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Bending & Breaking

Be always faithful, true, pure, and kind!


There is a situation when a person constantly studies and never learns. Has a woman done her work well if has half-kneaded the bread or if she has not baked it? Has a seamstress done her work well if she has sewn the clothes helter-skelter? And if you wait for the angels from Heaven to come to carry you with their hands, to give you a guitar and to award you with wreaths on your heads, will you be ready for this situation? Your desire is excellent, but can you put a guitar in the hands of a person who cannot play, and can you place wreaths on a stupid head? I mean a head, but an intelligent one!

Now, I am telling you this in line with the progress you have made in your development. When you feel a desire to weave and when you first go to a trainer good at this art, when she starts explaining things to you, will you understand her? You say that you understand and she leaves you alone. But if you have not mastered it, you will be weeping at the loom. Now, you have to know that the Master won’t be among you forever. One day you will be left alone and then we will see what will happen.

There are two things that you need: the soft person should bend and the strong one should break. So, the soft person forms a circle and the strong person forms the diameter. You have a certain feeling for unbending will. What should be done with your will? It should be bent. But when? In case an unbending will lead only to evil, it has to be bent. This is true for both men and women. If a woman has taken a devious way, she has to bend properly.

Bending is a transition from one condition into another; only then can there be bending, only at a curved line can there be life. Some say, ‘I do not want to bend’. There is no bending in ordinary life, but bending is inevitable during a transition from one state into another, from physical to spiritual life. This is part of the course of development. If the Earth had not bent, what would our situation have been? If the Earth has remained round as a ball, nothing would have grown on it; it would have been smoothly covered with water all over and nothing would have grown on it. But the Earth bent and valleys were formed; the Earth broke and mountains were formed. When you bend you will form valleys, when you break you will form mountains. This is how you will provide conditions for the development of your life.

The word breaking is wrongly understood today too. Breaking means when you walk exactly into one direction to take a direction perpendicular to the original movement. Therefore, these are features or methods of Life itself.

Many of you have to bend, at that you have to bend at a place where it needs to, not everywhere. You have to bend properly at the required place, so that you form a continent there. You have to break exactly at the place where a mountain peak can be formed, similar to the Himalayan ones and your ideas may be born on this high peak.

These are the conclusions that are to be encountered in nature. Nature works in this way and one should work in the same way. What are your eyes like – bulging or sunken? – Sunken. So it takes a sinking inside in order to create the eyes. Then there is a sinking again in order to create the ears. If you say, “I do not want any sinking’, do you know what you will look like? If there was no sinking in your face, what would it look like? Beauty is born thanks to this sinking too. There is a breaking in the nose, while there is a bending in the eyebrows.

Now, you will perceive this in the most profound sense: one should bend and one should break, but where one has to! There are people who bend before everything, but this is another matter. Bending is actually taking the right direction of development. Bending is an indication of kindness, while breaking is an indication that one can endure any pressure. Sharp items always make their way; you have to break in order to form a blade to attack your enemy with. Breaking means taking another direction.

Now, some of you have to take a perpendicular direction of development as compared to one’s views. For instance, you have made many decisions, but tell me which decision you have implemented so far, which decisions you have acted upon? I am not saying that you have no aspirations. When certain points are argued, one has to bend in the good sense of the word, to take a perpendicular direction as compared to one’s original situation or one has to move in a circle, to perform harmonic movements. To put it more precisely one has to move either along the diameter of one’s circle, or perpendicularly to one’s circle. However, these are scientific terms that have to be translated.

Take the word crack open. This word has both positive and negative meanings. Indeed, it is bad if your bottle cracks open, but when a wheat grain cracks, when your iced water cracks, this is the good sense of the word. Things sometimes have to crack open! When intelligent people crack open, when good people crack open, fragrance comes out of them. But when stupid people crack open - stench comes out of them. This is why I say, ‘Evil people should not crack, but good people should crack! And when God wants to interrogate somebody, He takes that person, squeezes and tests him or her. You also sometimes take a strange leaf of a plant and having squeezed it you see that it stinks. Thus sometimes, and it is from the Invisible world at that, you are being cracked and you let out fragrance, but having stayed for while you start stinking. This is why you should be squeezed often!

