Mikhail: Sumiran, please tell us about your travelling around
India. Perhaps, some most interesting moments, meetings…
Sumiran: My pilgrimage to India was a mirroring of my internal journey. This trip, as well as all the external ways of interacting with people, places, nature – they all enabled me to go deeper inside, to get in touch with my internal source. India helped me a lot in this. It was first in this country that I understood what a blessing is. I felt myself blessed there. In Russia I have never managed to meet such a quality of help coming from people, places, situations during such a short period of time. I have a feeling that the country is alive – that the egregor of the country is alive, the spiritual egregor. People who come to this country with a sincere request to develop, to understand themselves, receive everything they need at full scale. It was a wonderful experience. The second thing that India struck me with, helped to understand and to feel in myself was what is called “bhakti” in the East – the way of the heart, the way of love, the way of devotion. In India I felt that Russian people under the word “bhakti” – “love in religious sense”, do have a semantic meaning, but have a very little feeling of this. In India I for the first time felt what is “the way of devotion”, “the way of love”. It may be either love to the Master – to a living master, or to the Master who had lived several centuries ago. Or it may be love to some aspect of the divine in the form of Krishna, Vishnu, and other gods. Many Hindu people bear this love in themselves, they transmit it; and this cordiality, open-heartedness wins over the hearts, that’s true. It was another lesson, and certainly I’d like it is brought to Russia so that people here could contact this phenomenon. Because, to my point of view, it is very much needed for Russia, people are longing for love, for deep, intimate relationships between each other, between a disciple and a Master, between man and God. It should not be simply a concept; it should become a direct feeling. And, as much as I can, I am trying to bear this in myself and help others to feel this aspect of seeking through the heart, through love.
Certainly, meetings with alive Masters make an absolutely unforgettable impression. Perhaps it is the brightest of what I had, despite the fact that India is rich with natural resources, ashrams and temples. But living people who bear this quality of enlightened consciousness that Jesus, Buddha, Lao-zhu had… When you meet alive Masters, not book images of Masters of the past ages, but alive people equal in quality to the Masters of the past, it is an astonishing experience. After that I had a feeling that there is nothing to seek anymore, because it’s impossible to find in the Universe something more than a Master– a person who is standing on the border between this world and the Beyond. I am very glad that I managed to meet such people, and not one, not two. It is also the part of the Grace that India has gifted to me.
M.: Can you tell about these people, about meetings with
S.: Mayhap, I tell about some conclusions that I drove from these meetings, because to simply describe the events run…. for my part, it reflects not much. The point that I saw common in these people are such qualities as modesty, simplicity. Close to them there appears a feeling that the “feeling of the doer” is absolutely absent in them – events just happen to them. The things they are doing, speaking – they simply happen, absolutely no internal interest, involvement into this process is seen. One of the functions of the Master, and this is what I felt near these people is to remind you about the search. Being close to them at once you come back to the meaning of your life, to the question “who am I”? It is just a reminder, because they are in the state of complete awareness in the present. And if in the ordinary life person’s attention is attracted by some external factors, when being close to the Master it is… it is like a mirror – when we pass by it, we remember that we have some certain image – shape of the face, color of the eyes, etc. The mirror reflects this automatically to us. The same way the Master automatically reflects our internal nature, he reminds that we have a soul, we have God in ourselves. And, at the same time, at the level of behavior, of self-expression, each Master is absolutely unique. I.e. although their internal qualities and state of consciousness is the same, on the level of conduct each one behaves according to his/her karmic accumulations, prerequisites. Often it looks highly contradictory. Their instructions, their techniques often may be quite opposite one another; and if we try to find the oneness of the Masters in forms they live in, methods they offer – we may arrive at a conflict. External oneness is impossible to find, because oneness exists only in their feeling of the world. There can be no oneness in self-expression. One more interesting moment: I had an idea that having found an enlightened Master, one may stay and spend the rest of life with him. Because what else to look for? If a person is looking for God, the Master is a direct conductor, and simply having found a Master one may stay with him. For me it happened to be not quite this way, because beside the Master as such, there exists the surrounding of the Master, there exist methods of the Master’s work, some certain mode of life, certain rules and all these should suit you. Sometimes it happens that a Master personally has a very much appeal, but the methods he works with absolutely doesn’t suit – they are simply perceived as violence as regards the body, the psyche. Although the person has achieved enlightenment through these methods, and you appreciate his attainment, there is an understanding that exactly for you they won’t work. Sometimes it happens that the mode of life doesn’t content you, for example it’s impossible to eat the food that is cooked in the ashram, and there is no other food at that place. So, it happens that most primitive things doesn’t allow a person to stay at some place. That is why I saw that to find one’s own ashram, one’s community, one’s Master is quite a complicated matter. I.e not every Enlightened may become your guide, not every ashram may become your home. Sometimes it happened that I liked everything in the ashram: both the Master and the way of life, but three-five days passed and there appeared a wish to leave – sometimes it is an absolutely irrational wish, just a feeling that everything is over, is completed for you here. And you just follow further. This is perhaps everything that I wanted to tell about my experience meeting with Masters.
M.: Thank you. I’d like to ask about the difference in
the work of the Masters. What is the attitude of the Masters themselves
to this difference? Are there any Masters that consider their method of
work with people to be the absolute, the only possible?
S: I noticed that virtually all Masters speak in very restrained words about each other, practically don’t want to speak. They can speak about politics, spirituality, Masters of the past, but if it is their contemporaries, living Masters, and realized people indeed – they speak very little of one another. I think it is that there weren’t any false rumours, gossips, because people still have got a tendency to misrepresent this later on. In my view they understand this and express with restraint about one another. And my personal opinion is that any Master, if he is really a Master, comprehends that a method is just a temporary thing corresponding to the current environment, current people, current moment. To my point, no Master will say that his method is unique, is better that the others. And in case he sais this it is going to be a trick, a stunt in his work with people. He may speak like Osho, but deep inside understand that all this is absurdity. Because time changes, people change, method becomes out of date, and it has always been so, and it will be. He may say that with the people he works these methods are currently most effective, and I believe in this, but in the absolute sense he can’t say this. And if he does, this is in order to break some stereotypes people have, push them out of fixation, show them their problems, ambitions. Solely for this.
M: Thank you. Moving forth to the basic bulk of questions,
I read the first one. It is an ontological question – what is the nature
of reality, and what is its origin?
S.: Here are two aspects in this question: it is reality and its origin, the origin of reality. And here is the differentiation, an important differentiation. In the context of this talk we are going to denominate as reality what is called the sattvic state of mind in the East – it is the mind that hasn’t yet become differentiated, that has not been divided to multiplicity. But this is already the mind; it is an aspect of phenomenality – although it is entire, not-divided, but already having certain characteristics. These characteristics are Consciousness, Being, Bliss.
