The day today we shall call the day of Good.
A worldly wisdom, a worldly philosophy says, "When a man finishes his meal, he should not worry how the food will be digested." Hence, sitting at the table, men should first feel gratitude for the opportunity to eat, to taste the Goods of God; next, he should start eating, enjoying the food he is eating; and last – he should give thanks for satisfying his hunger. There is no need to make an issue of how the stomach will digest and process the food. When a hungry man happens to find food, does he think how he is going to eat, where the food will go and how the food will be digested? - No, the concerns of the hungry man are whether he will find food and how much food he will find.
Modern people often think what will happen to them in the future. Yet, this is none of their business. When you buy a quill and put it in the penholder, do you think what will happen to it? – No, you do not spend time on thinking, you simply insert the quill into the penholder and it starts writing. When you put the spout of a fountain on, do you think what job it is going to do? – No, you simply fit the spout without thinking anything. Yet, whoever happens to look at the fountain, he already knows what job the spout does. Moreover, do we expect the spout to abandon all its work and start telling everybody what its job is instead? The spout does its work without saying anything, yet whoever comes to the fountain understands that the spout is in place. The horses pulling the cart, do we expect them to stop in the road and tell everybody what job they are doing? Do we expect the driver to stop the cart and start informing the passers-by who is pulling the cart and who is driving the horses? – No, only one look at the cart is enough to understand who is doing what. It is none of our business to discuss the issue of who is pulling the cart and who is driving the horses. It is useless to stop the cart to ask who is driving it. Likewise, if someone stops you to ask why you have come to this world, you should answer, "I have come to this world for the same purpose that you have." – "But I do not know for what reason I have come." – "Neither do I." Beauty is in not knowing. If we knew why we had come, we would not have come to the Earth at all – we have come to learn what our job on the Earth is just because we do not know what it is. The moment we learn, we shall return to the place we came from. If a fish gets caught on the hook and then manages to get unhooked, will it get caught a second time? – No, it will not make the same mistake a second time; it will leave the bait hooked on the fishing-rod.
I say, in the world today there are many people who take an interest in fish and want to catch them. You will see that in the world, there exist many archaic, backward things that serve as bait. The temptations in this world are nothing but fishing-rods, designed to deceive men. In that sense, the world is a rough sea abounding in innumerable fishing-rods and man is a fish swimming freely in the sea until the moment he comes across a fishing-rod. The moment man catches sight of a fishing rod, he heads for it straight away thinking that on the hook he will find something very special. But once caught on the hook, he departs from God. And, on departing from God, he loses his Freedom. He is no longer the master of his situation and you may see him either on the trivet over the fire, or in some pot, or in the stomach of another man. One day, when this man returns to the sea, they will ask him, "What did you find on the hook of the fishing-rod that dragged you out of the sea? What did you learn from this experience?" – And he will answer in just the same way as the American who got in a well-tarred and sealed barrel to ride down the stream of the Niagara Falls; when they asked him how he felt in the barrel, he replied, "Get in the barrel and you will find out for yourself. I myself learned one very important lesson – even if they offered me the whole world, I will never again cross the falls in a barrel." This man wanted to become famous, he wanted to see his heroic deed depicted in all the newspapers, yet after his attempt he said, "What the newspapers will write about me does not matter to me any more; what I know for sure is that I will not get in a barrel whirling to all sides a second time. The moment I got in it I lost consciousness. So, I did not learn anything new from that experience."
So, the barrel stands for the chaotic life some people live. The one who lives such a life, in the end will know as much as he did in the beginning. On living this life he will have acquired a sort of experience, but will eventually say, "I will not live this life a second time!" Using this example I want to prompt the thought to you, that barrels were created to tempt you. Who has the most barrels? – The tavern-keeper. His cellars are full of barrels containing old wine and new wine. Who else has so many barrels? – The merchant of olive oil and other vegetable oils. He sells these oils to people. And lastly we reach these people who haven’t got any barrels – they pour hot water in their flasks and go on an excursion to the mountains. Hence, the tavern-keeper has the most and the largest barrels.
