By degrees this object shaped itself to his sight. It was as that of a human head, covered with a dark veil, through which glared, with livid and demoniac fire, eyes that froze the marrow of his bones. Nothing else of the face was distinguishable—nothing but those intolerable eyes; but his terror, that even at the first seemed beyond nature to endure, was increased a thousandfold, when, after a pause, the Phantom glided slowly into the chamber. The cloud retreated from it as it advanced; the bright lamps grew wan, and flickered restlessly as at the breadth of its presence. Its form was veiled as the face, but the outline was that of a female; yet it moved not as move even the ghosts that simulate the living. It seemed rather to crawl as some vast misshapen reptile; and pausing at length it cowered beside the table which held the mystic volume, and again fixed its eyes through the filmy veil on the rash invoker. ―Zanoni, Edward Bulwer-Lytton
That passage is from a famous book called Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and this passage which describes the Guardian of the Threshold has inspired many spiritual seekers and mystics who themselves wish to enter into the most sacred secret teachings of all world religions, of the occult brotherhoods and the schools of mystery.
Each student knows, as they begin to work towards initiation, that there is a threshold in which they pass from their outer ordinary course of life into the inner worlds: the world of the soul. Sometimes this can be experienced in our dreams, or in astral projection, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, but we come at a certain point in our path, in our journey, where we realize that there is more than just the physical reality.
Now in order to cross that threshold as an individual of one's own will is very different from having this happen accidentally, or by chance. What we seek to do, as we develop our own soul, as we awaken internally and spiritually in order to bring that spiritual light into our physical life, is to invoke the Guardian of the Threshold.
The Guardian of the Threshold: A Reflection of the Ego
This terrifying being that was described in the book Zanoni is actually a part of our own self.
We see here in this first quote from Samuel Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, that:
The first ordeal that the candidate has to face is the trial of the Guardian of the Threshold. This Guardian is the reflection of the "I," the intimate depths of the "I." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
In many eastern religions, we learn that the self, the ego, is our biggest barrier to spiritual development, that if we become enmeshed in a deep sense of egotism, it becomes very hard to connect with other people, to connect with the truth and the realities of nature and existence.
What we see summarized here in this quote is that the Guardian, as terrifying as this beast may appear to be, is actually our own self. The prison of the self encloses our mind in a cage and conditions our vision of life, to be either angry, or sad, or happy, dependent on the way that we are wired mentally, psychologically.
If someone insults us, we have an instant reaction and that reaction is different from person to person. Some of your friends might laugh when other people make a joke about them. Whereas, maybe you have a friend who is more sensitive, who gets very angry and fired up if someone insults him. So we see that it is not necessarily the external shape of life, but rather our own conditioning that shapes the way that we respond to life. If we respond to life in a positive way, that is uplifting for us and for others, we will have a totally different quality of life than the person who is stuck in those negative ways of thinking and being and behaving.
Now for most of us, it is a mixture, where sometimes we can do really great things. We can be very happy, and at other times, seemingly beyond our control, we become trapped in a behavior or a feeling or a mood that we wish we could get out of, but we are stuck.
Working with one's own mind, seeing that conditioning, seeing one's own behavior for what it is, is facing one's Guardian of the Threshold. When we learn to really look at ourselves without seeing ourselves from our own subjective point of view, but seeing ourselves as an outsider might, from a higher point of view, we begin to separate from that identity that we have created. We begin to have some freedom of will and emotion and thought to act in new ways, to initiate a spiritual growth within us.
Rudolf Steiner also went on to describe about the Guardian of the Threshold:
However horrible the form assumed by the Guardian, it is only the effect of the student's own past life, his own character risen out of him into independent existence. —Rudolf Steiner, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds
So if we are awakening internally in dreams or in astral projections, we can actually see this figure, this terrifying beast. We must be able to face the Guardian of the Threshold without fear―to understand that its true nature is an illusion―an illusion created by us.
As Dion Fortune said:
The "Facing of the Dweller on the Threshold" is the confrontation with the entire past (of the individual) and calls for the full acceptance of that past and of all that has gone to make the individual what he now is. —Dion Fortune, Applied Magic
In the Gnostic tradition, we learn about the law of recurrence―that we have multiple past lives in which we have oftentimes repeated the same mistakes and strengthened the same patterns of behavior, of thinking, and feeling. When we come to face the Guardian, it can project both the positive and the negative of all of our past deeds. It is in fact looking in a psychological mirror in the astral plane and seeing what in us we may be terrified to see. We may be afraid to see those moments in which we did actions that now we feel guilty about, or painful experiences, of loss and grief in past lives, that have now embodied themselves and take a form internally within us.
We have not just a physical body, but also an energetic vital body, an emotional body called the astral body, a mental body of all our thoughts, and a causal body of our will, and even higher bodies beyond that. But it is important to know these internal bodies' existence because within them is where we carry the defects, the forms, the structures of the mind, of the emotions, of behavior that come out instantaneously in us in the moment of action.
Go back to the example I gave of the person insulting someone. Let's say this person insults you and it is an insult that for some reason hurts you. It provokes an immediate response. Now maybe this response is to become cold and withdrawn. Maybe this response is to yell or to argue or to defend yourself. For each one of us, it might be different. Only we can know what our own response is, but we see from the moment, the experience when that insult struck us, that our mind transformed it in a certain way with an instant reaction to it―a response of feeling bad, of feeling angry, of feeling ashamed―whatever that feeling might be. What we are looking to do when we confront ourselves with the Guardian of the Threshold is to separate from the conditioned reactions―the conditioned way of being―the false self that we have created.
Facing the Guardian in the Internal Worlds
Now, it is said that when one encounters the Guardian of the Threshold in the astral plane in their first encounter, that he or she must be able to defeat the Guardian of the Threshold. This is not to destroy and eliminate in one moment. That is a long, long work to eliminate the Guardian of the Threshold. But the one who is not able to face his or her fear in order to defeat this Guardian of the Threshold, will then become enslaved to the Guardian of the Threshold. He or she will become a servant and a worshipper of this entity and they will then be enslaved to a false sense of egotism―they will lose control over every action, every thought, every emotion. They will all be determined by what that false egotistical self dictates.
If we want to work with the Guardian of the Threshold, we have to understand that this takes three different forms. In fact, Samael Aun Weor wrote in his books that the Guardian of the Threshold exists on the astral plane, on the mental plane, and also on the causal plane, and that at different points in our spiritual work in our initiation, we will have to confront each one of these.
The Three Traitors
We relate the Guardian of the Threshold to the three traitors. These three traitors are known in a variety of traditions.
In Buddhism, they can be the three daughters of Mara that came to tempt the Buddha Shakyamuni as he was meditating.
In Christianity we know them as Judas, Pilate, and Caiaphas―the three traitors that betrayed Christ.
There are three traitors in the masonic tradition that killed Hiram Abiff.
When we look at the first level the astral plane, we identify the demon of desire. The Guardian of the Threshold that we encounter on the astral plane will be related with our own desires, our own emotions. This is an emotional encounter. So the things in us that struggle, that want many varieties of experiences or sensations, that want pleasure but want to avoid pain, that is exactly what we need to encounter and be prepared to face with serenity, with stability—to recognize that all of those desires that are pulling at us from moment to moment are illusory. They are illusions.
This calls to mind a story that I was reading in a psychological journal about a patient who came to a therapist and complained that many times in her relationship with her husband, she felt pulled by opposite wills. There were some days where she felt like the good wife, and she loved her husband and wanted to do kind things for him and was happy to see him. Then there were other days where she felt like what she described as an evil witch, and when the witch came out, she hated her husband. She wanted to scream at him, to hurt him, and she couldn't understand why these two sides of her kept coming up. So she went to the therapist in order to discover what she could do to resolve this conflict of having opposing wills. How could she loved her husband and yet at the same time hate him?
You know, how do we make sense of this? And yet many of us have experienced this type of situation where we may like someone. They are our friend, or we love our family, but then in the right moment, in the right circumstances, we feel anger towards them or hatred or resentment. We want to hurt them. Maybe we are envious of them and we recognize that tension, that conflict. There is something here that is not compatible. How can I care for this person and value the virtues of friendship, and at the same time want to betray them―sometimes even act or say things that betray them?
This is the conflict of the demon of desire, that there is a part of us that we don't control but that comes alive in certain circumstances and controls us by making us want to do evil things. This demon of desire is not somewhere outside of us, but lives within our own heart.
In the story of the woman going to the therapist, in order to resolve conflict, it was not just to push down the evil witch and repress it and ignore it and try to pretend that it had no power. Rather what she needed to do was to, in a space of reflection and contemplation, recognize the true nature behind that evil will, that evil desire to hurt her husband.
She had to comprehend her pain and also comprehend her love. What is it about her that makes her the good wife? To resolve the conflict between these two, she had to come to face herself and to understand that both of these are a part of her. When she can comprehend on the deepest level the truth of herself, it will eliminate the problem.
Those unconscious drives to act and to behave in an angry way can be satiated. They can be calmed and negated so that she can interact with her husband in harmony from her own free will, and not from a conditioned emotional response.
This example also touches on the other two levels of the demon of the mind and the demon of evil will. When we have an angry feeling towards someone or an envious feeling, we also have those thoughts associated with it, and it can be a mind that plans evil actions.
We can have the demon of the evil will because there is a part of us that wants to act―that has the will to crush others, to take power from others, to steal what someone else has that "I want."
Each of us in different degrees have our own psychological makeup. We have virtues in a certain amount, and we have defects and vices in a certain amount. As I mentioned in the example, the important part―as we come to recognize these three levels of evil will, evil desire, and evil thoughts within us―is not to repress them or to ignore them or to label them as bad, and then try to only do the other things, the good things―but rather, to meditate on them, to contemplate, to understand where these arose from.
Perhaps we will have a memory come up from childhood, and at first we do not realize how this is related to the situation we are currently in. We sit, we meditate on it a little longer. Maybe the next day we are going for a walk and suddenly we have that inspiration to see the connection there: “I felt this way as a child and now this person is making me relive that painful experience.”
As we become more developed as meditators, better able to leave the body, the physical body, we can even investigate in our past lives the traumas and the crimes that we have committed which have now shaped our karma in this life. Our physical body, our emotions, our mental state, even our environment, even our physical situation, is all shaped by the causes that we put into motion in past lives, which have now manifested into this existence.
So to face oneself, to understand oneself, and to no longer fear having to look at what is unpleasant and what is difficult in oneself, is how we truly come to defeat the Guardian of the Threshold and to then enter into the initiation of the soul.
It is important because the initiation of the soul can only happen if a person is able to separate themselves from the false ego. If one is still submerged and fully stuck within the ego, when they are meditating or when they are developing willpower, or spiritual powers, they will turn into a black magician. This is the term that we use: a person who is totally controlled by selfishness and the selfishness which is of a false ego.
So, we want to liberate ourselves from this to enter into the white initiation, in which we awaken the soul free of any ego―little by little, disintegrating the ego so that we can have the enlightenment of the flame of the spirit in our own heart.
Meditative Serenity and Discipline of Mind
Samael Aun Weor writes at length about facing the Guardian of the Mind in his book Igneous Rose. I'd like to highlight a few passages here because no matter what tradition we come from, we can learn to work on our own mind by using these passages. This is what our meditation after the lecture will be based on, this exact practice.
The mind lives reacting against the impacts that come from the exterior world. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This simple sentence is a very powerful truth, that many of us who live mechanically on autopilot for much of our lives, have never really deeply contemplated.
If we are walking down the street and we see a dog. How do we respond to that? For some of us who grew up with dogs as pets, we might be happy. We might want to go and play with the dog. For other people who have been scared or traumatized or bit by a dog, they might want to run away from that dog. So the mind that we inhabit reacts against impacts that come from the exterior world.
Let's use this example, the dog is in the exterior world. The impression of the dog, the image of the dog, strikes our mind―then our mind reacts to that impression with thoughts, with feelings, with will, with actions. This is the entire process of our life and we go through this like a machine without transforming that consciously. Something happens, we see a certain person, and we don't really like that person. We feel a certain way. We try to get away from them. We see another person. We like them. We go up and we try to impress them. These are all coming images, coming in from the exterior world into our mind, which perceives them.
Now mind is not just the intellect here. It is in the Buddhist sense, the Being, the perception in which we are experiencing life. The body, our psychological body, carries us, and really, even if we were to close our eyes and go into a sensory deprivation tank, which are becoming popular nowadays, we would still have images. We would still have memories. We would still have thoughts emerging in the mind that we would react to. So, whether from within or from without, our entire experience of life is determined by how our mind responds to stimuli, whether internal or external.
So in the case of the dog, we have the external phenomenon of seeing that dog, and then we have our fear come up. Then maybe in response to our fear, which is an internal impression, we might feel embarrassed. "Oh I shouldn't be afraid! I'm an adult now. I shouldn't be afraid of dogs!" and that is a response to an internal impression.
To enter into meditation is to be able to calm down your perception: to become serene, bright and awake, concentrated, and to be able to perceive all of these processes as they happen without needing to control them―without needing to interrupt them―merely seeking to see them happen. It's great if during the day we are awake enough and we are meditative enough in our experience of life to do this, to digest the impressions of life in the moment that they come to us, but this can be challenging and that is why we do a retrospection meditation at the end of the day. We reflect on experiences that were particularly impactful for us, and we digest what was going on inside of us. We don't try to blame the situation or blame the other person. We don't even try to blame ourselves for feeling what we felt. We merely seek to see, to observe, and to understand.
Samael Aun Weor goes on:
One must control these reactions of the mind by means of willpower. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
As we are progressing in our spiritual work, we will have moments in which we feel anger, we feel envy, we feel lust, and in those situations we have to apply a superior will to control ourselves, to control our mind.
If the mind is fantasizing and dreaming of an evil scheme, let's say, to get a promotion over your co-workers, something that involves lying or cheating and stealing, and our mind is beginning to play that fantasy, we have to apply our willpower and say “No! That is not the person I want to be. That is not the character I want to develop.” We need to be able to rein in and control the reaction of the mind and then, rather than going outward into that fantasy, we can turn our perception inward into the source of that fantasy. “What is it in me that wants this so badly? That is so attached to the sensation of getting a promotion, that I would be willing to compromise my character or to harm others? To do something unethical in order to achieve that sensation, that experience of life?”
If one throws a rock into a lake, then one will see crystalline waves extending from the center to the periphery. The waves become the reaction of the water against the rock. If someone insults us, then we feel anger. This anger is a reaction to the words of the insulter. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Most of us live believing that we are the victim of circumstances. Other people should treat us better, should talk to us better. Life should be easier. We should have more things. When one wants to enter initiation, wants to face the Guardian of the Threshold, it is because one is finally taking responsibility for one's self.
One must understand that our entire experience of life is dictated by how our mind behaves. If we cannot control and rein in our mind with our willpower, we are likely to have a miserable life that is chaotic, that has a lot of negativity, in which we are constantly feeling that everything that we experience is beyond our control. However, the one who is able to take a loss or a defeat, and still finds serenity and peace and happiness within him or herself, that person is truly developing a level of freedom―a level of liberation of the consciousness―because he or she is free from that conditioned response to the stimulus.
He or she is able to control and to determine, "I am feeling anger right now. Let me go into a space of serenity." This is not to repress the anger under false happiness. This is to understand that the anger itself is a choice. It may have arisen spontaneously inside of us, but the choice to feed that anger and to continue is up to us.
Samael Aun Weor describes this process in more detail:
We must subdue the senses and command the mind with the mighty whip of willpower. Our mind lives reacting against the impacts of the exterior world. The incessant reactions of the mind deliver pleasure and pain to us. Likes and dislikes are nothing more than the result of the reactions of the subjective mind. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Pleasure and pain are determined by the quality of our mind.
We know that there are some people who love chocolate cake and other people who hate chocolate cake, so it is our subjective perception of mind, from our egotistical point of view, that determines how we are going to respond.
