Greetings, my dearest friends. God bless each one of you. Blessed is this hour.
People in this country have just celebrated the day of Thanksgiving. At this opportunity I should like to tell you, my friends, that we in our world thank each human being who makes an effort toward purification and development. Every effort in this direction counts in the total plan of evolution for the entire universe. Every problem you solve, every insight of honest self-recognition is in some measure instrumental in changing the course of universal and cosmic forces. You have no idea how important the efforts and endeavors of every single human being are. If this truth were realized, many more people would try harder.
All suffering comes from ignorance, from lack of wanting to face the truth. Therefore, those who honestly do this work must ultimately, in one way or another, affect those who are still submerged in unawareness about themselves and also about their relationship to the entire universe. Those of you who walk this path so courageously should know that all of us in the spirit world thank you for your efforts, not only on our behalf, but on behalf of all other beings.
And now, my friends, I should like to say a few words which may prove helpful for those of you who struggle and try, but always encounter new difficulties within themselves. These words may help you to overcome them and give you a clearer overall view. Such clarification is often necessary at certain stages of your path.
One of the most important things in the course of this work is to recognize when you are confused about a particular subject. Perhaps a confusion exists in you and you do not even know about what. I can see a great need for elaborating on this subject.
You know from our previous talks that any inner problem, in one way or another, manifests as an outer problem sooner or later. The outer problem is the result of the inner one and, at the same time, it can become the tool with which to correct the wrong attitudes which create both the inner and the outer problem. When outer manifestations occur that make you feel disharmonious, unpleasant, anxious or angry, you often forget that there is some confusion in you. You do not know exactly what the confusion is or what is incorrect in your conscious or unconscious thinking.
I cannot emphasize too strongly that you need first to find out exactly what the confusion is. Whenever something bothers you, be it merely a mood, an unpleasant inner reaction, or an actual outer happening apparently caused by other people, try to find out how you are confused; how your thoughts are muddled; how you are not clear about an idea, a supposedly right reaction, about a principle of general conduct. Ascertain if there is a contradiction of right principles. Put this confusion down concisely, in writing: “I am confused because I do not know…” whatever it may be. Break it down into several questions. The more concise your questions are, the more aware you will become of exactly what your confusion is.
Writing contributes most constructively toward eliminating the confusion, even long before you are able to find the exact answers to your questions. If you then pray for the answers and work with the questions — at the same time checking your inner resistance to receiving the answers — you will make great advances and prepare for most important new insights that will give you new freedom. My friends, never forget the importance of becoming aware of your questions concerning a particular complexity, problem, or confusion. The moment you have the concise question clearly crystallized, you will already feel relief. You will have smoothed the way toward complete clarification.
You who have progressed a little on this path should now stop for a moment and turn around to get an overall view, just as the climber occasionally does when making an ascent. While going forward, your glance is directed toward a particular or partial goal on the way. In doing so, you may forget the distance already covered, the obstacles surmounted, and lose the encompassing view of the whole picture. It is very useful to turn around occasionally and make an overall survey of the terrain.
I say this now with a particular aim. Once again you should investigate what your main problems in life are, but with a more comprehensive view. Write the problems down concisely, describing in clear-cut words whatever area of your life they may deal with. With your findings so far, you may now be in a better position than when you started on the path to determine that wherever your aim is confused and your life-goal muddled with mixed motivations, is where you will find the troublesome area of your life. This recognition will do much to help you further.
The deep-rooted emotional reactions brought to light always show the child operating in you. And that child is self-centered and ignorant. Out of this self-centeredness and ignorance selfish motives arise, unconsciously or sometimes even half-consciously. You are unclear as to what you want in life, or in a particular area of your life. You drift, and all goals are in a fog of confusion and unawareness. Even genuinely unselfish motives are not expressed clearly in your thinking. Whenever or wherever such a condition exists, you are bound to have difficulties, unfulfillment and frustration. The difficulties may either be outer obstacles, or if outer obstacles are not yet on the horizon, you may inwardly feel ill at ease, guilty, tense, full of anxiety or impatience. In other words, even if for the time being things go well outwardly, your inner peace is lacking in this area of your life.
