There is one thing you have to learn, my dear brothers and sisters, and that is not to be in a hurry. Instead of waiting impatiently for these few minutes of meditation to end, you must learn to remain in silence for longer and longer. I have often told you that the thing that causes your brain to seize up and prevents the full flowering of your spiritual faculties is this deplorable habit you have of always being in a hurry. Of course, I do not deny that rapidity, activity, and dynamic energy are very desirable qualities, but you must not concentrate on them to the exclusion of others which, on the contrary, have to be developed through patience and greater inwardness and receptivity. When you achieve this inner state of peace and harmony, you will sense that forces, powers, and entities are beginning to work within you, and what they accomplish is so prodigious that most of it cannot be seen or understood; it surpasses all imagination. Of course, this reality has many different degrees, but even if what you experience is no more than the first, the lowest degree, you can already sense that an unknown, inner force is beginning to forge something within you, and if only for a few minutes, you rise above the commotion and worries that restrict you and enter into that 'secret place' that Jesus talks about.
It is important to understand these two aspects within every human being: the mortal being, who is subject to so many limitations, and the immortal, eternal being, who is free of all limitations. One of these aspects has to retreat and diminish so that the other may grow and flourish. This is exactly what St. John the Baptist said with reference to Jesus: 'He must increase but I must decrease.' Yes, these words are symbolic. When you are here in the Brotherhood, you must detach yourselves from the habits of your everyday life. What is all the hurry about? You have not got to go and type letters in an office, or collect taxes, or plead a case in court, so why not tell yourselves that for a little while at least you are finally going to come face to face with eternity, with the sun, with nature, with a multitude of luminous beings—face to face with yourself. Those who manage to change their attitude will, at last, feel divine forces awakening and dwelling within them in order to transform them.
Many people have told me, 'I want to concentrate, I want to pray, but I can never do it.' They do not see that they fail because they set about it the wrong way; they are too tense. They keep thinking that they have not got much time because they have so many other things to do. In these conditions concentration is impossible. There is an obstacle in their unconscious or subconscious mind, some element in their habits, that prevents them from meditating, and it is worth looking into this and trying to analyse it. I know that they will object that it is life that dictates the situation, that when you have to work and provide for others you cannot waste time. Yet if they could get into the habit of not being in a hurry—if only for half an hour or an hour a day—they would soon see that everything would go ten times, a hundred times better once they got back to work.
There is a time and a place for everything. While you meditate you must not think of anything else; there will always be time to take care of other things afterwards. But what usually happens is this: while you are here listening to a lecture or praying and meditating, in reality you are somewhere else. And when you are somewhere else, instead of concentrating on what you are doing you think, 'I should be meditating or praying.' This is why nothing really works. It is not while you are preparing a meal, washing the dishes, or driving the car that you should be thinking about meditating. You must be present at what you are doing at each moment, for there is a right time for everything. Otherwise, there will never be time for anything; your mind will always be somewhere else. How true this is. When you are here you are still at home—or goodness knows where—and when you are somewhere else, you are here. Finally, you are never wholly anywhere, and that is very bad.
How many bad habits still need to be corrected. Yes, very, very bad habits. The first thing you have to learn in our teaching is just this, to correct your bad habits. Once you have done this you can go much further and much faster. You will say that now that I have explained it, you understand. Perhaps, but I think that without any explanations at all, simply by sitting in silence, you would have understood better still. Believe me, if you were not always so engrossed elsewhere, you would understand a million times more from that silence than from my explanations.
Words are not really so important. It is because you have not managed to establish close contact with heaven that you need words. The day you truly know how to meditate and contemplate the splendours of heaven, I shall continue to speak to you, but in silence. Already, during our moments of silence, I continually talk to you, but what I tell you is of a different nature; it belongs to a different dimension. Does this astonish you? Even during the night I continue to speak to you. In fact, this is why you sometimes experience a sudden illumination; it comes from something you have heard during the night several months or even years before, and it is beginning at last to filter through into your brain.
You will perhaps ask, 'But why does it all take so long? It is very discouraging.' It does take a long time, that is true. It is the same for everybody. A great deal of patient, persevering work is necessary before human beings finally begin to understand. But think how many billions of years it takes for stones to become plants; how many millions of years it takes for plants to become animals; and how many millions more for animals to become human beings. Of course, as you go up the scale from one kingdom of nature to the next, the tempo increases. Stones need a stupendous amount of time; plants need a little less; animals need less still—and even less time is needed for human beings to become superhumans or angels. This is because, with each step upwards, the potential is greater. But even so, even if human beings evolve more rapidly, it still takes them hundreds of thousands of years to reach the level of evolution of the angels.
There, that was just a few remarks about the attitude you should have while you are here. It is always one's attitude that needs to be improved. A few minutes ago I mentioned the 'secret place' that Jesus spoke about. This is a magnificent and very profound symbol, and it was certainly known long before Jesus. Every initiate knows that one has to enter this place in order to pray, for if your prayer does not come from there, heaven cannot hear it. Why not? Well, it is as though you were out in the street and you wanted to talk to a friend in another town: you can only do so by going into a telephone booth and dialling his number, and then the telephone will put you in touch with your friend. If you like, you can stay in the street and shout and scream for all you are worth, but your friend will not hear you. Similarly, if you want heaven to hear you, you must go into that secret place that Jesus talked about, for it is equipped with a 'telephone' by means of which you can communicate with the higher worlds. Then there is another similarity: when you go into a telephone booth in a busy street, you close the door because you need silence in order to hear and be heard. This secret place must also be quiet; no inner work can take place in the midst of noise.
It is important to understand that you have this secret, silent place within you and that you must go in and shut the door firmly behind you. To shut the door means to shut out all other thoughts and desires, otherwise they will interfere with your communication with heaven and you will not get an answer. It is only if you are in this secret chamber that your call can go through correctly, that you can hear and be heard, that you can ask heaven for something and get an answer. If heaven's answer does not come through clearly, it is because you have forgotten to close the door. The secret place, therefore, is linked to the idea of silence, of secrecy. You must not let anyone else hear what you say, how you say it, or to whom you say it. Naturally, you cannot always be sure that someone will not see that you are praying, but the less obvious it is the better. The Gospels speak of the Pharisee who prayed ostentatiously in the Temple, and this is a good example of the exact opposite of the secret place.
You could say that this secret place is the heart, the silence of the heart. If you are still unable to attain true silence it means that you have not succeeded in reaching this room. There are so many 'rooms' in man, and very few human beings have ever discovered which of them is the one that loves silence. Most people stray into other rooms and try to pray in them, but as those rooms are not equipped with the proper instruments, heaven cannot hear their thoughts and prayers. If you want your prayer to be heard, you have to respect certain conditions.
Why, for example, did the initiates of the past teach people to join their hands when they prayed? The gesture is symbolic. True prayer is a joining of the two principles, heart and intellect. If your heart is alone in what it asks for and your intellect refuses to join in, your prayer will not be heard. If you want your prayer to be heard, it must come from both heart and intellect, from both thought and feelings; that is, from the masculine and feminine principles. We have all seen innumerable paintings that show people—even children—with their hands joined in prayer, but people have never understood the profound significance of this gesture. I am not saying that you must necessarily join your hands physically when you pray, for it is not the physical gesture that counts; it is the inner attitude that is important. It is the soul and the spirit, the heart and the intellect that have to be joined, for this is the union that gives prayer its power and enables you to project something truly potent. You give and receive at the same time; you are both active and receptive.
Christians still have a great many misconceptions about prayer. They imagine that what counts are the words they use. No, words often fall short of the mark; they never manage to get up to heaven. A person may recite words, but he is not really praying if nothing vibrates within him. Of course, as I have often told you, it is important for the realization of your prayer to put it into words. Yes, but your words will be effective only if your desire and your thought are already powerful on the spiritual plane. Then your words will act as a signature which releases the higher forces and sets them in motion.
If you want to awaken sentiments of love for God in yourself, for instance, you can do so simply through the strength of your desire. In this case words are unnecessary, because feelings are a purely psychic reality. If you want to obtain something on the physical, material plane, on the other hand, the spoken word is necessary, but even so, it is the intensity of your thoughts and feelings that is the essence of prayer. Without that intensity, you could recite words for hours on end, but you would not get any results; your prayer would not be answered. As a matter of fact, it is possible to feel whether a prayer has been heard or not. There are days when you experience such a sense of strength and fulfilment that you know that heaven has heard you at last. This does not mean that you will see immediate results on the physical plane. No, the realization will not be immediate, but your prayer has been heard, your request has been noted. And that is what counts: to know that your prayer has been heard.
Everything depends on the intensity of your prayer, therefore, and this intensity is linked to the ability to disengage your thoughts and feelings from every preoccupation that is foreign to your prayer. This is why you have to learn to leave everything else to one side and immerse yourself in intense spiritual work. Only on this condition will heaven answer your prayer.
But I know what you are thinking. You are wondering whether I, who teach you these things, receive what I ask for in my prayers. Yes, I get what I ask for because my requests are more unlike yours than you could possibly imagine. My requests are always granted. Perhaps you are also wondering why, since heaven always gives me what I ask for, I do not ask for a lot of money, for instance. I will tell you: because it is not worth asking for. What are a few billion dollars? If I shared them out among you, none of you would get very much. No, no, you cannot begin to imagine what I ask for. And, as I say, my requests are always granted. I am always astonished to see the kind of requests human beings pester heaven with. How can they waste their time on such nonsense? I assure you, it really is a waste of time—and all for what? The day I saw that there was only one booth in heaven without a queue of people waiting in front of it, I decided that that was the place for me. Nobody else wants to hand in their requests at that booth, so that is where you will find me every day. More and more often, in fact.
