This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
We are continuing our course that we initiated about the foundations of Gnostic studies. Gnosticism, as a tradition and as a means of practice, is the application of specific methods for acquiring personal knowledge of divinity. Let us remember that the Greek word gnosis means knowledge. As we have explained in previous lectures, this form of knowledge has had many names, in different cultures. It has been known as Marifah amongst the Sufis and Muslims; the esotericism of Islam. It has been known as Da’ath, in Hebrew, amongst the Kabbalists of Israel. It has been known as Torah and Dharma. It is not simply a code of instructions given within scripture. But, it applies to psychological ways of being, psychological ways of behaving, of knowing.
As we have explained previously, this wisdom of knowing divinity has been manifested in all our religions, regardless of distinction—delivered in accordance with the idiosyncrasies and the language and customs of a given people, whether through the prophet Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc. The teaching is the same—it is universal—how do we understand the inner obstacles within our psyche, that prevent us from knowing God, Buddha, that intelligence or light known as Christ? (amongst the Gnostic Christians). Christ is an energy, not a person. But, that energy can become particularized within any persons who prepare themselves, who knows themself fully.
This knowledge is personal, it is intimate. It is developed within oneself, as a result of specific causes and conditions. By putting into effect certain methods, we learn to know divinity for ourselves. Therefore, we do not need to believe anything. Belief is a concept in the mind, or a feeling in the heart, that we think we know; we identify with a certain tradition, we venerate a scripture, but yet, we do not really know the depth of what that teaching explains. And why should not beings like Moses, who spoke face to face with God, or Buddha who knew himself fully, or Jesus who propounded the heights of the divine regions of the Father, of the Lord—if they can accomplish these things, how can we not? Therefore, to respect these individuals as persons who provided a teaching in history is beautiful. To venerate the masters of humanity is necessary, but, we have to follow in their footsteps. We have to imitate their example, through practical works. Or, as the Apostle James stated in the Bible, "Faith without works is dead." We must do, we must apply.
In the course of these lectures, we are explaining some of the traditional aspects of these different religions, and the unifying principle behind them. We also, in these studies, talk about many exercises, in order to know the truth for ourselves. One thing we will emphasize in this lecture, and throughout this course, are what are known as the four pillars of the Gnostic tradition. We speak of four foundations for studying Gnosis as a doctrinal explanation of the different faiths and religions that have existed in the past. These four pillars also apply to psychological ways of being. How do we know ourselves? These pillars are known as science, mysticism, art and philosophy.
We previously explained the three essential sciences of any genuine spiritual tradition, known specifically with the names of Kabbalah, the mysticism of Judaism. Likewise, Alchemy, the science of working with energy, of transforming base material into spiritual material. Meaning, transforming the lead of our personality, into the gold of the spirit, into something divine—which we do by working with energies, in our mind, our body and our heart. Lastly, we also spoke about psychology, which is a Greek teaching: how to unite psyche, the soul, with the Logos, the Word. If we remember the Bible, "In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God." The Word, in Greek, is Logos. The three Logoi is the holy Trinity of Christianity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are not people, but energies. Alchemy teaches us how to use divine forces that come from the Lord, within us, and, that we need to learn to become conscious of, to know how to use, so have to fuse the soul with God. In Arabic, the words Allah-Khemia, refer to the chemistry of God; how the soul mixes, unites, gets lost, fuses with the divine, intimately. Psychology, is of course the mediator for that. We also study our mind, and the obstacles within us, that prevent us from knowing that truth for ourselves.
Kabbalah, a Hebrew science, is a map, a diagram. We talked about the Tree of Life, and also, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life is Kabbalah, symbolized in the book of Genesis. That is a representation of the different levels and states of perception. In books such as Tarot and Kabbalah, which we have available as a publication, we teach the study of this intimate glyph, with ten spheres, mapping out the highest regions of perception, energy, consciousness, to the lowest levels of matter, energy and perception as well.
We study Kabbalah in depth, and we are going to give many courses about how to study that diagram. But, previously, we introduced the concept that Kabbalah is a map of knowing our relationship with God. It is a type of diagram, a glyph, that can teach us things about our psyche.
In this image, and in this discussion on the fundamentals of mysticism, we chose a stained glass window of Jesus, delivering the keys of the kingdom to Peter. And, going back to our previous discussions, on the study of Alchemy, the holy keys held within the hand of the Lord, delivered into Peter, precisely represent the science of Alchemy.
Alchemy is the work of transforming substances into other substances, which the European medieval Alchemists were very much dedicated to. But, what we have to understand, as with many traditions, this is symbolic. It was not simply a literal attempt to get rich. Instead, it pertains to how we transform our mind, fundamentally.
Regarding the keys of the kingdom of God, which Jesus gives to Peter, one is gold and one is silver. Previously, we discussed how a man and a woman, within a matrimony, husband and wife, uniting together in sexual cooperation and in remembrance of God—those forces, studied through the Buddhist Tantras—teach us how to awaken that fire of creative sexual power, in order to conserve and transform it. To take that energy, and to raise it within oneself, up the spine, to the brain, and then to the heart, through certain energetic channels that exist within a more subtle form, within our physiology, and about which Yoga teaches very abundantly.
It is by working in a marriage that one can harness the most potent forces in the universe, in the cosmos. As a physical child can be created through man and wife, likewise, husband and wife can take that very same power, in order to give birth to the soul. In this lecture, in our studies of mysticism, we will talk about what are called the three factors for obtaining genuine mystical achievements, mystical knowledge.
First, Peter is the one who receives the keys to the kingdom of the divine. Of course, we must emphasize that the Roman Catholic church was not founded by Peter. Instead, he founded the Gnostic Universal Christian Catholic Church; catholic simply means, “universal.” If we look symbolically into some names, we see that Rome, Roma, backwards, is Amore, love. So, the keys to the kingdom of love, of the divine realms of God, is between a husband and wife. We will be talking more about that aspect, in relation to this lecture.
So, let's talk a little bit more about what does mysticism really mean. It comes from the Greek, mystḗrion, originating from the root word Myein, “to close the eyes,” and relating to Mystikos: “initiate.”
This refers to closing one’s physical eyes to the external world, and learning how to meditate, to go consciously within one’s psyche, in order to abandon the illusions of the senses, and the attachments of the mind towards the external world, in order to go deep within our perception. It is to let the body rest, and for the soul to experience the higher regions of the cosmos, the higher dimensions; different levels of perception, which we partially taste when we have dreams. We can also transform that dream state into something conscious, something more vibrant, more aware. We can become awake within dreams, where the body is asleep, the physical eyes are closed, and yet the soul is awake, out of its physical vehicle. Meditation helps us to achieve that; this is the study of dream yoga, dream science, awakening within dreams. We do that by obtaining genuine mysticism, closing our physical eyes and learning to perceive inside, those realms. To not dream anymore, but to be awake, in that state of being. To be conscious. To no longer project subjective things, or to experience in a very superficial manner that state of being.
