<![CDATA[Chicago Gnosis - Articles]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2023 09:02:33 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[The Advent of Samael]]>Thu, 27 Oct 2022 05:00:00 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/the-advent-of-samael
(Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition)
Today is a very special day within gnostic esoterism, because October 27th commemorates the advent or incarnation of divinity within the author, lecturer, healer, Gnostic leader, and spiritual guru Samael Aun Weor.

The term advent stems from the Latin adventus, indicating "arrival," a translation of the Greek παρουσία Parousia: the divine "presence." Incarnation signifies how deity, divine abstraction, or spiritual potential becomes actualized in the flesh. The ecclesiastical roots of the Latin verb incarno points towards the prefix in- and caro, "flesh," whereby the spirit becomes internalized and manifested in the terrestrial personality of a qualified and properly prepared individual.

On October 27th, 1954, the founder of the Gnostic Movement incarnated, through rigorous spiritual discipline and initiatic works, his innermost divinity, the Greek λόγος logos or angelic intelligence of the planet Mars. Samael was known throughout the Hebraic scriptures, particularly The Zohar, as the controversial angel responsible for temptation, judgment, and redemption. Both a source of confirmation and contestation, the Angel Samael provides the strength and ordeals necessary for inner self-transformation. However, deep spiritual change and progress is predicated upon struggle, which is why the great saints and prophets always had to prove their character through facing the rigorous tests imposed by this being (see Jacob wrestling the Angel Samael in Genesis 32:22-32). This explains why Samael Aun Weor's books are so controversial and penetrative: they strike at the heart of one's deepest morals and sentiments, compelling readers to grapple with their relationship to self, humanity, and divinity in an uncompromising manner.

In Greek, the Angel Samael was known as
Ἄρης Ares, the God of War, but not a war against other countries, peoples, or religions, but with psychological and spiritual corruption. Likewise, numerous mythologies have documented, throughout religious antiquity, the universal influence of this great angel, whose potency is correlative with the prevalence and intensity of humanity's ignorance. The greater the spread of religious, institutional, and societal degeneration, the greater this angel has strived to alleviate suffering and rectify error. As the warrior of God, this angel fights, out of compassion, against egotistical tendencies and human weakness, so that the soul becomes strong through adversity. Through spiritual battle, Samael provides strength and opportunity for the consciousness to triumph.

This is why on October 27th, we invoke this master to provide us with the spiritual fortitude necessary to comprehend, meditate, and eliminate our psychological defects. This day is best observed through reflection on our own egotism, pride, selfishness, and conflicting desires. In deep meditation, it becomes possible to purify the psyche. On October 27th, we can dedicate ourselves more diligently to meditation, prayer, and self-reflection, so that through calling upon the strength of God channeled through the Angel Samael, we can in turn be more inspired to practice, change, and affect genuine transformations in our daily life.

This process is facilitated through the energy of Christ, whose cosmic intelligence and force permeates all of nature and the universe. Christ as a divine principle expresses in forms as diverse as the world's religions and their founders. Jesus of Nazareth was one of many masters who internalized and perfected such an intelligence within himself. Samael Aun Weor is also one amongst many such members of the universal fraternity and internal college of initiates who operates in the superior worlds.
We can also celebrate and commemorate the Advent of Samael through the sacred Eucharist. As an essential practice within the Gnostic Church, the Eucharist can provide inner strength, inspiration, and profound wisdom, for by assimilating the energy of Christ, divinity can embolden and invigorate our spirituality. By ingesting the body and blood of this cosmic force, we can develop deeper insights into our errors and the ways the overcome them. The Eucharist can be practiced within the solitude and sanctity of our own homes, since each individual is called to become a priest or priestess within the rites and higher calling of the perfect matrimony. Couples and single practitioners can invoke the Martian manifestation of the Christic energy, Samael, since this powerful aspect of divinity teaches us how to defend what is right and remedy what is harmful.

On this day, the Martian Christ entered within his bodhisattva or human soul, Samael Aun Weor. Through this act, a great being was able to complete a tremendous humanitarian mission. Samael Aun Weor, the terrestrial expression of his internal divinity, wrote extensively about the spiritual path as expressed throughout the great religious traditions of antiquity. His great contributions and service to humanity include his extensive writings on the universal source of all religions, accompanied by the explanation of numerous revolutionary practices for the alleviation of suffering and the complete development of our human potential.  Such techniques were previously expressed in symbolic and allegorical form within the scriptures of both East and West, and this prolific author dedicated his life to explain the esoterism and application of these practices for the betterment of humanity. What distinguishes this esotericist is the accessibility and didacticism of his writings, since they were presented with a clarity, depth, and practicality that is uncommon within the contexts and history of esoteric literature.

For more information about this unique and wonderful man, you may study the following resources:

<![CDATA[Spiritual Practice with Melchizedek]]>Sat, 13 Aug 2022 05:00:00 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/spiritual-practice-with-melchizedek
Saturday, May 13th, 2023 is a very special day within the Gnostic tradition. This is the only day in the year where the 13th falls on a Saturday, indicating to us through practical astrology the manifestation of influential planetary influences. Therefore, at the 13th hour (12 to 1 pm) on these dates, our planet earth will vibrate with powerful cosmic forces as a result of the Genii Melchizedek, who, according to Samael Aun Weor, is the angelic intelligence that governs our planet earth.
This enigmatic figure or spiritual king taught Abraham the rite of transubstantiation (the Gnostic Unction or Eucharist) after great battles against the Sodomites and Gomorrites.  It is stated in the Bible (Genesis 14) that he was the King of שָׁלֵם Salem, which is highly symbolic, since this word shares etymological correspondence to the Hebrew word for "peace": שָׁלוֹם Shalom, and Shelamut שְׁלֵמוּת "perfection."  Those who know Kabbalah will not be surprised that these words relate with שְׁלֹמֹה Sholomah or Solomon, who is an archetype of the perfected human being made into the image of God.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was [is] the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, "Blessed be Abram to the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand." And he gave him tithe from all. —Genesis 14:18-20
Melchizedek's blessing of Abraham symbolizes how our inner divinity, represented by Abram or Abraham, is given honors from the god of the earth as a result of the initiatic process within each one of us. מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק Melchizedek is literally "King" (מֶ֖לֶךְ Melech) of divine "Justice" (צדק Tzadik) on our planet earth.  Therefore, it is important to work with this intelligence in order to become a righteous one (צדיק Tzaddik), known in other words as: an "initiate."

Those who attain genuine initiation through this spiritual and psychological work do so in accordance with the order of Melchizedek.  He is the divine planetary intelligence of the earth who grants entryway to the heights of spiritual realization for our humanity.  Since he is the life and strength of this planet, we seek to become "Kings" and "Queens" of nature through his beneficence and help, just as all the "righteous ones" (Tzaddikim) צדיקים have done before (including Abraham, Moses, Jonah, Job, Elijah, and all the prophets).

Melchizedek's hierarchy is mentioned and alluded to by Master Morya:
The story of Moses and his master, Melchizedek, is related in the Koran. It should be read by every searcher of Truth and every occult student, for it teaches that the Kingdom of Heaven can only be taken by energy. ―M., The Lord God of Truth Within
The Qur'an, the esoteric book of the Muslims, depicts Melchizedek as the mysterious companion of Moses. Amongst the Sufis, Melchizedek is known as Khidr, the "servant of Allah," whose transcendental wisdom surpasses that of many great prophets, since those who enter initiation on our earth do so through the commands of this great master.
And [Moses] found a servant [Khidr] from among Our servants to whom we had given mercy from us and had taught him from Us a certain knowledge [marifah in Arabic, gnosis in Greek, da'ath in Hebrew, experiential knowledge from the awakened consciousness].

Moses said to him, “May I follow you on the condition that you teach me from what you have been taught of sound judgment?”

He [Khidr, Melchizedek] said, "Indeed, with me you will never be able to have patience [because his level of being is superior and more radical, revolutionary]. And how can you have patience for what you do not encompass in knowledge?" ―Surah Al-Kahf, "The Cave," verses 65-68
It is interesting that the Qur'anic story of Melchizedek is in Surah Al-Kahf, "The Cave," since Melchizedek's temple resides, within the superior dimensions of nature, in the caves or heart of the earth.

​Melchizedek is also referenced by Jesus within The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia:
Jesus, — that is Aberamentho, — said: “Since indeed the father of my father, — that is Yew,— is the foreminder of all the rulers, Gods and powers who have arisen out of the matter of the Light of the Treasury, and Zorokothora Melchisedec is the envoy to all the lights which are purified in the rulers, leading them into the Treasury of the Light, — these two alone are the great Lights, and their ordinance is that they down go to the rulers and purify them, and that Zorokothora Melchisedec carrieth away the purification of the lights which they have purified in the rulers and leadeth them into the Treasury of the Light, — when the cipher and the time of their ordinance cometh, that they go down to the rulers and oppress and constrain them, carrying away the purification from the rulers.” ―The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
Numbers within kabbalah are intuitive principles, archetypes, cosmic laws, and blueprints for the creation and elaboration of the soul. Arcanum 13, the thirteenth law of The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, signifies death, purification, and the elimination of defects that obstruct the light of divinity within the consciousness. Through the annihilation of the ego, the soul attains immortality. In this manner, divinity edifies, sanctifies, and realizes the complete human being through the sacred precepts of judgment compassion.
Rabbi Ḥizkiyah opened, "Like a rose among thorns, so is my beloved among the maidens (Song of Songs 2:2). Who is a rose? Assembly of Israel (תפארת Tiphereth, the human soul, governed astrologically by Venus and the Sun). For there is a rose, and then there is a rose! Just as a rose among thorns is colored red and white, so Assembly of Israel includes judgment and compassion. Just as a rose has thirteen petals, so Assembly of Israel has thirteen qualities of compassion surrounding Her on every side. Similarly, from the moment אלהים (Elohim), God, is mentioned, it generates thirteen words to surround Assembly of Israel and protect Her; then it is mentioned again. Why again? To produce five sturdy leaves surrounding the rose. These five are called Salvation; they are five gates. Concerning this mystery, it is written: I raised the cup of salvation (Psalms 116:13). This is the cup of blessing, which should rest on five fingers—and no more—like the rose, sitting a five sturdy leaves, paradigm of the five fingers (the Gnostic pentagram or upright spiritual master). This rose is the cup of blessing." ―Zohar
Therefore, the planetary intelligence Melchizedek can aid the practitioner on any Saturday the 13th from 12 to 1 pm, the thirteenth hour, to give inner strength and assistance in the elimination of one's internal faults and impurities. Since calculating the appropriate time for these practices can seem confusing, you can reference the following chart:

  • ​12 am-1 am : 1st hour
  • 1 am-2 am : 2nd hour
  • 2 am-3 am : 3rd hour
  • 3 am-4 am : 4th hour
  • 4 am-5 am : 5th hour
  • 5 am-6 am : 6th hour
  • 6 am-7 am : 7th hour
  • 7 am-8 am : 8th hour
  • 8 am-9 am : 9th hour
  • 9 am-10 am : 10th hour
  • 10 am-11 am : 11th hour
  • 11 am-12 pm : 12th hour
  • 12 pm-1 pm : 13th hour

Through eliminating our psychological defects, we can in turn generate light, thereby entering the superior worlds with serenity, happiness, contentment. This is the meaning of Melchizedek "carrying away the purification of the lights" to compassionately lead the soul "into the Treasury of the Light," the heavenly realms, through benediction and divine justice.

A Gnostic Instructor explained, in a lecture entitled A New Heaven and Earth, a special practice for this date:
The practice to ask for help from Melchisedec is quite simple. It is performed on any Saturday the thirteenth, at the thirteenth hour (one o’clock). Lie face down (on your stomach or solar plexus). You will pray and meditate for one hour, so adopt a posture that will allow you to be fully relaxed for that time. You can use a pillows or cushion as needed. You can rest your head on your hands or arms. Some students prefer to adopt the shape of a star with arms and legs out. As Samael Aun Weor emphasized, the main feature of our posture is that we should be deeply relaxed, capable of totally forgetting about the physical body. If you are distracted by your posture, you will not be able to concentrate effectively. 

Close your eyes and pray to your inner Being, asking to go to the temple of Melchisedec for help. Visualize this happening. The temple is in the center of the Earth. Relax, pray, concentrate, and visualize this process. Imagine talking to him. Generally, students sustain this prayer for the entire hour, meditating throughout. 

​Call upon the help of Melchisedec to learn about yourself. Do not call upon Melchisedec and ask him to help you get a new car, or to get a new house, because people do that, and that is not the point of the practice. The point of the practice is to get help from Melchisedec to learn about your own Earth (your self) and to learn about your relationship to his Earth, this planet, and to change. My personal recommendation is to ask for help with your ego and your karma, since they are the root of suffering. 

Most importantly, one must have faith and sincere longing for inner change.

Learn how to contact the Lord Melchizedek:

Guided Meditation
May the Lord God of Truth within bring you harmony, peace and understanding!
<![CDATA[Why Beliefs Are Almost Always Wrong]]>Sat, 20 Nov 2021 06:00:00 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/why-beliefs-are-almost-always-wrong
Many have well-developed conceptions about a variety of spiritual topics. While we respect people's beliefs, one's mental concepts are never equal to reality. Although one might read abundantly, it is an entirely different phenomenon to personally know something through investigation, experimentation, direct perception, and verification. Unless one has truly lived such experiences, then one cannot conceive anything remotely close to the true reality of such experiences.
Unfortunately, many materialistic people deny the possibility of conscious perception beyond the physical senses, even though such states have been extensively documented throughout the world’s diverse religious, spiritual, and mystical traditions. Despite the abundance of such literature, people either blindly accept or reject what they have never experienced. While innumerable devotees venerate and believe in spiritual testimony, the irony lies in their rejection of such experiential possibilities within themselves, primarily due to the conviction that such mystical insights were only accessible to the few through divine grace.
Contrary to such assumptions, the founders of religion taught how to experience divinity through practical methods, and by example, the means to convey that wisdom to others. The primary means of such realizations is meditation.
Meditation is a state of perception in which all psychological conditions and afflictions cease, so that our consciousness can awaken to its innate nature and directly experience reality. Through comprehending the internal causes of disharmony and discord, the mind enters a profound state of tranquility through which divine insight can manifest. Since the abstract knowledge of spiritual cognition subsists beyond our physical senses, it is necessary to train the body to rest while activating our psychological senses, so that, exercised and developed, our consciousness can perceive the metaphysical truths contained within religious doctrine.
For this precise reason, the science of meditation is indispensable. To those unpracticed in it, they can believe meditation is just sitting around thinking. This belief is also extremely far from the reality. In meditation, one awakens beyond the mind and lives the experiences of the inner worlds: the multidimensional structure of reality known as the Kabbalah that we access while we dream. One can even relive their past lives and experience firsthand the disciplines they learned, forgotten through the overpowering transition of death. Rather than believe in or deny the process of transmigration, one recalls and remembers the facts of previous incarnations. Such wisdom goes far beyond any concept or idea, since it is deeply personal, repeatable, and verifiable. Perhaps some have undervalued what meditative experiences can truly offer: vivid, living knowledge of reality, far beyond concepts. However, developing such a skill requires decades of training.

Do you have the willpower and self-discipline to master it? Only in that way will you discover the reason why meditation has been highly venerated across the world for millennia, long before even the first religious, spiritual, and mystical writings were well-established, serving as a wisdom tradition on which any esoteric, initiatic order could be founded.
​Who or what can guarantee that concept and reality are exactly the same thing?

Concept is one thing and reality is another.

There is a tendency to overestimate our own concepts. It is almost impossible for reality to equal concept. Nevertheless, the mind, hypnotized by its very own concepts, always presumes that concept and reality are the same.

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?

Two severely disciplined minds confined by ironclad intellectual structures argue with one another.  They debate, in dispute over this or that fact of reality.  Each believes its own concept to be exact and the other to be false.  Which is right?  Who can honestly guarantee either case?  Which one shows that concept and reality are the same?

Unquestionably, each mind is a world of its own.  In each and every one of us lies a kind of pretentious, dictatorial dogmatism that wants to make us believe in the absolute equality of concept and reality.

Nothing can guarantee absolute equality between concept and reality no matter how strong the structures of a line of reasoning might be.

Those who confine themselves to any logistical intellectual procedure are always inclined to make the reality of phenomena and the devised concepts agree.  However, this is only the result of hallucinatory reasoning.

Being open to what is new is a difficult gift for the traditionalist. Unfortunately, people want to discover and discern their own prejudices, ideas, preconceptions, opinions, and theories in all natural phenomena. No one knows how to be receptive, to see what is new with a clear and spontaneous mind.

Let the phenomena itself speak to the sage; this should be logical. Unfortunately, sages of this day and age do not know how to view phenomena. They only want to see in them the confirmation of all their preconceptions.

Although it seems incredible, modern scientists know nothing about natural phenomena.

When we only perceive our own concepts in natural phenomena, surely, we are not seeing the phenomena itself but only our concepts.

Nevertheless, foolish scientists, amazed by their fascinating intellect, stupidly believe each of their concepts to be absolutely equal to this or that observed phenomenon, when the reality is different.

We do not deny that all those who are locked into this or that logistical procedure reject our assertions. Undoubtedly, the pontifical and dogmatic condition of the intellect would never be able to accept that any properly conceived concept does not coincide exactly with reality.

As soon as the mind observes any phenomenon through the senses, it rushes to immediately label that phenomenon with this or that scientific term. Unquestionably, this serves only as a patch to cover its own ignorance.

The mind does not really know how to be receptive to what is new. However, it does know how to invent highly complicated terminology with which it tries to classify—in a self-deceiving way—that of which it is surely ignorant.

Speaking now in a Socratic sense, we will say that not only is the mind ignorant, but even worse, it is ignorant of its ignorance.

The modern mind is terribly superficial.  We have specialized in inventing extremely difficult terms to hide our own ignorance.

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.

Undoubtedly, it is not possible to penetrate the amphitheater of cosmic science without first dying within ourselves.

We must disintegrate all those undesirable elements that we carry within and which together form the “I” of psychology.

As long as the me, myself—our own subjective concepts and theories—continues to bottle up the superlative consciousness of the Being, it is absolutely impossible to directly comprehend the harsh reality of natural phenomena within us.

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.

The consciousness knows that which it directly experiences for itself, the naked reality of life beyond the body, the affections, and the mind. ―​Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion: Concept and Reality

Begin Your Journey Beyond Beliefs:

Meditation Essentials

<![CDATA[What Spiritual Teachings are Reliable?]]>Thu, 08 Jul 2021 17:37:42 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/what-spiritual-teachings-are-reliable
Many have asked us whether or not a particular source of spiritual knowledge is reliable. Such a question reveals an interesting tendency in many spiritual seekers, which, ironically enough, can more often serve as an obstacle than a remedy. Often lacking personal experience, people go to others for spiritual guidance, animated by a genuine longing for self-improvement. However, acknowledging one's yearning for instruction is a precarious moment, one that can be marred by indiscrimination and naivety, for how does an aspirant identify when a teacher, teaching, or community truly practices what it professes? How does one determine the orientation, ethics, and qualifications of instructors and instructions? Since all spiritual traditions emphasize the necessity of experienced teachers, how does the sincere student know where to find and recognize them?

If we seriously examine our own mind, we discover with great shock that we lack stability or permanence in our psychology. Our thoughts, beliefs, identity, desires, and habits are afflictive, because such conditioned states of mind are constantly in flux. We are victims of ever-changing external stimuli and societal pressures. When we begin to look within ourselves, we discover our profound lack of personal integration, without which spiritual illumination is impossible. Our internal fragmentation is a source of abundant psychological suffering, in that the consciousness is trapped within psychological contaminants. Our soul is enmeshed within defects of pride, anger, fear, doubt, lust, envy, jealousy, and all types of inner conflicts. Rather than possessing the virtues of an awakened, unified soul, we discover that such qualities remain inert, suffocated by our polluted mind. When it comes to moments of great crises, we are often weak and ineffectual, lacking cohesion, order, and purpose. 

Due to all of these terrifying realizations, and because we lack training and knowledge for cultivating a rich spiritual life, we seek out teachers. Likewise, when we discover our own inconsistencies, paradoxes, and egotistical states, we learn from hard experience how, like us, the vast majority of people suffer from this same problem, including those who profess to be enlightened and spiritual. Therefore, the serious student who possesses such disturbing revelations is not immediately willing to place their trust in the minds and beliefs of people who possess the very same deficiencies as their own. By trusting without personal verification, we risk altering our trajectory for the worse, since in our initial ignorance, we cannot foresee the consequences of our actions and the application of mistaken knowledge.

This danger does not discredit the need for authentic spiritual teachers. In fact, it highlights the rigorous, demanding, difficult, and necessary process of knowing where to look. Upon having found a teacher or teaching, we must then determine their authenticity through years of consideration. This process does not entail a morbid skepticism or denigrative suspicion of groups and traditions, although many aspirants may find such intense emotions difficult to curtail after having suffered traumas from different spiritual people. Instead, the type of inquiry we advocate is impersonal: distant, cold, equanimitous, and unbiased by neither delirious exultation nor outright rejection. One should approach a teacher or teaching in the same manner as a doctor dissects a carcass on an autopsy table.

There is no overwhelming need to win favors or impress others. It is unnecessary to merely join a community for the purpose of fending off loneliness. We no longer attend a school from fear of hell, or obey authorities because we lack inner discernment and confidence in our own intuitions. There is only the definite reality before us, beyond the need for trying to feel good through uncritical adherence or affiliation with a group.

While communities fostering respect, collaboration, and inspiration are very necessary, they are not the end goal in themselves. At most, groups can foster superior emotions to help elevate our noblest aspirations. They can also provide useful techniques by which to deepen our personal practice and overcome suffering. Yet one should not conflate participation with a group with spiritual progress. When seeking proper diagnoses, medical professionals consider a variety of different contexts, conditions, and facts to arrive at an unbiased conclusion of a person's health. Spiritual inquiry is no different. We must analyze and only confirm the facts, patiently appraising a teacher or teaching beyond saintly appearances or group conformity.

This is why we teach people to be independent, logical, methodical, and dispassionate. This does not negate compassion or superior sentiments, but affirms one's ability to consciously engage with life's mysteries. We seek to comprehend the fundamental structures of reality without flaws, conditions, and prejudices. We do not engage in politics, arguments, or debates, since these activities tend to exacerbate negative emotions. Instead, we should rely on spiritual facts: scientific, provable, repeatable, consistent, verifiable, clear, and definite, without ambiguity or supposition. If the spiritual teachings we follow lack clarity regarding how to live an ethical life, or do not align with the consensus of the prophets, then it is necessary to embody restraint and caution with our conclusions.

Rather than hoard a library of theories in our intellect, we can awaken our own consciousness and experience the truths contained within religions, so that by comparing our experiences with authentic sources, we are not fooled. But unfortunately, the predisposition of most people is to be lazy, to merely accept what other people say without testing their validity with proven methods.

Therefore, spiritual candidates should inquire into the root of diverse teachings to determine their utility. Although lineages can present alluring promises of authenticity, they must not be taken at face value. Otherwise they petrify into unbreakable and unquestioned dogmas despite their genuine worth. Even the most refined and divine principles can imprison if we approach them without vitality, practicality, and intuition. Just as Western academia demands high standards through its rigorous stipulations, likewise spiritual students must be demanding with themselves, a teaching, or a teacher. It is not enough to sit and listen to gurus, to adopt their knowledge with blind devotion and unwavering belief. Buddhist scriptures often emphasize the need for a probationary period: the careful examination of an instructor over the course of many years before deciding to become a disciple. This recommendation also comes with meticulous knowledge of established scriptures, sutras, and tantras, whereby the testimonies of a teacher can be compared, cross-examined, and evaluated.

​Many scientists validate research through triangulationthe utilization and convergence of multiple methods, theories, or qualitative data sources to comprehensively prove an understanding of a phenomenon. Likewise, the spiritual student learns to validate a teacher's qualifications through multiple areas of study and practice. If an instructor contradicts the divine law stipulated throughout the religious writings, then students can be certain that he or she is sincere but mistaken.

Considering these points, some definitive questions become: "How effective are the practices of a given tradition in understanding and eliminating the causes of suffering? How far on the spiritual path can these instructions take me? How do I know if I've reached the goal, and whether or not the knowledge I have learned is complete? How do I rely on spiritual facts to determine my trajectory and the expediency of what I have learned?"

Investigation and personal analysis is the essential precondition for developing spiritual competency, for just as artists long to develop and master their art, aspirants must rely on qualified individuals who have already demonstrated spiritual proficiency. Demonstrated by Christ's injunction to "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7), students should adopt a pragmatic approach, since practices, not theories, are the key to unlock hidden potential. However, the Western proclivity towards intellectualization presents a giant hurtle, for exclusively relying on the mind to resolve the issues of the heart more often leads to problems than solutions.

This is why, in our spiritual school, we learn and master the science of meditation. 
Meditation is the means of experiencing the truth for ourselves, and therefore constitutes the bread and butter of genuine Gnostic institutions. With internal meditation, we suspend the afflictions of thought, the disturbances of emotion, and the agitation of the body, thereby deepening concentration upon one object of inquiry. This is with the purpose of extracting its essential meaning. When the mind is translucent like an unperturbed lake, the heart is alert, awakened, and inspired by the penetrative insights it receives.
The mind believes, the mind that does not believe, the mind that doubts, is an ignorant mind. The path of wisdom does not rely on believing, not believing, or doubting. The path of wisdom consists of inquiring, analyzing, meditating, and experiencing. Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
We reap the joys of our meditations as we develop comprehension. Understanding is a creative act, whereby consciousness is awakened and developed. The consciousness is the only capacity within a human being that can intuit knowledge inaccessible to the physical senses. Since the realities professed throughout world scriptures are beyond physicality, it is logical that meditation is the door to accessing a deeper understanding of that knowledge. Through abandoning distractions, the consciousness can introspect within its own clarified perception to experience the reality of any given thing. This is realized through senses that are atrophied in most people, but are developed through meditative discipline. Comprehension, facilitated through meditation, is the spark of inspiration that inflames our being and drives us to seek greater union with divinity.

While some mistaken individuals have taken meditation at face value
adopting its principles as a system of belief without experiencethis is not the goal of any genuine spiritual mystery school. What its founders demand is personal testimony born through the application of expedient techniques. Witnessing the divine is the state of meditation itself: cognizance of reality without the need to rationalize, speculate, doubt, believe, or assume.

Through meditation, we demonstrate our capacities for knowing the metaphysical realities informing the inception and deliverance of scripture. Since much of the knowledge presented in religious writings is abstracttranscending socio-political, cultural, and historical contextsit is impossible to comprehend their deepest significance without learning how to activate the spiritual senses that inform their foundations. It also requires that we abandon our own suppositions, beliefs, and theories about a given tradition. When we no longer interpret through our own prejudices, we access their essential mysteries with the heart and mind of a child.

​Meditation is the universal state of being whereby we apprehend the intuitive grammar of divine allegories, metaphors, symbols, and prophecies. This occurs through mystical visions within meditation and the multidimensionality of dreams. Through these internal experiences, the abstract takes on concrete forms so as to convey messages of the deepest social bearing and the greatest practical import. These dream symbols constitute the moral compass for navigating our daily lives with greater rectitude and conscious love. When the self, the mind, ego, or defects are absent, we experience the plenitude of spiritual creativity and divine fullness, which are born through the daily discipline of meditative practice.

Therefore, learn to rely on your own experiences in conjunction with the knowledge of established sources, i.e. the great religious scriptures of the world. It is not enough to place our trust in popular, contemporary authors whom we have not fully investigated nor personally experienced, primarily when much of their teachings contradict millennia of objective, proven testimonies. Much modern literature does not align with the basic ethical conduct of the prophets, evidenced by a lack of critical engagement with the fundamental notion of chastity. Without sexual purity, transmutation, or sublimation, there is no progress according to the consensus of humanity's greatest luminaries. Alchemy is the science of transforming base metals (desires) into spiritual gold (the virtues of an awakened consciousness). Through this delicate art, we transform lust into love, pollution into purity, and passion into compassion. If you wish to understand this unifying element at the heart of all authentic scriptures, you can study The Perfect Matrimony by Samael Aun Weor.

Understanding how our sexual conduct orients our spiritual life is the basis for accessing transcendent, revolutionary knowledge. This is how we manifest divinity through our works, beyond the shackles of ideation and belief.
I do not want henchmen nor followers, only imitators of my example. I have not come to form any sect, or one more belief, nor am I interested in the schools of today, or the particular beliefs of anyone! Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: Zodiacal Course

Resources for Further Study

<![CDATA[Why Is Sexual Magic Controversial?]]>Wed, 10 Feb 2021 06:06:01 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/why-is-sexual-magic-controversial
(Jacob wrestles the Angel Samael as referenced in the Zohar)
Sexual magic constitutes the most transformative and powerful element of the Gnostic teachings. However, it is also the most controversial and contested, because it strikes the heart of our most cherished beliefs, assumptions, and identities. This is why Peter―whose name is slang for a phallus, genitalia, or stone―symbolizes the foundation of genuine faith and the inner church, constituting "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" (1 Peter 2:8). While many can appreciate the versatility, depth, and eclecticism of Samael Aun Weor's writings, countless students, due to attachments and desires, cannot overcome an aversion towards his stipulations on chastity, thereby seeking evasions and justifications for denouncing his teachings.

The verse from 1 Peter 2:8 also states: "They stumble because they disobey the message," in that, while accepting other aspects of the Gnostic doctrine, detractors are unable to digest the provocative and paramount message of sexual purity. Such a conflict reflects a terrible paradox: how students who flock towards religions and scriptures reject the very principles upon which they were founded.

However, chastity is the foundation for understanding, from experience, the essential truths of religion, regardless of the time, space, language, messenger, or culture. The reality is that sexual magic is not the sole property of one man, but is a universal science present within all traditions. Such knowledge was encoded for those who know how to interpret wisely, primarily since this practice is so potent that it was only given to those who had first proven their purity, ethics, and candidacy within the esoteric mystery schools of initiation. 

Some have asked if Samael Aun Weor's explicit denunciation of orgasm is just some trick to protect pleasure-seeking students from attempting these practices. On the contrary, the reason sexual magic was masked throughout the centuries by every authentic spiritual order was to protect pleasure-seeking students from the harm caused when one seeks power without purity. However, this teaching was always present for those initiated students, and we have a large collection of scriptural evidence to demonstrate its existence long before Samael Aun Weor wrote his books (Scroll down Scriptures and Sacred Texts to access this wisdom from all major religions).

Is Sexual Magic Repressive?

There is a need to comfortably manage our sexual desires rather than repressing them, and that is precisely the skill that Gnostic science teaches us. Certainly, pure sublimation of the chaotic sexual impulse is probably the most difficult skill for an ordinary person to master, hence, the rarity of true spiritual masters. However, it is possible to those with sufficient willpower and self-discipline. While we fear the deprivation of our greatest source of physical pleasure (orgasm), we remain ignorant of sacred sexuality’s blissful potential. Yes, the heights of spiritual development are very costly. No one can transform into someone greater without first sacrificing who he currently is.

A lot of spiritual movements preach abstinence. However, merely retaining the sexual energy is not enough, but sublimation and transmutation is what counts towards spiritual development. Through pranayama and other mantric exercises, the bachelor or bachelorette learns to not only conserve, but redirect that energy for conscious purposes such as meditation. This is how we regenerate ourselves and acquire longevity, health, mental stability, concentration, serenity, imagination, and psychic abilities. Transmutation is very positive, because we learn to guide the sexual force with intelligence and wisdom. However, many mistaken yogis and monks believe that prayer, celibacy, avoidance, and sexual repression is enough, and yet we can see some of the myriad problems that arise from it (like nocturnal pollutions and even sexual perversity among clergy, as well as all over the world). You can save energy, but if you do not utilize it with the consciousness, then such spiritual energy decays, degenerates, and devolves, much in the same manner that fuel in a car tank will degrade between three to six months when unused. 

In the past before yoga and monasticism degenerated, practitioners were dedicated to transmutation for years before getting married. This is due to the fact that it is easier to learn how to direct sexual energy as a single person than with the added temptations of a marriage. Beginners often struggle if they are already married and never learned how to transmute their sexual energy on their own. Therefore, ethics and chastity are the requisites of the perfect matrimony, and only when students truly defined themselves for this work did they gain the right, in those ancient, Piscean, and conservative traditions, to enter a marriage. However, we are now in the Aquarian era where the sexual teachings are free and open to the public, so any couple can learn to consciously apply these principles with study and understanding.

Lust is not conquered by running away from it, neither by feeding or justifying it. Seeing and comprehending desire leads to its transformation. ​Just because one does not conquer lust by avoiding it does not mean we should seek out those scenarios (like going to bars or night clubs). Through consistent dedication and training in transmutation, divinity provides the necessary ordeals to face and overcome such adversities. To take advantage of hardshipswhich divinity places upon us when we work and dedicate ourselves to chastitywe must learn and practice meditation:

Meditation Essentials

Why Are the Teachings on Chastity So Severe?

