Once upon a time, having cut in the eyes, two books in painted covers remained in my memory. The first is something from the category of extrasensory perception, written in the style “on the first night of classes, do this and that, on the second – also this …” after which, for the third time, a guaranteed “exit from the body” was promised and astral walk around the neighborhood; the second book claimed for Vysotsky the unconditional gift of clairvoyance, finding in each of the songs a veiled prediction a la Nostradamus. As I remember now, “Hunting for wolves” was a “foresight of the siege of the White House”, etc., etc. The notch in my memory turned into a kind of complex for me, from which there is absolutely no desire to get rid of: if the idea of the story came about something, hmm, not quite banal … I adhere to one form or another of an essay, literary improvisation, feuilleton, parody … trying to speak not directly, but indirectly, between the lines, in jest … and best of all – so that the one who reads “himself” comes to what I have planned to tell him.
This is how Noon, Spring, XXI century was written. Lev Abalkin. Archetypes. Agreeing and disagreeing with famous authors, beloved since childhood, finding parallels or intersecting, sometimes impudently parodying, it seems that without claiming any literary merit, it was possible to more or less clearly formulate what had accumulated. But then the controversy in the comments revealed, it seemed to me, the need for a number of explanations and remarks, which is why the author will have, reluctantly, to write the next part of the story in the first person.
OK. Follow me, my reader! The role of compensation for the tedious author’s monologue is played by clips of fragments of two theatrical interpretations of the work, which, in my opinion, is undoubtedly related to the topic of the story, in addition, they are designed to beat the title, giving the presentation a vector of some emotional attitude of the author to his own words. Well, what can you do. Spring is in the yard.
So, right off the bat. The conversation is supposed to be about progressors and stalkers, therefore, in order to optimally assimilate and master what has been said, it would be quite nice to briefly skim through the first part of the material, link above. Dear lovers and connoisseurs of creativity, br. Strugatsky, tell me, how do you imagine both of them?
My subjective view of the first is formulated in the previous part of the article: almost completely independent of the tasks set and the goals achieved, the essence of the Progressor is psychologically much deeper than the role usually attributed to him, this is the gear of the mechanism, which by its very nature does not fit into the staff units of this mechanism framework, as a result of which, by its very existence (the Progressor can prepare a military coup or have fun with couch analytics), this figure accelerates, catalyzes the movement of society … somewhere forward. Perhaps you prefer a more familiar view of Progressionism, in which case we will probably agree on the following: Progressor is a representative of a superior race, legendary in the context (and noosphere) of an environment alien to him, with all the inevitable consequences that follow from here, described by me in two lines higher.
And now let’s try to similarly compare our understanding of Stalking and Stalker with you, which will turn out to be a more difficult task. These words have several different meanings; I will start with the definition given by Carlos Castaneda. Why – it will become clear a little later.
In Castaneda’s books, as a rule, we find a whole range of meanings of the same label, they are able to complement, intersect and even cancel each other … which is easy to explain and, probably, cannot be different in this context. I will now touch on only one side of Stalking, defining it as an action that no one (including yourself) expects from you, which leads to an unusual psychological phenomenon, marking the next step on the Path. In practice, this can (but not necessarily) mean an extraordinary stressful situation, during which the Stalker willy-nilly is forced to abandon his usual behavior, an integral part of which is, in particular, self-indulgence (Castaneda’s term: weak-willed self-indulgence, the obsession of meaningless dialogues with oneself yourself, etc).
As examples of Stalking – both the unusual behavior of the boy kidnapped in O’Henry’s novel, forcing two thugs to play by his rules, and the stalkers’ trips to the Zone, where any indulgence to oneself can turn into death. By the way, the teacher of Castaneda don Juan is almost not busy with anything else, the educational process of which for the most part consists in organizing extreme attractions for his students; the same Strugatsky Zone, in fact. Yes, and much more can be remembered here, up to, perhaps, the style of a drunken karateka … all examples have one thing in common: going beyond the narrow psychological space allotted to you, which inevitably leads to what? – that’s right, to the psychological expansion into a similar space of others.
