Book Reviews

 


 

Sina Fosdick, My Teachers: Meetings with the Roerichs.  

Published by White Mountain Education Association, AZ, 2015,
ISBN: 978-0-9624439-7-8.

Review by: Roza and Margarita Riaikkenen,
authors of The Laws of Life and Creator and Creators

This book is an English translation of the diary of Sina Lichtmann – Fosdick from the original Russian 1998 edition. Its author was the personal secretary of the internationally renowned artist, author, researcher, and visionary, Nicholas Roerich, and his wife Helena, an insightful philosopher, author of the books of Living Ethics (Agni Yoga) and a renowned spiritual leader in her own right.  Sina Lichtmann - Fosdick was also one of the leaders of a team working on the Roerichs' educational and cultural projects in New York and all over the world. She became the first Director of the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York.

My Teachers is 600 pages of unique, revealing, and fascinating content, illustrated with rare and original photographs, beautifully presented in the utmost detail. The book starts with a comprehensive foreword by the late Daniel Entin, who succeeded Sina Fosdick as a Director of the Museum, and fulfilled his promise to Sina to continue in the original spirit of her work.

The diary spans 12 years, from 1922 to 1934, and mentions some earlier events and people who made their contributions to the cultural life of the Roerich’s native Russia. Sina diligently wrote her diary in many corners of the globe in company with Helena or Nicholas Roerich on their travels in America, Russia, Mongolia, Tibet, and India.

The pages of Sina's diary reveal the often challenging but always spiritually aspirational lives of Nicholas and Helena Roerich, their family, friends, and close circle of collaborators. The book covers all aspects of their lives and caters to the interests of readers in both their personal biographies and spiritual lives.

The events recorded in Sina's diaries take place against the background of the often tumultuous history, geography, social conditions, and politics of the countries where the Roerichs traveled and had their globally significant enterprises. These enterprises always aimed at raising the level of culture and spiritual development of humanity and service to Beauty in all its manifestations.

In this book the reader can find information on the ways in which the Ascended Masters communicated their information to the Roerichs and what kind of instructions they sent. The diaries give an intimate insight into the decade-long work of channeling the books which became Living Ethics, or Agni Yoga, and translating them into English. The reader also gains a glimpse into the higher planes of reality which Helena Roerich would frequently explore in her ‘subtle/astral’ body.

The book also puts a question before an astute reader: to what extent can we rely on predictions and prophesies, and how should we understand and interpret them? The world obviously failed to fulfil the Roerichs’ expectation of a peaceful world transformation that they predicted in the 1920s and 1930s and went to huge personal effort to promote. Neither peace, nor protection of cultural objects became sacrosanct to the whole of humanity in the 1930s as Nicholas Roerich had expected. As we now know, Mother Russia, which the Roerichs always loved, also didn't go the way Nicholas had hoped.

However, as we see it, no idea of Nicholas and Helena Roerich went in vain. For example, their intention to build a new era community in Russia's Altai region within the foothills of the sacred Belucha Mountain did not eventuate at that time, but gave an impetus to some future events. The people's efforts to establish such communities in the Altai region never end. The Roerichs' call to follow the ways of Beauty, Peace, and Spiritual Evolution created an impetus for humanity and continue resounding in different parts of the world.

We highly recommend My Teachers  to every spiritual student and reader curious about the fascinating lives of the Roerichs or interested in the 20th century culture and history. From our personal experience of reading these diaries we promise that every reader will make their own fascinating discoveries.

 

The Parable of the Rower

Excerpt from the book "Creator and Creators: Co-creation with Nature: A Synthesis of Spiritual Philosophy and Science"

by Roza and Margarita Riaikkenen

 

The Man came from afar. His memory refused to remember where he lived and what he did and saw there. It threw out the pictures of death and devastation. Actually, his memory rejected the past, the whole past universe in which he used to live.

The Man came to the shore where he could see only the boundless smooth surface of water ahead of him and a small boat with a pair of oars ashore. The Man pushed the boat off the shore and into the water, took the oars and started rowing. From then on, he got a new name – he became not just a Man, but the Rower.

He didn’t know where he would finish; he just felt that he had to row forward, away from his past and into the future. Hour after hour, he continued rowing. Something gradually started come of it. The rhythm of the oars and creaking of the rowlocks reminded him of a song, and little by little the Rower started singing. At the start he was just repeatedly and rhythmically murmuring some sounds, but eventually a melody came out of these sounds and a proper song appeared. The song was simple, with just a handful of words. However simple, the words carried hope.

