Book 8, part 2. The Rites of Love (2006)
Love — the essence of the Cosmos
All of a sudden a figure appeared on the roadway ahead. He was standing practically smack dab in the middle of the travel lane with his back to my oncoming jeep. I began braking at once, so as to carefully go around this strange-looking greyheaded figure.
When I got within ten metres of him, the old fellow quietly turned around and I instinctively pressed the brake pedal to the floor.
There in front of me on the roadway stood none other than Anastasia’s grandfather. I recognised him at once. His grey hair and beard were a complete contradiction to his incredibly young, sparkling eyes — a discrepancy which immediately set him apart from many of his peers. And the long grey raincoat of indeterminate cut from goodness-knows- what material was also something I was able to recognise all too easily
Still, I had a hard time believing my eyes. After all, how could this oldster from the Siberian taiga turn up here in the heart of Russia, on a roadway leading from Vladimir to the city of Suzdal?1 How, indeed? By coach and horses? How could this Siberian recluse hope to master all the intricacies of our transportation networks? Add to that a complete absence of any kind of identification documents.
Money, of course, he could have laid his hands on, by selling dried mushrooms and cedar nuts, as his granddaughter Anastasia had done. But with no identification...
Of course we have lots of homeless people without identifi-cation, and the police can’t do anything about it. But Anastasia’s grandfather is far from resembling your average homeless person. Sure, he was dressed in old shabby clothes, but they were always clean, and his appearance was well-groomed, his face was bright and a light blush adorned his cheeks.
I sat there, unable to move, behind the wheel of the jeep. He came over and I opened the half-door for him.
“Hi there, Vladimir!” the old fellow greeted me as though there were nothing unusual about the circumstances. “You heading to Suzdal? Can you give me a lift?”
“Yes, of course I can. Hop in! How did you end up here? How on earth did you manage to get here all the way from the taiga?”
“How I got here isn’t important. The main thing is why I came.”
“Well, why did you come?”
“To take a tour into real Russian history with you, and to dispel your resentment toward me. My granddaughter Anastasia told me to. She said to me: ‘Grandpakins, you are to blame for his resentment.’ So here I am, joining you on the tour. That’s why you’re going to Suzdal, isn’t it?”
“Yes, I want to go see the museum. And I really did feel resentment, only it’s gone now.”
We rode for some time in silence. I recalled how frosty our parting had been back in the taiga. In fact, we didn’t even say good-bye. It had happened like this:
Anastasia’s grandfather had recommended I set up a political party. He suggested calling it the Motherland Party?
The idea of forming a party based on Anastasia’s ideas had actually been noised about for some time, by various people. Many believed a political party was essential to make it easier for people to acquire land for the building of family domains and head off any kind of encroachment on the part of government officials, since none of the existing parties, regrettably, had even considered such questions in their platform.
In view of the fact that there are some sort of powers opposed to Anastasia’s ideas and that all sorts of attempts have been made to discredit not only the ideas themselves but also people who have been attracted by them, as well as Anastasia and me, it was suggested to draft the party’s constitution without any reference in its ‘Aims and objectives” section to creating favourable conditions for the setting up of kin’s domains. Nor should there be any mention of Anastasia’s ideas, or the Ringing Cedars Series.
The would-be organisers were trying to persuade me that this would be the only way to get the party officially registered. And so I decided to consult with Anastasia’s grandfather on this question, as well as on the topic of the party’s structure, its primary aims and objectives. I surmised that since he was well acquainted with the acts of the priests who were constantly setting up all sorts of societal structures and religions which had lasted millennia, he must surely know about the secret organisational tenets underlying such longevity.
Besides, he himself was a priest of some standing. Quite possibly, even stronger than the ones currently ruling the world. If so, then he must certainly be aware of the principles underlying the priesthood itself, which had turned out to be more resilient than religion.
Indeed, the priesthood was and is a suprareligious structure, since the priests took direct part in the creation of certain religions and secular institutions. This is clear from the history of Ancient Egypt and other countries.
It followed that Anastasia’s grandfather would be able to set forth certain fundamentals for the Motherland Party, making it a most powerful, if not the most powerful, institution.
I sincerely wanted to hear what he had to say on this, and so I took advantage of what I thought was a moment when he was not immersed in his inner contemplations, and said:
“You were speaking about a party. My readers, too, have been talking about this for some time. But some of them are recommending that I don’t include any mention in its constitution of Anastasia, or her ideas, or the books — so that the registration will go smoothly.”
The grey-haired old fellow stood before me, leaning on his father’s staff, without saying a word. It wasn’t just that he kept his silence — he stared at me fixedly, as though seeing me for the first time. His eyes reflected more criticism than kindness.
