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1924_04_06 THE BETTER SIDE OF SUFFERINGS PURITY


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Note 2p

 

 

THE BETTER SIDE OF SUFFERINGS

 

PURITY

 

25th lecture given by the master to the Youth Occult Class

 

6th April, 1924, Sofia

 

The God of Love is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.

 

A secret prayer

 

A summary on the topic “The possibilities of the human soul” was read.

 

For next time you will write on topic Nr21 ”The aims of modern science”.

 

Next you will write on topic Nr 22 “The adaptation of the human soul”.

 

Nature has its own methods of arranging things. For instance the more solid substances stay low, while the lighter ones stay up, thus finding their order of arrangement. When speaking of adaptation, we mean this natural way of arrangement. In order to harmonise, you should find the level of your surroundings and know how you refer to them. If you want to stay on the surface, you have to be of the light oils. Then, wherever you are placed, you will be buoyant and resilient enough to emerge on the surface. When we speak of the Spiritual Life we always mean this state of the soul that makes it possible for it to emerge on the surface of Life. So you should think philosophically. What do you understand by adaptation? You might think as much as you wish, but oil will always float on the surface. The same refers to the Spiritual Life: When one is elevated to higher surroundings, when one’s thoughts and aspirations are more advanced the soul functions properly. Each of you is expected to carry out such experiments and check your states. In this way you will be able to change any of your states.

 

What spoils the mood? Three different states affect man: the first one comes through the body, i.e. you feel something unpleasant within the body – you feel some pain or sorrow. You suffer without knowing why. You are in the position of an entrapped mouse – it is confined, rushing to and fro gnawing the metal frame, but unable to escape. A certain fear that it cannot go out is observed – this is suffering of the body. You all have the same body sufferings, which you consider to be crucial, but you should know their advantages. Because sufferings and joy come – you should take this into account. Thus, you will arrive in the field of the reasonable heart, which starts with these reflections. Finally, after reflecting, you will come to the stage when you will be able to perceive the point of sufferings and distinguish among them. This I refer to as the position of the Spirit – when you understand your sufferings, master them and are able to change them. For instance, there are athletes, who if put an iron ring on the hand are able to break it simply by bending their fingers. They can easily escape such suffering.

 

The first thing for you is to cope with your body suffering. For instance, now, at this moment, as you are in this building, if someone came and cried out, “Fire!” what would you do? You would rush out without thinking much. Why should you run? Stop for a while to think – is there a reason to run? – Well someone told you so. So what? This is not a reason coming from you. Someone has told you, so you rush out, but when you go out, you see that there is no fire. Each deed or thought should rise from the depth of our Spirit, from the inside. If some inner voice told me that there is fire, I would listen to it, but if someone from the outside told me that there is fire, I would not listen to him until I checked this – this is the warning of the common sense.

 

So, you all can witness the disagreement among yourselves. I am watching your bodies and I can see that they are not in harmony. That is not your fault, as some of you are more intensive than others. Those of you who have studied electricity know that if a strong current is conducted through a weak wire, it will burn out. Therefore, the wire should match the voltage, otherwise the current can be destructive. So, we should be careful both with others and with ourselves. For instance, sometimes, you may want to be told some truth. The truth can be told, but if such high-tension current runs through you (because truth is connected with high tension), then your thoughts will transform in forces running through your nervous system; as a result, you will not be able to resist and will produce the corresponding effect.

 

I have given you more than once the example with the gospel preacher, who prayed to God to give him the chance of experiencing the advent of the Spirit. He used to share this experience of his: he had been praying for ten years when, eventually, one evening he was visited by the Spirit. But when the Spirit arrived, the man lay face down and started crying, “Enough with this, God! I am going to melt down!” What did he gain from this experience? That is why the Occult teaching says, “You should study the forces of Nature and not play with them.” They are not toys, but dynamic forces one should be very careful with. They are sacred. They are not a matter you can mess with. Even Moses, who was initiated in the secrets of the White Brotherhood in Egypt, had to spend a long time in the desert, until he got a revelation by the bramble. He heard a voice that told him to pull off his shoes as he was standing on a sacred spot. Therefore, you should be pure when approaching such sacred areas. Purity does not exclude Life; it makes it meaningful.

 

You should know the following rule: What adds value to the human soul – to men and women, to young and old – is Purity. While one is pure, everybody can love him; if one becomes impure, he is ignored by all – this can be checked. Therefore, Purity is a necessity. You need it so that Reasonable Love can find its manifestation in you. Love and Reason cannot exist beyond Purity. This is an attribute you all need to possess. If you do not have it, you will have to acquire it. As disciples, you have to be pure. Do not say that you cannot be pure, because you can. It is your civil right. You have arrived at the conclusion that you cannot be pure by philosophical reasoning. You are misled by your surroundings. Your delusions cannot make you impure. As long as I am led by my principles, my heart is not divided, and I have the sacred thought to Love God and everybody else. Through my Love to God I have Purity in me. However, if I start doubting in God and in people’s sincerity, my Purity will be gone.