According to the Eastern tradition this reality has its Origin. It is what Buddha called nirvana, “nothing”. In the East they say that we can only point at this origin, point that it exists. But it doesn’t have attributes. That is why it is impossible to speak more about it. The only thing that could be said that beyond the reality, beyond consciousness there is something from which this consciousness appeared. Nothing more could be said about this, and I can say nothing more about this, about this Origin. Where do we get information about this Origin if it is “nothing”? Masters say that being in the state of clear, not conditioned consciousness a man through identity inconceivably cognizes the initial origin. People being in the state of nirvicalpa samadhi intuitively felt that there exists something else, in which the consciousness itself, in which they feel themselves, appeared. But this Origin could be cognized only by becoming him; it is not a perceivable or experienced object. The first feeling that arises from this Origin is the feeling of Being, “I Am”. In the context of our talk we call this feeling of Being the reality
M.: But many mystics used to say that experiencing the reality
of the Being is the final stage. I mean to feel consciousness by itself,
the reality of “Self” – it is the ultimate.
S.: They are right, feeling of the Being is the ultimate, or basic feeling, which are the same. Remember Jesus’s words: “I am Alfa and Omega”. But the Origin is not a feeling, it is beyond all feelings and forms.
M.: Thank you. The next question is gnoseological – is cognition
possible, is the world cognizable?
S.: Here I’d like to start with reminding that consciousness could be divided into two aspects – it is a dynamic aspect, i.e. forms, energies, interrelations; and an aspect that could be called static – it is non-differential consciousness. The process of cognition requires a witness, an object being witnessed and the process of witnessing. That is why when we speak about the phenomenal Universe, about the manifested world, then the process of cognition is undoubtedly possible, and, to my point of view, necessary. Necessary in order to live in more harmony with the laws of life, of nature. As regards the unmanifested aspect of consciousness here the process of cognition is impossible in the usual meaning of this word. This aspect could not be witnessed, studied, because it is not separated from the witness. Here is no distance, therefore witnessing is impossible, and consequently, the process of cognition either – of the objective cognition as the study of something. The word “cognition” could have two meanings. The first meaning is cognition as a study, scrutinizing, analyzing, all these require a distance from the object under study. The second meaning is cognition as a purely subjective experience; and cognition of oneself in mystics is experiencing of oneself. It is not studying, not witnessing, but exactly experiencing of oneself – a purely subjective feeling. In science cognition is observation, studying of some object which is separate from me. That is why I consider that phenomenal Universe, the world of forms, of energies, including our body, our emotions, our thoughts, our sensations is possible and necessary to cognize. It will make the life of a man more lightful, more beautiful and more harmonious. To cognize God in oneself, cognize one’s profound nature is also possible, if the word “cognition” is understood in the mystical meaning – i.e. cognition as feeling of oneself, feeling of one’s Being. I mean in the objective meaning it is impossible to cognize oneself, exactly oneself and God in oneself, as a certain object. But to live oneself in all fullness, as life having no boundaries, endless, beyond time and space – this is possible. And this cognition is already mystical, not connected to observing, studying, analyses and differentiation of what we cognize.
M.: Thank you. The next question is from the sphere of philosophical
anthropology – what is a human, who is a human?
S.: This question could be answered in very different ways. When considering a man as a form, as a certain energy, this is one of the most unique objects in the Universe. Buddhism says that being born in a human body is a great luck. According to Tibetan Buddhism the whole Universe consists of six big energy worlds. There exist worlds much more delicately organized than the human world, this is, for instance the world of the Devas (gods). But the human body is the only body where the experience of the infinite Origin of life could be simultaneously combined with feelings, emotions and thoughts peculiar to a humble man. That is to cognize the Unlimited, God, is possible only being in the human body. In this sense a human is a unique creation in the phenomenal Universe. That is why Buddhists say that human body is a treasure. In any other body, even in the bodies of Devas there is no such a possibility. A human represents a possibility of synthesis – a synthesis of the Unlimited and limited, phenomenal and noumenal. The words of the mystics that we have the whole Universe in ourselves is not an allegory, it’s literal.
M.: An eschatological question. What happens to a man in
the moment of death, after death?
S.: To respond this question we should understand what we call a man. Because if we are let’s say materialists and perceive a man only as a physical form, then naturally, after death he is decomposing in the grave. This is all that happens to him – the process of biochemical decomposition. If we consider a man as something more – as subtler, more complicated energies that are more stable, the picture is the following: after the death of the physical body there goes the decomposition of the emotional body after some time, then that of the mental body. I.e the person that a human considered himself to be – if he did consider himself a person – really dies. There happens no transition of a person. A part of script of a person’s life retains in some more subtle body which is called “causal body” or “cause-effect body”. This body is a type of subtle energy that is able to form a grosser case around itself with the lapse of time, or incarnate into grosser casings. Here we approach to the process of reincarnation. It resembles the rewriting of information from one floppy disk to another. Therefore, if we consider a man as this fine type of energy, we might say that a man is reincarnating after death. We can also consider a man as an eternal self-conscious basis of life. Then what happens to him after death is simply out of the question.
You see, one and the same question could be replied from the point of absolutely different conceptual approaches. In the frames of one conception only one answer will seem veritable. If we take another conception, this answer will be a lie, and something else is going to seem true. And it happens that everything connected to different judgments about life could not be absolute. What is absolute is not connected to conceptualizing and objectification, i.e. a pure subjective experiencing of the Being. And we are forced to make compromise as regards everything else and allow for one conception or another. But if we understand this we can use conceptions… why not?
M.: But having believed in a certain concept a person can
considerably go wrong, if later on it appears to be not quite corresponding
to the reality. For example, a person believed that if he does a certain
number of actions, he is to arrive to the paradise after death, then death
comes, and no paradise, let’s say. But a direct influence on life does
S.: Certainly, conceptions make a direct impact on life, and that is why I am against those conceptions which make a man sacrifice his present for the sake of the future. We can go wrong only when we suppress ourselves in the present for the sake of the future – either communistic ideas, religious ideas, socialistic ideas. I like the concepts which allow a man not to focus on the future, but to find the fullness of life, the happiness in the present. These conceptions I consider the most correct. They help a person to live in the present the way he’d like to live in the future. Then he can’t go wrong because he is not counting on the future; using this conception he allows himself to totally live in this moment.
