Be always faithful, true, pure and kind!
I shall take a line that reads, ‘No science, no success’. In other words success depends on science. In general contemporary humankind is in a clash with its old beliefs, with its old convictions and this is only natural. Imagine a horse that is in the habit of kicking; this is in his culture, it is related with the evolution of horses and for thousands of years horses have used it as a weapon against their enemies, to safeguard their life. Kicking is not a bad habit of horses, kicking is a defence mechanism. But imagine contemporary horses, harnessed to a cart, trying to kick in the same way. It is ridiculous, isn’t it? In this case horses should cure themselves of the habit to kick. Sometimes all people have such habits like kicking, which was useful in the past, but which is harmful under the present conditions. They cannot be eradicated completely but they can be made harmless, because they are already out of place. You have to keep in mind their harmful aspect: a harmful habit can never be of use; it was useful previously, but now it is not useful.
You say, ‘No science, no success.’ Can anybody become a tourist without travelling, without visiting high places; can anybody become a violinist without training how to play; can anybody become a singer if he or she never studied this? Whatever the art, one has to dedicate long years; one has to dedicate a whole life in order to learn the art. And it is strange that contemporary people (not all but some of them) thought and still think that Christianity can be acquired very easily. No, according to the same law, the principles of Christianity require a whole life to apply. And not only has a teaching to be applied, but the results that come out should be safeguarded. Everybody talks about the nice voice of a singer that nature has endowed her with, but if she does not safeguard her throat, if she likes eating spicy food and drinking cold water, if she is negligent to her voice, do you think she would have this beautiful voice for long? The human heart should also be safeguarded according to the same law. Some say that the human heart is broken and subsequently there is no point in safeguarding it. This is quite so, but when a human being turns to God, one’s heart is renovated and it is exactly these hearts that we have in mind.
You want to walk along the Path and already to apply [the teaching], because your hearts are renovated, but I ask whether you will expose these renovated hearts to the external changes. It takes safeguarding! This is already a science! Some may feel weak and may think that somebody else must safeguard them. Thus for example, mothers take care of their children at their early age. When the child is one year old, the child needs somebody to take care of him or her, but when children become five, ten or twenty years of age, they will take care of themselves. This is the case in intelligent Nature. God has made it so that these features are implanted in each human being and human beings have to safeguard them.
There is another condition requiring that one should always be busy working. Nobody should be idling around! As soon as one starts slackening, one falls into idleness. Take for example the most prominent violinist, who can play very well, deprive that violinist of his violin and he starts getting nervous. Give him back his violin and he will immediately cheer up. Take an educated person, deprive him of his work and he will start getting nervous. Take whichever housewife; deprive her of what she needs at home and she will immediately start getting nervous. You should all be working! Now you will say, ‘We do not have the right conditions to work.’ I do not know, perhaps you do not have the conditions needed for a king, or for a Prime Minister in Britain or the conditions for a certain billionaire in America, or the conditions of a shah in Persia, but I say that the conditions you have now are thousand times better than the conditions of crickets and of sparrows. I watch sparrows: when the weather is bad, they go into a hole, then they come out, they cannot remain in there. They go under the tiles of a roof, they come out, call their friends, get in together and say, “Thanks God, we found a place where to shelter, we shall stay here!’ These are the reflections of birds. We say, ‘They are birds, they can be happy having little.’ What should we have in order to be happy? The good thing that I like about these two sparrows is that they are happy. They having found a hole, thank God and say, ‘It is nice here, and there is no wind to blow against us.’ Both of them huddle up; they are happy. Is there anything better than this? And these two birds are happy throughout the whole night. They have God’s benediction, because the Scripture reads about them, ‘Not a single sparrow can fall on the ground against the Will of God.’ Their guiding angels tell them where they can find a hole, direct them to this place by instinct and they are grateful.
