I. Community as God
II. Communality and Individualism
III. Greece or Hellas?
IV. He Mission of Christianity
V. From the Community Against Individualism to the Community Against the Community
VI. Who is Right: the Orthodox God or the Catholic God?
VII. Cosmos or Earth, Matter or Life?
VIII. The Genesis of Orthodoxy
IX. The Genesis of Catholicism
X. The History of Russia in the Context of the Evolution of the National Spirit and Orthodoxy
XI. Russia in the Early Twenty-First Century
XII. Russia in the Twenty-First Century (2030-2100)
Man lives not only in the world of things, bodies and objects, but also in the world of personalities and souls. Both worlds exist next to each other without being restricted one to the other and without one coming from the other. Weak theories of reflection can’t explain this, neither can notions of the creation of the world from nothing.
The world of values is primarily the world of people, their I’s. This world is perceived by all the senses.
But there is one more world of personalities which cannot be perceived by the senses, which cannot be identified with any one concrete organism. That is the world of communal personalities, the world of I-communities. They arise in groups of people small and great, they arise automatically, independent of people’s will and desire. People cannot communicate with them without special procedures and rituals, and in this case communication takes on the form of a revelation, grace, “divine light” and is accessible not to all and not always, and is spectral to non-believers.
The manifestations of this world of the personality of the I-community can be studied. The laws of the crowd are some manifestations of the I-community. A classic example of a full-fledged and sovereign communal personality is the example of a primitive community that has completely dissolved the individual human personality.
Communal personalities are just as valuable and real as individual personalities. They also develop. They also have their hierarchy. For example, the personality of a chance crowd is accidental, blind and irrational. The personality of a regular community—be it a primitive clan, a primitive tribe or a modern people—is ultimately more advanced and rational. It exists not hours and days, depending on the time of physical existence of the crowd or a concrete goal moving it, but over the course of a so-called “major cycle,” an immanent life span conditioned by its internal laws. A “major cycle” is 768 years (3х4х4х4х4). The lifetime of a regular community is somewhat less than this term since most likely there is a term between its death and rebirth.
Mythology and religion are rational systems that ensure the power of communal I’s over individual I’s, the power of the community over society. God is the personality of the community. The many gods of pagan peoples were at one time gods of particular communities but then, as these peoples formed, they took on functional roles and gradually became more the object of attention of art and philosophy than manifestations of the communal I’s.
I-nations and I-peoples are communal and are basically religious self-consciousness since religion possesses an appropriate language to describe this, since only religion possesses an adequate and purposeful ritual system (the liturgy) capable of activating the I-communities and connecting individual consciousness with communal consciousness, and since only religion concentrates the historical member of a people as a communal personality.
How does individualism differ from non-individualism?
The individual was only in charge of physical management of his body and benefiting from his poor professional skills as a hunter, fisher, gatherer or warrior and, in later societies, as a farmer raising animals and tilling the land.
But with the breakdown of primitive-communal communities, with the appearance of classes and the seeds of the state, with the rising complexity of professional and mental activity, the individual consciousness began to recognize abstract concepts and words denoting them, and personal freedom increased dramatically.
The primitive community can’t always answer life’s questions, but some answers can be found by the individual mind. Man stops being the member of just a clan community. He also becomes a member of societies, i.e. state, production and social hierarchies; he becomes a particle and a bearer of market relations. The thinking or just active man also becomes a member of fraternities or groups of people professing the same or similar views, theories and philosophy. Moreover, humans become members of not just one community or two closely linked communities, the tribe and the clan, but members of several such communities that are not always linked: the family community, the neighborhood community, the clan and national communities. All of this gives the individual previously unknown freedom both from the community itself and from man’s environment. Abstract concepts and logical thinking become just as powerful an instrument and a transforming element for the consciousness, like tools in his hands.
The word, symbol, linguistic system, and then the writing system became the basis of individualism, an effective weapon in his fight for his own liberation. Personal will has joined individual reason. This led to the appearance of man’s very I so beloved by modern humans as their main achievement.
