When I say that the teaching of the Universal White Brotherhood is bringing a new religion to the world, it is not that I think that this teaching is an improvement on the religion that jesus gave us.
That is impossible. Jesus truly represents the summit, nothing can be more perfect than the law of love and sacrifice that he came to teach. It is only in the methods, applications and interpretations of that law that we can go further. The Gospels do not say it all; there are still so many things that are obscure and unexplained. And this is what the teaching of the Universal White Brotherhood can bring us: the explanations we still need.
Also, when I say that it is time for a universal religion, it is because Catholicism is not fully universal. Of course, the word 'catholic' means universal, but the fact remains that the Catholic religion is not universal. In the first place it is far from being practised by all human beings, and, above all, by rejecting many essential truths such as reincarnation, the laws of karma, and the primordial role of the sun in man's spiritual life, the Church has cut itself off from universal truth and become a sect. for a religion to be truly universal it must accept the whole truth and it must reach all men.
As it is, no religion in the world is founded on principles that are accepted by all human beings. Only a solar religion can be the universal religion, because all human beings accept the sun. We all seek the sun and understand what it is. Everything else interests some but not others, suits some but not others. In fact, if there are so many different religions, it is because each one is adapted to a particular mentality. If the claim of the Catholic Church to be universal is true, if it embraces every aspect of truth, why do I never see Catholics who are truly fulfilled spiritually? A great many Buddhists are far more advanced. They have such faith in the immortality of the soul that they are capable of throwing themselves into the flames.
They have no fear of death. Whereas Christians are so timid, so lacking in courage, that they tremble at the slightest threat and scream in terror if they are in danger of death.
As I have said, a universal religion must embrace all the knowledge and all the practical methods human beings need in order to reach the Lord. When Christianity refuses to teach reincarnation it makes it impossible for people to understand God's justice. Is there any wonder that nothing makes sense to them any more? They cannot see the underlying reason for what happens to them; everything seems illogical and unfair. In the face of evil or suffering, Christians can only say, 'It is the will of God.' The amazing thing is that they consider themselves to be blameless, above reproach.
They have done nothing to bring misfortune on themselves; it is entirely the Lord's doing. But this means that God behaves without rhyme or reason, his decisions are completely arbitrary.
For centuries their refusal to believe in reincarnation has barred Christians from advancing. The doctrine of reincarnation explains everything: from one existence to the next, every cause triggers a corresponding consequence.
When we know this we know that it is no longer the Lord who is to blame for what happens to us, but we ourselves. By choosing to follow a certain path, to manifest ourselves in a certain way, it is we who are responsible for our destiny, not God. God's sublime greatness, his splendour, perfection, and justice are untouched, unsullied. Whereas if you reject reincarnation you have to put all the blame on God. It seems to me that if Christians were really concerned about the glory and perfection of God, the least they could do would be to accept reincarnation. They are so stupid that they do not even recognize the consequences of their attitude; they do not realize
that the image of God they hold up to the world is a monstrous caricature. God gave human beings free will.
He tells them, 'Do whatever you like, but remember that if you break the law you will suffer. But that does not matter, you have all eternity ahead of you. You will have plenty of time in which to repent and make reparation. I am patient.'
Take a man who is miserable because he is married to a shrew, a veritable Xanthippe, and he has no idea why he has such a wife. He thinks she must be a punishment from heaven. Not at all. It was he himself who sought her out, who chose a shrew without knowing what he was doing, and now he regrets it bitterly. Socrates never complained, he put up with everything patiently.
One day, while he was talking to a friend, Xanthippe was muttering and scolding in an upstairs room and ended by pouring a pail of slops over him. The friend was very indignant, but Socrates only remarked, 'Oh well, after the thunder comes the rain.' He was not so easily put out. He had chosen to marry Xanthippe, and thanks to her he developed great patience and indifference in the face of criticism and insults. So my advice to you is to find a Xanthippe for yourself. Why do you want your wife to be perfect? You would only go to sleep and stop evolving if she were; but think of what progress you would make with a Xanthippe by your side. You see what excellent advice I always give you!
By refusing the reality of reincarnation the Church is portraying the Lord as a monster and a tyrant. In any case, quite apart from this, there is much to object to in the image the Church presents of God, for it has inerited the Old Testament notion of a jealous, vengeful, terrifying God, always ready to punish and chastise human beings. And I say that this view is false. God is not like that at all. Why did the Old Testament present him in this way? The answer is that the human beings of those days were at a stage of their evolution where they needed the discipline of fear. They needed to envisage a stern, ruthless God with whom Moses could intercede to soothe his wrath
and turn him away from the destruction of his people. The truth is that God never punishes anyone; he is not concerned with punishment. He spends his time up there in the midst of song and music, banqueting in the company of his angels and archangels while divine nectar and ambrosia flow in abundance. Do you imagine that the Lord has nothing better to do than to follow human beings around day and night, writing down in his little notebook all the filthy, revolting things they do, whether openly or in secret? Poor Lord, what a job.
Think how disgusted he would be.
No, I do not believe a word of it. I think that if human beings have invented machines to record and do their calculations for them, it is because such machines already existed in nature and therefore within us also. It is these machines that record our thoughts, feelings and actions, and as soon as we overstep the mark, in whatever area, the machine cracks down on us. But it is God who punishes us. On the contrary, God is always ready to welcome us to his banquet.
Let us suppose that you are being pursued by enemies (you may remember that I spoke to you about this one day), and in order to get away from them you run and run as fast as you can until you get to heaven. And there, breathless, covered with dust, your clothes all tattered and torn, you suddently find yourself in the midst of a magnificent assembly of angels and archangels.
Dumbfounded, you gaze at these beautiful creatures as they sing and rejoice with the Lord, who is seated in their midst. Nobody says, 'What are you doing here, you dirty ruffian? Away with you. This is no place for you.' On the contrary, as soon as he sees you the Lord says to his servants, 'Give him water to wash with, dress him in fine clothes, and let him come and share in our banquet.' But the enemies that were pursuing you will not be allowed in. They are made to wait outside, and as the banquet lasts a long time they finally lose patience and go home. Yes, this is how it works.
Have you never realized that? You have all known days when you were overwhelmed and besieged by your inner enemies, and then you started to pray and pray and pray... and within a few minutes you had a wonderful feeling of happiness and release; your enemies had left you. You must try to understand what this image means.
Do not think that I have come to destroy the Church, not at all. It is just that I possess a light that the Church does not possess at the moment, but I am very willing to collaborate with it. In fact I have already tried to do so. I have often met priests, Dominicans and Franciscans, and others and have tried to talk to them, but I have never had much success. Oh, perhaps I succeeded with two or three of them, but not with the others. The trouble is that their minds have been so deformed by their seminary training that there is nothing anyone can do now to persuade them to accept the light of these great truths. This is why I prefer to deal with atheists, unbelievers, and anarchists; I am much more successful with them. But with the religious? My word, how rigid, bigoted, and narrow-minded they can be! I have every confidence that this will change one day, but not before they have had to endure all kinds of tribulations and been forced to reflect.
If the Lord is in the process of creating a new heaven and a new earth (and this is what the Bible tells us), why should there not also be a new religion? New in exactly the same way as heaven and earth can be new. Of course the expression is symbolic; I have already explained to you that you must not take it literally. If you did, you would have a very bad impression of the Lord and would mean that he had used second-rate materials when he built heaven and earth, and now they are rusting and wearing out. This is why he has to start all over again... and while he is rebuilding, all the inhabitants of heaven and earth are going to be out in the rain without a roof over their heads.
No, that is just nonsense. The truth is that the new heaven and new earth refer to us; it is within us that God is creating them. The new heaven is a new mentality, a new philosophy, a new point of view, a new understanding of things; This is how you should interpret this image of the new heaven and the new earth. To understand it any other way would be to slight the Lord. It would mean that he did not know the properties of the elements that he himself created and now he finds that they are rotting and wearing out. Whereas if you interpret this image as I have shown you, the Lord's greatness, immensity, and infinite wisdom remain intact.
