"And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meal in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples."1
Here is an ordinary verse without substance or sense similar to an ordinary little stone keeping its wealth inside, not outside itself. I shall use the word "publican" in the sense of simple people. The poor person and the sinner are two brothers. The poor person is dispirited of money and gold, therefore they lack means, but the rich person always uses the poor person for work. The sinner is a person deprived of wisdom and knowledge that is why s/he sins. I call the simple people "bankers". But I call the present day bankers "tax collectors". They collect the taxes or take 5% or 10% interest, as much as they can. The tax collectors today also collect their percentage.
And those publicans and sinners came and sat at the table with Christ. You may ask, "How is it possible for such a Master to admit such people to sit at the table with Him?" By the word table I understand school not the old school, the Old Testament of Moses, but the new school of Christ. Christ’s disciples are the first disciples of the new school, of the New Testament. The publicans and sinners represent the old culture, the old school - the Law of Moses. Are all children who enter school learned? Most of them are simple and ignorant. How many children at school have patched clothes, but they are much more diligent in their studies than the sons of the rich? Therefore, those publicans and sinners are disciples who have come to study the new teaching.
Contemporary Christians, not comprehending the deep sense of this teaching, have divided the church into sinners and righteous people, or to actual members of the church and listeners. There are listeners in all churches who are tested for a number of years before becoming actual members of the church. After spending 10 or 15 years in a church as a listener such a person is asked what they have learnt about Christianity, and they answer, "When Christ comes, He will explain it all." I wish Christians today would pass a test to find out if they are leaving a class or if it is time for them to graduate from school. Then we shall find ourselves in a contradiction which we can see in the following story: A great wise king in ancient times wanted to test the tendencies of his most enlightened subjects and that is why he put them to a test. He placed ten fine objects in a very beautiful building and called ten of his subjects each of who was a representative of the then existing social classes. Such classes exist here as well. These classes bore very different names given to them by their founders, just as every newborn child is christened with a name. The name is sanctified by a person and it is not the name that makes the person: it is not the firm that makes a merchant honest, but the honest merchant makes his firm honest; it is not the censer that makes the priest saintly, but the priest himself makes his censor give light; it is not the book that makes a person intelligent, but the person makes the book of good content. So that wise king called to this exhibit ten men to choose one of the ten objects he had exposed. The ten objects were: a precious crown which cost millions; an ancient large jar full of gold; a golden sword, a golden pen, a telescope, a bottle full of the nectar of life which, according to the alchemists of old, rejuvenated people; a pair of compasses; a grain of wheat; a book by a great wise man and an egg. Then he called the representatives of the nation, i.e. these classes, to choose whichever object they liked.
The first one chose the golden crown and put it on his head; the second one took the jar of gold; the third one took the golden sword and at once girded himself with it; the fourth took the golden pen; the fifth - the telescope; the sixth the bottle with the elixir of life; the seventh the compasses; the eighth the grain of wheat; the ninth the book of the wise man and the last the egg. Which of them won? You are intelligent, how would you solve this riddle? The first one, who took the crown, became a king; the second - a banker; the third - the most eminent general of the country; the fourth - a judge, the greatest jurist and a writer, because he was engaged with the divine right of the world (the present law is human); the fifth, who took the telescope, became an astronomer to study the stars (astronomy was founded then); the sixth, who took the life elixir, became a doctor; the seventh, who took the pair of compasses, became an engineer; the eighth, who took the grain of wheat, became a farmer; the ninth, who took the book of the wise man, became a teacher and the last one, who took the egg, did not gain anything. All these people gained something, but the one who took the egg did not gain as the others, because the nine persons acquired a profession. So he wondered what to do with the egg and tried to sell it, but no one would buy it. Apparently the egg had no value. So he decided to put it under a brood-hen and see if it could be hatched. And really the most beautiful cock came out of it, but it was very greedy so that hens and cocks shunned its company. The man started feeding him, but he had to sacrifice much for him and started to beg.
