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THE MILK OF THE WORD (November 16, 1914, in Sofia)

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As newborn babies, desire

the sincere milk of the word,

that ye may grow thereby.15


One of the commandments of the Law of Moses says, "Thou shalt not desire!" But it says in Peter's first epistle, "Desire!" Which of them is right? From their point of view both are right. However, if Moses were in the place of Peter, he would be wrong. And if Peter were in the place of Moses, he too would be wrong. Moses says you must not desire. What is not to be desired? Power, riches, and women. Peter says, "Desire!" What? The Milk of the Word. Why? Because it is necessary for a person's spiritual growth. The first thing a child seeks after birth is the mother's breast to suck milk for in that way it grows and develops. Peter says the same thing, "We must find the breast which will feed us spiritually. If we do not find it, by the same Law, like the child, we cannot live." In three or four years when the child has grown up a little and its teeth begin to grow, it shows that its organism is adapting itself to hard food. The same Law applies to a person's spiritual life—we should not receive hard food which can cause our death before we have grown up a little.


I ask, "Have all people who live on the Earth sucked of the Milk of the Word?" No, all people have not sucked of the Milk of the Word in result of which they are exposed to death. It is not enough for a mother to bear a child and give it milk, this milk must be unpolluted. How many mothers have poisoned their children by polluted milk! If a mother gets angry several times a day, after some time she will poison the child with her milk. And the priests, who are mothers to their parishioners, can poison them when they are angry while preaching. The same way, if teachers worry and feel disturbed while teaching, they may poison their pupils. Contemporary people suffer from great ignorance. They know many things about geometry, arithmetic, botany, physics, chemistry, but they lack the essential knowledge—the necessary Milk of the Word. They know about the motion of heavenly bodies, of how people were created and developed, but when the question comes to the Milk of the Word—they keep silent.


Do you know what people today are like? They can be compared to a Turkish sage who said he knew everything taking place in heaven. An anecdote describes that this Turkish sage boasted everywhere of knowing when God got up, what He did during the day, what the angels were doing and so on. When he was telling all this to the Sultan, the latter wishing to reprove him and to show him he did not know everything, invited him one day to his palace with another philosopher and said to them, "I wish to take you for a ride in my boat, so we can have a friendly talk together." They got on the boat and sailed away. After a while a servant brought bread and milk on a tray for them. The Sultan invited the two to break the bread into small pieces and drop these in the milk. After they were ready, he stirred the bread-pieces in the dish and said, "Now, let each one of us eat the exact pieces they have put in the milk."16 "How can we know which pieces belong to each one of us?" objected the philosophers. "If you cannot tell your own pieces of bread in the bowl, how can you know what is going on in heaven?"


In the same chapter further on Peter speaks to his listeners about the living stone. We know only of dead stones of which houses are built, but as you see, there are living stones as well. If you can interpret the word stone in a spiritual sense, you will see that it has another meaning too. The word stone in a spiritual sense means a completed character, in which all forces are balanced, the process of development is harmonious, the nervous system as well as the inner organs—stomach, lungs and brain—are in perfect order and function as well. That is why Christ says, "Be stones which can grow and develop." In another place He says, "You must build in yourselves a Divine house." He means the building of a house out of such living stones.


Now I shall return to the words the Milk of the Word. Some say they want to be spiritual. What do they understand by the word spiritual? Does being spiritual mean that a person must shut themselves within their own self and only think, meditate and keep calm? No, that cannot make a person spiritual. To be spiritual is to be in contact with your surroundings, with your environment and the soil on which you live and at the same time to be able to react correctly to this environment and conditions as elements which create life. The highest position a person can take on earth is when her mind, her heart and soul—all these forces are at their height, at their maximum development. In its natural state, a stone cannot absorb any liquid; however, if we take a limestone and bake it in a furnace, it turns into lime, fit for whitewashing. In the same way, when God wants to whitewash His house, He takes such a stone, bakes it, pours water on it and when a chemical process in it has taken place, He whitewashes His house with this white stuff called in a spiritual sense purity and goodness in life. Therefore, when sufferings come to you, it means you are in the furnace to be baked and to turn into the necessary spiritual lime. There are stones of such hard texture that, after having been put in the furnace, they cannot be baked. Such stones are considered useless and absolutely not fit for the purpose, because of which they are thrown away.