Let’s assume that you have a seed; if this seed cracks open on its own accord we call such cracking an opening, an intelligent cracking. But if it does not crack open on its own accord, can the Sun rays get into it? Therefore, one should often crack one’s soul in this way, and in order to crack one’s soul, one has to free oneself of certain temporary prejudices. Temporary prejudices are to be encountered in all social strata, in all social classes. Women have special types of prejudices. When you get together at a place, one has to have a phonograph to hear what you are talking about. When you get together in your intimate life, what are you talking about? About news, aren’t you? In this respect it is all right for one to take interest in the news, to talk, but it needs an intelligent discussion. When one enters this Path, one has to find exactly these appropriate methods that Nature uses, so that one can do more with the least efforts and to have sufficient time to pay attention to the useful things in life.

Whenever a disciple reaches a certain stage of development, the disciple is always exposed to certain tests; the disciple is already exposed to conscious tests. This is part of the laws in Nature. This is also true in life: when you have a small child, you do not send the child anywhere – neither to the mountains, nor anywhere further. But when the child becomes fifteen-sixteen years of age, you send the child to the grocer’s and further away. Why? Because you rely on the child. And when you send the child, there will be wind and hail and rain and storms and troubles but this is a matter of course. So now you have become a little older and you will be put to certain tests: you will be sent to the grocer’s, you will be sent to fetch chopped wood, you will be sent out of town etc. If you go to the Elena1 region for instance, you will see that a woman carrying more chopped wood on her back is considered a heroine. However, if any Sofian woman places chopped wood on her back, this will make the front pages of all the newspapers. The newspapers would write, ‘This is unheard of – Sofian women carrying chopped wood on their backs!’ I am asking whether one has to carry chopped wood on one’s back. No, one does not. This is a need we have created artificially.

You will examine yourselves along these lines, you will examine your condition along these lines, you will examine your disposition along these lines, you will examine the people around you along these lines too; you will examine everything. You will examine the weather too.

Now, I will give you the following exercise for ten days: you will take a notebook and you will note down the weather and your condition in the morning, at noon, and in the evening. You get up in the morning, you are indisposed; note down what the weather is like! And at noon, according to your condition you will note down the weather again! And again in the evening. You will continue with this exercise for ten days, i.e. thirty times. This exercise will show whether there is any correspondence between your beautiful conditions or your indisposition and the weather outside. Sometimes you are cheerful, the weather outside will be cloudy, and some other time when you are aggrieved, the weather is clear. It is of interest to see in how many cases your condition will correspond to the weather. You understood how this will be done, didn’t you? You will put down a note like this in the morning, ‘I have a severe indisposition of my Spirit.’ At noon you will put down, ‘Terrible doubts seized me’, and in the evening, ‘Deep jealousy seized me’. You will write on the following morning, ‘Awful pusillanimity’, at noon, ‘Acrimony’, in the evening, ‘Dreadful vengeance.’ On the morning of the third day you should note, ‘Strong faith’, at noon, ‘Great hope’, in the evening, ‘Immense love’. This is how you will write – not much. You will put down the time and what the weather is like: whether it is cloudy, or windy, whether the Sun shines or not. For instance, you will write, ‘The Sun is shining off and on’; however, if the Sun is not to be seen, you will write, ‘Absolutely cloudy or windy.’ You will first take notice of your condition, and then of the weather outside. You will start the exercise tomorrow morning and you will see how each one will start. But you will be calm and you will simply chronicle certain conditions of yours.

One has to study one’s nature and not to worry about the conditions that one experiences. Often the joys that you have are not yours. In America or England2, for example, when a gentleman is invited to a ball or to a sumptuous dinner and he does not have a nice suit, as it takes a couple of thousands, he goes to a well-known company and rents a suit. If he needs accessories he will rent them as well, he will dress up and this is how he will appear. On the following day he puts on his old clothes again. You likewise are cheerful some days, but you have rented joy from elsewhere. But I am not to be deceived: I see somebody springing with joy and I say, ‘This one has rented this joy from this-or-that company.’ Later on I see that this person has returned it. I say that you will be invited again; you will rent again and people will see you dressed up, according to the latest fashion. One has to have one’s own suit.

