Mikhail Epstein


In the book The Occult in Russian and Soviet Culture, ed. by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1997, pp. 325-355.



APPENDIX: Synopsis of Daniil Andreev's treatise The Rose of the World

The Rose of The World consists of 12 books, each of which is divided into several chapters.

Book One: "The Rose of the World and Its Place in History." In chapter 1 titled, "The Rose of the World and Its Most Immediate Tasks," Andreev briefly refers to the history of his manuscript, which he had to hide during the work and after its completion in 1958. "I belong to those who have been fatally wounded by two great misfortunes: world wars and one person’s (edinolichnoi ) tyranny" (p. 7). Andreev explains the task of his book as promoting the rapprochement of religions and ideologies that aspire to the spiritual unity of the world. The Rose of the World is the universal teaching of pan-religion, destined to fulfill the integration of humanity, a process begun by the formation of institutions such as world religions and the League of Nations. "If old religions are petals then the Rose of the World is the flower" (13). "Inter-religiousness, the universality of social aspirations and their concrete character, the dynamism of world view and consistency of historical goals: these are the traits which set the Rose of the World apart from all past religions and churches" (14) "It is a universal, super-national structure (vsemirnoe narodoustroistvo) that aspires to the sanctification and enlightenment of the entire life of the world" (16).

In chapter 2, "The Attitude Towards Culture," Andreev regards more specifically the scientific, economic, technological, aesthetic, and ethical problems which the Rose of the World is called to solve. In particular, he prophesies that visual art in the future will follow the patterns of metarealism, showing many material and spiritual layers of reality through one image.

In chapter 3, "The Attitude Towards Religions," Andreev seeks a way to reconcile the contradictory aspects of different world religions, like the strict monotheism of Islam and the Trinity of Christianity.

Book Two: "On the Metahistorical and Transphysical Methods of Knowledge." Chapter 1, "Some Peculiarities of Metahistorical Method," lays down the methodological foundation of the book. Metahistory is the unified history of this world and of all others. It is the totality of processes which are implemented in all dimensions of space-time and sometimes shine through the social history of mankind, which is itself only a tiny part of this metahistory. Andreev categorizes three stages of metahistorical knowledge: illumination, contemplation, and interpretation. He recounts the most important metahistorical illuminations of his own life, which occurred in 1921, 1928, 1932, 1933 and 1943, and then, regularly, from 1950-53, while he was in jail. In his mystical travels through multiple worlds he was led by the greatest spirits that ever existed in Russia. He did not see them, but was able to talk to them and he heard their words coming from the bottom of his own heart.

Chapter 2, "Some Thoughts on Transphysical Method," focuses on the perception of nature as a transparent physical reality which reveals its transphysical spiritual essence. Andreev describes his own travels across Russia and Ukraine during which he communicated with the spiritual entities of nature, which he calls Stikhiali, or elementals.

In Chapter 3, "The Initial Conception," the most important concepts of the new metahistorical and transphysical vision are described.

1: Multiple Layers. Every layer differs from every other in its number of spatial or temporal dimensions. Several specific terms are introduced: Bramfatura (a system of layers surrounding each celestial body), Enrof (the name of our physical layer, which consists of three spatial and one temporary dimension), Shadanakar (our Planet's Bramfatura, which consists of 242 layers of differing spaces and times), and Sakuala (a system of layers, each of which can be entered from another). Andreev states that elementary particles are living entities that possess free will, but it is still impossible at present to communicate with them.

2: The Origin of Evil/The World's Laws/Karma. The root of Evil is egoism - the intention to include all other monads, or spiritual entities, in one's own self. Only God is capable of creating monads; Lucifer can only try to capture them. Evil is embodied in Gartungr, a planetary demon who possesses three separate and interrelated identities (anti-hypostases): the great tormentor, the great whore, and the principle of form (possibly, as a demonic counterpart to the third hypostasis of the Holy Spirit). The struggle between Gartungr and the Planetary Logos, who was embodied in Christ, comprises the propelling force of the history of the Earth.

3: The Question of Free Will. History is the progressive development of the freedom of human will, which allows an individual monad to liberate itself from evil and its consequences.