I ask what kind of barrels we should choose to hold our thoughts in, large barrels or small barrels. The one who has got some big thought or big aspiration closed in a large barrel; he is in a tavern. The big thought, enclosed in the large barrel, will some day explode; it will burst the barrel into pieces and set itself free. Such a thought is like new wine that has not fermented yet. Like young wine enclosed in a barrel can burst this barrel and pour out, the big thought on entering man’s mind can cause the same kind of explosion. Then we would say that this man is drunk. On the contrary, each high, each beautiful thought is as small as a seed or a grain of wheat. It does not need large barrels; the tiniest shell will suffice. Yet, the moment it finds good ground, this thought will start to grow and develop. Such thoughts need neither barrels, nor barns. If stored in barns, they change their purpose. You may say, "These thoughts can be stored in barns. Barns will preserve them." – No, all thoughts stored in barns have one purpose – they are intended for sale.
We compare the high thoughts to the grain of wheat, because in it Nature conceals its wonderful secrets. Wheat is the symbol of the noblest sacrifice in Life. Only men who have completed their development know why wheat has come to the Earth. One of wheat’s missions is to improve the Life of men; to assist in their evolution. If in eating bread man can not comprehend and recognize the value of the sacrifice wheat makes for him, he will never be able to understand the words of Christ in the verse – "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eats of this bread, he shall live…"1. If you understand the deep meaning of this verse, you will put the bread into your mouth with a feeling of wonder and reverence, as you will know that through this bread the Divine comes into you. How do people today approach bread? Some of them collect the crumbs of bread from their meal and throw them aside to feed the hens or birds; there are also people who give them to the ants. And that is not a bad deed, because the crumbs will come into use. Other people do not use the crumbs at all but instead leave them on the ground, where everybody can feed on them. Yet, what men should do on finishing their meal is collect all crumbs with care and wash the places where they had fallen. Next, men have to leave the crumbs in some special place where neither people will tread on it, nor water will sweep over it. In this way, the crumbs they have put away will be used properly on certain occasions.
In truth, if man wants to live properly, he should have the correct outlook on how he acts in Life. For instance, man should know how to eat; how to wash himself; where to pour out the water he had washed his face and hands with. Now people wash themselves anywhere, pouring out the used water within reach left and right. You may say, "If every single minute we look out where we have thrown away the crumbs from our meal or poured out the water we use for washing, then we are going to live in perpetual fear." – But, living their way, modern people trigger in their life abnormalities that produce a harmful effect on their organisms. If you are in the mountain and you need to wash your face, what will you do?
- Stop by a spring, scoop up some water, step a little bit aside and then wash your hands and face. If there are lakes nearby – like here - go to the nearest lake, walk two or three steps in the water and wash so that no water spills from your face outside the lake. If you are in a place where flowers grow, then wash over the flowers so that the water falls on the flowers.
Today, the distinguishing feature of many people is their extreme disobedience. These people may think they are obedient, but in reality they are not. Man has lost two of his essential traits – his obedience and his meekness. In return, he has grown within himself excessive pride. Pride is the greatest enemy of men’s growth. Even a man who has reached the level of an adept but nourishes even the tiniest pride within him will be immediately turned down the moment he arrives at the door of God’s Kingdom. Even the minute imperfection in a man can stop him at Heaven’s door, as no impurity, no imperfection is allowed in Heaven. Occult science says that the one who wants to enter the Kingdom of God has to be one of perfect purity. Without purity, without meekness nothing can be accomplished. Pride in a spiritual man is a very dangerous thing. The proud man is like the high, rocky peak that gives nothing away; the proud man is stingy – he thinks only about himself, he wants everybody to speak only about him; he thinks that the whole world was created for him only. All aspirations of the proud man are the result of his egoism; of his desire to become big, great. For eight thousand years now man has been striving to become big; yet he has not only failed to do so, but has also become petty in his thoughts, emotions and deeds.
