Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs


6. Synthesis — the main trend in the cosmic evolution of mankind

The path of synthesis, which is directly related to the interaction of spirit and matter, in the widest cosmic sense passes through the inner world of man, through his consciousness. The higher the level of consciousness is, the higher is the level of cognition, and vice versa. The higher and subtler is the state of matter in whose realm the synthesis process develops, the higher, from the point of view of evolution, is the result of the synthesis. When we say “synthesis,” we mean not the mechanistic joining of some phenomena or parts of phenomena, but their organic mergence, accompanied by the appearance of a new phenomenon and its new quality. New steps of human consciousness and thinking, as a rule, are accompanied by the synthetic processes of a higher spiritual and energetic quality. As to the development of the system of cognition, in the historical sense, we can consider this problem in the context of those methods of thinking that are known to us, in particular, mythological, religious, and scientific ones. In the 20th century, we approached the stage when the synthetic integrity of the mythological system of cognition must return again, but at a higher energetic and informational level. The phenomenon of the mythological method of thinking and cognition is determined by the fact that it had a close energetic and informational relationship with worlds of other states of matter and matter’s higher dimensions. In the course of time, all the main types of creation, activities, knowledge, and beliefs developed from this initial synthetic phenomenon. In the course of the historical process in our solid world, the mythological method of cognition became differentiated, which was furthered by religious consciousness. And the scientific method of thinking, as formed in the 17th-18th centuries, not only did not stop the process of differentiation, but to a considerable extent aggravated it. Moreover, the division between the scientific, experimental method of cognition and the extra-scientific method took place, and such spheres as art, religion, and some philosophic systems, called esoteric, were subsumed in the latter. In its realm, knowledge was acquired not by empiric ways, but by speculative ways, relying on religious and intuitive experience.

The conception of any phenomenon in the Cosmos is accompanied by an initial energetic impulse, whose specific features correspond to those historical conditions under which this impulse appears. In the 20th century, it was the Living Ethics that became this impulse that provided a number of synthetic solutions and united in a single concept scientific knowledge, illuminations of religious experience, the thought of the spiritual Teachers of the East, and the philosophic findings of the West. The Teaching’s books contain as a single synthetic whole all that the mankind accumulated in its cultural and historical arsenal, all that preserved mankind’s viability and evolutionary potential. The impulse was given, and an example was shown. The common issue that unites the different forms of cognition is their relationship with the main source of energetic and informational flow: matter of a higher state. If art, religion, and in part philosophy, primarily Oriental, to some or another extent possess this kind of contact, then empiric science has been deprived of such links for a long time, and, probably, more so than other methods of cognition, it needs transformation. Representatives of progressive scientific thought were aware of this situation in the 20th century.

“Impulse and inspiration, the basis of the greatest scientific discoveries, subsequently relying on and following a strictly logical path, are caused by neither scientific, nor logical thought, are neither related to the word nor to the concept in their genesis.

In this principal phenomenon in the history of scientific thought, we enter the sphere of phenomena that has not yet been considered by science, and we not only cannot afford not to take it into consideration, but we must intensify our scientific attention to it,”1 V. Vernadsky wrote.

The research of subtle energies and different states of matter, the awareness of the relationship with the energetics of the Higher, was to change the scientific world outlook as such, to make it more broad and capable of comprising more, so that there be no place in it either for negation, or for traditional “scientific” prejudice. The situation that had formed in science by the beginning of the 20th century was quite contradictory. Scientific discoveries made the necessary confirmations to support the new thinking. At the same time, the inertia of the old “materialistic” world outlook and traditional alienation from the problems of the spirit and from processes related to higher states of matter still existed. The reason for this should be sought along that historical path that science itself had had to travel. It so happened that the process of the establishment of experimental science coincided with the development and consolidation of confessional structures and confessional consciousness in the period of the late Middle Ages and the beginning of the New age. The church, with its striving to monopolize truth, its confessional totalitarian thinking, its inquisitions, proved to be the main obstacle along the path of the development of experimental science. The latter required freedom of thought as the main condition for its existence. And the church, whose influence encompassed many spheres of human life, refused science this freedom. The opposition of the church’s totalitarianism and science formed, and not one dramatic page was inscribed in the history of mankind. The Inquisition persecuted free thinkers and heretics, for whom the church’s canons were becoming chains. Torture chambers and fires accompanied major scientific discoveries. All these circumstances resulted in the final separation of science and the church, which at that time embodied (or at least, claimed such embodiment) the spiritual processes developing in society, including the links with the Higher. And when in the 18th century free thinking appeared, which gave birth to a whole galaxy of its ideologists, French encyclopedists, free scientific thought started getting stronger, and experimental materialistic science was finally formed, which negated the existence of the spirit, God, and did not consider religion as a form of cognition. It was the church and its totalitarian policy that deprived science of God, of spirituality, it was the church that tore away from moral principles and ethical thinking. That determined the paradoxical character of the development of thought on our planet and the dialectics of the interaction of the spirit with earthly matter. Together with the bathwater, science threw out that “baby,” which might be able to define an absolutely different path of science’s development and a different quality of its research. A dangerous alternative in the aggravation of the opposition between religious and scientific thinking arose. This situation, “who will defeat” or “swallow” the other, carried in itself the intensification of all crisis phenomena in modern scientific thought.

Religion and science must not differ in their essences,” the Living Ethics says. “All great discoveries for the benefit of mankind will not come from huge laboratories, but will be made by the spirit of the scientists who possess synthesis.”2

The Living Ethics’s Authors thoroughly analyze those conditions under which the constituents of synthesis presently exist: art, religion, and science. In the long run, both synthesis and differentiation are energetic categories of human consciousness and thinking. Everything depends on the level of the perspective from which we consider this or that phenomenon. The lower its level is, and, correspondingly, the level of our consciousness, the higher is the degree of the differentiation of the picture of the Universe, and vice versa. In the long run, the level of synthesis is the result of the level of our consciousness and the quality of our thinking. Therefore, considering synthesis as one of the most important energetic processes of evolution, the Living Ethics’s Authors establish as the main task of the evolutionary ascent of man the formation in him of expanded, that is, high, consciousness.

