Among the few blood relatives I have, I maintain permanent contact only with two. Both of them are highly educated women, who used to have a very active social life in their youth. They are retired now and have more time for their personal interests and pursuits. Both of them are equally close to me as blood relations. With one of them I keep only occasional contact, which is my own fault. It seems I am unable to find the time to meet her, which is a pity, because she has broad spiritual interests and shows strong willingness for more information. Her attitude so far has tended more towards the eastern wisdom and philosophy, I presume, because it has been easier to find sources in this area in Bulgaria. She reads with interest my books, too, and she is ready to widen her horizons as far as my parameters, but I confess it is my fault that I don’t find the time for a person who is not only my relative, but is also actively seeking expansion of her spiritual knowledge.

With my other relation (I will give her the provisional name Katia) we are closer, tied up through a strong attachment, which might have been inherited as something acquired from our parents. As children, we were totally different in every respect. Since as a singer in Bulgaria I endured constant repression about my looks, stage beheaviour and my repertoire had to pass through strict censorship, my relatives and all Bulgarians neither did see me or hear me in my authentic stage performance and presence. That’s why even today, Katia has only a vague idea of my artistic capacities. Our political views were also polar opposites, and concerning our spiritual orientation – there was and there still is no place for compatibility. She has a modern entirely materialistic attitude to life, interested (without extremes) in scholarly recognition, and concerning religion, spiritual or esoteric pursuits, her interest amounts to zero. She does not want to know, to read or even listen to such issues. She sorts out my books at an honourable place in her library because of the messages they contain and as a gift from a closely related person, but I don’t believe she has ever read them, because she has never discussed them. With this dearest relative of mine we have never quarrelled due to the genuine affection between us and we have never argued on political, religious or spiritual issues. Our love tolerates the huge differences between us. We never miss to be together on holy and traditional festivals, because we value the time we still have to share and we both know that it will not last forever.

So, Katia has no idea who am I actually as artist or from the spiritual aspect. For her, I am still the child, growing up together with her and tied up to her with strong family connections, that’s all. All my efforts to introduce to her at least the basics of the spiritual information needed by modern mankind were sharply rejected while still at the start. She says that she is not interested and that she does not even care. Strangely enough, however, at the same time she encourages her own daughter to seek my spiritual orientation and guidance. It is very painful to see a beloved person destroying her health and bringing herself to an early grave out of foolishness, and although you know a lot, lots of things, which might help her – you cannot actually help her! What can I do?! Unwilling as she is to ask for my help in this respect, each insistence on my behalf would mean intruding to her own views and choice.…

During the hot months of that summer, I discovered a sort of white fish and I invented my own way of cooking it. The specialty became better and better, because I improved it each time. Then, when I was going to cook it next, I thought that it would be a shame not to share this pleasure with someone. Suddenly I remembered Katia, who loved fish, so I phoned her and invited her to lunch. She readily accepted my invitation. The lunch took place on the following day. We enjoyed all salads and starters I had prepared, but when the fish specialty was served, Katia went into real was really carried away. I knew that she would appreciate it and enjoy it and this was the aim of our meeting. She wrote all details of the recipe and assured me that she would make it a part of her culinary experience. While she was taking a tasty bite from the food, she closed her eyes and gave out sounds of gastronomic pleasure.

“M-m-m… eating is such a supreme relish. It is the most permanent and accessible human pleasure!” said Katia with a philosophical tone. “We will never be able to have enough of it or overjoy it, because man increases all the time his inventiveness and there are no limits to his imagination concerning food.”

“That’s right, there are no limits”, I agreed.

“And you say… yes, you often say,,that this peasure, eating with gusto, we will not have anymore, when we die”.

“That’s right, unfortunately… but on the other hand, some time after we die and get rid of our human passions and frailties, we will not feel any more the need to either eat or drink…”

“But, Liana, this is disgusting!” interrupted me Katia. “How am I to imagine a life without any of these pleasures…? Aren’t there at least some compensations or substitutes?”

“ Sorry – there are none”, I shrugged my shoulders and laughed. “You are now asking just like my friend Niki did, who has a good occult training unlike you – when we last met here, having an occasion to celebrate with a rich meal and drinks, he suddenly exclaimed, “Dearest Liana, what now? Prepare us and accept that when we leave our earthly life and go in the spiritual world, we will not find this gusto there! Really not there at all?! It’s impossible! There should be at least something!”