Of course, I know that you will not accept what I tell you, but you must at least try not to cling rigidly to your own opinions until you have made quite sure that they really correspond to the truth. There are still a great many of you who hold obstinately to your own point of view. Instead of trying to understand what I tell you, you think to yourselves, 'Oh no, that is not true. It cannot be. It is monstrous. I know how it should be.' But there comes a time in life when you simply have to ask yourself whether your own point of view is really correct, really flawless. Unfortuneatly, so many men and women prefer to cling to their point of view, to defend it all their life long, without ever trying to find out to what extent it is realistic and true. And that is very dangerous.
Many people's lives end in disaster simply because they insist on defending their mistaken philosophy at any price. Yet those same people find it normal to go for a physical check-up from time to time. They get a doctor to examine their heart, stomach, liver, spleen, or intestines and tell them what is wrong with them, but they would never go and ask a spiritual master to tell them what was wrong with the way they felt and understood things. They consider that in these areas they are in perfect health: their thinking is all right, they see things clearly, their judgement is impeccable, they reason perfect? The proof of their misfortunes, sorrows, and failures. Yes, and yet they continue to believe that they are impeccable.
The whole world will one day come to the Universal White Brotherhood. At the moment you do not believe me when I say this, because there are more and more new teachings and new sects - not to mention all the ancient practices that had died away and are now being revived. Every one of those groups and philosophies has some good in it, but they all lack one essential element: none of them gives priority to the necessity of living for the collectivity, for brotherhood, for universality. Their members work for themselves, for their own advancement. And does mankind benefit from all that knowledge and power? It does not. Indeed, they themselves are often very unhappy people. So you must leave all those things alone and work only to bring peace, happiness, joy, and light to the whole world. True power and true knowledge are given to those who work unselfishly for the whole world. You will not know exactly how these gifts come, but they will come to you and dwell within you. It is when one stops thinking so much about oneself that one becomes truly formidable, because in this way one widens the circle. This is the new teaching that we are bringing to the world.
All religions set aside one day of the week as a holy day, a day of prayer, but they have not all chosen the same day: for the Christians it is Sunday, for Jews, Saturday, for Muslims, Friday, and so on. But is there any real difference between teh days of the week? No, none at all. Every day is sacred; every day is divine. Friday is the day for doing good; Saturday is the day for doing good. In the Universal White Brotherhood every day must be sacred. Otherwise just look what happens: for six days in a row men and women break the law, and on the seventh they go to church and wash away the crimes committed during the week. But you cannot purify yourself in just one day; you need the whole week for that. You believe that it is enough if you think of God one day in the week; the rest of the week you have no time to remember him because you are too busy fighting and swindling others and sleeping with their husbands or wives. But that is grotesque. It is hypocrisy, a living lie. What is important is how you live those six days of the week.
When the new religion comes the idea of devoting a few hours or a single day of the week to praying and going to church will be thought very inadequate. We must be in God's church all day and every day, for God's church is the whole of creation. Of course, I realize that we cannot ask too much of human beings; they are still too uncouth and intrctable - many think that even one day is too much. But in the new religion people will want to be mystical seven days a week; they will want to pray and think good thoughts seven days a week; they will want to pray and think good thoughts seven days a week, and then seven more days, and so on, for the rest of their lives. What do you do when you are here at the Bonfin? Here, every day is Sunday - or Saturday, or Friday if you prefer - and you spend every day in 'church'. 'What church?' you ask, 'I see no church.' The church can be the open-air, out of doors, for the whole of nature is a church. But first and foremost the church is an inner reality; it is within yourselves.
Remember what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well. She had said, 'Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.' And Jesus replied, 'Women, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem... God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.' But as the time was not yet ripe for the masses to understand these things, Jesus prepared St John and instructed him in the basic philosophical, cabbalistic, esoteric knowledge, the symbolic foundation of these new concepts. This he did in secret, without the knowledge of the other disciples, and when the others found out about it they were inclined to be envious of St John; in fact, St Peter reproached Jesus for it one day. But Jesus wanted to be sure that before he left at least one of his disciples would be in possession of those parts of his teaching that had not been revealed to all. This is why he gave St John this special instruction. And St John founded a Church which was never really accepted or understood by the Church of St Peter.
Remember also what Jesus said at the very end when Peter, referring to St John, asked, 'Lord, what about him?' Jesus replied, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?' And the Gospel adds, 'So the rumour spread in the community that this disciple would not die.' What if St John were living even today in some unknown place. The Church of St John has formed an elite, an elite that has always worked in secret and been the depositary of this esoteric science throughout the ages. The religion os St John is the new religion that is to come, and however fiercely the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Churches fight it - as they have always fought and tried to wipe out the Church of St John - they will be no more successful now than they have been in the past.
All the purest and most knowledgeable initiates of the past have been disciples of St John, and those who belonged to the established Churches have always rejected and persecuted them and refused to acknowledge their superiority. But even though the Church of John has always been forced to live and work in secret, it has never ceased preparing the sons and daughters of God. The time is coming nor for it to manifest itself, and when it does so, its riches and its superiority will visible to the whole world. When that day comes, the Church of Peter will be forced, whether it likes it or not, to transform itself and introduce many reforms. Of course, there are some elite beings in the Church of Peter too, but as for the majority... well, it does not bear thinking of. Instead of applying themselves to learning and trying to become better they have always been content to persecute those who were more advanced.
Do you imagine that over the centuries priests and bishops took Holy Orders for the love of God; because they had a true vocation? Not at all. They did so because it gave them a lucrative and highly respected position (an ideal position for the lazy). They did not have much to do after all - a few Masses and a few prayers to say, an occasional baptism, wedding, or funeral - and the rest of their time was their own. To be sure there were always some who had a genuine vocation and who felt called to dedicate themselves completely to the Lord, and the faithful flocked to such as these in the thousands because of the light that radicated from their souls and lit up their words, their eyes, their very presence. They were true temples of God. But for most of the clergy it was simply a very convenient profession. As a matter of fact, we see the same thing today in the medical profession. In the days of the ancient initiations, only those who had received the gift of healing from God could be doctors. They healed the sick simply by their presence, by speaking a few words or by the laying on of hands. But today people enter the medical profession because it is very lucrative and gives them considerable prestige and influence. The result is that many crooks who are interested only in mankind a lot of money are steadily poisoning the whole of mankind. No matter, they still pass themselves off as doctors. It is greed, the lust for money, that guides human beings. For many people the choice of a profession depends entirely on the rewards it offers in the way of money or glory. I have no desire to disparage doctors and priests or to interfere with them; I am simply telling you the truth.
The Church of St Peter has always been appallingly intolerant, chopping off heads or burning at the stake all those who refused to think or behave exactly according to the rules it laid down. The members of the Church of St John, on the other hand, have never cut off anyone's head; they have never thrown people into prison; they have always left men and women free to follow their bent while, for their part, they concentrated on trying to be closer to the Lord and to resemble God. And yet did Jesus not say, 'Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect?' This is the supreme ideal; and if some people choose a different ideal, that is their business.
The Catholic religion can boast of being universal if it likes. This may be how it sees itself, but it is not how initiates see it. The universal religion will be the religion of the sun, for only the sun is universal. You will say, 'But what about the Lord? Is God not universal?' Yes, of course he is. But God is so sublime, so inaccessible. People refuse to accept the religion of the sun on the pretext that only God must be adored and worshipped; but God is so far away that they are incapable of getting anywhere near him, and the result is that they are left with nothing. On the pretext that it is forbidden to adore anyone or anything but God, they have no feeling or understanding for anything at all. Is that intelligent? Why do they refuse to admit that only the sun is capable of bringing us closer to God, for only the sun can give us some idea of God's immensity, of his light, his love, and his power? By rejecting the sun, people condemn themselves to remain forever weak, forever immured in cold and darkness.
