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1917_02_11 The children

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The Book - The Spirit and The Flesh. Beinsa Douno

Translation from Bulgarian - Vessela Nestorova

 

THE CHILDREN

 

Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.35

 

In order to explain who can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Christ takes as an example an ordinary form known to all—the children—a form existing since the creation of the world. The children bring happiness to the home and to the world. A home without children is a desert without a spring or grass. Why must one become as little child, if they would get to heaven? In Christ's talk the word child has a deeper meaning than we usually attach to it. Christ does not say that you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, if you are a precious stone placed in the crown of some king or if you are a millionaire, but says, "If you do not become as a child, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Here He implies the idea of growing small.

 

The child is a symbol of a potential state, or it may be said that children represent potential energy, i.e. energy in a dormant state. This energy is not inactive because it contains all the conditions for its development. It is simultaneously in a potential and a kinetic state. The potential energy turns into kinetic and the kinetic into potential. The kinetic energy has stronger activity, but it has a smaller scope, whereas the scope of potential energy implies limitless development. The difference between the child and the adult is the same: adults are less active in that they have a smaller scope of development than children. The idea of the child contains yet another sense. If a tree does not turn into a small seed to be planted again in the soil, it cannot begin its development. The growth of trees is effected in two ways: some grow by seeds, others by sprouts or grafting. There is a big difference between a plant growing from a sprout and one growing from a seed. The plant growing from a seed contains greater force than that growing from a sprout. Christ says, "If you do not turn into a seed in life, you will not enter the Kingdom of God!" Why? Because only seeds, not plants are planted there. God does not need old people. There are no old ones in the Kingdom of God.

 

The word old is synonymous to a weak person, while the young, the children are the equivalent to the word rich in mind and heart. This is my interpretation. If you have not the mind and the heart, that is—the innocence and purity of a child—you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Why? Because the conditions under which you must grow, require your mind and your heart to contain the Divine life within them. One of the greatest delusions in contemporary spiritual movements lies in considering oneself big or great. Every person, even children five or six years old, cherish the idea of greatness. I have often met children who have the idea that they are very big and have the power to do many things. I have met religious people who also think they are very big. They say, "Do not annoy me, because I can do all things just by raising my finger." If you make these children to raise a sack, they will not be able to. Why can't they raise it? Because they think they are big, but in reality they are not. If they thought they were small, they would be able to lift it. You can test this every day. Put yourself in the position of a child, deposit a thought in your mind and do not worry. If you do not worry, it will be ten times more active than if you torment yourself all the time. When you stand before the switch of an electric lamp, what is required of you? Only to turn this switch on. What do many people do? They stop before the switch and begin to philosophize. No, in this way you will not receive any Light. No philosophy is needed in this case, but a simple motion of the hand and light—the condition for reading—will shine forth.

 

The same Law applies to one's personal life. On waking up in the morning you turn on the switch and say, "I see!" When the soul enters the human body, she also has a switch and when she turns it on, she says, "I see the Sun!" If you forget to turn on your switch36, you will be in darkness, i.e. your mind will be muddled up, incapable of work. Some morning you get up and forget to turn on the switch of your heart and mind; then the whole day your life is in disorder, you do not find any sense in it and so on. I say, you are in the state of a child with big ideas who, thinking of the big things, forgets to do the least—to turn on the small switch from where the Light comes. I constantly meet people whose switch is not turned on, but who have big ideas, who dream of many-storied large houses, yet are blind! No, you need no such houses. First, turn on the switch and afterwards you can make your house. Become a child of obedience! Only then God will speak to you and you will understand the relations existing between Him and yourself.

 

People today have lost their relations to God. They think they are free and have the right to do anything they want to, even to criticize God. I ask such a person, "When you got up this morning did you switch on the Light?" "I did not." "Then return home and switch it on, otherwise the whole day you will be in darkness and low spirits. Up to that moment life will have no sense for you." The same Law applies to human relations: you have turned on the switch and all people love you; you have forgotten to turn it on and everything is in disharmony. You are a big person, a great one, but nobody loves you. Nobody loves people who want much. The Law of heaven is symbolized by the children, by their selflessness. To carry much on you back, but to have little in your stomach are two different things. If you carry 100 kg wheat on your back and ½ kg wheat in your stomach, where will your strength be? Contemporary economists who burden the state with big debts do this because they do not understand the Divine Law. I would rather they gave each person ½ kg of wheat in the stomach than 100 kg on the back. It is preferable to have 100 g of knowledge in the brain than a load of 100 kg on the back. Someone may have 100 volumes of books, but the 50 g of knowledge in the brain as a potential and kinetic energy are of more value than what is outside of it.