The Living Ethics’s Authors justly believe that religious thinking is also a method of the cognition of the world, a means of communication with the Higher, and they draw our attention to priceless spiritual and moral experience, to the feats of religious Teachers, to the great teachings that have changed the consciousnesses of huge human communities. To eliminate the thought of Christian or Buddhist teaching in a senseless struggle is as criminal as to burn a scientist at stake or to destroy his studies. But, at the same time, to unite religion with science in that state in which they presently exist is hardly a feasible task. Religious experience by all means requires scientific comprehension, and modern science needs spiritualization and relationships with higher energies. For this, it is necessary to reject the out-of-date, vulgar materialism, the old sociological world outlook, in which so little attention is given to the inner world of man. The Living Ethics, like the new scientific thought, in a most serious way proposes the question of the need for spiritualized science and its moral points. Science, the Living Ethics asserts, must be ethical and unprejudiced and must accept knowledge, no matter in which form it appears. The new science, forming through the new thinking of the 20th-21st centuries, must make use of human culture’s spiritual elaborations and rise to a new level in the study of subtle energies and subtle phenomena, which require scientific explanations and scientific practice. In other words, the Living Ethics books themselves, comprising a great many achievements of religious thought and religious practice, seem to provide an energetic impulse for the transformation of science, which is to play a most important role at the new stage of cosmic evolution. For this, spiritual science will make space for contact with the worlds of higher states of matter, which religion made before. The Living Ethics Authors suggest, instead of struggle and the opposition of two kinds of consciousnesses in the transfer to the new thinking, their harmonious combination, thus preserving all previous accumulations of human experience and human thought. What the new synthetic cognition, which will include, besides science and religion, also art, will be called, it is hard to say.

The synthesis of the main forms of cognition will not only create new, rich possibilities for interaction with the Higher worlds and Higher energetics, but will also eliminate that spiritual imbalance between different forms of cognition that can arise due to still insufficient levels of human consciousness. It is in the 21st century that, obviously, the synthesis of religion, science, and art will take place, which will result in the completion of the formation of a qualitatively new consciousness and thinking, in conscious use of the new system of cognition. Modern science, through the best efforts of its scientists, is already entering the sphere of researching matter’s high state. Theories of the vacuum, mechanisms of intercellular interactions, and other similar discoveries testify to the first results of scientific contact with subtle matter and subtle energies.

Cosmic evolution does not only form a new thinking and mentality, but it also brings to the foreground individuals whose creative work acquires truly planetary resonance, as it already contains formed in it the synthesis that is necessary for the progress of human consciousness. It can be said that these individuals carry in themselves this synthesis, irrespective of which sphere of human consciousness they belong to. Such individuals’ influence on culture and civilization is enormous, their significance is lasting. I would like to mention five of them, not because they are the only ones, but because they brightly reflected the main trends of the synthesis of cognition, due to which they have had a great impact on the formation of a new, cosmic mentality on the planet Earth. They are not with us any more, and their fates were tragic; slander and the lack of recognition went side by side with their unique, creative work. V. Vernadsky, K. Tsiolkovsky, P. Florensky, A. Chizhevsky, and N. Roerich carried in themselves religion, art, philosophy, and science, and so each of these constituents of their spiritual syntheses acquired a unique quality, each of them reflected a cosmic glimmer of the worlds of different states of matter.

One more circumstance should be added to the above said. If previous teachings appearing in the spiritual field set forth a religious cult as the means for the implementation of ideas of space into action, the Living Ethics substitutes for it conscious and scientifically comprehended ethics. In real life such a process of substitution is complicated and lengthy, and at times dramatic. But the passage from a cult based on beliefs to ethics based on the scientific knowledge of laws and specific features of cosmic evolution will change the spiritual structure of man in a most radical way and create in addition to the synthesis of cognition a qualitatively new energetic field for his spiritual and cultural activities on the planet.

7. At the threshold of the new world

The Living Ethics as the philosophy of cosmic reality did not only appear in the critical period of the 20th century, but also announced a most important moment in the very cosmic evolution of mankind, in particular, the approach of a new, higher stage of evolution. The system of cognition that we find on the pages of The Living Ethics is most closely connected with this stage’s beginning. This stage, starting in the endless chain of cosmic evolution, manifested the approach of a New World with all its distinctive features and the formation of a New Man that would be determined by it. The 20th century and the next, 21st, century turned out to be on the threshold of this New World, whose information and scientific conception we find in the Living Ethics, in the philosophy of the Silver Age, and in the scientific thought of the last century.

The idea of a New World and a New Man in one form or another penetrates the whole history of human thought in the period of historical time that is visible to us. By the beginning of the 20th century, this idea had not only reached its climax, but had started to be implemented in life by various social powers, which resulted in its realization at various spiritual and cultural levels. Each such level had its understanding both of the New World and of the New Man. In all this diversity of understandings of the future of man and the planet, two clear and opposing tendencies distinguished themselves. One was formed in the Spiritual Revolution in Russia and found its reflection in the Living Ethics in all the richness of its specific features, the other one was the result of the social revolution and those social circles that ideologically joined the supporters of the so-called materialistic thought.

The philosophy of cosmic reality (Living Ethics) system of cognition sets the problem of the New World and the New Man in the center of its ideas, considering both as shape-generating constituents of cosmic evolution. The spiritual transformation of man through the expansion of his consciousness, the increase of his energetics, and the refinement of his matter is considered by the Living Ethics to be the most important evolutionary goal, completing another stage in the development of mankind.

The other one, which opposes the first tendency, reduced the cosmic creation of the New World and the New Man to the purposeful activities of man alone, endowing the latter with the right to independently decide the most important problems of such a process.

“The planet,” the Living Ethics says, “makes a circle that brings everything to completion. The time comes when every element must reveal its potential. Those circles are considered in history as declines or peaks. But these rhythms should be perceived specifically as the triumph of Light or darkness. The time has come when the planet is approaching this circle of completion, and only the most saturated intensity of potential will secure victory. The circle of completion wakes up all energies, for all the powers of Light and darkness, from the highest to the lowest, will take part in the final battle. Sensitive spirits know why so many higher elements manifest themselves by the sides of criminal and frigid ones. In the battle before the circle of completion, all space’s powers, earthly and superterraneous, will compete.”3

The new evolutionary stage to which the planet was to rise brought with it radical spiritual and energetic changes.

Cosmic evolution was calling for the New World and a new energetic type of man. And this call was heard by the most sensitive creators: artists, thinkers, poets. In the approaching, thunderstorming atmosphere of the beginning of the 20th century, prophecies were born; premonitions and visions of the forthcoming New Epoch appeared. The matter of the old world shifted and, having lost its usual stability, started falling to pieces. Time, resembling the Apocalypse, was irresistibly impending over the planet.

In the apocalyptic time,” N. Berdiayev wrote, “the greatest possibilities are combined with the greatest dangers. What happens to the world in all spheres is an apocalypse of a whole, enormous cosmic epoch, the end of the old world and the threshold of the new one. [ . . . ] In the whirlwind of the starting world, to a tempo of accelerated movement, everything is displaced, the multicentury material restraint is lifted. But in this vortex, the greatest values can perish, man can be unable to resist, can be torn into pieces.”4

Not just two ways for the achievement of one goal were concerned, but mankind’s cosmic fate, the most important problems of mankind’s evolution. That is why the two paths that mankind faced in the 20th century were incredibly complicated as they interacted and confronted each other. The choice before mankind had never been set so acutely as in the 20th, completing the millennium, century. Upward or downward, the old world or the New, with the Higher or without it.