But freeing itself from the power of the gods, the individual mind could not sever the umbilical cord connecting it with the past. It was forced to seek balance between wills and minds, individual and communal. The problem here is not in the baggage of the past, but in the fact that, by nature, conceptual thinking is better at analysis but not very good at synthesis, the rational mind gives birth to demons it is not capable of reining in. But this doesn’t just have to do with consequences. Individualism would be helpless if in its spiritual work it relied only on logic and even just good hunting intuition. The honest thinker always verifies both original definitions and conclusions by turning to certain measures kept in his soul. He believes in them without any proof. This is what could be called sense of measure, good, justice, common sense, beauty and harmony, and also that which we call conscience.
If new knowledge passes the test of these strict examiners, then a theoretical scheme or reasonable hypothesis are filled with profound meaning for humans and become a part of their world view. It is these authoritative examiners that are messengers from God (the communal I) to Man. And the human soul is their meeting place.
This is why individualism would never become independent, would never become an opponent and addition to the communal consciousness, would never become a full-fledged I-person, his personality, if it were an isolated way of thinking, purely a logical and intuitively-seeking system. Individualism is also the path to God, but a path from below, personally (individually) traveled by a person. This is the path leading to the seven judges placed within the human soul by God himself, and their names are Measure, Good, Justice, Common Sense, Harmony, Beauty and Conscience.
The interaction of the Community and the Individual (God and Man) is contradictory. On the one hand, God “drags” the personality and society backwards into the community, into anonymity and, on the other hand, he strengthens (sanctifies) the main achievements of individualism, at the same time getting rid of the kinks and synthesizing a unified system of social relationships. Moreover, God possesses the gift of providence for 600-700 years ahead. Incidentally, it is possible that he can see even further, but in this case the probability of a mistake grows (yes, even God is capable of mistakes!).
Individualism cannot exist without communality, alone it cannot change society without destroying it. Neither new (i.e. national) communality nor individualism can develop without each other. The nation here is a pyramid of societies, communalities and communities at the peak of which (or at the foundation, depending on how you look at it) stands the super-community, the personality of the I-community.
Their unity is contradictory and during times of social upheaval it seems that individualism can be consumed by communality as if by the waves of a flood. But it would be a mistake to identify communality with the unambiguous, conservative element and individualism with the progressive element. The world of communal personalities is also dynamic and contradictory. They also progress and can really become the waters of a “great flood” or “heavenly fire” but can also give Man a “Noah’s ark” or a Messiah.
It is to this world of communal I’s understood by mythology and religion, explained in theology but overlooked by critical science that the author is attempting to apply his scientific method based on a series of hypotheses and guesses, for example about the historical cycles in their concrete parameters. The author prefers the historical approach to the psychological or any other approach.
It would be hard to find a more thankful topic to test this theory than the history of Christianity.
Let us now introduce a slight change in the concept of the “major cycle” as compared to the cycle outlined in the first part of the book. There the cycle began with a “summer” and here with the “spring.”
Let’s take a look at the “major cycles” of the Jewish people and the Latin people.
The history of the Jews:
The history of Italy (the Latin people):
Christianity arose out of Judaism but the soil itself was not Judean, rather it was Greek. The historical moment facilitated this since it was the time of the start of a “big winter” for the Jewish people (the must unlucky time for national revival), during the latter half of the “big autumn” of the Roman (Italian) people (the time of stormy weather) and at the very start of the “big spring” of the Greek people (the time of the formulation of the new national-religious personality born in the “late winter”). For this reason the God of the Jews, the Old Testament and the Judaic ritual became the raw material for a new anti-Judaic religion, according to the paradox of cultural anti-filialism.
The place in the “major cycle” also explains why, despite the fact that the empire was Roman, the religion of the Empire was Greek and took the Greek language. During the “autumn” of the spirit religions are not created, during the “autumn” philosophies and works of art are created.
Only in the third century did Christianity begin to be translated into Latin and become not only Greek, but Greco-Roman. During the early fourth century, i.e. at the start of the “big Latin spring,” Greek and Latin versions of Christianity arose, the Greek God and the Latin God who, although they did try to get along, diverged from each other with time. This is not a metaphor, but a description of a real and objective phenomenon, as if two men had quarreled. At the same time, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire. The Roman state, just as the people matured and grew into Christianity.
Let’s take a look at the “major cycles” of the history of Hellas and Greece (Macedonia), which will help us to understand precisely why the Greeks created Christianity.