4: Being and Consciousness.

5: The Various Material Components of a Human Being. "A monad is an indivisible and spiritual unit, the highest 'self' of people" (117). Monads materialize in shelt, a five-dimensional body, as well as in astral and ethereal bodies. This allows monads to survive physical death and to travel into other sakuals.

6: Metacultures. Andreev introduces the concepts of the super-nation (sverkhnarod ) and its metaculture, which exist simultaneously in many material layers. Super-nations include the Southwestern Roman Catholic Super-nation, the Northwestern German Protestant Super-nation, the Russian Super-nation, and so on. Each super-nation creates its own transmyth as a specific vision of multiple realities -- a unifying myth, defining the collective identity of interconnected nations. These transmyths include those artistic creations which most deeply express the soul of the given super-nation, such as Goethe's Faust and Margarita, or Shakespeare's Hamlet and King Lear.

A super-nation is flanked by two metacultural realms. The upper layer, called a zatomis, is the metacultural abode of a super-nation's enlightened souls, holy cities and heavenly spirits. The lower layer, called shrastr, is home to the concentrated demonic forces of the super-nation. Olympus, Sinai, and Kitezh exemplify the transmythical images of the zatomises in the Greek, Jewish, and Russian metacultures, respectively. Andreev explains that Russia's relative youth is responsible for the lack of Russian terms in his description of transphysical worlds. They had already been named in the languages of older metacultures, primarily the Indian one.

Book Three: "The Structure of Shadanakar: the Ascending Row of Worlds." In Chapter 1, "Sakuala of Enlightenment," Andreev describes his most recent death, which occurred three hundred years ago in a non-Russian metaculture. He recalls the layers through which his soul consequently ascended. The first layer was Olirna, a world in which Andreev met some of his closest relatives and friends. The environment there is similar to the Earth's, but it is without Earth's extremes of tropical rains and arctic frost. The sky is a deep green and the sun is multicolored. A lonely island in Olirna happens to be the residence of the betrayer of Christ, Judas, who has since repented. Death is not the way from Olirna to the next, higher worlds; transfiguration is. The next layer is Fier (Fair), whose inhabitants exult over the abundant light and the appearance of long-expected wings. Those who reach Fier will never come down to Enrof, the Earth, unless they have a spiritual mission. Then the worlds Nartis (the land of great tranquility) and Gotimna (the garden of sublime fates) are described.

Chapter 2: "Zatomises." Zatomises are the top layers of metaculture and are inhabited by sinklits, assemblies of the greatest souls of the super-nations. There are nineteen zatomises, corresponding to the number of metacultures. The first zatomis is Maif, the heavenly synod of the metaculture of Atlantis, the society that existed approximately ten thousand years before the birth of Christ. The culture of Atlantis was similar to that of ancient Egypt, only more repressive and gloomy. Other zatomises include: 1) Linat (Gondvana land), 2) Ialu (Ancient Egypt), 3) Eanna (Babylon, Assyria and Canaan), 4) Shan-Ti (China), 5) Sumera (or Meru, India, the most powerful of all zatomises), 6) Zervan (Ancient Persia), 7) Olymp (Ancient Greece and Rome), 8) Nikhord (Judaism), 9) Rai (Byzantine), 10) Eden (Roman Catholicism), 11) Monsalvat (European Northwest, American North, Australia and some parts of Africa, the most vast of all zatomises), 12) Zhunfleiia (Ethiopia), 13) Jannet (Islam), 14) Sukkhavati (Northern Buddhism), 15) Aireng-Daliang (Indo-Malaysia), 16) Heavenly Russia (Russia), 17) The Zatomis of African Culture (Africa), and 18) Arimoiia. This final one is the emerging, unfinished zatomis of pan-human interreligious culture that is being created by the Rose of the World.