 

So you should know – when you suffer, it is the body that suffers. Someone will come to me and say, “My heart aches.” What suffers is your body. Start thinking over these sufferings; dwell on them. Let us say that someone has grasped your hand and holds it tightly; why does he do this? He is afraid of you. You should grasp his hand, too. He grasps, and you grasp in turn. I have seen mothers do this to their children: The child bites her, and she pulls him by the ear, the child keeps biting and she pulls the ear, until finally the child starts crying – it hurts. If the body bites, you respond by saying, “Do not bite and you will not cry.” You should tell this to your body. It is reasonable, so it should get the message that we are the masters, not it. Well, it suffers – we are going to get rid of the suffering. It rejoices – we are going to share the joy. That is true – both sorrow and joy have their worth; both sorrow and joy have to be reasonable. When you come in for sufferings[A1] , you should study the reason for them. Do not exaggerate them. Do not say, “My job is over!” Your job is yet to start. – “I feel as if my mind will blow up!” Strangely enough, this refers to your body. You will refer this suffering to the Reasonable Heart and will look upon it as an attribute of the soul. If you endure it, you will be glad that you have suffered; you will become more sensitive and able to communicate with the Reasonable Creatures. You used to be less sensitive before. You waited for a hen to be killed and said, “What a fat hen!” or asked, “Did you stick the lamb?” But now when you confront some suffering you remember the hen, so you say, “The poor hen! How it suffered!” So, it is through suffering that you relate to the surrounding people. Therefore, the sufferings Nature uses are a blessing to us. Without sufferings you will remain estranged from each other, unable to communicate effectively.

 

So, firstly, you experience body sufferings. Their attributes are regarded by the heart, which later transforms them into virtues. The sufferings and the joys of the body form the basic material from which the heart builds up its virtues. They are the material on which the heart works. The virtues become the material for the Spirit to create the great thoughts. All these are related. If you do not suffer or rejoice, the heart cannot build up any virtues. Without virtues the Spirit cannot reveal its power – such is the natural order of things. You should try this out: start thinking over some suffering and you will turn it into joy. For the time being you are at a stage when suffering comes to you as a blessing. You will be brave and determined to endure sufferings most naturally. Only then will this present teaching make sense.

 

Certainly, there are many thoughts and wishes that embarrass you. If a more sensitive soul approaches you, it will feel how tense you are. You get together, but your relationships are too formal yet[A2]  – I call these connections inorganic, mechanical, out of necessity. This is what happens in society: sometimes people with opposite views come together out of necessity and form a relationship as if they lived in agreement. But here, at the School, your relations need to be reasonable, because they present the conditions under which your personality has to be revealed. If you cannot learn the laws here, you will learn them later from Nature. However, it will take you much longer and in order to achieve the same results you will have to undergo ten, twenty a hundred times as much suffering as you will have here. When you read The Old Testament, you will get acquainted with the school of the prophets.

 

All the prophets destined to elevate somebody were put through many trials and sufferings. They experienced inner trials to prepare for Life, to understand the laws of Nature and to fulfill God’s will. Their situation was not enviable, but they were people of strong will.

 

Mind that the first thing you need is Purity. You need Purity if you want to be loved. You need Purity if you want to be protected from diseases. This idea should be impressed on you, as there is no other way. Now, I would like those of you who are most willing to be the first buds that will come out, so that you should be able to help each other. If you have a true understanding of this matter, you will be able to help anybody.

 

Therefore, you should study adaptation, i.e. the conditions in Life. You will study the properties of elements. If you become firm and cruel, you should know that you have too much inorganic iron; if your imagination becomes abnormal, your silver has increased, i.e. the level of silver in your blood is high; if you start thinking of yourself as a great philosopher or a genius, there is too much gold in your blood. All the chemical elements should be in a strict mathematical ratio – neither more, nor less. Nature does not tolerate a surplus – it is strictly determined how many atoms of iron, gold or silver there should be in one’s blood. When one reaches perfection, the blood elements are in their perfect ratio. The elements are not well balanced in common people, as a result certain shortcomings originate. When iron becomes organic, one becomes firmer – he can endure more. If silver, as a blood constituent becomes organic, one’s imagination is developed – he is under the strong influence of the Moon. Astrologers claim that the Moon is the mother of imagination.

 

So, many of you should change your bodies. It is a pretty tough task, with which I have dealt for years, yet it is a task that can be tackled sensibly. It will not be solved in a day or two, nor in a year. It can be solved gradually.

