Daniil Andreev. «The Rose of the World»
Book XI. On the Metahistory of the Twentieth Century

XI. Chapter 2. Combating Spirituality

A popular belief has it that poor material conditions of the society invariably translate into its spiritual poverty. And vice versa: material prosperity is bound to entail spiritual wealth.

Objective historical observations do not support this thesis. Until the late phase of capitalism, wealth had been owned by the privileged classes or groups rather than the society as a whole, and the material level of these groups rather than the average wellbeing of the society had set the benchmark. The notion of the material prosperity of the society as a whole can be applied only at the late stage of historical development. One may talk about prosperity and wealth – at least, at certain time periods – of such societies as modern Sweden, Netherlands, or Switzerland. The wealth of the United States would also make the case albeit with some reservations, for income difference across different social strata in this country is immense, and far from the whole American society has enjoyed prosperity even at its heyday. With regard to countries of the socialist camp, I do not mention them here as they belong to a later period of history.

I would be quite excited to hear well substantiated arguments to the effect that the aforementioned societies featuring high levels of material prosperity, such as Sweden, Netherlands, and Switzerland, have manifested true spiritual riches alongside. It is true that they have made some contribution – and still do – to the world of science and technology. Yet, science and technology are the domain of intellectual rather than spiritual values. One is to learn to differentiate between these two types of phenomena to begin with. The mindset of a certain kind, which is quite widespread these days, cannot tell the intellectual from the spiritual. Humanities, art, sociology, ethics, religion, physico-mathematical, and biological cycles of sciences, even certain aspects of technology – all these are just lumped together. Works of Kalidas and Darwin, Hegel and Edison, Ramakrishna and Alekhin, Stalin and Ghandi, Dante and Pavlov are seen as kindred phenomena, as “spiritual” culture. This aberration may seem savagery, were it not for rather civilized and intelligent-looking people complicit in it. Meanwhile, it is as clear as day that we are dealing with two completely different kinds of phenomena: spiritual and intellectual. Nearly the whole domain of science, let alone of technology belongs to the latter. It also includes philosophical, aesthetic, and moral schemes to the extent they are stripped of any preternatural, variomaterial, otherworldly, and spiritual experiences in the truest sense of this word. In the same fashion, it comprises social movements, political programs, economical and social activities, even art and literary fiction. With regard to spirituality, it contains human manifestations directly related to the notion of multiplane existence and the apprehension of all kinds of threads interweaving the physical plane of existence with other planes, the spiritual included. These manifestations comprise religion, spiritualistic philosophy, metahistory, magic, high ethics, and the most profound creations of literature, music, and spatial arts.

If one realizes and takes in the difference between these two types of phenomena – spiritual and intellectual – it would become evident that spiritual riches are not directly proportional to material wealth. Spiritual activities are compromised only with two extremes of material standing: misery and luxury. The former makes one throw all efforts into the struggle for existence; the latter leads to chasing and multiplying riches [at the expense of spirituality] or jadedness and burnout, which cover the soul with psychological fat.

Neither Sweden, Netherlands, or the United States, but poor (from the European standpoint, of course) Thailand, Ceylon, Burma, and Cambodia, “half-barbarian” Tibet and Nepal, even downtrodden India exemplify societies wherein life is imbued – much greater than in Western societies – with artistry, routine involvement of the masses into the creation of highly aesthetical values, intense ideological searchings, and that emotional warmth, which abides only in countries featuring an agelong moral climate nourished by immense reservoirs of spirituality. We are given to focusing on the economic underdevelopment of these countries, on Indian poverty, on Tibetan illiteracy, on the primitive nature of daily life in Ceylon, on the vestiges of the Indian caste system, on the theocratic feudalism in Tibet, on the imperfections of family life. And we consciously turn a blind eye toward something else in these countries: toward those powers that had built and sustained towns consisting nearly half in stunningly beautiful and enlightening temples; toward those flights of genius which adorned the face of the Earth with delightful architecture; toward those hands that embellished the banks of the holy rivers flowing across these countries with countless monuments of human aspiration toward Spirit, light, and beauty. They forget the aspect of Indian life, without which no other people could have set themselves free from an agelong slavery by means of nonviolence – the most ethically pure method that has ever been thought up. Not intellectualism, but precisely spirituality whiffs from all kinds of manifestations of the lives of people in the Indian and Indo-Malayan metaculture: from magnificent crafts suffused with inner light; from folk arts; from the attitude of an “average commoner” toward problems of life and death; from mysteries and epics, which are performed all night long on the deplorable square in any, even the most ramshackle village; from astounding forgiveness toward recent conquerors; from insignificant, as compared with America and Russia, crime rates; from highly ethical programs of action adopted by the ruling political party; even, for example, from the type of woman prevailing in Indian society that is so graphically depicted by Rabindranath Tagore and Prem Chand.

