Book 6. The Family Book (2002)
A distorted view of history
He took the open book, in his left hand for some reason, and spent a few moments silently looking at the printed text, before starting to read:
The earliest people lived in hot climates, where there were no frosts or cold winters. People did not live by themselves, but in groups, which scholars call human flocks. Everybody in the flock, from the littlest to the greatest, collected food. They woidd spend whole days searchingfor edible roots, wild-growing fruit and berries, and birds’ eggs.
After reading this text aloud, he raised his head from the book and began looking me straight in the eye, enquiringly. I said nothing, not understanding his query His voice betrayed concern as he began talking.
“I do not have any concept from this.”
“What kind of‘concept’ do you mean?”
“No concept at all comes to me. Either it is broken, or it cannot present a concept of what is written in this book. When Mama Anastasia or my Grandfathers speak, I have a clear concept of everything they say. When I read His book, the whole concept is even clearer. But from this book I have only a distorted kind of concept. Or it is somehow broken within me.”
“What do you need this ‘concept’ for? Why waste time on a concept?”
“The concepts come all by themselves, when there is truth being told... but here, it is not happening — that means... One moment... I shall try to check. Perhaps the people written about in this book had no eyes, if they had to search all day long for food? Why did they spend days searching for food if it was always right with them?”
Then something inexplicable began happening with the child. He suddenly shut his eyes tight and began feeling the grass around him with one hand. Upon finding something, he picked and ate it. Then he got to his feet, and said without opening his eyes:
“Perhaps they did not have noses either.”
He pinched his nose tight together with his fingers and began walking away from me. After proceeding about fifteen metres, he lay down on the grass, his hand still covering his nose, and uttered a sound something like a-a-a.
At that point it seemed as though everything around sprung into motion. Several squirrels jumped down together out of the trees, spreading their paws and fluffing out their tails like a parachute. Running up to the child lying on the grass, they would put something down beside his head, then dash back up into the trees and again parachute down to the ground.
Three wolves standing some distance away also came running up to the boy lying on the grass and began hovering anxiously around him.
With a noisy crunch of branches a young bear appeared, toddling quickly along, then a second bear, a little smaller but more agile.
The first bear sniffed the child’s head and licked his hand, which was still holding on to his nose. Various other creatures of the taiga, big and small, kept popping out of the bushes. They all began to hover anxiously around the little fellow lying on the grass, completely oblivious to each other’s presence. It was quite evident they didn’t understand what was happening to him.
I too could not understand at first my son’s strange actions. Then I figured it out. He was portraying a helpless person deprived of sight and smell. The little a-a-a sounds he kept making from time to time were to signal to those around him that he was hungry
The squirrels kept arriving and departing as before, bringing cedar cones, dry mushrooms and something else besides, and piling them up on the grass beside the child.
One squirrel stood up on its hind legs, its front paws holding a cedar cone. With its sharp teeth it quickly began extracting the nuts inside. Another squirrel bit the nuts open and made a pile of the freshly shelled kernels.
But the boy did not take the food. He continued lying there with closed eyes, his hand holding his nose, and uttering his a-a-a with growing insistence.
At this point a sable came running headlong out of the bushes. A beautiful fluffy creature with a luxuriant coat of fur. It ran two circles around the boy, paying no attention to the gathering cluster of animals. And the creatures, whose attention had been totally focused on the unusual behaviour of the child, didn’t seem to take any notice of the sable at all. But when it suddenly pulled up sharply and stopped at the pile of cedar nuts the squirrels had shelled and began eating them, the creatures reacted.
The first ones to bare their teeth and have their hair stand on end were the wolves. The bear, which had been swaying back and forth, shifting its weight from one paw to another, first froze still, his gaze trained on the glutton, then he gave it a slap with his paw. The sable flew off to one side and flipped over, but immediately jumped up again and made a nimble dash for the child, putting its front paws up on his chest. Directly the little one tried making his usual demanding a-a-a, the sable brought its muzzle right up to the boy’s open mouth and deposited therein the food it had just chewed.
At long last Volodya sat up on the grass, opened his eyes and let go of his nose. He surveyed all the creatures around him, who were still showing signs of concern. Then he got to his feet and began calming them down.
Then each creature in its turn, according to a hierarchy known only to them, approached the boy. Each one received a reward. The wolves got a friendly clap on the mane. With one of the bears Volodya took its muzzle in both hands and gave it a shaking, then for some reason rubbed the second bear’s nose. He used his leg to press the sable squirming at his feet to the ground, and when it flipped over onto its back, he proceeded to tickle its tummy
After receiving their due reward, each creature in turn re-spectfully withdrew.
Volodya picked up a handful of shelled cedar nuts from the ground and made a sign to the squirrels which by all appearances was intended to let them know that they need not bring any more gifts. Even though the child had been calming the
creatures down, up to this point the squirrels had been continuing to feed him, but stopped immediately upon Volodya’s signal.
My little boy came over to me, handed me a fistful of nuts and said:
“In the concept I have within me, Papa, when the first people began to live on the Earth, they did not need to spend entire days searching for and gathering food. They did not need to think about food at all. Forgive my concept, Papa — it is not at all like what the intelligent scholars wrote in the book which you brought me.”
“Yes. I realise it is quite different.”
I sat down again on the hillock. Volodya immediately followed suit, and asked:
“But why are they different — my concept and the one in the book?”