How peculiar human beings are. Theologians spend their time inventing abstract theories about the Deity. They argue and quarrel fiercely about essence, substance, transcendence, and so on, while the masses have not the least idea what any of these theories mean. But if you suggest that the sun can be an image that has the power to propel them all the way to the Deity... Oh no, that is just too much for them. Well, whether they like it or not, the religion of the future will be the religion of the sun, because it is the sun that most accurately represents the Blessed Trinity.
There is already one whole volume of my lectures about the sun (Vol. 10), and yet I have still not told you much. What horizons would be revealed to men if only they understood more about the sun. Take Jesus' command to love our enemies for example. How difficult it is to accept such an idea; to love one's friends, perhaps, but to love one's enemies? You will rarely find anyone - even a Christian - who has made up his mind to love his enemies. You cannot even be sure that he loves his friends, so how can he possibly love his enemies? Believe me, if you analyse yourselves sincerely, you will see that nothing is more difficult than to love one's enemies. One wonders where Jesus got this precept from. I will tell you: he got it from the sun. For whether you love the sun is the only being who has solved the problem; he even loves, nourishes, and vivifies unbelievers and criminals. Even if you forget all about the important role of the sun in the universe and look only at the moral aspect, the example he gives us is truly noble, truly sublime. Such a peerless example of limitless love is found only very rarely among human beings, even among those who are the most highly evolved. Jesus was one such example, of course. We know that he possessed all powers, authority over all things, for he said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, 'but he did not use that authority against his enemies. In fact, in the most bitter moments of his agony he thought of them and prayed for them, saying, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'
If you want to know what true morality is, you must learn from the sun; no one else can teach it. Human beings are always eager to tell you what you should do, but they are incapable of putting their own advice into practice; whereas the sun says nothing, his deeds speak for him. He never says, 'You must love your enemies.' He never even says, 'I love you.' No, but he goes on loving everyone all the time. Only the sun can teach us how to discover and respect the moral laws of the cosmos. Human beings make the great mistake of seeking the principles of morality in libraries, in books written by corrupt human beings. They should go and seek instruction from the sun.
Of course we cannot force our teaching or our way of life on anyone. Only very few are ready and anxious to transform themselves and their way of life, and if they have achieved this frame of mind it is because they have already suffered a great deal and have come to realize that if they do not change they will be struck off the roll of the living. The others cannot be forced, they are still too young. They still have many lessons to learn, and they need more experience. What can I do if they do not understand the importance of our spiritual activities: our meals together, the singing, the breathing exercices, the prayers, meditations, and fasting? If they neglect all these means that are put at their disposal and fail to understand how powerful they are, what do you expect me to do about it? I cannot force them; they have to be left to go their own way and learn through suffering. But a vast field of extraordinary activities is lying open before all those who are sincerely interested in making progress. The activities of a disciple are represented symbolically by the twelve labours of Hercules, which are related to the twelve signs of the Zodiac. These are the twelve activities which enable human beings to open their twelve gates and become the New Jerusalem, the city of light, where illness, death, and darkness are no more. The New Jerusalem is the human being who has attained perfection, one who possesses the twelve gates of pearl and whose ramparts are built on the foundations of twelve precious stones.
Believe me, it is the teaching of Christ that I am giving you. There is nothing, absolutely nothing in what I say that contradicts Christ's teaching. What I reveal to you may contradict some of the opinions expressed by certain writers. It may even contradict certain dogmas of the Church which are pure invention and have nothing to do with Christ's teaching, but it contains nothing that is incomatible with Christ's true philosophy. The great question now is whether you prefer the Scriptures, and particularly the Gospels, in which everything is so simple, or whether you prefer other sources in which that simplicity has been distorted. Until the fourth century Christians, followed the true philosophy of Christ. It was only later that all kinds of deviations appeared.
As was foretold by the Prophet Ezekiel, the changes that will take place in the future will be so great, the light and love of God will be so powerfully and so widely diffused throughout the world, that human beings will learn directly form God himself; they will understand the Scriptures and live a life of perfection; they will prophesy and see visions. When this day comes, mankind will no longer need priests or pastors - or even me. All men will be guided and enlightened directly by the divine spirit. This has been foretold, and it will come about. And all those bigots who hawk their holy medals and relics of the true cross of Jesus (after two thousand years, there must be enough of them to constitute a whole forest.)... all those bigots will be obliged to close shop because people will go directly to the source.
This was that Jesus had in mind when he told the Samaritan woman that men would worship God in spirit and in truth. In spirit and in truth: that is to say, free from matter and free from falsehood. When human beings live in spirit and truth they will no longer need all these crutches; they will be able to walk on their own strong legs. The reality that Jesus visualized was immense, grandiose. The people he saw around him were still very frail, vulnerable, and defenceless, and still dependent on material, external props, but the mankind he envisaged was strong enough to rely only on the inner power of the spirit.
Through prayer and meditation a disciple purifies his own temple and calls on the Lord to come and dwell in it. Nothing can be compared to a human body that has been purified and sanctified so that it can become a temple of the Almighty. It is when man is a temple, when he prays in his own temple, that god hears and answers his prayer.
Most human beings are extremely negligent about the purification of their physical bodies. It never occurs to them that their bodies were designed to be temples of the living God and that they should look after them and strengthen and purify them. They continually abuse their bodies by eating and drinking things that are harmful to their health, or by smoking or indulging in various other forms of foolishness. Yes, man's physical body was destined to be a temple, but there is nothing sacred about it any longer, and obviously, in these circumstances, it is not the Lord who will come to dwell in it, but entities of a lower order, all those undesireables that covet filth and feed on impurities.
As I have often said, I have learned a great deal from the world of insects, from ants and bedbugs, for instance. These little creatures possess extraordinary antennae which science has not yet studied. For example, there are not normally any ants in my cottage, but I only have to leave some crumbs of food lying about, and within a few minutes there they are. What special flair, what powers of divination tell them that there are some scraps of food waiting for them, sometimes a long way away? Then, as soon as I sweep up the crumbs, they disappear again. The same is true of flies, fleas and mice. In fact in the cheap, dirty hotels or doss-houses in the East, for instance, swarms of bedbugs appear all over the ceiling as soon as people are asleep. But the remarkable thing is that they do not attack every sleeper in the dormitory. A bedbug will calculate its position with extraordinary accuracy and drop exactly on to the one person whose blood contains the impurities it needs to feed on. How does it know which target to choose? It examines them all and says, 'No, not that one. Not that one. Ah, there is one that has what I need, 'and presto. It drops straight on to its target.
Yes, bedbugs are really very clever. It is thanks to them that I have learned the supreme laws of purity, for the laws are the same on the psychic plane. On every plane there are creatures that sense impurities from afar and flock to feed on them. In every area and on every plane there is food for one or other kind of being. All creatures, both the malignant, evil creatures of darkness and the creatures of good and of light need to eat. In fact the Christians among you were horrified one day when I explained that even God ate. 'What? God needs to eat?' 'Yes, of course, but he does not eat sausages.' 'Then what does he eat?' they ask. Ah, these Christians, when will they ever understand? Genesis tells us that man was created in the image of God, and since man eats, why should god not eat? Yes, God eats. And it is the Seraphim who nourish him with their radiance and their emanations, with substances so subtle, pure, and precious that we can barely imagine them.
As I was saying, most human beings fail to look after their temple properly. But the Scriptures tell us, 'You are the temple of the living God,' and this means that we should take great care of our temple and keep it clean. We must not do what the Jews did with the temple in Jerusalem and allow all kinds of dirt to accumulate in it (the Jews used to take their cattle, goats and chickens and sell them in the Temple, so it was in a state of indescribable filth). Jesus was the only one who expressed his indignation at this; everybody else took it for granted. But what is a temple? Certainly not, as some people think, a place in which to entertain all kinds of animals. Taking some rope, Jesus made a whip and drove out all those who bought and sold in the Temple, saying, 'Get rid of all this filth. Stop using my Father's house for your trafficking.'