To answer this question, we must understand who סמאל און ואור Samael Aun Weor is, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition:
​The first portion of this name is Samech Mem [סם].

Sam [סם] (Samech + Mem): bitter beverage, drug, poison, toxin, medicine, potion; perfume

The name סמאל Samael means "the medicine of God, the perfume of God, the poison of God, the drug of God, the bitter beverage of God." All of these are accurate translations. [...]
When we acquire real knowledge, for example, just hearing about this teaching, it can taste bitter; it can taste intense; it can shock us. That knowledge is the essence of this angel, Samael. It is "a bitter beverage" to the ego. It is "poison" to the ego, but it is the "potion" or "perfume of God" that illuminates the soul. Thus when we encounter γνῶσις gnosis or דעת‎ Da'ath (Hebrew for knowledge) we enter into a great conflict, psychologically. I am talking about real knowledge, the esoteric knowledge, not just beliefs. When you experience this knowledge, and receive your own knowledge from that experience, you feel a great shock to the depth of your soul; most people run away because it is intense and a poison to the ego: it terrifies the ego, because that Angel Samael is the angel of death to the ego. The Angel Samael is Mars, Aries, the God of war against the ego.

Aries, Mars, Samael is the same force. He wages his war on behalf of God, not for selfish purposes, and not to punish indiscriminately, but to punish on behalf of God, with the permission of God, and for the good of all. Samael performs the will of God. The Zohar says:
"Rabbi Shimon opened the discussion saying, 'See now that I, even I am he, and there is no Elohim with me' (Devarim 32:39). He said: Friends, listen to ancient words that I wish to reveal after permission from above has been granted for them to be said. Who is he who said, 'See now that I, even I, am he?' The cause high above all causes, the one that is called the 'Cause of causes,' a Cause among all the rest of the causes. So every single one of these causes shall not do anything unless it receives permission from the cause above it...

"The phrase: 'And there is no Elohim with me' is Samael and the Serpent. 'I kill, and I make alive' is I kill with my Shechinah whoever is guilty and 'I make alive' with her whoever is innocent."
This is the power of Samael: to kill and to make alive. That power acts in accordance with the Most High, those causes which exist above the sephirah Geburah. Geburah (severity) is the sephirah of Mars from which the Angel Samael departs in order to punish those who deserve it and to reward those who deserve it. This is simple cause and effect. This is in the root of Judaism and Christianity, but everyone ignores it.

When Samael rode into the garden of Eden on the back of the serpent, he was doing the will of God. We like to blame the serpent like the serpent was doing something bad but the serpent was not. The serpent is the Divine Mother. It is Her essence, and guiding that force (riding on its back) is the Angel Samael, who is there to tempt the woman for her own good.

The soul grows when it conquers temptation, and the soul degenerates when it falls to temptation. This is simple cause and effect. It is simply energy.
Samael—doing his duty—appeared in the Garden to tempt the woman so that she would have the opportunity to learn from the Tree of Knowledge and to grow, to advance, but she did not. She gave into her desire and failed. Now everyone blames Samael, everyone blames the serpent. If you look into the Zohar, if you look into the Jewish tradition, you find that Samael is blamed for everything, but at the same time they say he is an angel. It is a little bit hard to follow their logic.

Nevertheless, the woman succumbs to temptation and had to bear the consequences. The first consequence was that the man and woman were cast out of Eden. Thus we are in the state of suffering. [...]
Every angel is a God. This is why the name סמאל Samael ends with אל El, which means God. But that God can send his prophet, his human soul, his earthly soul, his manifestation Buddha. He can send his representative to Malkuth, to the world, and the Angel Samael did this; he sent his son, Samael Aun Weor, the bodhisattva of Samael.

Unfortunately, the human soul of the Angel Samael had fallen like everyone else, had resurrected his Cain [egotistical mind or intellect] and was living like any other person on the planet. He was a degenerate, a fornicator, an adulterer, a murderer, a thief, like all of us. But, the Angel Samael had a great cosmic duty to fulfill as explained in the prophecies of Revelation, and to advance humanity in its evolution, to free humanity from its suffering. So the Angel Samael pushed his human soul to rise up from the muddy Earth, and this entails a long process, a very painful experience of the human soul that we know now as Samael Aun Weor.

With the help of God, he was able to fulfill his duty, and he restored himself back to his rightful place, redeemed himself of his mistakes, and cleansed himself of his ego, because he learned, practiced, and taught the doctrine of his Father, Samael, the Angel of War.

The Bodhisattva embodied the image of his Father: revolution, rebellion, war against oneself, against Cain. This is why the teaching of Samael Aun Weor is so potent, so direct, and does not dance around the issues. He is a warrior who presents a doctrine that is as sharp as a sword and is painful to the ego. This is why so many people cannot read his books and cannot accept his teachings, because they taste the bitterness of the beverage "Samael," the Angel who wants to eliminate the ego in order to free Abel [the Essence, the consciousness] from his prison.

Remember when Cain killed his brother, Abel's blood seeps into the Earth, and God says, "I hear your brother crying out to me from the earth," and Cain admits that he killed him. This is a symbol of how our soul becomes trapped in hell, in the Klipoth, because of the crimes of our minds, because of the murder and fornication of Cain. The doctrine of Samael kills Cain in order to free Abel, but that freedom does not come just by Abel emerging out of the Earth. That freedom comes through Seth [the sacred fire of the Holy Ghost], the third son of Adam and Eve. ―Gnostic Instructor, The Sons of Samael

Is Sexual Magic Dangerous?

Critics are absolutely correct that there is a dangerous aspect to sexual alchemy―those who remain impure while practicing alchemy can awaken as demons. Thus, we always advise those who are not serious about the total annihilation of the ego to avoid these studies altogether. Samael is very intimately related with the potency of our sexual energy, and depending on the purity or perversity of our sexuality, it will regenerate or poison us. Therefore, one who practices sexual magic will become either an angel or a demon: there is no other outcome. 

A demon is a slave to desire. Such persons awaken powers within hatred, pride, envy, selfishness, vanity, gluttony, greed, avarice, conditioning, negativity, lust, etc. Ironically, these negative states are commonly taught, propagated, defended, and worshipped by "spiritual" groups, because many devotees never discriminate the origins of their behaviors. Most of us are not willing to question, renounce, and annihilate our most cherished sense of self. In this manner, humanity corrupts authentic spiritual traditions, scriptures, and mysticisms to fit a limited narrative. To become an angel, buddha, or master of oneself is therefore the greatest difficulty, since if orgasm were a way to liberation, then our humanity would already be perfect. Instead, we are witnessing greater and more intense suffering every day.

​An angel is psychologically dead to desire and therefore possesses divine sexual expression: one that is in mastery of all sexual, instinctive, and creative faculties. They are no longer driven by the desire to copulate, for they have perfected the sexual act. Sex to them is no longer carnal―like beginners in the teachingsbut spiritual. 
And I brethren cannot speak unto you, as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal even as unto babes in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:1
While on the physical level the sexual act may look similar between alchemists (those who practice chaste sexual magic) and fornicators (those who expel their sexual energy), on the more subtle levels of nature, our purity or perversity generates totally different effects, either for liberation or pain.

​When looking at humanity in light of these teachings, its psychological and spiritual level of being becomes astonishingly evident: wars, prostitution, slander, violence, murder, rape, extortion, crime, alcohol, drugs, addictions, pornography, sexual degeneration, perversity, morbidity, sectarianism, beliefs, and political systems. Many enslave their minds, hearts, bodies, and souls to spiritual theories, whose validity often remains unverified from experience. Since this is the common level of humanity, sexual magic can become a tool for destruction, which is why in the past such knowledge was secretly preserved for the sincere who proved their worth.

Out of compassion, divinity has recently made it possible for alchemy to be publicly known, understood, and practiced. Yet it comes at a terrible costone's life.
People with subjective psyches are absolutely utopian. They mistakenly suppose that they can be enlightened without having achieved the death of the ego in a radical and categorical way. These people do not want to understand that as long as they are self-imprisoned, genuine, objective enlightenment is completely impossible. The price of enlightenment is paid with one's own life. In the sacred land of the Vedas there are chelas (disciples) that after thirty years of intensive work are only at the beginning, in the prologue of their work. ​―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower
​If we wish to receive the benefits of divine sexuality, then it is necessary to fulfill its ethical principles at all times, not inconsistently and half-heartedly, nor out of blind adherence, dogma, or fanaticism. Only the soul, the consciousness, knows how to capitalize on the libido for expedient, spiritual awakening.
Samael Aun Weor himself wrote:
We give this caution so that the student knows what to expect. It is best for the curious, the profane and the profaners of the temple to withdraw. This science is not for the curious. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

“For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.” ―Ecclesiastes 1:18

Therefore, stay back, nosy people!

​Therefore, stay back, profaners! Gnosis is a two-edged sword; it defends and gives life to the humble and virtuous, yet, it wounds and destroys the curious and impure. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
Samael’s mission was to openly teach the dangerous truth that can regenerate or poison the soul: sexual magic is the key to the highest levels of spiritual awakening and power. He was not being duplicitous with his criticisms of orgasm, adultery, masturbation, homosexuality, etc. He was being so explicit with the truth that most of us contemporary people would merely laugh with disbelief, especially in the United States where we are most materialistic. 

Isn't Chastity Just an Outdated Remnant of Puritanical Religions?

Some have condemned Samael Aun Weor's practices of chaste sexual magic as the product of puritanical white religions. Samael Aun Weor was neither white nor a puritanical Christian. He was Hispanic, born in Columbia, and spent decades in far-from-puritanical settings. Early in his young adulthood, he left the Jesuit tradition to investigate spiritualism. After discovering the harms incurred by the mediums he met, he went on in search of occult knowledge and joined the Rosicrucians. He was widely read in esoteric and religious literature and had many discussions with spiritual teachers and leaders from major world religions throughout his life. He practiced and learned from the ancient shamanic traditions while traveling through the Sierra Nevada en route to Mexico. As you can imagine, the Kogi masters taught Samael Aun Weor much more wisdom than any puritanical could have stomached. 

While his explicit instructions on sexual magic require purity of application, transmutation has nothing to do with Puritanical repression or forced celibacy. Unfortunately humanity is "third-force blind" as stated by Gurdjieff, because people approach sexuality in accordance with two mistaken extremes: indulgence or suppression. Neither gratifying lust nor abstaining from sexuality constitute its genuine function. Sexual energy must act: it is a dynamic, creative force with marvelous potential beyond mere reproduction or animal pleasure. Affirming or denying lust does not indicate governance of its power. Instead, the more one feeds or runs away from such an impulse, the greater one’s slavery and victimization to its influence. Rather, comprehension, sublimation, or intentional redirection of the sexual energy is the third force of reconciliation, whereby our psycho-biological and spiritual state achieves lasting equilibrium through the profound mastery of one's intelligence and understanding.

Are Samael Aun Weor's Sexual Teachings Misogynistic?

Samael Aun Weor has often been called a misogynist for emphasizing the need to conserve one's semen, which critics interpret as a direct correlative for men and not women. His utilization of the term (semen) is esoteric; it signifies not only the sexual, generative fluids, but the spiritual seed, principles, and virtues of the soul as possessed by both men and women.

Semen (pronounced שמן shemen in Hebrew) signifies the sexual oil that lights menorahs within Jewish temples during Hanukkah. Judeo-Christianity as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, and many world religions retain the outward forms of this esoteric symbol, how through harnessing the creative sexual energy for the spirit, a true human being can be anointed by such holy oil to receive the fire and light of divine favor. Throughout his writings, Samael Aun Weor specified that a true man is תפארת Tiphereth in Kabbalah, or the theosophical, Sanskrit मनस् manas: abstract mind or soul, which can occupy a male or female physical body. He enjoinders many times how women have the same rights as men in the esoteric work, and that one's physical sex is not a deterrent for spiritual progress:
Student: Master, the ladies always wonder why they are relegated by some to an inferior level. Consequently, they want to know what their accomplishments could be, that is, what they could get if they work on themselves with the three factors of the revolution of consciousness?

Samael Aun Weor: I do not know why some want women to be relegated to an inferior level. The harsh reality of the facts is that women have the same rights as men; that is obvious. Like any man, women also have to create their existential superior bodies of the Being. Like any man, they must incarnate their human soul. Like any man, they have to betroth their Buddhi, to marry their beloved one. So, I do not know why some want to relegate women to an inferior level. Questions About the Path
Unfortunately for millennia, many men have utilized scripture to defend misogyny, patriarchy, hierarchy, dispossession, and sexism, ignoring scriptural symbolism and the role of femininity within the esoteric work. Eve has served, in the Jewish and Christian traditions, as ammunition for an onslaught of degrading stereotypes and offensive diatribes against the feminine sex, ignoring that she is a symbol who represents the creative sexual organs, while Adam, who must control that force, is the brain. Eve (Hebrew חוה Chavah) is the "mother of the living" (Genesis 3:20) or sexual energy that gives both physical and spiritual life. אדם Adam, whose name means "red," is the blood that circulates the sexual force and constitutes the power of the mind and heart, which must control the serpentine sexual energy so as not to fall into temptation (orgasm). This subject is extremely dense, deep, and extensive. To understand more about the intricacies, nuances, and subtleties of this topic, you can rely on the following resource:

Kabbalah of Genesis

Likewise, Samael Aun Weor wrote extensively about the Divine Mother, the eternal feminine principle within all religions, which is symbolized within the feminine sex as the Divine Father is represented in the masculine sex. One without the other constitutes a degraded system, teaching, and religion:
Question: Venerable Master, what is your concept about woman; how do you define her?

Samael Aun Weor: The woman, undoubtedly, has the same rights as the man. If we study carefully the word אלוהים "Elohim," which figures in the Bible, we will find that it is a feminine noun [אלוה] with a masculine plural ending [ים]. The exact translation of such a noun is "gods and goddesses."

A religion without goddesses is found amidst materialistic atheism, because if Elohim are divine androgynous beings, so-called gods and goddesses, I can say that the result is we would be halfway to atheism.

One cannot remove goddesses from any religion because within us the divinity is masculine and feminine at the same time.

We are able to deduce from this as a corollary that the woman has the same rights as the man, and that the inner self-realization of the Being is not possible without the union of the separate parts: man and woman. Both united by means of sex, they constitute an ineffable creature, a Creator-Elohim. ​Questions of Importance to Women

Why Isn't Chastity Mainstream?

As evidenced by intensified animosity from both ends of the American political spectrum, it is very easy for anyone to give credence to a multitude of conflicting ideologies. Many views can be articulated and defended with conviction. Some individuals and groups can speak with greater eloquence, efficacy, and enthusiasm, convincing others through the craft of their arguments. And yet, the state of humanity has become increasingly chaotic, violent, destructive, and hateful as a result of such dissemination, which proves the point that if a great majority of people agree with a given belief, it is probably wrong. In the words of Jesus:
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
Compared with the rest of humanity, the number of people who practice sexual magic is small. Therefore it is evident that these teachings, while freely offered, have not achieved popularity, reach, interest, or engagement with the majority. Instead, most individuals hate chastity, which is normal, because such sexual behaviors run contrary to commonly held assumptions and beliefs regarding sex, marriage, lust, pornography, adultery, and desire.

​In North America, the focal point of sexual indulgence, decadence, insatiable appetites, and bacchanalias, many have made tremendous efforts to convince the world that giving in to your desires will produce happiness, and yet the results of such behaviors are accelerating and escalating humanity's collective decay. No one wants to confront in themselves how desire, which seeks to get what it wants at the expense of others, is the root cause of suffering, and yet this is the fundamental precondition of every genuine religion and mystical tradition. What you find, instead of virtue being proliferated and emulated, is the gratification of desire and lust, no matter what the cost. What else could constitute the most damaging (and successful) propaganda, especially when everyone believes it to be true?

Is Sexual Magic Suitable for the Modern World?

Whether or not the sexual teachings are "not entirely suitable for the modern world" is irrelevant. The truth doesn't change just because it has become inconvenient in our contemporary society. Precisely because promiscuity is everywhere in today's culture, we need the science to master our sexuality, to refine and purify it above the mainstream habits of our spiritually-asleep peers. How can we truly harness our sexual power if that instinct is out of control, pulling us in every direction, mandating fascination with particularly attractive people, so that we become hypnotized and obsessed with our own fantasies? That lifestyle will never lead us to reality, because through it we live as slaves to our animal instincts.

Personal Testimony on Sexual Magic

​I speak from experience, because, like many, I also found a promiscuous lifestyle unavoidable in my youth. I believed (as I had been programmed to) that the only way to attract a partner was to be sexy and promiscuous, and that sex with multiple people before marriage was the best way to find the right fit for a long-term relationship. Therefore, when I found this teaching in my early 20s, I enjoyed the Gnostic philosophy while rejecting the sexual practices as an aberration. During that period, approximately three years, I endured the most painful series of heartbreaks of my life. As I was forced to face the reality that mainstream sexual practices and relationships were harmful, not only for me, but for my friends and the partners I damaged with my capriciousness, it never occurred to me that Samael Aun Weor's peculiar denunciation of orgasm could be true. Only at the end of that time, desperately crying out to divinity for help and guidance did the epiphany occur: I had had the wisdom I needed all along, practices I had discarded due to their uncomfortable impact on my well-educated American psyche. I had never taken them seriously before, so I had to return to the study of these teachings again to really learn how to practice chastity and transmutation. Through great willpower and the poignant comprehension of the deception of modern sexual propaganda, I never returned to the practices of orgasm or masturbation. 

Far from experiencing the negative physical effects that mainstream medicine would have us expect, I (and the other Gnostic practitioners who have unfailingly developed the daily sublimation of these energies) have experienced more youthfulness, more energy and lucidity, and more sexual serenity. I still feel sexual attraction, but rather than being compelled by instinct as before, I can easily direct that energy according to my own will. I am no longer so tightly fused with lust that I am a slave to its whims. There are dozens of students and instructors in our small organization alone who have been practicing chastity and refraining from orgasm for years without any medical problems. My spouse and I have practiced sexual magic without orgasm for years, and neither of us have suffered any problems for it. On the contrary, chastity opens new worlds of consciousness and access to the subtle levels of nature that we could not perceive while constantly burning with uncontrollable passion. Pleasure is not suddenly absent from the sexual act due to the absence of orgasm, but the sexual act changes when the goal is no longer a climax of pleasure but an awakening of consciousness. It is impossible to describe in words to you or anyone who has not experienced it how very different White Tantra, pure sexual union, is from the ordinary practice of lustful connection. They are entirely different experiences, despite appearing so similar on a materialistic level. Sexuality is much deeper than physicality; it is our spiritual root. 

Why Do Gnostics Practice and Teach Sexual Magic?

Many read, study, reconstruct, and filter these teachings so one can more easily understand, and that is normal. We don't begrudge people's condemnation of sexual magic, because if it were actually as they imagined it to be (repressive, cultish, fanatical, inhibitive, unhealthy, weird, satanic, pornographic, etc.), then it would be condemnable. The reality is that innumerable students and instructors practice this science with profound and lasting results. There is no problem for alchemists who renounce orgasm within their marriage in conjunction with transmutation, meditation, comprehension, and elimination of defects. The health problems associated by most medical professionals towards continence apply to people who:

  1. Have never heard of, studied, or practiced sexual magic, and
  2. Conserve their sexual energy without sublimation

​Alchemists learn to develop more fruitful, productive, energized, disciplined, intuitive, and happy lives, precisely because the sexual potential that could be used to produce a child or gratify the senses is utilized and transformed to empower one's psyche and spirituality. The vast majority of doctors, scientists, and religious paragons who reject sexual magic have not practiced it. Therefore they do not fulfill the very basis of the scientific method and lack a serious control group to invalidate sexual transmutation through clinical trials and experimentation.

Rather than rely on anyone's testimonies, it is better to investigate and practice for oneself. The positive results of sexual magic are experienced by anyone who takes the time to study, practice, and live by its principles, precisely because it leads to results that can only be determined through personal experience. To reject something we do not practice or understand is not a validation of one's suppositions. To believe or not believe does not signify comprehension of a given subject. Spiritual birth, as encoded by Jesus in the Gospels, is not a matter of belief, but investigation, 
action, and discernment within one's sexual domain.
It so happens that people think that by belonging to this or that faith, to such and such religion, or to one or another sect, that they are already saved. Naturally, this is false. A seed never germinates because of what a person believes or stops believing. An insect is never born because of what a human being thinks or stops thinking. A man is never born from the parchment of theory. This subject matter is sexual and in this, the Angel is no exception.

The members of all religions, schools, sects, and beliefs say, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” People from all over the world repeat it and presume (as is normal) that they are the chosen ones. Nobody considers himself lost. They believe that with their belief, theory, study etc., they are already saved. However, this is a false and absurd thing, because the problem of being born cannot be the result of beliefs, theories, or concepts. The reality is different. To be born is a totally sexual problem.

Sexual Magic is taught in the esoteric heart of the great religions. Unfortunately, people do not investigate it; they do not inquire. That is the problem.

People do not like Sexual Magic because it means the sacrifice of oneself, of one’s animal passions. Rare is the one who can be truly steadfast in Sexual Magic.  Many begin with curiosity; however, after a few days, they can no longer tolerate it, and then give themselves over to fornication. These are the weak who afterwards go about saying that Sexual Magic is harmful. These are the degenerated seeds that do not germinate.

Sex is the path that leads human beings to final liberation. If someone thinks that a different path may exist for Realization of the Self, he is obviously totally mistaken. This is the law for all the continents, worlds, and spaces. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony: "Conclusion"
Our suggestion is only to first decide whether or not you seriously wish to pursue the levels of spiritual development that this doctrine describes. If you are not serious, then we advise against dabbling in these practices. However, if your soul genuinely seeks union with your inner divinity at any cost, then you must first genuinely attempt the practice of chastity before prejudging it. If your sincere interest is to experience and develop the skill for yourself, rather than to theorize about it with spiritual teachers, then we will help you.

​Either way, we wish you the best in your spiritual journey!

Learn more about spiritual sexuality

The Evolution of Sex

<![CDATA[Who Is a Master?]]>Tue, 29 Dec 2020 06:00:00 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/who-is-a-master
Since the 1960's, a plethora of mystical teachings have been disseminated and popularized within North America and other First World countries. Such an era of profound psychological, social, and spiritual revolution is characterized by the widespread fascination with religious teachers, gurus, shamans, enlightened guides, and masters. Documented throughout all religious traditions from antiquity, the relationship between master and disciple is one of great beauty, depth, idealism, practicality, and import. Despite such amplified attention towards this subject, few devotees and practitioners of such traditions today have concretely articulated the gross misunderstandings of Guru Yoga in its application to Western countries. The primary cause of such disregard, mystification, fervor, and unquestioning zeal is born from a lack of personal mystical experience and verification of the experiential dimension of religion, which does not preach fealty to a teacher or group, but the sovereignty of one's own independent intelligence.

The founders of religion never credit themselves for the marvelous impact of their message, for as vehicles of the highest divinity, they instead instruct aspirants to arrive at their own fundamental conclusions regarding the metaphysical truths contained within our most venerated traditions. Those who have learned to develop their own conscious and spiritual potential are known as adepts, from the Latin adeptus, or "one who has obtained." Such wisdom is not obtained through belonging to a particular school, group, race, sex, gender, class, political party, religion, or teaching. Instead, it has to do with actualizing and mastering a deeply personal relationship with divinity, one based on pragmatism and competence from experience, not religious fanaticism, sectarianism, theory, or belief without evidence.

Instead of fulfilling the principles and qualities of adepthood in their own lives, many spiritual groups, much like that of any political institution, have perpetuated a collective, animal-hive mentality, which, rather than promote the initiative and free thought of its adherents, obscures the importance for discriminating, qualifying, assessing, or appraising a teacher's qualifications. Rather than becoming adepts through proven and verifiable methods, spiritual devotees are unfortunately inept in establishing lasting spiritual relationships based on expertise, proficiency, and trust. 

Such an innate credulity, 
proclivity, and indiscretion is born from a genuine yearning and need within the Western mind, that of finding, acclimating to, and verifying the realities of the superior worlds, masters, and prophets. However, because most people lack effective practices, abilities, and criteria for knowing such truths for themselves, it becomes easy to be fooled by those who would profit from our naïveté in the financial, real estate, and personal domains.

A true teacher will help students to be autonomous and reliant upon one's Innermost: the divine inner Being within each person who must be realized in daily life, here and now. Genuine spiritual instructors do not seek to build churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, or groups, but to create authentic individuals. Demands of unwavering allegiance, membership, 
unquestioning devotion, money, property, or sexual favors is the exclusive field of extortioners, charlatans, and panderers of souls:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. ―Matthew 7:15-20
Instead of relying on the opinions, beliefs, or outward appearances of an instructor, it is best to evaluate his or her qualifications based on proven, scientific, and verifiable facts. Fortunately, there have been many initiates of excellent character across distinct times, civilizations, and spaces, since their teachings and precedents offer a lens for students to ascertain the true worth of a teacher. It is also important that the aspirant identify and understand what makes a dedicated and strong student, for without clarity in these parameters, it then becomes easy to lack objective evaluation and judgment of the facts.

What Defines a Master?

To understand what or who a master is, it is necessary to understand the path of initiation, Kabbalah, and the Tree of Life.

This is a map that details our full capacities as a spiritual and material being. Each of the ten spheres or 
סְפִירוֹת sephiroth [plural Hebrew term for "emanations"] represents qualities of consciousness, degrees of development, and levels of initiation: the experiential wisdom and expression of divinity within our multidimensional nature. From the most simple and rarified states of consciousness above towards the most dense and material below, the aspirant must learn to ascend within these initiatic states to return to our divine source.

Through the path of the perfect matrimony, a married couple can conserve, sublimate, and transform their vital forces, using the creative energy that could initially give birth to a physical child to fashion internal vehicles. Unlike our physical body, these spiritual conduits have the power to manifest and express the infinite power of divinity in a flawless way, consonant to the degree of psychological purification achieved within the practitioner. In the same manner that a light bulb transmits higher voltages of electricity based on capacity and wattage, so too can we express the highest principles of our divine Being through creating energetic channels for their realization. Such transmitters are known as solar bodies, the wedding garments of a divine marriage (Matthew 22) that the soul occupies during the hours of sleep and after death. Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, repeatedly refers to these vehicles as "the existential superior bodies of the Being" because they provide the basis for a true existence within superior states of consciousness. These solar bodies were represented by the Nativity of Christ, the Christ-child who is the symbol of solar genius, creativity, and intuition, the omniscient and all-pervading life-giving Sun or Son of God who is born through immaculate and sacred sexuality.
Each sphere or ספירה sephirah [singular, "emanation"] on the Tree of Life is a different body of varying density, matter, energy, and consciousness within its respective dimension. Our current body, energy, mind, heart, and will is mechanical, habitual, and animalistic, symbolized within religious narratives by the moon. The lunar influence perfectly allegorizes our instinctual nature, since the moon cannot generate light on its own, but receives its illumination from the sun. In the same manner, we tend to borrow and steal ideas, spiritual beliefs, regalia, and platitudes, imitating the behaviors of the great initiates without generating any real authenticity of being on our own. The moon is also the origin for many behaviors, ecologies, meteorological influences, and sexual life, as evidenced by conception and menstrual cycles in women. The spiritual path of initiation, therefore, is about transforming our lunar, mechanical nature into a conscious, solar, creative, and brilliant character, one that knows how to embody the highest ideals without discrimination of caste, color, sex, or creed.
As we are now, we operate mechanically within the different dimensions of nature (commonly known through dreams and astral experiences) without any lucidity and consciousness. By creating solar bodies or vehicles of creative energy, initiates raise their level of being and awaken the light of consciousness within every dimension, since their sexual potential is utilized to create spiritual life [See Sacred Sexuality and Transmutation]. Each sphere constitutes the conception, gestation, and birth of a solar vehicle, whether physical, vital, astral, mental, causal, conscious, or spiritual, which can channel the limitless potential of God towards virtuous action and the betterment of humanity. These bodies also allow one to consciously travel within the higher dimensions and parallel universes associated with each sephirah of the Kabbalistic tree.

​When the creative, sexual, serpentine fire known as Kundalini is raised within the spinal medulla of the physical body, one achieves the First Initiation of Fire associated with that body and degree. By raising the Kundalini of the vital or etheric world, one obtains the Second Initiation of Fire related with the creation of a solar vital body; likewise up the seven lower sephiroth of this diagram.

But in this process, at what degree does one become a master? Samael Aun Weor summarized the first five Initiations to become a master of the White Lodge:
  1. First Initiation. The Innermost [Spirit] and the conscious soul (Buddhi) are fused, thus creating a new initiate, one more who enters the stream.

  2. Second Initiation. The ethereal body called Soma Psuchikón is born.

  3. Third Initiation. The chakras of the astral body are opened and the Christ-astral is born as a beautiful child.

  4. Fourth Initiation. The Christ-mind is born as a very precious child. The initiate has been born as a new Buddha.

  5. Fifth Initiation. The human soul, or causal body or body of will, is fused with the Inner Master, who is Atman-Buddhi (the Innermost and divine consciousness). Thus, the three flames are one. This is a new and legitimate master of the Major Mysteries of the White Lodge. Whosoever reaches the Fifth Initiation can enter Nirvana. Whosoever reaches the Fifth Initiation is born in the causal world. Whosoever reaches the Fifth Initiation incarnates the soul. Only the person who reaches the Fifth Initiation is a human being with soul, that is to say, a True Man. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

  6. "...whosoever reaches the fifth Initiation of the Fire [תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth] becomes an adept..." ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

  7. “No student of occultism is a master. True masters are only those who have reached the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries [תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the causal body]. Before the Fifth Initiation nobody is a master." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
In Freemasonry, the term Adeptus Minor is applied to any initiate who has successfully achieved the initiation of the sephirah תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth (the fifth serpent of fire or Kundalini). Higher grades of adepts exist (Adeptus Major: the sephirah גְּבוּרָה Geburah; and Adeptus Exemptus: the sephirah חֶסֶד Chesed), but only for those who achieve even greater purifications and disciplines.

Are There Levels of Mastery?

Contrary to common assumptions, mastery occurs in levels. In the same manner that there are different levels of education, from elementary, middle school, high school, graduate, and post-graduate studies, likewise there exist varying degrees of spiritual abilities and attainment. It is important to understand the distinction between mastery and its degrees of perfection, for many mistakenly assume it to be a fixed state. Just as there are different grades within the education system, likewise there are steps, procedures, laws, paradigms, codes, realizations, and purifications in the process of becoming a perfect being.

Even amongst the highest-attaining educators, such as through doctoral programs at universities, there exist hierarchies and degrees of competency and achievement; likewise even amongst the greatest masters of humanity, since they possess even greater facility of supernatural and divine forces.
Through the path that I am indicating it is possible to achieve mastery, but it is one thing to achieve mastery and another to achieve perfection in mastery; that is different.

It is not possible to expect that an imperfect master could have the perfection of a perfect master. That is to say, when one becomes a Man [a true human being, whether of the female or male sex], when one has created the existential superior bodies of the Being, of course one also becomes a master, but on the way to perfection in mastery there are nine grades, very hard and more bitter than bile.

Now, to become a great elected and perfect master is the maximum aspiration. The perfect master by himself is something extraordinary, but the great elected is the only one that has totally crystallized the three basic forces of nature 
[Christ, the top trinity of the Tree of Life] within himself. That is the great elected. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Master Key

Can Women Be Masters?

Yes. A true man is an esoteric term for masters of the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries and applies to both sexes. Man comes from मनस् manas, the Sanskrit term for abstract mind, תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth. True human beings are masters of the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries who with patience now possess their souls (Luke 21:19). A true man or human is not limited to the masculine sex, but refers to female masters as well:
1. Woman has the same rights as man.

2. Woman also reaches the level of adept of the White Fraternity.

3. Joan of Arc is a master of Major Mysteries of the White Fraternity.

4. H.P. Blavatsky, author of The Secret Doctrine, reached the level of adept and she is a master of Major Mysteries of the White Fraternity.

5. In almost all the temples of the mysteries, we find many female adepts working for humanity.

6. Woman awakens her sacred serpent in the same way as man.

7. If a woman who is married wants to awaken her Kundalini, then she must practice sexual magic with her husband.
―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose: "The Woman"

What is Perfection in Mastery?

Upon reaching the Fifth Initiation of Fire, the initiate has a choice about how to continue his or her spiritual development. Two paths emerge in the causal world that determine the trajectory of the initiate, and which possess very different stipulations, expectations, codes, demands, qualities, commitments, responsibilities, and degrees of suffering. These are the spiral and direct paths.

