(5th Lecture of the General Occult Class, 3/30/1922, Thursday, Sofia)
There are three categories of disciples in the school: listeners, believers, and disciples. What distinguishes the listeners? The listening. what distinguishes the believers? The faith. And the disciples? The learning. These three states are qualities of the disciple. He begins by listening. This is the first step. The second step is faith, and learning is the third step. But he does not stop there. First he must learn to listen; this is one of the first qualities. In the occult teaching the listening is called concentration of the mind in one direction, without any distraction. The second quality of the disciple is having faith, not coming to doubt that which he learns and listens to. If he doubts even once, the process of learning stops. In whatever direction this may happen, the principle is the same. In faith, no doubt is permitted. The disciple is also distinguished by his striving for knowledge which springs from wisdom. He must not doubt this knowledge, which is different from the knowledge you possess now.
These are introductory remarks which you may have heard many times, but in the school you must apply them as well. When you tell someone that he is a listener, he may be offended; yet to know how to listen is one of the most pleasing things in life. It is an art of the ear. When we speak of faith we are concerned with the upper part of the brain. As regards these three qualities of the disciple, we touch upon the brain in three areas: the centre of faith is to be found on top, on the surface of the human brain; learning is to be found in front; and listening, in the back. This way an equilateral triangle is formed. The listening is in the back, and all problems of life come from the back, also.
Now we pose the first question. What is the purpose of the disciple in the school of the occult? Only the school of the occult can give you a correct and positive answer. What is the purpose of man? Only this school can give you a satisfactory answer. When you attain this satisfaction, you will not become indifferent, you will not think that you know, but a new impulse to work for your own uplifting will be born. Many obstacles appear in your life, and for this reason you can not comprehend the great truths which are contained in the knowledge which a school of the occult offers you. For example, some of you have not been able to sleep properly. Last night some did not sleep well. For others the food was not good enough, and they could not satisfy their hunger. Others have affairs in the world and have some deficit. In general, all of you have small obstacles, and because you do not yet know how to free yourselves from these temporary worries, truth cannot reach you as it should. The purpose of the school of the occult is to prepare your minds and your hearts to understand and apply truth. At the same time this school is an experimental school. I refer to the school of the occult of the Universal White Brotherhood, which will show you how to apply truth in life - not only to find truth, but also to apply it. Now, these are general assertions.
In one of the previous lectures I classified human life in three categories: sleeping, eating, and working. The first obligation of the disciple is to understand them correctly. Sleep touches upon the astral or emotional life of man, i.e. his spiritual aspect. Man grows and learns spiritually only in sleep. Only when he sleeps can he learn spiritually. This is so, and if you do not know how to sleep, you can never learn spirituality. You cannot be learned; you cannot be disciple. When I say that you must learn how to sleep, I mean that you must place your body in a position such that when your soul, your double, leaves your body, you can find your Master who will instruct you - since knowledge is taught above in the spiritual world and not on earth. Here is taught only a repetition of what is taught there. For this reason, I say you must first learn to relax, to sleep calmly. You must apply your will. Even if you do not sleep very well for a night, a second, and a third too, in the span of one year you must try to learn to sleep well. If you cannot apply your will for good sleep, what heroes can you be? You must train your body to rest. We will give you exercises to learn this.
Suppose you want to listen to me now, yet you are tight, your feet are tightened, your mind is tightened; you are in a morbid condition. This tightness of the muscles will always agitate the lower layers of the brain, and low, negative thoughts and emotions will result. For example, some of you have very stern faces because you have taught yourselves to have them, but this is only training. In the school of the occult you will teach yourselves to keep your face quiet, relaxed, pure, and completely natural. You must imagine that you are satisfied in every way, that you have everything you desire. What would then be the expression of your face? This should be the expression of the face of the disciple of the occult. Or, imagine that you are expecting a friend whom for many years you have loved. Your heart beats contentedly; it waits for him. Now, a different situation: imagine that you have been sentenced to the death penalty and that tomorrow you will be hung. What would your expression be? You apply this death penalty nearly every week. Sometimes you commit suicide this way. What is the expression of your face? Many of your most precious emotions and thoughts you kill; you hang them for no reason, as if your feeling or thought were responsible for your morbid condition. You are not permitted to kill any of your thoughts in this school. You have no right to kill any of your feelings. You have no right to kill any of your desires! No, this is not permitted! Everything must grow and develop as God wills, as His law require. If you pronounce even one death penalty, a great evil will come over you.
