The Divine Edge
The Divine Edge
Contemporary men, particularly the religious, speak about external and internal purity. They expect God to cleanse them, but everyone must cleanse himself. You have stained yourselves, so you must cleanse yourselves. In order to become clean, everyone must work. Even if you are rich you must work. The benevolent guidance of God will give you the last place, in order to teach you to work. It will not deposit money in the bank in your name in order to insure you. The Divine laws do not allow any insurance. As one works, he produces, step by step.
Present day Christians speak about repentance, about the purification from gin and about serving God. These are elementary things. Everyone you meet will tell you that he does not want to sin. This is also elementary work. This is a Primer and it is not necessary for you to begin again with the Primer once you have finished it. Rather you should go forward.
One thing is important for you: to be liberated from your own will. What does it mean to be liberated from your human will? Imagine that you are walking along the ridge of a mountain which is steep on both sides. When you slip, you slide down the slope to the foot of the mountain. The slipping on the slope represents movement along the current of the human will. If you walk along the ridge of the mountain - on its top, you move according to the Divine will. Liberation from the human will means learning to keep your balance. As long as you go down, you are in the human order of things and fulfill your own will. As soon as you begin to creep upwards and to walk along the ridge of the mountain without slipping to the left or right, you are in the Divine order of things and you fulfill the Divine will.
Therefore, the movement of man along the current of his will implies a descent. Why does man descend? Because there is no stability in these currents. However, one must distinguish between conscious descending and slipping.
You will say that it is a crime or a sin to slip or waver this way and that. And when you see someone sin, you are ready to condemn him. When you see the mistakes of others, consider yourself as the one committing them. Learn to see yourself in the face of every person. When you accomplish this, you will see your own mistakes in the mistakes of others and your own virtues in the virtues of others. Therefore, reflect upon the mistakes of others, because they are also your own mistakes. Rejoice over the virtues of others, because they are also your own virtues. As soon as someone makes a mistake, say: This is my mistake. As soon as someone does a good deed, say: This is my good deed.
An engineer made a bridge which soon collapsed. Why? Because it was badly constructed. As a man was passing across the bridge, it collapsed and the man broke his leg. Then he said: Who constructed this bridge so poorly that I had to fall and break my leg? You who are asking must know that the mistake is yours. What do contemporary people do? When they see someone making a mistake, they spy on him and try to catch him without stopping to reason slightly, and they fail to see that the mistakes of the others are their own mistakes. As long as you notice the mistakes of others, you must know that you make the same mistakes. As long as you see the virtues of others, you must know that you possess the same virtues. He who sees the mistakes of others, but does not see his own mistakes, is not one of the advanced souls and is going the wrong way. These are elementary things from which you must be liberated. You must be prudent! What does the prudent man do? When he sees an educated man who is carrying instruments for experimentation, but who does not have a place to put them, the prudent man immediately bends, offers his back and says to the educated man: Please, put your instruments on my back. The educated man thanks him for the service, makes use of this back and finishes his work. This is the way the prudent man, who in this case may be a peasant, acts. The educated man becomes interested in the peasant and enters into a conversation with him. A friendship between the two is started. The foolish man, however, will stand aside and look like an aristocrat at the educated man who needs a table for his instruments. It does not even enter his mind to offer his back in service to the educated man. So do the good at the right time in the right place.
I meet a shepherd in the woods who is carrying a sheep on his back. You will say that this shepherd is a virtuous man. How do you know that he is virtuous? Does the wolf not carry the sheep on his back? When he steals a sheep from the fold, the wolf puts it on his back and runs away. Is the wolf virtuous? The shepherd is virtuous and merciful only if when he finds a lamb in the forest, he takes it to its mother. But if he takes it from the fold and carries it to the market to sell it so that people may kill it, he is not a virtuous man. In this case, neither the shepherd nor the wolf is virtuous. Therefore, when the strong serves the weak unselfishly, he does good.
The difference between the service of the virtuous shepherd and that of the wolf can be seen in the following example. A master has two servants. He calls the first one and sends a certain sum of money with him to a merchant. The servant takes the money directly to the merchant. Then the master gives another sum of money to the second servant to take to one of your friends. The servant takes the money and deposits it in the bank under his name. The first servant is the virtuous shepherd. The second servant is the wolf. God says to the shepherd: take the lamb to its mother. However, whatever the wolf is carrying, he deposits it in the bank under his own name. He who deposits in the bank under his name that, which God has entrusted to him, commits a crime.
A man met Christ and asked him: Do you believe in Christ? How do you think Christ answered him? I suppose he did not answer the question directly, but He must have said: I know one thing - the work of Christ on earth was very difficult. Blood came out of his pores! You will ask whether the great suffer. The sufferings of great men are much greater than those of ordinary people. You cannot conceive of their difficulties.
