Book 7. The Energy of Life (2003)
A goddess of a wife
“Yes, Vladimir, Man’s thought has access to energy unsurpassed. Many of the creations of this energy are either dismissed as magic or counted as miracles and ascribed to a higher power.
“Take, for example, the ‘miracle icons’. Why would they suddenly become miraculous? Why would a piece of wooden board with a hand-painted image on it all of a sudden have the power to work miracles? It happens when iconographers imbue their work with a sufficient amount of their own mental energy Those who look at the icon then add their own energy People talk about a ‘prayed-over icon’ — in other words, an icon imbued with a goodly amount of the energy of human thoughts.
“It used to be that iconographers knew about the properties of this great energy Before approaching a particular work, they fasted to cleanse their body of impurities, at the same time intensifying their thought. Then they entered into a state of detachment, focusing their energy on a single task — the painting of the icon. When it was completely finished, they spent another long period contemplating what they had done. And miracles were sometimes the result.
“People sometimes see unusual phenomena, or various kinds of angels. But note that people invariably see only what they are thinking about. They invariably see only the images they believe in.
“Christians, for example, can see only their own saints. Moslems see only theirs. That is because they are beholding
the projections of their own or the general collective thought.
“Back only fifteen hundred years ago there were people who understood the power and properties of the energy of human thought. There are parables about this. Would you like to hear one?”
“Yes, I would.”
“I shall translate it from its ancient tongue into contemporary language, and change the setting to modern terms to make it more understandable. But tell me first, how does a man who has been married to a woman for a long time behave? What does he do when he comes home?”
“Well, a lot of husbands, as long as they don’t habitually reach for the bottle, will sit down in front of the television set and either read a paper or watch TV They might take out the garbage, if their wife asks them to.”
‘And what about the women?”
“There’s no question about that — they get supper ready in the kitchen, and afterward wash the dishes.”
“Fine. That will help me translate the ancient parable into modern terms.”
Once upon a time there lived an ordinary husband and wife. The wife’s name was Elena, her husband was Ivan.
Every day the husband would come home from work, sit down in his favourite chair by the television set and begin reading the newspaper. His wife Elena would get supper ready As she gave Ivan his supper she would nag him that
he never did anything useful around the place, and was not earning enough money. Ivan got irritated by his wife’s nagging. But instead of giving her some kind of gruff response, he simply thought to himself: She herself‘s a dirty slut, and she’s telling me what to do. But when we got married, she was so totally different — she was beautiful, she was tender.
One day when this nagging wife demanded Ivan take out the garbage, he reluctantly tore himself away from the TV and headed outdoors with the dustbin. Upon returning, he stopped in the doorway and turned to God in his thought:
“O, Lord! O, Lord! Just look at how lousy my life’s turned out! Do I really have to while away all my remaining years with such a nagging and ugly wife? This isn’t life — it’s sheer torture!”
And then all of a sudden Ivan heard the quiet voice of God:
“My son, I could help alleviate your troubles, I could give you a splendid goddess of a wife, only if your neighbours noticed a sudden change in your life, they might become greatly astonished. Let us work this way: I shall change your wife just a little at a time. I shall imbue her with the spirit of a goddess and improve her outward appearance. Only you must remember that if you want to live with a goddess, you have to make your own life worthy of a goddess.”
“Thank you, О Lord! Any man would be happy to change his life for the sake of a goddess. But tell me: when will You start making changes in my wife?”
“I shall begin a few little changes right away And minute by minute I shall be changing her for the better.”
Ivan went back into his home, sat down in his chair, picked up the paper and turned the television back on. Only he did not feel like reading, or watching any TV films. He could not wait to peek and see whether his wife had started changing — even just a little.
He got up and opened the kitchen door. Leaning against the door-post, he began watching his wife intently. She was standing with her back to him, washing the supper dishes.
All at once Elena felt herself being watched and turned toward the doorway. Their eyes met. Ivan looked at his wife and thought: No, I don’t see any changes going on in my wife.
Seeing the unusual attention her husband was paying her and not being able to figure it out, Elena all at once straightened her hair, and a rosy blush came over her cheeks as she asked:
“What is it, Ivan? Why are you looking at me so intently?”
The husband could not think of what to say Embarrassed, he blurted out:
“Well, maybe... the dishes... maybe I could help you wash them? I was just thinking about it, for some reason.”