Now it is up to you to discover what I ask for. In any case, I can tell you that it is neither houses, nor money, nor worldly glory, nor a wife and children. This is why my prayer is always heard. Yes, always, without exception. Since what I ask for is not for myself, I receive it at once. If you ask for something for yourself, you will be told, 'You will have to wait. We have to study your file. Where are you from? What is your father's name? Do you think you deserve what you are asking for?' and so on and so forth; there is no end to the questions. Whereas I am given what I ask for immediately. You will say, 'But you possess no more now than you have ever had.' Exactly, because possessions are not what I ask for. And I am not going to tell you what I do ask for; all that takes place in my 'secret chamber'. It is none of your business. It is my secret.
You must never tell anyone what you ask for, but if your request is the same as mine, it too will be granted immediately, because it is no longer a question of knowing whether you deserve it or not; it is not a question of merit or superiority. The only consideration is the nature of your request. Even if it were made by a child or a drunkard, it would be granted. You will say, 'But does this mean that all our prayers are granted?' Yes, if your prayer is sincere, intense, and disinterested, it will be granted, but it will be granted progressively. It is an ongoing process which expands and develops with time, for you are asking for something that cannot be achieved in a day. So the seed is sown and begins to grow; the ultimate fulfilment of your prayer is already assured, but it takes time for it to be complete. It takes time for a seed to reach the stature of a tree, but as soon as it germinates and begins to grow, it means that your prayer is answered. If you ask for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, you cannot expect it to materialize the same day. The kingdom of God is a gigantic tree; it is impossible for it to reach its full stature all at once. But it is planted. The seed is planted, and the tree is growing. 'But I cannot see it.' you complain. No, if you are short-sighted, of course you cannot expect to see it. But I can see it, and I assure you, it is growing.
When I say that my prayers are always answered, it is not because I think that I am such an exalted being that the whole of heaven is at my elbow, ready and waiting to serve me. Not at all. As I have already said, if your prayer is the same as mine, whoever you may be, it will be granted immediately, because there is a special reception desk, a special department in heaven, to deal with requests of this kind. And as God himself has decreed that those who ask for such things shall be given what they ask for, nobody questions you about who you are or where you come from. They do not even ask the permission of the Twenty-four Elders before granting your request, for this kind of thing is no longer within the jurisdiction of the Twenty-four Elders. It has to be referred to a higher authority, one that is very close to God; and this authority is love. The Twenty-four Elders are the Lords of destiny, and their mission is to apply the laws of justice. But a prayer for the establishment of the kingdom of God does not come within their jurisdiction; it is beyond the reach of the laws of karma, the laws of justice. There is no cause for astonishment in this. If you are capable of making such a request, it means that you have risen above the regions ruled by the laws of karma and that they have no more power over you.
There you are then, the one prayer that is so sublime that heaven is always ready to grant it is the prayer for the establishment of the kingdom of God. 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,' said Jesus, and not only will the kingdom of God come, but in addition, 'all these things shall be added to you.' Yes, if you are generous enough to ask for nothing for yourself, you will be given something more; you will be given all you need. Since you are not thinking of your own interest, others will think of it for you. Not only will your prayer for the collectivity, for the whole of humanity be granted, but you yourself will not be forgotten. This is the law decreed by God himself. The more people there are in the world who ask for this, the better it will be; the kingdom of God will come all the sooner and all the more effectively. What else can I say? Ask for the coming of the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
You will say, 'All right, so this is what you ask for, the kingdom of God, and you say that your prayer is always granted, but there is no sign of it.' Well, that is where you are wrong. I think that my prayer is answered, and if you do not think so too, it is because you do not know how these things work. The kingdom of God cannot be established on the physical plane until it exists on the intellectual plane, on the plane of thought. From there it has to descend to the heart, the level of feelings, and finally to the level of actions. This is the path that has to be followed before the kingdom of God can become a tangible reality. First and foremost, it has to reign in our ideas, our thoughts, and it is on that level that I can already see it. It is beginning. We are not the only ones who think and feel as we do; thousands of people in the world—many more than you imagine—share our ideas and desires. The kingdom of God is already finding its way into the minds and hearts, and even into the behaviour, the way of life, of many; for the kingdom of God is an attitude, a state of consciousness, and a way of living and working.
Of course, the kingdom of God has not yet come for the whole of humanity, but it will, for it is contagious. This is what Jesus was saying in the parable about the leaven in the dough. Alchemists say that if all the oceans of the world were molten metal they would need only a few grams of the powder they call the philosophers' stone to turn it all into gold. Yes, because there are rules, apparently, for increasing the power of that powder. But human beings too can be a leaven in the mass. If we are truly a spiritual leaven, the whole of humanity will be influenced simply by our presence, by contact with us. It depends on the intensity of our light, the intensity of our love, and the strength of the life we live. But in order to achieve this, of course, we need a teaching, a system, and methods. This is the crux of the matter: we must learn to live a new life with a new understanding based on and nourished by a new, intense love. In this new life everything becomes easier; everything can be brought into harmony, and we can become a beneficial, constructive factor for the whole of humanity.
There, I shall now wish you all a very good morning... and remember, never be in a hurry when you are here. It is not worth coming here if you are always tense and restless. Before coming here, organize your affairs so as not to be in a hurry. In this way you will get a great deal more out of your stay and will be the happiest of men and women.
The most important aspect of all your activities is your motive, your goal, the reason why you do things. So much the better if what you do makes you rich and respectable, but that is not what really matters. You may not seem to be doing anything very significant by coming to the Brotherhood, for instance, but every time you come here with the desire to reinforce and spread the ideal of the Universal White Brotherhood, you gain elements that will enhance your future, your evolution, your body of glory. So this is an activity that changes your whole destiny. Blessed are those who understand this truth. You may go for years without seeing the results, but one fine day you will sense that blessings are pouring in on you from all directions.
Human beings treat you according to what they see, but heaven sees your motives, and it rewards or punishes you accordingly. You must look to heaven, therefore, to reward you for coming here to promote the idea of brotherhood. What do you think my reasons are for giving these lectures and meetings? Money? Prestige? Anyone else in my position would have given up in despair a long time ago when he saw the negligible results. Human beings are so fascinated by spectacular achievements in the material dimension that any attempt to get them to dedicate themselves to an idea is bound to fail. They say: 'An idea? What is the good of an idea? That is idiotic. Stupid. I cannot waste time on ideas. I know that some poor wretches in the past lived for an idea, an illusion, but I also know how they ended up, and I have no intention of imitating them.'
Everybody wants a solid, reputable occupation, but there is no divine idea behind that occupation; only money, the belly, sex. Of course, they may be successful, but one day they will see how little all that is worth. When they get to the other side they will be shown their brilliant 'successes'. For my part, I shall continue to repeat the same things, to tell you over and over again that you must come here for the sake of an idea and, like the vestal virgins, tend the sacred flame so that it may never be extinguished in the world; so that the Universal White Brotherhood may be established in the hearts and souls of all men; so that this new understanding may prevail. True, this will not swell your bank accounts, but it will fill you with something called hope and enthusiasm, something called love and light.
Make the effort to look into the depths of your own being and you will see what great riches exist there. Every time you come here to sing and pray and meditate, your wealth increases. And for my part, I go home after every meeting full of happiness and gratitude towards heaven, thinking to myself, `Ah, they were all there again today, as faithful as ever. Yet another beautiful day for the glory of God. The fire is still burning; we must continue to sustain, guard, and feed it.' As I have so often told you, we must never forget that we are not alone. Thousands and thousands of invisible beings are with us, taking part in our work and sending waves and currents into the minds of all the men and women who are capable of receiving them. And what fantastic power these waves have. They form a tremendous whirlwind that rises over our heads and streams out in all directions. We are working to awaken the consciousness of untold numbers of people we have never even heard of. Whether you believe it or not, I know that we have already influenced thousands of beings whom we shall never know and who, in turn, will never know where these currents came from. And we must persevere. One day, thousands of people will come and join us and find in this work the reason for their existence on earth. For it is this work that is our true nourishment; no other activity can give us the same fulfilment. So go ahead. Never give up. Other activities will captivate you and make you happy for a brief moment, and then the very next moment you will feel that something is missing. You will find true fulfilment only in this work with love and light, only in the work of spreading love and light throughout the world.
Yes, that is what is important: an idea, to work for an idea. Many young people are idealistic, but they do not know what direction to give to their lives because adults have never shown them the way. On the contrary, they tell them, 'You have to look out for yourself in this world.' by which they mean, 'You must be what the world calls "a success" You must make money.' You will never hear them advising a young person to• work for an idea, a divine idea.
An idea... Yes, meditate on this question. You will say, 'Oh, I see that I shall have to read Plato.' No, that is not necessary; you can understand what an idea is without reading Plato. An idea is a creature, a living being from a very high plane, from the higher world of thought, that comes to work in you and on you. If you sustain and nourish an idea, it will gradually fashion and form you until, one day, you yourself reflect the world of ideas, which is the world of archetypes, the divine world. The great advantage of working for a divine idea is that it contains in itself the power to model and perfect you so that, one day, you become a citizen of its world, of that world in which the inhabitants are called ideas. So we must work for an idea, because it links us to the world above. If there are no ideas working within you like a swarm of bees to bring you their blessings, it means that you are deprived of all that is best.
Of course, as long as you consider ideas to be unproductive, inert abstractions, they will do you no good. This is why it is so important to know what an idea is and how to work for one. Each idea is a living creature, a being of great intelligence and beauty, endowed with clearly defined properties. When you work for a particular idea, it exerts an influence on you and shares all it possesses with you. This is the magical aspect of it, and it means that in spite of your ignorance, in spite of all your weaknesses and imperfections, if you cling to just one idea that belongs to the higher world of light, it will introduce you to all its friends and put you in touch with other beings and other regions. It will bring you heaven itself. This one idea of the kingdom of God puts you in touch with all the kindred ideas that vibrate in harmony with it, so that you end by having everything else as well. This is why Jesus said, 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.' Between the beginning and the end of this sentence is a vast area that needs to be explored.