Modern people boast with their great achievements in the fields of religion, science, art and life. They say, "See what inventions; what pictures; what great things we have created!” Years ago I was invited to a city church in Anchialo2 to see what an outstanding artist had painted. On entering the church I saw a picture hanging on the wall – an image of Christ. The painter had wanted to draw Christ, but instead of the image of Christ he had painted a disproportional big head and a face featuring the face of a criminal. There was no art in this picture; it should have been thrown out of the church. Not long after, this church was destroyed by fire. I say, on the same grounds, every man should ask himself: "Does my image stand for the Divine in me?” You may hear someone say, "You have no idea who I am." – "Who are you?" This man thinks he has been created in God’s own image. I say, if he thinks so, let me ask him what the distinguishable features are of an image, created in God’s own image. If you encounter a face created in God’s own image you will see, that each pore of this face is glowing with radiation, electricity oscillations and magnetism that make this face one of impeccable purity – no mud can stick to a face like that.
Now I will give an example of a positive thought taken in both its literal and figurative meaning. Someone comes to me and asks me, "Do you like me?" I tell him, "You are the first at the table and the last at work." He starts considering what I have said and does not understand me. I say, I do not mean anything insulting. It is a real situation taken in both its literal and figurative meaning. Before starting work, man eats first and works next; having done some work, he eats again. As you see, work takes place between two meals. Man eats in the morning, works till lunchtime, at lunch he eats again – so, the meal always comes before work – because it is an urge, an inner need of man.
Now, I will interpret the following law: all man’s deeds, all man’s actions always follow Love. Man can not get any work done until he has had at least a bite of the food of Love. Without at least a small piece of this food he cannot work. That is why when I say that someone is the first to eat; I mean that he is the first in Love. One who feeds by Love will be doing an excellent job from the very beginning to the very end. Such a man should not bear any mud on his face to clog his pores; such a man’s thoughts should be pure and clear.
Then, if any contradiction gets into his heart, it will be resolved immediately. Even such a man can go through contradictions and hardship, but he will be able to resolve them correctly. Even such a man’s way will not be perfectly straight and may turn and curve, but he will walk it with unfaltering steps. Going through the dangerous parts of his life, he will put his leg onto the ground as if fixing it; the moment he lifts his leg, he will be free again – that is what it means to be a righteous man.
The excursions you go to in the mountains represent the outer side of Life. Poverty, ill health, hardship, and failures stir in the life of people just the same terror and fear, do they not? These Life experiences represent steep mountain sites, like those you encounter on your excursions. Looking at these sites you panic and say, "How are we going to live our life, how are we going to make a living? There are evil people in this world, what shall we do?" I say, this is the least evil; what if some day you lose your faith in God; or the meaning of your life; or you lose all the light so complete darkness falls around you; and what if some other time you come upon devastating earthquakes, and there is nothing but thunder and lightning around you; and the horizon dims into clouds, and rain starts falling; and rocks are falling around you and your hopes are turning into ruins, and perish, one by one? What are you going to do then; is there anything more terrifying to man than those conditions? Yet, the one who walks in the law of Love, he will see that all these conditions are an illusion – they will vanish before him like soap bubbles.
Someone I know told me how one evening he was very cold, and when going to bed, he put under his feet a hot stone to warm them. But, the whole night he kept dreaming that he was walking on burning mountains. On waking up he recalled his dream and realized that the dream was provoked by the hot stone he had put under his legs for the night. The temperature of the stone was not higher than 34 or 40 degrees, but in his dream the perception of it was exaggerated. On the following night he did not put a hot stone under his legs and did not have a dream that he was walking on burning mountains. Consequently, there is a certain correlation between dream and reality.
Now, the thought I want you to keep in your mind today is that the day of today is the Day of Good. Man has to fight for the Good in the world, but he has to know how to fight. Therefore, man should not be peaceable; if we speak about peace, man has to be at peace with Good, and not with evil. Between Good and evil there can be no peace, no agreement, and no balance. Evil always strives to overpower Good, to become its master and use it; but Good on its part also strives to overpower evil. In the end, one of the two principles will overpower the other and make it its servant. Until now Good was the servant of evil; but from now on evil will be the servant of Good. If you want to be free, become the masters of evil. You cannot be evil’s friends, but you can become evil’s masters – the time has come. The position of evil changes: the one, who used to be evil, will now become a servant. Once evil becomes a servant, it is very easy to predict its future. In the past the good people were servants and the bad – masters; now they will change places: the good people will be the masters and the bad – the servants. Or, in other words, we are going to have good masters and bad servants.
