Old and New Conceptions
Old and New Conceptions
Luke ch. 5.
There are things in life from which a man must liberate himself. These things have been useful at one time, but today they are an obstacle in the lives of people. For instance, diapers are useful for a baby, but as soon as he grows up, they are a hindrance to the free movement of the child. People have a habit of seeking the easy way - the way free of suffering and hardships. However, the path for children is not a path for adults; the path for adults is not a path for the old; the path for the old is not a path for the saints; the path for the saints is not a path for the angels, etc. Since you do not take this fact into consideration, you often fall into contradictions with yourself. These contradictions are greater when you come to the question of love. We say that people need more love. What do you understand by the words "more love"? Imagine that two people were carrying two bottles of water; one contains one quart of water and the other ten quarts. In what way do these two bottles differ? They differ in the quantity of water they contain, but not in the quality of the water. The water in the two bottles is of the same quality. A few people will satiate their thirst with the first bottle, but many more will drink from the second bottle and be grateful. Therefore, certain questions in life are solved qualitatively, while others are solved quantitatively.
Now I shall consider the question of self-denial. What do you understand by "self-denial"? Or, what do you understand by the words "correct conception of things"? When can a man have a correct conception of something? When a man wants to have a correct idea of a place or environment, he must choose a spot from which he can observe the whole place. When he sees the whole place clearly, he will have a correct conception of it. Thus, when you see a person observing some notable place, you must know that he has a strictly definite purpose. Every observation, every close study of phenomena has its definite purpose and cause. Even the most senseless movement is of some benefit to man. For instance, someone likes to walk in the evening and observe the sky. Even without being an astronomer or wishing consciously to study the stars, after long observation he will arrive at a certain knowledge and orientation about certain positions of the stars, etc. Certain stars will attract his attention, while others will be disregarded as if they did not exist. How many of you know where to find Saturn in the sky? Many of you do not think of observing the positions of Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, etc.
Many astrologers attribute a great number of the misfortunes, illnesses and misunderstandings of people to Saturn. According to them, ancient causes in past lives give birth to the unfavorable conditions in life. For instance, the father of a family goes out each day to trade, but if he does not earn anything, he returns home dissatisfied and in a bad mood, and he gets angry with his wife and children, as if they were to blame for his lack of success. Perhaps there is some truth in that, but it is not only his family which is to blame for his bad luck.
His wife has not thought of him for a long time, so she could not help him. His sons and daughters have not helped their father either - they have not worked with him. The man thinks that his wife is responsible for his ill fortune to a certain degree. The wife, on the other hand, thinks that her husband is incapable, that his mind is not bright enough and that that is the reason he can not earn money. A man goes to pick berries, but another man has been there before him and picked them already. He who went first was the more clever of the two - he picked the berries and went home. - Yes, but if he had not picked them, I would have picked them. - Therein lies all the evil. What will you do now that the berries are all picked? You will pick pears. - The pears are also picked. - You will pick apples. - But they are also picked. You should find a fruit that has not been picked and pick that. It is not necessary to keep the thought in your mind that you must, by all means, pick berries.
Once upon a time the devil decided to be the first to pick the berries. He saw that the dogberry tree bloomed first of all trees; that is why he often went to it to see if the fruit was ripe. However, the dogberry tree ripened last of all fruit trees; in the meantime, people picked all the berries and there was nothing left for the devil to pick. When he went to the tree, he saw that there was nothing on it and he was very surprised. Now there is a legend that the devil threatened people to torment and tempt them, because they picked the berries first. If people had not picked the berries, the devil would not have tempted them. For that act, they pay to the devil up to this day. Therefore, he who dares eat the berries of the devil must pay for his boldness. In reality, the berries are not at all his own possessions, but he has chosen them himself and put his hands on them. Even to this day the devil wants men to pay him for the picked berries. A bargain takes place between him and man - five up, five down - until finally man pays him something. The devil is a great lawyer. He who thinks he can go through life without paying the devil is wrong. You will pay by all means. Do not think you can be more clever than the devil. Nobody yet has surpassed the cunningness of the devil. No one has been able to play a trick on the devil up to this time.
