The Good Samaritan
He then turned specifically to his students and said: "Blessed the eyes, which see what you see. Because I am telling you that many prophets and kings wished to see what you see and did not see, and to hear what you hear and did not hear."
And he said: "The one who showed compassion." Then Jesus told him: "Go and also do so."
Lucas 10: 23-37
My lecture this morning will be on the Good Samaritan. I will take the verses from 23 to 37. This Good Samaritan has become very commonplace, i.e. we think that we understand him. We could say that we understand his meaning in a certain practical sense, but I will look at this matter from a different angle.
So, there begins a conversation with a lawmaker – a very educated person, a philosopher for his time, devotedly following the teaching of Moses. This person, interested in one very important question, approached Jesus, and asked Him, “Master, what do I have to do to attain an eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “What does it say in the law? How do you read it?” The man answered, “To love your God with all your heart and all your soul, and all your power, and all your mind, and to love your fellow man like yourself.” But, it seems, Jesus wanted to explain further to that man who our fellow man is. This story is a drama, where the main part is played by the gentleman, who left Jerusalem and headed over to Jerihon – you have read the story. Those, who write dramas, want to build characters. Another character in this drama is the Samaritan. There was a priest in the story before the Samaritan, but the priest passed by without stopping because he was busy, saying, “This is none of my business.” The priest was walking on the right side of the street and when he noticed the gentleman, who had fallen on the ground, the priest went by on the left side of the street. After that, a Levite went by on the left side of the street, but he did not stop either. Lastly, a Samaritan went by and he stopped.
Now, we have the following characters: the priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan with his mule (you can call it a donkey because there are many such animals in Palestine). The Samaritan stopped, covered the wounds of the robbed gentleman with wine and butter, put him on the mule, brought him to the town of Jerihon, settled him in an inn, and the next day gave him two dinars*. You will say that this is a simple thing, and so what if a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan went by and the last one covered the wounds of the robbed man. Yes, but when you read the novel of any writer, you study the characters (because every writer wants to highlight the characters). Jesus presents four types to us: the first one is a traveller, who is going to Jerihon to make some profit, but luck is not on his side; the second one is a priest, the third one is a Levite, and the last one is the Samaritan. Jesus says, “From these three who do you think is the fellow man of the robbed man?” The Samaritan, of course.
Keep these characters in your mind because you could play the role of either of them; the priest, or the Levite, or the Samaritan – there are four roles you could play in the world. Everyone plays them because the world is a stage where people play these roles. When you are reading a novel, you always pay attention to the main character in the story; in this story the main character is the Samaritan. He was not thinking that his deed would be narrated word by word and become emblematic for the whole world. Some interpreters say that this is just a saying, but we know that Jesus used only real life examples. The drama, which Jesus presents, takes place in Heaven and on Earth. The traveller left (Jerihon)† Jerusalem – this is Heaven, the supreme world, where people come from; (Jerusalem) Jerihon on the other hand is Earth – hence, people come from above – from Heaven to Earth. But there are robbers in Heaven; even Apostle Paul says that there are bad spirits above us. But let us leave this deeper meaning and get back to the social life.
Who is this Samaritan? The priest and the Levite are the woman and the man: the man is the Levite, the woman is the priest, and the Samaritan is an unrelated child, who has done a good deed. But you will object to this and ask whether it is possible for a father or a mother to be so cruel to their children? I know of mothers and fathers who abandon their children. I know a young lady from Varna‡ who was abandoned by her father, became a dissolute woman and married a “Samaritan” now living in Sofia§. When your daughters feel a burden, they say, “I want to get out of the house,” – because the parents are preachers and cannot put themselves in their daughters’ shoes. Every soul that has come down from the Invisible world has a certain pain, a certain wound. For example, there needs to be a certain deep reason for someone to be nervous. They say about someone that he is nervous; nervousness is not a disease, but the nerves are the life of the mind, and when they do not work in harmony, they lead to diseases.
Those four types of characters from the story represent the four bodies of a person. People are wrapped in four bodies, through which they develop: physical, Living, Astral, and Spiritual body.** There are three other bodies, but they are forms that do not change; we will talk only about the forms that change. The word “body” stands for an organized world; consequently, in that sense the mind is organized, the human heart is organized, life is organized.
Now, Jesus is talking with the educated lawmaker and tells him, “Go and also do so.” i.e. take the role of the Samaritan. The Samaritan always shows the progress in the world – this is the science, while the priest and the Levite are just actors, who make some money but do nothing for the world. And when people have excess money, they say, “Let us have a show, laugh a little – we have excess time and we can now make a theatre.” Life is a theatre, a show; children can play it, but I say that this is just a break, and it is no time for a break when we have to develop ourselves.