Such conceptions are most appropriate for life. Conceptions that bet on the future can lead to a mistake of course. The very idea to bet on the future is a mistake itself. Actually in order to live happily in the present, there are needed no conceptions at all.
M.: Thank you. Here is a question of another type. What
is the nature of the phenomena that are called magic or paranormal?
S.:As for me, magic and phenomena that are connected to magic and paranormal events are simply the phenomena that go beyond the scope of reality in which people in the given society or group are living. Things going beyond the range of vision, the scope of feelings that this group is living in, and that is accepted in this group is usually called magic. If with the lapse of time the whole group of people moves into another range of reality the things that were called magic become social. That is these are utterly ordinary energetical phenomena in the Universe that weren’t come across by the society, or were only come across by a very few people. As soon as it is getting popular it ceases to be magic, it becomes ordinary life, possibly science. I.e. these are simply knowledge and abilities that belong to the minority at this stage of evolution, this stage of life of a certain category of people. Due to this in some countries some things may seem magic and in another culture any child, any adult considers this to be simply a part of life, nothing special.
M.: If we try to approach from a natural point – assume
we observe some phenomenon hardly explainable from the scientific point
of view, let it be telepathy, making predictions, telekinesis – transferring
some object to some distance. Which scientific explanations could be found
to these events?
S.: If there are no explanations, it is due to the fact that science doesn’t have sufficient tools to study these events, or doesn’t possess the necessary experimental data. This is not magic; this is simply the absence of theoretical or experimental base. It’s interesting that when nuclear and quantum physics spawned no one called it mystic, although much was hardly explainable there. It still remains hardly explainable, actually. Although nuclear heating plants are operating, nuclear bombs do exist, no one precisely knows what is a nuclear, what is a kernel. There are some models, dozen of models, fifteen models – but no one knows which one is the true one. One model is working in one case, another model is working in another case. Really there is no clarity here, but we don’t call it mystics, why – because scientists are occupied with this, and the things scientists are occupied with cannot be mystic, we call this science.
I think that if some phenomena like telepathy, telekinesis are difficult to explain, it is simply the lack of our knowledge. There is nothing magical in it; it is the same as we don’t quite understand the way how the nuclear reactor is working. I.e. we understand something, but not all through. Bu we are not making magic from this. And I think that if nowadays we don’t understand the way telepathy is working, it doesn’t mean that it is something magical. One may say that we simply don’t have enough experience and some basis in order to investigate this. The only distinction that I’d like to make – there are phenomena that cannot be instrumentally investigated, i.e. our technical devices are too rough. The only device that is fine enough is man himself. Telekinesis, telepathy… it can happen that no devices could be created for them. And in science we got used to the fact that everything connected to a person is subjective. We want to have a device that registers and this we call science. If the device registers – then this is science. And if a man registers it is his subjective opinion. It seams to me that some psychic processes are so much delicate that we can hardly create devices to study them. It will always go through a man. And here we should break a stereotype that when something is registered through a man it is not scientific. Because a man is the most unique instrument and if it is used skillfully this can be a very precise science, including the study of telekinesis, telepathy and other phenomena.
M.: Here is the question of another type. What is the meaning
of human life?
S.: There is no meaning of life as some purpose, as some target. The only meaning or goal that I think can be declared – is to know oneself, to cognize one’s true nature, to cognize God in oneself. In my point of view it is a worthy goal, a worthy meaning of life. All the rest is secondary, if this has happened; it doesn’t have any aspect of meaning. A person is simply leaving his life, he plays his role that corresponds his fate or his karma as they say in the East. But it doesn’t have a very big meaning. If a person experiences his or her internal beauty, internal nature, then any role that he is playing on this Earth, is lived in harmony, in ecstasy, in inner silence. That is why, if we do speak about some meaning of life, it would be to understand who we are. When this is understood there is no meaning any more. There is only life, but no meaning of life. The meaning becomes superfluous.
M.: What is the meaning of the existence of the world, what
is the meaning of the existence of the mankind, the meaning of history?
S.: I told that the meaning of human life is to cognize oneself, and a man has this potential, we have spoken about this s little earlier. As regards everything else, I am partial to the approach that all the rest doesn’t have any sense – history has no sense, the existence of the Universe has no sense. This is simply a play, God’s play, play of energies. And this play is like a child’s play. He is playing for enjoyment, he is playing not to reach some goal, not to fulfill some meaning. When we spoke about a man, I could find some meaning here, exactly the meaning of knowing oneself. When speaking about everything else, I don’t see any meaning. The only thing that we can say is that the meaning is in enjoying the play that is happening. But we can enjoy only when we have cognized ourselves. Because then we are not too much into this play, we are not involved although the play can be comedy as well as tragedy. And if we are identified with this, it is difficult for us to have joy. I.e. there should always be some distance between the play and the seer. And if consciousness realizes itself like a seer, as a seer it can enjoy the play. If we forget that the play is simply a play, it can be lived highly dramatically.
M.: But here is one interesting moment – if we take into
consideration, let’s say Indian ideas, then along with the idea of the
world as the play of the highest being there is a parallel idea of a little
bit another nature. The Unmanifested starts manifesting, starts coming
into the manifested with some task, some meaning. This meaning is, gradually
developing in this manifested, to start seeing, reflecting itself. I.e.
according to some Hindu concepts first there appears inanimate matter,
to say symbolically - separated stones, then planets etc. Then there appears
biosphere, life, it is the Initial form that is more implementing. More
sensitive, wiser forms, higher mammals, and finally, a human, as you said,
is a unique being that is able to live in two worlds. And then the meaning
of the world is that the unmanifested turns to the manifested.
S.: First of all I’d like to do what Gurjieff had often done to his disciples. When they said: “Eastern teachings mean…”, he replied: “it’s more correct to say that your understanding of the Eastern teachings speaks that Eastern teachings describe life like this”. That is, the way you described the development of dynamics of consciousness in matter is your idea of Eastern teachings. It is not Eastern approach, but your idea about the Eastern approach.
Look, you are describing the dynamics – so there was the unmanifested, then the manifested appeared, and this manifested has gradually evolved. It is like this. Let’s assume, it is like this. This is a line of objective events. Then you say that there is some meaning in all this line of objective events, that it was for some reason, there was some idea. But it is you who are imposing your vision onto Consciousness that it should have an idea to manifest itself in the multitude.
