<![CDATA[Chicago Gnosis - Articles]]>Wed, 25 Nov 2020 05:12:40 -0600Weebly<![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 moral, spiritual, and ethical faculties, whose profound sacrifices and uncompromising service to others have mystified and perplexed the masses. Throughout cultures, societies, and empires based upon avarice, fear, and greed, the sincere, upright, and selfless conduct of such men and women have been all the more remarkable for their originality, intelligence, and compassion. 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 become corrupted due to exposure to human avarice, covetousness, and degeneration. 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 the unobstructed profundity of divine communion. 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 impetus, catalyst, and influence 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
[semen]
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.

Learn More:

]]>
<![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

Learn more:

The Perfect Matrimony

]]>
<![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. [...]

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 dimensional 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

Irregardless 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 compliment 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.

Related Books:

Related Courses

]]>
<![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. 
 
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.

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:


"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 to 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.

​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.

​How to Cleanse Oneself and Home

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.

​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?

I speak to all students of our website who continue to masturbate: If you chose 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.

​Repentance

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.
]]>
<![CDATA[How Do Drugs Affect Our Spiritual Development?]]>Sun, 17 May 2020 22:49:41 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/how-do-drugs-affect-our-spiritual-development
​Our interest in Gnosis is in reaching the full knowledge of the inner Being, which necessitates a radical psychological revolution, meaning that we must become fit vessels through which the Innermost can express. The path to achieve this is internal, psychological, and guided by the inner Being.
 
The method to achieve this has been taught by the greatest human beings: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, etc. When studied integrally, one can easily see they all taught the same methodology for the same path. Thus, since we seek to become like them, we follow in their footsteps. We aim to be like those masters, who are beautiful, pure beings, kings and queens over nature. A king or queen of nature commands nature, and is not dominated by nature, whether inside or outside. That is, such a master does not need plants or comestibles in order to awaken or acquire knowledge. They simply acquire it inside, through their own faculties.
 
We study the teachings of these great masters, not only the written scriptures that are made up of thousands of pages of deep and multilayered meanings, but also the secret knowledge that until very recently was not written down. In all of that knowledge, both written and secret, there is no mention anywhere of ingesting hallucinogens. The only places you will find such things are in teachings of black magic, which are very abundant, but only result in the formation of slaves of desire.
 
Those who sincerely practice according to the instructions given by the masters we study awaken consciousness, develop the powers of their inner Being to acquire knowledge directly, and thus they experience the steps of the path. This is known by all of our instructors and by the many thousands of students all over the world who are studying this path. All of us are experiencing what the greatest masters have taught. None of those masters taught the use of hallucinogens, thus none of us use such substances, need them, or want them.

​Meditation, Psychedelics, and Awakening

Meditation is the science of awakening and liberating consciousness.
 
Contrary to popular belief, recreational drugs and psychedelics are completely antithetical to meditation.
 
Meditation is not a technique: relaxation, breathing or concentration exercises. While these are preliminary and facilitate the experience of meditation, the latter is a state of consciousness: luminous, clear, and unconditioned.
 
The purpose of meditation is to liberate the consciousness from all conditioning, specifically the limitations of self, ego, desire―the “me, myself, and I.”
 
Within all the ancient mystery schools and spiritual teachings of the prophets, desire is strictly equated with ego, defects, or conditions that produce suffering. They taught that such desires, and the behaviors that perpetuate them, must be renounced, comprehended, and systematically eliminated to produce happiness, serenity, and genuine enlightenment.
 
“Desire never rests by enjoyment of lusts, as fire surely increases the more butter is offered to it.” ―Laws of Manu 2.94
 
Meditation, as a state of pristine awareness and clarified perception, is utilized to remove desire: the afflictive psychological states, egos, and conditions of mind.
 
Ingesting drugs does the opposite: they condition the psyche within its egotistical cage.
 
Introducing substances into the consciousness does not liberate it from its conditions.
 
Marijuana is not used by white magicians. It is only used by black magicians.
 
LSD is a poisonous chemical used only by black magicians.
 
Psilocybin, as a substance that occurs naturally in certain plants, has a very limited medicinal function when used by a doctor whose consciousness is awakened. However, this use is strictly limited.
 
In synthesis, there is no acceptable, casual use of these substances because of their inherent dangers. In addition, there is no need for them: the awakened experiences you want to have are much more safely and easily acquired by learning how to meditate.
 
Meditation poses no risk, yet bestows all of the greatest gifts one can acquire. Yet, people are too lazy to learn, and always seek justifications to feed their desires, such as for drugs.
 
Feeding the desire for drugs, especially with the sophistry of experimentation and having “spiritual” experiences, only fortifies the ego with its subsequent hallucinations, which is not the purpose of meditation. 

​Experiences through Drugs

Experiences through cannabis, marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ayahuasca, etc., are one hundred percent subjective and egotistical, within the inferior dimensions, the hell realms or Klipoth of the Hebraic Kabbalah.
 
Despite popular myths, there is no correct way to use drugs, because they all produce the conditioning of the consciousness.
 
Psychedelia comes from psyche (soul) and delia (drug). Some proponents of drug use state that such an etymology is not factual, since delia originates from delouse, signifying “to reveal.”
 
However, these “revelations,” perceptions, and visions are within conditioned states, egos, the hell realms.
 
“The extra-perceptions of a drug addict have their own roots in the abominable Kundabuffer organ (the tempting serpent of Eden).
 
“The consciousness imprisoned within the multiple elements that constitute the ego is limited in its processes by virtue of its own imprisonment.
 
“Egoistic consciousness comes in a comatose state with hypnotic hallucinations very similar to those of someone under the influence of any drug.
 
“We can present this matter in the following way: Hallucinations from the egoistic consciousness are the same as hallucinations brought about by drugs.
 
“It is obvious that these two types of hallucinations have their original causes in the abominable Kundabuffer organ (Read chapter 17 of The Great Rebellion).” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
 
Mind-altering drugs or chemicals do not produce spiritual enlightenment, since these awaken perceptions or hallucinations within desire.
 
The problem is that people have extrasensory experiences as a result of these substances, but what they lack is discrimination of what is genuinely positive or negative. They do not know the difference between the consciousness and the ego.
 
There is a clear difference between awakened states of free consciousness and the subjective states of the ego.
 
Many people smoke marijuana to have astral projections, as addressed in one question to Samael Aun Weor during a lecture:
 
"Student: There are many stimulant plants like marijuana, which, for example, serve in order to achieve astral projection in a quick manner…
 
"Samael Aun Weor: The chemical elements of drugs are harmful.
 
"Note that marijuana, like many other drugs, is one hundred percent subjective. It is true that by means of hallucinogenic mushrooms, LSD (Lysergic acid), etc., astral projections are achieved, indeed, but they are subjective and inhuman kinds of projections. They are processed in the infra-dimensions of nature and the cosmos, and are not conducive to authentic, transcendental, objective enlightenment. They fail. They are a detriment." ―Samael Aun Weor, “Questions About the Path”
 
There is nothing spiritual about desire, nor its hallucinations induced through plants and chemicals. The state of craving or aversion constitutes the ego, the self, which originates suffering.
 
The Being (divinity) and the ego (our inner satan) cannot mix, like oil and water. Drugs and meditation are incompatible. We naturally feel bliss in the consciousness free of the ego, yet drugs condition the soul and trap it in desire. Drugs cannot liberate the soul, but trap it. This is why divinity is very strict in every meditative tradition: do not take intoxicants. They will pollute your consciousness.
 
Genuine spirituality is about annihilating desire, so that the consciousness can be free, experiencing its own innate, blissful and divine nature.
 
Enlightened spiritual experiences are free of conditions, since they are the natural function of the awakened, liberated consciousness.
 
It is not necessary to ingest chemicals to awaken our natural state of being, since this is achievable through serious meditative training and psychological work.

​The Dangers of Drug Use

One must comprehend based on conscious experience why drugs are harmful―yet this doesn't justify experimentation with drugs. Instructors can repeatedly warn and provide an intellectual basis for such an abstention, but that will not give comprehension from the heart.
 
Many people argue that to understand drugs at all, one must have experimented with them. This is a non-sequitur fallacy, where the conclusion does not follow the premise.
 
Hearing how fire burns the hand is one thing, but being burned by it is another thing. To live, it is necessary to comprehend the dangers of fire. Yet by saying this, we are not instructing you to put your hand on a burning stove. It is not necessary to put your hand in the fire to know that it is dangerous, since one can learn its properties through observation.
 
In the same manner, we are not telling you that to know drugs are harmful, one must experiment with them. We only have to look at the life of drug addicts to perceive their affliction and low level of being. For “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16).
 
