Thoughts on Spiritual Culture

30 August 2015

Nowadays more and more people all over the world speak about the necessity of the urgent changes in the world. We are coming to the point when the old paradigm of humanity's development can’t secure not only peace but existence of life itself.  There are so many philosophical and practical suggestions in the world on how to solve the problem. In Russia there is a great number of people following the idea of building Peace through Culture, and who speak more and more about Spiritual Culture. The idea of changing consciousness of people is the key point of it. How to do it? Of course, not through methods of hypnosis or technics affecting people's minds and will. The change should happen only naturally through education in the trend of Spiritual Culture, for Culture is one of the main issues which do not divide people, but are able to unite them. The world needs cultural inspiration and humanization on all the walks of life. Education should change its paradigm as well from giving only scientific knowledge and information to spiritual education which comprises a holistic approach. We, as humanity, are at the state of geopolitical crisis and increasing world chaos, manifesting itself in wars and natural catastrophes.  The paradigm of the Unity of all creation, existing on the planet, should be taken as the leading one for stabilizing reality.

Spiritual Culture is a bridge between old and new stages of the world development, guaranteeing the positive development and coexistence of the humanity in a harmonic unity with Nature. What is the essence of Spiritual Culture? It is a general basis of life for all the nations and countries, which comprises a legacy of the world positive experience in organizing harmonic society\community. It is based on the unchangeable Highest Laws, given in religious scriptures and the best philosophic works, in  art, literature, music, etc. It is common knowledge that destruction of civilizations of the past had always one and the same reason: excluding factor of Spiritual Culture in all it’s aspects from the way of civilization existence. Positive way  of life lies in Life Virtues.

If we look at the wisdom of zealots of humanity, teachers of humanity who during centuries supported hope in human minds and souls during the darkest periods of its history, we see that their deeds and ideas outline the possible perspectives towards crisis changes.

We can’t reject that all kinds of planet species, including humans, live according to some certain  rhythms. It looks like a shift of humanity to a different paradigm of life is inevitable and humanity will come to its Transformation, predicted in spiritual scriptures and depicted in the artistic works.

Which parts of human legacy should be crucial points of education in Spiritual Culture? And who will do it?

Those millions of workers in science, education, culture, religious workers and even political leaders, who understand today the necessity  of bringing enlightened culture\spiritual culture to everyday life, wherever they go and work, whomever they meet. Culture is understood today in a very narrow way-as an activity  field of writers, painters, musicians, architects, actors and other the so called ”creative workers.” In translation from Sanskrit CULTURE means “Reverence of Light” where Cult means worshipping\honouring of Light (Ur), so not only the professions mentioned above but all the people who have Light in hearts and souls are actually carriers of Spiritual Culture, those who demonstrate values of Culture in everyday life.

Education of such kinds of people should become the main function of any country's educational and cultural politics, which will promote the ideas of bringing up people of high moral standards, creative abilities, and open minds. Special programmes should be worked out (actually they do exist already in some countries, I know of some in Russia). The real aim of Culture\Art as the whole lies not in entertainment but in uplifting of people’s soul and spirit, although, of course, entertainment is an essential part of Culture, although it should not “play on low level instincts” but instead bring joy, optimism  and happiness. Russian writes F. Dostoevskiy said: "Beauty will save the world” and the Russian peace-maker, spiritual painter extended the words: “Cognizing\awareness of Beauty will save the world.” A beautiful flower\picture will not save the world but while looking at the piece of art we will feel inspiration, joy, than step by step we can develop the sense of beauty in everyday life.

Buddha said once: “Ignorance is the worst sin.”

Nowadays in the best-selling book on Ethics for a New Millennium, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. With his new book “Ethics for a whole world\Beyond Religion,“ published a few years ago, he returns to the conversation at his most outspoken, elaborating and deepening his vision for the nonreligious way—a path to lead an ethical, happy, and spiritual life. Transcending the religion wars, he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that makes a stirring appeal for a deep appreciation of our common humanity, offering us all a road map for improving human life on individual, community, and global levels.

