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  #61  
Old 02-29-2008, 10:07 PM
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Found it. This is how the word miracle is used in Massie:
"...Only to one person was the mystery not a mystery. In her own mind, Alexandra understood clearly what had happened. To her, is seemed quite natural: after the best doctors in Russia had failed. after her own hours of prayer had gone unanswered, her plea to Rasputin had brought the intervention of God and a miracle had taken place."
Whew!
Lexi
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  #62  
Old 02-29-2008, 10:11 PM
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Interesting lexi. You would have expected the others to mentioned it, if it was considered so miraculous.

Here is the link to the Amazon page of the book that Robert Massie wrote with his wife about their ordeal of raising a hemophiliac son.

Amazon.com: Journey: Robert K. Massie,Suzanne Massie: Books

In it he goes into more detail about the history of hemophilia in Queen Victoria's family.
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  #63  
Old 02-29-2008, 10:26 PM
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Thank you Ysbel! I appreciate the link.
So back to what started the Spala search. Massie did not call it a miracle. He drew the conclusion that that was how Alix felt about it. I think that was a fair conclusion. I am searching now to see if I can find any other writings about Spala.
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  #64  
Old 02-29-2008, 10:39 PM
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Ysbel, was that "Firebird?" I heard about that. Peter Kurth says that their son is doing well still.
Maybe Rasputin's healing skills was a "miracle" but don't forget that people will think and believe what they want. The mind is a very powerful tool. If you think you're going to die, chances are, you'll find a way to check out. If you feel successful, you're going to change your attitude to reflect that and, in turn, become successful. I'm thinking Rasputin operated along the lines here. People saw what they wanted to see: Alexandra a holy man who was a healer and a God-send; the women he slept with: exciting, forbidden, new, titilating; the IF and N's advisors: dangerous, a threat, etc.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Russophile View Post
Ysbel, was that "Firebird?" I heard about that. Peter Kurth says that their son is doing well still.
I know Firebird the ballet, Russophile, but the book that Robert Massie wrote with his wife was called Journey. I provided the link to it above. Here's a good article in Time Magazine that reviewed the book and touched on the history of hemophilia. Blood Will Tell - TIME I highly recommend the book. One of the magazines did an interview with the grown Bobbie Massie and yes, you're right, he is doing quite well. He has a lot of children and it does make you wonder though. I mean if he has daughters, all of them all guaranteed hemophilia-carriers.

I was disappointed to find that Robert and Suzanne divorced however.

Not sure where Firebird comes into it?
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  #66  
Old 02-29-2008, 11:04 PM
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Whoops, my bad, I posted before I read your link. Sorry about that!
I think Firebird is Suzanne's work. I also had her work "Pavlovsk" for a long time through the library but never got around to reading it and had to give it back to the library, somebody else called for it. The pictures, though, were lovely of all the wood and the amazing story of how the curators saved a lot of the works by hiding them from the Germans.
I wonder, as well, if their son did well with his hemophilia with a positive attitude?
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  #67  
Old 03-01-2008, 06:27 AM
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Lexi, Ysbel and all here,
I'm sorry, if have involuntarily confused you: really, R.Massie himself did not name it miracle. I meant that neither he nor anybody another could explain the phenomenon of recover of Alexi in Spala (and many other cases of healing of Rasputin).
What has no scientific explanation refers to as miracle - irrespective of personal opinion of this or that author. Unless not so? Hundreds cases of wonderful healings in all countries and in all religions are known. Rasputin is not the unique healer such.
I wrote above about a phenomenon of healing of priest John Kronstadt and others. Let me to repeat here once again:
Here there is nothing surprising for believing people. It is "simple a miracle". Certainly, scientists cannot explain it till now, but they (scientists) move ahead in research of these phenomena. For example, scientists have opened, that brain biorhythms of a praying (deeply praying) believing person are similar to biorhythms of the chest baby and it promotes healing from illnesses.
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  #68  
Old 03-01-2008, 10:53 AM
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In this case, since it can never be proven one way or the other, I don't see what's wrong with just letting everyone believe what they feel on this one. Was it a miracle? Was it a coincidence? Did he have religious gifts, or hypnotic powers, or just lucky? We really don't know for sure, and it doesn't hurt to believe either way. In Alexandra's case, this belief led her to a devotion to Rasputin that sadly led to her downfall. It's one of the biggest ironic tragedies of all time that in her desperation to save her son, they all lost it all. That's one reason why this whole historical saga stands out as so intriguing. As it used to say on the back cover of my copy of "Nicholas and Alexandra", 'no novelist dare invent it'. The truth is sometimes more incredible than any fiction.
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  #69  
Old 03-01-2008, 11:05 AM
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Rasputin was a member of the lower classes who were more likely to join a religious community especially in a society where upward mobility was not so easy.