The word mystery also relates to mystikos, which means, initiate: someone who has begun a new way of life, who has transformed their way of being into something more profound. Meaning, to stop being inattentive, to be focused, to be aware of God as a soul, for oneself. To be fully connected with God. An initiate is a being, a person like Jesus, like Buddha, like Muhammad, like Krishna and Moses... these are individuals who fully knew God for themselves. They are fully awakened to their full potential, as a human being. They are not asleep, or unaware of their true calling, or the immediate presence of God within them.
We state in these studies that we need to be aware, awake, attentive. The soul needs to know God. We do that by learning to close our physical eyes to illusions—physical, but also psychological—in terms of the elements that we carry within, which prevent us from knowing God, and which we will be discussing in relation to psychology. This is why Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, stated the following in a scripture called The Voice of the Silence.
"Before the Soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion." —H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence
Mysticism is a discipline. It is a way that we train our mind, we train our psyche, we train ourselves to learn to be attentive. Buddhism speaks abundantly about this; to be mindful. Aware of the body, aware of our thoughts, aware of our feelings. We need to learn to be concentrated fully in the present moment in which we find ourselves, at all times. To not think about things, to not be carried away by memory, but to be aware; whether it is in a lecture, or our daily job, such as when we are engaged with our responsibilities. We need to be aware of what we are doing, at all times. That is how the soul learns to see; we learn to become aware of deeper states of being, deeper connections with the divine within us.
Paul of Tarsus wrote—in chapter 2 of Corinthians, verses 6-7—about the nature of a high teaching, which has been given symbolically throughout the Christian scriptures, and within certain schools of esoteric study. And, which, this Gnostic Academy of Chicago is a part; we are part of the Gnostic Church, founded by Jesus, and ministrated by his Apostles. Paul of Tarsus, a great priest of the Gnostic Church, explained the following about the nature of this hidden wisdom, which we need to know, and to access.
"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." —1 Corinthians 2:6-7
Contrary to mainstream religion, there is a hidden teaching. There is an esoteric science. There are practical methods which we can use to access our personal knowledge of God. Of course, the beginning of that is mindfulness, awareness—closing your physical eyes, learning to dedicate perhaps ten minutes in the beginning... then more, half an hour, an hour, in which we exclude all of our attention from the outside world. We go inside, observing our thoughts, our emotions, our impulses, our experiences throughout the day, learning to reflect on our reactions to daily life. Perhaps our negative qualities, and what we can do to change them. This is the heart of the genuine mystical teachings of the Gnostics; changing who we are. Learning about ourselves, and what makes us suffer. It is by learning to perceive what makes us suffer, in which we can change and fundamentally know God. For, the obstacles that prevent us from knowing the truth are in us. Likewise, the keys to knowing ourselves fully are within us.
This knowledge of genuine mysticism is precisely that direct connection with God, for ourselves. It has been taught by many different teachers, throughout humanity. When I speak of mindfulness, it is not simply contingent to the Buddhist religion. We find that in Sufism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, the Old Testament, etc. We will be talking about some of the many similarities between these faiths.
Manly P. Hall—a great Western esotericist, famous author of many books in the English language—explained and emphasized that there has always been a secret school of mystical wisdom. It has been given—whether through Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, etc.—towards humanity. And, that this knowledge of knowing the truth and knowing ourselves intimately, has been given in secret. This type of knowledge was never given openly, due to its power. The ability to transform who we are and to know God, is a terrible weapon, which if we use consciously, can help transform our psyche and transform how we help others. And, to let God guide us within, to the benefit of others. For, our actions truly represent the qualities of God, stemming from inside and manifesting to the external.
This knowledge was underground, precisely because humanity has not been capable of understanding this mystical science. Manly P. Hall and many other authors—whether from Blavatsky, or current writings, such as by Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition—have been giving instructions and opening up the doors to this teaching, for the first time.
Manly P. Hall emphasized the following:
"There is an incontrovertible mass of evidence indicating the existence of initiated philosophers possessing a superior knowledge of divine and natural laws. There is also sufficient proof that these initiates were the agents of a World Fraternity or Brotherhood of Adepts that has existed from the most remote time. This overfraternity has been called the Philosophic Empire, the Great School, the College of the Holy Spirit, and the Invisible Government of the World. References to this sovereign body of “the ancient ones of the earth” occur in the sacred writings, the philosophical literature, and the mystical traditions of all races and nations of mankind. …[we] have referred to the stream of the secret doctrine as Humanism. The term is not used in its popular sense, but to describe the grand program of the Mystery Schools for the emancipation of man from bondage to ignorance, superstition, and fear." –Manly P. Hall, Orders of the Quest
Manly P. Hall called this Humanism, the quality of being human. The word human, in Sanskrit, comes from Hum, spirit, and Manas, which means mind—a mind, which is us, the terrestrial person, that is fully united with the spirit, with God. So, a real human being is a Jesus, a Buddha, a master who fully knows him or herself, and in whom God is fully present, in their every action, word and deed. There are many masters who are part of this fraternity, and who are helping humanity, secretly and publicly.
The term humanism is applicable to the writings of Manly P. Hall, but, we call this knowledge Gnosis, Gnosticism. Gnosis is the very knowledge of how we overcome our own lack of cognizance of God, our ignorance, the superstitions of fundamentalist thinking. And also, the fears that afflict us on a daily basis.
This secret knowledge was known in the Middle East, as I mentioned, as Marifah. Marifah, in Arabic, means Gnosis, knowledge. We explained in a course that we gave recently on Sufism, the many sacred teachings of the Qur'an... which, when taught through a literal interpretation, is something dogmatic and detrimental to humanity—if we look at scripture from a literal standpoint, like that one must kill the unbelievers, as is so famously propagated in this tradition. However, psychologically speaking, what the Sufis talked about, what the Muslims talked about, when speaking about the "unbelievers," are factors not outside, but inside. Our anger is an unbeliever; it does not want to follow God. Our prejudices, which cloud our understanding, our anger which wants us to harm and afflict pain on those we love—that element, psychologically speaking, does not believe in God. It only wants to act on its own will. Likewise with fear, lack of confidence, any negative psychological quality, does not belong to God, but is our own creation; and, which prevents us from knowing the truth. The Qur'an says that you must fight against this, inside yourself. You cannot accuse and blame someone outside of your tradition. To be an unbeliever does not mean to not follow Islam, it means to not submit to God within ourselves. We explain that Islam, in Arabic, means submission to God. We submit to God for our actions, our psychological ways of being.
In the Qur'an, which is a beautiful text, if we know how to read it - emphasizes that there is an allegorical teaching in that scripture. It is not meant to be read as the dead letter, in many cases. As it says in the Sura, Al-Imran:
"He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah (or you could say, our inner Buddha, inner God, in Christ, etc). And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge (Gnosis) say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding." –Qur'an, Al-Imran [3:7]
So, whether it be the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Sutras, the Tantras, the Buddhist teachings, etc., we will gain nothing if we approach it from a literal standpoint. The language of the Judeo-Christian Bible and the Qur'an are symbolic, allegorical, philosophical. We cannot read it as the dead letter, because that dead letter is what kills the soul. Yet, behind the letter, if we know how to read, gives us the spirit, gives us genuine knowledge of ourselves.
