Lecture of the Month

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.


Today, I would like to talk to you about Reincarnation, because I have seen that this subject is on your minds, it worries you. You were always told that man lives once and once only, and now you find it hard to accept the idea of Reincarnation.

I could go at length into the way the Egyptians, or Indians, or Tibetans thought about Reincarnation, and what they did to verify it, but for the moment I will be content to give you a few interpretations of the Gospels, proving that Jesus believed in Reincarnation. You say you have read the Gospels though and though and have never seen the word Reincarnation. My answer is that there was no reason to mention it at that time because everyone believed in it. How were the Evangelists to know that one day people would no longer believe? To them, it was tradition, and therefore not essential to their already condensed records. You say you are not convinced? You will be very soon.

Let us look in the Gospels at some of the questions and answers exchanged between Jesus and his disciples. Jesus asked one day: "Whom do men say that I am?" What does this mean? Do you know anyone who asks others to tell him who he is? People know who they are; they don't need to be told by others; for Jesus to have asked such a question means that they believed in Reincarnation. And the disciples answer this: "Some say that thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremiah or one of the Prophets." Could Jesus be someone who had long been dead without Reincarnation?

Another time, Jesus and his disciples encountered a blind man. "Master," the disciples asked.... "Who did sin, this man or his parents.... That he was born blind?" Unless it refers to Reincarnation, the question is absurd. When was the blind man to have sinned, in his mother's womb? Was he able to spend nights carousing, or stealing, or murdering? Either the question is implying a past life or it is meaningless. You say: "Well, yes, but the disciples were reportedly plain uneducated fishermen, wouldn't they be apt to ask odd questions?" In that case, Jesus would have reprimanded them, he does so throughout the Gospels... but here he simply answers: "Neither he nor his parents sinned." The disciples wondered whether the son was born blind as a result of the sins of the parents, because they knew from the Hebraic law that every infirmity, abnormality or calamity, is the result of that person having transgressed the law unless... and this was also possible... that person was paying for someone else. One never knew on sight therefore, whether a person's misfortune was due to his own sins, or to the fact that he had sacrificed himself for someone else.

This was the accepted belief among the Jews. The disciples asked the question because they knew that no one would be born blind without good reason, and not, as Christians are told, simply because it pleases God. Jesus replied: "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." That is, so that Jesus would heal his blindness, and as a result, all who saw him do it would believe in him. To the disciples Jesus said: you have been taught that there are two reasons why men suffer, either because they have sinned and are being punished, or they are free of sin and are paying someone else's debts in order to hasten their own evolution. But there is still another category of people, those who have finished their evolution and do not have to return to earth again, who are free, but who nevertheless do return, accepting to endure suffering, disease or infirmity, even martyrdom, in order to help mankind. The blind man belongs in this category. "Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." That person saved quantities of people.

If you are still unconvinced, here is another argument: one day Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been thrown in prison. The text says simply: "Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed in Galilee". Sometime later, John was beheaded by order of Herod. After the Transfiguration, the disciples asked Jesus: "Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?" and Jesus answered: "Elias truly shall first come and restore all things. But I say unto you that Elias is come already and they knew him now, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them." The text adds: "Then the disciples understood that he spoke unto them of John the Baptist". It is clear that John the Baptist was the Reincarnation of Elias. Furthermore, it says in the Gospels that when the angel appeared to Zacharias, the father of John, to announce that his wife Elisabeth would bear him a son, the angel added: "And he shall walk before God in the spirit and power of Elias."

Now let's see what the Prophet Elias had done to deserve being beheaded when he returned to Earth as John the Baptist. It is an interesting story. Elias lived at the time of King Ahab whose Queen, Jezebel, was the daughter of the King of Sidon. Because of Jezebel, Ahab and all his people believed in Baal and worshipped that God. Elias was sent by God to reproach Ahab for being unfaithful to the God of Israel, and Elias told Ahab: "As the Lord God of Israel liveth before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years but according to my word."

Elias then went and his in the mountains as God ordered him, to avoid capture. At the end of three years, the country was ravaged by drought and famine, and the people were starving. Again God sent Elias to King Ahab. When Ahab saw Elias, he cursed him bitterly for causing the drought. "No," said the Prophet, "I have not troubled Israel, but thou and they father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and thou hast followed Baal. Now therefore, send and gather to me all Israel unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty... which eat at Jezebel's table." When they were all assembled, Elias told them they would see who was the real God:

"I, even I only, remain a Prophet of the Lord, but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them give us two bullocks and let them choose one bullock for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock and lay it on woods and put no fire under. And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the god that answereth by fire, let him be God.

The prophets did as he said and all morning long they invoked the name of Baal: "O Baal, hear us!" There was no answer, and Elias mocked them: "Cry louder.... For either he is talking or he is pursuing, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he sleepeth and must be awakened!" the prophets cried all the louder, and because they had some knowledge of magic, they slashed their bodies, hoping that the blood would attract evil spirits and elemental forces that would set fire to the altar. Nothing happened. Elias decided that was enough. And Elias took twelve stones according to the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob.... And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench about the altar.... And he put the wood in order and cut the bullock in pieces and laid him on the wood and said: "Fill four barrels with water and pour it on the burnt-sacrifice and on the wood." Now all was ready, and Elias the Prophet called upon God: "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy Word. Hear me, O Lord! Hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the Lord God!" Then the fire of the Lord fell from Heaven with such power that everything was consumed, nothing was left, neither victim, nor wood, nor stones, nor water. The terrified people fell on their faces in recognition of the real God, the God of Elias. Whereupon Elias, somewhat overzealous after his factory, let the four hundred and fifty prophets to a mountain stream and slit their throats.

