Word cures and word mutilates. This truth is familiar to everyone in various forms. A fairy tale is regarded as the best cure where, unlike in life, good always triumphs over evil. And now let us allow Zinovya Dushkova speak.
I have written more than forty books, two of which are books of fairy tales. These are Fairy Tales for the Saviour and Fairy Tales, which Grow Together with Us. For the first time ever, I touched upon children’s perception of the world in the book 77 Pearls Shining on the Beads of Time; these were the “Lesson of Mood” and “Lesson of Fidelity.” To take a look at the world of adults through the eyes of a child is often very painful, especially when you look through the grilled window of an orphanage (“Lesson of Purification”).
I lost my parents early in life, and to some extent their role (in terms of my upbringing) took two books: one was called In the World of Wise Thoughts; the other was The Book of Young Commander. During many years they had assisted me by giving wise advice and teaching me to win in any situation.
I know how many children often feel a sense of orphanhood, even though their parents are still alive, because they are not loved enough, are abandoned, or, worse, mistreated. I wanted to arm little hearts with the most powerful weapon — Love. Love includes mercy, understanding, compassion, and hundreds of other positive qualities that make the person a human being, not knowing the feelings of aggressiveness, vindictiveness, and spite against the whole world.
Fairy tales are the first companions of the child, the first guides along the thorny paths of life. They may lead to the Light, Good, All-Merciful Love and may lead to an impasse, if their characters are represented by monsters that eat each other. And if every book line is filled with horror, it leads only to mental disturbance of a little child, forming a slavish sense of admiration for brute physical force. In my fairy tales, heroes triumph solely by Love.
What, in your understanding, should a fairy tale conceal?
A fairy tale is a special Code of Life, Code of Laws, according to which a little and law-abiding citizen of a Fairy Kingdom should act in order to be able to transfer all light-bearing accumulations of their soul into their adult life. A good fairy tale should always carry the spirit of heroism and all-triumphant principle; however, not at the cost of the brutal destruction of another one, but by the magical transfiguring influence of Good.
The heroes of my fairy tales do not kill with weapons and do not revenge “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” On the contrary, they “swaddle” their enemies with currents of compassion, just like a mother gently embraces her unwise child with the Power of Love. And in this is seen a lesson and instruction for the little person, who can become a kind youth, ceaselessly cultivating the force of Good within themselves.
What is the secret of a genuine fairy tale? Can it be broken into elements?
A huge number of elements can be extracted within one fairy narrative. And this has already been done by some specialists in folklore studies, who have broken “The Kind Boy” and “The Poor Shepherd” into constituent elements. But this, perhaps, may be more interesting to researchers. In particular, a Japanese explorer of Russian fairy tales, Professor Nakamura [at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo] listened to the recording of these fairy tales, and is now studying the book Fairy Tales for the Saviour. He considers it possible to include it in the training course for university students studying Russian language and literature. These fairy tales are already used by Dr. Malviya in the learning process of the students at the Department of Russian Language at [Panjab] University in the city of Chandigarh in India.
Experience shows that these tales touch the souls not only of children, but also of adults, who to some extent remain like children, believing in the triumph of Good. I think that to discover the secret of fairy tales one should search in this direction, and I am confident that only the tale, where the all-triumphant Power of Love and Compassion is manifested, can be called genuine.
And yet there must be some mystery in the tale. It will reveal itself to our gaze as years go by, thanks to the heroes-companions, who have led us since early childhood, imbuing us with the spirit of the triumphant ascent to the heights of the comprehension of new mysteries that still will remain unfathomed, for Mystery upholds all the worlds.
Word cures and word mutilates. Not only do books influence the formation of consciousness, but also movies, paintings, sculptures… How do you feel about modern best-selling books, blockbuster films, and popular television shows?
You are right: the word both cures and mutilates. It can serve as a balm for wounds and as a poison, depending on what we put into it ‒ the currents of good or evil.
The human body can fade away without receiving food or eating that one which stinks, shedding putrid smell. Our soul is like that too. Like a delicate flower deprived of moisture, it gradually “shrinks,” not knowing the words of love and acceptance. And the human eye becomes blind, staying in a dungeon without sunlight and the colours of life for years. So our eye of the heart stays in the grip of the dark dense world, requires its own food, consisting of the currents of the supreme purity and divine beauty.
And often it is the word which can lend wings to us, return lost dreams, and gather the fragments of broken hopes. And it is in this that books, various works of art, etc., can be good assistants.
Everyone has the right to choose what they are the closest to, and not all who have wings thirst for the height where currents of chaste purity are spilled; vultures, for example, are scavengers, and it is meaningless to reproach them with the fact that they are not interested in fresh food. For such is their nature: to eat carrion.
It is difficult for me to express my attitude towards contemporary bestsellers, since there is no time to read them as well as to watch various television shows. I limit myself to watching mainly news. The scenes of violence and bloodshed are totally unacceptable for me. If the bestselling books have a positive principle and still the forces of good triumph over the forces of evil, they may be useful in terms of personal development. But again, I repeat, the one who walks over dead bodies cannot be a hero for me.
The formation of the consciousness of people is extremely excruciating and often thankless work. We see through historical examples how people treated the greatest saints. And here, like a gladiator, appealing to the human consciousness instead of Caesar, remains to say: “Those who are about to die salute you.” And no matter how someone feels about my works, I want to bring the only thing through them — a declaration of Love to every child deprived of the warmth they deserve, whatever they may be. I want to tell them that they were born to save this world!
Earth and Heaven gave life to the child, and the love of such parents is eternal. And may everyone who has children or is preparing to receive them, know that each child is a small universe, on the good force of which depends the revival of the whole world.
And this universe should be cultivated just as any flower would be, enveloped with the currents of Love and Kindness. Then our life will become fabulous, and the Magical Kingdom of Love will spread within our boundless world.
Fairy Tales for the Saviour is written not for “bedtime,” but for awakening — the awakening of the responsibility of parents for children and the responsibility of children for the entire world’s tomorrow. These children are destined to rule it, being in the role of Guides, in the role of Fairy Heroes.