Comprehension of the ego and its illusory states lead the practical meditator to the conclusion that ingesting chemicals, plant substances, and intoxicants will deepen one’s identification with the animal “I,” because the hallucinations induced by drugs originate from the same Kundabuffer organ.
 
It is well known that drug use, recreationally or “spiritually,” degenerates the brain, heart, nervous and endocrine systems, sexual virility, etc. This affects the psychic connection between the mind or mental body to the physical brain.
 
“Obviously, drugs annihilate alpha waves. Then, unquestionably, the intrinsic connection between mind and brain is lost. This, in fact, results in total failure.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
 
When the brain is no longer connected with the mental body, it devolves, degenerates, and ceases to operate.
 
The behavior of drug addicts is well documented. They experience a systematic decay of ethics, moral judgment, discriminative faculties, and the ability to ascertain proper conduct in various social situations, all of which run contrary to the purpose of Gnosis and genuine spirituality.

​Drugs: A Gateway to Spirituality?

People are free to believe whatever they want about drugs. If students wish to continue using drugs for recreation, medical, or “mystical” purposes, that is a personal choice.
 
Despite the constant inquiries seeking the validation of drugs, our response will always be the same: psychedelics and recreational drugs condition the consciousness in hell, so that it remains awakened and trapped there. Ingesting psychedelics will keep one identified and trapped in the lower realms. There is no way to investigate and comprehend the lower realms of Kabbalah through drugs.
 
Even if some people find Gnosis while they are experimenting with drugs, that does not justify their use. What happens is that divinity is offering a means of escaping addiction, vice, and degeneration, i.e. through the teachings, not because DMT, LSD, ecstasy, marijuana, cannabis, ayahuasca, mandragora or mandrake root, peyote, or drugs led the way to spiritual realization. We teach how to liberate consciousness from these lower levels, not how to increase one's attachment to subjective and infernal states of being―so we will never advocate the use of intoxicants.
 
Our inner Being is trying to speak to us, to wake us up, in every moment of life. Some people nearly die before they awaken to the seriousness of their spiritual life. A personal tragedy, like the death of a loved one, can lead some into moral decay and others to God. Each experience matters due to what we make of it, how we respond. Even a shocking drug-induced episode can wake a person up when the Being fights to help the soul return to divinity, even though such an episode is traumatic, harmful, and unnecessary. But for some, this episode leads to addiction and confusion, while others set it aside and seek the truth within.
 
Why do psychedelics exist? In most cases, people continue to derive or ingest these substances to experience certain subjective sensations. They were then sold or given to others who may be open to such experiences, who would likewise become hypnotized by these sensations. Nowadays, they are produced mostly for drug users to make money and continue in their habits.
 
If some have the ability to experience war, illness, poverty, etc., as a chance to transform one’s life for the better, this is a good sign. But many misguided individuals consider themselves to be enlightened by whatever means and go off into even more confusion, because they cannot let go of desire.

​Objective Consciousness and Reality

The experience of reality beautifully unfolds when we let go of desires and when the proper causes are met: the mind is silent, serenity and concentration are established, and the consciousness free of ego is activated.
 
As for using free, objective consciousness to explore the hell realms, this can be very useful. In an objective state, we can see the immense suffering of these realms and cultivate compassion for those who are hypnotized by these subjective states. However, many of us on this planet have the majority of consciousness in the hell realms, and we see them through the filters of our attachments and desires, not as they truly are.
 
If we wish to escape hell, you need to awaken the free consciousness, not the consciousness trapped in the ego. Psychedelics fortify the egotistical consciousness and keep it enslaved and imprisoned to desire. Unconditioned consciousness, free from desire, is the only way to free the rest of the consciousness that is caged.
 
A prisoner cannot free anyone else if he or she is trapped in their own cell. You have to escape the cell first to free others. The same with the consciousness. 

​The Philosophy and Religion of Drugs

The philosophy and mysticism of psychedelics hypnotizes many people. This type of mentality is evident in drug addicts who, while deteriorating and filled with incredible suffering, continue to defend their addiction despite the evidence around them, the sorrows of their loved ones, socio-economic, sexual, marital problems, etc.
 
Do not let a vice become your religion:
 
“A drug addict turns vice into religion. Being misled, he thinks he experiences what is real under the influence of drugs. Unaware that the extra-perceptions produced by marijuana, L.S.D., morphine, hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine, heroin, hashish, tranquilizers in excess, amphetamine, barbiturates, etc., etc., are merely hallucinations produced by the abominable Kundabuffer organ.
 
“Drug addicts devolve and degenerate in time. In the end they are submerged permanently within the infernal worlds.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion

​Peyote, Astral Projection, and Shamanism

​There exists a very profound mysticism surrounding the conscious souls of nature for the development and betterment not only of our own spirituality, but of others.
 
Every plant in nature has soul, known as an elemental. The conscious, spiritual work with the souls of plants is referred to elementotherapy.
 
In the past, shamanic traditions and indigenous religions have utilized the souls of plants to awaken consciousness.
 
Certain Masters of the White Lodge would work with certain elementals of plants, as explained by Samael Aun Weor in Igneous Rose and Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic, to help disciples. However, you will not find these masters in the physical plane, but in the internal dimensions.
 
We have personally received help in the internal worlds from masters who administered help through the elemental magic of specific plants. Yet we make this explicitly clear: you will not find these masters in the physical world, but inside.
 
Humanity is now so degenerated that authentic shamans and spiritual doctors are not easily found. Due to the dangers, it is best to avoid them in the physical world, and seek them within.
 
What you will find in this world, however, are confused individuals who use plants and substances to awaken conditioned consciousness: ego. They sincerely believe that perceptions induced by ingesting these plants are positive and objective. We call such persons, with awakened perception through conditioning, demons. Many people submit to such "wolves in sheep's clothing" due to naivety, inexperience, imprudence, and indiscretion.
 
There are countless people in this physical world who perform ceremonies to certain psychedelic plants and substances. However, "drug addicts turn their vice into a religion" and are filled with innumerable excuses to justify their desires.
 
Even positive practices with elementals have been abused due to the degeneration of these shamanic traditions. One such example is peyote.
 
The elemental of peyote has been traditionally used to provoke astral projections. Yet the original purity of such practices have been adulterated, corrupted, and lost through innovations and abuse.
 
To truly benefit from the elementals of plants such as peyote, it is necessary to enact the cosmic laws, ethical conduct, and divine principles necessary to command nature, not to be a slave of it.
 
As related in a lecture by Samael Aun Weor:
 
"Student: You as well as the Master Huiracocha once spoke about peyote, precisely as help for these cases of astral projection.
 
"Samael Aun Weor: Peyote is quite different. The elemental of peyote cooperates, yes, with meditation, it does not create any kind of tendencies. Yet, the elemental is very demanding: it demands chastity. In no way will peyote help, for instance, the indecent, lustful ones. It has rules.
 
"Master Huiracocha talked about peyote. He narrated how the Master Rassinchi, inside the Temple of Chapultepec, used peyote in order to cause an astral projection. This is the only recommended plant with the condition of not abusing of it, since this is only for the K. H. [Kosmic Humans]. A student who wanted to use it for the third time, after receiving several instructions, was called to order by the lords of karma, and was prohibited from continuing with it; to be more precise, he was abusing it. Therefore, peyote’s elemental is useful, but one needs to know the proper procedures, and do not ever abuse it.
 
"As for other drugs, I will not say anything.
 
"We cannot consider peyote as a drug. It is a harmless plant that doest not create any kind of habit and that only cooperates with meditation, when one knows how to meditate. Someone could ingest much peyote and will not have any results. Another could chew a little bit of it, a few grams, and get an extraordinary result. The secret is to know how to meditate. The elemental cooperates with the one who knows how to meditate. The elemental really helps, but since it is illegal in some countries, of course we cannot in anyway recommend it." ―Samael Aun Weor, “Questions About the Path”
 
"We do not recommend the use of this marvelous cactus... Indeed, what we recommend is practice, much practice, and soon you will act and travel within the Astral body." ―Samael Aun Weor, Aztec Christic Magic
 
One can achieve full and complete development without peyote, therefore it is not necessary. Considering how vulnerable humanity is to temptation, and how easy it is to be distracted from the real work, it is advisable to avoid potential dangers. Moreover, in many places it is illegal. Why court danger, when the path is dangerous enough on its own? Therefore, we advise avoiding reliance on external substances.

​Did God Create Drugs?

Despite these explanations, some have asked: If peyote, marijuana, and other plants are harmful to consume, why did God create drugs?
 
The question is: Who said God made everything? God did not make concentration camps, atomic bombs, tequila, pornography, worldwide pollution, poisonous chemicals, etc. We took elements from nature and made our world the way it is now. "Drugs" are our invention.

​The Demon of Alcohol

Firstly, regarding alcohol, no one here will tell you what to do. That is up to you to decide based on recommendations and advice.
 
