…stand up or enjoy your fall
“Let each one understand that he has not the right, or even the possibility, to organize the lives of others, but that he, in his own life, should act in conformity with the supreme religious law that has been revealed to him, and the order of things that reigns among the so-called Christian nations – an order that makes the whole world suffer, which answers so little to the demands of our consciences and which makes humanity unhappier each day – will immediately disappear.
Whoever you are: sovereign, judge, proprietor, worker, beggar, reflect and take pity on your soul. No matter how obscured your brain may be by your authority, your wealth, no matter how badly treated you may be and how irritated by misery and humiliations, you possess and you manifest like all of us, the divine spirit, which asks you clearly today: Why do you martyrize yourself and make all those about you unhappy? Understand who you are, just how insignificant and infallible is that which you call ‘you’ – your spiritual self – and having understood it, commence to live entirely for the accomplishment of the superior mission of your life which has been revealed to you by universal wisdom, by the doctrine of Christ, and by your own conscience.
Put the good of your life in the progressive freedom of your mind, freedom from all the illusions of the flesh, and in the improvement of your love for your fellow man – which is, after all, the same thing. As soon as you will have begun to live thus, you will be aware of a joyous sensation full of liberty and happiness. You will be surprised to see that the same external conditions, with which you were so concerned, and which were far from realization, will not prevent the coming of the greatest possible happiness.
And if you are unhappy – and I know that you are – reflect upon what has been proposed to you here, and which I have not imagined, but is the result of the thoughts and feelings of the best minds and human hearts, and which is the only way to deliver you from your unhappiness, to acquire the greatest good that you can get in this life.
That is what I wanted to say to my brothers before dying.”
Leo Tolstoy, The Law of Love and The Law of Violence