Seventeenth lecture by The Master, held before the Youth Occult Class on February 14th, 1923, Sofia
The topics “Purpose of the sun, the moon, and the stars” were being read.
For next time write on the topic “The first thought that was born in the human mind”. Think this matter over and give your opinion freely. Everyone will have a special opinion, and will look like the old tailors, who measure the cloth with different measurements.
While you are talking and writing about the importance of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars; have you ever seen them? You have not seen them. By the word seeing I mean knowing things. Only he who knows, who has knowledge of things, sees. What do you know about the Sun? If you inquire from an ordinary man about what kind of thing the Sun is, he will tell you that it is a round, bright body, which sends its warmth and light to the Earth. Do you know positively what minimum part of celestial space the Sun disc takes up? If the Sun is a million and a half times bigger than the Earth, do you know how many such suns can fill the whole sky? Therefore, when speaking about the Sun, we do not mean only the outer Sun. It is a reflection of the big, the great inner Sun. In order to imagine what kind of thing the inner Sun is, man has to think, to look at things by spirit, not by letter, i.e. by outer form. For instance, if they ask you what kind of thing man is, you will say, that man is a creature with a head, two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth, two arms, two legs, etc. No, this is not a man. It is as if a child drew a peacock and said that it was a peacock – the drawing of the peacock is not a peacock. The outer form, the body, does not yet represent the content itself. The human body is a symbol, but ideas do not derive from the body, they are only displayed by the body. Think over this matter, in order to liberate yourself from your fallacies. As long as you have fallacies, you cannot think correctly. As long as you live in fallacy, you are in a state of hypnosis, which holds your consciousness in slumber. In order to be liberated from these conditions, you must have in yourself a great, holy idea, which brings Life.
Now all people talk about the Sun as a picture of some great artist. Since it is so, you have to ponder over that picture, to look for its creator, and when you find Him, to feel in yourself some kind of an upsurge. What do contemporary people do? They talk about the Sun, admire it, and nothing more. That is a misunderstanding of the idea which is ingested in the Sun. What kind of understanding of the Sun do you have if it cannot awaken you? Apart from its big importance as a carrier of Life, the Sun is created to wake the slothful, not to leave them to sleep too much. Those who sleep after the rising of the Sun will have a hard time with mosquitoes, which will be biting them. And then, whether they want it or not, they will wake up. When referring to the Sun, evangelists say, “Oh, sun of my soul!” Yet after that they say that they do not know why the Sun was created.
The Sun, the Moon, the stars, are signs of something. The Sun, for instance, represents the nation. When a people, a tribe, a race, or the entire humanity, organises itself in an exterior force and starts displaying its own, this is called a Sun. In the Writ it is said that the Sun, Moon, and stars will blacken and lose their light. When it is said that the Sun blackens, this infers a nation which loses its power, its light. The Moon represents a certain religious system, be it straight or crooked. The stars represent the great people on Earth. So a day will come, when nations, religious systems, and great people, will lose their power and light, and will fall from their grandeur.
Poets glorify the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. Is everything they write true?
Imagine that you have the straight line A_________B; this line represents movement of the human hand, directed towards some object. Is this movement conscious? It might be conscious, and it might not be conscious. Simultaneously with the movement of the hand, a movement is also made in some part of the brain; and this movement is unconscious. Suppose that in point A of the straight line a basket of apples is placed; a child passes by this basket, sees the apples, and wishes to take one or two. The child stops in front of the basket and starts examining it from all sides. It sees a hole in the basket, projects its hand forwards, tucks it in, takes an apple, and moves away. By the movement of the hand towards the basket, the straight line AB is formed. That line was formed, thanks to the energy stored in a brain centre above the temples. This centre is called a centre of materialism1. It urges the child to wish for a couple of apples. Another centre, which is located above the temples – the centre of appetence, compels the child to taste the apple. In this movement, these two centres again run a straight line. One of them compels man to hide that which he has taken, to keep it down. The other centre – of appetence, evokes a desire in man to try, i.e. to taste that, which he has taken. As a result of these two movements you will have the effective movement AD – this movement is called root of desires. The line CD represents the size, the intensity of desires. Some desires cannot be achieved, that depends on their intensity. Therefore, if the intensity of the desires is weak, then there is less chance of realization. If the line AB is longer that the arm of the child, its wish will not come true. What must the child do? It must look for a plan for realizing its desire. So every desire or every thought has several elements in which its realization depends: the first element is expressed by the line AB, which represents an opportunity of realization of a particular desire, depending on the conditions ingested in man for a particular case; the element CD indicates intensity of the desire; the element BD represents the upsurge of man for realizing his desire. The line AD represents an obstacle, placed in the way of a desire. That obstacle may have been placed in the form of a wall, or some kind of a barrier. When you stumble upon that barrier, the desire inside you immediately arises to take it down, to jump over it, or to break through it in some way. You will aim to make the smallest orifice, through which to get to the other side.
