Lecture 1, given by the Master Beinsa Douno in the Youth occult class, on February 24, 1922 Sofia
What are students thinking as they begin to study? Students want to be educated, to acquire knowledge, to develop that which is in their souls, minds and hearts. And after they have acquired knowledge and have developed their talents and abilities, they are obliged to preserve them. Good soil is required for this so that every thought which falls on it may bear fruit.
You also want to study like students and to deal with science. But what is the meaning of the word "science"? If we consider the meaning of the letters of this word, written in Latin and in some of the Slavic languages, we see two different notions hidden in the spelling. The letter combination of the word written in the Slavic languages indicates that in science the Slavs seek a method of balancing contradictions in Life. The Anglo-Saxon race, however, uses the Latin word "scientia" to mark the notion of "knowledge", "science" and this letter configuration indicates that it is interested in studying the links between different forms and the continuous changes taking place in Living Nature. The first letter "s" in the word "scientia" designates infinity. Consequently, from an occult point of view, you can study science with the purpose either of finding a method which can help you to reconcile contradictions in Life or of finding a way to use the forces of Nature. Those who deal with science in order to use the natural forces are submitted to a big danger. The danger is in the appearance of the sacred egotism in them. They place themselves higher than others, getting greater authority in their own eyes, so they say: "We possess powers which we can use as we wish."
There are two categories of people: people who have strong personal feelings and self-confidence: they think that they can do anything, they know many things, etc. However, the other category of people, like the Slavs for example, seek a method of balancing the contradictions in their lives and of healing the pains of their hearts at the same time. The Slavs are closer to Truth in this aspect.
If you want to deal with esoteric science, you have to study yourself first. Socrates said: "Know yourself!" What does this mean "Know yourself!" What should you know - the High or the low in you? To know yourself means to know the High or the Divine Source in you. In other words, to know God in you. Once you know God in you, you will be aware of the conditions in which you can grow and develop properly; the conditions which give direction to your growth and development and also balance the forces acting in you. Consider a person who was living well, his mind and heart were developing properly and everyone expected him to become someone. But all of a sudden an accident happened to him and his form was completely destroyed. What was the reason for this misfortune? It was the master who had made this form. Many will say that it is fate. If a potter has made a tilted, half-baked pot, who is to be blamed? - The potter himself. What could he do then? - He will break the pot into pieces, knead it in slurry and make a new pot, but this time the pot will be better, firmer and well baked. Consequently, when the High smashes the low forms, remaking and remodeling them, it produces more beautiful, more perfect forms of them. What else could be done with the pots that are not well carved except to destroy them, so that they would be remade and molded in new, more resistant and perfect forms?
Young people often think that they are wiser than old people and they say about them: "Their time is over, we have to show them how to live now." But the present old people said exactly the same in the past. And the young people at that time did not approve their way of living and thought they could improve on it. But they also grew old without correcting their ways. Thus young generations go one after another, trying to show the old people how to live without any success. Why? - Because they use the same old methods as the old people. I say, fundamental tasks in Life cannot be solved by old methods. Young people should try not to repeat the errors of old people. They should learn from their experience and see their omissions hampering them in Life. The reasons for their failures are many and profound. They present an entire history that should be studied and researched.
I shall give you a topic now to think on it. It is the following: "The Most Rational Method for Work." Each one of you has to think of the most rational method for yourself. Esoteric science is based on experience; knowledge is valuable only when it is used in Life. In fact, application determines your position as disciples. When someone wants to study violin in the musical school, they are tested on violin playing and depending on their results they are put in a certain class. If someone turns out to be mediocre, the violin professor will advise them to enroll in another school, so that they may not lose their time.
In one of my next lectures I shall speak about the intelligent relationships between humanity and Living Nature. But before that you have to state openly your opinion on the topic: "The Best or the Most Rational Method for Work." It is a privilege, an extraordinary occasion for you to speak openly on a given topic. From an occult point of view, the best method is that one which is applicable in real Life. If a given method cannot be applied, it leads you astray from your goal; it brings you somewhere far away from what you are aiming for without any real results for you. Since you are not at one and the same level of development, each one of you will present a specific method for work which is applicable in your life. Some of you are materialists-idealists: they give priority to the material in Life; others are idealists-materialists: they give priority to ideas. This is the main difference between persons. The idealists say that ideas create everything. What ideas do they have in mind? They certainly do not consider their own ideas. There are ideas of higher order than the human ones. These ideas are coming from the Infinite Divine Source.
So, you should learn in this School to apply the methods of Nature. You should use the forces of Living Nature in the same way as flowers use the sunrays. Then you will be able to fulfill what you were born for. This law also has an application in the human body. Each organ of the human organism has a specific function. For example, legs walk and in meantime carry the total weight of the body; hands work - they catch, lift, put different things; eyes see; ears hear, etc. Consequently, each organ executes a specific function in the human body. In this aspect, everyone represents a special organ in the common organism of Nature and has to fulfill his specific function. Those who have found their place in Nature and have realized their destination can properly execute their function as organs of the great Divine organism.
