The Value of Things
The Value of Things
Everything a man has or knows contains something valuable. In spite of this, man often does not value that which he knows and possesses. This is the reason why he is always striving to acquire more and newer things; if he has a small amount of knowledge, he wants to acquire great, new knowledge and become educated; if he is good, he wants to become better, or a saint. However, that man does not have any idea what it means to be either educated or a saint. The external forms of the educated man and the saint are imposing, but the inner contents must correspond to this external form. Perhaps the hen may have the desire to lay an egg as large as that of the ostrich, but for this purpose it must change and become bigger. What has the ostrich contributed to life with its large eggs?
Therefore, in the process of learning the value of things, the things which contribute something to your life or to the benefit of your soul at a given moment are of importance. The good of the human soul is determined by its inner life. The inner life, for its part, is characterized by an inner oneness, or inner unity. A unity of things exists only where the will of God is performed. He who fulfills the will of God is connected with the Whole, with the One. The misfortune of contemporary man lies in the fact that he is deprived of inner unity. He seeks his happiness outside of the Primary Principle, outside of himself.
Unfortunately, one can not find any happiness in this way. Everything outside of man, outside of the Primary Principle, is a reflection of things. That which is within man is the substance and essence of things. Men chase the reflections because they are visible. The essence, the reality, remains unseen. You look at yourself in the mirror and say that you see yourself. What you see in the mirror is not you, but your reflection. You see only your external image in the mirror; you see whether or not you have wrinkles, whether or not your cheeks are red, etc. This, however, is not the man. You do not see in the mirror your lofty thoughts and noble feelings which represent the real man.
What does the human face, as well as the human body, represent? The human body represents a house in which man spends his whole life. From morning till night he arranges and strokes his house, in order to make it convenient for living. The host of the house must be wise and painstaking and sustain the cleanliness and hygiene of his house. If the host is not a wise man, he will derive no benefit from even the best house. A wise man will make good use of his house. The human house must be cleaned every day, it must be washed and set in order. This is one of the closest problems of every man.
Many neglect this closest and most important problem and become interested in general questions, for instance, what the world will be like in a thousand years. This question should not interest you, for it concerns the One Who has created the world. Engineers are building a school. You see the foundation of the school, but you are not satisfied with only that, you want to know what will become of the school after ten years.
Those who build the school have a plan and know what will become of it, when it will be finished, etc. If you are very interested in it, they can show you the plan, but you will not understand anything. The plan of the school is the shadow of what will be built in the future. When the process of construction is ended, you will see what has become of the school. Other people want to know where they will be when they go to the other world, in the Kingdom of Cod or on the earth. This is not their business either. The work which man must perform every single way is more important than all the other questions.
Man must focus his attention on that which is valuable in life and try to realize it. Imagine that you are loaded with baggage heavier than you can carry. Your strength will not allow you to carry this baggage to its destination. Immediately your mind is divided and you do not know what to do. This feeling of doubt in the human mind speaks of a certain weakness in man. What must you do in this given case? You look at your load and find that everything is valuable, but you do not know what to leave out, wishing to take the whole load. You turn this way and that, looking for someone to help you, but you can not find anyone. How will you solve this problem? Unload your baggage, open it, and take with you only that which you cannot do without, the most valuable and the most essential. Leave the rest aside. Then, when you are free, carry that also.
Therefore, when you think, feel and act, always choose the most valuable and essential, i.e., that which is your direct concern, which has a direct, bearing upon you and is nearest to being realized. You are, for instance, the son of a rich, kind, and versatile father. You sit at home and think: does my father love me or not? Will he leave me an inheritance after his death, and if so, how large will it be? Will not my brothers and sisters get a larger share? All these questions which occupy your mind should not concern you in the least. This is your father's problem. For you, however, this is a great burden which you are trying to carry. There is no need for this burden at present. Perhaps after many years you will have to bear a part of it. Take from this burden the most valuable part - the opportunities of the day - and be disinterested in the rest of it. Your task is only to study. Since you do not fulfill your duty, the teacher finds that you do not study as you should; you are distracted, you keep company with bad boys, you lie a little, and in this way you waste your time.