Let us go back to the purpose of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. The word purpose always infers to an indicator of a certain desire. In every desire, there is a measure of intensity, a force of its attainment. We say that man has come to Earth to learn, to become learned. Whether he will become learned, or not, is an issue. In his desire to become learned, man must put intensity into his desire. To obtain this intensity, which is in a position to realize the desire of man, three forces must simultaneously work in the same direction. Only through the participation of these three forces can the learned man realize his purpose. These three forces are the forces of the mind, the heart, and the will in the physical world; the forces of the thoughts, feelings, and deeds in the Spiritual world; and the forces of Love, Wisdom, and Truth in the Divine world. What does the Bible say about the purpose of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars? – God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs to indicate seasons and days and years, and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth. It was so.”2 They were created to be an omen for all events which take place in the human consciousness. They determine the boundaries3 of Life.
On the given topic “The purpose of the sun, the moon, and the stars” some refrain from writing, with which they want to say that they do not know what their purpose is. No, whatever topic you are given, write something. Always see that you find a certain moral in every topic. To achieve that, free yourselves from the personal element inside you, and then write. Whatever you write, do not think that you would be able to answer the important question of why the world was created. Nobody can answer that question, but, in spite of that, the world has its own purpose. Why was the world created? The world is created for the people who, in comparison with the Creatures of the sublime world, are children sent to Earth to learn like in a nursery. In the distant past, people as souls were living in the Heavens, but since they were making a big disturbance, God had a hard time, and sent them to Earth to be relieved from them. The same thing also happens on Earth: when a child makes a lot of noise at home, its mother sends it to the garden to take a walk, and she is relieved from its disturbance. Where had that child been before it was born? It had lived in the mind of its mother like a live idea, which had been waiting for the day of its realization. Since it was realized externally, this idea was dressed in flesh, it was impersonated – then it gained another approach to the outside world.
Have you ever thought about what you are as an individual? You would say you are a man. As a man namely, do you have a clear idea of what you really are? You would say that you know yourselves. How do you know yourselves? Today you are healthy, reformed, florid, but tomorrow you succumb to some kind of sickness and lose both that floridity, and your health. When you look at yourselves, you say that you do not know yourselves, and that you are wondering where you lost your health, what happened to you, that you do not know yourselves. In order not to get into that situation, man must find within himself that special feature, which under no circumstances would change – and always remains the same. What would your condition be, if you were in a world where all people looked alike – eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, legs – everything was the same; furthermore, everybody talked, moved, and worked in the same way. In that situation, you, under no circumstances, would recognize yourselves. In that case, you would look for some inner difference. Initially people had a similar appearance, but a different interior. Their inner difference was due to the fact that they did not come out at once from the Divine consciousness, but in succession. So they differentiate inwardly, with respect to time and space. The inward difference among people has subsequently created an outward differentiation too. This means: inward difference among souls has gradually reflected upon human faces also.
Assume that you were given a task, from a hundred people who have the same appearance, to distinguish each one of them separately. How would you distinguish them? You would go to one of them, talk for a short time with him, and put some kind of a mark on him; you would go to another, and put on him another mark, and thus you would go to everyone, and you would put a distinguishing mark on each of the hundred people. Whatever you do, you would complete the task with difficulty. As it has foreseen all of this, Nature itself has placed some distinguishing outward feature on every man, so that people can differ from each other: one’s eyes and hair are black, another’s eyes and hair are bright, while third differs from others by his size, body shape, way of walking, etc. In that situation of things, it comes natural for every man to build up a clear idea of himself. He even has to consciously search for that fundamental characteristic in himself, by which he differs from all people.
