If a certain Force, existing in Nature, does not correlate to our senses, it cannot interact with them. Let’s assume that you are with blind people and you light a match from a box of matches. Does the light of the match exist for them? No, it does not. Consequently, if we cannot perceive a Force active in our life, i.e. if we cannot perceive the Light of the Force, we cannot understand that Force. Blind people can touch the match and can assert that it is a match. Blind people may think they understand what a match means, but in fact, they have understood nothing. It is, indeed, a match; but there is something more substantial within it – Light. If your eyes can perceive Light, you open a book, read and understand what is written in the book.
So now, when we come to esoteric Forces, each Force has to be utilised and made to work. Any disciple, who doubts and says, "Prove to me that this esoteric Force really exists," is not a proper disciple. There are no debates or disputes in the esoteric School. It is not a School to verify facts and truths. We do not deal with the dead truth, but with the living Truth in the world.
Spiritualism shows the movements of the Spirit. This is the embryo of things, something not yet shaped. In order for you to understand Spiritualism, you have to create certain conditions for this embryo so that it can go through all the development and formative phases. Therefore, Spiritualism is not a well-developed form of teaching.
Theosophy is a form of teaching about reconciling the contradictions in the world. It is a science about reconciling men and women, nothing more than this. By saying reconciling men and women, I mean reconciling human beings and God. Those who believe that they are theosophists should be aware of this law – how to reconcile themselves with the ones they hate. There is a contradiction between you and God – you have to reconcile it! If you fail to do it – you are no theosophist. We, contemporary people, with our critical minds, resemble a Bulgarian well-to-do merchant, who was very stingy. He asked a tailor to cut new clothes for him, but as he knew that tailors are in the habit of stealing a little from the cloth, he stayed all the time with the tailor and watched the tailor cutting the cloth, lest the tailor steals some material. The tailor, however, seeing such nice material, cut a large piece and said, "This is for St. Nicholas," and threw it outside. The merchant yelled at him, "What are you doing?" Then he ran outside to get the piece of material and during this time, the tailor cut another even larger piece of cloth and sat on it. So I was saying that we, who criticise and are always on guard not to be deceived, are always deceived. Somebody will throw away a piece of cloth for St. Nicholas and while we are going to fetch it, this very person will hide a bigger piece for himself or herself; and we believe that nobody deceived us!
Mysticism is not a law on ascent, but a law on descent. Mystics do not ascend, but descend to God within them. The danger is that mystics do not know how to descend and while descending they may fall down and cripple themselves.
Now on esotericism: I can compare it to contemporary natural sciences. Esotericism is a science studying the phenomena on Earth, studying the invisible, not the visible. It does not deal with the shapeless worlds. What has shaped itself within itself, what has a form, content, and meaning – this is the area of esotericism.
Where then shall we place Christianity? Do you think it is a science?
(A question from a Sister) I would like to ask whether you make any differentiation between Christianity and esotericism. Are the Gospel and esotericism the same teaching?
Examine Nature as it is. There are no moral judgements in esotericism. It studies things the way they are, as pure facts.
(Question): So, Christianity is something different?
Esotericism is a science about knowing the natural Forces, the areas, ways of influence and application. Esoteric people are realists, they do not believe, they deal only with Nature, with material things. Mystics live constantly with their hearts; they experience the heart’s vibrations and all states through which it passes. In the Christian sense of understanding, mystics, theosophists, and spiritualists can be Christians. If we take, however, the area of the Spirit in its broad sense, with its deviations, this is already spiritualism. The danger with spiritualism lies in the fact that people have other embryos within themselves, which actually cause them trouble also. But for the time being we shall leave aside what critics say about it. Spiritualism is a movement; theosophy – reconciliation of contradictions; mysticism – descent, it may also be said to be the law of labour, of work; esotericism gives us all the forms in which we can live on the earth, it is the only science that teaches us how to live and that can save us from all misfortunes; Christianity is a science about liquidating karma, about payment of old debts. If we take the line from the Gospel reading that Christ bore the sins of the world, this means that He had paid its debts. What is Christianity? This is about knowing how to pay people’s debts. Well, who can pay debts? Only the rich. Consequently, rich people can be Christians, while poor people cannot.
(Question): What about the promise that Christ will make us rich?
