Book 8, part 1. The New Civilization (2005)
A big problem
“Remember, Papa, when I told you last time you were here that I was preparing to go off into your world when I grew up?”
“Yes, I remember. You said you would come into our world and find yourself a Universe Girl to make her happy. You’d build a kin’s domain with her, and raise children together. I remember your telling me. So, you haven’t abandoned your project?”
“Not at all. And I often think of the future, about that girl and the domain. I can picture in detail how she and I will live there together. And how you and Mama will come visit and see how the dream which that girl and I co-created together is being turned into reality”
“Well, then, what’s your problem? Are you afraid you might not find your girl?”
“That is not the problem. I shall look for this girl and find her. Come, I shall show you another little glade. And you will see it all for yourself— you will sense what the problem is.”
Volodya and I arrived at a small glade located right next door to Anastasia’s. When we reached the middle of the glade, we stopped, and Volodya invited me to sit down on the ground. Then, cupping his hands around his mouth, he gave out a loud and extended cry: A-a-a-a! First he cried out in one direction, then another and yet another. In just two or three
minutes there began a rustling in the treetops all around the glade, and a whole lot of squirrels could be seen leaping from branch to branch, gathering together on a single cedar tree. Some of them simply sat down on one of the branches and stared in our direction, while others — apparently the more restless ones — continued hopping from one branch to another.
A few minutes later and out of the bushes came running three wolves. They sat down at the edge of the glade and also began looking our way
A sable came along and took up a position about three me-tres from the wolves. Then two goats appeared. They didn’t sit down, but stood at the edge of the glade, their eyes fixed on us. Soon afterward came a deer. The last to arrive was a huge bear, noisily making his way through the bushes. He too sat down at the edge of the glade, panting all the while, saliva dripping from his tongue. He had probably been a long ways off and had had to run for some distance.
All this time Volodya stood behind my back, with his hands on my shoulders. Then he took a few paces back from me and picked some herbs. Coming back to me, he said:
“Open your mouth, Papa, and I shall give you some herbs to eat. This is so they can see that I am feeding you from my hand, and will not be upset at the sight of a stranger.”
I took the proffered herbs in my mouth and began to chew. Volodya sat down beside me, put his head up against my chest and said:
“Stroke my hair, Papa, so that they will fully calm down.”
I began stroking his light-brown hair with delight. Then he sat down beside me and began to explain.
“I realised, Papa, that God created the whole world as a cradle for His son, Man. The plants, the air, the water and clouds — everything has been created for Man. And the crea-tures stand ready to serve Man with great delight. But we have forgotten, and now it is important to understand what services the creatures can perform, what their purpose and destiny is. Even today a lot of people are aware that a dog can guard the house, find lost objects, and aid in keeping one’s home safe from intruders. A cat, of course, can catch the mice that raid the larder. A horse is transportation. But all the other creatures have a specific feature and designation, too, which should be understood. I have tried the best I could to determine the function of all that you see here.
“Now they are sitting there and awaiting my command. This is the third year now I have been working with them to understand their purpose. Take, for example, the bear. Because of his big and powerful paws, he can dig an under-ground cellar, put supplies in it to save for the winter and dig them up again in the spring. He knows how to bring honey from a tree hollow.”
“Yes, I know, Volodya. Anastasia told me that at one time people used bears as household help.”
“Mama told me that, too. But look what I have taught the bear to do.”
Volodya rose to his feet and stretched out his right arm in the bear’s direction. The bear drew himself up on his haunches, and even seemed to stop breathing. When Volodya clapped his hand against his thigh, the huge bear took several giant strides and lay down at the boy’s feet. Volodya squatted down beside the beast’s enormous head, gave it a slap and began scratching behind the creature’s ear. The bear purred with pleasure. When Volodya got up, the bear did the same, watching the boy’s every move.
Volodya went over to the edge of the glade, where he found a dry branch, and stuck it into the ground about ten metres from where I was sitting. Then he returned to the edge and approached a small cedar tree about a metre high. He touched it and clapped his hands twice. Right off, the bear ran over to the cedar and sniffed it. And then an incredible thing started to happen.
My son sat down beside me on the grass and the two of us began watching as the scene unfolded before our eyes.
The bear spent some time sniffing the little cedar. First he would walk away from it, as though measuring something, then he would run over to the spot where Volodya’s dry branch was sticking up. And all around the branch he suddenly began scraping away the earth with his front paws.
Working furiously with his paws and their powerful claws, in the space of a few minutes he had dug a hole approximately 80 cm in diameter and about half a metre deep. He stopped to admire his handiwork, and even stuck his head into the pit, probably to sniff it.
After that the bear ran over to the cedar Volodya had indi-cated, and began to dig out the earth around it. When he had dug what amounted to a circular trench, the bear sat down on his hind paws next to the cedar, dug his front paws into the trench and pulled the little tree out of the ground, along with a sizeable clump of earth. Rising on his hind legs, he held the clump between his front paws and headed over to the hole he had dug earlier. He carefully sat down and lowered the clump with the cedar into the hole. It turned out the hole was about 15 cm larger than required. The bear backed off to take a look at his handiwork. Once more he pulled out the cedar and set it to one side, while he filled in the hole just a little more, before replanting the cedar. Now everything was just right.
