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on 2 January 2009
Having read all nine of the Anasatasia books, i can say wholeheartedly that they contain the most significant information of our time, or indeed of any time since man was last able to live in peace without fear in the world.
Yes these books do talk a lot about spiritual happenings, but they do so in such a way that the practical value of that information can be not only understood but also put to use in your own life. We can't change the world overnight, but we can change ourselves and in doing so, gradually create a better, more loving, peaceful world for our children, and their children and so on.

I have to mention the two negative reviews here, it seems like these guys have completely missed the point, it is certainly not a book about sex, it talks about the way society devalues the act of sex, and many other things, it actually might be a good thing for children of a certain age to read, it would certainly be better for them to understand sex from a viewpoint of co-creation as opposed to the viewpoint taken in sex education classes, which are taught to children at a young age anyway.

Also there is mention that these books are perfectly and cleverly marketed at new agers etc, well, what sort of viewpoint does this reviewer take on the way the pharmacuetical industry markets their chemicals to cure?? (is cure the right word) the sick, a topic that is actually discussed in the books.

In conclusion, there will always be people who are not in the right time of life or frame of mind to accept the message in these books, some will write derogatory comments in order to feel better about their own take on reality, thats fine. If you are one of the many who know instinctively there is something wrong with the world, if you are aware of whats causing some of the problems, that go deper than just money, if you spend hours searching for answers only to find more confusion, and disinfo, then these books are for you my friend, they will release you from this reality prison and give you a new and positive outlook on life.
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on 1 December 2011
This Book is a translation from an old Russian book, about trees that have magical powers of healing, the "Ringing Cedars", and a young girl who lives within the forests of Siberia with no shelter, no clothing and with only the sustinence provided for her by the forest itself.
It is an interesting thought provoking read, written in a half documentary, half fictional story kind of way.
I found it really took me on a journey, but i read it as if it were a story and not fact.
I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Fast, interesting (it had some facinating thoughts and ideas in it), easy read,I read it in a couple of days. Anastasia (Ringing Cedars Series, Book 1)
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on 31 January 2012
This book was very inspiring, but the writing was not great. I would like to believe that Anastasia really exists, but certain aspects of the story seemed exaggerated. If you find yourself utterly annoyed by the writing, skip to the end and read the "Authors note". I thought it made the whole story more believable and justified the writing. The potential existence of this remarkable woman living in the taiga is uplifting and has given me a stronger sense of hope.
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on 17 February 2009
After all the hype surrounding this book, I was really looking forward to reading it, as Russia and spiritual matters are particular interests of mine. It seemed like a perfect combination. However, Anastasia has succeeded in doing what I thought impossible - making most other New Age writings seem sensible and rational!

For a start, I find it very difficult to believe in the existence of the eponymous heroine. She is simply too beautiful, too all-knowing, possessed of unbelievable spiritual powers and just too perfect all round. And she runs around naked in the Siberian winter, playing with wolves and bears and living off nothing but nuts and mushrooms brought to her by obliging squirrels. Why on earth would such an exalted being have a child with with the oafish author?

I also find her insistence that the human race ("Man") is the highest creation of the universe and that no more intelligent life exists elsewhere, debatable to say the least. If that's the case, God help the universe!

And as for the "dark forces" that allegedly keep the human race in subjection, I think we need look no further than the murky depths of human nature itself, rather than blaming some malign outside agency.

As just one example of some of the more laughable ideas in this book, Anastasia claims that UFOs are merely some type of fungus, and that the inhabitants are (of course) less intelligent than humans. This must be hilarious to anyone who has actually studied the subject.