In other words: Do not covet another man's possessions! In the given case, the berries represent the other man's possession, the knowledge of another man. The knowledge, the wealth of a man is useful to him alone. Every possession is tied up with a certain responsibility. Who would not wish to be beautiful, to have a stately figure, and an angelic face with perfect features? But do you know what misfortunes, what responsibilities that beauty might entail? Wherever you go, people will stop you or follow you. How will you deal with these people? It is not easy to deal with beauty. The beautiful person has no right to avoid people. He is obliged to tolerate them. Why? Because beauty is nothing but an exhibit to which the Divine world has sent its production. The beautiful man will be exposed to the gaze of both the intelligent and the ignorant. The intelligent men will evaluate him, pass by him without touching him, and continue on their way. The ignorant men, who do not know how to act, will atop before him and touch his clothes here and there until they stain them. That person must clean himself for a long time after that. However, it is preferable to be beautiful and be touched and spotted by people than not to be beautiful and not be touched by anybody.
Therefore, it is preferable for a child to have passed through the discipline of the mother than not to have passed through it. The mother bathes the child three times a day, she wraps him up in diapers until he grows up and gets free from the diapers. The baby must be patient to bear all this discipline. In the past that child may have been some great angel who fulfilled a great mission in heaven. However, for a single mistake that angel was sent to earth in the form of a small, helpless child, to pass through certain specific sufferings and hardships and to learn the great Divine law - not to sin. The mother bathes the child who flutters its wings, weeping, desiring to be free, but no one understands him, no one takes his crying into consideration. Why do mothers bathe their children? To be pure and learn to serve God. The slightest impurity which may penetrate the mind of an angel, or the slightest disobedience on his part, may be the cause for him to be sent to earth to live among ordinary men until he corrects his mistake.
You must know one thing: There are angels who descend to earth either to correct some mistake they have made or to fulfill some special mission, some obligation. Even Christ, the Son of God, came to earth to pay a debt, i.e., to correct a mistake. What was the mistake of Christ? When God created the world, Christ asked Him to give men freedom. In this respect, He became a guarantor for the freedom of people; however, they misused this freedom. They did not live as they should, and consequently Christ had to come to earth to pay the bill He had signed.
Now people ask the question why did God create man and the world. These are questions which can not be solved outside the School. They are philosophical questions for meditation and not for solution. If these questions were explained, your mind would be overloaded with superfluous knowledge. You do not need this knowledge. It is useful to some people, but not to all, just as honey is good for some but not for others. Some people like pears, others like cherries. Every person has a special taste, according to which he receives such food as is necessary for his organism. Every man leads the kind of life for which he is spiritually and organically adapted. Life is made up of many steps, each man taking that step which corresponds to his conceptions. People today do not lead an exclusively human life. They pass through the phases of plants and animals and barely touch the human phase of life. Many of the contradictions in their lives are due to the animalistic tendencies which often manifest themselves with their own requirements. What must you do in such a case? Should you give way to the animal in you? Many of your desires are the desires of animals. One such desire is that of eating much. If a mammoth should appear today on the earth, he would devour the largest forest in the course of a few years. This animal needs a large amount of food. The mammoth has disappeared from the physical world, but up to this day he exists in the astral world, and because of this men suffer from insatiable desires. These desires can be compared to the mammoth which thinks only of eating and drinking. It has been noticed that people who live in the world of desire, want to become famous, wise, educated, strong and to have all men speak about them. This is good, but it lasts only for a short time and a day will come when man will lose all this and start to rise anew.
In the past when the world was created, God made heaven and earth with all the plants and animals on it. At that time the ass had a very small shape and was not like the ass of today. God gave him a small shape on purpose, so that he might lead a calm and quiet life. Upon seeing all the other animals, the ass found himself so small in comparison to them, that he would pass unnoticeably by anybody. That is why one day he turned with a petition toward his Creator: Lord, give me another, bigger form than this in order that I might be noticed when I move among my fellow brothers. Now nobody sees me or pays any attention to me. Besides that, I have no voice. Give me such a voice that when I open my mouth, everybody will hear me. - All right, this may be done, but did you ask yourself whether you would be happy and successful in life if you had a large shape and a strong voice? - asked God in return to his petition. - I considered everything carefully. If you grant my wish, I believe I shall be happy. Let it be according to your faith! From that day on the ass assumed the shape and voice which he has today. When affairs do not turn out as they should, everybody says: Donkey business! God created the donkey as he should be, but he was not satisfied with himself and tried to correct his shape. However, this correction, this new state which he wished in his life, became the cause of all the sufferings which the donkey experiences to this day. The donkey brays many times a day. By braying, he is saying to people: Be careful and do not lose your heads! If you are not satisfied with your condition, you will bray like me!
