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A READER'S JOURNAL
The Ringing Cedars Series Book 1
Translated by John Woodsworth
Published by Ringing Cedars Press/US
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2007
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When you read a truly innovative work, you find that it is difficult to fit it into some pre-canned category. A new work creates its own category. For example, was Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica a work of mathematics or philosophy? Neither or both. It laid the basis for an entire new way of approaching our understanding of the physical world and laid the basis for our current technological progress of over 400 years. There was no category for his landmark work because it shaped new categories of thought that had not existed at the time of its publication. Anastasia(1) is such a work. We have no way of categorizing it that will make sense for many years. John Woodsworth, the translator, discovered this right away.
[page vii] Some of my friends and colleagues have asked: "What kind of book are you translating?" — no doubt wondering whether they could look forward to reading a novel, a documentary account, an inspirational exegesis on the meaning of life, or even a volume of poetry.
But even after completing the translation of Anastasia, I still do not have a definitive answer to give them. In fact, I am still asking myself the same question. My initial response was a rather crude summary of a gut level impression — I would tell them: "Think of Star Trek meets the Bible."
It is all of those things mentioned above, and even more. What it is not is revealing. It is not a book channeled through an individual like A Course in Miracles or a Seth Book. It is not a fictional account of a spiritual adventure as The Celestine Prophecy. It is not a fairy tale. It is not an epic by some apocryphal author. It is not a scholarly text.
This book is simply written by a Russian entrepreneur, Vladimir Megré, as a chronicle of the time he spent with a young Russian woman, Anastasia, in a section of the Siberian taiga, a large forested area which stretches across Russia. This woman lived alone in a taiga glade, with no house, no cooking implements, used no fire, wore light clothes, and knew from personal experiences of solutions to the major problems of the world, and had already begun implementing some of them. This book is part of her plans for further implementation of her solutions to problems of disease, cruelty, and other ills that afflict humankind today.
Some of her implementation has preceded the publication of the first book in which she reveals her plans. In this excerpt from Book 2 read the conclusions of those studying these phenomena:
[page 9 of Book 2] And now there is a Moscow Research Center devoted to investigating Anastasia phenomena, which has concluded:The greatest spiritual teachers known to mankind for their religious teachings and philosophical and scientific investigations, cannot match the fantastic pace of Anastasia's influence on the human potential. Their teachings have had a noticeable manifestation in real life only centuries and millennia after their first appearance.
In some inexplicable way, over a matter of days and months Anastasia has managed, without the aid of written doctrines and religious teachings, to directly influence people's feelings, provoking emotional outbursts and causing a surge of creativity manifest in artistic creations on the part of a whole lot of people who have been mentally touched by her. We are able to perceive them in the form of works of art and inspired impulses toward goodness and light.
What is the ringing cedar? When the author first hears of it, an old man described it as an 500-year-old cedar about 130 feet high which was begging to be cut down. It had begun ringing and if no one cut it down in 3 years, it would burn itself up and be lost to humankind. It had been absorbing health-giving beams from the stars which it wanted to pass onto human beings(2).
[page 3, 4] The old fellow further recommended that each piece be cut up into smaller pieces. Each of us should keep one for himself and give the rest to relatives, friends and anyone who wished to accept a piece as a gift. He said this was a most unusual cedar. The piece should be worn on one's chest as a pendant. Hang it around your neck while standing barefoot in the grass, and then press it to your chest with the palm of your left hand. It takes only a moment to feel the pleasant warmth emanating from the piece of cedar, followed by a light tingling sensation running through the whole body. From time to time, whenever desired, the side of the pendant facing away from the body should be rubbed with one's fingers, the thumbs pressed against the other side. The old fellow confidently assured me that within three months the possessor of one of these 'ringing cedar' pendants will feel significant improvement in his sense of well-being, and will be cured of many diseases.
The explanation the old man gave for the healing power was that "God created the cedar to store cosmic energy." (Page 6) Only bright rays of light can travel into the cosmic reaches, he said, and they return to be collected by the old cedars for later release to human beings. The dark rays never make it off the surface of the Earth.
[page 6] "Under the influence of malicious feelings Man can emit only dark rays. These dark rays cannot rise but must fall into the depths of the Earth. Bouncing off its core, they return to the surface in the form of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wars, etc."