In psychology there is a concept of projection – that is projecting of one’s own visions, attitudes onto the other. Sometimes we project something on God. Although we can also assume that God does have an idea. We can assume that there was an idea, and can assume that he had done this without an idea. A man usually first has an idea and then does an action. And we project it onto the process of the evolution of the Universe – first there must be an idea, then an action, no other variant. But actually it is not a must. Sometimes there can be an action without an idea. When a child is playing he hasn’t got an idea, he is simply playing. But if we take a look at him, we can say in a very meaningful way that he has put a pebble here with some purpose, then he’s going to put another pebble, then one more. If asking a child about the meaning he says there is no one, I was enjoying this and I was doing this. But conceptually we can describe his activity in such a way that it will be filled with deep meaning – political, esoterical – any meaning. But what is this? It is that we have transferred our approach towards life onto the actions of a child.
We cannot be under the dominion of the books authority. Let it is written in the Vedas, let it is written in the Bible – that God had an idea. We need to be innocent, pure. We have to ask where does this thought that God had an idea come from. Weren’t the people who wrote those books conditioned themselves? Weren’t they psychologically ignorant? Haven’t they projected their attitude towards the world onto the evolution of the Universe? The Universe may be playing, may be not, it seems to me that an attempt to respond this question conceptually is an absurdity.
M.: And to me it also seems that a conceptual respond is
here… it is simply important to understand that it comes from a relative
level. I mean conceptual respond is not describing the Reality that started
manifesting because it can’t describe it in principle. In this respect
for me seems important just to balance these two points of view in this
case - a point of view as the realization of a meaning and a point of
view as a divine play. Because a play is a human term – play, contentment,
delight – these are human terms that people project onto the divine.
S.: They can be balanced; but proceeding from my approach to conceptions that a conception should make people’s life more lightful, joyful, ecstatic, and conscious, the approach of a play has more appeal for me. It doesn’t propose sacrificing of the present for the sake of the future, of a goal. It doesn’t propose any obstacles in life, because if the Universe is not moving anywhere there can be no obstacles. I am not against one or another idea; there are simply some ideas that lead to wars, conflicts, crises when they come to people who are not conscious. If people understand that idea is simply an idea, then we can take any ideas into consideration. But sometimes it turns into fanaticism, sometimes into Massacre of St. Bartholomew, into crusades. And in this respect the idea of a game is lighter. It’s difficult to make violence from a game. However it could be made out of the meaning approach. Especially if people speculate in it.
M.: It seems to me, everything has its disadvantages. You
have enumerated the disadvantages of the meaning approach, they are absolutely
real and inherent to it. But the idea of the play has got its disadvantages
also – when understood superficially it leads to idleness, lack of discipline.
Sometimes the idea of the play is understood simply as the possibility
to let things go hang and live irresponsibly.
S: It is also true, I agree with this, thus the aim of the Master is to see the audience he is talking to and render appropriate ideas. I think the idea is good if it suits a person. The idea itself is neither good nor bad, it is simply neutral. By being laid on a certain man, some ideas give constructive changes, others destroy him or her. And the skill of the Master is to give a person proper ideas in a proper moment of time. Later on these ideas can certainly change for that person. The difficulty of our age is that an enormous amount of ideas, information, and sometimes very profound, really mystical, has broken up the market through books, video, audio materials. And the information that is good by itself sometimes destroys people simply because it has come to them too early. Because before the idea of closed schools, the idea of transmitting the knowledge from a teacher to disciple almost auricular wasn’t sectarianism, it was safety measures. It all was done for the benefit of people and not because the schools aimed to isolate from the outer world somehow. Today’s situation is unique because mature, profound souls while being in any country of the world can touch the Hindu, Japanese, Chinese mystic. On one hand it is great, but on the other hand, immature souls, i.e. people that are not ready can become destroyed through this information.
M.: It seems to me we can come to some general conclusions,
as regards these two approaches – meaning approach and the one of the
play. The meaning approach is rather close to the Western one, the active
approach, and the play one is close to the Eastern, more passive, contemplative
approach. Both have a danger of some pathological form, if the approach
is interpreted in a wrong way. Pathological activity in the form of violence,
fanaticism and the like; and pathological passiveness in the form of laziness
S.: Yes, but I’d divide it not to the Western and Eastern approach, but… well, I have to use the words – clever and stupid people. That is if you give any idea to a stupid man he is going to make stupidity out of it. Give him an idea of a play – there will be stupidity, give him an idea of will – there will be stupidity either. A clever man will make the right thing of any idea. It is not a geographical distinction; it’s a distinction according to the internal intelligence of a man, to the internal maturity. Geography is not the point, the point is the internal maturity of people.
M.: Thank you. Now the following question – what are you
principally ruled by in your life when you make a decision of what to
S.: In the East there is such a term “jnyani”, “jnyani-yoga”, that is the yoga of knowledge. And those who are acquainted with the books of Krishnamurti, discourses of Osho, Nisargadatta-Maharaj, Papagi… The way they communicate to the audience is in principle the process of jnyana-yoga, the process of investigation. Once I saw that some answers come to me not from the logical analysis of the situation that I want to solve, but from silence. That is I simply sat down, tried to be silent and the solutions appeared. Came from nowhere, and it shocked me at first, because the whole logic of the Western man means that I need to reason in order to come to the solution. When I used to read it in books I agreed with it. But when this is being experienced for the first time it shocks because it is your personal experience. You think that you agree to this, but when you experience this, you understand that intellectual agreement was very superficial. Because the real experience touches to the depth of your heart, you really see that the solution came as the solution of a koan – from nowhere. And it is a working solution; you can be guided by it. And the next question I had – which solutions to choose – those which come from silence, from being conscious of the situation, or those that I come to by a usual way of reasoning, of the logic. I.e. which are more correct, because sometimes they are simply contradicting each other. And, actually I used not to draw some conclusion at once, I simply was observing my life. I tried to act from the rational approach to life; I tried to act from the intuitive approach, that is when decisions are made as the spirit moves you, and was looking what was happening. And as time passed I made a conclusion for myself that the intuitive living of life, understanding of how to conduct that comes from the moment of silence, is more adequate. It makes my life mîre balanced, harmonious both inside as well as outside. And the last year I am living with this attitude, i.e. I make decisions from internal silence, from internal emptiness, from consciousness.
M.: Interesting that it’s similar to what I have experienced.
At some moment an understanding happened that the most appropriate action
occurs when there is a feeling, that nothing special should be done. It
can be revealed on the example of a football game. When the beginner starts
playing football he is constantly… his mind is running to and pro – how
to ran here, there, do this and that. This anxiety of the mind, looking
for goals, looking for methods is in reality what disturbs, makes one
far from the qualitative game. As one gets experience, an internal impulse
comes naturally – where to be, how to pass the ball, where to ran etc.
And I think same happens in life, but in larger scale. When in football
we speak only about some physical correlations, distances, etc, then in
life the intuition is able to grasp a very large sphere unable to be analyzed
by any intellect.
