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Readers will better understand certain aspects of the lectures published if they bear in mind that the Master Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov"s Teaching was exclusively oral and that the editors have made every effort to respect the flavor and style of each lecture.

The Master"s Teaching is more than a body of doctrines: it is an organic whole, and his way of presenting it was to approach it from countless different points of view. By repeating certain aspects in a wide variety of contexts he constantly reveals a new dimension of the Whole and, at the same time, throws new light on the individual aspects and on their vital links with each other.

Life in society is based on the equilibrium of the balance – in other words, on a system of fair exchange. And fair exchange can be summed up in two words: give and take. The human activity that most eloquently expresses this idea is commerce, buying and selling. You go into a shop, ask for a pound of cherries, and the salesman weighs out exactly what you asked for by putting the cherries on one side of a scale and a one-pound weight on the other. Of course, present day scales are much more sophisticated than this, but the principle is the same. Having weighed them, the salesman hands you the cherries and in exchange you hand him some money. If you pay what he asks, well and good, for you will be quits; problems arise only if you refuse to pay.

One might wonder how it is that human beings have such a clear sense of the necessity for equilibrium in the exchanges of everyday life. For thousands of years they have striven to perfect instruments with which to calculate weights and measures in order to facilitate commercial exchange. And it was for this same purpose that money was invented. On the material plane everybody understands this; everybody knows what a fair and equitable exchange means. However, this is not enough, for the law of exchange applies on all levels of existence. A man who pays his taxes, gives his employees a fair wage, and never cheats his customers may claim to be honest and just. Perhaps, but how does he treat his parents, or his wife and children?

It is so much easier to be fair and honest on physical plane than on the psychic plane. In fact, one sometimes meets people who are always calling attention to their honesty and fairness in business and financial dealings, hoping to conceal a lack of honesty in the less clearly defined and far subtler area of their relationships with other human beings. Well, such people may sometimes deceive others, but they cannot deceive divine justice, whose notion of the true meaning of give and take differs greatly from that of divine justice.

Divine justice judges not only your acts, but also your thoughts, feelings and intentions. If you knowingly give people bad advice or incite them to revolt or despair, you will not be convicted in a court of law, for there is no material or objective evidence of an offence for which you can be condemned. If your victims brought a suit against you for the destruction of their peace of mind, the judge would say that the law has no provision for such a complaint and that he can do nothing for them. Many, many people know that no court of law can punish them for their lies or for their evil thoughts, feelings, and intentions, and because they are sly enough to be always blameless in their acts, they are never indicted.

Some people, for instance, are very skillful in the use of innuendo and enjoy sowing doubt in the minds of others. Suppose a man wants to make trouble for a colleague who is inclined to be jealous of his wife. One morning he casually says: "I was walking down X street yesterday and I think I saw your wife," knowing full well that the bad reputation of the street in question will instantly arouse the husband's worst suspicions. That evening when he gets home, there will be a scene between him and his wife, and only after bitter recriminations and denials will he realize that the tale was not true. But even if the mischief-maker later pretends to be remorseful and apologetic, saying hypocritically that he must have been mistaken, the evil is done; he has succeeded in planting a nagging doubt in the mind of his colleague. Is there a court of law empowered to condemn such an act? No. There are thousands of ways to wrong others without being answerable to human justice, but NOBODY can escape divine justice.

You may be outwardly honest, you may never be in danger of finding a policeman at your door with a warrant for your arrest, but if you are unfair in your dealings with others, if you have taken and refused to give, there will always be a voice within you to torment you with its accusations. You may not be fully conscious of it, but it will be there. You will have a nagging sense of disquiet that prevents you from being happy.

One meets so many people who are a pretty to this kind of inner disquiet. They cannot put their finger on any particular misfortune, but they constantly feel dissatisfied or dejected, and because they have no idea where the feeling comes from, they blame others for it. They fuel this detrimental inner state by continually finding fault with the way their friends and acquaintances treat them. "Why does nobody come to see me? Why was I not invited? Why does nobody write to me? Why did nobody admire my new car – or my new dress, or my new hairstyle? It must be because they do not like me, or because they envy me." Yes, they have countless reasons for recrimination. Never will they admit that the cause of their disquiet is within themselves.