And so, you will sit quietly for five to ten minutes, in a state of relaxation, and you will imagine the most beautiful pictures. Relax your arm, lift it and then let it fall freely. All of your muscles must be relaxed. You must begin to master all of your muscles and all of your nerves. Also, you must learn how to walk. In the school of the occult there is a correct way of walking. When some of you walk, you knock hard with your heels like soldiers. The heels of your shoes are almost gone in the back, are they not? Those who walk this way are disciples like stone cutters. These heels will be the reason for the destruction of the most beautiful thoughts and desires which you have in your brain. Others of you step on the front part of your shoes, and this part is worn out which indicates that you are extremely cautious. You are sly like foxes. But you do not need to be afraid in this world. The world is arranged so that there is no traps for you. If you live according to the divine law you may walk carefree and fear no danger. When each of you enters the school of the occult as a disciple, the White Brotherhood is aware of you and takes care of you. You may go everywhere without fear. As the psalmist says, "They will dwell under the wings of God." Yet, while these men say that God's Providence exists, when it comes to applying, we do not believe in such Providence.
I will set up an experiment with you to prove that you do not believe in God's Providence, not because you don't want to believe but because you are not ready yet for this absolute faith. Imagine that I installed an artificial fire in this room. If no one concentrated, everyone would forget that he was a pupil and would try to be first out of the room. Therefore, we must learn to free ourselves of instinctive feelings.
Sometimes we get scared without any reason. In the Varna High School, one of the teachers loved to stay in the classroom long after the bell had rung. He never left the classroom immediately. One day the students decided to get rid of him in some way. They learned that he was easily frightened by frogs. They collected ten or twenty frogs and hid them in the teacher's desk. When the teacher opened the drawer to enter the absences in his class-book, all of the frogs jumped out. Immediately, the teacher left the desk, and the next minute appeared in the principal's office, all trembling. Why? He stuttered, "Sir, frogs!" - "What frogs?" - "Frogs!" What is it that is so dangerous about frogs? Many of our misfortunes in life are due to the frogs. If it were serpent or a scorpion, I could understand such fear, but frogs! What happens? The frog jumps; that is all. It is fear that functions this way. Therefore, you must learn to be fearless. This is a habit which we must acquire. There are dangers in life, but they occur only when we disobey the laws of living nature. If we live in harmony with these laws, danger does not exist.
And so, sleep is an important factor for the student of the school of the occult. If you cannot sleep calmly, you cannot be a good disciple. You ca be a disciple, but not a good one. You must conduct many experiments. For example, you must conduct the following experiment: When you go to bed, try to fall asleep in five minutes. This is training; this is strong will power, in five, at the most in ten to fifteen minutes, to be able to fall asleep. What happens? Many people go to bed irritated and begin to make plans about what they will do next day. Half an hour passes in this way, even an hour. In this way, you surround yourself with an unhealthy aura. Around 2:00 a.m. you get up and say, "This is impossible!" In the morning, you feel indisposed. These unfriendly feelings torture you, and you look for someone to start a fight with so that you may overcome this state. If you learn by the power of your will to fall asleep in five minutes, or at the most in ten to fifteen minutes, the next morning you will arise fresh and happy and will start your work. The most difficult art is to learn to sleep correctly. I have experienced it; it is one of the most difficult things. You can take sleeping pills, but the best thing is to learn to sleep correctly without them. When you lie down on your right side and find yourself on the same side in the morning when you awake, this I call art.
Everyone begins with the most difficult and high questions of the occult science, with the great powers of nature, and the desire to possess this or that power, as in one thousand and one nights to possess the magic wand. He who has not learned to sleep calmly will never be given a magic wand. This magic wand does not exist on the physical plane, but it is above, in the other world. This wand is your will. It is the will but not the will which you have now, the ordinary will. I say, he who can in a given moment hold his tongue, who can in all moments restrain his hand, who can hold his heart and direct his mind from one situation to another, is stronger than a general who has won the greatest battle on the battlefield. When you read the Scriptures, the same laws apply there too. The White Brotherhood, the White Brothers always pay attention to these acts of self-mastery and temperance. Not self-restraint for fear of the law, this is not true science. You may have temperance, to restrain yourself for other reasons, but true temperance and patience come from obedience to the law of love.
Now we are going to learn; we have time. I will not speak to you about love. Love you will study in new colors, in new forms. It is possible that these Brothers will give you the chance to have some experiences. Tonight I walked with a friend and told him that I intend to conduct an experiment. I walked on the sidewalk, and from the opposite direction an army officer walked toward me with very firm steps, and we are about to meet. There are two ways in the occult for passing by. The first way is for me to command him to yield way, and he yields. The other way is that I yield. I stepped down from the sidewalk, and at the same time he stepped down to make room for me. This is the correct way. I make way for him to pass and step on the sidewalk. You will learn to act according to the law of love. If one comes against you, you must make way for him to pass. You will make the sacrifice. The disciple will yield - this is the first rule in a positive sense. If he gives the right of way, his way will be open too. "Whatever measure you use, the same will be measured for you." This is a law. If you act according to the law of love, from the invisible world those who observe you will pay you what you deserve.