The master of the cock was forced to visit the other nine people, who had gained something by their objects, and ask them for help for his cock. And, actually, today all are talking about this cock. Charity societies are founded whose purpose is to better the condition of this cock, i.e. the condition of the nation they had got together to work for. A new party is organized which says, "The bettering of the condition of our nation is in our program." Today we all have good aspirations and good intentions, but which is the most essential? Have the nine objects taken by the nine people fulfilled their real purpose? Every object in the hand of a good or bad person can fulfill one or another purpose. For instance, a sword or knife can be used to make an operation and better the condition of someone, but someone’s head can be cut off with it at the battlefield. One can write a nice book with the pen, but also such a poisonous book that its poison may be felt for ages, but a death sentence may be signed as well. By the telescope you can discover something new which would help people, but you can also discover a slave who has run away from his master and tell the authorities on him - become a traitor. You can save and prolong the life of people with the lite elixir, but you can also become rich by it. Very often when a rich person falls ill, all famous European doctors are called to help, because they will be well rewarded. But no such care is taken of poor people, as they leave them in the hands of God. When the Russian king Alexander III was dying all European doctors went to Russia.
I shall explain the aspiration of humanity today. When Christ was on the earth many publicans and sinners sat with Him. Those are two categories of people from the Old Testament. These Old Testament people still hold a foremost place in contemporary society although they bear different names now. A nation in which people are killed and hanged, in which there are prisons is an Old Testament state. In the kingdom of God there are no scaffolds, prisons and executions. This is Christ’s teaching. But you will say, "What shall we do with the sinners and criminals so many on earth?" Allow each one to take what they need. If you give them a sword, a pen, a telescope, or a pair of compasses and so on, any of the ten objects, you will give work to their mind that will satisfy them. These are incentives, do not judge the person, let him/her try. I do not judge the man who took the crown and put it on their head so as to rule. Let them experience these aspirations also. If God has permitted the existence of wolves, bears and all kinds of harmful bugs, why should we not allow every person to express him/herself in life as their incentives urge them to? If God sends to the harmful animals His Light and food, what could we have against that? That is why we must be patient and tolerant with all and not be repulsed by anyone. The wolves and the foxes are not out in nature, but among people. You have all these kinds of creatures: wolves, foxes, bears, bugs and so on. You aim a bullet at a wolf for having devoured a sheep, but in society there are people - wolves - who eat up ten persons and more. You do not say anything to them. Where is your justice then? A poor person steals a loaf of bread to feed his poor, sick family and is sentenced to a few months imprisonment. But some rich man steals thousands and thousands of leva and people say he has earned that money as a commission. A magpie eats the egg of one of your hens and you kill it - I estimate the life of a magpie to 1,000 eggs, so that you have the right to kill it only when it has eaten 1,000 eggs. The same law applies to a wolf. You can kill him after it has devoured 1,000 sheep. Such is the Divine rule in the world.
The publicans and sinners who sat at the table with Christ were there to hear the new teaching He preached. Many say, "How nice it would have been, if we also had sat at the table of Christ!" But table was very simple not like a royal table: there was no roasted lamb, hens, stuffed tomatoes or meatballs, roast sausages and so on. Since these delicious foods were lacking what was that table worth? I would not go to a table lacking all these dishes. It is said, "These publicans and sinners sat down with Christ and His disciples."
The new teaching is a great process, it is a great table with most exquisite dishes. But first you must learn to be present at the ordinary table of the stomach. Contemporary humanity is passing the state of sitting at this table. I shall not describe the table of the stomach, since you are specialists in that. The second table at which a person should be present is the table of the respiratory system and after passing the state of purification, s/he will be present at a wonderful banquet - such as the world does not know yet. There are 10,000,000 present at the table of the stomach. Each of the guests raises their glass and fork and says, "What a pleasant work this is!" we also participate in the joy of these 10,000,000 persons, or cells; this is not allegory but fact. In your stomach there are 10,000,000 cells which eat, drink and work. In the lungs there are still more guests, a greater number of cells doing their specific work. When we climb a mountain peak and breathe the pure air, the cells of the lungs raise their glasses and say, "Long live our master! How pleasant it is that our master has taken us to this high place!" When you go up to the brain, where the publicans and sinners were invited, the table is still more imposing. There are three billion and 600 million cells there - such a number of guests are invited to be present with Christ and His disciples. That is why if you send a great thought by you mind, such an enormous banquet takes place in you - in your mind - as cannot be experienced either by the stomach, or by the lungs. Therefore, the mental experiences are the highest. This is not an illusion. Is what you experience with the stomach and the lungs an illusion?
