A Russian soul on ice somewhere freezing somewhere in a clearly unromantic wasteland of the north?Valery Popov: “he killed six people, but his soul was pure.” Russian history, its tragedies, sufferings and near fatalistic natures can lead one to conclude that the Russian soul is no ordinary phenomenon.It is said to have a strange, mystical quality which enables Russians to claim that they are more spiritual than Westerners.But is it true? The notion of a Russian soul comes in conveniently when trying to explain the ” Bounteous Culture of a Savage People”.
Certainly, The Russian soul is a romantic concept. Most likely it originates in the nineteenth-century, when Russia became known not only for its cannons, but when Russian culture started to mean something. The concept of the Russian soul became necessary when it became necessary to explain how a basically barbarian people came to have the sketchy rudiments of a culture. Like everything in Russia, the so called soul is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. But, they remain an unpredictable people capable of surprising. To say they are a mystical people is likely false however. They are not particularly Western ,but are equally greedy, pragmatic and materialistic in their own way, so there no real place for mysticism.
R. P. Solzhenitsyn wrote about Russia as a country without an eastern border. Does the Russian soul have something to do with the multiplicity or vagueness of the Russian identity—when Mikhail Bulgakov and the hopeless alcoholic, Muslims and the people of Western European culture are all considered Russians? A. V.: Of course our large territory plays a role here. Russia has always been a country of explosive, broken-up history. We have constantly been under threat of being divided. That is why Russian society has always been in need of bonds that would keep it together. Read More:http://russiaprofile.org/interviews/a1278522243.html
One has to wonder if Russia and its rivalry for land mass has always meant that blood has always been thicker than its ideology. It seems that no political ideology can bridge the vast gulf that history culture and tradition have created between Russia and the other peoples, particularly the Chinese whom the West figured would have a guaranteed unity and friendship based on the Marxist coloration of their regimes.
While Europeans were exploring and staking claims in the New World, Russians were advancing across Siberia in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries at a much more rapid clip. The most serious obstacles were disease, shortages of food, and Siberia’s extreme bitter cold. As the small bands of Russian pioneers- many of then runaway serfs and escaped criminals- advanced across Siberia’s rivers and marched across its plains and mountains, they set up fortified strong points at strategic spots. They enslaved the natives, forcing them to provide food and furs and to surrender their women to serve as concubines. Eventually more legitimate troops followed seeking to monopolize the fur trade, which led only to a thriving black market in furs.
Brithers: All psychology in Russia should be – must be – viewed with three factors in mind: The nature of the Russian soul, the current state of the Russian economy, and the incredible number of losses in Russian families due to Stalin’s purges. There is unresolved bereavement on a massive scale….It is something that just does not exist in this country on the scale it exists there. I am not as articulate nor as clear on this subject as I would like. I am not sure the world has much of a language for it anyway – or, at least, the English-speaking world. I find that the clarity of my own sense of that soul fades when I get back home, where I am drowned in our familiar market mentality, consumer crush, the measuring of everything in dollars and cents – “is it cost effective” -and our starkly contrasting individualism. To try to talk about soul here in the United States makes me feel like it might just get people looking at me like I am a displaced sixties hippie or solipsistic, latter-day New Ager….The Russians have a sense of connectedness to themselves and to other human beings that is just not a part of American reality. It isn’t that competitiveness does not exist; it is just that there always seems to be more consideration and respect for others in any given situation. Read More:http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199301/russia-soul
Alexis de Toqueville ( 1835):There are now two great nations in the world which, starting from different points, seem to be advancing toward the same goal: the Russians and the Anglo-Americans. Both have grown in obscurity, and while the world’s attention was occupied elsewhere, they have suddenly taken their place among the leading nations, making the world take note of their birth and of their greatness almost at the same instant. All other peoples seem to have nearly reached their natural limits and to need nothing but to preserve them; but these two are growing…. The American fights against natural obstacles; the Russian is at grips with men….
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