Thus, the danger that threatens modern humanity comes from the servants, and not from the masters. In the past they used to say that the master is on the wrong track and the servant is on the right track – but only because evil was the master and Good was the servant. Today the opposite should apply – Good should be the master and evil – the servant. In the past Good used to complain of its master but now, to set everything right, evil should praise its master. Only in this way the thought announced by the prophet Isaiah will come to life: "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy…"3
Now, the purpose of our being here is to connect with the Invisible, the Real World. You think that here and now you are alone; you think that this mountain is deserted. But you are not right – countless eyes dwell in the mountain, they follow you and put you to test. Where there are eyes, there are ears, too. When Moses brought the Jews out of Egypt, he led them into the wilderness and there he had to teach them, like he would to children, where to walk and how to preserve absolute cleanliness. He told them, "As God is walking among you, you have to keep flawless cleanliness, so that He will not come upon anything unclean." Yet, even now the Jews are not living in that Cleanliness. Neither are the Bulgarians – they do not observe that cleanliness; if they had applied Cleanliness into their life, they would have made faster progress. The citizens of Elena4 are the cleanest people in all Bulgaria – in that respect they stand higher even than the Americans. Our camp has to be perfectly clean, to the satisfaction of everyone who happens to pass by it.
Therefore, if you want to use the goods of Nature, you have to wash your legs to the knees at least three times a day: wash them in the morning with warm water; at lunchtime you may wash them in the lake and in the evening – wash your legs again with warm water. Wash your legs and do not fear. It will do you good to make partial baths of your body; sometimes they are better than the baths of the whole body. As a rule, Nature loves variety. The German doctor Loui Kuhne, has grasped this law and recommends sitting baths to weak, sick people, i.e. washing only half of the body, while the other half remains dry. For instance, if one day a man washes the upper part of his body to the waist, the other part, the lower, should remain dry; on the following day he will wash the lower part of his body from the waist on, and the upper one will remain dry; or, if in the morning the man has washed his face, at lunchtime he can wet a little the back of his head. In this way, he will induce proper circulation in the body. One who knows how to wash his hands, by washing his hands will influence positively his legs and vice versa – the legs, if properly washed, will influence the hands. Keep in mind as well that while washing your legs you should be in no hurry to wash them at once – washing fast shows poor understanding of the law. Dip your legs in the water and remain in that position for a while – meanwhile, in your mind’s eye, wash your legs until you feel some pleasure, a certain reaction in your hands; then slowly start washing your legs. When you wash so, the forces in your organism distribute regularly. The moment you feel the instigation of a reaction in your organism, you can start washing all the parts of your body, one by one. Only in this way you can stimulate the balance of the energies in your organism.
Very often, people suffer harmful effects from baths, but only because they do not know how to use them. Let’s say, someone takes a warm bath first and a cold shower next. Such contrasting impacts over the body are not fit for the ordinary man, they become only gods. If you are not inured to contrasting temperatures, take warm baths only and let the energies of warmth act on your body. The cold showers you find in Nature are good, but only under certain conditions. Someone says, "I take cold baths to become strong." But meanwhile, until you get strong, the contrasting changes will cause various reactions of stiffening in the body, and as a result the organism will accumulate excessive electricity, which is difficult to cope with. Speaking about cold baths, I would recommend to everyone rain baths – especially in the months of May, June, July and not later than the first half of August: the raindrops during these months are warm and abound in electricity and magnetism. I do not recommend you to take rain baths in the rest of the months. When you cannot take rain baths, it is advisable to bath in water, heated at the most to thirty-five or forty degrees – a temperature that approaches the natural body temperature. Such is the temperature of the majority of the natural springs. Above that temperature water exerts a force of extension, which is not pleasant to the body. It is advisable to bathe in rain water through some fine piece of clothing, and not directly on the body. By such a bath the drops of rain acquire specific energy that has a favourable effect on the organism. Take the animals as an example – Nature has clothed them in special attire and through it the raindrops do their job very appropriately. Their clothes guard them against the unfavourable conditions of life – through their fur they take in the energies Nature provides and uses them properly.
