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Fyodorova O - The Pioneer of Theosophy or the Soviet Man


The Pioneer of Theosophy or the Soviet Man

by Olga Fyodorova
Published in "Modern Theosophical Thought", 2018-2 (6)


Pioneer! Be always gallant,

No vows that doesn’t cost a dime,

Prove your words with deeds and talents.

"I am ready all the time!"


You develop mind and body,

And remember: without science

Progress isn’t made by anybody.

"I am ready all the time!"


And be ready to replace the heroes

Of the labour in your clime,

Though path is hard and narrow.

"I am ready all the time!"


Vasily Lebedev-Kumach

Fragments, 1936

How can we, the theosophists of the former Soviet Union, pass by the unprecedented experience of our vast country and its people? What can we share it with the theosophists of other countries who have no experience of Soviet life? Was there previously a precedent for a whole nation living with high ideas of building a bright future? We absorbed these ideals with mother's milk, namely: freedom, equality, fraternity!

Here is what Maxim Gorky wrote about the new type of a man in his article “Untimely Thoughts”:

“The Russian people were married to Freedom. We believe that new strong people will be born from this union in our country, exhausted both physically and spiritually.

We firmly believe that the power of intellect and will, forces that have been extinguished and suppressed by the age-old oppression of the police system of life, will flare up in a Russian man with a bright fire…

The average citizen's body will not soon be distributed along its class paths, along lines of clearly conscious interests, it will not soon be organized and will become capable of conscious and creative social struggle...

The most valuable creative force is a person: the more developed he is spiritually, the better he is armed with technical knowledge, the more durable and valuable his work, the more he is cultural, historical ...

Knowledge must be democratized, it must be made popular, it, and only it, is a source of fruitful work, the basis of culture. It is knowledge that will arm us with self-consciousness, it is knowledge that will help us to correctly assess our forces, the tasks of this moment and will show us the wide path to further victories...

We must work together for the all-round development of culture, the revolution has destroyed obstacles on the way to free creativity, and now in our will to show to ourselves and the world our talents, talents, our genius. Our salvation is in labor, so let us find pleasure in labor ..."

M. Gorky wrote in 1933: "We live in a happy country where all the conditions necessary for all material and spiritual enrichment are quickly created. Only people who are poor in spirit and who see only the difficulties of its growth and who are ready to sell their soul for the lentil soup of philistine humble prosperity do not feel the happiness to live and work in this country."

Not without reason, Maxim Gorky in his story “The Old Woman Izergil” created a strong image of self-sacrifice for the sake of other people, humanity, namely, the image of Danko.

“What will I do for people?!” Danko shouted louder than thunder. And suddenly he tore his chest with his hands and tore his heart out of it and raised it high above his head. It burned as bright as the sun ..."

The thought passes through the whole story: in the name of what does a person live? In the name of oneself? In the name of other people? The image of the heart helps us to answer this question. It is the heart and its metaphorical image that helps to more fully reveal the idea inherent in the Gorky story: condemnation of individualism and demonstration of a heroic feat in the name of freedom and happiness of the people.

Maxim Gorky intuitively compares the heart with the Sun. On this occasion, Helena Petrovna writes in The Secret Doctrine (vol. I, part 3, IX):

“Thus, there is a regular circulation of the vital fluid throughout our system, of which the Sun is the heart — the same as the circulation of the blood in the human body — during the manvantaric solar period, or life.”

Maxim Gorky contrasts will of the hero with the lack of will of the crowd: “But they were ashamed to confess themselves to powerlessness, and now, in rage and anger, they attacked Danko, the man who was ahead, and in their rage they were ready to kill him. And then he lit the way to the people with his heart.

By his heroic death Danko confirmed immortality of the feat. The feat is the result of great love for others. People "looked at him and saw that he was the best of all, because in his eyes there was a lot of power and live fire," and Danko "loved people and thought that maybe without him they would die."

In his other story "About a Poet", Maxim Gorky writes:

“But people have forgotten their calling to be great; will you remind them of it, will you awaken the thirst for feats? - said my poet. - Will your lyricism wash away the soot of mutual distrust from people's hearts? Will it wash the rust of egoism off their souls, hardened in battle for the right to live?

“You see,” said the muse, “I soften hearts and make people dream of something better than what they have.”

- To dream is not to live. Feats are needed! We need such words that would sound like a bell of alarm, arouse and, shaking, push forward. ”

Such images brought up a new type of a man who is free from slavery of ownership, interclass differences and religious dogmas. It is this freedom that has become the basis of the country named the country of the Soviets.

What does this name mean - the country of the Soviets? It is a country of collective decision making, giving everyone the right to participate in its management. Helena Petrovna in The Secret Doctrine often refers to Samuel Dunlap’s book Sod. In this book, the author explains the word "sod," which can be found in the Bible. Translated from Hebrew, it means "council", "meeting", "board", "secret" and "mystery".

And the country of the Soviets was a country of heroes, where there were heroes in every family, since everyone had to overcome the tremendous difficulties caused by the complete ruin of the national economy, famine and epidemics. Soviet people had to strain to the limit their forces for the sake of the bright future of the country and of all humanity.

