Paths of Wisdom
‘Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets’ Proverbs: 1;20.
The Good Prayer ‘God is Love’
You may read the entire first chapter of Solomon’s Proverbs.
The reading makes it evident that all the suffering in the world results from the fact that people do not walk along the path of Wisdom. A person who stops before discontent [dissatisfaction], before torture or before grief, such a person does not understand Life. These are indeterminate variables. You know not what suffering is. You have a house, but you are not happy with it, you do not like the windows. What is the beauty of the windows? Does a window resemble a nicely dressed young woman? No, it doesn’t. The beauty of a window is that it lets a profusion of light come in. Small windows are not beautiful; the larger the windows, the more beautiful they are. You say about a person that he is not handsome, but his face is good-looking. Which one is better – to have a good-looking face or a good-looking something else? Does the face have to be large in order to receive more light and power? In fact, the power of a face is not in what it receives, but in what goes out of it. If nothing goes out of the face, such a face is ugly. When a person frowns, when he purses his brows and lips, he takes, he does not give. Beautiful is a face that gives when every part of it gives. Most beautiful is the face when all of its parts are alive and when all of them give.
Now, you have to grasp things properly. All of you in life hold a lottery ticket. Some of you are forty years of age and have always waited to win something. Others have waited for twenty years. Each one of you has a lottery ticket and takes a look at it three times a day, sits down, goes to bed, prays to God to win something from the lottery ticket. At times you wait for sixty years, and sometimes you leave for the other world without having your ticket drawn. Sometimes you wait for sixty years, your ticket number is drawn, but it turns out it is empty; you are given a receipt reading that your ticket wins nothing. Each ticket to life costs sixty leva. So, you have waited for sixty years to receive something, to have your ticket number drawn, but apart from not winning, you have wasted sixty years, and have wasted the money that you paid.
One expects something like success [achievement]. One is right to expect, but one has to know whether what one expects will happen or not. Some of you may say, ‘A fortune-teller predicted that the person will become rich.’ He is right, but under what circumstances? I will predict that somebody, who has two or three hundred decares1 of land and who develops it and makes ten decares of vineyard out of his field, in twenty to thirty years such a person will be rich. But he may say, ‘I will let this field to a tenant to rent it.’ If you rent out, and the tenants use without giving you anything, what good is there for you from what you possess? This is true also with regards to life as well. Everybody is self-deluding oneself in one way or another. Some are under the self-delusion that when they finish school they will be appointed at a high position and will be well off. This happens sometimes, but at other times it does not.
When man was first called to the earth, which at that time was the Garden of Eden, he started choosing what craft to learn. He thought of gardening, but he told himself that this job is not for him, because there was nobody to shoo away the flies on the leaves. He reached a man who was spinning and told himself, ‘This is easy to do.’ That man explained:
— I pull thin threads to tie the flies who eat the trees.
Then the spider appeared and said:
Will you take me as your apprentice?
The spider studied with him, started spinning, became a better master than his teacher and finally the spider said:
— I shall not chase them away from the trees, but I will make a loop and when a fly lands in it, I will ask the fly why it goes to the trees and eats the blossom.
You are laughing at this spider that it could choose a craft. He was angry with the flies and butterflies that they go in the trees.
This refers to the man who often has a craft not matching one’s life. This is a waste of time. Just like you expect your ticket to win, in the same way this spider sometimes has to wait for ten days to catch a fly and goes hungry because it has no other craft [skills]. In the beginning the flies were not aware of it and were caught, but then they learnt and the spider started going hungry. Hunger in the world is non-accomplished desires. The desires of anybody, waiting like the spider to catch a fly but catching none, are non-accomplished. Non-accomplished are those desires that do not follow that Divine Path.
Somebody says that a man has to be young, healthy and to eat well. Man was born healthy, but fell ill afterwards. One has to know how to eat. According to a mechanical law you can place as many wheat grains as you like in a sack, but you cannot place many wheat grains in your stomach, because it will be damaged. The cells of the stomach are intelligent. Sofia is not intelligent but Sofians are intelligent. You haven’t met Sofia, but you have met Sofians – they are intelligent, educated, some are more intelligent than others. The stomach is like Sofia, but the cells of the stomach are very intelligent and are specialists. If you place inappropriate food in the stomach, all the cells will go hungry and will throw the food away. These stomach cells are much more intelligent than their master. But people resemble that Greek priest who baptised ten children in cold water and they died. Whenever one cannot deliver something that has to do with an intelligent idea, it dies. Suffering is the necessary link that shows what the relations in the world should be.