Switching intellectualism with spirituality is so widespread in Russia, and even the West that the meaning and purpose of this are crystal-clear: to dislodge the human psyche from the domain of the highest values into the purely utilitarian sphere. This striving and its practical realization is one of the main aspects of the cultural-historical process we are living in. This is, certainly, related to the emasculation of the faraway social ideal, which I have already talked about, and to the intention to do so gradually, stealthily, so that the society would, bit by bit, emasculate itself and regenerate while being totally unaware of the forming vacuum, unaware of being stripped of the most precious of its values and fed back with other, supplementary ones.

Material wellbeing is an absolute value in itself. This is a natural, human-worthy level of outward existence. It represents a value, for it shields superficial wellbeing which enables the smooth ripening and fruition of the soul’s seeds. Yet, proclaiming material wellbeing and the outward conquest of the forces of nature, again, all for the material prosperity of humankind, to be the primary and supreme value, the ultimate purpose of the armed struggle of the masses all over the world, the ideal of social development for the sake of which entire generations and whatever spiritual values are to be sacrificed – this is either a tragic mistake, or a half-conscious deception.

Yet, precisely this erroneous thought, sometimes proclaimed loud and clear, sometimes understated, but always discernible in the complex of revolutionary ideas of our century, shapes the nature of ideals cresting this complex, so too the methods inherent to it.

The comprehensive social-political and philosophical doctrine that had been elaborated in the mid-nineteenth century in the West, and that gradually came to dominate in the progressive, revolutionary thinking, will be called “the Doctrine” from now onwards for brevity’s sake. This Doctrine is closely, “genetically” related to the preceding chains of Western philosophy and scientific thought, even Christianity. Yet, it is not hard to see that it had been elaborated with an active support of those forces which, were concerned with creating a powerful teaching to guide humanity. It led, however, down the ladder of ideological-social switches towards such a social, cultural, psychological, and technological state, which was within only a short leap from becoming the absolute, single-person tyranny. If one allows for such a supposition, the beam of the spotlight in which we were accustomed to contemplate cultural and historical phenomena, would rapidly shift. Phenomena that have seemed so well-defined would become overshadowed, whereas the things we have been clueless of would come to the fore. Ironclad, adamant, unyielding materialism was advocated literally with foaming mouth; burning, at times volcanic hatred toward everything with an inkling of religiosity, mysticism, or idealism; the complete exclusion of spirituality, equating it with the relic of the past, and asserting purely material and intellectual values; giving pride of place to the idea of the material prosperity of the majority and the approbation of any means instrumental in achieving this goal; proclaiming the dictatorship of the proletariat, then replacing the proletariat with a single party, only to be supplanted by an autocratic leader; enunciating the austere need of the subjugation of the remaining social classes and, over time, the physical elimination of all the unwanted; close supervision of the state, that is, the autocratic party, over society’s cultural “produce”; the colossal role of technology, machinery, industry, and the automatization of all industrial processes, and so too of social transactions and of the psyche itself – all these and many other things, if seen from a new angle, would take on a new, rather ominous significance.

It is highly symptomatic that the very Doctrine which had blazed the trail to the surface of the society with the help of liberating slogans and harangues about freedom started its reign from the dispersion of the All Russian Constituent Assembly, the very body it had vainly attempted to get the majority votes in. This was rapidly followed by prohibition of activities of all other parties and political organizations as well as elimination of all press except for the Doctrine’s.

From the stated vantage point of metahistory, it is also important to consider such phenomena as science, technology, and industrialization.