As Samael Aun Weor says:
It is necessary to control these reactions of the subjective mind in order to pass beyond pleasure and pain. We must become serene and indifferent before praise and slander and before triumph and failure. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This principle is taught in many religions: that in order to have true peace, true enlightenment and serenity, we have to go beyond these opposites of pleasure, pain, loss, gain, pride, and shame. We have to, in a sense, be indifferent to the different manifestations of life and of other people. We must feel peace regardless of what comes up before us.
However, this indifference is not a sort of apathy or death. It is rather an awakened bright experience of life. Without the conditioning of dislike and like, we are able to see things in the crystalline beauty that they possess, free of that cloudy filter of our own mind, and that experience of life, while it is beyond pleasure and pain, is in itself blissful. It is the ecstasy of samadhi that is talked about.
It is what we want to enter into and we can only do this by no longer fearing pleasure and pain, like and dislike. By being willing to apply our own willpower against our mind, even if our mind doesn't like it.
So maybe our mind wants to go eat ten tubs of ice cream. And then we say, “Well, I'm on this path of initiation and I don't want to feed that desire anymore.” So even though the mind argues and fights against us and wants that ice cream, we have the willpower. We developed the strength of will to tell the mind “No,” and to redirect it into a more positive activity.
This is a silly example with the ice cream, but in many experiences of life, we really don't control ourselves. We really let ourselves run amok. When we really study the cause and effect of our own life, the karma of our own lifetime, and we look at how certain behaviors created certain effects in our life, then we see that we no longer want to just allow our mind to run wild. We want to consciously and intelligently direct our response to life, our reaction to life. We need a lot of willpower to do that and in the beginning, we are weak, but, little by little on this path, we develop that.
He goes on:
All the tempests of our existence are nothing more than the result of the reactions of the subjective mind before the impacts that come from the exterior world. A clairvoyant examination permits us to comprehend that the reactions of the mind come from a nuclear center. This nuclear center of the subjective mind is the Guardian of the Threshold of the mind. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
I mentioned a few moments ago that we might see our mind going off on a fantasy or on the negative circle of worry or anxiety, negative thinking, and we want to redirect our attention. Instead of going outward into that negative thinking, we want to turn our attention around and go inward into this nuclear center. That is where the Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is. So when we turn our perception within and we look within ourselves, we see the seeds of evil will that actually cause us to respond to life with unhappiness, with anger, with negativity.
The Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is similar to the smoke of the flame. The Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is a terrible demonic creature. It lives by reacting against the exterior world with waves of pleasure and pain, with waves of likes and dislikes, and with waves of hatred, envy, greed, slander, selfishness, etc. We have created this guardian on our own, with all the evil of our subjective mind. There is the need to carefully separate the smoke from the flames. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
What we want to awaken within us is the flame of our consciousness, our soul, our inner spirit. We want that bright lucidity, that bliss and that peace that is perceptive of everything. When we awaken that inner perception, we see the smoke of our mind for what it is. All of these waves, all of these reactions, these emotions, these thoughts, even our behaviors become smoke from our inner center. If we are able to calm ourselves, to rest in the center, we can respond to life intelligently, acting in positive ways—in ways that we have consciously decided to respond to life, rather than responding to life unconsciously, according to our behavior, our trained behavior.
As he says, we have created this Guardian on our own. Now we may not remember when we created that. Many of us don't remember what we ate for breakfast last week, you know, or where we were two weeks ago at this time. Many of us, many more of us, don't remember anything of our past lives. That is why it's very important to go deep within our own Being, to the part of ourselves that is eternal―to understand where these seeds, whether positive or negative, arise. That is facing the Guardian of the Threshold.
It is to take responsibility for “Who I am―my positive qualities and my negative qualities―to take responsibility for the way that I think, the way that I feel, and the way that I behaved. If I am behaving in a way that I don't agree with, I can use superior will, the will of my inner spirit, to overcome that negativity―not to repress it with the mind or with another quality that is embarrassed or ashamed of it, or doesn't like to see that I am bad, but to recognize that this is what it is―not good or bad―just the way that it is. By seeing it, by being the flame within the smoke, I have the choice of whether or not I would like to change that.”
This is deep state of meditation, to really get to the roots of these things, and I want to end with an excerpt from a Buddhist texts called the Treatise on the Six Yogas of Niguma, who is often related as either the sister or the consort of Naropa, if you are familiar with that teacher.
The scripture states:
If we do not know how to meditate
As I mentioned, many of us don't remember what we did in the past. Perhaps there is a person where, from the moment you met them, you dislike them, but you don't remember why. You don't remember if maybe in a past life you knew them, and they betrayed you or they hurt you. The things that make us upset in this moment―in this present life; the things that make us unhappy or angry―are illusory.
Our reaction to them is entirely a fantasy of our own mind. It exists only in the mind, as I have described in these examples. Some people perceive one situation with happiness when other people perceive it with fear or anger. So if we are able to see that the mind is our experience of life, the way that we experience life is fully rooted in the mind, and the way that the mind is responding to external phenomena, then we have that power to control our experience of life.
Everything in our mind is an illusion. It is just a reflection of the external world that has been manipulated by the conditioning of our mind, of our emotions, of our will, and so when we perceive that “the way that I see this person that I dislike is actually just an Illusion in my mind that I have created―I am not even really seeing the person anymore―I am seeing a mental representation of them that I, myself, am projecting and that I myself hate or dislike”—then we have the power to get rid of the illusion itself. Maybe for the first time we meet that person and interact with them as they are, an entirely new being that we have never experienced before: to see them with the lucidity and the peace and the serenity of the soul; to see them as they truly are; not to have that mental image of them as an enemy that filters every interaction that we have with them.
That is what Niguma is pointing to here. When we recognize the illusory nature of our negativity, that it is something self-produced and can be self-erased, liberation from suffering arises of itself. So we must first know how to meditate on the negative experiences of life that we are having, to turn our perception in meditation away from blaming or analyzing the external phenomenon, and inward, into analyzing what is happening within us in our reaction to those phenomenon. Finally we see that our reaction truly is an illusion. Truly it is something that we create, and we have control over. We can begin to enter degree by degree into the liberation of our consciousness from the false self of ego.
Questions and Answers
Question: It’s kind of a question, kind of a comment. So, one thing I noticed about myself is, well, trying to take that attitude of right action, and living more selflessly and trying to help people when possible. But you know, it's not really the first reaction. I’ve noticed the right thing to do, but maybe I’m still missing that. I am selfish for whatever reasons. And because I want to take this attitude of right action, I will force myself with the will, I guess, to do it. It’s kind of the attitude I am taking about it, is: “Fake it till you make it.” I am wondering if this is the right approach.
Instructor: That is a great question, because many of us do this and that actually sounds like what is described here, that if we have a negative reaction, we should try to almost override it with a more positive reaction, whether that is what we feel or not now.
In meditation, if we analyze this type of situation, we will see that there are two wills to analyze. So, we can't determine that one is bad right away. If we are feeling selfish and lazy that day, that's the first will that in meditation we will analyze. What was going on there? Why was I feeling that way? What happened that made me feel that way?
Then we have another will which says, “Well, actually I'm trying to be kind to people,” and that might be the one that actually expressed itself in the situation, but again, there is another will.
We are doing that because truly, all of us, all people, have a connection to divinity within them that wants to do what is good―that wants to help people. If that is what is expressing and dominating the lower will, then great, but sometimes if it's just pride or a sense of self—selfishness that is now expressing by wanting to help others—then that's okay. We just need to see it for what it is.
So in any situation in life, whether we have the will power to restrain negative behavior and try to do something that we feel is a little better, or whether we express that negativity right away, or whether we're doing something positive right from the get-go, there is always a lesson to learn when we take it into meditation. Even if we are behaving positively, we may go into meditation and see some beautiful virtue or truth of our own divine nature, or we might go into meditation and see that what seemed positive was really self-serving. Who knows? It's really up to us and in each situation. It can be different. That's a good question. Something that I know I have experienced, and I am sure many others do.
Question: Does comprehension liberate the soul?
Instructor: When one sees that their enemy is actually an illusion in their own mind, what is there to fight against anymore? For some of us, our enemy is existence itself. Our complaints against existence: “Why am I not smarter, or richer, or better looking or whatever? Why is my life not easier? Why are people not kinder to me?” All of that we comprehend at its roots is some illusion. We can see that there is nothing to struggle against anymore and we can find peace and what it is to be a conscious being. To experience life with lucidity and happiness. But as long as we are filtering our genuine perception of life through selfish desires, likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain, we are disrupting the quality of our life.
Question: If I feel anything negative, that is because I have a secret will or entity that I’m not aware of?
Instructor: That is pretty close. If we experience something negative, yes, in this teaching we are saying if we experience something negative, it is because there is something within us that is negative. Now it's not that I want it to be negative or that I want this experience to go badly. But we have an entity inside of us that perhaps...
Let's use envy as an example. So, envy doesn't want to have a negative experience. Envy wants to get something good for oneself that another person has. So if this person has the job position that I want, I have a secret will inside of me that wants to get this person in trouble so I can have that job. I think this will bring me happiness, right? I think when I have that job, then I'm going to feel happy, but truly in meditation, if I go and I analyze that will, and I really come to understand that other person's situation and my situation, I will see that that will does not produce happiness.
All of us are seeking happiness, right? We are seeking pleasure or the things that we like, but we often do not realize that in its root, it is it is a will that produces unhappiness, ultimately. Maybe in the short term, we tell a lie, and we get some praise and people like us, but in the long term people realize “We can't trust her! She is a liar,” and we lose the good things that we had.
So meditation and going deep is what is most important. Not to see the mind and judge it and say, “Oh that's bad… that's bad!" Just to see the mind and go deeper into the mind and deeper, because when we comprehend it, we don't need to intellectually judge it. When we comprehend it, we see it fully from its roots. It can dissolve.
If you see a coiled rope in the closet and it's dark, at first you think it's a snake. Maybe you jump, you are afraid, but when you turn on the light and you go deeper into the closet, you see that it's a rope. Your fear is gone, right? But when it was dark, when it was unexamined, when it was too sudden, you thought it was a snake, and you responded. Your reality of your mind is that this is a snake. So really just to go deeper and deeper is what we need, that illumination.
Question: You talked extensively about the three traitors, especially the demon of desire, and how we are conflicted between like and dislike, pleasure and pain. What about the demon of the mind and will? And how the mind justifies itself? So in the example you gave about envy, how I want the job that this co-worker has and the excuses that we tell ourselves to get what we want. Also, how is that process experienced in us and how does evil will fit into that as well?
Instructor: Okay, there's a lot of in that question so I am going to do my best. So, if we look at the three traitors again, the demon of desire in Christianity is represented as Judas. Our desire loves Christ, love spirituality, loves all the positive things about virtues and helping humanity, but at the end of the day, when that moment comes, Judas sells Jesus for thirty silver coins. These silver coins represent material wealth, sensational experiences, so physical pleasure. Even though we say with our heart, “I love the good things. I love divinity,” with our actions in certain moments, we can sell, we can betray our own inner divinity. So that is the demon of desire.
The demon of the mind in Christianity is represented by Pontius Pilate. He sentences Jesus to death, and he washes his hands and says, “It wasn't my fault. Don't blame me. I wasn't the one who set him up!” So the mind decides, “Okay, I am going to do this behavior. I am going to try to steal this other person's job,” but it will come up with excuses so that mentally we feel okay about it. For example, “Really, I am doing my company a favor because she is not good at that job and I will be better at that job.” The mind can create its own fantasy to justify why what it is doing is a good deed, but it is all just a trick of the mind.
The demon of our mind, which hypnotizes us and puts us into an illusion so that we believe we are doing what is right, when all along what is really behind it is the demon of evil will, which in Christianity is Caiaphas, the high priest who is plotting behind the scenes to kill Jesus. So while we see that Judas is the one that sold him, that Pontius Pilate is the one who passed the sentence, really the most powerful of all is the one that is our will, that behind-the-scenes is arranging things, is moving the mind into position, is moving the emotions into position, in order to enact its will.
It is this will that is ultimately evil. Good and evil are terms we don't want to get too caught up in, because it's not a dichotomy of good and evil, but we say that it is a selfish will. An egotistical will. A will that is based on an identity that doesn't actually have a natural reality. It is a psychological identity that we as a consciousness have produced, but is false. Our true self is our inner divinity and our inner Spirit. So when we sacrifice evil will and evil mind, evil desire, the flame of our inner spirit is able to express, and when we are one with our inner divinity, we feel true bliss. We experience life with peace and with joy, but we have to renounce these three traitors that exist within ourselves in order to experience that more and more.
Another Instructor: Also, in The Perfect Matrimony, Samael Aun Weor mentions how this Guardian is really three, whom we must face within the astral plane, the mental plane, the causal plane. So, we have to face this guardian in the astral plane in the beginning. Especially towards the beginning of our studies, where we are tested in our resolve to see whether or not we will continue in this path. And if we conquer that demon, the Guardian of the astral plane, we can then enter higher stages of initiation, which are symbolized, allegorized by the science of Kabbalah, which we talked about previously in the recent lecture: What is Initiation?
So we have to face a Guardian in the mental plane next, which is another figure, as our lecturer described, that reflects all the mind that we have. We also have to conquer ourselves in the mental plane, because we have our emotional desires or own interior Judas whom we have to conquer, and by conquering in this struggle of the self internally, we enter into higher degrees.
So first, Guardian of the Threshold in astral plane, relating to our emotions followed by the Guardian of the Threshold in the mental plane, our mind. Then we may have the experience of facing a Guardian in the sixth dimension, relating to will. In Kabbalah, we call that Tiphereth, which is really where we face the extremity of our egotistical will, which is represented by Caiaphas.
And so we can correlate Judas, Pilate, Caiaphas to those elements.
Instructor: A Western esotericist did mention the variety of the Guardians of the mind. Guardians at different levels. Steiner called it the Lesser Guardian, the first one that we encounter, but as I was going on with this longer discourse, that would be what Steiner would call the Greater Guardian: the Guardian of the Mind that we encounter that is at a further stage of development. That is why it requires so much willpower and stability in meditation to be able to conquer.
Are there any other questions?
Another Instructor: I know some people also think that, especially from reading The Perfect Matrimony from Samael Aun Weor, where he describes these three guardians, followed by the four ordeals of the elements, that one has to face the guardian first before entering into the elements, which I know is an interpretation of some schools, but could you talk about the relationship of the ordeals of the elements and the Guardians themselves?
Instructor: So as I said, the Guardian of the Threshold, ultimately whether it is our emotions or our mind or our will, is about facing ourselves, and seeing ourselves from a distinct point of view, from a point of view that is not enmeshed in our subjective perspective.
There are four elements and many times when we are facing the Guardian of the Threshold, these different ordeals of the elements, come to us whether in physical life or internally. They can come in any variety, any order.
But the first that I'll mention is that the ordeal of the air. This often has to do with the loss of stability, the loss of something that we love. The ordeal of air tests our ability to have non-attachment―that even when we experience tremendous loss or defeat or our situation in life becomes too unstable, that we don't go crazy―that we don't let our mind react and scream. Instead, we keep our serenity. We recognize that everything passes away. Everything is transient. So, what brings us stability today will eventually pass, and yet something new will come to give us new stability. If one can hold one's peace through this type of ordeal, then one is able to change the shape of his or her psychology to make it more balanced: a stronger identity that doesn't respond out of conditioning, but has a degree of willpower and self-control.
The same goes for the other three ordeals. The ordeal of water has to do with tremendous emotional upheaval. So if this is being overwhelmed emotionally by, you know, a new social situation. Are we able to adapt, to be flexible, to develop that part of ourselves, or do we merely react to that situation and feel overwhelmed and give up? The ones who give up fail this ordeal.
There is the ordeal of earth which tests our perseverance. Our ability to keep going in spite of difficult obstacles. To keep pushing through, developing our will power even when the tremendous pressure is resisting us.
Finally, the ordeal fire in which we are criticized or slandered, or certain emotional qualities within us inflamed us and we need to learn how to respond to different situations with the correct temperature. If we are insulted, how do we respond to the slanderer with sweetness, with patience, with the correct temperature of our heart?