Now, you have been attending the meeting for some time. What does piousness upon? Why does God need your faith? If somebody comes to school and believes in one’s teacher, what use is this student to the teacher? Students have to study. The strength of the belief depends on the diligence of the student. If the student is very diligent and if he has acquired something while studying, he has faith in his teacher. Faith should arouse affection and Love at the same time and if it fails to arouse Love and diligence, it is not a true faith. You can try out the strength of your faith at any time and each one of you should try oneself out to find out how strong one’s faith is. Your happiness depends on the faith that you have. You have to know how strong your faith is.
Sometimes you have a headache or your eyes are sore. You do not know the reasons and call this an inflammation of the eyes. However, this inflammation has not come out of the blue. The tip of the nose of people who drink a lot is always reddish. Hence a reddish nose is a result of drinking. Likewise, if one has unnatural desires, one’s nose will become reddish again. Neither wine, nor rakiya2, nor unnatural desires [should one have]! One should not place a burden bigger than one can carry upon one’s brain. Do you know the weight of the tiniest particle placed in the eye? A thought can incur tremendous suffering to you. Take for example the thought that someone can kill you. Where has this thought come from? Some other time an idea comes to you that you are not loved. This is irreconcilable; if nobody loves you, you would have never been able come to the earth. Now that you are on the earth, at least two persons love you. In such a case your statement that you are not loved is not true. The point is that there is somebody who loves me, but I do not love him. This issue can be examined in two ways: what is the reason if somebody does not love you and you do not love him; and what is the reason if somebody loves you and you do not love him? The reason is one the same in both cases. The reason if you are not loved is the same as the reason when you do not love. I am asking then, why don’t you love the one that is not loved? You say, ‘I don’t like him.’ In that case, the other one does not like you either. You see no fault with yourself, but the others do. Where is the Truth then? It is said that ‘the Truth will liberate [free, release] you.’
When you have proper concepts, suffering will disappear or at least you will cope with it intelligently. For example, you have to trim your nails. There are body parts, which are not sensitive, and there are body parts, which are sensitive. Why certain parts are not sensitive? The only reason for the nails not to be sensitive is that they are a written book. When you take a look at the nail of the thumb, you can read what there is within you: whether you are stingy or not, whether you are inquisitive or not, whether you are noble or envious. Each nail shows the underlying reason for things to have happened. Some trim their nails in order to erase what was written, but they fail to. The more one tries to erase this book the more it grows. You have certain gifts that you have to develop.
Your idea about the other world is the same as a young maid’s idea about a young man: she fantasises that her beloved will come, that she will live like a queen and that there will be a lot to eat and drink and that she will only linger around. There is an intensive life in the other world and no ignorant people, saying that they don’t know this or that, can get in there. If you behave there the way you behave on the earth, you won’t be allowed to set foot in for [the next] ten thousand years. For just one fruit the woman has been banished from Paradise for over eight thousand years. For two apples only have the first people been banished from paradise for eight thousand years. You think it is easy to go to the other world. It takes a pure and Divine life in order to go to the other world, to the Divine world. You will say, ‘Who will then enter Heaven?’ Under ‘Heaven’ we mean the intelligent people who are perfect. They cannot let ignorant people stay with them. Assume that your sense of smell is developed; can you let a leprosy contaminated person near you? Disease is one thing, Love is another. Love does not mean that we should put up with all the smells of the sick; we are everything but grateful for such ‘love’. The purpose of Love is to support Life, not to support the sick. When somebody is sick, he can be taken care of, but the purpose of Love is not to take care of the sick. The purpose of Love is not to put up with the sinful; these appended items. The purpose of Love is to develop virtues. You say that one has to be patient [put up with]. Patience goes with a world where people do not live well. Talking about patience [putting up with] we mean a world where people do not live well. When one person is good and another one is bad, we say that the latter has to be put up with. But when both of them are good and love one another, what need is there for them to be patient [put up] with each other? If you are fed up with putting up, you can also substitute it for something else.
