Universalism and Nationalism
East and West must unite
Scientifically, the most important division is the division into the East and the West.
the most important division
is the division into the East and the West. They even speak about the eastern and western front. … The division of the world into the East and the West has
a world-historical significance,
and the question of achieving
world unity of mankind
is most connected with it. In the Christian medieval mind was the idea of universal unity, but the unity of the East and the West in this design was not achieved.
The process of unity is real.
East and West sooner or later must come to unity, but this happens through strife, through divisions that seem larger than before. … The universal church, which does not know the division into the East and the West, is the spiritual basis of the unity of mankind.
We are entering a universal age
Universalism always contains messianism.
The human world is breaking up into pieces, and at the same time
we are entering a universal epoch.
East and West sooner or later must come to unity, but this happens through strife, through divisions that seem larger than before. Nationalism does not contain a universal idea. But
universalism always contains messianism.
The prototype of the universally significant messianism is Hebrew messianism. Universalism is inherent in Russian messianism, which is profoundly different from nationalism.
We stand before the beginning of a new world epoch, in which there is still much mysterious for us. But there is little joy even after the right end of the war, because the ending world is in an awful state of strife and enmity, nothing solid remains in it. The world is possessed by hatred, and it seems to be
abandoned by God.
The new world of a new era is not only a new social world, but
a new spiritual world.
If no new spiritual unity is found in the human world, if no
new spiritual forms
are found for Christian universalism, then social reorganizations will not help either. But we must not fatalistically look at the future, it always depends on human freedom.
Western man lovingly tends to God
Christ — is the object in Catholicism, the object to be in love with, the object of imitation. Catholic mysticism — is sensual, in it there is a blazing, a rapture with passions, a pining with delight, a swooning. Human nature comes out of its languor in accord with the Divine nature. …
In the West, in Catholicism there was always not so much a marriage-like coming together of man with God, as rather just the being-in-loveness of man.
And the great mission of the Catholic West, perhaps, consisted in the uncovering of the mystical truth about
the being-in-loveness as a creative power.
This being-in-love fashioned Western culture, and with it is connected the knight-chivalrant power of the West.
Eastern Orthodox mysticism is
not a being-in-love, but rather marriage-like
In the Orthodox East there was a different religious path, a different mystical experience. In the East, and in Orthodoxy — God is a subject, and from within man … For Eastern mysticism, a characteristic idea is that of
the deification of human nature from within, the pathway of receiving Christ within oneself. … Eastern Orthodox mysticism is not a being-in-love, but rather marriage-like, a marital union of man and Divinity. In the Eastern
there is realised a marital-like mystery, human nature from within is pervaded by the Divine. In this is the great truth and the great mission of the East. Only the Orthodox East preserves the mystical mystery of union with God, i.e. the principle of the transfiguration of the world. In the West God remains quite external to man.
In the East there is the dynamics of an inward communion with God
The mystical hunger of the West creates great culture. In the East there are not the historico-cultural dynamics, but rather the dynamics of an inward communion with God. Being in love would seem to be more dynamic, more creative, than being married.
The mystical experience of being in love
has its own great mission and its own particular creative achievements. But
the mystical experience of marriage
has no less a great mission, and in it is a particular inward dynamics.
Without the truths of the East the world cannot come to its graced end
failed to appreciate the holy things of Orthodoxy, he did not understand, that in the Orthodox East, in the lives of the saints, in the individual mystical experience there is done the work of God, from which will come the transfiguration of the world. Solov’ev is a thousand times right in his exposures of our ulcerous church structure, the false relationships of church and state, the un-Christian nature of our national self-smugness. But there are things incomparably far deeper, connected with the resolution of the problem of East and West, and Solov’ev failed to touch upon them in his book, «La Russie et l’eglise universelle»: he did not tell the West
the truths of the East, without which the world cannot come to its graced end.
Both pathways remain within the bounds of oecumenical Christianity
For the mysteried purposes of Divine Providence the religious life of mankind split onto two experiences and two pathways
[the path of the West and the path of the East]. Both experiences and both pathways have their own mission and they complement each the other. It would be impious, it would be godless to say, that truth is exclusively here or exclusively there. In the house of our Father are many habitations. These varied experiences and varied pathways remain within the bounds of oecumenical Christianity, of the one Church of Christ;
the enmity however and division are but an human limitation, only historical relativeness.
