Book 2. Ringing cedars of Russia (1997)
“But I’m talking about very real people — like those two girls over there, for instance. D’you see?” I pointed in the direction of two teen-age girls standing about five or six metres away from our bench.
The old man fixed his gaze upon them and said:
“I think one of them — the one that’s smoking — is unreal.”
“What d’you mean, unreal? If I went up to her and gave her behind a good slap, you’d hear a scream and curses that’d be more than real!”
“You know, Vladimir, what you are now seeing is simply an image before your eyes. An image created by the dogmas of the technocratic world. Look closely The girl has on very uncomfortable high-heeled shoes. Besides, they’re a little too tight for her. She wears them precisely because someone else is dictating what shoes women should be wearing these days.
‘And she’s wearing a short skirt of material made to look like leather but it isn’t leather. It’s harmful for the body, but she’s wearing it according to the dictates of society’s current fad. Look at all her gaudy make-up and how arrogantly she’s behaving. Outwardly she’s independent. But only outwardly Her whole appearance is at odds with herself, her real self. She’s been ‘smitten’ by an image of someone else’s thought- forms, a soulless, illusory image has eclipsed her living soul and taken it captive.”
“You can say what you like about the soul, captivity and the dictates of some image or other,” I interjected. “But how can one tell whether that’s actually true or not?”
“I’m already an old man, you see. I can’t get in tune with the slower pace of your thinking. I can’t express myself con-vincingly, the way Anastasia does.” The oldster sighed and added: “Do you mind if I try showing you?”
“Showing me what?”
“I shall now attempt to destroy, at least for a time, that illusory, lifeless image and free the girl’s soul. You watch closely.” “Go ahead.”
The girl holding the cigarette was in the midst of arrogantly berating her companion. The old fellow watched them closely and intently. And when the girl turned her glance away and fixed it on some of the passers-by, the oldster’s eyes followed her gaze. Then he got up and, gesturing to me to follow him, headed toward the girls. I went after him. He stopped about a half metre from them and fixed his eyes on the girl with the cigarette. She turned her head to look at him, blew a puff of cigarette smoke in his face and said with some irritation: “Hey, what’s with you, Gramps? Begging for money, eh?” The oldster paused, probably to recover from the cloud of smoke enveloping his face, and said in a soft and tender tone: “Put the cigarette, dear girl, into your right hand. You should try holding it in your right hand.”
And the girl obediently put the cigarette into her right hand. But there was much more to it than that. Her face suddenly became completely altered. Her arrogance had vanished. In fact everything about her was different: her face, the way she stood. And in a completely different tone of voice she said:
“I’ll try, Grandfather.”
“You should have your child, dear girl.”
“It’ll be hard for me. I’m all alone.”
“Let him come to you. You go and think about that hand of yours, think about your child, and he will come. Go along now, dear girl, you must hurry”
“I’ll go.” The girl took a few steps, then stopped and called back to her companion in a calm, quiet voice, with no sign of her former irritation: “Come along, Tanya... come with me.”
“Wow! Can you tame any woman like that?” I said, when we had regained our seat on the bench again. “That’s terrific! Some sort of super-hypnosis, eh? Far out!”
“It’s not hypnosis, Vladimir. And there’s no far-out mysti-cism here. It’s simply an attentive attitude to one’s fellow- Man. And I mean to the Man, not to the dreamt-up image which obscures the real Man. And Man responds instantly to this, he finds his strength, when you appeal directly to him, ignoring the illusory image.”
“But how did you manage to see the invisible Man behind the visible image?”
“It’s all very simple, really I watched them a bit. The girl was holding her cigarette in her left hand. She was also rum-maging about in her purse with her left hand. Which means she’s left-handed. And if a small child holds a spoon or does something else with the left hand, his parents try to get him to use his right. She got along fine with her parents. I realised this when I saw the way she looked at the man and woman walking along with a little girl in tow. I spoke to her the way her parents might have when she was little. I tried to use the same tone of voice her parents might have used. Back when she was little, unaffected, not under someone else’s image. That little girl was the real Man, and it responded right off.”
“But you were talking to her about childbirth — what was that all about?”
“She’s pregnant, you see. She’s been pregnant more than a month now. That alien image doesn’t want the child. But the girl’s inner being wants the child very much. They’re struggling with each other. Now her inner being will win out!