The history of the Hellenes (Achaeans?):
The history of Greece (Macedonia, the Aryans?):
During the 8th century B.C. there was a rapid development of crafts, trade and cities in Ancient Greece, and the Greeks began their colonization to the north, east and west. During the 7th century this rapid development continued. The 8th century marked the start of a “long spring.”
During the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. the Greeks mastered the basic trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean, especially after the decline of the power of Assyria. At that time there was not only a specialization and division of labor within crafts, but also among towns.
The clan aristocracy was being pushed out by traders and craftsmen (the “bourgeoisie”), and a balance of influential powers arose in society. As a result of this, the Greek primitive community did not just survive in certain of its elements, but transformed into a civil community, into the demos. In its development in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. the Hellenic trade-aristocratic-demos system was forced to undergo a period of tyranny, i.e. of the sole power of the rulers of the demos of city-states who managed to limit the power of both the hereditary aristocracy and the trading “bourgeoisie.”
The tyrant Policrates on the island of Samos liquidated old hereditary philuses (tribal communities) by replacing them with territorial districts, created a large navy and brought an aqueduct to the city. Around 523 B.C. Policrates originated common Greek festivals in honor of the god Apollo at his temple on the island of Delos.
In Sycion the tyrant Clisthenes renamed the old Aryan philuses into “pig sties,” “piglet sties” and “donkey stalls” and rejected the old gods on which the authorities of the old Aryan aristocracy relied.
In Corinth the tyrant Periander (627-585 B.C.) replaced the aristocrat courts with territorial district courts, issued a law against idleness, the hereditary philuses were eliminated and instead eight territorial philuses were created. A law was passed to keep people from owning too many slaves.
In Megara during the latter half of the 7th century B.C. the tyrant Theagenes, who took over the demos, broke up the herds belonging to the aristocrats. He considered that he was making the first step toward returning the communal pastures to the farmers.
What is significant is that similar processes occurred in many city-states very distant from each other autonomously and without any centralized political impetus or control (i.e. not only in Greece, but also in the colonies).
This development resulted in more stable forms of social mechanisms than tyranny being instituted in the city-states in the 6th century B.C. (by the start of the “summer”). A democratic form based on far-reaching and flexible social balance of rich and poor, farmers and traders, military men and civilians, and even slaves and freemen was established in some city-states. This form of democracy relied on the special regulatory role of the demos not only as a political institution (assembly), but of the living community as well. Athens was best at this and it was in this city that the demos appeared as an I-community directly managing people’s affairs. It was this Athenian phenomenon that has made the word “democracy” so attractive to this day.
In the oligarchic city-states (the second stable type of society in Ancient Greece), a more narrow and strict form of societal balance came about: political equilibrium. In Sparta, for example, the following types of equilibrium were created: not one but two rulers, the rulers and the council of elders, the council of elders and the public assembly of Spartan warriors, not to mention the five Ephoroi who had the right to control and judge all and were elected from among the Spartan population for a term of one year. In place of the lively and dynamic Athenian civil society, Sparta was ruled by a less lively and dynamic Law based on separation of powers. The basis of society was not balance between groups of producers, but the rule of the military community.
Athenian society was free and balanced, and the community was open, and ruled by maintaining this balance. Spartan society was regulated and took the form of a hierarchy with the unchallenged rule of the military community.
Both these excellent forms were not yet a manifestation of unified national spirit of the ancient Greeks, but a manifestation of the quasi-national spirit in which the Hellenes is understood and is perceived not actually a unified super-community, but as a fraternity, a commonwealth of smaller communities or, more precisely, communities of city-states.
Pantheism is a reflection of this transitional state from the local community in which people are united by direct contact and common, visually perceived events, in which physical contacts are supreme and the senses play the main role, to a community based on transcendental unity, i.e. belief based on dogma and ritual, as well as on linguistic unity.
The culture of Ancient Greece is notable for the fact that it managed over the course of centuries to preserve the delicate balance between local communities and created a great mythology, the spiritual formula of this balance. Only under conditions of constant conflict between local communities could the individual come to know himself, and individualism was able to develop. Otherwise it would have been nipped in the bud and swallowed up by the community.
Is it possible to talk of a single formula of the nation for the Ancient Greeks of the eighth through first centuries B.C.? This was also a nation formula, but not of a nation as a community, rather of a nation as a fraternity of communities. We could put it another way: it was the formula of the quasi-nation whose symbol was the mighty phantom of Ananke, the goddess of fate.
