Russian Christianity

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Birth into being blog - Russian Christianity

Modern Russia is celebrating Christianity. Again.

In the chaos of Russian upheaval, after 70 years of enforced atheism, when religion was forbidden and declared "opium for common people", there exists an enormous thirst for spiritual knowledge and guidance. People ache for some way of answering big questions - how to make their life more meaningful and how in the world did it happen that their beautiful beloved country is in such poor condition?

For centuries Russia has been going from one miserable mess right into another twilight zone of chaos and self-destruction. That process is very Russian, very predictable, and too dysfunctional for politicians to figure out. It is especially hard because of the enormous scale of the situation; it occupies a little over 1000 years and 11 time zones. It is too big for the average human brain. Especially taking into consideration the tricks our minds play on us: our own personal events are more important to us: our jobs, kids, dealing with traffic, credit card debts, sexual attractions, whatever our everyday- a- thon consists of,- make the big events fade away and the big questions hard to formulate.

I remember, when I was in high school, history was definitely not something that caught my attention. I was merely memorizing the dates of strange bloody events that schoolbooks presented as the history of humankind.

Altogether it didn't make much sense, but I didn't give it a second thought.

Incongruency in history books, with the heavy metal flavor of Soviet propaganda carefully crafted by a small group of people who probably pretended that they had a lost case of Alzheimer's disease did not have a chance to be noticed.

Everything has changed, however, according to an indisputable law of Life. At some point, I realized I wanted to understand what had really happened. There is a great expectation that in spirituality Russians can now find their answers. It seems like there is nothing else that they can count on. With sacred Hope they are turning their faces back to long forbidden images of Christian icons, because on Russian soil "spirituality" means "Russian Orthodox Church". In recent memory old Russia is identified with Christianity. In fact, in Russia, the religion and the figure of Jesus Christ himself look absolutely native Russian. With remarkable disregard for reality going back to church promises relief. Spirituality once again is being substituted for by religion.

In the past few years Russians got busy restoring run down churches and rebuilding the ones that were thoroughly dynamited into piles of rocks during Stalin's and Khruchev's era. The established attitude nowadays is that Christianity will bring a comforting solution to the hardships of life. The purpose of my essay is to share the insight that it was the forced baptizing of Russia that brought the never-ending chain of disasters into the country in the first place.

Birth into being blog - Russian Christianity

The Tataro-Mongolian tribe, that enslaved Russia in 11 hundreds, in the very beginning of Russian Christianity, for 300 years threw the normal development of the country way off its course. The countries to the west from the occupied territories (Europe) had their chance for gradual economic growth, while Russia kept Mongols from going further to the West. They dealt with the severity of paying dues to nomads for 300 years, barely surviving their own decay.

The great Russian researcher Lev Gumilev published his study in which he came to a conclusion that the tribe of Mongols that occupied Russia wasn't even big, something about 30 000 horsemen. They had to come from afar, enduring all the hardships of traveling. How could they possibly conquer such large territories? History books present it as a stroke of their good luck but I want some more logic.

Glancing further and further back into the past, I tried to find a more or less peaceful place that enjoyed some social harmony on that vast territory.

I found it finally over a thousand years ago. It was a well - functioning, passionate, pagan Russ. With strength to survive, barter, trade, and all sorts of social and spiritual rituals for healing purposes, Russ was rapidly developing its technology and producing a handsome-looking, strong population.

Everything changed almost overnight. Prince Vladimir, the elected ruler among other princes of Russ, came back from Constantinople, Byzantine, absolutely charmed by Christianity. What a beautiful way to unite the nation and have complete control over it! "The churches are so incredibly beautiful with all the icons and frescoes, the services are mesmerizing with all their incense and angelic singing, the ideas are so simple and disarming - how can anyone resist it?" he thought to himself.

But resist they did. When he came home and pronounced that new religion, he didn't bother to explain its deep meaning, nor did he bother to understand it himself. Establishing the ideas of brotherly love, humbleness, non-violence, etc. took the form of a civil war with mass graves all over Russ. The introduction of Christianity in Russ wiped out the best of the nation, as it usually happens in wars and as it would repeat itself later many times in history through Crusades and witch hunts all over Europe, when hundreds of thousands of people were burned at the stake alive in the name of Jesus Christ for no particular reason.

It wasn't that Russians didn't like the way of Christ, they just never had a chance to grow fond of it. They resisted the way it was forced on them. People who live passionately, protect their way of life passionately. In reality, there was little resistance to speak of...Vladimir's horsemen would storm into village after village, separate those who disagreed with new order and were willing to fight, lock them into the community ritual building and burn them alive, leaving the rest shocked out of their senses and seizing those who tried to run away and warn their neighbors. For those runaways there existed a particularly cruel routine: the horsemen would bring them back to the village, gather the survived people, take those runaways and tear out their tongues and pour boiling oil down their throats.

It was not a pretty picture when it was all over.

Those who survived - a dispirited and submissive crowd of women, children, and elderly, had to learn the new ways of worship. They tried, as best they could, to adapt and survive. They didn't do a very good job. At this point they became a very easy prey for aggressive tribes of Mongolian nomads who plundered the southeast regions. And, of course, the Mongols came and enslaved Russ for 300 years.

It took over 300 years for Russians to gain their strength back! Three hundred years to accumulate enough energy to overthrow Tataro-Mongolian tyranny!

