If you keep the precepts, and you really tone down your ego, and try to be humble, then the Master doesn’t ever have to suffer too much. Humility is very important. Humility means the absence of ego. Ego means the absence of humility. Humility is very important. Without it, you will cause a lot of trouble and headache for everybody, including the Master. Even if you want to do good, you do it with just ego. It’s just the way you think! You ignore everyone else. You don’t consider. Not because you want to, it’s just, you just live that way.
So, “They study with perseverance and interest the ancient writings.” The scriptures, the sutras, all these holy teachings, they study. We do. We are doing now, to prove it. “They especially prefer such, that they are intended to indurate and strengthen the body and ennoble and sanctify the spirit. They have profound knowledge of the art of healing and study it arduously. They examine and are acquainted with the medicinal herbs and plants which they prepare as medicine for man and beast.” Animal-people. Animal-people, actually. They maybe explain it differently here. I don’t think they call them beasts in that order. We don’t call anybody beasts in our order, no? We call them animal-people, brothers and sisters, friends. So, it’s just a different translation. Or maybe at that time, that was the word they used.
“They also know the use and worth of minerals as medicine, and do a great deal of good by applying these for healing the sick. Anybody that wishes to belong to the brotherhood is not at once admitted.” Of course not. Three months vegan. “Before admittance to the brotherhood, one has first to pass a whole year of trials outside the same.” One year? And I give you just immediately after a lecture? Wow, too cheap. OK, from today, one year. For you! “One has to live according to certain rules and regulations. During this time, he has to prove himself worthy through a strictly moral and virtuous life and temperance. He is provided with a spade, an apron and a white garb. Now he is again subjected to new trials. Having passed through these, he is sprinkled with water, or baptized, as a sign of his spiritual purity and liberation from material things.” We can do it with water or without water. It’s just a ritual. It’s nice, it’s no harm. We have a lot of rain, it’s convenient. It’s convenient to do in a rainy city. But in some African cities, probably we have to sprinkle with sand, because they don’t have much water. It’s just a kind of symbol. People still use it nowadays to baptize in some rituals, in some spiritual orders. We just do without.
“Having passed through these, and proved his chastity, and being further tried in his strength of character and other qualities, and found to be worthy, he is at last admitted an actual member of the brotherhood.” The poor guy! After one year of trial and tribulation and all kinds of tests. My God! Now, is there any spade and things in this house, to dig for agriculture? You can plant some more vegetables in the small garden that we have. “But before he touches any food in the presence of the brotherhood, does he take this sacred vow: Above all things, to respect God. He must of a true and pure heart exercise justice and honesty to all men. Neither of impulse, or influence by others, must he harm or hurt any man.” Understand? No matter how.
“During all his life, to shun injustice, further, he vows sacredly ever to obey his worldly rulers, as nobody has the rule without the will of God.” Do you understand that? So even if you think the law is not very good, but you still have to obey it. Because that might be God’s Will. Nobody can do it alone. It must have been the karma of certain countries that the citizens have to undergo such and such dictatorship or strict governance. That’s why we do not want to ever criticize anyone.
We just pray for peace, and make an example of kindness, and hope that other people might do the same for the sake of everyone. If they don’t follow, OK, that’s it. We are not to criticize anything. But as it is, as we know, that what we sow, so shall we reap. So in our hands, we must exercise the power of kindness and compassion only. Understand? Yeah. So, if other people don’t do it, then we know it might be God’s Will. So we have to comply with it. But in our hands, we always rather err on the side of compassion. So, always be kind and be good. That’s it! No matter who else does what. So here, it means that if you live in any country, any rules, you have to abide by that. Not because you are a spiritual practitioner, so you do what you want. It’s not like that. Just like the similar teachings of Confucius. Says you have to be loyal to your king and your country.
“If he becomes a ruler,” if the practitioner of the Essenes order becomes a ruler, “thus he vows not to misuse his power.” Yeah, I told you already; in our hands, we always exercise the power of compassion and kindness. Rather hurt ourselves, not hurt other people. Outsiders. Here, I beat you up anytime! I beat your ego up! Do I? No? Maybe I should, huh? Come here. I beat you with a bar of (vegan) chocolate. It’s very rare that a Master does that. It’s very rare that the Master has to resort to some kind of physical reprimand. Very rare. Because it hurts the Master more than the disciples. The karmic transference will make the Master suffer more. But if it has to be done, the Master will do it. But rarely, rarely. Mostly, verbal teaching should be applied to yourself, to the disciples, and that should be very sufficient already.
