30+ quotes from The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy

Quotes from The Kingdom of God Is Within You

Leo Tolstoy ·  352 pages

Rating: (2.8K votes)


“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“In the midst of winter, I find within me the invisible summer...”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“There is one thing, and only one thing, in which it is granted to you to be free in life, all else being beyond your power: that is to recognize and profess the truth.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“Indeed, ask every man separately whether he thinks it laudable and worthy of a man of this age to hold a position from which he receives a salary disproportionate to his work; to take from the people--often in poverty--taxes to be spent on constructing cannon, torpedoes, and other instruments of butchery, so as to make war on people with whom we wish to be at peace, and who feel the same wish in regard to us; or to receive a salary for devoting one's whole life to constructing these instruments of butchery, or to preparing oneself and others for the work of murder.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“And therefore the Christian, who is subject only to the inner divine law, not only cannot carry out the enactments of the external law, when they are not in agreement with the divine law of love which he acknowledges (as is usually the case with state obligations), he cannot even recognize the duty of obedience to anyone or anything whatever, he cannot recognize the duty of what is called allegiance.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“If a man, before he passed from one stage to another, could know his future life in full detail, he would have nothing to live for. It is the same with the life of humanity. If it had a programme of the life which awaited it before entering a new stage, it would be the surest sign that it was not living, nor advancing, but simply rotating in the same place.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“People often think the question of non-resistance to evil by force
is a theoretical one, which can be neglected. Yet this question
is presented by life itself to all men, and calls for some answer
from every thinking man. Ever since Christianity has been
outwardly professed, this question is for men in their social life
like the question which presents itself to a traveler when the
road on which he has been journeying divides into two branches.
He must go on and he cannot say: I will not think about it, but
will go on just as I did before. There was one road, now there
are two, and he must make his choice.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“It is often said that the invention of terrible weapons of destruction will put an end to war. That is an error. As the means of extermination are improved, the means of reducing men who hold the state conception of life to submission can be improved to correspond. They may slaughter them by thousands, by millions, they may tear them to pieces, still they will march to war like senseless cattle. Some will want beating to make them move, others will be proud to go if they are allowed to wear a scrap of ribbon or gold lace.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“[...most men do not try] to recognize the truth, but to persuade themselves that the life they are leading, which is what they like and are used to, is a life perfectly consistent with truth.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“A man of the present day, whether he believes in the divinity of Christ or not, cannot fail to see that to assist in the capacity of tzar, minister, governor, or commissioner in taking from a poor family its last cow for taxes to be spent on cannons, or on the pay and pensions of idle officials, who live in luxury and are worse than useless; or in putting into prison some man we have ourselves corrupted, and throwing his family on the streets; or in plundering and butchering in war; or in inculcating savage and idolatrous superstitious in the place of the law of Christ; or in impounding the cow found on one's land, though it belongs to a man who has no land; or to cheat the workman in a factory, by imposing fines for accidentally spoiled articles; or making a poor man pay double the value for anything simply because he is in the direst poverty;--not a man of the present day can fail to know that all these actions are base and disgraceful, and that they need not do them. They all know it. ”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“So it would be, were it not for the law of inertia, as immutable a force in men and nations as in inanimate bodies. In men it takes the form of the psychological principle, so truly expressed in the words of the Gospel, " They have loved darkness better than light, because their deeds were evil." This principle shows itself in men not trying to recognise the truth, but to persuade themselves that the life they are leading, which is what they like and are used to, is a life perfectly consistent with truth.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“In affirming my belief in Christ's teaching, I could not help explaining why I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the Church's doctrine, which is usually called Christianity.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“Satan can never be driven out by Satan. Error can never be corrected by error, and evil cannot be vanquished by evil.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“The history of mankind is crowded with evidences proving that physical coercion is not adapted to moral regeneration, and that the sinful dispositions of men can be subdued only by love; that evil can be exterminated only by good; that it is not safe to rely upon the strength of an arm to preserve us from harm; that there is great security in being gentle, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy; that it is only the meek who shall inherit the earth; for those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“The rivalry of the European states in constantly increasing their forces has reduced them to the necessity of having recourse to universal military service, since by that means the greatest possible number of soldiers is obtained at the least possible expense. Germany first hit on this device. And directly one state adopted it the others were obliged to do the same. And by this means all citizens are under arms to support the iniquities practiced upon them; all citizens have become their own
oppressors.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“Universal military service may be compared to the efforts of a man to prop up his falling house who so surrounds it and fills it with props and buttresses and planks and scaffolding that he manages to keep the house standing only by making it impossible to live in it.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“One man may not kill. If he kills a fellow-creature, he is a murderer. If two, ten, a hundred men do so, they, too, are murderers. But a government or a nation may kill as many men as it chooses, and that will not be murder, but a great and noble action. Only gather the people together on a large scale, and a battle of ten thousand men becomes an innocent action. But precisely how many people must there be to make it so?—that is the question. One man cannot plunder and pillage, but a whole nation can. But precisely how many are needed to make it permissible?”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“A man cannot get rid of the responsibility, for his own actions.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity by contributing to the establishment of the kingdom of God, which can only be done by the recognition and profession of the truth by every man.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“a whole series of arguments and texts showing that war—that is, the wounding and”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“In precisely the same way the specialty of government is not to obey, but to enforce obedience. And a government is only a government so long as it can make itself obeyed, and therefore it always strives for that and will never willingly abandon its power.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“nothing has contributed so much to the obscuring of Christian truth in the eyes of the heathen, and has hindered so much the diffusion of Christianity through the world, as the disregard of this command by men calling themselves Christians, and the permission of war and violence to Christians.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“A church is a body of men who assert that they are in possession of infallible truth. Heresy is the opinion of the men who do not admit the infallibility of the Church's truth.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“There is not only nothing in common between the churches as such and Christianity, except the name, but they represent two principles fundamentally opposed and antagonistic to one another. One represents pride, violence, self-assertion, stagnation, and death; the other, meekness, penitence, humility, progress, and life. We cannot serve these two masters; we have to choose between them.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“The churches are placed in a dilemma: the Sermon on the Mount or the Nicene Creed—the one excludes the other.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“Matt. vi. 25-34: "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than rainment”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“To bring under the sway of Christianity savage nations who do not attack us and whom we have therefore no excuse for oppressing, we ought before all things to leave them in peace, and in case we need or wish to enter into closer relations with them, we ought only to influence them by Christian manners and Christian teaching, setting them the example of the Christian virtues of patience, meekness, endurance, purity, brotherhood, and love. Instead of that we begin by establishing among them new markets for our commerce, with the sole aim of our own profit; then we appropriate their lands, i. e., rob them; then we sell them spirits, tobacco, and opium, i. e., corrupt them; then we establish our morals among them, teach them the use of violence and new methods of destruction, i, e., we teach them nothing but the animal law of strife, below which man cannot sink, and we do all we can to conceal from them all that is Christian in us. After this we send some dozens of missionaries prating to them of the hypocritical absurdities of the Church, and then quote the failure of our efforts to turn the heathen to Christianity as an incontrovertible proof of the impossibility of applying the truths of Christianity in practical life.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“It is just the same with the so-called criminals living in our midst. To bring these people under the sway of Christianity there is one only means, that is, the Christian social ideal, which can only be realized among them by true Christian teaching and supported by a true example of the Christian life. And to preach this Christian truth and to support it by Christian example we set up among them prisons, guillotines, gallows, preparations for murder; we diffuse among the common herd idolatrous superstitions to stupefy them; we sell them spirits, tobacco, and opium to brutalize them; we even organize legalized prostitution; we give land to those who do not need it; we make a display of senseless luxury in the midst of suffering poverty; we destroy the possibility of anything like a Christian public opinion, and studiously try to suppress what Christian public opinion is existing. And then, after having ourselves assiduously corrupted men, we shut them up like wild beasts in places from which they cannot escape, and where they become still more brutalized, or else we kill them. And these very men whom we have corrupted and brutalized by every means, we bring forward as a proof that one cannot deal with criminals except by brute force. We are just like ignorant doctors who put a man, recovering from illness by the force of nature, into the most unfavorable conditions of hygiene, and dose him with the most deleterious drugs, and then assert triumphantly that their hygiene and their drugs saved his life, when the patient would have been well long before if they had left him alone.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“The man who is at a lower level but is moving onward toward perfection is living a more moral, a better life, is more fully carrying out Christ's teaching, than the man on a much higher level of morality who is not moving onward toward perfection.”
― Leo Tolstoy, quote from The Kingdom of God Is Within You


