<![CDATA[Chicago Gnosis - Transcriptions]]>Fri, 25 Sep 2020 23:37:44 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Absence and Presence]]>Wed, 16 Sep 2020 21:38:16 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/absence-and-presence
The following transcription is from an audio lecture on Sufi Principles of Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.

We spoke previously about contraction and expansion of consciousness. In simple terms, this refers to attention and awareness. We explained that if consciousness is light, that attention is focused like a flashlight. We use attention to concentrate upon different things, such as a progression of ideas in a lecture or in a conversation with a person.
We explained that awareness is different. It is expansive, like a diffused light, the amplification of cognizance. Awareness spreads out towards different phenomena outside.
We spent a lot of time discussing these principles so as to aid our meditation practice, and building off that understanding from the previous lectures, we are going to talk about a very essential discipline that is practiced within every major world religion, every meditative science. This has to do with the continuity of consciousness.
So while contraction and expansion, attention and awareness are important, it is now even more crucial if we wish to really understand this science of meditation, whether from Sufism or any faith, we have to study the continuum, the maintenance, the constant and consistent implementation of the consciousness in the present moment.
We can be attentive in a given instant, in a specific moment. Perhaps at work, we have a challenging circumstance, a trying situation, a life-threatening ordeal. Some people in the midst of a crisis, such as with 9/11, in which the destruction of the Twin Towers shocked the consciousness of everyone present, not only in the United States, but even people viewing the news across the world. Sometimes those instances can produce a very quick awakening, a spontaneous, constant shock that awakens us for a moment, if but briefly.
Many people approach religion, spirituality, meditation, because they want experience. They may have had a taste of that initial flavor of awakening of consciousness, of profound attention, of expansive awareness, but the problem becomes, can we sustain that state? Can we will it? Can we make it consistent in each moment of our life? Can we be cognizant like that, in a state of alert novelty, throughout an entire day?
Continuity of consciousness, in esoteric Buddhism, is known by the term tantra. It is the continuum, the flow, the constant manifestation of the energy of the consciousness within the meditator. Continuity of attention, of awareness, all day, is known as mindfulness in Eastern traditions. It could be called remembrance, presence, vigilance. The Sufis have many beautiful terms that relate to this essential point. One of the many wonderful Arabic terms that explain the nature of this perception, this continuity, is known as مراقبة muraqaba, which translates as vigilance and also meditation.
What is a vigil? People who commemorate the life of someone who is deceased often perform vigils outside their casket, with family and friends, many times enmeshed and concentrated within deep prayer. They don't sleep physically. Many other traditions, such as the Aztecs, the great warrior dancers, the Jaguar Knights of ancient Mexico, would perform beautiful vigils as a ceremony in remembrance of divinity. And likewise, the Sufis, many masters of that tradition would often fast, but also not sleep for prolonged periods of time. I believe Prophet Muhammad was well-known for this. He often stated and many times, referenced in the Qur’an, "It is best to lose sleep over prayer."
More importantly for us, we have to learn to be awake all the time as a consciousness, as an Essence, as a soul. It means that we have to be attentive and aware at all times.
But of course, in the beginning this is very difficult. For those of you who have perhaps practiced a physical vigil, it can be very difficult. Personally, I have done this in the past and often have spent nights deep in prayer, meditating, seeking illumination, especially in the morning hours. Waking up early, but also waking up throughout the night to perform vigil, introspecting, meditating, asking for guidance. Because if we are attentive in our consciousness, not only just one moment, but throughout our entire existence, we deepen our state. We deepen our connection. We augment our remembrance with the divine. It is even stated in one of the surahs of the Qur’an, "the recitation at dawn,” how great it is, for it “is ever witnessed” by the angels, by the divine. For how do you not know that “your Lord shall resurrect you in a praiseworthy station?" (Qur’an 17:78-79)
This has to do with really deepening our practice, because it is not enough to be attentive just for one instant in our life. We have to learn to develop consciousness, its attention and its awareness, but all the time. Otherwise, we are not going to have much depth. People who learn to have insight for a moment, who state that they have a spiritual awakening, but who do not sustain those states, eventually become swallowed by life. They are not practical. There are many philosophies and groups that teach you that awakening is just momentary. But in reality, there are levels and levels upon awakening, of presence with the Being. Heights upon heights.
So we have to be intentional. It is not enough just to have one moment of clarity. We need clarity in every instant of our existence. We have to sustain our attention and awareness with intention, with will. So people often talk about feeling a presence, an awakening, but they describe it as something fleeting. It means that they are not awakened, but they are asleep. They had a shock, perhaps a divine moment, but then the mind intervened, and now they are back again in a state of slumber, psychologically speaking. So while we can have a profound moment of wisdom, it does not mean that the entirety and totality of our life is that.
Where is our center of gravity? Where does our attention, our awareness go? And more importantly: for how long?
All religions teach the need to awaken, yet, they were never explicit in their methods. So they gave clues, but not all of the techniques that lead to that state and its diverse qualities. Every religion has a kindergarten, an exoteric doctrine, a public school, a beginning level. In Sufism, this is Shariah. It is ethics. We learn to be ethical when we are awake. If we are asleep at the wheel of our car, psychologically speaking, we cannot in any way protect our spirituality, because if we are unconscious, we make mistakes. We act upon nafs, egos, desires.
We have to learn to observe ourselves, to do that all day, to be awake, to see what is new inside. But at the same time, we need to be aware of our surroundings. So one of the points we wished to have left you with in our former lecture is that external events and our understanding of their relationship to internal states is how we arrive at comprehension of ourselves, comprehension of the ego. So that we are no longer asleep. So that we are not dozing off, not paying attention to where we are at and what we are doing―thinking of other things, of our fiancé, our friend, our wife, our partner, our family, and not knowing where we are at or what we are doing. So this is vigilance―to not sleep.
When we lose our attention, we don't really have consciousness of the causes of our own psychological states. We can be angry at a person and not know why. This is fundamentally wrong. We need to know everything: the reasons why we exist and why we act the way we do.
This is why in the beginning levels of religion, of Sufism, we work with ethics. We learn to curtail negative thinking, negative feeling, and negative actions within ourselves and in our daily life, all the time. It is not enough to be chaste for a day and to be impure the rest of our existence. Meditation does not work that way. It requires a complete introversion of our consciousness―to not blame the external world, but the look inside, to have presence within the body, to know that we are here, to know what is happening, to know why we are irritated or upset, depressed, morbid, doubtful, lustful. We have to understand our relationship to the world and vice versa, and so we have to ask ourselves, are we really here, and how do we know?
Here is a test for you. When you go to sleep at night, are you awake in your dreams, or do you see nothing? If eight hours pass and you don't know anything, it means that we are profoundly unconscious in our physical life, as we have explained in the lecture The Present Moment, because conscious awakening, if it is continuous, it manifests in our sleep, physically, so that the consciousness, which is trained, which is active, is aware and awake and intelligent and profoundly luminous in the dream world. We stop dreaming. We see those dimensions for what they are, and we can gain even more knowledge about how to change.
And so there are very distinct levels of presence, that flavor of remembrance. I am sure all of us had had a moment in which we forgot something very important, perhaps related with work, and suddenly we have the insight. We remember. We have a shock in our attention. We see something new. We have a clarity and a crispness that is distinct. It is pristine. That is a simple allegory for presence of being, remembrance of our state. It is the absence of distraction. It is the absence of the ego, but a profound presence in our own awareness, which is maintained. 
These levels of presence and even absence are mapped in different ways by different traditions. In Buddhism, you have nine stages of meditative concentration or calm abiding. If you want to know more about that very famous glyph within every Tibetan Buddhist monastery, you can study Meditation Essentials on gnosticteachings.org, or our lecture on Calm Abiding: The Stages of Serenity and our course on Gnostic Meditation.
In Judeo-Christianity, you have the Tree of Life, which documents different levels of presence, of understanding, of consciousness. Within Sufism, this marvelous tree of being correlates directly with the states and stations of the esoteric path. All of these are tools. They can help us understand where we are at in our development.
So, how present are we throughout the day, or even when we sit to practice meditation? On a simple level, we can be present for a few moments, remembering our objective during a certain session. We are concentrating on a stone, simply viewing it and not thinking of other things. We are observing the fact of that rock in front of us, and if our mind starts to think or get distracted, we don't repress. We don't justify. We don't get carried along with that associative chain of thought. We simply return to observation. But if we do forget, we get distracted, we start thinking and daydreaming of other things. It means that we are absent. We are physically in front of this rock, seated in an asana, a posture, but our mind is traveling very far away.
This has to change. We forget ourselves more often than we remember ourselves in the beginning. This change is through discipline: remembering the Being, alert novelty, remembering the presence of the Self, the Innermost, observing our defects.
So beginners struggle often to remember their Being, the focus of their practice. Their center of gravity is in the ego, not the consciousness. Masters of meditation are different. Their center of gravity is in the consciousness. It is in the Being even, but this is a gradual development. They have presence or continuity of attention and awareness at all times, even when the physical body is asleep. They are awakened citizens in the internal planes.
We get to that point through consistency in our practices, which is why Abu-I Husayn al-Nuri stated:
“For twenty years I have been finding and losing―when I have found my Lord, I have lost my heart, and when I have found my heart, I have lost my Lord.” ―Abu-l Husayn al-Nuri
If we remember the Being, we forget that we are the ego. Our consciousness shifts. There is a division of attention there. We are the Essence that is free. But if we invest our energy into desire, info nafs, into ego, we forget our Being. We lose our Lord, because we are concentrated on our own egotistical heart. 

