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GROW IN GRACE ! (January 7, 1917, in Sofia.)

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But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?32


Growth is a process of development. What must grow? People often say, "An apple must grow, a tree, branches, leaves, blossoms—these things must grow and develop." But in the quoted verse, we understand that the human soul must grow. The human soul should grow, and the human spirit should attain the knowledge of grace. Which grace? God's. The word grace is broad, it implies the conditions under which a person must live up in heaven and down on earth. The Earth, which is so often mentioned in the sacred books, is so enormous that an innumerable number of people can live on it. In the Scriptures it is called The Promised Land. You are aspiring for this earth which God created originally. The Earth on which you live is so small, it is of microscopic size; compared in size it is not even as large as a small island like Cyprus. Paul and Peter say that heaven will be enflamed and the Earth will pass through fire.
Many interpret fire as a destructive element. In fact it is destructive, but it also constructs. For the fire which came down from the Sun has constructed our earth, it has also built our bodies and created thoughts and feelings in us. Everything freezes without fire. Therefore, the word growth implies fire as well. The fire which destroys is the coarse fire. Present day science has made the following experiments: if someone is placed under 2-3,000 volts of electricity, they die and in some countries criminals are electrocuted by such a current. However, if 10-50,000 volts of electricity run through the human body, all illnesses will disappear, the face will become youthful and bright; in a word, one will be fully rejuvenated. According to the present ideas of logic, one should burn up by such a fire. The  fire which destroys people is their passions. They destroy the body and the soul simultaneously. Being free of these passions means not warming oneself on destructive fire. When Paul says grow, he means a function under the influence of the Divine fire, or of these 10-50,000 volts that will purify and renew the people they pass through.
The word knowledge implies an understanding of the Laws by which this growing may be effected. Growing is twofold: upward and downward. When you are looking yourself in the mirror, you have a reflection. If anyone asks you by what Laws this reflection is effected, you will answer readily, "There is a reflection." But I would like to know the basic Law by which this reflection is effected. The physicists explain the mechanical aspect of an object the way the astronomers explain the mechanical aspect of the universe, as for instance what the Sun is like, its elements, its temperature, but what the Sun actually is remains a secret. From the Earth we can suppose this and that, but when a person becomes spiritual, they will be able to test the truth about the growing Paul speaks about. If you want to know whether there is life on the moon or not, you will take your bag, buy a ticket and in a few hours you will verify this truth. The same way one can go to the Sun and test what it is like.
Now we study things only by way of reflection, but the reflections are not always true. Every reflection has an inner and outer side; you access only the outer side, while the inner side remains concealed. You say, "I know this man." But you know only his shadow. "His eyes are black." This is, however, his shadow. "His beard is white." This is his shadow. "He is handsome." All this is a shadow. This man, who looks handsome to you in the daytime, is black at night. If the inner lamp changes its position, the inner Light of a person will change too. This is growth of the shadows, because the shadows can grow too—they can become smaller or bigger. For instance, when the Sun rises in the morning, the shadows are bigger; around noon they grow quite small and after sunset, they disappear. I am making this analogy, because you are people of the shadows—you study the creation of the cinematographer. If I speak differently, you will say, "Prove this!" In order to prove it, I must get you a ticket so you can come along with me to the Sun and then to the moon. You are people of the shadows, i.e. fictitious, not real beings. After fifty years, you will see yourself that you are fictitious. Where will you be then? In order not to be shadows, you must pass from the temporary to the eternal, to seek God, meaning to seek His Light and heat. This Light will introduce in you that ideal which you are longing for. A person is born as a small baby, gradually grows big, but is discontented all the time. He wants to marry and tries to find a beautiful girl and thinks until he finds her, but as soon as he finds her, he is discontented again—calls her evil as a snake. Then the two of them want children and have them, but find the children bad too. Then they hope when their children will marry to be materially well off, but nothing comes out of that. Thus, the life of people today consists only of shadows, but there is no reality whatsoever in these shadows. This is a pleasant life, but there is no growth in it, no Divine process.
