Confronted by the Church
The Master Jesus told his disciples to “love one another as I have loved you.” Yet, how many of us truly take this teaching to heart? God continues to send his ministers of fire, evangels, messengers of light, and saints who remind us of our divine Source and oneness in Spirit. Peter Deunov, a noble son of God, came to recall us to our rootedness in the One Eternal God.
His life was devoted to the living Christ. And even though he was not an ordained minister or priest, he etched an almost fathomless depth of healing wisdom and grace into the hearts and minds of his students as they were drawn by his purity and wisdom.
The testimonies recorded in the biography, Prophet for Our Times,4 edited by David Lorimer, present numerous examples of the miracles of healing and evidence of saintliness proffered by Peter Deunov’s service to his contemporaries and to the heavenly Brotherhood of Light. We read many accounts of Bulgarian students touched, healed or helped by this master. Here indeed was an exceptional man of God.
However, not all his countrymen recognized his saintliness. In fact, within the existing political and social milieu of Bulgaria and the Slavic region, an organized resistance to the revelations and teachings persisted. There are documented instances where the religious authorities of both Catholic orthodoxy and Protestantism attempted to censor his voice.
In one instance the authorities, with the king’s backing, ordered the forced re-location of Master Deunov from the capital city Sofia to Varna.5 His prominent disciple, Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov, confirmed in autobiographical accounts that Master Deunov’s teachings elicited a lot of resentment among influential, local Bulgarian leaders.
Despite this resistance, this prophet and teacher ultimately attracted some 40,000 students, drawn through the power of his exalted instruction, gleaned from the noetic realms.6
A Wellspring of Noetic Teachings
Modern Bulgarians have voted the works of Master Deunov to be among the most significant in Bulgaria’s history.7 Pope John XXIII called him “the greatest philosopher living on the earth.”8 What was it about his teachings that aroused such controversy among Christians and yet profound dedication to its principles among his students?
Biographer, David Lorimer, explains that the Master’s teachings were “… a philosophy that transcends the outer limitations of physical science and the inner restrictions of fundamentalist religion … an esotericism which has its roots firmly within the Western spiritual tradition.”9 Much as Jesus taught mysteries reserved only for his inner circle of disciples, Master Deunov revealed deep, mystical truths that only some were ready to accept.
The Master explained the origin of his wisdom: “You must realize that I have been sent by God, that I have not come merely because of my desire…. God speaks through Christ. God speaks through me. The ideas which I am introducing in my lectures are taken from a divine source. That which Christ spoke and that which I say come from the same source.”10
Peter Deunov was among the first to recite the liturgy in the common language of the people, rather than in Old Bulgarian, the traditional sacred language of Church Slavonic.11 He encouraged his students to commune directly with God. And as Jesus called himself a Son of God, when the Christ is also born in our souls, “that is the resurrection, that is the awakening of the human soul…. [T]herefore, you too may call yourselves sons of God.”12
Performing as an awakener of men’s souls, he taught his followers what the path of true discipleship entails. The first requirement is to make a space within for the acceptance of inner truth. It is the work of the disciple to prepare the way for the coming of the Kingdom of God on Earth. That is to say, the inner truth of our individual, blossoming Christhood, one by one, prepares the way for wider acceptance of the Christ consciousness in and for all.
Discipleship is a commitment to serving God in oneself and in others. It is studying under a master and going within to realize how to be the best servant of God possible. Another requirement of the disciple is to do the work. Jesus Christ said, “My Father works and I work.”13 To work is to create. Every disciple in the great divine school becomes a co-creator with God through work.
Working in the Three Worlds (Physical, Psychic and Spiritual)
After Jesus’ ascension and then throughout the Middle Ages up until the time of Peter Deunov’s teaching, the monastic lifestyle, for most Christians in the West, was the preeminent vehicle of discipleship. Engrained within our Western culture, the exemplars of saintliness and dedication were those who usually lived within the cloistered environment of monastery or convent.
Now what of this man who distanced himself from the orthodox Church—both Catholic and Protestant—and yet exhibited such purity, wisdom, and every Christly virtue? Master Deunov, by his example and mastery, was able to place the world of the ascended saints and heavenly hierarchy within the reach of the spiritual seeker, and did so outside the accepted norms of the mainstream churches.
The three worlds—the physical, psychic (of the soul) and spiritual realms—already appeared to be magnificently and fully integrated within the Master by the time he had begun writing and lecturing. Along with his musical creativity, his spiritual practices conveyed to his disciples were purposefully created to harmonize these layers of being in very palpable and joyful ways within the practitioners.
The Unique Genius of the Master
What was it within Master Deunov that prompted him to accept a ministerial position as long as it was without payment? Perhaps he already knew that his flock would be those ready for truths not revealed in the Church of his era. Indeed, at the earliest moment of his appointed ministry, he was already writing about the “New Man” and the “New Era.”14 His teachings, far in advance of what most of his contemporaries could fathom, fortunately live on and influence spiritual aspirants of today.
Omraam’s reflections of his master’s life explain how his teacher would use word and gesture to link himself to the divine world.15 Often Master Deunov would be observed using a short phrase or mantra, spoken almost under his breath, accompanied by a gesture of the hands while conversing with his students. By example he demonstrated that one can consciously attune with the higher realms any moment of the day.
In Master Peter Deunov's spiritual community, a variety of methods are used for spiritual work. The Hearts Center has documented 12 of these practices in a 2-page list as a free PDF with a newsletter sign-up here.