​The Definition of Absence

"Each moment is a golden child of Gnosis" says Samael Aun Weor. "Nothing in life is ever static or dull." However, if we are not vigilant, continuously applying effort to be here and now, we do not recognize the novelty of each instant, each moment.
This is the qualifying characteristic of whether or not we are doing this right. We have to see life in a new way, all the time. If it is repetitive and dull, if we are lax in our attention, if we are ambiguous, vaporous in our awareness, misty, clouded, it means that we are asleep. We need clarity. We need crispness, but this is only refined through application. And when we forget to do the work, we have to remember, bring ourselves back. Part of that is because of our Being pushing us inside, but oftentimes we don't know what is going on around us or even within us.
This is a profound absence of consciousness.
Al-Qushayri, the writer of Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism, stated something very interesting:
“Absence is the heart’s absence from knowledge of what is going on in ordinary human affairs, due to the absorption of the senses in something else that is influencing them. The heart may be made absent from its sense of itself and others by the influence of remembering eternal reward or of thinking about eternal punishment.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Too often people project their mind on to life. We don't really see the reality of things, if we are honest, if we are really analyzing ourselves and being critical, not from a sense of morbidity or doubt, but from seeking to know the truth of our life. So this is our psychological state. We often project our fears, our hatred, our preoccupations, our ideologies, our politics, upon the world, upon others. We often identify with externals, but really don't see any internal cause for anything that happens in the world. Many times people think that presence has to do with perceiving correspondences within our surroundings. Sometimes people look to find numbers that repeat, coincidences, things that seem rather supernormal, but I like to relate to you a statement by Samael Aun Weor in his Revolution of the Dialectic about the need to have a receptive mind, to not project our beliefs unto what we see, to be present.
“If you are eating, eat; if you are getting dressed, get dressed, and if you are walking on the street, walk, walk, walk, but do not think about anything else. Do only what you are doing. Do not run away from the facts; do not fill them with so many meanings, symbols, sermons and warnings. Live them without allegories. Live them with a receptive mind from moment to moment.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
We have to be present. That continuity must be maintained always.
So the term absence is very dynamic within Arabic and Sufi mysticism. For most people, absence is our daily state. We are inattentive or unaware of our psychological states and the external environment in which we are. However, there is a type of spiritual absence, but I invite you to reflect deeply on this and not get caught up in the terminology. It is something different than what we commonly associate with absence, as if no one is home. You know, we say that a person is not attentive or is kind of lost, that “There is no lights on at home.” There is no one there. There is no one conscious or present in front of us.
There is a type of spiritual absence. It can refer to a type of profound absorption, internally concentrated and connected with divinity, so much that the initiate seems unaware of what is happening outside of oneself. This type of spiritual absence is an advanced state amongst masters like Samael Aun Weor. 
I'll give you an example. He knew how to leave his body at will. He could be talking to a person physically, and yet he could close his eyes and leave his physicality behind and enter the internal dimensions, intentionally, at any time. Other people could be talking to him, but he would be in samadhi. His consciousness was so focused on the internal worlds, his center of gravity was in the internal worlds, and that it was difficult for him to be present in the body. Now, most of us we struggle to be aware of our physical body in the first place and even our environment. Meanwhile, we lack cognizance of pretty much anything. Beginners also do not know. We do not know how to enter the astral world, the internal worlds, the heavens of the Tree of Life, at will.
Meanwhile Samael Aun Weor and many prophets like Mohammed, Krishna, Moses, Buddha etc., are awakened internally. Samael Aun Weor had to exert effort to be in the physical body, because his intelligence was focused, his center of gravity was focused in the heights of the Tree of Life, so otherwise he was absent here, physically, due to his absorption.
We can relate a few more excerpts about this from The Principles of Sufism.
For instance, it is said that Rabi bin Khaytham was going to visit Ibn Masud when he passed by the shop of a blacksmith and saw hot iron in the forge. He lost consciousness and did not come to himself until the next day. Having awakened, he was asked about what happened, and said, ‘Through that fire, the existence of the People of the Fire came to my mind.’ This is an absence that exceeded its bounds and became a faint.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So these are stories. These are principles the Sufis spoke in a very allegorical way, which people read literally. If they want to, that is fine, but more profoundly in relation to the states and stations of the esoteric path, this has to do with an absence of the body and presence in the internal planes.
So this presence is when we have experiences about the realities of heaven and hell, the Tree of Life, and its shadow, the Tree of زقوم Zaqqum, the hell realms, the infra-dimensions.  And when we learn to really walk this path, we have to face many entities that belong to what the Qur’an refers to as the left-hand, the path of demons, sorcerers, black magicians, unbelievers. The term unbeliever in Arabic is كافر Al-Kafir or the الكافرون Al-Kafirun, the unbelievers (plural). 
So what is this term mean? There is a surah in the Qur’an called الكهف Al-Kahf, which is the Cave, كهف Kahf, where the unbelievers, الكافرون al-Kafirun, dwell within the caves of the Earth, in the infra-conscious dimensions, which we access in dreams or in meditation―if we are pulled in that direction based on our level of being. Because some people have nightmares, very disturbing dreams, and that is a reality. That is hell. It is not a made-up illusion. It has a real existence, but of course, it is inferior in relation to the multi-dimensionality of existence.
So the people of the fire are those كافرون kafirun, unbelievers, who are not only outside, but inside. Our own egos do not believe in divinity. They fight against us when we want to be chaste, when we want to meditate, to concentrate. So that war against the unbelievers is inside our own defects.
So that is an example of a type of absorption in which something physical reminds one of a profound principle, internally. 
"Through that fire, the existence of the People of the Fire came to my mind." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
For those of us who have had experiences of these infra- conscious realms, we can speak with clarity that these are really profound states of suffering, and that we seek to avoid in our work―to confront and to change, so that we don't go to those states permanently. But things can remind us, give us remembrance, give us a shock, so that we forget even what is around us― even introspect inside. In a sense, that is a type of absence, physically, but a presence within our consciousness, a remembrance.
There is also a statement in this quote that is interesting to analyze:
It is also told that a fire broke out in the house of Ali ibn Husayn while he was in prostration, but he did not turn away from his prayer. When asked about what had happened, he said, “The remembrance of hellfire protected me from that fire.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So again, these are psychological truths. They are not necessarily literal stories where, because he was praying, his house didn't catch fire, because he was remembering hellfire. That metaphor, that symbol, that allegory, for our purposes, has to do with the fact that if we are remembering our Being, we will not get hurt physically. We will face dangers, but we will be protected.This is something we verify through presence, through awakening, through faith, through knowing. It is not a belief. We know the source of our protection from experience. Divinity is the Mighty, the Wise, says the Qur’an, but of course, we have to remember who He is, what the Innermost is.