Who can deny that humans seem to have as many malicious feelings as there are eruptions, earthquakes, wars, and the like? As to whether the two are intimately related, one should withhold judgment until one has read further of what the old man's grand-daughter was to reveal in the course of this series of books, which stands at nine volumes, up until now. Vladimir met her on his next trip to the taiga region and she introduced herself as Anastasia, and suggested he accompany her to the heart of the taiga about 16 miles inland. They were to walk together the entire distance. At one point Vladimir asked her how she could walk alone so far with no fear. She didn't answer him, but when he attempted to draw her close to him, he suddenly lost consciousness, and awoke to find her bending over him on the ground. All he remembered was an intense fear before he passed out. He got his answer in process, in a demonstration of how she protected herself non-violently.
When they arrived at where Anastasia lived, she astounded him with her announcement. Vladimir was incredulous when he looked around at what she called home.
[page 29] "Here we are at home!"
I looked around. A neat little glade, dotted with flowers amidst a host of majestic cedars, but not a single structure to be seen. Not even a hut. In a word, nothing! Not even a primitive lean-to! But Anastasia was beside herself with joy. As though we had arrived at a most comfortable dwelling.
How she lives makes Thoreau's tiny room at Walden Pond seem like a yuppie pad in comparison. She drinks the pure, living water from a small taiga lake, and squirrels bring her nuts to eat in their jaws when she is hungry. Vladimir stared at her as if she were an animal and she set him straight immediately, using the traditional word in Russian for a human being of any gender which is translated here as Man.
[page 31] "And do you consider your living conditions to be more civilized? Yes, of course, you do. But I am not a beast, Vladimir.
I am Man!"
Vladimir slept in the forest that night in a small dugout cave on feathery cedar and grass which smelled wonderful. When she woke him in the morning, he felt a furry pelt she must have given him to keep warm during the chilly night.
[page 38] Then she clapped her hands, and the 'pelt' . . . I was horror-struck at the realization that this was no pelt. Out of the cave a huge bear began to gingerly crawl. Receiving a pat of approval from Anastasia, the bear licked her hand and began lumbering off into the forest.
Looking for Anastasia's larder of food, Vladimir found none. She lived completely without a care as to what she would eat or drink.
[page 41] Anastasia gives absolutely no thought to feeding or clothing herself. She most often walks about nude or semi-nude. She sustains herself with cedar nuts, along with varieties of herbs, berries and mushrooms. She eats only dried mushrooms. She never goes hunting for nuts or mushrooms herself, never stores up any kind of provisions, even for the winter. Everything is prepared for her by the multitude of squirrels dwelling in these parts.
Anastasia explained to him in detail that animals love humans and will provide food for them if the humans will allow them to. When bugs come in contact with a Man, they sense what that particular Man's body needs and they provide that need by a bite or a sting or in the case of snakes by applying some venom on the skin of their feet. The venom is beneficial if applied externally even if poisonous taken within. Growing up as a baby, different animals gave her milk at their breast.
She revealed a most amazing thing to Vladimir in Chapter 7 "Anastasia's Ray". With a distant-seeing ray, she could see what was going on in people's lives, and used this often with her dachniks, people from the cities who had small dachas in the country where they came to garden on the weekends. Boris Yeltsin admitted to doing this kind of weekend gardening while he was Russia's President. If it was just a matter of her being able to see at a distance, it would be like watching a television ( whose very name derives from distant-seeing), but she can use it to communicate to these people to help them grow their vegetables successfully. There has been an enormous increase in the amount of produce grown in these dachas across Russia since 1989, so it's plausible that Anastasia is helping these people and her country live better. Not only do they grow better vegetables, but the plants, by contact with the persons tending these gardens, adjust their nutritive constituents to help relieve any imbalances in the persons' body. Thus they keep healthier and happier with their dachas. Given the huge popularity of dacha gardens, it must be working.
About 25 years ago, I began writing down a set of Matherne's Rules which I have combined here in one webpage: http://www.doyletics.com/mrules.htm . There was one rule which was so basic that it didn't fit with the others. It was more of a hypothesis about the way that the world works, so I called it Matherne's Hypothesis. Here it is:If there is a process any living human was ever able to do, we can all do it, and are doing it all the time, often out of our awareness.