Human nature – this not only concerns the physical body but the whole variomaterial conglomerate of the human being – holds such potentialities which, if developed, would infinitely expand our abilities to utilize material mediums and totally transform the relationship between the human and space, the human and time, the human and nature, the human and other planes of existence. The problem of flying can be solved by other means than aviation. Combating diseases so as to prolong life expectancy can be carried out in other ways than currently used by medicine. Rapid movement across space and communication over great distances are far from being monopolized by sciences busy with perfecting transportation and all means of communication. For example, the ability to fly, to travel through space with an unimaginable speed, to communicate over great distances, to pass through the dense medium, to overcome diseases, to elongate human life expectancy two- or threefold, to meet beings from other planes, to contemplate transphysical panoramas, to replenish the life force not with food but through absorbing emanations from light-filled elementals and inhaling fragrant aromas – all these and many other abilities are deeply stored, in an embryonic state, in our innermost being. Technological achievements of our day (the mid-twentieth century, translator’s note), such as jet planes, TV sets, or cybernetic devices would appear crude, laughingly clumsy, vulgar, heavy, primitive, abominably soulless, even, however strange it may sound, irrational to those capable of foreseeing the human that wields the power of angelic flying, spiritual vision, performing instantaneous complex mental operations simply by virtue of developing the potentialities of our brain, of our physical etheric, and astral body. The spiritualized and wise beauty of bird wings is not as far from the ghastly glimmers of scrubbed airplane wings as the concrete results of going along these two contrasting paths of human development. Ancient magic and, later, certain movements in Eastern philosophical practice hardly touched upon the question of uncorking these potentialities. The path of this uncorking is little-trodden, extremely laborious, and bears fruit only as a result of many generations’ successive efforts. Its particular difficulty rests in the fact that this practice is closely related to the overall spiritualization of the personality, to the uplifting of one’s moral level, to cleansing out all sorts of murk. Ancient magic failed to make much progress on this path precisely because it underestimated the connection between the magical practice and ethics. In the majority of cases, engaging in all these activities for egotistical ends interrupts this movement altogether. Sometimes, the movement carries on, yet at the cost of the demonization of the shelt with all kinds of otherworldly ramifications.

At late cultural-historical stages, many movements and schools in the folds of highly evolved religions touched upon this problematic: as Pythagoreanism, so too the Cabbala, Eastern Christian monasticism and that of Daoism and Lamaism. It appears that Indian yoga was more intent on developing these very potentialities than others. The connection of this practice with ethics was obvious to them from the very start at that. Yet, yoga demanded renunciation of many common human needs and highly austere self-discipline, which prevented large masses of humanity from joining this movement. It is highly doubtful, however, that the only way of opening up these potentialities, regardless of the epoch and culture, has been extreme ascetism. Conditions of a new time would dictate, perhaps, not an agonizing mortification of flesh, not unlike the feats of monks in Isaac Sirin’s days or of Indian hermits, but lighter forms similar to worldly righteousness or, for instance, to daily rounds of life of Southern Buddhist communities – strict and pure, yet rejecting flesh mortification.

In the metacultures of antiquity, Byzantium included, society had not yet made the ultimate choice between these two paths of development – for brevity’s sake, let’s call one of them “scientific-technological”. The panoramic view of the ancient Roman Empire, it must be said, would reveal that the then ancient public consciousness already lacked in the ideas associated with the first way of development (ascetism, t/n). These were limited to esoteric and half esoteric societies, mystical cults, and certain priesthood circles. Yet, social-economic conditions of the Ancient Rome, Byzantium, even of the Western Middle Age could not rapidly propel the society along the second path (worldly righteousness, t/n). The borderline appears to be circa the fifteenth century – the epoch that saw the invention of gunpowder and book-printing, the discovery of America and India, and the colossal economic and psychological changes resulting from all this.

Starting from the seventeenth century, there had been the predominance of leaning toward the second way of development. The fading potentialities of the first one were crystal-clear.

The second way of development is characterized with several specificities. First, there happens a dramatic and complete divorce between science, that is, comprehension of the outer world, and whatsoever spirituality, which becomes shoved aside into the field of theology, cult, mystical philosophy, and art – that is, the field first completely disregarded by science and then, much later, is studied, again, but from the purely scientific standpoint. Second, the methodology of knowledge narrows down to the fine-grained empiricism and purely rational generalizations of the material, obtained through empirical methods. Third, scientific activities as such completely depart from any applied ethics: self-interest or selflessness of motivation, depravity or virtuousness of the scientist no longer define the fruits of his or her activities. It goes without saying that the karmic consequences of malign scientific and technological activities, for example, military innovations, are still to be reaped by all in their afterlife. Yet, these consequences are far from the compass of the scientist’s consciousness in his or her lifetime. And fourth, science essentially becomes accessible for anyone featuring persistence and diligence. The ultimate separation between the spiritual and the intellectual becomes an undeniable reality.