Whenever such condition exists, your motives must be mixed with unconscious selfish motives that produce the negative result. Survey your life once again. See exactly where you have either manifest problems, or inner feelings of anxiety or disharmony. Then check out what your motives really are. Look behind the apparent positive outer appearances. Use your findings, your images and wrong conclusions. Try to crystallize out of them any negative or confused motives and apply them to the trouble area. Or determine if you perhaps have drifted into a certain course without even knowing whether you wanted this particular goal or why you wanted it. Such indetermination is often more damaging than clear-cut negative motives and may apply to any area of life, like professional fulfillment, marriage, or friendship. Indetermination may create tension and conflict in a particular personal relationship.
Check your real motivations behind the conscious ones. Check whether or not you have a clear-cut aim. Check your reason for living. What is your purpose in life? What do you want it to be, apart from developing yourself to the best of your ability? Then see what you really want. Why do you want it? Beware of the error that one motivation necessarily excludes another. You know this is not so. Try to be honest with yourself, in this respect as well as in any other. The relief and the reward you will get from honest answers to your own questions will be tremendous, regardless how negative the answers may prove to be.
One of the most outstanding features of such a procedure will be that the moment you recognize your lack of clear-cut motivations, or the presence of destructive ones, you will see the law of cause and effect operating in your own life. You will thereby instantly lose the feeling of injustice, which may be conscious in some people but is perhaps unconscious in most. When we discussed the general fear of life, fear of the unknown, you learned that it is always the distorted God-image which is responsible for that fear. You may unconsciously fear that there is an arbitrary god who metes out punishment and reward according to his whim. And even if you do not actually believe in such a god, that is your concept of life and your role in it. If you regard yourself as lost, helpless, a prey to circumstances beyond your control, you grasp for “chance” and “luck.” You feel like a lost little boat on a big ocean. Sometimes the waters are wild and the waves carry you against the current, meaning that life produces unhappiness, and sometimes the waves may be smooth and carry you into “lucky circumstances.” You say, “There is nothing I can do about either.” This is a deep-rooted feeling in almost everyone, and it is of utmost importance to make such concepts of life conscious. Some of you have succeeded in doing so, but you do not as yet see the way out. You may say, “All right, and what now?”
You will find the answer by recognizing your hazy or mixed goals that are responsible for whatever it is you lack. This particular confusion and lack of motivation is directly responsible for unfulfillment or lack of success, if you want to call it that. If you then realize that it is you who have caused it, and not a chaotic universe or God, you will automatically lose some of your fear and insecurity. You will know that you are capable of producing favorable conditions, even if you are not yet doing so. You will at least see the road. You will start to think about clarifying your motives and establishing those that you really want, and not those in accord with what you believe you ought to want. Keep such established motivations conscious and clearly defined, working toward their goals. While you may not yet be able to shed the selfish motives, the very admission that they exist, the very honesty and clear vision about yourself will, on the one hand, release an entirely new inner force and energy, and, on the other, you will see your own responsibility for your fate. You will then cease being afraid of an unknown fate, whether your fears be conscious or unconscious.
My friends, it is very important for all of you to consider these questions at this point. What I said today may not be entirely new to those of you who have been following these teachings, but perhaps you will now understand my words in a different light and make better use of them. Now they will sink in deeper and enable you to work more constructively.
Are there any questions about this subject?
QUESTION: If you are confused, it is very hard to ask questions. Because you are confused, you just don’t know what it is. There are merely feelings.
