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03/12/2019 07:20 PM
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People are more and more inclined, nowadays, to give priority to the economic dimension and it seems, at first sight, that they are right to do so. It is obvious that if you haven't got enough money to pay for food and lodging things can be very complicated. But, in reality, the economy is not everything, for it depends on factors of a higher order. You might say that the economic aspect is the dead aspect: it cannot move or do anything by itself; it decide to move it from here to there and, depending on whether the decision is inspired by wisdom or by folly, the results will be totally different. When the head that decides on a move is ill, it is the economy itself that is wrecked. And then you have discontent, strikes and revolutions.

It is a pity that human beings have let themselves become so deeply immersed in matter that they forget that it is not matter that is the most important but the factors that influence it. Suppose that you have an immense amount of money and weapons and you feel very strong and secure. The only trouble is that you are also very stupid and, when someone who is more intelligent than you comes along, he can wipe you out, because he has an element at his command that is superior to everything you have. Yes, intelligence often triumphs over material means.

Every occurence on the physical plane depends on phenomena that occur on a much higher plane, on the plane of thoughts and sentiments. I remember talking, one day, to somebody who held a very high position in the political sphere in France, and he said that capital was the moving power behind society. But i replied, 'No. Just think for a moment: what moves capital from one place to another? Ideas. It is ideas that take precedence; it is ideas that control and displace capital, that fashion the world.' But human beings look no further than outward appearances.

They see only the material aspects: capital, the lack or the abundance of raw materials, etc. They fail to see that all that is controlled and organized by human intelligence and will, which are spiritual elements.

They seem to think that these are two seperate worlds. As long as men fail to see the invisible element that influences and acts on the material dimension, whether for good or for evil, they will never understand reality. The truth is that nothing of an economic, technical or industrial nature can function all by itself.

When you want to describe the human body, you use a series of plates illustrating its different system: the skeleton, the circulatory system, the muscles, the nervous system, etc. None of these plates represents the whole human being, only one aspect of the whole, and people do not realize that there are yet other systems still unknown to established science. For example, no one ever mentions the auric system with its currents of light and colour, and yet it is the auric system that controls the nervous system, just as the nervous system controls the circulatory, respiratory and other systems. Science has not yet studied every dimension of human beings.

Let's take an example from the field of medicine. One of the major landmarks in medical science was the discovery of the endocrine glands which secrete hormones. Nowadays, in fact, people believe that virtually everything depends on these glands, but this is not the case, for the fact that these glands sometimes secrete too much or too little means that they themselves are subject to other factors. Just as the endocrine glands influence the overall health of the organism, they in turn are influenced by other, subtler factors originating in a person's thoughts, emotions, soul or spirit. The day will come when medical science will study this question. It will also study the question of how the sun afflects these glands.

By attaching prime importance to the economic dimension (raw materials, capital, commercial outlets, imports and exports and so on), human beings demonstrate that they have confined their attention to the three most material systems: the skeleton, the muscles and the blood. They have not got as far as the nervous system yet - not to mention the auric system! It is understandable that, when they focus all their energies on economic growth and on getting rich, it is to the detriment of certain rules, laws and virtues which correspond to the higher systems.

This is why political leaders, who are principally concerned with the economy, are leading the whole of humanity to a state of decadence. If you are determined to be stronger and richer than your neighbour you will be obliged to do things which are not always perfectly honest. It is inevitable.

Whilst opulence is on the increase, therefore, respect for the divine laws is diminishing, and it is this that will lead to disaster for humanity. I know that people cannot accept what I am saying because they cannot see it. They are blind to the fact that to succeed on the economic level one is obliged continually to commit dishonest, criminal acts. It is the same in politics and espionage: anything goes! The excuse is that it is for the sake of one's country. Yes, but what about the other countries? When men are led to destroy moral principles it is always because their economic interests are at stake, and when you give these interests priority, all your noblest qualities are wiped out and replaced by egoism, violence and deceit and the complete absence of scruples. The economic dimension of life is certainly indispensable, I have no argument with that; but it must be kept under control and made to obey other necessities; other, higher powers. Otherwise man's highest aspirations will be trampled underfoot for the sake of a few egoists who want to be rich.

It is time men began to think about this and to understand clearly that it is the Divine World that must be given priority, and that everything else must be at its service. The fact is that human beings have mistaken the means for the end. They know that there is always a goal to be aimed at, and that there are various means for reaching that goal. What they don't see is that they are using all the most glorious faculties and talents that Heaven has given them as means in the pursuit of a terribly mundane, inglorious goal. They are ready to use their noblest qualities in order to gratify their basest appetites! They even expect the Lord Himself to aid and abet their licentousness and their folly. And are they aware of all this? Not a bit of it! They never take the time to wonder what they are like or what they are looking for. No, it takes a spiritual Master to come and question them: 'Wait, my friend: look where you're going! Straight to Hell! And the means you are using? The Lord and His Angels, science, art and religion... Yes, you are using all these things to help you along the road to Hell!'