How to evaluate – from the metahistorical point of view – the path selection of Western humanity, which later shaped the direction of mental activities in other metacultures? Hadn’t the mission of Christ been interrupted, humanity would have received a powerful impulse to move along the spiritual path. Under that scenario alone, there would have been a possibility to discover and master methods which would have enabled the engagement of the people’s masses onto the path of spirituality, not just the select few in the Buddhist countries and India. Achievements of those generations would have proved incomparably greater and more palpable. It is like comparing the range of scientific achievements in antiquity when only few individuals had worked in a certain field to what might have been the results of the engaged millions. The one who had snatched away the life of Christ at its very beginning carried on his deeply goal-oriented and satanically intelligent activities. It goes without saying that he put much effort into extinguishing all seedlings of spirituality and saw to a vigorous development of scientific and technological thought. It is self-explanatory why he needed the former. As for the latter, without great technological advances it would be impossible for him to unite humanity into a single monolith, hence to establish planetwide tyranny – the only tyranny deserving to be called “absolute”.

Yet, unification of humanity has been a goal or, rather, intermediary step toward the ultimate goal of other-than-demonic forces. Unification of humanity is a prerequisite for achieving the ultimate goal of the Providential principle as well. For, unless the unification has become a reality, humanity will be torn with revolutions and more and more devastating wars. There would come a day when the destructiveness of wars has endangered the whole organic life on the Earth’s surface. There is no way to avert this threat outside of global political and social unification. As humanity has long, albeit unconsciously, opted for the scientific-technological path of development, as it is impossible to derail the common mindset toward spirituality in a short span of time, Providential forces, on their part, have to propel humanity along the scientific-technological path, too. Such is the metahistorical dialectic. Forces of Light are solely concerned with directing the scientific thought, as far as it depends on them, along such lines which would be least fraught with discoveries and inventions ruinous for humanity. The consciousness and will of scientists is a battlefield of Light and darkness just as everything in Shadanakar is. At the same time, while the spiritualized minds of Einstein, Planck, and Curie, who would perform feats of their grandiose discoveries, were being enlightened with daemons’ inspirations, the minds of inventors of six-barreled mortars, thermonuclear bombs, covert listening devices, and intercontinental ballistic missiles were being guided by servants of our Nemesis.

Apart from the multiplication of destructive powers of war, technological advancement has played a paramount, yet contradictory role for humanity.
Compared to any other phenomena of spiritual and intellectual order, even to pure science that is driven in the main by the thirst for knowledge, technology cannot but be throughout utilitarian. The psyche of people that routinely work in technologies, over technologies, and with technologies becomes accustomed to approaching everything in the world with the criterion of practical use. If humans leave this danger unnoticed, if they do not roundly segregate that sphere of their lives where technologies reign supreme from other spheres of life and their soul, they will turn into spiritual cripples, spiritual ineffectuals, spiritually blind fools. There is no better way of extinguishing anything spiritual inside; there is no straighter path for emasculating the psyche from understanding art, loving nature, gravitating toward religion, from yearning for world harmony, from hungering for love. Technological advancement is unavoidable in our eon: it is unavoidable and justifiable, for neither the unification of humanity, nor establishing the level of material wellbeing worthy of the human would be otherwise possible. Yet, woe be upon those who have allowed technologies to enslave their souls.

It is totally predictable and pregnant with historical logic that the Doctrine, first and foremost, appealed precisely to the proletariat, which had been preselected by it as the future hegemonic class. Back then, it was still possible to befool minds while calling for the sense of justice and pity, crying out about the proletariat creating material values for the one and only reason to end up rightless, oppressed, squashed, miserable, and bare. Naïve enthusiasts believed that, having done away with exploitation and having seized power, this class would create values of such a height that would put to shame all masterpieces of the past.