ANSWER: Formulate the feelings. Try to bring them into concise thought. That is surely the hardest and the most important part. Only in this way can you get to the root of the confusion. It is not quite so difficult as you imagine. You have to settle down to want to do it. Clarify your questions concisely. Even if the first questions are inadequate, it does not matter. From these first questions you will be able to draw out further questions, until they come more to the point and lead you closer to the root. You will then be able to eliminate the questions you started with because they were dealing merely with the circumference of the problem, while as you proceed you get closer to the center.
QUESTION: But isn’t one confused because one can’t put down what disturbs one?
ANSWER: There is no such thing as “one cannot.” The way you put it implies that you think there cannot be any solution. You may think this unconsciously. You may, again unconsciously, hope the solution will be handed to you, for you cannot work it out yourself. That is all wrong. Since you have brought about your confusion at one time, you are the one, the only one, who can solve it.
QUESTION: One can try, but often only with small things.
ANSWER: Exactly. Begin with the small things. You cannot possibly get to the really big issues in your life immediately, because they are too deeply submerged. The outer, little confusions, however, are the symptoms of the larger, hidden ones. Therefore, one needs the outer happenings to point to the inner condition. Thus the little everyday confusions, the by themselves insignificant or “unimportant” things are the very best to start with. Those you can hold on to and concentrate on. You can formulate your thoughts and questions only about what you can put your finger on. The little, seemingly insignificant things that confuse you serve to bring out the deeper confusion. You will always see, when you analyze one of these small things, that there is something more vital at stake, some important underlying principle about which you are confused and beclouded. So the best, indeed the only possible way to go about it, as I have said so often, is to take daily incidents and work with them. That is not difficult.
QUESTION: When two people are involved in an outer manifestation, and it is not a small manifestation but an important one, if one seeks self-knowledge and self-recognition and the other one does not, can the situation really change? Or just for one person?
ANSWER: The situation changes considerably, even if only one person does this work. Of course, it is better if both do it. But by one person doing it, much can be changed. As long as you are under the compulsion of your confused thinking and emotions, you are bound to affect the other person’s problematic currents. There is nothing more contagious in this world than emotions, thoughts, reactions, and attitudes. You can observe that in your everyday life. The more you train yourself in self-observation, the more aware you will become of this truth. For instance, when another person shows a very strong spirit of competition toward you, something is immediately aroused in you even though you may otherwise be disinclined to be competitive. You want to compete with the person who brings this forth in you. Or let us consider showing off, or fighting for approval. If the other person does it, the perhaps much smaller trend in you is affected and brought to the fore, so that you, too, wish to do the same thing. It is so with any kind of emotion, positive or negative, good or bad.
Your conflicts, your images, and your misconceptions are contagious and affect the other person immediately. However, the person who works on the path of self-purification becomes more and more immune to being affected in this way. You not only begin to dissolve such images and conflicts, but you also become acutely aware of the law of contagion, and this very awareness will immunize you. Thus you are increasingly less affected by the other person’s negative influence on your unconscious. At the same time you will, by solving your own problems, increasingly affect the healthy and positive part of the other’s personality. This work increases awareness, and awareness is the only real weapon against the ills of the world. In unawareness, two people will set up a vicious circle operating from one to the other, and steadily worsening as time goes on. Yet it suffices for one person to do the work of self-recognition, and so to grow inwardly to his or her optimum, to establish a benign circle between the two people involved.
I cannot emphasize strongly enough that this work affects your entire surroundings. Anyone around you must benefit from it. If you analyze the sayings of all great spirits who ever lived on this earth — Jesus Christ, the Buddha, or any other of the great masters — you will find that the need for awareness is embodied in their teachings, though perhaps expressed at times in different ways. To know that your emanations have a direct effect on the other person is very important for the entire universe. When there is conflict between people, strong energies clash. In this particular respect, each person’s energy is the expression of self-will. Each is convinced that what he or she wants is right and for the good. But you all live in your closed-up world in which you do not see the other, only your own obvious motivations, which may even be good in themselves but do not represent the entire picture.
