<![CDATA[ChicagoGnosis.org - Transcriptions]]>Thu, 21 Mar 2019 07:16:27 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Calm Abiding: The Stages of Serenity]]>Fri, 15 Mar 2019 18:28:22 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/calm-abiding-the-stages-of-serenity
To aid us in our discipline, we're going to explore a very important teaching to Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, known as the nine stages of meditative concentration. Specifically, when we address concentration, we do so with a purpose of understanding where we are. We study the following diagram, which is a very famous mural that we find in pretty much every Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the world, in order to understand where we are in our practice.

The purpose of this lecture is to understand where we are: what is our level of being? What is our capability? Our ability when we sit to concentrate, close our eyes, and really reflect inside?

This teaching, pertaining to Buddhism, was taught by Samael Aun Weor in a very synthetic manner. He never explicitly detailed the nine degrees of calm abiding, or the nine steps leading to calm abiding―to have a serene mind―instead, he expected his students to really study and meditate on the teachings, and to work to comprehend this methodology in practice.

He also spoke, in a very synthetic manner, about these nine stages, emphasized in this image, which we are going to explain in detail. This image explains how, from the beginning of concentration, the mind is disturbed and wild. Then, through gradual training, our practice eventually leads us towards a mind that is completely serene, a mind that is completely still. So, to help us to really understand where we are, and how to effectively concentrate, this map will lead us towards the real gateway to meditation.

Everything that we do in these studies, pertaining to runes, mantra, pranayama, transmutation, sacred rites... these in themselves are means to develop concentration. When we sit to practice, we do these preliminary exercises to help us to focus our mind, which is really the beginning of actual meditation; it is not meditation itself.

My purpose in elaborating on what this diagram means, in relation to what Samael Aun Weor taught, is to help us be sincere and to examine the nature of our mind and what we need to do to develop concentration.

Previously, we were discussing the eightfold steps of Patanjali's yoga sutras, who wrote one of the key scriptures of yoga. When we talk about yoga, we do not refer to the physical calisthenics of the body: Hatha yoga. We are talking about "yug," from the Sanskrit, meaning union with Divinity; or "religare" in Latin, religion.

Patanjali taught that there are eight steps, which ties into the eightfold path of Buddhism. We have Yama / Niyama. Yama is restraint of mind from harmful action; Niyama is the precepts, developing real ethical discipline, purity of mind. Yama / Niyama are formed by things like Saucha (clarity), Santosha (contentment), Satya (truthfulness), Aparigraha (renunciation of worldly desires). In other words, these are the ten commandments, anything that we use as a discipline to train our mind: Yama / Niyama, to do or not to do. This is followed by Asana, which is our posture in our body. This is followed by Pranayama, transmutation, mantra, sexual energy, runes―any exercise that we use to work with the vital forces in our mind, in our body. That leads to Pratyahara, meaning, silence of mind, or suspension of the senses. This leads into Dharana, which is concentration, which is what we're going to be explaining, in detail.

Previously, in our lectures, we were talking about these preliminary steps: ethical discipline, the need to train our mind, to fulfill the vows of yoga, of religion, of discipline. As well as how to relax our body, in order to fully concentrate. We are discussing the preliminaries that lead to the actualization of learning how to focus the mind.

Samael Aun Weor taught that, when we sit to practice, we must stop thinking. This is the beginning, to learn how to concentrate. If we sit down and we examine our mind, and we see that we are thinking all the time, it means that we still have not yet developed Pratyahara, serenity of mind, suspension of the senses. Typically, the impressions of life enter our psyche, and our mind becomes disturbed as a result of not transforming those elements as they enter our mind. For example, we see a provocative image on a billboard, or on television; it strikes the mind; it offends the senses; the mind becomes identified, agitated; it becomes stimulated. We need to really refrain from these types of activities―which I will be elaborating on―as a requisite to developing concentration.

We find that our mind is over stimulated with all these impressions: they enter the mind; the mind is not still; we don't know how to transform the experience of life, as it happens in an instant. Without this understanding of mindfulness, and of fulfilling the basic vows―chastity (Brahmacharya in Sanskrit), sexual purity―the mind becomes overwhelmed, agitated; we cannot sit still. 

This is represented by this image. We find here a monk who is chasing after an elephant. That elephant is our mind. The fact that is dark in the very bottom of the image refers to the dullness of our mind, the laxity of our mental states, the lethargy of our consciousness. This monk is chasing after this elephant. You see, gradually, this elephant becomes subdued, and it becomes white, purified, as a result of mind training, the nine degrees that we are going to explicitly detail.

This is precisely the path that we need to take, to realize that our mind, in the beginning, is―in this instant―very chaotic very wild. There is no control or dominance over the mind typically, in the beginning. This path that winds up towards the mountains of the superior worlds is precisely the path of Dorothy, the Wizard of Oz, the winding golden path of Jnana Yoga, which is knowledge yoga, mind yoga.

It is precisely these higher states where the elephant is tamed and subdued, in which we are free of the mind, and the mind fully obeys our will. We see an image of a monk flying in the astral plane, or in even higher dimensions, Tiphereth, etc., symbolized by the mountains of initiation. For, if we awaken in the internal planes, divinity can show you mountains. A mountain pertains to walking the path of initiation itself.

We want to calm our mind, to develop serene mind, which, as we find that these waters from the mountains descend, the waters of the pure energy of divinity. These waters become turbulent, as they descend toward Malkuth, the physical world, which is represented by this monk leaving a pagoda of three steps. This pagoda is really the body, Malkuth, represented by three floors, which are our three brains: our intellect, our emotions, and our motor-instinctual-sexual dynamics.

The waters are turbulent because the waters of our mind are chaotic. We receive impressions in life; we go through our day with our work, with our daily occupations, or with watching televisions; we receive impressions that enter the mind and are not transformed, that are disturbed. Therefore, the mind, the elephant, has no control.

We must understand this fact, and really be honest. When we sit to reflect, what is the state of our mind? If we want to really enter the path of what meditation actually is, we need to develop concentration first.

"When you lack the elements of serenity,
Even if you meditate assiduously,
You will not achieve concentration
Even in thousands of years."
―Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment

This is the core scripture that Tsong Khapa, a great reincarnation of Buddha, taught in his Lim Rim Chenmo, a Tibetan Buddhist doctrine.

We will explain more specifically each step of this image, in detail.

We really must understand what it means to concentrate, if we are going to practice. So, I'd like to quote from you a teaching from Pabongka Rinpoche from Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, where, in a very stark and explicit manner, he explains precisely and honestly, a maxim that we really need to contemplate, and to realize: are we actually practicing when we sit down? Are we really focused on what we're doing? No practice will have benefit―pranayama, mantra, runes―if we don't understand the nature of concentration itself.

"Though you may pretend you are doing a practice, you are not practicing at all if you do not know what is required to achieve single pointed concentration." ―Pabongka Rinpoche from Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand

In terms of the nine degrees, this is the eighth. It is the second highest rung of actual concentration itself.

"You must definitely achieve single pointed concentration with two features: great clarity together with some stability, and tight image retention." —Pabongka Rinpoche, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand

So the purpose of developing serenity is that when the mind is perfectly still, we can then begin to meditate and reflect the images from the superior worlds. When we're fully relaxed, the mind is completely still, there are no thoughts, no distractions; we have finally reached the highest degree of concertation, meditative equipoise; then imagery can reflect from our Being, from the internal worlds, into our mind, in our clairvoyance, into the lake of our perception. And, when it is still, it can reflect the superior worlds, and we will explain more about what one needs to do when in that state, in detail.

We need great clarity. If we sit and examine our mind, what do we see, and what do we not see? That is the question. If we don't see anything, if we just experience the sensations or memories of the day, from the events of our life, if they are just surging in our mind, without any order, without any clarity, it means that the mind is very dull; it means that we really need to work very hard to develop that clarity, which is born from acquiring more stability.

This is, of course, achieved through self-observation, as we always teach. But, more importantly, mindfulness, as we will elaborate on.

When the mind is serene, meditation is easy; images come of their accord. We talk a lot about imaginative, inspirational and intuitive knowledge. Imagination is when we receive images inside. Inspiration is when we feel the soul's reaction or response of an emotional, superior nature, towards that image; we know that it is a symbol that comes from our Being; we are inspired. Intuition is direct cognition, understanding the nature of that symbol. But, imagination, inspiration and intuition, which we will explain next, come as a result of serene mind; if the mind is completely still. If it is not, we cannot develop insight.

In Buddhism, we talk a lot about two terms: vipassana (special insight) and shamatha (serenity).

Samael Aun Weor explained this very beautifully as imagination and willpower. Imagination is the power to perceive. If the mind is chaotic, if we are not transforming impressions in the moment in which we receive them, we lack that tight image retention, that clarity of mind.

First, we develop, through willpower, control of the mind, as the Master Samael Aun Weor explains in Igneous Rose: that we must dominate the mind with the terrible whip of willpower. So, we need effort, especially in the beginning, to control the mind. But, in the higher degrees of concentration, there is no effort. But, as Master Samael also explained and emphasized, Tsong Khapa says:

"Nowhere does it say anything else but this: if you hope to develop insight (vipassana: comprehension), the training of wisdom, you must find quietude (shamatha / dhyana), that of concentration." —Tsong Khapa

So, if we want insight into the ego, into our defects, we must develop that stability. If we lack that, then there is no wisdom; wisdom meaning: "the power to perceive."

The teachings that we're presenting here come from Tsong Khapa's text, the Lim Rim Chenmo, known as, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. This is one of the core texts of Tibetan Buddhism and is very useful to study.

I know that when the Dalai Lama was fleeing Tibet from the Chinese, he made a special case to take with him his text of the Lim Rim Chenmo, before he escaped from Tibet into India.

​Prerequisites for Developing Genuine Concentration

This text explains the physical requisites, and the psychological training we need to acquire that stability, if what we want is insight. I invite you to really reflect on the nature of these statements, very deeply:

​Dwelling in an Appropriate Area

We cannot meditate if our home is chaotic or cluttered, or if we live with other people who are noisy, who are distracting, especially in the beginning, when we need a sense of quietude, to really focus. To not meditate in a place that is filthy or disorganized. It should be some place that, when we come to sit to practice, we have inspiration to really sit and to relax. Also, if we live in a warzone, we can't meditate; an adept can meditate in any circumstance.

Living in an appropriate area means that we need to leave in a place that there is peace, that there is no threat of our life being in danger. The fact that living here, in this city, in a relatively safe environment, we are fortunate. There are people across the world who cannot even fulfill this requisite, even if they want to meditate. We get this on our forum, people who are writing about this problem.

An appropriate area must be clean, peaceful. It doesn't need to be a temple in our own home, but what matters is that we have a space dedicated to practice. It can be simple: an altar, white tablecloth, candle, religious image; or no altar. What matters is that our environment inspires us, and gives us the capacity to really practice.

​Having Little Desire

This is something that, honestly, most of us don't have. We usually have a lot of desires in our mind that are constantly conflicting, pushing us to do other things other than meditate or practice preliminary concentration exercises; defects which emerge and say, "I want to ride my bike, watch television, take care of this or that responsibility, etc." The mind is surging with this torrent of forces and energies which we have previously put into motion, which formulate into our egos. This is represented by that water in that first image, = descending in torrents from the mountains, into Malkuth, towards the monk in that image. The waters above are very pure, but when these energies of God enter us, into our mind, they become transformed and blackened by desire.

So, we need to have little desire, meaning: curtail our appetite, such as overstimulating foods or elements which may impede us from practicing well.

​Being Content

The term for this, in Sanskrit, is Santosha. In Patanjali's yoga sutras, Santosha means being grateful for what we have, and not craving things that we do not have. Craving gnaws at the mind and produces the inability to sit still.

​Completely Giving Up Many Activities

Meaning, give up fruitless activities, things that are just useless. We all have our habits that we do that push us to do, honestly, dumb things. I am no exception. For instance, Swami Sivananda said, you should give up reading novels, especially things that are just useless―magazines, journal articles, things which do not promote anything in relation to our spirituality. Really, we must abandon that. Typically, in a monastic life, initiates would meditate six hours a day, and study six hours a day. But they would study scriptures that are important, whether in Tibetan Buddhism, the Bardo Thodol, The Tibetan Book of the Dead; in India, the Bhagavad Gita; or the Muslim initiates in the past, with the Qur'an... studying scriptures that matter.

We must abandon useless things, such as watching tv shows, things that fill the mind with garbage. A lot of shows are based on sarcasm and abuse of the mind, or movies that are violent or things that offend the senses.

​Pure Ethical Discipline

This is probably one of the most important: examining our ethics. In a given day, have we lied to someone? This doesn't mean that we said something, but, internally, in our mind, we may have had the thought.

Ethics begins with restraining (Yama) the mind, the senses, from not physically verbalizing, expressing our ego or defects. Niyama pertains to training the mind, deeper, to not have that reaction inside. This is the internal silence that Samael Aun Weor talks about in Revolutionary Psychology.

Our ethics must be very pure. We have to examine where in the day we transgressed, in our mind, in our hearts. 

​Completely Getting Rid of Thoughts of Desire

If we have been studying this teaching, and practicing for a long time, this is really the most difficult. Not thinking evil, but even if we have the thought that we don't want to do this, the mind continues to churn and to gestate with these elements.

So, if we really want to develop meditative serenity, we must abandon all of that. To not think, to not conceptualize, for as Samael Aun Weor stated, in Igneous Rose, in the chapter "Esoteric Discipline of the Mind":

"It is necessary to change the process of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension..." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

Most of the time in the day, we are thinking, and we do not comprehend where our thoughts come from, where they go, what they are doing, how they arise, why they arise. If we are not comprehending those processes in ourselves, in the instant that they happen, we are asleep.

This means that we are churning in the mind in the battle of the opposites. He often talks, such as in The Magic of the Runes, the sensation of contemplation. We must comprehend what arises in us in an instant.
"Those who want to enter into the wisdom of the fire must overcome the process of reasoning and cultivate the ardent faculties of the mind.

"We must only extract the golden fruit from reasoning. The golden fruit of reasoning is comprehension. Comprehension and imagination must replace reasoning." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose, "Esoteric Discipline of the Mind"

Comprehension emerges when the mind is still; this is serenity in Buddhism, shamatha. Imagination is the capacity to perceive, vipassana. So, in his terms, he is explaining the same concept that Tsong Khapa taught.

If we do not comprehend the mind in the instant, we can't perceive. Comprehension is the understanding of something without the need to think about it. Master Samael said that to reason is great crime against the Innermost, because God does think. In our everyday affairs, we need to learn to resolve our issues without the ego involved. The ego thinks, puts thoughts into our minds, impulses in our body to act, but comprehension is when we know how to act without thinking. This is the demarcation between an angel and a demon, precisely.

So, as we learn how to act without thinking, that is how we enter the path of concentration.

I want to emphasize something that Samael Aun Weor stated, which is something that, typically, many students and instructors tend to ignore:

"1. The Gnostic must first attain the ability to stop the course of his thoughts, the capacity to not think. Indeed, only the one who achieves that capacity will hear the Voice of the Silence." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

When we sit, we should not think. But, if we are thinking, distracted, we are not even able to enter concentration. That is the important point.

Usually, we will attempt to practice with the mind churning, distraught, agitated. But, in order to really receive that insight—which is the voice of the silence, the direct action of your Being within your psyche, the impulse of your Innermost, divinity within you—you can't let your mind interfere. This is a type of experience in which you do not think, you know. God knows without thinking, God does not rationalize.

We have here in this image the Buddha, with one hand up and one hand down. This is referring to the need to receive—usually, with the left hand we receive the forces of divinity, and the right hand expresses action. The left refers to the left hand of the body, the lunar receptive nature of ourselves; the right is action. The root word bud, in the word Buddha, means cognizance, awareness, which knows how to receive and knows how to act. But this is not an intellectual process. This is an intuitive process. We must learn how to act from our Being without thinking about it. Usually, the Being gives us a hunch, an insight, and we feel that inclination that comes from somewhere, but we don't know where usually, when we know in our hearts whether an action is right or wrong, and yet, the mind then conceptualizes: "Well, I should do this, because I have this reason," and then the intellect is debating against what we know is right in our heart.

Insight is lightning: you know it's wrong. But, then the mind says, "Well..." and starts to debate. So, the lightning emerges, but the thunder of the mind comes after. This is the demarcation. We can only develop that as we learn to not think. This does not mean that we become stupid, that we don't know how to do our daily obligations and affairs: it means that we do so consciously. We use the intellectual brain under the influence of our Inner God.

So, the first step is, don't think; and then, learn to concentrate.

"2. When the Gnostic disciple attains the capacity to not think, then he must learn to concentrate his thoughts on only one thing." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

That is when real concentration comes into play. We need a certain degree of serenity of mind to really concentrate.

It's important to understand that learning not to think is not the same as mindlessness, or inattention. We need to learn to use our personality, according to the will of our God. We need personality to subsist in this society. We need to be trained, to have vocation, to have certain intellectual knowledge. But, this does not mean that we let our defects use that knowledge in a subjective or harmful way. Instead, we let the Being use that insight to direct our course.

Our daily life is our practice: that is what we really need to analyze and understand. If we sit to meditate for an hour, yet all day, the other 23 hours, we are daydreaming, arguing, fighting, debating, having conflicts―that is a lot of energy that is going contrary to our practice. This is why Samael Aun Weor said that these activities have to saturate every instant of our life. So, our practice is at work, with an intellectual job, or working with other people in a very tough environment.

Our spiritual practice is when we relate to other human beings. Every instant is our spiritual work. If we have the concept that our practices only exist when we sit in our home, isolated from our experience, then we will get nowhere. But, if we let our life be our training ground, in developing genuine concentration, then our understanding will be very robust.

So, we develop that capacity to not think, Pratyahara, which leads to Dharana (concentration)—focusing only on one thing.

"3. The third step is correct meditation. This brings the first flashes of the new consciousness into the mind." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

Real meditation is when you receive information in a new way, when you understand something spontaneously... no thinking involved. Your insight can come as a concept in the mind, but it is not egotistical. The way to differentiate between the superior messages of the Being from the subjective notions of our ego requires developing a lot of clarity, which is why the Master Samael says that we must learn to carefully separate the smoke from the flames. Flames are insight, the Being, the virtues; the smoke is our mind. We must learn how to sift through that in every instant, if what we want is to really develop the capacity to concentrate.

Then, when we can focus on one element at a time, without being distracted from our purpose, that is when we receive new insight: that is when we are meditating.

"4. The fourth step is contemplation, ecstasy or Samadhi. This is the state of Turiya (perfect clairvoyance)." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

This is perception without any filter. It is supra-conscious, no ego involved. We can this experience in our daily life; we don't need to have an experience out of the body, an astral projection, to experience the supra-conscious nature of the Being.

This is perception that is beyond the mind.

Swami Sivananda states that one cannot have any experiences without the Kundalini awakened. Now, this does not mean that the Kundalini has to be fully awakened through sexual magic, but you can awaken sparks through runes, through transmutation... and, that energy in motion, which we need, will awaken the consciousness to have that experience. So, we need that force. We cannot do it without the Divine Mother.

​The Five Flaws to Concentration

Now, to explain the flaws in relation to our concentration, when we sit to practice, I am going to emphasize a teaching from Buddha Maitreya.

Maitreya is a title, but it was given to a certain Master in the past, who gave this teaching of the nature of concentration in his Separation of the Middle from the Extremes.

So, we are going to explain a little what the common flaws in what learning to concentrate are, so that we can examine our practice.

1. Laziness

The mind being dull, which is for most people a common problem.

​2. Forgetting the Object (of Concentration)

We sit to practice, we forget what we're doing. 20-30 minutes go by, and we don't remember anything. We sit, and we wonder to ourselves what we were doing. We forget what we're focusing on.

3. ​Excitement and Laxity (of the Mind)

​This is the mind that is agitated, with either negative emotions, or laxity, meaning that the mind is dull or that there are certain egotistical elements that are influencing our perception, making it dull, as it relates to laziness.

4. ​Failing to Apply the Antidotes When Excitement or Laxity Arises

​In Buddhist teaching, there are certain remedies that we use that Tsong Khapa explained. When we are concentrating, or if the mind becomes dull, there are certain things that we can focus our attention on, in order to remedy that thought, in the instant that it emerges. Likewise with excitement in the mind. Dullness, apathy, or agitation. The mind must be equilibrated. We will explain more about this.

5. ​Excessive Exertion 

Meaning, when the mind has reached certain degrees of stability, it is pointless to exert effort. This is pertaining to the highest degrees of concentration, in which you don't need effort to attain it. All you need is familiarization with that state.

When we work with breath, pranayama, mantra, that can be an object of our concentration. Those energies, the vital forces, by awakening the sparks of the Kundalini, we can have insight. I am going to explain, precisely this point, in relation to this slide.

​The Eight Antidotes to Flawed Concentration

There are eight antidotes to flawed concentration, that Tsong Khapa explains.

This is an image of Tsong Khapa in meditation, who Master Samael explained was the reincarnation of the Buddha. Floating in the clouds, he is meditating next to his disciples. Above him is the heavenly city of the Gods, the Buddhas, or, the Celestial Jerusalem of Revelations. Below are the waters. We see many flowers, many virtues of the Being. If you have an experience in the astral plane, where they show you flowers, they are showing the virtues of your Inner God, inside you. Beautiful flowers, roses, are representations of virtue, since the plant elementals have not left Eden yet; they transmute their creative energies.

We see roses, flowers, immaculate clouds, and the waters. This realization appears as a result of working with our watesr, our seminal force, our sexual energy. And so, one of the best methods to countering laziness, when we are trying to concentrate, is to transmute. Use your breath to mantralize, "Sssssssssssss," "IIIIINNNNRRRRIIII," or "IIIIIIIAAAAAAOOOOO." There are many mantras that we use to sublimate that energy.

Tsong Khapa explained that, to counter laziness, we need to develop faith, aspiration, effort and pliancy.

Faith is in relation, in Buddhist doctrine, to the understanding of the nature of mind; the certainty of the benefits of meditative stabilization. We must really comprehend the benefit of when the mind is really serene, and which we genuinely perceive, from a state of peace, what that state is like. If we don't taste that experience directly, there is no striving.

So, faith does not mean in the Christian sense of belief. In Buddhist doctrine, it is understanding of the genuine, pristine cognitive nature of mind, without flaws. We must have faith in this teaching and about the transformation of our mind, otherwise, we will not do it. The mind is lazy. We must really understand that benefits of having a stable mind, and to actually see it.

If the mind is chaotic, and we don't see what the benefit is of meditative stabilization, we won't strive and practice to achieve it.

Willpower pertains to the need to control the mind, through Tiphereth controlling Netzach. We use our will every time we do runes, pranayama, transmutation, sexual magic... To develop faith in effort in our practice―applying more effort to really concentrate, developing more pliancy in the mind, more stability in the body―we work with aspiration: to aspire. Through inspiration, we inhale the prana in the nostrils, then we bring that energy inward and upward, to aspire, bringing up to our mind, to illuminate it. That develops pliancy. In Buddhist terms, pliancy refers to the flexibility of the consciousness to perceive. This is the dynamic of seeing our mind, as it is, and all the structures of the ego that resist and opposes our effort, because, when we direct our attention towards it, the ego fights back, to not be seen.

In The Revolution of the Dialectic, this is known as structural and transactional analysis. We must see the structure of the ego, when they emerge in the mind. Transactions―such as in a bank, depositing cheques, moneys, accounts, etc.―refers to the movement in the mind. Pliancy pertains to understanding those structures in our mind, as they appear and emerge, and how we're flexible in our perception. We're not distracted, like we're practicing martial arts; we have stability in our body, and we're calmly fighting an enemy, with composure. This is pliancy.

Effort pertains to having strength in our will, which is pertaining to our consciousness, conscious will.

Some benefits I personally have experienced with effort is, listening to a really powerful piece of classical music. For instance, I listened to Mars, by Gustav Holst, who is a gnostic master. He is explaining the effort the we need as a consciousness to fight against degeneration of the mind. This is the power of Samael, the angel of war, but, also our Being, our Innermost relates to Mars, strength. Our Being can inspire us―when we understand the message―to really make efforts to concentrate.

For forgetfulness, if we are forgetting that we are practicing, we need to develop more mindfulness throughout the day. Self-observation is perceiving ourselves in a given instant. Mindfulness is that self-observation throughout an entire day. So, if we keep forgetting that we are meditating or concentrating, we must really be vigilant in our day to day practice: our daily practice has to be our spiritual practice.