What is the nature of this formula? This formula encompassed the value of the civil (broad or military) community and the value of societal balance (broad, i.e. socio-political or narrowly political, and also for all forms of mandatory religious-societal balance). The totally balanced world of Ancient Greece created ideal conditions for the development of all forms of material and spiritual life in order that human energy wouldn’t be lost in the seams of the poorly joined decentralized social organism, and were almost completely aimed at domestic development and foreign expansion. In such a system individualism hardly contradicted and did not undermine the authority of the community. And the community, in turn, did not attempt to use force to subjugate the individual. The third value in the Hellenic formula was the value of the individual like Odysseus, i.e. the lone traveler driven by the dream of returning to his homeland, but who is fated to return home only after spiritually mastering the world surrounding Ancient Greece, only after understanding (!) that world.
The greatest heyday of Ancient Greece came after the victory over Persia in the Greco-Persian wars of 499-479 (“medium summer of a long summer”), during the period of the so-called “golden half-century” in 479-431 B.C. (“medium autumn of a long summer”). This was the time of Pericles and Socrates. This time made Athens an eternal symbol of cultural flourishing for all Western peoples.
During the period of the “medium winter of the long summer” Ancient Greece was ruined by the wars between Athens and Sparta (431-404 B.C.), in which Sparta won the Pyrrhic War. This didn’t put an end to the struggle. Democratic rule was exchanged for oligarchic regimes and vice versa, at different points in time Sparta was dominant, then Athens, then Thebes, until finally Macedonia became dominant in Greece. That happened in 346-336 B.C.
The Macedonians, although not considered Hellenes, were not quite foreign barbarians in the eyes of the Greeks. It is the Macedonians I will hereafter refer to as Greeks, and not just the Hellenes. Until the fourth century, the Macedonians developed independently from the Hellenes. Their “long cycle” was 48 years ahead of that of the Hellenes. Their formula was different, including values characteristic of smaller nations such as military democracy and a sovereign ruler taking his power from this military democracy. The third value, as for the Hellenes, was the value of Odysseus.
The successful campaigns of Alexander the Great and the creation of Hellenistic states determined the dominance of the Macedonian “formula for success” in subsequent centuries: autocracy, military democracy (military community), individual freedom which, like Odysseus, on its long path to Hellas remade the world.
Hellenic culture, which was oriented toward total balance, as an older culture, adapted itself and adapted the young Macedonian culture to itself. Macedonia became the avant-garde of Hellas, primarily the military avant-garde, and together they represented a unique cultural alloy by the dawn of the new era. The Greek spirit, blended from the Hellenic and the Macedonian spirits, with an admixture of various eastern “additives,” continued the Macedonian “long cycle” that became the overall Greek cycle.
It happened this way because the Hellenic national spirit was a quasi-national spirit that consisted of several dozen city-spirits of communities in conflict with each other in the struggle between democracy and oligarchy. Against this backdrop the Macedonians turned out to be the strongest and most numerous people.
There is another possible explanation (in my opinion, a more convincing one). Even before the invasion of the Aryans in the twelfth and eleventh centuries the Hellenes had a developed culture. Later the old Hellenic (Achaeistic) spirit became rooted in certain city-states. This included the Athenians and other city-states that favored democracy. In others the Aryan spirit, which was relatively new on Greek soil, became established. This included Sparta and other city-states tending toward oligarchy and monarchy. Apparently, it was Macedonia that inherited the Aryan spirit. This spirit, in the end, won out and became the single Greek spirit at the end of the pre-Christian era.
The Greeks arrived at this cultural mix after the period of Hellenism that developed Greek culture not deeply, but broadly. First the Macedonian (Aryan), then the Hellenic (Achaeistic) spirits went through a “late autumn.”
Roman rule came during a “winter” period. So the Romans actively adopted Greek culture, at the same time relating to it as to something over-ripe, something weak. But at the dawn of the new era, the Greeks overturned the entire system of the Roman world and the Roman worldview from within. And this reversal created world religion in the form of Christianity (Orthodoxy).
The further development of the Greek spirit was inseparable from Orthodoxy, and it was Orthodoxy that became the I of the unified Greek nation, the persona that once and for all blended the communities of the Hellenic city-states and the Greek realm.