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And thus their cruelty was restrained. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). Reason is the power man possesses to define his relationship to the universe. 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. 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, Russian author, a master of realistic fiction and one of the world’s greatest novelists. 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. It was straightforwardly said against the priestly caste that none could be the teacher of another (‘Do not call yourselves fathers and teachers’). (Mohandas Gandhi). 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. ‘Religion is a definition of human life based on the bond between the human spirit and those mysterious spirits whose dominion over the world and over himself is recognised by man, and with which he feels himself united. Likewise, it is essential to free people from the deception they are held in, in order for them to adopt the true religion: a relationship with God, the source of all things, which is correct and in accord with the development of humanity, together with the guidance for conduct that results from this relationship. I want to understand in such a way that everything inexplicable presents itself to me as being necessarily inexplicable and not as being something that I am under an obligation to believe. For Tolstoy, it is this command that has been most damaged by ecclesiastical interpretation. But what is happening today in our Christian society has never happened before. However cruel Attila, Genghis Khan and their followers may have been, the act of killing people personally, face to face, must have been unpleasant: the wailing relatives and the presence of corpses. And the religion common to all, the basic principles of which are alike in all practices, fully satisfies these demands. On this day the sacrament of the Eucharist was performed, which I found quite incomprehensible. (Leo Tolstoy, Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence, 1886). I refer to this speech because it was the first to fall into my hands and because it was delivered in the capital of the educated world by a person whom everyone recognised to be a scholar. 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. It defines man’s relationship to God as of a part to a whole. 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. He … If he does understand the illusion of the finite, he is bound to believe in the infinite. One can use one’s lips to say: ‘I believe the world was created six thousand years ago’, or: ‘I believe in God the Father in three persons’, but no one can believe it all because the words make no sense. Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. Yet it was from just these very religious principles, or rather as a consequence of their being propagated as religious doctrines, that through a long process of distortion, all the religious miracles and supernatural events were drawn up, which are now considered basic characteristics of any faith. This is what I have set out to do. Indeed no other faith has ever preached things so incompatible with reason and contemporary knowledge, or ideas so immoral as those taught by Church Christianity. without any kind of relationship to the world) as it is for there to be a person without a heart. They found nothing false in those doctrinal statements which seemed apparent rubbish to me. People in our world live without faith. The idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in the Latin root of the word religion, religare (to bind strongly). This webpage on the metaphysics / theology of Leo Tolstoy seeks to explain the evolution of true religion (our connection to the Universe / God), Reason and Human Morality from the metaphysical foundation of Space and Motion and the Wave Structure of Matter. No one tells him how he can and should reconcile these contradictions. The same division has always occurred in Christianity: complete inequality between men has been accepted, as well as division, not just according to their understanding of the doctrines into lay and cleric, but according to social status into those with power and those who must submit, which the teaching of St Paul acknowledges as ordained by God. When you know as much as possible about the whole, and about the laws of its development, you will understand your place in the whole, and your own self.’ (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions, 1882), Rational knowledge, as presented by the learned and wise, negates the meaning of life, yet the vast masses - humanity as a whole - recognise that this meaning lies in irrational knowledge. (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. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), Neither philosophy nor science is able to establish man’s relationship to the universe, because this relationship must be established before any kind of philosophy or science can begin. But the most important feast was in memory of the Resurrection, the reality of which I could neither imagine nor understand. If you could only read one of the three parts, I would recommend reading My Religion. intuitions of the ancient philosophers and mystics. And think about your connection to the universe! It was so understood from its very beginning, and for that Christ was crucified. I sit on a man's back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back. This was the first step backwards. The law of human life is such that the improvement of it, whether for the individual or for society, is only possible through inner, moral perfection. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). It is indeed in these words that the whole problem lies. This has always and everywhere happened whenever a new religious teaching has appeared. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), The essence of any religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me? Nekrasov was enthusiastic, and the pseudonymously published work was widely praised. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), In the liturgy the most significant words for me were; ‘Love one another in unity.’ But further on I ignored the words: ‘We believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost’, because I could not understand them. 