Regarding alcohol, Samael Aun Weor was very clear in his writings:
 
“Never drink the accursed liquor, I tell you, because if you drink it you will quickly stray from the path.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower
 
Alcohol is not necessary for self-realization. However, with one drop of liquor, one can stray from the path.
 
"With the sinister demon Algol, it is impossible to make compromises, arrangements, or any kind of crooked deal. Alcohol is very treacherous and sooner or later will stab us in the back. Many people with Thelema (will) only drink one or two glasses a day; a terrific ruse, isn’t it?" ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower
 
As stated in the teachings and known by science, alcohol is a poison. We have to remember that the physical body is the temple of the Lord. Therefore, to be successful in alchemical practice, it is necessary to keep our temple pure. Alcohol destroys the body, mind and soul, and highly toxifies the blood. We know that the blood is the vehicle of the spirit, and when our blood is weak, toxic and impure, the quality of our seminal energy is also effected.
 
"There is no question that being a product of disintegration... alcohol has a vibratory disintegrating, dissolving and destructive tendency, drying our tissues and destroying the nerve cells, which are then gradually substituted by cartilage.
 
"It is clearly evident that alcohol tends to eliminate the capacity for independent thought and calm judgment since it fatally stimulates fantasy. It also shockingly debilitates ethical sense and individual liberty." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower
 
In other words, alcohol promotes the exact opposite of the path.

Dionysus, the god of revelry and wine, is a symbol of two distinct, contrasting forms of psychology.

The positive polarity of the Dionysian influence is spiritual intoxication through objective consciousness, unconditioned mystical experiences, chastity, positive astral projections, lucid awakening in dreams, purity in ethics, body, speech, and mind, etc.

The negative polarity of the Dionysian influence is intoxication of the ego through lust, fornication, drugs, and alcoholism.

Regarding both polarities of Dionysus, you can learn more in: The Aquarian New Year.
 
A student once said, "This path is not a path of deprivation." Actually, this path is 100% about depriving the ego of what strengthens it, such as fornication, drugs, alcohol, etc. The consciousness, the Being, does not need or want alcohol.
 
Alcohol degenerates the mind, heart, and body. This is why it was forbidden by Prophet Muhammad amongst his disciples.
 
“O you who have faith! Indeed intoxicants [alcohol, drugs], gambling, idols and the divining arrows are abominations of Satan’s doing, so avoid them, so that you may be felicitous.” ―Qur’an 5:90
 
Samael Aun Weor also specified that the Gnostic must not drink, smoke, or fornicate.
 
Knowing alcohol is destructive is one thing. But comprehending its destructive attributes is another.
 
The alcoholic knows alcohol is harmful, yet continues to drink anyway. Therefore, knowing alcohol is harmful does nothing.
 
The person who comprehends how alcohol is destructive to the spiritual work no longer drinks it, because one understands the need to keep one's temple (physical body) clean and suitable for the Being. This is comprehension.
 
Some people believe that to comprehend alcohol, it should be tolerated and consumed. However, as Samael Aun Weor states:
 
“Liquor and fornication must be banished from the bosom of Gnostic homes. However, we must not be fanatics. Whoever is incapable of handling one drink at a social gathering is as weak as someone who cannot control his liquor and gets drunk.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
 
This line about handling a drink does not mean that one should willingly drink alcohol, especially just to "prove" something. Rather, it means that one should know how to handle social situations with grace: holding a drink does not mean one gets drunk. In this case, the graceful one avoids offending his hosts, yet also avoids intoxication. This is how we fool the foolish.
 
There are people who claim that avoiding alcohol is fanatical, thus they drink to "prove" they are not "fanatics." Perhaps they prove they are not fanatics, but they also prove they are stupid, for by that reasoning, they should also fornicate, take drugs, murder, rob, and in general perform all the other actions that lead to suffering. This is how their ego fools them easily. Wanting to prove themselves strong, they instead prove they are weak.
 
“And who are these idiots who seek to negotiate with Satan? Listen, my friends! With the sinister demon Algol, it is impossible to make compromises, arrangements, or any kind of crooked deal. Alcohol is very treacherous and sooner or later will stab us in the back.”  ―Samael Aun Weor, 
The Mystery of the Golden Flower
 
Nevertheless, there is evil in good and good in evil. This is how we sometimes find medicine in poison. There are medicinal treatments that utilize small amounts of alcohol. These treatments are not sufficient to create intoxication. If someone becomes intoxicated, they have consumed too much.
 
As you can see in the medicine book, there are medicinal uses for alcohol, but in very small doses. Yet once again, many people drink it for "medicinal purposes," when in reality they are drinking it because of desire for it.

​Drugs and Gnostic Medicine

If you study Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic, you will find that many presumed impure or even poisonous sources can provide medicine. This is evidence that the genuine Gnostic approach is not fundamentalist, shallow-minded, or judgmental, but rather seeks to use what is useful while discarding what is not. Any element in nature can be used for benefit or for harm. However, humanity has no idea how to discriminate between them, since humanity is dominated by desires, hypnotized by whatever appears to produce blissful sensations, and oblivious to the harm that results from their mistaken actions.
 
Elementals are simply the intelligence in living things. When you look into the eyes of an animal, the elemental is gazing back at you. If you study the mentioned book, it will explain.

​Smoking

Cigarettes destroy the pulmonary and circulatory systems, which are essential to sexual magic. The oxygen or Prana should infiltrate our blood, purifying our internal glands and systems. Yet when we smoke tobacco, the lungs become incapacitated in their intake of oxygen.
 
Prana, signified by the Hebrew letter א Aleph, becomes obstructed in its process of purifying the blood, or דם Dam. א Prana / oxygen and דם blood together spell אדם Adam, the man made into the image of God. Therefore, if we pollute our דם blood, we make it more difficult for א Aleph to purify it, thereby obstructing us on our path to becoming אדם Adam.

​Medical Marijuana

While marijuana is medically used to treat symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue, it comes with a cost to the consciousness.
 
There are many ways to heal the body, soul, and mind without resorting to marijuana or the elemental of marijuana. Therefore, since most people only want to get high, we do not recommend using this plant.
 
There also exist many plants that intoxicate the soul once smoked, inhaled or ingested. This is due to the fact that fire, Fohat, releases chemicals by transforming matter.
 
Smoking plants introduces many harmful chemicals into the body due to the destructive and transformative capacities of Fohat, and in the case of marijuana, ingesting its chemicals is absolutely detrimental to the soul, since it fortifies our animal nature in a terrible manner, heightened even more through crystallizing its properties through fire.
 
This is why we do not recommend smoking or ingesting intoxicating plants, i.e. marijuana, nicotine, yage, at all. Smoking is a filthy habit that Samael Aun Weor expressly forbade his students from engaging in.
 
There was once a cult in the middle east called the hashishans, who would ritually smoke hashish, marijuana, in order to awaken themselves in the ego and to murder for their religious leader. This is where we get the term "assassin."
 
Therefore, those who smokes hashish or marijuana assassinate their inner Buddha.

​The Astral Atmosphere of Drug Addicts

Consuming alcohol, intoxicants, and drugs not only has adverse effects upon ones psychology, but also one’s home environment, aura, energy, and psychic atmosphere.
 
Spiritual literature speaks often of incubi and succubi, negative, self-created astral entities that, due to fornication, adhere themselves to the astral atmosphere of their progenitors. Through masturbation and lust, fornicators engender such diabolic entities that have a singular purpose: to drain the sexual life force from their creators.
 
Drugs, alcohol, and excessive stimulants feed such entities and give them tremendous strength:
 
“By permitting his senses to become deadened through indulgence in habit-forming drugs or alcoholic stimulants, the individual becomes temporarily en rapport with these denizens [succubi and incubi] of the astral plane." ― Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
 
Such entities can be eradicated by changing one’s behaviors and cleansing our homes with high quality incense, invocations, and prayers. Learn how to defend and beautify your Home and Altar

​Mixing Gnosis with Drugs 

There are people all over the world who mix drugs with Gnosis. These people define themselves as demons.
 
This is why Samael Aun Weor announced, sadly, towards the end of his lifetime, that the entire country of Colombia has produced a rich harvest of hasnamussen: beings with a split personality: one heavenly, one diabolic―an abortion of the Divine Mother.
 
Why? Because the Gnostic rituals are extremely powerful. When you mix the energies of Christ with hallucinogenic mushrooms, ayahuasca, marijuana, LSD, acid, or drugs, you take those powers and awaken them in the ego.
 
“All rituals have to do with blood and semen. Ritual is a double-edged sword that defends and gives life to the pure and virtuous, but hurts and destroys the impure and tenebrous. Ritual is more powerful than dynamite and the knife.
 
