This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Psychology, a course originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
We have been discussing the nature of consciousness in the past few weeks, specifically how it applies to the science of meditation—the practice of introspection, of knowing oneself. We explained that consciousness is a form of light, of perceiving, of understanding, and of knowing, qualified by the virtues of the soul mentioned in every religion: contentment, peace, understanding, as well as altruism, generosity, and genuine knowledge of the divine mysteries.
We are explaining how consciousness can be developed and can be expanded. Those virtuous qualities that are intrinsic to our true nature could be developed if we work intentionally in a day-to-day discipline and a moment-to-moment effort. The science of meditation is precisely the means by which we learn to comprehend the obstacles within our psyche which create suffering for ourselves.
We talked about the conditioning elements of fear, resentment, hatred, pride and that these conditions trap the essence of who we are: our consciousness, our soul. Meditation is precisely how we learned to go in, to our mind, to see our faults, to eliminate resentment, which has made many lives bitter. Envy, greed, fear—those psychological conditions trap the energy of our perception and make us vibrate at a very low level of being.
It is easy to analyze and see that we carry many of these psychological conditions inside of us, and which make us vibrate and suffer within low states of consciousness and inferior states of being. We explained how the body, our physicality, needs food. It needs nourishment. It needs water. It needs food. It needs air. Likewise, the consciousness needs a type of nourishment in order for it to grow intentionally. Because consciousness as it is needs to be exercised; it needs to be trained. And, if we are honest, we can see that by a few minutes of reflection and of examining our mind, we find that we are distracted with memories, daydreams, and thoughts—thinking about what we are going to do later in the day or what we did. Never being present within our body and within our mind. Where we are at and what we are doing.
Just as the body needs food and nourishment, likewise the consciousness needs its food. That food of the soul is precisely comprehending what produces our pain, our suffering; that which afflicts us most and which makes us miserable. Any person who approaches meditation or religion wants to understand how to see suffering and how to cease being in pain.
We talked about the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. The first truth is that in life, there is suffering. The second also that there are causes to suffering. But the third truth: that there exists a means to cease suffering, and that path in the fourth truth is meditation.
Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern classic tradition stated that meditation is the daily bread of the wise, precisely because the food of our consciousness, that which is going to feed us and give us a genuine sense of peace, is by reflecting within and understanding the cages we have built. That is: the conditions we have put around ourselves.
Of course, this is not an easy reflection to make because when we discover that inside of us, we carry many elements which are difficult and painful. When we truly comprehend that anger, fear, desire, and lust, these horrify the psyche. In truth, these elements make us realize very profoundly that we carry many elements that can qualify us as demonic. Because a being that is perfect, that has no fault, no blemish, no sense of "I,” of “what I want, of what I crave,” these beings have been known by the name of masters, Buddhas, angels, and prophets—regardless of what religion or language they spoke. In their heart, they all taught how to meditate, how to understand the conditions that make us suffer, so that by comprehending them, we can break those shells.
And by breaking anger, resentment, gluttony, and laziness, we free that part of our consciousness which we put in that place. Just as the genie from Aladdin's lamp, when the shell is broken, we produce the miracles of the soul, the beauty of the consciousness, and the beauty of understanding. Comprehension is precisely when we as a consciousness understand what ego is and what the sense of self is. Me: “what I want, what I crave, and what I desire” from moment to moment and day by day. Comprehension is the understanding that this sense of self, such as my thoughts, my heritage, my language, my race, my beliefs; the sense of self is a form of suffering that grasps at the exterior world wanting to satisfy desire. That is a condition and a cage, because when the consciousness is purified and free of conditions, it is at peace.
It doesn't mean that by eliminating desire we are like zombies, or dead people without any feeling, because in truth, the consciousness, when it is freed of anger, it vibrates with love for humanity. With love for divinity. When we eliminate lust and sexual desire, we develop the virtues of chastity. A purity which does not mean abstention from sex, but approaches one's spouse with a sense of beauty, of harmony, of true love, and compassion. It takes great heroism to look in ourselves and to see that we are the only ones responsible for creating our suffering. It takes tremendous courage precisely because we take responsibility for our actions.
Psychological War in the Myth of Perseus and Medusa
As you see in this image, we have Perseus with the head of Medusa. Perseus is a myth of how the consciousness must go to war against negativity and affliction. He is precisely our soul, like David and Goliath, and many other myths that teach about the battle that is waged in the soul for its redemption. Perseus is holding the head of the Gorgon, the Medusa. She is a representation of our own negativity, our ego, and our sense of self that we feed.
If you remember the myth, Medusa has a head of many snakes. Many vipers, which are a representation of the multiplicity of desire, of our defects. The seven capital sins as well as the legion of defects that we carry within are each represented by a serpent and that head. To look directly into the eyes of the medusa, in the myth, turns men into stone. Many people think about this myth literally, but the real meaning is that when we identify our consciousness with any desire and with any defect, we become petrified. We become conditioned and shelled, because obviously, when we are in a moment of anger with a loved one, a boss, or a co-worker, and we vibrate with anger, resentment, and hatred, then all of our energy is going into that desire which only wants to harm.
There is nothing rational about anger, even though many people in our current day and age justify it. It is a negative quality, a demonic quality and that energy that is trapped in anger makes us very poor people, psychologically. Very weak. When we look at that anger, in the moment of observation we can see that we are burning with that fire. However, there is a path that leads out of that type of negativity, and that precisely is represented in the myth of Perseus.
Now, he knew that by looking directly into the eyes of Medusa, he would become stone, and that is a representation of our habits. Day by day we have certain habits we indulge in. Some good and some bad. But meditation is a means, self-reflection is a means, by which we learn to comprehend the Medusa and not to identify ourselves with that anger, with that fear, and with that problem.
The way he (Perseus) overcomes that animality in himself is by using his shield. He uses the reflection of the shield to see the image of the Gorgon, the beast. Then with his sword, he decapitates it. These are symbols. These are stories that teach a psychological truth, precisely because that shield, the reflection in the mirror of that armor, is precisely the act of observing. To see our ego and our defect without getting carried away by it. Without investing our energy into that element.
This is a struggle that we face moment by moment, in which certain defects emerge. We are observing ourselves and becoming aware of certain thoughts, certain emotions, and certain negativities; we are focusing all our energy and power inside to look at what is going on psychologically. As we explained in our previous lecture: “The Light of Consciousness,” that is the path of self-observation. Observing one's psyche, one's mind, one's emotional states, and one's impulses in the body to act. That act of introspection is light and understanding. We experience genuine joy when we realize that we are not anger and that if we don't give that anger what it wants, then we free energy and we can become strong. As Muhammad said in a famous oral tradition of Islam, "The strongest among you is he who controls his anger."
The Significance of Dialectics
This is the path of the dialectic of consciousness. This self-reflection is precisely the path of the revolution of our dialectic. You could say it is a way of thinking.
This term has been used in the Greek mysteries founded by Plato and perpetuated by Aristotle. Dialectic means discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method to resolve disagreements and reveal the truth. The word dialectic has many interesting etymological meanings, which can help us understand this topic more deeply. It is from the old French dialectique of the 12th century, or Latin dialectica, from the Greek: dialektike, the art of philosophical discussion or discourse.
The word dialectic was usually associated with the word dialogue. The word "dia," the prefix, simply means “thoroughly, from side to side” which intensifies logos, logic, understanding. What is dialogue or dialectic? It is the ability to understand with the reasoning of the consciousness. The understanding of the soul. The word "dia" means “from side to side” and dialogos refers to how we develop the power of divinity inside. Logos. The Bible says, "In the beginning was the Word (Logos). The Word was with God (Logos). And the Word was God (Logos)” (John 1:1).
That mantra we did at the beginning of this exercise, the mantra INRI, is a mantra to invoke the Lord, the divine. The Logoic energy emerges from the cosmos into our mind so that we can develop a type of reasoning that is superior, because our anger has its reasoning, its logic, and its concepts. It thinks a certain way, it feels a certain way, and wants to act in a certain way at the detriment of our neighbor.
However, dialogue or dialectic is “to stand; to move side to side” and not be limited by once's thought—to not be identified with those egotistical elements.
Also, this is what we are doing with these types of lectures; we are seeking to understand what is consciousness by learning to have a dialogue and to learn.
Traditionally, the word dialectic in academia has been associated with presenting a thesis, then presenting an antithesis in order to arrive at a synthesis: the unification or the superior meaning.
The ego has a sense of logic, a type of logic such as the feelings of resentment. "He hurt me." "He betrayed me." Or a desire that says "I need to satisfy my desire." "I want to be with that person.” Or fear, the logic of "I need to pay my bills." "I need to please my boss so I don't get fired." "I need to do this this and that to take care of my needs." That is a form of logic. But if we examine and look inside with the consciousness, we see that logic comes from a condition and negativity. And if we give our energy to that thought, that feeling, that impulse, then we are staring into the eyes of Medusa. We become petrified in that element.
With self-observation, the work of the spiritual warrior, the meditator uses the shield, the reflection in the mirror, which is self-observation; looking at the psyche in order to use the sword of insight, of wisdom, of spirituality, and of supreme spiritual methods in order to decapitate that element. In this type of dialectic with ourselves, we are expanding our logic. Meaning, our understanding of who we are as a consciousness, precisely by moving “from side to side; thoroughly,” to go thoroughly into the mind. But, also not being limited by any type of ego or any type of self, which is negative. This is how we arrive at a truth, a synthesis, and an understanding which is the nature of consciousness.
Now, what is interesting is that certain philosophers talked about the limits of the intellect of logic and of reasoning. In these studies, we do not denounce understanding and intelligence, but instead we denounce the subjective logic of hatred, of pain, and of desire.
Emmanuel Kant gave a very interesting understanding about the nature of the logic of the mind, which is the logic of the ego, the intellect. He explained what is known as the antinomies of reason, that you can have, which in terms of philosophical studies are two completely different arguments. One is saying that there is God. The other that there is no God. You can then present your evidence for both reasons and both could be valid according to logic.
The reason I bring this up is because Emmanuel Kant pointed out the limitations of the intellect. The limitations of the mind—that the mind can think and theorize and believe what it wants, especially about who we are psychologically, and yet there is no change. Likewise, many schools and movements have many beliefs about what consciousness is. What is not consciousness? What is God? Does God exist? Some say yes and some say no. You have a thesis and antithesis. This is the nature of the mind, the intellect. It does not know the truth, the divine. However, by understanding with our perception who we are psychologically, we can understand whether there is divinity or not.
Those who have experiences in meditation and have broken free from the limitations of the mind, develop the dialectic of the consciousness—the logic of the consciousness, which is an understanding that is devoid of desire, of “thinking that I'm thinking, of feeling that I'm feeling.” Of just acting and reacting to life mechanically.
By arriving at that synthesis, we have genuine peace. We understand from experience the limitations of the mind and then we understand from meditation how forms of logic perpetuate sarcasm, as we see on TV shows: anger, violence, resentment; all these defects show about that type of reasoning that people worship.
You see that in this current age, in this society, we worship Medusa. It is enough to look at the television, news and to see humanity; people's dialectic and reasoning is egotistical and is negative. However, by seeing that and recognizing it, we can do something to change.
However, that revolution of our thinking occurs through meditation: by understanding that thinking is not going to resolve anything. Instead, understanding will. Comprehension will. These are qualities of consciousness, of seeing or perceiving, because the intellect can only justify. It can say "I know that I have anger and fear and pain and resentment and all these things," and yet we continue to engage in those habits and behaviors that perpetuate our suffering. This is why we talk about dialectic, reasoning, and logic.
We have many excuses and beliefs about who we are. Many ideas. And yet, those are all egotistical. If we look inside and we are observing as a consciousness; what our thinking is, what our ways of behaving are, then we develop a superior type of understanding which is the focus of this lecture.
The Revolution of the Dialectic and the Present Era
This type of observation of oneself is the type of revolution and we see it here in this image from the Ghent Altarpiece. This is the Virgin Mary reading a book. That book is our own life. We have many chapters, many passages, and many defects that we must study to see, to perceive, and to comprehend so that by comprehending them we can go beyond those limitations.
As I explained, we are living in very degenerate times. I believe on the news this morning, there was a terrorist attack in London and there are many issues that are occurring with our humanity, which are very discouraging. However, by learning to meditate on ourselves and to transform those elements that produce such violence, we can help to be a more effective change for others.
This type of work is a revolution of our thinking; it means to go beyond thought. In our practice we began observing ourselves and becoming aware of our thinking; the memories, the daydreams, and the thoughts which tend to surge like clouds. They emerge, they sustain up on the screen of our awareness, and then they pass. This type of work is about deepening that attention in order to take the consciousness that is trapped in ego, defects, and desires, so that the whole consciousness can be integrated.
Samael Aun Weor, wrote in The Revolution of the Dialectic:
“In these decrepit and degenerate times, a revolution of the dialectic, a self-dialectic, and a new education are necessary."
We talked about the meaning of dialectics and here we see that a self-dialectic precisely means that knowledge we acquire about ourselves through observation and perception. We do not need to read any book, any scripture, or any other teaching in order to understand who we are fundamentally. However, those types of writings such as the scriptures of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism are helpful or beneficial.
It comes to my mind a very famous philosopher and thinker by the name of Krishnamurti who was a very profound master with a lot of light. He studied Buddhism, but you find that his explanations and his understanding were not based on book knowledge. It was based on what he observed in himself and how he liberated his consciousness. He had self-dialectic, self-understanding, and self-comprehension which he was able to share with others in a very profound way.
Therefore, we need a new education; meaning, methods and means that are going to aid us in breaking the shells of our conditions.
“In the age of the revolution of the dialectic, the art of reasoning must be handled directly by our inner Being in order for it to be methodical and just.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
This type of revolution is not by going to the exterior world and trying to change things through policies, through politics, and all these external matters, which we've seen from history and experience don't do anything. But if we want to cease suffering, we have to look inside and change what we can perceive.
The Being is the Gnostic term we use in this school to refer to our divinity. Our inner God. This is not some anthropomorphic old man in the clouds with a beard and long hair who sits in the cloud of tyranny dispensing lightning bolts to this poor humanity. The Being is not anthropomorphic, but is energy and is light. And, that Being is precisely our true nature and our true self. But, not egotistical or subjective.
“…the art of reasoning, the mind, must be controlled and handled by our inner Being in order for our mind to be just,” because our mind and our thoughts affect other people. If we are observant, we can see that certain thinking, certain ideas, or certain habits affect other people at work or are at home. Our thinking shapes our life, and therefore, that mind must be controlled and disciplined through meditation so that it can be serene in a natural equanimous state. This is “an art of objective reasoning” that “will provide a pedagogical and integral change.”
In this lecture, we are talking about objective reasoning, which means understanding without having to think about something; we simply know. That is the distinction between thoughts and comprehension. Pedagogy has to do with the way we instruct others by our example, through our ethics and our way of being.
“All the actions of our life must be the outcome of an equation and an exact formula in order for the possibilities of the mind and the functionalism of understanding to surge forth.” ―Samael Aun a Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
This inner divinity is called the Being.
Comprehension of Reality: The Perfect Expression of the Being
We have been explaining in our recent lectures on the Tarot, which related to divine principles, numbers, and mathematics; which is a topic of another discussion. However, we can see that in a moment of observation, in which we truly let our inner God act through us, His actions are mathematical; Her compassion is precise in all our interactions of life. It is like a formula or formulaic. It is precise and definite. Those qualities are well mentioned in certain schools of meditation which we study.
In this image we have Christ being tempted by the devil, which is a symbol of something psychological. How we as a consciousness, who must unite with the divine energy known as Christ, is opposing the mind represented by the devil. People believe in these figures as something external, but what is more interesting is that they represent something psychological for us.
In that exercise (the mantra INRI) we are invoking the Christic energy into the mind precisely so that we can overcome the temptations of our egotism, the logic of hatred, of sarcasm, and of fear. Christ is a form of understanding our mind, which is superior, and in this dialogue between him and the devil in the desert, it represents something we all experience when we genuinely attempt meditation. We face that temptation of the mind wanting to distract us and to give us what we want or desire—filling the mind with certain elements which surge and then churn constantly.
But as this parable or this myth teaches us, by working with energy and by being serene, concentrated, and not being identified with the mind, obviously, the devil in the myth is false because I believe the lines from the gospels was "tempt not the Lord thy God." Meaning the soul has been united and identified with the divine so the mind becomes still. The devil falls in the myth down a precipice or down a tower. It represents how the mind is conquered and is serene.
This also represents how our concepts of life do not equate with the reality of life. Our concepts, meaning our thinking, tends to be very limited. We can rationalize all we want about meditation and divinity, but what gives us true comfort and knowledge is our own experience, which is the dialectic of consciousness.
As Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Great Rebellion:
“Awakened consciousness allows us to experience reality directly. Unfortunately, the intellectual animal mistakenly called a human being, fascinated by the formulating power of dialectical logic has forgotten about the dialectic of the consciousness. Unquestionably, the power to formulate logical concepts certainly becomes terribly poor. From thesis we go on to antithesis. After discussion to synthesis. But the latter remains in itself an intellectual concept which can never coincide with the reality."
How does this apply to us? Obviously, this is related to schools, philosophical movements, religions, and ways of thinking. We can think all we want and believe what we want. But does that necessarily change our way of being? How we act? Whether our actions are truly beneficial, limited, or detrimental for humanity?
We can think all we want about who we are. We tend to have many concepts and beliefs. “This is my race, my religion, my family, and my school that I grew up in. My university diploma.” These are concepts and ideas. But what is the reality of our state of being? Do we truly understand the origins of our defects? Of laziness, of despair; and the whole conglomeration of errors? Because by understanding the root, psychologically, of those conditions, we can change them.
“The dialectic of consciousness is more direct, thereby permitting us to experience the reality of any phenomenon in and of itself.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
Those who learn to meditate obviously learn to have certain mystical experiences which are mentioned in the different religions. Some people refer to this as astral projection or dream yoga in which the consciousness, free of the physical body, experiences the realities of the dream world or the fifth dimension. This is all very beautifully mapped out in what is known in the Kabbalah as the Tree of Life.
We can investigate any phenomena in nature. We put the body at rest. We relax and we silence the mind. We observe ourselves and we concentrate on our inner divinity, begging Him or begging Her, to give us that wisdom we seek. Therefore, we focus on projecting into the astral dimension and with certain disciplines, practices, and exercises that we utilize, the body goes to rest and we enter those dimensions. We can investigate and see things that are beyond the physical senses.
Personally, if I am teaching you this, it is because I have been doing this for years. I want to help my students experience the realities of the consciousness. It is not just limited to physical matter. You can experience dimensions that are not material in the physical sense, in which the religions called heavens. Also, you can investigate the infra-dimensions, or what is known as hell or hell realms because one thing we mentioned is that your state of consciousness, your level of being, and your state of mind determines if you vibrate within superior laws or inferior laws. It is simple cause and effect. Therefore, by learning to meditate and eliminate conditions of the mind, we vibrate at higher levels of being and higher laws, so that we can naturally investigate the phenomena of nature. Anything. That is the beauty of the consciousness because it has the capacity to expand to an infinite degree as the 14th Dalai Lama has instructed us.
“Intellectual delusion is fascinating and we want to force all natural phenomena to coincide with our dialectical logic.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
People believe many things, again intellectually, about the universe, the solar system, and our nature. We want everything to fit into our theories, our ideas, our beliefs, and our habits. More importantly for us, this has to do with our own understanding of who we are. This is the most profound form of delusion. We think we are a certain way and yet the reality is in certain situations, we keep provoking conflicts.
We can all think of examples of this. We think a certain way. We have a certain opinion. We have a disagreement with a friend or a stranger and we want to force everything we are perceiving about our neighbor in our logic. “That person doesn't like me, or that person is resentful,” or that person is this, this, and that. Yet, the very qualities that we attribute to other human beings and other persons are precisely the qualities we carry within.
Therefore, we tend to live in delusion. We don't understand the sources of our problems; where our defects come from and where our habits originated. We tend to go through life very hypnotized and identified with external phenomena. Becoming fascinated by a new job, house, car, or whatever it may be. We want to fit everything into our logic about who we think we are. However, real courage occurs when we as the consciousness learn to face the mind and not to be tempted by it. We look at the mind and just see it for what it is.
Where do our thoughts come from? Our feelings, our impulses? Simply look at it and don't judge one way or the other, but observe. That is how you gain information about that type of psychological phenomena inside. That is why:
“The dialectic of consciousness is based on true life experiences and not on mere subjective rationalism.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
That dialectic of consciousness is when we experience by fact. The reality is that our mind tends to be fractured and is split, but by observing that fact we gain strength because we see that we are not the mind; we are something more profound.
A master by the name of Ibn ‘Arabi, who practiced Sufism, which is the mystical aspect of Islam—he was considered one of the greatest teachers of that tradition. He wrote a very interesting excerpt from a book called Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom. It builds off from what I just mentioned to you about the science of dream yoga or awakening in the internal worlds, when your physical body is asleep, but you use your consciousness or are acting and moving in a different dimension.
Typically, people who go to sleep at night are knocked out for eight hours and then wake up in the morning. They may have some memories of dreams that are usually nothing. That's a barometer for how conscious we are. If your consciousness is very awake and is disciplined in meditation, you can converse in those dimensions with the angels and with the Buddhas. With the masters like Jesus, Buddha, etc.
In this quote he also talks about the nature of perception and how it is not intellectual. Renee Descartes’ theory that "I think therefore I am" is wrong. To think is not to be. When thinking about our friend, coworkers, or our spouse when we are driving our car, we are not paying attention at what we are doing. We are not being in the present moment and it means we are asleep. The consciousness is not active. It is lost in thinking and daydreams.
“We think we see with our eyes. The information, the influences of perception are due to our senses, while the real influence, that is, the meaning of things, the power behind what sees and what is seen can be reached neither by the senses nor by deduction, analysis, comparison, contrasts, and associations made through intellectual theories. The invisible world can only be penetrated by the eye or mind of the heart.” —Ibn ‘Arabi, Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom
Knowledge is of the intellect, but Being, divinity, consciousness is more of the heart. Understanding is at the core of our of our Being and of our emotional center, because when you truly intuit and know something profoundly, it is ingrained in you and it is permanent. The mind can wander and think what it wants, but when you know something from fact and from experience, that is unshakable. Such as, having an experience in the astral plane where you are talking face-to-face with a master.
Personally, I have done that many times where I have been speaking with the founder of the Gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor, as well as certain initiates who have been helping me. Especially, because I am trying to teach others how to experience that and therefore it is not a theory for me. I don't believe in anything. I don't believe in it. It's something I do as a consciousness, because I'm meditating daily and training my mind so that I can continue to get guidance about how to live my life.
The invisible world, the higher dimensions are known by the qualities of the heart; your ethics. By eliminating anger, lust, hatred, and fear you expand consciousness. You inflame your heart as represented by the sacred image of Jesus. His heart was constructed by a crown of thorns. This is a very famous icon in Christian thought and the thing is that it is a symbol of how we have to wear our own crown of thorns, which is obviously a symbol of restraining the mind and negative qualities in the heart. It is a type of willpower one needs.
When you sit to meditate, willpower is needed because we find that the mind wanders, and it gets distracted. It won’t stay on one thing for a long time in the beginning, but with practice and by going through a type of conflict in oneself, one learns to inflame the heart with understanding and that occurs by restraining the mind and not giving it what it wants. Again, saving your energies mentally, emotionally, and physically.
“The invisible world can only be penetrated by the eye or the mind of the heart” because the consciousness awakens by working with energy. As we emphasized in the beginning of our practice, this mantra INRI helps to fill us with fire and with power. With energy and by saving energy mentally, emotionally, and physically, we expand consciousness.
“Indeed, the reality of this visible world also can only be seen by the eye and mind of the heart.” —Ibn ‘Arabi, Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom
Again, if we want to understand the source of our problems in our daily existence, meditation is a means and a method to understand ourselves.
Spiritual Practice and Experience
Some of you who have been to my lectures previously see that I like to use a lot of different scriptures and writings. This is a tradition that I very much have a lot of respect for compared to the Orthodox extremist beliefs. This is a scripture from a book of Sufism, which is a mystical teaching of Islam. This tradition, of course, is very degenerated today. It has been abused of its original meaning, but if we look at some of the symbols and principles of this tradition, we can extract knowledge for our benefit and we emphasize in our school that all religions have one source, whether they have deviated from that is another thing.
This is a scripture called Principles of Sufism. This is a writing by Al-Qushayri, who is a great Sufi master and who inspired Rumi. If you are familiar with the poet Rumi, his power evidently came from studying this other master. One thing that is mentioned in this scripture is very important about the need for a type of spiritual discipline because true experience and the ability to have those types of experiences in the internal worlds is dependent upon our practice. It is a very practical method.
Samael Aun Weor wrote the following:
“It is completely impossible to experience the Being, the Innermost, the Reality [the Divine], without becoming true technical and scientific masters of that mysterious science called meditation. It is completely impossible to experience the Being, the Innermost, the Reality without having reached the true mastery of the quietude and silence of the mind." —Samael Aun Weor, The Spiritual Power of Sound.
The Sufis corroborate what he says, meaning that through daily discipline one can experience the divine and can expand awareness. Al-Jurayri said:
"Whoever does not establish awe of duty and vigilance in his relationship to the divine will not arrive at disclosure of the unseen or contemplation of the divine." ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
What is this awe of duty? It has to do with our daily meditative practice—to feel a sense of awe and reverence every time we sit to reflect on ourselves because we understand that through this exercise, we are going to come closer to our inner Being, our true nature. Also, to feel that sense of urgency that we need to change and therefore we need to act.
It signifies to feel that inquietude, that disturbance in the heart that pushes us to want to know what religion teaches—to experience it, because through vigilance, observing ourselves, becoming aware of ourselves, and not letting the consciousness go to sleep, we in turn develop a relationship with our inner divinity, our own innermost God. That is personal for each one of us. It is very profound.
Vigilance: meaning that in a vigil you don't sleep. Instead you pray all night. You don't let your body go to rest but perform some types of austerities. This is one public level of meaning, but real vigilance is when you are driving your car, but you are not thinking about other things. You are doing what you are doing and being attentive. By developing vigilance and awe of duty, we obtain real knowledge. By daily discipline is how we truly train our mind to be serene, to be calm, to be peaceful; because those who don't will not arrive at disclosure of the unseen.
This has to do with having experiences in meditation, but also in dream yoga. To disclose the unseen also has another translation, which says "to unveil." When you unveil the mysteries, you are meditating and your body is at peace, your mind is calm, and then you receive an experience like a lightning bolt. It can be an image, a sound, a scene in which you are a living spectator and a participant. It could be a dream experience where you are seeing yourself doing certain actions or having certain types of interactions that are symbolic. That is unveiling, or tearing the veil of the mysteries; to see from the internal dimensions certain qualities of consciousness.
However, it is not enough just to unveil or to have those experiences. It is important to understand what they are teaching you, because your inner divinity will teach you in meditation through experiences and certain symbols that apply to your life and spiritual work.
Many people in this day and age are very fascinated with dream symbology and want to get certain books to teach them. "I had a dream about this and this. I want to read it and look at what it means." In this tradition, we don't rely on those types of books because the real method of understanding our dreams and experiences comes by meditating. When you meditate and you read scriptures and understand certain symbols, it is easy to interpret things. But relying on other people's opinions is not a guarantee that you can read about in certain books. I found more effective for my own practices to not read any book, but just go and meditate on the experience until the understanding surges forth.
When we have the experiences, we learn to understand what they mean. As the kabbalists teach, "A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read” (Berachot 55b). Therefore, contemplating the meaning of our experiences is known as Mushahada in Arabic. This is the word “witnessing, to witness.” If you are familiar with Islam, they do the Shahidah, which is the declaration of their faith in the public level: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His Prophet.”
People recite that many times, but do they really understand what it means is another thing. When you say that you have witnessed God, it means that you have been meditating. Then you as a consciousness have had the experience of uniting with your Being. You are witnessing the ecstasy of your soul united with that truth and that purity. That is to be a witness, to perceive, and to be awake. It doesn't mean just thinking that I believe in this tradition or I believe in Jesus or I believe in Samael Aun Weor, thinking that belief is going to guarantee anything. Instead it is about having the experience. That is witnessing. When you have those experiences your heart becomes inflamed precisely because you have seen the truth for yourself and you know that you are not alone.
The Four States of Consciousness
We talk about four states of consciousness in this tradition. From the Greek mysteries and in the spirit of this doctrine, of the dialectic of consciousness, we have been talking a bit about the Greeks in terms of their language and etymology.
We can say there are four types of dialectic or four types of being. We have Eikasia, which is profound sleep. We have Pistis which is sleep with dreams. Now we have Dianoia or awakened consciousness, followed by Nous or spiritually illuminated consciousness.
Humanity tends to be stuck in the first two forms of consciousness, which is sleep or sleep with dreams. People in these times believe that they are awake. We tend to have this belief that we are conscious. When you practice meditation and if you analyze your eight hours of sleep at night, whether you are awake or not in the dream world, then that is a barometer for how weak we are. Typically, we tend to be sleeping for eight hours and there is nothing. That is sleep. That is Eikasia.
Pistis, which is sleep with dreams, has to do with not only the dreams we experienced at night, but in our daily states.
As I mentioned to you, when you are at work or you are washing your dishes, but thinking of other things, this means we are dreaming. We are not awake. We are not aware of what we are doing, which is going mechanically with our habits and our actions.
I like to relate to you some of the etymology of these Greek words because Eikasia, Pistis, Dianoia, and Nous; they are Greek words, but they have a lot of meaning if you really break them down.
Eikasia (εἰκασία) literally means “imagination.” It means “images” from the Greek εικόνων eikonon. I mentioned to you that we tend to be asleep or that we are asleep physically as a consciousness. Physically our body is active, but if the mind is wandering and if we are not aware of what is going on, it means that we are experiencing sleep without dreams. This is a very barbaric form of consciousness that is very negative. All the violence that you see on television, the wars, and the bloodshed; that is Eikasia—to be unconscious, because someone who is awakened spiritually would never dare to harm another human being. They would never inflict violence.
Eikasia means “imagination” and the word imagination simply means to perceive images, and is a representation of what we are going through now. We perceive images in life physically and yet we are not aware of what we are seeing. We are not questioning what we see. We just go with the flow. This is very easy to see, when at the end of your day, you reflect and try to remember what you did at certain points in the day. If you can't remember those certain periods of time in which you got up that morning and you were driving a car and don't remember where you drove or what you did, that is being asleep. We have gaps in our memory. We say, "I don't remember what happened." What you are thinking, what you are doing, and what you are feeling; that is Eikasia, or unconsciousness.
Πίστις Pistis is a little different and it is not much better. This is sleep with dreams. From the Greek Πιστεύω Pisteuo, meaning “to trust, to have confidence, faithfulness, to be reliable, and to assure.”
Pistis simply means belief or faith, but in the subjective sense. As I have been explaining, to believe that by following Jesus one is saved is superficial. We also believe and trust many things. We put our faith and our confidence on many things that are not reliable, whether institutions, traditions, religions, etc.
But we also experience Pistis. We dream when we are thinking, acting, and doing other things but not being aware of where we are at. We then put our trust into our thinking, our feelings, and our impulses; we invest our energy. That is Pistis.
Dianoia (διάνοια) is much different. It means the awakened state of consciousness. The word "diá" means “thoroughly, from side to side” which intensifies "noiéō" or "noús," which means “mind.” Dianoia is when you step out of the cage of your intellect and when you perceive that you are not the mind. You engage your mind thoroughly and examine it. As a consciousness, you are evaluating yourself and your habits in meditation and throughout the day through self-observation. This is to be awake—to not identify with any phenomena outside or inside but to be conscious.
Nous (νοῦν) is much superior. This is to be spiritually illuminated. It is not only when you are not identified with your mind, but you as a consciousness unite with your inner God, your Being: who you are in your essence, fundamentally.
These four states are represented by the Allegory of the Cave of Plato. Obviously, the cave represents the darkness of the mind and in this myth, the allegory of philosophy is such that a certain person was chained with other prisoners in a cave. Then this person was released by some Guru or master and taken out in order to experience the stars, the landscape, the mountains, and nature. To see the sunrise for the first time. In condensed form, it is a symbol of how we escape the darkness of our intellect, our subconsciousness and desires in order to experience illumination, your true nature, and your Being.
Obviously, this is the goal, and you can have that experience by daily discipline and meditation where you are not only awake as a consciousness, but you experience what your inner divinity is, which is plenitude, happiness, and contentment.
But in order to get to that point, we learn to examine our psychological states. As I have been indicating, interactions with humanity and with other human beings is our psychological training, because in those moments of interaction we learn to see the conditions that truly shape us and limit us. By learning to be observant of our psychological states and our interactions with humanity, we learn to understand and discover our secret faults and errors. It also gives us the opportunity to develop virtue: real conscious and beautiful action in which our soul and our divinity expresses through us. We become vehicles of enlightenment.
Internal States and External Events
People who want to separate from life, due to despair or whatever qualities from external events, do so because they feel so lost in suffering. They demonstrate their incapacity to live. Meditation is precisely the means by which we learn to live more consciously with rectitude and with ethics.
“When one wants to separate the external events of life from the internal states of consciousness, one demonstrates concretely his incapacity of existing in a dignified manner. Those who learn how to consciously combine external events with internal states march on the path of success.” —Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
So instead of blaming our job, the politicians, or whomever, we take responsibility for our own suffering, because if we didn't have anger, we wouldn't suffer. Likewise, with pride and all these elements.
In learning to develop virtue, we help humanity and help ourselves. Our psychological state determines our life, which is well-known within Sufism. The Sufis talk about three types of blessing or three types of principles which are at the heart of understanding ourselves and of meditation. They referred to that tradition known as Islam, which means “submission” in Arabic. Does it mean to physically adhere to some type of tradition? To say, “I believe in Muhammad and there was only one God” and to pray five times a day? That's very superficial and habitual.
Meditation is something more profound. When you submit to God, your divinity, it means that you no longer perform harmful actions.