It is a credit to Christians, to those whom Christ credits. These are traders on somebody else’s credit. Contemporary people are Christians, because Christ is a Christian. Theosophy is a science about reconciliation of the sexes, while Christianity is about bringing sexes together and uniting them. Christianity, by its intrinsic meaning, is a science about the unity of the Spirit with the soul. What is now being preached is not Christianity; it has to undergo certain transformation. If Christianity had been as we now perceive it the world would have been different. We shall leave this issue aside, as it does not fall within our scope.
Now, I want to ask you if you have learnt what torment is. We shall start with it! We shall examine all the other sciences – theosophy, mysticism etc. - from the point of view and in the spirit of torment. I shall also provide you with another explanation of these sciences. Theosophy can be examined in seven different ways. Similarly, esotericism and mysticism have external and internal aspects. The theosophical society nowadays understands only the external aspects – the organisation. Theosophy prepares these forms, which can be called anatomy of theosophy. Christianity has passed through the first stage of development and after the two thousand years behind us, the anatomy of Christianity started developing. Whether the Son flows out of the Father or not, and many other disputes have been tackled at the Ecumenical Councils. Even today Christianity boils down to the question a Christian may put to you on meeting you, "Do you believe in the three faces of God?"’– I do. – Then you are a Christian! However, I would like to ask you, now that you believe in the three faces of God, what do you understand the three faces to mean? I shall explain this to you: the second face of God is the face of Love. Man and woman, all people have to seek this second face – Love. And when it is said that God is Trinity, people also say words they do not understand. The Great Masters, who wrote on this, had a very clear understanding of the issue, but their disciples have distorted the Teaching. Spiritualism is also a Teaching, which stemmed from the Brotherhood of Light, but it was also blemished by the disciples. Theosophy is another Teaching, again sent from above, which was also stained by the disciples. Esotericism is also a Teaching given by the Brotherhood of Light, but there are esoteric people of Light and others of Darkness in it, too. Mysticism – is also corrupted. Christianity is also corrupted. Let me express myself clearly: when a priest or a bishop puts on clothes, a stole and a tiara, marries a couple and says "You have to pay that much" I call this a magician of Darkness. Magicians of Light work for free. If a young woman puts on nice clothes intending to charm a certain young man, she is also a magician of Darkness. If a young man takes special care with his outer appearance in order to charm any young woman, he is also a magician of Darkness. If a lawyer or a judge uses the law to charge somebody, such a person is also a magician of Darkness. Anyway, esoteric people, theosophists, mystics, and Christians – all of them are divided into Light and Dark ones. Someone may say, "I’m theosophist." - "A Light or Dark theosophist?" – "A Light theosophist." – "OK, then we can understand each other." "A Dark theosophist." Well, I will retain my reservations. What does it matter if you are spiritualists, theosophists, mystics, or Christians if you belong to the Dark group, the world is full of such people! The twenty million people perishing in the present war show what has become of Christianity today. I do not say that Christianity is to blame; the Dark Christians are to blame.
We need a correct understanding of esotericism: to get down to the bottom of torment, because in there, there is no disunity, there is unity. Sinful people are sinful because they have not experienced torment, while righteous people are righteous, because they have experienced torment. If you tell me that there is a contradiction in what I say to you, I will tell you that Christ says, at a certain place, that towards the end of the century He will send bad spirits and their sons to eternal torment, He will send them to the bottom of hell to experience torment. Why? Precisely because they have not undergone torment. Bad people do not experience torment; good people do so. You have worked and you have earned money, a bad person comes and robs you; the bad person does feel tormented. If you are not brave enough to undergo torment do you know to whom I shall consider you belong? To the Dark ones. It is written that those who do not experience torment will in the future go to the place of torment. You may ponder as much as you like, but you will be there in the future.
The first rule, for a disciple willing to become an esoteric disciple, is not to think that others present an obstacle to her or his mind, but that the disciple himself or herself is the obstacle. Because the world is so large, there is a place for everybody. Then, such a disciple should not think that somebody might present an obstacle to his or her heart, because the world of feelings is so large, that there is a place for everybody. In other words, the first rule for the disciple in this situation is torment. The disciple has to accept that nobody can influence the disciple’s mind and distort it; that nobody can influence the disciple’s heart in one way or another, because the world is large. This thought is not very clear to you, is it? A thought can be clear and can have an influence on us only when we come to be at the same level with the one who expresses it. How does the law of expression act? In order for somebody, be it a good or bad person, to influence you, that person has to lower you to his or her level; only then can such a person influence you. This is to say, as long as you keep your mind in the Infinite world, where the Divine law acts, you are free and safe. As soon as it enters your mind that somebody might influence you, this means that you have descended lower than this world. When the servant thinks that the master restricts the servant, the servant has already restricted himself or herself with this very thought. Let’s say that you walk in the streets in tattered clothes, you meet a nobleman or a well-to-do person, whom you know, but he passes by without greeting you and you think that because you are poor nobody greets you. I would like to ask you if he greets you, would this give you anything? Nothing. It will only tickle you a little. If somebody looks at you and smiles at you, what do you gain from this smile? Nothing. These are the illusions of the magicians of Darkness. When one smiles, one should feel at the bottom of one’s soul that God is present at this moment!
