Sermon of Beinsa Douno, printed according to shorthand notes taken in Sofia, 9.7.1941
What is man? Many definitions of man have been given, but we will add one more: Man is a knot of possibilities and conditions. Some people look at you as a combination of spirit, soul, mind, and heart. All recognize the mind and the heart since they have respective organs. The spirit is recognized as something that is spread out everywhere. As soon as one speaks about the soul there occurs a controversy: some accept the existence of the soul and some deny it. There is nothing bad about discussion. When two people have a discussion the stronger one always wins, and the weaker is the loser and must pay a fine. If the weaker thinks that he will be the winner, he is mistaken. It is preached that God is merciful and will forgive the weak and the sinners for their mistakes. But the world was created neither for the weak nor for the sinners. The world needs strong and righteous people. Therefore preach to the weak that they may become strong, and the sinners that they may become righteous. It is unforgiveable for the strong to become weak or for the righteous to become sinners or for the learned to become ignorant.
Very often people ask why they do not succeed in life. Quite simply, their failure is due to unhealthy conditions in the material and social lives of these people. For instance, everybody speaks about patriotism, about love for one’s country. To me this emotion seems natural to man. Where is the fatherland of the wheat? The Field. Is it possible for the wheat not to love the field where it gets its nourishment? The wheat loves the field, but even more it loves the owner of the field. If he had not seeded it the field itself would give nothing. The same applies to man. If he loves his homeland and speaks about it he will also love the Master of his homeland and will speak about Him. It is impossible to love your mother and father and not to love the place where they live. Therefore when you love those who have given you life you will love also the place where they have given you birth, where you studied and lived. When you love your mother and father you will love also your brothers and sisters — you will love all people.
We are speaking about love, but not about that transient and imaginary love of which the world is full. Wherever you look you come across only that unstable, transient love. You look in someone's yard and see many well-fed chickens moving freely around several modern poultry houses. From time to time the owner comes to feed them and looks at them with satisfaction. You will say that he loves his chickens. He loves them, but for his own good. One day he will come with a knife, enter a chicken house, catch one of the best-fed chickens and cut its throat. What has the owner done to better his chickens? He has accomplished nothing but the taking of their lives. How did Bulgarian beekeepers at one time treat their bees? In order to take all the honey they killed all the bees with the exception of those from which they could get a new queen. Today the beekeepers are more humane — they build modern beehives and when they need to take the honey they make smoke around the bees to knock them unconscious, and then take as much honey as they need, leaving part of it for the bees. In past epochs there was much cruelty toward the Christians. Everyone who believes in Christ as the Son of God was persecuted and cruelly tortured. Even now you are asked what you believe and what you think about Christ. I believe in that which you believe. As for Christ, I know that no one knows the Father but the Son to whom God has revealed Himself.
Contemporary men want to be strong, good, and wise, but they should know what makes up goodness, power and wisdom. Strong is the one who bests the weak with his mind and not with his physical strength. The elephant is stronger than man, but man rules him and makes him serve him. Place a child on the back of an elephant, give it a little hammer with which it can lightly hammer the elephant, and the animal will serve the child. Man rules the elephant with his brain. Once the human brain was not as developed as it is today, Man was like a tree that grows, develops, gives fruit, but remains in one place. With the gradual development of the brain man has demonstrated greater abilities and finally reached his present condition. One day when he reaches perfection man will pass into the evolution of the angels and will possess even greater potential for development and work.
Whatever one says to people, at the end they will ask why God created the world as we know it today. This question can only be answered by one who knows and understands the language of matter and of living creatures, of water, of air, and of light. He who understands the language of matter can come in contact with God's spirit and converse with Him. Man cannot believe that the water, the air, the light have a language of their own and can communicate with him. He must go to the seashore and listen to the wind and the surf to hear how they speak. Poets describe their speech as milder or more powerful according to the occasion. The wind blows, the water foams and washes over the rocks and sand and does its work. If the water did not move it would begin to smell bad. Therefore, to keep the water from becoming stale, the wind comes and blows over it. When people do not understand the language of nature they separate things from each other — light from air, air from water, water from earth — and in this way they lose the connection between all the phenomena of life.
