Leo Tolstoy
· The Circle of Reading
Translated by Dmitry Fadeyev

January 24

People do not need to know where humankind is heading. The age-old truth is knowing where you should go. And you know this: go towards the highest perfection.


The path that leads to life is narrow, and few find it. Few find it because the majority have taken the wide road, the one upon which everyone walks. But the real path is narrow, wide enough for only a single human being. And in order to find it, it is not the crowd you should follow but those solitary people—Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Christ—those who had one after another paved one and the same narrow path for themselves and for all of us.

— After Lucy Mallory


There are only three categories of people: some have found God and serve him; these people are wise and happy. Others have not found him and are not searching for him; these people are insane and unhappy. The third category have not found him, but are searching for him; these people are wise, but are still unhappy.

— Pascal


Wheresoever the search after truth begins, there life begins; wheresoever the search ceases, there life ceases.

— John Ruskin


To see everything in a state of divine perfection, to turn one’s life into a movement towards this perfection—this is the wonderful point of view of the sages of antiquity: Socrates, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius. There is a kind of Christianity that says bad things about wisdom and refuses to accept it. And meanwhile, how much higher is the wisdom that is content with the kingdom of heaven on earth than the one that teaches that it is only possible beyond the grave.

It is a sign of false teaching when one is taught to postpone life for another time and to think more highly of the one who believes the teaching more than the one who is virtuous.

— After Amiel


If a human being is searching for wisdom, he is sane, but if he thinks he has found it, he is insane.

— Persian wisdom


It is not where we are that matters, but the direction in which we are heading.

— Holmes

Your activities should not be defined by the goals shared with the people around you, but by your life’s purpose, shared with all the people in the world.