Thus, when Peter says, "Desire," he wants to express that inner process of baking which takes place inside a person. By this baking process, superior forms will be created in your mind which will be able to pass from one world into another. The process of rarifying will help in this case. So if you have two thoughts in your mind which disturb you, do not abstain from putting one of them in the furnace, start a fire and bake it. If you do this with the thousands of disturbing thoughts passing through your mind, it is as though you have baked thousands of pounds of limestone and have sold the lime. In this way you will not only be liberated from your useless luggage, but you will have great gain. What takes place in the physical world, by analogy, takes place at the same time in heaven. And inversely, every process taking place in heaven, takes place on the Earth as well. When you understand this Law rightly, you will know that when you suffer on the Earth, the angels in heaven rejoice. When you are being baked in the furnace—that is suffering. Since you do not understand the deep causes of this suffering, you say, "We have burned up! Our life is finished!" But in heaven they say, "How glad we are that this stone will be turned into lime!" When you think that the angels have not compassion toward you; they answer you, "We have great compassion for you, but we are happy that you will become clean and white like us." Therefore, you should not desire those things which thicken and harden your mind, heart, soul, forces and abilities, but you should desire only that which has the power to expand and liberate them from all limitations.


Many people ask, "How can we apply this teaching to practical life? The teacher says, "I have naughty and disobedient students, how can I influence them?" The preacher says, "Many of my parish are not devout and believing people, they do not understand the philosophy of life. How can I influence them?" The merchant says, "My clients and partners want to rob me. How can I make them act differently?" All people complain. Why? Because their rope17 is thin and weak. They want to raise with it a load of one hundred pounds, but it cannot bear such a weight. Naturally, in such a case the rope will break and the load will fall on the ground. I ask you, "How can one live in the Old Testament and apply Peter's teaching?" You are friends of Moses, but at the same time you want to be friends of Christ too. Those who are friends of Moses are not friends of Christ. Moses says, "Do not desire," but he does say what you should do further on. He says you should love God, but how can you love Him when you have not seen Him? Another time he says you should love your nation, but speaks quite differently about the other nations. I consider the Law of Moses in a broad sense. It is true that when Moses was issuing this Law, conditions where quite different from those during which Christ's Law was created. Moses' teaching was a preparation of humanity for the teaching of Christ. The Law of Moses is the one hemisphere of the Earth, but Christ's is the other hemisphere. You can live in the hemisphere of Moses only when it is illuminated by the Sun's rays. As soon as it goes out of the Sun's rays, you cannot live in it anymore.


The desires of people today spring namely from the application of Moses' Law in life. All people want to be rich, learned, but when they accept this Law, they cannot attain their desires, as a result of which all kinds of conflicts and great struggles take place among them. In the physical world there are no conditions for all people to be rich and learned, but there are conditions for all people to be good. Desire virtue, which does not belong to the physical world! There are people in India who understand and apply this Law even to the animals. If you can make a contact with an animal, no matter how fierce it may be, it will love you and become a devoted friend to you. Every desire to harm you will vanish from it and it will be ready to fulfill any order you give it. When Christ said we should love our enemies, He had in mind precisely this Law.


The first thing Christianity recommends for a person's purification is suffering. The hard stones must pass through the furnace, in order to be able to whitewash; raw bread must be baked, in order to become fit for eating. The same thing applies to a person. You can enter heaven only as baked bread. Only then will you be put on a table and broken up. Why has God given person a mind, heart, eyes, nose, ears, and tongue? You must meditate about the purpose of these organs. I am briefly putting these questions that you may meditate on them. You say, "I want to serve God." You do not understand how you must serve. There are people who pretend to understand the esoteric Laws but who cannot serve God. Since they know the Laws, they should be able to apply them, at least for their own development. Some want me to tell them many philosophical and esoteric things. I can tell you many things, but first you must put a firm foundation on which to build and every stone you place on it should be well hewn and placed in the right place—the corner.