Since you are aware only of the surface of your own motivations, and therefore do not entirely understand either them or yourself, you cannot understand the other person’s real motivations which are so different in manifestation from your own. The more you become convinced that you are “right” and the other is “wrong,” the more the energy of your self-will will produce an increasingly stronger resistance in the other person, along with an even stronger self-will or forcing current which you are bound to resist in turn. This hopelessly futile and exhausting battle cannot be eliminated unless one person changes the procedure, not by outwardly submitting to unjustified demands out of weakness and fear, but by constructive work of self-analysis and inner growth through understanding the unconscious motivations and reactions.
QUESTION: How can you find out if someone you love is really faithful to you? Genuine, mature love is loving without asking. Is it mature to go on loving someone who is in love also with someone else?
ANSWER: This question cannot be answered in a simple statement. But let us try to analyze its various components.
How can you find out if someone is faithful to you? I want to say first of all that the same old human misunderstanding is implied here that puts overimportance on the outer act and often diminishes the importance of the inner state. I do not condemn or condone here. I am not concerned with the outer manifestation, which is unimportant and secondary when we want to consider the root of the problem. It is possible that a person does not ever commit an act of unfaithfulness, but the motivations for “faithfulness” may be just as unhealthy and immature as the motivations which lead a person into unfaithfulness. Outer faithfulness may not be real faithfulness. So, you see, the outer act, out of context and by itself, cannot be properly evaluated.
Now how do we determine the outer and inner motivations? You cannot do so unless you gain a certain detachment from yourself and an awareness of your childish, immature self-concern that prohibits a true recognition of the situation in question and the true feelings of your partner. I will be more specific. If a person is unfaithful, it is often taken as a personal insult or rejection. Of course, that is not quite so. True, if this is a repeated pattern, then such behavior would indicate a certain aspect of immaturity. It may be a search and a longing for something, without knowing what it is. It is often a search for self-expression, channeled in the wrong way, or a longing for self-assertion, also channeled in the wrong way. It is blind searching, as opposed to mature and conscious searching. Many motivations may exist that can explain such behavior; we cannot consider all possible alternatives.
If this is recognized by the one involved, the personal hurt will be removed; the feeling of personal rejection will be diminished, at least to some extent. But you can recognize the real motives of such behavior truly — not just theoretically — only with the inner understanding which alone is valid and constructive, as you come to understand yourself. In that measure will you understand the other person. And it may very well be that by that very understanding the condition may change so that the partner will no longer need to be unfaithful. It may not stop overnight, but the desire for it may steadily diminish.
Then there is something else which, too, may not necessarily be the only reason. It may very well be that many factors in both partners contribute to bring about such unfaithfulness. If a person finds himself thus betrayed — if you want to use this word — it may often be that he or she falls short in his love-capacity. In this partner the free and spontaneous expression of love may be paralyzed and inhibited. Yet because this partner has a great capacity for giving affection outwardly, the inhibition manifests so subtly that you may not be aware of it right away.
If you explore your personality in the course of this work, you may find subtle inhibitions which invariably affect the very part of the other person’s nature where she is most vulnerable. Therefore, the other may respond with unfaithfulness, because she is looking for that very free self-expression, needing it first in the other to enable her to express it herself. Everyone longs for true fusion and unity of souls; some long for it consciously, others unconsciously; others still may be afraid of it and fight against it, but that does not mean the longing is not there. The more unconscious inhibitions and fears exist in you, the more you will attract a partner who also has such inhibitions. Both of you may need another kind of partner, who is free enough to help you toward liberation. But neither of you can attract that partner without changing. However, if you find and solve your inhibitions, you may help your present partner toward this liberation in this respect so that he or she will no longer find it necessary to be unfaithful. Or, if the partner turns out to be really much too immature, you may then attract another partner fitted more to your changed personality.