These prophets and teachers of the past gave Gnosis, this knowledge, allegorically, in a hidden way, so that those who are educated, who knew how to read, could interpret those scriptures, accurately. And, the other people, who are not trained or initiated into their school, they would either blindly follow it, or would not get its message, because that teaching had to be kept in secret, to preserve its purity.
Many people ask, "What is genuine mysticism?" We discuss a lot, in this teaching, the Gnostic gospels as given in the Apocrypha, as well as the different non-canonical texts, which have recently come out in the past few decades. But, as you can see, we talk about all religions.
One thing I like to emphasize about the nature of mysticism, primarily relates to the Gospel of Thomas. When students ask, "What is genuine mystical knowledge? What does it mean to know God? What are the fundamentals? What are the primary steps that we can engage with, to know the truth, so that the truth can set us free?" We give the following scripture, where Yeshua, Jesus, or better said, that intelligence known as Christ, manifested through Jesus of Nazareth, stated the following:
"Know what is in front of your face
‘and what is hidden from you will be disclosed.
‘There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."
Meaning, be mindful. Be awake. Be attentive as a consciousness. Be aware of what is going on in the mind, what is going on in our heart, what is going on with our body, what is going with our surroundings. To be mindful and attentive—to be aware.
"His students asked him and said to him,
“Do you want us to fast?
“How should we pray?
“Should we give to charity?
“What diet should we observe?"
Many people who approach religion, ask these questions. "What are the ritual preliminaries? What are the exercises that I need to do, in order to be spiritual? What do we need to do on a practical basis, to change?"
“Do not lie and do not do what you hate.
“All things are disclosed before heaven.
“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed,
“nothing covered that will remain undisclosed." --The Gospel of Thomas 5-6
So—do not lie, and do not do what you hate—meaning, in a moment of conflict with a loved one, or a coworker, when we feel anger and we want to speak with resentment, with anger, with pride, and we feel remorse and know in that moment, "I know I should not say this thing," and yet, we fail to act on that conscience—that small voice that tells us what is right and what is wrong. We say the wrong thing, we cause a problem, we cause a conflict with this situation, a chain of events, a cycle and process as a result of our mistaken action, and we create pain. Afterward, we might feel that pain, morally speaking, knowing that we did something wrong. Therefore, do not do what you hate—act on the voice of conscience, which you sense in the very core of your being to be right action, right thinking, right feeling and right doing. All things are disclosed before God; God is aware of all things. Our inner divinity knows all. Therefore, we need to act upon that conviction and knowledge, that we are held accountable for our very words, and what effects we produce upon human beings. That is the essence of mysticism.
We see in this image, Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane, where, very diligently, he was preparing for his Passion, his crucifixion—which is another symbolic teaching about the path we need to follow, individually. So, he prayed in the garden, similar to the garden of Eden, preparing for tremendous suffering, tremendous ordeals and conflicts, which, if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we too must face certain ordeals, certain conflicts. And, in that struggle with ourselves, battling against our own defects—our fear, pride and anger, those unbelievers—we remember, "do not lie, and do not do what you hate," and know to be wrong. Then, fundamentally, we will be aided by the truth.
Jesus explained in the Gospel of Matthew the very famous teaching about the Sermon on the Mount, explaining, precisely, the difficulty of obtaining genuine reunion with God. Many Christians repeat this teaching, by memory:
"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life (spiritual life), and those who find it are few." --Matthew 7:13
To be one of the few does not mean to simply believe in Christianity, to believe in the Christian, the Catholic or even the Gnostic Church. It means to change who we are, fundamentally, psychologically. Do we decide to improve our psychological state of mind? To transform our very being, into something spiritual, so that every action and engagement with life is done with awareness, with kindness, with compassion toward humanity? Or, do we act on our negative qualities? Do we obey the bad voice which is the devil on one shoulder, telling us to indulge in that habit, indulge in desire, to do things for oneself, and to act in a way that is going to harm others? One does not need to be a criminal to realise this dichotomy between: should I behave in this way, or should I not?
The voice of conscience is what leads the soul toward that narrow path, that straight gate. That path is not entered by raising one’s hand and saying, "I believe in Jesus." One is not saved simply by thinking and feeling that one is one with God; one has to be united through practical works, through discipline, through change, by becoming really mystical, becoming aware of how our mind, our emotions, delude us. When we make mistakes, and learn how to change them.
By entering into that straight path within ourselves, that difficult process of change, we become initiates. As I mentioned, initiation is related to the word mystikos, mysterion, mystery. We have included an image of the sacred Tarot, the Egyptian cards associated, sadly in these times, with many forms of divination, which have been divorced from their deeper spiritual significance. The Tarot cards are related with the Hebraic tradition, the Kabbalistic tradition. Tarot relates to Torah, in Judaism. The major cards of this deck are 22; each are associated with a Hebraic letter of the alphabet of Kabbalah.
We included this image of the first card, which is called the magician. This is the card of initiation. The card that begins all spiritual life. We have represented in this glyph, a man pointing with his right hand down toward the earth, and his left hand holding a magic wand toward the air. This magician is our own divinity. The word magician comes from the Indo-European word “Mag,” which means priest. So, a priest or priestess is a magician: someone who works with all the energies of our interior, and gives that to God. Someone who knows how to obey the will of God, and how to use that power of divinity to help others: that is magic. It does not mean pulling rabbits out of a hat, or many other silly things. To be a practical magician is to be a spiritual being, an initiate, someone who knows the divine.
We won't explain all of this card, this glyph, but, he is pointing with his right hand towards the earth, and his left hand is facing up. This is indicating that, if you want to ascend to the higher regions of the divine, if you want to know the truth, you must first of all descend—confront all of your negativity, all of your impurity, all of your defects and to eliminate them. So that you can rise up, toward the truth. For, as the book of Isaiah states:
"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain..." --Isaiah 40:4
This is a reference to this card.
Initiation, from the dictionary, means “formal admission or acceptance, into a club or group; an adult status within one's community.” In Judaism, this is through the Bar Mitzvah. Or, quintinera in Latin American culture. Initiation refers to the act of initiating or being brought into a group.
Now, people think that this term only applies to physical attendance to a school, or being indoctrinated into a culture of a spiritual type. The real meaning is that initiation, as Samael Aun Weor states, is our own life "lived intensely, with rectitude and with love."
Many people want to be Freemasonry, or to enter a church, to be part of a certain society or group, and that is beautiful, it is necessary. Every community needs its own leaders, its own doctrines, teachings and its own harmony. To disrupt that is to cause tremendous suffering for those people. It is wrong to want to create division in certain spiritual groups, which certain people have attempted. But, the real meaning of initiation is, how do we change who we are, so that our soul can vibrate at a higher way of being? A higher way of knowing? So that we are initiated into a culture relating to Gods, Angels, Buddhas, masters.