“The earthly world is like the dead end of the path, either ascent or destruction,”5 the Living Ethics says.

What was happening in the 20th century resembled the events of a different historical period, the peak of which fell in the 1st millennium BCE. At that time, the cosmic migrations of peoples started, which carried the higher energetics necessary for forthcoming changes, and then philosophers tried to comprehend evolutionary processes and problems of the interaction of matter and spirit, religious Teachers came, and the Spiritual Revolution started, which gave Christ to the world.

Two spiritual revolutions, of the 1st millennium BCE and of the end of the 2nd millennium CE developed under different historical conditions and were still evolutionarily interconnected. Both had before themselves the task to change the consciousness of man, to transform and spiritualize the matter of his internal world.

In that distant past, as in our days, evolution set before mankind the problem of the New World and the New Man. Christ’s teaching, which was penetrated by interaction with the Higher, expanded mentality of man, opened before man new horizons for further transformation, brought him closer to the worlds of different dimensions, different states of matter.

The Spiritual Revolution of the end of the 2nd millennium, which carried in itself the experience and findings of the previous one, pressed in itself the time of the two millenniums, expanded the notion of Higher other being, and, having proposed it in the first place, brought to the foreground the concept of new creativity as a condition for the further transformation of man and earthly humanity as a whole.

“Through culture,” Berdiayev wrote, “the way upward and forward lies, and not backward, not to a pre-cultural state; this is the path of the implementation of culture itself into new being, new life, new heaven, and new earth. Only on this path, can barbarian sounds and barbarian gestures that have burst into culture be submitted to the new cosmic harmony and new cosmic rhythm. Not only art, but human creativity, as well, will irrevocably perish and plunge into initial darkness if it does not become the creativity of life, the creativity of a new man and his spiritual way.6

The fact that the new creativity was to become the “spiritual way” of man was changing the whole essence of creative work, demanding creative revelation and following it. Creative revelation, contained both in the Silver Age philosophy and in the Living Ethics, changed the meaning of art itself and called for the comprehension of a new Beauty as a power that transforms man. Creative revelation in all its cosmic complexity and versatility was becoming the main condition for the transformation of man on the threshold of the New World.

Due to a number of historical and energetic reasons, it was Russia that became the epicenter of the Spiritual Revolution of the 20th century. It is in Russia that the main evolutionary events took place that shifted in a most complicated process the layers of the old world. In Russia, where two worlds, the East and the West, were united, the Spiritual and social revolutions met, the new cosmic world understanding and the old sociological world perception, the two paths of the creation of the New World and the New Man encountered each other.

The confrontation of the two different approaches to the problems of the New World and the New Man comprised the main dramatic collision of the 20th century in its philosophic and creative expression.

In 1900, before the very beginning of the 20th century, almost simultaneously, with a difference not even exceeding a month, two men passed away. One was the great Russian poet and philosopher Vladimir Soloviev, the other the famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The fact that they both simultaneously departed from this world was not incidental, but, rather, it contained a certain mystery, whose roots go down into the most complicated processes of cosmic evolution. Both of them, Soloviev and Nietzsche, stood at the heads of two opposite paths to the New World and personified these paths.

In Russian culture and its Spiritual Revolution, three most important conceptual methodological theses were formed, without which it was not possible to settle in reality the practical problem of the New World and the New Man as it was formed in the sphere of creative revelation, which we find in the Living Ethics:

1. The Higher other being’s impact on earthly life is much broader and much more significant than we imagine. This impact affects all spheres of human activity and, primarily, Culture. The whole internal world of man, which predetermines our external manifestations, is closely connected with other being, irrespective of whether the man is aware of it or not. Such a most important evolutionary phenomenon as Beauty takes the Higher Worlds and Higher Creativity as its source. Through Beauty, subtle energetics flow to the solid world, so true art as such is a powerful energetic field in evolutionary transformative processes.

2. New creativity or its premonition are important promoters toward the New World and the transformation of man. These premonitions are captured on artists’ canvases, they sound in music, they pour out in verses. One of such poems, “L’Envoi,” belongs to major poet of the 20th century Rudyard Kipling:

When Earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded, and the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and, faith we shall need it--lie down for an aeon or two,
'Til the Master of All Good Workmen shall set us to work anew!

And those that were good will be happy: they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comet's hair;
They shall find real saints to draw from--Magdalene, Peter and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame;
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!7

In this poem expressively and evocatively and, at the same time, philosophically deeply, the main issues of creative revelation are portrayed. And its final line, “draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!” contains the whole essence of the evolutionary change that is carried out by creative work and turns it into the creation of life. Art must turn from creative work, limited by canvases, paper, notes, into the art of cosmic life, the new life of transformed matter, matter of a higher dimension.

An artist, Vyacheslav Ivanov wrote, must not “lay his will on the surface of objects,” but is obliged “to see and annunciate the sacred will of essences. Just as a midwife facilitates the process of delivery, he must facilitate the revelation of beauty by objects; he is called to take off covers with sensitive fingers, to interfere with the birth of the word. He will refine his hearing and will hear “what objects say”; he will sharpen his vision and will learn to understand the essence of forms and to see the mind of phenomena. Tender and wise will become his creative touches. Clay under his fingers will form itself into the image it was waiting for, and words will turn into harmonies represented in the element of language. Only this openness of the spirit will make an artist a carrier of Divine revelation.”8

The turning of creative work as such into the artist’s spiritual path and “openness of spirit” requires a change of forms of the earthly creator’s interaction with other being, poses the problem of the synthesis of artistic and religious creation.

An artist in his interaction with other being passes through the process “ascent – descent.” The man ascends; the artist, who carries to the earth Beauty, a symbol of other being, descends. A saint does not have this kind of limitation. His ascent is endless. For there, he creates himself, and not art, and he carries it out in the world of real, and not symbolic, Beauty. The fact that real Beauty possesses higher energetics than symbolic Beauty is beyond doubt. The way to real Beauty is the way to higher energetics, carrying the potential for higher transformation. This is the essence of new creation and its evolutionary changes. Our differentiated world separates an artist from a saint, depriving the former of that “Divine revelation” that is the sphere of a saint or an ascetic. In the process of energetic synthesis, an artist can acquire creative revelation, and a saint, Divine creation. The creative work of one and the non-creation of the other merge, which results in qualitatively new creation.

An artist, Viacheslav Ivanov furthered his idea, “must stop creating apart from the relationship with the Divine, total unity, must raise himself to the possibility of this relationship’s creative realization.”9

Vladimir Soloviev asserted that it is possible to transform reality through an artistic act, to make it energetically higher, and the matter, less solid. To do so, the artist must penetrate beyond the mechanism of creative work that is known to us, “ascent – descent,” must leave that magic point where heaven and earth meet and where images-symbols appear, and going beyond this point, must find the way to new creation and become a co-creator of other being, its energetics, its creating powers, its Beauty. The Russian philosopher called this kind of creative collaboration theurgy.

