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ANGEL of EARTHLY

ANGEL of EARTHLY
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Essay by Angel Dimitrov, included in the publication
Bright Sparks in the Aura of Bulgaria’ 
Translation: 
Neil Scarth

The material is kind ofcontinuation of the theme
about the artist Kristain Kostov and his song ‘Beautiful Mess’

‘Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ / Berthold Auerbach

With his performance in the Bulgarian edition of X-factor (2015), Kristian already gave notice that something very special had appeared on the scene. With the look of a child but the voice and soul of an accomplished performer, this young man moves us intensely with the emotion he puts in and gives out with all his heart. What’s even more amazing is that he does the same with ease in his contact with fans as well. Open, approachable and charmingly sociable, he gets rid of unnecessary barriers with his directness and affability, which can truly inspire admiration in anyone who’s had a glimpse of the way he behaves on the stage, backstage or in the media. It’s pretty certain that his big and loving family has had a benign influence with their cheery atmosphere and solid support.

Diversity within unity of action and thought – it’s almost as if we could assign just such a characterisati to the figure which Kristian embodies. Even the words of his Kazakh grandad in Moscow, who sent him good wishes in one of the introductory spots when Kristian took part in X-factor, are noteworthy, if we think about it: ‘My wish for you is that you may always serve people honourably and nobly and call for peace between nations…’

For me personally, the idea of the spirit of the new millenium represented by Kristian conquering the European stage 2017 year really appealed. Because apart from the fact that he embodies unity within national diversity extremely well because of his origins, by a happy constellation of circumstances, he has become for real the first performer in the Eurovision to have been born in the dawn of the new century.

But the genuine victory shown to us by Christ’s example comes via a real loss – of the self – of having lived through separateness. First the ego has to die and then comes another dimension of life. Now comes ‘Rejoice! I have vanquished Death!’ – i.e. division. My feeling was that precisely for this reason ‘Beautiful Mess’ wasn’t going to be crowned as the ‘victor’ by ‘this world’, but it did open doors for Kristian onto the world and to becoming united in genuinely experienced values.

For me, victory over division, enmity, rivalry, over wallowing in the material, the workaday and so on has already begun and when I encounter souls ready to accomplish it, I rejoice with all my heart. Relevant here are the lines which follow below of the essay, whose author is another child of the new era – also born at the dawn of the Third Millennium, Angel Dimitrov. Angel from the town of Zemen (which in Bulgarian means earthly, down-to-earth – an interesting convergence of symbols in the world of circumstance!) is a pupil at the High School for Classical Languages in Sofia, a medallist in Olympiads in Philosophy, and we will hear him declare convincingly in another essay of his: ‘The mediocre person thinks of philosophy like the mediocre philosopher – a field diametrically opposed to daily life. But that’s absolutely not how it is! Philosophy is a spiritualizing and illuminating of the clouds of the everyday which are composed of the molecules of workaday deeds.And so, let us partake of a particle of serenity from the lines below, so as to smile and uplift our day…

— the Edditor

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Kristian Kostov at Fan-meeting, Sofia 2017
Photo by
Alexsandra Vali

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What I miss in an ordinary day of mine is…

It seems right to me to start an essay about my everyday life with a paradox. The whole of my everyday life is a paradox. It resembles the quantum leap of Bohr in which an electron may literally disappear to appear in a different place as a new electron at a new level of energy at which point it gives off photons (light). I’ve never liked physics and mathematics in school, but quantum physics is true material for the spirit, which dances so wonderfully across the books of some authors that it leaves me breathless and, of course, restores my belief in science (paradoxically), which, in any case, I’ve never stopped loving ever since my earliest childhood. So, when I first got to know about what’s known as the Quantum Leap and how the electron becomes new and emits light, in my mind there arose a… Biblical scene. The scene of the Transfiguration of the Lord, which I’ll cite here so as to recall it:

‘After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.’ (Matthew 17:1-2, NIV)

Let’s suppose that Christ is an electron. The thing with light and His trans-figur(e)-ation, i.e. the taking on of a new form instantly (and the appearance of another two figures with him – Moses and Elijah) utterly resemble the Quantum Leap. But why do I say this? In an essay about depression, Prof. Kalin Yanakiev defines it as ‘vita minima’ (minimal, minimalised life): ‘The plague of depression appears in my sensation of procession as a peculiar experience of my inner sense of time. There can be nothing new – this plague insinuates – because we are already the way we are… the future is merely a continuation and development of that which I am and so is not really new but only continuing, a ‘dot dot dot’ after what’s been said at that point.’