​The Causes of Absence

Absence and presence have different causes that we have to become attuned to, to understand, and even to manipulate at will. Al-Qushayri states:
Sometimes absence from one’s senses may be brought on by the Truth’s disclosure of an inner meaning. Those who experience this are differentiated according to their states.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So sometimes, we can receive profound insight into a problem, an experience of a dream we had in the morning, or a realization that emerges seemingly from nowhere, whereby we feel a shock of conscious understanding. We become internally absorbed, in that our external circumstances do not really influence our attention or awareness. We are present within, but absent from the cares of the world.
While Sufism might seem to present these terms, absence and presence, as opposites, they in truth represent dynamic qualities, principles with multiple layers of meaning. So what are these degrees or differentiations of states according to Al-Qushayri? We have to remember that there are three levels of meditative science: introductory, intermediate, and advanced, or in Arabic: شريعة Shariah, طريفة Tariqah, حقيقة Haqiqah / معرفة Marifah. Or: ethics, the law, Shariah; the path of meditation daily, which is Tariqah; and the truth and knowledge we gain from experience of reality is Haqiqah (the truth) and Marifah (knowledge, or in Greek, γνῶσις Gnosis, or in Hebrew, דעת Da’ath). They all reference the same thing.
So we have to learn where our center of gravity is in our states of presence. In the beginning levels, it is sporadic. We forget ourselves more than we remember ourselves. In the intermediate paths, we are learning to remember ourselves more. And in the highest stages of wisdom, one does not forget the Being at all.
So we can fluctuate in our meditation practice in a given session through all of these states, from one moment to the next, but a master has their full development in the knowledge and truth of their Being.
We have to begin where we are, and many people have experiences, even though they are temporary, are so profound, that they place them on a spiritual path. For example, you have many initiates of the White Lodge who were once very poor people, had negative character, and were suffering a lot. Because they had a transformative experience, they left behind a life of materialism and entered a life of spirituality. This is allegorized in every tradition, whether from Milarepa in Buddhism, St. Paul of Tarsus in Christianity, and in this example in Sufism, we have the Master Al-Haddad. Let us read an excerpt about him:
It is well known that the state of Abu Hafs al-Nishapuri al-Haddad (the Blacksmith) began with his leaving his trade. He was in his shop when a reciter of the Qur’an chanted a verse, and an influence came over his heart that made Abu Hafs lose awareness of his senses. He put his hand into the fire and drew out the hot iron. One of his students saw this and exclaimed, ‘Master, what is this?’ Abu Hafs looked at what had manifested through him, abandoned his trade, and left his shop.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is allegorical wisdom. The Sufi language is Kabbalistic. Many people are like this blacksmith. Many of us identify with materialism. But it is a recitation of the Qur’an that opened Al-Haddad's eyes. It is interesting that even names in Arabic have a lot of meaning. Haddad resembles Al-Haddid, which is a surah in the Qur’an known as “The Iron.” Interesting that a blacksmith has the name iron, or a name resembling that word.
Let us read a verse from the Qur’an that relates to this principle. It is from Surah Al-Hadid, The Iron, verse 25:
We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice. And We sent down iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.” ―Qur’an 57:25
The language of the Qur’an is Kabbalah and alchemy. It is symbolism. There are verses of literal meaning and there are verses of symbolic, allegorical, metaphorical, conscious, symbolic meaning.
A balance represents equanimity, serenity, tranquility, the scales of inner peace. Iron is a symbol of willpower, spiritual force, concentration. Haddad, the blacksmith, was so absorbed by the mysticism of the Qur’an that he put his hand on a hot iron and didn't realize it. This is implying that, as with many of the Sufi stories, that he was in this case physically not hurt, but this is a symbol how the fire and heat of lust cannot harm us if we are present with the Being. Lust, ego, nafs, desires, cannot affect the person who is present with God. So in this example, Al-Haddad left his shop. He left behind a life of materialism and became an initiate of esoteric Islam.
So with training we can learn to be absent from lust and present with chastity. These are psychological states, and in the beginning we are often filled and afflicted with desires, and many students write to us complaining and suffering a lot: how do I overcome my egos, my defects, my desires, because we have so much of it? We have to learn to be like Al-Haddad.
Remember your Being. Remember the message of the divinities, such as through the Qur’an, the Bhagavad-Gita, the sutras, the tantras, the writings of Samael Aun Weor. Remember those teachings and practice them to the best of your ability, so that with presence of Being, you learn to even approach the sexual act, your marriage if you are married, the creative energy, and not to be burned by that force, to not be hurt by it. Instead, we transform it and we create the soul.

The ​Definition of Presence 

So let us talk about the definition of presence. This is awareness. The Arabic word for awareness is muhadarah, which is where you get words like presence, حضور hudur. When we say that someone is present, it implies that we are attentive, listening, apprehending the nature or meaning of phenomena.
So the mind needs to be in a state of receptivity, passivity, and the consciousness needs to be active, intentionally looking. If you are not intentionally perceiving your existence, if not providing effort in that regard, if we are not consistently manifesting our cognizance in accordance with the needs of each circumstance of life, it means that we are not awake.

We are in the physical world―in Kabbalah, Malkuth, the physical body―and usually we are not even aware of our physical body itself. As we stated previously, we often forget our breathing. Sometimes we get into an argument or we are angry. We are panicking. We are breathing really fast. We are not even aware of this process. If you control your breath, you control your mind. You control your body. This is a basic fundamental practice within Sufism: to control the breath, to be grounded in where you are at. So if you forget what is happening to you, just breathe, relax, become concentrated in yourself. This is a kindergarten practice, but it is the foundation of everything else.
So let us remember ourselves and our body. Wherever we go and whatever we do, let us not be distracted to the reality of our daily life.
As Al-Qushayri states:
As for presence, it means that one is present with the Real, because if one is absent from creation one is present with the Real. [The term] implies that [the state] resembles being [physically] present: the remembrance of the Real captures one’s heart, and one is present within one’s heart before the Lord Most High.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
What does it mean to be absent from creation but present with the real? Many students often ask what it means to have presence, to be in remembrance of the presence of divinity.
Examine your conduct. Examine your behaviors. Examine your mental states. Do you act out of benefit for others, with compassion, with equanimity, even when you are being insulted? Do you respond with kindness to the person who has betrayed you? Do you have patience for those who afflict you and hurt your pride? Do you give to your neighbor even though it hurts? Do you forgive the person who betrays you? Who has walked away from your most generous actions? Who doesn't appreciate your best efforts?
Our behavior shows us our level of being. Are we acting with divine principles, or are we reacting to life out of pain in order to produce more pain?
We have to be in the world, but not of it. Be present. Respond to life, but don't react. What does this mean? In a moment, we are afflicted with rage. We are angry. Someone betrayed us, did something very hurtful. Our pride is seeking to express in our words: sarcasm, hatred, wrath. We have to learn how to respond to a situation, but not with desire. So while we previously stated it is important and even necessary to be patient in those circumstances, in challenging ordeals, we always have to respond in some way, with presence of some kind.
Life always demands a response. We cannot live in a bubble and think that we can avoid the problems of existence. The reality is that we need to intelligently deal with everything, with cognizance. You have to do it by being present of your behavior. First, physically, and then internally.
What does your mind want to do in this situation, even if you don't voice what you are really feeling? Our invisible behaviors show us our level of being. What do we secretly want to do? Do we want revenge? Do we want vindication? Do we want the world to embrace us as a hero, even when we are not? When we are wrong?
We have to examine our internal qualities, and when you follow your conscience, knowing the right thing and actually doing it, we learn to end problems. They cease. They evaporate. The real problem is our attitude, our mind, our identification with life, that feeling of “This person really harmed me and I need to get revenge.” We are identifying in those instances. Our sense of self is invested in the problem and it is the problem.
So, don't invest your energy in that, because that energy needs to be conserved and used for the Being. Without energy, we cannot be present. We cannot be awake, even physically. If you don't sleep enough, if you don't have enough vital energy, you can't pay attention. You will nod off. The same with our spirituality. Examine your behavior: how we behave, and think, and act, and feel, and how we exert energy. Where we direct our attention, we spend energy. So, don't invest it in external things. To know divine qualities, we have to really renounce egotistical qualities in ourselves.
These profound states of being that everybody wants are found here and now. They are not in some far distant future. The presence of God is found by doing what is right in your heart―not out of vindication or shame or pride or malice, but for the benefit of the other person, even when they are wrong… especially so. This is Shariah, the basics, the foundation of religion. If we don't do this, we cannot meditate. In fact, we will be wasting our time.
This is why Dhū’l-Nūn Miṣrī stated the following:
"The key to success in worship lies in meditative reflection (fikrat)…whoever persists in such reflection in the heart will behold the invisible realm in the spirit. Whoever contemplates God through keeping watch over the thoughts which pass through his heart will be exalted by God in all of his outward deeds." ―Dhū’l-Nūn Miṣrī in ‘Aṭṭār: Tadhkirat, 154-155
Therefore contemplate yourself, for as the Sufis state, "He who knows himself knows his Lord." 

