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Eestikeelsed artiklid




Nato Lumi

Vilen Künnapu

Vilen Künnapu

Tomomi Hayashi

Mehis Heinsaar


Peculiarities of the Russian spirit

Every nation could be regarded as a small ball, called egregor, a psychophysical field or indeed a spirit. The ball of every nation has its own vibrating frequency. The frequency is strong, powerful and unique.
The peculiarities of the Russian spirit are mysticism, a wide scope, romanticism and sensitivity.

I remember contacts with the Russian ball already in my childhood. The classical vaults of the harbour in Sotchi, a baobab and a Russian girl climbing on it, the Russian friends of my brother – boxers and butchers, air hostesses and scientists. Mother took me to see the Lenin mausoleum and introduced the Moscow metro. My father gave me a book by Jack London in Russian and told me to read one page every day.

I was soon quite fluent and swallowed a dozen or so more books by London. In my students days we visited Moscow, where I saw the works of Russian constructivists and other buildings. My favourites were the department store GUM on the Red square, Konstantin Melnikov's private house, his Russakov Club and the Lenin mausoleum. My favourite films were "Moscow Does Not See Tears" and "Three Poplars in Pljushchika". I later got to know the Russian paper architects* and we became friends.

Mikhail Belov, Bridge over Rubico River.
Project, 1987.

I was fully accepted and introduced to the mysterious undercurrents of the Moscow creative labyrinth. We still occasionally get together. Together with Mikhail Belov we travelled to Italy to measure the energy of Andrea Palladio's villas. Tom Nugent (former Ovsjannikov) explained to us the London Embankment, Yuri Avvakumov took us to an opening of an architectural exhibition, where champagne was served by semi-naked black women. I also remember the recently departed director of the architecture museum David Sarkisjan, whose crazy office resembled a pawnshop. Sarkisjan reputedly slept in his office and sometimes received visitors in his pyjamas. Sarkisjan's dream was to turn his architecture museum into a dream museum. In Germany I once met the famous Russian artist Ilja Kabakov, whose sensitivity left a good impression. His respect and love for Estonia was amazing.

Drawing: Ernst Muldashev

Russia and the Russians have always excited me. Also Russian music, from Rakhmaninov to pop bands Ivanushki International and Fabrika. I sometimes feel Russian myself (or at least half Russian).

A special chapter is made up of Russian spiritual leaders, esoteric writers and scientists, who believe in God. In the initial years of my spiritual awakening I read Vladimir Megre's "Anastasia". I was charmed by the purity, strength and warmth of that higher being. A pretty young girl living in the middle of taiga with bears, wolves, squirrels and hares. She was naked, ate fruits of forest and breathed in the same rhythm with nature. Anastasia was in connection with the common field and through that could convey whatever information. The core of her teaching was a wish that everyone should look after a small garden at home, which connects people with the universe. I was especially keen on such books as Ernst Muldashev's "Who Do We Descend From" and its sequels. I initially read them in Russian (the first four were later translated into Estonian). Ernst Muldashev is certainly an extraordinary human being. A well-known eye surgeon and ophthalmologist, he found a method how to restore the sight of thousands of blind and half-blind people. In dead human cells he discovered a matter called alloplant, which came to life and produce life. Muldashev became fascinated by the question of how life actually emerges. He travelled to Tibet and Nepal and showed his inventions to local lamas. The wise men were amazed to see his drawing of a Lemurian's face and asked:

"How come you know these things, have you been to the cave?" They soon realised that Muldashev had special powers and told him secrets that dealt with man's origin, architecture of energy centres and many more. Muldashev also possessed a special ability to understand Yelena Blavatskaya's book "A Secret Doctrine", written in the language of a higher human being. Muldashev describes all these secrets and discoveries he made on his expeditions simply and colourfully, and presents numerous illustrations and photographs. Like many other spiritual teachers, he is an excellent artist. Many world phenomena cannot be explained by words. Drawings, schemes and geometry often explain things far better.

Another man who took up painting is the radical Russian holy man father Vissarion. He has his own spiritual community in faraway Urals, where money and institutions do not exist. Thousands of people all over the world have started a new life there, which resembles early Christianity or some prehistoric Russian communities. Vissarion has presented his work at exhibitions and lectured in Tallinn. August and I once conducted an interview with him and his entourage in a flat in Õismäe. Vissarion's clothes and hairdo reminded us of Christ as seen in sacred pictures; everything he said was also noted down by his chroniclers. His mellow glance barely concealed a harsh religious radical. In any case he was an intriguing and exciting character. When we asked what should be done with totally negative literature and art, he replied curtly – "Burn it!"


Another fascinating character is certainly the spiritual writer Anatoli Nekrassov. Many of his works, such as "Egregors", "Kin. Family. Man", "Man and Woman", have also been translated into Estonian, and the author often lectures here. I remember that in one of his books he propagated a basic image of society consisting of four families. I sketched a circular house for him, which I divided into four sectors, with a large living-room in the middle. Of these circles I put together a small town located on a regular network with a temple, a school and community centre. At a roundtable talk I was able to pass these sketches on to Nekrassov. From his lectures I also remember his scheme of a happy person. In addition to balancing his mind, heart and eros, man must know 64 arts (from old Indian vedas).

My brother once brought a married couple from Moscow, both academics, to visit us in Viimsi. Like Nekrassov, these physicists were deeply religious, simple and sparkling people. They intended to live until 200, they were clever and funny. The visitors appreciated the energy of the American Indian labyrinth in our inner yard and drew their own mandala as well.

They first drew a dot and said that it was God. A circle was then drawn around the dot that stood for information. A bigger circle appeared around the first one, which meant energy. They drew a third circle – We. They showed that We usually communicate with the egregors in the previous energy circle, either loving or hating them. An arrow was then drawn from We to the very centre – they said that being connected with the central point guarantees understanding and piece of mind. Perceiving the centre, we also perceive the whole.

S. Barchin, Mikhail Belov.
Appartment for an Islander's family. Project, 1987.


Drawing: Vilen Künnapu

Communicating with Russian artists, architects, spiritual teachers and simple people, I have always been amazed by their deep religiosity and lack of any arrogance and pride. I remember how Belov's driver, while racing around in Moscow, always crossed himself every time he saw a church, and he did it automatically, without thinking. During that drive I was able to see a striking energy building near Moscow – the 44 m tall fiberglass pyramid erected by businessman Aleksandr Golod. He had built dozens of them in order to raise the energy in Moscow and its surroundings.

Finally I would like to mention a most wonderful Russian film – Pavel Lungin's "The Island" ("Ostrov"), with the former rock star Pjotr Mamonov in the lead. I have never seen anything so pure and powerful on screen. Perhaps "The Island" summarises the peculiarities of the Russian spirit - healing, mysticism and religiosity in their most vivid and genuine form.


Aleksandr Brodsky, Ilja Utkin.
Bridge above the precipice in the high
mountains. Project, 1987.


* Paper architects – a group of young architects who became world famous in the 1980s, whose fabulous and conceptual projects won numerous awards at international contests (Japan, etc). The best known amongst them are Mikhail Belov, Yuri Avvakumov, Aleksandr Brodsky and Ilja Utkin. We should also mention their teachers, remarkable fantasy architects Ilja Ležava and Aleksei Gutnov.

Vilen Künnapu
arhitekt ja kunstnik