How should we understand the smile? When we smile, we should be pleased with our smile. Whether people will be glad at our smile is not of importance; we should personally be pleased with it. And when we frown the same law should be at work. Frowning, at esoteric schools, should also be done according to all the rules; you should also feel the presence of God in frowning. Do you think that I will smile when I see somebody being hanged? No, I won’t. I will frown, I will call God and the angels and I will say that what is going on is not right. Not that the fact is not true, but that these people have misunderstood God’s law. They sentenced a human being in compliance with whichever clause of whichever law; come on, where is the authority of this law and of all the other laws?! These have to be eternal, unchangeable. A person may be punished in esotericism, but only when one wants to be punished. The person should submit a petition, on one’s own free will, to be punished. This is what goes in esotericism.
I will add a thought: some say that we should not torture animals, but do you know that many animals want to be tortured, so that they can be elevated? So, what is meant, when it is said not to torture animals, is not to torture these animals, which do not want to be tortured. But, if we do not torture those animals, which want to be tortured, we will slow down their evolution. Many hens, eaten by you, have progressed. But you do not make any progress. Consequently, we shall have to say to the hen, which wants to be tortured, in order to progress, "I’m sorry, I cannot slay you, because I don’t want to stay the progress of my evolution; but as you have set your mind on making progress, please, find somebody else to slay and eat you." No disciple, entering any Esoteric School has the right to cause torment to anybody. Disciples have the right to cause torment only to themselves. To go down to the bottom of torment, to experience it, and to come back to earth, to work in line with the law that disciples have learnt. Therefore, I say that you should not torture each other either. A friend was telling me an anecdote about himself: he was very sensitive and had nice aspirations in his soul, he wanted to live peacefully with the people around, but when he returned from a trip abroad and when he met some Bulgarians, they started ridiculing him. At one point, he started thinking of a means to help him retain his composure. For this purpose, he hired two porters to swear at him. He sat with them and succeeded in enduring all their curses in the hope that he would be able to tolerate the curses of the others as well. But after having done this for several days, he asked himself, "Why should I hire porters to curse me, when there are so many porters in society! I keep these on the pay-roll, while I won’t have to pay anything to the others."
Any problems occurring among you, according to the Esoteric School, are blessings. When you have disagreements, try to smooth them over, but not artificially. I know about cases when two people get together, they kiss each other and they say, "Let’s reconcile!" But when they go out, they start slandering each other again. This is not a way to reconciliation. Reconciliation should take place within you. When you get down to the bottom of torment, are you ready to say, "The world is large for my mind and for my heart, I will accept torment in all its forms!" This is the most important psychological moment!
I want all disciples, when they go back home, to create a favourable atmosphere. This is the last Thursday evening.
(Comment): There is one more Thursday.
Then next Thursday is the last Thursday. I do not receive guests any more. This is what Bedouins do: you may be their guest for three days, but on the fourth day they will give you work – they will either send you to the field, or will ask you to tend the cows. I find this an excellent rule. Those who stay at our School, will be given work to do – we shall either send such disciples to the vineyard, or shall give them the cows to tend, or shall ask them to do the clerk’s work, or shall ask them to be messengers; there will be such disciples.
Then, another rule: I do not want you to spread around what we have been talking about here in the School! You may spread it, but I take no responsibility for the consequences. Do not spread a Teaching before you have tested it! Otherwise, it will be the silliest thing you can do. Test it, because as of yet you do not know whether it is true. There is an expert committee in England, which inspects goods produced at factories and sold by traders. Only after the experts have endorsed the goods with a stamp as being inspected, only then have factory people and traders the right to export or sell their goods in England or abroad. You are retailers of un-inspected goods, but I do not like such traders. Each item has to be inspected.