 

Thus by the word child Christ means a special inner state—to be in accord, in contact with the spiritual world, with all the powers and all beings. If you start thinking you are a great being, you lose all these contacts. When a great angel in heaven who has lived millions and billions of years and who has an experience greater than that of humanity and whose history is much more superior to that of humankind, decides to come to earth and be incarnated, he will take the form of a little child and humble himself—he will start his development from this point, in order to come to understand the majesty of God. That is why Christ was asked, "Can an old man enter the Kingdom of God?" Be he an angel or a God, he cannot. Those who would enter the Kingdom of God must humble themselves and become like children. Now all of you who are listening to me want to enter the Kingdom of God such as you are. No! This has never been and never will be! If you do not acquire the qualities of a child—plasticity of mind and heart—you will not understand the inner sense of life. But you are already near the Kingdom of God. The inter-space dividing this world from the other world is a hundred-millionth part of the millimeter. How small is the distance between these two worlds!

 

When a person starts on the way of development, they move very slowly. I notice all who start on the spiritual path resemble big people; they are not like children. If someone begins their journey with large strides, they will not attain their purpose. If you leave home running, you will not achieve anything. But if you start slowly and gradually accelerate your step, you are in the state of a child. Christ says, "Do not start your work hurriedly. Move like the small children—walk constantly and quicken your step by one, two, three, four, five, six steps, then you will find sense in your life." While you are in the state of small children, no illness will attack you, but if you are in the state of the old, an illness will come to you. Those who worry are old; also those who have a heavy heart are old, too.

 

Become young! You say, "I have a weight in my soul." You are old. "What shall I do?" Become young! "How?" Do not think of great things in the world. Put only half a kilo of bread in your stomach, 100 g of knowledge in your brain and five grams of feelings in your heart—that is enough for you. When ten or fifteen young men love a girl, they begin to quarrel; she feels puffed up and becomes unhappy. Some years ago a young woman was killed in Sofia by her fiance. Why do you love two people? One is enough. Every thought has its definite place. If you do not love a man, do not deceive him! Tell him the truth and he will find another girl.

 

In regard to religion, people suffer from the same love. You say, "Let us love!" Do you know how love is expressed? Those who desire much commit a sin and when the sin is done, they suffer. The one who sins is a bad person, but the one who sins and does not repent is worse, yet the one who sins and does not repent or pray is still worse. Everyone who prays, yet is unrepentant, is a hypocrite. A hypocrite represents the worst person in the world. There are two kinds of lies, two kinds of sins in the world. When you tell someone you love them, yet you do not, you act like the crocodiles—when they love someone, they wet her with tears to make her smoother and easier to swallow. No, people do not need such love, but the Love of the small children. Give a little, yet let it be from your heart. If men and women would apply this philosophy to their life, all homes and societies will change for the better. Fathers, mothers, children, teachers, priests, judges—all are thinking of great ideas. They all consider themselves great and fool themselves that there are no greater people than them.

 

You ask, "Why is the world suffering?" It is suffering from "great" people and ideas. People call someone an excellent preacher, because he is preaching grand ideas. Yes, we are all suffering from "great" ideas. The Jews also had great ideas— they wanted to become rich and, considering themselves chosen, they became proud. They had 33,000 promises by God; however, Christ showed them that the greatness of a person lies in becoming as small as a child. Only in this case, God will be on one's side. So far I have not seen a mother bearing an old man in her womb, even if she would be given millions. But everyone bears the small child without getting any payment. Why? Because the child holds great benefits inside. As it enters, every Divine idea, no matter how small it may be, brings peace, joy and greatness to the person who accepts it—that is why everyone can bear the small children.

 

Many think that big ideas bring happiness to people. Actually, this is not true. To clarify this thought, I shall tell you a legend. An impoverished German prince wanted to marry a beautiful woman. She told him, however, that she was a woman of great pretensions and she wanted him to build her a beautiful palace and supply anything she wanted of him. Only under such conditions would she marry him. He agreed to everything, thinking he would be happy with her. He married her and started looking for riches. By the powers of occultism he started calling spirits who would help him. Finally, he found a prince of the gnomes and said to him, "I have married a pretentious woman and need much money. Can you help me?" "I can, but under one condition: for every purse of money, you must give me ten hairs of your head." "I have enough hairs and can give you as many as you wish." "I shall need only ten for each bag of gold I give you." The man thought his troubles were settled and his life at home would now be happy. He started visiting the prince of the gnomes week after week, month after month, taking bags of gold and giving his hairs in return. A year, two years, three years passed and he became completely bald. He went again for gold, but had no hairs. "Shall I give you something else?" he asked. "No, I need hairs." Now the man understood that human character lies hidden in these hairs. He had sacrificed the apparently small things for presumably great things. Every hair is a noble thought sacrificed for a trifle. If you have such aspirations for ten years, you will sacrifice all that is noble in you and remain a barren desert. Then you will be turned into a big, old, dry tree which is a symbol of the degenerate human character.

