Fire in the Heart – A look into the depths of the Russian soul

For a person who is seeking spiritual revelation it is vital to grasp this most miraculous thing: the reflection of the highest fire in one's innermost being.

Fire in the Heart – A look into the depths of the Russian soul

„The syllable „ur“ points to the root of light in fire. Since unimaginable times, this radiant primordial ground has attracted the hearts of peoples.“ [1]

„Truly, the path of the Spirit must be trodden by human feet!“ [2]

In her work Fiery World, Helena Roerich, the founder of Agni Yoga, refers to the element of fire as omnipresent, most creative and most life-giving force. She notes that human consciousness is preoccupied with many empty and insignificant thoughts on fire, thereby missing out on the most miraculous things. For a person who is seeking spiritual revelation, however, it is vital to grasp this most miraculous thing: the reflection of the highest fire in one’s innermost being. Can this reflection be felt? Can a human being decipher the mystery of the fire in their own innermost being?

The heart kindled by a spiritual fire – The legend of Danko

It would seem that sacrifice and fire have nothing in common, yet sacrifice is described in all traditions as flaming.[3] “One must survive fire, water and trumpets” is a Russian proverb derived from the Revelation of John, in which the vernacular makes clear what conditions must be fulfilled on the path to the divine. Man, bound to nature, must understand that a conversion is necessary. Then his heart will be kindled by a fire of grace that is not scorching.[4] The true man possesses a pure heart, he is the heart. He dwells as a God in the heart of the natural form.[5]

We encounter a pure, passionate heart in the legend of Danko.[6] It tells of the evolutionary path of humanity with all its obstacles and hardships. It is a path that is only passable because love and comfort from the divine-spiritual world accompany man. The young man Danko sacrifices himself. When his people are lost in a seemingly hopeless dark forest and only despair prevails, he tears his heart out of his chest and holds it high above his head. It shines brighter than the sun and points the way out.

The Sacrifice to the World Soul – The Legend of Kitezh

It is understandable that the demands of the liberating path can deter a person, especially if they try to master “fire, water and trumpets” by their own strength. In doing so, they stand in their own way and prevent the immortal soul, which is “closer to them than hands and feet”, from helping them. We encounter a motif for the supra-individual soul power in the legend of the invisible city of Kitezh.

The legend reports that Kitezh was submerged in a lake and thus saved from the Batu Khan army. Only Fevronya, the wife of Prince Vsevolod, who fell in battle, can see the city as well as the white robes of its inhabitants, washed in tears, with the lilies of paradise on them, and the burning candles they carry in their hands. Like a pillar of fire, the light rises to heaven above the invisible city; it streams forth from the open doors of its cathedral.[7]

In this legend, a supra-individual power hovers above the ego. It transforms the suffering on the way and makes it an expression of the workings of the Holy Spirit in the human being. The city of Kitezh is able to rise from the lake because of the undeserved suffering of all for all. This is the ideal of a spiritual essence in the wisdom of the Russian soul, which can be expressed in the words: Whoever patiently accepts suffering, salvation awaits them.

The legend shows that it is not about the liberation of the individual, but that of the community, indeed ultimately that of humanity. Similar to the Parzival legend, a question must also be asked here. In the Kitezh legend it is: How can humanity be saved? The answer lies in the prayer that implores God’s mercy for all.

The legend teaches us to subordinate our individual motives for spiritual advancement to the aspiration of the community. The path and goal of mere individual striving find no place in the Kitezh legend.[8]

Pillar of Fire of the Spirit – The Prometheus of Alexander Scriabin

The Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915), who was a member of the Theosophical Society Adyar in Belgium, was also concerned with the question of the transformation of humanity’s consciousness. He saw the transformation of consciousness as his life’s mission, to which he always remained faithful. Scriabin hoped to redeem humanity through music and art. In a spiritual vision, he saw the pillars of fire of a temple coming down as if from heaven. He intended to build a mystery temple in India, the land of music and magic, where he would perform his orchestral work Prometheus – Poème du Feu (1911), composed especially for this purpose. The redemption of humanity was to take place through a Gesamtkunstwerk, a synthesis of all the arts, a symphony of word, sound, colour, scent, touch, dance and moving architecture. Under a hemisphere, this event was to take place again and again with 2,000 participants, until all of humanity had experienced the mystery and would be raised to a higher level of consciousness.

As with a fresh breeze, the melodies were to touch the hearts of all people on earth. Then they would awaken from their earthly sleep, move as if on a bridge into the higher, spiritual world, which lives and breathes and waits for souls who have grown mature for it. Human souls would dwell in this high and pure energy, bathe in this sea of love until they were purified and liberated.

One might think that Alexander Scriabin did not fulfil this vision, this mission, because no visible temple was built. But in Prometheus with its “mystical chord”, the Luce voice and the “colour piano”, he realised the temple in invisible spheres. Among the many manifestations of the “tredecimal chord”, Alexander Scriabin’s “mystical chord” (the “Promethean chord”) achieved a special notoriety and significance.[9]

As a participant in a theosophically oriented group, Scriabin knew that our world is permeated by fiery thoughts which, if all is well, are connected to the seven rays of the spiritual universe. Through them, the old (the earthly) can pass away and the new (the divine) can be born. Just as individual tongues of flame unite in an infinite dance to form a mighty fire, so the light-filled thoughts unite with each other and enter into the great being of the world soul, which can receive the divine spirit. Every human being who is touched by the world soul and surrenders to being filled by its flames transforms into a being of light.

The most miraculous lies in the depths

Galaxies with stars and planets arose from the primordial fire. Our planet was also brought forth from it. Hermes Trismegistus calls the “Holy Earth” the “second God”. The powers of the sevenfold Sacred Earth, the “seven flames of Isis”, enable the formation of the original soul and the original, spiritual-soul body. The soul forces can transmit their sevenfold capacity to the opened heart of the human being. This leads to a sevenfold process in which the “sevenfold candlestick that stands before God” is rekindled in man.[10]

Thus he experiences the miracle of fire.

Helena Roerich writes:

In order to receive and accept fire as the way of hierarchy, love and compassion, one must irrevocably sacrifice oneself with one’s whole heart, only in this way will the small stars be transformed into flaming giants.[11]

The longing to behold the reflection of the highest fire within is fulfilled when man turns to his spiritual core. Then the most wonderful, the indwelling Spirit, the primordial fire, opens up–.

[1] Helena Roerich, Fiery World, 1933 (p. 8-13 in the Russian original)
[2] Helena Roerich, Altai – Himalaya, 1929 (p. 78 in the Russian original)
[3] Helena Roerich, Altai – Himalaya, ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Jan van Rijckenborgh, The Egyptian Archgnosis, Volume 1, Rozekruis Pers, Haarlem, 2nd edition 1983, p.75
[6] Maxim Gorky, Der alte Isergil, (The Old Isergil). Collected Tales, from the Russian by Michael Feofanow, Diederichs, Leipzig 1902.
[7] Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and of the Virgin Fevroniya, Opera, Saint Petersburg 1906.
[8] Nederlander, Munin, Kitez. The Russia Grail Legends, The Aquarian Press, First Edition, London, 1991, pp. 92-95
[9] Zsolt Gárdonyi, Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915) on the 100th Anniversary of his Death, Würzburg,
[10] Jan van Rijckenborgh, The Egyptian Archgnosis, Volume 2, Rozekruis Pers, Haarlem, 2nd edition 1983, p. 276
[11] Helena Roerich, op. cit.

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Date: October 18, 2023
Author: Elena Vasenina (Russia)
Photo: Feuer im Herzen - Kosnick HD

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