Do not think that they are welcomed on earth with wreaths. The greater the man, the greater his sufferings and disappointments. In order to understand the difference between the sufferings of a great and an ordinary person, picture yourself two pregnant women. Both bear their burden nine months, but on the day of birth, one gives birth to a living child, whereas the other gives birth to a dead child. The first one rejoices that a man is born into the world, but new trials, sufferings and cares lie ahead of her. Such is the condition of the great man. He is exposed to constant care and work, but all of that is crowned by his final success. The second woman, who bears the dead child, grieves and weeps, but forgets everything after a while. She forgets her grief, but she has no joy either. The prudent bears live children while the foolish bears dead children. If you give birth to a live child, you are a saint; if you bear a dead one, you are an ordinary man. The verse in the Scripture: "By their fruit ye shall know them," refers to the external side of life. This means: by his fruit you will know whether a man is good or evil. "A woman in travail is sorrowful" - this verse refers to the inner side of life. Birth is a deep inner process by which the saint is distinguished from the ordinary man.
Many people compare great men and try to decide who is greater, greatest, etc. This is a personal question. They speak about salvation - who is saved and who is not saved. This is also a personal question. Leave the personal questions aside. Others speak about serving God and fulfilling His will. This is a question you must not speak about. When people hear that you want to serve God, they will require services of you and ask you to do them good. If you refuse them, they will immediately reprove you. Render men services and do them good without telling them whom you are serving. In this lies the fulfillment of God's will.
A Turkish saint who had many followers once lived in Persia. One day he decided to test their loyalty and said to them: I have an order from Allah to kill you all. Those of you, who are ready to sacrifice themselves, in order to fulfill the will of Allah, must enter the room assigned for that purpose. A thousand men appeared, but only two men resolved to enter the room. The two persons were a young man and a young woman who loved each other. The young man looked at the young woman and said: I must sacrifice myself. After him she also entered. At that moment the saint killed a ram and let its blood flow out of the room. When his followers saw the blood they were all frightened and ran away. They did not pass the test. Then the saint blessed the young couple and said: Go into the world among the people and preach my teaching.
Now I say to you: You must study! Life is a great school, a great university. When you enter it, you must study. The students in the ordinary schools use all kinds of cunning moans: cheating, writing formulae on their hands, etc. No cheating whatsoever is allowed in the university of life. When you enter it, you will study independently and consciously and you will finally pass the examinations. No copying of the lessons, no cheating is allowed. Everyone must study alone. If you fail, you will repeat for years in succession until you graduate successfully. The Teachers of the Great School are generous with regard to time. You can study for thousands of years until you learn things so well that you can never forget them. The weak side of contemporary Christianity lies in the fact that the disciples, the followers of Christ, study and pass from one class to another without examinations. There are Christians who have graduated with examinations, but there are others who have graduated without examinations. He who has graduated without examinations will set off for the other world hungry and without bread. He who has graduated with examinations will receive bread. Interpret the word "examinations" in the Christian sense of the word and then begin to speak.
It is easy to speak theoretically: Live for God, sacrifice yourself for Him, love each other, be brothers and live together, etc. These are general expressions which are not yet applied. Living together does not mean physical proximity. Two persons may have something in common and yet live far apart from each other. Since they have something common to both, they will meet as with airplanes - with their thoughts, and part again. Now certain people are barely a hundred meters apart from one another and yet they say that they are very far apart. They do not know that in order to live well, they must live apart, for in this way they will not see each other's mistakes.
People have no idea what "near" and "far" mean. Assume that all people on the earth are in seven concentric spheres placed one within another. The innermost sphere is the smallest. Imagine that one of the people in the innermost sphere finds a small opening and enters the adjacent larger sphere among the other people. He will see the difference between the two spheres, and he will feel far away from those he had been with in the first sphere. Thus he will pass from one sphere to another until he comes to the outermost one, where he will feel very distant from his original company, but at the same time be entirely free from all bonds. Therefore, try to move from the center to the circumference at a greater distance from one another. As soon as you feel that you are physically close to people, raise your thought in such a way that you will not feel as though you were living on the earth, nor be disturbed by anything. People around you may sing, play and jump, but you will be calm and quiet, as if you were not among them. You will not be disturbed by the fact that a drum is beating somewhere or that sheep are bleating in the fold. Intelligence is required of all men.
All people want to be intelligent, but special conditions are necessary for intelligence. For instance, children born today are more intelligent and wiser than those of the past. The children of future generations will be still wiser than those of today. When the foolish people die, better conditions are prepared for them in the future. When they are born again, they will be wiser. The wise man thinks, feels and acts correctly. A father and his son traveled with a donkey from a village to a near-by town. The father rode the donkey while the con walked. A peasant met them on the way and said: Sir, get off the donkey. Your son must ride the donkey, and you must walk. The father dismounted the donkey and the son mounted it. Further on another man met them and said: Both of you must mount the donkey. Why should the father walk? So both mounted the donkey. A third man met them and said: Why have you both mounted the donkey? Come down, both of you! Instead of riding it put it on your back and walk that way. The father obeyed the third man also. He wished to learn something from the advice of people, but the question is, which of them is the right one?
