The Good Prayer „The Spirit of God"
I will read Chapter twenty-two from Solomon’s Proverbs.
“God is Love”
Children first learn to walk; they start with crawling. Cowardly people when faced with great danger start crawling on the ground.
When you read Chapter twenty-two of the Proverbs you will learn the true Path, along which a man develops properly. You have heard about it many times, but there are paths that take you nowhere. There are certain paths in the forest which cannot take you to any end; you reach a river or a mountain peak. Here we understand a Path that has meaning – along it you can come back with everything that you have gathered; you can carry everything with yourself. There is an internal experience and those who are aware of it can do every single thing.
You ask what Path I mean. All of us are accustomed to feeling at ease, to have a convenient house and everybody would like to have somebody else doing the house work. A person is not inclined to get oneself down to work. Some people, not working for themselves, would like other people to work for them. How much would it cost me to have my parlour cleaned? They consider it all right to enter the parlour in their shoes, but they do not consider it all right to clean the parlour. You will say that you will get cold. Well anybody cleaning the parlour may get cold…
In the Spiritual world one should first learn to be clean [pure]. You will leave your shoes outside. Moses was told on coming to that sacred place ‘Take off your shoes!’ Many times you insist on me telling you certain things. Why I am not telling you? Because you all have put on your shoes. I shall be talking to you about onion and pepper, but about an important issue – I shall not. You will say, ‘Does a man not have to have one’s shoes on?’ Was man born in shoes? Why then do you insist so much on having your shoes on when coming in and you consider it a shame to be barefoot. You are right in a certain respect: there are some places where it’s a shame for a man not to have one’s shoes put on. Feet should be put in virtues. The virtuous skin from which these shoes are made does not mar. A bird flying in the air is entitled to get into the parlour. Perhaps some day, when people start flying like the birds, people will not have to take their shoes off. I’m not saying that shoes should be taken off, but I am saying that everybody entering the parlour should clean it. And now I would like all the sisters to pay off back изкупят their sins. Young and old alike; be an example! Why do we have to clean the parlour? Why did you make it dirty, you come in with your shoes on?
You have to start with a rule that you should first introduce Purity everywhere. You will start with Purity in the physical world. If you see a stain on yourself, you have to clean it. Do not leave it to stay, if you want to cultivate a good habit. If you see that your hair is a little bit unkempt, comb it; if you see that your feet stink, wash them right away, in order to be in consistence with that Divine rule. The present day life is a life of postponement; you postpone once, twice, thrice. As long as you postpone, God postpones as well. A good thought comes to you and you postpone its implementation and you say, ‘Hang on’. When you go to God, He in turn says to you, ‘Hang on’, because this thought is His. He says, ‘If I wait, you will also wait.’ A man went to a rich merchant but the latter told his servant, ‘Tell him that I am not in’. Then the merchant needed something and went to ask this very man for a favour. The man told him, ‘Tell him that I am not in.’ The merchant was surprised, ‘Well, I can hear his voice, how comes he is not in?’ The answer was, ‘He is not in for you.’
The Spiritual world is utterly demanding; there are no excuses there. When you go there, you will see an absolute Purity, absolute correctness. Such should be the future life. We want to straighten out our life here, but it still remains non-straightened and will never straighten out. The rule is: ‘a man who wants to straighten out his earthly life, should straighten out his Divine Life. There is no exception to this! Do not try to settle it only externally, you should first settle the Divine Life and afterwards the material life. When you get up in the morning, you should first pray, even spend an hour praying. If you do this, you will succeed better in your other work.
Note that the eyes which are made of the most delicate substance are constantly washed by the eye-lids. The eye-lids wash them about ten times a minute because purity is required in order to see clearly. And human thought has to be even purer in order to be clear. If you neglect it even for two-three minutes, you won’t see clearly in your thoughts. You make a mistake, you postpone, you postpone again and you justify yourself that even kings make mistakes and angels make mistakes, and you are righteous all the same. People have made mistakes and have suffered the consequences; you will also suffer, somebody else’s sin cannot justify you. What use is it to you that somebody else made a mistake? None. Because the sin of one man is a problem to the others. Our responsibility becomes greater as other people are affected and the more people affected by our sin, the bigger the responsibility. This law is also true in respect of the good that you do: the more people influenced by your good, the bigger the good. This law has the same effect for the evil and the good. Somebody will ask why God did not make it so that the evil influence does not spread. Then the good wouldn’t spread either. But since the good is stronger, its influence will always be greater. Although bad people are more in number, the good people are stronger. If a thousand people do something evil, it can be compensated by a good done by one person. If you are a good person you are worth as a thousand bad people. This is why bad people always want to attract a good person to them because this is a great capital.