Theurgy proceeds from the fact that the Higher, or Cosmos, or God – call it as you like – creates through man, through that Divine glimmer that the Creator has put into this man, due to which this man is capable of cosmic creation, just like his Creator, who has followed in his creative work the way of Beauty and is an Artist Himself. The plan of cosmic evolution is to implement the world into a grandiose artistic canvas, where everything will be created in accordance with the laws of Beauty.

On the way to the Fiery World, let us remember the great principle of beauty,”10 the Living Ethics’s Authors wrote.

Creative revelation must be emplaced in the basis of the New World’s new creation.

3. With its high energetics, Beauty transforms man into that new spiritual and creative personality that Vladimir Soloviev called “God-Man.” But transformation cannot happen immediately, it cannot take place if the man does not have the corresponding qualities and aspirations.

Through the experience of previous existences,” the Living Ethics says, “the quality that is called culture is accumulated. The true understanding of collaboration, the flamy qualities of thinking, the elevation of activity, the refinement of perceptions, the love for beauty, each of these qualities can only be formed through persistent striving. People must not think that instant illumination can immediately create the lofty nature of man. Illumination can open the treasury, but if it is empty, there will be no consequence.”11

Any transformation of man in the course of cosmic evolution is a complicated and long process, demanding much persistent internal labor directed toward the expansion of consciousness. Theurgic creation, or collaboration with the Higher, about which V. Soloviev spoke and wrote, is the true path toward the transformation of man, the spiritualization of his matter.

“Man,” the Russian philosopher E. Troubetskoy wrote in 1916, “cannot stay just man: he must rise above himself or fall into the abyss, grow either into a God or into a beast. At this historical moment, humanity is standing at a crossroads.”12

Either – or, a God-Man or a beast. At the very beginning of the 1st millennium CE, on the planet Earth, an event that was directly related to those evolutionary problems that mankind faced at the end of the 2nd millennium took place. In distant Palestine, the Great spiritual Teacher, together with his three disciples, Peter, James, and John, rose to Mount Tabor. What happened there is described in three Evangels – of St. Matthew, of Mark, and of Luke.

“And He was transfigured before them: and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.”13

The transfiguration of Christ carried in itself a very deep essence related to the most important manifestations of the cosmic evolution of mankind. It was a breakthrough into a different reality, the great significance of which until now has not yet been appreciated either by Christian theologians or by secular philosophy. Jesus Christ on Mount Tabor exhibited the possibility for transformation within the physical conditions of our solid world. The Great Teacher’s transfiguration with the help of Higher energy became the climactic point of that Spiritual Revolution that started in Palestine two thousand years ago.

Cosmic evolution moves along the paths of the human spirit. And live examples make one of the most important methods of its advancement. In our world the phenomena of evolution are always personified. Christ’s words “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (The Evangel of John, 14:6) were confirmed by the transfiguring of light on Mount Tabor. Without Christ’s transfiguration, the Spiritual Revolution of the 20th century, one of the main conceptual tenets of which became the teaching of the New World and the New Man, would not have been possible, either. The Tabor light lit humanity’s further way for the next two thousand years. And it is no wonder that in the period of the Spiritual Revolution’s beginning, the philosophers of the Silver Age started to comprehend more deeply and accurately the phenomenon of Christ, not the Christ of the church, but the one who is “the way and the truth.” “Even in a small measure, try to resemble Him,”14 the Living Ethics says. “Revelation about Christ,” Berdiayev wrote, “gives the key to the revelation of the secret of human self-awareness.”15

Christ was not only a Great spiritual Teacher, but the first God-Man as well. Through his example, God became man, so that man could become God. God-Man Jesus Christ, the Son of God and man, was that New Man whose essence was only comprehended in the course of the Russian Spiritual Revolution of the 20th century. Vladimir Soloviev was the first who, having rejected the positivistic European ideas of the human, started speaking about the God-Man, theurg, collaborator with Higher Powers, as a New, forthcoming man. The New Man, God-Man, theurg, superman, Arahat, Agni-Yogi, a man of the Sixth race, a man of a new energetic species. The names were different, but the essence was one. It was related to a man of expanded consciousness, who has reached through fiery transformation the heights of evolutionary ascent and has acquired the possibility to continue the creative work of a Higher other-world element.

“About the God-Man,” the Living Ethics says, “so much has been said in striving to deify. There are so many memorable notes mentioning images striving for higher worlds. But how dully they are represented in the minds of people! God-Man – just someone who has gone to other worlds! But We, Brothers of humanity, are searching for and establishing God-Man on the Earth. We honor all images, but especially that great image of God-Man who carries a full Cup in his heart, who is ready for the flight, but is carrying the whole Cup on the Earth. [ . . . ] God-Man is a fiery creator! God-Man is a carrier of the fiery sign of the New Race. God-Man is burning with all flames. So include in the records about the God-Man. Arahat, Agni-Yogi, Tara – let us record.”16

Among those who created the Spiritual Revolution, among its poets, philosophers, artists, musicians, there were already those who created the New Man, doing so, first of all, in themselves.

Having sacrificially passed through the earthly way, they left after themselves a very rich heritage, until now, unfortunately, not yet appreciated and comprehended according to its merits. I will not be mistaken if I mention among these the names of Vladimir Soloviev, Mikalojus Churlenis, Alexander Scriabin, and Nicholas Roerich and his wife Helena Roerich. These are the people who made the Russian Spiritual revolution possible.

Vladimir Soloviev, a poet and a philosopher of genius, embodied those very links with the Higher without which no New Man could be formed, no break through into the other reality of the New World could take place.

Mikalojus Churlenis, composer and artist, performed in his creative work the soar from symbolic Beauty to the real Beauty of the Superterraneous.

Alexander Scriabin, composer, philosopher, poet, tried to find real paths leading out into the space of universal human transformation.

Nicholas and Helena Roerich, having become collaborators with the Higher in earthly reality, brought us the philosophy of the Living Ethics, which assigns a dominating place to the forthcoming New Man and New World in the system of evolutionary processes. These two people formed a harmonious creative union having cosmic significance. One – a great, worldly celebrated painter and scientist, the other – an outstanding thinker, they combined in themselves evolutionary, spiritual, and artistic experience of most a rare and unique quality, without which many things would not have been possible in the 20th century. Helena Roerich, under the leadership of the Cosmic Hierarchs, underwent that fiery transformation without whose energetics the spiritual and subtle New Man would not be able to appear. She personified this transformation, having passed a tortuous and sacrificial pathway in the name of the future. The Collaborator with Cosmic Powers, she carried in herself a message of the approaching New World and the forthcoming transformation of man.