What can you substitute patience for?
(a Voice in the audience): For self-control.
Self-control has certain features in common with patience. You can be patient when something is taken away from you, when you are being done injustice. Let’s assume that you are at the end of your tether [patience] and you say, ‘Man should not be patient!’ If you do not want to be patient, what do you have to do? Patient people are lazy. So, you have to replace patience with the Intelligent word.
Man can easily be brought up well. You have children; you talk and talk to a child but you have no method for up-bringing. You say, ‘This child cannot be brought up.’ A professor in America made the following experiment: he furnished a small room with a window, and the entire floor was made of copper so that he could run electricity. The recalcitrant child is put into the room and the child starts pushing things around. Electricity comes out as a result of the pushing and the current goes through the child. Having done this several times, the child gives up and starts looking at things respectfully. The same is valid for you when you start doing something. God runs the current, but you break the wire. This is why the child starts beating the mother at an old age.
From your point of view there should not be any storms, the leaves should not be rustling, everything has to be quiet. In the world where you live, the wind, causing seemingly great storms and suffering, is also of great benefit to the plants – strengthens their blood-circulation, supplies them with food, facilitates the sunshine and incurs an internal renovation of plants. If there were no torments, grievances, suffering, you would resemble fragile pottery which breaks when touched. But hardships make people nimble and elastic. It is easy for those who have been often sick to overcome a new disease, while others that haven’t been sick may die.
You are in such a room under whose floor electric current is running. A preacher was telling me, ‘What came to befall me, I was saying that women should not wear expensive silks, but when my daughters grew up, they wouldn’t listen to me either and started wearing such silk. People tell me now, ‘You were teaching the others but failed to teach your daughters!...’ So, talking only won’t do! [Talking does not do the trick!] If I were in the shoes of the preacher I would say, ‘Buy yourself even a better hat, a better garment, buy the best of the best!’ This is what I would have preached and the result would have been better: The father would be in trouble, would become poorer and at last the time for his daughters to go hatless would come. They will go into debts; electric currents will start shaking them, and there would be no need for any external people to teach them. Nature teaches in this way: it grants whatever wishes you may have, but after all these hats you will become broke and you will come to a point where you will suffer. Nature will give you what you wish for, but you will be accountable for everything it gives you. Now, what do I mean by the phrase ‘a nice hat’? I don’t mind nice hats, but it takes a corresponding head too! And the hat is not worth a penny on an empty head. A nice garment does not become [suit] a feeble body! If there are no nice thoughts in the head, the hat is out of place.
We often go to one other extreme. Nature is not stingy like us. It wants her children to be dressed perfectly and it does not spare resources for the garments you want. If God dressed the butterflies, whose garment you won’t be able to make even if have five hundred thousand leva, what richer garment can a person put on. A human being must put on a garment but this external garment must have something in correspondence to a certain virtue. For example, you want to have a golden ring; you must have gold inside. You want to have a precious stone, but you have to have such a precious stone inside you. Some may fool themselves that their stones are precious. You have to wear and give vent to the great virtues. This is the only way that a man can be well-bred and intelligent. And all of you have to become well-bred, strong, to become people knowing that they have to study. There are things that cannot be bought, things that one has to make by oneself. Virtues are not to be purchased, they are to be developed. For instance you have to develop your [sense of] justice, so that you can know what will happen to you, to be able to foresee it, to feel it.... or to know how to preserve the good relations; to know how to keep friendship.
You say that God is Love, that God lives in every human being. Then God lives in the minds and hearts of people. And every day the angels from the Invisible world listen to you talking nonsense. Even the best of you talk nonsense. After talking with a sister you say, ‘She is nuts, she has a tile loose, she has no manners. Look at her hat!’ It’s not bad for a person to criticise, but to make worthy criticism that corresponds to certain truths; not only to surmise, but to say it aptly [in place]. If a person only criticises all the time, what will the world look like? The world needs very few criticisers. The good and the bad aspects should be brought forward. You take the place of the criticisers but what do you have to do when you criticise? You have to write an anonymous letter to someone: ‘In my opinion you have to act like this and like that.’ Write him a very nice letter, so that one can benefit from reading your letter. Sometimes you don’t need to mention your name. You will say, ‘Sister, you have strong points but you also have weak points: your tongue3 is too short, you think a lot and speak little; you sometimes say lies.’ You have to extend your tongue. Human tongue is short. I would like you to have tongues like the tongues of the animals. It is often the case that what people say is not their thoughts. For example, somebody comes and tells a piece of news that you haven’t verified. It is often the case that an elderly woman in the country hears a piece of news and says, ‘I will tell it only for your ears.’ She goes to another place and says the same there; shortly after the entire village is in the know. If the news has travelled all over the village, what has the elderly woman gained? And afterwards, after being caught, she says, ‘I haven’t said it.’ You say at ten places what you have heard, and you think that these people will keep it for themselves. No. Things that are not accurately verified should not be said. We have to say things that are accurately verified. Often there are beings who sell to you their pieces of glass telling you that these are precious stones.