You are disciples in this School and may raise questions which you consider important. However, you may raise questions concerning your needs. For example, what is a hungry person interested in? - Bread. A hungry person wants to know everything about the bread they will have: whether it is warm or cold, fresh or mould. If you want to create a solid foundation for yourself, you should apply the same law to gaining knowledge. You, who are young, should not repeat the mistake of that Gypsy man, who ate first vine leaves to his fill and after that some bread and cheese. He went to the vineyard to work there and took some bread and a piece of cheese in his bag for breakfast. After some work he got very hungry. He looked at the bread and the cheese and saw that they would hardly satisfy his hunger. So he picked some vine leaves and started eating them. After that he also ate the bread and the cheese and said: "Excellent lunch!" No, I do not advise you first to swallow the vine leaves and then to have a bite of esoteric knowledge. Be cautious to avoid this mistake! No mistakes are allowed in your work. If you make a mistake, correct it! It is not a crime that you have admitted some mistakes, but that you leave them uncorrected. When you realize a mistake of yours, correct it. There is nothing criminal in some bad thoughts passing through your mind, but each twisted thought of yours should be straightened. The efforts of your minds, hearts and wills should be directed to the correction of your mistakes. Only in this way will you create reliable characters.
You should also consider the following thing: when students enter the school, the teacher is kind and attentive to them in the beginning. The more they learn and the harder the material gets, the more the teacher requires from them and especially from those ones who do not study enough. So, the teacher changes his attitude towards the students who do not make sufficient effort. The first obligation of disciples is to study. So, you have study and to study seriously. Each science has its own rules that you should know and observe. Self-control is demanded from young people - not fictitious, external, but real self-control. There are two types of self-control: external, fictitious self-control, when your internal balance is usually disturbed; and internal, profound self-control, when your balance has never been broken.
I shall give you an example for external self-control. A young man got engaged to a beautiful, young woman who was noble and self-controlled. He often praised her to his friends. One day he invited a friend to her place to introduce her. They sat and talked for a while. Then the fiancée brought a tray with glasses of water and sweets to treat them. The young man tripped her on purpose in order to see her reaction. As she held the tray, everything fell on the ground, the sweets and the water scattered on the floor. The fiancée kept full self-control and said: "It is all right!" She calmly bent down, gathered the glasses, rubbed out the water and went into the other room. The young man turned to his friend and said: "That is self-control and nobleness of character! That is an ideal woman!" However, when they got married, things did not go the way he thought. Once he asked her: "Where did your self-control go?" "You had to enter the other room to see what happened there. Only the wood of the table could tell you how hard I had chewed it!"
I say, this is not real self-control. Someone wants to open the window: they pull it, but it does not open; they pull it a second, a third time - it does not open again. They get nervous, angry and start pulling it harder and harder, as if the window is guilty of something. First of all, the window is not conscious, it cannot understand if somebody is irritated. The same is true for the esoteric forces: some of them are conscious and intelligent, others are half-conscious and unreasonable. When I say that some forces are intelligent, it means that they have the same direction of movement as ours. The unconscious forces go in the opposite direction. Consequently, each one of you should know if a given force goes in compliance with his development. In the same way you should consider whether your thoughts, feelings and actions go in line with your development. When you come across some thought or feeling, you should immediately look into it to decide where to put it - to the left or to the right. Disciples should know how to sort out and where to put each of their thoughts, feelings and actions. Some disciples will succeed in this field twenty-five percent, others - fifty percent, a third group - seventy-five and the most capable ones - a hundred percent. Disciples should work to increase this percentage gradually, so that they can avoid mistakes and delusions.
We should go to experience after each lesson. It means that you will be put to the test after each lesson which is taught: not only theoretical, but also practical tests. Theoretical knowledge is to be used in Life, where it can be developed and tested. Whoever wants to deal with occultism should know that they will be submitted to certain trials and tests, which they have to solve successfully. You say: "We have difficulties anyway." Yes, but this time you will realize the meaning of these difficulties. And realizing it, you will be able to use them as a healing method. For example, someone complains of pains all over their body: in their hands and legs, in their backbone, they also have a headache and their stomach is upset. The Invisible world will create one bigger pain from all these pains, so that they will direct their full attention to it. This big pain will make them treat themselves properly. They will forget about the small pains and will start working intensively in one direction. So, great difficulties unite the human forces into one focus. Otherwise, there is energy dispersion and scattering of the forces in man. Nature acts in the same way. She will create one big pain for you, in which everything else will be healed. But you have not come to the big pains yet.
After a reflection on the topic I gave you, you should write as concisely as possible: only on the core of the idea. Each one of you should write about their personal method for work. The scientific references to the theme are not so important for you; they could correspond to your understanding or could not correspond. What is important for you is to align your work with the methods of Intelligent Nature, not with the methods of ordinary scientists. Only in this way will you grasp the common principles of Life. So, each one of you will work and will apply the method that they know best of all and that is specific just for you. It depends on your awareness, your sincerity in work and your deep striving for a valuable achievement.
Many of you will say that they do not have good conditions for work. The Americans are first in this aspect. In America you will meet students who work in kitchens and offices to afford their school or university studies. It is good when favorable conditions are available in Life, but all conditions should be reasonably used. Even in the hardest conditions you may find ten or fifteen minutes for reading and self-education. What hampers a housewife from reading something while she is cutting onions and cooking? Both good and bad conditions aim at putting disciples into a position where they may overcome difficulties. Only thus will they grow and develop in the right way.
Translated by Martina Iovcheva (Bulgaria)
Edited by Maria Braikova (Bulgaria) and Phyllis Thorpe (USA)
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