Presence with God

The presence of God, the Being, has degrees. This is why we study the Tree of Life. It is a map of levels of being. Let us read the wisdom of Al-Qushayri:
“Presence with God, is to the degree of absence from oneself and the world. When it is said that so- and-so is “present,” it means that he is present in his heart with his Lord, not unconscious of Him and not distracted, in continuous recollection of Him. In that state, and according to his degree, the Truth reveals to him the spiritual meanings and secrets for which he has been chosen.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Let's examine this glyph of the Tree of Life and this statement by Al-Qushayri by asking a few questions.
How present are we in the body?
Are we aware of energy circulating and flowing in us?
Do we sense our emotions? Do we have control over what we feel, our mood, our sentiments?
Is our mind calm, or is it racing with thoughts, associations, ideas, projects, plans, day dreams, fantasies, commentaries, internal chatter?
This is mapped out on the Tree of Life, this dynamic. The lower four סְפִירוֹת sephiroth or spheres of this glyph on the right represent:
  • מלכות Malkuth, the physical body
  • יְסוֹד Yesod, the energy, the vitality of our life
  • הוד Hod is our emotions, our sentiments, our feelings, and:
  • נצח Netzach is the mind, the intellect, our thoughts
Most people who approach meditation don't even get past the body. We are usually so unaware of our body throughout the day that if one sits to practice, even if very sincere, to go inside, to introspect―the body is agitated. We have an itch. The arm wants to move. There is no control. It is impossible to relax.
Ethics are so important because the physical body must be at peace, and if we are engaging in negative behaviors all day, we are agitating our body. It becomes tense. If we are angry, we clench our fists and our teeth (some people, perhaps). We all have our tendencies, and if we don't know how to relax the body, we cannot do anything. So this is the beginning. After adopting a posture, we relax. We let the body sit. We don't move. Let it be. Let it rest.
In order to aid in this process, we work with energy: Yesod, the foundation of our spirituality. יְסוֹד Yesod in Hebrew means “foundation.” It is to work with the sexual creative energy, and within Sufism, when we work with breath, as in with any tradition, we are circulating that vital force throughout our body, our heart, and our mind. That energy helps us to relax. Deep breathing helps us to calm, helps to be still.
So after adopting a posture, are we really present with the energies of the Being through our breath, through our work, through our pranayamas, our mantras, our transmutation exercises?
As we are examining ourselves, is our mood calm?
We have to suspend emotions and to enact superior emotions through prayer. We have to pray sincerely for divinity to help us. This is not found in some formula or memorizing a complicated prayer. You can do that, and it's very beautiful and wonderful if you can, but more importantly, prayer is sincere and effective when we are genuine―not by mechanically reciting 10,000 Hail Mary’s or reciting Al-Fatihah, the opening of the Qur’an, mechanically, repetitively, without knowing its meaning.
We also have to suspend thought. Don't let the mind dictate to you your life. But this doesn't mean that we repress what we see. We have to comprehend our mind, so that it naturally, by looking at it and not investing our selves into it, it starts to settle on its own, like the waves of a lake that cease its turbulence when we no longer thrash against the waters, so to speak, with negative behavior.
This is all preliminary. When the lower four sephiroth are calm, we can learn to concentrate with willpower, with concentration. This is תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, which means “beauty,” or in Arabic, إحسان Ihsan, “beautiful action.” It is the source of all beauty and action within our very being.
Without willpower, guided by Geburah, our consciousness, our conscience, we can't affect anything. גְּבוּרָה Geburah in Hebrew means “judgment.” It is our intuition. It is knowing what is right and wrong, even if the mind does not understand.
The thread of that awareness is very subtle in us, very profound, and if we are all listening to this type of lecture or studies, it is because we're following our conscience, which is the voice of our inner Being, חֶסֶד Chesed: “mercy” in Hebrew. Or الرحيم Al-Rahim, as we state in the opening of every surah, except surah 9, in the Qur’an:

بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
“In the name of Allah (the Being), the Compassionate, the Merciful.”

Mercy is Chesed. It is the Spirit. It is رو Ruh in Arabic but רוּחַ Ruach in Hebrew―the same meaning.
We have to follow our inner judgment, to know what is right and wrong from our heart. And as we learn to connect internally by suspending our body, relaxing our body, and calming our senses, the energies, suspending our emotions, withdrawing from thought and concentrating upon our inner intelligence, we learn to follow and understand the voice of judgment in ourselves, with clarity. This is why meditation is essential, to withdraw from the world internally and not to be caught up in the mind or negative emotions or lustful sensations, because they are all distractions. 
So judgment in Arabic is دين‎ Din, relating to Geburah, the sign of Mars, astrologically when you related it to this tree [of life]. The metal is iron, so going back to the study of the Iron Surah, verse 25, we can unpack this even further:
“We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidences and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice.” ―Qur’an 57:25
So what is that clear evidence? It is internal experiences in your meditations, and when you are in the dream world, the astral plane, Hod. So the scriptures all emanated from the internal worlds, from the divine, from the higher sephiroth of this Tree, and it is the force of balance, because justice is the scale of balance―how you balance the deeds of your life with intelligence, which is above, בִּינָה Binah in Hebrew. It is “understanding.” It is a primordial root intelligence that is beyond matter and materiality and energy, but which is the cognizance of the most high aspects of divinity.
We have to use our balance, our judgment in how to live our life with willpower, with iron. Willpower can relate to Tiphereth, the human soul, which is the source of the most beautiful actions, as we stated.
Balance, justice, genuine religion, is a state of meditation, whereby we evaluate the contents of our mind with the scale of equanimity and the iron of concentration.
If you think of iron, it is a metal that is very solid. Is our concentration like that, or do we forget what we are doing when we sit to practice? Let us develop ourselves. Let us get serious. Let us actually develop ourselves consistently. We learn to support this teaching, the scripture, and the unseen messengers when we awaken internally. At that time, no longer are those masters invisible to us, but visible within our experiences.