This seemed true and right to me at the time, and still does. But I doubted that I would ever see any other human being put out that same hypothesis. And yet, Anastasia did, when Vladimir questioned her about how she helped people at a distance.
[page 45] She did this with the help of an invisible ray. She maintained that this was something everybody has, but people don't know about it and are unable to make use of it.
[She said:] "Man has still not invented anything that is not already in Nature. The technology behind television is but a poor imitation of the possibilities of this ray."
After long study of Man's inventions, it began to occur to me years ago that an invention is merely a manufactured device (like a television), which allows others to do with the device, what the inventor (and others, like Anastasia with her ray) could do without the device.
Matherne’s Hypothesis expands Anastasia’s statement, “people don’t know about it and are unable to make use of it,” by opening up the possibility that, even though people don't know about the ray, they are already using it out of their awareness.
The process underlying the Hypothesis first came to my attention in the 1960s. I was lying in bed nearly every night thinking of a beautiful and interesting woman who lived down the street from me. Consciously I knew it was impossible for us to be together, so I imagined us together. When I moved 2,000 miles away, I kept the dream, and it came true a couple of years later when she became my second wife. Later when we were together, she shared with me that she was similarly experiencing me each night from a distance. From this event I learned, "Be careful what you dream about, it will come true." Now I understand that I was using this ray that Anastasia talks about without knowing that it existed. So I am proof that someone who does not know about the ray, can use it. I was using it and completely unaware of its power at the time.
All that supposing I had done on my own about the two of us being together, without ever sharing it with her, came true. From this and other experiences, I learned that everything always turns out the way it's supposed to(3). What you suppose, i.e., what you spend time vividly thinking of, will inevitably come true. The proof of this rule so often comes to people when thing they dreaded comes upon them. They supposed the bad thing would happen (by being afraid of it) and it did.
When Anastasia began to tell Vladimir what she had planned, he thought she was crazy, but by the time he was writing the first book, so many of the things she had told him had already come to pass that he could not help but believe her, no matter how incredible her predictions. If you can make something come true, you can predict its happening. That is a human capability in action and not some ability to see the future.
After a night during which Vladimir and Anastasia had sexual intercourse, he is troubled by the uniqueness of his experience. So he asks her for help in understanding. In this next passage, she reveals the meaning behind the Matthew 5:28 verse which Jimmy Carter (US president), caused so much ruckus with during his one term.
[page 62] I started thinking. In actual fact, my night-time closeness with Anastasia could not possibly be described by our usual word 'sex'. Then what did happen last night? What term would be appropriate here? Again I asked:
"And why did anything even approaching that experience never happen with me before — or, for that matter, I would venture to say, with hardly anybody else in the world?"
"You see, Vladimir, the dark forces are constantly trying to make Man give into base fleshly passions, to stop him from experiencing God-given grace. They try all sorts of tricks to persuade people that satisfaction is something you can easily obtain, thinking only of carnal desire. And at the same time they separate Man from truth. The poor deceived women who are ignorant of this spend their lives accepting nothing but suffering and searching for the grace they have lost. But they are searching for it in the wrong places. No woman can restrain a man from fornication if she allows herself to submit to him merely to satisfy his carnal needs. If that has happened, their marital life will not be a happy one.
"Their marital life is only an illusion of togetherness, a lie, a deception accepted by convention. For the woman immediately becomes a fornicator, regardless of whether she is married to the man or not.
"Oh, how many laws and conventions mankind has invented in an attempt to artificially strengthen this false union! Laws both religious and secular. All in vain. All they have done is caused people to play around, accommodate themselves and imagine that such a union exists. One's innermost thoughts invariably remain unchanged, subject to nobody and nothing.
"Christ Jesus saw this. And trying to counteract it, he said: 'Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.' "
Vladimir asked her how she keeps busy, seeing as her worldly needs are taken care of by her environment. She answered saying she takes care of her dachniks, the gardeners who live in the city, but come to tend their dacha gardens on the weekend. She took Vladimir to a grassy area where they both laid on their backs with the palms of their hands turned upwards.
[page 74] "Right now I shall take a look with my ray and locate, at a distance, some of those people you call dachniks.