When a clairvoyant looks at people, he can see that the physical bodies of the majority, instead of being temples of the Most High, have become the dens of wild animals. Like the Jews, human beings have forgotten what their temple is supposed to be. We need the Lord to come back to warn us, to tell us, 'Keep my temple clean, otherwise I shall be obliged to go away and abandon you. I cannot stay in such a dirty place.'
The human beings we see around us are always anxious, troubled and unhappy, and this is a sign that they have not managed to secure the presence of the Lord in their temple; if they had, that presence would light up their lives. It is high time they asked themselves why they are in such a sorry state. It is time they understood that by feeding their bodies on all kinds of impurities they have opened their doors to the creatures of hell, and that is why God has not blessed them with his presence. Neither can they enjoy the presence of his angels, for although the Lord himself will not dwell within his creatures until they have achieved absolute purity, he may send one or more angels or great spirits to represent him. If you have forgotten about purifying your body and now find yourself in the cold and dark, you must draw the right conclusion and tell yourself, 'It is true, I have done everything I could to get myself into this state. I have opened my doors to all kinds of vile entities, and now heaven has abandoned me.' This is what you must tell yourselves, for this is the truth.
I have already given you several different methods of purification. It is not enough to be dipped into a bowl of water or immersed in a river to be pure, and yet many sects that do not possess the light of initiatic science consider this to be sufficient baptism. No, you can be immersed in physical water as often as you like without becoming any purer, because the power of purification does not belong to physical water but to another kind of water. True baptism is something that concerns all the planes of our being, not only the physical plane. True purification touches the four regions known in the Cabbalah as Assiah, Yetzirah, Brian and Atziluth, which correspond to the four elements -earth, water,air and fire. The elements are represented in the higher world by four angels belonging to the highest ranks of the angelic hierarchy, the Seraphim - or, as the Cabbalah calls them, the Hayoth ha-Kadosh. You can work at your own purification with the help of these four angels: ask the angel of earth to cleanse your physical body, the angel of water to wash your astral body, the angel of air to purify your mental body, and the angel of fire to sanctify your spirit. A marvellous work of purification can be done in this way if you combine this practise with your breathing exercises. But I have already explained this to you at length (vol. 7), so I shall not enlarge on it today.
If you think about your temple every day in this way, light, warmth, life and purity will come to dwell in you, and many things will be revealed to you. It is all very simple and clear. But those who continue to soil their temple have no alternative but to find themselves sinking deeper and deeper into corruption and depravity. Look at all the contemporary artists whose paintings represent the new style that they call 'abstract art'. Why are they so attached to a notion of art that no one else can understand? If the meaning of their work is a secret known only to themselves - and I am by no means sure that they themselves know it - it will never serve to elevate and ennoble others or help them to find God. Would it do you any good if I began to speak a language that was incomprehensible to you? There are certain sects in which, apparently, people speak 'in tongues', but as no one understands a word, no one benefits from what they say - not even themselves. The whole thing is quite senseless. You must speak a language that can be clearly understood by all.
Suppose that you are an artist and that you have a masterpiece - a painting or sculpture - on exhibition: everyone who looks at it should be able to understand what it means. If you created it exclusively for your own satisfaction, then you should not exhibit it. To exhibit a work of art that is incomprehensible to everyone but its author is pointless. Here, too, mankind has gone astray. It has adopted means of expression that have no rhyme or reason and has reached the point where nobody dares to say that contemporary art is, in most cases, an aberration. Everybody applauds and says, 'Amen'. A few years ago in England, a painter exhibited a certain number of abstract paintings that were widely acclaimed by the critics, but when his exhibition was at the height of its success he revealed that those abstracts had been painted by his cat. He had gone out and left his cat in the studio one day, and when he returned he found that it had had great fun getting its paws and tail coated with paint which it had then smeared onto some canvases and produced these abstract 'paintings'. Of course the critics were furious. They had made fools of themselves by going into raptures over paintings produced by a cat. Can you imagine anything more idiotic? If that is art, then any fool, even a babe in arms, can produce whatever they please and exhibit it.
The truth is that if you are an artist you should accomplish something that no one else can accomplish; something so beautyful and edifying that it propels hearts and souls upwards towards perfection, towards the Lord. This is how initiates understand the mission of art: to lead human beings to heaven, not to hell, discord, and disorder. Anyone is free to present horrors to the public in the form of music, drawings, or films, but to do so is a crime against humanity, because in the long run these so-called works of art influence people's minds. If so many people are mentally and emotionally disturbed today, it is because they are imbibing more and more disorder and ugliness from their environment. Whatever one sees and hears influences the nervous system, and when one sees nothing but disorder, that disorder necessarily enter's one's being, whereas when one contemplates beauty and harmony, one becomes beautyful and harmonious. This is a law of magic.
How is it possible that artists have never discovered this law? Why have they gone out of their way to find these fads and fashions, while all the time so many splendid things were waiting to be found? The reason is that they have neglected the temple we talked about a few moments ago. They have allowed it to get so dirty that it is now full of all kinds of demonic creatures, and it is these creatures that inspire them and dictate what they do. And the results are hideous. If they had always taken care to cleanse and purify and sanctify themselves and to dedicate themselves to heaven, their ideas, intuitions, and inspirations would be of a different kind. Artists need to be informed; they need to understand that the psychic world is ruled by implacable laws, and if they live a stupid, discordant life they will attract entities of a lower order that will inspire them in evil ways and end by corrupting them completely.
Be sure to purify yourselves every day, therefore (for what you did yesterday was for yesterday, and today you must begin all over again), until your whole being is renewed. The work of purification is something that continues the whole of one's life. The fact that a baby has been immersed in water on the day of its baptism is no guarantee that it will be protected from invasion by evil spirits for the rest of its life. That kind of baptism is not going to frighten the devil away. Christians have to work every day to enhance and amplify what they received on the day of their baptism. If they make no effort in this direction, the effects of their baptism will eventually be destroyed. But try to get them to understand this! They think that the sacrifice of Jesus has saved all human beings once and for all; that they can sin as much as they like and commit every possible crime and still be saved because the Lord has shed his blood for them. But I ask them, 'If it is true that you have been redeemed, if it is true that all your depts have already been paid, how do you explain the fact that your lives are still plagued by disease, disorder and tragedy?' And they have no answer. The answer is that it is not enough to have been saved and baptized once. You have to strive all your life long and with all your heart and soul to continue the work of salvation and purification begun at baptism. I have seen some deplorable specimens of proud, self-satisfied Christians who considered that they had been purified once and for all and had no need to do any more. The fact that they had been baptized as Catholics was enough to keep them safe for all eternity. And yet when you see these peoples in their daily lives you see that they are just as bad - somtimes worse - than everybody else. This is why I am obliged to tell them that they have neither learned nor understood, nor achieved anything. Will they understand us one day? I wonder. It almost looks as though everybody except Christians will understand.
I had a letter recently from some brothers and sisters in Turkey. They told me that they had been invited to a meal with some friends, and that among the guests was an old and very learned Turkish scholar who told them, 'Islam is a marvellous religion, and we are extremely fortunate to be Muslims, but how much better it would be if there were one universal religion.' Obviously this learned old man realized that Islam was not the one universal religion, and he is certainly not alone in this. There must be many people throughout the world who are tuned in to the same idea and who realize that it is no longer enough to have so many different religions, each of which is suited to only one race, nation, or tribe, that it is time we found a universal religion.
