"You are the light of the world."1
My last sermon was about the salt - the first divine element in life, but today I shall speak about the second element - the Light. I shall try to put Christ’s words in contemporary language as it is spoken in the 20th century. What does Christ mean by the word "light"? Every word has its own sense. Only when it produces a certain effect on the mind or heart of a person can it be understood. For instance, if you hold a match, you can understand its effect only when you light it; otherwise it would make no sense. Therefore, the words in a spoken language are matches; however, each one must have a box on which it can be lit it at just the right time, in order for the word to produce its effect. We should not be like the little children who only take matches out of the box, light them and throw them away. This is no philosophy.
There are many writers today who are constantly taking matches out, lighting them and throwing them away. I ask you what effect may their matches thus lit produce? You yourselves must decide what the effect of such lighting would be. In the future, the words should be salted in order to contain Light in themselves. You still have a vague idea about Light. The words "illumination" and "light" have the same root, but illumination is a reflection of light. Light is a compound of that divine element related to the human mind which allows for sound reasoning using logic, content and sense in our thought. In modern physics the scientists are disputing whether the illumination comes from the sun, or it is something different. There are scientists who object to the idea that illumination comes from the sun. They maintain that it is a special kind of energy that, in reaching the earth’s surface, clashes with it and gives the reflection of illumination.
Light is an inner process. It is an element, which can always be tested. Light is the most real thing in the world. It is thousands of times more real than the world: it creates human thought and desires; it is a conductor of the spiritual world and exists in the form of ether; it is the wrapping of the human spirit and the human mind; without it no one can think or feel. Anyone who has studied at primary school and has graduated high school has had difficulties with the solution of certain problems. S/he knows that these problems cannot be solved immediately; however, after working on them for awhile, some illumination is thrown on them and they are solved. It is the Light that clarifies them.
I shall give you some rules so that you can test everything, for I am not speaking only in theory but am giving you a positive science that can be tested. Light is the healthy state of the human mind, an atmosphere in which a person must live all the time. When writers lose this Light, they become fruitless; when teachers lose it, they lose their methods and cannot teach; when mothers lose it they lack the patience and love necessary to raise their children. If you do not have this Light, you cannot manifest Love and Truth. Christ says, "You are the Light." Who are "you"? The first element is the salt, the Law of Balance which maintains balance in all things. The second element is Light which raises things and makes them grow. All thoughts and desires grow and develop better in the Light. A person who lives in Light is like a fruit tree growing in fertile soil, producing ripe fruit. When your mind is teeming with philosophic thoughts, do not rejoice yet. This may be only a blossoming. To find out if you have Light, test whether your thoughts may set and acquire roots. When a person is not ready to die for a thought of theirs, it means that the thought is not yet born in them.
Before I make a more detailed explanation on this question, I shall give you an example out of Bulgarian life. I have a purpose of putting life and sense to these examples. Many have heard this one but I shall give it in a new light. The story goes that a Turk during the Turkish yoke visited a Bulgarian chorbadji2. On entering the room, he saw three icons on the wall and an icon-lamp burning before them. The icons represented the Holy Virgin, St George on horseback and St Nicolas.
"What are these three pictures for?" he asked the chorbadji. "They protect me from all evil and so far no evil have I suffered," answered the chorbadji.
"How strange, I have so many well-paid servants, but they do not protect me so well," said the Turk.
"How much do they cost?" he asked. Then he bought the three icons, took them home and lit an icon-lamp. He sent all the servants away from his house, saying to them, "I need no more servants for I have found loyal men to keep my house." However, one evening robbers broke into his house and robbed him. He went to the icon of the Holy Virgin and said to her, "I can not complain about you for, being a young woman, you have a child to care for."
He turned to St George and said, "I cannot complain about you either for you are a young man riding your horse and getting pleasure out of this."
Finally he turned to St Nicolas and said to him, "You are an old man having neither a child nor a horse to ride, that is why I shall punish you," and he turned the icon head down. After that St Nicolas somehow found the stolen riches and the punishment was lifted.
The Turk said, "Now this is how you should act."
