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1932_02_03 Faces of Reality


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Faces of Reality




I will read a few verses from the thirty-second chapter of Isaiah, from the seventh verse to the end. In this chapter, we read what a poet spoke to the peoples of Israel. There is something in this chapter that all of you know and believe in. In this respect you know well human nature.


Many people ask why difficulties come in life. If there were only the difficulties, they could be easily overcome, but the earth is a place of great contradictions. There is nothing that man has thought that has not or will not come true. What can you expect of a world in which everything can happen? In this world, good things also happen, but you do not mention them — you take them for granted. As soon as you come into touch with evil, you ask why it exists. Why does evil exist? I do not have time to give the answer. I ask, why does the rich man clip his beard? Why does the old woman go with crutches? Why do children go on stilts? Why does the hair of people become white? You may say that it is natural for the hair of the aged person to turn white. In reality, this is not true. Old age is not the reason for the hair turning white. If you ask old age why it has made the hair of man white, it will not be able to give an answer. Old age has a goal other than that of turning the black color to white. As much as youth is not responsible for the dark color of its hair, old age is not responsible for the white color. The happiness of man does not lie in his dark, brown, or blond hair, and his unhappiness is not because of his white hair. Which color is better — the white or the black? If you say the black, it will mean that there is nothing more precious than coal. Coal is good for burning, and from it are derived many useful products. If this is so, place the coal in the oven, and the white on your body. If the white hair is bad luck, why do you put on a white shirt? The white hair is fashionable. Why be afraid of it? When a wise and learned man is to be presented on the stage, he usually has white hair and a white beard, but the white color is not always the sign of wisdom.


As disciples of a great school, you must study the language of Nature, which is used by all learned men, adepts, and saints. This language makes everything meaningful. The greatest sages see in it the manifestation of God's wisdom. God's wisdom is great, but it is not for common men. In order to achieve it, they must pay a high price.


I draw the triangle ACB. For the common person, this is an ordinary picture. For the educated, this is a figure for which it is said that the sum of the inner angles is equal to two right angles. I say that the triangle is the half of a quadrangle. In life, this quadrangle may be a smooth water surface. If we place the triangle over this surface, it will be reflected in the water. The triangle is in a thinner environment — the air — and its reflection will be in a denser environment — the water. The upper triangle represents the favorable conditions; the lower represents the unfavorable. Daily life includes both conditions. What is the carrier of -the one sort of conditions and what carries the other? Light brings favorable conditions and darkness brings unfavorable conditions. In general, the first conditions bring health to man, and the second, disease. The favorable conditions are related to the wise and prudent man, and the unfavorable conditions are related to the person unable to reason. The favorable conditions bring you to the good and to love, and the unfavorable conditions to the evil and hatred. The favorable conditions strengthen man, the unfavorable weaken him.


What does the quadrangle represent? A place of conflict, a place of all possibilities and impossibilities. In the quadrangle everything is possible and impossible. When I divide the quadrangle into two triangles, the upper represents one part of life — paradise — and the lower, the other part of life — hell. Why heaven and hell exist at the same time cannot be explained. It is as if one would ask why men and women exist. Is it possible to have only men or only women? If this were possible, God would have created a different world. No world exists in which there are only men or only women. To think differently is only to imagine. In the present time nothing is possible without men or without women. Do not occupy your mind with questions which do not exist. You are solving your problems — this is perfectly all right. I say, Do not try to solve problems which are related to the vanity of life. This I say first to myself. When I have free time, I sing a song with the following message! Do not attempt to solve the vanity of life. Do not avoid the sweet sorrows that are part of human life. In them there is hidden love. Aim for eternity, wherein exists the great glory of God.


When I speculate about these words, I ask myself, Do you think that you can answer the question of why some people are rich and others, poor? Why do I have a headache? Do not busy yourself with this question. Take care of your health and do not reason about the cause of a disease. When you cure yourself, you will learn about the causes of your illness.


Why are my clothes in rags? What will I eat tomorrow? Do not think about this, either. Do not occupy yourself with thoughts about tomorrow. According to some philosophers, man must search for the reason for everything, every phenomenon and manifestation of life. This is correct, but you can not find the reason before you have studied the phenomenon.


