Wisdom of Life

Mikhail Prishvin: Nature, Love, and the Meaning of Life

“The animal knows everything, but cannot say it.
Man can say a lot, but knows nothing.”



“Joy and happiness are the children of love, but love itself, as the moving force, is patience and compassion. Love is the root of life. But she does not come just like that. Even if they showed you that she exists, where she is located… anyway you yourself will have to find her when she grows up and becomes an independent, huge, real feeling within. This is the meaning of life – the search for love, going after your dreams, an active movement towards it through all obstacles past or present. The dream – and it is achievable, the main thing is to follow your destination. Look into your heart, and it will become clear that in search of the root of life one must go with a clear conscience and never look back to the side where everything is already crumpled and trampled.

There are no failures along the path to the root of life — the root of life is attainable. There are terms of life independent of you personally; no matter how hard you fight, no matter how talented and smart you are, until the right conditions are created, when the right time has come, all the best will hang in the air with a dream or utopia.

Love means to fight for a loved one. We often see that a man is just someone, and a woman is excellent. What this means is that we don’t know the hidden dignity of this man appreciated by that woman: this is chosen love, and probably true love.

True love cannot be unrequited, and if love still fails, it happens because of lack of attention to the one you love. True love, first of all is attentive, and rapprochement depends on the strength of attention.

Luck – this is the measure of happiness in breadth, and failure – a test for happiness in depth. It is necessary that each person personally finds for himself the opportunity to live a spiritual life among the humble and inevitable reality of every day.

We rejoice when we get into nature, because here is where we come to our senses. Nature is the environment from which, like flowers, all our human talents have grown. To protect nature means to protect the homeland.

The essence of all animals, from bugs to a human, is love; and to plants – it’s water: they long for it and it comes to them from the earth and from heaven, as we humans have earthly love and heavenly love.

Man has learned to master everything except freedom. Perhaps dealing with peronal needs and extreme necessities is much easier than dealing with freedom. In times of hardship people become tempered and live the dream of freedom. But then freedom comes, and people do not know what to do with it…

Morality is the ratio of the power of the mind to the power of feeling. The stronger the feeling and the closer the mind is to it, the greater the person in his human work. There are feelings that fill and darken the mind, and there is a mind that cools the movement of feelings. Truth is the victory of conscience in man. A man has to be the master of his feelings, and a woman has to surrender – this is the basis of all human life.

The woman who gives birth is closest to nature: she is nature itself on one side, and a human being on the other.

Beauty will save the world if she is kind. But is she kind? Not beauty will save the world but the bright thoughts. For what is the use of arrogant and godless beauty?

Peace on earth is possible only with some kind of harmonious relationship between soul and mind. The dominance of the mind leads to bare technology and war.

The wise man understands by the end of his life that death is terrible only from the outside, for the loved ones, but for oneself there is no death; man himself is born immortal, and he/she leaves that way…”


~Mikhail Mikhailovich Prishvin was a Russian/Soviet writer.

©Excellence Reporter 2020

Categories: Wisdom of Life

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