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The Importance of What Is Small

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The Importance of What Is Small

 

 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in Heaven their Angels always see the face of My Father who is in Heaven.”

Matthew 18:10

 

In human society men and women all strive for big things, for great achievements; and everyone despises the little things in life. This is a weakness in human nature. If, for example, you are given five leva[1], you say, “This is nothing! I wish to be given one thousand, ten thousand, or a hundred thousand of leva. Just five leva? I feel offended—I am not a beggar!” You are offered one walnut, but you say, “Sir, you insult me with this. If you give me 5-10 kilograms of walnuts, I will accept them, but just one walnut, are you making fun of me?”

 

When we strive for great purposes and achievements, we try to make contact with people in high positions: kings, presidents, directors, scientists, and philosophers.  At the same time, we say about people in inferior positions, “This or that person is ignorant, a simpleton!” In all areas of life we see contempt for what is small and great interest in what is grand. Yet, Christ addresses his disciples and warns them not to despise the little ones. Why? Do not despise the little ones because thus you offend their Angels who serve them in Heaven. If you despise them, you also despise the Angels to whom the little ones are like children. 

 

When we want to split tree logs into firewood, we first chisel small sharp wedges, and as they penetrate the wood, they make space for the bigger ones.  If the wedges are big and dull, how will they drive in?  So, the little things open the way for the larger things. In the world as well, the entire process of development begins with these little things that you despise, and the overall progress in the Universe is a result of these.

 

Figuratively speaking, we say that a plough feeds the whole world, because after the farmer ploughs and sows the field well, it rewards him with a plentiful harvest. This is true, but we should not forget the role of those billions of earthworms who also help by turning over the soil.  However, we have been taught to look down upon the weak. Even after becoming devout Christians, hidden under our sheep’s skin we still have some wolfish instincts, which we occasionally show. We have not lost our old inherited habits and if someone steals from us even a small amount of money, one lev, for example, we immediately bring that person to court.  However, if the amount is big, five or ten thousands leva for example, we say, “Bravo!” Yet, those who steal a lot did not develop this habit all at once: first they stole one coin equal to 2.5 stotinki[2], later one gologan[3], later on one grosh[4], followed then by five, ten coins, and so   on. This Law is true in all aspects of life. When we do not consider the little details in our actions, we also miss the big effects that they produce.

 

All our misfortunes today, both individual and collective, come as a result of our previous neglect of little things. Therefore, Christ addresses His disciples and advises them “not to despise one of these little ones.” Who are “the little ones?” Someone may say that these are our children, and that is true.  Yet, if we want to apply Christ’s Law in full, we will see that there are many other things that should not be despised.

 

 “Do not despise one of these little ones!” I will reveal the hidden meaning in these words. A Hindu gave a whole walnut to his son and asked him to find out what was inside. The son cracked the shell and ate the kernel.

 

“What is the essence of the walnut, son?” asked the father.

 

“Nothing special, just some tasty nut meat,” replied the son.

 

“Are you sure you have not found anything else in the walnut?”

 

“No, nothing.”

 

“Son, there is a great power hidden in the walnut. If you had planted it, instead of eating it, a big tree would have grown and you would have seen the greatness of this seemingly small thing, which has a hidden potential within it.” 

 

In the same manner God sends you one small thought, one apple seed, but you say, “It is nothing,” and discard it. Yet, God says, “Ask yourself what power it has. Plant it, and you will see the tree that will grow from it.”

 

As a result of this constant overlooking of the little things in life we have reached the present situation of complaining that the world is bad. And what is more, we think that we are the clever ones!

 

Christ advises us not to despise these small things, not to strive only for big things, but to learn to recognize the hidden power within the small things, and to use them, as they will help us achieve big results. For example, your house is built up of microscopically small and densely pressed together particles, is it not?

 

In the same way, our daily life is based on those little things, like the grain of wheat, fruit, and many other things, so-called “trifles.” This pertains not only to the human body, but also to the human mind. In reality, it is the little thoughts and desires that bring joy and happiness in life. Sometimes we laugh at children because they are occupied with little thoughts. We forget that the small grains are those that produce growth into big things. Why should we “not despise the little ones”? It is because we should not disobey the second Divine Commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[5] You should not despise any living being, as it can give useful service, whether it be a pigeon, a hen, a sheep, a horse, or a donkey.

