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A READER'S JOURNAL:
The Ringing Cedars of Russia
The Ringing Cedars Series, Book 2
Translated by John Woodsworth
Published by Ringing Cedars Press/US
Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2007
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In the Translator's Preface, John Woodsworth writes about his experience with a red germanium. After reading the first several books he was to translate in the Ringing Cedars Series, he saw these red geraniums which his wife had planted and began to regard the one closest to him with "warmth and affection (I would even say love) every time I saw it." The geranium lasted well into the winter snows, still red.
[page ix] Even toward the end of October, when I finished my reading of Book 3, it was still standing proud and just as bright red as when my attention was first drawn to it. And even when I saw it months later, all bent to the ground by winter snows, its vivid red hue had scarcely faded.
This episode recalled for me a red geranium that my mother had planted in the inside corner of her home by the entrance to the back of the house. The geranium was facing southeast, sheltered from the winter's chill and warmed by being close to the house. Also this was the most frequently used door and so the geranium was seen by everyone who came in or left the house, especially my mother, who loved the geranium. This was a household plant in a pot which rarely grows over a foot tall, even when planted outdoors in our subtropical environment with occasional freezes. Contrary to all expectations, the geranium lasted over a half dozen winters and grew to be taller than my mother, climbing until its upper leaves touched the underside of the overhanging eaves of the roof about eight feet high. And its bright red blooms filled its branches from the top to the bottom.
The body of this book contains mostly what happened to Vladimir Megré after the events he portrayed in Book 1. He recalls two things that Anastasia predicted:
[page 8] When I was in the taiga, Anastasia told me: "I shall make you a writer. You will write a book, and many people will read it. It will have a beneficial influence on the readers."
[page 8] You may remember me writing in Book 1 what she said two years earlier: "Artists will paint pictures, poets will write verse and they will make a movie about me. You will see all this and think of me...."
All of these things and many more have become reality by the time Vladimir was writing down these thoughts. He visited an exhibition of paintings by Alexandra Saenko dedicated to Anastasia and Nature and he was amazed.
[page 9] From the many pictures Anastasia looked out at me with her kindly eyes. And the scenes! I couldn't get over it — some of the pictures showed scenes from this second book, which hadn't been published yet. And there was this glowing sphere, sometimes appearing right next to Anastasia. Later I learnt that the artist painted not with a brush but with her fingertips. Most of the pictures had already been sold, but left hanging for the duration of the exhibit, since more and more people were coming to see them. The artist presented one of them to me as a gift, depicting Anastasia's mother and father. I couldn't take my eyes off her mother's face.
Offers started coming in from various film studios about making an Anastasia movie. And this was now something I was already accepting as a matter of course.
Plus he reported that there was already a Moscow Research center investigating Anastasia phenomena. Its conclusions reported on page 9 are included in my review of Book 1. The evidence that Anastasia is real and affecting lives all over the world is mounting up and even the author who experienced her directly is taken aback by how quickly this began to happen, and happen even before the book itself became available. If one compares Anastasia to Don Juan Mateus in Carlos Castaneda's books, one main difference is apparent. We heard of Don Juan only in the books and never knew if he were a real person or not.
Vladimir had an idea of how to earn money for Anastasia. His idea as presented to her was received as a compliment, but she demurred, saying she was already doing at no charge what he was suggesting that she charge for. I have often been told by friends who eat the food I cook that I should open a restaurant. My answer to them is similar to the answer that Anastasia gives Vladimir when he shares the plan he had just thought of. I already cook meals and share them with others at no charge because it makes me happy.
[page 18] "I'll take you with me. In a big city we'll hire a decent office for you, I'll advertise and you can treat people. You'll be of a great help to all sorts of people, and we'll have a right good income."
"But I sometimes treat people right now as it is. When I visualize various situations with the dachniks, to help them understand the world of plants around them, my Ray also eliminates their diseases, only I try not to eliminate all diseases..."
"But they don't even know that you're the one that's doing it, they don't pay you any money for it, or even say 'thank you'! You don't get anything for your labors?!"
"I feel happy."