Under the present circumstances that you have life cannot be so pleasant. People do not have ideal concepts about things, because humankind is now under the most difficult conditions, it passes through the densest environment. Matter is at its densest now and there are no favourable conditions for work. Imagine a farmer having four to five thousand decares of land, but not a single drop of rain has fallen for ages. He has all the ploughs and devices, but the land is as hard as stone. I ask how one can plough such a hard soil. Therefore, he has to wait for it to start raining, to become humid, and the humidity in the Spiritual life should be generated by each one of you personally. I shall give you an example: when the Bulgarians have no flint and steel, they take two pieces of chopped wood and start rubbing them against each other and after an hour, after two or three hours when they become very hot fire is generated. Similarly you, Bulgarians, will insist, will keep rubbing and it may take an hour or two until you produce fire. Once you produce it you will already be able to cook a good meal on this fire – you may bake bread, you may boil water too.
Now, we shall apply this in life, because this very same law is also true in regard to the human feelings. If one is involved in the external world, one will not be able at all to distance oneself from the world; if one’s full attention is absorbed by the world, all one’s energy will be sucked out. Imagine a doctor recommending to a fat person to bathe in the sea. What will happen with this fat person if he is all day long in the sea? If he stays in the sea for four hours everyday for a whole month this will be enough to ruin the little health he has. If he has to bathe in the sea, let him get into the water for five minutes only, this is enough for him. Somebody asks, ‘Don’t we have to live in the world?’ You will live in it for only five to ten minutes. By world I mean the conditions, i.e. the water.
The favourable conditions are pleasurable at times, while at other times they are not. Let’s assume now that you are in a position to go to performances or to concerts or to other similar events every evening; if you attend such functions every evening, what will you attain in the end? If you are familiar with all the performances, if you know how each play was performed, what will you gain? One or two performances per life are useful, but the numerous visits to the theatre or to concerts become boring. So now similar is the religious life of people and I do not recommend religious life to people. By religious life I mean the external aspect of things. Religious life should be measured. And when we talk about spiritual life, it is the essence of human beings. Each single being is spiritual in its essence. But religious people should implement. But if all one’s attention is absorbed in the external, ritualistic aspect, the internal essence is lost. You, being students, should safeguard yourselves. As soon as your consciousness is filled only with external forms, an internal shaking is started, one becomes displeased with oneself. One grows in height until a certain age, and then one comes to a standstill. Growing up and stopping of growth alternate regularly in you. There will be a standstill and this standstill is nothing but the moment when you stop growing and the growth of another being is started. You will accumulate certain energy during this time for the following year, in order to be able to continue your growth then. You want to be always cheerful, to hop around, but this is impossible. A child, having hopped around for not longer than ten hours, falls asleep, and the child stops hopping, and as soon as the child awakes the child feels a certain fatigue in the feet.
There is no success without science. You have to study the fundamental rules in your life and you will strive for satisfaction with the little knowledge you have attained. This knowledge serves as a pediment for a new acquisition which you can apply everyday. You all want to serve God, but can you define in what way can one serve God if you are asked to? God can be served everyday in thousands of ways. One can serve God by cultivating one’s thoughts and ennobling one’s feelings, by steeling one’s will, by strengthening one’s body, thus re-constructing it. After this one can enter society, can serve all the people, can study their life and can help them. Consequently, the first phase of each life has to begin with the cultivation of the human feelings.
I talk to you about cultivating but I do not know whether you have taken the pains to cultivate your feelings. Contemporary religious people have a habit which they inherited from their ancestors, namely: some rich people, on becoming poor, do not go to work, but stay idle and start searching their mind to find a rich uncle of theirs in order to write to him to send them some support; or they start taking interest in their old and rich aunt. They probe everywhere in their notebooks and they expect something to come to them for free from somewhere. Few are, however, those who can work on their own. Contemporary religious people resemble those who take the easy way: they go to church, they light a candle, they cross themselves three times and afterwards they sit down doing nothing. Such people will go to church three times a day but will not get any work done: they will go to church in the morning, they will go to church at noon and they will go to church in the evening too. It’s not a difficult job to pray for three times a day. You can pray at home too, this is easy, but when you are told to go to a town to help poor people, you say, ‘This is a difficult job, it is not for me.’ Yes, this is also God’s work. You will go through certain suffering, but you will go and help!