When we sit to meditate, and things emerge in the mind, and we become aware of them, then another element emerges saying, "I don't like that," this thought is still subjective. This is excitement of mind: seeing a thought that emerges, that is spontaneous; you don't know where it comes from; it disturbs you, then there is the reaction, "I don't want to see this, I don't want this." This is another ego in the mind. The solution is to develop vigilance. We need to perceive that element as it arises, otherwise, if it passes into the screen of our experience, enters our intellectual brain and has passed already, we have missed the moment. So, we must be in vigil, meaning, awake, not looking at other things, but examining the thought as it emerges. We will explain more about this.

Laxity is if the mind is dull, and we feel sleepy as a consciousness. We need greater clarity in our perception. If our internal sight is befuddled, where we have thoughts and memories and desires, but we don't really see their nature, we need vigilance, which is introspection, perception. We must develop our clarity, and the best way to develop vigilance is to exercise that muscle.

Transmutation is not enough. You can have energy, but, if we don't know how to harness that energy, then the ego takes it. We need force, but we need to have discipline: energy and will, in harmony.

The final antidote to inappropriate application of exertion or effort is equanimity. And, this really applies to the higher degrees to concentration, in which you do not need effort. To exert the mind is to disturb the mind, and you can lose the experience. So, when you have greater stillness pertaining to the eighth and ninth degrees of concentration, you don't need to exert any effort. It is effortless, pertaining to the ninth degree. You need some effort in the eighth degree, which we will explain.

Equanimity means to not need to apply anything, any antidote.

​Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the Four States of Consciousness

We have included some images of the diagram that we have been explaining. Some of you may be familiar with Plato's Allegory of the Cave. In book seven of his Republic, Master Plato explains the nature of the path to truth and understanding. This is synonymous with this map of the nine degrees or stages of concentration in Buddhism.

Likewise, we have Christ, who is ascended, representing any initiate who has fully mastered that state, such as the Tibetan yogi, who is flying in the clouds.

Those of you who are not familiar with The Republic, there is the myth, or Allegory of the Cave, pertaining to any initiate who is ascending from the subconsciousness towards supra-consciousness.

In this image, we have people, who should be depicted as being enchained by their necks, legs and hands, to a wall. Behind them is a fire that burns. These people see nothing but darkness, or, at most, they see people who are passing between the fire and the wall, carrying objects on their heads, pottery, clay, etc. These images project their shadows on the wall. These people who are enchained only see darkness, or they see shadows on the wall, and this is all they know.

So, to reiterate what these states are, we talk about four states of consciousness in the Gnostic doctrine. We have Eikasia, pertaining to sleep of a barbaric nature: complete unconsciousness, darkness. We look in our mind, we see nothing. We know there is thoughts and feelings and emotions, surges of desires, but we don't really see where they are coming from. This is the darkness mentioned in the Book of Genesis, "And darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Ruach Elohim (the Spirit of God) floated on those waters (to transform them.)"

The images on the wall are dreams, Pistis in Greek. Sleep with dreams pertains to the fact that we see images and how we experience life; we have ideas in our mind, concepts; we have thoughts, feelings and expectations, longings, but they are not objective. When we really examine their nature, they are devoid of any substantiality. That is Pistis: people's beliefs about religion, faith, mind, ideas, the way they interact with society.

But we see in this image that there is a superior way out of that. There is a person who is unchained, and who is forced to see the fire directly. That fire is the energy of Christ, and it pertains to the third state of consciousness known as Dianoia.

Dianoia means revision of beliefs, revision of Pistis. This is the perception of the mind without desire. Dianoia is when we are examining our mind, and we see that we are not the mind; we perceive the mind, that it is something distinct and separate from us, with thoughts, feelings, sensations. But we must be forced to experience that―meaning, divinity pushes us to really examine what the shadows on the wall are, which are our previous conceptions of our self: our ideas, culture, language, our pride, our faith, our hatred, our vanity. And so, this guru takes this initiate out of the cave. This winding path out of the cave is precisely this diagram that we see here.

In the Allegory of the Cave, the initiate is forced out of the cave, through a winding path, until finally reaching outdoors, experiencing the starry sky. For the first time, this person who has lived their entire life in the cave, sees the sun and the dawn, which is overwhelming. This is a representation of Nous: a high state of consciousness, super-consciousness. Nous pertains to perception of divinity, to perceive as God perceives. Our God is inside, so, when we unite as a soul with our inner divinity, the soul is one with divinity; it is integral to that. One experiences perception, life, from the perspective of the Being. That is the sun, the Solar Logos. Likewise, in this image, this monk is training to get out of the cave, going up this path, until finally reaching meditative serenity at this stage. And, when walking on this rainbow bridge, one is in Samadhi. Those who are familiar with Richard Wagner, his opera Das Rheingold, which we will watch, the gods tread on this path of the rainbow, to the city of the gods, Valhalla, the hall of the warrior who has defeated himself in battle.

​The Nine Stages of Meditative Concentration

To explain how this Buddhist glyph pertains to the Allegory of the Cave, we will explain some of the symbols. The fact that this path is winding is the work of Dianoia; we are constantly having to revise our concepts of ourselves. When we observe our mind for what it is, we see that we are not who we thought we were. We must change our self-concept.

Master Samael explains that Dianoia pertains to cultural and intellectual synthesis, spiritual knowledge, revision of beliefs, direct perception of what is real. This is awakened consciousness. Dianoia is when we see ourselves differently from how we used to see ourselves, when we change our beliefs about who we were as a person. We cease to be what we were. But Dianoia, on this path of concentration, also pertains to intellectual knowledge of a superior type. So, when Master Samael explains that Dianoia is a cultural, intellectual, spiritual knowledge, this is not the intellectual knowledge of the ego, but a new type of understanding in our mental center, which is superior, abstract. This is a mind that can conceptualize superior concepts without struggling between the battle of opposites in the mind. This is what epiphany refers to, the spark of joy that the soul feels, the pliancy of the mind, in the Buddhist doctrine of the mind, which is free from distraction.

We have here this image of a monk chasing an elephant. That elephant is the mind. The fact that it is black in the beginning represents the dullness of our mind. We do not see anything; we don't understand what our mind is.

There is a fire here on this path; referring to the type of willpower we need to dominate the mind. The monk is chasing after this elephant, likewise, there is a monkey, following before the elephant. The monkey is a restless mind. The monkey is always grabbing things; the intellect, our desires, our emotions are always trying to satiate itself, with desire.

Notice that this fire gets smaller the further up the path that one goes. This is because the amount of effort or engagement one needs with the mind becomes lessened the more that the mind is controlled. In the beginning, it takes a tremendous effort to remember that we are practicing, that we are concentrating, and to not get distracted.

Likewise, the fact that the elephant starts to gain color, becomes white, means that there is gradual purification of the mind. There is greater insight, clarity. Likewise, the monk with the rope in his hand, represents mindfulness, and the hook, vigilance. He gets ahold of the elephant and is starting to turn it towards his direction, meaning, the mind is becoming subdued.

What is important to note, is as this process occurs, the elephant becomes purified of its dullness; the monkey is tamed, until the elephant is completely stabilized, and the meditator is fully in control of the mind, entering the superior worlds.

We also have, in this image, a silk cloth, representing the sense of touch; some fruit, representing taste; a perfumed conch, representing smell; cymbals representing hearing; and a mirror, representing sight. This is because it is through our five senses that we learn to develop concentration. It is not by running away from life, but by using your daily life to develop that concentration, that we make it rigorous. Until we reach the end, the rainbow path of Valhalla, towards the city of the gods, one can enter into higher degrees of calm abiding.

What I am going to explain now, are the nine stages of concentration, that lead to calm abiding. As the Dalai Lama explained, calm abiding pertains to what one attains after the ninth degree of concentration, which is represented by the monk flying in the air, and the monk with the sword, riding an elephant. That sword of fire is wisdom, also representing the Kundalini of any master; it is that energy that gives one the root cognizance of cutting through delusion. So, if you see images of Manjushri in Buddhism, that sword cuts through the distraction of the mind. In that image of Tsong Khapa―I didn't explain―but there is also a sword of fire, to his right. And, there was a book on the left, pertaining to the book of studying one’s life, directly, studying the methods that lead to that insight. So, study, method and wisdom; wisdom is the sword, method is the study. We need a combination of studying the steps of concentration, along with our practical work, the sword, if what we want is to develop that union.

In the image, we also see a bunny. The bunny represents laziness, a subtle form of laziness that appears in the mind when we think we know what we're doing, when we're trying to concentrate. I will explain this specific detail.

​1. Mental Placement 

The first degree is mental placement, which is the beginning of when we sit to practice and we can't remember that we're concentrating. We sit down, and we know that we should be practicing, but we don't know what we're doing. Before this, you could say is stage zero, which is a wild mind; meaning, there is no control whatsoever. This is the state of every human being on this planet. But, when we begin to start to concentrate, we're placing our mind on the practice, and we realize that we can't concentrate. The elephant is running around, but we notice this fact―that is the distinction here.

So, the monk is chasing after the elephant with a hook, representing vigilance, or wisdom, insight, and the rope, represents mindfulness, remembrance of divinity, moment-to-moment.

"The elephant of the mind, wandering wildly, is to be securely bound with the rope of mindfulness, to the pillar of the object of meditation, gradually to be tamed with the hook of wisdom." ―Bhavaviveka

Now, the object of our concentration can be a mantra, an image of a Buddha, an image of a master―I have personally meditated on an image of Master Samael, to invoke him. And, when my mind has been stable and clear, I sense him in my home, with me, and in many other places, when I put that image in my mind, I focus on that as an object of concentration, to receive his help. But, you can also meditate on the mind itself, which is a teaching of Dzogchen, or Mahamudra, the great seal or great perfection teachings of the Nyigma tradition of Tibetan Buddhist, in the Gelugpa; there are four schools of Tibetan Buddhism that we talk about.

So, we can meditate on the mind. Let your own mind be the object of concentration. Observe your mind―what is it like? Let that be your focus. You can develop great stability of concentration that way. Or, you can take a visualization of a stone, or pebble, or piece of art. If you are going to choose an artwork, I would suggest something simple in the beginning, nothing elaborate. Usually, to visualize all the details of an object, of a mandala, a sacred painting in Buddhism, or a painting of Christianity, to master the visualization of that image takes a lot of effort. So, I would recommend, in the beginning, start with something simple, and then, as your capacity to visualize and concentrate grows, expand that. Then, choose images that are more complicated. For instance, it comes to my mind, something that could be useful: which is that, when you are concentrating, if you have an experience in the internal planes, of an image, such as you speak with your Divine Mother, let that be your object of concentration. You sit to meditate, imagine your Divine Mother, as you saw her. That would be more personal to you; you'll have more investment in that practice, that way.

That is mental placement; we forget that we're meditating. We realize that we can't remember what we're doing. So, the type of engagement that we need, the type of effort that we need to really get in control of this element, of the mind, is tightly focused engagement. It takes a lot of effort to control the mind, to catch up to, to run after that elephant. Buddha Maitreya, who gave this teaching, he explained that there is certain antidotes to each stage. It is important to know what these antidotes are. This is not something intellectual; this is something very practical, to help you understand your own experience, your own practice.

He says that, for mental placement, you need to hear the teachings of mindfulness: to really hear them, study them, and apply them, if what we want is to understand what mental placement is. To even realize that the mind is out of control, we need to hear the teachings, in order to change that.

​2. Continual Placement, or Fixation with Some Continuity

Notice that the elephant starts to get a little bit white, the monkey too. The dull mind and the restless mind have a slight purification. This is when we are concentrated; we have some flashes of insight, minor flashes. We tend to forget what we're doing, but we are gaining some insight through understanding what the object of concentration is. The monk still has to chase after the elephant, to gain control. There is more forgetfulness than there is remembrance. The flames represent the effort that we need, the type of willpower we need to gain control. So, at this level, the fire is still very intense. But it diminishes the further along one ascends the path.

​3. Patched Placement

The monk has finally, with the rope of mindfulness, gained ahold of the elephant, and has turned the head towards him. This means that there are more periods of remembrance and control than there are forgetfulness. This is called patched placement, like putting patches on a cloth, to fix up holes. One is basically "patching" their awareness into the practice―there are still periods of forgetfulness, but there is more remembrance than there is forgetfulness. This is a big improvement. The monkey also becomes more purified, the elephant starts to become more tamed. This is the beginning of it becoming tamed. We remember that we are concentrating more than we are forgetting.

4. Close Placement, or Good Fixation

This is a period in our concentration in which we don't forget what we're doing. If we want to meditate on the ego, to annihilate the ego, we need to develop this. We need to reach at least stability in this degree: when we sit to practice and concentrate; we do not forget what we're doing. The problem with this stage is the rabbit on the elephant, which represents laziness. This means that, when we remember that we are practicing, there is a sentiment or influence of the mind that makes us feel that we know what we're doing. We remember that we are meditating, and there is an interference or distraction from the mind that is subtle, that convinces us that we're practicing effectively, when it is really a distraction. That is what the rabbit represents. Notice that the fire is again diminishing; meaning, the amount of effort we need is becoming less.

For the third and fourth degrees, patch-like placement and close placement, is developing more remembrance, mindfulness throughout the day. This means to self-observe and to remember our Being more and perceiving more.

​5. Subduing, Taming, or Becoming Disciplined

At this point, one is dealing more with, rather than the fact that we don't forget what we're practicing, we're dealing with more subtle forms of distraction in the mind. We don't forget what we're doing, but still there is laxity or excitement in the mind, agitation or laziness in the mind in subtle levels, that we need to address. The solution to that―as we see the rabbit there, that is the symbol of laziness, that thinks we know what we're doing―is to develop insight. Specifically, in this stage, referring to awareness or introspection, as Buddha Maitreya teaches, we need to develop our clarity of perception more, insight.

What makes the fifth degree different from the fourth, is that at this point, instead of focusing on the object of concentration, we are focusing on how we perceive. In the beginning, mental placement, we are trying to remember that we're practicing. In the second, we have some brief flashes of insight into the object of concentration. At patch-like placement, we remember to concentrate more than we forget. The fourth degree, we don't forget the object of concentration―this is all about the object, up to this point. At the fifth degree, we are now focusing more on our perception: how do we perceive the object of concentration. We observe how we observe. In studies, we call it meta-cognition. The solution to this, is to develop more awareness for introspection. The difference between introspection and mindfulness has to do with the quality of our perception. Mindfulness is remembrance throughout the day, but introspection is that we're sharpening that, applying antidotes when we need to. When the mind is agitated or relaxed, we direct our attention to that, we turn to the object of concentration.

Also, you now notice that the monkey is becoming tame: it is following the elephant, and it is half purity, half dullness, in this image of the elephant.

​6. Pacification or Becoming Peaceful

The mind is becoming very crisp. There is greater serenity of mind. One is still dealing with some subtle forms of laxity and excitement, which we must carefully address. At this point, what makes the sixth degree different from the fifth degree is that we must not over-apply the remedy to excitement; we don't want to heighten the mind more. We want it to become more pacified, more clear. By antidotes, we are referring to countering the influences of laziness or excitement. Such as, if the mind is excited, one can reflect on the impermanence or transient nature of the ego that emerges in the mind, or the impermanence of life and death, of fatality, to curb the excitement of that mind. Or, if there is laziness, we apply effort. But, here, we don't want to over-apply the remedy, so that the waters of the mind become agitated. But we do want to become more pacified.

​7. Complete Pacification or Becoming Very Pacified

This degree is very important. In the previous degrees, from the third degree to the sixth degree, we were referring to a type of engagement with the mind, which is called, in Buddhist terms, interrupted engagement. Meaning, we are applying effort, but our efforts are always being interrupted by distractions―to one degree or another. Whether, gross, like at the fourth degree, when we don't forget to practice, towards the sixth degree, as we become more pacified―we are still dealing with distraction.

But, at this degree, complete pacification, this is a state of concentration in which you see distractions before they even arise. So, you see a thought before it even appears; you see from where it comes from. This is a very clear and sharp cognizance. The elephant is now following the monk, the monk does not have to use any force. Still, he is using effort to a degree, to lead the elephant after him, but the mind is pacified, meaning, one still has distractions, but one catches them before they even appear. This is going to be very hard to understand. But, you may have had the experience, such as an out of body experience when meditating, when you see the ego before it even projects its films on the screen of our mind.

There is a Sufi saying by Al Qushayri that emphasizes this point.

“It is said, ‘Silence for the common people is with their tongues, silence for the gnostics is with their hearts, and silence for lovers is with restraining the stray thoughts that come to their innermost beings.’"
―​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

At this point, you catch the mind before it even acts. This is very sharp. I have experienced this in different occasions, such as out of the body, receiving teachings where I could sense my ego was about to act, before it even happened. So, this is a very sharp cognizance that we need to cultivate.

​8. Single-pointed Attention

I chose the image of a samurai to illustrate this, because the type of attention we need is a sword. One-pointed means that there are no distractions; there is no subtle excitement, no subtle laxity in the mind. If you are familiar with the spiritual culture of the samurai, which is bushido, the way of the warrior, their training was such that, they eliminated all fear or excitement from their minds before they went to battle. This is before this tradition degenerated. For instance, the samurai would symbolically commit harakiri, or seppuku, to kill themselves. When this tradition degenerated, they did it literally. But this is symbolic of the need to die in the ego. So, with one pointed perception, one can deal with one’s mind, one’s enemies, without being distracted, with perfect awareness, or rather, close to perfect, because there is a degree higher than this... The fact that one is in single-pointed attention or concentration, demonstrates that there isn’t even any subtlety or laxity in the mind at all. There are no distractions, but still, it is not perfect, because we need effort to maintain that state.

​9. Balanced Placement, Fixed Absorption or Meditative Equipoise

This pertains to the mind that has reached its natural state. This does not mean that the ego has been eliminated. It means that the mind is settled to its original point of being; no distractions. It takes no effort to maintain this state. One just simply must be familiar with how the consciousness functions at this degree.

There is a Sufi quote that explains this very well.

"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!"

So, in the lower degrees, we need effort, we need will, to act to really control the mind. But, in the higher degrees, to really be a Sufi, to be pure in mind—Suf means "purity" in Arabic, referring to wool-like clothing, which is a symbol of purity—we don't need any effort. To be a Sufi, to have that realization, there is no effort involved.

"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

So, to reach this point, you need will, effort. But, when you reach that point where the mind is completely equilibrated, you don't need any effort, you just need to be familiar with that state. The elephant is completely tamed at this degree; one just need to be settled at that state.

Now, this ninth degree, meditative equipoise, pertains to Tiphereth in Kabbalah. Tiphereth is the human consciousness or soul, which we call willpower, our human will. It seems ironic that real willpower requires no effort. But it is true. If you are in the internal planes, in a very clear, lucid state, you don't need effort to maintain it, when it is very fully developed. But, if you find that you are struggling to maintain that state, then you need some effort. But all it takes to maintain this state is to be equilibrated.

To elaborate on this teaching that Buddha Maitreya taught, I'll relate to you an experience that I had, in the astral plane, many years ago, where my Being taught me this, before I even knew about these nine stages.

Specifically, I woke up in the astral plane, and I went outside my home and I invoked my Innermost, my God, and I dove into the Earth, into the crust, to go towards the center of the planet, to be with my Being. The astral plane is material, like the physical plane, but it is a little more subtle in nature. So, you can fly through walls, or go through the Earth, breathe in water, fly through the seas. So, I went into the Earth, and I entered darkness. At that moment, I felt the presence of my Inner Being, and I heard a breathing, and this symbol of the breath pertains to the spirit, because the Innermost is the presence of force, the breath of God, which the Sufi's talked about, Al-Nafs, Ruh, in Arabic, or Ruach in Hebrew. It was a terribly divine presence.

In that moment, my God showed me something where, if you can imagine a silent film, such as when a camera lens opens, to see an image emerge from the center of a black screen, to see a scene that immediately played out. There was a yellow car skidding, like a souped-up race car. Immediately, driving off, wildly, toward the distance. And, I knew, intuitively, I had to catch it. So, I flew after it. This was a test from my Being, and it took a lot of effort to catch up to it. I was fighting to catch after it, but then, I saw that the car was starting to slow down, I was gaining ground, I had to put less effort to get to it. And so, eventually, I was victorious, and the car was starting to stop, I came up to it, and the car opened, and a bald man came out. I asked him, "Are you my Innermost?" He said, "No, I am just a representation." And I woke up.

So, the car was yellow. Yellow is the symbol of the mental body, the mind, knowledge. That car was my mental body, driving around chaotically, crazily, and it took a lot of effort to catch up to it. The teaching was pertaining to the need for me to catch up to my elephant. It took less and less effort the closer I got, until the point where the car stopped on its own, and I was able to talk to the driver. The fact that the driver was bald is a representation of the ego, because the ego is bald from fornication; baldness is a symbol of the mind that fornicates.

So, I caught up with the car, and this is a symbol of obtaining these nine degrees. I am going to provide you this glyph, which is everything we just discussed. It explains here what the characteristics are of each stage, what is the type of engagement that we need when we concentrate, and also the power that is needed.
We explained how mental placement is when we can't remember that we're meditating. So, we need to use a lot of effort and to really hear the teachings, to understand them.

Continual placement: flashes and moments of comprehension, we still need a lot of force and engagement to catch up with the mind. At this point, we need to contemplate the teachings. Here, we need to really understand the value of the teaching from experience, and not to observe merely intellectually.

I won't go through the entire list now, but you have in this glyph everything that we discussed, to help with understanding these stages.

Something else I also want to mention, in relation to the ninth degree, meditative equipoise. In this state, we don't need to apply any effort. Another experience that I had, recently, I found myself looking in the astral plane, looking at the horizon. I have been doing a lot of the practice of the mantra S M HON, to clear my mind. I found myself in the astral plane, before dawn, there was some light on the horizon, and there was a sky with barely any patches of cloud, but was otherwise very clear; I saw the stars. To see stars in the internal planes, means that the mind is clear, and that divinity is expressing, present. I didn't need to apply any effort at that point. I was just awake, and they were showing me, that when you're transmuting and clearing your mind, let that be your object of concentration, this is your mental state. To see stars is a good thing. If you see stars, they are showing you that you're being connected with your divinity. Stars pertain to the Divine Mother, Nut in Egyptian mythology.

But I also saw something very interesting there, which is relevant to this topic. When I was looking in the stars, I saw a ship, spaceship, like a boat. At first, I was almost going to ignore it. But it was hovering in the horizon, and I saw this ship was just floating there. Telepathically, I asked, "Come take me, I want to be helped." Immediately, the ship came, a magnetic force pulled me on board, and I was on the ship.

To be invited on a space ship, in the astral plane, is divinity inviting you to go to a higher level of being, asking you to ascend from an inferior level, like in the Allegory of the Cave, to see the stars for the first time, divinity. This is a state of Noetic consciousness, Nous, where you are perceiving divinity directly.

When your mind is illuminated, if you are clear, the natural state of the mind is stars, divinity. So, if you see that, it means that they're showing you your level. In the astral plane, if you ask, "How am I doing?" And you see the sky, the nature of the sky is the nature of your mind. If it is cloudy with storms, that is your mind churning. But, if you see stars, that means that your mind is so clear that, for once, your divinity can help you. But the fact that I was invited by this ship demonstrates that if you really want to get help, you have to reach that state. That is the point of me relating this experience. The thing is, we receive help all the time, but we don't see it. But, when you're in the ninth degree of concentration, which is seeing the stars, clearly, then you can receive even more help. This is represented by the image at the top of the Tibetan mural. If we really want to be aware of who is helping us, to have that clarity, reach the ninth degree, in which you don't need effort or exertion, and in which you see clearly. So, it is from the ninth degree of concentration in which you can enter higher degrees of understanding in the internal planes.

​The Myth of Proteus

The Buddhist doctrine, and the teachings of Plato are not the only ones that explain this. We find this teaching in the Odyssey, by Homer, the Greek poet.

In the Odyssey, after the Trojan war, Menelaus—who we see in this image—the King, was returning back to Sparta. He was stranded at sea without wind, and he was trying to discover which God was punishing him, so that he could make appeasement in ritual, to produce his return home. He was confronted by Eidothea, a sea goddess, a sea nymph, who explained to him that, "My father, the God Proteus, will help you return, and prophecy for you, if you catch him."