 

For each and every form of life there is a special book.  For example, it is written about the donkey, today you loaded the donkey that much, the next day that much. All this is written in the book and when God calculates five leva per day for this service, then after 100 years, assuming that the donkey has served you its entire life, how much do you need to pay it? One day you will find that you, like the debtor from the Scriptures, owe almost ten thousand “talents.”[6] You may say, “I do not remember,” but God has written your debt in the book. So, in fact, all of us are in debt to the little ones. We owe our present progress, our thoughts and desires to the “little ones,” as Christ said. Therefore, being in debt to them, we should have love for them; and knowing that they have served us, we should now serve them, too.

 

Meanwhile, I would like to give you an explanation about a mystery. I have often been asked why Angels are interested in human beings, and whether there is any connection between them. Once upon a time, when Angels were in our present situation and they were living on Earth as consciously aware beings, we were in the situation of animals and served them. Thus, they are obligated to us and God requires them to pay their debt. Cosmic Beings do not despise their smaller fellows because they have served them. Maybe your servant is ignorant, but you do not really know the truth behind this relationship and why God has placed this man in your home. Your relationship with him did not originate in the present: this particular servant has been in your home many times previously. You do not know this, but God knows. This person has probably saved your life many times; therefore, you need to have love and compassion for him. And this is how we can understand this Divine Law: to have love for the little ones.

 

Love is to be expressed not only for great people, Angels, and saints; it is also for the little things, the little ones, the poor and fallen brothers and sisters.  This is the reason for the strong love of a mother toward her child; she loves by the power of this Divine Law that obliges her to do so. She loves her child thanks to this inner Divine Fire. You want to see God, but when He comes in your child, you say, “Why did God give me this child?” Every day you ask God to come and every day you chase Him away. And you consider yourselves to be learned people! This is not only an attitude, but a pattern of behavior in the entire world. Every day God tests you to see how much you love Him and how truthful are your words.

 

Once upon a time, after the Fall of Man, when the world went wrong, a rumor was spread that God had descended to Earth to see how people were living. Many people had decided that, since there was no God in Heaven to control them from above, they could live as they wish, without any restrictions.

 

In one place God saw someone selling a blind horse, but telling the buyer, “In God’s name, the horse is not blind.” The man replied “Since you swore in God’s name, I believe you,” and the man bought the horse. God passed by a house and saw a husband beating his wife who cried out, “In God’s name, forgive me!” and the man stopped. These both went to Heaven afterward and justified themselves, saying, “God, on Earth we called upon Your name.” Modern people call upon God too, especially when they try to sell a blind horse or want to beat their wives. Some priests advise, “Believe in God,” but what would God reply to them? He would reply, “I do not know you because you use My name, not for My glory, but to deceive people by encouraging them to perform wrongful actions and make excuses for doing so.” These are the little things that create big misfortunes. You have a blind horse and you want to sell it by using the name of God, but you need to be careful and responsible for your actions.

 

Do you know what the “blind horse” is?  It is your body. Yet, people talk against it all the time, punish it, and blame it. No, the body is not the guilty one. Someone gets drunk in the pub and orders, “Do not give food to the horse.” He is doing wrong by getting drunk, but he punishes the horse. Do not despise your body and do not confuse the flesh with your desires and lusts. You need to renounce them—not the flesh. To renounce the flesh would mean to renounce all thoughts and deeds that are realized through it. In addition, you should not torment your body—a temple created by God. In fact, you should be very sympathetic with it because you can work only as long as it is fit and healthy.

 

When Christ says “their Angels,” He refers to those Wise Beings who keep a record of our actions. In fact, what we call “consciousness,” these are the Angels abiding within us and recording each of our actions: either good or bad. They say to us, “Well done!” or “You have not done well.” When you insult someone, then the Angel of this person tells you that your behavior was not good. You start apologizing, “I am sorry, I was a little nervous, indisposed, the conditions were such and such.” Your excuse about the conditions you were in has nothing to do with the rule that you should not despise the little things because they create the foundation for the Divine Laws. The little things can sometimes cause either great benefits or big harm.