 

Be not offended by the Truth. I know that when the Truth is spoken, many people are offended. God considers an old person everyone who is offended by the Truth. Such is the Law before God for He has never been offended until now. There is no other being to have suffered more desecration than God, but so far He has not even knitted his eyebrows. He calmly and quietly looks at us and says, "These children will understand the Law; now they are piling up sins, that is why they will bear this burden." "Our condition is very heavy: poverty, illness, what shall we do?" You should work. "Is there no other way?" No, there is no other way—you must work. "We are big." You should grow small, become like children. When you return home, try to become like children and see how you will be rejuvenated. You say you are old, but what is the reason? You are carrying the world on your back. When you board a ship which rocks and you begin to fear, what will be the use of fearing? Stay quietly, have the confidence of a child. He who has made the ship will take care of you. The ship will rock and then stop rocking. Even if there is a storm and thunder, you should not be afraid. The birds in the airy space also rock, but they understand this Law better than you. You will excuse me for all this. I say, if you are old, you will get offended; if you are young, I shall congratulate you. When I speak the Truth, let no one be insulted. I shall ask those of you who are walking barefooted over a stony place, to put on sandals, because your feet will be hurt and you will be forced to turn back midway. The sandals will protect you. If a lady is passing through such a place, she would prefer to have her feet hurt than to put on her sandals to please her loved one. Yet, it is dangerous to walk bare-footed. The children are always shod.

 

Look at the butterflies, these small children of God, what excellent clothing they have! If an earthly queen has such clothes, she would feel happy. Although these butterflies have a short life, how well God clothes them! Why does God clothe them so well? Because they are children. But why does God send unhappiness to people? Because they are old. Why does God send blessing to some people? Because they are small children. A mother forgives her children many mistakes, but if her husband makes the mistakes, she says, "I do not want this dotard any longer!" In the same way heaven forgives all the sins of the small children, but it is strict with the old and says, "Out with you!" Then what takes place in you? Dissatisfaction, despair and hatred of life, since you face resistance and unfavorable conditions for your development.

 

The only way to be loved by God and by people is to adopt the Divine idea—be small before God and have a responsive heart and mind. Love has different degrees of power: you stand in front of a stove at a distance of two meters and feel a pleasant heat, but if you should put your hand on it, it will burn you. The old people are hot stoves, that is why they burn you sometimes. Usually they are mercenary. Do not think I am speaking of you; I am referring to those old men mentioned in the Scripture. Those who think they are big and great, they are old men. Beware of such people! Christ preached this when He said, "Become like little children!"

 

When you study Nature, you will find that the most precious things are not big. For instance, the diamond has been an airy substance in the past, occupying great space; long time had to pass before it thickened and grew hard. God has turned it into a hard substance, but at the same time, He has made its volume smaller. It has become of small volume, but of high price. Do you know how much energy, how much matter is pressed into an atom? We should grow small by the same Law, become like children, for only God is great and to be like Him, we have to learn the art of transitory things in creation, the stages of transitory life, and find out why small things pass into big ones. A ripe grain or seed, no matter how small it may be, if it finds favorable soil, it grows into a big tree. However, no matter how big a leaf or a fruit may be, if it falls in the soil, it will rot.

 

This is the sense of the words of Christ. Christ spoke at the time for the people of an enlightened age, for those who are able to understand Him and apply His teaching. When a great musician plays, he plays for those who have an ear to hear him; when a sculptor makes a statue, he offers it to those who understand and value it; when a writer writes a book, it has sense for those who understand it. God has made the world and inscribed His Law for those who understand Him. Those who do not understand Him will bear the burden on their back and be "great men." When God created the world, the spirits who came down to earth wanted to be big, great, that is why they had big bodies. The huge animals were created at that time as well. If the huge animals had remained on earth, they would have devastated it completely eating up everything. God was teaching those incarnated spirits that they must not have huge bodies, because the greatness of a being does not lie in the huge body. An idea is great not when it is big in volume, but when it bears something great which helps the development of all beings. If you sow a walnut, in ten or twelve years it will become a big tree, but after it dies, it assumes its original state again. Now I am telling you to become like the little children and to make an experiment in this respect.

 

I say, let this idea of Christ enter your mind and try to be small before God. Imagine that you are just beginning your life in the Kingdom of God. You may consider yourselves eminent people, but how many great kings, how many eminent people lived in the past, of whom there is no trace today. You deceive yourselves thinking that the people around you are eminent, famous, but you can see how eminent they are when misfortune comes to them. In a Varna village about fifty years ago, there was a very eminent son of a chorbadji37. The whole village was speaking about him. When anyone said, "Petran Chorbadji," everybody knew him. Every week he would slaughter and roast a lamb, gather people for a long and merry feast. But misfortune befell him so that he lost everything and became the last pauper. Everybody deserted him and started mocking him. That "Petran Chorbadji" thought himself an eminent man! What is an eminent person? A dead ox. When he dies, the dogs eat him up. Then they again speak of him, but only until he is all eaten up. After that nothing more is said of him.