So, in this poem, there is a scene where King Menelaus was disguised as a seal, a creature of the sea, in order to ambush Proteus and to wrestle him to the ground, to get him to provide answers to his questions.
Menelaus states to Eidothea, the daughter of Proteus—Proteus is a God of the sea, who could shapeshift, and Eidolthea, the daughter says, if you want to get the answers you need, you have to catch Proteus: Proteus is going to shapeshift on you, change the sea creatures into beasts, into fowl, into all sorts of serpents and creatures... and no matter what he turns into, you have to hold on to him. This relates to how, when we are concentrating and controlling our mind, the mind shapeshifts: desires, thoughts, beliefs, ideas, concepts—Proteus, in our mind, is always shifting. But, if you want to get the answers you seek, you must hold on for dear life, and use that will, until finally, Proteus will give in. And, when your mind is completely controlled, then the Gods can speak to you; such as the stars in the experience I provided.

Menelaus says to Eidothea: “Show me the trick to trap this ancient power, or he’ll see or sense me first and slip away. It’s hard for a mortal man to force a god.” ―The Odyssey, IV. ll. 442-444

Samael Aun Weor says, when you're with your Being in meditation, you must be demanding with your God. It sounds blasphemous... but, the thing is, when you're concentrating, you must be so dedicated that, no matter what happens, you're never going to forget what you're doing. Then, you will demand to your Being, "Show me and teach me, so that you can give me the insight that I need."

So, Menelaus was describing, in his story, how he caught Proteus:

“Now there was an ambush that would have overpowered us alloverpowering, true, the awful reek of all those sea-fed brutes!"

So, Proteus was surrounded by sea lions, and many other animals that smelled terrible: that is our mind. Lust smells awful; it is a psychological characteristic which hypnotizes the mind and is filthy. When we try to meditate on our lust, that element fights to feed itself and is really overpowering. The solution is given by Eidothea, which was a kind of ambrosia, applied under the nose.

"Who’d dream of bedding down with a monster of the deep? 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.” ―The Odyssey, IV. ll. 495-501

What is that ambrosia? It is our transmutation. When you transmute the sexual energy, you can confront your mind with strength, the lust of the sea animals that we carry within.

"…but we with a battle-cry, we rushed him, flung out arms around him—he’d 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

You must control your mind, even if it shapeshifts. We need pliancy of the mind to control it, no matter what distraction it provides, as Homer teaches.

So, the higher levels of shamatha, which is really what calm abiding is, pertains to superior consciousness in the internal planes.
The nine degrees of concentration we were explaining lead to this point, which is a kind of concentration in which we become very skilled in the astral world, and beyond. So, the image of the top of the Tibetan mural, being above the mountains, represents the superior dimensions of the Tree of Life.

We emphasize, in brief, the nature of Kabbalah. We have on the left an image of Arik Anpin, the celestial man, divided into four worlds. Likewise, the Tree of Life on the right, divided into four worlds, which are Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah. Assiah is the world of action, matter, energy; Yetzirah is the world of formation; Briah, creation; and, Atziluth, archetypes.

So, the simple way in which we can break this down is, on the Tree of Life, the world of archetypes, which are very abstract, the nature of Christ, is Atziluth, which is Kether-Chokmah-Binah, Father-Son-Holy Spirit. In the world of Briah, we have the Innermost, Chesed, the Divine Soul, Geburah, and the human soul, Tiphereth. So, everything that we have been talking about in relation with concentration, pertains to how we use our willpower. In the higher levels of shamatha, we are in the world of Briah, represented by the rainbow, as well as the world of Yetzirah, which is the mental world, Netzach, the astral world of Hod and the vital world, Yesod. Everything that we are describing here, pertains to Assiah, at first; how we, in our physical body, learn to meditate. Then, when we develop concentration here, we can investigate the world of Yetzirah, the world of formation, the astral world, the mental world. Yetzirah is governed by angels; Briah is governed by Archangels, like Samael, Orifiel, Gabriel, Raphael, etc. Atziluth pertains to direct influence of God within the Tree of Life.

We will explain more about this image in another lecture, how the Tree of Life is represented in each of these four worlds. We use this glyph of the ten Sephiroth as a map of our consciousness, or the higher levels of concentration too, in which each Sephiroth has four aspects; Atziluth, in which God acts directly; Briah, in which the forces of divinity work through the Archangels, in the different Sephiroth; Yetzirah, the angels working under the Archangels, the Cosmo-Creators; and, Assiah is our physical plane.

In a more complicated sense, we say that there are forty spheres, but we talk about ten in synthesis. I point this out because, we're at the feet here, Malkuth. We're trying to concentrate, and we must work with our waters, control our earth, then we can enter into the superior worlds, represented by the Solar System, the genitalia of the celestial man, and likewise up the Tree of Life. So, there are degrees of how we develop cognizance.

Lastly, to emphasize the points we made, I'd like to quote a Sufi teaching, from Al-Risalah, Principles of Sufism, a teaching by Al-Jurayri.

[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 (mushahadah) of the divine." —Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah

What is divinity on the Tree of Life? Allah, the top of the Tree of Life, Kether-Chokmah-Binah, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, light of divinity, manifested on the Tree of Life. This is the Being. Da’ath is the secret sphere in the throat, pertaining to knowledge, sexual knowledge: how we work in transmutation. It is with the throat, by using mantra, is how we work with our creative potential in our vital body, specifically.

So, if we do not establish "awe of duty" meaning, we don't feel that awe and fear of divinity, and the fear that, if we don't practice, we will degenerate. It is only by developing that awe of our practices that, really, the respect that we have towards the tradition, the exercises we use to develop vigilance, in relationship to ourselves and our Being, we can obtain disclosure―meaning, to tear the veil, to see the internal planes and to develop contemplation, cognizance, like when you see the stars in the astral plane. Contemplation, in Arabic, is mushahadah, which relates to the Arabic pillar of faith, the Shahadah, which is, "I believe in Allah, Allah is Allah, and Muhammed is His Prophet." A real Muslim is someone who has really experienced divinity, who has cognizance of the divine. We can only reach that if we develop our capacity to concentrate, then, once you develop concentration, insight will come, spontaneously. That is the next stage we are going to talk about.

​Questions and Answers

Audience: Samael Aun Weor said, more or less, you're not going anywhere in meditation unless you develop serenity first... that's really high up there on that diagram. Personally, I've found that, to progress on that path, getting serenity first, is related to the breath, rhythmic breath, is what leads to serenity.

Instructor: Right. Transmuting, working with Da’ath, is how you clear your mind; especially with something like the mantra S M HON, I have found that very effective, personally, to illuminate the sky of the mind. You can also do vowel Sssss, which is great for that; you can do INRI, Om Masi Padme Yum, Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Swaha; Klim Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Swaha, and many other mantras that you can use to train your mind.

This is basic. We should do that every time we practice, so that the mind is clear. Then, we can develop that serenity that we need.

Audience: I find also that, when you do concentration on mantra, more and more it is effective at knocking out those extraneous thoughts. There is just no room, and I concentrate on that vibration, and it is a serene state of mind; that is what is helping me more. There is no room for those crazy thoughts, because I am concentrating on the mantra.

Instructor: The thing is, if you're not experiencing any distractions, that pertains to a state related to the ninth degree, in which the mind is not distracted; there are no elements perturbing the mind: there is serenity. And, there are degrees. Sometimes, that ninth degree for one person maybe different for another, even within a single individual. It will fluctuate. So, don't think that, by describing these nine stages, that you go from one to the other, strictly, like a checklist. There is fluctuation. In one meditation session, you can go from the first degree to the sixth, or the fourth degree to the ninth, and back again. You can have an experience, lose it, and go back to a wild mind. It is dynamic; pertaining to our effort of will, and our work, as well as what our Being wants.

Audience: That is what I was going to say about what Samael Aun Weor said about emptying your mind. It seems that, we must practice with ethics, and with an object in meditation and that is going to get us closer to the point when we can empty our minds of thoughts. But, it's not like it is going to just happen step by step―it is going to be a combination of steps, and that's how it feels to me.

Instructor: Yes, and that is why Samael Aun Weor said that there are many students of, say Krishnamurti ―Krishnamurti is a great Master, taught a lot of valuable things about the mind. But, the problem with his students is that... well, first off, Krishnamurti did not teach chastity. He was not allowed to teach that. So, he did not teach it openly. Therefore, students study him very intellectually, meanwhile, they fornicate. Therefore, the mind of the one who does not practice chastity has no purity of mind, no pure ethical discipline―the mind is chaotic. So, these people who study these doctrines, but fornicate, they're not fulfilling the very basic requisite of religion, of yoga; which is Yama / Niyama, restrain the mind, restrain the body... that is basic. Many people try to meditate, for twenty years, thirty years or more... but they fornicate. They are just wasting their time. It really is tragic.

People try to skip steps. They think, "Oh, I don't need to practice Brahmacharya." But, Patanjali says that this is basic; Buddha said that you need to be chaste, Jesus the same thing, "You must be born again of water and spirit."

Here is the thing, like Sivananda said, if you fulfill the basic requirements of ethics in your daily life, your concentration will be very strong, and meditation will be easy. So, try to apply ethical discipline and purity in mind, body and heart, moment by moment, day by day. Then, when you concentrate, it will be much easier. The mind will be stable. Then, you can practice the higher degrees of meditation itself. But the firmer we are in our foundation, like in that image of the pagoda, then we can ascend towards the superior worlds.

Audience: Who painted the image of the Allegory of the Cave?

Instructor: I don't know.

Audience: So, that's not all symbolism, right? There is so much random stuff in there.

Instructor: I think in that painting, there is people looking at iphones, televisions, etc. I chose that image in particular because that is typically what we do. Personally, if I watch television, I try to watch opera, or films that are meaningful. But the fact that people are hypnotized by the television screen... they don't see the light.

Eikasia, in Greek, literally translates as "imagination." But, Samael calls it darkness. So, there is an interesting dynamic here. With Eikasia, we can be visually very awake, perceiving images and light, physically, but, psychologically, we can be completely asleep. So, we have perception, but, it is not conscious.

With television, people typically get hypnotized. The world really is what the book of Genesis says: "The world was formless and void, darkness was upon the face of the deep." That is our elephant, that is sitting in front of the television, our distractions.

One of the things that the Buddhists teach is the need to refrain from the paths of distraction. Meaning, part of our ethical discipline should be avoiding, say, going to movie theatres, where in the astral atmosphere, there is a lot of filth.

Audience: You mentioned dance halls once…

Instructor: It depends. Brothels, places like that, bars, are filled with larvae and filth. However, ethical discipline is to avoid places like that. I always recommend, for students, don't go to those places, if you want your mind to be clean. It is good to feed our mind with healthy impressions. If you watch a movie, watch an opera―which we will be doing more of here―something positive. That gives you good impressions in the mind, that can inspire you to really connect with your Being. Whereas, watching the movie Seven, or something about violence or bloodshed, or films that are very offensive to the sight...

Audience: More and more, they're not innocuous at all. They're graphic...

Instructor: Feed your mind with good impressions. I personally try to avoid that kind of thing.

Audience: Going back to that painting about the Allegory of the Cave, did you see the peeker? The eyes behind the bench? Is there symbolism behind that?

Instructor: We could say that, that person is someone on the other side of the wall, and has the opportunity to see the light, but, such a person doesn't care; that is my interpretation of that image. But, the fact that their faces are like zombies... that is really our daily life.

In order to change, we must work with the fire, which is Daath, the sexual energy, to give us light. And then, when you are transmuting, watch what you eat. The Muslims say, eat only what is lawful, in Sufi scripture. This doesn't pertain to merely physical food―not eating pork is one thing. Pork is a food with a lot of degenerative elements, that can feed our lust. To eat what is lawful is to eat the right impressions, meaning, what you feed your mind. It is avoiding consuming garbage, whether television, books, or visiting bad places.

Audience: I was wondering if you could go over the first rite of rejuvenation again? It's after the first one, when you spin? You said that, after completing that, and shutting your eyes and standing there, you did some other thing?

Instructor: You bend your knees. Take your three fingers, put them on your third eye... this is partially to gain your balance, but, you're also taking all that energy that you accumulated through that gyration, and sending it to your third eye. You close your eyes, gain your balance, and you focus that energy, that chi, that ki, in the third eye, to awaken your clairvoyance.

Audience: You don't say any mantra at this point? You just focus?

Instructor: No, you just focus. The only other mantra you need to do in that practice is, "Open Sesame." And, that mantra, is something that we need to accomplish, symbolically. We need to open our mind, to receive the solar light.

So, again, to concentrate, the runes can help us, the sacred rites can help us.

Thank you for coming.
<![CDATA[Ethics, Karma, and Interdependence]]>Thu, 31 Jan 2019 21:09:37 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/ethics-karma-and-interdependencePicture
The following transcription is from an audio lecture on Gnostic Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy.

This is the second lecture in the course that we have initiated on meditation—discussing the requisites, as well as the necessary steps we need in order to really understand how to meditate, how to acquire information about any given phenomena.

We previously discussed the nature of the Eightfold Path of Yoga as taught by Patanjali, namely: Yama-Niyama, which is ethical discipline, restraint, "to do or not to do," literally speaking.

We also spoke about asana, which is posture. We talked about pranayama, the work with sexual energy, transmutation, moral purity. We also talked about pratyahara, which is the suspension of the senses: to withdraw the mind from the external sensorial perceptions, to have silence of mind.

We also spoke about dharana (concentration): to focus the mind on only one thing. And, we spoke about dhyana, which is actual meditation: to receive information about an object, to perceive the new, and to comprehend any given object of our meditation. And then, samadhi, which is ecstasy, comprehension: it is to perceive without the filters of the ego.

In this lecture, we are speaking about Yama and Niyama. We are speaking about the necessity to curtail negative habits of body, speech, and mind. We're going to talk about the foundations of meditation, precisely in how we cultivate genuine ethics and discipline, so that we can make our practices effective.

On this subject of ethics, we always speak about karma, because karma comes from the Sanskrit, karman, which means cause and effect. It pertains to the fact that whatever actions we produce will necessarily produce certain results.

Likewise, interdependence, which is a Buddhist concept, but that we find in all traditions. It is how all phenomena are inextricably linked. Internal states, external events, constitute two dynamics of one thing: our relationship to each other, to humanity, to ourselves.

The importance of ethics cannot be underestimated. It is ethical discipline, following what is called the ten commandments of Moshe [Moses], the ten meritorious actions of Buddhism, is how we purify our mind, in which we have the stability of consciousness in order to genuinely enter the higher stages. For instance, we have yama and niyama, which precede asana. It is impossible to sit down with one’s posture to meditate if, throughout the day, we committed fornication or adultery, or we stole... people who have bad habits, who lack moral discipline, if such people try to approach the science of meditation, it is impossible for them to sit still. We cannot sit still if we have had an argument or have been angry in some way.

If we want to be able to have a stable, firm and relaxed asana (posture), we first need to, throughout the day, be very disciplined in how we act. As the Buddha Gautama Shakyamuni taught us, in the Dhammapada:

"Mind precedes phenomena; we become what we think."

If what we think is evil, then our actions will be evil. But, if what we think is pure, then good results will follow, as the Buddha taught.

In this lecture, in talking about ethics, we are going to discuss a lot of the Muslim and Sufi teachings, specifically from Al-Risalah, by Al Qushayri. We are going to talk a lot about Hinduism and Buddhism regarding the law of karma and interdependence as well.

Here, we have a quote from Rumi which really emphasizes the necessity for the curtailing of wrong habits, wrong views.

"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."
Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
When we awaken in the internal planes, the peacock can symbolize pride, vanity, one’s appearance, how we make ourselves visible to others. The tail, with its colors, is, really, our enemy: this illusion of self that we typically carry within, which we need to curtail through ethics.

"The world is the mountain, and each action, the shout that echoes back.
Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi

This is karma. If we speak wrong words, if we are vulgar, if we are rude to another person, that will produce its corresponding consequence.

This is such a basic concept, but it really is essential, especially as we relate to other people. What we are internally affects what experience externally. If we carry any type of negativity in our internal states, that affects others, even though it may not be visible to us on the surface.

"This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace to extract the silver from the dross."
―​Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi

This is an alchemical statement. "This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace," in which our psychological elements can be burned. Particularly, if we are married and working in alchemy, this is our furnace. The silver is a metallic element representing the sexual energy: the lunar forces. The dross is our psychological, egotistical impurities, the shells that are discarded as we extract consciousness from each ego. In order to do that, we first need ethics, discipline, and we need "rough treatment," meaning, we need to be treated badly. This is the difficult thing that we don't want to encounter; we don't want people to insult us, or to say harmful things, or be negative. But, when people do that for us, they are doing us a favor, if we are wise...

When people are condemnatory, prejudiced, this is how our egos emerge. If we act on that defect or ego, then as a result, we make the other human being suffer, and it becomes the law of the talion: "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth." The law of retribution. But, there is a superior law we need to develop within, which is the law of mercy.

So, this is our furnace, the psychological gymnasium that Master Samael Aun Weor speaks about so frequently, which relates to three social spheres: how strangers may be rude to us so that we might perceive our egos, that are not necessarily the subtlest and deeply rooted in our psyche. We also have friends and family, which is typically more stressful. And, lastly, the most difficult ordeal is our own partner: our wife or husband, for those who are married. It is precisely from this psychological pressure which exerts itself on our psyche, to stimulate and boil the waters at 100 degrees Celsius, so that those elements that need to be destroyed will emerge and can be worked on. We need difficulty.

It is important that we must face these challenges. As Friedrich Nietzsche, author of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, taught: "Is not the greatest thing, the most difficult thing that the spirit of the renunciate seeks to develop, is to take on challenges in order to exalt in its own strength?" Oftentimes, we look at ordeals and problems and we don't want them. But, we really need them. We need to be challenged, so that we can really flex our spiritual muscles and grow.

Those elements are boiling in those waters, in either temptation or conflict, so that we can see them for what they are, to observe them. This is key. This is how one becomes an angel: through difficulty.

This image is of an Elohim, or angel, crowning a woman. That woman is our soul. If we want to be crowned, to receive the crown of life, we must be faithful unto death, as the book of Revelation teaches us: be thou faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life. The crown is precisely Kether, Chokmah and Binah, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, the three energies of the Lord in one, the Tri-unity. This is represented by the angel, it is our Inner God, who crowns us if we are faithful unto death, meaning: every day we work on our pride, our anger, our lust, meditating on those defects that were boiling when someone said something insulting to us. We must remember that, in order to really work on that ego, on those defects, we cannot act on those defects. If in the moment we react to the external impressions of our insulter, then, we in turn strengthen our ego, our defects. But, if we restrain our mind, we respond with kindness, we're developing virtue.

Swami Sivananda teaches that every time an ego of anger emerges, when someone insults us, if we curtail and restrain our mind from reacting and behaving in a negative way, we strengthen our virtue. In turn, we give more force to our soul. But, every time we identify, even mentally with our chatter—psychologically in the intellectual center, our negative feelings in our emotional center—then we strengthen our habits, terribly. In order to really work effectively on the ego, we must catch that defect, as soon as it arises.

Observation is restraint. As we observe ourselves, we are learning how to not act on our desires. It is that restraint that is really the essence of discipline. If we do not restrain our mind, it is like feeding the lion.

In this image, we have Sufis dancing at Sama, which is a spiritual concert. We find this quote from Al-Qushayri, a Sufi Master and scholar, who wrote a book called Principles of Sufism. He explains the following:

"It is related that Ibn al-Mubarak said, ‘We have greater need of a little bit of refinement than a lot of knowledge.’"
―​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

It is good to read books, to study this doctrine intellectually, but we have a greater need of even a little bit of psychological purity, than having mere intellectual knowledge. This is not to downgrade the necessity for studying books and lectures, receiving help and clarification that way... what is more important is applying the teachings. That is the only time that is becomes real, when we apply them practically. For, as we say, this teaching is really a dead letter, that only the spirit can vivify. Meaning, the letter kills, if we just leave it at the level of the intellect, the soul is dead. But, when we fully enact it, then, any scripture or book becomes living: it becomes part of our soul.

So, we need more refinement in our habits than we do for reading books. That is the important thing; study is important, but practice is essential.

"I heard Muhammad bin al-Husayn say… that bin al-Mubarak said, ‘We sought for right conduct once the teachers of right conduct had left us.’"
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

This is explaining a common habit in spiritual groups, where individuals often may be taught by a master... and when I say master, I am talking about a master of the Major Mysteries, who has reached the Fifth Initiation of Fire, raising the Kundalini up the physical, vital, emotional, mental and causal bodies. Someone who has reached Tiphereth in the center of the Tree of Life, and has incarnated Christ, as a Bodhisattva. Many times, Bodhisattvas come to teach humanity, but, people do not really get the message, because people tend to intellectualize, read too much, and not practice.

So, once these teachers leave, such as in the case of Samael Aun Weor, he taught right conduct and he disincarnated and is working with initiates in the internal planes. Then, people start looking for their teacher... well, we have his books, but now we seek the right path after we have received the teachings. This emphasizes a dynamic or quality within disciples.

We need to really take advantage of the practice, of this discipline.

"It is said that if one has three traits, one is never a stranger. They are avoiding doubters, behaving well, and restraining oneself from causing harm."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

What does it meant to be a stranger? We find in the Old Testament, oftentimes in Judaism, the stranger is associated with the gentiles—those who are not Jews. This does not literally mean those who are not of the Jewish race or culture; it refers to initiates, those who are not initiated and who have not received the crown of life, because Yew, or Yehudah, Iod-Chavah, Judah and Jehovah, and Yehu, all have the same letters associated with each other.

To be a stranger is to be unconscious and asleep; it is to not be an initiate. It is to not have development with the creative energies of God, and through discipline. We need to avoid doubters, meaning, it is not good to necessarily associate with people who are very skeptical, and who are negative. Negative emotions are more infectious than any disease. If someone is angry, and they give a speech to a group of people, they infect other people with that anger. This is not ethics at all. Many religious teachers, preachers, of different denominations and traditions—whether in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, even in Buddhism—who are filled with skepticism and cynicism, infect students. This is a crime, because that creates doubt. Once people are filled with fear and dependency on a group, or doubt about a teaching, about how to change, that is a terrible karma. There are terrible consequences for misleading people in that way. Doubters are really people who try to pull us away from our practice. We need to be very disciplined. If we must associate with certain people, then we have to multiply our diligence and our ethical state of mind.

Behaving well is necessary. When we talk about behaving well, we are talking about, as in Buddhism, the trainings of body, speech and mind. In other words, our three brains, in the Gnostic doctrine. Body is the motor-instinctual-sexual brain; speech is usually related to our emotions, because as Jesus taught:

"Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

"For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

"These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
―​Matthew 15: 17-20

It doesn't really matter what you consume, but really what comes out of your mouth, is what he said. Speech relates to the heart, because what is in our emotional center expresses through our speech. If we are negative and evil, if we cultivate that in our mental states, our emotional states, we will speak degeneration, and that affects others. Usually, when people are very negative, we should avoid them and not open our doors to receiving impressions which we know will infect our heart. Part of our ethics is to be wise in our relationships, and to curtail our mind, for again, as Nietzsche said in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, "For some people you may not give your hand, only your paw, and I desire that your paw should also have claws." So, we must learn to establish boundaries with people. Being compassionate does not mean being a doormat, for people to walk all over and abuse us. Compassion is knowing how to establish boundaries for the benefit of oneself and others.

This relates to speech, because how we speak determines to how we relate to other human beings. When we work with our emotional brain, we are really dominating our tongue; these two things are intimately related.

Finally, we have mind, which is our intellectual center.

In Buddhism, we talk about avoiding the sins of body, which is fornication, using intoxicants or drugs, alcohol, etc. Likewise, for the abuse of the heart, we talk about restraining anger, pride, resentment, calumny, envy. And, with the intellect, we seek to avoid wrong views, specifically talking in regard to the Buddhist doctrine.

This is really the center of our problem, with how we negotiate our internal realities with the external world. We typically have mistaken views about who we are as a psyche. And, the only way to rectify that is to observe. Every ego, every defect has its own viewpoint—its own thoughts, its own ideologies, its own sentiments, its own way of acting. But, in order to behave well, we need to understand what in us is mistaken in our perceptions. The only way to do that is to separate your psyche from the ego, and to observe it, and then restraining oneself from causing harm—even if you feel consumed with passion or lust or anger, to restrain yourself and to not engage in that habit, because the more we give into it, the less energy we have for our work. The more we restrain our mind, the greater strength we have.