So all of these four ordeals are part of our mind, our will, and our emotions, and therefore they are related to the three guardians: the Guardian of the astral plane, of the mental plane, and of the causal plane.
[Editor’s Note: The instructor, during the post-lecture meditation, read the following chapter from Igneous Rose to students as a guided meditation. One can take these verses, or any teachings from Samael Aun Weor, the masters of the White Lodge, etc., in order to reflect upon their content in meditation so as to arrive at deeper comprehension. This chapter, especially, holds tremendous wisdom for those who seek to understand and overcome the Guardian of the Threshold]:
The Guardian of the Mind
1. The mind lives reacting against the impacts that come from the exterior world. One must control these reactions of the mind by means of willpower.
The term initiation has not been well understood, especially in the West.
According to the dictionary definition, initiation pertains to “formal admission or acceptance into an organization or club. Adult status in one's community or society,” etc. This relates to “ceremonies, rites of admission, rites of passage.”
You may be familiar with Judaism, Bar Mitzvahs, Quinceañeras, ages in which youth come into adulthood, or certain groups like the Masons who would initiate a student into their order in order to become a member, an aspirant of the path.
But, more formally, these terms do not adequately represent the reality of initiation itself. In fact, initiation means to begin. To initiate, and as we find in this beautiful image, a knight being knighted by a beautiful female figure, it represents the reality of spiritual initiation.
This woman is known amongst the Hebraic Kabbalists, the mystics of Judaism, as Neshamah, the divine soul, which represents a part of us. Some people call it Geburah, strength, justice, and the human counterpart known as Tiphereth in the Kabbalah, is will―the will to change, really a representation of us, human soul, consciousness, that part of us that needs to work in order to be initiated, in order to enter those divine hierarchies among the gods.
And this is of course a personal work. It is doesn’t mean that in order to be coronated by this divine figure, we need to belong to a group, because real initiation is our life. It is what we do in our daily work upon ourselves. The work upon our mind, our faults.
And so this beautiful divine soul, which is usually represented as a feminine principle, is honoring the hero. And who is that hero? It has to be us. Because in reality, in our life, we face many hardships. Many sufferings. Many conflicts, tragedies, pains. And if any one of us is attending a group of this nature, it is because deep down in our heart we have a longing to know divinity and to enter initiation. To initiate the entrance, the door, into true happiness, known by all of those beings known as angels, prophets, buddhas, Elohim, gods.
Those beings like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, were once like us, and they decided that in order to genuinely know divinity, they had to work. They had to renounce their faults: anger, resentment, pride, fear, hatred. And by removing those qualities in themselves, they initiated a new way of life. Because among the gods, there is no anger. There is no fear. There is no suffering. But to reach those heights, they had to change. They had to renounce those qualities in themselves that produce their pain and made others suffer.
And so those beings taught humanity through religion, through yoga, how to enter that path, which is never easy. Because if we wish to be honored by divinity, we first have to face great trials. We have to become heroes. It is heroic to change and to face and take responsibility for our own faults. Our own anger, our own lust, our own faults, errors. To take responsibility for our own life. Not to blame others, but to change.
We can change, and by eliminating our own anger and defects, we naturally irradiate light, beauty, compassion, and that is how we become like this knight who is initiated. Not by some external force, but by his own divine soul, the divine principle of Geburah, because in the mysticism of Judaism, kabbalah, this woman or this figure of justice represents the law of divinity, the law of balance.
There are causes and conditions that can produce suffering and there are the causes and conditions that produce happiness. Divinity weighs the scales, but we determine what coins we place on either end, whether for good or for ill. Therefore that law naturally gives unto us what we have earned.
So we cannot blame others for our suffering. We have to balance the scales. This is known in the east as karma. Or in the Bible, there is a statement, “Do you not know that you shall reap what you sow?” We receive the consequences of our own actions.
And so we must learn to balance this scale in ourselves and before the divine hierarchies of this law of karma, we learn to cancel suffering. We learn to pay our debts, whether from this life or, if we have studied the doctrine of reincarnation, from other lives. And this is not something theoretical. It is something conscious when we experience it.
Personally, I do not believe in reincarnation. I know of it because I have meditated and I have awakened in the astral plane and investigated these things for myself. Knowing where I come from and why I am in the situation that I am now.
So this is how we really know initiation. It has nothing to do with reading a book, attending a lecture, or believing in a scripture. It has to do with what we experience, and so we can become like this hero, to initiate, to enter those degrees of knowledge through experience, which is why Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition states:
Initiation is life itself, lived intensely, with rectitude and with love. ―Samael Aun Weor
Our life can become like a beautiful rose, immaculate with the fragrance of God, a purity that is so refined and strong that, in the face of any adversity, we can transform conflict, remediate disagreements, and transform our life into something beautiful.
But of course we have to face the thorns, as the allegory goes, and that has to do with our own personal path, because initiation is individual to you. Your life is unique and your karma is unique and your sufferings are unique. And the way that you resolve them depends upon your inner divinity, which is also unique to you.
We do this path by living intensely. It does not mean to become a daredevil. What it means is that our consciousness is so awake, is so heightened, that we learn to become aware of any situation and all the minute details, all of its struggles, so that we can transform it profoundly, and to live with rectitude, ethics, and these ethics are within any religion: compassion, kindness, altruism, love, sacrifice, but not as a moral code to believe in, but as a quality of mind, as our former lecturer mentioned in the previous discussion in this course.
The preparation for initiation is based on the quality of our heart. Our heart is what determines whether we will enter and be among the angels, or to be among the fallen.
So those are the two ways. We learn to enter this path through love. Really when we love humanity and love others more than we love ourselves, because that is how we become someone like Jesus, whose whole life was based on the well-being of others, even when he was being nailed to the cross. He said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Truly, Jesus of Nazareth represents the highest ideals an initiate can embody, and in fact he is the patriarch of the Gnostic Church. He is the head of the cosmic hierarchies of the divine. And we find his life representing the path of initiation itself, which he was the only one to physically represent that drama in flesh and bone―where you find in his birth, ministry, passion, crucifixion, resurrection―a teaching about our own individual nature.
While he physically lived these things, his life is a representation of what we have to follow in us. And in this course, we are going to discuss what those stages are in depth. But primarily he represented a type of will that any initiate needs in order to really be successful, because of course, we find in his life, tremendous conflict, tremendous struggle. People against him. Being betrayed. And that has to do with the fact that anyone who enters initiation has to pay all of their karma in one life. They have to pay everything that they owe, and because they love divinity so much, they do it gladly, even though it means that their life will be intense.
But they do it with compassion, and that willpower is known as τέλεσις telesis. It is a Greek term meaning “perfection or progress that is intelligently planned and directed.”
So if we have read the Gospels, we find that Jesus, his life and his path, was intelligently planned by divinity or in, Kabbalah, Kether, the Father. And we all have our own inner Father inside who intelligently plans and directs the course of our life, our own individual path.
But of course we have to do our part. We have our own will that could either follow heaven above or our own inner hell below.
It (telesis) is also “the attainment of a desired end by the application of intelligent effort.”
It is the will of Christ incarnated in a human being, and that Christic force is not a person, but an energy, which we work with. So we learn to attain the end of initiation by applying certain practices and techniques on a daily basis so that we transform our situations, which are intense, full of suffering, into understanding. And when we have understanding we have peace. To pay what we owe, but to do so with wisdom and not to merely go through the sufferings of life, “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” according to Shakespeare's Hamlet. But, “to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them.”
The Hidden Wisdom
That is how we enter amongst the gods, represented in many cosmogonies and paintings as the illuminated masters or angels, ascending and ascending up into the unknowable divine.
I remember one experience many years ago in which I invoked, in the astral plane, Samael Aun Weor, who is a great prophet, a master of our tradition. I looked up in the sky in the astral plane and I started to call, “In the name of Christ, by the power of Christ, for the glory of Christ!” And when you pronounce these sacred mantras, or invocations, or prayers, suddenly I saw the clouds, in the atmosphere open and I saw this image. Immaculate light. And I saw millions of angels moving and looking down at me with a lot of sympathy and compassion.
So I said, “Samael Aun Weor!” And I invoked him and he came down. And if you have seen his pictures on the internet from his times in Mexico, he came down and was teaching me many things, was helping me. And he had a lot of compassion for me because I was suffering a lot in my work.
I said to him, “I am having difficulty in my path,” and he simply said, very sweetly, but strong, "But there is always difficulty." Then I returned to my body.
So he was teaching me, “You wish to become and perfect yourself as an initiate, you have to remember that this path is not like what religion teaches. That you simply believe, belong to a church, mosque, or a synagogue, say your prayers, go to bed, and then you'll be fine when you die. That has nothing to do with reality. In fact, initiation is earned. We do it by working with telesis, with will.”
So this is the hidden wisdom within any religion that has not been taught openly.
We speak wisdom [σοφία, sophia] among them that are perfect [τελείοις, teleios] (because through divine will, human effort, we become perfected), yet not the wisdom of this world [αἰών, aeon], nor of the princes [ἀρχόντων archons] of this world, that come to nought:
Paul of Tarsus was a great initiate who taught in his scriptures the symbolic language of Kabbalah.
So what does it mean to be entering into the mysteries? μυστήριον, mustérion, from the Greek mystikos, meaning “initiate,” myein, the root word, meaning “to close the eyes” to illusion in order to see internally.
It means to become a practical meditator. We physically close our eyes, we go into our mind. We examine the qualities of our heart. We work on what we have observed in ourselves, our faults throughout the day, and then at night we work consciously to understand our defects, which we call in this tradition, ego. But in the Bible they call it Shaytan, the devil (Hebrew for adversary).
Our own anger, fear, lust, hatred, pride, laziness, is demonic. It does not belong to God. Therefore we have to eliminate all of it. But we do it by closing our eyes to illusion. It doesn't mean to close one's eyes, as if one is being naive or to be manipulated. Instead it has to do with learning the science of meditation itself, so that we could have experiences like this in which you are face to face with God, and you can receive help about your work.
And so this is the hidden wisdom, ἀποκρύπτω, apokruptó, from the Greek reminding us of apocalypse. If you are familiar with the Book of Revelations, it is a very controversial text written in the language of Kabbalah. It is symbolic. If you want to have revelations of divine experience in yourself, you need to face great ordeals, because revelations is all about cataclysms, tremendous suffering, conflict.
But, it has nothing to do, in the most important sense, with what is going to happen to this physical world. That is one level of meaning. More importantly, it refers to, as we are entering initiation, we have to face our own apocalypse where we face moments of crisis in which we are tested to the extreme. We have to make the decision: will we act virtuously or selfishly? And how we act determines our trajectory, which is why we examine two forms of initiation.
Christic and Demonic Initiation
This is a painting by Hans Memling, the Last Judgment, in which you see Jesus with his right hand up in the form of the pentagram. Three fingers up, two fingers down, which is a gnostic symbol. And, a beautiful wreath and flowers stemming from or levitating above his hand.
Towards his right we find many initiates entering into the temples of the mysteries, entering into the White Lodge.
The White Lodge is a term used by Samael Aun Weor to refer to the hierarchies of the divine. It refers to the purity of the soul. And on the left of Jesus we find he has a sword levitating towards his left and his hand extending downward to reject the tenebrous, or the initiates of the black path.
It is important to remember that white and black has to do with initiation and that there are many people of many races in the White Lodge. There are many people of many races in the Black Lodge. White and black has to do with the quality of the soul. Physicality has nothing to do with initiation.
So we have the Angel Michael weighing the scales of cosmic justice in which the souls are evaluated whether they will enter into happiness and bliss, or they will enter into suffering.
Many religions talk about hell, damnation, heaven, in a very tyrannical, fearful way. It is better to think of these things not as places, but as qualities of the heart. When we are afflicted with anger, with pride, with sarcasm, we are in hell. And if we feed those elements, we initiate ourselves in hell and we develop further and further as a demon.
So what is a demon? People like to think of this caricature of a person with horns, long tail, wings. Somebody who disobeyed God many millennia ago as a type of comic-book figure, which has no basis in reality. It is a symbol, as we see in this image. These are symbols of qualities of the soul and all of our defects, which we find represented by all these evil qualities like jealousy, lust, desire.
But on the right or towards the right of Jesus, our left, we have Saint Peter initiating those souls into a better way of life, a superior way of life, which is based upon and predicated on virtue.
Notice that he has the keys of heaven in his hand, silver, gold. And we'll talk more explicitly about these symbols. These silver and gold keys represent alchemy among some traditions. The work with the stone of Peter, Patar, or the work with energy. Silver, feminine. Gold, masculine. And we'll talk about this specifically in relation to The Perfect Matrimony, which is a book that Samael Aun Weor wrote that clarifies these symbols.
So we can either become initiated into the divine hierarchy or as a demon, and what most people talk about in this time when they say, “Join our group, we will initiate you," it has to do with the black path, the negative path, because while those schools may teach about purity of mind, love, and brotherhood, we find that through their actions, their behavior, their character shows everything.
How many times have we heard of groups speak of beauty and harmony in which they excommunicate their members, curse their members, betray their members? This is very common. You find this in many groups, not only in many world religions, but esoteric groups. Even in gnosis too. It is sad, but we have to remember that initiation is our own character, our life, what we do on a daily basis.
Addiction to Suffering
This is why John Milton and his epic poem Paradise Lost explains these principles. He was an initiate who taught about these truths in his poem, in his works. Many people love, and sadly, they don't renounce their own causes of suffering, which is pride, hatred, defects.
People love to feed animality, violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, qualities that perpetuate suffering, and you find that many aspects of our culture in North America, which is infecting the whole planet, is addicted to behaviors that cause pain. And it's sad. People make a heaven of hell. They justify lust, pornography, elements that produce a lot of conflict and degeneration. And this is how people are initiating themselves as a planet into the black path, into hell, into the infernal dimensions, which is why Milton, knowing this truth stated, through the lips of his character Lucifer (who was the angel that fell from heaven and became the head of the the Black Lodge).
The mind is its own place, and in itself
And unfortunately when the qualities that are needed to enter initiation are taught, people hate it. People do not like virtue. Compassion is not rewarded in this era. Kindness is looked down upon as a weakness, and so people make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
So he is contemplating, "What will I be now that I am fallen?" and he is referring to the divine who exiled him from heaven for his transgression.
Here at least We shall be free (meaning in hell. In the infernal dimensions); th' Almighty hath not built
This is the mentality of advertisement, politics, government. People think that they can behave as if there is no divinity watching. People justifying extortion, crime, sexual degeneration, poverty, affliction, all the problems that afflict this country, humanity, this planet. People justify the worst crimes in the penal code, in the human rights codes, all because they say "Is it not better that we reign in hell than serve in heaven?" Because as Paul of Tarsus stated, or I believe one of the initiates of the Bible stated, how the initiates of the white path are looked down upon as if they are weak, because it seems that the devil has more power.
The wisdom of the Secret Enemy is seemingly far greater than the wisdom of the Nous atom. As a great prophet once said, "The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” ―Morya, The Dayspring of Youth
So this is the mentality of many people. They feel that there is no consequence.
Diogenes, Alexander the Great, and the True Human Being
We find this paralleled in the story of Diogenes and Alexander the Great. Diogenes is a very interesting figure in Greek philosophy. He was known as the cynic, the doubter. He was known to live in a barrel, was a beggar, and lived away from society primarily because of this reason. He felt that the society around them was degenerated, was evil, and therefore he chose to live away from cities, culture, and all the means by which people perpetuate false ideals.
Samael Aun Weor mentioned that Diogenes was a great master. He would walk around the daytime with a lamp, a symbol, going door to door asking people if he could find a man. And when obviously people in the house would say “Yes, there are many men around in the city!” Diogenes would say “No. These are not men. These are pigs, vulgar creatures.” And so obviously he made many enemies.