To consider that you may in some way fall short and not give enough fulfillment to your partner usually elicits a very strong reaction in people. Your emotions become full of self-pity: “Poor little me, I am not good enough,” as though you could not help it, you were just born that way. No, this is not true. Your actual real value is not at stake, although you may indeed contribute to the other’s unfaithfulness by your own childish craving to be loved instead of giving love maturely, by your fears and inhibitions and shame which are always a manifestation of self-concern and pride. You withdraw your real self in fear of losing something, and in so doing you actually may lose that which is dearest to you, for such is the law of nature.
If you approach this question with a spirit of courage and constructive self-analysis — learning where you fall short in some way, perhaps in a very subtle inner way — you will gain deep insights that will not only give you peace but which will enable you to free within yourself that which had remained completely hidden. It is your true self that you are not even aware of yet — what it is, and how it manifests. With your true self you will be able to give constructively. You will not give in an attitude of self-hurt, submission, and masochistic self-punishment, nor will you hold back your creative forces from giving and loving. You will not substitute the genuine “you” with a slightly false one.
It takes a great deal of work on this path before you even begin to become aware of how much you are not yet your true self. When you start this work, these are merely words. After you have worked diligently and gained some major insights, and have perhaps succeeded in changing some of the old patterns, you will understand these words in their full meaning. You will see how, during your entire life, your real self with all its natural, beautiful, spontaneous right reactions was constantly hampered. Your real self is often what the other person unconsciously looks for and needs. And when it is not found, he or she, for lack of understanding of the situation, will search elsewhere instead of turning inward to finally release the real self from within, so that fulfillment becomes natural and inevitable.
In other words, when such a condition exists, both must be regarded as responsible, as having contributed to it in one way or another. This responsibility should be accepted in the constructive spirit that it can be changed: that no one is helpless and has to endure a painful fate because he or she is not good enough or lovable enough. When you think and feel that way, it is the most unhealthy part in your being that speaks: the child in you who does not want to give up childhood, who wants to be cuddled and pampered, who wants to be taken care of instead of taking care of its own life. By insisting that the inner child remain in this state — no matter how indirectly or subtly expressed — one pays a terribly high and unnecessary price in unhappiness, helplessness, and hopelessness.
To be adult in the true sense means to take every negative occurrence and see how you contributed to it and what can be learned from it. You will inevitably find an answer which you will know deep down in your heart to be true. This truth will make you free. If you do not choose adulthood by adopting such an attitude toward life, you will believe you are an innocent victim; you will feel persecuted and unjustly treated; you will be a self-pitying helpless little bundle — and you will even like yourself in this role, although you may suffer a great deal. I do want you to know that my words are not directed to anyone in particular. This is a very general subject.
QUESTION: I think what the person who asked this question meant was: “If you are in love with a person who is in love with you, but also with someone else, is it mature to stay in love with such a partner?”
ANSWER: Well, I think the answer is contained in what I had to say about this topic. A continuous situation of this sort cannot bring happiness. It is an indication of something being wrong in both partners. The partner who has the possibility and knowledge of self-search should make an honest effort to find his or her own obstructions. In doing so, the situation is bound to change one way or another, in the most natural way possible. No forceful measures will have to be applied either to one’s own feelings or to the other person. Such forceful measures can never really work. An organic natural growth will bring an organic natural change.
If a person is so divided within that he finds himself in love with two partners, both of these partners must have a corresponding immaturity and division within themselves to attract this type of person. I say again, the remedy lies in finding one’s own obstructions and divisions within that make such an attraction possible.
To say, “I must not be in love,” is in vain. You can only change a feeling genuinely if you understand it, but not if you suppress it. And understanding can be gained only by the procedure I always advocate. While this procedure goes on, one should not even attempt to effect a major change in one’s life, unless outer conditions become too unbearable. One’s feelings will usually fluctuate in this period between masochistic submissiveness on the one hand and hostile resentment on the other. Underneath both sets of feelings is a strong, grasping forcing current, loudly proclaiming, “I want! In order to get what I want, I either submit and allow myself to be mistreated, or I cannot take this anymore, and therefore I hate.” All these emotions should be observed and followed through until one gets deeper into their origin. This is the only way, my friends.