​The Dynamics of Absence and Presence

Absence and presence are also flexible terms amongst the Sufis. We are going to build off this explanation by reciting some quotes here. This is from Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery, the Persian manual of Sufism that is very well renown amongst Sufi circles. Samael Aun Weor, we have to remember, said that the best of Sufism comes from Persia. So this is a very valuable text to study.
“These terms, although apparently opposed to each other, express the same meaning from different points of view. “Presence” is “presence of the heart,” as proof of intuitive faith (yaqin), so that what is hidden from it has the same force as what is visible to it.” ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (Khashf al-Mahjub)
We talked previously about certainty, اليقين Al-Yaqin. We arrive at certainty when we have inner experiences in meditation, in visions, in astral projections.
We have to become totally absent to the ego. We have to escape its conditions so that we can really see. The key is relaxation. Suspend your senses. Work with energy to empower your consciousness. Concentrate and visualize with your perception or imagination, otherwise known as insight, firasah in Sufism.
Al-Hujwiri continues:
“‘Absence’” is ‘absence of the heart from all things except God’ to such an extent that it becomes absent from itself and absent even from its absence, so that it no longer regards itself; and the sign of the state is withdrawal from all formal authority, as when a prophet is divinely preserved from what is unlawful. Accordingly, absence from one’s self is presence with God, and vice versa.” ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (Khashf al-Mahjub)
So on those highest samadhis, mapped by the Tree of Life, we have no longer any conception of self-hood. We are merely the pure, clear, expansive, profound, illuminated consciousness united with the Being. Whenever we identify with thought, we lose our experiences, but at that point we no longer regard ourselves as a terrestrial person. Our identity is no longer there. There is only the Being. And it is a “withdrawal from all formal authority” because, really, the authorities of this world do not know anything of internal states, the real experiences of the Being. This is very evident if you look at the politics of humanity and all the division amongst religious and social, spiritual groups.
Withdraw from formal authority and gather your authority from your inner experiences. Rely on your own divinity to teach you what is presence and what is absence.

​Degrees of Presence and Absence

To be present in our body is different from being present with divinity in the higher dimensions. Each ספירה sephirah, we could say, is a veil for what is more subtle, that which obscures our understanding of the dimensions beyond it. Entering higher worlds is uncovering veils, obscurities―seeing reality in a more profound level of nature.
So the Qur’an allegorizes this very beautifully in many symbols relating to the horizon, the sky, how “Allah makes the heavens a sign for the believers,” whether the rising sun, the setting sun, the moon. These are not literal explanations. These are symbols of qualities of Being, because if you are in the internal planes and you see these astrological bodies, they are teaching you, divinity is teaching you something profound about yourself.
If the sun sets, it means something needs to die. If the sun is rising, it means something is being born. If there are stars, it is a symbol of presence with the Being, unity with divinity at our level, deeper remembrance, clarity, perception. But if the sky is clouded, it means that we are asleep. We have a lot of ego. We are cloudy in temperament and mind.
“‘Present,’ with the sense of being back from an absence, may also be used for the servant’s return to his perception of his own condition and human situations. This, however, refers to the presence with the creation, while the first use of the term refers to presence with the truth. States of absence vary―for some Sufis, absence is not prolonged, while for others it is continuous.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So our degree of development depends upon how consistent we are in entering silence of mind, serenity, insight, our internal worlds. We stay asleep and absent if we don't practice. This is a simple law of cause and effect. For some, absence is prolonged. For others it is short, depending on our level of being. Some of us may wake up more depending on our development, our work, our efforts. States of absence are replaced with states of presence when we are consistent at our exercises. 

​The Subtleties of Absence and Presence

So in synthesis, the more we are absent to the ego, not identified with it, the greater our cognizance of divinity. The more attention and energy we invest in the ego, the greater our absence of and distance from the Being. 
Once entering clearer states of remembrance and divine experiences, oftentimes the methods we use to reach those heights are no longer necessary. This is a very subtle thing that Al-Qushayri really explains. For example, to really be present on an object of concentration, such as a mantra, pranayama, a candle, a visualization, an image, requires that we become absent to distractions. And this is really the value of such exercises. We train ourselves to be here and now, to discover how our mind keeps us asleep, how we fantasize, how we are hypnotized.
It takes tremendous effort and energy to be focused in the beginning. However, by deepening our tranquility, it takes less effort and more familiarization with that state. And when you have achieved perfect serenity, it takes no effort, which is why Al-Qushayri states in Principles of Sufism:
“According to etymology, the disciple is ‘he who possesses will,’ just as the knower is ‘he who possesses knowledge,’ because the word belongs to the class of derived nouns. But in Sufi usage, the disciple is he who possesses no will at all!” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is very subtle. It means not to have any egotistical will, no desires present, no distractions, no fantasies. After we obtain perfect concentration, we don't need any effort to maintain it. We only need to be familiar with it. This is very well known within Buddhism, especially. When obtaining serenity, we are absent from desire and present within our Essence, the human soul, Tiphereth in Hebrew, Ihsan in Arabic, the beauty of the consciousness within Kabbalah.
Let us read some excerpts from this book, Revelation of the Mystery, (Khashf al-Mahjub):
“...inasmuch as all excellencies are bound up with presence, and as absence from one’s self is a way leading to presence with God, the way becomes an imperfection after you have arrived at the goal.” ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (Khashf al-Mahjub)
So when you are fully concentrated in divinity, it does not take any exertion or effort. You simply have to be present. This is a qualitative state you have to become familiar with through a lot of practice and trial and error.
“Presence (in God) is the fruit of absence (from desire), but what light is to be found in absence without presence? A man must needs renounce heedlessness (distractions, novelties, vain amusements, a distracted mind)  in order that, by means of this absence, he may attain to presence (with the Being); and when he has attained to his object, the means by which he attained it has no longer any worth.
“The ‘absent’ one is not he who is absent from his country, But he who is absent from all desire.
The ‘present’ one is not he who hath no desire (longing for divinity),
But he who hath no heart (no thought of worldly things),
So that his desire is ever fixed on God.” ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (Khashf al-Mahjub)
So desire can be interpreted in different ways. Obviously in the Gnostic teachings, strictly, we use desire to refer to the ego, but some people refer, the Sufis refer poetically, semantically, to the desire for God, which is a longing―better said―for our uses, our language. Longing is different from desire, the Essence from the ego. But here, the Sufis often take the same word and give it multiple meanings in different contexts. This is the beauty of that system, the complexity of it, the subtlety. 