In this story there is a drama and a show. I am asking why the two did not stop to help that man. Because there was no similarity between them and the robbed man. The law is such that you cannot help someone you do not love and this is the only reason they passed by without stopping. The Samaritan had this Love in his heart, so he stopped and took out his wine and his butter; the butter is the soul and the wine is the Power, which needs to be passed on – the Samaritan needs to be interpreted in a broad sense. Do you not think that many of you are in a state similar to that of the robbed man? Your wounds demand butter and wine, not words, philosophies, and wisdoms. In order for the wounds to be covered, fresh vigor has to be poured into the human mind and the human heart. And when the butter and the wine are poured, this is the Samaritan. I would like for all Bulgarians to be Samaritans. We want all priests and all teachers to become Samaritans; we want all lawyers and judges to become Samaritans; because these are honourable positions.
In the U.S., they give the honourable D.D. degree.†† For us, “D.D.” does not mean much, but doctors in the U.S. need to be awarded such a “D.D.” degree. After that they give a L.L.D.D. degree – a doctor’s degree in law, a doctor’s degree in theology. The priest and the Levite from the story were doctors of theology, i.e. they had “L.L.D.D”, but they did nothing. Then a Samaritan passed by, who did not have a “D.D” degree, he just had a mule, butter and wine. He said, “I know nothing of ‘D.D.’” got off his mule and asked, “How did you get here?”
Now, Jesus provided this example to be used in our time, i.e. for you and for me. There are Samaritans in Bulgaria too. I am glad that there are women - Samaritans in Bulgaria. In that sense, the Samaritan is Jesus, who came from above, and the robbed man is the human race that has fallen in the hands of robbers – men, women, and children. Jesus too came from above.
The story can be interpreted in a narrow and in a broad sense. Jesus says, “You also do so.” Have the state of your Spirit, the frame of your mind, and the predisposition of your will like those of the Samaritan. If we have the frame of mind, but not the state of Spirit, this is not enough. The priest had the frame of mind and said, “I have very important things to do and do not have the time to deal with this.” The Levite said so as well. We are here to serve God – Jesus says, “To love your God.” Your fellow – this word has a lot of content in our world. You can cry for a fellow, but you can also look at them like the priest or the Levite and say, “It is not time.” I know many unmarried women, who, when their fellow comes along, say, “He is not for me if he makes only three hundred leva‡‡” – this is everyone’s philosophy. In the times we live in, and in the future, we have to apply the law of the Samaritan.
Now, some want to be acquainted with ministers. It is not bad to be acquainted with ministers, but the reason to want this is self-interest – to have patrons. Friendship never changes; it is a great law connecting people. If you have a friend, they are ready to always serve God and to sacrifice themselves for you if they see you have fallen on the street. With that story, Jesus illustrates how the world will improve. Some say, “We have to choose political representatives, to appoint priests.” There are both official and unofficial priests. Some only say that they do not want to wear the priest’s official clothes, while Jesus represents exactly those, who have been designated by God – I am not talking about official priests. Like father, like priest; like mother, like teacher – priest and teacher are synonymous to me. When the fathers fulfil their duties, then the priests will fulfil theirs, for they were all born to fathers. We say, “The priests are bad; the Levites are bad,” – why are they bad? Because their mothers and fathers are bad. Consequently, all contemporary people will perish and turn into a fertilizer for the Earth. And when God comes with a new plough, he will put a new culture in place and sow new saplings, which will give wonderful fruits. Thus, we should not judge the consequences, but the causes.
So, the Samaritan is the father, and the robbed man is the mother – the man found his wife and covered her wound. He found his lost Dulcinea, put her on his mule, took her to Jerihon and gave her two dinars. These two dinars symbolize two Divine laws. Some say, “I give you two leva,” – if with these two leva you mean Divine Love and love for your fellow men, you can give them to me. But if you want to bribe me with these two leva, no, thank you! How many men are there now who carry their women like this?
A certain statistic from London says that out of twenty six million families there, only three hundred are happy. In Bulgaria, there are only two hundred such families – these are the men and women of Bulgaria; they are only two hundred people§§. Let God help the other three thousand.*** They are the masters of “emptying the sack” it is not their fault, such is their nature.
Mice infested a barn. The owner of the barn did not know what else to do, but to let a cat in the barn. The mice got scared and said, “What else can we do now, we will have to pay with our lives?” Then a mouse came forward and said that it had a bright idea: to put a bell on the cat in order to be able to hear it coming and hide. All the mice started applauding, but one old mouse asked, “So who is going to put the bell on the cat?”
This is what contemporary life is – one “bright idea.” Jesus also put a bell on the cat but the world did not reform itself. Butter and wine are needed, and the mules also have their duty. When a mother gives birth and the child is weak in the beginning, does she not play the role of the Samaritan? She is ashamed from the opinion of the world and says, “They will laugh at me,” the philosophy of contemporary women is to give birth to a ninety-year old. All women who give birth are young, and while people are young, they can do stupid things. Jesus says that in this aspect the Samaritan is older than the priest and the Levite. These are the working people, who exist, and they are at the core of things. Consequently, Jesus wants to show us that we all have to have this Love in our mind and in our will.
