Daniil Andreev. «The Rose of the World»
Book VIII. On the Metahistory of the Tzardom of Moscovy

VIII. Chapter 4. Kin-guardian Peter and the demonic distortion of his mission.

Amid the riddles of the seventeenth century for historical thought to ponder, not the least mysterious is a strange fact: the birth of a man into no less than a royal family who, with his spiritual stature, giftedness, intellect, cast, and even physical temperament, perfectly befitted an ideal statesman of which Russia, her metaculture, her mission, and her destiny were needful at the time.

The birth of personalities of such caliber is as rare as one in hundreds of millions. The precise odds that such a person happened to be the prince are nearing zero.

Meanwhile, given the seventeenth century’s milieu, a revolution not unlike Peter the Great’s could have been carried out only by a great genius of statesmanship and only under one binding condition: the legitimacy of his authority in the eyes of the contemporaries. Far less ambitious undertakings of Boris and False Dmitry on bringing closer together Russia and the West were forgiven by the Russians to neither and entailed, among other reasons, these two premature deaths. Undoubtedly, the statecraft of these rulers was far behind Peter’s genius. But it is also beyond doubt that no usurper, even such a genius as Peter, could thwart the agelong social norms permeated with the ancient idea of the hereditary base for the succession of power.

Yet, the science of today, as dogmatically denying the historical teleology as it does, is bound to circumvent this fact with silence. As always in such cases, it feigns as though questions of this kind have no bearing. It perfectly understands that, within the causal approach to phenomena alone, it will not be able to utter even a single sound in trying to explain this fact.

Such a state of the modern historian – a historian in the narrow sense of this word – is only natural. For him or her, applying the teleological principle to historical facts is inconceivable. Indeed: what methodology would make it possible to approach the facts with the question as to “why”? From the steep inclines of this question opens nothing but a boundless sea of fantasy.

Yet, a metahistorian is in no need to narrow down his or her outlook to the bounds of the causal framework. For him or her – from the steep inclines of the “why” question – opens none other than a sea, not of fantasies though but of the second reality. Causality is no fetish for a metahistorian who approaches many problems from another, teleological angle. In particular, the dependence of mold and aptitude upon the birth and childhood setting makes the case. Should a historian opt for not seeing the cardinal difference between dupes of fantasy and the metahistorical method – let us, at least, not deny him or her consolation in the idea that abiding within the enclosure of causality supposedly presents the ultimate and most spectacular achievement on the way of attaining knowledge.

Apparently, the demiurge and karossa Dingra had long laid the groundwork for the etheric-physical form or, rather, the apparatus which was to accommodate such a colossal involtation as well as carry out its tasks. This dated back over several generations, in both the prince’s paternal and maternal lineages. The process of this preparation is, of course, outside the metahistorian’s scope. He or she is only allowed to track the culmination of it – the providential circumstances of Peter’s childhood and adolescence that put the final brushstrokes upon his personality.

Reformation tasks would demand of him an immense exertion. Hence Peter’s childhood in Preobrazhenskoe village, unlike that of his two brothers who had withered in the sheltered life of the palace, seasoned his body and availed him of an opportunity for various physical exercises including those that appeared totally unbefitting to his contemporaries.

The reformer in the making would need an exceptional independence of mind, a habit to rely on no authorities and to think for himself. Therefore, neither in his childhood, nor adolescence was there allowed into Peter’s retinue anyone who, through their intellectual and volitional faculties, could even for a short time tamper the boy’s independent mental activity with a blind reliance on “the say-so”.

The immensity of his tasks as a ruler would demand of him the unheard-of, monstrous, almost unrealizable forms of conduct. He would have to shed his royal garment and, having rolled up his sleeves, be setting an example for carpenters, ship builders, blacksmiths, cabinetmakers – in sum, craftsmen of all sorts. In the very Preobrazhenskoe village were created conditions that sufficiently met the demands of the future king – to not only accustom oneself to such works, but also to become skilled at some of them. Succeeding the boyars (Russian aristocracy, t/n) were talented commoners as found by him, and also the Streltsy (soldiers, t/n) had to be replaced – only God knows how and whence – by a new army that corresponded with the needs of the coming day. And so, his playmates in Preobrazhenskoe turned out youths from the populace – witty, loyal, and bold – the nucleus of the future guard.