When we learn to change our fundamental position in life, from a psychological standpoint, we remove the impurities of the soul, the lead that weighs us down in suffering. We can, in turn, elevate ourselves to the golden regions of God. That is the mystery of Alchemy. We, in turn, change our life; our life becomes initiation. From then, we become fully knowledgeable about, and speak directly, face to face, with those beings that achieved that state of perfection. We can do that when the body is asleep, when the soul abandons the physicality, and enters into the dream world. Then, we can communicate with those angels, those beings like Moses did, like Buddha, Jesus, etc. But, first, we have to change our daily life, where we are at, this physical body. This is where we start. We have to change our life intensely, living it intensely. It does not mean doing drugs, or doing something intensely like engaging in dangerous sport, or things like that. To live intensely refers to a psychological way of being, in which we are consciously working to be attentive, active, as a soul. And, in moments of crisis and conflict, we learn to act with ethics, with a conscious sense of right and wrong. Morals relate to dogma, belief; we know that what is wrong in one country is acceptable in another. That is not the type of ethics we are referring to. Morals belong to time, but ethics is a code of being, a way of acting that relates to our connection to God, and how we help others, and create harmony within society: that is ethics, or rectitude. Rectitude is our path of spiritual discipline.
The Three Factors of Genuine Mysticism
So, we live intensely with rectitude and love. And, as Jesus taught in the gospel of Luke:
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." –Luke 9:23
This statement condenses a very deep and elaborate teaching about the three aspects of mysticism, which we are going to explain in detail.
"If any man will come after to me, let him deny himself"—let him confront all of his impurity, within him. Let him die to his own individual egotistical desires. So that the soul can be given birth to; so that the soul can resurrect within us. "And take up his cross daily," that cross refers to precisely the two keys that we talked about; the gold and silver keys of Peter. The cross is a symbol of the union of a man and woman; the vertical phallus, the horizontal uterus, together form the cross, which Jesus died upon. Meaning, he showed with his life, how we as a soul need to use that very same power, to die in our own egotism. That energy that can give life, can destroy the impurities of the soul, so that the soul can resurrect into a new life. "To follow me" means to do good deeds, in order to help others, to live by his good example.
In the path of Initiation, we talk about what are called the three factors. The three factors for genuine mystical knowledge refer to birth, death and sacrifice, as represented in this quote: "let him deny himself": let him die to his own self-will, so that his will can be one with the divine.
Likewise, to "take up thy cross" is to give birth to the soul, which is achieved between a man and a woman, husband and wife. With those two energies, of man and a woman together, instead of creating physical life, we can create the soul.
To "follow me" is to sacrifice for humanity, to do good deeds; to sacrifice our own comforts, in order to act and work in favor of humanity.
So, mystical birth refers to the teachings given by Jesus to Nicodemus, which if you're familiar with the Judeo-Christian Bible, is a very important piece that establishes the teachings of the church—whether Gnostic or the Catholic church, which misappropriated this knowledge. He talks about the need to be born again. Many people think that to be born again is to simply raise one’s hand, and to say, "I believe in Jesus, and therefore I am saved." But, birth does not occur as a result of thinking, of wanting something intellectually or desiring something with the heart. Birth is produced when a man and a woman unite sexually, and they give birth with that energy to a child: that is birth. Just as you have a physical child, engendered through that act, by learning to conserve that very power, between a husband and wife in a marriage, that energy can give birth to our very spiritual essence. This is why Jesus said, in the Book of John 3: 5-8:
"Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
That which is born of the flesh—meaning, when husband and wife copulate, they give birth to a child. That is a birth of the flesh. But, through that very same sexual act, if the husband and wife know the secret of conversing that seminal power, those waters of life, and transform that into light, spiritual, fire, essence, consciousness, then "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." So, there is a physical way to engender a child, but, that act can also engender God, the spirit within.
Of course, Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus was teaching him at the time; even being a very well educated Rabbi, a mystical teacher of Judaism. He say, "How can I be born again, how can I reenter my mother’s womb a second time, in order to be born again?" Of course, Jesus was speaking in allegories. But, people who are very intellectual, read the dead letter and do not understand the philosophical meaning of the teaching. Which is why Jesus says:
"Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again (spiritually). The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit."
The teachings of mystical birth are the rites of baptism, popularised within the Christian faith. To be baptised by water is to take the very sexual, creative potential, which is in our physical sexual organs, and to transform those waters into energy, through certain exercises of meditation, of tantrism, of working as a couple. Those waters can be conserved, transformed into the wine of the spirit; if you remember Jesus' first miracle, he transformed water into wine. That wine was not simply to get a group of people drunk. It refers to the wine of the spirit; psychological, superior states of being. Those waters were transformed precisely in a marriage. So, husband and wife can take that very seminal power, the semen, the matter, and instead of expelling it, by conserving it and transforming it through the sexual act, in a state of ritual purity, in a state of love, divine love, that energy can rise up the spine, through certain energetic channels in the back, towards the brain. That energy, that fire, illuminates the mind. Instead of engendering a child, that power can go within our very center of our psyche, rejuvenating our organs, our physicality, as well as certain latent psychological capacities. He sees that Jesus was illuminated by this halo, and all of the prophets and masters have that image, where their mind is fully illuminated with light, with power. That is because they knew this mystery of baptism, where they learned to work with the waters of life, within them. Those waters can be a source of rejuvenation for us, if we transform them, if we use them consciously.
Those who are born of the spirit are like the wind. You cannot know where they come from or where they go; psychologically speaking, the superior state of a master, an angel, a Buddha, is very hard to comprehend, because their consciousness is fully awake. Our mind is typically very terrestrial, limited, and we try to understand these great beings and it is very difficult. But, if we learn to fulfill these three factors within ourselves, we can come to know their genuine mysteries.
We have included an excerpt from the Gospel of Thomas, elaborating on the point of spiritual birth, where he talks specifically about the nature and the need to become like a child, innocent, pure. It does not mean to become naive, "be as children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven." He does not refer to becoming juvenile, simplistic; but, psychologically speaking, this parable refers to a state of purity and innocence that we have lost, when, physically, we were children. Likewise, through our own transgressions, through different existences, different events in our life.
"Yeshua saw some babies nursing. He said to his students, these nursing babies are like those who enter the kingdom.
“They said to him, then shall we enter the kingdom as babies?"
Of course, you look these interchanges and dialogues, where people read Jesus literally... they cannot understand what he is getting at. He is a spiritual being, like the wind, constantly moving, giving insight, very dynamic. But, people who are very literal and intellectual miss the meaning.
In this quote, he explains, precisely, the mysteries of Alchemy, of fusing with God; when husband and wife unite sexually, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
"Yeshua said to them, When you make the two into one (meaning, man and wife when they unite), and when you make the inner like the outer, and the outer like the inner and the upper like the lower..."
What is the upper and lower? Well, when husband and wife are in the sexual act, the husband could be on top, the woman below.
"...and when you make male and female into a single one,
“So that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye..."
Which refers to myein, the mysteries of Gnostic mysticism: closing one’s physical eyes to illusion and developing spiritual insight, through a matrimony.
"...a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot..."
Meaning your actions are no longer from below, from our own personal desires, but from God.
"...an image in place of an image..."
Meaning, our self image. Who do we see ourselves as? Are we simply terrestrial, or do we have a divine identity? Which we do, but we need to realize that; to replace our self image with the image of God, who is within.
"...then you will enter the kingdom." --The Gospel of Thomas 22
This is a very famous teaching that was disseminated amongst Gnostic circles. When you make the male and female into one, when the male is no longer is male and the female, female; when a man and woman are together, they cease being just man and wife. In Hebrew, the sacred name of God is Jehovah. That word Jehovah relates precisely to this dynamic.
Jehovah comes from the Hebrew, Ya-Havah. Ya is masculine; a father. Havah, or Eve, is the wife, a woman. So, Jehovah is the union of both man and woman. The power of God, of Jehovah is within a husband and wife. When they unite, man is no longer man, nor woman a woman, because those forces are active, and you have an androgynous being, a divine being. If those forces are contained, can create life, spiritually. But, if they are expelled, we are kicked out of Eden, represented by the book of Genesis. This is the great battle that any aspirant of Gnostic mysticism faces.
This is why Jesus gave a beautiful teaching to the Samaritan woman at the well. This was woman that was known to have slept with many men, approached Jesus at this well. Their conversation reached the point in which, Jesus asked for water. After, this woman learned from Jesus about the waters of life, about a water springing up from one’s belly, up, inward, to everlasting life. This relates to the sexual energy; the creative force of love. Likewise, she says, "Give me of this water that will give me eternal life, spiritually." Jesus replies, very enigmatically, "Approach, bring thy husband. If you want to know the mysteries of divine life, bring your husband." For a woman, have a husband; for a man, have a wife. Of course, this is understand when reading between the lines—it was never given explicitly. Now that we talk about this in a very detailed manner, it is very obvious.
The Mysteries of Circumcision
The teachings of circumcision relate to this process. Of course, in Judaism, and Christianity, and especially Islam, young males practice the rite of circumcision, which is the cutting of the foreskin of the phallus. This was a tradition that was meant to help young men, that when they finally got married, they were not so stimulated in the sexual act, by the physicality of the act itself, to prevent that energy becoming so powerful, that one loses control; resulting in the expulsion of that energy. The foreskin represents animality. The sexual act can be taken over by the animal of desire, of instinct, of passion. Or, if we cut the animality from that act, it can be something divine, spiritual, creative, in which God can act through us.
The physical rite of circumcision was meant to be something useful, so that when a husband united with his wife, the foreskin would not stimulate the phallus so much, resulting in him losing control of his energy, and having an ejaculation, losing that power. Instead, these practitioners wanted to conserve that energy, to not waste it, to not reach the orgasm, to not expel it to create a physical child; instead, they wanted to create a spiritual child. So, cutting the foreskin was an ancient rite of Abraham, associated with this. But, symbolically, it refers to how we remove our own animal passions from the sexual act. This is why his students said to him:
"His students said to him, Is circumcision useful or not?
“He said to them,
“If it were useful, fathers would produce children already circumcised from their mothers."
You notice that many men that have been circumcised do not know these mysteries. Therefore, when they have sex, they do so for animal pleasure, and to reach the orgasm. That is all they think about. But, here, in these studies, we are teaching something more profound, something very different. If physical circumcision was the end all, be all, it would have produced the results that we want. But, physical circumcision does not matter; which is why Jesus says:
"But the true circumcision in spirit is altogether valuable."
Meaning, we no longer approach our wife (if we are a man) with lust. Instead, we venerate that being with divine love. We no longer treat the sexual act as something culminating a moment of pleasure, which depletes the psyche, depletes the mind and depletes the heart.
"Yeshua said, How miserable is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on both." --The Gospel of Thomas 53, 87
Meaning, to be fully thinking, rationalizing, conceptualizing, daydreaming about having sex constantly. But, sex without any type of love or respect for the other, for one’s partner. This is why, in the book of Hebrews, it states:
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
The bed defiled refers to the couple culminating with the orgasm, defiling themselves. Leviticus, in the Old Testament, refers specifically to the processes and rituals associated with ritual cleansing, as a result of having gone through that act.
Of course, the work of removing the animal within is the work of mystical death, which is the second factor for genuine mysticism. As I mentioned to you, upon the cross, within a marriage, we can fully eliminate all of our defects, all of our faults. But, of course, this is a very painful process. It is not one that many follow. Jesus lived this teaching with his life. He chose to physically represent, with his crucifixion, something that we need to do on a daily basis: not to be crucified physically, but psychologically, we crucify our own desires, our own egotism, our hatred, etc., etc. To emphasize the symbolic representation of this act, we will quote, in brief, the book of Matthew 27: 33-37:
"And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
“They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
“And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
“And sitting down they watched him there;
“And set up over his head his accusation written, IESUS NAZARENUS REX IUDAEORUM." --Matthew 27:33-37
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.
The word I.N.R.I, written above the cross, representing this Latin inscription, can be interpreted in different ways, in the form of sacred sounds, mantras. INRI also represents, "Ignis Natura Renovatur Integra": fire renews nature incessantly. What is that fire? The fire of the burning bush that illuminates the Tree of Life, that Moses saw on Mount Sinai. Likewise, this fire is this creative, sexual energy, which, when husband and wife are together, are inflamed with love, with power. That power can be used for God, to eliminate desire, defects.
INRI also represents, "In Necis Renascor Integer": “In death I am reborn, intact and pure.” Our own desires can die through that act, between as husband and wife, which is the ultimate ordeal, for any person, in spiritual life: to learn how to reconcile and love, to give selflessly. It is by working with that energy that we can remove the impurities. Once the soul is fully purified, when all desire and egotism, defects are eliminated, the soul can resurrect: it can fully give birth.
In the Gospel of Thomas, we have the emphasis of the animal within, as we have been discussing. We need to remove and eliminate the animal within our psyche. Our defects like anger, pride, hatred, are animalistic; these are animal qualities, these are not human qualities. A human being, that is fully one with God, does not have anger. Sometimes people say that God has a sense of wrath, but, God is force, but not anger. Anger is something we project onto our understanding of God. Instead, we say that these animal defects, pride, fear, are about self-preservation—me, myself, who I am, my benefit, what I want, what I need—that ignores the other. We know that in this society, this is a civilisation of eat or be eaten.
“Blessings on the lion if a human eats it, making the lion human.
“Foul is the human if a lion eats it, making the lion human." --The Gospel of Thomas 7
What is this lion? When we are full of great distress, great vexation, wrath, we are an animal. We do not reason. We only want to cause pain. Therefore, in those moments, that lion is eating our divine potential; it is devouring us. But, if we control that lion, and we conquer it, we can transform that beastial energy into something pure. That is the mystery of Alchemy. We transform that which is subjective, negative, detrimental, into something conscious, divine and pure. That is the path of death. It is very painful; the Muslims refer to this as jihad, striving. It does not mean Holy War. There are many words in Arabic for Holy War, but the word Mujahidah means to strive, to fight. This fight occurs within. When we confront everything that is wrong with us, and change it. This is a great battle, represented in the Old Testament by Jacob struggling with an angel, where he is fighting hand to hand combat with an angel, in the book of Genesis. It is a symbol of fighting with that power of God, which we use in an animal way; that energy of the creative sexual potential is from divinity. It comes from God. Sadly, we use it in an animalistic way, to procreate, physically. Therefore, the animal, that lion, eats us in that act. If we give into lust, that animal devours us. But, if we learn to conquer the animal within, restraining our body, mind, and heart, we can transform that lion into something human, divine.