After a period of silence, she began to say softly:
"An old woman is unwrapping a piece of cheese cloth in which cucumber seeds have been soaking. The seeds have already begun to develop quite a bit, and I can see little sprouts. now she has picked up a seed. I have suggested to her that should not soak the seeds so much — they will become deformed when they are planted, and this kind of water is not good for them — the seed will go bad. She thinks she herself must have guessed that. And that is partially true — I just helped her guess a bit. Now she will share her idea and tell other people about it. This little deed is done."
This was remarkable enough, but what she reveals about the "Seed as physician" in Chapter Eleven should make everyone come alert. In the USA where so much of our food is grown in areas completely disconnected from our homes, we rarely eat food whose seeds we have planted, up until now. The dachniks in Russia are leading the world in this area by growing so much of the food that they consume. I saw an estimate somewhere that over fifty percent of all vegetables consumed in Russia comes from dachnik gardens.
First Anastasia explains the connection must be established between the seed and the human body. My wife and I have been practicing bio-dynamic gardening around our property for more than five years now. This involves stirring a barrel compost material which looks like a loose form of peat moss into rainwater for twenty minutes and flipping the resulting liquid over all of our plants after nightfall. I had wondered why the long time of stirring when the compost material doesn't dissolve into the water, but is merely suspended in it. After reading what Anastasia says below, I came to understand that we were perhaps adding our own body's information into the liquid as we stirred it over and over. In the process of adding the compost, we take a handful and place it into the container for stirring and our hands makes close contact with the compost. This is one example of how Rudolf Steiner's bio-dynamic preparations and suggestions match those of Anastasia. Another is that they both strongly suggest avoiding chemical fertilizers or poisons because of the damage they do to the underlying plant and insect life in the garden.
[page 77] "Every seed you plant contains within itself an enormous amount of information about the Universe. Nothing made by human hands can compare with this information either in size or accuracy. Through the help of these data the seed knows the exact time, down to the millisecond, when it is to come alive, grow — what juices it is to take from the Earth, how to make use of the rays of the celestial bodies — the Sun, Moon and stars, what it is to grow into, what fruit to bring forth. These fruits are designed to sustain Man's life. More powerfully and effectively than any manufactured drugs of the present or future, these fruits are capable of counteracting and withstanding any disease of the human body. But to this end the seed must know about the human condition. So that during the maturation process it can satiate its fruit with the right correlation of substances to heal a specific individual of his disease, if indeed he has it or is prone to it."
The next step she suggests seems a bit extreme, but it is definitely a way of directly communicating the status of one's body and its specific requirements to the plant so that it may adjust its produce to supply exactly those requirement.
[page 77, 78] "In order for the seed of a cucumber, tomato or any other plant grown in one's plot to have such information, the following steps are necessary:
"Before planting, put into your mouth one or more little seeds, hold them in your mouth, under the tongue, for at least nine minutes.
"Then place the seed between the palms of your hands and hold it there for about thirty seconds. During this time it is important that you be standing barefoot on the spot of earth where you will later be planting it.
"Open your hands, and carefully raise the seed which you are holding to your mouth. Then blow on it lightly, warming it with your breath, and the wee little seed will know everything that is within you.
"Then you need to hold it with your hands open another thirty seconds, presenting the seed to the celestial bodies. And the seed will determine the moment of its awakening. The planets will all help it! And will give the sprouts the light they need to produce fruit especially for you.
"After that you may plant the seed in the ground. In no case should you water it right off, so as not to wash away the saliva which is now covering it, along with other information about you that the seed will take in. It can be watered three days after planting.
"The planting must be done on days appropriate to each vegetable (people already know this, from the lunar calendar). In the absence of watering, a premature planting is not as harmful as an overdue planting."
There are other requirements, such as leaving at least one of the weeds growing naturally next to the seed as it matures, while cutting back the other weeds. (Page 78) But, the question must be going through many Readers minds, "Why go through all this trouble just to plant a seed?" In fact, some might even ask, "Why bother to grow what one can buy at a supermarket?" Anastasia's answer is powerful and compelling.
[page 79] Anastasia maintains that the fruit cultivated from the seed in this manner, and consumed by the individual who cultivated it, is capable not only of curing him of any diseases of the flesh whatsoever but also of significantly retarding the aging process, rescuing him from harmful habits, tremendously increasing his mental abilities and giving him a sense of inner peace. The fruit will have the most effective influence when consumed no later than three days after harvesting.
