I dreamed about making people immortal when I was a nine years old kid. My father was a naval officer involved in the protection of nuclear submarines from nuclear strikes. He and his friends often discussed different scenarios of the nuclear armageddon over a glass of a three star Armenian brandy in our kitchen. Whichever scenario they picked there was no way how we could survive. I overheard their discussions in my bedroom through the thin wall of our ‘chrustchevka’ tiny apartment condo, especially, after they got drunk and began to almost shout. I couldn’t fell asleep after they finished and laid down in my bed for the entire night reading science fiction novels and trying to figure out how to make people immortal. My father died when I was 11. I didn’t accept the fact and refused to see him dead. For many years after I stared at people in navy uniforms in Moscow metro because I hoped to recognise my father in one of them.
Even as a child I recognised that the immortality is a very hard to achieve, if not scientifically impossible, goal. Everything dies: animals, humans, stars and the universe. Maybe, it dies to later recreate itself at a new much better level but it dies first anyway. Years passed and I almost totally forgot about my childish dream. I made a brilliant career as a diplomat. Me taking part in disarmament talks in Vienna became its culmination. One of my friends calculated then that each of us destroyed about two batallions of tanks. Diplomacy was not about tanks, however. It was about people. I switched from diplomacy to business after the collapse of the Soviet Union. My business was again about people. I became an executive search consultant helping Western companies to recruit Russian top managers and vice-versa.
I’ve created an online community of managers to make my recruitment job easier. The community had a purpose: To help people grow to fully reveal their potential. It reflected the compromise that I found between my dream and the reality how I understood it then: If we can’t be immortal, we should at least make the best that we humanly can out of the life that we have. The community grew rapidly and my partners and I couldn’t withstand the temptation to sell it when we had been offered for it millions of dollars. The community still exists although it has lost its purpose.
I was brought up as an atheist but I had a great teacher in philosophy — Genrikh Fyodorovich Khrustov — who taught me: we can’t be sure what exists beyond our sensations — matter or spirit, if anything at all. I came to the conclusion that spirit exists after my spiritual experience after surviving a stroke.
I suspect that writing is yet another way to follow my childish dream of making people immortal. It was more convenient for me after I got some limitations on travel due to a partial disability. Now it is an important part of my life. I do it for fun but I keep trying to make some money on it too. I’ve tried Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, publishing and selling my books at Amazon. It looks like I am not the best person for selling my own product. Yet I’ve found some true supporters among people whom I know for many years or met just recently. Sergei Litovchenko, Mark Fedin, Sergey Chistyakov, Igor Salita, Vadim Cherdak, Anton Derlyatka, Mikhail Ivanov, Pavel Loznevoy, Pavel Cherkashin, Lyubov Nazarova, Katerina Oparysheva, you really made me happy!
My old friend Ivan Sukhy several years ago had found and presented to me a rare book of my teacher Khrustov under the title Theory of Fact. It was a very hard to read philosophical essay with the major thought that fact is not just something given; it is a process of us learning the truth about fact. When I finished reading I started writing. Thank you, Ivan. I hope, you don’t regret what you have started.
With a group of my friends I’ve launched in March 2017 a project that we tentatively call Humanness Learning. It has partially grown from me writing Bedtime Stories for Robots, which you can find in my blog at Medium or buy as an e-book at Amazon. The e-book will be available free for my patrons, of course. My most popular story at Medium so far is Once Bitten Apple.
Writing each new book is a thrilling and joyful adventure for me. I never know beforehand where we — the book and me — will end up. The real life starts to interact with the book’s narrative leading to the turns and conclusions, which I never thought of when I started. Each new discovery brings me joy. I invite you to join this adventure!