About the author

Leo Tolstoy
Born place: in Yasnaya Polyana, Tula, Russian Empire
Born date September 9, 1828
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“- Трябва да призная, че се възхитих от вас, професоре. Каквото и да говорим, вие сте единственият истински мъж сред онези безценни изкопаеми. Доколкото разбирам, ние не общувате много сколегите си, нали? Разжбира се, би трябвало да чувствате определена несъвместимост…
- Отново не познахте – процеди Круг, нарушавайки обета за мълчание. – Аз уважавам своите колеги толкова, колкото и себе си. Уважавам ги по две причини: защото умеят да откриват съвършеното щастие в специализирани познания, и защото нямат склонност към физическо насилие.
- Д-р Александър неправилно прие думите му за, както го бяха осведомили, една от типичните за Адам Круг (и забавляващи единствено него) мъгляви остроти, и предпазливо се засмя.”
― Vladimir Nabokov, quote from Bend Sinister


“He stopped. “You're upset. I'll shut up and leave you”
― Iris Johansen, quote from The Killing Game


“I need to learn to recognize and identify these danger signs when I see them, and not brush them off as "eccentricities," "lovable oddities," or "a sign that he s crying out for help and the comforting of a codependent nurturer that only I, Princess Enabler, can provide. Bad boyfriends don't disguise themselves; their girlfriends do it for them. ”
― Laurie Notaro, quote from Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood


“She realized that the world was a dance of a million fates. In this dance she was but a single soul.”
― David Anthony Durham, quote from Acacia: The War with the Mein


“Proteins *Egg whites with 1–2 whole eggs for flavor (or, if organic, 2–5 whole eggs, including yolks) *Chicken breast or thigh *Beef (preferably grass-fed) *Fish Pork Legumes *Lentils (also called “dal” or “daal”) *Black beans Pinto beans Red beans Soybeans Vegetables *Spinach *Mixed vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower, or any other cruciferous vegetables) *Sauerkraut, kimchee (full explanation of these later in “Damage Control”) Asparagus Peas Broccoli Green beans”
― Timothy Ferriss, quote from The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman


Interesting books

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
(69.1K)
Saving CeeCee Honeyc...
by Beth Hoffman
Motherless Brooklyn
(26.3K)
Motherless Brooklyn
by Jonathan Lethem
The Samurai's Garden
(18.7K)
The Samurai's Garden
by Gail Tsukiyama
The Essential Rumi
(29.3K)
The Essential Rumi
by Rumi
Monument 14
(19.8K)
Monument 14
by Emmy Laybourne
The Miserable Mill
(116.4K)
The Miserable Mill
by Lemony Snicket

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.