Another fragment from the song on the words of Lebedev-Kumach:

We will reach, grasp and discover everything:
The cold pole and the blue firmament.
When the country calls us to be
A hero, each becomes a hero then.

We can sing and laugh like children
Among hard struggle and labour
We were born such persons in the world
And we never surrender to anything.

The Great Patriotic War, the restoration of the national economy, cultivation of virgin lands, etc. became the facts of mass heroism. The whole world knows about vivid examples of such heroism.

But each family had its own heroes or there were heroes of its environment. I knew a young soldier, a good swimmer (later an honoured coach of an Olympic winner water polo team), who, under fire, delivered an important message, having swum several kilometers in the cold autumn water. After treating in hospital due to the extreme hypothermia, he returned to the army. Another young man (later the Russian government expert) worked as a stoker at home front for the entire war, having only one healthy hand. A military surgeon with a wounded leg (later the head doctor of the hospital) did not move away from the operating table for hours at evacuation hospital. And, of course, Soviet women selflessly fought at war front and worked at home front.

Such heroic people brought us up. And those who experienced such kind of upbringing brought up their children in the spirit of altruism. So what is the Soviet person? It is a state of dedication to high ideals. It is a state beyond time and space.

W. Q. Judge in his article "Illusions of Time and Space" writes:

“Of all the illusions that beset us, in this world of Maya, perhaps the deadliest are those to which, for lack of better, we give the names of "Time" and "Space": and quite naturally – since they are prime factors in our every action here below.”

Everything exists according to the Universal Laws, in particular according to the Law of Cycles. In “Isis Unveiled” Helena Petrovna writes:

“They divided the interminable periods of human existence on this planet into cycles, during each of which mankind gradually reached the culmination point of higher civilization and gradually relapsed into abject barbarism (v. I, p. 5). ... These cycles, according to the Chaldean philosophy, do not embrace all mankind at one and the same time” (v. I, p. 6).

A true follower of H.P. Blavatsky, the Indian theosophist Bomanji P. Wadia, in his book The Study of the Secret Doctrine (Ch. 22), writes about the One Universal Law:

“Under the Law of Karma beings, cosmic or human, wake up or fall asleep as cyclic processes go on, in differing periods of time (cycles), according to their acquired capacities and powers inherent in them, but the Law of Cycles runs its course evenly and uniformly, putting the universe to sleep through its manvantaric activities, awakening it to manifestation through its pralayic movements. By the Law of Yagna or Sacrifice all these beings act as builders, preservers, regenerators, giving of their own life-power to those who are in need of it, and receiving from others what they themselves require, some will-fully, others unconsciously. This threefold function of the One Law is not outside of man or the universe. It is within each.

Thus the Spiritual-man sacrifices himself for the benefit of the mental-man, as the latter for the man of flesh in whom he incarnates. Under the Law of Compensation suitable adjustments, skandhaic or personal, egoic or individual, and monadic or universal take place. To offer sacrifice and receive it and thus produce readjustment, the time-element, the due and proper season, is a necessity. The unfoldment of principle's, cosmic or human, the growth of body, mind or soul in man or of the Kingdoms in Nature, in short, evolution generally, is dependent on the threefold function of the One Law. ”

It is this type of sacrifice that we can find in the ideal of the Soviet person. Are his other ideals theosophical too?

Freedom for the Soviet person means freedom from slavery of property or egoism, freedom from superstitions or dogmatism, freedom for the creative development of the individual through the constant acquisition and expending of knowledge. By equality, the Soviet person understood the absence of interclass and interethnic differences, respecting the sovereignty of each nation.

The main or connecting link of the system was the brotherhood of all nations without distinction of race, faith, sex, caste, etc.

There was an extraordinary mass craving for knowledge under the motto “study, study and study again”. During the Soviet period there were many inventors, scientists and creative people in many spheres of life. There is an English proverb: “The need is the mother of all inventions,” and its Russian equivalent: “Poverty is crafty”. The Soviet man never lived in such wealth, like the man in the West. He had to use ingenuity to compensate for the lack of material resources, and also had to acquire many skills. And until now, the Soviet person can be called "a jack of all trades". But this did not cause him discontent. He worked with enthusiasm and with a song (“The song helps us to build and live”). Difficult circumstances help the multifaceted development of human qualities, and material well-being relaxes the person.

The Soviet person had neither nationality, nor gender (relative to professions), nor even age (all worked until the last days in the family or at work, especially mental). The Soviet man had a collective consciousness based on a sense of responsibility for the future of his country. Everybody was involved in maintaining public order. Community life was not only usual for villages and small towns. Moscow courtyards lived on this principle, too. They helped each other in raising children, came to help in difficult situations, the doors of the apartments were open to neighbours, and there were no high, impenetrable fences round country houses. During trials people unite, and well fed life disunites them.

We come to the Earth to learn, to acquire experience, not for our own sake, but for the sake of other people, for the sake of the evolution of all mankind. For this, we develop ourselves by spreading around the skandha oriented at the Universal Brotherhood.

Hence, it can be concluded that the Soviet person is an eternal type of self-sufficient altruistic man, striving for knowledge, manifesting himself in due time for the benefit of all mankind. But in each cycle, he is like a first mover or pioneer, always ready to serve selflessly.