People complain and we have had many letters written to us. A missionary was asking us, "I don't experience God. I haven't seen my inner Being. I don't know what the truth is. I want to know how." I always reply to them and ask, “How do you behave with other people?” Not only with them, but psychologically, because when you examine your internal states and if you find corruption, negativity, and desire, that is the problem.
In those moments of observation, you get light and your divinity will show you what your ego is that you must work on the most. It presents itself and when you see it and catch it in the moment, you say "Aha!" and you feel joy. That is the greatest joy of the meditator, because you see a defect and then you say, "Now I know what this defect is and I am going to meditate on it so it is going to be eliminated." That is how you change your internal states so that you learn to vibrate with higher laws, and therefore, when you relate to other human beings, you help them rise to a higher level of being, a higher level virtue.
The Three Blessings of the Sufis
That is Islam: when you submit to God. It doesn't mean you bow to the east, but instead it means that in the moment, you refrain from harmful action, harmful thinking, and harmful feeling. You no longer let your sufferings dictate your life. You also have Iman, which means faith, and as I mentioned to you, the word Pistis also means faith. However, real faith in the true sense doesn't mean belief, to think, or feel something is true, without experience or evidence. Real faith is when you have the knowledge and experience of the divine in your consciousness, and therefore you know that there is no theory there. It is very clear. Lastly, there is Ihsan, which is a word that relates to the Arabic name Hassan, which means beauty. Ihsan means beautiful action. To act beautifully is to let your Being express through you, in which you become the vehicle and the means by which your inner Christ or your inner Buddha is manifest.
How does this relate to our internal states? Our psychological states, as I mentioned, fluctuate. They change, they churn, and by learning to be observant, we understand how our psychological states shape our existence.
“When Al-Junayd was asked about the Gnostic, he replied, ‘the color of the water is the color of its container.’ That is, the nature of the Gnostic, (one who knows in meditation and who experiences the truth) is always determined by the nature of his state in a given moment.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Moment by moment, we learn to observe ourselves and that is always something changing and dynamic. It is nothing static, because the truth is the unknowable from moment to moment. As I have been mentioning to you, meditation is the means by which we overcome the intellect and to use it in its right place. To use it well.
Comprehension and Imagination
This is from Igneous Rose by Samael Aun Weor, where he explains what the dialectic of consciousness is, the understanding of the soul. The reasoning faculty is not something to be discarded completely, but to be utilized well with comprehension and with understanding:
“We must extract only the golden fruit from reasoning. The golden fruit of reasoning is comprehension (to know without having to think about it, to understand). Comprehension and imagination must replace reasoning." —Samael Aun We Comprehension or, Igneous Rose
Comprehension is that spark or hunch, that understanding, of the causes of suffering. Imagination, as I indicated, is perception, to see not only physical imagery, but psychic imagery, something that is internal, such as internal states, because when you develop your observation of yourself, you learn to see and taste the different qualities and the nature of our psychological elements.
“Imagination and comprehension are the foundation of the superior faculties of the understanding.” —Samael Aun a Weor, Igneous Rose
When we learn to meditate, we develop two factors in ourselves. Comprehension is a result of having a serene mind. That is, when your intellect is no longer churning with so many negative elements and the imagination is when we use our consciousness and we can see clearly.
If the lake of the mind is serene, you can then perceive and reflect the images of the divine, the sky, and the heavens in that lake. That lake is your mind. If it is churning and if it is rippling with violence, anger, and prejudice, then the mind is agitated. You can't see clearly. Obviously, we have a day of work and we are full of anger. We feel negative. We can't see clearly, psychologically. We are engaged in and constricted by that negativity. But through observation of the mind, naturally you are not acting on the ego and your defects, then the mind settles and you develop equanimity. That is when the images in meditation start to reflect. When your body is still and relaxed, your mind is calm after a day of self-observation and of reflection.
Then as you are relaxing and approaching the state of slumber, images appear that reflect within our psyche as experiences. That is imagination: the capacity to perceive experiences that are not of a physical type, but of a spiritual type. Imagination and comprehension are the true faculties of our understanding: serenity and insight.
The Sufis elaborate on this point very beautifully about the nature of insight, the nature of consciousness. Someone who has developed light inside of themselves has insight. To have insight into the nature of any experience, psychologically speaking or even physically, depends on the depth of our consciousness. That is, the ability to penetrate into the mind. Because as we are now, we tend to be lost in Eikasia or Pistis, which is sleep. But someone who develops light is awakening consciousness and understanding.
As the Sufis teach:
“‘Or one who was dead whom we gave new life and a light with which he can walk among men, can he be like one who is in the depths of darkness from which he will never emerge?’ (6:122) One of the Sufis said that God’s words means,“One whose intellect had died and so God gave him new life by the light of insight and whom God gave the light of manifestation and witnessing, he is not like one who walks among the people of negligence in his negligence.
“It is said, ‘If a man’s insight is sound, he ascends to the station of witnessing.’” —Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
This is talking about people who have light and those who don't. What does it mean to have insight, understanding, and comprehension? When we have those experiences, we become filled with inspiration, peace, and happiness. Therefore, we learn to engage life in a much more dynamic way. But, to be negligent refers to all of humanity, or people who don't understand what meditation is. Or, if they do practice it, they may do it once in a while, but not consistently. Negligence means to not elect. To not act. The purpose of consciousness is to act, to behave in an upright and conscious way.
“Those whose intellect have died,” meaning that they are no longer limited by the mind; they use the mind in its service. Those are the people who have insight, who developed witnessing, who can say that “I believe in God, that there is no god but God,” because they had the experience in meditation.
Those who are witnessing the truth are not like those who don't. It is a very clear distinction. It is also said that if a man's insight, his perception, and imagination is sound, he then ascends to the station of witnessing: a technical term referring to leaving the physical body behind, and in the higher dimensions, you unite with your Being, which we will be explaining in the courses of Kabbalah specifically.
In meditation we learn to focus on one thing and not let the mind get distracted. That is the beginning. We develop serenity, we learn to concentrate, and don't get distracted. Remember what you are doing. The next step is to develop our capacities for perceiving imagery, which we do through exercises like taking a mandala or sacred painting, and trying to reconstruct that image in your mind, so that you can see it with your imagination.
If I asked you to think of a cup of water, the image emerges in our mind. We can think about it. We can see it not with physical senses, but psychological ones. That act of being able to perceive imagery is imagination. Some people have called it clairvoyance. That is a very fancy term meant to confuse people that made people think that they don't have the ability to be conscious. That is a mistake. Instead, we all have the capacity to imagine and to perceive.
When you learn to silence the mind, then you can focus on perceiving more clearly and profoundly, because when the lake of the mind is calm, you can see into the depths of your psyche. That is imagination. In our practice of meditation, we learn to silence the mind and then afterwards, we try to perceive deeply with our consciousness, an image, a stone, or try to understand scripture.
With many things, we can develop our consciousness. There are many purposes of meditation, but most importantly, we learn to comprehend what we perceived in ourselves during the day. Imagination is the ability to go deep into the mind to understand and perceive all those defects we caught in action, on a moment-to-moment basis. Those who develop profound insight are able to go very deep into the mind.
“Abu Hassan Ibn Mansur declared: ‘The one possessing insight hits his target with the first arrow he looses. He never turns to interpretation, speculation, or supposition.’” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Someone who has profound imagination developed, in a simple and single practice, goes and silences the mind. He focuses on that thing without having to rationalize about that object of meditation. For example, you take a scene in your day, maybe at work with your boss in which you had a certain conversation that provoked a lot of negativity inside of you. You saw perhaps anger, fear, pride, vanity, and all those elements surged in that moment. Then you caught it and you saw it in yourself. Then at home, what you would do is relax your body and relax your mind, reviewing your imagination on what you went through in that experience. Try to see ego, each defect in that instant, or in those moments at work.
Someone whose imagination is very profound will not be thinking about "Well, I'm not sure what this element is," or maybe trying to rationalize about what we are focusing on. Someone who is concentrating is trying to imagine him or herself and that scene in the day. One doesn't refer to speculation. Don't think or try to speculate about what you saw. Simply look at the facts. What did you perceive in yourself? What did you capture?
Don't try to interpret it one way or the other, but just look. The act of looking is the act of understanding, because when you don't rationalize about what you're trying to meditate on, the insight emerges spontaneously and profoundly. It's magic. It comes into your mind and suddenly you say "Aha! I understood that anger and that moment. Now by praying to my inner divinity I can learn to eliminate that fault.”
Certainty of Inner Spiritual Experiences
“It is also said (and this refers to different levels of meditators), the insight of the seekers is speculation that brings about certainty. The insight of the gnostics is a certainty that brings about inner-realization.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
We are all seekers here. We're beginning meditators. We may have certain hunches or intuitions about certain religions, traditions, or about ourselves. Things that we want to know more about. However, there is a higher level of being. We seek to prove in our current level of being certain truths contained in religion. But somebody who is a gnostic, someone who really awakens a lot of consciousness, they have experiences, and when they return to their physical body after an experience of dream yoga, they look in the physical world for evidence to confirm and validate what they experienced.
I give you an example of what this phenomenon is. I remember many years ago when I first started gnosis, I was meditating and I had an experience in the dream world where I was shown ten faces. Two rows, five images each. I saw mine at the very bottom right. I saw the other faces there and they were very powerful and divine. Especially what was most notable to me was an old man with a very profound countenance—very strong and all these images were from the Nordic mythology. Different characters like Wotan, Father of the Gods.
I remember looking in certain books to find out "What did I just experience? What did I just go through?" Then someone introduced me to the Kabbalah, which is Jewish mysticism. It is a map of ten spheres. Those ten pictures were really the Kabbalah. I had an experience and then I read about it in a book later. The Kabbalah, if you're not familiar, is a map of consciousness from lower levels of experience (matter, energy, and perception) all the way to the highest. The most rarefied and most divine. I saw my Being and all those aspects, the ten spheres. I was at the very bottom, meaning the physical body. I had that experience and then I was looking in the books, I was trying to validate "What did I just go through?" Then I read about it, which gave me more faith, especially things that give you a lot of certainty about this knowledge. Our inner divinity is the one who has to create a psychological space within us.
Inner Judgment in Meditation
This is an image of The Last Judgement of Christ judging humanity. It is a symbol. One important symbol is that it relates to our daily meditative discipline. We have to judge ourselves.
We have to judge our faults. First see them and then when you are meditating, concentrate on a certain event in your day. Try to perceive and understand and see the root causes of your afflictions. By developing comprehension of each fault that you witnessed, you ask for your inner divinity to eliminate and to judge.
Our inner Being is the one who gives us a sense of order in our psychological house, because I said to you, we tend to be afflicted by multifarious elements. The egotism of our desires is precisely the "I," the “me”, and the “myself.”
“We must clarify that a radical difference exists between the ego and the Being. The ‘I,’ (the sense of self we grasp onto), can never establish an order in psychological matters, as, in itself, it is the result of disorder. Only the Being (the divine), has the power to establish order in our psyche. The Being is the Being and the reason for the Being to be, is to be the Being himself.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
This is light, presence, intelligence, wisdom, cognizance, order in the work of self-observation and judgment. In eliminating our psychic aggregates, meaning our defects and our desires:
“Order in the work of self-observation, judgment, and elimination of our psychic aggregates gradually becomes evident through the judicious sense of psychological self-observation.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
The path of meditation is very specific and very methodical. First, we observe ourselves and get data about our defects. When we see them in a certain experience of life we go home and we meditate. We judge them. We ask for comprehension and understanding. By comprehending them, we pray to our inner divinity to eliminate and that is how by breaking the shells of the ego, we extract consciousness so that the soul is unified with God, with the Being.
The Divine Mother and Elimination of Defects
The one who helps establish this order in us is known in the Greek myths as Athena. She is known as Minerva amongst the Romans. She is the feminine aspect of divinity inside of us, represented in Hinduism as Durga, Kali. She is also known as the Virgin Miriam in Christianity. The word Miriam in Hebrew literally means to raise, to elevate. She is that part of our divinity that elevates us from the depths of despair and our demonic qualities to the very heights.
We work with her every day in our meditation disciplines here. She is the one who helps to eliminate. Notice on her shield, she has the Medusa whose head has been decapitated, because she is the force of divinity in us, that power that gives birth to the divine in us who eliminates.
She is the warrior who aided Odysseus in the Greek poems. If you remember from The Odyssey, he returns home from the battle of Troy after twenty years of being at sea in order to find that his home has been invaded by suitors trying to marry his wife. They have taken all his food, his crops, his money, and his wealth. They squandered it. That is a symbol of how we have been exiled from our own inner divinity. When we return home, we find that our house is a mess with all these defects. These suitors trying to marry Penelope, his soul, his consciousness. They are trying to take everything from him, so who helps him is Athena. Athena is the one who gives that hero the means and the method in order to kill the suitors. It is a very beautiful poem. I won't spoil it if you haven't read it, but it has a very beautiful teaching. This defines for us the path of illumination.
Athena is our inner divine Goddess who is really part of our consciousness. And she is the one who helps us from the very beginning of the path all the way to the end. There is an order to how we eliminate defects. She is the one who establishes that path in us.
“As we progress in our inner work, we can verify for ourselves an interesting order in the system of elimination. One is astonished when one discovers that there is an order in the work related to the elimination of the multiple psychic aggregates that personify our errors.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
The word aggregate means “pile, heap, or conglomeration.” Each defect is an aggregate which traps our consciousness.
“What is most interesting about all this is that such an order in the elimination of defects comes about gradually and is processed according to the dialectic of consciousness. The dialectic of reasoning will never surpass the formative work of the dialectic of consciousness.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
This has to do with our daily discipline in which we are learning about ourselves, acquiring more wisdom, and knowledge, whereby we understand certain defects emerge in certain situations and we work on them gradually—day by day until by comprehension and profound works, our defects become pulverized. Eliminated. They become smaller and weaker, because we are comprehending them until finally the Divine Mother can decapitate them.
“The dialectic of reasoning will never surpass the formidable work of the dialectic of consciousness.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
The dialectic of consciousness is your work in which you are comprehending yourself more and more until finally the ego is dead.
“In time, the facts show us that the psychological order in the work of eliminating defects is established by our own profound inner Being.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
From the very beginning of the path to the very end of self-realization of enlightenment, this is guided every step and every moment by our divinity.
The Gnostic Esoteric Work
As I mentioned to you, she works in three ways. In the Gnostic esoteric work, the Greek word gnosis means knowledge, self-wisdom, and understanding is divided into three sections.
Here you see an image here of Durga, from Hinduism, slaying a demon, a monster. She is riding upon a Lion of Judah, which reminds us of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Or יהודה Jehudah, יהוה Iod Hei Vav Hei, Jehovah. We can also say Yeshua, which is a representation of what we call Christ, which is an energy.
She is slaying this element, which is psychological. We have discovery, judgment, and execution. First, we observe ourselves. We gather knowledge about our faults. Then in meditation we reflect in the screen of our imagination what we experienced and what we saw. Therefore, didactically by focusing on each defect we learned to comprehend them. Execution refers to prayer. We pray to our inner Divinity to eliminate because we cannot eliminate defects on our own. We need our inner Being who is the source of order and of knowledge.
Lastly one thing we will mention is something that is pertinent to the discussion of this dialectic of consciousness. This is self-understanding. It is important to reflect on what we were years ago. Reflect on who we were. The ways we thought, felt, and acted before we were led and inspired to approach this kind of study, what is known in this teaching as psychological photographs.
When we begin this work, we learn to transform our psyche gradually and then we reflect after a time upon what we were in the past, in terms of a psychological image. Of who we were before we sought to study any type of knowledge of this type. It is useful as Samael Aun Weor writes in The Great Rebellion to reflect on oneself constantly and to analyze: What are we doing successfully? What are we doing that is wrong?
“The establishment of the consecutive order in the different parts of the work, related to this extremely serious subject of eliminating the psychic aggregates, allows us to generate a work memory. This is quite interesting and even extremely useful in the question of more inner development.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
Work memory has to do with understanding the process by which we are working psychologically. This is something that is developed by practice. We develop a type of understanding and comprehension of who we were before we began this work and what we have become now.
"This work memory can certainly give us distinct psychological photographs of the different stages of our past. As a whole, it will bring to our imagination a vivid and even repugnant imprint of what we were before beginning the radical psycho-transforming work. There is no doubt that we would never wish to return to that horrifying image, that vivid representation of what we once were. From this point, such psychological photography is useful as a means of confrontation between a transformed present and a regressive, stale, clumsy, and unfortunate past. The work memory is always recorded on the basis of successive psychological events registered by the center of psychological self-observation." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
Again, this myth of Perseus teaches us many things, because by using the reflection of our consciousness in the shield, which is the armor of the soul, we learn to work gradually little by little on our faults so that by reflecting on this process, we develop more stamina, awareness, and more inspiration.
Questions and Answers
Question: Why should we lose our anger? Confront it, I understand. Why should we lose it? I think it’s a highly good thing for us. It gives us persistence. It helps us to escape slavery to the conditions we are in. I really find when someone talks about it as a negative thing. I think there are certain things I don’t understand or that they are wrong.
Instructor: Anger is a negative emotion. In its true sense is a frustrated desire. It wants something from the external world or from a reality that it can't get. Now, there are certain psychological states such as indignation, or a sense of moral and social righteousness, where something has been committed and it is wrong. Naturally, we feel a sense of indignation and that this is horrible and that we don't want that to exist. That type of sentiment is natural. It is a conscious quality where we feel that truly we see the state of humanity and we feel a sense of urgency—the consciousness that really is indignant, that is a sense of severity that says this is wrong. That this should not be tolerated.
But anger is a psychological element and it is something different. Anger is a negative emotion that wants to harm others, but even when people are committing harm the best way to resolve that is not by responding with anger, but instead severity. The consciousness is not complacent with wrong. When there is harm committed, naturally we can say that we should channel the forces of judgment from the Being, because divinity or God is not complacent with wrong. There is both mercy and justice in divinity. They find their balance within our heart.
So naturally feeling a sense of indignation towards what has been going on in the media or on the world is natural and we should feel driven to want to change that. But doing it with negative emotions, especially when we see how that ego acts and relates to others, it tends to exacerbate the condition rather than resolve it.
Instead, you can learn to be patient. Not in the sense that you are just tolerating the wrong and letting it continue, but instead you put your foot down and don't allow it. That is judgment. It is a conscious quality. Love does not necessarily mean complacency with wrong, because when you eliminate anger, you develop true love, which knows how to judge, how to act, how to behave, and how to help others. Not to perpetuate that mistake. That is real judgment.
Comment: To help answer her question better, what was it that a Christ felt when he flipped over the table of the money lenders?
Instructor: Good, that is an example of the severity of the consciousness. Of divinity. God isn't just some figure that punishes humanity blindly nor is God stupidly compassionate, you can say, or complacent with wrong. When Jesus was throwing the tables of the money lenders in the Bible, it refers to how we as a consciousness have to go against the moneylenders in our psyche. This is a symbol because those money lenders that have prostituted the temple of God is psychological. It is inside of us.
Audience: He didn't do it out of anger...
Instructor: He wasn't angry, but he was demonstrating something psychological as a parable. It is something symbolic. Now psychologically we have to go into our temple which is our mind and to get rid of the money lenders, that is, those defects that have taken our temple of God are in our psyche and have polluted it. We have to confront it.
Question: What role does fear play with our relationship with God?
Instructor: The word awe is a quality of the consciousness. With the Bible it is referred to as fear of God but it has been misinterpreted to mean something egotistical, like the fear that we typically feel is negative. It really debilitates conscious action. The word awe of duty, if you look at the Judeo-Christian tradition or the Hebrew Bible, you find the word fear of God known as Pehad, which means awe. To feel awe in reverence.
The word awe is something of the consciousness that feels respect for the divine and its power and respects that divinity within him or herself, because you feel awe of duty when you refrain from negative action and negative ways of being. You realize and you remember that your inner divinity is with you moment by moment. Is with you and is a part of you. To act in negative ways is to infringe on that relationship with your inner Being. That is why one feels an awe, a reverence, because if we are about to get into an argument with someone or do something violent or negative, and we refrain from acting that way, we are practicing awe of duty. The divine is peace, compassion, understanding and to not be observant of divinity in us, our mind stream, and our actions produces suffering.
One thing I'll mention is that the Being is with us here and now. Your inner divinity is always present, but the problem is that we don't have consciousness of that. As the Qur’an teaches, "Truly we are closer to you than your jugular vein." This is the divine speaking into the words of that prophet. Divinity is with us here and now and when we feel awe of duty, it means that we are not acting negatively in certain situations so that we learn to deepen our connection with the truth.
Any final questions or comments?
Comment: Just one comment about a point you brought up earlier. It’s one of the names of Geburah, which is that sphere of justice, representing that whole, left pillar of the tree; and it’s sometimes the destruction, the waging war against everything that holds us back from the inner divinity.
Instructor: Geburah is the quality of the divine consciousness as we teach in this tradition and mercy is the Spirit known as Chesed in Kabbalah. If you go to our website, we are going to be on the tenth lecture pretty soon and it talks about the Tree of Life and death. Geburah is that sense of conscience that says this is right and this is wrong. It is severe in enacting that type of discipline. The way that we get that strength in ourselves is by meditating. Because the power of Geburah and judgment occurs spontaneously in us when we are willing to reflect and look within us to see: what are our faults? What do we need to change? By extracting the consciousness from those elements we develop true judgment and true mercy.
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Psychology, a course originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
Meditation is a precise science. It is a means of knowing our own capacities for consciousness, our ability to perceive. And this specific science of meditation teaches us how to expand consciousness, and how to develop it. Importantly, in this process we have to comprehend and understand the conditions of our psyche.
It is very easy to see that our physical body is composed of elements; many factors and many influences act upon the body in order for it to be. The body needs its nutrition, its sustenance, its food, its water. Likewise, the consciousness needs a type of nourishment, a type of sustenance, and that food of the soul (we can say) is the capacity to perceive, to comprehend; to comprehend psychologically the factors of discord within our consciousness: what in us is afflicted with anger, with fear, with negativity.
What are those elements that condition our perception and make us very limited people? For in a moment of rage we speak harmful words, we suffer ourselves, and we make others suffer. In those moments we only perceive through anger. We don't see that anger is a blind emotion. We may rationalize later on that we were behaving in a destructive way, but in the precise moment of that emergence or that emotion, we perceive as that emotion, as that condition.
All religions, all traditions, teach the science of how to awaken consciousness and, precisely, by becoming aware of what conditions us, what blocks us from experiencing our true nature, which is a state of contentment, of genuine peace, of our love that is so profound that it radiates towards all beings without distinction, and forgives all beings for their faults without distinction, without warrant, without expecting anything in return.
Our soul needs to be fed, our consciousness needs to develop, but we know that through observation of facts that the mind is conditioned and shelled within elements of fear, and laziness, and pride, or what religions call defects. This is what a meditator precisely learns to confront in him or herself, so as to break those shells, because within anger is our consciousness, within fear is our consciousness—within anger, within hate, within lust. All those shells trap really the essence of who we are, but in a negative way.
So, meditation will teach us to comprehend those elements we created in the past. We are responsible for our own emotions, our own mind, how we act. And this is why different traditions, whenever they teach meditation, always emphasize in the very beginning levels of practice—be a good person, be kind, be generous, be observant of your faults. So, that by observing them and comprehending them, we can eliminate them. And by breaking those conditions of mind we expand consciousness, we awaken consciousness. And, therefore, we can experience all the bliss that many prophets, masters, buddhas, angels taught in the different religions and scriptures, which is the beauty and glories of heaven, which is not just a place, but is a psychological state of being, a way of being.
In this lecture we are going to talk about some principles taught within Buddhism and how to understand the mind, what is mind, what is awareness, what is consciousness. We are also going to compare that with a very beautiful glyph, known as the Tree of Life in Judaism. Because we understand in our tradition that Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sufism—all share the same root, and that root is the capacity to perceive. So, all the different angels, and masters, and prophets gave their teaching in accordance with their language, the culture of the people they taught, their own level of being, their own capacity to transmit light. But that knowledge is the same; it is universal. Some people would call that Gnosis (the Greek term for knowledge), some people would call that Marifah in Arabic, and in Hebrew: Daath, meaning knowledge, what we know of ourselves and how to change, so that we can irradiate that light for all of humanity.
This wisdom teaches us how to understand the causes of our suffering. And I would like to relate to you a beautiful teaching given by a Buddhist Master—his name was Padmasambhava. His fame in Buddhism cannot be exaggerated. He is considered the second Buddha.
His scripture for what he most well-known is called The Tibetan Book of the Dead. It is a scripture that is read to monks and practitioners on meditation retreat, because its efficacy and force, and expansiveness is very penetrative. It teaches us how to be mindful, so that we can understand ourselves and expand awareness, awaken consciousness. So, it is called The Tibetan Book of the Dead, because it teaches about how to awaken consciousness physically, but also in the dream state, as well as during meditation and after death.
We can say that if we examine our state of sleep (the eight hours we go to bed and when we wake up in the morning)—that is a barometer for how conscious we will be when we die. So, if we spend eight hours of sleep and there is darkness, it means that we will not have light, when we die. Which is why many Christian monks, Buddhists, Sufis would train themselves day by day in meditation, so that they can awaken light. So that when they would go to their death, they would be awakened and prepared; they would be conscious, and speaking face to face with the different angels, Buddhas, gods, divinities (which are really one divinity), in a very direct, clear and tangible manner, known as visions or awakened experiences in dreams.
So, this is a very valuable scripture. I would like to read a few excerpts from this, as we talk about the nature of awareness, of consciousness:
"The Importance of the Introduction to Awareness
“Through the single nature of mind which completely pervades both cyclic existence and nirvana,
“Has been naturally present from the beginning, you have not recognized it.” —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
(The Bhavachakra or "Wheel of Becoming," sometimes referred to as the Wheel of Samsara, depicts the cyclical nature of suffering within different realms of existence. The six sections of this wheel show repetitious psychological states in which our soul or consciousness is trapped. Liberation occurs when we recognize our own true nature through the path of meditation).
The word samsara means cycling, churning, turning, repetition.
This is a perfect description of our habits. We have certain tendencies that are ingrained in us like stone—good or bad. We indulge in certain behaviors consistently and which become much deepened and strengthened in us the more we feed it. This is a beautiful teaching relating to idolatry within the Abrahamic traditions. People think that idolatry is people who worship statues, but really an idol is anger, is resentment, is gluttony—habits that are ingrained in us that have become petrified in our psyche, in which we constantly worship instead of worshiping the beauty of the consciousness, which is the unification of our soul with the divine.
So cyclical existence is precisely this repetition of bad habits. Nirvana means cessation, to cease suffering, to break those shells, so that the soul is in perfect equanimity.
"Even though its radiance and awareness have never been interrupted,
“You have not yet encountered its true face.
“Even though it arises unimpededly in every facet of existence,
“You have not as yet recognized this single nature of mind,
“In order that this single nature might be recognized by you,
“The Conquerors (we can say the Buddhas, the masters, the prophets, the angels) of the three times have taught an inconceivably vast number of practices,
“Including the eighty-four thousand aspects of the sacred teachings." —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Now we know from many religions that there are many practices and teachings about how to unite with the divine, whether from Buddhism, Judaism, etc.
"Yet, despite this diversity, not even one of these teachings has been given by these Conquerors,
“Outside the context of an understanding of this nature!" —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Meaning: all the practices of any religion, of any tradition are useless if don't know how to be mindful, how to be aware, to be conscious.
"And even though there are inestimable volume of sacred writings, equally vast as the limits of space,
“Actually, these teachings can be succinctly expressed in a few words, which are the introduction to the awareness." —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
The Tree of Life: Levels of Consciousness
So we will talk about the nature of consciousness in relation to the Kabbalah. Jewish mysticism is the foundation of Christianity, and in our center we study all religions unanimously, integrally, with the purpose of explaining how to awaken our perception in its full capacity.
In the Western tradition the Tree of Life is the foundation of all Western Yoga, of all union. The word "yoga" in Sanskrit means "to reunite,” the same as the Latin "religare,” religion, to reunite. This is a map of our consciousness, of who we are here and now. It also refers to levels of nature that are more subtle, that we don't perceive yet in our present condition. And the Tree of Life is an interesting glyph we can use it to study any religion, any faith, any pantheon of gods, deities, etc.
We see at the top, we have the trinity of Christianity. In fact, we see three trinities in this glyph, a top trinity, middle trinity and then lower trinity. What Christians call Father, Son, Holy Spirit, in Hebrew are known as Kether, Chokmah and Binah. These are not persons—instead, we teach that they are forces, energies, which are very subtle, a form of light. It is a form of consciousness that is so divine, and pure, and universal that it is only manifested in beings that have purified themselves. Jesus is a manifestation of this light, so is Krishna, Moses. Many other masters have incarnated this divine trinity above, which are three forces, but one light. They are three, but one. They express as three, but they are one unity.
Above in this Tree of Life we have the most elevated aspect of consciousness. And below we have the most dense levels of consciousness. We are here in Malkuth, which is the Hebrew word for Kingdom; it is our physical body. Our body is a kingdom, which has all these forces and elements that are in a potential state, which we can learn through practice to actualize. And that energy in those forces in our body helps to elevate our body, our consciousness of this Tree of Life. And if you remember our practice we began with this lecture—we were studying the nature of ourselves, studying the nature of our awareness in our present condition. In our practice we were examining our body; we became aware of our body.
Malkuth, our Kingdom, is our physical body. In our practice we become mindful of the energies of our physical vehicle as well. This is known as Yesod in the Hebraic Kabbalah. Yesod means foundation. So, our vital energies, which give us life, is our foundation in life. How we use our energy depends on our actions, our mind, our heart, and our will, our behaviors.
So, therefore, how we use this energy, determines our spiritual life. This is why it is called Yesod. And the mystical science that teaches one to use this energy in a conscious way is hidden within the Hebrew word יסוד Yesod and the word סודי Sodi. The same Hebrew letters, but switched around. סודי Sodi means secret. This is known as the teachings of alchemy, as well as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Our emotions we also examined in our meditation, relating to this left pillar on the Tree of Life. This sphere is called Hod, which means Splendor. Hod is our emotions, which can shine with the splendor of the divine or be filled with rage. So, this is our center relating to our heart, our emotional states.
Our mind we also examined in our practice. We meditated on our thoughts. Notice that the higher we ascend this Tree of Life, the more subtle things become. The body is very dense, easy to observe. Energy becomes more subtle to observe that, to be aware of that. Emotions are much more dynamic. They are powerful. Our mood can shape our entire day, when we wake up in the morning throughout the entire week, month, etc.
And our thoughts, which fluctuate like the wind. When we sit to meditate, we observe ourselves. You see that memories, ideas, associative thinking, churns within our psyche—these relate to Netzach, which means Victory, because when you conquer your own mind, you become victorious. A being known as a buddha, a master, an awakened one.
And then we also talked about and reflected upon our willpower, our motives, what brought us to attend a center of this nature, or our motives to associate with certain co-workers, or friends, or pursue a certain type of occupation. That relates to will, which is Tiphereth. Tiphereth in Hebrew means Beauty. Really, when we are in willpower, it is in a state of purity, equanimity. When a heart shines with the resplendence of the divine, when our mind is calm and our will knows how to follow our inner divinity, we are filled with beauty, as the beauty in the soul. Right action is the most beautiful thing, we could say. When we act in a way that is truly beneficial for another human being, we are performing acts of beauty. That is Tiphereth.
Above we have more rare levels of consciousness. On the left we have Geburah, which means Justice. And I concluded the practice by having us being aware of ourselves as observers. Geburah is our consciousness, the ability to perceive, which of course is very very rarified, very refined and very hard to perceive. But we know that we have this spiritual dynamic in ourselves when we feel a sense of conscience for having committed a wrong deed. We know we said something wrong, we spoke in a wrong manner, our conscience bites at us, it gnaws at us, it pushes us. So Geburah is that conscience or consciousness. But of course, we tend to ignore our conscience in many cases and meditation teaches us how to feed that conscience, how to awaken that capacity. Meditation is the ability to control Netzach (the mind), Hod (the emotions), Yesod (our energies) and Malkuth (our physical body), so that it serves our divine consciousness and spirit above, which is represented by Chesed, our Spirit.
When people talk about being spiritual in a real deep sense, we could say that to be spiritual is to have that spirit inside, which is God. God is spirit. When someone is spiritual, it means they have incarnated God in a real objective sense, in a very esoteric sense, we can say.
And above the spirit is our light, which the Gnostics or the Christians call Christ, which is the most divine force within all of the nature and the cosmos. We find these three forces (Kether, Chokmah, Binah) within the atom. The Father, Kether, is the positive force, the proton. Chokmah (the Christ) is the negative force, the electron. So, we have a proton and an electron, which are bonded together or held in unity, through the force of the neutron, which is the neutral force, the Holy Spirit. So, these are terms that Christians use, but in the deepest sense refer to forces in ourselves, forces in nature, which we learn in meditation how to use, so that we become a perfected Tree of Life.
And this Tree of Life is represented by the Christmas tree. In the holidays we decorate a pine tree and that tree is the symbol of this image in its most ancient roots. All those lights are all the sparks of consciousness we develop when we learn to harness the power of our body through good will, as well as our vital forces (Yesod), our emotions (Hod), our mind (Netzach). It is easy to see that when we meditate or observe within ourselves or after we have a very difficult day at work, that we have many elements that are negative—desires, habits, which again condition us.
We must learn with our will, as a human soul, this sphere known as Tiphereth. Our willpower must learn to control mind, heart, vitality in our physical body.
This is a very beautiful image that teaches us a lot. And this is just an introduction, because through our courses and lectures we explain all the dynamics of this Tree of Life in ourselves. In a very Buddhist sense, we can see the interdependent nature of all things represented here. The Buddhists speak about interdependence, how nothing is stable in nature; nothing is unitary. Everything depends on something else within this phenomenological universe.