Instead of dealing with the great law of Love, one deals all day long with things that contribute nothing to him. For example, the husband of one of your neighbours brought her some riches, a silk dress or patent leather shoes and this is what everybody talks about for a whole month. Then there appears a bitter feeling as to why your husband hasn’t brought you a silk dress. Let’s assume that you have a silk dress; what have you gained? You will be buried in a silk dress. What will you take with you from your silk dress on your way to the other world? Some say, ‘Let’s live our lives!’ There is no philosophy in such a living. I would not put on my back a dress that is worn out and fades within a year. A garment should never be worn out, as is with the birds. Such was the garment that man had on time ago. While nowadays they put on clothes that are not hygienic at all and subsequently many diseases appear. What has the current fashion done? If the [textile] material is very simple, it is not healthy. The material must breathe air. Moreover, you like wearing tight clothes. Arabic horses were tied by straps underneath so that they can be constantly on the alert. The garment must be loose, healthy, for the blood to circulate properly. Similarly high-heels shoes used to be worn earlier, which tightened the toes. Many diseases, corns etc. come out of this tight fitting of the tightening of the toes. Moreover, previously men wore high collars and looked like harnessed oxen. The back part of the neck should not be very tight in clothes; it should be elastic, soft. In the old times women used to wear velvet hats, but now they wear more hygienic hats.
You have to comb your hair all the time for the hairs to be in the same direction, because the thoughts of a man are just like his hair. Hair should not be unkempt; you have to smooth your hair all the time so that your hair lies smoothly. If your hair does not obey your mind, how will you be able to work in the world? I consider the skill to blacken one’s hair to be knowledge [understanding]. Now the hair of some people goes grey because of ignorance, torment, grief. There is a natural greying for the hair, and there is also an unnatural greying, similar to the rooms that are not white but only the walls are white-washed. The grey colour of hair indicates that a person does not have mercenary objectives, that one gives away the entire wealth one has, that one is not thinking of oneself. And at other times you see people with grey hair who think more of themselves than of other people. Such people have false grey hair. White soil does not bear [fruit]; it is the black soil that bears. Then from your point of view what should the colour of one’s hair be? According to me the hair should be white, but white as a tuberose, natural; not gone white because of grief. Hair should change colours, should acquire at least three colours during the day: it should become black at dusk, before the sunset; it should be fair in the morning, and when the Sun is in its zenith, it should be white. When the hair changes its nuances, it is healthy and it feels healthy on touching.
One has to have an intelligent thought, because the world we live in is intelligent and those who govern it are beautiful. They are not old; they are fresh; they have alive [lively] looks, nothing hardened will you see in them. You won’t understand how old an angel is when you see the angel; you will keep thinking that the angel is thirty, while the angel has lived for thousand of years. The angel’s face is young. Why don’t angels grow old? Because they do not suffer. Only people who suffer grow old. Troubles, grievances make people age.
You are looking for God, aren’t you? God speaks to you internally at every step that you should not live the way you live now. This life[style] belongs to the past and you have to alter it a little bit. For instance, some suffering or a negative thought comes to you; why can’t you alter [change] it; look at it quietly and at ease; smile a little bit at the suffering, consider it a privilege of yours? I want you to open yourselves, because you have erected dikes in yourselves. Open all of these dikes; let the current run so that you can be absolutely natural! This does not mean to talk whatever comes to your mind, this is not natural. The tone for a musician is specific [determined]. When you meet someone, how many words do you have to tell him and how do you have to begin? You say:
Where do you come from?