And Jesus said unto Simon: "Fear not, henceforth thou shalt catch men!" Contemporary people are in the same condition the disciples of Christ were in. They fear that they will not realize their desires. They should not fear, however. Can the grain of wheat not attain what it desires? The realization of its desires is foreseen. It is preordained that the grain of wheat should grow, bloom and bear fruit. It is preordained also how much fruit it will bear. If it is preordained what the grain of wheat and every living being should do and attain, how much more that is true of man. However, man must work and occupy himself with inner, individual work which is related to his mind, heart and will, in order to. attain his desires, and he should not interfere with the work of God. There is work which man alone must accomplish. You meet a sculptor who works zealously in the realm of his art. At a certain time he meets a famous violinist and a desire is aroused in him to leave his work and become a violinist. He should not do that since he was born to be a sculptor. He must work toward the perfection of his art and if he has some free time, take up the study of music. A talent is already deposited in him and he must develop it. That is the Divine in himself which he must value. This is the work which is given to him and which he alone must finish. When he finishes it, he can occupy himself with music, science or anything he likes.
All men have a desire to be educated, eloquent and beautiful so that when they begin to talk to people, they may captivate them. However, when such a task is given to them, they soon become exhausted. A young evangelist, while reading the Bible, used to say to himself: A great wealth is hidden in this book. One can draw material for talks for years on end and it will not be exhausted. Much material is stored in it. However, when he became a preacher, he used up all the material in one year and did not know what more to preach to people. What would he preach about? First he talked to people about the creation of the world or of man. Then he spoke to them about the first sin and the fall of man. When they learned that, he spoke to them about repentance and salvation and with that, his work ended. What further could he say to people? He would speak to them about the bringing up of children. How strange, indeed! That preacher was not married, nor had he brought up and educated any children, but he would still speak about their up-bringing! Another man whose specialty was mathematics spoke to people about important mathematical problems, in order to show off that he was an educated man. Mathematics and geometry are complex sciences. They represent a Divine language which not everyone can speak. To transmute a mathematical formula into a geometric one, or a geometric one into an organic one, implies a complex mental process. A deep understanding of the great laws is required for that.
In mathematics there is a concept of positive and negative quantities. Everything which gives is called positive; everything which takes is called negative. Imagine that you want to buy a pound of sugar. You take your money and go to the nearest grocery to buy the sugar. The moment before you have reached the grocery, you are positive, because you are preparing yourself to give, while the grocer is negative, because he will take money from you for the pound of sugar. As soon as you enter the shop and say that you want a pound of sugar, the grocer becomes positive. He weighs the sugar and gives it to you. You become negative because you take the sugar. After that your conditions are changed again; you give money for the sugar and become positive, while the grocer takes your money and becomes negative. In this way an interchange takes place between your energies and those of the grocer. Thus, there is always an interchange of the energies of two persons who relate to one another. The more regular the interchange, the more harmonious their relations are. Often people are disturbed by very trivial things. For instance, you start for the nearest store and you worry about the possibility that you will not find sugar there. So what? If there is no sugar in that store, you will go to another, to a third or a fourth. You will visit ten stores and surely find sugar in one of them, or whatever else you may need. Your worry is due mainly to the fact that you do not wish to go around from one store to another.
Today all people worry about how they will spend their life. They will spend it very easily only if they know how to live. They must have the character of that Bulgarian who was noted for his complaisance. One day that Bulgarian man went to the city bath and sat in a room beside a big wash basin to wash himself. He looked with a self-contented air at his body and said: Nobody has laid a hand on this body until this day. In the same room there was a Turk who heard the words of the Bulgarian man. He immediately went to the latter and said: Giaour, get away from this wash basin! I shall bathe here! - Help yourself, effendi! - said the Bulgarian man, bowing, and he went to the next basin. The Turk followed him and said: I shall wash in this basin. Get away from here! - Help yourself, effendi! Calmly the Bulgarian went to a third basin. In this way he went to all the basins followed by the Turkish man.