This you can achieve only through good sleep. I don't know how many of you sleep well. Correct sleep will improve the condition of your heart. Sleep will not better the condition of your body. First your heart, your feelings will improve. Correct eating is also necessary. You must provide your body with such food as will build it properly. If your sleep was correct, your eating was also correct. These two things go together, The same law applies for both.
Modern science draws the following conclusions. The following experiments are conducted. People with pure blood have none of the residues and sediments which can be found in impure blood. The organism withstands whatever germs may enter it. Such people are never sick, and never have colds. People whose blood is impure suffer very easily from infections. In the school of the occult, the same law is true. In order to be healthy, the flow of your astral body must be regular. As Christ said, "If you don't eat my body and don't drink my blood, you have no life in yourselves." This body and blood are implied in the wise Word. If the wise Word does not penetrate in your organism, you cannot be good.
On different occasions I have cited this example, and today I cite it again. There are written in English - I don't know by what author - many things, many facts about the power of the will. There are excerpts from the New Testament, examples of those who have cured themselves by the use of will power. A woman who had been sick for twelve years read one of these books and came across an example which indicated how one could be cured by will power. She said: "From now on, I am healthy." She said this, rose from her bed, and began to work. Thus, a change must be made in your astral body or in your heart. Your will power must be that strong, beyond all opinions.
Now in the positive, the external world, first you must present, prove, and explain logically facts in order to strengthen the belief. In the school of the occult, the process is reversed. First you must check so that the facts become clear. Thereafter, you apply your faith, and through this faith you test the facts, and they will become clear to you. This is how it works. You will revise all of your old thoughts, beliefs, attitudes; all this you will sift. You will not cast away all of your old thoughts, but you will leave only those upon which you can always rely - thoughts which you have achieved through living experience.
A friend of mine was saying to me; "I can doubt everything, but I have an experience for which you may cut me in pieces but which I could never deny." You must posses a central thought. If you can not find this central thought, you cannot be disciples. If you wanted to acquire this thought first and then become disciples, you could not. And, I say to you, this experience every one of you has already. You must find this thought which is hidden somewhere, and from this centre you can begin to explain how all that happens in life comes about. And so, that which you will achieve will now be in accordance with that basic thought, upon which your future is being built.
The truths which I will reveal to you are so simple that you will be tempted to overlook them, like that rooster who found on a dirt pile a precious stone and complained because it was not a grain of some sort. He even kicked the precious stone, thinking that he would have preferred something to eat. This rooster does not realize that if he sold this precious stone he could purchase enough food to live in abundance with millions of other roosters like him, to the end of his life. These occult truths are so simple that you will be tempted to say, "Isn't there something more substantial?" I ask, "Is there something more substantial than love? Nothing is more stable. more pleasant, and happier than love!" But we don't know the laws according to which love works.
The pleasant feelings that you have come and go. The illumined thoughts which come to your mind appear and disappear. Why? You think that this is inevitable. It is not true. There are other beings in the world who play with your mind; they touch it from here, from there, they play with it, and they may touch it in such a way that darkness results. You are in a good mood, but one such friend comes and whispers in your ear, "How bad you look today; how much you have aged!" You feel as if something has pricked you. You walk around but are not in a good mood any more. What has happened to you? "Is someone sick at your home, maybe your husband? No, no. You are ashamed to say. "You have become ugly." You believe this. You must have mirror so that you may see if this is true.
Some of you think that you are great heroes. I will tell you what heroes you are. Here in Sofia, three clerks decided to have some fun with one of their colleagues. They said to themselves, "We will keep him from working today." The first man met him at the entrance of the office and said to him, "You look so pale today; aren't you sick?" "O-o, no;" yet he believed him. He just made it to the second floor and the second one met him. "You look so ill today; what has happened to you?" Going up one more flight, here comes the third one saying, "The way you are walking today, I am afraid that the next minute you will faint." The clerk went straight to his boss and told him that he was sick and needed a day off. Afterwards the boss learned the truth and made the three work for him as punishment.
These are facts. For example, a thought visits you and you tell yourself' "Nothing will become of me." This is like the first clerk meeting you at the entrance. "Nothing will become of me; I come here, but this science is nothing for me." The second and the third can make you leave this school. If you begin on the divine path again, these three men can meet you and tell you, "Is it possible for you to become a religious man?" This is not for you!" And you will leave the school. Don't yield to temptations.