Therefore, men should keep his body impeccably clean. One has to make numerous experiments until he finds the proper and positive manner of washing one’s hands, face, legs and the all other parts of the body. There exist many methods of proper body washing, but it is the task of everybody to find the one only, which suits his individual needs. In that respect, I have made a number of experiments and have come to positive results. You, too, should make experiments until you reach the one result, specific to you only. I will give you some advice, do not take cold showers; do not on any occasion wash your legs in cold water, especially if you have just had a meal. A person we all know had his meal on a hot summer day; afterwards he washed his legs in cold water and took a short nap. This washing caused an extensive outflow of body energy and as a result his condition became so critical that we spent a great effort bringing him back to the world of the living. Before having a bath, man should take into account his state of spirit – he should be perfectly free and disposed in spirit; he should forget all his difficulties and troubles. Then, the bath will bring great pleasure to him as well as gratitude to the warm water – such a bath is the utmost good for man. The same law applies to eating and sleeping – man should eat and sleep in the utmost disposition of his spirit. Man should be the master of his life under all conditions.
You say, "Man has to beware of winds and draughts, or he will catch a cold." Yes, it is true that man has to beware and not expose himself to strong, powerful winds, but there is one pleasant, soft wind he should not hide himself from. This particular wind induces great pleasure within man; I call this wind the breathing of God. Those beings from the Invisible World who love us send this soft and pleasant wind to tenderly breathe out on us. Yet, there exist strong and powerful winds, warm currents that can harm man by extracting the moisture of his body. Such warm currents sometimes occur during the day and at other times during the night. The soft winds are especially pleasant for air baths – man can expose himself to them without any fear. Nowadays, people all over Europe take such air baths but rarely obtain good results because they do not know how and when to take them. When man becomes aware of the proper method for taking air baths, he will understand the law that guides his thoughts. At the same time, he will learn the law according to which he will correctly schedule his daily work – he will know what to do in the morning, what to do in the afternoon, and what to do in the evening.
Modern people live in a great chaos – they do not know how to plan their work and as a result spend a lot of energy to accomplish poor results. If you want to work efficiently, the moment you wake up and you are still lying in your bed, thank God for everything He has given to you. You will ask, "Where is God?" God is in the Sun, in the sky, in the Earth, in the water, in the air, in the wind, in the rocks, in the plants, in the animals, in men – God is everywhere. There is nothing in this world in which God is not – everything inside us and outside us; everything that surrounds us represents a background of the picture of which God is the great painter. He wants to put us to test; to check our understanding of everything. If I look at Nature and understand it, I already know that behind me, above me and all around me – everywhere is God. I feel joy for everything He has created and when I think about God – he is in front of me; the moment I stop thinking about God, he is behind me. Therefore, when God is before you, you will be in one condition; when He is behind you, you will be in another condition. Which of the two conditions is the better one? The better one is when God is before you. Imagine the following situation: you are in the forest, alone, you have lost your way and you do not know which way to go, and suddenly you see a man before you – you are happy that there is someone to show you the way.
Last night, a sister went for a short walk and found herself away from the camp. On realizing she was alone, she started to shout and pray, but no one called back. Suddenly, she heard the sound of footsteps, turned around and saw a brother. It did not matter to her who this brother was and what his name is – she was happy she met someone close to accompany her on her walk back to the camp. She shouted and prayed without even supposing that God is behind her. In this case, in the face of this brother she saw God. Very often, men experience such situations in their Life. For instance, someone is in a difficult or even desperate situation and does not know what to do, and all of a sudden another man turns up from behind his back and says, "Do not worry, it’s me." At first, the man is startled but then sees that the other man is his friend and has come to deliver him from the difficult situation he has found himself in – this is a manifestation of the Love of God. So, even in the hardest trials, sufferings, and difficulties that come upon man, God will appear in one form or another to give comfort, to give help.