A great problem is ahead of us—the rectification of this world. The building, on which our present life rests, is being torn down and one day God will call you to start building anew. The question is—will you know how to build when God calls you? In order to be ready, you should start nourishing yourselves with the milk I spoke to you about. You must be ready in such a way that some day, when God would give you a new garment, you should not spot it. Several little crows once asked their mother to move them to another nest, but the mother asked them back, "Will you take along your dirty bottoms?" "We shall take them along with us." "Then I cannot move you to another nest for you will dirty it too."


Some insensible women exclaim, "Why did God make me a woman?!" As women you will study an art which you would not be able to study as men, namely, the art of preparing milk by which you will nourish your children. You are God's nurses taking care of His children. If you do not fulfill your mother's duty, God will ask you, "Why did I give you this important post? You should not have given such milk to your children." "We have already given it." "You should not give them such milk another time. If you do, I shall dismiss you." "But I want to become a man." "You will not become a man; if you continue asking for things you do not deserve, and keep on being obstinate, you will be lower than man the second time."


The philosophy of contemporary Christians does not rest on a firm foundation. Every sectarian states that what they preach is the real Christian teaching and not what others are preaching. However, no one can say definitely what the real Christian teaching is. We say we are the wreath of creation in the world. No, we should deceive neither ourselves nor God. We are not a wreath, but only those who have completed their development are a wreath. We who are still quacking in the pond are nothing more than frogs—we who want money and houses and are ready even to sell God for them, are not a wreath of creation. We are a wreath of failure, a wreath of hell.


Now you are facing a dilemma. You should ask yourselves whether you can continue on this path any a longer or not. "We cannot budge farther." Present day humanity has already reached the utmost limit. If they take one more step in that direction, all will be lost. Therefore, we must take a step in the opposite direction—a step forward, a step upward—in order to see that a great future is ahead. You must stop and consider where are you going and give up the transitory which leads to degradation. Christ says, "He who loves his father and mother more than me, is not worthy of me. You must deny your father and mother and follow me." Every person must say, "I do not want any more the milk I've drunk until now, it is better for me to die without milk! Death without milk is better than life with polluted milk." You must deny all those deceitful things which pollute your thoughts and wishes, which poison your organism and your life and start seeking the Divine Truth. My purpose is not to frighten you, but to make you start thinking about yourselves. See yourself in a mirror to know how your face looks, what is the color of your complexion: if it is very red, it shows a state of over-stimulation—the body is not healthy; if it is too pale, you have apathy for life. Both states are incorrect. If you take Christ's food of which the apostle Paul speaks, you will be in good spirits, happy and satisfied, you will be brave and resolute in the struggle of life; if you are nourished by the living milk, no microbes can find room in you.


You have certain aspirations, you want to be good and to love, but you can not. Why? Because you do not know how to act. A doctor was called to see a rich young woman who was suffering of boredom. The first thing he prescribed to her was to exercise. "But how can I exercise?" "If you do not do it, you are doomed to die." "All right then, give me your instructions, please." He instructed her and she started to exercise. Soon after that she was cured of her boredom. You often sit with crossed hands, or roll your thumbs one way or another, but you must stop all these practices and start exercising, or working. Only then will God give you His blessings.


In this respect women should work because God gave them the key to paradise. They keep the key to the Kingdom of God. Peter is a female name. The bad side of the problem is that women are of a weaker character and soon give up their post. A woman loves a man, but when she sees another, more handsome one, she says, "I shall marry this man. If I do not marry him there is no life for me." She marries him and after two or three years she gives him up and is ready to marry another man. God is now saying to women, "If you, who keep the key to the Kingdom of God, do not obey my orders, I shall turn you out of paradise to weep and repent of your sins." When you do not follow Christ's orders you deviate from Him, deny Him, think evil of Him and constantly deliver Him to Pilate, to sufferings—to a daily nailing on the cross. And after all this you ask why the world does not get better. How can the world be set right, when you daily torture your Lord?! It is high time you stopped driving nails through His body! The nails that you drive in Christ by way of reflection affect you too.