 

People speak of a person so long as there is something they can take or receive from them, but as soon as the person dies and nothing remains of them, they stop talking about him. These are the misfortunes of your external life. You are very beautiful on the outside, but the beauty of the heart and the mind is important. That is why you must purify your heart and mind and do not fly at high game. Become small children that you may enter the Kingdom of God and inherit the new life. People on the Earth are dead. They are eaten up by dogs, crows and eagles, because they are "great." When you read "Revelation," you will see that God summons all eagles and says to them, "Come, you little ones, to take your share, of the flesh of kings and heroes—all "great men." What does this mean? When a big oak tree rots and turns into soil, God sends the little seeds and grasses and says to them, "Take your share of this oak, because in the past it obstructed your development." That is why Christ says, "If you do not become small children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God. God will not take your side."

 

Therefore, the new conditions under which you live require a new moral, new religious principles which must be more powerful and effective than the present ones. The principles you have used till now are weak and cannot endure. You have a rope which can raise ten kilograms, but you want it to raise a load of one hundred kilograms, what must you do? You will make it ten times stronger. The rope is the moral you must make ten times stronger than the previous one, in order that it may endure the new conditions. That is exactly why, according to Christ's Law, you must change your outlook.

 

If the worst person were to become a child, you would love them because they would change. There cannot exist a struggle between an oak and grass, but there will always be a struggle between two oaks. Plant them next to each other, you will see the struggle between them—which should grow taller and see the Sunbeams. The one that grows higher will succeed, but the one that remains below will say, "I remained small." Small but with big ideas. It is not that you have remained small, but that you should wait for your turn, then you will say to the big oak, "I shall become your son, an acorn". It will answer, "I, on my part, am your father." "Thank you, father, for your care which you will take of me." One day this acorn will grow big and exchange its role with its father. Christ requires every one of us to become a tree which will bear fruit, a seed upon which the Kingdom of God may be laid.

 

You will say, "These are abstract things." No, they are not. Deposit in your mind the thought, "I want to become a small Divine child. God, help me realize this thought." Think upon this though for twelve months and you will see how your life will change. However, do not blaze forth this idea; I can see that you are small. When a big beech tree comes and says, "I am small" it is not speaking the Truth. When a rich man says he has no money, he is afraid of being robbed. When a poor man says he has money, he does not speak the Truth. Let everyone speak what is right. Have faith in this great Divine Law of this child and God will be with you. If God credits you, He will make you great. But if you make yourself great, you are in the state of a lying merchant who says he has money when he has not.

 

This is the deep sense of the verse, "Become like small children." I do not want you to think, "Are we really nothing?" Leave this thought aside. What you have been until now is not important; the thing that counts is what you will be from now on. It is well known what people have been like until now—let sleeping dogs lie. The future ideal is—be Divine small children. I wish you to be children of God and use all the great blessings the Kingdom of God is giving you. I wish you all to be wise, happy and good. As you see, I am telling you the way you can be such. You will say, "How will we regard the small drop of water?" Be not troubled, it will grow. The rain does not pour down at once, but drop by drop and gradually it rains harder. However, the small drops benefit the world. The small children do not know what fear is, but the grandmas frighten them, "The big, bad goblin will eat you up!" The same way the maid-servants frighten the children with the goblin to make them fall asleep, so that they can go out and have a date with some young man. In order to be free to go to a ball, some mothers also fool and frighten their children with something awful and mysterious. Down with your goblins! Deceive neither the children, nor yourselves! Be sincere with yourselves and others—this is the only way you can be rejuvenated and become beautiful. As soon as the divine idea takes possession of your mind, everything will change—your lips, eyebrows, nose and forehead. In Europe women paint their lips red, because the red color shows wealth and pure blood. Let this be done naturally. To become small children means to stop lying to God. Someone does not believe in God—they may have serious reasons for their disbelief. Another person says, "There is no God." I say, you have not turned on the switch. "Life has no sense." You have not turned on the switch. "People are bad." You have not turned on the switch. The small child's switch is inside of them. There is no more beautiful or greater idea than this. Some want to know who Christ is. The power of life is not in the letter, but in the spirit of things. I am careful in always conforming to the Divine Truth, speaking only what is true.

 

You must not play the role of one of the disciples of Socrates who, desiring to show himself humble, went one day to his master in torn pants. However, his master told him his pride could be seen through his torn pants. You must be careful and you see I am careful with your hearts and have never said what is true. Everything I say to you is a Truth which you can verify. If you have no results, I am ready to start working with you. Only say to yourself, "This year I want to be a small Divine child!"

 

This is the idea I want you to go away with—to be small Divine children. All the European nations to be such children too. Then the real Divine peace will come into the world.

 

Sermon held on February 11, 1917 in Sofia.

 

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35. Matt. 18:3.