But you say, "We have houses, fields and so on." This is an illusion. What can be lost is illusion, but illusion is no other than a law of movement. These things are real, but they are transitory. It means that one time they pass through us and another time we pass through them. In the one case our thoughts and desires will pass like a film before us, but in another case we shall pass before them as travellers and look at these photographs. Therefore, in society today both processes alternate, only those travellers that go around the world are very few. There is a story characterizing the English, the Germans, the French and the Russians. Four of these nationalities were somewhere in Europe at a resort where they ate and drank together. One time they all noticed that high above them two big birds were circling. The Englishman who first noticed them turned his attention to the direction from which they came and seeing they came from the east, took his bag and went away on the first ship to investigate them. The Frenchman took his hat and went to find out what the evening papers would write about them. The German went to the library to check up the scientific data if there was anything written about these birds. But the Russian man lay on his back and, looking up, said, "So, those are eagles." And that was all. Here is how easily the Slavs solve all questions. When a Bulgarian drinks half a kilo of wine, he, too, says, "Those are eagles, what is there to think about, I need not much philosophy, they are eagles and that’s all!" It is a question of acquiring knowledge. When you acquire knowledge you say, "I know this question, so I need no papers or libraries, I see those are eagles." I do not give the preference to anyone of those four, because everyone acts according to their own temperament. All people express their character according to their temperament. When I study the life of the nations, I study it objectively, gauge it by a positive science and know what it contains. In the light of this science nothing remains secret.
Then we say about a person that s/he is honest and respectable. Who then is not honest and respectable? Is not the wolf who devours the lambs of people’s flocks honest? Or a tigress playing with her cubs - is she not honest? That the wolf acts dishonestly is another’s opinion. The wolf says, "I do not care about the opinion of people." You say that the lamb and sheep are noble animals, but ask what the grass thinks of them - when they tread on it, it is crushed and all eaten up, so it cannot grow. We say the sheep are the emblem of nobility. Which sheep? You are wrong thinking these sheep are noble. There are other sheep in the world: the ones that our shepherds graze are the shadows of the real sheep. Christ says, "I have other which are not of this house. And must gather them." What does Christ signify by the word "lamb"? You will say, "We know what a lamb is - it is born of a sheep, it is a pretty, playful thing; when its head is cut, it makes a tasteful meal." The lamb signifies the fire that purifies life. And when they call Christ a lamb, it means He is the divine fire that purifies humanity. Every person who can find this divine fire will have found the elixir of life right here on earth. Now the question of the sheep remains for you so that you can think about this word. I shall speak to you about the sheep some other time. I speak with them daily, you only meet them, and I find them the most underprivileged in the world, but the most noble and the happiest. A wolf cannot eat them, worms do not enter their stomach, they do not die of illness or hunger, neither are they afraid of the shepherd’s knife; they do not cast their wool on the earth, do not give their milk, neither can you churn it for cheese and butter. But you must know that the beauty of their wool brings life and blessing to the whole world. They speak little, for they are not very eloquent as orators and speak only during the pause when the orator raises the toast. During that time they manage to say just one word. And everything is due to these sheep. All great statements in the most distant past that have not lost their sense yet were spoken by them. The authors of these great statements are not yet known, but thanks to them the world exists and the present authors become eminent. When someone writes a book today, s/he says, "I have written this book and no one has the right of reprinting it without my permission."
