They could accept them and believe in the truth, in the same truth that I believed in. And the name ‘Resurrection’ was also given to the weekly feast day. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion (i.e. The idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in the Latin root of the word religion, religare (to bind strongly). One student actually offered an intelligent critique of my Kirk Cameron blog, and noted that my thesis was predicted partly by Leo Tolstoy, the great 19th century Russian storyteller. During certain periods in the existence of all human societies, a time has come when religion has first strayed from its basic meaning, and then digressed further and further until it has lost track of this meaning and eventually ossified in the already established forms, at which point it has come to have less and less influence on people’s lives. In his speech Mr Berthelot says that formerly there were two principles motivating human society: force and religion. At these times the educated minority, no longer believing in the existing religious teaching, simply pretend to believe in it because they find it necessary for the purpose of holding the masses to the established order of life. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. I can't recommend it more to anyone pondering Christianity, what it means to be alive, and the meaning of life. Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us. In all faiths it has been necessary to persuade them of the same three tenets which lie at the basis of all the perversions that have corrupted ageing religions. Moreover, those considered and referred to as learned are quite convinced that a science already exists which should and can replace religion and which has already obviated the need for it. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions, 1882), Whatever answers faith gives, regardless of which faith, or to whom the answers are given, such answers always give an infinite meaning to the finite existence of man; a meaning that is not destroyed by suffering, deprivation or death. (Leo Tolstoy, 1879), Reason is the power man possesses to define his relationship to the universe. the absurd, as the main sign of religion. Since in no place, and at no time, has this equality ever existed in reality, nor will it ever, what has happened is that as soon as a new religious teaching appeared (including as always a recognition of equality between all men) those for whom inequality was more advantageous have immediately tried to conceal this basic feature, thereby misconstruing the actual doctrine. As soon as these propositions are accepted, under hypnotic influence, everything said by these intermediaries is recognised as the holy truth, and then the chief purpose of the religious perversion is accomplished. A person cannot be at peace until he has somehow established this harmony. But what is happening today in our Christian society has never happened before. Once we correctly understand the true conception of self as universe then we realise that this morality is necessarily true (a tautology) for the other is a part of the self. As I turned my attention to all that is done by people who profess Christianity, I was horrified. The Greek understood his relationship as follows: being dependent on the representatives of eternity- the gods- he ought to please them. But in more recent times, since Hegel's assertion that all that exists is reasonable, the question of what one must do has been pushed to the background and philosophy has directed its whole attention to the investigation of things as they are, and to fitting them into a prearranged theory. Again, if it does not bind man to the infinite being, it is not a religion. The second method is typical of the majority of non-religious people, who lack a general standard of evaluating the worthiness of their actions and who therefore always establish conformity between their reason and their actions, not by subjecting the latter to the former but- having accomplished an action under the impulse of feeling- by using reason to justify them. My position was terrible. Christianity was perverted in the same way as all the other religions with the single difference that precisely because Christianity voiced its fundamental doctrine of equality between all men with such clarity, it was necessary to use special force to distort the teaching and conceal its basic clause. War and Peace in Man may regard himself as an animal living among animals, by the day, or he may think of himself as a member of a family, or society, or a nation that lives for centuries. (If Buddhism does not provide a definition of God, it nevertheless recognises that with which man unites and merges as he reaches Nirvana. But there was a limit to the amount of meaning that could be read into the rituals. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), Even if we accept the impossible and believe that in a thousand years social progress alone will have united the whole of humanity in one entity which will form a single state, with a single government, even then one must not forget that the struggle between nations and States that will have been abolished will turn into a struggle between the human and the animal kingdom. Among them I met many deeply moral men with sincere belief. Raised in the Russian Orthodox Church, Tolstoy lost his religion at 18. There is not a single question which the men of our world can approach simply and straightforwardly. People in our world live without faith. In My Religion, Leo Tolstoy accuses the church of hiding the true meaning of Jesus, which is to be found in the Sermon on the Mount and the call to resist evil. ‘But that is not a religion,’ say the men of today, accustomed as they are to regarding the supernatural, i.e. If you could only read one of the three parts, I