36. The formulae in the previous lecture are one effective method of turning on this switch of our hearts and minds, of revitalizing the connection with our Creator and harmonizing ourselves with the Cosmic rhythms (ed. note).

37. (Turkish) A well-to-do person. The word was also used to refer to Bulgarian wealthy people during the Turkish domination (1396-1878) (ed. note).

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Note 2p

 

The children

 

 

 

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven”

 

Mathew, 18:3

 

To explain who is able to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus takes a form that has been comprehensible to everyone since the creation of the world – children. Children are what brings joy to the households and to the world. A home without children is like a desert without a spring, without any grass. Why should man become a little child to get to heaven? Jesus’ word “child” bears a sense deeper than we can possibly grasp. Jesus does not say, “You will be admitted to the Lord’s Kingdom if you are a jewel encrusted in a king’s crown or a millionaire.” He says, “If you do not become a child” – what He actually means is belittlement .

 

The child stands for a passive state, or to put it differently, a potential energy, a kind of dormant energy. This energy is not inactive though, because it bears all the necessary conditions for its development; it is both potential and kinetic. Potential energy can transform into kinetic and vice versa. Kinetic energy is more active, but it is smaller in dimensions, while potential energy is capable of infinite growth. The difference between an adult and a child is just the same. An adult is less active and less capable of development than a child is. There is something more in the notion of a child. If a tree does not transform into a small seed to be planted in the soil, it cannot start the new cycle of development. Trees grow in two ways. Some grow through seeds, others grow through grafts. There is a great difference between a grafted tree and a tree that has grown from a seed. A tree developed from a seed is far sturdier than a grafted tree. Jesus warns us that if we do not turn into a seed, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. It is where trees are not grafted; only seeds are planted. God does not need old people. There are no old people in the kingdom of heaven. The word “old” is synonymous to “feeble” or “impotent”, while “children” and “young” are synonyms to “rich” at heart and in mind. My interpretation is that if you do not have the purity and innocence of a child, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, because the conditions in which you have to grow require that your heart and mind bear the Divine life. A widely held misconception of modern spiritual thought is that we are great. Each of us, even 5-year-old children, thinks highly of themselves. I have often encountered 5 or 6 – year-old children who believe that they are big enough and capable of doing anything. I have met religious children as well who think they are very important and powerful. “Do not fool with me,” they say, “I can do God knows what if I beckon with my finger!” These children cannot lift even a sack if asked to do so. Why can’t they? Only because they think they are big and strong enough, while, in fact, they are not. If they thought they were small, then they would be able to. This can be checked. Focus on your inner self, pretending to be a child, and pick out a particular idea – if you stay calm, your thought will be ten times as active as when you get anxious. What do you have to do with a switch? You only have to flick it. The force you apply is really insignificant. God arranges the world in such a way that your only mission here is to flick the switch. What do most people do? They stand in front of the switch, philosophising. It is impossible to turn on the lights this way. There is no point in philosophising. The only thing you have to do is to put out your hand, and the light you need for reading will come. The same law applies to waking up in the mornings – you turn your switch, saying, “I can see.” Similarly, the soul, on entering the body, turns the switch and says, “I can see the sun.” If you forget to turn your switch, you will live in darkness; i.e. your mind will stay dim and incapable of doing any job. One morning you get up, forgetting to turn the switch to your heart and your mind. As a result, your whole day is spoiled – everything goes wrong and you find everything pointless. I say that you are in the position of a child who thinks big, but forgets about the trifles – to turn the switch on and light the world. I keep coming across people who have failed to turn their switches – they think big, dreaming of having many houses, having great plans and ideas, while they remain blind. You do not need houses – turn the switch first, and then think about building houses. Become a humble, obedient child. Only then will God speak to you, and will you be able to understand your relationship with Him. Modern people have lost their connection with God – they think they are free and can do anything. They think they can criticise God. I would like to ask such a person, “Did you turn the switch on getting up this morning?” – No, I didn’t.” – “Then you should go back home to turn the switch, otherwise you will spend the whole day in darkness. Or, you will feel indisposed and life will be meaningless to you.” The same law applies to human relationships – you have turned on the switch and everybody loves you; you have forgotten to turn on the switch and everything goes wrong. You are a great man but nobody loves you. Nobody likes people who want too much. The heavenly law has children’s innocence as its symbol. To bear a heavy burden on your back and to have little in your stomach are two different notions. If you carry a sack full of 100kg of grain on your back and if you have half a kilo of grain in your stomach, where will the strength be? Modern economists, who burden the state with heavy debts, do this because they do not understand the Divine law. I’d rather you had half a kilo of grain in your stomach than 100kg on your back. 100g of knowledge in the head is far better than 100kg on the back. One may have 100 volumes of books, but 50g of knowledge in the head as a potential and kinetic energy is worth a great deal more than what is outside it. So, with the word “child” Christ understands a specific inner condition - to be adapted and related to the spiritual world with all its forces and creatures. If you start thinking of yourselves as a great creature, you lose these connections. When a great angel from heaven, who has lived for millions of years, gaining more experience than the whole humanity, and whose history is greater than that of the whole human kind, decides to come down to earth and incarnate, he will reincarnate into a child and will show humility; from this point he will start his growth in order to understand the greatness of God. Therefore, Jesus was asked: “Can an old man enter the Kingdom of God?” Neither an angel, nor God can. Anybody that desires to enter the spiritual world should show humility – to become a child. All of you, listening to me here, are willing to enter the Kingdom of God the way you are. I don’t say; this never was and would never be. Only if you acquire the attributes of a child, i.e. the flexibility of the mind and the heart, you will understand the profound meaning of life. Still, you are very close to the Kingdom of God. The interstice that separates this world from the other one is a hundred millionth part of the millimeter – only that big is the distance between the two worlds. When a man gets on the path to growth, he is moving very slowly. As I see, anybody that takes the spiritual path, starts as a grown-up, not as a child. If a man starts walking in strides, he won’t achieve his goal. If you see a man running out of his house, he won’t get anywhere. But if he starts slowly and gradually accelerates his walk, he is in the situation of a child. Jesus says: “Do not start your duties in a hurry; move like young children do – walk and gradually accelerate your pace by 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, and then you will find meaning in your life.” While you are in the situation of young children, no sickness will come; however, when you in the situation of the old, you will be affected by all kinds of diseases. One who is uncertain is old; one who feels the burden in his heart is old. Get young. You say, “I feel burdened.” – You are old. – “What should I do?” – Become young. – “How?” – Forget about great world issues. Put only ½ kg of bread in your stomach, 100 g of knowledge in your brain and 5 g in your heart – that is enough. Maidens when loved by 10 or 15 lads start reproaching themselves and become upset. Several years ago, in Sofia, a maid was killed by her fiancée, as she was unfaithful. – How can a girl be in love with two men? One is perfectly adequate. Every thought has its place. If you don’t love somebody, don’t lie to him, but tell him the truth, and he will find another lover. Suffering out of love exists in religion as well. It is said: “Let’s love,” but do you know how to express love? A man that covets commits a sin, and who sins – suffers. The one that sins is a bad person, but the one that sins and doesn’t repent is worse. The one who sins and neither repents, nor prays is even worse, and the one that does not repent but prays is a hypocrite, and the hypocrite is the worst kind in this world. There are two lies, two kinds of sins - when you say that you love somebody and lie to him, you act the way crocodiles do: when they love somebody they shed tears over him so that he becomes sleek enough to swallow. It is not the love that we need, but the love of young children. You may give a bit, but give it with full heart. If men and women applied this philosophy to life, all households and communities would change for the better. Fathers, mothers, children, teachers, priests, judges – they all think of great ideas, they are great people; they are the greatest people in this world. And you are asking me why the world suffers? It suffers because of “great” people and ideas. “What an excellent preacher he is”, they say, “What great ideas he preaches”. Yes, but we all suffer from “great” ideas. The Jews had great ideas as well. They wanted to become wealthy and grew proud of being the chosen people. They received 33,000 promises from God, but Christ showed them that human greatness lies in the challenge of becoming young like a child: only then will God be on our side. I have never seen a single mother bearing an old granddad in her womb even if she would get paid millions for that. While any woman bears a young child even without being paid anything for that. Why? - Because the child bears intrinsic welfare. Any Divine idea, no matter how small it is, bears peace, joy, and omnipresence when it gets inside; therefore everybody can bear young children.