“ The man is right. That’s how I think, too”, agreed Katia with understanding.

“Well, for you it is different, you are allowed to think so, but I scolded him, because he knows enough about life after death, better than to ask me such questions ‘hoping’ that it might be not quite like this… I repeated to him what I had learned twenty-five years ago from the eastern theosophical books, that after death, not immediately, but some time after that, there would be a field resembling Disneyland. According to them, this sphere is populated with souls who create and build houses, institutes, hospitals, libraries and devices with the force of their thought… Things they desired, but did not have on the earth for one or another reason. That is why they had houses and structures of all kinds there, without a definite style and taste, but as result of human imagination. I read there that it was the meeting place for people who had the same mental attitude at a given time – they meet, make parties just like on the earth, serve various meals and drinks, which they loved while living… Generally, they create for themselves the same pleasant conditions they had in their memories, even more refined and elegant than on the earth, because it happens that one may not have money to create such luxury during his lifetime, but he can create it there with his thought…”

“ How about that! This is not bad at all ! Well, then, that’s what I will do, too”, burst into mighty laughter Katia.

“Yes, Niki’s reaction was the same, but I reminded him what he read and kept forgetting… that those parties last only until a certain time. Whatever you imagine and serve on the table for eating and drinking, will be in the beginning a certain pleasure, while your memory of taste lasts. For example, the taste of the whisky, the brandy, the chicken, the pork, the pastry and whatever you liked while living… and… some time later you will understand with disappointment that it was all an illusion…”

“Why illusion? Don’t they create it themselves?” Katia was puzzled.

“ Yes, they do, but soon they will realize that they don’t feel anything. You see, since you don’t have your body and physical organs any more – stomach, intestines, liver, tongue, blood, etc… no matter how accurately you imagine and visualize it, even if you still remember the taste, you don’t feel the pleasure, which comes with eating a cake, alcohol or favourite food. There comes a time, when you stop with this game, because it is not amusing any more. Do you understand me?”

“I do”, Katia nodded with philosophical expression looking at me thoughtfully. “BUT! You cannot scare me! I will manage it, whatever the situation… And besides, I don’t care what will happen after I die!” she suddenly raised her voice and roared with laughter.

I knew that our conversation with her on this subject would be useless and remained silent. After her carefree outburst, she also grew quiet and lapsed into silence, and I decided that I had to say something more reassuring.

“Look, here, Katia, this thing concerning our habits, weaknesses, passions for eating, smoking, drinking, sex, etc. is a subject, which is in my opinion more exciting for people with somewhat elementary views. But for people like you… There are more important things to know while you are living, in terms of inner certainty, because they can be learned only here, on the earth, it will be too late beyond there…”

“I don’t care!” she insisted stubbornly.

“It cannot be true that you don’t care?! Why are you pretending to be a silly- happy-go-lucky, when you are not?! This is the same as, for example, knowing that you will have to leave for a distant country to live there for a time, or even for good. Any reasonable man will prepare in advance, finding information about the climate, what clothes he will need to take, what language is spoken there, what is the currency, the food and so on… This is the same. Having accomplished our earthly pilgrimage, we go to our spiritual motherland where we don’t have our physical bodies any more. There is nothing there of what we are used to have here on the earth and we suddenly find ourselves in a world totally different from our earthly ideas and conditions. If you don’t want to experience complete confusion out of ignorance and stress from the place you will find yourself, the best thing would be to get ready with the necessary information, while you are still living. Well, it is true that such information should come from a serious spiritual source and authority, because there is a surplus of books today, which carry ineffective information for our present time. You are lucky to have me! Don’t you want to know where you are going after you die and how to get ready for this? Knowledge is the greatest power.”

“No, I don’t want to! I don’t and that’s it !” she repeated stubbornly and wilfully. “I do have you, but for some other useful information.”

“ Anyway, just think, now is the moment…. with this disease of yours, when you need most urgently conscious faith, spiritual assistance… Oh, well,who am I talking to! You don’t know even the Lord’s Prayer! Would you like…”

“I knew it and I said it regularly before my father died…” she grumbled evasively.