​Absence of Personality and Presence with God

The qualities of initiates, their presence in divinity, is not understood by common people. Many Sufi stories are, as I said, parables of psychological truths, initiatic principles. Many of them demonstrate not the aloofness of Sufi Masters, but the reality of mystical states. One such master, Bayazid Bastami, illustrated how we have to become lost to ourselves. Samael Aun Weor even stated in a lecture called “The Knowledge of Oneself” the following:
We must attain a change in order to eliminate all our weaknesses. We must even lose our own personal identity. This means that the change must be radical and complete. Our personal identity, for example, "I am so and so," must be eliminated from oneself; and then one day we will find that we have no personal identity. If we truly want to become different, then obviously personal identity has to be lost. We need to convert ourselves into entirely different creatures, happy creatures; and we have the right to happiness.” ―Samael Aun Weor
I know a lot of people hear that and read that and get scandalized. This does not mean we become zombies. The Essence has a dynamic solar personality. The absence and annihilation of ego does not mean that we are soulless, without life. In fact, it means we are more creative, more brilliant, more intuitive. You possess ethical character that knows how to respond to life in its worst problems, with clarity, with equanimity, with intelligence. We must eliminate egos, nafs, so that we develop the soul that knows how to live life with efficacy and wisdom.
However, people are really afraid of this term annihilation. They run away from this term even though it is essential to every religion. Annihilating the ego is painful for people because they have never experienced anything outside of it. People don't want to approach it because they are afraid. They mistake their personality, their hatred, their impatience, their lust, their vanity, their pride, their envy, etc., as if it is true. This is a mistaken sense of self, these selves, these egos which must be removed, these nafs, these lower animal qualities that the Sufis speak abundantly about eliminating in their doctrine. And in that process we gain understanding that we are not this terrestrial personality. We are not the ego. We are something more profound, and the Sufis have a beautiful story about this:
“It is related that Dhu-l-Nun al-Misri sent one of his companions to Abu Yazid al Bistami so that the man could bring him word of Abu Yazid’s quality (meaning: his level of being). When he reached Bistam, the messenger inquired after the house of Abu Yazid and went in to see him. Abu Yazid asked, ‘What do you want?’ ‘I want Abu Yazid,’ he said. ‘Who is Abu Yazid?’ was the reply, ‘and where is Abu Yazid? I myself am in search of Abu Yazid!’
“The man went away, saying to himself, ‘This one is mad!’ He returned to Dhu-l-Nun and informed him of what he had seen. Dhu-l-Nun wept. ‘My brother Abu Yazid has left with those who go to God,’ said he.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Obviously, the Sufis play with the trope of the initiatic madman: that disciple of God who is never understood by the masses because they cannot comprehend the eccentricities and dynamic profundities of the Spirit, because they [the inituates] don't go along with conventionalisms, with vain religious beliefs and outward adherences.
So this is a symbol of something very beautiful and profound. You know, this initiate was so advanced in his work that he was saying “Where is my personality? I am looking for a self here.” Meaning, he is really scrutinizing and looking for those final egos to eliminate. You know, this is very high work. Obviously, we have thousands upon thousands of egos in the beginning, but as we advance in this process, the ego is eliminated until there are none left. So Dhu-l-Nun recognized this and cried by how beautiful this allegory is, that this initiate is saying, “I am looking for a self here and I don't find one.” This refers to initiatic hierarchy. 

​Presence Over Absence

However, to be truly present is a very difficult path, which is why the following teaching was given by Al-Hujwiri in Revelation of the Mystery:
“A certain man came to Junayd and said, ‘Be present with me for a moment that I may speak to thee.’ Junayd answered: ‘O young man, you demand of me something that I have long been seeking. For many years I have been wishing to become present with myself a moment, but I cannot; how, then, can I become present with you just now?’”  ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (Khashf al-Mahjub)
You know many people have difficulty in the beginning of our studies knowing how to relate to people even, because they are so introspective and they are learning how to be present for the first time, and learning how to relate to the world in this new state is difficult, because this type of analysis and work requires a complete introversion and transformation of our attitude. But with time we learn. With practice, we learn to be present.
“Therefore, absence involves the sorrow of being veiled, while “presence” involves the joy of revelation, and the former state can never be equal to the latter. Shaykh Abu Sa’id says on the subject―
“The clouds of separation have been cleared away from the moon of love,
And the light of morning has shone forth from the darkness of the Unseen.” ―Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery (Khashf al-Mahjub)
So again, that is symbolism from the Qur’an. If you want to know your level of being, how present you are, ask internally and let them show you the sky in the astral horizon. Do you see clouds separating you from the galaxies, from the stars, from the heavens? Or do you see the light of morning shining out of the darkness, rising as a symbol of your birth? Levels upon levels of light, presence in deeper states.


We will conclude with a statement by Samael Aun Weor which synthesizes everything we have said:
“Wherever we direct our attention, we spend creative energy.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
So, how are we spending our attention?
What are we focused on? For how long, and why?
Why do we invest our energy in certain behaviors, in certain qualities, in certain actions?
What direction do we want to take our life?
If we are really analyzing our behavior from day-to-day, we can sit in a quiet space after our mindfulness practice, our self-observation, and remembrance throughout the day. We close our eyes, we relax, we introspect. We calm the body, calm the senses. We can work with pranayama, breath work, transmutation, mantras, etc., energy work. You can even do runes before you sit to meditate, so that you have energy circulating in you that is going to be conducive for your relaxation. Your ethics combined with energy create a very powerful conduit by which to meditate.
When you sit quietly, relax your heart through prayer. Pray to your Inner Being to show you what you need to work on and what you need to do, to help you understand your daily circumstances, your behaviors, so that you can change. Concentrate inwardly and do not let your thoughts distract you from your goal.
When you are really profoundly concentrated, your mind will be serene, especially if you are working really well with energy. You know, for people who have a very disbalanced mind or imbalanced mind, a lot of suffering, a lot of affliction, it is good to work with sacred sounds, mantras, so that you gain clarity and calm. And when the mind is still, you can focus on whatever you want to understand.
I recommend reviewing your day. Retrospect your day. How present were you in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening? Where did you forget yourself? What did you observe? What did you remember? How present were you in certain situations?
Bring this to your attention in your imagination. See it. Visualize it. Look at it. And look for those gaps in which you were not awake. Try to remember where you were, what you did, what you said, who you were with, what happened, what you were thinking, what you were feeling. We have to learn to understand what happened to us and what led us to sleep. Try to remember everything that happened. Retrospect.
There is a very powerful mantra that you can use in our tradition, in Gnosis, that can aid you in remembering your day and even your dreams, if you have just awakened from sleep and you want to remember what you just dreamed about, and by not moving your body, mentally pronounce the mantras RAOM GAOM.  

Samael Aun Weor says this mantra is like dynamite. It will help you blow a pathway into the subconsciousness, the caves of the mind.
At this point in time, I invite you to ask questions.