This, then, is one of the most important truths of initiatic science: a single, limited idea can bring you wealth greater than that which it possesses in itself, because it is connected and in harmony with a whole network of kindred ideas. Little by little, these other ideas get to know you, as it were, and as each one possesses some land here or a house there, symbolically speaking, all their treasures become yours—thanks to just one idea. In the higher world, everything is connected, nothing exists in isolation, and you only have to be in touch with one idea from that world to be in touch immediately with all the others. As long as you make friends with one idea, as long as you love and nurture that one and try to draw it to you, it will be your link to all the others, and they too will give you their treasures. As I say, there is a vast empty space between the beginning of this sentence: 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,' and the end: 'and all these things shall be added to you.' And today I can fill this empty space for you.
What I am explaining to you today is not spelled out explicitly in the Gospels. They say that 'all these things shall be added to you,' but they do not explain that this promise will be fulfilled, not only because there is a special affinity, a magical, magnetic bond between one sublime idea and all other similar ideas, but also because every idea has its representatives here on earth who know you. This is why you will be given all the rest. There would be no sense in it otherwise. Why, when you ask for one thing, should you be given everything else? If people do not understand this truth, it is because they have asked for money, for instance, and that is all they have been given. And how paltry that is. They have not been given intelligence, health, happiness, beauty, or goodness. You will say that if you are rich you can buy anything you want, but I do not agree. True, your wealth can bring you many things, but they will be things such as anxiety and distress. Above all it will attract thieves who will come and rob and even murder you to get their hands on that wealth. Even if you ask for knowledge or beauty, they will not bring you all the rest. In fact if you are very beautiful, your beauty can well lead to tragedy, of which you will be the principal victim. 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.' This promise is so vast, so sweeping, that at first sight it seemed to you that it could not be true, but now you understand it.
Now let us stay together in silence for a few minutes while we thank heaven for the gift of this Christmas Day spent in the midst of harmony, music, and an ambience of brotherhood. So many terrible things could happen to us, but we are allowed to be here, safe and well, to rejoice with all the brothers and sisters. How wonderful to be all together. When I get home, I shall continue to thank heaven, to say, 'Thank you Lord for another splendid day recorded in the book of life, another day that has brought us closer to you, for we have been gathered together for the sake of your name and your glory, to feed the flame and bring light to the hearts and souls of all our brothers and sisters.' What could be more marvellous than to live one's life in a spirit of gratitude with a song of praise on one's lips? But even when I say this, you do not believe me. You are so used to the burden of all your cares that if the weight is removed from your shoulders for just one day, you say that something must be wrong, that it is not normal.
This reminds me of a friend I had when I was young, in Bulgaria. He belonged to a group of anarchists, and all his comrades had been shot. He himself was being hunted and was obliged to go into hiding. At the time, I was living near Ternovo with some friends who were also disciples of the Master Peter Deunov. Our house was some distance from the town and was surrounded by vineyards, and we spent our days working and meditating. One day we saw this young boy coming towards us, obviously hungry and very frightened. We gave him something to eat, and little by little, seeing that he could trust us, he began to tell us about himself. He stayed with us for several days, and we had some long conversations together. He found our philosophy astonishing and deeply moving, and he soon began to understand that the state of the world could not be improved by anarchy. Before long he was in a much better frame of mind, for in his heart he was not a bad man; on the contrary, he had great integrity. It was just that he was revolted by injustice, and circumstances had made an anarchist of him. Deep down he was full of love, and this showed in his later behaviour.
So this young man decided to change his way of life and join the Brotherhood. I told him, 'If you really try, if you form a bond with this Brotherhood, the authorities will forget about you; you will be the only one of your group to escape death, and everything will change for you.' He believed me; his whole life was transformed and he became one of the best brothers in the Bulgarian Brotherhood. His name was Dimitri Zvesdinsky. He was extraordinarily kind, generous, humble, and loyal, and we had great affection for each other. But Dimitri was so used to going in fear and trembling for his life, he was so used to being in hiding, to never having enough sleep or enough to eat, that when he first knew what it was to be safe from pursuit and torment, when he began to see that people liked him and smiled at him, it was almost worse than before. He could not get over it, could not understand what was happening to him; it was as though he missed his past distress. And you are the same; you are all a little like Dimitti in this: you are not accustomed to living in peace. If your cares leave you, you call them back: 'My dear old cares and worries, please come back to me; I feel even worse without you.' And back they come. So, as I say, let us stay together for a few minutes in silence and peace while we thank heaven because we are well and happy and surrounded by friends, and above all, because we have this teaching, this magnificent ideal. A few minutes of silent meditation.
And now let me say again that what matters most is the ambience: the warm, fraternal, vital climate of harmony that reigns here. Whether or not you acquire anything significant here in the way of knowledge is secondary; it is the ambience that really matters. This is why all my science consists in seeking ways of creating this indispensable ambience of harmony which is so nourishing. Well, I do not know whether you manage to nourish yourselves on it or not, but I can assure you that I do. Henceforth, you must pay much more attention to creating this ambience, for it is this that gives us joy, prolongs our life, and makes us happy.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, Sevres, December 25, 1964
Every day, two, three, four times a day, we gather to meditate, pray, and sing together. How wonderful these moments are; they are the most wonderful moments in our lives. There is just one thing that prevents them from being perfect, and that is that all these vital energies and impulses lack a specific destination; there is no address on them. How can a letter reach the person you are writing to if you forget to address the envelope? You have to write the address, and then, if you lose your letter on the way to the post, someone will find it and post it for you, and it will reach its destination. Similarly, the spiritual energies emanating from the Brotherhood must be addressed. They must be given a specific destination, otherwise they will lose themselves in the great cosmic reservoir and fail to produce any significant results. You have to give a specific orientation to your activities, work towards a specific goal, and this is something that very few people manage to do. Everybody is active on the intellectual, emotional, or physical plane, but their activity is dissipated and incoherent; it is not directed towards a single goal, and this is why it is not very effective. There is only one way to achieve results, and that is by concentration. Take a sheet of paper and a magnifying glass and concentrate the sun's rays through the glass on to one spot on the paper, and within seconds it will burst into flames. Without the magnifying glass you can leave your sheet of paper in the sun for years, and it will never burst into flames. The great secret is concentration. This is why, when we are meditating together, we must concentrate our thoughts and all our energies on one point, one centre, one goal. A goal can be either individual or collective, but ideally it should be both at the same time. If the two are combined wisely and in the right proportions, they will be congenial, necessary, and indispensable to each other.
You have to take care of your own problems and those of the collectivity at the same time. If you think only of the collectivity and neglect your own problems, you yourself will suffer and deteriorate; and if you think of nobody but yourself, you will be in direct conflict with the collectivity. When you forget that you are a tiny part of a whole, with which you must maintain a reasonable and harmonious balance of give and take, everything begins to go wrong; you feel hemmed in on all sides and you wonder why. Why? Simply because you have forgotten that you are an integral part of the cosmos and should vibrate in unison with it. True wisdom counsels us, therefore, to reconcile the two; oneself and others. The problem is to find the right proportions: how much should be given to Caesar and how much to God. Actually, as I have already explained to you, the answer is clear. If you burn a log of wood, you will see that three-quarters of its substance disappears into the world above, while one-quarter remains on the ground1. So, three-quarters should be for the collectivity, for immensity, and one-quarter for self. If you do the opposite and take three-quarters for yourself and give only a quarter to the Lord, you will be in direct conflict with the calculations of heavenly mathematics.
1 See Complete Works, vol. 11, chap. 14.
But this is not really what I wanted to talk about today. I just wanted to throw a little light on the question of what you should be doing when we gather to meditate together for the good of this great collectivity, for the whole of mankind. If you study yourselves and do some experiments of your own, you will realize that nothing can compare with the beauty and splendour of the activity in which the Universal White Brotherhood invites you to participate: the concentration of all your thoughts on the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Everything else pales beside this.
This ideal, this fundamental thought which should be at the heart of our preoccupations, is capable of producing phenomena of indescribable power, particularly if there are a great many of us and we all direct our thoughts toward the same goal. Today, we see more and more evidence of men's bloated personalities manifesting themselves in ambition, pride, and vanity. Where can we find the reason and intelligence needed to restore the balance? The world today needs order and harmony. That is what the kingdom of God is. The kingdom of God embodies all the essential qualities: light, intelligence, wisdom, gentleness, humility, kindness, and, above all, harmony. In other words the kingdom of God means a way of life that is extremely beneficial to all, and we should wish with all our strength for it to come.
Compared to all those who wish for disorder and chaos, there are very few who wish for the coming of the kingdom of God. If we want to counterbalance all these unrestrained passions effectively, we must bear with sufficient weight on the other side of the scales. This is why the most glorious activity, the most glorious and most worthwhile work a disciple can do is to dedicate all his time and energy to asking for the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And, as the Gospels tell us, 'all the rest shall be added to you.' All the rest—yes, but what else is there once you have the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God includes and embraces everything anyone could wish for, and I sometimes wonder why Jesus said, 'All the rest shall be added to you.' He was probably speaking to all those ignorant people who know nothing of the glory and wealth implied by the words 'the kingdom of God'. When people do not understand that when you have the kingdom of God you have everything you need, they have to be encouraged with promises of all the rest—a shack, blankets, shoes, and socks. It was for the sake of such people that Jesus said this, but in the higher world the precept is rather different. It says, 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and you will not need anything else.' Yes, to my mind, this is the authentic version. If you do not believe me, you can go and find out for yourselves, and you will see how the Gospels were first conceived and how they were given to men.
The most necessary and most glorious work heaven asks of us is our participation in the realization of the kingdom of God. When we are here together, instead of being distracted and letting your minds wander everywhere and nowhere, keep bringing them back to this one goal: the kingdom of God and his righteousness. As we are very numerous and we meet frequently, the forces and energies that we emanate are recorded and registered on high and collected in the divine reservoirs—and we can be sure of getting results. When? Ah, that is not our business. The kingdom of God will come, that I can assure you; the golden age will come. In fact astrologers have calculated these things and are now saying what I already said years ago: that the golden age will be here by the end of the century.
Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, we gather together not to ask for money, a man or a woman, a house or a car; we gather together in order to bring about the kingdom of God on earth. And if our thoughts and prayers fail to bring it about, they will return to us, and the kingdom of God will be established within us. If it is not realized on earth, it will at least be realized within us, because we shall have worked for it. So we never stand to lose anything by wishing and praying for such a magnificent realization, for even if others refuse it, it will be given to us.
The important thing, therefore, is always to direct your spiritual work to a specific goal, to tell yourself, 'My meditation, or prayer, or reflection is for such and such a reason.' Yes, be sure to indicate a reason, a purpose, so that all those forces will not drift away and be lost. In this way your thoughts will become obedient; they will be really and truly at your service. It is difficult to tame the faculty of thought and make it obey you; it is like an unbroken horse. In Hindu literature one often reads the lament of yogis: 'Oh Indra, how difficult it is to subdue thought. As soon try to make a rope of sand or to capture the wind.' But if you persevere and practise every day, you will end by making your thoughts docile, obedient, and compliant.
This is the significance of our daily exercises of meditation, and it is a magnificent work. You must never think that we spend too much time on it; on the contrary, those who become accustomed to meditation never want it to end. They feel so much at ease that they would like it to go on indefinitely. So now let us try all together, for just a few minutes, to concentrate on the kingdom of God. We want the kingdom of God and his righteousness. We ask, and clamour, and pray for the coming of the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Together we shall send out a prodigious, collective force which will do its work in the world. A few minutes of silent meditation.
That was magnificent. We were surrounded by entities of the invisible world; I could hear them saying, `Ah, if only there were servants of light in every corner of the world who could project their thoughts in the same direction, the face of the earth would be changed.' I assure you, that is what they were saying.
At the moment, of course, there are only a few scattered handfuls of men and women doing this work, so it cannot achieve very much. But that will not prevent us from persevering in the hope that many other minds will respond to our call and begin to vibrate on the same wavelength, for true evolution leads to the collectivity. Those who flourish in the collectivity evolve wonderfully. The others, those who feel unhappy and oppressed in the collectivity and want to evolve alone on the intellectual level, through reading and scholarship, show that they are governed only by their personality. But this is not the right kind of evolution. We have to love the collectivity, love to feel ourselves immersed in it as in an ocean in which every soul vibrates as one. Yes, you still need to evolve a good deal. Sooner or later you are going to have to overcome and subordinate certain personal tendencies. You are going to have to strip yourselves so as to be capable, at last, of saying, 'I am a collective being: I am no longer a caterpillar; I have become a butterfly.' Then you will be free to leave the earth and travel to other planets, to other stars.
This is the evolution to which I invite you. Human beings have already developed the individual and personal dimensions sufficiently; they feel more at ease when they are absorbed in their own affairs. Many people have confessed to me that they avoid the company of others because they are unable to put up with their own weaknesses when they are with others; whereas when they are alone, it is not so difficult.
Of course, I also know that many people like working with the collectivity because they want to command, judge, and criticize others without abandoning their own personal tendencies—on the contrary, they seek to impose them on others. There are very few who are ready to immerse themselves in the collectivity and make sacrifices for it in a spirit of true selflessness. Some people like to work with the collectivity in order to play at being the boss, but that does not mean that they are capable of living in a collectivity. On the contrary, although they want to impose their own views, they are often incapable of doing so. For example, a young man may want to dominate the world, but then he has a child that is unruly and disobedient, and he is quite incapable of controlling it. Or he wants to have a love affair with every girl he meets, and yet he is already tearing his hair out in frustration over just one.
If you analyse yourselves, can you honestly say that you would be satisfied if you got what you asked for? You would not. This is why you should embrace this teaching as your last, best hope. You should tell yourselves, 'With this teaching I can have everything: I can learn self-mastery, I can become intelligent... everything.' Once you have accepted this teaching, you will be in a position to direct all your energies towards the same goal, and your life will become extraordinarily full, rich, and useful instead of being continually scattered and wasted. I know that this is very difficult. Human beings are not in the habit of mobilizing all their energies in the pursuit of a single goal. Their heads are filled with an untidy jumble of too many different things. But the magic of true power consists in having one goal, one idea, one ideal, and concentrating all one's energies on that ideal. Your energies are like a huge army of millions and millions of soldiers that can be sent out to do battle and come back victorious, their mission successfully accomplished. But human beings go through life without realizing that they have this immense army at their command.
So, keep trying. Work steadfastly for years and years in the same direction, in the direction of light, of the kingdom of God, until all the soldiers in your subconscious, your consciousness, and your superconsciousness fall into line and join forces to help you. Then your army will be so numerous that all the old fortresses will crumble away. Can you not sense the truth of what I am saying? It is true from every point of view—technical, strategic, magic, and cosmic. Even God, all-powerful though he is, is obliged to restrict himself, to concentrate. In order to prevent the energies of the cosmos from being dispersed, he condensed them, and the universe came into being. When he wants it to disintegrate again, he will work with opposite laws, and the whole thing will return to nothingness. If God works with these laws, why should we not do the same when we want to create something? As long as we continue to scatter our energies in all directions, we shall never get results.
You must remember what I have told you today: adopt an idea, an ideal, a goal, a direction, a thought, a god. That is all you need. If you have that, nothing will withstand you; all resistance will melt in the heat of divine fire. The kingdom of God needs workers. I have been talking and calling for help for years and years, but there are very few volunteers because everybody scatters their energies in pursuit of frivolous, futile goals. Ah, if only I could get everybody to work in the same direction, we should soon change the face of the earth. But where are the human beings who are ready to do this? Even you who are listening to me are somewhere else. Even while I am talking to you, you are thinking, 'I must get back home, I am sure I left the gas on... I have to pay my taxes... I must not keep my fiancée waiting... I have not got a thing to put on, I must buy a new dress. ..'You only pretend to listen to what I am saying.
The most important and most glorious activity a disciple can undertake is to bring all the powers of his intellect, heart, and will to converge toward the coming of the kingdom of God on earth. Unfortunately, there are not many candidates for this work. Everybody has their own goals, their own ambitions, and the kingdom of God is neglected. This is why it is so important that here in the Brotherhood we should form a vital, potent core working for the realization of the kingdom of God and his righteousness, for that realization embraces everything else. Once we have the whole, it is not necessary to ask for minor details. Besides, an entire lifetime is not enough to obtain even one small detail—and the kingdom of God contains everything.
If we ask consciously for the kingdom of God and his righteousness when we are together, we shall be influencing other minds and souls. One day, when the children of light are all together, united in the same thought and with the same goal, they will tip the balance in their favour and gain the final victory over all those who ask only for destruction and chaos. You will ask, 'But why does heaven not decide to intervene and change the world?' It could do so, of course, but if it were done without the consent and willing collaboration of human beings, they would be no better off, for they would neither understand nor appreciate heaven's handiwork. They would only destroy everything all over again. But if the will to change comes from them, if all they have suffered and all the hard lessons they have had to learn make them sincerely want to improve the situation, the rest will follow automatically. Then the invisible world will release other forces, other currents and energies, and everything will be changed. But the impulse must come from human beings. They must decide to work together to secure the intervention of cosmic forces. They will get nothing if they do not insist. The sublime intelligences of the higher world will never interfere in human affairs for their own pleasure. It is up to human beings to call on them to do so.
If, each time we are together, the brothers and sisters are animated by the desire to draw down these forces from heaven, then their prayers will be extraordinarily powerful. But they do not realize this. Each one brings his own personal problems with him—whether to marry, how to find a house, whether to change jobs, how to supplant a rival, and so on. Obviously, all these unrelated thoughts and desires can never be welded into a single force capable of triggering beneficial energies in the cosmos; they can only scatter and disintegrate without results. In ancient times, when initiates gathered together, it was always for a specific purpose. If there was a serious danger of famine for instance, they would conduct rites in which they concentrated all their thoughts and energies on influencing the growth of the crops, on producing an abundant harvest. As a matter of fact there are still tribes in Africa and America that continue to practise rites of this nature.
There is tremendous power in concentration. You all know that you can start a fire by concentrating the rays of the sun through a magnifying glass. It is even said that this was how Archimedes set fire to the Roman fleet that was laying siege to Syracuse: by concentrating the sun's rays. The initiates know these laws and apply them deliberately and to great effect on the spiritual plane. And when we meet together, it must also be in order to obtain worthwhile results; otherwise it would be stupid and pointless to meet. If we cannot put the forces produced by the collectivity to good use, we should do much better to stay at home. Why spend our lives doing something that is useless? Surely our intelligence is capable of finding methods that will get results? It certainly would be senseless to continue otherwise. My role in all this is to enlighten you and show the way, to guide you so that we may get the best possible results.
Henceforth, when you come up here to see the sun rise, concentrate on the kingdom of God, wish for the kingdom of God; nothing else, only that, for the kingdom of God is a state of perfection and total fulfilment. It embraces everything: health, wealth, beauty, order, freedom, peace, balance, harmony, happiness... everything. Rather than enumerating a long list of requests, it is far more 'economical' to ask for the kingdom of God, the synthesis of all blessings. People say, `Ah, if only I were rich.... If only I had power.... If only I were beautiful.'Yes, but these things are merely partial aspects of the attributes of the kingdom of God, and when you ask for only one aspect, you unbalance things.
The kingdom of God is, above all, a state of balance and harmony. This is why, once you begin to emphasize one aspect to the detriment of others, you are introducing the seeds of imbalance. Everything that our soul and spirit need, everything that our heart, mind, and physical body need is included in the realization of the kingdom of God. When we are all united in asking for the coming of God's kingdom, therefore, we are like rays of sunshine focused on one point, and everything becomes possible. We can even melt rocks.