The words “I am the way, and the truth,” said by the Great Teacher almost two thousand years ago, led her along this difficult path.

Has that Way to which the Higher Cosmic Element summoned Christ two thousand years ago become the way of the majority? It can be definitely said that it has not. Two thousand years of worshipping Christ has not been enough for mankind to go from worshiping into action and to comprehend the evolutionary sense of such seemingly simple words: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”

Two thousand years was more than enough to realize the other, the second, alternative way, on which only human free will reigned. This way, due to certain historical conditions, appeared in the thought and writings of the West. It was embodied artistically in the collective image of the Superman Zarathustra, the main character of the philosophic work by F. Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

If the New Man of Vladimir Soloviev, called by him God-Man, a figure transformed, highly spiritual, moral, and refined, existed in the realm of Love and Beauty, and himself illuminated and created that Beauty, the New Man, or Superman of Nietzsche, a rebel, destructor, and atheist, recognized only force and created his new world through the effort of his own will. Zarathustra, unlike the God-Man does not know the true laws of human evolution, he is ignorant in the field of natural, original religiousness, and does not understand the evolutionary essence and goal of earthly creation. In the name of his kingdom, he has rejected Infinity, has killed the Higher element in himself, and, having done so, he has wished to become himself this Higher in the earthly kingdom, constructing the world proceeding from his own will and his own understanding. In other words, he has lusted for becoming the god, having not even become a transformed man in the true meaning of this word.

That will was drawing me away from God and the gods, and what would be left to create if the gods did exist?”17 he said.

This phrase requires special commentary, for it is related to the concept of creation. If in the phenomenon of the Spiritual Revolution, the New creation was considered as theugy, or collaboration with the Higher, Zarathustra held creation by man in opposition to creation by the Higher element. Instead of the principle of supplementing one creation by the other, he asserted their incompatibility. Either – or. Either the God, or me – man.

Zarathustra equally high-handedly trampled underfoot the Great Cosmic Law of the Harmony of Two Elements, the female and the male, having assigned to woman a subdued role, asserting her complete dependence on man’s will and wishes.

Vladimir Soloviev wrote about the transformation of man that can only take place through collaboration with the Higher worlds, Higher powers.

Nietzsche’s Zarathustra insisted on a different thing – “Man is something that must exceed.”18

The myth about a Superman, New Man that was formed not by spiritual and energetic transformation, but by the will of “the elite,” later took the primary place in the ideology of various totalitarian states, including of Russia.

The old vulgar-materialistic world outlook in its sociological implementation found its highest expression in Nietzsche’s Superman. It opposed the New thinking of the 20th century that was just being born, the cosmic world perception, and that New Man, theurg and God-Man, whose concept had already appeared and had been realized in the studies of Vladimir Soloviev and the Living Ethics books. Anti-evolutionary approaches to the main problems of the cosmic evolution of man, which we find in Zarathustra’s Superman, logically also led to the position of the negation of Christ. Zarathustra arrogantly and with contempt speaks about the Great Spiritual Teacher, denying him any significant role in the history of mankind. His, Zarathustra’s, Superman claims to be higher and more significant than Christ.

The Grand Inquisitor in F. Dostoyevsky’s famous legend also tried to bring Christ “to reason.” The writer with great far-sightedness predicted the negation of Christ at the beginning stage of the struggle for the New World. Christ interfered with both Zarathustra’s and the Grand Inquisitor’s plans for the same reason: both of them appropriated the right to despise, to judge, to deprive mankind of real internal freedom, and deal with it proceeding from their own understanding. The new “earthly kingdom” in the case of both Zarathustra and the Grand Inquisitor has the same essence: compulsion and violence over man, negation of his freedom, both internal and external, the right for which is appropriated by “the elect,” who take on the responsibility for the future of man. The “earthly kingdom” was the new world without Christ’s Transfiguration. There were many examples of such “earthly kingdoms” in the 20th century.

In 1889 Vladimir Soloviev published his “Short Story about Antichrist,”19 in which he philosophically and artistically analyzed the way “without Christ,” and revealed the moral reasons for the appearance of such phenomena. The story quite clearly describes the process of the departure of a man of high qualities and abilities from the “way of Christ” and his turning into Christ’s enemy. There are two ways encountered there: on the one hand, “in the name of my Father,” in the name of the Common Benefit, and on the other hand, “in the name of myself.” The “Story about Antichrist” was the response to Nietzsche’s book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, not a direct response, but a kind of response-reflection. The two ways toward the achievement of the New World and New Man – with Christ or without him, with the Higher or without it – that were outlined by Soloviev at the end of the 19th century formed the main line of the dramaturgy of “the eighth day of creation.”

The evocatively mythological definition “the eighth day of creation” appeared in Berdiayev’s writings in association with the seven days of creation: when the Creator’s work at creation was completed, evolution provided man with the opportunity to continue this process of creation.

The task of man and the world,” the Russian philosopher wrote, “is to create something unheard of, to supplement and enrich God’s creation. The process of the world cannot be just the elimination and redemption of sin, just the victory over evil. The process of the world is the eighth day of creation, continuing creation.”20

It was in the 20th century that problem of “the eighth day of creation” arose especially acutely, in all its richness, diversity, and contradictions. It would be a mistake to think that this “day” immediately and without any warning appeared in the lives of contemporary humanity. It was prepared for over many thousands of years, in the depths of the planet’s cultural and spiritual field, where cosmic energetics, forming the evolution of earthly matter and the human spirit, worked.

In the 20th century, certain events happened and processes started that consolidated the positions of “Zarathustra’s ways” and finally made him dominate most fields of human activities, including creative work. The achievements of philosophic thought and artistic creation at the beginning of the 20th century on the way leading to true transformation were either diminished or eliminated by those powers that represented the old world perception and antievolutionary approaches towards earthly life. The social revolution in Russia crushed the Spiritual Revolution, having forced its proponents to either leave the country or to escape for many years into the catacombs of internal opposition. True art, the art that carried the energetics of other world beauty, suffered enormous losses. And that happened not only in totalitarian Russia, where culture as such was turned into a state ideology, but also the in democratic countries of the West, where the strong and total influence of the spiritless and atheistic technological civilization was sensed. The mechanistic rhythms of this civilization, its neglect of spiritual values, created most favorable conditions for the expansion of the realm of chaos. Its dark waves, which broke through due to various crisis phenomena, killed in man the feeling of beauty, aroused in him base instincts, and opened the way for the penetration of the emanations of the lower layers of the Subtle World into his internal world.

The rapidly developing technology, creating the illusion of man’s power, more and more pushed away from him those values that nourished his spirit and expanded his consciousness. So-called scientific and technical progress got ahead of human consciousness, and that is why, with each achievement, this “progress” was getting more and more dangerous.