“I will teach you how to say this prayer with the meaning Christ put into it. Each line refers to strengthening our bodies, the visible and the invisible, our whole spiritual structure and our relationship to God. I can tell you other prayers, too.”

“I don’t need your prayers. I know what to tell God when I want something and when I pray to God…” she waved away my proposal.

“That’s all right, if you have found your own way to say your prayer, it’s even better. Our relationship to Him should be personal. The question is ‘are you searching for Him’, or you think prayer is nonsense?”

Katia did not reply, but she arched her eyebrows and bent her head with an expressive gesture, meaning ‘it’s my own business how I pray’. Her facial expression changed, showing a state of mind with reserved parameters, which she did not want to share with anyone. While I was watching her silently, I remembered with lightning speed countless of other impressions from her reactions. She never blasphemed, but accepted as something natural and traditional the prayer which I read when we sat at the table, she encouraged me to teach her daughter in spiritual matters, but she simply did not have any personal interest either in religion or spiritual sciences. Several times, in critical situations in her life, she confessed that she experienced something very intimate of spiritual nature, but refused to share it with me. I never pressed her to tell me what she cherished for herself. At that point I realized that she had a lot of fears hidden deep within, which she did not reveal. (Anthroposophy explains such fears and my friend, associate professor Ivanka Kirova, anthroposophist for many years and author of a number of books, wrote an interesting essay on this subject. I will try to put down the essence, without injuring the detailed presentation of this issue and I find a place for it after this story.)

“Katia, I would never intrude in your reserved space of mentality, but you are my closest person on the earth, I know you very well and that is why I feel that at some point we simply cross each other. We don’t have a dialogue because you withdraw into yourself almost aggressively refusing to talk on spiritual issues. If it wasn’t for your conspicuous righteousness all your life, highly moral disposition and attitude to everything, to each worldly issue or action, I would have left you to “slumber your life away”. I am just trying to find explanation for myself.

Katia kept obstinately silent, sipping slowly the vodka from her glass, so I continued, “The most important thing for modern people is to work out moral categories during their lifetime. Unfortunately, our world is far from being moral yet. You, however, have developed to a high degree the moral tendencies in yourself. This is wonderful, but not enough, because the absence of interest in spiritual knowledge is fatal. Most people, in the frantic race and growing materialism today, fail to acquire in their mind impulses from the spiritual world. These people, you among them, will pass through the portal of death without any anticipation of spiritual facts. If they had certain spiritual interests and pursuits on the earth, they would carry them across with themselves after their death. This would be an invaluable wealth. But most people in today’s world, our materialistic and sleeping mankind, do not have such interests and pursuits at the time of their death. Do you know what awaits such people after their earthly death, a little later, passing from one sphere to a higher sphere? LONELINESS. This loneliness equals to death in the spiritual world and…”

“Stop talking bullshit because I am getting tired listening to it!” cried cheerfully Katia after a huge gulp of vodka. “Who do you think you are telling these tall stories to? I am he most sociable person both here and THERE. Even if I don’t know exactly how it will be, I know I will have a lot of friends! So, shut up now!”

“Yes, but it’s only what you are thinking it will be. In the beginning, in the first period after death, it is very important that you were sociable, that you had friends, but after that, higher up in the moral sphere, talking about you, you will be again in a good situation, because you will meet kindred souls, but later,still higher?! If you did not have any idea of religion, of God, of some religious attitude – loneliness will follow. This is what I tried to explain…”

“ So what! It doesn’t matter! So be it, then! Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn how it will be after I die! I will have a rest at last, that’s where I will have a rest…”

“Tell me, Katia, why are you deliberately pretending to be frivolous and narrow-minded, or you are really not interested? Is it possible that you don’t care?! Mankind is afraid of death en masse and everyone would give his eyetooth to learn something about his life beyond death.. On the other hand, if one is credulous and collects information from here and there, this is even more dangerous than ignorance, because it can be easily manipulated by evil beings.”

“I don’t care! How many times do you want me to repeat it”, laughed Katia. “Let come what may! I am not afraid of death either. While I am alive, I am interested in everything in life, and after I die…”

“Don’t speak so frivolously, because you are not the kind. Please listen to me”, I said quietly, but firmly. “Our world borders to another world, a supersensible world and the interference of this supersensible, metaphysical world in our visible physical world has never been so intensive as today. Only we, people, do not notice anything. This world cannot be seen with our physical sight. And if man does not prepare consciously on the earth with knowledge of the Spirit and get familiar with the Spirit here, in the conditions of the physical world, he will never learn how terrible it is to destroy a human soul after death…”

“I don’t care! Don’t you see that I don’t care about what follows after death!” she insisted doggedly.