In the county of Varna, in the village of Chatme, something happened from which the mayor first learned his lesson. This happened in the time of the Turks. At that time, when the taxes were collected from the people, he who could not pay his taxes was punished by being beaten and put in jail. One poor Bulgarian, a good man, could not pay his taxes, and asked the mayor to postpone his payment, hoping that in some way he would be able to pay his taxes later. The mayor, who was a stern man, would not agree to postpone the payment, and gave the order for the man's arrest and punishment. Not too long after this, the Turkish supervisor went to the mayor to inspect the mayor's affairs, and since he found some irregularities, he gave the order to beat the mayor and put him into jail, in order to have him learn to keep his records in good order. Now the mayor learned what it meant to feel the stick on one's back. He said to himself, "Beating is a bad thing."


Therefore, as long as other people are suffering, we say that suffering is reasonable in its place. As soon as sufferings come upon us, we say that this is cruel, and we start looking for the cause that brings them about. I say, as long as you do not include yourself in the suffering, you cannot include yourself in joy. This is a law. If you are able to exclude yourself from suffering, you will exclude yourself also from joy. However you may philosophize about the way in which you go, your philosophizing can bring no solution. You say, "That person is happy — he has managed to bring all his affairs to a good solution." Show me one person who has arranged all of his affairs for at least a thousand years. There is not a man on earth who has settled his affairs for even five years. Therefore it is said that man cannot be sure about his tomorrow. What may be gained from all the contradictions of life? What may be gained from a transitory, false thought? This should not discourage you, but rather encourage you to work more.


I want to show you the laws on which contemporary life is based. Examine sorrow and joy as two faces of reality. Realize that your sorrow is the basis for the joy of your neighbor. "Why must I suffer?" That your neighbor may be joyous. If you do not suffer, your neighbor cannot have joy. If your neighbor does not suffer, you cannot have joy. "Why am I joyous?" Because your neighbor is suffering. "I do not want to suffer." Then you will not be joyous. Where there is death, there is also life, and where there is life, there is also death. "What shall we do, then?" Make life meaningful as well as death. "I am sick of life." What you may be sick of is death and not life. Man is passing away every day, and therefore he is sick of it. Real life can never be a burden because it has no weight at all. Life is not of material nature. Therefore sufferings are a burden, and death is a burden, but life — never.


What is our conception of death? Death is that which stinks. It is only with this that man is fed up and tired. When he is dead he begins to stink. This way, he understands that he has been living in a prison. On earth man is a prisoner. Why must he die? So that people may recognize him. Everyone says, "We now understand what a man he has been." It is true — man becomes known after he passes away. He becomes generous, he gives away everything — even his body. He gives something to his relatives, to the Church, to the poor. When he is alive, he gives nothing. As soon as he starts to pass away, he becomes generous and gives away everything that was in his possession. The best man is the dead man. If I am asked why a man must die, I answer, "Man dies in order to manifest the good that is put in him."


People live and yet they do not understand life. You say: I must live! To make it possible for you to live others must be sacrificed for you» the chicken must die, the sheep must die, the apple, the wheat all must die. The most difficult task is to support life — conditions and resources are necessary. Since you don't know that, you want only to live and to have goods, even temporarily. You cannot imagine that the temporary goods create unhappiness. You are wealthy, sit at a table with rich food. The food looks well prepared but after you have eaten with great appetite you feel pressure in your stomach. - Why? - The butter and the flour were not fresh. The baker has put old butter and old flour in your pie. Happiness is not in the pie. Don't think that every pie is made of fresh butter and flour. The baker found it convenient to make the pie of old flour and put in it bad butter.


Don’t stop at every bank to ask for a loan. Don't stop at every shop window to choose clothes for yourself. Every garment is not for you. Every pie is not for you. Not all the money is for you. Not every book is for you. Not everything that you come across on your way is for you. You need many things but many things you don't need. The useless things mix up your mind and your heart. You fill up your life with a thousand things but not with that which is essential. What is essential? That which does not decay, which nothing can spoil. If you are sad sing one of your favorite songs, a cheerful one to take away your sorrow.