When the Turk was convinced that he could not disturb the equilibrium of the Bulgarian man, he said: As long as you have this kind of mind, nobody can touch your body. Because of your complaisance, nobody can quarrel with you.
The following practical rule may be drawn from this example: When a contradiction enters your mind or heart, let it have its way. Do not force yourself to solve it, or seek the reasons why it has come. Every contradiction has its deep causes. Man loses his good disposition on account of some external cause not dependent on him. For instance, I sit in my room in a good mood and meditate about some important question. All of a sudden my disposition changes and a heavy thought begins to oppress me. I analyze my condition and find out that this thought has come from outside. A short time elapses and a seriously ill man visits me. Someone has told him that I can cure him. Should I be angry at that man because by thinking about me he has contacted my thought and imparted this heavy condition to me? There is no reason why I should be angry. If I can cure him, I shall set about doing that. If I can not, I shall send him to some famous doctor for help.
Therefore, not every person can be cured in a spiritual way. In this example we see that all people are connected and whether they want to or not, they bear each other's burdens. Thus, when you are in low spirits, direct your thought upward and you will not notice how your spirit will be raised. Do as the worldly people do - when you get muddy, do not seek the cause, but find a pure spring and wash yourself in it. As soon as the mud falls off your body, you will feel clean and free again.
Many people who listen to these ideas think that the knowledge they have is of no value. This is not true, however, for the knowledge which you receive in the first grade serves as a basis for the second grade. That knowledge does not in the least make man capable of living, nor does the knowledge obtained in the higher grades render him capable of living. One must finish high school and the university, after which he must apply his knowledge in life, in order that some day he may solve his difficult problems to a certain degree. This shows that there are degrees of knowledge. If you enter the angelic world, the knowledge you have obtained on the earth will be of no use to you. A higher knowledge is required for that world. The knowledge of the animals is not knowledge for human beings. What need have people of the knowledge of the horse to kick and of that of the ox to prick with his horns? Man has at a certain time passed through that phase of knowledge, but today he has no need of it. Someone sits discontented and pokes this and that person with his elbow. At one time, that man did that with his horns, but today he does it with his hands. This is a remnant from the ox culture. Why must a man poke others with his hand instead of using his mind?
Imagine that you are listening to an orator and you do not agree with his ideas. What do you do in such cases? Sometimes you contradict him, other times you whistle at him. Of what use would your contradicting him be? If his idea is not true, it will remain false after your contradiction too. By that you will not correct things. When someone is speaking, you must listen to him and learn something - try to see where the human thought takes a false turn. It is important for man to think, feel and act correctly. If he does not think, feel and act correctly, he will bear the consequences. Each man bears his own consequences. Nobody bears another man's consequences. Since you know this, you should avoid loading yourself with another man's faults and think that you can correct them. If someone does not live well, that is his business. How should he live? Someone does not eat as he should. If he has not learned yet to eat correctly, he will never learn. There is not a person on earth who does not know how to eat. The incorrectness in eating lies in the fact that many people, out of greediness, eat fast and do not chew their food; consequently, a number of illnesses and disorders appear in the digestive system. When you eat, do not fill up your plate and do not cut large pieces of bread. Treat your guests in the same way. In some foreign countries, for instance, people cut very thin slices of bread. On the whole, nature has a great abundance at its disposal, but it gives a little at a time. It wants to teach men to be contented with the little which is given to them and fulfill the work assigned to them with that small amount.
Thus, learn to make rational use of the small blessings which are given to you during the day. Do not worry, eternity is before you. The blessings of God will not cease. They will flow into your life forever. You want to be beautiful, strong and rich. There is time for that. There is a strictly assigned time for everything. If you calmly await the time for a certain blessing, you will make proper use of it, but if you hurry, you will fall into conflict with yourself and when the blessing comes to you, you will not use it as you should.
