TOLSTOYANS. Followers of Count Leo Tolstoy (1828 1910), the Russian social reformer. Tolstoy was educated in the faith of the Orthodox Greek Church. But he gradually lost the faith of his childhood. From the age of sixteen be ceased to attend the services of the Church. " I no longer accepted the faith of my childhood, but I bad a vague belief in something, though I do not think I could exactly explain what " (How I came to Believe). In early manhood, he tells us, be gave free rein to his passions. After serving in the Crimean War, he became an author. At St. Petersburg he associated with the authors of the day, and " met with a hearty reception and much flattery." But as time went on he became more and more disgusted with his own life and with the life of the people around him. He went abroad and made the acquaintance of many eminent and learned men. On his return be organised schools for the peasantry. He went abroad again to study methods of teaching. Re turning to Russia, he accepted the office of a country magistrate or arbitrator, and began to teach the un educated people in the schools, and the educated classes in journals which he published. But the work was a con stant worry to him, " trying to teach, without knowing how or what," and he became ill. On his recovery, he married (1862); and family life for a time diverted his thoughts. In 1874 his mental difficulties became again a source of worry and depression. " Till I know the reasons for my own acts, I can do nothing—I cannot live." Life no longer seemed to have any meaning for him. He sought for its meaning in Art, Poetry, Science, and Philosophy, but in vain. He next sought for its meaning in life itself, in the men who surrounded him. The life of those who occupied the same position as himself offered no satisfactory solution of his difficulties. Having failed here, he decided to study the life of the labouring classes. This seemed to suggest that throughout man kind there was given to the meaning of life a sense which he had neglected and despised. He was forced to the conclusion that besides the reasoning knowledge which he once thought the only true knowledge, "there was in every living man another kind of knowledge, an un reasoning one, but which gives a possibility of living— faith." This led him to turn his attention to religion again, especially to Christianity. But be could not dis cover among the so-called believers of his own class the faith he sought. Once more he studied the lives of the people, and became " convinced that a true faith was among them, that their faith was for them a necessary thing, and alone gave them a meaning in life and a possi bility of living." After living among them for two years, the life of his own circle of rich and learned men became repulsive and lost all its meaning. "The life of the working classes, of the whole of mankind, of those that create life, appeared to me in its true significance. I understood that this was life itself, and that the meaning given to this life was a true one, and I accepted it." The tormenting feeling which Tolstoy had had was really, he felt afterwards, a searching after God. " This search after a God was not an act of my reason, but a feeling, and I say this advisedly, because It was opposed to my way of thinking; it came from the heart." Gradually he returned to " a belief in God, in moral perfectibility, and in the tradition which gives a meaning to life." He decided to renounce the life of his own class, and to adopt the simple life of the working classes. He also returned to the Orthodox Faith. But he found after a time that he could not continue to be an orthodox member of it. He wished to be a brother to men of every creed, and he was horrified because in time of war Russians slew their brethren in the name of Christian love. He withdrew from the Orthodox Church. His criticisms of orthodox Christianity have since been very searching; and in 1901 he was excommunicated by the Russian Synod. In 1895 Tolstoy had renounced his property in copyright, land, and money. When Tolstoy came back to Christianity and re-read the Gospels again and again, he discovered a new meaning in sayings of Jesus. He found, for instance, that when Jesus said. " Resist not evil," he gave utterance to a principle of supreme im portance. " He says with perfect clearness and simpli city The law of resistance to evil by violence, which you have made the principle of your lives, is false and unnatural.' He gives another basis—the non-resistance of evil, which, according to his teaching, can alone deliver mankind from evil. He says : You think that your laws of violence correct evil; they only increase it. For thousands of years you have tried to destroy evil by evil, and you have not destroyed but increased it. Do what I say, and you will know the truth of this ' " (What I believe, 1884). Again, when Jesus condemned the use of oaths, he fully meant what he said. " Jesus said,
But I say unto you, Swear not at all.' This expression is as simple, clear, and unhesitating as the words 'Judge not and Condemn not,' and requires as little explana tion; particularly as it is further explained that what ever is required of us more than the answer Yea, or Nay. is from the source of evil." War is the most frightful wickedness; and to take a military oath is to rebel against the precepts of the Gospels. Our evil social con ditions are due to violence. " The cause of the miser able condition of the workers is slavery. The cause of slavery is legislation. Legislation rests on organised violence. It follows that an improvement in the condition of the people is possible only through the abolition of organised violence ' (The Slavery of Our Times, 1900). Governments ought to be abolished—but not by violence. People must be persuaded that disciplined armies are not necessary, except for keeping the masses of the people in slavery. " People must feel that their participation in the criminal activity of Governments, whether by giving part of their work, in the form of money, or by direct participation in military service, is not, as is generally supposed, an indifferent action, but besides being harm ful to oneself and to one's brothers, is a participation in the crimes unceasingly committed by all Governments, and a preparation for new crimes which Governments, by maintaining disciplined armies, are always preparing." They must feel this and communicate the feeling to others. They must not think of meeting violence with violence. " The inconsistency of violence as a means of communion between men, its incompatibility with the demands of contemporary conscience, is too obvious for the existing order to be able to continue. But external conditions cannot change without a change in the inner spiritual condition of men " (The One Thing Needful). The means of deliverance lies only in one thing, " the inner work of each man upon himself." Tolstoy was the prophet of the simple life. It is natural that he should have become a vegetarian. But he did not main tain that in order to be moral, people must cease to eat meat. " I only wish to say that for a good life a certain order of good actions is indispensable; that If a man's aspiration toward right living be serious, it will inevit ably follow one definite sequence; and that in this sequence the first virtue a man will strive after will be abstinence, self-renunciation. And in seeking to be abstinent a man will inevitably follow one definite sequence, and in this sequence the first thing will be abstinence in food, fasting. And in fasting, if he be really and seriously seeking to live a good life, the first thing from which he will abstain will always be the use of animal food, because, to say nothing of the excitation of the passions caused by such food, its use is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to the moral feeling—killing; and is called forth only by greediness, and the desire for tasty food " (The First Step, 1900). As an ideal, Tolstoy seems to have recommended also abstinence from marriage. " The Christian's ideal is love to God and to one's neighbour; it is the renunciation of self for the service of God and one's neighbour. Whereas sexual love, marriage, is service of self, and therefore in any case an obstacle to the service of God and man; consequently, from a Christian point of view, a fall, a sin." He repeats this teaching in a number of letters to correspondents. One more example. " If man be already living a human, spiritual life, then being in love and marriage will be for him a fall : he will have to give part of his powers to his wife or family or the object of his love. But if he be on the animal plane, the eating, working, writing plane, then being in love will be for him an ascent, as with animals and insects " (The Relations of the Sexes, 1901). Tolstoy disapproved of the current conceptions of Art, and offered a new definition. " To evoke in one self a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then, by means of movements, lines, colours, sounds, or forms expressed in words, so to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling— this is the activity of art. Art is a human activity, con sisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings, and also experience them " (What is Art! 1898). The result of false conceptions of Art has been that " the ecclesiastical and patriotic intoxication and embitter ment of the people " has been perpetuated (cp. Guy de aupassant, 1898). See, in addition, to the works quoted above : The Kingdom of God is Within You, 1894; What to do; On Life, 1902; What is Religion? 1902; Popular Stories and Legends.