So, one for the fluffy bunny brigade and those who Want to Believe - serious spiritual seekers keep away!
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on 14 April 2009
I read this book about 10 years ago when it was first published in Russia. After reading all the series it made me think and research a lot about what was written in the book. Yes, there are too many things that our minds cannot accept as reality but the whole idea sounds great. For the past 10 years I have read different opinions about the book and met dozens of people both followers and those who rejected this book as "the worst fiction ever". I think arguing is still happening everywhere in internet forums but my belief is that it is not important. For those who has accepted the idea of the book and has started a new life it'll be the the complete guide to their lifestyle and the rest of the world. After a while we'll see whether Anastasia was right about what she told to the author, whether the author was right letting this book to be published, and whether Anastasia has ever existed.
The only problem I have seen with the followers that some of them trying to make it as a religion. I do not think it is right. The more they are going to position themselves as the new and the only religion the more troubles from the existed religions they will get. I found a very hot 120 pages and 17 month (!) discussion between followers (they are called anastasitsy) and evangelists. Which has ended with just plenty of emotions from both sides.
Personally, I agree with the book. It gives directions on what exactly to do (or at least to try doing) to be able to get happiness and find some answers on the questions that have been somewhere deep inside since each of us was born. It's like a navigator and energiser at the same time. Once you read this book you'll never stop thinking about information you got from it and will be looking for proof from different books, world around you and from inside you as well. And this, probably, what the author wanted from you. Look, hear and feel the Universe. Go back to your roots and take a chance to change the way you live, the world and make yourself and your family HAPPY!
I put 4 stars instead of 5 just for slightly unprofessional style.
Sorry for my English. It is my 3rd language.
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on 6 April 2016
What a load of tosh! I have since found a major UK newspaper's review of this, after a journalist went to Siberia in search of the real Anastasia.
Turns out she NEVER existed, but this was written by a cunning businessman in response to a changing USSR after the Berlin wall came down, to capitalise on the emerging hunger for some hope, something better to believe in, back in the 90s.
We are asked within the pages to believe a young woman can drink ditch water and live naked in the Siberian forest through the seasons without the use of a fire for warmth.
Total "New-Age" nonsense, which many are prepared to believe in for want of the miraculous!
Nothing truly spiritual to be found here, better go study Buddhism or something else, get in touch with REALITY!
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on 6 March 2012
At some point i heard about the "Ringing Cedars" collection, and everywhere i looked everyone told me good things about it, and i also heard about good reviews and experiences when reading it, so i decided to buy the first book, Anastasia.
I want you to know that i am very familiar with spiritual teachings, since i myself have been experimenting many kinds of spiritual teachings for more then 20 years. What people told me about the book really excited me because many of the things in the book are things that i agree, and some i have experienced myself.
But i have to say that i didnt like the book at all, for me its very clear that this is a book made by someone that has a knowledge about spirituality, and they just wanted to share their knowledge in the different areas of spirituality by making a book...but i have to say that it didnt work, the book is more like a bundle of teachings mixed together, than a good and credible story.
I am not putting in question the spiritual teachings that are in the book, but for me there are many inconsistencies in the speech of Vladimir and Anastasia that clearly show me that the story is very forced.
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on 4 May 2015
The first chapter had me going crazy for siberian pine oil and nuts and amulets. Then I got a little further and thought, this is a load of absolute rubbish. Would be better read as fiction. Quite creative, but in no way non-fiction. I couldn't finish it.
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I've previously read the final volume in this series without being greatly impressed by it, and perhaps would not have read any more of these books, had "Anastasia" not finally arrived for me from the library after I had ordered it about 6 months before.

I can say that "Anastasia" is somewhat better than the previous volume I have read. At last, as far as I was concerned, we were introduced to Anastasia in person, and that made a big difference.

First a couple of negative remarks (I am not one of those millions of readers thrilled to bits and over the moon at this encounter with Anastasia.)

Firstly, I am not particularly enamoured of the translator. Now, I have a slight knowledge of Russian and the translation of one particular word in the book, a word used constantly, has bothered and irritated me throughout the reading of the book. This is the word "chelovek", which would normally be translated, for instance, by the phrase "human being". In the book the translator, John Woodsworth, has chosen after much deliberation to translate it throughout as "Man", and explained his reasons over several pages.

In several contexts this translation "Man" works okay and sounds natural, but in most contexts the translation sounds ridiculous and artificial. As, and this is just one example, when Anastasia stands in the middle of the taiga with arms outstretched (as I imagine her doing) and declaims "I am Man".

Secondly, I object to the liberal use of absolutely detailed footnotes at the bottom of most pages: These footnotes are filled with superfluous information not necessary to the understanding of the text, and could extremely advantageously have been if not omitted at least delegated to the back of the book, where zealous readers could have consulted them if and when they so desired. As I myself am an obsessive reader, and can't refrain from reading whatever lies in front of my gaze, I felt obliged to devour the totality of these boring footnotes, but could easily have ignored them otherwise. (I realize of course that it is I myself that have a problem.)