 

Some of you may think that great ideas evoke happiness in the world. To make this clearer I will tell you a legend. A poverty-stricken German prince wanted to marry a beauty; still she told him: “I am a woman hard to please, so you will build a wonderful palace for me and whatever else I may want, you will have to give it to me. If you agree to this, I will accept your proposal; are you ready?” – “I am ready to do anything, because I will be happy with you,” answered the prince. He married her and started searching for wealth through occultism and through conjuring spirits. He found the prince of gnomes and said: “I married a very demanding woman and I need some money. Can you lend me some?” – “I can, but only if you give me 10 hairs from your head for every bag of money.” – “I have plenty, so I can even give you more.” – “No, I need only 10 of them. Any time you come, you can take a bag of gold.” – “Ah, we are provided for now,” – he said, - “my home will be filled with happiness at last”. And he started visiting the prince of gnomes week after week, month after month, taking money and giving hairs in return. A year, two, three passed, and he lost all his hair. He went again to borrow some money, but no more hair was on his head. “May I give you something else?” he asked. “No, hairs, I need hairs.” Only then did he realise that the human character is hidden in these hairs - the seemingly insignificant things he had sacrificed for what he believed to be more important. Every hair is a noble thought sacrificed for nothing . If you have had such a desire for ten years, you sacrifice everything noble in you and become as barren as a desert. Then you turn into an old big dry tree – a symbol of the perished human character. The truth shouldn’t offend us. I know many that get offended when you tell them the truth. But anybody offended by the truth is looked upon as an old man by God. That is God’s law - God has never felt offended. There is hardly a creature that has been abused more than God himself, still He has never even knitted His brows. He observes us calmly in silence. Eventually, He says: “These children will understand the law: they sin and that is why they will bear this burden.” – “It is hard, too hard to live in poverty. What shall we do?” – “You will have to work.” – “Is this the only way?” – “I’m afraid, it is. You will have to work.” – “We are grown up people.” – “You will pray and you will become children.” When you get back home, try to become a child and you will feel younger. You have grown old – why? – Because you bear the world on your back. If you are in a boat that is rolling and you get scared, what is the point of being afraid? Stay calm and have faith, as a child would do. The one that has made the boat will take care of you. The boat will roll for a while and stop. Don’t be afraid of thunder and lightning. The birds in the sky are rolling as well, but they understand these laws better than you do. I apologise for all this. If you are old, you will take offence; if you are young, I will congratulate you. When I tell the truth, nobody is hurt. If someone happens to go barefoot through a stretch of rocks, I will say to him: Put on shoes, because you will hurt your feet and will have to turn back half way across; the shoes will save you. If it is a lady, she will prefer getting hurt to putting on some practical yet ugly shoes, which her beloved might not fancy. Children should always have shoes. Look at the butterflies, these small children of God, look what excellent arrays they have; if an earthly queen had it, she couldn’t have been happier. Even though these butterflies live short lives, God dresses them nicely. Why is that? – Because they are children. And why is God bringing misfortune to people? – Because they are old. Why is God blessing some? – Because they are young children. A mother is ready to forgive her children many faults, but if her husband makes a mistake, she will say: “This senile man is such a nuisance! I’ll get rid of him.” By the same token, Heaven forgives children all their sins; but it is harsh on the elderly and says: “You are banned from here!” Then what does all this engender in us? Discontent, despair and hatred towards life as we face resistance and conditions unfavorable for our development. To be loved by God and people, we need to embrace the Divine idea - the only thing we have to get accustomed to, is to feel small in front of God, to bear a sympathetic mind and heart. Love has degrees in strength: when you keep two meters away from a heater, you feel some pleasant warmth, but if you put your hand on it, you will get burnt. Old people are hot heaters – sometimes they burn. They are usually self-interested and greedy. Do not think that I mean you. My word is about those old people described in the Scripture. An old person is someone who thinks that he is great, such people we should try to avoid. This is what Jesus meant when preaching that we should become small children. By exploring Nature, you will see that the most valuable things are not big. Take the diamond - the substance that made it up used to be gaseous, taking up too much space. God compressed it by turning it into a solid, thus reducing its volume. It became smaller in size, but bigger in value. Do you know how much energy is compressed into an atom? By the same token, we need to get smaller, like children, for God is great and if we want to be like Him, we have to learn about transitory things and the stages in temporary being. We need to learn this art because small things grow into bigger ones. A small seed has the necessary conditions to develop into a big