Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Babe in the woods

Today, Dear Ones, I am going to share the stupendous, skirt-lifting news I promised you yesterday. If you thought The Secret was an amazing gift to humanity, the impetus for a permanent shift in consciousness, the harbinger of a wonderful new era in history…well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

I first learned of the astonishing treasure I am about to share with you when I received an email bearing the subject line: "Thousands quit their jobs after hearing girl’s message." My first thought was, hmmm, Rhonda Byrne isn’t exactly what you’d call a girl, but maybe this is a new marketing ploy.

But I quickly realized this wasn’t about The Secret at all. It was about something far more significant: a series of books from Russia that promise to change my life forever. As I read the message I grew more electrified by the minute:

Because these electrifying messages will change your life forever!
"As I began to read, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and goose bumps rippled down my arms…" WHAT IF something got you SO EXCITED...
You started dancing around the room and you couldn’t sit still if your life depended on it?
You COULDN’T SLEEP – perhaps for days?
What if I told you about a Series of Books that ...
Within minutes of starting, countless readers have ordered 3, 5, even 12 copies to send to friends & loved ones?
• After reading, thousands of people have quit their jobs?
• Have sold over 11 million copies in Europe with no advertising except word of mouth? (That’s ELEVEN MILLION!!!)
• Have created a frenzy of excitement among people from all walks of life?
• Have inspired top scientists and military officers to write poetry and paint?
• Are the most stolen books in some overseas bookshops?
Sounds amazing... but... IT’S ALL ABSOLUTELY TRUE !
Can you think of ANY books, in the entire history of humanity, that have had such a response?
Well these ACTUALLY have! And very few English readers have even heard of them ... until NOW.

And so on.

By now I know you’re so excited you’re about to wet those new underpants you bought just for this occasion. I can hear you begging, "Please don’t keep me in suspense any longer, Cosmic Connie."

Well, now. I find that I rather like to be begged.

But never mind that.

I will not keep you waiting any longer, especially since I have no financial stake in teasing you for months and months about this product. So you’re not going to find any hypnotic copy here – no riveting teasers, nothing to make you drool or want to know more, nothing truly mesmerizing. All you're going to see here is the plain truth, laid out for you in black and white. Or bluish-gray and deep bluish-black, if you're reading this onscreen. I really need to change my blog template.

The product that is about to change your life forever is a growing series of books called The Ringing Cedars series. And within these books you will learn absolutely everything you need to know about life, the Universe and everything, as the late Douglas Adams might have put it.

Just listen to what some excited readers have said:

"Basically, these books make all the books that I've read to date look like a complete waste of paper! .... I think that going through life without this knowledge is a waste of time, and not passing it on to children is a crime. I can say with confidence that nothing like these books exists in the world today." ~ Rafal, Australia

"Truth that has not been distorted by dogma or someone’s ego! I might explode from emotion if I read any more! I had a hard time getting myself to just stand still." ~ Ana, Portugal

"After reading this series I have recommended that … [my daughters] … give away all their other reading materials…" ~ John, Melbourne, Australia

"The book is awesome. I can not explain how very little I have read in my life and certainly I’ve NEVER finished one book I started. This book was different and I could not put it down, ever! The truth lies in there for sure and which I believe is why it is selling incredibly all over the world with no advertising at all." ~D, Canada

Another Aussie wrote, "I did not move until I had read every word – actually I lie – every so often, I found myself jumping up and pacing around the room in a sort of excited dance, only to sit down quickly and keep reading. It was quite late when I finished and went to bed."

And one reader described the day that s/he read the first book in the series, Anastasia (pronounced Ah-na-sta–SEE–ya): "That day my life changed forever. I quit my job! Never again will I waste a precious moment doing meaningless work!" (I couldn’t help but notice that this is a few thousand readers short of the number mentioned earlier in the email, but I don’t want to quibble here.)

Okay, so just what are these books, and, more importantly, who wrote them?

The author is Siberian entrepreneur Vladimir Nikolaevich Megre. According to a bio page I found, "Little is known about Vladimir Megre's early background, apart from a few experiences he himself describes in the context of his writings." I like a man of mystery, don’t you? But just wait till you hear about the mysterious babe he met in the woods, Anastasia. She’s the one who is actually the source of the wisdom imparted in the pages of The Ringing Cedar books.

It seems that some time back in 1994, Vladimir met two old geezers on the bank of a river in the the Siberian taiga. These elderly gents clued him in about the amazing properties of the Siberian cedar, which is known in the West as the Siberian pine. Vlad sort of brushed the guys off, but later did some research and found substantiation for their claims. Being an entrepreneur, he knew there was a way he could make some money off of this stuff. So he organized a boat trip, with his personal agenda being to find out more about the famous "ringing cedars" firsthand. At one point he told the crew to go on their way, and he slipped off to the spot where he’d met the two old dudes the previous year, hoping to see them again and maybe cut a deal with them.

Stopping for a break among the fabled Siberian cedar/pines, he broke off a piece of bark to snack on. Turns out the bark had hallucinogenic properties. First he heard a strange ringing in his ears. And then, behold, he beheld a beautiful blonde.

Okay, I just made up the part about the hallucinogenic bark (as far as I know, anyway). The real made-up story is that instead of finding the old guys, Vlad found this lovely young blonde woman who claimed to be their granddaughter. She said her name was Anastasia. Turns out she wanted to change the world, or at least change Siberia. But damned if she was going to venture out of the woods to do it.

"No problem, милая,* I can help you with that," Vlad said. "Have you ever heard of viral marketing?"