 

Let me explain this. You have some indisposition, so you should know what it is and how to treat it. If the heart is indisposed, it can be treated easily, but there are conditions that might take an hour or two, a day, a month, even a year. If it is necessary, while undergoing such a crisis, you should find a person like you, a soul mate, who can help you. You need a friend, who is in an excellent frame of mind and who shows understanding, someone who loves you and sympathises with you. You shouldn’t communicate with a pessimist. When you meet such a friend, you will find spiritual comfort. You will have to communicate with this friend, who will protect you as a fence, until your wounds heal. One might suffer spiritual damage – then you experience mental anguish, likely to occur both with young and old. Some diseases are difficult to treat; yet they can be cured. You need a friend, not two. One friend is enough. You shouldn’t share your problems with whomever. You should be sincere only to a friend, a soul mate. If this soul mate happens to be a true friend, the pains in your heart will be easily cured, and the pains in the body even more easily. However, when you enter society, you have to be on the alert, because people round you will want to oust you, or they will put you through a trial. Worldly people tend to discuss other people’s ideas to check their firmness, thus drawing conclusions. If you are a pupil or a student dealing with the Occult, other students will start talking behind your back saying, “Forget about him! He is a wiseacre!” They will test your endurance. They will test your will and ability to understand. If you are a person of strong will and profound understanding, you will withstand for a day or two, a week or more, and then they will change their mind. But if you lose balance, they will say, “We know now how strong you are!” They will feel a kind of satisfaction that they can play with you. A disciple of the Occult might become an object of ridicule, but he should be able to avoid it. He should try to be elevated in a way that shows excellence. He should be head and shoulders above the others.

 

You should get used to sympathising with others. That’s why you should apply Love and turn on electricity. If it is a matter of turning on the electricity, you know how to do it. However, you will have to learn how to turn on Love. The first thing you are to learn is how to transform your states. Try to change yourselves even when you are slightly indisposed. This you should practise when you are free. The first successful experiment will make you feel the joy and satisfaction of a great discovery. You can repeat the experiments twice, ten, twenty, fifteen times and all of them turn out to be unsuccessful. You should not lose heart. Keep trying. The first successful attempt will encourage you to believe that you have a potential.

 

Nature has given you certain moods. Although these moods are good, they do not belong to you. If you visit an inn, the innkeeper will give you a lavish dinner, so you will be gratified and say, “I am safe now!” The innkeeper will do this just once, and then you will have to find somebody else to treat you. Do not count on this innkeeper; you are not secure – tomorrow you might face a new problem. Today he might offer you many dishes, but on the next day you might have nothing to eat, which will make you suffer more. That’s why one should learn how to make his own living. It is Living Nature that provides one with subsistence.

 

I recommend that you try small experiments, because for greater experiments you will need more knowledge. Nature, as well, is very cautious. It does not allow great experiments. Nature lets you make only small experiments. Great experiments can be carried out only by advanced souls, because they are given larger credits. Nature is generous. It always allows common people to carry out small experiments.

 

After studying the Occult for some time, you will feel a kind of discontent. Suspicion will arise and a force will start pushing you to the periphery. You will feel like giving up. You will say, “I do not belong here. I have to quit this class. The people around me are not what I expected them to be.” However, there is a law: one cannot escape from oneself. Such a condition, I think, is due to the accumulation of some energies, which cannot be assimilated by the surroundings. These energies cause a distressing state. For instance, I have noticed that most of you have your personal feelings well developed, which engenders serious individualism – everyone thinks only of himself. You speak about spiritual life, but the personal element is dominant – wherever you go, the personal element stands out despite your will. But as your morality is revealed as well, you say, “I want to be honest. I want to tell the Truth.” Actually, it can be your personal feelings again that make you speak out about someone’s shortcomings in the form of the truth; this man, though, tells you the same, and as a result, you fall out. This happens because you do not speak according to the law of Virtue – you disclose one’s shortcomings as a defect. That is not the point. Let me explain this to you. Let us say that you are hired to work on someone’s vineyard. You have been digging diligently all day long, but a thought crosses your mind, you get distracted and leave twenty or thirty vines. Thinking that you have accomplished your task, you leave the vineyard. On the next day I come and see that the work has not been done. What should I do? – I have to finish your job. If I notice your mistake in my book, I will say, “You haven’t dug the entire vineyard. You have made a grave mistake. How could you?” Moralising cannot solve the problem. All I have to do is correct the mistake.