tree, as soon as it falls on the ground, while a leaf or a fruit, no matter how big it is, will dry out as soon as it falls. This is what Jesus’ words mean. He speaks to the people of an enlightened century – to those who can understand His teaching and apply it. He does not speak to those who cannot understand Him. When a great musician is playing, he plays to those who have an ear for music. When a great sculptor creates his sculpture, he does it for those who have eyes to appreciate it. When a writer writes a book, he does it for those who can understand it. God created the world and set down the law for those who can understand Him. Those who cannot understand Him, will stay encumbered with the heavy burden on their backs, thinking they are great. Once, when God created the world, the spirits descending on earth wanted to be great. That’s why they had huge bodies and, accordingly, all the animals were enormous, too. If those enormous animals had lived on, they would have destroyed the earth completely, eating everything up. God had to teach those spirits that they did not need these huge bodies, as the greatness of a living being is not in the size. An idea is great not when it is enormous but when it fosters progress. If you plant a walnut tree, it will grow big in 10 to 12 years. However, when it dies, it will return to its initial state. I suggest that you become small children and try this. You need to embrace this idea of Jesus and do your best to stay small in the face of God. You may think that you are of importance or substance but think of those kings and nobility who have vanished beyond recall. We are often misled to think that the people around us are great and important, but when misfortune strikes, you can tell how insignificant they are. In a small village near Varna, a rich man’s son used to live. He was the talk of the village and everyone knew him. He used to invite people to lavish feasts every week and the spree carried on till dawn. It happened so that he went bankrupt. Everybody abandoned him when he was broke. This man believed he was important. How could he be such? He was like a dead ox – when it dies, the dogs gather to feed on it. People kept talking about him but only till they ate him up. He was completely forgotten when he was finished. People talk about you only when they have something you have offered them to eat. When you die and nothing remains of you, they stop talking about you. These are the misfortunes of our outer life. We may be very beautiful in appearance, but what counts is the inner beauty of the heart and mind. That’s why you have to clear your mind and heart of lies. You should become small children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven and inherit the new Life. People on the earth are dead – dogs, eagles and ravens scavenge on them because they are “great”. When you read the Revelation, you will see that God summons all eagles and tells them, “Come here to take your share! Come to feast on the flesh of brave warriors and chieftains! These were all great people!” What does it mean? When some sturdy oak dies and turns to soil, God sends small seeds and blades of grass there, bidding them, “Take your share of this oak for it used to hinder your growth!” That’s why Jesus tells you to become small children, otherwise you wouldn’t enter His Kingdom. God would not take your side. You need to build up new moral and religious principles that are stronger than the current ones. The principles you have applied up to now are too weak to sustain you. If you take a piece of rope that can hold a weight of 10 kg while you need it for a weight of 100kg, what should you do? You need to make it 10 times stronger. This rope stands for morals – you need to be 10 times as morally strong in order to withstand present conditions. That is why, in compliance with natural logic, we have to change our outlook. Even the worst person who becomes a small child can change, so you will get to love him/her. There cannot be any conflict between an oak and a blade of grass. However, two oaks can always fight. If you plant them one next to the other, they will start competing for height and sunshine. Whichever manages to take the lead, will be the successful one, while the smaller one will say, “I remain here, beneath you.” You have remains small , but with great ideas! It is not that you are small. You only have to wait for your turn to come. Then you will say, “I will become your son, the acorn!” The oak will respond, “I will be your father.” - “Well, father, thank you, for you care.” There will come a day when the acorn will grow big enough to change places with his father. What Jesus wants from us is that each of us should become a tree and give fruit upon which to lay the Kingdom. You will say that this is too far-fetched. No, you should give this some consideration and say, “I want to become a small divine child. Lord, help me to make this thought come true.” Focus on this idea for 12 months and you will see how your life will change. Do not make fuss about this, though. I can see that you are small. When a big oak comes to tell me, “I am small.” I know that it does not tell me the truth. When a rich man says that he has no money it is because he is afraid of being robbed. When a poor man says that he has money, he is lying. Let everybody tell the truth. Have faith in God’s law about the small children and God will always stand by you. If God gives you credit, He will make you great. But if you yourselves pretend to be great, then you will be very much like the fraudulent merchant who keeps bragging about having money while he actually has none.

