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The Spoken Word: Selections from “The Pathway of Life” by Leo Tolstoy (vegetarian): Volume 2, Part 1 of 2

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The renowned 19th-century Russian author suggested that we ask ourselves what God really wants us to do. In addition to his renowned epic novels, Leo Tolstoy wrote essays and letters that conveyed the spiritual truths he came to realize in life. Along with adopting and promoting the vegetarian diet, he became deeply interested in spirituality and living by the ethical teachings of Christ. Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke about the uplifting nature of Leo Tolstoy’s work during a group meditation session with our Association members in July 1997, in Los Angeles, USA. “Because Tolstoy was a practitioner. That's why when you read his stories, most stories are about spiritual things, about God, and very happy and very positive. It's very good to read him, to read his books. You try. If you haven't, you try. You can read more. Such thing is very good for you.” We would like to share with you an insightful excerpt from Volume 2 of “The Pathway of Life,” called “The Spoken Word.”

“By a word we can bring people into union, by a word we can sever their union; by a word we can serve love, and likewise by a word we can serve enmity and hatred. Beware of the word that separates people or serves enmity and hatred.”

“Man is the carrier of God. He can express the consciousness of his divinity by a word. How then should he not be careful in the use of a word?”

“If you would pass as well informed — learn to question rationally, to listen attentively, to answer calmly, and to cease speaking when there is nothing left to say.”

“While wise men teach us that silence is useful, free speech is likewise needful, only at the proper time. We sin by words both if we are silent when we ought to speak, and if we speak when we ought to be silent.”

“If you know how people should live and mean well with them, you will tell them. And you will do so in such a manner that they trust your words. In order that they may trust you and understand you, you must express your thoughts without irritation or anger, but calmly and kindly.”
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