I’m sure my own thought must have been working faster than ever before. Indeed, why did this book, a textbook for children, contain such hocus-pocus? Even an adult unfamiliar with the wilds of nature must grasp the fact that in a warm climate, especially a tropical climate, there would be all sorts of food in abundance. So much so that even the huge creatures — mammoths and elephants — had no trouble in finding enough to eat. And the smaller animals didn’t go hungry either. And yet here was Man, the most intellectually developed creature among them, having difficulty feeding himself! Really, a virtually impossible scenario!
It turns out that the majority of people who study history simply do not think about the implications of what is written in history textbooks. They do not evaluate what they read against the criterion of the most elementary logic, but simply accept the historical past in whatever form it happens to be served up to them.
Try telling a dachnik, for example — a dachnik with just six hundred square metres of land — that his neighbour spends
his day walking among the food growing there and can’t find anything to eat. The dachnik would get the impression that his neighbour must be sick, to put it mildly
By the same token, how could a child who has grown up in the taiga and tasted all the various fruits and growing plants, imagine any need for searching for them if they are always at hand? Especially when the creatures around him are ready at any moment to serve him, to spare him the necessity of climbing trees to fetch nuts and even the task of shelling them?
Earlier I had observed still another phenomenon. All the female creatures living on Anastasia’s family territory accepted the child born to her as their own.2 And I am not the only one to have described this phenomenon. There are many instances recorded where animals have nourished human children. And many people, no doubt, have observed a dog feeding a kitten or a mother cat feeding a young puppy. But animals have a special relationship to Man.
Creatures in the taiga always mark out their territory It is on such a territory that Anastasia’s family lives, and hence their special relationship to her too. How is it that all the creatures are so drawn to Man and ready to serve him with heartfelt desire? How is it that Man’s loving attitude is so essential to them? Just like household pets in a modern apartment — a cat, a dog or a parrot, for example — each and every one tries to get at least some kind of attention from Man, and treats any indication of love as the ultimate reward. They are even jealous when a Man shows attention to some pets more than others. 1
While this is something we easily take for granted with pets, it may seem a little unusual here in the taiga, and yet fundamentally it is the same amazing phenomenon — all animals aspire to feel the invisible light of grace (or feelings, or some other kind of radiance) emanating from Man. The specific term may vary, but the fact is incontestable. The important thing is that this is a real natural phenomenon, and we need to understand its specific purpose.
Did this phenomenon exist right from the very beginning, or has Man trained the animals over the centuries? It is quite possible that every single one of them has been trained. After all, look at how many different animals and birds on all continents serve Man today! They know who their master is. In Indiawe are talking about elephants and monkeys, in Central Asia — camels and donkeys. And almost everywhere this applies to dogs, cats, cows, horses, chickens, geese, hawks and dolphins — so many kinds of creatures, it is hard to name them all. The important thing is that they are in service to Man — a fact practically everyone is aware of. But when did it begin — three thousand years ago? Five, ten thousand years ago? Or possibly this was part of the Creator’s thought right when He created Nature? Most likely the latter.
It says in the Bible: “To determine the purpose of every creature.” And if all this was planned and implemented right from the beginning, then Man could not possibly have had any problems finding food.
Why then do our history books — those written for adults as well as children — say exactly the opposite? This happens not just in our country, but such absurdities are inculcated in people the world over. A mistake? Probably not! Whatever’s behind this is more significant than a mere mistake. Design! If so, that means it’s important to someone. To whom? Why? What would happen if history were written differently? If the truth were written? What if textbooks all over the world stated something like this:
The first people living on our Earth did not have any problems
finding food. They were surrounded by a great variety of high-
quality and nourishingfood.
But then... Then the question would arise in the vast majority of minds: What happened to this great variety and abundance? Why is Man today forced to work as a slave for someone just to earn a piece of bread? And perhaps the most important question of all: How flawless is the course of human society’s development today?
How was I now to answer my son as to why this ‘intelligent’ book — a textbook — was spouting such absurdities? People in the tropics spending whole days searching for food? To one brought up in the taiga surrounded by faithful creatures, these sayings of so-called ‘intelligent people’ were patently absurd.
I remembered Anastasia’s words: To perceive what is really going on in the Universe one need only look into one’s self In an attempt to extricate myself from the situation, I tried explaining to my son:
“This is not a simple book. You should examine everything written here against your own concept. Why write about something that you have such a clear concept of already? Here everything is presented upside-down. You need to use your own concepts to verify whether something you read is the truth, or whether it’s turned upside-down. You need to be more attentive to that. Do you understand me, Volodya?”
“I shall try to understand, Papa, why people write what is not true. At the moment I do not understand. I know that some creatures use their tails to wipe out their tracks. Others build fake burrows, and there are those that even construct traps. Only why do human beings need to be so deceptive?” “I told you, it’s for their self-development.”
“But can they not develop themselves through the truth?” “They could do that too... But it would be different.” “Where you live, Papa, do they develop themselves through the truth or through lies?”
“They try all sorts of things — sometimes truth, sometimes lies — whatever will get them ahead most effectively... Anyway, Volodya, do you often read books?”
“What kind of books do you read? Who gives them to you?” “Mama Anastasia has given me all the books to read that you wrote, Papa. I read them very quickly But every day I read other books. Books that have lots of different happy letters of the alphabet.”
At first I didn’t pay any attention to his words about some kind of strange books with lots of different happy letters’.