Our mind, our thoughts depend on other factors: maybe external influences, external situations provoke certain thoughts. Likewise, our emotions and how we use our energy is dependent on what we eat, what we nourish ourselves with. Our body depends on how we take care of it.
This Tree of Life is not something separate. All these spheres relate to each other, what we call in Hebrew Sephiroth; it means emanations. These are all the lights of the Christmas tree, which we must purify within ourselves, so that we can really celebrate the birth of Lord within us and Nativity of the Lord.
The Three Levels of Meditative Instruction
All religions teach that there are levels of instruction. The Tree of Life is a glyph that teaches us the most advanced aspects of our psyche, but I am just introducing this to you, so that you can see some of the depth and expansiveness of what awareness is. Because awareness is not just a physical body, but all the Sephiroth, all those spheres that really constitute in who we are. Religion teaches in any tradition certain parameters of how to practice so that we can develop that awareness fully. We have introductory levels, we have intermediate levels, and we have advanced levels.
In Buddhism, the introductory level of that tradition was known as the Sutrayana or is known as Sutrayana. It is the public teaching. As in Judaism we say: "Thou shall not kill, shall not steal, shall not lie, fornicate, adulterate.” These are not dictates from some anthropomorphic god, who wants to make humanity suffer by following these rules: "Do this or you get certain consequences.” It is not a mean of punishment. It is something psychological. Because when we observe our mind, we can see that we have many elements that enjoy hatred or bloodshed, not physically. We may speak with sarcasm to someone and the blood rushes to their face. Therefore, we are shedding blood, we are committing violence in the mind by humiliating another person. That is the meaning of "Thou shall not kill.” Physically—yes, it is a very serious crime to commit that. But psychologically we have many habits and behaviors towards our loved ones, in which we humiliate others.
Likewise with stealing. Sometimes we steal ideas, besides stealing physical things—it is another thing. So, there are levels of teaching in these public explanations of how to control the consciousness. So, there is a code of ethics, we can say, that teach the soul how to look within and to understand all the conditions that we created, all the elements of desire: our defects. So that by training them our mind becomes stable. The mind and heart is filled with consciousness, light, and we develop our awareness. First, by curtailing negative action, which occurs in our mind, our heart, and our body. This is a very public level; this is the beginning of any spiritual tradition.
You also have an intermediate level, known as a Mahayana. Sutrayana relates to the Sutras, the basic public instructions of how to develop consciousness. The Mahayana means Greater Vehicle: Yana means vehicle; Maha means great. It is a level of teaching in which we are practicing not for our own benefit, but for others. We practice not only to eliminate our own states of anger, but so that our anger doesn't affect other people. That is a really compassionate state. We work for the benefit of others.
This is someone like Jesus and as Gospels taught: "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they do.”
We don't work on ourselves just for ourselves, but for them, for others. It is marked by its development of compassion, which takes a level of understanding. When we see our mind and that we have created conditions through our consciousness that obstruct our awareness, we see that other people are at that level too, that we share the same defects. We are cut from the same scissors. So, we have no need to judge anybody. Therefore, we should learn to judge ourselves. This is the mesoteric level of teaching—the middle ground.
But there is an advanced teaching, which in Buddhism is called Tantrayana. The scripture that I read at the opening of this lecture, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, is a tantric book. It teaches very advanced concepts, which I want to introduce to you too, so that you can see some of the possibilities and expansiveness of this teaching. Tantrayana means the vehicle of tantrism. Tantra means continuum. The continuum and flow of consciousness to the work of controlling energy. Energy is in the psyche, in the body, etc. So Tantrayana teaches how to awaken consciousness in a very expedient way, in a very quick way.
In the beginning one learns a certain ethical discipline by learning to control the mind and to adopt good behavior, not from a moral standpoint, but from a conscious perspective that certain habits and behaviors produce suffering—not only for ourselves, but for others.
In the intermediate state we work for other people—the Mahayana tradition. We understand that our behaviors and conditions of mind not only create suffering for us, but for others, and therefore we work for other human beings.
And in the tantric aspect there is no sense of self. There is only the benefit for the other. And this is really the core teaching of Jesus, of Buddha, who gave their life completely out of compassion. And if you go back to the Tree of Life, we see that highest level of compassion is related to this top trinity, which is the crown of glory, the wisdom of the divine and the intelligence or understanding of divinity, which is a perception that penetrates so deeply in to all phenomena that there is no confusion, there is no illusion. It is a way of knowing, of being that is devoid of I, of me, myself. It is universal.
The Three Trainings
So, we study meditation—we study three trainings. The beginning is ethics, known as Sila. This is the foundational path, in which we work to understand ourselves. We do this through the practice of self-observation. We need to become aware of our mind, our body, our heart, our energies, our will. Everything that surges within our understanding, our experience—we have to learn to perceive, to become aware. What feeds our awareness is learning to behave from that state of consciousness, that state of purity, which is divine love, which is mercy, compassion. Those are natural states of our consciousness. Elements like fear and resentment, those are conditions we created out of mistakes, the wrong use of our energies. But we have the power to rectify that. Which is what all prophets teach and the way they do so is through ethics. This is not a moral code or system to adopt and believe in, but it is something to practice daily. When we see what exactly in us is causing conflict in a certain situation and then we look within and learn to change and comprehend those sources of suffering in ourselves. So that with the grace of divinity we can be purified.
There is this training of ecstasy that comes next, known as Samadhi. Many meditative traditions teach that when one learns to meditate, they have experiences—which is very true. Awakening in dreams, speaking face to face with the angels, with the divinities, with God, our own inner Being—this is a state of awareness and consciousness that is free from the physical conditions of the body, and has entrance into to world of dreams, which relates to the world of Hod (as we discussed previously). This image on the left—the bottom left pillar.
Sometimes we can also say the world on the right—Netzach (the mind) is also the world of dreams. They both relate. Usually we go into those worlds without awareness of what we are doing, where we are at, what we are thinking, what we are dreaming. Usually we wake up and we remember certain threads of experiences in those states, but we don't have much cognizance. That is an indication of where we are at in our meditative practice, because one who awakens in meditation, who trains him or herself in meditation, is awake in dreams, in that dream world. And, therefore, that is a type of Samadhi, it is an ecstasy of the soul, in which you are receiving knowledge in a direct way from the truth, and therefore you don't need to believe in anything, because you know directly from the divine for yourself. Which is why we say that in this tradition: "He who has faith, has no need to believe.”
Faith is conscious knowledge, of knowing. And Samadhi is when the consciousness has been freed of its conditions, its shells. Extracted like the genie from Aladdin’s lamp, so that it can perform the miracles of the soul.
In the third training we have profound wisdom. Profound wisdom relates to the perception of divinity within us, which again relates to the top trinity, the light of our inner Buddha. Buddha means awakened one, to be cognizant, alert, perceptive. From the prefix "budh," meaning cognizance.
So, this Tree of Life is our map for who we are and where we are at. As I mentioned to you, the image of the Christmas Tree relates to this glyph. And we find a very beautiful teaching by a Sufi by the name of Rumi. He is a very famous poet in the West today, who spoke about this Tree of Life in a very implicit way.
"If ten lamps are present in (one) place, each differs in the form from one another:
“Yet you cannot distinguish whose radiance is whose, when you focus on the light.” —Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi
Because when those Sephiroth or aspects of ourselves are purified, they illuminate light, and they integrate—they are one unity. So those religions that teach about polytheism, and many gods, and yet one God, relates to this Tree of Life, because we have the trinity, which is three aspects of God, but one light. So that light manifests in many ways, in different ways. And, so, the wisdom of Pranja, the final training of meditation, which is the teaching of the Tantric Buddhists, teaches one to have profound perception of all things, to perceive the very root nature of any phenomena: physical, energetic, emotional, mental, volitional (relating to will), conscious, spiritual, and even beyond.
So, this is very deep science, very rich, which takes a lot of studying, and meditation, and practice to understand this glyph. But here we are introducing in a very synthetic way to show you that awareness is something very profound. It is a limitless science. This is just a beginning, because Pranja comes from the word Pra, which means beyond. Nja is j-n-a, refers to knowledge, as a Jnana Yoga. Also the root word of the Greek term Gnosis, has a silent gn. The same root meaning there. So the Christian and Eastern traditions are integral—you cannot separate them.
Illusions of Self and the Tree of Life
We learn to understand ourselves, our awareness of who we are through meditation, through these trainings. As I mentioned to you, we seek to break the conditions of mind, because as the Sufi master Abū Sa’īd in one of his scripture wrote:
"Wherever the delusion of your selfhood appears – that’s hell. Wherever “you” aren’t – that’s heaven." —Abū Sa’īd
Our problem is that we grasp onto ourselves that doesn't exist: our egotism, our resentments, our despondency, our despair, our negativities. These are conditions of mind we created, but which really don't have any intrinsic existence in of themselves. They depend on other factors to bring them up, such as at a family gathering, we may have certain gossip that goes on, in which we criticize others or speak badly of others.
We have that defect we created from prior experiences. So that egotistical element only emerges in certain situations; it is dependent on that situation to act. So, you see the relationship between events and internal states, and in Buddhists terms that sense of self we grasp onto in that moment is not real; it is an illusion. It doesn't have any real substance, because when you analyze and meditate on that element, you see that it is always dependent on something else to exist.
And yet as we observe ourselves, we perceive that we are not mind, thought. We are not emotions, mood. We are not energy. We are not our body. Even our willpower has certain conditions and elements. Someone, who has a strong will—we admire, obviously. But our willpower, like the will of the Being of a person like Caiaphas (so to speak), who persecuted Jesus, is very evil will. And we have elements of that nature inside. Our will can follow, our inner Tiphereth can follow the beauty of God above or our own desires. So how we use our will, shapes our life. But our sense of self is contingent upon other factors. It is always a fluctuation and churning there.
So, when we analyze ourselves we see that and ask ourselves: "Where is my awareness? Who am I, really, in my depth?" The Tree of Life can teach us this and depending on our level of awareness, our training, we may gravitate more or less to one of these spheres. But through discipline we ascend.
Our True Nature
I would like to explain to you or recite to you some beautiful teachings from the scripture I started this lecture with. It teaches us some considerations to think about, when we learn meditation. And again, this is a very profound scripture that teaches one to analyze the mind and was typically read at retreats. So, while you are getting this crash course in this now, to really understand the beauty and depth of this teaching, it is something we go back to again and again and again.
"The Three Considerations
“The following is the introduction to the means of experiencing this single nature of mind (we could say: consciousness)
“Through the application of three considerations:
“First, recognize that past thoughts are traceless, clear, and empty,
“Second, recognize that future thoughts are unproduced and fresh,
“And third, recognize that the present moment abides naturally and unconstructed." —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
So, the present moment is. The problem is that we are always projecting our thoughts, our habits, our emotions on the present moment. We are not aware of what is really going on around us, within us.
"When this ordinary, momentarily consciousness is examined nakedly and directly by oneself,
“Upon examination, it is a radiant awareness.
“Which is free from the presence of an observer." —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
So, the question is: who is observing? Is it thought? Is it thought that says: "I think that I am observing?” Anyone can analyze with the intellect, but observation does not involve in its true sense a sense of I or me. It is universal and expansive.
"It is manifestly stark and clear.
“Completely empty and uncreated in all respects.
“Lucid, without duality of radiance and emptiness.
“Not permanent, for it is lacking inherit existence in all respects.
“Not a mere nothingness, for it is radiant and clear.
“Not a single entity, for it is clearly perceptible as a multiplicity.
“Yet not existing inherently as a multiplicity, for it is indivisible and of a single savour." —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
So, when we look at the Tree of Life, we can see this Buddhist teaching is very well documented. It is very hard to follow, very contradictory for the mind. But the fact is that the consciousness is a multiplicity, but also unity. It is easily represented here. We cannot say that our thoughts and emotions are separate. Usually we are feeling a certain way and a thought emerges. And also, the will to act. So, these factors are one, one expression.
"This intrinsic awareness, which is not extraneously derived.
“Is itself the genuine introduction to the abiding nature of all things.
“For in its intrinsic awareness, the three Buddha-bodies are inseparable, and fully present as one." —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
In Buddhism the Trikaya are the Christian Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit: Kether, Chokmah, Binah), which are represented in Buddhism as the three Buddha-bodies or vehicles of light.
"Its emptiness and utter lack of inherit existence is the buddha-body of reality (Kether).
“The natural resonance and radiance of this emptiness is the buddha-body of perfect resource (Chokmah).
“And its unimpeded arising in any form whatsoever is the buddha-body of emanation (Binah).
“These three, fully present as one, are the very essence of awareness itself." —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Interdependence and the Tree of Life
So, meditation is the science of acquiring information about ourselves, the conditions of mind that make us suffer. We acquire light, the unification of the three buddha-bodies (the Trikaya), as we learn to look within ourselves. Awareness originates from the top of the Tree of Life and becomes enmeshed in materiality, the further down it descends. We, as human consciousness (Tiphereth), must learn how to act within our lower vehicles of the soul: mind, emotions, vitality, and physicality.
In relation to the law of interdependence, our mind, emotions, energies, and physical body, rely on external factors to exist. Yet awareness (the light of the divine), is the originating and emanating force, which propels the movement of the Tree of Life. It is uncreated in all respects—this awareness. And is that from which all things originated, and all things return.
So, the Tree of Life helps us to visually comprehend interdependent nature of all this, all phenomena. When we explore one aspect of ourselves, we see this depends upon other emanations, other Sephiroth in this diagram. So, nothing has intrinsic existence in and of itself. What we call self is merely emptiness, void of true reality and objectivity.
We can see that our physical body (Malkuth) depends on many factors in order to live. Our energies (Yesod) fluctuate from morning to evening. We may have more energy at one point of the day, and less in the night time. Our emotions (Hod) fluctuate from happiness to sadness, compassion to hatred, faith to despair. Our thoughts (Netzach) are never stable, but jump from thing to thing through a chain of associative thinking. Our willpower and intentions (Tiphereth) are usually conditioned by negativity, desires to commit wrong. When our will follows the will of our Inner Buddha, we perform beautiful actions within ourselves, which of course depends upon consciousness (Geburah).
Most of us don't know what consciousness even is, and let alone what it means to be spiritual. Many people learning meditation do not even get pass the physical body and its discomforts, let alone access to higher aspects of a Tree of Life. Even our spirit, no matter how divine, originated from somewhere in the top trinity. Our consciousness depends upon the spirit to exist. And even this spiritual nature depends upon the light above, as we see in this graphic. Therefore, the Buddhists follow the teachings of Anatman—no self, since even the spirit (the Self) depends upon the Trikaya above. Therefore, genuine awareness is the Trikaya, which gives life to the spheres below, since all things depend upon this trinity for the subsistence and existence.
This is what Padmasambhava refers to in the section we have been discussing and reading—“Introduction to Awareness or Natural Liberation through Naked Perception.” Our perception, our consciousness becomes naked and clear, when we learn to actualize and intuit its real nature through discipline on a daily basis. This light, which is radiance and emptiness of self-hood, is our true nature. So, it is with the following verses in mind that Tibetan Buddhists seek to comprehend their emptiness of the mind. This is from "Observations Related to Examining the Nature of Mind":
"Be certain that the nature of mind is empty and without foundation.
“One's own mind is insubstantial, like an empty sky.
“Look at you own mind to see whether it is like that or not.
“Divorced from views which constructedly determine the nature of emptiness,
“Be certain that pristine cognition, naturally originating, is primordially radiant—
“Just like the nucleus from the sun, which is itself naturally originating.
“Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
“Be certain that this awareness, which is pristine cognition, is uninterrupted,
“Like the coursing central torrent of a river which flows unceasingly.
“Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
“Be certain that conceptual thoughts and fleeting memories are not strictly identifiable,
“But insubstantial in their motion, like the breezes of the atmosphere.
“Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
“Be certain that all that appears is naturally manifest in the mind,
“Like the images in the mirror which also appear naturally.
“Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
“Be certain that all characteristics are liberated right where they are,
“Like the clouds of the atmosphere, naturally originating and naturally dissolving.
“Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
“There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
“So, how could there be anything on which to meditate apart from the mind?
“There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
“So, there are no modes of conduct to be undertaken extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
“There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
“So, there are no commitments to be kept extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
“There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
“So, there are no results to be attained extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
“There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
“So, one should observe one’s own mind, looking into its nature again and again.
“If, upon looking outwards towards the external expanse of the sky,
“There are no projections emanated by the mind,
“And if, on looking inwards at one’s own mind,
“There is no projectionist who projects thoughts by thinking them,
“Then, one’s own mind, completely free from conceptual projections, will become luminously clear." —The Tibetan Book of the Dead
So, there are some things to think about in relation to observing and examining our mind. Consciousness is not something static, but is changing, dynamic, fluent. And when we sit in a moment to conceptualize or rationalize our experience, we kill the moment. The truth is the unknowable from moment to moment, instant to instant.
Life fluctuates in moments, and when we sit to photograph or to conceptualize our experience, we become lost in the past. But awareness is something momentary. We need to become vigilant, and conscious, and awake. Because as we are, with our thoughts, our habits, our feelings, we tend to be hypnotized by our senses, by our daydreams. We could be at work, talking with someone, answering a phone call, and yet be thinking about something else. And that is the nature of the mind—it is distracted—it doesn't know how to focus. We could be sitting in a lecture and yet, the mind is wondering elsewhere, or the emotions are not receiving the knowledge. So, consciousness has to be present.
We have to be aware of ourselves in thought, word and deed, instant by instant, moment by moment. So, meditation is a science that teaches us how to be aware, how to be awake, so that we learn to comprehend ourselves and by learning to comprehend ourselves, we develop the genuine joy of the soul, free of conditions, of negativity.
Questions and Answers
Audience: You can do that in moments of meditation, easily, but when you’re out in the world, you have to catch yourself—[inaudible] there is a certain amount of fear or anxiety, so you are addressing yourself. But these are things you react to, you just cannot silence your mind or go blank.
Instructor: That is a good point, and the thing about this is that by learning to awaken consciousness, we no longer react to things, instead we respond. We typically think that fear and certain negative qualities are natural and necessary for survival—for animals that is. Animal souls live and react in that way. But someone who is conscious, who is awake, can respond to the situation with much greater clarity and greater precision than somebody who reacts out of fear. So, this is very well documented or studied within Buddhist traditions like the samurai. They would meditate before battles and if they weren’t attentive or aware of themselves, they would be killed. In the same manner, if we are not aware of what we are doing when we are driving, we can get into serious harm. But having fear is not necessarily a good backup, because fear only knows how to react—it is mechanical. Something jumps up in front of you—you move, you don't even rationalize. But when you are conscious, you know exactly what you are doing. And therefore, you can divert harm.
Audience: So, if you are really conscious, then you are proactive.
Instructor: You are proactive, and then you are not going to put yourself in any danger. Because if you react out of fear or anxiety, out of instinct, you can get hurt. You may save yourself from a moment, but if you are conscious, you know exactly what you need to do, what is going to happen, how it is going to happen. So, being conscious means to expand that awareness to the point that you are in full control of what is going on and you are responding to life in remembrance of your inner divinity.
Audience: You are anticipating also, being proactive.
Instructor: And you will know things will happen before they happen. Therefore, you prevent many problems.
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Psychology, a course originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
Whether we've studied a spiritual teaching for some number of years, or if it's something new, regardless of the tradition, we always go back towards the very root, which is the direct experience of the truths contained within religion. This is why we say that Gnosis is a heart doctrine; it is a doctrine of the heart. It is not exclusively intellectual, for while we study and accumulate knowledge, a robust spiritual culture, of different scriptures and different writings, really what we look for is the practice. What we seek is the experience. And this is why we say that Gnosis is a Dharma of the heart.
When we say that it relates with the heart, it has to do with certainty, the fact that we know from experience, for its one thing to read about spirituality, about the different realms of the universe called the Sephiroth in Kabbalah, different modalities of consciousness, out of body experiences, experiences in which one may find oneself conversing with the Gods. It's one thing to read about it; it's a completely different thing to experience it. And this is why we say Gnosis relates with the heart; it is what we live palpably within ourselves.
So whether we've be studying for a long time, or if we are new to this teaching, this is what we always come back to—the fundamentals, to question what it is we truly know from experience, that which we have lived within our flesh and our bones, within the very atoms of our consciousness. And it is this type of experience which really shows us that all religions are unanimous, that there really is no distinction or conflict between them. This knowledge is about activating the very latent potential to become something superior, to become a being that is a living incarnation of God, and we do this through practical efforts, practical work.
This knowledge has been given many names, and in this lecture, in speaking about the Heart Doctrine or the secret path of the heart, we're going to delve into the many different schools, the foundations and structure of religion, how the heart develops in accordance with initiation and stages of the path, and really that it is a practical science; it is very practical.
Regardless of the profundity, the vastness, and the complexity of this type of teaching, really it is actually quite simple: it relates with how we use consciousness. As we were talking in one of our previous lectures, we were talking about Pinocchio, which means, "pine seed." In Buddhist terms we refer to this as the Buddhadhatu, which means, "the seed of the Buddha." It is the potential to become a being that is fully awakened. The root word budh means "cognizance," and the Buddha is one who has fully awakened that.
This is really our goal; this is what we want to become, and this doesn't come about by theories. It comes about by work through spiritual discipline, through practice. And this is why you see, particularly in this tradition, we have so many tools, to activate that, from different prayers, conjurations and invocations, practices of magic in which we invoke the superior forces of the Tree of Life, known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Christian terms; the First Logos, Second Logos and Third Logos in Gnostic Greek terms, and many names. These tools and exercises are meant to develop the pine seed, so that this pine seed may become a Christmas tree, completely illuminated and developed.
This all is based upon our actions. It's based upon what we work upon in our heart; how we develop the heart, because Gnosis, if we examine the term (in Greek it's a silent "g") relates to the Sanskrit word Jnana, meaning "knowledge," and Prajna, which is the wisdom of the heart, such as with the Heart Sutra or Prajna-paramita Sutra. So we find that cognate, "Jna," "Gno-sis," "Jna-na," "Pra-nja." We find this even in Hebrew names such as Eliana, which is commonly translated as "God has answered me," but can literally mean "my Goddess of Knowledge," and if you know Kabbalah, that's one of the sacred names of God, "My Goddess of Knowledge: Iod-Chavah" or אלוה ודעת יהוה Eloah va Da'ath Iod-Hei-Vau-Hei in Tiphereth (the world of the heart) which is equivalent to the aforementioned name. Eliana relates with that: Pranja, Jnana, Gnosis, knowledge within the human being, since when we know the divine through the conscious awareness, Tiphereth, it has to do with the certainty of the truth experienced in one's heart.
What we emphasize always is practice, not theories. If we want God to answer us, indicated through the name Eliana, we have to develop self-knowledge. We study the theory in the beginning, so that when we have the practical experience, we can orient ourselves appropriately. This is why we have so many different books; we have over seventy books from astrology to Tarot to Kabbalah, Alchemy, Tantra, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, many writings. But all of that is useless if we do not know how to work the consciousness, if we do not know how to develop the seed, so that it may sprout into a Buddha, an awakened being.
The person who initiates this type of effort, who works in a practical way, in Greek is known as μυστικός mystikos, which means "initiate." It comes from the Greek root myein, which means "to close the eyes." This is also the root word of "mystery," and in a very famous scripture known as The Voice of the Silence, transcribed by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, it says this:
"Before the soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion."
So it means to close the eyes to the misconceptions or the theories, the beliefs of many traditions and religions, and to really seek to experience what is internal, because this knowledge is completely internal. We have to really become blind to a lot of the concepts and misconceptions made about religion and spiritual practice, because generally humanity is focused on the external and ignores the treasures that we carry within our interior, that pine seed that can really blossom into something rare and beautiful.
It's necessary to learn how to close the eyes in a figurative sense. It doesn't mean we become naive or stupid; it just means we know how to live in this world with wisdom, to take advantage of it for our spiritual work, to use that so that we can really be of benefit, not only to ourselves, but to others in a genuine way. The mistake of many traditions, or the misconceptions about traditions, is that it is solely related with the external. This is what we call the Eye Doctrine in the scripture that I've quoted from, the doctrine of the physical eye, meaning we always look towards the physical world for answers and explanations, of phenomena or, better said, noumena, which is completely mystical and is not based on physical experience. It's something internal, more profound. And unfortunately, many schools of philosophy, many religions, they interpret the scriptures in a very literal way in accordance with theories, in accordance with the eye, with what is most easily seen, but it is very rare for a person to develop that internal sight in order to see within the scripture itself from living experience.
And the Master Jesus explained this very beautifully in the book of Matthew, Chapter 13:
And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven (myein, "to close the eyes," to see within"), but to them it has not been given (meaning that they have not awakened the consciousness to experience these things, which is our divine nature within).
For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Therefore I speak to them in parables because seeing, they do not see, and hearing, they do not hear, nor do they understand.
And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, 'Hearing, you will hear, and shall not understand, and seeing, you will see, and not perceive.'
For the hearts of this people have grown dull (relating with the Heart Doctrine). Their ears are hard of hearing, and their (spiritual) eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts, and turn, so that I should heal them.
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear (since you have accomplished this through myein, closing your eyes to the illusions of the world), for assuredly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desire to see what you see and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it. -Matthew 13:10-17
So he makes a very strong distinction between the exoteric and the esoteric, that which is readily perceived on the outside by external perception, meaning what we term in Gnosticism as the Sensual Mind, and then there one's inward perception through mystical exaltation of the consciousness. In Gnostic Psychology we refer to three types of mind:
But the Intermediate Mind is much different; it has to do with beliefs and theories. It has to do with concepts, things that, while we have not experienced them, we still think they are true; we do not know if they're true, but we may have a faith in a religion, and say, "Well, we should believe in Jesus and I feel like I'm saved because I have accepted Christ as my savior, and I'm done." And that's the Intermediate Mind, it relates with a type of mysticism which is not based in direct experience in the consciousness. It is a belief in the heart or a concept in the mind that is not backed by experiential evidence within the awakening of the psyche.
But then we have the Inner Mind, the Inner Mind which is the faculty of the consciousness. It is what can directly perceive in complete mystical experience the truths contained in religion, sometimes known as, perhaps, awakening in dreams, such as is described in the Book of Daniel, which relates with dreams; or the ladder of Jacob, in which he perceived the angels ascending and descending, from the superior to the inferior worlds.
It's the Inner Mind we seek to awaken and to develop. We say that when the Buddhata, the seed of the Buddha, is fully developed, then the Inner Mind is one hundred percent awakened. This is what we call faith. Belief is to think something is true, but we don't practically know. Real faith, a term that is so abused in this day, really means what we know. When Jesus said, "With faith the size of a mustard seed (like a pine seed), you can move mountains," he's not talking about belief. He's talking about experience, because when you know something is true, your conviction is very determined and solid. It's unshakeable, and even if many people think you're crazy for studying a type of teaching like this, a type of mysticism of wanting to experience the divine in a personal way, you know its true, and really, that won't bother you because when you "know the truth, the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32).
It really has nothing to do with concepts, theories, beliefs, but we have to open the heart as Jesus says, to close the eyes to the physical world, close the eyes to the Sensual Mind, in order to perceive with the vision of the heart. Many masters are unanimous on this point. I'll quote for you probably the greatest Sufi Master that's lived. His name is Ibn 'Arabi, and this is from his book called Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom.
May God open the eyes of your heart, shedding His divine light. The angelic realm, which contains the potential of future creation, incorporeal existences, the meaning of all and everything to come, and divine power, is the element from which the visible world is created and, therefore the material world is under the influence and domination of the angelic realm. The movement, the sound, the voice, the ability to speak, to eat and to drink is not from the existences themselves in the visible, material world. They all pass through the invisible world of the angelic realm. We think that we see with our eyes. The information, the influences of perception, are due to our senses—while the real influence, the meaning of things, the power behind what sees and what is seen, can be reached neither by the senses, nor by deduction and analysis, comparison, contrasts, and associations made through intellectual theories. The invisible world can only be penetrated by the eye and the mind of the heart. Indeed, the reality of this visible also can only be seen by the mind and eye of the heart.
He's really talking about a superior type of perception, in which the divine nature that we have can see with clarity the very essence and nature of this phenomenal world, and it is through mystical experience that we see, particularly in meditation, or out of the body, that we see that this physical world is really quite crude and is not accurate. It doesn't convey the actual essence of what occurs on a psychological level, on an energetic level. This is why in Hinduism this world is Maya, is illusion; in order to delve past the illusions of the world (really, it's internal), we have to develop the heart through the experience and perception of the divine. Ibn 'Arabi continues:
What we think we see is but veils which hide the reality of things; things whose truth, whose meaning may not be revealed until these veils are lifted.
(If you're familiar with Freemasonry or Egyptian mysticism, we know about the veil of Isis. It's that covering or the illusions of the senses which prevents us from perceiving Divine Mother Nature, or the divinity that we carry within).
It is only when the dark veils of imagination and preconception are raised that the divine light will penetrate the heart, enabling the inner eye to see. Then either the sunlight or the light of a candle will become a metaphor for the divine light.
Gnosis is direct experience, and the very obstacle that prevents us from accessing those superior states, not just when we physically go to sleep and enter into those dream states, but on a moment to moment basis, is a lack of conscious attention. It is only by learning to direct our attention from second to second, from instant to instant, that we can really lift the veil of Isis, to penetrate with our comprehension into the very nature of the divine, which subsists on a moment to moment basis.
As Samael Aun Weor wrote, "The truth is the unknowable from moment to moment." When we think we know, that's usually a sure indicator that we probably are very asleep, because the state of awakened perception, or Self-remembering or Self-observation, to be in the now, everything is new, and we recognize, "I don't know anything!" Like a child who is fascinated with the experience of life, and everything is fresh and new. This is really the psychological attitude that we need in every second, and we always have to go back and cultivate that. It is the foundation. It is the foundation of mystical experience. It is the means by which, through the practice of meditation, we cultivate, facilitate and activate those experiences.
Really, it comes to my mind, the story of a Tibetan Buddhist master, who was asked by a student of his, "So when do you meditate?" And he replied, "But I am always meditating!" In every second. It's by using that clarity of perception, which we call consciousness, Buddhata, Tathagarthagarba, the psyche, the soul.
The Body, Soul and Spirit of the Heart Doctrine
This is the very key that opens the door to religion, to true reunion with the divine. It is a moment to moment awareness, a moment to moment effort, and it is this key that is so lacking in many traditions today, which have really died and lost the Heart Doctrine contained within them, or we could say that their esoteric heart stopped beating. And this is why we see many scriptures interpreted so literally. And the great masters, the Rabbis of The Zohar warned about this many centuries ago, even in their own time. The Zohar is probably the most advanced scripture given by the Kabbalists of Israel. The ספר הזהר Sepher ha Zohar means "The Book of Splendors." Splendor is a reference to the Sephirah Tiphereth on the Tree of Life, for as we say in the Invocation of Solomon, "Mercy (Chesed חסד) and Justice (Geburah גבורה), be ye the equilibrium and splendor (Tiphereth תפארת) of my life!"
It is from Judaism where we derive a certain structure or dynamic in religion, which we actually find in all traditions and we're going to talk about this in relation with the Heart Doctrine. The Kabbalists say that there is a body, a soul, and a spirit to every doctrine. In Judaism, the Torah, the Books of Moses, along with the complete writings in the Tanakh, is known as the body of the doctrine. The Talmud, by the Kabbalists, is known as the soul of the doctrine. And then you have the spirit of the doctrine, which is The Zohar. You can see that these are varying levels of instruction.
Moses wrote the Torah, the body of law and instruction. Some people confuse the Talmud with the Torah. The Talmud is more of the philosophical discourse regarding Jewish mysticism and way of life. It's really more of the soul of the doctrine. Whereas the body of a doctrine is just the narrative, and you'll see from this quotation of this illustrates this fact. This is about "The Real Torah" from the Sepher ha Zohar:
Rabbi Simeon says: "Woe to the man who says that the Torah came to relate stories, simply and plainly, and simpleton tales about Esau and Laban and the like. If it was so, even at the present day we could produce a Torah from simplistic matters, and perhaps even nicer ones than those. If the Torah came to exemplify worldly matters, even the rulers of the world have among them things that are superior. If so, let us follow them and produce from them a Torah in the same manner. It must be that all items in the Torah are of a superior nature and are uppermost secrets.
Come and behold: the world above and the world below are measured with one scale. The children of Yisrael below correspond to the lofty angels above (which, going back to Ibn 'Arabi's quote, he's talking about the angelic realm, the physical realm, and their connection). It is written about the lofty angels: "who makes the winds his messengers" (Psalms 104:4). When they descend downwards, they are donned with the vestments of this world. If they had not acquired the dress for this world, they would not be able to exist in this world, and the world would not be able to stand them. And if this is so for the angels, how much more so is it for the Torah that created these messengers and all the worlds, that exist due to her. Once it was brought down to this world, if it had not donned all these covering garments of this world, which are the stories and simplistic tales, the world would not have been able to tolerate it.
It's because this type of teaching is too direct, and why all the great scriptures are really symbolic. So we see that from the angelic realm, the superior regions, the messengers and prophets, from which we get from the word angeloi or angels, come down in order to express this type of teaching, which is very abstract. So to explain it in completely abstract terms, people would not understand it, since those indoctrinated by the Sensual Mind and the five senses are less capable of grasping it. The fact that it's written in stories and parables is in order to convey a message, but if we interpret literally, in accordance with the Eye Doctrine, and not the heart, we fall into many absurdities, many mistakes.
So we say that the Torah, which interestingly enough means "instruction," "law," etc., is the same meaning as Dharma. The Torah and the Dharma are really the law, the instruction, the foundation of spiritual practice. The problem is that, due to the hypnosis of the senses, people are not capable of experiencing the truths that are contained in the scriptures in a symbolic form, because if we read just the literal meaning, it's really quite useless. It might feed a person's pride to read about the history of Israel; it is very literal to them. They think that there is no symbolism, and meanwhile the whole scripture is symbolic. It is a vestment, a dress:
Therefore, this story of the Torah is the mantle of the Torah. He who thinks that this mantle is the actual essence of the Torah and that nothing else is in there, let his spirit deflate and let him have no part in the world to come. Therefore, David said, "open my (spiritual) eyes (through myein, meditation), that I may behold wondrous things out of your Torah (your law and instruction)" (Psalms 119:18); that is, look what lies under that garment of the Torah.
