Chapter 7

Prince Yuri Lubovedsky

REMARKABLE AND OUT OF THE USUAL RUN of men was the Russian Prince Yuri Lubovedsky. He was much older than I and for almost forty years was my elder comrade and closest friend.

The remote, indirect cause which led to our meeting on life’s path, and to the close bonds of many years’ friendship, was the event by which his family life had been suddenly and tragically cut short. In his youth, when the prince was an officer of the guards, he had fallen violently in love with a beautiful young girl similar in character to himself, and had married her. They lived in Moscow, in the prince’s house on the Sadovaia Boulevard.

The princess died in giving birth to her first child and the prince, seeking an outlet for his grief, first became interested in spiritualism, hoping to enter into communication with the soul of his dead beloved wife; and then, without realizing it himself, he became more and more drawn to the study of occult sciences and to the search for the meaning of life. He so buried himself in these studies that he entirely changed his former mode of living. He received no one, went nowhere and, withdrawing to his library, applied himself uninterruptedly to the questions relating to occultism which preoccupied him.

One day when he was particularly absorbed in these studies, his seclusion was broken by the visit of an unknown old man. To the astonishment of all his household, the prince immediately received the old man and, shutting himself up with him in the library, conversed with him a long time.