It is hard to argue with someone who is doing what they want because it makes them feel happy, isn't it? There is another aspect of Anastasia's response which might be overlooked. "You have leverage in a situation when you want something less than the other person or persons," Harry Boyd told me during a seminar back in the 1970s and I have always remembered that excellent piece of advice. He was teaching me how to deal with importunate patients who want you to do something for them, when what they desperately need is to do something for themselves. Unless you convey to them that you earnestly want that something less than they do, you will be unable to help them achieve it. Anastasia maintains leverage by asking for nothing in return for her help. Other healers in the world have less success than she does because they want their patients to heal more than the patients want to and have lost the leverage necessary to engage their patients in the necessary healing process. This is my own opinion in this matter, and I may be wrong.
Vladimir asked Anastasia why no one else tried healing people with love the way she does.
[page 19] "Many scientists are trying to learn it. And many people you call folk healers also use this method, and they are having some success. This is the same method Christ Jesus healed by, as well as the saints. Much is said about love in the Bible, because this feeling has a beneficial influence on Man. It is the strongest feeling of all."
"Why do healers and doctors have so little success, and you have so much?"
"Because they live in your world, and they, just like everyone else in that world, have taken in harmful feelings."
"What kind of harmful feelings, and what do they have to do with it?"
"Harmful feelings, Vladimir, are anger, hatred, irritation, jealousy, envy . . . and others. They and other similar feelings make Man weaker. "
"You mean to say, Anastasia, that you hardly ever get angry?"
"I never get angry."
One wonders if one day of working in a modern clinic might give Anastasia something to get angry about, such as the situation she asked Vladimir about, "What if somebody does not have any money to pay for treatment?" (Page 19) Besides that Anastasia can already help people from the safe place created for her by her parents and ancestors going back for centuries, something she calls "The Space of Love" which foreshadows the next book, Book 3, whose title comes from that phrase. I live in such a space of love created by my ancestors for several hundred years in the marshy regions of southeastern Louisiana, and it took me until I was 36 to realize how important this region was to me.
When Anastasia mentions that healing of physical ailments can bring harm to someone, Vladimir objects emphatically with, "Curing someone is always a good thing!" This is the modern medical approach to thinking about the curing of physical ailments. Modern doctors typically do not look at the underlying causes of the ailment which lies in their patients souls and the karmic plan they have laid down for their lifetime. She answers him:
[page 20] "You see, Vladimir, I know this from experience. My grandfather showed me an example of the harm that healing can bring when it is not thought through, when the patient himself does not participate in the healing."
This upsets Vladimir greatly, so he asks for an example of such a case. Anastasia replies with a case in which she healed a woman and was told by her grandfather that she had made a mistake.
[page 22] "I decided to help her, and one night when she lay down to sleep I began warming her with my Ray, removing the pains from her body. I could feel some kind of resistance to the Ray, but I still kept on trying. I did this for about ten minutes until I succeeded in healing her flesh.
"Then, when Grandfather came, I told him about the old woman. And I asked him why the Ray had met some resistance. He thought about it, and then told me I had done the wrong thing. It made me very distraught.
"I began asking Grandfather to explain why. At first he did not say a word. Then he said, 'You healed the body.'"
Something was happening with the woman which would have led to her dying and Anastasia prolonged her life, ignoring the illness that spiritual beings had been weaving into her physical body. This process of healers working against the person's spiritual interests by healing them was spoken of by Rudolf Steiner over 85 years ago thus:
[page 47 of Broken Vessels] One sees illness being treated not by human beings but by spiritual beings. One kind of treatment is the kind human beings evolve: that is, treatment from the aspect of the earth. It consists of restoring the previous condition through some therapy that breaks up the illness. The spiritual beings that have to do with humanity treat illness differently. They weave an illness into the fabric of karma.
After being upset by her grandfather's response, Anastasia investigated further as to what happened. The week after she would have died, the woman's son came to her and told her he had dropped his art studies, gotten married, took a good paying job, and didn't want any more of those "those insipid food jars" she had been so lovingly preparing for him from her hard work in the garden. Instead of dying peacefully in her normal time, she died in great despair two weeks later. (Pages 22, 23)
Vladimir's response to this revelation was to ask her, "Why did you rid me of my diseases?" She explained that unless he changed his life style, they will come back. Vladimir was still upset that she had rebuffed his business plan for her, so she explained how people might cure themselves of their diseases without the undesirable side-effects which accompanies others healing them.
