Contemporary knowledge about God, Evolution, and the meaning of human life.
Methodology of spiritual development.
How God Can Be Cognized/Incipience of a Spiritual School
Incipience of a Spiritual School
Once being in Moscow, I visited for the first time the Tretyakov Gallery. The picture Christ in the Desert had a special impression on me. On it artist I.N.Kramskoy portrayed Jesus deciding, despite the threat of the Calvary, to go to save people by preaching to them about the Heavenly Father and about the Path to Him — the Path of Love.
I stood before this picture-icon for a long time making the same decision. And asked God to help me in this. I felt that my prayer was accepted.
But how to realize this in the conditions of total spying, in a country governed by a criminal atheistic gang — this I could not imagine.
After coming back home I felt the urge to describe the methods of spiritual work based on the techniques that I had developed: exercises of relaxation, of dynamic meditation, for the development of chakras and meridians, for the refinement of the consciousness, and of course conversations on ethics.
When I finished it, God told me:
“Dress yourself and let’s go walking! I’ll guide!”
I dressed and went outdoors. He led me through to a blind people’s home.
“Do you want,” He asked, “to help these people?”
And in a few days, “all of a sudden”, I became acquainted with an instructor of a circle in a blind’s house of culture. He helped me to get employed there as an instructor of autogenic training.
In this way a broad approbation of the new methods started. I gave lectures on ethics, practical psychology, taught the methods of psychical self-regulation. A lot of people attended these studies — the blind, their sighted friends, and those who came to know about them.
The word chakras was forbidden for publications at that time in the USSR. The official position of politicians, who were in control of the science then, consisted in the statement that “the existence of chakras is not confirmed by science”.
But I managed to find for the first time in the USSR the correct and at the same time “scientific-like” words suitable for legalizing the problem of work with the chakras. I denoted the chakras as reflexogenic zones of the emotional-volitional system.
Indeed, only by moving the concentration of the consciousness in one or another of these reflexogenic zones, can we achieve stable psychical states which can be reproduced by all successful students!
This is why it is work with the chakras that gives the most striking transformation of a person at the initial stages of mastering the psychical self-regulation.
In our work, the anahata chakra was always considered as the most important one. This chakra is the initial “dwelling” of the spiritual heart, the structure known in ancient times to Orthodox mystics Hesychasts as well as to adherents of other religious trends.
These exercises develop the capability for cordial emotional love. On our courses people “unfroze”, cried of joy, learned subtle emotions!
After several years we published excerpts from responses of our students. It was the book Complex System of Psychical Self-regulation, which is available in main scientific and medical libraries. But one should read it paying no attention to “camouflaging” turns of speech which we had to use to make this material publishable in those years. Let me cite some of the statements of these students:
“During five months of taking the course I was observing how my mood was changing: the state close to neurasthenia changed to a joyful attitude to life, to pleasure of communicating with other people; my capacity for work has increased significantly… Irritability and languor have gone away as well as painful reaction to variations of the air temperature and barometric pressure that distressed me so much. I relate this success solely to the exceptional effectiveness of the course of psychic self-regulation.”
“It is a big change for me from the point of view of ethics and morals. My attitude to the outer world and people has changed significantly. I understood that we only can truly be happy when we dedicate our lives to the entire society rather than only to ourselves!”
“Who was I before taking the course? A 34 years old egoist, who could justify any of his own weaknesses and could forgive himself for any unethical (putting it mildly) deed. The “conditions” provoked me to drink wine weekly (or even more often), though I was sure that I could stop drinking at any moment (yet this continued for 15 years). It was the same with smoking. Moreover, very often I could not (and did not want to) stop my outbursts of anger, boorishness; I could humiliate others and intentionally inflict pain. Subduing other people for the sake of satisfying my whims became a natural thing in my life justified by my philosophy. A little more — and there would be no way back for me…
“I am happy to say that all this and many other things have been changed and corrected. I got the possibility to reappraise this and, having been terrified, began to work on transforming myself. I see no other way for myself and hope to use the strength gained from this work for helping other people! Most of them live now as I lived before…
“I can only wonder at the fact that so much good, right knowledge was used askew by me because of the absence of the foundation in me.
“I do not want to say that the other students were also monsters like me, but if I was able to change, then the course was helpful to the others all the more…”
“My old ailments were osteochondrosis, intercostal neuralgia, tracheitis, laryngitis, gastritis, and some other troubles. Gradually they all went away; I got an appetite; presently there is no pain anymore; I have become more cheerful and active at work. Over these last months I have been in a good mood…
“This course brings love, good, generosity, unselfishness, honesty, scrupulosity, endurance, and many other positive qualities essential to every human.”