S.: Well, a certain association can be seen here, the only point is that in football a good player combines in himself the intuition, an intuitive sense of the game and the skill of the body what is important. His body has worked on the technique, it can express the intuitive impulse in action. And it is also a very beautiful situation in life, when a person has an intuition, a sense of an impulse on one hand, and a well-built body at the same time, so much developed that can express this impulse in action. Which happens not always. There are mystics that deeply intuitively feel the life, but have an imperfect mechanism to express this understanding. And vice versa, there are people who build up the body well, but don’t have an intuitive experiencing of life, and then it is not clear actually where to apply this perfect instrument. It resembles a football player that has good technical skills, but happens to be in the wrong place of the field all the time – the ball never comes to him, he can’t use it. But the technical skills he has are good.
What I am keen on is integration, this is what I am trying to combine both in myself and in people I work with. A person should integrate the beauty of the internal world, of the internal feeling and the ability to express it into the outer world. So that a person could not only enjoy his inner world himself, but share it with the others. And we share while using the peripheral systems of the body, psychics, mind. Then it is whole. Dao schools were engaged in this, they amazingly organized the instrument of the body, the energies, and at the same time where profound mystics.
M.: I think it is exactly the question about correlation
of the vertical and horizontal development – to combine it somehow…
Now finally we are approaching the focal question of the interview. The question is the following – how to choose a philosophical system or spiritual tradition for the practice, for guidance in life?
S.: It is virtually impossible to choose when being guided by some instruction. We have discussed this question in Voronezh, during the group – it was set a little bit different – how to find your Master. What is the same in principle – because if you have found a Master, he will give you a hint. How to find a Master, how to find your way? To my view there is the only way here – to move into meditation, to become deeper yourself, and automatically intuition towards righter people will grow, understanding of your way will come. It can come only through your own growth, through your own meditation.
Another way is simply impossible. Sufis have such an allegory – iron is being attracted to magnet, thaw is being attracted to amber. They say that people of one type find false teachers, people of another type find real mystics. I.e some people are thaw, some are needles. The point is not what you are looking for. If you are thaw, you are going to find amber all the time. The point is who are you who is looking. That is why my opinion is one should do at least those efforts, let they be small, that are appropriate at the moment. That is a person is feeling them, he understands “I need to do this, this I can change”. The horizon line can be unknown to me, the final vision can be unknown, and where my Master is can be unknown. But at least I know I should get rid of laziness, I know I have aggression, jealousy. And I am ready to work with it. You should start from what you see in yourself, i.e. from the first step. If you climb it, you see the next – this is the law. But if you haven’t risen to this step and are trying to look over three steps, naturally you see nothing. Because it is simply impossible. Gurdjeff had spoken about this, he said take a small thing and do it. He said: “When you are taking global tasks, you are certainly unable to complete them; you get disappointed in yourself, and give up everything at all. Why? Because the task you initially have taken doesn’t correspond to you”. That is you should not set an objective to find the Master at once, but it is always possible to find your method at once. First you deal with what you already know should be done. Then automatically you will see the next step.
M.: But in order to make this small step, some working system
is needed already, at least psychological methods using which I am going
to make a step. And have I understood correct that the task is to make
this step in the frame of the system that already exists. I.e. in the
system that I am somehow involved, with the person that I already contact
to, make consequent steps, and then possibilities for further choice if
it is needed will reveal themselves, won’t they?
S.: There are two moments here that one might rely on. The first is when we work in some system or with some person, if it suits us, if it is our method, or if this man is our guide for this period of time then the changes should happen at once. Not global changes, but literally since the first days, the first weeks we should feel that we are changing towards the good. It may be very unnoticeable but the tendency should start at once.
At some schools they say: “It’s ok that you feel worse and worse now, possibly you will feel better in some years”. I don’t understand this. I think that a person from the very beginning should feel the changes happening towards the good. Some moments certainly come– the so-called recovery crises. But here one more dimension joins in – except for the feeling of objective observing of your state there can be a profound joy of what you are doing. I.e. you might feel bad on the peripheral level, you can suffer, but intuitively understand that everything goes as it should. This is the profound agreement with what is happening, a profound joy of the method, of the person you communicate with. This is the second key. This key helps to pass the so called recovery crises, when “objectively” everything is bad. When I found my methods I received an enormous internal joy of the practice. It wasn’t a work, it was very natural.
M.: Yes, I agree. As regards the systems and people that
say that now it’s is worse and it’s ok, everything will pass by, I think
it’s worth checking this. If it is really as being proclaimed then the
people who have been in this system or with this instructor for a long
time should feel good. It’s worth looking at them, are they really developed,
happy, have they really learned something. And this will show if the system
is right, won’t it?
S.: To some extend yes. If we want to choose a group, there is a sense in exactly looking at the leader, and you should look both at the internal world of a person, and his outer style of life. Because we want to live both in internal and outer harmony. The way the disciples of this instructor live and manifest can also be a criterion. However I can’t say it is a 100%-proper index. Let’s say, the disciples of Gurjieff sometimes passed very hard times, and only Gurjieff understood what for it was needed, why he arranged that for them. Sometimes he on purpose created practically impossible life conditions for them. And actually when a person is not an initiated mystic, it’s difficult to understand what is happening inside the working esoteric group. That is when we value the situation according to these criteria, we should always remember the limitedness of our understanding and allow for the fact that we can simply be wrong in interpreting of what we see.
M.: What is spirituality, spiritual development?
S.: It is also one of the basic questions, because there exists an enormous number of speculations regarding this. In my view lots of people suffer because they substitute one for another. For me spirituality is not a form of conduct, but the quality of awakening of consciousness towards its True nature. One shouldn’t look for spirituality in magic, in different states of consciousness, in some exotic experiences, in going out of the body, in telekinesis – this is not spirituality. If we lower the standard a little bit, for me spirituality is such qualities as kindness in a person, acceptance, and love. And for this is absolutely unnecessary to go through the walls or read thoughts. It is the attitude to the other living beings in terms of non-violence and help. What is important, the man himself should be included into these living beings, because there are people that help everyone but humiliate themselves. I.e. this is respect to one’s body and to all other bodies and souls. I’d call this spirituality. That is no siddhas. It may be attendant to the way of a person, and may not. As Ramana Maharshi used to say, everything depends on the previous karma, but it has no connection to spirituality. First of all this is certainly consciousness, witnessing; these words can be used as synonyms of the word spirituality.
M.: Please another couple of words about spiritual development.
