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It is important to rely on each other and tame human selfishness

Writer Vladimir Zarev: I pray to St. John of Rila to protect the Bulgarian nation

The Roma quarters of Vidin – volunteers give our protection masks made by a local family
Photo: BTA

Pandemic is spreading across the globe during the Great Lent. Bulgarian writer Vladimir Zarev sees biblical signs in this kind of apocalypse, where everyone is standing face-to-face with their sins.

There really is something biblical in the coronavirus scourge, the Bulgarian writer whose novels are translated in several European languages says. He is looking for the causes of the nightmare that befell humanity in the depths of human nature.

We will not survive, if we don’t change, Vladimir Zarev says in an interview for Radio Vidin. Human civilization has no future, because it cannot adapt to the ever-diminishing resources. These resources, however, could lead to devastating wars that will sweep away all wonderful things ever done by the human civilization, Vladimir Zarev went on to say.


The author of the trilogy -Genesis, The Exit and the Choice has been spending his days of ordeal with spiritual activities. He refused to be part of the virtual world of Internet and rereads books instead, meanwhile thinking over the plot of his future novel. His next book lays the emphasis on the Albotinski rock monastery near the town of Vidin (Northwest Bulgaria) and the life of a hesychast monk who talks to God in silence.

People nowadays also need solitude and reflection- to think of themselves and others. Vladimir Zarev says.

I have long shared my feeling that intelligence is the cancer of nature, Vladimir Zarev told Radio Vidin. Just like the cancer disease, humans destroy the world and the whole mankind with their arrogance and extreme selfishness. That is why I think that the current pandemic is a response to human insanity. The extreme liberalism and the seeming perception that money and success can buy happiness are ridiculous.

Happiness, however, is in much simpler things-to stay healthy, to live and be loved. In Vladimir Zarev’s words, it has nothing to do with the “global person” who is programmed to be a consumer throughout his whole life.

We know that the market economy is stable if the gross domestic product increases by 5% a year, Vladimir Zarev reminds. But I am asking how long this will continue? 5% increase means that in 10 years, humanity will produce twice as much. In other words, the economy will consume excess energy, excess labor and most of all excess raw materials, which are not endless. At the end of the day, we only need two or three pairs of shoes a year.

I learned that a family living in New Road residential district in Vidin made face-protection masks and donated them to the whole neighborhood. This is an exceptional act, Vladimir Zarev exclaims and adds that when one faces the most severe obstacles, he can show his worst features, or become a better person.

In situations of tension and fear it is important to be together, to rely on each other, be self-disciplined and wise and try to quell ourselves and our senseless greed which does not allow us to be spiritual beings, the Bulgarian writer further says. We should also remember the words of Apostle Paul: “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it”.

Edited for Radio Bulgaria by Diana Tsankova

English version: Kostadin Atanasov


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