"You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its savor, where with shall it be salted?"1
Christ begins His sermon on the mount with nine blessings. The blessings He is speaking about have a relation to another world, they are not about the earthly life. Christ says about the earthly people, "You are the salt." I shall speak about the salt because life cannot exist on earth without salt. The physical world is a world of salt, not of light - which is the world of the angels. "You," which "you"? Do not take this word in a narrow sense. For those who believe, "you" implies all people in whom the Divine consciousness is awakened. All people in whom this consciousness is awakened are the salt of the earth. By the word "salt", all occultists, cabalists and mystics understand the power of balance - that element of power which keeps things in a balanced state. In order to walk in the street, you must have balance. When a ship is being built, they put a load of salt on its bottom to keep it balanced so that the waves will not turn it over. The word "salt" implies that power that thickens matter, keeps it from disintegration and creates conditions for the higher powers of the world to work. Salt is a necessary element on the earth for the healthy condition of the human body. When an organism loses its salt, it loses its base, and as a result of that all kinds of illnesses attack it. The people call someone a neurasthenic; but I say that they have lost their salt - their energy flows out. If we could see with the eye of a clairvoyant the nerves and the arteries of a neurasthenic person, we would notice in many places there are cracks from which the energy flows out. Such a person is weak. Why? Because they have lost the Divine Salt, which is a basic power for maintaining human life on earth.
What are the causes for losing this salt? In the first place, the unrestrained human passions. After every expression of passion, regardless of what character, one feels a weakness. You have all experienced this. Passions are not necessary to people who have salt, but only to those who have none. Christ says to His disciples, "You are the salt and if the salt should lose its power, i. e. if it loses its saltiness, it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trodden by men." But why should it be trodden upon? Treading is a reaction so that it may acquire its saltiness again. When you suffer, that is treading; the angels throw you out among the people and you become weak because you have lost your saltiness. If you had been rich, you become poor; if you had been wise, you become foolish. You lose your saltiness, but as soon as this happens, you lose the sense of life too and then all contradictory teachings spring up: whether people should get married or not, whether they should have children, whether they should love their wives, and so on. The Epicurean philosophy takes hold according to which a man should have many wives and experience everything. You may try everything, but then you will be thrown out and trodden upon by all sensible2 people until you obtain your saltiness. Then the second process will come; the light will come, your mind will be illuminated and you will understand why you are suffering. You will understand that these things do not agree with life. Every thought, every desire which does not serve the building of the human soul and which is destructive, is not a necessary desire - it is losing your saltiness. When a husband treads upon his wife, let her say to herself, "Tread upon me that I may become salty." A husband trodden upon by his wife shows that he has no salt. Bulgarians call a bear-trainer to come into a village to make his bear tread on their sick people - or to salt them - and they get well. This power is hidden in all people. Scientists today have given it different names, while the occultists call it "magnetism," among the other names that they give it. When a person has this salt, they are magnetized. If you have this salt, you feel a certain pleasant warmth below your solar plexus and you get up in the morning well-disposed. However, if you do not have enough salt, you get up badly disposed, ready to be harsh and rude with people. Getting angry at the first person you meet means that person is asking you to tread upon them a little so that they may become salty. The person who comes to tread upon the angry one has this salt which will immediately restore the person’s balance. I want you to put my sermons to a test and to see their results. Only the person of deep convictions and experience is strong, for if you believe everybody, you have no salt. I believe that God speaks to people according to the salt they possess. If you have salt, He will say to you: "When you get up, go to dig your vineyard and to sow your field." If you are a judge you will study your cases, do other work, and you will understand Him. If you do not have salt, people will tread on you, rob you, steal your money, take away your wife, children, house. God says, "Treading is necessary on those people who cannot do their work on earth."
People often ask, "Why is the world not going well?" There is no salt in the world. Give people salt! Much salt is not necessary - you need only a quarter of a kilogram of the salt I am speaking to you about. That will be enough for the salting of the whole Bulgarian nation, so that it can become an excellent nation for at least one hundred years. Do you know how long your factories must work for the production of this salt? A scientist calculated that the original substance of which the world was created was thousands of times lighter than hydrogen and that to obtain only a gram of this original substance, all the factories in the world would have to work for three thousand years. You are the salt and in order to acquire this salt you must devote your whole life to this. If you had only one gram of this salt, you would be the richest person in the world. Wherever you went, you would heal people. When you enter a house where the husband and wife are at odds, give some of this salt so that peace and agreement will be immediately restored. Children are quarrelling - give them some of this salt; nations are warring, give them of this salt and peace and concord will be immediately restored. You say, "What kind of an alchemical element is this salt, what great power it has!" Upon entering the church, a priest who has this salt will silence everyone and all will turn to him. People want salt and if you do not have it, you can not have success. I am not speaking in the sense of judging you; I am only stating a defect that is common to all people, not only to Bulgarians. Everyone on earth has defects. If we were perfect, we would be among the angels with God. But since we must become well-bred, God has sent us to the earth - the place of wisdom where these great lessons can be learned.
