Hygiene of the Human Soul
‘If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man and able also to bridle the whole body.’ James 3: 2
I shall talk to you today in a special language – the way a teacher talks to his pupils when they start learning the alphabet, the way women start washing, carding and spinning the wool into fibres in order to make cloth. Today I shall call my lecture Hygiene of the Human Soul.
You have listened to many preachers. James says, ‘If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man and able also to bridle the whole body.’ The body is your capital; it is the substantial [thing]. Therefore I shall start with what you see. You pay very little attention to your soul; however, the body is a large garden where the Divine Spirit works. Movement provides the blood watering the Divine garden. You can tell a housekeeper by the way the house is kept. You haven’t come to build houses, but to put them in order. This teaching you will apply to yourselves too. You seek happiness and cannot find it, but if I deprive you of food, water and air, you will then understand what it is. Your happiness is built upon food, water and air. Food has to do with eating and with the body; water has to do with drinking and the heart; air – with breathing and the mind.
You need suffering in order to work. To those who dishonour work God grants [them] labour; if they turn down labour too, there comes suffering; if they reject suffering, there comes torture. To be able to work, talent [and] skills are required – only the great artists can work. Work is for the educated [scientists]. Washing and gossiping is labour. You have abandoned the work God granted to you and now are labouring. There is no happiness in labour, suffering and torture. Suffering is a hard nut to crack; it takes skilfulness to learn how to break it and use it.
I shall now talk to you about the word can. You are not aware of your situation, and you have to wake up for the sake of your happiness. It is around you, but you have to start working properly. You have to relax the strings of your violin. Your heart is very dry, it needs a little moisture. You know you cannot clean without water, [as] it becomes dusty.
First of all you are to have faith. You have to examine [test, try] everything that was given to you in order for you to benefit. Why do you pray, why do you eat, why do you drink? Praying is a breathing process. If you are hesitating [thinking] whether God will hear your prayer, then you are praying having doubts in God. In spite of not seeing where He is, you can sense [feel] Him.
Each desire and thought has three aspects – breadth, depth and height. Those having depth make no noise. You have to grow out of your habit to command the others, but to command yourselves. You, with faith, have to start getting rid of these thoughts that are now disturbing you. Faith is a principle. Faith has to be positive – a place where the Divine life can enter. You have to start working upon yourselves with a plan, the way gardeners work. As soon as you fulfil your duty at home, start working upon yourselves.
The first point is to be healthy in body and spirit. A person having lost any faith whatsoever is a sick person. Just like children often cut with scissors and destroy [things], similarly there are such writers and preachers who destroy with their scissors. They are notorious destroyers; therefore you have to abandon these teachers who destroy. If a bad thought comes up within you, which wants to cut with its blade and to destroy, throw it away [get rid of it]. Or somebody wants to beat the big drum [cry from the housetop]– tell him that he may not. Your thoughts are alive, they play within and around you, like children do. A thought enters your mind and bothers you, for instance something was said about you. [Such] thoughts can upset you and can rule you. No, you have to teach [coach, drill] them. The false teacher is the devil – it leads you and teaches [coaches, drills] you until you are left in tattered clothes. Then it leaves you and you go to God in your tattered clothes; however He won’t admit you but will turn you out. Nonetheless, if there is a wheat grain [of faith] left, there is hope for you to improve after twelve years. One noble thought, if you cultivate it, will make you the noblest woman in twelve years.
You keep demagnetising yourself all the time, you lose your temper, you worry. Thus your nervous system is muddled [upset] from the bottom [resulting in] cracks and leaks. As long as you are indifferent, your magnetic power [strength] is reduced. When you are healthy, you can feel the condition [situation] in which the others are. The heart can lose its magnetic power [strength]. Do not carry your husband, your children and the others the way the wolf carries the fox. You often carry healthy people on your back. When you do a favour to healthy people, you teach them to be idle. God sent all the women to work, while you are crashing stones. If the woman had to be a servant, God would have made her from the man’s leg, if she had to be the master – from the man’s head. While he made her from the man’s rib – which is to say she was intended as a companion in his work. However, what do women do now? They stand in front of the mirror and keep thinking of marriage. Under marriage I mean that a man passes from the animal condition into the human condition and from the human condition – into the Divine. This marriage is once [and for all] – for you to become citizens of Heaven. Therefore you have to have a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy heart.
How do you feed your soul, mind and heart? Your body you feed all right to a certain extent; but how you feed your heart and mind? Your thoughts and desires need food, clothes; you do not give them [food and clothes] and they perish [die]. You have enormous [huge] desires. Strive for [aspire after] having substantial thoughts that are not in clash with [those of] the people around you. The one who works loses a lot of energy, hence you have to save your energy.
You are to have an unshakable [firm] faith in God that He has thought about everything. God takes care even of the smallest worms. Not a hair of your head can be touched without His will. Each thought and desire, everything you may want, will be given to you, but you are to have an unshakable [firm] faith. Do not regret that something has not happened [to you] in your life; it was not [meant] for you. A fiancé leaves his fiancée – this happens because he was not [meant] for her. Sometimes you want big trousers or a big dress, the way a little child wants clothes like his elder brother’s, but the [right] time for the little child has not come yet. You all have useless thoughts and desires, and this shows that your faith is feeble.