I am speaking to you in this way today because of your singing—you sang with such harmony. When the brothers and sisters sing together, the mingling of their voices represents the fusion of the masculine and feminine principles in its most spiritual form. Fusion is a law of the universe: in every domain the two principles, masculine and feminine, must unite in order to create life. In choral singing this fusion takes place on a very high plane, in the world of the soul and spirit, and it produces results in the form of joy, peace, and fulfilment. This is why I tell you that when we sing we can accomplish a work of the purest white magic for the entire world.
The brothers and sisters must become increasingly aware of the great laws that govern the universe. They must work with ever greater ardour to free themselves from all earthly elements while they are singing so as to attain absolute purity, the purity that can make their whole being vibrate with such intensity that everything bursts into flame. Yes, flames and sparks of every colour streaming out into space. When you sing in this way, your vocal chords vibrate differently: they transmit other energies, and those energies unite on a higher level and give birth to celestial beings. God has given great powers to the human voice. It is this faculty more than any other that distinguishes man from the animals. Of course, animals can utter sounds; they possess a certain form of language, but it is not the same thing; they do not possess man's power of speech which is born of the union between the masculine and feminine principles2.
It is very important, therefore, to be aware of the magical power of song and to learn to sing with the conscious intention of emanating forces and energies of the utmost purity, so that they may join and fuse together on high and achieve divine results. There are days when I can feel everything stirring and vibrating as you sing, when you become like columns of flame. Unfortunately, such days are rare because you are still not fully conscious of the work you are doing, but once you begin to be conscious, we shall be capable of dispersing the clouds and all the negative elements in the world by our singing. Yes, because as reasonable beings, as children of God, we have every right to use these great laws for a good purpose.
As you see, I am leading you to realizations so beautiful and so glorious that many of you will, one day, shed tears of joy and awe at being allowed to participate. So far, you have always been weighed down by such a burden of cares, regret, or despair that you have never even suspected that these new possibilities of the spirit existed. There is only one condition for this to become possible, and it is that you trust me. You must not demand to understand fully before starting to put any of this into practice. It could well be centuries before you understand these things. You must be like children who trust their parents and do what they tell them. Children do not need all kinds of explanations in order to obey their parents. In fact, they would not understand the explanations if they were given them. Trust me, therefore. I will never ask you to do something wrong. I have to give an account of myself to the higher spirits who sent me here, and I am well aware of my responsibilities.
From now on, when you come here in the morning, try to push away any thoughts that have nothing to do with the kingdom of God. Concentrate on asking for the kingdom of God to come for the whole world, and if you do this, it will come for you too. Do not ask for it only for yourselves, otherwise the positive aspect of your prayer will be wasted. Your prayer must be impersonal. Its power and efficacy depend, in fact, on its being entirely impersonal. And yet, in reality, there is nothing more personal, for it is you yourself who will be the first to benefit from it. When you ask for the kingdom of God to come for the whole world, it begins by infiltrating into you.
In any case, as I have already said, prayers that are too personal are never answered very rapidly, for the entities on high are constantly besieged by a flood of such requests. They cannot keep up with the demand. But a prayer for the coming of the kingdom of God is such a rare event that they greet it with exclamations of joy and pass it on to the Creator at once, saying, 'Here is one at last.' and the excitement is beyond description. You will say that I am embroidering reality. No, this is nothing but the truth. The higher world is inundated by so many trivial requests from human beings, and when one of them finally decides to ask for the kingdom of God it is as though his prayer arrived by airmail special delivery, and it is processed immediately.
Our meetings must have only one aim, one orientation: the kingdom of God. We must be like a beam of many rays of light all converging on one spot in order to produce fantastic effects in the world. We may never see a trace of those effects from where we are, but in the etheric, astral, and mental worlds you may be sure that quantities of rubbish will be burned in a great bonfire, a great spring-cleaning. You do not believe me? No, but I know that all these possibilities exist. I remember them, for I have already known them in the past. Why should we not be capable of doing such extraordinary work again? Of course, before that is possible, we have to know the laws of the spiritual world, just as physicists have to know the laws of the physical world. In any case, physics is simply a manifestation on the physical plane of the laws of magic; magic is spiritual physics. And mathematics is a manifestation of the Cabbalah on a more material level. The same is true of chemistry and alchemy, or astronomy and astrology.
Physics is the material form or manifestation of magic. This is why we have to know the physical laws, for they are also the laws of magic. I am constantly explaining the principles of transcendental physics to you, but as I have never actually said that I was giving a course in physics, you have never realized it. One of the laws of the physics that we call white magic is that tremendous power is generated by concentrating the sun's rays on one spot. And the words of one of our songs remind us of this: 'Ni sme slanchevi lachi, We are the sun's rays.' And since we are the sun's rays, let us concentrate together so as to bum up all the impurities in the world; let us sing together, knowing what powerful effects our singing can have in other regions. With these songs we can elevate and dilate the hearts of human beings and stimulate them to rise to a higher level of evolution.
For years now you have been in a position to verify the truth of what I tell you. I have told you that each one of you possesses fantastic inner laboratories, in which, like chemical and physical engineers, you can conduct all kinds of experiments. For years, too, you have been conducting your own experiments—some of them highly successful and others less so, no doubt, but at least you have persevered with them—and they have shown you that there really is one science which can give us all the light and all the rules we need. And all this is good, for it is in this way that you advance and become richer. It only remains to thank heaven day and night for the privilege of having this teaching, of having so many elements of nature available to work for us. The heavens and the earth, the flowers, water and air, food, our own eyes and hands.., all these things are at our disposal and we can use them for the glory of God; for the tremendous work of light which must one day prevail in the world.
Blessed are those who understand me. While we are here we must ask collectively every day for the kingdom of God. Of course, we can also ask for it when we are alone, but when we pray alone our prayer can never be as effective as when we pray with the collectivity—unless, of course, we know other laws. If you are alone, you must realize that you will never produce anything worth while unless, by means of your thoughts, you join that immense collectivity of beings throughout the world who are working ceaselessly for the same end. If you remain alone, you will never achieve anything worth while in this area. Even if you cannot always be with others physically, you can at least be united with them mentally. One day, in Rila, the Master Peter Deunov told me, 'If you really want to reach God, you must unite yourself with all those who are thinking of him.' I was very young at the time, and his words made a deep impression on me; I have thought about them a great deal since. Poor, wretched human beings, why do they always want to isolate themselves? They cannot even bring a child into the world if they are not ready to break out of that stupid, sterile solitude and unite with another being. But they still do not understand. 'I prefer to be alone,' they say. Very well, nobody is going to stop them, but they will reap only sterility, an abundant crop of sterility. What a marvellous prospect.
Even in your quest for God, therefore, you must not remain alone; you must attach yourself to all the highly evolved beings in the universe who are thinking of him. In any case, it is impossible to reach God directly; you always have to go through a whole hierarchy. I know that Protestants are not very receptive to this idea of hierarchy; they imagine that they can go straight into the presence of God. What pride.., and what ignorance. They know very well that if they want to talk to a king, or even a Cabinet minister, they have to go through a whole series of intermediaries; but when it comes to the Lord, they think they can just walk up to him and shake hands without more ado. And yet these good people read the Bible, so they know that the angels and archangels exist—the Bible even names some of them: Mikhael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, and so on—and yet they still think that they can bypass the hierarchy. But the archangels Gabriel and Raphael are not at all happy about this; it is a very serious misunderstanding. As though they could barge into paradise without even washing their hands, with dirt still under their nails, and go and shake hands with the Lord. What do they take him for?
The Lord is a consuming fire. This is why they are fortunate not to be allowed direct access to him, for if they were, they would be burned to a cinder. They should be very grateful and thank God for not allowing them to reach him directly and obliging them to go through the angelic hierarchies, for the nine choirs of angels serve as transformers of this mighty energy that is God. It is preferable, therefore, to know how to read and interpret the Bible and, instead of ignoring the angels and archangels, to understand why God created them. The first thing to do before trying to reach God is to study the pattern of the universe he created. If you want to enter the presence of the Lord, start by uniting yourself to all those beings whose gaze is constantly fixed on him, as they sing his praises. There are thousands of them. It is quite possible, of course, that when they see the state you are in and learn that you want to treat the Lord as your chum so that you can make free with all his treasures, they may not let you in, for you would plunder and befoul this great temple on high.
You must work in the Lord's vineyard as new workers, with a new conception of things, a new outlook. In this way, you will soon see that all the things that used to be so difficult, all the things that tormented you and held you back, will fade away and you will feel free. I sense that many of you have already begun to experience this liberation. Great transformations are taking place in all the brothers and sisters. Even those who are not very deeply affected receive a few rays of light, and one day, instead of sitting there scratching their heads and wondering where I am leading them, they will begin to understand. They will even wonder why it took them so long to understand.
I still have many things to say to you, and little by little I will say them. What really matters is the magical dimension. It is this that has always been despised and misunderstood, and yet this is the true science of the initiates. This magic is everywhere: in food, in love, in the way you look at others, in your words, your smiles, your thoughts, and all your gestures. As long as people do not know this, they will continue to destroy and despoil and befoul everything. Nothing works because there is no understanding or respect for the magical dimension; it is simply never used. But it is the magical dimension that obliges you to pay absolute attention to every little thing.
However much you explain things to human beings, however many truths you reveal to them, they always think, 'That's wonderful, but how much better it would be if we had a lot of money.' The truth is that if they had nothing but money, they would do all kinds of stupid things with it; whereas with the light, whether they have money or not, they will always know how to behave.