“… After a lot of emotional troubles I broke down. I did not want to see people; I only wanted to withdraw and keep silent. Often I did not even want to stay at home, so I ran away to somewhere else…
“Now I have overcome this problem. I am not ill anymore. During the course I watched myself and felt that with every day of doing the exercises I became more confident and strong… I am so glad that I have become a human again! I see life in a different light now. I want to live!”
“… The main thing — a sunny, joyful, youthful experience of life has come to me!… If I had been told about this a year ago, I would not have believed it.”
“I came to the course for my health’s sake — and have gained it indeed: I got rid of a stomach ulcer and hypertension. But we were taught more important things as well. We learned how to get rid of physical fatigue and stress, were given the methods of physical, mental, and spiritual training; we learned how to find ethically correct decisions in conflict situations. We were taught to love nature, to see harmony and beauty in it, to preserve it. This made my life much richer. We mastered the important skill of coming to an understanding with other people. We were taught the art of communicating with others — an indispensable part of the spiritual culture of a person. Life became more joyful, more harmonious, and filled with love and beauty!”
“I am 22 now. At 19 I neither saw the purpose of life nor was interested in it. I forgot what it meant to be joyful. I felt only cold and pain in the soul. In childhood the spring awakening would fill me with joy, but in later age it could only emphasize the gloomy darkness of my inner world. I felt disharmony with life; I saw no meaning in it; I saw no light any more…
“Now I feel that I am born again! I have come to a new path, the only correct one. I once again gained the light and the joy of life! I am once again able to see the beauty of the world, nature, art! Now I know that I have to share the highest knowledge with other people, to serve people, to try to change this world for the better — only by doing this can one achieve the highest happiness and the highest harmony with the outer world! One has not to take from people but to give! And now I have that which I can give to everyone!”
“The awful feeling of depressing loneliness has gone away… The feeling of wonderful happiness has come!”
“I was diagnosed with ischemic heart disease, atherosclerotic cardiosclerosis, stenocardia. In addition to it: spondylosis, lobe density, frequent bronchitis, chronic pharyngitis, otitis etc. Also: chronic insomnia, hypertension. I constantly took erinit and other medications for heart pain and for edema of the face and legs. I also had chronic renal insufficiency. I breathed mainly through the mouth due to chronic nasopharyngeal diseases. I had also memory impairment. My mood was bad most of the time.
“After the course: insomnia went away after the first classes; I became stably calm, even, restrained; there is no high blood pressure even with physical activity; to be honest, sometimes I got out of breath when going upstairs to the fifth floor; headaches, vasospasms, and edema of the legs went away. At the beginning of the course pains in the heart remained for some time, but now I have felt no pain in the heart for more than one month. I take no medicine: there is no need for it now…”
“My state half a year ago: bronchial asthma (5 years), frequent asthmatic attacks, short breath; I was depressed, short-tempered, unsociable. I lived on medicine and “ambulance”… Due to this — I had a difficult family situation and bad relationships with my husband; children annoyed me…
“Now there are no problems with breathing. I sleep without a pillow (before I could sleep only in a sitting position). I want to live! I want to take care of the children y seek creative activity. The children now feel much more at ease at home… I like to be with people, feel good with them. Thank you very much!”
“After the course I am in wonderful spirits as if the soul and heart are purified. I feel love for everything around me, and this is so wonderful!…”
“Since I was 15 years old I suffered from severe pains in the head, which sometime drove me to vomit; the fits lasted for several days… During the last months after the course I feel good…”
“Before the course my state was awful: I was exhausted by the unbearable pain in the spine, despair, asphyxia… Now — I am revived!”
“The life in the communal flat became very quiet. In the past, the neighbors irritated me a lot. Sometime I hated them only for the mere fact that I had to see them every day.”
“My body, which in the past was very ill and almost disabled, has lost 28 kg by now; it has become lively, mobile, lissome, agile! There has been no serious sickness during the last year! In the past, I was sick 3-6 months annually! All ominous symptoms, that frightened my physicians who predicted me going blind and having paralysis in the near future, have gone away now…”
“The course has given me such an intense joy of communicating with nature and people that my only desire is to share it with other people in order to help them with realizing their dreams about harmonious and happy living!”
“The world around me has changed for the better, and now it is so wonderful to live in this world; there are so many good, kind people around; and I want to give them warmth and joy!”