Okay, as regards the story-line.

Firstly, Anastasia leads Vladimir into the forest where she has her home. To his dismay he finds that she has no place of abode, not even a little hut, shack or tent, no running water except perhaps from a nearby stream, no bathroom or toilet, no kitchen where she could cook or store her food, nothing, I thought Siberia was supposed to be a cold area of the world. How does Anastasia survive the winters with no warm place of abode? Okay, don't tell me, I suppose she creeps into a hole (the one she had Vladimir sleep in) together with her pet bear for warmth, as it warmed Vladimir.

Secondly, A's parents both died when she was a baby, and she was supposedly nurtured by her animal friends, But how did they change her nappies (diapers) or otherwise take care of her needs in that direction? As regards nourishment, I suppose she suckled some female animal or other. And why was all this necessary, seeing as she had both a healthy and vigorous grandfather and great-grandfather? Why is there is no mention of any grandmother (and she should have had two of them) or great-grandmother?

Perhaps all this is explained in a later book, who knows, but I feel this information should have been provided in the present book.

Vladimir is en entrepreneur who transports and sells goods to those living in the north of Russia. We are introduced to the concept of "ringing cedars". These trees store energy emanating from "Man". After 500 years of their life they start to ring and this signals people to cut them down in order to avail themselves of this stored-up energy. These cedars are cut up into small pieces and used as miraculous healing objects to heal all diseases.

A main theme of the book is A's invisible ray, which she uses to tune into situations, people, whatever. She can see what is happening to any particular person or persons throughout the world.

My comment on this ability of A's is that we all have this ability, it is a matter of finding out how to use it. This is also what she informs V. It is just that A has practised using her ability to perfection and has never doubted that she had it, Perhaps her brilliant abilities in this regard have to do with learning how to use this "ray" from the very first from her grandfather and great-grandfather. She can create whatever she likes, as we others can, potentially, too. She is a sort of Silva Mind Master or Mistress.

A remembers everything, can imitate other people perfectly, etc etc. In fact she has unlimited powers.

Now, I don't know if A really exists, perhaps she does. It would be hard to invent somebody like her. But I am in no doubt of the fact that it is possible to possess such powers as she does.

A and V have sexual relations, which is a wonderful experience for V, and presumably also for A, who announces that she will have a son as the fruit of this union.

A believes that everyone should move to the country, or at least become a "dachnik", some-one who spends his or her days off tending a garden at their dacha (country cottage). This is apparently one of her main hobby-horses or fixations. And it all makes sense when A explains how by carrying out a simple ceremony involving the seeds you wish to sow in your garden you will be able to give the seed information about yourself, and later it "will pick up from the Universe and the Earth the maximum amount of energy needed for a given individual". The fruit cultivated from such seeds is capable of curing him/her of "all diseases of the flesh whatsoever"" and moreover of retarding the ageing process. It is necessary to treat only a few seeds in the manner indicated.

All this sounds wonderful, idyllic, a panacea for all our personal physical and mental ailments. I had never heard of this seed-programming process before, but have no reason to doubt it.

A informs V that if he writes a book about her, she will see to it that all the words are imbued with special powers that will make millions of people buy the book and all its readers will adore her, feel her love and wish to adopt her way of life. Apparently, she has been able to apply this process to all the various books of his in translation also, since her predictions have come true and people throughout the world have bought the books and begun to worship her.

I myself who do not have strong emotions, even I admit I actually felt a slight, pleasant feeling around the heart chakra, So she got to me too, albeit slightly!

Space does not permit me to mention far less expatiate on the many other significant features of the book.

So I would just conclude, read the book, if you feel called to it, it may or may not change your life. I may or may not be reading subsequent books in the series.
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on 29 June 2014
This author claims that all that is mentioned in this book really happened. He claims it is a true account of his own experiences. The first couple of chapters start off well. In spring 1994, the author chartered three large cruise ships, with a total crew of 65 men, to travel up the river Ob in Siberia, in order to attempt to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and discover opportunities for entrepreneurs. The convoy stops off at a number of towns as it travels up river, before heading home.