It seems to me that the term spiritual development is not very suitable
itself, because spirit is something absolute. How can it develop? So we
rather speak about some individual development in terms of moving towards
the spirit. What do you think?
S.: It depends on the working conception that we have. If we accept Advaita Vedanta in its initial meaning, it says that only the inconceivable Absolute exists. The Phenomenal Universe is simply an illusion, a dream – why speaking about it at all? Consequently no “spiritual development” is even mentioned.
In the West spirituality is commonly known as making oneself better – becoming more harmonious, less aggressive, access some experiences. From this point of view spirituality can be developed. If we choose the conception of an individual soul that is moving towards God and then merge with Him – then how can we speak about spiritual development? In this context there will only be the way of the soul to God. If we adopt the conception that there is no soul at all, and one should simply become aware that there is one spirit, one for everybody, who is developing then? There is no development here. If a person is intelligent he or she understands that there are various conceptual approaches. He or she understands which of the approaches they are using, and most important – how they are feeling themselves. Because we can adopt a very beautiful conception, but all the reactions of life will arise from quite trivial fears, offences, etc., that is also not quite adequate. Life should correspond to the conceptual gestalt that we have, otherwise there will be a conflict, a discord. That is why when I see a person who is ready to listen to Advaita, I speak Advaita to him. I am telling him that there is no development of spirit. What a spirit, what a soul, where is it moving? If I see that it will be useful for a person to speak in terms of the soul development, spirituality development, I am speaking in the terms of spirituality development. So it is my intuitive respond to the situation. It’s great when people understand that it can be done both ways depending on the conception that is going to be more functional at the given moment.
M.: Thank you. Here is the question about the questions
range that we had. Advantages, disadvantages the range has, which questions
are missing, what do you think?
S.: Well, I don’t know which are missing. I don’t have ready answers, you know. Usually the questions are missing when there are lots of the answers in the head, and they should all should be spoken out, and then the question to your answer is missing. And as I really don’t have ready-made answers, then the questions are always enough. For me the only one would be enough. May be the readers will be lacking some information, let them come visit me, visit my groups, or contact me some other way, and ask the questions they are missing. I will try to answer.
Regarding the questions that we had, generally I liked the range. It was interesting and pleasant for me to speak, I had a feeling that it was not an idle talk, that the questions touch important moments. They allowed me to share something with potential readers.
M.: Thank you. Then another question – what did your way
consist in, which stages it could be divided into?
S.: The first, possibly the initial stage is the feeling of dissatisfaction in life. The feeling that I want to change something for the better, to understand something. I think many people start with this, this is a feeling that life could be better, but because of some reason this doesn’t happen. So everything with me started with this. If now we are not speaking about the methods which I used to change life and so on, then everything began exactly from the feeling that things don’t quite move on the right way and from the questions why it is so and how to change it.
Consequently this was the starting point of my search, at the beginning it was acquaintance with Eastern marital arts – with wushu (Tai Chi). And wushu is actually based on the Eastern Chinese philosophy, on Dao-de-Zhin etc. So first it was an Eastern stage, a stage of an Eastern approach. I had been involved in all this for about two years, and there was a very interesting moment – I felt that all these beautiful Eastern conceptions don’t help me in my ordinary life. I mean there was a very strong gap between the religion, mystic and my life. I didn’t know how to connect them. There were ideas, I agreed to them, but on the situational level I understood that I don’t know how to behave myself, what to do. And then, at that point I understood that this is psychology that deals with this gap, fills it. What if I want to learn to build relationships with people – in the society, in the family, then speaking of high ideas… they weren’t translated into life through me, I couldn’t manage to do this. And I started to read psychology.
Yes, it happened in such an interesting way – I came to psychology only after I had touched religion, mystic, especially because I saw that this didn’t work in me, I wasn’t ready to connect this with life. And psychology gave me a certain ground, something “tangible”, something that can be done, and I was studying it quite deep. I did many training groups, graduated an institute, got one more psychological education on the basis of my higher education. In psychology I studied what I call the prose of life. Mystic is the poetry, and psychology is the prose, one should know it, too. Otherwise a poet is always poor and hungry, and a prose writer – he knows where to get, and how much. I wanted to stand on the ground and psychology helped me in this.
Then after some time I managed to connect mystic with life, but some years passed till that time. I could link the ideas of Lao-zhu, the ideas of Buddha, Christian ideas with my life – the gap disappeared. Then psychology moved to the background. Although I still know it and go on using but as an applied science. By the way, physics was part of my search, because at that time, in the end of eighties, when the group leaders, and certain literature were still prohibited, physics was the only way to study the Universe, the world. It seems to me that if we were living in a religious country many physics would become mystics, spiritual people, because physics is a search, an investigation, a study. But at that time it was allowed to study and search only within the framework of material world. And to my point of view, the interest I had toward the nuclear physics, to how the matter was organized was a part of my search that lasted for five years.
Later on many physics came to psychology, to mystic. Because it seems to me it was their tendency – people wanted to understand what the world is. They just learned afterwards that the world consists not only of matter, but of other energies that can be studied already in a more subjective way. And physics helped me in understanding very much. Especially contemporary physics – it is an amazingly beautiful science, it is deeply mystical. And many physics, let’s say Plank, Pauli who were discovering absolutely astonishing physical laws, they were deep believers, i.e. physics hadn’t made them less believing, it made them more mystical, because it is an absolutely amazing phenomenon. Contemporary physics nowadays comes very close to the mysticism of life.
M.: Thank you. Can you tell a little more detailed about
the start of your search? What was the impulse to the search? So you had
this dissatisfaction in life but why did you start moving exactly this
direction? Some people begin to drink alcohol in such cases, and get involved
in other activities not related to spiritual search.
S.: I have tried various directions, to drink as well, many things I studied. It was simply clear that it didn’t work. I had perhaps a certain internal bent for psychology, esoterics. Besides, at the age of twenty-one, twenty-two years I had certain mystical experiences that weren’t linked to any of my targeted efforts. It was like Grace. During half a year I was receiving absolutely magnificent experiences that I absolutely could not conceive, understand at that time. I was walking around absolutely… The gestalt of the world changed completely. I had no one to share with, there were no groups at that time, no group-leaders, I was trying to speak to someone but…
It has shifted my fixation, has tremendously shifted my “point of assembly”, because at that time I was receiving experience that a common person cannot even imagine. Through five sense organs I couldn’t have anything like this in this world, although I tried. That were absolutely amazing feelings, experience. It was like a blessing and when it was gone, I knew what I was working for. Many people are occupied with practices, because they are promised of something, but it is simply an idea for them – that they are going to feel something extraordinary. That is why it’s hard for them, because these are just words. For me it weren’t just words since already about the age of twenty two, it was my experience; I knew how this could be. And this knowledge is certainly being imprinted forever. One loses interest to the external world because one understands that it cannot give you so much. It was also a kind of extreme. Then, on the contrast one understands that life could be lived in a beautiful way both inside and outside. I don’t know why, how this came, why to me. And from time to time during my life these gifts come. It is what cannot be done by yourself, what can be given to you by God only. It comes without an effort, it comes all of a sudden, when you don’t expect it. These experiences thread all my life with a different frequency and certainly I am thankful to the existence for this.