The real tragedy of human beings is that they always expect something from others, something that no other can give them, and, at the same time, they ignore the precious things they do receive because they are expecting something else. They are always hoping for something different, and because that something does not come, not only are they ungrateful for what they do receive, but they also become vindictive. See for yourselves: do human beings have any gratitude toward their Creator? No, instead of being grateful, they are full of recriminations. Do children have any real gratitude toward their parents? No, again; they often criticize or laugh at them. As for the grievances of disciples toward their Master.... Why does he not rid them of all their physical and psychic ailments? Why does he not tell them how to find a husband, a wife, or a good job? Why does he not reveal the secrets of initiatic science to them? Their Master gives them all the methods they need to work at their own perfection and become truly radiant, luminous sons and daughters of God, but that is not what they want, and they reproach him for not responding to their needs. For, of course, a Master is there to satisfy the whims and appetites of his disciples – and if you did not already know that, you know it now!

Dear Lord, what can anybody do with such creatures? Is there any wonder that they are eternally miserable? If human beings could only learn to give a little in exchange for all they receive from the Lord, from their parents, or from their Master, if they have one; if they could only feel a little gratitude, the balance would be restored and they would find peace and joy again. Since an equal balance of give and take is a law of nature, you must understand that ingratitude destroys that balance and one day you will receive nothing more.

When a virtuoso – a pianist, for example – gives a concert, he offers his listeners the gift of his inspiration and the fruit of many years of hard work, and if they fail to recognize that gift, if they are noisy or merely inattentive, he will sense the absence of a true exchange. In such conditions, even the world's greatest virtuoso will be unable to give all that he is capable of giving. On the other hand, in glancing at his audience he may catch the eye of just one person who is listening with rapturous attention, and then he will play for those eyes. Perhaps he will not even know whether they are the eyes of a man or a woman, but he will play for the, for the light that shines from them in the darkness of the concert-hall, and his genius will come into its own. Human beings need, in one way or another, to sense that their words and gestures meet with a response. If there is no reciprocity, there can be no exchange, and exchange is the law of life.

You will deprive yourselves of a great deal if you fail to recognize the value of what others give you. Even the most patient and generous of beings will end by being discouraged. What is the use of trying to give you something good if you do not even notice it? Those who would like to help you will feel that they are wasting their time and will turn to others who are capable of appreciating what they have to offer. Even a spiritual master is obliged to take this into account, for it is a reality. If he senses an echo in his disciples, he will give them his wealth and knowledge, otherwise he will say nothing. A Master will not entrust his precious cargo to a leaking boat. You will perhaps say that you did not know these things, that you did not realize that one had to be so attentive. Well, now is the time to learn the truth. We sometimes speak of 'having commerce' with people, meaning that we have a relationship with them, and commerce, as you know, means an exchange. Think about this and meditate on all the different applications of this word.

On the physical plane, when you give something away, you no longer have it. And, after you have paid for your pound of cherries, there is less money in your purse. But the extraordinary thing is that when you are grateful, even though nobody gives you anything, you actually receive something. Yes, because gratitude opens your heart and soul, and when you open yourself, you receive all that is beautiful and good in nature and in life. Even if the gifts you receive were not specifically destined for you, you receive them, and if those for whom they were destined are ungrateful, they will receive nothing.

In an initiatic school you are taught that the law of exchange is implacable, you cannot get round it: if you take, you are obliged to give. In fact, even if you do not take, you still have to give. Why? Because when you give, you set in motion a process and receive something in return. But begin by learning to give whenever you take – this will already be a step forward.

Start by reviewing your relationships with beings around you. Take an unbiased look at your behavior toward your parents, children, friends and society as a whole, as well as toward nature; and finally, toward God. You will begin to see that you have taken all kinds of things from visible and invisible beings alike without bothering to give you anything in return. This means that you have debts, and you must understand that you have been reincarnated in order to pay those debts. All of us, without exception, have a karmic debt to pay, and it makes no difference whether it is due to and individual or a collective karma. Personal, societal, national, and racial karmas exist, but it is not really necessary to make the distinction. The only thing that matters is that justice obliges us to pay our debts; otherwise our karmic indebtedness grows and grows.

Karma is the consequence of an imbalance of the scales. Once human beings understand the philosophy of equilibrium, they will balance things so well that they will no longer be indicted or condemned by the laws. Listen to me and try to understand what I am saying. When you hear the word 'justice' your whole being should vibrate at the thought that this word contains all the secrets of cosmic balance.

        Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

The FRATERNITE BLANCH UNIVERSELLE (FBU) concerns all men without exception, inviting them to live in harmony and brotherhood respecting each other"s race, religion, nationality. The FRATERNITE BLANCH UNIVERSELLE is no more aimed at the white race than communism is aimed at the red race. It is the symbol of the peaceful revolution beginning to stir throughout the world with the goal of bringing love and peace and justice everywhere starting with out daily lives.

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