Technical means, falling into the hands of immoral, cruel, and ignorant people, created a real threat for the life of man. In the 20th century, for the first time in history, powerful weapons of mass destruction and annihilation appeared, which without delay were tested on various battlefields, all the time appearing in various points on the planet. In peaceful cities explosions and shots thundered (and still thunder!), carrying away thousands of victims. Terrorism became an international phenomenon.

Under the influence of the technological civilization, art started to change not only in its styles and forms, but in its very essence, too, losing the evolutionary character that was characteristic of it. Pseudo-art, which came to substitute for true art, aggressively usurped the realm of Culture, inculcating in it anti-aesthetic images and ideals.

No preceding century of human history extolled sincere ugliness on such a high public pedestal as did the twentieth century. On “the eighth day of creation,” ugliness turned into an aesthetic ideal that to a great extent unplugged the field of world Culture from its source, having deprived it of Beauty. Zarathustra’s followers, if it can be put this way, having arrogantly rejected the Higher, became hostages of the lower.

At the end of the century, in London, a beautifully printed album titled Masterpieces of Art of the 20th Century was published. The introduction to it reads: “If you want to understand what kind of century we are leaving behind, see attentively the pages of the album Masterpieces of Art of the 20th Century.”21 The album gives an honest answer to this question. The “masterpieces” that are presented in it testify that most artists did not follow the way outlined for them by evolution. They did not become continuers of Higher Creation.

The “eighth day” artists reacted to the idea of evolution by creating the New World as a grandiose artistic piece and promoting Beauty to the highest rank of earthly being with absurd installations, so-called performance art, and various ready-mades. As a medium, the authors of these “masterpieces,” without any embarrassment, used cans, parts from mechanical constructions, pieces of various objects, and many other similar things. The crown of this art was a surrealistic toilet bowl, which was three times stolen from its gallery as a priceless artistic treasure!

Subjects exciting spectators’ base feelings appeared on the artists’ canvases. Modern pop music, destroying the psychic structure of man, arouses aggression in huge, crowded halls. Man had exceeded man, in the words of that same Zarathustra.

The absence of links with the Higher gave birth to immoral science, in which the scientist feels himself to be a god-creator. Medicine and genetic engineering forcefully intrude on the energetics of man. Cloning, the transplantation of organs, heart transplantation, sex changes, and even the attempts to create artificially a live organism – in the course of time, all this will result in such calamities that the new “gods” cannot even imagine.

The creation of created entities,” N. Berdiayev wrote, “can be directed at the growth of the creative energy of being, at the growth of entities and their harmony in the world, at the creation by them of unseen values, unseen ascent toward truth, good, and beauty, in essence, toward the creation of the cosmos and cosmic life, toward the plerome, toward the completeness of the superworld.”22

The deviation from this path, the philosopher asserts, “leads to the creation of automatic, mechanistic dead being. This is the creation of a fallen angel.”23

The creation of a fallen angel” determined the dominating trend of “the eighth day” creations in many spheres of human creative work. The consequence of this was a monstrous lack of spirit, accompanied by a general growth of crime. Unexpectedly, trade in people developed; slavery, which seemed to have disappeared and have been forgotten long ago, appeared again. Children started to be kidnapped and used not only for the most filthy purposes, but also to sell their internals for various transplantations. The number of murders and the most sophisticated violence over women grew thousands of times in comparison with during previous periods of our history. Maniacs and cannibals stroll freely where they please, mothers throw their newly born children to scrap-heaps, sadists easily do their abominable work, people are tortured and killed in state law-enforcement institutions. Against this background, robberies and stealing have turned into innocent play.

The process of the dehumanization of man himself, ripped apart from the Higher and having thrown off the burden of traditional moral norms, began. “The eighth day of creation” turned into a “day” of aesthetic and moral destruction.

For that “New Man” and “New World,” which were created by the totalitarian state following Zarathustra’s and the Grand Inquisitor’s principles, Russia paid with the uncontrolled growth of crime and a monstrous lack of spirit. The blood of millions of people killed in the process of the creation of the “bright future” lay on the country as an indestructible brand of monstrous state crime. And the West pays the same price for its “superman.” Its energy, in the absence of awareness of the Higher, turned out to be directed at the lowest, in which crimes took hold of a vast niche.

But do not let the conclusion from all the above said seem paradoxical. The way of Zarathustra, the Grand Inquisitor, the fallen angel, indeed suffered complete defeat on “the eighth day of creation.” In due time, the planet Earth was shown the way of Christ, the way to Transfiguration and the New Man. But man left this way and turned into a beast; his creation of today destroys souls, kills the planet, condemning it to a slow death. The muddy waves of chaos are raging in ourselves and around us. But dialectics testifies: a negative example is also an example. Negative experience is also experience. The Cosmos is based on antitheses. It means that one should learn to perceive both. And not only to perceive, but to comprehend and to see through the covers of the solid differentiated world the only way to the New World and the transformed man about which the Great Spiritual Teacher said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” For that, he was deprived of his life. But His Way and Truth stayed with us. With us is also the experience of the Russian Spiritual Revolution, its philosophy, its approaches towards the solution of most important questions, scientific achievements. The Living Ethics ideas, overcoming the resistance of the old, are irrevocably entering our life. New Beauty arises on the canvases of true artists and, having left its symbolic essence, acquires real, higher essence, carrying in itself high-vibration energetic potential.

“People are surprised,” the Living Ethics says, “at the existence of a Higher World. They do not want to admit its influence on the events of earthly life. Events are accelerated. Whirlwinds of events do not let mankind come to its senses. Man imagines himself as the creator of the New World. Modern leaders believe that they are building a New World, but it does not occur to anyone that their new world is just a shadow of the old one. The New World travels along new ways.”24

The country’s rulers of today again build, as they believe, New Russia. But they have no idea about what was said by the Great Teachers decades before. They are drawn now to a distant past, then to the West, where they are attracted and charmed by the alien way, alien material wealth, alien shows, alien words, and where the phantom of Zarathustra with his idea of the Superman and creation in defiance of the Higher is looming. They are not well aware of the fact that each people has its own national character, its specific features, traditions, cultural and spiritual achievements. One can build neither the New World, nor a new country without taking all of this into account, for all the above said forms not only the historical basis of the nation, but also its evolutionary way. Those who are in power until now have not paid attention to the treasures of Russian culture, which contains all that is necessary for the advancement to the New World, to the New Man. No other country has done so much for the understanding of this way and for the comprehension of the particular features of cosmic evolution as has Russia. Mankind, on the way to the New World, to the Transformation, must go through a thick curtain of the most severe crisis phenomena, must break through the complicated and hard struggle of opposing forces. And not everyone can manage this, and not for everyone are the true New World and true Transformation destined.

On “the eighth day of creation,” man must create himself, his life and his world. But he will be able to do it only having become aware of the role of the Higher and of Beauty in the creation of earthly being in that meaning in which they are comprehended in the philosophy of cosmic reality, or the Living Ethics.

