Daniil Andreev. «The Rose of the World»
Book V. The Structure of Shadanakar: Elementals

V. Chapter 1. Demonic Elementals

Among the different variomaterial planes that make up Shadanakar, there are four sakwalas linked with what we call the natural elements. But in what way are they linked?

We are dealing here with a concept that almost defies rational explanation. It so happens that any area of the three-dimensional world, an area, say, of snow-covered mountain peaks, is not at all limited in purpose and meaning to what we perceive through our five senses – that is, it is not limited to those mountain peaks composed of gneiss, granite, and other rocks and covered by snow and ice. That three-dimensional area is, above and beyond that, a kind of hemisphere attached to another area that could also be called a hemisphere, but one with a different number of dimensions. Snow-covered mountain ranges, lifeless, inhospitable, and barren in their sterile magnificence, represent but one of two hemispheres, or one of two closely integrated planes. The other hemisphere (or, to be more precise, plane) differs in the number of its dimensions. It is a land of embodied spirits of stunning majesty, the monarchs of snowy peaks.

This plane is called Orliontana. It is Orliontana radiating through the three-dimensional rock and ice that evokes the feeling of august calm, power, and resplendence that snow-covered mountain peaks evoke in all who are even slightly susceptive to infusions of energy from the transphysical world through the medium of beauty. Viewed with spiritual vision, Orliontana is a land of mountain peaks in their spiritual glory. As for the summits visible to the naked eye, they are no less than the product of the awesome, multimillion-year creative life of those elementals of Orliontana. When human souls bearing the marks of prolonged exposure to atheism withdraw into seclusion amidst the translucent mountains of Olirna, it is the unobstructed view of the plane of Orliontana that makes it possible for them to rid themselves of the last vestiges of closeted ignorance and inner inertia and arrive at an understanding of the multiplaned reality and spiritual majesty of the Universe.

But in contrast to Orliontana, most of the planes of elementals are localized – that is, they do not extend far into outer space. To be more precise, they do not even extend as far as the limits of our solar system, as the worlds of the shrastrs do. For that reason, no sky is visible from most of these planes. The planes of elementals themselves resemble oases in the midst of voids of space. Like the shrastrs, they are demarcated from each other by differences in the number of their time streams.

Elementals are those monads that proceed along their path of maturation in Shadanakar primarily within the realms of Nature. That fact notwithstanding, one should bear in mind that humanity in one of its aspects also represents a distinct realm of Nature. That aspect is manifested, though not exhausted, in those elemental forces seething within it and without which its existence is unthinkable. It should thus come as no surprise that there are also elementals linked not with Nature in the customary sense of the word but with humanity, with its elemental, natural aspect.

Among elementals, there are a great many spiritual entities of Light, there are demonic elementals, and there are also transitional groups whose essence has been tarnished in the course of their development. But one thing unites them all: more than anyone else, they follow a path closely bound to the realms of Nature. That does not mean, however, that no elemental monad can ever incarnate in the form of a human, daemon, or angel during any leg of its journey. It is entirely possible, just as in times immemorial some human monads had begun to fashion forms for themselves from denser materialities not on human planes but in the sakwala of elementals or angels. But for them, it was a comparatively brief phase. For individual elementals, incarnation in a human or any other form is just as brief.

Excluding the animal realm and the tree world, we could say that elementals assume their densest form, their true embodiment, in those sakwalas that bear their name. The natural elements in Enrof – water, air, earth, vegetation, the mineral layers of magma, and lastly, arungvilta-prana, that “life force” that is a necessary component of all organic life in Enrof – are, for the most part, not the bodies of elementals but, rather, the outermost concentric circle of their habitats, which is permeated, manipulated, and transformed by them. The natural elements are the theater and source material for their creative work, for their fun and anger, for their battles, games, and love. The body proper of elementals is, for most, fluid: their bodily contours are changeable and interpenetrable. However, that is not true of all elementals, and in every such case I will make the necessary qualifications.

I am beginning with demonic elementals only because they are contiguous, through that same demonic nature of theirs, with the infraphysical planes, the description of which, thank heavens, we are preparing to take our leave of. Then, after a few words concerning the transitional group, we will, with a measure of relief, be able to bring this description of the woeful or darkened planes to an end. We can then, after a description of the planes of elementals of Light, conclude our survey of the bramfatura with the very highest worlds, spiritually blazing in their unattainable heights, in the sancta sanctorum of Shadanakar.