“One deals with nuclear forces in a ritual. Atomic energy is a gift of God that can heal just as it can kill. Therefore, every temple within which the Holy Gnostic Unction is celebrated, is in fact and for this reason an atomic energy plant.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
 
It is only in rituals of black magic, black masses, where chemicals, intoxicants, and drugs are utilized. Black masses incorporate drugs to provoke delirium, hallucinations, and convulsions, accompanied with rape, orgies, and sexual violence. Such acts produce a synergy of devolving forces, which precipitate the consciousness of their practitioners into diabolic awakenings and the fortification of desire. 

​Intelligence Resolves Problems, Not Drugs

"You may have a tremendous and explosive experience through one of these drugs, but will the deep-rooted aggression, bestiality and sorrow of man disappear? If these drugs can solve the intricate and complex problems of relationship, then there is nothing more to be said, for then relationship, the demand for truth, the ending of sorrow, are all a very superficial affair to be resolved by taking a pinch of the new golden drug. Surely this is a false approach, isn't it? It is said that these drugs give an experience approximating to reality, therefore they give hope and encouragement. But the shadow is not the real; the symbol is never the fact. As is observed throughout the world, the symbol is worshipped and not the truth. So isn't it a phoney assertion to say that the result of these drugs is near the truth? No dynamic golden pill is ever going to solve our human problems. They can be solved only by bringing about a radical revolution in the mind and the heart of man. This demands hard, constant work, seeing and listening, and thus being highly sensitive. The highest form of sensitivity is the highest intelligence, and no drug ever invented by man will give this intelligence." ―Krishnamurti, The Only Revolution, Europe, Collected Works (Volume 13)
]]>
<![CDATA[COVID-19: A Time of Opportunity]]>Sun, 22 Mar 2020 17:17:41 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/covid-19-a-time-of-opportunityHumanity is in an unprecedented era of change. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens from every walk of life are forced to confront the terrible reality of their existence and the constitution of their moral caliber. Through the reduction and constraints of their regular commitments, individuals are compelled, under threat of possible infection, to examine the quality, foundations, and substance of their life. One's unconscious assumptions of "how things should be" in times of crisis belie a deeper, consummate reality and concern: whether or not a life of ignorance and fascination with the desiderata of life's banality is better than questioning the genuine causes and origins of affliction. Contrary to the biased logic of mass hysteria, people from every religious or secular tradition, under quarantine, are given a wonderful opportunity to evaluate and elevate their particular level of being. 

Throughout many spiritual traditions, retreat has been practiced to establish, deepen, and maintain the greatest meditative disciplines and the actualization of divine experience. Disciples of every religion would take time in seclusion, ignoring the influence of mundane obligations, anxieties, stress, and worries, to focus on the more important matter of awakening and developing the soul. Free from worldly conditions, engagements, and pursuits, meditators introspect within the depths of their own consciousness in order to contemplate the source of sorrow and discover its remedy: profound comprehension and elimination of psychological defects, including the driver of all social hierarchies, institutions, and economies: fear.

Negative emotions have infected the entire globe as COVID-19 rapidly spreads. Fear, despair, and pessimism, rather than infect the body, are true diseases that infect the heart and mind. Anger, terror, and morbidity are far more contagious and dangerous than any virus, since negative emotions incapacitate the ability to reason, analyze, and solve problems, obscuring the discovery of relevant, practical solutions. Fear pushes countries to war, since they mistakenly believe that security and comfort comes through invasions, colonialism, and violence. This is why Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic Tradition, stated:


"Everyone is being dragged down by negative emotions, and this is very grave. There is nothing more harmful for profound internal development than negative emotions... Everyone is being shaken up by negative emotions and nothing could be more contagious than these emotions...

"A negative person can infect other negative people, and if this person dictates a lecture, then he infects thousands of people. They are more dangerous, thousand of times more dangerous, than viruses and bacteria...

"If a person goes everywhere from instant to instant with negative emotions, this person infects the whole world." ―Samael Aun Weor, Alcyone and Negative Emotions

This is why the most venerated spiritual traditions have always emphasized and practiced meditation retreats: to confront in oneself the possibilities and motives of conflict, egotism, and misery. By separating from the world, meditators learn to perceive the psychological causes that engender painful circumstances and therefore remove them with intelligence and understanding.

Spiritual Retreat

While every religion has a contemplative tradition, Sufism offers valuable wisdom and particular insights regarding the parameters of meditation retreat.

Traditionally, Sufi masters would diagnose the needs of their disciples and determine whether they would benefit from entering retreat, due to the level of rigor, skill, and quality of internal work expected from them. This strict and conservative stipulation is a marked characteristic of the Piscean influence, since a codified adherence to a physical master was needed at the time
, not only to determine the inner remedies for a student's deficiencies in temperament and character, but to qualify the spiritual worth of the candidate for the most elevated mystical knowledge.

Since the 1960's, our world has operated under the Aquarian influence, an Era defined by the dissemination and free exchange of mystical knowledge that was once forbidden and inaccessible to the public, but reserved for an elite through a secretive oral tradition
 between master and disciple. The secret teachings of all ages are now available, for the first time, to the public, because humanity no longer has time to abandon the world and study under the tutelage of a master for many decades. This is due to the impending cataclysms and calamities that mark the end and beginning of new cosmic ages.

In the Piscean Era, the master was found in a physical institution. In the Aquarian Era, the master is found within the internal worlds: the mysterious Tree of Life accessible only to practical meditators and internal experience. 

Piscean knowledge demands obedience. Aquarian wisdom embodies independence.

What is old clings to life, and what is new cries for the death of the antiquated.

Due to quarantine, individuals are free to enter into spiritual retreat for the sake of their spirituality and the edification of their hearts without outward restrictions, impositions, or Piscean dogma.

The Principles of Retreat

Meditation retreat is a means of internal purification of conditioned states of mind and has been recommended, practiced, and upheld by the prophets of all great religious traditions:

"Khalwah, retreat, belongs to the purified, while uzlah, withdrawal from the world, marks the people of union. The seeker needs to withdraw from his own kind in the beginning stages. Then, in the last stages, he needs to retreat in order to confirm himself in intimacy with God." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

Khalwah, meditation retreat, can be practiced in the solitude of one's own home. At the end of this article you will find recommendations for how to initiate and maintain a tentative meditation retreat schedule alongside different activities you can select from in accordance with your needs.

Withdrawal from the world is not only a form of self-reflection for masters of meditation, but a psychological state of detachment from mundane afflictions. Meditation becomes a means by which to achieve intimacy with divinity through mystical experiences and awakened consciousness during meditation and the normal hours of sleep.

Intentions for Retreat

Contrary to popular belief, meditators do not enter retreat to avoid the negativities of the world, but to protect humanity from their own negative, egotistical psychological states.

"If the servant chooses to withdraw, his intention must be to separate himself from people so that they will be safe from his evil—he must not be looking to protect himself from their evil. For the first of these attitudes come from thinking little of one’s own ego, while the second comes from making oneself out to be better than other people. A person who thinks little of himself is humble, while a person who sees himself as better than anybody else is arrogant." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

These are essential principles to consider. Given the realities of quarantine, students have the wonderful opportunity to work on their own defects so that, once external circumstances change, the disciple is psychologically prepared to face whatever hardships, extremities, or novelties emerge in relation to the global pandemic.

Rules of Retreat

"One of the rules of withdrawal is that whoever goes into seclusion must acquire the knowledge that makes his commitment to unity (tawhid) firm, so that satan (the "me, myself, and I," the animal ego) cannot seduce him through the (conditioned or negative) imagination (fantasy or delusional perceptions). Then he should acquire enough knowledge of the divine law (ethical conduct) that he is able to fulfill his religious duties so that his undertaking maybe built on definite and sure foundations." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

Retreats are based upon one's commitment to unity, which, as a prominent theological point within Islam, has nuanced implications within the esoteric interpretations of Sufism.

Divinity is a perfect unity, a defined quality of Being, yet due to our own multiplicity of defects, vices, and errors
the pluralistic ego which traps the full potentiality of our consciousness―​we are fractured beings lacking integration. To know the unity of divinity, the perfected states of the Being, requires that we integrate the consciousness through fulfilling divine law: the ethical discipline of internal meditation.

The consciousness, heart, or soul can serve as a mirror to reflect divine realities, yet it must be polished daily through the ethical conduct of self-observation, self-remembrance, meditation, runes, sacred rites of rejuvenation, mantras, prayers, alchemy, and through many other esoteric exercises within the Gnostic Tradition of Samael Aun Weor.

Through fulfilling the laws of requisites of religion, the consciousness that was trapped within the ego can be liberated and integrated, producing illumination or enlightenment.

