The absolute value of individuals lies in the fact that they share with God an innate capacity for creative work and love.
The relative value of individuals depends on the level they have reached in their spiritual ascent, on the sum of efforts—both their own and Providence’s—spent on the attainment of that level, and on the degree to which they manifest in their lives those gifts for divine creative work and love…
The older religions judged the relative value of individuals by the degree to which they obeyed the prescriptions of a given religious-moral code. Religions with ascetic leanings believed the highest stage to be sainthood, defining it as either pure monastic service or as martyrdom for one’s faith. In so doing they relegated love to the background. A monk’s or martyr’s self-denial were performed not out of love for humanity or for all living beings but out of a yearning to merge with God and to avoid the torments of hell. I am, of course, referring here to the predominant tendency, the prevalent attitude, and not to such astonishing individual apostles of love as St. Francis of Assisi, Ramajuna, or Milarepa.
Monstrous though it may seem to us, even the eternal suffering of sinners in hell did not arouse in the majority of adepts of those religions the desire to enlighten the world’s laws, including the law of retribution, or karma. Eternal punishment for temporal sins appeared to them a just act of God or in any case (as in Brahmanism) an unalterable and absolutely immutable law. Buddha burned like a torch with the flame of compassion, but he, too, taught only how to free oneself from the wheel of iron laws and not how to enlighten and transform those laws. As for creative work, its intrinsic nature was not recognized at all—such a concept did not even exist—while little importance was attached to concrete forms of creative work accessible to ordinary people, with the exception of religious works in the narrow sense of the word: acts of charity, theology, missionary service, church architecture, and religious service.
Other religions that are not given to asceticism, such as Islam and Protestantism, modified the ideal of sanctity, broadening it and, at the same time, lowering it, making it more accessible, more popular, even going so far as to require the observance of commandments vis-a-vis God, the state, one’s neighbor, one’s family, and, lastly, oneself. It should be emphasized that neither one nor the other group of religions set themselves the task of transforming society, let alone nature.
It was only natural that such tasks were finally advocated by secular teachings, though in an extremely simplistic form. A lower, internally contradictory moral standard was proclaimed that blindly mixed progressive features with others that fell below a moral minimum one would have thought long beyond question. People dusted off the old formula “The end justifies the means” and, hesitating to proclaim it openly and honestly, began applying it in practice. The moral aspect of historical events was wholly ignored when the events were subjected to scrutiny or evaluation; verdicts were passed based only on consideration of the overall progressive or reactionary orientation of the given event. No one was disturbed by the fact that such a practice led to the justification of atrocities committed by many despots of the past, even such outrageous mass slaughters as the Jacobin terror or the activities of the Oprichnina. Many timehonored achievements in social progress—such as freedom of speech, the press, and conscience—were cast aside. Thus, as society further embraced that moral standard in the form it took in real life, those positive features that it did possess were nullified. For the future held only the prospect of the dominion of material satiety, purchased by a renunciation of spiritual freedom, by millions of human lives.
The Rose of the World will teach the absolute value of individuals and their divine birthrights: the right to be free from the yoke of poverty and the oppression of power-hungry groups, the right to well-being, the right to all forms of free creative work and the public unveiling of the fruits of that work, the right to religious searchings, and the right to beauty.
The right of people to a secure existence and to the enjoyment of the benefits of civilization is an inborn right that in itself does not necessitate a renunciation of freedom or spirituality. It would be leading people astray to assert that we are faced with a crucial dilemma here, that in order to attain what are only the natural and self-evident blessings of life we must sacrifice our spiritual and social freedom.
An abstract from “The Rose of the world” by Daniel Andreev
P.S: please not that under “creative work”Andreev does not mean creativity as such or art, or anything like that! As far as I have understood from reading the whole book CREATIVE WORK is something which a kind of spiritual work, when people can work on things using their spiritual powers, not mental or physical. Adreev has written his book in the middle of the 20th century and shortly the “creative work” he meant appeared in the collective consciousness as the light work, the Inner work, the vibrational work, ets…
(image by me)