Contemporary people speak of an Invisible world, of a future life. How would they live in this world when they leave their bodies? How would they recognize each other? You would say that they would distinguish themselves by their wraith, which looks like their physical body. These are only words. You do not know what the wraith is yet. It is important for man to know his fundamental, distinctive characteristic. That characteristic is hidden in the time of its exit from the Great Divine consciousness. The birth of man from Genesis is just as an important moment, as is the moment of his birth on Earth. For instance, they tell a man, that he was born at dawn in 6h, 45 min., 10 sec., and 5 thirds (- How can we distinguish time from space?) – By the intensity of the movement (diameter – time) and the size of the circle (space). So there is an analogy between the birth of man on Earth, and his birth, i.e. his exit as a soul from the Divine consciousness. The moment of the soul’s exit from the Great consciousness is strictly precise. In this respect, each soul represents a unit, i.e. a strictly defined quantity. This unit is important in Life; it plays a significant role in the Divine consciousness, and takes a special place. Once you have entered Life, you cannot disappear. Nothing is in position to withstand the Divine idea, which has persuaded you to go down to Earth. Not just once, but many times man descends to Earth, in different forms, furthermore – sometimes as a man, sometimes as a woman, sometimes as an old grandfather or a grandmother, sometimes as a king, etc. If they asked you what the main characteristic of this man was, you would not know. Even he does not know this. If you put him in front of the images of his past, he would deny all but his kingly image; he would say, “I know myself as a king, when I was fighting with a sword on the battlefield.” Why does he only remember this image? - Because it is one of the strong moments of his past.
And so, the different impersonations in the Genesis are nothing more than the strong aspects of Life, which have a positive and negative character. As occult disciples, you need to have true light upon the matter. As for the practical life, both the strong, the weak, the good, and the bad aspects are necessary. The strong Good is always in contrast with the strong evil. What is evil in this case? Evil resembles a high mountain peak, with its eternal snow, which freezes man, as hatred ices over the human heart. When he climbs up that peak, he will surely feel its coldness. The valley represents the Good in the physical world, where everything sprouts, grows, and blooms. In the Spiritual world, things are reverse – the valley symbolizes evil, and the height – Good. So where there is cold in the physical world, in the Spiritual world there is heat; and the opposite - where there is heat in the Spiritual world, in the physical world there is cold. The same thing can be said in regard of the human consciousness: when one area of the human consciousness is light, another one is dark.
Man must know that somewhere behind the Warmth lies the cold, behind the Light there is darkness, and behind Good there is evil, behind knowledge there is ignorance. In general, behind every invention or every idea there are a number of thinkers, a number of workers, who have been working in the same direction. A scientist discovers something, and says he has introduced a new idea into science. To think that this scientist has discovered something on his own, is the same as the horse, which has carried the grain into the granary, to say that it has carried it by itself. No, behind the horse there is the cart, in the cart – the farmer, who does the main job – he is the main factor in carrying the grain. For the same reason we say that the scientist, who has contrived something new for science, is nothing more than a harnessed horse, constrained by its master to do that job. This we see from the fact that the scientist himself wonders how he aspired to that discovery. Therefore, everyone would know for himself that he is not the main factor for the new, which comes to the world – he is a carrier only of ideas, which come from higher spheres. When man is born and reborn, so are the ideas born and reborn, they are carried from one man to another. As an idea is best carried out in the last moment of its development, so is the current life best for every man; the circumstances of his life would be such that they compel him to think. Indeed man has to be compelled to think. Many do not like to work. In order to become fond of work, the Providence puts them in poor conditions, and they are forced to learn various arts. Wherever there is a whip, there is work, labour, effort. After all this, one would say that he was a learned man. Yes, he is learned, but thanks to the whip, to the conditions that forcibly constrain him to work. Therefore, as disciples you have to study the occult science, but without ignoring the official one. It is a preface to the occult science. It was created by those elated, judicious Creatures, who guide the fate of humanity. The official science is also occult, only that it explores the outer side of Life and Nature.
