<![CDATA[ChicagoGnosis.org - Transcriptions]]>Sat, 05 Jan 2019 13:33:14 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Fundamentals of Gnostic Philosophy]]>Tue, 01 Jan 2019 03:42:45 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/fundamentals-of-gnostic-philosophyThis is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy. 

Gnosticism, in its pristine form, has been studied in accordance with four pillars, as we have been discussing throughout this course. As a tradition, it is founded upon the teachings and studies of science, mysticism, art and philosophy. With this lecture, we are going to conclude this series, by explaining the fundamentals of Gnostic philosophy.It is important to look at the state of our humanity, the state of our planet, with all of its chaos, its afflictions and its great turmoil. It is this state that many types of politics, politicians, systems, codes of conduct are propitiated, are taught as a means of trying to contain and control the tremendous afflictions that humanity is enduring, its death throws.

We have to understand what is it that perpetuates suffering, conflict, disorder. For this, we have no other solution than to return to the ancient sciences, the ancient modes of spirituality, of conduct, or self-reflection. As Immanuel Kant, the great philosopher of Königsberg, stated, "The exterior is merely the reflection of the interior." So, the conflicts that we see in humanity, are precisely that which we carry inside; in our mind, in our heart, and which we act out in our body, to the detriment or benefit of others.
It is precisely this study of self, which is the core of the Gnostics, their endeavor, their philosophy. And, if we look at the original word "philos-sophia" in Greek, we understand that it means, "love of wisdom." It does not mean academic study, intellectualism, scholasticism, something to debate for or against, a means of belittling another person, in terms of pontificating academic vocabulary, a system of the intellect used to subjugate others, a way of thinking; it does not mean that. And, as we explain in etymological terms, science is genuine knowledge: scientia. Mysticism is when we close our eyes to illusion, "myein" in Greek, which is where we get the word mystikos, initiate, someone initiated into a superior way of being. And art, from "artus," and many other words, signifying to join, an expression of consciousness, which is the definition of art. So, philos-sophia is the same meaning as religion; the Latin "religare," which means to re-unite with the divine. We do that precisely by loving divinity. And, as Jesus stated, "love thy neighbour as thyself; first, love thy God above all things." Have philos for your own inner wisdom (sophia).

Sadly, people think that philosophy is a means of caging the intellect—which is what it does—of knowing the truth, of explaining the many diverse phenomena which we encounter; whether it be in politics, natural law, etc. But real philosophy is when we, as a soul, experience the truth, and that love that is born spontaneously from the heart, of recognizing that divinity for ourselves, a humility, that faith. This is the definition of philos-sophia; it is not a system to cage the mind, something to believe in, something to battle in a debate against an opponent, in terms of intellectual concepts, intellectual arsenal, we could say.

Our problems with our humanity will be resolved, easily, if each individual takes it upon him or herself, to rectify his or her own behavior; his mind, his heart, his behavior, his habits. As Buddha said, "We become what we think; mind precedes phenomena. " If our mind is full of degeneration, of desire, of passion and lust, of fear and anger, we are worshipping that which is impure. This prevents us from accessing love of wisdom, love of truth, the experience of the truth.

Genuine spirituality is real philosophy; it is not separate. As we have been emphasizing in this course, the four pillars of Gnosticism are integral, they are not separate. We must look at philosophy as something psychological and scientific, as something methodical, experiential and experimental. We have to look at philosophy and psychology as science, as a mysticism; as a way of closing our eyes to ignorance and illusion, in order to perceive with our own spiritual sight, the truths that are contained within religion. All of that is, of course, expressed and demonstrated in art. Many great mistikos, initiates of past times, conveyed to humanity the very keys of how to change for the better, how to transform the mind. 
As you see in this opening image, we have the academy, with the great philosophers Aristotle and Plato in the very center, and in the image, we have many of the great thinkers and luminaries of humanity, which existed in Greece. In this school, we emphasize these core issues, that real knowledge is spiritual, conscious; real philosophy is conscious, what we have verified, what we know for ourselves. And that, when we possess this knowledge from experience, we are able to look at any work of art, as we were talking about previously, and interpret the symbolism, the instructions, the keys that will teach us how to transform our suffering into peace and harmony.
Genuine philosophy is the key; Gnostic philosophy is the essence of how we are going to change who we are, and how we are going to make the changes that we want for humanity. In this next graphic, we have the oracle at the Temple of Delphi, who famously stated, "Homo Nosce Te Ipsum," "Man know thyself (and you can know the universe and its Gods.)" This philosophy, this knowing, this love of truth, comes when we know ourselves.

We have to ask the question, do we know how we are, fundamentally? When we observe our psyche, when we learn to self-observe as Samael Aun Weor stated in his Revolutionary Psychology we begin to see with a new sense that thoughts, feelings, impulses, will, desires, these things are separate from the observer; they are a conglomeration of different factors, which are distinct and yet work together, through mechanical association, through our physical habits. We have to see that these elements, and their chaos, constitute our suffering, the causes of our pain. We call these different elements, defects, memories, thoughts, desires, "egos" which we have created. As much as we can discuss and point out the faults of American politics and all of the chaos that humanity has endured, for millennia, we have to see that, while that type of analysis bears merit, we have to see how we contribute to that chaos, that conflict. As Kant said, "We are the exterior, the exterior world is inside." So, it is better to not point the finger, but to look at ourselves; as the Temple of Delphi, the Oracle stated, "Know thyself, and you will know the universe and its Gods." By knowing our defects, our faults and errors, and by transforming them through the esoteric science of mysticism, of meditation, we in turn gain conscious knowledge of ourselves, of who we are, and where we need to go.

​Spiritual Sight and the Repented Soul

Another word that relates to philosophy is the Sanskrit word, दर्शन "Darshan." In Hinduism, it means, "auspicious sight." It means to see directly, from the root word, "drs" meaning "to see." We included this image of Jesus before Mary Magdalene, after his resurrection, to demonstrate the relationship between philos and sophia, and also the nature of auspicious sight. What does it mean to be auspicious? To be in awe, to be filled with... even terror, before that which is divine. Not out of a sense of egotism, of insecurity, but to be overwhelmed by the immense power of the divine, and that beauty that is so penetrative that it transforms everything.

Mary Magdalene was seeing before her the physical Jesus, raised from the dead; the great Master Aberamentho, the head of the Gnostic Church. She wanted to approach him—she representing sophia, the fallen Sophia of the Coptic text Pistis Sophia, who, as a repented prostitute, seeks to unite with the truth, but recognizes the impurity of her psyche... which is us. And so, Jesus steps back and says, "You cannot touch me yet, for my hour has not yet come; you are not allowed to approach me with your degeneration, with your evil psychology," in other words, you have to transform that. Mary Magdalene is a soul that has prostituted itself, has created all of these discursive elements that we call ego: fear, anger, lust, etc. And yet, she recognizes her perversity, how she herself has been indoctrinated with systems and concepts and philosophies that have taught her how to ignore her divine nature. But, she needs to approach him, and she, out of divine love, approaches the Christ—which is a representation of our inner divinity. In this manner, she has a love of truth, because she has experienced it, and she recognizes her own perversity, and repents. Of course, Mary Magdalene became the great saint, canonized by the church, and who is the most beloved disciple of Jesus, amongst the Gnostics. When we genuinely see the truth for ourselves, we are filled with awe. We are filled with a recognition of our own faults, and what we must do to change them.

The Esoteric Philosophy in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

So, speaking on this concept of genuine philosophy, this love of wisdom, we have included an image, sketched by the initiate Jan Saenredam, but it has some Latin inscriptions, which emphasize the points we have made previously about Mary Magdalene: Lux Venit In Mundun Et Dilexerunt Homines Magis Tenebras Quam Lucem. This inscription states, "The light shineth in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not." And, "the light has shone in the world, but men have rejected the light because their ways are evil." This is from the book of John. But we have included this image explaining the Allegory of the Cave of Plato, to emphasize what is the nature of genuine philosophy, what does it mean to have love of wisdom, and what is the process that leads us to that recognition for ourselves. In the famous Allegory of the Cave by Plato, who was a Gnostic master, he explains a very famous process of obtaining knowledge and truth for oneself, which is very well documented and studied in universities, but I am going to be explaining the esoteric meaning of this, not the academic presentation.

In this myth, like Mary Magdalene, she is in darkness. We see a group of men who are in prison, in the far right corner, enchained. And, in Socrates narration in the text of The Republic, their necks, hands and arms are chained to the back of this wall, which we see. They do not see anything; they are in darkness, they are in ignorance. Ignorance does not mean to lack a university degree, or some form of education, but to not know the causes of suffering in ourselves. In that definition, all of us are ignorant; we ignore how we perpetuate our own pain. These men who are in darkness live in the shadows their entire life. But, there are some who happen to see shadows projected onto the wall before them, because there is a fire behind this wall onto which they are enchained, and people pass to and fro with objects, pottery, images, etc., on their heads or their hands, that, through the light of the fire in this cave, project onto the wall before these men, these prisoners. Sometimes, they see darkness, sometimes they may see images, shadows on the wall, illusions.

This is, of course, a representation of all the different theories, beliefs, ideas, idols that people worship, images that people have in their minds, systems, dogmas, that they project onto the screen of their existence, which is a very shallow, narrow cave in which they are imprisoned. That cave is a symbol of the mind, the intellect, which keeps us enchained, through its beliefs, ideations, etc.

One either sees nothing, a complete state of ignorance and sleep of the consciousness, or one see images; these are states of consciousness, we could say. We say that the first state of consciousness is the darkness of the cave, it is complete annihilation of awareness of self. This constitutes, in itself, a state of complete barbarity; all of the states of war, of persecution, torture, violence, hatred, etc., is the profound state of sleep. It is people who live in darkness, psychologically. But there are those who have images in their minds, idols in the minds, concepts and beliefs that they worship in their intellects. These could be Christianity, Judaism, Islam, metaphysics, occultism... many ideas in the intellect that have no verification within the psyche. These are dreams, these are illusions that people see in the projection from their mind, which is caused by all the statues, images, etc., in the background. These are all the different beliefs that people have formulated, that they study, adhere to and worship, as if they were God, as if they were the divine, ignoring that these are just projections, concepts, toys of the intellect. These are not conscious, experiential wisdom or knowledge.

Unfortunately, it is perhaps only one or two prisoners that might be released from their prison, their chains, taken by a Master, a guru, a Mahatma, an angelic being, who, out of sacrifice, goes into those hell regions, the darkness of that cave, to release prisoners. A prisoner who is released, is forced to look straight at the fire of this cave for the first time; that fire is blinding, dazzling. For, when one awakens consciousness, they perceive in a completely new way; that fire is the light of intelligence, the light of conscious perception of the truth. It is awakened knowledge. It means, to perceive the fire for the first time, and to make the analysis, to understand that all those images that we are seeing on the shadows of the wall are illusions, and that they have their source from this fire. Likewise, when we observe our mind, and see that we are not our thoughts; we are not our moods, our feelings, our sentiments; we are not our impulses; we are something else; we are something more intelligent; dynamic, conscious knowledge, conscious perception is born in us. We learn to revise our way of thinking, to understand that what we believed about ourselves, what we think about ourselves, was an illusion, a mistake. And yet, born from the experience, is developed real courage to change.

But this is not the end of the myth. For, the Guru, the master takes this proselyte, this disciple, who has seen the fire for the first time, and has pulled, dragged them out of this cave; out of the long tunnel that we see in the top left of this image, where that person is brought before genuine daylight. Actually in The Republic, it states that he sees, for the first time, the stars, and even the stars are blinding, because his entire existence has been in shadows, in psychological sleep. But, when the Sun rises for the first time, this prisoner is in awe. The sun is a representation of the Platonic Logos, the Christ in Gnostic terms, which is an intelligence, power, which permeates all of nature.
So, when we see the sun for the first time, it is a symbol of perceiving the divine for ourselves; whether it be in meditation, or when our physical body is asleep, when we as a soul exit out of our cave, this body that we have in which we are trapped. We go out, into the internal dimensions, up that magical Tree of Life, which we have discussed in lectures on Kabbalah, and we experience divinity; we talk face to face, for ourselves, with the truth. Of course, being in front of the presence of the sun is powerful. One feels oneself humbled and annihilated before the light, like Moses on Mount Sinai, saying to the Lord, "Show me your true form." And the Lord replies, "If I show you My true form, you will die." Meaning, not merely to die physically, but psychologically: "In order to see Me, you must be purified," he says.

This has been a symbol for academia, of how the individual person acquires some type of intellectual knowledge, or study, and becomes sophisticated, or knowing the truth in terms of concept. But that is not the real meaning: this pertains to how we, as a soul, escape the conditions of the psyche, and experience Christ, the light, fully in ourselves. That objective consciousness, or supra-consciousness, is beyond the limits of our physical senses. We learn to activate that, through the sciences of meditation and dream yoga, which we will be giving courses on in the near future.

​Philosophy in the Ancient Mystery Schools

That is real philosophy, experience, love of truth, love of wisdom. In order to elaborate on these points, we are going to talk about how the ancients studied and knew this teaching. People look at the ancient schools of mysteries as somehow being unnecessary, simplistic; a concept that the ancient schools of mysteries in Greece, Egypt, Rome, Carthage, etc., were idolaters, or that they were superstitious. As we explained in the lecture on Gnostic mysticism, we talked about how the ancient mystery schools knew this knowledge directly from conscious experience; they verified what they had seen for themselves.

We have to take the same type of scrutiny, in relation to what we perceive, the same type of analysis. We don't doubt, we don't justify what we perceive; we discriminate, we look for facts. That is how the individual in the cave is looking at the fire and discriminating that the images that were projected on the wall are just pottery—concepts, intellect, ideas—they don't really constitute any substantial reality, in the most objective sense.

These ancient schools were very pure in the past. But, of course, they lost their essence, as they were exposed to more persecution, and were shut down. But these ancient schools were integrated into science, art, philosophy and mysticism. They had a love of wisdom that pertained to scientific knowledge, the study of botany, many types of studies, such as physics, chemistry, etc., and they expressed their knowledge in a mystical way through art.

Let us talk about how philosophy, in its genuine, most intrinsic sense, used to be integrated with these different pillars, for as Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, states in his book, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education:

"Thus, since ancient times, on the different scenarios of the theaters of life, psychology has always played its role by being intelligently disguised with the costumes of philosophy.

"Since the terrifying night of all times, on the banks of the Ganges in the sacred India of the Vedas, there have existed many forms of Yoga, which in their depth are pure, higher experimental psychology. The seven types of Yoga have always been described as methods, procedures, or philosophical systems.

"In the Arab world, the sacred, partly metaphysical, and partly religious teachings of the Sufis have indeed a purely psychological character.

"In old Europe (which is rotten to its very bone morrow because of so many wars, racial, religious, and political prejudices, etc.,) right up to the end of the nineteen century, psychology was disguised with the costumes of philosophy in order to pass unnoticed." —Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education

We only have to look at the writings of Dostoevsky, for that example, who, embedded his characters, his literary forms, with psychological knowledge. You can even look back to the book Crime and Punishment with the Russian student, Raskolnikov, who was, in Russian, a split being. "Raskolv" means split, fractured, divided. He is a student who decides to commit a murder, of an old pawnbroker, a woman, because he wants to assert his superiority as a superman, to use Nietzsche’s term.

Of course, this refers to any of us who have killed, psychologically, our own potential to know the truth. The rest of that novel is about how this student comes to remorse and repentance. There are many symbols in that text, but Raskolnikov represents us; we are split between the sense of right and wrong. Meaning, we are wanting to enter spirituality, but we have committed many errors, whether we have murdered in past existences, or what not... and so, Dostoevsky, and many other writers, were philosophers and psychologists, and this is very well accepted, even in academia. But we find that these traditions are very rich. Philosophy and psychology were integrated.

"So, notwithstanding all the divisions and subdivisions of philosophy—such as logic, the theory of knowledge, ethics, aesthetics, etc.—nonetheless, psychology is undoubtedly in itself: evident self-reflection, mystical cognition of the Being (of the divine), a fundamental cognition of an awakened consciousness (as represented by the allegory of the cave). The error of many philosophical schools consists in having considered psychology as something inferior to philosophy, as something related only to the lowest and even trivial aspects of the human nature." –Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education

​Descartes, the Mind and Consciousness

We are going to talk about some of these different schools of thought and philosophy, in order to extract the best, and to disregard what is useless. We talked about the Gnostic teaching of knowing oneself, of transcending the intellect. Rene Descartes explained in his treatises, the very famous concept, "I think therefore I am." This statement is incorrect. But, many Western thinkers, people who identified with the demonic qualities of the intellect, fascinated with their shadows on the wall, approach Descartes like a God, as an idol.

"The concept of Descartes, “I think, therefore I am,” is completely false,"—as Samael Aun Weor states in Igneous Rose—"because the true Man is the Innermost, and the Innermost does not think, because He knows."

Of course, in relation to the allegory of the cave, the Innermost is represented by the sun, the Solar Logos; the Spirit, as an expression of that light, of that truth. God does not think, he is omniscient; meaning, he sees and perceives, beyond thought, will, sensation... he is knowledge of a supra-conscious state.

"The mind thinks, not the Innermost.

"In its current state of evolution, the human mind is the animal that we carry within. The Innermost does not need to think because He is omniscient." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We included this image of Jesus, riding upon the donkey, into the city of Jerusalem. That donkey is a representation of the mind, or as we say in Kabbalah, Netzach, the intellect. So, Christ, Jesus, representing the Inner Platonic Logos, within us, is that light, force, energy that must learn to control this donkey of a mind that we have, to train it. But, sadly, in most people, the donkey is riding us; as we can see with our present-day humanity.

This is emphasized by Rumi, the great Sufi poet, who said that Jesus needs to ride the donkey into the city, but most people have their donkey riding their Jesus, from a Sufi poem that he wrote.

This concept that, "I think therefore I am," is wrong. To think is not to be present, to be conscious; thinking is a very inferior way of being, of existing. We can only know this if we have escaped from that cave. If we escape the intellect, even if only for a few moments, we see that we are not the mind, that the mind is a machine, a tool; it can process information, useful for storing information, memorizing things, forming concepts, but that is all it does. The mind cannot know God. It cannot know the truth.

Even Christ, through Jesus, said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the father, but by me." —John 14:6

So, the cosmic truth said through Jesus, "I Am." This "I Am" is the Being; it is presence, cognizance, free of default, of affliction, of conditioning. Only the Being can say, "I Am" because he is the presence of life within every galaxy, atom, cosmos. He is present within every being, and yet, not all beings know Him.

God does not think. This "I Am," the Christ, does not conceptualize; he knows, thereforE, he does not have to think. The intellect is useful, but it should not be our sole preoccupation, or what we identify ourselves with. Jesus did not disregard the donkey altogether, rather, he controlled it; he used it in order for it to be of service to humanity, represented by his entrance into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

​The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas

Philosophy, in modern times, is very much dedicated to this concept of fortifying the intellect. But, the ancient Gnostic gospel of Thomas, teaches us that real philosophy is psychological and spiritual. It is not based upon the limitations of the mind; it goes beyond it. For, as this gospel states, with Jesus narrating mystical teachings to his disciples:

"And he said, Whoever discovers what these sayings mean will not taste death." —Gospel of Thomas

This does not necessarily mean physical death, but spiritual, in which the soul, when released from its body, is sent into the inferior dimensions, in order to be cleansed of its defects, faults. We could say that hell, the inferior dimensions, is a recycling plant. If that soul does not willingly choose to destroy those errors, and ascend that Tree of Life, instead that soul enters into those inferior regions (hell, Avitchi, Averno, etc.), and devolves.

So, "Whosover discovers what these sayings mean" will escape that process of cleansing of the psyche within those dimensions those realms.

"Yeshua said, Seek and do not stop seeking until you find. When you find, you will be troubled. When you are troubled, you will marvel and rule over all." —Gospel of Thomas

This is real philosophy; to seek, and not stop seeking. To have inspiration to want to know the truth, and to not want to rest until we find it. And, when we find it, like the allegory of the cave states, we go back into the cave, to teach those who are less fortunate, who have not experienced what we have experienced, in order to help raise their level of being; to instruct them, teach them, to help them, in accordance with our talents, our dispositions, our skills. So, do not stop seeking until you find. Then, when you do find, "you will be troubled," because when we recognize that we are the cause of our own suffering, everything changes. We no longer blame others so easily, we don't accuse others so easily. We recognize that the faults we see in our neighbor, are what we possess in abundance, therefore we do not need to judge, as Christ taught.

"When you are troubled, you will marvel and rule over all," meaning, by entering that spiritual path out of the cave, that straight and narrow way that leadeth unto life, to freedom of the soul and to God, which few find. By following that path, and accomplishing the completion of this work, this path of initiation, as Samael Aun Weor states in The Perfect Matrimony, "We will marvel and rule over all, we will conquer ourselves."

"Yeshua said, Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be disclosed. There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed." —Gospel of Thomas
What is hidden from us are those truths contained within religion, that seem obscure and abstract, which we seek to experiment and to verify, as represented by doubting Thomas. Thomas was told by the apostles that Jesus had arisen from the dead, and yet, he would not believe them. He said, "I will only believe that this is true, when I have seen it for myself. I will not accept your testimony as fact." And so, the apostles brought Thomas to Jesus, and even then, in front of Jesus, he did not accept that he was the risen Christ yet. Jesus told him to approach, and to place his finger into the wound in his side where he was pierced by the lance of Longinus. And there, Thomas, with his finger in the wound—as we see in this image—stepped back and realized that, yes, he was Jesus, he was Christ.

People look at this historically as an account of how Thomas, as an apostle, was skeptical, and that he was not as good a believer as the others. This is not the point of this symbol. This symbol of how we as a consciousness must learn to discriminate fact from fiction, truth from falsehood. When anyone tells us anything, we say, "Well, it sounds plausible, but I really do not know. While I am not going to reject what you say, I am not going to affirm what you say; instead, I am going to test it." Then, in meditation, we as a soul go into our internal planes, and we speak face-to-face with Christ. We can speak to the Master Jesus outside of us, but we can also speak to our own Inner Christ, and recognize that we have that divine presence within us.

This reminds me of an experience I had in the astral plane, many years ago, in which I invoked Jesus. I was in the presence of my house, outside of my property, in the astral plane, I looked to the sky and invoked Jesus: "In the name of Christ, by the power of Christ, for the majesty of Christ, Aberamentho!" He came, and he was a being of such luminosity that I was terrified; I did not know how to approach him. I was afraid that I might be misled. But he then showed me something symbolic in that dream state, which I won't narrate in full, but he gave me a teaching that made me realize that yes, this is Aberamentho, teaching me. He came to my property from the heavens, to instruct me. It was like me being Thomas, putting my finger in his wound—not literally, but questioning him, asking him with my heart, to instruct me, to guide me, with certain problems I was having at that time. He gave me a teaching that was beautiful, very hard to grasp, since he is a very high master, very elevated.

I was like Thomas, testing him, inquiring, and of course, Jesus did not get upset. He accepted my poverty, my state of being, being inferior; he was there to teach me. It was not because I am special, but because, as Jesus said, "I have not come to teach the righteous, but the sinners." But he also said, "The first shall be last, and the last shall be first. He who is greatest in heaven will be your servant." So, I suggest that, if you learn dream yoga, you can invoke him, and acquire that knowledge, that truth for yourself, directly.

​The Aquarian Age and Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy

There are eras and epochs in nature, in thought, in history, in politics and philosophy. Samael Aun Weor stated:

"The Age of Reason was initiated by Aristotle. It reached its culmination with Emmanuel Kant and ends now with the birth of the new Era of Aquarius." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

In astrology, we previously were in the era of Pisces, until the 1960s, approximately. Pisces, as an astrological influence, relates to how certain initiatic schools conserved a teaching or knowledge without disclosing it to the public. Pisces was an era of conservatism, of hiding; of teaching and instructing the truth, the higher levels of religion and mysticism, from mouth to ear. But the Aquarian era is very different; it is revolutionary.

Aquarius—the age in which we are presently—is symbolized by the water carrier, and is the age when knowledge if freely given. This woman carrying these water pails is bringing the truth and instruction to the public, openly, for the first time; particularly through the writings of Samael Aun Weor, who is the avatar of Aquarius. Samael came to teach the knowledge of how to work with those waters, which we carry within our body as the sexual energy, the sexual fluid. Through its transformation, we can learn to become true spiritual revolutionaries; not against other people, but against ourselves, by conquering ourselves.

So, Aristotle initiated the era of reason, and Emmanuel Kant concluded it. It is interesting, if you read the writings of Samael Aun Weor, where he states and emphasizes the teachings of Kant often. It is not that Kant was an initiate, but Kant made some understandings and insights that were very relevant for the Western tradition. What is important to recognize is that, in Kant’s writings he stated that the intellect cannot know the truth. Of course, many philosophers hated him for that, in the West. But, since Aristotle, and until Emmanuel Kant, people in the Western tradition have been fascinated with intellect, with reason. And yet, Emmanuel Kant, his major contribution to philosophy, is the fact that the mind cannot know anything of the truth. He states this in his Critique of Pure Reason, his Critique of Practical Reason, and his Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics, which is a much smaller, and much more approachable text.

The beauty of Kant’s teaching, which many have rejected, is understanding that the intellect, in itself, is just a tool, as we were stating previously. He provided four postulates, known as antinomies of reason. An antinomy is merely a postulation or statement that can go either way: thesis or antithesis, pro and con. An antinomy is basically a contradiction or paradox. Without going into some of the academic explanations of this, in synthesis, he was pointing out how the mind cannot know the truth, and that we can prove this through four antinomies.

Firstly, we have the mathematical antimony, in relation to space and time, atomism. Then, the dynamic or qualitative antinomies, relating to spontaneity and causal determinism, free will or mechanicity, laws of nature, likewise, whether or not there is a necessary being.

So, the philosophical discussions on space and time, which were very popular in the times of Aristotle and Plato, there is a thesis that the world has a beginning in time, likewise, it is also limited regarding space. But, then, there is an antithetical way of thinking, in relation to Aristotle's belief that the Earth was infinite, and eternal: he stated this in his Physics. He said that the world has no beginning, no limits in space; it is infinite regarding both time and space.

The second antinomy is a discussion on whether everything is made up of simple parts, or whether or not everything is complex, in terms of atomism: whether everything is made up of atoms, or compound substances, in large degree.

In relation to spontaneity and causal determinism, he emphasized that there is either complete mechanicity in nature, and that there is no possibility for free will (determinism); or, that there is the ability to have free will in the midst of this. And so there are different arguments, for and against, which many philosophers in the West have battled over in their treatises, for centuries. Likewise, whether there is a necessary Being or not; whether there is a God or not.

These are discussions that people are hypnotized by, to this day. And Kant laid it how very clearly: you can either be in one camp or another; so, what is the point? You can argue for it, or you can argue against it. You can fulfill and propound your own evidence for either case, and be just as right... and yet both are wrong, or right. That is the paradox.

He is emphasizing that the conviction of these philosophers is based upon a form of thinking that is devoid of actual knowing. And, that one can just argue for something, because one has a concept in their mind, and they have a lot of data to support it. Just look at the last presidential debates, in which we see two sides arguing against each other, and many people have in their own beliefs for one candidate or another, regardless of whether it is true or not. This shows a tendency in the mind to want to use data to propose a point, and to support a point. And yet, where is the objectivity in all of that? That is what Kant was teaching, that we are dealing with phenomena, we are not dealing with noumena. Phenomena are appearances, noumena are the things themselves, conscious principles, the truth, relating to the Greek word, "Pneuma" meaning spirit.

​The Demonic Mind, Arguments, and Intellectual Liberty

So, all these philosophies are based upon this quality of the intellect and the heart; of wanting to assert an idea and gain dominance upon others. Of course, this is negative. We could also call it black magic or witchcraft: to assert oneself on another person; to control their intellect is sorcery, black magic. We see this dynamic ubiquitously, in every place. I have personally sat in philosophy debates for schools, in which you see these kids taking a position, one way or another, and trying to come up with as many reasons as they can for why they are right. And, while in Buddhism, certain schools have propounded the necessity of being able to argue for something or against it, you see, especially in the West, that this is very degenerated. I have personally seen people get very angry and inflict a lot of harm with their words, in the middle of these so-called debates.

As Samael Aun Weor stated in the Major Mysteries, we must avoid debate, arguments. This is because, in the act of arguing, we are asserting our own will upon another person. We can state our point, but, if they accept it or reject our ideas, that is their business. We have to learn how to speak without asserting ourselves over another person, without anger, without coercion. As Prophet Muhammed, in the doctrine of Islam, in the Qur'an states, "There is no coercion in religion." Religion is about bringing people together, but debates and arguments divide people. Philosophy has degenerated into this farce, this show of trying to dominate with our concepts. This has infected esoteric schools, in abundance: this is a very big problem in spiritual movements. It is enough to look at the Catholic Church, or even the Western Esoteric Tradition; certain individuals and speaks—I won't name them—but we can think of many different examples of people who are fighting in spiritual groups to assert their so-called superiority, upon others... saying, "I am a Master, therefore, if you disagree with me, you are going to hell." That type of nonsense.

"Discussions and polemics have ruined many spiritual schools. When two individuals argue, what they have is pride and arrogance in their mind; both want to demonstrate their boasted superiority to one another, both have Satan enthroned in their mind. We must always respectfully express our concept and allow our listener the freedom to accept or reject our concept. Everybody is free to think as they please and we cannot exercise power over our neighbor’s mind, because that would be black magic. Intellectual discussion is luciferic and demonic." —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries

It is very hard to achieve, but it can be done. We may be surrounded by people who disagree with us, disagree with Gnosis, esotericism, etc., yet instead of wanting to retaliate against those people, and to justify ourselves with that sense of hurt self-esteem or pride, it doesn't bother us. We learn to receive that impression, that criticism, and to not identify with it. But, of course, it is very obvious that debates totally destroy organizations, groups, etc. And, we should learn to avoid those types of conflicts.

The Three Minds and their Philosophical Movements

People base their entire understanding, or philosophy, in relation to three minds. We have talked a lot about the concept of the intellect, as the mind—the ability to think, rationalize, reason—as a form of mind, as a functionalism of the intellect. In Gnostic psychology, we talk about three minds; three different types or ways of thinking, way of being. These ways can help us to understand the nature of philosophy, the nature of different philosophical schools in this physical world, but also the nature of genuine philosophy in the internal worlds—this genuine love of wisdom born from experience.
We have included three images: we have Jesus before Pilate on the left, with the text stating, "Inner Mind." We have a group of Rabbis in a synagogue, in relation to the Intermediate and Mystical Mind. And, on the right, we have a bacchanalia, an orgy, in relation to the Sensual Mind.

Let us talk about the Sensual Mind first. What does it mean to have a Sensual Mind? A Sensual Mind is a way of conceptualizing oneself, identifying oneself, solely based on evidence from the five senses. We believe that we are a certain way, that the world is a certain way, based on our experience from sight, taste, hearing, touch, smell. There are many doctrines that are focused on merely the five senses, as if the material is all that exists; that material is the limit of all that there is possible to perceive. But, of course, Emmanuel Kant stated that phenomena are just the appearances of things, but that there is something deeper, something spiritual, as we know.

The Sensual Mind is a mind that is basing its theories and concepts on empirical evidence. Likewise, many philosophies, such as Epicureanism, which is propounded by the Scottish philosopher David Hume; you have Hedonism, the belief that one should gratify their senses, as much as possible, before dying and that pleasure is the highest good... according to Epicureans.

We represented this idea with the image of this bacchanalia. People who indulge in orgies, lust and desire, satisfying the pleasures of their senses, thinking that nothing matters and that there is no consequence to their actions. They believe that when one dies physically, one will cease to exist. These people ignore the fundamental law of karma, cause and effect. While a person gratifies their physical senses, the soul or consciousness, embedded in ego, perpetuates throughout time; it does not cease to exist. But people who are sensually indoctrinated think that, because they only see with the five senses—they do not have their spiritual senses developed—when they go to the grave, that nothing will happen, they will cease to exist. This is nihilism, of course. It is a very sad way to think.

The senses are not the limit of all there is to perceive. In fact, consciousness and perception can expand to an infinite degree, as the 14th Dalai Lama stated. But people who are fully indoctrinated by the intellect, the Sensual Mind, they only base themselves on evidence from their physical senses. Such people reject anything related to metaphysics or spirituality.

Of course, there is another degree of mind that is inferior. While, one type of mind, of the senses, is fascinated with impressions of an empirical nature, you have the intermediate or mystical mind, which constitute all the religions of the world today. All the beliefs about God, all the concepts and theologies that the universe is a certain way, because the scriptures state it, because one thinks it is true, therefore it must be true, and that if one believes in it, it must be true—this is the essential nature of the Mystical Mind. That, having this conviction, is based on a type of thinking which is not predicated on experience, not based on facts. So, all the schools of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, which are founded on scripture and are limited to those scriptures and ways of thinking, the people of these groups live with a Mystical Mind. They have mystical concepts, metaphysics, beliefs, ideas, ways of thinking that they may have in their mind, and yet, they do not have the real experience of it.

But, of course, there is a mind that is superior; the Inner Mind. This is the mind of a being like Jesus, of Buddha, of Krishna, of Moses. An "Inner Mind" is a type of perception relating to awakened consciousness. When we awaken our consciousness, as in the allegory of the cave, we are awakening our own intelligence. Like a fire that we learn to see in the dark, to make our way through the nature of our mind, and to experience the truth.

Jesus fully awakened his consciousness. And, by awakening the consciousness, we have to eliminate the ego. So, when the ego dies, little by little, the consciousness trapped within it awakens; it becomes expansive, more profound. The Inner Mind awakens in accordance with the death of the ego. So, the more consciousness that we liberate, the more our inner faculties will awaken. Like that experience I narrated to you—I was seeing Jesus in the astral plane, I was awakening my Inner Mind, and I could see Jesus of Nazareth, Master Aberamentho, and I talked with him. That is because I had my Inner Mind awakened, to a degree; I am not saying fully awakened, in that state... it was very clear, but, of course, in order for me to be fully awakened, I have to eliminate my defects. But an Inner Mind that is fully expansive, without any type of conditioning, is a being like Moses, who could really talk, completely, with God.

So, in this image, we have Jesus presented before Pilate, in his passion. After he was delivered 5000 lashes of the whip. Pilate is a symbol of the intellect. You can say that he is the Sensual and Intermediate Mind; a mind that is only believing in what the senses teach or instruct, or what the scriptures state, but that has not verified for themselves what the scriptures teach.

Pilate asks Jesus, "What is the truth?" Jesus kept silent; how could he teach the intellect, the mind, what the truth is? That is the beauty of this teaching. Pilate was confused... people think that this is just a historical account of Jesus talking to his persecutors, but Pilate represents our mind: the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, that ask, "What is the truth? How do I know what is real?" And Jesus, the Inner Christic principle, remained silent, because silence is the eloquence of wisdom. Instead of receiving that knowledge intellectually, through a book, lecture of concept, we experience it in the silence of meditation. I remember that experience, in which I was with Jesus, I said that I "talked" with him; I was speaking to him telepathically, with my heart, asking him things, because he could read my mind completely. He instructed me based on what I was asking him in my heart. So, he was teaching me in silence; he did not say anything verbally, but he was showing me through symbols in the astral plane, what I needed to do.

So, Jesus remained silent. And likewise, what Buddha was asked, "What is the truth?" He turned and walked away. Same teaching.

The Inner Mind is the genuine Gnostic philosophy of the great initiates, based on what we perceive, what we verify. The Intermediate Mind is the mind based on beliefs, on metaphysics, theologies; which are not grounded in conscious, experiential knowledge. Likewise, the Sensual Mind is a mind that is based on materialism.

There has always been a conflict between these three minds, in humanity. People who are very materialistic, reject and attack those who are very metaphysical, people who have metaphysical concepts. And, likewise, people who have certain religious beliefs, condemn those who are nihilists or anarchists, or whatever term we want to give to those types of people who follow the Sensual Mind. In the Sensual Mind, we have materialism, Marxism, etc. But the Inner Mind is tranquil; it does not argue. Of course, when Jesus was asked what is the truth, he kept silent—he did not argue, because he knew that he could not convey that truth to Pilate's mind—only the soul can know the truth.

Samael Aun Weor states and synthesizes, this teaching that I have been explaining, in a very profound and simple way, in his Revolution of the Dialectic, in which he talks about these different forms, different schools of thought.

"Matter is nothing but condensed energy. The infinite modifications of energy are absolutely unknown; this is true as much for historic materialism as for dialectic materialism.

"Energy is equal to mass multiplied by the velocity of the light squared. We the Gnostics separate ourselves from the antithetical struggle which exists between metaphysics and dialectical materialism. Those are the two poles of ignorance, the two antitheses of error.

"We walk on another path; we are Gnostics, we consider life as a whole. The object is a point in space which serves as a vehicle to specific sums of values.

"Inspired Knowledge permits us to study the intimate existent relationship between all shapes, all psychological values and nature.

"Dialectic materialism does not know the values." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

Meaning, the consciousness, or even the different values of the ego that we carry within, they ignore that they have ego, or they really do not see the nature of the mind.

"It only studies the object. Metaphysics does not know the values or the object.

"Therefore, we, the Gnostics, withdraw ourselves from these two antitheses of ignorance. We, the Gnostics, study the human being and nature integrally, seeking an integral revolution." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

So, religious people and atheists arguing against each other—a very typical conversation that is had today—and yet, people do not have real understanding from experience; they have not awakened their Inner Mind. We need to learn to awaken our Inner Mind, which we do through meditation. If our mind is fully immersed in the senses, we fail to see life in its true form.

​The Cosmic Christ and the Awakening of Consciousness

I mentioned to you about awakening the Inner Mind, like Moses before the Lord on Mount Sinai. We have included in this final graphic an image of Arjuna, from the Bhagavad Gita (the Song of the Lord, from the Mahabharata.) Arjuna, the great warrior, talking to Krishna, who is Christ, the Lord, the avatar of Vishnu, which is the Cosmic Christ, the Christic principle, that primordial root energy at the heart of every existing thing, that noumena of Kant. Of course, he did not use the term Christ, but that is what Kant was referring to; the truth in the things themselves, as being noumena. But we know in esotericism, the real Pneuma (spirit) is the Lord, the divine, within every atom, every existing cosmic unit.

"For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind (carries away) a boat on the waters." —Bhagavad-Gita 2:67

And so, as we talked about the nature of the mind, as being preoccupied and distracted with thoughts, memories, ideas, concepts, etc., this type of mind that is attached to the senses, one that is caught in beliefs and ideas, theories, etc., is carried away like a boat on the waters, according to the Bhagavad Gita.

As we emphasized previously, Krishna, the Lord, is speaking to Arjuna, much like Moses was talking to the Lord on Mount Sinai. We too, by awakening our consciousness, our Inner Mind, our spiritual potential, can speak face to face with that divinity, as represented in many religious cosmogonies, many religious scriptures.

So, we must learn to not identify with the intellect, but to learn how to use it for spiritual purposes. It is a tool, a machine, a means by which we can study ourselves, but also learn to interact and relate to the world. So, as we were explaining in this lecture, the intellect in itself is not useless: we need it. But we neither need to be identified or carried away by it. People think, in many spiritual circles, that to be spiritual means to be not focus on the intellect, to be simple, but that is another extreme that we seek to avoid in this type of studies.

We talked about how philosophies in different schools, based on the intellect, may be interesting or compelling, but they are not grounded in the experience of the truth, on direct facts, what we have verified with our consciousness. But this is not to say that the intellect must be disregarded. We saw in the example of Jesus riding into Jerusalem, upon the donkey of the mind—a symbol of the intellect—in order to enter into the heavenly city on Palm Sunday; the symbol of entering into those spiritual states of consciousness that we can access when we learn to control the intellect. It is not as though Jesus just threw away the animal, disregarded it; instead, he used it for God.

Christ, as a principle, is within each of us. Our Inner Christ needs to learn to conquer this intellect that we have, and to use it for the wellbeing for humanity. Repeating the quote we gave earlier, "For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind (carries away) a boat on the waters." Our inner divinity must control this intellect that we have. But, of course, we learn to do that by cooperating with that inner presence, inner principle, through practices like meditation.

The Divine Philosophy of the Being

To conclude this lecture, we will talk about a quote given by Samael Aun Weor, in his book, Igneous Rose. In this book, he sums up the essence of this course we have been giving. We have talked about how philosophy is based on the senses, beliefs about who we are, but is not grounded on facts, experience, on the truth. So, we must learn to access that truth within us, by learning to direct our attention, by awakening our potential, our consciousness.

"Our Innermost is yes, yes, yes. The wisdom of our Innermost is yes, yes, yes. The love of our Innermost is yes, yes, yes." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

We have talked about philos-sophia, being "love of wisdom," of God, of the truth. That wisdom and love that we feel in the presence of the divine is born in us when we awaken that within us. The divine is always ready to aid us, in any moment, when we learn to pay attention here and now. It is always an affirmation of, "Yes…" "I will help you, I will aid you, I will not reject you." Like Rumi says in his poems, "Ours is not a caravan of despair. Even if you have broken your vow a thousand times, come, join us. Come."

So, the wisdom of our Innermost, our inner divine Being is like that.

"When we say, ‘I am hungry, I am thirsty,’ etc., we are affirming something absurd, because the Innermost is not hungry, neither thirsty. The one that is hungry and thirsty is the physical body. Therefore the most correct way to say this is, ‘My body is hungry, my body is thirsty.’

"The same happens with the mind when we say, ‘I have a powerful mental force, I have a problem, I have such a conflict, I have such suffering, some thoughts are arising in me,’ etc. We then are affirming very grave errors, because these things are from the mind, not from the Innermost.

"Our disciples must change the process of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension…

"…To reason is a crime of great magnitude against the Innermost." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

This does not mean that the intellect is not useful, when it is guided by the spirit. As Samael Aun Weor stated, to reason is a great crime against God; this does not mean that the mind cannot be used in its genuine, original and intended sense. Our intellect, in these times, tends to dominate us. We are filled with thoughts, worries, anxieties, preoccupations, desires, impulses that really charge our life with a lot of negativity. So, that type reasoning is very negative; to be consumed by that type of conditioned mind, a Sensual Mind, which is only preoccupied with material things, and not with the treasuries of God within us. To reason, in that sense, is a crime, because the intellect, which says, "I think, therefore I am," like Descartes stated in his philosophy; this is wrong. Instead, the one who says, "I am here, I am present, I am the Being" is God, because that presence is within us, that truth is in us. The Innermost does not think, as we stated previously. God does not need to rationalize, to come up with a solution with the intellect to a problem. Of course, God is not a person, but an intelligence or force within us, which we have to actualize, to develop; it is in a potential state within us, here and now, but not fully active.

So, we must learn to "change the processes of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension." This is the essence of real philosophy. Real philosophy is not about academics, throwing large words around to sound clever or interesting, to make someone look stupid on the opposing side of the debate... instead, it refers to how we change the way we think. To not be so identified with thinking and rationalizing and worrying, but instead to be present, to be mindful, to be awake, as a spiritual being.

So, we "must change the process of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension." Comprehension is not reasoning. The distinction between Gnostic philosophy and regular philosophy is predicated on this point. Comprehension is when we know the truth for ourselves, when we understand the real solution to an intimate problem; not from having thought about it, by not thinking about it. This is very common in business circles, in which a committee gets together to discuss the solution to a problem, and yet, with all the thinking and rationalizing they do, they cannot find a solution. Instead, they all walk away, they take a break, and in those moments of not thinking about the problem, the insight comes, the realization of what needs to be done comes to the mind.

Comprehension is like when we put our hand on a hot stove, and we burn our hand. We retract our hand in pain, and we realize from the experience that if we put our hand there again, we will get burned. The same thing happens in psychology. When we look at a habit in our psyche, and we see that a certain tendency that we have is harmful, we may comprehend by getting burned in that situation, to not act on that habit, to change it.

But people who are great rationalists don't comprehend the truth behind the problems that they face. We can look at cases of alcoholics. A person who is an alcoholic may intellectually understand, reason that the habit is bad, yet they continue to indulge in the behavior. So, comprehension is realizing that this action is harmful, and that we need to stop, because if we don't, we will die. We have the same distinction in spiritual studies. When we see that certain habits like anger, fear, pride, lust, vanity, defects, etc., cause us to suffer, and make others suffer, we comprehend, and we learn not to behave in those ways any more. That is real, genuine spiritual philosophy. We have a love of wisdom, and we realize more and more how we create our daily suffering, we create our daily problems. If we identify with the mind, we will perpetuate our suffering.

​Questions and Answers

Audience: So, the intellect is basically the five senses? And, then you mentioned, intelligence is different, more holistic?

Instructor: We could say that we have six senses, in synthesis: we have sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell, plus the ability to imagine. There is also the sense of intuition too. Intuition is knowing without having to reason. This is exactly the quality of awakening consciousness, in which you do not have to solve a problem with the intellect, instead, you simply know what you must do: that is intuition.

Audience: And that would be more intelligence, as opposed to intellect?

Instructor: Yes. It is intelligence. The intellect is a quality of ego, our defects; I will give a concrete example. Perhaps we have a conflict at work, in which someone says something derogatory towards us, and provokes our self-esteem, our pride, which feels hurt. Then, there is the concepts in those moments where we feel, "I should say this, in order to retaliate, to get retribution for what they said to me." That is a form of mind that is very degenerate, wrong, negative. But, comprehension is when we know that, that type of thinking is wrong. Then, we change, we do not react to life so mechanically; we learn to respond, which is intelligence, intuition, and the capacity to perceive consciously.

Again, consciousness has degrees; there is conditioned consciousness, which is anger, fear, pride, laziness, gluttony, defects—these are conditions of our psyche that make us feel weighted down, and make us suffer, and make others suffer too. But unconditioned consciousness is when we free our psyche from those elements, and we learn to develop peace, serenity, a mind that is perfectly pristine and clear, that can directly reflect like a lake on a mountain, the heavens of Urania.

We talked about the famous allegory of the cave of Plato; how a man or woman escapes the cave, after imprisonment, and sees the stars for the first time, on the mountainside. Escaping that narrow path of the cave, and entering onto the open landscape, is a symbol of spiritual liberation. Seeing the stars for the first time is seeing our inner divinity within us and recognizing that presence directly.

Our mind is like a lake. If we throw stones in it, if we thrash ourselves in those waters, through anger or fear, etc., we disturb the equilibrium of that pond. When the waters are churning, through reason, through intellect, through concepts, desires, we cannot see the reflection that could be naturally present there.

When we learn to still our mind, by comprehending those defects, and not letting the impressions of life enter us mechanically, where we just react constantly to the different stimulus of life, instead learn to receive it with a receptive mind, and we do not identify with these elements, the mind gradually stills, calms. This happens by learning to behave appropriately, learning to respond to life with a sense of dignity and rectitude, of ethics. Every religion has this concept, that, if you want to know God, you must follow certain rules. These are not just a list or memoranda or code of conduct that one thinks about, admires, but does not really follow. Instead, it refers to not killing, not stealing, not doing drugs, not fornicating, not committing adultery... people think that these are just physical laws to help communities stay together, at a physical level. They are that, it is true. But the real meaning is that, when we learn to curtail psychological habits, we look at our mind and see that we have violence, we have fear, we have anger, we have elements that commit adultery and fornicate in the mind, even if we might not physically do so.

As Jesus said, "You have heard it said of old, you should not commit adultery. But, even if you look at a person from the opposite sex out of lust, you have committed adultery in your heart."

First, stop those habits, and the mind begins to settle. Then, psychologically, we begin to enter deeper states of serenity.

<![CDATA[Fundamentals of Gnostic Art]]>Sun, 02 Dec 2018 19:19:44 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/fundamentals-of-gnostic-art
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy. 

In this tradition of Gnosticism, we study what is known as the four pillars: four foundations to spirituality. These can help us to understand many of the religious traditions of which we may have been acclimated.

It is important to note again that the word Gnosis is Greek, and it refers to self-knowledge. This type of self-knowledge is not intellectual, nor is it found in any book or lecture. This type of knowledge pertains to one’s cognizance of spiritual truth, one’s experience of the divine.

So, we emphasize and teach, through many lectures and books, the foundations of spiritual practice. In this course, the fundamentals of Gnosticism, we are explaining how the science of self-knowledge has been taught in many religions and traditions, whether in Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, etc.

In the last lecture, we emphasized that Gnosis is a science, coming from the Greek word, "scientia" meaning knowledge. Again, this is not intellectual scholasticism; it is not something to be argued, to be debated. Instead, it pertains to how we perceive God, how we know God, directly. And, in the last lecture, we emphasized that this is a practical teaching that has been manifested in different religions.

Today, we are going to talk about the pillar of art, within Gnosis. There are four pillars: science, art, mysticism (religion) and philosophy. The study of our own, inner divine nature, our inner God, relates to these four pillars. We are going to explain how Gnosis, self-knowledge, knowledge of God within us, is an art; we explained how it is science and mysticism, but today we are going to explain how this methodology has been present in many great paintings, sculptures, music, classical compositions, architecture, etc. These art forms are physical representations of divine truths.

We explain that the purpose of Gnosis is to know God, to know our inner Being, from experience. We state, "to be made into the image of God." Many people think that, since people has this physical representation of this physical body, that the image of God is physical; that there is some anthropomorphic figure in the clouds, dictating the fate of this poor humanity. But that is not the image of God that we seek to develop.

The truth is, this image is psychological in nature, spiritual in nature. It has to do with our own self-perception. In the Bible, the Gnostic book of Genesis states that God (Jehovah-Elohim in Hebrew, Iod-Chavah Elohim) breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life, and he became a living soul. These are the spiritual principles and truths that we need to actualize; they have nothing to do with the mere physicality. The breath of life is precisely the energy and force of God. We say that God is an energy, not a person. 

We find in this image, this archetype represented. This is a painting from the Sistine Chapel, by the Master Michelangelo, who is a Gnostic master. In this painting, he emphasizes and expresses the beauty of the creation of the soul. Many people think that they have soul, but, if we observe ourselves and analyze our psyche, typically, what we find are many discursive elements—frustration, pride, anger, resentment, lust, vanity—defects of a psychological type. But, here, if we are sincere in analyzing ourselves, and examine our psychological states, we will find that when we close our eyes to meditate, we see darkness. This means that we do not see our inner divinity within, who is represented in this image as an anthropomorphic figure, but, really, God is an energy. Thus, painters and great masters, in order to teach spiritual principles, would use physical forms to teach this path. This is precisely the creation of a soul made into the image of God.

God is like wind, breath, spirit, for as Jesus taught, "You must be born again of water and spirit, and the spirit bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:5, 8). This pertains to how God is an energy which we can find in our breath; it is an abstract force. It is not physical breath, but energy.

God, we find, is creating this human being: this is our goal in these studies. We want to be true human beings. To know what this means, we have to analyze the term. "Hum" in Sanskrit is wind, spirit; "man" comes from the Sanskrit "Manas" which means mind. So, a Hum-Man, human is a mind—whether from a male body or female body, it makes no difference—that is crafted into the psychological and spiritual image of divinity. A real human being—though they might look like us, having a body like ours—does not have pride, anger, vanity. Instead they embody the highest and most beautiful ideals that humanity has encountered, such as through figures like Jesus of Nazareth, Plato, Buddha, Krishna, the Prophet Muhammed... different religious teachers who taught the doctrine of peace, and how to become spiritual.

This is an artform, which has been represented in art. You will see by the diversity of expression, that this science is universal: it is not particular to one tradition. When speaking of Gnosis, we say that people typically think of Gnostic Christianity, but it pertains to all traditions, all religions, all paths.

The Gnostic Definition of Art

It is good to examine what the word art really means. Art from the Greek arti meaning "just"; to be just, to have justice. Or, as we say in Hebrew, the Tzadikim, the righteous ones, righteous before the eyes of God. This means that we work, psychologically, on our own imperfections, so that we can become perfect; or, as Jesus of Nazareth taught, "Be perfect as your father who is in Heaven is perfect."

It is also from the word artios meaning "complete, suitable." We see that the creation of Adam—which represents all of humanity, which can be made into the image of God—really is the work of becoming complete and suitable, before our divinity. This is something that we need to verify and examine, psychologically, to see whether or not we are suitable for the incarnation of God. God cannot mix with anger, resentment, wrath, and all the other defects that we carry inside. We have to remove all of that, if we want to be made like Adam into the image of Jehovah Elohim.

The word art also comes from the German word artizein, "to prepare." Gnosis as an art is the preparation of the human being to be made into the image of God; this is what we teach in many books and lectures, through many practices that we provide in this tradition.

The Latin, artus "joint." We find that this is the joining of the divine with the human, the divine with the terrestrial. This is the real meaning of religion, from the Latin religare, which means to re-unite. This is the same meaning as the word yoga, in Sanksrit: yug is the root word, meaning to unite or join. So, we want to join with our divinity, but, if we want to mix with the divine, while carrying our impurities, then that connection is impossible; only when the soul is pure can that union be made.

We find the Armenian word arnam "make;" early 13c. Art is a "skill as a result of learning or practice." Likewise, when we want to know God, we have to learn the skills necessary to know our Being, to know divinity. As we find in sculpture or painting, one needs certain skills in order to produce certain results; one needs to study, intellectually, in order to develop practically. It is the same thing with spirituality, genuine knowledge of God, because it is a skill that we develop through learning, such as through books, and by applying these principles in our own life.

It is also from the French, artem, meaning, "work of art; practical skill; a business, craft.” This is what people typically think of when they think of art. But, here, we are looking at it a little more esoterically, a little more deeply; looking at the hidden meanings behind these terms.

We are going to look at many different works of art that portray and exemplify these principles.

​The Secret Teachings in Art

Here we find the crucifixion of Christ, Jesus. We find his burial beneath, his crucifixion in the center, followed by John the Baptist pointing towards the Lord, emphasizing precisely what is this path of becoming a human being, a hum-man, a spirit-man. This is pointing towards death, precisely through the death of impurity is how one can unite in purity. For, as Paul of Tarsus taught, it is by throwing away a belief, throwing away corruption, that one can inherit incorruption.

Art, as in this painting, we find many symbols and messages which were transmitted in secret by initiates. What I mean by an initiate is a person who has been enculturated, has studied and learned from experience, the divine truths contained within religion; not the outward formalities of scripture and practice, but really the internal experience of what God is. These painters, musicians, artists would dedicate their entire lives to explaining the path of self-realization to humanity, through art.

Sadly, people always take from these art forms, yet they do not appreciate the genuine depth that these works of art demonstrate. As Helena Petrovna Blavatsky—founder of the Theosophical movement, and great Yogi and master, and proponent of Gnosticism—emphasizes in The Secret Doctrine:

"The ancients knew these powers so well, that, while concealing their true nature under various allegories, for the benefit (or to the detriment) of the uneducated rabble, they never departed from the multiple object in view, while inverting them. They contrived to throw a thick veil over the nucleus of truth concealed by the symbol, but they ever tried to preserve the latter as a record for future generations, sufficiently transparent to allow their wise men to discern that truth behind the fabulous form of the glyph or allegory." —H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine

Painting, music, art is symbolic, representative of experiences that we can have in meditation, or in the dream state, specifically.

"They are accused of superstition and credulity, those ancient sages; and this by those very nations, which, learned in all the modern arts and sciences, cultured and wise in their generation, accept to this day as their one living and infinite God, the anthropomorphic "Jehovah" of the Jews. " –H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, iv. “The Four Elements”

People who say that they are very religious, who believe in an anthropomorphic God in the clouds, really are ignorant about the esotericism, the experience represented behind these principles. Just as Jesus of Nazareth had to face his Passion, his crucifixion and his resurrection, this is a representation of what we need to do, inside. Jesus of Nazareth, a great master, taught how each of us carries within our own inner divinity, known as Christ; from the Greek Chrestos, Christos, meaning ‘anointed one.’ It also refers to the Greek God of fire, Chrestos.

We find these letters atop of Mount of Calvary, I.N.R.I., which from Latin translates as Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Judæorum, which we can break down in many ways. We can also say that it is Ignis Natura Renovatur Integra, which means "fire renews nature incessantly." So, Christ is not a physical person, but is a fire, an energy, a force that we can incarnate, if we know how; if we are prepared, if we know the method, the artform. Likewise, the Christ, through Jesus, taught us a very beautiful path, filled with difficulty, but one which can produce the peace and genuine development of the soul. We also find that the Latin inscription above Jesus can also mean, In Neci Renascor Integer: "In death I am reborn intact and pure." So, through the death of the psychological impurity, ego, defects, we can attain the resurrection of Christ within our soul. This is represented in this painting.

Spiritual Archetypes

We also have an image by the Master Botticelli of the death of Christ. We find the three Mary’s of Christianity, followed by the Apostles, specifically Peter, who is holding the keys to Heaven. People think literally that these apostles were simply people from the past who documented a historical event, ignoring that these initiates, these people who were instructed into the inner mysteries of divinity, came to represent for us archetypes that we need to develop inside. Just as there is an Apostle Peter outside, a physical personage, he came to represent our own, inner Peter, the Latin Patar, which means stone, Caiaphas in Aramaic. What alchemists call in the medieval traditions the philosopher’s stone really refers to Peter. He represents in us, to synthesize, the work of sexual-spiritual-psychological energy within our interior. The word Peter, Patar, means stone, and it is the foundation of our spiritual work. We unfortunately find as a slang word for the phallus, the word Peter, which refers to the sexual nature of what this apostle represents, as we find represented in the keys that he holds in his hand. Often, in these studies, we talk about the mysteries of matrimony—how a man and woman, united sexually, can use those energies for God, which is the path of Tantra in the East.

He has a gold key and silver key in his hand. Gold represents the solar energy, the projective, masculine force, the man; silver represents the lunar, receptive, the feminine. The man and woman together can come to really know God, by working with the most holy energy that they carry within, which is the stone, that some people call the Holy Spirit, which we say is the sexual energy. It is an energy that can be used for divinity.

We find the three Mary’s which represent three aspects of our inner divinity that we need to develop. We have a Mary Magdalene, we have a Mary, mother of Jesus, and we see on the left Mary of Bethany, who is a repented soul that represents any person who genuinely enters onto this path of self-realization, who really yearns for a spiritual change.

The other apostles are in disarray, they are confounded. But, notice how all the apostles, as represented in this image, have their heads at a slant; the meaning of this is that in this process of self-realization there is disbalance. In the path of self-knowledge, we seek to acquire balance, to equilibrate these forces inside of us. When there is silence and balance within, we can really develop our full divine potential. Notice that Peter is the only one who is level—he is the foundation, the rock of the holy Christian Universal Gnostic Catholic Church. Catholic really means universal; it is not merely the Roman sect, which deviated from the Gnostic Church founded by Peter.

This image represents for us a beautiful teaching. This work with Peter is a representation of how we work with energy inside of us; it is our foundation, it is where we begin. The Freemasons often talk about the cubic stone that needs to be perfected, which is Peter. Our energies need to be reflected in our mind, our heart, and our body. The three Mary’s are representations of the feminine aspect of our inner divinity; just as we talk about the Divine Father, so too do we have a Divine Mother. We often talk about five aspects of our Divine Mother, but, three of them are very important for us: the Divine Mother Space, which is the abstract Seity, the universal Cosmic Mother, represented by all of the substance of space known as Akash or force. She is the origin of all worlds, stars, planets, suns, Gods. Likewise, we have Divine Mother Nature, which is our inner Divine Mother, the feminine principle of God, who creates our physical body. Our body is a type of Mother Nature, which contains many forces that we can use by following the path of Peter, to find balance and equilibrium. Likewise, we find our inner Divine Mother Kundalini, our particular individual Divine Mother; like each of us has a particular Divine Father, likewise we all have our own inner Divine Mother inside.

Usually, when we supplicate, we do so to our individual Divine Mother, represented in Kabbalah as Binah. Kabbalah is the study of the Hebrew letters, which are also principles and teachings within the individual letters of the language; as we find in this glyph.

​The True Human Being or Upright Pentagram

So, through different paintings and art, we find many symbols represented in this path of self-knowledge. We find Leonardo DaVinci, the Vitruvian man, next to the symbol of the Gnostic pentagram. In regards to the pentagram, people typically think of Wiccans or witchcraft; but, this is a misconception based on propaganda. Unfortunately, this symbol has been denigrated by many traditions. It represents the human being made in the image of God. The star represents a man who's spiritual reasoning is governing his heart and his body; he is ascending towards God. Usually, when people think of the pentagram, they think of the inverted pentagram, which is the opposite of the human being; it is the head facing towards the earth, the legs facing up. That represents the demon, a being whose reasoning is subservient to sexual passion. It is represented by the sexual organs, which when inverted, sex governs the head. That produces, as we can see in our world today, grave suffering for humanity.

We are not going to explain every meaning and symbol of the pentagram, we could give a whole lecture on just this image, but one thing I would like you to notice is that we have the Hebrew letters Adam, then Iod-Havah. The right arm has Iod-Havah, which is Jehovah. Likewise, the word Adam is the human being, the man made into the image of God. This star is the man spiritually, psychologically, embodying all the divine virtues and principles of Christ, represented by יהוה Iod-Havah, which is the Hebrew name for Christ. The other letter, ש  Shin, the three-pronged letter, in between יה Iod-Hei, and then וה Vav-Hei, you have the word יהשוה Yeshua, which is Jesus; that word means savior. It is the force that can save us, spiritually, psychologically, if we know how to work with it. So, the star is Adam Iod-Havah, like in the image of Adam being created by Jehovah, it is the same meaning, as the man is being approached by his Inner God. That is why it means to be made into the star.

I mention this briefly, because in our next image, we often find Jesus—such as in the Ghent altar piece, by Jan van Eyck—with this common greeting of Christ, where he extends his middle finger, index finger and his thumb out, with the other two fingers down. This is representative of the pentagram that we just saw; meaning, that Christ greets us, saying Inverential Peace, peace unto you, by showing the pentagram. This symbol really represents the arms extended outward, with the head towards heaven; this represents the human being that has been created by God. The people, like the hippies, who make that sign with two fingers pointing up (representing the legs), and the other three (the arms, and the head) pointing downward, the so-called symbol for peace, are actually making the sign of the inverted pentagram. We often talk about hippies and others who have this fascination with drugs, promiscuity, negative sexuality... theirs is really a very degenerated way; it is the opposite of the path of Christ, the latter which is a type of pure law.

On the left, we have the Divine Mother Mary, in the center we have the victorious, resurrected Christ, on the right, we have John the Baptist. 

​What is interesting, is that when we look at images like this, we find that there is a lot meaning; my intention is not to exhaust all the meaning in this, but to emphasize that many initiates portrayed, through art, beautiful teachings. For example, on the crown of Mary, Miriam, if we look closely, we can see that there is ten stars above her crown. The number ten is significant in the studies of Hebraic Kabbalah, which as we mentioned in a previous lecture, is one of the Trees of the Garden of Eden: the Tree of Life, which is the Kabbalah, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which is the science of Alchemy. The Tree of Life is represented as the map of the soul, in different degrees and elements. This Tree of Life is represented by ten spheres, ten sephiroth, which are modalities of energies and consciousness, as well as matter; they represent the heights of divinity within us, as well as our physicality, at its lowest. The fact that the Divine Mother has ten stars in her crown represents that she has fully developed in her child, which is us, all the aspects and principles of divinity within. You could say that this is like the Christmas tree, as a symbol. The Christmas tree represents that man, that Tree of Life, which is illuminated with stars, with light, with virtues, powers and understanding. Likewise, this image of the crown of stars represents how she has within herself those ten sephiroth fully developed, which is our ten aspects of our own psychology that we need to develop inside.

What is important, is the we see that she is looking at a book, she is studying. This is emphasizing that we need to study, and to really know the teachings well, in order to interpret what art is telling us. John also has a book, representing how he is studying deeply into these teachings. Christ wears three crowns on his head, this represents the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or in Kabbalah Kether (crown), Chokmah (wisdom, Christ) and Binah (understanding, the Holy Spirit). Within Christ are all three principles of the higher aspect of divinity, represented in this image.

​Music, Numerology, and the Kabbalistic Teachings

Not only does painting represent many teachings, but so too does music, especially classical music. For divinity decided, many centuries ago, to spread this through many great musical compositions, specifically through opera, as well as classical symphonies. Really, music is a language; it is mathematical. Mathematics is the science of Kabbalah, the science of numerology, measurement. We say in this tradition that God is a geometrist, God creates through numbers. Numbers are infinite and holy, mathematical. The universe is created through many laws, which are governed by Christ, the energy of God.

Music represents, mathematically and through notation, spiritual, emotional and psychological principles that we can actualize within ourselves. Some examples of great masters who taught through music are Freemasons like Puccini, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, etc. Very little is known about their membership to these groups, such as Freemasonry, because they were very secretive. Instead of giving lectures or providing books, this knowledge used to be underground, due to the dangers that were present if they were to openly unveil these teachings. So, a lot of these composers would teach other initiates by making symphonies; they would create a symphony, then have it played; other masters would come, and being very awakened spiritually, they would understand the meanings of the symphonies, getting teachings, and communicating in that way. Since they had a lot time, and they were not allowed to openly divulge this type of knowledge—at the time, it would have been sacrilegious, but in this time, in the information age, there are very different laws in motion.

​Classical Music and the Three Brains

We have the following quote from the founder of this tradition, Samael Aun Weor, from his book, The Revolution of the Dialectic. In it, he speaks about how music is a beautiful teaching that pertains to every aspect of our psychology, our constitution.

"In music it is well known that certain notes can produce happiness in the thinking (intellectual) center, other notes can produce sadness in the sensitive (emotional) center and other notes can produce religiosity in the motor center." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

In the last lecture, we discussed how the human being has three centers within our body and psyche; how we function intellectually through thought; how we process emotion or sentiment; and, our motor center, which is how we acquire movement, physicality.

Gnosis as fourth way teaching, relates to what Master Gurdjieff taught. We emphasize a lot of things that he taught, as he was a very humorous and very strong Master. So, like Gurdjieff taught, we find the following teachings in this book:

"Indeed, the old Hierophants (the Masters of the temples of Mysteries, the Freemasons, etc.) never ignored that integral knowledge can only be acquired through the three cerebrums." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

We talk about the three brains in these studies. People think that we only have one brain, but the reality is different; the term brain, in these studies, denominates how we process information in a psychological experience. So, we process information intellectually, through thought, concept, argument, debate, idea, thesis/antithesis, etc. We also have the emotional brain where we process psychic perception, intuition, sentiment, love, compassion, etc. And finally, we have movement, which includes how we experience sensation, as well as our sexual impulses and our instinct. Likewise, music was really intended for all three aspects of our psyche; it nourishes our mind, our heart and our body, when it is coming from divinity.

"A single cerebrum cannot give complete information." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

Usually, in life, we tend to only develop one of our three brains over the others. However, in the ancient schools, instead of just studying intellectually so much every day, they used to provide theatre and dance, sculpture, music, in order to work with different aspects of our psychology and our centers, so they could understand deeper messages.

With the three brains, you can think of it like a car: our body has three aspects, a mind, a heart and a body. How we use those three brains depends upon our consciousness, which is our soul, which can either follow the will of God, or can get carried away the whims of the intellect, the heart or the body. In order to really understand superior messages in music, we need to really have a lot of perception in meditation, practical skill, which is the definition of the word art. We need to have experience, internally, such as in meditation or in the dream yoga state. As the Master Samael, the founder of this tradition states:

"The sacred dance and the cosmic drama, wisely combined with music, served to transmit tremendous archaic teachings of a cosmogenetic, psychobiological, psychochemical, metaphysical type, etc., to the neophytes." –Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

Cosmogenesis relates to how the cosmos, the divine, relates to our genes, our genesis, creation: how we create the image of God within us. How we bring the spiritual down to the physical, which is really what artists like Beethoven did, and you will see through some quotes of his that this is really what he was getting at in his symphonies.

So, like I said, opera is one of my most favorite artforms, because it is an amalgamation of theatre, music, drama, containing many symbolic teachings, which is something that we can go very extensively into.

In The Perfect Matrimony, the Master Samael Aun Weor explains that art has always been dual in nature: it can express the most divine in the human being, but it can also express the most diabolic, and I am sure we can think of many examples of both.