"There is an organ in the body that, if it is righteous, ensures that the whole system will be righteous; and if it is corrupt, the whole body will become corrupt. This organ is the heart. There is a polish for everything that takes away rust; and the polish for the heart is dhikr, the remembrance of Allah." ―Prophet Muhammad, Hadith

Learn more about the principles of retreat:

Audio Lecture

A Recommended Schedule for Spiritual Retreat

The following is a meditation retreat schedule you can follow and adapt in accordance with your needs:
  • 5:00 - 7:00 A.M. Meditation
  • 7:00 - 8:00 A.M. Runes
  • 8:00 - 9:00 A.M. Breakfast
  • 9:00 - 11:00 A.M. Meditation
  • 11:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. Sacred Rites of Rejuvenation
  • 12:00 - 1:00 P.M. Lunch
  • 1:00 - 3:00 P.M. Free Time
  • 3:00 - 5:00 P.M. Lecture / Scripture Study
  • 5:00 - 6:00 PM. Dinner
  • 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. Meditation
  • 8:00 - 9:00 P.M. Dream Yoga / Jinn Exercises

Recommended Sources for Meditation and Spiritual Practices

]]>
<![CDATA[Walking the Path of Balance]]>Mon, 30 Dec 2019 21:11:57 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/walking-the-path-of-balance
Many new Gnostic students often write to us that they are overwhelmed by the breadth, depth, and profundity of the writings of Samael Aun Weor. There are simply so many spiritual exercises available that it becomes difficult to discern not just how to practice, but what, specifically in the context of a given day.

Gnosis is a path of balance. It is also personal, unique, and individual. While there are hundreds of techniques in our tradition, all of them establish and maintain serenity, awareness, and psychological equilibrium in accordance with students' idiosyncrasies. It would be impossible to apply all of the techniques in one's daily schedule, yet we can synthesize these practices into three categories, so that identifying and cultivating our own spiritual discipline becomes easier.
These three areas relate to three aspects of our basic psychological makeup:

  • Through the intellect: studying the words of the initiates.
  • Through the heart: by meditation.
  • Through our actions: by working with creative energy.

Practicing Gnosis effectively depends upon a strong understanding of how our three brains (five centers) function: intellect, emotions, and action.

Gnosis provides numerous exercises to aid in balancing these three brains or centers of our human machine.

While most students are already familiar with studying gnosis intellectually, there are some helpful principles to consider when approaching a book, lecture, text, or initiatic work, so as to maximize one's leisure time for studying the doctrine.

Learning gnosis is not about memorization, but comprehension. Having the capacity to recite, word-for-word, the lines of any scripture, does not indicate that the student has deeply understood the practical importance of such verses.

"It is necessary to study much and acquire knowledge, but it is also urgent to develop the spiritual Being within us.

"Knowledge without having the spiritual Being harmoniously well developed within us becomes the cause of that which is called “swindling.” Whereas, having the Being well developed within us, but without any type of intellectual knowledge, is the origin of stupid saints.

"A stupid saint has his spiritual Being very well developed, however, since he does not have intellectual knowledge, he cannot do anything because he does not know how.  Yes, a stupid saint has the power of doing, but he cannot do because he does not know how.

"Intellectual knowledge without the spiritual Being very well developed produces intellectual confusion, perversity, pride, etc."
 ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education: "Wisdom and Love"

Knowledge is of the intellect. While necessary in order to live in this physical world, knowledge by itself, divorced from practice and experience, is not only useless, but harmful. We can know many particulars of esoteric knowledge: astral projections, out of body experiences, jinn travels, awakened perceptions within the dream state, telepathy, the Tree of Life, Kabbalah, Alchemy, etc., and yet have no practical experience of these subjects for ourselves.

When knowledge overrides being, students and even so-called missionaries of this movement become "swindlers," possessing vast amounts of intellectual data, but no conscious development. Students often become swindled when their teachers, who profess such experiential wisdom, have no practical understanding of it for themselves, and therefore cannot offer any real guidance to orient their suffering disciples.

Comprehension is much different. It is conscious experience of the awakened soul, the Essence. Comprehension is when we know, directly, the significance of a particular passage or symbol. This relates to the profound functionalism of the heart center, the emotional brain.

Students who have a lot of experiences, but have no intellectual knowledge of the scriptures and teachings, easily get confused, and become, what Samael Aun Weor denominated, "stupid saints." Therefore, both knowledge and being are both important. What matters is that we balance the two in order to spark the fires of comprehension.

When we die, memory will not carry over from the grave into a new existence, in accordance with the doctrine of cosmic transmigration. If we wish to never forget what we study, we must experience it, since such knowledge then transforms into experiential wisdom of the superlative, awakened consciousness.

Balancing Intellectual Study

The question then becomes: "How do I study Gnosis? How do I take what I learn, intellectually, and make it conscious, so that, upon dying, I do not forget what I've read?"

Samael Aun Weor answered this beautifully in The Revolution of the Dialectic:

"With the practice, the experience or the direct living of any of the works that I have delivered to humanity, the practitioner will obviously achieve psychological emancipation.

"There exist people who speak marvels about reincarnation, Atlantis, alchemy, the ego, astral projection, etc. However, they are experts on these matters only in the external world because they are only being informed intellectually. Deep down, these people do not know anything, and at the hour of death these expositors remain with nothing but knowledge stored in their memory. In the beyond, this does not serve any purpose because they continue with their consciousness asleep.

"We have wasted our time miserably if we are imprisoned only in theories, if we have not carried out anything practical, if we have not become conscious about what I have taught in my books, or if we leave the teachings in the memory.

"Memory is the formative principle of the Intellectual Center. When a person aspires for something more, looking through the limitations of his subconsciousness, seeing what he has deposited in his memory, analyzing and meditating upon the last occurrence or teachings of an esoteric book, only then will those values move to the emotional phase of the same Intellectual Center.

"When one wants to know the deep meaning of certain teachings and surrenders in full to meditation, such teachings obviously move on to the Emotional Center and then they come to be felt in the depth of the soul.

"When one has purely experienced these teachings (the cognizable values of the essence), then at last they remain deposited in the consciousness and are never again lost. The essence becomes enriched with the same cognizable values.

"Now we comprehend the way to become conscious of the Gnostic teachings that I have delivered through my previously written books, as well as through this one.

"Meditation is formidable in order to make us conscious of the Gnostic teachings, but let us not commit the error of leaving the teachings exclusively in theories or in the memory. If we proceed in this manner we will never achieve the dominion of the mind."
―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic: "Practice"


When you meditate, take a verse from your reading and concentrate upon it. Ask your Innermost, your Divine Mother Kundalini, to help you comprehend the deep significance of this verse or passage.

You can recite the verse mentally if that helps you to concentrate in the beginning. You can also visualize the contents of the passage in your imagination.

Pray deeply to your internal God. To pray is to talk with divinity. You do not need formulas to speak with your physical parents, neither for your divine parents. Ask from the center of your heart about the meaning of the scripture or verse you are studying.

After asking your question, empty your mind. Clear your intellectual center and enter profound concentration. Do not let your mind wander or think of other things.

​You might experience a chain of associative thinking, where the intellect tries to answer the question for you. Do not go along with it. Merely watch, vigilant in spiritual warfare, over the clouds of memories, anxieties, concepts, and thoughts that pass within the screen of your attention.

If your mind thinks of these things, do not repress them. Do not justify them either. Instead, be alert, vigilant, and watchful. See them as something separate from you, since you, as a consciousness, an Essence, is free and perceptive, examining and looking at the contents of the mind.

If you persist with this exercise, if you do not forget what you are doing, and while provoking a state of drowsiness and slumber with alert cognition, you will suddenly experience flashes of insight. This is known as imaginative knowledge. This can emerge as scenes, living dramas, internal experiences, whereby you are both a spectator and participant. You may perceive new symbols that inspire your consciousness, which is the arena of inspired knowledge. When you deeply comprehend the significance of such visions, you have successfully entered into the field of intuitive knowledge.

These three forms of knowledge are the three obligatory steps to initiation. To learn more about this process, you can study the following lecture: Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition.

Meditation: Developing Comprehension and the Emotional Brain

Meditation is not only useful for comprehending scriptures, but for understanding our own psychology.

The most important aspect of meditation for achieving psychological change is comprehension and death of the ego.

Without the elimination of desire, the pluralized ego, the "I" on a daily basis, we will not be able to effectively awaken our consciousness or experience the internal realities of the higher dimensions through dream yoga.

When defects like avarice, laziness, lust, pride, anger, envy, and gluttony are annihilated, we develop their corresponding virtues: altruism, diligence, chastity, humility, conscious love, philanthropy, and temperance.

Contrary to popular belief among certain Gnostic groups, meditation on the death of the ego is the most important practice we can engage with, not alchemy. Alchemy is important for entering the higher degrees of the spiritual path, yet without a practical foundation in comprehending and dying to the ego, then no amount of alchemical work will avail us.