When men discuss the question of the creation of life they say that man is created in God’s image and that everything else, the stones, the plants, the animals, is created through the Word. In reality man is also created through the Word. God asked the Word for advice on how to create man, and He decided to make him of dirt. He took earth and created man and breathed into him a living soul — He filled him with a small part of God's divinity. Today everyone wants to know of what material God made man. If you were told, do you think that you would understand? Man consists of many particles — electrons, protons, esotrons, neutrons. The first two kinds of particles are electrically positive, the third kind is electrically negative, and the fourth is neutral. Matter has in itself a certain intelligence — man must study the manifestations of reason in all of nature. Only in this way will he come to understand how much he has to learn. He has only to look at himself to see how many things he does not know. He does not know how his eyes and mouth are made, his eyebrows, lashes, ears. He does not know that wise and advanced beings have worked on the creation of his body for thousands and millions of years. It is not easy to create the materials which make up the human body. The theologists say that God created the world in six days, and on the sixth day He created man. When a Turk hears something that is incomprehensible to him he says, "Even if I see it I wouldn't believe it!" In Scripture you read, "For God a thousand years are like one day, and one day is like a thousand years," The six days mentioned in Scripture are equal to six divine days, and in one divine day are many millions of years. According to some scientists it took eight thousand years to create the world, according to others, two million or five million. Which estimate is the correct one no one knows. It is important that time and space are relative quantities. For the wise, the longer the time the better. For the unwise, the shorter the time the better. Time and space are elements of thought. The ants do not need as much space as man does. If you lock a man into a closed space he will escape into the open — he yearns for the open air. The day will come when the earth will be too narrow for him and he will want to go and live on the sun. If this could happen he would come back enriched and full of knowledge. He would say wonderful things about the sun but no one would believe him. People would consider him a storyteller, telling stories of one thousand and one nights.
And so it is impossible today to speak to people about the sun. They are not ready to accept the truth. If one tries to speak to them he burdens them, as if one were to put five hundred pounds on the back of a weak man. He will be exhausted under the great weight. He who cannot accept truth looks only on the surface and makes conclusions which his mind can accept. The same thing happens with him who does not understand the Sacred Book of Life. He is content to seek the superficial truth — he is not ready to seek its real content. As the Book is a living and sensible book for one who understands it, so is the sun a living and sensible book, which only a few can read and understand. Every morning the sun rises and a voice from the invisible world asks if you have read your page for today. The sun is a book in the pages of which God every day writes something new. You may say that the sun is something that has no intelligence. The sun exists — it has abundant light which causes the fruits to ripen, the flowers to bloom, the snow and ice to melt — how can it be said that it has no intelligence? The light that the sun sends to all the plants indicates that there are living beings in the sun with a high level of intelligence and the ability to reason.
Whatever the speculations about the sun may be, it is important for man to know how to make use of the sun's light and warmth and to achieve something from it. One day his eyes will open and he himself will be able to investigate. Therefore I say that man has a great future ahead of him. For the time being he is in his childhood — for many years he has to work and learn, to travel from one planet to the other, until he reaches the age of ripeness. He will be a dweller not only of the earth, but also of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. After he has passed through all the planets and has acquired valuable knowledge from them he will go to Sirius, where he will remain for a long time. From there he will go to another sun, around which orbit all the other suns of the cosmos. This will mean that he has entered the Kingdom of God and become its citizen. You will say that a long time will pass before all this comes true. Are the young maiden and the scientist not the same? The young girl waits for years for her beloved to come and make her happy. The young scientist works for many years, does research, makes many discoveries. He expects the day to come when he will be recognized as a great scientist and will receive high awards and degrees. What happens finally? After several years his discoveries are disproven. After thousands of years nothing will be left of the scientific assertions of today. In the future, children will have knowledge greater than that of all the scientists of today. Be glad about progress. There is much to be learned — it is worthwhile to be alive.
As students of life you must have a feeling of awe for the divine cause of things, and indeed for all men. All your affairs will be unsuccessful if this feeling is lacking. Love of God and one’s neighbor makes a man strong and powerful. It is only through this that his consciousness wakes and he sees how he should live. He understands that the time has come for him to part with his childish ideas. There is nothing bad about being a child, an intelligent child who can perceive the new teaching. There is nothing bad about being old if one is not hardened in his opinions. The young person can easily accept the new ideas, but the old person has a hard time parting with all that he has learned. Sometimes a very religious person will come to visit me and will tell roe that he knows the whole Bible by heart. He thinks that he knows everything but if I ask him to give me an explanation of a certain verse he will refuse. I want to see how a religious person will interpret the verse; "I am the way, the truth, and the life," In order to be able to interpret properly one must perceive the thought that Christ has put into this verse. Since Christ lived, 2000 years have passed, but few people can determine exactly the meaning of the word "way" about which Christ spoke. You may say that the Bible contains everything. Indeed, many things are written in the Bible and many more are going to be written. Saint John writes that Christ said much, but not everything has been written down. Not one, but many more Bibles will be written to contain all that Christ has said.