There exists a region – Shartamakhum – of rampageous and terrifying elementals of magma, which are to be virtually the last to undergo enlightenment. Shartamakhum should be regarded as the plane of embodiment of beings whose shelts go between incarnations to the infra-iron ocean of Fukabirn, though they do so without experiencing the suffering that is the lot of human souls that have fallen there. The physical magma is, as I have said, the outermost circle of their habitat during their incarnation in Shartamakhum, the theater and source material for their creative work, anger, and battles. During volcanic activity, earthquakes, or geological upheavals, the elementals of Shartamakhum shoot up from the subterranean depths of that plane to its surface, as it were. In so doing, they draw lava up to Enrof from under the ground, bringing death to all living things. But that is only an indirect, almost incidental consequence of their activities. They have no concern for living things. In fact, they are not even aware of their existence, and if they were, they would not know what to make of them. The real function of their activities should be looked for on an altogether different level, and it will become more evident once we imagine the effect on the Earth had their activity in Shartamakhum ceased millions of years ago.

Subjectively, the elementals' activities consist of only violent rampages and wild, uncontrollable frenzies that afford them pleasure simply through the consciousness of their power and impunity. Objectively, their rampages have given rise to geological changes in terrestrial Enrof, set in motion mountain-forming processes, and provided impetus for shifts in the prevailing continental and oceanic configurations and thus to the consequent evolution of plants and animals, and, in the end, to the creation of the necessary preconditions for the emergence of Homo sapiens. The Providential powers have partly succeeded in channeling the malicious and furious actions of those demonic elementals into good and extracting from them a certain positive result.

But there are also elementals from whose activities they have to this day failed to extract anything positive. Such are, for example, the elementals of quagmires, swamps, and tropical jungles. Gannix, their plane, resembles the murk of ocean depths. Between incarnations in Gannix, their souls abide in Ytrech, the darkest of the worlds of the terrestrial Core. As for Gannix, haven’t many peoples at the dawn of their history felt its influence, until other aspirations of the spirit eclipsed or stifled that experience? And don’t some peoples feel the influence of Gannix even now? The legends of many-faced, or rather, faceless, guileful beings that don a mask to lure people into peril have their roots in that same world. It not only lurks behind three-dimensional areas of bog and swamp, but also in the thin ice that covers rivers in the Siberian taiga and in the muskeg and mudholes of central Russia. It is the black, swirling, beguiling elementals of Gannix, together with desert elementals, that were to blame for the tragic demise of the original Australian culture.

No less hostile to humans and all living beings are the elementals of sandy regions whose plane, Svix, resembles a desert during a sandstorm. Between incarnations on that plane, the desert elementals abide in Shim-big, where, in the form of whirlwinds, they exacerbate the suffering of human souls passing through that infraphysical tunnel by latching onto them. Becalmed deserts, when the elementals of Svix have exhausted themselves or are immersed in slumber, present the human eye with such majestic expanses, with such a peaceful and pure vastness, and sky that opens up above it with such manifest sublimity, that there is probably no other place in Enrof that better facilitates contemplation of the One God. It is easy to see why a clearly formulated monotheism arose and established itself in countries with great deserts. But the desert is two-sided. And one can distinguish the traces of desert squalls obscuring the face of the heavens and the traces of elementals of Svix darkening the face of the One God even on the pages of such monuments of world revelation as the Bible and the Quran.

The souls of yet other elementals abide in the pitch-black worlds of the terrestrial Core between incarnations: the grim, torpid, dark, and grasping elementals of ocean depths. Nugurt, their plane of incarnation, is not due to be enlightened for a long, long time, toward the end of the second eon. But if the forces of Shartamakhum shoot up to the surface during eruptions, the radiations of Nugurt, to the contrary, inch their way up from the gloomy depths through the sun-lit world of the beautiful elementals of the topmost layers of the sea. The radiations of Nugurt are stronger out on the open sea, because the dark layers are deeper there than in the shallow waters closer to shore. Their radiations do not pose any physical danger to us, but our psyche is subject to their wasting, oppressive action. Many sailors would be able to retrace the stages of that process in themselves if their minds were equipped with the tools of transphysical analysis.
There is yet another world of demonic elementals that stands apart, as it were, as it is not linked with the natural elements but with elements of humanity. The plane is called Duggur, and it is of vital importance to remember that name, for the demons of the great cities of Enrof rule there, demons who pose a very real danger to our psyche.