​Samael Aun Weor wrote of these dangers quite often, that a person who practices alchemy but does not die to the self transforms him or herself into a hasnamuss (an abortion of the Cosmic Mother) with a double center of gravity.

Therefore, you should learn to practice psychoanalytical meditation (retrospection meditation on the death of desire) as the most essential component of your discipline.

However, to learn retrospective meditation, the student needs to develop serenity (concentration) first. Below are some valuable resources for how to begin approaching the technique of psychoanalytical meditation:

Energy Work and Selfless Service

While meditation is important, it is impossible to access deeper states of serenity, consciousness, and awakening without the use of creative energy.

This is a fundamental aspect of the Gnostic teachings that is not found in mainstream spiritual writings. Without knowing how to properly transform and direct creative force, primarily the sexual energy, then the consciousness or soul will have no fuel to have spiritual experience.

Just as light cannot emerge without proper circuitry, or a lamp without well-sustained oil, the spiritual student cannot positively awaken the light of their consciousness without the assistance of transmutation.

Our tradition has innumerable exercises for transforming and transmuting the seminal matter, or elevating the sexual force. Transmutation means "to carry over through mutation," to "transform" the substance of the semen into energy.

As an essential point, students who have not dedicated themselves to conserving and transmuting their sexual energy daily cannot achieve any progress. The vast majority of students' complaints, that they cannot meditate or experience divinity, is due to a lack of chastity (sexual purity, not to be confused with sexual abstention).

Not only must we save energy, but we must consciously direct it. We do so through selfless service, finding ways to help humanity with our unique skills, talents, and dispositions.

When we learn how to support and benefit the spirituality of others, we accelerate and catalyze our own spiritual development.


Learn ways to serve humanity!

Exercises for Awakening Spiritual Energy

The following resources will also teach you how to work with the creative energy. The two most essential are pranayama (for singles) and alchemy (for married couples).

However, we have included many other exercises to help you, which you can pick and choose in accordance with your needs. Select what works best for you in your situation.

Pranayama for Single Practitioners

Alchemy Techniques for Married Couples
Mantras and Prayers for Protection
Runes
Spiritual Rituals for Strength and Healing
Sacred Rites of Rejuvenation
Yet remember that to find balance in your own work, you will need a combination of all three aspects:
  • Intellectual study (with meditation)
  • Comprehension and Retrospection Meditation on the death of the ego
  • Energy work (through transmutation, runes, alchemy, pranayama, etc.) ​directed towards selfless service

In synthesis, these constitute three factors for the revolution of the consciousness.
  • Birth (transmutation of sexual energy)
  • Death (of the ego in meditation)
  • Sacrifice (serving humanity, i.e. knowing, practicing, and providing the doctrine)
]]>
<![CDATA[Spiritual Practice with Melchizedek]]>Thu, 19 Dec 2019 08:00:00 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/spiritual-practice-with-melchizedek
Saturday, February 13 and Saturday, March 13 of 2021 are very special days within the Gnostic tradition. These are the only days in the year where the 13th falls on a Saturday, indicating to us through practical astrology the manifestation of powerful planetary influences. Therefore, at the 13th hour (1 o'clock in the afternoon) 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 judgement?'

"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 Pistis Sophia

The number 13, in accordance with The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, signifies death, purification, and the elimination of defects that obstruct the light of divinity within the consciousness. Therefore, the planetary intelligence Melchizedek can aid the practitioner on any Saturday the 13th at 1 PM, the thirteenth hour, to give inner strength and assistance in the elimination of one's internal faults and impurities. 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 lead the soul "into the Treasury of the Light," the heavenly realms. 

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."


May the Lord God of Truth within bring you harmony, peace and understanding!
]]>
<![CDATA[The Aquarian New Year]]>Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:49:18 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/the-aquarian-new-year
Nature is cyclical, sustained through distinct, repeating periods of time (days, months, seasons). The rhythms and tempos of our Earth, Moon, Sun, constellations, and worlds, act upon the physical and internal nature of the human being in definitive ways. Such forces have been judiciously studied throughout numerous astrological and astronomical traditions, which all point with exactitude to particular cosmic influences.

Regardless of our knowledge, beliefs, or acceptance of the facts, such conditions profoundly act upon our body, energies, and mind, often moving humanity to act in unconscious, mechanical, or revolutionary ways.

Just as there are planetary seasons, there are also celestial periods of time. Humanity, while knowledgeable of and dependent upon the conditions of spring, summer, autumn, and fall, is also dependent, but ignorant of greater cosmic phenomena, which determine not only our physical existence, but the trajectory, level, and quality of our spirituality.
(The Constellation of Aquarius)
Our solar system travels across the zodiacal belt, receiving the stellar influences of particular constellations. Just as the hand of a clock points with precision to the time of day, likewise our zodiac determines cosmological aeons or periods of time within zodiacal history. Our solar system experiences twelve distinct eras or periods, which respectively take prominence every two thousand years.

​Presently, our humanity has moved away from the Era of Pisces and is now governed by the constellatory influence of Aquarius.

Aquarian Sexuality

On February 4–5, 1962, humanity witnessed a new moon, a full solar eclipse, and the remarkable alignment of the seven primary planets of our solar system with the Earth: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. All seven planets were within three degrees of each other, indicating with prophetic exactitude the initiation of a new cosmic era with all of its cataclysms, revolutions, and transformations: the Age of Aquarius.

Uranus is the chief planet associated with Aquarius and bears a direct relationship to sexual behavior. The Chaldean Ur-Anas signifies "fire" or the Hebrew אור Aur, "light," and anas, "water." These fires of spirituality are born from the Genesiatic waters, a symbol of sexual energy within all ancient cosmogonies and scriptures.

Light, understanding, and practical spirituality are born when aspirants learn to work with the source of their creative genius: the transformation of the base sexual matter into a purified, synthetic energy: a sacrament of Uranus, Ouranos, the Greek word for "heaven." This is the metallurgical science of alchemy: the symbolic transformation of inferior metals (dense matter and egotism) into the purified gold of the spirit (conscious development). This is how spiritual aspirants can truly generate a new life, a revolution of conscious expression.

​Sexual energy is not only the power of physical life, but spirituality as well. There is sexuality amongst molecules that make chemical compounds; between atoms, neutrons, and electrons; between planets and the sun; within the animal kingdom; and lastly, amongst humans and divine beings.


Sexuality is also the basis of authentic religion [from the Latin religare, to "reunite"]. It is literally the union, on a psycho-physical, bio-spiritual, and sexual-chemical level, of two bodies and souls: one who loves more, the other who loves better. In the sexual act, man and woman have the capacity to create, and with this power, become a living representation of divinity.

Sexual behavior has the greatest impact for psychological well-being. It is also the source of many intense psychological traumas and diseases, which are deviations from divine principles. Satyrion or nymphomaniacal desires, which only see sexuality as the means for carnal pleasure, impel one to act at the expense of one's conscience or ethical nature, originating the degradation of the soul.

However, sexual expression can be divine when it is pure. Yet the term "purity" should not be associated with conservative adherence to religious organizations, institutionalization, fanaticism and dogmas, which are remnants of the antiquated Piscean traditions. Such views are divorced them from the practical import, revolutionary character, and liberating science of love.

​Purity, in Aquarian language, refers to the transformations of energy and the qualities of the consciousness, which become free of egotistical conditions like anger, pride, fear, resentment, lust, and jealousy. Purity has nothing to do with belief in a tradition or fulfilling moral obligations, but to the quality of one's mind, which becomes radically illuminated when empowered through sexual force.

This creative, Aquarian influence is an energy that pushes entire populations to act. But depending upon the level of spirituality of the individual and the masses, such forces are either channeled through the awakened consciousness, or through the desires of the animal mind.

Humanity is ignorant of how to utilize this Aquarian energy in a practical and spiritual way, as demonstrated by the schisms, revolutions and upheavals in modern culture, politics, and sexual relations from the 1960's onward.

Sexual Revolutions, Inebriation, and Spiritual Ecstasy

Aquarius is a revolutionary sign. It is the cosmic force of inspired rebellion against decrepit institutions, repressive idealism, and profound ignorance that produces suffering. As evidence for this, humanity has witnessed, in the 1960's, a tremendous upheaval in the world of politics, religion, institutions, education, and most of all: sexuality. This is a direct result of the Aquarian influence.

The Hippie Movement of the 1960's, with its identification with Epicurean and nihilistic ideals, led to the disassociation, disenfranchisement, and ethical deterioration of its adherents. This is represented by the Nordic Rune Yr, a symbol of the inverted human being with arms and head to the earth and feet in the air.