Today I am preaching to you about the salt. Why? Because you all want to be happy. In fact, everybody can be happy but you must acquire the ability to retain this happiness, not just attain it. You get up in the morning well-disposed and say, "How happy I am." Five or ten minutes pass and you lose this happiness, this good disposition. Why? You have no salt in yourself. Salt implies the world with all its forms. Since you cannot retain only the essence without forms, that is why I say that the world is actually-real and actually-unreal. Actually-real is that world which has all the forms with their content, but actually-unreal is the world which has the forms without their content. There are people who are actually-unreal because they have a body, but have no salt. If you have no salt, you cannot understand what Divine Delight, Divine Goodness and Love are. Only by means of salt, by a balance between your mind and heart in a calm state, can you comprehend this Divine World.
Christ says, "The salt which has lost its savor must be thrown out and trodden on." That is why I have said many times that sufferings are necessary for they are the way of acquiring saltiness. Saltiness is the way to Light; the Light is the way to Love and Love - the way to God.
As soon as we begin seeking God, the world changes the aspect it has had until now. All of you who are listening to me this morning think that at times the world has some meaning and at other times it does not. That is very burdensome. You have friends who do not understand you; children who do not love you; you sit among believers, but they do not understand you either. The thing for you to do now is to understand whose fault it is. Is it they who have no salt or you? Where the salt is, there the right is; where there is no salt, there is no right. If you have no salt, you must say, "They must tread on me." All people are parts of God, of His great organism and since such is the case, it makes no difference who treads on you - do not forget that this is of God, in all cases divine hands or feet tread on you. This is a thousand times more pleasant than if a bear should tread on you, as the Bulgarian practice goes.
An Englishman tells of an experience of this kind. He went to India in order to study the life of the Hindu people. As an amateur sportsman, one day he took his gun and went to hunt in a thick forest. As he was carrying his gun in his right hand, he felt a strong blow on his left arm and fell to the ground. A tigress had hit him and carried him to her den where her little ones were. The tigress said to her children, "Get hold of this Englishman, tread on him hard and give him a good lesson. If he tries to raise his head, you tread on it." The Englishman wanted to raise his head and see what was taking place around him, but the tigress said, "Do not look up; there is nothing there, I am teaching my children." The Englishman said afterwards, "I was not angry that my left arm was broken; but that they trod on my head, so I could not see anything." Everyone who has no salt will fall into the claws of a tiger. When two young people are getting married for love, they go to the church, the priest prays for them and everyone kisses them. In a month’s time they part. The tiger has taken the bride or the groom. These people have lost their savor and will be thrown out. If there is a divorce between them, they have lost their salt and such people should not live together. Whether you are a man or a woman - treading is necessary. Bulgarians heal themselves by treading on one another. It is a pleasant massage, a nice rubbing. This salt is necessary for your physical organism, for your feelings and thoughts as well. The Law is general: it refers to the Angelic and Divine Worlds as well as to the physical world.
Modern philosophers give different names to the qualities of the spiritual world. For instance, they call a person who has salt a moral person and a person without salt - immoral. People say about someone: "This person is highly intelligent, sensible," which means that there is a law of balance in him, or salt. Intelligence3 is salt, so by the word "intelligence" is meant that condition when all human abilities are active. Salt is the soil. There can be nothing in the world without salt for the earth itself would be a desert without salt and everything would decay. Salt is a fertilizer stored up for years. Next to it there are other forces which build our organism. In order not to lose your salt, you should refrain from unlawful desires.
I shall tell you a parable now. In the distant past a girl was born in a palace; she was the most beautiful girl in the world. When she grew up, her father found a good young man whom he wanted his daughter to marry. This young couple was so well-loved in heaven that God sent down an angelic representative to attend their wedding on the earth. When the angel came to the earth, he fell in love with the young bride and did not wish to return to heaven. He began to think of ways of possessing this young woman. God waited for him to return for a day, two, three days, a month; but the angel did not return. When God understood how things stood, wishing to teach the angel the consequences of his bad desires, He turned him into a songbird who would hop from branch to branch among all the other birds. The angel began noticing that other birds avoided him as he hopped around in the trees and he could not figure out what was causing all his sufferings. One day he hopped on a tree and started to lament over his life. Just then four robbers came under that tree to divide their booty. They divided it into equal parts. Two of them decided to go to town and buy food and drink for a feast. On the way back these two robbers decided to put poison in the food so that when the other two ate it they would die. These two men would then take all of the riches. The two robbers who remained under the tree while waiting for their comrades to return decided to shoot them when they returned and take their riches. The angel knew of the evil decisions of both parties. When the two robbers approached the place, both were shot from a distance; the other two ate the food and were poisoned. Only then did the angel realize what the consequences of unlawful desires are and why he suffered. When God sends you to a wedding in which He participates, do not have the eye of this angel. If you are a man, keep yourself from saying, "she will be mine," or if you are a woman, "He will be mine," because you will sing up in the tree for a long time.
