Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone. Russia is enigmatic mystery. It is full of paradoxes, contrasts, and opposites, a kind of simultaneous divergence of the opposites and coincidentia oppositorum , the country of both dissociation-fragmentation and the thirst for wholeness, healing, and transcendence.
Here, very rich coincide with very poor, scarcity of spirit coincides with spiritual abundance, damnation of souls with revival of spirit. It is the land of mass graves, crimes, the murdered and the oppressed, and the land of resurrection and stubborn aspiration for the energy of life. It is one vast multilayered space that spatially spans across the Eurasian continent—which in itself is a synthesis of Europe and Asia, East and West, North and South and, as it often seems, a self-proclaimed antithesis to them all —and temporally over a thousand of years.
It has always been both central and peripheral to different degrees and in different streams of evolutionary unfolding to the ongoing history of the World.
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Glorious, and wicked. Passionately wholehearted, and painfully heart-broken. This land gave birth to extremes and extremities, with centralized totalitarianism on one hand and abundant philosophy of anarchist freedom on the other. It has been both very revolutionary and very conservative, very advanced and very reactionary, very religious and very godless space-time configuration on the Earth. Even the materialists have always been guided by some passionate Idea that transcends boundaries and overflows usual limits, while always being in this stubborn dialectical tension with mediocrity of the average.
It is the culture of integral philosophy of wholeness and profound mystical insights where the Christian teaching of the Russian West meets Judaism of the Jewish people, Islam of the central parts, shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism of the East.
In no way it is possible to offer a comprehensive glimpse of Russia just in one issue, however special we want it to be, even if it is devoted solely to this country, its land, its peoples, and its history. Yet a brief taste of its multisidedness, as well as its chronic impermanence, might at least offer a pathway towards a more trans-perspectival vision of this mysterious land and its peoples.
It is important to understand: Russia is many worlds and multiple universes worldspaces, ecosystems, genealogies and archaeologies of ideas, space-time-energy configurations, and arrays of interests compressed into one semantic unity vaguely called Russian Federation or the Russian Empire or the USSR. Can we excavate the lost memories?
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And all of this was and is in order to finally see. The key to this mystery which will not eliminate the Question itself, will never make it disappear as if it were a ghost, if not Holy but which will offer oceans of treasures and preciousness, in my opinion, is what Plato, that great mystical nondualist whose influence and teaching of Eros has been so powerful in the Russian culture, called anamnesis —re-membering or recollection. The veil of what Indians who are sometimes considered both spiritually and politically close to Russians called maya or illusory forgetfulness can be seen through, and once you see , the abundance of passionate intensity of human spirit reveals itself.
It is my belief that only through direct realization of our innermost nonduality with Being we may dissolve apparent knots of our suffering and find salvation from being trapped in pathetic fates and dualities. Winter is the time of the year which is probably associated with Russia most often.
A Russian Enigma
But there are hearts which are just as cold, and times of years and lands where climate gets very burning hot. No simple metaphor would suffice, no simple view would be enough, no emotion would be expansive enough to grasp this universe. What you will bear witness to in this issue is rather a series of sketches, of glimpses, of quick glances into some, if limited, parts of the Russian phaneron or phenomenal existence.
In no way it will be sufficient. The issue is subdivided in at least two sequential parts, one of which is to be published in January , and the other in February with, hopefully, new articles coming after that. More and more people in the world project their innermost and unconscious feelings and visions and hopes and aspirations on Russia including its own citizens who are chronically disoriented as regards to how they can see themselves in relation to their country, its government and state —it is so easy to encounter polarized projections of admiration and hatred, respect and devaluation, love and deprecation.
Perhaps, only uniting dualistic thinking with nonconceptual cognition could bring forth any satisfactory reflection of the Russian World and its interrelatedness with and inseparableness from the emerging Planetary Civilization.
It is, perhaps, a part of the Russian character to see, first and foremost, things which are existentially difficult and tragic and, nevertheless, real. I am aware that I am part of this cultural tradition, too. Today it can be seen in music—e. The beautiful Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony probably speaks better than any appreciative words I can utter:. Here Fyodor Dostoyevsky lived St. Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.
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