In other words depression is actually a non-novelty, the latest non-novelty in my life. I am somehow obliged to ‘lug’ the corpse of my non-new life on my back without the hope that there is a reason for me to do it, without the hope that there is anywhere at all to where I can drag this lifeless ‘corpse’ of life itself. It’s as if I become made of glass: cold, smooth and – because of the crooked lines of my body – befogged and besmudged from within. And when I’m a glass ‘corpse-bearer’ of my own deadness, of my non-new, perennial death, which, oh Destiny, is also my life, what will I do with myself? When life ceases to be present with the living me, whose presence may I grasp and who will be with me if I am far from my very self? Because what kind of ‘self’ can I have, if there is no-one with whom I can share it? In ‘Nausea’ Sartre says that everything, all of it, existence begins without meaning and endures without will. I.e. like hollow blocks of ice, we make our way across the senseless waters of life, without the hope, as we’ve made clear, that there is a reason for us to do it… Who am I, after all, without knowing why I am? Am I not Sisyphus, the doomed one, condemned by senseless ‘fate’ to shove his ‘rock’ without cease? First I push the stone, then it pushes me and so on unto eternity. And why oh why, for the love of God, should I continue to do it? In any case, galvanizing quotations in the style of Ostrovski are not what keep me from committing suicide: ‘Be capable of living even when it is unbearable.’ No, I’m too intelligent. Nor can I agree with Camus that there is something beautiful and heroic in the pride of the human spirit which, just like that, for no reason, ‘whistles’ as it shoves its rock – in defiance. In an article, Daniel Dennett, the ‘philosopher’ and neuropsychologist, brazenly asserts that we are ‘a bundle of neurons, and everything – our thoughts, our feelings, everything, is chemistry in our brain’. And if in Camus’ assertion I replace the poetic ‘spirit’ with ‘a bundle of neurons and chemistry in the brain’, and I can do it because he is a materialist, and what we end up with is ‘I am in awe of the beauty and heroism in the pride of a bundle of neurons, for which everything is chemistry in the brain, and which senselessly shoves its rock’, things seem different, don’t they? How should I live? But every morning I’m forced to go to school where they teach me various abstractions the aim of which is seemingly for me to have at least my daily bread whilst shoving my rock… But no kind of solution as to why I’m shoving this rock, why my life is like a rotting corpse on my shoulders; how can I live while love and beauty are mere chemistry?

So about that there is no answer in school. ‘Write your homework so that one day you can have work, come on drop that other stuff.’ But how can I ‘drop’ it when I have no desire to live in order to work? And when I come to think of the fact that every fourth, and soon even every third person on the planet will be or is already depressed, what ought this to imply to me? That the affairs of our world are completely messed up, that it can’t go on like this. We need a paradox, we need a turning point. But I want the kind of paradox which will resurrect my spirit, which will let me hope, I want complete absurdity, because life is absurd, an absurdity I can believe in, which I find support in. I need such an absurdity that the corpse-life on my back will leap off, take me by the hand and set off with me. This is what’s missing in our ordinary days. Its magical non-ordinary, non-usual nature. But I’ll say where the greatest absurdity is. I won’t leave my question unfinished. As an example, I’ll take the words of Tertullian from the start of the 3rd century A.D.:

Natus est Dei Filius, non pudet, quia pudendum est;
et mortuus est Dei Filius, prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est;
et sepultus resurrexit, certum est, quia impossibile.
(De Carne Christi V, 4)

“The Son of God was born: there is no shame, because it is shameful.
And the Son of God died: it is wholly credible, because it is unsound.
And, buried, He rose again: it is certain, because impossible.”

(On the Flesh of Christ V, 4)

This is a kind of ode to the absurd. What beauty! Without ‘The Son of God’ life is so boring, so empty, so pointless and His existence and His presence are so absurd that they simply have to be true. If you don’t believe in Him, everything else is just beyond belief! Credo, quia absurdum est.

Now – why did I talk of leaps and transfiguration? Because such an absurdity cannot be accepted without a ‘leap’ of the mind, without a complete transformation in one’s attitude towards the world. It’s precisely with a ‘leap’ that Christ was transfigured for the world. It’s necessary to climb the mountain, to pass over into another reality in order to see the true Light. To be ‘not of this world’ in order to be truly ‘in this world’. For an ordinary day to be extraordinary, a true absurdity is needed. And absurdities are always worth it.

Author: ANGEL DIMITROV

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Angel Dimitrov
Photo:
Personal archive

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The mystery which cultures have not unravelled is the labour of Sisyphus. A tireless labour termed fruitless. The condemned Sisyphus shoves his rock to the summit of a mountain, but no sooner does he climb it than the rock returns… The labour of Sisyphus is not in the pointlessness but in the lack of despair! This rock is in fact karma and the return of the rock and the ceaseless upward pushing is the law of reincarnation. But finally he is able to place the rock of karma in his hand and to lift it wherever he wants.
The deep sense of this seemingly pointless and useless human experience is precisely in the lack of despair. Then it will be understood how well-constructed, how well-governed by laws and responsible is every human labour, every human will and every human daring!

~ Vaklush Tolev, Karma and Reincarnation in the Spiritual Wavers, ‘Nur’ 1/2013, 2/2008

Only the Pantocrator is, Who had experienced the essence – He to carry the planet, not the planet to carry Him. Let God give you to walk those ways when you can see yourself as a Cosmic whole in human form, as in an iconic painting is given – the Pantracractor. Then you will see how much more complete is the man than his planet – you will be able to carry it.

~ Vaklush Tolev, The Aura of Wisdom; Personality, Individuality, Cosmicity, ‘Nur’ 1/2006, 2/2005

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