“All right, then”, I sighed accepting the fact. “There is something, however, which I would like to make clear for myself… Remember, you have personally stood amidst the piles of letters I received, you read some of them and wanted to help me then, didn’t you? Don’t you remember that you were horrified? “Oh, dear Liana! How can you possibly read all this! It is so burdening, all this human misery!” Well, when you see that so many people want an appointment with me, see me or hear personally and learn something from me on the subject they are interested in, why you of all people, you, who are closest to me, why have you never made use of what I can give you?”

At this point she became serious again, entering in that wrapped and closed state. She kept silent for some time and then she spoke, “You know that I used to read before, but now I cannot read any more”.

“ I know that, but I offered you so many times to meet you separately and speak to you about the most important things that one should know…”

“Did I ever refuse you? Maybe you were not insistent enough”, she defended herself limply.

“Oh, is that so?! What about last Christmas?” Only now I decided to confess the bitterness I was keeping to myself all this time. “Do you remember that when we were half-way through the festive dinner and enjoying a pleasant family atmosphere, I offered you and your daughter, ‘Would you like me, when we have finished with the dinner, to tell you something about the birth of Jesus from Nazareth, about His Baptism in the River Jordan and about the descent of the Christ in his sheaths?’ You interrupted me in a loud angry voice, ‘No, I will not allow you to spoil my Christmas! Maybe some other time, maybe tomorrow…’ I did not reply then, but this ‘tomorrow’ never came, because I have no right to impose it on you, provided that you are even not interested. Is there a more appropriate moment for such a story of the Holy Night? Do you know that a long time ago Christmas used to awake the deepest feelings and faithful love to the Christ Being, whose coming to the Earth was prepared by the Holy Birth of Jesus? Since then, things have been changing more and more. Man is becoming increasingly material and has drifted away from the Spirit. CHRISTMAS HAS LOST ITS TRUE SPIRITUAL MEANING AND HAS BECOME AN ENTIRELY MATERIALISTIC FESTIVAL. Festival of giving out presents, of sumptuous eating and drinking, just another occasion to have fun in the family, but in an entirely materialistic form. What did we speak about during that evening? The new ornaments you bought for the Christmas tree, the Christmas decorations and lighting, made guesses about who will get the lucky coin, reminded each other not to burn the pumpkin pasty…”

“ How about all the other traditional rituals !?Didn’t I observe the seven vegetable meals, incensing the house, breaking the round bread and allotting the first piece to Holy Mary, then to the house, to…”

“This is a superficial observation of the age-long tradition. Even the Christmas music, which I specially took with me, you did not listen to it, your son took away the discs. Don’t you see? Everything is experienced externally, in a materialistic manner! Do you know that this festival was once experienced in inner light and love, and that the human souls connected to the higher experiences of the Cosmos, because on that night the heavens open to the earth and many sensitive souls can receive their gift…”

“What gift?” interrupted immediately Katia.

“I’m not going to tell you. This can be communicated to someone who is deeply interested and is seeking the Christ impulse. Our human task is to bring again Christ in our Christmases. Although materialism obscured the knowledge about Christ, an awakening with growing understanding about Christ can be achieved through spiritualization of the arts and of all kinds of earthly creativity, spiritualization of nature… we must learn to contemplate nature with heart feelings, to awaken our religious feelings…” I kept on wishfully and heaved an involuntary sign. “All right, then, you have shown a notable patience to listen to me!”

“On the contrary” Katia replied calmly and without enthusiasm “ If you find the appropriate time when I can concentrate my attention on what you are saying, I would listen to you. As a matter of fact, I don’t feel like listening, if you don’t answer promptly the questions arising in me while listening.”

