18. Tablets Administered by L. N. Tolstoy to Support Moral Health Development, Selected from His Book “Circle of Reading”, two volumes (J. Laichter, Prague 1913, 2nd edition.)
In the foreword to the book, Leo N. Tolstoy wrote in December 1904: “The purpose I follow in my book is not to provide accurate, verbatim translations of writers, but to draw on grand, fecund thoughts of various writers to offer a large circle of readers some reading material for every day, the reading material that would awaken the best thoughts and emotions in them.”
The selected extracts may be classified under a single universal world view of pure democracy that every state power should adopt to prevent logical subsequence of insufficient upbringing and education which does not restrain demoralization and amorality of any kind.
1. He who is able to endure an offence with composure, without repaying it, has reached great victory in his life. (Page 27 in volume I of the Czech version which is listed in the Way of Law under order no. 53. There you can also find the page numbers for the other quotations.)
2. Anger is a symptom of weakness, not strength.
3. Such brutes always existed in the past and do exist at present who intentionally obstruct people to realize spiritual truths to keep them in the darkness of ignorance of these truths.
4. Man should take more care of his soul than of his body, which is often the case especially with young people. Do not let your soul be suppressed by animality, bring your body under the control of your soul, only then you will accomplish the purpose of the existence of humans on earth.
5. Man multiplies his happiness insomuch that he gives happiness to others. (Our note: This spiritual principle is now described as not self-centred, i.e. non-egoistic life devoted to others. A decent family where parents take care of their children may serve as an example. This truth is also illustrated by the modern saying: It is possible to take only by giving. He who only takes, not giving any honest consideration back, is logically heading towards a crisis – first the moral one, than the crisis of power, financial and economic crises, and finally existential as such. The same applies to any breaking of the rules implied by the natural moral Law by people and organisations. The latest example may be the fate of the capital city of Haiti, Port-au-Prince after the earthquake on 12 January 2010, and perhaps also the catastrophe of New Orleans in the USA at the time of floods a few years ago. Timely prevention in the form of moral education is definitely better than any subsequent material aid.
6. As scaffolding enables a building to be constructed, so our body is to enable a spiritual human being to grow, living a spiritual life.
7. A good man pays more attention to doing what he is supposed to do rather than to what is happening with him. (The current wording of this spiritual truth is: It is less important what happens to us in the course of our life than whether we react to that in accordance with the natural moral Law, or contrary to it. However, this requires good knowledge of the Law which we obtain through wise education and self-education.)
8. Love for enemies is a test of true love.
9. The most perfect man is he who loves all his neighbours, doing good to them without making any difference between the good and the bad among them. (When man is filled with darkness, darkness emanates from him. When man is already full of the light of spiritual love, nothing else than the light of this love can come out of him, including even when he is responding to an attack by enemy.)
10. Passion is first like a foreigner, then like a guest, and finally like a landlord. (This truth applies especially to smoking, drugs and Luciferian, sexual passion.)
11. Overcome anger with placidity, evil with good, the mean with gifts, liars with truth.
12. The worst harm is caused when unclear notions and words are used.
13. Woe betide he who lives a sensual life, forgetting the spiritual life. (This includes especially human trafficking and selling ones’ bodies for money, sometimes under duress.)
14. A wise man in China was asked the following question: Is there a word which could guide us throughout our lives towards mercy? The wise man said: The word is shu, which means: We should not do to the others what we do not want them to do to us.
15. Evil returns to he who committed it, as does the dust thrown against the wind.
16. Obey the Commandments for love to God, not for fear of him.
17. There is only one way how to defeat the general evil in life: through moral advancement of one’s own life.
18. If you want to achieve real freedom, you have to unite your will with the will of God, i.e. his Law.
19. It is not the quantity of knowledge that is important, but its value. (The value here is means the spiritual value.)
20. The Kingdom of God is the realization of the Law of God among people. However, people have created the kingdom of clergymen, not the Kingdom of God inside us. (I. Kant)
21. Jesus wants power to be a service; the world (i.e. darkness) wants it to be dominance.
22. The man who considers death to be the end of his life will easily incline to everything bad.
23. Effort is an inevitable precondition of moral self-improvement.
24. Knowledge should be a tool, not the objective.
25. The goal of life is to fulfil the Law of God.
26. The man who seeks happiness only in external abundance and well-being builds his house on sand; the real happiness may result only from the compliance of inner life with the will of God.
27. Those who are slaves to their own passions are the lowest among slaves.
28. Where are those who died? There where those are who have not been born yet. (Seneca)
29. We can cure the body only after we have cured the soul. An illness is rooted there, and so bodily ills are manifestations of a sick soul.