When you listen to me talk like this, you think I have a special purpose in mind, but I simply wish to converse a while with you and give you a treat. I do not busy myself with philosophic matters, neither do I deprive those authors who can busy themselves with philosophy of their right to do so. I do not want to touch king’s crowns, neither do I take the jar of gold, the telescope, the compasses, the pen nor the grain of wheat. I do not touch the egg, either. I have chosen the number 11: it is the unfortunate number in the world. There was no more unfortunate number for the Jews than the number 11. The number 13 is unfortunate today for the cultured Europeans, you can hardly make anyone engage a hotel room N13. Why is the number 11 unfortunate? This number has no father and mother, it is a number of contradictions in life. Why do contradictions exist in life? There is a definite cause for their existence. The number 4 is a law of contradictions for the cause of righteousness. There are causes in the world for every activity, you should not look for beautiful flowers in winter because winter is the number 4, but you should look for them during a definite time and season of the year, you should look at them in the numbers 1 and 2. If you want to find different kinds of fruit, you will find them during a definite time of the year, in the number 3. There is a definite time for all manifestations in life.
The Bulgarians are right when they say there are unlucky days. It is not a superstition. For instance, you start on a trip to the North Pole, but you start on a hot summer day. If you do not take into consideration that you will need warm clothes for that place, you will be sure to get a cold. Therefore, the cold winter days are unlucky days in life. I have heard some Bulgarians say, "I do not start any work on Tuesday and Friday, or go out." They are right for there are really unlucky days in life. I would like to see someone who is not superstitious start on a journey on an unlucky day and see how far s/he will get. If the person is educated, s/he will say, "I could not reach my destination at the definite time and place because it was foggy, there was a big storm and so on." If the person is simple, they will attribute their failure to the fact that they have started on Tuesday or Friday, as these are unlucky days. The educated person says that thunder is due to the joining of two opposite forces, while the simple say that saint Elijah is driving a two-horse carriage in heaven. The simple person knows electricity is the cause of cloud formation, but they admit there is another higher power too. The legend has it that saint Elijah rides a two-horse carriage in heaven so that besides the positive and negative electricity, there are also two horses and a man, i.e. an intelligent force directing these two forces. As educated people then try to explain how the following is done. I am at a distance of 50 kilometers. When the shell from my cannon reaches you, you will hear the shot but you will experience the result of the shot as well. I ask you: which is the reason that made the shell reach you? You will say that the cause of this is the effect the explosive causes. This is true, but it explains only one third of the truth, because there is also another cause which makes these explosives cohere and as a result of these several causes, the explosion takes place.
This way you will come to the very mind of the inventor. For every phenomenon in life there are simultaneously three causes. That is why we cannot say we are very educated, because we do not know all the three causes of certain acts. We say that we know how a certain political event has taken place and that the persons who took part were bribed and so on. However, the reason why these people were bribed is much farther than we see it. It is not an explanation of that psychological moment. How is it possible for a person who loves his/her country to sell him/herself for money, be it millions? The cause may be quite different.
They say that Judas betrayed Christ for 33 silver pounds, but this is not all. The important thing is to know what reason made him betray Him. The reason of this betrayal is much deeper. When we know the real reason, we must not judge anyone - thank this Judas who fulfilled the undesirable role of betrayal. If Christ had not been crucified, salvation would not have come for humanity. You will say, "Here is a man who does not talk logically." I shall explain to you why I think so. If I sow a grain of wheat in the earth, would I not be a Judas for it? I am a betrayer for that grain of wheat temporarily, but at the same time I am its savior. How would a grain develop and multiply if it is not sown? Therefore, things must be considered wisely and seriously and there should be no judging. In the papers today there are only attacks and criticisms. This is no science. The real motives of things and events should be studied before we pronounce the verdict. And when we want to correct humanity, we should understand the laws governing the human soul. Some ask me, "Do you think that by speaking so much, you can set the world right?" I tell them I have no such purpose, but only give a banquet to my guests. If anyone of you is hungry or thirsty, they will come to me, I shall give them a banquet and when they are satiated, they will go wherever they wish to. When they leave nay house, I shall not write down their names for I do not wish them to remember they are indebted to me. Moreover, if they have dust on their clothes and shoes, I shall give them a brush to brush it and leave their dust in my home so that they may go out clean. How will you reconcile these two contradictions in life? Christ says, "If you enter a city and they do not receive you, when you depart that city shake off the dust of your feet." Where? In the street. But I say, "When you depart from my home after I have nourished you shake off the dust of your feet not in the street, but in my yard." If you understand this great law, when a visitor comes to you they will better shake off the dust in your house so that you can become rich. This is a law you can test. But what do you usually do? When some guest comes, you make them shake off their dust in the street and enter your house clean. You cast out your blessing and psychologically the law of destruction takes form in you.