The spiral path is the path of transitory buddhas, those awakened masters who enjoy enlightenment, wisdom, understanding, and superlative consciousness within the Nirvanic world for a determined period of time. ​
निर्वाण Nirvana is the Sanskrit term for "cessation," signifying the end of suffering for its inhabitants and oblivion to the afflictions of humanity. However, such "Pratyeka" buddhasthose who enter Nirvana but do not return to teach othersare in transit, because their status and positions within this dimension are, due to karma, temporary. Such liberation and vacations within the superior worlds are predicated upon beneficial action and virtue, but once their good deeds are exhausted, such buddhas must eventually return to the physical world to work upon their defects in a slow, gradual, and intermittent manner.

Nirvana has periods of activity and repose. The problem and danger for transitory buddhas is temptation in the physical world, which, due to their strength, pervasiveness and perversity, often pulls such masters back into fornication again. Many reach the Fifth Initiation of Fire, enjoy a vacation in Nirvana, return to the physical world, and fall again, only to re-initiate the work of alchemy so as to regain what they lost. This is the common, circuitous route for many Nirvani buddhas, although this is not to say that there are not any masters who remain faithful upon the spiral path and eventually reach the goal: the Absolute. However, this path spirals throughout many eternities, cosmic days or Mahamanvantaras, which each endure trillions of years.

Due to the problems and dangers of the spiral path, there is another way that is infinitely more expedient, powerful, difficult, and dangerous, because it leads straight into the heart of universal cosmic consciousness while conquering all of its most terrifying adversities and obstacles. This is the direct path of the bodhisattvas of compassionate hearts, those masters who, due to their infinite sacrifices and longings to self-realize in one life, gain the right to incarnate the Intimate Christ within their interior for the betterment of humanity.
(Kuan Yin: a female bodhisattva of compassion,
otherwise known as  Avalokitesvara)
A bodhisattva is a being who has incarnated बोधि bodhi, the "light, wisdom," and "enlightenment" of חָכְמָה Chokmah in Kabbalah, the cosmic Christ. Contrary to popular assumptions, Christ is not a single individual, but an impersonal, universal, and revolutionary energy that can manifest within the heart, essence, or सत्त्व sattva of an authentic human who is properly prepared. Christ is an intense light of creativity, elevation, and transformation, whose limitless compassion for the sufferings of all beings extends without ideological, racial, political, or philosophical distinctions, so much that it sacrifices itself solely for their benefit. This is why Jesus of Nazareth, the highest embodiment of the Christic principle, stated upon the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

Those who take the straight path are very rare, precisely because it is demanding and extreme. Nirvani buddhas or shravakas―those who hear the teachings and seek enlightenment solely for themselves―pay their karma and annihilate their ego over many eternities. Yet bodhisattvas renounce all happiness and accomplish the same feat in one life out of love for humanity. This is why the lives of the prophets like Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, and others are so intense, because the pressure of ordeals is maximized to accelerate the radical and complete death of psychological conditioning.

Only those who compassionately serve and sacrifice for others' spirituality receive the blessings of the Logos, the Word or Christ. Those who raise the serpents of Fire while embodying the ultimate ideal of conscious love, in combination with profound insight into the interdependent nature and emptiness of phenomena, receive the Intimate Christ and the Venustic Initiation: the reception, celebration, and festivities of Venus, the divine feminine, Virgin Mary, or Goddess Mother of the world.
These two paths, the spiral and the direct, were depicted by Leonardo da Vinci in his Mona Lisa, whereby we perceive two ways behind the ineffable sacred feminine or Divine Mother Kundalini. She is the Mother of the Intimate Christ, the latter who is only born within the initiate through chastity, virginity, or purity within the five lower bodies of the Kabbalistic tree.

If the initiate takes the direct path based upon the decision, will, and command of the Innermost (
חֶסֶד Chesed, "mercy"), then such a master begins the path towards perfection. Once such a master has raised the serpents of fire, he or she must begin to raise the serpents of light within the lower bodies of Kabbalah. Whereas the fires of Kundalini constitute בִּינָה Binah, the sexual, igneous power of the Divine Mother, the serpents of light constitute the edification, elevation, sublimation, and ascension of חָכְמָה Chokmah, Christ, within the spinal column.
And no man hath ascended up to heaven (Οὐρανός Ouranos: כֶּתֶר Kether, חָכְמָה Chokmah, בינה Binah, the Logos or trinity), but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man (חָכְמָה Chokmah) which is in heaven. And as Moses (the causal body) lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (through the initiations of fire), even so must the Son of Man (the serpents of light) be lifted up (through Christ's Will). John 3:13-14

Sex is needed in order to attain the Venustic Initiation. Sex is needed because there are seven serpents of fire which correspond to the seven bodies: physical, vital, astral, mental, causal, buddhic, and atmic, or Innermost bodies. One serpent corresponds to each one of them. There are seven serpents in total, two groups of three with the sublime coronation of the seventh one which unites us with the Father, with the Law.
Whosoever wants to reach the Venustic Initiation has to raise the seven Serpents of Light. The serpent which belongs to the physical body must first be raised in order to receive the first Venustic Initiation. Afterwards, the serpent which belongs to the vital body must be raised in order to receive the second Venustic Initiation and likewise successively.
 ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
The path of initiation is depicted by three mountains or principal stages one must climb towards the heights of self-realization. The serpents of fire and light constitute the completion of what is known as the First Mountain. The Second Mountain signifies the complete death of the ego and resurrection within the nine kabbalistic heavens. The Third Mountain is ascension into the Absolute. For more understanding about this process, you may study the following:

What is a Saint?

Numerous religious traditions exist that venerate apostles, saints, and holy figures, such as those canonized by the Catholic Church. However, it is often not clear to the lay person what level of initiation such individuals have attained, because sainthood is often conflated with a type of static, exclusionary, and unfathomable perfection, indiscernible and misunderstood by the populace without alchemical and kabbalistic knowledge.

​The term saint is much more pliable within the Gnostic tradition than the term adept, master, or prophet, which each bear deep significance, nuance, and implications. Samael Aun Weor often references Pratyeka buddhas or shravakas as saints, those masters who reached תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth through the initiations of fire but have taken the spiral path. Masters, adepts, and prophets are those who have taken the direct path and receive the Venustic initiations.

The Sufi initiates elaborate on the qualities, character, and dispositions of the saints, who are beings with enough degree of psychological purification to receive and obey the commandments of divinity:
You must know that the principle and foundation of Sufism and knowledge of God rests on saintship, the reality of which is unanimously affirmed by all the Shaykhs [gurus, teachers], though every one has expressed himself in different language. […]
Waláyat means etymologically, ‘power to dispose’ (taṣarruf), and wiláyat means ‘possession of command’ (imárat). Waláyat also means ‘lordship’ (rubúbiyyat); hence God hath said: ‘In this case the lordship (al-waláyat) belongs to God who is the Truth’ (Koran 18:42), because the unbelievers [fornicators] seek His protection and turn unto Him and renounce their idols [egos]. And wiláyat also means ‘love’ (maḥabbat). Walí may be the form fa’íl with the meaning of maf’úl, as God hath said: ‘And He takes charge of (yatawallá) the righteous’ (Koran 7:195), for God does not leave His servant to his own actions and attributes, but keeps him under His protection. And walí may be the form fa’íl, equivalent to fa’il, with an intensive force, because a man takes care (tawallí kunad) to obey God and constantly fulfill the obligations [ethical, divine law] that he owes to Him. Thus walí in the active meaning is ‘one who desires’ (murid), while in the passive meaning it denotes ‘one who is the object of God’s desire’ (murád). ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 210-11)
The Sufis repeatedly reference how the saints are desired by divinity, in that the Being longs for development and pushes the human consciousness to work through spiritual inquietudes. The primary aspiration of the Gnostic is to work in the metallurgical science of alchemy. Sainthood relates with different levels of buddhas, masters, or awakening, who are defined by their ethics, humility, purification, and nobility of heart. According to Samael Aun Weor:
The authentic saint is a perfect gentleman/lady who totally fulfills the ten commandments of the law of God, and who knows how to handle his sword [Kundalini] when necessary, in order to defend good, truth, and justice. The authentic saint never goes around boasting about it, since he is always known by his deeds. “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:16] —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
Samael Aun Weor also refers to many Christified or perfected masters as saints, such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Augustine, St. Job, St. Germain, St. Peter, St. John, who attained radical degrees of atonement. Therefore, sainthood can apply to even Christified buddhas, yet for the sake of clarity amongst his students, Samael Aun Weor often drew distinctions between saints (Pratyeka buddhas) and adepts (bodhisattvas).
Mansur Al-Hallaj, whom Samael Aun Weor refers to as the Muhammadan Christ in The Narrow Way, was a saint of the highest stature, executed after having already died psychologically to the ego:

Ancient traditions of Islam tell us that the sacred ashes of the old Sufi Al-Hallaj were dispersed in the winds from the heights of the Manarah.
Ancient Arabic legends state that instead of a white blanket, this saint’s cadaver was rolled up in a filthy rug formerly damped in petroleum.
When the holy body burned, consumed by the fire of the holocaust, the whole of nature shook filled with infinite terror.
The great hierophant Sufi Al-Hallaj, by means of chisel and hammer, transformed the brute stone and gave a perfect cubic shape onto it.
Before physically dying, the great, immolated Al-Hallaj was already absolutely dead psychologically.
The resplendent diamond soul of Mansur Al-Hallaj is treading upon the heavenly path heading towards the Absolute.
The great Sufi initiate Al-Hallaj was born, died, and sacrificed himself completely for humanity.
 —Samael Aun Weor, The Narrow Way: “The Passion of Al-Hallaj”
Any adept or master of the straight path fulfills the three factors for spiritual revolution: birth of the soul through chastity, selfless service and sacrifice for others, and psychological purification and the death of the ego, desire, or conditions of mind. Learn How to Conquer Heaven through applying these three factors for awakening.

What is a Prophet?

Among the masters, adepts, and bodhisattvas of the direct path exist greater hierarchies of competency, skill, and realization. According to the consensus of Sufi, Hindu, Buddhist, and Gnostic traditions, the most elevated degree and caliber of masters are prophets or avatars.

The Sanskrit
अवतर avatar or अवतार avatāraḥ signifies a "descent" of a deity from the superior worlds, as mapped out by the Tree of Life. The term avatar is etymologically broken down as: ava, down and tarati, "he crosses," one who traverses or incarnates within this physical world after having passed from the higher dimensions.
Throughout different periods in terrestrial and cosmic history, various humanities and races have gestated, flourished, and decayed within the evolutionary and devolutionary flux of existence. Nature gives rise and destruction to a multitude of empires, cultures, civilizations, and religions. When religious forms degenerate and die, divinity sends new messengers to reinvigorate spiritual principles and so give birth to new movements. Every people and community has its messengers, prophets, or avatars sent to initiate a superior way of living in the midst of degeneration, decay, and destruction. When religion and ethics deteriorate, messengers come to re-establish the doctrine of the Superhuman upon the earth out of divine compassion.
Avataras appear for special reasons in special circumstances. Whenever there is much unrighteousness, whenever confusion and disorder set in on account of unrighteousness and baffle the well-ordered progress of people, whenever the balance of human society is upset by selfish, ruthless and cruel beings, whenever irreligion and Adharma prevail, whenever the foundations of social organisations are undermined, Avataras appear to establish Dharma and to restore peace. Avatara is a descent of God for the ascent of man. A ray from the Hiranyagarbha descends on earth with mighty powers to keep up the harmony of the universe. The work done by the Avataras and their teachings produce a benign spiritual influence on human beings and help them in their upward divine unfoldment and Self-realisation. The Avatara comes to reveal the divine nature in man and makes him rise above the petty materialistic life of passion and egoism. ―Swami Sivananda, Lord Krishna, His Lilas and Teachings

We surely sent a messenger to every community, saying, "Worship Allah and shun false gods." But some of them were guided by Allah, while others were destined to stray. So travel throughout the land and see the fate of the deniers! ―Qur'an 16:36​
While every civilization, people, or community receives its messengers, the trend is to persecute, hate, calumniate, and persecute them because their teachings contradict the psychological idolatry or worship of egotistical desire. People despise divinity's radical message of self-negation, selfless service, and the most contested principle of all: chastity or sexual purity, primarily because it cuts to the core of suffering to extirpate its beloved causes. Out of comprehension and compassion for the spiritually sick, avatars show humanity how our actions imprisons us, even when these behaviors are celebrated, respected, defended, and canonized as moral, upright, correct, ethical, just, considerate, respectable, honorable, etc.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. ―John 3:19
Despite differences in time, language, culture, symbolism, and other idiosyncrasies, all messengers come from one source: the universal cosmic Christ. Names for divinity are different, but the principle of divine love is the same.
...the Omni-merciful, the infinitude that sustains all, the very, very sacred Absolute Sun, periodically sends Avatars, Saviors, to this valley of tears. These sacred individuals, these messengers, these Saviors, are living incarnations of the Omni-merciful. Nevertheless, this lunar race, this perverse race of Adam, mortally hates such helpers. [...] The blessed Krishna, the blessed Buddha, the blessed Lama, the blessed Mohammed, the loving, essential Ashiata Shiemash, Moses, Quetzalcoatl (and many others) were all Avatars. The doctrine of all Avatars has its roots in the three basic factors of the revolution of the consciousness: to be born, to die, and to sacrifice the self for humanity. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Narrow Way
Despite the fact that numerous masters have appeared in distinct socio-cultural, ethnic, and spiritual communities, avatars are distinct in their hierarchy. Having attained a tremendous degree of ethical purity, discipline, and self-knowledge, prophets have the mission to provide different societies with revolutionary teachings and scriptural revelation.

How is a Prophet Different from a Saint?

Many students of mysticism and religion are fascinated by the lives of the saints, whose miraculous feats and portentous martyrdom become subject to admiration, adulation, and imitation. Throughout antiquity, numerous reports of mysterious phenomena surrounding the tombs, shrines, and sites of holy persons have been documented. However, rather than become distracted by such novelties, it is better to comprehend that even greater possibilities for initiatic development than mere physical miracles exist within oneself. Therefore, a clear distinction can be made between saints (Pratyeka buddhas) who perform miracles and prophets (avatars and bodhisattvas) who show the method and path for complete psychological transformation:
Samael Aun Weor: When we say soul, it must be understood that we refer to a set of forces, powers, virtues, etc. For example, if one disintegrates the defect of lust, then the virtue of chastity crystallizes within us. If we eliminate hatred, then love crystallizes within us. If we disintegrate egotism, then altruism crystallizes within us, and likewise, successively. Whenever we eliminate a defect, something of the soul crystallizes within us: a law, a power, a virtue, etc. Thus, when all of the psychic aggregates that we carry within our interior die, we will then possess our entire soul… This is why the gospels state: “In your patience you will possess your souls.” Moreover, even the physical body must become soul. [...]

Question: It is true that some saints emanated the scent of flowers from their bodies? Is this event due to what you expressed in the previous answer?
Samael Aun Weor: To a large extent, it is due to what I already stated. Yet, it is necessary to go beyond the category of a saint. One thing is the profane 
[the Vulgar Man of the Earth], another thing is a saint [the Man Who Loves], and yet another is an adept [the Man Who Dwells in Silence].
Regarding the adept 
[the Man Who Dwells in Silence], even his very body of flesh and bone becomes soul, can become immortal, becomes a mutant that is no longer subject to time… ―Samael Aun Weor, "Profound Meditation"
The greatest masters have no ego, whereas the worst teachers, saints, masters, or initiates become attached to powers, virtues, titles, degrees, followers, movements, schools, and politics. Due to these categories, distinctions, and degrees, some of the most notable Sufi masters have stated:
In fact, the end of saintship is only the beginning of prophecy. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 223)
Saints, Pratyekas, and masters of the Fifth Initiation of Fire have not received the Venustic initiation, the degree, attainment, and level of a Christified buddha or prophet. Until a master is fully dead to desire, the ego, then one is subject to suffering, karma, defects, faults, and errors. A prophet is able to deliver a perfect message through becoming a useful instrument of divinity, and this is grounded in psychological purity. Masters who have even a sliver of ego are still affected with problems, conditions, and obstacles. If one strives to be a vehicle of prophecy and the Word, then one needs to transcend even sainthood, mastery, or the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries.
The Venustic Initiation is only for true human beings, never for intellectual animals. Let ‘true human beings’ be understood as those who already created the solar bodies. Let “intellectual animals” be understood as all of humanity [the Vulgar Man of the Earth], all the people who only have lunar bodies. The Venustic Initiation is the true nativity of the tranquil heart. The Venustic Initiation is for the few; it is a grace from the Solar Logos. In Nirvana, there are many Buddhas [saints] who―in spite of their great perfections―have never reached the Venustic Initiation. ―Samael Aun Weor, Light from Darkness
Prophet Muhammad received the Venustic Initiation on جَبَل ٱلنُّوْر Jabal-Nur, the "Mountain of Light," תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth. This was a literal place in Arabia where he used to spend time in meditation retreat, where, according to Islamic mythos, he learned the first recitation of the Qur’an, the divine law, the Verb or Logos from the Archangel Gabriel. Muslims believe that before this powerful moment, Prophet Muhammad could not read nor write, thereby glorifying the Qur'an's inception as a true miracle. While constituting elements of temporality and historicity, such events constitute the divine substrata of Islamic and Gnostic narrative: how an illiterate man (תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the human soul) learns to read, write, and master the principles of the kabbalistic alphabet, which is found within Arabic and Hebrew [Learn more from the Alphabet of Kabbalah].

The unlettered prophet is a powerful mythology bearing profound roots in kabbalah and alchemy that, unfortunately, many interpret literally. Without diminishing the miraculous potency of Qur'anic revelation, this story symbolizes how any master must inscribe within their hearts the letters or principles of divinity. This is accomplished through the sexual creative potency, as demonstrated by Al-Qalam: The Pen, Surah 68, verse 1:
Nũn. By the pen and what everyone writes!  ―Al-Qalam 1
Nun in Arabic (ن), Hebrew (נ) or Aramaic represents a "fish": the sperm or ovum of the initiates from which the energy of divine creativity and Logoic expression are manifested. This is the energy that allows divinity to empower and write the truths of religion within one's consciousness:
Or do they say, “He has fabricated a lie about Allah”? If you had, Allah would have sealed your heart, if He willed. And Allah wipes out falsehood and establishes the truth by His Words. He certainly knows best what is hidden in the heart.  ―Qur'an 42:24

Initiation is your own life. If you want initiation, write it upon a staff. Whosoever has understanding let him understand, because there is wisdom within. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony: "Initiation"
Reza Azlan in No god but God describes the historical inaccuracy of Prophet Muhammad's illiteracy, whose occupation as a merchant required a knowledge of language, writing, and documentation. Many Muslims accept that he did not know how to read and write because to not believe would invalidate the Qur'an's miraculous initiation. In reality, these esoteric symbols do not diminish the Prophet's mastery, but augment the inexplicable power of the sexual, creative energy: the power of prophecy. This story represents the work with the igneous and luminous serpents, for even the Arabic ن Nun has a serpentine calligraphy with its diacritical mark representing a point, the sperm or ovum that swims within our sexual, Genesiatic waters. Through resurrecting in the fire and the light, the adept moves forward upon the path of the prophets through receiving the sacred names, principles, qualities, and virtues of an awakened consciousness.

How are Prophets Superior to Saints?

Since prophets establish religions, movements, and scriptures, they are superior in hierarchy to masters who develop their potential through an avatar's teachings:
It is related that [Junayd] he said: "The speech of the prophets gives information concerning presence (ḥuḍúr), while the speech of the saints (ṣiddíqín) [or Hebrew צדיקים Tzadikim, the masters of the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries] alludes to contemplation (musháhadat)." True information is derived from sight, and it is impossible to give true information of anything that one has not actually witnessed [experienced in the superior worlds beyond the body], whereas allusion (ishárat) involves reference to another thing. Hence the perfection and ultimate goal of the saints [masters of תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, Nirvanis, or Pratyekas] is the beginning of the state of the prophets [of the Venustic Initiation]. The distinction between prophet (nabí) and saint (walí), and the superiority of the former to the latter, is plain, notwithstanding that two heretical sects declare the saints to surpass the prophets in excellence. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 129)
A saint or master of תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth attains degrees of contemplation of the truth, experiential knowledge, through ethics, spiritual conduct, and upright living. However, a prophet who has passed through the Venustic Initiations already possesses, due to previous work and experiential wisdom from past ages, a profound state of comprehension or witnessing that is more pervasive, penetrating, and profound. The prophets (adepts) begin where the saints (Pratyekas) end.
…one moment of the prophets is better than the whole life of the saints, because when the saints reach their goal they tell of contemplation (musháhadat) and obtain release from the veil of humanity (bashariyyat), although they are essentially men. On the other hand, contemplation is the first step of the apostle [Prophet Muhammad]; and since the apostle’s starting-place is the saint’s goal, they cannot be judged by the same standard. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 237)
Likewise in previous cosmic eras of development, many prophets and avatars have served countless humanities before, whereas saints are still working to ascend within their initiatic development, some of them for the first time.
Saintship has a beginning and an end, but prophecy has not. The prophets were prophets from the first, and shall be to the last, and before they existed [physically] they were prophets in the knowledge and will of God [in past cosmic ages]. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 238).
The Bodhisattvas with compassionate hearts sacrifice themselves for planetary humanities through successive Mahamanvantaras [cosmic ages of activity], and finally, they achieve the [complete perfection and] incarnation of Christ. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
Many saints, initiates, or Nirvani Buddhas fall when returning to the physical world because they still have a lot of ego, whereas bodhisattvas, prophets, and adepts work vigorously to annihilate all temptation, thereby liberating themselves from vulnerability.

​Rumi: The Camel and the Mouse

The following poetic anecdote from Rumi, the greatest Sufi poet, explains the difference between saints (initiates or beginning masters) and the prophets (adepts or bodhisattvas).
A mouse caught hold of a camel’s lead rope
in his two forelegs and walked off with it,
imitating the camel-drivers.
The camel went along,
letting the mouse feel heroic.

“Enjoy yourself,”
he thought. “I have something to teach you, presently.”
They came to the edge of a great river.
The mouse was dumbfounded.
“What are you waiting for?
Step forward into the river. You are my leader.
Don’t stop here.”
“I’m afraid of being drowned.”
The camel walked into the water. “It’s only
just above the knee.”
“Your knee! Your knee
is a hundred times over my head!”
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t
be leading a camel. Stay with those like yourself.
A mouse has nothing really to say to a camel.”
“Would you help me get across?”
“Get up on my hump. I am made to take hundreds like you
You are not a prophet, but go humbly on the way of the prophets,

and you can arrive where they are. Don’t try to steer the boat.
Don’t open a shop by yourself. Listen. Keep silent.
You are not God’s mouthpiece. Try to be an ear,
and if you do speak, ask for explanations.
The source of your arrogance and anger is your lust
and the rootedness of that is in your habits.
Someone who makes a habit of eating clay
gets mad when you try to keep him from it.
Being a leader can also be a poisonous habit,
so that when someone questions your authority,
you think, “He’s trying to take over.”
You may respond courteously, but inside you rage.
Always check your inner state
with the lord of your heart.
Copper doesn’t know it’s copper,
until it’s changed to gold.
Your loving doesn’t know its majesty,
until it knows its helplessness.
 ―The Essential Rumi

Where Does Prophecy Begin?

True liberation and the power to foresee, guide, and enlighten humanity begins in תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the causal world or plane of natural causes. However, why is this the case?
Beyond the three known dimension, physical dimension, length, width and height, exists the Fourth dimension; this dimension is Time. Beyond Time we have the Fifth Dimension; this dimension is Eternity. Moreover, we asseverate that beyond Eternity a Sixth Dimension exists; this Sixth Dimension is beyond Eternity and Time. In this sixth fundamental dimension is where total liberation begins. Therefore, only the person who awakens in all the six fundamental dimensions of space is a true clairvoyant, a Turiya, a legitimate enlightened one. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
To truly enter the path that leads to final liberation, one must enact the causes and conditions for its fruition. Many look with awe and reverence at the Fifth Initiation of Fire as an advanced degree of attainment. The reality is that it is the genuine beginning of a much greater work. However, many initiates remain saints, deciding to rest and relax upon the spiral path. Such masters enjoy the delights of the causal world, tempting those who would walk the direct path to remain in heaven and forget the sufferings of humanity, which is why Samael Aun Weor referred to such beings as dangerous, tempting gods. Al-Hujwiri describes the sixth dimension as a state of union, return, and intimacy with divinity, whereby the masters of humanity, upon attaining such experiences or vacations in the superior worlds, greet disciples with rapture and degrees of conscious love. However, they remain attached to their virtues and stagnate, seeking to pull those who would incarnate Christ to remain at that level.
Do not you perceive that, according to the unanimous opinion of all the saints who seek God, the station of union (‘jam) belongs to the perfection of saintship [the Fifth Initiation of Fire]? Now, in this station, a man attains such a degree of rapturous love that his intelligence is enraptured in gazing upon the act of God (fi’l), and in his longing for the Divine Agent (fá’il) he regards the whole universe as that and sees nothing but that [since in the world of תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, Nirvana, one perceives the universe through divine causality, the movement, ebb, and flow of action and consequence within nature and all beings]. Thus Abú ‘Alí Rúbárí says: ‘Were the vision of that which we serve to vanish from us, we should lose the name of servantship (‘ubúdiyyat) [Nirvani or Pratyeka buddha],’ for we derive the glory of worship (‘ibádat) solely from vision of Him [within the sixth dimension, תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, Nirvana]. This is the beginning of the state of the prophets, inasmuch as separation (tafriqa) is inconceivable in relation to them. They are entirely in the essence of union, whether they affirm or deny, whether they approach or turn away, whether they are at the beginning [of the Venustic Initiations] or at the end [of Resurrection on the Second Mountain]. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 237)

What are the Three Principal Paths of Mastery?

Samael Aun Weor often refers to the paths of the Left and the Right within scripture, which do not refer to our modern-day political ideologies, practices, and beliefs. Instead, they refer to the spectrum of development, attitudes, and expression of the consciousness.
Traditionally, the political left is archetypically associated with liberalism, freedom, creativity, renovation, empathy, fluidity, invention, championing of the dispossessed, and deinstitutionalization.

The political right has been characterized by its conservatism, conscientiousness, and adherence to social hierarchies based on competency, family values, institutional forms, or management.
Within spiritual studies, the Left and Right paths are attributed to conscious principles mapped by the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, by the pillar of severity (the left) and mercy (the right). As can be deduced, this does not correlate with modern interpretations of political spectra, but instead references qualities of being, knowledge, virtues, and paths.

The two principal pillars or support of our spiritual temple are Mercy (
חֶסֶד Chesed, Love) and Justice (גְּבוּרָה Geburah, Severity): the two basal pillars of divine wisdom. One cannot cancel out either principle, because both are needed in equilibrium to produce the awakening of our full potential.
Fortunately my dear friends, justice and mercy are the two principal columns of the Universal White Fraternity. Justice without mercy is tyranny; mercy without justice is tolerance, complacency with crime. ―Samael Aun Weor, Hell, Devil, and Karma
Mercy and Justice, be ye the equilibrium and splendor of my life! ―Invocation of Solomon
The left-hand, lunar path is defined by its liberality of passion, animal desire, vices, defects, and the fortification of ego.
The right-hand, solar path is characterized by adherence to virtue through the conservation and transmutation of the sexual energy.

This esoteric knowledge is the root of Eastern and Middle Eastern cultural etiquette, whereby the right hand is associated with acts of purity and cleanliness, and the left hand with impurity and bodily functions deemed unclean. It's important to remember that these are principles and not literalities, therefore persecution against left-handed people is unfounded, dogmatic, and ignorant. Left-handedness or sinistrality is not a source for discrimination, since what counts is its mystical interpretation, the source of "sin" residing in the abuse of the energies of the left kabbalistic pillar.
Good and evil, positive and negative, virtue and vice, right and left, are relative terms that the adepts transcend through comprehension of the middle way. While the followers of the left-hand path are attached to vice and those of the right-hand are attached to virtue, the adepts of the middle way go far beyond good and evil, virtue and vice, because they are radically unidentified with anything. However, to maintain such equilibrium, balance, harmony, and comprehension is a difficult task.
The initiates of the darkness, as well as the initiates of the Light, fall to the Left and to the Right.
The Path of the Middle (the Eightfold Path of the Bodhisattvas 
[Adepts, Prophets] with compassionate hearts) leads us to the port of liberation.
Unfortunately, rare are those who are capable of marching on the Path of the Middle towards the final liberation. Those who do not fall on the tenebrous path of the Left, fall on the path of the Right.
The tenebrous ones 
[black magicians] descend through the path of the Left within the abode of Pluto [Hades, Klipoth, the Inferno].
The saints 
[Pratyeka buddhas] ascend through the path of the Right, towards the marvelous Kingdom of the Light.
The tenebrous ones as well as the saints rotate within the Wheel of Samsara 
The tenebrous ones pass through the Buddhist Annihilation within the heart of the world.
Posteriorly they enter into the elemental paradises of Nature, after having suffered a great deal.
The journey through the subterranean world is millions of times more bitter than bile.
The saints return to the Valley of Samsara. They reincorporate themselves into a new human organism when the reward is finished.
Neither the human beings with goat skins 
[black magicians who strengthen animal passion], nor the human beings with sheep skins [saints, initiates, and Nirvanis who transmute their creative energies] achieve the final liberation.
The authentic final liberation is only for the rebels, for those who march on the Path of the Middle
 [the adepts, masters, prophets, or bodhisattvas]...
Demons and saints look with horror and terror at the revolutionary adepts [prophets]​ of the Path of the Middle.
No one understands these rebels of the Path of the Middle. 
The initiate must learn how to walk with two feet [controlling the forces of the left and right paths: those of the demons and saints, without being identified with either].
The Pratyeka Buddhas [saints] and their Shravakas aspirants [followers] are scared, and they anathematize the Bodhisattva [master, adept, prophet] who knows how to walk with his two legs [to navigate and transcend both heaven and hell].
The sincere and noble devotees from the path of the Right stone the initiates who learn to sustain themselves in equilibrium over their left leg.
Every initiate who knows how to walk with his two legs terrorizes the noble ones of the Right.

I am speaking in parables; I am speaking of sheep and goats.
 ―Samael Aun Weor, The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
Due to the difficulty of balancing the forces of good and evil, positive and negative, right and left, few venture into the path of the middle.

Should I Desire Mastery?

Unfortunately there is the tendency in spiritual devotees to covet powers, titles, degrees, teachings, teachers, positions, virtues, attention, and abilities. While looking upon covetousness of material objects as inferior, such "spiritual" persons covet the saints, initiates, and masters for their development. If we genuinely yearn to attain mastery, it should be for the benefit of others and with the selfless attitude of sacrificing our pride for the edification of our communities, not for our own entitlement. 
It is related that Ibráhím b. Adham asked a certain man whether he desired to be one of God’s saints [a master of the Fifth Initiation of Fire], and on his replying "Yes," said: "Do not cover anything in this world or the next, and devote thyself entirely to God, and turn to God with all thy heart." To covet this world is to turn away from God for the sake of that which is transitory, and to covet the next world is to turn away from God for the sake of that which is everlasting: that which is transitory perishes and its renunciation becomes naught, but that which is everlasting cannot perish, hence its renunciation is also imperishable. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 217)
There are many people who do not envy money, social status, ranks, honors, possessions, but they envy the saints; they covet their virtues so that they can also become saints.
There are people who dress humbly, nonetheless they have sublime pride, they are conceited with their simplicity; they do not boast about anything, thus they not only hide their pride from others but also from themselves.
 ―Samael Aun Weor, Light from Darkness
Initiation is demanding and rigorous. One must learn how to cultivate hidden abilities and conscious capacities without envy, desire, or the acquisition of "more." For every step one takes in the development of powers, one should take a thousand steps in sanctity, perfection, and ethical purification. Mastery implies that we conquer our own faults, not elevate them so that we can master others.
Do not covet powers, beloved reader. Powers are born as fruits of our Innermost when our soul has been purified. The mental force that we strain to use in order to move a piece of paper would be better used in order to dominate our carnal passion, in order to end hatred, in order to dominate our language, in order to defeat selfishness, envy, etc.
Let us purify ourselves, since powers will be granted to us through successive purifications. Powers are flowers of the soul and fruits of the Innermost. The powers of a Mahatma are the fruits of many purifications.
Through initiatic ordeals the Gnostic disciple receives distinct powers from the White Lodge. These powers are acquired by the soul, and the Innermost “seizes” them, because the Innermost is the real human within us. 
―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub

What is Mythomania?