​Questions and Answers

Question: Can you recommend a practice for trilling the R's in mantras? 
Instructor: I believe you can even go on YouTube and look up Spanish pronunciations of the letter, because R is very common in Spanish. You know, there are a few videos you can probably look up and find that will teach you how to use the pronunciation of the letter R. Basically, it involves rolling your tongue at the roof of your mouth so that you can make the tongue to vibrate, but if you look online for some videos, you can definitely find some.
Question: Don't you have to move in the morning to turn off your alarm? 
Instructor: So in reference to not moving your body when you physically wake up in the morning so that you can remember your dreams―this can be very difficult. I know I have had that problem where I had to get up early for work, especially before COVID-19, very early, in which my alarm would pull me out of my experiences and I had to return to my body, but sometimes, I find it difficult to remember what happened.
It takes a lot of willpower. Even if your alarms going off, hopefully, it's not too much of an annoying one. Maybe pick something that is more relaxing. You know, some meditative bells or something that is quiet. That is what I like to use for an alarm. And, I don't move.  Even if I have time constraints, I concentrate on myself and do the mantra mentally so that I could remember, especially if the experience is very profound and very intense. That's something that you don't want to forget, what happened internally. And if you move your physical body when you wake up from dreams, the connection between the astral body and the physical body gets shaken, or the astral body and its memories become diffused and don't really enter the physical brain if there is too much movement.
When you wake up in the morning, obviously, there is a connection that is very vital and sensitive, which is why we shouldn't move the body, just in the same way that you can't reflect the images of a lake, of the heavens, if the water is rippling with movement. The same principle applies here. But, if you really want to remember your dreams, I just recommend don't move. If your alarm is really annoying, then as I said, maybe change it.
Question: We have a question about awakening. Does it happen suddenly or is it more like a process happening gradually?
Instructor: Samael Aun Weor mentions in The Perfect Matrimony that awakening is gradual. Now, there are moments in which we can gain greater clarity, such as through an ecstasy or samadhi, an experience that is very divine, mostly because we get help. The Sufis spend a lot of time talking about the blessings of the initiates called بركة‎ barakah in Arabic or the Hebrew version of בָּרוּךְ Baruch, meaning “blessings.” So as the Jews say, ברוך אתה אדוני Baruch Attah Adonai, “Blessed be the name of the Lord,” and Barakah is the blessings of a master when they give light to us, so that we can have a temporary experience that gives us some kind of illumination.
Now, as for developing that completely in us in its full totality, it happens naturally over a process, gradually. Because just as a tree doesn't grow into a profound oak, from a sapling in one day, it happens through a process, a temporality. It takes time, in conventional language. So the important thing is not to be impatient with wanting experiences or development, because you have to be really tenacious about our exercises and to work even if we feel like we are not getting results, because with time you will see the roots of your practice. So it happens gradually.
Question: Does the degree of ego elimination one achieves in a single practice depend on the complexity of the ego?
Instructor: I would say the degree of ego elimination occurs in accordance with the depth of our comprehension. If it's a really complex ego, obviously, it's going to take more comprehension, which means that if our understanding is more profound and deep, we are going to really eliminate the roots.
But for that, we have to really be absent from the body physically and be present internally, to go inside and even in the higher dimensions to investigate the source of those egos that we have to really analyze.
Comprehension is what grants us the degrees of elimination. How much do we understand? Because if you don't understand the depths of an ego, we can't really eliminate it in its roots. Obviously, there are egos that are very superficial, that exist within the higher levels of the mind, but in the depths we have to go very profoundly into ourselves, and that is a very long work, a very patient work.
Question: My understanding of the Nous atom is that this is the Christic atom of our heart, or in our heart. (Instructor’s explanation: for those of you are not familiar, it is in the left ventricle of our heart itself). How do you reconcile this with your reference to the ego as nous or spelled n, o, u, s, e? 
Instructor: So, in Arabic the term for ego is نَفْس nafs: n-a-f-s. νοῦς Nous in Greek is different. That is the Christic atom as you mentioned, but ego is nafas or nafs in Arabic. So different, different terminology. Obviously, the ego has nothing to do with the Atom Nous because the Atom Nous is a very divine spiritual influence in us, which also relates to Geburah, to Din, to justice in Arabic. Allah-Din, the conscience and judgment of God. It relates to our Atom Nous, which is used to judge nafs, the lower soul, the animal egos we have to eliminate.
Question: Explain the difference between general spaciness with absence, for I found it hard to relate with this world anyway. Too much introspection has left me a few friends. 
Instructor: So I like that you asked that question, because it relates to a very serious problem amongst many Gnostics. You know, some people can easily read the term absence within Sufi language and conflate it with being spacey or imbalanced, not knowing how to socially relate to others. And of course, the stories within Sufism seem to correlate or explain, or show that dynamic especially, that the Sufi masters are just out there.
I think that is part of the appeal in Western societies, that these Sufi masters have a type of understanding that goes against conventionalities. Now, while there is a level of credence to that, at the same time, if we are learning to be absent from the ego and present with our consciousness, it doesn't mean that we are going to be spacey people, like zombies, not knowing how to relate to other people. In fact, these are states of consciousness in a more profound sense, levels of being.
We have to learn how to be present in our daily life, that is the important thing, especially as beginners. We need to learn how to be absent to our ego but also present in our body, present in our consciousness, so that we know how to relate to the world. There is a very fatal polarity in this term of absence, in such that we can be so introspective that we don't know how to relate to other people, and this is mistaken.
The important thing is that when we introspect, we also have to be aware of the world outside of us, to know how to relate our internal world with the external world. This is why we spent a lot of time in our last lecture talking about contraction and expansion. We have to be aware of our surroundings, expansive in our cognizance of the people we are surrounded with or surrounded by, and also contracted or attentive to our internal states. We have to analyze our personal states and our external events, and the relationship thereof. This is what Samael Aun Weor mentions as the requisites in his book Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology. We have to be present in the body, present of our internal states, introspective, but not being antisocial. That is very different. That is a personality problem, typically.
You know, it is also egos of awkwardness that don't know how to relate to people in certain situations. If you eliminate egos of awkwardness and observe that in yourself and really destroy them with comprehension in your meditations, you are going to learn how to be more social and ethical, and even funny.
I will relate to you an experience I had long time ago, because in the beginning of my studies I had this problem, where I was so introspective that I didn't know how to relate to people, and so I lost a number of friends and was becoming very sour at my practice, until finally my Being came to me in the astral plane and reprimanded me. He showed me some instructional videos teaching me what I needed to do. He said I needed to be, and this is the funny part, “like Bill Murray,” and I was kind of shocked by this answer. What I saw in his relationships, in the video with other people, that he was very social and funny. People liked him, but at the same time, I could see that this representation of this actor was being very serious in his work. Meaning, there was the thread of continuity of attention there, but meanwhile, knowing how to relate to other people in a very humorous way. I mean it's a funny experience, but a very objective one. You know, I have meditated on that for quite a while now, but it really helped me because I was being very negative in my practice, thinking that introspection has to do with not relating to people―and this is wrong.
Being absent to the ego means to enact positive states or qualities of Essence, of Being, and in this way, you develop better friends, better friendships. You know how to relate to people more. You know how to support your community better, how to help others, how to be helped, how to receive help without that morbidity or shame that usually accompanies that type of introspection that is negative.
Question: In comparison, the partial opening of the eyes of Buddha, does it symbolize the need to be aware of the outside world?
Instructor: I am sure there is a lot of symbolism in that, or different representations of Buddha, but yes, that is part of it. We have to be aware of the outside world but also introspecting within. So again, contraction and expansion are represented by that common depiction of the Buddha. Buddha simply means “awakened one,” which is the purpose of our exercises in our studies in Gnosticism.
Question: I am a medical provider amongst homeless communities in Los Angeles. It can be quite stressful during the day as we deal with life and death situations, or situations that deal with heavy drug use and sex work. How can I keep the consciousness awake in these scenarios? I tend to think about my patients in meditation, which I struggle with at times.
Instructor: This is a very delicate thing. It's important that we feel safe, that we feel protected, that we feel awake, and also that we are really taking care of our own health, especially if we have a job that is very difficult. I never worked as a medical provider, but I have had other jobs that have been pretty taxing on my mental and emotional health, and in those situations―where it was not necessarily life and death, but very confrontational or difficult, and in your case, dealing with life and death situations or negative influences―it is important to really work with energy. You know, it could be very draining to be in those circumstances and you can often feel very disempowered, whether by the system one works in or one's own abilities, feeling insufficient or deficient or doubtful. Your profession is obviously a very noble one and it is very much needed, so if this is something that your Being is pushing you to do and if it's able to provide your necessities for your life, then obviously you have to follow your conscience.
But again, if you find that there are difficulties that you can't handle, it's important to be safe, especially, to protect oneself and to create a space in oneself and even one's physical life in order to be able to handle those circumstances. I recommend, if you find that it's difficult to deal with the situations, it's hard to see it and understand it and to overcome the shock of it, to work with exercises like the runes. I remember at one of my jobs where I had to deal with, you know, pretty difficult clients, very difficult people that I had a hard time transforming the impressions of, I would do hours of runes. I would have breaks during my day, sometimes for an hour and a half or more, and I would just, instead of prepping for my day or doing other things, I would do the Rune Fah, the Rune Dorn, the seven vowels, for a long time. I would charge myself with enough energy so that I felt awake. I felt aware, and I felt concentrated in myself.
You know, the Rune Dorn is very powerful for that. It develops Christ will, solar will, so that we can learn to handle really horrible situations with grace. But of course, you have to learn balance. You can work with those runes, really practice them deeply, for a long time if you can. Give yourself enough energy to empower your Essence so that you can transform the situation, and also meditate on your reactions too. But depending on your abilities and your health, emotionally, especially with this kind of work, you need to evaluate or really consider, you know, what is going to be best for you. We have to sacrifice for humanity, but at the same time, we have to take care of ourselves too, so that is something that you need to be the judge of. But runes are especially powerful for that. Study the Magic of the Runes. Those Gnostic exercises, those yogic postures are really powerful. They can really help you.
Question: Are there times where the Being will place symbols within physical life, similar to dream symbols, that speak another language, of intuition? Often times, I feel that my Divine Mother is speaking to me in a circumstance in life where a particular event happens, which helped me to reflect, or even numbers appearing within the physical life or the physical world. Can these have meaning here within physical life, and how can you become a vigilant one without being overly tired the next day? Or perform a vigil without being overly tired the next day?
Instructor: So let's break down this question step by step. “Are there times where the Being will place symbols within our physical life, similar to the dream symbols, that speak in the language of dreams, intuition?” There can be that relationship. You know, some people have reported having experiences internally, and then that same circumstance unfolds itself physically. I have had this happen to myself many times.
Now, typically from my experience, I found that the symbols of dreams have an allegorical depth. They have a profound relationship to physical life. They explain physical circumstances, but not necessarily, you know, we wake up and then we see the same symbol from the dream. My experience has been that dreams show us something much more prophetic, and that the symbols represent qualities of being, but also how different relationships or circumstances can play out. For example, I remember one experience (I mentioned this in the Beginning Self-transformation course) that I had an astral experience where I was driving down Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, when at 4:00 am in the middle of the morning, when it was pitch-black, my mother in the dream, my physical mother, stopped me as I was driving my car. She asked me to get out, so I let her take the wheel and I got in the passenger seat, and then I woke up. Later that day, physically, I had an ordeal or circumstance in which I was at a drive-through in a Starbucks―going out of town from Chicago with my wife, to get away from COVID-19 and get into the woods, enjoy some recreation―when a person in the line had driven past me and rolled down his window. He didn't really say anything extremely offensive. But you know, I took it as an offense, and my ego was, my rage and anger was building up from that moment. And so my wife said, “I see you're getting upset here. Let me take the wheel.” So I got out of the car, she took the driver's seat, and I sat in the passenger seat and was reflecting on my own anger until I could comprehend four egos I need to work on and eliminate.
Literally in the dream, my mother, my Divine Mother better said, took control of my car, which is symbolically representing my mind, but even in the physical ordeal, my wife took the car or took the wheel, and I got out into the passenger seat. So that literally did happen. So it’s possible―more importantly for me, this was a symbol of multiple layers of meaning. Physically is one component, but more importantly, my Divine Mother, my Being, was controlling my mind and helping me to work on my ego, because it was pitch black in the dream. My mind was dark. I wasn't seeing clearly, and that allowed a certain ego to manifest in me, or certain egos to manifest in me that could have created problems.
So let's look at the rest of your question. “Often times, I feel that my Divine Mother is speaking to me in a circumstance in life or a particular event happens which helps me to reflect.”
So yes, our dreams reflect the quality of our daily life. So this is direct correlation.
“Even numbers appearing within physical existence or life, can these have meaning here within physical life itself?” I would say there could be a relationship, but as I related a quote earlier regarding Samael Aun Weor and the struggle of the opposites from The Revolution of the Dialectic, it’s important not to fill our life with too many sermons, symbols, meanings, allegories, warnings. Learn to live with a receptive mind, and in that way you can interpret how your dreams relate to your physical existence without imposing or projecting any beliefs onto what we see.
So how do you perform a vigil without being over the tired the next day? Well, the purpose is to sacrifice one's energy and time to do these practices. They could be difficult. Hopefully if you have time to sleep in later that's good, but part of the constituency of this exercise is that you stay up and meditate and practice, so that you can really go deeper in your work, even though it's going to make you tired. But obviously, find balance in what you do.
Question: I didn't really comprehend the parable of the blacksmith placing his hand in the fire. That his name represents a metal alchemically. 
Instructor: Yes, his name was Al-Haddad, which in Arabic relates to Al-Hadid, which is basically almost spelled the same. Al-Hadid means “The Iron,” and there is a surah in the Qur’an called “The Iron,” specifically, where we read a quote or excerpt in relation to that story.
It is a symbol of how we use our willpower, represented by the metal iron within alchemy, to control our mind. It is willpower. We use our will power to work with the fire, the sexual energy, specifically. When he placed his hand into the fire, he didn't get burned. This is the literal meaning of the story, but symbolically it refers to how when we are alchemists, we learn to work with the sexual energy and not get burned by it, because we are in the remembrance of the divine. We are in the presence of divinity. Because in the story, he was listening to the Qur’an while he was working in his shop, and so the meaning thereof is that he was remembering the recitation, because Qur’an in Arabic is “recitation,” and it refers to his remembrance or continuity of remembering divinity. You know traditionally in Islam, they will recite the Qur’an musically, verbally, with a lot of beautiful intonations and expression. That is a practice that is very profound. I like to listen to those recitations quite a lot, because the melodies are very beautiful, but also the power in the verses is very profound if we know Kabbalah and Alchemy. They would recite, and they do recite the Qur’an as a form of remembrance. That is a text that is very beautiful, and like any scripture, we can remember divinity if we are really studying it astutely, very deeply.
When the blacksmith in the story, Al-Haddad was listening to the Qur’an, it is a reference to how he is really seeing the teachings and understanding them and practicing them. In that way, we can overcome many ordeals, symbolically. It doesn't mean we are going to put our hand into a forge and pull out hot iron because we hear the Qur’an, literally. The language of the Sufis is symbolic, so we approach those stories with a lot of subtlety in relation to psychological work: Psychology, Kabbalah and Alchemy.