Can one buy a sense of inner peace from the supermarket? Or produce which will cure diseases, stave off aging process, correct unhealthful habits, or increase one's mental abilities? And yet from reports of dachniks in Russia, they are finding all these things coming from the weekend garden work and food they eat back in the city which they grew in their dachas' gardens. Anastasia puts the matter plainly — the plants will become your physician and pharmacist:
[page 81] "If you make connections with the plants in your garden-plot, they will take care of you and cure you. They will make the right diagnoses all by themselves and prepare the most effective medicine especially designed for you."
When Anastasia told Vladimir that bees should be kept on the garden plot, he objected, saying that is difficult, and she replied that it is easy. “How?” he asked, and she meditated silently for a long time before answering. Her answer came as complete instructions for building a naturally shaped beehive without all the mechanical trappings of a commercial beehive. An old tree trunk of a deciduous tree will suffice if it is hollow inside, about 4 feet long with a hollow about 16 inches running its length. Or simply build one out of deciduous tree lumber such as ash, pecan, etc, using boards about two inches thick with triangle pieces in the four corners to simulate a circular inside. The complete instructions are on page 83, including where to place, how to remove honey, how to attract the initial swarm, when to harvest the honey, and how much to take. I am no beekeeper, but these instructions on pages 83 through 85 seem full of wise advice and make it seem easy enough for anyone to add a natural beehive to one's small garden plot.
Given that bees seem to be dying off in commercial hives in certain parts of the USA (and Europe), this may be life-saving advice for bees and human beings who can become independent of commercial providers for their supply of honey. The Bible talks of a promise of "a land flowing with milk and honey," and assumes that everyone knows why it is important to have a milk and honey, but never explains why it is important. This is a corollary of Rudolf Steiner's dictum that "discussion begins when knowledge ends," namely, "no discussion is necessary when everyone knows." People of biblical times knew that milk has important constructive forces for human infants and honey has important constructive forces for aged people. Thus a "land flowing with milk and honey" would have beautiful babies, children, and grandparents.
Here are three snippets dealing with honeycombs, bee stings, and harvesting the honey:
[page 84] "Bees build their honeycombs at a specific distance apart to facilitate both ventilation and defense against their enemies, and any human intervention breaks down this system. Instead of spending their time gathering honey and raising offspring, the bees are obliged to fix what has been broken."
[page 85] "Bees only sting when people act aggressively toward them, wave them off, become afraid or irritated inside — not necessarily at the bees, but just at anyone. The bees feel this and will not tolerate the rays of any dark feelings. Besides, they may attack those parts of the body where there are channels connecting with some diseased internal organ or where the protective aura has been torn, and so forth."
[page 85] "Open the panel, break off the hanging honeycomb and extract the sealed honey and pollen. Only do not be greedy. It is important to leave part of it for the bees for the winter. In fact, it is better not to collect any honey at all during the first year."
To summarize, let the bees make their own honeycomb, if they do sting you — it will be beneficial to you, and leave some honey for the hive when you harvest.
Toxins exit the body through the feet when they perspire. As such, it is best that you walk out in your garden barefoot in the morning after rising and before washing so that the plants can sense those toxins in your own body and adjust their produce to provide the best corrective measures for you. They will also respond to the scents emitted by your body's pores while you were asleep. If any bugs crawls on your body, let it crawl because they open the pores of the human body and cleanse them. After reading only this one book of the Ringing Cedars Series, I have noticed that I have become curious about bugs crawling on my arm and leg and watching them instead of automatically swatting them away or crushing them.
Why bother with all of this? Who wants to be comfortable with bugs crawling on their skin? Who wants to walk barefoot in their garden? Good questions. Let me ask one question, "Who wants to get rid of any disease in their body?" Everybody. Vladimir tells us:
[page 90] According to Anastasia, anyone who has established such a relationship with the Earth and the plants on his own plot of land, has the opportunity of ridding his body of absolutely every kind of disease.
If you are thinking, Whoa! That cannot be true! then you are in good company, as that was what Vladimir told Anastasia and dared her to prove it to him. She did. She said that she would also allow Vladimir to convince others of this truth. We get sick because we live in the midst of natural physicians and pharmacopeia which we have systematically ignored in our lives, up until now.