What does the Holy Virgin represent? She represents the woman with her heart and the child is the heart she is breeding. A person has come into the world to breed, to regenerate his/her heart and bring it up as a child. You ask, "Why do women bear children?" By the law of childbirth, God is teaching you how to raise your child, i.e. your heart. If a mother gives her child pure milk, it will be healthy; but if the milk is polluted, the child will die. What does the icon of St George represent? St George represents the human mind and the horse - the physical body. A person must ride their horse, for if they do not ride it they will lose it. You must feed your horse well, but you must not overfeed it. What does the icon of St Nicolas represent? St Nicolas represents a man of good heart and good mind who has attained the highest position in life - that of the rational divine life. He must deal with the raising of all humanity; all people must be like children to him. He must sacrifice himself for others as a mother sacrifices herself for her children. As St George looks after his horse well, feeding him properly, so the sound-minded elderly people should look after the young people; stimulating their minds and hearts to live a sound life.
That is why Christ says, "A city on a hill cannot be hidden." If you have Light you will be able to discover it. If a palmist looks at your hand, s/he will tell you if you have Light or not; similar to when you enter a European city, you know what kind of people inhabit it by the order of the city and its houses. When you enter a house you can guess what the housewife likes. If the red color predominates, she is a woman of desires, a changeable person. Those who wear red hats, a red girdle, have the idea that the world is a battlefield where they must fight. I do not deny fighting, but it must be based on a divine law; it must build, not destroy life. If it destroys life, it is anarchy. The purpose of fighting is the acquisition of freedom, while Light has this very purpose in view - to make us free. The word "freedom" implies the idea of divine harmony in our thoughts and desires, and of order in the world. Everyone should be in his/her place and make use of the abilities hidden in her/his brain and heart.
Present day scientists are constantly weighing the brains of dead people for the purpose of different investigations. Human thought has its marks namely in the brain, which is a garden. What the soil of the human brain is, such will be person’s thoughts. The human brain contains the same zones as those of the earth. Thoughts grow in it the same way as flowers grow on the earth. Every thought has a form which may have the character of a sheep, a wolf, a bear, a fox, a snake, a spider, an ant; for all these forms are qualities forming the human character. This Light enters us the same way as the illumination comes from above and elevates everything in a person. It engenders growth to both the good and the evil animals, regardless of whether they are sheep or wolves. And when these animals complain that they are suffering, this Light says to them, "Fear not, next year I shall create you again, only work a little now." When we complain of sufferings in our life, Light says, "You be careful and I shall create in you all that is necessary." It does not, however, tolerate doubt, feebleness, lack of faith, which are negative qualities. Light is a life of divine harmony and only a person possessing this harmony can know the greatness of Light. It is a rational element.
Physicists of today say that if two illuminations of two opposite poles, each with a different wave- length and vibration meet, they are neutralized and darkness is the result. The same is true of Light. Man is one pole of Light and woman the other pole. They get together to create divine harmony, but they can achieve that only if the length of their vibrations is the same; in which case a feeling of love wells up in them and they feel an expansion of mind and heart. However, both must create Light. As Christ says, "You are the Light," meaning all people. When He says, "I am the Light," He means "I and My Father." One person cannot set the world right by saying, "I shall set the world right." S/he does not understand the Law.
There must always be two, four, six, eight and so on: couples are necessary. The number two, of which the students are afraid, is a law of contradiction. Two is in conflict with one. Add one unit to two and it becomes three, then four and so on. Suppose you are an intelligent person and you meet a friend of whom you become suspicious without knowing why. You should have facts in order to be suspicious of a person. Do not allow a doubt if you have no scientific grounds. When someone becomes suspicious, s/he says, "I do not know why, but I feel something - that is why I am suspicious." This feeling is not yet proof. For instance a drunkard says, "I have a weak stomach so I must drink a little wine." Then s/he reasons further, "Why should I not drink a little more? After drinking a little, I feel better." Yet this feeling is only temporary for on the next day he will feel badly. When you apply the rule that it is good to drink a little wine, you abuse it later and spoil the good effect of the wine. The human organism is so constructed that it does not tolerate anything superfluous.