I say, we have come here to learn the acts of God, to see what God has done, and after that we shall meet Him and talk with Him for a while. If you tell someone who does not belong to our circle that you have talked to God, what will he think about you? Should you tell people who do not understand you what you have seen and who you have talked to? If I happen to meet the artist whose pictures I have seen, I am going to tell him, "I am happy I saw your pictures, I like them very much." Should I tell someone who does not understand art about the pictures of this artist? Shall I tell a man who does not love excursions and does not go to the mountain why I go on excursions to the mountains? No matter what I say, he will not understand. But if I tell this man that somewhere in the mountain there is a huge amount of gold buried in the ground; well, he will immediately understand what I say. No matter how much he dislikes excursions, and in spite of the fact that he has never been to the mountains – he will immediately get ready and set off – the desire to find the buried gold will give him the strength to walk even the hardest route.
One day, I mentioned to some of my friends that in many places in Rila there is gold. They all said at once, "Tell us where in Rila we can find gold, because we can’t stand poverty anymore." I say, in many places in Rila, where no man has ever set his foot you can find this essential, vital element that the ancient alchemists had been searching for in their time. It is enough for a man to step on the spot where this element is to be found, and he will immediately rejuvenate. If he was old – he becomes young; if his beard had grown white and thin, it will become black and thick in an instant; if his hair had grown white, it will become black in an instant. Looking at himself, man will wonder how this transformation took place. If someone spends a certain time in the Rila Wilderness and returns among his friends so transformed and rejuvenated, what will they say about him and will they believe his story? No one will believe, they will all ask, "Who are you, we haven’t met you." No matter how much he tries to convince them that he is the same man, their old friend, they will not believe him.
Apostle Paul says, "We shall not die, but we shall change"5. It means that you should all change to the extent that no one will recognize you. Some day you will stand on such a place and this will be the moment when a new age will set in for you and in your life. It is the kind of place once Moses set his foot on and God said to him, "Take off your shoes, for the place you are standing on is holy ground."6 From that moment on Moses became strong, powerful, and able to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt. Still, it took Moses a long time to decide whether to undertake this task or not. Ever since God started talking to him, he became a meek man. Moses was a learned man, but he did not have the courage to accept the work that God sent him to and said, "God, this work is difficult for me to do; I am not prepared to put myself through such trials; I am stuttering; please send someone else to this duty." God said to him, "I assign this mission to you as it was you who set his foot on holy ground." And what God said, was done. Moses’ stuttering shows that he was a timid man. He was not stuttering until he killed the Egyptian. Man starts to stutter after a serious fright. Moses had no right to kill, because he was a member of the White Brotherhood and there was a severe punishment for a brother who had killed. To make up for this sin, Moses had, for a period of forty long years, to tend to sheep in the desert; then, he had to get married, so that the killed Egyptian could reincarnate through him. As you see, there is severe compensation for each sin – a long time will pass in grazing sheep before a man is discharged from his sins. You say, "Moses is quite a different matter, but we are in a difficult situation." The situation Moses was in wasn’t easy, either – a learned man like him, famous in all Egypt, had to graze sheep for forty years to be redeemed of his sins. He needed great meekness and patience to do so, but in this way Moses was studying the ways of God. One day God appeared before him in the desert and said, "I heard the suffering and wails of my people; and because of that you will go and save it from Egyptian bondage."
The life of Moses is the history of trials men undergo. Every man should pass through these trials so that he could one day, when God appears before him, know what to do. God appears before man only to send him to work. And whatever day God sends him to work, man should be prepared. At first, man can hesitate for a while, but afterwards will become strong, undertake the assigned work and do it to a good end. God appeared before Jonah and sent him to Nineveh to preach penitence to the citizens of this town – because otherwise they would all perish. Jonah didn’t take on this work, but sailed by ship to Spain. When he got on the ship and set off to Spain, a sea storm rose and they threw Jonah overboard into the sea, where a big fish swallowed him, and in this fish’s belly he spent three days and three nights. When the fish finally realized the mistake it had made, it threw him on the sea shore. When Jonah saw himself out of the fish’s belly, he turned to God with the following words, "Please, God, forgive me, I am ready to do any work you send me to!" God asked, "Will you go and preach now?" – "I will go, God, any place you send me to." And he went to Nineveh to preach to the people to repent, because otherwise they were to perish within forty days. After that, he mounted to a high place to see whether the word of God will be done. When he saw that the word of God was not done, he said, "I knew that it will happen like that. God is putting me through a severe trial, now everybody will say about me, here is a big liar!" Then, God asked, "How do you think, shouldn’t I give mercy to those people, who – from king to last – humbled and repent?" Then, God taught him a good lesson. Jonah had built a booth for himself, and to deliver him from his grief, God arranged a gourd to keep him out of the sun. But, in the morning, a worm overran the gourd. It withered and Jonah was again in the sun, without a shadow to hide in. He turned to God with the words, "God, You sent me to preach and deliver your word to the people of Nineveh, but it did not come true; You gave me a gourd – but you took it back; You should have let me keep at least this gourd." And he felt sorry for the gourd. God asked him, "If you feel sorry for a gourd you did not labour for; should I not have felt pity and spared a whole people, which repent?"
