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Jackline Spasova-Bobeva

1917_01_14 Martha and Mary

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The Book - The Spirit and The Flesh. Beinsa Douno

Translation from Bulgarian - Vessela Nestorova

 

 

MARTHA AND MARY

 

But Martha was cumbered

about much serving, and

came to him and said, Lord,

dost thou not care that my

sister hath left me to serve

alone? Bid her therefore

that she help me.

41. And Jesus answered

and said unto her, Martha,

Martha thou art careful

and troubled about many

things: 42. But one thing is

needful: and Mary hath

chosen that good part, which

shall not be taken away from

her.30

 

Much has been spoken about Martha and Mary. They represent two principles in the human soul— the active and the passive. In the person of Martha and Mary are presented two women, two opposite characters, two states of the human heart: the one state is calm and silent with a mind directed to an eternal principle, resting on an eternal foundation; the other state is like that of the waves in the sea, like the small branches in a tree—constant bubbling, constant swaying. Christ, however, points out to Martha what is essential by saying to her, "You are cumbered about many things which are not essential, which are outside of reality, but Mary chose something more essential."
 
Many of you belong to these two characters—some are Martha and some—Mary. The Maries are generally noble women. They are good, of an excellent stature, beautiful face, soft look in the eyes, symmetrical forehead, regular nose; in the heart they are soft, delicate, responsive to others' sufferings and ready to help. In Jewish, Mary means salty water. Mary always salts the world and, thanks to her, it does not get spoiled, does not sour up or decay. When you have the principle of Mary in yourself, your heart is not decomposed. Martha comes from Mara, meaning bitter, sour, and turbulent. Therefore, the bitter principle in you is constantly embittered, angered, discontented. It does not do this out of an evil intention, or bad will, but because it is a very active principle which in its motion wants its path to be clear, open. When Martha gets up in the morning, all the servants are up and about, there is much bustling and noisy chatter. However, as soon as she takes the broom, everybody runs as far away from her as they can. She says, "Everything here must be in order." You will meet Martha in churches, in schools, in courts—everywhere. She is just as necessary as Mary is, but you should not give predominance to the one or the other—to the one or the other principle.
 
I shall connect these two principles with two others which I shall formulate as: Principle of the Superior and Principle of the Inferior. The principle in the person of Mary expresses the superior showing us how to serve God and how to be in harmony with the higher beings—the saints and the angels— who know more than us: they know how to humble themselves and submit. We shall sit quietly and calmly at the feet of the Master to receive enlightenment. You will ask, "How many are the Masters?" There is One Master that I know of—the Master is One. He may have 250,000 hairs on His head, but it does not mean that they are 250,000 Masters. A tree may have many branches, but they are not trees. However, one and the same life flows in the tree and in its branches. This is the way you should conceive of unity. And when the Master comes, that is the Spirit, Who is in you, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, you must listen deeply in yourself to the soft and tender voices of love. Love is not sour, it is a soft, tender power. What do you like in life? Imagine everything in the world in the likeness of Martha—all taking brooms, raising dust and noise. What music would that be? I believe that houses would be in perfect order, there would be fine furniture, fine clothes, we would have wonderful farms, but there would be no life. And conversely, if everything was in the likeness of Mary, all would be salt. But if there were no Marthas what would be salted?
 
Mary has a relation to something else, to another principle, a different foundation. The Superior Principle, Mary, shows the way we should serve God individually. In this service we shall find the sense of our life. To the extent to which we understand the inner sense of our soul, to that extent shall we understand the other beings who live around us. As soon as we have learned the first—the Superior Principle—to submit to God, we shall learn the second principle—to submit all inferior elements, to conquer the Inferior Principle in people. And when contemporary science speaks of conquering Nature, I understand that it wants to conquer Martha who makes much noise. We must learn to be good Masters. Those who have not learned to submit to God and serve Him, cannot be masters. Those who want to be masters must first learn to be servants— to be servants of God and to be submitted to Him. They must learn the higher Law—to sit like Mary at the feet of Christ. Christ says, "That good part Mary chose shall not be taken away from her."
 
I shall give you as an example of this idea a legend. It speaks about the great violinist Paganini. One day during his concert tour in Europe, Paganini came upon an old, around 60 years of age, violinist with shaking hands, blurred eyesight and a small dish beside him, his violin on the ground, since he could play no more. Paganini stopped before the old violinist, picked up his violin and started playing. In a short time a big crowd gathered around him, each one putting a gold or silver coin in the beggar's dish. He played until the dish was full. This is how Paganini paid his tribute to the poor old man. This old man sat at the feet of Paganini as Mary set at the feet of Christ, but he did not say, "Let us see what will come out of all this." He listened to his master's playing. "Yes," he said, "I see now my great Master—the Master of life." The dish is the vessel into which great and good thoughts are poured. When this great Master starts playing in you, your vessel will be filled with noble thoughts and desires and you will be weak and crippled no more, but become young, vigorous, good and strong.
 