Mystical Sacrifice and Service
This path is a great sacrifice, which is why many beings do not follow it. It is very arduous and painful. We talked about the teachings of mystical birth, and mystical death. The path of denying oneself, and the path of giving birth to the soul. Lastly, Jesus said, "follow me." This is sacrifice for humanity.
Sacrifice for humanity refers to what we do to help others; how do we serve others selflessly? How do we give, based upon our potential, based upon our psychological disposition, our gifts, our good qualities? How do we use what is in our skill and ability, to genuinely help others? Jesus taught, with his life, this doctrine. The highest sacrifice one can give is to teach this kind of knowledge, how to help people change. Personally, this is something that I do; not because I want to personally, but because I have had the experience when speaking to beings like Jesus, about what I need to do to serve humanity and pay my debts. So, this is something that I engage with as a result of what my inner divinity has instructed me to do.
Sacrifice for humanity can occur in many ways. It does not mean that one has to become a priest or missionary, to disseminate a type of teaching like this. We have to find our own ways of giving to others, in accordance with our disposition. We give based on that which we are capable of, and what can we do to really help others. Of course, this is a very painful process too, because, egotistically, our mind does not like to focus on the will, the needs of others. Instead, it wants to give to itself, constantly. It is a sacrifice. We have to fulfill what is called, the sacred office, which is where the word sacrifice comes from. It always involves pain, to some degree.
Jesus represented this with his life. He stated the missionary aspect of this type of sacrifice, in the following gospel of Matthew:
"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him." --Matthew 4:17-20
Sacrifice for humanity means to go fishing, you could say: fishing for people. To help, to assist in whatever way we can. And, to really give from our heart, from our capacity, from divine love, from compassion. When we see that someone suffers outside of us, who really deserves and needs help—and especially if they do not deserve that help, we give it anyway. We like to say, "that person wronged me, they do not deserve my compassion." Yet, that is precisely the egotism that we need to struggle against, and which you find that at work... Work can be very confrontational, very aggressive, very negative. And yet, I have found that, by being able to restrain my own sense of pride and self-esteem, and to speak with kindness and peace towards my clients at work, who may be causing a problem, it has diffused situations that would have escalated. Peace is what establishes equilibrium within any social environment. If we are angry, we perpetuate the wheel of pain. If we are at peace, like a sword, we cut through that chain of suffering and we totally disable that situation. Which is why the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition stated, "Kindness is a much more crushing force than anger." You can unmask traitors with love and compassion; you disarm people with kindness. We have to verify that, experience that and to work for that; it does not come easily in the beginning. We have to fight for it. But, when we find that this way of being than acting on our own egotism, we see that this becomes our foundation, and what we strive to fulfill every day, every moment. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated that we have to really concentrate on the effects of our actions, and not think about our intentions. We may intend to do good, but, the ego is all intention; it wants for itself. Yet, the results are disastrous. Our own self-will has intentions, perhaps of benefiting others, and yet we have to consciously observe what are the effects, if we act in certain ways. This is why he says:
"The results are always that which speak; it serves no purpose to have good intentions if the results are disastrous." —Samael Aun Weor
Love does not mean sentimentalism, hallmark cards or superficiality. It refers to the love that a being like Jesus gave for humanity, selflessly; where he was beaten, spat upon, crucified, and yet he only said, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." Love is the law, but conscious love. It is not love for ourselves, our own self-love, but love for the other being, regardless of whether we benefit or not. That is the type of divine love that we need, when we sacrifice for others. Depending on whatever our vocation is.
So, the path of sacrifice specifically relates to missionary work, how we sow the seeds of kindness to others, and how we fish in the rivers of life, looking for people who will want to be spiritual, who want to change.
In the Gospel of Thomas, verses 8-9, we have an elaboration on the previous points.
"And he said,
“Humankind is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish.
“Among the fish he found a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea and easily chose the large fish.
“Whoever has ears to hear should hear."
You find this in the gospels, quite frequently: let he who has the understanding, know. As the Qur'an says, only those with direct knowledge of God will know the meaning of the scriptures. Let he who is initiated understand this teaching. In terms of this fishing of men, he is referring to how, when Jesus was teaching, he had thousands of people listening to his sermons, and yet, only a few really practiced what he taught. Likewise, with this kind of knowledge, which we are unveiling.
Jesus chose the large fish, meaning, people that have some depth, who really are going to change themselves, who are going to transform who they are, and do so in a very serious way.
The following parable is the famous parable of the sower, which people read literally. But, it represents how this type of knowledge is being disseminated, spread, and taught.
“Look, the sower went out, took a handful of seeds, and scattered them."
He emphasizes how, some of these seeds will be destroyed. Meaning, some people will benefit, some people will listen, some people will take it seriously and will change. Others, will either debate or argue, such as with the following verse:
"Some fell on the road and the birds came and pecked them up.
“Others fell on rock and they did not take root in the soil and did not produce heads of grain.
“Others fell on thorns and they choked the seeds and worms devoured them.
“And others fell on good soil and it brought forth a good crop,
“Yielding sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure." --The Gospel of Thomas 8-9
So, the seeds of knowledge, which are being disseminated, some fell on the road, and the birds ate them. The birds represent, symbolically, the thought, where one’s philosophy of thinking looks at this teaching and perhaps rejects it, devours it, destroys it. Others fell on rock and they did not take root; meaning, when Jesus was teaching to the thousands of people, some people were very hardened, psychologically, they had no remorse, they would not want to change anyway, and therefore lost that opportunity to learn from the Christ. Others fell on thorns; meaning, criticism, slander, and you see in the life of any prophet, they are surrounded by critics and condemned. These are the very people who crowned him with thorns, so to speak. Others fell on good soil; meaning, those who truly feel in their heart that they want to change, fundamentally, to become genuine mystics.
The numbers 60 + 120 relates to the kabbalistic teachings, the numerical science of Hebraism. We talked in brief, previously, about how numbers represent certain qualities, and certain teachings of a very profound depth, which we will be elaborating upon in our lectures. But, when you look at Kabbalah, numbers in the Bible, they represent archetypes, symbols, as with the first card of the Tarot that we looked at, the number 1. Likewise, these numbers relate to other teachings, other principles. 60 + 120 = 180. In Kabbalah, you take these numbers, and you add the sum of the digits: 1 + 8 = 9. As we have talked previously, the number 9 is very important in the Bible. 9 relates, in Kabbalah, to what is called the sphere of Yesod. Yesod, in Hebrew, means foundation; it is the rock that Jesus builds his church upon. That rock, Yesod, in Freemasonry, is the cubic stone, upon which we build our church, the Church of Rome, the Church of Amore, of Love. That stone is the creative energy, in its depth. The teachings of Alchemy, how to use the creative power of sex, for something divine. The Muslims refer to that stone as the Qabba, which is the stone that they circumambulate around, during the Hajj pilgrimage. That stone is black in us, it has to be purified, made to become white in the Muslim tradition.
