It was about two weeks ago that I met a certain gentleman in a church in Tôkyô. He was about 60 and from his pronounciation I concluded he came from some country of the Commonwealth, perhaps New Zealand. After we had chatted for a while he asked me if I knew “The Ringing Cedars”. It was a book series from Russia. I had never heard of it before. He pulled out a book from his bag and told me that it was probably the most important writing of the last ten years. The title was “Anastasia”, the first volume of the “The Ringing Cedars” written by a Russian author called Vladimir Megré. He went on praising its life-changing messages and that one of his friends had even thrown away his whole library after he had read it. It already sold millions in various countries, triggering a revolution of Bible-compatible spirituality and eco-awareness. People give up their city lives to start self-reliant farming in harmony with nature by reading “Anastasia”, or rather by following the instructions given by the mysterious woman of the same name whose encounter with the author is explained in the book.
The Amazon introduction sums it up neatly:
“Anastasia”, the first book of the Ringing Cedars Series, tells the story of entrepreneur Vladimir Megre’s trade trip to the Siberian taiga in 1995, where he witnessed incredible spiritual phenomena connected with sacred ‘ringing cedar’ trees. He spent three days with a woman named Anastasia who shared with him her unique outlook on subjects as diverse as gardening, child-rearing, healing, Nature, sexuality, religion and more. This wilderness experience transformed Vladimir so deeply that he abandoned his commercial plans and, penniless, went to Moscow to fulfil Anastasia’s request and write a book about the spiritual insights she so generously shared with him. True to her promise this life-changing book, once written, has become an international best-seller and has touched hearts of millions of people world-wide.
And the English translator claims:
[These books] penetrate one’s thinking and feelings with the gentle force of a divinely-inspired treatise — a treatise on not only the meaning of human life, but much more. I would even go so far as to call it a revelation…
He offered to give me the book, as long as I would pass it along or give it back to him in case I did not like it.
Being quite a bit puzzled by that man’s enthusiasm, as well as the exuberant readers’ comments on the back cover I couldn’t make much sense of it initially. There are many books out there, and there’s no shortage of spiritual companions. But since he seemed to be a man of certain position and not just anybody I decided to give it a chance. Besides, after all he had said I was genuinely curious. Who knows, maybe it had something interesting to tell. I promised to read it and let him know my opinion later. When we parted he said: “This book describes the instruments for world peace.”
Well, “Anastasia” made quite an impression on me. I did some light research on the internet to find more about its background. Hoping that my opinion can assist people who get in touch with the “Ringing Cedars”, I’ve decided to post the letter I wrote to that gentleman when I sent his copy back to him.