I ask you: “Are you not such birds thrown out of heaven?”
Some ask, "Tell us why we have come down from heaven." We have all come down to learn that unlawful desires have bad consequences and to understand that a man who has no salt is far from God. People want freedom. That is why God sends them to earth and says to them, "Live according to the Law of My Freedom." The wrong thing in people is that they want freedom only for themselves. According to God’s law, we must understand the relationships which exist among us. The Law of the Salt is, "Do not refuse to others what you desire for yourself." You should give others a chance to develop their own abilities too. If someone has a field or a vineyard, do not envy them, but rather be grateful that they have everything. If you see someone riding a horse, do not say, "I wish this horse were mine!" Be thankful that the person has a horse. They are worthy of it. If you see a nice, well-furnished house, do not desire it for yourself. If you have salt, you will have everything you need. Say to God, "I want salt from now on!" In order to convince some people today of this Great Truth, you must argue a long time with them; while with others you need only try to convince them. Few are those who will agree with you at once. People whose Spiritual Sight is not developed need argumentation, which is like groping in the spiritual world. By their feeling of sequence, step by step, they will form a clear idea of the things which they cannot grasp at once. In our reasonings about God, we use the same analogy in order to form an idea of Him. All philosophic schools, with their thick volumes of studying the questions of God, are all groping - some closer, others farther from the Truth. Some have touched the little finger of God and say, "What small fingers God has!" Someone has touched His hand and says, "What a big hand God has!" Someone has touched His shoulder or His head and has knowledge accordingly. But this is only the external side of God – His manifested nature.
It will be strange if someone should get on top of the roof of my house and say. "Now I understand Mr. Deunov. He is hard, because I am touching hard tiles." If someone should touch something soft, he would say, "How soft Mr. Deunov is!" I can be hard and soft at the same time. What do you understand by "hard"? Hard as a stone or hard in one’s convictions? Therefore we cannot have true conceptions of things from an external touch, but only vague ideas. If you do not have a sufficient amount of salt, you will not be salty and you will say, "Life is nothing but eating and drinking." I am not against eating and drinking. I do not recommend hunger or unnatural fasting. I have a different idea of fasting - everyone should eat as much as is necessary for the renewal of their body. Every day we should use a certain quantity of bread, water and air for the building of the body. Some think that if they do not eat, they will become better. No, if you do not eat, you will become worse. If you want to make a person better, feed them if they are hungry; give them drink if they are thirsty; and after they are nourished give them some of your salt and they will become better. If you do not feed them, you will commit a crime. If you meet a person in despair who wants to commit suicide, do not give them advice that this is a wrong thing to do or tell them not to despair. Take them to your home; feed them according to your custom; give them drink, and in an hour or two, after their food has been digested, say to them, "Let us have a talk now." Give that person a chance to feel well-disposed and tell you why their life is so dark. Instruct them and show them the way they should go. That is why God has sent them to you on that day. We often pray, "Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done," however, if you do not fulfil His will as He prompts you, that day you will be without salt. You can do this experiment: if you are in low spirits, meet a friend who feels worse than you, call them to your home, feed them and you will notice how God has salted both of you. A woman who is dissatisfied with her husband meets another woman who is even more unhappy; and when the two of them get together and talk for awhile, God will salt both of them.
This is a positive Christian philosophy. People often say, "You must not eat too many beans, too much meat as they leave sediments in your body." Ask yourselves why people eat so much - in order to obtain salt. When they have enough salt, they will not eat much. When you become normal then we can speak of a higher philosophy of life. You can do the following experiment, for you are all of the actual-real world: you may say to yourself, "Now it has come into Mr. Deunov’s mind to speak to us about salt; do we not know how necessary it is?" I am speaking to you about the salt so that you may make this simple experiment: stop and think for 5 to 10 minutes about the salt, about its influence on your organism, feelings, Soul, and mind and see if a change takes place in you and what you feel. Why is salt precisely such an active element? People often complain to me that they are in a bad mood – unhappy; but I say to them, "I know this, because I am also on the earth."
