Occult teachings come to us from both east and west…dreadful spiritual aggression against Russia, more exactly against Orthodoxy in Russia, is taking place in front of our eyes, for Russia remains the only pillar and bulwark of true Christianity in the world. And this is precisely why such huge efforts are expended in order to break Orthodoxy apart both from outside and from inside.
Hieromonk Anatoliy (Berestov) in his book ‘The Number of the Beast’
In 1904 Sir Halford John Mackinder (1861–1947), the father of geopolitics, wrote that the ‘geographical pivot of history’, the centre or heartland of the world, is Eurasian Russia. For Mackinder, he who controls Russia, uniting both East and West, controls the world, for it is at the heart of the universal spiritual struggle. In other words, either Russia with its untainted Christianity will set the world an example of how to live both personally and socially, in politics and economics, thus postponing the Apocalypse, or else it will be overcome by anti-spiritual values and the rest of the world will follow that destructive path of impurity. We can see the aggression of these anti-spiritual values at the present time in the ‘Ukraine’, a fictitious country on Russia’s western marches ‘made in Austria’ and now manipulated by the USA. However, these anti-spiritual values infect Russia from both East and West.
Infection from Eastern Monism
Every violent event in history is always preceded by a wave of anti-spiritual values, spiritual decadence and impurity in some form of occultism. This we can see before the English, American, French and Russian Revolutions. The Russian Revolution was preceded by occultism based on Hinduism. In the Russia of that time a de-moralised (because de-spiritualised) aristocracy gave itself up to the occult, as we can quite clearly see from the later history of that aristocracy in the emigration, the centre of which was Paris.
Such occultism thrives on passivity, giving it the ability to control individuality; it hates independence of thought, for independence means freedom from the guru cult. Indeed, totalitarian control by the guru is an essential part of Hindu-tainted occultism. Any independence would be a clear sign that the personalities of the devotees of the cult have not been crushed and so cannot be cloned in the image of the guru. Indeed, cults and cultishness can be identified simply by looking at the close, conscious or unconscious, physical resemblances between the guru and the cult followers, who are hypnotised by the chanting of the guru’s chosen mantra. Another essential feature of such cults is the esoteric language that they use, indicating their intellectual arrogance and that they are in fact philosophies and not theology. In contrast, the Saviour from Galilee attracted simple fishermen with simple words, leaving no long-worded, multi-volume philosophical treatises behind Him.
This is because occult Hinduism asserts that ‘love’ (usually in its coarsest physical form) means a merging into the Godhead, the disappearance of the human personality. For Christianity, however, love (understood as self-sacrifice) means that the human-being retains his personality, indeed becoming a fuller person, and not a non-person, through transfiguration, and not crushing, by grace. This difference explains the intolerance of the independent human personality by Russian occultism, even when that occultism is masked by pseudo-Orthodoxy. This is also why Paris philosophy so emphasised ‘theosis’, which it generally did not understand in the Orthodox sense, but in the Hindu sense of the personality being swallowed up. Hence also its pseudo-Palamism, its emphasis on the Divine energies, not in the Palamite sense, but in the sense of the person being assimilated into a nebulous godhead (Sophia) and so becoming part of that godhead, rejecting the principle of the God-man and Godmanhood.
In its emphasis on humanity Paris philosophy surpassed even Western humanism but only in order to assert the ability of that fallen humanity to be absorbed into their god. This is not Orthodox. Thus, in his fifth letter on spiritual life, St Theophan the Recluse writes that: ‘The true Christian is one in spirit with God – so close is the union. But at the same time the Christian is himself, he does not disappear into Christ the Lord, but remains a separate person, arranging himself according to the image of Christ’. Thus, for Orthodoxy, personal freedom remains and the personality is not bullied into submission as in tyrannical Parisian philosophy. As the Apostle Peter puts it, we ‘partake of the Divine Nature’ (2 Peter 1, 4), in other words, we partake, but we are not absorbed into God, for we retain our personalities.
Infection from Western Individualism
This emphasis on the human personality which resists Eastern (especially Hindu) monism also resists egocentric Western individualism and the contemporary I-culture. As the Orthodox academic theologian Vladimir Lossky pointed out some 60 years ago, the personality can attain the likeness of God, whereas the individual, fallen, is unable to, as it is locked up in itself, in its own ego. Indeed, all satanic teachings develop the individual at the expense of the personality. Individualism means that each looks after himself (‘No 1’), that society is irrelevant (‘there is no such thing as society’), and that one’s own comfort, satisfaction of one’s own ‘consumer’ needs, is all that counts.
Individualism is opposed to the Christian teaching on the Holy Trinity, one God in Three Persons (precisely Persons, or in Greek, Hypostases, and not Individuals). The Christian personality is part of a whole society with Christ and all His saints. Through communion with them, the individual acquires the mind of Christ, the mind of the saints, the life in Christ, which transfigure him precisely into a personality, who, moreover, is immortal. This is the very elixir of eternal life, so quested for by Western occultists and ‘mystics’, who inspired such Russian philosophers as Berdyayev. The redeemed human personality, no longer an individual, but belonging to communion with Christ and His saints, is not absorbed into God, precisely because he now has God in him.
Conversely, individualism is egocentric because the individual, locked up as a captive in his own ego, is cut off from the greater world, God’s world, Divine Love. Thus, the existential lonelinesss of modern secular humanity and the absurdity of its existence, for it thinks only of ‘the instinct of self-preservation’ and ‘the survival of the fittest’. This egocentric ideology is the exact opposite of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and the whole ascetic teaching of Orthodox Christianity, so detested and rejected by the Paris School. We can see this in the spiritual manifestation of capitalism, the fruit of ’Judeo-Christian’ (= Protestant-Catholic) civilisation. Here ‘God’s blessing’ is understood only as the amount of money that can be accumulated by the egocentric individual; in other words, in Judeo-Christian economic life riches are a religion, Mammon is worshipped instead of Christ.
Conversely, in Orthodox Christianity, buying and selling are not a way to accumulate riches in order to pamper oneself as in ‘Judeo-Christian’ economics. They are a way to do good in society, to help the poor, to be a patron of the arts, to found hospitals, orphanages and schools, to build churches (like St Seraphim of Sarov’s merchant father or Russian merchants who paid for the Orthodox Cathedral in Tokyo or benefactors like the merchants Tretyakov and Soldatenkov). In other words, business is to serve Christ, His Church and His Creation. This is not capitalism, the worship of capital, the worship of Mammon; this is God-loving and so Creation-loving life. This is the inverse of boyars/aristocrats/oligarchs, who each in their own age all reflect the same spiritual decadence, the same falling away from the Orthodox Christian vision of life.
The ideal of modern secularist society is not God, Whom it has already declared dead, but the individualistic wants (and not needs) of the idolised human ego, so-called ‘consumerism’. Thus, modern humanity is building a new Tower of Babel to its own (fallen) glory. However, in this process Deicide is becoming suicide, for Creation cannot outlive the Creator. Its idols are today seen for what they are. Its idols are today seen for what they are. This is why night is fast falling on the Western world and the time has come when Western culture is altogether dying out. Having rejected the Creator and deified the fallen individual, Western humanity has in its mind emptied heaven, but so emptied the earth also. The individualisation of Western society has come about from its spiritual emptiness, but, woe betide! – since nature abhors a vacuum, demons are filling that emptiness. As St Justin Popovich wrote: ‘Europe has become a cemetery’.