I shall give you several rules now. There are certain issues that you are studying now. For example, you study handwriting. What use is this to you? If you are a young maid and your beloved is very demanding, you will immediately change your handwriting.
(The master wrote on the board ‘My dearly beloved’.)
Why should you call your beloved ‘dearly beloved’? For you he is above all, there is nobody else except him and you tell him, ‘Ever since I met you, my life became meaningful!’ Why did it become meaningful? In order life to become meaningful you have to have understood something. You have met somebody but you did not recognize him. When you met the young lad, you were looking only at the physical man – whether his hair is long, whether his brows are thick or thin, what is his forehead like, whether his hair is curly. This is why this man will turn sour later on, because he has the feature to turn sour, to ferment and to become wine. When you drink from this wine, you will get drunk and when you get up in the morning you will have a headache.
I shall now clarify what I mean: a disharmony is generated among you, because you haven’t seen the Truth, you haven’t seen the one who loves you. You are looking for the one who does not love you at all. This very same one, who is on the earth, sometimes wonders how you fell in love with him. You haven’t fallen in love with him, but have fallen in love with somebody. And the other one is wondering why and what for you fell in love with him and cannot account for it. How can you fall in love with a person you do not know? You cannot like a book you haven’t read; only a fine book that you have read can you like. Sometimes you may be misled by the good binding. A man you should read at least forty-five years in order to get to know him. You will read him from cover to cover for forty-five years and after that you will return and comment on the reading so that you can see what is inside his soul.
If you have a friend and make a remark about him, your love shall not survive. If you start along the path of love for God, will you make a remark to God for giving you such and such troubles, will you say, ‘Doesn’t God know how much I love Him?’ Let’s assume that God does not love you, but do you love God? Love covers many mistakes. If God has allowed certain things then what can make us draw the conclusion that these are inappropriate? Let’s assume that a young maid has got engaged to somebody, and the Invisible world is in the way and tries to put a stop to it. I ask what’s wrong with this. God knows that this young lad will ruin the young maid. He is for another maid, but not for you, but you say, ‘I cannot [do] without him!’ If we feel like that all the time it is the others that are wrong and we are right, where is then the love and where is the mistake? If the maid married the lad, after seven years he would tell her, ‘You did not cook the beans properly!’ From then on the ‘dearly beloved’ becomes ‘beloved’. After the remark about her dish he becomes ‘beloved’. The Greeks have a form of address Ivanaki. But after overcooking the beans three more times, there is no more Ivanaki. At first there will be Ivancho, and then only Ivane1. In this situation how can you make your life meaningful?
I want to drive you to that great law: each thought coming into life in a person has a certain impact. Seemingly very little things can interfere with the law of Love.
This is done by men and women alike, by teachers and priests and others. Never place an obstacle to clean waters. Do not place a barrier to the pure spring that flowms, not to gather mud. Because each remark that you make to a person who loves you is mud. And then you yourself have to drink this water. Because Love is a great law that comes from God; this water cannot go back, the mud will remain in you and Love will go away. You will clean the mud – this is the law! You cannot evade the consequences: if you say one bad word the water will sieve, the mud will remain in you and it will take years to clean yourself.
It takes a proper understanding of Life. You have to know the power of the human thought, the power of the human feelings. You have to know what consequences a word said by you will have. One should be pleased with what you say. Every word of yours should be understood. Somebody may have made a mistake – leave it aside! If a fountain runs from God and some have blocked and mudded this water, do not become one of them. The Scripture reads, ‘Everybody will carry one’s burden.’ Everybody will suffer the consequences of one’s thoughts, feelings and deeds. This is a law that is true in one other aspect as well: both the good and the evil that you do, will pass through you. The good thought that you have will pass through you and will leave its print. This is a method according to which you have to work upon yourselves.