 

A wolf once boasted that he was a hero and the king of the animals. The fox interjected, “Do not talk big because if a mosquito enters your nose and stings you, you cannot do anything to it.” “I will blow my nose and the mosquito will fly away,” replied the wolf. One day a mosquito entered his nose and stung him, thus bringing infection to the wolf and causing his death. Often the small circumstances in our life can, in one way or another, bring either progress in our development or an impediment. The causes that bring us good or bad results are not bad in themselves, but their application is wrong. Take, for example, air: if you breathe it through your lungs, it will purify your blood producing a positive effect for you, but if it goes into your stomach, it will produce stomachache. In both cases, one and the same cause creates two totally different results.  If you take some charcoal mixed in water, it will have a good effect on your stomach, but introduced into the lungs, it would be poisonous. Therefore, through those little things Christ advises us not to despise, He is referring to the whole of human life with all these little things we are closely involved with. For instance, if I ask you about the way your body, heart, and mind have been formed, could you tell me how this has happened? Initially, when human beings came into existence on Earth, they were not huge, but microscopically small; but under certain conditions they developed and became a million times larger than before. Their power was initially hidden in a nucleus. In a similar way in modern times, an idea is a great Divine foundation; and if it falls on good soil, it can revive our life. That which we call “revival” exists as a Spiritual Law; it is the inner Divine process that uplifts and renews the human heart, mind, soul, and spirit. This is the process of ascending from lower to higher states of development and being, lower to higher levels of existence. And our uplifting, deliverance, and salvation come as a result of this Divine striving. Therefore, all beings, from the biggest to the smallest, strive to rejuvenate and to evolve because in rejuvenation is hidden the blossoming of the human soul.

 

The reason why we should be tolerant toward the little ones is to avoid bringing sorrow to God because when we hurt someone, in fact we hurt not only that person, but also God Who resides in him or her. And when we do good, we help God as well. In fact, when we assist people, their Angels in Heaven will serve us too. Therefore, if we want to have friends in Heaven, we need to serve the little ones, and their fathers, the Angels in Heaven, will welcome us in their Home and offer us a feast. The world is like this: service for service and love for love.

 

Do you understand now why Christ addressed His disciples with these words? You need to remove contempt from your soul. For instance, when you meet people you do not know and feel contempt for them, thinking that they might possibly be inferior to you, if instead you could just help them with their ignorance, you would change the situation; but if you look down upon them, you are introducing a poison into the relationship. In modern aristocratism and caste systems, some are noble, others not, some are rich, others poor—all that has its origin in contempt. If we understand how relations among people should be, we will not be ashamed of poverty, as it is a service given us to carry out. We need to be small and we need to be poor, in order to become rich and great. These are the two polarities, between which development happens. Movement is always from the large to the small, indicating that God always pays attention to the small. He is interested not only in big things.

 

God created all that exists. Yet, ruling over all His creation gives Him less pleasure than being involved with children. His work is to teach people when they err. Thus, He gives us an example not to despise little ones, but to tolerate them and teach them because this is our time to rest and enjoy. When a teacher works with his students, he enjoys it, and when the students study well, he praises them. Saints and priests are involved with wrongdoers in order to turn them to God. The assignment of all of us is to pay attention to weak people and small things. When someone says, “I do not have time for rest,” I know that this person is occupied with big things and big thoughts. How could such a person rest, if he takes an overloaded backpack with 10, 20, or 50 kilograms of gold in it? If he leaves only one Napoleon[7] in his backpack, he would realize that he had plenty of time to rest. Now God comes to tell us “Leave your backpacks!” This will liberate the world of its burdens. Down with the weapons that destroy your minds and hearts! All of you need to become like children, not to despise the small things that God has created.

 

God wants to bring people back to this pure, primeval state that people call “being wild,” but in reality it is not wild, but virgin. I would like to see people becoming wild in this way. In Sanskrit “wild” means “pure.” Let us become pure and come closer to God, instead of becoming evil and cruel. I would like the entire world to become “primeval” as soon as possible, to become pure, noble, and stop despising the little things and the little ones that God loves. I would like the world to place Love, Justice, Wisdom, Truth, and Power in the high esteem where they need to be. This is the way to salvation. 

 

         Lecture held on August 3 (16), 1914, Sofia.  


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[1] Lev—BGN (Bulgarian lev, plural leva, levove) is the currency of Bulgaria.

[2] Stotinka (plural stotinki): One hundredth of a lev, the basic unit of money in Bulgaria.

[3] Gologan is a folk name for an old coin made mostly of copper, with a value of 10 stotinki.

[4] Grosh (denarius in Latin) is a coin used in the past in many European countries with a value of 20 stotinki.

[5] Mark 12:31

[6] See also Matthew 18:24.

[7] The Napoléon is the colloquial term for a former French gold coin, originally minted for Napoléon Bonaparte. The coin continued in use through the 19th century and later French gold coins in the same denomination were generally referred to as “Napoleons.”

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