Each zatomis is briefly described and designated by specific symbols. For example, the symbol of China's metaculture is a beautiful woman's face under a lotus-like crown; Greek and Roman metaculture is symbolized by a white temple against a sky blue background; India's metacultural symbol is three mountain chains crowned with golden cities; the Jewish metaculture is symbolized by tent-like buildings surrounded by trees with large red fruits. Finally, Andreev gives a description of heavenly Russia, a pinkish-white city with many temples on a high shore above a blue river. The highest place in heavenly Russia belongs to Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Leo Tolstoi, Alexei Konstantinovich Tolstoi, Dostoevsky, Vladimir Soloviev, and Kutuzov (the general who defeated Napoleon), because national geniuses and messengers continue their spiritual activity in the zatomises. Scores of great spirits ascended from the Russian zatomis into the world's sinklit, among them Vladimir the Saint, Iaroslav the Wise, Sergei Radonezhsky, Andrei Rublev, and Lomonosov.

In Chapter 3 "The Middle Layers of Shadanakar," Andreev presents the yellowish, smoking spaces where Egregors live. These entities of a non-material nature emerge from the psychic essence of great collectives (tribes, states, parties, communities). Seven subdivisions of these middle worlds of Egregors are described. One such subdivision is Foraun, which consists of the dark, ephemeral radiation that comes from congregations of people gathered in churches. The highest category of humanity, known as Daimons (Demons), inhabits one of the middle worlds. The Daimons are similar to angels, except for the fact that they are divided into two sexes. They inspire earthbound artists and poets. In Andreev's mind, fictional characters, like heroes of Shakespeare, Tolstoi, Dostoevsky and others, have prototypes in the world of Daimons; after the death of a writer, a hero's image, such as that of Ivan Karamazov or Andrei Bolkonsky, ascends to one of the other worlds, elevated by the spiritual force of their creator.

Book Four: "The Structure of Shadanakar and Infraphysics," is devoted to the lower worlds. Chapter 1, "The Foundation," describes Gartungr, the demon of Shadanakar, who imitates aspects of God such as the Trinity. He lies on the waves of a turbulent lilac ocean with his black wings spread from horizon to horizon. Gasharva, one of the lowest worlds, possesses many temporal dimensions, but only two spatial ones. This situation creates a spiritual stuffiness and an enormous density of matter. This world is home to the model for Vrubel's famous "Demon," as well as for the Velgas. The latter are powerful female demons who resemble huge, black, enveloping clothing that constantly opens and closes. On the Bottom of the Galaxy, the lowest of all levels, time does not exist. The demonic creatures living there are one-dimensional, like a black line, and their suffering is indescribable.

Chapter 2 describes "The Worlds of Retribution," which function as purgatories. The first is Skrivnus, a place without God, colors, or flowers. Millions of people live there in trenches dug among low, but unascendable hills. Their sleep is devoid of dreams and their labor is devoid of creativity: they mend old clothes, wash dirty dishes, and so on. Their condition is further hampered by the enormous, frightful beings who live on the other side of the hills and occasionally throw things at them. The people of Skrivnus look almost human, but their features are smooth, like identical pancakes. The most trying torment for them is boredom and tedious work devoid of any sense of the future. The only way to escape Skrivnus is the black, box-like ship that can be seen when it occasionally floats ashore swiftly and silently. Those who are taken into the ship's hold see nothing - they only feel a horizontal movement followed by a spiraling downfall.

The layers after Skrivnus are Ladref, Morod, and Agr. The latter is composed of black smoke in which mirror images of the Earth's great cities appear. There is no sun, moon, or stars; instead, each object radiates a dim, dark red color. Andreev describes in detail the sight of infra-Petersburg. The following layer is Bustvich, where residents (prisoners) are disgusted with themselves because their ethereal bodies have been reduced to feces. The next purgatories are Rafag, Shim-Big, Dromn and Fukabirn. These are followed by layers of magma (molten rock): Okrus, Gvegr, Ukarvair, Propulk, and Yrl. After the magma, there are levels which descend to the physical core of the Earth. These include: Biask (infra-red caverns), Amiuts (vertical fissures), Ytrech (planetary night), Zhurshch (where only Judas Iscariot ever had resided), and Sufel (or Sufekh). Sufel is the world in which stubbornly evil people experience a second death and their monads are expelled from Shadanakar.

