Tolstoi on Death.
Count Tolstoi’s new philosophical work, • Thoughts about Life ’ (says a Home paper of April 12), is now far advanced. ‘ The Fear of Death ’ is one of the most remarkable chapters in it. He says:—“ The idea that I am about to die, and that my life will end, torments and frightens me, and, somehow, lam sorry for myself. But what is it to die ? Why should Ibe sorry ? What sort of thing am I from the most usual point of view ? First of all, flesh —what then? Do I fear about that? Am I sorry for that? Apparently not. My body as a substance will never perish, in no case, not a single particle of it. This part of me being assured, there is nothing to fear for that. Everything will be preserved. . . . You were different a year ago, still more different ten years ago, and totally different before that. As far as you can remember you have been always changing; why are you so pleased with your individuality at this particular moment that you are so sorry to lose it ? . . . Your whole life has been a passage through a fleshy existence ; you have gone on, and even hastened, and suddenly you are sorry for the accomplishment of what you have been unceasingly doing. You are horrified by this great change in your position—the death of the flesh. But the same sort of change took place in yon at your birth, and nothing had happened to you; on the contrary, it turned out so well that you don’t want any change.” Tolstoi then goes on to assert that death occurs only when and because the blessings of man’s real life cannot be increased in this world, and not because he has disease of the lungs, or cancer, or happens to be shot.
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Tolstoi on Death., Evening Star, Issue 7915, 24 May 1889
Tolstoi on Death. Evening Star, Issue 7915, 24 May 1889
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