Review on Tatyana N. Mickushina's book "Good and Evil"
given by Professor, Doctor of Philology, Bjorn Seidel-Dreffke
The book by Tatyana Mickushina "Good and evil" reveals the topic that has been discussed by humanity since the first documentary evidences of the cultural activity of our civilization.
At first glance, "the good" and "the evil" are the two insurmountable and opposing elements. Since the beginning of Christianity, this view has been fixed in our culture and consciousness, and the only solution is severe fighting and the victory of the Good (which equals to the Divine Element) over the Evil (that is considered as a devil or Antichrist). This approach is reflected in the New Testament and Revelation, in particular where the final and merciless victory of Christ over Antichrist was illustrated.
The world has taken this approach as a model and is still struggling grimly with everyone who is considered to be the enemy and takes this as the only way of restoration of justice, forgetting the words of Christ "love your enemy".
The same vision is reflected in philosophical thought. Even the Russian religious philosophy, which, as opposed to the Western philosophy of religious thought, points to the idea of the unity of all that exists, has come under that influence as well. Such works include the most frequently cited work by Vladimir Solovyov, "The Tale of the Antichrist" (1899), as well as the works of another philosopher Pavel Florensky in which the theme of good and evil is seen in the same context. These same restrictions can be found among the other writers of Russian symbolism such as Andrew White, Maximilian Voloshin, Dmitry Merezhkovsky.
And the real apotheosis of relentless struggle between the good and the evil, between Christ and the Antichrist is found in the "Rose of the World" (1959) by Daniel Andreev and in the "Divine Comedy" by Dante, in which the terrible sufferings of the sinners in Hell are described in detail.
But the book by Tatyana Mickushina brings a whole new emphasis. Based on the Theosophy of E.P. Blavatsky, it shows the way to overcome the boundaries in the consciousness between the good and the evil, aligning that pair of opposites. That kind of vision is rooted in such a philosophical doctrine as monism. According to the monistic thought, all kinds of beings or substances that seem different come ultimately to the one source, the general law of the Universe structure. The Theosophy of E.P. Blavatsky aims to overcome the contradictions in the consciousness and considers that good and evil are the two sides of the same phenomenon, emphasizing its mutual causality. In the end, the good and the evil, the spirit and the matter, a soul and a body – all originate from one Source.
Tatyana Mickushina sees that the appearance of evil comes about due to the loss of unity between God and man -- the increasing abyss between humanity and God. When the barriers between people are installed, only personal beliefs are recognized as valid which leads to violence and mass struggle, in fact, spreading the evil in the world.
The author points out how to solve the problem of good and evil, based on her own consideration and on the quotes carefully selected from "The Secret Doctrine" by E.P. Blavatsky. People need to face each other and, gradually, step by step, overcome the abyss created with their own hands, separating people from God.
In the same context, the author considers the symbols and the images which have a "bad name". For example, there is the symbol of a snake which is counted among the enemies of God in Christianity. The author describes the use of this symbol in the ancient Vedic, Zoroastrian and classical myths. In a different way, the initiates of India revered the Nagas, the mythical serpent-like creatures, as the Serpents of Wisdom.
Moreover, the image of Lucifer, which in the Western culture is equated with Satan, was rehabilitated by the author. Lucifer means "light bringer". Tatyana Mickushina, based on the quotes from "The Secret Doctrine" refers the readers to the times of Lemuria when Lucifer played a crucial role in the acceleration of the evolution of the human race. The Light brought by Lucifer influenced the development of the consciousness, the sensual sphere and the sphere of human desires.
At present, the work by T. Mickushina is more than relevant because people still tend to project their own imperfections onto others and make them their enemies, calling them evil. It would behoove us to seek this "enemy" in one's self, to see our own imperfections reflected in others as in a mirror, and thus to understand the two opposites within oneself , "the good and the evil". Self-cognition is this first and important step.
Theosophy explores various spiritual principles of man. The main principle is the Higher Self which comes from the Divine Monad. The Higher Self forms the soul, which is developed into a particular person. When changing incarnations the personality is dissolved, leaving its earthly experience to its true Supreme spiritual principle. The aim of the human consciousness is the reunion with the Higher Self and then with the Divine Monad.
Thus, self-knowledge is also the cognition of the world. This is the mystical path of spiritual quest in which the knowledge of self as the Higher Self is taking an increasingly important role. The way to tolerance, compassion and true love for one's neighbor opens in the process of realizing one's own imperfections. This is what many thinkers, missionaries and saints of the world have called us to.
It is the love of neighbor that will lead us to God.
Berlin, March, 2013
Professor, Doctor of Philology