Like Agr and Bustvich, Duggur is an ocean-like area of uninhabited dark vapors with infrequent islands linked geographically with the metropolises of our three-dimensional world. The landscape is extremely urbanized, even more urbanized than in the shrastrs, because there are no mountains, lava seas, or vegetation in Duggur. But the glow of black and crimson light is not to be found there either. The entire color spectrum of our world is visible there, the dominant colors being pale blue, blue-gray and moon blue. Even the sky is visible from Duggur, but the Moon is the only luminary, for the plane does not extend far beyond the limits of the lunar bramfatura. Be that as it may, the Moon does not look at all like we are accustomed to seeing it, because the inhabitants of Duggur can only see the plane of the Moon's bramfatura on which Voglea, the great lunar demon, abides. There is no feminine form of the word «demon,» but such a word becomes necessary when speaking of worlds like Duggur. And though the word “demoness” sounds strange and clumsy, I have no choice but to use it.

The demonesses of the great cities of our plane are saddled with humongous materiality in Duggur. Their incarnations are partly human-like, but only as far as immense carcasses barely able to move resemble humans. There is only one such demoness in each city in Duggur. The urban populace is made up of lesser demons of both sexes who are barely distinguishable from humans in size and appearance. They swarm around their empress like drones around a queen bee, but their purpose in doing so is only partly to serve her. Their main purpose is carnal pleasure, while her function and purpose is not propagation of the species (it propagates without her), but the gratification of her subjects' lust. Grandiose residences are erected for the demonesses. In each of Duggur's cities, there is only one such residence, which is in the form of a truncated pyramid. It is reminiscent of an enormous sacrificial altar. Duggur is not only grandiose; it is, in its own way, even stately and, in any case, luxurious.

Like the shrastrs, the inhabitants of Duggur also possess the equivalent of human technology, though its level is comparable to the level of technology found in the great cities of antiquity. Society there is advancing very slowly, and is slowly beginning to exhibit certain signs of what we call self-determination. But slavery remains at the foundation of the socioeconomic structure, the slaves being those who fell there from humanity or from certain worlds of elementals. The status of the lesser demons is reminiscent of the status of the patricians and charioteers of ancient Rome. One could not say that the Duggur inhabitants were particularly cruel in any way, but they are sensual beyond all bounds, more sensual than any other being in Enrof. No revolt will ever shake the foundations of the great demonesses' power, for it is a power founded not on fear but on the lust that the millions of their subjects feel for them and on the pleasure given to them as a reward for their obedience and love.

The demonesses of Duggur give themselves to whole crowds at a time, and a continuous orgy almost beyond our comprehension takes place in their residences, their palace-temples. This orgy is in honor of the demonic empress of the Moon, the same demoness whose influence we humans sometimes feel on moonlit nights in cities, where it blends with the inspirational and pure influence of Tanit, the lunar plane of Light, arousing a longing for sexual forms of pleasure that do not exist in Enrof. They do, however, exist in Duggur. An almost endless array of such forms has been devised in Duggur, an array richer in variety than anywhere else in Shadanakar. The influence of Tanit does not penetrate to Duggur at all, and they have no idea even of what sunlight is. Everything is plunged in the blue-gray murk or the pale bluish moonlight that sparkles with violet. There is nothing there to inhibit the raging of passions aroused by Voglea, the lunar demoness. Swirls of vapor rise up to her from the continuous orgies in the palace altars of Duggur, and she imbibes them. But nothing can satisfy the desire of the countless inhabitants of those cities, for they are haunted by a deeper kind of lust few of us can comprehend – a mystical lust that beckons them toward something beyond their power to attain: the Great Harlot. She is their supreme deity, the object of their longing and dreams. Their highest cult is devoted to her. On her feast days the demoness rulers give themselves to slaves. But that mystical lust can only be satisfied in Digm, in Gagtungr's abode, and only a select few are deemed worthy of it.

The huge population of Duggur replenishes its energy at the expense of our plane. Radiations from human, and sometimes animal, lust called “eiphos” flow on the streets of Duggur in slow and gooey streams of whitish liquid, which the inhabitants consume. Such food suits their own essence: lust is the meaning, purpose, chief pursuit, and passion of their lives. The orgasmic intensity of pleasure that they experience is many times stronger then we are capable of experiencing. They proceed along a truly vicious circle of reincarnations, for during every interval between incarnations their souls sink down to Bustvich and take the form of human worms that devour sufferers alive in that eternally decaying world. Yet, the pleasure afforded them by their lust, even by their unquenchable mystical lust for the Great Harlot, is so great in their eyes that they are prepared to pay for their frenzies and orgies in Duggur by serving time in Bustvich.