Well, for my part, I have found that one religion; I belong to the universal religion. In time, when the whole of mankind discovers it, its language will be understood by all, for it is based on the essential needs of all human beings. The central symbol of this religion is the sun, for all mankind needs, understands, and loves the sun. The only universal religion is the solar religion, because behind the sun is the One who is the God of all humanity. The fact that all human beings need the sun proves this. Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and Jews all have different, seemingly incompatible, notions of God, and in these conditions dissension, hatred, and war will never end. Do you really believe that the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, who are continually killing each other, have found God?
There are too many religions in the world. This is the cause of all the greatest misfortunes of mankind. One religion is enough, the religion of light, warmth, and life and this is the religion of the sun. Does the sun strike people dead if they believe in another God? No. He is far too tolerant, far too indulgent. He simply says, 'Believe what you like, but for my part I shall continue to scatter my wealth abroad, 'whereas human beings are ready to exterminate anyone who refuses to accept their conception of a God that none of them has ever seen.
But I can say that I have seen the Lord. Yes, I have seen him in the sun, for it is the sun that best expresses divine perfection, that gives us the best image of the most sublime ideal. And we should be like the sun, who never stops pouring out light, warmth, and life and no questions asked. Whether we are Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist, the sun sees us all as children of God. I assure you, in the long run nobody will be able to ignore these great truths; the whole world will come to the one true religion of Christ. It is the spirit of the sun that is Christ. Of course, it is not a question of seeing Christ in the disc that we see shining in the sky, but of sensing that God himself, with all his love, is there behind that sun, behind that symbol. This is why my one desire is to sweep away all the narrow, limited notions that mankind has accumulated over the centuries and show what I know, what has been revealed to me: the light of this universal religion, thsi religion of Christ that will be the only religion of the future.
The religion taught by Jesus was perfect; I am not denying that. But it has been so distorted in the course of the centuries that it has become a rich culture medium in which every kind of noxious germ ferments and proliferates. This is why it is time to abandon all these false ideas and rediscover the one universal religion, the religion that has existed since the beginning of the universe and that will continue to exist until the end. The sun existed long before human beings appeared on the earth, but they have never really understood the message he sends them every day: 'Be like me, shine, radiate, give love, and pour out warmth and life.'
Human beings are so wrapped up in their own prosaic, insignificant concerns that they never think of looking at the sun and trying to resemble him. They say, 'What is the use of the sun? It has not managed to make mankind any better or kinder, it has not taught or enlightened human beings.' That is true, but it is because mankind has never been allowed to see the true importance of the sun. The Church is like Mullah Nashrudin, who, in response to a student's question as to which was the more important, the sun or the moon, replied, 'The moon, of course. The sun only comes out in daylight, and what use is that? t least the moon makes the night less dark.' And the Church reasons in the same way: it says that the Mass is more important than the sun, and in saying this it teaches people to ignore the one being capable of ripening the wheat and grapes, without which there could be no Mass. Henceforth the Church must point to the sun and tell Christians: 'Behold the symbol of Christ; we must all learn to be like that.'
I beg you to take what I am saying seriously; it is very important. Also, my friends in the invisible world are watching you and sending you a word of warning: 'Your instructor has just given you a very precious key; if you fail to make good use of it you will have to answer for your neglect.' Yes, for these heavenly beings are displeased when they see that someone is unworthy of their gifts... an they will be displeased with me too. They will say, 'Why did you give these pearls to such idlers? You should have kept them to yourself.' Please have some consideration for me and do not cause heaven to punish me because of you. The trouble is that you know so little about all these laws, about the links between people and things. You think that there is no reason why I should be punished because of your transgressions. But there is a reason: we are all interconnected, all linked to each other, and if I reveal truths to you that I should have kept to myself, it is I who will be held responsible. It is I who will be blamed. Heaven chides me and tells me, 'You are far too generous. Why not let them pull themselves up? You should leave them to struggle and exhaust themselves. Why not make them work their way up the mountain and wear their own fingers to the bone instead of carrying them to the top yourself? They need to know how difficult it is to reach the peak.'
Anyone who wants to find a truly universal religion can do so. It has existed form all eternity. Men have still not recognized it, but it has always been there. Thousands of religions have come and gone in the world - it would be impossible to count them all - and they have all disintegrated and disappeared in the end. But there is one true religion, and that religion will never disappear. The new religion must embrace the whole universe. Look at the sun: it illuminates and warms all creatures, all plants and animals, whereas the Christian religion lights and warms barely a few million people in the world. And who can tell just how much light and warmth those millions actually get from it, or how many millions more have never even heard of it and (sad though this may be from a Christian point of view) who are better off without it.
But now the Aquarian age is coming and bringing the universal religion into the world. Aquarius is the water, the stream of life and love from which all creatures drink, and it brings with it the new religion. Any religion that is incapable of giving mankind this water is not universal. Water is universal; there is not a single creature that does not need water. Water is universal just as air is universal, just as light is universal. The new religion will be founded on universal elements capable of satisfying the hunger and thirst of all human beings. At the moment we still see Christians becoming Buddhists or Muslims; Jews and Muslims becoming Christians, and so on. This means that there is no one religion that is universal. When the universal religion comes, no one will feel the need to wander in search of something else; all will belong to the one religion.
The passage that I read to you earlier says that it is when man prays in his own temple that God hears and answers his prayer. Why does God not answer your prayers if you do not pray from within your temple? You can always go into a church to pray, of course, but a church is a temple that is foreign to you, and its vibrations will be less conducive to the kind of prayer that carries you up to the very throne of God. The fabric of a church or cathedral may be saturated with prayers and good intentions, but if your own body is not purified it will constitute an obstacle to those influences. It is useless to enter a pure and magnificent building to pray if you yourself are impure. On the other hand, if your own temple is pure there is no need for you to go into a church; wherever you are, up in the mountains or elsewhere, your prayer will immediately be heard. It is very important to know these things. Many people go to church, and that is excellent, but they forget their own inner sanctuary.
Leave churches and temples to others, and be content to work for years and years with the angels of the four elements, asking them to cleanse, wash, purify and sanctuary containing a stream of living water. Let this water flow into every nook and cranny of your being; let it wash and vivify all your cells. What is to prevent you from using exercises of this kind to transform your bodies into temples of great beauty? Great inner beauty, or course. I am not suggesting that you imitate those people - mostly woman - who scent their baths and smother themselves in perfumes and lotions every day but whose inner beings smell foul because they never 'wash' themselves inwardly; their inner temple is always dirty. There have been saints who never washed their bodies but who had extraordinary inner purity. This does not mean that I do not recommend this either... I am simply saying that you must neglect neither aspect; neither the inner nor the outer dimension. Even though you give the priority to the inner dimension, you still have to maintain a balance between the two.
Perhaps you have the impression that I want to destroy religion. Well, if that were my intention I could safely leave it to others, for plenty of people have been trying for centuries to do just that. No, true religion is eternal; it cannot be destroyed. Even though the Bible contains elements that are no longer appropriate for our era, it still contains thousands of essential truths that will endure for all eternity. No one can destroy these, for all those great beings, all those prophets who were sent to bring these truths into the world were inspired, guided, and inhabited by the Lord. It was only later, after they had left this world, that certain distortions developed; either because they had not had time to explain everything fully or because others had misunderstood them. The further you advance, the more clearly you will see that the religion of Christ is far greater than Christians think. If Christianity were really the one, universal religion, mankind would be better off than it is today.
Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, you belong to this teaching, you live in the midst of spiritual truths, and in spite of that you sometimes feel as though you were in a terrible state of abandonment, as though God had deserted you. This is a state that many saints and mystics have experienced before you, and today I would like to try and throw a little light on the question. However, the first thing I must tell you before going any further is that everything depends on your perception of God.
When one studies the history of religion, one sees that in proclaiming Yahveh to be the one true God, Moses was introducing a truly revolutionary idea. But the God of Moses was a God to be feared: a consuming fire, the vengeful, implacable Lord of the universe. And his creatures, trembling, fearful human beings, owed that God only one duty: obedience. Later, when Jesus came, he spoke of the Lord as a father and said that human beings were his children. The distance between humanity and God was greatly reduced: human beings were now 'related' to God, members of the same family; everything had changed. Yes, but where had the change actually occurred? In the minds and hearts of human beings, in their inner consciousness. They now felt closer to God.