Come and behold: there is a dress that is visible to everyone. The simple people, when they see a person dressed beautifully, who appears to them distinguished by his clothing, do not observe any further. They make their judgments about him according to his distinguished apparel and they consider the dress as the body of man, and the body of the person like his soul.
It's like what Polonius says in Hamlet, "For the apparel oft proclaims the man" (Act III.iii. 72). This is now taken in a more spiritual sense. We can even draw an interestingly parallel to Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, wherein his fictional prophet discusses the torpidity of the common man in relation with the things of the divine, as well as those "famous wise men" who say they follow the Heart Doctrine, but are in turn hypocrites and literal interpreters of the Torah, individuals we may otherwise denominate "tarantulas," to use the author's terminology:
But even in your virtues you remain for me part of the people, the dumb-eyed people—the people, who do not know what spirit is. -On the Famous Wise Men, Book II
We continue now with The Zohar:
Similar to this is the Torah. It has a body, which is composed of the commandments of the Torah that are called the 'body of the Torah'. This body is clothed with garments, which are stories of this world. The ignorant of the world look only at that dress, which is the story in the Torah, and are not aware of anything more. They do not look at what lies beneath that dress. Those who know more do not look at the dress, but rather at the body beneath that dress. The wise, the sages, the servants of the loftiest king (which is Christ, that divine intelligence known by many different names in religion), those that stood at mount Sinai, look only at the soul of the Torah, which is the essence of everything, the real Torah. In the destiny to come, they are destined to look at the soul, the soul of the Torah.
We find this structure and dynamic in all religions, and I'm going to draw this parallel amongst all religions, or some of the major ones that we know of that express this type of dynamic: a body, a soul and a spirit of a doctrine.
In the Buddhist sense, we have the following schools:
Mahayana means "Greater Vehicle" and it relates more to how we work practically to help other people. You may be familiar with the term Bodhichitta, which we're going to talk about in relation with the soul of the doctrine. And then you have the spirit which is Tantrayana, the very essence, root or core of a doctrine, which is very advanced. Vajra means "lightning" or "diamond." So this indicates the most pure teaching we know of.
We find this even in Sufism.
Shari'ah is the written law or code of Islam, Al-Qur'an and Al-Hadith. This is the code of conduct any spiritual aspirant must fulfill. Such ethical discipline is the foundation of all religious practice and spiritual achievement.
Tariqah is the soul of the teachings, the practical techniques for achieving spiritual change. These practices have never been given openly by the Muslim initiates, but were transmitted by mouth to ear. However, we now have such techniques available in the writings of Samael Aun Weor. Tariqah also represents the philosophical teachings that explain Al-Qur'an and Al-Hadith, which we find in the Sufi writings of Rumi, Ibn 'Arabi, Al-Qushayri, and others.
Haqiqah is the truth, the realization of divine spiritual truths within the many explications of the great Sufi Masters. One example is the poetry of Mansur al-Hallaj, the Muslim Christ, who was tortured and killed for pronouncing أنا الحق Anā l-Ḥaqq (I am the Truth!). Truly, this master completely embodied the Heart Doctrine, since he had no psychological impurities in his mind; he had completely awakened his Inner Mind and embodied the truth.
With this explanation about the body, soul and spirit of any doctrine, we can now understand the following words from the Prophet Muhammad:
The outer law (shari'ah) is my word,
the spiritual path (tariqah) my actions,
and the inner reality (haqiqah) my inner states.—Muhammad
In relation with the Heart Doctrine, the very heart of a teaching is Tantrayana; it is the secret teachings, in relation with alchemy, Tantra, the very highest yoga practices, which were not given to any student unless they proved themselves worthy.
Right now we live in a very different age of accessibility and information, and the fact that people need this teaching, that we need the tools and techniques, such knowledge is given openly. It's given more readily so people can practice. But in the past this was conserved. If you're familiar with astrology, the age of Pisces, during the times of Jesus, things were very conservative in relation with the dissemination of the esoteric knowledge. The Kabbalists of Israel were very selective and they did not want to give the teachings openly, but you see that Jesus went forth and started publicly these sorts of things, and they reacted very violently, because they were very conservative.
Tantra and alchemy was not given so openly. It was given to those who proved their worth, first of all, by fulfilling the very foundations of spiritual practice, by demonstrating that they could enter into the Heart Doctrine through practical experience. Truly, the Shravakayana, the Dharma, the Torah, in the very foundations of practice, is given very beautifully and simplistically in the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha, because a Shravakayana practitioner, someone who is working the very foundations of ethics and practice so that they can experience these types of things, has to understand the nature of Karma.
Ethics, Renunciation and Karma
Karma is simply a law of cause and effect, but it is not so simple, because we have many internal processes that occur even without us knowing about it, physical, emotional and psychological. Karma is a topic of its own, but we'll introduce this in relation with the body of the doctrine.
So the First Noble Truth states that, "In life, there is suffering." The person has to acknowledge that there is suffering in this life in order to want to change. If we're attached to our way of life we will not seek to improve it. It's the recognition that suffering exists where we inquire into their causes, the Second Noble Truth, and when we see that there are specific causes to suffering, that certain actions are being produced which inevitably bring negative results to us, we realize that there is an antidote called "cessation." Cessation refers to the end of the causes of suffering, the Third Noble Truth. By the very fact that we discover cessation, we discover that there is a path, the Fourth Noble Truth towards the cessation of suffering.
Really we are delivering this knowledge of the Heart Doctrine in the Kabbalistic and Buddhist way, particularly in relation with the mantra Om Masi Padme Hum that we performed prior to this discussion, because it tends to be more readily familiar than, say, the Sufi tradition. However, we felt it important to explain this aspect of the Heart Doctrine since many are not familiar with it. We also emphasize Buddhism by the fact that the Buddha synthesized the Heart Doctrine very beautifully. However, we find the Four Noble Truths in all religions.
There is suffering. Obviously suffering has causes which we produce. There exists the cessation of the causes of suffering, and there is a path, just as Jesus taught, "Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14).
As I was saying that the foundation of the body of a doctrine is understanding the nature of cause and effect, the nature of Karma, how Karma actually functions, how we actually produce results. That's an enigma in itself, since often times we will try to present something and perform a certain action, only to not produce the result that we want. Such as in interrelations. We may think that we said something funny or something good, and it produces a bad result.
But we all do this, we all have certain ways of being ignorant, of causing suffering, and it is this type of ignorance which prevents us from accessing the more deeper levels of spiritual practice, the Heart Doctrine, of going further into the experience of the divine.
We find certain foundations or descriptions within each stage. Shravakayana is in relation with ethics and renunciation. It means that the very foundation to know what is right and know what is wrong; do what is right and don't do what is wrong. We find this in the ten commandments of Judaism. We find this in the ten virtuous and non-virtuous actions of Tibetan Buddhism, which we synthesize into body, speech and mind. It's a very interesting parallel in relation with the levels of instruction of these teachings: the body, soul and spirit of a doctrine.
We categorize it in this way because there are sins of the body, sins of speech, relating with the heart, with emotions, and sins of the mind. So these are the three brains of Gnostic psychology: intellect, emotions, and movement or the motor brain.
We have a presentation of certain literal vows that we need physically; however, the real work is to fulfill them psychologically. That's really where the Heart Doctrine starts to enter in relation with the Shravakayana path, the very foundation, because it's one thing not to physically kill a person, steal from them; it's one thing not to hurt someone physically through violence, but if we observe ourselves psychologically, we can be doing all those things and worse in our mind, since we feel that no one can perceive what exactly is going on. We feel, "Well I am isolated. I can think all the negative things I want; I can feel all the negative things I want." Meanwhile that brings consequences, because thoughts and feelings relate with matter and energy. It's not physical. It relates with the subtle dimensions, such as with the Astral Plane, Hod, in Kabbalah; Netzach, the mind, on the Tree of Life.
Even if we may not express anger with words, we can kill with a bad glance, a bad look. Energy travels great distances, even if we are not perceptive of this fact. This is why we can sense if a person is upset even if they make no outward indications of such; this is known as the science of telepathy or transience: the transference of psychological and mental energies within interpersonal relations. Without unjust reason, then, Samael Aun Weor stated within The Major Mysteries:
"It is as bad to talk when one must be silent as to be silent when one must talk. There exist criminal silences as well as indignant words."
Stealing does not only include material things, but taking credit for another person's ideas, concepts, or spiritual teachings. The latter type of theft is the worst and is most common. Many fanatics of spirituality steal the teachings of the great prophets and adulterate them, claiming them for their own. We find this all throughout spiritual movements, whether of Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Hermetic philosophy, eastern yoga, and even Gnosis. Those who steal the teachings of others and claim them for their own, without paying due respect to the Guru, are those who indefinitely follow the Eye Doctrine. For as H. P. Blavatsky transcribed in the aforementioned scripture, The Voice of the Silence:
"The Doctrine of the Eye is for the crowd, the Doctrine of the Heart, for the elect. The first repeat in pride: 'Behold, I know,' the last, they who in humbleness have garnered, low confess, "thus have I heard.'"
Sexual misconduct is any negative action that abuses the sexual energy, principally through fornication, the loss of seminal energy through the orgasm, and adultery, which is not only physical, but psychological. There is adultery in the mind whenever someone feels lust in his mind and heart towards another person. This was indicated by Jesus in the Gospels, but also the Lord Buddha two thousand five hundred years ago.
Lying, divisive speech, hurtful speech, and senseless speech are abuses of the Verb, the Word, which is Christ. Whenever a person utilizes the verb in these manners, the mind and soul suffer the consequences, which is again the adulteration of forces within the psyche. God is the Truth, and to lie is to sin against the Father. We have to remember that Christ is not a person, but a cosmic energy. Therefore, to sin is not some moral burden upon our shoulders, but a misappropriation of energies. Hurtful speech, divisive words, or senseless speech as with many who claim to "speak in tongues," abuse the Verb and disturb their minds tremendously, making them greater candidates for suffering, simply because they take the harmonious energies of Christ and use them in negative ways.
Covetousness does not only involve desire towards material objects, but even psychic powers. Many students enter esotericism wanting spiritual powers, to accomplish mind control, which is one hundred percent negative. Christ respects free will, and to dominate another person in this way is very bad. To covet powers is also useless and eventually converts one into a magician of darkness, since the only true power belongs to the Lord. The great initiates always renounce power, fame and glory and surrender everything to God. This is hidden within the Arabic word Islam, which means "submission to the will of God."
Oftentimes such sentiments are fueled by malice, wanting to gain power in order to harm. It is not my purpose in this lecture to go so much into the consequences, but to help us reflect on how we commit these types of errors within ourselves on a daily basis. This is in order to awaken the comprehension of the heart, to enter into the Heart Doctrine.
Wrong views entails ignorance of Karma, a lack of perception of reality which makes us act in wrong ways. This is the root of our suffering: our lack of comprehension of the causes of suffering within our psyche.
So our thoughts produce consequences. In the very exoteric level, we must stop; we should not do those things physically, because it's going to create bad energy, and if we try to meditate with a mind that's so disturbed, we will not be able to comprehend anything; it will be too chaotic.
What we want is to go into how it applies to our mind, how it applies to our hearts, because that is really where the work is. There's also many types of behaviors are generally so condoned in this society that we accept them, such as idle chatter; just talking, something we think is really innocent. The great master Swami Sivananda said that "Idle chatter is the diarrhea of the tongue." Truly it is, because people are something like volcanoes, just belching out words without comprehending where it's coming from or the effect they have.
This type of behavior disturbs the mind. If we try to sit and meditate after a very chaotic day, where we don't have enough restraint on our mind or actions, meditation becomes very difficult; Self-observation becomes very difficult. Trying to see the roots of our problems becomes very difficult. This is why renunciation alongside ethics is the foundation. We have to renounce these types of habits on a moment to moment basis, not just saying "Well, I'm not going to do that again," and we get into the same situation and repeat the same thing. The real effort is finding yourself running towards the cliff and finding yourself at the ledge, refraining and saying, "I'm not going to do that," and then stopping before the fall. It could be a moment of restraint. The Buddha said this is a wonderful moment; that really shows we are working to change and are changing, if we can stop ourselves from acting in habitually negative ways.
If we find ourselves beginning to act a certain way that is contrary to the teachings, or thinking negative thoughts, but stopping ourselves through comprehension, renouncing them and letting ourselves relax, not identifying, that is a strong indication that we are developing our ethics.
Ethics is really the foundation of concentration. It is impossible to concentrate in meditation if our mind is disturbed, if we do not have enough restraint. This is what the Buddha said in the Dhammapada, the very first lines: "Mind precedes phenomena. We become what we think." So if our thoughts are garbage, if our thoughts are very negative, then that is what our life is going to be externally. It's how we are going to react and relate to others, or how we're going to affect other people.
Sivananda gave some beautiful quotes in relation with this: "Students fail in meditation because they lack ethics" and "Concentration without purity is useless." Pretty strong coming from a man who is generally considered to be laid back and happy, but he had a very strong Martian side to him, very disciplined nature, and we really have to be like that. We need to be focused; to be disciplined, but not militant; to be strong and firm, but flexible; because it's one thing to adopt this type of conduct, "I can't do harmful things; I can't think harmful thoughts," but to do it in a repressive way is wrong; it will get us nowhere. And I have seen that happen with many people, who have been so effected trying to adopt a spiritual practice when doing so in a very cloistered way, helping them become very negative and morbid people. They perceived how much negativity they have within and they don't know how to deal with it.
The thing is just to relax. If we catch ourselves doing negative things, thinking negative thoughts, then just relax. Be firm. Observe, be concentrated, but don't be paranoid, because the truth is we carry a lot of degeneration, a lot of negative habits, negative qualities, but it's by renouncing those habits, in a calm way, that we grow spiritually. You know that in an argument you can be forceful without being offensive. "You know, I agree with you, but this is my space." You can assert yourself without being overbearing. The same with spiritual discipline, except the one we are up against is our own mind.
This is the type of gentle and affirming attitude that we need in relation with ethics, how to control the mind, without storming and thundering like Zeus, "This is not how I want things to be!" But really, true strength and force is relaxed, firm but gentle.
Bodhichitta and the Heart Doctrine
This is just the foundation of the Heart Doctrine The Heart Doctrine is founded upon these principles of ethics and spirituality, but we find through investigation and practice that this is just the groundwork for the path itself, the Heart Doctrine itself:
The Dharma of the "Eye" is the embodiment of the external, and the non-existing. The Dharma of the "Heart" is the embodiment of Bodhi, the Permanent and Everlasting. -H. P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence
Bodhi means wisdom. As I mentioned to you before, the term Bodhichitta, which is essential to Mahayana Buddhism and is essential in Gnosis, since these traditions are unanimous. Bodhichitta literally means "wisdom-mind," "wisdom-heart," or "wisdom-consciousness," and we know from Kabbalah that wisdom in Hebrew is חכמה Chokmah, which is Christ, so really we can say that this is "Christ-mind."
As I said, Christ is not anthropomorphic. Christ is an intelligence, is a force, which we find in all of nature and can become personalized in any individuals that have developed themselves to incarnate that, and Jesus is probably the most beautiful example of this fact, because he is a very elevated master. For example, we look at light bulbs, which are just the vehicles for the expression of light, and the light itself is that energy, Christ. Any terrestrial person is just the vehicle through which the light of the Lord can express Himself.
This brings us to another important term, if you're familiar with the Mahayana term in Buddhism: Bodhisattva. As I said, bodhi is light or wisdom, sattva means incarnation. So an incarnation of wisdom is somebody that has developed him or herself to the point where they actually have that intelligence within themselves, that they are working in a very superior way; symbolized by the birth of Jesus in the stable, and how he grows up into a complete and full human being, fulfilling the life, passion, crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ.
We use the term Bodhisattva in relation with individuals who have achieved what we call mastery. This is a very high level of development, but it is, we can say, the beginning of a much greater spiritual evolution, or better said: revolution. Upon achieving mastery, these initiates may incarnate that intelligence if, on the sole condition, they worked to help others. So it's one thing to reach that type of height in spiritual development, it's another thing to incarnate Christ, because in Mahayana Buddhism we understand that alongside the Bodhisattvas are what we call the Pratyeka Buddhas or Shravakas.
Bodhisattvas and Pratyeka Buddhas are initiates, meaning that they worked in teachings of alchemy, teachings of spiritual development, working with the force we call Kundalini, the fire of the Holy Spirit, raising that fire from the coccyx to the pineal gland and into the heart within successive dimensions, which relate with the lower five spheres of the Tree of Life. And when reaching the sphere of Tiphereth, one attains mastery, as a beginner. It is highly significant that when you imagine a person transposed upon this Hebraic glyph, Tiphereth aligns and relates with the heart. It's the human soul, the human consciousness developed into a master. Yet remember that even upon reaching those heights known as Nirvana, very blissful states, not all of them become Bodhisattvas. There are really two paths that open up when you reach those heights of what's called mastery.
The Pratyeka Buddhas follow the spiral path. But the Bodhisattvas follow something very different and very radical, called the direct path. Both paths eventually lead to the original source of the divine, what we call the Absolute. Some know It as Parabrahma, Allah; we use the term Christ as a type of impersonal force and intelligence within creation. But really is that uncreated source, which both the spiral and direct paths lead to, but in very different ways, with very different results.
This is really the very Heart Doctrine, because Tiphereth, the human soul, relates with the heart, and if we are fortunate enough to reach those stages of development some day, it's a very major decision: to choose between the spiral path of the Pratyeka Buddhas and the direct path of the Bodhisattvas who incarnate Christ, is something very significant. You can read about it in The Three Mountains by Samael Aun Weor. But really, the spiral path is a very long trajectory which takes many cosmic days, known as Mahamanvantaras, periods of activity in which entire universes are born, and pass away with cosmic nights or Mahapralayas.
It takes many cosmic days on the spiral path, very slow, because those individuals choose not to renounce the happiness of Nirvana, and if you experience Nirvana, you can see why, because it is blissful.
Some people wonder if a person took the spiral path, if they would return. It depends upon their karma, because we know that Nirvana is governed by laws. The Tree of Life, whether in the very heights or the bottom of this physical world, is governed by karmic laws. Nirvana is governed by periods of activity and repose. When Nirvana enters into activity, the Nirvanis or initiates of that realm will have to physically incarnate because of cause and effect, because of past karma that they owe. We know, given through the writings of Samael Aun Weor, that Nirvana is in a period of activity, and many Pratyeka Buddhas have physical bodies.
The problem in general is that it's very easy to fall again. You reach those heights, and then you come back to the physical world and are tempted to make mistakes again. So they lose the doctrine of the heart in their level, right? But a Bodhisattva is someone who renounces everything, is a being that is very revolutionary, which is considered very scandalous.
It comes into my mind the Prophet Muhammad. Very radical. Jesus. Very radical. Buddha. Very radical. They created many enemies cause they go against everything that is wrong and unfortunately, pretty much everything about this planet is wrong.
With the direct path, it's very straight; it's short, but its very difficult, because the initiate pays his karma entirely in one life. That is really the essence of the Heart Doctrine. For one thing we have ethics and renunciation; this is the foundation in the beginning. But with Bodhichitta, with Christ-mind, with altruism and inspiration to help others, we take on everything: all the suffering of this planet on our shoulders, the cross of Jesus, in order to help humanity, to transform it.
That is really the beauty of the great initiates. When I think that I have problems and difficulties, I look at the life of Jesus, and see how much he was despised and hated by everybody, but he just returned that type of negativity with love, sincere gratitude for those people. Bodhichitta is really that. Bodhichitta is composed to two principles:
Emptiness, Prajna, in Buddhism, is the very primordial root of nature and existence. It's a type of emptiness or space, which if you recall from the Book of Genesis, "And the world was formless and void, and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep." It's what we call the Abstract Absolute Space. It is the Nothingness or space, which does not indicate nihilism like many people think when they study Buddhism and react with horror.
It is emptiness, but the genuine type of existence beyond our concepts. That is the Heart Doctrine, the realization of That, even if it's just in a minor Samadhi, which in truth is not that minor. If you find yourself entering the Illuminating Void, that is really where we can say that Bodhichitta is strengthened. Let us remember that Bodhichitta is comprehension of Karma, cause and effect, inter-causal relations, in relation with ethics. It is the understanding of the impermanence of phenomena, coupled with conscious love. Many schools of Buddhism, and I've even heard many Gnostic instructors saying "Well, it's either one or the other." But it's not—it's both.
If you really have love for a person, conscious love, it's because you understand that they are suffering from Karma, that they are afflicted by causes and conditions. When you see that this is impermanent, that nothing is really stable in life, that everything is inherently empty of intrinsic existence and depends upon specific causes—we do not fall into nihilism, which is due to the fact that we understand we have existence and comprehend the nature of cause and effect.
When we see how impermanent psychological states are, we can truly forgive a person very easily, such as if he or she is angry at us for one moment, and nice to us in the next. There's really nothing to get angry about. Usually, we think, "Oh, he's angry at me!" Or "She's angry at me!" Or "Oh, he's being nice to me!" "She's being nice to me!" However, none of that is permanent. None of that is. It's really on this basis of the impermanence of nature that we can develop real understanding and compassion, the Heart Doctrine, to develop Tiphereth and Bodhichitta.
In the beginning of our spiritual practice we always try to develop ethics and change ourselves in certain ways through renunciation. But what we want also is to develop Bodhichitta, that altruistic love for other beings through comprehension of emptiness, Karma and impermanence, which is the essence of the heart, the Heart Doctrine; it's real wisdom. Understanding that there is karma, that things are interdependent, that nothing is separated or isolated, and that we affect others, we develop genuine concern for others to the point that we don't even exist in an egotistical sense, but are always giving out as much as we can to the best of our ability. That is really what Bodhichitta is.
Tantrayana / Vajrayana: The Diamond Vehicle
However, this is really not the end. There is the Vajrayana or Tantrayana path, which is the most revolutionary and difficult to understand. As I said, vajra can mean "diamond" or "lightning," and a vajra is a symbol of power utilized within ceremonies of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, the meaning of which will be clarified shortly. The real essence or the spirit of a doctrine, the heights of spirituality, is the understanding of Prajna or emptiness, and it is precisely through the vajra that we can come to know the truth. First we need to develop ourselves in our practice through ethics, renunciation and comprehension of Karma, followed with the generation and strengthening of Bodhichitta, wherein we work to make changes within ourselves and ascend higher.
Despite the beauty of this level of teaching, the real heights of the Vajrayana path is really the experience of the Absolute in meditation, where we fall asleep, and our soul goes to the Void, the space, which is so amazingly symbolized in the beginning of one of Wagner's operas, Das Rheingold from Der Ring Des Nibelungen or The Ring of the Nibelungen, which is literally about one hundred and thirty eight bars of music in the same key, which is symbolizing that ocean, the space that keeps on going, and going, and going. It is very overwhelming; that is really the nature of the emptiness, the Void.
Understand that this is not something we will immediately come to understand, since first we learn through the intellect through concepts. To experience it as a Heart Doctrine is another thing. But that's why we study first, so that when we find ourselves in a samadhi having that experience, we will have more courage because we will understand what's going on. So it won't be as terrifying, although to the ego it is very terrifying, because every sense of self, security that we have in the egotistical self, really becomes annihilated before That, to become one and merge with that universal soul, universal compassion, without shackles or limitations, truly beyond this universe of relativity and Karma, cause and effect.
The wisdom of Prajna or emptiness has been known by different names, and so while I am teaching this in the Buddhist flavor, you can see how this applies to all religions irregardless. In the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, this philosophy of emptiness is known as Dzogchen, founded by Padmasambhava, who was an Indian Master of the eighth century, considered the second Buddha in comparison to Gautama Sakyamuni due to his knowledge and level of attainment. We also have Mahamudra, which is practiced by the other three schools of Tibetan Buddhism: Gelug, Sakya and Kagyu. Really these two philosophies are synonymous, they really have the same meaning.
Dzogchen translates into "Great Perfection" and Mahamudra means "Truth Seal." This is going to be very significant in relation with other traditions besides Buddhism. I will read for you what Samael Aun Weor wrote in Zodiacal Course:
"The Doctrine of the Heart is called the seal of the truth, or the Truth Seal."
In Islam, we know that the Prophet Muhammad is known as "the Seal of the Prophets." And what does a prophet teach? He teaches the truth. He is the seal of the truth. That is Mahamudra, even given as the identity of a great initiate. For example, if you're familiar with Al-Miraj, which is the ascent of the Prophet into the superior worlds or seven heavens, he rides on a mystical animal called Al-Buraq. The word "b-r-q" means "lightning." Lightning is a vajra. Vajra relates with Dzogchen, Mahamudra, the Truth Seal, the Seal of the Prophets.
So we see that Muhammad is a master of tantra, or Vajrayana. That's how he ascended to the superior worlds. Padmasambhava said this about Dzogchen:
"It is the secret, unexcelled cycle of the supreme vehicle of Tantra, the true essence of the definitive meaning; the short path for attaining Buddhahood in one life."
This is the straight path, the direct path of the Bodhisattva, and as it says in the very opening of Al-Qur'an, Al-Fatihah:
In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds,
The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,
Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.
It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
Guide us to the straight path,
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked Your anger or of those who are astray.
So we really find the essence of alchemy in the Vajrayana path, the very heights in all religions. It's very interesting that Dzogchen is the "Great Perfection" or that Mahamudra is the "Truth Seal." Muhammad was the seal of the truth, seal of the prophets, and if you know Kabbalah, the sphere of תפארת Tiphereth, relating with the heart, begins and ends with the Hebrew letter ת Tav. The letter ת Tav is literally the "seal." It means "covenant," and really this is the seal of covenant of the heart, about developing Bodhichitta.
Now Bodhichitta in Tantra has more connotations. It is synonymous with sexual energy, which is the very power of the Holy Spirit in the body, the psyche. Bodhichitta can be represented by the masons as the Cubic Stone, the stone has to be chiseled. This relates with the stone that the builders rejected and is really the foundation stone of the temple. In relation with Muhammad, he was meditating in the Mosque of Mecca (Al-Masjid-al-Haram), near the cubic stone, and its from that stone of Bodhichitta, the vajra, the lightning bolt, the fire of Kundalini, which rises from the spinal column to the heavens, took him all the way to the very heights.
And it's described in Al-Hadith, which is the Muslim oral tradition, that he was before Allah and it's impossible to give attributes to that. Really the scriptures are saying Allah is emptiness, the space, the primordial root nature of our consciousness, which is pure happiness and divine nature, without form.
Although we have not mentioned this earlier, there is a powerful scripture by the name of the Heart Sutra, or Prajna-paramita Sutra, which elaborates on the nature of the emptiness and ultimate wisdom of the awakened consciousness. To discuss the implications of this work would take many lectures, but here we are referencing it for further study.
Really, the emptiness or void is the spirit of a doctrine. That is really the Heart Doctrine. This is why we say in the Shravakayana level we don't fully grasp this, because it really takes a lot of heart in order to renounce our egotism, to develop spiritually, to really develop ethics. The problem is that many exoteric traditions do not have the Heart Doctrine. There really is no Heart Doctrine there, it's just theories; many discussions and polemics, arguments over terms. All of that has to do with the loss of the heart in many people, where there isn't even that genuine longing to change. That genuinely longing for that seed, Pinocchio, to develop into a true human being.
The Master Jesus explains it in this way in Matthew 13:19-23:
Therefore hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.
Yet he who has no root in himself, but endures only for awhile, for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, immediately he stumbles.
Now he who receives seed among the thorns is he who hears the Word and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.
But he who receives seed on the good ground, is he who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and produces, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The Christian Gospels relates with a much more ancient scripture, The Voice of the Silence as we have been discussing.
The seeds of Wisdom cannot sprout and grow in airless space. To live and reap experience the mind needs breadth and depth and points to draw it towards the Diamond Soul.
Diamond soul refers to vajra, or Vajrasattva, or Vajrayana. So really the seed can become that if we develop it progressively through the different stages of practice.
"Great Sifter" is the name of the "Heart Doctrine," O disciple.
The wheel of the good Law moves swiftly on. It grinds by night and day. The worthless husks it drives from out the golden grain, the refuse from the flour. The hand of Karma guides the wheel; the revolutions mark the beatings of the Karmic heart.
True knowledge is the flour, false learning is the husk. If thou would'st eat the bread of Wisdom (Prajna, emptiness), thy flour thou hast to knead with Amrita's clear waters (relating with alchemy, the science of transmutation). But if thou kneadest husks with Maya's dew, thou canst create but food for the black doves of death, the birds of birth, decay and sorrow.
While this is just an explanation of the structures of religious practice, these are the degrees and stages by which the heart develops. These are levels of development, levels of practice. Generally when we work in meditation, the foundation is concentration. We learn to control the mind, so we can concentrate in order to really meditate. In relation with practice, we see that these three schools are synthesized again. Samael Aun Weor categorized this very simply and beautifully in one of his books of astrology, specifically the chapter on Leo:
This is a much more simplified didactic of some of the more Hindu or Raja Yoga models.
So we learn to concentrate. When we learn how to concentrate our mind on one thing, really the heart will open up to the experience of the divine. Meditation is really a state in which you receive new information, where as a lake on a mountain top, you reflect the starry heavens of the Being. And when you have enough stillness and concentration of mind, where you mind is focused, your heart opens up spontaneously. Then Prajna, the spirit, wisdom, will enter into you in a moment of comprehension. It doesn't necessarily mean you're going to find yourself flying out of your body. That can happen, and if you practice diligently, it will happen. Those types of experiences will unfold, cause naturally if you're setting forth the causes and conditions for Dharma, fruit will naturally grow as a result of that.
So the Heart Doctrine is hidden within the body, the soul and the spirit, but more so in the spirit. We say that the body is exoteric, the soul is mesoteric, and the spirit is esoteric, coming from the Greek esoterikos, mesoterikos and esoterikos. And really, an intiate, a mystikos, who closes the eyes to the exterior senses, awakens the heart and experiences those things for him or herself.
Questions and Answers
Audience: You touched more in the beginning on the nature of belief and how we should have preference toward experience rather than theories. If I remember right, from what I've read, I guess belief, such as when the Bible tells you to believe, it's not just telling you to accept theory. It's, when traced back to the Latin root, it has a context that people are not even aware of in the present day, and it's been ruined and gutted out by the Catholic Church.
Instructor: The word belief comes from "be" and lieve, or "love," which is where we get the word libido. As I mentioned in Tantric practice, Bodhichitta is synonymous with sexual energy, how we use that force. The first commandment of Moses, as was given by Jesus of Nazareth, explains this. Someone asked him, "What is the highest commandment that exists?"
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. --Matthew 22:37
This relates with the three brains of Gnostic esoteric psychology, the heart, the mind, and the soul, or waters of sex. This is what it means to be a "believer," one who knows how to "be" through the power of love, the science of alchemy. Alchemy, as we have studied in a previous lecture, is Allah Khemia, "to fuse with God," to reunite with that. A real believer is someone who knows this type of alchemical science and you find this in the Qur'an too. This really was the original intention in the word "belief." Many people, however, would think that the way we're expressing it is in the literal sense, to just think that a concept is true with one's mind. But it's much more deeper than that.
Audience: That would only be using one of the three brains? But then the real meaning of belief is to have action, or performing religion within all three brains.
Instructor: Yes. It is not just an intellectual concept. It's not just a feeling in the heart. Or sensations. It has to do with our actions.
Like when someone says they believe in the cross. What does that really mean? Well the cross is alchemical, because the vertical beam is the phallus and the horizontal beam is the uterus. Together they form the symbol of the Holy Spirit, which is Father, masculine, יה Jah, and Mother, feminine, Eve, חוה Chavah.
Even the symbol of Islam is alchemical too, because you have the crescent moon and the star of Venus. The moon relates with Yesod, the sexual energy or Bodhichitta. The star of Venus is the Divine Mother. So this indicates how you work with that energy through the power or love, to be a believer. That is what a believer is in the true sense of the word. But when I'm talking about what people term belief, it's in the completely exoteric sense.
Audience: You made a very interesting point about the symbol of Islam with the star and the moon. I tended to think that that's a lot like the cross too because you said that there are masculine and feminine components. Isn't that what you're seeing with the moon? The star and the moon would be like the sun, masculine and the moon would be feminine?
Instructor: The Divine Mother, the Virgin Mary dressed in a blue mantle in the Assumption, standing over the moon, has to convert it into a sun, a star. And that is really what the symbol of Islam signifies.
It gets even more alchemical in relation with yoga, because generally you find crosses on the tops of churches, and the symbol of the crescent moon and the star on the top of a mosque. Really the body is a temple, and the very top is the chakra Sahasrara, which is the very highest chakra in relation with omniscience, Samadhi, Mahasamadhi, experiences with the most elevated aspects of the Tree of Life.
So we see that the cross has to be carried from the bottom of the spinal column and raise it to the very heights. When we see the cross at the very height, it's referring to alchemy, how we raise that energy to the very top of the pineal gland. In the mosque too we find the same thing. The moon is related with the angel Gabriel, and Gabriel, or Jibril in the Qur'an, is often referred to by Muslims as the Holy Spirit. So it's the same thing. The Holy Spirit is really found by raising the moon in our sexual glands to the brain, transforming it into a sun, from a feminine lunar force to a solar masculine force, to the very heights of realization. This is what a church or a mosque indicates in their architecture.
Audience: The church is the body itself?