 

Are you ready to dig those thirty vines for your friend? There is nothing easier than digging thirty vines. But another thought might occur to you – you ask, “What would happen if we all left thirty vines? Would the whole class have to dig?” – Well this is an exception. It could happen only to one of you. The rule is as follows: I will finish my friend’s job! On seeing somebody’s shortcoming you shouldn’t tell him about it right away. It is unseemly to point out defects. I know that keeping it to yourself is not easy, but you should examine the reasons first, whose fault it is, etc. Study the case profoundly. After a close examination, you will be able to understand the laws. You will know why the person is wrong and how you can help him. This is the only possible friendly attitude. Let us say that one of you is cheerful today, but on the next day he feels dejected. He becomes pessimistic and desperate. Someone passes by and asks, “Why are you so sad?” No, that is not the proper treatment. On passing by such a friend, you should try to ignore that he feels low. Pretend that he is merry. Then study the reasons step by step, examine the consequences, and finally, come to the point of telling him what to do. Wait for a few days to pass, and then try to correct him. It would be even better if you restrained from reproving. I believe that this is the only way you can do it. These are just methods, ways and means.

 

Some will say, “Let’s do it, let us be heroes!” Well, try out, let’s say, your fear. Will you be able to get rid of it? You are staying at home and someone comes and says, “Your room is on fire!” See whether you will keep your head. You must keep cool and confident enough to put the fire out if it were on fire. You will make sure it is burning, examine the situation, and you won’t rush out – you are capable of extinguishing the fire. Do you know why I am speaking of fire? Well, anger is the most devastating fire in man. After losing your temper, you fall ill. Many cells are damaged and you feel unwell. One should correct many of the thoughts he has in order to get elevated. At this stage you all have fires. Your fire extinguishers should always be ready.

 

All colleges and universities in the USA are equipped with such extinguishers. Any student knows how to use them in case of fire. Then, any three or four-storey boarding house has a fire extinguisher, and every boarder knows how to use it. If the fire is too big to manage, you are instructed how to evacuate and where the fire escape is. Similarly, you should know where your fire extinguishers are located. It is reasonable to act against any anger-provoking thought that might spring in your mind. How pleasant it is when you feel that you are capable of self-control and that your awareness is alert. If you are able to cope with the fire, then you feel the pleasure of having used your energy for a good purpose. Such a person starts feeling powerful. These are small experiments, which you can carry out in your laboratories. It is common with masons when admitting a new member to their lodge, to try out his bravery by binding up his eyes, ushering him in a vault, where there is a sharp, shiny saber, which, however, is made of paper – so the man sees someone ready to stab him. If he is a coward and takes to his heels, he is expelled from the lodge, but if he is brave, he stays and is stabbed with the paper-made saber – he remains intact and consequently, joins the lodge. He might even think that the saber stabs him through, so he checks his back. Nature makes the same experiments. If it wants to try you out, it makes such paper knives. You should not run away, because it is a paper knife. First, you should try to identify your sufferings. There are sufferings that are just a method, a means to reinforce your virtues and to strengthen your will.

 

Now we come to the point of what distinguishes the brave person. Courage is an attribute of the heart. Only the virtuous man of Love can be dauntless. One who is devoid of Love is always a coward. People without Love are always the greatest cowards, while those who know Love are brave and determined. Some people are considered to be great heroes, but they have no Love. Once a colonel told me a story about the latest war. There was a battle in Macedonia. When the bombs started exploding all his soldiers were shaking with fear. The colonel could hardly restrain from crying out, but he kept silent – his dignity could not afford cowardice. He thought, “What will my men think of me?” Eventually, he saw a general who was also shaking and asked him, “Are you afraid?” – “No, I am not afraid.” However, they both were shaking. This is not bravery. The brave man remains calm; he can keep presence of mind. So, one should try many times – once, twice, thrice, a hundred or a thousand times until he finally manages to acquire presence of mind. Then you will feel inner Peace and inner Joy that you have overcome your fear, and that Love has become the master of your heart.

 

I am speaking today of these things because you are going through the densest matter, through which the human Spirit is able to penetrate. By the law of evolution part of humanity has passed through this dense matter. It is essential, however, that everybody go through it [A3] and reach the opposite side of the Red Sea, just like the Jews. Some of you are yet to plunge in this wave. You are all to cross the Red Sea – you are chased by the pharaoh’s army and the open sea, the unknown is ahead of you. You are to take this way with determination and without any fear. Then you will reach the desert – that is pure Life, and next you will enter the Promised Land – the meaning of true Life. But first you have to cross the sea in order to get Purity in Life. Life without Purity always remains misunderstood. If you seek understanding and if you want to spend your life in accordance with your convictions, you need Absolute purity. Purity is the civil right to each soul, to each one of you.

 

A secret prayer

 

“The God of Love is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.”

 

 

 [A1][When sufferings come your way]

 [A2][are still too formal]

 [A3][for everybody to go through it] or [that everybody will go through it]

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