30. When you realize you do not believe in God, be aware of being exposed to the biggest danger threatening a man in this world.
31. Petr Chelčický in his book “The Network of Faith” shows that the connection between Christianity and the state (…) annihilated, destroyed Christianity, but that just the opposite should have happened – associating with the state, Christianity should have destroyed the state. (Of course not through any act of violence.)
32. The substance of life is not the body, but the consciousness. Certainly it is appropriate for me to have bones and muscles, (…) I could not do what I accept to be good; but it would be completely wrong to claim that the cause of what I do are my bones and muscles. (Socrates)
33. People live wrongly only because they believe in falsity not the truth.
34. Try not to think about what you consider wrong. (Epictetus) (People today say: You attract what you think about.)
35. We cannot prevent bad thoughts from flashing in our head, but we have the power not to allow them get nestled there, and hatch and raise bad deeds there. (Luther)
36, 37, 38 - 39. Always tell the truth even though you know it will be unpleasant. (Arab Albitis)
40. Religion is useless if it is not moral, when it does not lead to a decent life.
41. Diseased thinking is more malignant and frequent that a diseased body.
42. Self-love, when it gets beyond certain borders, is mental illness.
43. The man of reason does not rely only on himself. (Chinese wisdom) (Some action heroes in movies and on TV have been promoting the contrary.)
44. None temporal delight may compensate for damage a man inflicted on himself by violence he had committed.
45. - 46. Nothing else is necessary for life to be good except people who are better themselves. We will not be redeemed by any sinful, violent organisation of life, but by the order made in our own soul. The true felicity can be achieved everywhere and at any moment of life, through love. Love for all people, including haters, is much closer to a human soul than is fighting with neighbours and hatred towards them. What is there to be loved then? Love all, love the source of love, love love, love God. Love will bring felicity to man not through its consequences but through love itself; it will give felicity to man absolutely independently of what other people do and what is happening in this world. To love means to submit oneself to God, do what God wants me to do, and God is love, i.e. he wants felicity to be there for everybody and so he may not want man to die only because he is to comply with the Law of God. Try it and you will see that instead of having sombre expression, angered and gloomy mood you will be bright, joyful and sunny. (Leo Tolstoy to young people)
47. The task of man is to serve everybody, all people, not just some of them, when evil is required to be done to the others. For a Christian, love for his homeland is an obstacle to his love for his neighbours.
48. When a man’s hand is not injured, a man can touch snake venom without being hurt by it; evil will not cause harm only to those who themselves cause no harm.
49. Only love growing among people can change the current social order.
50. To cut a sprout off a branch means to cut it off the whole tree at the same time. While a sprout is torn off by somebody else’s hand, the man who feels hatred and anger towards his neighbour is thus alienates himself not only from his neighbour, but also from the whole mankind. (And also from God at the same time) (Marcus Aurelius)
51. Man should realize that a man is just one limb of the whole body (the mankind). To be a limb means to have life only thanks to the life and for the benefit of the life of the whole body. The life of a limb separated from its own body is dying and pining.
52. The more ardently we seek for entertainment, the more we rule out the only happiness that man has at his disposal, that is love.
53. What do we need, what do people need, what do our times need? To find a way out from the mire of selfishness, doubts and negativism we are browning in. The way out is a change in opinions that enables our souls to stop hankering after personal emotions and be able to start fulfilling the Law and its objective together with the others. (Mazzini)
54. The relationship to God, the one that God requires from us, is unremitting fulfilling of his will in our life. The interests and passions we follow in our lives however keep drawing us away from this every single minute.
55. The society is grounded in conscience, not in science. (Unspoiled conscience signals wrong deeds similarly as pain signals any malfunctioning of a physical body.) Civilisation is first of all the matter of ethics. Without honesty, without respect to law, without the sense of duty, without love for neighbours, without virtues, everything shall be threatened, everything shall collapse. The foundation of every civilisation is the average morality of the masses, the cornerstone is duty. (Towards God and his moral Law).
56. Wisdom means knowledge of eternal truths usable in life.
57. An enlightened man is constantly uplifting himself (making himself more spiritual) through his reason and prudence, a non-enlightened one constantly falls into ignorance and falseness. (Chinese wisdom)
58. The less needs a man has, the happier he is. (Lichtenberg)
59. It is necessary to join all people into a nation of brothers. (Lammenais)
60. As there is one God, there must also be one faith. (This also means one democratic world view.)
SPMZ, January 2010