Instructor: It also relates with the Tree of Life, because the cross has four points, related with Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and the very root of existence, God, Ain Soph, otherwise known as the Star of Bethlehem, the root of our Being. The Holy Spirit, in relation with Gabriel, is the same thing, the very heights of realization that we find in the pineal gland, and the cross relates with the four elements: earth (the physical body), water (sexuality), fire (heart), and air (mind). And this also relates with the Hebrew letters:
א Aleph - Air
ש Shin - Fire
מ Mem - Water
These constitute the three mother letters of Kabbalah. With ה Hei, the Earth, we can spell השם Hashem, literally translating as "The Name," and is used as a term of respect in the place of יהוה Iod-Chavah, the sacred name of God. Such as in the saying, אדני ברוך השם Baruch Hashem Adonai, "Blessed be the name of the Lord."
We see that just as our inner Being is a Tetragrammaton: Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Ain Soph, even our physical body is a Tetragram, in relation with alchemy and the cross. In synthesis, a believer uses the cross of their body in order to practice transmutation or alchemy, to fuse oneself with God.
Audience: Am I remembering this right? The I, the A, and the O represent the superior elements?
Instructor: This is the Latin version of the same thing. IAO among the Gnostics is considered one of the most powerful mantras of the Lord.
I - Ignis, Fire, ש
A - Aqua, Water מ
O - Origo, Air א
We demonstrate that we are true believers by how we use our sexual force for God, our Bodhichitta, which is the root of all creation as symbolized in the Book of Genesis, the Garden of Eden, because we have a physical body, the earth, and the three other elements, which relate with God. So really we are a miniature cosmos, a human being that needs to be standing upright before God. That is what a believer is, to use all three letters, the fire (heart), the air (mind) and the water (sex). Usually most people are just using their air, thinking "Well, I think God is real," when they don't really know. They do not follow the Heart Doctrine at all, because they really have no experience.
Spiritual creation is a combination of the three; the four elements.
Audience: You're talking in relation with the cross those three, if I remember correctly in relation with those three top points of the cross itself, and then the one element that is not talked about, which is the bottom point. So that there is earth, air, fire and water.
Instructor: Yes, the earth can relate with the bottom point, since that is where one is grounded. That is if the cross is stable. However, we also talk about the cross in motion, the swastika, which is a very sacred symbol amongst many religions, but was unfortunately abused and misappropriated by a mistaken group of people who exclusively considered themselves "Aryan." We have to remember that the zodiacal sign of Aries relates with fire and that all of humanity is governed by that force, sign the God of Aries, Samael, is working intensely through our current zodiac, Aquarius.
When we see the swastika in motion, like in Tibetan Buddhism or Hinduism, it's really all the elements in motion; they're mixing. All the forces of the swastika mingle together, such as with the chakras. When all of the chakras are activated, it's not like one activates over the other: they work harmoniously, in unison. So if you have experiences of clairvoyance or clairaudience, usually it's in combination with many things. These psychic phenomena don't tend to remain so isolated. Just like any normal experience: you have thought, feeling and sensation. They usually happen all mixed together. This makes it hard to isolate specific phenomena, whether in the external or our internal worlds, our psychology. This is what makes access to the Heart Doctrine so difficult, because we tend to be very confused in our three brains and how they function.
Audience: I've read some articles on the swastika where they say it's not even supposed to be pointed in a particular direction, since one represents the wheel of life and the other the wheel of death.
Instructor: There is that connotation. One of the directions represents the actualization of the Mahamanvantara, which means the creation of the Tree of Life, the expansion of existence out of the Absolute, that primordial root nature of consciousness, into manifestation, into this creation that we have.
Then we have the other direction, the Mahapralaya, the cosmic night, where the universe gets absorbed back into the Absolute, symbolized by the days and nights of Brahma. When Brahma exhales, we have creation. When he inhales, all of that returns to the source. So we always have periods of activity and repose, intimately related with the breath of God, and it is the wind, the spirit, א Aleph, that rotates the swastika in motion.
As I mentioned, Nirvana has periods of activity and repose. What we're talking about now is a much grander cosmic scale, represented in the swastika or Gnostic Cross.
Originally, the counter-clockwise swastika used to represented how manifested creation, the Tree of Life, unfolded from the Absolute, the emptiness, the Prajna. However, since we have entered into Malkuth, the physical world, that swastika needs to return back to the divine origin, the emptiness. This is symbolized by the clockwise swastika which we find depicted in Buddhist art. The swastika should rotate now to the right, clockwise, towards the Absolute, for the left, counter-clockwise, indicates a fall into even more dense states of matter and energy. We are in Malkuth, as I said, and we do not need to descend further into the infernal worlds, which is signified by the counter-clockwise Nazi Swastika, a symbol of degeneration and black magic.
The essence of a true believer, a follower of the Heart Doctrine, Bodhichitta, is the work with the cross: they use everything they have, but most importantly the heart, following the superior emotional center. The path of the heart, as Samael Aun Weor indicated, is Mahamudra, the realization of emptiness, Tantrayana, Vajrayana. "To love thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength." Everything. Those are really the four elements relating with the psyche, the Hebrew letters, relating with the Cross or Vajrayana, the Heart Doctrine.
Audience: Is there a succession of the chakras, such as a list to work on?
Instructor: It is particular to you. This is why Samael Aun Weor gave so many different practices, because our needs are different. I might need to work more with my heart. Maybe you need to develop more clairvoyance. It depends on you. You need to meditate and really analyze, "What do I want to know and what do I really need to know?" And sometimes, just meditating and not even intending it, you can have certain experiences in which the heart opens up, whereby clairaudience, psychic sounds appear in your psyche; you hear sounds in the astral plane; or clairvoyance emerges where you start seeing images. So while you're physically meditating you gain access to the internal worlds.
This can spark your interest, such as "Since I experienced that I need to develop that more." So there's no determined checklist, such as starting first with the Muladhara chakra and moving up to Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, etc., although that can be effective.
Audience: I've heard in particular with Glorian Publishing that they tend to emphasize the heart, because that is probably the most default and the most needed.
Instructor: That also relates with the emotional brain and the Heart Doctrine, to really develop Bodhicitta, real love for other human beings, genuine compassion originating from comprehension of emptiness of phenomena. We see that human beings are predominantly intellectual, especially in the West. Really, our heads are libraries. You go to university and see many different instructors and that their hearts are dead. If you look more intimately through clairvoyance you see they are just intellectual. Really, they just regurgitate information. I like what one German philosopher said, Friedrich Nietzsche, that university professors are like clocks; just make sure you wind them correctly so that they'll tell you the time. They'll repeat facts like this and that, being that they are just intellectual.
People tend to be way too intellectual. That is why we teach the Heart Doctrine, to experience, because it entails a superior emotional quality. While we refer to the three brains: intellect, emotions and motor-instinct-sexual impulses, we also relate to superior centers relating with the psyche, which are our direct connection with the divine. We have a superior intellectual center, which receives concepts and abstract principles from God. This is the divine Nous of Plato in The Republic, the objective spiritual reasoning of the philosopher kings, real human beings in the true sense of the word.
Then you have the superior emotional center, which becomes activated by listening to the great classical compositions of the masters of music, such as Beethoven. Profound and Kabbalistic works given through music and art. That's really food for the heart, since in works such as the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, we experience the Heart Doctrine, the emptiness of Prajna, the Logos or Word of Christ within the magnanimous choral movement, along with the Vajrayana path that leads out of suffering. It's very explicit, but to understand it you need to experience it internally in order to recognize the message physically, since Beethoven was an initiate who wrote for other initiates of the Heart Doctrine. The Chorus teaches about Bodhichitta, the mysteries of the heart, and represent the Elohim, the Gods singing in unison. Many voices, but one universal harmony, Prajna, ever flowing, the swastika in motion, the power of God in movement, the emptiness, the real wisdom or happiness of the Lord. Beethoven's greatness is unveiled to the spiritual sight when we see that he wrote from having experienced many Mahasamadhis. It's really unbelievable how anyone could convey such experiences through music, which is a living scripture.
In relation with the heart, yes, listening to music like that develops our emotional center through conscious superior sentiment, not to be confused with sentimentality, like Hallmark cards.
Therefore, we always emphasize the heart, since it is the heart that is always going to lead us to liberation, represented by Jiminy Cricket, giving us, represented by Pinocchio, inquietudes: pushing us to study, pushing us to practice, pushing us to want to change. He's really in the heart, the consciousness or Buddhata, the cricket who is like a little Verb, a little IAO we can say. IAO is Christ, for in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is a small voice, a little representation of that principle that guides us in our actions and tells us what to do. We must always follow him within the heart.
If we struggle with that, there are many practices we can use. Many prayers, such as the Pater Noster, which is very powerful and beautiful. The Bodhisattva, Francis of Assisi, gave another tremendous prayer to develop the heart, the Heart Doctrine within:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
This is the Bodhisattva path. Even Mother Teresa had some beautiful teachings too. I do not know of her development, but she really embodied in a profound way the principle of sacrifice without self-consideration.
The heart comes first. It is really the instrument that will take you to the very heights. As Muhammad said in Al-Hadith:
There is an organ in the body that, if it is righteous, ensures that the whole system will be righteous; and if it is corrupt, the whole body will become corrupt. This organ is the heart.
"There is a polish for everything that takes away rust; and the polish for the heart is remembrance (of Allah)."
This is Self-remembrance, remembrance of our Inner God. When the heart is polished like a mirror, it can reflect God within, in every action. Then we will become a better instrument for the Lord to act in our life, guiding us.
Audience: You were talking about purity with concentration, where your concentration practice can be put askew if we are not keeping purity of mind and heart. This was profound for me because I've been studying for a long time, but have never heard this or overlooked it, or had it said like that. You can be sitting there meditating, concentrating, and can be less distracted if you actually kept more purity in your thoughts, speech, and all that. So really, ethics is the catalyst for your concentration, whereby concentration is the root catalyst for what becomes meditation, where you can actually concentrate very well? Then meditation is a potential catalyst for Samadhi, and things of that sort?
Instructor: The foundation is concentration, ethics, renunciation. Without concentration we can't meditate. And this is the failure of many practitioners and schools: they try to meditate for twenty years but have no experiences, because they do not maintain purity in their mind, heart and actions; the sins of body, speech and mind.
Audience: They're meditating but haven't established concentration practice, whereby they could focus completely?
Instructor: Basically what we want in meditation is to sit for however long and to not forget that we're meditating. This is described in the diagram of the Nine Stages of Meditative Concentration in Tibetan Buddhism, or Calm Abiding: the Stages of Serenity. We find this diagram throughout the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. It has been used and taught by all the great Tibetan Buddhist masters. Therefore this really emphasizes its importance.
Here we see a monk chasing after a wild elephant. The elephant is the mind. In the beginning it is chaotic, running all over the place, without control, but eventually through his tools, a rope and a hook, representing mindfulness, restraint, concentration, he is able to calm it down, until reaching the stage where the elephant is becoming more white instead of gray, indicating he is becoming more pure and docile. The monk finally reaches the point where the mind is subdued, and then Samadhi or mystical experience occurs, he is flying.
These stages are not like plateaus, or a checklist to fulfill one by one. These are principles, and one can fluctuate greatly within the diagram. It depends on our effort. But generally when we meditate, we at least want to develop the degree of concentration where we don't forget that we're meditating, which are the middle stages of concentration, the fourth or fifth stages. This is a very profound diagram for comprehending and developing concentration. It is a guide or map for our practice in developing the Heart Doctrine within.
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Psychology, a course originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
In this lecture we are going to be discussing the nature of the three minds. In this type of knowledge, it's important to reflect and understand that this teaching or practical science has methods and practices that can change us and transform us radically. In studying the nature of the mind, and studying the nature of what we call consciousness or soul, we make an emphasis that we possess three types of mind.
Specifically we like to relate psychology, which we've been covering in the past few weeks, with the ancient scriptures, founded within the most upheld, venerated, respected and practiced traditions. This is very different from the psychology of today that has divorced itself from religion, and which is no longer very practical for developing one's spirituality. And while we find that Gnosis has a practical application, we do refer to a scholastic component, including the study of the Torah, or the Bhagavad-Gita, the Qur'an, the New Testament. Therefore in discussing these types of psychological teachings, we emphasize the explication and utilization of many languages. We like to refer to things in the original language of the scriptures, since they hold much more meaning than the adulterated and translated English, or "plain English" that really does not get to the point of what we spiritually seek.
So as we discuss these types of principles, we will refer to many traditions and many different languages, but with the purpose of clarifying practical aspects of how to change oneself into something better, to unite with our divine source, that intelligence which religions have given many names: the inner Buddha, the inner Christ, Allah, Vishnu, or amongst the Nordics, Baldur, the Christ within that warrior culture, which at one time was not a culture of violence but the warrior ethics of the spirit, being strong within one's spirituality in order to conquer the internal factors that cause pain and ignorance.
With these principles, we seek to study ourselves. This is about the science or knowledge of understanding our inner nature, our inner divinity. When we approach this we study specifically what we call the three minds, which we are going to elaborate upon in depth.
It's important to recognize that the term “mind,” especially as it has been translated from eastern doctrine, has been misappropriated, and extremely abused, in relation with the term's practical application towards ones spiritual development. In this type of teaching we refer to the soul as consciousness, and we refer to the mind, which is something completely different, as the intellect, a tool in itself, which is not our authentic identity.
It's important for us, in order to have a strong foundation in this teaching, and when approaching the science of the mind, to reflect by studying the various world scriptures, and to comprehend that there are really two types of science, relating to the original Latin word scientia, which means "knowledge" or gnosis.
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 Great Rebellion
This demarcation between "official" and esoteric science is fundamental to the study of mind. For while there have been many great marvels in materialistic science, we know that science without genuine spiritual principles has produced atomic bombs, wars, chemical weapons, and more complex ways to harm each other. I believe Albert Einstein said that science without religion is lame, or better said, dangerous, and that religion without science is blind. Without these types of principles to guide one's ethics, one's spirituality, science in turn becomes something detrimental.
It is very obvious if we examine the times we live in. We find that despite technologies such as the iPhone, communication, attempts to traverse space, we have in turn become more cruel. Humanity has become more violent, more abusive in relation with drugs and alcohol. There are more acts of genocide than there has ever been. To quote the founder of this tradition, Samael Aun Weor, our humanity is morally bankrupt. This is very painful to behold, especially when we are honest, because we recognize that we are a part of this humanity, and in turn contribute to the global problem, which, to use Buddhist ideology or principles, is the suffering of all sentient beings.
If we really want to change the world, we need to change ourselves first, to rectify our own mistakes and to have the courage not to blame others. This in turn is perhaps one of the most difficult conflicts to overcome: the tendency to blame others for our suffering. "He offended me!" "She said this!" "Can you believe what my family member did?" "He betrayed me!" "He hurt me!" We undergo a constant slew of negative emotions and violent thoughts, an insurgence of profound suffering: anger, pride, vanity, etc., which in turn creates conflict and chaos within our internal and external worlds.
So if we really want to seek to know the divine, the Lord within, we need to know how to change our own internal world through a very particular mystical science, an esoteric or hidden teaching about the nature of mind. There is a saying in the Gnostic teachings that "God searches the nothingness in order to fill it." It's important to have a mind that is silent and serene, so that like a lake it can reflect the starry heavens of Urania, the Cosmic Christ, the Solar Logos, to use Greek terms for divinity.
To unite with divine reality and change our way of thinking, to improve the world for the better, we study the nature of two principles in Gnostic science. For this purpose, we use terms employed in Immanuel Kant's philosophy, the famous philosopher from Königsberg. He stated that there are really two types of experience, which we emphasize in relation with the study of mind:
We make this distinction, that phenomena relates with occurrence, circumstance, or facts that are perceptible by the senses. We know from original scriptures that the senses in themselves are merely a vehicle through which we experience life, but do not take us to the reality of things. Unfortunately it is due to the sleep of the consciousness, the sleep of the soul, the sleep of psyche to use Greek myth, that we fail to perceive the true and inherent reality of life, the truth of things-in-themselves, or noumena, as they are without contradiction, without illusion.
Some people say this world is maya, and that it is from this world of illusion that we must escape, so as to harmonize oneself and unite with God. This is partially true. In these types of studies, we seek to bring down and to experience our own pneuma, the spirit, or Khrestos, Christ, here and now. We consciously invoke that divine intelligence within ourselves, so that we know how to live fuller lives, without the mind wandering lost in distractions, hypnotized with the phenomena or "appearances" of the world.
This is the essence of the esoteric study of the mind, which was never given to the public until recently. Materialistic science looks towards phenomena to explain the universe, and even has the audacity to reject, through blind atheistic beliefs, that there are no guiding spiritual principles that direct the course of life. Phenomena is appearance, what we think something is like, but in truth we do not really perceive the inherent thing-in-itself. Such a principle was the basic tenet of Immanuel Kant's philosophy, for which he was greatly criticized, because for thousands of years humanity has tried to approach divinity through the intellect, which, according to Kant, cannot know the truth. A very radical postulation to admit and realize within oneself!
Most of humanity still does not have access to the divine spiritual truths contained within religion or real philosophy, which is philos, love, and sophia, wisdom. Wisdom in Hebrew is חכמה Chokmah, Christ in the Kabbalah. So genuine philosophy is one's love and connection with that divine source.
The Three Minds
In relation with the study of the mind, we talk about three types. If humanity were aware that we possess three distinct types of mentality, or ways or processing information, many things would be different on this planet. There would be no war, violence, ignorance, hatred and bigotry. Instead, there would be brotherhood, fraternity, and a unified world effort to alleviate the suffering of all beings. The reasons will become clear as we discuss the particularities of each type of cognition:
The Sensual Mind processes knowledge gained from physical senses or phenomena. The Intermediate or Mystical Mind is the storehouse of theories, beliefs, mysticism, and religions as commonly taught in the exoteric or public traditions of today. The Inner Mind relates with information garnered from direct mystical experience of the truth, and has constituted the esoteric heart of every authentic tradition in the world. This hidden knowledge was only given by mouth to ear, the science which we are explaining here.
The Limitations and Dualism of the Sensual Mind
The divine inner nature we call Christ, or Christ-mind, is a spiritual type of mentality and forms the basis of esoteric philosophy and genuine spiritual science. This is completely opposed to the intellect or type of Sensual Mind we commonly experience. In order to address Christ-mind, or a consciousness in harmony with the divine, the pneuma, it's necessary to address what we commonly term as the Sensual Mind.
The intellect is part of the inferior two types of mind. Here we are referring to the Sensual Mind, in which the intellect processes itself. We also find that intellect relates to the Intermediate Mind, which we are also going to explain in depth.
The Sensual Mind is what we typically think of as mind. "I think, therefore I am." Or, "I experience thought, therefore I exist." Or "I have a physical body, therefore I am." In these types of studies, we must politely contradict these statements. If we study the spiritual scriptures, the mind in itself is not the spirit, the pneuma, and if you're familiar with the Christian gospel, when Christ said, "I Am," or the Hebrew word אהיה Eheieh, this does not refer to the kind of thought we commonly experience. The latter state refers to the awakened and heightened perception of God, which brings peace, joy and harmony.
The Sensual Mind only knows how to categorize and formulate concepts and information in relation with physical senses. It is a type of mind or experience that only knows physicality. It only knows how to look at physical senses, and to establish or formulate information about it. We can see, then, that this is really the greatest source of our suffering, since the majority of our life is spent occupied with physical matters. The intellect, the psychological process or mechanism of the Sensual Mind, fills our life with worry, anxiety over bills, fear and uncertainty about living conditions today, fear about our health, how long we will live, our evaluations of our failures in this life and what we need to accomplish physically.
These types of sensual thoughts about physical life constitute the churning of the mind, which is the intellect, not connected with divinity. Someone who has a mind that is in harmony with the divine within has no fear, has no anxiety or worry. The problem lies in the Sensual Mind as we know it, our intellectual processes, which, when subservient to God, constitute a useful vehicle of the spirit.
But as I mentioned to you, if it is divorced from spiritual principles, it becomes the greatest enemy that any person can have. This is the essential tenet or teaching of Islam. Islam in Arabic means "submission." So Muslims who truly submit themselves to Allah, bowing to the east towards Mecca, in which they place their head completely to the earth, signify that the intellect or Sensual Mind must be a servant to God, and it must not be a tool for our own internal misery, anger, negative elements, which create friction in our life.
In discussing the nature of mind, we must address the misconceptions about it, and how the Sensual Mind is only a machine. It can present a thesis; it can present an antithesis, but only in relation with physical experience. It can present a theory; it can present a criticism of that theory based upon physical analysis. It has one concept, followed by another that can be in complete contradiction to it. This is how we find the common movement of philosophy, at least in the West specifically, such as with empiricism, but also in Eastern traditions as well, between good and bad; thesis, antithesis; a constant conflict of principles and disagreements amongst thinkers, because the intellect or Sensual Mind only knows how to sway between positive and negative, good and bad, in relation with physical information, physical phenomena. It is caught between what we call the duality of the mind.
People always justify themselves with "reason." They champion reason, but then again, there's two sides to it. Everyone has their point of view, and any argument can be defended to the death through rigorous analysis, evidence, and explanations. Reason always feeds itself through opposites.
This is a very famous principle in eastern traditions, the duality of forces within nature, the body, the soul. When we discuss the nature of reasoning in itself, there is duality, just as there is a duality within scientific investigation: one which can be cultured by the spirit, or another at the service of anger, pride, or negative internal psychological elements.
The Sensual Mind in itself is caught within dualistic tendencies: thesis, antithesis; good, bad; without capacity to perceive the nature of the synthesis, unable to see different perspectives at once. The Sensual Mind is rigid; it never accepts anything outside its own materialistic parameters. It cannot comprehend how two arguments may both be true, even when conflicting.
Never can the formulating power of logical concepts imply the authentic experience of what is real. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
This statement really gets to the heart of what this entire lecture is about, because many people think that because they experienced a thought or concept about the nature of a physical phenomenon, they feel that they have understood the real intrinsic nature of this type of phenomenon. But the experience is something else. The thought or concept is a projection of the Sensual Mind. Typically when science observes any phenomena in this physical universe, they project their theories onto the screen of nature, and believe that their theories are the truth, even when they cannot verify the noumena of such an experience. They are trying to explain noumena through phenomena, the truth within appearances, ascertained through the senses and processed through the Sensual Mind.
For example, scientists have observed the process of rain and classify it as the accumulation of moisture through heat and evaporation from the earth. Little do they know that there are conscious intelligent principles behind physical phenomena—which the ancient traditions, such as folklore or fairy tales that we grew up with, talk about—sylphs and sylphids, nereids and mermaids, elementals of the air and of the water which help nature to function and flow.
Deep down, in these simple processes of life and nature, we find divine intelligent principles functioning throughout nature, which is a fact we can verify through direct conscious experience. We do not need to believe anything. We can learn to awaken our soul or clairvoyant vision, to awaken within dreams, to converse with those forces or intelligences, which work under the auspices of the divine architect, the Elohim in Hebrew, the angels of life and death. Then, such statements are no longer outrageous, because we are no longer skeptical. We simply know.
To present this type of postulation to materialistic scientists is to incur their ridicule and criticism, because due to the conditioning of their mind, they only see physical phenomena. They do not perceive the pneuma within things; they do not see the conscious and divine principles that animate nature, the noumena of life, because their consciousness is asleep. They rely completely on the physical senses.
Therefore many of them are extremely atheist. Atheism falls into the category of the Sensual Mind, because most people do not have the capacity to experience God, and therefore feel that there is no God, ignoring that their degenerated state of mind inhibits them from knowing the truth. Due to their spiritual emptiness, they concoct absurd and ignorant materialistic theories to explain how the universe operates, since they lack the ability to investigate life with the consciousness.
The Intermediate or Mystical Mind
So we find that the intellect as we know it only knows how to categorize and to theorize. While this pertains to the Sensual Mind and its processes of physical information, we also find it in relation with spiritual traditions, philosophy and mystical belief. As we mentioned, the Intermediate or Mystical Mind is the storehouse for beliefs of all types, whether in religion or metaphysical phenomena, but without being grounded in actual experience of divine truths: noumena.
Continuing with Kant's philosophy, who is a very interesting and eminent figure in Western thought, a significant point was made that has been completely ignored by many other philosophers, scientists, theologians, and other persons of knowledge and education. They ignore what he called the antinomy of reason.
Basically an antinomy is a paradox whereby two completely contradictory arguments about the same principle can both be valid. For example, Kant gave what are called his four antinomies:
We find different conflicting arguments, specifically and most importantly in relation with God. One antinomy: "There is a God." The mind debates, provides evidence, apparent facts to support that there is a divine intelligence. This is the reasoning of the Intermediate or Mystical Mind: it rationalizes based upon truths it has not experienced. And then there is the side of atheism, that says, "There is no God, and here are the facts." This is the counterclaim or reasoning of the Sensual Mind, establishing its thesis on inferences based upon physical evidence. Both arguments, founded upon their respective evidence, can both be right according to intellectual analysis, if we do not know how to activate what we call the pneuma within.
The Sensual Mind only knows how to create theories, concepts and store information from the physical senses. The Intermediate Mind, on the other hand, knows how to create theories and concepts, as well as store information, about metaphysical phenomena that one has not experienced. We know at least from education or the educational psychologists of modern school systems, that memory is the least reliable form of learning, which tends to be the main emphasis of secondary, middle school and elementary education, even in the primary grades.
Memory, or the ability to recite or quote information, to compare ideas, to present concepts or counterarguments, is the domain of the intellect. It can only theorize and memorize, but it cannot know the truth. The Mystical Mind, as well as the Sensual Mind, cannot perceive divine reality. This is why Kant was so ridiculed and opposed, because he said that in our present condition, the mind cannot know God—it cannot know noumena--it cannot know the truth. Meanwhile for thousands of years, people have been trying to prove the existence of God through the intellectual processes of the Intermediate Mind, the domain of beliefs. Kant’s statement bothered many philosophers, theologians and metaphysicians, incurring their criticism, especially while his teaching is a very valuable contribution to both exoteric and esoteric thought.
Samael Aun Weor wrote something very interesting about this in Igneous Rose:
The Age of Reason was initiated by Aristotle. It reached its culmination with Emmanuel Kant and ends now with the birth of the new Era of Aquarius.
Interesting statement when taking into consideration that Kant's major contribution to philosophy is the realization that the mind cannot know the truth. Definitely a good end to the age of intellectualism or subjective reasoning!
We're not saying by this that Kant was an initiate and that he developed his own pneuma within, but he came to some potent realizations that the intellect, the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, cannot know God. It cannot know the divine within.
The Inner Mind and Direct Experience
It's important that we have an open, receptive mind, so as to impartially investigate this type of science or teaching. For as the Buddha taught, do not accept anything at face value. One must test his words like gold: burn it, scratch it, to see if it really is gold and of value. If not, disregard it. But through investigation and scientific inquiry, by developing the legitimate science of the Being within, we can verify for ourselves these truths, intrinsically within ourselves and within nature.
This is the purpose of the Inner Mind. The Inner Mind is a type of comprehension that only processes data derived from direct mystical experience within the consciousness of the Being. The consciousness which has freed itself from the dualism of the mind experiences the reality, which is far beyond the body, the affections and the mind. It is a type of experience that goes very far beyond the theories and debates that have plagued this planet for so long, in which people have argued over reality but have not experienced it for themselves.
"Any psychological process that is correctly structured using precise logic is opposed by a different one, strongly developed with similar or superior logic. Then what?” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
The mind can present an intricate philosophical system, which is in conflict with another, and both of them may appear to be right, even though they disagree. The ability to form concepts in that way does not equate with genuine spiritual experience. This type of knowledge or spiritual experience in the consciousness has to do with transcending the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, so that we can verify in a didactic, clear, unbiased and vigorous way the essential teachings given in all the religions and scriptures.
Only the awakening of the Inner Mind grants us access to comprehending the world's scriptures. The Inner Mind stores all the information and spiritual experiences of the awakened consciousness. It is the only type of mind that can know God and properly comprehend Him, since it is a mind that has gained direct access to the nature of divinity, pneuma or noumena, the truth.
It's important to have this as our basis, to be sincere and to earnestly seek for that experience ourselves, in order to unite ourselves with the divine through awakening our Inner Mind.
The Inner Mind, Force, and Spiritual Realities
As we awaken the Inner Mind, we in turn come to know hidden realities. Rudolf Steiner said that once you develop yourself, your pneuma, you will experience the reality of etheric forces, the force field behind the physical. He mentioned how flowers, even animals, have a different force field. When you experience that, you feel astonished.
To quote Shakespeare in Hamlet, "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Act. I, scene v. ll. 166-7). There is even technology now that is able to capture this type of phenomena. It's called the Kirlian camera, developed by Russian scientists, in which they captured images of the auric energy or etheric depth of stones, plants, leaves, and water. This is the vital life behind physical matter, known as Yesod in Hebraic Kabbalistic terms, the mysticism of Judaism.
The camera in itself has the capacity to show us what is beyond the physical, but through this type of mystical science, we are able to experience that type of perception without the use of other technology. We can say that the greatest technology we possess is our own consciousness, for it has the capacity to perceive the very roots of nature, of all things, if we know how to awaken our Inner Mind in order to be in harmony with Christ.
In order to recognize the states of the Inner Mind, we have to introspect and be honest. We must evaluate our mind, and take an inventory of our experience: what is it that we project and what are moments where we truly comprehend the nature of life in its flow? This takes tremendous practice and esoteric discipline.
So when we talk about the intellect and the antinomies of reason, it's important to remember, especially if we're new to this type of knowledge, or even if we have a lot of experience in this or other traditions, to approach this science with the spirit, or pneuma, of investigation, of inquiry, and not to take things at face value. We should practice and employ the techniques of this tradition to awaken our Inner Mind. Through experimentation and experience, we transcend the theories, beliefs and limitations of the Sensual and Intermediate Minds.
People caught within materialism and intellectual dogmas become over-complicated. They lack the ability to discern reality from the mind. The Inner Mind is simple, but profound. It knows how to ascertain mystical truths without resorting to the depressing process of 'options,' of theories, speculating about everything but not knowing anything.
To reiterate, the Sensual Mind processes data from physical experience, the Intermediate Mind in relation with beliefs, theories from religion or mysticism, and the Inner Mind through knowledge of one's experience of God.
The Sensual Mind bases its theories on the physical senses, which are not reliable, since they are born in time and die in time. They have no direct correlation with the spirit and cannot get to the root of the pneuma or noumena of life. Within the Intermediate Mind are all the beliefs within traditions we find today, but which are not grounded in actual experience. There's a quote that comes to my mind which I find is very potent; it comes from Deepak Chopra:
"Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience."
This is the heart of this type of teaching. It is the essence of Gnosis, the essence of the Inner Mind, or Christ-mind, a mind which stores its information and direct experiences with God. If what we want is to know divinity, the etheric world, energies and consciousness, we must overcome our own predisposition towards the Sensual and/or Intermediate Minds.
The Three Minds in Scripture
In relation with the scriptures, there is a very famous story in the teachings of Jesus about the nature of the three minds. Particularly, the Sadducees and the Pharisees, who condemned Christ to death in the gospels.
The Sadducees, the materialists, are persons who belong to the Sensual Mind, who debate, argue and theorize about things of the physical senses. If we go back to Greek philosophy, we find the school of Epicureanism and Empiricism, or the nihilistic belief about acquiring as much sensation and pleasure in life as possible before dying. They say one should indulge in senses or "enjoy one's life fully." This, however, ignores the fundamental law that we call Karma, cause and effect, in that the soul, with all of its attachments, craving and ignorance, continues after the death of the body. This is a fact we can verify by awakening our Inner Mind.
The Intermediate Mind is represented by the Pharisees. The Pharisees are all of those who are very religious, have a lot of knowledge of scripture, and have studied religion very deeply, but who have no experience of what the scriptures and religions teach. This is the essential reason why they were always in conflict with Christ, or Jesus, who was the living representation of the Christ-principle in the times of the Middle East, two thousand years ago.
Christ was always in conflict with the Sadducees and the Pharisees, because he sought to teach them what he knew of the pneuma of God. Because they were incapable of experiencing God, all throughout the New Testament, in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; they constantly sought to test the Lord, and confront the Lord, using the intellect in the attempt to trick and sabotage Christ, into identifying with their negativity.
They asked questions such as, "Can you show us God?" This is beautifully represented by Pilate asking Jesus, "What is Truth?" Yet Christ remained silent. This is a beautiful answer, because the truth is the unknown, and to seek to explain it in words misses the point, although through lectures we seek to help students develop their spiritual practice so you can experience the truth on your own.
This raises a very important point, that Pilate represents the mind. The Sensual Mind cannot know the truth, and that is why Jesus in the gospels, who represents our own Intimate Christ, is always in conflict with these inferior types of mind, whether within ourselves or in other people.
This has been the great battle of all the prophets who have awakened their Inner Mind and experienced God. The masters always affirm knowledge from the scriptures and explain this science, coming to teach those of the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, but are always being rejected. Since humanity loves to defend egotism, desire, the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, it always rejects the Lord, in every time, place, and culture throughout history and today. The teachings of Christ are very radical and require the complete renunciation of one's egotistical sense of self, or one's inner negativity, symbolized as the seven deadly sins: anger, pride, lust, vanity, greed, gluttony, laziness.
This was symbolized in the story of Lazarus, or the man who was possessed by many demons. Christ asked him, "Who are you?" And the man said, "We are legion, for we are many." (Mark 5:9). This typifies a type of psychology that we commonly have and commonly find on this planet, a mind that is fractured, fragmented into a multiplicity of discursive psychological elements. This is what we call ego in Gnostic Psychology.
It is this inner negativity we seek to eliminate in order to awaken what we call the Inner Mind. What we call soul or consciousness is trapped within all those elements, the pluralized ego, or negative self. Do not confuse this with the Higher Self or Innermost, the Being, our Inner God. Our consciousness or soul can be referred to as נֶ֫פֶשׁ Nephesh, animal soul, which is trapped in the ego like the genie in Aladdin's lamp. This is a middle eastern symbol of this teaching. The lamp represents the ego which is the foundation of the Sensual and Intermediate Minds.
So when one knows how to awaken or to extract the genie from the lamp, one can perform miracles, and this is specifically in relation with the awakening of the Inner Mind.