Material, economic life is the only thing that counts for most people and they are so ignorant and underdeveloped on the higher planes, that they are constantly anxious and ill without understanding the reason. Then, of course, they put the blame on others - the neighbours, society, the government and the Lord Himself. They don't understand that their problems come from a lack in themselves, that they haven't got the ability to see things clearly nor the strength and goodwill to remedy the situation. Oh, no; it is always other people who are to blame for not having given them this or that. The truth is that, even if they were given what they demand, nothing much would change because, when someone is too stupid and inwardly limited, he is incapable of taking advantage of what is given: instead of getting better, he gets worse.

We have often seen that a man doesn't become nobler and more radiant or more divine when his desires are all satisfied; on the contrary, he becomes more and more of an animal because he has more possibilities for self-degradation. Poverty at least kept a rein on his appetites! But as soon as he succeeds in improving his material circumstances, the road to Hell lies open before him. I am not saying that men must be held down in a state of poverty; not at all. What I am saying is that it is dangerous to give material facilities to those who have never learned self-control and who attach more importance to the material than to the spiritual life, for this only encourages them in habits of sloth, weakness and crime.

An Initiate who already knows where the gratification of this or that desire would lead him, what it would arouse in him and the lengths to which it could drive him, refuses to indulge his desires if he sees that they would be an obstacle to his spiritual advancement. Let's take an example from everyday life: an ignorant, spineless young man falls in love and marries a girl who is ravishingly beautiful. At first sight this is magnificent, but as he has never worked to cultivate his powers of comprehension, self-control or nobility of character, all his baser instincts - suspicion, jealousy and cruelty - begin to get the upper hand and he never knows a minute's peace. He is forever watching his wife and anyone who comes near her; he is convinced that she is being unfaithful to him, and one day, in a fit of jealous rage, he murders her and the man he suspects of being her lover, and lands in prison. Socrates was much wiser: he looked for the ugliest and most disagreeable woman in Greece because he knew that he wouldn't have anything to worry about. From time to time, of course, he had to put up with some domestic storms, when she screamed at him or threw a bucket of dirty water on his head, but all that was purely external. Inwardly, he was at peace. But would any of you choose to marry a Xanthippe? Oh no; you'd rather marry a beauty queen and suffer torments all your life. So, once again, I repeat: if you don't understand human nature and are bent on giving people what they ask for, the Lord knows whether it will be for their good or whether you are not preparing coals of fire that will pour down on theirs heads! Why not educate human beings, instead, and teach them to analyse what they are seeking and demanding so as to see whether it is really what is best and most constructive for them? Time and again, things that seemed, at first, to constitute a step forward, an advantage or improvement, have turned out to be extremely damaging...all because everybody relied on first appearances.

It is true that material and industrial progress makes a positive contribution to life. It is amazing how many aliances people have in their homes: heating systems, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and dish washers, televisions, telephones, etc. But why, when they have got everything, are human beings more disconted, rebellious and unhealthy than ever? What is even more astonishing is that, in spite of this obvious failure, people still continue to look for happiness in the same direction. They refuse to understand that, if they want to be happy, they must seek somthing quite different. They must seek love, wisdom and truth and be a little less sure that gadgets and comfort will give them all they want. The only things an easy, comfortable life can give you are sloth, selfishness and weakness; and the sad thing is that this is what people want: idleness and pleasure; to do nothing and have everything!

And what to advise? I advise you to have both: have all the material facilities you want and, at the same time, keep working, night and day, so as to avoid becoming stiff in mind and body. You will say that I have already talked to you about this. That is true; I have. But has it done any good? Have you made up your minds to act on my advice? No, not yet. You, too, are so preoccupied by material things and by your pleasures that you have no time to open your hearts to the divine world and ask for sublime entities to come and work within you. This is very serious, very regrettable: if you refuse to understand you will have to suffer, and no one will be able to save you. Only you can save yourself by means of light and love. Analyse the use you make of your time and energy, therefore, and ask yourself what occupies the bulk of your attention. You will see that the divine world does not take up much room in your life - although this is the only thing capable of purifying, enlightening and resuscitating you - and that you devote almost all your time and energy to the material world which can only give you a few moments of joy before becoming a burden, a prison, an instrument of destruction.

In a previous lecture I told you that human beings were inhabited by two forces, two contradictory tendencies which I represented to you as the two symbols, Erebus and Ionah. In Genesis, Erebus is the crow and Ionah the dove sent out by Noah to see if the waters of the Flood had subsided. These two forces - the forces of inertia and motion, of expansion and contraction, of life and death - are in constant conflict within man, and depending on which force gains the upper hand, man is either active, dynamic and strong, or weak, spineless and irresolute. Ionah manifests itself principally during the periods of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. When it begins to diminish, Erebus begins to manifest itself and man gradually weakens and dies. If men knew the law of love, wisdom and truth, if they kept in close contact with Heaven, they would be able to encourage and sustain Ionah even when its strength begins to be limited by opposing forces. But human beings are so estranged from spiritual realities that, even when its strenght begins to be limited by opposing forces. But human beings are so estranged from spiritual realities that, even from a very early age, they reinforce the influence of Erebus within them. At eighteen or twenty, they're already old and decrepit, their vigour undermined by the inferior thoughts and feelings that they continually entertain. Human beings want to stay young, they are always looking for ways to prolong their life, but they don't know how to set about it: they take pills or get injections of glandular extracts, but these methods are not effective.