That is why Elias had to face being beheaded.... It is the law. Jesus referred to the same law when Peter took his sword to cut off the ear of the Caliph's servant in the Garden of Gethsemane: "Put up thy sword into its place, for they who would take the sword shall perish with the sword." The truth of these words is not always demonstrated in the same life... how did Elias die, for instance? Not only was he not beheaded, but a chariot of fire was sent to carry him up to Heaven. It was later that he paid, when he came back as John the Baptist. Jesus knew who John was, he knew what his destiny was, and he said those magnificent words about him: "Among them that are born of woman, there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist." But he made no attempt to save him; he did nothing because he knew that justice must take its course. Now you see why Jesus left the country; he was not meant to save John the Baptist, the law is the law.

Now let us go still further. I will show you that nothing makes sense without Reincarnation, nothing in life, nothing in religion. Ask a priest of pastor what makes one person rich, handsome, intelligent, strong, successful in everything he undertakes, and another one sickly, ugly, poor and miserable and stupid: he will answer that it is God's Will. If you analyze it, and since God has given us a mind, why let it rust.... Then God is capricious. He has whims that make Him give everything to one person and nothing to another. Very well, I accept that, He is God and it is His Will; He is magnificent and I bow to Him. But the thing I find incomprehensible is that He should be angry and offended when people to whom He has given nothing makes mistakes, when they stop believing Him and turn to crime. If God gave them so little intelligence, so little heart, why does He punish them for what they do?

God, all-powerful and omniscient, could he not make everyone good, honest, wise, intelligent, devout, and wonderful? Not only is it His fault if there are crimes, but He punishes people for committing them?? I cannot go along with this. I agree that God is all-powerful, I agree that He should do as He sees fit, He is irreproachable, but then, why is He not also consistent, logical and just? The least He could do is leave humans alone, but no, He sends them to Hell for all Eternity. That astounds me. For how many years did they sin....thirty? or forty? Well, let them remain in Hell forty years, or more....for all Eternity. I cannot go along with this. If you think about it.... But people don't dare to think, their minds are clouded over by all they've been taught. If it is wrong to think, of what use is the mind? God gave us a mind, He must want us to use it.

When we learn to accept and understand the idea of Reincarnation, then everything changes. God really is the Master of the Universe, most great, most noble, most just, and it is our fault if we are miserable and unhappy and stupid, our fault if we didn't know enough to use all that God gave us from the very beginning and had to make our own costly experiments. As God is also most generous and most tolerant, He lets us do as we wish; he says to Himself: "Well, they will suffer and run into trouble, but it doesn't matter, I will always have more love and more of everything to give them when they are ready for it....they have enough Reincarnations ahead in which to learn...." He leaves us free; whatever happens to us is our fault. Why does the Church put all the blame on God? You answer: "The Church doesn't blame God; it simply abolished the idea of Reincarnation." It comes to the same thing, if you think about it.

The Christians believed in Reincarnation until the fourth century as did the Jews, Egyptians, Indians, and Tibetans, etc.... But no doubt, the Church Fathers said to themselves that this belief gave people too much time, they were improving too slowly, and if the idea of Reincarnation was eliminated, they would improve more quickly, they would have only one life in which to become perfect. Gradually the Church invented more and more dreadful things to frighten people into obedience; by the Middle Ages, all they believed in was devils, Hell, and everlasting damnation. Belief In Reincarnation was abolished so that people would be forced to improve through fear and dread, but no only did they not improve, they became worse.... And ignorant to boot! We must recover this belief, for without it nothing is true, nothing in life makes sense, God is a monster of cruelty.

The question of Reincarnation has been dealt with scientifically, many people have remembered living in a certain place at a certain time, numerous books would have been written on that subject.... About the way the Tibetan lamas chose the Dalai-Lama for instance, and one really extraordinary case I knew about when I was still in Bulgaria. A couple came to the Fraternity, worried about their child who said things that were incomprehensible. "One day we took our child for a walk", they told us. "And although he had never been there before, when we got to a certain place he said at once that he knew it well, and had been there many times." Now these parents had had a previous child, who always accompanied them. "Don't you remember?" the child went on.... "This is where I hid so as not to go to school, and there is the river where I drowned!" It was true that the first child had drowned there in that river, but no one had ever told this child about it. Clearly their first child had come back to Reincarnation in the same family, which is rare, but it has been known to happen. Some children remember their past life up to age seven, but their mothers, instead of listening, are apt to give them a slap and tell them to stop talking nonsense. After one, two, three attempts, the child gives up and doesn't talk about such things anymore.

Now you see that although the word Reincarnation does not appear in the Gospels, it was common belief at that time, part of the tradition. Here is another example. Jesus said: "Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect." What are we to think? Either Jesus was being thoughtless in asking common sinners to attain the perfection of their Heavenly Father in the space of a few years, or he didn't realize who his Heavenly Father was, in either case, it is not flattering for Jesus! Actually, he was talking about Reincarnation. Jesus certainly didn't believe that anyone could become perfect in one lifetime, but he knew that if you long for perfection and work toward it during one incarnation after another, you would finally reach it.

What does Moses say in Genesis when describing the Creation? "And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over cattle....God created man in His image, in the image of God created He Him." What happened to the word 'likeness'? God doubtless intended to create man in His image and in His likeness, that is, perfect like Him, but He did not, He created him in His image only. He gave man the same faculties as himself, but not the fullness of those faculties, that is, the resemblance. An acorn is the image of its father, the oak tree, it has all the same possibilities, but it hasn't the likeness, it won't resemble the oak tree until it has been planted and grows up. Man is the image of God; he has been given the same wisdom, Love and Power, but in such infinitesimal degrees compared with the Wisdom, Love and Power of God! In time, when man develops himself, he will resemble God, and he will possess all of God's virtues in abundance. Do you see now how this progress, this passing from image to resemblance cannot take place without Reincarnation? God said: "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness"... but he didn't do it. "God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He Him." Moses revealed the idea of Reincarnation in the omission of the word likeness and the repetition of the word 'image'.

But people don't know how to read what is written in books, or in the great Living Book of Nature, which is full of references to Reincarnation. A tree, for instance, only the Kabbalists have really understood the meaning of a tree: they symbolized the Universe as a tree on which every living creature has its place as part of the roots or the trunk, as leaves, or flowers, or fruit. This vast and comprehensive science says that all existence, all activity, all regions, have a place on the Tree of Life. At different times of the year, the leaves, flowers and fruit fall to the ground, where they decay and become fertilizer for the roots. It is the same for humans: when a man dies, he is re=absorbed into the Cosmic Tree, and then later he reappears in the form of a branch, or a leaf, or a flower. Nothing is ever lost, beings appear, disappear, and reappear ceaselessly on the wonderful tree that is the Tree of Life.

So you see, Reincarnation is engraved on everything, everywhere in life. Where else? In the phenomenon of evaporating water. Water evaporates out of the ocean into the air, where it turns to snow or rain, and then falls back into the ocean. A drop of water doesn't disappear, it travels all over the world, rising high into the sky and falling back down on mountains and valleys, sinking deep down into subterranean stratus, changing color as it goes, from yellow to red to green. Water rising and falling is a phenomenon that proves the law of Reincarnation; a spirit is like a drop of water journeying all over the world, learning how to be perfect.

Another example? Here is one: when you go to bed at night, you take off your clothing; one by one you set aside your jacket, your shirt, your sweater, etc.... Nighttime and going to sleep are symbolic of dying, the clothing you shed represents the different bodies you shed, first the physical, a week or so later, the etheric, and lastly the astral, which takes longer because it is the seat of our passions and desires. The astral plane and the lower mental planes are the region we call Hell, where we must remain until we are purified. Not until we are free of the mental body can we enter Paradise, the first heaven, the second heaven and the third heaven.... Seven heavens in all according to tradition. Only when we are stripped of everything and are completely naked, that is, purified and free of all impediments, do we enter the seventh heaven of Paradise.

Morning symbolizes birth, the return to Earth. Once again you put on your clothing, your shirt, sweater, jacket, etc.... When he is to be born, a child must clothe himself in each one of his subtle bodies, then the mental body, the astral and etheric bodies, and finally, the physical body. You see, every night of your life, you have undressed and every morning you have dressed; without realizing that you were imitating the motions of incarnation and disincarnation. If we could interpret our little daily habits, our behavior and work, what it means to eat, to breath, etc... we would make many discoveries. All the great mysteries of the Universe are reflected in our acts, in our speech and gestures, only you have to study in an Initiatic school to know how to decipher them.

Some people are waiting for the Church to pronounce itself officially on the subject of Reincarnation, but when will that be? I have had the opportunity to talk occasionally with prelates, and I know that many of them believe in Reincarnation, but don't dare admit it for fear of repercussions. In any case, I say that unless you accept the idea of Reincarnation, you will never be able to understand the things that happen to you, why you are in a certain situation, why you are hounded and mistreated, or on the contrary helped and encouraged, and you will never know what to do, how to prepare for your next life. How far can you go without the Truth?

OMRAAM MIKHAEL AIVANHOV Videlinata, December 11, 1966

When we read the lives of the Saints and Prophets and Initiates, we wonder why they had to suffer, what they had done to deserve martyrdom. The reason must be sought in their past lives, for even when we re-establish the Divine order within ourselves, it doesn't mean that we have paid our debts, or that our past life is erased. We have to pay down to the last penny before we can be entirely free.

Take the disciples, they were with Jesus constantly, they lived in the Light and followed the Divine Teaching. They harmed no one. What had they done to deserve being thrown to wild beasts or massacred and why did Jesus do nothing to help them? He did nothing because he knew they had not finished paying their debts. In other incarnations, they had not doubt committed a few sins, and in their ignorance, omitted to make the necessary reparations before they left for the other side. It is said: "Let not the sun set on thy wrath" and "Before the sun set, go and forgive they brother." But no one really understands what that means: taken literally, there isn't much time to make amends, especially in winter when the sun sets early! But here it is not the sunset of the physical plane. In the symbolic language of the Initiates, 'sunset' means death.... The time when man must depart for the other side. He is given plenty of time, but once the time is up, if he has forgotten to pay or if he hasn't known that he must settle his debts before the sun sets, then the law of Karma goes into effect. Everything we do is inscribed, everything leaves an imprint that hardens and crystallizes, there is not 'getting round it', as they say. You must pay and whether you settle all your debts before the sun goes down or not, you will still have to pay every penny.

You who receive spiritual Teaching, who live in the Light, even you are not completely protected. You have debts whether you are in an Initiatic school or not, and you will still have accidents or run into difficulty and trouble from time to time.... No matter whether you follow the Teaching and are in the Light or not. Is it clear that the results of the good you do now are not for this life but for the future? Whenever you have trouble, when you have a problem, you should accept it and say: "Lord God, I know that nothing can undo the work I have done in the Light. If I have difficulties now, it means I am being given the chance to liberate myself. I know that, and so I accept, I do not ask to be spared."

You say: "Since Jesus was crucified, does it mean he had a Karma to pay?" No. For Jesus it was different.... Here we are touching on the question of sacrifice. There are beings who offer to sacrifice their lives, who suffer pain and hardship even when they have nothing left to pay, but they are exceptional. People make errors of judgment when they don't know the details of Reincarnation.

From the point of view of Reincarnation, people can be divided into four categories. In the first group are the ones who have no consciousness, knowledge, Light, or morality, who break every law, commit crimes, and run heavily into debt. When they Reincarnation, they come back under difficult conditions and have to suffer in order to pay and make the necessary reparations. Their lives are not happy ones.

In the second group are more evolved beings who try to develop the qualities and virtues that will lead to their freedom. Even so, it isn't possible to settle all one's debts in one incarnation; they must come back again to complete their task. This time they will be given better conditions, they will be allowed to be useful on a higher plane, but they must still come back until their debts are all settled and they are free.

In the third group are beings who have reached a high degree of evolution, but who return to earth to accomplish specific tasks. They have very few debts, and are given a great time in which to use their higher consciousness to do good. Once their mission is accomplished these beings do not need to return.

Some of them however, and this is the fourth group, once they reach the state of permanent happiness and felicity and unlimited freedom next to God, are so filled with compassion for suffering humanity, that they leave the heavenly regions of their own accord, even if it means being tortured and killed. Others in this group who are not obliged to return, can – if they wish to continue a spiritual task they have begun – instill or implant themselves in another being who is highly evolved. Jesus referred to the possibility of such unification when he said: "If a man Love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will Love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode in him." These beings do not actually Reincarnation, they have no physical body of their own but become part of someone else, and go through his life from gestation to maturity, working through that person.

Everyone wants to be free, but they don't understand what will make them free: it is not by avoiding obligations or shirking their duty or severing all their ties that they can be free. Freedom comes from having paid your debts... in full. People want freedom from their wives, from their children or the boss, or society, or from life itself, by suicide. But dear brothers and sisters, there is no such thing as freedom until you have paid all your debts and your Karma is effaced. Freedom is desirable, but only in accordance with Divine Law. It is rare to find someone who knows how to acquire freedom. Even here in the Fraternity, some of you think you become independent by avoiding your obligations, as if you went to a restaurant and ate a huge meal, and then left without paying. It is not honest, not right or noble, the luminous spirits on the other side do not allow that attitude. People think they will be free once they leave their wife, or their boss, but actually it is the way to create new problems, new traps that will lie in wait for them and show them how mistaken they were. In the end they are caught between Scylla and Charibdis!

The best way to liberate oneself is to be Loving, and the worst way is to go on being selfish, crafty, calculating and stingy. Every time you show generosity and kindness, every time you give, every time you sacrifice yourself, you work toward liberation. That is why, instead of holding on to your possessions, always calculating the risk of giving and dodging the issue..... give! Look at the way people act toward eachother when there is divorce or separation.... How tightly they cling to their share! They don't know that because of this attitude, they will have to meet again, in similar circumstances, in a future incarnation.

It is Love, generosity, kindness, forgiveness and mercy, that permit the disciple to liberate himself. Of course if you talk this way to the average person, you will pass for an idiot, most people are lacking this Light, they don't know that there is a reason for being generous and kind.

Initiates know the deeper reason for things, they realize how worthwhile it is to give, to help, to be generous and large, and to share, for that is the way to freedom. So..... give! Give and more than justice requires, in that way you will be free even more quickly.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov September 29, 1963

It happens with nations and peoples as it happens with human beings and all creatures: they are born, they expand, and when they reach old age, they must yield their place to others.... They follow the same curve, giving what they have to give and then dying away as though they went to take a rest before coming back with more treasures and wealth. This is the way with nations, we have seen it, and also with religion: religions come into being, their influence is widespread, they rise to great heights, to the culminating point.... And then wear out, they lose the keys to life and become crystallized. This is what happened to the great Mysteries of the Temples of ancient Egypt, to the hierophants that held the key, the power, the knowledge, the science.... Where are they today? They all followed the immutable law of life: everything and everyone that is born, dies and yields its place. Only that which has no beginning has no end.

Take Greece, past and present... the quantity and the quality of creative artists that came out of Greece in the past.... Poets and writers, painters and sculptors, philosophers.... All highly gifted. A country is like a river: the river bed never changes but the water flowing in it is always fresh, always changing. The inhabitants of the river are the countless drops of water that come and go on their way to the sea while millions of drops take their place. When they reach the sea and are warmed by the sun, they become light and subtle enough to rise into the atmosphere and wait until it is time for them to come back in the form of rain or snow, to join the torrents and rivers and go coursing down the mountains and through the valleys. Everything flows and fluctuates.