The problem is that people do not want to know the truth; they think that it always leads to disaster. They say: 'Tell the truth and you will have brickbats thrown at your head.'Yes, but who said you had to speak the truth out loud? You should keep it inside you, then it will not lead to disaster. Quite the reverse in fact, for although it is not always good to tell the truth, it is always good to know it. The knowledge of truth can never hurt you. When Jesus said that we should not cast our pearls before swine, he was speaking of the pearls of truth for which human beings are not ready. If you give these pearls to people who are unprepared, not only will they be incapable of appreciating them but they will turn and rend you.
So do not throw truth about haphazardly; treasure it, keep it always within you, for it will make you strong and set you free. It is not truth that causes disaster; it only causes disaster if you reveal it to evil people, who live in darkness. If you know truth and guard it inwardly, you can•adorn yourself every day with its treasure, as if with necklaces of gold and pearls and precious stones that you take out and contemplate and caress before locking them up again- in the depths of your inner treasure chests. How can the truth hurt you if you do this? On the contrary, this contact with truth can only strengthen you and make you capable of helping, supporting, and elevating others.
Why do you suppose that I spend my days revealing these truths to you? Because I consider you as my family; I consider that you are highly evolved and conscious, and I want to help you. In the past I may have been a little imprudent in this respect: I revealed the truth to some swine and they turned and tore me to pieces. But one little atom survived, and that atom has repaired and restored everything. This is why I can be here with you again today. But I found out for myself that it was true, that Jesus was right when he said that we should not give treasures to swine. When I was young, I was very naïve and trusting and full of love. I did not know that even the very best things can bring great misfortune on us if we are not reasonable and prudent. Now I know.
But let us leave all that for the moment. My task is always to explain and emphasize the invisible, divine aspect of things, the aspect that human beings forget or despise. That is why I am here, to highlight and underline this dimension so that you may begin to see the reality and appreciate its proper value once again. I do talk about other things also, of course, but this is the aspect I always insist on. I know that there is a danger that you will be sick and tired of my insistence, that you will consider me a tiresome, poisonous bore. But that does not matter. I am obliged to continue because this is the only dimension worth cherishing and intensifying, the only thing worth cultivating so that it may manifest itself in our lives. Human beings spend too much time on things that are fated to fade and disappear. This is why they are always in a void, always poor and destitute. Only when people are rooted in what is eternal, immortal, and infinite can they feel safe. Why, when you meet an initiate, do you have a sense of clarity, of something stable and reassuring, whereas with other people you always have a feeling of something ambiguous, something changeable and unpredictable? Human beings have not had the spiritual masters they needed to mould them and teach them what life is, where they come from and where they should be going. They have allowed themselves to be led by those who are immersed in the material world and who draw their traditions and concepts, their entire philosophy, from that world. And it is a philosophy that leads nowhere, or rather, that leads inevitably to torment, misfortune, and revolt. Whereas the initiates, who have so often been despised and rejected, have always founded their teaching on the essentials, on all that is immortal and all-powerful and capable of creating worlds, new worlds.
If people listened to the initiates, the kingdom of God would come again in the world and all would be abundance, joy, and love—yes, especially love. With things as they are at the moment there is no way out, no solution. You must realize that the world's problems will never be solved unless things change. Here am I, confronting all thinkers, politicians, economists, and so on, and telling them, 'You are all wrong. You will never make things better, never solve anything. You must change your point of view completely and adopt the philosophy of the initiates.'
Look at all the changes and the extraordinary events taking place among young people. If the scientists and philosophers do not bring about change, it is young people who will do so3.
3 Three months after this lecture the student unrest that had been simmering in France broke out in violent strikes and demonstrations. See the companion volume to this one (Complete Works, vol. 25) for a fuller treatment of the problems of young people in today's society.
They may not have all the light and guidance they need, but there is something in this revolt of young people against society, against materialism, that we must understand. I am not saying that all their ideas are very reasonable, but their revolt is a sign of the times. It is as though a great tide, a great flood, were sweeping over society and threatening to drown mankind. And young people feel this more keenly than adults, who are firmly entrenched in their old traditions. If adults are unwilling to understand, young people are going to teach them some very harsh lessons, and they will be forced to realize that something must change.
Now I am not saying that you should all become hippies. I do not advise you to wander through the country unwashed and clad in rags, to sleep wherever you find yourselves and never do a day's work. No, none of that is to be recommended. But this phenomenon exists, and since it exists we must think about what it means. All this upheaval comes from the constellation of Aquarius. At the moment, driven as they are by these currents, human beings are not sure of what attitude to adopt. They are in the grip of forces they do not understand, and they go wherever those forces take them, but eventually they will learn to control these forces. Philosophers and writers, indeed all men and women, will be led to change their outlook, to study human nature more closely, and to understand that human beings will never know fulfilment until they learn to satisfy the needs of their souls and spirits.
Why is there so much social unrest these days? Why do so many people have this sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction? They have everything and yet they are never satisfied. The explanation is simple: they do not know themselves. 'Only that?' you will ask. Yes, only that; but it is that that explains everything. Human beings behave as though they consisted only of matter, as though their bellies and genitals were the only parts of them that needed to be satisfied. But there is more to human beings than that; they have souls and spirits. They contain a spark, something of another dimension, another intensity, something divine that vibrates differently; and they must learn to discern the aspirations of this something and understand what it needs. The soul's needs are not those of the physical body, but human beings continually try to give it food that it cannot digest. They never give it what it asks for. The soul asks for infinite space, dazzling light, harmony, celestial music; and humans insist on giving it only material food. This is why their souls are somnolent, why they are sighing and suffocating and dying.
Why are there so many diseases today for which medicine cannot find a cure? For the same reason: medical science does not know what human beings are. When it begins to understand them, it will also begin to heal them, for it will know that it must take care of other dimensions, the inner regions in which illness originates. When human beings know themselves, when they know that they are composed of several principles, of several bodies, and that these bodies are interwoven with each other, that they all need their own particular form of nourishment, and that there must be perfect harmony between them, this knowledge will inspire a different philosophy. And with this new philosophy will come an improvement in all other areas as well—social, political, and economic—and the Kingdom of God will reign on earth. As long as human beings do not know themselves, the kingdom of God cannot come, because they are not looking for it in the right place.
The Kingdom of God is not what materialists think it is. It is not a material but a spiritual realization; it is a state of consciousness. This means that human beings must be given the knowledge that will change their consciousness. Well, I have my programme, my plan, and if I can apply this plan, the kingdom of God will be the easiest thing in the world to achieve. Of course, this does not mean that it will be established immediately in the minds of every single human being. No, there are some for whom it will come only after thousands of years. But when it comes, it will be in the form of an organization of the whole world, and once that organization is established at the summit, all the 'members' will conform to the order they see at the top. It has to be the summit, the head, that applies this order first, and the arms and legs will follow.
The kingdom of God has to be established first of all as a light, as intelligence in the minds of human beings. Secondly, it will enter the heart as a sensation, as happiness, and finally, it will descend to the physical plane where it will manifest itself as abundance and peace. This is possible. I am working for this. The only trouble is that there are so few people who understand me. Most people cling to their old, antiquated ideas. They say, 'It is impossible. People will never change. Just look at them. Do you need any further proof?' Well of course, I am not blind. I can see what goes on in the world, and I know better than anyone that if this state of affairs endures, the kingdom of God will never come. But I also know that once you accept the philosophy of the initiates, everything becomes possible.
The way in which the intelligence of nature has designed and constructed human beings teaches us an important lesson. If a person is fit and healthy, it is because all his organs are willing to live and work together in an unselfish spirit of brotherhood and generosity. If all the countries in the world did the same, the kingdom of God would be possible. Why do human beings refuse to seek guidance from the intelligence of nature, that sublime intelligence which has foreseen everything and has the solution to all their problems? Why do they continue to look for answers from other human beings? People will listen to you if you quote from this scholar or that scientist, but not if you quote from nature. They say, 'What is all this nonsense? Who ever heard of nature having intelligence? What makes you think that?' It is because of this attitude that they fail to advance. When they are willing to learn from nature, it will be easy to achieve the kingdom of God; until then, they will continue to struggle unsuccessfully with all their complicated problems.
Actually, no undertaking is inherently either difficult or easy; it all depends on who attempts it. Something that is difficult for an animal is easy for a man; and something that is difficult for a man is easy for an initiate. The difficulty of any enterprise depends on who undertakes it. Many people moan and groan at something that makes others smile. It is very difficult for someone who has never smoked and who hates the smell of tobacco to start smoking; while others find it all too easy to smoke... and so terribly difficult to give it up. It would be impossible for an honest man to pick somebody's pocket; but it is equally impossible for a pick-pocket to refrain from doing so. For some people, therefore, it is very difficult to establish the kingdom of God, but for me it is very easy. Give me people who are really capable of understanding me and you will see what I shall do.
Human beings will find no solutions to their problems without a knowledge of their own nature. So far, the only thing they understand about themselves is their physical dimension, and this is why the solutions they apply are no more than palliatives. They often have the impression that they have solved a problem, only to find shortly afterwards that the solution itself has caused other problems. Medicine is a case in point: very often the treatment for one illness causes another. And in the field of education it is the same thing: with all the improvements in the material equipment of schools, do children learn to lead better lives? No, education is deficient because it is not based on an understanding of the nature of human beings.
This is why I have always maintained that the only science worth studying in depth is the science of human nature. Yes, at the centre of everything should be this science, and all the other sciences—physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, and so on—should be at its service. You will say, 'But surely anatomy and physiology are valuable fields of study.' Yes, they are a necessary foundation, but they do not concern the whole human being, only the physical framework. You would be seriously misguided to study a car in the belief that you were studying the man driving it. And this is exactly what human beings are doing: they talk about the car as though it were its owner. No, the body of the car is not the owner of the car; you are going to have to look for him elsewhere. In such deplorable conditions human beings cannot blossom and manifest themselves as they truly are.