Chemistry teaches us that every element combines with another in an exact weight ratio; or an element combines with another with an exact number of atoms, but only as many as are necessary to produce a sound, constant compound. This is a Law. In the same way, human thoughts combine according to the Law of Light. This Light has special hues in the spiritual world. They can be passive or active. A hue which is a reflection is passive; however, when it comes directly from the Source itself, it is active. Every thought which causes division in your mind is not divine, as it is only a reflection of Light. For instance, you want to build a house, to become an engineer, a writer or to study medicine; however, the division in your mind shows that the subject you want to take up is not for you. Before the liberation of Bulgaria, when there were only a few professions, fathers advised their sons to become doctors or engineers because these professions were profitable; and not to take up professions which were not profitable. What kind of a doctor, or engineer or a priest would a person who has no inner attraction to their work be? They will be like that doctor in the Middle Ages who had a very easy method of curing: he cured his patients by phlebotomy after which he gave them hot water to drink which resulted in their death. He wondered if all the other doctors cured their patients successfully. It is the same with doctors today who give a medicine to a patient who then dies. Then they say the patient had a weak heart, or try to justify themselves by some other causes. But that is not the case.
A doctor should understand the human organism and the temperament of each patient and then prescribe medicine in conformity with that. A sanguine and a choleric person cannot be cured the same way. Why? Because these two organisms contain different elements which have their own specific reactions. In my opinion, all existing illnesses are due to the disharmony that takes place in the divine Light. How many of you believe in the afterlife? You will say, "This is what some great men have written, or that the apostle Paul has said it." But what is your experience of this reality? You will say, "When we die and go to the other world then we shall understand if there is life after death." In order to comprehend this Light, you must have Spiritual Sight. All people who have developed this sense have certain marks in their eyes; they have certain spots around the iris which show the degree of the development of this sight. In western Europeans this sense has begun to appear as intuition, preconception and so on.
Some day a great world will be revealed to you in which Light exists. This Light comes from within, not from without. Occultists today say that those who have this Light have magnetism. Such a person is soft and easy-going, they have love and readily forgive. What destroys and spoils people today are the following seven elements: pride, anger, voluptuousness, sloth; miserliness, jealousy and greed. Pride is not of God. God has created people to have self-respect, but they have estranged themselves from Him by their pride. Such a person bears the marks of their pride on their face, hands and nose. I shall not start explaining these now. You yourselves should study these things as many writers have written about them. When you feel pride in yourself, that you are something great in the world, look at yourself in the mirror and remember the features in your face, the expression in your eyes, as well as your whole disposition. When you are in a state of love and kindness, look at yourself again in the mirror. Christ says, "There is nothing hidden in man." Everything is hidden for the blind people. Some people say that I have been reading certain mysteries to you. For those who have eyes there are no mysteries. I have an apple seed in my purse - here it is - this is the mystery; sow it and in ten years’ time you will see its blossoms and fruit; then you will understand this mystery. You may say, "There may be something dangerous in all this." The fearful will not enter the Kingdom of God. How does a good person differ from a bad one? The person who lies speaks fast, but the person who tells the truth speaks quietly and calmly, asking people to test his/her words. I, too, want you to test all things.
By this Light I can be in contact with the advanced Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and with your friends in the Other World - the world of divine harmony. If you love someone who has gone to the Other World, you can speak with him/her intelligently, reasonably. There are certain mediums who, not understanding the language of the spirits, begin to twist the truth and use lies. Do not lie, speak the truth, because a lie has short legs3. The truth moves with great speed and its legs are long, so it can help the unhappy spirits. When someone says, "My legs are long," I say, "You are lucky, but I wish the legs of your soul and heart to be long; too, so that you may bear this Light." If this Light develops in us, we shall be able to avoid 90% of the evils taking place today. Light is one of the fundamental elements in bringing up good sons and daughters. I recommend this rule to all women: not to allow their mind to think negative thoughts. And another: let those who have lost the sense of life greet the sunrise every morning. Watch the sunrise in the course of a month and see what you feel. In the spring, when the flowers bloom and the trees are blossoming, watch them and see the result - you will feel the sense of life. What do people do today? They sleep until 10 o’clock in the morning and in the afternoon about sunset they go out to enjoy its dying beams of light. They go out for walks in the autumn when the leaves are falling. Nature should be studied at its particular time. But what are people like today? Someone reads the New Testament and wonders what Christ meant by certain words. Christ could read very well the Book of Divine Nature. When I read a book, I ask myself whether its author has Light or not and what are the colors he lacks. After reading a book, I can describe its author - the kind of head s/he has, his/her face, hands, thoughts and so on. Some want to know who and what kind of a man I am. What I am speaking to you is what I am. If I rob you, I am such; if I heal you - I am such. You may ask, "Why should he heal us?" It makes no difference who will help you, I or someone else.