Until then God had been a remote, awesome tyrant whom they had been taught to fear ('The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom'); but Jesus taught that this fear could be replaced by love. Instead of being afraid of this terrible God, human beings could love him, take refuge in his arms, feel that he was their loving father or mother. This was an entirely new development in religion.
Today it is time to go even further. As long as you think of God as existing in a cloud of glory in some remote region of the universe called heaven, where he partakes of sumptous banquets surrounded by his angels and archangels, your notion of God is an objective, external one; God is outside you. Even if you think of him as your father and feel that you are his child, he is still outside you. And this is the tragedy: you project God outside yourself. God may well exist outside man, but when men conceive of him as being external to themselves they become acutely aware of their own limitations and of all that separates them from him. So many worlds, so many stars, such infinite reaches of space lie between them and God that they cannot possibly hope to reach him. But as soon as you sense that God is present within you, that he is there as light, life and intelligence, as a unique force, you can never again be separated from him. You find God within yourself.
Human beings have never rally been taught to understand God in this way. From time to time they may come across a book in which a mystic, poet, or philosopher suggests some such notion, 'Hhow poetic. What a profound idea.' but it does not occur to them to ponder that idea or apply it to their own lives. They continue to think of God as existing themselves. If you think of God as being apart from and outside yourself, it necessarily means that you think of yourself as being apart from and outside God. And what will become of those who are apart from God? They will be nothing more than an object.
What is an object? Every craftsman, labourer, or farmer, for example, uses certain tools for his work. These tools are objects that are not a part of himself. When he needs them he picks them up, uses them, and then puts them aside until he needs them again - the next day or next month or next year. In the same way, if we think that we exist apart from God, it will seem to us that God picks us up or puts us aside like objects. If the pots that come from a potter's wheel or the saucepans in a housewife's kitchen were consicious, can you imagine what they would feel like when they were left unused on the shelf? They would complain bitterly that their mistress had forgotten them. 'and when she scraped out our insides the spoon made a noise that was music to our ears. In those days we were happy. But now she has forgotten all about us. How cruel and wicked of her.'
What can you expect? If we behave like pots and pans it is only normal that the Lord should forget about us from time to time. Can you blame him? It is because we are like objects that we sometimes feel abandoned. At times the Lord picks us up and uses us, at other times he puts us aside, but we have no right to reproach him for it. Would one of your saucepans dare to complain because you did not use it every day? No, you are master - or mistress - in your own house, and it is normal to do as you please. So it is unfair and illogical to rebel against the Lord when you feel abandoned. When you are really within him, in his head and in his members, then you will always be with him and in him. The very worst philosophy you can have is to conceive of yourself as being apart from God, outside him.
Believe me, it will not be long before men's philosphical and religious concepts change very considerably. At the moment people think that it si normal to believe that there is a great distance between man and God. They think that this is only right and proper. But in that case, why do they complain so bitterly when they suffer the consequences of that attitude?
I have already told you that in the future there will be a third Testament that will complete the first two, and in it this truth - that man must learn to get much closer to God, must learn to sense that God is within him - will be strongly emphasized. In fact it will be presented as an absolute essential. When man makes this truth his own he will no longer have the impression of being abandoned by God.
If we feel abandoned by God today it si because we have abandoned him. Can we say that we are always with him? Perhaps we made our first Communion and prayed to him for a few minutes fifty or sixty years ago, but have we ever thought of him since? No. We have deserted him, so why should he not have the right to do the same to us? Why should he be obliged to think of us all the time? Who are we to complain? What makes us think that we are so important that the Lord should constantly be concerned about us?
The truth is, of course, that the Lord takes care of us ceaselessly but in ways that are completely different from those we imagine. Let me explain this. When a child is born, cosmic intelligence gives it everything it needs for its life on earth. It is fully equipped with boots, a helmet, a gun, ammunition, and so on. After that it is up to him to look after himself. You are greatly mistaken if you believe that God spends his time thinking aobut each one of us. He has already given us health, strength, and vitality and everything else we need. Or perhaps I should say that it is not God who takes care exactly what they have to do, while he is concerned with things of far greater importance.
Yes, the third Testament will give men the ultimate solution. They will live constantly in the presence of the Lord. They will no longer be able to tear themselves away from him, and as they will no longer abandon God, God will no longer abandon them. Whereas at the moment we think of God only from time to time - and from time to time God thinks of us. Even some great saints have grieved because they felt that God had abandoned them, and this shows that they did not know these truths. Does that astonish you? It simply means that a saint may have a great deal of love and great qualities and virtues but that his knowledge and understanding may not have evolved to the same degree. Then there are others for whom the situation can be quite the reverse: they understand many things but they are lacking in virtues and qualities.
You will perhaps feel like saying, 'But it seems more respectful, more fitting, to think of God as being outside ourselves. This is what we have always been taught.' Yes, but there are thousands upon thousands of degrees of truth, and the time has come to take a step forward. We must begin to thin of God as being close to us, within us. At the same time, we must think of ourselves as being minute, infinitesimal particles of God. God is the Whole and each one of us is a minute particle of the Whole. If you pray to the Lord thinking that he is far, far away beyond the stars, how can you expect your prayers to reach him? Oh, of course, I once told you that prayer reaches every corner of the universe. That is true, it does, but it takes such a long time to travel through infinite space. If the communication is direct and immediate; he can hear you, listen to your prayer, and answer you immediately.
Distance is important. Suppose you want to scatter and dissolve some clouds. You cannot make them disappear immediately; they are very slow and it all takes time. Well, if it takes so much time when the distance is barely a few hundred yards, just imagine how long it will to reach the Lord (especially if he is asleep and you have to wake him up). But if he is right there inside you, you can simply say, 'Hello, hello'. and you get through to him immediately. Does this strie you as disrespectful? No, I am speaking figuratively. Try to understand what I am saying.
From now on, when you are meditatin, try to cultivate a sense of the Lord's presence within you and you will see how effective this can be. The impression of being abandoned will come to you less and less frequently. At the moment you fluctuate between a few good days during which you are full of joy, inspiration, and ecstasy, followed by days of terrible drought, days in which you feel as though you were dying of thirst in the desert, and it is then that you say, 'God has abandoned me.'
Let me illustrate this: you are here on earth, many millions of miles away from the sun, so far away that mountains of black clouds have slipped between you and the sun and now you are at the mercy of those clouds. You long to receive the light and warmth of the sun but it is impossible; the clouds are in the way. What can you do about it? There is nothing for it but to wait, and while you are waiting you think, 'The sun has abandoned me.' No, the sun has not abandoned you; it is just that you are too far away, below the clouds. But suppose you take an aeroplane or a balloon and fly up above the clouds? Once you are up there nothing can come between you and the sun. It is still there, still shining; it has never abandoned by God i simply means that you have slipped down below the permanent screen of cloud that prevents the sun's rays from reaching you. On the other hand, if you feel full of joy and inspiration, it means that you have risen above the clouds where the sun is always shining and where you can contemplate its light and feel its warmth seeping into you. As you see, the explanation is simple.
Now, since this sensation of being abandoned depends on our attitude, what is to prevent us from changin that attitude? Why should we be content to remain on so low a level that every minute of every day this screen cuts us off from the light and prevents the joy and revelations of the sun from reaching us? This is why initiation exists. Initiation helps us to find our 'place in the sun', as the saying goes, a very elevated, very high place, well above the clouds, a place in which we no longer depend on anyone or anything, a place in which we are unassailable, invulnerable, invincible, immortal.
