Two Ways Of Living

There are two ways of living. The first is to live by pleasing yourself. The second is to live, pleasing God and thus pleasing yourself. The first way seems the clearest, most profitable and short. But this is an illusion. When people live to please themselves, they are involuntarily jealous of each other, suspecting that the other is more agile for himself. Hence occur the mutual hatred that transforms a shortcut into the endless path of universal struggle with one another. When people live pleasing God and thus themselves, they do not feel jealous of each other. God does not single out beloved ones. Figuratively speaking, they often look up, and not at each other. They do not bother to look at each other. They look at each other with their already refreshed eyes.

Fazil Iskander

Love Me Like You Are Loved

A letter to Mrs. Saltykova, second half of May, 1825. Petersburg: Notify me, dear Sofia Michailovna, about your health, and have pity on your Delvig. He woke up today with a huge lip, damn fly kissed him sleepy. You can not imagine how it hurts me from such a trifle to sit at home and kiss your hands only in imagination. Speaking of hands by the way: herewith I return your rings, yesterday accidentally stolen by me. Love me like you are loved by Delvig.

Delvig Anton

Love For Deeds In Themselves

– I do not respect people: they are lazy, they like to live in idleness, especially in winter, and they do not carry love for deeds in themselves, and because of that they do not have peace in their soul. If they say a lot, – so is in order to conceal their flaws, and if they are silent – so, it means they do not believe in anything. The beginning in them is obscure and incomprehensible; and it does no good, that around them so many authorities are set up: if in a human there is no beginning – you will not drive it from the outside. People are shaky and unbelieving…

Maksim Gorky

Thirty Rubles A Month

A grandson came to Faina Ranevskaya with his beloved girlfriend and represents her:

– Faina Gieorgievna, this is Katya. She knows how to perfectly cook, loves to bake cakes, carefully cleans up the apartment…      

– Well, my boy! Thirty rubles a month and let her come on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Faina Ranevskaya

Life Like A Human

Man his own thirty years lived like a human – ate, drank, fought in the war, danced at weddings, loved young women and girls. As donkey worked fifteen years, acquired wealth. A fifteen dog-like years he kept his wealth, always told lies and was angry, did not sleep at night. And then he became such a nasty and old, like the monkey. And all shook their heads and laughed at his old age.

Ivan Bunin

To Play The Role Of A Loving Person

Bored, depressed by the terror of a duel, Van Konet, hypocriting carefully and gently, began to play the role of a loving person – one of the most difficult roles, if the heart of the player is not touched by at least sympathy. If it laughs, and love of the girl is reckless, the success of the game is provided – no hesitation either in words or in positions: be calm, suspiciously plain-tempered, even morose and lethargic – a woman’s heart will find an explanation for everything, justify all and accept the blame for herself.

Alexander Green

Where Is The Name For You?

Where is the name for you? The mortal art expresses your charm not much! Lyra is not for you! What songs? Incorrect aftersounds of late rumors about you! If the heart could be heard by it, every sense would be a hymn to you! The beauty of your life, this pure holy image I keep in the heart like a mystery. I can only love; to say, how deep are you loved, – maybe can only eternity alone!

Vasily Zhukovsky

Someone Has Visited My Soul In That Hour

He did not know what held her for, he did not give himself the report, why he longed so irresistibly to kiss her, kiss her all over, but he kissed her weeping, sobbing and watering with his tears, and vowed passionately to love her, to love her for ever and ever. “Water the earth with tears of your joy and love those tears …” – echoed in his soul. What was he crying about? Oh, he was crying in his rapture even about those stars that shine to him out of the abyss, and “was not ashamed of ecstasy.” As if the threads from all those innumerable worlds of God came together at once in his heart, and she was trembling, “contacting with other worlds.” He longed to forgive everyone and everything and ask for forgiveness, oh! not himself, but for everyone, for everything and for all, and “for me others ask” – echoed again in his soul. But every moment he felt clear and tangibly as it were, as something solid and unshakable as that vault of heaven had entered into his soul. Some-like-idea seized the sovereignty of his mind – and have done it for life and for all eternity. He fell to the earth as a weak boy, and stood firm fighter for a lifetime and he knew and felt it suddenly, at that very moment his delight. And never could Alyosha forget in his whole life and then that moment. “Someone has visited my soul in that hour,” – he said then with a firm belief in their own words …

Fedor Dostoevsky

Life As It Is Means For Them More Than Work

My mind is constantly being cleaned. I’m starting to see that people go to work not for lofty goals, – they raise their children, fish, love, quarrel; life as it is means for them more than work. The development of microelectronics excites nobody in particular. I, with my ideology, look as an outsider here. I was intoxicated by destiny, by my machines, and yet nothing shall remain of them, progress will devour everything. What we have done will be the day before yesterday lunch. And I have sacrificed everything … I recently dreamed about Ann, and I saw something with which we began: seductive scar on her cheek, the trace of our total construction fever on Itaka … I do not know whether we will be able to live that long … No matter how much thought, I came up with only one: progress – is to increase the duration of human life. But everything else – advances of technics, science, politics – it is difficult to understand whether they are better for a human or worse.

Daniil Granin

Learn To Cherish The Present Moment

Our life is divided into two periods: the first is held in the future and the second in the past. Until some years, in the expectations of his pride, a man is looking forward to the idea: “There, there fate awaits me, worthy of my heart!” The losses are of a little upset to him; the future seems to him a myriad of treasuries prepared for his pleasures. But when the fever of youth is gone, when a hundred times wounded self-love will inevitably learn humility; when hundred times disappointed by expectation we finally cease to believe it; Then, with annoyance leaving the future, we return eyes to the past and want to replace by some good memories the lost happiness of flattering expectations, saying our consolation: yes, we also have been in Arcadia! Then, and only at that time we only learn to cherish the present moment…

Nicolai Karamzin

The Path Of Ascent

All of these ways: satanic, animal, human and angelic – lead to death. They lead to the death of love, anyway, and sometimes to the death of the individuality in person. In all these ways a person in a state of passive love, he does not take love into conscious will, does not perform “deeds” of love, and love let to itself, disappears like a mirage. Eros flies away. The winged god, always carrying “breath of unearthly joy,” equally flies away either from a happy father of a family, or away from passionate sensualist, or away from weak-willed young man, falling straight from his divine embrace into the arms of death. But if so, where, what is, by what is determined the path of true love? – By the fifth, the last, willed way of love – already not only human, but a divine-human, i. e. the path of ascent.

Zinaida Gippius