We don’t know how long the Rower was rowing and singing, he didn’t know himself. Neither time nor any other signs existed in the azure expanse of the sea. Nevertheless, he observed the line of the horizon and gradually started imagining and singing about a beautiful island of his dreams. When he eventually saw the shoreline, at the beginning he thought that this was just a mirage. But the ‘mirage’ started growing and eventually turned into a real island.

Can we tell you that the island resembled the Rowers dreams? A sandy shore; then a jumble of greenery – grass, bushes and trees. A brook with clean, cool water, beautiful flowers and an abundance of edible berries in the bushes. The Rower knew that this was all he needed – his new universe. He could build the rest himself.

Later on some sailors from a ship noticed the previously unknown island, and it was eventually marked on the map. We don’t know what name they gave to the island, but we call it ‘the Rower’s Island’.

A question remains unanswered – could the Rower create a real island – his universe – out of the rhythm and hard work of rowing, the song of his dream, and observation?  Could he re-create his own universe and bring his dream into manifestation? Can we?

The book Creator and Creators is available for preview and pre-order on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Creator+and+Creators+Roza+and+Margarita+Riaikkenen. It is assigned a publication date July 7, 2018 by the publisher John Hunt Publishing, UK. Please contact the publisher for pricing. Free review copies can be ordered from the publisher: office1@jhpbooks.net; PDF review copies available now from the authors.

 

THE MASTER, THE LOVER, AND ME 
by Denise McDermott-King

 

The Master, The Lover, and Me:  This remarkable book is a gift of considerable import to all genuine seekers of truth. Presenting a unique, adventurous journey with advanced souls in the Canadian and American Rockies, this work stands shoulder to shoulder with well-known spiritual classics of bygone years such as Redmond's The Celestine Prophecy, Hillman's Lost Horizon, and Murdo Macdonald Bayne's Beyond the Himalayas.

The genre is a familiar one, yet this work, which is expressed in poetic language of rare beauty, is particularly valuable because it constitutes, however incredible the content may seem, bona fide experiences of the author and the divine alchemy they perform on her soul and persona. 

The journey is triggered by a close call with death on a remote trail in the Canadian Rockies and is the direct result of a letter penned some years previously by the author and addressed to a specific Master or Mahatma of Wisdom. As those familiar with the Ageless Wisdom know, anyone who directs strong thoughts to these wise Beings is forging an inevitable link with a Master. And if one dares to go to the extent of writing an actual letter, and "rushing in where angels fear to tread" - well - that kind of persistence cannot be ignored. As the author explains, it is rather like a child stomping his/her feet to gain attention.  The letter is a direct invitation for certain effects to materialize and for one's karma to be fast-tracked.

In addition to meeting with individuals demonstrating a very high state of consciousness, the outer journey presents a spell-binding tale of a variety of surprising adventures and also experiencing sacred centres in impressive edifices replete with awesome works of art and spiritual symbology, and so much more!!

However, much more significant are the lessons learned on this surreal sojourn and the teachings imparted along the way by these wise souls. Woven skillfully and artfully into the narrative is the essence of the Ageless Wisdom which re-iterates the Oneness of Life, its origin from One Great Source, and the necessity of developing the spiritual heart - teachings for which the present world with its plethora of conflicts is in great need.  These teachings are presented with considerable humor and joy and in a way that is palatable for those commencing the quest; and yet they remain equally appealing to those more familiar with the more profound aspects of the Wisdom teachings. Insightful nuggets are truly interspersed plentifully into the narrative, which are worthy of further contemplation and meditation long after the story is finished, and regardless of where one stands of the Path. 

Strongly emphasized throughout the text is the Unconditional Love of Divinity. According to the encountered Masters, life is about "waking up to that Love which is always present". Many misconceptions of course swirl about the idea of love and its many manifestations and yet learning to give of oneself selflessly is totally in accordance with the purpose of Divinity. Not surprisingly, as much of the narrative is on the theme of opening up the spiritual heart, this journey also involves a poignant love story. The author's "lover" is a chela of the leading master and the relationship between them turns out to be a profound one encompassing many past lives. Their beautiful romance is portrayed with considerable finesse and beauty. 

The narrative has a surprising twist at the end that confirms the compelling reality that indeed Masters, and part of the spiritual Hierarchy, not only exist in the far East, but can also be found in the Rockies. And who knows, if we are open enough, and courageous enough to write a letter (!!), we may even find ourselves presented with a similar opportunity and journey. Denise, you have not only done us all a great favour in sharing this inspirational narrative but you have also helped to restore our hope in future possibilities and the spiritual evolvement of humanity.                  

Fiona C. Odgren
Author: Insights From the Masters - A Compilation