The disciple of the occult must know truth itself, the great truth such as it is in the nature; he must know how the laws and principles work - not more, not less. He must not exaggerate them or make them smaller. I want you all to be brave, but not merciless. You should neither exaggerate nor diminish your mistakes. The same is true for your virtues. Each virtue, whatever it may be, is a virtue, and all of us must be glad when we can see a virtue in one of us.
Because good is divine, and the mistakes deform human thought, a mistake, however small, you must find; yet it is not permitted for any of the disciples of the occult to remind their fellows of even smallest mistakes. This is a crime! Remember this: That which nature has once erased, has turned the page, never turn this page back and say, "Do you know what you did once?" This is what the White Brotherhood expects of you today. When God says, "I will wipe away their sins; I will forget them, "you have no right to remember. Some disciples say, "Do you know how you offended me five years ago?" And you, ten years ago, do you know what you told me?"
I speak to you as to disciples such as you ought to be in this school. What you are outside the school is different. In the world everything is permitted, but in this school, in the life here, not everything is permitted. Before we proceed, you must remember that if you make mistakes you will not be able to make great progress. In the School of the White Brotherhood, it is not permitted to make promises and not to keep them. Promise? No! If you say something, you must do it. If you say, "I will live according to the law of truth", you must live this way. No promises for the future are accepted. You promise this moment; you say and you do. Nothing more. A disciple must not describe what he will do. Say and do! In the Scripture it is said, "God said, and it happened. Let there be light, and it became light." All will live according to the same law. We do not want any promises. We want of you only one thing: to apply the great law of Love, to apply the great law of Truth. We will not remind you of your promises, but if you make a promise you must keep it. Promises are given only by those who lack love, who lack truth. The School of the White Brotherhood trusts its disciples.
There are no cases in this school of a disciple who could cheat his master. No one has tried to deceive his master. None of the masters has permitted a disciple to deceive him. You may ask me, "If I enter the school...?" There is not one case in the annals of this school of a disciple who has entered it and then turned away. Why? Because where love functions as the principle, no turning back exists; there are no exceptions. All exceptions are due to the absence of the first principle, love, and of the second principle, truth. If these two principles are not applied, wisdom is distorted, the human mind is distorted, the human heart is distorted. In this case you have people, individuals, outside the school. Apostle Paul says, ":Those whom God called, he also chose" which means there can be no exception. If God invites you to do a work, or if the White Brothers invite you, there can be no exception; I can see no reason why a man should turn away from the great path of life, where he can find his happiness.
Yet you must part with all of your old concepts. The thought that you will become old, that you may die, or become poor, or that you are stupid, that human nature is such - all these concepts you must put in a bag and hang the bag in a closet with a label, "Do not touch." He who wants to be a disciple will do this. Someone asks me, "I am old; do you think that I am able?" Since when are you old? Someone says, "I am young." When did you become young? Everyone who has lived according to the law of love is young, who has lived according to the truth is young. Everyone who has lived according to love is intelligent, who has lived according to truth is intelligent. The moment that you part with love, you age; you feel inner weakness, feebleness in your life; you become aimless, you become pessimistic; you say, "Death is coming, but...." These are remarks in advance. I want to try them out and to accept them afterwards.
We will walk on a positive path on which are no exceptions. You may say, "It is impossible that there are no exceptions." Yes, it is possible; it will be so. This is a great divine school in which there exist no exceptions. Even in one hundred millions, there is no exception. This is the only school in the world in which there are no exceptions. Once you enter this school, all of these brothers trust in you. Their lives are as is God's; when I say this, I mean that all of these lives are penetrated by divine life in all of its fullness, without any laws, without enforcement's. Everyone knows his obligations and everyone adjusts to them. There are no written laws, yet all know their obligations as well as id they had the best organization, the best laws which have been voted in the chambers. If you enter this brotherhood, you will never be able to recognize who is first and who last. You cannot tell who is the big shot and who servant, who is first and who last. If you go among them, you may live for many years together and you will ask who guides you, who is first among you. When you go now to a school, you certainly will know who the first is.
You must realize the following: Do not think that in the school where you will learn the truths there are desks, teachers like me, and that you will sit at the desks and the pupils will be arranged as you are here. Here it is so. There, things are not arranged like this. You ask, "Then how?" When you learn to sleep, you will understand how this is. Yet, when things are communicated on earth according to the conditions of our present life, we must seek for methods and formulas to express these great truths which are so unreachable for our present minds. Well, they are unreachable for our present conditions, but they will become more accessible.