I would wish that in a given case you would do the same. This does not mean that you should devote all your life to serving, for when Christ commended Mary, He only wanted to say, "I do not want you to give me all your time in service, but only your spare time, no matter how little it may be. The rest of the time you are free to do your duties in life." The great teaching does not want in the least our neglecting the duties in life. Only that hour, set aside for Mary, must be given her. Paganini does not always stop, this is a rare moment. He takes the violin, plays for a while and passes on. In the same way, Christ will stop some day before you when you are burdened, tired of life, thinking your life has no sense, that you are of no use to anyone, that the art you are studying is of no value. Then He will stop before you and start playing on your violin. Therein is happiness—to hear how a great Master plays or paints, or to see a great artist. This is the teaching we should study, the teaching of revering God and submitting ourselves to Him; only by this submission we shall learn great Virtues.
 
What does present day friction, or conflict, among people spring from? From the fact that people are sour, not soft and tender. If all people were soft and tender, life would be happy both outwardly and inwardly. If people would have mutual respect for one another and were pliant, there would be great harmony in life. I do not commend people who quarrel daily, they murmur every day against God. We hear murmuring everywhere—scientists, doctors, professors, priests, and preachers—all are murmuring. If someone is a shepherd, he will say that his sheepfold is small, he would want a bigger one—this is murmuring too. The learned person murmurs that few abilities have been given to them. Who is to blame? Always God is blamed. I am not speaking about you, who are here, but about those who are in the world—everybody is murmuring. The Law of the superior life requires of you that gratefulness and love of God should always spring from your heart.
 
Some people ask, "Where is God? How can we find Him?" Even little children can find God. Already 2,000 years have passed since the philosophers have begun to prove by argumentation where God is—in the sky, on the stars, on the Earth or in the human heart. They are still looking for Him, but no one has found Him. The preachers say He is in the human heart; the astronomers say he is in the Universe as the Law of gravitation. Some say He exists, others deny His existence. I shall use a figure to show you on what these philosophers base themselves. Imagine that God, like the Sun, rises and sets every 24 hours from east to west. Moreover, imagine that when God rises, you fall asleep and sleep until He has set and after He has set, you wake up and look for Him all night. When you do not find Him, you fall asleep again when dawn breaks and after He has set again, you look for Him all night. A day, two days, a month, a year, ten or more years pass and you are seeking Him all the time and do not find Him anywhere.
 
I say: only change the relation of things and you will find God—sleep at night and be awake in the morning when the Sun rises. I see Him every day: I sleep at night, but in the morning, when dawn breaks, I get up and meet Him. This is the philosophy of life. God rises as the Sun. What do people do at night at present? They go to concerts, balls, to theaters and when God rises, they are sleeping. They are aristocrats, of noble birth. All people who sleep in the morning and in the daytime are of the culture of the owls. That is why they suffer. But this night culture must be substituted by the culture of the day. As soon as day breaks, you will get up and stand waiting at least haft an hour, then God will appear before your face and you will draw from Him strength, energy and health and the whole day you will be bright and cheerful, working with vigor.
 
Some philosophers say, "God is an aristocrat, He does not accept everybody, so we must appear dressed up before Him." Now, I shall use another figure as an objection. When the Sun rises, all animals—good and bad, beautiful and ugly— come our in their clothing such as it is. God shines upon everyone—the snakes and the lizards, the mosquitoes and the loathsome creatures who do so much harm. He does not say to them, "You must hide in your hole!" In the same way you can appear before God and bask in His Light and heat. This is the sense of life. We do not suffer from the fact that there are many snakes on the Earth; their number is determined, they are in their place, but when they become twice as many as they are, the extra number must be destroyed by all means. When the number of the wolves is within the determined bounds, they are in their place, but when they multiply too much, again the extra number must be destroyed. Thus, if you do not put to work every thought and every desire you have, i.e., if you have not learned to serve God, this thought and this desire will command you. And then by the same Law, as you oppose God, your desires and thoughts will oppose you. If you can apply in your life what I am telling you, you will see how efficient it is and what results you will have.
 
Some say, "Let us educate the world, discipline the people!" In this sense, I do not believe in disciplining, because all people are individual cells of the Divine organism, of the Divine body and each one must discipline itself individually. I cannot command anyone. To command a person is sacrilege, lying to God. I do not want to command. Why? Because all people are God's and I have no right to command and misuse another's possessions, I have the right to be master only of my thoughts and desires—I can command them. However, I must be a servant to everything outside of me. You must do the same.
 
