Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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1997 – International Public and Scientific Conference
”The Roerich Readings” (October 8–12)

 International Public and Scientific Conference ”The Roerich Readings”  

The conference was organized by the International Center of the Roerichs supported by the International League for Protection of Culture, the UN Information Center in Moscow, the UNESCO Moscow Bureau, the International Association of World Foundations, the Russian Academy of Arts, the All-Russian Society for Protection of Monuments of History and Culture, the scientific and production company “Znaniye” (“Knowledge”).

The central event scheduled to coincide with the Roerich Readings of 1997 was the solemn opening of the N. Roerich Museum new expanded exposition. The Museum opened for visitors 7 halls on the 2nd floor of the restored Lopukhins’ estate – the monument of architecture of the XVII–XIX centuries.

This event is a new stage in the life of the unique public museum existing from 1993. Then, on February 12, 1993, on Helena Roerich’s birthday, the N. Roerich Museum solemn opening took place, the Museum occupied small rooms of the annex next to the estate. In October 1994, the Museum was moved to the main building 1st floor. 3 years have passed, and the “small museum” as it was called by the employees, has grown to a big museum exposition which now occupies the Lopukhins’ estate spacious halls equipped with newest museum facilities. At last, Svetoslav Roerich’s will has been executed, he saw the N. Roerich Center-Museum as a “live center”, and not as a “mere museum exposition”.

Offered to the visitors’ attention 7 halls of the Museum show all stages of the Roerich family life and creative work.

Extracts from reports

А. Yanshin
Academician, Chairman of the Russian Academy of Sciences Scientific Council for Problems of Biosphere, President of the Russian Ecological Academy, Councilor to the RF President
(Moscow)

N. Roerich and V. Vernadsky

<…> Looking back to the first half of the XX century now, from the third millennium threshold, we notice among numerous peaks two especially high ones, the light of which does not fade, does not weaken, but, on the contrary, becomes brighter and brighter in the course of time.

These are Nicholas Roerich and Vladimir Vernadsky. People of different spheres of life who never met each other, who did not exchange letters, did not write about each other, but are at the same time related to each other due to a number of common characteristics which make them close to us, their contemporaries. <…>

What is common for them?

First of all, cosmism of the surrounding world perception. <…>

N. Roerich was all penetrated with intuitive sense of cosmic energy. It is enough to read L. Shaposhnikova’s book “Wisdom of Centuries” to see how much attention N. Roerich paid to issues of mastering cosmic energy by the Earth nature and the mankind. <…>

<...> V. Vernadsky was also a cosmist <…>.<...> in many of his studies, not only popular, he emphasized that we live by cosmic energy. He admitted existence of other not very well known radiated components coming to the surface of the Earth from the stars, in the form of reflection form from other planets, but he considered thermal and light rays of the Sun to be the main source. This kind of understanding – in the first case intuitive, and in the other one purely scientific – of the Earth links with the cosmos is the first common feature characteristic of both V. Vernadsky and N. Roerich. <…>

They knew well Vedanta and medieval Indian philosophers, but their special attention was drawn by the ideas of a hermit of the end of the XIX century Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and his brilliant, highly educated disciple Swami Vivekananda who preached his ideas not only in India, but in America and Europe as well. What attracted them both in this new Indian philosophy? Both Ramakrishna and Vivekananda taught, first of all, that all religions are just various forms of worshipping the God, that there is no fundamental difference in moral foundations, in ethics which different religions creators preached. At that, the Evangels ethical essence started getting distorted already in Apostle Paul’s Epistles. Then, Muhammad’s commandments were subject to considerable changes when the Quran surah interpretations were created in Alexandria. And the primary ethical sources of all religions are the same, and so the God is also one. And what is the God? One of Paramahamsa’s aphorisms says: “All living is the God”. This pantheism, recognition of everything alive as the God attracted attention of both N. Roerich and V. Vernadsky. <…>


L. Shaposhnikova
the N. Roerich Museum General Director,
the ICR First Vice-President, Academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences
(Moscow)