The Inner Mind is the mind which stores and comprehends the information experienced with the spirit. It is a type of knowledge that relates with the soul. It is "inner" because it pertains to the very root of our being. All the mystical experiences that the disciple has, such as through samadhis or ecstasies, whether out of the physical body or in meditation, those are experiences of the Inner Mind. To go to the Latin root of ecstasy, we find ex-statuo: "to stand outside oneself." It is when the consciousness or the genie is pulled from the lamp, from the conditioning filters of the ego, in order to unite with the divine reality.
So when one has that type of knowledge, this indicates the synthesis of the Inner Mind, a mind which knows God; a Christ-mind that experiences the divine source. Therefore, we find a stark differentiation between this type of mind with the previous two: the Sensual Mind, which is only occupied with the five senses, which is transitory and phenomenal (not in the sense that it is "stellar," but that it relates with the world of phenomena or appearances). We have the Intermediate Mind that only has beliefs and no experience, which is commonly what we find in many religions and spiritual groups. But the awakening of the Inner Mind is very different and relates with the practical experience of God, the scientific experience or perception of the divine within.
Understanding this differentiation is important because Christ warned his disciples and warned us:
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, [It is] because we have taken no bread. [Which] when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?...
...How is it that ye do not understand that I spake [it] not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Then understood they how that he bade [them] not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. ―Matthew 16:6-8, 11-12
When we talk about "leaven," we are speaking about yeast, which is placed in bread in order to inflate it. Now this has no other practical purpose but to make the bread more appealing and enjoyable to the senses. It does not add to the bread itself. Jesus often said that "I am the living bread" (John 6:51) which is לחם Lechem in Hebrew. We also find ceremonial Jewish bread named חלה Chalah, which has the same letters, but in different sequence. This refers to the bread of knowledge or wisdom, symbolizing the science of the Inner Mind. ח Chet reminds us of חיה Chaiah, "life." ל Lamed is the letter of the hanged Apostle who sacrifices himself for humanity in the twelfth arcanum of the Tarot. And ה Hei is the "womb" through which the initiate is born. Together, the bread of Christ is the life force through which any apostle is born. Interesting that Christ was supposedly born in Bethlehem, which means "House of God" or "House of Bread," which hides this meaning here.
Now it's important to remember in the scriptures that the unleavened bread is the pure science of the divine, which is why in the Old Testament the Jews ate unleavened bread or מַצָּה Matzah, without the yeast of theories and beliefs, the yeast of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the theories which seemingly inflate and make the doctrine better than it is, which is an adulteration. מַצָּה Matzah is the pure manna from God, which means genuine faith or direct experience, and was eaten as a symbol of divine remembrance within one's psyche upon achieving states of liberation from suffering:
You are not to eat any hametz with it; for seven days you are to eat with it matzah, the bread of affliction; for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste. Thus you will remember the day you left the land of Egypt as long as you live. ―Deuteronomy 16:3
Matzah also has etymological similarity to מִצְוָה Mitzvah, which means "commandment." So this tradition is not about literally eating bread as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice, like the ignoramuses suppose, but of fulfilling the ten commandments within ourselves, which we receive through the strength of the bread, the holy Gnostic Unction as dictated by our Lord Melchizedek to Abraham in Genesis 14.
When we truly examine the religions of today, we find they are all adulterated and watered down. We find this degradation within all the great traditions of the world. It has happened to Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism—all religions have experienced this problem, where the great prophets would teach the science of the Inner Mind, the direct experience of God, and the followers who studied but didn't practice would only theorize, believe and condemn their teacher. This has happened with Jesus and many great masters, constituting a great problem.
Christ said, "I have come not to break the law, but to fulfill." Therefore we find his teachings are completely founded on the Old Testament, since he was a Rabbi of Kabbalah. Christ referred to himself as "the bread of wisdom." He was born in Bethlehem, "House of Bread," the pure science of direct experience: a very Kabbalistic statement. However, most Christians know nothing of Kabbalah, let alone the Gnostic Kabbalah, and thereby, even when they believe in the Eucharist, present a dead corpse without a heart.
Also, such imbeciles eat "inflated" bread; they take the Matzah, or better said, the מִצְוָה Mitzvah, the commandments and instructions given in the Old and New Testaments, or even the Qur'an, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Buddhist scriptures, etc., and give it a personal, whimsical interpretation without basis in the direct knowledge of God or the authentic scriptures. Pharisees not only exist in Judaism and Christianity, but all over the world, in every religion.
Christ taught to beware of the yeast or leaven of the Sadducees and Pharisees. Meaning: people very strongly rooted in the Sensual or Mystical Minds take the teachings of Christ and adulterated it. They project all their materialistic theories and metaphysical beliefs into that teaching, like yeast in bread, in order to inflate it, seemingly to make it "better" or more appealing. Meanwhile it only adulterates the original teaching, and this was Christ's warning: that his teachings would degenerate after his death and resurrection, because if we look in these times with Christianity, we understand that it died many centuries ago, precisely since it divorced itself from its Kabbalistic roots. It produced many initiates in the past, but every religion is born, has life, and dies in time. So Christ warned about this by saying there would be a time in which the Pharisees and Sadducees would take his teaching and adulterate it. You find in public Christianity people who raise their hand and say, "I believe in Christ and I am saved!" Meanwhile they ignore the Apostle James that "Faith without [internal] works is dead." (James 2:26).
Christ, or the Inner Mind, is always crucified amongst criminals, because the Sensual and Intermediate Minds have no direct knowledge of God. Therefore, humanity does not recognize Him and thereby rejects Him. It's interesting to note, however, that the word Pharisee in Arabic or Farsi can indicate, esoterically: "Worshipper of fire," someone who worships the flame, Christ. But, how do they worship Christ? That's the question. The Pharisees who condemn and crucify Christ supposedly worship the Lord. This is the great treason, irony and damnation of these individuals, since they crucify the Lord by even using His own words against Him.
So the teachings of the Master are given, and the disciples, who only remain within the Mystical Mind, take that knowledge in order to condemn their teacher. This problem happened with Christ and many other initiates.
Jesus warned very heavily against this fact.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within are full of extortion and excess. [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. ―Matthew 23:25-28
A Pharisee or Farsi studies this type of knowledge, studies this type of science, but only remains within beliefs. To quote Samael Aun Weor, the damnation of the Pharisees is that they use the very same words of the Christ in order to condemn Christ. They therefore have a grave karma to pay in relation with that, because they take the words of the Lord and reject the Lord, with the same teaching, but adulterated.
What many Pharisees don't understand is that Christ did not come to teach the angels; he came to teach the sinners.
And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. ―Mark 2:16-17
What great humility! That is the nature of the Inner Mind. Jesus, who incarnated the Christ, is the greatest initiate our humanity has ever known. For him to come and serve us is mind-boggling, because the greatest in heaven are those who serve best. These initiates were once in our position, therefore they feel tremendous compassion. The Pharisees, however, feel they are better than the sinners, and thereby are filled with sanctimoniousness and false piety, ignoring that the "goats" (individuals ignorant of the science of transmutation) may often be closer to the truth than the "sheep" (who know about alchemy, tantra, sexual transmutation, but who do not seriously practice). Their Mystical Mind is very inflated like the adulterated bread of knowledge.
Pharisees and Spiritual Communities
It comes into my mind an experience I had in the internal planes many years ago, before I physically met any other students or teachers of Gnosis. An initiate came to my house in the astral plane and was instructing me in relation with spiritual groups. She warned me to beware of the Gnostics, the spiritualists and other groups, individuals who say they practice, but don't practice. She warned that many of these people came from the times of Jesus, the return and recurrence of the individuals who condemned Christ and who are now studying this type of knowledge.
It was a very interesting experience. Just because a person studies this type of knowledge, doesn’t mean he or she practices it. Living the truth implies a lot of work and a lot of practice. It is very difficult. Many students, whether in Buddhism, Christianity, or Islam, Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Tarot, Kabbalah, Anthroposophy, Gnosis, etc., study the books, but they don't practice. They are Pharisees, Farsis; worshipping the fire in their beliefs, but crucifying the Lord in their actions, such as when authentic initiates come to teach them. The prophets are always rejected by students, even with the very same words that Christ taught. It's a very grave problem.
The problem is ignorance. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" Spiritual students are ignorant that they cause harm, and if they knew that what they're doing is harmful, they would not do it. Such as with the case of Paul of Tarsus, the great Gnostic Master, whose inner divine name is Hilarion IX. He was said to have been killing Christians before he had an illuminating experience that shattered his beliefs, completely converting him. He was a Pharisee, Farsi, studying the tradition of Kabbalah, and was traditionally depicted slaying Christians.
This type of behavior shouldn't surprise us. There were many initiates in the past who, before entering into initiation, physically killed, but afterward repented, understanding that their actions were wrong. We find this in the Buddhist story of Milarepa, who became the greatest saint of Tibet. He used to be a murderer. He practiced black magic and many other negative arts. But he had an experience, like Paul of Tarsus, and realized that what he was doing was wrong: that he was a Pharisee with many beliefs, and through humility he awoke his Inner Mind, transforming himself completely. He's a great master, a great initiate.
Usually, the greatest sinners become the greatest saints, because the lower one falls, the higher one can ascend. We find this such as with alcoholics, to use a mundane example. We find that since they have suffered so much, they repent and say, "I will never do that again." That is gnosis, real comprehension that those actions create suffering. When they fully comprehend that alcohol is destructive, they cease to indulge in those habits, no matter the temptations that arise.
However, the problem is that many spiritualists do not comprehend they are merely intellectual and fanatic, and therefore do not repent like Paul of Tarsus or Milarepa. Regarding spiritual groups, since we have participated in many, we can attest that this is a great problem. Members are often very indoctrinated with the intellect, but have no spiritual experience, simply because they do not practice what they preach. Spiritual schools can become grounds of contention, conflict and argument, without a genuine basis in love, fraternity, understanding, and compassion. Anyone who has been with Theosophists, Rosicrucians or other spiritual groups for a long enough time is able to witness the collective ego of such groups. The greatest crimes are usually committed within such communities.
Let us provide concrete examples. The esoteric tradition of the west, the Order of the Golden Dawn, was founded around the turn of the century, and was constituted by very intelligent persons. However, no matter how prestigious or exalted such esotericists considered themselves to be, many of them chose to enter into bickering, politics, and even sorcery. Many of them degenerated into black magic and competition for power. While presenting themselves as spiritual people, emphasizing divine ritual, Kabbalah and everything else, many of these practitioners entered into vicious types of psychic attacks. Dion Fortune wrote about it extensively, having been a member of the Golden Dawn. While the original order was very spiritual, beneficial, and altruistic, it degenerated to the point to where its members practiced psychic and occult violence in the internal planes.
This is why it is important to remember what Christ taught, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3). Those with a big intellect cannot even fit throughout a doorway, which is דעת Da'ath, Gnosis, since the mind is so stuck in books, intellectual theories and knowledge. Such people typically filled with bookish culture are extremely arrogant and proud, feeling they are better than other persons because they have read. Meanwhile, they have no experience. They simply don't know anything.
I will quote for you Samael Aun Weor in relation with this subject in his book The Major Mysteries, specifically in the section entitled “Initiatic Preparation”:
All spiritual schools, orders, and lodges are delectable gardens within which are nests of dangerous vipers and poisonous flowers filled with perfume. Ineffable enchantments that lead us to the abyss as well as sublime theories that can lead us to the precipice, and sweet smiles that carry us to disgrace exist within those schools where the devotees are filled with hypocrisy and fanaticism. Indeed, the opium of theories is more dangerous than death. Spiritualist devotees hug with one hand and with the other they stab the back with the sharp dagger of treason.
It's important to be aware of this fact, that people who say they are very spiritual commit the worst crimes. For example: Hitler. At one point, he knew this science, but he deviated. He let himself be hypnotized by a Tibetan known as "the man in the green gloves," who entered his occult order and convinced him to practice very negative arts, or black magic. So, he horribly destroyed himself, but also many millions of people. He had very good intentions. He was an initiate at one point, but who let his mind be pulled by a Pharisee. He was very convinced that what he was doing was right, feeling very holy.
People even commit adultery in the name of spirituality. There are innumerable examples of devotees who had sexual intercourse with their guru and not with their spouse because they were told that in order to advance spirituality, they must practice tantra with their teacher. Such individuals appear very holy, with big beards and very elaborate names, manipulating the naive and stupid. This is why Jesus taught, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matthew 7:15). They come to devour souls and steal power. This is the nature of the Pharisee.
Fear is a great motivator amongst spiritual groups: fear of hell, fear of death. People who only know the Sensual and Intermediate Minds have no experience of God, and therefore become associated and rely on groups out of fear of punishment.
Now, a spiritual group is important, simply for the benefit of transmitting the esoteric doctrine, the sciences, the methods by which we can change individually. It's important to learn what one can, but really it is an individual effort. Groups can provide energy, enthusiasm, strength, and instruction, but the real instruction comes from within, when we awaken our Inner Mind. This is how we know how to unite with our internal divinity.
Samael Aun Weor and many initiates warned about fanaticism in groups, where people feel that, because of their attendance, they are somehow saved. You find this in every tradition of spirituality, where fear is the motivating factor for maintaining spiritual communities.
In order not to be hypnotized by these distractions, one must be like Odysseus in the scene with the sirens, as depicted in the Greek myth by Homer. Odysseus was returning home to Ithaca from the Trojan War. Here you see an image of Odysseus tied to a mast of his ship, and the sirens are attempting to pull Odysseus and his crew to shipwreck. This is the essence of the Greek myth, where sirens would tempt sailors to crash into the reefs. This represents how negative elements of the mind, such as fear, lust and fanaticism, seek to pull the disciple out of the path. Notice how the mast is by Odysseus' spine, which means he is rooted in willpower through tantra, working with the forces of the Divine Mother Kundalini, which is the source of real faith, up the spinal column to the brain.
We also find that this image corresponds to what Nietzsche denominated the "tarantulas" in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. He employed this term for people who try to teach spiritual doctrines, but who are truly, extremely vengeful and spiteful, such as with the Christian priests who teach hellfire and damnation. However, this applies more to people in esotericism who know about gnosis, but are horrible hypocrites and do not have development, wisdom, or compassion. As it says in the aforementioned text:
Alas, then the tarantula, my old enemy, but me. With godlike assurance and beauty it bit my finger. "Punishment there must be and justice," it thinks; "and here he shall not sing songs in honor of enmity in vain."
Indeed, it has avenged itself. And alas, now it will make my soul, too, whirl with revenge. But to keep me from whirling, my friends, tie me tight to this column. Rather would I be a stylite even, than a whirl of revenge.
Verily, Zarathustra is no cyclone or whirlwind; and if he is a dancer, he will never dance the tarantella.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
When fanatics preach in this way, they bite the soul and seek to fulfill their mistaken sense of power and justice, trying to incite their victims to react. One must be like Odysseus amongst such people in order not to return evil with evil, to tie one’s mind to the mast of willpower, to be humble in spirit and not respond with anger or hatred.
One must control ones senses in order not to be pulled away from the teaching, just as the crew of Odysseus had wax in their ears in order to ignore the sirens, while Odysseus was tied to the mast in order to not abandon the ship and drown himself in the sea of theories.
While we address the nature of spiritual groups, what's most important is not to point our finger at others. We must address our own inner Pharisee, which believes and thinks it knows, but has no cognizance of the truth. Therefore, it's important to have genuine faith, but this term is poorly understood.
Belief and Faith / Phenomena and Noumena
Carl Jung said that "Faith is no substitute for experience." He also said that faith that comes by miraculously could disappear equally miraculously!
We are going to talk about the specific difference between belief and faith. In relation with Carl Jung's quote, he's speaking about belief. But in the Gnostic teachings we make a differentiation between authentic faith and the belief of the mind. That is precisely the problem we find in people, that they lack genuine faith, which is the direct experience of God, the pneuma or noumena behind all things.
Faith is one's cognitive experience, one's cognitive knowledge based upon the direct perception of God. Belief is the domain of the mind. The Intermediate and Sensual Minds only believe or theorize about the nature of God, but does not know. This is why Christ was crucified, and who pronounced with great pain, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34). The Pharisees or the great spiritualists of the time could not accept him as the prophet of that era. But this also represents something in our history. It more importantly represents something in our psychology, because the scriptures in themselves have an allegorical application to our life. Adhering to mere history is to be dead in the present moment.
Many Pharisees or persons of the Mystical Mind will say, "No, it is impossible. You cannot know God." That's what such individuals declare, through writings or pamphlets, that God is unknown. They say humanity cannot know God.
This is sad, because Christ said, "Know the Truth, and Truth shall make you free," referring to the original Greek root word, gnosis: the experience of God. The Intermediate or Mystical Mind only takes information and theorizes about what it doesn't know. It judges based on appearances, phenomena, without perception of the Noetic principles, the latter relating with Christ-mind, Nous or noumena. These are spiritual archetypes that vivify matter. It's sad but, when people say they are agnostic, or that one cannot experience or know God, that is admitting that one is a fool, incapable of living life with real understanding or wisdom. The truth is that the prophets were once like us, so if they could experience divinity, so can we. If this were not true, we would have never received so many scriptures from different religions, which all taught the science to experience God and to unite with the divine.
I would like to quote for you a passage from the Qur'an which beautifully explains the differentiation between the three minds and the true meaning of solar conscious faith.
And they say, "None but Jews or Christians (who follow the dogmas of the Intermediate Mind) shall enter Paradise.' This is their wish. SAY: Give your proofs (from the consciousness) if ye speak the truth.
But they who set their face with resignation Godward (meaning, to perform Islam, to submit one's Sensual and Intermediate Minds towards the east, towards one's pneuma), and do what is right (by awakening the Inner Mind),— their reward is with their Lord; no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be grieved.
Moreover, the Jews say, "The Christians lean on nought:" "On nought lean the Jews," say the Christians: Yet both are readers of the Book. So with like words say they who have no knowledge (Gnosis: direct experience). But on the resurrection day, Allah shall judge between them as to that in which they differ. ―Qur'an 2:5-7
So we find in the Qur'an that only men of knowledge, men of understanding, can interpret the scriptures through awakening the Inner Mind. The fanatics always kill and debate in the name of religion; if not physically, then with words, by seeking to indoctrinate members of other groups against their will, or by forcing their ways of thinking upon others. This is a form of black magic: to impose one's will upon another person in order to get what one wants. This is the problem with mistaken beliefs in degenerated religions.
As I said, the greatest sinners can become the greatest saints, and in the Bible we have the story of the Prodigal Son. He left his home, his father and his brothers, in order to enter the world of prostitution, drugs, sensualism, forgetting his pneuma, his inner Father or אבא Abba in Hebrew. Yet because he renounced, repented and came back, his Father had great celebrations in his honor, honoring him more because since he left, he returned. For "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Luke 15:7).
In order to truly repent, it's important that we are honest and seriously evaluate where we are spiritually, to really examine what it is we know and what it is we don't know. It's this honesty or humility that opens the gateway to genuine experience. So in these studies we often refer to the Heart Doctrine, the experience of God, and the Eye Doctrine, teachings that are merely theoretical, beliefs, speculation.
When we know how to awaken our Inner Mind, through our heart, when we actually experience God, here and now, the heart becomes inflamed, and we live life more intensely, with greater joy, humility, because we have experienced God and know that He is always with us. It is this direct knowledge that we call faith.
Faith is a force. It's not a belief. It is not a concept in the mind. It is knowledge from experience. Faith is the direct experience of the divine. This might sound redundant, but this is necessary to emphasize. Faith has nothing to do with speculations, scholasticism, or religious debates. When we know something from experience, our conviction is unbreakable. No outer force, no matter how strong, could break that faith.
This type of knowledge is within the heart, when we know with absolute certainty and conviction, that we have an Inner Being, that He guides and illuminates our actions in life and seeks to direct us to be in harmony and union with Him and Her. It is an unbreakable conviction that blossoms in the temple of the heart, which is why we refer to the awakening of the Inner Mind as the Doctrine of the Heart. It is a genuine type of joy and beauty when we come to know God for ourselves, to verify what the great authors have written about. We also understand that they taught a basic introduction to a limitless science, the science of one's personal knowledge of the divine, of Christ.
This experience gives us hope, for oftentimes we are overwhelmed by anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, depression, longing, or negative emotions. Faith transforms us radically and has the potential to completely illuminate our soul.
It's important to remember that this knowledge is always born within the heart and relates to this psychological center in the human machine. There's many experiences we can have in relation with superior emotion. We discussed in previous weeks how our psychology is composed of intellect, emotions, sexuality, instinct and movement, which are physical components to our body, but more importantly relate with psychological processes.
We have superior centers that don't belong to negativity or ego: superior intellect and superior emotions. It is in the superior emotional center where we experience genuine faith: that blossoming, joy and peace which is produced when we practice effectively and don't crave results, but simply let them come on their own.
The Heart Doctrine is one's knowledge of Christ. Therefore we teach that gnosis is a heart doctrine. It has nothing to do with theory, even though we study books and seek to possess a strong intellectual-spiritual culture so as to guide our heart. Book culture and knowledge by itself without the pneuma is dangerous and creates a lot of suffering, since individuals may read a lot, but have no experience of God. When we know how to experience God through practical science, discipline and methodology, then the literature becomes accessible and vivified, meaning that the knowledge in print becomes living and impregnates our heart. Even if all the demons of the ten directions, to quote Buddhist cosmology, want to pull that from you, they can't. They faith is so ingrained, is so potent, that it has the capacity to remove all obstacles.
In relation to solar conscious faith within the Heart Doctrine, we have the following passage from The Voice of the Silence, an ancient scripture transcribed by Blavatsky:
Learn above all to separate Head-learning from Soul-Wisdom, the “Eye” from the “Heart” doctrine… False learning is rejected by the Wise, and scattered to the repeat in pride: “Behold, I know,” the last, they who in humbleness Winds by the good Law. Its wheel revolves for all, the humble and the proud. The “Doctrine of the Eye” is for the crowd, the “Doctrine of the Heart,” for the elect. The first have garnered, low confess, “thus have I heard.” “Great Sifter” is the name of the “Heart Doctrine,” O disciple. ―The Voice of the Silence
The Heart Doctrine is called the "Great Sifter," just like a person would go to a river during the Gold Rush in the Yukon, sifting for gold through the riverbed soil, sifting through the coarse sand to find the purities. This is a perfect analogy for this knowledge, evidenced by the fact that only a few people are interested in these studies. We have don't have a huge auditorium with thousands of people who genuinely want to sift through the mind in order to procure the gold of the spirit, the pneuma or noumena of life, because most people are fascinated with the theories of this world. They don't have willpower to really check within themselves and comprehend their inner illusions or phenomena, to see past the teachings of the Pharisees. They lack the courage to truly investigate the science of the living bread, the מַצָּה Maztah born from interior affliction, to recognize the horrendous state we are in. Many do not want to follow the Lord's commandments, the מצוות Mizvot of God. We accomplish this through practice.
It's a sifter because, as all the initiates have taught, not many individuals want to change. Not many want to get at the heart of life, the noumena, the heart of God. Instead, people are lost in the labyrinth of phenomena. This truth was beautifully illustrated in the Greek myth of the Minotaur, whereby a maze was constructed to house this mythological beast, half man and half bull, representing our dual nature composed of both spirit, the man or pneuma, and our animalistic psychology, the lunar ego. Many would go into the maze and get lost, slain by their own internal beast. However, the great solar hero Theseus conquered entered the maze and killed the Minotaur, the animal ego.
That maze is the mind. Many go into it, few return. As Christ taught, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." ―Matthew 7:13-14.
We need courage. It is the reason why we are here in this class, because we want to know for ourselves. It takes tremendous willpower and courage to be able to come to the realization that one is ignorant, lost within the mind, and wants to know the truth.
Belief is the Eye Doctrine. Faith is the Heart Doctrine. Faith is what we know. When we know something is true, we can't deny it, even if we would lose our life, and Joan of Arc lost her life for that very reason:
“I would rather die than do something which I know to be a sin, or to be against God's will."
Knowledge or noumena of God is permanent; it cannot be forgotten. Martyrs of the past who were killed for their faith had loved God so much, their compassion for humanity was so great, that they gave their life willingly (see "The Passion of Al-Hallaj" in The Narrow Way by Samael Aun Weor, previously published as The Doomed Aryan Race). This might be inconceivable for us, swamped by our own negativity and problems, but we all have this potential for divine love within, Noetic thought or noumenal consciousness. As a foundation of this tradition, we seek to develop such compassion for self and others, borne from comprehension of the causes of suffering and the transformation of mistaken perceptions, or phenomena within.
The compassion of the Inner Mind or Christ Mind is so powerful within the initiate that he can give his life for others, such as with the crucifixion of the Master Jesus. This Master physically gave of himself completely in order to demonstrate, with his birth, life, passion, death and resurrection, this science, because his faith and love was so profound. The real initiates are always the embodiment of pure love, born from the direct knowledge and experience of the divine.
To quote Samael Aun Weor from, perhaps, the most important writings within Universal Gnosticism ever produced, an exegesis from a scripture called The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled:
Faith is pure knowledge, direct experiential wisdom. Faith has always been confused with vain beliefs; Gnostics must never make such a serious mistake. Faith is direct experience of the real, the magnificent vivification of the Inner Human Being, authentic divine cognition... Faith is the direct perception of what is real, it is fundamental wisdom; it is the experience of that which is beyond the body, the affections and the mind.
Inner spiritual experiences unfold within our perception, through the application of forces. It is the perception of the pneuma within all things. Instead of seeing phenomena, such as leaves, plants, or people, we see auras, we see thoughts, we see feelings; we experience things in a more integral way. People who want to see miracles, such as the animation of statues, which is a well-documented phenomena, or individuals walking on water, can experience a much greater miracle: the transformation of one's negative states. That is really genuine change and spiritual experience.
This should not be confused with extreme forms of asceticism, such as walking on coals, which is a 'spiritual' form of circus performances. Some people think that entering a hypnotic trance, swallowing swords, or cutting one's flesh and surviving, makes certain practitioners 'spiritual' or 'holy.'
Such acts are not genuine mystical experience, but constitute Fakirism. Fakirs develop enough willpower to withstand pain. However, Fakirism does not develop the will of the spirit. It is merely the conquering of physical sensation for that purpose alone. Willpower, increased to an infinite degree, still cannot awaken the consciousness or develop the spirit within. That is because willpower must be guided by conscious efforts, not the mechanicity of the mind.
The type of faith we speak about is about spiritual perception, whereby we see the vital elements of life, our own internal worlds, our thoughts, feelings, in a new way—typically, a good sign of deepening spiritual perception is when we see a familiar thing in a completely new way, in a way we never saw before. This is how our state should be from moment to moment. That is the direct perception of what is real: seeing things in a new way—constantly, and not to be stuck within one's mental processes, the intellect: thesis, antithesis, etc., the duality of the mind.
We find this image of Doubting Thomas serves as a representation of what the Inner Mind is. When Christ was crucified, slain, and resurrected on the third day, he returned to teach his disciples. Many of them approached Thomas and said, "The Lord is arisen!" He replied, "I don't believe you! I need to see and experience for myself." Even when before the presence of the Master, he doubted. This demonstrates the level of investigation, inquiry and criticism he had to really verify what is true. After placing his finger in the Lord's side wound, he said, "Yes. This is the Christ!" This is the type of conviction we speak of. This demonstrates to us that even if Christ is before us, we must always seek to clarify our understanding, intimately, profoundly, so that we genuinely know, and so no one can divert or mislead us, because there exist many wolves in sheep's clothing, as we mentioned.
People often criticize Doubting Thomas, that he was skeptical. He represents the science of experimentation and verification, the Buddhist philosophy of experiential wisdom, to only stand upon experiences we have tested and proven true. Skepticism belongs to the Sensual Mind, not the experiential knowledge of the Inner Mind, the Apostle Thomas.
Knowing the truth for ourselves is intuition. We've spoken previously about imagination, inspiration, intuition, the three obligatory steps to initiation. Imagination is the perception of images or phenomena. Inspiration is the realization that there is a symbol involved, whether we see one in meditation or we perceive life in a new way—we feel inspired with cognizance, we feel that there is some meaning in this event or situation, in one's internal states or conscious sentiment, known as superior emotion. Intuition is comprehension, when we know something in our heart completely, and nothing can divert us.
This is the type of faith that Thomas had in relation with Christ. He only accepted what came from God, and we should do the same, meaning that as much as we have books, or as much as we have lectures and classes, what's important is to really receive that knowledge from God, to understand it in meditation. Our Inner Buddha, our Inner Christ—He is the teacher, the prophet, the messenger. We each have our own, therefore we must seek to investigate this so that we can verify these teachings for ourselves in more depth.
I'd like to quote for you the great Master Morya from The Dayspring of Youth, who talks about faith very beautifully. He describes faith as a manifestation of force, as the utilization of force. As we mentioned earlier, when we awaken our perception, we perceive forces in a new way—we perceive the energy behind phenomena. This perception is fueled precisely by that force, relating to Eros, the sexual energy. Eros awakens psyche.
Throughout The Dayspring of Youth, Master Morya describes how it is by this Determinative Energy that the yogi receives his or her strength and capacity for meditation or spiritual practice. It is this energy that fuels one's faith, one's internal experience, for as we find in the first commandment of Moshe, "You shall love thy God with all thy heart (emotional brain), with all thy mind (intellectual brain), with all thy soul (conscious will), and with all thy strength (bodily energies, especially the forces we carry within sex)." This energy, known as Kundalini in the east, has the power to transform us radically and elevate us to real faith.
Here we think a note upon faith should be of interest. Initiates say that its meaning has been misunderstood. Faith, as the world uses it, possesses no spiritual nature; though in the secondary system it means power and energy applied to action. All success in Yoga comes from this application; for the true quality of faith is a Solar force that illumines the mind and attracts to it atoms of power and energy. More human wrecks have resulted from the misconception of this quality than man realises. ―M. The Dayspring of Youth
So it's a force, the solar energy we have in our breath, in our body, within our sexual energy, within our psyche. Eros has the capacity to awaken us completely, which is discussed in literature such as The Perfect Matrimony, how a married couple can fully awaken that sexual force in order to awaken the Kundalini completely, the solar force, which can rise within the spinal column to illuminate the mind and then the heart. This is the path of initiation.
Single individuals can also practice with the solar force, but with less power, developing what can be called genuine faith. As Morya indicates, faith is not belief. It is intention and will, with force, applied to action. This is why James the Apostle stated:
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. ―James 2:20-26
You can believe in something, but if you don't practice, if you don't have the energy or force to fulfill practices of concentration, meditation, and samadhi, then one's faith is meaningless. It is then not genuine faith, the solar force applied to action. The solar force grants us the entire capacity to develop real faith and change within. To believe without working in transmutation is to be dead. The corpse of exoteric Christian religion is a testament to this fact.
If we possess even a grain of faith, it has the potential and capacity to remove any obstacle. When we have true conviction and knowledge, when we really experience God and apply his teachings to our life, we can overcome any difficulty. This is why Christ said:
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. ―Matthew 17:20
Even if we have one small experience, a moment of comprehension, which is something we all have, since we are interested in these studies, we are propelled to want to work on ourselves, to change, to be inspired, to want to practice, to want to learn real religion. It is this grain or seed that can blossom into a Tree of Life. It is the solar sexual force, the Determinative Energy of God, that grants us the ability to transform us radically.
Relating to this, we say that the Egyptian Tarot is the Hebraic Torah, meaning "law." These are different laws that govern our universe and psychological experience, mapped out by the Initiatic Kabbalah. We study in Gnostic Kabbalah the twenty-two major arcana of the Tarot, as well as the minor arcana. The first card is the Magician, who initiates every genuine spiritual work. The Hebrew letter associated with this card is א Aleph, the wind or breath associated with the sacred name of God, "Eheieh Asher Eheieh"—"I Am that I Am," which is what God, or better said, Kether on the Tree of Life, the Burning Bush, said to Moses in Exodus 3:14.
א Aleph is the wind, the breath of pranayama or alchemy that transmutes the sexual matter into solar force of Christ. Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet—it is what initiates within us. The breath is in itself the solar force that we harness through pranayama and alchemy. It is the energy that grants us the capacity to change.
The blood in our body is the medium or means of transmission of that force. Blood in Hebrew is דם "Dam." When we breathe, we assimilate oxygen into our body, which mixes with our blood. א Aleph enters our blood, or דם Dam. א Aleph with ד Daleth, ם Mem is אדם Adam, the man made into the image of God. Therefore it is through the science of the breath where we accumulate solar force, and as the Master Morya explained, it is the solar force applied to action that constitutes real faith. Therefore if we do not transmute, we have no real faith.
I'm now going to describe a practice for you that can be performed in the morning hours. This is known as the runic exercises. What I want you to focus on is the Rune Man (see the figure on the right within the image). We have a man standing with his arms raised to heaven, this is the position of the rune. Simply put, this is the man made into the image of God, the symbol of Christ crucified with his hands and feet nailed to the cross, supplicating to God to be redeemed of his suffering.
Now when we say this represents the man, we are not excluding women, because the word "man" comes from the Sanskrit Manas, which means mind. Or better said, intuitive mind—Inner Mind. And when we say "human being," we are referring Hum, the Spirit, the Pneuma or Noumena within a person, that works as breath upon the mind. Therefore a real man or human being is the Spirit-Man, the Spirit-Mind, the Inner Mind. So as a posture, the Rune Man helps us awaken our Manas, or Inner Mind, through transmutation—the breath It is a yogic position than can be practiced in the early hours of the morning or at night. Those are good times to practice due to the energies present.
Again, with the assimilation of the breath, the Prana, the Christic force of the morning hours, which vibrates very intensely, this energy has the capacity to stimulate and awaken our consciousness, to develop what we call genuine faith. In this runic position, we pronounce a prayer, known as the prayer to the Solar Logos, as explained in Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic by Samael Aun Weor, in which we say:
Oh Thou, Solar Logos, Igneous Emanation, substance and consciousness of Christ, powerful life whereby everything advances, come unto me and penetrate me, enlighten me, bathe me, go through me and awaken within my Being all of those ineffable substances that are as much a part of Thee as a part of me.
