Saturday, 9 May 2009

Lev Tolstoy: Reflections on his spiritual journey

In our sacred:space Tom and Mike shared on the Life of Tolstoy and some of his spiritual writings.  Here are a smattering of quotes from a great evening:



The only way to be happy is to love, to love self-denyingly, to love everybody and everything, without any rules; to throw out from oneself on all sides, like a spider, an adhesive web of love to catch in it all that comes: an old woman , a child, a peasant, a policeman.

Treat others as you would like to be treated Luke 6:31

All great revolutions commence in thought. Let but a change take place in people’s thoughts, and new deeds will follow, for action will follow the direction of thought as certainly as the ship follows the direction of the rudder.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6: 27,28

The principles of true religion are simple, universal, intelligible and clear. There is a God, the origin of all that is; there dwells a spark from the Divine in each person, and this spark can increase or decrease, depending on how we live; to increase this spark we must suppress our selfish wants and egos and grow in love; the practical means to attain love is to do to others what you would have them do to you.

The distance we have gone is less important than the direction in which we are going.

A river that is deep does not make waves when someone throws a stone in it. The same applies with you.If you get angry at insults thrown at you, you are a puddle.

To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well. Luke 6: 29

The only person who doesn’t fall is the one who doesn’t strive towards anything. Fall a thousand times, and get up a thousand times, and if you don’t despair, you will make progress.

As long as I have food I don’t need when someone else has none, or have two coats and someone else has none, I share in a constantly repeated crime.

Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.
Luke 6: 30

Wealth should be like manure in a field. When it is in a big pile it makes a bad smell. But when it is distributed everywhere across the field, it makes the soil fertile.

Remorse is like the cracking of an eggshell or a grain of corn, as a result of which the seed starts to grow.


Sonia Gallagher said...

This post is beautiful, inspiring, and so very true. No matter what religion you are, love is the universal life force. Every religion around the world and throughout the generations has taught and advocated love in some form or another.

Richard Hovey said...

Why have I waited this long to find out about this side of Tolstoy?
Thanks, Phil.