the Ringing cedars of Russia
Vladimir Megre English translation by John Woodsworth

Book 4. Co-creation (1999)

When fathers will understand...


“On the third day my forefather once more climbed up to the platform with the dawn. He stood there smiling, looking at the throng of people. He was looking for someone specific in the crowd. Itinerant singers waved at him in greeting and raised their instruments, and their strings vibrated under the singers’ inspired hands. My forefather kept smiling at them while at the same time he scanned the crowd even more carefully My forefather wanted to see his son. To see the son born to his loved one nineteen years earlier in the forest. Suddenly out of the crowd he heard a resounding young voice: “‘Tell me, О great poet and master of the song. You are standing up there, high above everyone. I am down here, but why do you seem so close to me, as though you were my father?’

‘And their dialogue was heard by all around.

“‘Why young man, do you not know your own father?’ enquired the singer from the platform up above.

“‘I am nineteen years old, and I have not seen my father even once. I live with my mother alone in the forest. My father left us before I was born.’

“‘First tell me, young man, how do you see the world around you?’

“‘The world is splendid with its rosy dawn and the setting Sun drawing the day to a close. Marvellous and multifaceted it is. But people are crassly perverting the beauty of the Earth, and causing each other to suffer.’

“From the high tower came the voice in reply:

“‘Perhaps your father left you because he was ashamed before you, ashamed of the world into which he brought you. Your father left, aiming to make the world a more splendid place for you.’

“And so, did my father believe that he would be able to make over the world all by himself?’

“‘The day will come when all fathers will understand that they are the ones given the responsibility for the world in which their children live. The day will come when every father will face the fact that before bringing his beloved child into the world, he must act to make the world a happier place. And you as well must give thought to the world in which your own offspring will live. Tell me, young man, how soon is your chosen girl to give birth to the one which she has conceived?’

“‘In the forest where I live I have no chosen girl. The world there is splendid, I have a host of friends. But I still have not yet met a girl who is willing to go with me into my world — a world I cannot leave.’

“‘Well, then, even if you have not yet seen your chosen girl so fine, you still have a space of time to make the world

into at least a little more joyful place for your future girl or boy’

“‘I shall devote myself to that, just like my father.’

“‘You are no longer a growing lad. You have flowing within you the blood of a fine young man, a future poet and master of the song. Sing to the throng about your splendid world. Come, you and I together shall join in song. We shall sing along together of the splendid world of the future.’

“‘Who can sing when your own voice is so resounding, О poet and master of the song?’

“‘I tell you, young man, you shall be able to sing that way as well. I shall sing the first line, the second is your verse. Only sing out boldly, as I have told you, my poet.’

“My forefather sang from the high tower. Over the heads of the assembled throng the voice soared forthwith rejoicing, and out came the line:

I arise, and the dawn smiles, befriending...

‘And from the throng standing below, all at once a pure and resonant voice, not yet self-confident, carried on:

I walk miles, and the birds sing above...

‘And after each line of the father’s came that of the son, and sometimes their voices blended as one, and a resonant song of joy resounded all around:

And this day will have never an ending Because ever more deeply I love.

‘At that point the young man found his confidence and with rank ecstasy sang on:

Along the Suns road with light footsteps a-stealing I enter my Father’s own ground,

My eyes see the path, but my feet have no feeling My happiness now knows no bounds.

I remember my seeing this all once beforetime:

The flowers, the trees and the sky.

Back then I could see only pain and misfortune,

But now, Той are everywhere nigh.

It’s all still the same — the bright stars and the birdies,

But I look at them differently now.

I have no more sorrow, I feel no more hurtings,

I love all you people — oh, wow!

“The voice from the tower grew fainter and fainter, and before long it could not be heard at all. The singer in the tower momentarily lost his balance, but quickly regained it, and smiled at the people once more. And right up to the end he noticed how his son’s voice was ever stronger than before. The voice of his son, now master of the song, standing below in the throng.

“When the song was ended, my forefather, from his position on the tower platform, waved farewell to the throng. To conceal himself from human eyes, he descended five steps on the staircase inside the tower from the platform doorway He was becoming weaker and losing consciousness, but he perked up his hearing to the limit. From the wind he could just catch the words fervently whispered to the young singer by a young and beautiful girl:

“Allow me, young man, allow me... I shall follow you, I shall go with you into your splendid world...’

“There on the stone steps of the walled-up tower my forefather was fast losing consciousness. He had a smile on his face as he awaited death. With his last breath his lips whispered: “‘The line will continue. You will find bliss in a circle of happy children, my beloved.’

“My foremother heard him in her heart. Over the thousands of years to come poet after poet would repeat the words of the song of my two forefathers. And the words and phrases of that song were reborn all by themselves among poets of various times and lands. They have sounded forth in many tongues. These simple words conveyed truth, and they broke through artifice and dogma. And now once again they are heard today. Whoever deciphers their lines — not with the mind but with the heart — will learn great wisdom.”

‘And was there some sort of special meaning in the other songs your forefather sang from the tower?” I asked. “Why would he give his life just for some songs?”

“My forefather, Vladimir, created many images in his songs. They later built a state and maintained it for a long time. It was these songs that helped the priests — the descendants of those first priests — to create a multitude of religions, and take power in different lands. But there was just one thing the priests did not know, when they decided to use their power for selfish ends. The priests did not know how to make the images work for them in perpetuity The images lost their power when the priests tried to subject them to their own selfish pride. The ones — ”

“Hold on, hold on there, Anastasia. There’s something I fail to understand about the images.”

“Forgive me, Vladimir, for my lack of clarity Now I shall try to let go, pull myself together, and tell you, all in its proper order, about the most important of all sciences. The science of imagery, it is called. All our ancient and modern sciences are derived from it. The priests split it up into parts so as to conceal the most important thing, in an effort to maintain their power over everything on the Earth in perpetuity, passing on their knowledge of it to their descendants in underground temples byword of mouth. And they tried to preserve the secret with such zeal that their modern-day priest descendants have been afforded only a tiny fraction of that science. But back then, when it all began, things were going considerably better for the priesthood.”

“And just how did it all begin? Tell me everything right from the start.”

“Yes! Yes, of course. I somehow got excited once more. I must tell you everything in order. The conscious awareness of this powerful science began with the songs resounding forth from the tower.”

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