In the Divine world destruction is not admitted. Everything in the world must create. For evil and sin are only puzzles for people. Someone is called a great sinner. This shows that the person is a master of the great sins that is why I would wish to have some of their puzzles. Such people are very inventive. Some people take a stand against the devil, but people today do not know how much they owe him. You must thank the devil. If he would disappear for a single day in the world, a great confusion would set in: money would lose its value; the priest would have no one to preach to; the mothers would not bear children; there would be no food; the stomach, lungs and brain would refuse to work; all would be free and so on. But today all people are talking about the devil - how bad he is. When you have a truck to carry your garbage out, you all say, "Pooh, how awfully this garbage smells!" But you should thank the truck carrying away your garbage, or you would get ill, if it remained in your house. That is- why today you must thank the great spirit bearing the sins of all people. Whoever sins today - the priest, the bishop, the king, or the mother and father - the devil is to blame. But I say to you that this devil is an excellent teacher. Sometimes I meet him and, greeting him, ask, "Where have you been?" "I live among these cultured people who only fight and kill each other. I teach them one thing, but they do the opposite and then complain to their Father that I am to blame for their mistakes."
Christ said, "I saw Satan falling headlong down as lightning." I shall say that I saw how the rays of the sun fell from above downwards. What does falling mean? If the sunbeams did not fall, what would become of the earth? Contemporary Christian world is full of contradictions and delusions, but there are no teachers to explain things rightly as they are in nature. For instance, some say that you should be very wise and intelligent in order to become a king, but others say that to be able to rule, you must be very rich, or that you must be a general, if you would govern your nation. But the meaning of life is not in all these things. I know two kinds of kings, bankers and generals. I know generals who wage war without killing people and our society today has a greater need of them. Some say that we do not need generals - on the contrary, we do, but we need such as fulfill their duty rightly. But those who are jealous of the rich and want to take their place, are not solving the problem. Two or three persons cannot, in my opinion, carry one sword, so that he who was born for a general will fulfill his service. In the occult science it is said that several beings can sit in a chair without disturbing each other. You will ask, "How is this possible?" I shall explain it to you. Let us suppose we have a tin container with a volume of ten kilograms. First we put in large bullets until it is full. We say the container is full, but in the inter-spaces we can put several kilograms of small pellets. Again we say that the container is full, but we can put in well-ground sand until the small inter-spaces are filled. Finally we can pour in a kilogram of water and 100 grams of the best spirits. So that these contradictory elements find room in this container which at first seemed filled only with the large bullets. Therefore, the idea that many persons cannot sit on my chair is incorrect. The ten persons who took an object from the king can sit on my chair and I, the eleventh, can sit in the very same chair. Therefore, there will be no contradiction.
I have chosen the number 11 because it makes people think. But this is done after one has passes through the greatest sufferings. All great nations of character have passed through the greatest trials, through fire and water. People should imitate the heroes of the world and not feel sorry for them. Such people choose their destiny themselves and they carry their burdens lightly. The heroes do not need to be saved for they save themselves. Now there are heroes among you, Bulgarians, as well. There is a story of a very clever thief in England. At one time the English police caught him and imprisoned him after tying his hands and feet with a rope so that he could not run away. The policeman who took food to him forgot a lit candle in his cell one evening. The thief at once thought he could save himself by this candle and burned the rope of his hands and feet. Once freed from the rope, he jumped out of the window and escaped from prison. He found his way to freedom. When you find yourselves locked up like this thief, you begin to wail and complain that your fate is heavy, unfortunate. Know that when the devil catches you and ties you up, he always leaves a lighted candle by which you can be saved and he says, "Let us see now if you are a hero!" But you sit reasoning, "How can this be! I prefer to sit tied up than burn myself." Be a hero! Burn the rope and go out! You all have such a candle - it is the human mind. Even if the devil did some evil to you, God would order him to leave you a candle by which you can be saved. Then the devil says, "We shall see now if you are a hero, i.e. a person for heaven, or will remain my slave. Are you worthy of untying yourself and starting on your upward way, on the narrow path, or you will remain here to plow for me?" Why do Bulgarians plow today? They have not been able to free themselves on time and the devil has yoked them to plow for him, saying, "Come on, come on!" This is an allegory for you to think about.