Sometimes you feel embarrassment when you say ‘dearly beloved’. You are embarrassed because you haven’t said the truth. When you say ‘dearly beloved’, you should not change [your attitude] during your entire life. If you change, your conclusion is not correct, because precious stones do not change, but are the same all the time. A stone that is not precious remains forever simple2. Simple[-minded] people even if placed among educated people, with good people, remain simple[-minded] all the same. While good people even if placed among bad people, remain good all the same, they can even contribute something to the others. Precious stones are not influenced by the external atmosphere but they are influenced by the life of people. There are diamonds that lose their lustre if worn by certain people and they are forced to give them to other people to wear them so that the diamonds can recover their lustre. There are people who show themselves as bad but they are good deep at heart; they are bad only externally, but internally they have pure hearts and each of their words has meaning, without saying one thing and meaning another. Precious stones do not lose their value with such people, but become conductors of Divine Power.
Saints transfer something nice to their garment which is lost in time. Similarly one has to be good so that aura, an internal scent, forms around him or her. When a person forms such an aura around oneself, he starts feeling that he is in a home of his. You often worry, you are sad that you do not have a good aura and that it is pierced here and there. Create a good aura of yours! This can be accomplished within one, two or ten years of Spartan life – a serious, not ascetic life.
You have to know that only the good is strong in the world. Say, ‘God is Love, God is Wisdom, God is Truth! Nobody dies with God and I shall not die either! Everybody lives with God and I shall also live!’ But you say that you will die. Dying is one thing, going to God is another. Those, who die, are carried out of the house in a wooden stretcher; while those who are leaving, they close their houses themselves, they leave and nobody accompanies them, only sometimes can there be seers off. And those who die are buried.
So, I’m saying now: I do not want a negative thought to enter you in the course of your development. Evil has settled in human beings not only from this generation, but for the last hundred, two hundred, three hundred generations. The evil has come to you along this line, but so has the good, left by your grandfather, which is also a legacy for you. If you are not paying for the evil you shall not be granted the good either. Whether the external world approves of us is insignificant. All of you live in a world that is good. How can you explain that at two or three kilometres of depth, under the most unfavourable conditions precious stones, that cost millions of pounds sterling, develop [take shape]? A piece of coal for which you would not give a fiver becomes a precious stone; the consciousness of the coal is elevated. Precious stones are stones whose consciousness has progressed. These are the righteous precious stones while the other ones are pieces of coal. When a precious stone comes to the surface it already has a price. It has lived a pure life in the depth of the earth. If coal turns into diamond under the worst conditions, why shouldn’t human beings, under their living conditions, become saints? They can, if only they want to! But those who think that they can easily enter the Divine Kingdom shall be simpler stones at first. There are many types of stones below the diamond, until you reach the lowest type of simple soil, of ordinary mud. Mud is trodden upon by everybody, all sorts of bugs are generated within it, it is exposed to constant suffering, decay etc. The same law is valid for human beings too: if they do not aspire to God, they will constantly suffer. Suffering is given so that people can have an aspiration to achievement. Aspiring to God means acquiring the riches that God has prepared for us. When we become good we do not contribute anything to the Spiritual world, but we become instruments conducting what God has put into the world. Some day when we become precious stones, an angel may place us at a window. However, there is no way for you, in the state that you are now, to come any nearer the other world. If you enter you will impart stench and the angels will have to clean themselves from the smell that you will convey. I have told you about that monk, haven’t I, who visited the monastery, said where the money was, but afterwards the monastery was abandoned...
You should first start with cleansing [purifying] the body. This is one of the tasks. You say that one is beautiful while one is young. No, one is beautiful while one is virtuous. When one is younger, one has a more generous heart, and when you ask an elderly man for something, he does not want to oblige you. I have been observing certain elderly women: they grope in the bag full of walnuts and give only two walnuts to the child bringing them water. Then they promise, ‘Tomorrow I will give you again.’ The elderly woman tells herself, ‘If I give ten-twenty walnuts, I will run out of walnuts, and nobody will bring water to me.’ I have seen only one elderly man who was playing the gadulka3 and the children were dancing. Then they would bring water to him and the elderly man would tell them, ‘I will play the gadulka again tomorrow.’ Who is a greater master – the one giving away walnuts or the one playing the gadulka? The elderly man does not bribe with walnuts, but with playing.