And when he did start speaking again after a lengthy pause, his voice, too, betrayed notes of disdain.
“Registration, you say So, you’ve come to ask my advice? To betray or not to betray?”
“What’s this about betrayal? I came to consult with you on how to proceed so that the registration will go smoothly ”
“Registration, after all, is not an end in itself, Vladimir. Even the party is not an end in itself. No ideas, you say, not even a mention? So how are readers going to realise that it’s their Motherland Party, and not just some mercantile traitors’ party? You’ve been asked to set up some kind of meaningless organisation — without any basis, idea, or symbols which would already guarantee leadership for centuries to come. And now you’ve come to ask me whether you shouldn’t follow their advice. Don’t tell me you couldn’t see through even this simple trick?”
I realised I had got myself into a rather sticky situation, and so I tried to get out of it by asking another question:
“I only wanted to see if there were some principles you could recommend including in the draft of the party’s constitution, its aims and objectives?”
What happened next nearly drove me out of my mind. As it seemed to me back then, the old fellow was not only refusing to answer my questions, he had started making fun of me in a high-handed way First he looked at me wide-eyed, then he gave a kind of irritated chuckle and turned away, even taking a step back from me. But then he turned around again and said:
“Don’t you understand, Vladimir? All the answers to the questions you raise should be given birth within yourself, and within everyone who joins you in creating the party’s structure. Sure, I can give you a hint. But tomorrow someone else will give you another hint, and then a third, and you won’t act — all you’ll do is focus your attention on the hints. Go right, go left, you’ll all go forward and then backward again or keep going round in circles because of the laziness of your minds.”
I strongly resented this latter phrase. Over the years since my first meeting with Anastasia I’ve been stretching my mind to the limit day and night. Maybe it’s starting to overheat from the constant stress of the work. I’ve published eight books now and have often taken to contemplating what is written in them myself. Sometimes I’ve found myself pondering the accuracy of particular phrases time and again. And surely the old fellow must know all about this.
Even though my resentment was starting to become inflamed, I managed to restrain myself, explaining:
“Indeed, it seems as though everybody thinks and reflects, and various political systems are set up — communist, democratic, centrist. But as someone once said, no matter what party we aim to create, it all ends up looking like the Communist Party’s Central Committee!”
“That’s very true. That’s what I’ve been telling you — you’re going round in circles because of the laziness of your minds.”
“What’s laziness of mind’ got to do with it? Maybe it’s simply that not enough information is available?”
“So, there’s not enough information out there and you’ve come to me to get it, eh? But if your mind is lazy, will you be able to make any sense of it?”
I could feel my resentment increasing, but I endeavoured to conceal my irritation and continued:
“Okay, I’ll try to make my brain work harder.”
“Then pay attention. The party should be structured along the lines of the Novgorod vieche — I mean, in its early period. You’ll figure out the rest later.”
This answer made me really angry The oldster knew perfectly well that documents on pre-Christian Russia were nowhere to be found — they had all been destroyed. So nobody could ever tell how this Novgorod vieche worked, especially in
its early period. That meant he was mocking me. But why? What had I done to make him—?
Trying to restrain myself out of respect for his age, I apologised:
“Excuse me for disturbing you. You were probably occupied in something important. I’ll leave you.”
And I turned around to go, but he called after me:
“But the aim or objective of the Motherland Party should be the creation of favourable conditions for the restoration of the energy of Love to families. It is essential to bring back the rites and celebrations which can help find one’s ‘other half’, one’s soulmate.”
“What?” I turned to face the old fellow again. “Love? Bring it back to families? I realise you don’t want to talk serious with me. But why are you making fun of me?”
“I’m not making fun of you, Vladimir. It is you who are not capable of understanding what it’s all about. If you don’t train yourself to contemplate, it can take years to figure out.” “Ligure out what? You have at least a rough idea what kinds of aims and objectives parties all over the world write into their constitutions?”
“I have a rough idea.”
“Then tell me, if you know that. Tell me!”
“They claim they will definitely raise the standard of living for everyone, and will offer people greater freedom.”
“Exactly. And in particular they promise industrial devel-opment, guaranteed housing and control over inflation.” “Nonsense. Utter nonsense!” the oldster chortled. “Nonsense??? Yes, it will be nonsense if I follow your advice and put in as a basic tenet of the party’s constitution: The Party will work toward the goal of helping every individual find their soulmate.
‘And you can add: The Party will restore to the people a way of life and rites capable ofpreserving love in families forever?