Feudal aristocracy did exploit people. Yet, the body of cultural values created by this class is infinite, horizonless. Priesthood and clergy, as is known even to a toddler, did exploit the dark masses. However, they created not only religious concepts and cult but also eternal monuments of architecture, art, poetry, music, philosophy, apart from elaborating lofty moral tenets. The bourgeoisie is certainly guilty of all mortal sins. Nonetheless, the cultural creativity of this class comprises nearly the main part of what is now referred to as “cultural heritage”. Peasantry had been an underclass. And yet, it also created songs and fairy tales, ornaments and legends, artistic crafts and folklore.

What about the working class? I live in a country where the working class has been a hegemon for more than four decades by now. What has it created except the very values of material order and all kinds of technical and industrial improvements? Some would say: How about the working intelligentsia, that is, those with a working background that have become engineers, economists, lawyers, scientists, literary figures? Yet, these are not of the working class: actually, they outgrew it, they have nothing to do with it any more, they separated themselves from this environment as with the nature of their activities, so with the compass of their interests, so with the material conditions of their life. A monk that painted a temple with frescoes still remained a monk; a landowner that wrote novels, poems, and pictures in his mansion was but a landowner; a bourgeois that dedicated his or her spare time to art and science or was given to philanthropy stayed within the bounds of the bourgeoisie; a peasant that composed epic poems or painted utensils did not migrate to any other social class either. Yet, a worker that turns into a member of intelligentsia thereby stops being a worker. Therefore, what had been created by this intelligentsia stays outside of our scope when we talk about the creations of the working class as such.

In the truest sense of this word, there is no spiritual “produce” of the working class; its intellectual creativity is meager. The working class is not the crown of humanity but, rather, its tragedy, its memento mori (a reminder of death, t/n), a direful warning of the fact that millions of people which are potentially no different from the rest of the full-blooded society are condemned by the very society to spiritual castration and cultural degeneration. And this is only mollified by the fact that these unfortunate ones, by and large, do not realize their woeful conditions. Having lost the connection with Mother Earth and having not compensated for this by way of exposure to world culture; psychologically maimed from the daylong fumbling with machinery; aesthetically fluctuating from the sightings of the industrial landscape to racy folk rhymes and vulgar oleography, these people fall prey to stupefying boredom as they find themselves in the privacy of their own mind. They fear silence as the plague, for silence pushes them to face the emptiness of their soul. For them, nature is dead, philosophy is irksome, art and philosophy are perceptible only in some downgraded form, religion is laughable and despicable. Only science commands an instinctive feeling of respect to these ignoramuses as something undeniably higher than them. Their pastime is playing cards, vodka, domino, sport, primitive flirtations, and cinema. No, I am not slandering these people: they had been brainwashed for too long, they have been depraved with streams of demagogic flattery and lies. A time will come when their own unsightly portraits will be presented to them.

It is only natural and logical that precisely this human formation was put on the pedestal by the Doctrine. Precisely this social stratum became the pool for the autocratic party’s members. Precisely this class was lauded to humanity as the most precious of its strata, as a paragon, with which all others were to align themselves.

The significance of industrialization – one of the chief undertakings of the state in the 1920-30’s – is by no means exhausted by the fact that it strengthened the defense capability of the country while raising, albeit at a snail’s pace, its material level. Another, [less obvious] outcome of industrialization is the forcible remolding of the peasantry’s and intelligentsia’s psyche, compelling Russia, as a foreign journalist put it, “to think in terms of machinery”, and disseminating such a psychological environment in society, which had been intrinsic to the working class: gauging everything in terms of its practical use; feeling oneself as a cog in a gigantic machine and taking this as a norm; the degradation of art, prostitution of literature, death of religion, vulgarization of cultural heritage, and emasculation of ethics – in sum, this is the psychological regime of despiritualization.