On the way back to Novosibrisk, the lead ship in the convoy stops "at a small village, one with only a few houses at best, dozens of killometers distant from the larger population centres". The author is met by two old guys who request help to fell, extract and process a 500 year old Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica), known locally as "Kedr" (hence the name given to this series of books: "The Ringing Cedar Series"). They claim the wood of particular old specimens gives off a special energy that has numerous beneficial effects to the person who wears/touches it. The elder of the two guys claims to be 119 years old; the other old guy is his son. The tree is 25km from the river and the old guys say they need 50 men for the task. The author dismisses their request.

On the way home, the author then ends up in hospital in Novosibrisk, with time on his hands. While there, he decides to read as much as he can about the Siberian pine and its beneficial properties: there is a long tradition of using various parts of this tree in folk medicine. He discovers that oil extracted from the seeds is ridiculously valuable (in 1994, up to 500 USD per Kg). The author realises that in Russia you can buy a 30g solution from pharmacists that contains just two drops of this pine seed oil, but it costs 16 USD: 50,000 roubles. He realises that the seeds are processed for oil abroad, in Turkey, and that, in 1994, the Turks offered only 3 USD per Kg of seed harvested. The author realised that there is serious money to be made from doing the work locally, if only he could make it happen. Furthermore, he realises that before the Russian revolution (in 1917) exports of this pine seed oil accounted for 10% of national income from total exports, including all commodities: the oil was exported by a Siberian business called the "Siberian Co-operator", with offices in major cities around the world, including London. Following the revolution, the director remained abroad.

With this in mind, and noting that local knowledge of seed harvesting, processing and oil extraction appears to have gone unrecorded, a year later, he sets out, unannounced, to find the two old guys he previously met, with a view to helping with their request and in the process learning all he can from them about seed harvesting and oil extraction. He decided to set off even though one of his contacts in Warsaw had warned him that "certain special-interest groups in the West" were "so involved that it would be better just to forget about it". The ship dropped the author at Novosibrisk, where he caught a motor-boat to reach "the village".

At "the village", the author is greeted on the riverbank at by a 26 year old woman in peasant dress, who claims to be the granddaughter of the younger old guy. Her name is Anastasia. She offers to take the author to the tree and to the "oldsters", as the author calls the two old guys. The author spends three days with Anastasia in a forest glade where she lives: a "good day's walk" from the river or "the village". On the first day, as they enter the forest, Anastasia decides to dump her outer clothing and just wear her undergarments, which she only keeps on because she is with a guest - the author (she doesn't usually wear clothing in the forest). The author attempts to rape her, but some form of "natural energy" renders him temporarily unconscious before he gets beyond grasping her (he does bag her on the second night though, resulting in pregnancy).

It would appear that this woman lives hermit-like, all alone in the forest and is something of a mystic with an ascetic lifestyle, believing in a creator God that made man in His own image and that

"God is the interplanetary Mind, or Intelligence. He is not to be found in a single mass. Half of Him is in the non-material realm of the Universe. This is the sum total of all energies. The other half of Him is dispersed across the Earth, in every individual, in every man. The dark forces strive to block these particles".

Anastasia also believes that she has met aliens that have "mental paralysers" (which didn't work on her, as she is more advanced - as are we - than any alien, in her opinion) and helped them repair their damaged flying saucer - a craft that can accelerate "to one-nineteenth the speed of the average modern Earth-dweller's thought". She claims that "several dozen people" with her abilities can "cultivate" a saucer in a year. She claims that microorganisms are the only materials used for construction and propulsion: a mixture of yeasts and bacteria in symbiotic relationship, like that of the tea "fungus" used to make Kombucha tea, is used to construct a porous double membrane (with 3cm cavity between membranes) that will constitute the tough outer shell of the craft.

Anastasia claims that yeasts and bacteria, alone or in combination (it is unclear), possibly mycotrophs, power the craft forward as they breathe in air through the outer membrane, "creating a vacuum ahead of the saucer". She claims that these symbiotic microorganisms are attracted to the inner surface of the outer membrane that constitutes the outer shell of the craft. The text is badly punctuated, so what happens next could be interpreted in different ways, but my understanding is that the microbes grow and develop, before dying and decomposing to form a "gaseous substance". Anastasia claims that these microbes are edible while in the growth phase. It is not clear whether the gaseous substance has any use or not.

