Interviewer: Is it because the Bulgarian people has a divine predetermination that throughout the years it has suffered so much humiliation both at home and from abroad, Mr Tolev?
Vaklush Tolev: I don’t consider predetermination to be enough, one needs purpose, too. This is my definition of these two terms. Our alphabet, for instance, was predetermined for Great Moravia, but, as you know, its true purpose was to come to our spiritual fireplace. Tired and persecuted words, tired and persecuted apostles of culture were welcomed into our spiritual temple and we did something that the world does not have.
The Bulgarian people really had the historical purpose of protecting the eastern invasion called Islam. Arguably, under the so-called Byzantine yoke we gave birth to several great legends. The “Legend of Thessaloniki” was born and it described our people as the people with the purpose – and it really was a purpose – of bringing back to the Lord, at the end of time, the purest Teaching of Christ.
Interviewer: Do the contemporary Bulgarians, through their care of physical survival, show their spiritual superiority, some sort of spiritual perfection and resilience?
Vaklush Tolev: Survival, as a tendency, can preserve only historical presence, but not cultural presence. Service was what gave Bulgarians the purpose to create culture in the world. So, if they now cared only about survival, they would have rebelled many years ago.
Instead, and truly with real inner resilience, with the idea for the great divine service, they put up with things that would be humiliating for others.
Interviewer: How does the Forum for Spiritual Culture help Bulgarians rise above the every-day issues of life?
Vaklush Tolev: Culture is a social prayer! Everyone prays in their own ways – one would light a candle, another with incense, yet another with a silent prayer, as our Hesychasm teaches… And what? All this is a common prayer. A Bulgarian woman from the Rhodope mountains, for example, would weave something stunningly beautiful, another one would sing for you, someone else would tell a tale. Even a fairy tale is an idea about prayer in culture.
An interview with Vaklush Tolev, Varna TV, 27.05.1996
Translation: Borislav Zlatkov