A Bulgarian village priest, a good and noble man, complained of his son. He said: "I sent my seventeen year old son to school, but I noticed that the boy did not study and occupied himself with other things. In order to escape my observation, he wanted to sleep outside in the garden, saying that the outside air was purer and cooler and it was suffocating in his room. I did all I could to make the boy study. But my son fooled me this time. He went out evenings to different late parties and did not study. In order to conceal his absence, he put the wooden wash-tub in his bed, covered it with the quilt and made the bed look as if a man were lying in it. I went one evening to see what my son was doing and touching the bed, I thought my son was sleeping, while in reality the tub was in his place and he was having a good time with the girls."
Every man has such a tub by which he conceals reality. It is a manner of behavior. For instance, someone is discontented and in a bad mood because he can not solve certain problems. When he is alone in his room, he is in a natural state, but as soon as people come, he takes the "tub" with himself, smiles, talks and presents himself such as he is not in reality. This is an unnatural state into which men can fall in their ordinary life. But spiritual people fall into the same state. Why? Because they enter the spiritual life unprepared; consequently, they come across many contradictions. They think and feel one thing, but on the outside they shout another. This is the way actors perform also. When you go to the theatre or to the opera, what will you see? Dabbed faces, laughter, weeping and talking, but all this is artificial. You look, listen, fall into certain moods and begin to weep with the actor who is weeping. If it is a question of weeping, visit some poor widow, or some woman beaten by her husband. The widow is weeping because her children are hungry. The insulted woman weeps with her whole heart because her husband has beaten and insulted her. The actor weeps without being beaten. He weeps in order to be paid. But the public sees the play or the opera and is dissatisfied, finding fault with the actors.
By this example I do not reject the theatre and the opera. They are places of entertainment. But while looking at a play, one must rebuild things until they acquire their original form. This is what scientists do. Some scientist in natural history finds the scattered bones of some antediluvian animal and begins to study and examine it. He must carefully collect all bones, put them in their places and describe the original shape of the animal by that reconstructed image; its construction, size, way of life, etc. He must restore the original form of a certain animal by means of the scattered, dry bones.
As I speak about actors, many will wonder if I have someone in mind. I do not have anyone in mind, but I point out the fact that you do not know yourselves yet. What distinguishes the man who knows himself? He who knows himself is a master of the conditions of life. He can not be hindered by anything. As long as the outside world can hinder you, you do not know yourselves. As long as you expect others to do your work, you can not have any relations with the invisible world. For instance, one of you wants to go on an excursion. Something within you tells you not to go today, because the weather will turn bad. You do not want to listen, saying that the weather is fine and that you do not want to miss this chance. The weather is nice when you start, but you do not know whether or not it will change. The sudden changes of the weather show that you are living in your irrational world. Why? Because you do not know yourself or the rationality which surrounds you. Man cannot be happy if he lives only for himself in a world void of rationality. Is it possible for man not to think about himself? One must think of oneself and of others also. The mother and father think of themselves but they also think of their children. The master thinks of his servant as well as of himself. The employer thinks of his employees as well as of himself. These are personal bonds which naturally exist. Every man must attain the consciousness of Christ and say: "The Will of the Father Who has sent me is not to lose anything He has given me and to raise it up on the last day."
Which is the last day? The last day may be today. The last day implies the last date for paying your bill. If you do not pay your bill on this day, you lose. This is the last day for pleading your case. If you do not take advantage of your last chance, you lose. If the last day has passed for you, what will you do? You will begin to worry. I do not say that your last day has passed, but you must be on guard so as not to miss it without paying your debts. Christ said: "Not to lose anything but to raise it up on the last day." Be glad if this day has not come for you yet and you have not lost it. But be careful not to lose it. This day contains all the valuable things which you must expect. Imagine that a friend of yours has promised to give you a large sum of money. For this purpose, he has assigned you the time and the place where you must meet him to receive the sum. However, you do not go at the assigned time and when you go, you see that your friend is not there. Who is to blame for this loss? You will say that your friend should have waited a while longer, or given the money to someone else to bring to you. That is not the question, however. Many possibilities may be found for you to receive your money, but your friend has confidence only in you and wants to meet you personally at the assigned time and place. Therefore, whatever you do, expect the last day as the most important and valuable, because it contains the possibility of your resurrection. If you miss this day, you must wait at least a thousand years until another last day comes.