The first task that I will assign to women along these lines shall be, for example, the following: let’s say that one of you has a daughter, whom she does not love; let her do something that she will start loving her! Or let’s say that the husband of one of you is not a believer. This is a task, which she has to resolve! Some of you are poor, others are sick; you will have to do what must be done! Someone has tumours in the stomach; if this person does not get rid of them, the tumour will destroy this person. Every disease is generated by creatures existing in us. Each disease is generated psychologically and organically by the excrement of these creatures. When such a creature comes into our organism, you have to apply the same law: it should be allowed to stay, visiting you for three days only, because if you leave the creature for longer, it will take roots, it will form tumours, it will gather blood and you will die, while the others will say, "May God rest his or her soul!" The Lord does not forgive such people. He forgives only when people do not steal and do not lie.
Someone may come here to take something and use it against me. God take pity on such a poor person who will do this! Damned will be such a person and not to the fourth degree but to the thousandth degree! Such is the great law of God, the Divine Truth, "He, who sins against the Spirit," says Christ, "neither this century, nor in the future will his sins be forgiven." Everything that you will learn here is a Great truth, which you should apply in your life and you have to be sincere with yourselves when applying it. You have to be sincere not to me, but to your Lord, to your mind, and heart, to your Spirit and your soul in all of their aspirations. You have to stand on your feet! Not to say tomorrow that Deunov wants to hypnotise us and to influence us. I have no intention to influence you because the moment when I will want to do this, I will be a demon, with my head downwards. And you too, if you want to influence me, will be with your heads downwards. This is how the Divine Teaching reads.
To make it clear: from now on you will live for thousands of years on the earth and whichever Esoteric School you may enter to study the Path of your development, you will always be given rules to apply. If you do not accept torment as a factor for your future existence, you will be wandering in the world without understanding the internal meaning of Life. Torment will make all of you heroes. I want you to be heroes; I do not want you to be scared! However, if you do not undergo torment, you will be afraid, you won’t be heroes. I do not want to use the expression "Do not fear!" I will rather use another one – "Be in torment!" Accept torment, because it is given to you by the Invisible world. Do not force yourselves ever! There are people among you, who even if they want to, are not meant to experience torment, not all of you who listen to me will be tormented; not all of you are heroes, torment will be given to the heroes only. It will bypass some of you and will say, "Let’s leave it for some other time." He who is tormented should consider his torment a privilege. And the first thing you will experience when you start descending to the bottom of torment, is silence. You will penetrate into the soul of every suffering creature, you will get to understand how much it suffers and you will tell yourself, "How wrong I have been so far!" A sort of pity for all creatures who are in torment will awaken in you, and you will wish to begin to elevate the other creatures, from the place you have fallen to and where you stand, to raise them above or at least to relieve their torment. He, who has not understood torment, places other people under his feet, steps over them and says, "Come down, I will go up!" The Teaching of Christ makes people aware that all creatures experience torment. This is what Great Christianity implies. When we get out of torment, we shall arrive at other methods, through which we shall learn how to cultivate and utilise the esoteric Forces. If you accept torment, Light will come to you from within, i.e. the Divine Spirit, which is in you, will awaken and will elevate the vibrations of your mind and of your heart. The cells of your mind and heart will transform organically, which will, in turn, transform the status of your mind and heart.
The word cell has a double meaning. To be in a cell means to be unhappy, but it also means to be confined. However, the consciousness of a cell is also confined. There are many cells in our mind, which are dissatisfied with their situation. And when millions of such dissatisfied cells get together, we feel in low spirits. The first thing we have to do is to re-educate the cells of our brain, of our heart, and of our stomach. We can very easily re-educate these cells, but such a re-education takes place when we descend to the bottom of torment, which is the basis of Life. The Divine Spirit, starting from this point, will begin elevating us upwards, we shall climb on the wings of God’s Wisdom, and Divine Love, on entering our soul, will transfuse inspiration into it. Then the angels of Life will start elevating us in our evolution and we shall get out from the bottom of torment. Why was Christ resurrected? Because the One who was above, descended down and resurrected Him. God is simultaneously in Heaven and in hell. He, who goes above to God, is sent down by God, and he, who goes down, is sent above by God. All Christian preachers of the present day teach us that we have to go up in Heaven to God, while I say that you will go up to God, for God to send you down. All of you who are listening to me now, are of the kind that will prefer to take the easy path. There is no easy path in the world; there is a narrow Path.