All right, I just made that up too. Vlad was initially touched by Anastasia's youth, her blonde-ness, and her soft supple what he first took to be her charmingly naïve worldview. But then as he grew to know her, he found she was much more than a lovely hallucination stemming from too much solitude and way too much vodka a pretty young woman. She had amazing psychic abilities as well as a great deal of knowledge about the world around her. In fact, she knew an awful lot for a nymphette who'd been holed up in the forest all her life.

Vlad really should have been a little more careful. After the gorgeous golden-haired girl had completely gained his trust, she offered him a drink...and the next thing he knew he was waking up naked, alone and in horrendous pain in the bathtub of a seedy hotel in Leningrad, missing a kidney.

Well, that's not quite what happened.

To tell the truth, I am not sure exactly what happened in those woods between Vlad and the blonde. The text, as is so often the case in the New-Wage realm, is not entirely clear.

…Vladimir came face to face with certain psychic abilities of Anastasia’s which defied explanation, even though they were undeniably real to his perception — inexplicably manifesting themselves in a tragic struggle of virtue against vice which unfolded before his very eyes. He was shaken by scenes somehow presented to him from his not-too-distant past, but from a totally new point of view. Now able to look at his own and others’ behaviour more objectively, Vladimir gained a new appreciation of what Anastasia was endeavouring to do, and in an effort to help, he promised to fulfil Anastasia’s request and write a book about his experiences.

Did you get any of that?

What is clear is that this experience, whatever it was, resulted in this series of books. When Vlad got home he tried to share his experience with others and apparently they just looked at him like he was a wacko. But his experience was so profound that he had to do something, and besides, he’d promised the imaginary blonde Anastasia that he’d write that book for her. In fact, she made him quit his job and devote full time to writing the book, though it seems she did this only after he’d failed at a few of his business ventures. He ended up penniless, and his marriage failed, though whether this had anything to do with his wife being unhappy over his Anastasia obsession, I couldn’t tell you. Let’s face it, Vlad was at a low point. And then…and then…well, who says miracles don’t happen when you’re utterly desperate you just put your heart and soul into them?

Then something incredible happened: without any specialised training, Vladimir Megre launched into writing a series of books which in a very short time became extraordinarily popular, selling in the millions, and would be translated into some twenty languages. Each passing day introduced more and more new readers all over the world to these remarkable writings.

The books set forth — in very clear language — profound ideas about the education of children and the importance of communicating with living Nature — ideas ranging from nutrition and health to spirituality and sexual relations. With their practical wisdom on matters of everyday life, the books have become the basis for a number of sociological studies and scholarly papers.

Apparently Vlad had problems finding a publisher at first, because his writing sort of sucked. But over the course of the first few books, his writing improved, under the influence of Anastasia, he says.** Now the books have taken off like wildfire in other parts of the world, and will soon be sweeping the US, I have no doubt.

But I still haven’t really told you what these books are about, have I? Well, maybe this snippet from the Ringing Cedars Series FAQ page will help illuminate the matter.

What are the books about?
About everything!

Are they fiction or non-fiction?
Neither! We invite you to read the Series to form your own opinion on that.

Is she a real person or a (fictitious) heroine of the books?
When asked this question by the author, Anastasia affirmed that she does exist for those for whom she exists. At a later date she pointed out that it was not very practical to doubt the existence of the transmitting radio station when you are listening to this radio's broadcast. For a further discussion of this matter, please see the chapter entitled "Author's message to the readers" in Book 1 and Chapter "Illusory people" in Book 2.

Would you share with me Anastasia's e-mail or ICQ?
As far as we know, she does not use the ICQ. You can e-mail her in Vladimir Megre's care.

So it seems as if Anastasia is pretty much like everything else in the New-Wage world; “she exists for those for whom she exists.”

I keep thinking of Vlad and the blonde, and that makes me think of... you thought I was going to say Neale Donald Walsch and God, didn't you? No, it makes me think of that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which King Arthur imperiously explains to one of the peasants how he became king:

Arthur: The Lady of the Lake – her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king!
Man: (laughingly) Listen: Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some... farcical aquatic ceremony!
Arthur: (yelling) BE QUIET!
Man: You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!!
Arthur: (coming forward and grabbing the man) Shut *UP*!
Man: I mean, if I went ’round, saying I was an emperor, just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
Arthur: (throwing the man around) Shut up, will you, SHUT UP!

But anyway. There’s more good news from Russia with love. Besides these marvelous books, there is also a whole line of Ringing Cedars products. And you too can get in on this amazing enterprise, changing your life and the lives of others by selling cedar to nuts. Or, rather, by selling cedar nuts.

I just know that by now you’re dancing around the room and have already placed an order for two, three, five or twelve copies of each book, as well as dozens of pounds of cedar nuts and a few sets of cedar spoons. I think Anastasia would be proud. And so would the watery tart.

For more Musings about Anastasia, click here, and if you still haven't had enough, fast forward to here (scroll down to the final item, "Anastasia: real because thousands say she is").

* "Sweetie" (at least according to this site).
** Or, perhaps, under the influence of a good editor or ghostwriter?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my. I may quit my job to stay home and read more of your blog. Forget The Secret, Authentic Raw Living, Breatharianism ... I will exist on laughter alone!

Saturday, April 28, 2007 9:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Anon! You can certainly live on laughter as long as you occasionally supplement it with chocolate. And thanks for reminding me of Breathanarianism; I intend to blog about that at some point.

BTW, if you follow the "Imaginary friends" link at the bottom of this post you'll find another more recent post about Anastasia.

Thanks again for your comment.

Saturday, April 28, 2007 10:58:00 PM  

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