People didn't understand that he was looking for a real Hum-Man from the Sanskrit Hum, spirit, and man or manas, mind. A real hum-man, or individual man or woman, is a mind of the spirit, that emulates qualities like that of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc.
So Diogenes was saying, “I am looking for an initiate, but I don't see any here.” And so obviously he was creating many problems for the people around him, because he was very radical and was making a statement, and symbolically represented through his life these truths.
There is one moment mentioned in his history where Alexander the Great came to him and saw him lying in agony underneath the sun ,and asked him kindly, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Diogenes very curtly stated, dismissively, "You can get out of the way of my sun. You are blocking the light." Alexander the Great was so shocked that he had no other choice but to walk away.
Who else could have that type of power to dismiss a person who owned pretty much half the world in power. It is an initiate, because he demonstrated through his quality of heart, not his physical material life, where real virtue is. So Diogenes was poor, physically had nothing, but his heart was in God. Alexander the Great had all the materialism and life of this world, but no soul.
This is why Homer stated:
It is better to be a beggar on earth than a king in the empire of shadows. ―Homer
He was the author, originator of The Iliad and The Odyssey.
So Diogenes represents a symbol known in the Tarot, the ninth arcanum, the ninth law, as The Hermit. A wandering beggar. One who is in solitude. That hermit is an initiate, somebody who works with the staff of the spine in the lamp of wisdom.
Diogenes literally was representing with his life, choosing to live in poverty to show a truth, sacrificing everything to teach something symbolically for us. For people who would understand it at a later date.
That lamp of wisdom is the lamp of hermetic science, which relates to the God Hermes or Mercury within the tradition of alchemy. Hermes refers to being hermetically sealed, and that has to do with saving energy. The basis of that is, we save energy when we renounce defects, anger, lust, pride, etc., because if we act on anger, we waste energy, and if we have no energy, we cannot awaken consciousness.
That is the beginning of initiation. We work on our faults so that we can have light. That light is fire, is energy, is force. We have no light, no fire, no force. The lamp is dark. We can't see the path. And if we are serious about this work, we can learn to save enough energy so that we awaken what is known as Kundalini, which rises up the staff of our spine, symbolized in this ninth arcanum, and of course that has to do with the work with energy, which we are going to be talking more explicitly in our forthcoming lectures.
If you want to initiation, write it upon a staff. Whosoever has understanding, let him understand because there is wisdom within. ―Samael Aun Weor in The Perfect Matrimony
Initiation is when we are working ethically upon ourselves, so that that force, the Kundalini, can rise up the spine to the mind, to the heart.
The Second Birth
That path was taught by Jesus. It is known as the second birth. He said:
Verily I say unto you Nicodemus, you must be born again of water and spirit. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the spirit is spirit. ―John 3:5-6
People typically think this has to do with belief. That “If I believe in Jesus, if I get physically baptized, I enter the kingdom of heaven, I am initiated.” But, his teaching was very much more secretive. He never publicly taught the meaning of that verse.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh." Meaning, physical birth is born and predicated on the sexual act in the common ordinary way. But “that which is born of the spirit” through the same sexual act transformed, “is spirit.”
This is known in the East is Tantra, sacred alchemy. The practice between husband and wife in order to conserve their vital forces and to elevate them.
When that sexual energy is conserved, it is transformed. We give birth to the fire of the Holy Ghost in the spine that rises, and gives birth spiritually. If people engage in the sexual act that is commonly known, you give birth to a physical child, but through specific procedures, by conserving the waters of baptism, that energy rises up to our mind and coronates us so that we can receive Christ, the energy, which is born through birth.
Nobody is born through theory, through belief. Everyone is born in this world through sex. And so when we learn to use that energy in a spiritual way, we enter initiation, which is why Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Major Mysteries:
Every initiation is a spiritual birth. Whosoever wants to be born has to enter into the feminine womb in order to be gestated; thus, this is how the right to be born is acquired by the one who wants to be born. Initiation is totally sexual, thus if we want to be born, we need to practice sexual magic with our spouse. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
Sexual magic or alchemy refers to, again, teachings given in Buddhism, in the highest levels of practice. Here we see Padmasambhava with his consort Yeshe Tsogyal, where he is depicted in the sexual act with his wife. And many people become confused by this, because they say, “How is it that this Buddhist master says you have to renounce lust, and yet he is having sex with his wife?”
And this is clarified very simply by his statement:
Lustful people do not enter the path of liberation. ―Padmasambhava
So the reality is, the answer is, he was having sexual connection with his wife, but without lust, without ego, without desire, without animality. Instead, he learned to use the sexual act with love, with chastity.
People think this term chastity has to do with not having sex or being in an abstention. Chasity simply means “purity, immaculateness.” It means to not emit the sexual seed, which is why Yeshe Tsogyal said:
Practice to perfection the skill of retaining your seed essence… ―Yeshe Tsogyal
…the seminal matter, because that life force if it is expelled, it is wasted, either through giving birth to a child or through animal pleasure.
Instead if you conserve that seed, you can let it germinate into spiritual powers: clairvoyance, telepathy, clairaudience, astral travel, jinn experiences. That seed power, which can give birth to a child, is the power of God, and if you conserve that force and transform it, you give birth to the soul.
And so one must learn to use that force without lust. So in the beginning, male-female, husband and wife, are obviously going to struggle because, of course in us, we have a lot of lust, a lot of desire. But the beginning of initiation is based on this principle. Renounce desire. Renounce lust. Renounce the animal spasm. The orgasm. That is known as the original sin in the Bible.
Adam and Eve were in the garden when a snake came by and told Eve, “Eat this apple because it will make you like a God.” Eve ate, tempted Adam, they fell, and they were kicked out of the garden by God.
People read this story literally. It is a symbol. What else is that but a symbol of a naked man and a naked woman in a garden, who are tempted by a snake, which is of course, the serpent, but inverted. So that is the tempting serpent, or lust, or desire, which pulls people down into suffering. And of course, when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, the sexual energy in the wrong way, they were kicked out.
But of course, if we want to re-enter the garden of Eden, we have to learn to conserve the energies, primarily because the word for Eden in Hebrew means “bliss” or “voluptuousness.” It can refer to sexuality.
The Sword of Kundalini
What is the sword mentioned in the great myths of the heroes? It is the Kundalini. It is the sword of the heroes. It is the fire of the Holy Ghost that rises victoriously from the base Chakra Muladhara, to the mind.
Samael Aun Weor mentioned in Tarot and Kabbalah:
Without woman, no initiate can receive the sword. ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
Or no male initiate, because every man is a priest, every woman is a priestess. Together they work in the greatest priesthood, which is alchemy. Male-female, positive-negative, moon-sun. Together they work to transform these energies represented by Adam Eve, solar-lunar.
These physical polarities are necessary because together they form the serpent, the sword. Moses raised a brazen serpent upon a staff in the wilderness made of the amalgamation of copper and tin, to use metallurgical science, metallurgical terminology.
Copper is Venus, woman, the feminine. Tin is Jupiter, masculine, the male. Together you form the bronze serpent, which rises upon the spine, to the mind, to the heart.
Together, man and woman in matrimony can enter initiation.
But of course, matrimony, doesn’t have to do with paperwork. It doesn't have to do with going to the judge down the circuit court and then filing for a marriage, saying “I want to marry this person.” This paperwork has nothing to do with the reality of the couple. Real marriage is between man and woman when they sexually connect. That is the only thing that God judges, because sexual connection is a marriage. It is religion, “religare.” To reunite Adam and Eve, those principles, before they fell. So together, they enter back into bliss. And the way that we do so is by studying the tradition of alchemy, which we will be explaining progressively in this course.
The Secret Teachings of Alchemy
We have an image here of Vitriol, a teaching about this precise science. Samael Aun Weor mentions that in order to enter initiation, we have to work with this energy known as the stone of the Masons.
So we mentioned previously about Patar, Peter, the Church or the rock upon which the Gnostic Church is founded. That is a symbol of Kabbalah. In Kabbalah, we refer to in this Jewish mystical teaching, the stone upon which we base ourselves.
That stone is known as Vitriol among the alchemists. It is known as the Ka’aba amongst the Muslims: the blackened stone of our sexual energy that must be purified. That doctrine, which has a physical component and an esoteric component, represents these truths. We have to learn to pray towards Mecca where the stone is. Meaning: work with that energy.
So here we are mentioning something that not a lot of people understand spiritually because those teachings were lost. That stone is the creative force, and even in terms of slang we find that a person's stones has to do with their sexual organs. Either the testicles or the ovaries.
As the Old Testament [Deuteronomy 23:1] states:
He who is wounded in the stones or has his privy member cutoff shall not inherit the kingdom of God. ―Deuteronomy 23:1
Because, that energy is fundamental. That is how we build our church. Build our spirit. That is how we create.
Vitriol is one of the clues of the Gnostic alchemist. The word signifies:
Visitam Interiorem Terre Rectificatum Invenias Ocultum Lapidum.
What is the earth in Kabbalah? Our body. Our physical body is the earth, which has all the elements inside: fire, air, water, earth. All those forces are necessary for our development.
Fire relates to our emotions. Air to our mind. Waters to our seminal sexual force. And the earth is the well that contains all of it.
We have to visit the interior of the earth, meaning, meditate. Go into yourself. Examine how the sexual energy works in a spiritual way, and through practices, we learn to enter initiation.
We have to first work with the stone so that we can open the doors for ourselves of the path.
What is interesting too is that amongst these symbols you find the seven planets, and the stone relating to “corpus.” There is an arrow pointing down towards this figure. It has as the letter of Saturn (♄) represented there.
Saturn, astrologically speaking relates with death. It means death of desire. The death of animality. If you wish to work with your stone, we have to remove the impurities so that we can give birth, as we see in this image on the top left, to anima, the soul. At the top right spiritus, the spirit. And when we work more on our faults, our defects, we enter the actual path and we have to face certain trials and ordeals.
The Guardian of the Threshold and the Children’s Chamber
In this next slide we see an image of the Guardian of the Threshold, which is mentioned many times in the writings of Rudolf Steiner. Many other initiates talk about this ordeal. Samael Aun Weor spent a lot more time explaining these things in a very clear way. Some of the other authors were a little bit more ambiguous.
So, if we are very serious about entering the path, we will face a certain trial. It has nothing to do with having attended the lecture, but more so internally, when we are practicing. We are working with the creative energy. We are meditating, trying to work on our egos and our faults.
This experience is internal, where, when your physical body is asleep, you may be awakened in the astral plane in which you have to face yourself. This guardian is a representation of you. It represents all of your defects from this life and all your past lives. So this figure usually takes on a demonic figure. Very monstrous, huge, because our defects are very great.
This guardian is of the threshold because that is the threshold of entering the mysteries. If we wish to really advance towards the light, we have to face our own darkness.
Personally, if I am telling you about this is because I remember facing my guardian. A huge monster. Very hideous, and I had to keep invoking and invoking again and again because I kept failing and I felt so much pain not being able to face this monster in myself, because I desperately do not want to fail. And personally, in my case, it was very severe, because I was told internally that the White Lodge would end my life if I didn't succeed, because my karma was very severe.
I was at the time physically very sick. I was actually hospitalized, and I later found out from medical reports afterward that I could have died. And I was told during that time internally, “If you do not face yourself now, it'll be over for you and you'll go down.” And so, I had to fight again and again and again.
The time that I succeeded was when I told myself, “I will have no fear. I will not be afraid of myself.” And then I decided..."So be it!" Locked, hand in hand, with this monster, conjured it and defeated it. And I remember at that time there were a group of black magicians, sorcerers of the evil path, who were watching the whole time to see what my fate would be. They looked at me with horror because the light of Christ was in me, and I said unto them, "It can be done."
I looked at them because they were afraid and I told them that, “You don't have to be afraid. You don't have to run away from yourself.” Because, those demons, they feed the Guardian of the Threshold. They worship it. It is their fears and anger and all their faults. When they saw that I had completely renounced that, at that level, they were scared.
But of course, that was one ordeal. In the path you face many ordeals, but when you succeed in facing certain ordeals internally, the angels welcome you. I remember being helped by certain Cherubim, masters who were very happy, and celebrated my achievements internally. This is why we have this image of these angels represented there, because when you conquer ordeals internally, they appear to you in the form of children.
Only those who are like little children shall enter the kingdom of God, meaning: to have the mind, the simplicity of an infant. It doesn't mean to be stupid or to be ignorant, but to be pure.
The Ordeals of the Elements
We also face the four deals of the elements: fire, air, water, and earth, which we will be talking separately, giving a lecture on each element, I believe around July.
The Ordeal of Fire
What are the ordeals of the fire? It has to do with criticism: somebody or people in our life speak ill about us. We feel heat, pressure. We feel that we are burning. We are being provoked to act negatively, with resentment, anger, sarcasm.
But in order to conquer the ordeal of fire, we have to be sweet, kind, compassionate. To really not identify with their criticism, but to respond with love. It doesn't mean that we pretend to be kind, but to really do it. It is very difficult, but if you transform the fire of that situation, you reach equanimity, calm.
Personally, I work at a job in which I get a lot of fire. It is a good element to work with, in which I have clients that are very difficult to work with. Very troublesome, who constantly may criticize, and so they have really given me a blessing, taught me to respond with love, and when I have worked and acted kindly towards my clients, it dissipates everything. It transforms the situation.
The Ordeal of Air
We also have the ordeals of the air, relating to the mind. You know the saying, when we are “up in the air.” It has to do with financial situations. Maybe we feel like we lost a job or reach a crisis in our life in which we don't know where to go. We literally feel like we are falling in life. We don't know where we are going to land. It has to do with mobility. The virtue of this element is mobility. To be able to move. To adapt. To know how to control our own fears. The air of the mind that always thinks, “How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to live? What am I going to do?”
The Ordeal of Water
Likewise we have the ordeal of water, relating to fluidity. Sometimes in life we feel that we are drowning. Again, it can relate to finances, to problems, conflicts where we are in a big storm. The water is pulling us down and we have to learn to swim against the current. We feel our depression wants to pull us in, to give up. But if we swim against the current, do what no one else does and be heroic, we end up on top.
So the virtue of water has to do with, we can say, confidence, strength: to swim against the waters that are seeking to pull us down into the whirlpool.
The Ordeal of Earth
Lastly: the earth. In life, we may feel like we have a mountain collapsing on us. We are being crushed. The situation in our life is fearful. We feel that we are being buried beneath a rock, and that we can't escape the situation. If we cry out in fear, we fail. But if we show constancy, stability, confidence, we succeed.
Ordeals in the Astral Plane
So these elements not only relate to our physical life, but even internally, you may have those ordeals in the astral plane. We get tested in the physical world, but also in the internal planes as we enter initiation.
I remember one time I woke up in the astral plane and I found myself lying on my back in the dark, in some room. I knew I was awake, and then I suddenly heard a lot of voices around me laughing. At that time, I knew this was a test and I was really happy about it, because I knew that the beings around me were angels, but they were secretly testing me.
I heard them laughing and mocking me, calling me names, criticizing me, slapping me, pouring water on me, doing all sorts of things. The funny part was, I even had one of them sit on my head and fart on my head, trying to get me to react, and I felt my ego at the time was trying to come out and was getting really angry.
But I knew, “I am not going to act on my anger, because I know this is an ordeal and that they are helping me to show me my ego.” To work on it.
And after I conquered the ordeal, the lights turn on, and a group of these angels from the previous graphic, like Cherubim, celebrated. They all cheered, and I remember looking in their eyes and seeing the beauty of heaven there. The purity of soul.
They invited me into their children's chamber where they taught me many things. That was a great victory, but to reach those celebrations, we have to work with the elements. Conquer fire, our anger. Conquer the air, our thoughts. Conquer the water, our creative energy. Conquer the earth, our physical life.
The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
This is how we work with this science, which is synthesized in the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. The Tree of Life is a beautiful glyph known as the Kabbalah, the Jewish mysticism, which relates to the body.
This Tree of Life is a map of consciousness. It is made up of three trinities. Above, middle, and below, followed by a separate sphere known as Malkuth, which is the physical world. It is a diagram of the soul, from the highest levels of divine expression, to the most dense.