What happened was this: huge crowds of beautiful Russian women were caravanned to the Mongolian Steppes where they were used as disposable sexual slaves, displaced and disheartened, nevertheless producing children. What kind of offspring can oppressed, miserable women produce? - Disloyal, disgraced and confused. They grew up and with every generation they were weakening Mongolian army more and more.

Meanwhile in Russ, children grew stronger and angrier with every generation, and the day came when Russians finally dislodged that Mongolian yoke forever. But the tragedy had already gone too far. Russians had no memory - no oral or written tradition on how to run their society without oppression. Too many generations had lived under the cruel law of tyranny. It was a society of orphans with orphanage mentality. So they reproduced the only system they knew, and established their own tyranny. Now Russians themselves were oppressing their fellow underprivileged Russians. And in a very sophisticated manner! Ivan the Terrible, who emerged pretty soon after the Mongols were gone, created an extremely powerful institution of espionage, surveillance, and denunciation inside the country. Sort of a prototype of KGB in the sixteenth century interior design.

Ever since the establishment of Christianity in Russia there was no bright spot in Russian history; no break for the common people. They have been worked to the ground with no mercy, first by Mongols, then by a small percent of wealthy Russians. There is no other precedent in history, that I know of, when one part of the nation, it's bigger part was officially brutally enslaved by a small part of the same nation. There was slavery all over the globe, there is nothing new about that, but everywhere else slaves were foreigners: prisoners of wars, deliberately kidnapped for that purpose members of other ethnic groups. In Russia big masses of Russians were legally owned by their fellow Russians.

And all along Churches proudly carried their beautiful golden heads above Russian towns and villages. Their authority was unquestionable. Even obvious contradictions to Christ's wisdom didn't lessen the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on people. Christ brought the message that people are God's children, but the Church insisted that they are God's slaves. It obviously helped them to justify slavery - "Oh, but we are all slaves, not only you..." they said.

Birth into being blog - Russian Christianity

Christ's message was about God's love; the Russian church insisted that the main drive behind every choice people make should be fear of God, and that fear of God's punishment should fill everyone's heart. It was all twisted and perverted into exactly the opposite. Each town had hundreds of churches. It all looked very pretty. Architecturally, Russian churches were beautiful masterpieces. It's a pity that they were destroyed by Stalin and Krushev - but the truth is, those churches were not doing their job. They were beautiful buildings disconnected with their purpose to serve as places of meting with God. The Church became the dominating, controlling institution whose explanation of Christ's teaching was heavily layered with misinterpretations and outright lies. A lot of people would disagree with me, I know. But I would say: "the proof is in the pudding." If the churches were not disconnected with the Source of All, they'd still be there. No human - created dynamite would be able to ruin them. I believe so. There would not even be an attempt to ruin them in the first place.

The Russian government is restoring churches now all over Russia.

What a waste!

That's exactly what author Ken Wilber calls "riding on a regress-express." Instead of being instrumental in liberating and elevating people's spirits, the Russian church was an incredibly beautiful instrument of justification and support of oppression. Its beauty was very deceptive.

A thousand years after the baptism of Russia, history repeated itself. As beautiful as Karl Marx's utopia of communism was, on Russian soil it manifested itself into exactly the opposite. The main ideas of communism were basically the same as the Ten Commandments of the Bible, slightly transformed into an atheistic religion of decent living, where everyone gives to society from the best of his or her potential, skills, wisdom, produce, etc. and receives everything he or she needs for free. It was a barter-exchange idea. I give away everything I can and receive everything I need. Sounds great!-but very impractical.

Here in America, I heard the same question several times: "Now when you see both, what do you think is worst - Communism or Capitalism?" This question doesn't have an answer. What was happening in Russia was pure Fascism, not Communism. Just like during the inquisition, hundreds of thousands of people disappeared into the night, jerked out of their beds from their families, in their pajamas right into torture chambers for no particular reason. No society has lived in Communism yet. As no society has lived in Christianity yet.

In my attempt to understand the reasons behind the in congruency between beautiful Christian ideas and the struggle of many generations of people to enforce them or resist them, I realized that in congruency originates with the figure of Jesus Christ himself. There is a big gap between the Idea, the Myth of Christ, the Great Expectation and Projection of Christ Consciousness and the real physical person, the flesh and blood of a Jewish man from Nazareth. He was a great guy all right, there is no doubt about that. But having His physical body was as challenging and frustrating for Him as for us. He had to, more or less, obey the same rules. God created our physical reality, designed it's laws and His Son did not come here to violate them. According to God's design having a body- is a challenge by itself. Plus on top of that - all the demands of advanced communication skills!

Birth into being blog - Russian Christianity

Now I suggest something radical. Let's imagine that Jesus Christ didn't get Himself killed at early age of 33. Let's imagine that He lived happily ever after to a ripe old age somewhere in a peaceful village humbly being a role model for all His teachings - healing people, talking to them endlessly, explaining over and over again everything patiently, forgiving people's inability to relate to him and change their sinful ways overnight. Imagine Him writing all His books Himself, as many as He wanted. Why didn't He write His books? Wouldn't it be sweet?

Looking realistically at the beginning of his end we can see a well-established society with its order, laws, and a respected group of elders. Now here comes a very handsome young man who starts, in a very i