Readers should note that the "tea fungus" is not a fungus. It is a mixture consisting of several species of yeast and bacteria, which has medicinal properties. Acetic acid bacteria in the mixture synthesize a floating biofilm [aka zoogleal mat] of cellulose - the stuff of which paper is made - which gives the appearance of a fungus. Consequently, in 1965, the mixture was erroneously identified as a fungus and wrongly named Medusomyces gisevii - a name that is now invalid.

Beyond the first chapter, after which the author meets Anastasia, the remainder of book details what the author claims to have learnt from Anastasia, by way of knowledge, wisdom and practical skills. This, largely takes the form of detailing answers, provided to the author, to questions the author asked Anastasia. Anastasia has fantastic God-given natural abilities and fantastically keen, highly developed senses, which she claims that all people on the planet have, but either don't realise they have or don't know how to make the most of them. These fantastic gifts and abilities include being able to see the future, present and past in any place at any time; telepathy; the ability to influence people's thoughts, and therefore actions; the ability to heal others, and the ability to communicate with wildlife, have an excellent singing voice and a superior memory, and live longer. The majority of questions which the author asks are aimed at gaining a greater understanding of these gifts and abilities, including how to develop them and use them.

The message appears simple. To develop these gifts and abilities, which you have already, all you need to do is avoid bad thoughts and deeds:

Don't do bad things;

Be kind, compassionate, forgiving and gentle to all living things;

Don't drink alcohol/spirits, do drugs or smoke;

Do not be proud;

Be modest in every respect, including dress;

Do not have sex with a partner you do not love and have very close spiritual bonds with (friendship, understanding, shared values and interests);

Do not have sex just to satisfy lustful desires;

Don't have sex unless you and your partner both want the fruit of that union: a child;

Grow your own food;

Use only what you really need, as opposed to want or desire.

Do these things sound familiar? They certainly would have done to your grandparents and their parents.

It would appear that communities have sprung up in various locations in different parts of the world with the intention of living in accordance with Anastasia's wisdom, as detailed within this book and others in the series.

According to this book, those of you who fail to adhere to the aforementioned lifestyle are suffering as a result of dark forces which you have propagated through your own thoughts and deeds, but it is never too late to start anew and nurture your gifts and abilities.

To quote Anastasia from page 65:

"Humanity is not bad, but the devices of the dark forces obscuring spirituality by provoking base carnal desires - these very powerful devices. They bring people a lot of grief and suffering."

Does this sound familiar too? Again, it certainly would have been to your grandparents and their parents.

It is difficult to believe that a person with Anastasia's combination of gifts and highly developed abilities exists, or that much of what she claims is even possible. It is possible that the author, as a businessman and entrepreneur himself, decided to concoct this book, and others in the series ( nine books in all), knowing that they would sell in the millions, as all people on the planet long to be told that there is more to life and that they are/can be good regardless of what they have done or failed to do, and not least because a large portion of the population have turned their backs on thousands of years of wisdom, and associated traditions, within their local communities, and now look for something to substitute for what they have abandoned/ignored.

In my opinion this book is a work of fiction, with elements of truth. I believe the author has drawn upon his own life experiences to create this account and has used it as a vehicle to explore his own questions and understanding of life, our purpose, and interactions.

So, in essence, is there anything new here? The answer, for me, is yes. A strange new "energy" that science cannot measure directly, which a Christian would know as the Holy Spirit, and the Buddhist would, perhaps, refer to as chi, is present throughout the universe and in all things, supporting and strengthening our gifts and abilities the more we strive toward and achieve a pure way of life.