Why in the East there was relationship to God as to a subject, and in the West as to an object, — this is a mystery not given us to comprehend, a mystery of the freedom of man and the grace of God. But to comprehend these different experiences and
to overcome the enmity in our varied pathways, we both must and should.
Panmongolism and the re-uniting of East and West
Whether Russia will preserve the Christian
revelation about personality
or betray it and suborn it to the
Eastern-Mongolic element of impersonality?
Panmongolism serves to the re-uniting of East and West.
For Christian Russia and Christian Europe, as chastisement for sin, for betrayal of Christ and the Christian revelation about man, — there threatens Panmongolism, that of the Far East, til now aslumber, the East, by us forgotten. … In the pending dangers of Panmongolism there is a mystical anxiety, a presentiment of the end. But the great significance of Panmongolism is first of all in this, that by it is sharply put the question: what intends Russia to be, a Christian land, an organic part of the Christian all-humanity, or a borderland and un-Christian East?
Whether Russia should preserve the Christian revelation about person or betray it and suborn it to the Eastern-Mongolic element of impersonality?
Only a Christian Russia, united with a Christian Europe, can have the strength to repel a Panmongolism.
The Eastern-Mongolic element of impersonality has penetrated also into Western civilisation under the form of a leveling Americanism. The Far East and the Far West coincide. The problem of the Orthodox East and the Catholic West is decided in the problem of the relationship of a Christian all-humanity, of a true Christian revelation about man and humanity, towards the non-Christian humanity, either not having accepted the Christian revelation or having betrayed it. The Christian Churches, or more accurately, the two Christian worlds, conjoin in the external danger of the impersonal element of the East and the internal danger of the impersonal element of an anti-Christian civilisation. Afront Russian messianism there stands Solov’ev’s question:
O Rus’. In foresight august
Thou with proud thought art taken;
What sort the East intendest thou to be:
The East of Xerxes or of Christ
The danger threatens Russia to become the East of Xerxes, if it conquers not within itself the Tatarism, i.e. the element of the Far East pervasive in its depths. With the Christian and the cultural surmounting of the Tatar element and the Far East is connected first of all the altering of the attitude towards the Christian West. Christian Russia ought to surmount the hostility and rather to love the Christian West, to behold the one truth of Christ, the truth of the oecumenical Church, both in Orthodoxy and in Catholicism. The oecumenical Christian culture ought to be contrast opposite to every, whether external or internal, Tatarism, Mongolism, and impersonalism, whether barbaric or civilised. Against the anti-Christian spirit, Starets Ioann acknowledges the truth of Pope Peter II, who in turn follows after the clear-vision of Ioann. Panmongolism serves to the re-uniting of East and West.
The fullness and the wholeness of truth
For Slavophils the Russian nation was a chosen people of God, and their messianism brings to mind the times of the ancient Hebrews.
The Slavophils looked on the East, on Eastern Orthodoxy, on Russia, as the possessor and preserver of Orthodoxy, the fullness and the wholeness of Christian truth. In the West, in Catholicism, they saw only the betrayal of Christian truth, only the breaking up of the spiritual wholeness, only rationalistic dissection. For them there was no need of an unifying of the world of the Eastern-Orthodox with the Western-Catholic, since in Orthodoxy was the fullness of truth, and in Catholicism only a deviation from this truth. Only in the Orthodox East, in Russia, was there possible the supreme type of Christian culture. Western culture — was anti-Christian, rationalistic, and hence false and in decay. There was nothing for us to learn from the West. The Slavophils understood Russian messianism in this sense, that only with Russia stood a great future, as the sole Christian land.
For them the Russian nation was a chosen people of God, and their messianism brings to mind the times of the ancient Hebrews.
Slavism will supersede the Western cultures, which are inclined towards collapse and becoming decrepit.
It is proper only to speak about the re-unification of Catholicism with the Orthodox Church, the return of the prodigals to the bosom of the Church.
In the West there are no self-sufficient principles, having significance for the fullness of truth. The Eastern-Christian world presented itself for the Slavophils as already that of all-mankind.