Therefore, by the word growing I understand that only the spirit can grow and develop; only the real, the changeless grows. This substance which is deposited in us can undergo millions of eternal changes; this is a great Divine Law. At times a bad thought attacks you—that is a shadow. You say, "I hate that person." How can you hate her when you do not know her? Or, how can you ask a person for money, if you have never given her any money? In the world the shadows exist by necessity in order that the genesis of things may stand out. The more shadows there are in the world, the more our mind will stand out and will be the basis of knowing things, because knowledge cannot exist without shadows. You say you are suffering—that is a shadow, in order that you may learn the conditions of the new life. Therefore, growth is the cause of all changes which take place inwardly and outwardly. If you understand life this way, you will come to reality itself, i.e. to the testing of things. When a teaching is in accord with the reality of genesis, or with the Laws God has created in the world, it can always be put to a test. A doctor comes and says, "I have a medicine which cures this illness." If this medicine is real, it must cure the patient as soon as he takes it; but if this does not happen, the medicine is not real and the doctor only deludes people. A man comes and says, "I bring you a teaching, if you accept it, you will raise yourself." If this teaching raises you, it is real.
Thus, growth is a process necessary for the building of your spiritual body. The physical body is necessary as a scaffolding on the outside; if it is not raised, the spiritual body cannot be raised either. First of all, the physical world was created as scaffolding, while the spiritual world is constantly being constructed and organized to this day. In the Scriptures, there are verses which say that first heaven—the Divine World—was created and then the Earth—the physical world. The Earth is not organized yet, God is still organizing it. He created the world in six days: the sixth day He created human beings and on the seventh He rested. Now He is at work again. Moses says, "God rested." Christ says, "My Father is working." At the present time He is still working. God's rest implies His going out of His genesis and from there scrutinizing everything. He has created and then returned again to continue His work. His present work brings fire. He says, "This world lacks fire." When this fire comes, it will bring growth and knowledge of grace. When I speak of the world, I always mean human beings. The world is known to you to the extent you have a relation to it. All elements of the external world, of external Nature are connected with your body and with your mind, as a result of which all the changes taking place in you, the indisposition of your spirit, depend on the changes in Nature. If a wolf has been hungry for three or four days, or a week, he will pray to God for food. You respond to his thought and suffer along with him. All things in life are connected; that is why you experience equally both joys and sorrows. Someone says, "I cannot tolerate this man." Tolerate him, because he is part of you. If you ruin him, you will ruin yourself. Therefore, by growth, I understand the growth of our spiritual body which represents a unit of the Divine harmony.
You say, "The world is not organized yet." It is not organized but work is necessary in order to organize it. We are the plants which must work; we receive and process the materials, then we give them to God. You eat a hen, a sheep, a lamb—that becomes a part of you which goes to the building of the world. From this point of view all sufferings will be justified. We have all suffered in the world that is why we shall live all together. Some day you will realize that the bugs are your brothers too. When a bug is biting you, or sucking blood from you, it is saying, "I must do this in order to build my house." In all beings conscious and unconscious processes are taking place. The conscious process is effected so powerfully that you must grow up in a short period, as wheat grows in May; and you must bear fruit in a short period of time, because growing has in view blossoming and blossoming—fruit bearing. Growing is a life in which blossoming, setting and ripening of the fruit take place. There is no setting and ripening without blossoming. Are you blossoming? "No." Then you will not manifest yourself. People, like the flowers, find their expression only when they blossom and bear fruit. Love is manifested only when plants are blossoming; it is the same with people. When there is blossoming in the physical world, the physical ripening comes, the physical love; when this process is over, a spiritual blossoming and ripening takes place in a person. One must blossom at least seven times, i.e. set seven fruit at least. We must blossom up at the same time in seven worlds, but this blossoming up is achieved consecutively. Therefore, when blossoming in the physical world loses its sense for you, this blossoming should be taken up above. Why do you die? Dying is nothing other than going to a higher world for growth. When you do not have conditions for growing in the physical world, you die; when you have conditions—you are born.