A country is a river in which people come to reincarnate from many different places and at different times. Or it is a house which is occupied for a number of years by one group of tenants, and then new tenants move in... for years the house was filled with the atmosphere of song and music and harmony, but now, with the change of tenants, the atmosphere is entirely different, more prosaic and turbulent... the house is the same house, but the atmosphere that affects it is different. A country's destiny can be explained in the same way: Greece is still the same country, but the inhabitants are different from the ones who lived there three thousand years ago.... And the same for other countries.

You ask: "Why are some people, like Tibetans for instance, able to hold on to the same concepts and traditions and customs for thousands of years?" Because what happens is the same as what happens in the human organism: the cells are constantly renewing themselves, they change, but they continue doing the same work. Or like a factory where the personnel is changed from time to time, some workers are let go and others take over their work, but the new worker is already trained and knows what is required of him. Spirits who reincarnate in Tibet are already trained in Tibetan ways; they have an affinity for Tibetans, and are prepared to live there. And Tibetans who are prepared to be like the French, Reincarnate in France; there are many former Tibetans in France, even here in the Fraternity.

You ask: "What about the Jews that have been persecuted for so many centuries?" The Jews who were persecuted and martyrized were spirits from many different countries who reincarnated into Jewish families because it was their Karma to be persecuted or massacred, but they hadn't necessarily been Jews. Heaven arranged for them to be born into a Jewish family at a certain time so that they would pay their debts. And the same in Greece, spirits came from elsewhere to reincarnate there, perhaps from Bulgaria, because the two countries have always hated each other and people often reincarnate near to their former enemies. Many Greeks have reincarnated in Bulgaria, whether as a reward or as punishment.... I don't know.

Whether you hate or Love someone, it is the same thing, you create a link with him, and hatred is as powerful a link as Love. If you want to be free of someone and never see him again, neither hate nor Love him, simply remain indifferent, for if you hate him, you will bind yourself to him with unbreakable chains....for centuries to come. This is something you should know. People think they cut themselves off from a person if they hate him, but on the contrary, hatred binds you to the person you hate. Like Love. The difference being that the bonds of hatred bring you something quite different from the bonds of Love... but just as surely and powerfully. If all the nations of the world knew this, they would see how ridiculous and dangerous it is to hate each other.

You mustn't be surprised, or annoyed, if I say that France is doing everything to make her lose her great men. The world has been given a wealth of treasures in the past by the genius of French artists, writers and philosophers; but if France continues to cut herself off spiritually from Heaven, from God who distributes these treasures.... Then the geniuses will go and incarnate somewhere else. Great spirits are universal, nations fight over them, but they don't care about their nationality; if you ask them, they say: "We belong to the Universe, our country is the Universe." Can't you see the German and French soldiers who died in the wars between their two countries, meeting on the other side and having a drink together, laughing at how stupid they were to have killed each other.... When they were all sons of God?

It is simple for the invisible world to make one country go downhill and another one evolve. Why, for what reason? Their sense of justice. Look at Bulgaria for instance: a few centuries ago, it was a miserable downtrodden country that never produced anything in the way of thinkers or artists or scientists... and now all that is beginning to change, everything is improving. Neither the glory of a country nor its decadence last forever. And what about China, how many centuries has it taken China to stir itself from sleep and come abreast of the times? Now that it is the beginning to rouse itself, the rest of the world is frightened! How do you explain that, who determines things like that, and for what reason?

It is the Heavenly Hierarchies above who make those decisions. For them it is easy, like giving aid to underdeveloped countries. If a country is poor and backward, one of the richer, more advanced countries sends in a team of economists and technicians of all kinds... a few years later the country is on its feet. The invisible world does the same thing, it dispatches engineers and scientists, that is, a team of specially chosen souls, with the responsibility of starting a whole new culture. Sometimes all it takes to set a country right in very little time, is one really good political leader.

It may make you unhappy to hear me say that your country is going to be troubled, but I am stating a fact, I have no interest either way, being neither Bulgarian nor French... I am a citizen of the Universe, I belong to the Sun and not the Earth, why would I fight for any of them, Greece, or France, or Bulgaria, as long as I am above all frontiers? I do say however, that the Slav scientists have gone further in the field of parapsychic discovery than anyone else... telepathy, psychometry, clairvoyance, radiesthesia... they have even succeeded in photographing the aura! Inspite of appearances, inspite of the way it looks at the moment, Russia will one day abandon its philosophy of Marxism, and the Communists will become Brothers of the great Universal White Brotherhood.

What the Russians have discovered so far is very little compared to all that I have revealed to you over the years. I predict that this science, the Initiatic Science, will spread all over the world... not of course, the highest degrees of the science, not the ultimate secrets, for humans are not ready to know all there is yet. Human nature thinks of discovery as the means to profit, or to dominate the rest of the world. There will be a limited amount revealed to them. But certain truths will be brought to Light and the whole world will know them. It will be the Solar Culture.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov Le Bonfin, August 11, 1974

The Maitre reads the Thought For The Day:

"Every flower that comes up out of the ground is linked to everything else in the Universe, Nature can without her support if the flower appears too early, before its time, and if Nature is against it, the flower dies. For each of you also, all Creation had to consent to your arrival. You say: "But I am no one, why would Nature be concerned with my birth?" Because it is so. Every detail, including the amount of food and drink you will consume during your lifetime, is noted down somewhere; and for you to appear when you did, the Cosmic budget must have had room for you at the time. Everything is connected to everything else, every living thing is part of the Cosmos, and nothing can appear in Heaven or Earth without the common consent of all Creation."