Then another situation comes up and you say, ‘But I want to hear God’s voice, and only then shall I go!’ There is such an example: Yon, when he heard God’s voice, packed his luggage, boarded a ship and started running away. Sometimes people do exactly what God does not want. When God said to Ananiah, ‘Go to this street, there is a person praying there’, the latter replied, ‘I know him, he is a dangerous person, I am scared to go near him.’ Then God told him, ‘Have no fear, he is praying; go to him and I will tell you what you have to do!’ Thus one gets into talking out of fear not to fall in a similar trap.
Therefore I say: it takes science! No science, no success! And this spiritual, internal experience is also needed; you all have to strive for this! You have to use and to apply the little experience that you have. And you also have to distinguish your situations: it is often the case when extraneous feelings and thoughts find their way to your heart and mind, which hinder your progress, desires that are not yours or thoughts that are somebody else’s may find their way in. Each one of you will work on oneself. Self-education starts exactly with what belongs to your life. Sometimes there appear feelings of suspicion or of an internal fear. A period will come to your religious life when you will start feeling fear without any reasons. When you stay at home an internal fear takes hold of you. Why does it happen? You will all go through this. Some other time you will start thinking that your heart will stop; that you will die and won’t be able to prepare yourself. All of these situations are thoughts of somebody from the external world.
The first rule is: no science, no success. In the purely spiritual life when you walk along the Path of God, things cannot take another course except the way God has determined. There is one thing that hinders you, sisters, and it is the following: when this science is not among you, i.e. you do not know how to value one another and the required harmony is not to be found among you. You will all agree that it is not to be found. This is not bad; when people are together in a choir, can they all sing; can all of them read the notes? No, that bandmaster will teach them the notes and before one year is out the singers will be in harmony. We can create harmony! When one wants to sing one can learn singing. When one does not want to sing, even the best teacher in music cannot teach such a person to sing.
Now, this harmonization is not an external process and words cannot do the trick. We can say, ‘Let’s get harmonised’, but nothing comes out of this. There are various methods in the Invisible world: God starts first by advising and suggesting. If one does not want to listen, there are external methods as well: earthquakes, plague, famine, diseases, poverty etc. will come. These are all corrective methods for people. Do not think that God has no weakness. His patience is long lasting, He waits for the people to correct themselves and to implement His Will, but once the last hour of obedience comes, then all the sins of people should be corrected. We do not have to be like those waiting for the Divine stick before they get into the right Path.
I believe that all of us have a fervent desire to attain the internal Truth. Many say, ‘We want to know the Truth.’ I translate the word truth: you want to be free. But in order for one to reach freedom, one has to have Life, one has to have Light. Above all one has to have Life, then – Light, knowledge, and freedom comes after knowledge. After freedom you will learn what Truth is. The Jews told Christ, ‘We are free’, but He replied, ‘Anybody committing a sin is a slave to sin, so one is not free.’ As long as one makes mistakes, one cannot be free. Consequently, such a person will be deprived of one of his or her best feelings – to experience the internal Joy of the Spirit. And freedom is a relation with the most intelligent Beings. If you belong to a modern symphony orchestra, you won’t be asked about your origin, but everything will depend on your playing. You won’t be asked about your origin, this won’t even be mentioned, but you will be given a chair and the piece that you have to play, and the one conducting the orchestra will immediately understand which place to assign to you. If you can play well, you will be given the first place; if you do not play well, you will be assigned to the last place. This is what happens in an orchestra, this is what happens among the army men – the strongest gets the first place, and the weakest gets the last one. This is what happens in society too, the situation in the Invisible world is also the same.
One who utilises the conditions granted by God, who has progressed and attained knowledge, is successful and the Beings from the Invisible world have a very good opinion of him or her. When they open his or her life and see that this person is righteous in every single respect they have a good opinion on him or her. While in respect of someone else, who has been righteous to a certain extent, but has scored many black marks afterwards, what opinion can they have about such a human being? Somebody will say, ‘We want to live our lives for a while and then we shall correct ourselves.’ As soon as you say that you may correct yourselves, these Beings open the book of the past and check whether there is a beautiful life somewhere in your previous existence. They will take and transfer this life [here and now] so that they create something beautiful for you now. When talking about human self-education I understand that you have to call forth everything beautiful from your past in your mind. Or put in internal language, one will pray to call forth the fine beautiful feelings that one will work with in the future.