Cultural heritage remained the only channel through which spirituality seeped into the consciousness of the people. It pays to recall that in the first years of the Great Revolution, when all still believed in the mirage of the nearing world revolution, there raged a movement in Russian culture, which demanded to consign all the culture of the past to the scrap heap. Mayakovski (a Soviet poet, t/n), one of the ideologists of the Doctrine, would much later come to a conclusion that Pushkin, actually, did not write that bad. Before, he had demanded, just like all others, to fling Pushkin from the ship of modernity. Of course, Pushkin was apprehended as an embodiment of the classics overall at that. Meyerhold, the most gifted theater personality of the time, turned classics inside out, cultivated the urbanistic, constructivist, exposingly the schematic style reminiscent of the mass spectacles in Drukkarg. Even more staggering was the reflection of the igvas’ architectural style upon the constructivist style of those buildings, which would appear amid Russian towns in the 1920’s and at the beginning of the 1930’s. Devoid whatsoever of embellishment, these were combinations of cubes, rhombs, parallelepipeds – bare geometrical shapes – with the total neglect of curvature at that. A powerful involtation from Fongaranda was required to put a halt on any further emasculation or, for the lack of a better word, “igvization” of architecture. It must be said that the antihumankind’s taste and style in the architecture of the twentieth century caught up to other places apart from Russia: constructivism in the West proved to be even more tenable. With its reinforced concrete mongrels, it continues to disfigure the beautiful streets of France, England, and Germany. It should come as no surprise: the involtation of demonic principles is global. If, at certain periods of history, Russia happened to be the stepping stone of this involtation in humanity, and the face of Drukkarg came to protrude upon the history’s surface, neither was the rest of humanity left unattended – in the case that Russia had gotten out of hand, there would have still remained the foundation for the coming satanocracy. For this reason, the shrastr of the North-Western metaculture, Mudgabr, shows more and more through the towns of Western Europe and America.

The strategic course of the state with regard to religion as such was quite predictable. Yet, they had to vary their tactics depending on the circumstances and acumen of those who were in charge of this course at the given time period. The Doctrine was yet to seize the power when the great human instrument of the Third Zhrugr (Vladimir Lenin, t/n) announced religion to be an “opium for people”. Initially, in order to weaken the Orthodox Church holding sway over the minds of the broad populace in Russia, in particular, of the peasantry, they attempted to shake the monolith of Orthodoxy by pandering to all kinds of religious sects. Yet, soon it became obvious that such palliatives did not affect the church much – on the contrary, the spirit of religious searching began to outpour. For this reason, sects came under persecution just as the church did. Religious, philosophical, and mystical organizations and groups popular among the intelligentsia – anthroposophical and theosophical lodges, occult circles, the Religio-Philosophical Society, and religious orders of any shape and color – all shared the same fate. The activities of anti-religious organizations such as “Bezbozhnik” (can be translated as “The Godless”, t/n) flooded clubs, lecture rooms, variety shows, tribunes, press, theater and cinema, even the squares of towns and villages. On religious holidays, temples were surrounded by bevies of youth that leaned over backwards in all kinds of blasphemies, buffoonish processions, wherein Komsomol members play-acted paunchy padres carrying about liquor bottles, with their miters (a headgear, t/n) askew. These buffoons moved in parallel to the cross processions of believers. The lack of wittiness, aesthetic infertility, and the trace of dismal vulgarity on these undertakings hardly brought them any luck. They well made up for their feeble mindedness with three-finger whistles, outbursts of contrived laughter, firecrackers, rockets, and often with being outright rowdy.

Soon, it became obvious that these acts were powerless to distract however considerable number of “opium lovers” from religion. Quite the contrary: temples were crammed as never before the revolution. When patriarch Tikhon, who was under house arrest, passed away in 1925, his funerals outpoured into such a million-strong demonstration that it put to shame all mass expressions of grief over the burial or, rather, mummification of the first leader (Vladimir Lenin, t/n) a year earlier which had been orchestrated by the government and the party. After this, they changed tactics and had the church split from the inside. The successor of the deceased patriarch broadcasted that, from then onwards, the joys of the godless state were ours, and so too its sorrows. Going beyond his authority, the highest hierarch of the Russian Church included the prayer about “the powers that be” and their abiding “in any piety and purity” into the text of the great litany. It is highly likely that the subjective motifs which informed the top hierarchs can be explained as an attempt to salvage the church from complete physical wipeout and thus to preserve its chief functions – the mystery of baptism, confession, and the Eucharist – to be still available to people. Be that as it may, thus was initiated that political course on the part of the church which would soon turn it into a docile slave of the antireligious government. It is only natural that such a turn caused a drastic rift among the clergy and laymen. The majority of priests either refused outright to pray for the authorities or avoided doing so. There was a crackdown on saboteurs coming from other than the church authorities. Over a thousand years of its existence, the Russian Church had numbered just a handful of martyrs. Now the lack of them was made up for with a bounty. Thousands of priests and laymen perished in prisons and labor camps. Temples were shut down, demolished, or turned into warehouses, workshops, or hostels. Temples and monasteries, which were unique monuments of art were blasted into wreckage with the very destructive storm. Church bells, which had sent waves of their ringing over Russian towns and fields for centuries, rang for the last time and, having been thrown off the broken belltowers, were consigned to melting scrap. By the mid 1930’s, there hardly remained forty out of six hundred churches in Moscow. Kiev featured just one, for instance. All other religious denominations suffered the fate of the Orthodoxy.