While commonly interpreted as a symbol for peace, the Rune Yr demonstrates a polarization, inversion, or downward flux of consciousness and energy, a symbol of the involution of spirituality into density, matter, and inferior states of perception. Rather than symbolize "peace" and "prosperity," it actually indicates mental, emotional, and spiritual degeneration. The fallen man, with his head to the ground, demonstrates modern humanity's fascination with money, materialism, and avarice, which is the source of violence, suffering, and war.
The Rune Man represents the conscious ascent, the redirection and sublimation of creative sexual impulses from one's genitalia to the brain. This is the synthesis of Aquarian wisdom and the significance of medieval alchemy: the transformation of the lead of desire and personality into the gold of spirituality.

The Aquarian Era is constituted by two principle influences: the awakening of revolutionary spiritual longings within the sexual, alchemical sphere, and their antithesis: the exacerbation of desire, egoism, sensuality, and suffering born from indulgence in pleasure.

Such a polarity was discussed by Samael Aun Weor in The Three Mountains as the Dionysian Pole:

Positive Dionysian Pole: sexual enjoyment by means of sublimation; voluntary transmutation of the entity of semen; awakened consciousness; objective knowledge; superlative intuition; transcendental music of the great classical masters, etc.

Negative Dionysian Pole: sexual degeneration; infrasexuality of many types; homosexuality, lesbianism; demonic pleasures within the infernal worlds by means of drugs, mushrooms, alcohol, etc., infernal music such as the “music” of these modern days, etc.
 ―Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains
The result of sexual expression is dual: specific behaviors can produce the most genuine fulfillment, or the most profound pain. This duality is referenced in the Greek myth of Bacchus (the Roman Dionysus).

Dionysus is the god of wine (the source of the Christian Eucharist) or mysteries of transubstantiation: the transmutation of the fermented grape into the flesh and blood of divinity. He professed liberation through ecstasy and rituals of love, which bear a dual significance.

In the ancient mystery schools, sexuality was symbolized by the transformation of water (sexual matter) into wine (spiritual substance) through a matrimony, allegorized in the parables of Jesus at the wedding of Cana (John 2:1-11) and before the woman at the well
 (John 4:13-16). This produced the intoxication and liberation of the soul from suffering.

Its opposite is represented by bacchanalia: indulgence in inferior pleasures, drugs, psychedelia [psyche: soul, and delia: drugs, delusions or perceptions within the internal hell realms of nature], bestial sexuality and orgies; the drunkenness, stupor, and deterioration of our intelligence through intoxicating substances, animal desire, violence, sadism, etc.

​Inferior sexuality is degenerated, since it does not result in psycho-genesis: the creation of the soul mentioned by Jesus. T
hrough his instruction to Nicodemus about the second birth, Christ prophesied the promulgation of the alchemical teachings in the future Aquarian age:

"Except a man be born of water (the sexual energy, Aquasand of the Spirit (sexual fire, Aries, synthesized as the wisdom of Aquarius), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Ouranos, Uranus, the heavens). That which is born of the flesh is flesh (through common sexuality); and that which is born of the Spirit (through the transformed sexual act) is spirit." (John 3:5-6).

People ignore their spiritual potential because the majority are addicted to inferior forms of sexuality: the fulfillment of lower desires through orgasm. Rather than constituting a sexual revolution, humanity, under the influence of Aquarian, Dionysian vibrations, is intensifying latent and repressed sexual desires. This is going with the flow of animal nature, which is progressively entering greater states of ignorance and suffering.

Sexual revolution is the doctrine of the Aquarian Era. It is a rebellion against lust, animality, and depravity, since 
Aquarian, sexual spirituality vivifies the noblest aspirations in humanity while fulfilling the ethical conduct of all spiritual traditions: altruism, perseverance, philanthropy, service, compassion, conscious love, and moral purity.

Pisces, which was eclipsed by the Aquarian influence, was noted for its conservatism of the esoteric knowledge and the repression of sexual expression from the public sphere. Such Victorian ideals are opposed by the Aquarian influence, whose chief astrological character is divine spirituality, catalyzed, expressed and taught through harnessing the sexual impulse.

As Rumi aptly stated:


"If in [spiritual] thirst you drink water from a cup [approach sexuality with spiritual longings], you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces [lustful desires] in it." ―Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi

It was only in 1950, with the publication of The Perfect Matrimony, that the teachings for how to consciously channel sexual volatility were first taught. Such knowledge, within the Piscean Era, remained veiled, but now, due to Aquarian generosity, is being disseminated.

The Avatar of Aquarius and the Sexual Mysteries

Each cosmic era has always determined the spiritual and religious climate of humanity through the qualities particular to each zodiac. Such powers demarcate the beginning and end of prophetic intervention: the manifestation of divine aid in the form of avatars, messengers, or heavenly beings, who come to renew and revitalize spirituality upon the earth after the divine teachings (dharma) degenerate.

"Though I [Krishna, the Cosmic Christ] am unborn and of imperishable nature, and though I am the Lord of all beings, yet, ruling over My own Nature, I am born by My own Maya [I enter materiality and manifestation].

"Whenever there is a decline of righteousness, O Arjuna, and rise of unrighteousness, then I manifest Myself!

"For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I am born in every age." 
―Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4:6-8


"Avataras [Avatar: (Sanskrit) avatāra अवतार literally, “descent”] 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

​Aquarius is symbolized by a female water carrier, and is the age when spiritual truth, knowledge, and esoteric instruction is freely given. Direct knowledge of divinity has always been represented in ancient traditions by water: the well of wisdom that nourishes and refreshes the soul in its thirst for divinity. The symbol of Aquarius represents the proliferation, depth, magnitude, and vastness of the secret teachings, which finds its culmination and synthesis within the writings of Samael Aun Weor.
As the avatar of the Aquarian Age and the founder of the modern Gnostic movement, he is known for his comprehensive approach to practical spirituality: the explanation of meditative and spiritual exercises to awaken consciousness. His particular gift to humanity is the wisdom or science of the waters, the methods for storing, sublimating, and elevating the sexual energies as a tool for spiritual transformation.

The creative sexual energies have always been symbolized by water and woman, the primordial Eve who is not only the departure, but the entry back into paradise: a blissful, conscious state before humanity had desecrated the sexual mysteries. Every Biblical cosmogony speaks, in symbolism, of the spiritual powers of water, a direct reference to sexual conduct. Through harmonizing one's sexuality with divine laws, the aspirant can return back to paradise, since the power of all life, including spirituality, is based on the creative impulse or libido.

Samael Aun Weor's writings, marked by the unique character of the Aquarian influence, is a revolution against stagnant ideologies, dogmas, and incipient spiritual beliefs. His teachings are a war against all that is ineffective and weak, since 
the majority of spiritual aspirants, out of fear, superstition, inheritance, or religious indoctrination, cling to systems that do not affect genuine change, ignoring that without consciously harnessing the sexual energy, one cannot create spiritually. These facts are evident to any person who seriously analyzes and meditates upon the state of humanity, whose terrifyingly profound and pervasive suffering, predicated upon the misuse of sexuality, is unprecedented in our history.

If humanity, which is so attached to its religions, beliefs, and doctrines, knew and practiced the science for overcoming suffering, then it would already be transformed. 
While many spiritual traditions and modern spiritual schools talk about divine principles, few actually offer effective methods to obtain direct experience of it. The sad reality is that most aspirants are ignorant of effective methods, or if in possession of them, lack consistent application, indulging in behaviors that produce sorrow. Since many do not want to renounce egotism, addiction, and theories, change becomes impossible and the doors of initiation remain closed.

Samael Aun Weor came to teach the knowledge of how to work with the Aquarian waters, which we carry within our body in the form of our sexual energy, the sexual fluid. Through its conservation and transmutation, we can learn to become initiates: true spiritual revolutionaries who enter into direct experience of the divine, based on the most powerful, creative force of the universe for the empowerment of our spirituality.

Aquarian Philosophy and Alchemy

Alchemy is the science of Dionysian, Aquarian intoxication and spiritual elevation that Friedrich Nietzsche knew and articulated in his philosophy:

"Watch for every hour, my brothers, in which your spirit wants to speak in parables (the language of Kabbalah through the science of dreams): there lies the origin of your virtue (etymologically relating to the root word virya, virility, sexual potency). There your body is elevated and resurrected; with its rapture it delights the spirit so that it turns creator and esteemer and lover and benefactor of all things...

"With knowledge (gnosis), the body purifies itself; making (sexual) experiments with knowledge, it elevates itself; in the lover of (Dionysian, alchemical) knowledge all 
(sexual) instincts become holy; in the elevated, the soul becomes joyful." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: 'On the Gift-Giving Virtue'

"All solar (conscious) love is innocence and creative longing. Look there: how she approaches impatiently over the sea. Do you not feel the (Dionysian) thirst and the hot breath of her love? She would suck at the sea and drink its depth into her heights (through raising the sexual energies up the spine); and the sea's desire rises toward her with a thousand breasts. It wants to be kissed and sucked by the thirst of the sun (the Solar Logos: the Superman or Rebel Christ); it wants to become air and height and a footpath of light, and itself light (
אור Aur, through the mysteries or Ouranos, Ur-Anas, the fire and waters of spiritual sublimity).

