Chapter 5 - The Thousand-Year Celebration
While looking down onto the city of Moscow from the restaurant in the sky, above the nine-hundred-foot level of the Ostankino tower, Anton and I began to talk about history of all things. But before that could happen I waltzed into the restaurant lobby with the determination to make history all by myself. I had a historic event in mind, historic to me that is, acted out as a dance with a kiss, primed by a hug and a bow, while saying, "thank you for coming! Allow me to brighten your day."
She seemed perplexed for a moment, then laughed. "We are about to celebrate the Thousand-Year-Anniversary of the Christianization of Russia, as I told you before," said Anton. "I was hoping to brighten your day by telling you more about this joyous event. Did you know that Russia had a thousand year history as a Christian country?"
Now it was I who was perplexed, because I didn't know what to answer. She was celebrating Russia's link to the Byzantine Empire, one of the whorehouses of the ages, as Ushi had called them. "Don't even mention that!" a voice said within. "Be honest and tell her the truth," said another voice from within, sounding like Ushi was speaking. I answered her that I knew about it. I told her that Ross had briefed me about the major happenings in Russia.
She was surprised that someone in the West would make an effort to explore this "private dimension of Russia," as she called it.
I suggested that we shouldn't talk about it then. I told her that I actually knew quite a bit about the history behind the Russian orthodox movement from my own personal interests, especially the parts that can't be found in the standard history books. I had to dig and poke around in books on dusty shelves. I learned from them that Moscow had once aspired to become the Third Rome after Constantinople, and that the foundation for this movement was rooted in Byzantine doctrine, which in turn was a religious adaptation of the doctrine of the Roman Empire, where everything was adapted for political control. I told her that the Byzantine Empire was an offshoot of Rome itself, and that the founder of this Eastern Empire of Rome, had separated himself from Rome and had build up a powerful imperial structure in a 'remote' location where it survived long past the fall of Rome itself.
Anton nodded with a smile, and explained to me proudly that the upcoming thousand-year event would be celebrating the extension of this process into Russia, in the year 988 by the conversion of Prince Vladimir of a people known as the Russ. He had converted his people from their pagan beliefs, to the light of the Orthodox Christian style of faith that was furnished uniquely by the Patriarch of Constantinople. "So, you see," she said proudly, "our country has a long spiritual history, that goes way back."
"Yes it does, but this history also links your country to the Byzantine Empire," I said to her, "and that brings with it the Byzantine ideology that is incorporated in its not-so-Christian doctrines. You were lured into a dangerous ideology. This trap is functioning still. Its effect is reflected right now in the dogmas of the Soviet State. That's not really something to celebrate! You are celebrating that a millstone was hung around your neck."
I suggested that we shouldn't talk about it, as it might leave a bitter aftertaste. I told her that I hadn't recognized the close coincidence between the Byzantine orthodox ideology and the modern Soviet State ideology, until that very moment, when she pointed to it by talking about the upcoming celebration. I said that I saw strong similarities between the two, that prove the connection.
She hesitated answering. Then she began to smile. She said, that if I could say it with grace, she would hear me out.
I told her that as far as I could remember, the Byzantine brand of Christianity is a belief-system that is fundamentally different from the beliefs of the original primitive Christianity, and I added that I found the same differences reflected in Western traditions. "In early Christianity," I said to her, "the Christ was not perceived as an intermediary between God and man, as it is perceived in the Roman/Byzantine model. Instead, the Christ was perceived in the original Christianity as the great Exemplar of the all-embracing unity that was recognized to exist between God and humanity. In the original Christian ideology, man thereby becomes elevated to God's level, so that mankind was understood as being as co-equal in quality with God, as the very reflection of God. This original Christian concept of man attributes great value to the human being, but it takes away the foundation for empires. The whole human scene became elevated by this original Christian perception of what a human being is. With that in mind, can you imagine how this revolutionary concept of man as the reflected image of God, must have shook up the Roman Empire? It must have shook it to its very core? In this beautiful ideology, society became unified by its humanity. Rome needed a humanity that is held captive by the power of empire. Consequently Rome had fought the Christian ideology of man. The Romans persecuted all who spoke of it and crucified its Exemplar. It was declared treason. But since the Romans couldn't kill the ideology itself, they came up with a better idea. They turned it upside down and legalized it in a perverted form. They reengineered the Christian doctrine into a doctrine that didn't challenge the Empire, but gave it more power. It became the complete reversal of the original concept of Christianity. And that, Anton, is what the Byzantine doctrine was built on that took the concept further in the sewer of imperial insanity, and away from the truth. This Roman doctrine, and later as the Byzantine doctrine, presents a hierarchical structure that completely isolates God and man. It proclaims that the Holy Spirit is passed from God the Father, through the person of the intermediary to be handed down in an authoritative fashion to poor humanity that exists at the bottom on the scale. The perverted doctrine assigns the role of the intermediary to Christ Jesus, the son, but since he was murdered, the role of the intermediary was conveniently represented by the Emperor, who thereby tells poor humanity what the truth is. It places mankind into the dust of the Earth, and infinitely distant from God, totally dependent on the Emperor. This deep hierarchical separation and isolation of man from God, is the central feature of the Russian Orthodox doctrine, that is derived from the Byzantine root. And so, the Eastern Doctrine that you celebrate, came out of this perversion and reflects it."
"That's painful to hear, isn't it?" I added quietly. "But this is the truth as far as I can see the connections."
"I don't shoot the messenger if I don't like the message," she said. "But now I know that there is something honest about you loving me. You told me the truth, as I requested, in spite of the risk that it might drive a wedge between us, and you might loose me, because of it. That is a wonderful kiss, Peter, and it honors me more than everything you had said before. But can you maintain this kiss? Can you tell me the connection to the Soviet Union that you see?"
I told Anton cautiously that I recognized that the deeply rooted hierarchical imperial structure, which is centered on an imperial intermediary, is fundamentally reflected in the political makeup of the Soviet Union. I suggested that the Soviet State was taking on the role of the intermediary, just as the Emperor once had, while the top-down controlling relationship remained virtually unaltered. I suggested that the Byzantine system, that became the ruling Eastern Orthodox system, is basically a system of rape, as any imperial system is. It takes away the dignity and the freedom of the human being, as the reflected image of God, and then subjects mankind to the pleasure of the imperial dictator. In the West, this dictator is a self-appointed clown in high places, who lies through his teeth in the service of his masters, who thereby redefines the image of the human being as that of a pathetic slave, living without hope or help.
|| - page index -
|| - chapter index -
|| - Exit -