Science and the Living Ethics

The report subject, quite complicated, is at the same time one of the most important problems tackled on the Living Ethics pages. This problem can only be settled or considered in the light of synthesis which is the main and trunk trend of the mankind Cosmic Evolution. Same as in a chemical process, combination of a few substances produces an integral substance with a new quality, synthesis of some spiritual and cultural phenomena in the course of evolutionary process results in an integral phenomenon, different in terms of its qualities from the initial phenomena which participated in synthesis. <…> it is synthesis as such that is the most important means for mentality development and expansion. Synthesis which has taken place in human thinking due to a number of energetic circumstances, brings the mentality to a higher step, allows man to see what was before concealed from him. And the higher is the consciousness, the higher is the integrity of surrounding reality perception, and the deeper is cognition of peculiarities of the Universe. That is why the Living Ethics pays special attention to expansion of mentality. <…>

“Religion and science, one of the Living Ethics books says, should not diverge in their essence. (…) All great discoveries of mankind will not come from huge laboratories, but will be found by the spirit of scientists possessing synthesis”. <…>

The thoughts of Russian philosophers and outstanding scientists, and the Living Ethics ideas constituted a kind of spiritual and energetic space for evolutionary advancements on the planet of Earth. In the process of mentality expansion, synthesis of the main forms of cognition made the principal energetic trend in the mankind Cosmic evolution. Each of those forms has its basis which will determine their synthesis in the future. In art – it is pieces of true art, in religion – spiritual experience of religious teachings, in science – intuitive and logical aspiration for synthesis and admittance of the invisible worlds by the most spiritually advanced scientists. It is the last circumstance that will give science a chance to restore the link with the Higher which it has lost in centuries. Probably, of all the three forms of cognition, science is the most difficult for transformation space. <…>

The Living Ethics brought to us by the Roerichs in the 20s and 30s, years of scientific “explosion”, is that philosophic system which contains new ideas of synthesis required for serious transformation of science. Some scientists have already noticed this study, but the majority have so far ignored it. There is a reason for that. The thing is that the Living Ethics is a system, on the pages of which that synthesis of the main forms of cognition, the process of which is just starting in the cultural and spiritual space of Russia and other countries, has already been realized. This synthesis is not yet well perceived by the intellect of modern scientists. The Living Ethics is an ahead-of-time factor of nowadays. It is designed for the future. <…>


G. Foursey
the RANS Vice-President, Chairman of the RANS North-West Department,
Vice-President for Science and Education of the
International League for Protection of Culture
(Saint-Petersburg)

Science and Education in the General Context of Culture

<…> As a person who deals with exact science, and I am a physicist, I can say: when I read Roerich, a lot is consonant to my inner world. All ideas are expressed so capaciously and precisely. A word formula is also a formula which carries exclusive information on nature, on the essence of life, on what can and should be done in the short period we live. I think that what is done by Roerich surpasses tens of times all the rest. And beside Roerich, the names of such remarkable people as Berdiayev, Soloviev, and many others sound in this context, and of course, Vernadsky as well. Vernadsky’s name is inscribed on our Academy banner.

Ideas of cosmists Vernadsky, Tchizhevsky are great ideas which make us realize how interrelated is the world, how integral it is, how important is unified understanding of the world and nature for our advancement along the way of expedient development of events, the right evolutionary way. <…>


L. Engelgardt
Chief of Sector for Study of A. Tchizhevsky’s Creative Work
of the K. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of Cosmonautics History
(Kaluga)

Facets of A. Thizhevsky’s Creative Work

<…> A. Tchizhevsky was not only a scientist, but also a most talented poet and a wonderful artist. <…> Neither concentration camp, nor blackout, nor attacks, nor all kinds of names invented for Tchizhevsky. He was called an obscurant, and a sciolist in 1935, they even “labeled” him as a counterrevolutionary. It was a very difficult year in the life of Alexander Tchizhevsky. <…>

I also want to mention that a physicist and a lyric are inseparable in Tchizhevsky. His new high mentality is reflected in not only his scientific creative work, but also in poetry, in his landscapes, and, probably, the same mentality was present in the music he composed. Tchizhevsky was a beautiful musician. He played the violin, piano, often improvised, though, due to the lack of time, he did not leave his music to us, he did not record it, very unfortunately. <...>