Now, I do not know what test I have to put you to, so that we can see how harmonised you are, sisters. I would not like anything of what is going on and talked about in here to be let outside, not a word should be let outside. Nobody from the outside world should know anything before a month is out. Well, can you do this? You will say, ‘We can do it’, but you will leak something. Where does it leak through, where does it find a vent to go out? The fact that you like talking outside is not bad (this is a good habit, because this is how culture is shared), but it resembles the kicking of a horse. If you have such habits you have to be on your guard. You will say, ‘There is no kicking!’ Sometimes silence is gold. This does not mean that one has to be silent all the time; if you have habits, if you have no obligations, you may talk to your heart’s content. Now, all of you have learnt the art of talking. There are such correspondents; there are many of them particularly in America. People gathering news to fill in newspapers are paid a lot of money. Well, what does it resemble? If I give you a task, you will spread it before you have accomplished it. I do not mind if you spread it after having done it. But you will be blabbing all over and afterwards the task won’t be completed and you will be trying to find the reason for this. Not that you do it out of evil will. I will request you to be silent, because I think that you have already grown up, that you understand things.
People have acquired habits. For instance there is a preacher in America1 who when talking shifts his shoulder. These are bad habits and everybody should be trying to control one’s habits. The people listening to this preacher laugh while he is not aware that he shifts his shoulder. This is all the weakness: many times we have wanted to correct a weakness of ours, but when we talk we forget about it. No, you will control your arm! It’s not bad that he shifts his shoulder, but there are cases when the arm should follow the commands of the human consciousness. It has to obey, nothing more than this! There must be discipline! What if the eye starts behaving the way it feels like? Or the face? Do you know what grimaces you will make? No, the face must obey! In general there is no desire that one cannot implement. In this particular case everything can be put under control.
Now, I will give you an exercise and next time all of you, who are now listening to me, have to take part in it: every Friday, i.e. four times this month you will get up at 4 o’clock sharp and you will spend a whole hour in reflections, but deep reflections. You will pray for blessing and harmonization for both you yourselves and for the small group here with which you have to harmonise internally. You will spend a whole hour in reflections and you will pray. You will know: at 4 o’clock sharp – get down to spiritual work!
When you come here to our next meeting, those of you who have observed the rule should tell us so. You will write your names for us to see who you are. Or you do not want anybody to know who you are? Because if it becomes known here, it will be spread all over Sofia and everybody will get to know. This is the bad aspect of talking. This is why the second part of the task is difficult. The first part is easy, but when it comes to admitting it in public, you will spoil everything. I will do another experiment: I will find out how many of you have not done the task properly, without you having to admit it. Next time we shall have arithmetic: I will receive only numbers from you and I will know how many of you have not accomplished the task. Next time we shall have fun in arithmetic.
The internal harmony is needed for the development of the human mind and heart. It is needed for the health of the body and for its wellbeing. The Invisible world is a world of internal harmony. Those from the Invisible world are always ready to render a favour, as long as there is harmony, but if people are not in agreement, those from the Invisible world are not predisposed to assist. And if your affairs are at a standstill, you have to know that there is something wrong in your life. But as soon as harmony comes, the Invisible world is very precise. Everybody stops at a beautiful flower; everybody visits delightful springs, picturesque locations; musicians, poets, artists – everything is elevated and beautiful, everybody likes to listen to it, to watch it, because it is Divine. I do not mean the human stuff, but everybody with no exception enjoys listening to the Divine stuff. If we talk about something in a Divine way, it has its price. The Divine Life, no matter in which being, has its price. When we talk like people it is another matter, but when we talk according to God, there is a special Blessing there. I would like all of you to talk in a Divine way. Take a break, tell yourselves, ‘What I say, do I say it according to God or according to me?’ And if you are silent, ask yourselves again, ‘When I am silent, is it according to God’s Spirit or is it human?’ Because there is silence due to considerations. Stupid people, when being silent, are considered smart. If I am silent when somebody talks this is not due to lack of respect, but I spare some of my time for this person. When somebody else talks I am interested in his or her speech. This silence within me is Divine, I am interested in what he or she wants to say. While somebody else, when sitting, shifts either his or her left or right hand, shuffles on the chair, this is the human aspect of keeping silence. The Divine patience is listening; it is the most beautiful thing. If you acquire the skill of listening, this is a lot. However, this is not well represented in your meetings.
