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Tolstoy Essay

1400 words - 6 pages

Search for the Meaning of Life Throughout our lives at one point or another each one of us questions what is the meaning of life. Is death the ultimate end? Many of us wonder if there is an after life of some sort, or is life over after we die? Many turn to religion for the answers. People look to religion as "the solution to some sort of problem that life sets us." With this dilemma comes many other questions of what the meaning of life is? If this is the ultimate end, should we live it to the fullest? And if there is an afterlife do we live our lives based on what may happen during our afterlife? Many philosophers have expressed their views on this question, amongst which was the famous philosopher Tolstoy. According to Tolstoy death is annihilation. Tolstoy's views can be compared to the beliefs of Buddha. Buddha believed in an afterlife. In this paper, we are going to be discussing Tolstoy's dilemma and his conclusions, while comparing them to Buddha's views. Throughout his life, Tolstoy consistently questioned himself "Why? What's the point in anything I'm doing?" (26-28). Tolstoy's moments of perplexity came during his late forty's. No one would have been able to look at him and guess that he felt as if his life was going nowhere. His life was filled with happiness, which also brought the feeling of emptiness. He had a wife who he loved and who loved him back, "good children, and a large estate that without much effort improved and increased." He had everything that anyone else would have wanted. Somewhere deep down inside he could not figure out what the point in all this was. What was the purpose of his own life? Tolstoy began to feel bothered when he realized that everything good that he had was one day going to come to an end. The fact that he had nothing problematic in his life started to make him feel as if someone was playing a joke on him. He felt as if all this could not be right and there was no purpose for him to live. That is when he started to contemplate suicide. He was surprised by the fact that it took him so long to realize this. He beloved that he was standing on a summit of life from where he was, "Seeing clearly that there is nothing in life, and that there has been and will be nothing. And he was amused." He believed that no matter what he had now in life, would sooner or later have no meaning because eventually he would not exist anymore. Everything about him would be forgotten. Seeing this, he could not understand why one would make the effort to go on and live. Why not just end it all right now when it will all end one day anyways? All he could see was each and every move of his being one-step closer to death.Tolstoy felt that he was trying to cover up the truth by attempting to believe the fables that he had been told throughout his life. He was told, "You can not understand that meaning of life, so do not think about it, but live." He felt that he could no longer go along with his idea, for he had been doing it for...

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