Now we shall come down to the inferior elements—the irrational. What is said in the first chapter of Genesis? "God created heaven, the first day and then—the Earth." Heaven implies Mary, and earth—Martha. The Earth was not organized, or was sour. The people of learning say that when Martha appeared, there was storm, a hurricane, fire, steam rising and then God said, "Martha, Martha, you are making big noise, but progress does not lie in that. Mary chose the good part. Look up!" The Earth, Martha, looked up and started turning round itself and round the Sun. That way life appeared on it, many creatures were created and finally—humans. When God finished His work, He said, "Everything about Martha is good." And that was the first day, then came the second, to the seventh day. Now some of you are Martha—making a noise and flames coming out of their hearts and minds. Martha has no lakes or rivers, but the great Master says, "Martha, Martha, be not worried! Only one thing is necessary—heaven, the rational, the great thing in the world. Look up to heaven, it will give sense to your life." When you look up your spirit will immediately start moving regularly round its center and you will find the sense of your life. To find sense in life means to have a center around which to move and which center will daily supply what is necessary for your needs.
 
Thus, God has created in us simultaneously both Martha and Mary—the two poles of the human soul. I could explain the inner meaning of these two principles active in the world, but when much knowledge is accumulated and is not applied, certain sediments are formed and people become confused, not knowing what to do. A student from an Evangelical school, who wanted to excuse himself for not knowing his lesson in Bulgarian grammar, said to his teacher, "There are many grammar textbooks in Bulgarian by Ikonomov, Grigorov and others, which one should I study from?" He excused himself this way once, twice, but finally the teacher said to him, "Listen, friend, I do not want to know what the grammar books of Ikonomov and Grigorov say, I want you to study my grammar!" When God comes to you, you say, "There are philosophers like Kant, Schopenhauer, Tolstoy who say so and so, but there is contradiction among them, who shall we follow?" God will say, "You will follow what I tell you." When you want to follow the Divine Truth, you must go deep into your soul, only then will you understand life in its deep sense. Different abilities will come to birth within you and you will see other, greater beings than you and then you will say, "How blind we have been!" I ask, if you were in the state of an ant and some philosopher would step on you and smash you, what would you think of his feet? You would say that a big rock fell on you and smashed you. But this rock is only a small part of this giant. Some day you say, "Fate is against me, it persecutes me." Fate is nothing other than the foot of some great philosopher who has stepped upon you. Do not stand in the path of the philosophers, of the learned people, they will not stop because of you, they march on their way and if you interfere, the foot of the philosopher will smash you. When you complain, I shall say, "Your place is not on this philosophical path, you are ants and must choose other paths." This is a philosophy of life. When I see the misfortune of a person, I look up and notice a giant who has stepped on them and smashed them.
 
God has made the world and all other worlds. In the Milky Way, there are 18,000,000 suns and each one of them is moving along its definite orbit. There is a distance of 25 billion kilometers from one sun to another, so that collision should be avoided. God has drawn these orbits. He has drawn an orbit for your life as well, has given you a certain space and has said, "Never pass beyond the boundaries of your kingdom." You want to make a contract with some other kingdoms; the men and the women of two kingdoms made a contract to form one kingdom and quarreled in the end. Why should they quarrel? Let everyone reign in their kingdom. Someone says, "Come, let us put our money together in the same place to preserve it." Let everyone keep their money in their own purse! Do not entrust your money to anyone. On earth, no matter whom you may entrust it, it will be taken away anyhow. That is why Christ says, "Lay your treasures up above—this is the true sense of life."
 
So we are wrong in that we want to distort the life God has ordered. I know of people who hate someone and carry them everywhere in their minds. Leave that person alone and hold only onto God! He lights up everything, allow Him in your holy of holies. People today are polytheists; they have Gods of labor, of glory, of power and burn incense to all of them. Take your hammer, throw all these idols out, or break them up, then sit at the feet of your Master and you will understand the deep sense of your life. This is what Christ means by the words, "The good part Mary has chosen shall not be taken away from her." You worry about many things, taking care of this and that thing, yet you are master of these things; so take them and throw them out. I have noticed how some masters sit in their chairs, like me now, and give orders. They want to be given something which they themselves can take, but they ring the bell once, twice and finally they go out and start scolding the servant. Their calmness and peace are of more value, however, than the fact that the servant has not brought their chosen shoes at once. Do not wait for others to do the things you can do yourself. Go and take your shoes and then moralize the servant to do their duties properly. This is what God wants of you, because this servant is not yours, but someone else's. When I say I am a servant, I do not have in mind you, the people; I am a servant of God.
 