The harsh duty of being a kingly revolutionary would demand of him intransigence with the enemies of his political designs. From his early years, his heart would harden in witnessing the bloody mutinies of the Streltsy and executions as well as in such human relationships as Princess Sophia’s stance toward him. Had an ordinary child, not nurtured by the metahistorical forces, been put into the same environment, nothing exceptional would have become of him. Yet, given his inborn genius, that is to say, his heightened sensitivity to the inspiration of the accompanying him daemon that had been the fruit of the demiurge and the karossa’s workings, the whole setting of the Preobrazhenskoe village brought about the formation and refining of this human instrument.

Such teleological perspective could be applied to the biography of any individual who numbers among kin-guardians, geniuses, and saints under one condition: that there is ample biographical data to make use of.

What was, after all, the historical task of Peter I as betokened by the demiurge?

Inasmuch as it is possible to peel off this task from the influence of the witzraor, and to the extent that it is explicable in human terms, the task can be outlined as follows:

Russia is destined with a global mission of which the emperor knows nothing. He has to be confident only in one thing: its global nature. His personal task comes down to redirecting the suprapeople from the vegetative state of national seclusion to the vast expanse of pan-human development. The Russian people is to be included within the elect of the leading nations not merely as a satellite or younger historical partner but as a great power which other peoples have to reckon with from the very start. Such a shift is possible only if Russia embraces the objective advancements of the neighboring older culture, for this culture is one of the two which were able to prevail over the limitations of its aristocracy-centered classicist society and its parochial isolation from the rest of the world. For such a shift to occur and its fruits to be lasting, there needed to be a complete transformation from within: it would annul boyars as a ruling class that had shown its inaptitude for the historical tasks and hand over the leading role to the gentry and middle class. Why not to the clergy or peasantry? Not to the clergy, for its dominance in the state would entail the rampant encroachment of the egregor of Orthodoxy and, ultimately, hierocratic despotism, the most torpid of all despotisms that there are. And, certainly, not to the peasantry, as it was the most backward class that had to be aided for centuries before it could play a constructive role in the formation of the state and social creativity.

It is impossible here to make a detailed examination of how much the historical doings of Peter agreed with this task. Yet, what is possible and needful – to point out the significance of the second involtation, as though interlayered between the demiurge’s involtation and the emperor’s personality, which imparted the latter with the qualities that not at all times and not in all instances met the desires of Yarosvet.

This involtation of the demon of statehood acted upon certain traits in Peter’s character and temperament, and, on other occasions, upon his reasoning abilities. At that, it distorted the course of his thought and actions to the extent that he was bound by these very traits’ and abilities’ influence.

Zhrugr really saw to the infusing of the kin-guardian with his tyrannical tendency. With this aim in mind, he managed to remold Peter’s rugged firmness, an indispensable quality in his situation, into intransigence; the inner freedom from authorities – into implacable ferocity toward any influence from the past; the forthright dedication to his cause – into hatred toward anything seemingly useless, that is, having no utility in his schemes; and his sweeping spontaneity – into unfettered sensuality and boundless rudeness. His irony outgrew into a proclivity to mockery. His utilitarian mindset emasculated his aesthetic wellsprings which forked into two directions: the artistic approach to the trades and the artisan approach to arts. As for his outbursts of cruelty, some of these took on a sadistic tint.

From these qualities stemmed the blunders of political thought which led Peter to the actions that were erroneous and detrimental from the metahistorical and, arguably, also from the historical vantage point: to the unwarranted cruelty toward the boyars, toward the Streltsy and schismatics, toward his own son, and, most importantly – toward his own people that lay not only tremendous but, at times, unwarranted sacrifices on the altar of the king’s designs; the sheer oblivion of the pressing historical need to secure the development and, later, the leading role of the middle class, which subsequently proved a fatal mistake; to violence against the church that resulted, as one of the late thinkers put it, in the paralysis and – under the third witzraor – subservience to its own enemy which would seem totally unthinkable in any other epoch; to disregard of the peasantry’s interests that entailed the aggravation of serfdom and arrested the cultural development of the Russian society’s most numerous class for centuries; and, finally, to the atmosphere of terror reigning supreme in the country, to the devaluation of human life, and disregard of individual rights which long outlived Peter and became a hallmark of “greatpowerness” in a host of epochs to come. However grandiose the figure of the emperor was, and however providentially needful were his doings, the duality of the involtation apprehended by his raging heart, Herculean will, and forward-looking yet utilitarian mind, turned the kin-guardian into a double-natured being before whom the gates of the Synclite were shut tight.