One day the brick makers and the gardeners sent a petition to God at the same time to send them a hot, sunny day for the brick makers, in order to dry the bricks, and rain for the gardeners to water the vegetables and flowers. God found Himself in a difficult position - how to satisfy two different requests simultaneously. If the day is hot, the brick makers will be happy, but the gardeners will complain that the vegetables are drying up. If the day is rainy, the gardeners will be happy, but the brick makers will complain that their bricks are getting wet. God answered the petition in the following manner: Come to terms among yourselves and see which days you want to be dry and which rainy. In nature there must be a continual change so that all living beings should profit from its blessings. Do not wish for things^ to happen as you understand them. No matter hoĢ strongly you may wish this, you will not be able to find a response, so do not waste your time with vain wishes and expectations. There is no man on earth whose desires have been fulfilled. Because of this, something greater and more rational than what you wish for yourselves will be given you. Man has many wishes, but he does not know which of these wishes are for his good. Every wish will be realized in its time.
Now one thing is required of man - to give. Give in the broadest sense of the word. You wish for one of your desires to be realized, but as soon as you see that it can not be realized, you should give it up temporarily. This is what giving means. Consider giving as the beginning of every bit of work that you intend to do. You have made up your mind to study a scientific problem today, but at this time one of your friends comes to speak with you about his business. He wants to hear your advice, so he begins to tell you that his wife is ill, his daughter is a high-school student, his work does not go as it should and he does not know what to do. You begin to be fretful, seeing the time you have set aside for your study is passing, but he still talks to you about his affairs. If you listen to him calmly, he will finish his conversation sooner than if you become fretful. The more you fret, the greater his desire will be to retain you longer. Moreover, you wish to do the Will of Cod, but you do not know what to do: to continue listening to him or to leave him. If you are an Englishman, you will dispense easily with him. When an Englishman has an appointment and visitors come to his house at the appointed time, he takes his hat, tells them that he is busy and goes out. If the guests wish to remain in his home, he leaves them there and goes to do his work. The Bulgarian man acts in just the opposite way: he remains with the guests until they go away and then he goes to his appointment much too late.
We may draw the following conclusion from these examples: Fulfill on time all the promises you have given in your soul to the Primary Principle. Whatever other work may appear, put it off. First of all, fulfill your obligation and promise to God. You have a meeting with God; go on time. Do not put off your meeting by any means. Your wife, daughter and son will be angry for they want you to be with them; you should not be troubled by that. Excuse yourself politely, take your hat and go out. After you have finished your work with God, you will have the time and the freedom to fulfill all your other obligations. This is the way everyone should act, be he father, mother, son, daughter or servant. When one acts in this way, others must understand him. God does not want man to carry the earth on his back, but rather to fulfill the smallest promise he has given in his soul. These promises are sacred. Be exact in fulfilling your sacred promises and never put them off. You should not be concerned about what people may say. They have a right to say whatever they wish. You have a right, however, to do what you wish. It is your right to fulfill your promises to the August Principle in life. Fulfill your promise and do not think about what people or your family will say.
Once a Bulgarian priest was telling of his experiences with his son. One day he said to his son: Stoyan, go down to the cellar and bring me some wine from the barrel. - See, father, I do not drink wine and I do not wish to serve it either. If you want water, I am ready to go up the mountain for it, but as far as the wine is concerned, I shall not move even my foot. - Well, this new generation is certainly a queer one! They do not obey their parents. Another day I said to him: Stoyan, go buy me a package of tobacco. - No, I do not smoke and will not buy tobacco for anyone either. If you want me to buy something else, I am ready to go to the end of the world, but wine and tobacco - no!
- As I watched my son, said the priest, I wondered at his boldness and disregard for me, but after thinking over the matter, I came to the conclusion that he was right. I am a priest who should be an example to people, yet I drink and smoke, but my son has taken the right path.
I say: He who fulfills the Will of God does not make mistakes. Such a man can hold to his convictions to the end. At first people will not be pleased and will not approve of his behavior, but when they see that he bears everything and is ready to stand up for his convictions, they see that he is a man they can rely on and give him his due. When you say to people that you can do everything which is in accord with your conviction, they see in your face a man of will power ready to do all that is good.