At the top we find Kether, Chokmah, Binah, which are energies of God known in Christianity as Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Known in Egypt as Osiris, Horus, Isis. Amongst the Nordics: Wotan, Baldur, Thor. Or in Buddhism, we have Nirmanakaya, Binah; Sambhogakaya, Chokmah; and Dharmakaya, Kether.
All these religions are synthesized by this glyph. We can interpret any tradition based on this diagram, because it is a map of the soul, and all religions have the same roots. We use the Jewish mysticism to interpret the scriptures, but also to understand our meditative experiences.
We also have Chesed, our inner God, the spirit; Geburah, the divine soul, Neshamah; Tiphereth, the human soul, the heart, which is where we determine everything.
So as we spoke about Telesis, willpower, the will of the initiate, it is based on the qualities of our heart. So, if you take this image and map it on yourself, we find this represented.
The qualities of a heart determine initiation. It is how we enter the path, because these five sephiroth or spheres of God above, these emanations, because the word sephiroth means “emanations, jewels” or qualities of God, these represent the most divine in us. But below Tiphereth, we have Netzach, the mind, Hod, the emotions, Yesod, our sexual energy. Likewise, Malkuth, the physical body.
These lower spheres, these four lower sephiroth, are what are infiltrated by ego, which we have to purify.
It is interesting also that Yesod on this glyph relate to the sexual organs. It is the secret science in Hebrew. יסוד Yesod means foundation. It is the stone. The basis upon which we build our temple to God.
Interestingly enough, you take the Hebrew letters of יסוד Yesod and reverse them, take this letter י Yod and put it at the end, and you spell סודי, which means “secret.” It is the path that has never been taught openly until as recently as 1950 in the writings of Samael Aun Weor.
As it states in The Major Mysteries:
The Tree of Life is represented in our physical body by the spinal column, and the Tree of Knowledge is represented by our sexual organs; these trees of Eden even share their roots. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
So we study these two trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge in order to understand the path itself, but more importantly to walk it. This Tree of Knowledge is known as Da’ath, knowledge, alchemy. Amongst the Sufis and Muslims, it is Mari’fah. Amongst the Greeks it is Gnosis. So, I invite you to ask questions about anything we have discussed.
Questions and Answers
Question: You talked about Kundalini awakening at one point. How common would you say that is in the gnostic world?
Instructor: Yes, well for those who are really serious about chastity and purity, they do it. I know many people who are working seriously. Internally, I have investigated them and verified their level. So yes, there are many people who are doing it, but commonly what people talk about Kundalini awakening, it could be a variety of things. Two primarily.
There are people who know the doctrine, who knew about transmutation, chastity. Whether they are gnostic or not. They may be working with the creative energy, conserving it, because in many schools of yoga and Buddhism, they teach you: don't lose your energy.
They may be practicing pranayama, such as in the teachings of Sivananda, who is a great master of yoga and Hinduism. They could be awakening sparks. Through breath work, they are beginning to flame the coals in their spinal column so to speak. So they may have sparks of light which emerge that rise up the spine and give them spiritual experiences.
Personally, before I was married, I remember years ago, since being in this teaching, I practiced pranayama very diligently and I remember having many, very powerful, samadhis, spiritual experiences, because of working individually with that force. But you know, when being married, finally there is more fire available, more energy available. That energy is more consistent.
But, there are people who can awaken those experiences through pranayama, which is breath-work. Controlling your breath is known as interchangeable nostril breathing. You close one nostril, inhale through the left, close, send the energy the prana or life force to your coccyx. Exhale to the other nostril, send that energy to your mind, to your heart.
Then do the same thing with your other nostril, right, close, exhale through the left.
So you can have many experiences like that, but people who don't study confuse their pranayama, as a single practitioner, with Kundalini awakening. It is true that you can only have experiences when the Kundalini is awakened, but is that a spark, or is it a sun?
Because when working individually, you can have sparks of fire. But if you are married, it's like having the power of a sun.
So I know many people whether single or married who have experiences. But only those who are working in a matrimony can awaken the Kundalini, because She is the power of Durga in Hinduism. Kali, Miriam, Mary. She is the Divine Mother of Jesus.
When we talk about the birth of Jesus, he was born through an immaculate conception, but doesn't mean that Mary just believed and was impregnated by the Holy Ghost through theory. In fact, Jesus the spiritual son, is born in an immaculate conception, meaning, to conceive without orgasm. To be pure, because you can't create without sex.
If you want to create the Christ child in you, you have to be married. This is what Jesus taught, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” You need both polarities.
Question: What about people who claim to have a sudden Kundalini awakening? What is going on there?
Instructor: A variety of things. Some people, genuinely, because they are practicing pranayama, they have the experiences. There are people who may just start to study these type of teachings and because they start to have some kind of internal dreams or experiences that they don't decipher or comprehend, they attribute it to Kundalini.
Sadly, I know a lot of people too, and my wife and I have worked with many people who are mentally ill, who attribute spiritual experiences with Kundalini, when their life and their character demonstrate that they are ill, unfortunately.
This is why in initiation, we are very rigorous, we are very demanding. Initiation is born and founded upon ethics. Qualities of purity of mind. Balance. If we are imbalanced, that light cannot be generated but, people also attribute those experiences with Kundalini because they may be working with meditation and spiritual practices, but they are not working with chastity, and therefore, because they are expelling their energies and trying to meditate, they are damaging themselves and they start to awaken powers in the ego, which is initiation of the black path.
Question: What about people who think they are working with Kundalini but really they are not chaste? They are having experiences, is that black magic or what is wrong with that case?
Instructor: Yeah, people who are having experiences, but they are fornicating...
Question: So if it's not Kundalini, then what is it?
Instructor: It is the inverted serpent. You can have powers with the superior serpent Kundalini or, Kundabuffer, the tail of the demons.
So initiation is written upon a staff. It either ascends or descends.
If we conserve the sexual energy, it will rise up the spine as the brazen serpent of victory, but if we give in to fornication and lust, expelling those forces, feeding desire, it becomes the fallen serpent that tempted Adam and Eve.
It is the seraphim, the fiery serpents that bit the Israelites in the wilderness when they betrayed Jehovah. So that is when Moses stepped in to save them. He told Moses “Raise a serpent upon a staff, so whoever looks upon it will be healed.”
It is a symbol and the Israelites are a representation of the soul. Isis-Ra-El. Isis the Divine Mother. Ra, Osiris-Ra, the Christ. El, the Spirit. It's all Kabbalistic and when you work with the brazen serpent, you heal your soul.
Question: So you can only come to this kind of knowledge through hermetics? Everything is a process and if everything is a process then you have to go through the physical self in order to get to the point where spirituality or the Christ spirit can be born within you. So, can you do that by way of working your way through organized religion and then coming through it?
Instructor: Oh yes.
Comment: (paraphrasing) Because I was ready to take my daughter and walk out... Because I know all this stuff have touched upon, all this stuff, I have experienced all the stuff. I did not know that that woman was who you said she was. She was always there. I would know that something was coming up because she would be there. You know the one with the sword. “Not now, I got other things to do!” We don't have time for this one, you know, so I know at times for years she was always around. She was always around.
I was always being told I was too loud when I would, you call it the astral plane. See, it never occurred to me that I was up on the astral plane when I would be you know, you know, somebody better talk to me right now and tell me what's going on. That kind of thing because things in my life would be so intense.
But for you to tell me that I could get to this, through the many, many, many, many, many sufferings and rejections of religion, and constantly taken off one snake skin, for lack of a better word; yes, taking off one snake skin, and then being told that “Yeah, you got to get through this this...” There is no way you can do that in one lifetime and then to get it through and then to be told, “Well, no. We need to get through all that muck and mire before we could get you here.”
So for you to tell me that... I have been doing this on my own all these years because I knew that it had to be real. Something's got to be real. Everything in life can be... So, take this and focus on this. But that's not really what I was doing. I was just being allowed to announce to myself that this is the path you are on. You are going to stay on this path no matter what, and if you try to get off, we are going to slice you in two. That's pretty much happened and that is what the suffering is. Because I was like “No, no, no please let me off. I want to be off. I want to be wonderful!” No, no, you are not going to be any of those. You are going to grow spiritually.
Instructor: Yes, and Samael Aun Weor mentions that there are many people who are not attending any group, any religious institution, not following any creed, and those people are actually closer to initiation than many people who say they are holy, so to speak.
Comment: (paraphrasing) Well, I don't go there, I certainly don't know with that, but I just came through an initiation. That made me say, “Oh my God... am I going to die?” That is how bad initiation was. But I was like, “Am I going to die? Am I going to make it through this?” I did but it was very long. It was like three or four years.
Instructor: Yes, and as we'll talk in the future lectures, there are initiation of Minor Mysteries and there are initiations of Major Mysteries. There are many people who enter the Minor Mysteries who are working with the energies of sex and who don't have experiences internally about it. They may be asleep consciously-speaking, and be entering the Minor Mysteries and working at that level.
To enter the Major Mysteries, the highest initiations is a work of alchemy and involves a certain type of telesis or will.
But yes, obviously, there are many people who enter through life and enter the path seemingly without knowing it. They don't necessarily have those astral experiences, where in dreams, they are face to face and having that direct communication.
But the purpose of our studies to be specific. So, while in the beginning we have a certain level of faith, we want to develop it even further. We want to be able to have that face-to-face conversation with a master of the White Lodge in dreams, awake, so that we have even more knowledge. But of course, level upon level, “Light upon light,” says the Qur’an. Degree upon degree.
There are levels of initiation. There are beginning levels of initiation. There is mastery and then there is even higher, perfection in mastery, like Jesus, Buddha, and all of them. So, there are levels and degrees, and it's good to know…
Comment: (paraphrasing) That's hard for me to get my head around that. You know I was taught for sixty-six years, probably in the womb, that you can be a Christian. “Try to do the best with what you can,” and that's it. And then for somebody standing in front of me at the age of sixty-six years… No, no, you can talk to these.... I mean and and that's how I get through life.
I have no one I can talk to, so I had to, you know, somebody needs to teach me, how to have humor, because I ain't going to get through this, and they did. They gave me a sense of humor, I guess. I mean she hates it, so it works for me... So for you to tell me, “Yes, you can get to that point,” I never thought that. That never entered into my mind.
I remember that, twenty-five years ago being exposed to Samael Aun Weor, initially through Gurdjieff and him saying “You are a lazy human being, wake the heck up!” That led me to Samael, but that was too advanced for me... Now after all that time, maybe six, seven, eight initiations, I can understand exactly what you are saying. The Pistis Sophia, I have had that. I understand that. But for you to say that you can see Jesus face to face, again, it never occurred to me that it would ever be possible.
Instructor: If you enter higher degrees of initiation, you can speak to him, because I have personally been with him in the astral plane. He is the highest initiate we know of, and personally, he gave me some teachings that were very profound. I don't want to relate them here, but definitely, when you have that awakened consciousness, you can have greater access to real knowledge, because the master Samael Aun Weor says that a real occultist is someone who knows how to travel in the astral body. In the dream state. Because in that way, we find the occult wisdom, the hidden wisdom.
Comment: I thought that this was not real, and now I am here. This is real. I told myself, “I never heard of this group,” but I'm going to see what's happening...
Question: On the topic of the transmutation of sexual energy. In relation to Kundalini and the necessity to reach that level, how would you say you approach it, in the sense of, sometimes you are saying, seed energy, sometimes maybe you are supposed to expel it. What is the balance? I can't imagine saying that you can never ejaculate it.
Instructor: For the initiations, we say never, because as Yeshe Tsogyal said, “we must always perfect the practice of retaining the seed essence.” Of course, in the beginning it's difficult, because through this lifetime or even previous lifetimes, we have been forcing our mind and are used to that act.
So, we have always been out of Eden, exiled. But to enter the straight and narrow gate is precisely when husband and wife unite. The straight path mentioned by Jesus. The narrow way, physically, even relating to sexual copulation, but also a psychological type of work is needed.
In the beginning it is difficult, because the mind is full of lust. The body is trained to expel, but with training, you never lose any energy.
Personally, this has been my path. I don't lose my energy even while practicing alchemy, because I have trained myself to that degree never to lose it.
Question: What about reproduction?
Instructor: Now, interestingly enough, there are ways to conceive a child without orgasm. As partly allegorized in the birth of Jesus, you know the immaculate conception. But of course, people think that myth is silly because they think it has to do with Mary not having sex with a man, and then she gave birth to a child. That is the conventional belief of that story.
But really the truth is that Joseph and Mary were alchemists, and we have procedures where if a gnostic couple wants to have a child, they can perform certain prayers and practices while conserving their energy, because only one sperm is needed to procreate.
It is not necessary to expel millions of sperm for that conception. It is a more profound form of conception because what the Holy Spirit does, the conceiver of Christ, this intelligence takes one seed in order to create a superior child. Because a child born from fornication obviously has many problems physically. That is why in most people their bodies get sick. They may have certain conditions or ailments.
But the Holy Spirit, which is the force of intelligence, is the force of our inner God that can take one sperm and, through prayer and intelligence and wise copulation, take that energy create one child.
Question: Why do doctors tell us orgasm is healthy and what about women and orgasm?
Instructor: Because they like fornication. The doctors. Most people have never been initiated in this science, so they don't know any better. Unfortunately, when you do try to introduce... I have known people try to introduce this science to doctors, many people can be very skeptical and they laugh at it because they have a materialistic mind. But I do know other doctors and people in our tradition who have learned the benefits of this practice, because transmutation promotes our health.
There are even some scientific studies that show how transmutation or alchemy as we teach, promotes health, life, longevity, the health of our endocrine system, the health of our emotional center, our heart, and the mind. It is well known that the greatest artists, philosophers, and teachers were traditionally known as celibates, but they actually new alchemy.
They kept that life private because people would criticize. Beethoven. Mozart. Beethoven was known to be single for you pretty much his whole life, but he had an amazing brain because he had parts of his mind active from working with that energy that people couldn't explain. But he was an alchemist. He knew the science.
Question: Do women lose energy?
Instructor: Yes, women can lose their energy too because orgasm, whether from male or female, emits the seed. Women can lose their seminal waters, which is semen.
Semen in esoteric language has to do with not only just the physical matter, but force.
So, either men or women can lose their seed. We have to conserve it because those are the waters that we transform into our baptism. That requires that we renounce the adversary, shaitan, our ego. The lust that says, “I enjoy engaging in sex in this way.”
This is the meaning of Judas in the Bible. Judas is a symbol of an ego that we have. Loves religion. Loves spirituality. Loves Christ, but loves fornication more. So we may believe that we are spiritual and that we love divinity and all these things, but our actions prove otherwise.
If we give in to fornication and we enjoy emitting the energies, then we have no water by which we can baptize ourselves.
Judas represents that. He betrays Christ. Gives away the Lord for thirty pieces of silver: a symbol of pleasure for a few moments, or like Esau in the Bible. Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of lentils. Same symbol.
It is very strict, obviously, but this is the way. You need energy, water to baptize yourself.
I promise you that if you are serious about it, you will find the benefits of it and naturally you will have more energy, more vitality, more enthusiasm. You have the energy by which you empower your virtue. Your compassion, your happiness. Less anger. Less violent emotions.
I have known people in this science who even suffered mental illness and yet by practicing alchemy, they were rejuvenated. They were no longer sick. It is the healing power of the Holy Spirit. It is the creative force of God.
Swami Sivananda wrote in one of his books about the benefits of pranayama, and even we could say, synonymously, alchemy. Skin is lighter or more rejuvenated. More vitality, more health, suppleness, strength, everything, because that energy, that matter, is transformed into force.
When it goes up the spine through those energetic channels known as the Caduceus of Mercury in medicine, it fills the brain and rejuvenates the endocrine system. Heals the heart, everything. It empowers us. So, we need those energies if we want to awaken spiritually.
Question: Just as a single person, would you recommend a specific practice? I know there are multiple pranayamas...