Chapter 3, "Shrastrs and Uitsraors." Shrastrs are worlds which mirror zatomises from beneath the Earth. These "satanocratic" worlds are inhabited by anti-humans who serve the goals of the planetary demon. Among them are the Igvs, who are highly intellectual, but have almost no emotional or sexual feelings. They do not need privacy or spiritual love. Uitsraors, another group of subterranean inhabitants, possess the most important role in history. They were supposed to be the defenders of nations from outward enemies, but then proved to be tools of demonic will. They are the offspring of the female demon Lilith and the demiurges of the super-nations. Uitsraors are enormous; if one imagines the head of this creature to be in the city of Moscow, his tentacles would reach hundreds of miles to the sea. Uitsraors love the human world with a greedy, predatory passion, but they cannot tangibly exist on the Earth. They radiate an enormous amount of psychic energy which is manifested in national, patriotic feelings towards one's state. All the forces that compose a great power, like chauvinism, tyranny, and xenophobia, are concentrated in these huge creatures. The Uitsraors of some previous societies, such as Babylon, Rome and Byzantine, have perished. The Uitsraor of Russia is named Zhrugr. In the lower world of the Russian metaculture, Drukkarg, the Zhrugr uses its power to stifle Navna, the ideal communal soul of Russia.

Book Five: "The Structure of Shadanakar: Stikhials (Elementals)." Stikhials are the spirits of nature, monads who manifest themselves in physical worlds. Chapter 1, "Demonic Stikhials," describes such elements of physical nature as volcanos, magma, the sea floor, and the Earth's core. The worlds of Shartamakhum, Ganniks, Sviks, Nugurt and Duggur, the home to the great metropolitan cities of the underworld, including infra-Petersburg, are portrayed.

Chapter 2, "The Light Stikhials," describes the worlds of Murokhamma (grasses and bushes), Arashamf (souls of the trees), Vaiita (winds), Faltora (meadows and fields), Liurna (souls of the rivers), Vlanmim (upper layers of the seas), Zunguf (clouds and rains), Irudrana (thunderstorms), Nivenna (snow) and many others.

Chapter 3, "The Attitude towards the Animal Kingdom," discusses the spiritual significance of insects, mammals, fish and other creatures. Andreev establishes the moral duty of man as pertains to animals. This includes zoogogy, the pedagogy of animals, a science which accelerates the animals' development to the mental level of human beings.

Book Six: "The Highest Worlds of Shadanakar". Chapter 1: "Towards World Salvaterra". Salvaterra means 'land of salvation' or, in poetic terms, "the shining crystal of heaven's strivings" (264). The highest souls of humanity, encompassing both individuals and nations, are located here after completing their earthly tasks. Andreev believes that world leadership will pass to the demiurge of the Russian super-nation in the near future, which will then be succeeded by the demiurge of India.

Chapter 2, "The Logos of Shadanakar", investigates the fate of Jesus Christ. Andreev suggests that Jesus' mission was not fully carried out. The material element of nature and of humanity has not been enlightened on a worldwide scale, but only in the flesh of Christ himself. During the twenty centuries since his Resurrection, Christ's spiritual powers have increased immensely; Andreev foresees a Second Coming in two or three more centuries.

In Chapter 3, "Femininity," Andreev connects the future of humanity with the growing prevalence of femininity; he also revises the traditional concept of the Holy Trinity, to include a female hypostasis or essence.

Book Seven: "Towards the Metahistory of Ancient Rus'." From this book on, the author presents a kind of cohesive explanation of Russian history, which commences at its inception and continues up to the foreseeable future.

Chapter 1: "Kievan Rus' as a Metahistorical Phenomenon." The main heroes of this chapter are the Russian demiurge Iarosvet, Russia's communal soul Navna, and the demonic forces Velga and Gartungr, who were involved in the very conception of Russia.

Chapter 2: "The Christian Myth and Proto-Russianism (prarossianstvo)." The relationship between Orthodox Christianity and Russian paganism is investigated. A duality is found in the contrast between the elegant and cheerful exteriors of Russian cathedrals and their dark and severe interiors.

Chapter 3: "The Epoch of the First Uitsraor," is devoted to the birth of Muscovite Rus' and to the personality of Ivan the Terrible.