"The Initiate loves great classical music and feels repugnance for the infernal music of vulgar people. Afro-Cuban music awakens the lowest animal instincts of the human being. The Initiate loves the music of the great composers." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

This is not to say that to say that all music from Africa is degenerated or negative. In fact, there are many tribal teachings, Native America, Tibetan, African, which are very positive. But, typically, in these times, when we think of Afro-Cuban music, we think of salsa, and many types of dance and music which if we are examining ourselves, provokes a lot of subjective elements, psychologically speaking, if we are observant; if we really pay attention to how our three brains respond, what we think, what we feel and how we act. When we awaken, psychologically, spiritually, we in turn can comprehend the great messages of the superior worlds.

​Divine Art and the Masters of Music

We have this image of the Master Jesus, or the Christ, who has ascended to Heaven. We put this image here to represent how divinity comes down and can express through any Master who is fully prepared, who is developing the art of the initiate within him or herself.

Samael Aun Weor states in the book, Igneous Rose:

"We must comprehend the significance of music, happiness, and optimism.

"One remains in ecstasy when listening to The Magic Flute of Mozart, which reminds us of an Egyptian Initiation." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

Mozart, when he wrote The Magic Flute, in the dream state he received a blessing or celebration in the temple of Egypt in the Astral plane—what people call the world of dreams. He was awakened in that state, and due to his work as a practitioner, he was accepted into that temple.

In The Magic Flute, at the very end there are three notes that are played in successive order, representing the three pyramids, which is the trinity of God, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, but also the pyramids of Giza, where he was initiated in the internal worlds.

We work here physically, spiritually speaking, but celebrations such as what Mozart went through, happen when we are physically asleep and our soul is awake, outside of the body.

"One feels amazed when listening to the nine symphonies of Beethoven, or the ineffable melodies of Chopin and Liszt.

"The ineffable music of the great classics comes from the exquisite regions of Nirvana where only happiness that is beyond love reigns.

"All the great Children of the Fire (Angels, Elohim) distill the perfume of happiness and the exquisite fragrance of music and joy." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

All that music, the beautiful symphonies of Beethoven, particularly the ninth, the Choral symphony, Ode to Joy, represents the happiness of God, that is flowing within all of nature.

If we learn to travel in the internal planes, achieve what is known as astral projection, we can meet these Angels, as well as Beethoven, many other Masters, and speak to them, face-to-face. With this type of perception, we can speak to the Gods, the Angels, the Buddhas, the Jinns, whatever names we want to give to those beings. We can see that they really embody the highest virtues represented by the beauty of the great symphonies, in the music of Lizst, Chopin, etc.

We say in these studies that art is intimately related to what we know as the soul of the plant known as saffron. In these studies, we have been explaining how there are initiates or masters who have attained development; in other words, we could say that they are apostles. So, without exaggerating in anyway, we could say that Lizst, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart, etc., they were apostles of art, prophets of art; they taught how to unite with the soul, through their music.

In these studies, we often talk about the work with the elemental souls of nature, such as through elemental magic; specifically through plants, by working with the souls of plants. We have many methods that we explain in books like Igneous Rose, in which we can really work with elemental souls of nature, in order to help protect ourselves and inspire us to work spiritually.

The saffron is the plant of the apostolate. We see this image of the Buddha, who is tempted by the three daughters of Mara, represented in Christianity as Judas, Pilot, Caiaphas, the three traitors, who are trying to tempt Buddha from attaining his enlightenment. This represents our inner God within us, the initiate who is really acquiring equanimity of mind through meditation. He is doing the Vitarka Mudra, where he has his three fingers up, and the index finger and thumb together; this represents the transmission of a teaching. Buddha is transmitting the teaching of self-knowledge, because the color saffron, yellow, pertains to knowledge, Gnosis, objective knowledge. If we have an internal experience with the color yellow, it pertains to self-knowledge, understanding oneself, in a dream.

"The saffron is the plant of the apostolate.

"The elemental population of the saffron is found to be intimately related with the apostolate." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

We chose this image because the Buddha is conquering his own mind, represented by these three temptresses. He conquers his own mind, in order to provide a teaching. With the Vitarka Mudra, he is expressing the doctrine of the Inner Buddha, and meditation.

Likewise, an apostle of art, like Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Chopin, they cultivated their mind through studying music, and practicing their art, in order to express a divine teaching. So, like Buddha giving the self-knowledge of inner mind, likewise, the different masters of music gave teachings through their art.

The three daughters of Mara in this image, or Judas, Pilot and Caiaphas in Christianity, are intimately related with the number three. Three is a very symbolic number: it relates to creation, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, positive force, negative force, neutral force. The three daughters of Mara are not people who lived in the past, but represent legion. We can characterize our own inner demons, our own defects as three, because we have three brains. Pilot is the demon of the mind, who always washes his hands, and justifies himself of sin; Caiaphas is the demon of the heart who rejects the lord, who does his own will, such as through anger, violence, etc.; Judas is the demon of desire, who sells the Lord for thirty coins, sexual passion essentially, through lust. Yet, even though we have three brains, and we say that there are three traitors, represented by how we wrongly use our mind, heart and body, but we have many defects, which is represented by Lazarus, the man who is possessed by many demons, that Jesus exorcized. Jesus asked him, and the man said, "We are legion, for we are many." There are a multitude of defects that we have inside. We can synthesize those defects as three, because we have three brains.

This is what Buddha overcame; this is what Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart overcame in themselves, in order to give their teaching, a very potent wisdom through their music.

"The apostle is a martyr of the cosmic mind.

"The mind of the authentic apostle is crucified." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

This is a very powerful statement. Is it not true that many of these masters who gave their music, were heavily criticized? Many people have created a lot of books, writings, propaganda against certain musicians; things that are not true. Being criticized for their work, these apostles suffered; they had to crucify their mind, in order to overcome their reactions to a public that does not really understand the esoteric message behind the music, but which they give for love of humanity.

"The mind of the authentic apostle is intimately related with the elemental department of the saffron." -Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

If we want to work with developing happiness and optimism, we can work with the elemental magic of the saffron plant, which is intimately related with the apostles of art.

"The mind of the arhat (the meditator who has conquered his mind) is intimately related with this elemental department of the saffron.

"The apostle is a martyr.

"Everyone in the world benefits from the works of the apostles. Everyone is the world reads their books [or listens to their music]. Everyone in the world pays the apostle with the coin of ingratitude because, according to popular concept, ‘the apostle has not the right to know.’" —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

This is referring to how people, humanity, typically masters like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and exchanges their divine works with ingratitude. People say, "How can anyone know God? Beethoven, Mozart... they did not know God. So how could they know this?" Out of ignorance, people reject the deeper message behind these works of art. The apostles suffered for that; it is a tremendous suffering to give a teaching like the ninth symphony, and humanity applauds and venerates this work of art, but they don't really understand the meaning, or they criticize it, not knowing the message. People think that no one can possibly know God, which is agnosticism; if you put an ‘A’ in front of Gnosticism, it means to not know, to be ignorant. It does not merely mean to not read books, it means to not have experience of God, which is really all of us, to a greater or lesser degree. But, through conquering our mind, like Buddha, we can emanate that light, which is Christ, the light of God, our inner energies, forces.

"However, all the great works of the world are due to the apostles." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

And I say, without exception

"The saffron is intimately related with the great apostles of art: Beethoven, Mozart, Berlioz, Wagner, Bach, etc.

"The planet related to saffron is Venus, the star of love." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

In relation to medieval Alchemy, Venus relates to arts, the influences of music, culture, literature, etc.
Here is Beethoven, who, in his own words, really demonstrates what this teaching is about, and what his music is about. He said in a letter to Archduke Rudolph, in 1823:

"There is no loftier mission than to approach the Divinity nearer than other men, and to disseminate the divine rays among mankind."

He was experiencing many things in the meditations he had, as well as out of his body, in order to transmit the teachings of his God. People are astounded that before even composing the ninth symphony, one of his greatest works, he was physically deaf: he couldn't hear a thing. And yet, his expression, and his notation in the music is perfect. People debate, and wonder how that could be possible. That a deaf man could compose something as tremendous as this; that this is unfathomable. The explanation of this is that, while physically he was deaf, but when he would go out of his body, in the Astral plane, or even in Nirvana, in different dimensions, represented by the Tree of Life, he was hearing that music from his inner divinity. He was memorizing everything, retaining everything, then returning to his body, where he was physically deaf, and trying to notate everything that he experienced. He was very awakened. I have verified, and give testimony, that his music teaches very elevated principles. We can know these things directly, if we investigate.

He also stated:

"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend." —Quoted by Bettina von Arnin, letter to Goethe, 1810

Meaning, we cannot comprehend with the intellect, which is what people try to do with his music. They look at it intellectually, and are amazed by its complexity, but, it is like learning Hebrew, but not understanding the Bible. It is a said fact, but it is a reality.

Quoted by Bettina van Arnin, in a letter to Goethe, another great master of literature that we also venerate, Beethoven stated:

"When I open my eyes I must sigh, for what I see is contrary to my religion, and I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."

This is my favorite quote of his:

"He who understands my music can never know unhappiness again."

If you listen to the ninth symphony, it is really about self-realization; you unite with your God, then you can truly sing the chorus from that symphony. That is the angels expressing that joy that another soul has entered into Nirvana, into bliss. It is really a profound teaching. So, if you understand that from experience, you won't be so dejected, and you will really work harder to know God.

Even Wagner, who is tremendously slandered in these times, as an anti-Semite, as a misogynist, was a great master. If we understand that all the apostles of art have been denigrated by the critics, by people who don't really understand religion, or science, or mysticism, art, we understand that his teachings are very profound. His operas teach a lot of Kabbalah; they are Hebraic teachings. So, it is incongruous to say that he was an anti-Semite, when his operas represent the entire Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge of Genesis.

In synthesis, he states the following, regarding the purpose of art:

"When religion becomes artificial, art has a duty to rescue it. Art can show that the symbols which religions would have us believe literally true are actually figurative. Art can idealize those symbols, and so reveal the profound truths they contain…

"…I believe in God, Mozart and Beethoven, and likewise their disciples and apostles; —I believe in the Holy Spirit and the truth of the one, indivisible Art; —I believe that this Art proceeds from God, and lives within the hearts of all illumined men (initiates); —I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art, is consecrate to Her for ever, and never can deny Her;—I believe that through Art all men are saved." —Richard Wagner

Art teaches us the path. When we study art, it inspires us to really work ourselves, psychologically, spiritually. To have that experience of what his opera Parsifal teaches, such as the Master Samael teaches in the book, Parsifal Unveiled... it is mind boggling; it inspires us to really change, and make effort to overcome our own suffering, as well as the suffering of others.

Diabolic Art

We have an image of Parsifal, with the temptress Kundry, which is another representation of how Buddha was facing his inner devil, the temptresses of Mara, which are represented in this opera as Kundry; it is the same drama. Parsifal is the knight who seeks to retrieve the lance of Longinus, which pierced the side of the Lord.

We find that, just as there is divinity in art, there is also a lot of diabolic representations within art too. This is easy to find if we look at our modern media, as well as much of the artforms that are presented in these times; such as through things like death metal, gangster rap, violent forms of music, which are provocative, usually of a lustful nature as well.

We find that even theatre, as well as places that once transmitted the divine teachings, have been overcome by people who really do not understand these messages. So, just as people who play in a symphony, they may not know the meaning of the music, they can at least express that teaching; it is the same thing as works by Shakespeare, which are esoteric plays, esoteric dramas. A lot of times, the theatre, and many other forms and expressions of art, have been infiltrated and degenerated by lude interpretations.

Samael Aun Weor is very clear in the Revolution of the Dialectic. He states:

"The tenebrous ones have stolen the theatre and the stage. They have miserably profaned it. They have totally prostituted it." --Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

This may seem harsh, but the thing to realize is that, if we look at theatre, we see that a lot of the representations are very provocative, lustful, sexually charged, and are usually devoid of any inherit esoteric divine principles.

We were talking a little about how divinity expresses through art, but now we are explaining how art can also be an expression of negativity.

"The Sabbath, the day of the theatre, the day of the mysteries, was very popular in the ancient temples. Marvelous cosmic dramas were then presented.

"Drama served to transmit valuable teachings to the Initiates. Different ways to experience the Being (divinity) and the manifestations of the Being were transmitted to the initiates by means of drama." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

Shakespeare retains a lot of this teaching; such as Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, Macbeth... these characters represent principles that we need to study and understand in ourselves.

"Among the dramas, the most ancient one is that of the Cosmic Christ. The Initiates knew very well that each of us must become the Christ of such a drama if we indeed aspire to the Kingdom of the Superman." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

The superman is the term denominated by Nietzsche, who also knew this science. A superman is a man who is a human being, fully integrated with Christ: a fully developed being. Like, King Solomon, the Solar king from the Bible.

"The cosmic dramas are based on the Law of Seven. Certain intelligent deviations of such a law were always utilized in order to transmit transcendental teachings to the neophyte." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

We talk about the Law of Seven, which relates to Kabbalah. You may hear how the ancients studied seven planets, and many people have this assumption that the ancients must be stupid, because there are more than seven planets. That is not the case. They actually knew of all the planets in the solar system, even while our modern astronomers do not. The explanation for this is that they had awakened internally, in order to investigate things about the solar system. The law of seven is a law of organization. We find the seven notes in our musical scale; likewise, seven is represented by the organization of our psyche, namely with our physical, energetic, emotional, mental, volitive, conscious and spiritual principles. This relates to Kabbalah, which we will explain about more in other lectures. But, a lot of art and drama explains this mystery of the law of seven. Plus, if you had the law of three, the law of creation (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to the law of seven, you have ten: the ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life, in Kabbalah.

​Spiritual Sculpture, Architecture, and the True Human Being 

Here we see an image of the sphinx, which is an Egyptian work of art. It represents a great mystery that we need to solve. I am sure we have all heard of the mystery of the sphinx; Oedipus Rex had to solve the mystery of the sphinx, in order to save his city.

"In addition to this, it is suitable here to mention sculpture. The latter was grandiose in bygone times. The allegorical beings chiseled on hard rock reveal to us that the ancient Masters never ignored the Law of Seven." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

So, sculpture like the pyramids, the great buildings of antiquity, show us principles that we need to develop. Many Egyptologists, archaeologists laugh at the Egyptians, thinking that they worshipped idols, statues... this is wrong. These sculptures are symbols, they are not literal. To look at the flag of the United States literally, we would see that there is 50 stars, 13 white stripes, and that is literally there... that would be absurd. The Egyptians did not think that way. They represented cosmic principles in their sculpture.

"Let us remember the Sphinx of Giza, in Egypt. The sphinx depicts for us the four elements of nature and the four basic conditions of the Superman." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

We see the paws of a lion; the face of a man; hooves of a bull; and the wings of an eagle; this is the traditional representation. The bull represents earth, our physicality. We have the elements in our body that we need to conquer. Likewise, the face of the man, which represents water, referring to our sexual forces, our energetic principles, our vitality, etc. We have the wings of the eagle, related to air, the mind; the mind is of an aerial nature, breath. And then we have the paws of the lion, which represent fire; emotional processes. We feel fire in the heart when we're angry, or with love, etc.

In order to become an angel, we need to conquer those elements, which is what the riddle of the sphinx tells us. If we want to become a man or woman made into the image of God, we need to conquer these elements inside of us. Or, as Jesus taught, "You should worship your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your will, and all your strength." These are the four elements represented here.

To emphasize how these teachers like Michelangelo, and other artists, taught us a hidden teaching, I would like to emphasize some quotes, specifically about Michelangelo.

This is an image of the Pieta by Michelangelo, the dead Christ being held by the Virgin Mary, after his Passion. Here are some quotes that I am going to explain a little, in order to look at them at a deeper level. These are sayings by Michelangelo:

"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."

Just as we say that, in order to create a beautiful sculpture, we need to see the image in our mind, then chisel it into the stone, which is the literal meaning that Michelangelo is saying here. On a deeper level, we understand that, like that stone of Peter, our psyche is a stone that is impure, rough, and that we need to chisel in order to produce that image of God inside. So, Patar, Peter, the stone, is our energies that we need to purify, chisel away, by bearing in mind the image of our creator, so that we can create that sculpture, which is that perfected human being: a human being that is a work of divine art.

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

We all have an Angel inside our stone, symbolically. We need to chisel away that stone, so that we can work patiently, with a lot of love, in order to produce this Angel inside.

"The best artist has that thought alone which is contained within the marble shell; the sculptor's hand can only break the spell to free the figures slumbering in the stone."

Again, these figures are slumbering, sleeping in the stone. We say in this teaching that we are asleep, like the myth of Psyche and Cupid. Psyche, our soul, is not awake to her full potential. Cupid has to awaken her. This represents how only Christ, Cupid, can awaken us. In order to chisel that stone, and produce that awakened, perfected image; to become fully illuminated, awakened, a Buddha.

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.

"The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.

"My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness."

Another beautiful teaching. People think that Heaven is some abstract thing in the clouds... but, we reach Heaven by working here physically, in order body, by meditating, praying, etc.

This also refers to Earths loveliness; which is a matrimony. To enjoy one's earth, one's body, is to be married; that is really when Earth's loveliness is shown. It is in a matrimony when the power of God can really be realized in depth. This is what Samael Aun Weor taught in The Perfect Matrimony.

"I live in sin, to kill myself I live; no longer my life my own, but sin's; my good is given to me by heaven, my evil by myself, by my free will, of which I am deprived."

This is a very honest examination of himself; he was saying that he had a lot of sin inside himself, but that he wanted to be purified. "To kill myself, I live," meaning, to kill one’s defects, which is the passion of Christ.

​"Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."

If we meditate a little bit at a time, and really work little by little to gain perfection, we will do it. Perfection is no trifle.

"Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.

"It is necessary to keep one's compass in one's eyes and not in the hand, for the hands execute, but the eye judges."

Meaning, every action that we perform, we need to be observant of our mind. We need to really let our Being, our God, express through us, and to not be identified with physicality so much.

"Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish."

To always want to know more of divinity. Or, as the Qur'an states, "Allah has not been known as he deserves to be known." In knowing God, there is always levels.
Kukulcan, the Feathered Serpent, and the Pyramid of Chichen Itza

Here we see another sculpture, the pyramid of Kukulkan, the feathered serpent of the Maya. The Mayan civilization bore a great teaching in their architecture and taught many divine principles. The pyramid of Chichen Itza has four sides contain 365 steps (depicting the solar year). There are 52 panels (for each year in the Mayan century as well as each week in the solar year). 18 terraces (for the 18 months in the religious year). Designed by astronomers, astrologers, and mathematicians.

Maya and Toltec people worshipped Kukulkan, the feathered serpent or in the Aztec language, Quetzacoatl; this same bronze serpent that Moses raised on the staff for the Israelites, in order to heal them. It is a representation of what the Hindus call the Kundalini, which we can work with in a matrimony. The sculptures and architecture of the Maya depicted all of this; it is a very profound and beautiful teaching. We also see in this image, a snake of light that appears on the pyramid in seven degrees during the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, when day and night are in equilibrium. The fact that they planned this with such precision, to show this serpent of light raising up to the top of the temple, is representing many beautiful things for us; that if we work with that energy called Kundalini, we can ascend into our inner temple, to receive initiation.

Sacred Dance

Likewise, sacred dances such as those found in the Middle East, in the Sufi, Muslim traditions, teach us a lot. We have the following teaching given by Samael Aun Weor, in The Revolution of the Dialectic:

"Sacred dances were authentic informative books which were deliberately transmitting certain transcendental cosmic teachings.

"The Whirling Dervishes do not ignore the mutually equilibrated seven temptations of living organisms." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

Again, the Law of Seven is present here. We can say that we have seven main defects that we have to face: the seven deadly sins, lust, pride, greed, gluttony, laziness, anger, envy.

"The ancient dancers knew the seven independent parts of the body and knew very well what the seven different lines of movement are. The sacred dancers knew very well that each of the seven lines of movement possesses seven points of dynamic concentration." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

So, these Sufi dancers would concentrate and pray very deeply, and they would focus on the movements of their bodies, on their seven points of concentration, which we call the seven chakras in Hinduism.

By doing this whirling, they would activate their chakras positively, so that they could perceive things spiritually; through movement and prayer by focusing on their seven centers, in order to awaken them.

"The dancers of Babylon, Greece, and Egypt did not ignore that all of this crystallized in the whirling atom and on the gigantic planet that dances around its center of cosmic gravitation.

"If we could invent a machine that would imitate with exactness all the movements of the seven planets of our solar system around the sun, we would then discover with amazement the secret of the Whirling Dervishes. Indeed, the Whirling Dervishes perfectly imitate all of the movements of the planets around the Sun." –Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

So, as a practice, it is a work with energy: doing movement, dance, with prayer and recitation. These dances represent how the cosmos functions.

Spiritual Concert According to Sufism

We find this Sufi text, Al-Risalah, which translates as Principles of Sufism by a Sufi Master by the name of Al Qushayri. He explains that music and poetry is divine; it can express, as through Shakespeare and other great works of art, many intimate experiences of the heart. It states:

"Know that listening to poetry with beautiful melodies and delightful intonation—when the one who listens does not believe it to be forbidden, does not hear anything that is blamable according to the divine Command, is not driven by the reins of his lust, and does not gather with others for the sake of lusts—is wholly permissible." —Al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism

A lot of the Muslims were arguing whether music is acceptable. This argument emphasizes that there is always a conflict between whether art can express the divine in man, or if the people who perform these dances would do so out of lust for others within the congregation, which was a common problem back then, but even more so now.

"There is no denying that poetry was recited before the Messenger of God, and that he listened to it and did not censure those who recited it. So if hearing it without beautiful melody is licit, how should the rule be altered by hearing it with melody?

"This is the obvious side of the matter. What comes next is that the one who listens should find his wish to perform acts of devotion increased. " -Al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism

So, to really know whether music or art is really objective or not, is really spiritual, we have to sincerely examine ourselves: do we feel more devoted and concentrated? Or, do we feel anger or lust or certain other negative psychological elements inside, when we encounter this type of art?

"He should remember the degrees that God Most High has prepared for his servants who fear Him.

"This should lead him to guard against sins, and immediately convey to his heart the purity of feeling and impression required by the religion and preferred in the divine Law." —Al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism

Music should really inspire us to love God more deeply, to know God more deeply; to study as it is according to the divine law. The translation of this is really Shariah, but here we are not talking about the law in the MIddle East, in the Muslim countries, which is a deviation of the spiritual meaning of Shariah, which you could call in Hebrew, Torah, or Dharma in Sanskrit, the law, the instruction we get through books or teachings.

“I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say, ‘The spiritual concert is forbidden to ordinary people because of the continued maintenance of their egos.’" —Al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism

A lot of these concerts were forbidden for people who never knew anything about esotericism, because they would always approach it with lust or filthiness.

"It is permissible for renunciates (practitioners) because of their pursuit of inner struggle (meaning struggling with their own defects, to become more pure in mind, body and heart, so that God can incarnate). It is recommended (music, art, poetry) for our companions, for the sake of the life of their hearts." —Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

So, like the symphonies of Beethoven, it is really for companions. What does it meant to be a companion of God? It is to experience God directly, in meditation, or out of the body.

The Degeneration of Modern Art

I'd like to emphasize modern art, which is a deviation from the ancient, esoteric principles we were discussing. We find that this time of materialism and the bankruptcy of morals, demonstrates itself through the type of art that people create nowadays. Where in comparison with ancient times, we have experienced a rapid acceleration of violence, prostitution, drugs, alcoholism, mental illness, disease, etc. This reflects in our art. People minds are focused on the diabolic, and not the divine. This image here is literally of the Venus de Milo made of excrement. We see here statues made of garbage; another image by Andy Warhol of Campbell's Soup Cans... the message behind this, is that there really is no message behind it: it is empty. The word for can, or empty shell, in Hebrew, is Klipah, Klifah, which is where we get the word Klipoth from, which means Hell. So, the emptiness of spirituality is represented in our art.

Samael Aun Weor, in The Revolution of the Dialectic states:

"When the first symptoms of atheism, skepticism, and materialism began to appear in Babylon, the degeneration of the five senses accelerated in a frightening manner.

"It is perfectly demonstrated that we are what we think." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

This is what Buddha taught, 2500 years ago.

"Therefore, if we think as materialists, we degenerate and fossilize ourselves.

"Karl Marx committed an unforgivable crime. He took away the spiritual values of humanity. Marxism has unleashed religious persecution. Marxism has precipitated humanity to its total degeneration." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

We find this in countries that adopted Marxism, Communism, in which people’s human rights were taken away from them, and they weren't allowed to have any belief in spirituality. We see that humanity without religion is barbaric; without beliefs as to how to live a good life, life becomes chaos, chaotic. This shows in the different art that is being produced.

"Materialistic Marxist ideas have infiltrated everywhere, in schools and in the home, in the temple and in the office, etc.

"The artists of each new generation have become true apologists of dialectical materialism. Every breath of spirituality has disappeared in ultramodern art.

"Modern artists no longer know anything about the Law of Seven. They no longer know anything about the cosmic dramas. They no longer know anything about the sacred dances of the ancient mysteries." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic –Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

Not all art that is of a diabolic nature, is necessarily ugly, aesthetically speaking. This is a painting by Salvador Dali, who is a very famous painter, and a very good one by his own right; the only thing is, his imagery, while possessing tremendous technical skill and artistry, really conveys a lot of the subconscious nature that he demonstrated. This is evident by his own life, his quotes, his sayings, as well as his actions. Here are some quotes of his, to contrast Michelangelo:

"Have no fear of perfection—you'll never reach it."

To say that one will never reach perfection with divinity is really diabolic.

"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.

"The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant."

So, this is explaining that, even knowing that there is a spiritual, divine path, he is saying that is better to follow one’s own subconscious, diabolic nature; saying that it is the deceptive nature which is better.

So, he is really showing the opposite in his artwork: he even recommended to other artists to masturbate into their paintings, to use their sexual bodily fluids in their art, to paint. We say that masturbation is truly contrary to the teachings that we provide here; masturbation, if we take the Latin word, it is manus-stuprare. Manus is hand, stuprare means "defilment," or stupare, which means to become stupid. We lose our intelligence if we masturbate, because that energy which can be used for God is lost. Salvidor Dali was addicted to that. He said:

"I don't do drugs. I am drugs."

And we emphasize that drugs can only awaken infernal, diabolic perceptions, such as through LSD, marijuana, etc. This is what many artists take into their body and mind, in order to have, what they say, are spiritual experience, but are really inverted experiences. We do not teach any dependence on drugs in this teaching. To know God, we seek to know God without filters, without any external substance, but directly, within ourselves.

"There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad."

He knew what he was doing was diabolic, in the kind of art that he was expressing.

"Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.

"Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glory."

So, he was very materialistic; he expressed through his art, his own subconscious perception. We can say that, a person who has perception does not necessarily have it objectively. This is the meaning of the word clairvoyance.

I have seen some of his paintings in different museums, and it is a very hypnotic and fascinating thing. We say that hypnosis is the opposite of Gnosis. Hypnosis puts the soul to sleep, but Gnosis is about awakening the soul, in order to know God. We have this dual nature: we have the consciousness, which can awaken to divinity, which can awaken from sleep; then, we have our own diabolic subconscious nature. Dali was saying that it is better to follow your passions than to follow your divinity. He knew this, so he was really emphasizing the opposite of what we teach. Art communicates energetically, psychologically. So, we do not recommend indulging in these kinds of art forms.
This is a painting by Miro. Again, technically, very well done, masterful. But, there is no esoteric message behind it, there is no divine principle expressed through it.

We find the following quote from Samael Aun Weor in The Revolution of the Dialectic:

"It is already proven by observation and experience that the absence of spiritual values produces degeneration.

"The paintings of this day and age, as well as the music, the sculptures, etc., are nothing but the product of degeneration."

We look at art, and we find that people use art to express violence, hatred, pornography, sickness, disease of the mind, etc.

"The initiates of ancient times, the sacred female dancers, the true artists of ancient great times, no longer appear on the stage. Now, only sick automatons, degenerated singers, rebels without a cause, etc. appear on the stage."

If you look at television... for instance, I try to exercise at a gym, and they always play music videos of modern music, and it is very filthy; women dancing in very provocative and lustful ways. It is always a challenge going there. We find that art in these times does not reflect God at all; it is very easy to analyze this.

If you look a couple of hundred years ago, we find beautiful, artistic paintings representing religious principles. But now? It is completely deviated, we have gibberish. And, I am sorry to say to Miro, that it is very well done... but that is what the mind is like inside; different egos, defects.

"Ultramodern theatres are the antithesis of the sacred theatres of the great mysteries of Egypt, Greece, India, etc. The art of this day and age is tenebrous; it is the antithesis of Light. Modern artists are tenebrous as well.

"Surrealistic and Marxist paintings, ultramodern sculpture, Afro-Cuban music and the modern female dancers are the outcome of human degeneration.

"The young men and women of the new generations receive by means of their three cerebrums data which is sufficient to convert them into swindlers, thieves, assassins, bandits, homosexuals, prostitutes, etc." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

We find that, if we look at today’s art, people are learning how to become, like with video games, more violent, more angry, more lustful, more proud. Art, in this times, reflects the consciousness of our humanity, which is of a very degenerating type. It is absent of kindness, compassion, love, understanding, which are all from divinity. But we find that a lot of art is really just the expressing of what is negative and evil in our person; instead, we want to cultivate art that shows us our own divine potential.
This is another good painting, it is by Edvard Munch, which actually very well captures the modern mentality, "The Scream." To clarify this use of this image, we will again quote Samael Aun Weor:

"After the Second World War, existentialist philosophy and art were born. When we have seen the existentialist actors on stage, we have arrived at the conclusion that they are truly maniacal and perversely sick people."

We find that this image of a human being screaming in horror at the modern mentality, really demonstrates the type of degeneration that occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries. Even now, onward, onto the 21st century, since the 1960s.

"If Marxism continues to be disseminated, then the human being will end up totally losing his five senses (which are in the process of degeneration)." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

We emphasize that art expresses the consciousness of a person; the level of development or non-development of a person. We look at art and we find that the ancient music, theatre, dance, etc., really conveyed in their depth a profound wisdom that we need to actualize in ourselves, if we want to know God. But, also, art in these times has veered away from its genuine purpose, represented by existentialist art. Existentialist philosophy pertains to a belief that there is no God, and that one must make meaning from meaninglessness. It is a philosophy founded on hopelessness; it is the myth of Sisyphus, such as taught by existentialist philosophers like Albert Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard and others.

Questions and Answers

Audience: What you talk about, is it derivative of some lineage related to Samael Aun Weor?

Instructor: Yes. He is the founder of the tradition we study. I use his writings, principally because, in comparison with other authors, of his clarity and his depth. We study in this tradition many authors, particularly Gurdjieff, Steiner, Blavatsky, Dion Fortune, Max Heindel... many other occultists; people who have studied the hidden within the human being. But, we particularly use Samael Aun Weor's writings for his potency of his knowledge that he expressed in different books, which can provide clarity and insight into works of other occultists who came before him.

His teachings, I have found, have helped clarify the relationship between many principles and ideas which, in occult circles, may seem very divergent and separate, but he explains how they connect. His particular gift was that he explained the synthesis of religions, and how to interpret these different religious teachings and art, specifically.

Audience: It seems like he connected the dots.

Instructor: Yes. He really explains a lot in his books.

Audience: You also mentioned Paul of Tarsus.

Instructor: Yes. Referring specifically to the apostle who wrote the Epistles, part of the New Testament.

Audience: So, how is this different from Freemasonry?

Instructor: Freemasonry was once a Gnostic teaching. The rituals that were performed by the Freemasons are really Gnostic in origin. If you look at the symbol of Masonry, you have the compass and square with the letter G in the middle; that letter G is Gnosis, knowledge. They say that by working with your stone, Peter, chiseling that force inside, we can attain to unity with God.

Freemasonry was once a Gnostic tradition, before it became a social club, essentially. People who attend say that they are masters of the 33rd degree... but, they have just read books, they have not really practiced the meaning of their tradition. Which is the same with any religion nowadays. But, Freemasonry was a very active force in Europe; even in the Middle East as well. For instance, the meaning of the stone of Kaaba, in Islam, pertains to the cubic stone that we need to perfect, the stone of Peter. This, in the Middle East, is black, representing how our soul is impure, and that we need to chisel it to make it pure. We do that by performing seven circumambulations around the Kaaba, during the Hajj. So, the meaning of that, is working with the law of seven, which even the Muslims know about... it is a very beautiful tradition that they have. Again, like we said about how seven is the organizing principle, in all religions.

Audience: You mentioned Judas, and then you also mentioned that he was lustful, can you explain what lust is?

Instructor: Lust is a sexual desire that seeks to be satiated by sensation; specifically, the orgasm. So, the epitome of lust is to reach the sexual climax in which the energies of Peter, Patar, the stone, are expelled. Lust pertains, if we examine our mind, to desire for sexual sensations. The only way to really understand what lust is, is to see it in action, by learning to develop our spiritual purity, our chastity. By chastity, we do not mean sexual abstinence, but, purity. One can be engaged sexually, as a husband and wife in a chaste, pure way. Lust is the opposite of sexual attraction; it takes the sexual attraction that one naturally has in one’s magnetism, as a couple, and then abuses it for the experience of sensations, for no purpose other than that. So, we say that it is an animal tendency, lust. The opposite is the virtues of God, which is chastity. Virtue is the opposite, coming from the word Virya, meaning warrior; to be a warrior is to conquer one’s animal desires. It is to have virtue, which is the same root word as virility.

The only way we can understand what lust is, is to observe it.

Audience: But, how is the related to Judas; he just sold out Jesus?

Instructor: We have to understand that all the apostles came to represent something inside of us, that we need to encounter. So, just as there was Jesus Christ physically, we also have our own, internal Jesus Christ, who is our Being. Likewise, we also have inside of us, Pilate, a demon who crucifies the Christ; meaning, we crucify our Being, and our ego washes its hand of that, saying, "I am not guilty. I did not do anything wrong." Caiaphas is our evil will; whenever we feel hatred towards another person, we are disobeying the commandment of God to love thy neighbor as thyself: that is Caiaphas inside of us. Judas is a type of sexual desire; he sells the Lord for thirty pieces of silver...

Audience: The titillation of the orgasm abuses the Christic force?

Instructor: Yes. The energies of sex are the Christ. So, Judas, as desire, passion, sells the Lord for an orgasm, basically. Meaning, how our own ego makes our Lord suffer, hands over our Inner Being to our own defects by selling the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. Thirty represents the power of creation, and silver is the moon. So, again, in relation to our body, the moon relates to lunar forces relating to sex. The powers of sex relate to what we call Yesod in Kabbalah, relates to procreation and lunar habits, which are not Christic, which are not Solar; they are the opposite. We need to make the moon into a Sun.

Judas gives away his Being, meaning, a person who is a Judas is someone who orgasms, who wastes that energy, in order to have thirty pieces of silver, a moment of pleasure that is ephemeral... it’s gone. But, that energy which could create the soul inside, is lost. That is the meaning of Judas. He represented, in all of us, our own desire, which betrays God; particularly within the sexual act.

Audience: What about the dangers of repression of the sexual force?

Instructor: Like the Buddha taught, to observe is to know God. We have to learn how to see ourselves without pushing away, not looking at that inside of ourselves which we don't like, hiding from ourselves; that doesn't produce any comprehension. In fact, what that develops is a lot of frustration and mental tension, which eventually resurfaces as storm, basically. Neither do you want to feed that desire. To learn the middle way is precisely the entire path of self-realization; to balance those forces within oneself.

Like that image I showed of Botticelli, the death of Christ: everyone is disbalanced and is trying to equilibrate. And then you have Peter, who is level, upright, and who says, "I know that my Lord will resurrect within me, if I am balanced." So, the way that we balance ourselves is by working with those two keys that he has in his hand; the gold key and then silver key, masculine force / feminine force, a matrimony. That is the ultimate meaning of that. However, individual practitioners can work with those two forces, in a minor degree, in order to learn to balance the mind.

We learn how to overcome repression and suppression, as well as justification, simply by balancing our psyche, little by little. This does not come immediately, but through a lifetime, or even lifetimes, of work. But we get that balance gradually.

Audience: Why were the days of the week changed?

Instructor: Because of people who do not know Astrology. There was an original astrological calendar, which was adulterated by the Catholic church, by people who did not understand the esoteric nature of how the days of the week relate to the seven planets, the law of seven of Alchemy. We currently have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. But, the original calendar was Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Saturday is the only day that is actually in its right place, the Sabbath. The days relate to the planets; Monday relates to the Moon, Lunes in Spanish, Lunar, the Moon. Wednesday is Mercury, Miercoles in Spanish—sometimes the Spanish words have a deeper connection to this. Viernes, or Venus, which is Friday, the Goddess of love.  Jueves, the Sun, Sunday. Then you have Tuesday, Martes, or Mars. Jupiter is Thursday. Saturn is Saturday. They were changed because the people in the Catholic Church did not know what they were doing, and they wanted to make Sunday the last day of the week, instead of the middle of the week, because they believed that after the six days in the Garden of Eden, God rested on the seventh day. They wanted the seventh day to be Sunday, for their own political purposes and misconceptions.

Audience: Do we get any benefit by going with the old days of the week?

Instructor: Yes... so long as you don't get confused when you wake up for work.

Audience: Where do encounter this other way of doing it?

Instructor: We have a book called Practical Astrology; it explains the calendar.

Audience: I mean, which cultures used this?

Instructor: All the ancient cultures knew these seven days in depth. It is only recently, in the last couple of thousand years or so that it was changed.

Thank you very much.
<![CDATA[Esoteric Discipline of Mind]]>Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:52:41 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/esoteric-discipline-of-mindThe following transcription is from an audio lecture on Gnostic Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy.

I felt it would be good for the new year to really analyze what meditation is, and to really study it in a didactic manner. As we say in this tradition, meditation is the daily bread of the Gnostic. It is our daily practice. Without understanding how to meditate, how to experience the reality of our Being, we in turn cannot experience the reality of our Being. So, I wanted to really touch upon what this science is and how to really effectively practice. Because without meditation, we cannot attain anything.
Some people think that meditation is a means to have experiences, which is partially true, to be able to speak directly to God, our Being, such as in an astral experience or out of the body. But the truth is, as Samael Aun Weor stated, that when we meditate what we seek is information. We seek to know, to investigate, to discern our internal states, any scripture we are studying, and, more importantly, our defects. As he says in The Great Rebellion:
“In life the only thing of importance is a radical, total and definitive change. The rest frankly is of no importance at all. Meditation is fundamental when we sincerely yearn for such a change. In no way do we want any type of meditation that is insignificant, superficial, or in vain. We must become serious and abandon the nonsense that abounds in cheap pseudo-esotericism and pseudo-occultism. We must know how to take things seriously, how to change if what we really and truly want is not to fail in the esoteric work.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
This is probably for me one of the most poignant statements in that book. We have to learn how to really take things seriously, meaning we have to really dedicate our time and our effort to understand, what does it mean to meditate? It's a mysterious science that we cannot comprehend in its depth, without the balance of study and practice. 

That is beautifully illustrated in this image. In the center we have Chenrezig, which is Christ, otherwise known as Avalokitesvara. To his right we see Manjushri wielding a sword, and in his left hand, he has his scripture. Typically in Tibetan Buddhist paintings, in the Mahayana or Vajrayana tradition, we find Manjushri wielding the sword of perception, in order to cut through delusion. So that sword, while representing the Kundalini, is really a representation of how with our perception we need to cut through illusion. As the Master Samael explained, we need to learn how to receive information. We need to learn how to perceive, to know ourselves. The fact that the sword represents Prajna, perception, wisdom, is really integral and emphatic of how we can experience our Being. Prajna in Sanskrit means wisdom, and wisdom comes from the etymological vis, dom, vision and dom, kingdom or power, the power to perceive.
What is important is that in his left hand, he also carries a scripture. So, on the right hand, he has practice, he has effort, daily exercises in meditation and practice, cutting through the illusions of self. Then in his left hand he has scripture, meaning we need to balance our knowledge and our being, as the master Samael explains I believe in either The Great Rebellion or Revolutionary Psychology.
“Now, it is completely impossible to experience the Being, the Innermost, the reality, without becoming true technical and scientific masters of that mysterious science called meditation. It is completely impossible to experience the Being, the Innermost, the reality, without having reached a true mastery of the quietude and silence of the mind.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Spiritual Power of Sound
This is again beautifully emphasized in this image. For Manjushri, representing occult wisdom, we have Mahakala on the left of Chenrezig, surrounded by flames. In Tantra, he is known as a wrathful deity. Maha means great, kala reminds us of Kali, the goddess of death in Hinduism. He represents severity of the gods, a wrathful energy, which is directed towards the pulverization of the ego, and really demonstrates for us the type of willpower that we need if we want to really conquer ourselves.
In order to know Christ, even our inner Buddha, our inner Being, we need to cultivate wisdom, Prajna, perception, and work with the sexual energy. Because that fire illuminating Mahakala is representative of the Holy Spirit, the sexual power, which when we harness for our consciousness can pulverize our ego. For if we use that sexual energy in a chaste way, Mahakala then works in us to pulverize our defects. But if we are lustful and if we fornicate, Mahakala turns on us, because we are establishing and fortifying our ego.
Notice in the center of the image, we have Chenrezig holding a prayer bead. These are used for Japa meditation, mantra recitation, and represent remembrance. To know God, we need to really work with discernment, Prajna, wisdom, to perceive ourselves and to always cultivate the use of the sexual power.

Now, in this next image we have a Sufi master praying to his Innermost or his inner Christ, Allah, signified by the Arabic letters. We emphasize that when we meditate what we seek is to know and really extract information from any given object of concentration.
“To experience the truth is fundamental, and it is not by means of the exertion that we can experience the truth.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Many people think when they sit to meditate that they have to strain their mind or that when they practice, it is like a checklist: first I need to concentrate, then I need to do this, then I need to do this. They make it a rigid system, when it is really a dynamic and fluidic process. We do not need exertion, do not need to exert the mind, to know God.
“The truth is not the result, the truth is not the product of exertion. The truth comes to us by means of profound comprehension.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
This is really what we seek is to comprehend, but we do not do it with the mind. Our mind is our chief obstacle. We typically have this assumption, and many Westerners assume, that when meditating, we take this habit of our Western society into our practice where we are thinking all the time or trying to resolve a problem with the intellect. Comprehension comes to us when we do not think, when we cease or exhaust the process of rationalization.
“We need to exert ourselves in order to work in the Great Work and to transmute our creative energies.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
We need to work with Mahakala, Binah, the Holy Spirit.
“We need to exert ourselves to live, to struggle and to tread the path of the integral revolution, but we do not need to exert ourselves in order to comprehend the truth.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
As we have explained many times, comprehension is that spark in which we see things in a completely new way. So when we sit to meditate, and we analyze what our state of mind is, if we do not taste that flavor of a new perception, it means that our mind is murky. It is diluted. However, actually this type of perception of Manjushri, the sword of perception, is very clear, pristine, cognizant, without filters. This of course comes in levels. Manjushri, you see, is holding the sword, and we think that, well, when someone goes to battle they need to exert themselves. Physically this is true. But when we go to war against ourselves, our ego, when we comprehend and self-observe our inner defects, we do not need to exert ourselves, because that is the mind. Comprehension is that intuitive insight which arrives when we see our defects or see a defect in action, and we do not rationalize, justify it or condemn it. We see it for what it is.
This is really the beginning, chastity and perception: sexual purity and Prajna, wisdom to perceive. Comprehension of any defect and meditation does not require that we exert ourselves in any way. When we stop thinking, when we are just open to the new, then insight comes. But willpower is necessary in these teachings too, so there is an interesting dynamic that this relates to, which is very beautifully explained in the Al-Risalah by a Sufi master, Al-Qushayri.
“Iradah, the will to find God, is the beginning of the path of spiritual travelers. The first title given of those who are determined to reach God Most High. This attribute is only called iradah, because will is the preface to every undertaking. When the servant does not will, he does not carry out. Since this is the start of the enterprise of one who travels the path of God Almighty and Glorious, it is called ‘will’ by analogy to the resolution involved at the beginning of everything else.”
—​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Now, Manjushri, it seems like he is using effort to cut through illusion. In the beginning for us when we sit to meditate, we need to exert efforts in our consciousness to pay attention, not the mind. Exertion is of the mind, but we need a type of conscious effort in order to restrain our thoughts and our mind in the moment. The type of willpower that the Sufis are talking here, relates to Tiphereth in Kabbalah, the Human Soul. The human soul has to exert herself to transmute and to remember the Being. But the more that we develop our consciousness, the less effort it takes.
I remember in the case of the Master Samael Aun Weor, who stated that in the beginning of his work, he had to exert tremendous efforts to remember himself and to travel out of his body to go to the superior worlds. Later, since his center of gravity shifted from Klipoth, having annihilated those defects, it was then placed in the superior worlds. So then he said, “Now it takes me tremendous effort to stay in my physical body because I always want to travel to other dimensions,” while he's talking and doing other things. But for him to be in the superior worlds does not take effort. And that's the type of development that we can all acquire, where it doesn't take effort to go out of our body. It isn't difficult.
Again, I emphasize, exertion is of the mind, but we need willpower. So there's a balance here and there's seemingly a contradiction, as the Sufis pointed out.
“According to etymology, the disciple is ‘he who possesses will,’ just as the knower is ‘he who possesses knowledge’ because the word belongs to the class of derived nouns. But in Sufi usage, the disciple is he who possesses no will at all! Here, one who does not abandon will cannot be called a disciple, just as, linguistically, one who does not possess will cannot be called a disciple.” 
—​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
The meaning of this is, if you think about the story of Jesus, he said, “Father, if it would be possible, take this cup of bitterness from me, but not my will, but Thine be done.” We need to do the will of our Being. That means that we have no will of our own. It is then our Innermost acting through us. But in the beginning, we need to have discipline, willpower to meditate and to practice every day if what we want to experience is the Being.
Remember that Christ in his crucifixion wore the crown of thorns, which is a representation of willpower: Christ's will. We don't need egotistical will; we need Christ's will. That's the explanation on this dichotomy. We need willpower, but we don't need willpower—we really need Christ's will, but we don't need egotistical exertions in our mind. We'll never know God that way.
Question: It's like we need a will to have no will?
Instructor: Exactly. We need willpower in our consciousness. Willpower in Kabbalah is Tiphereth, the center of the Tree of Life, the heart. It is by our heart that we are defined.
To know God, we need to cease thinking, but we need discipline in our consciousness. There is a saying in The Great Rebellion that “we can only awaken the consciousness based on conscious efforts and voluntary sufferings.” He says no matter how much you exert mechanical energy in your physical body, we will never awaken our soul. Neither if we transmute or work with vital energy extensively, that alone will not awaken our consciousness. Neither if we work with psychic energy, astral, emotional forces, that alone, even if we multiplied those forces to infinity, that won't awaken us. It is the same thing with mental energy, Netzach, mind. Even if we exert ourselves in mental disciplines of a very severe type, that won't awaken us. Neither if we multiply our willpower a million times, such as being like a fakir, sleeping on a bed of nails. Going back to the four ways, we find that the monk works with emotional energy singularly, exclusively, the yogi works with the mind, and the fakir works with willpower and mechanical energy. That alone will not awaken anything in us. But if we work with our consciousness, through conscious efforts and voluntary sufferings, meaning we work with our Being to exert our consciousness to work, that is how we will awaken and perceive something new. That is when all the other lower Sephiroth work in conjunction with the consciousness. Because the consciousness needs to know how to use willpower, Tiphereth, the mind, emotions, vitality, etc. So we need that type of discipline, which is not subjective but something that we can only verify by really practicing it.

​Simplicity and Discernment

The foundations of this direct perception pertain to that sword of Manjushri, discernment. We find here that in this image the Christ holding a child. We emphasize many times that we need to have the mind of a child, to be really simple, and not constantly rationalizing or intellectualizing on a daily basis, on a moment-to-moment basis. Children don't argue, debate, theorize, believe—they simply know. Especially at a young age, many children are very clairvoyant before their ego integrates into their psyche as they develop their personality.
“The discernment is the direct perception of the truth about the process of conceptual selection. When the process of selection divides the mind in the battle of the antitheses, then the internal images are hidden like stars behind the stormy clouds of reasoning. You must learn to think with the heart and feel with the head.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This is the wisdom of a heart, the heart doctrine, in which we will learn to become real masters of meditation. To think with the heart and not to let our mind ramble or label or identify things every moment. If we find meditation is difficult, it is because throughout our day we struggle with this problem where the intellect is too active. The way that we pacify the intellect is that we learn to think with the heart and to feel with the head.
“Our mind must become exquisitely sensitive and delicate. The mind must liberate itself from all types of bonds in order to comprehend life, free in its movement.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
The Master Samael emphasizes that thought should flow serenely like a river in the jungle. He doesn't mean that we necessarily stop thinking; it means that the ego does not abuse our intellectual center. If we are very observant, we will see how the ego really abuses the energies of the intellect, the mind. The only way that we can know that is by discerning that, how that ego functions in a given instant. It needs to be sensitive and delicate, so that it can be an instrument of God.
We can see that in this image Christ, here is Chenrezig, is holding the soul and it is on his lap, because Christ the being is the master and the child is our consciousness.
“We admire boldness,” meaning we need to really have a lot of willpower, again, to be bold, to really have the courage to go against the entire current that is swallowing this humanity, and which on a daily moment-to-moment basis, tempts us and pulls us to suffer and to go with the flow.
“Desires of all types are bonds for the mind. Prejudice and preconception are bonds for the understanding. Schools are cages where the mind remains a prisoner,” not only referring to physical schools, but spiritual groups.
The only purpose of a group is to teach you how to meditate, to really learn how to practice. Unfortunately, there's a tendency in many groups to feel that having a large number of students or a large group means that the people are successful, the practitioners are successful. But that is really a herd mentality, and typically, a lot of these individuals treat spiritual groups as a social club. The problem is everyone needs to learn how to meditate, otherwise flag, country, politics, beliefs, religion, groups, these structures limit our understanding of really investigating seriously our psyche.
“We must always learn to live in the present because life is always an internal instant. Our mind must convert itself into a flexible and delicate instrument for the Innermost. Our mind must convert itself into a child.” This is from Igneous Rose.
If we remember Jesus in the Gospels was riding on the donkey into the heavenly Jerusalem, it refers to how we need to dominate our mind. The way that we do so, how we develop esoteric discipline of mind is precisely in the practice of meditation, which is given in different ways, such as by Patanjali or in this more synthesized version by Samael Aun Weor.
“Oriental wisdom practices meditation in the following order:

Asana, which is posture of the body,

Pratyahara, thinking in nothing.
Dharana, concentration on only one thing.
Dhyana, profound meditation.
Samadhi, ecstasy.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Dhyana refers to when we are extracting information and perceiving something new about the object of our concentration. Samadhi is comprehension, to see, to perceive without the ego. Because the word ecstasy comes from ecstatuo in Latin, meaning to stand outside oneself, to stand outside one's subjective perception, the ego.
“It is necessary to place the body in the most comfortable position, asana. It is indispensable to blank the mind before concentrating, Pratyahara.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Typically when most people begin meditation or have been attempting this for years, these are the two difficulties that everybody faces. First, the body is uncomfortable, we want to move, we want to adjust ourselves. Or if we do find a position that is comfortable, the mind continues to think and to talk and talk and to chatter. So we need to learn how to have a silent mind, which is one of the first steps to learning how to concentrate. Many people try to meditate without knowing how to concentrate, without knowing how to quiet their mind, without having any type of stability in that manner.
“It is urgent to know how to fix the mind on only one object, which is concentration, Dharana. Then we profoundly reflect in the content of the object itself, Dhyana. Thus, through this way we reach ecstasy, samadhi or comprehension. All of these esoteric disciplines of the mind must saturate our daily life.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
These practices have to be implemented in every second of our existence. We need to have a discipline of observing ourselves, moment by moment. Because if we don't, then when we sit to meditate, the mind is in chaos.
Now, here is a quote for you, a saying by Swami Sivananda, who was a great Resurrected Master in this tradition on the importance of following these steps:
“If you want samadhi you must know well the process of Dhyana, meditation. If you want Dhyana, meditation, you must know accurately the method of Dharana, concentration. If you want Dharana, concentration, you must know perfectly the method of Pratyahara, silence of mind. If you want Pratyahara, you must know Pranayama, sexual transmutation. If you want Pranayama, you must know asana well, posture. Before going to the practice of asana, you should have yama and niyama.” —Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga
Yama means to do or yama can also mean precept, I believe. Precepts and to do or not to do, one's ethical discipline.
“There is no use jumping into Dhyana (meditation) without having the various preliminary practices.” —Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga
Yama and niyama means good and bad action, meaning the ten commandments or the ten virtuous or the ten non-meritorious actions of Buddhism. Meaning, don't consume intoxicants, don't fornicate is the primary one, never abuse this sexual energy, never steal, commit adultery, kill—things on a physical level which are very basic but psychologically these are things that we do all the time. The only way to really access even having a body that is still, we need to have discipline in our daily life. Because there are many people who attend meditation, while continuing to fornicate. The problem with that is those energies are being expelled, the mind being turbulent, one can't even sit down to meditate. The body is easily agitated. So that is a preliminary step. If you want success in meditation, we need to really fulfill yama and niyama, precepts and restraints of one's mind.

​The Foundations of Meditation

“The great ascetics of meditation are the great Sannyasin, the cosmic understanding, whose flames glow within the igneous rose of the universe. It is urgent to acquire absolute chastity, tenacity, serenity and patience in order to be a Sannyasin of the mind.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This is the foundation. Physically we need to learn how to be chaste, we need to learn how to have tenacity in our practices, we need to learn how to be serene even in the most difficult circumstances. We need to learn how to be patient, to endure suffering as Master Aberamentho in this image represents in the garden of Gethsemane before the beginning of his passion.
It all begins by developing sexual purity, willpower, peace of heart and mind and the endurance to consciously suffer the consequences of our previous actions, meaning that we learn to endure suffering. It is a very enigmatic statement by the Master Samael, but something that we need to really come to know in depth, where he says, “Consciousness can only awaken through conscious efforts and voluntary sufferings.” It doesn't mean that we go looking for problems and we get ourselves in trouble. It means that in our particular circumstances in our daily life, we learn to suffer willingly when we get criticized or our pride is hurt, to feel that sense of discomfort, psychologically speaking, and to not run away from it, but as the Master Samael explains, “There is the need to remain indifferent before praise and slander, before triumph and failure.” Meaning, we see the impression of someone insulting us and our pride is hurt. We have to willingly suffer the consequences of having created that pride, that shame in our psyche and to extract our understanding from it, to see it in action. Our conscious efforts are when we are separating ourselves into observer and observed. We have to see ourselves for what we are.
“It is necessary to change the process of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
The more that we develop Pratyahara, silence of mind, comprehension is spontaneous. It comes without any exertion, any effort. It comes to us when we cease thinking, but the only way that we can cease thinking or over-rationalizing is working with sexual power. Because before Pratyahara we work with Pranayama, mantra. Before that, we have to maintain our vow of chastity.
“In order to become a Master of Samadhi, it is urgent to cultivate a rich interior life.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
It sounds pessimistic if we are really honest, and we observe our psychology throughout the day. What does it mean to have a rich interior life? To be rich psychologically is when we are comprehending ourselves, when we are filled with understanding of the causes of our suffering. If we go throughout a day not perceiving what in us makes us suffer, it means that we are poor. This is not the meaning of the “poor in spirit” who are blessed. Instead, to be rich psychologically speaking is to be working in our selves.
“The Gnostic who does not know how to smile has less control of himself like the one who only knows the guffaw of Aristophanes.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
I know many people, they enjoy these studies and they think that because this teaching is very potent and strong, one has no sense of humor. But there are many people who enter these types of studies and who don't know how to enjoy life, which is completely against the point. It is ironic that we need to learn how to consciously suffer, but at the same time that produces our happiness. Meaning the more that we separate from our ego, the more joy we spontaneously and naturally develop. As Samael Aun Weor says, “The greatest joy of the Gnostic is the discovery of one of his defects.”
Even though there is suffering in that moment if someone condemns us or really hurts our self-esteem, if we observe that self-esteem in action and we see it for what it is and understand it for what it is, there is a sense of liberation in saying, “Okay, now I'm going to go home and I'm going to meditate on this defect that came up, so that my Divine Mother will annihilate it.” There is tremendous peace and joy in that. For me, there is no greater happiness than to catch my mind in the moment that it is suffering and to extract my soul and to see my defects in action, and to really perceive that I have a choice or that we have a choice to follow our own will or the will of our Being. That produces genuine happiness, that makes us peaceful. But the opposite is those who would laugh  like the guffaw of Aristophanes, who are saturated with desire.
“There is the need to achieve complete control of ourselves. An initiate can feel happiness, but he will never fall into the frenzy of madness. An initiate can feel sadness, but he will never reach desperation. He who is desperate about the death of a beloved being still does not serve as an initiate, because death is the crown of everyone.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This pertains to our ethical discipline.

​Meditation Postures

This is an image of Shiva meditating behind the mountain of initiation, the Holy Spirit sitting upon the cloth or the fur of a tiger, which is the animal ego that has been annihilated in meditation. Swami Sivananda gives some very thorough advice in his book Kundalini Yoga about what we need to do for our Asana.
“When you sit in a posture, think, ‘I am as firm as a rock.’ Give the suggestion to the mind half a dozen times, then the Asana will become steady soon. (Meaning we won't shift or try to adjust our posture.) You must become as a living statue when you sit for Dhyana.” —Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga
Don't move. If you're moving, you're not meditating, if you're scratching an itch, getting discomfort, we're not meditating. As Samael Aun Weor explains, we need to be absolutely still, and people ignore this instruction, typically, because the thing is he's referring not only to mental silence but physical stillness. We can't be mentally in equipoise if we are moving our body.
“Then only there will be real steadiness in your Asana. In one year by regular practice, you will have success and will be able to sit for three hours at a stretch. Start with half an hour and gradually increase the period. When you sit in the Asana, keep your head, neck and trunk in one straight line. Stick to one Asana and make it quite steady and perfect by repeated attempts. Never change the Asana. Adhere to one tenaciously (as the Master Samael emphasized, we need to tenacity in our practice). Realize the full benefits of one Asana.” —Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga
For me it is sitting in a chair or in my home. I use my bed. I sit against the wall, my legs out. For me, that is the most comfortable posture where I can concentrate without getting distracted or letting myself fall asleep. When we pick an Asana, it can be lying down, it could be sitting in a chair, it can be sitting in the full lotus. What matters is we pick a position and are consistent with that.
“Realize the full benefits of one Asana. Asana gives Dridhata (strength). Mudra gives Sthirata (steadiness). Pratyahara gives Dhairya (boldness). (As Samael says, we admire boldness.) Pranayama gives Laghima (lightness). Dhyana gives Pratyakshatva (perception) of Self and Samadhi gives Kaivalya (isolation) which is verily the freedom or final beatitude.” —Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga
Pratyakshatva is perception or the sword of Manjushri, in which we cut through illusion. What is interesting is that with Samadhi, we have isolation. When we are diligent in our practice, we may have the grace and experience of a Samadhi, in which we are united with our Being, meaning our consciousness gets absorbed in our Innermost or in our inner Christ and this produces isolation. Usually in the West we think isolation is that “he is not feeling well” and “he is antisocial.” But isolation in this sense means hermetic silence, meaning one is not influenced by external phenomena, but is completely focused internally, that is what it means to be isolated. The way that we attain this type of comprehension is that throughout the day, we are psychologically isolated, meaning we don't identify with any circumstance. We don't waste our energies, we become hermetically sealed. Which is the science of mercury, the science of mind, the angel Raphael.
Swami Sivananda continues, “He who has gained Pratyahara, withdrawing the senses from the objects, will have a good concentration. He will have to march in the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. Lay the foundation of yama, niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara to start with. The superstructure of Dharana and Dhyana will be successful only then.”
—​Kundalini Yoga

​Silence, Concentration, and the Mind in Kabbalah

Here, we are explaining the gradual steps of this process or the stages of meditation. Pratyahara means to withdraw your senses from objects. Now, we included here a quote from the Katha Upanishad, Hindu scripture, emphasizing the nature of Kabbalah in our psychology. This can help us to understand more about the nature of Pratyahara, Dharana, silence of mind and concentration.
“Know the self, Atman (or Chesed in Kabbalah), as one sitting in the chariot, a body is the chariot, the intellect (the translation really is Buddhi or should be translated to Buddhi, the consciousness, divine consciousness), the charioteer and the mind, the reins. The senses they say are the horses, the objects of the senses their path. When he, Atman, is in union with the body, the senses and the mind, then wise people call him the enjoyer (meaning when we allow our inner Being to act through us, then we are filled with joy and remembering the flow of life, moment by moment, in this instant). He who has no understanding and whose mind, the rein, is never firmly held, his senses, the horses, are unmanageable, like vicious horses of a charioteer. But he who has understanding and whose mind is always firmly held, his senses are under control, like good horses of a charioteer. He who has no understanding, who is unmindful and always impure, (meaning fornicating, unchaste,) never reaches that place but enters into the round of births.”
—​Kaṭha Upaniṣad
Samael Aun Weor was more specific in saying, “Woe to the coachman who loses control of his chariot,” meaning that chariot will fall off the cliff into the abyss. Meaning if we're impure physically, psychologically, and we don't control and restrain our mind, then that will take us into successive incarnations into lower animal states, as we explained in Transmigration of Souls, until finally entering the abyss or disintegrating in the inferior dimensions.
“But he who has understanding, who is mindful and always pure, reaches indeed that place from whence he is not born again. But he who makes understanding his charioteer, (understanding his Binah, the Holy Spirit,) and who holds the reins of the mind, he reaches the end of his journey. And that is the highest place, the all-pervading self (or Brahman, you could say the Absolute).” –Kaṭha Upaniṣad
In this image we have the Lord Krishna with Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna represents Prajna, the Innermost, or better we say Christ our Lord. Arjuna is Tiphereth, the human soul of which we are a fraction. So Tiphereth is willpower, who is united here under the guidance of the Being. We find this image of four horses and a chariot. Specifically within Krishna we could say we find Atman and Buddhi, the Divine Soul and Innermost as well. The master is Christ and the Human Soul is identified as Arjuna.
“The mind must be united with this divine triad (meaning Atman-Buddhi-Manas, the Spirit, the Divine Consciousness, and the Human Soul), together with the psychic extractions of the astral, vital and physical vehicles.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We find the horses, we have four, which is the physical, vital, astral and mental bodies. We need to learn to integrate those four horses in the service of our Being. Typically in us, the horses are going in different directions and are leading us on a rugged path. Instead, we need to discipline our mind, precisely through these stages of practice.
“The interior Manas together with the Kamas, astral body, Prana, vital body and Linga, the physical body, enforce the divine triad by means of fire.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

Going back to the image of Mahakala, the flames surrounding this being. We unite our four lower Sephiroth, physical body, vital body, astral body, mental body with our inner Being by means of Kundalini, by means of the sacred fire. In single practitioners, we can make sparks, but those who are married and are working with their partner and maintaining chastity, that energy can awaken and unite one with Atman. We need sexual fire if we want to unite our lower Sephiroth with our Being. That's how the mind is restrained. Without that force, we can't control the chariot. 
A means to help us with this, we find in the Sufi scriptures. So this is sama, which is a spiritual concert of Sufi initiates. Again, this is a quote from Al-Risalah, translated as Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri, where he explains the way that we develop discernment is through Self-remembering and through mantra recitation. To develop strong concentration, we work with Pranayama or we can work with mantra. As you remember in the image of Chenrezig, he is holding prayer beads in his hand, signifying the step of remembrance.
“Remembrance is a powerful support on the path to God, Glorious and Majestic. Indeed it is the very foundation of the Sufi path. No one reaches God save by continual remembrance of Him. There are two kinds of remembrance: that of the tongue and that of the heart. The servant attains perpetual remembrance of the heart by making vocal remembrance. It is remembrance of the heart, however, that yields true effect. When a person makes remembrance with his tongue and his heart simultaneously, he attains perfection in his wayfaring.” -Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Because that mantra along with concentration and prayer to our Being takes that fire and unites it with our divine triad, so that we help our Being, as sacrilegious as that might sound, for Him to help us, to control our mind.
“A group of wayfarers complained to Abu Uthman, we make vocal remembrance of God Most High, but we experience no sweetness in our hearts.” —​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
This is what many practitioners experience, who will be mantralizing, but don't feel that rich, intuitive insight or inspiration from the practice. It means that if we are doing it mechanically, we don't feel that sweetness in our hearts. So this master advised, “Give thanks to God Most High for joining at least your limbs with obedience.” Meaning, yeah, you may not have deeper insight or experience with this mantra that you're working with, but give thanks to God that he has inspired you to practice, so that through consistency every day, we can develop that sweetness and to really feel the energies present in Pranayama or mantra.
We find the following later stated, “Part of the conduct proper to supplication is that it is presence of heart, that you are not inattentive while you supplicate. It is related that the Prophet said, ‘God the Most High will not answer the supplication of a servant whose heart is heedless.’” —​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So if we pray mechanically, we won't receive anything, but if we are sincere, then our supplications, our practices will have fruit. This is also beautifully exemplified in Shakespeare, in Hamlet, where King Claudius who just murdered his brother, is praying in a church for his sins. But he doesn't really feel remorse for what he did. So he says, “My words fly up to heaven, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” So the same thing as the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. 

​Preliminaries of Meditation

We are using a lot of images from Bhagavad Gita. Again, we have Krishna talking to Arjuna and the Bhagavad Gita really explains for us the foundations of our practice. These are other examples of what we need to do, to really be successful in meditation, as stipulated within the Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Meditation, the Sixth Discourse:
“Let the yogi try constantly to keep the mind steady, remaining in solitude, alone with the mind and the body controlled and free from hope and greed.”
Here, we're practicing as a group, usually we will practice alone. But the type of solitude they're referring to is psychological, meaning we don't let ourselves identify with any circumstance throughout the day. We need that hermetic silence in our consciousness.
“In a clean spot having established a firm seat of his own, neither too high nor too low, made of a cloth as skin and kusha grass, one over the other. There, having made the mind one pointed (which is Pratyahara, to concentrate, or silence of mind or Dharana, to have one point of concentration as well). With the actions of the mind the senses controlled, let him, seated on the seat practice, yoga for the purification of the self.”
This is known as retrospection meditation in this tradition, in which we analyze our defects and annihilate them through comprehension and prayer to our Divine Mother.
“Let him firmly hold his body, head and neck erect and perfectly still, (meaning our Asana, we don't move) gazing at the tip of his nose without looking around. Serene-minded, fearless, firm in the vow of Brahmacharya, (Brahmacharya meaning chastity,) having controlled the mind, thinking of me in balance and mine, let him sit having me as his supreme goal.”
When we observe ourselves, we find that we are usually not serene-minded; we are typically filled with fear. Our mind is not chaste, full of lust, but chastity begins physically. We cannot learn to meditate at all if we are not firm in our vow of Brahmacharya. Which means never to fornicate, ever.
“Thus, always keeping the mind balanced, the yogi with the mind controlled attains to the peace abiding in Me, which culminates in the liberation. Verily, yoga is not possible for him who eats too much, nor for him who does not eat at all, nor for him who sleeps too much, nor for him who is always awake, O Arjuna.”
So we need balance in our daily life.
“Yoga becomes the destroyer of pain for him who is always moderate in eating and recreation, (such as walking, etc.) who is moderate in exertion and actions, who is moderate in sleep and wakefulness. When the perfectly controlled mind rests in the Self only, free from longing, from the objects of desire, then it is said he is united.”
Meaning as soon as we are free from any psychological obscuration in our mind, then Samadhi emerges.
“As a lamp placed in the windless spot does not flicker, to such is compared the yogi of controlled mind, practicing yoga in the Self (or absorbed in the yoga of the Self).”
As Samael Aun Weor stated, our esoteric discipline practices should saturate our daily life. 