In Western Europe in the Middle Ages for example, the Church was the only place where men and women of lower social classes could rise above their station and as a result a lot of men of questionable character entered the Church and became holy men. I imagine it was just as true for Russia as it was the West.

But the idea that God rewards men of good deeds and that special supernatural powers are the result of God favoring an honest living man is a somewhat Western notion which I am not sure resonates with the Russian culture.

Perhaps some of our Russian members can explain more?
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  #70  
Old 03-01-2008, 12:31 PM
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The christianity always considered, that special supernatural powers can be as the result of God (favoring an honest living man), so and the result of devil (for a temptation of people). Recollect, for example, struggle of apostle Peter against Simon-mag. Simon mag had same special supernatural powers as well as apostle Peter, except for gift of transfer of Sacred Spirit to other people. He even wished "to buy" this gift from Peter (for huge money)...
As to Rasputin, RussianChurch recognized his special supernatural powers as the result of God, but after (after approximately 1910) some priests have started to consider, that Rasputin became "conductor" of devil forces. We don't know till now, what the top hierarches of Russian Orthodox Church thought in this occasion (and what they think now).
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  #71  
Old 03-01-2008, 01:17 PM
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My opinion on Rasputin was that he was very, very canny and smart (which is different from being literate and good at memorization) and his "prophecies" were the result of nothing more than his ability to read the writing on the wall where the Imperial family was often too self-involved, naive and misguided to do so themselves.

His warning to the Tsar about the terrible things that would happen if a member of the Tsar's family killed him (presuming he actually made that prophecy) seems more like a threat to me. He knew the family wanted him dead, and he was telling Nicholas to make sure his family backed off. The fact that his "prophecy" came true is not surprising - there are tons of people in 1916 who could have predicted doom for the Imperial family, even if they themselves were too out of touch to realize it.

As for him healing Alexis, I always read that his major impact was 1) He got the doctors to stop poking, prodding, examining and constantly moving Alexis, which allowed his blood to clot and 2) He calmed down both Alexis and his mother, and the massive decrease in tension and hysteria also allowed Alexis to heal. The rest? Luck. The same reason other hemophiliacs survived attacks.

Quote:
I would like to know more about his relation with Alix, because i had red one year ago that had been found same letters that Alix had sent to Rasputin and that could show that they had had any sentimental relation, and i would like to know if this information is truth or false.
Alix's letters to Rasputin were published back then by enemies of Rasputin and they are very sentimental. In Robert Massie's book Nicholas and Alexandra, he reprints the most "damning" of the letters, but points out that Alix wrote in that style to everyone. Here's a snippet:
Quote:
I kiss your hands and lean my head on your blessed shoulder. Oh how light, how light do I feel then. i only wish one thing: to fall asleep, to fall asleep, forever on your shoulders and in your arms. What happiness to feel your presence near me.
It does sound like a love letter. It ends with "I love you forever". I don't believe there was anything sexual going on, but I do believe Alix's attachment to Rasputin was abnormal and unhealthy. She even had the Grand Duchesses wear his picture in lockets around their necks. The Russian people were completely right to think that the Imperial family showed very poor judgment in following Rasputin to the degree they did.
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  #72  
Old 03-01-2008, 01:46 PM
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Indeed Cupcakes, their letters were always so sentimental (Personal opinion I think they're rather smarmy, but that's just me.) and I'm sure that the common lay person reading them would miss interpret them to mean more than they really were.
Anna, whether or not it was a miracle is a nice topic to discuss, I hope nobody "leave it at that" because I get so much more out of the discussion when people are free to kick ideas around, I get views and opinions I may have not thought about before.
Sometimes the truth, indeed, is stranger than fiction! Did Alexis and Anastasia survive the massacre? Don't know, highly unlikely, but if they did, now wouldn't THAT be strange!
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  #73  
Old 03-01-2008, 02:29 PM
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I think the letters are smarmy too and can understand why people could read into them that there was something going on between Alix and Resputin. I don't think there was, that was just the way Alix wrote. They were damning because of what could be read into them.
Alix's attachment to him could be considered codependent. I think that could also describe the relationship with her husband. She was not the healthiest of people...mentally and physically.
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  #74  
Old 03-01-2008, 03:31 PM
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Well Alexandra was a religious fanatic. No doubt about it. She was lonely, the Church offered her company. She felt alien, it gave her a home. She was frightened, it gave her security. One can understand her dependancy on her adopted faith.
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  #75  
Old 03-01-2008, 03:59 PM
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What i could conclusion about Rasputin power to healing people is that he was practicing same special model that what today is calling Reiky, in that people could heal same troubles to others only with put their hands in other person, even i have heard that is possible with long distance with a mentalist way of Reiky.