Many say today, "This is what Pythagoras said one time, this is what Trismegistos2 has written on his golden slab; this is what Kant has said" and so on. My respect to these thinkers, but do you know where these learned men have taken their teaching from? Everybody admires their teachings and interprets them. Their interpretations are like those some theologians today make on the messages of the Apostle Paul, etc about the definite and indefinite article, saying, "The Apostle Paul has not put this article or that on its place." Their criticism and interpretation consists in this. When you write anything, do not think where to put this or that article, but see that your thought should be right and have good substance. Apostle Paul could have expressed the same thought without articles and commas. When you cut out a dress one part of it will be the front and another - the back. Thinking of the definite article shows that a certain person is a definite member3 of a church, but speaking of the indefinite article shows that they are only candidate members. There is no philosophy in this.
The deep philosophy lies in what nature has created. There is a much deeper content in a flower than in the scientific thesis of Pythagoras, or Critique of Pure Reason of Kant, or the ten rules of Trismegistos written on the golden slab. You walk across a meadow and tread on a flower, which is of more value than the books of these people, and go on philosophizing, "This is what Kant has said." Yes, my friend, you trampled the flower before reading what was written in it, in its book. You say, "I believe in God." No, my friend, you are most ignorant, you are a person of the Old Testament, a publican and a sinner; you have raised a whole scandal about the Sabbath and so on. The world was not created for any Sabbaths and there is no definite Sabbath for rest. In the world there is only one Sabbath - it is the Sabbath of love and the baptism by fire. They who are heroes of their virtues have the law of love. Those who are baptized by the divine love and wisdom, will be Sons of God. Therefore, love without wisdom does not mean anything, neither does wisdom without love. These two great powers - love and wisdom - must penetrate deeply in you and you must understand them in all their breadth and depth, i.e. as they are manifesting in this wide divine world. Only this way the present teaching will acquire meaning. If I begin to talk to you about the present day algebra and geometry, they will become alive; if drawing and poetry are studied rightly, the result will be quite different. Poetry today emphasizes rhymes. The world is full of trite poetry - verses only rhyming without making sense. But one can find some sense even in such rhymes. Wise and unwise are relative things. From the story I told you about choosing one of the ten objects, the one who chose the egg made the best choice, as a cock came out of the egg. What is the Cock? It is the law of self-sacrifice, i.e. of constant giving on your part and taking on the part of the others. Thanks to this great law of self-sacrifice the world is moving on and all these ten objects - the crown, the pen, the telescope and so on - owe their progress to the cock. There is something much higher than the cock and it is to find the meaning of life even in all your failures.
You put the crown on your head, but this condition does not satisfy you, the cock crows, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" This means not crowing on time - you took the crown but you did not find the meaning of life.
You are a merchant who comes home discouraged and displeased, the cock crows, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"
You have read some book of wisdom, but have not comprehended anything in it, the cock crows, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"
You have sown wheat and other grain, but the year was not fruitful and you are disappointed in your hopes, the cock crows, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"
The cock today tells people many things about their affairs, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" This crowing means much.
I shall leave you thinking about the word "Cock-a-doodle-doo" until the next sermon.
Sermon held on May 25, 1919.
1 Matthew 9:10
2 Hermes Trismegistos (Emerald Tablet-about the Is1 century AD), the author of various alchemical occultic, and theological works much respected by Arabs, (see encyclopaedia Britannica, Arabic alchemy) (ed. note)
3 This is a pun— in Bulgarian "article" is the same word for "member". (transl. note)