Concentration and Meditation in The Odyssey

Here I'm going to emphasize, in relation to concentration, a Greek myth, given in the Odyssey by Homer. He provided a very beautiful psychological teaching in this epic poem. Previously, we explained Pratyahara, one point in the mind. Now we're explaining more about Dharana, concentration.
In the poem, Menelaus is a king of Sparta, returning with Odysseus and other Achaeans after the war against Troy. He was stranded on an island without wind on his way home to Sparta, in which he needed to investigate what gods were responsible for deterring him from his passage home. Eidothea, which is like a sea goddess, daughter of Proteus on the right, explained to Menelaus that her father would be the one to explain how to get home. Proteus is referred to as the prophet and as a sea creature that can transform into any shape or animal, tree, object. What's interesting about Proteus, this is where we get the word protean or something that shape changes or changes object or form.
So Eidothea advises Menelaus, and Menelaus says, “Show me the trick to trap this ancient power or he'll see and send me first and slip away. It's hard for a mortal man to force a god.”
Samael Aun Weor states that one must be very demanding with their inner Being. This is emphasized in The Odyssey. It is hard for a mortal man to force a god, but still we need to force our God to help us, and I don't mean this in the sense of controlling our Being, but I mean this in the sense that when we are meditating, we are so disciplined that we don't let our mind distract us in any circumstance. So the mind changes shape, distractions are merged in our thoughts, our emotions, our body, constantly surging in our perception and we still do not let any of those elements deter us from the object of our concentration. In order to receive teachings from our being, we need to be very demanding with our God, as the Master Samael explains. And this is emphasized in the myth of Proteus.
Menelaus and I believe two other men prepare to lay ambush to Proteus, who is bathing at the sea with his seals. “Now, there was an ambush they would have overpowered us all, overpowering true, the awful reek of all those sea-fed brutes. Who’d dream of bedding down with a monster of the deep?” Meaning they are preparing to attack Proteus, but really someone is preparing to meditate, and we see all these sea creatures in our mind, our defects, which smell with lust and are filthy, and it is overpowering. And we feel like we can't really sit to meditate because we have so many discursive psychological elements or defects in our mind, which are filled with lust, specifically.
“But the goddess Eidothea sped to our rescue, found the cure with ambrosia, daubing it under each man's nose. That lovely scent, it drowned the creatures' stench.”
So, how do we overcome lust? It is by being chaste, meaning we work with transmutation. The nose relates to the sexual energetic currents, Ida, Pingala, in our spine, which go up intertwining to our brain. This is the symbol of the caduceus of Mercury. When we transmute, we're bringing that energy up the two channels in our spine through our nostrils. So Eidothea, the sea goddess, the goddess of chastity places this ambrosia, the transmuted sexual energy under the nose, so that Menelaus does not get overpowered by the stench of his own lust, so he doesn't get petrified like by Medusa, as I believe in the myth of Perseus against Medusa.
In order to really develop concentration, we need to again, the emphasis is chastity, to transmute when we sit to practice, sublimate our energies, so that when we work on our lust, we don't get overpowered by it.
“But we with a battle cry, we rushed him (Proteus), flung our arms around him. He lost nothing, the old rascal, none of his cunning quick techniques. First, he shifted into a great bearded lion and then a serpent, a panther, a ramping wild boar, a torrent of water, a tree with soaring branch tops, but we held on for dear life, braving it out until at last, that quick-change artist, the old wizard began to weary of all this.”
—​The Odyssey, IV, ll. 509-517
Our Being is like that. First the mind is full of distractions and we're continuing to concentrate on our Innermost. So that through the silence and quietude of the mind, our Being will concur to our call. It will come to our aid. But again, if Menelaus didn't have that ambrosia under his nose, then he could not have even attempted this. Because it would have been overpowered by his lust, but instead by being chaste, like David and Goliath, where David, the soul takes the stone of Yesod, the sexual power and with that little stone, he kills the giant. This is the same myth, the same meaning. Menelaus is able to conquer his mind, the shape-shifting nature of his mind in order to communicate with the prophet Proteus. Then Proteus says now I'll explain to you how to get home, and Proteus provides him a lot of help, but only if we are very demanding. We have to force a god, according to this passage that Homer was explaining.
That's the nature of Dharana, to concentrate. Here is the thing, when we focus in meditation, we don't want to let our mind get distracted by other things, but we want to maintain the purpose of our practice. When we're alone, it is good that we sit, we determine for ourselves what we're going to meditate on. Then when we're meditating, we stick to that practice and not shift and let ourselves waver. We need to be very demanding. If we have a certain point in our exercise, whether it is to meditate and annihilate our ego or to understand the meaning of a scripture or to understand the nature of a teaching, we have to be firm with our resolve and what we are going to do.
Or to communicate with our Being, to have a mind that's open and serene. Because usually if we sit to practice, our mind drifts and we forget what we're doing. The way to resolve that is when you sit to practice, determine for yourself what is it that you want to meditate on, whether it is your Being or to remember events throughout the day. That way, as we are really courageous in conquering our mind, Proteus will answer us, “Okay, you've caught me, you've controlled your mind. Now in the silence of your mind and heart, I'm going to teach you.” Sometimes this can occur if we are meditating, we fall asleep, we go out of our body and then our Being will instruct us.

​Conscious Will

Again, this is a Sufi teaching from Al-Risalah, emphasizing the nature of how to develop willpower, conscious will, Christ's will, and it reiterates many of the points that we made.
“Through the whole night and day, the aspirant does not slack in his endeavors. Outwardly, he has the characteristics of struggle, (meaning jihad, to strive,) inwardly, the attributes of endurance. He has separated himself from his bed and bound himself to concentration,” for as Prophet Muhammad taught, it is good to lose sleep over prayer. We didn't meditate in the day, we go home and we're tired and we want to simply knock out. If we take a few minutes, which is what I do, I sit myself against my bed and I force myself to meditate. And this is the meaning of: ‘he has separated himself from his bed and bound himself to concentration.’ We don't let life swallow us whole, but we really dedicate our time to actually practice every day.
“He bears difficulties and defies pains.” 
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
People think it really means physically, but it's psychological, to endure psychological pain when we are facing our difficulties.
“He treats the ills of his character and applies himself to problems. He embraces terrors and leaves outward appearances.”
—​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
What does it mean to embrace terror? Master Samael explains that the Divine Mother is the terror of love and law. So to embrace the terror of facing the nothingness, meaning our ego feels that terror before the majesty of our Being, as we are learning to separate from our defects through self-observation. The ego is terrified and wants to hold on, make us identify so that it could continue living. But instead we need to leave all outward appearances, illusions, so that we can embrace our Divine Mother and overcome that terror in our mind.
“As it is said, then I passed the night in a desert, fearing neither wolf nor lion, overcome by desire (or better said longing). I travel the night quickly. The one who desires (or longs) continues overwhelmed.”
—​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So, I passed the night in the desert. All of us are in the desert. If we are working in chastity, we enter our own wasteland. As it says in Isaiah, “A voice that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” So by working in our discipline, we enter the desert where we face the difficulties associated with maintaining our chastity and working psychologically.
‘I passed the night in the desert, fearing neither wolf nor lion.’ These are symbols of karma. In the internal planes, we can experience or see a wolf or a lion. A wolf really pertains to regular karma, daily karma for regular persons, everyday persons, but the lion represents a superior type of karma, which we will discuss later, pertaining to initiates and gods. ‘I passed the night in the desert, fearing neither wolf nor lion.’ The karma in my life or in my circumstances. ‘Overcome with longing, I traveled the spiritual night quickly,’ meaning, getting through the darkness of not having that illumination that we all long for.
The one who longs for God continues ‘overwhelmed.’ Meaning to strive, to continue practicing, no matter what. We don't have experiences, we keep practicing. It's like brushing our teeth, we do it because we know it's good for us, even if it's uncomfortable and difficult. But we do it as a force of habit until eventually that sweetness enters our hearts. As it says in the Al-Risalah, you may not feel sweetness in your heart when you practice, but that develops the more you practice.
I'll conclude with a teaching by Rumi. “A new moon teaches gradualness and deliberation in how one gives birth to oneself slowly. Patience with small details makes perfect a large work, like the universe.” By patience and establishing ourselves in yama, niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, that will aid us in developing or really understanding and practicing meditation. First develop ethics, chastity, transmutation, silence of mind. When we lay that foundation, we will enter meditation effectively.
“What nine months of attention does for an embryo, forty early mornings will do for your gradually growing wholeness.” So if we get up early in the morning, which is difficult. Imagine nine months, nine represents Yesod in Kabbalah, sexual transmutation. We are born for the number nine, physically, nine months in the mother's womb, but also nine relates to initiation. What nine months of attention does for an embryo, meaning our consciousness, forty early mornings will do for your gradually growing wholeness. So we see that our consciousness is an embryo at this state, it can develop into a full human being by working with chastity, by working with our Divine Mother in the womb of Her care.

Questions and Answers

Question: That previous quote when it said the traveler will remain overwhelmed, I don't understand that. Does it say that overwhelming is a bad thing?
Instructor: In Al-Risalah, there is another quote or saying that Gnosis develops tranquility of heart. The more one’s Gnosis of God, one's direct experience of God increases, his tranquility increases. Likewise, the more that one knows our Being, the more we know God, the more awe and reverence we feel. So the type of overwhelmed feeling is not like egotistically, we have a problem with work that we have to resolve, but overwhelmed in this sense means to really experience our Being and to feel that awe and reverence for our own particular light. Which the more one knows God, the more overwhelmed or the more awe and reverence one feels as a result of that. That is something we develop little by little the more we practice.
Question: My other question was I looked at the meditation course, and I was under the idea that mantra and concentration is what comes first to have silence of mind. And then you are saying it is the opposite actually.
Instructor: They're integral, we could say. When we develop concentration, silence of mind and concentration are so closely interconnected that they're really two aspects of the same thing. And with these stages of meditation, as Swami Sivananda pointed out, there are certain progressions that we can make. But the truth is they are principles that integrate and complement.
If we want Dhyana, we have to really learn how to concentrate our mind. We develop concentration in levels. So these are not set stages or plateaus: we reach one level, it goes flat for a while. Instead, it's a fluctuating, constantly dynamic thing and if we develop more silence of mind, we develop better concentration. We develop better concentration, it means that we're developing greater serenity of thought, meaning that we develop a certain level of equilibrium in our consciousness in which it is different degrees, that I can't say is quantifiable, but it is qualitative. It is a quality in your mind that you'll perceive as a result of practice.
We can say that Pratyahara and Dharana are so closely linked that sometimes in many schools, they are considered the same thing. They are so closely related that sometimes they have been confused too. They really complement one another. If you have more concentration, it's because the mind is more silent. Think of concentration like you're on a boat in the middle of a storm. That storm is the mind and with our willpower, we're holding on to the mast of the ship so that we don't fall overboard. That mast is our concentration, it's our willpower. But silence of the mind also develops in degrees little by little as the storm passes, when the waters begin to become serene and silent. That mast also represents your spine and how you work with your sexual fire. Because it is the staff of Moses that he wielded to conquer the Egyptians, the egos that we carry inside. The more we concentrate and focus on our Being, moment by moment, the less control our mind has over us. Concentration helps us to develop serenity as well. So they feed off each other, they integrate and they complement.
The way that Swami Sivananda emphasizes that a typical transmission of teaching given in yoga schools, Buddhism as well I believe, in which explaining the main principles, the main relationship between principles. But it's really one system; we explain it as elements that complement each other.
Question: The thing I'm confused by is you had a quote from Sivananda where he says you must do the preliminary stuff before there's even a point in meditating. There's also quotes I think from Sivananda where he says do not delay the practice of meditation. I don't really understand how people are expected to do the preliminary stuff if they're not meditating. Does it have to happen together? Because I had another Gnostic school say the same thing to me. I wanted to learn about meditation, they said when you do the right thing, one day the door will just open for you. But in my experience, you have to meditate to be improving in your actions, psychologically.
Instructor: The reason is, it feeds off each other. Sivananda also explained later, he said establish yourself in the preliminaries, but also meditate. Because he emphasized that if you want to have good meditation, you got to learn how to concentrate, have silence of mind and develop that together with your own ethical discipline. He says you should develop ethics in conjunction with your meditation practice and it's better if we get established by learning to develop some level of equanimity and ability to concentrate. But it doesn't mean that we stop there, as you know. It means that we have to develop concentration, develop serenity of mind and then work in meditation, strive for that. Even though he says you want to start with the preliminaries, he also says elsewhere when you are meditating, you have to also develop ethical discipline too. So work with the preliminaries while you're meditating and understand that again, these are not set stages, but it's fluidic and it's more about acquiring a degree of stability in the mind, in order to meditate, in order to receive new information. That can come to us when we're working in a concentration practice. We get some understanding, that comes to our mind like a spark. And that's meditation. When we receive information of something new, that's Dhyana. It may happen in an instant and then suddenly the mind is chaotic again.
The more we practice with our ethics, with transmutation, with prayer, then the higher elements of our discipline will manifest in degrees. It's good in the beginning that we really dedicate ourselves to establishing those elements, but it doesn't mean that we wait there. We could be doing a mantra practice and then suddenly we understand something intuitively. That's Dhyana, so that's opening the door. We need to do both, but typically you want to get the beginnings set up to be really firm in that, so that when we meditate then Dhyana becomes something more stable, it doesn't come in just flashes, but it comes in a consistent, in a persistent way.
Question: What I was thinking when I saw that quote from Sivananda is for certain mistakes people are making, could it be dangerous to meditate?
Instructor: The only danger I know or the only danger I know is trying to meditate while fornicating.
Question: That's what I was wondering. If you're fornicating and you're also trying to meditate, it must be very confusing.
Instructor: Here's the thing, if we're trying to meditate then, basically the mind is a storm and imagine that boat we're on, trying to meditate is like holding on to the mast for a few moments and then the next moment, punching holes in the deck to let the water in. And so you can't do both. We have to decide how to be consistent with practice. Because I know people try to meditate for 20 or 30 years, meanwhile they're fornicating. And they don't get anything developed.
Question: Would you recommend to those people to transmute before meditating?
Instructor: Typically, yeah, and to really meditate on lust and meditate on those defects, because the problem is with trying to meditate while having no energy is that the mind is just going to be chaotic and destructive. If you're trying to do practice, where you're trying to transmute with no energy, meaning if we are trying to pump energy up our spine to our brain, meanwhile there's no water to pump, nothing happens. Just further chaos in the mind. The solution for that is to really reflect on chastity and the beauty and the splendor of purity, what it means to be sexually pure, psychologically.
But going back your original point, if we want to be successful in meditation, we should have some degree of stability in our Asana, our posture, some level of serenity of mind, a level of concentration. The more we develop those, the easier it is to meditate, but it doesn't mean that we're closed off from experiencing those higher degrees or higher stages. Because samadhi can happen when we begin meditating for the first time. It doesn't happen as a result of exertion, like “okay, checklist, I did my Asana, I did my Pratyahara, I did this, okay, come.” Usually we have that type of expectation in our mind, and nothing happens. If we're just doing our practices indifferently, then that insight can come to us spontaneously. And that's meditation. We receive new information. But again, if we want to be successful in meditation, the foundation is purity, yama, niyama, basically.

<![CDATA[Fundamentals of Gnostic Mysticism]]>Sat, 20 Oct 2018 04:17:39 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/fundamentals-of-gnostic-mysticismThis is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy. 

We are continuing our course that we initiated about the foundations of Gnostic studies. Gnosticism, as a tradition and as a means of practice, is the application of specific methods for acquiring personal knowledge of divinity. Let us remember that the Greek word gnosis means knowledge. As we have explained in previous lectures, this form of knowledge has had many names, in different cultures. It has been known as Marifah amongst the Sufis and Muslims; the esotericism of Islam. It has been known as Da’ath, in Hebrew, amongst the Kabbalists of Israel. It has been known as Torah and Dharma. It is not simply a code of instructions given within scripture. But, it applies to psychological ways of being, psychological ways of behaving, of knowing.

As we have explained previously, this wisdom of knowing divinity has been manifested in all our religions, regardless of distinction—delivered in accordance with the idiosyncrasies and the language and customs of a given people, whether through the prophet Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc. The teaching is the same—it is universal—how do we understand the inner obstacles within our psyche, that prevent us from knowing God, Buddha, that intelligence or light known as Christ? (amongst the Gnostic Christians). Christ is an energy, not a person. But, that energy can become particularized within any persons who prepare themselves, who knows themself fully.

This knowledge is personal, it is intimate. It is developed within oneself, as a result of specific causes and conditions. By putting into effect certain methods, we learn to know divinity for ourselves. Therefore, we do not need to believe anything. Belief is a concept in the mind, or a feeling in the heart, that we think we know; we identify with a certain tradition, we venerate a scripture, but yet, we do not really know the depth of what that teaching explains. And why should not beings like Moses, who spoke face to face with God, or Buddha who knew himself fully, or Jesus who propounded the heights of the divine regions of the Father, of the Lord—if they can accomplish these things, how can we not? Therefore, to respect these individuals as persons who provided a teaching in history is beautiful. To venerate the masters of humanity is necessary, but, we have to follow in their footsteps. We have to imitate their example, through practical works. Or, as the Apostle James stated in the Bible, "Faith without works is dead." We must do, we must apply.

In the course of these lectures, we are explaining some of the traditional aspects of these different religions, and the unifying principle behind them. We also, in these studies, talk about many exercises, in order to know the truth for ourselves. One thing we will emphasize in this lecture, and throughout this course, are what are known as the four pillars of the Gnostic tradition. We speak of four foundations for studying Gnosis as a doctrinal explanation of the different faiths and religions that have existed in the past. These four pillars also apply to psychological ways of being. How do we know ourselves? These pillars are known as science, mysticism, art and philosophy.

We previously explained the three essential sciences of any genuine spiritual tradition, known specifically with the names of Kabbalah, the mysticism of Judaism. Likewise, Alchemy, the science of working with energy, of transforming base material into spiritual material. Meaning, transforming the lead of our personality, into the gold of the spirit, into something divine—which we do by working with energies, in our mind, our body and our heart. Lastly, we also spoke about psychology, which is a Greek teaching: how to unite psyche, the soul, with the Logos, the Word. If we remember the Bible, "In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God." The Word, in Greek, is Logos. The three Logoi is the holy Trinity of Christianity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are not people, but energies. Alchemy teaches us how to use divine forces that come from the Lord, within us, and, that we need to learn to become conscious of, to know how to use, so have to fuse the soul with God. In Arabic, the words Allah-Khemia, refer to the chemistry of God; how the soul mixes, unites, gets lost, fuses with the divine, intimately. Psychology, is of course the mediator for that. We also study our mind, and the obstacles within us, that prevent us from knowing that truth for ourselves.

Kabbalah, a Hebrew science, is a map, a diagram. We talked about the Tree of Life, and also, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life is Kabbalah, symbolized in the book of Genesis. That is a representation of the different levels and states of perception. In books such as Tarot and Kabbalah, which we have available as a publication, we teach the study of this intimate glyph, with ten spheres, mapping out the highest regions of perception, energy, consciousness, to the lowest levels of matter, energy and perception as well.

We study Kabbalah in depth, and we are going to give many courses about how to study that diagram. But, previously, we introduced the concept that Kabbalah is a map of knowing our relationship with God. It is a type of diagram, a glyph, that can teach us things about our psyche.


In this image, and in this discussion on the fundamentals of mysticism, we chose a stained glass window of Jesus, delivering the keys of the kingdom to Peter. And, going back to our previous discussions, on the study of Alchemy, the holy keys held within the hand of the Lord, delivered into Peter, precisely represent the science of Alchemy.

Alchemy is the work of transforming substances into other substances, which the European medieval Alchemists were very much dedicated to. But, what we have to understand, as with many traditions, this is symbolic. It was not simply a literal attempt to get rich. Instead, it pertains to how we transform our mind, fundamentally.

Regarding the keys of the kingdom of God, which Jesus gives to Peter, one is gold and one is silver. Previously, we discussed how a man and a woman, within a matrimony, husband and wife, uniting together in sexual cooperation and in remembrance of God—those forces, studied through the Buddhist Tantras—teach us how to awaken that fire of creative sexual power, in order to conserve and transform it. To take that energy, and to raise it within oneself, up the spine, to the brain, and then to the heart, through certain energetic channels that exist within a more subtle form, within our physiology, and about which Yoga teaches very abundantly.

It is by working in a marriage that one can harness the most potent forces in the universe, in the cosmos. As a physical child can be created through man and wife, likewise, husband and wife can take that very same power, in order to give birth to the soul. In this lecture, in our studies of mysticism, we will talk about what are called the three factors for obtaining genuine mystical achievements, mystical knowledge.

First, Peter is the one who receives the keys to the kingdom of the divine. Of course, we must emphasize that the Roman Catholic church was not founded by Peter. Instead, he founded the Gnostic Universal Christian Catholic Church; catholic simply means, “universal.” If we look symbolically into some names, we see that Rome, Roma, backwards, is Amore, love. So, the keys to the kingdom of love, of the divine realms of God, is between a husband and wife. We will be talking more about that aspect, in relation to this lecture.

So, let's talk a little bit more about what does mysticism really mean. It comes from the Greek, mystḗrion, originating from the root word Myein, “to close the eyes,” and relating to Mystikos: “initiate.”

This refers to closing one’s physical eyes to the external world, and learning how to meditate, to go consciously within one’s psyche, in order to abandon the illusions of the senses, and the attachments of the mind towards the external world, in order to go deep within our perception. It is to let the body rest, and for the soul to experience the higher regions of the cosmos, the higher dimensions; different levels of perception, which we partially taste when we have dreams. We can also transform that dream state into something conscious, something more vibrant, more aware. We can become awake within dreams, where the body is asleep, the physical eyes are closed, and yet the soul is awake, out of its physical vehicle. Meditation helps us to achieve that; this is the study of dream yoga, dream science, awakening within dreams. We do that by obtaining genuine mysticism, closing our physical eyes and learning to perceive inside, those realms. To not dream anymore, but to be awake, in that state of being. To be conscious. To no longer project subjective things, or to experience in a very superficial manner that state of being.

The word mystery also relates to mystikos, which means, initiate: someone who has begun a new way of life, who has transformed their way of being into something more profound. Meaning, to stop being inattentive, to be focused, to be aware of God as a soul, for oneself. To be fully connected with God. An initiate is a being, a person like Jesus, like Buddha, like Muhammad, like Krishna and Moses... these are individuals who fully knew God for themselves. They are fully awakened to their full potential, as a human being. They are not asleep, or unaware of their true calling, or the immediate presence of God within them.
We state in these studies that we need to be aware, awake, attentive. The soul needs to know God. We do that by learning to close our physical eyes to illusions—physical, but also psychological—in terms of the elements that we carry within, which prevent us from knowing God, and which we will be discussing in relation to psychology. This is why Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, stated the following in a scripture called The Voice of the Silence.

"Before the Soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion." —H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence

Mysticism is a discipline. It is a way that we train our mind, we train our psyche, we train ourselves to learn to be attentive. Buddhism speaks abundantly about this; to be mindful. Aware of the body, aware of our thoughts, aware of our feelings. We need to learn to be concentrated fully in the present moment in which we find ourselves, at all times. To not think about things, to not be carried away by memory, but to be aware; whether it is in a lecture, or our daily job, such as when we are engaged with our responsibilities. We need to be aware of what we are doing, at all times. That is how the soul learns to see; we learn to become aware of deeper states of being, deeper connections with the divine within us.

Paul of Tarsus wrote—in chapter 2 of Corinthians, verses 6-7—about the nature of a high teaching, which has been given symbolically throughout the Christian scriptures, and within certain schools of esoteric study. And, which, this Gnostic Academy of Chicago is a part; we are part of the Gnostic Church, founded by Jesus, and ministrated by his Apostles. Paul of Tarsus, a great priest of the Gnostic Church, explained the following about the nature of this hidden wisdom, which we need to know, and to access.

"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." —1 Corinthians 2:6-7

Contrary to mainstream religion, there is a hidden teaching. There is an esoteric science. There are practical methods which we can use to access our personal knowledge of God. Of course, the beginning of that is mindfulness, awareness—closing your physical eyes, learning to dedicate perhaps ten minutes in the beginning... then more, half an hour, an hour, in which we exclude all of our attention from the outside world. We go inside, observing our thoughts, our emotions, our impulses, our experiences throughout the day, learning to reflect on our reactions to daily life. Perhaps our negative qualities, and what we can do to change them. This is the heart of the genuine mystical teachings of the Gnostics; changing who we are. Learning about ourselves, and what makes us suffer. It is by learning to perceive what makes us suffer, in which we can change and fundamentally know God. For, the obstacles that prevent us from knowing the truth are in us. Likewise, the keys to knowing ourselves fully are within us.

This knowledge of genuine mysticism is precisely that direct connection with God, for ourselves. It has been taught by many different teachers, throughout humanity. When I speak of mindfulness, it is not simply contingent to the Buddhist religion. We find that in Sufism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, the Old Testament, etc. We will be talking about some of the many similarities between these faiths.

Manly P. Hall—a great Western esotericist, famous author of many books in the English language—explained and emphasized that there has always been a secret school of mystical wisdom. It has been given—whether through Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, etc.—towards humanity. And, that this knowledge of knowing the truth and knowing ourselves intimately, has been given in secret. This type of knowledge was never given openly, due to its power. The ability to transform who we are and to know God, is a terrible weapon, which if we use consciously, can help transform our psyche and transform how we help others. And, to let God guide us within, to the benefit of others. For, our actions truly represent the qualities of God, stemming from inside and manifesting to the external.

This knowledge was underground, precisely because humanity has not been capable of understanding this mystical science. Manly P. Hall and many other authors—whether from Blavatsky, or current writings, such as by Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition—have been giving instructions and opening up the doors to this teaching, for the first time.

Manly P. Hall emphasized the following:

"There is an incontrovertible mass of evidence indicating the existence of initiated philosophers possessing a superior knowledge of divine and natural laws. There is also sufficient proof that these initiates were the agents of a World Fraternity or Brotherhood of Adepts that has existed from the most remote time. This overfraternity has been called the Philosophic Empire, the Great School, the College of the Holy Spirit, and the Invisible Government of the World. References to this sovereign body of “the ancient ones of the earth” occur in the sacred writings, the philosophical literature, and the mystical traditions of all races and nations of mankind. …[we] have referred to the stream of the secret doctrine as Humanism. The term is not used in its popular sense, but to describe the grand program of the Mystery Schools for the emancipation of man from bondage to ignorance, superstition, and fear." –Manly P. Hall, Orders of the Quest

Manly P. Hall called this Humanism, the quality of being human. The word human, in Sanskrit, comes from Hum, spirit, and Manas, which means mind—a mind, which is us, the terrestrial person, that is fully united with the spirit, with God. So, a real human being is a Jesus, a Buddha, a master who fully knows him or herself, and in whom God is fully present, in their every action, word and deed. There are many masters who are part of this fraternity, and who are helping humanity, secretly and publicly.

The term humanism is applicable to the writings of Manly P. Hall, but, we call this knowledge Gnosis, Gnosticism. Gnosis is the very knowledge of how we overcome our own lack of cognizance of God, our ignorance, the superstitions of fundamentalist thinking. And also, the fears that afflict us on a daily basis.

This secret knowledge was known in the Middle East, as I mentioned, as Marifah. Marifah, in Arabic, means Gnosis, knowledge. We explained in a course that we gave recently on Sufism, the many sacred teachings of the Qur'an... which, when taught through a literal interpretation, is something dogmatic and detrimental to humanity—if we look at scripture from a literal standpoint, like that one must kill the unbelievers, as is so famously propagated in this tradition. However, psychologically speaking, what the Sufis talked about, what the Muslims talked about, when speaking about the "unbelievers," are factors not outside, but inside. Our anger is an unbeliever; it does not want to follow God. Our prejudices, which cloud our understanding, our anger which wants us to harm and afflict pain on those we love—that element, psychologically speaking, does not believe in God. It only wants to act on its own will. Likewise with fear, lack of confidence, any negative psychological quality, does not belong to God, but is our own creation; and, which prevents us from knowing the truth. The Qur'an says that you must fight against this, inside yourself. You cannot accuse and blame someone outside of your tradition. To be an unbeliever does not mean to not follow Islam, it means to not submit to God within ourselves. We explain that Islam, in Arabic, means submission to God. We submit to God for our actions, our psychological ways of being.

In the Qur'an, which is a beautiful text, if we know how to read it - emphasizes that there is an allegorical teaching in that scripture. It is not meant to be read as the dead letter, in many cases. As it says in the Sura, Al-Imran:

"He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah (or you could say, our inner Buddha, inner God, in Christ, etc). And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge (Gnosis) say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding." –Qur'an, Al-Imran [3:7]

So, whether it be the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Sutras, the Tantras, the Buddhist teachings, etc., we will gain nothing if we approach it from a literal standpoint. The language of the Judeo-Christian Bible and the Qur'an are symbolic, allegorical, philosophical. We cannot read it as the dead letter, because that dead letter is what kills the soul. Yet, behind the letter, if we know how to read, gives us the spirit, gives us genuine knowledge of ourselves.

These prophets and teachers of the past gave Gnosis, this knowledge, allegorically, in a hidden way, so that those who are educated, who knew how to read, could interpret those scriptures, accurately. And, the other people, who are not trained or initiated into their school, they would either blindly follow it, or would not get its message, because that teaching had to be kept in secret, to preserve its purity.


Many people ask, "What is genuine mysticism?" We discuss a lot, in this teaching, the Gnostic gospels as given in the Apocrypha, as well as the different non-canonical texts, which have recently come out in the past few decades. But, as you can see, we talk about all religions.

One thing I like to emphasize about the nature of mysticism, primarily relates to the Gospel of Thomas. When students ask, "What is genuine mystical knowledge? What does it mean to know God? What are the fundamentals? What are the primary steps that we can engage with, to know the truth, so that the truth can set us free?" We give the following scripture, where Yeshua, Jesus, or better said, that intelligence known as Christ, manifested through Jesus of Nazareth, stated the following:

"Know what is in front of your face
‘and what is hidden from you will be disclosed.
‘There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."

Meaning, be mindful. Be awake. Be attentive as a consciousness. Be aware of what is going on in the mind, what is going on in our heart, what is going on with our body, what is going with our surroundings. To be mindful and attentive—to be aware.

"His students asked him and said to him,
“Do you want us to fast?
“How should we pray?
“Should we give to charity?
“What diet should we observe?"

Many people who approach religion, ask these questions. "What are the ritual preliminaries? What are the exercises that I need to do, in order to be spiritual? What do we need to do on a practical basis, to change?"

"Yeshua said,
“Do not lie and do not do what you hate.
“All things are disclosed before heaven.
“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed,
“nothing covered that will remain undisclosed." -The Gospel of Thomas 5-6

So—do not lie, and do not do what you hate—meaning, in a moment of conflict with a loved one, or a coworker, when we feel anger and we want to speak with resentment, with anger, with pride, and we feel remorse and know in that moment, "I know I should not say this thing," and yet, we fail to act on that conscience—that small voice that tells us what is right and what is wrong. We say the wrong thing, we cause a problem, we cause a conflict with this situation, a chain of events, a cycle and process as a result of our mistaken action, and we create pain. Afterward, we might feel that pain, morally speaking, knowing that we did something wrong. Therefore, do not do what you hate—act on the voice of conscience, which you sense in the very core of your being to be right action, right thinking, right feeling and right doing. All things are disclosed before God; God is aware of all things. Our inner divinity knows all. Therefore, we need to act upon that conviction and knowledge, that we are held accountable for our very words, and what effects we produce upon human beings. That is the essence of mysticism.
We see in this image, Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane, where, very diligently, he was preparing for his Passion, his crucifixion—which is another symbolic teaching about the path we need to follow, individually. So, he prayed in the garden, similar to the garden of Eden, preparing for tremendous suffering, tremendous ordeals and conflicts, which, if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we too must face certain ordeals, certain conflicts. And, in that struggle with ourselves, battling against our own defects—our fear, pride and anger, those unbelievers—we remember, "do not lie, and do not do what you hate," and know to be wrong. Then, fundamentally, we will be aided by the truth.

Jesus explained in the Gospel of Matthew the very famous teaching about the Sermon on the Mount, explaining, precisely, the difficulty of obtaining genuine reunion with God. Many Christians repeat this teaching, by memory:

"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life (spiritual life), and those who find it are few." -Matthew 7:13

To be one of the few does not mean to simply believe in Christianity, to believe in the Christian, the Catholic or even the Gnostic Church. It means to change who we are, fundamentally, psychologically. Do we decide to improve our psychological state of mind? To transform our very being, into something spiritual, so that every action and engagement with life is done with awareness, with kindness, with compassion toward humanity? Or, do we act on our negative qualities? Do we obey the bad voice which is the devil on one shoulder, telling us to indulge in that habit, indulge in desire, to do things for oneself, and to act in a way that is going to harm others? One does not need to be a criminal to realise this dichotomy between: should I behave in this way, or should I not?

The voice of conscience is what leads the soul toward that narrow path, that straight gate. That path is not entered by raising one’s hand and saying, "I believe in Jesus." One is not saved simply by thinking and feeling that one is one with God; one has to be united through practical works, through discipline, through change, by becoming really mystical, becoming aware of how our mind, our emotions, delude us. When we make mistakes, and learn how to change them.

By entering into that straight path within ourselves, that difficult process of change, we become initiates. As I mentioned, initiation is related to the word mystikos, mysterion, mystery. We have included an image of the sacred Tarot, the Egyptian cards associated, sadly in these times, with many forms of divination, which have been divorced from their deeper spiritual significance. The Tarot cards are related with the Hebraic tradition, the Kabbalistic tradition. Tarot relates to Torah, in Judaism. The major cards of this deck are 22; each are associated with a Hebraic letter of the alphabet of Kabbalah.


We included this image of the first card, which is called the magician. This is the card of initiation. The card that begins all spiritual life. We have represented in this glyph, a man pointing with his right hand down toward the earth, and his left hand holding a magic wand toward the air. This magician is our own divinity. The word magician comes from the Indo-European word “Mag,” which means priest. So, a priest or priestess is a magician: someone who works with all the energies of our interior, and gives that to God. Someone who knows how to obey the will of God, and how to use that power of divinity to help others: that is magic. It does not mean pulling rabbits out of a hat, or many other silly things. To be a practical magician is to be a spiritual being, an initiate, someone who knows the divine.

We won't explain all of this card, this glyph, but, he is pointing with his right hand towards the earth, and his left hand is facing up. This is indicating that, if you want to ascend to the higher regions of the divine, if you want to know the truth, you must first of all descend—confront all of your negativity, all of your impurity, all of your defects and to eliminate them. So that you can rise up, toward the truth. For, as the book of Isaiah states:

"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain..." -Isaiah 40:4

This is a reference to this card.

Initiation, from the dictionary, means “formal admission or acceptance, into a club or group; an adult status within one's community.” In Judaism, this is through the Bar Mitzvah. Or, quintinera in Latin American culture. Initiation refers to the act of initiating or being brought into a group.

Now, people think that this term only applies to physical attendance to a school, or being indoctrinated into a culture of a spiritual type. The real meaning is that initiation, as Samael Aun Weor states, is our own life "lived intensely, with rectitude and with love."

Many people want to be Freemasonry, or to enter a church, to be part of a certain society or group, and that is beautiful, it is necessary. Every community needs its own leaders, its own doctrines, teachings and its own harmony. To disrupt that is to cause tremendous suffering for those people. It is wrong to want to create division in certain spiritual groups, which certain people have attempted. But, the real meaning of initiation is, how do we change who we are, so that our soul can vibrate at a higher way of being? A higher way of knowing? So that we are initiated into a culture relating to Gods, Angels, Buddhas, masters.

When we learn to change our fundamental position in life, from a psychological standpoint, we remove the impurities of the soul, the lead that weighs us down in suffering. We can, in turn, elevate ourselves to the golden regions of God. That is the mystery of Alchemy. We, in turn, change our life; our life becomes initiation. From then, we become fully knowledgeable about, and speak directly, face to face, with those beings that achieved that state of perfection. We can do that when the body is asleep, when the soul abandons the physicality, and enters into the dream world. Then, we can communicate with those angels, those beings like Moses did, like Buddha, Jesus, etc. But, first, we have to change our daily life, where we are at, this physical body. This is where we start. We have to change our life intensely, living it intensely. It does not mean doing drugs, or doing something intensely like engaging in dangerous sport, or things like that. To live intensely refers to a psychological way of being, in which we are consciously working to be attentive, active, as a soul. And, in moments of crisis and conflict, we learn to act with ethics, with a conscious sense of right and wrong. Morals relate to dogma, belief; we know that what is wrong in one country is acceptable in another. That is not the type of ethics we are referring to. Morals belong to time, but ethics is a code of being, a way of acting that relates to our connection to God, and how we help others, and create harmony within society: that is ethics, or rectitude. Rectitude is our path of spiritual discipline.

The Three Factors of Genuine Mysticism

So, we live intensely with rectitude and love. And, as Jesus taught in the gospel of Luke:

"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."Luke 9:23

This statement condenses a very deep and elaborate teaching about the three aspects of mysticism, which we are going to explain in detail.

"If any man will come after to me, let him deny himself"—let him confront all of his impurity, within him. Let him die to his own individual egotistical desires. So that the soul can be given birth to; so that the soul can resurrect within us. "And take up his cross daily," that cross refers to precisely the two keys that we talked about; the gold and silver keys of Peter. The cross is a symbol of the union of a man and woman; the vertical phallus, the horizontal uterus, together form the cross, which Jesus died upon. Meaning, he showed with his life, how we as a soul need to use that very same power, to die in our own egotism. That energy that can give life, can destroy the impurities of the soul, so that the soul can resurrect into a new life. "To follow me" means to do good deeds, in order to help others, to live by his good example.

In the path of Initiation, we talk about what are called the three factors. The three factors for genuine mystical knowledge refer to birth, death and sacrifice, as represented in this quote: "let him deny himself": let him die to his own self-will, so that his will can be one with the divine.

Likewise, to "take up thy cross" is to give birth to the soul, which is achieved between a man and a woman, husband and wife. With those two energies, of man and a woman together, instead of creating physical life, we can create the soul.

To "follow me" is to sacrifice for humanity, to do good deeds; to sacrifice our own comforts, in order to act and work in favor of humanity.

Mystical Birth

So, mystical birth refers to the teachings given by Jesus to Nicodemus, which if you're familiar with the Judeo-Christian Bible, is a very important piece that establishes the teachings of the church—whether Gnostic or the Catholic church, which misappropriated this knowledge. He talks about the need to be born again. Many people think that to be born again is to simply raise one’s hand, and to say, "I believe in Jesus, and therefore I am saved." But, birth does not occur as a result of thinking, of wanting something intellectually or desiring something with the heart. Birth is produced when a man and a woman unite sexually, and they give birth with that energy to a child: that is birth. Just as you have a physical child, engendered through that act, by learning to conserve that very power, between a husband and wife in a marriage, that energy can give birth to our very spiritual essence. This is why Jesus said, in the Book of John 3: 5-8:

"Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

That which is born of the flesh—meaning, when husband and wife copulate, they give birth to a child. That is a birth of the flesh. But, through that very same sexual act, if the husband and wife know the secret of conversing that seminal power, those waters of life, and transform that into light, spiritual, fire, essence, consciousness, then "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." So, there is a physical way to engender a child, but, that act can also engender God, the spirit within.

Of course, Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus was teaching him at the time; even being a very well educated Rabbi, a mystical teacher of Judaism. He say, "How can I be born again, how can I reenter my mother’s womb a second time, in order to be born again?" Of course, Jesus was speaking in allegories. But, people who are very intellectual, read the dead letter and do not understand the philosophical meaning of the teaching. Which is why Jesus says:

"Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again (spiritually). The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit."

The teachings of mystical birth are the rites of baptism, popularised within the Christian faith. To be baptised by water is to take the very sexual, creative potential, which is in our physical sexual organs, and to transform those waters into energy, through certain exercises of meditation, of tantrism, of working as a couple. Those waters can be conserved, transformed into the wine of the spirit; if you remember Jesus' first miracle, he transformed water into wine. That wine was not simply to get a group of people drunk. It refers to the wine of the spirit; psychological, superior states of being. Those waters were transformed precisely in a marriage. So, husband and wife can take that very seminal power, the semen, the matter, and instead of expelling it, by conserving it and transforming it through the sexual act, in a state of ritual purity, in a state of love, divine love, that energy can rise up the spine, through certain energetic channels in the back, towards the brain. That energy, that fire, illuminates the mind. Instead of engendering a child, that power can go within our very center of our psyche, rejuvenating our organs, our physicality, as well as certain latent psychological capacities. He sees that Jesus was illuminated by this halo, and all of the prophets and masters have that image, where their mind is fully illuminated with light, with power. That is because they knew this mystery of baptism, where they learned to work with the waters of life, within them. Those waters can be a source of rejuvenation for us, if we transform them, if we use them consciously.

Those who are born of the spirit are like the wind. You cannot know where they come from or where they go; psychologically speaking, the superior state of a master, an angel, a Buddha, is very hard to comprehend, because their consciousness is fully awake. Our mind is typically very terrestrial, limited, and we try to understand these great beings and it is very difficult. But, if we learn to fulfill these three factors within ourselves, we can come to know their genuine mysteries.

We have included an excerpt from the Gospel of Thomas, elaborating on the point of spiritual birth, where he talks specifically about the nature and the need to become like a child, innocent, pure. It does not mean to become naive, "be as children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven." He does not refer to becoming juvenile, simplistic; but, psychologically speaking, this parable refers to a state of purity and innocence that we have lost, when, physically, we were children. Likewise, through our own transgressions, through different existences, different events in our life.

"Yeshua saw some babies nursing. He said to his students, these nursing babies are like those who enter the kingdom.

“They said to him, then shall we enter the kingdom as babies?"

Of course, you look these interchanges and dialogues, where people read Jesus literally... they cannot understand what he is getting at. He is a spiritual being, like the wind, constantly moving, giving insight, very dynamic. But, people who are very literal and intellectual miss the meaning.

In this quote, he explains, precisely, the mysteries of Alchemy, of fusing with God; when husband and wife unite sexually, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.

"Yeshua said to them, When you make the two into one (meaning, man and wife when they unite), and when you make the inner like the outer, and the outer like the inner and the upper like the lower..."

What is the upper and lower? Well, when husband and wife are in the sexual act, the husband could be on top, the woman below.

"...and when you make male and female into a single one,

“So that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye..."

Which refers to myein, the mysteries of Gnostic mysticism: closing one’s physical eyes to illusion and developing spiritual insight, through a matrimony.

"...a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot..."

Meaning your actions are no longer from below, from our own personal desires, but from God.

"...an image in place of an image..."

Meaning, our self image. Who do we see ourselves as? Are we simply terrestrial, or do we have a divine identity? Which we do, but we need to realize that; to replace our self image with the image of God, who is within.

"...then you will enter the kingdom." -The Gospel of Thomas 22

This is a very famous teaching that was disseminated amongst Gnostic circles. When you make the male and female into one, when the male is no longer is male and the female, female; when a man and woman are together, they cease being just man and wife. In Hebrew, the sacred name of God is Jehovah. That word Jehovah relates precisely to this dynamic.

Jehovah comes from the Hebrew, Ya-Havah. Ya is masculine; a father. Havah, or Eve, is the wife, a woman. So, Jehovah is the union of both man and woman. The power of God, of Jehovah is within a husband and wife. When they unite, man is no longer man, nor woman a woman, because those forces are active, and you have an androgynous being, a divine being. If those forces are contained, can create life, spiritually. But, if they are expelled, we are kicked out of Eden, represented by the book of Genesis. This is the great battle that any aspirant of Gnostic mysticism faces.
This is why Jesus gave a beautiful teaching to the Samaritan woman at the well. This was woman that was known to have slept with many men, approached Jesus at this well. Their conversation reached the point in which, Jesus asked for water. After, this woman learned from Jesus about the waters of life, about a water springing up from one’s belly, up, inward, to everlasting life. This relates to the sexual energy; the creative force of love. Likewise, she says, "Give me of this water that will give me eternal life, spiritually." Jesus replies, very enigmatically, "Approach, bring thy husband. If you want to know the mysteries of divine life, bring your husband." For a woman, have a husband; for a man, have a wife. Of course, this is understand when reading between the lines—it was never given explicitly. Now that we talk about this in a very detailed manner, it is very obvious.

The Mysteries of Circumcision

The teachings of circumcision relate to this process. Of course, in Judaism, and Christianity, and especially Islam, young males practice the rite of circumcision, which is the cutting of the foreskin of the phallus. This was a tradition that was meant to help young men, that when they finally got married, they were not so stimulated in the sexual act, by the physicality of the act itself, to prevent that energy becoming so powerful, that one loses control; resulting in the expulsion of that energy. The foreskin represents animality. The sexual act can be taken over by the animal of desire, of instinct, of passion. Or, if we cut the animality from that act, it can be something divine, spiritual, creative, in which God can act through us.

The physical rite of circumcision was meant to be something useful, so that when a husband united with his wife, the foreskin would not stimulate the phallus so much, resulting in him losing control of his energy, and having an ejaculation, losing that power. Instead, these practitioners wanted to conserve that energy, to not waste it, to not reach the orgasm, to not expel it to create a physical child; instead, they wanted to create a spiritual child. So, cutting the foreskin was an ancient rite of Abraham, associated with this. But, symbolically, it refers to how we remove our own animal passions from the sexual act. This is why his students said to him:

"His students said to him, Is circumcision useful or not?

“He said to them, 

“If it were useful, fathers would produce children already circumcised from their mothers." 

You notice that many men that have been circumcised do not know these mysteries. Therefore, when they have sex, they do so for animal pleasure, and to reach the orgasm. That is all they think about. But, here, in these studies, we are teaching something more profound, something very different. If physical circumcision was the end all, be all, it would have produced the results that we want. But, physical circumcision does not matter; which is why Jesus says:

"But the true circumcision in spirit is altogether valuable."

Meaning, we no longer approach our wife (if we are a man) with lust. Instead, we venerate that being with divine love. We no longer treat the sexual act as something culminating a moment of pleasure, which depletes the psyche, depletes the mind and depletes the heart.

"Yeshua said, How miserable is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on both." -The Gospel of Thomas 53, 87

Meaning, to be fully thinking, rationalizing, conceptualizing, daydreaming about having sex constantly. But, sex without any type of love or respect for the other, for one’s partner. This is why, in the book of Hebrews, it states:

"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."

The bed defiled refers to the couple culminating with the orgasm, defiling themselves. Leviticus, in the Old Testament, refers specifically to the processes and rituals associated with ritual cleansing, as a result of having gone through that act. 

Mystical Death

Of course, the work of removing the animal within is the work of mystical death, which is the second factor for genuine mysticism. As I mentioned to you, upon the cross, within a marriage, we can fully eliminate all of our defects, all of our faults. But, of course, this is a very painful process. It is not one that many follow. Jesus lived this teaching with his life. He chose to physically represent, with his crucifixion, something that we need to do on a daily basis: not to be crucified physically, but psychologically, we crucify our own desires, our own egotism, our hatred, etc., etc. To emphasize the symbolic representation of this act, we will quote, in brief, the book of Matthew 27: 33-37:

"And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

“They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

“And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

“And sitting down they watched him there;

“And set up over his head his accusation written, IESUS NAZARENUS REX IUDAEORUM." -Matthew 27:33-37

Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

The word I.N.R.I, written above the cross, representing this Latin inscription, can be interpreted in different ways, in the form of sacred sounds, mantras. INRI also represents, "Ignis Natura Renovatur Integra": fire renews nature incessantly. What is that fire? The fire of the burning bush that illuminates the Tree of Life, that Moses saw on Mount Sinai. Likewise, this fire is this creative, sexual energy, which, when husband and wife are together, are inflamed with love, with power. That power can be used for God, to eliminate desire, defects.

INRI also represents, "In Necis Renascor Integer": “In death I am reborn, intact and pure.” Our own desires can die through that act, between as husband and wife, which is the ultimate ordeal, for any person, in spiritual life: to learn how to reconcile and love, to give selflessly. It is by working with that energy that we can remove the impurities. Once the soul is fully purified, when all desire and egotism, defects are eliminated, the soul can resurrect: it can fully give birth.

In the Gospel of Thomas, we have the emphasis of the animal within, as we have been discussing. We need to remove and eliminate the animal within our psyche. Our defects like anger, pride, hatred, are animalistic; these are animal qualities, these are not human qualities. A human being, that is fully one with God, does not have anger. Sometimes people say that God has a sense of wrath, but, God is force, but not anger. Anger is something we project onto our understanding of God. Instead, we say that these animal defects, pride, fear, are about self-preservation—me, myself, who I am, my benefit, what I want, what I need—that ignores the other. We know that in this society, this is a civilisation of eat or be eaten.

"Yeshua said,
“Blessings on the lion if a human eats it, making the lion human.

“Foul is the human if a lion eats it, making the lion human." -The Gospel of Thomas 7

What is this lion? When we are full of great distress, great vexation, wrath, we are an animal. We do not reason. We only want to cause pain. Therefore, in those moments, that lion is eating our divine potential; it is devouring us. But, if we control that lion, and we conquer it, we can transform that beastial energy into something pure. That is the mystery of Alchemy. We transform that which is subjective, negative, detrimental, into something conscious, divine and pure. That is the path of death. It is very painful; the Muslims refer to this as jihad, striving. It does not mean Holy War. There are many words in Arabic for Holy War, but the word Mujahidah means to strive, to fight. This fight occurs within. When we confront everything that is wrong with us, and change it. This is a great battle, represented in the Old Testament by Jacob struggling with an angel, where he is fighting hand to hand combat with an Aangel, in the book of Genesis. It is a symbol of fighting with that power of God, which we use in an animal way; that energy of the creative sexual potential is from divinity. It comes from God. Sadly, we use it in an animalistic way, to procreate, physically. Therefore, the animal, that lion, eats us in that act. If we give into lust, that animal devours us. But, if we learn to conquer the animal within, restraining our body, mind, and heart, we can transform that lion into something human, divine.

Mystical Sacrifice and Service

This path is a great sacrifice, which is why many beings do not follow it. It is very arduous and painful. We talked about the teachings of mystical birth, and mystical death. The path of denying oneself, and the path of giving birth to the soul. Lastly, Jesus said, "follow me." This is sacrifice for humanity.

Sacrifice for humanity refers to what we do to help others; how do we serve others selflessly? How do we give, based upon our potential, based upon our psychological disposition, our gifts, our good qualities? How do we use what is in our skill and ability, to genuinely help others? Jesus taught, with his life, this doctrine. The highest sacrifice one can give is to teach this kind of knowledge, how to help people change. Personally, this is something that I do; not because I want to personally, but because I have had the experience when speaking to beings like Jesus, about what I need to do to serve humanity and pay my debts. So, this is something that I engage with as a result of what my inner divinity has instructed me to do.
Sacrifice for humanity can occur in many ways. It does not mean that one has to become a priest or missionary, to disseminate a type of teaching like this. We have to find our own ways of giving to others, in accordance with our disposition. We give based on that which we are capable of, and what can we do to really help others. Of course, this is a very painful process too, because, egotistically, our mind does not like to focus on the will, the needs of others. Instead, it wants to give to itself, constantly. It is a sacrifice. We have to fulfill what is called, the sacred office, which is where the word sacrifice comes from. It always involves pain, to some degree.

Jesus represented this with his life. He stated the missionary aspect of this type of sacrifice, in the following gospel of Matthew:

"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him." -Matthew 4:17-20

Sacrifice for humanity means to go fishing, you could say: fishing for people. To help, to assist in whatever way we can. And, to really give from our heart, from our capacity, from divine love, from compassion. When we see that someone suffers outside of us, who really deserves and needs help—and especially if they do not deserve that help, we give it anyway. We like to say, "that person wronged me, they do not deserve my compassion." Yet, that is precisely the egotism that we need to struggle against, and which you find that at work... Work can be very confrontational, very aggressive, very negative. And yet, I have found that, by being able to restrain my own sense of pride and self-esteem, and to speak with kindness and peace towards my clients at work, who may be causing a problem, it has diffused situations that would have escalated. Peace is what establishes equilibrium within any social environment. If we are angry, we perpetuate the wheel of pain. If we are at peace, like a sword, we cut through that chain of suffering and we totally disable that situation. Which is why the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition stated, "Kindness is a much more crushing force than anger." You can unmask traitors with love and compassion; you disarm people with kindness. We have to verify that, experience that and to work for that; it does not come easily in the beginning. We have to fight for it. But, when we find that this way of being than acting on our own egotism, we see that this becomes our foundation, and what we strive to fulfill every day, every moment. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated that we have to really concentrate on the effects of our actions, and not think about our intentions. We may intend to do good, but, the ego is all intention; it wants for itself. Yet, the results are disastrous. Our own self-will has intentions, perhaps of benefiting others, and yet we have to consciously observe what are the effects, if we act in certain ways. This is why he says:

"The results are always that which speak; it serves no purpose to have good intentions if the results are disastrous." —Samael Aun Weor

Love does not mean sentimentalism, hallmark cards or superficiality. It refers to the love that a being like Jesus gave for humanity, selflessly; where he was beaten, spat upon, crucified, and yet he only said, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." Love is the law, but conscious love. It is not love for ourselves, our own self-love, but love for the other being, regardless of whether we benefit or not. That is the type of divine love that we need, when we sacrifice for others. Depending on whatever our vocation is.

So, the path of sacrifice specifically relates to missionary work, how we sow the seeds of kindness to others, and how we fish in the rivers of life, looking for people who will want to be spiritual, who want to change.

In the Gospel of Thomas, verses 8-9, we have an elaboration on the previous points.

"And he said,

“Humankind is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish.

“Among the fish he found a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea and easily chose the large fish.

“Whoever has ears to hear should hear."

You find this in the gospels, quite frequently: let he who has the understanding, know. As the Qur'an says, only those with direct knowledge of God will know the meaning of the scriptures. Let he who is initiated understand this teaching. In terms of this fishing of men, he is referring to how, when Jesus was teaching, he had thousands of people listening to his sermons, and yet, only a few really practiced what he taught. Likewise, with this kind of knowledge, which we are unveiling.

Jesus chose the large fish, meaning, people that have some depth, who really are going to change themselves, who are going to transform who they are, and do so in a very serious way.

The following parable is the famous parable of the sower, which people read literally. But, it represents how this type of knowledge is being disseminated, spread, and taught.

"Yeshua said,
“Look, the sower went out, took a handful of seeds, and scattered them."

He emphasizes how, some of these seeds will be destroyed. Meaning, some people will benefit, some people will listen, some people will take it seriously and will change. Others, will either debate or argue, such as with the following verse:

"Some fell on the road and the birds came and pecked them up.
“Others fell on rock and they did not take root in the soil and did not produce heads of grain.
“Others fell on thorns and they choked the seeds and worms devoured them.
“And others fell on good soil and it brought forth a good crop,

“Yielding sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure." -The Gospel of Thomas 8-9

So, the seeds of knowledge, which are being disseminated, some fell on the road, and the birds ate them. The birds represent, symbolically, the thought, where one’s philosophy of thinking looks at this teaching and perhaps rejects it, devours it, destroys it. Others fell on rock and they did not take root; meaning, when Jesus was teaching to the thousands of people, some people were very hardened, psychologically, they had no remorse, they would not want to change anyway, and therefore lost that opportunity to learn from the Christ. Others fell on thorns; meaning, criticism, slander, and you see in the life of any prophet, they are surrounded by critics and condemned. These are the very people who crowned him with thorns, so to speak. Others fell on good soil; meaning, those who truly feel in their heart that they want to change, fundamentally, to become genuine mystics.

The numbers 60 + 120 relates to the kabbalistic teachings, the numerical science of Hebraism. We talked in brief, previously, about how numbers represent certain qualities, and certain teachings of a very profound depth, which we will be elaborating upon in our lectures. But, when you look at Kabbalah, numbers in the Bible, they represent archetypes, symbols, as with the first card of the Tarot that we looked at, the number 1. Likewise, these numbers relate to other teachings, other principles. 60 + 120 = 180. In Kabbalah, you take these numbers, and you add the sum of the digits: 1 + 8 = 9. As we have talked previously, the number 9 is very important in the Bible. 9 relates, in Kabbalah, to what is called the sphere of Yesod. Yesod, in Hebrew, means foundation; it is the rock that Jesus builds his church upon. That rock, Yesod, in Freemasonry, is the cubic stone, upon which we build our church, the Church of Rome, the Church of Amore, of Love. That stone is the creative energy, in its depth. The teachings of Alchemy, how to use the creative power of sex, for something divine. The Muslims refer to that stone as the Qabba, which is the stone that they circumambulate around, during the Hajj pilgrimage. That stone is black in us, it has to be purified, made to become white in the Muslim tradition.

In synthesis, we will be explaining in future lectures about the teachings of the other pillars of Gnosis. We talked about mysticism in depth; previously we talked about psychology, and our next lecture will be dedicated to art. Science and mysticism, as well as art and philosophy, are integral: these are not something separate. We are discussing things in a very didactic way, to emphasize certain principles, which are important to know. But, we know that science in its real depth, the process of experimentation, of verification, is mystical in depth. Likewise, it is philosophical; the language of the parables of the Bible have allegorical meanings, philosophical meanings. These teachings have been given amongst many great artists of humanity, like Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt... many classical composers. The pyramids of Egypt and Yucatan verify and teach spiritual principles, and everything we have explained in this lecture about mysticism, will elaborate, in certain forms of art, as we see, whether amongst the Egyptians, the Aztecs and Maya, or the Sufis. Lastly, we will be talking about the nature of philosophy, especially from the West, but also within India.

Questions and Answers

Audience: You mentioned the appearance of angels in the New Testament, is that allegorical as well? When someone sees an angel, or is confronted by an angel, that is them looking inward, and hearing the right voice?

Instructor: Yes. As with Jacob struggling against an Angel, it was not something historical, specifically. People think that the Bible is a historical text. But, it refers to something psychological. The Hebraic Kabbalists write in the Zohar that the Angel that Jacob wrestled with was Samael. As you see in the writings that we have available, the author is Samael Aun Weor. He is the terrestrial person of the Angel Samael, and the Angel Samael is the God of War, known as Ares or Mars in Greek and Roman myth.

Samael is a force, an Angel, a being who exists, right now, in the superior dimensions. He was physically incarnated, and wrote many books, to teach this science. The Zohar talks about how Jacob wrestled with this Angel, which represents the strength of sex, sexual energy, the sexual power. The very force that can give life to our full potential, to help transform into a perfect human being, into an Angel, is within our sexual organs. The bible, which has been edited throughout many centuries, lost this. But, the Zohar, and many other scriptures have a tradition that emphasises some of the allegorical meaning, that was associated with the Bible, that was extirpated.

When Jacob fights with the Angel, it is talking about how we as a soul have to wrestle with the powers that exist within us. It is a spiritual fight. In the bible, Jacob, when he is wrestling, he breaks his thigh, it gets dislocated. The thigh is near the sexual organs—there are many other teachings associated with this symbol too, but, we find that these stories are not literal. People who read them literally, are children; they don't really see the adult material there, the spiritual material that is really profound.

Audience: Before I met you, and started doing this, I was studying occultism—whether it be Manly P. Hall, light occultism or dark occultism—the more you delve into it, delve into it, delve into it, it’s all from within, it is all the stuff that is going on in the world, in the universe, that is happening within. That being said, the one thing I have noticed, is that when you do the shadow work, and you start working on yourself, breaking down barriers of things you don't like about yourself, the more you get attacked. I don't know whether it's just negative emotions, real entities... but, the more you try, the more it is going to be harder.

Instructor: That is the battle of the devil.

Audience: Yeah, but, if you ever saw the Matrix—where they said, you can take either the red pill or the blue pill—it's almost like, the more you do, the work gets harder and harder and harder. Whereas, I can see friends or family sitting in front of the TV, watching football, drinking beer and not worrying about any of this. You almost get pissed off, because they're not doing any work on themselves. My take on it is, moderation does not work anymore.

Audience: Moderation in the spiritual work?

Audience: Well, yeah. It is almost like, whether it is alcohol, or lust.. whatever the seven deadly sins of the psyche are, it is almost like there is no room for error. The more you delve into, the more you try.

Instructor: Ethical discipline is something militaristic. It is a battle. But, by applying the teaching, we develop more equanimity. Especially in the beginning, when we are adjusting to knowing the causes of our suffering; it is painful to realise that we create all of our pain, and that we are responsible for everything that we do, and the reasons why we suffer.

For instance, as I was explaining my job, at one point, my mind wanted to blame my clients, "they just don't want to learn." I had an experience internally, in the dream state, where I was shown black birds. A bird, as I mentioned to you, is thought; the mind is aerial in nature, it relates to wind, breath, air. It was Samael Aun Weor who was showing me that symbol; he was saying that your mental state, being negative, is attracting that criticism from your clients, therefore, you are right in being judged by them. Then I returned to my body, and I was thankful. He was showing me something that I need to change, and that I can't blame then for anything they do. Yes, they can be negative, but I can be kind in response—that will neutralise much of that conflict.

But, in the beginning, when we are learning to look inside, it is a battle. We gain more equilibrium and stamina in this work, by continuing to do it. It takes a lot of discipline, especially in the beginning, to curtail negative thought, negative feeling. As many scriptures state, we cannot give any inch to anger, to fear, etc. But, we gain strength the more that we apply this science, and we cease to be filled with despair.

Of course, there are moments of darkness and suffering that every initiate goes through. If you listen to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, his piece about his spiritual night that he went through. He was a very high master who was tested, where they stopped giving him those experiences; and, he composed in his music his sorrow, his pain. So, even great masters go through that type of conflict. But, what guides them through those dark moments in their journey is having faith; recalling the qualities of God, and knowing that the divine is always with us. But, we have to be tested, and tried, like Nietzsche says in Thus Spoke Zarathustra—a German philosopher who knew this teaching in depth, he said: "You only know the spark of the Spirit, but you do not see the anvil that it is, and all the cruelty in its hammer." Referring to the God Thor, the God of war, first putting us in hot fire, and hammering us, tempering us, until the soul is perfected. We face ordeals because we have to confront our own negativity. An ordeal is a situation that is very problematic, a conflict, which provokes a lot of negativity, and yet, we have to be mindful of that, look at it, what are the causes that are provoked, and then go home and reflect; "what did I see?" And, to work on what we see, didactically. This is a psychological teaching.

Upon finding these studies, we are tested, we are given ordeals. That goes back to the parable of the birds devouring the seeds. Many people struggle and lose that conflict, because they get devoured by their own negativity, their own thinking; the thorns of slander or criticism, not only from others, but from themselves. We have to face trial and error. We fail many times, over and over again; we will get up, we get knocked down; it is a war. But, if you are persistent, and you remember God, you will get through it. Moses did it, Buddha did it, Jesus did it.

Audience: I think the first step, that I have taken from this last month and half, is self-awareness. You become aware—I think I mentioned once, I became aware, that more than an hourly basis, something negative came up, and I had to catch it. Have you ever heard of people that begin this process, who begin to say, it doesn't seem to get any better?

Instructor: Many people face that. The problem is, what is lacking is insight. Now, whether one is a high initiate, or a beginner, there is always going to be suffering, to a degree. The question is, do we comprehend the causes of our suffering? In those moments of trial, we have to learn to be patient. I can think of a couple of quotes relating to this—Nietzsche had a very beautiful way of explaining this science. He said, there will come a time in which all that is holy and divine to you will seem like a ghost, it will frighten you, and you will say all is false and despair. We feel abandoned, like Jesus said on the Cross, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani!" "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" This is Jesus saying this... the highest master we know of, in terms of hierarchy. And yet, he even said in that moment, "My God, where are you?" But, he remembered God, and he prayed and he conquered. In those moments of trial, when we suffer, we can listen to good music; personally, when I go through ordeals, I listen to good classical music, by masters like Tchaikovsky, Beethoven... Beethoven especially.

Audience: Do you listen to Rachmaninoff?

Instructor: I like Rachmaninoff. But, in terms of hierarchy amongst the musicians, Beethoven and Wagner are very, very high. People associate Wagner with Nazis, and the misappropriation of Nietzsche's' teaching, but you know the Ride of the Valkyria, the warrior woman fighting for God, Wotan in other words; it is a very famous song, which has been misappropriated, sadly. But, it is a warrior’s song, of the soul marching for Christ, and combatting all that is evil within oneself. Of course, these warrior women are representatives of qualities of our own soul. You can listen to Holst's Planets, the piece on Mars. I can show you perhaps in another lecture, we can play that piece. But, it shows you the type of willpower you need to fight against degeneration. It is not a war of anger, physical violence, but it is a spiritual war in which, through peace and comprehension, you conquer that which is impure.

We learn to really overcome those challenges by learning to meditate. Close your physical eyes, retrospect in your mind; visualise, try to imagine the difficulties you're facing. See it in your mind’s eye: what did you do, what did you say, what happened? We are going to give many explanations about that process in the coming weeks.

Audience: In true esoteric Freemasonry, Manly P. Hall said, that in order to get to the 33rd degree, he had to know one thing. And, the one thing that he had to know was, if one suffers, we all suffer.

Instructor: Exactly, because, if we ignore the suffering of others, especially when we're in pain, we can't transcend the problem. I am thinking of certain ordeals that I had in my job, where certain clients were problematic and causing me a lot of suffering. Then, I was realizing that, they are who they are, and they need to be responsible for who they are. But, my own resentment, my own anger, I need to change what I can. By conquering that, comprehending those faults of my own, I have been able to kind to these clients. And, even when they have been cross with me, very negative, I have neutralized certain things. That has given me more faith to overcome those challenges.

So, we do it little by little. To get out of those ruts, we have to remember the suffering of others.

Audience: What about marriage? When you talk about marriage, and the Gnostics talk about marriage, they are talking about love, they're not talking about the piece of paper...

Instructor: Exactly. People think that marriage is paperwork. But, Samael Aun Weor said that modern marriage is with paperwork is legal prostitution. This is because, these couples are joining in matrimony for lust, not for love. If you look at the divorce rate in America, you can see the results of this...

Audience: This is my first experience trying to learn Gnostic traditions. In your lecture, you mentioned about love, and unity, and what is necessary to be a partner, and to love, and you mentioned a man and a woman. Is that a Gnostic way? There is no homosexuality in Gnostic teachings? Can that love exist between a woman and a woman, and a man and a man?

Instructor: Good question. Biologically speaking, we know that the physical male counterpart maintains the male potential. Likewise, the woman with the female energy. And, as we know that Jehovah, the name is Ya-Havah, meaning, masculine-feminine, those two polarities manifest within the physical man, and physical woman. To create physically, to create a physical child, it needs a man and a woman. But, to create a spiritual being, you also need a man and woman too.

A male with a male, or a female with a female, does not possess the creative potential to create that spiritual element.

Audience: Doesn't that refer to the hermaphrodite, in terms of actual the male-female?

Instructor: Well, in terms of the hermaphrodite, we could say that a hermaphrodite, a being that has fully integrated male-female, is an angel. It is a being that has—through a matrimony, physically, like any one of us—we learn to work with the opposite sex, so that we have that power, physically and also spiritually, to create. When we fully perfected ourselves, those two principles are fully manifest. An angel is a perfect human being. But, to become an angel, we need to have both polarities; even physically, to create not only a physical child, but, spiritually speaking too.

Audience: Well, the whole brain is divided; the left brain is the sacred masculine, and the right brain is the sacred feminine. And, you want to come together in the middle, which is the prefrontal cortex, the third eye. So, we all have the sacred feminine; all males have the sacred feminine within, and all females have the sacred masculine in them.

Instructor: We do have, what we could say, the Divine Mother within us: the Divine Mother Kundalini. We also have the Divine Father within us. But, in order to march to those heights, physically, we have to work with where we are at. Meaning, a man, physically needs a wife, sexually speaking. He needs that actual counterpart to compliment the male. Likewise, the male needs that feminine counterpart, so that those energies, which when aroused physically, can create something spiritual. As Jesus says, that which is born of flesh is flesh, but, that which is born of Spirit is Spirit. Meaning, man and wife can birth to a physical child, but, to give birth to a spiritual child, we need the same energies, the same act, but, manifested in a different way. We are not against homosexuals. We don't condemn individuals.