Henceforth, all this must change, and the whole human being—including the Godhead within—must be at the centre of all our study and research; and the other sciences, instead of being seen as independent disciplines, must contribute to this central science. For a human being is in fact the synthesis of all that exists; he contains all sciences within himself. Once scientists adopt this changed point of view, the world itself will be transformed; for instead of giving priority to what is no more than a lifeless and inert shell, they will give it to what is alive, to life itself. And I assure you that when the kingdom of God comes, even poets will shut up shop, for the lives of human beings will be so poetic, so full of wonder, that they will have no time to waste on books of poetry. Yes, poets will have nothing more to say because everybody will live in a state of true poetry.
There is so much more I should like to tell you, but today I want to insist on this one thing, on this point of view which alone is capable of restoring everything to its rightful place. For years and years I studied and searched for the central point that brings everything together, and I found it: it is mankind. Human beings still need to be enlightened, they still need to know their true nature, but once they know themselves, the attitude of scholars and students of all disciplines—medicine, education, economics, religion, politics, and so on—will have to change. And not only their attitude but their behaviour, and the way they work as well. Yes, they will be forced to change because the centre will have changed. Once the centre is restored to its rightful place, once all human beings begin to know themselves and to know what is important and what is not, the rest will revolve around this divine centre within, and all other problems will be easily resolved.
This is why I always insist so much on the divine centre within, for the organization of all the cells and particles of our being depends on this centre; it is the focal point around which they must revolve. This then is the secret: to gather up all the various elements that fly off in different directions and bring them back into orbit around this centre, like planets around the sun. Only when there is a centre, a hub around which each element slips into place and follows its own orbit without conflict or interference with others, can we speak of order, health, and happiness; only then can we speak of the kingdom of God.
My trust in the philosophy of the initiates is absolute. Yes, absolute, for when you examine it closely and compare it to all the other philosophies that exist, you see that it is the only one that is left standing; all the others are disqualified. You see how simple it is: take away the centre of a human being—the spirit, the soul—and all you have left is a cadaver. The physical body decomposes when its centre is removed. So each of us has to find that living, vibrant atom at the centre of our being and make everything else converge toward it, for it alone is capable of keeping things in order.
You often hear people say: lost my head.' Yes, you lose your head; you lose control of yourself and no longer know what you are saying or doing. And when you are not in control, you inevitably do something stupid and have to undo it later. Of course, the head is only a symbol; you could equally say, 'I lost my heart,' since the heart is also the centre. So whether you call it the heart or the head, what you actually lose is your divine centre, and it is when you lose this that everything goes awry and disorder gets the upper hand. When your cells learn that the head, the boss, is no longer there, they feel free to do whatever they please; you become the enemy and they are a threat to you. When your centre was in place, all the cells of your heart and lungs and arms and legs were obedient and docile and served you well; but now they threaten your very life. You are ill in bed, and they are delighted. They say, Aha, that is good. Now perhaps you will understand.' But when you reinstate the centre, the spirit, they immediately calm down and work harmoniously again. There is something that human beings are going to have to learn one day, and it has nothing to do with either microbes or the stars; it is how to maintain the spirit at the centre of all their activity.
Today, my dear brothers and sisters, you have suddenly become richer, and from now on, if you trust me, you will find yourselves more and more able to overcome your difficulties by having recourse to the power slumbering within you. You always forget this power; you look for solutions outside yourselves, and then the balance is lost. If you want your scales to balance perfectly, you have to put as much weight on one side as on the other. You have often seen children swinging up and down on a see-saw. Even animals are trained to do the same at the circus. Everybody enjoys and applauds the performance, but they never see that it is a portrait of life itself, of the balance without which no life is possible. So you must not rely exclusively on external means; you must also call on the inner spirit in order to achieve perfect balance.
Question: It says in the Gospels: 'Seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice:1f the Kingdom of God represents the fullness of all qualities and virtues, why did Jesus add 'and his justice' ?4
4 Most modern English translations of the Bible use the word righteousness in preference to justice. There is a sense in which the two are virtually synonymous—moral integrity or rectitude—but in this lecture the word justice is used as it refers explicitly to the more common meaning of the word—impartiality, retribution, the administration of civil and criminal law. (Translator's note)
That is a good question. If Jesus added 'and his justice' it is precisely because the kingdom of God has nothing to do with justice. If justice came into it, it would not be the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is exclusively a world of love, generosity, and kindness. Justice belongs to the physical, human order, and it becomes necessary only when the kingdom of God descends and manifests itself on earth. Justice excludes love. It is a kind of barter, an exchange: you give something, and you have a right to expect the exact equivalent, neither more nor less, in exchange. Whereas love is an injustice: to love is to give someone more than they deserve. You could say that love is grace. The love of God for humanity is a grace that human beings do not deserve; it is given to them in place of the justice they deserve. Grace exists above and justice exists below. As human beings are not very enlightened, are not lit from within, either by the spirit or by love, they are unwilling to give more than absolutely necessary, so they base their actions on justice. This whole question will be clearer perhaps if we look at the implacable laws laid down by Moses: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The least little fault had to be punished; there was no question of indulgence or forgiveness. At the time this was normal, for it corresponded to the stage of evolution human beings had reached: they had to learn justice before they could go any further. Justice in fact represented a considerable step forward at the time, but the reign of justice could not last for ever. God is indulgent and merciful, and human beings had to learn to be like him, to be indulgent and merciful too. This is why Jesus came to teach forgiveness, and his treatment of the woman taken in adultery, whom the Pharisees wanted to stone, was an example of this attitude—an attitude that transgressed the law of justice but obeyed the law of love.
There is another world, and it is governed by other laws—the laws of heaven—which do not include justice. Since there are no crimes in heaven, what need is there for justice? Heaven is ruled only by light and love; whereas justice is needed in places where laws are broken. So this is why we speak of the kingdom of God and his justice. When the kingdom of God arrives on earth, there will still be some men and women who are not sufficiently enlightened to embrace the rule of love. Yes, you must not think that all human beings will automatically be transformed as soon as the kingdom of God is established on earth. The kingdom of God will be formed only by an elite, by the most intelligent, most sensitive, and most highly evolved human beings. All the others will have to follow the example and accept the authority of this elite. There will have to be justice, therefore, because it is impossible to live on earth without laws; laws not only to punish wrongdoers but also to guide and point the way.
You must not believe that as soon as the kingdom of God arrives, all men without exception are going to be shining lights, suns in the heavens. Far be it from me to mislead you with any such idea. Anyone who believes this would have to be blind to the way the history of mankind unfolds. Even if the kingdom of God is achieved on earth, human beings will not be perfect just like that, from one day to the next. That is impossible; it is a process that takes time. To begin with, there will be a small minority of highly evolved beings who understand and accept the ideas of the Universal White Brotherhood, of the kingdom of God on earth, of the golden age. Government will be in the hands of this minority, and all others will be obliged to follow, just as the tail follows the head. The masses will be given every opportunity to collaborate and join forces with the minority that forms the kingdom of God, and when they see the new life offered to them and the new social order that will be so tremendously beneficial to all, they will have no hesitation in doing so. When that day comes, we shall no longer see what we see today—each country wanting to be the most important, the greatest, the most powerful. Unattainable as it is, this ambition still fascinates and captivates the minds of many. Yes, 'Deutschland, Deutschland iiber alles' ... and we all know how that ended. But the Germans are not the only ones who cherished this ambition for their country. Mankind can never live in happiness until all countries are united. Even if the kingdom of God is established on earth, therefore, justice will still be needed. But it will be another kind of justice, not the justice of ignorant men who make laws that are not even sensible.
Now, I want to add a few words to what I said in the beginning about justice and grace. Imagine that you are looking at a pyramid. A pyramid is a cube surmounted by four triangles, and you can spread out the four triangles to form a Maltese cross. Similarly, if you develop the cube you get another kind of cross. The cross derived from the cube is the cross of justice, whereas that derived from the four triangles is the cross of grace. This is because the cube is a symbol of matter, which imprisons; whereas the triangle is a symbol of the spirit, which liberates. And the pyramid too is a symbol, a symbol of the human being, who is both body and spirit.
And now, how does grace manifest itself? Why is it given only to a few and not to everyone? Grace, of course, is an injustice, and yet it works in conformity with another kind of justice, one which is beyond human justice. Suppose someone starts to build a house, and when it is only half finished he finds that his capital has run out. He asks the bank for a loan, but before giving him the money the bank manager, who is no fool, makes sure that he will be able to pay it back. If the answer is affirmative, the loan will be granted. And this, symbolically speaking, is grace. If grace gives to some people rather than to others, it is because it has made enquiries about them and found out that although they are short of cash in this life, they have worked well in previous incarnations. Thanks to their good record they will be given some capital to help them on their way. Grace is neither stupid nor blind, as so many people imagine, and if it is given to you, it means that you have worked long and well to earn it.
It is impossible to understand the laws of destiny if you do not accept the fact of reincarnation. Ask any priest, for instance, why one of your friends is so heavily handicapped in life and meets with nothing but failure, while another meets with nothing but success. Instead of saying, 'There must be a reason; everything happens for a reason, because life is just,' he will say, 'It is the will of God.' But if God's will is so arbitrary, how can anyone trust him? It is very bad to present God in this light, for if you never know what he is liable to do or why, you will always be afraid of him; you can never feel safe. And then they tell us that God is a shield, a refuge, a fortress. How can we believe two such contradictory notions? Explanations of this kind can only undermine religion and morality. For my part, I never accept without question what I read or what people tell me; I always compare it with what I know of the laws of nature and the way in which God created the world.