I say, the ways of God are glorious and unfathomable. If we want to learn the ways of God, we should not fear like Moses or Jonah. We should follow no matter whether the word of God has been fulfilled only after we preach in Nineveh; should we grumble before God, if God gave us a gourd and the gourd withers; should we, like Moses, renounce the work God gives to us just because we stutter? God asked Moses, "Who made the eloquent speaker? What's more, you know why you are stuttering." Now you, like Moses, are reluctant to leave your sheep and go to set your people free. When God appeared to Moses, he was 80 years old and thought, "How is it possible for a man that age to undertake such a hard task, to set his people free? I should graze my sheep, like I always did. What is more, I stutter; I’m not an eloquent speaker." God said to him, "Take this work and everything else will come out right – I shall call your brother Aaron to help you. Take your rod, i.e. your knowledge; leave your sheep and go." Moses’ sheep represent the people of Israel. God said to Moses, "For as long as you were a shepherd, for the same number of years you will lead the people of Israel in the desert, and there you will take care of living sheep." On one occasion Moses turned to God with the words, "God, the sheep you gave me, they almost killed me with stones." I say, like Moses, you used to be shepherds, you grazed sheep in the desert, but from now on you will graze living sheep. Through all the time the Jews were in the desert an Angel of God constantly followed them and told them what to do. From his stay in the desert, Moses acquired new learning and passed his exam, and as a consequence settled his karma. On completing his work, he left the Jewish people in the hands of his substitute and continued his way to the Land of Canaan.
So, the new way you are going towards now is the way of learning. Whatever happens in man’s life is determined by God and everything is in its place. The first thing required from you all, who have come on an excursion to Rila, is Absolute Cleanliness – physical cleanliness, cleanliness of the heart, and cleanliness of the mind. What I mean is that you have to analyse every single thought, every single want, and every single act in you, and recognize which is animal, which is human, and which is Divine. Then, man should separate them from one another, as they separate metal from admixtures or elements that metal is compounded with, and lastly, having separated and classified all wants according to their place, let man select among them and take only the Divine. There are wants man does not need – those he will let go of; there are wants he needs – those he will use as a building material for the erection of the Holy building.
The second thing you need to do is get up early and not be idle. Once you have come here, you will all sing together, work together, pray together, and so forth. Do not think that you will do a mountain of work if you stay on your own. You can be on your own even in the midst of civilization, as seclusion is not an external process. Imagine that someone is steering a ship in the midst of the stormy sea, what does his safe arrival at a given destination depend on? - On his intelligence, on his skill to steer. However, he will not spend all his life on the ship – the ship is a place of seclusion. Hence, man’s seclusion is temporary and cannot last a lifetime. Seclusion is a condition that puts man to trial – once he has passed the trial, seclusion comes to an end. After that, he has to go out into the world, among the people, and work with men and for men, being aware that all souls are one, as all souls have come from God. It’s a privilege for man to communicate with a soul, a plant, an animal, or water, or air, or rocks, and etc. – Why? – Because everything has been created by God.