I know this idea will surprise you and perhaps shock some of you, for it is not the usual way of looking at things. People believe everything happens by chance; that nothing is intentional or foreseen and there is no presiding intelligence to make decisions... which is the reason people do not understand the things that happen in the world.

Take a tree, for instance. All Nature must agree to participate in its development before the tree can grow and bear fruit, it cannot exist unless the elements it needs are supplied by the earth, water, air, sun and heat... and human care. A tree needs the help of all Creation, but as this action is imperceptible, the tree is thought to be there simply by chance. A man also exists, breathes and moves because he has the help of all Creation, if a single element is withheld, if he is denied air, or water, or vitamins and hormones... he dies. Where do these vital elements come from? From the Universe in its willingness to participate.

For a man to arrive on earth.... Do you think it simply happens, like that, by chance? Human ignorance is unbelievable! Is that the way it is in the world, in families, in government, in business? "Well," you say. "There are special people to calculate expenses and establish the budget, to figure out how much to spend on food, on heat, on upkeep, and where to cut down, which people to let go and which new people to hire..." Well, do you think there is no one to plan or approve each person's arrival on earth? Why would everything be done intelligently and according to plan in cities and families, and stupidly, vaguely, left to chance in the Universe? Human ignorance is indeed abysmal!

The fact is, there exists above, an extraordinarily well-planned, well-balanced economy which determines the number of people that are to come down on earth, when they are to come, and how long they will remain. Every human need is provided for, prepared in advance for each person, yet people think it all happens haphazardly, that even for someone like Jesus, no one took care of selecting the exact moment that he was to come, no one calculated the most favourable astrological aspects.... And so Jesus happened to come along, no one quite knows why. No, his coming was predetermined by the most magnificent beings above. Nothing is ever left to chance. Even for Hitler, it was determined that he would come in order to teach certain people a few lessons and be taught a few himself in the process.

You ask: "How can they foresee everything like that above?" What if I told you that it is all figured out automatically by computers...? For humans didn't invent computers, Nature has been using them for ages. The cosmic computer contains the essential information on each person, including his past, and on the basis of that information, it issues a statement saying when and in which country each person will be born, with which body and what kind of mind and faculties. Other spirits are assigned to see that these decrees are carried out and everything takes place at the proper time. If an accident is scheduled, they watch and wait for the precise moment, and then provoke the accident! People think it happens by chance, but the fact is that everything is calculated ahead of time with mathematical precision. If a child is to be born at a certain time, the electronic machines determine with precision the sign of the Zodiac under which he will appear, the position of the planets, etc.... and the child is born as scheduled. Everything is calculated on the basis of his past incarnations, even the hour of his conception, and whether he will be happy or unhappy, rich or poor, whether he will be injured at a certain moment or not... all according to what he has done during his past incarnations. Everything is automatic: his birth, his death, and all other events and circumstances of his life.

"But then what about liberty?" you ask. Liberty is in the spirit, liberty is present whenever the spirit manifests itself, when it decides to alter the given processes, to improve or accelerate them. But on the whole, life is released and set in motion the way a mechanism is, like a child's electric train that runs along the tracks and stops at stations, coming to a final halt when the child doesn't wind it up. Man also runs down and comes t a stop: if he is not wound up again, he dies. Man is a machine that is set to operate for a certain length of time, he runs into obstacles and goes through little tunnels like the child's electric train, according to plan. Even chance meetings are planned: when you meet someone 'by chance' who changes your whole life, it was planned that way, and when you fall in love 'all of a sudden,' it was planned before you were born. A little baby lying in its crib already has all the equipment he needs for life stored within him... he is a factory inside, a state, a constellation.... A whole world in himself!

Would it surprise you to hear that for just one little flower to grow and blossom, the whole Universe must consent unanimously to help it, and contribute to its needs.... Otherwise it dies? This is true for you also: if you are given favorable spiritual, mental and material conditions in which to live, you are able to grow and flourish, whereas with other conditions you are hindered and unable to develop. Sometimes conditions that are favorable to others are detrimental to you, or conditions that are detrimental to others are wonderful for you; you may be gifted with all kinds of qualities and intellectual faculties, but be lacking in something else, health, for instance. All because some of the forces and currents in the Universe were not in accord with your coming into existence, and they make trouble.

That is why you must work on harmony, you must try to be harmonious as the stars, and everything else in the Universe, otherwise someone or something will always be causing you trouble. You may be in perfect harmony with all your family and neighbors, but perhaps there are other people who wish you harm... and so your life will have some unpleasantness in it, the good will be mixed with bad. That is the reason I am so insistent on your being in a state of harmony with the entire Cosmos... so that you will have an ideal life, filled with nothing but Beauty and Light. You see, you haven't understood yet how important the exercises are that I have given you; if you don't know certain things, the details don't seem important, but once you know the whole truth, you recognize their value.

