A Self-Training Task*
The Good Prayer
I will cheer up
I will read Chapter One of the Proverbs of Solomon.
The Spirit of God
I shall give you a task that I want you to perform for one week only. Those who perform it can learn and those who do not perform it cannot learn. The implementation of the task starts tomorrow: you will take a small writing pad of ten pages or you may make one for yourself; three times a day you will note down what the weather is like, what your heaven is, what your condition is – whether it is clear, cloudy, whether it’s raining or snowing or whether it is stormy. You will note it down as meteorologists. You will draw a column and three times a day you will note down your comments. If you have a bad thought, you will note it down, as if you are teaching a student. You will put a mark to yourself: a one, a two, a three, a four etc. Let’s see how many good thoughts you will have. This you will do until next Thursday, you won’t forget! As soon as a bad thought comes to your mind, you will note it down; when a good thought comes to your mind, you will note it down too. The fisherman catches fish when he throws out the net, doesn’t he? Whichever is good is placed in the basket, whichever is no good, is returned. Let’s see how many good thoughts you will catch, let’s see how much your capital will be.
When saying that a trader is rich we define his wealth. Under the present conditions, can a person having one or two thousand levs be [considered] rich? You can hardly make your living with two thousand levs. Five thousand or even one hundred thousand is no wealth. A person in order to be rich, at that [be] not an ordinary rich person, must have one million. This is valid for Bulgaria, but an ordinary rich American must have one million levs. One million dollars make five hundred thousand golden levs; multiply it by one hundred and forty levs, as per the value of the dollar: this is one hundred and forty million levs. So, a Bulgarian is rich with one million levs, and an American is rich with one hundred and forty million levs – such is the American consciousness. What can an American do with ten thousand dollars? A trip to Europe. On coming back the American won’t have a fiver in one’s pocket.
When saying ‘a good person’ we must know what his goodness rests in. We must know that the safe of this trader is full. When saying that a farmer is rich, he must have land, a rich shepherd must have a flock of ten thousand sheep, a rich gardener must also have something. We say that somebody is educated; what does his education rest in? Or we say that somebody is beautiful. Beauty is in the quality of the human mind, of the human soul and it has its external expression. Many times have you looked at yourselves in the mirror: sometimes you are beautiful, some other times you are ugly. A statue made of wax is always beautiful, but a human being is not always beautiful. What is always beautiful is beautiful; and what is sometimes beautiful, and not beautiful at other times, is not beautiful. What does beauty rest in? You will say, ‘He has beautiful eyes.’ What does the beauty of these eyes rest in? The beautiful eyes have to be mellow, expressive, not to be vacant [wandering], not [to be] looking at somebody and seeing somebody else. A lady comes to visit you and starts looking here and there – her eyes are not beautiful. A beautiful person is not interested in anything. A beautiful person on coming into the room sees everything at once and afterwards does not pay any attention either to the chairs or to the other objects. The eyes of a person who sees the chairs and the other objects are not beautiful; such a person is interested in petty issues. As long as one is interested in your dress, one does not have beautiful eyes. If your dress wears out tomorrow, he will say that it is not beautiful.
You will then resemble Nastradin Khodzha who went to a horse racing riding his old ox. He was told, ‘You can’t contest with this old ox’, but he replied, ‘When it was a young calf, it ran very fast!’
You will likewise say, ‘Time ago when we started along this Path, what people we were! We prayed all day long, our hearts were fervent! But this was time ago. And what was our Love! But it is no longer so…’ Everybody talks about past times. Which is the essential [point of time] – the past or the present time? Young people growing old lose their Love. Some of you say, ‘I grew old.’ I say, ‘You have lost your Love’. The old person says, ‘We will die’. You have lost your Wisdom. I ask then what use [good] is it that we have grown old and that we have died. You say we will die. What philosophy is there in the point that we will die. Why people now grow old? The little child that has given up the dolls, is no longer a child, but it deals with big issues. When a young person abandons [leaves] the nice things from one’s youth, he grows old. When an old person abandons [leaves] the nice things from one’s old age, he dies.