Audience: So, that means, even the love that they share, that can create some kind of spiritual energy, but it cannot create a spiritual being?

Instructor: Well, we could say that, that energy, between a man and a woman is what develops our spiritual life, precisely.

Audience: And a man and a man, or a woman and a woman cannot obtain, cannot reach that level?

Instructor: A man and a man cannot. A woman and woman cannot. But, man and wife, is what creates spiritual life.

Audience: But, we're not against those people?

Instructor: Well, I personally do not choose that path, because, as Jesus said, straight is the gate of the spinal medulla, in which that energy can rise up to the brain. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth into life, spiritual life. Life, in Hebrew, relates to Chaiah. In Judaism, we say, Le’Chaim, "to life." Chaiah relates to our sexual organs, because we give life, physically, through sex. But, also, spiritual life, if we know how to take, to not be tempted by that energy, like Adam and Eve in the garden. We transfer from Chavah, and raise it to our brain, represented by Adam, then up the spine. This is the path that the Kundalini of the Divine Mother rises; up our spinal medulla, to our brain, in order to illuminate it.

Homosexuality cannot create spiritual life. But, it does create certain elements which are contrary to the divine elements. If you are interested, you can look into the Zohar; it has a lot of teachings about this. About how homosexuality is the opposite of creating spiritually, but something else, something inferior. Of course, a lot of people, who are homosexual or gay, do not like to hear that. That is why Jesus says, straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life. People who are attached to their customs may not want to change, but, that is their choice. Personally, we do not condemn homosexuals. But, we point of that, just as we cannot create a child physically through homosexuality, you cannot create spiritually within you without having that counterpart, that compliment. We need both man and woman to reach that full potential.

Audience: The problem with this, what you just said, if you were to say that to a forum of people, they would say that is politically incorrect...

Instructor: Well, that is the birds eating up the seeds, so to speak; devouring it. The minds saying that they do not like this. But, the thing is, I remember hearing about the Dalai Lama, who is a great master, a Gnostic teacher; he was giving a lecture before an audience, a homosexual community, and they asked him, "Can one be homosexual and Buddhist?" And he answered, kindly but firmly, "No, you cannot." And, of course, they were hissing at him, which was their choice. But, if we want to create, as we mentioned, even spiritually, a matrimony is needed; and, I do not mean papers, I mean, when a man loves a woman, and there is divine communion between, both in the world of thought, feeling and will, then we can develop genuine mysticism within us.
<![CDATA[Fundamentals of Gnostic Science]]>Wed, 26 Sep 2018 01:36:41 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/fundamentals-of-gnostic-scienceThis is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy. 

We are continuing this course on the fundamentals of Gnosticism, as both a tradition and a way of practice. The word gnosis, in Greek, means knowledge, direct experience of mystical truth. It is that which has been symbolically explained within religion, in the cryptic language of the prophets, whether it be through Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, etc.

Gnosis, as a Greek term applied to western studies, is our direct cognizance of the divine, that which is born from our own conscious experience of the truth, which has been taught within all religions, irrespective of a particular culture, language and identity.

When we talk about gnosis, we talk about our own, personal relationship to our inner divinity who is within us, which has been given many names. The Buddhists refer to the divine within as the Inner Buddha. Buddha means “awakened one, cognizant one,” a luminous being, a perceptive being. Amongst the mystics of Israel, the teachers of the Kabbalistic tradition, they refer to God as El, the breath, as the presence, a force. Not as an anthropomorphic figure of tyranny, one that dispenses lightning bolts upon a poor, suffering humanity. Instead, that is a symbol for something personal and intimate, within us.

Divinity is an intelligence, a presence, a force that we can access when we learn to develop our consciousness, our cognizance. Gnosis is that direct relationship that we acquire, when we know how to cultivate qualities of superior being, superior ways of understanding, within our mind, our heart and our body.

Likewise, gnosis, as the experience of the truth, has been taught in different ways, in different religions, in a pristine form, in its original root. We say that, in these present times, the gnostic teaching within those religions has been lost. People who only believe in a tradition, who follow a specific leader or member of a group, many times fail to understand how to cultivate a personal relationship with the divine. So, in these studies, we state that those who have genuine knowledge, do not need to believe in anything. We do not follow anyone. We do not follow a pope, an imam, a priest, a rabbi; we do not follow any individual. We seek to follow our own knowledge: what we test, what we verify, what we experience for ourselves. In that manner, we learn to differentiate and discriminate between different teachings, and to understand that which is the spiritual within those different doctrines, those different faiths, those different religions, in their original form; not as they are being taught today. If we look at the state of being of these different faiths, religions—whether it be Catholicism, Islam, Judaism—we find that many traditions are now focused on the external, and are following a certain form of dogma. They are not cultivating a personal relationship, an intimate relationship, with the divine.

In this course, we are discussing what are known as the four pillars: four foundations of genuine spiritual knowledge and understanding. Gnosis is explained and understood through four pillars, four cornerstones. It has been known through science; it has been known through mysticism; it has been known through art; and, it has been known through philosophy.

In ancient schools of mystical teaching, the precepts of genuine spiritual science were taught, and elaborated through artistic forms in a philosophical way. Science, mysticism, art and philosophy were once an integral unity; they were not separate as we find today.

Our science today is divorced from spirituality. Our spirituality is divorced of reason in these present, modern times. Likewise, our art no longer reflects the genuine spiritual principles that the ancient masters of art—like Da Vinci, or of music like Beethoven, Wagner, Chopin, Lizst, and many other great classical composers—once followed. Likewise, the philosophies of today, our post-modern era, are divorced of genuine experiential verification of the truth, of facts, of things that we can test and know for ourselves. But, as we are going to explain in this course, really, science, mysticism, art, philosophy, cannot be separated. They cannot be divorced from one another.

So, as we are going to explain in this lecture, on the first pillar of gnostic wisdom, we are going to discuss the nature of science. The root of science comes from scientia, which means “knowledge.” In the previous lecture, we explained that, from the German root, it is skhizein, which is where we get science as well. Skhizein means “to split, to rend, to break apart.” Our science today—which is no longer in balance with our most ancient traditions—is split; it is divorced from any sense of mysticism, any sense of spirituality, but for a few exceptions, where certain scientists are investigating Buddhism, in order to explain quantum mechanics, sub-atomic particles, how light particles can make decisions, in certain experiments.

This testifies to the nature of the mystical reality of genuine science. That mysticism, which means, from the root word myein, “to close one’s eyes,” is the closing of our sensual perception, and the awakening of our spiritual perception. It is to know that which is true, from a conscious standpoint.

We find that in gnostic science, we are exploring that which has been taught within ancient scriptures in a cryptic way. We are going to elaborate on how science, in its genuine form, has been taught within the most ancient schools of philosophy, of literature, of art, and of different cultures.

One thing we emphasize, is that, "Gnosis is lived upon facts, it withers away in abstractions and it is difficult to find even in the noblest of thoughts." This is a statement given by Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern gnostic tradition. This emphasizes that, no matter how noble our aspirations, our beliefs, they are fruitless if we do not experiment, if we do not test, if we do not verify; if we do not take it upon ourselves to really experience what different prophets have taught. This is the basis of genuine religion. The word religion comes from the Latin, religare, which means “to re-unite,” with the divine. Not through beliefs or attending a group, but through spiritual experience.

One thing we will talk about in this lecture, is how gnostic science is boiled down to three fundamental principles; you could say, three sciences. I will be talking about those three sciences in depth, which were taught in all the most ancient schools of the mysteries.
We included this image of a woman from the Egyptian pantheon, with a famous inscription written by Beethoven, who was a Freemason that had a painting of the Virgin Mary, the Divine Mother, from Hinduism, the feminine divine, with the following words:

I am the one who has been, is and will be, and no mortal has lifted my veil.

This is an Egyptian maxim, and we are going to talk about Egyptian mysticism in depth today, along with Greek dialectics, thought and philosophy, in psychological terms, as well as the Hebraic mysticism: the Kabbalah. This inscription refers to how we must tear the veil of ignorance that blinds our spiritual eyes from knowing the truth. That veil is our own unconsciousness. We state in these studies that we have the potential to expand consciousness to an infinite degree. This was stated by the 14th Dalai Lama.

The image references the Egyptian roots of the mysteries of Isis; the ancient Egyptian mystery schools that taught these fundamentals in their organizations, and which the Freemasons followed, those such as Beethoven, Mozart, and many other great spiritual masters, composers, etc. So, we must tear that veil that blinds our perception of the truth.

We have to emphasize that our physical sciences in this present day are not the end and be all. The famous Theosophist, Leadbeater, stated:

“It is one of the commonest of our mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all that there is to perceive.” —C.W. Leadbeater

Materialistic science, as well as religion today, is based on dogma. We may receive certain facts about phenomena, without fully knowing the hidden root cause of that phenomena. Immanuel Kant, in his philosophy, referred to a principle known as noumena: the truth, “things in themselves,” the principles behind physical matter, the energy or principles behind any type of phenomena that we experience.

Our scientists today, many of them focus on empirical data. They fail to recognize that there is another means of investigation that we can cultivate, which is learning to awaken our spiritual perception, and to verify the truth behind any type of phenomena. The demarcation between gnostic science and materialistic science is a standpoint of perception. We have many exercises in this tradition, such as meditation, exercises of awakening consciousness in dreams, in order to investigate the different regions of matter, energy and perception that exist not only in this physical dimension, but also in different dimensions, which are accessed in the realm of sleep.

We state that the heavens mentioned in religion are precisely the different realities that we can access, when our physical senses shut down, and our consciousness can expand and verify, test and know directly the mysteries of life and death: the source of all things, the laws that govern not only physical nature, but also our spiritual nature.

It is sad to see that in these present times, modern science looks at ancient civilizations with scorn, as if these individuals of the past—whether it be the Aztecs or Mayans, the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans—were primitive. Meanwhile, no one can deny the tremendous mathematical and astronomical knowledge that these cultures possessed; or that their certain architecture, sculptures, structures dedicated to religious principles, were highly scientific and mathematical. Their knowledge, and the symbols attributed to their cultures, are conveying a mysterious science, a mysteries truth. They did not believe in false idols, as if they literally believed in a statue as a God. Those statues of the different traditions represent principles in nature, that we can learn to verify, to speak with and to communicate with.

We have to understand that these ancient cultures were not ignorant; they were much more advanced. We look at our present day humanity, and we find that human beings have launched themselves to more wars and violence; there is more chaos, there is more confusion, there is more destruction. We have to seriously consider how the ancient civilizations once developed a type of knowledge that is superior, which we can experiment and verify.

The following quote is from Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, who wrote a book called Isis Unveiled, which is the precursor to her larger work called The Secret Doctrine, which we study in depth. She emphasizes, in this quote, how materialistic science is not the pinnacle of human achievement. We can learn many things from studying matter, but likewise, we learn with esoteric procedures how to investigate energy and consciousness, which are beyond physical matter. She states:

"The recognized laws of physical science account for but a few of the more objective of the so-called spiritual phenomena. While proving the reality of certain visible effects of an unknown force, they have not thus far enabled scientists to control at will even this portion of the phenomena."

So, we see that as wonderful as many of our achievements are, in the present day, as scientific efforts, they are not necessarily, absolutely conclusive of how we understand our experience.

"The truth is that the professors have not yet discovered the necessary conditions of their occurrence."

Meaning, there is a spiritual principle behind every physical phenomena, as Immanuel Kant explained.

"They must go as deeply into the study of the triple nature of man—physiological, psychological, and divine—as did their predecessors, the magicians, theurgists, and thaumaturgists of old.

"As the dawn of physical science broke into a glaring day-light, the spiritual sciences merged deeper and deeper into night, and in their turn they were denied. So, now, these greatest masters in psychology are looked upon as “ignorant and superstitious ancestors”; as mountebanks and jugglers, because, forsooth, the sun of modern learning shines today so bright, it has become an axiom that the philosophers and men of science of the olden time knew nothing, and lived in a night of superstition. But their traducers forget that the sun of today will seem dark by comparison with the luminary of tomorrow, whether justly or not; and as the men of our century think their ancestors ignorant, so will perhaps their descendants count them for know-nothings." —H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled

The founder of the modern gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor, stated: “What science accepts today, it rejects tomorrow. What it rejects today, it accepts tomorrow.” He also emphasizes, in a very clear manner, a differentiation between two sciences, as we have been indicating.

"There are two types of science. The first is nothing more than a compost heap of subjective theories that abound out there; the second is the pure science of the great illuminati: the objective science of the Being." —Samael Aun Weor

The "Being" is a term we use in this tradition, referring to the divine, as presence, as cognizance, as perception, as God, which is within us, not outside. This intelligence is something that we can access. To become one of the illuminati, is to become illuminated: to have that direct perception of the truth of the divine within us. We can state with certainty that the first science is nothing more than a subjective conglomeration of ideas, because we have many theories about life, of the origin of the universe, of the cosmos, of the ancient histories of humanity. But, they are based on material phenomena, and ignore the spiritual roots of physical life.

​The Three Esoteric Sciences

So, we say that there are three esoteric sciences. Gnosticism, as a tradition, is founded upon three specific cultural teachings. We have the mystical Kabbalah of Judaism; we have the Egyptian and Middle Eastern doctrine of Alchemy; and then we have the Greek dialectical teachings or philosophies of psychology. We state that this gnostic path, the modern gnostic movement, follows these three sciences and cultivates them. We are going to talk in depth about these three different aspects of esoteric science: what it entails, how do we cultivate it, how do we apply it, in order to understand our relationship with the divine.

“In the Gnostic path, we live practically in the most complete equilibrium; we study Alchemy and Kabbalah. We work on the disintegration of the psychological ‘I.’” —Samael Aun Weor

…which is the mind, the sense of egotistical or subjective self—what we say is "me," "mine," etc. Alchemy and Kabbalah have been taught in many different ways, primarily in relation to the book of Genesis. Kabbalah is the Tree of Life: a map of the cosmos and the divine, which we are going to talk about first. Alchemy is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil—these are symbols, they are not literally trees that existed in some remote part of the Middle East, which Adam and Eve ate from and were caused to be banished. Likewise, the subsequent suffering of humanity... these are symbols.

With Kabbalah, Alchemy and Psychology, we emphasize that these are three specific, practical teachings, which are really one unity, and which we study separately, but also together. They integrate completely. We will talk a lot about some of the etymology behind these words, and how they have manifested in different traditions.

​Kabbalah: The Tree of Life

Kabbalah is a map of consciousness; from physical matter to the highest regions of perception. The bottom of this tree, this glyph, we see Malkuth, which in Hebrew means kingdom. This is our physicality, our physical world, our physical existence. We see here that it is at the bottom of this glyph; meaning, it is not the end limit of all that there is to perceive and know. We say that this image is a symbol of understanding who we are, and what we need to aspire to, if we want to know through gnosis, directly, the truth. At the top of the tree, we have higher regions of energy, matter and consciousness. Likewise, at the bottom, as we descend this tree, we enter into more dense aspects of matter, energy and perception.

Above Malkuth, our physical body, we have Yesod: our energy, our vitality. When we wake up in the morning, rejuvenated and renewed, that is the work of our vitality, our vital energy, which gives us life. Likewise, we have our emotional energy, related to the sephirah Hod, which in Hebrew means “splendor.” It is our emotional states. Likewise, we have Netzach, which is mind, intellect, conception, thesis-antithesis, etc. Above that, we have more rarefied aspects of consciousness, relating to will and consciousness specifically, and our spirit, our divine being.

In this tradition, we study the Tree of Life in depth, in a practical manner, in order to understand who we are, as well as to interpret the different scriptures, such as the Bible, the Qu'ran and many other traditions. This glyph can be used to interpret any pantheon or tradition. Notice that at the top we have a trinity, which in Hebrew is Kether, Chokmah, Binah, which in Christian terms is Father, Son, Holy Spirit. These are forces, not people. They are intelligences and energies that we can work with, and verify. Amongst the Hindus, this trinity is Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. Amongst the Egyptians: Osiris, Horus, Isis. Different names for the same thing; this glyph helps us to understand many traditions, and to understand what the original root is.

To quote from Dion Fortune from her Mystical Qabalah, a very profound, modern work, on a very ancient technique and tradition:

"It [the Tree of Life] is a glyph, that is to say a composite symbol, which is intended to represent the cosmos in its entirety and the soul of man as related thereto; and the more we study it, the more we see that it is an amazingly adequate representation; we use it as the engineer or the mathematician uses his sliding-rule, to scan and calculate the intricacies of existence, visible and invisible, in external nature or the hidden depth of the soul." –Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah

So, I just mentioned some of our psychological applications to us. This is also a map of different dimensions. These principles exist in different layers, like an onion. They are different levels or modalities of being, different forms of matter. When we go to sleep at night, physically, our body rests, and our soul, which relates to our willpower and which is enmeshed in thought and feeling, enters this realm known as Hod, the world of dreams. It is a different level or dimension of being. It is a place in which life exists as a form of materiality; nothing vague or vaporous. But, unfortunately, because our consciousness is not developed, we typically enter that world, either completely unconscious, or we may have some sporadic dreams which are very chaotic, very fantastical. They are not rooted in anything divine.

In that realm, we can access and awaken our perception to a higher degree, in which we cease to dream, but in which our soul, our consciousness, divested of its physical form, can learn to investigate and perceive that dimension, that realm. This is what people call "out of body experiences." We call it Dream Yoga: to practice union with God in dreams. The word yoga, from the Sanskrit yug, means “to unite” with the truth. This glyph helps us to understand different dimensions which we can access when we know how to develop our perception.

The different religions have called this "heaven;" the heavenly realms, heavenly ways of being, heavenly states of perception. The Kabbalah, this Tree of Life, is a map to help us understand the language of the world of dreams, the world of spirituality. Samael Aun Weor, in his book Tarot and Kabbalah, stated:
"The objective of studying the Kabbalah is to be skilled for work in the Internal Worlds... One who does not comprehend remains confused in the Internal Worlds. Kabbalah is the basis in order to understand the language of these worlds.” –Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

Many prophets, such as Daniel, explained that the world of dreams is a symbolic world. People have talked about dream language, dream interpretation, knowing how to interpret the dreams one experiences. In these studies, we say that dreams are subjective, belonging to our egotistical self. But, a vision is something else. We project dreams in that realm, but a vision is when the mind is receptive and calm, and in which we experience for ourselves, in a dramatic form, a teaching given by the divine.

I remember, many years ago when I first started this teaching, I was practicing exercises of meditation, in which, by entering a state of silence and quietude of my mind, I physically fell asleep. I found myself in the dream world, in my house, we could call this the astral plane, the world of emotions. I invoked and prayed to the divine within me to teach me something useful, that I could use to guide my life. In a miraculous way, I was shown a television screen, and on the television screen, it stated in scrolling letters, like in a film, “The Path to the Self-realization of the Being.” We say in these studies that the being is our spirit; we could call it Chesed in Hebrew, which means “mercy”—the truth within us, our own particular God. I remember seeing an image very similar to this glyph. I saw two rows of five portraits of faces of people, going lengthwise—not vertical, but horizontal, from left to right: five above, five below.

On the top left, I saw an image of a very divine and powerful old man, the anthropomorphic Jehovah, we could say. A figure of a divine, an elderly figure of wisdom. I saw many other faces too, but, at the very bottom, on the far right, I saw my own face. This was at a time when I did not really study the Kabbalah in depth, but, then I meditated, and I read certain texts that we have in this teaching, in which I realized that those ten faces are the ten spheres of this image. Each sphere as its own portrait, its own personality, we could say, its own way of being. Of course, I was at the very bottom, meaning Malkuth, the body; but, I was learning to perceive that the complete human being, the complete person, is more than just a physical body. It is also vitality, emotion, mind, will, consciousness, spirit and the trinity above. It was a very powerful representation of understanding who we are, in our fundamental root.

In the world of dreams, we can experience visions, and we can be taught symbolically, something about ourselves. We teach many ways of how to access that state of consciousness, so that we know how to get guidance from God; then, we do not need to really on anybody, or any group.

Kabbalah is a teaching that was divorced from the Bible, at least amongst modern Christians. Dion Fortune, a modern writer on the Western Esoteric Tradition, has a lot of criticism towards the present day Catholicism that many worship and follow. Precisely because this tradition has lost its roots. Jesus was a rabbi, who taught Kabbalah in his language, in his parables, in his allegories. Such as, "you must be born again of water and spirit," he said. Well, knowing the Hebrew alphabet, we know that water is מ Mem in Hebrew. Spirit, or fire, is ש Shin in Hebrew. To be born again from the breath, the wind of God, is ה Hei. You add those letters together, and you spell המש Moshe: מ Mem, ש Shin, ה Hei. Moshe is an archetype or symbol of how we cultivate our will, in union with God.

The New Testament is dependent on the Old Testament. The Old Testament is written in the language of Kabbalah, which modern Christians have divorced themselves from, sadly. If we do not know Kabbalah, we cannot interpret the symbolic language of the Torah, and the New Testament. For, as Dion Fortune wrote:
"The Qabalistic cosmology is the Christian Gnosis. Without it we have an incomplete system in our religion, and it is this incomplete system which has been the weakness of Christianity." –Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah
She likewise continues explaining this divergence from this modern Christianity we know today, and the esoteric Christianity that was taught in the past. She states the following in her book, The Training and Work of the Initiate:

"Consequently there is an unbridged gulf in our modern Christianity between the mysticism of its deep spiritual truths and the symbolic and magical ceremonial of its ritual. This gulf it is the task of the modern Mystery Schools to bridge (our present day efforts in this tradition). These, however, have in many cases re-illumined their fires at an Eastern altar, so that the bridge they build does not lead to the Christian contacts of the West."

She is talking about, how many people who grew up Christian, ended up becoming Buddhist or Hindu, precisely because the Christianity of our present continent is superficial, devoid of any genuine depth. Therefore, many people have left Christianity to pursue other faiths. Sadly, people do not realize that Christianity has, in its genuine heart, a profound teaching of how to unite with the divine.

"Those of their followers who seek initiation (meaning, entering the spiritual mysteries), instead of having revealed to them the deeper issues of their own faith, have to change their religion and follow other Masters.

“How are we of the West, therefore, to bridge this gulf? We must do what the original gnostics did (the original Gnostic Christians, of which Jesus was the founder): seek to express in the metaphysical language of the Mysteries the teachings of Our Lord, and thereby establish an esoteric Christian School—the Initiation of the West. The Gnostics drew their inspiration from two main sources…"

(This is where we get into studies of psychology and Kabbalah.)

"…the Mysteries of Greece and the mysticism of Israel, the Qabalah, with which Our Lord (Jesus) was obviously very familiar. These are the sources wherein we shall find the mental and magical interpretation of our religion which shall supply the missing keys."

The word magic is a term that people associate with something fantastical or illusory. But, the word magician comes from the word, mag, which is an Indo-European word that means “priest,” someone who has a full connection with the divine. A real priest is a person who controls, magically, their own mind, the air; the fires of the heart, their emotions; and the waters of the body—through will. A priest is a person who is fully united and connected with God. It does not mean someone who enters a theological seminary and who becomes indoctrinated. A real priest is a magician: someone who can control matter, not just physical, but psychological, and has full dominance of their interior. That is a real human being, a complete human being.

The Christian Kabbalah precisely teaches us this dynamic; the different levels of mind, energy, matter, consciousness and will, of which our present-day Christianity is divorced.

"The elements which were discarded from Christianity must be replaced if it is to become a true Wisdom Religion (a true esoteric school), and unless it can answer to the needs of the intellect as well as of the heart, those who need the food of the intellect rather than the heart will seek it elsewhere, and we cannot blame them." —Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate

Look at modern day Christianity, which says believe in Jesus and you are saved. There is no richness to that faith, that tradition, divorced from the intellectual, Kabbalistic symbolism of how to enrich our mind, as well as our heart. Not to just believe with our heart, but to know from our soul.

In relation to Kabbalah, we explain that there are many books our there; there is a lot of facts and knowledge available in different traditions and different schools. It is very easy to get lost. There are different theories about this tradition, which are abundant. In very direct terms, we state that genuine Kabbalah comes from the Hebrew Kabel, which means “to receive.” Genuine Kabbalah is the knowledge we experience directly from God. We study certain texts intellectually, to be prepared for work in the internal worlds. So, that image of the Tree of Life that I showed, of the ten spheres, was something that I vividly experienced, and verified, before I even knew about the Tree of Life. I later found out about the facts of this image, and meditated on it, to realize that, this is something factual; I experienced it before I read about it. But, genuine Kabbalah is what we verify for ourselves. We do study intellectually to be prepared to interpret that language.

Samael Aun Weor stated the following, about the difference between intellectual Kabbalah and conscious Kabbalah:

"On such a simple thing, scholars have written millions and volumes and theories that would turn anyone crazy who had the bad taste of becoming intellectualized with that entire arsenal.” –Samael Aun Weor

So, knowing a lot of information intellectually, is good if we become conscious of it, if we learn to experience what the texts teach us. Having an intellectual knowledge is good, but, divorced of any practical application or life, is when it becomes problematic; when the head becomes a library, yet we feel that desperation of not knowing God for ourselves. That is something that we must reverse. We study in balance with practice and harmony.

​The Twenty-Two Hebrew Letters of Kabbalah

This brings us to the image of the famous Shoshanna or the rose, mentioned by Solomon, in the Bible. This is an image of the 22 Hebrew letters of Kabbalah. As we mentioned, the 22 letters represent principles: 22 laws. Which brings us towards the 22 Arcana, or laws, of the Tarot. The Torah is the Tarot. It is the same wisdom given by an Angel by the name of Metatron, to the Jewish people. The Jewish language is not the sole property of those people living in the Middle East, or across the globe. This language pertains to all of humanity, because it is a divine language that was given to us to express divine truths. Sadly, this language is as abused as any other language today: like Arabic or Sanskrit, or Latin. Latin has a lot of power, which Dion Fortune says is the reason why the Catholic Church has it existed for so long, because a lot of their rituals were performed in Latin and language has power. We can invoke divine forces through our speech, which is why we pray out loud through certain practices, and pronounce sacred sounds, to invoke those forces. As the Book of John says, "In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God."

These languages have a lot of power. The Latin language, Dion Fortune says, is the reason why the Catholic Church has subsisted. But now, they are doing their rituals in English; so, it does not have as much power. The sad part is, many people perform these prayers and rituals, invoking these forces, but they do not know how to fully develop them; they are not aware of what they are doing.

The Hebraic alphabet is a powerful language, which can help us to understand many traditions; not only Judaism, or the Christian doctrine.

When we state that one should learn the language of Kabbalah, we do not mean that one has to be fluent in Hebrew. It simply means that one learns to memorize and understand the principles behind these letters, to have an informed eye when we read scripture.

Dion Fortune stated the following, in emphasis of this:

"It is not required of those who would use the Qabalah as their Yoga (as their way of union in the West) that they should acquire any extensive knowledge of the Hebrew language; all they need is to be able to read and write the Hebrew characters."

And, 22 is pretty simple to learn, even if you did not grow up Jewish, or unfamiliar with that tradition.

"The modern Qabalah has been pretty thoroughly naturalized in the English language, but it retains, and must ever retain, all its Words of Power in Hebrew, which is the sacred language of the West just as Sanskrit is the sacred language of the East."

I emphasize that language has power. Mantra, sacred sounds—we can invoke God with our words. We can invoke blessing upon another human being, or damnation upon that person. So, how we use our speech determines how we follow God.

"There are those who have objected to the free employment of Sanskrit terms in occult literature," (the word occult does not just mean satanic groups; the word occult comes from the Latic Occultare, “to cultivate the hidden”) …and no doubt they will object even more strongly to the employment of Hebrew characters, but their use is unavoidable, for every letter in Hebrew is also a number, and the numbers to which words add up are not only an important clue to their significance, but can also be used to express the relationships existing between different ideas and potencies." –Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah

So, the Hebrew letters represent different elements, symbols, powers, principles. When we read the original Old Testament, the Tanakh or the Torah, when we look at the transliteration from Hebrew, we can interpret the names of certain figures, in order to understand what they are representing. When you look at the Hebrew letters, you can see that this or that character represents this or that, such as המש Moshe, who represents the soul, the willpower, that knows how to work with מ Mem, the waters of God; ש Shin, the fire of the heart; and air, א Aleph or ה Hei, the breath, the wind.

It is an intricate system, and very useful and very practical; which is what we emphasize above all things.

We included an image in this next graphic of the 13th Arcanum of the Tarot. Arcana means “laws,” Arcanum means “law,” singular. The Tarot and the Torah are integral, united. In this image, we see a man who is on this card, "Immortality," the 13th card, unlucky number 13, which is in disrepute and has such a bad reputation in these times, which we are going to talk about through an example. These numbers represent principles, represent truths. These images of the Tarot can help us to understand where we are spiritually, in relationship to God.

The Tarot is not just some kind of fortune-telling scandal, or ruse to cheat people of their money... which unfortunately, many people approach in that way. The Tarot are sacred; they are symbols. Physical readings are one thing, but learning to interpret these numbers from dreams or visions is another.

One thing we will emphasize is that numbers, mathematics, associating with the Hebraic Kabbalah, pertains to our experience of the truth; conscious principles. The quantitative translates into the qualitative. Kabbalah, as the numerical science of Judaism, not only applies to the written scriptures of the Torah, but also to how we relate to God. I will explain with an example:

I had an inner experience, many years ago, in which I invoked my divinity. I awoke and had this vision of flying towards a travel bureau, in the astral plane. Of course, in the world of dreams we can fly. As we all may remember from dreams from our own experience. So, I remember flying towards this travel bureau, and there was a divine force carrying me towards this bureau, in some city. Of course, this is a symbol, and I will explain what it means. I entered the building, and I approached the counter, and I really desperately felt in my heart that I had a longing to travel to the Middle East. Not physically, but travel towards the higher dimensions of the spirit. For, if we look back at the image of the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, we say that the Middle East, in spiritual terms, is Tiphereth. This is because Tiphereth, astrologically, relates to the Sun. We state that all the spheres of the Tree of Life have astrological influences, planetary influences, and we look at Tiphereth, the soul or willpower, as where the Sun rises. So, Tiphereth is the East, like Muslims who pray towards the East, in reminiscence of worshipping the divine, the Platonic Logos, the Sun. Of course, Muslims today say that they do not worship the Sun, but the tradition had its roots in that; praying towards Mecca, the East, which is the heart, Tiphereth. Middle East, meaning, the middle of this Tree of Life, and here in this graphic, the very center of things. Tiphereth is the world, in Buddhist terms, of Nirvana, the heavenly realm.

So, I was praying to my inner God, "Take me to the Middle East." So, my Divine Mother took me to this place, this bureau. The woman at the counter said, "You really want to travel to the Middle East?" And I said “Yes!” We know that in the current times the Middle East is filled with a lot of problems, conflicts, and wars. She said, "You must pay $355." And, in dreams, numbers have significance. You add the numbers together, to get a sum total which represents one of the 22 major Arcana of the Tarot. 3 + 5 + 5 = 13. 13 is the card of “Immortality,” or, we could say, the card of death. People associate number 13 with death, but, the death of what is the question. Really, the Tarot, this card, emphasizes the death of our own egotistical desires, our own selfishness, our own anger, our defects, our subjective self or ego. To reap the purity of the spirit, you must destroy the chaff; as we reap, so shall we sow. To become immortal, to become an inhabitant of the heavenly realm of the Middle East on the Tree of Life, Tiphereth, we must plant appropriate seeds so that the spirit can give birth. But, of course, the seed must die in order for the crop to flourish.

So, my Divine Mother, my inner divinity was telling me, "You want to travel to the Middle East? You have to pay $355," meaning, you have to reach Arcanum 13, you have to die in your defects. Only through the death of the impure is how the soul resurrects, as taught by the life of Jesus.

It was a powerful teaching. Many other things happened in that experience too, but that was the main point. Of course, we see in this card the Hebrew letter מ Mem, which means water, which is where we get names like Miriam, Mary, the Virgin of Christianity; the mother of Jesus. It is a symbol of our own Divine Mother. Miriam, She is the Hindu Goddess, Durga or Kali, the Goddess of death, who kills our defects so that the soul can be liberated from those shells, that conditioning.

H. P. Blavatsky states in Isis Unveiled, explaining how these numbers have qualitative principles that we need to interpret:

"It is recognized by modern science that all the higher laws of nature assume the form of quantitative statement. This is perhaps a fuller elaboration or more explicit affirmation of the Pythagorean doctrine (going back to the Greek mysteries). Numbers were regarded as the best representations of the laws of harmony which pervade the cosmos."

So, again, numbers represent principles. Our card 13 says that you must die to your defects, if you want to become immortal, spiritually speaking.

"We know too that in chemistry the doctrine of atoms and the laws of combination are actually and, as it were, arbitrarily defined by numbers. As Mr. W. Archer Butler has expressed it: “The world is, then, through all its departments, a living arithmetic in its development, a realized geometry in its repose.” –H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled: Before the Veil, “Review of the Ancient Philosophical Systems”

Likewise, Samael Aun Weor states, in Tarot and Kabbalah:

"In Kabbalah, everything is numbers and mathematics. The number is holy and infinite. In the universe everything is measurement and weight. For the Gnostics, God is a Geometrist. Mathematics are sacred. No one was admitted into the school of Pythagoras if they were not knowledgeable about mathematics, music, etc. Numbers are sacred." –Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

Again, numbers represent values. The 22 Hebrew letters, the 22 cards of the Tarot, teach us things that we need to do, spiritually. So, if you receive a card in the internal dimensions, they are showing you that this is what you need to do, to study, to develop your soul.


Kabbalah is not everything. We also study the teachings of Alchemy. The word Alchemy has Egyptian roots, but also Middle Eastern and Persian as well.

Alchemy: Allah + (Greek) Khemia, Chemistry of God, "to fuse or cast a metal.” Al—Khem; the land of Egypt.

This is where we get the words such as Chemistry from. In Buddhism they teach this as Tantrism, Tantra.

Tantra: Sanskrit for "continuum" or "unbroken stream." from Sanskrit tantram, lit. "loom, warp," hence "groundwork, system, doctrine," from tan "to stretch, extend.” Tantra refers to:

Allah-Khemia, “to fuse oneself with God,” is the work energy. People commonly associate Alchemy as the transformation of lead in gold, which, in Europe, was performed by a few masters—as an exception. Many people tried to perform this feat, not understanding that Alchemy is a symbolic teaching. To transform the lead into gold is to transform the mind, the ego, into the spiritual substance of God. The density of the soul, into the purity of the spirit. The lead of our physicality, the density of our body, into the purest forces of God represented by the Tree of Life.

Alchemy, how we fuse with God, is how we use our forces: physically, psychologically, spiritually. We have to form a continuum within our body, our mind, our heart. We have to learn how to make certain forces flow within us through spiritual practices; such as through mantras, sacred sounds and meditation.
So, Alchemy or Tantrism is:

(1) the continuum of vital energy that sustains all existence, and second
(2) the class of knowledge and practices that harnesses that vital energy, thereby transforming the practitioner.
The Tantras of Buddhism are scriptures, forms of teaching given by Padmasambhava and many other Buddhist masters, as well as other prophets of Buddhism. But, also, Tantra is how we work with energy within us. Without energy, we cannot live physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. Likewise, to know God, we need power, which is why we included this image, the painting of the Christ-Alchemist, who, represented by Jesus, is a person who has resurrected from the dead, the dead spiritually, not just physically, but psychologically. We are dead if we do not know God. But, when we die to our defects, we can resurrect within the Lord within us.

The Middle Eastern teachings talk about Alchemy in the following form. There is a famous Iranian myth called the Cup of Jamshid, which is similar to the Holy Grail of Christianity. We state in these studies that Alchemy is the union of forces within man and woman. Tantrism, which is very popular in the West, especially now, refers to the sexual cooperation between a husband and wife, in which man and woman, when they unite, physically, they also unite in mind and heart. The sexual connection is the flow or continuum of forces which exist between the couple when they are sexually aroused, and which that vital force is inflamed, when it has become active. When the couple knows how to work with that energy without expelling it, that force forms a continuum within the body, the mind and the heart. Christianity refers to the creative sexual power as the Holy Ghost. So, to be baptized by water is a symbol of working with that power; to be born from that power. Jesus said, "you must be born again of water and spirit." Not just physical water, as in, the rite of baptism, which is a symbol—he instead referred to how, physically, you can give birth to a child when man and woman unite, but, when man and woman unite and they conserve that power, they can give birth to the soul, through spiritual practices. By learning to work in a matrimony, and to conserve that power, to give birth to God within oneself. The Cup of Jamshid represents that myth, that teaching.

It is stated in popular myth that all the seven heavens of the cosmos can be perceived by looking into the elixir of immortality within this chalice, the Cup of Jamshid. The chalice is the symbol of the feminine sexual organs. The spear that pierced the side of Jesus, is the symbol of the phallus of the male sexual member. When Jesus was crucified, he physically lived this drama, to teach something symbolic. The cross that he died upon was a sexual symbol; referring to the vertical phallus, and the horizontal uterus, united. Through that power of God, one can die to one’s impurities. This is a painful process for the mind, the ego, but one that can be accomplished through spiritual works. The Cup of Jamshid is referring to that creative potential of God, in which, by looking into those energies that we cultivate through our matrimony, one can awaken one’s spiritual perception, to perceive the seven heavens. In Islam, they refer to seven heavens; you could also say the seven chakras of Hinduism, of the spine, but also seven dimensions, referring to the Tree of Life.

Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi states, in a very beautiful way, the nature of sexuality and how people view sex today, as well as though who knew the mysteries of sexuality, in its depth:

“If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see Allah in it. Those who are not in love with Allah will see only their own faces in it.”

The waters, again, refer to sexual energy, creative power. The Book of Genesis talks about the Genesiatic waters of life which give birth to the world; not a physical world, but our spiritual world, our spiritual life, through seven days, seven initiations, seven steps up that Tree of Life, which refer to the seven lower spheres of the Tree of Life itself, leading up towards the spirit.

If we drink water from a cup, if we learn to look at a matrimony in a divine sense, not just the union for physical pleasure, but to use that creative power for God, we can see God in that water. But, those who are impassioned by their own lust and desire, only see sex as something filthy, as impure, as something to satisfy carnal pleasure and not to cultivate a relationship with God, which is what Rumi is talking about.

Many famous philosophers, including Friedrich Nietzsche, author of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, knew this teaching of Alchemy. We included this image of the God Mercury holding the famous caduceus, upon which he awoke the dead souls of Limbo into a new life. Mercury is referring to the creative power of God, called the Holy Ghost. Mercury, as an Alchemical tradition, coming from the European and Middle Eastern traditions, is a symbol of the sexual power, which, if we cultivate within ourselves, can rise up our spine from the sexual organs, up to two energetic channels of the spine, represented by the famous glyph of Mercury, the two serpents rising up the spinal medulla. These have different names in different traditions.

This image refers to how that mercurial power can rise up within us and illuminate our mind. The famous halo of the saints is a representation of how those prophets took that power, conserved it, and raised it to the mind, in order to illuminate it. Likewise, we have this symbol of Halloween, in which the pumpkin gourd, which is the symbol of the mind, becomes purified, in order to be illuminated by a single candle. So, we must first purify our mind, we must remove the guck and filth from that gourd. When we say someone is out of their gourd, we are referring to the intellect, their mind. The gourd—when it is purified, when it is cleansed of its internal material elements, when we clean from its interior—in the tradition of Halloween, we place a candle inside, in order to illuminate. Therefore, that evening becomes hallowed, holy; the darkness of our spirituality has ended in which we are now resurrected into a new life.

Friedrich Nietzsche, who was very famous for saying in his book, "God is dead," knew this teaching very well. He said that the Judeo-Christian God is dead, meaning, that the anthropomorphic Jehovah that people worship does not exist; that God is not real. But, instead, the Superman, the super human being, the divine Logos, the divine creator-God, who is our own divinity, Mercury, exists. And, that we need to know how to worship that.

Nietzsche explains the following teaching, regarding Alchemy, and also Kabbalah and Psychology as well. This is an excerpt from a chapter called, “On the Rabble,” which I want to read for you in depth, due to its beautiful lyricism and depth. I will stop at periods to talk about some of the symbolism of his language.

"Life is a well of joy, but where the rabble also drinks, there all wells are poisoned."

The rabble are those who are base, egotistical, sinful, lustful, desirous.

"I appreciate all that is clean; but I do not like to see the grinning snouts of the unclean."

People who look at sexuality as something filthy, as something passionate and carnal.

"They cast their eyes into the well; now their disgusting smile reflects back up to me from the well."

What is a well? It is referring to our body: our body is the earth, and our creative seminal matter, the semen—whether in man or woman—the seminal fluids, are water. One can either look at that energy as something that can be used for carnal pleasure, or to converse and to use for God; to give birth to the spirit. We could say that this is the holy water; the holy waters by which we must become baptized, by transforming that energy into light, into fire, through specific practices of Tantra.

"They have poisoned the holy water with their lustfulness, and when they called their filthy dreams “pleasure,” they poisoned the language too."

The word pleasure, in Hebrew, is Eden. Eden is not a physical garden in the Middle East; it refers to the sexual bliss that a husband and wife cultivate when they are united. But the terrible part is that lust enters the mind, that serpentine power tempts us to use that energy in the wrong way, and not to conquer that serpent. That serpent, that power incites the couple to want to fornicate; meaning, to waste or expel that power in a moment of pleasure. The spiritual teachings of Alchemy teach us that, that serpent, if we step on its head and control it, can rise within our spine, as the serpentine power of God—when we refrain from the orgasm, when we refrain from that physical act of trying to engender a child, physically. Instead, we can converse that power to engender the spiritual child of Alchemy, the golden child of Christ, within us. Of course, we must control that serpent. "They have poisoned the holy water with their lustfulness," means they look at sex as something filthy, as carnal. "And, when they call their filthy dreams pleasure," meaning they took the language that we could describe sex, as something filthy and poisoned.

One thing I will mention is this excerpt from the book of Hebrews, which states, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." So, the bed undefiled, meaning, to not orgasm, to not spill that energy, which can be conserved and used for God. That energy can create, or it can destroy us. This is the power of Shiva-Shakti in Hinduism. Shiva-Shakti is the creator God and destroyer God. That energy can give life, or it can give death, in a spiritual sense.

"But what happened to me? How did I redeem myself from nausea?"

Meaning, this disgust with my everyday life; feeling that I am spiritually empty and looking for meaning.

"Who rejuvenated my eyes?"

My spiritual eyes, spiritual sight, which we open through myein: closing the eyes to delusion through meditation.

"How did I manage to fly to the height where no more rabble sits by the well?"

That height, the mountain in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, is emphasized many times. Where the fictional prophet, Zarathustra, narrated by Nietzsche, is on a mountain top. That mountain is the symbol of the superior worlds, the superior dimensions of the Tree of Life. If you ever dream of climbing a mountain, it is very good; meaning, you are entering the spiritual path, you are climbing that difficult path of the spinal column—up the 33 canyons, or vertebrae, of the spine, in order to raise that power of God back to its source. Which Nietzsche calls the feathered serpent, which the Aztecs called Quetzalcoatl, the Mayans Kukulkan, the serpent and the dove of Christianity.

"Did my nausea itself create wings for me and water-divining powers? Truly, into the highest regions I had to fly in order to rediscover the wellspring of pleasure again!"

This natural disgust one feels with the state of affairs of humanity is what helps us fly into the goldenness in order to discover God, to know God. What are these wings that emerge from water divining powers? These wings are the wing of Mercury we see upon his head, which in the Germanic myth we see as the Valkyries—the warrior women with the winged helmets, immortalized by Wagner. This is a symbol of when that energy rises to the brain, the centers of the mind are fully awakened, and the wings of the spirit are active, the eagle. Likewise, that is the wings of the Angel, the perfected human being. The waters, of course, is the creative powers which can give us access to the heights of God. And, "the highest regions I had to fly in order to rediscover the wellspring of pleasure again!"—that energy of the Holy Spirit comes from above, and descends down the Tree of Life, into our physical body, into our sexuality. Now, it is a matter of returning that energy back, inward and upward, to the source.

"Oh I found it, my brothers! Here in the highest regions the wellspring of pleasure gushes for me! And there is a life from which no rabble drinks! Almost too forcefully you flow, well of pleasure!"

Meaning, the well of Eden; the original, pristine, primordial consciousness humanity once shared with God in the past, but lost.

“And often you empty the cup again in wanting to fill it!...

…A summer in the highest regions with cold springs and blissful silence:”

Meaning, silence in meditation, in which we can talk with God directly.

“Oh come, my friends, and let the silence become even more blissful!

“For it is our height and our homeland; too high and steep we live here for all the unclean and their thirst."

People who are attached to lust and desire always want to satisfy that act, perpetually. They become depleted and exhausted. Their thirst is insatiable. The thirst of lust can only be conquered through comprehension, in which we attain the stillness of the waters of the mind, the heart and the sex. It is in that silence that we can really talk with God.

"Cast your pure eyes into the wellspring of pleasure, you friends! How could it become murky from that! It shall laugh back at you with its purity." –Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: On the Rabble

In the internal worlds, water is a symbol of creative energy and also the mind. When the waters are still, it means that the mind is silent, pristine, and it can reflect the heavenly images of God from above, the stars, which is the symbol of the divine as well.


We will touch upon psychology last. Psychology comes from the Greek:

Psyche – Logos. From Greek psyche (pskhe) meaning "soul," and Logos, the "principle governing the cosmos," the Word, God.

Plato talks about the Logos, or Absolute Good, which is God, Christ in Christian terms, which is not a person, but an energy.

True psychology is "the knowledge of the relationship of the soul with God," psyche and God. It is not just the study of the mind, though we do place great emphasis on the study of ourselves. Psychology, in these times, has become divorced of its spiritual roots. People think, in these times, psychology pertains to the study of the brain; ignoring that the physical brain is just a vehicle of mind, as we look back at that Tree of Life of the Kabbalah.

Sadly, psychology now is disoriented. They have accomplished many ways of treating certain illnesses, physically, and also psychologically, but sadly they ignore that real psychology, as taught in ancient schools, was the relationship of the soul with the divine, as represented by Cupid or Eros and Psyche, in the Greek myth. In the Greek myth, Psyche was asleep, and was awakened by Eros, Cupid, the God of Love. Eros is from where we get the word eroticism. It is a symbol of the Christic divine energy which is called the Holy Ghost by some, but it is also the divine power of God, which can awaken sleeping beauty. Again, sleeping beauty was awakened by a prince; the full potential of God in us can be awakened by the union of man and woman. Likewise, with divine eroticism, the soul awakens to its full potential. Psychology helps us to understand the inner obstacles in our mind and our heart and our body that prevent us from fully using those energies in an appropriate way, in a divine way.

Samael Aun Weor explains how psychology is practiced in modern times. He mentioned, emphatically, the need to study the original roots of the traditions. He states:

"Teachers of schools, colleges, and universities must profoundly study the revolutionary psychology taught by all the International Gnostic Movements; this psychology is a constant revolution and is radically different from anything previously known by this name."

Meaning, we must go into combat against our own inner afflictions, to face our own psychological causes of suffering and to change them.

"Undoubtedly, we can state, without fear of being mistaken, that in the course of the centuries that have preceded us since the profound night of all times, psychology has never fallen as low as is presently in this age of the “rebels without a cause,” “the little henchmen of rock’n’roll.

“Moreover, and to the breaking point of disgrace, the retarded and reactionary psychology of these modern times has lost its sense of being, and every direct contact with its true origin. Yes, in these times of sexual degeneration and total deterioration of the mind, not only is it impossible to accurately define the term “psychology,” but shockingly, the fundamental subjects of psychology are truly unknown." –Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education

This is evidenced by the fact that psychology thinks that the mind is the brain—only. It ignores that the soul is beyond the mind, and that the mind uses the physical brain as a vehicle. So, we study not just physical psychology, but also spiritual psychology, which is the relationship of the soul with God, in all of its departments and qualities.

We only have to look at the news today today to see the widespread prostitution of humanity—and many of the crimes that it is committing—to understand that really, the psychology of our present humanity is very degenerated. It is divorced from divine principles. There is much good being performed by many, but, we see that there is a great trauma associated with our present state of being.

In order to rectify that, we look at the original roots of psychology, in order to change ourselves. Humanity always seeks to change things from the outside-in, ignoring that we can only change from the inside-out.

In this image, we have a temple that is in decrepitude, which we chose because it emphasizes how psychology used to be taught in the ancient schools, but was adulterated and lost by the mistaken interpretations of certain followers.

Psychology has ancient roots; it has been disguised in many teachings, many forms of literature, philosophy. Samael Aun Weor states:

"Those who mistakenly suppose that psychology is the most recent contemporary science are really misguided, because psychology is a very ancient science that has its origins in the old schools of archaic mysteries.

“It is impossible for the snob, the ultramodern swindler, the backward individual, to define the origin of that which is known as psychology, since it is obvious that psychology never existed under such a name—with the exception of this contemporary epoch. Why? Because for this or that reason, psychology was always suspected of subversive tendencies in religious or political matters, thus it was forced to be concealed by multiple disguises.

“Thus, since ancient times, on the different scenarios of the theaters of life, psychology has always played its role by being intelligently disguised with the costumes of philosophy." –Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education

We can look to the writings of Dostoevsky, of Nietzsche, as well as Plato, the writings of Shakespeare, to find many psychological teachings. Many people study these writings for their depth; they convey many esoteric principles, of how to unite the soul with God. Many of these psychological teachings were hidden in a cryptic way, in some of our most venerated traditions, meant to be read by those who had an informed eye.

Samael Aun Weor explains that these traditions were integral. They were not separate. We included an image of a sacred dancer of the whirling Dervishes of the Middle East, whose dances represent cosmic principles. The whirling of Sufis, in gyration together, represent the navigation of the planets around the sun, and the cosmos. As Samael Aun Weor states, in the Fundamentals of Gnostic Education:

"Psychology was always connected to philosophy, to the authentic objective art, to science, and to religion in the ancient schools of mysteries from Greece, Egypt, Rome, India, Persia, Mexico, Peru, Assyria, Chaldea, etc. Yes, in those ancient times, psychology was cleverly hidden behind the graceful forms of sacred dancers or behind the enigma of cryptic hieroglyphs or beautiful sculptures, or in poetry or tragedy, and even within the delectable music of the temples.

“Indeed, before science, philosophy, art, and religion split asunder in order to subsist as independent parts, psychology reigned in all the very ancient schools of mysteries." —Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education:

This is because this is the fundamental science to help us understand ourselves; understand our inner obstacles that prevent illumination.

"When the Initiatic Colleges ceased to operate due to the Kali Yuga or the Dark Age in which we still live, psychology survived within the symbolism of several esoteric and pseudo-esoteric schools of this modern world, and especially within Gnostic esotericism.

"Profound analysis and in-depth investigation allows us to comprehend with complete meridian clarity that the different systems and psychological doctrines that existed in the past and that presently exist can be divided into two categories.

"First: The doctrines that are conceived such as many intellectuals suppose them to be. Modern psychology belongs, in fact, to this category.

"Second: The doctrines that study the human being from the point of view of the revolution of the consciousness." —Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education:

What is this revolution? Meaning, not to revolt against other people, but within, against ourselves. Fundamentally, in our root, our own defects prevent us from knowing God, as Arcanum 13 emphasizes; the ego must die, in order for the soul to resurrect. It is a fight, mentioned in Islam as Jihad, or mujahidah—which means to strive against the infidel, which is not outside, but within us.

"This second category truly contains the original and most ancient doctrines; only these doctrines allow us to comprehend the living origins of psychology and their profound significance." –Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
To conclude, we will emphasize all three sciences of Kabbalah, Alchemy and psychology, through scripture, and also the teachings of the 14th Dalai Lama, who is a great master of Buddhism and of Gnosis. We have, what we can call, three brains, three centers of activity—physiological and psychological. We have the physical brain or intellectual mind, we have the heart, the center of emotions, and we have our sexual organs. As I mentioned to you, that caduceus of Mercury, that image of the spinal column with the two serpents, represents the energies of Tantra which circulate through our body, mind and heart. So, the holy eight, the number 8, represents that continuum of forces within our psychology and body. Our mental health, our psychological well-being, our emotional well-being, pertains to how we use energy; how we direct it, conserve it and use it. This is why the Dalai Lama stated:

"In the view of Tantra, the body's vital energies are the vehicles of the mind. When the vital energies are pure and subtle, one's state of mind will be accordingly affected. By transforming these bodily energies we transform the state of consciousness."

So, pure psychology is based on how we use those energies for our inner God.

"It is vital to understand and develop the conviction that consciousness has the potential to increase to an infinite degree." –The 14th Dalai Lama

Lastly, we will conclude with the teachings from the gospel of Mark, when a lawyer of Israel was tempting Jesus to explain the commandments. In the first commandment, Jesus answered, in order to explain the nature of Kabbalah, Alchemy and Psychology:

“The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: Jehovah God, Jehovah Elohim is one;"

Which is the famous declaration of witnessing in Judaism, in which they close their eyes and say, "Shema Y'Israel Iod-Havah Eloheinu Iod-Havah Ecḥad" meaning the following statement given by Jesus. They say Adonai, which means Lord, but the real translation of the original Hebrew is Jehovah-Elohim. They close their eyes because they are showing humility before the divine, to not look directly at God; because, to do so, is to be obliterated; such is the intensity of that power.

"…and you shall love Jehovah Elohim your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."

So, what is this heart? It is our emotional center. Likewise, our soul is our willpower, our human soul. Or, our mind, our intellect. Likewise, all of our strength, is our sexual power. That forms the continuum that unites us with God. When we use our energies, and use them completely for our divine being, we truly love God with all of our soul. We cannot love God just with our mind and heart... as the Catholics say, "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." In doing so, they cross themselves from the head, to the heart, and then from their left to right shoulders; ignoring the sexual energy, the Holy Ghost. So, they do not worship the Third Logos, which is another name for the Holy Spirit.

Instead, the Gnostic Christians, we cross ourselves from our head, to the heart, to our sexual organs, and then to the shoulders, because we are blessing ourselves in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the sex. The father in the head; the Son, Christ, in the heart; and, the Holy Spirit in our sexual organs. Then, we raise that up to our heart, to illuminate our soul. These are forces, not people.

"The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." – Mark 12:28-34

We first love our God by using our forces, psychologically speaking, for God. Then, we love our neighbor as ourselves; we extend that compassion to others.

In synthesis, as we are going to explain in the coming weeks, in the other pillars, gnostic science is the union of Hebraic Kabbalah, Egyptian Alchemy or Middle Eastern Alchemy, as well Greek dialectics. These teachings are three aspects of one thing, which we study in depth, and also separately.

Questions and Answers

Audience: The word apocalypse, in Greek, means the unveiling of truth?

Instructor: Yes.

Audience: So, what is your take on what is going on... are people awakening?

Instructor: Unveiling is a direct, conscious endeavor. As you saw from the first graphic, "I am the one who has been, is and will be, and no mortal has lifted my veil." To unveil the truth, is to remove the coverings of our own spiritual perception, our own ignorance. The apocalypse refers to the tremendous death and revolution of our defects, in order to awaken to the full potentiality of the soul.

The Apocalypse, written by John, is very Kabbalistic, very abstract. It refers to certain future events that will happen, but in a symbolic way; not literal, as many Christians try to interpret. They try to read that scripture without knowing Kabbalah, which is like trying to read Shakespeare without knowing English. It's gibberish. But, if you know the symbolic language of God, then you will understand it, that it is something psychological. We will have a course on the Book of Revelation at some point. You can also read The Aquarian Message by Samael Aun Weor.

But, the unveiling is precisely the direct work with the divine feminine, our inner Goddess, our Divine Mother. She has a veil over her face, like the famous Burkhas of the Middle East, which is a symbol of how those women, not just of modesty, but the veiling of Isis, which only the husband can unveil, in Middle Eastern culture. Unveiling is precisely what we are trying to do, practically speaking. But, people, in terms of awakening to those truths, as a humanity, we see that humanity is not awakening in a positive sense, but is realizing the fruits of having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, from the evil side. People are becoming more aware of the evil they have inside, as we look at humanity.

If we know how to work practically with gnostic science—Kabbalah, Alchemy, and psychology—we can awaken in a positive way. Meaning, removing the conditions of the mind, and developing the full potentiality of the soul.

Audience: You talked about the base on the Tree of Life, is that the same base that they talk about in Freemasonry, when they talk about the base of consciousness?

Instructor: Yeah. We say that, in Kabbalah, the basis is Yesod. Yesod, in Hebrew, means foundation, represented in the Tree of Life, as I am going to show you. Yesod is on the middle pillar, the middle path. Our physical body is tetra-dimensional. Our physical body exists in this three-dimensional plane, but there is a fourth dimensional component, represented by Yesod. The physical body is the 3rd dimension; our vital body, our vital energies is Yesod, the 4th dimension, in which we gain all our vitality, and all of the other spheres of the Tree of Life can move and exist through us, integrally, as a result of that energy, that vital force.

The sephiroth, or spheres in other words, of the Kabbalah, are not something distinct and separate from one another. They are all integrated, they flow, they exist here and now, all together. We say that, in a moment, we can experience thought, feeling and sensations, simultaneously; although, with the predisposition towards one sense of thought, or emotion, or the other. But, the foundation of Freemasonry is Yesod, the vital power.

As Jesus taught, the foundation of our spirituality is to love God with all thy strength. That sexual power is the stone of the temple; how we use that energy determines our spirituality. As "the stone that the builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner" according to the gospel. "Is it not marvelous in our eyes?"

So, Yesod is that foundation stone of our spirituality. This temple is the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, represented in Freemasonry by the two pillars. On the right you have Jachin, and on the left you have Boaz. In the middle you the spinal column.

Audience: Zarathustra, is that the same as Zoroaster?

Instructor: Yes. Nietzsche gave a fictional retelling of that prophet.

Audience: Zoroaster, is that a prophet?

Instructor: Yes, he is a great master.

Audience: Of Zoroastrianism?

Instructor: Yes.

Audience: Is Zoroastrianism a true esoteric doctrine?

Instructor: Yes, and Nietzsche really venerated the Middle Eastern doctrine.

Audience: Do you get into hermeticism?

Instructor: Yes.. I haven’t really talked about this, in terms of Tantra and psychology; but, this is hermetic science. Hermes is the doctrine of sealing one’s energies, not wasting them, not expelling them.

Audience: The Torah and Tarot as words have the same base?

Instructor: Yes, and the Torah means, law. Likewise, Arcana means laws.

Audience: Ok. So, it sounds to me like everything is symbolism. That way that it’s coming across is that there virtually is nothing that isn't symbolism.

Instructor: Yes, and again, the Tree of Life is a symbol, for realities. The reality is one thing, but the symbol is a language to help us to understand the different religions. All the religions are symbolic.

Audience: The last thing is, there is a movie called 39 Steps, by Hitchcock. And, at the end of the movie there is a man called Mr. Memory, who winds up being shot. Mr. Memory, all he does, is memorize facts. When he's shot and he's dying, it reminds me of when you were talking about having intellectual knowledge without understanding the inner truth of the thing.

Instructor: This knowledge, intellectually, is useful—when we apply it. Which is why, in the literature that we have available, we have many exercises that help us to put it into practice.

Audience: Solomon, doesn't that mean Sun and Moon?

Instructor: Shalomon comes from Shalom, which means peace. Shaloma, Solomon is the king of peace. In Arabic, it is Salam. You could also say Salo-man, the solar man. So, the man is represented by the moon, and the soul, that is fully developed, is the Christic, divine Logos of Plato, represented by Tiphereth, which is where the top trinity finds its center, as we see in this image. Father, Son, Holy Spirit have their center of gravity in the heart, Tiphereth, willpower.

Solomon was a master, physically, who existed in ancient times. But, he also represents a stage of initiation or development that is very high. Someone who has achieved that state that we call resurrection, in which the soul is fully purified. There are no defects. You can look at the demarcation of stages of mastery, spiritual beings, such as through the three magi that visited Jesus; the black king, the white king and the yellow king. The black king is a master or being who is developed, spiritually, but has ego, a lot it; therefore, his soul is black—this is represented by King Saul in the old testament. King David is the white king; he is a master who has a very pure soul, transmits a lot of light. As the Torah says, Saul killed his 1000 enemies, but King David killed his 10,000, referring to the multiplicity of defects one has inside, the enemies of Israel, the enemies of God—our pride, vanity, lust, etc. You could say that king Saul killed a lot of defects, to become a king, a spiritual king, but king David killed 10,000; meaning, he is a very high master. 10 refers to the 10 spheres of the Tree of Life; he has fully manifested and realized that.

Audience: Solomon in Arabic, was a conqueror the Iberian peninsula?

Instructor: There is a lot of history associated with the Middle East which I investigate, but one thing is history, another thing is the teaching they gave; that is something else. One must be informed about history, it's important. Sadly, a lot of professors of universities studied historical material aspect, and they don't know the symbolism of that teaching. Which means, the intellect is very fat, but emotionally, spiritually, they are dead. We balance both, we study both.

Audience: You spoke about magicians, but what about sorcerers, will you get into that at all?

Instructor: There is positive magic and black magic. A white magician is a being who, following Kabbalah, Alchemy and Psychology—is someone who does the will of God, for the benefit of others. So, love thy God with all thy heart, soul and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself. To serve God within one’s very being and consciousness, for the benefit of humanity. That is a white magician. Someone who uses the power of God, selflessly, for the benefit of humanity, for others.

A black magician is someone who develops power within the mind, meaning: desire, hate, anger, pride, fear, defects. They have many powers, as mentioned in the Old Testament, and many other scriptures, where they have power over matter and certain abilities. But, sadly, it is subjective and limited. They have power in hell; hell as a state of mind, ego, defects, but also, the inferior dimensions of nature, which we access when we have nightmares. Nightmares are real places, different dimensions of the mind and nature, which exist in the subtle forms. Black magicians have power in hell. But, God has power in heaven, hell and beyond. Therefore, a white magician transcends physicality and even heaven; this Tree of Life. Beyond the Tree of Life is the origin, we call it the Absolute, represented in Kabbalah with different names—as the Ain, Ain Soph and Ain Soph Aur. A white magician is in principle a being who fears God, and only does the will of God. So, Jesus is a great magician; he healed many sick persons, he had power to illuminate others and help others.

Audience: Weren't the magi Zoroastrians?

Instructor: Historically, yes. They were Parsis. Parsi means worshipper of fire. Jesus is the lord of fire. If you look at the inscription at the name of Jesus: I.N.R.I—which you could say is Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum, when he was crucified. It also translates in Latin as Ignis Natura Renovata Integra: meaning, ‘Fire renews nature incessantly.’ The teachings of Paul of Tarsus say that ‘our God is a consuming fire.’ So, it is an energy, which manifests in our mind, our heart, but more importantly, in the sexual energy; which, if we use that fire for God, can help us when we are working in a marriage, by working with the cross. We follow Via Dela Rosa, the path of pain; the ego suffers, but the soul is rejuvenated, in order to raise that energy up the spine, to the brain. Golgotha, in Hebrew, means ‘place of the skull’; in which the skull becomes illuminated with light and fire, and that is the path that Jesus taught, through his physical life. He was a radical master to physically teach that; it was a very great sacrifice that he made.

A white magician is a being who follows that path. A black magician is another thing; and there are many of them in these times.

Audience: And they're the ones running the world?

Instructor: Oh yeah, they're in politics. There are many famous celebrities that are awakened in evil, it is very common.

Audience: They know how the psychology works?

Instructor: Yes, and they have power because they know how to manipulate people. Samael Aun Weor says that they are more common than weeds; they are abundant everywhere. If you look at places like Haiti, and whole countries like Columbia, North America has a lot of them... they are not just isolated to one place. This whole planet is filled with many of these beings.

Audience: Is the suggestion not to pay attention to them?

Instructor: Yes. You have to not be identified with black magicians, because that is how they steal your energy.

Audience: I mean, the politicians.

Instructor: Yeah, I look at the news sometimes, to see what's going on, but I just look back at the book of Revelation and see that the time of this humanity is near its end. You just look at the facts of the wars, the chaos going on, yeah... it is reaching its culmination. I personally dedicate myself more to meditating, to changing what I can change, and to not worry about the rest. I can't change the politicians, or do anything about them; even the prophets like Jesus and Buddha, who changed many, even they were crucified, poisoned, etc. So, what can we do? As Samael Aun Weor said, save the hat from the drowning man, which is the sad reality. Save yourself, then try to help others; that is how we can make any effective change, in other people.
<![CDATA[Fundamentals of Gnosticism]]>Sat, 08 Sep 2018 04:09:45 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/fundamentals-of-gnosticismThis is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy. 

We are initiating a new course on the fundamentals of the gnostic teachings; the basis upon which the ancient schools of Mysteries—whether from Greece, from Rome, from Asia, the Middle East—have developed. We will be examining not only the fundamental root from which these traditions have sprung, but also the heart teaching which they contain.

Gnosticism, coming from the Greek work gnosis, signifies conscious knowledge, experiential wisdom; truth that we verify from our actions, from our works. It has nothing to do with theory, scholasticism, or something to debate for or against. It instead pertains to the very intimate and profound matter of uniting the soul with divinity; regardless of the name, the definitions, the language that we use.

However, this type of experiential knowledge is universal, and has been manifested in different teachings, different faiths, different religions. It has been manifested through the lives of the great prophets, whom we seek to emulate and to fulfill the code of conduct that they have established, for those who seek to unite with the truth.

So, gnosis is defined as that very profound relationship that we acquire, when we know how to awaken our consciousness to develop our full divine potential. It is to access, from an experiential basis, the truths contained within religion, within the different symbols of the scriptures, the different writings as relayed by the great masters of humanity.
We have included in this image a very famous temple from Delphi, on which we find the maxim, "Homo Nosce Te Ipsum," meaning: “Man, know thyself and you will know the universe and its Gods.” It is precisely by knowing who we are, and knowing our full capacity, that we can truly speak face to face with the divine, with God, with Brahma, Allah, Christ... whatever name we give to that truth. We must develop this introspection within ourselves if we want to seek to understand who we are as a soul, as a body and as a spirit, as a terrestrial vehicle, as an energetic quality, and as a divine being.

And so, we're going to examine the foundations upon which the prophets gave their knowledge. Not only as an experiential wisdom, but as what we can interpret from the different traditions that they left behind. But, of course, we want to verify the truths for ourselves, based on facts. As the founder of the modern gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor, stated:

“Gnosis is lived upon facts, withers away in abstractions, and is difficult to find even in the noblest of thoughts.” -The Revolution of the Dialectic

This is a very essential thing to think about, to comprehend in ourselves. We make a very fine distinction between belief and faith: belief and conscious knowledge. It is one thing to think, to feel, that something is true. It is a completely different thing to know it is true.

We state in this teaching that one who has genuine faith has no need to belief in anything. Faith is conscious perception; faith is conscious wisdom. The word wisdom is precisely "vis-dom": the power to perceive. It is from where we get the word vision, perception. Likewise, it is the root of the word kingdom, which is precisely referenced in the Gospels. We seek to understand the Kingdom of Heaven, which is a state of being, a quality of consciousness that we need to learn how to verify. When we truly speak face to face with those divine masters—whether in the dream state, or meditation—then we have verification, we know, we have faith that is the rock; it cannot be swayed, cannot be shaken, cannot be diverted. We know the truth, and the truth will set us free; as stated in the Gospel of John.

We must reflect upon what in us is factual. What do we perceive factually in ourselves? Fundamentally, in terms of psychological studies, we seek to verify and establish facts as to who we are. We cannot believe that we are a specific way, that we are a certain type of person. We have many beliefs about who we are as an individual: meaning, our name, our language, our culture, the place we grew up, our history. We know from these studies that these things are temporal: they are born in time, they die in time. But, that which is eternal, that which is the truth, is beyond language, beyond names, beyond our personality, beyond our habits. We will talk more about the specifics of the nature of psychology within this course, how the ancients studied the science of understanding the mind, and what the mind is, what the soul is, what consciousness is. But, fundamentally, we want to know the facts of who we are, and why we suffer.