All men aspire towards knowledge. The knowledge they aspire towards is not essential, but is necessary. It is a preparation for that which they will receive in the future. Ancient Greeks have said that man has to know himself. Christ has said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”4 The word yourself infers a measure with which all things are determined. The ego is the measure, with which man determines the Love to his neighbour. Therefore, when you love your neighbour, you have to think for yourself; when you want to know yourself, you have to think of God. It is said in the Writ: “Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and all your strength”. So, God is a measure. - For what? - For knowing yourself. In that case, the Love to God makes sense.
And so, the Sun is an emblem; it symbolizes the God of the physical world, it represents the Great principle, which gives Life. The Sun represents the Love of man to God; the Moon represents man himself, and the stars – the Love of man to his neighbours. The Sun is God, the Moon – man, and the stars – his neighbours. Therefore, in order to know the stars, you have to think about the Moon; to know the Moon; you have to think about the Sun. Indeed, the Moon reveals itself to people only after the Sun illuminates it – only the Sun is in position to reveal the Moon to us. When the Sun sets, it casts light upon the Moon, and it becomes visible to us. When the Moon hides, it casts its light upon the stars, and they become visible to us. So the Sun has to hide, for the Moon to be seen; and the Moon has to hide, for the stars to be seen. This law also exists in social life. And so, if you want to know yourselves, your Sun needs to be on the opposite side of your consciousness, to cast its light upon it. On the other hand, if you want to know your neighbours, your consciousness has to be on the opposite side. Only in this case does Life make sense.
With the given topic “The purpose of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars” I meant for you to think not only over the physical Sun, but also on that inner, spiritual Sun, which is connected with the spiritual life of man. That is the Sun we explore. As for the physical Sun, everybody knows a bit about it. Whoever you ask about the Sun, will tell you that it has a beneficial function on plants – under its rays they grow, bloom, fruit, ripen, and we taste the ripe, sweet fruit. If the question, of why the celestial bodies were created, was asked, it could easily be answered: all things in the world were created, in order for man to think and learn. What does it mean to think? To think over something means to have a definite, particular idea of that object. You say that you think about your friend? What do you think? You would say that when you recall something about him, it is as if you were thinking. It is not so. To think about my friend, means to make contact with him and make him think that I have thought about him. As I think about my friend, I will write him a letter, in which I will inform him, that I am in good spirits, that I have done a serious job, and that now I mean to undertake some kind of duty, to apply that which I have learned. When I share with my friend the things that make me happy, I make contact with him.
In general, every thought, every idea, has to be strictly defined if you want it to be realized. As for the fact, that you have thought about your friend, that in this moment he is somewhere at the theatre, or at a concert, this is not a thought. A real positive thought is only that, which carries within itself a certain weal as much for the man himself, as for those around him. Our neighbours have to benefit at least from the surplus of that weal. This law also exists in Nature; from the abundance, which it has at its disposal, each moment Nature picks something out for all living creatures. Contemporary people do not stop at this law, and say that nobody loves them and nobody takes care of them. Once they receive some weal, they then say there is someone who loves them and takes care of them. Which is the first sign of Love? Many vindicate that the first sign of Love is sacrifice. Is it really so? In that respect the occult science is strict – it seriously regards the matter of sacrifice. When and how should a sacrifice be given? There are unwise sacrifices, which do not contribute anything. Sometimes man realises that he has to make a sacrifice, but he does it later, when the moment is already lost.
The child of a gypsy got seriously ill. During its illness it said to its mother, “Mommy, buy me some honey.” – “We’ll buy you some, sweet.” – “Mummy, I want some butter.” - “We’ll buy you some, sweet.” – “Mummy, I’m hungry for some sweet pastry.” - “We’ll buy you some, sweet.” – “Mummy, I’m hungry for some apples.” - “We’ll buy you some, sweet, we’ll buy everything.” One day the child died, it could not endure the illness. When she saw that, the gypsy said to herself, “Poor child, it died, but at least it tasted a bit of everything it craved for.” What is the use of such eating I ask? The gypsy had the will to sacrifice for her child, to provide it with everything it wanted, but she made no sacrifice.
