After reading Practical Alchemy I noticed that English Serebrov books are available in the Amazon Kindle store which lowered the barrier to try some more of his writings. I bought the first two of the series “Lessons From Master G.”, Follow Me being the first one.
The book was originally published in 2001 in Russian and was first made available in English in 2006. Where after the first book I had to look around a bit who “Master G.” would be, the current title begins with a photo saying: “This book is in memory of Vladimir Stepanov a.k.a. Master G”. So no secrets about his identity.
Where in Practical Alchemy Serebrov is the master and G is only in the background, Follow Me tells the story of how the author met his master. Just as the other book, it is written as a story with people talking and thinking; the observations of the author.
I am not entirely sure when everything in the book took place, but the second book starts in 1982, so I suppose we are here talking late 1970’ies. Serebrov presents himself as a searcher for enlightenment who is acquainted with other people who have the same goal. At some point he dreams he has to visit a friend and there he meets a mysterious person “just call me G”. This is the beginning of a lengthy apprenticeship.
We follow Serebrov as he is taken onboard the metaphorical ship of Master G and in spite of having a job, he is constantly called to accompany G to cities all over Russia. He has to choose between “the path” and normal life. On their travels the author meets a wide range of different people, many of whom appear to be other disciples of G, often charming young ladies, some male brutes. Everywhere the author comes, he is mocked by the other people present. Apparently this is a method of G to “raise the Alchemical temperature” in order smelt the author’s gold and to burn vices. The author describes talks between himself and G and between G and other people giving a bit of an idea of what is going on, but do not expect some sort of coherent philosophy or initiatic path.
In my review of The New Age Of Russia I wrote of Stepanov (G): “He was quite the character in the more intellectual type of esoteric groups.” Serebrov does not present him as just an intellectual. G’s eyes show infinity, his touch gives Serebrov a mystic moment, G controls the spiritual atmosphere in his presence, etc. In other words, G is the initiate who has a very personal approach of recruiting and teaching his students. Towards the end he says:
I’m busy creating a mystical group that will continue building on the School in the worlds behind the curtains.
As the story goes on, the reader gets an idea of the esoteric undercurrent in Russia, what kind of people are involved, different cities are encountered, some of the (drinking) habits of these often upper class people, the risks of esoteric interest in Russian society etc. A humble author who mercilessly describes his own doubts and failings. I suppose in later books he develops the confidence who portrays in Practical Alchemy.