would recommend reading My Religion. It is true that there have been and still are periods in the life of nations when the existing religion has become so distorted and remote from life that it no longer guides it. The Jew has understood his relationship to the infinite as follows: being a member of the nation God chose from among all nations, he must therefore observe in God’s eyes the agreement He has entered into with his people. A part of the infinite. And in the thing most important to him – his actions- he must not be guided by his reason but by what others tell him. And think about your connection to the universe! Leo Tolstoy: An e-text of the biography by G.K. Chesterton, G.H. Geoff Haselhurst (Updated September, 2018), A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. This simply confirms the By love, we understand love of self – universe. The changed form and substance of law is rather like what a jailer might do who shifted a prisoner's chains...or removed them and substituted bolts and bars. Men Government Rest. Here Tolstoy explores the idea of religion and provides the following definition: ‘True religion is the establishment by man of a relation to the infinite life around him; as long as in connecting his life with this infinitude and directing his conduct, there is also. To claim that the supernatural and irrational form the basic characteristics of religion is much the same as noticing only the rotten apples and then claiming that the basic features of the fruit named apple are a flaccid bitterness and a harmful effect produced in the stomach. This is without mentioning all the nonsense in the Old Testament, such as the creation of light before the sun, the creation of the world six thousand years ago, the housing of all the animals in the ark, and all the various immoral atrocities such as the order to murder children and entire populations at God’s command. Today, as in the past, there are a number of different religions, because the expression of man’s relationship to the infinite, to Gods or the God, varies according to the times and according to the level of development of different peoples. And, therefore, in respect of the infinitely small phenomena of life that influence his behaviour, a rational person must do what in mathematics is called integration: that is, establish a relation to the immediate issues of life, a relation to the entire infinite universe in time and space, conceiving of it as a whole. The teaching which had promised me unity of all through one faith and through love, that very teaching, speaking through its highest representatives, told me that all these people were living a lie, that the thing which gave them strength of life was a temptation of the devil, and that it is we alone who are in possession of the only possible truth. Since the relationship is the same for everyone the establishing of it, i.e. Let us observe Tolstoy's crisis and "conversion" in detail through his Confession. And yet, judging by what we know of the original conditions of Christianity from the teachings expressed in the Gospels, it would appear that the chief methods of distortion used by other religions had been foreseen and that warnings against them had been clearly stated. A Confession and other Religious Writings, (1879-82), Penguin Books, 1987, https://www.san.beck.org/WP18-Tolstoy.html - THE WAY TO PEACE: Leo Tolstoy on the Law of Love by Sanderson Beck, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. It is the best part of the book where Tolstoy defends the Sermon on the Mount as not just unattainable goals, but what Christ expected from his followers. Some do not believe in what their own advantage they have persuaded the masses to believe in beneath the guise of faith. religion, unites men. The culmination of Tolstoy's thoughts on religion can be found in 'A Confession and other Religious Writings' (1879 - 82). Tolstoy's principles of True Religion, rationalism and the rejection of the church, state and private property earned him many followers but likewise much opposition and in 1901 he was excommunicated from the Russian Holy Synod. They all share in common an absence of religion and consequently, despite internal dissension, are united in one federal band of criminals where theft, plunder, debauchery, individual and mass murder are performed without the slightest pang of conscience and even with utmost self-complacency, as for instance in China not so long ago. He cannot be satisfied by the same things that guide an animal’s behaviour. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), It is truly desirable that moral teaching should not be adulterated by superstition, but the truth of the matter is that moral teaching is only a result of a particular relationship established between man and the universe, or God. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). Leo Tolstoy acknowledged the fundamental morality of all world religions is 'Do unto others as would be done unto thy Self.' known to the world. .. Every religion is the establishment of a relationship between man and the infinite Being of which he feels he is a part, and from which he derives guidance in his conduct. There can be nothing as immoral as those dreadful teachings according to which an angry and vengeful God punishes everyone for the sin of Adam, or that he sent his son to earth to save us, knowing beforehand that men would murder him and be damned for it. I believe quite the opposite, that to suggest that science as a whole, including philosophy can establish a relationship between man and the universe is entirely mistaken and is the main reason for the confusion that is understanding religion, science and morality that exists among the cultured strata of our society. It was impossible to avoid the fact that killing is evil and contrary to the most basic principles of any faith. The oldest and most common definition of the word religion (religare, to bind) runs as follows: religion is the bond between man and God. A part of the infinite. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), And so, those who, like the working populace, believe in the lawfulness of the existing structure of society, as too the so-called educated people who try, either gradually or by revolutionary processes, to change the existing order, believe equally in the necessity of violence as a chief weapon for structuring society. Never before have the educated minority, those with the most influence on the masses, not only had no belief in the existing religion, but seemed convinced that today’s world no longer has any need of one. (Leo Tolstoy, 1879). Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six. This is what I have set out to do. In Christendom we have none. Though Leo Tolstoy writes very eloquently about the principles of True Religion, (see below for quotations from Tolstoy's Confessions), he did not believe that our True connection to the Universe could ever be known; Science, including philosophy, cannot establish man’s relationship to the infinite universe, or towards its origin, if no other reason than that before any kind of philosophy or science could come into existence there must have been that, without which it is impossible to have any kind of mental activity, or any kind of relationship whatsoever between man and the universe. The death of his brother Nikolay in 1860 had an impact on Tolstoy, and led him to a desire to marry. V . At the beginning of the year 1901, the renowned French scholar Berthelot delivered a speech in which he informed his audience that the age of religion has passed and that it must now be replaced by science. The reason they occur is because no matter how unsophisticated it may be, every religion in its true meaning always establishes a relationship between man and the infinite, which is one and the same for all people. The same happened with Church Christianity in Byzantium, which degenerated into idolatry and polytheism. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), In contrast to what I saw happening in my own circle, where the whole of life is spent in idleness, amusement and dissatisfaction with life, I saw that those people who laboured hard throughout their entire lives were less dissatisfied with life than the rich. According to faith it follows that in order to comprehend the meaning of life I must renounce my reason, the very thing for which meaning was necessary. And, in the name of Christian love, Russians were killing their fellow men. My Religion (1889) by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Huntington Smith. The acceptance of equality between all men is a necessary and fundamental characteristic of all religions. Just as it has always been applied, so it is now, and always will be. They had 13 children, eight of whom survived childhood: in conquering the forces of human nature, been achieved as in the nineteenth century. Although the masses might cling to the established religious forms through inertia, their lives are no longer guided by religious demands, but simply by popular custom and state regulations. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). Children are taught the dogma of the Trinity, which cannot be accommodated in a healthy mind, and the descent of one of the three Gods to earth for the salvation of the human race and His resurrection and ascent to Heaven. This explains how Matter interacts with all other Matter in the Universe, and thus provides the logical foundations for the fundamental morality of all major Religions, 'Do unto Others as you would have done unto thy Self.' This has occurred many times in various human societies. I do not think so. For Tolstoy, it is this command that has been most damaged by ecclesiastical interpretation. In the 1860s, Russian author Leo Tolstoy wrote his first great novel, War and Peace. I shall not seek the explanation of everything. Nowadays we kill people through such a complex process of communication, and the consequences of our cruelty are so carefully removed and concealed from us, that there is no restraint on the bestiality of the action. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), Thus, in order to accept the Christian teaching in its true meaning, the people of the Christian world, who have, to a greater or lesser extent, understood the truth of Christianity, must free themselves not only from their belief in the false forms of a perverted Christian teaching, but also from belief in the necessity and inevitably of that system of government that was founded on this false Church religion. Faith is the force of life. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). And the religious answer includes a certain moral demand. Just click on the Social Network links below, or copy a nice image or quote you like and share it. Never before at any period of religious decline has such a low level of disregard and negligence towards the chief characteristic of all religions and of Christianity in particular- the equality of all men- been reached as in our time. Leo Tolstoy is well known as a writer of fiction, with his classic works War and Peace and Anna Karenin (which he dismissed as meaningless in later life). By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected About the author. But, when reason diverges from its own particular function (the clarification of the relationship with God and the activities that conform to it), and is directed not only at service to the flesh, or bitter strife with other men and other creatures, but also at justifying this evil existence, so contrary to man’s nature and purpose, then these dreadful misfortunes occur from which the majority of today’s people are suffering. Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoi (Leo Tolstoy) (1828-1910), was a Russian author and moral philosopher. (“Tolstoy and Mormonism,” Leland A Fetzer). If theologians do try to reconcile them they only succeed in confusing the matter still further. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). One section, the educated, wealthy minority, having freed themselves from the persuasion of the Church, believe in nothing because they regard every faith either as an absurdity, or as a useful means of controlling the masses. That which I found false in the teachings, and that which I found true, and the conclusions I came to comprise the following section of this essay, which, if someone should consider it worthwhile and useful to people, will probably be published some day, somewhere. (Leo Tolstoy, 1882). (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), A vicious circle has been established: the absence of religion makes animal life, based on violence, possible; animal life, based on violence, makes it increasingly impossible to be free of hypnotic influence and to adopt the true religion. This has always and everywhere happened whenever a new religious teaching has appeared. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). and the misguided. But they fail to stand up to the critique of reason. A short work on the subject of melancholia, philosophy and religion by the acclaimed Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. It is indeed in these words that the whole problem lies. Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. In doing this you will help a new generation of scientists see that there is a simple sensible explanation of physical reality - the source of truth and wisdom, the only cure for the madness of man! The site is highly recommended as an introduction to Tolstoy's life and thought. %PDF-1.3 And assuming that truth lies in union by love, I was struck by the fact that theology was destroying the thing it should be advancing. If he does understand the illusion of the finite, he is bound to believe in the infinite. Therefore, the people of our world who profess a distorted form of Christianity do not actually believe in it. Religion is the relationship a person recognises himself to have with the external world, or with its origin and first cause, and a rational person cannot fail to have some kind of relationship to it. The free, unhampered exchange of ideas and scientific conclusions is necessary for the sound development of science, as it is in all spheres It is indeed in these words that the whole problem lies. I wished to be a brother to these people. And I saw that the Orthodox Church regarded as heretics all those who did not profess an identical faith to theirs, just as the Catholics and the others consider the Orthodox followers to be heretics. Leo Tolstoy - Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace: Voyna i mir (1865–69; War and Peace) contains three kinds of material—a historical account of the Napoleonic wars, the biographies of fictional characters, and a set of essays about the philosophy of history. They are taught about the awaited second coming and the punishment of eternal torments for not believing in these dogmas. A slight addition to the Gospels was invented saying that when He departed for heaven, Christ handed certain people the exclusive right not just of instructing people in the sacred truth (according to the Gospel texts he handed over at the same time a right, seldom used, of being invulnerable to snakes, poisons and fire), but of saving and condemning people, and more importantly of conferring this power on others. ..The principles are very simple, comprehensible and uncomplicated. They have also led their complex, subtle and useless mental activities to such a level of unnecessary intricacy and confusion in order to conceal the evil in their lives, that the majority have entirely lost the capacity of differentiating between good and evil, falsehood and truth. Tolstoy is regarded as one of the world's greatest writers and is perhaps best known for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. "(Thomas Hobbes), The Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) in Space, Discussion on Metaphysics / Religious Philosophy of Leo Tolstoy, Summary & History of World Religions. I want to realise that all that is inexplicable is so, not because the demands of my intellect are at fault (they are correct and apart from them I can understand nothing), but because I can recognise the limits of my intellect. And what can be more ridiculous than saying that Our Lady was both mother and virgin, or that the heavens opened up and a voice rang forth, or that Christ flew up to heaven and is seated up there somewhere, at the right hand of His father, or that God is three persons in one, not three gods like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva37, but three combined in one. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), To know God and to live is the same thing. Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. Thus the essence of religion has been, and still is, understood by people with the highest human faculty, as the establishing by man of a relationship with the infinite Being, or beings, whose power he feels over him. God is Life. without any kind of relationship to the world) as it is for there to be a person without a heart. Or he may find himself obliged (because his reason drives him irresistibly to it) to regard himself as a part of an infinite universe, living in infinite time. Then followed a metaphysical period, and this has been outlived. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), Morality cannot be independent of religion, since it is not only a consequence of religion- that is, of the relationship a person has to the world- but it is also included in religion by implication. that there is an element of this divine origin in every person, which he can diminish or increase through his way of living; It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion (i.e. And neither one of them either acknowledges, or is capable of imagining, a social structure other than one based on violence. Leo Tolstoy understood Religion is our True Connection to the Universe (What Exists, God). But there is also no doubt that never before in history has there been such a display of immoral living, free of any force restraining man’s animal desires, as that which exists now in our Christian humanity, which is becoming even more bestialised. So long as people do not consider all men as their brothers and do not consider human life as the most sacred thing, which rather than destroy they must consider it their first and foremost duty to support; that is so long as people do not behave towards one another in a religious manner, they will always ruin one another’s lives for the sake of personal gain. This is how religion has always been understood by people who do not lack the faculty of higher (i.e. By giving identical answers to all members of any particular society, when they ask questions about what the world is and what they the inhabitants are, all religions unite men and bring them closer to the reality of well-being. However he was also an outspoken religious thinker, educationist, activist, and paciﬁst. Humanity is going to need a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive!" Today these principles have become superfluous because science has replaced them. The first method of teaching conformity between action and reason is typical of those who profess some kind of religion and on the basis of its doctrines know what they ought to do, and what they ought not to do. The extent to which the habit of violence and criminal behaviour committed under the guise of a law by the guardians of order and morality becomes ever more frequent and cruel, and is increasingly justified by the false assurances that are presented as religion, will determine the extent to which people will become more and more convinced of the idea that the law of their life does not lie in love and service to one’s neighbour, but in struggling against and devouring one another. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in philosophy and religion. It is similarly impossible to give the name religion to Comte’s positivism, since it only establishes a relationship between man and mankind, not with the infinite. (A. Reville). The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which By Roza Riaikkenen . Thus, due to the absence of religion, the people of today’s world have built themselves a very cruel, bestial and immoral life. And this could not be otherwise, first of all because the assertion that you live in falsehood and I in truth is the most cruel thing that one man can say to another and secondly, because a man who loves his children and his brothers cannot help feeling hostile towards those who want to convert his children and his brothers to a false belief. If the most important words of the Ectene became increasingly clear to me, and even if I somehow managed to interpret the words: ‘And remembering Our Sovereign Lady, Holy Mother of God, and all the saints, ourselves and one another, let us devote our entire life to Christ, Our Lord’; and even if I interpreted the frequent repetition of prayers for the Tsar and his family by the fact that they are more exposed to temptation than others, and therefore in greater need of prayer, and the prayers for the subjugation of our enemies and adversaries by saying that they are evil, nevertheless these prayers and others, such as the Hymn of the Cherubim, the Chosen Warriors, as well as the whole sacrament of the Eucharist, in fact nearly two thirds of the service, if not all of it, had no meaning or made me feel that in giving it meaning I was lying and thereby destroying my relation to God and losing all possibility of faith. that there is a God who is the origin of everything; that in order for someone to increase this source he must suppress his passions and increase the love within himself; However, since the appearance of rational man there has not been one human society that could live or has lived without religion. With the help of the concept of a Church this was done to a greater extent than in any other religion. This God, one in three, the creation in six days, the devils and angels and all the rest that I could not accept without going mad. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). If therefore a religion fails to establish this relationship, as for instances in idolatry, or sorcery, then it is not a religion, but merely a degeneration of one. At the time Russia was at war. Despite the fact that at no time and in no place have people ever lived without religion, the learned people of today say, we can and must live without religion. Leo Tolstoy. Myself Man Me. You are part of a whole. This means only in faith can we find the meaning and possibility of life. (Mohandas Gandhi). Following the successful publication of “Anna Karenina” in the 1870s, Tolstoy, increasingly uncomfortable with his aristocratic background and ever-increasing wealth, underwent a series of emotional and spiritual crises that ultimately left him questioning his belief in the tenets of organized religion, which he saw as corrupt and at odds with his interpretation of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Nor have we mentioned the absurdity of the sacrament of which Voltaire said that there have been and are a great many absurd religious teachings, but never before was there one in which the main religious act consists in eating your own God.
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