Therefore, those who are not acquainted with the deep sense of life find that in the blossoming of the branches and growing of the roots there is a certain contraction. When water comes out of a spring, would it not flow in all directions? If you open a jar full of steam, would not these vapors spread in all directions at the same time? Thus, the life which has sprung up from a center sends its roots downward. And conversely, at night, when the Earth has turned, we are with our feet up. The same is true of a tree: in the course of 24 hours, first the branches are turned up, and then the roots are up. You will say that people are with their heads up. Human beings are double trees: they have roots up, which means the Divine World; also they have roots down in the stomach, which means the physical world. When the Earth turns, you also turn with your feet toward God, and then the roots of your stomach are turned to Him. So every 24 hours both the feet and the head turn toward God. Before God, the feet and the head have an equal meaning. Why? Because in the spiritual world, the feet are the ground on which you build your house. They are the soil on which your life may grow.
Now in the process of growing, you should love all people, alive or dead, who have a reflection and live in you. You have a John inside and a John outside; you have an angel inside and one outside; you have a devil inside and one outside. Heaven and earth live at the same time in your soul. There are good and bad spirits in you who get along well. Some people who hate the evil spirits say that there is disputing between them and the angels, so they think they are quarrelling. There arises a dispute only when we meddle in their work. Otherwise a complete balance exists between them. As soon as we meddle in their work, a struggle begins. When there is a dispute between two spirits, you should only listen. The dispute is a conversation between them. The students are not allowed to meddle with the business of the teacher. The bad and good spirits are great teachers. You have no right to pass judgment, but only to listen; such is the Law. If you interfere in their work, they will beat you and say, "Listen, you are a small baby; you should not interfere, but listen." Often people complain of attacks by the evil spirits. I tell them that the evil spirits do not care at all about you; they are not interested in your existence. They have only stopped under the shadow of your tree to talk, but you have overheard them. People are babies not born yet. "The evil spirits tell me to do this or that," some say. They do not say this to you, but to themselves and you say, "Wait, let me do this!"
The Apostle Paul says, "Grow in the grace of Christ, in order to know the spirits." Up till now the world has always used charms and conjurations against the evil spirits. In the church the Vassil Prayers are all conjurations against them, but evil spirits still exist. That is why Christ says, "Resist not evil." The evil spirits have their own work and when they are doing it, let them be free, do not interfere. I have heard how some Christians quarrel among themselves, "You are ignorant, but I have graduated university and have learned something." If you have graduated and have knowledge, you will keep silent, because there is conversation in silence, which brings power and growth. Those who do not know how to keep silent have no knowledge; they know only the rod. Silence is actually growth— this is how plants grow. They are silent, only at night a faint cracking can be heard—they are whispering to each other. They are not like people, who want the whole world to hear, if they have done some good. The hen acts the same way after laying an egg, she cackles so that everybody should hear her. What of it that she has laid an egg? That is her duty. It is a question whether she laid it, or it was laid for her. When an ass carries a burden of precious things, he says, "I carried the precious things." We must know that having come to earth, we are servants of God. Someone says, "Humans have free will." But I say that those who live in this essential, unchanging world where God lives and serve God, understand His Laws and orders, only they are free and only they can have a free will.
