This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
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?
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?
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.
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
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.
"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.
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
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. If 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.
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.
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.
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Free public lectures, meditation classes, courses, articles, and lecture transcriptions.