According to me, I should give someone the surplus of my knowledge and of my life, because it is not mine. The Light coming from within me is to be spread out, "All of you are Light." For 2000 years the Christians have been reading this verse and cannot understand it. That is why you have to turn the icon of your St Nicolas head down, he ought to keep your house and your possessions for he is your reason. Say to him, "You must reason well, or I shall turn you upside down." You ask, "What is Light?" When it enters your soul, your face will be beautiful, your eyes will be shining; a pleasant warmth will be emitted from your hands and you will emit a pleasant odor. But how do people smell today? Very badly. The violets and some other flowers help you hide your natural smell. The violet you use says, "God is manifested in life in humility, not in pride. If you are a valley of good soil, God will sow the best seeds in you; but if you are a bare, proud peak, there will be nothing but eternal snow on you." This is the language of the violets and when people use their perfume, they should learn their language. However, I am not blaming anyone by saying this. I wish you all to have the fragrance and color of the violet. When you pronounce a word or write something, there must be a fine fragrance in it. According to the conception of this Light all people are colored flowers. What is a teacher, a preacher, a farmer, a father, a mother, a brother or a sister? They are great divine flowers. Have you seen the color of a mother? When you enter the life of the Light, you will understand what color a mother is. There are no more beautiful colors in the world than those of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters or close friends. Do you have these colors written within yourselves? Is there a person who has not sent Light out of him/herself at least ten times? Who has not spoiled the colors of his/her mother and father, of his/her friends inside him/herself?
From now on we must build and create. If you want to raise the Bulgarian people, you must build. Bulgaria has need of Salt and Light which makes for growth. That is why all people of learning must consider and think about this. There can be no Bulgaria without Salt and Light. The Bulgarian nation has a root down in the earth and a branch in the divine world - this nation must bear fruit on its branch above. This is the only way a nation or a soul can be characterized. The souls are individual, but at the same time - collective. Collectivity is the Law of Harmony. We can feel Light by our soul, by our heart and by our will.
One thing that destroys Light is anger. An angry person is without will. It says in the Scriptures, "Be angry, but sin not." Anger is a certain energy used in the wrong direction. Everyone has experienced a weakness after anger, which shows there is a state of demagnetization. Another element that obstructs light is voluptuousness. It is the grave of love. How many young men and women have gone to the grave prematurely because of it. Love is harmony whereas voluptuousness is poison. Yet another element that destroys light is sloth. If you go to America, you will see that besides school education children study certain handicrafts. Everyone works there making their own living and considers it humiliating to depend on others. There people respect those who work. I wish everyone in Bulgaria to aspire for work - this refers to the townsfolk, not the peasants - for they are endangered by indolence. The element of envy is also destructive to Light. Envy and pride are a brother and a sister. Whoever is envious, is proud as well. The person possessed of envy delights in the suffering of others. You remember Shakespeare’s tragedy "The Merchant of Venice," where the miserly Jew insisted on the pound of flesh to be cut off his debtor’s body even when the latter was in a state to pay back his debt. There are many other examples where envy manifests malicious joy. A man went to court with another man and after hearing them the court decided to impose a greater penalty on one of them and asked them what penalty they would prefer. The one who would have a lighter penalty proposed that both eyes be taken out of the other man. "But we should take one of your eyes too, then," said the judge. "I agree," said the man, "if both eyes are taken from the other one." A person of such cruelty cannot have Light. Envy obsesses politicians as well and there are quite a few of them in Bulgaria. Give way to the noble people! If a person possesses these vices mentioned above; obstruct his way, he is not in his place.