I do not know where I come from, says the other one.
Where are you going?
I do not know.
Where are you staying?
At the London Hotel.
How long are you going to stay there?
When I leave I shall let you know.
How much do you pay?
Fifty leva a night.
I do not know where I come from and I do not know where I am going to, but I know where I stop and how much I pay. Where does this money come from though? There is a habit in America, when you accost somebody at a big hotel of ten-fifteen floors, to be told, ‘Here is a big hook and a long rope, in case of fire for you to escape.’ There are no such ropes in Bulgaria.
Self-education requires that you have knowledge in all the hardships and adversities in Life. You dwell upon one thought and say, ‘Why did God made the world like this?’ Thousands of people have asked this question before you, but no answer has ever been provided because the world is so made. For flies the world is made according to the flies; and for oxen the world is made according to the oxen; while for people the world is made according to the people, and for angels – according to the angels. Each world corresponds to the beings living there. I don’t see anything bad in the world, but there is something that is not understood in this world. You are left with the thought that that something is missing. No one is richer than your father, but not only your father has to be rich, you have to roll up your sleeves as well. Not only teachers have to be able, but you have to get down to studying too. If you go in rags, it is due to the fact that you do not work and do not study. And if there is somebody ignorant, he will complain that his father does not send him to school, that there was no school in his day. The whole world is a School.
I shall once again render to you the story about that famous peasant woman from Varna region, who was thought to be lazy, had two servants, but after becoming poorer towards the age of forty-five, she became a teacher and started teaching the others how to weave and spin. How will you learn to talk to people? Man can never convey to the others what one has not experienced. You can never talk about Love that you haven’t experienced; you can never talk about faith that you haven’t experienced; you can never talk about knowledge that you haven’t experienced. You can talk, but you cannot convey, in the absolute sense, this knowledge that you haven’t experienced. Hence you have to start with the things that you have experienced.
Some of you are superstitious and say that no work should be started on Tuesdays or Fridays. Why does work not go [down] well on Tuesdays? Because on Tuesdays there were wars, fighting and whoever goes out was shot in the head. And Fridays are dangerous because love affairs take place then and if you go out, you may make a mess. Then, Mondays are left for the Moon, Wednesdays – for trading, Thursdays – for nobleness and aristocratism, and Saturdays are for pious people who have to pray. Saturdays are even more dangerous than Tuesdays and Fridays. If you do not pray on Saturday, things are not all right, therefore when Saturday comes you have to pray during the whole day so that no evil afflicts you. Well, why should Friday be considered a bad day? If you go out on [a] Friday and [if] you do not know how to love, things won’t be all right and you will come back with a broken heart. For those who do not know how to Love, Fridays are dangerous! On Fridays your heart should be in place. Why are Fridays bad? Because your heart is not in place. Why are Tuesdays bad, Because your will is not in place. You say, ‘Love does not do the work’, but what do you understand under the word ‘love’. Love brings Life, abundance; all the goods in the world come according to the law of Love. This, however, is not that seeming politeness that people have. The one, who loves you, will bring you something and will go. When light comes and goes, it loves you; it brings something to you and goes out; it travels. This is the law of Love. Light and warmth when they come together, they bring everything – fruits and all the goods. When you go out on Fridays, you have to be like the light and the warmth. If you are not like the light and the warmth on this day, you will look like candles, which cannot be lighted and everybody will shove them away.
Someone will ask if a man can be light [in colour]. Man is a lighted [lit] candle and his Light has to be intensified. All of you have to be intelligent, wise you have to be and then your new home, that you will build, will be transformed. You will get old in the future and your life will lose its meaning even more, won’t it? When you get to the age of seventy, eighty and some of you probably to ninety, where will you find comfort within yourself? Comfort is that Love that brings eternal rejuvenation. Man has to enter the law of rejuvenation.
Although you are getting old, do not believe in getting old; although you are dying, do not believe in death. What do you have to believe in? You say, ‘You think I don’t see this?’ If I disguise somebody to make him look old, do I have to believe that he is old? At the theatre, young people in their twenties are disguised like old people. You believe you are old while you are on the stage, but when you come down from the stage, you are no longer old. Tell yourselves, ‘We are actors and the circumstances of acting demands that we are old, but we are not old! Acting demands [from us] that we sometimes weep, but we are not tearful [cry-babies]!’ Sometimes you shed a profusion of tears, but who would believe the tears of the actor?