The Moon serves as the only luminary in Duggur. Therefore, most of the time the plane is plunged in deep murk. At those times, artificial lighting – long chains of pale-blue and purple streetlamps – takes over. They stretch in endless rows beside massive, sumptuous buildings. The curve is the dominant motif in their architecture, but that does not rescue it from ponderousness. The buildings' outer and inner furnishings are tasteless and crude, but stunning in their richness, in their ostentatious splendor. Architects, artists, scientists, and workers all belong to the slave class. The main, demonic population is just as impotent intellectually and artistically as they are gifted in lust.

A fall to Duggur poses a grave danger to a human soul. A fall occurs if an otherworldly lust – that same mystical lust that the lesser demons of Duggur feel for the Great Harlot – haunts and corrupts a soul during its life in Enrof. Even a spell in Bustvich cannot restore the natural balance between the encumbered etheric body and its surroundings. The soul and its coatings plunge down into Rafag where yet another fall awaits it, this time into the same world that it vaguely dreamt of on Earth. There, in Duggur, it is encased in karrokh – a densely material body resembling the physical body but made from the materiality of demonic worlds that is generated by the dark hierarchies of the metabramfatura and by Gagtungr.

In trying to rescue souls from slavery in Duggur, the powers of Light meet with exceptional difficulties. There is, however, one act, an act dependent on the will of the human soul itself, that can open the door to its rescue: suicide. A sin in Enrof, where materiality is created by the Providential powers and is being prepared for eventual enlightenment, suicide is sanctioned on the demonic planes, as it results in the destruction of the karrokh and the liberation of the soul. But if that step is not taken, and the powers of Light are frustrated in their rescue attempts, the soul, after dying in Duggur, goes to Bustvich again, then back to Duggur – no longer as a slave but as a member of the privileged class. The shelt gradually becomes demonized, trapped in the wheel of incarnations from Duggur to Bustvich and back again, and the monad may in the end renounce it. It then falls to Sufetkh, the graveyard of Shadanakar, and dies there once and for all while the monad departs from our bramfatura to begin its journey anew somewhere at the other end of the Universe. Of those few souls that have died forever in Sufetkh, the majority were victims of Duggur.

We shall conclude the description of Duggur with a short poem. In Duggur-Petersburg, just as in Drokkarg and Heavenly Russia, there is a twin – or rather, a triplet – of the large statue of the Bronze Horseman. But in Duggur, the horseman does not ride on a rarugg, as in the capital of Russian antihumankind, nor, of course, does he ride on a dazzling white steed, as in Heavenly Petersburg. There, the sculpture is of the founder of that netherworld city, with a blazing, smoking torch in his outstretched hand. The figure also differs from the others in that it is riding a giant snake, not a horse. The reader may now be able to understand what Alexander Blok was referring to in the following poem, which is full of transphysical insight:

           Still evenings will fall
The snake uncoils over the streets.
In the outstretched hand of Peter
The flame of a torch will flicker.
Lines of streetlamps will be lit
Shop windows and sidewalks will gleam
In the glow of dull squares
Lines of couples will file out.
Darkness will cover all like cloaks
Looks will be lost in beckoning looks.
May innocence from the cornerside
Beg in slow murmurs to be spared.
There on the slope the cheery tsar
Swung the stinking censer
And burning smoke from city fires
Cloaked the beckoning street light in vestments.
Everyone come running!
To the intersections of moonlit streets!
The whole city is full of voices,
Voices rough of men, voices musical of women.
He will guard his city
And turning scarlet beneath the morning star
In his outstretched hand will flash a sword
As the capital drifts off to sleep.

That, instead of a torch, a sword of retribution, of karma, will, sooner or later, flash in the hand of the founder of Duggur instead of a torch is clear enough. And every human soul that has been in that moon-dark city cannot help recalling, even if only dimly, their sojourn there. What is not clear is to what extent Blok himself understood the connection between Duggur and our world. I will try to make some observations about that in those chapters devoted to the question of the metahistorical meaning behind artistic genius.

There are also planes of elementals that belong to a transitional, not demonic, group, but are connected in certain ways to Duggur. Their monads, like those of all elementals of Light, abide in Flauros, one of the beautiful worlds of Higher Purpose.