The most effective methods are spiritual. I have seen this time and again. only the day before yesterday, a very old woman came and listened to my lecture: to start with, her face was sad and without light but, gradually, as she listened, a light began to glow and intensify within her until she was completely transformed. How can anyone fail to recognize that the spiritual life is capable of transforming human beings? I know that you have all seen such things, too. This means that you must try to give more and more encouragement to good thoughts and feelings and good impulses within yourself, because their effects are extremely beneficial not only for your psychic life but also on the physical plane. In other words, if man lives a truly spiritual life in light, love and peace, he can prolong the life of Ionah.

Of course, however great your knowledge and goodwill, you cannot expect to be totally transformed in this incarnation: the progress a human being can hope to accomplish in his lifetime is more or less determined before birth. So, although it is possible to improve to a certain extent in this life, any really substantial improvements will take effect only in this life, any really substantial improvements will take effect only in your next incarnation. In your next incarnation, Heaven will take into account all the good intentions and desires you have today and, overlooking what you were in the past, will grant you a magnificent destiny. Your present life reflects your past incarnations. Depending on the life you had led previously, the Twenty-Four Elders decreed the kind of body and the kind of physical and intellectual capacities you should have. Today, thanks to the purer and more harmonious life you are living in the Teaching, and thanks to your prayer and meditations, you can improve a certain number of things, but it is very difficult to remedy everything. You can do everything for the future, but not for the present.

Take the example of someone who is very rich: if he doesn't use his money to do good, if he is content to enjoy the pleasures of mediocre way of life, in his next incarnation he will be penniless tramp and spend his days drinking with his fellow tramps. He will not even know that he was once very rich and is poor today because he didn't use his money to do anything for anyone else. So many human beings come into the world in a truly woeful state and never know why.

Neither psychology nor medical science, neither psychoanalysis nor the science of education - nor even religion - has ever shed much light on this question. Only Initiatic Science is capable of shedding any light on the question.

It sometimes happens, therefore, that the emanations and radiations of our psychic life manifest their effects even on the physical plane and, if only for a few moments, a man can be truly transfigured. He soon resumes his normal appearance but, if he works consciously to renew and revive these marvellous states, he will be building a body of indescribable splendour for his next incarnation. Before you undertake anything, therefore, whatever it may be, begin by saying to yourself, 'I am looking for light; I' am looking for love and strength.

Shall I find them if I do this?' and, thanks to this Initiatic Science, you will immediately be given the answer. Otherwise, you will plunge headlong into activities that will end by killing you. You will be like all those tycoons who want to be king of the oil or steel or any other industry: many of them fall ill or end by committing suicide. The weight of their responsibilities and the excessive amount of work they do in the attempt to satisfy their greed and their obsessive need to swallow up the whole world end by destroying them. Their nervous system cannot support the strain: they get insomnia, ruin their health and lose all their zest for life. Before setting out to possess the world, you must study every angle of the situation and see what the consequences will be.

I know very well that no one will accept or understand or be guided by what I say in this area, either. People know what they know! They cling to their pet ambitious and lusts, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Who will agree with me? All the paupers of this world; all those who are poor and idle. Yes, they will be on my side, but will they have understood what I am saying? Just try giving them some material advantages, try improving their lot and you will soon see whether they have understood or not! They will go to even greater lenghts of folly and wickedness than the others. If poor people are always cursing the rich, it is because they want to be rich too, and as they are not, all they can do is rail against those who are. But give them some money and you will see. Do I speak disparagingly of the rich? Never. I speak out against their lack of understanding, that's true; but I love the rich. I love the rich. I love them so much, in fact, that if they gave me all their millions for the embellishment of the Brotherhood, I would hug them with all my heart! Well, however that may be... never trust people who are always denigrating someone: it means that they would like to have what he has or to do what he does. Yes, my analysis is terrible. Never lay yourselves open to my analysis.

There is still much to say about this question of economy! When a society is too preoccupied by its economic interests, it leads to an imbalance in the life of the community and all kinds of difficulties which, with a little wisdom, might have been foreseen. Suppose a country wants to export as much as possible because it is extremely profitable to do so: one thing leads to another and, before long, they are selling arms and fighter planes to countries whose constant wars endanger the peace and safety of the entire planet. The people in some of these countries can barely read and write and yet they are allowed to buy the most sophisticated weaponry! Of course, that is one way to earn a lot of money, but the price to be paid in other ways will be exorbitant. In God's name, how can people be so blind? This is just one example of how economics can spell ruin for many countries.

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov