“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit.”
1 Corinthians 12:7
There are many questions occupying the human mind, many questions with which the humankind has been occupied in the past as well; there will be such questions in the future too. I will give a short definition of the term Spirit. Many minds have a vague idea of the Spirit; even in the mind of people, having large knowledge, this idea is vague. You may ask how it is possible that someone is learned but his or her ideas of God are vague. I answer: very naturally – if you would have been deprived of eyesight and there would be a picture before you, you would have a very vague idea of it. Hence, the idea of the Spirit could be vague for the learned one too. When examining this matter, we should take into consideration whether we have the corresponding feelings and abilities so that we can get in touch with the very essence of things, as directly or indirectly we may have idea of the world and its arrangement but these ideas would differ in the one and in the other case.
I will give you a short interpretation of the word Духъ1. In Bulgarian, this word consists of four letters. If we take the letter Д, we will see that it forms three angles and from below – the letter п. The three angles show the trinity of God, the three forces that manifest. The letter у – that are the two fingers, the forefinger and the middle finger raised upwards; they show that the human hand does something. The letter x, the cross – this is the manifestation of the force acting in four directions – one line going upwards and the other, crossing it, show the human manifestation, i.e. the two forces that disagree, that cross each other. When pointing one finger upwards, this shows that we point towards God; and when one cuts across, this is the other line of the cross – this means that the Spirit descends and determines this contradiction between God and His children. The letter ъ means the balance of the human mind wishing to enable people comprehend the main laws. I deduce this interpretation from the word’s letters themselves.
Now, the other interpretation of the Spirit is the manifestation of Its essence. Take, for example, the Light descending from above – this is the Spirit. We know not what the Sun is. Scientists say that it is ninety two million kilometers distant from the Earth; it may be that much – we know not; but there may be several million kilometers difference in this calculation. If we decide to check, it is debatable whether we will find it at the point that scientists have fixed. And what the internal state of the Sun is – this is a deep philosophy. Some say that it is liquid, others – solid. Both may be true. But we have concrete idea of the Light descending as we can see what descends from the Sun and discloses before our eyes the whole Earth with all objects on it. Light is a Spirit descending from the Sun and having a direct contact with our life. We may liken the Spirit to this Sun too. It will not descend in a different way as if It does, It would melt, like the Sun, everything we see around us; all this would be reduced to powder and ashes or would be gasified. That is why God said, “I will not descend but will send My Spirit through the space to bring my blessing to people.” For this reason God wants not to descend to us but sends His Spirit – the Light. It is this Spirit, this creative ability that builds within us – all that we possess is due to It. This rational Force manifested by God has been determined by scientists in the form of laws, power and relationships between elements and so on; different names are given to it. But it is a rational substance that works – it is a Spirit creating laws.
The Spirit has direct communication with our soul. It is through the changes taking part in our mental world that we acquire idea about Its origin. Without the soul we would not have any idea of the Spirit. By its way of thinking, the soul presents the Divine world within us. And if there is anything Divine within us, this is the bright soul that thinks. That is why, when speaking about man we should understand it. If you divide the rational soul from man, man would remain a regular animal on four legs; he would differ in nothing else – he would eat, sleep, would have all needs and weaknesses of the animal. The Spirit manifests Itself in the human soul. For this reason man, in contrast to the other beings, walks upright. Why the other animals walk not upright? As they cut across God. Walking on four legs shows that their will is in contrast with the manifestation of God. Thousands of years will perhaps pass and they will reach that stage of man – to elevate themselves and to stand upright. We have comparatively elevated ourselves and are striving to stand more upright as we wish to get nearer to God and to be in accordance with Him – there is desire within us to walk in the Divine way. And if we make mistakes, we make them not due to malice but due to other reasons lying in our past.
Well, it is said that this Spirit is given to everyone to profit. In what exactly does this profit lie? There is certain content in the word profit itself as everyone works to profit. A worker hoes a vineyard and waits to be paid two-three levs2 by the day; a wife works something about her husband but she also waits something from him for Easter Day, for Christmas, for the great holidays, for the summer season – everyone works always to profit. Some think that life is very perfect; but what do they consider as perfect life? I understand the perfect life in this way: to have harmony, consent in all our relations. Some want to live in Heaven; but where is Heaven? Under the word Heaven I understand a state, in which complete order exists, people keep their rights and obligations to each other. Someone strives to make a progress but you make difficulties to them, you hamper them in the progress by imposing your rights and you should realize that you have duties towards them.
It is shown in the chapter from the Gospel I read what our relations should be. You may say, “But there are some meaningless things there”. A Russian saying goes, “There is order in the disorder, too.” I will say, “There is fine appearance in the scandal, too.” I will give an analogy so that you may comprehend from where the wrong ideas of things result. For example, I give someone a walnut and tell them to make a study on it. One would study its taste – they would taste its external green shell, would sink their teeth into it and would throw it away. I give the walnut to someone else. Quite sensibly, they would take off the external, the green shell, however when trying the second one they would break their teeth and would throw it away as well. I give the walnut to someone third. Much more sensibly, they would take off the top shell, would break the hard nutshell, would take out the kernel and would eat it. If we gather these three together and ask them what the walnut is like, the one would say it is tart, pungent, and poisonous; the second one would say it is a hard fruit, breaking the teeth of people; the third one – that it is something tasty and pleasant. This analogy may be adapted to our mistakes too – all things in the world are covered with shells and if we have no enough knowledge we would not find the essence.
Food is needed for the body but food is needed for the mind and the soul as well; that is to say we should eat in two ways. And when we say that it is not good to overeat, we mean that all three the body, the mind and the soul should be fed equally. This is triple circle that forms man. For this reason all those three who had expressed an opinion about the walnut were not wise enough. The one who ate the nut considers being the wisest. But no, I give the nut to a fourth one – he takes it but instead of eating it, he plants it and after ten or fifteen years this single nut will give thousands of nuts. So, there are four types of philosophizing people in the world: some say, “The world is bad, corrupted, it is not worth living”; others say, “Egoism reigns in it, it could not be worst”; third say, “The world is nice, pleasant” – they are closer to the truth. And the fourth, who are they? They are those who have entered the Divine school and have started learning, i.e. planting the good things. The best idea for people is to know that the Earth is a Divine school for them to study – to learn how to take off the upper and the lower shells of nuts and to eat not them but to plant them. And when they learn the features of all things, they will comprehend the true sense of the earthly life.
And as a master sends his servants to the vineyard to work and gives them some bread and instruments, necessary to work, so God has given man a brain as an instrument to work with. Why has He given it, to break stones or to try the bitter shell of the nut? No, to learn to plant the nut. Someone would say, “Is it possible to feel better planting walnuts only? No, it is not.” Under the word “walnut” we should understand the good thoughts, wishes and deeds that we can plant in the others. This work will bring you prosperity. When you meet with certain resistance while trying to obtain some wish, do not discourage and do not give it up. God has dressed a thought in three-four garments – one may be not appropriate but the other will be appropriate. If you take off the bad garment, if you plant your thoughts in good soil, they will give good fruit anyway – this is how I look on things. Evil is imaginary – these are the external shells of things. And people are seemingly bad; not that they are not bad, they are, but in their essence they are still not bad as evil cannot come out from God. Evil results from certain relations that we have in the world.
Two families live in one house with four rooms; one family has more children and the other has less. When they begin disputing about who how many rooms should take suddenly they quarrel. I ask, why does this quarreling about rooms happen? This is quite insignificant reason. And one family starts backbiting the other, “They are wrong-headed people” and so does the other about the first. In fact, both families are wrong-headed as a reasonable person would never quarrel. This word, kara3, is of Sanskrit origin – to quarrel means to be in darkness. People who are in Light do not quarrel. A certain mental derangement in our brain clouds our thoughts and then bad desires follow. When we have bright thoughts we are ready to live in peace and agreement; but once a small derangement occurs, we are ready to change our attitude. So, evil results from the derangement of the human mind.
Now, as God knows that certain darkness exists on the Earth causing harm (darkness always causes harm; if we would have been living constantly in darkness, it would atrophy all our senses: eyes, ears and so on like some fish that has been living in the submarine caves for years and has lost its ability to see), He has sent just this Spirit to react on us, on our thoughts and feelings, on the body so that we think rightly of things and form right idea about them. First, we should form right idea of ourselves, i.e. what our attitude to God should be. In my opinion, the Earth is a School for the individual human soul only. If there is anything real in the world, this is the human soul. Some ask themselves, “What am I?” I am what thinks, feels and wishes. And every thought, every feeling and desire has its form. When you want to make a gun to kill people by it, how will you adjust it? You will take some practical considerations of what it should be – should be sharp, should be able to destroy. You make a ball for children to play, do you make it sharp? No, you make it round, smooth to not do any harm to the child as all these things that are sharp are harmful. They say for someone that he or she has a cultivated mind. Yes, if it is necessary to be at war, he or she should have a very cultivated mind as well as explosives – to strike, to crush. But living in a peace society, what need and what use do people have of such a keen and sharp mind? And, in wartime, if you put at the head someone with a mind of limited scope, that one would be not in the proper place as well. We have changed the course of things – we have put dull things at sharp ones or vise versa. I do not say that we should not fight on the Earth. Fighting in Nature has two principles: one that destroys and another that builds. But in both, there is constant exhaustion. We exhaust ourselves not only when we love but when we hate, too, as one who hates, breaks stones and what sense life would have for us exhausting it in breaking thousands tons of stones? When we constantly wish evil, we constantly break stones. By the way, God needs this material as well – He will use our work to make smooth roads and people will thank us indirectly for having broken the stones needed for their road. Whatever we do in the world, our labour will be of use – if not to us, then to others. In the first case, if we love, we do conscious work and in the other case – unconscious; therefore the reward cannot be the same.
So, if you wish that the Divine Love manifests, the Spirit should be in you; you should enable it manifest. But the Spirit is a very delicate being; do not think that It will come to knock hard on your door. No, He will tap gently on the door of your heart and if you open It, It will thoroughly change you life at once, will show you how to live; if It taps on the door of your will, It will tell you what you should do, consciously at that. And if you open not, you will soon understand what you have lost. Meeting an idiot, remember that in the past that one has not opened the door when the Spirit had tapped on it. You say that someone is stupid, why? As, when the Spirit once tapped on the door of their mind, they rejected It. For someone cruel you should know that they also have not welcomed the Spirit tapping at their heart. Cruelty is like a crystal having no mildness. However, do not think that sometimes there are no good people among the cruel; but as a whole they are not for an organized human society. And so, we should be always ready to make room for the Spirit to make Its way and to manifest Itself within each of us.
Some say, “We wish to see the Spirit.” But the only thing you see is the Spirit. He speaks but as your ears are dull you do not hear, like deaf people do not hear when you speak to them. You wish to hear; well, tune your ear to comprehend what the Spirit is speaking to it. – “I wish to see the Spirit.” Good, but if your eye is veiled, how will you see It? I repeat, the only thing we see in the world, is the Spirit. This flower that I am holding is a Spirit and if you could see, you would see the entire human figure in it. Why do you not see now? As your eyesight is limited, you can see only the thick parts and not the thin ones. For example, some things are shown to you to be round – the walnut; but if you sow it, will a round stem sprout? It will manifest its nature at once. In order to know things, you should sow them in their soil. And if you are able to sow this flower in this way, you will see at once that it is a rational being as well. And what does this flower speaks to you; why has this colour been put? It has been put to show that Life without Love has no sense. And, for thousands of years, it has been speaking to people what they should do – that they should love, that the mind should be neither too sharp nor too dull. In some cases, it should be sharp; but when you are among wise people, witticism is not needed. When you are among enemies, your heart should be hard while among friends – soft. You should know how to love. When you take a rose and smell it, two things are manifesting, one – tender fragrance and the other – thorns. Everyone have their thorns but they, of course, are not the person. Thorns are for those conditions in life when people should fight, should defend themselves, when they should not be quite tender. You should not make agreements with devils; you should have thorns against them. While among friends your gunpowder should be damp. There is time when it should be dry and there is time when it should be damp. What would a husband do when his gunpowder is dry and his wife banters him? When they marry, both should make the gunpowder damp. For the world your gunpowder should be dry, just in case… This is an allegory I am giving so that you may learn all the relations existing in the world.
You have friends and say that you know them; but until you do not know both the dark and the light side of your friends, you know not them well. You wish to be always good; in certain circumstances you should be good and in others you should be bad. When you make your friend angry, you should defend yourself and in order to defend yourself you should know how to fight. If you fight an enemy, you do your job; if you fight peaceful or unarmed people, you do silly things. They say, “Life is fight.” After marrying, the man, too, says, “Life is fight.” And whom does he fight?” His wife; and the wife - her husband. They give birth to children; they also read the motto “Life is fight” and say to themselves, “Well, whom will we fight? –Our little brothers and sisters.” And they start fighting; start tearing each other’s hair and when they break into tears they go to mummy and daddy. People have a motto! Having no a real enemy, they create such – a husband against a wife, a brother against a sister, a priest against his flock, a teacher against their students. These are people who do not comprehend Life. Fight must exist but against the nature that should be submitted. When we are going to demolish a rock in the mountains, to bore a tunnel, I can understand that we should act in this way, but I cannot understand why to use these means in an organized society. This shows that people do not comprehend the relation existing between them and their Spirit – the tasks which their Spirit sets them.
In the chapter I read, apostle Paul has described what this attitude should be. You may ask me, “Thousands of relations exist in the world, don’t they?” But we should choose only those that are good for us. For example, we should know the relations of water to us – if we put it in our stomach, there will be good results; but if we put it in the lungs, there will be quite different results. If we bring air in the lungs, this will be good for us, but if we bring air in the stomach, it will have just the opposite result and so on. Things have relations to certain organs – we should know where the place of water, of air, of light, of sound, of smell is. You may say, “But we know these things – that light is necessary for the eyes and sound – for the ears.” Good, but do you comprehend the inner sense of this light? What do you say to yourself morning, at Sun rise? - “Ha, the Sun has risen.” But when someone says, “The teacher is coming”, what do the students understand? All of them move, take their textbooks and sit down to their desks. As soon as the Sun rises, each of us should take their textbook, should say, “The Teacher-Spirit is coming” and should sit down to their desk and ask themselves what they have to do this day. The Sun says, “I am going to examine you, you will answer; I will give you and you will give me.” This is what Sun rising understands. If everyday we can know the program our Spirit has arranged, life would pass very good. You would say, “But today’s Sun is like the yesterday’s – it rises alike.” No, in my life, I have not seen two similar days and the Sun rising alike; every day differs from the others and every day has its program. And the light coming is not the same – it differs from the one that has come several days ago. In this exactly is the majesty of the Divine Spirit bringing countless treasures, invisible worlds and revealing what God in Himself is. He is something great.
You meet a friend and ask, “How do you estimate Ivan?” – “He is 1,5 m or 1,65 m tall, he has bushy eyebrows, his lips are on the plump side, he is a great eater and is fond of a drum.” But this is not important, one day you come to love him and then his thick lips, his external, visible shortcomings disappear – you start seeing something else in him. This means that you remove the first shell of the walnut – you see his mind. If you plant it, half of the nuts it would bear would be for you and the other half – for him. If you eat it, what would you benefit? Both you and Ivan would benefit nothing. So, when coming, the Spirit says that every day you should sow better thoughts, better desires. You meet a friend of yours and sometimes you say, “I know not what to speak.” You see that people chatter much but you know not what to say or you speak many things but not what is necessary. First you should plant the nut and after planting it you can talk as much as you wish – you should not talk before planting the nut. One who has worked comes back home and says, “I worked, I am tired, I am hungry.” Talking shows certain relations existing between us and our actions.
The first thing you should do every day is to ask yourself the question, “What fruit should I plant today?” If you plant a walnut, after a time it will bring its treasures in abundance. You would comprehend this proverb only when you go back (as you will) to the next world, from where you have come; then you will notice what benefit have brought all those good desires and thoughts that you had sown, the acts of kindness you have done to your fellow men, your friends, wife, children. These things are still obscure to you. Another example – you say to yourself, “I support this son now, but who knows whether he will look after me one day. I give education to him now so that he looks after me when I become old.” Do not expect that he will look after you when you become old; and you may not become old, you may depart earlier than him without becoming necessary to look after you. A mother says, “Oh, if only I have a daughter to look after me in my old age.” This is a very wrong view on life. Ensure good education to your children and wait for nothing for you. If you have sown a good nut in them, they will not only look after you but will love you as well. When a mother is not loved by her children this shows that she has not been able to educate them. So, the first thing needed for children to love you is to learn them to love you under the guidance of this Spirit.
I will end my lecture with a comparison: there are three relations that we should keep – in the world, God exists, we exist and a certain society exists. Some put themselves in the first place saying, “Me, then the society and finally God.” This is completely wrong solution of the matter. Others say, “First the society – I live for the people, for the society; them come I and finally – God”; this is a bad solution as well. Third say, “First is God, the Lord, my Spirit, then I – the rational soul that should serve Him, after that should serve the society and finally should serve myself.” This is the right solution. Any other solution would be wrong. All mistakes result from the following: we want to know whether the society is the head or we. If we put three heads on a body, it would do nothing – all the time there would be disagreement which way to start. Sometime you fight what to decide – this shows that you have three heads; cut the two, let God be a head. Everything should be in its place.
Ask yourself now, who is your head. If you say this is God I would be glad. Put God at the head. And do you know what your state will be then? There will be no hesitation, no fear, and no trepidation – you will have will, you will be bold, resolute, wise, good people. You will be rich in any respect – whatever you take in your hand will turn into gold. Some are afraid of money; only the stupid are afraid. Why? As they are poor in spirit. You know what the legend says about the righteous Job – that he had worms and presenting them to some beggar, the worms turned into gold coins. If you are like Job, the worm you give will turn into gold. You often treat worms unjustly but they do excellent work in the world, the contemporary world is due to them very much. When God takes them and gives them to you, they turn into gold coins. And what is this gold, this coin that God gives to you? You acquire knowledge and experience. When a wise woman takes dirty wool, what does she do with it? She washes it, cards it, spins it and weaves a cloth; the stupid, on the contrary, seeing the dirty wool, will throw it out. How many times God has given Spirit to you and you have rejected It!
What does the rule require? Coming back from work in the evening, you should take off your rucksack and leave it in the entrance-hall; leave in the entrance-hall all dealings you have as well; you should enter the room free as if there are no any dealings for you in the world and should say, “Thank God for what He has given to me.” Eat enough, thank Him again. And in the morning, when you get up, take the rucksack or the papers and go to work. What do we do? We come back in the evening, go to bed with a full rucksack on the back and turn over in the bed all the night. The Spirit says, “Take off the rucksack, its place is not here.” We sit down to table – we feel ill as we have a rucksack on our back. We should take it off and have our meals – this is the message of the Spirit. But some people have been wrong – leave this matter out, in the entrance-hall; is it possible that God knows not that people make mistakes, are we the people to put the world to rights? There is who to put the world to rights. Coming back in the evening, we should thank God for having sent us among these sinful people to teach us good lessons. Meeting such people, we should tell them, “We carry your rucksack very well.” They are sinners and in this state they are people with rucksacks. One day the rucksacks will be removed from their back. Someone is rude, sour; why? As they have not taken off their rucksack from their hearts. Another one cannot think, why? Let them take off their rucksack from their mind and then they will think well.
Now I am going to give one more example and will end. There are two extremes, two opposites in the real life that we should always take into consideration: these are good and evil – two poles, the end points of contact of the earthly man’s life. In old times, a king had two daughters – the elder was very beautiful and slender, but was very foul-mouthed; the younger was very good by nature but very ugly by face. Due to these external and internal defects, no one of the surrounding princely sons wished to ask for their hands. Worried for the future of his daughters for remaining without heirs, the father decided to summon a consultation of the wisest people in his kingdom so that they show a way from this dead-end. Among the various good advises offered by all, the oldest and the wisest by the way gave the following advice, “You will build an inn for the general benefit and the first two young men who come in it will be your two sons-in-law stored by the future for you.” The good father thought that perhaps fate would smile on his white hair and would send high-born people from some royal houses. When the inn was finished and opened, the first visitors were really two young men. But much to the surprise of the father one of them was blind and the other – deaf. Being surprised by this, the king called the old wise man and told him, “What is this, one is blind and the other is deaf? How will we settle it, I don’t see,” The wise man said, “I will tell you – you will marry the deaf man the beautiful daughter and the blind one – the ugly daughter.” So did the king. And indeed, both marriages turned to be happy, his daughters lived well. At one time, the sons-in-law started to feel internally shy from their defects. One, who was deaf, used to raise his shoulders when his wife was crying and fulminating against him, and to say, “That’s it, when a man is lacking in some sense. I would give everything in this world if only I could hear at least one of her sweet words.” While listening to the wise and sweet speech of his wife, the blind one, from his side, used to say, “What a grand person she is, how beautiful she should be! Being blind is my greatest misfortune in this life. I would give everything to see the external image of this Divine treasure at least for a moment.” This reached the ears of the king and he called the old wise man and asked him to say if it is not possible in some way to change the fates of both his sons-in-law, to get free from their defects. The venerable old man said, “It is possible but their happiness and bliss on the Earth will be spoiled.”
If God has bound you together with the beautiful king’s daughter and has deprived you of hearing, do not feel sorry for not hearing her voice. Enjoy her appearance and thank; do not wish to hear her words lest you should be hurt and contradict yourself – two goods cannot be gathered together on the Earth. If God has bound you together with the ugly king’s daughter and has deprived you of eyesight, of the temporary illusions of the earthly life, thank too – enjoy her good speech, her sweet language; do not wish to see her appearance as you will lose even what you have. Good is not always dressed in royal mantle. Only in Heaven Goodness and Beauty live together. Here, in this world, Good and evil alternate in human life. If in some life God binds you together with the evil, then thank Him, do not be ashamed – you know not the deep reasons why this has been done. Do know that the aim is for Good – gradually you will comprehend the great Love of Heaven. If in some other life He binds you with the Good, thank Him and do not wish to dress the royal mantle and to feast your eyes on your appearance. Do not strive to reconcile the Good and the evil within yourself, this is impossible. This has been given to you so that you learn to know the deep aspects in the life of the Spirit. Your defects will be removed when your heart opens, the Spirit comes and your soul joins with Him.
3rd May 1914, Sofia
1 Духъ - “Spirit” in Bulgarian
2 Lev – Bulgarian currency
3 kara – quarrel in Bulgarian