In synthesis, we will be explaining in future lectures about the teachings of the other pillars of Gnosis. We talked about mysticism in depth; previously we talked about psychology, and our next lecture will be dedicated to art. Science and mysticism, as well as art and philosophy, are integral: these are not something separate. We are discussing things in a very didactic way, to emphasize certain principles, which are important to know. But, we know that science in its real depth, the process of experimentation, of verification, is mystical in depth. Likewise, it is philosophical; the language of the parables of the Bible have allegorical meanings, philosophical meanings. These teachings have been given amongst many great artists of humanity, like Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt... many classical composers. The pyramids of Egypt and Yucatan verify and teach spiritual principles, and everything we have explained in this lecture about mysticism, will elaborate, in certain forms of art, as we see, whether amongst the Egyptians, the Aztecs and Maya, or the Sufis. Lastly, we will be talking about the nature of philosophy, especially from the West, but also within India.
Questions and Answers
Audience: You mentioned the appearance of angels in the New Testament, is that allegorical as well? When someone sees an angel, or is confronted by an angel, that is them looking inward, and hearing the right voice?
Instructor: Yes. As with Jacob struggling against an Angel, it was not something historical, specifically. People think that the Bible is a historical text. But, it refers to something psychological. The Hebraic Kabbalists write in the Zohar that the Angel that Jacob wrestled with was Samael. As you see in the writings that we have available, the author is Samael Aun Weor. He is the terrestrial person of the Angel Samael, and the Angel Samael is the God of War, known as Ares or Mars in Greek and Roman myth.
Samael is a force, an Angel, a being who exists, right now, in the superior dimensions. He was physically incarnated, and wrote many books, to teach this science. The Zohar talks about how Jacob wrestled with this Angel, which represents the strength of sex, sexual energy, the sexual power. The very force that can give life to our full potential, to help transform into a perfect human being, into an Angel, is within our sexual organs. The bible, which has been edited throughout many centuries, lost this. But, the Zohar, and many other scriptures have a tradition that emphasises some of the allegorical meaning, that was associated with the Bible, that was extirpated.
When Jacob fights with the Angel, it is talking about how we as a soul have to wrestle with the powers that exist within us. It is a spiritual fight. In the bible, Jacob, when he is wrestling, he breaks his thigh, it gets dislocated. The thigh is near the sexual organs—there are many other teachings associated with this symbol too, but, we find that these stories are not literal. People who read them literally, are children; they don't really see the adult material there, the spiritual material that is really profound.
Audience: Before I met you, and started doing this, I was studying occultism—whether it be Manly P. Hall, light occultism or dark occultism—the more you delve into it, delve into it, delve into it, it’s all from within, it is all the stuff that is going on in the world, in the universe, that is happening within. That being said, the one thing I have noticed, is that when you do the shadow work, and you start working on yourself, breaking down barriers of things you don't like about yourself, the more you get attacked. I don't know whether it's just negative emotions, real entities... but, the more you try, the more it is going to be harder.
Instructor: That is the battle of the devil.
Audience: Yeah, but, if you ever saw the Matrix—where they said, you can take either the red pill or the blue pill—it's almost like, the more you do, the work gets harder and harder and harder. Whereas, I can see friends or family sitting in front of the TV, watching football, drinking beer and not worrying about any of this. You almost get pissed off, because they're not doing any work on themselves. My take on it is, moderation does not work anymore.
Audience: Moderation in the spiritual work?
Audience: Well, yeah. It is almost like, whether it is alcohol, or lust.. whatever the seven deadly sins of the psyche are, it is almost like there is no room for error. The more you delve into, the more you try.
Instructor: Ethical discipline is something militaristic. It is a battle. But, by applying the teaching, we develop more equanimity. Especially in the beginning, when we are adjusting to knowing the causes of our suffering; it is painful to realise that we create all of our pain, and that we are responsible for everything that we do, and the reasons why we suffer.
For instance, as I was explaining my job, at one point, my mind wanted to blame my clients, "they just don't want to learn." I had an experience internally, in the dream state, where I was shown black birds. A bird, as I mentioned to you, is thought; the mind is aerial in nature, it relates to wind, breath, air. It was Samael Aun Weor who was showing me that symbol; he was saying that your mental state, being negative, is attracting that criticism from your clients, therefore, you are right in being judged by them. Then I returned to my body, and I was thankful. He was showing me something that I need to change, and that I can't blame then for anything they do. Yes, they can be negative, but I can be kind in response—that will neutralise much of that conflict.
But, in the beginning, when we are learning to look inside, it is a battle. We gain more equilibrium and stamina in this work, by continuing to do it. It takes a lot of discipline, especially in the beginning, to curtail negative thought, negative feeling. As many scriptures state, we cannot give any inch to anger, to fear, etc. But, we gain strength the more that we apply this science, and we cease to be filled with despair.
Of course, there are moments of darkness and suffering that every initiate goes through. If you listen to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, his piece about his spiritual night that he went through. He was a very high master who was tested, where they stopped giving him those experiences; and, he composed in his music his sorrow, his pain. So, even great masters go through that type of conflict. But, what guides them through those dark moments in their journey is having faith; recalling the qualities of God, and knowing that the divine is always with us. But, we have to be tested, and tried, like Nietzsche says in Thus Spoke Zarathustra—a German philosopher who knew this teaching in depth, he said: "You only know the spark of the Spirit, but you do not see the anvil that it is, and all the cruelty in its hammer." Referring to the God Thor, the God of war, first putting us in hot fire, and hammering us, tempering us, until the soul is perfected. We face ordeals because we have to confront our own negativity. An ordeal is a situation that is very problematic, a conflict, which provokes a lot of negativity, and yet, we have to be mindful of that, look at it, what are the causes that are provoked, and then go home and reflect; "what did I see?" And, to work on what we see, didactically. This is a psychological teaching.
Upon finding these studies, we are tested, we are given ordeals. That goes back to the parable of the birds devouring the seeds. Many people struggle and lose that conflict, because they get devoured by their own negativity, their own thinking; the thorns of slander or criticism, not only from others, but from themselves. We have to face trial and error. We fail many times, over and over again; we will get up, we get knocked down; it is a war. But, if you are persistent, and you remember God, you will get through it. Moses did it, Buddha did it, Jesus did it.
Audience: I think the first step, that I have taken from this last month and half, is self-awareness. You become aware—I think I mentioned once, I became aware, that more than an hourly basis, something negative came up, and I had to catch it. Have you ever heard of people that begin this process, who begin to say, it doesn't seem to get any better?
Instructor: Many people face that. The problem is, what is lacking is insight. Now, whether one is a high initiate, or a beginner, there is always going to be suffering, to a degree. The question is, do we comprehend the causes of our suffering? In those moments of trial, we have to learn to be patient. I can think of a couple of quotes relating to this—Nietzsche had a very beautiful way of explaining this science. He said, there will come a time in which all that is holy and divine to you will seem like a ghost, it will frighten you, and you will say all is false and despair. We feel abandoned, like Jesus said on the Cross, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani!" "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" This is Jesus saying this... the highest master we know of, in terms of hierarchy. And yet, he even said in that moment, "My God, where are you?" But, he remembered God, and he prayed and he conquered. In those moments of trial, when we suffer, we can listen to good music; personally, when I go through ordeals, I listen to good classical music, by masters like Tchaikovsky, Beethoven... Beethoven especially.
