"Creative Work" without either knowledge or ability?
We have already examined the true cause of involuntary poetising in children and some sections of this book will be devoted to the phenomenon of spontaneous painting and music composing without any elementary training.
Now I would like to continue our discussion of the literary form of paranormal phenomena. The following interview with a well-known Moscow poetess Nina Kartashova, member of the RF Writers' Association, is important for our theme as an opinion of a professional poet who has an opportunity to observe many curious cases herself.
Nina Kartashova: "It is already seven years as I preside over literary gatherings at the International Centre of Slavonic literature and culture. This keeps me always in touch with young poets - even with such young who may easily be called children. And I am stricken by the fact that every year the number of very strange, astonishing cases increases rapidly. I can call it nothing but mediumism or, more exactly, obsession.
I remember, for example, a girl of about nine with two naive plaits appearing at one of our soirees. Her father was very proud of a selection of her poetry which he had published on his own means. Having opened the booklet I was nearly frightened: a child could not have produced that sort of thing! It were mannered, impassioned verses of an experienced and extravagant lady with violent cravings and a despondent heart. They were filled with emotions absolutely foreign to the tender soul I saw before me. The poor girl herself had no idea of their meaning. Having talked to her I learned that both the mood and the content of her poetry were all Greek for her. She had never experiences the 'erotic fantasies' she was describing, neither did she have a slightest idea of what was the 'Delphian oracle' mentioned by her.
Here I would like to call the readers' attention to a curious parallel that seems to be very characteristic. Oracles were the very objects from which the creatures of parallel world (called 'gods' in the Ancient Greece and Rome) exercised contacts with people specially chosen for that. The two-way exchange of information was being put into practice through questions put by pagan priests on the part of the visitors - and answers given by a god to the medium-mediator. The most esteemed in Greece was the oracle of Apollo in Delphi, where on a slope of the Parnassus mountain, over a deep rift that was believed to be the dwelling place of a certain predicting spirit, a majestic temple was erected in honour of Apollo. To serve the oracle and the spirit, virgins called pythonesses [?-ai] were initiated. During mediumistic trances a pythoness was not herself. "Her body seemed an outward form of some spirit. She wiggled and swayed to and fro, uttering inarticulate sounds. Then suddenly it all passed. She became stately and placid. Her body stiffened, eyes concentrated upon one single point and - lo! a god's word came through her. Usually it was uttered in the form of hexameter with a perfectly double meaning, nearly incomprehensible in its ambiguity" (Manly P.Hall, St.Petersburg, 1994, p. 208-210).
Likewise the one telepathically expressing himself through the little Moscow schoolgirl was not only aware, unlike his living mounthpiece, of the meaning of the Delphian oracle, devoted to the god of arts Apollo, but hinted at a certain kinship between hers and the pythonesses' ministration.
A quite obvious obsession by an evil spirit was present, a spirit that dictated verses to the girl which caused storm of applause in her relatives. Knowing well what a dismal fruit may grow on the stem of such writing, I advised the girl's father to take her to the Orthodox church the sooner the better, giving her a chance to participate in the sacraments of confession and the Holy Communion. Fortunately, my advice was accepted. The girl, as I learned eventually, was decisively released from the strange appearing of poetical production in her mind. The alien rhymes came no longer, the demonic 'creative' power left her as soon as the divine grace entered her soul.
There were scores of such children who did not know what they were doing. Now they have grown up. But what is really frightening is that their number increases rapidly…
I remember an avant-garde poetry party where rather gifted young people gathered. It was a packed house of teenagers. The familiar obsessive traits marked the young poets' both gestures and verses when they were propagating wild, aggressive paganism. I noticed the malicious gleam of their eyes when they frantically exclaimed "Back to Svarog!" The air was imbued with spiteful abuse and curse towards Christ, trembled with the violent call to "maintain the advanced post of paganism" and so on.
[Ìû ñëûøèì, êàê â íî÷è òàèíñòâåííûõ ìèñòåðèé… ñ. 98]
The demoniac rage vented itself upon the gathered mob that replied by the roar of delight to these infernal verses. It was as if the air became a dense cloud charged with the energy of hatred. The Christians present there felt great pressure, the prayer had to overcome a colossal resistance, a non-human effort was needed just to read the troparion to the Life-giving Cross to the end in your mind - something would not let you…
It is sad to admit that among the writing youth there are more and more explicitly possessed people who advocate the "aesthetics" of decay, death, sexual abuse, etc. Unfortunately, the "moon's skull", "suppurative decay", "moonlit corpse" and the like are not merely poetical images, but the satanic credo of work and life.
… [3 quatrains on p. 99]
There emerge literary associations with typical names like "Uninhabited Time" and with no less typical illustrations to their publications like, for example, a four-eyed female profile holding in her teeth a double-edged sword with a fascist badge. Delirium? Yes. But not merely: the delirium of a demonic nature and embodied into the 'virtual poetry' of hell.
Every year there are more and more elderly women possessed by a certain spirit that introduces them into the poetical trance of perpetually sliding images and thoughts. Indulging in their wild poetical illusions, the poor ladies fancy themselves nymphs, witches, vampires and whatever else, all persuasion being unavailing to bring them back to themselves. However, once I managed to persuade one such 'poetess' to visit the church. After the Holy Communion the 'poetical trances' totally abandoned her. The lady conceived a real hatred for me: "What a God it is Whom you sent me to? He sterilised me as a poet as soon as I came to Him!"
But what is much more dangerous is the artistic delirium on quasi-Orthodox themes, when the possessed poets - leading a life just too far from Christian - talk without ceremony with 'angels', or with 'the Most Holy Virgin herself', who allegedly visit them, both in dreams and reality. Such people, daring to call themselves Orthodox Christians and being gravely deluded by evil spirits, commit spiritual forgery taking demonic appearances for the divine revelations, that they are not at all worthy".
There are not many people among the present-day poets able to appraise the true quality and nature of creative processes typical of the time with the same discernment as Nina Kartashova. That is why we are really glad to publish a new poem by a Moscow bard Vladimir Berezhkov. The literary image of a poet-medium here is compared with that of a shaman ecstatically shaking his tambourine.
[ poem Inspiration on p. 100-101 ]