In London a Baptist preacher once went to see another preacher by the name of Spurgeon and to give himself more importance, he wrote on the visiting card, "One of your brothers in Christ is waiting outside, wishing to see you." Spurgeon wrote on the other side of the card, "Now, I have work with our Master." If anyone comes from outside and says a brother of yours in Christ is waiting for you, tell them you are speaking with their Master. Therefore, the servant you are calling from outside to bring you your shoes, has work with their Master and if you break their peace, their Master will take you by the ear. This is the greatest philosophy people today must learn. We must be servants of God. When we learn this great Law, our relations will be normalized. I see how this Law works: when you are in a good mood, all people seem pleasant, but if you are indisposed and have gotten up on the wrong side of bed, the whole day people will seem in the wrong and annoy you. This state may last a week, or a month, we call it a new philosophy— pessimism—and such people—pessimists. In order to justify the weakness of some person, you say they are pessimists. This is according to the words of Schopenhauer. In this sense, you are all philosophers. Bulgarians stand even higher than Schopenhauer, all have this pessimistic trait—the Bulgarian is easily discouraged and falls into despair and then comes Schopenhauer's philosophy, Martha comes. I say—you are obliged to submit to God! Since you do not serve God, all these misfortunes come to you. There is no other fate in the world! The day you submit to God, to your fate, all others submit to you.
 
This is the teaching of Martha and Mary. Mary—this is heaven, Martha—the Earth. Mary this is the higher state of the heart, Martha—the lower state of the heart, Mary—this is the higher state of the mind, the Theosophists call it manas31 superior, Martha is the inferior manas. When you go to your homes, which I see as beautiful and splendid, say to yourself, "Come, Martha, come, Mary, you are two good sisters." Christ is the superior Spirit, the superior principle. If Mary would have answered Martha, she would have said, "Wait for a while, I want to listen and after that I shall help you." Christ was speaking, that is why Mary was not working. When you return home, if you get angry and start talking loudly, say to yourself, "Martha, do you know what the Master says? You must submit!" Mary should be noble, delicate, and speak kindly to her, saying, "Sister, wait a while, I shall be of service to you a little later," and when her sister speaks petulantly, she should say, "How nicely, how pleasantly you are speaking!"
 
There is a certain harmony between the noble and the ignoble, as there is a relation between Love and hate. I know both sisters. Whoever comes between them, they stifle them out of love and when the person dies, they say, "What have we done?" Love says, "Come, let us raise them!" Hate says, "I shall bury them." "All right," says Love. They put some earth on the person, but then comes Love and after heating them up from above, she raises them up. Hate and Love work together in the world, but you have such a bad opinion of hate, of envy. They are really snakes and lizards, but in some cases they are pleasant. What would the world be like without snakes, lizards, flies, and so on? Point out such a world! How is your world better than this? No, the way this world is made is great in its intentions, in its expressions and manifestations. What you are constantly complaining of is the disharmony within you, it is Martha—the unorganized earth. The noise which is constantly taking place in you is namely what disturbs this harmony. God's Spirit must descend and say His word.
 
And so the Spirit has come down, giving orders. He is working. You must have an indomitable faith in the principle, living in Mary. Have faith also in the principle, living in Martha. Have faith in Christ, for Christ, Who is above them, joins them. You also should join these three—your spirit, your Mary and your Martha—and should start the New Year with this act. I will not complete what I have said, but will leave a great interval, a gap, to see how you will solve the puzzle. I am a clairvoyant and when I look at your future, I see how some rise, others fall, some follow the spiritual path, while others twist and turn. In the end, all will be well, only that there will be swaying and loitering. When people get on a big ocean liner, some people throw up because of the constant swaying of the ship, but others do not. How interesting these aristocrats are on the ocean! The first day, they are in high spirits, well-dressed, decked with rings, and necklaces, all happy and content. When the ship starts swaying, everybody begins to look thoughtful like philosophers, listening to an important lecture. The second day, they begin to feel sick to the stomach, start eating lemons, laying on the floors and vomiting. When they land and are asked how they crossed the ocean, they say, "We arrived safe and sound." Yes, but when you cross this ocean from earth to heaven, how many times will you vomit! You will say, "Passing this ocean is serious business!" As soon as you reach the land, you will have good appetites, because you will be well cleaned up. This Martha in the ocean raises much noise around herself, shakes ships, creates weeping and wailing, but as soon as you step on the shore, and Mary comes, you say, "Thank God, we are safe and sound!" Fear not! Be always with your great Master that you may solve the problem of life.
 