If our departure point into any type of mystical study is not based up this reflection of understanding the causes of suffering in ourselves, we are wasting time. If we want to know how to unite with the truth, to know the truth, to have conscious knowledge, we have to understand what in us prevents us from knowing that truth. For, as the Sufis state, “He who knows himself, knows his Lord.” If we do not know the Lord, it means that we do not know ourselves.

Obviously, if there are certain obscurations within our experience; if we do not directly know God, we have to verify and understand what in us is preventing the access to that truth, and to have that confrontation within ourselves. Therefore, even if we genuinely adopt a religion or tradition, no matter how noble our aspirations, we have to be scientific, we have to be concrete. We have to examine what in us is preventing us from realizing the truth. We cannot be living in fantasies about the way the world is, or who we are. Once we gain access to conscious knowledge of the divine within us, then we develop the genuine qualities of the soul: peace, virtue, serenity, faith, insight into the nature of our deepest problems; wisdom, patience, conscious love for humanity. These are the natural qualities of the soul. These are the natural qualities of God, which we can access in ourselves, here and now.

If we look at the facts of our life, we see that humanity has truly precipitated itself towards destruction. We have to analyze: how do we contribute to that suffering? How do we contribute to the world’s problem? The exterior world is a reflection of the interior world. We are a part of this chaotic humanity. Being factual and scientific means to look within ourselves and ask, "How do I contribute to the suffering of humanity? How do I suffer and why? What do I need to change in myself to stop suffering?" God does not suffer like us. The Being is plentitude. The Spirit, the truth is genuine peace of mind; it is the life that vibrates within every atom, within every galaxy, within every cosmos. 
We need to reflect that truth, like in this image: as the serene waters of the mind, or the lake of understanding, can reflect the images of God. The mountain is a symbol within esoteric literature, representing the path itself. It is the path that leads from this valley of tears, to the heights, the Empyrean, the truth absolute. The highest regions and aspects of understanding that we are capable of.

We will talk about this image of the mountain in relation to the traditions of alchemy, and in relation to some of the ancient philosophical schools. But, I wanted to include this image because it is the arduous path: a mountain. It is rigorous, enlivening and profound.

The Secret Teachings of All Ages

So, this path of self-knowledge, this self-exploration, this seeking of understanding who we are, has been given different names. Gnosis is Greek, but, this teaching has existed on every continent, amongst every people and in diverse forms. There are many synonyms for the word Gnosis (knowledge), in which different prophets and teachers have expressed this truth, in accordance with their idiosyncrasy, the language, the customs of the particular people whom they were teaching.

Amongst the Hindus, the yogis of India, they studied Jnana: Jnana Yoga. Jnana means "knowledge." Notice the prefix "Jn" has the same pronunciation as "Gnosis": the N sound, as you would pronounce it in Spanish. Da’ath, in Hebrew, is the mystical teachings of Judaism; it is the full expression of the wisdom of Moses, and the kabbalistic masters who taught the sciences of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. We will elaborate upon this as the foundation of this tradition.

This teaching has also been known as "Dharma." Dharma, in Sanskrit, means "law, commandment, instruction." The Buddha taught that the one who follows the law of the Dharma, is one who refines his or her conduct, his or her quality of mind, and who understands the causes of suffering within him or herself. If we remember the Four Noble Truths that he taught, within the first turning of the Dharma wheel, he states that in life there is suffering: the first truth. The second truth: suffering has causes. Likewise, the third truth: there exists the cessation of the causes of suffering, meaning, the end of those points, qualities and psychological aspects of ourselves that create our experience of suffering. The fourth truth: there is a path upon which one walks towards the cessation of suffering, the equanimity of mind. This is symbolized by the serene lake which can reflect the heavenly images of Nirvana. Nirvana means "cessation of suffering." It is referred to as a place in dimensionality, but also a quality of being, which is our primary focus.

The teachings of Gnosis have also been known as the Torah. Torah means "law." It is from where we get the word Tarot. The Tarot are those cards and symbols associated with the mysteries of Egypt. The wisdom of Israel and the teachings of the Egyptian mystics are integrally related. Torah, Tarot; this knowledge was given by an Angel by the name of Metatron, a very high master who gave unto the Jewish people the 22 Hebraic letters of the kabbalistic alphabet. The language of Kabbalah, the mystical science of Judaism, is a highly symbolic teaching. Each letter represents a number. Each letter represents a quality of consciousness.

Not only Hebrew, but many other languages are sacred; Latin, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Arabic... Hebrew and Arabic are very intimately related. The wisdom of the Middle East is known as Marifah. Another word of Marifah is "Ilm."

In Gnosis, we study these languages in synthesis. We do not need to be an expert in all of them, but we do study certain aspects of language, to understand conscious qualities of perception.

Here we have five images from the different traditions. We have the Tree of Life, or better said, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil of the Judeo-Christian tradition. We have the image of Christ who embodied the prophets and the Law. Likewise, we have Krishna teaching his divine precepts to Arjuna, through the Bhagavad Gita: the Song of the Lord. Likewise, we have the image of Milarepa; a great Tibetan saint and yogi who taught the path of meditation. Lastly, we have the image of the Prophet Muhammed, riding the mystical create Al-Buraq, which in Arabic symbolizes “the lightning,” the creative energy of God within our body and psyche.

I am going to elaborate on a few scriptural teachings from these faiths, to point towards the unanimity of this knowledge; their integrity, their relationship. That these traditions really are not separate: they are united. They all emphasize the need to know ourselves, to gain self-knowledge. To really analyze our problems and what causes them, from a psychological and spiritual perspective.

In relation to the Hindu tradition, we have a very beautiful scripture called the Bhagavad Gita. This excerpt is from chapter four, verses 36-37, in which Krishna—the embodiment of the divine, whom we could also call the Christ, gave the secret teachings as expressed in the Hindu tradition. Christ is an energy; it can be particularized and manifested within any individual who has been properly prepared. All these masters, whether Milarepa, Muhammed, Jesus, Krishna... they all embodied that principle. Although that light, that knowledge was given different names, divinity is one. The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes how to know Krishna fully, for Arjuna (the soul, the warrior) who must learn to combat against him or herself, must overcome his own errors, his own faults, so as to unite with divinity. Krishna states:

"Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.

“As a blazing fire turns firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities."Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4, Verses 36-37

Karma is the Sanskrit word meaning cause and effect. Buddhism and Hinduism study this in depth. In the Bible it says, “you will reap what you sow”; meaning, our actions produce the fruits of suffering. So, we have to analyze this psychological relationship of cause and effect, as it relates from our interior world to the exterior world.

This type of knowledge is not theoretical. It is not conceptual. It is directly conscious and cognizant. Understanding how we cause pain upon others or within ourselves is an observable fact. It is something that we have to verify through consciousness, through observation of ourselves. It is not an intellectual exercise. We might make a mistake and perhaps say something that is negative towards another person, we may cause harm with our words or our speech, and afterwards we may have a sense of regret. Intellectually, we may know that such an action was wrong. Likewise, if we observe an alcoholic, or a drug addict, somebody that is addicted to a certain vice, they may intellectually understand that what they do is wrong, but they still repeat the same mistake. This shows a vast disparity between intellectual knowledge and conscious knowledge. That alcoholic knows intellectually from AA or some other group, that certain behaviors are negative, and yet fails to be cognizant of the effects of that destructive habit. Likewise, with many other actions, which certain religions and faiths, teach us. We have to be very sincere, analyzing our actions, analyzing our mind, our heart, our body. We must not simply leave this type of teaching to the intellect.

Milarepa gave a very power teaching about the nature of true realization. He uses the word Dharma, which we can say is the gnostic teaching, the conscious wisdom that we seek to utilize to develop genuine peace. He stated:

"Those who practice the Dharma with their mouths
“Talk much and seem to know much teaching,
“But when the time comes for the perceived to leave the deadened body,
“The mouth-bound teacher into space is thrown."

Meaning, to be born again into a new life, in accordance with the doctrine of transmigration: the soul leaving its physical, corporeal form, in order to enter into different bodies. This is a teaching that was extirpated from the Christian Bible. It is hinted at by the experience of Christ rejecting demons from the body of an insane man. And, those evils demon qualities that possessed this man, had entered into the bodies of pigs, if you remember the story from the Gospels.

Milarepa continues:

"When the clear light shines (the clear light of Divinity) it is cloaked by blindness."

Meaning, that light is within us, but we are not aware it, we are not cognizant of it; we do not perceive it factually. We are blind, spiritually, like the myth of Samson, blinded by the Philistines through the deception of Delilah.

"The chance to see the Dharmakaya (Dharma means truth; Kaya means body. Dharmakaya is the vehicle of the truth; it is the highest aspect of divinity that we can access) at the time of death
“Is lost through fear and confusion."

Meaning, a mind that has not been trained for it to be perceptive, conscious and awake at all times. Even though one spends their life in studying the cannon (the scriptures of whatever teaching we follow), it does not help the consciousness at the moment of death: departure from the body.

Having intellectual knowledge from a book, from a scripture, from a lecture is useful, so long as we apply it to our life. That is a fundamental principle that we need to become aware of—factually. Knowledge that we study and that we do not become conscious of, in this life, when we physically die, we will not retain. The soul that has not been trained, psychologically speaking, to be awake, will not be aware of the process of death and the transition of the soul into a new stage of development.

Milarepa warned that people who study Buddhism, or any gnostic teaching, have to be very practical. We must apply what we read, apply what we know. We can say that one should read less, but instead practice more. In this tradition, we have many exercises that we engage with to be practical, to verify, to test and to know.

This type of knowledge was known as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life, in the Judeo-Christian Bible. We have in the book of Genesis, chapter 2, verses 9, and 16-17, the scriptural emphasis of the nature of spiritual knowledge. From the Jewish tradition, we have the following scripture:

"And out of the ground made (Jehovah Elohim) the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life (Otz Chayim, "Tree of Lives") also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

Otz (tree) Ha-Daath (knowledge) Tob (purity, truth, goodness) Ve (and) Ra (evil, sin, wrongness).

The Tree of Life is a symbol which we are going to examine in this lecture. It is a symbol of the complete human being, made into the image of the divine. The Tree of Knowledge is a symbol of how we use our creative energy. I mentioned how, psychologically, we need to train ourselves: our mind, our heart, to not act from egotistical impulses. To not think harm, to not feel harm, to not act in wrong ways. This is Dharma; this is knowledge, truth, instruction. This is where we learn to not speak evil, to not be sarcastic to others; because that is a form of violence, mentally, psychologically speaking. Likewise, we learn to be highly observant, to conserve our energy: mental, emotional, physical, as well as instinctual and sexual. We must learn how to use energy in accordance with the will of God within us. Energy is simply force; it can be used for good or evil.

The Tree of Knowledge is a symbol of our creative potential, which is known by different names in different traditions, but we can refer to it as the creative sexual energy. The energy of sex can create life, spiritually, as we mentioned previously. It can give birth to a physical child. Or, that energy, when harnessed within our meditation practice, can empower our psyche, our Spirit. It can create physical life, but it can also create spiritual life. That is why we learn to conserve all our forces: physical, emotional, mental, psychic, sexual, vital, etc., etc. The problem, represented in the book of Genesis, is a symbol of ancient humanity that had known this teaching, but that had abused that wisdom. Where people learn to take the forces given to them by God, and to use them for evil things; to use them for evil will. That evil will we can call "self-will." Our will, our tendencies, impulses, tend to be selfish; if we are honest and examine our mind on a moment to moment basis.

Also, the famous prayer, the Pater Noster, states: “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Meaning, not our will, but the divine will. We have to learn how to do the will of the divine being within us, here and now. That means, “to love thy God with all thy heart, all thy mind, all thy soul, all thy strength,” as Jesus taught. “And, thy neighbor as thyself.” By learning to fulfill that precept, we in turn develop compassion for others. We also learn to conserve energy: we learn not waste it. As a result of wasting energy all day, we have no fuel with which to be spiritual. Our spirituality is based on how we use energy, on facts, on clear, documentable behavior. That is why, whether it is known as Gnosis, Dharma, Torah... these are instructions, codes of conduct that teach the soul how to behave. We don't follow these instructions merely because one should follow one’s teacher, one’s tradition, out of blind obedience, to be someone because someone said so. Instead, it is a conscious wisdom that we gain when we see how positive action produces positive results. Whereas, negative actions produce its consequences.

So, the Tree of Knowledge is precisely that energy potential that we carry within our body. It can be used for God or for evil. Of course, our humanity ate that forbidden fruit. It is not a literal tree: it is a symbol of how we can abuse those forces, and have created our own egotistical self-will, which has obscured the divine self.

This is why Jehovah Elohim, the Lord, commanded the man, saying:

"Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." —Genesis 2: 16-17

This is not a physical death: this is spiritual death.

People continue to this day and age eating the forbidden fruit, wasting their energy, expelling it, and indulging in fruitless activities that invest so much energy and attention, that leave one drained, psychologically and physically. Therefore, what power does one have left to connect with the truth? If there is no energy, if there is no fuel, the car cannot drive. The mind, the heart, the body: these are vehicles that can express the full potential of the soul. But, if we do not know how to give our vehicle—our body, our heart, our mind—good fuel, we will languish, spiritually.

Jesus built off the teachings, being the representation of the highest divine principle that we can access, known as Christ. Christ, through Jesus of Nazareth, taught the following truth to the disbelievers of his time, the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees—people that believe that they are very spiritual because they've read the Torah, read scripture, read books, and yet, psychologically speaking, they are full of many vices. They may teach to large congregations of people, and yet be truly negative, psychologically speaking. People who preach, but do not practice.

Every tradition, every faith, has these types of individuals. We find this in all schools, in all types of teaching. People may have this kind of knowledge, but they do not fulfill the commandments, personally. This is why Jesus taught the following about the need to follow the Dharma, the Torah, from one’s heart:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

The law of cause and effect, karma, is: you reap what you sow.

"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (of the law, the Torah, the physical scriptures), ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." —Matthew, chapter 5, verses 17-20
We include this image of Jesus with the sacred heart, enclosed with a crown of thorns and the cross of light and fire. The following Jewish scripture from the Psalms, Chapter 40, verse 8:

"I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."

The law means, "Torah." David, in the Psalms, was teaching that one has to incarnate that truth by following the law within one’s very being, within one’s very consciousness. And, that intellectual study, divorced of any spiritual discipline or practice, is fruitless. We must embody the law of the prophets in our heart.

We also included an image of the Prophet Muhammed, which we recently discussed in a course on Sufism, entitled The Sufi Path of Self-Knowledge. Prophet Muhammed demonstrated with his life and symbolized through his actions the path that the soul takes to unite with the divine, which constitute the essence of the beautiful teachings of the Middle-East.

You see in this image that he is surrounded by fire; his face is veiled: meaning, the divine truth and states that he accessed and that we need to develop within ourselves are veiled from our physical senses. But, if we know how to work consciously, we can tear that veil: the veil of Isis, mentioned in Theosophy. Fire is the creative energy that he has fully manifested and incarnated. It is that energy of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which can illuminate our mind, our body, our heart. That mystical animal, "Al-Buraq," which in Arabic means, "the lightning," is the creative potential of God, in our body. We can raise that energy up the spine to the mind, the brain, to illuminate our intellect with fire. Some people call this energy Kundalini; the serpent power of the divine; the serpentine force; the Divine Mother; or the energy of Jehovah Elohim, in Hebrew. He had fully developed that energy to rise to the superior worlds, the superior states of being.

The Muslims have a very profound psychological teaching in their scriptures. Which is why in the Qur’an, in Sura 6, verse 91, God Most High says:

"They have not estimated God as he deserves to be estimated."

And in the book, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism, Al-Qusharyi explains the following:

"It is written in commentaries on this verse that it means, “they have not known God as He deserves to be known” (6:91).

In this scripture, he also explains the nature of Marifah. I would like to read a brief excerpt from this book of his, which explains the nature of conscious knowledge.

“In the usage of the scholars, ma'rifa is 'ilm (knowledge). Thus in their opinion all 'ilm is ma'rifa, all ma'rifa is 'ilm, and everyone who is 'alim (knowledgeable) with respect to God is an 'arif (gnostic) and vice versa.”Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

So, what is a real gnostic? A real spiritual person? One who has fully acquired self-knowledge of the divine. There is no individual self; there is only the Lord. There is only the Being, the truth. There is no "me," there is no "I," there is only Him. That conscious quality of God is limitless, as we were teaching previously.

“But among the Sufis, Marifah is the attribute of one who knows God (may He be exalted) by His names and His attributes, and is truthful toward God by his deeds.” Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

Again, the need to be basing our spiritual life on action, on facts…

“…who then purifies himself of base qualities and defects, who stands long at the door and who withdraws his heart continually from worldy affairs.” Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

So, the door of knowledge, refers to the dervishes, the whirling dervishes of Turkey, as well as the Sufis from the tradition of Rumi. A dervish, a darvish is a poor person, a fakir: someone who stands at the door, waiting for alms. Likewise, we need to stand at the door of knowledge. Not intellectual knowledge, but the door that leads to the temple of our Inner God, which is within us. To recognize our poverty, so that we can be enriched by that truth).

Likewise, the Sufi Master, Abu Ali Al-Daqqaq states the following in Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Qushayri, about the nature of one’s consciousness or cognizance of God:

God Most High says, "They have not estimated God as He deserves to be estimated" It is written in commentaries on this verse that it means "They have not known God as He deserves to be known."  "One of the signs of Gnosis is the attainment of awe. For one whose Gnosis increases, awe of God increases."Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
He also stated:

"Gnosis brings about utter tranquility to the heart, just as knowledge brings about peacefulness. So, for one whose Gnosis increases, tranquility increases." Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

This is a very important teaching. It is very profound, because if we lack peace in our lives, it is because we do not know God. The more we know God, the more peace we acquire; the more serenity; the more faith; the more understanding of how to live, day by day, moment by moment, not for our own well-being, but for the benefit of others. This is the fundamentals of gnosis: we live to benefit others. To let our own inner divinity be the one who guides us, as to how we manage our daily life, in accordance with the law, the Torah, the Dharma.

The Levels of Spiritual Teaching

In speaking about the fundamentals of gnosis, we emphasis that there are three aspects of teaching. There is an introductory level; there is an intermediate level; and there is an advanced level.

In relation to this demarcation between stages of knowledge, we've included this image by an alchemical author and writer by the name of Heinrech Khunrath. The image is from his Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae, "The Amphitheatre of Eternal Wisdom." It is a very powerful image that conveys a very profound psychological and spiritual truth.

In relation to the three stages of religion or tradition, we explain that there are forms of knowledge, forms of wisdom and forms of understanding. It is important to know where we are at in the present moment, so that we learn how to enter the higher stages of mystical teaching.

The introductory level of any religion is the exoteric doctrine; it is the body of the teaching. In Judaism, the body of the teaching is known as the Torah, the Law. So, everything that we have been explaining in relation to self-conduct, conscious management of our psyche, our mind, our impulses, our desires, etc., that in itself constitutes the Torah, the Dharma, the law. We begin with the exoteric doctrine; first, by learning to receive teachings, whether from a lecture or a book, as "Shravakas." A Shravaka is someone who listens, in Buddhism. It is from the Sansrkit, "Shravaka," to hear. This constitutes the "Shravakayana," which means the path, the vehicle through which one listens to knowledge: Yana (vehicle), Shravaka (listener).

In the beginning, we have to listen. It begins by learning to listen physically, but more importantly, to listen spiritually, to the truth, to the word of the divine. That is something experiential, something that we can access through our practice, our meditation exercises, our astral projection exercises, our dream yoga practices and methods that we fulfill in this teaching. To learn how to listen to the truth does not mean to just listen to a lecture; it means to hear and to communicate face to face with the divine, from experience.

The intermediate path is the mesoteric doctrine; we call this the "soul" of any religion. In Judaism, this is known as the Talmud, in terms of scripture. There are certain scriptures that relate to levels of knowledge, in terms of complexity and profundity. The soul of Judaism is the Talmud, which is more of the philosophical discourses, given by Jewish tradition.

Likewise, we have the advanced teaching, which is the esoteric, the Spirit of any doctrine. In Judaism, the scripture associated with this level is known as the Zohar: a very complex, dense and rich teaching. If you learn to meditate on that scriptural knowledge, and become conscious of it, one will in-turn enter into the profound regions of the consciousness, known as the different dimensions of the Tree of Life, which we will be looking at shortly.

We see this demarcation between the introductory, intermediate and advanced stages in this image. This is a symbol of how the soul, how the individual seeks to know the heart of all things. In the center of this image, we have a castle, a palace with seven bridges on the outside, surrounded by a moat of water. In the center we have a citadel or a mountain upon which a giant dragon rests. Likewise, there is a path in the very center, a doorway leading into this temple, surrounded by two columns, near the bridge, by the moat. We also have a hallway leading from the interior to the exterior, and the exterior into the interior. Around the circumference of this image we have different entrance ways, different pathways, which do not lead to the center, but lead to the circumference. Notice that each section of this cliff, each chamber, is inscribed with words, with letters, referring to different types of knowledge, which pertain to external things. There are 21 chambers represented in this image: 20 that lead nowhere, that do not lead to the center of this image, and one that leads to the center, the straight and narrow path, that leads to life, which leads to the very heart of religion.

So, this is a symbol of how the soul seeks to gain access to the truth. And, the tradition of alchemy, known as Allah-Khemia, from the Arabic and Greek languages, instructs us as to how the soul can unite and fuse with Allah, with El (the Lord in Hebrew). Khemia originates terms like chemistry, fusion, to unite, to cast a metal, to forge oneself into a divine image. As we are, we do not have the divine image within us, fully developed. That is something that we must cultivate.

When the Bible says, "God made man into his image, male-female he created them," that does not refer to the physical body; that refers to the psyche. That is a stage of development that one accesses by entering that straight path in the center. One develops into a true human being when entering the citadel.

Notice here there is an image of a tree, where a disciple is about to enter that very narrow and difficult gate, leading to the heart of the divine. That tree is a symbol of the Tree of Knowledge, the energies that we have to cultivate in order to access the truth. Everything else you see in this image is a waste of time: one circulates along these paths; there are many people circulating, circumambulating around this circumference. They may have studied different religions—whether Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism—receiving intellectual knowledge, receiving instruction, and yet feeling that hunger in the soul in which they do not feel satisfied. They realize that these teachings they have received are incipient; they do not get to the heart of the truth, from verifiable facts, from experience.

So, these forms of knowledge are incipient, as I said. They do not truthfully instruct the soul as to how to enter the true regions of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The intermediate path is precisely represented by this bridge, leading into the palace. Of course, the palace symbolizes the esoteric dimension of the truth, the kingdom of God. As I mentioned to you, the mountain is the symbol, from the alchemical tradition, of initiation, in which the soul initiates a new way of being; the soul is tested and instructed and provided with difficulties in order to overcome them, and gain knowledge, to fully climb that mountain, that Tree of Life, which is the divine.

That dragon is the symbol of God; the heights; the truth. What is a dragon? A dragon has power over fire, over water, over air, and over earth. Our mind is aerial: it is related to the air, to the breath. Our heart is fire, relating to emotion. Our body is the earth, density, materiality. And, our water is our creative energy, the Tree of Knowledge, the waters of life, which, when they are serene and controlled, make the mind serene and controlled.

Notice here in this image, there are two columns at the very center, before the entrance of this bridge, leading to the entrance of the moat. These two pillars, in Masonry, represent Jachin and Boaz. These are the two pillars that uphold the Temple of God. They represent wisdom and love, or mercy and love. God the Father, as wisdom; God the Mother as love, compassion.
In relation to these 21 chambers leading around the circumference, the 21st of which leads to the center, we have in the ancient Tarot, the 21st card, or Arcanum (meaning, law) which refers to the fool of the Tarot. In the image of the card, there is a person that must walk over a crocodile, which is the symbol of the mind, our defects, our errors, which we must cross over dangerously. We must cross over that moat of waters, that bridge that leads to the heart, the truth.

We are that figure, the one who seeks to enter the center. The one who, by overcoming, by walking the straight and narrow path within us, inevitably, by learning to become spiritual in a genuine sense, will overcome the challenges that one must face and enter into the Kingdom of God: by conquering those difficulties, by overcoming one’s errors, one’s defects.

In relation to these three stages, I'd like to relate to you a quote that Samael Aun Weor gave, which is very profound. He stated that, "Behind the letter that kills is the Spirit that vivifies." So, what is the letter that kills? We see in this image different teachings, different instructions, which may feed one intellectually for a time, but do not satisfy the soul. These letters, these many teachings, have killed people, spiritually. People who believe in the dead letter of any tradition, of any faith, who believe in their doctrine in a fundamental sense, have not only ended up killing their soul and their Spirit, but, even physically have caused harm. We only need to look at the Inquisition, and many other acts of violence perpetrated by certain religious groups, to see the evidence of this. Behind the scriptures, the letters, if we know how to read symbolically, spiritually, we find the Spirit that vivifies, that gives us faith, that is an affirmation of our own spiritual discipline, our own practice.

So, these three stages are represented in this image. I'd like to relate to you something profound, that I experienced when I first found this knowledge. I practiced the science of dream yoga very diligently, when I found this teaching about a decade ago. I remember having an experience, a vision, in which... you could call it a dream, but really it was a vision; a dream is something subjective, but a vision is given by God… in which I was flying in an airplane, and I looked out of the window and I saw a giant citadel, which is too divine to adequately describe; it was very holy and sacred. And, it reminds me of this image, in which, by putting into practice the wisdom of the Tree of Knowledge, the divine gave me insight into entering that path, which is symbolized by that palace. To have a vision or experience of a castle, a palace, symbolizes spiritual ascension, and flying in an airplane means one is raising one’s level of being to a higher degree. So, the language of dreams is highly scientific and spiritual

​The Tree of Life

Of course, we must learn how to interpret those experiences, the spirit of that teaching. We have mentioned many times the Tree of Life, which is the symbol of the full development and manifestation of the divine within the soul.

Kabbalah comes from the Hebrew, "Kabel," which means "to receive." It is wisdom that we receive from experience. But, in the beginning we study this glyph with the intellect, so that when we have conscious experiences, we know how to interpret our visions, and to know their application to our physical life. How do these visions teach us about our daily experience, how do they relate? This is a map of the different dimensions of nature, but also the map of the soul. Above we have the highest regions of consciousness, and below, we have the lowest regions of consciousness.

The physical body is known as Malkuth, which means, "the Kingdom," where we are now. Above that we have Yesod, which means, "the foundation." This is the energies of our body and our vitality, which give us life. This is the root of the Tree of Knowledge; how we use that vital force determines how we gain knowledge, spiritually.

So, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil have the same roots, in this foundation, in Yesod. It is our foundation spiritually because how we use that creative energy is how we develop spiritual life.

Above that we have Hod, which means, "splendor." It is the emotional vehicle known as the astral body, which people refer to when talking about astral projection, out of body experiences, the world of dreams. When people dream at night, they enter this world of Hod, the astral plane.

Above that, on the right, we have Netzach, which means, "victory" in Hebrew. It is the mind, the mental plane. Above that we have Tiphereth, which means, "beauty." It is our will, our human soul. Above that we have consciousness, the Divine Soul, Geburah. To the right we have the Spirit, Chesed which is God within us; El in Hebrew.

Above that, we have the trinity. In many religions, this trinity has been represented. In Hinduism, this trinity (which in Hebrew is called Kether, Chokmah and Binah) have been known as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. If you remember the story of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: Krishna was an emanation of Vishnu, which is the sphere of Chokmah, known as the Son or Christ in Gnostic terms. So, this trinity is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Christianity; Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in Hinduism. These are energies, not people. These are forces that we can develop when we learn to meditate. These are aspects of "self," of consciousness, of who we are. The top trinity is the divine, the highest truth that we can cultivate within us.

In the second triangle, we have our humanity: Spirit, consciousness and will. A human being, a true human person, is someone who has incarnated "Hum." In Sanskrit, Hum means Spirit, which is our Inner God, our Innermost Being, Chesed in Kabbalah, which translates as "mercy." That Spirit manifests through the soul as humanity, our genuine humanity, our genuine compassion.

Below that, we have the lower trinity. If you notice this glyph, you can break it up into three sections; the first trinity at the top, Kether, Chokmah, Binah; this second trinity in the heart, the middle... if you transposed this image on to the human being, the top trinity is the head, the second trinity is the heart, and the lower trinity, or you could say quaternary (including Malkuth, this physical body) represents the lower aspect of our body. The top trinity is our divinity; our middle trinity is our humanity; the lower trinity or quaternary is our impurity. This is because our mind, our emotions, our energies and our body, tend to be polluted with many ailments: physical or psychological, egotistical, subjective. We seek to struggle against these defects and to conquer them.

This is an interesting image that we often study and emphasis: this is the Tree of Life. It is the map of the Being, the map of our soul. It is something that is very divine and profound; it is something that we can access and verify through internal experience and meditation. As the foundation of Gnostic studies, we study the Tree of Life in depth, and we will be going over this glyph in more detail, and in many different ways, because it is that applicable. It helps us to understand different traditions and religions, but, more importantly, it helps us to understand ourselves.

​The Kabbalah of the Psalms

To synthesize many of the things that we have talked about—about conduct, behavior, consciousness, mind training—we have included this image, the quote from chapter 19 of the Psalms, verses 7-14. In this quote many of the things we have been discussing are very beautifully synthesized and explained, much better than I can profess. In terms of conduct, we have the following quote:

"The הָורֹת (Torah) of יהוה (Iod-Havah) is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the יהוה (Jehovah) is sure, making wise the simple."

Sometimes they translate יהוה as "Lord" but the real pronunciation is "Iod-Chavah," or "Jehovah." That is one of the many sacred names of divinity, which the Judeo-Christian Bible has translated erroneously. All the names of God have been simply broken down to G-O-D, rather than Jehovah Elohim, Iod-Chavah... these are different aspects of God relating to these Hebrew names that associate to the Tree of Life. Each sphere has its own name of God; different manifestations of God. In relation to the different spheres or levels of our consciousness, each aspect of the Tree of Life has its own divine name. In the Bible, when referring to the actual Hebrew names, tells us where on the Tree of Life we are looking at, what we are studying. The word Jehovah refers to Chokmah in Kabbalah, which is the second sphere from the top, on the top right of the top trinity. Chokmah means wisdom, truth, in Gnostic terms; it is Christ.

That “the testimony of Jehovah is sure,” means that when we experience the truth for ourselves, we are on a foundation stone; there is no deviation; there is no doubt; there is no fear; there is only certainty. It converts the soul, transforms us radically. It makes us very different beings. Also, it “makes the simple into the wise.” Who are those that are simple? People who believe in a religious tradition but who do not know divinity from experience. It does not mean to be simple-minded; we think of that as something negative. To truly be simple is to be like a child: innocent, pure. And, as Jesus said, you must become as little children if you want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

"The statutes of יהוה are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of יהוה is pure, enlightening the eyes."

What eyes are we referring to, spiritually speaking? What we perceive physically, or in the dream state, out of the body. That is something that we can experiment with and verify; that is the enlightening of our spiritual eyes; the enlightenment of the truth, of our perception.

“The commandment of Jehovah is pure,” meaning, his instructions about how to behave psychologically are from a perspective of purity. Remember the Tree of Life, or, you could say in Hebrew: "Otz Ha-Daath Tob Ve Ra": עץ הדעת טוב ורע …meaning, the Tree of Knowledge of Purity (Tob) and Impurity (Ra). This refers to physical impurity as well as psychological impurity, relating to impurities of the mind, of the subjective self.

So, the teaching of Jehovah is pure. It teaches us how to be holy, divine.

"The fear of יהוה is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of יהוה are true and righteous altogether."

Fear can also be translated as פַּחַד Pechad, in Hebrew. פַּחַד Pechad is a name associated with restraint of the mind; this does not mean egotistical fear, in the sense of fearing another person or to be afraid of an anthropomorphic God. That anthropomorphic figure does not exist; instead, God is an energy. The fear of God is clean, meaning, we want to purify our mind, our heart, our psyche, by learning to harness energy. To fear God does not mean some kind of debilitating state of mind. It refers to having reverence, awe, and such respect for the teachings given by divinity that we really feel responsible for our actions, and that we are conscious of not entering into error. Therefore, it is clean, meaning we clean our body, clean our mind, clean our heart—relating to the teachings of spiritual conduct.

“The judgements of Jehovah are true, and righteous altogether” because God is the one who can judge our inner world, to help us develop true self-reflection, self-analysis, self-judgement. To learn to be a law unto ourselves, by following the law within us, the divine.

"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."

Honey is a symbol of the transformation of the impure substance of the soul into the pure substance; the pollen, the coarseness of the mind, into the sweetness of the soul, the sweetness of God. Honey is a symbol relating to the Masters of the White Lodge, that hierarchy of Angels and Beings who have fulfilled the path. Those who have transformed the lead of the soul into the gold of the Spirit. It is a symbol of the alchemical science. The bee is a marvelous creature that is very mechanical, and very unaware of anything beyond its microscopic world, but within that is the symbol of our soul and how we can transform ourselves to develop something that is very pure and very divine.

"Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

“Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults!"

This is really at the heart of this teaching. Without cleansing our mind and heart from impurity, we cannot know God.

"Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression."

Meaning, to think one is very knowledgeable, spiritual, or elevated, when the truth is, if we examine our mind, we have a lot of wickedness. Let us not presume to be anything other than that which we are, and from that foundation, we learn to ascend.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O יהוה, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalms 19:7-14

​The Four Pillars of Gnosticism

The Gnostic tradition is founded upon four pillars, which we will be discussing in detail within the coming weeks. Gnosticism has been taught in accordance with four aspects of knowledge; science, mysticism, art and philosophy. We have been explaining many aspects of mysticism, and also the scientific bases upon which religion is founded, genuine "religare,” “to unite with the truth, with the divine,” in Latin.

We can say that science and mysticism as well as philosophy (love of knowledge) are all synthesized and expressed through art, genuine art. In ancient times, these four pillars were once integrated, meaning, this type of knowledge was unitotal, taught in a scientific, mystical, artistic and philosophical manner. The ancient schools of initiation, of spiritual studies, were not really split or schismatic, separated into different forms of study, as we have today. This form of knowledge was once universal and integral, in which genuine mystical teaching was based on facts, based on experiential wisdom in a scientific manner, through scientific investigation.

Many of the great artists of humanity, whether it be Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart, Chopin, many classical European composers, knew this teaching, and they expressed the beauty of the soul, and the drama of the souls longing to unite with God, in music. Likewise, the pyramids of Egypt, the great sculptures and architecture of the Mayans, of Rome, once embodied these principles. Also, our ancient schools of philosophy, once embodied a scientific and mystical doctrine, a love of wisdom that was once nourished by the contributions of science and religion.

We are going to talk about these four pillars in brief today, but in more depth within the coming weeks, so that we have a sense of how these traditions, or really how our most present-day traditions, which many venerate, have their roots in the ancient schools, and that these forms of knowledge should not be separate. They are universal and total, related.

To examine how these traditions originated from the same source, from gnosis—how gnosis is expressed through these four forms of knowledge—we are going to examine some of the etymology of these terms which, beyond the surface examination, unveil a lot.

​Esoteric Science

We included as this image of science, the resurrection of Jesus before doubting Thomas. This is a beautiful image representing the nature of faith, the nature of verification, the nature of cognizant wisdom, of factually verifying for oneself the truth. The Apostles stated to Doubting Thomas that Jesus had arisen from the dead, and Thomas doubted. He said, “I will not accept this truth from you, until I verify it for myself.” Many people think and interpret this parable as something relating to skepticism, which is not the case. It refers to a quality of consciousness, called discrimination: to verify, to analyze, to investigate, to interrogate, to inspect, in order to know what is true and what is false from experience.

So, when Thomas finally place his finger inside the wound of the Lord, he then said, “Truly you are the Christ, you are the truth, and now I know that you are arisen from the dead." This is not just a literal story from the past; it is something psychological: how we as a soul have to doubt everything from a conscious perspective, to not accept what others say, or accept what we read. It is to test, experiment and verify, to know the Spirit behind the letter that kills, the Spirit that vivifies and gives life, spiritually.

The word science etymologically relates to that truth:

"Mid-14c., "what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;" also "assurance of knowledge, certitude, certainty."

So, this is very important: it is what we are certain about. Science, today, prides itself on empirical knowledge; knowledge based upon the five senses. But, in esoteric studies, we follow conscious experimentation, conscious knowledge. We verify based on our perceptions, spiritually—beyond the five senses.

Physical science is not the totality of science. It is to the detriment of humanity to think that our physical sciences are the limit of all there is to perceive. Esoterically, we investigate from the consciousness, from the soul.

"From Old French science "knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge" (12c.).

We are familiar with these kinds of sciences; biology, botany, etc.

From Latin scientia "knowledge, a knowing; expertness," from sciens (genitive scientis) "intelligent, skilled," present participle of scire "to know," probably originally "to separate one thing from another, to distinguish," related to scindere "to cut, divide," from PIE root *skei- "to cut, to split" (cognates: Greek skhizein "to split, rend, cleave," Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan "to divide, separate.”

So, we seek to become experts of meditation in this tradition. Through the science of meditation, of self-reflection, we can investigate all the mysteries of life and death for ourselves, from our soul.

Another key point is that it originally meant to separate one thing from another, to distinguish. This again refers to discrimination: to distinguish between what is true and what is false.

So, we need to be like Thomas: doubting the illusions of our mind and senses, to be certain about what it is that we perceive. That is the foundation of gnostic science.

Another interesting etymological root of science comes from scindere, which means "to cute, divide," and "to cut, split" which is where we get the Greek word skhizein, "to split, rend, cleave”—and look at modern science today: these traditions of modern science are very divided. People are very attached to the beliefs about the information that they have received from the senses, and they have no agreement. Many of them agree with each other one day and disagree another. As the founder of the gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor stated:

"What science rejects today, it accepts tomorrow." —The Perfect Matrimony

And, what science accepts today, it rejects to tomorrow.

In these studies, we prefer not to rely on dogma. We want to verify, to know for ourselves, and to not be split and divided into sects, but to be integral. We want to study things in a highly synthetic manner, to be cultured, to not be biased

Genuine Mysticism

The pillar of mysticism, as we have been explaining, pertains to sciences such as the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. It comes from the word, "myein" which means, "to close ones eyes to illusion, to the senses." This means, to be a meditator. In meditation, by abandoning the physical body, you can access the higher dimensions.

From the word “mystic,” late 14c., "spiritually allegorical, pertaining to mysteries of faith," from Old French mistique "mysterious, full of mystery" (14c.), or directly from Latin mysticus "mystical, mystic, of secret rites" (source also of Italian mistico, Spanish mistico), from Greek mystikos "secret, mystic, connected with the mysteries," from mystes "one who has been initiated" (see mystery (n.1)). Meaning "pertaining to occult practices or ancient religions" first recorded 1610s. —Online Etymology Dictionary

It can refer to ritualistic exercises associated with the Gnostic Church, and many other faiths, different churches, etc., which in this present day, are degenerated: they have lost their authentic unity, their power. Certain practices were never given to the public, because of their potential ability to create harm. Many of the rituals that we adopt, whether from the Catholic Church, or from other faiths, are the external manifestation of an internal source. They came from the abuse or misunderstanding of the truth. Meaning, the prophets gave their knowledge, but they gave certain exercises to different levels of beings, different persons of capability. They gave the highest rites and rituals and practices to those who could handle it and gave very introductory exercises for those who are not as a capable. This refers to the Spirit, the soul and the body of the doctrine. Every prophet gave mystical teachings in accordance with those three levels of knowledge.

Unfortunately, many people have the body of certain practices, the body of the teachings, and think that they have the whole teaching; they ignore that there are higher exercises that we can work with. In many of the books of Samael Aun Weor, he gives many exercises from the body, the soul and the Spirit of any teaching. He gave introductory, intermediate and advanced practices for students, throughout his literature, which can give us access to genuine mysticism.

Mystikos, from the Greek, means someone that has been initiated because of their practical works, the experience the divine, the truth.
In this image, we have included Jesus and his ascension. One point I would like to make in relation to this teaching of mysticism, is that by closing our eyes to illusion, myein, to the senses, to the body, to our mistaken perceptions of self, we can achieve the ascension of the soul towards the spiritual realms.

I remember once, many years ago, I awoke in the dream world, the astral plane specifically, and seeing my home, the outdoors, I went outside and looked to the sky in a very vivid state of mind, to invoke the Master Jesus. In the dream world, we can invoke the divinities through sacred sounds, mantras, prayers, in order to speak face to face with those beings. The secret name of Jesus is Aberamentho, from The Pistis Sophia, which we have available with commentary from Samael Aun Weor, in the book The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled. The Gnostic Bible refers to the sacred name of Jesus, his real identity, as Aberamentho. He is a very elevated being.

I invoked him, because I wanted to, like Thomas, know who he was and to speak with this great being who has inspired so many millions. I remember that he came, he was a powerful being, illuminated with a type of cognizance that was beyond my grasp. He appeared wearing a crown. His description is given in detail in a book called The Revolution of Beelzebub, by Samael Aun Weor. If you read that book, you will see how Samael Aun Weor describes how Master Aberamentho can appear in these internal worlds.

So, he came up to me, and I was a little bit afraid, because I wanted to verify whether this was a divine being, or that was I seeing a demon... because there are negative beings that can mislead us. And, to assure me and to calm me, he taught me something very beautiful. I suddenly saw myself third-person; he took my consciousness, and expanded it. The masters can give you light, can give you perception, can expand your consciousness as a blessing, to teach you something about yourself. So, I saw myself, standing there in my yard, seeing myself third-person as in a movie, and I saw him as a ray of light; he shot up into the sky. It was a dark, cloudy, stormy sky, very obscure and black, very negative, and suddenly, there was a hole in the clouds that emerged, like in this image, and above that I saw, in the heavens beyond me, was the galaxies and the stars, which is a symbol of the divine. I stood there and I saw him emerge, and from the Earth and he flew up into the sky in an instant, and I saw him disappear beyond the galaxy. I stood there in awe, because I wanted to attain that state too, but obviously I am not that capable. But he was teaching me that, if you want to know the truth of the divine, you must clear your mind. The mind is related to the air; the sky in the internal planes is the symbol of your state of mind. If it is cloudy and obscure, it means that you are filled with a lot of doubt, skepticism, negativity. It is it black clouds; it can mean negative emotions, negative states of mind; it can also refer to a cloudiness of perception: to be very asleep as a consciousness. He was showing me that my mind was that darkness, and then he shot up through the sky, and I saw the heavens, as in this image.

So, Jesus taught that to many people. Not just me. He was showing to the Apostles in the Gospels, how, through the light of the divine, which he has fully manifested, you can ascend from this physical world, from materiality and clear the skies of understanding, in order to see the truth. He was showing me genuine mysticism, that, if you want to be a real mystic, clear your mind. Work with the energy of Christ in yourself, to purify your psyche.

The Christic energy is, as we have talked about in different lectures, the creative energy. Christ is that force, that is within us, who can grant us access to the mysteries of life and death.

Genuine mysticism is having experience, to perceive spiritually in a very factual, concrete manner. It is nothing vague or ambiguous. I have had dreams where I have been at work, doing this or that... those are just mere dreams. But, a vision is where you are fully aware and in that state of mind, in that plane, dimension, and you know how to navigate consciously. To be a genuine mystic, a genuine occultist, one must learn how to travel in those states.

Conscious Art

Continuing our discussion of the four pillars, we have mysticism also represented in art and in other sacred images of art. As I mentioned to you, science, mysticism and philosophy have developed their principles through artistic mediums. Whether through painting, through sculpture, through music and in different forms of transmission of this teaching, given through many beautiful works such as by Michelangelo, by Da Vinci, Hieronymus Bosch, and many other artists who were teaching other initiates this path. Since they were not allowed to give the knowledge openly, they had to give it secretly. Therefore, they did it in symbolic forms through art. They had a lot of time that they could not give lectures; they were not allowed to, so they would teach other initiates through art work. You could see that they were divinely inspired; the art that they conveyed shows a very high level of being, due to the impression that their works make on the soul.

So, the word art, etymologically, has many interesting meanings as well:

Early 13c., "skill as a result of learning or practice," from Old French art (10c.), from Latin artem (nominative ars) "work of art; practical skill; a business, craft," from PIE *ar-ti- (cognates: Greek arti "just," artios "complete, suitable," artizein "to prepare;" Latin artus "joint;" Armenian arnam "make;" German art "manner, mode"), from root *ar- "fit together, join” —Online Etymology Dictionary

These are very obvious meanings, but, if we apply this to our soul and psyche, our conscious work, we see that the path of the soul is a skill. It is an artform. To create the soul into the image of God, spiritually, is an art. Not just through painting, music or sculpture, but through spiritual discipline: it is an artform.

The act of creating the soul into the image of God is represented in this image. We have on the right, Jehovah, who is approaching Adam, who is the archetype of the human being made into that divine image. People think that this refers to how a physical God created a physical human being. But, this is symbolic. It refers to the beauty of the soul. In this image, the human soul—Tiphereth in Kabbalah—is represented by Adam, who has fully controlled his mind, his heart, his vitality and his body. The first five spheres of the Tree of Life, from the bottom to the center, are represented by Adam.

Jevohah represents all the divine qualities that we need to incarnate, represented by the other five spheres, sephiroth, of the Tree of Life: Kether, Chokmah, Binah (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), Chesed (the Spirit) and Geburah (the Divine Soul). Jehovah represents all those divine principles. The union of those two, Jehovah and Adam, is genuine religion, genuine art.

All of the great masters of art taught the path of awakening consciousness in their works, like Puccini's operas, Wagner's operas, Mozart's... These masters were teaching the path of the unification of the soul with God, through symbols, through physical dramas that people are entertained by, and are inspired by, but they don't really know the meaning. They don't see the Spirit behind the letter that kills. Many people become fascinated with classical music, but that doesn't mean they know the Spirit behind the musical notes, the mystical teachings that are embodied in that.

So, art, in all its forms, teaches how to we can unite with God. It teaches through that artform.
Also, looking further at those etymological roots:

*ar-ti- (cognates: Greek arti "just," artios "complete, suitable," artizein "to prepare;" Latin artus "joint;" Armenian arnam "make;" German art "manner, mode"), from root *ar- "fit together, join.”

This is very significant. To be "Arti" to be just, is to be a righteous person. To see that something is just right means that the soul is perfected. Likewise, to be complete and suitable, is to be complete and suitable to God: meaning that we have purified our soul, and so the light of the divine, the light of Jehovah, manifests in us. It also means to prepare, from "artizein." We must become prepared, and to know how to prepare ourselves, so that we can know the truth. "To join" is precisely represented in this image: how the divine joins with the human.

Spiritual Philosophy

We will finally explain about the path of philosophy. We have included an image of Mary Magdalene before the resurrected Jesus. This is also a symbol of Sophia before Christ, before the Lord. Sophia means "wisdom." Christ is the divine.

So, philosophy comes from "philos-sophia." Philos means love, sophia means wisdom. You can also say that philos, as love, represents Christ, because Christ is love, that energy, that potential, which we need to activate in us. People typically associate philosophy as a body of knowledge, from "philosophy," a type of intellectual discipline. However, genuine philosophy, or love of wisdom, love of knowledge, is how the soul loves God through study, through Jnana Yoga. Jnana Yoga refers to, in Hinduism, the study of scripture, of meditation practices and their application, so that we can gain spiritual knowledge.

Many philosophers, such as Plato, Socrates, knew this teaching in depth, and they explained the path of how the soul unites with the divine in their doctrines. Such as Plato's Republic, and we will be talking in future lectures about the Allegory of the Cave, specifically, in depth. We will talk about how their teachings and their writings have inspired the Western cannon, the Western tradition, and how such teachings really have their roots in Hinduism, and many other early religions. We will also explore how these philosophies teach us how to unite with the divine.


So, to conclude, we emphasize that gnosis is built upon four pillars. The foundation of our spiritual life is based on how we cultivate our relationship with God, through mystical science, such as meditation, and the study of art forms, to inspire the soul. When we know the meaning of these art forms, we become enlivened, and we see that behind the great operas or the great classical compositions, or the statues of Kukulkan and the Mayan feathered serpent, that we see images such as the Kundalini force amongst the Maya and the Aztecs, Quetzalcoatl in the Nahua language in Mexico. We find that these art forms teach us how to create our soul, art forms which can give us inspiration and strength. Likewise, we study the knowledge in a philosophical way, to know our relationship to God, and where we stand presently.


Audience: The four pillars, could that also be a combination of the left brain, which is the sacred masculine, and right brain, which is the sacred feminine? Because you were talking about science, and mysticism, philosophy, and the third eye, do you think that is the combination of that?

Instructor: Well, you could say that we have a more scientific hemisphere of the brain, and a more artistic side too. But, the four pillars themselves, rather than having a physiological relationship, are more related to the traditions that we study. How we biologically relate to certain types of thinking, pertain to mysticism as well as science, specifically. And, how the brain creates is an artform. The brain itself is the most beautiful vehicle for the mind. The brain is not the mind: the mind that thinks uses the physical brain to think, here and how. If we look at the Tree of Life, the mind itself (Netzach) is above emotion (Hod), and it is above vitality, sexuality, instinct, impulse (Yesod). But, the four pillars, in that sense, you cannot associate with our psychological constitution.

More importantly, the four pillars refer to aspects of our tradition that we study, and the framework by which we can understand ourselves in detail; which involves psychology as well, and occult anatomy.

Question: I grew up Catholic, and I am having problems with the Old Testament as far as... there is a lot of it that is about death and destruction and evil, which means many Gods. I looked up the Sumerian tablets which is Enlil and Enki and the Annunaki, and I am trying to decipher this... because, the way you're talking is that, within the Garden of Eden, from the research that I did, there was many Gods and there was a lot of deception...

Instructor: Well, Jehovah, in Hebrew Kabbalah is Iod-Chavah Sabaoth, Lord of Hosts. Jehovah is not just one being, but is the Christ, the divine manifested through all of those masters that have incarnated that light. So Elohim can refer to the angels. An angel is a perfected being, a being that fully manifests the light of Christ.

The Christ is an energy; it is a light, a force. That force is universal: its center is everywhere, and its circumference is nowhere. It is universal. It is a cosmic energy that manifests all of creation, and can manifest in any being that has performed the work.

Question: What about in the Old Testament where it has a lot of death and destruction, sacrificing of animals, first born children, and all of that?

Instructor: Those are symbols. We must sacrifice our own cherished self, first born beliefs about ourselves. Our first-born children is a symbol of certain psychological qualities that we carry inside; meaning our reputation, our self-esteem; things that we value about who we think we are. We also have to sacrifice the animal mind. The mind.

Question: So this has nothing to do with the Annunaki? This is all disinformation regarding the Annunaki, the reptilians?

Instructor: Well, I know a lot of people believe in reptilian beings, and I personally, in the astral plane have not met any of them, so I don't really think about this. However, I know when I look at myself in the mirror, psychologically, in the astral plane, and I see my own animal mind—because, you can visually see yourself as you are as a psyche, through a mirror. They teach you symbolically what you are as a consciousness, and you may see yourself like an animal.

Question: But we do have a reptilian part of the brain, the hippocampus, which is the fight or flight part of the brain...

Instructor: Even physiologically, science knows that we have qualities that are animalistic, that we inherited from an animal past. But, we go further in saying that, the psyche, the soul, is animalistic and not human yet. The human must be created. The human mind, a human being is a being that has perfect equanimity, in thought, feeling, impulse. And is fully manifesting the will of God.

The Bible is symbolic. It is written in the language of Kabbalah. So, people who read the Torah literally, end up very confused, and sometimes traumatized by that tradition, because people teach that God is jealous, angry, violent... But, the truth is, who is he violent towards? God is very jealous of our soul. And, is very violent against the mind, the ego, those qualities that are animalistic that prevent us from going towards the truth. So, God is jealous not in the sense of an old man that says, "You have to obey me, or you get kicked out of church." Instead, it refers to the eagerness of God to fully unify all His parts, that are trapped in suffering, to free us from suffering. If God was not jealous in that sense, we would be in trouble. God demands that he wants all the parts that belong to Him to be returned to happiness, to our source.

The Bible is written in Kabbalah, which even many Jews who read the Torah don't know Kabbalah in depth. Even those that study the Kabbalistic tradition, do so from an intellectual point. They do not awaken the consciousness and verify this in the internal planes what the teachings entail.

It is a symbolic language. People who read the Bible without knowing Kabbalah, is like trying to read Shakespeare without knowing English: it is just gibberish. You would think it is so cryptic, or you would read it literally and say, "Well, this is so dogmatic." But, there is some spiritual truths there that are hidden. If we do not know how to interpret, through knowing the science of the Tree of Knowledge, and the Tree of Life, the science of Kabbalah and Alchemy, that dead letter kills our soul.

You see many people in these traditions who are very devout, but they are dead spiritually. They just repeat information; they are just a walking memory box. They can recite the Torah and all of that, but are they conscious of what it teaches? The Spirit can vivify our soul: the Spirit behind the letter that kills.

If we read fundamentally, without an awakened, mystical, perspective, a scientific vantage point, and from a knowledge of divine art, the language of Kabbalah, we get confused and religion, philosophy, become something rigid and repressive, which is not what we teach.

Question: So, is one of the reasons that we suffer is because we are in duality, within ourselves? We're not as we think, as we feel, as we act, in cohesion. We have to get back to that which is unified. We are not abiding by the natural law, right?

Instructor: And, the law of Christ says, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." But, typically, our mind is trapped in duality: thesis / anti-thesis; belief / disbelief in our heart, where we also have like / dislike. In our motor center, our center of movement which we find at the top of our spine, we have: to do / not to do. Our instinct, associated with the base of our spine, is the center related to impulse, desire, certain activities that are beyond thinking; these relate to impulse, fight / flight. In relation to sexuality, one has either attraction or repulsion.

So, our psyche, it tends to be caught between a duality of, "Should I do this, should I not do this?" Our confusion results from not having equanimity. By observing the chaos of the mind, the heart, the body... we observe who we are psychologically, moment to moment, and seek to acquire a peaceful mind and to understand our own defects. Since we do not know how to be spiritual, to be genuinely conscious, we continue to suffer, and we also continue to be caught between this delusion of duality, of the pendulum of thinking for or against, like or dislike. That is the pendulum that keeps us hypnotized.

Question: What about the world apocalypse, from the Greek, meaning the unveiling truth?

Instructor: The Apocalypse is a titanic book too. It talks about the revelations of the soul, after facing many challenges and ordeals.

Questions: So, the unveiling of truth means learning this esoteric...

Instructor: From experience. From one’s consciousness. When you awaken in the internal planes, you go through your own inner apocalypse: your own ordeals and struggles—you have to face great tribulations and sacrifices. By learning to overcome them, the revelation comes, the light comes.
<![CDATA[Knowledge and Truth]]>Sat, 04 Aug 2018 20:59:42 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/knowledge-and-truth
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from The Sufi Path of Self-knowledge, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy:

​"Know the truth and the truth shall set you free," stated Jesus of Nazareth, the Patriarch of the Gnostic Church, the great Master Aberamentho, according to his sacred name.
This is the final lecture in a course we initiated a few weeks past, discussing the nature of Sufism and Gnostic doctrine, how to know ourselves, how to know that which is within us that is divine. We seek to comprehend through practical works the very essence of our divinity within us, within our consciousness, and which we denominate the Being. Many names have been given to that truth, that source, that origin from which the soul emanates. No matter what name we denominate that truth, whether it is Allah, Buddha, Christ, Tao, INRI, etc., that divinity is within us, and which specifically in the Gnostic teachings we call the Being. To be, to know as a conscious quality.
So we've been explaining the gradual steps that lead to that realization of the Being, of the truth. It is by practical works, learning to understand ourselves, our mind, and the obstacles within us that prevent our illumination, that we seek to comprehend how to change. We seek to comprehend the causes of our suffering and the obscurations to that light of that divinity within us.
In the spirit of universality, we've been explaining the teachings according to Islam, which in Arabic is submission to God's will, and the Sufi doctrine, especially the mystics of Islam. Sufis are as much the mystics of Islam as the Kabbalists are the mystics of Judaism. In this lecture, we'll explain many aspects of this path in association with the Tree of Life of Kabbalah, the map of the consciousness. Likewise, we will examine many elements pertaining to the mystical teachings of Islam, the esoteric doctrine.
We state that we seek to know the divinity and the Muslims speak of witnessing the divine as the Shahada, the famous declaration of faith, which states, "La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadun rasul-ul-llah." Meaning, "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is His prophet." The word witnessing is Shahada, to bear testimony, to verify what one has known or experienced. Now, the Muslim teachings of Shahada, which is followed by many millions of people today, is merely the public doctrine; to say that where there is no God but God, and Muhammad is His prophet, is easy to vocalize, to affirm. The word Shahada in Arabic relates to the word Mushahada, which means contemplation, meditation, insight, comprehension of the truth.
It is precisely by learning to meditate, go deep within our mind, our psyche, in which we know the truth for ourselves. We witness the divine through very concrete living experiences, known as gnosis. This word gnosis is Greek, meaning knowledge, signifying conscious experience. It is not associated with theory or belief, or scriptural knowledge, although those are useful in their place. Instead, gnosis, or the Arabic equivalent, marifah, is the direct knowledge of the divine, the truth. It is not by believing in anything that we will know that divinity. Instead, know truth and the truth shall set you free.
The founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor, stated that, "The truth is the unknowable from moment to moment." When Jesus was asked, "What is the truth?" before Pilate, he remained silent. When asking the Buddha, "What is the truth?" he simply walked away.
Many people have spoken about the truth, whether through scripture, books, lectures, etc. In these studies, however, we seek to be practical. We seek to know that truth for ourselves, to know the divine within us moment by moment, the unknowable presence which is within our consciousness, within our psyche. For our purposes, we'll talk about scriptures pertaining to Islam, especially in relation to knowledge of God, knowledge of that truth, that source, which cannot be labeled, but can be verified. There is a famous commentator, Abd al-Karim al-Jili, who commented on a scripture or a writing by a Sufi master by the name of Ibn Arabi: his book Journey to the Lord of Power. He stated that “The journey to God is short; the journey in God is infinite.”
There are levels of being, levels of knowing, levels of cognizance, which we want to access here and now. Previously, we discussed the nature or the doctrine of momentariness, to be aware of our psyche moment by moment, and to be aware of the divine as a presence, as a force, and an intelligence, which we accomplish through observing our psyche, observing our mind, observing our heart, observing our body. That active observation is attention, an act of directed consciousness or directed will, directed attention within us. By learning to develop that alert novelty, alert perception, that awareness of ourselves, instant to instant, moment by moment, we in turn gain access to the truth, that direct knowledge.
Of course there are infinite levels of consciousness. The 14th Dalai Lama stated that really the consciousness has the capacity to expand to an infinite degree. This is very well is illustrated in many religious paintings where you see the heavens or the angels circling the throne of divinity and taking their pilgrimage towards that light, that source. That's the famous meaning of Hajj in Islam, the pilgrimage which we're going to discuss in brief in this lecture.
God is the unknowable, the truth. As it says on the Quran surah 6, verse 91, “God the most highest said, ‘They honor not God with the honor due Him,’” according to the scripture of Al-Risalah, the Sufi teaching by the famous master Qushayri who lived in Persia or Iran. He stated the following: “According to the commentary, this means they do not know God as He deserves to be known.” Likewise, Surah Ta Ha, verse 110, "He knows that which is before them and that which is behind them, and they encompass Him not in knowledge," which is similar to Surah 2. This is Al-Baqarah, the Surah, The Cow, verse 285: "He knows that which is before them and that which is behind them, and they encompass nothing of His knowledge except what He wills."
The truth can only come to us when the divine expresses of His will, of Her will within us, and we must learn to access that state by cooperating as a psyche, as a soul, as a consciousness. In order to attain that state, we must learn to be humble psychologically. Previously, we discussed in our lecture on the code of ethics, spiritual discipline, the need to train the mind, to not behave in negative ways, to not indulge in negative habits, and to destroy and comprehend those psychological causes within us that create conflict. Because, as the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor, stated, "Be humble in order to attain enlightenment. Thus after attaining it, be more humble still."
Humility is not an attitude. It is a psychological way of being in which we comprehend how our own sense of self, we can say egotism, egos, qualities, defects, vices, errors, whatever name we want to give them—these in themselves are obscuring the full manifestation of our divine potential, and we want to remove those shadows within our psyche, those causes of suffering such as anger, pride, fear, et cetera. By removing those conditions, those cages of the mind, we liberate soul. We liberate consciousness and then we can truly ascend to the heights of the divine. As the Book of Isaiah states, "Every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and the hill made low. The crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain." Meaning, it is a psychological work. Our own sense of egotism, our own negative sense of self must be conquered in order for the divine self, the Being, the truth to manifest.
Now, there is some interesting commentary just to elaborate on this point about asceticism or spiritual poverty given by, again this writer, Ibn Arabi, from his Futuhat Makkiyyah, which is The Meccan Revelations, a very extensive scripture. He commented that the first caliph, Abu Bakr, was reported to have said, "The inability to comprehend God is comprehension itself." Then, this point is that if we feel that we have a certain level of knowledge, we must understand there's always something higher, something beyond that which we must access.
As the Sufis state, the greatest position to follow is poverty, not physical poverty or austerities, but, psychologically speaking, we fast to our habits. We cease to feed our negative elements, our desires. Instead, we develop conscious qualities. We seek to overcome the conditions of our mind. There was one Sufi, I believe, who stated that a third of the stomach should be filled with food, while the other two thirds be filled with fasting and the Qur’an. While some people may take the symbolic language of the Sufis literally, symbolically-speaking, we must be in remembrance of divinity through meditation, scriptural study, profound comprehension…
There's a very famous teaching given in the Surah Ta Ha, verse 114, where Prophet Muhammad was taught by his inner Being, his divinity. He said, "Be not in haste with the Qur’an before its revelation is completed for thee, but say, ‘My Lord, increase me in knowledge!’" We must increase that knowledge, seek to understand what in us prevents us for accessing that, and to thereby deny our own selves, conditions, desires, through the art or path of consciousness, self-awareness, mindfulness.

​The Three Levels of Religion

In next graphic, we have the three levels of religion. We find the three levels of religion in any doctrine, any teaching, since religious instruction or esoteric instruction is always given in three tiers. We have what is known as the introductory level, the intermediate level, and the esoteric level. All religions have a gradation of instruction, of teaching, and of discipline, in which we train ourselves to be more open and receptive to the influence of the divine.
In Islam, they call the first introductory level Shariah, which of course has a lot of negative connotation today. In esoteric studies, Shariah does not refer to the punitive or harsh laws of Muslim countries. Shariah is really in its heart is the practical conduct we engaged with to train ourselves—to not be angry people, to not have fear, to not have pride, to not have desire or lust, to not commit adultery, to not steal, to not take intoxicants, to not cause harm, to not lie. These are basic laws given in Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and whatever religion we study, since each has this code according to the idiosyncrasy of the culture it was delivered.
Beyond that, after we've established ourselves with mind training, we can enter into the mesoteric level, the intermediate steps, which is Tariqah. The last lecture we gave was on divine love, which is the path of Tariqah. It is the path of selfless service in which our spirituality is not based on ourselves, but for others. Meaning: we work on our own sense of egotism so that we can develop compassion for those who suffer and those who are ignorant. In this selfless path, we overcome the conditioning of the mind. We train ourselves so that we do not cause harm to others with our speech, our thoughts, our words, etc. Instead, we want to overcome the conditioning of our psyche so that our divinity can really help us to create religion, which is in Latin, religare, in one sense to reunite such as in a congregation or group, to unite people through divine law.
In Islam, the word “religion” is often called din in Arabic. Din more specifically refers to “judgment,” which is etymologically related with “custom, way, or affair.” Din refers to our conduct, our behavior, in how we curtail negative psychological states and eliminate them through inner judgment and comprehension in meditation. Din also has a strong relationship to the word dayn, which means “debt.” Truly, all of us are in debt before the divine law and must learn to pay our debts through conscious works, good deeds.
Lastly, we have Marifah and Haqiqah which is knowledge and truth. This is the highest teachings of any religion and is the topic of today's lecture. Now, with Marifah (knowledge) and Haqiqah (truth), these have been associated with the highest teachings of any tradition—the secret doctrine, whether in theosophy or the Fourth Way schools, and in Gnosticism. The secret of the divine path, Marifah and Haqiqah, knowledge and truth, pertains to the practices of what is known in Arabic as Allah-kimiya', alchemy.
Alchemy was associated traditionally with the transformation or transmutations of metals, a base substance into a pure substance, which many people in Europe were foolishly seeking to literally perform, to transform physical lead into gold, but that is not the meaning. The meaning is transforming the lead or the personality into the gold of the spirit, into the spirit of the divine, the truth. Alchemy is known as Tantra in the East, but the word alchemy also, Al-Kimiya, signifies chemistry (we have the similar origins or the root word). Kimiya also means to fuse or cast to metal. With the practices of a perfect matrimony or the perfect matrimony, the exercises of tantrism, man and woman in a marriage can unite to create spiritually and therefor fuse with the divine through the chemistry of God.
I will talk about the specifics of this, but something important to remember with these three stages is that, according to Ibn Arabi, the law of Shariah can be summarized with the following maxim: "What is yours is yours and what is mine is mine." There's a sense of separation. Meaning, we work individually as practitioners for ourselves, for our benefit, to serve God within us. In a path of Tariqah, "What is yours is mine and what is mine is yours," referring to selfless love, a state of compassion. In the level of Marifah, “Nothing belongs to you or me,” according to Ibn Arabi. Then with the knowledge of Haqiqah, the truth, "There is no you or me. There is only Him, the divine."
These are stages of discipline we train ourselves in and, of course, in the beginning we work with Shariah. In Buddhism, this is known as Shravakayana, the Shravaka path. Shravaka in Sanskrit means “to listen, to hear,” and Yana means “the way or path.” Anyone who learns for the first time how to change is a Shravaka, is a listener, to hear the truth and to practice it, and we will give more examples of this in relation to the intricate science of certainty according to the Quran.
With the middle path, the mesoteric path, we find in Tariqah, its equivalent is Mahayana, the greater vehicle: Maha, meaning great, in which our work is for others. We are not concerned with our own personal well-being, but we work to help others develop spiritually, and we overcome our own egos, our own senses of self, which create conflict.
In the highest path, Marifah and Haqiqah, is known as Tantrayana in Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism. In this Tibetan Buddhist teaching, Tantra is the vehicle of a matrimony where a man and woman, in the pure sentiment and inspiration of the divine, can cultivate their marriage as a means of experiencing the truth and working with the most potent forces we carry within our physiology, and also our psychology, as we will elaborate upon.
Now, an important thing to remember is that with these steps, these are not something separate. Neither are they something that will go from one step up, a plateau, so to speak. Really Shariah, Tariqah, Marifah, Haqiqah unite; they are integral, meaning: one cannot know the truth without fulfilling the basic conduct of spirituality, meaning: to be good person, to be decent, to be humble and to help others. Likewise, we cannot know divine love if we are selfish, egotistically, psychologically speaking. All of us who begin any type of spiritual studies have to work on or become aware of what particular issues we have and change them so that we can really develop compassion for humanity and for its suffering.
Now, there has been a teaching, and there have been some people who have wanted to associate with higher stages of teaching, such as people who proclaim to have spiritual knowledge or to know the truth, but they fail to fulfill the basic conduct of being a decent human being. There is a very famous teaching and I believe it's given by Ibn Arabi as well. In his scripture Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom, he explains that there were people who saw a man flying in the air, and they were overcome by this phenomenon. They were very fascinated, obviously. Ibn Arabi asked, "Does that man follow the Qur’an?" Meaning, does he follow the scripture? Does he know how to be a decent person, to be kind, to not be lustful, to not be angry, to not have fear, because if he does not fulfill those laws, then ignore him. Because there are people who can have powers and abilities, but through desire, egotism, which is a different path than we teach. Here, we seek to give all of our aspirations to God who has power, who has capability and we as the human vehicle can be of service to that, not for our own will. 