The present young generation needs firmness in their convictions. The young people must strive for freedom of their convictions. Keep the freedom of others in order that they may keep yours. Do not force men to do what is unpleasant to thorn. A young woman has dedicated her life to the service of God. Many people go to her to persuade her to meet this or that young man who wants to speak with her about some important questions. What will he say to her? When he sees her, he will begin to tell her that he likes her, that there is no one like her, etc. He takes too many liberties. First of all, that young woman was not sent to earth to have any business with him. She is a daughter of God, while he is a Son of God sent to earth with a very different mission. Men are sent to earth to work and not to seek pleasures, in order to spend their lives like daughters and sons of some rich man.
There is a law that if you respect the freedom of people they respect your freedom as well. People will act toward you exactly as you act toward them. If you want the advanced beings to be condescending toward you, you must be condescending toward the smaller beings. The acts of man toward other people determine their acts toward him. "With what measure you mete, the same will be meted unto you." If you measure with the law of love, wisdom and truth, it will be meted unto you with the same measure. These are rules which are related to you and not to the external world. The external world uses entirely different rules. Someone complains that nobody puts himself in his condition. What does this mean? To put yourself in the condition of a person means to leave him free to fulfill his promises to his own soul. You enter a home and see one of the members of the family saying his prayers. Return quietly and leave him free to finish his prayer. But you are in a hurry and do not have time to wait. You must wait, that is all. That man is in communion with the Great world and you have no right to disturb him. But what will he gain by that prayer? That is his own business. Sometimes the prayer of one person is in the position to bring a blessing to thousands of people. The prayer of one man has the power to prevent thousands of misfortunes. If that man does not pray, thousands of misfortunes may befall people.
Once a minister in North America was telling one of his experiences which proves the power of prayer. One day he started to collect contributions from some people living in a mountainous region. On his way back, he had to pass through a forest. A famous robber heard that day that the minister was to pass that way and decided to wait for him in an ambush, to kill him and take the money he was carrying. For that purpose he took a gun, hid behind a large tree and waited. When the minister approached that place, he experienced an inner disturbance; a certain premonition oppressed him. He dismounted his horse and started to pray. After resuming his original state, he mounted his horse again, took a deep breath and continued on his way, saying to himself: Thank God, I was delivered from something terrible. When he passed by the tree behind which the robber was hiding with his gun, he passed by and did not say anything. The robber remained in his place not daring to raise his gun. Ten years later the same minister was called to the death bed of a man to hear his last confession. The dying man asked him: Do you recognize me? - No, I do not. - I am that robber who ten years ago was hiding in the forest with a gun in his hands; I intended to kill you and take the money you were carrying. - Why did you not do it? What prevented you from fulfilling your desire? You were riding a horse. All of a sudden you dismounted the horse and turned your face upward, after which you remounted the horse and continued on. When I looked closely I saw sitting behind you a great man all armed. I was frightened and dared not move my arm.
It is said in the Scripture: "An angel of the Lord guards those who pray to God and rely on Him." Therefore, when you pray and call for God to help you, a being of light from the invisible world will come by all means to accompany you in the difficult and terrible hours of your life. No man can walk his path alone. No man can fulfill the work assigned to him alone. Somebody must come to his aid. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, pray sincerely, and immediately some beings who help mankind will come to your aid.
The same thing happens in life today. When a ship is sinking in the sea, it is immediately reported by radio how far from the shore it is sinking. In a short time another ship starts in its direction to rescue the passengers. The passengers are saved because of the signal given. Such a signal is prayer. Your ship is in the stormy sea of life. It risks sinking at any time. What must you do? Give the signal, i.e., turn in prayer to the Divine world whence help will be given you. In a short time the help will come and you will be out of danger. It says in the Scripture: "Pray without ceasing!" This means: Always be in contact with the Divine world. - Will they answer our prayer? - He who prays sincerely, out of his heart, will by all means receive an answer to his prayer. He who has prayed has never lost anything. Liberate yourselves from inner fear and do not think about whether or not you will fulfill your promises. When it is a question of promises you have given in your soul do not waver. The application of the Will of God lies in the fulfillment of these promises. If you hesitate with regard to the fulfillment of the Will of God, you hinder your development. Contemporary people have already come to the point where they should begin to work consciously.