 

This is what the profound meaning of the verse “become little children” is. I do not want you to think, “Are we of no importance, really?” Leave that thought aside. It does not matter what you have been up to now. What counts is what you will become from now on. It is well known what you were – let sleeping dogs lie. Let us become little divine children – that is the ultimate aim. I would like you to become God’s children and take advantage of the great goods the Kingdom of Heaven offers you. I would like you all to be happy, wise and good. I can tell you what you see and show you the way to achieve this. You will ask, “How should we perceive this small drop?” Do not worry – it will enlarge. The rain does not start at once. It starts drizzling in small drops, and then it starts raining harder. All these small drops make their contribution to the world. Small children do not know fear, yet their grannies frighten them with evil spirits if they refuse to go to bed. Mothers, too, before leaving for a party, try to make their children stay peaceful and well-behaved or go to bed by frightening them with evil spirits. Down with these evil sprits! Do not lie to your children that they will appear. Do not lie to yourselves either! Be honest to yourselves and to others – this is the only way to become younger and more attractive. As soon as you conceive a divine idea, everything will change – lips, brows, etc. Europeans use make-up to make the lips red because the red colour suggests pure blood and wealth. Let this impression come naturally. Let us become small children and stop lying to God. No one believes in God – there can be a serious reason for this lack of faith. Some will say, “There is no God.” I will say, “You have not turned the key.” “Life is pointless.” “You have not turned the key,” I say. “Well people are evil.” “You have not turned the key,” I say. The key of the small child is inside. This is the greatest possible idea. Some want to know who Jesus is. Jesus is what He has said. If you are capable of using His words, you will be happy. The strength in Life is not in the letter but in the spirit. I take great care to comply with the Divine idea. What I say is always true. We should be careful to avoid what Socrates’ disciple did. This young person appeared in front of Socrates in shabby pants in order to show humility. His master, however, told him, “I can see your pride transpire through your pants.” We have to be careful. As you see, I have always been careful not to tell you something that is not true. Everything I say is true – you can check it. If you do not see any results, I will join you. You just have to say. “I want to become a small child this year.”

 

This is the key idea I want to hammer home – to become little children. I want all Bulgarians to become little, divine children. When all European nations become such little children, the true Divine peace will come to reign in this world.

 

A lecture held on 11 February, 1917.

 

 

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