“The dishes? You help me?” the wife echoed in surprise, taking off her much-soiled apron. “Well, you see, I’ve already done them.”
Wow! She’s changing right before my eyes! Ivan thought. Look how fnnch prettier she’s become all of a sudden!
And then he started drying the dishes.
The next day after work Ivan couldn’t wait to get home. He couldn’t wait to see how his nagging wife was little by little being transformed into a goddess.
Hasn’t she got a lot of goddess in her already? But I haven’t changed even a little bit myself, as usual. In any case, I shoidd buy her some flowers, so I won’t fall flat on my face before a goddess!
Upon opening the door to his home, Ivan stood entranced in amazement. There before him stood Elena in her party dress, the same one he had bought her last year. She was sporting a neat hairdo, complete with a bright ribbon. He was dumbfounded. With some awkwardness he offered the flowers to Elena, not being able to take his eyes off her.
She accepted the flowers and gave a little gasp. She lowered her eyelids and a rosy blush filled her cheeks.
Oh, what marvellous eyelids goddesses have! What meekness they express! What extraordinary inner beauty, and outward looks!
And Ivan gasped in turn, upon seeing the table set with their fancy china and two candles burning on the table, along with two wine-glasses and the food with its divinely tempting aromas.
He sat down to the table, and Elena his wife sat down opposite him. But then suddenly she jumped up and said:
“I’m so sorry, I forgot to turn the TV on for you. But here, I’ve got today’s paper for you.”
“Never mind the TV, and I don’t really feel like reading the paper either — they all keep saying the same thing,” Ivan re-sponded with sincerity. “I’d rather you tell me what you’d like to do tomorrow, Saturday”
Completely overwhelmed, Elena asked in amazement:
“What would you like to do?”
“Well, I happened to pick us up a couple of theatre tickets today Anyway, tomorrow afternoon, I thought you might like to do a bit of shopping. Since we’re going to the theatre, I thought we’d drop into a store first and buy you a dress suitable for the occasion.”
Ivan just caught himself in time from blurting out his cherished secret: a dress suitable for a goddess. Embarrassed, he looked at her again and gave another gasp. A goddess was indeed sitting at the table before him. Her face was beaming with joy, and her eyes were sparkling. Her restrained smile was just slightly inquisitive.
О Lord, how marvellous goddesses are after all! But if she keeps on getting better day by day, can I become worthy of this goddess? Ivan mused. All of a sudden, a thought struck him like lightning: I’ve got to do it! Fve got to do it while this goddess is here
with me. I’ve got to ask her, plead with her to bear my child. A child which will come from me and from this most marvellous goddess!
“A penny for your thoughts, Ivan! Could that be excitement I see in your face?” Elena asked her husband.
He sat there excitedly, not sure how to talk about so precious a thing. This was no piece of cake — asking a goddess to bear a child! This was not a gift God had promised him. He did not know how to tell her about his wish. Fumbling with a corner of the tablecloth, Ivan got up from the table and pleaded, blushing:
“I don’t know... Do you think... But I... wanted to say...
for a long time now... I want to have a child with you, my beautiful goddess!”
Whereupon she, Elena, came over to Ivan, her husband. From her love-filled eyes a tear of joy rolled down her rosy cheek. She placed her hand on Ivan’s shoulder, and her breath flared in a warm flush.
What a night that was! What a morning! And oh, what a day it is! How marvellous it is to live with a goddess! thought Ivan, as he bundled up his second grandson for an outdoor stroll.
“What did you understand from this parable, Vladimir?”
“I understood all of it. God didn’t actually help Ivan. All he did was listen to God’s voice. Ivan made his own wife a goddess through his thought.”
“Of course, you are right: Ivan created his own happiness with his thought. He made his wife a goddess and changed himself. But God did help Ivan.”
“Back when God gave everything to each of us, when He was contemplating the creation of Man. And explaining everything to the first Man he created. Do you remember God’s words from the book Co-creation? He said:
“‘My son, you are infinite, you are eternal, within you are your dreams of creation.’1
“These words, Vladimir, are still true today. Every Man has within himself creative dreams. The question is only: in which direction are they aimed? And how powerful is the thought, including its energy, in His sons and daughters living
on the Earth today?”