[page 25] "There are several main causes underlying the diseases of the human flesh, namely: harmful feelings, emotions, an artificial dietary regime — an unnatural meal schedule and food composition, the lack of short-term and long-term goals, and a misapprehension of one's essence and purpose in life. Positive emotions, a variety of plants and a reappraisal of one's essence and purpose in life — all these are capable not only of counteracting diseases but also of significantly enhancing one's physical and mental or emotional state.
"As far as bringing back — under the conditions of your world Man's lost connection with plants, I have already told you about that. After Man has established a direct personal contact with these plants, it is much easier to make sense of everything else.
"The Ray of Love, too, is capable of curing many diseases of one's fellow-Man and even prolonging his life by creating around him a Space of Love.
"But Man himself, once he has managed to arouse positive emotions in himself, can use them to extinguish pain and cure the diseases of the flesh — even the effects of poison."
Vladimir wanted to know how "one can think good thoughts if one has a toothache or a stomachache." Anastasia mentions Guardian Angels as a solution, recalling what she said in Book 1 that people who fill their minds constantly with things and thoughts are beyond the help of even their own Guardian Angels. Vladimir asks her, "How does one get enough pure and clear moments to arouse positive healing emotions?" (Page 26) Her answer is clear and practical: treat others with genuine Love and in return, you'll receive exactly that.
[page 26] "He should create at once something to make them appear. They appear when people around you treat you with genuine Love. So you must create a situation along those lines, create it by your actions in respect to those around you, otherwise your guardian angel will not be able to help you."
If it seems strange that one's own Guardian Angel won't help people who don't treat those around them with love, consider that the Guardian Angel is one of those around them that they don't treat with love, even to the point of not believing that they have a Guardian Angel — the most unlovable thing they can do. Many people alive today have been abandoned by their Guardian Angels for exactly that reason(1).
"Material things won't bring you love." That's something we've all heard over the years. Anastasia tells that to Vladimir in this way:
[page 29] "Genuine Love, Vladimir, could not possibly be under the control of artificially created objects. Even if you owned all the objects in the world, you would not be able, just with their help, to gain access to the true Love of even one woman."
He told her that his ship had done exactly that, it brought him the love of a woman. So she asked for details about what happened after he lured her aboard his large, luxurious ship. But why did Vladimir get drunk and end up sleeping alone in the cramped crew’s quarters below deck? The truth was too painful for him to recall, so Anastasia told him what had happened. This is a story played out over and over again in soap operas and movies. It is a ploy still used today because men will go for the short term gain and remain mostly ignorant of the long-term consequences of using material goods (cars, boats, etc) to attract women to themselves, up until now.
[page 30] "The moment came when you noticed a strange expression on the face of that beloved young woman of yours — a preoccupied smile. Intuitively, even subconsciously, you realized that she, your beloved, was thinking how happy she would be if only it were her own beloved that was sitting across from her in this bar, instead of Megré. Your precious girl was dreaming of someone else, someone she really liked. She fantasized that it was he, and not you, who was master of the ship. You were at the mercy of inert matter, to which you had tied your living feelings and aspirations, and were choking them to death."
The story of the red geraniums that the translator shared with us in his Preface must have been inspired by the events surrounding Vladimir's cherry tree. When Vladimir suggested to Anastasia that his ship was responsible for bringing the two of them together, she said that it was not the ship, but the cherry tree that was responsible. She insisted that he recall the events of the cherry tree and even helped him in his recollection of the events surrounding his acquiring it. It was the puniest of the three cherry trees that he bought that fateful day.
Waiting for his driver to fetch something at the Central Market one day, Vladimir watched people with contented smiles carrying saplings through the cold, rainy weather to their cars. He bought himself three of the cherry tree saplings.
[page 31] "When the driver returned, I got out and went over to the market myself. I kept walking up and down past the merchants' stalls and bought three cherry saplings. As I was tossing them into the baggage compartment, the driver said that one of the saplings wouldn't survive, since its roots had been cut too short, and I'd better throw it out right off but I decided to keep it. It was the most graceful of the three. Then I went and planted the saplings in the garden of my country home.
"I threw in extra topsoil around the tree with the short roots, and a sprinkling of peat moss, along with a bit of fertilizer."
"In trying to help it, you burnt two more little roots of the sapling with the fertilizer," Anastasia added.
"But it survived! In the spring, when the buds started coming out on the trees, its branches came to life, too. Little leaves began to appear. Then I set out on my commercial expedition."