The value of things does not lie in their exterior. The externally beautiful things are not the wisest and the richest. Someone may have a fine, solid house and clothe himself in the best and newest clothes, but it does not imply that this man has advanced much. The bird of paradise has a beautiful dress, but it is not the wisest of the birds. It often suffers because men pluck off its feathers for decorative purposes.
Thus, there is nothing better for man than for him to know how to relate to everything in life and value it. When you meet a man, keep in mind the valuable things which he possesses in himself. By valuing things, I do not mean the external, mechanical relation toward something good in man, but rather the evaluation of that trait or quality of a given object or person which has a relation to you. A book is not valuable because of its fine cover, but for the content which can enlighten man. To have a right relation toward the book is to know how to keep it. Man must appreciate and know what attitude to have not only toward men and objects outside of himself; he must also know his own mind and heart and know how to treat them. If you do not know how to treat your mind and heart, if you can not keep them clean and value them, you can not attain anything. If the members of a society are not satisfied with one another and say that they cannot live together, there is nothing for them to do except for each one to go to a place where he thinks he can live well. If the hare finds himself in a society of wolves and foxes, what will become of it? The fox is cunning and avaricious. He will tear off the hare's skin and prepare for himself a rich banquet of its flesh. However, that will not be sufficient for him. He will ask the hare whether she has small ones, relatives and acquaintances. If the hare says she has small ones, relatives and acquaintances, the fox will become acquainted with them for the purpose of making use of their flesh. These are no relations, however.
Therefore, when someone wants to become acquainted with us, we must be aware and observe his attitude toward us. If he reacts toward us as the wolf, fox, bear or snake, we understand the purpose of his acquaintance. As we study the animals and birds, we see their relations and behavior among themselves, as well as with creatures distant to their kind, and draw a conclusion about that which lies concealed in them. If the spider does not behave well and does not value things, this in itself is excusable. However, it is not excusable for a man, who is given a fine mind and heart, not to have correct behavior and appreciate what is implanted in the soul of his neighbor. This is why everyone must try to work out for himself a good approach and feeling of appreciation of small things. As he develops this feeling in himself, he simultaneously develops his inner attitudes. He who has not proper external and internal behavior enters into contradiction with the will of God. How is it possible for man not to know how to respond correctly to all that the Great One has created? Not to value these things is to enter into conflict with the Great Law which works in the world as well as in yourselves.
Every discontentment, every indisposition in man is due to his breaking of the law of right relation and evaluation of the little things. The correct attitude in life is a great thing! It is insufficient for man to have only a correct external relation to things; he must do the same within himself, i.e., love all living beings and treat them as he would treat himself. To love someone is to give him the smallest love. Plan needs very little. Give a little attention to him and he will be satisfied. In order to show that you appreciate a person, treat him just as you would yourself. If a stranger visits your home, give him plenty of water to wash his feet, hands and face; then give him food and offer him a place to rest. By doing these things for him, you show that you value him. That man will be thankful and will wish to meet you again.
Yesterday we made an excursion to the Kalina's peaks. Some of our friends wished to visit all the peaks. According to me, this wish speaks of human vanity. It is of no use to go from one peak to another. If one has climbed one high peak, then he can study the others from that height. Therefore, he will have more time to read that which the Spirit of God has written on the mountains. Some ask why these groups of peaks are given a woman's name. There is an old legend about them. They are called Kalina's peaks, because sometime in the past, there lived a maiden by the name of Kalina, who was very industrious and ~-» neat, and who always spun and wove wool. As there was no market for her wool, she spread it in these places where it so happened that these peaks were formed. The two lakes called Kara-Ghiol are the two eyes of Kalina, which in reality are not black, but light - almost blue. In the dark they look black, but in the sun they are white and almost bluish. The rocks that surround these lakes give them a darker hue. Kalina's peaks are an open book in which one can read all that the Divine Spirit has written. He, who can not read this hook, looks to the right and to the left, throws a stone toward the peaks and another stone in the lake and goes away, finding the place disorderly.
