1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

What I learned from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict March 29, 2014

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image by axinia

Since I am Russian and my beloved husband is Ukrainian, the story of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict around Crimea and more has a lot been in my attention. And because I have no TV at home and read Internet very selectively I could more or less survive the information war. But even if I try to minimise the information flow by getting possibly the first-hand impressions and facts from the people involved, I am still getting a lot of buzz from the world Russian-Ukrainian community…. It is really hard to stay cool!

However the hardship of the situation helped me to learn two great lessons. And I hope many more people will be able to see it in the same way.

1. THE TRUTH CANNOT BE SEEN IMMEDIATELY.

This is something we learn throughout the history of humanity but obviously always forget when something happens: We are not able to find out all the reasons, all the real players and all real facts about any historical happening unless and until some time passes. The amount of totally useless thoughts in the heads of people trying to analyze the reasons and forecast the develop of the situation around Ukraine and Russia is terrifying. The heads are overheated and people keep on this nonsensical reactions. The truth is   – we will not be able to see the Truth right now. It is much more importatnt to keep a cool head and a good meditative state, and to point out the attention to the overall benevolence.

2.A SPIRITUAL PERSON SHOULD GO BEYOND THE COUNTRY-IDENTIFICATION.

The current situation shows dramatically what huge damage to a personal development can identification with one’s nation of origin bring. Many people whom I knew as nice and spiritual, suddenly went mad about being Ukrainians or Russians, really hating the other side and some even breaking their friendships with “the enemy”. How horrible is that?!? Horrible and very sad to observe. Doest it mean all our talks and beliefs in some kind of spiritual development are mere self-illusions? This current test shows where we really stand.

It seems to me that even though in the 20th century some patriotic movements did good to some countries, we live in a different time now. What I can conclude from the current Russian-Ukrainian issue, the patriotism is only contra-productive, bringing bitter division and hate. I believe that people who consider themselves sensible, good-hearted and wise should really go beyond this false identification. It is time to become one, to accept and love people regardless their place of birth. It would be great if one day the whole of mankind would realize that. But if the spiritual people will not come to it, the rest will never come.

Let us go deeper in ourselves and honestly ask ourselves what our patriotism gives us except of an Ego? Let us go beyond, let us become one.

LOVE
axinia

 

 

Today is Forgiveness Sunday February 13, 2010

This special day is my favorite in the Christian tradition. Having an atheistic background, I have been always deeply touched by the candid Christian Orthodox celebration of “Forgiveness Sunday”.

The last Sunday before Great Lent, is the day when Orthodox Christians remember the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. “Forgiveness Sunday” received this name from the pious custom at Vespers of asking each other’s forgiveness for discourtesy and disrespect. People do so, since in the forthcoming fast they will approach the sacrament of Penance and ask the Lord to forgive their sins, which forgiveness will be granted us only if people themselves forgive each other. “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6.14, 15)”

Since the 90-s when religion slowly started getting its position back with the peoples of Russia, the tradition of Forgiveness Sunday came back. According to it, you can ask forgiveness of every person you meet this day, but especially people whom you might have really done some harm, or just your relatives and friends (we never know if by chance we could have hurt anyone!). (more…)

 

One unknown book by Leo Tolstoy which he himself valued the highest of all his writings January 15, 2010

No, it is not War and Peace; Anna Karenina or Resurrection…This is an almost unknown book by Leo Tolstoy of exceptional value and beauty which, despite author’s great want, has not made it to a bestseller by now.

 

Unfortunately, Leo Tolstoy is less known for his numerous religious writings, which present a challenging and original point of view.These works have been obviously undervalued.

Путь Жизни (Path of Lifeor also translated as A Calendar of Wisdom),  by Leo Tolstoy is considered to be his most important contribution to humanity, the work of his life’s last years. Widely read in prerevolutionary Russia, banned and forgotten under Communism; and recently rediscovered to great excitement, A Calendar of Wisdom is a day-by-day guide that illuminates the path of a life worth living with a brightness undimmed by time. Unjustly censored for nearly a century, it deserves to be placed with the few books in our history that will never cease teaching us the essence of what is important in this world.

