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An unabridged, digitally enlarged edition to include an epilogue by the author.
been in a church, not because he shared the convictions of his brother, or even knew them, not because he had come to any conclusions of his own, but because his brother’s words were like the push of a finger against a wall ready to tumble over with its own weight; they proved to him that what he had taken for belief was an empty form, and that consequently every word he uttered, every sign of the cross he made, every time he bowed his head during his prayers, his act was an unmeaning one. When
to imagine that I, the poet and thinker, was able to teach other men without knowing myself what it was that I attempted to teach. I had only gained a new vice by my companionship with these men; it had developed pride in me to a morbid extreme, and my self-confidence in teaching what I did not know amounted almost to insanity. When I now think over that time, and remember my own state of mind and that of these men (a state of mind common enough among thousands still), it seems to me
978-1-907355-23-3 Leo Tolstoy— On Life ISBN 978-1-907355-91-2 Leo Tolstoy— Twenty-three Tales ISBN 978-1-907355-29-5 Leo Tolstoy— What is Religion and other writings ISBN 978-1-907355-28-8 Leo Tolstoy— Work While Ye Have the Light ISBN 978-1-907355-26-4 Leo Tolstoy with Simon Parke— Conversations with Tolstoy ISBN 978-1-907355-25-7 Howard Williams with an Introduction by Leo Tolstoy— The Ethics of Diet: An Anthology of Vegetarian
see the dragon too plainly, and the honey is no longer sweet. I see the dragon, from whom there is no escape, and the mice, and I cannot turn my eyes away from them. It is no fable, but a living, undeniable truth, to be understood of all men. The former delusion of happiness in life, which hid from me the horror of the dragon, no longer deceives me. However I may reason with myself that I cannot understand the meaning of life, that I must live without thinking, I cannot again begin to do
answer to all its own independent inquiries: it is the system of experimental science, at the extreme end of which is mathematics. Another system accepts the question, but does not answer it; it is that of theoretic philosophy, and at its extremity is metaphysics. I had been addicted from my youth to theoretical study; later, mathematics and the exact sciences had attracted me; and till I came to put clearly to myself this question as to the meaning of life, until it grew up in me, as it were, of