And here – a leisurely pause for a coffee break, in order to reflect and not miss a certain comparison, which, due to a number of psychological reasons, may not be easy to catch. Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve come up with:
The stalker performs unusual actions in order to go beyond the narrow existential cage of the framework assigned to the ordinary person, which allows him to achieve phenomenal mental states, thereby gaining the possibility of a tangible influence on people and events.
The progressor is not initially inscribed in this kind of framework, being a mimicked representative of a different, more developed society (well, an adherent of the corresponding psychophysical practices, of course), i.e., his psychological expansion is predetermined, which gives him the potential possibility of actions inaccessible to an ordinary person. Let us recall, for example, the glorious Rumat of Estorsky, who laid down hundreds of one and a half local guardsmen, or, well, all the same Lev Abalkin, who immediately landed a seasoned
FSB man deputy head of KOMKON-2 (Maxim Kammerer stayed up behind desk work, probably).
Stop. You noticed? We have just approached exactly the same thing from two opposite sides: actions -> psychological state, psychological state -> actions. Stalker and Progressor are definitely two sides of the same coin. Which is extremely important in our further impromptu research.
Perhaps I will confine myself to just one more comparison, allowing you to look at the topic of conversation – Progressor and Stalker – from a third perspective. And I’ll start with the following statement: if it is impossible to prove that the books of Carlos Castaneda are a brilliant interpretation of a number of provisions of Jung’s theory (like John Fowles’ “Magician”), then there is practically no doubt that Br. The Strugatskys and Tarkovsky at the time of their work on Roadside Picnic and Stalker were at least familiar with these works. Or maybe they read Jung? – I, for example, know for certain and first-hand that the great theater director Giedrius Mackevicius was a Jungian, these are about the same years. Why not?
The most important component of Jung’s views is the patterns of the collective unconscious, the so-called. archetypes. Without going deep into the jungle, let’s formulate how it will be quite enough for our today’s conversation: being immersed in the shadows, archetypes, representing some kind of mental material, are capable of being the content of transfers (projections outward). Switching to the language of poetic images, let’s define that any of us lives in a world of broken distorting mirrors: wherever you look, you will see a piece of yourself, while mistakenly identifying it with an external object … the wording leaves much to be desired, of course, but very approximately This is true.
The only way, according to Jung, to get out of the vicious circle is self initiation, which implies working with the archetype, the purpose of which is an altered (compared to the usual) state of consciousness. As a result of psychological practice, we seem to pull the archetype out of the shadows into the light, allowing it to become part of our personality, as originally defined; and thereby get rid of the negative effect of its influence. Those. we acquire selfhood (I am not ready to argue now, as a result of which and when it was lost).
We still hear each other, don’t we? Here it is important not to miss the understanding that any extreme situation that awaits the Stalker in the Zone is nothing more than the very projection of a part of the Unconscious outward, the implicit essence of which is the desire of the archetype to get out of the shadows (or, if you like, the desire of the Stalker’s personality to regain the lost integrity ). Continue the analogy on your own, each of us is a Stalker in this world… especially when living in Russia.
Hmm, can you remind me where in the Strugatskys we already seem to have met this term, initiation? Isn’t it in “The Bug in the Anthill”? It is useful to recall Evgeny Schwartz: “because it is there, in the shadows, that lurks that which gives sharpness to our feelings”. I will briefly add that what has been said in no way contradicts the concepts of Stalker and Progressor formulated above, but complements and rethinks them in some way.
All of the above leads to interesting conclusions. If we assume that the logical chain Jung -> Castaneda -> Strugatskys really took place, then the archetypes are the very link that was lost in the process of the Strugatskys’ creativity, replaced by a more or less banal fantasy-adventure plot. It does not matter now the reason for this author’s conflict, something else is important: taking the Jungian concept as one of the important components of the worlds of br. Strugatsky, all admirers of these magnificent Authors get a unique chance of a new look, a new reading of their favorite books.
And not only … yes, but that’s a completely different story …