We must find time to accelerate this growth of which I am speaking, i.e. the building of your body. Often your saying that you have no time for this, no time for that provides the occasions for disobedience. An English preacher once visited a poor boy—a sweeper—and asked him, "Does anyone come to see you?" "Yes, Mr. Gladstone."33 Who?" "The English statesman." How strange that in spite of his great tasks, he found time to visit a poor sweeper! Why? Who lives in this sweeper? Gladstone realizes that one of his brothers lives in him and says, "I must visit him!" When someone rises in life today, they do not recognize even their father and mother, thinking this will infringe on their greatness and high position. There is nothing greater than knowing our obligations. The greatest trait of God is that in spite of His numberless great tasks, He always finds time to visit some sinful soul, the way Gladstone acted. God always finds a few minutes free to visit someone, to leave a good thought, or render His help. And when everyone attacks you like swarms of mosquitoes, God appears and says, "Fear not! I am here; I am with you to help you." When God does this, say to Him, "Give us strength to grow and become free from transitory things, to know Your Will." Do not say, "They attacked me, but they will see who I am!" We often say in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy Will be done!" You do not know the Name of God, the Kingdom of God, and you want to fulfill the Will of God. You will be like that mother who sews skirts and pants for her child which has not been born yet. In the process of seeking the Name of God, the Kingdom of God and the Will of God, will come the Kingdom of Heaven.
You must have the valor of that Russian king of whom Tolstoy tells a legend. The murder of King Peter I, in which Alexander I was also involved, cased great pangs of conscience in the latter and darkened his soul to the extent that nowhere could he find rest. The glamour of the throne and the vain pleasures had not the power to distract and calm him. He withdrew into himself more and more until finally he decided to abdicate and start living in Taganrog34 as an ordinary citizen. One day while walking in the environs of the city, he noticed that crowds were gathered round two rows of soldiers unarmed, but each holding a rod. An old soldier was brought with arms tied to a gun. They took off his shirt and while the drum was beating, he was subject to a horrid punishment, "passing under the rods."
Alexander looked the soldier in the face and was amazed at the great likeness between them. He asked about the crime of the unhappy soldier. They told him that when the soldier heard his father was on the death-bed, he asked permission to go and part with him. After being denied that, the soldier tried to run away, but was caught. He tried to escape a second time but was caught once more and this time was severely punished to pass between the two rows of soldiers under the blows of 8,000 rods. This penalty meant certain death. Hearing the sounds of the blows and the groans of the dying man, who soon stopped groaning, Alexander was horrified. "My God," he thought, "all this only for a reason that he wanted to kiss his father's hand as a farewell and receive his blessing! That poor man is tortured so cruelly, in my name too!"
He compared his attitude to his father with that of the soldier and seeing how much lower he stood than him, Alexander started weeping bitterly. After being informed by the doctors that the soldier would not live after the 4,000 blows, he made arrangements the soldier to be clothed secretly in his outfit and to be carried in Alexander's room. He, on his part, dressed in the soldier's uniform, submitted himself to the remaining 4,000 blows. These he bore to the end and survived because the soldiers, taking pity on the exhausted soldier, did not hit him hard anymore. The soldier, disguised in the Emperor's clothes, was carried to the palace, where he died. The great similarity between the two served for an official announcement that the emperor had died. In reality, the emperor wandered away, giving himself over to kindly deeds the rest of his life. Tolstoy ends the story with the death of Alexander in the following words, "What a moment of triumph must have been his death! What liberation of the soul!" I ask, how many of my listeners will be ready to bear at least ten blows for their brother? And after all this people are pretenders, preparing themselves for heaven!
I say, the inner sense of growth is in learning to discriminate the shadows from the real things, to liberate one's soul by bearing all sufferings. When a pear and an apple are growing, that is done for the sole purpose to give fruit which will bear a new being. Some want to marry and have children. Why? They want to marry, because they are already tired and cannot do anything else. As soon as they marry and have a son or a daughter, they will finish their parents' work. Someone says, "I do not want to be married." That means you are strong. If you cannot finish your work yourself, you must get married. By the word development I understand that either we must finish the work God has assigned for us, or give our place to others to finish it. That is why people are born and reincarnate—descend and ascend—on this earth. Some day when you say you are tired, God will ask you, "Do you want to give your place to your brother who will finish your work?" The knowledge I give you now is elementary. In the future, you will learn something more. God has already started the reorganization of the world. In this epoch of growth, we are under the most favorable conditions, under the effect of the Divine fire. In this fire, the hard things will melt, matter will be refined and God will form out of it a world of a different order. Those who will not finish their development will be sent by God to another place. There is no perishing in the world, one is only deprived of the duty, or work, one is not doing. In our schools, they keep you two or three years in the same class until you can pass it. The same refers to life itself.