Universal and cosmic force, mysterious energy, I conjure Thee, come unto me, remedy my affliction, cure me from this illness and take apart from me this suffering so I can have harmony, peace and health.
I ask Thee in thy sacred name, which the Mysteries and the Gnostic Church have taught me, so Thou can make all of the mysteries of this plane and superior planes vibrate within me, and that all of those forces together may achieve the miracle of my healing. So be it.
Remember that the Magician, from the first arcanum of the eternal tarot, assimilates the א Aleph, the Prana, the Christ force, which as Morya stated is the potency of real faith. Next, in this position, we repeatedly pronounce a sacred mantra:
OM TAT SAT
This mantra was mentioned in The Voice of the Silence, a holy scripture transcribed by the Master Blavatsky. OM generates and transmutes sexual power to the heart, awakens our superior emotional center. OM is prolonged. TAT, SAT, pronounced TAHT, SAHT, is short. These latter two mantras open the spiritual and psychic atmosphere around us, so as to bring down the forces of the Ain Soph Aur, the Limitless Light of Christ, and כתר Kether, since TAT reminds us of the Hebrew letter ת Tav, which is the central letter in the word Kether, signifying "seal," "covenant," "perfection," "completion." SAT is the Seity beyond Kether, the Solar Absolute. These mantras are exceptionally powerful, helping us to vibrate with the solar Christ forces of faith through the transmutation of our sexual energies.
Pneuma, or spirit, relates with the word pneumonia, which is a problem with breathing, indicating that the spirit is associated with the breath. When we talk about the science of energy, breath is highly important. Pneuma relates with pranayama, the science of breathing, in that the spirit has the capacity to generate and open a type of mind which is in harmony with Christ, the divine source, the divine intelligence. Let us recall that the runic exercises are a combination of meditation, prayer, and pranayama, which works with the erotic force. The psyche, as described in the Greek myth, is very asleep, and only Eros, the divine power of God harnessed through the science of breath and divine sexual energy, has the potential to awaken us spiritually. This is known in the traditions of alchemy and Tantra in the east.
We can do this mantra, OM TAT SAT, as long as we like within the position of the Rune Man. In the beginning we can practice for fifteen minutes, resting our arms down when we need to, then continuing with the prayer with the position of this rune, since it can be hard in the beginning to hold up our arms for a long period of time. We need to accustom the body through practice, as with any Yogic discipline. When we pray, or rest our arms, we should place our hands over our heart, with the right hand over the left, as in the style of the Egyptian initiates, since the right hand is solar and the left, lunar. The solar forces must conquer the lunar forces of our Sensual and Intermediate Minds, represented by how we place our hands on our heart (Tiphereth, our will).
This exercise, as part of the Nordic Runes, comes from the Nordic alphabet, which have an intimate relationship with the Hebrew alphabet. This is well discussed in the Runes Course on the gnosticteachings website.
Morya taught the Nordic runes to his disciples, and these exercises are alluded to in his book The Dayspring of Youth, specifically in how we invoke Christic, Transformation and Aspiration Atoms in order to develop solar faith. Through this invocation to Christ, with our eyes closed in prayer, focusing on our breath, we also imagine the solar light is entering our palms and breath in order to strengthen our soul. These practices charge our body, soul, and Spirit with Christ, and in turn constitute the martial arts or Judo of the Spirit.
Particularly in relation with faith, the Rune Man helps us in the generation of spiritual force, which grants us the capacity to awaken our consciousness and the Inner Mind. This grants us more peace and the ability to concentrate, helping us as a precursor to meditation.
So this relates with faith because it is energy applied to action. To clarify this further, Morya elaborates in The Dayspring of Youth:
When Jesus used this word in the sentence, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed,” He meant that one could work miracles if one possessed the atomic energy contained within a mustard seed. But in this world of illusion this is reversed, and the weak man sits still and believes that all will be applied to him if he has faith. It is not a force that should only be applied to religious belief. It is the power of the Innermost working through the densities of our bodies, and the more we respond to it the greater will be our powers.
The physical body is very dense, polluted with negative elements from the psyche. The runic exercises bring in the solar force, elevates our vibration, literally Christifying the body, little by little. Faith, therefore, is the power of the solar logos in the body applied through conscious action. With this, the real Man, the real Human Being, is developed, particularly through the rites of Sexual Magic within the Perfect Matrimony.
We always need to feel inspired in our hearts when we practice. That sincerity is what gives us strength and the capacity to effectively apply these techniques.
The Inner Mind and Mystical Death
It's difficult in the beginning to learn how to activate and generate that force. Later it is a matter of controlling it. With time, we learn how to apply that force in our daily life and in meditation, and this is where the teachings of mystical death come into play.
Once we activate the solar force, we become sensitive, and our psychological elements of anger, pride, and lust will attempt to use that energy in the wrong way. This is why self-restraint is essential within all teachings of genuine yoga, and how this energy is the foundation for helping us dominate the mind.
Whether or not we were practicing such things like Milarepa in the past, we all have some level of iniquity within, with pride, anger, vanity, etc., which we need to know how to renounce and to eliminate through practical meditation. If we do not remove those elements, then we will not grow spiritually and will not change. But when someone has comprehension that anger, pride, and vanity cause suffering for oneself and for others, we say, "I will not act on anger." This restraint is the beginning of mystical death, the restraint on the mind in order to stop feeding the ego. The less we feed the ego, the more we kill it. It starts to wither and die, but as a consequence, it fights to keep its life. The more we know how to restrain our mind and to kill the ego, the more we awaken the Inner Mind.
This is why the initiates of the past gave different commandments for their disciples to follow, so as to assist in the mystical death of the ego, such as, “Do not lie. Do not kill.” While this has physical applications, this really refers to not speak words of anger, to not indulge in pride, to not indulge in lust, psychologically speaking. It has to do with how we control our mind.
We need this force, so when this force is activated we can initiate a new way of seeing, a new way of living. It’s necessary to learn how to control the mind.
The runes are a form of pranayama as have mentioned. Prana is Christ. Yama in Buddhism is death. It means “to yoke” or “to control,” but it also means “death.” Prana also means life. Therefore we have life and death within this practice, since it is the power of life and death, Shiva-Shakti, creator and destroyer. We find Prana in the air we breathe, but also in our semen, which is condensed and materialized Prana. We therefore seek to awaken the forces of life, but also death, in order to control the mind and eliminate its defects in meditation.
Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Great Rebellion:
The Angel of Death has the key to nature’s laboratory in his right hand. We can learn very little from the phenomenon of birth, but from death we can learn everything. The unprofaned temple of pure science is found in the depths of the dark sepulcher. If the seed does not die, the plant is not born. Only with death comes forth what is new. When the ego dies, the consciousness awakens to see the reality of all of Nature’s phenomena in and of themselves. ―Samael Aun Weor
So again, noumena, real faith. The transmutation of our energies is birth. But then we also have to learn how to control the mind, so this can produce mystical death. Therefore this is self-observation, self-restraint of our desires. Control the mind. Do not act or speak in harmful ways. Do not indulge in intoxicants or drugs. These are basic tenets of religion that have a foundation in this practice, because with the accumulation of solar force, we have greater potential not only to do good, but to do harm. This is why individuals such as Hitler were so dangerous, because he had so much force, but channeled it through his anger, thus destroying millions of people. That's how powerful this energy is, that if we know how to control, we can become like Jesus, leading millions of people. This relates to the science of good and evil, the tree of knowledge.
Another simple practice when we sit to meditate after working with the Rune Man is to observe the mind. Don’t think or occupy yourself with a certain image. Simply observe the mind as it is, be aware of the energies present. See what emerges. You will find that with this energy you will see a lot more. This is a simple exercise, but also very difficult, because the mind always wants to think about something. This is how the mind distracts us, wanting to abuse this energy in order to think, to think, to think. Or the emotional brain or center wants to indulge in anger, pride, or resentment. So after this practice, just sit and observe, so we can become more familiar with our internal worlds. It will give us more solidarity in our practice.
That is the beginning of mystical death, having restraint of the mind. Then when we learn to perceive in the moment, we develop genuine faith, because we see what in us in negative and what in us is positive. It is the awakening of the Inner Mind that provides us with the perception of the ego, so we can separate ourselves from it, comprehend it, and eradicate those defects.
It is through death that the Inner Mind awakens. The more ego we eliminate, the more consciousness and aspects of the Inner Mind develop. So it begins with saving our energies and transmuting, to not justify or repress defects in self-observation, but to comprehend them. We must not constantly swing between these extremes, which is known by the law of the pendulum, but to be equilibrated.
To conclude, we say that humility is the gateway to genuine faith. When we humble ourselves, such as through the Rune Man, we invite the solar logos into our home, meaning our body, in order to elevate our level of being. When we make this our foundation, we initiate a new way of being as exemplified by the Magician of the Tarot.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. ―Isaiah 40:4
Be humble, if thou would’st attain to Wisdom. Be humbler still, when Wisdom thou hast mastered. ―The Voice of the Silence, H. P. Blavatsky
Questions and Answers
Audience: You brought up a good point there about humility and about temptation. Pride can be insidious, but by developing humility that can off-set that. It’s easy, the temptation to almost be an elitist. It’s latent, I think, and its dangerous, and you brought that out when saying humility is important. As you discover these things, you might feel, “I’m one of the elect.” Or it could sneak in like a serpent, but to be aware of it is good.
Instructor: I will tell you a story that happened to me many years ago when I first started this type of teaching. I awoke in the astral plane and I asked my Being to take me to Egypt. So I found myself, through His power, going through the earth, and, whish, came out flying over the city of Cairo. It was very dark and obscure, nearly impossible to see anything. I flew over to the pyramids of Giza, where exists a great temple of the White Lodge, a very ancient place that has a lot of power, since the angels and Masters of Egypt are working there very intensely to help humanity. Mozart, the great composer, received an initiation in that temple.
So I wanted to gain access to the grounds there. When I approached the gate, the entrance, a guardian stopped me. I couldn’t see him, but I felt that he had a dagger pointed at my throat, and I was stunned when he said, with great severity, “Many are called… FEW are chosen!” I then returned to my body (snaps fingers) like that.
This experience haunts me still today, because the dagger symbolizes treason, and the fact that it was pointed at the throat is highly significant. If we transpose the Tree of Life upon the human body, the throat represents דעת Da’ath, which in Hebrew means “knowledge” or gnosis. It refers to the sexual teaching, the knowledge of using the creative energies in the right way. This was a humbling experience, because even if one has a lot of experiences, or is a missionary and instructor, practicing for many years, there is no guarantee that one is saved. One is only saved after the complete annihilation of the ego.
This Egyptian initiate did me a great service by humbling me, because I felt proud to be able to travel out of my body and visit temples of the White Lodge. He really put me in my place, for “Be humble to attain enlightenment, but after attaining it,” through having numerous Samadhis and mystical exaltations, “be humbler still.” This initiate told me this fact, that “Many are called… few are chosen.” Just because I am called here to teach this science, does not guarantee I will succeed. What matters is mystical death.
The Egyptian guardian sent me back to my body because I was not worthy to enter this temple. The experience he gave me indicates that by remaining faithful to the science of sexual energy and meditation, we do not betray the Lord. When we use our energies through vocalizations, we produce transmutation. Therefore, we must never cease in transmutation, and to never fornicate. Otherwise we will not be one of the few.
To have a dagger at one’s throat, as in my experience, tells us, “Be careful with how you use this energy!” If we use it in the wrong way, it will slay us. But if we know how to use it well, it becomes our sword for battle. If we know how to restrain our minds, we can enter the temples. But if we are like donkeys, kicking, flailing, and not obeying the Good Law, when we do not know how to submit to God, we will not be admitted.
Even if this might be a disturbing story, it was tremendously helpful, an honor to be instructed in such a way. It continues to push me to practice very hard.
So work with the Rune Man. It is very powerful. More questions or comments?
Audience: When you say conjure, what does that mean? Does it mean to evoke, to call on some entity?
Instructor: We have available the Gnostic Prayer Book, which contains prayers from most of the major traditions. It says here, "To conjure, comes from the Latin cum-jurare," meaning "to swear together." It means to invoke a superior force in order to be in communion with it. This indicates that we are asking a being to resonate with the Christ-force. So in the prayer to the solar logos, we say, "I conjure Thee!" we invoke the Lord so we are in harmony with Him. When we conjure, we bring down, we invoke the Christ.
Audience: And when you're trying to distance yourself from a negative force, you can use conjurations for that purpose?
Instructor: Yes, the conjurations have that purpose. When we conjure a being, we are commanding, "Swear with me that you are with Christ!" If they are not with Christ, they will show us through their actions that they do not swear on it. Then you will know you are with a demon. This relates with internal experiences, to awaken within dream yoga. Prayers to invoke Christ have the power to protect us.
When we assimilate Christ-force, we have the struggle with the mind, but also with outside negative forces that seek to deter us. However, this is nothing to be afraid of. It is very common for the one who matures and has experience, so they learn how to deal with those types of forces. The way that we learn to manage the negative energies of other beings is by controlling our own mind.
Audience: We're having access to this knowledge now. It certainly gives us pause for thought, really. Not only to reflect on, but to get into certain practices. You pass cemeteries, and there's millions of people there. Some of them went along with conventional religion. We students are a minority here, I believe. We're trying to open our minds up. Where do these souls end up if they didn't even know about this path? They were incarnated on this planet, and all you see are their headstones. This is the reality. They were human beings once, and all there is left are their decaying, organic remains in the ground. Where is this reservoir of souls? What's their destiny? They didn't even have access to thinking like this! They maybe went once a week to church on Sundays, and the most edifying thing they were thinking about was, "What are we going to have for supper tonight?" You know what I am saying? These are very profound subjects!
Instructor: The truth is, many decades ago, or better said, many centuries ago, people did not have access to this knowledge, yet they have returned in order to be given the chance to change. Right now, this knowledge is being given openly.
Those who are given the chance, but don't take it, they descend, they go towards what is called the Second Death.
Audience: Do those souls who never knew about this knowledge get punished? It would seem the vast majority of mankind was never exposed to this science!
Instructor: The truth is now this knowledge is being given openly. Anybody can get it. But people have to want it. They have to search. Those who have no longings, who don't search, are what we call "empty houses." They're dead already, which is why Christ said, "Let the dead bury their dead."
Audience: But there were a lot of people who would have. They just had no knowledge; they didn't have negative intent. They were incarnated...
Instructor: Those people who are sincere and want to change, and who have the capacity to change, they are given the opportunity. But they have to work to get it. It's learning to swim against the tide, and those who show that they want to change, even if they have no books or no knowledge, they WILL find the teachings. They will find them. All of us have been like that.
Christ said, "Out of a thousand who seek me, one finds me. Out of a thousand who find me, one follows me. Out of a thousand who follow me, one is mine. And out of a thousand who are mine, one knows me perfectly." Those who search, many times they get lost, because they're not strong enough. Those who are strong, who reject the orthodox teachings, they find the secret path, eventually, because God is pushing SO hard, even if the person breaks. Personally that is what I experienced, the breaking point, where real humility and acceptance is born, so as to find this knowledge.
Many run away from death, ignoring that death is the path to life. Those who are really searching for the knowledge really want to die in their defects, and when a person really wants to change fundamentally in that way, the angels look down and say, "Look! Help him or her!" They give you everything you need, and in accordance with Karma, sometimes those people have to suffer a lot in order to receive this wisdom. Since after that suffering and by finding this teaching, one experiences great joy and can finally appreciate the value of it. There are many who come and find this teaching, out of curiosity, and thereafter leave, developing nothing spiritually. Those who suffer the most comprehend this knowledge in depth, and thereafter they develop more faith. "For in much knowledge is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." (Ecclesiastes 1:18).
It's not that people were never given the chance. Everyone is given the opportunity, but there's work involved. In the past it was way more difficult to find this knowledge, because the great colleges of initiation were kept private. But times have changed. What was very difficult to find decades ago is now openly available. People are searching and able to find this science easily. The search was hard in the past for disciples like Gurdjieff, who eventually entered into an initiatic order and attained Mastery. This shows that those who really wanted the knowledge, found it. But they had to weep tears of blood to really get to it.
The truth is that now this knowledge is given openly, most people don't take it. Those who want Gnosis will find it. God ensures that the sincere devotee will find it. Whether the soul takes it is up to individual will. But those who genuinely want it, have suffered a lot, and develop very strong faith like Milarepa, since he realized how much harm he caused and feels true repentance. This is generally what it takes to really enter the path.
In the past, there was the excuse that one couldn't find the knowledge. It was extremely hard to find schools of initiation. In these times, there's no excuse. Everything is given openly and for almost for free. The books are not for profit, and the proceeds go towards future publications, and to maintain our website. There's no monetary gain here. It's solely for the dissemination of the teachings of Samael Aun Weor.
Whoever does not want gnosis, it's their choice. But there is no excuse now. This is why it was stated in Jeremiah 21:8, "Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death." How we use our sexual energy determines whether we walk the way of life or the way of death, again relating to Prana (life) and yama (death).
Those who found the knowledge, now it's just a matter of study and practice, applying and experimenting with the different exercises. It is hard to learn how to practice effectively, but we learn little by little, generating true faith, joy, and happiness, inspiring us to continue working. Since with "Faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains." We can take this a step further through Nietzsche's postulation:
"And the lover of knowledge (gnosis) shall learn to build with mountains. It means little that the spirit moves mountains. Did you know that?” --Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: On the Famous Wise Men
This means to build with spirit through initiation.
Audience: Master Samael mentioned that each soul revolves through the Wheel of Samsara three thousand times in one of his books. This is in relation to your comment about individual souls that are searching but simply, because of their own will, do not find the path. They're drawn away by their own egotism or outside influences. As souls suffer tremendously through this Wheel of Samsara, do they build Dharma even if they do not enter the Direct Path?
Instructor: There's knowledge gained, but it is minor in comparison to the Direct Path. There are different paths in the development of the soul. Many simply incarnate, suffer in life and die, going to the abyss to be disintegrated, and returning once again to through progressive incarnations through mineral, plant, and animal consciousness, until becoming humanoid once again. That is one rotation of the Wheel of Samsara. Those souls that definitively do not want realization proceed on such a path, until finally, after the 3000th turn, are reabsorbed back into the Absolute. There is knowledge gained, but nothing in comparison to an initiate of the Straight Path, who consciously works towards realization. You can read more about this in The Mystery of the Golden Blossom by Samael Aun Weor.
Audience: What is the role of Purgatory in esotericism?
Instructor: Purgatory is a place of suffering like hell, but for the conscious purification of sins. It refers to processes of initiation, and is not simply a place of condemnation as misrepresented in many religions. It refers to a process of paying penance, purifying the mind while ascending to God. In hell, it's the opposite. One distances from God and suffers terribly, without gaining spiritual development. Purgatory is an ascension towards God, where the initiate works to unite with God by paying the Karma of their past actions through mystical death. This is the Second Mountain mentioned by Samael Aun Weor in The Three Mountains, entitled the Mountain of Resurrection (or mystical death).
To conclude, what we need most is practice, to develop real faith. Without practice, all of this is just conjecture. What's the point? It applies once we know how to awaken our pneuma, our noumena within through spiritual experience. These are interesting things to know, but don't let it just sit in your intellect. For with faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move, or climb, mountains. This has to do with how we use our seminal seed in order to change psychologically.
(Manjushri cutting through illusion with
the sword of Prajna: wisdom or insight)
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Psychology, a course originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
So when we meditate, what we always seek is information. This type of information always carries with itself a psychological flavor of the new. So every time we sit to practice, we should really have the sensation, or the experience, that we are seeing things in a new way. If when we sit to practice and observe the contents of our mind, we perceive everything in a dull way, then we are not awakening the consciousness, the Buddhata, or the Essence. This clear observation of oneself is what Samael Aun Weor referred to as Mo Chao. Mo signifies "serenity," Chao indicates "reflection."
We find Mo Chao expressed in the writings of Samael Aun Weor multiple times when he refers to it as concentration and imagination. Concentration in itself is a serene state. It is a state of awareness or equanimity in which the mind is in silence. This can only be achieved by learning to pay attention, to direct attention. We do this through a moment to moment effort—to be aware of ourselves in whatever circumstance. We have to examine whatever impressions of life enter our mind and psyche in order to stimulate reactions within ourselves.
We can say, in synthesis, that the master work of esotericism, of meditation and these types of esoteric studies, is learning how to control and understand the mind and its relationships with impressions. It is a moment to moment effort. It is a moment to moment work. When we truly understand the nature of the mind itself and its hypnotism, the many ways in which thoughts, desires, and impulses really control us, we begin to take life as type of work. Concentration is really the key to understanding the vast breadth and depth of the science of meditation.
So while we study kabbalah, alchemy, tantra, astrology, tarot, the tree of life, the tree of knowledge, chakras, and many others subjects, when we don't know how to meditate, all of this esoteric knowledge is really quite useless. If we don't know how to pay attention from moment to moment, they are useless. If we have a psychology that's complacent with sloth, inaction, and lack of attention, if our consciousness is asleep by indiscriminately taking in impressions, when the mind constantly reacts without our comprehension, knowing kabbalah and alchemy will not help us. In fact, what we will have is a lot of indigestion. To really benefit from the science of the tree of life, in general, we need meditation.
It is learning how to discipline the mind itself that will allow us to make it an instrument in which our Inner Divinity can act through us. It's by learning how to concentrate, to achieve a serene mind, like a lake which can reflect the Being itself, that opens to door to self-knowledge. This spark of intuition and comprehension doesn't have to be just when we sit to meditate, when we close our eyes to the world and enter into our own internal worlds. In every moment we can and must learn to let the Being act within our three brains, here and now.
So when we talk about concentration and learning to pay attention, we're talking about the psyche, the soul itself. This is very distinct and different from what we term personality and what we term ego. If we're honest with ourselves and observe our actions and habits and thoughts, really we can see that the mind is in control of us, and not the other way around. The personality, which takes in the impressions of life, misinterprets everything—it receives impressions and sends them to the wrong centers. Therefore, the personality does not comprehend the nature of those impressions. When we talk about impressions we're talking about the very experience of life itself. As I was saying, the work is learning how to transform impressions.
This is the basis of Gnosis. Gnosis is about transformation. We refer to this work as a revolution. It is really a spiritual war, but not against anyone outside of us. As much as we like to point and blame other people for our problems, this is a war against ourselves. This is what the Prophet Muhammad called jihad—or better said jihad al-akbar, meaning, the Greater Striving or Holy War. When he was asked by his disciples, as documented in the Hadith or Muslim oral tradition, the Companions of the Prophet asked him what is greater: war against the infidels outside of us, or against ourselves. Prophet Muhammad said that war against yourself is by far most important. The Greater Holy War or Striving really takes precedence and priority.
In relation to concentration, the transformation of impressions is about learning how to transform what we perceive. The senses and the mind are like a great battlefield because we are constantly receiving the many impressions of life, whether tactile, sensory, auditory, visual, olfactory, etc., yet we do not comprehend the nature of what it is we perceive. It is enough to try to sit in meditation for an hour and remember everything you did in the day. If you do not remember certain events, if there are tremendous gaps in your memory, it's because you were asleep as a psyche, as a consciousness or soul.
This is especially true if we live in the cities where we are constantly bombarded by information. This is especially difficult. We rarely comprehend the intrinsic nature of what we perceive, since what we know how to do is react towards life, without comprehending and responding with cognizance, peace, and love. We don't really see the depth of the phenomenon that reach us. In synthesis, it's a misinterpretation of impressions that creates problems for ourselves, such as in our interrelationships with people.
Generally, what we disagree with in another person is our impressions of that person, not their soul. We can't really say that in this state of mind that we have, we perceive the inherent nature of a person. In the level in which we currently exist on the tree of life (Malkuth, the physical plane), what we exclusively perceive are images and phenomena, impressions or semblances of things. This is well documented in Plato's Allegory of the Cave in The Republic. Now, it's completely different thing to see the noumena of a person (noumena relates with Nous, Spirit, the very essence of a human being, the divinity within a person). Generally, what we see is body, hair, personality, habits, customs, attitudes, etc., and we characterize that as a person that we know.
However, we make a very clear distinction: it's a very different thing to know a person and to observe a person. We think we know people, but we don't, because we have never made the attempt to observe another human being with clairvoyance.
To say that I know a person is to say something along these lines: "Oh, I can see every atom that so-and-so has in his body." Such a Noetic type of perception is related with very elevated aspects of consciousness, related with the tree of life—superior states of consciousness where you can perceive the atoms and molecules of a person. It's conventionalism, but funny when we say "I know a person," because the truth is we really don't comprehend others in the objective sense, let alone our own selves! It's another thing to observe the fact that our friend or neighbor has a lot of anger, that such an ego is strong in him or her, to really see this person for who or what they are, and not by our mistranslation of their impressions. This is really where we get into a lot of conflict—every person sees life in a completely different way from everybody else. In the true sense of the word, every person is a world in himself, with his own concepts, beliefs, theories, prejudices, enemies, hatreds, defects, and what not. The mind is always projecting these self-delusions, this self-hypnosis onto the screen of our experience.
In general, we have not developed concentration in order to have a mind that receives the impressions of life without becoming disturbed, projecting reactions outwards. This is where a lot of conflicts arise. Our interrelations with other people falls in the sphere of what Prophet Muhammad called jihad al-asgar, the lesser holy war. This refers to how you try to help others by teaching the truth, by being a good example, by transforming your mind in order to be of benefit to humanity. We do not wage war through violence, but with compassion. We do not conquer injustice with evil, but by performing good. However, these ideas are meaningless if we don't understand ourselves in practice.
It's enough to sit in meditation and to really observe the contents of our mind to see that we really don't have any control. This is a truly necessary step to realize in ourselves, that we don't have control. This lack of organization, coherence, and order in our psyche is what Gurdjieff referred to as the Tower of Babel, relating with three lower types of individuals in psychological hierarchy, persons who gravitate more or less towards one of the three brains. In gnosis when referring to a brain, we are not referring to physical matter alone, but a psychological aspect of ourselves, a machine that processes psychological, spiritual, and bodily energies. A brain transforms energies, interprets information, and allows us to function in life. So when speaking about the three brains of Gnostic esoteric psychology, we have people who are very instinctive, relating with the motor-instinctive-sexual brain. Then we have an emotional type of individual who is always reacting, who is always sentimental, responding with emotions and gravitating to the heart. Then we have the intellectual type individual who interprets the impressions of life in a very intellectual way and always rationalizes.
We say that the consciousness is not prohibited or limited to any of these three aspects of ourselves. We can consider the three brains as three floors of a factory. The intellect is where we have thesis and antithesis, the heart is where we have like and dislike, and the motor brain is related with action: to do or not to do. This is really the basic machinery of our psyche and physiology. We find that by learning concentration through meditative practice, we see that our impulses, whether predominately intellectual, emotional or instinctual, are constantly arising in ourselves moment by moment. We don't have much control over that. This is really the source of our problems, for as Socrates taught us, "Ignorance is the greatest sin."
Every problem that we face in life is a result of our own minds. It is not the result of what other people say, do, think, feel, or act. Really, the reason we suffer is because of ourselves. We can't blame anyone for the diverse unpleasant circumstances of life, but generally our tendency is to absolve our own culpability and mark others as responsible for our sufferings. The more we learn to meditate to develop serenity of mind, the more we begin to perceive all of this. If we're really honest with ourselves, we will see that this is not pleasant. To see that we are responsible for all the problems that we face takes tremendous courage. We really can't judge other people. This is why Jesus said, "Judge not that you be not judged," because when you take in the impressions of a person and you interpret and make judgments about those impressions, you create suffering for yourself and your neighbor. We are always filled with justifications, "Well I know this person," and therefore we criticize and cause problems. Our critics and enemies are going to do the same to us as we do to them. It's the Law of the Talion, reciprocal violence. This doesn't mean physical violence—it could be of an emotional nature. It could be a battle and argument of ideas, polemics, philosophies, etc., in the mind. We are always misusing our three brains, here and now.
Generally, when there's a conflict of this type between people it's because they’re not aware of their own psychology. Like Prophet Muhammad said, people want to fight other people without wanting to take responsibility for their own crimes. Few people ever fight against themselves and their own defects. This is what a Master or a Buddha is: someone who has conquered their very inferior nature—a warrior like Arjuna in the Mahabharata who fought against the multitude of his family members, a conglomerate representing his own egos, defects, vices and errors. As the Prophet Muhammad said, "Happy is he who finds fault with himself rather than faults with others." Really we shouldn't be looking at the mote in the other person's eye. We have to develop awareness of ourselves. This awareness is the beginning and the ending. It is our goal and our purpose. Everything else comes second.
The practice of meditation is what facilitates this understanding. It is learning how to pay attention, and as I said, this doesn't just come about when we sit to practice. It is a moment to moment effort to be vigilant. Many traditions have used different terms like vigilance, mindfulness, awareness, self-observation and self-remembering, or dhikr (remembrance), muhasabah (self-accounting) and muhadarah (awareness) within Sufism. Many traditions refer to this. The important thing is that we do it. And this always comes about through struggle. I'm not referring to the exertion of the mind, when the mind struggles with itself and when we seek to repress our defects, because that does not produce harmony. It is the Buddha-nature, the divine principle that we have within, that has to discipline the mind. So the efforts that were talking about are conscious efforts, not forced exertion of the intellect upon the different centers of our human machine.
In relations with the field of impressions and understanding the very experience of life itself, we refer to the observation of mind itself. Generally if we've been in these studies for a while, we will be very familiar with these terms: repression, justification and comprehension. So in the field of observation and the field of concentration, when we face the impressions of life and try to understand them in a very integral way, we will come across a common problem (which is really an inevitable problem). It relates with repression and justification, and both of these constitute an identification with phenomenon.
It's one thing when we receive a pleasant impression and we like to justify our craving for something. It might be of a lustful nature. We see someone of the opposite sex and that lustful defect emerges within our perception and tries to justify taking in that impression of the opposite sex in order to feed itself, so that it grows stronger. While this is a big difficulty for the disciple of genuine religion, we have another problem—the complete opposite, called repression. This is where we begin to see the many defects of our psychology that arise within us from moment to moment and we, as the mind, don't like to see that. Therefore we push it away from our mind and understanding without comprehending the defect in question. This is called repression. Neither of these constitute what is called real discrimination, comprehension, real awareness.
What we seek is third force, a third factor. In other terms we can refer to the three forces as affirmation, negation, and reconciliation. Gurdjieff, who was the founder of the Fourth Way school, taught that humanity is third force blind. Generally in relation to the three brains of our anatomy, our psychology, we are always acting "either/or," and generally, we don't learn to see from a comprehensive, synthetic perspective. For instance, you see this in a lot of political debate, in which things are very two sided: "either you are with our part or you are against us." There generally isn't a middle ground—there isn’t comprehension of another path between the two. There is no synthesis in which there would exist a type of unanimity between two contrasting parties.
In philosophy, one movement emerges from another one in order to negate the former, and then another branch of thought comes to negate what was negated in the previous one. This, really, is important in relation to our psychology, because we are doing this on a moment to moment basis with the very contents of our mind. We might have a thought and we might justify it in a given instant. We're affirming something very adamantly about a certain issue, concern, or problem. We feel that "this is an essential part of myself," like "my pride." If someone congratulates me, we say to ourselves, "I like to justify that because it makes me feel good." And then there may be another moment, maybe within five minutes, when someone says something really critical or negative. Shame emerges and we say, "Oh, I'm such a terrible person." Therefore, we constantly swing between justification and repression.
We are constantly filled with these types of contradictions, and yet the illusion, the hypnotism, of the mind is so terrible that we really feel we are individuals, that we possess an individual will. We believe we are uniform and we are not. When we talk about self-hood or ego, which in Latin means "I," we're talking about a multiplicity. We're talking about the multifarious nature of the mind that is always contradicting itself. There really is no consistency. In one moment, anger emerges. Someone says something to hurt us and then another element comes up, "Oh, I forgive that person," and then another element cries, "Oh, I'm very happy!" or "Oh I want to go ride my bike." We are the riddle of the sphinx, composed of multiple elements, yet without understanding of who we are. We are merely a conglomerate of conflicting animal impulses and desires.
In mental dynamics and the comprehension of the mind itself, these first two principles are known as affirmation and negation. In relation with the field of practical life, we either find agreeable or disagreeable impressions. We tend to either affirm or we reject impressions. Our mind will react in either two ways: favorable or unfavorable. Very rarely do we see that sometimes both answers to a problem in life are correct at the same time. This relates with comprehension, with synthesis, with intuitive understanding of the impressions we receive. The very work of gnosis, self-knowledge, is learning how to comprehend these factors in every moment. It is really not enough to do it once in a while, because that will not produce lasting results. It takes a lot of effort, willpower, and discipline. This self-discipline, the understanding of these factors, occurs by walking the path of the Middle Way, the path of the Buddha. This topic is so important that Master Nagarjuna wrote a book within Tibetan Buddhism called Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way.
Neither by affirming nor rejecting the impressions we receive will we know ourselves. Concentration and meditation, serene reflection, is the path of the middle—we learn to receive good or bad impressions. We accept them without bias. We see life for what it is. We don't psychologically seek a way to affirm or negate things at all when we develop in the middle way, because those prior types of attitudes reveal that we are asleep as a consciousness. We rarely see or understand that life is constantly changing. It is a constant flux. Impressions arrive, they sustain themselves, then pass away, and yet the mind, the stubborn donkey that it is, always attaches itself to such impressions as if saying, "In this moment, this is real and my sense of self is real. This 'I,' this 'me' is real." However, we really do not comprehend that it is false!