Instructor: You have to experiment and find the ones that work for you. I mean, we have an abundance of practices for transmutation in The Yellow Book, Kundalini Yoga, and others.
You could work with one that is very easy to work. It is Ham-Sah.
You in-inhale through your nostrils. First you pray to your inner divinity, your Divine Mother, “Please awaken my consciousness. Help me to work with this force!”
Inhale through your nostrils, and you imagine that there is light ascending from your sexual glands up the spine to the channels of your back, which are known as Adam and Eve. Od and Obd. Ida and Pingala in different traditions.
Imagine that light saturating the brain and as you are inhaling with the breath, you pronounce mentally the mantra, “Haaaaaaammmm!” in the mind.
The breath should be more prolonged with the inhalation because you are raising the energies of sex to your mind.
And then imagine that light going to your heart. A very brief quick exhalation, “Ssssaaaaahhh!”
This is because your breath relates with your sexual energy. In the Bible, the spirit of God, the wind of God, hovered above the face of the waters in order to create the planet from the fathomless abyss.
A symbol of working with this force. You create your spiritual earth through your stone, the sexual force.
Likewise, you imagine that circulation in yourself. “Ssssaaaaah!” That is how it should sound, but mentally the mantra Ham, takes a force up to your brain, saturates it.
It is a very easy practice. You can even that if you are married. Or practicing alchemy, but that's a very good practice you can initiate with.
Question: I am just curious. You mentioned you have reached the status of being able to talk to Jesus, so if a person is not religious and if you reach that status, what will he see?
Instructor: Personally, I remember when I had talked with him that for a long time, I was atheist. I was a very pessimistic, morbid person, very sad. Felt like I had no meaning to my life.
Eventually when I met him, he was in the astral plane, he came to me because I invoked him and at least the symbol that he gave to me was very beautiful. He saw me, obviously, but what he saw in me was my own ego, and he was trying to show me how to get out.
I remember that experience. It was a outside my house. It was a very dark night, cloudy sky, which of course, your dreams are symbolic. So, darkness or cloudiness represents the mind. The cloudiness of the ego that obscures the light of God in you. So, I invoked him, begging him, “please teach me!” I remember he came up to me and the way that he was described in one of Samael Aun Weor's books, in The Revolution of Beelzebub, I saw him exactly like that.
(Samael Aun Weor wrote the following describing Master Aberamentho, Jesus of Nazareth): Then, I kneeled and prostrated myself before the most powerful Hierarch of the cosmos, who is called by the Tibetans “the Mother of Mercy” or “the Melodious Voice Oeaoeh.” He is the Only Begotten, the great universal Word of life, whose body is all of the sounds played in the infinite. His beauty is ineffable. He bears a crown with three points, and his very long cape is carried by the Elohim. They carry the long train of his cape.
So if you read that book, that is how he appeared to me and I remember at that moment I was watching him and I was being filled with fear. Obviously, he is a great being and suddenly he gave me a supra-conscious experience. He gave me light. I saw myself in third person. He took my vision expanded it and I was standing on the lawn of my house and he just shot up as a beam of light into the sky in the clouds. They parted and I saw in the atmosphere beautiful stars. A galaxy, and he just vanished. I just stood up looking at him like this… and then I woke up.
He was teaching me that “You want to be like me, with freedom, going beyond to the infinite? You have to clear your mind. Clear you ego,” and was very humbled by that.
He is very difficult to comprehend. He is a level of master that is so high that not even the gods understand him, because he has gone beyond. Even beyond an angel. So, there are hierarchies and hierarchies and levels.
Another Instructor’s Comment: So, there are many masters, some whom work anonymously or have worked anonymously on earth, so we can meet a master internally and not even realize it. The case for people who are not religious is often you know that they'll be receiving some kind of guidance, in particular the Divine Mother.
Interesting that you mention Her. She has the ability to take a variety of forms and, in my experiences, I have seen my Divine Mother in different forms, and She will take different aspects, but She appears to you in order to teach you something. Masters as well can appear to you as a symbol, like a butterfly or something, when you invoke them, because they are teaching you something in the way that they can appear to you.
So regardless of what religious tradition we come from, or if we don't come from any religious tradition, we can sense in our heart the power and the purity of that master. We can understand that guidance, even if the form that they take is unknown to us, or we don't recognize them for who they are.
Sometimes they will show themselves in a form we can recognize, of course, so that we will understand, and you know, develop that relationship, but God itself is formless, and many different beings have worked to purify themselves to become vehicles in which the light of God can express. But the light of God itself is beyond form. So, I feel, you know, that many people will experience what they call their inner voice, their conscience. Many times, that is a manifestation of our Divine Mother, always present with us at any time.
Comment: (paraphrasing) I had one experience where, this was when I was first working with transmutation when I was younger. I didn't know what to expect. Didn't know if it was divine or something, but was walking down the road, like a state park or something. There was a man with a very well-trimmed beard, buttoned-up shirt. I was sitting there blaming the system for my problems, like this and that. He said “You just need to lighten up,” and patted me on my shoulder.
I guess what I learned from that experience is that we have help and we have brotherhood. So in this path, it isn't so lonely and miserable. There has to be a point, being called to service, so that we can grow and find truth together. So it just it's a small experience that I had. It doesn't have to be Jesus Christ. It doesn't have to be this magnificent experience. It could just be walking through a park and a tap on a shoulder from a friend.
Instructor: Samael Aun Weor also mentions that the greatest joy of the gnostic is the discovery of one of his or her defects, because a discovered defect is a dead defect. Which is why in this course, we will be talking about how to practice that self-observation, comprehension, elimination. The work on the ego, because when you comprehend the ego, eliminate those faults, you free light, and in that way we enter initiation.
Throughout history, divinity has expressed itself to humanity in a variety of forms. We see the world’s great religions. We also hear about many spiritual movements that have taken place across time. As humanity changes, as languages change, as people migrate to new places, we often lose touch with the old forms, but that light of divinity remains active and alive, and moving. At different points in time, this light of divinity can become more active in certain places, in certain cultures. Now, that is not to mean that it does not exist in other cultures. It just moves its activity depending on certain contexts.
What we know is that God or divinity, however we like to conceive it in our mind, is a very living force. It is a universal force. It is a force of life, and love, and wisdom, and truth.
In our Gnostic teachings, we often use the commonly known word of Christ as the title of that universal force. Christ is not just one individual, Jesus Christ for example, but it is actually the wisdom, and the love, and the intelligence that can express itself through a human being who is properly prepared. We call these human beings masters or prophets, buddhas, Christs: these titles for an individual who has reached that level of self-realization—to be able to express more purely at their own degree the love and the wisdom of divinity, the teachings to help humanity.
In the Gnostic teachings we have to understand that the light of divinity that touches each one of us and that reaches out to each one of us is beyond any one form, any school or doctrine. These schools, these movements and these spiritual groups and religions can be the vehicle through which God can express in multiple times and places. But if we just attend a school and we do not ourselves enter personally into contact with our own inner connection to divinity, we do not experience what we call initiation.
The Definition of Initiation
Initiation is the beginning. To initiate means to start. When we enter into initiation, we enter into a new birth, a spiritual birth, a spiritual growth. This is something that does not have anything to do with schools, or titles that are given to you or sold by different movements. It is something that is deeply within ourselves. It is a profound growth and evolution of the human soul.
When we experience that, we change as a person. Not just externally, by acting in a different way or hanging out with different kinds of people, but actually by our quality of presence, by the wisdom and love that we are able to express, by the way that we encounter situations and respond to them. We will notice that we are deeply changing, because we do not force it, but naturally we are evolving, we are growing as a soul, as a being--in a deeper way than to just externally achieve a kind of social rank or spiritual title from a given community.
Contacting and Experiencing Divinity
How do we come into contact with that universal light of divinity? All of us at one point in time have experienced this. Maybe it has been as simple as going outside to a beautiful, natural scene and feeling that awe and that beauty within that is spontaneous to the human soul. Or perhaps is when we truly loved someone, purely and from the deepest part of our heart. That is a form of experience that changes a person. Sometimes, this can be in little ways that we are changing. Sometimes, it can be a more profound spiritual awakening, an experience where we really feel that connection to our inner divinity. Maybe we have a mystical experience, an out-of-body experience, for example, a near-death experience, as we hear many people talk about. That will change people on a profound level.
When we experience that, we are actually using a type of sense unrelated to our physical senses. We have five physical senses through which we experience the world as gateways that energy can come through and be processed. But there is also a sense within us, a spiritual sense: our imagination, our soul, our intuition, our ability to perceive something divine. The more we awaken those spiritual faculties, the more that we are able to perceive things that are beyond just the physical level, that are beyond just physical nature, in more energetic, more spiritual, more subtle and refined levels of nature. These are still material in a sense, but not the gross, physical material that we are used to experiencing with our physical touch.
As we awaken on deeper levels, we can even awaken out of our body. When we go to sleep physically, we can remain awake in the dream state with full consciousness, able to control what we do and where we go. All these kinds of spiritual gifts are often what people associate with initiation: to be able to awaken spiritual powers like telepathy or clairvoyance or prophecy, to be able to see the future, or to hear the word of divinity within us, so that we can share that light with others or to see what steps we need to take in our own life, to become better people. If we want these types of powers, we often go to different schools and different places that promise us that they will enroll us in a certain course, and we will advance through degree to degree to degree, and be initiated and become masters, or become self-realized. But as I mentioned previously, what we really want is not the external validation from any other person, but that inner experience, that inner knowledge, that connection with divinity through which we know we are really growing as a soul and that we are really understanding life in a more profound way that decreases our suffering, and decreases the suffering of people around us. Then, we have the ability to understand other people and to help them. Most importantly, we can begin by helping ourselves and understanding ourselves, to touch the truth of who we are.
The Practicality of Aquarian Gnosis
In this time, we have these Gnostic teachings as taught by Samael Aun Weor and the instructors and students of his tradition, which we call the Fifth Gospel [which explains the significance and secret meanings of the Four Gospels from the conservative Piscean Era]. This is the same light that has expressed itself throughout humanity’s history through many religions and that is why in this teaching, we discuss various religions and we talk about how their essence is the same. Their essence is a practical teaching that each of us must strive to experience for ourselves—not merely to learn it intellectually, or to take it as a belief, but to actually, practically experience it by using those spiritual faculties which awaken when we feel love, or awe for nature, or that genuine intuition within our divinity.
That’s why this Fifth Gospel is a very practical teaching. If we really want to experience initiation, we have to be well-prepared. Throughout history, when the ancient mystery schools in Egypt or Greece, or all around the world, in ancient Tibet as well, were going to take an aspirant into the secret teachings, they would prepare them rigorously for decades, to make sure that this person had purity of heart. They had worked to eliminate their vices and to practice virtue and were skillful in meditation, awakening their concentration and awareness to be able to go deep within. Now, the Age of Aquarius has brought this new doctrine which openly gives the secret teachings (or at least a degree of them), so that anyone can enter into these practices immediately. That is because all of us are well aware that the state of our world is becoming more chaotic. The crises that are impacting humanity are greater than ever, and there is just not enough time for all of us to go off into the mountains for twenty or thirty years in order to become really prepared.
But that puts the burden on all of us to decide if we are truly going to commit to our spiritual growth. If this is truly something that we want to take seriously, then we have to take serious steps. It is not a practice that can be entered into at a whim. It is a very serious commitment of the soul, which has ramifications whether for good or for bad. So, if we make this decision, we have to work at our own level in order to progress, but constantly be progressing in the direction of improvement of virtue, of getting closer to divinity, and further away from the selfishness and the vice which has characterized much of humanity, and as all of us are well aware, characterizes much of our own lives.
The Conservation of Energy and Spiritual Awakening
When we talk about initiation, as I mentioned, we are talking about an essential change, a change in the quality of our soul, and the birth of our soul is only possible when we are working with our own energy.
Each day we expend a tremendous amount of energy: emotionally, intellectually, physically and even consciously, our willpower. So, when take the step to become aware of our actions each day and to meditate or reflect in the evenings on what we have done that day, we can evaluate how we are using our energy. How are we living our lives? Are we living ethically, or are we really getting caught up in superfluous things that will pass away and not have much value to us in the future? If we want to awaken spiritually, we have to really conserve our energy.
The reason that all the great religions taught ethical principles, or commandments, or rules for us to follow, is not because, arbitrarily, we need to do what someone else tells us to do, but because these principles, these ways of living an upright life actually change our energetic quality of being. If you have ever been around an angry person, whether they are talking or not, you can feel that quality of their being. If you have ever been around somebody who is truly loving, maybe they are expressing love to you, you felt that power of their being.
This is a spiritual energy that we are trying to cultivate. When we work with principles of honesty, selflessness, charity, chastity, and humility, we are actually cultivating a level of being that conserves energy and transforms it inwardly, to awaken our consciousness. But when we engage in anger and envy, and all these other vices that have to do with a false self--a false sense of self that we feel needs to be defended at any cost, but which is just a figment of our own mind--that is when we lose our energy. We compromise our inner values, and we in essence forfeit our soul and our integrity for temporary gains, for that false self.
The Role of Kundalini, Initiation, and Spiritual Knowledge
Nāgārjuna was a Buddhist teacher and a great master, a great initiate. We can tell as we look at this image of Nāgārjuna here that he is an initiate. Does anyone know why we can see in this image he is a master? There is a symbolism to this image.
Yes, the serpents. Behind his head, we see seven serpents. I am going to talk a little bit later about the structure of initiation, but, simply put, these seven serpents represent that he has mastered the seven initiations of Major Mysteries. This is a very high level of development: raising the serpents.
Has anyone heard about Kundalini before? Kundalini is symbolized as a serpent rising up our spine. This is because, as an initiate, we learn to work with that energy that we are conserving, to transform that energy up the spine into the brain, into the pineal gland, in particular, to awaken our consciousness. This awakens our spiritual faculties, which are innate in all of us, but for many of us have become a bit atrophied over time. This awakens our ability to become wiser, more compassionate to human beings, and to perceive our reality beyond the shell of our mind, and our false self.
As Nāgārjuna points out to us here, he stated that:
All philosophies are mental fabrications. There has never been a single doctrine by which one could enter the true essence of things. —Nāgārjuna
Sometimes people say that this type of statement means, “I don’t need any spiritual teachings. I don’t need to read any books. I can achieve awakening by myself.” Well, it is true that there are some masters who are illiterate, but for many of us we can actually benefit from practical teachings that guide us and that help us to realize where we may be imbalanced, or which techniques we may be able to use to gain some energy, to gain some strength, to then do our spiritual work, to then enter into the essence of things.
But if we just read books, or if we go to a church or a temple and we go through the motions of prayer or spiritual practice, but we ourselves never feel that connection, that power, that inner spark of divinity calling to us, then we are not truly growing internally. We may externally receive some amount of recognition, but when we go to the end of our life, and we evaluate the quality of our quality of being, we may feel empty. We may feel that we have created as Christ said, the "whited sepulcher," which on the outside looks beautiful and holy, but on the inside is dead.
What we want is the spiritual birth. We want to enter into the true essence of things, the true essence of ourselves, the true essence of nature and reality, and the true essence of divinity—all of which are essentially one and the same.
Conscience, Discernment and Internal Judgment of the Soul
Another great master, Swami Sivananda, gave us this practical teaching:
The intelligent or wise one has to discriminate within and advance by himself towards his own goal, his own self, while also searching for the emancipation of others. —Swami Sivananda
It is not about following anyone who claims to be a master, but truly studying in an effort to awaken your own inner discrimination, to find the teachings that resonate with you, that call to you and that awaken your own inner judgment.
Many of us have been in situations where we feel a pang of conscience, when we are about to tell a lie and a part of us says: “Mmm… maybe I should just tell the truth!” But then our mind begins to rationalize and to say: “Why? Well, but I’m lying for a good reason. I have a good intention for doing this unethical thing. In the end, I might be able to work things out and brush it over and get away with it.”