Now it is desirable that this thought should become central in your mind. It is not important what work you are doing, whether you are a mathematician, or a doctor—these are shadows, forms in life. The essential thing is to sanctify the name of God and to implant the Will of God in your soul. Those who want to be strong must give first place to the following: the name of God, which is the supreme good; the Kingdom of God—in relation to the Earthly life. The spiritual world is connected with the physical world—humans are at the same time spiritual and physical beings. These two elements exist in us simultaneously: there is a bond between the two beings, which keeps them together and directs them. This bond is the soul which is semi-spiritual and semi-material. You can never change this state of things. By the words physical matter I understand the world of forms necessary for the manifestation and genesis of things; by the words Spiritual World I understand those forces which work for the creation of these forms; Soul, on the other hand, implies the conditions that prepare the construction of these forms. Therefore, life cannot be manifested without forms. Every Soul must have a body in the world in order to be manifested as an individual unit. She must have a body so that God can visit her. Can you invite guests, if you have no house? When a man wants to marry, he first has his house made, as the birds who want to lay their eggs first make their nests. Do not take my words in their literal meaning. Every person must have house, but where must it be built? In the spiritual world. They will not receive you in heaven, if you have no house; there you must have a house by all means. Growing implies the idea of having a garden around your house with flowers and fruit-trees to decorate it. In order to grow, you should forget your shadows, your misunderstandings.
All things existing in the world today are shadows; when you fall asleep for a long time, everything will disappear: France, England, Germany will disappear in your mind; there will be no wars; you will forget all about sugar, rice, your debts, you will forget everything. Why? Because all these things are shadows. To know a person in the real sense of the word, you should love them. Only those who love know people. Someone may say, "I love, but I suffer and fear." Since you fear, you have no love. Love does not tolerate any fear. All contradictions, of one kind of another, cause unpleasant troubles for people. However, the human spirit cannot develop without hardships. This teaching should be preached to open-minded people today. Only then will your home be freed from the sufferings which are essentially fictitious. There are magnetizers who hypnotizing a person draw a line before them and tell them they can go only that far and meet a wall on their way and the hypnotized person actually cannot pass that line where the other people do not see any wall there. When the magnetizer blows, the wall disappears. Now the devil has raised such a wall in the minds of people. He has drawn a line and they see many obstacles and hardships which are in fact shadows, not reality. Everything in the world is possible. How is everything possible? For instance, if you have been hungry for several days and pray to God for a piece of bread, He will give it to you, but if you want from Him 7-8 loaves, He will not give them to you. These are true facts which you can test yourselves. People should give up their greed and not desire more than what is necessary to them. If you have one kilo of sugar, be content with that, do not want more. Can all people be millionaires at one and the same time? As the growth of a tree has its limits, so people have a limit of growth on the physical plane: when they come to the age of 21, they reach a height after which their body stops growing, but the mind, soul and spirit continue their development.
These are great things which you will understand when your eyes are opened. You must pray to God to open your eyes as Elisha, one of Israel's prophets, did. One night the Syrian king sent a great army against Elisha to take him and bring him to the king. When Elisha's servant saw the great number of the enemy's army, he was scared and said, "What shall we do now, my master?" "Fear not for those who are with us are more than those who are against us." Elisha prayed that God might open the servant's eyes to see all. Then the servant saw the forest around Elisha full of horses and carriages. When the Syrians approached him, Elisha prayed to God, saying, "Smite these men with blindness." Then Elisha led them to Samaria and said, "God, open the eyes of these men that they may see." God opened their eyes and they saw they were in Samaria by the king of Israel. When Israel's king saw them, he asked Elisha, "My father, shall I smite them?" But he said, "Do not smite them but set bread and water before them and after they are fed, send them to their master."