Believe me, you must constantly rise higher, always higher. You must get closer to him; so close that you succeed in finding him within you; so closely, so intimately within you that you are constantly steeped in his presence. Then you will never again be tempted to say, in the words of St Thérèse of Lisieux, 'Lord, why do you play with me as though I were a ball, as an extraneous object in relation to the Lord, then of course you will not escape the feeling of being abandoned. In spite of all their goodness, love and selflessness, not even the greatest saints or prophets have been spared this sensation.
Now, as I very well know, this is something that happens to you too, so let me say a few more words about it. When you feel that you have been cast aside, that you have nothing to hold on to, that all your ties with the Lord are broken and the spring has dried up, then I advise you to have a conversation with the Lord. Tell him, 'Lord, you have cast me off, you have rejected and abandoned me. As you can see, I am in revolt because you have discarded me. What do you want me to do? I am stuck. I have chosen the path of light, and I cannot turn round and go back.
Sometimes I wish I could; sometimes I think I should switch to another path and go and join the unbelievers, but I cannot do it. However badly you treat me I know that this path is the best. So do what you like, but I cannot change. Even if I am wounded, miserable, and ill, I must go on. Even if I am furious and in revolt, I cannot go any other way.
For me there is no other way. However much it hurts, I shall just have to continue.' If you talk to the Lord in this way he will hear you - words of this kind are the only ones he hears - and he will instruct his servants to come and help you. Whenever some poor wretch on earth utters such a prayer the message reaches God's ears immediately. He always has time for messages of this nature. He declares, 'Make a note of this man's name, for he is the most intelligent of creatures. He is disgruntled and unhappy, and yet he refuses to try a different path. We must take care of him.'
Yes, you must talk like that to the Lord. Why have you never prayed like that? You prefer to threaten him instead. You say, 'If you treat me so badly I shall refuse to believe in you any longer. This is the end. I refuse to do anything more for you - not even light a candle.' The Lord is going to be inconsolable. He will be in the dark because there will be one less candle in church.
There is nothing worse than to think or say to the Lord, 'I have had enough.' Believe me, the best remedy is to go and talk to him, to weep and gnash your teeth and tell him how unkind he is and how unhappy you are. Tell him that you had relied on him and now he has let you down. Yes, tell him all that; but when you have had your say do not forget to add, 'The only thing is that there is no other way, I know that. I cannot go back. So whatever happens, I shall continue to believe in you and to serve you.' Speak to God with great familiarity if you like; he will not take offence. But be sure to conclude your prayer in this way, for, I repeat, this is the best, the only solution.
I know, of course, that it is not easy for human beings to conceive of the Lord as being inseparable from themselves, but as long as they continue to think of him as an extraneous being, a being who is absolutely remote and inaccessible, they will continue to be subject to extremely painful states of mind. This means, therefore, that further progress has to be made. Evolution is necessary in every area, even in religion. But in religion - more perhaps than in other areas - people tend to believe that the precepts laid down thousands of years ago must hold good for all eternity. No, this is not so. Everything evolves, everything makes progress. Look at how science evolves. Only religion fails to evolve. Why does science evolve?
Why do scientists continually make new discoveries? Because instead of believing, they doubt, and their doubt seems to drive them on. Whereas faith, a faith that is not alive, makes human beings stagnate. Actually in this case it is no longer faith, it is credulity.
I have often spoken to you about Jnana-yoga, the practice of self-knowledge. The purpose of a disciple who practises Jnana-yoga is to make it possible for his consciousness to break out of the narrow circle of his own personality and attain the limitless consciousness of the cosmic being dwelling within him, of whom he is still not fully aware. This being, this particle of the Godhead, dwells within each one of us, and a disciple's goal is to become one with it. There are two poles therefore: the pole of your self, the consciousness of your own being, of your own lower self; and the pole of your higher, sublime self, that being of whom you have no real awareness, but who lives, works, and manifests through you. You are not yet capable of knowing how this sublime being manifests in the higher sphere, but from where you are down below you can visualize it dwelling within you and know that it seeks to manifest through you. For as it knows itself on high, it wants also to know itself in you, in the density of your physical matter. If you work with your imagination in this way, your efforts will eventually be rewarded, and as you draw closer to your higher self you will experience an illumination so intense that your consciousness will know no bounds. You will be suffused with light and radiance, and you will sense that you have become one with that sublime being, your higher self.
This is very difficult, of course, but it is one of the most powerful and effective exercises that exists. If you persevere with it you will obtain significant results. And once you have created this link with your higher consciousness, it will always be there, whatever your activities, always ready to take part in all you do. This then is the meaning of Jnana-yoga: the realization that 'I am He', that nothing else exists, that the Lord is the only Being. You are simply a reflection, an illusion formed by him, but your desire is to work your way back through this illusion of self until you reach that sublime consciousness and become one with it, lose yourself in it, and live for ever in its fullness. As long as you remain outside God you are depriving yourself of his riches. He cannot let you share in them, because you and he belong to two entirely different being, that God manifests himself within you. This is death in the initiatic sense of the world: you exist no longer as an independent entity face to face with God; God dwells within you. This is what Jesus meant when he said, 'Except you die you shall not live, 'and 'The Father and I are one.'
Of course, it is not given to everyone to reach this level, but all human beings can free themselves form certain limitations if they make the effort. The trouble is that they do not know how to use the means that God has put at their disposal. God has given us the power to become like him. All human beings have this power but, because of what they are at the moment, they are unable to make use of it. Most of them remain on too low a level and have no knowledge, no sense of it. Yet no one is totally bound; even the most limited people have the means to reach beyond their limitations. If only they would raise their eyes and their thoughts to the regions in which God dwells they would discover their innate possibilities. But how many people are willing to try to change anything in themselves? Of course, as I have always said, the reason is very simple: it all depends on what counts most for them. If money or pleasure is so important to them that there is no room in their minds for anything spiritual, how can we expect them to advance? But show me someone who gives precedence to light, love, beauty and the spirit, someone who does not worry about whether he will be rich or poor, whether he will always have enough to eat or not, whether he will dressed or in rags, honoured or ridiculed, and I will tell you that to such a being everything is possible.
It is the importance you attach to things that determines all the rest. I know that the vast majority of human beings are not attached exclusively to material possessions, but their interest in the spiritual life is incidental, no more than an ornament to their lives. Every now and then, when they have a little spare time or when they are bored, they will read a few pages of a good book, go and listen to something vaguely elevating, meditate or pray a little, but what they really consider to be essential are the material things: physical comfort and a peaceful, untroubled life.
This is why they will never bring down the blessings of the divine world on themselves. They will continue to live and take advantage of all the things of earth but they will never be blessed with spiritual riches; they will never feel or experience the riches of the divine world in their lives. Only when they depart for the next world will they realize that they have made absolutely no progress, that they have been wasting their time.
If you sincerely want to evolve you must give first place to the impulse of your spirit, to light. But you cannot do this unless you have the desire, the need for yourselves. You either have it or not when you come into the world; it depends on the kind of life you led in other incarnations.
For those who come into the world with a taste for spirituality, it takes very little - a book or a few spoken words - to light a fire within them and launch them on a path from which nothing can make them deviate. Whereas others can listen to the sermons of every preacher on earth and remain entirely unchanged. The recommendations and advice of all the saints and all the prophets would fall on deaf ears, because their innate tendencies lead them in a different direction. But if you want to come to earth in your next incarnation with the desire to transform youself, you must begin now, immediately, even if you do not feel the need to do so, because the efforts you make today lay the groundwork for your next incarnation. Next time you come to earth you will already have a taste for this work because you will have sown the seeds in a previous incarnation. Now you can see how useful the work we do in the Brotherhood is. It is perfectly true that some temperaments have absolutely no use for spirituality. And yet all those who unwittingly infected with germs that will manifest themselves at some future date.