What do you think about that?

Well, i don´t have a well knowlodge about Alix, but i think that she was a very closed person, with a very strict code, who keep distance from others, may be for me this is what make me more surpised the closed relation that had with Rasputin, so intime (Don´t mind if they had had a sexual relation or not, i rather think that they didn´t).

I had red also that Nicolas was a very good Man, but very inmature, and in same way like if Alix could felt a bit of unsatisfaction for that. Could be right this impresion?
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  #76  
Old 03-01-2008, 04:07 PM
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Well Pelayo, I think there's many ways to interpret Rasputin's 'powers' and it depends on personal belief. The Christian scientist in me has always believed that prayer does hold some sway over physical health and it's always been practise in the Catholic and Orthodox churches to pray to Saints etc for healing. Sometimes that manifests in special holy places and sometimes it comes through other holy people. Now whether Rasputin was a holy man I won't go into but from a religious point of view, there's no reason why the healing couldn't be a miracle. But on the other hand, the healing could have come directly from God through the intercession of Saints prayed to regularly and routinely by Alexi's mother. If we take religion out of it, it could be luck, a trick or something like Reiki. It's all possible.

As for the Empress, I don't think there was any relationship there other than a religious fanatic desperate for spiritual direction from someone she percieved to be holy. Whether it was an abuse of trust or genuine religious guidance I'm not sure.
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  #77  
Old 03-01-2008, 08:35 PM
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I have a friend who is a well known Reiki master and she would tell you that Rasputin's "healing" talents or tactics are a far cry from this ancient Japanes practice of healing and energy work.

Rasputin, I'm starting to believe, was simply lucky in some aspects (others clearly he wasn't.) Was he a healer? Honestly, I have no idea especially with the sources that are available to us. For me, Rasputin reminds of the questionable psychic and medium, John Edwards, (and dare I say, Miss Cleo) which I have a sort of South Park attitude towards him and his "healing" powers.

For me, reading about Rasputin and his life is extremely fascinating, but I am not sold on his so called "powers."
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:46 PM
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I"m not sold on them either. But Alexandra was.
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:04 AM
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It has been most kind of Marengo to start this thread.
Indeed, Rasputin was a highly controversial and odious person. I learnt about this man by reading the novel “At the Last Frontier” Valentin Pikul, otherwise known as “Nechistaya sila” [Evil power]. I have to admit that the book is a rather dramatic vivid portrayal of Russia of that time, members of the Imperial Family, and the lead –up to the Great Social revolution of 1917.
The Russian Court was flamboyant and full of self-indulgent pleasure-seekers. Drugs, occultism, spiritualism, etc. were meant to “adrenalyze” to the life of the Russian elite. If my memory serves me right, it was Anastasia of Montenegro, aka “Stana”, and her sister Militza, who actually introduced the Startez to the Tzar and Tzarina. They were very involved with charlatans and mystics. However, Stana and Militza turned against Rasputin later.
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  #80  
Old 03-02-2008, 01:40 AM
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Indeed, they did introduce N & A to Rasputin. I find them equally as fascinating. Anybody have any suggestions on good books on the Montenegrin sisters?
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