​The Role of Ethics in Concentration and Meditation

This is an image of Swami Sivananda, who is a great resurrected Master, meditating on a leopard, I believe. I am not sure when in his life this was taken, but he was an adept, who had no ego; he fully eliminated his defects, which is symbolized by him meditating with this beautiful smile on his face, over this dead skin of an animal. The animal is our ego. With ethical discipline one controls, one annihilates those defects, and then like Shiva, can meditate and show that he or she has conquered their animality.

Swami Sivananda gave very practical and essential points in his books, which we study. He says in the book, Concentration and Meditation, regarding the need for ethics:

"Some foolish impatient students take to concentration practice—this is preliminary concentration, not real meditation yet—without in any manner undergoing any preliminary training in ethics." —Swami Sivananda, Concentration and Meditation

So, let us step back and emphasize this. Concentration is to focus on one object, such as a mantra, or a visualization, an object, without thinking about other things. Meditation is when we are extracting information about what we are concentrating on. So, they are different things. But, in order to have real concentration, we need to really be ethical: meaning, don't fornicate, don't drink, don't steal, don't commit adultery, don't indulge in anger, lust, pride, etc.

"This is a serious blunder."
—​Swami Sivananda, Concentration and Meditation

Meaning, those who do not develop ethics, before entering concentration, will achieve nothing.

"Ethical perfection is a matter of paramount importance. Concentration without purity of mind is of no avail. There are some occultists who have concentration, but they do not have good character. That is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual line."
―​Swami Sivananda, Concentration and Meditation

We are going to talk a little bit about Islam, and how, basically, there is a Sufi Master that was approached by a student, who told him, "So-and-so can fly. So-and-so can walk on water, in the air." And, then the Sufi Master said, "Well, does he follow the Qur'an?" And the answer, of course, was obviously no. So, he said, "Shun that man. Don't have anything to do with him."

This is because, those who have powers and abilities, and concentration, can do things through the ego. The difference is, in terms of our ethical discipline, we seek to curtail the habits of our defects, of our mind, but, a black magician takes those egos, such as anger, and concentrates that force through that anger. And so, they have a lot of concentration as well, but, within that anger; it is conditioned concentration. The type of ethics we seek to cultivate is by extricating our free consciousness, so that there is no filter, no conditioning; it is liberated. That is really the meaning of ethics, but many people develop powers in their ego, because they keep strengthening the shell, the conditioning, which has them act and perceiving in that subjective way.
Here we find an image of a Sufi meditating. In order to explain the necessity for ethics, in terms of how we practice, as well as the importance of having experience in developing cognizance, we are going to discuss a teaching associated with the Muslim doctrine.

In Islam, we talk about Shariah, Shariah Law, which in the Middle East is associated, typically, as the culture and customs of Muslims. But, that is not the Shariah that we are talking about. In this case, we are talking about ethical discipline: don't fornicate, don't lie, don't indulge in anger... etc. We call this the Divine Law, or as we say in Hebrew, the Torah, or in Sanskrit, Dharma. It is the instruction that teaches us how to really die in our errors, and to be reborn in our Being.

Shariah Law became, literally, a cultural thing, rather than a conscious teaching. Shariah is really the foundation of how we practice, using the Arabic terms. But, if we were to use the Hebrew terms, we would call it Torah, the Law.

So, in Sufism, we have four stages. We have Shariah, which is the basic law or instruction, how to be disciplined in meditation. Tariqah, which is the path—literally translating as a "path in the desert"—is how we walk the path, how we practice. Then we have Haqiqah. A Sufi Master by the name of Ibn Husayn Mansur Al-Hallaj said, "Ana al-Haqq (I am the truth)." Haqq means truth: this is God. Anyone who has no ego can manifest the truth within themselves, like Sivananda or Al-Hallaj. Haqiqah is the truth, the way of knowledge. Marifah (knowledge), really, is the same thing; these are two aspects of the same higher teaching. Marifah is Gnosis, in Greek terms: direct perception of divinity.

"The divine Law commands one to the duty of servanthood. The Way, the inner reality is the contemplation of divine lordship."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

This excerpt emphasizes how, if we want to have internal experiences, we need to follow the law. I do not mean terrestrial laws, but the laws pertaining to the development of the consciousness, the laws of initiation. The path, the way to the inner reality is contemplation of divine lordship. Contemplation, a term that we will revisit, is in Arabic called, "Mushahida." This is the word from which we get the Muslim declaration of faith, the Shahadah, which we will elaborate on.

Contemplation is meditation. So, the way to the inner reality is when we are meditating and speaking with our God, face to face.

"Outward religious practice not confirmed by inner reality is not acceptable. Inner reality not anchored by outward religious practice is not acceptable."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

There are many Muslims that follow the outward religious practice of their tradition, or Jews, or Christians, yet, they do not have any experience. This is useless. Neither should we rely on inner experiences, if we are not cultivating, in our daily physical life, ethics. So, like the example of the individual who is flying through the air and walking on water, but not following the Qur'an, really emphasizes this point. If someone has powers but is not practicing chastity, moral purity, restraint, then, they are obviously a demon, a black magician. So, our inner reality should always be anchored by our ethics, our religious discipline.

"Divine Law brings obligation upon the creation, while the Way is founded upon the free action of the Real."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

When we talk about how the divine law brings obligation upon the creation, really, when the Qur'an talks about "the creation," it is referring to the Tree of Life, the ten Sephiroth of Kabbalah. The Divine Law brings obligation upon us; we are the bottom of the Tree of Life. But, the Law requires of us that, if we want to enter into the superior dimensions, we need to follow the laws that pertain to those higher worlds. It is our obligation to do so. Or, as Gurdjieff taught, "Being-Partkdolg-Duty" meaning the necessity for God to know himself, to acquire cognizance, by developing the Tree of Life, descending as energy down through different modalities of matter, consciousness, energy, until reaching our physicality. It is our spiritual duty to follow those laws, and return inward, and upward, to the source, with knowledge, so that God can know himself, through us. The soul is like a mirror which can reflect the image of God, inside.

Often in these studies, we talk about the Absolute, which is Allah, in Arabic, the Christ, the source of divinity within us. The goal of these studies is to return to the Absolute, the emptiness, the Ain Soph. We often talk about the Absolute as the great reality of life, free in its movement. There is always movement involved in returning to that pristine, abstract joy of consciousness, which is pure liberation, without vehicles of any kind.

So, the way is that we really comprehend the Absolute, is that we follow the Torah, the Shariah, the Qur'an, the Law.

"The divine Law is that you serve Him. The Way is that you see Him."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

In the beginning, we do not see God, typically. But, we seek to serve him, through transforming our daily life into something pure. But, "the Way is that you see Him." In the beginning we feel longing, intuition and a hunch about the need to practice, and to change certain habits that are in our daily life, so we are serving God in that way. Whenever we restrain our mind from doing harmful things, trying to create peace and harmony with others, this is how we serve God, Karma Yoga.

But, to take that a step further, we need to perceive God, directly. "The way" is that we are actually communicating with our Inner Being, so that He will direct us further. In the beginning we serve, and we are blind, we do not see anything, but we sense a presence in our heart that we follow and that we want to develop. But, to really enter the path, we need to perceive God directly. In the beginning we serve Him, but, through the way, by entering this path of the Bodhisattva, we have to see God.

"The divine Law is doing what you have been ordered to do. Haqiqah is bearing witness to what He has determined and ordained, hidden and revealed."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

The Muslims have a saying, "La ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah," "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet." If you look at the word for "bearing witness," which is Shahadah in Arabic, you can also call it Mushahada, which means contemplation, to see. So, to "bear witness" as a Muslim, is to have spoken with God, face to face, like Prophet Muhammad did. Then, when we have that experience, then we can say, "Yes, Allah is Allah, God is God, El is El (in Hebrew), and Muhammad is His Prophet, Buddha is His Prophet, Krishna, Zarathustra, Samael Aun Weor, etc., is His Prophet." To know God is to know the prophets, from experience. To witness is to see, out of the body or in the internal planes, even physically too.

We have two terms in Islam, Al-Zahir and Al-Batin. Al-Batin is the inner, esoteric teachings, and Al-Zahir is the outer, exoteric teaching. These are both names of Allah, the inner and outer, because God is inside, but also outside. We know in Islam that Allah has 99 names, which relates to Kabbalah. But "the hidden and the revealed" pertains to internal states and external events. So, we must understand the relationship between the two, the written law and the divine way.

"I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say that God's saying [in the Opening Chapter, Al-Fatihah] iyyaka nabudu—"You we worship"—preserves the outward practice, the divine Law. Iyyaka nastain—"to You we turn for help"—establishes the inner reality, the Way." 
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

In one of the seven lines in the opening of the Qur'an, it says, "You do we worship, to you we turn for help." The first part, "You do we worship," refers to our ethical discipline, working with the Divine Law; efforts that we make to worship God. So, to worship our divinity means that we do not act on any egotistical impulse within us. That is the requisite, we must do that first, if we want to receive grace, which is, "To You we turn for help." In accordance with our ethics, we worship the Lord, but then, "To You we turn for help," meaning, we want You [the Being] to help give us an experience, in the astral plane, in the mental plane, in the causal world, in Nirvana, in the world of Chokmah, the Christ, the Absolute even... There are two things there. First, we must practice. Then, we must be patient, in order to receive those experiences. Divine Law, Shariah, is practice, the ethics; Haqiqah is the experience we get by following our discipline.

"Know that religious obligation is a spiritual reality in that it was made necessary by His command. And spiritual reality, as well, is a religious obligation, in that the realizations of Him were also made necessary by His command."
―​​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

I know many people in this tradition, in different groups that I have been associated with, who do a lot of practices, but, for some reason, because they don't really work with their consciousness, they don't have experiences. But, at the same time, I know many others who developed their practice, with comprehension and cognizance, and they have many experiences.

So, it is an obligation to develop practice, and also to have experiences: they are inter-connected. But, in order to have spiritual reality, we must have religious obligation, meaning, we have to really cultivate purity. The only way to do that, is to observe oneself, here and now.

In order to really have experience, every time we sit to practice, we must do it with our consciousness, not with a cloudy mind. In the beginning, the mind is obscured, but, with transmutation and with disciplining ourselves, little by little, we learn to practice better each time. In this way, we will attain to realization.
This is an image of the Prophet Muhammad, ascending up the seven heavens, on the creature Al-Buraq, which has the face of a woman, the body of mule, and the tail of a peacock. Here, you see Muhammad is veiled, and in Muslim tradition you find that the veil, depicted on the prophet, shows for us that God is veiled, that, to know divinity, we need to tear the veil of Isis, which is the illusions of this world. But, in order to look directly on divinity, which is expressing through Prophet Muhammad, is that fire around him. So, we need to tear the veil of our false perception, so that we can bear witness of Allah, Shahadah. A real Muslim, a real Gnostic, a real practitioner, is somebody who has experienced God, and is cultivating that every day, and knows divinity very well, directly.

This scripture, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism, really teaches us the importance of developing ethics.

"God Almighty and Glorious has said, ‘The sight (of the Prophet of the time of his Ascension, from Mecca to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem up the Tree of Life, the seven heavens), did not deviate nor overstep the bounds’ (53:17). This is said to mean, “He maintained the conduct proper to the Divine Presence.”
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

When we talk about ethics, it is important to realize that, if we self-realize, if we come to know God, our ethical discipline does not end there. Ethics is restraining the mind from producing, causing harm. Even if we have a solar mind—which we often talk about, in these studies, how we need to create a solar mental body, a Christic-mind—even though we might have that vehicle of God, it is a material vehicle which can make mistakes, if we identify with it, and not choose to reflect the inner image of our Being. So, even resurrected masters need ethics: they have no ego, but they are like Prophet Muhammad, knowing God, but even their mind can take them away from the path, which is why we say that even angels can fall. The reason why there are fallen masters is because they lacked ethics. Don't think that by eliminating your ego that you are done with ethics; faithfulness to God is something eternal, to not back away from that. But, that is for resurrected masters.

"The Most High also said, “Save yourselves and your families from the fire” (66:6)."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

It is interesting that we find in the sixty-sixth verse of Surah 6 how one has to save oneself from the fire—we find the number 666. The Arcanum 6 of the Tarot relates to the three brains, indecision, being tempted between good and evil, the virgin and the whore, which represents the ego.

"According to the commentary of Ibn Abbas, this means, ‘Teach them the stipulations of the divine law and refined behavior.’

"Ali bin Ahmad al-Ahwazi informed us… from Ayisha that the Prophet said, ‘The child owes it to his parent to make good his name, his upbringing, and his education in conduct.’ It is related that Said bin al-Musayyib said, ‘Whoever does not know what rights God Almighty and Glorious has over him and has not been educated in His command and prohibition is cut off from right behavior.’"
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

Right behavior is understanding our relationship to our Innermost, our Being. We can read about ethics, but, really, this is about our connection, what we learn from God. We cannot learn ethics from any book, but the book of our life, fundamentally. Study is important, so that we are inspired and so that we learn things that we should, but, the actual doing is knowing what rights God Almighty has over us, Allah, our Being, the Christ.

"It is reported that the Prophet said, ‘God Almighty and Glorious had educated me in refined behavior and made good my education.’”

"The essence of adab, the most beautiful and fitting, refined behavior, is the gathering together of all good traits (virtues, every time our Divine Mother annihilates an ego, we develop a virtue in its stead). The adib, the refined person, is he in whom are gathered all these good characteristics. From this is taken the word maduba, banquet, a name for the coming together (of such people)."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

In these studies, we often talk about receiving ordeals in the physical, but also the internal planes. If, for instance, you conquer an ordeal of the four elements—the ordeals of fire, earth, water and air—which are given to us by the angels, if we conquer those ordeals, then we receive feasts, banquets, celebrations in the astral plane, with the Cherubim, the angels who appear like children.

The ordeals of fire relate to criticism, if we are slandered and provoked; the ordeals of water are working with difficult circumstances, swimming against the current, of challenges; earth, which is financial troubles or difficulties, like a mountain is closing in on oneself; then, air relates to the mind. So, fire with the heart, water with sex, air with the mind and the earth related to the body. Ordeals relate to these elements, manifest as these elements. But, when you conquer ordeals, then you have a banquet, internally, a maduba, with a group of refined people, which are angels, like Rumi taught, "right conduct created the angels."

"I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say, ‘Through his obedience the servant attains to paradise. Through refined conduct in obedience he attains to God.’ I also heard him say, ‘I saw someone who, during the prescribed prayer before God, wanted to stretch his hand to his nose to remove something that was in it. His hand was seized!’”
―​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

When we practice, we should not move our body, our asana, our posture, is what this is teaching. We should not obstruct our practice with bad habits, such as that mentioned. But, really, it pertains to how we concentrate. When we sit to meditate and practice, we should not move our body, we should not do other things, we should not think of other things.

​Ethics in the Doctrine of Unity

Now, again, emphasizing the nature of the divine law, the ethical discipline, we talk about the doctrine of unity, which in Islam is tawḥīd. Again, this is the saying that, "Allah is Allah, God is one." Or, as the Jews say in their Shema, when they pray in the synagogues, they close their eyes, "Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Echad," which means, "Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is One." But, they place the word Adonai in the stead of Iod-Chavah, which they believe is too sacred to pronounce.

They close their eyes, meaning, like the veil of Muhammad, they do not look directly at God, showing subservience and obedience: "Hear, O Israel: Iod-Chavah is our God, Iod-Chavah is One." In Kabbalah, we talk about how God is a tri-unity: Father-Son-Holy Spirit, which is one light, which is Allah, emanating from the Ain Soph, through different levels of manifestation of that one light.

This is a very important scripture, this teaching from Al-Risalah:

"I heard Abu Hatim al-Sijistani say… that al-Jalajili al-Basri said, ‘For the testimony of unity (tawhid) to be in force, faith is prerequisite, for whoever has no faith cannot testify to the unity.’"
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

What do we mean by faith? Faith is not believing in something, intellectually, emotionally, or having instinctual habit in the body. Faith is our direct cognizance of God, in our three brains, and out of the body in experiences.

If we do not have that experience of God, then, we cannot testify to the unity of our God, to know that divine presence as, really, a profound state of being.

"For faith to be in force the divine law is prerequisite, for whoever does not hold to the divine law has no faith and cannot testify to the unity."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

Someone who has no ethical discipline cannot know God. This is sad to see, in spiritual groups, where people are infected with pride and anger and resentment; they gossip, they lie, they speak badly about others. As the Apostle James said, it is really the tongue which produces all the suffering in the world. It is like a little rudder in a ship, which steers such great, giant vessels, such a little thing as the tongue... but, really, it directly influences all things, our relationships. But, those who do not follow the path of ethics cannot have faith. Meaning, those who fornicate cannot have faith; those who steal, who lie, who commit adultery, even if not physically, but in the mind, it means that we do not have faith. But, the more we work on those defects, then we will come to know God.

"For the divine law to be in force refined conduct is prerequisite, for whoever has not refined his conduct cannot hold to the divine law, has no faith, and cannot testify to the unity…

"Ibn Ata said, ‘Adab, refined behavior, is to hold fast to the commendable things.’ When asked, ‘What is the meaning of this?’ he replied, ‘It means you behave properly toward God both in secret and in public (again, both Al-Batin and Al-Zahir, in Arabic). If you are like that, you are a man of refined culture even if you are a foreigner.’ Then he recited:

"When she conversed, her speech was all graciousness, And when she kept silent, her silence was all fair."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

Samael Aun Weor says in The Revolution of the Dialectic, "It is as much a crime to speak when one must be silent as it is to be silent when one must speak." This is the same teaching.

Refined behavior is knowing, when we are with others, when to be silent, but also knowing when to speak, when it is necessary; we know this through intuition, following our heart, and being mindful of the commandments that were given to us, for refining our behavior.

This is probably one of the most important quotes that we find in this scripture, Al-Risalah:

"[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 (mushahada) of the divine."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

What does it mean to have "awe of duty"? It is to feel that reverence when we sit to meditate, that we have a sense of fear, not egotistical fear, but a sense of longing and yearning for God, that inspires us to practice, every day.

To have awe of duty is to really establish a regiment of practice, and to have reverence for that and to maintain it.

Vigilance is self-observation, to not sleep as a psyche, but to observe our relationship to ourselves, to others and to our Being. For, whoever does not do this, will not arrive at "disclosure of the unseen," meaning, to tear the veil that Prophet Muhammad wears, that Isis wears. "Nor will we have contemplation (mushahada) of the divine," meaning, to bear witness of the Shahadah.

This is one of the pillars of Islam—there are five pillars in Islam, one of which is the declaration of faith, called the Shahadah. Muslims, traditionally, say, "Allah is Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet," and supposedly they enter into Islam, and become part of the tradition. But, this is not the real esoteric meaning here; the meaning is to know God in meditation, in a samadhi, without any filters to our perception—free consciousness, no ego present. That is mushahada, contemplation, to bear witness.

Another important quote regarding what refinement really means:

"I heard Abu Hatim al-Sijistani say that Abu-l-Nasr al-Tusi al-Sarraj said, ‘People have three levels of refinement. For the people of this world, refinement largely consists of eloquent speech and rhetoric, among with the memorization of sciences, of the names of kings, and of the poetry of the Arabs. For the people of the next world, refinement largely consists of training the ego and disciplining the body, preserving the limits of the law and abandoning desires.’"
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

Having culture, intellectually... anybody can do that. But, such people do not work on their ego. But, a person of the next world, someone who is having astral experiences, do so because they are training their mind in ethics; disciplining the body to sit in one posture, in order to meditate, and observing the commandments of the ethical discipline we follow, and abandoning desires. This is essential. Renunciation of our desires is the key. Ethics is when, every moment, we do not act on a bad habit; we are abandoning those desires, we stop feeding them. That is really when we are cultivating this sense of self-observation and refinement.

"For the elite, refinement largely consists of cleansing the heart of vices (annihilating the ego, with the help of the Divine Mother), guarding inner secrets…"
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

Meaning, if we have experiences in the astral plane, etc., we do not necessarily share with the whole world, but rather, typically, keep it to ourselves. Sometimes it is good to talk and discuss things, if we have questions. But, really, the most sacred experiences, we should not talk about.

"…being faithful to one’s promises…"
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

We find that, to be "faithful to our promises," refers to having a continuity of purpose. If you have read Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, you find that the Master Samael talks about the need for continuity of purpose. We have thousands of egos which all have different wills, ideas, which take us in different directions. But, in order to become a unity, tawhid, to express the unity of our God, we need to take that multiplicity and destroy those vices. That means to be faithful to our promises. We promise to our God to serve Him and Her, but, those who are not faithful to their promises, are identified with their defects. We call this, in Arabic, that which is split between God above and our demons below, a Hasnamuss; this is an esoteric term for a being with a split personality, which is all of us. We have God above, in ourselves, but, here we are in the physical plane as a demon... we are split. We need to have faith in our Being so that we can eliminate our imperfections and unite with God. Then, one is not split anymore, between heaven and hell. That is what it means to be faithful to our promise, to our Being, to the mission that our God has, to change.

"…protecting the present…"
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

To be vigilant, here and now, and to never abandon self-observation.

"…not turning aside in thought along with refined behavior in the stations of the search…"
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

Meaning, we don't let our thoughts distract us from being aware of God, because our God is with us, here and now, and we need to be aware of that. The "stations" refer to levels of development, initiation. As we are searching for God, we continue to develop more and more.

"…in the moments of presence with God, and in the stages of closeness to God.”
―​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

Even if one is united with the Lord—like I said, even angels can fall. If they are at that level, they still must be ethical, and to not identify with their own mind, but to become one with the abstract Seity, the universal mind or consciousness, which we can only verify and really understand through experience.

​The Principles of Karma

In terms of Karma, we talk about four principles. All this talk about ethics pertains to karma. If we produce certain causes, we will get certain effects. Tsong Khapa, who Samael Aun Weor said was the reincarnation of Buddha, came to teach in one of his three books called the Lamrim Chenmo, which is The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. He talks, in the first book, about four principles of karma, which are important to know.

To again emphasize, the word karma comes from the Sanskrit karman, "to act."

1. Actions produce related consequences.

This is something that seems simple, but if we analyze ourselves, we find that we typically do not really understand how our actions produce certain results.

2. The consequences are greater than the actions.

I know in Newtonian physics, it says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But, the truth is, if you throw a stone in a pool, that one ripple extends outward, and affects the entire lake. So, one positive action can benefit the world; one destructive action can affect everybody. We see this in the news, we hear about school shootings: one person can cause so much chaos. People emotionally distraught and disturbed can affect entire communities.

So, the consequence is always greater than the action. The Dalai Lama emphasized this point, when someone asked him, "How can we change the world if there is so much negativity going around?" And this Master Tenzin Gyatso said, "If you think you cannot change the world, think about when you're trying to sleep and there is a mosquito is bothering you. Such a little thing can make a big difference."

3. You cannot receive the consequence without committing its corresponding action.

Meaning, you cannot receive a certain karmic result if you did not produce the individual action. This is important to understand in alchemy, because I know many gnostics think that when someone is sexually united with their partner, they share karma. Well, the truth is, if one is married, one shares tendencies, psychologically, emotionally, physically, but, you cannot receive a result, if you did not produce the action. If, for instance, a person commits murder, it does not mean that the wife goes to jail, that is the way to think about it. But, if you produce a certain action, you get the consequences, no one else.

4. Once an action is performed, the consequence cannot be erased.

However, there is a superior law, which is grace. In accordance with Gnosticism, as the Master Samael says in Tarot and Kabbalah, a superior law always washes away an inferior law. So, even if we make a mistake, we can rectify it, if we follow our Being, to have upright conduct.

From the Bhagavad Gita, we find this teaching of Krishna, the Christ, with Arjuna. He talks about Karma Yoga, and the yoga of renunciation of action, which summarizes many of the points that we've made.

"Arjuna said:

1. Renunciation of actions, O Krishna, Thou praisest, and again Yoga!

Tell me conclusively which is the better of the two."
Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

So, first he talked about banning desires, then, next, yoga, union with God.

"The Blessed Lord (the Cosmic Christ, through Krisnha) said:

2. Renunciation and the Yoga of action both lead to the highest bliss;

but of the two, the Yoga of action is superior to the renunciation of action."
Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

So, first, we need to learn to how to renounce our bad habits. But, then we need to learn how to act consciously. One thing is to restrain our defects from acting, but, once we have fully comprehended an ego, our Divine Mother annihilates it, and, in turn, we learn how to act in a superior way. A superior law washes away the inferior law. The law of mercy overcomes the law of the talion.