When I speak about the Bible that has been written by people, everyone considers it a sacred scripture. But about the head, in which are hidden all the things inscribed over the centuries, few people even speculate. To me, the only sacred book that exists is the human head, and everyone owns the original. Besides that which is already inscribed, every new moment's experiences are recorded. In this respect the head represents the New Testament and the stomach the Old Testament. Everything that Christ said two thousand years ago is recorded in the head. That which I say today is also written down. Contemporary men lack the light necessary to be able to read and understand that which was recorded in their heads in the past, as well as that which is being recorded every day. As long as man has light he reads and is considered learned. As soon as he loses his light he can read and comprehend no more and is considered ignorant. Therefore take advantage of your own light to read the original, the holy Scripture written in your head, and through it to correct the holy Scripture that is written outside of you. Scripture says, "I will inscribe the Law in the heart of man." This means that God has written this Law in the heart of man. He who has the light reads the Law in the original, and interprets it to other people. Moses recorded the Laws of God in the same way. He read them in his head and his consciousness in the original and interpreted them to the people who did not have their own light in a language that they could understand. The original that is in the human head and heart is called by philosophers the "Akashic Records." When we say that someone is ready to serve God, we mean that man can read God's laws in the original. As soon as doubt and hesitation come up he loses the original and reads some version in which, inevitably, mistakes are to be found. Love that causes man doubt, hesitation and suspicion is a translation. Love that excludes all doubt and hesitation is the original, the eternal love. He who upholds eternal love values the love of God, appreciates the possibilities and conditions which are granted to him, and praises all the blessings which are given to him. If you say to someone that you will love him, this means that you appreciate his love, and value all the chances and conditions that are granted to you, and that you are thankful for all the goods that life gives you. Be thankful for the smallest manifestation of love because it is a divine impulse which makes you develop.
Be glad and thankful whether you are sick or in good health. As a healthy person you will learn one thing, and as a sick person you will learn something else. The sick person becomes gentle and tolerant and very careful of himself and his surroundings. When his health improves he appreciates all that which previously he did not even notice. You may say that a disease can hinder a person. In the physical world the obstacles are unavoidable. Take for example the violin — learning to play more and more advanced tunes is difficult, but through beat and rhythm a person can master the difficulties. Paganini was distinguished because of his extraordinary feeling for time, rhythm, technique and skill in his playing. He possessed one more virtue: when he was playing he managed to place his double inside the violin, and when he finished, his double returned to his body. Because of his ability Paganini could in a masterly way imitate with his playing a human voice — when he was playing it was impossible to tell whether he was playing or a human voice was singing. Every man needs to possess such abilities — to master life as the good violinist plays his violin. The time will come when man's double will be able to leave and return to his body freely. Today a few people are able to do that. It is very dangerous when a man's double leaves his body and is unable to come back.
A well-known violinist once took his violin for repairs — he possessed a Stradivarius, The repairman checked the violin, found out what was wrong with it and what ought to be done to repair it, and invited the violinist to sit for a while while he did the job. Then he took a knife and cut the violin in two pieces lengthwise and started to repair it. When the violinist saw this he lost consciousness. Why? Because his double was in his violin — when his violin was cut through the same thing happened to his double and he could not bear that.
Christ said, "Do not become attached to the world," This means that you can love an object or a person without becoming attached to it. As soon as you become attached to something or somebody, necessarily you will be the loser, especially if your objects of attachment are of an unstable character. Therefore if you own a violin on which you have been playing for many years, do not give it away to a stranger. Never give away or sell things which you have used or with which you have worked. Do not lend your brain, your heart or your body. Deliver your body as a living offering, holy and pleasing to God. Your body can be given only to God. He is the only one for whom we may sacrifice everything that has been given to us — mind, heart and body. He has sacrificed Himself for us and we will sacrifice ourselves for Him. We will help people with love and we will serve God and will sacrifice ourselves for Him. This is the new teaching of life.