Another example: suppose you have a friend whom you like, who really helps you.... But there is someone else on another level who dislikes you, who is your enemy... with that person you have nothing but arguments and bitterness and grief, and with the other, you have a wonderful time. Both are part of your life, both affect you, but the enemy creates trouble. That is why it is important to be in harmony with the whole world. It is difficult of course, but you must try: first of all, try to be in harmony with the entities above who direct your life, and then try to mend things with those who hate you, so they will stop doing you harm. That is the reason for the saying: "Let not the sun go down on they wrath.... Before the sun set, go and reconcile thyself with they brother..." Here, 'Sunset' means the end of this incarnation, because later on, it is must harder to make reparations. In this life, we must go and find out enemy and settle our dispute, pay what we owe, and then live in peace. Each bad thought, each bad feeling and bad action is harmful, there is no 'getting around it' as they say... these are living entities and there is no use pretending they don't exist, they do exist, and sooner or later, they will find you and do something to harm you.

Now let us look for a moment at this idea of our destiny being determined ahead of time. As I have already said in one of my other lectures, we have the opportunity before we come down to Earth of changing certain things, providing the Heavenly Hierarchies allow us to, but once we are born, we no longer have that possibility, our lives must unfold as planned, and our entire organism, our nervous, muscular, circulatory systems, our bone structure, our health and our intelligence, all are part of our fixed destiny. If we are born ugly, or deformed, we will not have as much in the way of joy, happiness, or success, as for instance, a girl who is born beautiful, gifted, and full of charm. Her destiny will be quite different, she will be chosen 'Miss World', she will be besieged by photographer and invitations, she will become a Star, and a handsome multi-millionaire will want to marry her!

That is what I mean when I say that you cannot change your destiny in this incarnation, but if you start to work now on the next one, if you hope and ask and pray for the next one to be different, it will be. During this incarnation, you will be limited, but in the next one, you will have everything you long for. Those who don't know this, reincarnate in exactly the same situation.... Why do you suppose some people are in dreadful situations? It is because they didn't know how to work in their previous lives, what to work toward, what virtues to develop, and what opportunities to ask for in the next life. They were ignorant in their past lives, and if they go on being ignorant in this one, the next incarnation will only be another failure.

You should listen to me, dear brothers and sisters, listen and take advantage of what I am telling you, resolve to spend the rest of your life thinking about it, hoping and asking for the best things, because in that way, you project ideas that will later crystallize, materialize themselves. Your present form is crystallized, it resists change, in fact it cannot change or be replaced until it has served its time. But when a man dies, the things he has created in his mind become concrete, they crystallize on the physical plane, and he comes back to Earth with all the beauty, intelligence, health and goodness he thought about. His desires materialize in a new form, which is as resistant to change as the old one, and resistant also to all destructive and negative forces. Whatever we do now will bear fruit in the next life. That is why so many of you come and tell me: "Maitre, I have worked for years on myself, but there are no results, nothing is changed. I am the same as always." And I answer: "You don't understand. Actually you have changed certain things, but you have to wait, your present form must disappear before the new form can appear. When it does, then you will see the fruit of your hard work, and you will be astounded by all the beauty and splendor."

Earlier I told you that freedom belongs to the spirit, and now I want to explain that. If you observe an animal's behavior, you see that it is subject to the natural laws, it is not free to choose whether or not it will oppose things or try and change the course of its live.... Animals have not that gift. They obey, they submit, they are true to the natural laws and for that reason they are innocent even though they are destructive.... When they leap on their prey to kill it, it isn't their fault, but their nature urging them on. A child is a little animal too, he obeys his instincts and follows his impulses without using his mind or his will. Not until later will he have the opportunity to oppose Nature, when he is allowed to choose whether he will live in harmony with these laws or break them.

Now when a man does no more than eat and sleep and enjoy himself, when he has no other goal but to earn his living and put children into the world.... Whatever he may imagine, he is living the life of an animal, a life governed by instinct, a vegetable life, and animals do as much. His life proceeds in spite of his consciousness or his will, almost independently of him, and he goes from childhood to manhood, to old age and death, without having had much to do about it.

But when a man begins to use his mind consciously, to control his life and purify it and add to it the spiritual element, then he becomes a power factor, he has the power to change his destiny. What is destiny? Destiny is an implacable chain of events, causes and consequences to which all life is subject as long as it is purely animal, biological, and instinctive. For instance, what is a hen's destiny? Can a hen become king, a post, or a musician? A hen's destiny is the casserole! All creatures have their own particular destiny... a wolf's destiny is to be hunted, to be caught and killed, or carted off to a zoo; and lambs and doves also have a destiny in conformance with their life and the elements that formed them.

To escape destiny, you must overcome weakness and stop submitting passively to a life filled with things over which you have no control: only breathing, eating, procreating and sleeping... that kind of life is far from the Divine Life. It is Divine in that it comes from God, but it is not Divine in the spiritual sense. The Divine life begins when a man realizes he is made of more then flesh and bone and muscle, that he is not all stomach and sex but also Spirit, and that he is meant to act and create in the Spiritual realm, and devote his life to something more, something sublime, luminous and Divine. Then yes, he escapes his destiny, but not completely. The destiny of falling ill and being left in a cemetery to rot.... That destiny is fixed (I am speaking for the physical plane), and there is nothing one can do. But the Spiritual life gives us an opportunity to add something more to the instinctive life, and to reach a higher plane, beyond destiny. In order to do that, the Spirit must be allowed to manifest itself and leave its imprint on your life, to intervene in everything you do. In that way, you avoid your destiny and enter another realm, where Providence reigns. The destiny of the body is to return to dust and ashes, but not the Spirit, Spirit has no destiny, it comes under the heading of Providence.