"3. He should be known as a perpetual Sannyasin who neither hates nor desires;"

A Sannyasin is someone with no ego, a real meditator…

"…for, free from the pairs of opposites, O mighty-armed Arjuna, he is easily set free from bondage!"
Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

Meaning, discipline is when we overcome the battle of the opposites in our mind, the battle of the antitheses; thought/anti-thought, concept/anti-concept, thesis/antithesis, when the mind is constantly struggling in duality, and instead we find unity, tawhid.

"4. Children, not the wise, speak of knowledge and the Yoga of action or the performance of action as though they are distinct and different; he who is truly established in one obtains the fruits of both."
Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

So, children—people who are ignorant, who have no direct knowledge—talk about yoga and these traditions, without really understanding that they are two aspects of one thing, a conscious principle.

"5. That place which is reached by the Sankhyas or the Jnanis (those who have Jnana, knowledge) is reached by the (Karma) Yogis. He sees who sees knowledge and the performance of action (Karma Yoga) as one."
Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

Again, knowledge is what we gain directly from restraining our mind, and performing good action: upright thought, upright feeling, upright action in our three brains.

"6. But renunciation, O mighty-armed Arjuna, is hard to attain without Yoga; the Yoga-harmonised sage proceeds quickly to Brahman!"
Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

Brahman is the Absolute, the Christ, another name of Allah.

"7. He who is devoted to the path of action, whose mind is quite pure, who has conquered the self, who has subdued his senses (through pratyahara, attaining silence of mind) and who has realised his Self as the Self in all beings (the Innermost Atman, our Inner God as the God within all there is), though acting, he is not tainted."
―​Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

When we learn how to act, in a conscious way—first restraining the mind, then acting to the virtues we develop—we in turn learn to see God within all beings, and we do not commit sin, we do not acquire negative consequences.

So, like the lotus flower that emerges from the swamp, it is pure, not affected by the muddiness of the waters, it is the same thing with our life. Our soul should blossom like a flower above the filthiness of our mind. Every time we act consciously, we stop acquiring negative consequences.
There is mention of the Blue Race in different traditions, specifically within a book called Gazing at the Mystery by Samael Aun Weor. In this next image, we find three colors: blue, yellow and red. Blue relates to the Father; yellow relates to the Son, the Christ; and, red is the Holy Spirit. So, Krishna is really the three primary forces above, Father-Son-Holy Spirit. But there is a race of blue men mentioned by Samael Aun Weor, it is true. But the deeper meaning is that blue relates to the Father, Kether. So, this is Kether-Chokmah-Binah, with Arjuna on the battlefield of the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita, with Arjuna which is Tiphereth, the human soul, our willpower.

"8. “I do nothing at all”—thus will the harmonised knower of Truth think—seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping, breathing…"
Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

We must feel that we are not doing anything from our ego; to not act with desire. But, to let our God act through us. In this case, one’s actions come from the Being. So, in a sense, one does nothing, but the will of the Lord.

"9. Speaking, letting go, seizing, opening and closing the eyes—convinced that the senses move among the sense-objects.

"10. He who performs actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin as a lotus leaf by water.

"11. Yogis, having abandoned attachment, perform actions only by the body, mind, intellect and also by the senses, for the purification of the self."
Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

Here, intellect should really be "Buddhi." They translated it as intellect, which we think of as the intellectual brain, the mind, but, really intellect, in Sanskrit, is a common translation for Buddhi. Buddhi is the Divine Soul, the consciousness, Geburah. Every time we act with purification of the soul, we are controlling our body, mind and soul.

"12. The united one (the well poised or the harmonised), having abandoned the fruit of action, attains to the eternal peace; the non-united only (the unsteady or the unbalanced), impelled by desire and attached to the fruit, is bound."
--Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

So, the non-united, those who are unsteady and unbalanced are identified with ego, desire.

"13. Mentally renouncing all actions and self-controlled, the embodied one rests happily in the nine-gated city, neither acting nor causing others (body and senses) to act."
―​Bhagavad-Gita: Yoga of Renunciation of Action

Again, "nine-gated" relates to the nine superior Sephiroth, refers to the human being. We find this in the teachings of Ibn Arabi, as well, the Sufi Master, but also here in the Bhagavad Gita.

The fruit is the results of past mistakes, which is the abuse of the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Knowledge represents the sexual energy. To "eat the fruit" is to orgasm, to abuse the energy. The fruit of fornication is bitterness, suffering. Likewise, each action should be one born from purity of mind, of chastity.

​Willpower and Superior Action

We find the image of the Prophet Muhammad, with the veil covering his head, illuminated with fire; meaning, he has raised the Kundalini up to the brain, from the base of the spine, and is fully illuminated with that sexual power.

So, to emphasize how the yoga of renunciation and the yoga of action are united, I'd like to explain another quote from Al-Qushayri, which emphasizes this duality between Being and soul, and how we need to learn to not do our own will, but the will of our Being; to renounce our own habits and desires, and to let the will of the Being determine our actions.

"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 (Allah, may he be praised and exalted, as we say in Islam). This attribute is only called iradah because will is the preface to every undertaking. What the servant does not will, he does not carry out."
Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

We will not produce the necessary consequences, if we do not fulfill the action. Karma is dual; if we behave negatively, we receive negative results, if we act positively, with the consciousness, we receive conscious, positive results.

"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.

"According to etymology, the disciple is 'he who possess will,' just as the knower is 'he who possesses knowledge (marifah, Gnosis)' 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 (meaning, egotistical will; one who does not renounce their desires cannot be a disciple), just as, linguistically, one who does not possess will cannot be called a disciple." 
​―​Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri

What willpower are we talking about? This is something that we need to observe. Are we following our egotistical desires? Or, are we following the will of our Being? We need to both abandon desire and to act from the will of God, as Krishna taught Arjuna.


It is this understanding of cause and effect in our daily life, that we understand the law of interdependence in Buddhism, which is called dependent arising, or dependent origination:

No phenomena is separate, independent of others. Even our psychology: our psychological states are determined by their relationship to external events or impressions.

So, we find that, in Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, we need to develop internal states in relation to external events; to find the relationship between them.

"When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises.

"When this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases."
Majjhima Nikāya 79:8

It seems simple, but it is very profound. If we examine ourselves, in our daily life we do not see how our negative habits produce wrong consequences, typically. But, if we are observant of that, and we really understand this principle, fully, we will become an angel. An angel knows good and evil, in balance, in harmony.

To really understand how certain causes produce certain effects, completely, is to be self-realized. Do not think that one day we will simply "get it" and it will be over. Even the gods are balancing those forces, knowing how cause and effect relates; it is an eternal law. So, as I said, ethics pertains even to the gods, but at a very high degree; something that we cannot get at this level, but, if we have experiences, we can get glimpses.

"[The body and mind] cannot come to be by their own strength,
"Nor can they maintain themselves by their own strength;
"Relying for support on other states…
"They come to be with others as condition.
"They are produced by… something other than themselves."
Buddhaghosa, Vissudhimagga 18:36

Every internal state is a response to external impressions. You cannot separate one from the other. Usually, when we identify with our mind, we feel like everyone is outside of ourselves, and that we are separate. We have to become clairvoyant and understand that our thoughts relate to other people, and that other people’s thoughts affect ourselves.

As Samael Aun Weor said in Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, the one who learns to appropriately match internal states with external events marches on the path of success. For, as the Buddha said, in the Majjhima Nikāya:

"Now this has been said by the Blessed One: ‘One who sees dependent arising sees the Dhamma (the Dharma, the law, the instruction, the Shariah, the Torah, the commandments); one who sees the Dhamma sees dependent arising.’"
―​Majjhima Nikāya

To really know ethics is to understand our psychological relationship to other things, in every instant, and not to identify with our mind. If you want to live happily, we need to learn how to cultivate our internal states and to make them more appropriate for the external events that we perceive. This is dependent arising: an impression emerges and enters my psyche, and I react egotistically… or I respond consciously, it depends. If an impression of a hurtful word enters one's psyche, anger emerges. That is the reaction; that is the egotistical response. If we curtail that, and separate our psyche from that, and observe that defect in action, and respond with love towards the aggressor, that is developing a superior law, the Dharma.

To know the relationship of cause and effect—internal state, external event—is the work of a master. To be a master is to fully understand that law, to a degree, we could say. There are levels amongst the masters. But, to really understand that law, to be self-realized is to understand how our psychological states effect our external events, and how they relate; especially how we relate to people. This relates to clairvoyance and telepathy: understanding other people’s minds and thoughts, or seeing them directly, with our spiritual perception.
In this image, we have Nagarjuna, who talked about the fundamentals of the middle way. In the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, he discusses that it is understanding of cause and effect within oneself that we find the relation of how phenomena are empty, that they are not independently existing of themselves. When we understand how our internal states are related to external events, and we develop conscious states through ethics, we find that we are in turn understanding how egotistical desires are really empty; they are not substantially real. We have them, but, at the same time, we must understand that these phenomena really do not have any absolute existence. Anger emerges whenever a person insults us; so, that ego is dependent on that impression in order to emerge. Eventually, that anger goes away or disappears, so we can see that it is really not eternal: there is no eternal self there. Only God, Atman is eternal. But, even god is dependent upon the Absolute, we could say.

So, we say that all phenomena really do not have intrinsic existence; they are empty. When we understand this emptiness, the pristine, luminous nature of our consciousness, we see our defects and desires really do not have any substantiality.

"That which arises dependently
"We explain as emptiness.
"This [emptiness] is dependent designation.
"Just this is the middle way."
Nāgārjuna, Mūlamadhyamakakārikā

Cause and effect. Ethics is how we understand emptiness, which is God. God is empty of form; it does not depend on anything; the Christ does not depend on anything, but is luminous light, intelligence, perception, without filter. But, to understand how certain actions produce certain results is the work of dependent origination.

"Because there is no phenomenon
"That is not dependently arisen,
"There is no phenomenon
"That is not empty."
Nāgārjuna Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 24.18-19

Impressions are impermanent; they come and go, they are not stable. And, it is by understanding how the instability of our internal states relate to external events is how we develop comprehension, which is emptiness, cognizance; not a nihilism, an abstract negation of one’s existence, but a type of comprehension and perception which is free of conditioning of the mind, free of obstruction.

Lastly, Swami Sivananda, explains the following advice, that I want to relate to you.

"Do not imagine that you are a great initiate and that you only have to sit in meditation and enter into Samadhi. You will have a terrible downfall. Even after years of practice, you will find you have not progressed an inch forward because there are deep within you lurking desires and cravings which are far beyond your reach. Be humble. Make a searching analysis of your heart and mind.

"Even if you are really a first-class aspirant, think you are an aspirant of the lowest class and practice the eightfold steps (Yama and Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi). The more time you spend in the first steps, Yama and Niyama, ethics, the less will be the time needed to attain perfection in meditation." —Swami Sivananda

In order to understand Christ, which is empty of form, we need to have ethical discipline, as we have been mentioning.

"It is the preparation that takes very long, but do not wait for perfection in ethics in order to take the higher practices of the path. Try to get established in ethics and at the same time practice the other steps (such as concentration, pranayama, maintaining a relaxed posture, etc.). The two must go hand in hand, then, success will be rapid."
―​Swami Sivananda

This is something to think about, in terms of our understanding of our own discipline.

Questions and Answers

Student: This is kind of how I feel. I am not a saint, but I am just working to build up my practice.

Instructor: And, as Michelangelo said, perfection isn’t a trifle. Rumi said, if we can get up early for 40 mornings, to practice, that will contribute to our growing wholeness as a psyche, in development, like an embryo of a child that is giving form. Little by little, we develop the soul: with patience possess ye your souls, as Jesus taught. The way that we develop ourselves is with patient discipline, ethics, restraining our mind, and then meditating; combining those two things. Don't wait for perfection in ethics in order to practice, they go hand in hand, together.

Student: So, if I get this right, from this lecture, the most important thing for us to work on is our ethics?

Instructor: In conjunction with our practice. Ethics is really the foundation for meditation. If we want to meditate, to have a clear mind, we can't be killing, stealing, or doing other negative things. On the one hand is the physical level of application, but, more importantly there is the psychological aspect: how we react internally, in our mind, in curtailing those habits.

First, physically we cannot do those things. Then, psychologically, we need to curtail those habits.

Student: I did have a question about the work, regarding the four principles of karma. The third one, which is that the consequence cannot be received by anyone that is not making the action. Does that mean the return consequence of the karma? Because an action can have consequences that expand beyond the person that committed that action.

Instructor: Yes. For instance, if you are married, if your wife commits murder, you don't go to jail, she does.

Student: Right, but your wife might suffer the pain of you leaving her. Is that a karma that she acquires along the way, or is that just collateral damage?

Instructor: It is part of the consequences of her actions. That shows that everything is related; nothing is separate. But, in terms of receiving an illness, disease or punishment as a result of acting wrong, no one else can receive that, but a person who deserves it, who committed those wrong actions. The law is the law, as we say in these teachings; the law is always fulfilled. In order to receive something, you must perform the action.

Student: So, the consequence and the action are interdependent as well?

Instructor: Yes. Understanding the relationship of right action and wrong action is understanding karma, and, understanding how phenomena are empty, in and of themselves. We must understand the connection between things, especially our internal states and external events.

That is how we act well: we stop behaving in mistaken ways. This is the work of self-observation.

Student: And that is the superior law? Of getting out of the turning of cause and effect? Extracting yourself from that?

Instructor: And, the thing with this is that, it is like when you learn to act in a conscious way, one does not acquire karma; if you do not sin, you will won't be blemished, you won't receive bad actions. But, we will be like the lotus that hovers above the waters, as Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita.

Student: (Inaudible)

Instructor: And that is the thing; we must bear that, patiently. We bear it, we're patient, we're disciplined, and we work on those elements that need to be disintegrated, then, we pay our debts and in turn, purify our mind. That is really the purpose of karma; if we receive certain challenges in our life, if we are chaste, it means that we are going to receive that karma in an objective way, in a different way, than someone who is fornicating.

Student: But, even the masters suffer greatly, right?

Instructor: At a higher level.

Student: So, are they suffering because of karma still? Or are they suffering for a different reason?

Instructor: The suffering of a god is different from us. One could reach the Ain Soph, in Kabbalistic terms, return to the Being and to the Absolute, to a certain degree, with knowledge, and it is bliss; but at the same time, even angels have to balance their karmic transactions, at a very high level, in order to gain the right to enter into the Ain, the Absolute. There are levels of development. Masters can suffer as a result of wanting and waiting to be admitted into the Absolute.

Student: So, their bliss is interdependent on their suffering?

Instructor: Their bliss is a result of being united with God to a level. But, suffering, at that degree, is very, very different. It is a difficult thing for me to convey or to explain. It is something that, if you have an experience at that level in a Samadhi, then you may get it. We know that even the gods suffer; but, not like we do. Our suffering is very intense.

Student: I was thinking of someone like Aberamentho, who went through that trial. He gave that up himself, right? That wasn't karma for him? That was him willingly walking into suffering, to be resurrected, right?

Instructor: And to give an example for what we need to do. He fully conquered suffering. He is a being that went beyond the Law and is an inhabitant of the highest divinity. He is absolutely perfect. He is teaching other masters how to reach that degree, known as a Paramarthasattya. Paramartha means absolute cognizance, and Satya is the essence. So, someone who has full knowledge of many infinites. An infinite is a collection of billions of galaxies, so, Aberamentho is really a rare being.

There are degrees among masters and there are degrees among initiates. Some masters suffer because they want more knowledge, even if they are perfect, to a degree. It is a subtle thing, but their suffering is very different from ours, and very difficult to comprehend, unless we really have a Samadhi at that level, and to see what it is like to be at that degree of consciousness.

Student: Is there also a type of suffering that the high masters will go through, for humanity, on our behalf?

Instructor: It is suffering for a master... for instance, we are going to do a course on The Voice of the Silence; at the end of that scripture, it talks about how, when one self-realizes, one becomes another brick in the guardian wall. Each brick is master which composes an army of angels that really work to help humanity. It is a path of suffering, really, but, also bliss, because after many eternities of helping humanity and suffering for their benefit, to help them to self-realize, they will eventually gain the right to enter into the Absolute.

Blavatsky transcribed that scripture from Senzar, an ancient language, and it conveys a lot of suffering on the part of these masters who try to help humanity. Eventually, they'll gain the right, after serving from many cosmic days—if they self-realize, and they keep working and manifesting physically, or internally, to help others attain the state of the angels... but, that is the path of an angel, in order to enter the Absolute. An angel is a self-realized Master, but, they may not have the right to enter into the Ain, which is where a being like Aberamentho (Jesus) entered. He is a Paramarthasattya, he is above an angel. So, there are hierarchies.

Those beings like angels suffer because they are serving and serving, but humanity is ignorant. So, they serve many humanities, for different cosmic eras. But, eventually, if they don't let themselves fall, they'll eventually have the right to enter the Absolute. The problem is, many of them fall, because they are tempted. So, that is why ethics does not finish when you have annihilated your ego; even if you have no ego, you can get tempted to do wrong things. The mind is still there. It is not a lunar mind, but a solar mind; it is a different thing. To learn the difference, we must have that body inside and to really know what it is like, and to meditate and to have experiences.
<![CDATA[Turandot (Act III)]]>Wed, 23 Jan 2019 04:31:44 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/turandot-act-iii
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from The Secret Teachings of Opera, originally given live at the Chicagoland Gnostic Academy: 