[page 90] Disease per se is the result of Man distancing himself from the natural systems designed to take care of his health and life-support. For such systems, the task of counteracting any disease presents no problem whatsoever, since this is their whole reason for being. However, the benefits experienced by people who have set up such information-exchange contacts with a little patch of the natural world(4) go far beyond dealing with diseases.
When Anastasia speaks of children she lets Vladimir know that we should treat our children as kingly visitors to our household, be curious about them, learn about their ability to see into the spiritual world (which parents have long since lost), in other words, treat them as "the wisest creature in the universe." But what usually happens is that the parents turn these kingly beings into "indigent slaves", up until now. Here Anastasia explains how this conversion takes place.
[page 94] "His smiling parents offer him toys and other objects that rattle and squeak, as though they were priceless treasures. Why? He will spend a long time trying to make sense of this rattling and squeaking. He will try to comprehend them both through his conscious mind and his sub-conscious. And then these same smiling parents will try wrapping him up in some kind of fabric, which he finds most uncomfortable. He will make attempts to free himself, but in vain! And the only means of protest he has at his disposal is a cry! A cry of protest, an appeal for help, a cry of rebellion. And from that moment on this angel and sovereign becomes an indigent slave, begging for handouts."
In a world full of anomie and despair, is it a surprise that so few people understand the meaning of life? How can one find meaning in a noisy rattle? If one is presented with such things as a baby, one may continue for the rest of one's life searching for meaning in toys, only the toys grow more expensive, and perhaps noisier, as one grows older. Anastasia gives us her meaning of life:
[page 94, 95] "The meaning of life(5) — that is to be found in truth, joy and love. A nine-year-old child brought up in the natural world has a far more accurate perception of creation than all the scientific institutions of your world or, indeed, many of your prominent scholars."
How might one go about raising one's child and respecting its inherent royal nature? Anastasia gives an answer using an example of a dachnik planting sprouts with a child.
[page 96, 97] "If you are planting tomato seedlings, for example, let him hand you the stalks one by one. If a stalk should inadvertently break, take the broken stalk into your hands and say: 'I do not think this one will live or bear fruit, since it is broken, but let us try planting it anyway.' And plant at least one of the broken ones right along with the others.
"A few days later, when you visit the seedbed again with your child and the stalks have firmed up, point out the broken, withering stalk to your little one and remind him that it was broken during the planting, but do not use any preaching tone of voice in doing so. You need to talk with him as an equal. You should bear in mind the thought that he is superior to you in some respects — in the purity of his thought, for example. He is an angel! If you succeed in understanding that, you can then proceed intuitively, and your child will indeed become a person who will happify your days."
Anastasia gives Vladimir advice on many things which he shares with Readers in the book, but probably the most important of all was her advice on how to write. He was not a writer, but an entrepreneur. He could write proposals, letters, etc., but had never considered writing a book. She told him it was simply a matter of arranging the letters of the alphabet so that his own feelings would be aroused in the Readers of his words. (Page 104) He told her about a book he read and she explained that he could remember the feeling conveyed to him by the author but not the exact arrangement of letters.
[page 105] "So it turns out that if emotional feelings are directly associated with these marks on paper without thinking about any conventions, one's soul will cause these marks to appear in just the right sequence and combinations so that any reader may subsequently feel the soul of the writer."
Writing is about more than making sentences in correct grammar — it involves generating feelings in another person's soul which correspond to those inside of yourself. Writing allows you to understand someone you may be separated from by thousands of miles in space and thousands of years in time. What if you are communicating with someone directly, face-to-face with each other — is language necessary for communication? My wife, Del, and I discovered that language is an aid to communication, but the real communication is by direct thought-transfer, often only using language as a means of creating the thoughts which are to be transferred. Here is the best example I have of that process at work. I was reading something to Del to share my understanding of it. She was following along when suddenly she stopped me from reading, saying, "I'm lost." What had happened a moment earlier was that I had begun thinking about something other than what I was reading! Del noticed the absence of my thoughts being transferred to her immediately even though my reading of the material had not been interrupted in any fashion. When I started reading the sentence again and returned to actually thinking of what I was reading, she got the thought immediately.