For some of us, maybe it has been many years since we felt that pang of conscience, but we all have some direct experience of our inner judgment, that discernment. This is really important as we try to prepare ourselves for initiation, because, as I mentioned, it is not about any external master saying to you that you are ready. It is about your internal God, your own inner divinity teaching you, and awakening you, and helping you to grow, as a father and mother would a young child.
As a soul, we need to be behaving in a certain kind of way through which we demonstrate the maturity within ourselves to our own inner divinity, that we are willing to learn, that we are humble enough to learn and to change as people. That is something that only each of us can know. We have guidelines, we have general principles in all the world religions that we are all familiar with and which we can use as a great starting place to gain our bearings, to begin living more ethically. But it is really when we are in a situation and we are observant of ourselves, in the quality of our action, and we act on a vice, that we see the effect of that. We see how that affects other people and affects us and create problems in our life—versus when we do something virtuous, and we see how that ripples towards other people and changes our own quality of being and gives us a sense of peace with ourselves.
As we begin to evaluate ourselves, regardless of what other people’s judgments about us may be, we have to be very severe with ourselves, and very honest with ourselves. We have to really see in our life: “What are the places where I have compromised myself?” Maybe at that time, we did it for what we thought were good reasons, but now we realize that it was really a mistake and that we are missing something of value to us, part of our own soul that we want to reclaim. Then ask, “What steps can I begin to take to gradually put my life back in order, to get myself back to the place where I feel that I am a person that I can respect, an individual with character that is noble or virtuous?”
At least we can be striving to that point, because of course, we know this is not something that just happens magically overnight, but it is an effort of the soul that takes tremendous super efforts, day to day, to be continually honest with ourselves and to see where we have shortcomings, where we have anger, greed, gluttony or lust, that is creating problems, that is actually creating suffering. Not because someone else tells us this is creating suffering for us, but because we repeated these behaviors again and again and again, and we know that they lead us to the same unfortunate places.
When we truly begin to work towards ourselves and understand deeply our own suffering, we begin to see how other people that we love and cherish around us are also suffering. Many people are controlled by their anger or their greed, or their fear, their insecurity, and they live their lives completely controlled by these negative states of mind. They do not understand how to access the power within themselves, to begin to take control over their lives and to access a higher state of being: a state of being that is within the spirit, that has faith, not as a mere belief or good intention, but truly by directly knowing that what they are doing will produce peace and happiness for themselves. So this becomes even more crucial for us as we search for the emancipation of others from their suffering, that we really work to liberate ourselves from our own negativity and our own problematic behaviors and delusional states of mind.
Identity, Illusion, and Conflicts with Reality
When I say a delusional state of mind, I mean the mental cage within which we often imprison ourselves. We hold to one belief so strongly; maybe it is a belief about ourselves--maybe we believe we are a certain type of person. Then, if someone comes across us who shows us otherwise, who disagrees with us, or who insults us, we cannot help but suffer and be upset and argue or fight, or react in some strong way to that situation. That is all because we have a belief. We have an idea in our mind about who we are, and when that is challenged, we do not want to see reality. We want to refute reality. We want to argue with reality and assert this idea that “What I believe is the truth and everyone else is wrong!”
We just do not have ideas about ourselves, but many ideas about how other people are. Maybe we have many grudges against other people that “Well, you’re always this way. This is just the way that you’re going to be.” We have ideas about life, and maybe some of them are more cynical ideas that really good people don’t make it out in the end. “Maybe it’s only the bad people that really get what they want in life.” Maybe we have nice beliefs, but that don’t actually produce fruit in our life. So, we have to evaluate our beliefs. We do not necessarily have to throw them all out right away, but we have to see them for what they are. We must have this discrimination. We must identify how beliefs in our life are a filter through which we are not able to perfectly perceive the reality beyond our mind.
Meditation, Introspection, and Inner Discrimination
Anybody who has tried to meditate and silence the mind knows that in the beginning the mind is very chaotic and that is often hard to actually achieve that stability and that quiet of mind through which we can hear any inner voice of the silence as many call that spiritual wisdom.
Much of this has to do with how we behave in our physical life. If we are constantly distracted in our physical life for behaving unethically, we are producing imbalances energetically in our mind and in our consciousness. They make it nearly impossible for us to be able to meditate. And we may develop a high degree of concentration, but we may not feel that we are accessing that inner wisdom, because we do not have that balance. We are not vibrating at that level in which we can be in tune with that.
It’s really essential for us that we try to not only meditate daily or regular—to an amount that is reasonable for us where we are at—but also that we try to behave ethically and become aware of the way that our mind acts during the day, ad how we become distracted.
These are the beginning steps to develop inner discrimination. To be able to see, first of all, our own mind for what it is, and to question our own mind. To separate our own consciousness from the mind. To know that we are not these thoughts, but that we are the perceiver of these thoughts. We are not these emotions, but we are the perceiver of these emotions, and the perceiver of our physical life. And that we have the power to free ourselves from the negative thoughts, and negative emotions, even to have the power to free ourselves from the suffering of our negative life experiences by changing our conscious attitude towards it, and by behaving in new ways that are inspired by our inner wisdom, rather than inspired by our fear or our envy, or anger or greed.
Exercise to Awaken Inner Judgment
When we need to awaken this type of judgment, when we realize that we lost the ability to discriminate within ourselves, we have a special practice in the Gnostic teachings that comes from The Magic of the Runes by Samael Aun Weor. But I wanted to read this excerpt for you about the Rune Rita which can you see pictured here, on the slide.
The present runic practice has the power of liberating internal judgment. We need to convert ourselves into judges of consciousness. To awaken the Buddhata (the seed of our own Buddha nature), the soul, is urgent. This rune has the power of awakening the consciousness of the judges. Let us remember what is called remorse, which certainly is the accusing voice of the consciousness. —Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes
So, a lot of us have an accusing voice of self-criticism or we are evaluating ourselves according to standards of how others may view us. But this is very different from the genuine remorse of the soul, and the conscience, which tell us right from wrong, which in the moment when we are about to lie tugs at us and say: “Can you behave in a better way? Can you just tell the truth and put this bad behavior aside?” Or whatever that might be. Maybe it is not a lie. Maybe it is something else.
But we know that in some cases, what is the right behavior would be the wrong behavior in another circumstance. And that is why is so important to just not blanket a code of conduct, but to really develop our awakened sense of what is right and wrong. To re-awaken it, I should say, because as children I think many of us are more in touch with this. But the more that we act on bad behaviors—and our mind justifies it or gives a really great reason for why we should continue in this route—the further away we get from our inner conscience.
That is why we want to work with this runic practice, to work with this energy of nature, the energy of our own internal judge, our own inner divinity, which can help us to remember remorse. To remember the part of us that has a great spiritual value, and which suffers tremendously when we compromise it for things which, spiritually, are not of value. Whether that is money or recognition, or relationships, or social status, or a worldly success.
It is not that these things are bad in themselves, but if we have to compromise what we believe as right in order to get these things, we are losing a part of our soul. And that part of our soul we may have to work much harder and later on to reclaim. Each of us has to make the decision for ourselves on where we strike that balance of meeting our worldly needs, but doing so in a way that we feel is contributing for something good or a value to the rest of humanity. Or in whatever way we have a particular talent.
When we begin to steer off that course, and when we begin to take those steps into a different, which causes us suffering, that we feel that remorse, in order to re-evaluate: “Is this the path that I want to take or are there a variety of other responses that I can bring up, and think of, to this situation, some of which may help me to feel more peace with myself?”
And Samael Aun Weor goes on to describe this rune:
Those who never feel remorse are truly very far from their interior judge. Commonly, they are lost cases. People like that must work very intensely with the Rune Rita, thus they will liberate their interior judgement. We need with urgency to learn to be guided by the voice of the silence, that is to say, by the innermost judge. —Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes
Within each of us, we have an individualized connection to that universal force of divinity, which as I mentioned earlier, we call the universal consciousness of Christ in this particular tradition. Each of us has our inner spirit, our Innermost God that is our Father or our Mother that is helping us to grow as a soul.
When we hear the voice of the silence, we are hearing that powerful, direct experience of our own inner judgment, of our own inner wisdom, which is guiding us in our life. What we need to do next to continue to learn and grow and flourish as a soul, what we need to do is to perhaps make up for the error of our ways.
And now, this particular rune, we are going to practice—as I mentioned, if you stick around from the meditation afterwards—we will just try it three times. But simply put, you will stand with your left hand on your hip, and your left leg out to make the shape of an “R.” And then you will repeat:
Another Instructor: The mantras RA, RE, RI, RO, RU.
Instructor: Each time you pronounce the mantras RA, RE, RI, RO, RU, each of those vowels you are going to hold them for one long breath. What is important is not so much to focus on the vocalization, but to feel that energy, that current within in us, in the spine vibrating throughout our whole body and awakening our consciousness, giving strength to the consciousness, to the soul.
Working with this type of energy transforms the forces in nature, takes them into our own body and helps our consciousness to awaken and have more strength.
So, we will talk more about his later, but I felt his very important in relationship to preparation for initiation because, frankly, if we do not have our conscience awake, if we do not have to ability to discriminate by ourselves, it is easy to become lost in the sea of life—and in the multitude of spiritual movements and masters, and to no longer have that sight of our inner compass that guide us in our own growth, in our inner development. So, that is why it is truly urgent to awaken that.
Additionally, when we do awaken this, we have to act on it. We have to really follow our inner judge, our Inner God, because that will help us to achieve sanctity of our mind and heart.
The Sanctity of Mind and Heart
The purity of the mind and heart is a prerequisite for spiritual initiation. Now, what we are talking about is an initiation in Christ, in which, degree by degree, we begin to incarnate our own inner spirit more and more, and to express according to our level of development, divinity as it manifests in us. And if we do not have a temple in mind, heart, and body in which divinity can rest, because we are vibrating at an antithetical level of being, then we cannot enter into initiation.
Many people are able to develop spiritual powers, to awaken out of their bodies, to work with energy or concentration and all these practices, but they are awakening in a very egotistical way. In a way that strengthens the mind and that strengthens our desires, and many of these desires are desires to overpower other people, to make other people see things the way we want them to be. To gain more influence, to make people like us more or to have more success in our worldly affairs, but not necessarily for good reasons—not to want to have success in our worldly affairs to truly help people, even if that is what we tell ourselves. But maybe our intention on a deeper level is more selfish.
And so, that is why each one of us can really determine if we are awakening in a positive way towards God, if we are lessening the sense of our false self and we are really awakening more wisdom and compassion. Or if we are strengthening our sense of self and our sense of pride as an individual, and we are only wanting to accumulate more power and more knowledge in order to gain our selfish ends.
And that is why Samael Aun Weor teaches in the book The Major Mysteries:
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 the 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
I know a lot people, a lot spiritual friends who spend much time, whether on the internet or with books, reading and studying about these things. And I myself of course am a very curious person and have read quite a bit about these things, but what is really important is that we can set aside the mental concepts, the intellectual concepts, and we can approach reality as it is, as it presents to us.
In order to do that, we do need a purity of mind. As a child, they can see many things which adults have forgotten how to see. If a child is in a room where his or her parents are fighting, they can see that situation and the pain of that situation in a way in which the parents, who may be identified with their particular perspective, are not able to see anymore. Because now they are caught up in the mind, caught up in the sense of self in the tallies of who did what and “What you have done wrong to me,” and “What I deserve,” and all of these ideas about ourselves that we have developed and strengthened into adulthood.
And so, we become more aware as adults of the many manipulations and complications of adult life, of our modern world, our society. But oftentimes, we are so caught up in this that we confuse them for reality.
Unfortunately, we need to be aware of this in order to navigate society, but society does not have much to do with reality of nature and its existence, and divinity, which is a natural experience that the soul can witness.
So, when I talk about simplicity of mind, we have to be able to not totally give up intellectualism, but to set it aside, to put it in his place. To have the mind become the servant of our spiritual goals, rather than to fortify the mind in order to serve the selfish goals of our desires.
Really, initiation is achieved by the quality of our heart. It is through the merits of our heart that we raise the Kundalini up each vertebrae of the spinal column and it is through the merits of our heart that our own inner Divine Mother, and our Innermost Father and spirit, judge us and determine whether or not we are worthy of genuine spiritual wisdom, powers and abilities and those types of things.
We cultivate this childlike quality the more that we are virtuous and act upon the genuine ideal that we have for ourselves, a spiritual ideal. If you remember as a child what you thought made up a good person, you may be interested in money or those types of things, but really there is a certain character that you might have strived for. And that is the ideal that we want to re-awaken: the best part of us from our childhood, but now with the wisdom of an adult, with the power of an adult, with the choice of an adult, to be able to actually give birth to that.
Psychological Death: The Initiatic Path of Life
Also, we have to die in many ways in order to give birth to that inner child.
I mentioned about our false beliefs, our false ideas about ourselves, the mental prison in which we live and suffer which causes suffering for us, because we cannot understand reality, we cannot understand other people or ourselves.
This is the part that we have to be willing to let go of. That we have to be willing to change. Maybe it is our addictions, which are not necessarily alcohol or drugs, but our addictions to certain behaviors or ways of thinking and living that we know create suffering for us, but that we just cannot seem to break out of.
If we really want to come a more enlightened person, if we really want to work toward the level of development that saints and prophets and masters were able to achieve through their own direct efforts, and through the grace of divinity, then we have to be willing to die to who we are today.
You cannot live in both heaven and hell at the same time. This is about our own psychological state of being. We have to be willing to let go of the way that we have lived, the person that we have been when our inner judgment tells us. That that is not taking us anywhere, but into pain. Then we have to be brave and to take those steps courageously into what we believe as right, in order to really have life. To have that inner power and inner life that gives us real meaning and peace.
So, Samael Aun Weor writes:
When one enters into gnosis (direct experience of divinity), one has to die in order to live; however, proud intellectual people who have the habit of thinking in accordance to their own whims, vanities and prejudices are not good for these gnostic studies; this is a very difficult enterprise for intellectual people because they only want to stuff their minds with these gnostic studies, and the reality is that gnosis is a very deep functionalism of the consciousness. What we have to do with the mind is to kill it, and thereafter to resurrect it, totally transformed. —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
We want a new quality of mind. For many of us, mind is out of control. It is going in the same directions day after day, repeating the same thoughts, the same worries, the same problems, seeking the same desires day after day just on repeat.
We want to get rid of this old mind, to really fight against it in those moments when we feel that pain of conscience, to not let our mind continue to justify and hypnotize us, but to break free and to allow something new to be born. Because with this new quality of mind, this totally transformed quality of mind, we will have that bright awareness of our experience of life, the quality of mind that can see the best in other people. That can enjoy other people and love other people spontaneously and naturally. That has a wisdom to penetrate into the heart of a situation and to really see its spiritual value, not just its value according to society.
Kundalini Yoga or Sexual Alchemy
In order to do this, we do need to work with a very powerful energy, in a very powerful practice. And in our tradition, we call this sexual alchemy.
Just as with the practice of the Rune Rita, we are working with our creative energies. We recognize that creativity is born of our sexual energy. And that is why the Kundalini rises from the bottom of the spine where our sexual organs are, and whether male or female, we have physical, sexual seed, sperm or ovum. But we also have an energy within that physical seed which can be transformed, which can be raised into the pineal gland, which will awaken the spiritual nature of our soul which will awaken consciousness, which is beyond the mind and beyond the body.
Now, as a single person we have the practices which we can use to awaken sparks of that Kundalini energy. We call these pranayamas, generally speaking, and we can talk more about them [see Gnostic Meditation: Pranayama and Sexual Transmutation], but the one that I primarily teach is just to sit, to focus on that energy, to sit in a meditative comfortable pose, in which the spine is straight or you can lie down if that is more comfortable and to just breathe deeply in trough the nostrils and out through the mouth. And as you are breathing in, visualize that energy as light coming up through the spine into the head, saturating our mind and our pineal gland with that energy, that light, and then breathing out, visualizing that energy moving to the heart.
