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The preparation of the new culture

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THE PREPARATION OF THE NEW CULTURE

 

The new culture has her teachers, both in an exoteric and an esoteric way. According to Peter Deunov, “the Slavic nations are a living tree onto which England, Germany, America and France will be grafted. They are the four teachers of the Slavic nations.”[32] In a spiritual sense, the inspirations for the new culture have other sources. They come from Bulgaria, Central Europe and Northern Europe, and from the Slavic spiritual tradition itself.

 

The church as an institution came to Old Russia in 988 from Constantinople. Spiritually, Christianity came from Bulgaria to Kiev already before 988 in the form of the Old-Bulgarian liturgy, but also in the form of the Bogomil teaching that had begun to flourish in the Bulgarian lands in the 10th century. A new wave of spirituality from Bulgaria came with the teaching of the School of the White Brotherhood. From Central Europe a second source had already begun to flow. In the 17th century inspirations from the movement founded by the initiate Christian Rosenkreuz came to Russia and in the early 20th century new impulses for the development of a spiritual consciousness entered Russia through Anthroposophy. Steiner even spoke of the necessity of a ‘spiritual marriage’ between Central Europe and Russia, in order to awaken the self-consciousness of the Russians and to develop the potential of Russian culture.[33]

 

The inspirations from the third source, the North, are less perceptible. The areas bordering on the Arctic Ocean are considered by spiritual science as the centre of the epoch of Hyperborea. The climate was tropical at that time and mankind was not yet incarnated in a physical body. Human beings had an etheric body as their lowest body. In more recent times northern Europe was, according to Steiner, the centre of a solar cult that spread to the Celts, the Germanic tribes and the Greeks. The musical culture of Old Europe was also influenced from there. Greek historians mention the relations between Greek sanctuaries and these northern lands, which they called Hyperborea (= the land beyond Boreas, the northern winds). The Solovki Islands in the north of Russia with their ancient labyrinths might have been the centre of this solar cult. In historical times the whole area between the Scandinavia and the Ural Mountains was inhabited by tribes speaking Finnish languages.

 

In Finland and the Russian North, the forces of nature have a special quality. The beings of nature can be perceived easily and the people living in these areas have a deep connection with them. The great Finnish epic poem Kalevala, created in the 19th century by Elias Lönnrot on the basis of fragments of the ancient songs which he collected, presents a powerful vision of the forces of creation that are still perceptible there. At the same time it gives vivid imaginations of the three personified parts of the soul that are working in separation and need to be united by ego-consciousness. From the Middle Ages, Russian hermits and spiritual seekers have felt a powerful attraction by the purity of nature in these ‘Hyperborean’ lands.

 

Like other Slavic nations, Russia has a rich spiritual tradition in which important steps have been made towards the new culture. A wonderful image of the future culture has been created in the Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh. This city became invisible, it disappeared under water, by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, when the Mongolians wanted to destroy it in the 13th century. Pilgrims who used to come to Lake Svetloyar into which the city has sunk, could hear the bells of its churches when they went around the lake on their knees – provided they were pure in heart.[34]

 

In the late 19th century a religious philosophy developed in Russia that was founded by Dostoevsky and Soloviev. This philosophy created a Russian Sophiology, a teaching on Holy Sophia (known from the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament), in which human thinking strives to connect with divine wisdom again. A profound expression of this new teaching can be found in the work of the Russian poet and visionary Daniil Andreev (1906–1959), who wrote his Roza Mira in a Soviet prison. It offers a vision of the coming Slavic culture, here called the ‘Rose of the World’, that is inspired by Zventa Sventana, a being that fulfils the role Sophia will play in the new culture.

 

Andreev was very much aware of the evil inspirations behind the Soviet regime. The Second Coming of Christ that has begun in the 20th century is part of the Apocalypse or Revelation, described at the end of the New Testament, in which good and evil forces which mankind has attracted reveal themselves. The new presence of Christ confronts us with the dark aspects of our life and in the situation of the world.

 

Peter Deunov said about this in 1944: “The wave of Love which is coming is also called the wave of Divine Fire. Everything old and impure will burn in it. After man passes through this Divine Fire, the Kingdom of God will come to Earth. (...) The great destruction which occurs today is due to this great Life which comes now. If people do not accept Christ voluntarily, the whole culture will pass through Fire seven times, but in the end, it will be purified and renewed. (...) All this is linked to the eradication of the karma of humankind which has been accumulated for thousands of years. (...) Because for thousands of years man was under the influence of negative forces, these forces now turn against him. (...) The karma of the European nations is already ripe and creates tribulations for the whole of humankind. The tribulations indicate that man must change his way of life and apply the Divine Teaching. (...) The turbulent flow which represents the tribulations and conflicts of humankind will abate by the end of the century.”[35]

 

Through the suffering of individuals and nations in these tribulations (above all the wars), according to Peter Deunov, their old karma will be liquidated and this will prepare them for a new life in accordance with the will of God. Seen from another point of view, the ideologies of bolshevism, fascism, national-socialism, nationalism, neo-liberalism and the crimes against humanity committed in their name since the beginning of the 20th century reveal the dark side of the human soul. Through this dark side, the Beasts from the Abyss, about which the Book of Revelation speaks, also have begun to work in the 20th century, at the background of the beginning of the Second Coming.

 

In contrast to Rudolf Steiner, Peter Deunov does not give much attention to the forces of Evil. For him it makes more sense to concentrate on the good. “If you talk about evil, evil will befall you; if you talk about the good, good will befall you,” he said.[36]

 

 

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32 The Wellspring of Good, p 364.

 

33 Rudolf Steiner, lecture from 12 March 1916, in: Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges (The Spiritu- al Background of the First World War, Collected Works, vol. 174b), Dornach 1994.

 

34 For a spiritual history of Russia see: Harrie Salman, The Invisible City of Kitezh – Russian people seeking their future. Bulgarian edition: Невидимият град – Духовната биография на руския народ, Sofia, 2014.

 

35 The Wellspring of Good, pp 270-275.

 

36 Peter Deunov, Toi suzdava, Sofia, 1999, p 119.

 

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