How the Holy Mountains Let Out of
Their Deep Caves the Mighty Heroes of Russia
A modern bylina [traditional epic oral
poem from Russia], taken down by N.
Misheyev from an old peasant in the extreme
North of Russia, and translated by Gleb Struve
and Bernard Pares. Published by The Centenary
Press, London, UK, in March 1935, with 31 pages.
A 2023 Editorial Note
The modern legend told in the present poem is about the need to awaken the higher nature of persons, and the higher nature of communities. The fact that it belongs to Russian culture and to Christian tradition serves us as an example, but the duty to awaken is universal and belongs to every nation, philosophy and religion.
The life of the hero is an aspect of the higher levels in human consciousness. The spiritual disciple, the learner who seeks wisdom, must challenge the long-established routines of ignorance in his own life, and the life of his community. Theosophy shows that there is a heroic dimension – or probationary aspect – in the decision to try to help the immortal sages who help mankind. Helena Blavatsky wrote that the Twelve Labors of Hercules are a symbol of discipleship and initiations.
A mountain represents the higher levels of consciousness in their impersonal, limitless and unspoken dimension.
As for the metaphor of sleeping for decades or centuries in a cave inside a mountain, it may work as a symbol of our reincarnation process. It also refers to the fact that our spiritual nature is largely asleep. Our higher potentialities will have to awaken, in due time, and the same applies to every nation on Earth. We are all largely asleep at the feet of the Mountains of Wisdom, which point to Heaven.
Mountains are seen as grandfathers and spiritual teachers in the Andean tradition.
In a psychoanalytic perspective, on the other hand, being asleep in a cave at the bottom of a mountain refers to the prison of human consciousness in “the unconscious”, that is, subconscious levels of perception. From these we must liberate ourselves in order to become warriors of truth: in other words, in order for us to have the courage to look at the facts, without taking refuge in childish illusions.
As to the various divine characters who help the warriors awaken in “A Heroic Legend”, they stand for the sacred teachers of eternal wisdom.
(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
The 31-page booklet “A Heroic Legend” was published in the associated websites on 06 August 2023.
Helena Blavatsky (photo) wrote these revealing words: “Deserve, then desire”.