Spirituality & Practice wrote about the book: “Cogent and fresh . . . This ethical vision is needed as we face the global challenges of technological progress, peace, environmental destruction, greed, science, and educating future generations.”

Personally I was very happy to get and read this book, although most of the ideas of the book are known to the people who read philosophical books including Eastern and the world, who try to make a difference even a small one in their everyday life and public work. But "special” and important is the fact that the book was written by the famous and loved spiritual leader. For thousands of people in the world and especially in Russia the ideas, given in esoteric Teaching of “Agni Yoga” or “Living Ethics” became  leading and inspiring ideas. They mostly coincide with the ideas of Dalai Lama and of those Holy people of the past and present.

This is extremely important to unite religious spirituality with the secular one, and using historical and cultural heritages of both,will form a basis for the New Knowledge, based on synthesis of Science, Culture, and Religion. These 3 basic issues were put into the meaning of the Symbol of Banner of Peace, proclaimed by Nicholai Roerich. The Roerich Pact of Peace was adopted and signed on April 15, 1936 in Washington by many countries representatives in the presence of T. Roosvelt.

Dogmas and rituals of old time belong to history, so we should work on changing old ways, although taking the best of the world historical and cultural heritage. Actually, we shouldn’t even put a division between history and culture; in Spiritual Culture they are just 2 wings of one bird flying towards Future.

There are a few leading principles in promoting Spiritual Culture Education, and the issues of individualism and collectivism are very important to understand. We speak about prosperity for the whole humanity, than principles of egocentrism should be left in the past. Due to the scientific development we have an opportunity of fast communication as a factor of uniting us and comprehending oneself as part of Humanity.

Ethical transformation of humanity supposes cleansing moral values from deformations brought by civilization of consuming. Justice should be put as a core corner of the whole transformation. Of course, such ideas as freedom, democracy, human rights are the humanity great values, but Justice should be above all, and the ideas of Spiritual Culture could be fundamental here.

It is impossible to create paradise on the planet by force, for the law of free will should be always followed and kept in mind by those who try to promote new ways. The time of Spiritual Culture has come and those who realize this should work to put its ideas and principles in life.

Just let me quickly share a few words about the difference between Civilization and Culture, because people often misunderstand the difference and use the word civilization instead of culture in some situations, forgetting that the word “cult” has a deep spiritual meaning while civilization means civil social management of life. Culture is a spirit of the creative activity of people, while civilization is just simple matter in all its aspects of the creative activity. When 2 notions are mixed up it leads to losing the spiritual factor of Culture.

Philosppher Berdyev wrote: “Spiritual energy is ceasing in civilization, spirit’s fire, which is a source of culture,goes down. Then barbarian forces and mashinary thinking comes to power in human souls and substitute natural forces…” New mashinary philosophy doesn’t need real art, religions in its best sense; and here the so called “mass culture” becomes ruling.

So much can be said about it…

Galina Ermolina



People forgot to feel spirits of Nature 

By Lyudmila Faibushevich (Novosibirsk,Russia)

And strong spirits are short in size.

The world is multidimensional, not so simple,

Prick up your ears, be serious, alert.

      Branches of birch-tree knock at your window,

Meaning: Have faith that health will come back.

 Elfs among  leaves are smiling with greeting,

Meaning: Gods and spirits take care of you.

When bird will fly to your feet and stop,

While it is the whole Teaching for pure hearts.

But we were not taught  metapsychosis phenomena,

What do the birds tell us in their singing?

Whom do we see in the beautiful dreams?

Who is protecting us daily and by nights?

Wind whispers something to elfs.

Soul of river sings early morning,

The gift was burnt down by lack of faith.

People forgot to feel spirits of Nature.

(Translated by Galina Ermolina)