Do you know the story of that fisherman who found once a very rare and precious fish and wished to make it a gift to the king? The gate-keeper did not want to let him in, but in order to get to the king, the fisherman promised him half of his gain. When he went in, the king asked him what reward he wanted. He answered, "I want fifty blows on the back with a staff." "How is this possible?" "Yes, this is the reward I want." The king ordered his man to thrash him fifty times but when they blew the twenty-fifth, he said, "Now stop and deliver the remaining twenty-five blows to my partner—your gate-keeper."


Today when people are driving nails in Christ's body, He says, "Stop, twenty-five blows are enough for me. Call my partner and deliver the rest to him." What is happening to people daily is nothing but the rest of the blows—half the reward which they themselves wanted. Someone says, "I have so many sufferings my soul will burst with torture." Yes, your soul will burst because you have driven many nails in Christ's body. If one of you falls ill, you immediately send for the doctor. I say, as long as you drive nails in Christ's body, the real doctor, on whom you depend to cure you, will not enter your house. The teaching I am preaching now is completely practical and all of you can apply it in your lives. When a bad, negative thought attacks you, or when you wish something bad, you are coming upon hard stones. Put this hard stone in the furnace, heat it up that it turns into lime with which you can whitewash your soul and make it white and shining. If you practice this, you will see how your soul will be illuminated.


This is the teaching which the apostle Peter preached. Many people consider Peter a simple fisherman, but in reality he was not a simple man. He always roasted the fish and never ate raw fish. Where must you roast your fish? On the Divine fire— the fire of Love; and when you have roasted it on this fire, you will say, "What excellent fish we have!" Therefore, if you, like the apostle Peter, do not become co-workers to those who live in heaven, what place will you have in the other world? When Christ says we should deny ourselves and lose our life, He means we must do this for the beings who are superior, on a higher level than we. Only in this way shall we gain something. You may say that this Law is not in accord with the Laws of Nature. No, it is fully in accord with Nature's Laws. Those who will suck the saps of the tree, will sow new seeds out of which new tree will sprout and bear new fruit. That means that we must enter the way of development, if we would grow up. Then the angels will take part in our work. In order to participate in our work, we should pay them something. In order to be sown by them on the Earth again, under better conditions of life, we should prepare their reward while we are still on the Earth. If we are nourished by the Milk of the Word, we shall approach them and then we shall get close to Christ.


Thus, whoever would work and follow Christ's path, should fear nothing. All fear must vanish from you. Everyone must roast their conscience on the Divine fire, as you roast the fish you catch. In order to be preserved, the fish must be either roasted or salted—one of the two. The same thing applies to a person—there is no middle way. If a person is not roasted, or salted, she will begin to smell. Christ says, "If the salt has lost its savor, it is thrown out." Therefore, if you become unseasoned, you will be thrown out as useless things. If you have not lost your salt, you will be put in the barrel. However, it is preferable for you to be roasted than salted. Salt is for the world, but fire is for you. The process of fire is preferable, because in it there is growth and life. Salting is a process of preservation, to keep a thing from rotting and bad smell.


Therefore, you can be in two states: either in a process of growing in the Divine garden, or as a germ in the Divine granary. Make an experiment with yourselves applying the verse I read you. It has a deep meaning and sense. A number of questions are contained in this verse: the upbuilding and order of society and the family, the education of children, bettering the conditions of life, and so on. That is why this verse must be sown somewhere deeply. Where must it be sown? In the human mind. Boil this verse in the Divine water, roast it on the Divine fire and you will see that this verse, apparently a hard nut, will turn into nourishing food which you can easily take. If you feed on the Milk of the Word, which the apostle Peter speaks about, your face will change and your social position will become better.


Now I want you to adopt the Divine method for work and prepare yourselves for the new life—the life of heaven. Up till now you have not desired the Milk of the Word, but I want you to desire it from now on and to enter the positive side of life. If you desire the Milk of the Word, you will be given whatever else you may desire.


Sermon held on November 16, 1914, in Sofia



15. I Peter 2:2-4.

16. A clever reworking of the Bulgarian saying "What you have put in your bowl, that you must eat," equivalent of the English "As you brew, so must you drink." (ed. note).

17. The rope as a metaphor used by the Master represents a person’s faith and their connection with God (ed. note).



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