But because their nature was tarnished in the course of their development, their journey of incarnations takes them to the planes of the Nibrusks, Maniku, Kattaram, and Ron, while Duggur, where they languish in slavery, serves as both their purgatory and plane of torment. An ascending afterlife takes them first to Shalem – their Olirna – and higher, through Faer and Usnorm and up to Flauros, where they merge with their monads.

Nibrusks are beings somewhere between the lesser demons of Duggur and what the ancient Romans referred to as genii loci. Not a single human settlement can exist without Nibrusks. I still don't quite understand how and why those beings are concerned with the physical aspects of human love, especially with childbearing. Perhaps, the Nibrusks replenish their energy from some kind of radiation the human soul emits in states peculiar to infancy and early childhood. In any case, there is no question of their concern. They see to matters in their own little way, helping to bring together men and women on our plane. They make a big fuss over our children, hustling and bustling all around them, and even trying to guard them from dangers we cannot see. But they are capricious, impulsive, and vengeful. One cannot always trust them.

Let the wise of our century who have locked themselves into a prison cell of materialism scoff from the heights of their ignorance at the superstitions of savages, but there is a profound truth in the legends about gremlins, penates, and lars, those good-hearted and mischievous tiny spirits of the home. Ancient paganism was far more aware of that truth than we, more than Jews and Muslims, more than Christians, all of whom heaped slander and lies on those harmless creatures. One cannot help but be amazed at the injustice of the tales told of gremlins. Such fables were born of one spirit alone – the same spirit peculiar to fanatic believers in monotheism, hypocrites, and dry moralists who proclaim as evil everything that does not enter into their canon. How much more fairly did the ancients treat those beings, regarding lars and penates as their loyal friends!

The land of those small elementals who nestle in human dwellings is called Maniku. The landscape of that world resembles a room and has a certain coziness about it. But it is dark and cold outside, and heaven forbid that those beings be driven from their warm shelters. The form they take is unlike the form possessed by the majority of elementals: there is nothing fluid or flowing about them. To the contrary, like the Nibrusks and the inhabitants of Duggur, they have a solid, sharply defined body, a little one. They are tiny, fun-loving, and mischievous, and some go out of their way to be kind. They are a singular kind of philanthropist and love to do people small services in such a way that no one notices it. Others, it is true, permit themselves more or less harmless pranks on people. Generally speaking, they treat us case by case. But they try to protect and take care of the home as best they can, because if it is destroyed, their shelter on the plane of Maniku is destroyed as well, and the little ones, left homeless, will in most cases perish. Only a few ever manage to reach another shelter.

I have virtually nothing to say about Kattaram, the land of mineral elementals connected to the upper layer of the Earth's crust. I have not had any personal experience of it, while my invisible friends told me only a little about their world. All I learned was that the landscape of Kattaram consists of self-illuminating minerals amid pockets of underground space. It has a fairy-tale beauty but would, nevertheless, appear lifeless to us. The population of Kattaram is rich in variety (think of The Mistress of Copper Mountain, on the one hand, and trolls on the other), and interaction with these elementals can, sometimes, pose many otherworldly dangers. I know even less of Ron. Its landscape resembles that of Kattaram, but it is enlivened by a reflection – just a reflection – of the sky. It is the land of mountain elementals, a motley world of beings who are often battling with each other.

Shalem – the Olirna of the elementals of the four previous planes – should be regarded as the highest of the planes in that sakwala. Its landscape could in part be likened to huge oaks standing in the middle of a desert. Where the oaks are concentrated, the dominant color is blue-green, with yellow and gray on the outskirts. There the elementals acquire full Light and majesty. Awaiting them is not death but a transformation leading to Faer and Usnorm, though almost complete immobility is the price they pay for it. They are compensated for their immobility by the deep and focused character of the spiritual meditation in which they are immersed. Some peoples in Enrof, sensing the existence of those beings, regarded them as the spirits of individual mountains, waterfalls, springs, or other natural landmarks. In reality, they are not spirits but fully embodied beings, and the perpetual link between them and the natural landmarks of Enrof is only an appearance, conditional upon their immobility, all of which the ancients interpreted in concordance with their level of understanding similar truths. The truth is that even if a spring dries up, a waterfall is blocked, or a mountain is thrown down by an earthquake, the elementals of Shalem will remain unwavering at their spots until the inner work on their own beings has finally readied them for transformation.

to the next part: 5.2. Elementals of Light
to the previous part: 4.3. Shrastrs and Witzraors
to the beginning: «The Rose of the World». Table of contents
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