On the other hand, there is a danger in human talking: when a person has been teased for a long time, such a person resembles gathered water, which all of a sudden is released. Such a person starts talking and then falls silent again. However, this is not the law in the Divine talking. There when you place your jug under the spring, you hear the voice. Then God says to you, ‘Take your jug back from the spring, because no matter how long you will stay not a drop will get inside it! Take your jug back!’ As much as there is inside should be sufficient for you. Things are pleasurable as long as they arouse a desire within us. Because if you talk for a long time, there are people who are rather sensitive and they say, ‘Do not talk to me any longer, because my mind is troubled!’ And there are others who say, ‘Tell us more, keep talking!’ Some say, ‘Enough, I am very tired, I can’t stand any more!’ Do not be in a hurry and do not covet more than you need for yourself.
Sometimes you are in low spirits; you are tired, despondent, as if you are abandoned. Well, this is a wonderful state. Not that you are abandoned, but God says, ‘You have not learnt your lesson.’ The suffering is a path to pull yourself together [within yourself]. What does suffering stand for? It is a beautiful state of the Spirit! Those who are strong and who are grateful for their suffering all of a sudden will feel all enlightened within less than an hour. A Slavonic woman was grieved, but two hours after she did this experiment she started dancing. Likewise with children. In order to give expression of our joy we will start dancing. We think that dancing is a sinful situation. No, but you have to dance when you have to, and to sit when you have to. David also danced before the Israeli people, but his wife was ashamed of him and said, ‘Look at the King dancing in such a democratic way!’ He dances, while she condemns what he was doing.
Now, one of the rules is that you misunderstand these grievous and sad situations of disheartening that you experience. The greatest illusion is sometimes the following: you stand there thinking that you are abandoned by all. But have you been in the situation of that one who was buried in the grave? You have not been to the dead to see what their situation is; it is by a thousand and million times more terrible than your loneliness at home. The buried one is in the ground and waits to get free and then all the spirits fly at him. He weeps, suffers, until he is unravelled and only his bones remain. And then he gets free and says, ‘I’m gone already!’ Only one last thread remains and he is glad in his soul that the whole body dissolved and that he is free of it. Because the physical body, one is in, is a prison. Consequently the situations that you might find yourselves in, should not worry you; you should tell yourselves, ‘There is a worse situation than mine.’ You should remember this! You will strive for the beautiful, and you will regulate your low spirits with the other bad situations. This is a science! And this science you should apply in your life!
Place yourselves in the shoes of the ones similar to you! Try to develop a feeling of compassion within you. It is not bad for one to become embittered, but do your best to arouse the Divine feeling of compassion within you. Because otherwise one harms oneself above all, let alone the other bad aspect. When one’s heart hardens, one ruins the best one has within. First of all for your sake you will turn and say, ‘I shall not harm myself!’ Bitterness is harmful for the very person because the bonds between this person and God are severed. If a disciple gets embittered, he or she loses the bond with his or her Master. The first condition for God to act within you through His Love is that the human heart should be merciful and kind. No embitterment whatsoever! The situation when one is ready to receive, to forget like a child – this is compassion [mercy]. Only this is enough, did you understand me?
Now I shall tell you more about the exercise: you will get up at 4 o’clock sharp. You will do your best to forget everything and to devote yourselves to deep reflection. After reviewing your life, wishing something good for yourselves, considering how to improve your life, you will think also of all the good people all over the world. In America, in Australia – you will travel all over around the world, you will get to know the best and most educated people in the world, and then if you have the time, you will go to Heaven, to the angels and you will try to get to know them. Thus within an hour you will go for a nice walk, an excellent spiritual walk all over the Earth and all over Heaven. But you should not fall asleep; when you go to Heaven, you will do your best to remain there.
Be always faithful, true, pure and kind!
Lecture delivered by the Master
On 21 January 1926
At 16;00h in Sofia
1 The Master refers to USA when using America.