So I was saying: you should not allow to be bribed with two walnuts but the elderly man should play to you. Playing is the thought. You have to voluntarily, without being given something, fetch water. Everybody loves the elderly man; he is smiling, generous, plays for half an hour, all the children hop; everybody is pleased. But the elderly woman gives two walnuts and trembles. Under ‘elderly woman’ I mean the old life. You say, ‘Let’s do good!’ This is an elderly woman’s good, this is giving away walnuts. The children shall not improve in this way, because these walnuts are not hers.
You all have to learn the Path of Love. When one is intelligent and one’s soul is filled with Love, one does not in the least have to think how one will spend one’s life on the earth. One has to think how to implement God’s Will and how to be useful to one’s neighbours [the people close to him]. And thinking about one’s neighbours, one has to think about oneself at the same time. Because only running water remains pure and its bottom remains clean.
A practical application is needed and you should keep what you know. For example you are inclined to get angry, you flare up all of sudden, but make it a task for you to overcome your anger. Anger has a key; turn the key and tell the anger, ‘Hang on, I have some work to do now!’ If you stop the anger within yourself, you can transfer its energy to an upper area of your brain. You will use this energy to think about the saints, about God. What does it matter if a bottle broke?
So many factories produce bottles, a bottle costs only ten leva, but losing your equilibrium for a whole day costs millions. You have a wealth and you lose it because of a bottle of some kind. Do you know that a Greek philosopher who after learning how to live a natural life, left only one pot for himself; but as soon as he saw that some people drink water from their hands, he threw it away also. If a bottle can disturb your peace, is this bottle on its proper place? If you have a bottle that can break and make you angry, keep it put at a high place in order not to be broken. It will be possible to make cups that do not break in the future. I would like all of you to become elastic like a rubber ball that recovers its shape after falling down. Make mistakes, but afterwards, like a rubber ball you should resume your initial position!
Let’s assume that a certain sister of yours has a habit for which she is disliked. She is so beautiful that she is being envied. Or everybody is scared by her because she bites and pecks [picks on]; they do not like her, but they tell her nothing. What should you do? Two sisters should get together and pray for her to acquire certain gentleness. Then more than two sisters should get together, pray again and see if there is some gentleness. Carry on like this and you will see that after several months this sister will have more gentleness and will say, ‘I’m fed up with it, I also want to be a little bit gentler!’ You will assist one another with mutual efforts. Let’s say that one sister talks a lot. Let her talk, but I would help a sister who loses heart, does not feel like living, wants to commit a suicide, wants to leave the house, does not want to work. Let two sisters get together and pray for her to gain heart; then let five sisters pray. And after one year she will become better, more cheerful. The law will take effect; she will become one of the good workers. If a sister is sick, pray for her, even if she does not know, for your faith to get stronger. You say, ‘What has to be done?’ If you help a sick or despondent sister, you are helping yourself. Everything that you can do for the others will have an impact on your spiritual life.
Now, what do you have to believe in? You have sufficient faith and sufficient love. However, your love is closed in a tub full of grapes – a big tub having a volume of a hundred kilograms out of which you let out only a little trickle from the spout. You also have a notebook where you note down who has paid and who has not. You give to those that pay. So far your love has been a love by the spout.
I shall tell you a joke from a village near Varna: the mother of a young boy and his sister said, ‘Make a fire and knead some bread if you can!’ They started doing the housework and they let the wine out of the spout… The old wine should be let out of the tub. Never stop over your old habits. There are many habits but these are [like] old wine.
The objective of the Invisible world is to transform the people. This is a New Teaching. The beings come from the Invisible world and everyday they will tell you something new. You not only have to believe, but to get in touch with the more advanced brothers and sisters. And if you love them, they will love you too. If they come every day then things progress all right; then you are cheerful and good. Because these Beings that come from the Invisible world, demonstrate a life according to the law of correspondence. If a man lives among mammals, he cannot learn anything, but if he lives among the intelligent people, he will learn many good things.
One psychological law postulates: a solution of the problem about the internal individual life must be found. What should be done when nobody sympathises with man? If a man knows how to take in air, how to eat, how to think, he can be healthy. People nowadays constantly lose their temper. They get embarrassed and lose their temper ten or twenty times every day. Therefore today it is hard to come across people who are not nervous. Some say, ‘It’s a hard time’, others say, ‘The conditions are bad.’ But all these conditions can be improved. They are worsened by the people. One person can worsen the conditions for thousands of people. One person may set an entire city on fire; one person can come and teach the good to the people. The issue is that a man should be a conductor of the Divine Love; should be in touch with reality and should know what it is. Just like a person comes into contact with the light of the Sun, in the same way a person should come in contact with the Divine thoughts. One has to have such an experience. Somebody may tell you one of their experiences, but this can only be the urge, because you can benefit only from you experience directly.