M.: May be you describe such experiences a little bit more
S.: I wouldn’t like to do this within the bounds of this meeting; I am doing this very rarely when I see that a person really needs this. For me it is not a way to express myself, etc. If I see that this can in some way help a person, I tell him some details. The matter now is that I communicate to a rather abstract audience, and these are intimate things and speaking in simple words it resembles a kind of self-advertising, and I wouldn’t like to.
M.: Then there is a question not about experience, feelings,
but about some events, interesting life collisions that happened to you,
unusual or simply important, maybe about strange cases.
S.: What I like in my life is that I was encouraged to seek not by some critical situations. Often people start getting involved when someone dies, someone wasn’t born, husband left, only after that they start thinking about life. Much less shocks were enough for me. I think that if a person is intelligent enough, he or she won’t wait till the horse is stolen to lock the barn door. They lock the barn door earlier, before the thieves come. I tried to move on these lines, because why pushing too far, and then change something in oneself? Regarding some interesting events… I don’t know, I wouldn’t emphasize. The only thing that I’d like to tell is that since the moment I started moving inside, my life became the greatest adventure for me. This is my experience and I feel the fullness of life. And, just sitting on a sofa I experience perhaps what people experience when they travel somewhere, climb the Mount Everest. For me it is enough to sit on a sofa, it is cheap, saving, doesn’t require any efforts, resources. When going inside oneself, one can find himself in astonishingly beautiful spaces. There is a payment for this – not in money terms – it is labour, one should pass through many things in oneself, some complicated areas, what is also a big adventure as such. But if a person does it he or she receives a corresponding reward.
M.: Thank you. The following question – how beginners can
enter the practice the best way, which is the best way for them to start
S.: I’d like to say – guys, find a good teacher. But I understand that this means to say nothing, because, reference to the question number don’t remember which – how to find him?
M.: This is exactly the next question.
S.: Your depth will bring you to the person needed, work on yourself. One can start with reading literature. Now there are quite good psychological books, good enough esoteric books, but I’d recommend to start from psychology. Because otherwise, esoterica, mystics, becomes only philosophy. First one needs to solve everything with emotions, with the body. Possibly work with systems connected to the cleaning of the body, revitalization in health. Then psychology, psychotherapy and only after - the practices that are connected with subtler experiences. Or these should go simultaneously. They mustn’t be mutually exclusive, one shouldn’t neglect the body, and psychological knowledge shouldn’t be ignored, otherwise all this mysticism is just a profanation. There are particular people however who are ready to enter the field of subtler phenomena at once, but again, if they are lucky to meet the teacher.
Here I’d like to say that one shouldn’t be disappointed of he comes to one group, to another group, to the third group and it appears to be profanation everywhere. You should simply go on seeking. It’s better to make a one hundred and first error, than give up the search – that is do, do and do. Earlier or later, if a person has the sincerity, he finds his Master. It’s important to have sincerity, sincere requests. One can not have the knowledge, but if there is sincerity, there appears a mystical magnetism that is going to lead a person. Ask yourself “do I really want to change myself, do I honestly want this, am I ready to receive not only the flowers of life, but pass through the crises that are linked with this changing. If there is sincerity as a rule it will help to find the necessary books, the necessary people. If there aren’t such yet, then one should work himself.
This is “grimy” work, and a person can make lots of stupid things in the beginning, read fiction, visit the groups that are bum, but through this he is growing, it is not a negative experience, through this he begins to understand what is working and what is not. This couldn’t be shrugged off.
M.: I think an issue with such profanation groups is more
complicated, because there happen real events in many of them – energetical,
psychophysical. People receive something; they simply receive not what
is being proclaimed. Spiritual development is proclaimed, but in reality
other things are offered, and a man is a kind of in illusion – he thinks
he is gaining spiritual growth, but what really happens is simply bringing
energy in order, or improving of psychophysical structure.
S.: This is true, but we can do nothing about it. People are bound to make mistakes, believe in what they desire etc. It’s very difficult to advise people how to avoid this. There are several criteria. The first criterion - if during the work of the group someone of the participants expresses his disagreement with the work of the group, with its ideology there shouldn’t be aggression towards him. If the group-leader is right, if his ideas are correct, there should be compassion. A person is simply being helped to understand that he is mistaken. Some time I spent visiting various groups and watching what they represent by themselves. And one of the methods I had was just to go into opposition to the leader, to the instructor. In many groups instructors are indisputable authority. Being someone off the street I went into reasoned opposition and watched the reaction – what the leader was doing, what the group was doing. If the group just becomes aggressive – this argues a certain level of people, a certain quality of them. In my groups if a person doesn’t agree with me concerning something, it’s simply a topic for investigation. And by no means a person becomes an “offender” if he doesn’t agree with the conception or the storyline of the group.
So this is one of the methods – to come and to go into the opposition in the provoking way, and watch the reaction. When people are mature, when the leader is mature he is never driven by an emotional reaction, he will simply investigate the situation, calmly look into it.
Then what are other possible nuances? There should be a feeling in the group that you are given freedom – to enter and leave, a feeling of freedom when you are inside the group. Because in some groups they little by little start telling “only we have…” And many groups are operating in a very gradual way. Literally during a year, two years they give a person an opportunity to join in the work, and when he starts to believe into, to live with the ideas of the group he is being said: “If you leave you will have problems, karmic problems, family problems, etc.” I mean he is being psychologically pressed, when they see that he is emotionally got caught. From the very beginning one should look at what is happening, and if there is a feeling that they try to get hold or make some emphasis that only we and no one else has, then one should be more attentive.
M.: So the question now is the following: which are the
main mistakes, main deadlocks of the practice?
S.: On one side there is an enormous quantity of them. In Christianity they were called deceptions, in Buddhism – demons. Demons are internal psychological spaces and blocks in my understanding. And they are very many, a tremendous variety of nuances. When zen group starts people are simply sitting, but if they are really entering the practice, difficulties appear, and they should be solved as a person goes on. The first thing that I’d like to mention for the general public is when you get acquainted with psychology or esoterism, don’t be in a hurry to save others. A kind of maximalism often occurs. I.e. people start thinking that they have already understood everything– this is the first trap. This is the teenage maximalism in psychology, in spirituality. One should be careful with this, because people become obtrusive to the others, suffer from this themselves and cause problems to others.