“We think that such a course should be taken by everyone!”
“Now I know: the meaning of our lives consists in serving people, in doing good for them, in dedicating one’s own life to this! It makes sense to develop oneself only for this purpose!”
There were hundreds of testimonies like this. But one should take into account that the students did not write about their religious motives: one could not write about this in those years.
* * *
… I managed to give several courses in this house of culture until two incidents took place almost at the same time.
First, a son of a drunkard took our course and then told his father that he was not going to drink with him anymore. The father became indignant about this and complained to the direction of the house of culture and to the district committee of the Communist Party that I “destroyed families”.
Second, as always I tried to heal all the sick people I met. For example, I decided to wash the eyes of a blind student using energy flows. He could not even distinguish between light and darkness, but after the first session he exclaimed:
“Oh, I can see! This is a window!”
I did the same to another blind student, a friend of the first one, and he immediately saw my face for the first time.
But… the first one began to hate me for reminding him… how good it was to be sighted. It became senseless to continue the healing séances for him.
The second one decided that my face was too attractive for women and started hating me out of envy… They teamed up and wrote a complaint to the director that I distributed religious literature.
I was dismissed.
* * *
… Yet the foundation of the work had been laid: I became confident in my abilities and in the value of the methods, and the methods themselves had become famous.
I was promptly invited to another house of culture.
There were more and more students.
Special exercises allowed atheists to experience themselves as souls, as lumps of consciousness. This fact prompted them to search for the religious truths.
All students successfully advancing during the course received also direct baptism of the Holy Spirit through the meditation called Pranava.
Galina Vaver developed an esthetical program that supplemented and consolidated mine. It included classes on music, dance, painting, ikebana, studying the principles of esthetics of creating so-called landscape gardens and parks, and meditations for refinement of the consciousness. Thus the second course was formed.
Let me give you some meditations from it, which were intended for further development of the consciousness as a spiritual heart and establishing it in subtle states:
Let’s feel the Earth below our feet — as a living organism.
The huge mass of the Earth, and we are on its surface.
The Earth — carrying on itself so many units of life!
Let’s submerge into the depth of its body, feel the pulsation, the rhythm of the Earth!
Become resonant with this rhythm!…
It fills the whole body, reverberates in each particle of the consciousness!
Together with the light of the Sun it nourishes with the energy of life all plants growing on the Earth’s surface!
Let’s experience the world of plants.
Let’s expand over the fields and meadows permeating into the life of grass and flowers!…
Feel the melody of the waving of the wind…
Feel the green crowns of trees…
Hear the twittering of birds…
Look at the forests, fields, rivers and lakes, the rising sun…
… Let’s fly to the mountains.
Contemplate the mountainsides, rocky ledges, piled stones.
Penetrate into the character of mountains, experience their steadfastness, firmness, steadiness.
Each mountain has its own character and its own song.
It is possible to hear it if one flies on the top — and then submerge into the center of the mountain.
The mountain sings from within when it is warmed by the sun, fanned by the wind.
Each mountain has its own song.
Let’s fly from one mountain to another, see their tops aimed up — to the subtle harmony of the heaven!
Let’s see the endless sand of the desert and experience ourselves in all its grains...
Let’s feel warm, velvet moss and sink in its soft carpet…
Let’s become the waving steppe grass…
Let’s turn into trees and rustle with green leafage…
Let’s experience ourselves as a young birch…
Let’s turn into a branchy maple…,
into a tall pine tree filled with evening light…,
into a big, flat, covered with green moss stone under a tall birch…
Let’s feel relaxation, calm, coolness…
The stone lied down to take a rest under a tree.
Nearby — a little stone, “a child”. Feel it.
In it there is reserved energy, spryness, and curiosity.
The little stone is firmly connected with the large one: they are family.
In full harmony the large stone teaches the small one about life…
Let’s fly to a seaside.
In shallow water there are a lot of stones.
Smooth, with sleek backs they are basking in the sun…
Soft lap of waves, calls of gulls, and voices of stones talking to each other…
We are on the seaside.
Slightly waving surface of the sea…
Through clear water one can see smooth stones, delicate seaweeds soaring in the volume of water…
Let’s submerge into the pleasant coolness, feel its soft touch to the skin…
Let’s dissolve in the water, experience ourselves in every bit of the sea…
… Light wind is blowing, it is slightly touching the surface…
Feel its tenderness…
We like the wind and want to become like it!…
We slip out of the water and become a wind!…
Rise to the heights of the sky, experience the expanse!…
Dissolve in the blue sky!…
… The wind blows flocks of white clouds on the sky…
We approach a cloud — and become it!…
We shine with our joyful whiteness!…
Approach a group of other clouds and join their united dance-flight!…
Spring. The snow has almost melted away. The fragrant ground has appeared.