It is hard to find a more striking dissonance than between the figures of two kin-guardians who, both, gravely eroded their missions: the one who had been lifted to the heights of autocracy – Ivan IV – and the other, Peter I, who, despite all odds, remained the recipient of Yarosvet’s inspiration. There is, indeed, a dramatic contrast between the circumstances of the deaths of their sons, Ivan and Alexei. In one case, it is an act which proved suicidal for the dynasty and the state, committed by a being stripped of his humanity and besotted with rage: a manifestation of Velga at its finest. In the other case, it is a coldly thought-out and, in spite of all human sentiments, ruthlessly carried-out measure in the name of a political idea for which his own flesh and blood was slain: an equally stark involtation of the demon of statehood.

It is equally curious, perhaps, to have sight of the pastime of both rulers’ when they are not busy with state affairs, not squashing Tatars or the Swedes, but feasting. One, frowningly gazing around his table companions, only in the next moment to do something abominable, even monstrous: one time – smiting a disgraced boyar on the chest with his staff; another time – biting off the ear of some guest; and on yet another occasion – laughing himself to tears at some prince sewn up in a bearskin being mauled by dogs; or on one occasion – forcing some unfortunate one to eat a certain bodily part of his own father.

The other is a great ruler a century and half later: a giant with a murky look but standing firm on his straddling legs who forces, laughing and clapping on the shoulder a former boyar or, perhaps, a yesterday’s shoemaker or pastry maker and the today’s state official, to bottoms up a Great Eagle goblet. A truly great person cannot not be generous. The Terrible is humongous, yet void of largesse, hence of greatness. But Peter is generous with some extraordinary, terrific magnanimity. How wonderfully this was intuited by Pushkin (translated from Russian):

No! With his subjects he makes peace;
When forgiving one at fault,
He rejoices; foams his lips
From the king’s cup the absolved.

But the most eloquent parallel would be, in my opinion, comparing the circumstances of death of the two rulers. On the one hand, we have one decaying while alive, dashing about in anguish and prayers, and making desperate attempts to appease the deity having pardoned criminals and unbolted all the dungeons. On the other hand, there is one who wholeheartedly gives himself up in an urge to save the perishing sailors and dies himself as a result of this heroic deed. It is clear, of course, that Peter’ afterlife was a far cry from his distant predecessor’. But whoever turns himself or herself into an extorter, both literally and figuratively; whoever goes over corpses upon corpses of his or her innocent subjects that yield up their spirit only because, say, in the heat of the moment and without any concern for their lives, the ruler demanded thousands of builders to erect a new capital – be it even the gateway to Russia’s global future – those cannot enter into the Synclite.

To this capital became attached the shelt, the astral body, and the demonized ether of the founder of the Petersburg empire. Falconet’s Bronze Horseman (a monument to Peter I, t/n) is not simply a statue. It is an icon of sorts of the Second Zhrugr that became personified in the tentative cast of his most prominent human instrument. It also bears similarity with the Duggur’s founder speeding along on a mad rarugg. Moreover, it happens to be a reflection – tailored in conformity to the human consciousness and conditions – of him sitting on a humongous snake under dim moonlight, holding up a torch in his outstretched hand that illumines the somber square. At the Senate’s square, all notions are turned on their heads: galloping on the horse is Peter who smites the serpent; lightsome empire (architectural style, t/n) colonnades surround them. But, as any icon in which the emanations of the depicted meet those of the gazeful and awe-struck human masses, this monument is connected, through thousands of threads, to the one whose ashes rest in the vault of Peter and Paul Fortress.

Now, the emperor’s shelt, clothed in demonized materiality, is chained with the heavy chain of his doings to the underside of his own installation. As a moving caryatid (a supporting column having human features, t/n) in the citadel of Drukkarg, this giant has been propping up to the present his own creation: the Russian world power. Is it his alone? Zhrugrs may come and go, different forms of societal organization crumble and are built anew, but the great reformer remains one of those who buttress the Russian state with their powers while it continues to exist on Earth. What is next? When and by whom will this burden of Atlas be taken down? Only the liberation of Navna, only the destruction of Drukkarg, only the demise of the last of Zhrugrs, only the end of the Russian “greatpowerness” will.

to the next part: 9.1. The Second Witzraor and the world arena
to the previous part: 8.3. Bridging the Gaps Among Cultures
to the beginning: «The Rose of the World». Table of contents
 
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