Evaluation of people. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. 1934

tsiolkovsky_smileLet us start with the most sublime. Only history serves us as a guide.

Let us distribute people on grounds of their value, starting from the top.

Love of a few, hate of many and indifference of the majority. Their destiny is, having done their duty, to die young due to the high and mighties. A cross, a guillotine, gallows, a bullet, all sorts of torture – that is their fate. They leave neither wives, nor offspring (Giordano Bruno).

Hundreds and thousands of years pass, and fame of the tortured grows, their influence continues after their death. It yields majestic beneficent results. Humankind raise them to the rank of gods.

Some of the despised, persecuted, arrested, sentenced to penal servitude, but nevertheless dying a natural death. Their dignity grows from the day of their death and reaches a high value many centuries after (Hamilton, Kepler).

And here are genii of a bit lower rank. They are not killed, not tortured to death, but forgotten. Their works are rejected, or decay in cellars. Hundreds of years after their death they are accidentally unveiled. Dignity of a forgotten genius is restored. It also increases with centuries. Leave no offspring (Mendel).

And here is the fourth level of extraordinary people. These obtain some fame at the end of life. Youth spent in pain, frustration, poverty, in prisons. But they die a natural death, although deprivation, exhaustion, humiliation and hunger significantly shorten their lives. Leave no offspring. Examples: Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Mendeleev, Lamarck. Their fame is much greater after death. It grows from century to century.

We also have people who reach success in middle age.  They endure a lot as well, but glory and correct assessment come earlier. They are comforted and rewarded with it, although in old age. Often they reach wealth and power by the end of life. Their lineage continues rarely.

At the sixth level of outstanding people we see the following: quick success in youth, honor and wealth. Their works are highly valued after death as well, but do not live for hundreds of years. Offspring, if any, is miserable.

The seventh level: loud practical success, career, conquests, throne. Highly praised only while alive. Estimation is ambivalent. After death, it falls and reaches negative value.

The eighth level: slight success; deeds are useful, though moderate. Forgotten after death. Leave offspring.

The ninth level: illusory success. Glory of a writer, inventor, artist, scientist. But, alas, they are still alive when contemporaries are disappointed in them. These unhappy ones outlive their fame. They are soap-bubbles.

© Alexandra Gamanenko, translation into English, 2013

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K. Tsiolkovsky named the aggregate of ideas, hypotheses, theses, which formed the core of his philosophical works, “The Cosmic Philosophy”. Its central element is a doctrine (worked out using scientific methods) regarding sense of life and its understanding in the process of implementing moral practice.

We can figure out how important these researches were for humankind from Tsiolkovsky’s own assertion that creation of his rocket science theory was only a complementary result, an addition to his philosophic works.

The scientist wrote a great number of philosophical works, which are little-known to general reader because these works used to be suppressed for decades. These books are an attempt to break through the “plot of silence” over the philosophy created by the Russian space prophet, discoverer and solver of the problems, which beginning of a “space era” put before human civilization.

New way of thinking is impossible, without looking for sense of life in the unity of inhabited space.

Addressing his readers, K. Tsiolkovsky says:

“I will endeavor to recover what got lost by humankind in multitude of millenniums, to find the philosopher’s stone it let drop.”

 “Be attentive, strain every nerve to comprehend and understand the asserted.”

“For your tension, for your attention you will be rewarded – I will not say hundredfold, it is too little, but infinitely. There are no words for expression of this goodness you will get for your effort. There is no measure for this goodness. This measure is infinity.

The Living Universe
K.Tsiolkovsky, 1923.