Audience: Do you listen to Rachmaninoff?
Instructor: I like Rachmaninoff. But, in terms of hierarchy amongst the musicians, Beethoven and Wagner are very, very high. People associate Wagner with Nazis, and the misappropriation of Nietzsche's' teaching, but you know the Ride of the Valkyria, the warrior woman fighting for God, Wotan in other words; it is a very famous song, which has been misappropriated, sadly. But, it is a warrior’s song, of the soul marching for Christ, and combatting all that is evil within oneself. Of course, these warrior women are representatives of qualities of our own soul. You can listen to Holst's Planets, the piece on Mars. I can show you perhaps in another lecture, we can play that piece. But, it shows you the type of willpower you need to fight against degeneration. It is not a war of anger, physical violence, but it is a spiritual war in which, through peace and comprehension, you conquer that which is impure.
We learn to really overcome those challenges by learning to meditate. Close your physical eyes, retrospect in your mind; visualise, try to imagine the difficulties you're facing. See it in your mind’s eye: what did you do, what did you say, what happened? We are going to give many explanations about that process in the coming weeks.
Audience: In true esoteric Freemasonry, Manly P. Hall said, that in order to get to the 33rd degree, he had to know one thing. And, the one thing that he had to know was, if one suffers, we all suffer.
Instructor: Exactly, because, if we ignore the suffering of others, especially when we're in pain, we can't transcend the problem. I am thinking of certain ordeals that I had in my job, where certain clients were problematic and causing me a lot of suffering. Then, I was realizing that, they are who they are, and they need to be responsible for who they are. But, my own resentment, my own anger, I need to change what I can. By conquering that, comprehending those faults of my own, I have been able to kind to these clients. And, even when they have been cross with me, very negative, I have neutralized certain things. That has given me more faith to overcome those challenges.
So, we do it little by little. To get out of those ruts, we have to remember the suffering of others.
Audience: What about marriage? When you talk about marriage, and the Gnostics talk about marriage, they are talking about love, they're not talking about the piece of paper...
Instructor: Exactly. People think that marriage is paperwork. But, Samael Aun Weor said that modern marriage is with paperwork is legal prostitution. This is because, these couples are joining in matrimony for lust, not for love. If you look at the divorce rate in America, you can see the results of this...
Audience: This is my first experience trying to learn Gnostic traditions. In your lecture, you mentioned about love, and unity, and what is necessary to be a partner, and to love, and you mentioned a man and a woman. Is that a Gnostic way? There is no homosexuality in Gnostic teachings? Can that love exist between a woman and a woman, and a man and a man?
Instructor: Good question. Biologically speaking, we know that the physical male counterpart maintains the male potential. Likewise, the woman with the female energy. And, as we know that Jehovah, the name is Ya-Havah, meaning, masculine-feminine, those two polarities manifest within the physical man, and physical woman. To create physically, to create a physical child, it needs a man and a woman. But, to create a spiritual being, you also need a man and woman too.
A male with a male, or a female with a female, does not possess the creative potential to create that spiritual element.
Audience: Doesn't that refer to the hermaphrodite, in terms of actual the male-female?
Instructor: Well, in terms of the hermaphrodite, we could say that a hermaphrodite, a being that has fully integrated male-female, is an angel. It is a being that has—through a matrimony, physically, like any one of us—we learn to work with the opposite sex, so that we have that power, physically and also spiritually, to create. When we fully perfected ourselves, those two principles are fully manifest. An angel is a perfect human being. But, to become an angel, we need to have both polarities; even physically, to create not only a physical child, but, spiritually speaking too.
Audience: Well, the whole brain is divided; the left brain is the sacred masculine, and the right brain is the sacred feminine. And, you want to come together in the middle, which is the prefrontal cortex, the third eye. So, we all have the sacred feminine; all males have the sacred feminine within, and all females have the sacred masculine in them.
Instructor: We do have, what we could say, the Divine Mother within us: the Divine Mother Kundalini. We also have the Divine Father within us. But, in order to march to those heights, physically, we have to work with where we are at. Meaning, a man, physically needs a wife, sexually speaking. He needs that actual counterpart to compliment the male. Likewise, the male needs that feminine counterpart, so that those energies, which when aroused physically, can create something spiritual. As Jesus says, that which is born of flesh is flesh, but, that which is born of Spirit is Spirit. Meaning, man and wife can birth to a physical child, but, to give birth to a spiritual child, we need the same energies, the same act, but, manifested in a different way. We are not against homosexuals. We don't condemn individuals.
Audience: So, that means, even the love that they share, that can create some kind of spiritual energy, but it cannot create a spiritual being?
Instructor: Well, we could say that, that energy, between a man and a woman is what develops our spiritual life, precisely.
Audience: And a man and a man, or a woman and a woman cannot obtain, cannot reach that level?
Instructor: A man and a man cannot. A woman and woman cannot. But, man and wife, is what creates spiritual life.
Audience: But, we're not against those people?
Instructor: Well, I personally do not choose that path, because, as Jesus said, straight is the gate of the spinal medulla, in which that energy can rise up to the brain. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth into life, spiritual life. Life, in Hebrew, relates to Chaiah. In Judaism, we say, Le’Chaim, "to life." Chaiah relates to our sexual organs, because we give life, physically, through sex. But, also, spiritual life, if we know how to take, to not be tempted by that energy, like Adam and Eve in the garden. We transfer from Chavah, and raise it to our brain, represented by Adam, then up the spine. This is the path that the Kundalini of the Divine Mother rises; up our spinal medulla, to our brain, in order to illuminate it.
Homosexuality cannot create spiritual life. But, it does create certain elements which are contrary to the divine elements. If you are interested, you can look into the Zohar; it has a lot of teachings about this. About how homosexuality is the opposite of creating spiritually, but something else, something inferior. Of course, a lot of people, who are homosexual or gay, do not like to hear that. That is why Jesus says, straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life. People who are attached to their customs may not want to change, but, that is their choice. Personally, we do not condemn homosexuals. But, we point of that, just as we cannot create a child physically through homosexuality, you cannot create spiritually within you without having that counterpart, that compliment. We need both man and woman to reach that full potential.
Audience: The problem with this, what you just said, if you were to say that to a forum of people, they would say that is politically incorrect...
Instructor: Well, that is the birds eating up the seeds, so to speak; devouring it. The minds saying that they do not like this. But, the thing is, I remember hearing about the Dalai Lama, who is a great master, a Gnostic teacher; he was giving a lecture before an audience, a homosexual community, and they asked him, "Can one be homosexual and Buddhist?" And he answered, kindly but firmly, "No, you cannot." And, of course, they were hissing at him, which was their choice. But, if we want to create, as we mentioned, even spiritually, a matrimony is needed; and, I do not mean papers, I mean, when a man loves a woman, and there is divine communion between, both in the world of thought, feeling and will, then we can develop genuine mysticism within us.
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