When Christ says, "You are the Light," He means the people of the future. When God created the world with the stars, moon and sun, He said, "This is for the people of the future." Someone says to me, "Tell me about my past life" It is inscribed on you. You may have a disordered organism now, but that does not mean that you are ill. As soon as the conditions obstructing Light are taken away, this disorder will disappear. Another vice that impedes Light is greed - the desire for many possessions. I shall give you an example of greed. In Spain there lived a millionaire who enslaved whole regions. All people complained of him, so the Spanish king issued an order for his imprisonment. In the prison, whenever he wanted water or bread, they made him pay 1000 leva for a piece of bread or a glass of water. "This is the greatest cruelty imposed on me," said the prisoner. The king answered him, "This is your punishment, go away now and do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you." That is why God sends you all these evils. You say about someone that he/she was born feebleminded. It is not true that his/her mother and father have born him/her so, as everyone is his/her own father and mother. There are two theories about this: some say that the mothers pass their own qualities to their children, while others say that the child exists in the invisible world as a sensible being, choosing a suitable mother, a suitable environment, influencing the mother by suggesting good thoughts to her mind. A pregnant woman can determine the character of her son/daughter according to the kind of thoughts engaging her during pregnancy. We can oppose the divine world, but when its law becomes active, its power will do away with our unreasonable opposition.
You, men and women who are here, are the Light. Evil does not exist for me. I understand that evil does not exist in divine harmony, but outside of this harmony there is evil. If you decide to live a noble and good life, you will have this Light, it will be with you. This Light is rational and all ancient mystics who had this Light saw a boundless world tinged with the most beautiful colors that filled their soul. When you are in high spirits, you have this Light, but you cannot keep it long. Sometimes you think that I am speaking well, but you say, "Who knows what purpose he has in view." My purpose is to fulfill the will of God. I am not one of those who deceive people; up till now I have neither said a lie, nor have been lied to. You can win my favor only by Goodness, Truth, Love and Wisdom. If you decide to serve God, only then will God come down from His greatness and make you good people and great spirits. I am preaching to you about the Living Lord", the Lord of the Twentieth Century Who tears down prisons; sets the prisoners free; and brings harmony, order, joy and gladness. He brings such blessings as people have not even thought of. He will turn this earth into a garden of paradise and you, Bulgarians, will live in it. You will all be living when I shall meet you again and I shall see whether what I am speaking to you is true or not. These are not illusions as some may think. Illusions can be known by the following quality: you may nourish someone with illusions telling him/her you have given them real food, but in forty or fifty days they will grow weak and die. A person faints and grows foolish with illusion. I wish all Bulgarian men and women to be great - great in virtue, great in love, great in righteousness, great in wisdom, great in that divine truth of Light of which I am speaking to you. Think about Light; it is with you. Test it, be self-reliant and enter as the bees into every blossom to gather honey. Do not remain to spend the night there - that is voluptuousness - but take your honey and go to the beehive.
This is what Christ wanted to say by the words, "You are the Light," and "A city placed on a hill cannot be hidden." When you enter this city, you will understand the sense of your earthly life. You try to imagine what your future life will be like. Know it is within you and depends upon your present life. It is the same with every silkworm, which possesses all the necessary elements for its turning into a butterfly. It will not be long before you become like this butterfly. Now, you are walking on the earth in a straight line, asking yourselves if there is another life; and with your little wings - your mind and heart of Light - you will alight on the most beautiful divine tree, the Tree of Life; you will understand its sense and be joyful and happy.
Sermon held on April 1, 1917 in Sofia
On ‘The Light’ I was sure about these phrases, so left them:
Page 1 at the end of first paragraph: This is no philosophy.
Page 2: during the Turkish yoke. (Perhaps that is what it is known
as. We would probably use Turkish dominance.)
Page 3: wear red hats, a red girdle. (I left girdle as had no idea
what to replace it with! Maybe vest???)
Page 4: First paragraph: Human thought has its marks namely in the
brain. (Not sure what 'marks' meant)
Page 4: End of first paragraph: It is a rational element. (???)
Page 5: Beginning of first new paragraph: produce a sound, constant
compound. (that may be a chemistry term I am not familiar with.)
Page 8: According to the conception of this Light. (Conception???)
Page 9: If a peraon possesses the five vices mentioned above. (I
didn't see where he spoke of the first one. Just began earlier in
that paragraph with 'another thing that destroys Light' and I didn't
see where he mentioned the first thing. So I elected not to 'number'
them as he did 'fourth', 'fifth' element. I said, 'one thing', 'yet
1 Matt. 5:14
2 A wealthy owner of estates and money during the Turkish domination /1393-1878/ (ed. note)
3 Bulgarian saying (ed. note)