Affection is a blossom that needs to be dusted on time. Should the bee or butterfly be late, the blossom withers without setting. Between the blossom and the butterfly there has to be a regular exchange, furthermore at the precise time, allotted for it. When the consciousnesses of the two creatures are awake, they sacrifice on time; they favour each other, and implement God’s law on time. When you know this, be awake on time, and utilize the slightest moments of self-sacrifice, of implementation of the Will of God. The disciple has to be awake, to be righteous in his acts, not to miss even the slightest moments of doing good – this means the Divine consciousness manifests within man. When the Divine consciousness works within man, he assumes a gentle expression in his eyes, his face becomes bright, and he is ready for all sacrifices – what he has, he is ready to share it with his neighbours. Once the Divine consciousness leaves him, he becomes an ordinary man. As long as the Divine consciousness is present within man, he has an aspiration for the elated, and is ready for any feat. The Divine raises the fallen souls, puts them on the right track, and supports them. Once he neglects the Divine within himself, man falls in spirit, starts getting rude, dissatisfied, and is ready to commit any crime. This is seen not only in the individual man, but in the whole world. When the Divine consciousness is absent, then crimes are committed everywhere in the world; when the Divine consciousness is present, Good is revealed everywhere. These are states which people call day and night. Wherever the Divine consciousness is present, there is the day of Life; wherever the Divine consciousness is absent, there is the night of Life. In the first case, the Sun reigns, and in the second – the Moon does.
Each magnanimous feeling or desire, which is born somewhere deep within man, is the Divine beginning in him. It defines man as a man. The only thing, which individualizes man, is the Divine beginning in him. As long as he thinks of God, man knows himself; when he stops thinking of God, he stops knowing himself. God is a mirror for man – in Him we could only look at and know ourselves.
The topic I gave you last time was “The first thought which was born within the human mind”. Think over this topic, without resorting to what some authors have said. It is important to go back to your past – and to find your first thought there. Only there will you find the Truth. The Truth is not in the ordinary, everyday life, it is in the Primal life, where the soul lives. The pure water is not in the river, where there are a lot of impurities; pure water is in the mountain spring. You will go there, you will put some water in a bucket and you will come back. He who wants to drink pure water will go to the spring alone to drink. What do contemporary people do? One goes to the spring, and the others pour water into their bottles out of his bottle. No, once the water comes out of the spring and is carried from man to man, it already loses its purity, its virginity. Thus carried, this water is no longer from the spring, but from the river, in which there are many impurities. An author disclosed some truth, another perceived that truth, and carried it over to the third, the third carried it over to the fourth, and so on. This is water from a river, but not from the spring itself. If, for the period of one month, the ill person exposed his back to the Sun and cogitated upon it, he would learn more from the Sun itself than if he read all that scientists have said about it.
Remember the rule: believe in the Divine consciousness, which works within man, and never doubt in it. As long as you believe in the Divine consciousness, you are in the day of Life; once you question and hesitate in it, you are in the night of Life. Doubt is a terrible thing! Into this area many adepts and saints have fallen. It is enough for the slightest shadow of doubt to penetrate into their soul, for them to fall from the great height that they have reached. Apostle Paul says, “I fear, when I preach to the people, to not be cast out myself.” With these words, he expresses his fear of doubt. Make place for the Divine consciousness within yourselves and do not be afraid. For this, however, an awakened consciousness is required. When the human consciousness is awake, the person will be filled with good and magnanimous thoughts and feelings.
From all I spoke to you, twenty-five percent is clear to you, and seventy-five – obscure. That is sufficient. Utilize that which is clear to you. Apply it to your life, if you want to have success.
Exercise: ponder for two minutes over the first thought that has been born in your mind. To come to this thought, imagine that in this moment you come out of God, and trace the first thought that comes through your mind. If you cannot find that thought, do not be disconcerted. In some free time, you will make another attempt. Ponder over the first thought, to benefit from it. It is nice to think.
1 The word used in the Bulgarian text is a very old one, and does not have an equivalent in English. The definition of the original word is “tendency toward accumulating possessions and wealth”.
2 Missing quote
3 The meaning of ‘circle’ in the text is more like ‘boundaries’ rather than an actual ‘circle of life’ whatsoever.
4 You shall love your neighbor as yourself: Matthew 19:19