Conscious work means inner work in harmony with the law of love. Love implies mutual aid, entering the condition of others. You see a man working upon his character, trying to become more meek and gentle. Do not provoke him to show his hard side. This is a difficult thing to do. For instance, no matter how calm a teacher may be, the students will, somehow, make him lose his patience. They are children with different characters and upbringings. The teacher can not influence all children. He does not have such methods at his disposal. It is impossible for a man to educate and influence other people, if he himself is not well educated. It is impossible for a man to influence others, if he does not love them. It is impossible for a plant to grow and develop normally if you do not water it and cultivate the ground around it.
Therefore, in order to put yourself in the position of each other and thus help one another, you must, first of all, be connected with the Primary Principle. Then , as others care for you, in the same way you should care for others. If someone comes to you and complains of his state, listen to him patiently, see what he needs and help him with whatever you can. Maybe you are the first man who is chosen to help him. Others can help him also, but if you are the first to do that, you profit from it. He who helps others, helps himself first. Why? Because the blessing will first pass through him and then go to others.
What do many people do today? When someone comes and asks for their help, they say: Pray to God and He will help you. What will you lose if you say to that man: Be calm, do not be discouraged; if you love God and your neighbor, your work will go well. If you do not love Him, your work will go poorly. Tell that man a few encouraging words and he will be grateful to you. You pass by a field and see a peasant trying to sow his field, but not knowing how. Should you tell him that he must pray to God to help him, and pass on, or should you stop by him and show him how to sow? Take the wheat, sow it in the field and continue on your way. When the wheat has grown and produced good grains, that man will thank you for having helped him. Therefore, whatever you do, keep the thought in your mind to love God and your neighbor. If you live and act in this way, all your affairs will be in order and you will prosper. As soon as the thought comes to you to go to God, approach Him with all possible humility. He is the only One in the world Who thinks at all moments about all beings - from the smallest to the greatest. He foresees their needs and satisfies them. He is Love and He acts with all beings with love.
I have sometimes heard people say about someone: I don't like that man, so I am going to "butter him up" with a few flattering words. According to me, "buttering up" a person is no art. Why should you grease the car of a person? Tell a man one valuable word which contains the truth. You say about a man that he is good. Have you tasted his goodness? Can you call a person good just because he has given you money? There is a way by which you can know the goodness of a man. You can not tell who is good and who is not unless you come to this way of testing things. It is easy for a man to give you a few cents. Any man can give you ten cents without necessarily being good. That man liberates himself from a small weight. Another man may give you a few cents and send you to his vineyard to dig a little. Is he a good man? This is how a good man would act. If someone asks him for five cents, he sends him to his vineyard to work all day and when the man returns in the evening, he says to him: I give you now sixty cents - five which you wanted from me and fifty-five for the work in the vineyard. Thus you will have money for twelve days - five cents for each day. Therefore, when you want to do a person good, give him work. Show him the right, Divine way. Do not only tell him that his affairs will be set right; show him a way to set them right. Work for God, love all people and your work will go well, and your affairs will be set right.
All men preach that we must be prudent, love each other and speak sweetly. How can you speak sweetly if you have no love? If you have love, sweetness will come of itself. If you have love, your words will also have power. Speech is powerless without love, while with love it is mighty and powerful.
Now I wish all of you to speak with love, think with love and work with love! If you live with love, everyone will know that you live according to God. What will become of you then? All of your affairs will be set straight. However, two conditions are required for that; love of God and love of your neighbor. As soon as you apply love in your life, you will be contented with yourselves and your neighbors will be contented with you. However, love does not bear any forcing.
Therefore, if you want to be free, walk in the path of love. Only love can set you free. Love which binds is human. Love which frees is Divine. Divine love liberates while human love binds. Therefore, work for God out of love. He does not want you to work for Him without love. The blessing of God comes only to those who work for Him with love.
The present world is in need of workers who apply love. Experiment for one year and try to work with love. You will see the result of your work at the end of the year. He who works with love will by all means have good results; he who does not work with love can not expect good results. If we love God and our neighbors, we shall meet again, but we shall be more contented than we are now. If we do not love God and our neighbor, there will be many exceptions in our lives. When I speak of the next year, I mean the present year, for in the Divine life there is only one year - it is a long one equal to a thousand earthly years. Thus, next year will be the same as this year. For him who loves and fulfills the will of God, the blessing will come today as well as next year. The blessing of God will be the same in the future as it is today.