Second thoughts... Is there really anything new here? Yes! The energy flow is circular with inputs of good and "dark" (bad) energy: the thoughts and actions of people release energy; this ascends in to space and reflects back off the planets and stars, and is,in turn, absorbed by plants - influencing their physiology, growth and development (thus medicinal and nutritional attributes)-; people use the plants and grow seed from the plants, thereby using and distributing their energy, which has direct influence on the magnitude of our gifts and abilities - which can be used for good or bad. The Siberian pines of great age store up good energy and start to ring when they reach 500 years old, indicating to those with advanced abilities that it is time to fell, process and distribute the timber, so that the energy - be it good or bad, or some combination, can be shared more widely and hopefully used to do good. Bad energy, created by bad and negative thoughts and deeds descends to the centre of the earth and results in volcanos, earthquakes and "evil", causing "harm", as opposed to "good" as it is reflected back toward the earth's surface.

In chapter 18, the author is led to the `ringing' pine that the oldsters spoke of. He claims that the tree had something like a visible pulsating halo at the upper tip of the crown, which is described as characteristic of `ringing' pines, with a thin, high energy ray of light beaming skyward, extending from it. He also describes the `ringing' as an audible "...crackling noise, comparable to what one might hear standing under a high-voltage transmission line, only more resonant". Anastasia claims that if a person intercepts one of these rays using any part of their body, the energy will cause their brain to explode, as it is so powerful. This is what happened to her parents, according to her grandpa and great grandpa.

Anastasia claims that the pine seed oil has healing properties equal to those of ringing pine wood,
"...provided the nuts [seeds] are gathered at the proper time and with the proper attitude toward the cedar [pine]. Provided the tree bestows them of itself"

Oh, I forgot to mention that, upon contact, your spit, sweat, and the water you use to wash yourself first thing in the morning, can also impart energy to seed, soil and associated microorganisms, such as mycorrhizae and mycorrhiza helper bacteria (MHB), with associated molecules acting as messengers, informing each of your physical and spiritual status and needs, according to Anastasia. She claims that the seed, soil and microorganisms will respond in a helpful way, and that the resulting plant will adapt its gene expression and physiological status to meet personal nutritional and medical requirements of the person that planted it.

The translator has added a number of footnotes that provide greater detail and references for words and things referenced in the text. For the large part, I found these very helpful and interesting. However, early on in the book, the author makes reference to various places in the Bible that mention "cedars", which he clearly understands/believes to be a reference to Pinus sibirica - the Siberian pine known to him as Kedr. This is why botanists us scientific names for plants - to avoid this confusion.

With reference to a number of instances which he believes support and validate claims of the beneficial effects of Siberian pine wood (AKA "ringing cedar"), the author notes that

"all these multitudinous facts and evidences pale in comparison to the main point, which you can look up for yourself - a discovery which has left me with not a trace of doubt - and that is the BIBLE".

Both the author and the translator reference verses in the Bible which the author refers to, and through which he believes God teaches us how to use the Siberian pine. These verses mention Cedar. However, of course, the cedar referred to in the Bible is, in the botanical sense, a true cedar, i.e. a species belonging to the genus Cedrus. It is in fact Cedrus libani: the Cedar of Lebanon. Today, in its natural range - from Armenia, the Tarsus Mountains of southern Turkey, through Syria and the Lebanon Mountains (where King Solomon's timber was felled, as well as timber for the construction of ships for the Egyptian Pharaohs), this is a threatened species, due to grazing pressure (goats) and over exploitation: it is also represented on the national flag of Lebanon. It is NOT a pine and people do not eat its seeds. You probably have a Cedar of Lebanon growing in one of your city parks or gardens. They have been frequently planted on large country estates in the UK. To be fair, the translator has added a footnote (on page 3) to make it clear that the Siberian pine and the Cedar of Lebanon are different species, each belonging to a different genus: their scientific names are provided, making this clear.

The biblical references provided, which the author refers to as mentioning cedar are as follows:

Leviticus 14: 4

1Kings 5: 6

1Kings 8: 11

Matthew 7: 20

In addition, mentioned, but not referenced by the author:

1Kings 9:11

With regard to 1K 9:11, highlighting the value of cedar, the author comments that in exchange for providing "cedar from Lebanon" to King Solomon for the construction of palace and a temple, King Solomon gave King Hiram 20 cities. In fact this gift was in exchange for providing a range of things, including labour: not just cedar, and the timber was not Siberian pine. Also, some translations use the word towns instead of cities. The Bible also mentions that King Hiram did not think much of the cities/towns. Perhaps they were poor and the land produced poor yields?