You should always elevate your mind! Never dwell on the negative aspect of Life! Because everybody, no matter how he thought, if he thought poorly, there is no gain out of it. Put figuratively, if the water has become turbid, there is a reason for this. If people have become bad, there is a reason for this. Reasons do not stem from the very existence itself. There is an internal deviation and then the evil in the world is created. As soon as you allow the minutest negative thought, it can become a conductor for a future misfortune [unhappiness].
Now, you have to direct your thought towards the following: first, a man is capable of improving one’s life; secondly, everybody has a desire to improve their lives, only that they do not know how to. An engineer may construct a building, but the one who has not studied can hardly construct it. Now, you need to know where you have to begin. You say that one has to live well and to speak well. But there must be examples [to follow]. How will a man live well? A man must think well; and in order to think well, he must have an object. You may make the best of water fountains, but there must be a spring of water flowing into it. Then this water fountain has an internal meaning. In order to put meaning into your life, you have to have an internal object; an internal Divine spring. Otherwise you will come to a place and you will say, ‘We know everything.’
Religious people have a small experience but they haven’t been to the Spiritual world to see it, they do not have such an experience. They only suppose, they have read books, they have imagined the Spiritual world to be like the world on the earth, without having the experience of somebody travelling to America or France. A Christian has to be like that student who spent four to five years at an educational establishment. Such should be the religious life for a Christian. Somebody may say that man will enter the religious life when he dies. Somebody may go along this way, but one does not attain anything from such a going. Christ says, ‘If my words live in you, then me and my father will come and will make a dwelling in you.’ I say: such is the experience that you have to have. Those of you, who want to attain the substantial in the future, have to have this experience. You say that this is not possible. However, for these who study it is possible. Therefore it is now necessary for you to have this experience.
When you meet a person, whoever he may happen to be, ask yourself the question why you meet this person. A person that you meet – it’s either that you will influence him or that he will influence you. God lives in every person; then what will God who lives in you tell him; what will God who lives him in tell you? God who lives in him will leave you something one way or another; every person whom you meet, one way or another, will give you something that nobody else can give you. You too will give him something that nobody can give him. Everyday you will give something to people and you will be given something. And everyday your life will reflect these beings that come and will be formed by them. They will copy it and will take it above as a memory. You feel at times certain supreme feelings, don’t you? They come like an influx from outside, from these Beings.
Sometimes you say, ‘It was different in the old times.’ Those who start talking about the old times have grown old. You already tried the old good. We have to try the present good and to try the future good, so that we can be entitled to speak about the old times. You have tried the old and have started with the present. The future is in front of you. Young people say, ‘We are young, we have to live our lives’, and the old people say, ‘We are already old.’ Who will then live for the future? The elderly man says, ‘Let the young people play, I will mind my old age.’ A young person says, ‘If the elderly man gives me a walnut, I will fetch water for him.’ However, the old man has no walnuts and there is nobody to fetch him water, nobody is interested in him. Aren’t the people interested in a fountain with running water? Everybody is interested – animals too, and bugs too. But when it runs dry everybody loses interest in it. A man, regardless whether young or old, should be a spring. In this way you will never be old. And in this way children when they come will fetch you water and everything else. Do not be waiting to get old. A man gets older only in one aspect – a man has to grow old so that he departs to the other world. An old man is like a ripe fruit, only old people are eaten. The young people are unripe fruit, and the old people are ripe fruit. As soon as you become old [those] from above will come and will place you in their bag and will take you up there. What’s wrong with this? Somebody says, ‘What if we die!’ I do not want you to die, but want all of you to become ripe, all of you to live. A man has to live in the world and to become a ripe fruit.
The Lord’s Prayer
Lecture delivered by
the Master on 5 May 1932, 16.00h
1 Ivancho – is endearment; Ivane – is the regular form of address (a noun in the vocative case) – translator’s notes
2 Translator’s notes: there is one word in Bulgarian прост meaning a) simple, as in simple stones & b) simple-minded, as in a simple-minded man
3 Translator’s notes - Gadulka is a local style of violin used for playing folk music