The point is to come to the sincere Life. A man who is suffering can carry the entire Earth upon his shoulders. If he cannot carry the entire Earth upon his shoulders, he has not suffered. I seek people of suffering; I am eager to see a person who is suffering. Very beautiful is the suffering face! I haven’t found a suffering person yet. Someone says, ‘Do you know how much I suffer?!’ I look at him and reply, ‘You haven’t come to suffering yet; you have come to grief; and there is something renovating, there is hope in the suffering.’ A man in hope is like a snake having shed its skin; his eyes are alive, [full] of hope, not of despair [discouragement], serious. Suffering brings the best of gifts in the world. And the Joy man has is an angel’s quality. It means that a man has entered their [of the angels] life. Suffering is something sublime; noble. All the saints suffered; Christ suffered; all the Masters suffered. Suffering is the last [stage] that completes evolution. John, on moving to the Invisible world, asked, ‘Who are those in the white garments?’ And he was told, ‘These are those who have passed through the great suffering; they have been through suffering and now they are clad in white clothes.’
I do not want to present life to you the way it is not and to tell you that you will be lucky. I will tell you that during the first phase you will be discontent [displeased], you will be tormented during the second phase, you will grieve during the third phase and you will suffer in the fourth phase. If you can transform your discontent [displeasure], you will have a wealth; if you transform torment, you will have another wealth; if you transform grief, you will have a third wealth, and if you transform suffering too, you will have all the wealth [in the world]. You are discontent [displeased], tormented, you grieve, you suffer – these are states that you have to transform.
Epictetus4 lived in the house of a rich patrician, who had two thousand slaves and was very weird. He would often beat Epictetus, but the latter would only smile a little. The Roman patrician would get so very angry with this, and Epictetus would tell him, ‘You will understand one day.’ It so happened one day that the master squeezed Epictetus’ foot strongly, and the latter told him, ‘By squeezing my foot like this you will break it, and when it breaks I won’t be able to serve you.’ The patrician wondered at his self-control, gave him a lump sum of money and let him free. Epictetus went to Greece where he lived the life of a free man.
If a man, who did not have Christian knowledge, lived like this, then you, who have it [the Christian knowledge], how should you live? You were brought up in a slightly different way, you are of a different up-bringing: a student goes to his teacher and tells the teacher to give him a higher mark, so that the student can pass to the next grade. The teacher might give him a higher mark, but he will have poor marks in life all the same.
What you gain now, will be with you during the entire Eternity. Therefore it is worth studying the paths of Wisdom. The first requirement is to have faith, to be full of Love – Love, which even cures. If you love a disease, if it becomes very pleasant to you, then it will leave you. I have seen people who, when feverish, take the pot and go to fetch water. After a month or two the fever leaves them, while those who are afraid of the fever can be feverish for years.
Wake up the Divine in you; think about the Divine so that it frees you of all the hardships! Man has to wake up the Divine in oneself and when he wakes it up, it will be omnipotent in him. If he does not wake it up, he will have to go to the water tap, but when he wakes it up, he will have a spring of water inside him.
You have to understand the main point. If you are discontent [dissatisfied], subject the discontent [dissatisfaction] to a scientific examination; if there are hardships, subject the hardships to a scientific examination; if you grieve, subject the grief to a scientific examination; if suffering comes, subject the suffering to a scientific examination and see what God put in it and what are the reasons. When the days of suffering come, you have to be ready. You have to walk along the path of Wisdom now, so that when the days of suffering come, when you turn to Wisdom and call it, it will talk to you. Listen to the Good that lives in you. Don’t say that there is no Good in you, there is Good in everybody. One has to listen to oneself and believe in this Good. When someone says that there is no Good in himself, this means he has not developed it, has not used it.