If you keep the precepts, and you really tone down your ego, and try to be humble, then the Master doesn’t ever have to suffer too much. Humility is very important. Humility means the absence of ego. Ego means the absence of humility. Humility is very important. Without it, you will cause a lot of trouble and headache for everybody, including the Master. Even if you want to do good, you do it with just ego. It’s just the way you think! You ignore everyone else. You don’t consider. Not because you want to, it’s just, you just live that way. Your ego just leads you into that kind of inconsiderate way of life. And then it’s very difficult for you to understand everybody else’s feelings or convenience. So, the ego is your worst enemy. Worse than eating meat! You understand? If the people already killed it and you eat it, you have some karma, and you don’t have too much compassion. But with ego, you even forsake also compassion, because you don’t know what compassion is anymore. You are blind to the people around you, of their feelings, their emotions and their needs. You are blind!
If you have ego, you just think of yourself, the way you want to do this, the way you do that. And you do it your way, and you just don’t think of any other alternative. You don’t consider anybody else. And the ego is the one that stands in between you and the true knowledge of the Providence. So, anyone who has big ego, don’t consider yourself intelligent at all! You are just a repeating kind of parrot-person. You know, learning from anything that you know, but you are not truly intelligent. The one who truly has knowledge is the one who has no ego. Then your knowledge shines, and you do everything right! It’s just like that. So don’t be afraid of any danger or any trouble, be afraid of your own ego.
Ego is what? Where do we get ego from? Past life impressions and the accumulating of habits, or association, background. If you used to learn something, and you’re good at this, and then you learn something else, you’re good at that, and everybody keeps praising you, then over time, you are so used to being praised. And then your ego grows up, and you think whatever you do is good, because you’ve been used to being at the top. And then you don’t consider anybody. It just becomes a habit, and this is very bad for us. Try to eliminate that.
Only when you eliminate your ego, then your knowledge will truly be revealed. So that’s why in the old times, it is said, “The man, who knows, looks like the man of low knowledge, of an ignorant person.” Because he might not show off the skill of the world, of the worldly knowledge. He doesn’t even want to show off! If he knows it, he doesn’t even show off. For him, it’s not important anymore. Important is the real knowledge of Heaven, the true, original knowledge which we forsake for the sake of learning some skill or something in this world, or any doctrine, any policy or any special talent just to go on top of society – and forsake our own great Self and the real knowledge that we always have to be a great person. So, to have knowledge in this world is not the top priority, really. Learn what you can to survive, of course. But if we forsake our real knowledge for worldly skills, that is a very great pity. It will enhance only our ego, and it will separate us more from our true knowledge – the One who knows everything, the One who pervades everywhere, the One who never goes wrong.
Alright, we continue with the Essenes. “The members of the Essenes will shun injustice all their lives.” Everything, he acts with fairness, with justice. He would never treat somebody unfairly. “Ever undaunted, to further truth and justice.” That’s their life mission, their life goal. “Further, he vows to sacredly ever to obey his worldly rulers, as nobody has the rule without the Will of God. If he becomes a ruler, he vows never to misuse the power, but to set an example for his subjects by a virtuous life, frugality, and plain habit.” Plain clothing. “He shall always love truth and shun falsehood to preserve his mind from impure thought or impulse.” He should do that. “He’s never to stain his hands with unjust gain.” To live honestly by your own earning.
“He vows never to interpret or explain anything of the laws of the order in any other spirit than he himself has received it from the Holy Fathers.” Do you understand? He would not misinterpret it. He will not distort the true teaching for gain or for profit of any kind, except to impart it to others just the way he has received it. Just to know God, to be virtuous and moral. “To faithfully hide and take care of the books...” Hide! “And take care of the books and archives of the order.” Wow! To hide it. Ha! Must have been tough at that time too.