“What on earth are you talking about??!! You — you want to make a laughingstock of me in front of everybody? Questions like this — like searching for one’s soulmate — this is what marriage agencies do, on a commercial basis. If I include statements like that in the party’s platform, it’ll end up being not a party but a dating service! And as for love in families, well, that’s a personal matter for families, and nobody, no political party, has the right to interfere in family affairs. That’s none of the State’s business.”
“But don’t tell me your State isn’t made up of families! Aren’t families the basis of any State?”
“They are, they are! That’s why the State is obliged to raise the standard of living both for families and for individual citizens.”
‘And what then?” the old fellow snapped. “By raising the standard of living in the country, will you then restore love to a great many families?”
“I don’t know. But it is accepted that states should care about the welfare of their citizens.”
“Vladimir, ponder for a moment what that word welfare means. Calm down and delve into its meaning. Now I’m going to say it just a little differently: well-faring от faring well, that is, a state of well-being. If you think about it, you’ll realise that love alone is capable of raising any Man’s wellbeing to the highest possible level — not money or palaces, but only the feeling given to Man by the Creator — the state of love.
“Love is the essence of the Cosmos. Living, thinking, with an advanced intellect. It is powerful, and it’s no wonder God was so excited about it, giving its great energy as a gift to Man. It is imperative to try to understand love, and not be shy about paying attention to it even on the national level.
‘And when the nation is comprised of a multitude of families giving birth to their children in love and creating a Space of Love, it will not suffer from lawlessness or inflation. Such a nation will have no need to fight against criminal tendencies; they will disappear from society. And all the prophets with their cunning philosophising will be silenced. Whether they foolishly neglected to mention it or whether it was simply beyond their comprehension is unimportant, but they led people away from the most important thing to a place where there is no love.
“The priests knew about this, and consequently humoured the prophets.
“For centuries mankind had been creating rites in aid of life and love. Whether these rites were suggested by the Creator or the people’s own wisdom had perfected them is unimportant. They, in fact, over the centuries, created a state of well-being and helped young people obtain love and joy in perpetuity. None of these rites was characterised by occult superstition, as today Each one served as a school of higher learning, an examination by the Universe.
‘Anastasia told you about the Vedruss wedding rite that dates back centuries. Tou mentioned it in just one ofyour books, but it deserves to be mentioned in every book. It is far from being fully comprehended by people living today, including you.
“If you remember, she also told you about ancient ways of searching for your one to love. But again, you today have not
been able to make sense of them. My granddaughter said: ‘I, apparently, have not created strong enough images.’ She takes all the blame upon herself, but I claim that the laziness of your mind (or minds) is also to blame.
“Let the best learned men study the Vedruss wedding rite letter by letter. They won’t — and you’d better believe me, Vladimir — they won’t find a single occult or superstitious act. It is an act which is both rational and exactly suited to love’s creation. Compared to it, you will see how absurd are today’s wedding celebrations — traditions smacking of occultism and superstition.
“You must realise that Anastasia knows immeasurably more than she tells you. Her acts, her logic, her behaviour are not immediately understood even by the priests, who subsequently can only marvel at what my granddaughter has done.
“Enquire of her and inspire her with your question. Ask her what rite the Vedruss people had for childbirth.
“Don’t count on her to bring the subject up. She takes care to talk to you only about what she thinks interests you. But you don’t have the slightest idea of what tremendous hidden wisdom lies in the ancient rites. They are the creation of cosmic worlds.
‘Any world that forgets the wisdom of its age-old forebears deserves derision. It makes no difference whether an individual has forgotten on his own or under the influence of the priests who have mastered the occult sciences.
“Enquire of my granddaughter and inspire her with your question. And summon your party to the creation of love. Until that happens, you are of little interest to me. You need to have the most obvious things explained to you at length. Show forgiveness to an old man. Go. I do not find it useful to talk and think of unpleasantries.”
The old fellow turned and started slowly walking away I stood there all alone in the taiga, feeling I had been spat upon. The resentment I had felt right from the start of our conversation prevented me from making sense of everything he said. But subsequently, upon returning home, I mentally went back to our conversation in the taiga, pondering it and analysing it. I very much wanted to prove — perhaps not so much to Anastasia’s grandfather as to myself — that I had not become completely lazy of mind.
I wanted to either disprove or confirm what he said — within myself.
Back in the taiga, the oldster had told me that as long as people are content merely to listen to hints and not begin to think about the essence of life for themselves, society will never be free from its cycle of social upheavals. And Man will never be happy
I guess that’s the way it is.
He also talked about the existence of some kind of programme created by God. Now, what might that be? To what extent does the life of Man today correspond with this programme?