You have many complex problems in life: bringing up children, relations between men and women, relations to society and humanity. You have many obligations. How will you finish them? Some think that when they become Christians, they have no obligations. No, just the opposite—a Christian has more obligations and must fulfill them very well. When a day ends, they must feel a great inner calm that they have done what they should have done and if anything had been omitted, to put it in their program for the next day. One day you will be Martha, another day—Mary, but when you are at the feet of your Master, then let both Martha and Mary calm down, for an hour let all and everything calm down.
 
This is the teaching and the thought Christ sets forth. Learn to serve the Superior that you may be masters of the inferior!
 
Sermon held on January 14, 1917, in Sofia
 
_____________________
30. Luke 10:40-42.
31. Manas—(Sanskrit) the mind, all mental expression of the human psychological faculties (ed. note).

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Note 1

 

Martha and Mary

 

But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40 –42)

 

A lot has been said about Martha and Mary. They represent two principles of the human soul – the passive and the active one. In Martha and Mary we have two women, two opposite characters, two conditions of the human heart: one is calm, quiet, speechless, a mind focused on an eternal principle and grounded on an eternal basis, and the other, like the sea waves or the twigs – constantly swaying and surging. Jesus, however, points out to Martha what is important by saying, “You are worried about many things” – things that are insignificant, beyond reality. Mary, on the other hand, opts for something more significant. Most of you fall into these two categories – some are like Martha, others are like Mary. The “Maries” are generally noble women. They are nice, well built, beautiful in the face, their eyes are gentle, the forehead is symmetrical, the nose is straight; they are kind-hearted, tender, sympathetic and considerate. “Mary” in Hebrew means salty water. A Mary gives salt to the world; thanks to her it does not go bad, rotten or sour. When you bear Mary’s principle at heart, you do not get spoiled. “Martha” derives from “mara”, which means bitter, sour, wild; so this principle in you is always unruly, angry and displeased. All this is not because it is ill willed, but because it is too active; wherever it goes it demands the way open. If she is a Martha, you will see her early in the morning when she gets up raise hue and cry in the house, all the servants on the alert, and when she raises the broom everybody runs away. She says, “I want the place neat and tidy.” You can find her at school, at court – everywhere. She is necessary. Yet you should not give her more credit than the other. Both principles are equally important.

 

Two other principles are related to these ones. I define them as the principle of the inferior and the principle of the superior. The principle represented by Mary stands for the superior, which shows us how we should serve God, live in harmony with the High Creatures, the angels, and the saints that know more than we do. They know how to obey – we have to sit quietly and calmly at the feet of the Master to learn from him. You will ask, “Who are the masters?” - He is one. I know only one Master. He may have 250,000 hairs on His head, but this does not mean that they are masters. A tree may have many branches and twigs, but they are not trees. Yet it is one common life that runs through the tree and its branches. The unity in your mind should stand in the same way. So when the Master comes you should listen to the spirit within you, no matter whether you are men or women. You should listen to the voice of this soft tenderness and Love. Love is not sour. What do you like in life? Let us imagine that the world is full of Marthas – all of them holding brooms, raising dust and shouting – what kind of music can this be? I believe that the houses would be neat and tidy, we would be wearing pretty clothes, everything would be in perfect order, but there would not be any life. On the other hand, if all were Maries, then everything would be salty, but what would have to become salty if there were no Marthas? Mary refers to something else, to a different principle, a different basis. The superior principle, Mary, shows us the way in which we have to serve God individually. This service will make our lives meaningful. As long as we understand the inner sense of our souls, we will be able to understand those round us. Once we have learned the first, superior principle – to submit to God – we will be able to learn the other principle - to obey all the inferior elements, the inferior principle. So when modern science claims that it wants to subdue Nature, I see is as a desire to subdue Martha, who is so unruly. We need to learn to be good masters. One who has not learned to submit to God and serve Him cannot be a good master. Any of us who wants to be a master has to learn how to be a servant to God and obey Him. One has to learn the law and sit just like Mary at Jesus’ feet. And Jesus said, “Mary has chosen that good part which will not be taken away from her.” Let me give an example to illustrate the idea. It can be a legend. Paganini, the great violin player, while touring round Europe, met a sixty-year-old fiddler. The poor man was playing in the street, his hands trembling, his eyes bleared, and an empty pot for coins at his feet. When Paganini took his fiddle and started playing, dozens of on-lookers gathered to listen to him. He played for more than twenty minutes and everybody started throwing coins in the pot. He played until the pot was filled with silver. This is how Paganini helped the poor man. The poor man was sitting at Paganini’s feet, just as Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. He did not say, “Let me see what will come out of this.” He just listened to the master’s music. “Yes, I can see now my great teacher, the master of life.” The pot is a vessel containing all the good thoughts. When the great master comes to play for you, your vessel will be filled with noble thoughts and desires. Then you will not be feeble and weak, but young, agile, and good. I would like you to do the same thing. You should devote your lives to this because when Christ praises Mary, he means, “I do not want you to give me all your time. I need only the time you know how to use, no matter how little it is. You are free to do whatever you want in the time you are busy doing your duties.“ The great teaching does not at all imply that we should leave aside all our other duties. However, the hour devoted to Mary should be sacrificed. Paganini does not always stop to give a hand. This is actually quite rare. He leaves his violin and goes away. In the same away, Christ will stop by you when you are bored or upset, when you feel useless or have lost the point in life. Then he will stop, take your violin and play for you. It is true happiness to see a great master play or draw. This is what we need to learn – standing in awe in front of God and obeying Him. Through submission we will be able to adopt all great virtues. What gives rise to conflicts among people? People are sulky, not mild and gentle. If all people were mild and gentle, life would be happy both inwardly and outwardly. If people lived in mutual respect, making concessions, there would be great harmony in life. I do not find lucky people who are constantly quarrelling, as they actually grumble against God. All I hear is the grumbles of scholars, priests, doctors, professors, and preachers. Priests and doctors are not pleased with their fees as they find them insufficient. When they say that God gave them less than the others, this is already grumbling. The shepherd will say that his pen is too small. The scholar is also displeased with his inadequate skills and abilities. Who is to blame? Always God! This does not apply only to you who are attending this lecture – everybody else grumbles. The law of the superior is that there should always be gratitude and love pouring toward God.