Now, be strong in the Word. Apply the Word, apply patience, talk to yourselves. Talking to oneself is most interesting. You have to tell yourself, ‘You are very gifted, but your gifts are not developed; a lot of Love you have, but you have not manifested it; a lot of Power [Strength] you have, but you haven’t developed it; you are an applicant to Heaven but you are not ready yet.’ There is a long time ahead for you to study on the earth and you will pull yourself together to study. If you want to go to the Royal [King’s] Gates, you have to paint a nice picture. If you work, you will be admitted. You will have to sing a nice song, to weave a fine cloth, to write a good paper in order to get admitted. Imagine, you are asked to say something from the Gospel and you cannot. Some of you do not know even the Gospel. For instance, what does line ten in Chapter ten of John’s Gospel read? You will say that the Spirit will talk to you. What does line one of Chapter fifteen read? ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.’ You have to know at least the first line of each chapter. I want all of you to learn the first line of every chapter of John’s Gospel. For next week you will learn the first lines of the first seven chapters.
You should not resemble that American professor who went to the post office, but forgot his name and had to go back home to ask his wife. This is already a painful situation. One has to learn to remember. Weak memory shows that there is a collision between the mind and the heart. When your thoughts and feelings are diverging, when they are not in harmony, then it is always the case that memory weakens.
Somebody told me, ‘Why are you talking to me about philosophy, I am dying out of hunger’, I told him, ‘Even if you have a lot of money, you will die out of hunger anyway [all the same].’ All the people die out of hunger. You should not think that you will die out of hunger. You won’t die out of hunger, but when you are dying, you won’t be allowed to eat, not to be full when you are served dinner above. Or put in other words, you can’t have dinner there if you do not go hungry for some time here; so that when you are given an angels dinner there, you would say, ‘[An] Excellent dinner!’ Therefore suffering on the earth is a preparation for you to appreciate the goods that will be bestowed on you. If you suffer here, you are assistants to the joys that you will have. The way you are assistants to the suffering, the same way you will be assistants to the joys too. What is given to you on the earth is in order to acquire greater goods. This is the true creed which you have to have with yourselves along the right Path of Life. If you have another creed, you will have disappointments.
This life, that you are having now, is partial. Neither the King is satisfied, nor the mother. Not a single mother had sons and daughters like angels. If two angles are born by her, she won’t want to have children once again. She looks for these two children. If we take this in a mystic sense: man lives partly until one desire and one thought are born in him, which will be the centre of the entire human life. This centre is Love for God that has to give meaning to your life in such a way that this God is with you everywhere and when you call Him, he will listen to you. When we are dissatisfied, when we are tormented, when we grieve, suffer, if we call Him, He will respond. This is Love. When we hear His voice, discontent [dissatisfaction] disappears. When God starts talking, discontent [dissatisfaction], torment, grief and suffering disappear and are transformed into Joy. Establish a complete bond with Love and start studying! Study the lines, study the proverbs!
You think about getting old. When you go to the other world, you will prepare to work and you will return here on the earth invisible to preach from one house to another for twenty years. Somebody has lost heart and you will make him hopeful. You will visit another one, a third one, a fourth one – you will preach for twenty years like this. Some of you twenty years will teach people not to drink wine, others will preach to the single young women for twenty years not to marry; still others will preach the same to the single young men. Some of you for twenty years will teach people not to lie, others will teach them for twenty years not to be afraid, still others will teach people to be moderate in eating. This is a science. God has placed you somewhere.
Now, you want great gifts and knowledge to be given to you all of a sudden, so that when you preach people would say, ‘What a learned man he is!’ In the region of Varna a fortune-teller appeared years ago, who people from all over the region went to visit; she read fortunes on a big sea snail and she knew everything. This fortune-teller was robbed by rascals [rogues], but she could not see in the sea snail that she would be robbed. Therefore one may have all the knowledge [in the world], one may foresee everything, but one has to know also when one will be robbed. Each job on the earth does not have to be completed. I will also do the same - there is something which I won’t say, I do not want to be robbed…
Lecture delivered by Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno)
On 12 May 1932
At 16.00h, Sofia, Izgreva
1 One decare = 1000 square meters
2 Traditional local liquor made of grapes or plums
3 Translator’s not to the English editor: there is one word in Bulgarian ‘език’ [ezik] meaning both ‘tongue’ and ‘language’
4 Epictetus – a Roman philosopher living during 1st century, born in Phrygia, was a slave to Epaphroditos; the basis of his philosophy was ‘Endure and restrain!’, and his ethics was based on internal freedom; he influenced Christianity and Tolstoysts (notes of the editor of the original edition)