Book 8, part 1. The New Civilization (2005)
A new civilisation
Anastasia was sitting beneath the cedar tree, wearing a light grey flaxen dress. With her arms around her knees and her head slightly lowered, she was gazing out at the smooth sur-face of the lake. I didn’t go up to her right away For a while I stood at a distance, observing this recluse quietly sitting there by the lakeshore. No — that description really doesn’t fit Anastasia. The word recluse is better suited to the people who live in modern apartments.
People live in these apartments and don’t even know their neighbours sharing the same floor.1 They walk along the street and couldn’t care less about the people they meet. And their attitude is entirely reciprocal.
So, while there’s nothing frightening in someone living alone, it’s a lot more frightening when they’re alone amongst people like themselves.
And so, even though Anastasia was sitting here alone on the shore of this taiga lake, her heart was beating in unison with millions of human hearts all over the world. Some call her their friend, some their sister, feeling like they’re related to her.
In the meantime, her soft-spoken words wing their way through the endless flow of information thundering and dun- dering from TV screens and a host of other media. Her words waft by and people pick them up. And people who catch them may respond with guitar strings and songs, and often with ac-tions. They re tune their life anew.
And Grandfather... I saw for the first time how fervently he expressed himself as he asked me to have a word with Anastasia about eternity
I sat down beside her and she turned her head toward me. I felt a calming sense from the tender gaze of her greyish-blue eyes. For a time we simply sat and looked at each other.
I couldn’t help myself, but took her hand, gave it a quick kiss and then replaced it on her knees. Her cheeks were aflush with a soft glow, her eyelashes all aflutter. And without rhyme or reason a sense of unease came over me. How strange to feel uneasy over a woman one has known for ten years! And how delightful!
And in an attempt to overcome my sense of awkwardness and unease, I broke the silence first.
“I was talking with your grandfather just now, Anastasia. For some reason he quite unexpectedly and rather excitedly started saying something about humanity’s need for words on eternity He said these words should be the kind people can grasp not just with their mind or intellect, but with their feel-ings. Are these words really that important?”
“Yes, they are important, Vladimir. But it is not the words that are important, but, rather, people’s conscious awareness. Words, of course, are necessary to bring it forth. A conscious awareness of eternal life will help perfect Man’s way of life.
“But what connection is there between our way of life and becoming consciously aware of eternity?”
“A direct connection. People today believe that they have only a few decades to live, after which they must leave life be-hind and disappear into oblivion. Yet all along, Man’s life can be eternal. This must be brought out, so that everyone, or, at least, most people, may understand.”
“But you talked about that already And I’ve included your words on this subject in several of my books.”
“Yes, I did, but, evidently, what I said has not been under-stood, or the frailty of human existence has been drummed into people’s consciousness too strongly over the millennia. New words and arguments must be found.”
“So, can you try to find them?”
“I shall try We need to look for them, apparently, along with those who will understand.”
“But tell me in your own words first.”
“Fine. Perhaps we should put it this way...
“Most people living on the Earth believe that they plan out their own life. They choose a profession, start a family, have children or, alternatively, decline to have children. But in many respects their decisions are not their own. A great influence is exercised upon them by somebody else’s will, act-ing through public opinion.
“For example, you have an object called a clothes hanger. At one point somebody decided to perfect this object by using Man himself as a clothes hanger. This gave rise to the profes-sion you call modelling from the word model It is not an envi-able profession, it is not part of Man’s destiny.
“But somebody decided to make it one of the most attrac-tive professions of all, and did so. They began to show off live models in a variety of colour magazine photos and TV shows, and to describe their supposedly happy lives — to tell about all the money they make and how rich people want to marry them. Millions of young girls began to dream of becoming the world’s next top model and thereby attaining happiness.
“Millions of young girls all over the world began resorting to all sorts of measures in an effort to achieve this illusory glory One in a million made it as a famous model, essentially becoming a walking clothes hanger. The others experienced deep disappointment in their lives, as their dream was not fulfilled.
‘And this was due to their failure to determine their own destiny — they had begun structuring their lives under the influence of somebody else’s will.
“There are many other examples that could be cited of men and women, and even children, chasing illusory values, neglecting their own purpose and destiny
“Tell me what you think, Vladimir — if human society is made up of people like that, where can it be heading?”
“It’s heading nowhere, that kind of human society Out there, in our country — Russia — not a single political party nor the state as a whole has put forth any kind of programme for building the future. From what you have told me, Anastasia, I’m particularly interested in the definition of Man’s purpose and destiny What does it consist of? How can people discover it?”
“Let your thought, Vladimir, as well as other people’s thoughts, try to grasp hold of God’s creations, His programme, His dream.”
“But is that really possible — grasping hold of God’s dream, I mean?”
“It is possible. After all, He has hid nothing, and still hides nothing from people — from children who are His very own. He has written no scholarly tomes — everything by example He has shown. And the first thing everyone needs to understand and feel is which of Man’s deeds to eternity lead. Think for yourself, Vladimir, why did not God, who created the living and multifaceted world, not create things like the car, the TV and the space ship in their present form?”
“Perhaps He simply wasn’t up to the job, whereas Man is?” “God created everything Man needs — Man has within himself a means of transportation as well as imagination through which he can see far better pictures than are shown on TV. Man is also capable of effecting the mastery of other planets of the Universe without the aid of primitive artificial projectiles.
“It was God who determined Man’s purpose and destiny, as well as the programme of development for all life in the Universe. To attain the required understanding, Man needs to refrain from destroying His programme and to study for all he’s worth and ascertain the purpose of everything on the Earth.”