It's convenient that we finish this lecture series on Turandot after the Jewish holidays, specifically Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which began on Monday of last week and culminated on Wednesday of this week. The last two acts of this opera relate to these two holidays, specifically the Jewish New Year, ראש השנה Rosh Hashanah and Act II culminating with יום כיפור Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashanah literally means, “Head of the Year," from Hebrew ראש Rosh, “the intellect," the head, and השנה Hashanah meaning, “the year." Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world, and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is a day of prayer and fasting, where many Jews observe certain rituals in their synagogues as an atonement for their sins, for their faults before divinity. So, all these religions, or better said, all these dynamics of this holiday relate esoterically to this opera.
Rosh Hashanah reminds us of सुषुम्णा Sushumna in Sanskrit. Sushumna is the channel of our spinal column which unites with the head, Rosh. We have the two serpents, Ida and Pingala, in the Caduceus of Mercury, and Sushumna is the central channel or spinal column through which the Kundalini rises to Rosh, the head. Rosh Hashanah, therefore, symbolically speaking, is how we enter initiation, the beginning of life and a way of being, because every time we raise a serpent of fire from the chakra Muladhara up our Sushumna channel to our head, we are achieving the Major Mysteries, as well as certain developments in the soul related to time, to esoteric age.
If you're familiar with the writings of Samael Aun Weor, he states in The Major Mysteries that to learn of your age in the internal planes is symbolic. We stated previously that there were nine initiations of minor mysteries, in which we walked the probationary path described in Act I of this opera. We also find that the nine degrees of minor mysteries relate to the ages 10 through 90. The first initiation of minor mysteries relates to 10 years. The second initiation of minor mysteries relates to 20, and likewise, up to 90.
So, if you ask your Being or the masters of the White Lodge, "Where am I in my development?" they'll tell you, "You are twenty years old" or "You are ninety years old," referring to either the 2nd or 9th degrees of minor mysteries, respectively. To enter the ages such as one hundred to nine hundred, or above and beyond, relate to the initiations of fire, the Major Mysteries.
The Major Mysteries pertain to the awakening of the sacred fire within Sushumna to your Rosh, your head, when you achieve any initiation of fire, whether it be from Malkuth, Yesod, Hod, Netzach, Tiphereth, Geburah, or Chesed. The seven initiations of fire relate to the seven sephiroth upon the Tree of Life, which pertains to seven hundred years of age. So, when we read in the Bible that Abraham was ninety-nine years old or Noah was five hundred years old, it relates to the minor mysteries and the Major Mysteries.
It's interesting that אברם Abram, our spirit, symbolically speaking, was ninety-nine years old before he was known as אברהם Abraham, when he gave birth to Isaac through the sexual force of שדי אל חי Shaddai El Chai. He was sterile, but we know that this is symbolic, how he and his wife represent us, qualities of our body, of our spirit. Before working in alchemy, we are sterile, infertile, due to fornication. Through scientific chastity, by learning to work with the Hebrew letter ה Hei, our spirit, אברם Abram, becomes אברהם Abraham. Notice that the name אברהם Abraham is spelled when you add ה Hei to אברם Abram, signifying how we give power to our Innermost when we cooperate in sexual alchemy, when we work with the womb, the ה Hei of our Divine Mother Turandot. We need to be fertile so that we can give birth to the soul, Isaac, and in order to enter the Major Mysteries, we must be married.
The first initiation of fire relates to one hundred years old. The second initiation of fire, two hundred years old. Likewise, up the Tree of Life; so every time we complete an initiation, we are becoming new or entering into a new year, a new life. So—Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Sushumna—when the fires illuminate your head.
It's interesting also that the word, "Hashanah," meaning year, also etymologically sounds like the word, שושנה Shoshana, which means "rose" or "lily. " Hashanah, Shoshana, Sushumna are all related to the rose of the spirit, the igneous rose of the divine. The seven chakras or seven flowers of the soul awaken through the sacred fire, when you raise the kundalini up Sushumna, up to your head, and in that way we learn to develop the sacred fire—because if you look at the Hebrew word, שושנה Shoshana, you find that we have the letter ש Shin, represented twice, which means fire, Christ. We also have the ו Vav.  שושנה Shoshana literally means "rose," but it refers to the fires in the spine, which we develop gradually within the couple, because there are two ש Shins—the fire of man and the fire of woman that rise up within your spine through the power of נ Nun, which in Aramaic means "fish," but is also representative of the sperm and the ovum, specifically.
We find this beautiful quote from Chapter 2 of the Song of Solomon, Shalomah, the solar man.
"I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns so is my love among the daughters." —Song of Songs 2:1-2
Sharon reminds us of השרון Ha-Sharon. ה Hei is an indefinite article in Hebrew meaning "the," but it also means “the breath,” because in order to create something, we use our speech, our language, the Word. And through the breath, through mantras, we work with the fires of our body, to circulate those energies in a dynamic matter. So in that sense, we are working with השרון Ha-Sharon whenever we do runes, prayer, mantras. The ש Shin and the breath, the fire and the wind of Christ, the strength of God which is אוֹן Aun. The word אוֹן "Aun" literally means sexual virility, so שרון Sharon is literally the fiery breath of our sexual power, but also the word שושנה Shoshana, which is where you get names like Susanna, relates to the lily, which is a beautiful flower representing the seven chakras.
"And, as the lily among thorns so is my love among the daughters."
Song of Songs 2:2
You have the Hebrew term הבנות Habanot, meaning “the daughters," which literally can be translated as “the houses," because the word ב Beth relates to the sort of solar values that we create in a marriage. ב Beth we find in famous terms like בית לחם Bethlehem, the House of Bread.
Prince Calaf created his own solar house in Act II by answering the three riddles of Turandot—Solar Astral, Solar Mental, Solar Causal bodies—and in that way he awoke all his Sushumna, by raising not only the serpents of fire, but the serpents of light on the First Mountain.
And so, on the First Mountain, the Mountain of Initiation, we must dive in the ego to a certain degree, within a matrimony, and by taking the direct path, we can incarnate Christ. This is symbolized when Calaf renounces marriage with Turandot, when she refuses him because he still has desire alive. She won't marry him at that level, as a hasnamuss, as a being with a split personality—one heavenly, one diabolic. He has reached the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries and has a choice to make, to remain in Nirvana on the spiral path, or to renounce heaven and incarnate Christ. So, he chooses to fully eliminate his ego, to renounce marriage at the level of a Nirvani Buddha, and to take the straight path of the bodhisattvas, to which the commoners of the palace said, “You are strong!" He renounced that level, choosing to descend into his own infernos, to die radically to his self, so he can ascend higher.
In this way he starts to approach Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur literally means "Day of Atonement." יום Yom in Hebrew is spelled, י Iod, ו Vav, and ם Final Mem, the letter י  Iod we saw previously represents Kether, is a point, the seminal energy of sperm and the ovum which we raise up our spine, the letter ו Vav, through the powers of מ Mem, the waters, our sexual energy.
When you achieve initiation, you achieve a day of Genesis. The book of Genesis is not a story of the creation of the physical world, a literal history, but is symbolic of the seven initiations of fire specifically. In the first day, “the earth was formless and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep,” signifying how our psychology is full of darkness. But the Lord said, "Let there be light, and there was light; and God saw that the light was good," and that was the first day, or evening and the day. This relates to the First Initiation of Fire in Malkuth, the physical body. That's the first day of Genesis; the first day of generation.
In the second day, “Let the waters separate from the waters above and below.” השמים Ha-Shamayim, the heavens, with מים mayim, below. And this day, there was no blessing from God, that "It was good," which is very profound—specifically because, when working with the sexual energy, the Sephirah Yesod, there is no guarantee that we'll be successful. This is why the Lord does not say, "It was good." Through the waters we can descend, or better say, fall into Kilpoth. The ninth sephirah on the Tree of Life reminds us of surah nine in the Qur’an, where there is no Bismillah at the beginning. Every surah of the Qur’an has “Bismillah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful,” but in the ninth surah, it doesn't have that reading, which reminds us of this principle. Through Yesod, the ninth sphere, we may succeed, or we may fail, so, there is the danger of falling. This dynamic is beautifully represented within both the book of Genesis and the Qur’an.
In the third day or Third Initiation of Major Mysteries, “Let the dry land appear. Vegetation from the waters, blossoms and fruits. And God said it was good.” In the fourth day, “Let there be light to the expanse of the sky and the firmament of heaven for days and for years.” מְאֹרֹת Meirot, and the word מְאֹרֹת Meirot means “lights.” We have the word אור Aur present. And in the spelling of מְאֹרֹת Meirot there is no ו Vav, indicating that the light must emerge in our spinal column in the mental body. We must create the Solar Mental Body so that we can see the heavens, the stars, of Nut, the Divine Princess Turandot.
In the fifth day, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures and the great sea monsters, the great whales or אֶת־הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים At-Ha-Taninim Ha-Gedulim, as well as swarms of every kind. And the Lord said, ‘Be fruitful and increase,’ or ‘Be fruitful and רִבּוּ rabbau.’" The word רב rabba reminds us of Rabbi. Be fruitful and master. This verse doesn't mean, “Be fruitful and fornicate.” It means be fruitful and develop those principles in you through a marriage, through alchemy.
On the sixth day, relating to the Sixth Initiation of Fire, “Let the earth bring forth creeping things of the earth, beasts and cattle, and likewise we shall make man into our image, male-female did Jehovah Elohim create them." And this day, of course, was very good. טוב מאוד Tob Meod, which reminds us of the two serpents, Vav and Zayin, or Od and Obd, specifically. טוב מאוד Tob Meod means very good, but also reminds us of Od and Obd, or Ida and Pingala, in Kabbalah. So when those serpents are raised in us and we become a human being with the Solar Astral, Solar Mental, Solar Causal bodies, then we are a man of the Sixth Day of Genesis, which is what Calaf achieved in Act II.
He united with his soul, his divine soul, at that level, but in order to become a man of the Seventh Day, he did something very drastic, very profound. The Seventh Day reminds us of the Sabbath, Saturn-day, Saturday, Shabbat. Yom Kippur is referred to as the Sabbath of the Sabbaths, representing how when the ego is fully eliminated through atonement on the Second Mountain, then the soul can resurrect within the Being, within the Divine Mother. The spirit is absorbed—Chesed within Binah—all the qualities of the soul, the bodies themselves, etc., are absorbed within the Holy Spirit, Binah, but the ego must be fully eliminated. Calaf reached that level of true human being in Act II, and then he takes the direct path and raises the serpents of light.
But he now faces a very great problem, as represented in this final act of this drama. In order to reach the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, it’s very logical that one must pass through the night—Lilith and Nahemah, which opens our discussion of Act III.
Night has fallen on Peking, and no man shall sleep by decree of the divine Princess Turandot. The name of the unknown prince Calaf, which we don't learn of until the very end, must be discovered before dawn, or else her subjects shall be executed. Therefore, the royal guards proclaim her dread command throughout the city in the night, which is followed by the fear and mournful subjection of the people. As I said, Prince Calaf raised the serpents of fire and light on the First Mountain, but while one can achieve mastery at that level, it's a very different thing to achieve perfection in mastery, to fully die to the ego. Only after the ego is fully annihilated can the soul then can unite with Binah, and Binah with the lower seven sephiroth, specifically.
The Second Mountain is the path of descent into the infernal planes within each inverted sephirah: the Lunar hells, the Mercurial hells, the Venusian hells, the Solar hells, the Martian hells, the Jupiterian hells, the Saturnian hells, the Uranian hells and Neptunian hells. Nine inverted sephiroth all relate to the nine heavens on the Tree of Life. You first must descend into hell and face all your evilness, to die radically, in each sephirah below, in order to ascend, to resurrect within a respective heaven. By annihilating the egos relating to the Lunar hell, you rise up to the Lunar heaven, the Mercurial hell to the Mercurial heaven, and likewise until reaching the very end, Kether. That is the level of Chaioth Ha-Kadosh, a holy living creature with no ego.
So, in the prayer to Solomon, the Invocation of Solomon, we state, "Chaioth Ha-Kadosh! Cry! Speak! Roar! Bellow! Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh!" This means, "Holy Creatures! Holy, Holy, Holy!" A Chaioth Ha-Kadosh is an initiate who has no ego, who has the four elements radically purified, and who is now preparing to enter Binah to a higher degree, to resurrect. This was the case of Samael Aun Weor near the end of his life, in which he fully eliminated the ego and was preparing to physically die, because in order to resurrect in the Being, the physical corpse, the flesh of fornication, must leave, to die through a sickness, through karma. The initiate pays all their karma at the end completely, which usually occurs in the form of some type of disease, some type of illness which is incurable and produces a lot of suffering.
So, Calaf is preparing for that precise moment in the opera, where he has to face all the people of Peking who want to know his name, who want to know his secret—who he is—because the riddle that he gave to Turandot was, "If you don't want to marry me, you have to find out my name." It's a very beautiful symbol, because the name in Hebrew is השם Hashem. The Jews always state ברוך השם אדני Baruch Hashem Adonai, or "Blessed be the Name of the Lord. " השם Hashem is the Name, a sacred appellation for יהוה Iod-Chavah, Jehovah, Christ. So, he tells her, "Guess my name, and before dawn, if you find it out, I will gladly die in the morning hours." 
Of course, there's two ways to die: either in heaven or in hell. Through resurrection or through failure in the second death. On the night of the Second Mountain, we have to face all of our evilness within the ego and the three brains: intellectual brain, emotional brain, motor-instinctive-sexual brain, which are represented by the elements of the cross as we can see in this image. We have the twenty-two Hebrew letters, the twenty-two archetypes, laws of the Torah, the Tarot, the law, surrounding the שושנה Shoshannah, the rose of spirituality, blossoming. א Aleph, ש Shin, מ Mem reminds us of the figure eight, which again are repeated in this act and all throughout the opera, but in greater hierarchies, greater octaves. א Aleph relates to the intellectual brain. ש Shin relates to the emotional brain and מ Mem relates to the motor-instinctual-sexual brain. It is through these three centers that we are tempted in the physical plane, and in the internal planes by the demons of the black lodge. More importantly, we are tempted by our own ego that doesn't want us to enter the work, or finish the work, if we reach that point.
The very terrible ordeals one must face, which you've seen in this act, specifically and only applies by rising up through the ten sephiroth, the ten days of Yom Kippur. Only by atoning for all our egos through meditation and death do we have the right to resurrect, to achieve the Day of Atonement—once the sun rises—symbolizing the resurrection of Christ in us. 

The Tree of Life, the ten sephiroth, represent the different characters of this drama. We've spoken extensively about Timur, Liu, Calaf, as well as the Emperor Altoum, the latter representing Kether, the Solar Logos. The Divine Mother Turandot is Binah, the Holy Spirit. Iod-Chavah, Jehovah, relates to Chokmah, Christ, יהוה Iod-Hei-Vav-Hei. We say, "Hashem," out of respect for Jehovah, but really the name is יהוה Iod-Chavah. י Iod, the head, הוה Chavah, sex. That is the mystery of Calaf's name.
They constantly ask him, "What is your name? Give us your secret." His secret is: he raises the power of הוה Havah to י Iod. This is the secret of chastity. But the opposite path, that of fornication, is followed by a demon named Chavajoth. He's a backwards being whose הוה Chavah, sex, is governing his י Iod, his head, through lust. The name יהוה Iod-Chavah represents how you raise the powers of sex to the brain as an angel, as a master. So all the servants of Kali, the inverted serpent, represented by the negative or severe side of Turandot’s character, seek to find out the secret of the initiate on the Second Mountain. This includes all the people of Peking, and also the main counselors, Ping, Pang and Pong, the forces of diablo, the devil, who seek to pull us from the path, or pull those masters at that level into the abyss. 

​Samson, Delilah, and the Three Mother Letters of Kabbalah

This drama has been beautifully depicted in the story of שמשון Samson. Samson allowed himself to be put asleep by דלילה Delilah. לילה Lilah means "night" in Hebrew and ד Daleth is the doorway into the infernal worlds, the night. Samson gave away his secret, his chastity, by unveiling how, by cutting his hair, he could be conquered. He loses his strength by admitting his secret, whereby, in his weakness, he was seized by the Philistines, all his egos. When they cut his hair, the Philistines blinded him, meaning that if we fail to maintain chastity at that level, but give into the ego and fornication, then one is spiritually blinded. You must remember that Samson was a giant, a great warrior, a master of Tiphereth, but who fell, who chose to fornicate after reaching that point. שמשון Samson reminds us of שמש Shemesh, which in Hebrew means sun, S-U-N, and אוֹן  Aun, sexual strength. So, the power of the sun was castrated in him, a symbol of how any initiate who does not know how to keep his secret, his purity, ends up being swallowed by the moon, לילה Lilah, the night.
Likewise, the Princess Turandot represents both the solar and the lunar serpents, or in other words, the serpent is represented dualistically. Her servants are trying to find out Calaf’s name, so that they can kill him. This is precisely the great drama of this act. Will he in the end marry Turandot, or will he enter devolution? So, as we discussed in Act I and II of this opera, the three mother letters of kabbalah run thematically throughout this work. א Aleph, ש Shin, מ Mem are hinted at, even represented by the name שמשון Shamshon, Samson. ש Shin and מ  Mem, but also אוֹן Aun, with a silent א Aleph, are hidden in this name. The occult significance of this biblical character shows that if we don't use the three brains correctly: א  Aleph in the head, ש  Shin in the heart, מ  Mem in the sex, we're going to fail.
So, it takes great equilibrium and balance at that degree, especially to not be tempted by the forces of darkness, since they fight very diligently to pull the initiate. You see this not only in this opera, but also in stories like The Pistis Sophia, in which Sophia seeks to return to the source of pleroma, but is constantly afflicted. She wants to return to the light, but can't. She is denied every step of her path, but of course, it is that path of denial, in overcoming those temptations, that one succeeds. In the story of Samson, we find that many initiates fail, but in this opera we have a very different story. 

​The Two Pillars of Kabbalah and the Secret of Calaf’s Name in the Zohar

We're going to look at the name Calaf in relation to the Zohar, a very profound esoteric book that is the spirit of the doctrine, and explains categorically, distinctly, all the elements of the books of Genesis in detail, through commentary. So, the name Calaf, literally is spelled in Hebrew, כלף Kaf-Lamed-Final Peh, and we find a reference to the name כל Kol, Kaf-Lamed, in the Zohar, which partially constitutes the name of the prince which everyone seeks to know.
‘Let there be light,’ namely,
אל גדול  El Gadol, great God… (Gedulah is the spirit in Hebrew, Chesed, Mercy). The mystery emerging from the primordial aura. ויהי Vayhi, ‘And there was’―​mystery of darkness called אלוהים Elohim. ‘Light’—left merging in right. Then from the mystery of אל El came to be אלוהים Elohim, right merging left, left and right. —Zohar
In order to understand this better, we're going to refer to the Tree of Life, specifically the left and right pillars we've been discussing extensively.
In the left pillar, we have all the forces of Binah that descend into the infernal planes. That is why Turandot is dualistic. In heaven she is Kundalini, but when she's channeled through our ego, she becomes Kundabuffer, the tail of demons, the Lucifers, the black magicians. The right pillar on the Tree of Life relates to mercy, the left is severity. The force of Chokmah, Christ, descends from the right pillar down to Yesod, and that is why the Christic energies are linked to our sexual force, our sexual drive, or why the secret of השם Hashem is founded within Yesod. So, on the left pillar of the Tree of Life, we have three sephiroth that relate to certain names in Hebrew in the world of Atziluth, the world of archetypes, because every sephirah on the Tree of Life relates to a sacred name. The name for Binah in Kabbalah is יהוה אלוהים Jehovah Elohim. The name for Geburah in Kabbalah is אלוהים גיבור Elohim Gibur, the strength of God, or the strength of the Gods and Goddesses. And then, Hod relates to אלוהים צבאות Elohim Sabaoth. So, we find Elohim represented in the left pillar.
In the right pillar, we're referring to אל El because the right is masculine while the feminine left pillar relates to all the forces of the divine life that specifically descends in us, but also to hell. When the serpentine sexual energy descends, it becomes the tail of demons. Ida is the fallen serpent in us that we must raise, and it is through a marriage, in which that left serpent unites with the right serpent, back up the head. Because in most people, clairvoyantly, they have that Kundabuffer tail very strong, but in the body of an alchemist that energy is ascending to the head through Ida and Pingala.
Therefore, let there be light means how our own spirit works within the darkness of our psyche. In the Kabbalah, רוח אלוהים Ruach Elohim, the spirit of God, Chesed, works with the waters of genesis in order to conquer the left pillar. By combining the two pillars, male, female, by working in a marriage, אל El becomes אלוהים Elohim because אלוה Eloah means goddess. אל El is God, masculine. Unite them in a marriage, you have אלוהים Elohim. So ים Iod-Mem is masculine plural. And here אלוהים Elohim literally means ‘gods and goddesses,’ because when a husband and wife are united sexually, they have the power to create life. They are a god and a goddess at that moment. But the problem is temptation, the serpent of Eden, the fallen serpent pushes the couple to engage in the forbidden fruit, the orgasm. That is how they lose everything. Light, left emerging right, and then from the mystery of El came to be Elohim. Right merging in left, left and right.
There's also a quote, I believe, in the Song of Songs, as we stated previously, in which Solomon describes this dynamic. From chapter 2 verses 3-6
"As the apple tree among the trees of the wood so is my beloved among the songs. I sat down under his shadow with great light and his fruit was sweet to my taste."  
Song of Songs 2:3
If you read Igneous Rose, we know that the apple tree represents the Glorian, Christ, which is related to the Ain Soph, the Absolute.
"He brought me to the banqueting house and his banner over me was love..." —Song of Songs 2:4
Meaning, chastity. The banquet of the Lamb.
"Stay me with flagons. Cover me with apples for I am sick of love (or sick from love)." —Song of Songs 2:5
This indicates the alchemist is so in love with divinity that one is even considered ill by this society, just as everyone condemned Prince Calaf for wanting to enter the funereal trials of Devi Kundalini in Act I. "Stay me with flagons" means to stay with the wine of transmutation no matter what, to be faithful to and enjoy the delights of sexual alchemy. And then…
"His left hand is under my head and his right hand doth embrace me." —Song of Songs 2:6
The left pillar is what sustains the initiates. They must control the left foot, psychologically speaking, because the Master Samael Aun Weor mentions in The Pistis Sophia that the bodhisattva must learn to walk on two feet, symbolically. On the right are the gnostics, the sheep. On the left are the demons, the goats. Sheep and goats. Right and left, but a bodhisattva is neither a saint nor a demon; he or she goes beyond good and evil, to return to the Absolute as a master of the Day.
That term is used by Blavatsky in The Voice of the Silence, but also by Samael Aun Weor. The term day, in Hebrew, is יום Yom, those who attain יום כיפור Yom Kippur, perfection in initiation and mastery. So, the left pillar sustains, which is why Liù, Geburah, the Divine Soul in the beginning of Act I, is the one who says to the multitudes, "How my master is fallen! Will someone raise him for me?" Which is why Calaf jumps in and sings, "Padre mio padre," "My father… my father… I found you again!"
The power of Geburah, Justice, is how we raise ourselves up through the Martian strength of Christ, back to the source. The right hand is what caresses, because the right pillar is mercy, while the left hand or left pillar supports the master. This dynamic of mercy and justice reaches equilibrium within Tiphereth, within the soul, Calaf. As we state in the Invocation of Solomon the Wise, "Mercy and justice, be ye the equilibrium and splendor of my life!" One of the many translations or meanings of the word Tiphereth is splendor. 

"God saw that the light was good (Genesis Chapter 1, verse 4)—the central pillar. Good illumining above and below and all directions, through the mystery of Jehovah, the name embracing all sides."
So why is it that the center pillar is the light of radiance that sustains the whole tree of life? It's because the word תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth literally sounds like Tiph-Aur-reth. אור Aur is the light in the central pillar and the very middle of this diagram, where we find the Prince Calaf, the human soul, our Christified will. That is the very one who is responsible for balancing all the forces of the Tree of Life. The light of Christ, Jehovah, or Chokmah, and the powers of Chesed, reach balance in Tiphereth, Tiph-Aur-Reth. Likewise, Aima and Abba Elohim, the Divine Mother or the Holy Spirit in Binah, find their equilibrium or center of gravity here within the heart. The secret name of Tiphereth in Hebrew is אלוה ודעת יהוה Eloah Va Daath Iod-Hei-Vau-Hei. We find אלוה ודעת Eloah Va Daath, Goddess of Knowledge, the Divine Mother and השם Hashem, the appellation of יהוה Iod-Chavah.
Christ and the Divine Mother are balanced in Tiphereth. The Prince Calaf represents this because in the very opening of Act III, he says, "No one shall ever know my name. My secret. השם Hashem. My light." And, he seeks to fully eradicate desire so that he can return through דעת Daath, sexual alchemy, through marriage with Binah. Therefore, Puccini is showing us how the central pillar of the Tree of Life orients everything. This whole opera is fixated on the Prince Calaf because he is Christ-will. Christ-will is how we achieve resurrection through death of the ego.
God separated the light from the darkness, dissipating discord, so that all would be perfect. —Zohar
This is a symbol how in the inferno, we extract the light from each ego, in order to be fully, radically dead.
God called the light day. What does ‘called’ mean? He called forth and summoned this perfect light, standing in the center, to emit a radiance—foundation of the world, upon which worlds are established. From that perfect light, the central pillar, extended יְסוֹדא Yesoda, Foundation. Vitality of the Worlds. ‘Day,’ from the right side.
As I said, Yesod receives all the forces from Chokmah, Chesed, Netzach, down the Tree of Life. That light must be extracted from the darkness within our own inner infernos, within our own Lunar, Mercurial, Venusian, Solar, etc., infernos. Likewise, all the way down until the Neptunian house—the inverted sephiroth, called the Tree of Death or Tree of Zaqqum in the Qur’an.
And the darkness He called night. He called forth something that generated from the side of darkness a female, the moon ruling by night, called Night, mystery of אדני Adonai, אדון Adon, Lord of all the earth (Joshua 3:11). —Zohar
The word for Malkuth in Kabbalah, the sacred name of Malkuth in the world of Atziluth is אדני הארץ Adonai Ha’aretz. Adonai reminds us of the Lord. When you say ברוך השם אדני Baruch Hashem Adonai, you're saying ‘Blessed is the Name of the Lord.’ Adonai should better be read as Adonia, meaning ‘Lady,’ or the beautiful Greek child Adonis. Adonia is the Kundalini in Malkuth, since the earth or physical vehicle receives all the forces from above, so that through the Lord of the Earth, by conquering this body and fornication, we can achieve resurrection.

Adonai also relates to the Lunar forces, which influence Malkuth, since Yesod is the second to the bottom Sephirah on the Tree of Life. It is also already well documented how our physical moon influences many aspects of life on earth, such as tides, menstruation in women, vegetation, animal life, etc. In the Conjuration of the Seven, we pray, “In the name of Gabriel (the regent of the moon or lunar ray), may Adonai command thee and drive thee hence Bael!” Adonai and Bael both mean “Lord,” the former is heavenly, the other is demonic. Or, Kundalini above, Kundabuffer below. Adonai is the mystery of the moon ruling by night, since by working with the lunar forces of Yesod, we become a Lord of the Night, in the positive sense. We conquer the night in ourselves by annihilating the ego on the Second Mountain, the darkness of Act III.
You notice that in the opera, Prince Calaf is singing to the stars. He is in Malkuth preparing to go into his own infernos, because all the temptations of this society, in this world, in Malkuth or within the inverted sephiroth of hell, is where we face great battles, great ordeals. The opposite of אדני הארץ Adonai Ha’aretz, the Kundalini, is the Kundabuffer, which is why the Prince Calaf worships the Lord or Adonia, his Divine Mother, in this great aria Nessun Dorma, which we're going to be examining. Adonia is precisely the name of the Kundalini, the goddess of the earth, who can take Calaf out of hell and into paradise.
The right entered that perfect pillar in the center, embracing the mystery of the left, and ascended to the primordial point, grasping there, the power of three points: חולם cholem, שורק shuruq, חירק chireq, seed of holiness, for without this mystery no seed is sown. —Zohar
We just spoke about how the power of Yesod is the foundation of our temple. It is the motor-instinct-sexual brain, the Temple of Peter, the Gnostic Church, which the enemies of God try to prevent us from entering. There are three diacritical marks in Hebrew known as חולם cholem, שורק shuruq, and חירק chireq. These are points that you put on the original Hebrew in order to pronounce vowels. You have three vowels, literally "Eh" with חירק chireq, "Uu" with שורק shuruq and "Oh" with חולם cholem. These vowels are below, middle and above, respectively. This reminds us of the three brains through which our cosmic alphabet is developed. The Hebrew letters represent forces, principles that we can work with, so when we grasp the power of the three points: intellectual brain, emotional brain, motor-instinctive-sexual brain, we work with the seed of holiness, the power of Yesod. For without this mystery, no seed is sown.
And, we find in this opera three temptations, ordeals, that the prince must face in Act III.
All is united in the central pillar, generating the foundation of the world, who is therefore called Kol כל (Kaf-Lamed, which translates as All, or we could also say totality…) for He embraces all in the radiance of desire. —Zohar
What is this radiance of desire? The Ark. The name of Calaf resides in דַעַת Da’ath, the center of the Tree of Life, in Tiphereth, balanced by Yesod, the foundation, which is the secret, his chastity. He had the letter "F" or פ Peh in Hebrew. It refers to speech, the mouth. When you're working with a matrimony and you're pronouncing sacred mantras in the sexual act, you're working with the power of ‘All’ through the word, through דַעַת Da’ath...
And why is it that Kol, כל Kaf-Lamed, reminds us of All, totality? As Samael Aun Weor stated in his books, the act of sexual magic is the key to all empires, the key to all kingdoms. Every universe is formed through moving with the sexual energy, the power of Lucifer. When we work with פ Peh, כל Kol becomes כלף Calaf, since the energies of sex are sublimated to the heart through mantras. That divine energy also only rises in accordance with the merits of the heart, as Samael Aun Weor stated in The Perfect Matrimony. You cannot work with the serpent Kundalini and raise it up the spine without earning it in your emotional center through ordeals, through the development of virtues.
And so, this where כל Kol, All, embraces all in the radiance of desire. And the word desire typically refers to the ego, but in this case, in a poetic way, we could say desire refers to divine longing. Tiphereth embraces all the sephiroth of the Tree of Life because it is through our human will, our spiritual inquietudes, in which we learn to find integration of the soul with the Being.
The left blazed potently, inhaling, inhaling fragrance of all those rungs. Out of that blazing flame, he generated the female, the moon. That blaze was dark, deriving from darkness. These two sides generated these two rungs: one male and one female. —Zohar
In the sexual act, the left pillar becomes the flame. The power of darkness becomes active, and it is by conquering the ego in a marriage, in those precise moments of temptation, in which we learn to inhale the fragrance of aroma of the Tree of Knowledge, but without eating its fruit. This is symbolic of renouncing and eliminating the orgasm. Out of that blazing flame of the sexual furnace the moon is generated, because as Samael Aun Weor mentions, the moon represents the ego. When you're inflamed in a marriage, in the sexual act, we must face the moon, our own darkness, our own mind.
Foundation was linked to the central pillar by the increase of light within it, for as the central pillar was consummated, pacifying all sides, its radiance was increased from above, from all sides in all-encompassing joy. Out of that increased joy, emerged the foundations of the world called Increase. –Zohar
The word increase in Hebrew is מוס
ף Musaf, which reminds us of Josef, Joseph, Yesod. Joseph represents the power of Yesod, primarily because he was thrown into well by his brothers, the well of Yesod, the sexual energies, the waters, and he had to escape and face imprisonment in Egypt and certain sexual temptations in order to be rewarded by God, his Being.