The bear backed away to once more inspect his accom-plishment. This time he was apparently satisfied, as he went back to the cedar he had planted and began filling in the crev-ice around the clump from which the tree was growing. He used his paw to scoop up the earth, stuff it into the crevice and then pack it down around the newly replanted tree.
It was quite a fascinating scene, but I had earlier witnessed how the squirrels brought dried mushrooms and nuts for Anastasia, or how the wolves played with Anastasia and pro-tected her from wild dogs.3
Not only that, but a lot of people can observe all sorts of tricks with various animals just by attending a circus perform-ance. My own dog Kedra also takes delight in carrying out a range of commands.
What I witnessed in the taiga glade also bore outward similarities to a circus performance, except that it didn’t take place in an arena surrounded by a high net, but in natural sur-roundings. And the performers were not circus animals living in confined cages, but free — or ‘wild’, as we call them — dwellers in the taiga. They might well have seemed wild to us, but to my son they were simply friends and helpers. Just like our household pets and farm animals.
However, I must point out one mysterious and incredible distinction in particular: the loyalty of household pets and farm animals can be explained by the fact that Man gives them food and drink and provides shelter. People who go see animal acts at circuses may also notice that after each successful trick the tamer rewards the lion or tiger, giving them some kind of treat or trifle he keeps on his belt or in his pocket just for that purpose.
Circus animals which spend years confined in cages have no opportunity to hunt for their own food. They are fully dependent on Man. By contrast, the creatures here in the taiga are absolutely free and fully capable of finding food and shelter on their own. Yet still they come — not just come, but
make an enthusiastic dash to respond to Man’s call and carry out his commands. They carry them out with considerable desire and even servility Why? What do they get in return? Volodya gave no food to the bear. But still, the bear’s joy was many times more clearly evident than that shown by the circus animals upon receiving their treat.
The bear that transplanted the little tree on Volodya’s com-mand stood there shifting from paw to paw, his eyes fixed on the boy as though he wanted to repeat the action or perform some other task. It is strange how this huge taiga bear really wants to keep on doing something for Man, and for a child at that.
Volodya was not about to set the bear any new task. He gestured the bear to come over, grasped the fur on the bear’s muzzle with both hands, ruffled it a bit, then petted the muz-zle and said:
“"fou’re a super helper — not like the goats.”
The bear purred with delight. This threatening creature sounded as though it was at the very pinnacle of bliss.
Anastasia has said:
“Such beneficial energy can flow from Man as has never be-fore been seen. Every living creature on the Earth needs this energy just as it needs air, sunshine and water. And even sun-light is but a reflection of the great energy emanating from Man.”
Our sciences have discovered a multitude of diverse ener-gies and even brought about the artificial generation of elec-trical energy They have split the atom and manufactured bombs. But how far (and in what direction) have our sciences advanced in studying the more significant and important ques-tion as to the energy emanating from Man himself? Is there any tendency toward studying this energy at all, including its mysterious capabilities? Or studying Man’s abilities in general, and his function in both our world and the Universe?
Perhaps someone is trying by whatever means available to hinder Man from knowing himself. And I mean actual hin-dering.
It cannot be, it cannot possibly be Man’s destiny to spend years sitting in a casino or at a bar for a shot of vodka, or drudging away at a cash register in some store or at a manag-er’s desk in some office. And even a supermodel, or a presi-dent, or a pop-star — none of them come even close to Man’s most important purpose.
And yet it is these very professions of our modern age, along with making money, that some enigmatic ‘entity5 is promoting today as the most important thing in Man’s life. It’s what we see in a good many of our films and TV shows, which concentrate on everything except the meaning of life. All they do is turn Man into a banana-head.
Isn’t that the reason wars are happening all over the place? And the Earth is becoming more and more polluted? And people lose their sense of direction, they see no purpose in living, and so they take to vodka and drugs.
Who is supposed to stop all this rot that is taking place with our Earth? Science? But science isn’t saying anything. Religion? Which religion? Where are the results? Maybe everyone needs to ponder this for themselves? Ponder it! For themselves!
To ponder, one must first think. But where? When? Our lives have become one giant bustle from morning ’til night.
Every single attempt that has ever been made to ponder the meaning of life has been suddenly aborted. Selling magazines featuring half-naked sensuous bodies — oh, sure! Savouring sexual perversion — oh, sure! Showing and telling about the beastly antics of pervert-maniacs — oh, sure! Writing and talking about prostitutes in the media — oh, sure!
But there is less and less talk about the meaning of Man’s life and Man’s purpose — it’s becoming more and more a taboo topic.
I glanced up from my contemplations to look at my son. He was sitting on the grass beside me, watching me intently I thought he might have something more he wanted to show me. I asked him:
‘And what was it you were saying to the bear about goats, Volodya?”
