This extraordinary volume of selections from Leo Tolstoy's writings from his final years is a treasure, and it has a spirit of love and peace that one can even feel as one holds this book in one's hands. It is a delight and inspiration to read, whether one chooses to read it through from cover to cover, or use it as one would a daily devotional; to start each day with Tolstoy's wisdom, is to start the day with a quiet joy, and fresh understanding of what lies ahead. For each day, there is a chapter of approximately 125-150 words, and many include quotes from the world's great thinkers, from Confucius to Henry David Thoreau, and from Buddhist proverbs to the Talmud.
The themes range from one's spiritual life to the mundane, to the core of all things, love, and cover all relevant topics of the human condition. Though these thoughts were written from the years 1903 through 1910, they are as relevant today as ever. "Wise Thoughts for Every Day" is truly a "guide to living a good life" in any age.
Peter Sekirin has done a monumental work in translating and selecting these passages into one volume, and it is a gift to the world and humanity in these troubled times. The translation has a lucid beauty, and also a rare simplicity, making Tolstoy's thoughts understandable and highly readable. Those who stay away from Russian literature thinking it too complex should not overlook this superb book, which will appeal to anyone seeking truth and enlightenment, young and old alike.
The layout is wonderful, and it is a sturdily constructed book, with 365 pages of wisdom, an introduction by Dr. Sekirin, and an introduction by Tolstoy. This was Tolstoy's favorite of all his works, and he would have been so proud of this volume, in its first translation into English; it is a classic that belongs on every bookshelf, to be read and re-read as the years go by.
Tolstoy's Wise Thoughts for Every Day differs from his other works such as A Calendar of Wisdom written in the last ten years of his life, in that in this book nearly all of the passages are from Tolstoy himself, rather than taken from other texts or people, so we really and truly get an idea on Tolstoy's view of life and how it should be lived. Each day has a subject (such as God, Faith, Pride, One Soul in All) around which the thoughts revolve, with the subjects repeating each month.
While this book is, for all intents and purposes, a book of spiritual writing, it is also a work which anyone could easily pick up and read, as the thoughts are philosophical in nature as well, making this work first and foremost a composition on how to live a good life. That was the goal of Tolstoy in the latter part of his life when he spent copious amounts of time writing these books- to make them accessible to anyone and to help them improve their lives. He believed the only true religion is the one which all people can share.....and for this to happen it has to be simple, and not complicated by arbitrary or overly complex rules. Like all of Tolstoy's great writings, this work shows most strikingly his thorough understanding of the nuances of human character, and the flaws which lie within. Whether one agrees or disagrees with what is contained within Wise Thoughts for Every Day, one cannot help but be taken aback by Tolstoy's grasp of the deficiencies and imperfections innate in mankind.....and also the vast potential for good.
One of the great achievements of this book is the fact that Tolstoy is giving us information on how to live our lives while in the final years of his own.Read more ›
I had the fortunate job of proof reading and minor editing of this book, for translater Peter Sekerin. As I spent the many hours doing so, I found that Tolstoy's thoughts and wisdom, as you continue to read him over and over, almost permeates your thoguhts and come to mind as you go through out your day. He was a very wise and learned man, but also a very practical one. This project in its entirety are the deep thoughts of a man willing to be changed by his God, who examined and reflected thoughtfully on the world around him. In Tolstoy's footsteps, I find Peter Sekerin on a similar journey. He was and is the right man to take on this book. May you be blessed as you read Tolstoy's writings as rediscovered and presented by Peter Sekirin.