I will read Chapter 15 from the gospel of John. This chapter bears no direct reference to you. In it Christ clarifies to His disciples the reason for the big contradictions they have encountered.
Christ’s disciples hoped to be greeted in the world with wreathes, as many people believed [they would be], but it did not turn out so. This is why Christ says, ‘If the world hates you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you’. On what grounds the world hates the Disciples of Christ? Christ goes on further, ‘If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you’. Remember, ‘The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. He that hates Me hates My Father also’. So, the world has not known Christ, has not known God either. Many ask the question why they cannot love. They cannot love, because they do not know Love. Hence, he who does not love, he is of those who persecute Christ. What God sends to him, he persecutes it all the same. He is of the world. As long as you hate, as long as you despise, you are of the world. As long as you love, you are not of the world. Man fluctuates between two states, between two moments: once he loves, once he hates. Everyone has experienced it and wonders why this is so. Christ has explained the reason for these contradictions in human life.
As you see, in each case every single thing in life can be manifested in one way or another. You see a flower that has just come into blossom. You come closer to it and you feel its fragrance, its scent. You smell it and you take delight in its perfume. Your joy is the joy of the very flower itself. After several days you go again to the flower and you feel that it stinks. Why? – Because it started rotting, disintegrating, withering away. You grieve because the very flower itself grieves. If you haven’t gone to the flower you won’t have experienced its grief, but at the same time you won’t have experienced its joy either. On the following year, when the flower comes back to life and blossoms again, you visit it again, you feel its joy all over again. As soon as you go further away from it, it starts rotting, withering, grieving. Hence, when you visit the flowers they come back to live, blossom and rejoice; as soon as you leave them, as soon as you start going further away from them, they start rotting, withering and grieving.
Translate this thought and find out what application it can have in life. You seek [long for] the nice things created by God the way you seek [long for] flowers. You go to it [the flower], you delight in it, you are grateful for its fragrance. As long as you have spent some time with the great, with the beautiful, you immediately start looking for something else, you want to change your state and you abandon the nice, the beautiful [things]. On sensing this, the beautiful starts losing its fragrance and subsequently there comes grieve, suffering in life occurs. Who is life planted in the earth for? Who is wheat undergoing suffering for? For whose sake need it be ground in the mill? Who is flour kneaded for? Who is bread baked for in the oven? You will say that the wheat grain undergoes suffering for its own sake. – No, the wheat grain suffered in the earth, among the millstones, in the trough, in the fire for the others – to take from it everything useful that it contains until it is placed in a prison. Eating is like a prison for wheat. When you extract everything that wheat contains, you throw it out in the end, as something useless. As long as it is closed in you, wheat weeps, grieves, while you rejoice, jump and sing, because you use everything it contains. As soon as you rob it properly and throw it out, you start weeping and grieving.
Therefore you should know that when you rejoice and grieve, it is not you who rejoice and grieve; the wheat you have accepted in yourselves rejoices and grieves.
Your grief along these lines will be true only when you place yourself in the shoes of wheat. As long as you are not in the shoes of the wheat, you are actors, playing somebody else’s part: you come out to the stage and present the suffering of the wheat before the audience. However, it’s one thing to present somebody else’s suffering and another thing you yourselves to suffer. There is nothing real in presenting other people’s suffering. Real is only what is happing at the moment. Hence, when you place yourself in the shoes of the wheat and you start being ground, kneaded, baked, eaten, only then will you understand what suffering is. Then you will weep and grieve and the others will rejoice [take delight in]. Grieving is the wheat being baked in the oven; rejoicing is the one eating what has been baked in the oven.
Why does wheat grieve? – Because it is being baked, because it is being placed in a prison. – When do people rejoice? – When they eat from the wheat that has passed through numerous trials and suffering. However, human joy is not as yet Divine. What is Divine joy? When God created the world he decorated it with an infinity of stars, suns and planets. Then the Sun asked God, ‘What will my job be?’ God replied to it, ‘Your job will be to deliver work to the people when you rise in the morning’. – ‘Well, what will people do when I set?’ – You will then let them have a rest. You will make the following conclusion from this: man may not work before the sunrise, and man may not have a rest before the sunset. Every new beginning, every new situation is work that man enters into. Every end, every completed situation brings respite. When man completes one’s work well, man may have a rest. It is often talked about young, adult and old people. I shall outline in a few words what is a young person, an adult person and an old person.
A young person is a spring gushing out, an adult person is a flowing river, an old person pours [infuses] oneself into. The young one is being born, the adult is growing, and the old one is dying. The young one sings, the adult one works and the old one teaches. The young one blossoms and sets, the adult one ripens [matures], the old one sells fruit.
The young one sings to his mother, the adult comforts her and the old one spreads inscriptions and makes her famous. These are thoughts giving expression of the existing situation of the people. These thoughts are similar to the laws applied in court proceedings. When one makes a mistake or commits an offence [a crime], the law catches [nails] him immediately. And then in compliance with a particular article of the law this person is penalized or found not guilty [acquitted].
I shall provide one more definition of young, adult and old persons. The young one is Love, the adult one is the Truth, the old one is Wisdom. Be like them!