​Dhikr, Remembrance of the Divine Self

So, what is the path we need to follow? Really, it is mindfulness, it is awareness and it cannot be emphasized enough. You need to be perceptive psychologically. In the doctrine of Islam, they refer to remembrance of God as dhikr. We talk about in these studies in relation to self-knowledge, the studies or the practice of Self-remembering, self-observation. What is the self we seek to remember? It is the divine Self. In Hinduism, they refer to it as Atman, the inner divinity, but we also want to become aware of our own egotistical self through the act of observing our mind, our heart and our body, our impulses, our desires, our instincts. Truly, to know the truth, we have to begin at this level and to be aware of our body, aware of our mind, aware of our sentiments.
For as Dhul-Nun al-Misri, the Egyptian, very famous Sufi master stated the following, "The key to success and worship lies in meditative reflection (fikrat). Whoever persists in such reflection in the heart will behold the invisible realm and the spirit. Whoever contemplates God for keeping watch over the thoughts which pass through his heart will be exalted by God in all of his outward deeds."
Again, we can refer to the three stages of religion even in this very brief quote which compacts a lot, meaning that whosoever contemplates God, who practices mushahida, witnesses God, understanding and knowing that God keeps watch over the thoughts that pass through his heart. This is the exercises of Shariah, to discipline our mind, to be aware of ourselves, to not act in inappropriate way according to the moment. Likewise, by doing so, one will be exalted by God, which is Haqq, the truth, Haqiqah. One of the sacred names of Allah in Islam is Al-Haqq, the Truth, which is where we get Haqiqah. It is in controlling our mind in which we will be exalted by the truth in all of our outward deeds, according to the path of Tariqah, one's actions.
What does it meant to worship God? All religions have their own idiosyncrasies. We have our own methods and practices in this teaching as well, but one thing that's pertinent to all traditions is the deep connection of the heart to the divine, in which we seek to really only worship that which is true within us and not that which is false. It says in Surah Ta Ha, verses 98-99, “Your only God is God besides whom there is no other God. He encompasses all things and knowledge. Thus do we narrate unto thee some of the accounts of those who have come before (such as Moses and the other prophets) and we have given thee a reminder from our presence.” “The Reminder” is another name for the Qur’an, the Recitation, the teaching.
So, there is no God but God. The Muslims make a very strict observance of worshipping only the divine, and they call worship of idols shirk, or to worship God as something multiple. This has a very interesting psychological application to us, because in a given moment, if we are mindful, we will perceive elements that seek to grab our energy, our attention. In a moment of anger, we want to speak harm, and if we give in to that element, if we give in to those words and we express that negative emotion, we are worshiping an idol. We are worshiping a psychological quality that is other than God. That condition of anger is a shell that has trapped the light of God within us and we need to learn to extirpate that from our psyche, to liberate the free consciousness, the free essence, the soul. Anytime we give into fear, other egos, other qualities, conditions of mind, and we identify ourselves with those elements, we are practicing shirk. That is a form of worship, because our love of being is how we worship God or how we turn away from him.
The unity of God is very famous in Islam, the doctrine is called Tawhid, the unity of the Truth, because that light is universal, it is cosmic, whatever name we give to that. Within us, we have sadly, unfortunately, due to mistaken habits and will, wrong action, we have taken the light of the divine within us and caged it in what we call our pride, our fear, our anger, vanity, etc. These are conditions that we created that trap that light, and by breaking those shells, we free the genie from Aladdin's lamp as we were discussing previously. Truly, we need to remember the presence of the divine. That presence in Arabic is hudur which is where we get the word muhadara which means awareness of God. So self-observation, self-awareness, remembrance of God is the act of controlling our mind and remembering the qualities of the divine which is virtue, compassion, peace, etc. 

This psychological quality is beyond the intellect. Knowledge of the truth is beyond conceptualization, rationalization, etc. While we can gain knowledge or we can study this teaching and study any religion in an intellectual sense, it does not equate with the actual experience of that divinity. For as the Sufi Lāhījī stated, "One cannot behold God by the eye of ratiocination derived from reason for only through the eye of the heart which is known as the faculty of inner vision can one behold God."
Likewise, he emphasizes the path of Shariah, the discipline, the conduct we need to know the truth.
“As long as you do not focus this eye (meaning this perception, this self-awareness, self-observation) so as to sharpen its vision with the collyrium of asceticism, spiritual conduct, purgation of the soul, purification of the heart, illumination of the spirit, you will be unable to witness the Friend's beauty and contemplation.”
People associate that term ‘asceticism’ with monks in sackcloth whipping themselves in a form of self-flagellation and very morbid behavior, and that is not something we encourage. Instead, we teach to discipline our mind. Asceticism can be practiced in an esoteric sense, not physical austerities, but mental psychological training in our daily life and our daily occupation. It does not mean we have to go to a monastery or Sufi lodge to learn to meditate. Instead, we learn to meditate in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in and that is our discipline, our conduct.
“The Friend” is the divine. The Sufis used this term for God, for the Being and contemplation again is mushahida, to witness God, whether through meditative experience or in the dream state, when one awakens in dreams to know that which is the truth, directly, with cognizance. 

The Perfect Human Being

“All the masters of the Path are in accordance that this reality can be realized only through the guidance of a perfect man who knows and contemplates God.” There have been many perfect men and women, many great masters and prophets and really, when we study ourselves and study esotericism, we should always rely on the prophets, beings like Jesus, like Buddha, like Muhammad, Krishna, those beings who fully exemplify the light of the divine and whose conduct has been tested and verified as true. We should not rely on theories or uncertain sources but our own experience and the scripture or the scriptures.
So what is an example of a perfect man? We find Muhammad, who of course, sadly, today is terribly denigrated and misunderstood. It is the effort of these lectures to help elucidate the spiritual roots and esoteric meaning behind his teaching, his doctrine. So we are going to talk about what he symbolizes for us, what he represents, because the perfect men and women, the prophets who came previously, in their very daily acts of kindness and expression and their discipline, came to symbolize a path we need to follow.
There are many interesting things we can learn from the life of Prophet Muhammad which are symbolic for us and which he purposely played out, taking on a role to teach us something profound about ourselves. The Sufis emphasize that really, he is a great master, a very radical teacher and of course, all radical masters are very controversial, but if we look at the Hadith and examine the scriptures of the Quran from our own experience, we can verify the beauty of that teaching.
“The outer law, Shariah, is my word,” he said. “The spiritual path, Tariqah, my actions, and the inner reality, Haqiqah, my inner states.”
Whether in Islam or Buddhism, any master exemplifies and manifest those three paths simultaneously, in every action. The Buddha manifested Shravakayana, Mahayana, Tantrayana. Moses fulfilled the body, soul and spirit of his doctrine. Moses wrote the Torah but other scriptures associated with the higher teaching such as the Talmud related to the middle path, and then the Zohar is the esoteric doctrine of Israel. The Freemasons followed the paths of the Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master. So again, these levels of religion are levels of being but also levels of instruction as we mentioned. Certain scriptures pertain to each degree. 

As we discuss previously, these three paths have a correlation to our three centers of activity. We have mind, we have emotion, we have movement. We can say we have three focal points, we call them “brains,” and a brain in esoteric psychology does not refer to the physical matter in the cerebrum. Instead, it pertains to a center of activity, physiological and psychological, which manages energies. Thought is a form of energy. Emotion is a form of energy, and will, desire, instinct, impulse, movement is another form. We must learn to comprehend these levels in ourselves, our own psychology, as a whole. Really, our heart relates to our words. How we feel, we express through our language. Likewise, our actions refer to the center of movement, and our inner reality is experienced when our mind is enlightened, when our consciousness is illuminated by harnessing those energies of Tantra which we will discuss.
The Sufis really emphasize the integral nature of this master and something we should follow in our own practice. The following was given by the book Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri. “If someone requires of himself the conduct prescribed by the divine command (Shariah), God will illuminate his heart with the light of realization (Haqiqah). There is no station nobler than the station of following the beloved (or in Arabic it is al-Mustafa, the beloved of God who is Prophet Muhammad) in the orders he gave (Shariah), the actions he took (Tariqah), and the character he possessed (Haqiqah).”
Let us examine what he represents for us because his life is something symbolic and any figure in the Bible or the Quran who physically lived came to demonstrate something psychological for us, which is evident by looking at some of the etymology of Arabic and Hebrew.

Kabbalah and Sufi Mysticism

This is an image of the Kabbalah, the famous mystical Tree of Life, symbol of the highest levels of consciousness, which descend through different levels of dimensionality down to the physical plane and into more dense regions of matter, energy and perception. In discussing psychology, we use this glyph. It is a map of consciousness. It is also map of the universe and the different dimensions we can experience in a meditation or in the dream state. In Islam, heaven is known Jannat or Jannah, and Buddhism talks about Nirvana. Likewise, we have different terms for heaven in different cultures and that is really referring to this Tree of Life. These are higher levels of being that we can access if we learn to meditate.
A very important sphere in this glyph is at the very center; we have included the title, Tiphereth, with the Hebrew letters included. Tiphereth means beauty. It is the very center of this Tree of Life, and to explain Tiphereth, we will elaborate on this glyph in its entirety. Notice that there are three trinities included here. The top trinity is referring to the highest forces in nature which the Gnostics called Christ, Chrestos, the anointed one. These three spheres refer to Father, Son, Holy Spirit in Christianity. Kether, Chokmah, Binah in Kabbalah, or Crown, Wisdom, Understanding. These are forces; these are not people. This is why in Islam, they strictly reject the trinity, because the Christians at that time were literally worshipping the trinity as three people, and that is wrong. The truth is that these are energies. It is one force, one light, one intelligence which can manifest in diverse ways. We call it Christ or the First, Second and Third Logos in Gnostic terms, in Greek terms.
Below that, we have on the right, the Spirit, known as Chesed in Hebrew meaning Mercy. In the Qur’an, when it says, Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, “In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful,” it is referring to that spiritual quality known as Chesed, which is Mercy. The word Rahman relates to Hebrew Ruach, which means wind, breath, spirit, which is within us. To the left of that we have Geburah which is the Divine Soul, divine consciousness, which is not stained with impurity, and does not enter conditionality.
Now, below that is Tiphereth, human will, Human Soul, that is really where we originate from. Our soul, our essence, our consciousness emanates from this middle sphere and really, when the soul is fully developed, it is beauty. It is pure and Tiphereth can also mean splendor, radiance, light.
When we work with self-observation, we are working with this willpower to be controlling the lower aspects of our psychology. This unconditioned will, Tiphereth must conquer and control the lower spheres. You see here Netzach, which is the mind, intellect, thought. To the left of that, we have Hod, emotions, the heart. Below that, we have the Yesod, which is energy, vitality, sexual power which is used in tantric practice in a marriage in order to illuminate the other spheres ascending upward. Below that, we have Malkuth which is the physical body. It means “Kingdom.”
Our willpower has to control mind, feeling, body, movement. That is the nature of Tiphereth and in us, it is undeveloped, but when we learn to observe ourselves and break the conditioning of the mind, we liberate more willpower. We free it. What is interesting about Tiphereth is that if you take this image and put it on a human being, the Kether at the top trinity relates to the head, the middle trinity relates to the heart and the lower trinity or quaternary including Malkuth related to the sexual organs and feet. Now, Tiphereth of course is associated with the heart especially in Islamic mysticism.
As we find in the Hadith, the Muslim oral tradition, a very famous saying by Prophet Muhammad which emphasizes this point, the importance of developing Tiphereth. We will highlight for you the examples of how he is associated with that sphere of being, that he represents, Tiphereth. “There is an organ in the body that if it is righteous ensures that the whole system will be righteous and if it is corrupt, the whole body will become corrupt. This organ is the heart. There is a polish for everything that takes away rust, and the polish for the heart is the Dhikr, the remembrance of Allah.” 

​Arabic Kabbalah, the Abjad System, and the Sacred Kaaba

The word for heart in Arabic is Qalb, and what is interesting about Arabic and Hebrew is that each letter represents a number. Kabbalah is the science of numbers, mathematics, which are divine. The universe is governed by math, and God is a mathematician. He works with the laws of nature and manifests them and operates them. Each Arabic letter, each Hebrew letter, has a symbol associated with a certain psychological and spiritual archetype, a blueprint for a soul that we need to develop. In the abjad system which is the Arabic Kabbalah, how you add numbers together produces very interesting associations. The same with Hebrew.
The word قلب Qalb is made up of ق Qaf, ل Lam, ب Ba, respectively, with numerical values of 100, 30 and 2, respectively. In Hebrew, this is ק Quf, ל Lamed, ב Beth. When you add those numbers together, you get 132. If you take number the 1, add it to 32, 32 + 1, you get 33, a very interesting number in relation to the science of masonry in Europe. Also, likewise, you look at the name Muhammad, you break it down, م Mim, ح Ha, م Mim, م Mim, د Dal, respectively is 40 + 8 + 40 + 40 + 4 which is 132. Again, add 1 + 32 is 33. Masonry speaks often of the symbol of the 33 degrees of a master, which symbolizes the 33 degrees or vertebrae of our spine, our spinal column. Our spinal column is where the light of the divine can manifest.
We talked previously about how, through the exercises of Tantra, a couple can raise the creative energies of sex up the spine to the brain in order to illuminate it, so the images of the prophets having halos is a symbol of having raised the creative energies of God from sex to the brain, up the spine. Someone who has successfully raised that Kundalini serpent force to the mind and is filled with fire in their intellect is a master of the 33rd degree, having fulfilled each step of that terrain, that path up the spinal medulla.
Now, Muhammad represents this as we will examine in the story of his ascension and we will talk about that next. But what is interesting is that the word תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth hides and implies a lot, and a very interesting symbolism. Each letter as we said is a representation of a quality. The letter ת Tav, the final letter of the Hebraic alphabet, this 22nd letter, can mean “seal, truth, cross, path, covenant.” Notice that the word תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth begins and ends with ת Tav.
Muhammad is often cited as the Seal of the Prophets, the Seal of the Truth, as given in the Quran, Surah 33, verse 40, Al-Ahzab. “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets and Allah has full knowledge of all things.” Seal of the Prophets is khatim an-nabiyyin, and most Muslims associate this as meaning that he is the last of the major prophets to come teach humanity. But really, in a strict esoteric sense, seal of the truth, seal of the prophets is Tiphereth, because it begins with ת Tav and ends with ת Tav, “truth, seal.” If you are familiar with Tibetan Buddhism, we have Dzogchen, which is the great perfection or Mahamudra, the “Great Seal.” It is the same meaning. Buddhism is implicit within that name תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth.
Notice also in the middle of this word if going from right to left because Hebrew's right to left: ת Tav, פ Peh, א Aleph, ר Resh and ת Tav. ת Tav begins and ends this word, and at the center of this phrase is the word אר Or: א Aleph, ר Resh. Or if you add the letter ו Vav in the center, it is אוֹר Aur, א Aleph, ו Vav, ר Resh, signifying light as the book of Genesis states, “Let there be light and there was light,” Yehi va aur vayehi aur. אוֹר Aur means light, and it is at the center of this word. If you add the letter ו Vav, the sixth letter of Hebrew alphabet, it spells “light” in the center.
ו Vav is direct representation of the spine. You take the letter ו Vav as a straight line; it represents the spinal column. That is how the light emerges from our creative forces to the brain and illuminates us and gives us genuine beauty, spiritually speaking. תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth is beautiful, meaning splendor, light, radiance. If you add ו Vav in the center, you can see that it has light within it, and then the heart is enlivened, is saturated with those cosmic forces when a couple practices alchemy. Now, again, תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth is truth seal, seal of truth, the heart, قلب Qalb, or the heart in Arabic. Many interesting parallels that really point with great emphasis that Muhammad is Tiphereth and represents for us, our willpower, the beauty of the soul we need to cultivate.
In Islam, in relation to this topic, Muslims pray to the east, towards Mecca, the sacred stone Kaaba. To discuss Marifah, the highest knowledge of esotericism, the Muslims symbolize the secret teachings of alchemy, of a marriage, within the stone. The Kaaba in Mecca relates to the Kabbalah, if you relate to the Hebrew. Kaaba in Spanish is La Kaaba, take La and put it at the end, and you spell Kabbalah. Likewise, you spell “the cow” in Spanish, la vaca, which is the same root word for the word Baqarah, the longest Surah of the Quran, “The Cow,” emphasizing that there is really a great profound mystery there.
So Muslims pray to the east towards the Kaaba, the sacred stone that was established originally by Adam and Eve in Islamic myth, and became impure or blackened as a result of the impurity of the psyche. All of this deserves analysis, since the wisdom of the middle east bears profound symbolism. The stone, this energy, this foundation of our temple, our Kaaba, spiritually speaking, has become impure and refers to our energies. It is the forces upon which we exist physically, but also spiritually. These energies have been corrupted by desire, by lust.
The Kaaba is prayed towards five times a day. Muslims pray toward the Kaaba daily and the direction in which one prays is called قِـبْـلَـة Qibla. Again, you hear the word قلب Qalb, heart, implied there, and also, قِـبْـلَـة Qibla, Kabbalah. Kabbalah in Hebrew simply means “to receive.” It is knowledge that we receive consciously from God. It is not limited to what we read, but something we verify for ourselves. The Kaaba, the stone, is a symbol of the energies we carry in our body, which if we use for spirituality, can elevate us to the divine, to enliven our heart and awaken our consciousness.
In Arabic Kabbalah, ق Qaf can signify the powers of the head, ل Lam the powers of speech, and ب Ba the House of God, Bayṫ Allāh, the Kaaba or stone of Yesod, whereby divine forces coagulate. Through controlling our mind, our ق Qaf, through mantras, sacred sounds through the power of ل Lam, the tongue, we invoke divinity into our house of God, our heart, ب Ba. Even the Arabic letter ب Ba appears, in its calligraphy, like a cup, chalice, or receptacle that receives the solar, divine forces.  All of this signifies how divinity descends through prayer and recitation into the temple of the spirit, our heart.

This is why the Sufi master Bayazid Bistami stated the following, “When you are separate from the Kaaba, it is all right to turn toward it, but those who are in it can turn toward any direction they wish.” This is a very radical statement from a Muslim, considering that this is very important to perform the canonical prayer Salat. The meaning of that is that if you know the symbolic meaning of the Kaaba and if you work with your stone, the creative sexual energy, the creative power, it does not matter what direction you pray. Instead, you learn to direct those forces from the base of the spine to the brain and into the heart. That is how you receive knowledge, Kabbalah within your emotional center, within قلب Qalb, the heart in Arabic. Likewise, as I mentioned, it does not matter what direction you pray but when you know the قِـبْـلَـة Qibla, you know how to redirect those forces within you, you are praying to the east symbolically, since in the Tree of Life, the east is Tiphereth, astrologically related to the sun when it rises. Your قِـبْـلَـة Qibla, your direction to which you pray is within you. Through alchemy, you raise the powers of Yesod to the east, up to the mind and then to the heart. This is very well-explained in Kabbalah. 
We mentioned in the previous lecture on divine love how the symbol of Islam, the crescent moon and the star, is a symbol of how we transform the moon of our psyche into the sun of the Spirit. The star Venus, the star of love, Venus-Aphrodite, is “beauty” in Greek, and she is the divine feminine within us, the serpentine power called Kundalini, which is asleep in us in the base of our spine, according to Hinduism, Hindu anatomy, Hindu occult anatomy.
The sexual stone hides within it the energy of Kundalini in the base of the spine, and the stone is called the Yesod in Kabbalah, the foundation of our temple, because how we use our energy determines our spiritual life. If we waste our energy, we cannot function, but if we conserve our forces and become hermetically sealed, psychologically speaking, we do not identify with life so much and do not waste our mental, physical or emotional energy, we will become much happier and elevated.
How we use this energy of the creative power in us, the sexual power is that serpentine force that can raise us spiritually. Another interesting thing about this stone of Kaaba, is reported in pre-Islamic myth that there was a serpent sleeping at the base of this temple, of the stone, within the Kaaba itself in the earth. It is representing for us that creative power of the Divine Mother is in that stone. Many people are familiar with tantric yoga, raising the Kundalini force through sexual union up the spine to the brain. The stone is a very symbolic thing which we are going to elaborate with the myth or the teachings of Muhammad's ascension. 

​The Ascension of the Prophet

The very famous teaching of Muhammad is that he was meditating at Mecca, meaning, he was asleep and reflecting on his inner divinity while near the Kaaba itself. He became drowsy (emphasizing for us that in meditation, we become sleepy physically but consciously, we are alert, we are aware, we are vigilant). At that point, he encountered a mystical creature called Al-Buraq. It is an animal with the body of a mule, the tail of a peacock and the face of a woman, which he rode upon towards Jerusalem in a few moments and afterward, he ascended the seven heavens mentioned in Islam. The Tree of Life of Kabbalah represents nine heavens but you can also say seven dimensions, so the Muslims and the mystics of Israel are in agreement.
But how did he ascend towards those higher levels of being up those different steps of the Tree of Life? Precisely through working with the stone in Mecca.
If you look at the Arabic root of the name البراق Al-Buraq, it means “the lightning,” lightning bolt, and if you translate that into Sanskrit, it is Vajra. Vajra is a lightning bolt that the gods or the Buddhas wield, or Zeus wields to destroy the impure. That lightning is the creative Kundalini force of the spine that can help you to ascend up the heavens, the seven heavens or seven chakras of the spinal medulla up to the crown in order to connect you with the divine.
The name البراق Al-Buraq contains the word Ur, the Arabic نور Nur, or “light” of chastity. Remove Ur from Buraq, and you are left with Baq, the root of the term Baqarah, the sacred Heifer or Cow within the Qur’an, a symbol of the Divine Mother.
You find the name Buraq of course of our current president, but it also is a Muslim name and it relates to the Hebrew Barak in the book of Judges chapter 5, verse 12, which explains the exploits of the prophetess Debora or Deborah who was a judge of Israel fighting against the Philistines. Again, she represents something psychological, how our own consciousness needs to wage war against the infidels, which are not outside of us, but in us, our own fear, pride, worries, anxieties, hate, lust. These are infidels. These are something we need to be strict and to fight against consciously. It does not mean to go to war against someone else for their religion.
Now, it says in the book of Judges, “Awake, awake, Deborah, awake, awake. Utter a song. Arise Barak and lead thy captivity captive, the son of Abinoam.” They were persecuted by Sisera and his armies, the Philistine armies, in which Deborah led a great war in the Bible against her enemies and the enemies of Israel.
Again, Israel is not, in the Bible, representing the people of the Middle East, neither the Philistines. These are just symbolic representations. The names hide a lot of meaning. Israel is from Isis, the Egyptian goddess, the Divine Mother, Ra, Osiris-Ra and El in Hebrew which means God. The people of Israel are all the parts of our soul that are trapped in all the discursive psychological elements we carry within, which produces our suffering, and that which we call ego, negativity, self, infidels, defects which we have to fight against, those qualities that trap the divine light. Deborah is the judge of Israel, meaning she judges herself in meditation, that quality in us that helps to judge ourselves in which we combat those enemies to God, those unbelievers, so to speak.
It says, “Arise Barak.” Barak, Buraq, “the lightning, arise from the base of my spine to my brain and then to my heart up that mountain range to illuminate my psyche,” in which Barak is that sword, that fire that emerges when we work with sacred sound, with mantras. The word Deborah in Hebrew comes from Dabar, which means “word, to speak, to pronounce.” The letter ה Hei which is the H sound at the end. You put it to the front of her name, it is Ha-dabar, the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was of God and the Word was God.” When a couple unite sexually, they can pronounce sacred mantras and awaken that fire that we will send up the spinal column to the brain and is that sword that will help us fight against the evil ones within us. Again, the word sword is the letter S, the vowel S (we say it is a vowel in an esoteric studies). The letter S, if you pronounce it as a mantra, ssssssssssssssss, is the power to awaken that creative power. It is a fire, it is the sound of a serpent, serpentine fire of Kundalini that rises within the spine. That is the sword, S + Word, which we can awaken within us.
It says, “Awake, awake Deborah, awake. Utter a song,” meaning: pronounce mantras when you are with your wife or your husband in order to awaken that fire and to fight against the enemies of God which are within us.
So, Prophet Muhammad represents that, the qualities of the heart that help to raise those forces and to wage difficult wars against the lower selves, the nafs, egos.
One thing I will mention about again is the people of the Philistines. Literal people, of course, associate the scriptures as a history book, which is not the case. It is a symbolic text. You look at the word Philistine and it has many interesting relationships to the Greek language. You can say that the term Philistine sounds like Phila, Philadelphia, which is a Greek work meaning from Philos, “to love,” or Phileo, “to love,” and Adelphos, which means “brother.” Likewise, Philistine, if you break it down into Greek can mean Phile-Hestia, which means “tribe of the hearth” or “lover of the hearth,” someone who loves the fireplace.
This is an interesting symbol. It really refers to those egos, demonic qualities within the psyche which love evil, love to do harmful things, who love the fires of lust, to use our creative energies in the negative way. Yesod is the stone where the fire of life emerges physically and spiritually. Those who love the hearth, the Philistines, signifies any person who loves that energy but in the wrong way. They like to abuse that power through lust, through fornication specifically, or adultery. They like to get burned by that energy, to not conserve it and use it for God. So, these are the Philistines, those who love those egos, those devil qualities within the psyche, the conditioning of the mind. Likewise, the people of Israel must really liberate all the parts of God, all the qualities and particles of the soul that are trapped in suffering.
What we will mention is that to raise those energies, we must specifically work with meditation, which is allegorized in the Ascension of the Prophet. Muhammad's ascension represents at once how work with that power but also how to meditate, because he was contemplating God at the stone of Mecca. Then, in a sleepy state, he accessed that Samadhi, ecstasy, Satori, whatever word you want to give to it: a profound mystical state devoid of any subjectivity or limitation.
Sufis explained what we need to do to acquire that in Al-Qushayri’s Principles of Sufism. He states the following: “In general, it is to the measure of one’s alienation from one’s own ego that one attains direct knowledge of one’s Lord… I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say, ‘One of the tokens of the gnosis of God is the achievement of deep awe and reverence for God. If someone’s realization increases, his awe increases.’ And I heard him say, ‘Gnosis requires stillness of heart, just as learning requires outward quiet. If someone’s gnosis increases, his tranquility increases.’”
We emphasize meditation as the science in which we learn to understand the root causes of our suffering by using those energies for our spirituality.

​Selflessness and the Unity of God

In this graphic, we also include the Tree of Life. I want to emphasize the need to change. This Tree of Life is God, we could say, in His totality, the Being in all the levels of consciousness, from the highest to the lowest. We, of course, are in Malkuth, the bottom, this physical sphere, but we are still part of God, that needs to obey and to submit in Islam or to bow to the will of divinity. We do so by comprehending and striving against our own defects.
To understand mystical experience, the truth, we must overcome our conditioned mind, because, it is that sense of self which blocks us from accessing that mystical experience. As Abu Sa'id stated the following, “Wherever the delusion of your selfhood appears—there’s hell. Wherever ‘you’ aren't—that's heaven.” Sense of self, selfhood, is ego. That's really our hell, our suffering. That is the opposite of the bliss, selflessness, virtue, and ecstasy of God.
Bayazid Bistami also stated the following, in relation to this quote: “I came out of Bayazid-ness as a snake from its skin. Then I looked. I saw that lover, Beloved, and love are one, because in that state of unification all can be one.”
This Tree of Life, we represent as different modalities of consciousness, of being, but they are one tree. Just as we look at a physical tree, it has many branches. It is really one integral living being. Likewise, this Tree of Life and its many parts is really one whole. There's no demarcation between this teaching and the doctrine of Tawhid in Islam, because within God, all is one, but He manifests in different ways so that we can access him and gain knowledge. Of course, when Bayazid says, “I came out of my skin like a snake,” he is talking about the shell of our terrestrial personality to express that creative divine potential, the kundalini serpent, shedding the impurities of the mind in order to elevate those forces within us.
What do we need to do? We need to seek. As the book of Matthew, chapter 7, verses 7-8 states, “Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh, recieveth, and he that seeketh, findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”
Sufis have a very similar parallel about this quest for self-knowledge, of knowing the divine. This quote goes towards the explanation of the three levels of religion that we discussed. “Search for what you are asked about in the sanctuary of knowledge, Shariah,” meaning, the books and audio lectures or whatever scripture you have an affinity toward to study, let that be your sanctuary where you study divine wisdom. It is also the conduct we need to develop in order to experience the divine.
“If you do not find it there, then in the battlefield of wisdom,” is the path of Tariqah which, again, in Arabic, is the path of Mujahida, which is striving, or the path of jihad, path of war against the enemies of Israel, the ego, our negative sense of self. “If you still do not find it, weigh it with the unity,” Haqiqah, the truth, which you find when the body is in silence, in which the soul escapes from its material conditioning, its material shell, and ascends that Tree of Life that we are viewing. If it is not to be found in any of these places; if you're searching for the knowledge of the truth in yourself and if you don't find it in the books; if you don't find it in your daily life and your actions; if you don't find it in the highest levels of spirituality, in the unity, it says, “If you haven't found it in any of these places, strike Satan in the face with it.”
This has to do with verification of teaching. We may read about a doctrine, study it, be very devout Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., but it doesn't mean that we've experienced God, the truth. We need to learn how to experiment, to test our knowledge of ourselves with scripture, and if we don't find it there, within our daily actions, then we must reject our methods. Then, seek the knowledge in the truth and the experience of the divine. If we are very attached to, maybe, a certain quality of ours or a belief, if we don't find that verified in anything we have read, experienced, whether in our daily life or in meditation, then strike Satan in the face with it. Meaning, you got to be very strict with your analysis. Meaning, do not believe or disbelieve anything, but experiment, verify.
Buddha said, "Do not take my word or face value or because you have respect for me. Instead, test my words like gold." Scratch it. Burn it. Do what you will with it in order to verify that it is what it is. Likewise, anything we seek to verify, we should test it in accordance with these three levels of religion: Shariah or conduct, religious scripture; Tariqah, our actions, our daily life; and Haqiqah, the Samadhi experience, where we are united with the truth. We don't need to really conceptualize so much. We simply know, have the experience.  If it is not found in any of those places, well, discard it. It is not true. That which is true is what you have verified, not what you believe, since it never leaves your heart. It is eternal. Now, to experience that, again, we emphasize mindfulness.

Self-Remembrance, Spiritual Practice, and the Present Moment

In this image, we have a man performing adhan, the call to prayer in Islam, in which they pray five times a day, which is a beautiful discipline, if done consciously, with awareness, representing the need to be vigilant psychologically, moment by moment. In Gnosis, we seek to pray more than five times a day. We seek to pray every moment. For this, Sufis also teach the same thing. "The greatest form of prayer is watchfulness of the moments," is what one of the Sufis we quoted, stated. We need to awaken consciousness to be aware of ourselves, to remember the presence of the divine, hudur.
There are steps and grades to how we contemplate the divine. Probably, one of the most important quotes from this Scripture we've been citing, Al-Risalah, is the following, "Al-Jurayri said that, whoever does not establish awe of duty and vigilance in his relationship to God will not arrive at disclosure of the unseen or contemplation, mushahida, of the divine."
Awe of duty means, to have reverence for one's practices, one's discipline. To meditate 10 minutes a day, 20 minutes, an hour, to mantralize, to pronounce sacred sounds or mantras, etc. daily. Whatever discipline we engage with, we must feel that awe in reverence of the divine in that act and make it consistent. Because if we don't practice one day, we practice every other day, we are not establishing awe of duty, which is a responsibility of the soul to work for God, for the Being. In that way, if one does not establish that, one cannot arrive at disclosure, meaning, the tearing of the veil, the experience, to perceive God directly, to witness the divine. That is in essence of contemplation, mushahida.
Again, when we have experienced that, when we have tasted that, we in turn can orient ourselves in our daily life and guide ourselves to know how to live appropriately. Whatever problems we face, whatever difficulties or challenges we experience, the Being can solve that, will arrange the means for us to comprehend what in us produces our suffering and how can we eliminate that, and also, how we can resolve difficulties in life. It is by accessing this witnessing of God or practicing the shahida or mushahida, contemplation and meditation, in which we truly realize that there is no “I,” there is no me, there is no self, there is only Him.
Ibn Karbala'i stated the following:
“When the seeker realizes the station of contemplation (mushāhida), which is witnessing God’s Essence comprehending and encompassing all phenomena,” meaning, this whole Tree of Life. He is really in all aspects of this graphic, whether from the highest or the lowest. We are part of him but we are in the densest sphere. We have to learn how to ascend, to go up.
“Does not your Lord suffice, since He is witness over all things?” (41:53) When someone fulfills this precept, meaning, remembering God in our mind, our heart, our body, we then witness Him and He through us.
“He continually witnesses lights from the mundus invisibilis.” This is a reference to how in meditation, people who are remembering God may experience lights, clairvoyant images, experiences, whether in the dream state or when the physical body is at rest, when we are concentrating on God.
“From such a mystic’s perspective, this world and the hereafter are one and the same. This can only be realized by a vision that is all heart and spirit, not a view bound by mere mud and mire.” What is this mud and mire? These are our own afflictions which we need to conquer.
The vision of the heart and spirit is the work of Tiphereth, the Human Soul, that unconditioned will that can free the rest of the consciousness. It is the symbol of the knight saving the maiden from the dragon, which is in us. That maiden is our divine consciousness, Geburah. The Human Soul is the warrior, the spiritual fighter, the human soul that must work to be married with his Guinevere, so Lancelot with Guinevere, the marriage of the two souls. Arthur of course, is the king, the Spirit whom we have to work with.

​The Science of Certainty in Meditation

Now, we discuss in the Qur’an, the nature of developing certainty of the truth and knowing the truth. Many asked Prophet Muhammad and complained to him that they cannot experience the divine, that they do not know the divine. They do not know the unknowable. This is emphasized in Al-Baqarah, surah 2, verse 118: “Those who have no knowledge (Marifah),” or you could say ilm in Arabic as well. “‘Why does not Allah speak to us or come to us a sign?’ So said those who are before them, [words] similar to what they say? Alike are their hearts. We have certainly made the signs clear for people who have certainty.”
What does it mean to be certain? To verify. To know. That is the essence of Gnosis, of Marifah, spiritual knowledge.
You could say that there are three degrees of knowledge as well, or three degrees of certainty in Arabic. You have ilm al-yaqin. Yaqin means “certainty.” Ilm al-yaqin means, the “certainty of knowledge.” You have ayn al-yaqin, the “perception of knowledge.” You have haqq al-yaqin, the “truth of knowledge.” Now, with the knowledge of certainty or certainty of knowledge, you could say, one receives that by studying scripture, by receiving a lecture, from hearing a talk or reading a book. We gain a certain level of certainty, intellectually speaking, where we feel, “This sounds right. I can verify this. I feel confident with this.”
The next step is ayn al-yaqin. Ayn in Arabic or in Hebrew means eyes to perceive. It is what we consciously verify, what we consciously experience. Meaning, our soul is free of conditioning; we perceive beyond the mind, the intellect, and whether through an astral projection, out of body experience, or meditative experience, we come to verify something spiritual.
Then, haqq al-yaqin is the truth of knowledge, or truth of certainty. That is when the soul fully unites with God and is one with the truth in which there is no “I,” there is only Him. The famous Sufi, Mansur Al-Hallaj, was executed by the Orthodox Muslims for saying, “Ana al-Haqq, I am the Truth,” which of course is blasphemous to them, considering that he was saying, "I am God." A way to remember it, it was not Mansur who was saying that. It was God in him. Of course, the orthodoxy had him executed, tortured.
Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” Meaning, Christ, through him, was speaking. God, through him, was speaking. When we have that level of certainty, it is because the soul is fully one with God. One perceives as God, temporarily liberated from the conditions of the mind. Of course, one thing is to temporarily experience that, another thing is to make that permanent. In order to permanently be in that state, we have to remove all conditions, and that is a long process, a path we have to follow.
These three levels of certainty are emphasized in the Quran, Surah 102, “The Rivalry.” “Rivalry in vainglory distracted you until you visited the even graves. No indeed! Soon you will know! Again, no indeed! Soon you will know. No indeed! Were you to have knowledge of certainty, you would surely see hell.” Again, hell is, we mentioned, not just a place. It is a psychological quality. It is not a place of brimstone and fire. Those are symbols of how, in a moment of anger, we are consumed by hate, by fear, by pride. These qualities make us vibrate at a very low level of being, and make us suffer, make others suffer. That is what it means to be consumed by hellfire, the ego, you could say, our negative psyche.
“Again, you will surely see it with the eye of certainty. Then that day you will surely be questioned concerning the blessing.” Then, the truth of certainty is represented in Haqaa, “The Inevitable.” Again, Haqaa, that which is “inevitable,” is Haqiqa, the Truth. This etymology signifies that we will inevitably have to come to speak to our inner Being and make account of our actions.
“Indeed, it is a reminder for the God-weary. Indeed, we know that there are some among you who deny it, and indeed, it will be a matter of regret for the faithless.” It does not mean people who just believe in a doctrine, but people who do not want to change, psychologically speaking, who do not know the divine. “It is indeed certain truth, so celebrate the name of your Lord, All Supreme.”
The Sufis emphasized this doctrine of certainty with the following quote:
“Knowledge does not come about except by the prior fulfillment of its conditions. That is, one must examine things in a pertinent and relevant way.” Meaning, to meditate, to experiment and verify, to test it, to not either believe it or disbelieve it, but to be neutral and to work with these exercises and to see the results and to know for ourselves what is true, what is not.
“Then, when hints of the divine become continuous and clear, demonstrative evidence has been obtained, the perceiver, through the succession of lights and his deep reflection upon them, becomes seemingly independent of the consideration of proof.”
Again, these lights are experiences we can have in meditation, or when the body is at rest, the soul enters the dream world. In that state, we can awaken our consciousness and speak face-to-face with the heavenly beings. In that way, there is no intercessor, we simply know, from that state on that Tree of Life, those heavens; we verify the nature of heaven, those qualities, those levels of being.
“It becomes seemingly independent of the consideration of proof.” Meaning, the more we verify, the less we need to read. Then, we simply know that the truth of the matter and from our conscious experience, or conscious work. Of course, we are Shravakas. We have to study and learn the teachings and the techniques so that we can ascend up those levels of path.
What is a real Gnostic, an arif in Arabic? It is somebody who fully manifests God. People in these studies, we could say, are aspirants. We aspire to know the truth and to fulfill it. The Sufis emphasized these qualities in relation to the constitution of someone who really knows God, someone who has fulfilled Ma'rifah and has manifested Haqiqah, the truth.
The Gnostic is purified of base characteristics and the disasters of his nature. He stands patiently at the door of God and remains secluded in his heart.” Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
To stand at the door, as we see in this image, is the definition of a dervish, so the Sufi, the whirling dervishes, darvish, are those who stand at the door. In Arabic, it starts with the letter د Dal, or you could say ד Daleth in Hebrew: those who stand at the doorway of knowledge. The mystics of Judaism refer to Ma'rifah as Da'ath, the mystical creative knowledge of Tantra.
“He enjoys the good graces of God and corroborates him in all of his states. He has cut off the whims of his own self. He does not permit a thought in his heart that would summon to other than God. He becomes a stranger to the creation and is liberated from the catastrophes of his ego. He is cleansed of attachments and distractions and, in his secret being, is always conversing with God Most High. His every glance returns to God Most High.” –Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This reminds me of a Sufi poem by Mansur Al-Hallaj. He says, “O, my eyes, O, my blinks, my stares,” referring to God, that God sees through him and guides him in his actions. Which is why, I believe it is in the Hadith, the Muslim oral tradition, where prophet Muhammad stated that, “The one who loves Him,” or his God speaking through him, “For the one who loves me, I become his eyes, his ears, his sight, his taste,” and the soul is immersed within that being, beingness.
“Therefore, the truth inspires him with the intuition of his secrets, the secrets of the course of His omnipotence. This is why such a person is called Arif, a Gnostic, and his state is called Ma'rifah, direct knowledge.” –Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufis

Conclusion and Practice

We always conclude these lectures with a practice you can engage with to help you to experiment and to verify what we are teaching, and to test it, to know it. In this exercise, continue to practice mindfulness, self-observation. Be aware of your mind, your heart, your body, your three brains: thought, feeling and movement, impulse, instinct, desire. At the end of each day, simply take a comfortable posture. You can sit in the full lotus or half-lotus or in a chair, Western-style, whatever is comfortable to relax the body and to silence the mind. Therefore, go into your consciousness and observe yourself. Do not identify with thought, feeling, impulse, desire, etc.
There is a mantra you can utilize from the Chinese tradition, Chinese Buddhist, or Chan tradition (the Japanese equivalent is Zen), a mantra that is called simply W-U, Wu. Amongst the Chan Buddhists or even the Zen Buddhists, they refer to this mantra as a negation of self. It literally means “no.” When you are examining your mind, you could do this mantra, the mantra Wu. It pronounced like a long exhalation of a breath: wwuuuuuuu. The master Samuel Aun Weor explains, it is a hurricane, a breath. Again, it reminds us of the Ruach, the spirit, the wind. You pronounce that mantra. Relax your body. You can do this for 30 minutes, an hour. Let your body relax. Then, eventually, let your body fall asleep. You can pronounce the mantra silently and then mentally.
When you examine your mind, look at the different qualities that emerge, memories, preoccupations, fears, etc., and simply negate them. Meaning, “Well, this is not my God. This is not my Being. This is not my true Self. Therefore, I am going to tranquilly ignore it.” Let it pass with the mind of intellect. Observe it. Let it go. Continue in the mantra: wwuuuuu.
In the writings of Samuel Aun Weor, he talks about this mantra in more detail, but a very simple way that you can silence the mind. When the mind is completely in silence and serenity, the soul escapes from the bottle and you temporarily experience the Truth, Haqq, your Being. Then, He can give you the guidance that you need for whatever issues or struggles you have. 

​Questions and Answers

Question: You were saying that we always need to be pretty much aware of what we are aware of.
Instructor: Yes.
Question: Meditation is a big step in that focus?
Instructor: We say that meditation is the daily bread of the Gnostic. “Give us this day, our daily bread.” That bread of knowledge is what we receive in meditation. That knowledge that we receive from the divinity within us is Kabel, Kabbalah. We will receive it within our qalb, our heart.
This practice of this mantra, Wu, is a preliminary step. We do mantras and sacred sounds to work with positive energy, to accumulate those forces in our interior in order to develop serenity. When the mind is perfectly in serenity, we forget our body, forget our mind, forget our sentiment. Then, the soul can reflect the divine qualities from above, in much the same way that a lake, when it is undisturbed, can reflect the stars of heaven, far away from any city.
Meditation is how we cultivate that knowledge. It begins first, observing ourselves. In daily life, we observe our mind, our heart, et cetera. Then, in that way, as the Sufis mentioned and we have mentioned in this lecture, "It is by developing awareness that God can exalt us in our daily life, in our daily deeds." Of course, meditation deepens that awareness.
Question: I always think of praying is we are talking to God, and meditation is we are listening.
Instructor: Meditation is listening. Also, when we pray, too, we do not need any formula. We can use many formulas such as the Ave Maria or Pater Noster, the Fatihah, the Opening of the Qur’an, which are very excellent for lifting our mood. I recommend that when you begin any meditation session, pray. You do not need to follow any specific formula. Just as a child approaches his mother, “Mother of mine, father of mine, help me.” God will respond if your mind is silent. Pray in the beginning and then silence your mind and then receive that knowledge. To pray is to strive, to conquer ourselves.
Question: It is just talking to God. It is just talking, right?
Instructor: When the mind is perfectly silent, then we can talk to God even in a deeper level. When the physical body is asleep, the soul escapes its shell and we can enter into the higher dimensions. Then, we can talk face-to-face. Then, we can conversate just as we are conversating here. Very vivid and real experience, God will make a form or image to teach us something.
Question: What is the context you used ‘hermetically sealed’?
Instructor: From the hermetic tradition.
Question: I only know the everyday meaning of that.
Instructor: Well, the science of hermeticism is the science of Hermes, which relates to the God Mercury. Hermes is associated with how we use our energy. We say Mercury to refer to, not just the physical element, but to our creative energy. The power of Yesod, the moon, that sexual force is Mercury. How we use it is how we illuminate our mind. Mercury relates to the mind as well. When we work with that power, we can illuminate our mind.
Hermetically sealed means we do not lose any energy. We discussed previously, in Tantrism, the couple should not reach the orgasm, specifically, that it is forbidden for those students to have any emission. The Dalai Lama states that the creative energy must never be let out. Likewise, with our heart. Likewise, with our mind. It is the renunciation of that habit, in which we conserve energy and transmute it, transform it. Where, we continually are filled with that water of life, which is the seminal matter, specifically. Hermetically sealed means, do not waste your sexual energy, but also, do not waste your emotional energy and your mental energy. Your quality of the mind is determined by how we use that creative power.
You look at people in the world today in relation to pornography or sexual addiction; that is all they think about, because, they are driven by that energy. We need to learn how to sublimate it, to direct it to more creative and spiritual purposes, which again, elevates our level of being, as we are discussing.
Question: Is there any Quranic interpretation that you would trust? I tried three of them years ago. You do not know which one to trust, because you cannot read Arabic, and you are reading somebody else's thought form. Do you know of any that are good?
Instructor: I know some English translations which are commended. Saudi Arabia commends the Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation. There is also a newer one, from more Western academia, which I believe is called “The Study Quran.” It is an English translation of course, but the good thing is that they explain some of the original Arabic, transliterated. That is very useful for people who only speak English and do not read Arabic to interpret certain words, such as some of the words we were using, refer to some of those resources. Very useful.
Question: Getting back to as you think, feel, and act, what is, as far as being in unison with all of it, does that have anything to do with it? I mean, how do you help others with that, with people? It seems there seems to be, what I have researched, is the cremation of care which is, no one really cares, hence skull and bones.
Another Speaker / Comment: Think of it like when you put two pianos together. You play a note on one piano that's side-by-side, the other one will pick up that note, will respond.
Question: It is like the 99 monkey syndrome, or the hundred monkey syndrome?
Instructor: I'm not sure.
Question: That just by being yourself, you just rub that off on others.
Instructor: If you have a higher level of being, it can help another person to rise to a higher level of being. Because, if you are vibrating with negative qualities, such as anger, you speak angry words, you are going to provoke anger in that person. Someone who has no training, they are just going to react.
Question: Isn't anger part of our dynamic though, the sadness, happiness, anger?
Instructor: Wrath or anger is an ego, a defect.
Question: No. No. Are we supposed to get, with all the atrocities and slavery, war, etc.?
Another Speaker / Comment: Yeah. Well, there is indignation. Yeah. That is the soul that says, "This is terrible." That is a justified sentiment. Remember in the book of Judges, judgment, in which God judges humanity, not out of hate but out of realization that people are corrupt.
Question: Jesus was angry at the bankers.
Instructor: He was very radical. People think of him as this very emasculated, sexless figure with no will. He is the whip of willpower to drive out those moneychangers, which is the symbol of all the egos we have who have taken the temple of God in us and prostituted it. He comes in with the whip. Christ, our inner Christ, rejects them. Just as Muhammad said, “Kill the unbelievers.” Kill your ego, but it does not mean kill anyone outside your religion. The thing is, when Muhammad came to Mecca, after taking over the city, he went inside the Kaaba and took all the idols that were there and knocked them over and destroyed them, as a symbol. He is representing how in our own physiology, our energies, our mind, our psyche, we have to take all of those egotistical elements and remove them.
Question: From the Gnostic teachings, are you familiar with John Lash?
Instructor: No.
Question: Okay. He says that Jesus was a demigod.
Instructor: Well, in Gnostic and Buddhist terms, a demigod is a Bodhisattva, a master who is the essence of Bodhi. Sattva means essence or incarnation. Bodhi means wisdom or light. Wisdom in Hebraic Kabbalah is Christ. He was the incarnation of the Lord. Just as Muhammad was an incarnation of the truth, the Lord. Moses, Buddha, they all incarnated that light which the Christians called Christ.
The human person, Jesus of Nazareth was a Bodhisattva, a great master. He is very diligent and he is helping humanity today, although, anonymously, because, you see what they did to him. But he is very active. Any Bodhisattva is someone who works selflessly. He is a being with divinity fully illuminated within him, like Mansur Al-Hallaj. He said, “Ana al-haqq. I am the Truth.”
Those beings are very hard to comprehend at our level. If you awaken in the internal planes, in the dream world, the heavens, you can talk to him face-to-face. Personally, I know Jesus. I talk with him. I invoked him in the astral plane, and he has given me certain teachings that have helped me. He is a being that is very hard to comprehend. We say he is the head of the Gnostic Church. He governs countless trillions of souls. He has omnipotence, omniscience. He can help many people in many places at once without any confusion. That is the symbol in Buddhist doctrine of Avalokitesvara, the god with the thousand hands: that is Christ. All that light is everywhere and nowhere, or you could say, is not limited to any place. A Bodhisattva is a being that incarnated that. He is a demigod, part God, because he has incarnated the God but still, he is human soul. He is Tiphereth, the physical person.
Question: Personally, how are you gauging what is going on right now in this third dimensional reality that we're living in? In terms of what is going on in the world.
Instructor: Well, humanity has precipitated itself on the path of destruction. It is very bleak. We are giving these lectures and teachings to help save the hat from the drowning man. Because, as the Qur’an teaches, humanity is going to be judged, has already been judged in 1950, I believe. Samael Aun Weor says that the Elohim, the gods, judged humanity and said humanity is worthless. It is really devoid of value. Therefore, since people no longer want to change individually, then the rest of humanity has to get cleansed. There is a big cleansing that is going to happen. When religion talks about hell, it is really just taking those souls that do not want to change, and nature does that for them, purifies them in the center of the earth, in the internal dimensions. When they physically die, the soul goes to those regions to be purified of those ailments, those shells. That is like a recycling plant. They will be cleaned at the end, but it is a very painful process. I do not recommend it.
Question: What about the Elohim, the lowercase gods?
Instructor: Well, we say Elohim, are masters, or any being that has fully perfected him or herself, is an angel. That is an Elohim.
Question: Really? Even Lucifer?
Instructor: Lucifer is a symbol of a quality or an aspect of our divinity, a very controversial one too. Luci Ferros, the bearer of light. Again, that light is Bodhi, Christ, but it is the shadow. It is that element of Christ that enters into imperfection in order to tempt us. He is the tempter. He gives us ordeals in life for us to conquer them, not to fail, but to conquer them. Therefore, he gives us hardships so that we can psychologically train ourselves. Of course, since the writing of Paradise Lost by John Milton, people took this term, Lucifer, and totally misconstrued it.
Question: Well, there is Lucifer and there is darkness, just like light in Catholicism.
Instructor: Well, yeah. We say that, that energy, when it is impure is the blackened Kaaba: impure soul, impure energy. When it is purified, that Lucifer shines as light. He is a ladder to ascend or descend. He is that creative energy itself, the sexual power. He is the power of the Holy Ghost, you could say, the sexual energy we have been discussing, Kundalini. That energy can either liberate you or, if it is channeled through the ego, destroy you. People who use that energy in a negative way, obviously, create harm. You see humanity today, people are perpetuating their suffering because they are addicted to negative habits.
Question: Getting back to the negative habits, whether it is the sexual thing or drinking or whatever your past karma is, what is the best way to get rid of that karma?
Instructor: We have three steps in terms of psychological work: discovery, judgment, execution. The book Revolutionary Psychology explains that very well. You can also read The Great Rebellion. It builds off of that.
First, we have to discover our defects. Then, we have the judge them in the meditation after.
Question: All 2,000 of them?
Instructor: Well, there are a lot of egos obviously. You look at the Bible, how Saul destroyed his thousand, and then David killed his 10,000. Levels of a master that, first, in the beginning, kill a thousand egos, this is a symbol of a lot of egos, not a literal number. Obviously, if you have annihilated that many, you would be pretty pure. To be at a higher level, of course, eliminate 10,000. Ten refers to those 10 spheres of the Tree of Life. Meaning, you are purified in all those levels.
Of course, we have to start where we are at. Of course, the thing is not to get discouraged, because the reason why we have this teaching or any esoteric scripture is that there is a lot of hope. For those who want to change will change. For those who do not, they will not. You look at how the Qur’an talks about how people, when they are presented with the truth and the knowledge, they just rejected it, like Jesus, Buddha, etc.  Christ was assassinated. Buddha was supposedly poisoned. Socrates was given hemlock. He did not want to be exiled from Athens. Many masters were persecuted. It does not surprise me that people do not like this knowledge. Obviously, we do not have many crowds. Those who want to change will change and will be benefited by the divine. God really helps those who help themselves.
First, work on your ego. Eliminate fear, anger, pride, all those conditioning of mind. You will see, little by little; you will have experiences in the internal planes, where they are guiding you and they talk to you face-to-face about your work. They can help you. I have had that for a long time.

<![CDATA[Turandot (Act II)]]>Mon, 25 Jun 2018 17:25:52 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/turandot-act-ii
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from The Secret Teachings of Opera, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy: 

This opera is about the path of the Self-realization of the Being. Puccini unveiled, in his work, the intimate process and development of the soul, how to unify the consciousness with Christ and the Divine Mother. Self-realization is the complete integration of the soul with the Being, to manifest the complete potential of our Tree of Life. We seek to realize the Self, the Divine Mother, and all the parts of our Being, while our divinity, our Being, seeks to realize us.

As stated by Samael Aun Weor in Tarot and Kabbalah:

Our own particular Monad (Self, Being) needs us and we need it. Once, while speaking with my Monad, my Monad told me, “I am self-realizing Thee; what I am doing, I am doing for Thee.”

Otherwise, why are we living? The Monad wants to realize the Self and that is why we are here. This is our objective. 

The Divine Mother Kundalini, the divine feminine, the Heavenly Princess Turandot, will only marry a man of noble blood. To possess noble blood is to be an initiate, to successfully complete the necessary trials, ordeals, and rites of purification. This is to be worthy to achieve the goal: Self-realization, the Resurrection of the Being within the soul.

​The Minor and Major Mysteries

Act I demonstrated the Minor Mysteries, the probationary path. The Minor Mysteries exist to test the disciple, to see whether one will qualify for entering the Major Mysteries. Any disciple must be tested to see if he or she is serious about the path of initiation. According to Samael Aun Weor, there are nine degrees or initiations of Minor Mysteries that the student must pass before qualifying for the Major Mysteries or Initiations of Fire: the awakening and development of the Kundalini.

The Minor Mysteries involve ordeals and mystical experiences. The disciple, in the astral world, witnesses him or herself entering the interior of the earth. Symbolically, we must face our own psychological impurities, our own filthiness and degeneration. This is not so that we can become morbid people, filled with self-flagellation and shame. The sole intention of introspection, of meditation, is to acquire change. We must make an inner account of ourselves: what defects do we possess in abundance, and what virtues do we lack? If we do not confront ourselves, if we are unwilling to take responsibility and ownership of our mistakes, then we will not enter the Major Mysteries. People who fail in the probationary path eventually leave Gnosis, simply because they see no benefit from the practices. They cannot confront the reality of their mind and the psychological causes of their suffering.

The student must be tested and prepared for awakening and raising the Kundalini in a marriage. The serpentine fire rises within the spinal canals of the lower five bodies of the Tree of Life: Malkuth, the physical body; Yesod, the vital body; Hod, the astral body; Netzach, the mental body; and Tiphereth, the causal body. Raising and developing the Kundalini within the spine of each body constitutes one initiation of Major Mysteries. The Major Mysteries, or five Initiations of Fire, are accomplished through the Perfect Matrimony:  the union of two pure souls, one who loves more, and the other who loves better.

Single and married people can advance through the Minor Mysteries, but only married couples can awaken the sacred fire of Kundalini and enter the Major Mysteries or Mysteries of the Fire.

Calaf, the exiled Prince of Tartary, conquered certain trials and temptations in Act I. He was tested in his resolve and pursuit of initiation. Every student who enters Gnosis is on probation. All must walk the probationary path, to complete the Minor Mysteries. Before the law of divinity and karma, we are given the opportunity to prove ourselves in the Minor Mysteries, since all of us, without exception, are delinquents, demons, criminals before God. Anyone who has the ego alive is an infidel, an unbeliever, a stranger to the kingdom of heaven. It doesn't matter what we believe, because if we possess anger, lust, desire, it means we are not perfect, but are demonic beings.

The purpose of these studies is to know the heavens of the Tree of Life, to no longer be an outsider, an inhabitant of the Abyss.  This can only occur when we remove the garbage of the psyche, our psychological defects. For as Jesus taught us:

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." —Matthew 5:48

Calaf undergoes the Minor Mysteries in his confrontations with three enigmatic figures: Ping, Pang, and Pong. As I stated, the mystery of their significance is found in the vowels of their names: I, A, O. Ping, Pang, and Pong represent Diablo, the devil, the ego. These three individuals help Turandot to govern the lunar multitudes. Who are the lunar multitudes? The people of Peking who worship the moon, mechanicity and the Second Death. Similarly, the commoners also clamored and confronted the Prince, seeking to dissuade him from ringing the fatal gong three times to awaken the Divine Princess Turandot.

Ringing the gong three times symbolizes the work in a matrimony. Remember that the Kundalini is coiled three and a half times, asleep, within the Chakra Muladhara, until the couple awakens the serpent of fire through sexual magic. The number three also reminds us of the three primary forces: Holy Affirmation (man), Holy Negation (woman), and Holy Conciliation (sexual union). Once that serpent is awakened, it begins its journey up the thirty-three vertebrate of the spinal column, the thirty-three canyons or degrees of Freemasonry. The work of raising the Kundalini up each vertebra is the path of the Major Mysteries, which are symbolized by Turandot's three riddles.

These three riddles synthesize and contain within themselves the mysteries of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Kabbalah and Alchemy, which we will explain in detail today.

​The Mysteries of Diablo, IAO, Lucifer

The counselors of the palace—Ping, Pang, and Pong—announce the call of the city’s fatal gong. The palace and the streets are stirred, in uproar, because a new disciple has awakened the serpentine fire Kundalini, the Divine Princess Turandot, within his spinal column. The Prince Calaf has entered the Major Mysteries... a rare and dangerous occurrence! Many are those who challenge love (Binah, the Holy Spirit) but fail to eliminate the ego. The trials of the thirteenth arcanum—​the work against the disintegration of the animal "I"—​is tremendously difficult, precisely due to the nature of the mind and temptation.

In relation to this topic, Ping, Pang, and Pong represent Diablo, IAO, the power of Lucifer. This name scandalizes the religious fanatics who do not understand esoterism, who have been educated poorly. Yet when we comprehend some etymology and have direct experiences from meditation, the beauty of Lucifer’s role in the cosmic drama becomes clear.

Lucifer is not just some person outside of us, but something internal and personal for each one of us. Each one of us has his own Lucifer, who is part of our Being. Lucifer comes from the Latin term lucis: “light”; and fer, fero: “to bear, carry, support, lift, hold, take up”; these terms literally join to form “bearer of light.”

But what is that light? The Christic energy.

Lucifer in heaven is divine, is Christ. Lucifer is the power that gives sexual impulse or longing, which is natural, divine. Without sexual power, without the creative fire, we cannot experience divine love, the beauty of the soul, or the perfect matrimony. The energies of Lucifer are beyond good and evil, but are channeled and conditioned based on our level of being. The problem is not the light, but when it is channeled through the ego. When the light becomes corrupted due to our own desires, defects, and impurities, that light constitutes Diablo, the devil.

Lucifer is our own light that we have polluted within our psyche due to our mistaken actions. Because we created the ego, we transformed Lucifer into a devil, into diablo. Lucifer is properly named Christus-Lucifer, the light of Christ, because this light is part of our Being, but who is mixed with desire, with egotism, due to our own mistakes.

Lucifer is the part of our Being who provides tests and temptations in 
this physical world and in dreams. But why? Why would part of our Being do this? His purpose in the path of Self-realization is to provide us with necessary training and experiences. Without temptation, we could not develop wisdom.

Does an inexperienced soldier, who trains inconsistently, equal a seasoned warrior who trains his hardest every day? The same principle applies to meditation and the development of the soul. People who never face great adversities, painful tragedies, can never really know their true character and develop qualities like heroism, veracity, and strength.

Temptation is fire. Triumph over temptation is light. Lucifer gives us the fires and pressure of adversity so that we can perceive our own defects. Without terrible ordeals, we cannot see our most secret faults. Without temptation, we cannot confront ourselves and change.

Therefore, Lucifer, portrayed through Ping, Pang, and Pong, Diablo, IAO, plays an essential function in this opera. At the beginning of Act II, Ping, Pang and Pong are organizing preparations for either a wedding or a funeral. This indicates to us that Lucifer is very active in the probationary path, as well as the trials of the thirteenth arcanum, the Major Mysteries. They are preparing for the outcome of the funereal trials, the three riddles that Calaf must answer before Turandot and the palace. Everyone is agitated because no one knows what the result will be: will Calaf become a Master of Major Mysteries, or will he fail and enter devolution within the abyss?

Such a struggle is beautifully depicted in Friedrich Nietzsche’s book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The following excerpt comes from “On the Tree of the Mountainside,” or the Tree of Life that stands upon the mountain of initiation. Zarathustra here gives some advice to a young boy who longs for the heights, who wants to enter the Major Mysteries.

“You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. You are worn from your search and overawake. You aspire to the free heights, your soul thirsts for the stars (for Urania, the Divine Mother Nut, the cosmic space in the Egyptian mysteries). But your wicked instincts, too, thirst for freedom. Your wild dogs want freedom; they bark with joy in their cellar when your spirit plans to open all prisons.” —Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

This indicates that when you’re raising the Kundalini up the mountain of your spine, within your individual tree of life, the forces of good and evil enter conflict, battle. This is demonstrated by the writings of Samael Aun Weor. He indicates that we must wage very terrible battles against the ego as we raise the Kundalini in each of the thirty-three vertebrae of the spine. The following is from Igneous Rose:

Within the sexual matrass of our organic laboratory, the explosions of passionate fire combine certain ethereal, astral, mental, volitive, conscious, and divine arcana. This occurs to elaborate certain igneous elements, whose substantial principles belong to the Innermost, with the ardent fire of the erotic thirst.

The woman accumulates a very large quantity of elemental fire from nature while in the state of sexual excitement, and when her fire is combined with the erotic magnetism of her husband, then it engenders certain cosmic powers whose tremendous explosions open the spinal chambers.

The boiling passionate fires of man and woman, when mutually and erotically combined, create truly ardent tempests that disturb the atmosphere and cause the tenebrous ones, who are the escorts of each chamber, to go mad.

These submerged entities attack the intrepid ones by defending the fires, whose synthetic and scientific principles are enclosed in the thirty-three internal chambers of our spinal column.

These tenebrous ones defend their rights, and for this reason they qualify us as thieves of powers.

This is the mystery of Baphomet (Lucifer, Diablo). The rose (of virtue, conscious principles) elaborates its perfume with the clay of the earth. The slithering worm does not like the gardener who removes its clay. Our disciples will now comprehend on what basis do the tenebrous ones qualify the sexual alchemists as thieves. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose, “The Woman”
The mysteries of Lucifer, Arcanum 15: Passion, is the work of eliminating the ego within the sexual act. By removing the impurities of the mind, we whiten the darkness of the devil and create light. Temptation is fire. Triumph over temptation is light!

It’s interesting that 1 + 5 = 6. Arcanum 6: Indecision, the Lovers. The same kabbalistic addition exists with the 33 vertebrae of the spine: 3 + 3 = 6. In Arcanum 6, the disciple finds himself caught between the Virgin on his right: the Divine Mother Turandot, and the Whore on his left: Santa Maria, the Queen of fornication and the abyss. This struggle exists within the spinal column of any initiate practicing sexual alchemy.

The path of the right is a wedding. The path of the left is a funeral. The disciple will either ascend the Tree of Life victoriously, or will shamefully enter the submerged devolution of the infernal worlds. If we fail to eliminate the ego, then hell will do it for us.

If the Prince Calaf succeeds in the ordeals, he will die in the ego and be born as a soul, which is why Samael Aun Weor indicated in 
The Perfect Matrimony“The path of life is formed by the hoof prints of the horse of death.”

Pang prepares for a wedding with red lanterns. Pong prepares for a funeral with white lanterns. This is interesting because colors have a very profound significance within esoterism. The three primary colors: blue, yellow, and red, refer to the three primary forces: Kether, the Father; Chokmah, the Son; and Binah, the Holy Spirit. Holy Affirmation (the Father, blue), Holy Negation (the Son, yellow), and Holy Conciliation (the Holy Spirit, red).

The colors red, white, and black were typically associated with coral incense used by the Aztecs in their offerings to the Holy Spirit, Tlaloc: the God of Rain. The waters relate to Binah, the Divine Princess Shekinah, which is why the Genesiatic waters of transmutation are deeply related to the dramas of this opera.

Likewise, the colors red, white, and black depict the purity of the creative, sexual waters within the disciple. We become purified and developed as a consciousness based on the purity of our sexual energy. In the beginning, our sexual energies are black, filthy, darkened to clairvoyant sight. Through the spiritual work and the death of the ego, those energies become white, cleansed, pure, chaste. Afterward, through the awakening of the sacred fire, the energies become red with the serpent Kundalini. These gradations of development occur in relation to the Initiations of Fire upon the Tree of Life.

Therefore, Ping, Pang, and Pong prepare for a wedding and a funeral, because the forces of life and death are two aspects of the same thing. Binah amongst the Hindus is Shiva-Shakti, the giver and taker of life: Creator-Destroyer. Shiva-Shakti, the sexual power of the Holy Spirit, can create or take life. When the seminal energy is conserved and transformed, it gives birth to the soul. But when the sexual energy is expelled, we experience spiritual death, the loss of the soul.

Binah can give birth to the soul and provide death to the ego. This is the solar path. Or—​​Binah can give birth to the ego and produce the death of the soul within hell. Such is the devolving, lunar path of the black magicians. These two ways are described in detail in our lecture on Arcanum Eight.

​Initiation, Princes, and Fallen Bodhisattvas

Ping laments and proclaims the state of China since the terrible reign of Turandot: her kingdom is saturated with the blood of princes. This is interesting because people think of Lucifer as some evil figure. Puccini, however, portrays Lucifer with a lot of wisdom and understanding. The truth is that Lucifer provides ordeals with the express purpose of helping us develop light. Lucifer, therefore, does not work with Turandot so that we can fail, but so that we can succeed. This is evidenced by the great displeasure Ping, Pang, and Pong feel regarding the countless executions in Turandot’s kingdom.

But what is a prince or Meleck in esoterism? A master or warrior of Tiphereth, someone who created the solar bodies in the perfect matrimony. Such a person possesses the Solar Astral, Solar Mental, and Solar Causal Bodies. Such beings are called true human beings, because a true human being possesses these three vehicles and has the fire of Kundalini present within each one of them.

Such princes, in the past, once raised the Kundalini within the lower five Sephiroth of the Tree of Life and became what are known as Twice Born. To be born again is a matter of sexual alchemy, of using the creative energies to give birth to the solar bodies. There exist five initiations of fire or Major Mysteries. Through the First Initiation of Fire, such initiates raised the Kundalini within the spine of the physical body. Through the Second Initiation of Fire, they raised the Kundalini within the spine of the vital body. Through the Third Initiation of Fire, they raised the Kundalini within their lunar astral phantom and created the Solar Astral Body. Through the Fourth Initiation of Fire, they raised the Kundalini within the spine of their lunar mental specter and created a Solar Mental Body. And through the Fifth Initiation of Fire, they raised the Kundalini within the spine of the Essence and gave birth to the Solar Causal Body.

Many princes or masters were trying to answer Turandot’s three riddles, a symbol of working in the Initiations of Fire. To successfully answer the three riddles indicates that one creates the three solar bodies of gnosticism: Christ Astral, Christ Mind, and Christ Will.

It’s interesting, therefore, that Ping announces how many princes, or Malachim, were trying to marry Turandot by answering the three riddles. Why would a prince, who has solar bodies, try to enter the Major Mysteries again? This indicates that such Malachim were fallen, fallen initiates, or fallen Bodhisattvas.

How does one fall? Through sex, through being tempted by the sexual energy—Lucifer—by engaging in fornication after having achieved initiation. This is very serious—very grave—because these initiates betrayed the light.