"Verily like the sun (divinity) I love life and all deep seas (the sexual force of creation). And this is what perceptive knowledge (alchemy, gnosis) means to me: all that is deep shall rise up to my heights." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: 'On Immaculate Perception'


Such a stellar influence is referenced within the writings of M. in The Dayspring of Youth:

​"The Dayspring of Youth has several strands that run into us as a stream runs into the ocean, and each strand is the manifestation of some attribute of the Innermost. Though at first we cannot register these ever-increasing waves of energy we can tune our own wave-lengths by aspiration (transmutation, to in-spire the vital breath and raise it, as-pire, to the mind and heart). We then bend these waves into our secondary system (our sexual glands and energies) by attracting their (spiritual) atoms into us and gaining their intelligence." ―M. The Dayspring of Youth

The primary power of the Aquarian influence, the Dayspring of Youth, is its capacity to grant spiritual intelligence, wisdom, and understanding. Master M. (Morya) indicates how the sexual energy, influenced by the Dionysian influence: the Dayspring of Youth, determines every aspect of our existence, including our spirituality:

"When we determine to do a thing it has already been accomplished within our secondary system (sexual glands, nervous channels, and energies, since the transformation of the libido grants one the power to create and perform either profound spiritual action or negative behaviors), and this gives us a determination to work and accomplish this on the objective plane. But we generally fail if we do not consciously or unconsciously draw upon the determinative (sexual, Dionysian) energy in Nature (through the astrological sign of Aquarius). If we use this principle we shall complete our determined work in this life or in our next incarnation (since the Aquarian influence accelerates all spiritual endeavors through its rebellious character). For we all incarnate to gain certain experiences, and we can not be happy if we fail in this." ―M., The Dayspring of Youth

Conclusion

The Aquarian New Year commemorates the advent of the initiatic, alchemical knowledge to humanity. Since all of us were born from the sexual seed, our potential to create the spiritual human being is also predicated on yoking both internal and universal forces. The synthesis of a person is their seminal matter, which, as the prima matter of any cosmic body, is the source and originator of all things, including animals, demons, human beings, and gods.

"In the crude root of our existence, we only find the coitus of a man and a woman...

"We were born nude; somebody cut our umbilical cord; we cried, and then we searched for the maternal breast... 

"Clothing? Schools? Theories? Erudition? Money, etc.? All of these came later on, as an addition.

"Beliefs of all types exist everywhere. However, the unique force that can transform us in an integral and unitotal way is the force that placed us on the carpet of existence. I am referring to the creative energy of the first instant, to the sexual potency

"The delightful love, the erotic enjoyment, is by logical sequence the greatest joy...

"To know how to wisely copulate is indispensable when a definitive psychological change is sincerely longed for.

"The hippies forebode all of this when they revolted against Mammon, but they erred in their way. They did not know how to synchronize themselves with the positive pole of Dionysus.

"We, the Gnostics, are different; we know how to enjoy. To transmute and sublimate the libido is enjoyable for us. This is not a crime.

"The hippie movement and subsequent cultures resolutely march on the devolving, descending path of infrasexuality. 

"The universal, international, Christian, Gnostic movements victoriously progress on the ascendant, revolutionary path of suprasexuality." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains: "The Dionysian Wave"

Celebrate the Aquarian New Year through profound meditation, deep reflection on the teachings, and if you can, the company of spiritual friends. 
To learn more about the sexual, Aquarian mysteries, you may study the following resources:
]]>
<![CDATA[Practice, Not Theories]]>Fri, 07 Jun 2019 15:41:01 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/articles/practice-not-theoriesGnosis signifies knowledge from experience. Gnosticism, as a field of study, pertains to all the ancient schools of mysteries from both East and West, whose scriptures encompass the practical science of awakening consciousness. Gnosis is not isolated to the first Christians, but permeates all times, cultures, and spaces, for while consciousness is universal, the means of expressing such experiential wisdom of the divine is temporal and idiosyncratic to the language, mentality, and needs of a particular society.

Gnosis is what we have verified through experience and experimentation, predicated upon practical methods and personal effort. It is never the product of a belief system, of adopting a religious or mystical attitude, demeanor, or behavior. It is never achieved through attendance, adherence to, or acceptance from a group, by believing in doctrine or creed. It is the flowering and natural unfolding of the soul, which is created and developed when the proper causes and conditions have been met.

Just as there are laws that govern the physical universe, so too are there spiritual laws, causes, and methods to originate the soul: the awakening of the consciousness.

Therefore, the Greek term
γνῶσις gnosis is synonymous with genuine faith. Faith has nothing to do with belief, with accepting or rejecting a concept in the mind or upholding a sentiment in the heart. Faith is what we know from facts, from witnessing and understanding reality. Belief takes no effort to foster or develop, whereas the awakening of consciousness and divine experience requires tremendous discipline and the application of spiritual works.

Many religious traditions today fail to recognize this distinction, yet it constitutes an essential dynamic for genuine spirituality as taught within the ancient mystery schools:

"What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself,  if it does not have works, is dead." 
James 2:14-17

"Here we think a note on faith should be of interest. Initiates say its meaning has been misunderstood. Faith, as the world uses it, possesses no spiritual nature; though in the secondary system it means power and energy applied to action. All success in Yoga comes from this application; for the true quality of faith is a Solar force that illumines the mind and attracts to it atoms of power and energy. More human wrecks have resulted from the misconception of this quality than man realises." ―​M., The Dayspring of Youth

Esoteric schools have always represented the highest divinity by the sun, the Platonic or Solar Logos, the Absolute Good or creative Verb that initiates and sustains any cosmos. Therefore, the realization of divine knowledge is a solar quality, distinguished by the luminosity of character, the brilliance of conduct, and the limitless power of any master who has fully developed divinity within themselves. The solar quality of faith can only be actualized through practical spirituality, since it indicates the complete application of one's energies and efforts to the awakening of consciousness.
The opposite of solar faith is lunar belief. The moon represents all that is mechanical, repetitious, and destitute of life. Just as divinity originates all life, the moon is the culmination of the process of death; it is a dead planet. Any lunar satellite operates like a parasite of any planet or sun. Individuals who only cultivate theories are like the moon, empty, cold, and cadaverous, borrowing the light of insight from others in the same manner that a vampire gains its vitality from stealing and sucking blood. They have no real individuality or spiritual understanding born from experience; they have to borrow or merely repeat what others have learned, what the prophets said, what certain teachers have written, or what groups have discussed, but have no real cognizance of the truths contained within religion. Such persons are completely mechanical and conditioned by their own negative habits, obscuring the light of consciousness in the same manner as a solar eclipse.

While the sun of knowledge gives life, the beliefs and theories of humanity have thrust it into limbo, a mechanical, psychological slumber wherein the consciousness is hypnotized and incapable of acting on its own. Theories fascinate, debilitate, and intoxicate. High on theories, humanity has precipitated itself towards complete degeneration, with all of its wars, prostitution, and modern-day slavery. Since the reality of suffering is too intense for most people to confront, belief has been used to opiate the masses and to fundamentally ignore its tragic and terrible trajectory. 


Therefore, the great initiates have always used the moon to symbolize all the complicated, contradictory, and convoluted theories of the masses that perpetuate mistaken views and sorrow. When an individual bases him or herself upon the assumption that one already knows truth, such a person will never strive in the implementation of solar values and the elimination of the causes of suffering. Therefore with just reason did Jesus of Nazareth state, "With patience possess ye your souls" (Luke 21:19), for it is only through patiently working with effective spiritual methods that one can develop one's solar consciousness.

When individuals are not willing to experiment, test, and verify spiritual truths, they ensure the repetition of their sorrows, dramas, comedies, and tragedies of life, the perils of fortune sung so painfully in Carl Orff's "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana
No real spiritual knowledge can be realized without efforts and change, for as Christ taught in the Gospel of Thomas, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find."

Practice, therefore, and not theories, produce radical changes and the experience of the real. If you wish to experience divinity, you must enact the proper causes for its fruition. This is why we offer so many spiritual practices in this tradition. While numerous spiritual schools exclusively focus on memorization, recitation, and labyrinthine discussions of esoteric philosophy, the Gnostic Academy of Chicago and other Gnostic institutions integrate profound study with conscious action. It is through precise methods that one can see concrete results and achieve the complete development of the human being. We invite you towards the realization of your intimate potential and the full expression of your innermost divinity, here and now.

For further study, please see the following resources on practical spirituality:
]]>