How can we come under the heading of Providence? By realizing that between destiny and Providence lies free will, and that the whole point of being a disciple is to free the will, to be able to move and work and be active in the Spiritual world. When the disciple comes under the influence of Providence, he is given a wide variety of choices, he can choose whenever he wishes, and his choice will always be wonderful; whereas when he was under control, there was only one path, leaving to destruction, disintegration, disappearance. What is an ox's destiny? To be harnessed to a cart and made to put it to the end of his days, poor thing, or be cut into pieces and sold to the butcher. Oxen can do nothing about their destinies, nor can any of the animals. Nor can man, unless he has this knowledge: without this Light, he too is limited by destiny; he too is subject to being kicked about and oppressed. If he comes under the control of destiny, even a king or emperor can do nothing, destiny is inexorable and must be fulfilled. And so, the heads roll under the guillotine. Destiny is extremely difficult to avoid, for most people have created heavy Karmas for themselves in their past lives. The law of cause and effect is absolute, destiny is unconscious and without pity, as infallible as a law of Physics: if you hit a glass, it will break. The laws of destiny are equally infallible.

We have every opportunity in this incarnation to create good conditions for the next one, providing we know what to do and do it consciously; if we do not work in that direction in this incarnation, the next one may be worse than this one. The Church, when it took away the promise of Reincarnation, took away the chance for people to improve themselves. Christians have no idea of their potential. They are told that when they die, they will go to Heaven (provided they attended mass regularly) and be seated at the right hand of God. On the other hand, if they have neglected the Church, they will burn in Hell forever and ever.... Whey does the Church deceive people this way? To comfort them? It would be more comforting to tell them the truth.

To summarize: all creatures (and there are many) who let themselves be dominated by their instincts and their physiological needs, who do no Spiritual work, will never be able to change their destiny, their lives will unfold as decreed. Those who work ardently and do all they can to enter the world of Love and Light, will escape. Destiny is indeed cruel and relentless, but they will no longer be subject to it, they will live in more subtle regions, and receive all the beneficent elements that neutralize harmful influences. It is still destiny, if you will.... For Providence is Destiny, but another kind; everything is set and determined, but Divinely!

There. What I have just told you is very important. Now you know that if you content yourself with living like the rest of the world, without doing anything on the higher planes, you will not be able to change your Destiny nor creature your future life, since you submit to the way things are. Perhaps you will have a good Destiny, it may appear that way.... The 'Destiny' of people who live in the midst of wealth, for instance, surrounded by luxury and protection, with nothing to disturb them while they eat and drink, marry and have children and travel the world over.... A splendid life! But not in the eyes of Initiates. Other people who have to fight for the Truth and work and suffer and run into obstacles, who have very little in life, actually are better off than the ones who seem to have everything.

Humans are apt to have a materialistic idea of happiness and are encouraged in this by astrologers, who tell them such things as: "Oh, this is wonderful, you have Jupiter in the second house, the Sun in the tenth house, Venus in the seventh.... Which means that you will be rich and important, famous, happy in Love, and have everything you want...." If they see squares and oppositions, they are sorry for you. Because they don't understand! An Initiate would never read a horoscope that way, he would look to see if you are ready to work Spiritually, if you are capable of obeying God and carrying our his Divine Plan, and then he doesn't bother with squares, or planets in exile, etc....

But this Light, this different way of interpreting things, is not the way of our contemporary astrologers, who are slave to the ordinary way of thinking, who judge the way everyone judges, and believe with everyone else that the real life is based on material wealth and success. But all that is temporary, and what happens when it disappears? The true value of a horoscope is not discernible to everyone. Others may cry out in admiration over someone's horoscope that I find mediocre; I look and see that this person will never do anything important for Heaven, nothing. Some people have what is considered a 'brilliant theme' with signs of wealth talent, position in society, etc., and I see them as most ordinary, insignificant people, I would never want to be in their place nor have a 'good' horoscope like theirs. I follow other rules for judging a horoscope that astrologers know very little about.

I could point out other things that would show you how little astrologers really understand these things. Instead of saying you are running into debt on a certain plane and explaining to you how you can pay and be free, they tell you how to avoid an accident that is supposed to occur on a certain date.... Which is useless advice, for if the accident is to occur, it will occur whether you go out that day or not: Karma, which is not to be put off, not to be tricked, will see to it that there is a miscalculation, and the accident occurs on the day before (or the day after) it was scheduled.

You ask: "But then, what good is astrology if it doesn't help you to change your destiny?" It does help, but not that way. It would take too long to explain, but here is an example: let us suppose you learn that at a given moment in your life you will have to pay a certain sum, and that if you don't pay, your furniture and all your goods will be seized and you will be evicted from your house. Out in the cold, at the mercy of the weather, you will be faced with illness. Rather than stand by, doing nothing but wait for that fatal day, you decide to prepare for the eventuality by working and saving, putting aside as much as possible, with the result that when the day comes, you have the wherewithal to pay and you are not evicted. You can apply this image to any phase of life, an accident, an illness, a business collapse, anything that lies in wait for you.

And so, my dear brothers and sisters, today I have given you some Truths that are absolute. Go ahead and study these things for yourselves, you will see that I do not deceive you. Ahead of you lies a tremendous opportunity, because you have this Teaching to help you, to prepare you, to tell you how to create a future for yourselves that will be truly glorious.

        Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
        Le Bonfin, July 25, 1974

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.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

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