Book Eight: "Towards the Metahistory of the Muscovite Tsardom." In Chapter 1, "The Change of the Uitsraors," the period of Boris Godunov and the Time of Troubles are described in metahistorical terms. The Zhrugr of Moscow's statehood is first weakened, then dismembered, and finally eaten by its offspring. Russia was torn apart and a new Zhrugr had to usurp the throne in order to restore the integrity of the country.

Chapter 2, "The Egregor of Orthodoxy and Infraphysical Fear," treats the relationship between the church and the state in Russia, Nikon's church reforms of the mid-seventeenth century, the division of initial spiritual integrity, and the birth of metahistorical self-consciousness in Russia.

In Chapter 3, "The Filling of the Space Between Cultures," Andreev interprets Russia's eastward expansion and the assimilation of Siberia and the Far East as a great metahistorical event which filled in the space between Catholic, Muslim and Indian cultures.

Chapter 4: "Rodomysl Peter the Great and the Demonic Distortion of his Mission." Andreev calls rodomysls (the word composed of two Russian roots "birth, genus" and "thought") great historical figures, Peter the Great among them, who play prophetic and crucial roles in the fates of their nations. The author analyzes the contradictions of Peter the Great, whose activity was instigated by the second Zhrugr of Russian statehood after the first Zhrugr had perished in the Time of Troubles. .

Book Nine: "Towards the Metahistory of the Petersburg Empire." Chapter 1: "The Second Uitsraor and Exterior Space." In this chapter Andreev outlines Russian culture amidst the world culture and Russian achievements and failures as an intermediary between Western and Eastern civilizations.

Chapter 2: "The Second Uitsraor and Interior Space." The peculiarities of the Russian monarchy and of the Romanov dynasty are described in terms of the laws of karma.

In Chapter 3, "The Removal of Blessing," the reign of Aleksandr I, his life in Siberia after his apparent death in 1825, his angelic nature, and his burden of karma -- all evidence Aleksandr's contradictory relationship to Providence.

Book Ten: "Towards the Metahistory of Russian Culture." Chapter 1: "The Talent of Messengers." Andreev divides artistic geniuses and talents into different categories and singles out a specific rank for messengers. They are people who are inspired by Daimons and reveal the highest realities of other worlds.

Chapter 2: "Missions and Fates." Andreev traces the role of the eternal feminine in Russian culture and the spiritual missions of Pushkin, Lermontov and Gogol.

Ch 3: "Missions and Fates (continuation)." The missions of Dostoevsky and Tolstoi are regarded as the reconciliation of the two elements of Russian culture, the ascetic Christian and the pagan.

Chapter 4: "Missions and Fates (conclusion)." The works and fates of Ivan Turgenev and Vladimir Soloviev are considered to be a deep revelation of the feminine soul of Russia.

Chapter 5: "The Fall of the Messenger." Aleksandr Blok's descent from the idealism of his early poems to the fascination with Russia as a great whore symbolizes the mystical fall of the whole country into the abyss of revolution.

Book Eleven: "Towards the Metahistory of the Last Century." Chapter 1: "The Third Zhrugr's Ascension to Power." The first Zhrugr inspired the state power of Muscovite Rus' and the second one inspired the Petersburg Empire. Here the third Zhrugr, a crimson beast who proved to be much more cruel and predatory than the first two, begins his struggle against his predecessor.

Chapter 2: "The Struggle Against Spirituality." The doctrine of Soviet ideology is analyzed as a quasi-religion whose aim was to cut all connections of the so-called "new man" with the spiritual worlds. Andreev doubts the cultural potential of the working class, identifying the "faceless" proletariat not as the crown but as the bottom of humanity and as a tragic diffusion and degradation of humanity's truly creative forces, the peasantry and the intelligentsia.

Chapter 3: "The Dark Shepherd." Returning to deep prophecies of Russian literature about the future anti-Christ (poems by Lermontov and Blok, and the images of Saltykov-Shchedrin are mentioned), Andreev demonstrates their embodiment in Stalin. Stalin proved to be a much more successful manifestation of the Gartungr's demonic will than Lenin or Hitler. The mystical motives of Stalin's behavior and his life beyond the grave at the very bottom of the world are set forth.

Chapter 4: "Towards the Metahistory of Our Days." This chapter describes the post-Stalin period, when both the hierarchies of the Light and those of Darkness tried to prevent a planetary catastrophe. The third Uitsraor began to lose its power in Khrushchev's time, though his struggle with Stebing, the Uitsraor of North America, still gave the former Uitsraor many advantages.

Book Twelve: "Possibilities." Chapter 1: "The Education of a Man with a Noble Spirit." Andreev maintains that the birth of the Rose of the World is fore-ordained, but no one can predict exactly when it will appear. While critical of the moral doctrines of communism, Andreev also identifies some of its positive aspects, in particular the harmony of the physical and spiritual components of personality, and the coexistence of civilization and nature. The educational and judicial systems of the future are described at length.

Chapter 2: "External Measures." The transformation of the earth, the melting of polar ice and snow, the irrigation of desert land into oases, a unified cosmopolitan state, centers of a new religious culture, cities of faith, triumphal gardens, theaters of mysteries, houses of meditation, philosophical institutions - such are the components of Andreev's design for the Rose of the World.

Chapter 3: "The Cult." The liturgy of the Rose of the World will include not only elements of traditional religious rituals, but also the spiritual aspects of the arts and literature, and the sanctified elements of nature. The sacraments of birth, friendship, love, creativity, childhood, old age and, most importantly, femininity will be unified in the temples of the future. Andreev foresees five hierarchies of priests that partly correspond to his new concept of Trinity. The first hierarchy, the Father's, will be golden; the second, the Virgin Mother's, will be blue; and the third hierarchy, the Son's, will be white. The fourth, purple, hierarchy's religious service will be addressed to the self-consciousness and historic roots of a given nation and will include the pantheons worshipping its greatest rodomysls and messengers (for example, the cult of Pro-Russianism). Temples of stikhials and the fifth, green, priesthood will preach the spirituality of nature (257-258).

Chapter 4: "The Prince of Darkness." The Rose of the World will not prevent Satan's arrival. Thirst for power and sexual freedom will put an end to the golden age, by causing the collapse of social harmony. People will worship Gartungr as a rebellious hero against God's tyranny. Anti-Logos will become the most general and brilliant genius, quickly rising to the pinnacle of the arts and sciences. He will be the same monad whose imperfect draft was Stalin. He will perform miracles that will make Christ's miracles pale in comparison (many details are reminiscent of Soloviev's "A Tale of Anti-Christ"). He will announce himself to be the embodiment of God the Father, but gradually he will be replaced by the great tormentor, Satan. The great fornicatress will take the place of the eternal feminine and will seduce myriads of people. The Rose of the World will be banned and all priests and parishes will be destroyed. Anti-humans will rise from beneath the earth's surface and igvs, demonic beings of higher intellect, the inhabitants of the lower worlds, will rule humanity. Suddenly a catastrophe will overtake Anti-Logos, when his monad, which was abducted by Gartungr thousands of years ago, is liberated by the Savior; the Prince of Darkness will fall through all the layers of Hell into the timeless Bottom of Galaxy.

Chapter 5: "The Change of Eons." Unprecedented terror, confusion, and bloody chaos will follow the fall of Satan. There will be sadism, sexual cannibalism, world war between igvs and people, economic collapse, and power in the hands of local tyrants. Nature will become an arena for horrible catastrophes. Several dozens of survivors of the Rose of the World, the brothers of the Light, will gather at a single place on earth, presumably in Siberia.

At this time, Shadanakar will tremble from top to bottom, and Christ will manifest Himself to everyone. He will descend to the lowest layers of the world and will resurrect the remainders of all souls. During this second eon the worlds of retribution, including the so-called "hell," will be expiated and will become empty.

Gartungr, the Great Demon, will remain alone in the jubilant, transformed universe. If he will finally accept God, then the third eon, the redemption of Gartungr, will begin. The entire Shadanakar will disappear from the physical dimension. "This is about the coming of the third eon that the great angel of the Apocalypse swears by saying that there will be time nevermore" (272).




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