“Well, here we are! That’s the real trouble… If you want to grasp the essence, when you are told ‘something’ new, for which you did not put in any effort or determination to read personally and to find out its meaning, you should listen carefully, maybe even take down notes and not ask questions at this stage. What you’ve heard will flow into you and if you think it over in the form you heard it and let it stay with you in spite of the questions you have, the answers will come in time with your perseverance. You are asking me questions in a bossy manner and it sounds like this, ‘Better answer my questions first and I will decide if it is worth listening to you or not!’ Getting knowledge my dear, it doesn’t work forcing it in this way!... This is a gift for you, which, if it is not appreciated, would be better not given. Man should strive to find the true road leading to a genuine understanding of Christ, and then unexpected feelings will follow… love and reverence, and new healing forces. Christmas should be experienced with holy thoughts and feelings, thinking about that Divine Birth, which, if we are aware of its nature, will make us only then capable of understanding our own human nature. The forces with which we were born do not suffice to reach our true human predestination – man should be also born spiritually. Until Christ has not been completely grasped, taken into and experienced at Christmas, we will not receive the necessary Christ forces for this second spiritual birth. People today still don’t feel the need for a new spiritual birth and for taking the Christ energies into themselves. They are not awake to consciousness. But each human soul consciously or unconsciously meets Christ at Christmastime during the night liturgy. In the holy midnight hour, the Angelic hosts encircle the earth, radiating and streaming down an impulse in the form of warmth of love, peace, enthusiasm for good. This can be felt be every believer and by the more sensitive persons, and sometimes even by the most hardened and godless people. Many authors today write about man’s evolution, about his successes and achievements, about his divinity, but very few people as yet know who Christ is really and why He is our Saviour. Only Christ’s coming down on the earth and His self-sacrifice made possible the rise of man into spiritual heights. For earthly mankind, the central focus of moral life is the Christ impulse. That is why man must meet the Christ impulse on the earthly plane. Man should realize that his chief goal in coming down to the earth is to receive in himself the Christ impulse.

“Well, I was christened.too. So I received the Christ impulse, didn’t I?”

“It’s not enough”, I replied with a smile. “You were christened with the Holy Spirit, as prescribed by the faithful Christian tradition, but in order to receive the Christ impulse in yourself, you need to awaken spiritually… By developing self-knowledge, you will come to the Christ impulse, too. You are shouting loud now that you don’t care, but when you return to your spiritual motherland, you will understand what you had missed, while you were on the earth. People, who are not interested in spirituality and tear themselves away from the spiritual, who have no spiritual attitude and don’t want to read or listen to something spiritual – such people after death, even if they had moral disposition, on the next higher level become hermits. Nothing else can be done for them and they stay in isolation until their next reincarnation, where they will have a new chance to make a step towards the Spirit.”

Katia was looking calmly at me, obviously untouched by what she heard, then she shrugged her shoulders, “Well, you said it now. I will always have another chance… sometimes. Why worry now?”

“You are asking why? Because all different diseases in your life are probably a result of your non-spiritual attitude. A healthy etheric body and healthy organs can be acquired in the next life with conscious and active spiritual activity and recognizing the spiritual origin of man. now, while you’re living on earth. If you just tried to read my latest book, whose title only suggests a lot, ‘Everything Can Be Amended Only in Our Lifetime’, you would understand. Look here, it is deeply painful for me that my love for you is not sufficient to pull you out from your ‘sleeping’ and non-spiritual state… Yes, I already anticipate your objection that you are not non-spiritual, but going to the theatre and listening to concerts is quite different spiritual need. I will ask you to remember at least this one maxim and to think it over every day:

It is a karmic law and necessity, that what is spiritual in man in one life, manifests in the next life in his physical body.

And this one, too: The new healing of our time is when man uses the power of his I for the good of the others (not only for his children and beloved, but for all other people). And lastly I want to tell you this – I know that you are not so spiritually narrow-minded, but it’s rather that you feel a certain fear before the unknown after death. This is the most natural thing and everyone feels the same until one does not acquire a certain knowledge and understanding about his own spiritual nature. I advise you to read the book ‘Life between Death and Rebirth’ by Dr. Rudolf Steiner. In the book, this great scholar and seer has explained scientifically in detail what happens after death and why it is necessary, while we are on the earth, to develop self-knowledge and spiritual life – because only the forces, which we have developed on the earth, can be taken with us beyond the threshold of death.”

This time again, like always, in spite of the differences between us, we parted with Katia with affection, happy that we still exsist and could spend time together.