This little sapling survived and thrived because of the love that Vladimir showed it, and was the first to bloom. Vladimir was elated. This little cherry tree only produced three cherries that first year, but he had bought some cherries at the market and was eating them when he approached the tree. He tried one of the cherries, but it was slightly sour compared to the store-bought ones so he left the other two on the tree uneaten. There is a lesson here for you and me, dear Reader, who may have done something similar, disdaining the fruit or vegetables on our own plot of land for those larger, prettier, or even better-tasting ones of the supermarket produce counter. Anastasia sets the record straight for Vladimir and for us.
[page 34] "Oh, if only you had known, Vladimir, how much power those little cherries contained on their own that was so beneficial to you! How much energy and Love! From the depths of the Earth and the expanses of the Universe and more, the tree had gathered everything helpful for you and poured it into these three cherries. It had even let one of its branches wither in order to make these three cherries ripen. One of them you tried, but you left the other two on the tree to die."
Then she explains how the unrequited love of the cherry tree reached Anastasia and led her to Vladimir's ship and to him. The cherry tree he had tenderly planted, whose branches he kissed, and whose cherry he ate, reached out to return his love and found Anastasia. Here was Vladimir's bootstrap into discovering Anastasia, he performed an act of love to a living cherry tree, something Anastasia herself does in her daily life and it resonated with her and led her to find him on his ship.
[page 35] "You mean to say," I queried, "that your relationship to me arose out of your desire to help the tree?"
"My relationship to you, Vladimir, is simply that: my relationship. It is difficult to say who was helping whom here — the cherry tree me or I the tree. Everything in the Universe is interrelated. To perceive what is really going on in the Universe one need only look into one's self. But now, by your leave, I am giving an embodiment to this, to what the cherry tree desired. May I give you a kiss from the tree?"
She kissed him. It was a tangible expression of the cherry tree’s love for him returned by the Universe in the form of Anastasia. The full story of the cherry tree is itself worth the price of this book.
When Vladimir asked her what kind of voice God has, she explained that the voice of spirit speaks in each of us as a thought which arises spontaneously. In our evolution of consciousness, we have lost the native wisdom of the Greeks, e.g., who knew that the gods speaks to us in our thoughts. With our petty egos, we like to think that what we think is all generated out of our selves, completely separated from the spiritual world in which we are immersed. This kind of separatist thinking is fostered by the forces of darkness in their divide-and-conquer strategy.
For years back in the 1970s there was a poster on my bathroom door with a quote from The Little Prince that said, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly that what is essential is invisible to the eye." This, I was to learn later, is called the "The Fox's Secret" because the Fox reveals it to the Little Prince. Anastasia revealed it to Vladimir when he asked that she explain in ordinary words what she meant by the union of opposites.
[page 49] "I certainly cannot do it alone. It can only be known through the joint effort of the divine particles to be found in various people living on the Earth — people with opposite modes of thinking and comprehension. Only through a joint effort will it be seen, and then in a dimension invisible to the eye — the domain of thoughts. One can also call it the dimension of the forces of light. It exists between the material world, in which Man lives, and God."
How many great ideas have started as a joke? I can't think of any right now, but it seems that this must have happened many times in the history of humanity. Someone makes a facetious remark in jest because a friend is taking something too seriously, and that remark is accepted as a brilliant suggestion and becomes a new invention, or a toy, or even a global celebration of life. Vladimir was overwhelmed by Anastasia's focus on her dachniks and their gardens on their dacha plots of land outside the cities of Russia. He said that he wanted to take her to a psychotherapist to rid her of her obsession. She countered by telling him that the dachniks averted a global catastrophe in 1992. Finally he had had it.
[page 56] So, what now?" I queried. "Should we erect a monument to every dachnik as the savior of the planet?"
"Yes, Vladimir, they are saviors indeed."
"But, that would be far too many monuments! I have it! Why not set up a one- or two-day national holiday? Dachnik Day, or an All-Earth Day, it could be designated on the calendar."
"Oooh, holiday!" Anastasia threw up her arms in elation. "What a terrific idea indeed! A celebration! A happy and cheerful holiday — that is something we definitely need!"
And already such a holiday has begun to be celebrated on the day that Anastasia chose, July 23rd, in honor of the man who suggested it, Vladimir's birthday. On page 59 is the speech in which she outlines what would happen on Dachnik's Day. It is a scene reminiscent of what Americans have done on Thanksgiving Day for hundreds of years.
