The legend is in the Armenian air. The feeling of something ancient, something from the dawn of a mankind, is what a person could sense there. It is a magical feeling that never leaves you whenever you go in Armenia. Whether you see how the first rays of the rising sun falls on the magnificent slopes of Ararat mountain, turning it in to a giant pink Leviathan that descended right from the pages of a lost ancient manuscript, or if you are saying farewell to a day, while looking at the sunset in the lake Sevan, you will feel a beauty in its most pure and magnificent sense. Moreover, sometimes I thought that the eternity – the cosmos, speaks with me directly, sharing in the most simple and comprehensive way simple facts that people tend to forget in the everyday routine.
Guys, do you still remember that everybody is born free? No? I thought so. And I do not blame anybody, because I have also forgotten that. All of us are lost in the giant void that consumes us and does not let to escape. The void is the society and all the implications that it brings. Of course, the most egoistic and infantile thing would be to run away and just stay somewhere in a reclusive place, alone or with a person you love, and just live and be happy. And I believe that is it quite egoistic thing to do.
Nevertheless, it is important to remind yourself time to time that the meaning of life is not to be a fully functional gear in the social machine. Moreover, sometimes it is enough to look at the stars above, time to time, and you will understand that the Universe does not give a crap about what car do you have or how you going to repay a loan for your university studies. It is just there, and you are a part of something much more bigger and important. Something eternal.
During mine trip in Armenia I understood that the Universe is not only above us, somewhere in the Milky Way galaxy. It is all around us. In trees, in the sky, in the wind, in stones, and in a complete silence. Moreover, silence is a beat of the universe. When you are walking on an empty road with only skies above, a mountain range near, and a right person beside you, just stop for a moment and you will feel it – a complete and utter silence. It is a music of the Universe through which it communicates with you, telling that you are an intrinsic and undividable part of everything around you. This is a moment of completeness, of the transcendence, and of the mindfulness. A feeling of togetherness – a revelation that everyone can and should experience. The voice of the Universe that brings the revelation you would not be able to forget.
A moment of a personal revelation – a catharsis, is what brings us to the faith. When I am talking about it, I do not put any particular religious connotation. It does not matter in what do you believe. Even if it is a giant spaghetti monster, or a complete darkness, it does not matter. The only thing that matters is to experience the moment of togetherness with the Universe. This moment is in a core of any existing religious tradition. Unfortunately, forgotten in majority of cases.
It is lost and replaced by the rules, dogmas, doctrines, rituals and etc.. All of those are socially constructed, thus intrinsically artificial. If there is God, he is not in a church. Anywhere, but not there. However, he can be in an ice-cold stream that breaks from the rock around which a church was built, or in a flame of a candle. The Geghard monastery in Armenia is not a church in its classical meaning. At least, I have such impression.
I would say that when a church/mosque or any other place of worship is built in a city the goal is to make worshipers closer to their religion. To make it more accessible. The Geghard monastery was built in the middle of nowhere, to make it as reclusive as possible. Hence, the founders wanted to make it closer to nature, to the Universe, then to society. It is literally carved from a rock. You will not find there lavish frescoes or an abundance of icons. Not at all. It is as minimalistic as a place of worship could get. It was not made to impress, but to provide an opportunity to experience this revelation of togetherness. No more, no less. I believe that the monks were much closer to the Bible than any bishop or a pope in Rome or Constantinople. They were able to embrace the Universe in all its beauty and worship it through the pure love for everybody and everything. The love Jesus was talking about.
All we need is love, isn’t it? I believe it is. And I am not talking about the romantic love between people. What I am going to talk is a much broader phenomenon. I hate to do it, but why the hell not? So I am bringing an example form pop-culture… So, in the Interstellar movie there was this idea that only gravity and love transcends everything. And I cannot agree more. I believe that gravity in Armenia is quite widespread thing (although, of course a little bit better than in other countries around the world, and of course at least three centuries more ancient), but the love what I did not expect to experience so much and so deep while there.
It all starts from those small things all around. A tender touch of a wind to yours chick, a kid’s laughing while playing ball, a smell of a prepared shashliki, a taste of pomegranate wine on ones lips, all of that were just different expressions of love that I was lucky to experience in Armenia. Oh, almost forgot! And the childish, innocent happiness of a grown up Greek guy, who accidently found souvlaki place in Yereven. That was adorableJ. That is all love in its most broad sense.
However, the strongest sensation of love happened on the lake Sevan, during the dawn. No words could describe how magnificent it was to see the sun going down, all those colors on the water, while the moon was rising on the opposite side. And the snow peaks in purple and pink. At that point, I understood that the only thing that the Universe asks in return for all that beauty, is to give some love in return. To share it with the world and those around you, regardless if you hate them or adore. A small price, if you ask me.
Thanks to Armenia for providing the opportunity.