People today ask, "What will become of us?" Those who are with us are more than those who are against us. Who are against us? Our thoughts and feelings—our shadows which we have been creating for years! Say to yourself, "I have created these thoughts—these wolves and bears—and I am not afraid of them." Some say they have strong faith. They can test the power of their faith, if they were placed among wolves and bears in a menagerie. If you fear, if you are tempted and yield, if you hate—God is not with you. The Christians must be heroes. Heroes are necessary for this world. You must bear up all misfortunes and say, "May the name of God be sanctified and may God's grace come!" You will say that so many people have died. In my view they have not died, but have been raised up. I would wish to go with them. It is a glorious thing to go to Heaven! Some people are afraid of death. They love God, but when death comes they call the doctors. God is not with them. When death comes, say, "I am coming, Lord, prepare new work for me there." I do not want anyone listening to me today to fear. Enter the place of your lions, tigers, snakes and pat them. Until you learn to pat the snakes and the crocodiles, God cannot be with you. Take as an example Daniel who did not suffer among the lions, but said, "God, Who is with me, will tame the lions." When you are among your lions, I wish you would call to God to shut their mouths. Be resolute and not faint-hearted!
Now equality and brotherhood should be preached everywhere, not only seemingly, but in practice. Scientists and great people must set an example of how we should live. You may be a chemist, an astronomer, a judge, a priest—harness all your forces for the good of humanity. We are not far from this—the fire is coming, there will be a great heating, but be unafraid: those who are with us are more than those who are against us. Let all people know that God is coming into the world to restore order, Lawfulness and justice. And you men and women who are given these lovely names by God, will submit to the new order. There is not better name in the world than man and woman. But now both men and women complain of their state. The men say, "Woe unto us who were born as men to go to war!" The women say, "Woe unto us who were born women that we should bear children!" It is not woe unto anyone; on the contrary, it is a great blessing that you were born such as you are, destined for so great a work! Reconcile yourselves inwardly. "How can we do that?" Do not say anything about anybody! Be reconciled in your soul with all your brothers, with all the subjects you have! Call to God that His name may be sanctified and His Spirit glorified in you and that you may grow up to fulfill what God has assigned to you! You will not die; from now on good conditions for gaining knowledge are coming, you will study astronomy, mathematics, and so on. Some say that mathematics is a very easy science; everything is implied in the numbers up to 10. But how many million relations there are among these ten numbers! Some say: "We should be good," that is 1; "we should be just," that is 2; "we should be loving," that is 3; "we should be wise," that is 4; "we should be truthful," that is 5. We have come to five. "Let us be good and just," it is 1 and 2; "let us be good, just and loving," it is 1 and 2 and 3; "in addition, let us be wise," it is 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. No, this is not any science. In the number 1 we must understand the Law of one, the soil, the elements; we must make use of chemistry and see what grows in the one and then say: there grow apples, cherries, grapes, wheat, rice, cabbage, carrots and so on. This one will determine what elements are needed for the apples, for the pears.
In our mind we say, "Let us be good." To be good, we should work. We can be just too, but we must work. Good, Justice, Wisdom—everything comes from above. You say, "We want to be good." Come to me and I shall teach you how to be good. I shall take a nail and when I heat it up, it will become good. Where is the hearth? It is in your heart. Take the bellows and coal, start a fire and put the nail in it—your thoughts—and heat them up. This is the process by which we must work within ourselves. In this sense, Christianity is an alchemical science.