All people speak about love. When do they speak about it mostly? When it is absent among them. When is love absent among people? When they are taking off their old clothes and putting on new ones. When a beautiful woman is well dressed, she loves everybody. When she is putting on her clothes, she does not love anybody. People of today spend half of their life like the beautiful young woman in putting on something new and in preparing themselves for something nice. What does the putting on of clothes represent? For instance, someone says: I want to be a good man, or to speak sweetly. This is putting on clothes. Or: I want to be a saintly person. That is putting on clothes. If you wait first to become saintly, good and eloquent and then to love, life will flow out by that time. Do not clothe yourselves in this way. Love God and men such as they are, in the clothes they are now wearing.
An English artist once met a poor boy in London who was barefooted and in ragged clothes. He stopped him and gave him his calling-card, saying: Come to me tomorrow. The child began to think how to appear before that gentleman without shoes and in rags. That is why he went here and there among his acquaintances to find nice clothes and appear thus before the rich gentleman. When he rang the bell of the artist's house, he was asked: Who are you? What do you want of me? - You met me yesterday in the street and invited me to visit you today. - Yes, but I invited you such as you were. If I needed a well-dressed boy, I would find many others. Now I have no need of you.
Today you also want to put on new clothes and appear thus before God. Yes, but He does not want you to dress up in new clothes. He wants to see you such as you are. He wants to see you in that purity which you have now. A husband and wife are quarreling, but as soon as they hear someone coming, they stop quarreling. When the guest goes away, they resume their dispute. No disputes, no quarrels must exist among people. They can speak about anything they wish, but quarreling is not permitted. As God can tolerate us, in the same way we must tolerate one another. If people in a society lived in peace and harmony, they would create a healthy atmosphere both for themselves and for others. In this way many illnesses, misfortunes and sufferings would be avoided. The illnesses and sufferings in people are due to their discord and misunderstandings. The disputes and misunderstandings among people create an unhealthy atmosphere. You will say that a certain person does not live well. That does not interest me. Each man is held responsible for his mistakes. It says in the Scripture: "You will give an account for every vain word." Two persons who do not love God and their neighbors can not love each other either. He who wants to be loved, must be the first to love. Whom must he love? - God and his neighbor.
The first commandment says: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, with all thy might, with all thy mind and with all thy heart, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." How will you show this love? Love can not be expressed or proved by words. After fulfilling this commandment, you can expect everything you wish in life. Pray earnestly to God and He will answer your prayer. He foresees the needs of people without their weeping and complaining. It is sufficient for you to express your wish to fulfill His will, to correct your mistakes, and He will answer you immediately. If you want to weep, go to comfort those who weep. When you wipe off their tears, along with theirs you will wipe off your own. When people weep, weep with them. When they stop weeping, you stop also. As long as the child cries, the mother cries. As long as we sin, me shall cry. As long as we do not love, we shall cry. As soon as we cease sinning, dying and hating, weeping will cease. As soon as you begin to love, weeping will cease and joy will fill your souls.
Now remember that the value of life lies in the childish, youthful state of the human soul. Believe in the Divine Providence without speaking about it. Test things and see where you do not succeed. Where you do not succeed is where the human and not the Divine principle is working. When you understand this, correct your mistakes and give way to the Divine in you.
Therefore, take off your old clothes and put on the new ones! Leave your old conceptions and accept the new! The old conceptions are those of the grocer. They are conceptions of exchange - you give money and buy goods. The grocer is satisfied as long as you give him money. When you do not give him anything he gets angry. Leave aside the conceptions of the grocer. Accept the new conceptions of love. Give without money. Give without expecting anything in return. He who takes, let him think about what he can give and about how to express his gratitude, Man has come to earth to love. It is none of his business what people will give him. God gives and we take. Take what God gives you and give what you have received.
And Jesus said unto Simon: "Fear not, for henceforth thou shalt catch men."
"The Divine Spirit bears all the blessings of life."
Lecture held by Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno) on September 2, 1935, 5 A.M. Sofia - Izgrev.