 

Some ask, “Where is God? How can we find Him?” Even small children are able to find God. Philosophers have been trying to prove where God is for 2,000 years – whether He is in the skies, among the stars, on earth, or in the human heart. They are still searching for Him, but nobody has found Him yet. Preachers claim that He is in the human heart; astronomers believe He is in the universe. Some say that he exists, others that He does not. I shall present to you a figure to illustrate the grounds philosophers find. Imagine that God, just like the Sun, rises in the east and sets in the west each 24 hours. Imagine also that when God rises, you fall asleep and you are asleep until He sets, and that when He sets, you wake up and keep looking for Him throughout the night. As you cannot find Him, you fall asleep again at dawn, and when He sets, you continue looking for him during the night. You have been looking for Him for a day or two, for a month or two, for years, but in vain. My advice is to change things – sleep at night, wake up in the morning at sunrise and you will see God, you will find Him. I can see Him every day. I sleep during the night and at the crack of dawn I get up to meet Him. This is the philosophy of life. God rises like a sun. What is it that modern people do? They go to concerts, parties and to the theatre, and when God rises, they are asleep. They are aristocrats of the noble morning! All people who sleep in the morning and during the day belong to the culture of the owls. That is the reason why they suffer. This night culture should be replaced with day culture. When dawn cracks, you will get up and wait for at least half an hour for God to show His face to you so that you can draw energy, strength and health on Him. Then you will feel fit and agile to fight during the whole day. Some philosophers say that God is an aristocrat, He does not accept everybody and we should dress up for Him. I will give you a counter-argument: when the sun rises all animals, no matter good or bad, beautiful or ugly, appear in the attire they have. God shines above everybody – snakes and lizards, mosquitoes and harmful bugs. He never says, “You should hide in your den.” So you can appear in front of God as you are and bask. This is the point in life. We do not suffer because there are too many snakes on earth – their number is definite, they are in their place, but if their number doubles, this surplus will be by all means eliminated. The same refers to wolves. So, if you do not harness any thought and desire you have, if you have not learned how to serve God, thoughts and desires will rule over you. Then, by the same law, just like you defy God, your thoughts and desires will act against you. If you apply this theory in practice, you will experience its effect.

 

Some say, “Let us cultivate the world and the people,”

 

I do not believe in cultivation, because all people are separate cells of the Divine organism, of the Divine body. Every one of them should cultivate itself. I cannot order you, as this would be a sacrilegious act – to lie to God. I do not want to give orders. Why? Because people belong to God and I do not have the right to dispose with what does not belong to me. I have the right to be only the master of my own thoughts and desires. I can order only them and be the servant to everything that is beyond me. You should do the same.

