Andrei Azsacra Zarathustra is the name of a Russian poet-philosopher who has developed a distinctive aesthetic over many years, which is at least as striking & meaningful as anything else currently available in our dilapidated contemporary culture, especially for one like me who became an outsider, rebel & instinctive critic. His art, poems, & philosophical koans penetrate to core solutions to many of the conundrums that most of us face, or don’t face; that some of us are the mere stooges of, while others wrestle with day & night. Both individually, & collectively.
In them, we see a circumspect wariness for the modern world of mass man, illustrated by the quizzical look on the young Zarathustra’s face in some of his older photos. This glance bespeaks cool veracity, an Other-reity, that looks on us from without, & invites the viewer to stop and think, to re-consider, perhaps for the first time in his or her life. It is the mild, polite, silent questioning of the viewers sanity, in a brotherly manner to “check yourself before you wreck yourself”, as Ali G. would say, that invites to the possibility of true sanity as revealed in the rest of Zarathustra’s work, (combined with a little spice of divine madness).
His poems, sayings & symbols provide a contemporary world of philosophical mythology, analogous to Nietzsche’s own main work, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, which strikes the reader at a sub-conscious level, rather than merely intellectual level. Indeed, it is possible that his work has had a similar effect on many to precisely that book, updated to a more contemporary atmosphere & the particular ambience of today. His movies, evoking a moody nether-world of romance with some of history’s greatest thinkers, & symbols of pride & grace & long effort in a sundry & decimated world of over-flowing vulgarity, reveal the under-side melancholy to the agonized smile of everyday life. As Nietzsche said, the convsalescent are often drawn to darkened caves; this, then, is the art of true convalescence, — a true psychiatry, or anti-psychiatry — instead of burning, intruding sunlight of the average ordinariness, sheepish smile of “the They”. To me, it seems to be the natural home of the faithful few; those who treasure the deeper roots, as compared with the visible peaks, & seek to consolidate them via a conscientious world of disquiet, that makes its audience more cautious & circumspect, as well as ultimately more courageous.
His philosophy, with its conviction that in nihilism lies not just the problems, but also the solutions, admirably aligns with the Buddhist dictum of personal exctinction as the path towards Nirvana; to my mind, this means the extinction of our false, socially-constructed selves, or unhealthy habits, as Good in itself, often by itself alone clearing the way for new, healthier & better Life to grow up within our soul of its own accord. In a world inundated with falsity, fake sheen & confusing, misleading nonsense, both in the realm of ideas & all the endless material items of our modern consumerist culture, this positive nihilism provides the breath-takingly simple & necessary solution of relief. In a world that has grown fat on its own prosperity, who better than a Russian warrior-monk to return us to the timeless essentials, in a way that mockingly, boldly & insouciantly pairs the peak of decadence with the peak of ascetisim, just to prove that it was possible after all , & anything we can do in the West, he can do better ?
While to parts of the Right, such as Roger Scruton in his weakest moments, or the Analytic School Of Philosophy, which no less significant judge than Donald Trump himself was rightly derisive towards, Andrei Azsacra’s thought & writings may seem ‘unscientific’ & ‘lacking philosophical rigor’, in reality, to the discerning mind, it is evident that he has penetrated to central concerns of our time & provided a simple & direct therapy, albeit one still shrouded in a slight, polite esotericism to keep away the truly vulgar; while other intellectuals, even many ‘philosophers’, just line their own academic careers with reams & reams of academic pontification — if not mere jargon — while never getting to the crux of the problem, & in their advice, often only serve, at best, to entrench the problem, so that others like Zarathustra can cleanse the attentive & good-natured listeners of all this rubble, those who do not despise reality too much to trust nothing but ‘Western Science’ & ‘Scholarship’, no matter how frightfully meagre its eudamonic returns. By juxtaposition to the evident profoundity & the integrity of Zarathustra’s warrior spirit, it could be argued that the latter only further enhances itself by presencing the authentic as opposed to the facade of modern scholarship.
In Zarathustra, we have the combination of sword & pen, of life & art, that makes his company a pleasure rather than a headache. He has painted this in such a way that it can genuinely reach others. While some would see this as immodesty, the enlightened would tend to see it more as generosity & true modesty. The name ‘Andrei’ reminds me of my brother’s name, which is ‘Alexander’, a word that literally means ‘friend of man’. I think that ‘Andrei’ is the true friend of man, who displays considerable, perhaps enormous, bravery & excellence, both in his writings & in his life, in order to try to desperately save his fellow men & women of today from the truly sub-human degradation that they experience, ever mounting, from modern ideology & modern chemistry. This, my friends, is no small gift, & makes Andrei truly a ‘shining light on a hill’, even if judging by some of his photos & sayings, he is a bit of a devil both in front & behind the camera.
While Nietzsche’s lingering image was, despite his best efforts, more one of romantic, sympathetic, only partly-affirmative nihilism – the romantic, life of the troubled philosopher, who eventually went insane with the struggle to affirm life – in our contemporary Zarathustra, we see the gestures of a Russian strong-man who has conquered life by annhiliating it beforehand, & leaving us only to take comfort in his austere feat. The effete intellectual world could hardly possess a more striking & salutary contrast. Even though my name , “Max”, means “lightening”, Andrei Azacra Zarathustra himself is a sillouette of a man climbing a mountain beneath the lightening storm & channeling it to his own ends, as well. Perhaps most of all, Andrei Azsacra embodies intensity — the intensity necessary to destroy, & the intensity necessary to truly create. And the purity of will & thought that accompanies that.
His life has been one of virility, honesty, cunning & determination, that returns us to natural vigor & manly sensibilities in a world of domesticated livestock & inverse-cripples, who not only still exist in Plato’s Cave, but are now also constantly ducking their heads beneath its ceiling just in order to avoid offending the sheep in the tiny flat above. While most people today live in a world of excess information, & stamp on each other’s feet for pleasure because they can’t be bothered to wait 5 minutes for the next elevator, Zarathustra has spent a cold & lonely, yet grand lifetime using information carefully with utmost artfulness & good intention to subvert & heal the psychic neurosis of modern man. This is truly something to be desired & admired.
(And it is only a very partial snapshot, for the work Zarathustra is littered with truths , both concrete & abstract. It would hardly be too much to say that his genius contains as much potential bounty as the novel ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, which inspired his name; like that book, his work deals in illuminating tropes that have the power to captivate, inspire & enlighten beyond the mere conveyance of literal information or concrete insight. But, just as that book by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche is often considered, & was considered by him, his central & most important work, Andrei Azacra Zarathustra’s cannon could be considered anew as on a similar scale of achievement for the modern, contemporary context, & therefore of greater interest to a readership already satiated & saturated with antique thinkers who have now for many of us grown a little stale & stuffy by comparison)
(To be published by Manticore Press. Pls check them and their books out.
They are an invaluable resource for genuine seekers)