I do not know who you are yet. You all have pseudonyms for me, you all write under false names and none of you has come under one’s own name. You travel with a title, the way certain notable people travel like counts. The name under which you are known in the other world, not here on the earth, this is what is important. You have forgotten even your name. You resemble a prisoner who bears a number – number 1, number 2 etc. The prisoner is asked ‘Who are you?’, and he replies, ‘I’m number one or number two.’ The policeman asks him, ‘Who are you?’ and the prisoner replies, ‘I’m number one hundred and twenty-five.’ And you bear the number only. I ask: can a person bearing a number only be called a human being? The policeman bearing number one is a man, [the one] bearing number two is a woman; number three is a child; number four is an old grandfather – having already fathered a generation; number five is an old grandmother; number six is a great grandchild; number seven is a great grand father. All the physical policemen are disguised.
So, I was saying: you have never had a clear idea what you represent. You are sometimes standing discontented, but you have never asked yourself the question what you represent outside your body. A human being cannot go out of one’s consciousness. A human being is what does not change. As soon as you come to a state in Life where nothing disturbs you, this is [what you are]. As long as grief affects you, you are not a human being. What does not change cannot be affected, this is the human being. You want to be free people, don’t you? Whichever of you, even the most patient one can be derailed. Some of you pass for very meek, very patient, but imagine that all have agreed and made their minds to pour over you heaps of slander. You say, ‘What have these sisters done to me?’ A sister comes, talks to you and scolds you. Is it possible for pure water to come out from a spring at a certain moment, and at another moment bad water to come out? Is it possible that both good and evil come out from one and the same mouth? After I spoke the sisters started uttering something negative. Is this their consciousness or not? This is a partnership, a company that goes bankrupt easily. Don’t you think that I blame you! You say about somebody that this person is such and such. Reasoning like this it is easy to tell [recognize] gilded items from not gilded ones. What rubs out is gilded, what does not rub out, is not gilded. If your good rubs out, it is gilded; if it does not rub out, it’s not gilded.
The Life that you live on the earth is a school. This is a place for utter ordeals [tests, trials]. You won’t see even one thousandth of what you expect implemented. You are beautiful in the beginning, everybody talks about you; all of this disappears after forty to fifty years. Your hair used to be black and smooth, earlier on you used to be slender, upright, and all this vanishes and you say, ‘This Life isn’t worth it.’ Why? Because you have an idea that is not true. Life is a trial school. All people are sent here to the earth to manifest themselves. When it comes to sending an angel to work in another solar system, God sends the angel first to the earth to try [test] it. An angel may be sent to the earth in the form of an ox to plough [together] with a Bulgarian farmer; it will plough for the farmer for ten years, the farmer would prod it, and the angel would say, ‘He does very well!’ When the angel comes back afterwards, it would tell others that it had studied at a Bulgarian university for ten years. What will you say to this? Literally it’s not so, but I give it as an example which is approximately true. It is said that those angels, who were cherubim, transformed themselves into a serpent in order to beguile the first people. What a humiliation this is! And after that these angels remained in the shape of a serpent, lost their hands, hence lost their will. All bad people are recognized by not having will; they have brains, but they have no will. They cannot catch you to strangle you, but they can set the others against you. They constantly look for somebody to come and carry them on his back. Serpents always need assistants, servants. You have read Faustus haven’t you? What did Mephistopheles gain in the end? Nothing. He wanted to slander man.
Sometimes you are in hesitation and you say, ‘Is this me or not?’ This is an external power. This power you will put to work and it will plough for you all day long. For instance, you are enraged [furious]; you will harness your rage [fury] to work. People prone to rage are most hard-working, and those who do not work are not prone to rage. The scripture reads, ‘Be enraged [infuriated, furious, angry] but do not sin.’ Rather than the rage [fury] harnessing you, you should harness it.
