Thursday, 2 June 2016

Putin the Monk?

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[ Ed. note – A friend of mine sent me an email today suggesting that Americans should consider writing Vladimir Putin’s name in when they go to the polls in November. It’s an interesting idea, and I might have more to say about it in a future post. It might well be preferable to casting a ballot for either of the two major party candidates. But at any rate, in the video in the article below we see  Putin being welcomed at Mount Athos during his recent visit to Greece…
Mount Athos is an autonomous monastic state located on a peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea from the northern part of Greece. It is the home of a number of monasteries and is inhabited almost entirely by monks. With a political status kind of unique in the world, the 130 square-mile region is governed by a “Holy Community,” consisting of representatives from each of the monasteries, yet there is also a Civil Governor appointed by Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose main job is to keep the infrastructure in tip-top shape.
Perhaps Putin’s visit there is fitting, and the author of the piece below describes why he thinks the Russian president is in essence “a monk in the world.” As for the video, even if you don’t understand the Russian spoken, it really doesn’t matter that much, for the chanting is rather pleasant, though for me by far the most fascinating aspect is the near-reverence for Putin displayed by the region’s bearded holy men. The difference between Putin and, say, the leaders of the US or Britain could not be more stark or striking. ]
The author previously suggested that Vladimir Putin dedicated himself to the world as a monk does to God. Well-informed people think that visiting Mount Athos, and especially the prayer in the Dormition Church of the Mother of God in honor of the head of the Russian state, are full of overtones that suggest that this is the case
(Originally appeared at Live Journal. Translated by Julia Rakhmetova
The author of the popular resource Aftershock, who evidently understands a lot about the niceties of Athos rituals, shows that Vladimir Putin is a monk in the world. And we need that evidence because such a vow is a discreet matter that is not proclaimed.
At the beginning of the video, it is clear that Vladimir Putin and the monks are greeting each other as brothers. The President of Russia arrived on Mount Athos not as a head of state or a tourist but as a pilgrim; a pilgrim who, however, is allowed to stand at the Royal Seat during the prayer where an Emperor would stand.
The throne is opposite the Royal Gates and symbolizes a direct relation between the King of Heaven and the Orthodox King. Putin is not a king in any legal sense, and the monks of Athos should not make such a mistake. But neither do they resent his standing in the place of the Lord’s Anointed.
In conclusion: Putin took a vow as a monk in the world. This means that he is fully entitled to take the Royal Seat in the mind of the monks of Athos. On the one hand, he is the head of an Orthodox country, and on the other, he is anointed by the Lord as a monk.
What does this symbolic information provide to the Orthodox and Muslims who comprise the majority of Russia’s population?
I think, first of all, it is hope:
  • A person who aims at eternal values, not immediate ones, rules the country.
  • He supports peace, not war.
  • Russia for him is the last outpost of Orthodoxy (NS maybe Christianity in general). That’s why he is going to protect it.
  • That the office of the President for him is, first of all, for service, not a source of gain.
It is very important that Putin never emphasizes his Orthodoxy. He speaks and acts, as the President, not as a monk. It would be difficult to suspect him of ostentatious godliness. He visits remote churches all over Russia during major Christian holidays instead of going to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior as would be expected.
At the same time, we understand that Christian values are above so-called universal human values, which are imposed on us instead of centuries-old traditions. Postmodernism is just a beautiful cover; its essence is the decomposition and atomization of society. If we don’t resist it, it will end badly.
What is so attractive about Putin? It’s the fact that he calls things by their name. Same-sex marriage is a sin. The introduction of military forces into sovereign states without being requested by the legitimate government violates the rules established after World War II. It is also a sin. As is the behavior of one nation that decides its power gives it the right to rebuild the world in its own image.
Today Russia is the only country saying “No” to the US. It’s the only country whose “No” Washington clearly hears and cannot do anything about. And the main thing is that this firm “No” is heard by those who appreciate our common roots and traditions, who still hope that this crazy world will recover its soul.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

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