One thing I know for certain: the spiritual Joy of a person is something constant, it never alters, it cannot be rented. This is what I know and what you know is something different [another matter]. There may be storms outside, unhappiness, but deep down in one’s soul a spiritual person sees Eternal Joy. A spiritual person endures suffering well: such a person may weep twenty times a day, but he or she is nonetheless glad internally. This is experience: the important thing is the internal condition, and not what one manifests externally. Joy is never wasted; this is my understanding! The same is true about Faith: hesitation, doubts and other things may come from outside, but it does not alter. The same is true about Hope and about Love. Love never fails, it does not cool down. This is what we know, and what you know is another matter. This is how I understand things for myself. One may fall down and may get scars; this falling means nothing. Is a ray, descending from above and falling onto the Earth, more sinful than the other rays? No, it has come to do its job and after completing it, its condition alters. Having done its job it must have acquired something anyway. Loss in one respect is a gain in another. God, for our sake, sends us to the Earth to suffer temporarily, so that we acquire something fine and beautiful. This is what I know! Somebody says, ‘Why did I descend on the Earth?’ You have made an excursion. Now you have chosen a day slightly inappropriate for an excursion, but nonetheless this is pleasant. Anyway after the clouds and after the rain the weather will improve, it won’t last like this forever. Christ says to His disciples, ‘Now you have grieves, the world will rejoice and you will weep, but then I will see you and you will rejoice and nobody can deprive you of your joy.’

In this way you will work practically, i.e. you will work experientially. You are taking a test and no one can help you, not even angels can help you. Even if they want, they won’t be able to, because everything takes place according to the law of absolute freedom. Well, how can you help that lazy student who does not want to study? The teacher can get him or her into another grade, but human beings need knowledge, they need virtues. The virtues within us have to grow!

When I talk to you about that ideal world, I mean that a human being has to develop all of those virtues, all of those abilities. Then a human being will have strength for oneself. And there should be no animals around oneself, because animals are an indication of one’s weaknesses. This is how I understand this Life! While now you are rejoicing and you are saying, ‘How nice it is!’ Yes, this is a plaything for children; this is how they are spoken to. This Life has to be built out of those internal virtues. If you do not have them, no one can help you. Anybody can live on the alms basket, but you know what the alms basket is.

I have told you so many times and I am asking you again whether you can join a contemporary symphony orchestra if you cannot play? You will be merely listeners there. You may want to play, but after pulling the bow for ten times, the bandmaster will tell you, ‘Be so kind as to listen only!’ And there is no point taking offence, because only the one who is able has the right to play. This will be the case when you come to the other world. But there is Blessing! Blessing there is for that beginner who practices the violin all day long, but there is no Blessing for the virtuoso. It is said about the virtuoso, ‘’Blessing is over for you, you have to manifest your art and to play beautifully, nothing more!’ Now, I am talking to those of you who are virtuosos. For those of you, who are students, there is Blessing [Bliss] as much as the ocean, but there is no Blessing for the virtuosos. Only a virtuoso has rights; a virtuoso has the right to play the way he or she finds appropriate. While a student has no rights, a student will play according to the rules, the methods given by the Teacher [Master]. Being a student you will observe the discipline of the school: you will make no scandals with your class-mates, you will not laugh in class, you will not talk in class; you will answer, you will be silent and you will study intelligently. Moreover you will not dress the way your fancy takes you, you will not eat seeds, peanuts and any other similar food in class, because these are not allowed there. You will enquire whether you are not free. There is no freedom - this has to be observed in class! When you fast – this is an indication that you are students. Abstinence is required! Only a student fasts.

If you adhere to these rules in your life, you will achieve certain good results, but even if you do not adhere to them, you will study your lessons anyway. Why is the Invisible world so strict and just! So far, since the creation of the world, not a single angel has succeeded in getting one’s way through without studying. Anybody, who has attempted to, has always descended to the Earth. These are rules for everybody, there is no lenience whatsoever, no hypocrisy. The law is the same for young and old alike. For those who have consciousness, who want to be in the other world, the law has to be the same. Don’t you think that there is any hypocrisy in the other world, as in this world! No, there is no hypocrisy there. When you enter there you will be expected to be pure, while Purity is a feature only of the immortal souls. This you have to know. If you are mortal, you have no Purity! Intelligence is also a feature only of the immortal souls. A mortal soul cannot be intelligent. Truth, Justice, Virtue – all of these virtues are features of the immortal souls. When a human being becomes immortal, he or she will also have virtues, he or she will also have one’s own way of understanding, but they will all be different.