Some ask me how to do Good; I say: buy a mule and go look for a good spring. Everyday I meet people who are sick in their minds and their hearts. Jesus said, “Go and do so if you want to attain a heavenly life. If you do not do so, you will not attain a heavenly life.” Jesus would have made that Samaritan a priest; I would make him a priest too because he did well. Thus, the future world will be inherited only by such priests, for God does not want people like us. You will say that Mr. Dunov preaches against priests; I am not talking about them, I am talking about the mothers and fathers – these mothers and fathers have to know the Samaritan. And when a mother gives birth, she has to do it with Joy; the mother is always blessed when she gives birth and this should not be seen as a disgrace. The mother has given birth in the past, and will do so in the future. In the old times it was always the men who gave birth, while in the new times, it is the women. But these men have to start giving birth again; the women have been giving birth enough. Contemporary men miscarry; I see men who carry their offspring for twenty years, but they have to learn to give birth. God says, “Because they do not follow My law, I will give their souls to the civilized people to suffer,” for this reason we have been sent in the world to eat and drink. When we fulfil our desire to eat and drink, there will come a blessing.
Now, you will ask which ones you are – the priests, the Levites, or the Samaritans. Ask yourselves whether you have butter, wine, and a mule. Because this mule is an extra body – on which you will put the robbed man, and when you go to this world, you need to have two coins. Consequently, you need a mule and wine. And when he went to Jerusalem, do you know what happened? Jerusalem was surrounded by a big wall, but Moses demolished it; the same way Jesus destroyed that wall with His arrival, because…
Now, I clearly present the question: which role do you want to play in this drama? The actors in a theatre often argue who will take the main role. Jesus immortalized the name of that Samaritan; many kings did great deeds, but there is not a single trace left from their deeds, while this Samaritan did a simple (when looked from the outside) deed, but his name remained written in Heaven. You can play the role of the priest and the Levite, but you will remain mediocre. The robbed man prayed for a long time, stretched his arms towards the priest and the Levite, but they said, “I cannot,” – only the Samaritan helped him.
Now, suppose you have a daughter and you are taking care of her upbringing. One day, she wishes to go into the world for a while to earn money. You introduce her at some social occasion, until one day you find her on the street hurt, dishonoured, and crying, “Help me!” – she has fallen in the hands of the robbers. There are (also) women who are terrifying robbers. The best people are men and women, but the worst people are also men and women. The first we call people of Love, the second – people of egoism. I would like all of you to be people of Divine Love and to serve God. The whole world is for you; as long as you have a heart and a mind, everyone will applaud you and say, “We saw what you have done.” Everyone can do a good deed and God sees these good brothers. Consequently, I would like everyone’s name to be written up in Heaven, for you to be the bringers of this new humanity, for you to be cheerful and joyous. Let someone else think about your food – there is wealth for everyone; God has prepared a lot of food. Some say they have enemies, but you have friends too. The devil also has enemies. Apostle Paul says, “The higher the charity, the higher the virtue,” where hate strengthens, Love strengthens. Our actors should go to the devil, for he can play all roles. Do not be fooled by the philosophical deception when you study all these philosophies; do not put such a mask on your face. Do not present yourselves as bigger saints than what you are – present yourselves as more sinful rather than as more righteous because otherwise there is a risk that you put a mask on your face. I know people, dressed in silk, who eat nettle at home, and when someone comes in, they hide the plate. I am asking you, is your soul dressed like this?
So, cover the wound of whoever it is, and you will attain eternal Life.
July 11, 1915, Sofia
* The local currency
† To the editor: Here the original text says “The traveler left Jerihon”. However, this contradicts the story as told earlier in the next where the traveller left Jerusalem and was going to Jerihon to make some profit. Please check where this discrepancy in the original text of the lecture comes from.
‡ One of the big cities in Bulgaria
§ Bulgaria’s capital
** Assure coherence of translation of these terms with other translators
†† Degree given at the time of the lecture – year 1915
‡‡ Leva – multiple from “Lev”, the Bulgarian currency
§§ The previous sentence says two hundred families, while this sentence says two hundred people. Both statements address the same group of people. Is this an accurate transcript of the original lecture? Or is it meant to imply that two people forming a family form one soul, and in that sense “dushi” means not people (kato dvama dushi), but souls (kato dve dushi)? This sentence should be edited as appropriate.
*** The text states that there are only three thousand other families in Bulgaria. Is this an accurate notation in the text of the original lecture? Could it be three hundred thousand (“3 hilyadi” vs. “3sta hilyadi”) other families? The foreign reader may be confused by the small number of families in Bulgaria.