and unbearable-he finally makes the change only when his usual life can no longer be tolerated.
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Just imagine that the purpose of life is happinesss only- then life becomes a cruel and senseless thing.You have to embrace what the wisdom of humanity,your intellect and your heart tell you: that the meaning of life is to serve the force that sent you into the world.Then life becomes a joy
Life is everything. Life is God. Everything shifts and moves, and this movement is God. And while there is life, there is delight in the self-awareness of the divinity. To love life is to love God. The hardest and most blissful thing is to love this life in one's suffering, in the guiltlessness of suffering.
As we live through thousands of dreams in our present life, so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life and then return after death. Our life is but one of the dreams of that more real life, and so it is endlessly, until the very last one, the very real the life of God.
The chief cause of unhappiness in married life is that people think that marriage is sex attraction, which takes the form of promises and hopes and happiness - a view supported by public opinion and by literature. But marriage cannot cause happiness. Instead, it is always torture, which man has to pay for satisfying his sex urge.
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All were happy - plants, birds, insects and children. But grown-up people - adult men and women - never left off cheating and tormenting themselves and one another. It was not this spring morning which they considered sacred and important, not the beauty of God's world, given to all creatures to enjoy - a beauty which inclines the heart to peace, to harmony and to love.
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The main qualities that had earned him this universal respect in the service were, first, an extreme indulgence towards people, based on his awareness of his own shortcomings; second, a perfect liberalism, not the sort he read about in the newspapers, but the sort he had in his blood, which made him treat all people, whatever their rank or status, in a perfectly equal and identical way; and, third - most important - a perfect indifference to the business he was occupied with, owing to which he never got carried away and never made mistakes.
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