The term Egypt is never used in the Bible, since the original Hebrew word is
מצרים Mitzrahim,  literally translating as “the place between the waters.” This is a symbol not only of the whole planet earth, but our physicality, which enslaves the soul through lust, desire, fornication. Ordeals usually take place in the physical plane, whereby we must define ourselves through how we use our sexual waters, our energies. 
From here emerges all forces below and holy spirits and souls from the mystery of
יהוה צבאות Iod-Chavah Sabaoth, Lord of Hosts. אל אלהי הרוחות El Elohei Ha-Ruchot, God, God of spirits. —Zohar

Leviathan: ​The Lost Word

The name Calaf in Sufi terms is the lost word. The lost word is mentioned by Samael Aun Weor in certain books such as Igneous Rose. It is the Christ energy that has been lost in humanity and lost to our soul, because we failed to perform the work.
The lost word reminds us also of the fifth day of Genesis. The term לוויתן Levitanim is translated as the great whales or the great sea monsters, which bears profound esoteric significance. These are the serpents of fire, which we raise in the perfect matrimony. תַּנִּין Tannyn is a word that refers to whales, specifically. If you add the word לוי Levi in front of it, you make לוויתן Levi-Tannyn. You spell leviathan. A Leviathan is a great master of the fifth initiation of Major Mysteries, one who has been purified in the tribe of Levi, the path of the apostles and initiates. When you incarnate Christ, you receive the lost word, but to reach that point you must be swallowed by the serpent up to at least Tiphereth, the human soul. And so, the lost word is found in any master who incarnates Chokmah, which we saw in Act II.
In the words of Samael Aun Weor in Igneous Rose,
"God created everything in the lost word. The masters that live in Asia have this word very well guarded. A great philosopher once said, 'Search for it in China and maybe you'll find it in the great Tartar.' The lost word is like a gigantic fish (לוויתן Leviathan); half blue, half green emerging from the depth of the ocean." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
So, what does that mean to be a gigantic fish? It is to be a master of Tiphereth, the Middle East. "Whosoever knows the Word gives power to. No one has uttered it. No one will utter it, except the one who has it incarnated," the Word, the Christ. This is the saying from Master Huiracocha, who was the teacher of Samael Aun Weor. 

The word Asia, you can say, is the word Assiah in Kabbalah. The great masters of the Middle East have this word very well guarded. The term Asia is used, but really Asia should be Assiah, since the world of Assiah is Malkuth, the world of matter and action. We can say that Yetzirah, the world of formation relates to the lower trinity of the Tree of Life. The world of Briah relates to the middle trinity of the Tree of Life and Atziluth relates to the top trinity, the three primary forces. Assiah, the world of matter and action is where we must face temptation, in which we must guard our secret, our chastity.
The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled also mentions that one must incarnate the mysteries of the light, to follow the mysteries of our inner name, our inner God. Every one of us has our own inner spirit and our spirit has his own divine name, spiritual name. And, personally I know the name of my Being, but I won't tell anyone, because it's no one's business. I seek to be humble, because in all of us, the Being is great, is holy, divine—but we are not.
It is ironic that certain people in this movement commonly and frequently proclaim themselves to be the master so and so. "I am the master X. Follow me!" And, many people get caught up in politics within groups, identifying with certain people who say they are the master so-and-so. It may be true that the Being is a master, but this does not mean that the human soul is.
Even if you reach Tiphereth, the Fifth Initiation of Fire, one is a master at that level, but… spiritually, the Being is the master, not us! So, it's ironic that people get caught up in pronouncing eloquent names and spiritual names of God, giving away their secret to humanity. Calaf, or better said, Puccini, and many others knew that the way to resurrect is by not talking so much about one's development—but keeping that a secret. Many so-called Gnostics get caught up in this. Many people follow such individuals who say they are the master so-and-so and then get stuck in groups, politics, debates. But the real way to enter initiation is to keep this secret, the lost word, guarded in Assiah, the physical plane. And, in The Pistis Sophia we must face all the temptations in Assiah and the repentance of Sophia in Klipoth.
In Kabbalah, God creates through Briah; the forces of the top trinity of the Tree of Life create through alchemy, through Da’ath, in order to create the spirit, the divine soul, and the human soul. And, the human soul must give form to a solar mind, solar astral body, solar vital body, and transform the physical body into a solar being, a Christic Being. It is by entering the Second Mountain in which we ascend these nine sephiroth, the heavens, and prepare for resurrection.

The Lost Word of the Sufis

We have a beautiful teaching of the Sufis, which explain this very cryptic teaching of the Middle East: how one must find the lost word. ‘Search for it in China and maybe you'll find it even in the great Tartar.’ Idries Shah explains some very beautiful things about the mysteries of the lost word that we're going to elaborate upon and explain in relation to the opera we are studying:
“Seek knowledge, even as far as China,” the phrase which is on all Sufi lips, has more than a literal or even a figurative sense. This meaning is unlocked by analyzing the use of the word “China,” interpreted through the secret language… —Idries Shah, The Sufis: “The Coalmen.”
…which we say is Kabbalah. In Arabic it is the Abjad system. It's the same as the Hebraic Kabbalah. The numbers of certain letters representing different principles.
Prince Calaf is in China and everyone is trying to find out his name, the lost word. “Seek for knowledge even in China and maybe you'll find it in the great Tartar.” Remember that Calaf is the exiled prince of Tartary.
“China” is a code word for mind concentration, one of the Sufi practices, an essential prerequisite to Sufic development. The phrase is important partly because it provides an example of the coincidence in interpretation possible in either the Arabic or Persian languages. Neither has any real connection with the other.  The fact that the word for “China” in both, though spelled and pronounced differently, decodes to substantially the same concept, invests this phrase with a special significance for the Sufi.
CHINA. In Arabic SYN (letters Saad, Ya, Nun). Equivalent numbers: 90, 10, 50.  Totaled, these letters yield the number 150. Splitting by hundreds, tens, and units: 100 + 50 (no units remain). Retranslated into numbers: 100=Q, plus 50=N. Q and N recombined form a word: QN. The word QN (in the form of QaNN) represents, in Arabic, the concept of “scrutinizing, observing,” and is therefore taken as a symbol of concentration, focus. The injunction now reads: “Seek knowledge, even as far as concentration (of the mind).” —Idries Shah, The Sufis: “The Coalmen.”
Prince Caliph is in China. He is in his own infernos, his own Tartarus, his hells, in which he must discriminate amongst all the people of Peking, all of his defects, to catch them in action, to understand them, so that by comprehending, he may eliminate through the Divine Mother. In order to achieve knowledge, one must work in Da’ath, in alchemy. One must work diligently in the full death of desire.
CHINA. In Persian CHYN (letters Che, Ya, Nun). Equivalent numbers: 3, 10, 50. Before translating into numbers, the Persian letter Che (CH) is first exchanged for its nearest equivalent in the Abjad scheme, which is J. The three sums totaled: 3 + 10 + 50 = 63. Separated into tens and units: 60 + 3. These numbers retranslated into letters: 60 = SIN; 3 = JIM. The word we now have to determine is a combination of S and J. SJ (pronounced SaJJ) means “to plaster or coat, as with clay.” Reverse the order of the letters (a permissible change, one of very few allowed by the rules) and we have the word JS. The word is pronounced JaSS. This means “to inquire after a thing; to scrutinize (hidden things); to ascertain (news).” This is the root of the word for “espionage,” and hence the Sufi is called the Spy of the Heart. To the Sufi the scrutinization for the purpose of ascertaining hidden things is an equivalent, poetically speaking, with the motive for concentrating the mind. —Idries Shah, The Sufis: “The Coalmen.”
You see in this opera how Prince Calaf is scrutinizing his foes, who all want to find out his name, his secret. He is literally in China, Syn, which reminds us of Sijjeen, the lowest hell in the Qur’an, specifically referenced in Surah 83, Al-Mutaffifin, ‘The Defrauding.’ We find a profound teaching about the word "Sijjeen," wherein resides the book of the lost ones. The opposite is the realm of Illiyun, the highest heaven, wherein resides the book of the pious.
"The record of the wicked is indeed in Sijjeen." Sin, Sina. China. "And, what can make you know what is in Sijjeen? it is a written record. Woe to the deniers on that day who deny the Day of Retribution." Or better said, the Day of Atonement, Resurrection. "And none denies it, except for every sinful transgressor." —Al-Mutaffifin, ‘The Defrauding’ 83:7-12
"And the record of the pious is indeed in Illiyyun. And, what can make you know what is in Illiyyun? It is a written record witnessed by those brought near to Allah. Indeed, the pious shall be amid bliss, observing as they recline on couches." —Al-Mutaffifin, ‘The Defrauding’ 83:18-23
Illiyyun can refer to a mountain top, the heights of the Empyrean, the Tree of Life. Sijjeen refers to the lowest hells, so "Seek knowledge even in China, Sijjeen, and maybe you'll find it in the great Tartarus…" because by learning to go through your own hells, with discrimination, is how you develop the spirit, how you will resurrect. The only way to climb the Mountain of Resurrection is by precisely facing all our defects. Every ascent is preceded by a terrible a frightful descent, humiliation.
Even the word ‘sin’ in English comes from this etymology. Sin is an archery term in which, when you're firing towards a center target, you veer off to the left. To sin, Kabbalistically, is to fall through the left pillar, to go down the Tree of Life into Klipoth. That's how you enter devolution, what it means to sin. In this work, we must learn to descend into China, Sijjeen, hell, but without sinning, without sin, to not identify with those realms.

A descent is much different than a fall. To descend is to face all our own evilness with responsibility, to comprehend and annihilate the ego. To fall is to fornicate, to abuse the energies of the left pillar of the Tree of Life, and therefore remain in Klipoth without light.
We said that China is the heavenly kingdom, but in us our heaven is trapped in hell, as indicated in the Arabic Kabbalah. All our parts of our soul are trapped in the ego, and if we wish to achieve the Resurrection mentioned in the Qur’an, we need to atone for our defects through the Second Mountain, Purgatory, the ten days of Yom Kippur.
Therefore, John Milton stated in Paradise Lost, "The mind is its own place. It can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." So, "The inferno is the womb of heaven," says Samael Aun Weor extensively, because it is only by descending into our own darkness, like Calaf does in Act III, by which he develops heaven in himself, by guarding the lost word, his secret.
Search for it in China, with discrimination, and maybe you'll find the truth, the lost word, in the great Tartarus, the inferno, which is what Calaf is doing. He's facing all the temptations of his mind and is rejecting Klipoth. When in hell, we must discriminate what we see with meditation; to not be confused by our own mind or the black magicians. Therefore Tiphereth, Prince Calaf, gets confronted by Ping, Pang, and Pong, IAO, the force of diablo, the devil.
We mentioned that Tiphereth, Prince Calaf, already achieved mastery. In terms of Freemasonry, he was an Adeptus Minor, but now he is preparing for perfection in mastery, to perform the Biblical Exodus, שמות Shemoth in Hebrew. In order to perform the Exodus, which is the return of all the parts of Israel, the soul, with the divine, we must reach Tiphereth first. Only by working with השם Hashem, א Aleph, ש Shin, מ Mem, by creating the solar bodies, especially the solar causal body, our own Inner Moses, can we incarnate Christ, the lost word,
השם Hashem. Remember that the three mother letters of Kabbalah represent השם Hashem, and that השם Hashem spelled backwards is משה Moshe, Moses. Only by entering the direct path, by descending into Klipoth, can we truly incarnate Christ. That is the work of Moses, of the Exodus. We must return to Israel, the Absolute, because we are in exile, but now the Prince Calaf will enter the Exodus through the revolution of the consciousness, by freeing all the parts of his soul from hell.

It’s very interesting that the Book of Exodus is really שמות Shemot, the Book of Names, since the word Shem means ‘Name’ in Hebrew. ו Vav ת Tav is feminine plural. The way that we return to the Promised Land and marry the Divine Princess Turandot, Shekinah, is by guarding our name in the abyss, by freeing the Israelites or parts of the soul that are trapped in sin, Sijjeen, China.

​Nessun Dorma: "No Man Shall Sleep"

In the story of Samson and Delilah, Prince Calaf must renounce all the offerings of the darkness, which is why Eliphas Levi has stated, "Woe to the Sampson of the Kabbalah if he allows himself to be put to sleep by the sinful Delilah." Therefore, in the opera, Prince Calaf says, "No man shall sleep." He will not enter the doorway of the night.
When Calaf sings this most famous aria to the stars, we are reminded of the Qur'an and the teachings of the Middle Eastern Sufis. Calaf sings, "No man shall sleep." He's singing to the stars of Urania, the Divine Mother Nut, the cosmic space. As stated in Al-Anam, "The Cattle," Surah 69:7:
"It is he who place for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darkness of the land and sea. We have detailed the signs for people who know."
Al-Anam, "The Cattle" 69:7
The following verses from Surah 37 verses 4-6:
"Indeed, your God is One, Lord of the heavens and the earth and that between them and Lord of the sunrises. Indeed, we have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment of stars." —Qur’an 37:4-6
In this recitation, this Qur’an, Prince Calaf is praying to the sky, the heavens during the hour of temptation: Lucifer-Venus, which is occurs between 3 and 4 in the morning. This is when the forces of the black lodge are active in the astral atmosphere, which is why, if you wake up in the astral dimension at those hours and are very weak with lust, it gets very dangerous, because the demons will come after you. If we're diligent and working in chastity, being very strong in our practice, we can’t be harmed.
As you have seen in this opera, Prince Calaf is in ecstasy. He's performing a recitation, the Qur’an, in Arabic terms. He performs night vigil to speak, to pray, to communicate, to ask of his inner God for help during the hour of Lucifer-Venus. Therefore the Qur’an, Surat Al-Isra, ‘The Night Journey,’ verses 78-79, states:
"Establish prayer at the decline of the sun from its meridian until the darkness of the night and also the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed. And from part of the night pray with it as additional worship for you. It is expected that the Lord will resurrect you to a praised station." —Surat Al-Isra, ‘The Night Journey,’ verses 78-79
It's good to get into the habit of waking up very early, around 3 or 4 in the morning. If you get up naturally, that's even better, to do mantras, perform prayers. Then, go back to sleep, awaken in the astral plane; you can experience very strong samadhis, because you're channeling and conquering the energies of Lucifer—you're controlling your energies and the temptations of your mind. You can awaken a lot of consciousness that way. In that state you can have certain blissful ecstasies in which you communicate with your inner Divine Mother. This is the occult significance of Prophet Muhammad’s teaching on the night vigil, to be resurrected to a praised station.
The following is from Al-Buraj, the Constellations, Surah 85, verses 1-9:
"By the sky containing great stars and by the Promised Day," or the Day of Resurrection, marriage with Devi Kundalini, Turandot, "and by the witness and what is witnessed, cursed were the companions of the trench, containing a fire full of fuel, When they [the fornicating people of Peking] were sitting near it and they, to what they were doing against the believers [like Prince Calaf], were witnesses. And they resented them not except they believed in Allah, Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy, to whom belongs the dominions of the heavens and the earth, and Allah over all things, is Witness." —Al-Buraj, 85:1-9
If you see stars in the astral plane, the mental plane, it means ascension—where the Divine Mother is showing you that your mind is clear and you're reflecting God inside. You see that firmament. As the Qur’an teaches, "We give signs for those who have certainty" in the astral plane, where you see certain astrological features, like the moon, which means suffering, ego, pain, ordeals. A cloudy sky means too much ego interfering with the intellect, too much rationalization, a cloudy mind, but a clear sky of stars is essential, in which we're radically raising our level being.
Prince Calaf is in samadhi, singing to his Divine Mother in preparation for the Second Mountain. We find such ecstasy reflected in the practice of the mantras, "O AO KAKOF NA KHONSA,” with which we began this meeting today. Let me remind you of the prayer we performed so we can connect it to this beautiful aria Nessun Dorma:
"Be thou, oh, Hadit, my secret, the Gnostic mystery of my Being, the central point of my connection, my heart itself, and bloom (like Shoshanna, the rose or igneous flower of our spirituality) on my fertile lips made Word!
"Up above, in the infinite heavens, in the profound height of the unknowable, the incessant glow of light is the naked beauty of Nut. She reclines, she bends in delectable ecstasy, to receive the kiss and secret fervor of Hadit
(Hadit is a representation of Binah, the Holy Spirit, the husband of the Divine Mother. We seek to unite with Devi Kundalini, to be so pure that we become one with the Holy Spirit. This can only occur through death the ego, when we, as Tiphereth, become united in Binah through resurrection. Binah is both masculine and feminine: Aima Elohim, the Divine Mother, and Abba Elohim, the Divine Father).
"The winged sphere and the blue of the sky are mine!
"O AO KAKOF NA KHONSA!" —Egyptian Gnostic Prayer
It's on the night of the Second Mountain where the Prince Calaf’s heart is rich, inebriated with the hope of victory, when he says the following holy, ineffable words:
"None shall sleep. None shall sleep… (For I have awakened to one of the mysteries of Daath). Even you, oh princess Kundalini, in your chaste bedroom, (referring to the purified soul and the marriage room of alchemy, the bedroom), watch the stars (the firmament of Kether), that tremble with love and with hope…
"But my secret is hidden within me. No one will know my name, (the secret of initiation or his name, אלוה ודעת יהוה Eloah Va Daath Iod-Hei-Vau-Hei, the name of Tiphereth in the world of Aztiluth, which can be translated as אלוה ודעת השם Eloah Va Daath Iod-Hei-Vau-Hei or Eloah Va Da’ath Hashem, the Name, the lost word). No, no! On your mouth I will say it… (The mouth refers to Daath, mantralization, alchemy). I will say it when the light shines (when the word becomes flesh in me.)"
We spoke essentially about the meeting of השם Hashem, previously. Hashem contains breath, א Aleph, ש Shin, מ Mem: air, fire, water respectively. And, when we work with the three brains, the three forces in us, we're working with Hashem: I.A.O., Christ, Ignis, Agua, Origo: Fire. Water. Spirit.
So, he's praying to the night, his Divine Mother, to prepare him for the death of the ego and resurrection. Of course, this aria is very well recited today, but people don't know the meaning of what it represents. Little do people see how Puccini beautifully synthesized Kabbalah, alchemy, Sufism, and the Hebrew letters. So, as you can see, in order to understand this doctrine or this opera, we must know kabbalah very well, very deeply.
So, in this aria, Calaf continues:
"And, my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine."
(Or his kiss upon the lips of the Divine Mother Death, because through Da’ath, the lips, is how one dies to ego, through comprehending in meditation and then asking for annihilation, or in the sexual act through mantra, through prayer, through devotion).
The chorus sings afterward, "No one will know his name. None shall discover the secret of his strength. And we," referring to the psychological aggregates we have inside, "will have to die… to die."
Calaf says, "Vanish, oh, night!" Night of Lilith and Nahemah, "Set stars! Set stars! At dawn (resurrection), I will win! I will win! I will win!"
People want to know Calaf's name. The word Calaf reminds us of caliph, a master of Middle East, Tiphereth, since this Sephirah is the east, but also the middle of the Tree of Life. The sun rises in Tiphereth, astrologically speaking, since it relates kabbalistically to the sun. It also relates to Venus as well, the science of love, the Venustic Initiations we spoke about previously.
So the prince is a master of the Middle East, and people want to know his secret. He is facing a similar situation to that of Odysseus in The Odyssey, when the Greek hero is questioned by Polyphemus, the cyclops, in a barren island cave, "What is your name?" Odysseus says, "I am nobody." One must not identify with the ego; one must cease to be what one is so as to become what one is not—to become the Being—dying moment by moment through meditation, self-remembering, comprehension, prayer, and vigilance.
When Polyphemus is blinded by Odysseus, the Greek hero escapes with his life and his crew, but he makes the mistake of taunting the giant, the animal ego. The cyclops was a very clairvoyant ego, with one giant eye, the third eye—a very big demon with powers in hell. Odysseus was taunting him, saying, "I am Odysseus." But, of course, whenever he would speak, Polyphemus would throw a giant rock and nearly crush his ship, since the giant could still hear. So the danger of the initiate at that level is hubris, mystical pride, vanity, the assumption or futile belief that "I'm a master at that level. I am the master so-and-so, follow me!"
This becomes very dangerous for advanced practitioners, to be very arrogant in a spiritual way, to be proud of one’s height. Samael Aun Weor mentioned how, in Igneous Rose, initiates must not get hypnotized by the vertigo of the heights, to assume that one is a great initiate, because only divinity is great. In the beginning, Odysseus blinds the giant and escapes, whereby Polyphemus screams, "Nobody has blinded me!" The funny part is that the other giants on the island say, "Okay… So, what? Nobody blinded you!" It's a pun on words, but at the same it's a psychological truth. Cease to be what you are; be content with having no other identity but that of the Being; if you reach that point, that level. If you become fascinated by your own pride, you will tumble into the abyss and risk getting killed… since the cyclops, while blinded, can still hear you…

​The Temptations of the Second Mountain 

The servants of Kali, the darkness, the Divine Mother Death of the inferno are led by Ping, Pang, and Pong: I-A-O. Literally the vowels of their names are the vowels of diablo, the devil.
First thing they tell him is, "Divert your gaze from the stars and look down here." This is very interesting. We find in Surah 6 of the Qur’an, verses 3-4:
"And He is Allah, the only deity in the heavens and the earth. He knows your secret and what you make public and He knows that which you earn." So, your actions, your virtues, your defects. "And no sign comes to them from the signs of the Lord, except they turn away therefrom."
Al-Anam 3-4
Meaning: they turn away from the Divine Mother, the sacred cow of Kabbalah. “La Vaca” in Spanish, the cow, spells kabbalah backwards, the Mother of the Tarot, the second arcanum.
There's also another verse relating to this dynamic, where they tell him look down from the sky. They want Calaf to turn away from the signs of God and look down at what's going on in Klipoth, through temptation. The Qur’an, in Surat Al-Hajj, verse 66, states:
"And, He is the one who gave you life and causes you to die and then will again give you life. Indeed, mankind is ever ungrateful." —Al-Hajj 22:66
This verse deserves kabbalistic analysis, since many people interpret things literally. The Being gives life through the Mountain of Initiation, through Rosh Hashanah or the serpents of fire and light, and then He causes you to die on the Second Mountain through Yom Kippur. Then He will again raise you through Resurrection. But… mankind is always ungrateful, because even masters of that level still have defects to work upon.
This verse reminds me of an experience I had many years ago, so if I'm relating this to you about the stars, it’s because I've had many experiences where my Divine Mother was showing me my own heavens, heavenly being, or ascension. I remember one occasion, waking up at 4 AM to meditate, and then falling asleep again, I saw the stars in the sky—beautiful glittering stars… very divine, but then my ego was pulling me from the superior astral plane down to the inferior astral plane. I entered Limbo, Klipoth, the lunar sphere, when my ego invoked a big demon, whose name I will not relate here.
This monster, this giant demon, was like Polyphemus, a cyclopean beast. He was trying to convert me, but I fought my way out of his grasp as he was trying to tempt me, to drag me further down into the hell realms. Fortunately, I received divine aid and was able to escape.
So, I remember that phrase from the Qur’an, very much, with a lot of pain. "Surely we give signs unto you as a sign of certainty, but many are they who are ungrateful." I realize that my ego makes me very ungrateful. We must work hard on our ego so that we don't enter temptation, so that we cannot be misled in the internal worlds.
I-A-O, diablo. Ping, Pang, Pong, present before the initiate three more ordeals—three temptations relating once again to our three brains. In preparation for our resurrection, Lucifer provides the most intense and difficult ordeals. To understand this part of the opera, you have to remember the Book of Job: how Jehovah spoke to Satan and said, "Truly, my servant Job is the most humble, the best, the greatest." And of course, Satan says, "Yeah. Yeah. He praises you, but if you give me the opportunity to make him suffer, he will curse You to Your face." And Jehovah said, "So be it. Tempt him, but do not let him die."
And of course, the book of Job is very short, but very beautifully depicts the end of the path, through the process of resurrection, in which the initiate must face criticism and doubt, pain and sickness and disease and suffering and pay all his or her karma at the very end—to the point that even Job's wife and family were against him, telling him, "Why don't you curse God?" And he says, "Naked I was born, and naked do I return into the womb of the earth." God is just, and the initiate pays all his karma successfully if done with acceptance and humility.
There are eight years of trial and tribulation after Job annihilates the ego. Afterward, one must face certain ordeals, certain sicknesses and illnesses that result in death, physically speaking.
Of course, the initiate also faces other ordeals relating to the three brains. We find that riches, money, materialism, and jewels are presented to the initiate Calaf, which relate to Mammon, the mind. They use these jewels and say, "Take all this treasure and go on a journey anywhere you want. Do whatever you want. Take these fragments of stars." They say, "And the jewels." Of course, it's a very profound symbol in the Qur’an, because stars are from above, but in hell those energies channeled become fragments, broken. So they're telling him, "Don't look up there at Christ. Come down with us in Klipoth."
In the experience I had where I got sucked down into the infernal planes, I had to fight very hard to get out, but I did, because at that moment I was praying a lot and I felt a lot of remorse. There was a certain demon, whose name I won't mention, who took me and awoke me in hell, because I have that ego inside, very strong. But I prayed to my Divine Mother, my Divine Father, "Help me get out!" I woke up in my body and I felt terrible. I remember falling asleep again and being in my bedroom in the astral plane reading the Qur’an, but instead of seeing literal verses, I saw symbols, images. And my physical father, my Divine Father in the form of my physical father, came up to me in the astral plane, just smiled, and walked away, because I was studying with a lot of love and devotion.
I also remember seeing the images of that demon who pulled me down to Klipoth. He was a giant Gollum, bigger than this ceiling, like fifteen feet tall, a big rock giant, and in the Qur’an, I saw that symbol of the infidels,
الكافرين al-Kafirin in Arabic. Remember we said early in our previous lecture on the Tarot, כ Kaf is the intellect, the cave in which the demons dwell, down in the hell realms. There is even a surah in the Qur'an called الكهف Al-Kahf, 'The Cave,' which indicates how the Hebrew כ Kaf or Arabic ک / ك Kahf have the same kabbalistic meaning.