Sometimes one feels so under the weather, that one feels like taking one’s head and running for the woods. Well, if only the woods could heal wounds! How many times have we been to the woods without succeeding in healing our heads! Heads can be healed only when the Truth comes to live within a human being.

So now, you will get into your head the thought that there is no hypocrisy in the world you are aspiring to. You should not look at the contemporary life now, do not be superficial; do not be beguiled by any temporary appearances. You may have a friend who loves you, but do not be beguiled by the first manifestations of love. Love is known by its end results. Do not be beguiled by any temporary appearances. The one who loves you on the Earth, he has to show you the Path upwards. As long as he shows you the Path, he loves you, if he does not show you the path, he does not love you; nothing more! We understand love as an urge to the objective, to the good for the soul. If somebody hinders my soul, if somebody enslaves it, if somebody detracts me from the Path to understanding God, what do I gain from his or her love? So, Love with its internal meaning can be known by the fact that everybody who loves you has to give an internal impulse to your soul. This is what we call mutual labour, mutual work towards self-improvement. This is the beautiful! And when you reflect, you will know that each sister, who can give you an impulse, loves you, and the love of any sister who cannot give you an impulse, is not strong as yet. You say, ‘But she does not love me.’ This is a temporary and subjective understanding. There is such a love in the world, when I will smile at you, I will offer you a chair to sit, I will treat you at the table; but this is not love as yet, because I can have vested interest. If you go to a modern American teacher and if you pay him or her twice or three times higher a fee than a poor student, he or she will receive you well and will send away the poor student, to get rid of the poor student, although the poor student also pays a fee to the teacher. I am telling you, ‘Do not waste your time with such a teacher.’

So, during these ten days, when you get up in the morning you won’t be in hurry to wash, but remain reflecting in bed for ten minutes in order to receive the God’s rays of Truth. In the evening before you go to bed spare ten minutes for reflection again. Be in a quiet and calm condition and thank God for all this. Direct your soul upwards to the Invisible world, so that you can receive the Great, the Divine. In the morning – ten minutes, in the evening - ten minutes; this is where the good of the human soul resides, this is the beautiful, and this is the delightful. One minute spent with God is worth millions of minutes spent with people. This is what I know! One has to live millions of minutes with people in order to attain one minute with God. Not that people are bad, but what I am looking for is not to be found with them. They have to work for a long time in order to be able to deliver such a thing. This can only be provided by the Eternal. Therefore, we have to be going closer to God, thus we shorten our time.

Christ says in the Scripture, ‘Rejoice and be cheerful when grieves come onto you; rejoice and be cheerful when your mind is troubled; rejoice and be cheerful when people say bad things about you; rejoice and be cheerful when your work makes no progress; rejoice and be cheerful when you have nowhere to sleep; rejoice and be cheerful when you walk barefoot; rejoice and be cheerful when you are hungry etc.’ And if we establish an internal law we would say: strong is the person who can be a master of oneself. We could make the world go our way, but we are afraid who will do our job. For instance, I ask you how many hours do you need to sweep your room. I need only five minutes to sweep clean four rooms; I need ten to fifteen minutes to cook you a meal; five minutes to get dressed, one minute to wash myself. How many minutes altogether? Seventeen minutes. Then I need five minutes to see to the children at home, five minutes to receive visitors etc. So that it will be approximately sixty minutes until I do all of your work and afterwards I will have a lot of free time.

For example, it often happens that somebody comes to me with a whole string of questions, intending to have a talk with me for four or five hours, but he or she tells me, ‘Master, I have written all of these questions, but I resolved them on my way to you, there is no point for you to waste your time any more, everything became clear to me having talked with you for four or five minutes.’ So, these were clarified to him from the Invisible world. Otherwise I would have had to tell him, he would have argued, I would have had to prove things to him and after four or five hours he would have left with certain reservations anyway. While now, both of us are grateful.