With regard to 1K 8: 11, the author presents us with questions about the origin, movement and nature of the cloud that appears in and "takes possession" of King Solomon's temple, and wonders whether it could have been associated with the energy of a ringing cedar used for construction. In fact Siberian pine was not used during construction and those present believed the cloud to be the visible manifestation of the presence of God, as detailed elsewhere:

Exodus 13: 21-22 "And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people."

Exodus 40: 34-35 "Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."

Elsewhere in the Bible, the glory of God, manifest in fire, is accompanied by a covering cloud, e.g. Exodus 24: 16

With regard to Matthew 7: 20, the author states
"it says in the Bible `[Wherefore] by their fruits ye shall know them.' In other words, again the Siberian cedar!"

Well, that is certainly in other words! This particular verse of Matthew's gospel is within a paragraph under the heading "False prophets". Very apt indeed! The fruits referred to in this passage are good deeds and the development and use of personal gifts and abilities for the benefit of mankind. To a Christian, these fruits are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, as detailed in the Bible at Isiah 15: 2. These are: wisdom, understanding (insight), counsel (right judgement), might (power), knowledge, and of the fear of the LORD (wonder and awe).

Here is the passage in its entirety (Mt 7: 15-20):

"False Prophets
15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

Or, as a more modern translation (The New Jerusalem Bible: Study Edition (Bible Njb)) puts it:

"False Prophets
15: 'Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. 16: You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17: In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. 18: A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. 19: Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. 20: I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits."

So, in this passage, Matthew quotes the words Jesus spoke in His Sermon on the Mount to crowds that had gathered near Capernaum to hear Him. The passage communicates that trustworthy people can be recognised from untrustworthy people by their words and deeds, and the results of these. It is not a reference to plants or plant parts, let alone Siberian pine or Cedar of Lebanon! The sheep represents a good person; the wolf represents a bad person. It is telling us that no good will come from a bad person and no bad will come from a good person (this is a very simple interpretation, but correct). Those that do bad will suffer eternal damnation in the fires of hell is, in essence, what verse 19 tells us (which includes those that lead others away from God).

In conclusion, an entertaining and thought provoking read, nothing more. It will not change my life, but I'm glad to know such forested regions still exist. In some ways, this book reminds me of The Prophet - a book by Kahlil Gibran: the book caused quite a stir at the time, but is now largely ignored. Both that and Anastasia, in my opinion, are rather poor substitutes for the wisdom contained within the Bible and both have clearly been heavily influenced by its content, using it as a font of wisdom and inspiration. One thing both books have in common is that they have raised a small fortune, in financial terms, for their respective authors.

In my opinion, this book would, perhaps, be best appreciated by teenagers. It is not worth buying and is only worth reading if this sort of thing interests you, you have more time than you know what to do with, and you really do not have anything better to do.

To quote Gilbert K. Chesterton, from "What's Wrong With The World", "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried."

What's Wrong With The World

Another rather apt, oft used, "quote" from an unattributed source also comes to mind:

"When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing - they believe in anything."
(this "quote" is possibly a paraphrase of two or three sentences from page 211 of Émile Cammaerts' book "The Laughing Prophet: The Seven Virtues and G. K. Chesterton")

I will end this review with a Bible quote, given the subject matter discussed in Anastasia

Matthew 7: 9-14

"9: Is there anyone among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? 10: Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish? 11: If you, then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12: 'So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets. 13: 'Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it; 14: but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

The New Jerusalem Bible, Study Edition

I've noticed an interesting review on Amazon.com for this book (ISBN-13: 978-0976333302), by a reviewer posting as Sergey Manukyan "smanukyan" (USA, MI), who awarded it just one star. His review, dated May 24, 2011, claims the author was once a criminal that cheated masses of people by running a real estate scam in Russia. Regarding Anastasia, the reviewer claims "All his scam is exposed in movie by Elena Korneeva "Project Anastasia" (it is in Russian)."

If searching the internet for "Project Anastasia" and "Elena Korneeva" does not turn up further information, the reviewer advises "you should Google it in Russian"

He also provides a link(in Russian):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBks2ESQnm4&feature=player_embedded#at=35
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