The reader will notice that Tolstoy anticipated many of the ideas presented in contemporary books on spirituality, such as the observation that our thoughts determine our lives. Tolstoy began to write this book in 1910, the last year of his life, when he was 82 years old. Given that he began the book in January and completed it in October of the same year, one would think the writing went quickly; but it only seems that way. Tolstoy actually had been developing the themes presented in Path of Life for the last thirty years of his life.

In Path of Life Tolstoy defines how to find continuous happiness in life and how to die without fear. In presenting his views, he cites his own ideas and includes many quotations from an eclectic collection of ancient and modern philosophers and religious figures. The choice of quotations is a unique reflection of Tolstoy’s view of life reached through his ‘dialogue’ with the world’s best religious minds. Tolstoy deliberately marshals a chorus of religious thinkers who voice similar religious insights. By identifying religious themes that are consistent over time and from country to country, Tolstoy seeks to prove their eternal verity. (more…)

 

Ten Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Russia December 10, 2009

Filed under: society,Travel — axinia @ 1:27 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Ten Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Russia

  • St. Cyril did not create the Cyrillic Alphabet
  • Every Russian Tsar named Peter died a hard and painful death
  • The first Russian Olympic gold medalist was in skating; the first Soviet gold medalist was in discus
  • A Russian invented the helicopter
  • The Russian language is spoken by 278 million Earthlings (fifth most of all languages)
  • A fox is the most famous trickster in Russian folk tales
  • 22% of the world’s forests are in Russia
  • Never step over small children, you might stunt their growth
  • Tchaikovsky (yes, Pyotr Ilyich, of 1812 Overture fame), was actually trained as a lawyer
  • Russia has more Muslims than any “European” country
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    a lazy post 🙂

    axinia

     

    The most silly question people keep asking me October 12, 2009

    When the cold time is coming, I dress myself warm and enjoy the cold. If I am not dressed warm enough, I naturally freeze  🙂 At this moments all possible people start asking me: “how it is possible that you are freezing, you are RUSSIAN!” And this is, really, sounds the too silly to me. Why should Russians have different body temperature? Because they live in “cold climate”? Science say that it is either te muscles or the fat that keeps the body warm. But not being originally from Russia 🙂

    Russians indeed know how to keep warm in the cold winter (albite the spring and the summer are pretty cold as well!) and the 2 main reasons are:

    1.The central heating system (thanks God for the natural resources) works very well. People are not used to save money on heating (at least it was in my childhood) because it costs almost nothing.

    2.The most logical thing: dress up yourself warm! 🙂 Interestingly, this is not that logical for my Western friends. I see people freezing and being dressed rather insufficient. Then,  because of saving money obsession, many do not heat up their homes properly. They freeze inside, they freeze outside. No wonder the hearts get closed 😦 A freezing person is unlucky to feel happy I think. (more…)

     

    English is the language of Spirit August 10, 2009

    English has never been my favourite language.

    I have been in love with German since my childhood. Luckily I was moved to Austria by the hand of destiny and now, since many years live surrounded by German-speaking people. I learned Italian and love its melody and joy-giving nature, and yet it has not become my favourite. My native language – Russian – is neither my best. I appreciate its richness and flexibility, but I am still most comfortable with German.

    Despite all that, when it comes to the spiritual matters, either it is blogging about my experiences or a prayer, I want to express myself in English. (more…)

     

    Russian beauties June 16, 2009

    Russians are proud of their beautiful women (read more about it here).

    This time on my trip to Moscow I thought of making a post about typical Russian female faces and realised that … “Matröshkas” represent it the best!

    Here is a small collection of images that reflect the beauty of the Russian female soul…

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    (more…)

     

     
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