Thus, when you go to the summits, respect their purity. This is the simplest expression by which you can show that you value that which wise nature has created. In this way you will make contact with the advanced beings in the invisible world who will help you. Otherwise, they will have nothing to do with you. The teacher tells the student to study and to work upon himself. If the student studies, the teacher will help him. If he does not want to study, the teacher does not want anything to do with him any more. The Divine speaks several times to man. If he does not listen, all leave him. First the Divine speaks to his heart, the second time to his mind, the third time to his will, and if he does not obey, it starts to talk to him in another way. As long as man is spoken to with love, he must correct himself and take advantage of his good conditions. Man wants people to act well with him and to value him. Since he wants that for himself, he must do the same with others. As I observe your relations, I see that you act very well toward one friend whom you have chosen as a special friend, but this is not sufficient. All that you see around you has been created by God. Therefore, act respectfully towards everything He has created. Value everything that He values.
Many people think that no matter how they live, they benefit from the Divine Love. This is a misleading thought. Love cannot be benevolent toward you, if you do not value her creations and have a right attitude toward them. You will say that you are not perfect yet. That is no answer. Even today you can acquire the right attitude toward all things that surround you, and value them. Hie have come to the mountain due to the benevolence of God and we benefit from the air, the water and the light for the good that is in us. Then you must give way to the good that is in you, revealing it outwardly. If it were not for the great benevolence of God, we would not be able to stay for even one day in the mountains. If you correct your attitude and behavior toward all men and things, and value them, sin and evil will disappear from your midst. But for that reason, conscious work, work with love, is required of all of you.
Christ said: "And I shall raise it on the last day." And now I say to you also: The last day for your resurrection has come. If you do not rise today, you will rise after a thousand years. Fear not. The last day Christ spoke about is a long day and not an ordinary 24 hour day. This day begins today and continues for at least fifty years. During that time, work upon yourselves to acquire right behavior and a feeling of value for all that is given you. Value your mind, heart and will. Act kindly to your neighbors, to all plants and animals, and to all nature. Value everything that surrounds you. If you acquire these two things, you will be a man of the new life, a man of love. Even if you were the son of a king, you would have to have these qualities. When you enter school, everyone will turn his eyes toward you to see your behavior as a royal son. The higher you stand, the more is required of you. Teachers and students -everybody will expect of you good behavior and the ability to value things. The external position is not the determinant of their value. Although the royal son occupies a high position in life, he may meet students who study better than he does. He may also meet students with a better disposition and a finer sense of value.
Therefore, if you want to be strong, beautiful and satisfied with life, act well with all things and value everything the Primary Principle has created. If you do not have these qualities, you will have neither strength, beauty, nor satisfaction in life. In such a case you will be in the same position as a flutist Stoyan found himself once. He always boasted of his flute, saying that it was a better substitute than any gun in case of trouble. He said: "When I aim it at an enemy, the latter will bounce at some distance from me." But one day a bear met him in the forest. Stoyan raised his flute and aimed at the bear, pretending to pull the trigger, but the bear did not withdraw. Finding himself in a tight place, Stoyan climbed a tree and saved himself. He saw that the flute did not always help.
The flute represents the external aspect of things. You have money on which you rely, but when money does not help, you will climb the tree. The tree signifies the rational principle in life. What would have happened if the flute of Stoyan had struck the bear? Stoyan would have remained alive, but the bear would have been killed. By climbing the tree, both of them remained alive. Stoyan must climb a tree and from there, as a preacher, he must instruct the bear. Is there anything wrong with that? You must act in the same way. You speak to someone and try to instruct him, but he does not understand you and does not heed you. That shows that your flute has missed its mark. Climb a tree then and tell him a few words from there. He will look at you and say: "This is a wise man." When I pass by him a second time, we shall speak again. The bear has a good trait which men do not value or know. If you render her a service, or some favor, she will remember it for a long time. The bear never forgets the good you have done her. She is concentrated in herself and never distracted. The bear also remembers the evil someone does to her, but that is rather an exception in her life.
I say to you also: "Remember the good someone has done to you."
"And I shall raise it up on the last day." Everyone who has developed in himself a good attitude, good behavior and a feeling of valuing things/ will rise on the last day.
The way of the upright is the way of light.
Walk in the path of light.
Lecture held by Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) on August 21, 5 A.M.