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. Even if a religion establishes a relationship between Man and God, but does so through affirmations which are so contrary to the level of knowledge people have reached that they cannot believe in them, then neither is this a religion, but merely a semblance of one. Leo Tolstoy On this date in 1828, the great Russian novelist Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born as a landed count on his family's Yasnaya Polyana estate near Tula. He cannot be satisfied by the same things that guide an animal’s behaviour. Forgetting the Hindus and the Chinese, even among the Zulus there were, and are, obligatory religious rules, whatever they might be, which condone certain actions and forbid others. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), True religion is that relationship, in accordance with reason and knowledge, which man establishes with the infinite world around him, and which binds his life to that infinity and guides his actions. This means only in faith can we find the meaning and possibility of life. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in philosophy and religion. The same happened with Papal Christianity during the Middle Ages, leading to the Reformation. Despite being combined with an enormous amount of unnecessary confusion, answers to the question have at any rate been given within the philosophical tradition of the Christian nations. The Buddhist has understood, and understands, his relationship with the infinite thus; in passing from one form of life to another, he inevitably suffers. https://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bright/tolstoy/tolstoy.html, Tolstoy, Leo. 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. (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. .. in conquering the forces of human nature, been achieved as in the nineteenth century. And, therefore, people do not do what is most natural, possible and necessary in our times: they do not destroy the deception that resembles religion, and do not adopt and propagate the truth. I realised that the essential meaning of faith lies not only in the ‘manifestation of things unseen’, and so on, or in revelation (this is only a description of one of the signs of faith); nor is it simply the relationship between man and God (it is necessary to define faith, then God, and not God through faith); nor is it an agreement with what one has been told, although this is what faith is commonly understood to be. Let us observe Tolstoy's crisis and "conversion" in detail through his Confession. While in faith I found nothing other than a negation of reason, which was even more impossible than denial of life. Since the relationship is the same for everyone, thus religion unites men. This work is incomplete. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), And the cause of everything is that which we call God. Death Shadow Two. One can see the terrible distortion of man’s spiritual world that inevitably results from such an education, and is supported in adult life by all the techniques of persuasion which, with the aid of the clergy, are continually exercised on people. Leo Tolstoy's fundamental error can be explained as follows; Space and Motion are the Cause (metaphysical foundation) of our Science and Philosophy. 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. The main reason for the terrible cruelty between men today, apart from the absence of religion, is still the refined complexity of life which shields people from the consequences of their actions. I recalled the whole course of my inner thinking and was horrified. The same is happening, only to a greater extent, among the Christian nations. 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. However, since the appearance of rational man there has not been one human society that could live or has lived without religion. Complete unity with the highest and most perfect reason and, thereby, perfect well-being is an ideal towards which humanity strives. He may not know that he has a religion, just as a person may not know that he has a heart, but it is no more possible for a person to exist without a religion than without a heart. God is Life. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). People of today’s world cannot take enough delight in the brilliant, unprecedented and colossal achievements of nineteenth century technology. The same kind of decline occurred in the Greek and Roman religions, with Christianity appearing after the lowest ebb of the decline had been reached. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), ‘The reform of evil that exists in life must begin with a denunciation of the religious lie and the establishing of religious truth within each individual person.’ (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), ‘There is no greater unhappiness than when a person starts to fear the truth lest it denounce him.’ (Pascal75) (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), ‘Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.’ (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), The majority of the working people, deprived of land and consequently of the possibility of enjoying the fruits of their labour, hate the landowners and capitalists who hold them in servitude. stream It was more the fact that the lives of these people were just like my own, with the only difference that they did not live according to the principles expounded in their teachings. The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which The basic principle of all religions- the equality between all men- has been forgotten, neglected and buried under so much ridiculous dogma put forward by the religion, and in science this same inequality (expressed in the theory of the struggle for the existence and survival of the fittest) is acknowledged as such a necessary condition of life, that the destruction of millions of human lives for the convenience of the ruling minority is regarded as a most commonplace and necessary facet of living, and happens continually. "(Thomas Hobbes), The Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) in Space, Discussion on Metaphysics / Religious Philosophy of Leo Tolstoy, Summary & History of World Religions. Leo Tolstoy. According to this theory the destruction of the weakest is a law which should not be opposed. 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