It is different when you clean your house. But there is no dust in the house of a righteous person. When dust reaches his or her house, it stays in the air and when you open the window it goes out. For example, a saint when getting up in the morning, performs his duty by saying ‘fie, fie’ and thus cleans his room. He cleans it very well, with the best broom and there is no dust left there, everything goes out. Work will shorten; this is exactly the future of the civilization – to shorten the work and to get free of this exhausting labour that we are having now. Indeed we work a lot nowadays. Three hour’s work a day is enough, while now we have all become slaves to work. Another work is needed already: less physical work, more work for the mind and for the heart.

Now somebody says, ‘What shall I gain now that I walk along this Path?’ This is what you will gain: for fifteen minutes you will cook the meal, for fifteen minutes you will get your work done in the room, for several minutes you will see to your visitors and you will never live in deprivation. Of course this is for the future. If you live like this you will gain time. While now you cook for four hours a day, two hours go on sweeping, three hours you spend with your visitors, four hours – with the kids, two hours – on sewing and in the end the woman says, ‘Whatever work remains undone, I will have to do it on the following day.’ So, not only that she could not finish her job on that day, but there is work for the following day. Even if she works the whole week long, she cannot finish anything, but this work is to be done for twenty-five minutes.

Now, you have not studied the art of making people feel happy. Why can’t you make your folks at home feel happy? You say, ‘Only God can do this.’ But you can make your folks at home feel happy. Now I shall not tell you how; this is the greatest art. You can make both your husband and your children feel happy. This is the greatest art, but I shall not tell you about it now. It’s not a difficult job, but it is a science. I shall not dwell on the method, but imagine that I can see you coming from the street and you are annoyed and I know that you like rose oil. You enter and smell around, it feels pleasant and your mood immediately changes, doesn’t it? So, the rose oil can save the situation in this case. But this is not my art; I am only saying that you can apply this method. If, however, this person has an aversion to rose oil, you may make a mistake and lose completely. You know what this person is supposed to like – rose oil or violet oil, or any other oil. I used to know a person in America who left his wife and do you know why? He had an aversion to the colour black. One day he went to see to some of his commercial transactions and while he was away his wife furnished the room in black. On seeing this when he came back he broke with her.

One has to study both oneself and one’s own tastes. Sometimes you want to know what you yourselves like, so that you can please yourselves better. I call love the profound desire of the soul, the Divine in a person. By soul and Spirit I mean the Divine human being, while by heart and mind I mean the human aspect of life. Get your soul and Spirit started, so that everything hidden there can develop. This is your good. Leave your heart and mind to develop on their own accord, do not interfere with their development. In order to educate one’s mind, in order to educate one’s heart, one has to be knowledgeable.

When I use the word grief I mean those intelligent conditions under which a certain virtue can develop. We will feel grief all the time while it is developing. These are conditions under which these virtues can develop. Therefore, grief will bring Joy, because it provides the conditions for the virtue to manifest. This is precisely why we have to understand that each grief brings something nice to the world. If you have grief, something fine will be born within you. I do not mean suffering, but grief. These are laws of Nature; it has arranged things like this. Somebody says, ‘I am already fed up with grief!’ No, rejoice, because you can’t imagine how nonsensical, how empty life on the Earth is without grief. Be glad while you have grief. You have not tested Life without grief. You have to understand Life: as soon as grief comes, let Joy appear in your soul. Somebody says, ‘Well I suffer a lot!’ Fine, be glad, something nice is maturing within you! When the nice fruit ripens within you, they will be good for your soul and you will then understand them.

(A voice from the audience): What is the difference between grief and suffering?

Suffering is meant for the stronger ones. Grief is only a way to develop certain virtues. When one aspires to create something new in oneself, one suffers. Suffering creates new things, while grief facilitates the development of virtues. This is the Truth: the soul grieves, and the Spirit suffers. When the Spirit wants to create something new, it suffers, but not because of being weak. People have imparted a distorted understanding of the concept of suffering. When we say suffer, it can be replaced by effort, by overcoming of circumstances.

Be always faithful, true, pure, and kind!

Master’s lecture

Delivered on 18 February 1926

16:00h in Sofia

1 Elena is a small town in the mountains in central Bulgaria.

2 The Master refers to USA (America), and Great Britain (England).







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