New Beauty, arising in the realm of the continuing Spiritual Revolution, is a condition for the further progress of mankind, its upsurge, its rise from the abyss of crises and overcoming of chaos, its advancement to the place where the Tabor Light of Transformation shines.

“The prime of a country,” the Living Ethics says, “is always created with cosmic impacts. A collective of directed thoughts attracts from space the necessary stratifications of manifest premises. The clichйs of great discoveries are flying in space. Those who can strain their psychic energy in accordance with the rhythm of the cosmic energies will accept the treasure into their consciousness. The expansion of consciousness will direct the way to the chain unifying all creative powers of the Cosmos.”25

Conclusion

The Roerichs’ whole heritage – scientific, philosophic, artistic, literary – is penetrated by the Living Ethics ideas, which is why their heritage is so unique and attractive, and, obviously, for the same reason, it gives rise to the most contradictory opinions and assessments. Our contemporaries, whose mentality is still dominated by understandings that were formed by a sociological world perception and consolidated by a primitively understood paradigm of materialism, perceive these ideas far from immediately and not easily. But, anyway, the Living Ethics, which appeared in the spiritual and cultural field of the planet Earth in the 1920s, quite yields to scientific analysis, which includes the determination of its gnoseological roots, methodology, and that cosmic world perception that it contains in its texts, in its main postulates, and, at last, in its system of cognition. The question arises, why specifically the Roerichs, Nicholas and Helena, became involved in the creation of this philosophic system. To our mind, it happened because they were both highly spiritual people, one – a great artist and outstanding scientist, the other – a bright musician and unique thinker. It so happened that their creative work contained those abilities and skills that formed the main trends of the gnoseology of the Living Ethics itself. Beauty, thought, art, science – all this merged in harmonious synthesis, in the unified creation of these two people who ideally supplemented each other. They both possessed that expanded consciousness that gave them the opportunity to deeply penetrate into the most complicated processes of cosmic evolution and use the method of evidence when coming into contact with a real spiritual source. The high spirituality of both of the Roerichs allowed them to convey the information that they received from this source in undistorted and untwisted form. Cosmic evolution somewhat completed through the Living Ethics a most important step in the process of the formation of the new thinking and thus put a landmark of the century in the development of the Spiritual Revolution in Russia. The Roerichs’ deed was not only the fact that they conveyed to us the Living Ethics texts and ideas, but that they also revealed to us an amazing world of cosmic sensations and emotions, the world of new Beauty and new evolutionary possibilities, the world not of fantasies and illusions, but of truth and Reality.

We should once again note the most important features of the Living Ethics as a philosophy of cosmic reality.

1. The Living Ethics is a universal, open system of philosophy in which methods of cognition, both scientific and extra-scientific, have synthetically merged into a single new system of cognition. It uses in equal degree the findings of empiric, speculative, artistic, and religious thought and intuitive insights that have been confirmed by scientific discoveries, such as relativity, quantum theory, and others. “The future world, the higher world,” Helena Roerich wrote, “is coming in the armor of laboratory rays. It is laboratories that will point to the advantage of higher energy and will not only establish the superiority of human psychic energy over all previously known energies, but an obvious difference in its quality will be shown, and, thus, the significance of spirituality will be established in full.”26

2. Spirituality determines the main qualities of the Living Ethics system of cognition. Spiritual findings are included in it together with scientific discoveries, breaking the way for the spiritualization of science.

3. The synthetic merging of the spiritual and material, the visible and invisible, ancient knowledge and contemporary, Oriental thought and Western in this system of cognition allows the expansion of the system’s possibilities to the cosmic scales of Higher reality.

4. The Living Ethics’s Authors call it “The Teaching of Knowledge,”27 open to everybody, and not only to selected persons.

5. The Living Ethics has also other features distinguishing it as a system of cognition from traditional systems of all types. The presentation of material in it is not quite usual. The thoughts contained in the books are presented in a spiral, corresponding thus to the movement of cosmic evolution itself and, consequently, giving birth to special energetics that are formed in the process of interaction with the reader. “The spiral structure,” the Living Ethics says, “is laid in all currents; the same spiral structure should be seen in all being. Let us take the example of the Teaching’s cognition. If someone tried the Teaching once, he will not get any use from such reading. Only in reading it over and over again can one notice its spiral structure. The Teaching as if goes back to the same subjects and almost touches them. But the current spiral goes higher and carries a new grain of consciousness. Fiery consciousness establishes indelible cognition.”28

6. Thus, the structure of the system of cognition itself contributes to the expansion of consciousness, which, in its turn, determines the comprehension of the knowledge that is contained in it, knowledge whose new, and at times unexpected, aspects are revealed in the course of its acquisition. “The Teaching of life,” the Living Ethics’s Authors state, “is assessed by the pearl of consciousness.”29 And since it is so, in the course of the growth of consciousness, new discoveries, new thoughts, new constructions appear. And this process is endless.

7. The inclusion of information obtained by way of intuitive illuminations in the usual circle of knowledge determines its prophetic, or foreshadowing, character. This scientific information is still to be deciphered, and many discoveries are to be extracted from it.

8. The Living Ethics does not limit its system of cognition to only general scientific and philosophic issues. It includes, which is especially important, the problems of the social being of man, stretching quite visible threads between the Great Laws of the Cosmos and the laws of humanity’s historical development. It is the Living Ethics that gives us that methodology on whose basis it will be possible to reveal the true laws of the development of human society. These laws will concern not only earthly existence, but also cosmic, not only material, but spiritual, as well. We already find a number of such laws in the Living Ethics itself – the law of the Common Benefit, the law of collaboration, the law of community, and a number of other laws, equally important for us.

9. The new system of cognition was formed on the basis not only of scientific information, but of extra-scientific as well, which differentiates it from traditional scientific systems, which were only built on the foundations of empiric science. It can be generally considered that the Living Ethics is not only a new type of philosophy, but also a new type of a system of cognition. The main question of modern philosophy that is related to the primary or secondary character of each spirit and matter is absent in it. The two are shown to be an integral phenomenon. Thus, the contradiction between materialistic and idealistic philosophy is removed.

10. One can hardly doubt that the Living Ethics is a new, synthetic system of cognition that has absorbed the realities of the Cosmos and that differs from traditional systems of cognition. The name of the philosophy itself, the Living Ethics, connects the earthly and the heavenly, man and the Cosmos. In it, we find a new approach to the study of the Universe, its new model. The Living Ethics can be defined as a philosophy of cosmic reality, in which are included a system of cognition and practice of action.