As simple as that, we can harness the breath, we can harness the energy that is within the breath, and within our body and within nature, and begin to strengthen our consciousness that way.
But as Samael Aun Weor points out here in his quote, we need sexual alchemy in order to really create the bodies of the soul. This is because nothing in nature, whether physical or spiritual, is born without the union of masculine and feminine principles, the activity of masculine and feminine forces. He writes:
The only objective of the [first] five initiations of Major Mysteries is the fabrication of the solar bodies [the vehicles of the soul]. In Gnosticism and esotericism, one understands that the fabrication of the solar bodies and the incarnation of the Being are known as the Second Birth. —Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: The Esoteric Treatise of Hermetic Astrology
If we truly want to incarnate the force of our inner spirit, of our internal Christ, that is a frequency which is very, very powerful. We have within us currently astral bodies and mental bodies that can transform mental, emotional, and spiritual energies to a degree. But these are relatively weak and dirty vessels and through which the light of divinity struggles to shine.
Now through the cooperation of male and female, retaining that energy in the body, we are able to create spiritual bodies, spiritual vehicles: a solar physical body, a solar vital body, a solar astral body, a solar mental body, a solar causal body through which divinity can express on all levels.
Now what is important is when we talk about sexual alchemy, we have to retain the sexual, so seed whether male or female, we have to refrain from orgasm, and to transmute that energy upwards. We know that when we let that physical energy out of the body, we produce a physical body. But to harness this energy and to move it inward into the soul, into the consciousness, we can create a spiritual body, a spiritual vessel which is talked about in the Bible as the terrestrial man and the celestial man. We want to create a new type of individual, and so we work with this very powerful energy.
The warning here is that we talked about white initiations, which are initiations into divinity, into the light of Christ, and black initiations through which we awaken in ego. We become demons.
Now, we may be convinced that we have good intentions, and that we are awakening power because we are really becoming great people. But we have to trust our inner judge to determine if we are walking on an egotistical path or the path of light. When we practice White Sexual Alchemy, we are trying to come into connection with our Inner Christ, our inner divinity. And we are working with a very powerful energy.
The outcome of this type of practice is either an angel or demon. So, we will either awaken our own spiritual potential and give birth to our soul, or we will awaken powers, but powers that are demonic, that are entirely engaged in the prison of our false self which grows, and grows, and grows in intensity and increases the suffering of us as an individual and also in others. So we have to really be prepared and really establish our own ethical center before we step into initiation.
So, we will be talking a lot more about sexual alchemy and what is involved with that in the rest of the course, which will be talked about by the other instructors.
The Structure of Initiation
But simply put, to give you an outline, for what initiation is—as we teach it here—this outline is just a framework. Of course, the experience of it is something internal, which is experience in our daily life. In fact, Samael Aun Weor says that “Initiation is life itself intensely lived with rectitude and with love.” It is an inner experience, the development of the hero within our own heart, within our soul. But it is something that we create by the way that we face the ordeals presented to us in physical life.
Sometimes in astral experiences, in our dream state, we may experience ordeals, symbolic ordeals that strengthen us. But many times these are conflicts that we are having in our physical life, or problems which challenge us, exactly in the way that we talked about before, in which we are very tempted to go in a behavior, which we have repeated many times, but which we have the opportunity now to face ourselves, to understand ourselves, to understand why we have gone in wrong direction before, and to take a step in a more positive direction as we see fit.
The Guardian of the Threshold
I separated this chart into four levels or four parts to enter the Major Mysteries. The first is the Guardian of the Threshold. Now, this is described in many traditions as a terrifying beast, which we know in our tradition is the form of our own inner defects. If we looked at ourselves as we truly are, we would see there is a monstrous beast in the mental plane or the astral plane, that we have many vices and many problems, and a lot of suffering within us that we cultivated in and fed our creative energy to throughout this lifetime and even previous lifetimes.
And so, when we face our own ego, we face the Guardian of the Threshold, we are actually breaking our ties with all of the vices that we carry within. Sometimes, this is described, as in Hinduism, as going to battle with our own beloved relatives. Because our vices and our defects are part of ourselves that we very much cling to. And that feels very comfortable for us that we like a lot. And in Hinduism, Arjuna has to go to battle with his own family members who are doing wrong behaviors. And Krishna, which is in Hinduism the representation of Christ, comes to him an says: “You must do your duty. You must go to battle here.”
When we face the Guardian of the Threshold, when we begin to enter into initiation, we begin by breaking all of our ties to the Black Lodge, the Black Lodge being a representation of the black path of initiation, which is the path of vice and selfishness.
And we make a commitment to really go against ourselves because we are own worst enemy. So, this is about taking on and battling ourselves. And if we defeat the inner guardian, we have not fully destroyed, but if we defeat it, then we become the master of our energy. We begin to be able to have more power, more self-control in situations.
But if we fail in this ordeal, then the Guardian of the Threshold becomes our master and our ego dictates how we will live our life, and creates more suffering for us.
Of course, we can battle again, and again, and again. So, we have to be persistent if we fail.
The Four Ordeals of the Elements
The next step is the four ordeals of the elements: air, fire, water and earth.
These elements come to us through many situations in our life.
Air is often associated with instability, with the loss of what one loves, maybe the loss of the job, in which we face a total uncertainty in life and this forces us to develop a quality of consciousness which is unattached, which is able to continue on even in spite of losing stability. We have a lot of movement. And this develops and helps us to balance our consciousness in that area.
And the next area in which we need to balance our consciousness or our state of being will be fire, which causes in the ordeals an emotional pain. Criticism from others is often a common ordeal of fire in which we have to respond with the right temperature. Sweetness in many cases is hard to develop in the face of criticism. And so, after we balance our nature to be firm when we must be firm. And to be soft, and gentle, and sweet when we must be. And to not be completely controlled by how other people behave or what the external situation is, but to really have a level of being in ourselves in which we have control over our response.
The next area in which we balance the consciousness is water, which is often a very emotional ordeal in that we feel overwhelmed. We are thrown into social circumstances in life, which overwhelm us or force to adapt. Or radically adapt: maybe after moving to a new place, and really radically being able to adapt to a new situation.
And finally earth, which helps us to develop the stability and the perseverance of the soul in response to obstacles and difficulties in our life.
The Initiations of Minor Mysteries
After we have made the commitment to the path, and the Guardian of the Threshold in that battle, and then we balance our own consciousness in the four ordeals of the elements, then we begin the initiations of the Minor Mysteries.
Now, there are nine initiations of the Minor Mysteries which relate with nine spheres of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, if you are familiar with Judaic mysticism.
But what is important is to understand that these Minor Mysteries are different ordeals in our physical life, which may have these qualities of the different elements, but which ultimately test our ability to persevere and to remain true to our spiritual goal, in spite of many temptations and challenges which call us off of the path.
It is often called the probationary path because we must pass this before we truly enter into the initiations of the Major Mysteries in which we are giving birth to the soul.
Now, a single person can progress through all of three of these parts of the initiatic path [the Guardian of the Threshold, the four ordeals of the elements, and the Minor Mysteries]: the entrance into the initiatic path. But in order to enter into the initiations of the Major Mysteries, in which we give birth to the solar bodies, the solar vehicles, we must be married. We must be working with our spouse in Sexual Alchemy.
As I mentioned, we are going to talk a lot more about that, and all of these different faces of initiation in future lectures.
What I really want to emphasize and summarize in this preparation for initiation is that is completely up to us to enter into initiation. Each person, regardless of their culture or their religious background, or their upbringing, or their current physical situation in life, has within the main connection to their inner divinity—has a spark of conscience which can be fed and strengthened. And each of us has within us an inner Father and Mother that want us to grow spiritually.
The whole purpose of our existence physically is for us to realize a certain spiritual truth about ourselves: to have an understanding of nature, and reality, and divinity, and ourselves. And oftentimes we are so distracted and hypnotized by the many things that we must keep up with in society, that we forget about the real reason why we are alive.
So, to take the time to really assess our current situation in life in meditation, and to really evaluate the different areas of our life that we spend most of our time and energy and to see where we have compromised our values, and to begin to take steps back to where we really believe we are leaving our spiritual dignity and integrity as a person—that is the preparation for initiation.
And when we couple that with preservation and the purity of our sexual energy through transmutation, then we are really knocking on the door to enter into initiation. And our inner divinity, and all of these masters—that we have talked about in religions, which still exist in the spiritual nature of our reality—will come. The masters of the White Lodge, the prophets, you know, whichever spiritual master that you resonate with can help you, can aid you in this journey because it is very difficult, but that will come from within.
We can be in spiritual groups and we can be in spiritual schools, and we can read spiritual books. And these can be of help to us if we are awakening our own inner discernment. But we must be careful not to get caught up in the politics of many religions. And to not get caught up in problems that will distract us from the real growth of the soul, and from cultivating within us that type of being and spiritual potential that we are really capable of.
Does anyone have questions?
Questions and Answers
Question: How do we know when you have created solar bodies?
Instructor: Some people have created solar bodies in previous lifetimes, although this is pretty rare, speaking for humanity. And so, if that is the case you would know because you will be awakened in the astral plane, in the mental plane, in the causal plane, depending on which solar bodies were used, and not just a moment of awakening which every person can experience, but continuous awakening and being able to consciously project oneself out of the body and travel at will.
Now, if one has created these bodies in past lives and but then fell, for example, lost their sexual energy or behaved very unethically and lost that level of development, the spirit still maintains that degree of initiation. The initiations never belong to the human person, but always belong to the inner spirit. And so, that spirit can never fall, but the soul can fall. So, the soul will have to recapitulate and re-go through all of these steps of initiation in order to re-gain access to those solar vehicles.
Question: When the Kundalini rises according to degrees…
Instructor: According to the vertebrae…
Question: If it doesn’t do that, it just rises?
Instructor: We can have sparks. We can have very vivid experiences in which all at once you now feel this fire, this illumination. But if that experience passes, and we’re back with the same problems that we always have in life, if we haven’t fundamentally shifted as a person in our quality of being, the essence of who we are hasn’t really grown and developed.
That was just an experience meant to help us and to teach us that we actually have to do the hard work. Just as physical body is important in a day and develops over many months, so with our soul do we have to go through the pains of labor, so to speak, and develop those growing pains of the soul, in which we struggle against ourselves in order to become upright individuals.
Question: So that’s almost better though?
Instructor: Well, nature doesn’t take leaps. So, naturally speaking, there are certain people who say you can pay us twenty thousand dollars and we’ll awaken your Kundalini and they will produce some sort of energetic experience for you, but that’s very different from what we’re talking about initiations into the Christic Path, actually incarnating our own Being happens degree by degree.
Question: Kind of going back to the topic of Kundalini. So, you’re saying that in the Minor Mysteries, the Probationary Path, that’s when you’re moving up the Tree of Life, correct?
Instructor: You are actually cleaning out the parts of you that are submerged in the inferior Tree of Life. So the Tree of Life has a shadow in the hell realms. And we actually have each time to clean out the parts of us that are trapped there.
Question: So at that point you’re starting off from Malkuth (the Kingdom)?
Instructor: Sure, actually, I guess it would be the inverted Yesod. Not much is written about the Minor Mysteries. Experientially, you are experiencing parts of yourself that are very rigid, psychologically speaking, that are very hard to work against. Perhaps you have an answer to this if you start in the inverted Kether or if you start in the inverted Yesod.
Another Instructor: So Dante talks about the nine inverted hell realms, spheres of Klipoth, which is the Hebrew term meaing, “shells” or the world of ego, which exists as they mentioned within the interior of the Earth. If you physically go into the terrestrial crust, you will find caves or caverns, but not people, because the infraconscious dimensions are in the astral plane, but inverted. And as part of the Minor Mysteries, we need to transform ourselves. So, we start to perceive internally experiences about our own inner hell. Because the White Lodge, the Christic Lodge is showing us what you need to work on in order to change.
So, yes, to go up you first will go down. Every ascension is preceded by a descent. This is why in every cosmogony or epic the hero has to enter the hell realms first, which is why Aeneas, from The Aeneid by Virgil, has to descend in order to find the truth that is hidden in those realms. Because our soul is trapped. Part of our consciousness is conditioned in ego, which belongs to those dense regions of nature.
Then, if you want to go up, to ascend the Tree of Life, you progressively must go down, to see and investigate parts of yourself: your anger, pride, lust, fear, laziness, ego. So that by working on those false and understanding them, we can extract light. So, first as Dante depicted in The Divine Comedy, you want to go to Paradiso, Paradise. He states that if you first descend Inferno, relating to initiation, because every type of exaltation in divinity, every type of progress is stipulated upon what we have worked on eliminate the Guardian. Maybe in that way, you get started into higher stages of the path, such as Purgatory, and then, at the end to experience all the bliss.
Unfortunately humanity, whenever people enter religion, or spiritual studies of this type, we all want to go the Paradise first. But the truth is, if you enter the Major Mysteries, you will have astral experiences where the masters of the White Lodge will come to you and will show you: “you need to descend first.”
Personally, when I first started this teaching, I had an experience in which I was being attacked by a demon in the astral plane. And so, I was of course, in the beginning, terrified. Then, a master came up to me from the White Lodge and said, “Descend into the Earth!” He started to conjure this demon and kept him away from me. So, I obeyed these orders and went down through many layers within this internal dimension.
Finally I came to a cavern where found sepulchers, tomb with the bones, debris. I intuitively got that I had to go out of that cave and in that experience I eventually found myself in Egypt in the astral plane, where I saw the temple of Giza, which physically is an ancient piece of architecture, which is a cadaver.
But in the internal planes the temple of Giza is active, and that temple was, I remember looking at the three pyramids and seeing the light of Christ there. The Egyptian masters opened the doorway and let me in. I remember having many other teachings they gave me related to this process. But the simple reality is that they were showing me: “You want to enter this temple, like the great masters before in antiquity, but first go into your Earth, descend down into your own mind. Confront yourself!” The term descent simply means to face the results of our previous actions, our mistakes.
So, you can have experiences like that, that show you what the Minor Mysteries are. There are many other ways to verify where you are at through symbols, which is why we study the Kabbalah, which is Jewish mysticism, the language of the internal planes.
Every religion has its symbolism. The cross of Christianity or Jainism, many traditions have the same symbols, which is why we balance the study the different religious traditions and accompany them with our meditation, so that we can verify and understand: “This is where I am at.” First, you have to face that which conditions us first, and when you free consciousness then, they say, “Enter our temple, and let us help you.”
In the beginning we get a lot of help, because, as we are now, we need light. And sometimes those masters will come to you and awaken your consciousness with the [snaps fingers] spark, when you are working with energy exercises, such as pranayama, mantras, runes, sacred rites of rejuvenation, which we have available in books, but also on the websites.
When you start to spark that energy in yourselves, the sexual energy, conserving it, transforming it, you start to have the fire that is going to empower your soul. And that is the beginning, to initiate. So, you can awaken sparks of Kundalini; it does not rise immediately, but you are, so to speak, fanning the flames. The coal is heated, so you have a spark, so you could have ecstasies, experiences, but to do that you need to descend, not only to the Earth, but literally into your physical life. Because Malkuth in Kabbalah, the bottom sphere of the Tree of Life, is our body.
In the internal planes or in the cavern so to speak, you have to discriminate what is happening physically, in our jobs, in our homes, in our bedroom, looking at our behaviors. Because if we act egotistically, we are wasting energy. And then, if you have no energy, you cannot see. I mean if physically you waste energy or expend energies, you feel tired. The consciousness also goes to sleep if we have no force, which is why in the beginning of religion: ethics. If you want to enter the Minor Mysteries, train your mind. Save your energy. And when you build that up, and you are changing your physical life, your behaviors, and no longer performing actions that harm yourself or others, then you have a reservoir [of energy] which you can start to see.
Instructor: So, as you can tell, that is why we will be continuing with this course because there is much to say on each of these different parts. And even more beyond this. This is just the beginning. There are initiations of fire and initiations of light. Many things are already written on the books, so this will be an ongoing course in which we have a lot more to say.
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