“I cannot, for the life of me, Papa, determine what their purpose is.”
“What’s there to determine? Everyone knows what goats are for — to give milk to Man.”
“Yes, milk, of course. But perhaps there is something more they can be taught.”
“What more could they possibly...? Why bother looking for something else?”
“I have been watching them. Goats are capable of stripping bark off trees and stumps. And they can bite off branches from bushes. If you let them into a domain, they could cause harm to the plants. To stop that from happening, I am trying to teach them to trim the hedges around the domains.”
‘Yes, Papa, trim. After all, people trim hedges to make them more beautiful — either in a straight line or in different shapes. Grandfather told me you call it landscape design, or topiary art. But the goats do not seem to have any concept of what I want them to do.”
‘And how are you teaching them?”
“I shall show you.”
Volodya reached for a rope made of nettle fibres woven to-gether, about three metres long. He fastened one end to a small tree and stretched the rope through a clump of bushes. Then, gesturing the two little goats to approach, he gave each of them a pat. He touched the bushes with his hand and even snapped off a small branch himself with his teeth. He said something to the goats, and they set about vigorously gnawing off the bushy branches. Each time they neared the rope border, Volodya would give several tugs on the rope and make some disapproving sounds. The goats would stop for a time, holding their snouts up and looking enquiringly at the boy, but then go back to biting off the branches, paying no attention to the rope.
“You see, Papa, it is not working. They do not realise they are supposed to trim the bushes in an even line.”
“Yes, I see. Is that the problem you were talking about?”
“That is not the main problem, Papa. It is something else.”
“You noticed, Papa, how happily the different creatures came running to my call?”
“Yes, I did.”
“I have been working with them for several years now, and they have become accustomed to communicating with me, but only with me. They look forward to this interchange, they want to be petted. But once I go off into your world, they will miss me. They will miss not having a Man ever come to see them again, or call them and give them something to do. I feel that the communication with Man and serving Man has become the most significant focus in their life.”
“Couldn’t they communicate with Anastasia?”
“Mama has her own circle, her own creatures she is friends with. Besides, she is very busy and does not have time for all of them.
“But, you see, these...” — and here once again Volodya pointed to the creatures still sitting around the edge of the glade — these I chose myself, and I am the only one who has been working with them these past few years.
“Three months ago I asked Grandfather to be present with me at all our training sessions. Grandfather muttered, but he was always there beside me. But recently he told me he would be unable to replace me.”
“He said he did not have the same interest as I had in animal-training. And once again he began to mutter that I should not have spent so much time with the animals indi-vidually. And that I should not have given them so much pet-ting. And he reminded me that these creatures look upon me not only as their leader, but as their child, too, since the older among them saw me when I was a baby and even nursed me. You see, I made some kind of mistake, and now I must defi-nitely correct it. Only now I am no longer able to correct it all on my own.”
I looked at the creatures still sitting at the edge of the glade. They gave every indication that they were waiting for Volodya to give them some sort of instructions or to do something with them. I imagined how they would miss him if he were to go away. The same way my dog Kedra misses me when I have to leave my home in the country for days or weeks at a time. She has a warm little doghouse and I don’t keep her chained up — she’s free to roam the fields or the forest or the village. And I have a neighbour who feeds her every day He makes kasha1 for her, and gives her bones to chew on. But my neighbour tells me:
“She misses you, Vladimir Nikolaevich. She’ll often sit by the gate and gaze down the road you come home on. And sometimes she’ll whimper.”
And whenever I arrive, Kedra rushes headlong to greet me, rubs against my legs, and sometimes she’s so enthusiastic she’ll jump right up and try to lick my face, soiling my clothes 'kasha — a traditional Russian and Eastern European porridge made with wheat, buckwheat and other grains.
with her dirty paws. And there’s no way I can train her to be not quite so ebullient in expressing her emotions.
But these creatures in the glade... All the time we talked they sat there quietly watching us, looking the picture of composure. What do they want? After all, nobody is making them sit that way or wait on some kind of command from Man.
My God... A thought all at once bubbled up with absolute clarity and struck my heart. It was much more than just about these creatures sitting in a taiga glade — it was the realisation that all the creatures on the Earth have a specific purpose and await contact with the highest being on the planet, namely, Man. They have been created to help Man fulfil his supreme mission. Like all life on the planet, they were created by God to help Man realise his grand destiny... But Man...
I looked at the creatures in the glade and began to realise that my son really did have a serious problem on his hands: he could not simply abandon these creatures. Nor could he bring himself to give up his dream about the girl he would be setting up a domain with.
“Yes, Volodya, that really is a problem,” I told my son. “Doesn’t look as though there’s any solution. Not one we can find.”
“There is a solution, Papa, but it does not depend on me.”
“On whom, then?”
“You are the only one who can solve this problem, Papa.”
“Me? And just how am I supposed to do that? There’s nothing/can do here, son.”