God is a great spring [of water] – go to Him for fresh water in the morning, at noon and in the evening. He won’t come to you, but you will go to Him. However, you will carry a vessel with you. The good thoughts are a vessel where God will pour His blessing. As long as you have good thoughts and desires God will bless you. If you feel that He does not bless you, borrow a vessel – read a good book, take the nobleness of the people out in the open. There should not be any gossiping around – those who want to succeed should not go gossiping [slandering] around.
Now, for the remaining five minutes, without making any movement, send your thought to God. You will feel some pinching [tweaking], but as soon as you make a move, you will spoil the exercise. For example, some day you say that you won’t gossip, but there comes somebody, he says something bad about you, you start gossiping and you spoil the exercise. You light candles, you consecrate oil and still you have no blessing – this is because you gossip [slander].
Now, start [doing] the exercise for one, two, three, four or five minutes – try not to make a single move, to be able to control yourself. Then do a five minute exercise thinking only about one thing: a five minute exercise for your body, a five minute exercise for your mind, a five minute exercise for your heart.
Whatever you gain from these exercises, do not share it with anybody. It takes twelve months for a desire, for a thought to come true [materialise]. One year is necessary for a thought to be born; other thoughts take ten years and so on. The good thoughts and desires form the clothes of the Angels. The thoughts and desires are the clothes that Divine spirits are dressed in [put on].
If you can join this dance, do it; if you can’t, think it over well and do not join. The result of these exercises is slow to come, perhaps after one year, but tell nobody what you are doing. Do not cut the cloth by the meter to sell it before you have woven it.
Start with the smallest [step] – the word can. A great grief afflicts you – tell yourself I can, you suffer - I can, you labour - I can. Tell yourself, ‘I can [do] everything through Christ!’ If you do not understand the word can, you won’t be able to understand Christ either. The word can is always present in Christ’s teaching. And when Peter told Christ, ‘Be it far from thee, Lord…’, Christ responded with the word can. Conjugate the verb can. If you cannot resolve any issue, say I can. The Lord goes and says, ‘Fill his/ her pot’; while the pot of the one not saying I can is not being filled.
The bad which is within you is a fuel. The bad thoughts that come to you are an impulse for your development, provided you win over [overcome] them. If a bad thought comes to you, ask God to place it. Do not say anything, do not slander, keep silence – in the beginning you will feel [some] unpleasantness, but it will burn afterwards and you will receive energy. If a disease comes to you, do not fear – this is a little bit of massage, this is a blessing. To be intelligent means to be perfect in the Word. People weep, people are unhappy, but I say that this is a blessing, because people work and I rejoice and thank God. One hundred and one Angels work on the Earth and help. A cleaning [process] is in progress now and in such times you have to cheer up and rejoice – there have not been more glorious times. People are now watering their gardens.
Today’s religion should not be like the old one. Once a poor pious man was passing along an open window of a rich man’s house, he saw a purse of money left on the window sill and took it believing that it was a gift from God. During the following days, however, when he was praying, the purse kept appearing before him and he could not pray. At last he returned it. You, likewise, have pinched a rich man’s purse, therefore you feel sick at heart. Similarly when you are gossiping, this is a theft of a purse. Return the purse for your prayer to be heard. Do not think ill of anybody; as soon as such a thought comes to you, throw it out. Keep silence externally, but work internally. Each desire has a period for it to materialise; you are to wait. One, two, ten years may pass – do not hasten. When you want your desire to materialize quickly the Lord will send you to the roots of the tree – He will give you a bad husband or wife. Also, all of your present unhappiness is from your previous life – you had bad thoughts and desires [in your previous life].
You are to have a healthy body. As soon as you gain some weight, you rejoice, but this is no health. You are to have strong muscles, [you are] to be meek, to be humble. I can’t understand [how] you can be limp and active [at the same time]. For example a sister of yours is burdened – pass faith on to her, encourage her, but do not cry with her, because both of you will lose your faith. Or, somebody dies; no, he hasn’t died, only his house is destroyed and it will be built up again in years. The essence of man lies in the good traits of one’s soul. Death is sieving the water, passing of Life from one layer into another and coming up to the surface as a good spout. You have to pass through this world, through matter, in order to be sieved through.
Now, you are listening to all this here, but the world will make you hesitate. However, you say, ‘I can!’ You will take psalm 119 and you will learn part of it by heart everyday with the word can. You have to learn it in twenty-two days. Every day before starting learning it, you will wash your hands and feet and you will say, ‘We shall be good, patient and obedient like the feet.’ If the human heart was as good as the feet, people would be saints. And while washing our hands we shall say, ‘We shall be obedient, good and fair like the hands.’ Your mind should be ready to work like your hands. How good [kind] the Lord is to have given us hands and feet, which teach us how to work! Become one with the Lord and with all the people and everything will be doable [realizable] for you. You are to be patient and obliging like the feet and fair like the hands. You have to be in command of your body and harmony has to reign over you. It will be fine if you can adjust within one year. You have to be free like birds, patient like the mammals, valiant like lions and intelligent like man.
Start applying the word can. If it is for the better, it will be like a key, but if you apply it for the worse, it won’t be of any use to you. Apply it to elevate the humankind; to enlighten the mind and the heart, but not for the worse. Within one year you have to learn to understand the word can. The ‘not’ particle, the last part of the I cannot expression you have to place at the end of the queue. When you worry, you should say, ‘I can!’, in order for your mood to change. And let the particle aside, leave it alone.
When you learn the psalm, some of you will have scored one or two as a result, others will have scored a result of three to ten – it varies. Even if you have scored ‘one’, it is a blessing all the same.
8 February 1917, Sofia