Another thing that disciples have to master is humility; which is not to be indifferent, but to go down to the bottom, to forget what other people think about them, and to feel only their own torment!
These are a few practical rules, which you have to think over and which you will have to try to apply, without making any forced efforts.
Sometimes, when I have the chance I will speak to you about the origin of sin – how evil entered the world. There was a time when we were not like what we are today. What are the reasons for our fall? Nowadays there are no good people in the world – those who cry, and those who laugh, and those who speak good words, and those who speak bad words – all of them are under the same denominator. When people see a wealthy merchant of sheep hides, they all envy him, without realising that his position rests upon the hides of the thousands of sheep, which he had skinned. The merchant says, "This is my stock, I gained it!" I object, I say that the merchant is a thief in the second degree and a liar, because he acquired his wealth at the expense of the animals, when he skinned them. Some may say, "This is my house, I made it with my own labour, and sweat on my forehead!" My response is that you made it at the expense of the people you have skinned. Someone may say, "This is my body." Excuse me - it is not yours. Because, do you know how many creatures suffer in order to maintain the human body, how many mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters have given their lives for it! This is why you have no right to think that what you have is yours. According to Christianity, the first thing that you have to keep in mind is to admit that whatever you have is not yours, but God’s. To those who slander me I say, "Listen, what I say is not mine, I am not defending my property! This God, whom I know, is very kind, but He is at the same time very bad. He is so kind that there is nobody kinder than Him, but only when we follow His Will, however, there is nobody worse than Him when we do not follow His Will and we commit evil." At the moment when we say that this body is ours, a curse will fall upon us, upon our children, upon everybody. You have to say, "Lord, thank You for placing me in this body of Yours!" This is how everybody should be looking upon things.
On the other hand, we shout at each other like troopers and we say, "Get lost, get out of here!" There is no reason to get out of here. I often say that I am ready to step back if I am the cause of your sufferings. But to give you my body – no, I shall not do this! It is neither mine, nor yours; I shall give it to its Master. To Him I shall surrender my mind and my heart. You cannot be masters of them. Every disciple in esotericism, in theosophy, in spiritualism, in mysticism, and in Christianity should know this, because these denominations express one objective and present that Divine Life, which is manifested. The state of the Spirit is one thing, while the state of the soul is another. These are five states, which differ from one another. Will, heart, mind, soul, spirit are things known to us. What we know is that we suffer. We can feel only certain changes: sometimes our thoughts are clear, sometimes – dark; sometimes our mind is bright, sometimes – dark; sometimes our feelings are crystal clear, sometimes – dark; sometimes we are strong, sometimes – we are not. It is said that we have a soul. But what is the soul? What we can now feel is only a manifestation of the soul.
The first thing I want is to make this rough sea, storming in you, to subside – quiet and peaceful I want you to be. In the present society and social order, we need workers who can rescue the ones pressed at the bottom. Because many buildings will collapse and many people, caught below in the stones in the ruins, shall have to be dug out. My desire is to rescue you from your ruined houses. Any of your psychological indispositions tells me that a girder of yours is rotten and has collapsed. Envy, hatred, and any other similar negative features – these are collapsing girders within your building – your body.
Now that I am looking at you – do you know what you remind me of? Of children who are already hungry and can smell the food, but as the teacher goes on with the lesson, they tell themselves, "Hopefully he will soon finish, and we can go eat!" Or "Do not talk to us, teacher, but lay the table for us to eat!" You have a correct understanding – you have to eat. But if you listen to me, there will be a table for you, I will give you some food to eat, if you do not listen to me – there will be no table. When a guest comes to your house, you treat the guest only with some jam and water – don’t you, and afterwards – God be with you, see you soon! You lay the table and give food only for those who have worked in your field. When the beloved one or a trusted friend comes to visit you, you lay a rich table for the guest. Now what does this indicate? That he or she has been working for a long time in your field. I shall now have to think for how many of you I should lay a table. To those who have not worked for me I shall give only some jam and water, while to those who have worked – I will lay a table fit for a King and I shall do the serving myself.
This evening also, there is one of you, who I know has understood the law of torment. Two people - for two Thursdays. I would like you to count how many of you there are in here, so that we can see how this law acts.
Delivered on the 12 February 1920 – at 7 o’clock.