QUESTION: I would like to ask a question about creativity. As a teacher, I find that some of my students show signs of independence and creativity. But, somehow, many of them fail to develop this talent. I would like to ask you if there is something about our system of education that prevents such creativity from being manifested. Would you like to say something about this subject?
ANSWER: First of all, as to the present system of education: Needless to say, it falls very short of what it should be and could be, not only ideally speaking, but realistically. One day it will be that. Now education is compartmentalized. The unifying principle, linking all branches of knowledge, is completely disregarded or ignored, so that the human mind develops with the idea of many branches, many subjects, all separate. The separateness, fostered by intellectual concepts, is bound to divert the soul forces and increase their inner separateness, thus prohibiting creativity. Creativity can function only in wholeness, never in separateness or compartmentalization.
The most important aspect in education would be the unifying quality. Young people should be shown the truth that there is one unifying common denominator among all branches of knowledge. Such an emphasis would ultimately affect and influence the soul currents. It would help them indirectly toward integration.
The more direct way, however, which should also be cultivated in conjunction with the emphasis on the unity of knowledge, is the treatment and dissolution of the personal conflicts in young people. Where the personality is more robust, due to development in previous incarnations, present problems will have a weaker effect and therefore the creative forces will flow much freer. In such people, the natural attitude will be to grow from coping with problems, assimilating them and the experience they give, instead of being stultified by them. The more this attitude prevails, the more creativity will manifest. The less it exists, the more latent the creativity will be. In such cases, the work of self-search and inner re-education is most essential. But in all cases such inner re-education would be most important in order to create a new humanity, so that one day the cure of unhealthy currents, similar to this pathwork, will be a naturally accepted part of life. It will be an essential element of education for every growing child. It will be the basis of education. The world is moving toward this goal.
Still another aspect in meeting this problem is a different kind of educational approach in the home. This would mean that parents would have to be re-educated. The importance and influence of their own problems on their children would have to be made clear to them, so as to give them the incentive to do the maximum of self-search, in order to fully accept the responsibility of parenthood. Thus their healthy and mature love-capacity will increase to its full potential, and affect the children so favorably that they will grow up with less rigidity, paralysis, images, and problems.
Perhaps some of you in this life will come to experience the changes along the lines of this discussion.
QUESTION: I would like to know also what a teacher, as an individual, could do to promote creativity in his students who are not really his children?
ANSWER: What the teacher can do, above all, is to gain awareness of these things. Even while the conditions in your world are still far from being what they should and could be, the mere awareness of them will help.
I do not even mention the need for self-search and development in the teacher, because this is so obvious that it does not need to be stressed again. Such self-development, in combination with awareness of general conditions as they are, compared with what they should be, will give the teacher sufficient intuitive insight into what the individual students need. You all know that progress on this path brings out the intuitive perceptions.
One of the most important motives for a teacher, if he or she truly wants to make the best of his calling, is the inner desire to help. This must be the dominant, clear-cut, unselfish motive, consciously cultivated, checked when it is diluted or weak, and strengthened when it comes to the fore in all its beauty. This motive must be clarified and nursed constantly; the inner wish to help unselfishly should be expressed in prayer and intention. The energy to cultivate it in action can never be left to itself. It, too, must be checked and nursed. Every day the wish should be formed that, if not more, then at least one young person should be enriched. If this is done, guidance and inspiration will automatically come. Such enrichment is often very subtle; perhaps a seed can be sown, and the teacher who tries to work in this way will perceive how and where.
QUESTION: I have been studying a little about gnostic religion and I found that the teachings expounded here are very similar to those found in many gnostic speculations. If they are similar, maybe you could explain the reason for the decline and virtual disappearance of gnostic religion?