Someone comes to visit me and starts complaining that he feels a sadness in his heart. "I am glad that you suffer. It means that you have a heart." The best thing on earth is the sorrow. Wherever God is there is also sorrow. If sorrow is far away, God is also far away. All goods on earth come through sorrow. If it were possible without sorrow first, then Christ would have saved humanity without having to suffer. Could not the angels have descended from Heaven and chained all those who punished Christ? Did He have to be crucified? You ask why God does not correct the world. Could the world be made better at once? First of all, I do not believe that the world is bad. How can you prove that the world is not good? The only one who is not reformed is man. As soon as he becomes better, the whole world will become better. It would be enough for man to sincerely desire for the Kingdom of God to come on earth. His whole inner world would be corrected. Therefore, if you say that the world is bad, you speak about a world which is the reflection of your inner world. You see yourself in the other people and say that they are bad. "Am I that bad?" You are not that bad, but you also are not as good as you think you are. "Do you know how much I love people?" I know that you love, but I know also that you hate. On earth you could not know what love is if you did not know hatred. Naturally, you have a daughter, and you love her, and sacrifice for her, and then along comes a young man all at once and looks at her. You are not content with that — you hate him. There is nothing bad about the fact that he looks at her. He has seen something that he likes, and naturally he will look at it. It is important to know how he looks. He looks, and reads what is written in her book. Or he looks at what fruits are in her garden. When he sees a nice fruit, he wants to pick it. You may pick it, but only with permission. To pray is to ask for permission. You may pick a fruit, but you will have to take the consequences for your deed. After that you will complain to God that you are suffering.


Many people want to become great and eminent. He is great who bears suffering with understanding. If you try to escape from suffering you cannot be great. Since you live on earth, conflicts are unavoidable. What are the causes which bring on difficulties? The causes are many; some are visible and others invisible. "Why do I suffer?" Not only you suffer — thousands of beings suffer with you. To overcome a sorrow, you must uplift your mind to a higher level than usual. After a short time your sorrow will wane.


You meet a rich person and begin a conversation with him, but you notice that he is restless — he looks to one side or the other, afraid of being robbed. How can such a man be calm? When he stops thinking about his money and about robbers. "What will happen if I am robbed?" You will suffer; if no one robs you, you will be glad. It is easy to give advice, but it is difficult to overcome suffering.


Be glad for your suffering. If you are glad for your suffering no one can take away your joy. If you are not content with your sorrow everyone can take away your joy. After that you will wonder why you have lost your joy. When I speak to you this way, I do not wish to interfere with your family affairs. They are of no interest to me. I am concerned about that which is wrong in your life. Something is wrong with you, and it has to be cured. Two friends come together, but there is no real friendship between them. Two scientists come together, but not for the sake of science. This I do not consider relationship, but business, rather, which can fall apart any minute.


Today I am speaking to you and you are listening, but this is something temporary, passing by. You may come, also, without my speaking. My speech may give you something, and it may give you nothing. This is a banquet, but you can live without it. The important thing is that if I do not speak to you, someone else will come and speak to you. If he gives up, a third or fourth person will come to replace him. Therefore, I am the minimum evil. Man cannot be free. There will always be someone to come and speak to him. Whether or not you wish it, he will speak to you. I may sit alone in my room, but from somewhere there comes a fly who wants something from me. It says also, "Give!" I may go out to the woods, and here too, thousands of preachers will find me. The fly says to me, "Do you know who I am and what I am doing? I am biting every stupid man because he does not understand me. When he understands me, I will stop biting him." You say, "This is a fly — it is useless." What have you brought today? You sit down to eat and you see that you have consumed everything that was served on the table. Are you not a bigger fly than the one that you chase in your room? The fly is not as intelligent as a man is, but what has man achieved with his great intelligence?


Contemporary men are discontent with life, and think that when they go to heaven they will be well-accepted there. This is a wrong idea. Did one of the deceased ever tell you how he was accepted in the other world? Tell me at least one of your memories about the other world. You live on earth and imagine how you will pass into the other world. If you pass into the other world unprepared, you will cause there the same antagonism which exists here. You say, "How contented the beings in the other world are. How hard life is on earth!" The moment you think this way, you will have to leave the other world. You may be in Heaven or in hell, but nowhere is it permitted to compare one life with the other. You will be driven out of hell as well as heaven. How should you live? Wherever you live you must apply the great philosophy of life. Now you are at the beginning of this philosophy. "We do not understand this philosophy." You do not understand it because if you did, you would have to pay a very high price.


An American millionaire heard that there was to be a concert in New York — some famous virtuoso was to play. He took the train to New York, but arrived late. When he came to the concert hall, the concert was over. Because he had a great desire to hear this virtuoso, he found out where he was staying, and went to ask him to play something for him. The virtuoso answered from his room that he was too tired, and that he was already resting. "I will pay you a thousand dollars." "I am too tired — I cannot play." "I will pay two thousand dollars." The virtuoso opened the window and played some small piece. The millionaire was very satisfied. He then said, "Lend me your violin. I want to play now for you." What is music? The sorrows of life. The greater the sorrow, the higher price you must pay. For an ordinary concert you pay little, but for sorrow you pay much. Why? Because you learn valuable lessons from sorrow. When you suffer, you speak and complain, and people listen to you.


You say, "We wish to be rich, to be able to spend much money." Are you prepared, as a rich person, to receive many people and to listen for hours to their complaints? This is what it means to be a rich person. "Why has God created such a world?" The world is well-created — it goes its way. But how we should go is important. The fly buzzes — this is her pastime. To me it is important that I do not buzz like a fly. The ox gores — this is his affair, but I should not gore like an ox. The horse kicks — it is created this way. But I am not a horse and I am not supposed to kick. The judge tries suits because he is a judge, but I do not have the right to judge. "What should I do then?" For you there is designated another work. "Who makes the servant suffer?" His master. "Who makes the master suffer?" His servant. Therefore, the reason for our penitence lies in ourselves. When you complain, this shows that you do not realize the meaning of life which God has created and in this way you cause misery to yourselves. Because of their ignorance, the first men brought suffering upon themselves. The same is true for us. The smallest impurity in your thoughts can ruin the harmony of your life. The smallest impurity in your feelings and wishes can permeate the purity of your life. "Why does a person sometimes steal?" He is hungry and no one sympathizes with him. You are rich, and you pass by a poor person and say, "God will help you." Why do you not help him in his misery? Why is all your wealth given to you? Stop on your way and help the poor. If you do not help him, you contribute to his crime.


Therefore, do not ask why life brings sufferings, but look back into yourselves to see if you have fulfilled your obligations. You suffer — it is not you who suffers, but somebody else within you. If the young man suffers, somebody else within him suffers, and if the old man suffers, again somebody else suffers. "I am tired of life." You do not speak the truth. Have you lived one day without suffering? What would happen to the young man or the young girl if they did not cry and suffer? What would happen to the mother and the father if they did not take care of their children and would not suffer? Be glad that in the world there exist mothers and fathers, young men and young women, servants and masters who suffer. Be glad that people die and are born. Be glad that people transgress and undo their transgressions. Be glad that good and evil exist. Make the best of life without feeling that it is a burden. Life gives many lessons for which must be paid a high price.


In conclusion to all that I say, do not try to solve the mystery of life — it is unsolvable. As long as the sun shines it will cast shadows and the triangle will be reflected. When the sun stops shining, the shadows also disappear. If good goes away, evil will go away also. Where will man go then? You wish to teach God how to create the world. God has thought for a whole eternity before creating the world and you wish to change it with one gesture. Present your project to God to see what kind of world you would create. He who wishes to correct God and His manifestations will find himself in the position of Jonah, who stayed in the entrails of the whale for three days.


True philosophy of life expects that man will be satisfied with all of that which God gives him at the moment. Consider that everything given by God is good. Do not think that your destiny is only to suffer, but neither think that it is only to be joyous. You are not born only for hatred, but neither are you born only for love. The moment changes, and with it, conditions also change. Do not say that you have not had one happy day in your life. You do not speak the truth. Light and darkness alternate continually.


You say, "The war should not exist." You cannot stop the war — it has its destiny. You cannot stop the storm. You cannot stop the earth from turning around its axis and around the sun, which creates day and night and the four seasons of the year. You cannot stop the sunrise and sunset. "What can I do, then?" You can take certain position and make use of the goods of life. Someone says that since he has started to follow the new way, his hair has turned white from suffering.


A crow decided to move her little baby crows into a new nest. The baby crows were very happy about moving into a clean place. Their mother asked them, "Are you going to take with you your rear ends, also?" "Yes, certainly!" "Well, the new nest will soon be as messy as the old one."


Today, everyone is asking himself why he is on earth. The purpose of man is to change the matter of evil from thick, as it is now, to thin. In this way, he will improve his life and free himself from the conflicts in his mind that the world is not created well. The world is neither bad nor good. The people are giving their opinions about it — each according to his own understanding. When you read the Bible, you can see that one prophet writes about an event in one way, and another prophet in a different way. Christ said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees!" Why did He say that? Because they kept the goods only for themselves. The day will come when the woe of the poor will be upon their heads. "Blessed be the poor." One day this blessing will pour over the heads of the rich. The wheel of life is turning constantly. Everyone must find for himself such a philosophy that will bring him closer to truth.


"Why does evil exist?" For manure. The rich soil does not need to be fertilized, but the poor soil needs it. Therefore, the evil is necessary only for some people, but not for all. Today evil is necessary, but the day will come when evil, hatred, and envy will not be needed. Someone says a cross word to you, and you immediately protest that your dignity is hurt. What did they say to you? That you are ignorant, that you are a bad person? Badness sometimes brings some good. Why are you bad? Because you have taken away someone's burden? If you had not taken it, he would have collapsed under it. Someone has eaten your chicken, and you say that he is bad. What is bad about this? You and he are the same. From a human viewpoint it is evil, but from the divine viewpoint there is nothing bad about it. From the viewpoint of the sheep, the wolf is not good, but from the viewpoint of the wolf, his conduct is correct. You ask yourself, "Should I be a sheep or a wolf?" It is preferable to be a sheep. The herbivorous animal is necessary for man because it brings fire and warmth. The wolf brings the suffering in life. Become a sheep, to bring warmth and fire into life, for he who eats you will turn into fire.


There is much truth in life that must be explored. Study the New Testament as a reference book, so that you may know what to take from the different authors. The New Testament is not only a written book. Every living man who brings good tidings is a new testament. If you bring good tidings, you are a holy scripture that people should read. Because I know that, I am not afraid of anybody. It may happen that some child bites — this is all right. I will give him one or two apples. It has learned to bite, and now it has a skill. If it had not bitten me, I would not have given it the apple. Some day it will reject this skill. Look upon the world as though through a kaleidoscope in which you can see many colorful pictures.


Now I will tell you to be natural, without over- or under-estimating yourself. It is good to be courageous, but not more courageous than necessary, and yet not more timid than necessary. You present yourself as more learned than necessary and more ignorant than necessary. The bad thing about you is that you are richer and also poorer than you should be. It is good to be rich and poor, but not more than necessary.


One thing is expected of all — to follow the new teaching. It does not judge, but it shows how rich and how poor one should be. It will give everyone what he needs. "I need money." It is not bad to have money, but one should know how to use it. Money, as well as knowledge, is a means, but you must make use of both of them wisely. "I do not want to be rich." Wealth does not only signify money. Be rich in virtue, in knowledge, in power and in life. He is truly rich who can load and unload himself. As long as you can not at the same time be both rich and poor—as long as you can not both load and unload yourself—you do not understand life. You have become rich thanks to the efforts of the poor. One day, God will say, "Poor and rich, come all to Me to eat and drink together." "When will God summon us?" It may be tomorrow! Be prepared to meet God.


Thank God for everything that He has given to you — for your mind, for your heart, for your will. Thank God that you meet both good and evil people. Thank God that you meet both poor and rich, learned and ignorant people. Thank God for everything. Gratitude is a word of the language of the old sages that has not been understood until present times. One of the words of this language is gratitude. In this way I interpret this word into our own language, but it still remains not understood.


A lecture of the Master on February 3, 1932, at Sofia - Izgrev Sunrise, at the settlement of the White Brotherhood near Sofia


Faces of Reality

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