"Yes, but your condition is quite different from what we are under." The difference lies only in the fact that I have more salt. I shall give to you of my salt, but you must make good use of it and distribute it well. When you have some leaven, keep part of it for future use. When you eat yogurt, put a spoonful aside as leaven and do not say the children have eaten it all up. I recommend to people today not to eat to complete satisfaction, because God will take such people from the earth. In such a case you will be like a Bulgarian man to whom money was lent and he started buying useless things with it. The man who lent him the money took it back to count it and did not return it, saying, "You are not a man who can use money properly, that is why you do not deserve it." When God sees that you do not use life rightly and abuse it, He takes it back. Many of you were healthy, happy and joyful, but now you are faint and weak. Why? Because you are not yet able to make a proper use of life. When you have salt in yourselves, you will be healthy people with a sound body and heart.
Concentrate your mind on salt - the element of balance and uplifting - and try to comprehend it. The Hindus call this element "Prana," a power bearing life in itself. It can be found and drawn from the air, the food and the water. Now I shall tell you how to eat. We shall begin with eating in this life. When you begin to eat, the first condition required of you is to cast out all discontentment. You should try to love the small piece of bread you have, so that the energy that it has might penetrate your organism. This would create a pleasant feeling in you. But what do we find today? A wife cooks for four hours a tasty meal and when her husband comes home he is scowling and discontented, throwing cold water on his wife and all the salt is gone. The next day the wife is disgruntled and he eats without receiving any of this salt, because there is discontentment. Both the husband and wife are discontented. The husband says, "Is this a wife?" The children say, "What kind of a mother is this!" Another time the husband buys meat, butter, eggs and again all are discontented at home. In order to be content, prepare yourself in thinking that everything is excellent with you wife. When you chew your food you will see how tasty it is and what a feeling of pleasantness and happiness you will experience. Now you are complaining, "How can one live on ¼ kilogram of bread?" But in a quarter kilogram of bread there is enough salt for your subsistence. It is our discontentment which causes all the unpleasantness. You say to yourself, "When my stomach is empty, I do not understand anything about this eating." It is not your stomach that is empty – it is your mind and your heart that are empty. I have made different experiments with food, at times eating only two apples with some bread and I have been satisfied. It is not in the abundance of food; but in eating with a grateful heart that one is blessed.
Do not be negligent of the little salt in the world; it is like the small grain of wheat out of which great things are born. The first thing we should do is to reform this feeling of discontentment which exists in us. When you have a small quantity of food, thank God for it and it will be multiplied. Because in living magnetism there is a power by which all particles which have a similar vibration to that of the central magnetism are attracted. If you are pleased with the food you eat, you will be able to attract from outside as many elements as are necessary to satisfy you. Some say, "We should not drink water, it is for the frogs; the wine is for us." You should drink water on an empty stomach from 100 to 150 milliliters in swallows. You should drink from half to one kilogram of water daily out of which you will take the necessary food for your arteries. You should breathe deeply through your nose, not through the mouth, so as not to swallow much dust. When people today learn to receive food, water and air this way, the other blessings will come of themselves. Do not think that things will be created in you and in your soul from now on. No, there are many dormant feelings in you. The human soul is rich, waiting for conditions to develop. The first thing you should develop is gratefulness for everything you have. Keep your eye from being like that of the angel I told you about. If you all apply this great "Law of Thankfulness", at least 50% of your affairs on earth will be set right. Then the angels watching us from above, seeing that we have started on the Path, will come to help us. Do not think that you are working alone in the world. Dig the earth and you will see how many small worms are helping the tiller; how many microbes are helping the farmer in preparing the soil; and how many elements form the grain of wheat. In spite of all this, we are children who are always discontented no matter what their father brings them. Every child must thank their father for everything he brings them. A child who does not kiss their father when he brings them something, has no salt. Some parents say, "My angel." It is an angel indeed, but without the wings. A daughter who does not thank her father and mother and does not kiss them is also an angel without wings.
You who are listening to me will speak to others in the same way. Then we shall verify by experience the necessity of this salt for all. Today God is treading on people, salting the world: Englishmen, Germans, Russians, Frenchmen, and so on. From today on, the Good is coming. When you go home, obtain at least a gram of salt in order to be a useful member of your family, of society and the nation. Be thankful for everything, for only then can you obtain a Blessing. Then you will be wise, good, industrious and diligent.
Sermon held on March 25, 1917 in Sofia
1 Matthew 5:13
2 Here and later sensible is used in the meaning of having, containing, or indicative of good sense or reason, rational, reasonable, as in the collocations sensible people, made a sensible answer, (ed. note)
3 Intelligence as the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly (ed. note)