Spiritual movements have long suffered a common and pervasive problem. When initiates acquire any level of spiritual experience through temporarily escaping the conditions of their mind, they mistakenly assume that they have attained mastery, perfection, and permanent enlightenment. Such persons ignore that mystical experiences, while genuine, are temporary so long as the ego continues to bottle and cage our understanding.
The Essence of any disciplined hermit [saint], accustomed to escaping from within the “I,” repeats such a feat after the death of his physical body. Then, his Essence enjoys the ecstasy for some time. Yet, after such time, his Essence returns as the Genie of Aladdin’s lamp, back into the interior of the lamp, the ego, the myself.
Thereupon, he has no other choice but to return into a new physical body with the purpose of repeating his life on the stage of existence.
Many mystics who lived and died in the caverns of the Himalayas in central Asia reincarnated again and are now vulgar, common and current people in this world, in spite of the fact that their followers still adore and venerate them.
Therefore, any attempt at liberation, no matter how great it might be, if it does not take into consideration the necessity of dissolving the ego, it is condemned to failure.
 ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
Many meditators know how to escape the shell of the body, vitality, heart, mind, and will so as to submerge within the superior worlds devested of any bodies or corporeality. However, they often mistake a temporary vacation within the heavens as a sign of residency, of having fully eliminated the animal ego. In this way, all of one's egotistical qualities take on a subtle, mystical flavor, and rather than being extirpated from one's nature, they adorn themselves with titles, honors, and the degrees of master so as to acquire abundant followers.

The marked proclivity of the mind to assume that it is divine is known as mythomania: to make a myth of 
मनस् manas: the mind. The consciousness, the human soul, is not the Being (divinity). While the human soul or consciousness (תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth) works, it is the Innermost Being or Master (חֶסֶד Chesed) who drives the initiate to work, fight, and conquer him or herself. The Innermost is the one who receives initiations and development through the human consciousness, which cannot do the work alone without the help of the spirit. The Being is divine, not the human soul nor the mind (נצח Netzach). When our mind thinks it is holy, it commits many mistakes and produces problems in this physical world, such as self-aggrandizement and intolerable pride in mystical matters.
The value of the human person which is the intellectual animal called human being is less than the ash of a cigarette. However, the fools feel themselves to be giants. Unfortunately, within all the pseudo-esoteric currents a great amount of mythomaniac people exist, individuals who feel themselves to be masters, people who enjoy when others call them masters, individuals who believe themselves to be Gods, individuals who presume to be saints. The only one who is truly great is the Spirit, the Innermost. We, the intellectual animals, are leaves that the wind tosses about... ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Therefore, Samael Aun Weor and many initiates have warned about the dangers of self-proclaimed spiritual masters who seek to gain a following based on sonorous titles. The Sufis were clear that those who proclaim their abilities are in fact stripped of them through mystical pride.
It is recorded that [Al-Kirmáni] said: "The eminent have eminence until they see it, and the saints [masters] have saintship [mastery] until they see it," i.e. whoever regards his eminence loses its reality, and whoever regards his saintship [mastery through mythomania] loses its reality. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 138)
Similarly, many saints acquire direct experience of the truth, but because they don't comprehend what they perceive, they mistakenly believe that they have reached enlightenment and the end of the path. They also speak with authority about that which they are forbidden to communicate.
Authentic degrees and authentic white initiations are received in the consciousness. These initiatic ceremonies are performed within the superior worlds. Initiations are intimate realizations of the consciousness, which must not be revealed, or spoken about. No one can grant initiations to anyone. Initiation is attained through life itself. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries

How to Tell if a Master is Genuine?

A genuine spiritual master is known through their ethical adherence to the divine law, chastity, or the great arcanum, not through its abnegation, nullification, or neglect.
Abú Yazíd was asked: "Who is a saint [Nirvani buddha, a master of the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries]?" He answered: "That one who is patient under the command and prohibition of God," because the more a man loves God the more does his heart revere what He commands and the farther is his body from what He forbids. It is related that Abú Yazíd said: "Once I was told that a saint of God was in such and such a town. I set out to visit him. When I arrived at his mosque he came forth from his chamber and spat on the floor of the mosque." Revelation of the Mystery (p. 217)
To spit signifies fornication, for:
...why should we see perversity in sex? Why do we spit on the holy shrine of love? Why do we look lustfully at what is sacred, that is, the chemical or metaphysical copulation? Samael Aun Weor, "Love and Sex"
Abú Yazíd continues:
"I turned back without saluting him, and said to myself: 'A saint must keep the religious law [ethics, chastity] in order that God may keep him in his spiritual state. Had this man been a saint [master] his respect for the mosque [Gnostic temple] would have preserved him from marring the grace vouchsafed to him.' The same night I dreamed that the Apostle [Prophet Muhammad] said to me, 'O Abú Yazíd, the blessing of that which thou hast done is come to thee.' Next day I attained to this degree which ye behold." And I have heard that a man who came to visit Shaykh Abú Sa’íd entered the mosque [Gnostic temple] with his left foot foremost [since one enters Gnostic temples with the right foot, signifying transmutation and chastity]. The Shaykh gave orders that he should be dismissed, saying: ‘He who does not know how to enter the house of the Friend is not suitable for us.’ Some heretics who have adopted this perilous doctrine assert that service of God (khidmat) is necessary only while one is becoming a saint [master of the Fifth Initiation of Fire] but that after one has become a saint, service [ethical conduct] is abolished. This is clearly wrong. There is no ‘station’ on the way to the Truth where any obligation of service [ethics] is abolished. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 217-18)

​Can a Master Save Me?

No master in the physical world can save you. Even if a master were to see through your mind, heart, and actions, they cannot annihilate your ego or do the spiritual work for you. Attachment to individuals in the physical world is an obstacle and deterrence to working upon one's own mind.
Religious obligations (taklíf) depend on Divine guidance (hidáyat), and acts of mortification [striving against oneself in the death of the ego] only serve to affirm the proofs of God [through awakening consciousness], not to effect real union with Him [without sexual alchemy]. God has said: ‘And though We had sent down the angels unto them and the dead had spoken unto them and We had gathered before them all things together, they would not have believed unless God had so willed’ (Koran 6:111), for the cause of belief is Our will, not [material] evidence or mortification [striving in psychological death alone]. Accordingly, the revelations of the Prophets and ordinances of religion are a means (asbáb) of attaining union [Self-realization], but are not the cause (‘illat) of union [Self-realization]. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 204)
All genuine masters are humble and do not accept praise, adulation, honors, and worship. True masters are simple and anonymous, primarily because spiritual devotees tend to be so attached to external teachers that they forget the precedence of their Innermost.
It is not appropriate for someone who Allah has blessed with the Scripture, wisdom, and prophethood to say to people, "Worship me instead of Allah." Rather, he would say, "Be devoted to the worship of your Lord alone"―in accordance with what these prophets read in the Scripture and what they taught. And he would never ask you to take angels and prophets as lords. Would he ask you to disbelieve after you have submitted?” ―Qur’an 3:79-80

Should I Follow a Master?

I do not follow anyone; therefore no one should follow me. ―Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology
Sadly, despite Samael Aun Weor's injunctions, many of his students follow his terrestrial personality (which he had disintegrated in the work) rather than their own divinity.
This is why we advise our disciples not to follow anyone. Let our disciples follow their own Self. Each of our disciples has to follow their resplendent and luminous inner Being. Each one has to adore their own “I Am.” We beg, beseech, our disciples not to follow us. We do not want henchmen or followers. We have written this book so that you, our friends, listen to your own internal master, your resplendent “I AM.” The Innermost is your master: follow Him. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
Many dangers exist in adhering to or following a teacher, group, school, or ideology. As with any spiritual teaching, Gnosis has been transformed, for many devotees, into a cult of personality, identity worship, and blind enthusiasm without evidence. What is important is one's internal experiences in conjunction with physical facts, meditative analysis, comprehension based upon verification of metaphysical realities, and our own conscious judgment. When mistaken individuals worship the personality of Samael Aun Weor, they do a great disservice to his message and teaching, which is one of independence, investigation, scientific inquiry, and exploration, not fanaticism, excommunications, and psychological repression. The fanaticism of certain Gnostic groups is not a reflection of the messenger, but their collective minds. According to one Gnostic instructor instructed by an Egyptian initiate in the astral plane: "Modern Gnostics are the return and recurrence of the Pharisees from Biblical times."

​There are three principal ways that students can be mislead:

First, take heed that none of the many false avatars who appear during these times deceive you, for many impostors appear in these times and deceive others. Second, take heed of sexual temptations. Third, do not ever attend spiritual centers; the mediums-channelers can easily lead you astray from the path. Many disciples have fallen horribly due to these three dangerous reasons. Flee from these three treacherous dangers so that you may not lose your initiations and degrees. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries

How to Find a Real Master?

There is a need to search for a guru in order for him to guide us along this internal and delicate way. The guru must be searched for within, in the profundity of the consciousness... Each disciple must search for the master inside, inside, inside. The master is found in the profundity of our consciousness. If you want to search for the master, abandon all bookish erudition and pseudo-spiritual schools. The master appears when the disciple is prepared. ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Real occultism and Guru Yoga is exclusively learned within the internal worlds through dream yoga, for the authentic masters of Major Mysteries are solely verified within the superior dimensions when the consciousness is awake and the physical body sleeps.
...in this day and age, it is very dangerous to just simply follow someone. What is best is to seek the Inner Master. The best thing is to follow our “I Am.” The best thing is to learn how to travel in the astral body in order to visit the temples of the White Lodge and to receive the teachings directly in the temple... ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries

What Are Genuine Masters Like?

The authentic master never boasts of being a master... An authentic guru does not go around boasting about it. The authentic guru is the Inner Christ. A true master goes around everywhere anonymously and unknown. He does not exhibit his deeds or powers, and is filled with modesty. A true master is before anything else an upright citizen. The authentic master is never an intellectual, since the intellect is an animal function of the human “I.” The true master is like a child, pure, holy, simple, and natural. The true master is the Inner Christ “that is the true Light, which lightens every man that comes into the world” [John 1:9]. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
...the authentic female enlightened masters never go around boasting about it. The true disciples and masters are those who know how to consciously travel in their astral body. The male and female devotees who remember their past lives and who can astrally attend the temples of mystery are true enlightened beings, yet they never go around boasting about it; these are the ones who really know. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
Mastery is attained through work upon the ego, especially pride. While one must comprehend and annihilate desire, this does not signify repression, self-hatred, morbidity, pessimism, self-deprecation, and self-denigration, which are egotistical qualities. Shame is a defect, a sense of inverted pride that identifies with feeling bad about oneself. Remorse is the voice of conscience, our inner judgment that knows one is wrong and takes responsibility for one's mistakes, so as to act virtuously for others. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated:
You [if you have reached levels of initiation] are not the master, you are only the sinning shadow of He who has never sinned. Remember that only your internal Lamb is the master. Remember that even though your internal God is a Hierarch of fire, you, poor slug, are only a human being and as a human being you will always be judged. Your internal Lamb could be a planetary God, but you, poor slug of the mud, do not forget, always remember that you are only the shadow of your God. Poor sinning shadow...! Do not say “I am this God” or “I am that master,” because you are only a shadow that must resolve to die [to the ego] and be slaughtered [upon the cross of alchemy] in order not to serve as an obstacle for your internal God. It is necessary for you to reach supreme humbleness. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message

Why Did Samael Aun Weor Proclaim His Mastery?

Some people criticize Samael Aun Weor that if the master is within, why was he recognized with the title of Venerable Master? The reality is that he is a prophet of the Venustic Initiations and not merely a saint (Nirvani buddha).

​Prophets are given authority by the White Lodge to teach the doctrine through their experiences or evidentiary miracles
such as receiving and unveiling their sacred name after the Venustic Initiationso as to provide clarity of the path. Saints (masters of Major Mysteries who follow in the footsteps of the prophetsdo not:
Mu’jízát [evidentiary miracles of a prophet] involve publicity and karámát [miracles of a saint, a master of the fifth initiation] secrecy, because the result of the former is to affect others, while the latter are peculiar to the person by whom they are performed. —Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery
We study the works of Samael Aun Weor because he was not only a master of Major Mysteries, but a prophet and Dhyani-Bodhisattva: the human soul and spirit of a Logos.
When a Logos wants to come into the World, he emanates his Innermost. The Innermost then, together with the Divine Soul, is the Dhyani Bodhisattva of a Logos. ―Samael Aun Weor, Manual of Practical Magic
He is described as a “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Revelations 19:16), the white rider of the New Testament whose verb punishes the egotistical multitudes like a sword, the igneous verb or Word of fire (the mantras S). A prophet possesses hierarchy to lead many Malachim or masters, and Samael leads the ray of Martian power, since as a Logos, he was known throughout Greece and Rome as Ares or Mars [see The Meaning of the Name Samael Aun Weor for a deeper understanding of this controversial archangel].

According to the Sufis, the masters of Major Mysteries (saints) follow the prophets (Dhyani-Bodhisattvas) due to their hierarchy:
The end of saintship (the Fifth Initiation of Fire) is only the beginning of prophecy (the Venustic Initiations). —Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery
The powers of the saints or masters of Major Mysteries should not be broadcasted or publicized, otherwise such initiates risk losing their abilities. However, a prophet lives an exemplary life and relays their mystical experiences to provide clarification, boundaries, scripture, and inspiration. A saint can become intoxicated by samadhis or "drunk on God," whereas prophets, due to acculturation, ability, attainment, and hierarchy, are "sober" while in the midst of the greatest realizations and witnessing of the truth. This is why prophets like Samael Aun Weor were so demanding of his students: to push them and aid in their aspirations.
…miracles are not vouchsafed to a saint except when he is in a state of intoxication [mystical ecstasy], whereas the miracles of the prophets are wrought in the state of sobriety [mastery and self-control]. Hence… this is a clear distinction between mu’jízát and karámát, for the saint, being enraptured, pays no heed to the people and does not call upon them to follow him, while the prophet, being sober, exerts himself to attain his object and challenges the people to rival what he has done. Moreover, the prophet may choose whether he will manifest or conceal his extraordinary powers, but the saints have no such choice… ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 226)
Prophets are not exalted because of pride, self-glorification, or ambition, but since divinity longs to give light through them to humanity. In the words of the greatest of Sufi poets, Rumi:
The really holy never need to be honored; their selves are already honored by Love. If a lamp wants to be placed where it can be seen, it wants that for others’ sake, not its own. What does the lamp care whether it is placed ‘above’ or ‘below’? Wherever it is, it is still a lamp and it still gives out light. Nevertheless, it wants its light to reach and help others. Imagine if the sun were below the earth―it would still be the sun, of course, but the world would languish in darkness. So the sun is placed in its regal position not for its own sake at all, but for the world’s. The real holy ones who are put in high positions are like the lamp and the sun―they do not care about ‘high’ or ‘low,’ ‘above’ or ‘below,’ and do not look to be revered by others.
When Vision unfurls its ecstatic flag in you, or your mind blazes from a lightning flash of grace from heaven, you are, in that moment, cold to ‘above’ and ‘below,’ to all status and rank, mastery or leadership, all man-made titles, praises, elevations, honors. None of these things concern you: you soar like a hawk in the cloudless sky of union.
If such splendor breaks over ordinary seekers, imagine how little the really holy ones, who are the mines themselves of that Love and that Splendor, could possibly care for ‘below’ and ‘above’! No categories of any kind chain or even interest them; all their glorying is in God, and God is utterly free of anything we know as ‘above’ or ‘below.’ ‘Above’ and ‘below’ belong to those of us who have heads and feet and deluded imaginations in the service of the tyrants of our false selves. Mohammad, may he always rest in peace, said once: ‘Do not make me out to be greater than Jonah, just because his ascension was in a whale’s belly while mine took place in Heaven and on the Throne.’ What the Prophet meant was this: "For God, the whale’s belly is the same as the Throne.” 
The Rumi Collection (p. 222-23).

Did Samael Aun Weor Want Followers?

A true prophet does not demand followers, but only imitators of his or her example:
Take heed, my brothers and sisters, of those wolves dressed in sheepskin. Be prudent, be cautious, and withdraw from all of those spiritualist cages that are true centers of exploitation and moral corruption. The owners of all of those lodges are now very jealous of their businesses and consider the Master Samael Aun Weor as a very dangerous element. Indeed, those black magicians are right: I am a very dangerous element for them, because I remove the masks from their faces, and show their naked shame in the open, before the solemn verdict of public consciousness. So, the wicked ones fight back in order to defend their business, thus they abruptly run to defend it.
I tell all of those lodge owners that they should not be so afraid of me, since I am not in need of their money, nor do I extend certificates, nor do I send correspondence courses, nor do I found schools, nor do I grant diplomas in order to become wealthy.
If they think that Samael has attacked them in order to take away their clientele, then they are mistaken, because Samael does not own any school, nor is Samael in the need of clientele.

I, Samael, am not in need of henchmen or followers, but only imitators of my doctrine: Gnosis.  I do not follow anyone, nor do I want anyone to follow me. What I want is for each one of you to follow his own Self.  I am only a lighthouse in the sea of existence, and I do not need clientele in order to subsist.
Since I am against the slavery of souls, I do not want to enslave any soul, nor do I agree with executioners of ideals.

Masters exists in abundance, and I am only one of many; thus, those who want to find the Masters will find them inside, within the profundities of their own inner consciousness.
Since long ago, all the spiritualist brethren of the world have been waiting for the great Avatar 
[messenger] of Aquarius; listen, do not wait for another messenger, because I am the initiator of the new era. The tree is known by its fruits.  I am a tree: my fruits are my books. Thus, study them, practice them, and do not forget that the Master appears when the disciple is prepared. ―Samael Aun Weor, Inside the Vestibule of Wisdom

Why Are There Many Masters in Gnosis?

There are a few reasons why many people in the Gnostic movement claim to have attained mastery. For some it is a source of ambition, competition, and race for larger congregations. For others it is an issue of spreading the teaching to more students, whom are more attracted to a spiritual tradition that boasts of lineages, titles, and a succession of qualified masters and disciples. Some do it for less noble reasons like drugs, psychosis, or extortion. However:
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 
―John 1:12-13
Samael Aun Weor did not institute any such initiatic genealogy either through blood or politics, for he was against followers, henchmen, and Piscean systems that trap students within dogmas, terrestrial hierarchies, and beliefs. Lineages constitute "the will of man" within most spiritual communities, for as evidenced by the lamentable political in-fighting within the Gnostic movement, such contestation and rivalry for authority as "the true Gnostic group" has driven many sincere students away from studying the teachings because they think it is a cult.

What Samael Aun Weor advocated was Aquarian spirituality, which does not demand blind devotion to a person, shrine, or idea, but to the Christic Nativity of the tranquil heart:
Instructors must not be called masters, but "friends." "But be not ye called master: for one is your master, even Christ" [Matthew 23:8]. The Gnostic movement is impersonal. It is made up of humble laborers. Therefore, let us reject any personalization. Let us not accept imposing individuals. No one is better than anyone else. Among us, we are laborers, bricklayers, mechanics, farmers, writers, physicians, etc. [...]

We do not worship noble titles, nor resounding titles like “doctor, lawyer, guru, master, elder brother, avatar,” etc., because among Gnostics we are all friends, and Aquarius is the house of friends... Remember that the only master is Christ (a multiple perfect unity). We humans are more or less imperfect, thus I, the one who writes this book, am not anyone’s master, and I beg people to not follow me. I am an imperfect human just like anyone else, and it is an error to follow someone who is imperfect. Let every one follow their "I Am." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "Meetings' Regulations"
The best guide to navigating spiritual and Gnostic politics is to rely on your intuition, Innermost, and internal experiences. It is important to test and verify the principles of this teaching to validate them from experience, not to accept or reject blindly due to fanaticism or fear.

​In general, authentic masters do not take pains to declare their mastery or sainthood to the world. While m
any sincerely believe that they are advanced practitioners and have been authorized to reveal their sacred name:
Initiation is something very intimate, very secret, very divine. Avoid all those who say, "I have so many initiations, so many degrees." Avoid all those who say, "I am a master of Major Mysteries; I have received so many initiations." Remember, dear reader, that the "I," that the personality does not receive initiations. Initiation is a matter for the Innermost; it has to do with the consciousness, with the very delicate things of the Soul. One must not go about speaking of these things. No true adept would ever use phrases like, "I am a master of the White Lodge," "I have such-and-such degree," "I have so many initiations," "I have these powers," etc. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

​My Shaykh used to say that if a saint reveals his saintship and claims to be a saint, the soundness of his spiritual state is not impaired thereby, but if he takes pains to obtain publicity he is led astray by self-conceit. ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation the Mystery (p. 223-24)
Samael Aun Weor is the avatar, messenger, and prophet of Aquarius, and thereby was instructed to teach about his identity. According to Sufism, the esotericism of Islam, a prophet provides evidentiary miracles, whereas other masters do not. As for others who declare the name of their inner Being, they are not prophets, therefore their humility and modesty is questionable. A master or saint in Gnosis cannot be compared with Samael Aun Weor due to initiatic hierarchy, as explained by previous quotes from Rumi, Al-Hujwiri, and the Sufi tradition.
Abú Yazíd was asked about the state of the prophets. He replied: "Far be it from me to say! We have no power to judge of them, and in our notions of them we are wholly ourselves. God has placed their denial and affirmation in such an exalted degree (of objective reasoning) that human vision cannot reach unto it." Accordingly, as the rank of the saints (masters of תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth) is hidden from the perception of mankind, so the rank of the prophets (Dhyani-Bodhisattvas of the Logos) is hidden from the judgment of the saints (including the Buddhas of Nirvana). —Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (p. 238)

Do Masters Reform Other Groups?

It is also common for many Gnostics to infiltrate other groups with the objective of converting students and instructors to "the true Gnosis." However, this is known as "stealing sheep" and has nothing to do with helping more people become aware of how to work upon themselves. Samael Aun Weor warned about self-proclaimed masters and missionaries who seek to combine schools under a single flag of universal fraternity with themselves at the patriarchal apex.
Understand: the missionaries who go to form the army do not go as “lumisial reformers,” since every lumisial [Gnostic school or temple] depends upon a principal person, and this one, in himself and by himself, will answer to the great law for his work. Therefore, by no means do the missionaries have the authority to go everywhere reforming lumisials or dividing groups, or something of the sort. Let the principal person of each Gnostic lumisial answer for his work. Moreover, no missionary is authorized to go and reform the work of the principal person of any lumisial. Understand: the missionaries are not reformers of groups; the missionaries go to form new groups, and that is different. Therefore, any missionary has the liberty to form new groups. Samael Aun Weor, "Missionaries, Donations, and Schools"

Who Can Be Trusted?

Gnostic students face a perilous dilemma that can really push them away from deeper inquiry. When approaching the Gnostic teachings and encountering the politics of certain groups, aspirants can become confused as to who is right or wrong, and whether or not such disputes reflect the integrity of its founder and writings. It's important to remember, however, that there exist three jewels within Buddhism, namely:
  • The Buddha (guru, master, or teacher)
  • The Dharma (teaching or instructions)
  • The Sangha (spiritual community)

In the Gnostic tradition, we study the teachings of Samael Aun Weor. Whether or not the community or missionaries live up to his doctrine is a separate issue, although many modern individuals fail to make this distinction and instead conflate him with the fanaticism of his followers. But is any prophet to blame for the incongruencies and abuse of students? Blaming Samael Aun Weor for the cultish behaviors of some followers is like blaming Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, and others for the degeneration of their message over time. Light is pure when emanating from the sun (Christ), yet becomes filtered when entering the polluted atmosphere of the earth, a simile for how authentic knowledge degenerates through the superficial, unconscious, torpid, and dull mind of zealots. Due to possessing psychological obscurations or ego, believers interpret everything in accordance with ancestral prejudices and mental conditioning, corrupting the unleavened bread of divine wisdom into the debauched leaven of hypocritical Phariseeism. 
Around the inventors of new values the world revolves: invisibly it revolves. But around the actors revolve the people and fame: that is the way of the world. ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "On the Flies of the Marketplace"
If you wish to know whether or not Samael Aun Weor is who he says he is, it is important to test, experiment, and practice this knowledge to verify from experience its essential truths, and not to accept or reject them at face value. A true gnostic does not believe nor disbelieve, but knows:
The mind believes, the mind that does not believe, the mind that doubts, is an ignorant mind. The path of wisdom does not rely on believing, not believing, or doubting. The path of wisdom consists of inquiring, analyzing, meditating, and experiencing. Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
As Friedrich Nietzsche aptly stated in his esoteric book Thus Spoke Zarathustra:
Now I go alone, my disciples, You too, go now alone. Thus I want it. Go away from me and resist Zarathustra! And even better: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he deceived you… One pays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil. And why do you not want to pluck at my wreath? You revere me; but what if your reverence tumbles one day? Beware lest a statue slay you. You say that you believe in Zarathustra? But what matters Zarathustra? You are my believersbut what matter all believers? You had not yet sought yourselves; and you found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all faith amounts to so little. Now I bid you to lose me and find yourselves; and only then when you have all denied me will I return to you… that I may celebrate the great noon with you [the advent of the Superhuman, when the solar logos is at its zenith above illuminating our minds]. ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Conclusion: The Real Master

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, "master, master." But be not ye called master: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. ―Matthew 23:1-10

Discover the true master within you:

<![CDATA[Who Are the Initiates?]]>Sun, 25 Oct 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/who-are-the-initiates

​The Secret Guides of Humanity

There have always existed exemplary human beings embodying the highest spiritual ethics, whose originality, intelligence, and uncompromising service to others have perplexed the masses. Despite being surrounded by corruption, such men and women have been all the more remarkable for their sincere, upright, and selfless conduct. Going against the grain with brilliant and luminous character, such individuals have redirected the course of entire civilizations, even if remaining anonymous and unknown. Such persons are known as initiates.
For throughout all recorded time there have been outstanding people on earth who spoke out with unshakable assurance about the secret of life and even witnessed their conviction with their life—initiates as they have been called. But where and from whom have these 'initiates' received their initiation? And into what were they initiated?

Socrates for example. Consider him taking the cup of poison with divine calm, drinking it to the last drop, speaking fearlessly and objectively, quietly and pleasantly about the effect of the poison, reporting how under the influence of the poison first his feet get cold and die, how the deathly cold gradually crawls up from his feet towards his heart like a snake. He is aware that he is about to die, he takes leave of his faithful students, and closes his eyes. Such unshakable peace and calm in the face of death can only come from sure knowledge. Where did Socrates get this knowledge?

And where have various other titans living on earth at different times got their knowledge about the secret of life and death—their initiation? Even today there must be such 'initiates' living on earth, and there must be some way to obtain initiation, the really great initiation.
 —Elizabeth Haisch, Initiation
Evidenced throughout recorded history, such luminaries possessed a secretive body of knowledge whose application helped to shape their dynamic personalities for the betterment of society. Their esoteric knowledge, "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest" (Oxford Languages), was covertly sustained through the remarkable temperament, impeccable standards, and resolute integrity of its adherents. Hidden within religious and scriptural allegory, their essential wisdom and practical methodologies demonstrate incredible, volatile, and transformative power, which, presented to the wrong hands, could disrupt and catalyze humanity's trajectory towards destruction.
That this knowledge was carefully guarded by those who were its custodians was also recognised, and throughout the ages the same reason for their caution was assigned; that in the wrong hands this power, if abused, could produce serious harm, because men had no right to make use of it for any personal end, since it was derived from the Great Author of the Universe. The men who held it were trustees and not owners, and might not appropriate this sacred power to their own uses without being guilty of a crime against their God and their fellow-men; and we have many traditions of the swift and heavy punishment which befell those who thus offended, either at the hands of their fellow-initiates, or of the higher powers against whom they had sinned. ―Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate: Chapter I: Laying the Foundations, p. 18
This is why such prophets, messengers, and hierophants of the ancient mysteries instituted secret orders, whose codified stipulations were designed to test the sincerity, responsibility, and qualifications of the candidate. Admission into the most potent and expedient methods for psychological transformation was demanding, since genuine knowledge of divinity is exact, immutable, and scientific. Based upon cosmic laws, the spiritual path is realized through profound study, conscious action, and a unwavering discipline with efficient tools. The ascent out of ignorance, suffering, and affliction towards the comprehension of one's divine nature requires that aspirants learn to abandon everything they believe they are, so as to achieve, in the Biblical parable of the merchant, the pearl of heaven (Matthew 13:45-46).

Finding Authentic Initiatic Schools

Many have called themselves of your band; many spurious pretenders have been so-called by the learned ignorance which still, baffled and perplexed, is driven to confess that it knows nothing of your origin, your ceremonies or doctrines, nor even if you still have local habitation on the earth. ―Edward Bulwer Lytton, Zanoni: Book III: Chapter V
While many modern spiritual movements are fascinated by these initiatic schools from antiquity (and even contemporaneously imitate their example), discovering reliable knowledge―amidst a plethora of antithetical, inconsistent, and incompatible teachings for today's world―is difficult. As stated by genuine Sufi initiates even as far back as 437 H / 1045 C.E.:
Abu-l-Abbas Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Dinawari observed, “They pull down the pillars of Sufism and tear up its road; they alter its meanings with names they have invented. They call covetousness ‘growth,’ bad behavior ‘sincerity,’ departing from the truth ‘ecstatic utterance,’ and taking pleasure in the objectionable ‘good nature.’ The pursuit of desires is ‘testing,’ returning to the world is ‘union,’ bad temper is ‘forcefulness,’ avarice is ‘endurance,’ begging is ‘work,’ foul language is ‘calling blame upon oneself.’ This is not the way of the [Sufi] people.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Even the most divine teachings can become corrupt. A mystery school only lives in accordance with the level of being and spiritual qualifications of its teachers and students, which is not based upon degrees within the physical world, but divine communion through internal psychological work. Due to the eventual deterioration of religious institutions and forms, it is ever more necessary for divinity to manifest the secret wisdom ubiquitously, for no singular culture, people, temporality, or space can lay sovereign and exclusive claim to the universal knowledge dormant within the heart of all living beings. Likewise, by following one's intuition, inquietudes, and inner conscience, the aspirant is conduced towards the door to initiatic development and realization of the mysteries.
At first on rare occasions; here and there, with my inner ears, I heard the voice of truth speaking in a book or in the words of a living person. And I always went further in the direction indicated by this mysterious voice. Like the thread of Ariadne, this secret voice always led me on. Sometimes I found someone in my own home town who could give me valuable information for my further search, and sometimes this voice led me far away into strange lands, where I often found information that was in remarkably close agreement with the words I had heard at home.

Thus my path led me to people with ever greater knowledge who explained more and more to me about initiation and about the meaning of life. Naturally I also met many ignorant people and people with half knowledge who pretended to know. But I got so I could recognize immediately when "the hands were Esau's, but the voice was Jacob's." These poor charlatans, pretending to be "initiates," gave themselves away very fast. They were not even in harmony with themselves and their own life, so how could they have taught me anything about the deepest truth of life, about initiation? In such cases I simply went on seeking someone with true knowledge, a true initiate. 
—Elizabeth Haisch, Initiation
Esoteric authors from both East and West converge upon one essential point: how initiates are defined by their penetrative wisdom and perfect disposition for the betterment of humanity, for "by their fruits you shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). Placing the weal of the multitudes above their own, the masters, prophets, and superhumans work tirelessly so the spiraling evolution of countless humanities can reach the heights of reality, philosophy, and truth.

The Superhuman: An Incredulous Reality

All societies have longed for the realization of their most beloved ideals, yet―as consistently proven in the practical field of life and by the rise and fall of empires―has always produced decadence and decay. Consistently neglecting to enact the legitimate causes of liberty and happiness, terrestrial politics have failed to embody the virtues, principles, and wisdom of the initiates, whose genius is the secret influence and catalyst of the multitudes.
Around the inventors of new values the world revolves: invisibly it revolves. But around the actors [religious, political, and philosophical leaders who claim to be initiates, but are not] revolve the people and fame: that is the way of the world. ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "On the Flies of the Marketplace"
Initiates, having developed themselves beyond the common and accepted spectrum of humanity's potential intelligence, creativity, and power, have direct knowledge and access to divinity's will. Having passed beyond mundane concepts of good and evil, initiates perceive through the turbulence, bewilderment, and ethical disorientation of the populace, which, while postulating transcendent moral doctrines, hastens towards violence and war. The greatest initiates always know how to discriminate between conflicting ideological binaries, perceiving the syntheses of phenomena and feasible solutions to many societal ills. However, blindly enamored by political fanaticism, religiosity, and dogma, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom," whose inequalities and injustices will result in great catastrophes, "famines and earthquakes in various places" (Matthew 24:7).

Yet the foremost initiates who perceive our existential dilemma of "to be or not to be," act compassionately on behalf of those who suffer. However, due to their radical perfection and negation of any egotistical condition of mind, the multitudes look upon their saviors with incomprehension and horror. This is why whenever any initiate incarnates the Christic force (personified by many masters besides Jesus of Nazareth), humanity rewards him or her with slander, persecutions, and torture:
Changes are essential during esoteric progress, but reactionary people remain trapped in the past, petrified in time, and they thunder and flash against us as we achieve deep psychological progress and radical changes.