So the first thing – don’t be in a hurry to teach the others, don’t hurry. The second thing – don’t think that you have understood everything. In the beginning it seems that everything is very clear. Then you start to work deeper and understand that you understand nothing, you should learn and learn. The third difficulty that many people come across – they start opposing common, social life to spiritual, thus creating another conflict for themselves. A person already had lots of contradictions in life, and this becomes one more contradiction. In order to avoid this, it is obligatory to use social life for the purposes of one’s growth – both spiritual and psychological. One should study through social life, otherwise it will always be a conflict, always be a runaway from the social life for some internal processes. And this cancels all the advantages that a person gets from the esoteric life. One should try not to create a conflict in oneself, not to divide into the mundane and spiritual. Especially in the beginning, when a person has touched mystic for the first time, it seems to him that these are totally different worlds.
One more tip – if you didn’t like the group where you work, and you go from this group to another leader do not carry the feeling of guilt with yourself. It is your search, you can change a group, change a leader. A real teacher will always understand you, and if it is truly needed for you, he simply blesses you to go to someone else. Then, perhaps in some years you will come back to him, who knows. There should be an allowance to seek, to study various groups, different leaders. But it is in the case when you don’t feel yourself in your place. If you feel that this is your master, and he sais to you – don’t visit other groups, then you shouldn’t. But this is in case you trust a person; believe that you should learn from him. Because till a certain moment it’s also not right to run around different schools. Why – because different leaders are working through different methods. When these methods are being combined in one person they can destroy him, because they are aimed into different directions. If a person is mature enough, ripe enough, he can integrate different methods, different schools in oneself. He can go to one school, to another, but this requires a certain level of mastery. And newcomers, if they start running from one school to another, they endure enough…
M.: Here and there…
S.: Well, “here and there” is not that bad. There exist incompatible groups. And if people don’t understand this, they simply destroy themselves with this running about. It’s all right if they don’t benefit; but they can truly do harm to themselves.
This is why often the group-leader, if he takes care about his group, about his disciples, he doesn’t allow them to visit other groups till a certain moment, till they become mature, understanding, able to integrate other information, to comprehend it in an adequate way. Then he simply blesses them – go, watch, try. It was like this in the East, when a person didn’t step out of the monastery for five-ten years absolutely and then he was let out and told – now go to the world, bear Dharma. Here is the same. Here is it’s dialectics. Free will – I go where I want – also has it’s consequences, if a person doesn’t understand some things. Instructor doesn’t let his disciples go somewhere not because he is a fanatic dictator, but because it’s a real care for them. What happens – first, in order to change someone, this person should be unlatched, speaking Kastaneda’s language, his point of assembly should be shifted. And people in this state are very vulnerable. If a person appears to come to bad company in such a state he could be put everything inside – energy, information, and he is very receptive, very vulnerable. And letting a person to the outer world in such a state is the same as make an operational cut and let a person go home without being sutured and tell him – we are going to suture it tomorrow. That is why sometimes it is very appropriate not to let the disciples interact with the external world, with other schools. It is a temporary requirement, and again it is leader’s responsibility to understand when and what is going to be appropriate. On the other side there are groups of fans, and I don’t have any idea how to save people from them. I can speak about this in our interview, perhaps, people who read it will pay attention to some things.
M.: And the following question in conclusion. What are the
spiritual traditions up to in this millennium, how they are going to develop?
S.: Well, I’d like to express here not as a forecast because I absolutely have no idea, but as a hope. I’d like to hope that mankind and spiritual schools will find some integration, I mean mankind comes to understanding that the division of the population of the Earth into social, political, religious systems is absurd. And now the Earth is approaching this, we have already become one whole in the sphere of information, and in the area of traveling along the globe as well, i.e. the Earth is becoming more integral. I’d like that gradually this refer also to mystic schools, because, to my point of view they are united by one goal. Methods could be different, but there won’t be such a sectarian division – political, economical and social.
Osho told, and I agree with him that now mankind is in a stage that it either makes a leap into meditation, or commits life suicide in the third world war. And if taking a glance at the situation that occurs now, I think that spirituality, meditation are going to play the basic role nowadays, because the energies that man is possessing now, weapons of mass destruction that man is possessing have such a tremendous power that if people don’t touch meditation, don’t touch the internal world, silence, we can just destroy the planet. And in this respect the role of spiritual schools is nowadays very huge.
These are not the political systems that have to change, not social institutes, but people. And the change of a man first happens through psychology, then through meditation. And I hope this will happen, I hope there will be people that will help themselves, help the others to move in this direction. It seems to me that Russia has quite a high potential as regards humanity, internal, deep feeling of life, as compared to the Western countries. To my point of view Russia possesses a profound potential, I’d like that we reveal it.
And in the end… a kind of parting wishes. Two times I came back from India to Russia and tried to feel Russia on the contrast, and when you spend long time in India – half a year, one year… I tried to feel on the heart level what is happening here, how people are living, and what an attitude towards life they have. Both times I have a deep sensation of pain, suffering. Not in each person, but as a certain atmosphere, atmosphere of the country, atmosphere of the situation consisting of aggression, pain, forlornness. As I feel kinship with Russia, feel a connection with this country, I’d like people who try to work on themselves very much to make a contribution so that this situation change. First of all, one should start with oneself. But if you manage to help yourself, it won’t be bad if you share it with others. And then, perhaps we can change something. Because to my point of view there is such a lack of love, gentleness, warmth now. And if someone succeeds in finding these qualities in oneself and share them with the others, it’s marvelous. It’s now more important for Russia than magic, witchcraft and the rest. In addition there is a huge lack of understanding, understanding of the laws of life, principles of life. In this repect we – not only Russia, but the West as well – are absolutely ignorant, to my point of view. Psychology that is trying to do something now is still a very young science, and it is just making the first steps, although we can already observe the syndrome of juvenile maximalism it has. I mean it thinks that has almost solved all the problems and Eastern mysticism is some superstition, a left-over.
Nowadays most open psychologists are gradually studying Eastern teachings, are trying to unite psychology and mystic, this is great. But nevertheless the total situation is tremendous ignorance. I see how the families are being destroyed, how people suffer, die because of the lack of knowledge in the area of elementary psychology, to say nothing of the mystic. This knowledge is absolutely necessary for people, this is my vision of the situation. That is understanding is needed and love is needed, the heart and the mind.