 

Then we shall descend to the inferior elements – to the unreasonable. What does the Bible say in Chapter 1? God created heaven and then the earth. Heaven is Mary, and the earth is Martha to me. The earth was still unorgnised, thus sour. Scholars say that when Martha appeared, there were storms, hurricanes, fire and steam surrounding her, so God told her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried too much. Progress is not there. Mary has chosen that good part – look up.” Then the earth, Martha, looked up and started rotating round its axis and the sun. This is how life formed round it - many creatures and finally man came into being. When God completed His work, He said, "Everything round Martha is well. And then came the second day, followed by others till the seventh day. Some of you are Marthas. They make noise, fire pouring out of their hearts and minds. There are no lakes, nor rivers and the great Master said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried too much. There is only one thing that is necessary. Look up and you will find it there. This is what will give you some sense.” When you raise your eyes, too, your spirit will start moving in the right direction round its centre, and then you will find the point in life. Having a meaningful life means to have a centre round which you can move. This centre will send for you everything that is necessary every day.

 

So, God created both Martha and Mary in us – they are the two poles of the human soul. I might explain to you some day the inherent significance of the two principles, acting in this world. However, when too much is said, the accumulated knowledge cannot be applied and forms accretions embarrassing to people to the extent that they are at a loss. Once a student at the Evangelist School, attending a lesson in Bulgarian grammar, which he failed to comprehend, approached his teacher and asked him, “There are so many grammar books - Grigirov’s, Iconomov’s, etc. - that I don’t know which one to use. Which one would you recommend?” The boy kept asking his teacher, until finally he told him, “Look here, I do not care what Grigorov’s or Iconomov’s grammar teach. You have to follow my explanations," So, when God comes to you, you tell Him, “ There are many philosophers – Kant, Schopenhauer, Tolstoy – their philosophies clash. Whose philosophy are we to follow?” God will tell you, “You will do as I tell you.” So, when you want to follow the Divine truth, you will have to focus on your own soul; then you will see life differently. You will build up different abilities and you will be able to see that you are surrounded by other creatures, far greater and more creative and then you will say, ‘How blind we were!” Now I am asking those of you who are thinking: if you were in the position of an ant and a philosopher stepped on you, what would you think of his feet? You would say, “A huge rock fell upon me and crashed me.” Yet this huge rock is just a small part of the giant. Sometimes you say, “Destiny is chasing me.” This, however, is nothing but the foot of a great philosopher, who has stepped on you. You should never stand in the way of philosophers, as they will never stop because of you. They are following their way and if you step in their path, their feet will crash you. When you come to complain to me, I will tell you to stay out of this philosophers’ path, because you are just ants. You should seek other paths. This is the philosophy of life. When I see someone unhappy, I look up and see a giant who has crashed the poor fellow.

 

So, God created the world as well as all other worlds. There are 18,000,000 suns in The Milky Way, each of them having its own orbit and staying at 25-milliard km away from the other so that they cannot collide. It is God who determined these orbits. Likewise, He traced a certain path and gave you a definite space, bidding you never to cross the lines of your kingdom. You want to negotiate with other kingdoms; the men and women from two kingdoms started negotiating their merge into one kingdom but soon they fell out. Why did they have a row? Let everyone reign in his or her own kingdom. Someone will say, “Let’s keep our money in one place to have it safe.” Everyone should keep their own money in their own purse. Do not trust your money anyone. Whoever you trust here on earth, he will steal it. That is why Jesus told us to bring our wealth up in heaven. Up, Up! This is the true point in life. So, it is not our fault that we want to change the life God destined for us. I know people who hate someone so much that they are haunted by him. Let him go, and hold onto God. It is God who gives you light, so you should let Him in you sacred soul. People nowadays are very religious: they have their gods of labour, of glory, of strength and they burn incense to worship them. Throw away all those idols or take a hammer and smash them. Then sit at your Master’s feet to find out about the inner, deep meaning of your life. This is what Christ wants to tell us – that the good, which Mary bears, cannot be taken away from her. You are worried about many things, saying, “I have this, I have that.” You are the master of these things, so you should throw them away. I have noticed some masters sit in a chair, just like me now, giving orders. The master needs something that he himself is perfectly able to take, but instead he rings the bell. Nobody turns up. He keeps calling and finally he starts yelling at his servants. Well, why don’t you stand up to take what you need? You can do it yourself. Your shoes are only five feet away from you, yet you ring the bell for your maid to come and give them to you. Do not throw tantrums. Pick up what you need yourself, because your calm and peace are worth more than being served. Do it by yourself and scold your maid for not coming on time. This is what God requires of us, because the maid does not serve you; she serves someone else. Sometimes I tell you that I am a servant, but not your servant – I am a servant to God. In London, a Baptist preacher, Spurgeon, to make himself look more important wrote on his visit card: “A Christian Brother is waiting outside for you.” On the other side he wrote, “Tell him that I am busy now.” If someone comes to see you, you can tell him that you are busy with his Master. The maid you called to bring you your shoes did not turn up because she was busy talking to her Master, and if you disturb her, her master will scold you. This is the greatest philosophy, which people nowadays have to learn. We all have to be God’s servants. When we learn this great law, we will establish normal relationships. I observe people – if you are well disposed, you like people, but if you do not feel disposed, if you have got up in the wrong side, then you are cross with everyone. This state of mind can go on for a week or a month; we call it a new philosophy – pessimism, and the people - pessimists. If you want to justify someone who has a certain fault, you say. “He is a pessimist.” You are all philosophers. The Bulgarians are better philosophers than Schopenhauer - they all share this pessimism. A Bulgarian can be easily discouraged and disappointed and then Schopenhauer’s philosophy comes – Martha comes. What I want to tell you is only this: you are obliged to submit to God. If you have not served him, no wonder all this misfortune has befallen you. There is no other destiny for you and the day you obey God and your fate, everybody else will succumb to you.