Love gives, the Truth distributes, Wisdom fences. Not understanding these aspects contemporary people encounter contradictions in their lives and complain that things do not run smoothly. The affairs of many do not run smoothly, but their speech does not come out properly either. Why? – Because the area they are moving in is mountainous. When one climbs a mountain, one walks around about looking for an even levelled road. Man encounters various obstacles along the road hindering his progress ahead. Consequently when one’s speech does not run smoothly it is an indication that many thoughts surface in the mind bumping into each other simultaneously. Each thought wants to come to the fore and as a result one stumbles and the speech does not come out fluently. Out of all the thoughts bumping into one’s mind, one has to receive [accept] only one, the most substantial and significant, and only this thought should be allowed to come out. Out of many thoughts, out of many ideas, man has to receive [accept] only one. The fewer ideas one has, the more fluently one speaks. The more ideas one has, the more stumbled, more nervous one’s speech is. Each thought, each idea has its weight that affects human mind. The greater this weight, the greater the suffering for the man. It’s not easy for a man to carry a great load [burden]. However, don’t you think that a person who cannot speak has many ideas [and] many thoughts! It’s often the case that a person cannot speak well when one has few thoughts in one’s mind.
Every thought should be poetic, musical i.e. it should contain music and poetry in itself. For this purpose three factors have to be harmonized in a thought: Love should be young, the Truth should be adult and Wisdom should be old. If these three factors are not in harmony among each other, no thought can run fluently; thoughts are deprived of music and of poetry. When a man’s thought does not run fluently, his life does not run well either. So, there is a close bond between one’s thoughts and one’s life. When Love, the Truth and Wisdom are not available in man, his thoughts do not run properly. Love is perennially young, it never ages; the Truth is always adult, it never changes; Wisdom is always old. The notions of contemporary people about young, adult and old people are radically different from ours. According to us old is a person from whom the young person comes out. Adult is a person who comes out of the old. Since Wisdom is old, both Love and Truth come out of it.
This is why we understand the manifestations of Love and Truth as Wisdom. Along these lines Wisdom is always old, without ever changing. However, you cannot repeat, cannot articulate the same word several times in the same way. For example, can you say the word love a hundred times with the same intonation, with the same inspiration? No, you cannot. If you have to tell a hundred persons that you love them, when you come to the last ones, you will turn sour, [you will be] fed up with repeating this word. The first one you will tell with the greatest disposition that you love him, while the last one you will tell with the greatest indisposition and irritation. When people turn sour in Love, this is an indication that they have reached the outer [upper] limit of their love, the last person they have to say that they love him. When people talk sweet in Love, this is an indication that they face the first person whom they have to say that they love him. The first word, the first bite is the sweetest.
Well, in order to think properly, man has to have light. When the sun rises man sees clearly the entire place around and is already in a position to talk about it, man can also depict it. Before the sun rises, even if you be a scientist, you see nothing; you can say nothing about things. Like the Sun for the physical world, like the Divine light for the consciousness of man. As soon as this light penetrates the human consciousness, things clear up for man and he sees everything. If man does not have this light in one’s consciousness, man is in complete darkness. He says, ‘I don’t see, I don’t understand things’. – ‘How comes you don’t see? How comes you don’t understand?’ – ‘If you are in my place, you won’t see or understand either.’ If I am in your place, I will see and understand like you [do]. The one who has the Divine light in one’s consciousness, he shines for oneself. The one, who does not have this light, carries a small candle outside, which lights up and then again goes out and thus illuminates one’s path. This light goes out and lights up again and therefore man encounters a number of contradictions in life. As long as one has contradictions, one will always make the wrong conclusion about things [in life]. With such an understanding life cannot be explained nor can it be altered. People need a new understanding introducing joy and cheerfulness in their lives. Otherwise life will remain for ever incomprehensible for them, deprived of light, of rejoicing and cheerfulness. Such is the life of the sick people, of the dead people, of the bankrupt [ruined] traders. A sick person does not lead the horo folklore dance. A dead person does not talk to anybody. A bankrupt trader does not give any alms.
Then what does life of contemporary people represent? The life of contemporary people is a refined undertaking for the advanced beings. What people see as confusion is an object [subject] teaching for the advanced beings. They shape what is not understood and then they pass it on to the people in an orderly beautiful system. If the advanced intelligent beings do not understand it there is no way people can understand it. In this relation man represents a live written book which everybody can read. Only he himself cannot read his own book. Why can’t a man read your book? – Because it is written on your back. Whoever passes near you, he comes behind your back and starts reading [and] wondering who has written these valuable points. Man’s back represents the garment of one’s past. You can read what’s written on this garment only when you take it off. This can happen provided a wise man would like to buy this garment. Then the wise man will unbutton the garment and will take it off your back. However, the wise man will agree [bargain] the price of your garment in advance. Expensive is the garment of your past! As soon as you sell it, you will put on a new clean garment. Not knowing what valuables the old garment contains, one considered oneself unhappy, unsatisfied, one was angry with this person and with that person. Who can a person be angry with? A person can be angry only with somebody who loves him. A person cannot be angry with somebody who does not love him. Hence a person can love only that one with whom a person has been angry. There is no way a person can love somebody with whom a person has not been angry.
Lecture delivered by the Master on 9 August 1935 at 5 o’clock in the morning.