It's funny, because my physical father has a complete aversion to Islam, very fearful of that religion, but in my dream, my Divine Father was showing me in the form of my physical father: read the Qur’an when you are tempted.
The Prince Calaf opposes the golden calf, money, materialism, hell. The golden calf literally sounds like Calaf. That's the opposite of the prince, so they offer him gold and money, but he refuses. They offer him women, travels, eroticism, lust, sexual perversity and passion related to the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.
The first ordeal related to money is the intellect, because the mind is always wanting money to sustain itself, but the temptations of the body are related to the motor-instinctive-sexual brain. Women of fascinating fatal beauty, hidden beneath their veils, tempt the initiate in the physical and internal worlds. The counselors say ‘take their veils off,’ but of course these are the veils of hell, Klipoth, in which one only finds more and more suffering until one is disintegrated in that region. This is opposite to the veil of Isis, in which one tears it through resurrection to go to the source, the Absolute.
So Calaf denies them too. Ping, Pang, Pong beg the prince that Turandot is sleepless and unrelenting. This shows us how the black lodge accuses us of being cruel, of being evil, because they think that prince should die and not them. And of course, this reminds us of the story of from The Pistis Sophia in which Hitler met a superman. Hitler was an awakened sorcerer, a black magician at that point, and he declared that he was filled with terror before a superman filled with a lot of light. The demons think that masters of the straight path are very evil, because they don't follow the devolving forces. However, neither are the saints followers of the straight path, and therefore the saints don't understand them either. They follow the path of the right. One must follow the path of the middle to achieve self-realization of Turandot. But of course, when we follow the revolutionary path, we are accused of being cruel, demonic, by both the sheep and the goats.
Lucifer is always providing those temptations: mentally, emotionally, physically. And Samael Aun Weor wrote that the worst ordeals are not just brain against sex, sex against brain. Fighting against your lust in the sexual act is hard, but the worst ordeals involve heart against heart, the emotional brain, the emotional center. There are certain traumas or betrayals which are very painful, very difficult, which is why at this point in the opera, Turandot's guards bring out his father, Timur and the servant Liu, threatening their lives if they don't provide Calaf’s name. So, Calaf says he doesn't know them—which, as a simple plot point, makes sense. He's trying to protect his father and the servant, but at a deeper esoteric level, he's saying "I don't know them." He's saying, "I don't know my Being completely yet." As Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Perfect Matrimony, he knew a resurrected friend of his who said that only those who have swallowed soil, achieved resurrection, know anything. Before that, one is only a fool.
At that level, you know, the master has a lot of light and is developing more and more wisdom. However, they basically still don't know the Being yet, until resurrection, so a lot of trial, temptation and pain is involved. But he says, "I don't know them." And, while on one level, this is showing that he's protecting his family and his father and his servant, it also shows us the virtue that we need at this point in the path… which is silence. Silence doesn't just refer to just how we relate to people in the external plane. It’s not about not talking to people. It means that psychologically, we're silent. No mind. No disturbance. With serenity and insight, we cut through illusion, like Manjushri's sword into the depths of hell, in order to conquer all that evilness, because if we identify with ourselves and with our mind, we enter Klipoth. So, patience and tenacity are the two virtues needed on the Second Mountain according to Samael Aun Weor. The magician must know how to be silent, know how to abstain, know how to suffer, and know how to die to the ego.
It's at this point and time when the servant Liu, Geburah, provides a profound sacrifice, which is personally one of my favorite parts of this whole opera. Liu, the divine soul, tells the audience, "I know his name, but I will not tell it to you. I will keep his secret with me." Of course, this is a symbol of how the divine soul interferes and descends into the initiate on the Second Mountain in order to help. The divine soul, Geburah, relates to Mars and the Sun, since the divine soul is like into the solar logos. She teaches the audience, through her sacrifice, the path of mystical death. She says, "His secret is with me,” because the Sun, the solar logos, the mysteries of
השם Hashem, יהוה Iod-Chavah, is within her. The divine soul, according to Samael Aun Weor, absorbs all the principles of Christ in her, through the great work.
She absorbs all those forces through the work, the human soul. All the virtues of our Being are within her, which is why the Qur’an says that she is like a "glass of alabaster" in which the light of Al-Nur shines.
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp,
The lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly white star,
Lit from the oil of a blessed olive tree,
Neither of the east nor of the west,
Whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire.
Light upon light.
Allah guides to His light whom He wills.
And Allah presents examples for the people,
and Allah is Knowing of all things.
—Surat Al-Nur, 24:35
Allah, the Innermost, is the light. In this verse, He sets forth a parable for his servants, a lamp with a light like a glittering star, contained within a vase of alabaster or glass. Geburah, Liu, is the glass and the light of Allah is Timur, the spirit. So, she is the means of reflecting that divinity in us. She's the divine consciousness who never mixes with the ego, until that initiate has died completely. In the meantime, he can manifest some aspects of the divine soul during the process of the Second Mountain, so that she can help him fight. She does that by sacrificing herself and teaching, through her own death, how to achieve resurrection.
This light is lit through transmutation, the mysteries of alchemy, through the olive tree of knowledge. This tree is neither of the east, Tiphereth, nor of the west, Malkuth, since the light emanates from Da’ath, or Marifah in Arabic. The oil of this tree is the semen, from the Hebrew word for oil, שמן Shemen. It’s interesting that we find even the term שם Shem, Name, in the semen, or sperm and ovum, נ Nun. This is because the power of the initiate’s name is in the brute mercury, the seminal matter. And this is why Calaf guards the secret of his name so much, his sexual purity or scientific chastity. It is the key to all empires.
There's a very similar teaching in the Wagnerian Ring cycle regarding the descent and sacrifice of Geburah within the initiate, in the opera Die Walküre. I think we'll watch it eventually, where Brunhilda, in the German myth, the German opera, represents Geburah, who descends to help the initiate Sigmund, and then Siegfried later on.
A very similar principle is present in the operatic works of the great masters, which we don't have the time to go into depth here, but it's important to remember that the divine soul absorbs Christ and descends to help Tiphereth fight a spiritual war.
Liu, Geburah, is also Martian, the power of Mars, which confuses a lot of people in occultism, because people think of the Martian force as something masculine. The truth is, it’s feminine. You notice that Liu is very sweet? Very serene, very kind, very compassionate, but she's stronger than any of the men in the opera. Primarily because she's responsible for all the pains of the initiate. With her force, her Martian strength, she sacrifices herself. She says, "I know I'll never be able to be with the prince." She loves him, but he loves Turandot. This serves as a simple plot point, a fascinating love triangle, but there’s something very profound here. Puccini is basically showing that, obviously, Tiphereth is in love with Shekinah, Calaf with Turandot. While Calaf doesn’t seem to reciprocate Liu’s romantic love for him, symbolically speaking, the divine soul can only unite with the human soul through death, as we talked about in the play Romeo and Juliet, and one of our lectures on the Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah.
In order to unite the divine soul with the human soul, the ego must be completely dead. In that way, the human soul unites with the divine soul and the spirit, and then within Binah, the Holy Spirit, through resurrection. But, of course, this drama must happen first, where Geburah descends into hell to help the initiate, to help him ascend. Liu teaches him that with death, one conquers death, so that one can achieve a perfect marriage with Binah. Therefore, Nietzsche wrote in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, "Spirit is the life that itself cuts into life. With its own agony it increases its own knowledge… Did you know that?"
Geburah is Mars, killing, bloodshed. That's her sacrifice, but not against anyone, not a literal killing, but a psychological one. She teaches us how to kill the ego. She teaches the initiate how to die to desire. Liu is showing us that if we want to marry Turandot and unite all the parts of the being, we must die psychologically. We must keep our secret of chastity. We must fulfill the path of Bushido amongst the Samurai, the way of the warrior. Of course, this was a beautiful teaching that degenerated in Japan, but has Zen, Buddhist roots, in which one must die radically to desire. This is the way of the warrior, valkyria, virya, where we get words like virility and virtue.
She is Mars, strength through suffering, which, while sweet and feminine, is the power of the warrior. She's the strongest character in the whole opera. Calaf is very convincing and very powerful, but he couldn't do it without Liu, without the divine servant. She commits seppuku, which originally symbolized the death of the ego. Of course, people think it's literally a physical story about a servant who sacrifices herself, so that a prince can marry a very murderous princess, but of course those literal meanings are, while entertaining, very superficial and absurd. They don’t really withstand an occult, literary analysis.
Liu says that Turandot is girdled with ice, meaning her chastity, severity, which can only be melted by the fire of Calaf’s love. She says, "You will love eventually the Prince Calaf as I love him." Meaning: when the ego is fully dead and the ice of the lunar sphere has melted through chastity, Binah will absorb Tiphereth, and all the lower seven sephiroth through resurrection. So, before the break of day, Liu says, "I shall close my tired eyes never to see him anymore…" except through resurrection. They only see each other through mystical death.
This is when Timur, the spirit who is blind in us, is told about his daughter's death. So he grieves. It's a very painful process for the Being, in which Geburah descends into the initiate. That's because the divine soul and the spirit are one within a master, but in order to help Calaf work in himself, she must descend into him and mix with all the impurities to help him fight. But of course, Timur is blind, grieving. He's the exalted Tartarian king, exiled king of the north, the spirit, and Timur, symbolically speaking, is blind in us. The eyes of Ra, the spirit, are no longer active because we fell, but this doesn't mean that the Being is blind. It just means that in us, that potential is not active, because the Being is always omniscient, even when we are not. The spirit sees. As the Qur’an repeatedly teaches, "Allah is the witness over the heavens and the earth. He sees all things."
"It is dawn my little Liu," Timur says to her. Meaning: Chokmah, the Sun or solar logos, is in Geburah. He also pronounces with great grief that God should be outraged. This is true. The gods, the buddhas would be angered if her death, which is so noble, is not justified with marriage with Turandot… because to reach that point is very high and difficult, but to not make it to the end is very, very painful. One can fall at that point, very easily. It's a very dangerous path, very straight and narrow, which is why the Qur’an says,
"Guide us to the straight path,
"The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray." —Al-Fatihah, the Opening 1:6-7
Every one of us, without exception, has killed our inner God, our inner Being. We assassinated the God Mercury through fornication. We've sinned against the goddess moon and therefore we must pay the price. This is when the multitudes of people say, "Unhappy shade, shameful shade, forgive us!"
And as I said earlier, in the previous lectures, the chorus is dual. It can be heavenly or diabolic, depending upon how the verb is used. So, in heaven it's divine, but in hell it's demonic.
Timur says he will follow to rest beside Geburah, Liu, in the night that knows no dawn. It might seem that the Being is doubting at this point. It's very difficult to escape the darkness in order to turn to the light. He will descend into Klipoth looking for His lost soul if the ego is not fully eliminated, if one fails and enters devolution. So, Ping, Pang and Pong at this point say that this is the first time they look upon death without sneering. IAO, diablo, Lucifer, doesn't mock the descent of Geburah into the initiate. It's very serious.
They say, "Liu, gentle spirit. Rest in peace." Timur and the crowd then exit, which is actually the point, I believe, at which Puccini didn't finish his opera. The rest of the opera was developed by another composer, Franco Alfano, from Puccini’s notes. He made sure that the esoteric message got through for this final work, which is important.
It is at this point and time Tiphereth, Prince Calaf or caliph, the master of the middle east, says to Turandot, "You are princess of death," which is true. In heaven, she is Divine Mother Death, Binah, Saturn, the Sabbath, but down in hell she is Kali who swallows the infidels, al-Kafirin, within the ninth sphere of the inferno. He tells her to come down from her tragic heaven to tear her veil. Only by tearing the veil of Isis through the death of the ego can we achieve resurrection. The veil of Isis, he says, is like ice and water. Again, very symbolic. The ice and water of Yesod must be melted and transmuted in a marriage.
All of this, of course, is very symbolic, which is funny when people see this opera. Obviously, audiences are very fascinated with these dramas, but which are interpreted in a very juvenile sense. Why would this prince want to marry this woman who killed his servant and threatened to kill him? Of course, very literally, it's extremely silly, but symbolically he becomes more aroused by her, in love with her. This is a beautiful symbol of how love and death are one. Divine Mother death is love, the terror of love and law as mentioned innumerable times by Samael Aun Weor.
She resists him. She first says, "Don't touch me. It's a sacrilege." Meaning, to touch the Divine Mother, to approach the Divine Mother with lust, is demonic, blasphemous, but to really be united with her is to be completely dead, chaste. The kiss of the Divine Mother Death requires absolute death of the ego, to become Hadit, the Divine Father, which is Binah, the masculine aspect of the Holy Spirit.
But then he takes her in his arms and kisses her. Very dramatic music thunders, representing the fatality and the supreme negation of the self. He has died to the ego completely. He then calls her the flower of the dawn, referring to Venus, the rose, Shoshannah. Rosh Hashanah, the perfected chastity of the initiate.
She says, "How did you conquer?" And then he says, "Do you weep?" She weeps her first tears. Meaning, the eyes of Binah has melted in the fire of alchemy. He answers her with a question. "Do you weep?" Referring to the eyes, since the eyes of Horus which are now open.
Eyes in Hebrew is עיניים Ayni'im, which contains the letter ע ayin. ע  Ayin is found in the middle of דעת Daath. ד Daleth is the doorway through which we see, ע Ayin, the truth, ת Tav. It is through the fires of alchemy that we melt the ice of Yesod, and when Turandot weeps, her vision within the initiate is cleansed, is clear. The Truth is visible to both princess and prince, since Calaf is now completely dead to the ego.
Turandot relates how she despised all the people who tried to marry her before, the initiates who said they loved her, but failed. Yet she feared Calaf, because he was like a Mozart, a Beethoven, a Wagner. Some initiates can conquer the moonlight sonata, the darkness of the soul, and come out in the end with the sun. Many end up like Samson. She says the light springs from him, that she felt the fear of conquering and being conquered. Devi Kundalini fears our failure. She also fears the soul being victorious because the inverted serpent is active there, fighting all the time. So, she still tests Calaf even when he has no ego. She tells him to leave while he has the chance.
Even when you're fully dead to an ego, you must achieve resurrection. So, don't think that as soon as you annihilate the ego, (Snaps fingers), you resurrect. It's a long process in which the initiate must be tested, and of course it's a very dangerous work. He must qualify from his initiations. One achieves initiation, but then one must qualify. This refers to how we must pay all our karma with gladness, and not to pronounce anything against God.
The kiss to the Divine Mother symbolizes his submission to her and the summation of mystical death at this point. She's swooning because he's now preparing for the end of the path, the height of the Second Mountain, so at this point she unveils her love for him.
He then says, "My name is Calaf, son of Timur." At that moment, she says, "I know your name!" And there's that excitement in the audience. They're saying, "Okay. She's probably going to have him killed now, since he gave away his secret!"
It seems like she wants to kill him at that point, but the fact that she says, "I know your name" and that "I’ve achieved victory" is dualistic. She has achieved victory in the soul, because he has perfected his submission to God, his Islam, you could say. He said, "My victory is in your embrace, my life is in your kiss!" It is at this point that he says "It is now the hour of trial!" This is the dilemma of “to be or not to be” in which the soul is to be swallowed by Saturn, Kronos, the Holy Spirit.
You don't know until the very end what will happen, until when they are presented in the palace, Turandot says, "Father, I know the name of this stranger. His name is love!" In Hebrew, Love is גדולה Gedulah, Chesed, the spirit. Because now, when the ego is fully dead, the soul integrates with Geburah, all the lower bodies. The spirit is absorbed in Binah, the Holy Ghost, through resurrection.
And so, at the end, she says it is love. Chesed, the spirit, is united with all the parts of the Being. All the audience hears this beautiful chorus sing of the divine marriage of resurrection.
“Oh sun, life, eternity, light of this world and love. We rejoice and celebrate this song and this sunshine. Our great happiness, glory to thee!"
Therefore we conclude with this following quotation from the book of Revelation, Chapter 2, Verse 10:
“Be thou faithful unto [Divine Mother] death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” —​Revelation 2:10
The power of sex that guards the prince in his journey is the Rune Laf, the rune of Life. This is the mystery of scientific chastity, of alchemy. The Rune Laf, in the gnostic tradition, is performed on the 27th of each month. 2 + 7=9: the mysteries of Yesod. 

Face east in the morning and walk towards the sun with your hands above your genitalia, walking slowly while praying to the Solar Logos to descend into your hands, into your genitalia, and to grant you any particular blessings you need. Remember that the Rune Laf is the rune of sexuality, the rune of life, which can grant us any petition we need when we are sincere and working in transmutation.

When you raise the Rune Laf [​לפ Lamed-Fei in Hebrew] to your head, by raising your hands and sexual energy up above your כ Kaf, your crown, you form כלפ Calaf. When the hands are above your head, you are forming the Rune Man. Stretch your arms in a completely vertical fashion above your head, and you form the Rune Is. Isis. Turandot, the Divine Mother.

Through the rune of life, through transmutation, we achieve the secret of alchemy and transform ourselves into true men and women, through the power of Isis-Turandot. The mantra for the Rune of Isis is "Iiiiiiiiiiisssssssss Iiiiiiiiiiisssssssss." So Calaf is formed in you when you raise Rune Laf to your head, your Kaf or crown. That's the secret of the Calaf, the master of the middle east.

Questions and Answers

Lecturer: Any questions?
Student: China represents the east and the west. Is that Klipoth or what?
Lecturer: Yes. The west is Klipoth because the sun sets in Malkuth and descends into the infernal planes. In the drama of Geburah, Liu, descends into the initiate. It's a symbol of how the sun must descend into the west in order to go into Klipoth, to help us fight all that evilness inside of us, so that you can return to the east with the sun, through resurrection.
Student: So in the book of revelations, is that battle between the east and the west that battle between our brain, our mind and our sexual brain? Or is that the left and the right brain?
Lecturer: Well, it could relate to the battle between brain and sex. The sun must rise into your head through transmutation, not the other way around, where the soul-energies go out and follow the moon.
Student: What precisely are the stars that Calaf praises in Act III?
Lecturer: The Absolute. In the Kabbalah, if you look back at the Tree of Life, you have three regions that are above the Tree of Life. You have Ain, Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur. Ain is the Nothingness, cosmic space; the Cosmic Common Eternal Father. Ain Soph is the light of our Being. As a star, the Absolute shines with omniscience and power. Calaf was praising the stars when singing Nessun Dorma, while looking at his Ain Soph, his inner Glorian, his Christ. He prays that his light aid him in himself, which is the Ain Soph Aur, the limitless light. The light is still unitary in the Unmanifested, but when that light enters the universe, it becomes the trinity: Kether, Chokmah, Binah, the three primary forces that emanate outward and then reconvene as three in order to create.
So, the Ain Soph is precisely our true Being, the star of Bethlehem. You can also look at the lecture we gave on Arcanum 2: The High Priestess, where we explained some details about the Ain Soph, Beth-le-hem, the house of bread, that shines with the Nativity of the Being, which we saw in Act II with the three magi, reading the scrolls of the initiate, his answers, and praising the birth of Christ in him when he takes the direct path.
Student: Well, does one choose to take the direct path to become an initiate, as opposed to the Nirvanic, spiral path? Does this happen in the astral plane?
Lecturer: Those initiations occur internally. There have been rituals done in the past, physically to commemorate and commence the initiate on the path of the bodhisattva. This doesn’t happen frequently because it's a very rare path. Not a lot of people take it, but the nirvanic path is pretty common. Those initiations occur internally through experiences. Your Being will show you if He wants, since his initiations and path belong to Him.
Student: Are there people on this earth working and achieving initiations?
Lecturer: I know people. I know many. Many of the people in the Gnostic movement are returning to Turandot, the Divine Princess Shekinah. There are many fallen bodhisattvas in this movement that are trying to rise again, like the prince in the beginning of Act I or the beginning of Act II. We hear the stories of Ping, Pang and Pong, who talk about how many princes tried to marry Turandot and how many of them failed. They reached initiation at some degree in the past but fell, and then they try to regain what they lost. It is a very difficult path, especially if such fallen masters are not diligent about working on the ego. Remember that they originally fell because of the mind.
Student: Are there any couples having a child through immaculate conception?
Lecturer: There are people, but usually those people don't talk about it with other Gnostics. Apparently, because there's a lot of gossiping and back biting in the Gnostic movement. Specifically, it's a big game of who can be more spiritual. It's the same ego adopted for other things, more spiritual things.
Student: That's kind of what happens in institutional religion. I grew up Roman Catholic. Very quiet about it, but then something just happened, a deep desire. It was all very natural. Can this happen very naturally? Can you become an initiate without even realizing what's happening on a conscious level?
Lecturer: So, good question. Samael Aun Weor mentions that there are many people who are in the minor mysteries, especially in the very beginning of the path, because they're practicing the three factors: sacrifice, birth of the soul through transmutation, and death of the ego. They may not be very awakened, but they have some degree of light, little by little, and some people may not even know that they passed through the minor mysteries yet. Except by having some experiences later on that show them, but there are people too who have been through the Major Mysteries that don't remember certain internal initiations because their Being doesn't want them to see it. This occurs mostly to protect that initiate from being proud, but in another sense, the work of the path itself is very conscious and very specific. To really know where we're at, we must be very awake.
So, of course there's levels. We do it by degrees. It takes a lot of effort on our part, to know where we are at, and the work requires a lot of patience too, because sometimes the Being, while He is very powerful, has a lot of light, doesn't give it to you until later, when He wants. We must learn how to obey, and not resent not having light, because that's our fault. If we have no light, it's because the Being doesn't want us to have light, and that's why Calaf in Act III suffers so much, because he wants light. He says, "I wish this night would end and I wish the dawn were here!" Every initiate suffers a lot in the inferno and must go through a lot of pain, but he has to be very humble and to accept his fate. Let the light enter him when the light needs it; when the light doesn't want certain things to be done, He withdraws. God divided the light from the night. You can relate this principle to the First Initiation of Fire, in which you start to generate that light, but God says, "Let Me divide the night from the day, let Me take that light from you, so that you don't make any mistakes," so we don’t harm ourselves. Because, while we may have light, we may act poorly. This work takes a lot of restraint on our part.
<![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 well-being of 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.