But let us get back to the exercise of identification that I was speaking about earlier. You will see, if you do it, that it is extremely effective. However I must warn you that it can also be dangerous, because you can begin to believe that you are already God and allow pride to take over, and pride always leads to disaster. Even if you attain divine superconsciousness you must still be humble; in fact you must become even more humble and upretentious, and be even more careful not to offend others or use your superiority as a weapon against them. There are people who, having learned the formula, 'I am He,' start quarrelling with their family and friends and become absolutely intolerable. Their lives are one long series of conflicts and disputes because tehy want the whole world to acknowledge them as divinities. But if you want to become more and more like God you must have more and more love and generosity. Because God is love. If you have to massacre and ride roughshod over others in order to prove that you are a divinty, it shows that you have not understood the first thing about it.
I warn you, therefore, that from a psychological point of view this exercise of identification can be dangerous. You must be very vigilant, and in order to avoid any possibility of pride rearing its head, you must begin by recognizing that you are not unique, that other people are also part of God. Yes, if you want to practise this exercise as perfectly as possible you must begin by thinking and feeling that not only the Lord but all human beings are also within you, that they are you. This whole collectivity, the whole of mankind is you; it lives in you and you in it. You are apart and separate from others only in appearance. In this way, instead of opposing and tormenting others, you will sense their needs, their cares, and their sufferings and be obliged to help them. This is how you can truly become a divinity and not a monster for whom others are vermin to be crushed underfoot. Remember that if you fail to take appropriate precautions, methods such as this can be detrimental to you. And then of course it will be my fault once again.
Always remember that all the creatures that you see around you are really part of you. Yes, when you tread the path of true initiatic philosophy you begin to realize that all creatures are one. In reality there is only one being: the Creator. All creatures are simply the cells of his immense body, cells that are one in everything but their consciousness. Imagine what it would be like if every cell in your body had an individual consciousness. Naturally, the cells of the feet, the liver, the spleen, and so on would feel different and apart from each other because their functions are different (the heart has one function, the liver another, and so on), and they would either collaborate or conflict with each other.
Yes, but if they reached a higher degree of consciousness they would realize that they are all an integral part of one person, of one being who embraces and nourishes them all.
Well, we must follow the same reasoning. We must remind ourselves that all the individuals on earth - be they Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, French, or German - are the cells of a single collective being. If their attitude and behaviour do not seem to conform to this reality it is because their consciousness has sunk so low that they are not capable of seeing themselves as the cells of a whole. But once one becomes conscious of being a single cell and feels oneself bound to all the other cells that go to make up the supreme being - God himself - once sees that the whole of humanity is one single being. Once you reach this point you will feel so much love, pity and consideration for others that you will really and truly fulfil the formula, 'I am That.' As long as human beings have not reached this degree of consciousness they will always want to annihilate others; there can be no real change, only a constant inflation of their personality.
I assure you, true change will only come about through this consciousness of unity. We do not exist as seperate individuals; each one of us is a cell in an immense organism, and our consciousness must melt into the universal consciousness that embraces the totality of man, cosmic man, This alone represents true progress, true evolution.
Tangible proof of this bond between individuals can be seen in the fact that, however ignorant and illiterate mediums may be, when they are in a state of trance they can feel within themselves the suffering of the person beside them. And initiates, whose sensitivity is even more highly developed than that of mediums, can also feel the physical and psychic state of others. If they do not usually show it, it is because they have achieved true mastery and to do so would hinder their work. If they were in a continental state of pain or anxiety, how could they help others? It is precisely because they have gone beyond this stage that they are masters and are capable of helping others. I have often experienced this myself: I suddenly feel a pain in one part of my body, and knowing that it comes from someone else. I concentrate on helping that person. Then a few days later I hear from someone who tells me that they had had a terrible pain in that same part of their body, so then they thought of me and now they feel well again. Yes, but it was I who had to bear that pain. It is true that I am capable of overcoming it, but it still involves a great deal of work. This is why it is said that Jesus bore the sufferings of mankind - I can well believe it.
Some people might think that in these conditions it would be better not to be a master or an initiate. Yes, but then they would be deprived of all the rest, too. The suffering that you bear for other people is only temporary, after all; and it is so wonderful to be useful. An initiate is happy to be able to help others and alleviate their suffering. At other moments he feels inspired and elevated because he is in constant communion with a very different order of creatures, creatures that dwell in a permanent state of happiness and bliss. There are so many creatures, both visible and invisible, who live in peace and joy, and you too can experience this marvellous state. So there is nothing to worry about.
Yes, life on earth is an illusion, a dream; reality is something quite different. What is the point of losing eternal life for the sake of an illusion that will soon disappear without a trace? True, you have to eat, clothe yourself, ahve a roof over your head, and so on, but the intelligent way to behave is to do no more than necessary in this area and leave yourself free to acquire the riches that will be yours for all eternity. Otherwise everything will be taken from you, and you will end by being naked and destitute. Even the books you have read and the knowledge you acquired at the university will be taken away and wiped from your mind. Next time you come to earth you will have to begin to read and study all over again, because the wealth you possess today is not really yours; it has been given to you by others. If something does not rightfully belong to you, you are going to have to give it back.
You will be allowed to keep and bring back with you in your next incarnation only the gifts and qualities that you have explored, experienced, and absorbed for yourself. All talents, all gifts of genius can be explained in this way. A philosopher or musician of genius is someone who comes into the world with knowledge acquired through porfound personal experience in a previous incarnation.
Each human being is in this world in order to proclaim the glory of God and help others. But instead of doing this, the great majority bury themselves away and become like brute beasts, because they are always afraid of what the neighbours or their family might think. Of course if everyone is always ruled by fear, nothing new will ever happen in the world. Where will you find anybody who says, 'That is not important; I have everything I need within myself. My inner life is os intense and rich that I need nothing else'?
Are you beginning to understand me? Perhaps you think that those who are not very rich or comfortable in life will certainly understand me. Not a bit of it. On the contrary, they are in a continual state of fury at not being rich or as socially prominent as others; they think of nothing else day and night. Their thoughts are so occupied by envy of others that they fail to take advantage of the good situation in which heaven has placed them, they consider it an injustice. Do you really believe that the poor see the tremendous advantages of their poverty and know how to use it as a stepping stone to perfection? No, they are constantly in revolt against it. Why? Because they want to be like the rich. Outwardly they profess to be scandalized by wealth, but deep in their hearts they long for it with their might. If the rich had a better understanding of their own situation, they would be distressed to be rich and would distribute all their wealth to the poor. And the poor would refuse that wealth, saying, 'No, no we do not want any of it. We are very well off as we are.' If the rich were enlightened, they would be anxious to rid themselves of their wealth, and the poor would want no more than they have.
Is this not the most monstrous, incredible nonsense you have ever heard? Yes, and yet it is absolutely true. The only salvation for the rich is to go to the poor and beg them to take their wealth. And the poor should refuse categorically. Of course, you will say that I am turning everything upside down. Yes, because this is the only way to set everything straight.
One day when I was talking to you about the sun. I described an exercise that you could do when you are up on the Rock for the sunrise (The Rock is a platform at the top of a hill near the Bonfin where Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov gathered with his disciples every morning in spring and summer to meditate and watch the sunrise). It is very similar to the one I gave you a few moments ago: you can try to picture your higher self up there in the sun, and imagine that it is looking down at your puny, imperfect little self sitting here meditating. In this way you create a current between your higher and your lower selves, and this current is the beginning of a new life. Of course you may not feel the effect at once, because it takes time for the current to become stronger and more intense, but before long you will have no more doubts, for you will sense that something extraordinary is beginning to take place within you, bringing you a sense of absolute certainty. There is nothing more marvellous than this certainty. It is only when you are certain of what you say, of what you have experienced, that you can be strong and powerful, capable of convincing others. As long as you are not quite sure of things you will never convince others, because they will always sense your hesitancy. Of course, you cannot know certainty until you have experienced certain manifestations. Certainty cannot be manufactured. Those who possess it possess unequalled powers of persuasion.