People cannot bear the changes in an Initiate; they want him to continue to be petrified in many yesterdays.

Any change achieved by an Initiate is immediately classified as immoral.

Looking at things from this angle, in the light of the Christic Work [the path of the Superhuman], we can clearly prove the ineffectiveness of the diverse moral codes which have been written throughout the world.

Unquestionably, the Christ, manifested though hidden in the heart of the real human, once he takes charge of our diverse psychological states, is actually labeled as cruel, immoral and perverse because people do not know him.

It is paradoxical that although people worship the Christ,  they classify him with such appalling labels.

Obviously, people who are unconscious and asleep only want an anthropomorphic, historic Christ of statues and unbreakable dogmas in whom they can easily fit all their clumsy, stale moral codes and all their prejudices and conditions.

People can never conceive of the Intimate Christ [the Superhuman] in the heart of the human being.  The masses only worship the statue of Christ, that is all. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion: "The Christic Work"
The heights of initiation, as demonstrated in the lives of Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, and the prophets, is the realization of one's ultimate divinity, the Cosmic Christ, a universal intelligence that can incarnate within the consciousness of any individual whom has been properly prepared. Christ, the Superhuman, transcends and rebels against popular concepts of morality, theory, nationality, race, and theology:
The Superhuman can distinguish good from evil and evil from good; he grasps the sword of cosmic justice and is beyond both good and evil. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion: "The Superman"
Untainted by mistaken, dualistic views, concepts, or philosophies, the initiates sacrifice themselves for humanity through instructing us about the causes of our ignorance, even when it is uncomfortable, terrifying, disturbing, and contrary to our most cherished beliefs. Since their transcendent state is beyond comprehension, the initiates terrify the public through the solemn verdict of their uncompromising conscience.
"Myself I sacrifice to my love [the Superhuman], and my neighbor as myself"―thus runs the speech of all creators [initiates]. But all creators are hard." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "On the Pitying"
This "hardness" of the creators was exemplified in Edward Bulwer Lytton's esoteric romance novel Zanoni, wherein Glyndon, an artist, painter, and possible candidate for an initiatic Rosicrucian order, questions the immortal Count Zanoni regarding the ethical behavior, philosophy, and superiority of the initiates:
"You do not seem, Signor Zanoni, to be one of the admirers of the dawning [French] Revolution [May 5, 1789 – November 9, 1799]. Perhaps you are prejudiced against the man [a follower of the upcoming rebellion] because you dislike the opinions?"

"What opinions?"

Glyndon paused, somewhat puzzled to define; but at length he said, "Nay, I must wrong you; for you, of all men, I suppose, cannot discredit the doctrine that preaches the infinite improvement of the human species."

"You are right; the few in every age improve the many; the many now may be as wise as the few were; but improvement is at a standstill, if you tell me that the many now are as wise as the few are."

"I comprehend you; you will not allow the law of universal equality!"

"Law! If the whole world conspired to enforce the falsehood they could not make it law. Level all conditions to-day, and you only smooth away all obstacles to tyranny to-morrow. A nation that aspires to equality is unfit for freedom. Throughout all creation, from the archangel to the worm, from Olympus to the pebble, from the radiant and completed planet to the nebula that hardens through ages of mist and slime into the habitable world, the first law of Nature is inequality."

"Harsh doctrine, if applied to states. Are the cruel disparities of life never to be removed?"

"Disparities of the physical life? Oh, let us hope so. But disparities of the intellectual and the moral, never! Universal equality of intelligence, of mind, of genius, of virtue!—no teacher left to the world! no men wiser, better than others,—were it not an impossible condition, what a hopeless prospect for humanity! No, while the world lasts, the sun will gild the mountain-top before it shines upon the plain. Diffuse all the knowledge the earth contains equally over all mankind to-day, and some men will be wiser than the rest to-morrow. And this is not a harsh, but a loving law,—the real law of improvement; the wiser the few in one generation, the wiser will be the multitude the next!

"And these men [who would initiate the French Revolution], to commence their era of improvement and equality, are jealous even of the Creator. They would deny an intelligence,—a God!" said Zanoni, as if involuntarily. "Are you an artist, and, looking on the world, can you listen to such a dogma? Between God and genius there is a necessary link,—there is almost a correspondent language. Well said the Pythagorean, 'A good intellect is the chorus of divinity.'" ―Edward Bulwer Lytton, Zanoni: Book II, Chapter VII
While written almost two hundred years ago, Zanoni perfectly describes the chaos of contemporary global politics resulting from staunch materialism, fierce fanaticism, and extremist ideologies. By rejecting divinity, such movements strip away anything sacred from within the human being, reducing him, in the name of social equality, to a commodity and epiphenomenon of the brain. History has demonstrated that the denial of human principles inevitably leads to moral confusion, stagnation, and destruction, for in the words of Samael Aun Weor:
Religious forms change according to the historical times and the races.  Each race needs its special religious form.

People need religion. People without religion are in fact totally barbarian, cruel, and pitiless. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic: "Religious Principles"
Without rejecting the need for economic and material equity, the initiates have propounded how equality can never exist within one's level of being. Hierarchies exist within nature, divinity, and spiritual masters, who are able to express heavenly forces according to their initiatic degree. Just as a light bulb can transmit greater brilliance, likewise the light of divinity manifests within the human being in accordance with their unique development.

Friedrich Nietzsche corroborates this doctrine of inequality and the superiority of the initiatic life in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra:
You higher men, learn this from me: in the market place [the public world] nobody believes in higher men. And if you want to speak there, very well! But the mob blinks: "We are all equal."

"You higher men"
―thus blinks the mob―"there are no higher men, we are all equal, man is man; before God we are all equal."

Before God! But now this god has died [since Judeo-Christianity and Islam, the monotheistic religions, have degenerated: the initiatic teachings are lost]. And before the mob we do not want to be equal. You higher men, go away from the market place! ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "On the Higher Man"

​White and Black Magic

While the divine initiatic colleges disdained and forbade the public dissemination of their teachings within the "marketplace," the colleges for black initiations became common and prominent. Besides every temple of light is a temple of darkness. Just as there exist initiates who cultivate the most sublime ideals and purest sentiment within humanity, likewise there are initiates who develop and empower egotism, manipulation, desire, and the lowest animal qualities possible.

White magic is the individual's capacity to invoke, manifest, and express
in accordance with the will of divinitythe qualities of unconditioned consciousness for human enlightenment. Black magic is the practitioner's hypnotic abilities to control, deceive, and manipulate others through channeling the influence of conditioned perception, the animal ego. While white magicians respect the will of others and offer teachings based on the conscious principle of persuasion, the black magician receives his power through coercing, suppressing, and dominating other people.

Innumerable schools of black magic exist due to the closing of the initiatic colleges. To escape persecution, judgment, and the Inquisition, many white magicians closed their doors while the black lodges, ever opportunistic and zealous, gained ground and influence. However, due to inexperience, gullibility, and an intimate yearning for any hidden knowledge, aspirants have, in most cases, been incapable of discriminating between positive and negative, thereby submitting themselves with fervor upon the black path.
When the dark age arrived, the colleges of Initiation were closed.  This was a fatality.  Henceforth, as a matter of fact, the great black lodges, which were born during the archaic darkness of the ancient times, became more active. The limit of light is darkness. Next to every temple of light another of darkness exists, and where the light more brightly shines, there darkness becomes more dense.

The colleges of Initiation from Egypt, Greece, India, China, Mexico, Yucatan, Peru, Troy, Rome, Carthage, Chaldea, etc., had their dangerous antipodes, their fatal antitheses, tenebrous schools of black magic, fatal shadows of the light.

Those schools of black magic were the shadows of the colleges of Initiation. Thus, when the colleges were closed, these fatal schools became very active.

Therefore, it is not strange to find among these dens of the black lodge terms, sciences, and rituals similar to those that were used within the colleges of Initiation. This confuses the devotees of the path. By nature, the devotee is a lover of the “strange,” of the “exotic,” of the “distant,” and of the “impossible.” Therefore, when the devotees find a black magician of this type, speaking of the Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec, Inca, Greek, Chaldean, Persian mysteries, etc., they then ingenuously believe they have caught God by the beard and place themselves in the hands of the black magician, believing him to be white.

These magicians of darkness abound wherever there existed colleges of Initiation. They are the antitheses of those colleges and they speak like masters, always boasting about being initiates of those colleges. They never say anything that could arouse suspicion. They show that they are kind and humble, defend the good and the truth, adopt tremendously mystical attitudes, etc. Evidently, under such conditions the naïve and inexperienced devotee abandons the path of the razor’s edge and entrusts himself fully to those wolves in sheep’s clothing. That is a fatality. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony: "Fatality"
Due to a similitude of language, culture, iconography, passcodes, and symbolism, many neophytes who would otherwise enter into initiation have deviated towards the dark arts, due to an innate curiosity and fascination with novelties. The colleges of light and darkness always struggle over and against students’ intellectual obsession with obscure metaphysical lore, which the Black Lodge adulterates and manipulates for its own purposes.

The reinterpretation or reappropriation of universal symbols, considered the exclusive forte of poststructuralist literary studies, is the original tactic of black magic. While poststructuralism focuses on the socio-cultural and linguistic attribution of conceptual meaning to words (the latter denominated “signifiers”), schools of black magic are qualified by their resignification and distortion of divine iconography, since they can never originate the spirituality they so desperately imitate, disfigure, and subsume.

​The black magician cannot use the symbols of white magic without bringing down upon himself the forces of white magic, which would be fatal to his schemes. He must therefore distort the hierograms so that they typify the occult fact that he himself is distorting the principles for which the symbols stand. Black magic is not a fundamental art; it is the misuse of an art. Therefore it has no symbols of its own. It merely takes the emblematic figures of white magic, and by inverting and reversing them signifies that it is left-handed. In symbolism, an inverted figure always signifies a perverted power. ―Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages: "Ceremonial Magic and Sorcery"
The misappropriation of spiritual symbolism is so prominent within mainstream media that the Eye of Ra, originally representative of divine omniscience within the universal White Lodges, has broached a new dual significance: the influential, subversive, and clandestine intelligentsia controlling global economic polity and the rebellious controversies of esoteric conspiracy theory fringe culture. These associations, fermented within counter-cultural movements and underground music scenes, have permeated even public acceptance, fascination, and belief through songs like “Silent Empire” by Polish death metal band Vader. Their 1995 album De Profundis (Latin: “Into the Depths”) and other dissident art constitute a reaction to musical orthodoxy and a critique of malevolent secret societies. While popular and underground media have reflected this reality, they have paradoxically served the purposes of such orders by confounding an essential point. 

Despite such portrayals and critiques of illuminatist iconography, modern mystical and counter-cultural art reflect the lowest animal impulse of humanity's nature, precipitating and conditioning it de profundis: into the hellish depths of pride, anger, fear, hatred, avarice, vanity, and lust. These are the very egotistical qualities and conditions that allow for manipulation, extortion, and crime on an international scale. Convincing to the many, the fear produced by such oppositional and conspiratorial ideologies have gained enough currency within popular sentiment as to completely obscure the fundamental reality of genuine esotericism in its imperative, practical application.

​The Secret Teachings of Alchemy

Initiation involves the utilization and concentration of expedient methods for transforming one's conditions of mind into the liberated, intuitive, comprehensive, and penetrative wisdom of an awakened consciousness. The principal and definitive technique at the heart of positive initiatic schools is the metallurgical art, philosophy, mysticism, and science of alchemy.

Commonly designated as an esoteric, obsolete, and foolish pursuit for charlatans, mountebanks, and imposters, alchemy is the pragmatic core of initiatic doctrine, whereby one's lower animal desires, the conditioned mind or lead of our terrestrial personality, is reduced, sublimated, and elevated into the ultimate, golden synthesis of human potential: a divine being with mastery of nature's material and spiritual elements for the beautification of human evolution. Conceptualized as the greedy quest of vain, ambitious, and desperate quacks for acquiring physical wealth, alchemy instead is the highest knowledge for transforming the ordinary human being into the superhuman, "to be born again" in the teachings of Jesus (John 3:5).

What happens is that people conflate alchemical symbolism with the literal hunt for creating gold, jewels, and diamonds, ignoring that these represent the flowerings, virtues, and sacred capacities of an illuminated consciousness, realized once the impurities of our desires are transmuted.

Transmutation signifies trans, the prefix signifying the movement, flow, or "carrying over" of a one substance into another. This is where we find words like transcend or transfix, to elevate or fundamentally shift one positionality into another. Trans also means “across, beyond or through; to change something thoroughly; to move.”
Mutate or mutation relates to “causing something to change in form or nature." By conserving one's essential energies, forces, volitions, capacities, vitality, and creative powers, such an overflow becomes the reservoir in which to give birth to an entirely new being. A superhuman or mutant is a being who was once like us, but through the alchemical science was transformed into a god, buddha, angel, master, or prophet. Such beings have a complete knowledge of the universe that is inaccessible to those who have never cultivated their spiritual senses, which have as much, if not more, reality than sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. By mastering the force of genesis, life, and sexual volatility in themselves, initiates are able to control the untapped reserve of nature's power for the benefaction of civilizations, albeit in strict anonymity.

Edward Bulwer Lytton, the author of the esoteric romance Zanoni, describes the alchemical science that was once shrouded in allegory, metaphors, symbols, and parables, to which he was given minor authority to unveil at least the hem of the initiatic garment, but not what lay beneath:
The laws of attraction, of electricity, and of the yet more mysterious agency of that great principal of life, which, if drawn from the universe, would leave the universe a grave, were but the code in which the Theurgy of old sought the guides that led it to a legislation and science of its own. To rebuild on words the fragments of this history, it seems to me as if, in a solemn trance, I was led through the ruins of a city whose only remains were tombs. From the sarcophagus and the urn I awake the genius of the extinguished Torch, and so closely does its shape resemble Eros, that at moments I scarcely know which of ye dictates to me,—O Love! O Death! ―Edward Bulwer Lytton, Zanoni: Book III: Chapter V
Alchemy is the science of Eros, eroticism, and sexual love, which was practiced and maintained by the initiates with the utmost confidentiality, solitude, fidelity, and most importantly, purity. As the sexual fire of the creative Logos, Word, or ultimate divinity, the genius of the saints is found in their perfect adherence to the principles and rites of chastity: stainless, immaculate, and ethical sexual relations between husband and wife. Through the death of lust, desire, hatred, calumny, pride, arrogance, sloth, and addictions, the initiates resurrect from within the psychological tombs and sarcophagi of dead bones, refuse, and decomposition, to the innate happiness of divine union: that of Eros, Christic love, with the perfect soul or Psyche.

Sexual alchemy, magic, or tantrism, is the highest wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism, Jainism, Sufism, Esoteric Christianity, Judaism, Kabbalah, and all religions. It signifies how married couples can conserve their creative potential within the sexual act, transforming the Genesiatic waters that can give birth to a physical child so as to gestate the golden child of alchemical wisdom: the Christ principle or superhuman beyond good and evil.

Due to the controversial, taboo, and contentious nature of sexuality within spiritual studies, the initiates have always conserved the ultimate secret of regeneration within the allegories and metaphors of scripture, so that the uninitiated, ill equipped to decipher its codes, symbolism, and knowledge, could not harm themselves. Sexual alchemy is so powerful that the initiates who dared to convey its secrets outside their orders were executed, poisoned, or killed, since they violated their oaths to maintain its absolute secrecy, thereby protecting the teachings from corrupting and being corrupted by the ignorant.

The secret of Sexual Magic was incommunicable. That is the great Arcanum. Those unfortunate ones who divulged the unspeakable secret were sentenced to death. They were taken to a stone patio, and before a millenary wall covered with crocodile skins and indecipherable hieroglyphics, their heads were cut off, their hearts were torn out, and their cursed ashes were flung to the four winds.

This brings to mind the great French poet Cazote, who died at the guillotine during the French Revolution.  This man prophesied his own death at a famous banquet along with the fate that was awaiting a certain group of noble initiates who contemplated divulging the great Arcanum
 [referenced in Edward Bulwer Lytton's Zanoni: Book I, Chapter 6].  For some he prophesied the guillotine, for others the dagger, poison, jail, exile.  His prophecies were fulfilled with absolute accuracy.  In the Middle Ages, anyone who divulged the great Arcanum died mysteriously, be it by shirts of Nessus, poisoned soaps that arrived as a birthday present at the door of the condemned, perfumed bouquets, or the dagger. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony: "The Seven Churches"
The premise of Zanoni is that even advanced initiates, masters, and superhumans lost their lives for divulging and betraying the mysteries of their order. This is due to the fact that such people are not ordinary, for by expanding their abilities through exceptional disciplines, study, and knowledge, they gained greater responsibilities. The higher an initiate’s level of being, hierarchy, and power, the more severe their downfall for betraying divine law.

​Types of Initiation

While initiation is commonly defined as “formal admission or acceptance into an organization or club; adult status in one's community or society,” this relates to “ceremonies, rites of admission, rites of passage" that do not exclusively occur within the physical world, but in higher dimensions of being and spiritual experience.
What is this power that great souls contact? Esoteric tradition affirms that they take initiation of one kind or another; for there are two kinds, physical and nonphysical, which are usually taken together, though. sometimes only one and not the other is experienced. The physical initiation admits to the study of the esoteric wisdom acquired by generations of men who sought beneath the surface of existence, who sought the inner meaning of things rather than their outer forms; it admits the student to the fellowship and confidence of these men, and disposes them to share their knowledge and to accept the initiate as a co-worker or pupil.

The second form of initiation is declared to be a spiritual experience, wherein the soul establishes contact with the higher powers and is admitted to the fellowship of great souls on the Inner Planes. Of these two forms of initiation, sometimes one and sometimes another comes first; sometimes the physical, the lesser initiation, is the earlier, and the student is then taught how to prepare himself for the spiritual experience. In other cases it is the spiritual initiation that comes first, and then the student is shortly afterwards placed in the way of taking the physical initiation if he so desires; but esotericists are all agreed that, although. individuals may not necessarily take both initiations, the one always carries with it the opportunity for the other. 
―Dion Fortune: The Training and Work of an Initiate: "Chapter II: The Way of Initiation," p. 27-28
Tests, ordeals, and hardships are given by divinity to those souls who wish to enter initiation, primarily as a means of verifying the psychological character and qualifications of the candidate. Entrance to the higher worlds is predicated upon a firm application and embodiment of the greatest virtues. Therefore, for an aspirant to enter the mysteries, they must prove themselves in their daily, physical life.

Who Receives Initiations?

While many people approach initiation with arrogance, self-aggrandizement, and mystical pride, the reality is that initiatic degrees are only acquired by the humble, sincere, reflective, and serious: those who renounce worldliness, passion, desires, and fears in every aspect of their existence:
​In this day and age, the Masonic Lodge grants its degrees based on money and social status. Many sell initiations. Many are bestowed with initiations. Yet, all of this is exploitation and black magic.

Authentic degrees and authentic white initiations are received in the consciousness. These initiatic ceremonies are performed within the superior worlds.

Initiations are intimate realizations of the consciousness, which must not be revealed, or spoken about.

​No one can grant initiations to anyone. Initiation is attained through life itself.

In this day and age, everybody wants to be a master. Notwithstanding, we state that there is only one master, this is the inner Christ, which enlightens every human being who comes into the world. Thus, only Christ is the master. Only the resplendent “I Am” is the master.
 ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "Preparation for Initiation 7"
The real master is within our consciousness and has nothing to do with our "self." By renouncing our most cherished identity, vanities, ambitions, and cravings, we can experience the fundamental reality and nature of our authentic Being.

​In the words of Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic Movement:

Initiation is something very intimate to the Soul. The “I” does not receive initiations. Therefore, those who say, “I have so many initiations,” “I have such-and-such degrees,” are liars and fakes, because the “I” does not receive initiations or degrees. There are nine Initiations of Minor Mysteries and five important Initiations of Major Mysteries. The Soul is the one who receives the initiations. This is a very intimate matter; something that one must not go about speaking of, nor something that must be told to anyone. Indeed, all the initiations and degrees that many schools of the physical world confer have no value whatsoever in the superior worlds, because the masters of the White Lodge only recognize the legitimate initiations of the Soul as genuine. These are completely internal. Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony

​Can One Achieve Initiation without Knowing It?

Many approach these Gnostic studies and assume that they are initiates, that they have received spiritual degrees, and are recognized, validated, and canonized by their communities and the gods. However, in the words of Samael Aun Weor:
Gnosis is lived upon facts, withers away in abstractions, and is difficult to find even in the noblest of thoughts. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Genuine initiations are living mystical experiences within the superior worlds, lucid visions and awakening within the world of dreams. If one does not have these experiences, has no recollection of them, nor any idea what they constitute, then such aspirants, while extremely devoted, are sincerely mistaken.
We are often asked whether it is possible to be initiated without knowing it. To this question we return an emphatic negative. On the face of it, it is absurd to think that we could be unconscious of receiving permanent extension of conscious​ness. It frequently happens, however, that a Master has accepted someone as his pupil without that person being immediately aware of it owing to the undeveloped state of his psychic faculties, and realisation dawns only after the training has progressed a certain distance. In such a case a psychic would be able to inform such a person that he had indeed found acceptance as a pupil of the Great White Brotherhood and had set foot on the Path that leads to Initiation, but he would be wrong in saying that he had been initiated. ―Dion Fortune: The Training and Work of an Initiate: "Chapter III: Preparation for Initiation," p. 34-35
Real development is based on radical honesty with oneself. The truth is that the many who assume they are noble, charitable, and holy are farther away from initiation than the Mary Magdalenes who recognize their culpability, insignificance, and shame. Real initiation is hard, because it necessitates the unconditional negation of one's most beloved attachments, desires, ideas, and convictions. In the words of one German initiate:
What does he know of love who did not have to despise precisely what he loved! ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "On the Way of the Creator"
Or: what does a person know of conscious, divine love (alchemical chastity) who did not have to despise precisely what he loved (his or her lust and animal desires)?

Qualities and Qualifications of the Initiates

Since initiation is demanding, it is beneficial to reflect upon the psychological, ethical, and spiritual qualities of the candidate to verify, understand, and clarify what an initiate is. Fortunately, there exists an extensive body of knowledge regarding initiatic qualifications, which can serve as a starting point for exploring, studying, exemplifying, and incorporating their principles.
The initiates of the occult sciences are taught to function upon these different levels, to use a terminology derived from the East; or, to express the same idea in Western words, to think in these different ways. Before we are ripe for a Master's teaching we have to conquer the physical and emotional levels for ourselves, for to this stage the normal state of evolution enables us to develop without any external interference. We must render the body an absolute servant which has no longer the power to make its needs imperative; it is to this end that much of the extreme asceticism of the Yoga methods of India is directed. We of the West, however, do not practise these methods; it is enough that the body should be rendered a voluntary collaborator and not an abject slave, Tum a man's desires towards a higher level, and they will automatically lift him there; as a great Initiate said: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."

The emotions must flow freely, without conflict or distortion, in the channels which Nature has appointed for them before they can be lifted to a higher level. You cannot sublimate a pathology.

The direction of the energies of life must be removed from the domain of the desires to that of the will. Until this is done there can be no steady progression in any direction, for the desires are called forth from without, not directed from within, and vary with the external stimulus.
 ―Dion Fortune: The Training and Work of an Initiate: "Chapter I: Laying the Foundations," p. 21-22
Chastity, the pure redirection of our sexual life forces, is the beginning of initiation. The sexual energy in its natural function, form, and essence is the ability to create. The problem is that humanity is conditioned by animal desire, thereby directing the natural spiritual functions of the sexual energy towards and through the ego, self, or "I."

No one needs to be educated about how to copulate with lust, animality, and desire, the culmination of the orgasm, since this is common knowledge and accepted practice. Instead, humanity now must be taught how fornication, the orgasm, depletes one of vitality, energy, strength, and power that could otherwise be conducted, sublimated, and used for the edification of our spirituality―to take the capacity to create a child and use it for a very different purpose: the elaboration of a perfected soul. 
Progress within initiation is based upon how we conserve the sexual energy and never waste it. This is the essential tenet of Tantric Buddhism, sexual alchemy, chastity, or white tantra, described by Padmasambhava's consort Yeshe Tsogyal:
...train your [sexual] energy flows until you gain self-control [over lust and orgasm],
And after receiving the three superior initiations, transmute the ensuing desire,
To perfect the nature of the four levels of joy,
For six months or until signs of achievement appear in the body.

Unite male and female energies,
Developing the method of mixing higher and lower energies,
Female assisting male and male assisting female,
The principles of each being separately practiced.

Intensify and elevate your practice, broadening the horizons of your bliss;
But if bliss and Emptiness 
[comprehension of selflessness, the absolute absence of desire] are not identified,
Profitlessly you stray from the path of Tantra:
Apprehend the intrinsic unity of bliss and Emptiness.

Guard the samaya 
[oath of chastity] of Guru and Dakini like your eyes;
In various skillful ways enjoy the five sacred substances;
Practice to perfection the skill of retaining your seed-essence 
Be attentive to obstacles and hostile powers [your egos, defects, vices];
If the samaya [chastity] is impaired strive to restore it.

About the body: do not let it slip into old habits [of lust and orgasm]
Or you will become like ordinary men and women [who are animals];
With the confidence of the deity, meditate charged with power
And inform your focal points of energy as a principal and his circle of deities.

About speech: concentrate upon mantra and energy flows -
Without energy control your sexual activity is fornication [lustful sex];
Properly execute the exercises of 'drawing up' [the spine] and 'saturating' [brain and heart]
And with the [iron] nails of your imagination apply an hermetic seal [to prevent any loss of energy].
―Yeshe Tsogyal, Fruition and Buddhahood
The sexual energy or libido is so powerful that Sigmund Freud rightly declared it the driving force of all behaviors. This is due to the fact that sexual energy engages within an infinitude of modifications, manifestations, and expressions. If our mind and actions are perverse, saturated by hatred, morbidity, pessimism, fear, and violence, then our sexuality will empower those egotistical actions. At the same time, by training the sexual energy to flow inward and upward within our physiology and psychology, we empower our noblest aspirations, longings, and spiritualty.
Gnosis is a two-edged sword, it defends and gives life to the humble and virtuous; yet, it wounds and destroys the curious and impure. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "Preparation for Initiation 16"
Gnosis is therefore the path of balance, whereby one acculturates, little by little, towards upright thought, feeling, and action, without craving or attachment to powers, results, and consequences. The initiate learns to act for the benefit of others with dispassion, clarity, and insight:
A great equilibrium in the consciousness is necessary in order to become an initiate; thus, it is necessary to cultivate powers but not to covet them; to aspire to initiation but not to covet it; to know how to find virtues within the heart of the wicked and to know how to find evilness within the heart of the righteous." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "Preparation for Initiation 9"

For every step that we take in the development of our occult powers, we must take a thousand steps on the path of sanctity. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "Preparation for Initiation 2"
Sadly, humanity does not recognize or understand the virtuous, because of the corrupted lens through which we perceive reality, philosophy, spirituality, and existence. This explains why many initiates have maintained unparalleled secrecy in the past, because their spiritual capital horrifies, confounds, and offends the spiritually-deficit and morally-bankrupt public.
When judgmental people try to evaluate the daily lives of the great initiates, they always judge mistakenly, since judgmental people do not comprehend the extreme simplicity of the great initiates. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "The Apostolate"
It is only through innocence, purity of mind, and joyful perseverance with esoteric discipline that a genuine understanding of initiatic mysteries becomes possible:
We need to have the mind of a child in order to enter into the Major Mysteries. We need to be like children in our minds and hearts. We need to be perfect as our Father who is in heaven is perfect. The great mysteries are not achievable through vain intellectualisms; the Major Mysteries are achievable with the heart of a child. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "Preparation for Initiation 2"
Despite the formidable achievements made by the superhumans of the world, their primary quality is humility, simplicity, generosity, and compassion. Without assumptions, pretensions, or arrogance, the initiates serve others rather than themselves due to the inconceivable magnitude of their selfless love.
We do not worship noble titles, nor resounding titles like "doctor, lawyer, guru, master, elder brother, avatar," etc., because among Gnostics we are all friends, and Aquarius is the house of friends. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "Meetings' Regulations"

Ethics and Dangers in Spiritual Schools

To enter initiation, one must be wary of those who proclaim to be spiritual but are not. Jesus proclaimed them to be "false prophets" (Matthew 7:15) whose ravenous appetite for followers and extortion has led many into suffering, yet by whose "fruits" or actions we "shall know them" (Matthew 7:16).

​Samael Aun Weor, a practical initiate and proponent of sexual alchemy, offered valuable advice from his own experience with esoteric groups, schools, and movements. While offensive to their proud adherents, his severity with the incapacity, jealousy, and corruption of many spiritual organizations cuts directly through many insincerities and self-deceits commonly propagated today. He also provides some basic parameters for anyone, regardless of country, culture, religion, race, gender, or creed, to actualize a unique transformation of their personal character and enter the "straight and narrow gate" of initiation "that leads to life," which "few find" (Matthew 7:14).
The disciple who wants to enter the straight, narrow and difficult path that leads us to the Light has to withdraw from all spiritual schools.  Those schools are filled with "sublime crimes."  Those schools are golden cages filled with "very beautiful poisonous vipers." Mystic evilness is very abundant in those schools.

​Under the shelter of the divine phrase “Universal Fraternity” the worst crimes registered in the penal code are committed.

It is distressful for us to state this, but complacency with crime is also a crime.  It is as bad to be silent when one must talk as to talk when one must be silent.  We would like to be silent, yet one not only pays karma for the evil things that were done, but also for the good things that were left undone when these things could have been done.  Therefore, we cannot be silent about this.  We love humanity very much, thus we need to point out crime, to touch the wound with the finger in order not to fall into the crime of being complacent with crime. If we did not say these things we would put a horrible karma (the karma of accomplices and cowards) on ourselves.  So, the truth, although harsh, is the best friend.

All spiritual schools, orders and lodges are delectable gardens within which stand out 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 their devotees are filled with hypocrisy and fanaticism.  Indeed, the opium of theories is more dangerous than death.

Spiritual devotees hug with one hand and with the other they stab the back with the sharp dagger of treason.

Spiritual devotees always cover their worst evilness with smiles and very sweet words. We do not have the intention of criticizing any person in particular because that is wrong; this is why we speak in a general manner for the good of the Great Work of the Father.

We have known horrible cases, i.e. we knew the case of a certain hypocritical Pharisee who passed himself off as Jesus Christ; he founded an order of black magic and later he alleged that he was uniting all the schools, orders, sects, creeds and lodges within a universal fraternity; and he was the center of it all, naturally.

We knew about another subject who took the name of K. H. in order to declare that he was an Avatar, and that he should reunite all the schools under his scepter.  All these types of opportunist subjects tend to found black lodges under the shelter of the beautiful phrase “Universal Fraternity.”

We cannot remain silent about this because complacency with crime is also a crime. Almost all the spiritual devotees are totally petrified by their intellect; almost all of them remained frozen with the spiritual theories of the nineteenth century, and filled with pride, fear and arrogance, reject the secret doctrine of our Lord the Christ.

Therefore, we advise our disciples to be very careful; it is better to withdraw from these types of gentlemen, because they are dangerous and deceitful. Whosoever betrays the Christ falls into the abyss.

In these times, many false Christs are appearing, and those who affiliate with them commit the crime of high treason.

Jesus Christ is the leader of all souls; this great Master lives in Oriental Tibet.

Do not forget that crime is hidden within the incense of prayer; yes, crime is hidden within the mixture of perfumes and litanies. False Christs have sublime appearances.

To state that "this is good" or "that is evil," is an easy matter, yet to have cognizance of the good from the evil and the evil from the good is very difficult.

Black lodges are filled with sincere but mistaken people; the abyss is filled with people with very good intentions.

When we enter into the true path of initiation, then all the spiritual devotees turn against us. Christ was crucified by the spiritualists of his time.

Many enter the path and thereafter they no longer want to continue working in order to fulfill the needs of every good citizen. Those wretched beings neglect their duties towards their family, the world and their own selves. We have heard them say phrases like: "Money is vain," "This is the world of Maya (illusion)," "I am no longer interested in the things of the world," etc. This is how these wretched disciples fail because they do not know how to fulfill their duties. This is how these devotees of the path move away from initiation, precisely because they do not know how to fulfill their duties as simple citizens.

Our disciples will now comprehend why we stated that crime is also hidden within the incense of prayer.

The one who enters the path must first of all be a model spouse, a model father/mother, a model child, a model citizen, a magnificent grandson/daughter and a patriarchal grandfather/mother, etc. The one who does not know how to fulfill his duties as a simple citizen cannot tread the path of the great mysteries. Many disciples forget the good manners of a sincere and honorable gentleman/lady and become truly irresponsible and even dangerous individuals.