 

This is the teaching about Martha and Mary. Mary is heaven and Martha is the earth. Mary is everything noble in the heart, while Martha is everything mean in it. Mary is the noble mind, which theosophists refer to as manas, while Martha is the inferior manas. When you go home (and I can see your magnificent homes), you should say, “Come Mary, come Martha, you are two good sisters.” Christ is the superior Spirit, the high Principle. If Mary had spoken to Martha, she should have told her, “Let me listen first for a while and then I will help you.” Jesus was speaking then, that is why Mary was not working. When you go back now, you will start shouting angrily, ‘Martha, do you know what the Master said? You have to obey!” Mary has to be kind and gentle and speak to her like a sister, “Wait, sister, I will help you later.” This is how Mary should speak. And when her sisters answers her back, she should say, “How smoothly you are talking!” because there is a kind of harmony between the noble and the ignoble; there is a kinship between Love and hatred. I know these two sisters quite well. But whoever stands between them, he will be smothered by their love. They will smother him, and when he dies, they will say, “What have we done?” Then Love will say, “Let’s bring him back to life again!” Hatred will say, “I’ll bury him.’ - “Well”, Love will say. So they bury him, but Love comes later, shines on him and here he pops out resurrected. Hatred and Love are at work all the time. You do not think highly of hatred and envy – they are snakes and lizards. However, they can be nice sometimes. Can you imagine the world without snakes and lizards? Show me such a world. Is yours better? No, the world is great the way it is constructed. It is great in its design and expression. What you are constantly complaining about is the disharmony within you – it is Martha, the earth still not arranged, the tumult raging within you and disrupting the harmony. The Holy Spirit has to descend and have the say. So, the Spirit has already descended and is now giving orders. He is working. Have staunch belief in his great principle, living in Mary; have faith in the principle, living in Martha, too. Have faith in Christ, because it is Christ, sitting on top of them, who unites them. You should bring together these three elements: your spirit, your Mary, and your Martha and start the new year with it. I am not going to finish now. I will leave a great gap for you to solve the puzzle. I can foresee your future. I can see some of you rise, others fall. I can see some walking along the right path, while others go astray. In the end, you will all be well despite hesitation and faltering. When you board an ocean liner some of you get seasick others do not. It is curious to observe aristocrats on board of a ship. On the first day they are all dressed up, cheerful and happy, but when the ship starts rocking in the waves, they become dismal and meditative as if they listened to some serious sermon. On the second day they experience indigestion, start eating lemons, lie in the cabins, feeling sick. But when they get off the ship, if asked, “How was the passage?” – “Oh, great!” they will say. Oh, you will lose count of the times when you will feel sick while crossing the vast ocean between heaven and earth! You will say, “It will be a tough job!” But when you get on firm land, you will have a voracious appetite, because you will be purified. The Martha in the ocean raises hue and cry, but as soon as you land and Mary arrives, you will say, “Thank God, it was a safe voyage.” Do not ever be afraid! Stay with your Master so that you will be able to solve the issue in life. You have very serious tasks in life: bringing up children, relationships between men and women, relationships in society, relationships with humanity, etc. You have numerous duties and obligations. How will you accomplish them? Some think that when they become Christians, they will not have any responsibilities. Just the opposite, a Christian has more obligations and is more strongly obliged to fulfil them, so that when the day is over, one should feel content about having accomplished what he was supposed to do. While, if he has not coped with his tasks, he should assign them for his next day’s schedule. One day you will be Martha, another day you will be Mary, and when you are at the feet of your Master, then let both Martha and Mary sit quietly, let peace reign for at least an hour.

 

This is the teaching and the thought that Christ conveys. Learn how to serve the Superior, so that you can master the inferior.

 

13. A lecture delivered on 14th January, 1917.

 

 

 

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