We are in the forest listening to the merry sounding of a brook.
It blends with the songs of birds — into a single spring symphony!…
Everything has awakened in the forest!
From the unfrozen ground the first blades of grass appear.
Buds are swelling…
Let’s inhale the fragrance of the spring morning forest!
Let’s experience the subtlest emotions in the smells, sounds, colors of spring!
Let’s get imbued with the spring freshness!
… Let’s move to summer.
A summer morning; the sun is warming.
We are on a meadow full of flowers.
Butterflies are flying one after another, bumblebees are humming, bees are collecting nectar in the flowers…
Flowers and grass are drinking the sunlight.
The air above the meadow is permeated with summer languor…
Let’s breathe in — and fill ourselves with the fragrance of the sweet-scented grass!
Let’s flood as this scent over the meadow and get imbued with summer!…
… Autumn has come.
The trees in the forest are dressed in festive attires.
The forest scents have become more pungent; they allure and excite those who like to gather mushrooms…
Autumn is rich and generous!
Enjoy the play of the colors of leaves!…
In the light of the setting sun and in the cries of migrating birds we can hear the autumn melody…
The forest colored by the bright sunset bewitches and immerses us into contemplation…
Tenderness and purity of the white decoration gold-tinted by sun gives us subtle joy.
Spruces are wintering cozily under the fluffy caps of snow…
Skis are creaking…
On my face there is a reflection of the deep joyful QUIETNESS that permeates everything around me and inside me — down to the bottom of my heart!…
* * *
In 1984 I was proposed to publish the methods of the first course. Thus my first book The Art of Being Happy appeared. It was a sensation in those years. Samizdat increased its circulation by several times.
But the KGB awakened, and we were fired.
This was followed by a writ to appear in a prosecutor’s office. There also was present a newswoman from a newspaper — a spiteful aggressive communist, one of those who seek to hate others.
They made a “cross-examination” for me: How did I dare to write such a book with the word Love with a capital letter?! Who permitted me to publish it?! How could I recommend not eating meat?! Why do I call all of this nonsense “spirituality” while everyone knows that “spirituality” means to visit a cinema?!…
I defended myself by giving excerpts from the Program of the Communist Party. The prosecutor “diagnosed” me: “utopian communism” and let me go. Good man!
However, the newswoman published a dirty “denunciatory” article. She edited our dialog so that my words looked like the sayings of a moron.
I decided not to become distracted to “vindicating my honor”, but to go further.
I felt pity only for my mother: she read it and was very upset.
An atheist or a skeptic may ask: “And what about your God — why didn’t He help you, didn’t save you, didn’t protect you?”
But it was He who created these cataclysms by directing the actions of people capable of dirty deeds! It is just that the situation had to change and we had to get new impulses for further development!
God planned to create the third course of our system.
… We lived without jobs and money, stored mushrooms, dried herbs for winter, collected and sold empty bottles for recycling.
Suddenly we were invited by our acquaintance to take a course in Tibetan lung-gom — meditative running. In Russia this technique was introduced by J.I.Koltunov, a founder of a well-known spiritual School in Moscow.
The essence of this technique is that the meditations or pranayamas are given not to standing, sitting, or lying students, but to a group of students running in a park or in the forest. This makes running more easy and joyful and makes it possible to work with some meditations on a more favorable, higher energy level.
We mastered this technique, modified it to “our taste”, supplemented it with winter swimming and new exercises for working indoors — and soon we were offered a job in a youth club headed by an enthusiast who wanted to save the people of our country from their spiritual ignorance — V.V.Mikhailov. It is interesting that this club was also called Cosmos as the club created by Koltunov.
We invited our former students who took the first two courses and began work on this new place.
By this time our students had grown up so that we could entrust them with teaching the initial stages. The work based on our methods expanded over the city. New students bloomed like spring flowers!…
They were not only adults who bloomed and got healed but also children taken by parents to the forest. Winter swimming healed children from a number of diseases, including such a typical and serious ailment as nocturnal incontinence of urine. These facts made me pay more attention to spiritual work with children. Soon in the School, we began to conduct various kinds of training for children, including healing ones, in a psychoneurological child sanatorium. The experience accumulated in this work was summarized in the form of articles and published in the book .