What is a Bodhisattva? A master of Tiphereth who incarnates Christ. Bodhi literally means “wisdom, light,” and sattva signifies, “essence or incarnation of.” A Bodhisattva is an incarnation of wisdom, Chokmah in Kabbalah, Christ.

Just because a person incarnates Christ and completes the work, doesn’t mean that one is safe from falling, from making mistakes. Many Bodhisattvas, many Malachim or masters, fell because they engaged in the sexual act when it was forbidden to them, and since they could not control Lucifer, the sexual impulse. This is what happened with Count Zanoni…

When Bodhisattvas fall, they lose the light. Christ withdraws from them. A
ccording to Samael Aun Weor, such beings are truly worse than demons. But why? They had great responsibility and betrayed their commitment to Christ. Demons are at least consistent, but a fallen Bodhisattva betrayed the Lord. Therefore, who can trust them?

It’s important to note that we should not make the effort to find such people in the Gnostic Movement. Many students become fascinated with this subject and want to find and follow fallen Bodhisattvas. This is very mistaken, because, as we said, fallen Bodhisattvas are worse than demons. Why should we take advice from someone who betrayed Christ? We should only be concerned with the teachings and with our own practice—that is all!

It’s true that there are many fallen initiates within the Gnostic Movement who are trying to rise again. This is commendable. However, such people, when discovering their past, should not divulge their history to the public. It’s quite horrendous and ironic to admit that one is a fallen prince, a fallen Meleck. There’s nothing glorious about it, nothing to be proud about. To be proud for having fallen is to be proud of having murdered one's God. As you can see, it's quite atrocious, monstrous, to feel proud of such a fact...

We have a very special Sanskrit term to describe such not-so-special beings. We call fallen Bodhisattvas and initiates by the term hasnamussen.

A hasnamuss (singular for hasnamussen) signifies a being who may have solar bodies and development in heaven, but also has development in the ego. Such a being has a double center of gravity: one that is divine, within the spirit, but another that is diabolic, within the ego. Hasnamussen are beings with a split personality. Therefore, they are very dangerous, because in any moment, their diabolic center of gravity may manifest.

If we look at some etymology of the original Sanskrit, we can unpack many interesting levels of meaning:
  • हा Ha: a Sanskrit particle expressing sorrow, dejection, pain;
  • अश्न asna: voracious, eating, consuming; or, a stone;
  • मूष् mus: mouse, thief
A hasnamuss is a “thief, mouse, who voraciously devours or consumes a stone with sorrow, with pain.” What is that stone? Yesod, the sexual energy. In heaven, the sexual stone provides bliss, the foundation of our spiritual temple, but in hell, provides damnation and suffering. In hell, one is crushed by the destructive powers of Yesod, by the stone, through the lunar path of devolution.

A mouse is a symbol of the ego; this can also refer to a thief, because the ego steals the energies of God, uses it for corruption; to voraciously and passionately consume, indulge in, or spend the sexual energy for lustful purposes, produces pain.

Therefore, it happens in this opera that many princes, men of noble blood, fallen human beings, hasnamussen, wanted to return to Turandot, the Divine Mother
again. They seek to recapitulate initiation, to raise the sacred fire of Kundalini once again within their solar bodies. Through fornication, those sexual fires were extinguished, and must be rekindled once again.

Therefore, Ping announces that many fallen princes, hasnamussen, have been killed during the terrible reign of Turandot. In other words, the Divine Mother has slain many initiates through the Second Death. Why do people fail in these studies? People do not comprehend and eliminate their own ego. Or, even worse, disciples decide not to rise once finding the path of initiation again. Therefore, as evidenced by the executed princes in this opera, they failed the ordeals of the thirteenth arcanum and entered devolution.

​The Four Cardinal Points and the Tree of Life

We also spoke about the four directions. The North is Chesed, the right pillar of the Tree of Life. The south relates to the left pillar of the Tree of Life. The West is Malkuth, where the sun sets and vanishes into the darkness of Klipoth, the hell realms. The sun rises in Tiphereth, the Middle East, because Tiphereth is the middle of the Tree of Life and is astrologically associated with the Solar Logos, with Christ. It’s easy to see that Tiphereth is the center of the pillar of equilibrium and receives the forces of the top trinity, the Logoic Triangle above, the latter allegorizing the Far East: the heavenly city of China.

The sun rises in Tiphereth and sets in Malkuth. The forces of Christ, the top Trinity, enter Tiphereth, the heart, and descend into hell, with the purpose of illuminating the abyss of the subconsciousness, the unconsciousness, and the infraconsciousness. When the ego, the abyss, has been purified, when the disciple fulfills the Buddhist Annihilation, the soul can rise again with the Christic force. This is the dawn of Resurrection, perfection, within the Far East.

The four directions bear profound Kabbalistic principles. In the North, we have colder regions, which represent for us how the forces of the spirit relate to the mountains of initiation, to the cold, a symbol of chastity. Therefore, Friedrich Nietzsche often spoke about the mountains, snow, and purity of the spirit in relation to the North. The North is Tartary, the northern tract of central Asia, which is mentioned often in this opera.

Then we have the South relating to the left pillar of the Tree of Life, which is significant, because the southern regions of our globe are hotter, obviously. We go south of the equator, we find more tropical regions. The southern region therefore relates to heat, to fire, which is profound. The left pillar originates passion, sexual power, creative impulse, sexual craving. It’s also the reason why the left pillar can take one to Binah, Turandot, the Divine Mother, or into the infernal worlds. The left pillar is the left serpent, Ida, awakened in us through sexual heat, through a matrimony.

The equator relates to the middle pillar of the Tree of Life. Just as the equator is the center of balance for the planet, likewise the pillar of equilibrium balances Mercy and Justice, the pillar of the right and the pillar of the left, in the Kabbalah. Tiphereth, the Prince Calaf, has the duty of balancing all the forces of the Tree of Life within himself, because he is the center of the pillar of equilibrium. Human willpower or human soul is responsible for balancing everything in the spiritual work. We find in this opera that the Prince makes the entire city of Peking revolve around him, or as Friedrich Nietzsche stated in Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “Can you compel the very stars to revolve around you?” Through our willpower, we learn to raise the forces of the sun, s-u-n, as well as the Son, s-o-n, the Christ, up our spine, to reach the Far East.

​The Tarot and the Tree of Life

According to Ping, China once slept with the peace of 70,000 centuries. But again, what is China and the Far East according to Kabbalah?

The City of Peace is known as Jerusalem, Jeru-Shalom in Hebrew, Daru-Salaam in Arabic. That heavenly city is the top trinity of the Tree of Life: Kether, Chokmah, Binah; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. China, the heavenly city, the Far East, the Logoic Triangle, was once at peace for 70,000 centuries, which is not a literal number, but a symbol.

To interpret these mysteries, we must refer to the Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, since numbers play a symbolic function within opera.

Turandot is otherwise known as Shekinah, the feminine aspect of Binah, the Holy Spirit. She is the Mother of our Innermost Spirit. She is the Mother of the Tarot, the Mother of the Book cited in the Qur’an (as we mentioned in Arcanum 2). It’s also interesting that the name Turandot sounds like Tarot, the Torah, the law. Samael Aun Weor even mentions that the Divine Mother is "the terror of love and law."

​Therefore, to comprehend the mysteries of the spirit, we must utilize the sacred arcana.
Arcanum 7 is the seventh card of the tarot: Triumph. The conquering spirit, Chesed, drives the chariot of war: the solar bodies, in this card. He is our Innermost God who conquers the lower seven sephiroth of the Tree of Life. Arcanum Seven indicates how the spirit achieves wars and victories in His battles against the ego, so that peace may reign within the heavenly kingdom.

He accomplishes this war through his human soul: Tiphereth. The kabbalists often refer to the Sephirah Tiphereth as Israel, which is an acrostic: Isis-Ra-El. Isis is the Divine Mother, Ra is the Solar Logos, the Christ, and El is the Spirit, Chesed. Israel is the esoteric name related to the fifth Sephirah from the bottom to the middle of the Tree of Life. Tiphereth is the Prince Calaf. Remember that in Kabbalah, Israel is in love with Shekinah, the Holy Spirit. Prince Calaf wants to marry Turandot. The same meaning is here. This opera symbolizes how the human soul wants to die to the ego and achieve Self-realization.

By raising the sacred fire up the lower seven bodies or Sephiroth of the Tree of Life, the initiate achieves Triumph, Arcanum 7. Once the ego is annihilated, the human soul can prepare for the process of Resurrection, to be married to or absorbed within the eighth Sephirah of the Tree of Life: Binah. This process is beautifully depicted in Act III of this opera.

It’s interesting that Ping, Pang, and Pong announce that six men were slain in the Year of the Mouse, eight in the Year of the Dog, and thirteen in the terrible Year of the Tiger, according to Chinese astrology. All of this deserves a profound kabbalistic analysis.

Arcanum 6 is Indecision, the work of the human soul to fight against the Whore of the mind. The whore is egotistical desire within the intellect, heart, and sex of the disciple. When you place the number 6 within each of the three brains, you form the diabolic number 666: the ego. 6 + 6 + 6 = 18, Arcanum 18: Twilight. Twilight is the card associated with the terrible struggle between the forces of light and darkness, which especially occurs before the dawn of Resurrection in Act III. With Arcanum 6, the disciple must observe, meditate, and comprehend desire within the intellectual, emotional, and motor-instinctive-sexual brains.

Remember that six princes died in the Year of the Mouse. The word hasnamuss contains the word muss, or mouse, in Sanskrit. Muss can also mean “thief.” So six initiates died in the Year of the Thief, since the ego is a thief; it squanders and abuses the energies of God. While the ego is a thief, we likewise must become thieves of the spirit: stealing the energies of sex for the purposes of divinity. Such is the mystery of Baphomet, Arcanum 15: Passion. Kabbalistically, 1 + 5 = 6, again, since we steal fire from the devil through the Arcanum of the Lovers.

Also of note is the fact that the king of Tartary was also slain; he had a bow six cubits long, another reference to Arcanum 6.  He was tempted in the Arcanum of the Lovers. This reminds us of how Timur, the former king of Tartary, Prince Calaf’s father, has lost everything due to the downfall of the human soul, Tiphereth, the Sixth Sephirah from the top to the middle of the Tree of Life.

Remember that Timur, in the opera, is blind. The powers of the spirit are blind in us, the eyes of Ra are incapacitated. Our spiritual sight is lost through breaking the sixth commandment: chastity. Samson also lost his sight by giving away his secret, his hair, chastity, to דְלִילָה Delilah, to ד Daleth: the doorway into Lilith. Lilith is the whore of Arcanum Six: the night of the infernal worlds, the Abyss.

It’s not a coincidence that the number six even sounds like “sex,” a reference to the rites of chastity. Through breaking the sixth commandment, the law of sex, we become demons.

When the powers of the Spirit, Chesed, the North, are in command of our spinal column, then we become kings of Tartary, the Emperor of the Tarot. But when we allow the forces of the Spirit to crumble, to fall, through lust and the left pillar of the Tree of Life, we become kings of hell, the Tartarus. We are spiritually blind, ignorant, lost within hell, Peking.

However, by working against the ego, we achieve Arcanum 8: Justice. This card relates to the Caduceus of Mercury, as we explained earlier, or how we balance the scale of the infinite within our spinal medulla. This is accomplished through psychological equilibrium within our mind, heart, and body.
In Arcanum Eight, we see a woman kneeling in prayer upon three steps, symbolic of the three elements of alchemy: salt, sulfur, and mercury. In her left hand is a sword and above her right hand, a scale levitates. She is the Divine Mother, or any female initiate who is achieving equilibrium in her psyche. When we work with the left serpent of the Tree of Life, the force of Ida, we are working with the left pillar of the Tree of Life. This also signifies the work with ז Zayin, the Kundalini within the spine.

The left pillar of the Tree of life is governed by Binah: Intelligence, but also Geburah: Justice. Remember that the kabbalists teach how the soul and spirit are elevated through the work of the left pillar, by controlling the lunar energies of the left serpent: Ida. The lunar serpent can either raise one towards redemption or lead the soul into damnation, depending on how it is used.

Also remember that Liu, the servant of Timur, proclaims at the beginning of Act I, “How my master is fallen! Will someone raise him for me?” Geburah, the Divine Soul, Liu, asks for help to raise the spirit. This is when Prince Calaf emerges. Through our human willpower, Tiphereth, is how we can raise our spiritual forces. We achieve liberation with the help of Geburah and the left pillar of the Tree of Life.

When the left, lunar serpent, Ida, obeys the commands the spirit, the right, solar serpentine energies of Pingala, we achieve Justice, equilibrium within the soul.

So eight men were slain in the Year of the Dog. The dog is a symbol of sexual instinct, sexual desire, Lucifer. In the Greek myths, Cerberus is the dog who guards the entrance into the infernal worlds. Heracles, the Cosmic Christ, had to rescue him and take him out of the Abyss in one of the twelve labors. This dog is pleasant towards those who enter the hell realms, but is vicious and violent towards those who want to leave. This symbolizes how hell is easy to enter and difficult to escape: fornication is tempting and easy, but chastity and initiation is difficult. The lusts of the mind, our desires, fight against us when we try to steal the sexual fire from the devil.

Since eight princes died in the Year of the Dog, we can conclude that the disciple will enter devolution when failing to work with the left and right pillars of the Tree of Life, with chastity.

Thirteen princes were slain in the terrible Year of the Tiger. The tiger is a beautiful symbol of the sexual energy as well, Christ. We remember the Tiger Knights, the Jaguar Knights from the Aztec pantheon, who, according to Samael Aun Weor, were masters of the thirteenth arcanum: mystical death. They worked in the full elimination of their desires, their ego. Therefore, they are great warriors, great masters. They achieved perfection.

But in the case of Peking, we find that thirteen initiates were slain in the Year of the Tiger. This means that these initiates were slain in hell, through the Second Death, because they failed to rise in the solar path. The dualism of Arcanum 13 is allegorized in the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. He writes the following in his chapter “On Chastity,” or “Abstinence”:

I love the forest. It is bad to live in cities: there, too many are in heat (because most people take the heat and sexual fire of the left pillar of the Tree of Life and use it for fornication, for desire).

Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer (Divine Mother Death, Turandot, through the solar path of initiation) than into the (lunar) dreams of a woman in heat (Lilith and Nahemah, through devolution within the infernal worlds)?

And just look at these men: their eye says it—they know nothing better on earth than to lie with a woman.

Mud is at the bottom of their souls; and woe! if their mud also has spirit!

So what is mud? It is ego. What does it mean to have mud and spirit mixed? It means to be a fallen Bodhisattva, a hasnamuss with a double center of gravity. There is nothing worse than being a hasnamuss with a double polarity. A fallen Bodhisattva has a lot of power in hell, through enmeshing his or her spirit within the filthiness of the ego.

Friedrich Nietzsche continues:

Would that ye were perfect—at least as animals! But to animals belongs innocence.

Do I counsel you to slay your instincts? I counsel you to innocence in your instincts.

Why are animals innocent, even though they fornicate? They don’t have the intellect yet. They are still evolving within the mechanical forces of nature. They simply obey their instincts, without question or rationalization. They don’t have the capacity to discern good from evil, purity from impurity. They are innocent elementals. Once those souls enter the humanoid kingdom, they receive the intellect and become intellectual animals.

Those souls are then given the commandments to not engage in sexuality as animals, to enter a higher kingdom, the sexuality of true human beings. The sexuality of Malachim, of angels, is chaste. Since we have the intellect and can rationalize, we are more accountable for our actions: we are no longer innocent. It is at this point in our evolution whereby we can become true human beings: princes or Malachim with solar bodies. Animals cannot achieve that until becoming intellectual humanoids, because an animal does not have the intellect yet, cannot reason, or discern good from evil.

Also, we don’t need to reject sex as something filthy, but comprehend and use it in a pure way. Chastity or alchemy is purity of sex, not rejection of it. This is why Nietzsche counsels you “to innocence in your instincts.”

In the East, the Tiger refers to Christ. It also refers to the creative energies one must conquer in oneself. The Western equivalent, within the Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition, is the Lion of Judah.

Going further with numerology, the sum of all deaths under Turandot is: 6 + 8 + 13 = 27 = 2 + 7 = 9: The Hermit.

27 is a very interesting number in gnostic esoterism because the 27th is the most Christic day of the month. The forces of the Solar Logos are most active at this time. We even have special holidays related to the 27th of each month, which we celebrate within our Gnostic Churches. We also have the Advent of Samael on October 27th, 1954. We always celebrate certain Gnostic rituals on the 27th of the month in remembrance of divinity, and on October 27th we celebrate the incarnation of the Martian Christ within His Bodhisattva Samael Aun Weor.

27 also relates to the heart beat of any planet. Every planet has a specific term or lifespan, which is measured by the palpitations of the planet’s vitality or heart. Just as we all have a set number of heart beats for our own life, likewise every planet has its own heartbeat, or cosmic rhythms. These energetic palpitations fluctuate in accordance with the harmony of the worlds. Each heart beat in any planet spans 27,000 years. There also exist 2,700,000,000 heartbeats or palpitations within a planet’s life before it must become a cadaver, a corpse, a moon.
2 + 7 = 9, the Ninth Arcanum: the Hermit. The ninth sephirah of the Tree of Life, from the top to the bottom, is Yesod: the Foundation Stone. This is the Great Arcanum, the mysteries of sexual alchemy. Prince Calaf is precisely the Hermit who walks the path of initiation. Symbolically, he carries the staff of the patriarchs, the spinal column, and the lamp of Hermes, the wisdom of the mercurial science, the secret of chastity.

​The Role of Lucifer in the Divine Trials

Given our understanding of what Ping, Pang, and Pong represent, it’s interesting that they lament the state of disorder in which Peking resides. Ping, Pang, and Pong feel great aversion for what they are doing. They despise sending men to death. When people think of Diablo, the devil, Lucifer, they think of some being that is external and entirely evil. They don’t understand that Lucifer is inside of us; in our internal heavens he was divine, but when mixed with ego, desire, he is Diablo.

Contrary to popular belief, Lucifer, the light of the Being, our psychological trainer, does not like when the soul fails. The reason why Lucifer gives ordeals is so that we can conquer them. He wants us to obtain Self-realization. He tempts us so that we can become victorious. However, in the vast majority of cases, many disciples are failing in the work of the elimination of the ego.

Lucifer’s regal obligation is to assist Turandot, signified by the all the funerals Ping, Pang, and Pong prepare. And so they are greatly dissatisfied. You notice that they are not happy with so many dead princes. All they want is to return to the peace of their ancestral homes. Ping wants to go back to his house in Honan, Pang with the forests of Tsiang, and Pong with a garden new Kiu. This is why Nietzsche stated, “I love the forest. In the cities, too many are in heat.”

The counselors’ ancestral homes bear profound significance. They represent the original, pristine quality of the soul before the fall into degeneration. The house of Honan, the forests of Tsiang, and the Garden of Kiu, all represent the Garden of Eden, Yesod. We must return to Eden through the secret gate: Lucifer, the sexual instinct. The peace of one's ancestral home represents the happiness of the soul, since Eden in Hebrew means “bliss, voluptuousness.” Such bliss and peace are experienced in the perfect matrimony, between man and woman.

The light of Christus-Lucifer was pure before it became degenerated through fornication. Lucifer was heavenly above, but fell from grace when we indulged in desire. The only way to return home is through the door we exited—Eden, sexuality.

Lucifer suffers within the ego. He provides us with fire and temptation so that we can transform the devil into an angel. The myth of Prometheus teaches us this doctrine. Remember that Prometheus was punished by the Gods, because he gave fire to man. This is a symbol for how, as intellectual animals, we squandered the fire of the sexual energy and imprisoned Lucifer to the rock of suffering, to Yesod. In the myth, Prometheus was tortured daily by a vulture, a symbol of our ego. The ego eats the liver of Lucifer everyday, leaves at night as his wound heals, and returns to repeat the same situation. This represents how we continuously waste our energy through desire, the vulture, and make Lucifer, the Christic light, suffer.

Our sexual behaviors determine if we have light or not. If we are impure, IAO suffers in the soul as Diablo. But if you annihilate the ego, IAO is liberated.

Recall the Wizard of Oz, whether the film or the book. The flying monkeys, known as the Winkies, were servants of the Wicked Witch of the West. Those flying monkeys are the powers of IAO, but trapped in hell, devolution, degeneration. In the story, the Winkies chant, “O IO, IAO.” That is because the power of Lucifer, IAO, is channeled through the ego.

This changes when Dorothy, the Essence, throws water on the Wicked Witch of the West. It's quite a memorable moment in the film when the witch melts, representative of how through transmutation and alchemy, the waters of sexual magic, we can disintegrate the ego.

Afterward, the Winkies are freed from the witch’s influence and thank Dorothy, because now the powers of Lucifer are freed from the Abyss.

The four cardinal points of the compass relate to the four elements, as we discussed in Arcanum 4. Each direction of the compass has its mantra and element, as signified by:
  • North: the Earth, IAO
  • South: the Fire, the mantra S or INRI
  • East: the Wind, the Breath or “H” sound / exhalation
  • West: the Water, the mantra M
In The Wizard of Oz, the North is associated with the Good Witch Glinda, RAM-IO, the Divine Feminine. The East relates to the wind, since the Prana, the breath of the Sun, rises in the East, in Tiphereth, through the mysteries of Da’ath: sexual knowledge. The West relates to water, which we use to work against the darkness of the mind in Klipoth, the hell realms. And the South relates to the powers of the left pillar, the lunar fires of the serpent Ida, which we must purify and raise through alchemy.

This is why the author of the second part of The Flight of the Feathered Serpent taught:

“Look for the knowledge, which arrived again from the East (Tiphereth)!
“Look for the knowledge, which is written in the North (Chesed)!
“And you will neither have West nor South if you are diligent (in alchemy, by never losing even a single drop of the sacred wine of transmutation).”

Ever hear of the slang, when "things go South?" Hence you can see that if one fornicates, things really “go South," the soul enters degeneration. To fall into the West, into Klipoth, is certainly not pleasant either.

So why would a figure like Lucifer be evil if Ping, Pang, and Pong are not pleased with the failure of many souls? Why does the tempter not want the soul to go South and West, but rather than North and East, kabbalistically speaking? What Lucifer wants most of all is to return home to the Absolute.

When we eliminate the ego, unifying the soul with the purified Lucifer, we become terribly divine Archangels, knowing the Tree of Life. We become Wizards of Oz, Otz Ha Da’ath Tob Vey Ra עץ הדעת טוב ורע, Wizards of the Tree of Knowledge, knowing good and evil completely. But if we have ego, we cannot go anywhere.

Lucifer wants Resurrection. Ping, Pang, and Pong want a Prince to achieve the divine marriage with Turandot, the Holy Spirit. Binah, the Holy Spirit, must absorb the lower seven sephiroth of the Tree of Life through the process of Resurrection. Yet this can only happen with the radical death of desire.

Lucifer cares for Self-realization, evidenced by Ping, Pang, and Pong singing of the death of princes while the chorus shouts, “Gira la cote… grind the wheel, sharpen the executioners ax… blood and death!”—the song of the abyss. The counselors sing, “Addio, amore! Addio, razza! Addio, stirpe divina! E finisce la Cina!” This translates as, “Farewell to love! Farewell to our race! Farewell, divine lineage! And China comes to an end!”

An esoteric translation could include, “Farewell to the solar initiates! Farewell to the Aryan Root Race! Farewell to the solar dynasties, the masters of initiation, the heavenly kingdom of China, Jerusalem!” The race of the gods has ended; the reign of China, the top, Logoic triangle, is no more, since we are in the Kali Yuga, the Age of Darkness, an era populated by demons, hasnamussen, black magicians.

The Aztecs also stated in their codices that in the era of the Fifth Sun, the gods would die. There will be no solar men in our Aryan Root Race. Therefore, Friedrich Nietzsche famously postulated, “God is dead.” But in the future era of the Sixth Sun, the Koradi Root Race, “the gods will be reborn.”

Ping, Pang, and Pong also sing how, 
if Calaf succeeds in the riddles, they will lead him to the bridal chamber with a lantern. Remember that Lucifer is the sexual impulse, the mysteries of the bridal chamber, of Da’ath: alchemical knowledge. The lantern reminds us of hermetic wisdom, the lamp of Hermes within the Ninth Arcanum: the Hermit. That lamp, that energy, guides the initiate in meditation and daily life. When you have light, you know how to walk the spiritual path.

Ping, Pang, and Pong also proclaim that they will sing of love till daybreak. Through marriage with Binah, through Resurrection, one is permanently established within the dawn of the Solar Logos, the Christ.

The counselors also sing, ecstatically, of “the unclad body initiated into the mystery.” Through the perfect matrimony, husband and wife work in sexual cooperation, transmuting the sexual energy and annihilating desire. The couple uses the left pillar of the Tree of Life, raising ז Zayin, the Kundalini sword of the Divine Mother, to achieve liberation. But for that, the couple must conquer temptation, Lucifer, the serpent of Eden.

Our inner Klipoth must be cleaned, completely. The nine infernal spheres of the Tree of Zaqqum, the tree of hell, must be purified. Yet for that to happen, the Prince Calaf, Tiphereth, must first answer the three riddles of Turandot. These three riddles synthesize the three mother letters of Kabbalah, the four elements, the four cardinal points, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

​The Palace of Peking

When we begin the path, the solar dynasties, the angels, the Buddhas, welcome us with internal experiences. A palace in esoterism bears profound significance, since in the internal planes, seeing or entering a palace indicates ascension and entrance into the mysteries. Entering a temple or palace signifies divine favor and acceptance of the gods.

Any palace dedicated to the solar dynasties is made of gold, symbolic of the solar principles of the Christ. The Temple of Solomon, Sholomah, the Solar-Man, was made of gold. Samael Aun Weor mentions how the Church of Laodicea, in the internal planes, is made completely of gold, a representation of how this Church, the Chakra Sahasrara, the Lotus of a Thousand Petals, connects us with the heights of divinity.

The funereal trials take place in the palace, showing us that they are not meant to punish the soul. People often think of ordeals as something blind, given from a mistaken and blind sense of divine retribution. The truth is that ordeals are given to the Essence, the consciousness, from divinity, represented by the fact that Prince Calaf must stand before the nobles of China, the aristocracy, the divine beings, to answer Turandot’s riddles.

The reason why the buddhas, the Elohim, the divine beings, provide the initiate tests, is to see them qualify. The divine beings want us to enter the superior worlds with victory, with consciousness, with development. They don’t want the initiates to fail, but to conquer, but the only way for them to enter heaven is to be purified, for as stated in the book of Matthew, Chapter 11, verse 12:

“The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

We must be violent to our own ego by working with our Divine Mother Death. We must learn to fall into the arms of Devi Kundalini, according to Nietzsche. To do so is to face great adversity. As shown in the opera, we must overcome such challenges with sincerity, serenity, patience, and zeal. While divinity provides the ordeals to help the initiates, they do not ignore that such ordeals are very dangerous. How we respond to these tests will determine our fate.

​The Negative Confessions and the Egyptian Book of the Dead

In this next image, we see the Temple of Maat, Goddess of Truth and Justice. Puccini was well aware of the Egyptian Book of the Dead of Ani, which is the basis for his opera. Just as Prince Calaf must prove his psychological worth before the nobles of China and the Princess Turandot, likewise Ani and his wife Tutu must present themselves in the Temple of Maat to have Ani’s heart weighed.

Anubis is the supreme lord of Karma in our solar system, who weighs the hearts of the Egyptian initiates to register the purity of their soul. The heart is balanced with a feather, symbolizing how the mind must be balanced with the heart. T
he feather represents the air, the qualities of the intellectual brain, while the heart symbolizes the fires of the emotional brain. Notice also that a monkey sits on top of the scale, representing desire in the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.

Ani must balance his three brains through the elimination of the ego, meaning: he must achieve psychological equilibrium and balance. T
o receive divine favor and join the solar dynasties, he must be pure. If he fails, the monster Ammut, with the face of a crocodile, will devour him, a symbol of the forces of devolution that will swallow the initiate.
Arcanum 21: Transmutation, is the Fool of the Tarot. Those who fail to transmute and eliminate desire end up as fools, bohemians, imbeciles. The crocodile of the card threatens to swallow the initiate standing over it and the waters of sexuality. If the disciple fails to defeat his own lust, then the abyss and the Second Death, represented by the crocodile or the monster Ammut, will devour him.

It’s also important to understand that the Goddess Maat is the Divine Mother Death, since מוות Mutt in Hebrew means “death.” It is only through death of the ego that one can obtain truth, justice, and the entrance into the temples of the divine mysteries. Maat also, in Egyptian mythology, did not exist until Ra, the Solar Logos, rose from the ocean of נ Nun, the sexual energy.
נ Nun signifies the sperm or ovum, since נ Nun in Aramaic signifies a “fish.” The sperm or ovum are “fish” that swim in our creative waters, מים Mayim in Hebrew. From the sperm and ovum emerge all life. Similarly, we generate the Divine Mother Kundalini in our spine enter the kingdom of truth and justice when we transmute our sperm and ovum into energy. Remember also that the Hebrew name מרים Miriam, Mary, signifies, “to raise, to elevate,” since we are spiritually raised by working with the sexual waters of מ Mem.

On the right, the god Thoth prepares to document and inscribe the fate of the initiate. There is no middle ground. There will either be victory on the solar path, or failure: entrance into the lunar submerged spheres, the Klipoth. As the Qur’an teaches us in Surah 22, verse 70:

Do you not know that Allah knows whatever there is in the sky (the nine heavens or sephiroth of the Tree of Life) and the earth (with its nine submerged spheres)? That is indeed in a Book. That is indeed easy for Allah. —Al-Ḥajj, The Pilgrimage 70

On top of the image of the Temple of Maat are judges, including Hu, Sia, Hathor, Horus (or Aur-us, Oros, the gold or light of the divine spirit), Isis (the Divine Mother), Nepthys, Nut, Geb, and others.

There exist 42 Judges of Karma who evaluate the souls of the dead. These judges determine where the defunct will be placed in the cosmos based on their psychological qualities and actions. This is represented in the opera by the aristocrats and nobles who watch along with the commoners in the palace.

Accompanying this image of the Temple of Maat is a ritual prayer from the Egyptian Book of the Dead: the “Negative Confessions.” In it, the soul proclaims before the Tribunals of Justice that it has never sinned, because it has achieved radical death of the ego. Puccini knew this teaching well and allegorizes how Prince Calaf must overcome such funereal trials within the hall of justice and truth, the Temple of Maat, the heavenly palace of China, the Celestial Jerusalem.

Samael Aun Weor speaks extensively about these “Negative Confessions” in his book Cosmic Teachings of a Lama:

(From the Papyrus of Nu)

Let us now utter from the profound depth of all ages. Listen to me, humans and Gods!

The negative confession from the Papyrus of Nu is for those human beings who have achieved radical and absolute death.

After the definitive annihilation of the ego and of the three traitors of Hiram Abiff, we can certainly give unto ourselves the luxury of penetrating into the double hall of the Truth and Justice, dressed with the glorious bodies of Kam-ur.

To intend to victoriously enter the double hall of Maat without previously having passed through the supreme death would be useless… (We are not referring to the death of the physical body).

Only the authentic defuncts have the right to the negative confession. Indeed, only they can submit themselves to the terrible confession from the Papyrus of Nu of the Egyptian mysteries.

Let it be understood that the authentic defuncts are those who have died in themselves within the forty-nine regions of their subconsciousness.

Therefore, any true defunct can present himself, dressed with his Solar Bodies, in the double hall of Maat, in order to perform his Negative Confession.

Negative Confession

Homage to thee, Oh great God, thou Lord of Truth and Justice, I have come to thee, Oh powerful Lord.

I have brought myself hither that I may behold thy radiant beauty! I know thee and I know thy magic name and I know the names of the two and forty divinities who surround thee in this vast hall of Truth and Justice, who live as warders of sinners and who feed upon their blood on the day when the sins of men are taken into account in the presence of Osiris.

The two Goddesses, twin sisters with two eyes, Lord of the Order of the universe is thy name.

Behold, that I have brought in my heart Truth and Justice to thee, since I have destroyed all wickedness from it, for thee.

I have not done evil to mankind. I have not oppressed the members of my family.

I have not brought injustice in the place of Justice. I have had no knowledge of worthless men. I have not wrought evil.

I have not made to be the first consideration of each day that excessive labor should be performed for me. I have not brought forward my name for exaltation to honours. I have not ill-treated servants. I have not thought scorn of Gods.

I have not defrauded the oppressed one of his property.

I have not done that which is an abomination unto the Gods. I have not caused harm to be done to the servant by his chief.

I have not caused pain. I have made no man to suffer hunger. I have made no one of my neighbors to weep.

I have done no murder. I have not given the order for murder to be done for me. I have not inflicted sicknesses upon mankind.

I have not defrauded the temples of their oblations. I have not purloined the cakes of the Gods.

I have not carried off the cakes offered to the sanctified spirits. I have not polluted myself by committing shameful actions within the sacrosanct precinct of the temples.

I have not diminished from the bushel. I have neither added to nor filched away land. I have not encroached upon the fields of others.

I have not added to the weights of the scales to cheat the seller. I have not mis-read the pointer of the scales to cheat the buyer. I have not carried away the milk from the mouth of children. I have not driven away the cattle which were upon their pastures.

I have not snared the feathered fowls of the preserves of the Gods. I have not caught fish with bait made of fish of their kind.

I have not turned back the water at the time when it should flow.

I have not cut a cutting in a canal of running water. I have not extinguished a fire or light when it should burn.

I have not violated the rules of the offerings, the chosen meat-offerings. I have not driven off the cattle from the property of the temples of the Gods.

I have not repulsed a God in his manifestation. I am pure! I am pure! I am pure!

My purity is the purity of that great Phoenix which is in the city of Heracleopolis.

For, behold, I am the Lord of the respiration who maketh all the Initiates to live on the solemn day when the Eye of Horus in the presence of the Divine Lord of this earth which is Heliopolis at the end.

For behold, I have seen the Eye of Horus in Heliopolis at the end, therefore, Oh Gods! let not evil befall me in this land, and in your Hall of Truth and Justice, because I, even I, know the names of these gods who are therein and who are about Maat, the great Divinity of Truth and Justice. —"The Negative Confessions,” quoted by Samael Aun Weor in Cosmic Teachings of a Lama

​Calaf’s Entrance to the Palace

The Divine Emperor greets Prince Calaf. The Emperor’s name is never given in the opera, but it explains the meaning of this character very profoundly. Altoum is Kether, the Father, whom the crowds of nobles and aristocrats, as well as the multitudes of commoners, greet with such reverence, inspiration, and grandiosity. The palace of Peking sings in ecstasy before the throne of Kether, Emperor Altoum, because He is the Father of all lights, the height of heights, the Mercy of Mercies.

It’s significant that the mantra Tum is found in His name, Al-Tum. We explained the meaning of the mantra Tum in Arcanum Nine, which refers to the three primary forces. The consonant T relates to Kether, since the name כֶּתֶר Kether even possesses the same consonant, the Hebrew letter ת Tav, symbol of the seal of truth, divinity. The vowel U represents Chokmah, Christ, wisdom. The mantra M relates to Binah, the Holy Spirit, because מ Mem represents the waters.

With the mantra Tum, we invoke the three primary forces within our three brains: Kether, the Father, in the intellectual brain; Chokmah, the Son, in the emotional brain; and Binah, the Holy Spirit, within the motor-instinctive-sexual brain. Samael Aun Weor explains in Tarot and Kabbalah:

The Self-realized Monad is powerful. It has power over the fire, air, water, and earth (which can also signify the four cardinal points of the Tree of Life). That is why in the Egyptian Book of the Dead the devotee directs himself towards Horus and says, “I fortify your legs and your arms.” Likewise, the devotee asks Horus to fortify his three brains (intellectual, emotional and motor). This is because Horus needs the devotee to have his three brains strong. —Arcanum 7: Triumph

The mantra Tum is exceptional and is inferenced in this opera, since Prince Calaf is tested in his three brains, through three riddles, to evaluate his worthiness before the divine hierarchies of Altoum, El-Tum, the three primary forces of Tum in conjunction with the Hebrew spirit, אל El, Chesed.

As the ruler of the palace, the Emperor has seen the death of many initiates. Therefore, he questions the stranger, the Prince Calaf, to see whether he is determined and sincere in his efforts. He questions the prince not because he doesn’t want to see Calaf succeed, but because he is conscious of the dangers and the results of those who don’t qualify.

The Emperor states, in synthesis, “Please leave, so that I do not have to be responsible for or see your death! I have too much blood on my hands!” Even in the Metropolitan Opera performance we watched—staring Placido Domingo as Calaf—portrays the Emperor wringing his hands with grief.

Three times does Prince Calaf state, “Son of Heaven (Kether), I beg you to let me try my fortune!” This indicates how we must be determined to perform the work in each of our three brains, to learn how to fortify Horus within our mind, emotions, and sex; Netzach, the mental body; Hod, the astral body; and Yesod, the vital body.

The Emperor finally states, “Stranger in love with death (Binah, the Divine Mother Turandot). So be it!” Every initiate, when completing any spiritual works, always proclaim, “So be it!” This is very well known amongst members of the Gnostic Church.

At this point in the opera, the executioner of the law of karma returns to remind Calaf of his solemn duty before the solar hierarchies, to conquer himself through answering the three riddles, or to fail and enter the infernal worlds after being judged unworthy.

After the executioner leaves, a chorus of children enter, singing praises to the Divine Princess Turandot. It’s interesting that the children, symbolizing the youthful, vital principles of the moon, follow after the deadly proclamation of fatality and death, Saturn. The moon, astrologically, relates to the forces of Saturn. Through death of the ego, the rites of Saturn, Saturday, the Sabbath or sexual alchemy, is how we are born again as innocent children in the kingdom of heaven.

The children proclaim, “Do you not hear the thousand voices calling from the desert to the sea?” These are the virginal sparks or elemental souls of nature evolving from the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms. The elementals seek the bounty and blessings of Turandot, reminding the Prince Calaf of the glories of Self-realization that await him through the path of mystical death.

​Turandot’s Entrance

Turandot then emerges. She relates how thousands of years ago, Princess Lou-Ling "ruled in silence (of the spirit) and pure (chaste) joy, defying the abhorred tyranny of (fornicating) man with constancy (chastity) and firmness." Thousands of years is symbolic of esoteric ages, Logoic ages, development from initiation, as Samael Aun Weor describes in The Major Mysteries. This indicates how the soul once knew the Logos and the Divine Mother, the Princess Lou-Ling.

In the past, the Divine Mother was pure, untainted, within the soul. Through fornication, the soul fell and lost its perfection, and the energies of the Divine Mother were defiled. Turandot is lamenting that loss, the violation of Lou-Ling's purity. Her chastity was broken through the failure and degeneration of the soul.

People who watch this opera think that Turandot is just a woman who is very vengeful towards men, because the King of Tartary raped her ancestress. The symbology of this drama, however, teaches us to not interpret things so literally. Through fornication, we sin against the Holy Ghost and become strangers from the kingdom of heaven. We took the forces of the spirit, of Tartary, of the North, and threw them into hell, the Tartarus, the West. Therefore, due to our lust, Turandot is enraged with us because we fell. In synthesis, all of us have sinned against the Goddess Moon.

She rejects Calaf because he is impure, with ego. She even proclaims, “No man shall possess me!” or better said, “No fornicator shall have me!” It is only through the complete death of the ego that we can Self-realize, marry, or resurrect within Binah, the Divine Mother.

The commoners, the crowds in the palace, relate how Lou-Ling was raped when the King of Tartary unfurled his seven standards.  Seven once again reminds us of the Seventh Arcanum: battles, struggles, wars and pain.  This is very interesting given that Calaf and Timur once ruled the Kingdom of Tartary: now Calaf, having been expelled from his kingdom, seeks to regain the divine through his marriage with Turandot.  He, as the Bodhisattva, seeks to reconcile the conflicting forces of the Tartars (the soul trapped in the abominable ego) with the heavenly China (the Celestial Jerusalem, the Far East). Tartary refers to the spiritual forces of the north that are now channeled in hell, the Tartarus, and must be redeemed. Prince Calaf is therefore a hasnamuss, since he is trapped in Klipoth, and yet he wants to recapitulate his past initiations through the trials.

Turandot also relates how Lou-Ling was dragged away by a stranger like Calaf.  She emphasizes this detail very much, “You are a stranger. You are a foreigner. You do not belong here!” But what does her insistence on his "strangeness" mean?

Proverbs 2:11-17
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 
Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 
To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 
Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 
Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; 
Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: 
To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; 
Which forsaketh the guide of her youth
(the positive forces of vitality, youth, the moon), and forgetteth the covenant of her God (the Sabbath, the rites of Saturn, the Holy Spirit).

Any fornicator is a stranger to God, for the ways of fornication are strange and unnatural to the divine. Therefore, it is appropriate that at the beginning of this path, we are referred to as a “straniero, strangers.” In Jewish terms, we are gentiles, goyim, non-Jews. In strict esoteric language, a Jew is a master who has incarnated Yew, IAO, Christ. If we do not have Christ developed inside, then we are goyim, people with ego, since even the term goyim, backwards, can sound like “ego.”

However, divinity does not withhold favor from the fallen soul, because the Emperor and others show concern for Calaf and want him to be victorious in the trials. Or as stated in Deuteronomy 10:19: “Love the ger, stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Egypt, in the Bible, represents Malkuth, the physical body. We are strangers in Malkuth, this physical world, because we long, as the Essence, to return to the heavens, the stars, the Far East.

Turandot reprimands Calaf, that he is too unclean to marry Her. This doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want him to succeed. It only indicates that the Divine Mother is the terror of love and law. She is very demanding towards the soul. Absolute perfection is needed for resurrection. Therefore, she challenges him: "No (fornicating) man shall possess me."  And: "The riddles are three, death one!" 

To which Calaf replies: "The riddles are three, life is one!"  Both repeat their proclamations together in this beautiful aria. Truly, as we mentioned earlier, life and death are one. Love and death share same roots. As stated in Beethoven’s ninth symphony, or the poem by Schiller upon which the ninth symphony was based: “Both sinners and saints follow Her path of roses.”

Through Shakti, the Divine Feminine, we are destroyed and reborn, or as it is taught by the Christian mantra INRI: "In Necis Renascor Integer" ("In death I am reborn intact and pure").

The Three Riddles and the Three Mother Letters of Kabbalah

To help explain the significance of the three ordeals, it is necessary to refer to the three mother letters of Hebraic Kabbalah.  These letters are:
  • א Aleph: Air
  • ש Shin: Fire
  • מ Mem: Water
The three riddles or questions synthesize the entire work of the First Mountain: the path of Initiation. These riddles represent the air, water, and fire; the three brains; the three solar bodies we must create through the perfect matrimony; and the three elements of alchemy.

These three ordeals symbolize the work with water (Ens Seminis), Fire (Kundalini) and Air (Prana) of sexual alchemy. They also represent the brute semen (מ Mem, water), the metallic soul of the sperm (Mercury, Air, א Aleph), and the sulfur fecundating the sexual energy (the Kundalini Fire, ש Shin).

Samael Aun Weor explains the synthesis of these three alchemical elements in The Aquarian Message:

The philosophical fire must be searched for within the ens seminis. In the beginning, this fire is nothing more than a dry and terrestrial exhalation incorporated into seminal steam.

This dry and terrestrial exhalation is transmuted into the marvelous lightning of Kundalini when the priest learns how to withdraw from the altar without wasting even a single drop of the sacred wine.

We receive the flaming sword when reaching these heights. When the ens seminis is fecundated by the fire, it becomes the master and the regenerator of the human being.

The fire nourishes itself with the vital air, with the prana or universal life.

Really, the sexual fire, which is constantly inhaled and exhaled during the supreme ecstasy of love, becomes transformed into that terrific lightning that upon rising through the medullar canal opens the seven churches. —Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message

Samael Aun Weor also explains the following in The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled:

Three Witnesses in heaven exist: the Father, the Logos, and the Holy Spirit. Three Witnesses on Earth exist: the Breath (א Aleph), the Blood (ש Shin), and the Water (מ Mem). —Samael Aun Weor

Kether, Chokmah, and Binah are those Logoic energies that produce the awakening of the consciousness. They animate our three brains or psychological centers: Kether, the Father, in the intellectual brain; Chokmah, the Logos, in the emotional brain; and Binah, the Holy Spirit, within the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.

The three witnesses on earth represent psycho-spiritual and physiological elements, forces that, when utilized and transformed in sexual alchemy, produce the creation of the soul, the solar bodies. These three witnesses on earth also represent the three mother letters of Kabbalah. They also relate to the three brains, א Aleph, the air, in the intellectual brain; ש Shin, the fire, in the emotional brain; and מ Mem, the waters, in the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.

The true human being is formed by the creation of three solar bodies: the Christ Astral (symbolized by blood, the wine of the Lord in the solar eucharist), the Christ Mind (the Breath of God); and Christ Will (the waters of the spirit).

There is some interesting Hebrew etymology related to the assimilation of oxygen into the bloodstream. When א Aleph, the breath, the prana, is inhaled through our lungs and assimilated into our bloodstream in a conscious way, we begin to initiate spiritual forces. The Hebrew word דם Dam means “blood,” so Aleph-Dam forms אדם Adam, the perfect human being. Contained within Adam are the three witnesses: the blood, the breath, and the waters of the spirit, the seminal matter that is transmuted into fire and light.

​The Three Principles of Alchemy within the Zohar

The three riddles also correspond to teachings given within the Zohar. Puccini, as a master of Freemasonry, Kabbalah, and Alchemy, incorporated Jewish mysticism into his dramas, specifically with the three questions Turandot poses to Calaf. These riddles synthesize the work with creating solar bodies in the perfect matrimony. The Zohar can also elucidate how Puccini depicts three dynamics of the same thing: the principles of alchemy.

Rabbi Shim’on resolved the conflict [between the left and right pillars of the Tree of Life, as we discussed in Arcanum 8: Justice], opening with a verse: “It is written, Next to the enclosure are the rings to be, as housings for the poles (Exodus 25:27). Who is that enclosure? A closed site, opened only by a single narrow path, intimated secretly. —Zohar

What does a ring symbolize in the internal worlds? Marriage, Yesod, alchemy. To see seven rings in the internal worlds indicates the perfect matrimony, the union of two souls within all seven planes of cosmic consciousness, the lower seven Sephiroth of the Tree of Life and beyond.

A ring also represents woman, the uterus, while the poles are phallic in nature, the masculine sexual organ. But what is the enclosure? A symbol of woman as well, the feminine sexual organs, or “single narrow path, intimated secretly." The woman is the intimate, secret gate to Eden, which has only been allegorized in the scriptures and never taught explicitly until the 1950's.

Thereby it is filled, and traces gates to kindle lamps. Because it is a site hidden and concealed, it is called enclosure; this is the world that is coming (Binah). —Zohar

Why would the sexual act, the perfect matrimony, alchemy, be the way or gate to “kindle lamps”? Arcanum Nine shows us the Hermit of the tarot, who carries in his left hand the lamp of Hermes, Mercury, alchemical wisdom. We generate light through working with sexual transmutation, so that we can perceive where we are in our work. We also have seven lamps related to our spinal medulla, the seven chakras that must be awakened and enlivened through fire.

The sexual act is the world that will emerge, manifest, because Binah, the Holy Spirit, is the generator and supreme regenerator of the perfect human being.

Are the rings [of the perfect matrimony] to be—supernal rings linked to one another [since the supernal triangle, the top trinity of the Tree of Life, also relates to the three mother letters of Kabalah], (מ Mem) water from air (א Aleph), air from fire (ש Shin), fire from water (מ Mem), all linked to each other, emerging from one another, like rings. They all gaze at that enclosure, into which merges the supernal river [of Da’ath, the Akashic fiery waters of השמים Ha-Shamayim, the heavens that Elohim created in the opening of Genesis] to water them, and they merge in it. —Zohar

The rings of the perfect matrimony symbolize the solar bodies: Christ Astral, Christ Mind, and Christ Will, which merge with and are created by the fiery waters of Da’ath, השמים Ha-Shamayim. As stated in Genesis 1:1:

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ
Barasheeth Bara Elohim At Ha'Shamayim Ve'At Ha'aretz.
“In the wisdom, Elohim created the heavens (Ha-Shamayim) and the earth (Ha’aretz).”

ש Shin is fire, and מים Mayim is water, for when we work in a marriage, the waters of Yesod become inflamed with the fires, the ש Shin, of Christ, to create the heavens within us, the Christified soul: the solar bodies. This is Genesis, generation, which Prince Calaf must achieve if he wishes to enter the congregation of Israel, the kingdom of China, the Far East. Those without wedding garments, solar bodies, who fail to create them through the three ordeals of the Divine Princess Shekinah, will be cast out to outer darkness, where only the weeping and gnashing of teeth will be heard.

Housings for the poles—these supernal rings are housings designated for the poles, the chariots below, for one derives from the side of fire, one from the side of water, one from the side of air, and so with them all, constituting a chariot for the ark. —Zohar

What is a chariot? A solar body. Remember that the spirit in Arcanum 7 drives the chariot of war. Chesed, our inner God, must conquer the lower sephiroth of the Tree of Life to obtain Triumph.

One solar body corresponds to the side of fire (Hod, the Solar Astral Body), one from the side of air (Netzach, the Solar Mental Body), and another from the side of water (Tiphereth, the Solar Causal Body). All of these constitute a chariot for the ark, the Great Arcanum, the Ark of the Covenant of Sexual Alchemy between God and man.

So whoever approaches should approach these poles, not what lies within. As we say to the Nazarite, ‘Go around, around! Do not come near the vineyard!’ Except for those worthy of serving within, privileged to enter and draw near. Of this is written: An outsider who comes near shall be put to death (Numbers 1:51). —Zohar

Who are the Nazarenes? H.P. Blavatsky stated that they are:

“The same as the St. John Christians; called the Mendaeans or Sabeans. They designate Christ ‘a false Messiah’ and only recognize John the Baptist, whom they call the ‘great Nazar.’”

A Nazarene, in this case, refers to any person who studies esoterism but does not accept Christ, Iod-Chavah, Chokmah, wisdom. They are told to not draw near to the vineyard, the Garden of a marriage, because only those who were worthy and prepared would receive instructions regarding the Great Arcanum.

Why must outsiders not draw near? Because they are fornicators. Therefore, notice how Turandot ostracizes Calaf by calling him a stranger, an outsider. To approach Turandot, one must be perfectly chaste in thought, word, and deed. One must respond consciously to the three ordeals through meditating on and annihilating the ego.

The first ordeal states: "In the dark night flies a many-hued phantom.  It soars and spreads its wings above the gloomy human crowd.  The whole world calls to it, the whole world implores it.  At dawn the phantom vanishes, to be reborn in every heart.  And every night 'tis born anew, and every day it dies."

Calaf provides the correct answer: "Hope!" (א Aleph). Hope, as an aerial quality or characteristic of the psyche, refers to the Spirit, Ruach Elohim or wind of God.  א Aleph is Prana, the force of life that animates every atom of our physical and spiritual being.

When conquering this ordeal, the negative aspect of the serpent criticizes Calaf, when Turandot says, “Hope that leaves one disillusioned,” meaning, “you will fall no matter what.”

Why would Turandot say this? It’s because, as we mentioned in our first lecture, the serpent is dual: in heaven she is Kundalini. In hell she is Kundabuffer. Both aspects are represented in the trials.

Turandot continues: "It kindles like a flame, but it is not flame.  At times it is a frenzy; it is fever, force, passion!  Inertia makes it flag.  If you lose heart or die it grows cold, but dream of conquest and it flares up.  Its voice you heed in trepidation; it glows like the setting sun!"

Calaf panics, as any initiate does before the terrifying ordeals of the Thirteenth Arcanum. All of us need to radically die to the ego. Therefore, divinity helps us by showing us a sunset in the internal planes, which indicates how the Solar Logos needs us to die to desire.

Liù, who is watching with Timur in the crowd, pronounces: "It is for love!"  The heart. Thereafter, Calaf provides the correct answer again: "Blood!" (ש Shin). This shows us how the Divine Soul, Buddhi, Geburah,
Liù, always aids Tiphereth, the human soul, in battle against the ego, against the Second Death.

Blood, as a quality of passion, is the flame or fire of Christ. ש Shin is the fire that Moshe (Moses) saw on Mount Horeb, the immaculate Lord who appeared as the burning bush.  It is interesting that Christ is love, and in the ordeal relating to ש Shin, Liù proclaims that Calaf is fighting for love.

There are also many interesting astrological correspondences in this scene. Chokmah, the Solar Christ, manifests in Geburah because Geburah is not only governed by Mars, but the Sun. Mars relates to blood and bloodshed, while the Sun relates to splendor, radiance, Christ. Both planets relate to Geburah, since blood “glows like the setting sun” when “in trepidation.” The solar logos, the Christ, ש Shin, must inflame our blood through alchemy.

When conquering this ordeal, the Chorus replies, “Hold on, persist, you answerer of riddles!” Turandot has them hit by the guards, representing how, during the ordeals, the negative serpent fights for dominance within the initiates. As we discussed in Arcanum 9, the serpent of Moses fights the serpents of the Egyptians (the black magicians of Malkuth and Klipoth).

The third and final ordeal sums up the mystery of Initiation: "Ice which gives you fire, and which your fire freezes still more!  Lily-white and dark, if it allows you your freedom it makes you a slave.  If it accepts you as a slave it makes you a King!" 

After doubt, consternation and fear, Calaf triumphs in the ordeals and answers: "Victory is mine! My fire will melt your ice: Turandot!"

Turandot, as ice that burns and fire that freezes, refers to the waters of sexuality, the Mayim (מים) of Yesod. Mayim relates to Miriam, the Virgin Mary, Stella Maris, the Virgin of the Sea. Let us remember the Ninth Sphere of Dante's Inferno, where the lost souls, embedded in the ice of Cocytus, burn with the cold until their complete disintegration through the Second Death. Such is the path of death through the waters in hell.  מ Mem, however, as the final ordeal, also contains the mystery of Initiation, for it is through the sexual waters that one dies and is reborn on the solar path, through initiation.

The sexual energies are “lily white” through chastity, as any clairvoyant can see the light of a person’s kidneys, wherein is registered within the internal bodies the level of chastity or lust of an individual. Darkness or animal passion is the blackness of the ego, which darkens the astral and mental bodies of demons, the Lucifers.

Also, if you freely give into fornication, Kali makes you a slave of hell. Become a slave of chastity and the Divine Mother, and you will become free, a Meleck, a twice born, a king of Tiphereth.

Let us also remember that מ Mem is the thirteenth letter of Hebraic Kabbalah and refers to the Thirteenth Arcanum, which contains the very essence this opera.

Notice that the three riddles got progressively harder, from air: the mind, to fire: the heart, to water: our sexuality.  

This indicates how the aerial nature of our thoughts, א Aleph, is easiest to control. Thoughts are the slowest aspect of our three-brained machine.

The fires of the emotional brain, ש Shin, are much more difficult, dangerous, because the emotional center is much faster than the intellect. Emotions are very difficult to control, especially when they are strong. However, self-restraint is needed in ordeals and initiation, which is our own life intensely lived with rectitude and love.

The greatest ordeal involves facing our own lust in the motor-instinctive-sexual brain, מ Mem, the most volatile, dangerous, and consequential of the three centers, as portrayed by Calaf’s near defeat and silence during the final riddle. Since the brain of action is quickest, it is the most difficult to control. 

In synthesis, these three mother letters of Kabbalah contain the entire work we must perform.  These letters also relate once again to IAO:
  • ש Shin: Fire, Ignis – I
  • מ Mem: Water, Aqua – A
  • א Aleph: Spirit, Origo – O
Lucifer works through א Aleph in the head, ש Shin in the heart, and מ Mem in sex.  These letters refer specifically to the three primary forces within the three brains: Kether (א Aleph), Chokmah (ש Shin) and Binah (מ Mem).  This is how the Initiate is tested by the Divine Mother, to prove his worthiness through the rites of purification. The ego must die in all three brains.

Of important note are the three wise men at the funereal trials. These are the three magi of Christ’s Nativity. They witness the ordeals and await the moment when Christ will be born within the heart of the initiate, within the Prince Calaf. They represent the black, white, and gold kings: the gradations of mastery amongst the Bodhisattvas. Black kings possess ego, yet they have Christ inside, which makes them solar kings at the beginning level. White kings possess no ego, while gold kings have achieved resurrection within the Sephirah Binah.

The three magi unveil the scrolls, the answers to Turandot’s riddles after Calaf has answered them, because they represent the three magi who approach the birth of Christ within the soul. This occurs at towards the end of this Act. 

​Moshe, Moses, and Hashem: the Name of God

After answering the three riddles successfully, Calaf has become a twice born, a master of Tiphereth, whereby the crowd congratulates him ecstatically. He has formed the solar bodies in himself and has achieved the Second Birth. Anyone who reaches the Fifth Initiation of Fire is a twice born with the Christ Astral, Christ Mind, and Christ Will.

While Calaf’s victory is rather quick in the opera, the ordeals in actual life take many years of patient work and sufferings. It is said Madame Blavatsky created her solar bodies in ten years with Colonel Olcott, since she worked hard at first as an individual yogini. People with less training beforehand take even longer.

After conquering the ordeals, Turandot is upset.  She cries that despite her defeat, she will not marry any man.  But why? This indicates to us that Calaf, while becoming victorious in his ordeals to a certain degree, still has ego, and cannot yet attain complete union with the divine.

While Calaf succeeds, Turandot refuses to marry him because he is still impure; he still has ego. People often think that Turandot is stubborn, sexually prudent to deny Calaf, but Kabbalists understand how the Princess Shekinah won’t resurrect within a soul that still has ego.

In terms of Masonry, he is an Adeptus Minor in Tiphereth, not Adeptus Major in Geburah or Adeptus Exemptus in Chesed. To rise higher on the Tree of Life, one needs perfection in mastery on the Second Mountain, the complete death of desire so as to achieve the goal: resurrection.

The Emperor Altoum says that Turandot’s vow to marry is sacred. She still refuses. Her marriage vow is the pact of alchemy, which the Nirvani Buddhas follow at their level. The problem at this point in the opera is that Turandot, Binah, still wants further development, but a choice must be made by the human soul. Calaf, Tiphereth, either will remain in Nirvana and force Turandot to suffer because he is a hasnamuss with the ego very alive, or he will renounce Nirvana and win the love of Turandot by seeking absolute perfection through the complete death of the ego.

Calaf is presented with a choice after completing the riddles.  He says he will not force Turandot into his arms unwillingly but sings that he will have her afire with love, once his own impurities are completely dead.

Remember that Venus is love, which astrologically relates to Tiphereth. When Prince Calaf renounces heaven, marriage, he obtains the Venustic Initiation, which is the incarnation of Christ, the Solar Logos, within Tiphereth, since this Sephirah is also governed by the sun.

Only masters who renounce Nirvana to return to Malkuth to help suffering humanity, those who have Bodhichitta: the compassionate mind of unsurpassed enlightenment, who strive to eliminate the ego in its entirety, can become Bodhisattvas, incarnations of Chokmah, wisdom, Christ. This is what Samael Aun Weor referred to as the Direct Path, the path of the Bodhisattvas who eliminate the ego in one life, rather than over the span of countless aeons on the Spiral, Nirvanic Path.

Bodhisattvas work to completely destroy the ego in one life and to achieve resurrection, marriage with Binah: the Holy Spirit, once all impurities are removed from the soul.

Calaf, therefore, renounces Nirvana, marriage with Turandot at his level, and accepts that Turandot denies him now because his ego is still very alive. However, he says he will have her love him and will not force her to do what she does not want. 

This is why the crowd says, “You are strong!" because he is taking the Direct Path. Only the strong take this path, which involves tremendous sufferings and hardship, since to fully annihilate the ego is a work of perfection in mastery. Most initiates, once reaching Nirvana, end up taking the easier, Spiral Path, and since such Nirvanis do not eliminate the ego immediately, nor sacrifice themselves out of love for others who suffer in Malkuth, they do not incarnate Christ.

When the crowd says, “You are strong,” they are indicating that Calaf is now Thrice-honored, blessed by the three primary forces that have descended to help him. The three rays of the Sun in Arcanum Nine have descended to aid the Prince, the Hermit of the great mysteries, specifically the incarnation of Chokmah within his heart.

These mysteries are well described in Kabbalah through the symbolism of Moses. Moses in the Bible is a symbol for a psychological principle we must develop, and which is portrayed in this opera. Only a Moshe, a Moses, can take the Direct Path. Moses or
משה Moshe literally means “born of water and fire.” He represents our Christic willpower that has the solar bodies created through initiation.

The letter א Aleph can relate to ה Hei, the breath or womb through which one is born, the “hhhhh…” sound. א Aleph or ה Hei is the Solar Mental Body, ש Shin the Solar Astral Body, and מ Mem the Solar Causal Body created in alchemy, which Calaf achieved by answering the riddles.

Combine ה Hei, ש Shin, and מ Mem, and you spell 
השם Hashem: the Name. This is the sacred appellation of God, יהוה Iod-Chavah, Jehovah, Christ, within Judaism.

The Jews pray to Jehovah as follows: “Baruch Hashem Adonai!” or “Blessed be the Name of the Lord!” Instead of pronouncing the Unutterable Name, Jehovah, they use
השם Hashem to reference יהוה Iod-Chavah, Jehovah, which is the sacred name of God in the Sephirah Chokmah: Christ.

השם Hashem backwards, and you make משה Moshe, Moses. Only by forming Moses in ourselves, the solar bodies, can we incarnate Hashem: Christ.

See how everything is beautifully hidden in Kabbalah?

This is well described in Chapter 3 of the Book of John, whereby Jesus describes this process of the Second Birth.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born
(through the womb of the Divine Mother ה Hei) of water (מ Mem) and the Spirit (ש Shin), he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh (through fornication) is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit (through scientific chastity) is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind (א Aleph) blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit (pneuma, the wind, א Aleph).”

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (through the Major Mysteries), even so must the Son of Man be lifted up (through raising the serpents of light, the Venustic Initiations), 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (through Resurrection). 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (since at the end of Act III, the city of Peking is restored to peace, victory, and harmony). —John 3:3-17

The crowd becomes silent after Calaf’s determination and decision to take the Straight Path of the Bodhisattvas. Surprisingly, this is the moment when the Prince presents Turandot with one riddle that she must answer. If she fails to answer it, she must marry him at dawn. But if she discovers the answer, he will gladly die in the morning hours.

He asks her if she can guess his name. How do you say “the Name” in Hebrew?
השם Hashem.

Calaf asks Turandot to guess his name, or the Name: 
השם Hashem, indicating that he has Christ within him, the Solar Logos. He tells her to guess his secret, his mystery, which is the alchemical genesis of the Son of Man. For just as Calaf raised the serpent of Moses up his spine within the wilderness, he has incarnated Christ in himself, and now the Son of Man, Christ, the Serpents of Light, must be lifted up in his spine through the second half of the First Mountain.

According to Samael Aun Weor, Christ is the Lost Word, lost to humanity, but found and realized by the solar initiates upon the path of alchemy. Calaf is now in possession of the Lost Word, Chokmah, Christ, in his heart. If Turandot, in this case, the negative serpent or Kundabuffer organ, can tempt him, find out his name, his secret, make him fall through fornication, he will die at dawn.

Dawn is a symbol of resurrection, for anyone who incarnates Christ now raises the Serpents of Light and afterward enters the Second Mountain: the work of the complete annihilation of the ego before the dawn of Resurrection.

Prince Calaf was in exile from his kingdom.  He was lost, lost the sacred word, his kingdom, his prince hood. But he gains it again when he answers the three riddles in court, he incarnates Christ and becomes the Son of Man. He then asks Turandot to guess his name, the Lost Word, because he is in possession of it. 

Before, Prince Calaf told his father Timur not to say his name, because they were in danger. Now that the Prince incarnated the Lost Word, he continues to challenge love (Binah) through possessing Hashem, Iod-Chavah, the Name.

The sacred name of Tiphereth in the world of Atziluth is "Eloha va Daath Iod Hei Vau Hei."  This translates as "Goddess of Knowledge," stressing the great relationship between the Human Soul and Binah and Chokmah (Iod-Chavah).   The significance of Calaf's name (in Da'ath, the mysteries of Alchemy) will be treated upon in the final Act.

Emperor Altoum, El-Tum, the Being, is Osiris, Jupiter, Father of the Gods, Emperor of the heavenly kingdom of China, Lord of Mount Olympus, the mountain of initiation. With adulation for Calaf, Altoum states, "I hope that with the dawn, I will be able to call you my son." What Son? The Christ, the Son of Man who will rise from the dead and conquer death. 

As the Prince and Turandot disperse, the chorus sings of the Emperor's divine glories. The fact that we end this Act with a chorus emphasizes the Verb, the Logos, the Word. Christ has not only entered within Calaf, but the Lord is going to raise the serpents of light within lower seven Sephiroth, represented by the multitudes of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who sing with the sacred Verb to celebrate the divine Emperor.

The opera will now move ahead to the works of Heracles, a symbol of Chokmah, the Solar Logos. As described by Samael Aun Weor in 
The Three Mountains, Heracles performed twelve labors upon the Mountain of Resurrection , which we will see represented within Act III. 
<![CDATA[Spiritual Discipline]]>Sun, 17 Jun 2018 04:40:08 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/spiritual-disciplinePicture
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from The Sufi Path of Self-knowledge, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy:

We are continuing our course on self-knowledge, which we initiated a few weeks ago. We've been discussing in synthesis the nature of spiritual awakening, comprehension, and cognizance of the divine, which is within us, as well as some means and methods for how we can acquire that cognizance, that awakening for ourselves. We were talking about the nature of consciousness, what does it mean to be awakened, what does it mean to be perceptive, and we've explained in synthesis how perception is the root of thought, it is the root of emotion, and it is the root of impulse, instinct, will, desire, etc., and is the very source from which perception springs.
In the spirit of the Gnostic doctrine, which encompasses all religions, we've been explaining this teaching of self-awareness, self-knowledge, how to experience the divine in accordance with the mysticism of the Middle East—to demonstrate that this teaching is more than from the Christian standpoint. We think of gnosis, in terms of scholasticism today as being the study of the Christian gospels that were not canonized. But the Greek word gnosis is knowledge, knowledge that we acquire from experience, and has nothing to do with intellectualism, scholasticism, theorizing, debating. Instead, it's a concrete and factual knowledge of divinity.
We were explaining this teaching in relation to the mysticism of Islam, and Islam in Arabic means submission to God's will. Whether we are Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, etc., we learn to submit to the will of divinity within us by developing that awareness, developing that understanding. Gnosis has been known in different terms in different religions, but amongst the Sufis, the mystics of Islam, they denominate this knowledge Marifah, knowledge, or Haqiqah, which means the truth.
In this lecture, we're going to explain what we need to do in order to develop that awareness further, that knowledge further. It is a spiritual discipline. It is a method. It is based on cause and effect. Spiritual life is based upon the implementation of specific factors, which is why different religions have given different codified rules of conduct, in order to know divinity, whether it's the ten commandments of Judaism, whether it's the ten meritorious or non-meritorious actions of Buddhism, or whether it is the written commandments given in the Qur’an amongst the Muslims and the Sufis, and each tradition has its own specific instructions and conduct of how to discipline the mind.
So in Buddhism, we speak about the need to discipline the mind in order to experience the serenity of no thought, to cease thinking, conceptualizing, preoccupation with the intellect which produces our problems and our sufferings. So the self-knowledge we seek is to train ourselves, to train our minds, train our bodies, our hearts, to know divinity and to understand what within our psyche obscures that divine intelligence, which religions have given different names, whether it is the inner Buddha, (which as we explained, Buddha means awakened one, to be cognizant, to be pristine, to be clear in thought, sentiment in being) or as amongst the Muslims, Allah, which has the Hebrew equivalent El. This is where you get many names of angels, Samael, Michael, Gabriel, etc.
It is that Self we seek to understand. But of course to get there, we need to learn how to implement the appropriate causes to reap the specific effects we seek. As the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition stated (his name is Samael Aun Weor), "Consciousness can only be awakened by upright efforts and conscious works, or conscious works and upright efforts."
We are going explain today specifically the parameters and the difficulties one faces when developing an introspection into the psyche. What are the obstacles we face, and what are some teachings that we can use to train an undisciplined mind to make it a disciplined and peaceful mind? Precisely because our mind, as it currently is, identifies with our daily problems, perhaps having arguments with loved ones, coworkers, conflicts. Any state of suffering indicates and points to causes within our psyche which need to be comprehended. It is by comprehending the source of the conflicts we experience within ourselves, within our interior, that we can obtain the peace of mind and the serenity of a divine and clear mind, one that fully reflects to its fullest potential the heavenly states of being, as we were discussing.