If we do a simple analysis, we can see that nothing is permanent but the Being. Someone tells you a joke and you find it funny—if that were eternally existing, you would always be laughing. There would never be change whatsoever: things would always be permanent. We know from the Vajrayana teachings of Buddhism, particularly from Tibet, that the impressions of life are empty of intrinsic existence. That phenomena are empty of inherent or independent existence means they are dependent upon other factors beyond themselves, and therefore are not eternal. Therefore, we should not grasp at what is ephemeral, like cloud, smoke, and vapors.
This is what we call Dependent Origination. It means there is no independently existing thing in this whole universe. There is no eternally existing thing that is not reliant on other factors. This goes from the most grand cosmological scale of Kabbalah, the tree of life, to this very existence. It's what we call karma—cause and effect. And the very nature of existence and the very nature of the impressions of what we perceive is dependent on this. Suffering exists because we don't understand karma. We don't understand the nature of impression themselves: what appears, sustains itself, and passes away. So if no phenomena in life is stable or reliable, why do we hold on to them with our mentality? Why do we always crave certain things and run away from other, when, truly, all phenomena are of equal value? Why do we crave something so badly when it will not bring us eternal happiness? Why do we affirm that our life is real and lasting, taking in a sense of enjoyment and identity in that experience when it will only disappear, bringing us pain? Even in repression, the negation of things, we have a sense of self that is dependent on external factors that are completely empty of themselves.
Nothing is going to last except the Being, so why do we always have this attitude that things should always be in one way and permanent when we do not remember the Being? And when we are contradicted by friends, family, society, and our own mind, our whole world falls apart. We like the path of least resistance, whether in social, academic, employment, or personal endeavors, etc. We have the prevailing attitude that we just want things to go well. And when they don't go well, we get very upset. This type of disillusionment is very particular to each us. We have our own idiosyncrasy in relation to the three brains. Some of us will be more intellectual, some more emotional, and some more active—we always want to do things according to our predisposition to one of our three brains, but this is generally in a very dysfunctional way.
It comes into my mind Alice in Wonderland, which explains this type of psychological teaching. You have the Mad Hatter, the intellect that is always taking in impressions and coming up with gibberish. The Queen of Hearts is always angry with people, crying, "Off with her head!" This is our emotional state or center if we observe ourselves. And there's the instinctive type of character, the White Rabbit, who's always late and always worrying about activities and time. This is an instinctive type of person. These three characters represent the three inferior types of humanoids: the Tower of Babel.
So generally, we will have one predisposition over another. The fact is that in our relations to the impressions of life, our dysfunction generally gravitates to one of these three brains. We use all three brains, of course, but some of us have strong habits that are intellectual, like using the computer, or more emotional, listening to sentimental music. Some of us are more instinctive, always playing sports, practicing martial arts, or training in boxing.
The very basis of our psychological dysfunction is because we don't understand the nature of impressions. We don't understand karma. I'm explaining this because these principles are essential to meditation. It's essential to really understand what concentration is, because if we think concentration is identification with life, with certain elements within our three brains, or with the repression of certain elements, there will be no genuine insight. Going with the flow of life is not the nature of insight, the latter which is sharp, clear, and pristine, a shock or bolt of lightning that illuminates, if but for a moment, the dark cloud of our mind. The state of concentration is what leads us to the advent of comprehension. It, in itself, is the path of the middle—neither justifying nor pushing away impression from our psychological sight, but just seeing phenomena as they are. Whether the impressions are intellectual, emotional, or instinctive in relation to our psychology, we simply observe and comprehend where all our different wills come from. It is in this way that we can integrate our consciousness and develop the will of a Master, a God, a Buddha.
This is the basis of psychology or mental dynamics, Jnana Yoga. Jnana means "knowledge," relating with how we understand and control the mind. When we talk about impressions and the nature of psychology, I was mentioning some principles given in the Vajrayana school, which is the doctrine of emptiness in relation to karma and impressions—how life is always changing, always fluctuating. If we are astute in our efforts to self-observe, we cannot pinpoint something that is eternal within our psyche except the Being. So we talk about not understanding the nature of emptiness, in relation with affirmation and negation, as the foundation of Gnostic psychology. There are two misconceptions that arise with not understanding the nature of emptiness. This teaching was given by Nagarjuna in Four Hundred Verses of the Middle Way. He discussed two fundamentally mistaken views: eternalism and nihilism. Eternalism is the belief that there is an independently existing self that is never changing. This was first adopted by some of the Hindu schools of philosophy in relation to Atman the Inner Self. The Buddhists came to clarify those teachings when Hinduism degenerated. According to the Hindus, Atman was mistaken for the ego, the personality, our negative self-hood. The Buddhist masters who came after knew that Atman referred to one's internal divinity, but in order to clarify the misconceptions about Atman, Buddha taught the doctrine of Anatman, "No self." When Buddhists schools say that there is no self, they're talking about the ego, the "I," our defects—the three traitors of Christianity: Judas, Pilate, and Caiaphas. Pilate relates with the intellect, who always washes his hands clean, justifying and excusing himself for committing crimes. Caiaphas relates with the heart, because he hates Christ, and Judas represents instincts or desires because he sells the lord for thirty pieces of silver, representing fornication and lunar values.
In relation to affirmation and negation, misconceptions regarding their nature arise by not understanding the nature of impressions, by not understanding the very laws and dynamics of practical experiences and their relationship to the mind. Eternalism says there is an absolutely, dependently existing self. Nihilism says nothing matters, since there is no true existence. Both of these views are false. Emptiness is neither of these mistaken views. Really, such misunderstandings emerge from the inability to comprehend karma in action.
Karma comes from the Sanskrit, karman. It means "to act." What is cause and effect? To act. In life, we constantly find many types of actions involving the three brains. Karma teaches that every cause has an effect. Every effect has a cause. Nothing is separate. Nothing is independent, existing outside of ourselves. Everything is interdependent and related. Our current psychological state, the sleep of our consciousness, hypnotizes us into thinking that, "I exist in my own sphere and everything else is existing outside," as if there is no direct relationship between our mind and phenomena. For instance, you see a married person leering lustfully towards the opposite sex walking by, and says, "Well, I'm not really committing adultery, because I am just looking." They think that there is no relationship between mind and phenomena. However, Master Jesus said,
"Verily you have heard of old, you shall not commit adultery. But I tell you whosoever has looked at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." ―Matthew 5:28
We also find the following textually stated by the Buddha in his Dhammapada:
Preceded by mind are phenomena, led by mind, formed by mind. If with mind polluted one speaks or acts, then pain follows, as a wheel follows the draft ox’s foot. Preceded by mind are phenomena, led by mind, formed by mind. If with mind pure one speaks or acts, then ease follows, as an ever-present shadow.
Karma, cause and effect, occurs in every level of existence, even when there is no physical action. Even if we physically do not commit adultery, we commit adultery with our mind by indulging in lust. We have all of these impulses that arise within us without our control and which keep us hypnotized, identifying with the states of existence. Karma applies not just instinctively to the physicality of the person, but to emotions and to intellect. It applies to every aspect of ourselves, in every level of the universe. Perhaps until you self realize and go into the Absolute, you will always be a slave of Karma. Until then, we are subject of the laws of karma, cause and effect, in this universe. The path of self-knowledge is about understanding the law within ourselves. When we do not know how karma functions, we fall into mistaken views of eternalism or nihilism, either that our ego is objective or that nothing matters, so we can do whatever we want without consequences. This is very dangerous.
I like to enjoy certain things in life. For me, I enjoy a hot cup of coffee. I can see how certain egos of gluttony like to enjoy those things, believing that such impressions are permanent. However, simple analysis shows that this isn't the case. The impressions of the coffee arise, sustain, and pass away. The problem is not the coffee, but my consciousness for not making a correct transformation of that impression, for not seeing the drink for what it is. The mistake is letting the impression enter the psyche and the mind becoming attached to the sensation of enjoying the coffee. This attachment, this crystallization of desire in the mind, is what we call ego. It is by not understanding karma that we create egos. The impression of the coffee is going to enter my psyche, sustain itself, and pass away, but if I am unaware of this fact, something hardens in my mind, like a mold, crystallizing and trapping the consciousness. This is identification, a wrong transformation of impressions, which crystallizes desire by trapping our consciousness. It is the misdirection of consciousness towards sensation—it is misguided attention, fortification of one's psychological attachment to impermanent sensations, for as Samael Aun Weor wrote, "Wherever we direct attention, we expend creative energy." The ego itself is really a prison, a cage, for the divine nature within, that we ourselves created by misdirecting our will and perception.
The root of all of this is ignorance. This is an essential teaching that the Buddha gave in relation to these three factors. The mind is always caught between craving and aversion. We produce our suffering through a lack of cognizance of the third factor—which is synthesis, comprehension, intuition, understanding, the Innermost Being. It is by not understanding the nature of what we perceive that produces suffering, because if we don't understand the very nature of mental dynamics, we continue with wrong perspectives, resulting in the creation of different psychic aggregates or egos.
Aggregate is word for compound, heap, or pile, and we can say that the human being is a conglomerate of multiple aggregates or egos. Really all of that is a result of ignorance, a lack of cognizance or relationship with God. The Buddha taught that there are three doorways into hell, into suffering, and they are: craving, aversion, and ignorance. Anger relates with aversion, because when we feel anger it is frustrated desire, wanting situations or people to be different than what they are. When someone is not giving us what we want, we become angry at that person. Craving, lust, or desire is another door into hell. Feeling compulsively attracted to something, always impelled to seek our those sensations that will satisfy us, is a tremendous form of suffering, since such impressions, like the orgasm, are fleeting and momentary. Meanwhile they have disastrous consequences for the mind, since the mind will only crave a greater orgasm, or more powerful experience, which it will never have. Therefore, lust is the original sin, because by wasting the energies of God, we fall into suffering, into craving, into the insatiable appetite of satyrs. Momentary pleasures emerge and pass away. The mind's habit is to be attached to those impressions, as if such impressions are permanent.
While craving and aversion are bad, ignorance is truly the greatest sin. What is sin? I'm not sure if your familiar with that term. It comes from archery. It means when you draw your bow and you fire at the target, you go off to the side, to the left. That term was taken into Judea-Christianity to denote these types of principles. When your concentrated in archery and you draw your bow, you can't fire to the right or the left, neither indulging in craving or aversion, but focusing on the center. This is an analogy for the middle path of comprehension within meditation.
This is why The Odyssey by Homer, who was an initiate, depicts this great Greek hero defeating his enemies, his egos, with a bow and arrow. The story narrates how he battled the Trojans and afterward sought his way home, sailing to many islands, losing his companions, and finally arriving to his own kingdom, Ithaca. He finds out that his wife has maintained her marriage vows to him by not marrying and seeking another husband. However, despite her fidelity to him, there are many suitors who think that he's dead and try to convince her to marry them. These suitors are degenerated, trying to take his wife from him. They represent the egos that we have who are trying to steal our moral purity, our own divinity that we have still free, represented by Penelope, Odysseus' wife; so they're always tempting her. Odysseus is disguised a hermit and goes into his kingdom, drawing them all into a throne room. Meanwhile he is guided by his Divine Mother, Athena, who provides him the bow and arrow so as to mercilessly slay his enemies who are attempting to steal his kingdom, his spirituality. It is a very chilling scene if you read it. The egos are so terrified! They're green with fear and they realize that they're going to die. Truly it is a bloody battle.
Odysseus' power comes from the bow and arrow, knowing how to balance the external world with the internal. This is really the relationship with self-observation. We have to look at what's outside of us in relation to what's inside and that’s what concentration and discrimination are. This is how you go to battle like Odysseus. This is how you fight the illusions of the mind, and this is really the anecdote to how to comprehend states of suffering, because the mind will generally ignore what's inside and always pay attention to what's outside. The spiritual warrior, the samurai with his bow and arrow, observes both the external and internal and understands the relationship between them. So you see these three factors here: affirmation, which is outside. Then you have the mind that is always negating things. That's really the force of negation, always reacting to the impressions of life. And then you have comprehension, which is the consciousness that reconciles the two.
So we can say that the impressions life are always affirming themselves by entering into our psychology, and we have the mind that is always reacting or negating, either intellectually, emotionally, or instinctively with greater predominance in one of the three brains. That's really the force of negation, when our mind reacts to impressions. In order to reconcile both impressions and our reactions, we need discrimination, seeing that the external is dependent upon the internal and the internal dependent on the external. This is known as states and events in Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, and that to live uprightly, one must know how to combine the appropriate internal state with its corresponding external event. Due to this relationship, how the internal really relates with the external, we realize that many of the perspectives that we carry within our self are unfounded, illusory, and ignorant, without real gnosis or cognizance of the truth. Therefore, real awareness, fully-concentrated consciousness, is like a shock. It only takes a moment to take an impression of life and to immediately, intuitively comprehend the relationship of that impression to our mind. This occurs only with awakening the consciousness, so as to cancel out negative reactions.
For example, someone insults you, or says something very hurtful, and then your pride is starting to react. Fire is bubbling out of you. If you pay attention in that moment and genuinely perceive that this person is suffering too, instantaneous comprehension helps to renounce such a negative emotion and guides you in the work meditation and elimination. It also develops compassion. In that instant, we understand that this person is subjected to karma, cause and effect, and that there are many factors that are provoking a state of suffering for that person. Achieving this understanding, peace, and harmony between ourselves and our neighbors is not easy, precisely due to the fact that we have rarely disciplined our mind in a conscious way. This is why Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, "The narrowest cleft is the hardest to bridge." This is in relation to our interactions with our fellow man. To cross the abyss between ourselves and others, we need to establish the bridge of compassion, by comprehending our neighbor and transforming negative impressions, so that love can blossom from our hearts.
This is not an intellectual exercise—it is cognizant, practical mysticism, genuine occult science, and true religion. In the beginning we study this teaching intellectually. The work is to perform religion in every second—cultivating a state of comprehension in every instant.
The impression arrives and the mind wants to react. Comprehension helps you look at the two and ask: what is the nature of that impression? What is the nature of my interpretation of those impressions? Cognizance produces a type of canceling. When someone insults us and we comprehend that the insult bears no value, that the individual providing the insult is imprisoned in suffering and needs compassion, and that we ourselves are like dust on the side of the road when compared to the beauty of divinity and the cosmos, we immediately cancel the impression and do not invest any value into those words, which are as intransient as vapor. Samael Aun Weor explained that when we transform the impressions of aggression directed towards us by developing comprehension of such impressions, it is like trying to draw funds with a check from an empty bank account. The check will bounce, and the aggressor will have nothing to retaliate with further. We therefore can irradiate genuine love and peace, which will help our enemies to change and become better persons.
Comprehension is like a lightening bolt; it’s a superior type of information. This is what is going to fuel meditation. Meditation is about discovering new information. We do that through our moment to moment effort to observe ourselves. As I was mentioning in another lecture, Swami Sivanada wrote, “The reason why students fail in meditation is that they lack ethics.” They don't know how to discipline their mind from moment to moment. It’s really a lack of discipline that produces inconsistency and failure within meditative practice. That is the explanation for why, although many practice meditation and adopt the austerities of monastic life, they languish within a dull state of existence, of not BEING, when really self-observation, meditation, and serene reflection should be like a crystal, very sharp and pure.
Meditation is not spacing out or falling asleep. Eventually as you progress, you let yourself fall asleep so you can go out of your body in order to travel throughout the tree of life. But generally when we fall asleep in meditation, maybe a couple of hours pass and we don't realize what happened. That's why in the beginning we emphasize not falling asleep. Maintain your drowsiness, maintain your clarity of mind while keeping your body in very relaxed state, and with consistency you will learn to astral project during your meditations. As we were stating, Mo Chao, serene reflection, is precisely this clarity of reflection, accompanied serenity.
Samael Aun Weor made a point in The Revolution of the Dialectic to explain these terms. How most people define "serenity" and "reflection" are incorrect. Serenity is not a dull state of mind, very lax or lazy, where impressions just emerge in the mind and there is no understanding. This is generally the state that we experience when we go to bed. If we pay attention even for a little bit before we go to sleep, the mind becomes very dull and a lot of images and impressions chaotically emerge. This in itself is not a true state of serenity, because serenity should be very firm, very strong. It’s also very supple, but it isn't just a dull state where we just accept things as they are. Dullness is a lack of conscious observation. Genuine spiritual reflection or insight, in itself, is known as the faculty of imagination.
In many different writings Samael Aun Weor made a point to explain Mo Chao. I've been referring to it in the Chinese way. But you find this also in Kabbalah, the teachings of the Hebrews, and many other forms of mysticism. Mo Chao, serene reflection, serenity of mind, is a result of concentration. Reflection is visualization or imagination. If you are familiar with the Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, you find this in the very first two cards of the twenty-two arcana or sacred laws. The first is the Magician. He's very active. In one of his hands he's holding a staff and he's pointing in one direction. But he's very active in the card, strong, affirming himself. This represents the Father, or as we say in the Hebraic Kabbalah, Kether, the First Logos amongst the Gnostics. He's really the warrior magician who gave power to Moses. Moses received power from his Inner Divinity, from Kether, for the mantra related with Kether is אהיה אשר אהיה Eheieh Asher Eheieh, which translates as “I Am that I Am” and when Moses was before the burning bush, he asked “Who shall I say sent me?” And Christ said “אהיה אשר אהיה Eheieh Asher Eheieh: I Am the One Who I Am.”
That's the Magician. He needs to fight for His Self-realization. This is the source of willpower, concentration. Then we have the second card of the tarot, the Priestess, who is sitting in a temple, with two columns: Jachin and Boaz, which we find in the temples of Freemasonry and Solomon. She is receptive, for She is the Divine Mother. She's really that force that gives us the faculty to perceive; it relates with clairvoyance. When we talk about imagination and clairvoyance, really, these are synonymous terms. Generally people think that clairvoyance is a faculty that only a few have, which is for people who are very elite, but really this term in itself was instituted by French initiates a couple of centuries ago in order for people to not disturb the study of their science, meaning: they intentionally sought to confuse people in order to protect their teaching, making people think that this is a gift for the few.
Clairvoyance and imagination are the same thing—clear perception and imagination is to receive images. But in gnosis we make the distinction that there are different types of clairvoyance. There's the objective perception of the Truth or the subjective perception of the mind, a falsity of ego. It’s a type of imagination that we perceive through wrong perception. This is exemplified when we have really disturbing dreams, or dreams consisting of nonsense, gibberish. That's a type of clairvoyance, but it’s subjective. The type of imagination we seek to cultivate in our practice, through concentrated reflection, Mo Chao, is lucid and objective. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to explain this science in this way because to understand what objective clairvoyance is, true states of comprehension, you have to really experiment with yourself. You have to become like a taste tester to really evaluate what comprehension, concentration and imagination really mean. We must become connoisseurs of spiritual experience, like you’re drinking different kinds of wine to evaluate their quality and purity. What in me is subjective? What is objective in me? That only comes about through practice, through effort. We need to really sit in meditation, remembering our Innermost Self, concentrated on God. Through persistence and consistency with our discipline, perhaps in your practice a new image arises—something very foreign, clear, lucid and powerful. Maybe you see people from far away, from a different part of the globe, or cities, activities, etc. It could be many things. Flashes of imagery, scenes, sounds, tastes, and smells are good signs that imagination starting to awaken—it’s sparkling as a result of our work with sexual transmutation.
A new way of life emerges when we dedicate ourselves to meditation, sexual transmutation, and charity, but of course our efforts are always fueled by the science of the Divine Mother: Alchemy for couples, but pranayama for individuals. When we perform exercises of pranayama, we are utilizing the energies of our bodies in relation with the sexual glands and raising it with our breath in the etheric level, in our subtle energetic physiology, and using that energy to fuel the brain. For example, one exercise is Ham-Sah. You perform a prolonged and relaxed inhalation, mentally pronouncing the mantra Ham, bringing that energy to the brain and subsequently to the heart. Then you exhale softly and quickly, Sah and that energy goes to the heart.
Since the divine Mother, מרים Miriam, relates with מ Mem, the waters, it relates with the sexual energy, like in the story Pinocchio. He becomes a real man through his Divine Mother, cited as the Blue Fairy in the story. By using that energy through yogic exercises, pranayama, and moreover, through alchemy, Pinocchio becomes a boy of flesh and blood, an Adam Kadmon, a fully enlightened spiritual being. So while we're talking more about the principles of this practice, it’s generally fueled by how you use your energies through the science of breath. That energy is going to fuel your imagination incredibly, because that energy relating with מ Mem, with the waters of the sexual organs, rises up to the מ Mem of the brain, because we know from occidental science that the physical brain is surrounded by a fluid—it’s really a type of water, the cerebral spinal fluid, known as the מ Mem of the brain within Kabbalah. The Kabbalists knew this very well. So when they refer to the Divine Mother they call her Miriam: מ Mem, ר Resh, י Iod and ם Final Mem. מ Mem is water. ר Rosh literally means head. י Iod can also mean head and ם Final Mem again is water.
So the Divine Mother relates with energies from our sexual waters in our brain and sexuality, and it is this power that's going to fuel our imagination, our visualization practice. There's many types of pranayama exercises: Egyptian Christic Pranayama as given in The Yellow Book, Ham-Sah as given in The Perfect Matrimony and other lectures. Swami Sivananda gave an extensive variety. There are many different types of pranayama. Basically we use this energy to fuel our imagination practice. However, it's not all to develop perception—it is not enough. Imagination by itself is not enough—it has to be balanced with concentration.
This brings us to the third Arcanum of the Tarot. After the Magician and the Priestess, you have the Empress. It’s also a feminine card, relating to the third Sephirah, the third sphere of the Kabbalistic tree of life, Binah, which is the Holy Spirit. Binah in Hebrew literally translates as “Understanding,” so as we see in the unfoldment of the arcana (arcana means laws, principles), we see from concentration, the Magician, the Father and imagination, the Priestess, emerges the third force: synthesis, comprehension, or reconciliation.
It’s by learning how to balance our concentration with our perception that we attain insight, meaning: we don't forget we’re meditating, focused on our practice while allowing ourselves to become drowsy enough to perceive new images from the dream world. It’s really the combination of the two that will allow us to perceive something new in our experience, to access the genuine state of meditation. This not only applies when we sit to meditate, but in every moment, every instant. When we transform impressions, we have to be concentrated. We have to pay attention, such as in this moment. You must be aware of the fact that you are sitting and receiving words and information, to not let your mind wander or daydream during the lecture. You need imagination, the ability to perceive those impressions from the instructor. It’s the balance of those two, being attentive and perceiving images, that comprehension starts to emerge. This is essentially important with interrelations with people. Sometimes we may be very concentrated, but we are not clearly perceiving or understanding the nature of impressions. In that sense we need to pay attention to the clarity, quality, and nature of our perception.
This a Kabbalistic and alchemical teaching given in the manner and tradition of the Hebrews, but we find this synthesis even in Chan Buddhism: Mo Chao, serene reflection. This is how understanding will emerge in our practice. Understanding the nature of impressions and karma is a direct result of our serenity of mind and how we perceive, because the word reflection reminds us of the reflection of a lake. When you truly reflect on something, what you want is to see the image of something, but in order to reflect an image in your mind, you need to have the waters calm. If the lake is chaotic and the impressions of life are entering the waters like stones, it’s going to create a lot of friction—the waves will expand and the image which should be reflecting God within gets muddled. Establishing and maintaining serene reflection is is a moment to moment effort. This is the work in relation to transformation, understanding the nature of mind itself, and the impressions that we receive.
If our meditation practice is muddled, if there isn't much clarity, we need to work on our imagination, our visualization. If we forget that we are meditating when we sit to meditate, that's when we need more concentration. You will find at different times you need more of one than the other, but generally it’s finding balance which will result in new experiences in meditation and comprehension. We have to understand this on a moment to moment basis, because without serene reflection, meditation itself becomes very dry—we won't have the fuel and the energy needed in order to perform meditation properly. Our meditation will become stagnant. All of that fluctuation of impressions, how they sustain and how they pass away on the screen of our mind, will remain confusing and disordered. Achieving clarity only comes about by awakening the consciousness here and now, in every instant of our lives. There are stories of people who have tried meditating for twenty of thirty years, but they don't understand that in order to meditate you have to meditate in every second.
Every state of awareness that you have, in whatever activity you are doing, is essential for developing true esoteric discipline. Some activities might be more conducive for that. For instance, I take martial arts. That's a very profound form of meditation if you know how to take advantage of it. On the one hand you may think it’s merely a physical calisthenics, exclusively dealing with the physicality of the person. The real purpose of martial arts, the real struggle, is with your own mind. You have an attacker and your mind wants to react—you have reconcile that. You have to work around that. I take Aikido, which is very geared towards this type of philosophy, Chan and Zen Buddhism. If you have the opportunity to take martial arts like that... it could be very helpful to your practice—understanding the nature of impressions through the motor-instinctive brain. It’s a great way to train the mind. Psychological discipline and spiritual training is the origin of all martial arts.
Bodhidharma founded Kung Fu and people just think it was only instituted so that the monks could defend themselves from attackers, but really it was so they can defend themselves against their own minds. This is what the work of transforming impressions is—comprehending life from moment to moment. Really, you have to be like a martial artist—calm, relaxed, and serene, in this moment—meanwhile you could have twelve guys chasing after you with axes. Despite great dangers, you must be composed and in control. It doesn't mean you’re not worried about the situation. Something would be wrong if you weren’t. But what’s important is to be observant, relaxed—then you deal with a given problem, whether it is being attacked or paying your bills in practical life. That's the essence of Zen—that’s the effortless effort. Serenity deals with much more elevated states of concentration, as it's illustrated by the graphic called the Nine Stages of Meditative Concentration, or Calm Abiding: the Stages of Serenity, which we should study and work with. We've definitely talked a little bit about this topic.
Questions and Answers
Audience: You were talking a little bit before about a quote from the Prophet Muhammed in which he states something like the real jihad is against your own self. I was wondering if you could reference the quote. My second question is regarding the arcana of the tarot. You mentioned that the magician, the priestess, and empress in succession reflect the three primary foundations of meditation (dynamics). My question regarding the rest of the tarot is: Do they continue to reflect the different aspects of the dynamics of meditation?
Instructor: It was mentioned in the Islamic oral tradition that the Prophet taught two forms of striving (mujahadat, which is where we get the word “jihad”): jihad al-akbar (the greater holy war against oneself) and jihad al-asgar (the lesser holy war against oppressors):
Mulla `Ali al-Qari, from al-Mawdu`at al-kubra (al-Asrar al-marfu`a):
Suyuti said: al-Khatib al-Baghdadi relates in his "History" on the authority of Jabir: The Prophet came back from one of his campaigns saying: "You have come forth in the best way of coming forth: you have come from the smaller jihad to the greater jihad." They said: "And what is the greater jihad?" He replied: "The striving (mujahadat) of Allah's servants against their idle desires."
In relation to the mind itself, you have the three principles of affirmation, negation, synthesis. This is what Samael wrote in this book in relation to the transformation of impressions. In understanding the mind itself, those are the most important factors. As to whether the rest of the tree of life correlates, it does, but not in a strict or rigid way. With affirmation, you have a thought that appears, you have negation when you want to react to that, then the synthesis is the actual moment of comprehending and understanding the relationship—if you are paying attention and remembering your Being. That's really the most important thing in relation to meditation practice... because the trinity is the force that creates.
Relating the tree of life to meditation and the holy trinity, you have three triangles in the tree of life. You have three trinities, the logoic triangle (Kether, Chokmah, Binah), the triangle of ethics (Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth), and the triangle of priesthood (Netzach, Hod, Yesod)—and seven levels for the first seven sephiroth. But in relation to the three trinities, you have Kether, the Father, in the head, Chokmah, the Son, in the heart, and the Holy Spirit in sex. You can also say that you have Chesed in the mind, a superior type of reasoning, the spiritual Nous. This is what Plato talked about in The Republic, that the philosopher king should have Nous—the illumination of Chesed, the Inner Being within. So you can say that Chesed relates with the head, Geburah with the heart, and Tiphereth in relation to instincts and sexuality. The sixth commandment, “Thou shall not fornicate,” relates with Tiphereth. The sixth arcana of the tarot is related with the choice between chastity, inner purity, and fornication. So Tiphereth is in relation to sexuality according to the sixth card of the Tarot, Indecision. And then you also have the other trinity at the very bottom.
The first triangle is the logoic triangle, the second is the ethical triangle, and the third is the magical triangle. The magical triangle consists of Netzach, which is the mind, Hod which is the heart, and then you have Yesod which is the etheric body related with sexuality. My emphasis is much more on the first three principles because everything comes from Christ—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but that trinity is reflected in all of the Sephiroth. Generally we say that the mind is affirmation, because it is always affirming thoughts, a constant churning of concepts, memories, and ideas. The heart is negation, going back to Alice in Wonderland—always reacting with negative emotions, such as the Queen of Hearts, “Off with his head!” And you have synthesis related with sexuality, because as you see in the motor-instinctive-sexual brain, it’s really a synthesis of three principles. It encompasses movements, instincts and sexuality, so it’s a synthesis.
Now to go even deeper, this relates with the three mother letters of the Hebrew alphabet―א Aleph, the Magician relates with the head, ש Shin, fire, Christ, relates to the heart, and מ Mem, Maya, Miriam, the Holy Spirit relates to the waters. They all derive their source from the Trinity. So in relation with the dynamics of meditation, it’s always in threes, really, because everything comes from the divine source. The law of three was mentioned by Master Gurdjieff as the Holy Triamatzikamno. All originate with the Divine Source—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, you have those correlations definitely.
Audience: I notice for myself, and I make, in as much as I remember, an effort to be awake and aware of myself. I will notice certain points in time that I’ll be doing a job that requires almost more of my attention just on that… almost more than my own intention just on that and I have to be aware of myself too, but it’s very difficult.
Instructor: That's good that you recognize this fact. It’s very difficult. It’s difficult to spark that comprehension in the first place. It’s difficult to maintain it―that's really what jihad is about. It’s difficult to even realize in the first place, and it’s even more difficult to maintain awareness throughout the entire day. As indicated by the term "mindfulness" in Buddhism, we make a distinction that it doesn't just relate to self-observation. Self-observation is the first step, to be watchful of this moment, and mindfulness is maintaining self-observation through the entire day. So first you observe and then you maintain that vigilance throughout the entire day. If you recognize that its hard, that's a good sign. It is hard. That's really the battle and struggle of the mind. The mind can't do it. So when your mind says, “I can't do it,” comprehension will show you, “This is the only thing right the mind has stated. However, for making this postulation, the mind is wrong. Mind, you are only a vehicle, a machine! You are not my true identity!" The mind really can’t resolve anything—only the consciousness can. Life is really the psychological gymnasium.
It’s a work in progress. Even if you self-realize you have work to do. Generally there can be two types of comprehension: hindsight and foresight. Hindsight hurts a lot because your mind stabs you in the back with shame for having made a mistake. Generally, you want to develop a type of comprehension that is instantaneous and helps you to act appropriately in the moment. You know it’s wrong in the instant a defect appears in your three brains and you say “Ah-ha! I'm not going to do that!” And there's real control there, real discipline. That's the type of insight that we need. You can only get that if you’re mind is serene and your consciousness is paying attention. You must let your mind reflect and perceive those images for what they are in a given moment. You’re only going to develop that by working very hard. Remember that if you’re practicing these types of teachings, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. That's in the case of every Buddha—every initiate has to face that.
There's one German initiate, by the name of Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote in his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra a speech that conveys a very inspiring, comforting, and revelatory message. In the text, we have Nietzsche's fictional Zarathustra preaching to his disciples within the solitude of a mountain cave, saying:
The higher its type, the more rarely a thing succeeds. You higher men (initiates) here, have you not all failed?
Be of good cheer, what does it matter? How much is still possible! Learn to laugh at yourselves as one must laugh!
Is it any wonder that you have failed and only half succeeded, being half-broken (meaning, being weak with ego)? Is not something thronging and pushing in you—man’s future (the promise and birth of the Intimate Christ within, the Superman)? Man’s greatest distance and depth and what in him is lofty to the stars, his tremendous strength (of the Inner Being)—are not all these frothing against each other in your pot (your mind)? Is it any wonder that many a pot breaks? Learn to laugh at yourselves as one must laugh! You higher men, how much is still possible!
And verily, how much has already succeeded (meaning: through psycho-analytical meditation and comprehension of mental dynamics)! How rich is the earth in little good perfect things, in what has turned out well!
Place little good perfect things around you, O higher men! Their golden ripeness heals the heart. What is perfect teaches hope. —The Higher Men, Book IV, Section 15.
Therefore, he was saying, “You higher men (initiates), don't you realize that you’re failures, but is there anything to be upset about that you make mistakes like that? There's still so much, and many rich and beautiful things to accomplish if you fail and realized that you failed. That's good that you recognized your mistakes—now work on them. That's when you realize you'll be making victories.”
When you make a mistake and you say, “Really I made a big mistake,” and you accept it and you work on it diligently, then the gods, Buddhas and masters look at you and say “He's progressing.” When you have the maturity to realize that “Yeah, I'm really at fault and I'm going to change it,” to have the perseverance to keep working, that's when they really honor you in the internal planes. Ordeals must be experienced again and again until we conquer them. You may read about this subject in The Perfect Matrimony. The disciple will be submitted to ordeals in the astral plane, right? And generally when they do that, they push you to the very edge so that you react in a bad way. If you control yourself through the science of mental dynamics, they will appear to you as children, golden Cherubim, the children of the immortal dawn, very innocent. They were once like us, but now they're innocent like little children and they honor you because even though you made mistakes and you fail ordeals, you continue onward through jihad al-akbar. They keep testing you, internally. They'll do that when you develop enough Mo Chao, serene reflection, physically, and then internally. They're happy if you succeed after having failed many times.
So it’s a work in progress, but don’t think you're some exception, because everyone has their difficulties. The key to unlocking it all is Mo Chao, Self-remembering and serene reflection, in every moment. Then you’ll learn to transform those ordeals into something positive for you. So even after you've broken your pot, you may remember all the good and wonderful things you have received from God as a result of mental dynamics. Then afterward, you may say with peace, like Nietzsche did in the quotation, “Learn to laugh at yourselves as one must laugh! What is perfect teaches hope.”
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