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Contemporary knowledge about God, Evolution, and the meaning of human life.
Methodology of spiritual development.

 
The Beginning of This Life
 

How God Can Be Cognized/The Beginning of This Life


The Beginning of This Life

“There is a certain transforming touch of God
to the soul, after which the old life of sin
and vice becomes impossible
and mentally unendurable.
This is called the moment of truth”.

Mark the Evangelist [8]


I was born in a quite “normal” for those times in our country atheistic family, however, very friendly and full of love and respect for one another.

Only my grandmother believed in the existence of God. I remember her firm conviction that the church — is one thing, and Jesus Christ and His Teachings — is quite another. She believed Jesus and did not believe priests.

However, I did not become a believer. I was an atheistic “goody-girl”, quite appropriate for that environment.

… But the image of Jesus, thanks to my grandmother, remained in my memory…

And when I was studying in 9th grade, I read the prohibited Bible, which was given to me for a few days for the first time — the Gospels touched me very deeply.

But… my childlike reaction was: “What a pity it is that this is — a fairy tale! And how great it would be if all of this were the truth!... ”.

I still had a lot to read and comprehend — before coming to an understanding of the Existence of God.

… When it finally happened, I already was an adult and took baptism consciously.

By this time, I had no doubt that One God exists, and that religious beliefs of different people just reflect variants of how to honor him. But, since I lived in Russia, — this led my way to the Orthodoxy.

* * *

God is constantly knocking on our hearts. We only need… to open the door of the spiritual heart for Him.

When this happened to me — God tried to give me the greatest gift in life: a living incarnate Master!

But I… was not ready to recognize him yet… I was quite satisfied with my own life: I considered myself a believer and did not see the necessity to search for something more… And moreover: I was not aware of such a possibility…

It is said that, when the student is ready, the Teacher arrives. But, if the student is not quite ready yet: does not search for the Teacher and does not want to be a disciple at all... — then things do not happen so smoothly… God then has to make a lot more efforts …

It was as follows:

At that time I was working at a cinema studio “Lenfilm” as a costume designer. The scenario that was suggested to me at that time was a parody on the theme of the creation of the world. When it dawned on me that I have no right to participate in making a film, which ridiculed the idea of God’s Existence, and when I realized the inadmissibility of such a work for me — I could not for some time dare to declare this among the collective of atheists. But then, nevertheless, I decided — and refused to participate in such a work, and honestly said aloud the reason of my refusal:

“I believe in God!”

Thus, I was able to pass this little test.

And miracles started right away! The next day I was offered work on another film. And… soon Vladimir Antonov came right to the film studio’s wardrobe: an assistant of actors accidentally met him and persuaded him to star in a movie episode.

At that time I had no idea to what extent this meeting would change my life. But each word was etched in my memory, each thought of that meeting was as if fixed in an internal film in slight slow motion.

At first, when he came in, I did not notice anything special, just a man, with clothing that was out of fashion since a long time ago, however, perfectly clean. The thoughts even came to me that: “When people come in decent places — they should dress better!” Later, I was very ashamed of this thought…

While we were walking to the sewing workshop and back, Vladimir told me, that right here, at the kiosk in the lobby of the studio, his books were sold.

And I kept thinking: “So many weird people are in this world!… And in a film studio you meet them much more often…”.

Having said goodbye until filming, I continued on my way to work and passed by that kiosk with his books… But I never had “the time” for it, and did not even take them in my hands…

… The shooting days of the film started. When from seven in the morning you dress up 500 persons in costumes of the Peter the Great epoch — the attention dissipates. But nevertheless, I noticed that this time he was dressed in a denim jacket and jeans. This for some reason suddenly made me very pleased, as if it was done for me… As if his warmth and tenderness embraced me, I felt Love and Peace emanating from him. This made a significant impression on me…

I continued to fuss, since I had so many things to do: correct all costumes, and check them all up… And when he came and spoke to me, I continued to hurry. Unable to stand still, I wanted to run somewhere, do something… But he then took my hands and talked with me: he spoke very simply… And I still could not understand…

… Thus God introduced me to my future Master.

… Then I read his books again and again during the whole year… And when it was difficult, painful, or bad — I was warmed by thought, that right here, in this city, lives a man who has cognized God, also whom I saw, and… he held my hands…

* * *

Before that meeting, I never searched specifically for religious literature. Such books were coming into my life from time to time… as if by themselves. I was reading them, analyzing and building the foundation of my own worldview — from what seemed to me similar to the truth. Those building blocks in my foundation were alternating with empty spaces filled with question marks. But I was not trying to find the answers to these questions by myself. I was just very happy when the answers came to me as if by themselves and filled the empty spaces.

When I read the books of Vladimir Antonov, I received the foundation already made — a durable, real, complete. Everything that I developed as my own worldview so far, was correlating with it, similar to a sketch on paper with all its shortcomings — with already built sustainable building that I wanted to create myself!

I easily accepted everything that was written there! I found there everything that was lacking, and also much more than that! And also — something that I had not started yet to think about. I was reading again and again the books one by one. The most valuable truths of all religious concepts had been collected, explained, and analyzed in them very carefully! The higher knowledge about the Creator, the meaning of our human life and the ways of realizing this meaning was given in the most accessible way. I only needed to read, realize, and absorb this knowledge.

Everything, that I had read, was so grandiose, real, and at the same time… simple! These books were not only about how and why God has created everything in the universe, under what laws of His everything develops, — but was also about, what follows from this: what each of us, humans embodied by God on this planet Earth, should do.

While I was analyzing myself by the schemes of psychotypes described in Antonov’s books, and despite all my desire, I could not find my place near the top of those schemes. My imperfections — in all beauty and fullness — suddenly fell on me! When I understood that I had not been serious enough for real spiritual work yet, I undertook changing everything about myself that did not match the ethical standards.

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