I say: He who lives for God will be helped by God. Try living for God as an experiment and you will see how your affairs will be in good order. If your life is pleasing to God, your grain will germinate in time. It will be well-watered and will yield richly. When you pray to God your prayers will be answered. Years ago, in the region of Novi Pazar, there was a drought. There was no rain for three months. Autumn came, and the soil was too dry to be plowed for the sowing. The peasants of fifteen Turkish villages gathered together to pray to God for rain. Their prayer was sincere, and before evening they had rain. The peasants of a neighboring Bulgarian village thought, we do not need to pray for rain. If God hears the prayer of the Turks and sends rain, He will send some for us, too. What happened? Not a raindrop fell on the soil of the Bulgarian villagers. This is understandable, for they did not make an effort to pray. Therefore, if your neighbor prays, pray with him — do not expect to profit from another's prayers. It is childish to depend on the prayers of others. Be children, but be wise children. Do not criticize everything, but rather work to improve things. See what you can do, but do not pass judgement on the world for the way it is made. How should the world have been created? Kan can think and reason about abstract matters, but he must understand that he himself could not accomplish more than God has. If he thinks he can do better that his abilities allow, he will become completely disoriented.
A professor from a Boston college discussed with his students the human ego. He got so carried away that he completely forgot his name and who he was. Time passed, and he had to go home and ask his wife if he was Professor Brown or not. It is very dangerous for a man if someone else replaces him inside his own mind.
In the vicinity of Varna a peasant traveled with his sturdy wagon and two strong horses. He needed to stop for a while in a tavern. Since he did not want to leave the wagon and horses alone he gave the reins to a bystanding boy, saying, "Sit and drive the wagon slowly and I will catch up with you," The boy sat on the wagon and whipped the horses and they started galloping so fast they could not stop. The man had to run after his wagon for an hour and a half before he could reach it. You will say that the boy was not smart enough. I say, do not give the reins of your mind into the hands of a silly child. If it wants to sit in the wagon it may, but not without you. It may even sit in the first place and you in the second, but the reins must remain in your hands. Do not trust the reins of your heart to anybody, A young girl will say that she has presented her heart to a young man. This cannot be. No one can live without a heart. But the hearts of both can be in harmony. Love manifests herself in harmony. Love cannot tolerate disharmony or duality. For this reason it is said that the bigot is unstable in all his ways. If you are hesitating you lack love, and you are not wise. The cautious person easily surmounts his difficulties. He has a critical mind: he observes the facts, makes a comparison, and then draws an inner conclusion. Thus he learns about the laws of nature and applies them in a correct way.
Remember: Love contains all the methods through which the human spirit becomes stronger, the human soul matures, the human mind becomes enlightened, and the human heart becomes uplifted and renewed. Love not only renews and rejuvenates man, but also brings the new teachings into the world. If love cannot accomplish all this, then it is a superficial human love. Seek your happiness not in a superficial way, but in the profound way. By the profound way we mean the manifestations of inner abilities that are inherent in you. If you meet an old person do not say that you will become old like him, if you meet a sick person do not say that you will become sick too, and if you meet a feeble, helpless person do not say that you will become like him. Do not let a single negative thought enter your mind.
Keep only positive thoughts in your mind and say, I believe in youth that excludes old age and death, I believe in wisdom, light and knowledge that excludes stupidity and ignorance and darkness. Old age that weakens the mind is not old age but stupidity. We do not believe in such an old age. We believe in the old age that brings knowledge, that gives strength to a man of 120 years to work and be helpful to his people. Do not let yourself be influenced by suggestions that have their roots in the long past of man. Remember that man is a knot where thousands of thoughts, emotions and desires from the past cross. According to the laws of inheritance these thoughts and desires will become manifest either in the man's own life or in the lives of his children.
Therefore present people show, through suggestion, the impulses of the past generation. The future generations will manifest the impulses of the present generation. To avoid the evils of the past and the future, turn all evil into good. How? Through prayer, through thought, through a good and reasonable life. If you are facing a crisis brought on by the past, pray to God to place you in the path of the good impulses, that they may become realized in your life. Only in this way will you be able to go in the right path—the path of love. The only power that can lead man out of the labyrinth of the present life and bring him to the shore of salvation is love.
Be flexible like the water, be patient like the wind, be quick like the light and durable like the earth.