Therefore, the one who does not have this outlook will remain with his elementary education. The secondary and higher levels of education begin with a deep understanding of Life. Whoever has such education can see perfect order everywhere in Life. Without this outlook man sees the world in disorder, but even that state constitutes subject education. All rocks around us are in disorder – they are waiting for someone to come from the outside to put them in order – they are the material people work with. Now all mountains on the Balkan Peninsula undergo a certain lowering down and in several thousand years will turn into valleys, into fields. New mountains will appear in the place of the fields of today. So, today’s mountains will turn into valleys, into fields, and today’s fields – into mountains. Or, in other words, the soil that used to be under water will emerge above water and turn into fields for cultivation, and the ones that used to be over the water will go under the water. This means, that the high places in our country that have never been cultivated will lower down and become valleys and fields where wheat, corn, and various fruits will grow. Then, people’s life will become better. It is cited by the Scriptures, too, "The Mountains will lower down," i.e. the conditions unfavourable for Life will become favourable.
Now, when I am delivering this lecture to you, the following example comes to my mind: an ardent evangelist had a small child, and this child would often ask its father to take it to church to see how people pray. The father refused the child’s request, thinking that it was too young to be taken to church, but the child kept insisting. At last, the father agreed and took the child to church. Their preacher was in the habit of remaining on his knees in the course of the prayer and the sermon, and so did the congregation. The father said to the child, "You, too, have to stay on your knees." The child obeyed its father and kneeled down. After half an hour in that position, the child got tired and asked its father, "Daddy, how long are we going to stay on our knees?" The father said, "Be patient, the preacher is still in the desert. He has to exit the desert first, then go through the Old Testament from the beginning to the end and finally advance into the New Testament. It will take him a long time to do that." The preacher usually started with Genesis and ended with Revelation, and the child, having stayed for so long on its knees, said to its father, "Daddy, I am very tired, maybe I will not come to church the second time." Now, when I am talking to you, you also may be thinking, "It’s a very difficult matter, we have to think it over and see if we can make it." This child had to stay on its knees for only fifteen minutes and after that had to sit on a chair to listen to what the preacher was saying. I say, each Truth that can be applied in Life has a form that corresponds to man’s state of the mind; the heart and the will – therefore, everyone will apply it according to his abilities and views. You say, "And what if we make a mistake?" It is better if you apply the Truth first and then have your say, if you make a mistake.
Imagine that someone you know meets you and asks you to tell him something about God – what are you going to tell him first? Here is what you should do, every time you go out of town, you should always carry with you a bag full of apples, pears, plums, peaches, and so on. When someone asks you to tell him something about God, take an apple out of your bag and say, "Here you are. What do you feel?" He takes the pear, but again asks you to tell him something about God. Go on; continue taking more and more fruits out of your bag, till he stops asking. Then, on parting, say to him, "When we meet the second time, we will talk again." This man is puzzled, later he meets a friend and says to him, "How strange – a little while ago I met someone I know, a very strange person – I asked him to tell me something about God, but without saying anything he took an excellent apple out of a bag and gave it to me; I ate the apple and repeated my question – and he gave me an excellent pear, and I ate the pear. Every time I asked him something about God, he gave me a fruit without replying. Finally, when I stopped asking, he closed his bag and said to me; we will talk a second time. What do you think about this man?" – "He is putting you to some sort of a test." – "He might be."
So, I am giving you the same task – every one of you should carry a bag full of fruit, so that if someone asks you to tell him something about God you may offer one of the fruits you carry. If you do not want to carry a bag full of fruit, you may carry a pouch of golden coins - to give to everyone who may ask you about God. But this method of preaching is very expensive – only the millionaires can preach like that; the first method is for you – to preach with fruit. That is why all of you should have a bag full of all kinds of fruit of the best quality. When you carry this bag, there will be fruit for you and for your neighbours. Is there a more practical and more real method for preaching? And then, the verse that the lamb, the wolf, and the snake will feed together, and will hurt no one, will come true.
July 14, 1931. 8 a.m.
1 John 6:51
2 Anchialo, now Pomorie: a town in South-East Bulgaria, situated on the Black sea coast, a famous spa resort
3 Isaiah, 65:25
4 Elena – a town situated in the North Central region of Bulgaria
5 We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51
6 Take off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.’ Exodus 3:5