By the time, what was to replace the church as the guide of souls, as the teacher of life, as a mass organization had long been built, screwed together, and limewashed? From its predecessor, this quasi-church inherited its age-old dogmatic inflexibility, its intrinsic combination of being centralized and democratic, its system of austere inner subordination, and its pretensions for being the sole barometer of truth. They even tried to imitate the emotional warmth inherent in the church. The ideological and structural cohesion of the party was secured through the same ruthless means with which the Christian Church, at the time of its establishment, had ensured its own unity when coming to grips with heresy. Expulsion of a delinquent member from the bosom of the quasi-church came to be a grave punishment and was perceived as a great tragedy by the delinquent, just as excommunication in the Middle Ages had been.

Little by little, the quasi-church elaborated the quasi-cult. Instead of deplorable, shoddy antireligious masquerades on church holidays, they focused on grandiose revolution-celebrating processions, parades, and pompous acts, on choral performances of party quasi-psalms and quasi-canticles, on worshipping the quasi-hallows (the Lenin’s body, t/n) resting in the quasi-temple by the Kremlin walls.

Through economic and non-economic means, the quasi-church involved all into serving it: from fiction writers to circus workers, from theatrical troupes to restaurant singers. The so-called “elimination of illiteracy”, that is, the ladder of educational-pedagogic and scientific establishments from kindergartens to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, came to play the pivotal role in this system.

What kind of human being was nurtured by this all-embracing pedagogic system? What was its ideal?

This system nurtured courage, for the state needed it to struggle with enemies, including in the coming fight for world power. It nurtured willpower, the one strictly in line with the state and the quasi-church and firm in carrying out their, and only their, directives. It nurtured the sense of camaraderie, yet exclusively toward those whole-heartedly dedicated to the cause of this state and the quasi-church. It nurtured honesty and love for truth, yet of a special kind: being able to unflinchingly betray a comrade, a friend, the father, to give away any confided secret inasmuch as it was at odds with the state interests and the quasi-church’s directives. It nurtured a creative approach toward work, all for becoming more effective in promoting the state’s and the quasi-church’s interests through the workflow. It nurtured the thirst for knowledge, yet it was channeled strictly along the vein of ensuring technical progress and forming a certain ideology. All this was imbued with a thoroughly cultivated, nurtured, nourished, watered, and warmed up hatred toward the enemy, that is, any thinker dissenting from the quasi-church’s dogmas. As a result, there had been formed a developed, dynamic, cheerful, and strong-willed personality which, in its way, was honest and idea-driven, yet ruthlessly cruel, spiritually narrow, religiously ignorant, and often mistaking meanness for a feat and barbarity – for valor and heroism. There had been formed a type of the staunch, cocksure fanatic thinking of his or her state as of the best state there was; of his or her people as of the best people on the planet; of his or her quasi-church as of the shrine radiating with the absolute truth; of his or her ideology as of being impeccably right; as of his or her leader as of being infallible not just “ex cathedra” but in all moments of his life; and of the rest as the waste and rubbish of history, a nuisance to be ruthlessly done away with.

However firm were the positions of the Doctrine in claiming human souls, the struggle of the Providential principle with those set to eradicate it carried on almost invisibly inside those souls, often unconsciously. The undefeatable resistance of Spirit shone through in everyday routine, in families, in friendship, in love, in the secret stirrings of the human heart, in a vague longing, in the unextinguishable doubts spontaneously rising from the depths of conscience, and in whiffs of beauty pouring into the soul from the great creations of the past.

Such was the intensity of combating spirituality in the 1930’s of the twentieth century, when the gigantic figure of a ghastly human being, foreseen from afar and foretold by the great prophets of Russia, came to tower in all its acuity over one sixth of the Earth (the territory of the Soviet Union, t/n).

to the next part: 11.3 Dark Shepherd
to the previous part: 11.1 The Enthronement of the Third Zhrugr
to the beginning: «The Rose of the World». Table of contents
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