What does the example show? It shows that many contemporary people think superficially about that which the Primary Principle has created. For instance, as you look around you, you see great disorder: stones, rocks, everything is out of order. As long as this disorder exists, you cannot read or understand what nature has written. The book before you is in complete disorder: leaves, covers, headlines - all is scattered. Since you have come to the mountain, you must reestablish the original order of things, that is, put everything in its place and then try to read. Great beauty lies concealed in this scattered book, but man must understand this beauty in order to profit from it.
As you work upon yourself, as you penetrate the phenomena of nature, do not think that you will be able to solve all questions at once. Why? Because those feelings and abilities which enable you to investigate all things are not yet fully developed in you. A man has about a hundred feelings and abilities which require many years to develop. It is not an easy thing for a man to become the master of one of his feelings or abilities. For instance, many years are required for a man to learn how and where to manifest his pity or to learn to observe and to see the connection between the causes and the effects of things. If a man cannot deal with his vanity, he can cause himself a number of troubles. One lives simultaneously with many of one's feelings; that is why one must know how to manipulate them. Christ said: "Do not seek the glory of men, but of God." Since you know this, you must work on your self-discipline as disciples of this School. If the disciple does not work consciously and with love upon himself, he may face the danger of leaving the School prematurely. Someone may leave the School in the first class, another in the second class, etc. The disciple must work on purity, justice, his relations and his behavior, and he must develop in himself love of God. These are difficult problems for the disciple as well as for the teacher. The methods are easily passed on theoretically, but they are difficult to apply. It is difficult to educate a man. He is like the earth. In order to receive light over its whole surface, the earth must rotate on its axis.
Consequently, if a man wants to develop all his feelings and abilities, he must always be awake, in order to avoid losing the good conditions of his life. For instance, in order to become compassionate, a man must be surrounded by people who need him. You cannot help people who do not need your help.
When a disciple enters the Divine School, he must be healthy. A sick man cannot enter the School, because his attention will be directed particularly toward his illness. Illnesses and mistakes cause the disciple to stumble; they hinder his progress. When the Master points out a mistake to his disciples, he does not have one particular man, but rather everybody in mind. The mistake of one person is the mistake of all humanity, of the Whole world. You say of someone that he is proud. Pride is a common trait of men as well as of animals and plants. The bad side of pride is that it dries men up. Extreme pride creates, dryness in men. When it is well used, it makes them self-dependent. Honesty is related to the feeling of self-respect. Honesty is not a moral feeling. Man must be just toward all living beings. When one is developing one feeling or another, he is tested to see how far he has advanced. This means: at the end of every class, the disciple must pass his final tests. The examinations determine the position of each disciple. If the disciple does not pass the test at the end of each class, he will fall into the delusion of thinking that he knows much and has the right to correct other people. He will think that others are the cause of the evil and misfortune in the world. Everyone must realize that he is the cause both for the evil and for the good in the world. Someone goes to a friend and begins to preach to him and tell him what to do. Since your friend sees his own mistakes and tries to correct them, you need not preach to him.
Since you have come to the mountain, study the lines of the different layers to see their beauty. Certain lines are of the past, others are of the present; still others are being drawn now; they are the lines of the future. This shows that the mountains are in the process of development. They are not completed. Something new is being built in them today, and something new will be built in them in the future. Things in nature are significant. Something great is being built today which will be seen in the future. Every summit of every mountain reflects the light in a particular way. The light reflected in this way has a beneficial effect upon all men and all living beings. This influence has a good effect upon the thoughts and feelings of men. For the ordinary man, all things in nature are in disorder, while for the intelligent man, everything is in its place. Why? Because he coordinates and harmonizes all things.
"And the earth was waste and void." Up to this day the earth is in the process of organization. As long as man develops, the earth will develop also. When man passes into a higher phase of development, the earth will also evolve. The forms on the earth will become more beautiful and perfect. The process of development through which the earth is passing today is slow and even. In the past, the development of the earth has been rapid, accompanied by great catastrophies.
When you walk in the mountains, walk slowly and calmly without hurrying. Stop to rest a while - about thirty seconds -every hundred meters. During the time of rest you acquire energy. The higher you go, the slower you should walk. In this way you will adapt yourself to the forces of nature and you will make the; right use of them. Otherwise, they will oppose you. If the forces of nature are opposed to you, you will spend your energy without benefiting from them. Every particle of the mountain is connected to the Primary Principle which works in nature. Therefore, when you climb the mountain tops, think of the service, which they provide in nature, in order to make contact with the rationality in it. Every mountain, every summit and every lake has a great predestination.
Remember: whenever you go - by the lakes, in the mountains or on the summits - work consciously, study and apply what you know. As long as work is pleasant, it is Divine. As soon as it becomes unpleasant and you feel sour, it is human. Work with pleasure and rejoice at the; work of God!
Lecture held by Petar Deunov (Beinsa Douno) on August 12, 8 A.m.