Vladimir tells us how he came to buy a country house for his business cooperative which came with several animals including a milk cow. As the events unfolded, we are treated to a Three Stooges skit as three grown men who have never milked a cow before, not only succeed, but prove to be indispensable to the cow's giving milk! The cow refused to give milk to her previous milkmaid thereafter!
[page 81] Our cow, it turned out, was quite picky. Not only did she not let any of the hired milkmaids near her, whenever she was milked she demanded that one of us stand by her muzzle and feed her, and talk to her, while the milking had to be a joint effort on the part of two men together. That meant the three of us had to go for each milking session.
Another problem which Vladimir encountered was getting the voluntary association of entrepreneurs started that Anastasia had suggested. It was rough going, had some minor successes, and then dissolved. Only then did he recall that Anastasia had suggested that he write the book first and then begin the association This episode reminds me of the "Hagar the Horrible" comic strip in which one day, he is returning with wagon loads of broken and burnt up loot from a village and instructs his men, "Remember, it's pillage first and then burn!"
The most dramatic episode happened one day when Vladimir was feeling low already and had several cars splash water on him while it was raining. An indigent man mistook him as being homeless, and offered Vladimir a place to stay with him. He turned out to be a former officer in the Soviet army who preferred to live homeless than to continue with the army. He could no longer bear the stares of Russian citizens who stared at him with looks that struck him like bullets, looks he could feel even when they were staring behind his back. Vladimir talked to him at length about Anastasia. When he later returned to visit his homeless friend, he found him lying dead, killed by one of his fellow homeless. On the wall he had drawn "THE RINGING CEDARS OF RUSSIA" with three rays emanating from the Sun. This episode made Vladimir swear to begin writing his first book and in it to tell all Russians:
[page 113] "My fellow Russians, don't shoot at the heart of your officers with invisible exploding bullets, bullets of cruelty and heartlessness.
"Don't shoot from behind at any soldiers — be they White or Red, or even blue or green, ensigns or generals. The bullets you fire at them from behind are more terrible than the leaden ones. My fellow Russians, do not shoot at your officers!"
Vladimir relates a long conversation he had with Anastasia’s grandfather who visited him in Moscow. They covered many subjects in Chapter 26 and succeeding chapters, including the idea of a “Space of Love” which will be the title of the next book in the Ringing Cedars Series. Grandfather gave more details on the glade in which Anastasia lives and reading it made me think of the Space of Love into which my parents brought and raised me. Grandfather explained to Vladimir why he and his father walked away and left Anastasia alone as an infant in the glade after burying her parents.
[page 148] "To Anastasia the little glade is literally a mother's womb. The glade is her living Motherland. Powerful and kind. And inextricably tied by a natural, living thread to the whole Universe. To the whole creation of the Grand Creator.
"The little glade is her living Motherland. It came to her mother and her father. And from the One and Only, the Original Father. We could never be a substitute for it. That is why, after burying her parents, we walked away."
What was your Space of Love, dear Reader? Ponder that a while as I close down this review. Recall in detail where you were born and spent the first seven or so years of your life. Did you make contact with the Earth during that time? I recall many wonderful Spring days I spent with my siblings and cousins making nests out of white clover in our front yard which was my Space of Love. We had bees flying all around us, buzzing from one elegant white puff of tiny blooms to another and never once did I get stung that I can recall. We would catch round little beatles we called "cousins". They resembled a tiny Quonset Hut with hundreds of legs, but when you picked one up, it would curl into an almost perfect sphere. We lived with bugs, plants, anoles, bees, dragonflies, and wasps in complete harmony. A harmony that was only jarred by an occasional old bitty who would warn us about being bitten. Her bitter version of reality was so far from the comfortable paradise we lived in every day in our space of love, that we blithely ignored her whiney warnings and went back to our games in the grass in bliss.
May you grow to appreciate the space of love in which you grew up, and re-create that space of love for your children by allowing them contact with the Earth, unhindered by any fears or worries so that their growing up will have deep connections with Nature and with Love.
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
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1. See The Work of the Angels in Man's Astral Body and Guardian Angels by Rudolf Steiner for more details on Guardian AngelsReturn to text directly before Footnote 1.
Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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