Of course, the appearance of such a system as the Living Ethics in the arsenal of modern philosophic thought gave birth to many contradictions and confused definitions related to it. The Living Ethics destroyed traditional understandings of both methodology and the system of cognition itself. A considerable quantity of philosophers who in some or another degree came to contact with the Living Ethics and did not find in it recognizable elements found themselves in a difficult situation. The “way out” of this situation was found in the attempt to judge the Living Ethics from positions of out-of-date understandings and in striving to find salutary labels for the determination of its place in the cultural realm. But both of these not only did not clarify the situation, but they also made it completely obscure. After the collapse of the USSR’s official ideology, materialists and “idealists” (which got access to publications and speeches), hasty adherents to the Orthodox religion and diehard atheists, followers of various spiritual trends of the West and persons involved in the spiritual practice of the East, rationalists and esoterists met in the complicated domain of Russian philosophy. Against this background a heated struggle among views, theories, and concepts unfolded. Problems of scientific and extra-scientific knowledge, rationalism (which did not recognize anything except limitedly understood matter), and esotery (behind which the most ancient tradition of human knowledge stood) were posed very acutely.

When considering the place of the Living Ethics in modern philosophy, another important circumstance should be noted. This philosophic system seems to be kind of “beyond”: beyond confessions, beyond traditional esotericism, and, finally, beyond official philosophy, which is for some reason called scientific, unlike its world outlook, which is not accepted by the majority, while its “non-scientific” character has not been properly proved by anyone. All the spiritual experience of relationships with the Higher, represented in the Living Ethics, is “beyond confessions,” which determines the negative attitude of the church, claiming for monopoly in this respect. Being “beyond esotery” also remains urgent for the Living Ethics, despite the fact that some philosophers are persistently trying to embed it into esoteric space. Such an attempt is extremely fruitless, for the Living Ethics, unlike esotery, is an open system. At the same time, it is beyond doubt that the Living Ethics’s creators did use the world’s esoteric experience, including religious experience, as far as it preserved significance for the concept of cosmic evolution. At the same time, as a philosophy of a broader scope, covering not only esoteric experience, but also, for example, social set-ups, and a number of other, quite open problems, the Living Ethics by no means can be equated to traditional esotery. Its inclusion among this type of trend testifies to the existence of old, already out-of-date stereotypes in modern philosophic thinking.

The non-acceptance of the Living Ethics by traditional, so-called scientific philosophy, is explained first of all by the fact that something new is not immediately perceived, but is often negated, and the tradition of the old thinking interferes with the introduction of this new one into scientific use.

At that, it should also be taken into consideration that the Living Ethics texts are presented in a non-traditional philosophic form, to which those who studied philosophy in the period of the “eternally alive teaching” were certainly not accustomed. And the method of its creation itself, called evidence, does not only repel many people from the new philosophic system, but also makes its understanding extremely difficult. To overcome all this, a long time, tireless creative work, and the consistent expansion of consciousness of the more educated part of society are required.

But if the Living Ethics is beyond all the fields of cognition that are enumerated above, this does not mean that it turned out to be in a vacuum, or is recognized only by dilettantes and people unknowledgeable in the scientific respect. It relies on the solid foundation of the new thinking that is being formed, the new scientific paradigm, the new cosmic world perception. This cosmic world perception is based on achievements of the scientific thought of great scientists, on findings of the Russian philosophy of the Silver Age, and, finally, on the philosophic structures of the Living Ethics itself, which has arranged all these accumulations into a system, and has given the cosmic world understanding that methodology with whose help the new system of cognition was formed.

Everything in the world is flowing and changing. What stands in one place is destroyed. What moves and ascends changes the world. The period in which we are now living is a time of great changes, the time forging our future. And what it will be like depends in all respects only on man himself, on the level of his consciousness and his ability to comprehend what is happening. An attempt to “pour new wine into old wineskins” is doomed to failure.

And that is why the place of the Living Ethics in the domain of modern philosophic thought is special. It cannot be adjusted to the old traditional measures and laid on the Procrustean bed of out-of-date understandings. For the Living Ethics philosophy signifies a new thinking, new philosophy, new system of cognition. Its unprejudiced introduction into scientific use will help to eliminate those crisis contradictions that formed between traditional philosophic thought and the latest discoveries and findings of modern science. It has already been noticed that the Living Ethics philosophy, in widely covering all energetic phenomena of the Cosmos, with more success and more scientifically than the old philosophic systems can explain the ontological essence of the developing evolutionary processes.

The Living Ethics and its new system of cognition give us the possibility to reconsider the most important evolutionary and creative processes on our planet, and deeper and more variedly to determine their causal essence. Today’s freedom of thought, which is an undoubted achievement of the Spiritual Revolution, requires its informational space, its ethical foundations. And the bases for all this have already been elaborated by the cosmic thinking of the 20th century, which has been formed and is developing again right now in Russia. How we can use the achievements of the Living Ethics, to what extent we can expand our consciousness on its basis, completely depends on ourselves. Of course, this process is quite lengthy and complicated, and involves a number of expected and unexpected difficulties. And its relative completion is not the achievement of another “bright future,” but just another step in the infinity of our spiritual and cultural development.


1 V. Vernadsky.Speculations of a Naturalist: Scientific Thought as a Planetary Phenomenon. Мoscow, 1977. Book 2. 111.

2 Fiery World. III, 60.

3 FieryWorld. III, 350.

4 N. Berdiayev.Philosophy of Creation, Culture, and Art. v. 2. 414.

5 Fiery World. I, 157.

N. Berdiayev.Philosophy of Creation, Culture, and Art. v. 2. 418.

7 R. Kipling. “L'Envoi.” Мoscow, 1999. 266.

8 V. Ivanov.The Native and the Universal. Мoscow, 1994. 144.

9 V. Ivanov.The Native and the Universal. Мoscow, 1994. 160.

10 Fiery World. III, 183.

11 Brotherhood. II. The Superterraneous. 590.

12 The Philosophy of Russian Religious Art: 16th-20th Centuries. Мoscow, 1993. ed. 1. 217.

13 The Evangel of St. Matthew. 17:2.

14 The Leaves of Morya’s Garden. The Call. 25 July 1922.

15 N. Berdiayev.Philosophy of Creation, Culture, and Art. v. 1. 81.

16 Hierarchy. 14.

17 F. Nietzsche.Thus Spoke Zarathustra. St. Petersburg, 1996. 83.

18 ibid., 13.

19 V. Soloviev. Three Conversations about War, Progress, and the End of the World History, with the Inclusion of a Short Story about Antichrist, and with Applications.

20 N. Berdiayev.Philosophy of Creation, Culture, and Art. v. 1. 146.

21 Masterpieces of the Art of the 20th Century. Мoscow, 1997.

22 N. Berdiayev.Philosophy of Creation, Culture, and Art. v. 1. 149.

23 ibid., 149–150.

24 Brotherhood. 389.

25 Infinity. 25.

26 The Letters of Helena Roerich. v. 2. 219.

27 Agni Yoga. 304.

28 Fiery World. II, 360.

29 Community. Riga. 130.


 

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