People that had never stolen became thieves of books and money when they entered the path. The younger devotees who enter the spiritual path steal books, or they borrow them and never return them, etc. Others cheat their disciples, they borrow money from them and thereafter they steal it, etc.

Under the shade of the word 'fraternity' all the crimes mentioned in the penal code are committed. There are those who take other people’s money and allege that the money is for good deeds. There are those who criticize those who work, supposedly because everything is vanity, etc.

This is how devotees close the path that leads to the great mysteries to themselves.

On the path, there are many devotees who commit adultery, justifying themselves with phrases like these, "My spouse is refractory to the spiritual teachings," "The other partner I have agrees with my ideas," "The other is spiritual, and is the only one with whom I can practice sexual magic in order to attain in-depth realization," etc., and a thousand other mystical phrases. This is how adulterers shut the doors of the temple unto themselves.

Many devotees of the path use sexual magic as a pretext to seduce many naïve devotees; this is how these mystical adulterers withdraw from the altar of initiation and fall into the abyss.

Sexual magic can only be practiced between husband and wife in legitimately constituted homes.

Many devotees steal the neighbor’s spouse supposedly because the law of karma commanded it. All of these crimes have led thousands of spiritual devotees into the abyss.

When we went to a certain country to fulfill a mission, we were assaulted by certain spiritual elements who visited us in order to criticize our books, to give us imperative orders and to insult us in our own home. In ordinary life, no gentleman/lady would dare to enter into someone else’s home in order to give orders and to insult the owner of the house, because they would find themselves involved in a domestic scene and in a problem with the police. Unfortunately, the devotees of the path fall into these states of terrible irresponsibility.

Some even abandon the most basic laws of urban life and wander around the streets with their clothes dirty and in the most complete untidiness, and as a pretext they boast of being spiritual and being in disdain of the vanities of the world. However, this is called degeneration; this is how, with their pessimistic exposure, the devotees of the path drive many people away from the path.

We must always dress in a decent manner, not because of pride, or vanity, but simply because of respect to our neighbor.

The system in order to achieve in-depth self-realization has nothing to do with letting our beard or hair grow, or going around dirty on the streets. The one who wants to attain self-realization must start by being an upright and decent gentleman or lady. 

The one who wants to attain self-realization has to practice sexual magic and tread the path of the most perfect sanctity.

Within most of the spiritual schools devotees speak ill of their fellowmen and argue like parrots. This is not right. No one has the right to judge anyone, because no one is perfect. Christ already told us, 'Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again…' etc. Matthew 7:1-2.  Thus, we do not have the right to criticize the neighbor’s defects. Gossip and slander have filled the world with pain and bitterness; defamation is worse than stealing. 
―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries: "Preparation for Initiation 1"
Initiation is demanding, but if you seek it, the door is open.

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<![CDATA[Is Gnosis Anti-LGBTQ?]]>Mon, 05 Oct 2020 01:15:29 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/is-gnosis-anti-lgbtq
Question: I’m wondering if folks who are in the spectrum of LGBTQ can still achieve union, sacramental fulfillment, and enlightenment by being who they are...

Answer: No. None of us, whether heterosexual, homosexual, “asexual,” transgender, etc., can ever achieve enlightenment by “being who they are” currently. 

Many people criticize this teaching as anti-LGBTQ, because we explain how the perfect matrimony
the sexual, psychic, and spiritual communion of a man and womanis necessary for self-realization. The fact is that this teaching is anti-egotism, anti-desire, anti-suffering, and anti-ignorance. In the words of Samael Aun Weor:
We are not against anyone; we only reveal and indicate where the danger is. —Samael Aun Weor, Types of Spiritual Schools
People want to achieve spiritual enlightenment without renouncing their own selfish desires. People have to be willing to renounce all of who they are currently to even start in this work. People want to achieve enlightenment and still have their preferences as part of that path. But the path doesn’t change according to our desires. The path is what it is, and we must change to accomplish its demands and requirements.

Egotism is our sense of self, who we believe we really are, who we feel we are. We teach that ego is an illusion that has been created over a long period of time and which we cling to as an identity. The person who mistakenly believes that they are “asexual” is actually a sexual being who experiences his or her sexual instinct in a less obvious or common way than others. No one is without sexual impulse on this planet. We would not have life in our veins without sexual energy. That misperception is a great ignorance. 

This teaching is anti-desire because we seek to become liberated from our habitual cravings, aversions, and attachments. The vast majority of what people today describe as love is nothing more than desire and attachment. We seek to be free, to no longer be controlled by the desires and attachments of a false identity. We want enlightenment to perform God’s will—not the will of the ignorant, egotistical people we are today. 

There are many more desires beyond our sexual attractions or partner preferences to renounce before we reach a higher degree of spiritual development. While the perfect matrimony between man and woman is fundamental for initiation, even the heterosexual couple must fight to overcome the unique habits of their lust and desires. 

As for discovering what love really is, rather than our skewed conception of it, we should meditate deeply and pray daily for our inner divinity to reveal the truth to us. Real love far supersedes our superficial ideas or perverted passions. It transcends even our strongest egotistical attractions to another person. Real love would sacrifice anything, even one’s desire to be with the one he or she loves, to do what is right, because it comprehends that virtuous action is the most beneficial gift possible to give to those we love. Real love is to follow the wisdom of God and not the desires of others. 

Tchaikovsky is an example of an initiate who sacrificed his egotistical desires for the sake of his spiritual development. As a master on the path, he faced tremendous ordeals and sufferings relating to his close relationship with a male friend. Through these struggles, he paid off karma from a past life, which you can intuitively study in his Sixth Symphony. Of course, the sacrifices made for the highest spiritual attainment are never easy.

No one can achieve this spiritual endeavor to become an angel or a master without sacrificing what he is now. The trials of this path radically transform us into a different person. The things that bother and hurt us today are quite small from a cosmic point of view, and that irritation is the result of false self, a delusion. 

Dion Fortune wrote:

A knowledge of even the elements of esoteric science leads to a complete change of all of our values. We see that things we considered of supreme importance are not the vital points we thought they were; we see that things we did not think mattered at all are the real strategic centres of our lives. —Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate

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<![CDATA[What is Kabbalah?]]>Tue, 01 Sep 2020 07:00:00 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/what-is-kabbalah

Definitions, History and Traditions

Mysticism etymologically derives from the Greek word myein, signifying "to close one's eyes" to material, illusory perceptions, so as to awaken internal, psychic vision. It is the root word for terms like mystery (μυστήριο mysterio), the axis of ancient mystery schools maintaining the highest ethical disciplines and the conservation of the deepest esoteric knowledge. Through secretive transmission between master and disciple, such initiatic societies have upheld the maximum order of integrity, purity, and confidentiality, protecting a doctrine that could otherwise harm the uninitiated and inexperienced purveyor due to its volatile nature. Such wisdom was only deliverable, apprehensible, and sustainable by the few who have proven their capacity, maturity, and worth.
The very doctrine which centres about the immediate personal contact with the Divine, that is to say, a highly personal and intimate form of knowledge, is conceived as traditional wisdom. The fact is, however, that the idea of Jewish mysticism from the start combined the conception of a knowledge which by its very nature is difficult to impart and therefore secret, with that of a knowledge which is the secret tradition of chosen spirits or adepts. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Kabbalah, as the mystical dimension of Judaism, is one such teaching that was transmitted across the centuries along with a great deal of conjecture, crypticity, and confusion. Yet it constitutes a fundamental support to comprehending the depths, subtleties, and nuances of genuine religion, from the Latin religare: to reunite with the divine. Jewish mysticism can be interpreted not only as a paradigm of mystical experience, but of different orders, schools, and groups that were active in medieval Europe and even ancient times.
Kabbalah, it must be remembered, is not the name of a certain dogma or system, but rather the general term applied to a whole religious movement. This movement, with some of whose stages and tendencies we shall have to acquaint ourselves, has been going on from Talmudic times to the present day; its development has been uninterrupted, though by no means uniform, and often dramatic. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Genuine mystical experiences carry with them a revolutionary and revolutionizing element. Direct experience or knowledge of divinity arrives within the parameters of applied spiritual discipline and an understanding of the various metaphysical techniques of esoteric tradition. According to Samael Aun Weor, the founder of modern Gnosis, "Behind the letter that kills is the spirit that vivifies." While blind adherence to the mechanical forms, dogmas, and beliefs of religious traditions produces ignorance, superstition, and the incapacitation of one's true potential, the vivifying or liberating experience of mystical consciousness opens doorways to new interpretations of otherwise dead religious forms. Such innovations from prophets, luminaries, and initiates have helped to direct and shape the course of kabbalistic thought in startling and pronounced ways.
It is a remarkable fact that the very term Kabbalah under which it has become best known, is derived from an historical concept. Kabbalah means literally “tradition”, in itself an excellent example of the paradoxical nature of mysticism to which I have referred before. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Paradoxically, according to Gershom Scholem―a German-Israeli philosopher―mysticism both upholds and transgresses the religious forms that contain it. While bringing life to literal historicities, theologies, and conjectures, such direct knowledge of divine truths often transgresses the limitations of popular beliefs, sectarianism, and skepticism. By knowing the truth for ourselves, our psyche is liberated from imposing conditions, unquestioning beliefs, and blind convictions without basis in actual experience. In this manner, traditions no longer become prisons of thought, but expressions of divine sapience as living mystery schools.

Various traditions designated as kabbalistic have existed not only amongst medieval European Jewry of the 13th century C.E., but throughout antiquity. Kabbalah, as the science of awakened, experiential consciousness, is the direct reception of divine wisdom from personal testimony and mystical states. Whether that apprehension of conscious knowledge is denominated with the Hebrew term קבלה Kabbalah―from the Hebrew קְבַל kabbel, "to receive," or the Greek γνῶσις gnosis―the cultural, linguistic, or geographical contexts of such experience is secondary to its fundamental reality: how a person of any race, region, religion, or creed can transcend time and space, so as to witness one's sacred, authentic, and transcendent identity without obscuration, hesitation, fear, or doubt.

While Kabbalah has branched off in a variety of different groups, interpretations, suppositions, and forms, the essential principles remain the same, especially within the ancient scriptures, or the Hebrew, Aramaic, and mystical tracts foundational to both medieval and modern Jewish life. The teachings of the great rabbis of Israel can elucidate many precepts, axioms, and doctrines present within all religions, for while Hebrew is particular to the Jewish traditions, the universal, esoteric symbolism of the Hebrew language, concomitant with Biblical allegory and narrative, can provide illumination and a penetrative interpretation of any mystical tradition. Religious forms differ, but their ethical and experiential didacticism is the same.

Kabbalah serves a dynamic role not only within Jewish life, but with the spiritual life of humanity as a whole. When religious forms become codified, calcified, and corrupted through unwavering obedience to misunderstood or unexamined precepts, the mystical experience of the truth radically transforms our perceptions of religion, relationships, self, and society. While different religions, such as Judaism, have their moral genesis, life, decline, and decay, it is possible to re-evaluate the spiritual verities of one's tradition to discover that which is most necessary, transformative, and indispensable, perceiving the ancient writings through an informed and educated eye. In this manner we learn to amplify our understanding of esoteric knowledge and the acuity of our own innate, awakened intelligence in response to the problems of daily living.

The secret of the success of the Kabbalah lies in the nature of its relation to the spiritual heritage of rabbinical Judaism. This relation differs from that of rationalist philosophy, in that it is more deeply and in a more vital sense connected with the main forces active in Judaism. Undoubtedly both the mystics and the philosophers completely transform the structure of ancient Judaism; both have lost the simple relation to Judaism, that naiveté which speaks to us from the classical documents of Rabbinical literature. Classical Judaism expressed itself: it did not reflect upon itself. By contrast, to the mystics and the philosophers of a later stage of religious development Judaism itself has become problematical. Instead of simply speaking their minds, they tend to produce an ideology of Judaism, an ideology moreover which comes to the rescue of tradition by giving it a new interpretation. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Despite the fact that modern Judaism is a thick shell, a cadaver or remnant of a much greater esoteric teaching, a deeper, intuitive appreciation awaits at the core of religious symbolism, narrative, and allegory, which can revitalize and reinvigorate an otherwise dead and monotonous spirituality. Although multiple traditions have become rigid through unwavering and misguided devotion to religious exteriors, there is the possibility of resurrecting universal principles and embodying their life-giving pulse. Public religion expresses sagacious and ingenious truths that have the potential of transforming suffering and developing personal knowledge of divinity. However, the means and manner of which to reflect such understandings within one's own practice have often remained incipient, unavailable, or adulterated by human perversion. Kabbalah seeks to remedy these ailments.
“Receive [קְבַל kabel, kabbalah] the [22] letters of the oath.” ―Third Book of Enoch

Revelation and Mystical Experience

Mystical experience or revelation is the heart of any religion or spiritual tradition. Rather than isolate such theophanies to specific moments in history, the mystic, gnostic, or kabbalist learns to imitate the lives of the great adepts through experiencing, within their own consciousness, the realities that the prophetic lives symbolized.
Revelation, for instance, is to the mystic not only a definite historical occurrence which, at a given moment in history, puts an end to any further direct relation between mankind and God. With no thought of denying Revelation as a fact of history, the mystic still conceives the source of religious knowledge and experience which bursts forth from his own heart as being of equal importance for the conception of religious truth. In other words, instead of the one act of Revelation, there is a constant repetition of this act. This new Revelation, to himself or to his spiritual master, the mystic tries to link up with the sacred texts of the old; hence the new interpretation given to the canonical texts and sacred books of the great religions. To the mystic, the original act of Revelation to the community―the, as it were, public revelation of Mount Sinai, to take one instance―appears as something whose true meaning has yet to unfold itself; the secret revelation is to him the real and decisive one. And thus the substance of the canonical texts, like that of all other religious values, is melted down and given another form as it passes through the fiery stream of the mystical consciousness. It is hardly surprising that, hard as the mystic may try to remain within the confines of his religion, he often consciously or unconsciously approaches, or even transgresses, its limits. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
To the practical kabbalist, gnostic, or mystic, meditation is the instrument through which the harmonies of divine life are intuited. Through visions, dreams, and awakened experiences beyond the body, heart, and mind, one discovers, however, that the experience of divinity often contradicts the numerous convictions of believers and lay-folk regarding their own traditions. In this manner, the kabbalist learns how to appreciate the prescient symbolism of scripture while going far beyond the concepts of people who have never been initiated into the true meaning of their religion.

Rather than identify with Biblical characters as the progenitors of a particular race or group of people, kabbalists identify the allegorical and symbolic functions such figures represent within spiritual narrative:
The documents of religion are therefore not conceived as expressing a separate and distinct world of religious truth and reality, but rather as giving a simplified description of the relations which exist between the ideas of philosophy. The story of Abraham and Sarah, of Lot and his wife, of the Twelve Tribes, etc., are simply descriptions of the relation between matter and form, spirit and matter, or the faculties of the mind. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
​It is common knowledge how the Book of Exodus depicts the struggles of the Jews in bondage to Egypt. In reality, few realize how the chosen people, the distinct parts of our consciousness, soul, or spiritual potential, remain in bondage to conditions of mind, heart, and body.
The historical aspects of religion have a meaning for the mystic chiefly as symbols of acts which he conceives as being divorced from time, or constantly repeated in the soul of every man. Thus the exodus from Egypt, the fundamental event of our history, cannot, according to the mystic, have come to pass once only and in one place; it must correspond to an event which takes place in ourselves, an exodus from an inner Egypt in which we all are slaves. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Humanity continues to be enslaved to Egypt (מצרים Mitzrahim, "the place between the waters"), a symbol of materialism, egotism, and psychological perversity. To the mystic, scriptures no longer remain exclusive to particular groups of people within history, but serve as metaphoric signposts for the awakening of consciousness. Therefore the Old Testament (תנ״ך Tanakh, an acrostic for תּוֹרָה Torah: the Law, נְבִיאִים Neviʾim: Prophets, and כְּתוּבִים Ketuvim: Writings), provides spiritual guidance for the present moment. Kabbalah instructs the sincere student to recognize and interpret the symbolism of the Tanakh, so that in meditation, one can be effectively guided along the initiatic path through the balance of study and illuminating experience.
Supernatural illumination also plays its part in the history of Kabbalism and innovations are made not only on the basis of new interpretations of ancient lore but as a result of fresh inspiration or revelation, or even of a dream. A sentence from Isaac Hacohen of Soria (about 1270) illustrates the twin sources recognized by the Kabbalists as authoritative. “In our generation there are but a few, here and there, who have received tradition from the ancients … or have been vouchsafed the grace of divine inspiration.” Tradition and intuition are bound together and this would explain why Kabbalism could be deeply conservative and intensely revolutionary. Even “traditionalists” do not shrink from innovations, sometimes far-reaching, which are confidently set forth as interpretations of the ancients or as revelation of a mystery which Providence had seen fit to conceal from previous generations.  ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Through meditation, the consciousness can escape its material, corporeal form to experience inner realities of the higher worlds, otherwise referred to as astral projections, dream yoga, lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, etc. Abraham Abulafia, a 13th century Spanish mystic of prophetic kabbalah, related an awakened experience outside of his physical body as a result of deep contemplation and prayer to divinity:
Thy whole body will be seized by an extremely strong trembling, so that thou wilt think that surely thou art about to die, because thy soul, overjoyed with its knowledge, will leave thy body. And be thou ready at this moment consciously to choose death, and then thou shalt know that thou hast come far enough to receive the influx. And then wishing to honor the glorious Name by serving it with the life of body and soul, veil thy face and be afraid to look at God. Then return to the matters of the body, rise and eat and drink a little, or refresh thyself with a pleasant odor, and restore thy spirit to its sheath until another time, and rejoice at thy lot and know that God loveth thee! ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism

The Body, Soul, and Spirit of Judaism

​Judaism, alongside other religions, embodies in its collected scriptures levels of instruction that meet the needs, requirements, and character of differing classes of devotees. There are introductory, intermediate, and advanced teachings, which have been classified and named in different ways throughout the world.

In Buddhism, these levels are Shravakayana (the yana or vehicle of "listeners," shravakas), Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) and Tantrayana (Diamond or Tantric Vehicle). Among the Freemasons, these levels are made of Apprentices, Journeymen, and Masters. The Sufis denominated these degrees as Shariah (exoteric law), Tariqah (the path), and Haqiqah (the highest truth).

The introductory teachings explain the foundations of ethical conduct and behavior of the aspirants, so that by enacting positive ways of being, the disciple raises his or her quality of life and prepares to enter into the experiential dimension of one's tradition.

In the intermediate path, practitioners are acquainted with and realize a degree of divine principles in their practical existence, working not only for their own spirituality, but that of others.

In the advanced teaching, practitioners are given the highest, most secretive, and expedient methods for radical internal liberation and the transformation of humanity. However, since these exercises are so powerful, they have traditionally only been given to those who have demonstrated their trustworthiness throughout many decades of committed discipline, trials, ordeals, and proofs within the former two degrees of religion.

In Judaism we find this dynamic structure displayed in Hebrew terms, especially in relation to specific collections of writings portraying the understandings and capacities of these particular systems. In synthesis, these are known as the body, soul, and spirit of the esoteric doctrine:
The Jews had three sacred books: the first is the body of doctrine, that is to say, the Bible. The second is the soul of the doctrine, the Talmud, where the national Jewish soul is. The third is the spirit of the doctrine, the Zohar, where the entire rabbinical Kabbalah is.

The Bible, the body of doctrine, is written in code. Thus, if we want to study the Bible by combining verses, we will proceed in an ignorant, empirical, and absurd manner. We find the key to interpret the Bible only in the third book, in the Zohar, written by Simon Ben Jochai, the great enlightened rabbi.  
―Samael Aun Weor, Alchemical Symbolism of the Nativity of Christ 

The Foundations of Kabbalah

Since we are a Gnostic school, we examine all three systems in our studies: the body, soul, and spirit of every religion in the world. Gnosis or דעת Da'ath, genuine Kabbalah or experiential knowledge, is about activating our true spiritual capabilities in our moment to moment awareness. It is impossible to live the highest aspects of the spiritual teachings without fulfilling its most basic, ethical precepts. Yet to understand the most basic precepts of religion and to appreciate its contexts, it is important to know the esoteric doctrine that enlivens the exoteric and intermediate paths.

While this knowledge remained a secret within the most cautious and protective spiritual organizations, we now live in an era of information, co-fraternity, and dissemination of spiritual values. The esoteric knowledge that was once forbidden is now available to anyone who sincerely yearns for deep change and realizations. This is because divinity has seen our afflicted position within incredible global crises, and out of compassion, opened the doors to knowledge that was once conserved and had to be earned. Since the 1960's, such information has spread throughout the modern world as part of a humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of humanity.

Judaism, as one such treasure house of great scriptures and instructions, can now be fully understood and appreciated by knowing the spirit of the doctrine that was once obscured. The Gnostic teachings, which embraces and explains the kabbalistic traditions, is a key to unlocking many concealed aspects of religion. One scriptural tool that we use is the ultimate expression of Jewish mysticism: the Zohar.

The Zohar is the culmination of a rich rabbinical tradition that has roots within medieval Spain. However, to fully appreciate the Zohar and its rabbinical commentaries, it is necessary to know the medieval structures, foundations, and principles upon which they are based.

Aggadah: The Narrative Tradition

To understand the ways in which Kabbalah, and particularly the Zohar, finds it home within the earlier tradition, we need to distinguish five elements that are present in the legacy of medieval Jews received from the Judaism of the Talmudic age. [...] The first of the five elements is הַגָּדָה aggadah, the narrative tradition, contained in the Talmud and the various works of Midrash. Midrash is a hermeneutical term, rendered both as 'inquiry' and 'homiletics,' indicating a way of delving into Scripture that tends towards fanciful and extended rereadings. Much of aggadah is legendary in content, expanding biblical history and recreating the biblical landscape in the setting of the rabbinic world. But aggadah also includes tales of the rabbis themselves and teachings of wisdom in many forms: maxims, parables, folk traditions, and so forth. ―Arthur Green, A Guide to the Zohar
The Zohar is often described as written in the form of a mystical novel, portraying the conversations, dialogues, and teachings of great rabbis learned in the most hidden sciences. This is a common feature of rabbinical literature, whereby legends, myths, folklore, and stories (aggadah) are used to communicate higher tenets and revelations. These involve a deep analysis and comprehension of the intricacies and subtleties of scripture, often in the form of scrutinizing individual Aramaic or Hebrew letters to arrive at innovative meanings otherwise unacknowledged or undisturbed beneath surface readings. While each verse appears to communicate simple instructions about Jewish life and law, they in term embody multiple, complimentary layers of signification, which constitute a primary function to any given scriptural passage.

Those who are not initiated in Kabbalah lack a critical key for unlocking the connotative aspect of Hebrew, whose numerous grammatical and syntactical rules allow for a dynamic range of interpretation. English and other translations lack the depth, vibrancy, and integrity of the original, since any translation is merely an approximation, rather than an accurate rendering. This is why a basic understanding of Hebrew is essential for understanding the Tanakh. For those who do not know the symbolism of the twenty-two Hebrew letters do not know the basis of the Abrahamic traditions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. "Behind the letter that kills is the spirit that vivifies." 

​What makes [Kabbalists] differ from the philosophers is the fact that for them the Aggadah is not just a dead letter. They live in a world historically continuous with it, and they are able, therefore, to enhance it, though in the spirit of mysticism. Aggadic productivity has been a constant element of Kabbalistic literature, and only when the former disappears will the latter, too, be doomed to extinction. ―​Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism

Halakhah: Jewish Law

The second element is the tradition of הֲלָכָה halakhah, the legal and normative body of Talmudic teaching, the chief subject of study for Jews throughout the medieval era, and thus the main curriculum on which most Kabbalists themselves were educated. ―Arthur Green, A Guide to the Zohar
Halakhah is the collective body of Jewish laws proceeding from both Oral and written Torah. While Jewish philosophers divorced themselves from the spiritual pulse of medieval Jewry through neglecting Halakhah, Kabbalists gained popularity and ground for their innovative and revitalizing interpretations of Jewish law. Through the mystical apprehension of internal truths, codified law became living allegories for psycho-spiritual transformation and the exaltation of Jewish life.
To the philosopher, the Halakhah either had no significance at all, or one that was calculated to diminish rather than to enhance its prestige in his eyes. Entirely different was the attitude of the Kabbalists. For them the Halakhah never became a province of thought in which they felt themselves strangers. Right from the beginning and with growing determination, they sought to master the world of the Halakhah as a whole and in every detail. From the outset, an ideology of the Halakhah is one of their aims. But in their interpretation of the religious commandments these are not represented as allegories of more or less profound ideas, or as pedagogical measures, but rather as the performance of a secret rite (or mystery in the sense in which the term was used by the Ancients). ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Jewish law, rather than imposing upon or exclusive to the life of the kabbalist, becomes comprehensive, cosmic, and ubiquitous. The same truths experienced by the Christian are the same amongst Buddhists and Sufis, for Jewish legality serves a mystical dimension of deeper abstractions than merely an approbation for one particular culture alone. What appears as veiled credenda of the Jewish people in turn constitutes a compass for navigating the labyrinthine language of the Tanakh and all religious writings. Commandments that appear to have a single denotative meaning in turn populate themselves into multitudinous connotations of equal and synthetic import.

Piyyut: Liturgical Poetry

A third element of the rabbinic legacy is the liturgical tradition. While liturgical praxis was codified within halakhah and thus in some ways is a subset of it, the texts recited in worship, including a large corpus of liturgical poetry, or פיוט piyyut, constitutes a literary genre of their own. Medieval writers, including the mystics of both Spain and Askhenaz, were much concerned with establishing the precise, proper wording for each prayer. The texts of the prayerbook, mostly fixed by compendia dating from the tenth century, became in the Middle Ages the object of commentaries, many of which sought to find their authors' own theologies reflected in these venerated and widely known texts by the ancient rabbis. This is especially true of the Kabbalists, who devoted much attention to the כַּוָּנָה kavvanah, or inner meaning, of liturgical prayer. While not formally canonized or seen as the product of divine revelation, as were the books of Scripture, the liturgical texts were regarded as sufficiently holy and mysterious to deserve and require commentary. ―Arthur Green, A Guide to the Zohar
Liturgy is essential to all world religions, for they embody a conglomeration of attitudes, prayers, and intentions (kavvanah) that are essential to the mystical life of the kabbalist. Liturgical codes that appear superficial or perfunctory in turn reveal depths of intuitive perception that serve as focal points of meditative concentration and reflection. The Zohar often comments upon liturgical worship with the purpose of deciphering concealed meanings, many of which transcend the cultural contexts and conventionalities of time and place. Paradoxically, Jewish liturgy fulfills and negates its own stipulations through the mystical praxis of kabbalistic interpretation, for new and fresh meanings consecutively build upon each other through the Zoharic dialogue of the great enlightened rabbis.

Merkabah Mysticism

The fourth strand of earlier tradition is that of מרכבה merkavah mysticism. Merkavah designates a form of visionary mystical praxis that reaches back into the Hellenistic era but was still alive as late as tenth-century Babylonia. Its roots lie close to the ancient Jewish apocalyptic literature, except that here the voyager taken up into the heavens is usually offered a private encounter with the divine glory, one that does not involve metahistorical predictions. Those who 'go down into the merkavah' sought visions that took them before the throne of God, allowing them to travel through the divine 'palaces' (היכלות heikhalot), realms replete with angels, and at the height of ecstasy, to participate in or even lead the angelic chorus. The term merkavah ('chariot') links this tradition to the opening vision of Ezekiel, which was seen as the great paradigm for all such visionary experiences and accounts. It is also connected to the קְדֻשָּׁה qedushah formula ('Holy, holy, holy is Y-H-W-H of hosts [יהוה צבאות Iod-Chavah Sabaoth], the whole earth is filled with His glory!') of Isaiah 6, because it is this refrain that most merkavah voyagers recount hearing the angels sing as they stand with them in the heavenly heights. ―Arthur Green, A Guide to the Zohar
The Merkavah or chariot of divinity is a profound symbol of mystical exaltation, experience, and inner development. Conceptualized as the height of spiritual attainment, it in fact epitomizes an important step within the process of initiatic advancement. Within the Gnostic tradition, the Merkavah is known as the solar bodies: divine vehicles for the expression and manifestation of divinity within the soul. Just as a warrior drives a chariot so as to wage difficult battles against his enemies, so too does divinity require a sufficient psycho-spiritual vehicle through which to accomplish a difficult internal work within the consciousness. The war that divinity wages on behalf of our psyche is against our own conditions, defects, vices, and errors, so that the perfected soul returns within the Merkavah towards the sacred heights of divine realization as described in Ezekiel and the ascension of the Prophet Enoch in Genesis.

Sefer Yetsirah

The fifth and final element of this ancient legacy is the hardest to define, partly because it hangs on the thread of a slim body of text, but also because it contains elements that seem contradictory to one another. I refer to the speculative-magical tradition that reached medieval Jewry through the little book called ספר יצירה‎ Sefer Yetsirah and various other small texts, mostly magical in content, that are associated with it. Sefer Yetsirah has been shown to be a very ancient work, close in spirit to aspects of Greek esotericism that flourished in the late Hellenistic era. While the practice associated with this school of thought is magical-theurgic, even including the attempt to make a גולם golem [an anthropomorphic being fashioned from inanimate or amorphous material, such as mud or claywhile imbibed with vitality and life] its chief text contains the most abstract worldview to be found within the legacy of ancient Judaism. By contemplating the core meaning of both numbers and letters, it reaches toward a notion of cosmic unity that underlies diversity, of an abstract deity that serves as a cosmic center, in whom (perhaps better: in which) all being is rooted. ―Arthur Green, A Guide to the Zohar
Sefer Yetsirah has an honored, distinguished, and paramount place not only within traditional Kabbalah, but also the Western Esoteric Tradition constituted by individuals such as Dion Fortune, Manly P. Hall, Gareth Knight, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Eliphas Levi, Cyril Scott, Elizabeth Haich, and many others. It is unfortunate that academies have rejected the contributions of these authors due to materialism, skepticism, sectarianism and fanaticism, since it is precisely magical praxis, especially as described within the Sefer Yetsirah, that is the decisive groundwork through which to access the experiential dimension of the kabbalistic tradition.
However, both scholars and initiates agree that the Sefer Yetsirah is crucial within kabbalistic philosophy, practice, and thought:
According to Eliphas Levi, the three greatest books of Qabbalism are the Sepher Yetzirah, The Book of Formation; the Sepher ha Zohar, The Book of Splendor; and the Apocalypse, The Book of Revelation. The dates of the writing of these books are by no means thoroughly established. Qabbalists declare that the Sepher Yetzirah was written by Abraham. Although it is by far the oldest of the Qabbalistic books, it was probably from the pen of the Rabbi Akiba, A.D. 120. ―Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages  

Sefer Yetsirah was the subject of a wide variety of commentaries in the Middle Ages, with rationalists as well as mystics claiming it as their own. In the twelfth century, the language and style of thought formed in the work became central to the first generations of kabbalistic writing, as reflected by commentaries on it and by the penetration of its terminology into other works as well. ―Arthur Green, A Guide to the Zohar
While Kabbalah is an alchemy of narrative tradition, Jewish law, liturgical poetry, Merkavah mysticism, and magical ritual or theurgy, all of its constituents contribute to the evolving dimensionality of kabbalistic practice. To lack any of these elements is to sterilize, debauch, or contaminate the probity of this esoteric heritage.
Kabbalah must be seen as a dynamic mix of these five elements, with one or another sometimes dominating. It was especially the first and last elementsthe aggadic-mythical element and the abstract-speculative-magical tradition―that seemed to vie for the leading role in forging the emerging kabbalistic way of thought.  ―Arthur Green, A Guide to the Zohar

The Origins of the Zohar

The Zohar is irrefutably the most important and influential work of traditional Kabbalah available to humanity. Despite its crucial place within the history of kabbalistic and Jewish life, its origins, despite erudite speculations, hypotheses, and theories, remain a mystery to academics and scholars.
The Sepher ha Zohar presumably was written by Simeon ben Jochai, a disciple of Akiba. Rabbi Simeon was sentenced to death about A.D. 161 by Lucius Verus, co-regent of the Emperor Marc Aurelius Antoninus. He escaped with his son and, hiding in a cave, transcribed the manuscript of the Zohar with the assistance of Elias, who appeared to them at intervals. Simeon was twelve years in the cave, during which time he evolved the complicated symbolism of the "Greater Face" and the "Lesser Face." While discoursing with disciples Rabbi Simeon expired, and the "Lamp of Israel" was extinguished. His death and burial were accompanied by many supernatural phenomena. The legend goes on to relate that the secret doctrines of Qabbalism had been in existence since the beginning of the world, but that Rabbi Simeon was the first man permitted to reduce them to writing. Twelve hundred years later the books which he had compiled were discovered and published for the benefit of humanity by Moses de León. The probability is that Moses de León himself compiled the Zohar about A.D. 1305, drawing his material from the unwritten secrets of earlier Jewish mystics. ―Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages  
Regardless of its sources and inception, the Zohar consists of a tremendous body of doctrine whose genuine significance has eluded, mystified, and inspired scholars, rabbis, and students of initiation for centuries. Gnostic institutions seek to convey the penetrative, profound, and pragmatic mysticism of this scripture, since its practical basis has not been understood by modern intellectuals and others not initiated within its mysteries despite unparalleled pathos and conviction.