For instance, when I hear clairvoyants and others declaring that thirty or forty years from now mankind will be wiped out, that there will be a third world war, and so on, I agree with them, and at the same time I disagree. Of course, anything can happen: world war, revolutions, natural cataclysms... But if the light continues to increase in the world—and that is what we are working for—mankind will escape destruction. The course of events is not irrevocably predetermined; it can be altered by the way human beings behave. God is not a cruel, relentless tyrant. If he decrees cataclysms, it does not mean that once decreed they are irrevocable and unavoidable; neither does he do so for his own amusement. No, I reject any such philosophy. Nothing is absolutely pre-ordained; there is no such thing as an irrevocable destiny, either for individuals or for the world as a whole. Human beings have been created with free will, and their future is in their own hands. If they trigger adverse currents by spending their lives in disorder and frivolity, then of course the laws of nature—which are the laws of justice—come into play, and as certainly as two and two make four, the outcome will be devastating. But if they reform and mend their ways, if they project other, more harmonious forces into the environment, the balance of nature will not be disrupted and there need be no devastation.
I too can predict the future: I can tell you that in thirty years from now things will be thus and so. It is not difficult to foresee certain things, but no one can do so with absolute certainty, because human beings can change; their aspirations can change. Even a prophet cannot say with absolute certainty that such and such will happen—or if he does, it means that he is not a very clear-sighted prophet. Absolute predictions are possible, but only for the future of animals, plants, or inanimate objects—and for a class of human beings who are no better than animals and consequently incapable of transforming themselves. But you can make no reliable predictions for intelligent, conscious human beings, because they have the power to escape all predictions. If they mend their ways, they can alter whatever was decreed. This is the philosophy of the Universal White Brotherhood, and it is this philosophy you need, for it can make you conscious and powerful children of God, capable of controlling your own destiny.
It is written: 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added to you.' The kingdom of God is a world of harmony, delight, and joy, and such a world could not exist on earth if there were no justice; for even when it is established on earth, not all human beings will be sufficiently evolved to appreciate divine grace and abundance and use them for good. On the other hand, the justice of the future will not be the justice we know today, which consists mainly in punishing people and sending them to prison. Society will be organized in such a way that this will no longer be necessary. I shall say no more on the subject today (although what I have said is necessarily incomplete), but if you reflect and meditate on this from time to time, you will begin to see with your spiritual eyes what life will be like in the future. For this ability to see how events will turn out in the future is there, within yourselves. No one on this earth can really explain it to you.
This is the goal that we are working for: to increase the light and heighten the consciousness of human beings. Unfortunately, there are not many men and women who understand the value of this work. A few thousand follow this teaching, but that is not a great number. Nobody realizes that this science is capable of preventing future catastrophes. I feel as though I were all alone in a desert. Human beings have all kinds of other plans, other desires and occupations, and I am still alone. If I had a few hundred thousand with me... Ah, that would mean the end of war and suffering. But human beings fail to see the importance of this light. And yet all initiates would tell you the same thing: the world will not be saved by money, or tanks, or atom bombs, or missiles, or any other human invention; but by light, spiritual light. Human beings need to be enlightened.
'Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice.' What treasures you will discover in these words if only you work with them. And there are other passages in the Gospels to which you should also pay particular attention. Passages such as 'Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,' and, 'My Father is still working, and I also am working.' And you must work with light, work to identify with light, so that you may be able to say, 'I am the light of the world... I am the resurrection and the life.' Yes, for all this will be true one day. So, as I say, pick out the passages in the Gospels that express the highest and most sublime ideal and work with them. Some people choose one of the commandments (`You shall not covet your neighbour's goods,' for instance—or his wife.), but this does not amount to much. They do not steal or commit adultery perhaps, but what do they really gain in the spiritual world? You must wish for nothing less than the coming of the kingdom of God, for it is this state of total perfection that contains all other virtues and qualities. And you must not be content to wish for it; you must do everything in your power to bring it about.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, Sevres, November 11, 1964
Capital punishment is a subject that always arouses heated debate. There are often programmes on radio or television in which judges, psychiatrists, and sociologists present their observations and draw differing conclusions, and public opinion is deeply divided. Some think that criminals should be punished as an example to others, and the death penalty is seen as a deterrent. Others argue that fear of the death penalty has never prevented anyone from committing a crime and, more importantly, that no human being has the right to sentence another to death. The discussion never ends, but I have never heard anyone on the radio or television saying what I am going to say to you today. Why not? Because human beings have no knowledge of initiatic science; they can only solve their problems in the light of the events that take place around them and in conformity with the ideas or prejudices in which they have been brought up. They do not know what really goes on in the invisible world. The law of retaliation—an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth—has never solved anything. The proof of this is all around us; you only have to see the extent to which crimes are increasing rather than diminishing in spite of the application of this kind of law. The statistics are there to confirm what I say. But above all—and this is a very important truth—it is a great mistake to think that you can get rid of a criminal by killing him. People do not realize that once a criminal's physical body is dead he moves to the astral and lower mental planes and becomes capable of even greater evil. When he is on that level, he can poison the minds and hearts of the living and influence them to commit his crimes for him. He has even more scope for his evil designs than when he was alive, for he is no longer confined to the limits of his own physical body; he can use any number of people as intermediaries. As long as a foul-smelling liquid is corked up in a bottle, the stench cannot spread; but once the bottle is opened and the liquid poured out, the stench spreads far and wide. In the same way, as long as a criminal is alive, the demonic being that inhabits him is confined to his physical body, but as soon as he dies, this being is released and his astral body spreads out and reaches and influences the minds of a great many people.
Does this astonish you? These are truths that are unknown to the majority of people. Even the specialists who debate these questions on television are very far from being in a position to solve the great problems of life, because they base their arguments exclusively on their narrow, earth-bound point of view. The real solutions can be found only by rising to a much higher plane and learning about the structure of the universe and of man. Suppose a criminal is executed, what then? His physical presence is no longer a problem, of course, but he remains alive on the subtler planes, and his thirst for revenge and destruction is as virulent as ever. You cannot kill a man's desires by killing his body, because his desires are not physical, they do not belong to the physical plane. People imagine that their hunger and thirst, their need for love, or the pain they feel exist on the physical plane. No, these things are suffered on the astral plane. If you cause a man's astral and etheric bodies to leave his physical body, you can cut his body up in little bits and he will not feel a thing. Sensation does not belong to the physical plane.
Those who think that capital punishment is a solution to the problem of crime do not realize that the spirit of a criminal continues to be active on the other side. They think that just because his body is no longer there he will commit no more crimes. But have they never thought about the phenomenon that occurs when a prophet or a great master is assassinated? Have they never wondered why his ideas, far from fading away, spread and take an even stronger hold on men's minds? This too remains inexplicable.
As a matter of fact, there are a few political leaders today who seem to have a little more understanding of the question. For instance, if they want to get rid of a popular religious or political figure who is an embarrassment to them, they say to themselves, 'Careful now. If we kill him he will be seen as a martyr; his followers will be even more fanatical, and we shall have done ourselves more harm than good.' They understand that you cannot kill the ideology by killing the man, because others take it up and give it a new and even stronger impetus. You will say, 'But that is because his disciples and followers are so infuriated by the assassination of their leader that they are even more ardently determined to spread his ideas.' Yes, there is some truth in that of course, but what people do not know is that in the other world the spirit of a prophet or martyr continues to harbour the same convictions and the same desire to enlighten human beings and help them to evolve. He goes on with his work, therefore, and not only does he go on with it but his ability to propagate his ideas is greater than before. While he lived on earth he could not actually meet every man and woman who was ready to embrace his ideas, for they were scattered throughout the length and breadth of the world. But once he is in the astral world he is free; he can go and find them in order to influence them. This is why it was often better that an initiate should die so that his ideas might spread. Look at the phenomenal growth of Christianity after the death of Jesus.
While a spiritual master is on earth, of course, he can work actively and be an example to others, but the number of people reached by his activity is necessarily restricted to a few close followers who are constantly with him. Once he is freed from his physical body, however, he is able to reach and influence many more minds. Now you must not misunderstand me; I am not saying that a master should allow himself to be killed so that his influence may be greater. No, I am simply explaining how things work in the invisible world. So as I say, in view of the consequences on the invisible plane, criminals should not be executed. The only solution is for human beings to organize conditions in the world in such a way that there will be no more criminals. Yes, but as long as society is not founded on spiritual principles it will continue to resemble a swamp, and swamps can only produce mosquitoes, that is, criminals. In these conditions it is pointless.to hope for justice. Besides, if you always act in accordance with justice you will never solve any vital problems. You must not be just. Ah, I see that that makes your hair stand on end. But it is true: I am for injustice. Now wait, do not be in too much of a hurry to criticize; you will soon understand what I am saying.
One of the symbols of justice is a pair of scales, and if you study what human beings do when they use scales you will understand many things. You go to the market and ask a merchant for a pound of cherries. The man weighs out the cherries, and if there is one too many he removes it from the scales. Yes, because he is just. The owner of the next stall has tinkered with his scales, and if you go home and weigh the fruit and vegetables you buy from him, you will be very angry to find that you are always an ounce or two short. You are ready to accept the justice of the first merchant, even if you are not particularly enchanted by it (at least he is just), whereas you are furious with the man who gave you less than he should. Finally, you go and buy from yet a third stall, and when the man weighs out your pound of cherries, he throws in a few more for good measure. Is this justice or injustice? It is injustice, of course, but it is an injustice that you appreciate enormously. How is it that you are so full of admiration for someone who is unjust?
There are two kinds of injustice, therefore, and only one kind of justice. Injustice can be either good or bad; whereas justice is neither good nor bad... it is simply just. That is why I recommend injustice. But which kind? If someone hits you once and you respond by hitting him twice, not only are you being unjust, but you are also being unkind. You should at least limit your response to one blow. If someone else hits you and you respond with a hug, a kind word, or a gift, you are again being unjust, but this is the injustice I recommend: the injustice that is called love. Yes, love is very unjust. It is an injustice to love, and help, and give to someone who does not deserve it, but this is the injustice we should practise. Of course it is not wrong to want to apply the rule of justice. If everyone were just, there might not be very much love about in the world, but at least there would be less crime and fewer wars. Yes, but even so I advocate the injustice that alone can save the world.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, the Bonfin, April 14, 1977