Contemporary knowledge about God, Evolution, and the meaning of human life.
Methodology of spiritual development.
How to Take Our Lives in Our Own Hands
“Every intention is blind when there is no knowledge.
All knowledge is vain when there is no work.
All work is fruitless when there is no love!”
Khalil Gibran “The Prophet”
There were once two young men who were living in one poor village. They were friends. Their sad, almost beggarly existence among similar unhappy inhabitants, did not gladden them.
The soil in that area was not fertile. And moreover — year after year — droughts ruined almost the entire crop. Many people died due to diseases and hunger. And some men began to engage in robbery in order to feed their families.
But our young men were raised by their parents in good faith and did not want to offend other people.
However, a depressing existence in poverty, without hope for change to the better, was oppressing.
Their parents have already died, and so even caring for the elderly did not give meaning to their lives. And they did not hurry up their own families, seeing poverty and a sad existence around.
“So all life can pass... And nothing will change in it, if we ourselves do not begin to act! It depends on us: what we spend our efforts and time on!” — one day one of them said to the other.
... And they decided to go on a journey — to seek happiness and a better life.
* * *
They walked for a long time. The settlements they met on the road — although slightly richer than their own — were not very different from it. Our young men wanted to find a place where they could really become happy.
They reached the big city. Noise, bustle, vast wealth of some people — and poverty of others — here were very close to each other.
Young men found employment — and they received money, which seemed to them even quite large. But it had to be quickly spent on housing and food — and it was necessary to earn money again and again through hard labor.
And happiness in their lives here was no more, than it was in their poor native village.
But now they had no time to be bored: they were always worried about how to make money, or how to spend less of it, or not being cheated or robbed.
And they have seen enough of cheating and deceit! And on themselves, it was not once experienced... Fortunately, their wealth was not great, so there were not great losses.
... One day, they witnessed the death of a young man: a fight broke out in the market due to some deception — and it cost the life of one of the contenders...
Looking at the body of someone who has died being still so young, the young men thought that with them at any moment the same could happen. Death does not necessarily occur in old age. And therefore, it is not guaranteed at all that they have a lot of time to realize all their desires.
They have understood that from life in the big city they could not become happier. But they have become only... fussier.
... We have already discussed that our young men were raised in piety and good faith. They offered regular prayers to God, followed other religious rules and regulations, which were instilled from childhood. And now they began to think among themselves:
“Maybe we ask God for something wrong?
“Maybe we do not understand what He wants — both from us and from all people?
“Why are prayers unfulfilled for most people?
“Why is so much unjust and ugliness, if God is Justice and Beauty?
“Why so many sick, unhappy people?
“Why do some people bathe in luxury, while others drag themselves into a beggarly existence?
“Why does injustice reign everywhere, even among judges in courts, where only the pure truth should triumph?
“Why, for some, death occurs at a young age — but others live to feeble old age?
“And what is really worth wanting and achieving in life?”
They began to ask their questions to people who seemed to them clever. They turned to the gray-haired old men, asking what they had learned in their long years in this land: about the meaning of human life, about the purpose of good and evil, about the causes of inequality between people in material prosperity, in health or illness, in luck or failures.
But those old men could not explain all this to them. They said only that in all this is the Will of God...
... But one day, they were advised to go to the wise Master, who, most likely, would be able to answer all their questions.
* * *
They have reached that place late at night and asked to spend the night in the Master’s house, where many of his disciples lived.
They were allowed to spend the night.
... How did they like everything here: both the cleanliness, and friendly smiles of the disciples, and the fact that they were sheltered without demands for payment! And calm and benevolent Master perceived by them as the height of perfection!
“How lucky we are! It’s like in paradise, we have found ourselves! This place is — where it really is worth for living! We will stay here and become disciples of this Master!” — so they said to each other.
Next morning, after a meal, they asked Master some of their questions: about the misfortunes and injustices of this world, about the meaning of a person's life...
Master answered them:
“The body belongs to the ‘desert’ of this world. People here often spend their lives in pursuit of the mirage of wealth and glory, in the thirst for power and pleasure...
“But after all, man-soul, leaving this ‘desert’, cannot take even a handful of sand with him or her — no matter how much material wealth is accumulated in the world of matter!
“Only how a person has transformed him/her/self-soul, and that, which he or she has learned, that, he or she has mastered, — will remain with him or her in the ‘other world’.
“Lives of people on the Earth — with their ups and downs — are only at first glance full of injustice. But the destinies of people depend on so many facts and are intertwined into intricate patterns of many lives.
“How the fate of each person is formed — it is a long story. But the main principle is simple: ‘You always reap in your destiny the fruits of what you sowed and nurtured!’
“The fruits of some actions return to the person quickly, but the ‘ripening’ of others can be expected for a very long time. Sometimes this happens only in the next incarnation of the soul into a new body.
“Every time when the life in the body ends and a soul leaves it — a soul does not disappear and does not die. Life of a soul does not end with death of a body, but continues in the intangible world — until the time for a new birth in the body comes.
“And the true meaning of life of a soul on the Earth is not to pursue the mirages of the material world, but the Path to God, Who is the One Lord of all worlds. This Path consists of cognition and of other aspects of perfecting.
“The soul is able to learn and master a lot of knowledge and skills.
“There are those qualities of a soul, which are useful in both worlds: material and immaterial. These are, above all, love, tenderness, care, forgiveness, gratitude, willingness to learn.
“All useful qualities can be developed in ourselves. Namely for this, each of us is in this world: in order to improve ourselves as souls.
“There are also those qualities that should be eradicated in ourselves. Because both in life on the material plane, and in life without bodies — these vices of the soul will bring nothing but troubles. These qualities are anger, irritability, violence, envy, resentment, desire to take over another’s, gluttony, deceit, lack of will, laziness, pride, and other manifestations of egocentrism. There are also smaller vices: for example, non-observance of esthetic norms of behavior.
“And one, who aspires to become better before the Face of God, can try to eliminate in oneself all those qualities of the soul that prevent this one from approaching God!
“We will understand that the events that surround us, into which we are involved or which we create ourselves, — can serve the main thing: it is our study from God.
“Yes, man can make the right choice in the purpose and direction of his or her life — and take his or her development and destiny in his or her own hands.
“After all, what purpose man will outline, — there the forces of the soul flow. And the more he or she strives for that goal, the faster the progress.
“Life only for the sake of entertainment and the satisfaction of whims — can seem simple and pleasant... But its result — if the whole lifetime was wasted on trifles — will be complete ruin...
“Each of the days of life on the Earth is a treasure, received from God! And you should not live without using it for developing you-soul and helping to improve other souls!
“Let us try to see the whole Path: from a small human soul — to the Divine Soul, living in Unity with the Creator!
“To get closer to God, it is necessary to advance namely consciously on this Path!
“The Path opens before those, who choose as the purpose and the meaning of their lives — God and service to Him.
“But, in order to be ready to enter the Path, one must first understand very much. Including, it is necessary to develop in oneself the ability to distinguish between good — and evil, necessary — and useless in life.
“And we must become sufficiently confident in the correctness of the made choice.
“In order to follow this Path, it is not necessary to ‘renounce the world’ and live in a monastery or in a single cell. Because the more experience the soul acquires, the better!”
... The young men listened to the Master’s response and were amazed at the opportunities opened before them. They asked permission to stay in order to learn from Him.
Master said that He allows them to stay for a while to understand: whether they really want and are ready to follow the Path of the Heart and whether their intention is firmly established. And at the end of the trial period, He will say whether they should stay at His house and strive to become His disciples.