Interpretations of the Zohar

As diverse the body of the Zohar is, its interpretations and applications have varied in many ways throughout its reception to the Jewish and modern world.
...all Jewish mystics, from the Therapeutae, whose doctrine was described by Philo of Alexandria, to the latest Hasid, are at one in giving a mystical interpretation to the Torah [the first five books of Moses or Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy]; the Torah is to them a living organism animated by a secret life which streams and pulsates below the crust of its literal meaning; every one of the innumerable strata of this hidden region corresponds to a new and profound meaning of the Torah. The Torah, in other words, does not consist merely of chapters, phrases and words; rather is it to be regarded as the living incarnation of the divine wisdom which eternally sends out new rays of light. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Contrary to the firm and adamant beliefs of conventional, observant Jews, the Zohar often criticizes those who would mistake the form of the Bible for its inherent, transcendent, and transgressive meaning.
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.  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."  ―Zohar
We are fortunate today to possess a body of knowledge, proliferated through our Gnostic institutions, that explain in a clear, systematic, and determined way, the structures and practical systems of applied Kabbalah. Without relying on dogmas, theories, or beliefs of any type, our Gnostic schools possess meditations and exercises to awaken consciousness and thereby experience the essential nature of religious phenomena. The ancient knowledge that was once veiled from public scrutiny is now available with utmost exactitude and transparency in the writings of Samael Aun Weor, a practical Kabbalist and initiate whose writings we disseminate and teach due to their clarity, profundity, and pragmatism. What distinguishes his copious body of writings is their intrepid, experiential, and uncompromising nature, without reliance on convoluted philosophical systems that lack the practical dimension for achieving deep and lasting internal change.

​The basis of his writings is a discerning explication of what is commonly known as the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life

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

​Jewish mysticism in its various forms represents an attempt to interpret the religious values of Judaism in terms of mystical values. It concentrates upon the idea of the living God who manifests himself in the acts of Creation, Revelation and Redemption. Pushed to its extreme, the mystical meditation on this idea gives birth to the conception of a sphere, a whole realm of divinity, which underlies the world of our sense-data and which is present and active in all that exists. This is the meaning of what the Kabbalists call the world of the ‘Sefiroth’. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
There are ten סְפִירוֹת sefiroth, "jewels" or "emanations" in Hebrew, indicating specific modalities of matter, energy, and consciousness. Each ספירה sefirah (singular) constitutes a distinct level of nature, the cosmos, and the individual human psyche, which emanate or proceed from an unknowable, divine abstraction, denominated as אין Ain, אין סוף Ain Soph, and אין סוף אוֹר Ain Soph Aur: the "Nothing," the "Limitless," and the "Limitless Light." This is the Genesiatic seed plot of universal potentiality, which flows as a pristine fountain into manifested, material existence through divine creativity.

Each sefirah receives the influx, flow, and expression of the sefiroth above. The heights of this diagram depict the most rarified, pure, subtle, and sacred realities of the divine nature, while the sefiroth below represent the condensation, involution or impregnation of spirit within matter of increasing densities, until finally arriving to this physical world and body, described as מלכות Malkuth: the Kingdom.

There is variety and range within kabbalistic interpretations of divine unfoldment, originally depicted as successive emanations outside of God’s unity. Yet according to the kabbalist Isaac Luria and his conception of 
צמצום Tzimtzum, this occurs within divinity’s own profound nature:
According to Luria, God was compelled to make room for the world by, as it were, abandoning a region within Himself, a kind of mystical primordial space from which He withdrew in order to return to it in the act of creation and revelation. The first act of En-Sof, the Infinite Being, is therefore not a step outside but a step inside, a movement of recoil, of falling back upon oneself, of withdrawing into oneself. Instead of emanation we have the opposite, contraction. The God who revealed himself in firm contours was superseded by one who descended deeper into the recesses of His own Being, who concentrated Himself into Himself, and had done so from the very beginning of creation. [...]

One is tempted to interpret this withdrawal of God into his own Being in terms of Exile, of banishing Himself from His totality into profound seclusion... The first act of all is not an act of revelation but one of limitation. Only in the second act does God send out a ray of His light and begin his revelation, or rather his unfolding as God the Creator, in the primordial space of His own creation. More than that, every new act of emanation and manifestation is preceded by one of concentration and retraction. In other words, the cosmic process becomes two-fold. Every stage involves a double strain, i.e. the light which streams back into God and that which flows out of Him, and but for this perpetual tension, this ever repeated effort with which God holds Himself back, nothing in the world would exist. 
―​Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Lurianic Kabbalah gained widespread appeal not only within esoteric circles, but also conventional Judaism. His contributions rivaled and displaced Medieval Jewish philosophy and procured an influential position within mainstream Jewish life, metaphysics, and theology. Whether one approaches Kabbalah from the doctrinal point of צמצום Tzimtzum or previous kabbalists, all spiritual cosmogonies and cosmologies describe the process by which the soul or consciousness was exiled from the divine, and it is now the duty of the practical kabbalist and meditator to return in a progressive, initiatic manner, towards the origins and source of our divine potential.
The consensus of Kabbalistic opinion regards the mystical way to God as a reversal of the procession by which we have emanated from God. To know the stages of the creative process is also to know the stages of one’s own return to the root of all existence. In this sense, the interpretation of Maaseh Bereshith, the esoteric doctrine of creation, has always formed one of the main preoccupations of Kabbalism. It is here that Kabbalism comes nearest to Neoplatonic thought, of which it has been said with truth that 'procession and reversion together constitute a single movement, the diastole-systole, which is the life of the universe.' Precisely this is also the belief of the Kabbalist.​ ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Kabbalah is vast due to its incorporation, elucidation, and exegeses of multiple systems of thought. Many schools and groups have their methods, interpretations, structures, and symbols for interpreting the Tree of Life, and our Gnostic institutions are no different. What differentiates Gnostic Kabbalah from other modes of thought is the eclectic, synthetic, and practical approach we use when studying and engaging with kabbalism.

One traditional method utilized by Abraham Abulafia is known as the Path of the Names. Each sefirah has a sacred name of divinity associated with it, representative of forces, potencies, and angelic hierarchies. Many kabbalists, including those within the Gnostic tradition, meditate upon the different sefiroth so as to experience their elemental nature.

Abulafia calls his method “The Path of the Names,” in contrast to the Kabbalists of his time, whose doctrine concerning the realization of the divine attributes it referred to as “The Path of the Sefiroth.”  Only together the two paths form the whole of the Kabbalah, the Path of the Sefiroth the ‘rabbinical’ and that of the Names, the ‘prophetic’ Kabbalah. The student of Kabbalah is to begin with the contemplation of the ten Sefiroth. These, indeed, during meditation are to become objects of quickened imagination rather than objects of an external knowledge acquired by merely learning their names as attributes or even symbols of God. For in the Sefiroth, too, according to Abulafia, there are revealed the ‘profundities of the intellectus agens’, that cosmic power which for the mystic coincides with the splendor of the Shekhinah [the divine feminine that raises and elevates the chosen people of Israel back towards the truth]. Only from there is he to proceed to the twenty-two letters which represent a deeper stage of penetration. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Certain schools not only study the ten sefiroth, but the thirty-two paths that connect the sefiroth with each other upon the Tree of Life. These paths indicate principles or cosmic desiderata for entering the path of initiation: the return of the soul back to its origins through enacting conscious and voluntary works of compassion, integrity, and wisdom. One achieves this through understanding the variegated symbology, powers, and intuitive mathematics of the Hebrew language.

The Spiritual Power of Language, Symbols, and Mathematics

Language in its purest form, that is, Hebrew, according to the Kabbalists, reflects the fundamental spiritual nature of the world; in other words, it has a mystical value. Speech reaches God because it comes from God. Man’s common language, whose prima facie function, indeed, is only of an intellectual nature, reflects the creative language of God. All creation―and this is an important principle of most Kabbalists―is, from the point of view of God, nothing but an expression of His hidden self that begins and ends by giving itself a name, the holy name of God, the perpetual act of creation. All that lives is an expression of God’s language,―and what is it that Revelation can reveal in the last resort if not the name of God? ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Hebrew is a mathematical language, since each letter represents a number, principality, literal and symbolic meaning, and divine law. Therefore, the study of Kabbalah is precisely the study of occult or intuitive mathematics: how numbers represent cosmic principles, entities, abstractions, philosophies, and natural laws.
In Kabbalah, everything is numbers and mathematics. The number is holy and infinite. In the universe everything is measurement and weight. For the Gnostics, God is a geometrist. Mathematics are sacred. No one was admitted into the school of Pythagoras if they were not knowledgeable about mathematics, music, etc. Numbers are sacred. ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah  
Dion Fortune best explains the foundations of esoteric systems such as the Kabbalah, for in understanding its universal and mathematical symbolism, one possess Archimedes' lever: the fulcrum by which to lift the heavy weight of misconception and learned ignorance to discover the solid foundations of practical spirituality below.
All esoteric systems use a symbolic method of notation in their teachings. Each of the symbols employed indicates a spiritual potency, and the ideas associated with them indicate its method of function; their interrelation represents the interaction of these forces. If we have the key to one symbol-system we can readily equate it with all the others, for fundamentally they are the same. ―Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate  
As with every religion, the language within which their teachings were delivered bear figurative, innate, and sacerdotal power. Hebrew is one such expression of the sacred language and reflects in a pure way the divine abstractions of cosmic intelligence. This is why it is important, as practical kabbalists, that one have a firm understanding of the twenty-two Hebrew letters, for within them is the ultimate synthesis of the entire Jewish wisdom. If one does not know the symbology of the Hebrew alphabet, then one does not know Judaism at all.
These cosmic symbols are further represented by the letters of a sacred language, which, in the Western Tradition, is Hebrew. Out of these letters are formed the Sacred Names and Words of Power, which are simply algebraical formulas resuming potencies. Thus is the universe represented to the initiate, and he is able to trace the correlation between its parts and see what invisible realities are throwing their shadows upon the world of Maya, illusion. ―Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate
While kabbalah can appear intimidating, over-complicated, and difficult to learn, what is important is the laws, potencies, and realities related with each of the twenty-two Hebrew letters. It is not necessary to be fluent in speaking or writing Hebrew to benefit and master the Kabbalah: the yoga of the West, for in practical works of theurgy and divine invocation, one must utilize the original names of God in order to call upon and receive aid.
It is not required of those who would use the Qabalah as their Yoga that they should acquire any extensive knowledge of the Hebrew language; all they need is to be able to read and write the Hebrew characters. The modern Qabalah has been pretty thoroughly naturalized in the English language, but it retains, and must ever retain, all its Words of Power in Hebrew, which is the sacred language of the West just as Sanskrit is the sacred language of the East. There are those who have objected to the free employment of Sanskrit terms in occult literature, and no doubt they will object even more strongly to the employment of Hebrew characters, but their use is unavoidable, for every letter in Hebrew is also a number, and the numbers to which words add up are not only an important clue to their significance, but can also be used to express the relationships existing between different ideas and potencies. ―Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah
Names bear relational and positional power. The Bible often relates in its languages, Hebrew and Greek, differing names of divinity, which unfortunately have been translated or castrated through the masculine singular "God." This does not accurately reflect the integrity and nuances of original, since such a mistranslation strips the Scriptures of all practical power. What often goes unrecognized is how each divine name reflects different aspects and expressions of the Tree of Life that allow for works of high magic and profound meditation.

Gematria, Notarikon, and Temurah

Part of numerological mysticism and sacred names of God are reflected within the art of Gematria, Notarikon, and Temurah, which have been utilized especially within the Western Esoteric Tradition and the writings of Abraham Abulafia's prophetic kabbalism:
...in the literature of the Hasidism, prominence is given for the first time to certain techniques of mystical speculation which are popularly supposed to represent the heart and core of Kabbalism, such as Gematria, i.e. the calculation of the numerical value of Hebrew words and the search for connections with other words or phrases of equal value; Notarikon, or interpretation of the letters of a word as abbreviations of whole sentences; and Temurah, or interchange of letters according to certain systematic rules. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism

Basing himself upon the abstract and non-corporeal nature of script,
 [Abraham Abulafia] develops a theory of the mystical contemplation of letters and their configurations, as the constituents of God’s name. For this is the real and, if I may say so, the peculiarly Jewish object of mystical contemplation: The Name of God, which is something absolute, because it reflects the hidden meaning and totality of existence; the Name through which everything else acquires its meaning and which yet to the human mind has no concrete, particular meaning of its own. In short, Abulafia believes that whoever succeeds in making this great Name of God, the least concrete and perceptible thing in the world, the object of his meditation, is on the way to true mystical ecstasy. ―Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Learning to combine letters, words, and names is a pivotal element to Zoharic commentary and the Sefer Yetsirah, for entirely new meanings are interpolated within seemingly innocuous text, which in term bear numerological and therefore intuitive significance:
This science [of mystical combination] is an instrument which leads nearer to prophecy than any other discipline of learning. A man who gains his understanding of the essentials of reality from books is called Hakham, a scholar. If he obtains it from the Kabbalah, that is to say from one who has himself obtained it from the contemplation of the divine names or from another Kabbalist, then he is called Mevin, that is, one who has insight, but if his understanding is derived from his own heart, from reflecting upon what he knows of reality, then he is called Daatan, that is, a gnostic. He whose understanding is such as to combine all three, to wit, scholarly erudition, insight obtained from a genuine Kabbalist, and wisdom from reflecting deeply upon things, of him I am not indeed going to say that he deserves to be called a prophet, especially if he has not yet been touched by the pure intellect, or if touched [that is to say, in ecstasy] does not yet know by whom. ―Abraham Abulafia, The Knowledge of the Messiah and the Meaning of the Redeemer

Practical Mysticism and Spirituality

Regardless of how extensive the kabbalistic writings and traditions are, what is most important is that intellectual study is balanced through practical works of meditation and comprehension.
Kabbalistic studies must be combined with work on oneself. One must be conscious of these studies, for it they remain only in the intellect they will be lost when one dies. Yet, if one is conscious of them, the knowledge will manifest itself from childhood. ―Samael Aun Weor
The Gnostic institutions from the tradition of Samael Aun Weor provide instructions on meditation, which necessitate, in its preliminary stages, the cultivation of internal silence, serenity, and concentration, so as to extract understanding and perception of any given phenomena or information.
The esotericist, when endeavoring to formulate his philosophy for communication to others, is confronted by the fact that his knowledge of the higher forms of existence is obtained by a process other than thought; and this process only commences when thought is left behind. ―Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah
Kabbalah is also the basis of the Christian faith. Jesus of Nazareth, the Master Aberamentho or Patriarch of the Gnostic Church, was an enlightened rabbi who spoke and communicated through Kabbalah. Without an understanding of Kabbalah, one remains ignorant of the true purpose, direction, and esoteric systems of Christianity.
The Qabalistic cosmology is the Christian Gnosis. Without it we have an incomplete system in our religion, and it is this incomplete system which has been the weakness of Christianity. ―Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah

Intellectual and Intuitive Kabbalah

Kabbalah is learned in two ways that both contradict and complement each other: intellectually and intuitively.

Intellectual Kabbalah is knowledge from instruction, lectures, teachings, books, and scriptures.

Intuitive Kabbalah is what a person experiences directly from the hands of divinity as a result of internal meditation.

Both an intellectual and experiential knowledge of Kabbalah are necessary. One without the other leads to confusion, fanaticism, and ignorance.
There are two kinds of Kabbalists: intellectual Kabbalists and intuitive Kabbalists. The intellectual Kabbalists are black magicians. The intuitive Kabbalists are white magicians.

On such a simple thing, scholars have written millions of volumes and theories that would turn anyone crazy who had the bad taste of becoming intellectualized with that entire arsenal. Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
Many people know Kabbalah from the intellect, yet their behavior demonstrates that they do not enact or live the ethical conduct of positive initiation or white magic: the service of the mind towards the Innermost Spirit (God within) and humanity. Instead, what many of them do is fulfill the precepts of negative initiation or black magic: the fortification of conditioning, mind, desires, egotism, lust, selfishness, pride, anger, etc., for the overall corruption of humanity.
The intellect is a tool that is useful when placed under the service of the Spirit. But when the intellect seeks to control the Spirit, the intellect becomes destructive. Therefore, the intuitive Kabbalist is the one who learns through the experience of the consciousness. The intuitive Kabbalist learns directly, without opinions or theories. This one seeks a radical intellectual culture: a comprehensive knowledge of esotericism that is qualified by direct investigation.

In order to be a complete Kabbalist, one has to study; one has to record the teachings in the memory. 
Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
Kabbalah is a map of consciousness. Can one travel to another country without knowing the language and map of that place? Isn't it true that one can be easily manipulated, hurt, or misled without knowing the language, idiosyncrasies, and customs of a foreign culture?

Kabbalah is the symbolic language of divinity. If we do not even grasp an intellectual understanding of the signposts, then we will not know how to read the inner guidance of our own divinity.

Simply studying the map does not indicate that we have traveled. This is intellectual kabbalah. Most of humanity who engages in Kabbalah does so exclusively from the intellect, because they never consciously experience the principles contained in their studies.

Both knowledge of the map combined with actual travel signifies that one is practically working in initiation.

The Synthesis

The objective of studying the Kabbalah is to be skilled for work in the internal worlds... One who does not comprehend remains confused in the internal worlds. Kabbalah is the basis in order to understand the language of these worlds. ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah

One is filled with admiration, on penetrating into the Sanctuary of the Kabbalah, at seeing a doctrine so logical, so simple, and at the same time so absolute. The necessary union of ideas and signs, the consecration of the most fundamental realities by the primitive characters; the Trinity of Words, Letters, and Numbers; a philosophy simple as the alphabet, profound and infinite as the Word; theorems more complete and luminous than those of Pythagoras; a theology summed up by counting on one's fingers; an Infinite which can be held in the hollow of an infant's hand; ten ciphers and twenty-two letters, a triangle, a square, and a circle,these are all the elements of the Kabbalah. These are the elementary principles of the written Word, reflection of that spoken Word that created the world! ―Albert Pike, in Eliphas Levi's Transcendental Magic 
We invite you to study and experience this life-changing knowledge, which is the mirror and reflection of your complete human and divine potential.

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<![CDATA[How to Overcome Masturbation]]>Tue, 19 May 2020 23:05:41 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/how-to-overcome-masturbation
​The best science we have is the knowledge of chastity and transmutation, given by the greatest human beings in history. That science is objective and profound, but has been hidden from the public because we cannot be trusted with power. To access genuine Gnosis, you have to work sincerely and patiently, usually in silence, because the public—being uneducated in this science—will do everything it can to dissuade you from it, since we have a collective mind, not individual mind, and do not like anything that contradicts our habits and desires. As we all believe, if everyone else says it is right, it must be ok!

This is also part of why you will not find any support for chastity and sexual transmutation in "modern science." No scientist or doctor is willing to go against "the industry." Those who do are ridiculed, expelled.

Although the vast majority of doctors and researchers repeat the claims they learned in medical school that orgasm and masturbation are healthy, the science they depend upon is entirely one-sided and lacks a serious control group, i.e. a group that practices scientific chastity or sexual transmutation. As such, the modern medical community has scarcely researched the chastity recommended in the sacred doctrine of all religions.

Proof of this science is found through living it. By living it, you need no documentation, public support, or so-called authorities. You will know because you experience it.

Can you really base your spiritual future on the opinions of others? Is it not better to rely on proven sources of guidance?
Christ offered a parable in the Gospels regarding the Christic teachings of chastity. To truly understand this wisdom, one must practice it. It requires a transformation of one’s deeply-ingrained attitudes, beliefs, and concepts about sexuality. However, mentioning the role of chastity in the spiritual path sparks heated debate, defensiveness, and controversy. This is because:

Gods and demons live in eternal struggle. The Gods defend the doctrine of chastity. The demons hate chastity.  In sex, the root of the conflict between Gods and demons is found. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony, “The Great Battle”
The reality is that if lust is truly acceptable before divinity, then humanity would be in a very different state. Instead, individuals defend their desires at all cost, while failing to recognize the consequences for their behaviors. This is why Christ said that to truly enter the spiritual path, one must revolutionize one’s mind:
No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, "The old is better.” ―​Luke 5:36-39 

​Lust and Sexual Energy

Lust is a psychological phenomenon that stimulates physical reactions. Therefore, the appearance of lust is not dependent upon external circumstances: being married or not, etc., but by the quality of our psychological environment. Lust is like a weed that will grow in any garden: a single life, married life, within children or adults, etc., so we need to be vigilant and uproot it as soon as it appears.

Lust is not the same as the sexual power. The sexual power is part of life. Sexuality is normal and necessary for life to exist. Sexuality exists in all levels of creatures, from the lowest to the highest. However, when that power becomes trapped in psychological addictions to sexual sensations, lust emerges. In other words, in us, our sexual power has been corrupted, infected with illusion. This psychological problem is the basis of all religions, and the basis of why we suffer.

​What Constitutes Masturbation?

In the process of conserving, transforming, and elevating one’s sexual energies, there should be no straining or exertion upon the sexual organs. Vices like masturbation, which involve the hands touching one's sexual organs, is strictly prohibited within ancient religions and Gnosticism. The hands do not belong on the sexual organs, whether for men or women, and that type of self-stimulation, which leads to tension and stress on our generative organs, has adverse psychological and physical effects.
Degeneration is the opposite of generation: the flow, transference, and conscious utilization of the creative energies with the Essence. To degenerate is to break down, decay, and no longer generate the spiritual principles of the Being, the Innermost, which Samael Aun Weor speaks about so abundantly in his writings. A masturbator does not generate life, but through self-copulation takes the seed potential for spiritual awakening and expels it, degenerating the very life source that can give them being.
Masturbation is self-stimulation to feed desire, referred to as black vajroli within esotericism. This is considered 100% black magic within schools of White Tantra.

Masturbation: From the Latin words manstuprare, from manus "hand" (as in manual) + stuprare "defile" (oneself), from stuprum "defilement, dishonor," related to stupere "to be stunned, stupefied" (as in stupid). ―​Gnostic Glossary: Glorian Publishing
Masturbation is dishonorable before divinity and degenerates the mind, eventually leading to psychological imbalances. It engenders many mental illnesses and detrimental forms of behavior that are well documented within the pornography and sex slave industries. Masturbation is the source of emotional imbalances and many problems that afflict our humanity: individually, socially, and globally.

What is Semen?

Semen is not the exclusive physiological property of the male sex. Semen is the generative fluids, waters, or energies of both men and women. As indicated by the Hebrew word for "oil," שמן Shemen or semen is the raw matter or substance through which the Gnostic practitioner generates light, consciousness, and positive awakenings. If there is no oil in the lamp, one cannot achieve spiritual illumination. The same with the sexual force.

Both men and women can lose their seminal matter, generative fluids, and energy through masturbation or orgasm.

Unfortunately, women, like men, lose the divine forces when they commit the error of reaching that which is called "orgasm" or "spasm" in organic biology. ―​Samael Aun Weor, “Woman’s Saintly Predestination”
When semen or seminal energy is ejaculated, the lamp of the consciousness is snuffed out and desire is awakened.

Religions on Masturbation and Sexual Transmutation

In the heart of all genuine mystical traditions and mystery schools, masturbation is forbidden, because those self-stimulating "movements" are identification with sensation and the fortification of desire through the wrong use of the sexual energy.
All religions teach that there is no spiritual benefit to masturbation, since it involves defiling one’s body and soul, whether alone or in sexual union:
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
And if thy right eye [that looks at pornographic images] offend thee, pluck it out [eradicate your desire], and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 
Matthew 5:27-29

And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him [or the woman’s as well] then he shall wash all his flesh in water [of transmutation], and be unclean until the even [the death of the ego in the meditation]. 
Leviticus 15:16
The sacred texts assert that orgasm is the root of uncleanliness (ego), whether physical or psychological, and must be renounced to enter the path.
According to the ancient mystery schools, a true human being, a Hum (Sanskrit: spirit) united with Man (Sanskrit manas: mind) utilizes all their energies for divinity, never for lust or procreation (animal generation).
The orgasm is an act of animal procreation and desire. If one wants to remain an animal, one is free to do so. However, one’s consciousness, experience, life, and spirituality will remain at the animal level.
Continence, chastity, is the method to create spiritual life, as Jesus indicated:
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [seminal matter] and of the Spirit [the creative energy], he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh [through orgasm] is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit [through chastity] is spirit. —John 3:5-6

Furthermore, if in these instants [sexual union] the woman teaches the man the necessity of being "continent," if instead of reaching the final consummation of immense passion she has the valor to restrain the animal impulse, to avoid that which in organic physiology, or biology, is termed "orgasm" or "spasm,” he could retain those mystical forces of the Third Logos, of Mahachoan, of the Hindustani Shiva. With such subtle forces, she will be able to create within herself something different. She will be able to convert herself into a victor. She will pass to an extraordinary level of Being. She will never again have misery or pain, for her there will be no suffering. Many faculties will emerge in all of her organism; she will be completely different. A woman thus transformed by her own creative energies would be able to transform man and transform the world, because woman has a unique power: to form beings in her own womb. —Samael Aun Weor, “Woman’s Saintly Predestination”
Schools of White Tantra also state that the conservation and transformation of semen into energy is the foundation of spiritual development.
I [Shiva] am the semen, Sakti [the Goddess] is the generative fluid; when they are [perfectly] combined in the body [through this practice], then the body of the Yogi becomes divine [immortal].
Ejaculation of semen [orgasm] brings death, preserving it within brings life. Therefore, one should make sure to retain the semen within. 
Siva Samhita: “Preserve the Semen”
Masturbation exhausts the creative potential to awaken spiritual intelligence, thereby resulting in the successive degeneration of one’s creative faculties.
Within the Zohar and kabbalistic traditions, masturbation is the doctrine of Lilith, a demon who relates to the inverted sephirah of Binah upon the Tree of Life.

Binah is intelligence, but when inverted in hell is “subtle stupidity.”

Demons or black magicians, while possessing sparkling intellects, are really devoid of spiritual wisdom, intelligence, and understanding, because they engage with many fascinating philosophical subtleties justifying masturbation while ignoring the tremendous sufferings caused by their desires.
Rather than sexually stimulate oneself, it is better to transmute one’s creative energies through pranayama, runes, alchemy, and sacred rites of rejuvenation.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God. 1 Thessalonians 3:3-5
Therefore, control your body through transmutation and do not dishonor yourself through your own hands.
And if thy right hand [used in masturbation] offend thee, cut it off [abandon your lusts], and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members [your ego] should perish, and not that thy whole body [soul] should be cast into hell. ―​Matthew 5:30

​Masturbation without Orgasm

While the orgasm is forbidden by the White Lodge, sexual self-stimulation without orgasm, while using imagination to feed desire, is also renounced in White Tantra.
Let us recall that there are three types of Mercury or sexual energy, as documented in the alchemical traditions and the Hebraic Kabbalah:
  • Nephesh / Brute Mercury: physical entity of the sperm
  • Ruach / Electronic essence: metallic soul of the sperm
  • Neshamah / Mercury fecundated by Fire: Kundalini
Although you may not ejaculate your physical semen, fornication may occur on more subtle levels, such as through sexual fantasy and inner desires. Many people think that even if you do not physically orgasm, it is "OK” to stimulate oneself through masturbation or by watching pornographic films.
Whether one ejaculates one's semen or retains it during masturbation, the act of copulating and arousing oneself in such a lustful way destroys the soul. Although the Brute Mercury (entity of semen) may not be lost, the other two types of Mercury, known as the electronic essence of the sperm and the Mercury fecundated by fire (Kundalini), are wasted through masturbation.

Identification with self-copulation, induced through pornographic images or self-generated arousal with lustful intentions, wastes the superior two types of Mercury or sexual energy. 
Without energy control your sexual activity is fornication... ―Yeshe Tsogyal
Fornication is more than just ejaculating semen: it is how one wastes energy through lust. If people arouse themselves with lust, even without ejaculating their semen, they are committing fornication. They do not control their animal desires, but ignite their sexual fires for the sake of pleasure.

This is 100% against the teachings of the White Lodge, since a student will lose energy by how he or she identifies with desire.
Wherever we direct attention, we expend creative energy. ―​Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
Therefore, even if we are physically chaste, our mind can take us into suffering if it is not controlled. Remember that Jesus said a man commits adultery simply by looking at a woman out of lust (and of course, the same principle applies to women). Therefore, what is essential is ethical discipline and mindfulness of how we expend creative energy with our consciousness.

​Sexual Fantasy and Impotence

Sexual fantasy is the expression of animal, lustful desires, the pluralized self or ego.

Sexual fantasy is the origin of a lot of suffering and pain for humanity. Sexual desire, rather than going away when fed, becomes stronger and more demanding. This is why people who masturbate become more insatiable in their appetites, indulging in more extreme forms of pornography.
By artificially stimulating the sexual energy through masturbation—whether there is spilling or not—students damage their brain, nervous systems, emotional center, and sexual organs. Moreover, they will only strengthen those desires (lust), thereby making their craving for sexual sensations more intense. Instead of doing that, they should learn to practice pranayama.
Masturbation and sexual fantasy also creates impotence, for by investing one’s sexual energies into desire and lustful imagination, the creative potential is squandered, leaving men incapable of arousal or erection.
Sexual fantasy produces impotence of a psychosexual type. People with that kind of illness have normal erections; they are apparently normal men, but in the moment in which they try to connect the penis and the vulva, the erection abates making the phallus fall, leaving the man in the most horrible state of desperation. They have lived in sexual fantasy and when they really find themselves facing the crude sexual reality which has nothing to do with fantasy, they become confused and are unable to properly respond to reality. ―​Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
While this TED Talk is not about masturbation, but recent research on pornography, it is applicable to almost any addiction, especially of a sexual nature. Such research determines how fornication, masturbation, and pornography addiction affects the brain and body, leading to impotence and sterility. It also details how some people are successfully changing such habits for the better.

​Incubi and Succubi

Lust has a definitive, concrete effect on the psychological, physiological and spiritual life of masturbators. Not only do men become impotent and women sterile, but it is well documented within spiritual literature how masturbation produces living entities within the astral plane, which have a singular purpose: to extract the life-essence, sexual energy, or seminal matter from their progenitors.
Masturbation or self-copulation with one’s sexual organs engenders egos of homosexuality or lesbianism, as well as incubi and succubi, because one is sexually relating to their own gender and feeding fantasy.
These entities become a serious obstacle in the Gnostic work. As Gnostics, we are deeply concerned with conserving our creative sexual energy, because without it one cannot enter and complete the spiritual path.
As stated by Paracelsus:
Incubi and succubi are formed from the sperm of those who perform the imaginative anti-natural act of masturbation (in thoughts or desires).

And because it comes only from the imagination, it is not genuine sperm (material) but corrupt salt.

Only semen that comes from an organ selected by Nature for its development can germinate in a body.

When sperm does not come from appropriate matter (nutritious substratum) it will not produce anything good, but will generate something useless.

For this reason, incubi and succubi that originate from corrupt semen are harmful and useless in accordance with the natural order of things.

These germs which are formed in the imagination are born of Amore Heress, which signifies the type of love whereby a man imagines a woman, or vice-versa, in order to copulate with the image created within the sphere of his mind.

The expulsion of a useless, ethereal fluid results from this act, incapable of producing offspring but instead bringing larvae into existence.

Imagination used in this way gives birth to an exuberant shamelessness which, if pursued, can make a man impotent and a woman sterile, because during the frequent practice of any such unhealthy visualization, much real creative energy is lost.

The larvae-egos of lasciviousness are real, thinking, autonomous entities within which a good percentage of consciousness is imprisoned. 
Paracelsus, cited in The Mystery of the Golden Flower by Samael Aun Weor

The larvae to which Paracelsus refers are none other than those cultivated forms of thought that owe their energy and existence solely to unnatural imagination. 
―​Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower

​Sexual Attacks in the Astral Plane

Succubi and incubi are terribly lustful egos created through masturbation and fornication, yet we can be attacked by sorceresses and sorcerers whose internal lust is very fat, who thereby seek to lead us into temptation.

To know the difference between an external and internal demon, continue to conjure, meditate, and pray. Discrimination is a quality of conscious perception that is strengthened through conjurations and self-reflection. Intuition is also born in us as we empower our psyche with positive forces (through transmutation) and by dispelling negativity through prayers.

