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Extra info for God and Man According To Tolstoy

Sample text

And of course he loathed the church, the guardian of it. Tolstoy’s solipsism, unlike his so-called faith, came from his viscera. That is why it led him to a narrow-minded, often vulgar and crude, intolerance of the religion of others. This did not prevent him from making lofty claims for his own brand of Christianity. Yet a true Christian life is fed not only by mystical longings but also by the love of other people’s religious experience. That is why true religious feeling always reaches tropistically for the church, which alone can pool together everyone’s limited personal experience.

For, when looking at the world, the mind can see so much more by rising above quotidian problems than by staying mired in their midst. How does one arrive at faith? Many roads lead to Rome,1 and even more to God. But, whatever the route, it takes intuitive predisposition to embark on the journey. ” This is a brilliant aphorism, as Pascal’s sayings tend to be. But in a less epigrammatic format one ought to add that the search must be conducted in good faith. The seeker must not set off determined to look only where God is sure not to be found: the traveler’s own ego.

N. was standing in the middle of the room, pale, his lip trembling. His eyes were transfixed on one point. ” This is how Mrs Tolstoy herself describes her husband’s mood in her diary a few years later: He had fixed, strange eyes, as if he was no longer of this world. . What then happened had happened many times before: Lyovochka became nervous and depressed. Once I was writing, he came in, his face awful. . ‘I’ve come to tell you that I want to divorce you, I can’t live this way any longer, I’m leaving for Paris or America’.

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