You will have to study light and its influence upon your organism; you will study the influence of colors, of the living centers. Take the light of the sun. Every day at certain hours of the day, at noon and even more in the morning, there come certain waves from the sun which bring with them positive thoughts, intelligent thoughts. There are also negative movements from the sun that bring negative thoughts. The other day I told you that if during the day you fall asleep in the sun inevitably your body will attract these negative waves, the so-called black light, and when you rise you will feel indisposed. Therefore, a pupil of the occult should never sleep during the day. No sleeping during the day. You will sleep during the night when there is no sun. You may warm up in the sun, but your mind must be alert, must be present so that it may attract the positive waves of the sun energy. And as disciples, if you start practicing concentration, often spirits will come and play with you and try to lull your vigilance. You should concentrate without falling asleep. During this concentration you will do the following: When you sit and something makes "Oo-oo," like a wave, you must resist, you must not fall asleep. This "oo-oo" is a black wave which comes from the centre of the earth, embraces you and causes you to fall asleep. If you fall asleep, you will learn nothing. You must not permit these waves to envelope your brain. We will begin to learn about the light, to study which days of the year and which hours of the day you should use for work, the methods of increasing our brain energy and our breathing energy and of correcting our digestion, etc.
The way you are now you are pretty poor. Every man who is not satisfied with life is poor. The first thing is that the disciple must be satisfied. Some of these rules you will practice here, because the greater part of work we will do in the other world. When you sleep, you will work. The Scripture says, "God speaks in a dream once, twice and three times." He speaks always during the time of sleep. He spoke to Joseph in his dream, and to all prophets and people who had visions; and if you wish to improve your state, if you wish to know how to better your life, you must pass in one such state of sleep, and you will receive the best instructions.
Some of you are very enthusiastic about studying in this school. You must remember one thing: Anyone who does not come three Thursdays in a row will not be able to attend this school in the future. This applies to everyone who is absent three times. You may say, "There could be exceptional cases." He who is absent three times in a row loses the right. Can you understand the inner meaning? This means that if a disciple has forgotten three times that he has a class, if three times this thought disappears from his mind, he is forbidden to attend the class. You must keep in mind that in this school exceptions and benevolence are not made. There exists no exception. This is not imposed, but once one has decided, he must be truthful. One important law: That which you have decided, you must be able to fulfil in yourselves. Not what we impose on you but what you have decided to fulfil, fulfil it; otherwise all the knowledge of the world would not help you. A man who promises and does not keep his word is like a pipe with a hole; you may poor as much as you want, but with the time everything will flow out. We don't want any engagement on your side, yet once you have decided to serve love you must be heroes and declare, "Even if I were to be crucified, I would not turn away from the path." Once you may say that, once you start on this path, God will be with you. The slightest wavering and you will be lost. Then you cannot accuse anybody; you cannot ask why God left you alone. In the occult school, it is not God who leaves us but we who turn away from Him, and He says, "Since you have turned away from Me, I will no more care about you."
Now I don't consider your coming on Thursday only as the school of the occult. Your entire life is a school of the occult. If you think that only on Thursday you are in the school of the occult, you are mistaken. No, no; your entire life is a school of the occult. Therefore, you must be in consent with the school which you serve. This way you will get results. In respect to these principles, you will solve all other questions, whatever they may be: individual, family, public, national; all problems you will solve only from this point of view.
Now we will vote. Do you want that we read all the papers? Will you have enough patience? Because they are written, we must read them. For this reason, next time we will read all the papers. You must learn to be patient; you must learn to have respect, benevolence. Among these papers are very valuable, intelligent works. If a man has put in it his heart and mind, this is very valuable; it is beautiful. If we like someone, even if he says nonsense we say, "How beautiful!" If we don't like someone, even if he has written very valuable things we still say, "We don't want to listen." And these things are intelligent works.
Now for the following time I want ten people among you who have given their candidature voluntarily to write something on the theme, "The Purpose of the Human Language." This will say five men and five women will write on this theme. They will begin with this visible language, this is the theme. This language has been born; it has come from an idea. Those who will write, let them raise their hands. (Five brothers and five sisters raised their hands). You will write short, only one page. Do not be afraid; when you begin writing you will enter an occult wave so that you will receive inspiration. No one should overdo his effort. Everyone will write as much as he is inspired to write. If the inspiration lasts for ten lines, you will write only ten lines. You must take into consideration that the Spirit in the school of the occult speaks only the most essential things. These Brothers don't like to speak too much.
Let one take the responsibility to keep these papers for the archives.