Conjurations can work well not only against black magicians outside of us, but our own inner demons as well. When using such prayers against our own mind, these invocations to Christ can temporarily dispel or keep the hounds at bay, but in order to be permanently free of them, we must meditate and destroy them through comprehension and prayer to the Divine Mother.
Thus, to restore the natural function of the sexual energy, one must stop the unnatural use of imagination: sexual fantasy.

Pornographic Media

Another serious danger for students is pornographic media. Images from lustful magazines, websites, online dating platforms, and other media strike the mind and consciousness of the observer. Such images enter the psyche and crystallize in the form of incubi and succubi, tempting elements that the spiritual aspirant now has to fight against within their own consciousness.

Sexual fantasy corrupts the mind, heart, and body. It likewise has far-reaching consequences and effects that many refuse to recognize or acknowledge.
Intellectual criminology is found in books, magazines, bull fighting arenas, movie theaters, pamphlets, etc.

There are pornographic magazines that prostitute the minds of male and female youngsters in different countries.

When a pornographic representation reaches the mind, the unconsciousness traps that representation and elaborates its conceptual content. The conceptual content elaborated by the unconsciousness is the exact outcome of the quality of the representation. The psychological “I” traps that representation within the depths of the mind’s unconsciousness and elaborates its conceptual content with it. The conceptual content is translated as semi-conscious images within the world of the cosmic mind. These are the effigies of the mental world. The psychological “I” fornicates and commits adultery with those images within the plane of the cosmic mind. This is what the prostitution of the mind is. Nocturnal pollutions (wet dreams) are the morbid outcome of the prostitution of the mind.

There are also magazines [now matchmaking websites] for failures. In the magazines for the failures, women announce themselves. They solicit for a husband who is short, fat, skinny, with money, etc. Many young ladies are following that ultramodern example. This is mental prostitution. The outcome of this mental prostitution is critical. The interchange of writing begins. They start falling in love with someone they do not know and they start projecting plans. Yet, in the end, on the day when the couple meets, failure is the inevitable outcome.

Ladies who have never been prostitutes—honorable and distinguished young ladies—allow themselves to be cheated by modernism and fall into the crime of mental prostitution.

If a clairvoyant were to study in the mental plane the announcements of love of all of those magazines [matchmaking websites], one will see houses of prostitution. Each announcement of love corresponds in the mental world to a horrible mental bedroom of a whorehouse. Every clairvoyant is astonished when seeing those whorehouses of the mental plane.

Within each bedroom of those horrible dens a prostitute is found lying there. Men enter and leave from those bedrooms. Each announcement of the magazine corresponds to one of those bedrooms. The woman who placed the announcement is lying down in her bedroom. This is what the prostitution of the mental plane is.

True love has nothing to do with those whorehouses of the mental plane.

Thousands of young and distinguished ladies are perverting themselves with those types of magazines [and websites].

True love begins always with a flash of delectable affinity. It is substantiated with the force of tenderness, and it is synthesized in infinite, supreme adoration. ―Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
Spiritual progress is based upon psychological and physical purity. If we wish to avoid the prostitution of our mind, heart, and energies, it is important to renounce addictions and behaviors that perpetuate suffering.

The Struggle against Masturbation

Many students write to our Gnostic instructors that they seriously strive to practice these teachings, but arrive to a very serious obstacle: masturbation. Despite the provided instructions on transmutation and chastity, many students struggle to overcome this habit. In response to students' inquiries, we have stated:
You are the only one responsible for your actions. If you beat yourself up, that is your choice. If you want to be happy, that is your choice. If you vacillate between doing what is necessary for the benefit of your soul and your egotistical desires, you will continue to suffer. The truth is that you have the power to change yourself and renounce bad habits. But in order for you to change, you have to want to.

Our experience with students who break chastity has shown us that such students are usually unclear about what they want from these studies. If you do not comprehend what you want from Gnosis, you will continue to retrogress. Knowledge is intellectual, but comprehension is of the heart. One may know intellectually that masturbation, fornication, or drugs are harmful. An alcoholic or drug addict knows what they are doing is wrong. Yet they continue to indulge in these destructive habits because they do not comprehend their actions or the harm their behavior causes.

The sole reason students continue to fornicate in these studies is a lack of comprehension. Reading how lust is harmful will not do anything. Only comprehending karma and the effects of bad behavior will lead to change. If you comprehend how lust destroys your soul, you will never dare engage in such activities again. Comprehension transcends intellectual knowledge and guides our heart. If you do not follow the hidden inclinations of the heart, then you will continue to allow yourself to suffer.

Laziness is not only an ego, but the sleep of our psyche. One can be very engaged with work and daily routines, have established tremendous discipline in time management, and yet be totally asleep as a consciousness. Therefore, in this manner we continue to feed all our defects and desires.

If one longs to advance on this path, one must completely renounce degenerated behaviors. Do not vacillate. If you want to be serious, destroy all of your pornography and abandon lust. Comprehend in yourself how lust destroys the mind. If you do not meditate on how lust destroys the soul, you will never comprehend how such behaviors produce tremendous suffering. Without comprehension, students continue to indulge in masturbation and remain where they are, in the mud and filth of affliction. It is very easy for the intellect to rationalize how masturbation is harmful, but comprehending how desire produces suffering is something else. An alcoholic may know that consuming liquor will destroy him, yet he continues to do so anyway. The same with the masturbator. However, if an alcoholic comprehends how alcohol is demonic, he will never allow himself to be tempted. The same with masturbation. Knowledge is of the mind, comprehension is of the heart. Only the heart can comprehend and overcome all problems, not the mind!

​Techniques to Overcome Masturbation

Habits, especially those that have been programmed into our minds over the course of many years, are difficult to break. However, it is possible to overcome them, and many people do.

Our first piece of advice to you would be to set up a daily practice of transmutation, such as pranayama. We have many such practices in our tradition. Samael gives a very simple one here:

If the energy is not flowing in our organism in the proper way (facilitated by transmutation), then it will try to act in ways that are detrimental to our growth.

Second, seek to understand the aspects of your psychology that are connected to this habit, and free the parts of your consciousness that are trapped within those egos. Masturbation isn't usually something that happens spontaneously. It is usually the end result of a chain of events. What were those events? Meditate and reflect on what led you to that state, and cut off the chain before you reach the end. Get out of the environment you are in and pray to your Inner God (a powerful prayer, such as the Pater Noster) for help. Go do something else to change your state of mind.

Further on this topic, don't just seek to remove yourself from external phenomena, but look into the internal drivers of those phenomena. For instance, if we find ourselves looking lustfully at women, this is because the consciousness is trapped in an ego that believes it can acquire happiness through beauty (Nahemah). This is a false conception, and a wrong perception. Meditate on this. Understand that beauty and ugliness are just two poles of the same thing. What today is beautiful will in the future be ugly, because all things with form will deteriorate and pass away.

Finally, don't give up hope. Masturbation carries a heavy karma, but God is merciful, and will help you if you reach out to Him. Many people have overcome that vice.

The first step of chastity is to retain the sexual energy, but the second step is to transmute it. Many people miss the second step.

At a minimum, this means learning how to perform pranayama and sexual transmutation. Without pranayama, you will likely always lose your sexual energy. Concentrate on doing pranayama and meditation. Every Gnostic must transmute the sexual energy, and if one is single, this means pranayama. Other practices that will help are vocalizations (mantras), sacred rites for rejuvenation, and runic exercises.
The seven runic vowels, including the Rune Dornare excellent for creating a strong spiritual will to overcome addictions.

Even with a dedicated practice, perfect chastity comes through a lengthy and emotionally painful processes. Once physical chastity is won, chastity must be fought for in the deeper sub-, un-, and infra-consciousness layers of the mind. The drama of the Nativity of Christ show us that the King Herod (the ego) kills many firstborns in the process. These are the failures, the humiliations, that the aspirant must go through. We have a lot of karma from previous lives, not only this one, and while we cry at our painful experiences, sometimes the Gods await until the moment we have paid our lot until we are allowed to progress.

Chastity is won though the comprehension of lust. The comprehension of lust occurs through the practice of meditation, and work with the Divine Mother. The elimination of lust, or any psychological defect, occurs when we have comprehended the reasons and causes behind it. The dreams that accompany nocturnal emissions must be meditated upon, explored, comprehended, and the aggregates then eliminated. If you cannot remember the dreams, then you must begin working to awaken your consciousness using Dream Yoga techniques.
You need to understand that your own actions are creating this suffering. You also need to understand that superior actions (chastity) bring new, different effects (happiness, inner contentment, etc.).

Meditate on that action and its inevitable results. Meditate on the pain and how it was made, what led to it... Study the chain of actions! Only in this way, by becoming convinced of how your experiences are determined by your actions, can you develop genuine understanding. And it is only understanding that leads to freedom from temptation. When you deeply know that an act leads to pain, you will flee from that act, you will not feel tempted at all. So: meditate.

In the meantime, when temptation arises, use The Prayer of the Lord, and flee from the temptation! Go outside, go someplace else... then reflect on the temptation, and understand it.
To receive inner strength, work with the Eucharist to receive spiritual strength every day. Whenever you feel lust seeking to push you to masturbate, take the time to commune and pray to your Innermost God to bless and help you overcome this addiction.

How to Counter Lustful Obsessions

Many students relate how their efforts to end masturbation often make them obsessed and afflicted. Obsessions to end lust often exacerbate the issue. In trying to perfect one's sexual life, one can often feel like a victim to oneself, always in pursuit of an impossible standard. Practitioners become frustrated when their goal eludes their most sincere efforts. Such feelings are often followed by discouragement, self-incrimination, and self-disparagement, the thoughts of "I will never be chaste! I cannot do this work! It is impossible for me."

Rather than beat oneself up as a failure, it's necessary to remember that lasting change does not come overnight, but through consistent efforts and comprehension. Negative thoughts and emotions are an obstacle. Likewise, obsessing over the problem will distract and confuse your mind.

If you are overwhelmed by desire, you should occupy yourself and direct your energy towards creative endeavors: hiking, painting, sculpting, writing, exercise, playing moderate sports, reading sacred scriptures, serving humanity, etc.

It is not enough to practice pranayama, although this is the foundation for change. Once you have transmuted your sexual energy, take the time to engage in healthy activities. Saving energy is not enough. One must transmute and direct it towards positive action, being a serviceable and compassionate person, sacrificing for one's family, community, or partner, etc.

If you just obsess over your lust and try to meditate, your mind will already be frazzled. If you surround yourself with temptations and have no constructive activities to replace them with, then you will seek out trouble.

Learn to find psychological equilibrium, balance your activities, and engage your consciousness in superior acts. In this way you will gain enough stability to actually root out the ego and comprehend it deeply in meditation.

​How to Cleanse Oneself and Home

Also, burn sage and smudge yourself with its smoke while reciting the Conjurations of the Four and Seven. This will help reduce obsessive thoughts and behaviors.

Maintaining one’s chastity also involves keeping one’s home clean from negative forces, energies, or astral parasites. Through frequent cleanses with incense and prayer, we generate better influences in our home environment that aid our spiritual practices, deepen our connection with the Being, and preserve our chastity or creative energies.
Learn how to protect and cleanse your Home and Altar with high quality incense and prayers.

​Masturbation and Mental Health

Masturbation exacerbates mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bi-polar, depression, and make one more sick, physically and mentally.
The reason why many people experience mental illness is due to masturbation at an early age:
Unfortunately, although it is pitiful to realize it, nowadays many children of twelve and thirteen years of age are already copulating. Moreover, those who are not yet copulating commit the crime of masturbation [and sodomy]. They eliminate their hormones, degenerate their brains and atrophy their pineal gland through masturbation. This is how they become sure candidates for a mental home.

It is well known that after coitus, the phallus continues with certain peristaltic movements conducive to receiving vital energies from the feminine uterus in an attempt to replace its wasted creative principles.

However, when masturbation [and sodomy] exists, instead of assimilating vital feminine energies with such peristaltic movements, useful principles for existence, the masturbator [or sodomite] absorbs cold air [or flatulences from the bodily fecal matter derived from ingested food and the secretions of the intestines], which passes directly to the brain. The outcome of this is idiocy, mental degeneration or insanity [devolution].

The vice of [sodomy and] masturbation is, unfortunately, also very popular among the feminine sex. Obviously, with such a vice, many women that could have been genial or good wives have prematurely become degenerated, have aged quickly, have lost their sexual potential, and have become true victims of life.

Therefore, it is important to know all these aspects of sex; it is important to know what sex is.

For adolescents to have sex is absurd, because they are mere seeds which have not yet completed their development.
―​Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology

​Healing the Damages of Masturbation

Masturbation destroys the mind and exacerbates illnesses like manic depressive disorder, schizophrenia, etc. When a person ejaculates their semen, the sexual organs perform peristaltic movements in order to reabsorb lost forces. However, through masturbation, cold air is absorbed into the sexual organs which eventually reach the brain and cause dementia.
Damages caused through fornication and masturbation can be healed with patient transmutation of the sexual energy, meditation on the death of lust, desire, and egotism, and diligent, daily practice with the sacred rites of rejuvenation.

There are numerous methods to cure the damages caused by masturbation, such as runessacred rites (including the vajroli mudra), and sexual magic.
The mantras: Om Masi Padme Hum is also effective for healing the damages of masturbation.

​Curing Impotence

Impotence is another common consequence of masturbation, yet it can be cured with the following remedy:
The aloe is a great panacea for the healing of impotence.
The procedure is as follows: put into a casserole dish, pan, or pot one white panela (hard sugarcane commonly found in Colombia) so it can be melted by the fire. This casserole dish must not contain water.
Once the panela is liquefied, you must add the gel of a complete aloe plant, then add ten grams of iron. While it is on the fire, stir this very well with a handmill. When everything is very well stirred, then take the casserole dish from the fire and bottle up this substance, adding a little bit of sodium benzoate so that it cannot ferment. Label it, and take one spoonful of the remedy every hour. Impotence is cured with this marvelous formulae. ―​Samael Aun Weor, Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic

​Another Remedy for Virility

You can also consume dishes of bull or goat testicles for virility.
The goat has traditionally symbolized the force of Lucifer, which in synthesis constitutes the creative sexual energy.
Samael Aun Weor explained in a lecture:

Listen: Lucifer represents the sexual potency. Who could deny that a male goat possesses a great sexual potency?
Sexually impotence is due to weakness. There exist different types of sexual impotence: i.e. sexual impotence because a damage to the nervous system, or because a damage to the creative organs. However, when the sexual impotence is totally due to weakness in the physical organs, this can be cured with the sexual hormones of that animal.
The testicles of the male goat must be boiled in milk and thereafter sweetened with sugar or honey. This milk charged with testosterone must be drank by the sexually impotent one. This will cure his impotence, because the sexual hormones of the male goat have the power to cure those who suffer sexual impotence. —Samael Aun a Weor, “Moses, the Great Kabbalist and Alchemist Magi”
The concoction for goat's testicles and milk is for impotence, when men lack sexual strength. This remedy is taken for as long as needed until the man's sexual strength returns and a normal erection can be produced for the rite of alchemy. 

​Can Supplements Heal Damages from Masturbation?

Most supplements are chemically derived and thus introduce more problems than they solve.

Your body is an alchemical laboratory that acquires everything it needs from nature and from divinity.

If you truly want healing, then eliminate the cause of the illness, i.e. if the cause is lust, the sufferings will disappear when the cause (the ego of lust) is dead. Therefore: meditate on the lust until you eliminate it completely. Any other attempt at a solution will fail.
Meditation is the only way to fully comprehend lust, the animal ego.

Therefore, to overcome any obstacle, learn to meditate on the causes of suffering so that your Divine Mother can aid you.

The Meditation Essentials course will provide you the foundations for this seminal practice.

​Wet Dreams

Many students also write that, due to many years of masturbation and fornication, they experience involuntary seminal emissions, wet dreams or nocturnal pollutions when practicing chastity.
There are methods for healing such an illness, specifically through the Melon Seed Remedy.

However, radical healing will only occur once the egos of pollutions are comprehended and eliminated in meditation. Samael Aun Weor addressed this issue in one of his lectures:
Question: Would it be good to apply the technique of meditation on the death of the ego to the defects that we have in our dreams?

Samael Aun Weor: Many letters have been sent to me from people that have nocturnal pollutions. Almost all of them demand from me a recipe in order to be healed from that frightful sickness and I always answer them that as long as the egos of pollutions continue to exist, the pollutions will continue to exist.

Let us suppose that this person has a morbid dream, thus as a consequence he has a nocturnal pollution. What to do? In the precise moment of awakening physically, this person has to intensively work upon that ego that produced such a pollution. And he must appeal to the Divine Mother Kundalini Shakti so that she can disintegrate it and he must continue during the future periods of time working upon that ego. But if during another day another nocturnal pollution emerges, it is because another lustful ego produced it. Thus, the work must be repeated again until one day all of those types of egos related with pollutions will be terminated. That is the only way in order to be healed. 
―​Samael Aun Weor, “Questions About the Elimination of the Ego”
How many years or even lifetimes have you trained your body to ejaculate? You cannot expect to train it to stop in one night or even one month.

Furthermore, you cannot change anything fundamentally, fully, unless you comprehend the causes in meditation. No amount of supplements or practices can ever match the power of conscious comprehension. Instead of wasting time online, students should develop meditation skills.

​Massage During Vajroli Mudra

In the final exercise of the sacred rites of rejuvenation, Samael Aun Weor explains that one must massage their genitals with a soft, medium, or hard pressure, so as to turn the Christic force into energy, sending it to the brain.
Regarding the massages over the prostate/uterus area and the sexual organs, there are three types: 

a) Gentle massage upon the prostate [lower abdomen] and creative organs.
b) Moderate massage upon the prostate/uterus [lower abdomen] and creative organs.
c) Strong massage upon the prostate [lower abdomen] and creative organs.

It is obvious that for men a strong massage on the prostate {lower belly] and sexual organs produces the erection of the phallus, this is clear, this is how it is; this is why the third type of massage is advisable for bachelors. Thus, when the phallus is erected, the transmutation of the semen into energy is produced, which one raises to the brain.

Regarding married men, the first or second types of massages are convenient for them, nothing else; rather, the first type is more than enough since they have a wife and of course they bring the phallus to a complete erection by means of the Sahaja Maithuna.
―​Samael Aun Weor, Sacred Rites for Rejuvenation
Some have asked whether or not this is masturbation. In reality, a massage simply activates the sexual energy; the degree to which it is activated depends on the volatility of the person's energy.

The critical thing is to not allow the mind to drift into impurity, nor to let the rite degenerate into "self-stimulation" or masturbation.

If one successfully activates the energy and maintains psychological purity, then the energy can be transmuted.

​White and Black Vajroli Mudra

The Vajroli Mudra is not masturbation, because one does not massage the sexual organs for prolonged periods of time out of lustful desire.

One must not massage one’s sexual organs more than three times, according to the sixth rite. And during that very short period of time, one is deep in prayer and meditation to the Divine Mother.

Masturbation stimulates the sexual organs to feed animality, prolonged through consistent copulation with oneself.

The Vajroli Mudra takes a few seconds for each massage, not twenty minutes.
White Vajroli, the sixth rite in the sacred rites for rejuvenation, should not stimulate you so much that you approach orgasm. That is Black Vajroli.

You should not be stimulating yourself during pranayama. That is masturbation and constitutes 100% black magic.

White Vajroli does not require so much stimulation that you provoke lust. It requires stronger massage for a few seconds, not minutes, since when you perform the sixth rite, you only massage your sexual organs when your breath is completely exhaled, and when you rise up to take in air, cease the massage and direct the stimulated sexual energy to the mind. This process should be repeated, at most, only three times.

​Finding an Alchemical Partner

Many Gnostic students, after reading The Perfect Matrimony by Samael Aun Weor, long to find a spouse for the alchemical work. Unfortunately, many people still continue to masturbate, precisely because they contain so much sexual drive and fire that is not being sublimated. If a person with a lot of virility does not transmute their sexual energies consciously, then those forces are utilized by lust to act in detrimental ways.

If disciples want to find a partner in the Gnostic work, he or she needs to practice chastity first, to learn how to transmute their sexual energy through pranayama, runes, sacred rites of rejuvenation, Ham-Sah, etc.

One must acquire balance and psychological equilibrium first, since it will be very difficult to learn transmutation in the sexual act if one has never accustomed his or her body, mind, and energy, to practice sublimation on their own.

In synthesis, like attracts like. Our level of being attracts your circumstances. If we want a Gnostic, chaste partner, we must become chaste ourselves.

Impure women are for impure men, and impure men for impure women, and pure women are for pure men, and pure men are for pure women: these are not affected by what people say [who are scandalized and offended by chastity]: for them there is forgiveness, and a provision honorable. Qur’an 24:26

​What to Do When Breaking One’s Chastity?

One leaves the path when, having maintained chastity, decided to return to the orgasm. Those who have not been in chastity have not entered the path yet.
Karma is cause and effect.

If you wish to follow a superior law (chastity), then you must chose to enact the causes and conditions for its fruition.

Fornication is a choice. So is chastity.

You reap the results of your actions. If you continue with fornication, it’s because you have yet to comprehend how fornication destroys the soul.

When you comprehend how fornication is harmful, you will stop.

Intellectual understanding is not enough. This is why we need meditation.

Do what thou wilt, that shall be the whole of the law. But know that you must answer for all your deeds.
Once you stop masturbation, many temptations will arise, as well as changes in your physical body, chemistry, appetites, etc. Even though you might find it difficult to eat while remaining chaste, you should try to increase your appetite through engaging in exercise and other creative activities, such as walking, painting, sculpting, drawing, writing, etc. This is because when you save sexual energy, you need to use it consciously, creatively, with intelligence and purpose. As alchemists, and even while single for many years in these studies, we always find ways to channel transmuted sexual energy through exercise and creative endeavors. This guarantees the proper flow, function, and fortification of the Holy Ghost within oneself.
If you are determined to walk this path, then you must fulfill this commandment of chastity with all your heart, mind, body, strength, and soul, as Jesus taught us. To vacillate is to suffer unnecessarily.
No matter the circumstances, fornication causes damage. However, the consequences are worse for the one who knows the teaching but chooses to act harmfully anyway.
And just look at these men: their eye says it—they know nothing better on earth than to lie with a woman.
Mud is at the bottom of their souls; and woe! if their mud also has spirit! 
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
As to the specifics of that case, when one willingly spills, any raised Kundalini descends in proportion with the act. Then, if one attempts to raise it again, it is much harder: the requirements increase. And of course, instead of filling oneself with joy and ecstasy through chastity, spilling immediately fortifies and stimulates many negative psychological qualities.
Whosoever spills his semen after having worked with the Kundalini inevitably fails, because the Kundalini then descends one or more vertebrae in accordance with the magnitude of the fall... The initiate falls when he spills the semen. The work to raise the serpent after having fallen is very difficult and arduous. The Lord of Perfection said, "The disciple must never let himself fall, because whosoever falls then has to struggle a great deal to regain that which was lost." ―​Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Question: How can a man learn to control his lust that incites him to masturbate? What practices help with this? And, in the case that he falls, what can he immediately do to correct the mistake (pranayama, prayer, etc.)?
Answer: Your question about doing a practice right after masturbating truly reveals a lot psychologically. To want to practice after having fornicated, after having enjoyed the disgusting vice of masturbation, is very hypocritical. We don't prove our loyalty to divinity by practicing after the fact, but by restraining and killing desire before it takes over.
The Greeks symbolized this hypocritical tendency of innumerable devotees through the myth of Sisyphus. People who practice chastity for a time, raising the stone of Yesod up the mountain of the spiritual work, and who let themselves fail through fornication, are dropping the stone back into the mud and mire again. Afterward, the struggle to rise again is much more difficult. So? Why continue with the monotony of masturbation or Grey Tantra?

The moral of this story is that we have to be defined in these studies. If you chose to fornicate, that is your will. It is pointless to want to be spiritual if you keep masturbating, because trying to pump water from an empty vessel is pointless. One's genitalia are empty after masturbating and reaching the orgasm, so how can a person be truly healed and spiritual when such an individual intentionally takes the path of destruction?

If you choose to be chaste, do not destroy yourself and thereafter lie by trying to practice only after having enjoyed such a vice. Such a habit is really ludicrous, and to continue being "spiritual" while maintaining this vice is extremely dangerous. If you want to change, do so. Do not deceive yourself. So long as you do not firmly renounce masturbation, you will never enter the door that leads to true peace of the spirit.

The Reality of Sexual Falls

Any lapse into lustful behavior is a sign of a weak, dispersed will.

Just as a warrior in the ring must train for years to defeat a powerful enemy, you must strengthen your will over time to cultivate the willpower to end indulgence in lustful behaviors.

​Your lust is Goliath. Each time you struggle against it, you are strengthening the will to resist its power over you. Use all the methods, meditation, and suggestions you are aware of to increase the duration of time that you can remain in chastity. The longer you can go without physically indulging in lust, the stronger your willpower will become. Free, conscious willpower is fueled by the energies we cultivate through chaste transmutation. Never miss a single day's pranayama practice—not even once. Find at least 15-30 minutes daily for pranayama somewhere in your day.

Struggling to resist lust will strengthen you. Over time, the intervals between sexual falls will become longer if you are sincerely putting the teachings into practice. Eventually, these falls will become very rare, until your have finally cultivated the will to eliminate sexual falls entirely.

After the physical habits of lust have been conquered, you will continue into further conquering the psychological habits of lust at deeper levels.
You cannot expect from a weak man something that requires strength. One can make demands of a man only in accordance with the strength he has to fulfill them. —Gurdjieff
We do not want to diminish the severity of a sexual fall, because it is a serious crime against divinity and oneself. The best approach is always to completely renounce orgasm and to never return to it. However, if one is incapable of conquering his lust, what other option does he have but to struggle against himself over time until he can accomplish self-discipline? If the reality of your situation is that you continue to fall, you must work to develop the strength of will to master yourself over time. This is not a change to the teachings, but if you lack self-discipline, you must then acquire responsibility and accountability as your first task.
As long as a man does not separate himself from himself he can achieve nothing, and no one can help him. To govern oneself is a very difficult thing — it is a problem for the future; it requires much power and demands much work. But this first thing, to separate oneself from oneself, does not require much strength, it only needs desire, serious desire, the desire of a grown-up man. If a man cannot do it, it shows that he lacks the desire of a grown-up man. Consequently it proves that there is nothing for him here [in the esoteric school]. What we do here can only be a doing suitable for grown-up men. —Gurdjieff
If you fail, you start again and work again at developing chastity. That repeated effort will develop willpower, although, of course, each sexual fall is depleting your willpower. In order not to become a perpetual Sisyphus, you need to hold yourself accountable. Track the length of your time in chastity, and each day make a commitment to be chaste that day. Find alternative activities that allow you to be successful in overcoming a lustful sensation. Don't surround yourself with temptations. Learn to separate yourself from your own lust, so you can observe your lust without being controlled by it.
Our mind, our thinking, has nothing in common with us, with our essence—no connection, no dependence...

The mind is capable of functioning independently, but it also has the capacity of becoming identified with the essence, of becoming a function of the essence. In the majority of those present, the mind does not try to be independent but is merely a function...

At present we are not capable of controlling our states, and so it cannot be demanded of us. But when we acquire this capacity, corresponding demands will be made.

In order to understand better what I mean, I shall give you an example: now, in a calm state, not reacting to anything or anyone, I decide to set myself the task of establishing a good relationship with Mr. B., because I need him for business purposes and can do what I wish only with his help. But I dislike Mr. B. for he is a very disagreeable man. He understands nothing. He is a blockhead. He is vile, anything you like. I am so made that these traits affect me. Even if he merely looks at me, I become irritated. If he talks nonsense, I am beside myself. I am only a man, so I am weak and cannot persuade myself that I need not be annoyed—I shall go on being annoyed.

Yet I can control myself, depending on how serious my desire is to gain the end I wish to gain through him. If I keep to this purpose, to this desire, I shall be able to do so. No matter how annoyed I may be, this state of wishing will be in my mind. No matter how furious, how beside myself I am, in a corner of my mind I shall still remember the task I set myself. My mind is unable to restrain me from anything, unable to make me feel this or that toward him, but it is able to remember. I say to myself: “You need him, so don’t be cross or rude to him.” It could even happen that I would curse him, or hit him, but my mind would continue to pluck at me, reminding me that I should not do so. But the mind is powerless to do anything.

This is precisely what anyone who has a serious desire not to identify himself with his essence can do. This is what is meant by “separating the mind from the essence.”

And what happens when the mind becomes merely a function? If I am annoyed, if I lose my temper, I shall think, or rather “it” will think, in accordance with this annoyance, and I shall see everything in the light of the annoyance. To hell with it!

And so I say that with a serious man—a simple, ordinary man without any extraordinary powers, but a grown-up man—whatever he decides, whatever problem he has set himself, that problem will always remain in his head. Even if he cannot achieve it in practice, he will always keep it in his mind. Even if he is influenced by other considerations, his mind will not forget the problem he has set himself. He has a duty to perform and, if he is honest, he will strive to perform it, because he is a grown-up man.

No one can help him in this remembering, in this separation of oneself from oneself. A man must do it for himself. —Gurdjieff, Views from the Real World


We invite you to seriously reflect on the following regarding repentance:
According to the lexicons, tawbah (repentance) means "to return." Taba, aba, and anaba all have one meaning, which is "to return." Thaba is similar; people say, "The milk returned (thaba) to the udder." Outward repentance is the return from blameworthy actions to praiseworthy ones and from foul words to righteous ones. Inner repentance, with which the Sufi folk are concerned, is to turn away from all things and toward God, mighty and glorious. Repentance is not valid without three things: remorse for sin, abstention from it, and the resolution to not return to it. When one of these conditions is not met, repentance is not valid. This is the rule for repentance for sin between the servant and his Lord...

Ibn Mas'ud, may God be pleased with him, related that the Prophet, God bless and cherish him, said, "The one who turns from sin is like one who never sinned."
A'ishah al-Ba'uniyyah, The Principles of Sufism
If you want to stop masturbating, then stop. If you do not want to stop, then you will continue in bad behavior. It is a choice!

You have to want to stop and to not turn back to degeneration for your renunciation to be considered authentic before your Innermost.

Remember Lot's wife who turned back when leaving Sodom and was transformed into a pillar of salt: she entered devolution within the mineral kingdom and became a pillar of hell.

Repentance is nil if you turn back from your vows. It is sincere when you are steadfast in it.

Do not be like Sisyphus, throwing the stone when reaching the summit of the hill, only to begin the climb once more!

Vacillation will only cause you pain...

However, remember that God is the Beneficent, the Merciful, and will guide you if you are sincere and truly repent:

Satan frightens you of poverty and prompts you to [commit] indecent acts. But Allah promises you His forgiveness and grace, and Allah is all-bounteous, all-knowing. Al-Baqarah 268

O you who have faith! What is the matter with you that when you are told: "Go forth in the way of Allah," you sink heavily to the ground? Are you pleased with the life of this world instead of the Hereafter? But the wares of the life of this world compared with the Hereafter are but insignificant.

If you do not go forth, He will punish you with a painful punishment, and replace you with another people, and you will not hurt Him in the least, and Allah has power over all things.
―​Al-Tawbah (The Repentance) 38-39
If the soul fails, the Innermost will gather a new people more worthy for the great work. However, God is merciful and wants to aid us out of compassion!

Comprehension, Self-Reflection, and Honesty

For those Gnostic students who wish to stop the vice of masturbation:

​You also have to really reflect on what it is you want. If you want to masturbate, then that is what you will do. If you want to know God, you have to really comprehend this purpose and what it entails, since if you do not know what you want, nor want to see beyond your current state of suffering, you will continue to allow yourself to wallow in suffering.

But if you are tired of suffering and the suffering that masturbation causes, then you will really comprehend what this means, without having any person tell you that "this is right" and "that is wrong." We knew one missionary who, before entering gnosis or even reading about anything in a book, abandoned the vice of masturbation and pornography simply because he comprehended, from his own insight, how masturbation was draining him of life and destroying his mind. He destroyed every pornographic file he had on his computer and removed every video he used to indulge in this vice. He never read a book by Samael Aun Weor or heard instruction from a teacher that masturbation was wrong; he simply knew from his experience that he was killing his soul. Therefore, he made the firm decision to renounce it, and never walked back.

It took him a year to eventually find the Gnostic teachings, but heaven rewarded him for following his heart, and thereby confirmed his efforts by giving him superior teachings.

You, on the other hand, have instructions telling you why it is wrong, but you continue to masturbate. What's missing in your case is that you do not comprehend why masturbation is wrong. If you comprehend why it is damaging, you will not dare to even touch yourself or think in such a horrible way. What you have is knowledge that masturbation is wrong, but not comprehension for why it is so.

Therefore, you have to know what you want. If you are unclear, you will continue to vacillate and deepen your pain. Decide now what it is you want, and follow through with your promises to God, if that is your will.