You listen to me and say, "My heart is heavy, I am sad." Why? Because you have closed your windows and do not allow the Divine Light to pass through them. God can live in you, but you have not opened your windows to let Him in. If sometime He slaps you, say, "God, I thank You for visiting me." Interpret your husband's slap the same way. Why do you thrash the walnut tree? That the nuts may fall from it. So God comes to you and asks you, "Have you any fruit to give me?" If a brother slaps you, invite him to your house and set for him food and drink. What food? The food of the new spiritual teaching. If you teach him the new teaching, he will pick the walnuts by his hand; otherwise he will bring them down by throwing stones at them. It is like this everywhere today: men, women, teachers, students, priests, preachers—all are throwing stones at each other.
The present sufferings are a great blessing for people. I thank God for many things: I thank Him for being the King, so I can be a servant. Since He is King, that is the greatest blessing for me and for others. Now you are servants, but if you want to be real kings and queens in the future, apply the Divine teaching. Every morning when you get up say, "God, I thank You that I am alive, so I can serve You today." How do you get up in the morning? Some get up with their face up, others with their back up. Take care of the children, how they get up in the morning. Never get up with your back up. What must be your first thought after rising? Say, "God, bless my soul. I thank Thee for waking me up today to finish my work the way I should, wherever I may be, and to be able to grow as much as it is necessary." This is the first basic teaching. But what do we do? If someone is a teacher, they say, "Oh, today I have to correct 40-50 notebooks!" If they are a judge, they say, "Today I have so many Law-suits!" If they are a preacher, they say, "I must hold a sermon today, but have not prepared anything yet." If one is a mother, she says, "Why are all these children crying now?" In such a case, God is not with them and their work does not go well the whole day. Blow and say, "Hwuu-u-u! God, purify me of all evil thoughts and bless my soul!" Try this. Some say, "God was so merciful that He shed His blood for us and was nailed to the cross." How was Christ nailed? With His head up. That is why when you get up in the morning, you must rise with your head up, not down. And when you go out, show your head to God, not your feet. Go out with your head first and thank God in your soul. If you observe these rules, all Spirits of Light will be around you, you will acquire power, Wisdom and grow. God makes things grow.
Now, do you know why I am telling you all this? You must know that God does His work through people. And when I speak to you, you say, "Mr. Dounov says so." What I am saying to you has been said above, the whole heaven says it. I repeat that God is coming to purify the Earth by fire, to take off people's old rags and give them new bodies with love in their hearts, to uplift their minds and take away from them all malice and hatred. This is what the Divine teaching proclaims in the new epoch. When you rise in the morning, make an experiment, say, "I thank you, God, for the great grace You have for us. We know You as all-merciful, all-truthful, all-wise." Repeat this every morning for one month, then come to me and tell me what the temperature of your soul is. This is the whole secret. If you repeat this for ten months, it will be still better. This is the A—the beginning. In the past, when I was at your age and was learning this science, after rising in the morning, I started thus: "I thank You, God, for everything You have given me and taught me." You start the same way. This is a great teaching. If you do not start with it, you will be in eternal darkness, an eternal gloom around you. If you apply it, God, the angels and the saints—all will smile at you and help you to become Children of God. You will be ready to endure 4,000 blows on your back for your brother, so when Christ comes you will say, "Let Him take my place, I shall bear the rest myself." I understand this in a figurative sense and thus I speak. Spread this teaching among the nations! Only this way will every nation be able to ascend. Those who want to try, let them apply this teaching and see its results. It is a positive science. Every nation, every society, every home what works this way will be blessed. These are the good tidings Christ brought for the regeneration of humanity two thousand years ago.
Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
Sermon held on January 7, 1917, in Sofia.
32. II Peter 3:18.
33. William Gladstone (1809-1898), an English politician Chair of the Labor Party. He supported the independence movement in Italy and took a rigorous stand against the 1876 Turkish massacres in the then dominated Bulgarian territories (ed. note).
34. A south-Russian city at the Azov Sea coast (ed. note).

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