We will reiterate a point we made in our last lecture. We were discussing the nature of consciousness and what it means to be awake, and what it means to be unconscious. Currently as we are, in our preoccupations with our daily struggle, the engagement with work, the many obligations and responsibilities we are subjected to, we state clearly that these in themselves form distractions. How we approach life, how we engage with life is determined by our quality of mind, our state of being. It is impossible to escape from the necessaries of life, but we can change our psychological attitude, how we approach it.
As we were saying, our physical senses may be awake: sight, taste, touch, hearing, feeling, etc. These in themselves indicate a state of physical wakefulness. But in terms of the spiritual potential we have, we state that this potential is asleep. It is not active. It is not fully developed to its potential, which is demonstrated by the Sufi proverb, "He who knows himself knows his Lord." If we were to know ourselves completely, we would know divinity completely, according to the ancient traditions. So, we often speak of the need for awareness, of remembrance of divinity, becoming cognizant of that presence within us. 
Specifically, we have the following quote from the scripture we've been quoting extensively in this course, the Risalah, or Principles of Sufism, (or you could say Gnosticism as well, they share the same roots) and this following quote is from a Sufi master by the name of Al-Wasiti. He was asked about the practice of remembrance and said, "It is leaving the enclosed court of unconsciousness for the vast space of contemplation through the power of fearing him and the intensity of loving him."
So again, divinity is not some old man in the clouds, some anthropomorphic figure who distributes lightning bolts upon this anthill of humanity to make us suffer. That god does not exist, which is why Friedrich Nietzsche said, "God is dead," or that Judeo-Christian god is dead, doesn't exist. Instead, the God we're speaking of is a presence, is a force, an intelligence which is within us. As we explained in the story of the allegory of the cave, there is a process by which one escapes from that shackling and conditioning of the mind, of the psyche, of the consciousness in order to experience higher states of unconditionality, of liberation, of freedom from negative psychological states, such as pride, fear, anger, vanity, lust, etc. The seven deadly sins, we could say, according to some traditions.
We are explaining that what we seek to develop is consciousness free from conditions. In a moment of anger, we are conditioned by anger. We see through the object of that desire. We want to fulfill what that desire craves from us. And this, you could say, magnetic pull of forces in ourselves to act in a certain way, in a negative way, demonstrates to us that we don't have full control, that we don't have full knowledge of ourselves, that we are trapped in a given moment by exterior causes and conditions to constantly react to the exterior world in a way that is harmful, that is detrimental for ourselves and for others. When someone criticizes us, perhaps a sentiment of pride emerges, that we feel that we are better than the other person, followed by anger, with the thought, "That person should not have insulted me," followed by another train of thought, "Well, I'll just forget about it. Perhaps that won't affect my job so much."
We constantly go through a chain of associative thinking, of thoughts, feelings, and emotions which pull at us in response to the external world, which in itself demonstrates that we are mechanical, meaning that we are like a machine in which anyone can press any button they wish, say anything they wish, and we will respond according to that wish, according to that impetus. This is why Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet when he was confronted and trying to fool the people of his household who were spying on him, he said, "'Sblood, do you think I'm easier to be played upon than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will. Though you fret me, you cannot play upon me." Meaning, the world is constantly playing its notes upon our psyche. Certain individuals may provoke a response that they seek against our will. We say, "Oh, that person is someone I dislike strongly." The fact that we tend to lack full autonomy in certain situations illustrates that we are mechanical.
If in a moment of anger we can step back from that sentiment, that feeling, and not give into that impulse, that indicates to us that we are controlling and stepping away from that conditioned mind, that negative self, and we are learning to see from a state of objectivity, which in itself creates a serene mind. We want to be serene, peaceful. We want to know God. Anyone who approaches religion wants to know a quality of consciousness that is free from suffering, and the object of these studies is to understand the causes that produce our suffering, and also the suffering of others, and how to change them. We want to free ourselves from this conditioned mind, this tendency to react constantly to life. Instead, we want to learn how to respond in an objective, conscious, peaceable manner, with virtue, with ethical discipline. This brings us to the point of the necessity of training the mind, disciplining that which is conditioned within us.

Discipline of Mind

We have in this image a woman being crowned by an angel and the following poem by the mystic Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, where he states the importance of this discipline of mind:

“Let's ask God to help us to self-control, for one who lacks it, lacks his grace. The undisciplined person doesn't wrong himself alone, but sets fire to the whole world. Discipline enabled heaven to be filled with light. Discipline enabled the angels to be immaculate and holy. The peacock's plumage is his enemy. The world is the mountain, and each action the shout that echoes back. The discipline and rough treatment are a furnace to extract the silver from the dross.”
What is this peacock's plumage? If we examine our mind, we see that we may entail or contain many elements of pride, a sense of self that feels important, that does not want to be criticized or rejected or ostracized. We are, in spiritual language, that peacock. All of us possess a sense of self-esteem that does not want to be hurt. But it's precisely this subjective egotistical sense of self which is the impetus of our suffering. That plumage, that self-image that we carry in our mind, in our psyche, is our enemy. Instead, we have a different image in the soul that can exist if we know how to develop it, which is the divine, a divine image. But usually we have our own psychological tendencies, such as pride, self-esteem, self-importance, arrogance, etc., that we adorn ourselves with, like the peacock.
And the world is the mountain, and each action the shout that echoes back, meaning cause and effect. There are psychological causes for happiness, and there are also physical causes for happiness and sorrow. Certain actions will produce harmful results. We know this obviously from religion. But psychologically speaking, we have elements that we ignore, sadly, because with the law of cause and effect, our psychological actions, meaning our thoughts, our feelings, our will, have an effect on others, have an effect within ourselves. Usually we tend to think that we exist in this bubble and that we can say what we want, feel what we want, think what we want, and that it won't have any consequence. But all spiritual studies, or better said, all genuine religions teach that we become what we think. Mind precedes phenomena, according to the Buddha in his Dhammapada.
“This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace to extract the silver from the dross.” What is that pure silver that we seek to develop? It is the immaculate nature of the soul that has been removed of all its conditions. The dross is the imperfections that we created, but by implementing a discipline, in putting forth the causes of liberation, we could say, we purify ourselves like a furnace. But for this to happen, we must enter the fires of emotional crises, painful circumstances, so that we confront our own secret ugliness with the express purpose of eliminating our desires, our defects and faults. But of course, I like how Rumi says that it's rough treatment. It's not pleasant to face one's mistakes and to confront them and to want to change them. It takes a strong sense of heroism to want to overcome our causes that produce our suffering.

Levels of Spiritual Instruction and Discipline

So this spiritual discipline has been known in different religions in a certain structure. There are three levels of instruction given throughout Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, etc. We could say that there are levels of spiritual discipline, levels of work which have been taught in different languages, in different ways, and in this image we have the three levels of instruction, introductory, intermediate, and advanced, in accordance with the Muslim doctrine, but I'm going to give you some other references to show the universality of this.
The introductory teachings have been known as Shariah, the exoteric doctrine of Islam. In Judaism, we call it the body of the doctrine, known as the Torah. Certain scriptures have certain levels of application to our life. And so in Judaism, we say that the Torah is the body of the doctrine, the introduction to the Jewish mysticism. We also have intermediate teaching, which is known as Tariqah in Arabic, meaning the path. This is the mesoteric, or middle way into the heart of religion. And in Judaism, we find this mystical path is known by the Talmud, which is a philosophical discourse on the Torah.
Then likewise, we have an advanced teaching, an advanced discipline, which in Arabic is known as Marifah or Haqiqah, meaning knowledge or truth. This is the esoteric teaching, the hidden teaching—a very high level of discipline we can access if we know how. So, in Judaism, we say that these advance teaching is known as the Zohar, or known by the body of literature in the Kabbalistic tradition by the scripture, Book of Splendors, Zohar.
Buddhism has its own application to this. The introductory level is known as Shravakayana. Shravaka means “listener, he who hears.” Yana means vehicle, or level of instruction or practice. All of us who begin any spiritual studies, we have to hear first. We learn to listen, and then we learn to apply it in our practice and our path, which develops into the intermediate teaching, which is when we're applying this knowledge and making it practical, and where we're getting results, known as Tariqah. In Buddhism, this intermediate path is known as Mahayana, very famous in relation to Tibetan Buddhism. Maha means great. Yana means vehicle. This level of discipline is much more advanced.
In the first level of teaching, introductory discipline, we are seeking to develop our own spirituality for ourselves, meaning: we wish to stop suffering and so we seek to put in place the causes that are going to help to prevent us from suffering further. In this intermediate path, our spirituality and spiritual discipline is based more on helping others. Whereas we benefited our own selves, we developed some equanimity of mind, and then with our spirituality, we seek to help the spirituality of others, or to help others in a positive sense, in any way we are capable. Then with the advanced teaching, it pertains to more expedient methods, known as Tantrayana in Tibetan Buddhism. Tantra is, we could say the diamond vehicle, the superior vehicle, which has practices and methods which are very transcendental, which require a lot of purity of mind to enact.
So there are levels of instruction, levels of discipline we engage with. You could say that in the opening level of Shariah, relates to how we discipline ourselves. How do we curtail negative habits? This word Shariah, of course if we're familiar with the news, has a lot of baggage. In the Middle East, it pertains to punitive laws in relation to Muslim countries. But according to the Sufis, this term, is more internal, specific. It pertains to what are the modes of conduct we engage with to be spiritual. It doesn't mean to follow the certain laws of certain countries. Instead, it means to discipline the mind. That's how the Sufis denominate this teaching.
Then with the intermediate paths, we seek to cultivate our knowledge deeper, in a more profound manner. The thing to remember with these gradations of discipline is we seek to move from a self-centered focus to a focus on others. This doesn't mean the spiritual luminaries of humanity want us to be a teacher or a preacher or to be giving some form of transmission of knowledge in this sense, but instead it could pertain to whatever obligation we are placed with in life, in which divinity places us so that we can better ourselves.

The Divine Law and Reality

Now the Sufis explained these three paths, the introductory, intermediate, and the advanced levels of discipline in the following manner. This is from Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri, where he elaborates on points we made previously.
"The divine law, Shariah, commands one to the duty of servant-hood. The way, Tariqah, or the inner reality, Haqiqah is the contemplation of divine lordship."
And so also in terms of this discipline, with Shariah we are learning to curtail negative habits, followed by the ten commandments or other codes of conduct. Don't lie, don't steal, don't cheat, don't fornicate, don't commit adultery, don't harm others. This is in order to help us to serve divinity in our physical life. But as we explained previously, the inner reality, or that advanced stage of practice is the actual experience of the divine, Haqiqah. Haqq means “truth” in Arabic. And this truth is, we're given the Arabic terms, but this truth is known in different names. It just depends on the tradition you're referring to. And so the Way, reality, Haqiqah, is to contemplate divine lordship, meaning to know and experience the divine. Contemplation, meditation, these are states of consciousness in which one is fully connected with our source in a divine sense.
One thing we will emphasize: the Shariah is the discipline we engage with in our life in order to serve the divine. We could say that this is a form of fear, but not in the egotistical sense. People often talk about fearing God, and of course that phrase has a lot of baggage associated with it, too. We're not talking about fear from some person or to not commit an act because someone told us not to but because we know that the consequences will produce suffering and that we feel that remorse, that sense of conscience that knows that we should not behave in that way. Shariah is to fear God, meaning: to fear the consequences of one's actions, because we are accountable before the divine, and that our actions, depending on how we live, produce happiness or sorrow for others, and we are weighed and evaluated based on that by our own divinity, by our own being, we could say. Going back to the quote from the beginning by Al-Wasiti, the intensity of loving him, the intensity of loving the divine, that is Haqiqah, the path to the truth. That form of discipline in which someone as a master, spiritually speaking, is accessing God all the time and has no forgetfulness. That's a very high level of discipline. In the beginning, we're trying to be mindful, be aware of ourselves, moment by moment, day by day, through self-observation, self-awareness.
When we learn to access those deeper states of concentration, meditation as well as experiencing the divine, we access those higher levels, known as Haqiqah, in which in the beginning we are fearing God, meaning to fear the consequences of our actions, to have a sense of caution, to know that what we do cannot be taken away. Every action has a consequence. But if you wish to overcome the consequences of wrong action, what we do is seek to replace it with a superior action, because a superior law, the divine law above transcends our daily life, and so it can overcome those mistaken actions we engage with. In the beginning, we fear God, and in the end, we love God because we know Him directly.
We also explained the following quote previously:
"Outward religious practice not confirmed by inner reality is not acceptable. Inner reality not anchored by outward religious practice is not acceptable. Divine law brings obligation upon the creation, which is us, the soul, while the way is founded upon the free action or experience of the real. The divine law, Shariah, is that you serve him. The way is that you see him." –Al-Qushayri, Risalah: Principles of Sufism
We mentioned that in order to experience God, we need to implement the methods that are going to give us the results we seek, and that it is not enough just to want to have the experience. We have to practice. Hence of course, in this tradition, the Gnostic tradition, we have many exercises, which we give at the end of each lecture, that you can engage with so that you can come to know divinity directly.
“The divine law is doing what you have been ordered to do. Haqiqah, the truth, is bearing witness to what he has determined and ordained hidden and revealed. I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq (who is the Sufi teacher of this writer, Al-Qushayri) say that in God's saying in the opening book of the Qur’an, iyyāka naʿbudu: “You we worship.” This preserves the outward practice, the divine law. Iyyāka nastaʿīnu: “To you we turn for help,” establishes the inner reality, the way.” –Al-Qushayri, Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So with “you do we worship,” we're putting forth causes to practice, spiritually speaking. And it's by implementing those practices that we can receive that grace. You cannot have one without the other. It is a simple law of cause and effect. In order to know God, we have to learn how to meditate, which is something we'll be building up towards progressively in these lectures.
“So know that religious obligation is a spiritual reality and that it was made necessary by his command. Spiritual reality is a religious obligation and that the realizations of him were also made necessary by his command.” –Al-Qushayri, Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Practice and experience, these have to go hand in hand, and we need to cultivate both. How do we do so? Discipline in a spiritual sense does not necessarily refer to some kind of military exercises or a chore, something that is boring or in a negative sense. Instead, this spiritual discipline is based upon the joy of experiencing the results, or by when we engage with a practice, whether it's a mantra, a sacred sound, or in meditation, we naturally see the benefits of our actions, and that we are more inclined to engage with that discipline. But of course this type of work implies a direction of will, or better said, a re-direction of will. So we need to learn how to develop a spiritual will, a conscious will that does not obey the conditioning of the mind. It is will that is free of conditions. It knows how to act, to respond with equanimity, with serenity, with peace of mind to any situation. This is the foundation, or the beginning of entering the path of spirituality. 

Spiritual and Egotistical Will

“Iradah, the will to find God, is the beginning of the path of spiritual travelers, the first title given to those who are determined to reach God Most High. This attribute is only called iradah because will is the preface to every undertaking. When the servant does not will, he does not carry out. Since this is the start of the enterprise of one who travels the path of God Almighty and Glorious, it is called ‘will’ by analogy to the resolution involved at the beginning of everything else.” –Al-Qushayri, Risalah: Principles of Sufism
The word Iradah relates, in Arabic relates to riyadat, which means discipline as well, which we're going be talking about in the next few slides.
As I mentioned to you, we seek to develop willpower free from conditions, a will that does not depend on anger, on fear, on resentment. We say that those negative psychological qualities are desires. They're conflicting wills that always push us to act in contradictory ways. The willpower we seek to develop is one that is free of conditioning and belongs to the divine. But the will we have to access, in order to access this, we have to abandon many habits, many forms of conditions.
In this graphic we have the famous Bacchanalias of Rome, the famous orgies and feasts where people abandon themselves to alcohol and sex, indulging in sensual pleasures at the expense of the soul. This is a symbol for us at least in relation to this lecture of how the mind is constantly addicted to sensations and experiences, wanting to engage with certain habits, certain impulses which, when satiated, only come back more hungry with more force. It is the mistake of pop psychology in this day and age that states that by feeding desire you will reach a type of catharsis, meaning that it is nullified, it is annihilated. People commonly believe that by feeding desire, giving into what you want in an egotistical sense, you will satiate that desire and it will go away. The truth is that by feeding desire, you strengthen it. By feeding that negative will, by giving into anger, we feed that anger. We strengthen that cage, as we were speaking of previously. Instead, we have to learn how to restrain that impulse, which is done precisely through the effort of the pure consciousness, which in Gnostic psychology is known as essence, the essence of the divine.
The Sufis emphasize the following in relation to the type of psychology we need to develop and to abandon:
“Many people talked about the meaning of will, each expressing the extent it has manifested to his heart. Most shaykhs, or teachers, say that will means the abandonment of what has become habitual. What is habitual for people in the vast majority of cases is dwelling in the realms of unconsciousness, basing one's life on the pursuit of the passions, and inclining toward whatever one’s desires call for. The spiritual aspirant is someone who has cast off all this.” –Al-Qushayri, Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So as I mentioned to you, the beginning of accessing real spirituality is overcoming desire.
Question: I feel like this is pressing, when you take it all away, are you truly taking it all away? Because there's something that must be left, especially if the desire comes from somewhere.
Instructor: Good question. The desire is a cage, is a shell, what we call an ego, a sense of “I” or of self. Within that conditioning, within that shell is the consciousness, part of our soul that's trapped. If we want to develop our spirituality, we have to break those cages, and then you liberate the soul like the genie from Aladdin's lamp, which can grant you the wishes of any spiritual wish you long for.
Question: What you're saying is that we've taken the desire to find what's really there?
Instructor: Through comprehension of that defect, that desire, we learn to eliminate them and free the energy that's trapped inside, and that builds more consciousness, which develops our willpower further to accomplish greater spiritual works. But, of course, to do that, we have to overcome the Bacchanalia of the mind, meaning the mind's tendency to want to indulge in sensations and negative habits, whether it be through drinking alcohol to excess, or that desire, that craving for sexuality, of indulging with the impulses of the body, but without any sense of spirituality. We talk extensively about how one can learn to use one's physicality, one's body, one's mind, one's heart, and one's sexuality, one's creative energies in the body in order to develop one's spirituality. This is very well known in Tantric Buddhism, known in writings such as The Perfect Matrimony.
But in this topic, we're talking about how to abandon the conditions in the mind of desire, of trying to feed cravings that can never be satiated. Instead, to develop equanimity and pure serene will, one has to break the cage. But when I talk about willpower, I don't refer to something rigid, something dogmatic, something impulsive. It refers to an effortless state of consciousness that knows how to act appropriately in any given circumstance. That type of willpower, we can taste it if we learn to meditate and awaken our perception. 
This type of will was illustrated by Jesus of Nazareth in his Passion. We see here in this image, he's praying in the garden of Gethsemane and he physically demonstrated for us the path of spirituality and spiritual will that we need to fulfill in ourselves. Now this path doesn't mean that we have to live like Jesus, meaning physically how he did. Instead, it pertains to how we apply our psyche, our consciousness to adhere to the values he taught. Here he's praying before his passion, knowing that he's going to be crucified, where he stated, “Thy will be done,” meaning “Father, if it is possible, take this cup of bitterness from me, but not my will but Thine be done.” This is a very powerful teaching about how the disciple who enters this teaching or this path finds that there are many forms of bitterness one has to face in relation to confronting one's own impurities, meaning one's defects. Facing certain situations is very challenging, but this is precisely the purging and the furnace in which the silver is extracted from the dross. He says, "Thy will be done, not mine." It is this trust in the divine will, in which our will obeys the will of divinity, in which we can access true peace and overcome our greatest problems. But every one of us will have his own type of Passion; we could say, ordeals, struggles, challenges which we have to face and conquer.
The Sufis teach the following in relation to the relationship between our will and the divine:
“According to etymology, the disciple is ‘he who possesses will,’ just as the knower is ‘he who possesses knowledge,’ because the word belongs to the class of derived nouns. But in Sufi usage, the disciple is he who possesses no will at all! (Meaning no egotistical will, no self-will, me, myself, mine. It is a will that knows how to obey the divine commandments). Here, one who does not abandon will, (or better said egotistical will) cannot be called a disciple just as linguistically one who does not possess will (meaning conscious will, spiritual will) cannot be called a disciple.” –Al-Qushayri, Risalah: Principles of Sufism
There's this duality there. It's written in a very enigmatic way to confuse people who were not initiated to the teaching. Instead, it's speaking in a very objective sense, meaning if you want to develop real spirituality, you have to abandon all desire, all self-will, the sense of me, my, and access the true self, which is beyond conditions. That was demonstrated by the path of the will of Christ. In this process, we learn to strive against our own impurities, our own mind.
It is through the path of confronting our own defects in which we learn to acquire true peace. This is known as the doctrine of mujahadah in Arabic, which is where you get the word jihad. The word jihad has many negative connotations today, especially on the news. Sadly, this teaching has degenerated. It's been misappropriated, because the real meaning of the word jihad is not holy war, it is striving to mortify the self, to confront the impurities of the psyche and to change them.
Now, Prophet Muhammad was asked by his Companions after they were defending themselves from a group of—I believe it was the Meccans who were trying to kill him, and so rightfully so, he needed to defend himself. The Prophet Muhammad stated, "We are now leaving the lesser holy war to the greater holy war," and the Companions asked, "What, oh Muhammad, is the greater holy war and the lesser holy war?" "The lesser war," he said, "is to defend yourself or to fight in battle, but the greater holy war is to fight against your own desires, your own defects, your own wishes, and really to do the divine will." So, in Arabic there are other words for war, but jihad unfortunately through time has been translated to have that meaning. But jihad means striving to fight against one's own afflictions. This is the basis of spirituality. Confronting and overcoming our own lower self, our conditioned self, and learning to liberate the soul that's trapped in it by comprehending those cages and eliminating them.
So we have the following quote from the Risalah of Qushayri: Principles of Sufism, that elaborates on these points:
"Know that the foundation and rationale of struggle or striving (mujahadah) is to wean the ego from what is familiar to it and to induce it to oppose its desires (passions) at all times."
We explained before the ego is this negative self that says, "Me, my, I must have, I must do, I must act." Of course this term ‘ego’ has become popularized in modern culture, especially from the work of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, but in Gnostic psychology, ego is not just one sense of self. It is a multiplicity. Every sentiment, every thought, every feeling, every memory can be associated to different defects, different selves, different fragments of consciousness, conditions that have trapped our soul. As a result of our wrong actions in the past, we created these different fragmentations of self, and it is by learning to comprehend these individual defects in which we learn to destroy them, to liberate the soul. And so the ego as we say refers to this pluralized sense of self, this multiple sense of selves. We can say ego is one, as in an ego, but also ego is the whole conglomeration of defects that we have, which is represented in the bible by the story of Jesus exorcising a man who was possessed by demons, in which the man said, "Leave us alone, Jesus," and Jesus said, "Who are you?" And the man said, "I am Legion, for we are many." It's a symbol of the nature of our soul and it's not just a little history of someone in the past, but something psychological.
We say the ego, animal soul, is animal-like because it only seeks to fulfill its own desire, its own impetus. “The ego (animal soul) has two traits that prevent it from good, total preoccupation with cravings, (attraction of pleasure), and refusal of obedience (avoidance of pain and harm).” –Al-Qushayri, Risalah: Principles of Sufism
There's this duality of the mind, meaning craving, aversion; to want to feed desire and then want to run away from pain. These are egotistical tendencies.
From Al-Qushayri’s Risalah: Principles of Sufism:
“When the ego is defined in the pursuit of desire, it must be curbed with the reigns of awe of God,” meaning the remembrance of the divine presence in us. This is self-awareness. “When it stubbornly refuses to conform to God's will it must be steered toward opposing its desires, when it rages in anger [at being opposed], its state should be controlled. No process has a better outcome than the breaking of the power of anger by developing good character traits and by extinguishing its fires by gentleness,” which is why Prophet Muhammad said, "The strongest among you is he who controls his anger." And Samael Aun Weor, the founder of this tradition, the modern Gnostic tradition stated that “kindness is a much more crushing force than anger.” We can heal with compassion. We can disarm an enemy with kindness when it is genuine.
“And if the soul finds sweetness in the wine of arrogance, (meaning an intoxicated psychological state, which is a symbol of not just physical drinking but indulging in desire, indulging in psychological tendencies that are harmful, which make one drunk and unaware of one's self) it will become incapable of anything but showing off its great deeds and preening itself before anyone who will look at it and notice it. It is necessary to break it of this habit, dissolving it with the punishment of humiliation by the means of whatever will make the soul remember its paltry worth, its lowly origin, and its despicable acts.” –Al-Qushayri, Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So humiliation does not mean we flagellate ourselves like certain sects, whether in the Middle East or Europe, as monks in the Middle Ages did. The type of humiliation we speak of is humility, to be humble. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Or better said, blessed are the non-resentful, meaning to not harbor negative sentiment toward any other person, but instead to receive criticism from a state of humility.
It is really in different circumstances in which we are confronted with conflicts that we can attain the most spiritual growth. In a moment where someone criticizes us and we restrain our pride in order to not retaliate with our verb, we in turn can develop humility. We recognize that sense of self that is attached to what this person says or doesn't do, is really ludicrous. “It shouldn't have any hold on me,” we should say. “Instead, this defect is something I need to work against, and in fact the person who criticizes me is doing me a favor and is opening the doors for my spirituality. Therefore I should pay more attention and work on my own sense of self, which wants to constantly react.” And that is how we humiliate the negative self. We don't give it what it wants, don't feed it. And of course when you don't feed a desire, it comes back and it fights and it becomes very hungry, which is why this is a spiritual battle, spiritual conflict, and a spiritual training. 

Kabbalah and Self-Discipline

In this graphic we have an image we study extensively in this tradition. This is the Hebraic Tree of Life known in the book of Genesis alongside the Tree of Knowledge. It is a symbol of states of consciousness, levels and qualities of being, from the highest regions of perception above to the lowest level of matter, energy, and perception below. Below we have this sphere of Malkuth which in Hebrew means kingdom. This is our physical body. We're going to explain the nature of this spiritual discipline in relation to this graphic because this graphic can help us understand who we are, where we are, what we need to change, what we need to work against, what we need to work with in relation to the following quote, whereby we study the nature of controlling these animalistic tendencies, animalistic desires which we contain within our subconsciousness and our lower psychological depths.
The following is given by a Sufi master by the name of Hujwiri, in his book Revelation of the Mystery, where he explains how this spiritual discipline is a matter of training the animality of the mind, the instinctiveness, the impulsivity of the mind to always want to satisfy its desires:
"Does not training, riyadat," this is the Persian word for riyadat, the Arabic word for training, "alter the animal qualities of a wild horse and substitute human qualities in their stead so that he will pick up a whip from the ground and give it to his master or will roll a ball with his foot. In the same way, a boy without sense in a foreign race is taught by training to speak Arabic and take a new language in exchange for his mother tongue. And a savage beast is trained to go away when leave is given to it and to come back when it is called, preferring captivity to freedom. Therefore Sahl (a Sufi master he's referring to) and his followers argue." –Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery
Mortification, meaning striving or mujahadah, mortification referring to humiliation of the ego, to confront the ego, to work against it, to fight against it, and to mortify it. The word mort is the prefix for the word death, and this word refers to the death of those animalistic desires in order to preserve the life of the spirit within us. Through death we gain to spiritual life, as Francis of Assisi taught in his famous prayer: "It is in dying that we live and inherit everlasting life," he said.
So therefore his followers argue:
"Mortification, striving, mujahadah is just as necessary for the attainment of union with God as diction and composition are necessary for the elucidation of ideas. As one is led to knowledge of the creator by assurance that the universe was created by him, so one is led to union with God by knowledge and mortification of the lower soul." –Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery
What is it that we need to mortify? We were talking a lot about willpower. In this tree of life we see at the very center of this graphic, the sphere known as Tiphereth in Hebrew, which means beauty. It can also mean resplendence, splendor. This is the beauty of the soul. This is willpower. And it's the center of the tree of life because this is how we access either the heavenly regions above or how we give into desires below.
Below the sphere of Tiphereth we have what's known as Netzach in Hebrew, meaning “Victory” relating to the mind, to thought, to reasoning. To the left we have this sphere of Hod, in Hebrew means “Glory.” This is our sentimentality, our emotionality, our feelings. Below that we have Yesod, meaning “Foundation.” This is our vitality, our energies: that which gives us strength in the morning when we wake up from sleep, that which allows us to physically exist. It can also refer to the energy responsible for our body for producing our biochemistry, our health, our catabolism, our metabolism, our sexual impulses, the energies that give us life physically, etc. Below that, we have Malkuth, which is our physical body.
Above that sphere of Tiphereth, this willpower, we have the divine spheres. Below that we have what we can call the inferior soul: mind, emotion, vitality, and physicality. These are things that we typically use in a negative manner, meaning whether we have negative thoughts, negative feelings, or we produce negative actions with our physicality, our body. Our willpower is part of our soul above, and we see that Tiphereth is human soul. It is the capacity for genuine spiritual beauty, because beautiful action is as contingent upon this fear of action. So remember that these are spheres of being, of consciousness, but also expressions of matter, energy, and perception. This also refers to different dimensions of nature, because our psyche exists in different dimensions and even physically we see that we may be aware of thought, feeling, and sensation. Sensation of course relates to our body, but thoughts and feelings themselves aren't necessarily physical, but we sense them. These are senses that belong to a different level of consciousness or dimensionality that all mix and penetrate and co-penetrate without confusion here within us, here and now.
This tree is not something outside. It's something inside, something psychological. It refers to dimensions we can access when the physical body is asleep, and we access the world of dreams where we can see these different regions of this tree of a life in a more subtle manner. But this pertains more to our psychology.
Above willpower we have the consciousness, which is divine, the Divine Soul. And then we have Spirit, pertaining to our own inner God, our inner Buddha, our true being. Above that we have this famous trinity known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Hebrew it is Kether, Chokmah, and Binah: “Crown,” “Wisdom,” and “Understanding” or “Intelligence.” These are forces. These are not physical people as the church teaches. Instead, it pertains to qualities of energy and perception that are very high.
So we have to use our will to control these lower spheres, to control our thoughts, control our feelings, and control our body in order to follow the will of divinity above. Thy will be done—the Spirit and the divine spheres above. Thy will be done on earth, this body, as it is in heaven. It refers to this graphic. We will talk more in depth throughout our courses about the intricacies of this image and different levels and depths of this teaching. But here we're just giving it in a very synthetic way to give you some context.
We see that to strive against one's defects is to enter into contemplation. To contemplate the divine, to meditate on the divine is a matter of comprehension. Comprehension is a profound psychological state in which we access divinity here and now. The Sufis emphasize that if you want to know God you have to fight against your own desires. This doesn't mean to flagellate oneself, to become a morbid person, to become negative, to become melancholic or sad or dejected, because if we look in the mind we see there are elements that are very chaotic and that we don't want, but this is no justification for repression or for a self-flagellating type of attitude, like “I am a bad person and therefore I deserve to suffer.” That is totally not what we're speaking about. That is a negative attitude born from ignorance. On the one hand, there is the craving and aversion. There are two extremes: wanting something and wanting to reject something. These are qualities of mind that we typically swing back and forth between in our daily life which is the pendulum that keeps us hypnotized, keeps us unaware.
On the other hand, consciousness and this striving against oneself is born from a state of peace, of equanimity, of self-awareness that is not impelled or conditioned or manipulated by those different forces. Instead, it's a state of peaceful mind in which we can see clearly, “Oh, this sense of anger is arising in me. I see it and I'm separate from it and therefore I can develop this opposite which is compassion.” Likewise with fear: “Oh, I understand this element of fear is rising in me therefore I'm going to remember my God who is the life of the galaxy, of the cosmos, of the universe. Therefore why should I feel insecure when my own divinity is responsible for the universe? Therefore there's no need for fear.” Then fear is nullified. We comprehend it. We understand the virtues associated or trapped within that vice, you could say. For every vice we have, every defect, there is a virtue we can develop when we extract the soul from that cage.
“Those who strive to the upmost for our sake,” says the Qur’an, “we will guide them into our ways.” (Sura 29, verse 69) Meaning, whoever mortifies himself or strives against his defects will attain to contemplation. “Furthermore, he contends that in as much as the books revealed to the prophets and the sacred law (Shariah, the introductory level instruction), and all the religious ordinances imposed on mankind involve mortification (striving against oneself). They must all be false and vain if mortification was not the cause of contemplation.” –Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery
This means if your mind is chaotic, if you sit to relax and observe your mind, to meditate, you find that there are many distractions that emerge, whether they are memories, daydreams, preoccupations, thoughts of what to do later in the day, what happened in the past, any resentments, fears, worries; these are all surging elements that are chaotic. Of course, in the beginning when we observe that fact, many times we become horrified that this state of being is harming us. The truth is we're just becoming aware now for the first time of our daily mindset. One has to be brave and courageous to continue further, meaning to not be dismayed but to have courage and strength in order to face the chaotic mind and in order to confront it, to change it, to achieve equanimity.
It is with a mind that is free of desire, of thinking, of subjective sentimentalism, feeling, etc., in which the lake of the mind can be clear, pure and pristine in order to reflect the starry images and heavens above. Any time we act upon a desire in our mind, or physically, that is like a rock that lands into the lake and causes a ripple. It is like a ripple that disturbs the lake of the mind and becomes agitated. And likewise we need to learn to transform the impressions we receive in life with equanimity and peace of mind, so that that lake does not become agitated. When it's pure and peaceful, calm, serene, then we can reflect heaven above within our psychological interior.
“Again, both in this world and the next, everything is connected with principles and causes. If it is maintained that principles have no causes then there is an end to all law and order. Neither can religious obligations be justified, nor will food be the cause of repletion and clothes the cause of warmth.” –Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery
There are two levels of individuals, human beings: those of spiritual discipline and those who have attained those heights of contemplation, which is why the following Sufi master, Abu 'l-Sari Mansur Ibn. 'Ammar said the following:
"All mankind may be reduced to two types. The man who knows himself and whose business is self-mortification, striving, and discipline, and the man who knows his Lord, whose business is to serve and worship and please him. Accordingly, the worship of the former is discipline, riyadat," which of course depends on Iradah, willpower, spiritual will, "while the worship of the latter is sovereignty, riyasat. The former practice is devotion in order that he may attain a higher degree," the former devotion constituting the introductory level. We practice so that we can eventually experience that truth for ourselves, Haqiqah above. "But the latter practices devotion having already attained all. What a vast difference between the two!" –Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery
One is the discipline of the mind, and the other is the discipline of sovereignty. A sovereign is a king or a queen of nature: a being that has fully mastered him or herself. And so we have to ask ourselves, are we kings and queens of nature, meaning are we fully masters of our thoughts, feelings, actions, impulses, or are we impelled by them? That's a question we have to ask ourselves in order to develop our spirituality. 

Faith, Belief, and Will

We emphasize throughout these teachings that there's a difference between faith and belief. We see that belief in itself is a concept of the mind, is a sentiment of the heart—feeling and thinking that something is true simply based on that feeling and that thinking without having the experience of that truth. Now we have to emphasize in this teaching that the willpower we seek to enact is what develops genuine faith. Faith is not belief. To believe that something is true is a concept of the mind or of the heart, a sentiment of the heart, whereas we say that genuine faith is knowing from experience. You put certain causes and effect and you will reap the result.
Now based on this definition, we have the following quote from The Dayspring of Youth by the Master Morya. He said the following:
"Here we think a note upon faith should be of interest. Initiates (or spiritual masters) say that its meaning has been misunderstood. Faith as the world uses it possesses no spiritual nature. Though in the secondary system it means power and energy applied to action. All success in yoga," yoga meaning from the Sanskrit yug, to unite with the divine, or the Latin, religare, religion, to reunite, it is the same meaning. "All success in yoga comes from this application. For the true quality of faith is a solar force that illumines the mind and attracts to it atoms of power and energy. More human wrecks have resulted from their misconception of this quality than man realizes." –M. The Dayspring of Youth
This means it is not enough just to think that something is true or to feel something is true. Those are subjective qualities of the ego. Instead, faith is conscious experience. We know something is true from fact, what we have verified, what gnosis we have gained. And likewise, it is by applying our will to spiritual practice in which we can strengthen that willpower and attain the genuine heights of spirituality, which is why the apostle James stated the following in chapter 2 of his book, verses 14 to 17:
"What doth it profit, my brethren, if someone sayeth he hath faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother and sister is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace and be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself if it does not have works is dead."
Now to conclude this lecture, we'll end with a certain practice you can use to develop spiritual will and develop genuine faith. This is known as the Runic yoga in the Gnostic tradition. The Nordic alphabet is an ancient letter system that implies a very deep yogic practice. Positioning the body in certain postures in order to sing prayer and mantras in order to invoke spiritual energies or in this case in this exercise we have for today, this is known as the Rune Dorn, in order to develop spiritual willpower, or we could say Christ's will. Christ is not just Jesus, but the energy he incarnated, the higher three spheres on the Tree of Life we talked about, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, that tri-unity, that tri-force, which can enter into us when we are prepared.
With this exercise we learn to inoculate our psyche, our body with those high forces, those energies. What you do is you stand with your feet together facing the east when the sun rises. So as soon as you get up from bed, face the east, put your left hand on your left side, your right hand on your right hip, and you pronounce the following mantras: Ta, Te, Ti, To, Tu. Each vowel is prolonged. The sacred sounds when you prolong them and make them vibrate in your body, they activate the glands. They invoke spiritual energies which will invigorate your will and help you to fight against that conditionality and negativity of the psyche.
Simply, this image refers to and looks like a hammer. It is the hammer of Dorn, the God Dorn in Nordic mythology, the God Thor, unfortunately mimicked in Marvel Comics now, but this is a symbol of superior willpower. When you pronounce those mantras prolonged, taaaaaaaaaaa, teeeeeeeeeeee, tiiiiiiiiiii, tooooooo, tuuuuuuuuuu, prolonging each vowel with your full breath inhale, pronounce one of those vowels completely until your lungs are exhausted and then likewise with the next vowel, with ta, te, ti, to, tu.
That activates certain energetic centers in the body, in the psyche known as chakras in Hinduism to activate spiritual faculties. That is how we can strengthen our willpower and give you energy to apply to your spiritual life. If you find that you're sluggish mentally, emotionally, physically, even if you get enough sleep, this is a very powerful practice that invokes those forces, especially if you get up very early in the morning, like five or six, whenever the sun rises, and praying to the divine, you can place your hands on your heart. We do this in the Sufi style or the Egyptian style, right hand over your left over your heart, and whatever words you have naturally, pray to the divine. Say, "My Lord, please grant me spiritual strength in my work in order to fill my heart and soul with peace and with energy." Then do the mantras, like this, the vowels. This is the Runic language or the Runic yoga, which we'll be giving courses about in the future.
Question: So we say each of those with one breath?
Instructor: It is “Ta,” one breath, and then the next, “Te,” another breath, and so on with the rest of the vowels. And focus when you mantralize. When you pronounce those sounds, feel the vibration of the vowel in your own mantralization, and focus on the energies that it provokes, and you'll find that it really will, especially if you practice in the morning, when it is good to get up very early and the energies are very conducive to meditate and to pray. This is why the Qur’an teaches the recitation at dawn, how beautiful is that to get up in the morning to pray and to seek remembrance of the divine. It's very powerful. And simply you can do this for ten minutes, you could do it for 30. For however long you feel.
Question: It should be done in the morning?
Instructor: It can be done in the morning. It's good, better in the morning, but you can do it in the evening too as well, at night. But it is best in morning hours, which are always more conducive for spiritual practice. This develops Christ's will, the will of Christ, the will of the divine in us as it is in heaven. 

Question: You were discussing how we need to break our mechanical reactivity to life, for example, "If in a moment of anger we can step back from that sentiment, that feeling, and not give into that impulse, that indicates to us that we are controlling and stepping away from that conditioned mind, that negative self, and we are learning to see from a state of objectivity, which in itself creates a serene mind." Similarly, Gurdjieff often writes about the necessity for a man to engage in an internal struggle against his mechanicity; without struggle, there is no possibility to develop autonomy. 

In my own practice, I get a bit tripped up over this point. Firstly, still being very much asleep, it is difficult to discern if the internal struggle is positive or egotistical. I have a personal tendency toward repression/depression, so while I appear to have considerable restraint at times, I find in meditation that this is often motivated by fear of doing something wrong more than spiritual discipline. I can avoid performing a harmful behavior yet blind myself to the desire provoking it.

It seems like at the beginning of our spiritual work, before we have cultivated sufficient psychological equilibrium, we just have to make effort to restrain any will because it is likely selfish desire. However, if this leads to repression, we won't see the unconscious desires that are causing our suffering. Do we need such a strong force of renunciation just to push ourselves to start on the path? How can we aim for the right balance at the beginning?

Instructor: Samael Aun Weor explained the following that can help elucidate this topic for you:

"To experience the Truth is fundamental. It is not by means of exertion that we can experience the Truth. The Truth is not the result; the Truth is not the product of exertion. The Truth comes to us by means of profound comprehension. We need to exert ourselves in order to work in the Great Work and to transmute our creative energies. We need to exert ourselves to live, to struggle and to tread the path of Integral Revolution, but we do not need to exert ourselves in order to comprehend the Truth." -Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic

Comprehension takes no effort. It happens when we are observing our psychological states and do not expect anything. We simply see the psychological processes of the mind for what they are, without exertion (justification or morbidity / repression). 

When the Sufis speak of striving, they refer to the meditative path of serenity as taught within Buddhism, the nine stages of shamatha. It takes great effort in the beginning to restrain the mind from harmful impulses and to concentrate oneself, yet this effort becomes effortless as we become acclimated to and familiar with such states the further one develops serenity. 

You can measure how well you are striving against the mind in relation to how much you comprehend in yourself. Are you understanding the causes of suffering more? Are your psychological states more profound and serene? Do you learn to respond to the unpleasant manifestations of your fellow men and women with equanimity and compassion? Or are you stuck in the battle of the antitheses, reacting to life without comprehension or intuition?

The ego of shame can be a difficult obstacle to overcome, whereby we see our faults and make the error of reacting egotistically to what we perceive. The solution is to comprehend what shame is, which is inverted pride, the self that takes pride in, “I am a bad person!” It sounds funny, but when you observe this ego, this is how it functions. It thinks it knows what is bad, but it’s just reactionary. It’s a “Gnostic” ego that thinks it is doing the work and which everyone mistakenly creates when on this path. 

The solution is to develop remorse, which is a conscious quality that recognizes the insignificance of our individual person before the majesty of divinity. Remorse is also the voice of conscience, the beauty and dignity of the human soul: Tiphereth. This occurs by seeing, by observing the process of thought and emotion involved in such a negative state such as shame, without labeling, hiding, or pushing it away. 

When we comprehend shame, we feel great surprise, a shock of inspiration, since this is the dynamic expression, conscious shock, or intimate realization of our soul that perceives what we are and why we were suffering. We also perceive the beauty of our own soul by recognizing our errors, a recognition which should produce happiness, since “A discovered defect is a dead defect.” While it’s painful to see the reality of our mind, when self-observation and comprehension is profound, we develop joyful perseverance and beautiful action, because with comprehension of any ego in meditation, we also perceive and can understand the virtues trapped in it. 

Renunciation is developed the more we comprehend the causes of suffering and no longer go back on behaviors that we know are negative. This always strengthens the consciousness the more we face and overcome trials and temptations. 

We find balance through consistency of practice, by meditating daily on what we perceive in ourselves. We learn from joyfully receiving the unpleasant impressions of our fellow man and learning to act from compassion and awareness in the precise moments when we are on fire, tested and burned by circumstances. We learn through failing many times and struggling, reflecting on our behaviors, and making better choices when ordeals repeat, so that with time and experience, we perceive that we no longer suffer or make others suffer, but respond to difficult conditions with serenity and insight. 

<![CDATA[Psychological Rebellion]]>Sat, 24 Mar 2018 17:33:07 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/psychological-rebellionThis is a transcription of an audio lecture from Beginning Self-Transformation, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy:

History is filled with oppression, violence, and revolutions. More so, humanity is obsessed with the ideologies that perpetuate conflict, dissonance, and political enmity. It is enough to raise a flag in the name of freedom to incite the blood of millions of individuals to march to war.

People have many justifications for rebellion: the government is negligent, the taxes too high, the laws too strict, the politicians too incompetent. Sadly, our humanity is exclusively concerned with external changes, with rebellion against ideas, culture, politics, religion, or the state. However, people ignore the internal, psychological causes of affliction and social conflict, and therefore do not know how to rebel against themselves.

Our society celebrates rebels, because they set trends and go against the flow, risking their lives often without seeking popularity. Their strong will and rugged individualism set them apart from the rabble. While such qualities are not condemnatory, the masses tend to admire such persons for the wrong reasons. People like Che Guevara, James Dean, rebels without a cause, William Wallace in the film Braveheart, musicians, and poets—individuals who incite violence and political rebellion—they capture the imagination of the populace due to their strong conviction and beliefs in freedom. While humanity admires the good intentions of these philosophers, warriors, and thinkers, the results of their ideologies have produced all the sufferings and bloodshed of the great wars, which have plunged this planet into complete ignorance and darkness.

Ideology, whether from east or west, propounds freedom. People sing it in the churches, on the tops of minarets, before the altar of the synagogues, and in the meeting halls of Congress and the Senate. Yet it is this very concept of freedom that religion and governments have used to provoke all the wars of history, to defend their missions, agendas, and conquests.  The concept of freedom fascinates, captivates, and hypnotizes. It obstructs the discernment of the consciousness and its ability to act for the benefit of all people, regardless of race, culture, religion, sex, or tradition.

People want freedom. Many are even willing to kill or be killed for it. But rather than take such ideals at face value, we, in these studies, like to question things profoundly, to understand the significance of such terms at their roots.  Therefore, we sincerely ask: what is freedom?

In North America and in many countries, people have the freedom to chose what to eat, where to travel, where to work, what to believe, and whom to marry. And yet everybody continues to suffer. We work at jobs we hate, fearing our boss, envying our co-workers, being constantly consumed by feelings of dissatisfaction, criticism, backbiting, emptiness, and despair.

Yet despite all our tragedies, people like to externalize. They want to blame the exterior world for all their problems. We want to change everything outside of us to conform with our habits, dispositions, and prejudices. While people constantly fight to better their external situations, we prefer, in these psychological studies, to analyze the source of our discontents, desires, and sufferings, which is within ourselves, within the mind.

Humanity always wants to defend its desires, even at the expense of other people’s lives. But what if we were to do something that has not been done before, at least by most? What if, rather than go against the government, political establishment, or popular culture, we were to question our own wants, desires, and cravings? What if we were to rebel against ourselves and our own psychological conditions that we have put in the way of our own personal and spiritual development?

Bloodshed and violence will always recur so long as people do not look within themselves to comprehend the psychological impetus, the impulse, the will, that pushes them to act in mistaken ways. Therefore, rather than rebel against the external world, we ask: “What if we were to rebel against our own desires?”

This question, of course, dissatisfies the majority, because humanity is fascinated and enslaved to desire, yet for the few who want to comprehend and develop their full conscious potential, such an inquiry becomes the foundation and focal point of initiation into a higher state of consciousness, a superior Level of Being.

​Radical Change Goes Against Time

To enter, experience, and develop our full potential, the individual must make a very defined and concerted effort within him or herself. Such an effort goes against the concept of time, evolution, and progress. Such an effort requires that we examine our own psychological states of suffering in the present moment, to discover where our pain originates, how it sustains, and how it may be pacified.

People believe that with time, situations will improve. Yet no great luminary, prophet, buddha, angel, etc., ever taught that things improve with time. What the great messengers of humanity emphasized is that true psychological and spiritual development is the outcome of tremendous internal revolutions.

“…the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. —Matthew 11:12
Wars will continue to exist on our planet because people expect external circumstances must change, not their interior life. Rioting, violence, despair, and destruction will perpetuate and condemn humanity to a vicious circle so long as people have delusions about “tomorrow,” that eventually, if we wait long enough, “things will get better.”

This is why Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, stated in his book Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology:

“The mechanical hope of people serves no purpose. They think that with time things will get better. Our grandfather and great grandfathers thought that way; however, facts have arrived to precisely demonstrate the opposite of this.”
—​Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology

Waiting around does not produce changes. People always look for political revolutions to transform the state of suffering they are in, ignoring that through regime change or usurpations, one oppressive form of government is replaced by another.

It would be better to rebel against our own states of mind than the external world.  Such a spiritual revolution occurs when we go against our own habits, wants, desires, conditions. As we are now, we tend to be slaves of circumstances.

How is this the case? When we are insulted by an aggressor, we return with insults. We are betrayed, then we want to get revenge. When we are patted on the back, we smile.

People have the power to influence us as they wish, and in fact it takes very little effort to make us follow along with someone else’s program. Therefore, the question is: “Are we truly free?” And if not, “How do we become free?”

Examine your daily life. Do people influence you? Are you free from the desire for retaliation? When someone treats you with disrespect, are you able to respond with genuine kindness and concern, with selflessness, compassion? Do you act of your own volition, free of the prejudices, hatreds, and negativity of others? Or are you impelled by your own states of suffering: anger, resentment, anguish, fear, and pride, whenever someone rubs you the wrong way?

Our psychological states repeat in relation to the circumstances that provoke them. Trying to manipulate external circumstances will not produce radical change so long as our mind is egotistical, filled with conditions and suffering. If we truly want the external world to change, we must enact a transformation in our own psyche. Life will continue to roll on beyond our control if we do not know how to consciously manage our own psychological states, replacing the afflictions of mind and heart with the virtues of the soul.

Be sincere. Analyze the facts of your life. People who wait for change never experience it, because the world will continue as it is so long as we do not contribute to it in meaningful and conscious ways.

​Spiritual and Psychological Revolutions

The path of the spiritual revolutionary, of the psychologist, is one of internalization: to look within the consciousness to discover the conditions that shape one’s existence. Therefore, rather than rebel against the government, which could be replaced by another far worse, it would be better to rebel against our own negative states of mind.

To be clear, when we use the term psychology, we do not refer to recent studies of the intellect, the brain, and its nervous systems. Instead, our studies focus on psyche, the soul, the consciousness, and its relationship to logos, the divine; psyche-logos, psycho-logy.

A true psychologist understands and manifests his own inner Being, her inner divinity, and because of this, experiences true freedom, bliss, free of external circumstances, afflictions, or conditions.

A spiritual rebel is someone like Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, Beethoven: individuals who fully manifested their spirit, true human beings in the most complete sense of the word. These masters unlocked their creative power and were able to influence millions, since by awakening the full potential of their consciousness, they rose to a higher level of Being so as to express that divinity to humanity.

Another example of such a revolutionary is William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. His own kingdom goes against him, yet he thinks for himself, feigning madness in order to gather information about his enemies. Who are those enemies? His own negativities, defects, desires. His uncle, mother, and old acquaintances, friends, try to provoke him to discover the source of his act, yet he always knows how to handle his foes with intelligence. This is a perfect allegory for how to live in life: observant, watchful, and wise, never reacting with suffering to circumstances, but knowing how to respond with equanimity and understanding.
Hamlet uses the analogy of the individual as a musical instrument, which people can play upon to produce any melody they wish. When people do not train themselves in meditation, they are like a flute that any stranger can manipulate for the desired song, the longed-for effect, the anticipated reaction, frustration, hatred, etc. Yet Hamlet demonstrates, in this remarkable play, how one can rebel against “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” and by “taking arms against a sea of troubles” through meditating on the causes of suffering, can “oppose and end them.” This refers to no longer letting the external world dictate one’s response to life. As Hamlet berates his former friend Guildenstern:

Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me. You would seem to know my stops. You would pluck out the heart of my mystery. You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass. And there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak? 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me. —Hamlet, Act III.ii

When we no longer react mechanically to life, when we chose how to respond with wisdom to difficult situations, to emotional crises, we can truly rebel against that which perpetuates affliction, chaos, and sorrow.

​The Marvelous Ladder

Therefore, true change is demonstrated through psychological rebellion, through going against our own mechanical reactions to life, and not by trying to force the external world to conform with our ideas.

When we comprehend our own states of being, our own ways of thinking, feeling, and acting, and when we no longer go along with whatever negative response emerges within our interior, we are in truth enacting psychological rebellion.

The liberated consciousness knows how to respond to any situation with equanimity, serenity, and insight. When we act upon our genuine spiritual nature, and no longer follow the imperfections of our own character, we are in truth waging a spiritual war, here and now.

This is the war of the spirit against internal afflictions, against conditions of mind. This type of war has nothing to do with the fanaticism of certain religions or cultures that think that by forcing people to believe in a specific tradition, that one is performing good works, that one is a martyr, an apostle.

This spiritual war is type of conscious work enacted for the redemption of the soul, for its liberation and unification with divinity. Psychological rebellion exists when we rise towards a superior level of being.

Remember that we stated how consciousness can expand to infinite degrees. Divinity, the innermost Being, resides within the most profound regions of our own consciousness. We can learn to experience the Being and rise to higher levels of consciousness when we rebel against our own conditioned selves in this present moment.
…it is not irrelevant if we imagine the numerous rungs of a ladder which extends itself upwards, vertically.

Unquestionably, we find ourselves on any one of these rungs. On the lower rungs will be people worse than us, and on the higher rungs persons better than us will be found.

On this extraordinary Vertical, on this “Marvelous Ladder,” it is clear that we can find all the Levels of Being.

Each person is different; this is something that no one can dispute.

Undoubtedly, we are not talking about pretty or ugly faces, nor is it a question of age. There are young and old people, old persons about to die as well as newborns.

The subject matter of time and of years, that matter of being born, of maturing, developing, marrying, reproducing and aging is exclusively of the Horizontal.

On the “Marvelous Ladder,” on the Vertical, the concept of time does not fit in. On the rungs of such a scale we can only find Levels of Being.
—​Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology

The horizontal path relates to time and everything related to the world, with temporality, personality, birth, life, and death. On the horizontal line of life, we are born to this world, grow up, mature, become old, and pass out of physical existence.

It is easy to see that this horizontal path is traveled by everyone. People who live and never question their existence, who suffer all the outrages of life without ever really knowing why, adhere to the horizontal path of life in the most unconscious and severe manner. These people, the public, the masses, simply go with the flow of existence without looking into their own minds to discover the secret causes of affliction.

But what about the vertical path?

The vertical path relates to how one reacts or responds to life based on one’s quality of mind. The horizontal path will always exist, since it refers to the progression of events and experiences along the trajectory of physical life that emerge and repeat mechanically. Yet the vertical path has to do with whether we, as a consciousness, will learn to respond to life with rectitude and love, or react with animosity against the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

To live in the Being, to remember the presence of divinity in oneself, to be psychologically alert, is to be aware only of the present moment in which we are. The vertical path is constituted by levels of being, ascending towards superior states or descend towards inferior states, based on how we use our consciousness here and now.

What we are psychologically determines how we will respond to the horizontal line, to the facts of life.

When a person simply reacts to external circumstances with anger, frustration, negativity, suffering, and affliction, it is a sure indication that one is attached to the horizontal path. Yet by responding to situations with wisdom, understanding, and conscious love, we are in truth going against the flow of our own habits, dispositions, and desires, indicating that we are ascending to higher levels of being.

The Bible allegorizes the vertical path through Jacob’s ladder:
"And [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder [of the Vertical Path] set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." —​Genesis 28:12

Heavenly states of being exist in the superior part of the vertical path. Diabolic states of consciousness exist in the inferior part of the vertical path, beneath the horizontal.

Heaven and hell are places in the multidimensionality of nature, yet more importantly refer to states of consciousness, as we explained in the previous lecture on “The Level of Being.”

Our level of being is determined by how we use our consciousness in the present moment, whether for good or for ill. We either ascend upon the vertical path based on spiritual works or descend through identifying with all the sorrows of life.

​The Present Moment

To ascend to a higher level of being, we must awaken as a consciousness, here and now. We usually do not pay attention to the present moment but think only of the future or the past. Most people never contemplate the present instance in which they are, in its totality, richness, and novelty. This fundamental ignorance of what exists inside and outside of us, here and now, indicates that our consciousness is very asleep, that it is dreaming.

Since we have energy, some level of awareness that we are in our physical body, we tend to believe that we are awake. The reality, however, is different.

Humanity believes that dreams only relate to the sleep of the physical body. Yet people ignore that their consciousness is asleep even while the physical body is active. People who are unconscious in the dream state are also unconscious in their physical bodies. People whose consciousness is trained and awake through meditation in the physical body are also awake as a consciousness during the normal hours of physical sleep. They experience what are known as heavens in religion, different dimensions related to the Tree of Life that we spoke about previously. They leave behind the body and enter the dream world with full consciousness; they are no longer dreaming. They experience the realities of those internal worlds beyond the physical body with full awareness through what are known as out of body experiences and astral projections.

So besides this, how do we truly know humanity is not conscious?

People tend to live their entire lives in complete distraction. By this I do not just mean watching television or reality shows, by using Facebook or the iPhone, by going to Six Flags: Great America and roller coasters, by not being responsible members of society. While these are obvious examples of distraction, there exists a deeper application to this principle.

Why do people get into car accidents? Why do accidents happen? It’s because people are not paying attention. They are dreaming.

If it’s true that people get killed in accidents because they don’t pay attention, the same principle applies to spiritual life. Our spirituality is dead if our mind is constantly wandering with thoughts and anxieties, if we are always distracted in life and never paying attention to where we are at or where we are going.

You cannot experience divinity if you are thinking of your friends when washing the dishes, or when driving your car remembering your fiancée. You cannot know the Being if you are constantly distracted by memories, daydreams, preoccupations, and fantasies, instead of being attentive with whatever task engages you in the present moment.

To access higher states of consciousness, we must be present. We must be alert and vigilant as a consciousness. All religions and mystical traditions, in their original forms, taught that watchfulness of the present moment is the beginning of union with divinity. This means that if we are doing something, we don’t think or worry about other things, but only engage our attention and concentration to the task at hand.

While listening to this lecture, how often have you become distracted and lost the thread of my meaning? You might have been listening, but started thinking about other things, until your minds have wandered off completely. Suddenly, you remember, “I’m supposed to be listening!” This type of distracted thinking needs to be controlled by the consciousness. We must always learn to be watchful in all events and situations.

Experience of the truth occurs here and now, within our own perception, when a profound state of attention and remembrance has been established within our interior through conscious works. Yet this can only occur when we no longer allow ourselves to be distracted.

This is why certain traditions practiced vigils, whereby the practitioners would perform rituals without physically going to sleep. The essential meaning is that we, as a consciousness, must never lose our guard, must never cease paying attention to what is going on around and within us in this instant.

It is alert vigilance, watchfulness, that opens the doorway to seeing and understanding why we suffer. When you perceive in yourself your own negative psychological states and no longer invest them with your conscious energy, it is a sure indication that you are ascending to higher levels of being. This is the vertical path that leads towards different experiences of divinity, in gradual steps.

Our level of being, therefore, can only change when we are aware of this moment.
"It is not irrelevant to remind our readers that a mathematical point exists within us. Unquestionably, such a point is never found either in the past or in the future.  Whosoever wants to discover that mysterious point must look for it here and now within oneself at this exact moment, not a second earlier, not a second later.  The two horizontal and vertical lines of the Holy Cross intersect at this point.  Thus, we find ourselves from moment to moment before two paths: the Horizontal and the Vertical. —Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology

To be is different from existing mechanically in life. As Hamlet stated, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” To remember the presence of the Being by ascending the vertical path, or to be unconscious of the truth by following the horizontal line of life: that is the essential question of Shakespeare’s play. To live mechanically is to live identified with personality, materialism, mechanical thoughts, desires, habits, addictions, preoccupations, anxieties, monetary needs, work problems, struggles in relationships. To think that one is thinking, to be lost in the mind and its conditions, is to be asleep, dreaming.

As we mentioned, when people do no pay attention on the road, they end up crashing their car and killing themselves and others. This is a very common occurrence.

When we allow ourselves to be distracted by our own mind and the difficulties of life, we are traveling the horizontal path. But when we consciously rebel against negative qualities of mind through perceiving the present moment in its fullness, we are in truth ascending the vertical path of being.

​The Being is Not of Time

Therefore, eternity is the present moment. People like to think of eternity as some utopia in the clouds, that one will reach after living a pious life of belief and servility to some tradition. These types of illusions, however, constitute the mechanical hopes of people, since beliefs and traditions belong to the horizontal line of life, to time. Such thoughts, beliefs, religions, and ways of thinking are born in time and die in time. It is enough to look at the birth, life, and decay of certain past civilizations to see this dynamic in action.

The Being, however, is eternal. The consciousness, with its multiple levels, exists in different rungs, higher and higher, in the present instance, not in the future, nor the past. Truth is the unknown, discovered within ourselves from moment to moment. We can experience the spiritual flavor of the Being and of the psychological qualities of the consciousness by learning to direct attention and keep it active in all events of life.

The Being is beyond thought, feeling, and will. Our consciousness emanated from the Being, and has nothing to do with thinking, desires, or conditions.

Consciousness is simply the capacity to perceive without thought, feeling, or impulse. To think that we are thinking, to feel that we are feeling, to act without internal self-reflection, indicates that the consciousness is not active, but identified with thought, feeling, and desire. It is mechanical, dreaming.

Therefore, how can we experience and unite with the Being if we are caught up in thinking and reacting to the mechanical circumstances of life, by not paying attention to what is going on?

Whenever we are caught in thinking or daydreaming of other things, we become lost in the horizontal line of life, with temporality, which is a subjective form of experience.

As Samael Aun Weor indicated, everyone has their own ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Everyone has diverse levels of being, different dispositions and character. Such dispositions and habits are subjective, not objective. Our own beliefs, ways of thinking, and behaving are unique to us. Yet the Being is different, objective, truthful, beyond the temporal personality.

Most of humanity has no idea what the Being is, because they do not look within themselves for divinity. To experience the Being, we must learn to awaken consciousness, since our soul, our perception, is the only thing that can help us to understand what the truth is, beyond time, thought, feeling, habit, and desire.

As Einstein wisely postulated, “Time is relative.” Only the Being is eternal, is never subjected to time, beliefs, dreams, ideas, or concepts.

People have a lot of theories about God, religion, science, philosophy. But none of it is grounded in actual experience. All these theories and beliefs are relative to the minds and conceptions of people whose consciousness is asleep, is dreaming. All of this has to do with traditions, which belong to time, the horizontal line of life.

Someone who awakens consciousness can experience the Being, the reality. Therefore, such a person possesses true objective knowledge. Such a person knows the truth because he or she has ascended to higher levels of Being upon the vertical path.

Only by rebelling against ourselves, here and now, by fighting against daydreams, fantasies, and wishful thinking, by learning to pay attention, can we experience the Being within us. This rebellion is enacted when we work as a consciousness to overcome the distractions of the mind.

Whenever we are thinking of other things than what we are doing, we are asleep, dreaming. We dream whenever we identify with temporal things, whenever we give all our energy to material existence, to the things that relate to our personality.

Sadly, most people believe that their name, language, culture, customs, religion, and beliefs, constitutes their true nature. These things, however, are born in time and die in time. They have nothing to do with the consciousness, the Being, the eternal.

"The personality develops and unfolds on the Horizontal Line of Life. The personality is born and dies with its linear time; it is mortal. A “tomorrow” does not exist for the personality of the dead person. The personality is not the Being.

“The Levels of Being are not of time. Since the Being himself is not of time, He has nothing to do with the Horizontal Line. He is found within our own selves, now, on the Vertical.”
—Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology

Everyone loves their heritage, their inheritance, their self-concepts, personalities, and beliefs. Yet humanity ignores how these types of materialistic and even so-called “spiritual” things were born in time and die in time. They have nothing to do with conscious experience or objective fact.

People dream about who they are; their name, culture, customs, and education will not continue with them past the grave. Therefore, “To be or not to be!” That is our dilemma.

Therefore, psychological rebellion refers to our internal disassociation with the illusions we carry within ourselves, to experience the true nature of the Being, which is happiness, peace, divine love, patience, altruism, and direct knowledge.

Psychological rebellion is about transforming the mind, to become conscious of that which we typically ignore. We learn to gather information and data about our genuine spiritual nature the more we reflect on the present instance in which we find ourselves.

​Internal Revolution and the Vertical Path

Most people follow life mechanically and never question their identity, their language, customs, beliefs, habits, and desires. However, people who are tired of suffering question themselves and inquire into the source of their most intimate problems, which are psychological. Transforming our sufferings in the present moment through superior action indicates progress in the vertical path or levels of Being.

“It is apparent that the Horizontal path is too base; it is traveled by my buddy and everybody, by those who are juvenile and those who are senile.  It is evident that the Vertical is different; it is the path of intelligent rebels, of revolutionaries.

"When one remembers oneself and works upon oneself, when one does not become identified with all the problems and sorrows of life, it is a fact that one is traveling along the Vertical path."
—​Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
Therefore, spiritual revolutions occur within the soul when it learns to pay attention and constantly maintain mindfulness. By observing ourselves and not assuming we know anything, to simply look at the facts of our existence, we begin to see and live within the consciousness.

To be identified is to invest our energy, our consciousness, into circumstances, with conditions of mind, with thoughts, feelings, or impulses.

Non-identification occurs when we observe the facts of life without becoming worried, depleted. We do what we need to do with heightened attention and watchfulness, with compassion and equanimity, so that we do not lose energy in negative thinking, negative emotions, and negative actions.

Non-identification and self-reflection is how we can learn to live life with greater serenity, insight, and compassion, to discover and uproot the psychological causes of suffering in a permanent manner. We don’t react mechanically and habitually to external events, but respond with comprehension, intuition, and pure action, devoid of the need to think. Traveling the vertical path, therefore, is making conscious choices, rather than lashing out towards the injustices and circumstances of life.

​Psychological Change and Genuine Freedom

True freedom, then, occurs through psychological revolutions, which help us to go against the causes of suffering in ourselves. By discovering our true, divine nature, we enter and follow the ascending, vertical path for profound, radical, and genuine transformation.

This type of work is profound. It is about taking the path of greatest resistance, the resistance of years of habits and conditions in the mind. However, such a path must be distinguished from superficial changes, like adopting or changing one’s habits in a conventional sense.

Renouncing alcohol or smoking—although wonderful—is superficial in the larger scale. People tend to give up habits while engaging in new ones, failing to comprehend and eliminate the desires or conditions of mind that exist in the subconsciousness of a person. While it is an achievement for an alcoholic or drug addict to renounce their destructive habits, the unconscious elements or desires for alcohol and drugs will continue to exist until the consciousness learns to eliminate such conditions through the work of the vertical path.

The more we free ourselves of psychological conditions, the greater our insight into the Being will be.
"It would be absurd, obviously, to look for our own Being outside of ourselves. Therefore, it is not irrelevant to establish the following as a corollary: titles, ranks, promotions, etc. in the external physical world cannot in any way originate authentic exaltation, re-evaluation of the Being, or a move to a higher rung in the Levels of Being.”  —​Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology

Discovering the Being has nothing to do with diplomas, with a college education or intellectualism, with becoming a scholar and paragon of knowledge. The exaltation and re-evaluation of the Being occurs within someone who rebels against their own psychological conditions and the sufferings such states produce in the consciousness.

We must learn to ascend the ladder of being towards the light of our true divine nature. The way that a person ascends such a vertical path is through self-reflection, meditation, and humility. Sincerity opens the doorway to real change. When we truly want to cease suffering, we must examine our own selves and not try to run away through vain dreams, speculations, assumptions, and theories. We should ask the question: “What in me provokes all the calamities and afflictions of my existence?” By taking responsibility for our own actions, we in truth can develop our greatest potential, securing our own happiness as well as the happiness of others.