The implications of this process for education is enormous. Imagine a teacher reading aloud to his classroom. If the teacher does not understand the material he is reading, the students will not receive any learning unless they take up the material on their own. Exactly as bad would be for the teacher to read the material while thinking of what he might be doing during his next holiday. Only when the teacher uses the material he is reading as a way of calling forth his own understanding while he is reading will the students receive the understanding. The words being read are merely a crutch to help the students and the teacher. They help the students pay attention while the teacher thought-transfers his knowledge directly to his students.
Anastasia learned the process of thought-transfer directly from her Great-Grandfather, who began the process with her at age three, a time when much unconscious learning is going on in the child. Anastasia is speaking:
[page 107] "This involves looking attentively at the person you are talking with and being able to understand what they are saying, no matter what language they are expressing it in. This kind of dialogue is far superior to speech — it is more rapid and conveys far more information. you would call it thought-transfer. You think it is abnormal, something out of fantasy, but it is simply an attentive attitude toward Man, drawing upon a developed imagination and a good memory. It involves not just a more efficient method of information exchange, but getting to know a person's soul . . . ."
The process of thought-transfer which Del and I experience did not show up full bloom in the first year of our relationship, but grew over the years until we came to know each other's soul. Now it is common for one of us to begin speaking on a subject and the other to say, "I was just thinking of that!"(6) Teachers and pupils who stay together from the first grade through high school, as is the norm in Waldorf Schools, have a chance to develop a soul-knowing of each other which results in amazing transfers of learning between teacher and pupils.
As a physicist, I became interested in computers and worked with them for a long time. It never occurred to me back then that computers had no feelings. I recall when I first read Jane Austen's novel, Emma, how I was taken aback when I realized that the author was writing about the feelings of her characters and I was feeling them in me. I never once had that experience reading computer manuals or technical journals. Whatever feelings I had were meta-feelings — perhaps the thrill from imagining a new generation of computers. So it was with a chuckle that I read how Anastasia rebutted Vladimir's asking her if she could compete with a modern computer. I had been through that transition myself, from admiring how great computers were to realizing how empty they were.
[page 121] "Competing with a computer — that is tantamount to . . . oh, how can I find you a good analogy? That is tantamount to hands or feet competing with a prosthesis — and not even a full prosthesis, but just a part of one. With the computer the most vital element is missing. And that most vital element is . . . feelings."
Do you know people who talk so much, you can hardly get a word in edgewise? Can you imagine that there are people who are completely occupied every moment of their life, never without their minds full of thoughts, even for a moment, so that if you could communicate with them by thought-transfer, you couldn't get a thought in edgewise? If you do know someone like that, it must be yourself, because most people cannot follow anyone around for twenty-four hours, listening in on their every thought. But Anastasia can and did exactly this with one woman whom she was trying to help.
[page 128] "I want to suggest to this woman what she should do, but I cannot break through to her. Her brain will not open to the awareness of new information, even for a second. It is constantly pre-occupied with issues of day-to-day living. Can you imagine, one time I followed her for a whole twenty-four hours!"
Anastasia gives us a prime example of someone who fills their mind constantly with things and thoughts, so that not even their Guardian Angel can help them. Angels can only communicate with those under their charge when the person is awake and not thinking. Anastasia has a relationship to her dachniks similar to that of a Guardian Angel, and she faces the same limitation that Angels do: she cannot help someone unless they shut down their thoughts for at least a few minutes a day while they are awake(7). Here is Anastasia's report on the woman she followed for twenty-four hours.
[page 129] "On her way home, when people notice her, she can put on the appearance of an almost happy woman. But she is continually thinking about problems, or her make-up, or looking at clothes in shop windows — above all, clothes that will expose her alluring charms, supposing that this will result in some kind of miracle, except in her case everything happens the wrong way around. She gets home and starts house-cleaning. She thinks she is relaxing when she watches her television and prepares her meals, but the main thing is, she thinks about good things only for a split second. Even when she goes to bed, she is still mulling over her daily cares and stays in the same mental rut."
Periodic meditation in which one stops one’s thoughts is one way of clearing out the temple of one’s mind so that one’s Guardian Angel can enter and provide the help that one needs. Even though Anastasia practices such meditation extensively, she doesn’t recommend it specifically to Vladimir in this book.