ANSWER: It has not disappeared. It has reappeared, and it is constantly reappearing in different forms. But the fact that it has to reappear proves that all truth always tends to be diluted and distorted by the masses who are not ready to understand it. So it thins out as the few who do understand it leave this earth and leave the heritage of such teachings in the hands of those who are often full of good will and intention, but cannot handle it in the right way. As time goes on, the truth becomes more and more rigid and therefore untrue. New channels have to be created, and the very same truth appears again in a new form, perhaps adapted to the civilization and characteristics of the particular period.
There was no time in history when truth did not come through among certain people. It was taught and it spread, but as I said, the majority of humanity was still too immature to use it inwardly. By making outer rules and regulations they imposed restrictions that distorted it. If you study the history of religion closely, you will see that all religions, including the traditional ones, contained the life-spark of truth. But as they spread, the truth faded out and they became religions of letters, instead of heart and soul.
Humanity does not understand the essence of truth or religion because it does not want to understand. It wants to lean on dogma and rule, so as not to have to think, to face, and to make self-responsible decisions. In that way, truth is perverted. This has happened since the beginning of time and will continue, I am afraid, for some time to come. But as time goes on, each new manifestation of truth penetrates a little deeper and among more people whose souls are evolved enough to yearn for it.
You will see that the truth is understood by many more people today than a few hundred years ago, or even only fifty years ago, even though not always in exactly the same terms. The spreading of certain sciences and of psychology has contributed greatly to this understanding. The essence and root of psychology, if you go deep enough, will always get to the psyche and reveal the essential spiritual truths, as proclaimed by the few sages at all times.
QUESTION: I should like to raise one point here. The Christian religion, or, specifically, the Catholic Church did manage to survive until the present day, while the gnostic religions which are more in accord with your teachings have not survived. It seems difficult to understand why the greater truth showed less vitality.
ANSWER: Outer power may often bring outer success. Maybe just because more truth was rooted in certain gnostic religions, there existed less of a power drive in those who practiced them. But this does not mean that the inner power of truth did not actually bring more success in the real sense, even though it was less noticeable. The outer manifestation may, once again, lead you to believe that this is unjust. It is the same with an individual. You may ask why certain people are outwardly so successful, while they are really selfish and very much lacking in maturity and love. Here we have to agree on what being successful really means. A businessman, outwardly “successful,” powerful, and financially secure, may be full of inner unrest and unhappiness, guilt, and anxiety that you never know about, because he may put up a very convincing front. Therefore, he is not successful in the sense of what really counts: his happiness, his inner security, his inner peace.
By the same token, the powerful church you mention is successful outwardly, but is not remotely so successful inwardly. The neglected truth teachings of gnostic religions may outwardly appear weak because there are few proponents of them that you know of. But inwardly, there abides a strength which you may not see or know of at all. You may completely ignore the strong influence it has on the cosmic forces, an infinitely stronger influence of the few than of the many, notwithstanding the extent of the outer power a “successful religion” may have.
Here again, it is a question of training one’s awareness to perceive the inner content of something, and not to focus on the outer manifestation. From that point of view, success is not where you see it. Even though many people may be adherents of that church, there are many more who are not. And many of those who are adherents are so in a half-hearted way, or in a very superficial way, not really understanding what it is all about. That is not strength, and therefore such a church is not successful. At the same time, the few people who concentrate on the teachings of truth without overt power, in whatever form it may appear at different periods of history, leave an imprint in the universe that cannot be measured by the human eye. The efforts and understanding of a handful of such people are more important for universal success in its real sense than thousands of people going to a church.
Be blessed, all of you, in the Name of the Most Holy. Receive our strength and our love to help you further on the path, to help you overcome your obstacles, and to struggle successfully toward light and union and wholeness within yourselves. Be in peace, be in God.