There is a joke about an old Bulgarian chorbdjia1 who would go and wake up his servants in the tailor’s market very early in the morning, at one or two o’clock after midnight, to start work. Then he would return home and go back to sleep. He says, ‘Let the young work!’ Finally his servants decided to teach him a lesson. There was a rumour that there was a goblet in the graveyard. When the chorbadjia went out one night to wake up his servants, two of them had disguised, one of them climbed on the back of the chorbadjia, and the other one kept leading him around the graveyard for two hours. Then they let him go and he went home. His wife asked him, ‘Did you wake up the servants?’, and he replied, ‘This is a dangerous task.’ From then onwards he never got up at night to wake up his servants, he waited for the Sun to rise and said, ‘Let the boys sleep, there is no point me disturbing them at night. You, God, will bless even the smallest piece of work.’ He never said the goblet scared him.
Let’s make an analogy: a pusillanimous thought comes to you; you are ridden, the goblets prod you. So, you haven’t complied with the great law of Divine Love. Why does the world go this way, why does not it go along the straight Path of Love? Unhappiness is due to the lovelessness of the entire humankind. Just like the first people deviated [from the straight path of Love] the other people also deviated in the same way.
Whatever you are told, you may say that the Master speaks very well. If I speak well, this is for me; but you have to listen too and you have to apply [what you have heard] well. The first requirement is that one must have patience, so that one can persevere when others talk evil of him or her. At the Pythagoras school an applicant was placed with other students who slandered him, called him the worst of words. If he could persevere, he was admitted. They ridicule him, while he keeps his balance and smiles slightly. Which sister out of you would pass this test? Pythagoras worked like this over two thousand years ago and few were admitted to the school. Why? Because the Divine riches can be entrusted only to people who can persevere.
One can be recognized as knowing little by the fact that one loses (wastes) one’s youth and one’s old age. Then where is the human being? When one becomes rich, one reaches a certain point and one dies there, if one cannot stop. If one cannot find one’s place in the other world, where is the human being then? What use is it to a person after one’s death that one was rich and had millions. What use is his wealth to him, if one loses one’s eyesight, taste, and cannot eat? Eyes are important and useful, inasmuch as one can use them. Only the food that can be received in a particular case is important in life. And also important is that thought that can motivate one to a harmonious Life.
One is proud saying that one is a believer; that one belongs to a certain school. One may as well belong [to a certain school] but important is the knowledge one possesses; the Virtue that one possesses – that Virtue that one is blessed with. Who is loveable to God? The one that acts upon His Will. We must be aware when acting upon His Will. The Scripture reads, ‘Try God’s Will!’ At any moment we must know whether or not we act upon God’s Will. We may act upon His Will at a certain moment, and we may not act upon it at another moment.
Human nature is very complex. When someone is angry, this does not mean that he is bad, and sometimes when one is gentle and predisposed, this does not mean that he is good. If you pray when you are predisposed, this does not as yet show that you are good. But you have to pray when you aren’t predisposed. Some bad thought may come, but this does not mean anything. A good person may be dressed in a simple robe and he will remain a good person, while even if a bad person is covered in gold, he will remain the same.
When a spider is making its web, you bear with it, don’t you? Why? Some other time you cannot stand the spider at your home. Why has this spider made a web? It waits to catch a fly and to eat it. It catches a fly today, another fly tomorrow, three, four flies; it eats them, but you stand this scoundrel. You say, ‘Why God made the world like this?’ I am asking why you stand this spider eating a fly before you. I have often had experiments with spiders: I see that a spider has caught a fly; I tell it, ‘Let the fly go!’ The spider flurries up. I tell it, ‘If you do not let the fly go in my presence, I shall not leave your web intact. You will let the fly go now!’ The spider breaks the thread and lets the fly go. I tell it, ‘You are an intelligent spider!’ If it had not let the fly go, I would have used my stick and would have sent it on pilgrimage, but I would not have killed it… This spider may come to your mind too. One has to be a master of oneself. I told this spider, ‘You are free, but you have no right to eat a fly in my presence.’ And neither do flies have the right to say that one of them was eaten in my presence. I do not want to be summoned as witness to the court for such a thing.
You need self self-control. You pass through a stage of self-training. One’s strong will is recognized by one’s self-composure [self-control]. It’s not enough to restrain oneself only. Some pass for patient. What do you understand under the word patience? A young lad wanted to get married, he found a maiden, who was very careful in her dealing with him, he got engaged and said, ‘I found a fiancée; there is no second to her!’ Once he tripped her by chance; she fell down, spilt the glass she was carrying, but said smilingly, ‘It’s all right; the glass spilt.’ When she went out to refill the glass the young man said, ‘See what a character; what a self-composure!’ The one who was told so, replied, ‘Blessed you are, God granted you so beautiful a being, you will live well!’ But when he married her things were not the same and he told her, ‘You were like an angel; when I tripped you once, you behaved like an angel.’ She responded, ‘But when I went downstairs, I thumped with anger upon the table!...’
We are presented with an object teaching in the Invisible world. You also present an object teaching. The more elevated Beings look upon you the way you look upon the trees and upon all the inferior animals below you. You perform an act and the more elevated Being scrutinises you why you behave like this. They scrutinise you the way I scrutinise an apple. There is someone who is interested in you. All those thoughts that you experience – be they good or bad, show that you pass through different worlds. When you have bad thoughts you pass through an area where bad beings live, and when you have good thoughts, you pass through an area where good beings live. Some other time you have sad thoughts, musical thoughts etc. You have to take a lesson from all the areas you pass through.
So now I am saying: you have to have a method to study the Scripture. God put the prophets through the greatest ordeals [trials] before he sent them preaching. Only after passing through this school they were entrusted with knowledge and were sent to preach. Similarly Christians pass through many tests. You too have come to the earth to learn something. The first thing you have to learn is patience, the second thing is to learn abstinence and the third thing is to be able to cope with any difficulty.
A bad thought comes to mind; a mosquito has bitten you. You may blow it away. When a mosquito bites, blow at it to go away. It will fly away, and then another mosquito will come. You may press it and kill it, but it’s better to blow it away and to tell it not to come for a second time. You will know when it comes for a second time. There was a very intelligent mosquito in Varna. When it was close to bed time for me, he would purr; when I wake up it would go away and hide, and then I can’t find it all day long. I talked with it. It was very intelligent; it knew when I was asleep and when I was awake. As soon as I was awake it would disappear; so, it knew when I was leaving my body. How comes it knew [all this], is its business.
We have to draw certain conclusions in our lives. Man is placed on the earth. What is man’s purpose on the earth? – to improve and to self-train oneself. Man will pass through one self-training, through one unpleasant regime. Everybody imagines a life that cannot be accomplished on the earth. Sometimes you walk up to a certain place all right, but then exactly the opposite happens. The only rule is: the attitude to you of all the Powers, acting in Nature, will be just like your attitude to the spiritual [world]. But the law of Love is intelligent. If you have the law of Love you will as well pass through certain difficulties, but you will come out easily and you will manage. If you do not live in the law of Love, the greatest difficulties will come. When one has Love, one has foresight, one foresees things, one gets prepared and knows how to act. And when one loses one’s Love, one loses one’s equilibrium.
You have to watch [observe], not to judge, yourselves. You will study yourselves. Sometimes you cannot recognize yourselves; you have lain down in a certain way and many inferior beings come and you cannot recognize yourself among them. You mix your consciousness with the other consciousnesses [the consciousnesses of the others?] and you do not know how to act [behave]. For instance, you are told something, you are patient for some time, after which you fly into a rage and spoil [ruin] everything. The one learning how to be patient resembles that Bulgarian who dances the horo dance, kneels down and yells ‘yihoo-hoo’. Once a person told the dancer, ‘You will dance, but you won’t yell ‘yihoo-hoo’ and then I will give you a cow and a calf.’ The other one started dancing, but he said at a time, ‘I spit on your cow and calf!’ and he yelled ‘yihoo-hoo’. Similarly, you say that you will persevere [be patient], but you come to a point and you say, ‘It cannot be endured any longer!’ Sometimes you try to persevere and you observe how many times you have succeeded. When you persevere you experience a new enlightenment and you rejoice persevering. At other times you come to an upper limit, you flare up, you feel like telling the other one not to think that you are an imbecile. You believe you will set things right by telling him, but it becomes even a greater mess.
Two married women quarrelled, and there was a river between them. The one of them was talking and the other one was listening to her so calmly that the first one shouted, ‘Say something, because I will burst out!’ Likewise something within you says, ‘Say something, because I will burst out!’ But when you say something, it’s not it that bursts out but you. When a water jug bursts out, it’s no longer any good, you only glue it, but it’s no good for any work. When it comes to patience you have to make the other one say, ‘Say something, because I will burst out!’ Let him or her burst out, but you should be patient and make sure you don’t burst out. You are very generous, and in order for the others not to burst out, you burst out. As I see you keep bursting out. Do not spare your enemies, let them burst out, but you should not burst out.
The person of the New Teaching should stand out by a character. God does not give people more suffering and hardship [desolation] than they can endure [bear]. Each one has very little suffering in comparison with the others. For instance, somebody complains that he has a very great suffering, but when you take him to the others, he says, ‘Mine is nothing [compared to yours]’ If you take the second one to a third one, he also says, ‘‘Mine is nothing [compared to yours]’ Nobody can trace the depths of suffering. Similarly the good deeds are also boundless – from good to better.
I call school the condition when you have the power to climb up while you are going down. The power of man rests in one’s capacity to correct one’s mistake. I draw your attention to the typical side of Life; if you attain this Power, life will improve. A magic Power exists in man, through which Life becomes easier. And when one demagnetizes, one weakens, becomes nervous like a squeaking car[t].
One should not become poor, one should be rich. Sometimes one loses heart and says, ‘I did not use the conditions. I used to think so and so, but one should not live in this way.’ We have to live in the way the saints lived. One should be rich, but rich can only be people who have internal wealth. You have to have a wealth that you cannot lose, a wealth that will stay together with you. Rich is that person who on leaving for the other world takes his wealth with him. And Christ says, ‘Gather wealth that you can carry with yourself.’
It’s fine that many of you sleep. Sometimes I am glad to see that somebody is asleep, because if I am laying a table for ten people, but nine of them are asleep, I will feed only one. This is why I am glad if the others sleep for a longer time. Those who are awake benefit. Some [other] time I will explain to you why you fall asleep. Sometimes those who sleep gather at one place. I have a different view about sleeping: sleeping is blessed by God, but one is supposed to sleep when one has to. If one cannot understand me here, one goes up above to understand me and this is good. But if one goes up above and still does not understand me, then there is no point sleeping. To sleep and to rest – this I understand – but to sleep and still be tired is pointless. The blessed sleep can be recognized: then the sleeping person resembles a saint. If one falls asleep in the chair moving one’s head to and fro, this is no good. You will first grow out of the habit to move your head to and fro when sleeping. I allow you to sleep. I can wake up the one who is sleeping with ammonia very easily. A sister falls asleep because she is overburdened, she needs money; she is tired. However, if I give her a bag of gold to carry, then she does not sleep. Falling asleep is due to the accumulation of lactic acid. Due to great worries and troubles lactic acid accumulates in the brain, which has the capacity to shorten the tentacles of the brain cells. When these tentacles are connected all the energies flow properly, otherwise the currents cannot flow and one falls asleep. A lot of worries, a lot of talk about this and that causes this poisonous lactic acid to accumulate. There is always one sleeping person out of a hundred people. Sleeping is not a big disability. The one who sleeps is a person who endures [perseveres]. I would rather have somebody sleeping than chattering. Which is better? Sleeping is the smallest of mistakes that exist on the earth.
You now need self-training. What should distinguish the adult sisters who are advanced in the Teaching? What should young people be distinguished by? Dexterity [adroitness, agility, dexterousness]. While the old people should be distinguished by knowing the methods applied in a given area. The young should be ready to serve, ready to do something. The old should know how to do this thing and how to produce the best of plans. The young and old [person] work simultaneously within man. As soon as a good thought comes to mind and you understand the best method to apply it and you implement it, then you are old and young at the same time. Then the laws of Love and of Wisdom operate simultaneously within you.
Now, you will laugh at yourselves a little bit. What difference does it make if somebody slept here at the meeting or at home? Here it feels better to sleep. A preacher told a congregation, ‘I preach to those who are sleeping.’ Both those who are sleeping and who are not sleeping are equally responsible; suffice it to apply what is being talked about. Let’s say that ten sisters are sleeping and implementing the task, while those who are not sleeping, are not implementing it. Who is then worthy of praise – those who are sleeping or those who are not sleeping? Certainly those who are sleeping and implementing the task are worthy of praise, because they perform even when they sleep. Well, best of all is for one to implement without sleeping. The Scripture reads, ‘Get up, you, who are sleeping!’
Parables talk about intelligent knowledge. Man should have knowledge about one’s nature, man should not be afraid of one’s deeds [manifestations]. Thousand of deeds [manifestations] will come into him. If man does not understand one’s nature, man will fall into big contradictions and will say, ‘I used not to be like this! [‘I did not use to be like this!’] However, a human being having all the good talents [endowments] has got only to work. If you spend two hours of your free time thinking [reflecting], you will accomplish a lot.
I can give you a self-training system. One should not be coached, but self-trained. Self-training can eliminate the existing disabilities. For instance, upset stomach, particularly related with the nervous system or other similar conditions can be eliminated. Then one gets a cheerful look, a Divine change takes place within him. When you meet a person, you are in communication with him. Sometimes you are among people, but you do not see them, as if they are made of wax. While some other time you see the person and you establish a bond with his soul. Nowadays, the person is not there in most of the cases. However, in order to wake up your soul, new conditions have to be established. Only then will a resolution appear. Without this wakening constant disappointment will come only – you will be indisposed today, indisposed tomorrow, then again [you will be] predisposed etc., until in the end you will say that you do not know what is the meaning of life.
So now, the main idea is for you to work on perseverance [patience] first. So, when a desire to talk comes to you, you should ask yourselves whether or not to talk; whether or not to think in this way; whether or not to say this.
You will impose control upon yourselves for a week. You will note down the thoughts that come to you in your notebooks. For example, a good thought comes to you in the morning, a bad one - at noon, and again a bad thought in the evening. Or a bad thought comes to you in the morning, a good one - at noon, and a medium one in the evening. You will see how many thoughts will come to mind for a week and you will note them down in a notebook three times a day. Thus you will have statistics of the doubt for a week.
You have now only entered a Teaching. You have to study Nature from now on, which is a book sealed by seven seals for you. You have to study it from now on. You wait to go to the angels in Heaven, to play the guitars for you. In Heaven, [in order] to listen to a choir, you have to understand the music and to take part in the singing; you cannot be just a listener. It is like this on the earth as well: one has to actively [eagerly] participate according to the level of one’s development. Somebody says that it’s not the right time as yet. Time for everybody has come. The time for everybody to become perfect and omnipotent has not come, but time for everybody to be good and intelligent has come. You say that you have money. Each one of you has to apply the Good as an internal Power; this is a job that one has to keep doing all the time. The Good is progressive. You will do what you can accomplish [do].
Then read the Proverbs once again. Knowledge is needed. One cannot serve God and implement His Will without knowledge and without Good.
The Lord’s Prayer
Lecture delivered by the Master on 2 June 1932, 16.00h, Sofia, Izgreva
1 Chorbdjia – a wealthy man, master