Anastasia tells Vladimir that he will be rich, but that in order to withdraw money from the bank he will have to pass an alcohol breath-a-lyzer test and do deep knee bends in front of the bank manager, one deep knee bend for every million roubles he wishes to withdraw. (Page 131) This is one of the most brilliant moves by Anastasia because it goes to the core of what she perceives Vladimir needs: abstinence from alcohol, exercise, and relief from his overweening pride. She has created a dream which will use the very challenges of the dark forces to help Vladimir to keep his riches from making him greedy, proud, or arrogant. Can she do this? Read this short passage and decide for yourself:
[page 178] "And becoming rich and famous will not make you greedy or arrogant. Because you will understand that money is not the point — it will never buy you the warmth or the genuine compassion of the human soul.
"You will understand this when you make your way across that window of time, when you see and get to know these people. And they too will understand. As for the deep knee-bends... This kind of relationship with the banks is something I also thought up because you are altogether negligent in taking care of your body. At least you will be getting some exercise whenever you withdraw money from your account. Some of the bank officials will do it, besides. And never mind if it looks a little funny. It means you will find yourself free from the sin of pride.
"So it has turned out that all these challenges and trials which the forces of darkness have concocted in their window of time will serve to strengthen you and those around you. All this will increase your sense of conscious awareness. And it will ultimately save you from the dark temptations they are so proud of. Their own actions will save you. This is why they lost their bearings for a split second! Now they will never be able to catch up to my dream!"
Are you ready to catch up to Anastasia's dream? If you are, Book 1 is the place to begin. There are six books in the Ringing Cedars Series published as I type these words, but already there are three more issues in the works. My suggestion to buy the complete set of six. Del got started reading while I was busy on another writing project and she is already on Book 4, Co-Creation. From my reading and study of the first book which I have shared with you, my plans are to read through and review the rest of Anastasia's books for so long as they continue, and to implement her suggestions in my own life.
Imagine if you were alive in the 1930s when "Gone With The Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz" were first written and you never bothered to read them. That is the way it is for all of our children today, they only know of these great classics because of watching the films made from them in 1939. Someday a film will be made of Anastasia's life and it will undoubtedly be as great a classic as these two movies. Will you wait for the movie to learn about Anastasia and her tremendous spirituality and suggestions for improving your life? Or will you be one of those who will be doubly graced by having immediately read the books her life inspired? The choice is yours.
------------ Footnotes --------------------
Footnote 1. The correct pronunciation is not that associated with the Hollywood movie, "Anastasia", but instead it is pronounced as Ann-uh-sta-SEE'-ya. Think of her name as a compound of the English names Anna and Stacia.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Footnote 2. Here one knows that new ground is being broken by the author. In an era when there are tree-huggers risking their lives to keep old-growth trees from being cut down, chopped up into pieces, and sold, here is a five-hundred-year-old tree begging for that very ending to its life.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Footnote 3. This process is embodied in a simple acronym EAT-O-TWIST! That makes it easy to remember and to say to oneself when a proof of its operation appears in one's life, or as a reminder to change one's thoughts from something negative into something positive at the earlierst possible moment. In the early days of it use, my wife, Del, would sometimes use it on me by saying, "Remember EAT-O-TWIST doesn't break."Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
Footnote 4. Small gardens adjacent to one's home or weekend home such as the dachniks have at their dachas outside of town.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Return to text directly before Footnote 5.
Footnote 6. See Matherne's Rule #4: It all happens at the same time. It describes this simultaneity of thoughts between two people. We have learned that it is fruitless to judge whose thought came first, thus the origin of the Rule.Return to text directly before Footnote 6.
Footnote 7. Guardian Angels, if they are unable to work on a person while they are awake because they are always busy thinking, must work on the person while they are asleep, and the result for the person is not very happy. See The Work of the Angels in Man's Astral Body by Rudolf Steiner for more details.
Return to text directly before Footnote 7.
All Published Volumes of The Ringing Cedar Series
To Read any book listed, Click on Ringing Cedars Logo below and order yourself a copy.Book 1: Anastasia
Book 2: The Ringing Cedars of Russia
Book 3: The Space of Love
Book 4: Co-creation
Book 5: Who Are We?
Book 6: The Book of Kin
Book 7: The Energy of Life
Book 8.1: The New Civilization, Part 1
Book 8.2: Rites of Love, Part 2
Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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