<![CDATA[Contraction and Expansion]]>Mon, 07 Sep 2020 21:04:39 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/contraction-and-expansion
The following transcription is from an audio lecture on Sufi Principles of Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.

Everything in nature is in movement, in flux. Every phenomenon in the entire universe possesses its own rhythm, temporality, and flow.
As we explained in the previous lecture, breath is in a state of transience. This parallels cosmic periods of manifestation, of activity, and of repose. Just as our breath constitutes the flux, the pervasiveness of life, the expression of the soul, so too does the consciousness manifest in different states, with different qualities of being, of expression. If you have studied Gnosticism for some time, we always remember that consciousness has infinite levels, from the most basic, the most primordial, that which is germinal―to the most refined, the most beautified, the most sacred, as demonstrated by the quality of life and mind of the greatest initiates, the greatest meditators: Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, Prophet Muhammad, Samael Aun Weor.
Consciousness as we currently possess it is not developed, because our daily state is mostly constituted of negative qualities: distraction, affliction, suffering. All traditions teach that the human being is a germ for sacred individuality and consciousness. We possess the body of a human, a humanoid organism, but our mind, as has been demonstrated, is animal. Our mind always chases after cravings. We run away from unpleasant situations, aversive things. All the while we are ignorant of how our own internal psychology produces pain, produces suffering.
This is why we study and practice meditation. We want to learn how to develop our complete potential, so that we cease suffering. We suffer because we don't readily perceive how our own nafsnafas, animal defects, egos, keep us hypnotized and asleep. We go through life feeling that we are unitary, when in truth we are humanoids in a constant state of contradiction. We are a multiplicity, and this is something very important to remember, because in Sufism and Islam, those initiates speak abundantly about the unity of God.
This is declared in the Shahadah, the Muslim declaration of faith, that “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His Prophet.” To state this with conviction is something extremely sacred, very profound. It means to have a concentrated will without any defect whatsoever―no idol, no negative crystallization in the mind, no naf, no ego, no blemish, no fault. This is how we really obey divinity, to reach those heights, and that is the definition of a true Gnostic, a true Muslim, a true Sufi.
We can only really say that divinity is one when we ourselves are singular. We have to unify the consciousness. We have to purify the consciousness. The Essence must not be conditioned anymore, because each ego,  desire, vice, error, conditions and traps who we really are. And because of our different defects, which pull us in multiple directions, we are fractured.

We are distracted, moving in many directions at once, and also spiritually going nowhere. This has to change. This is why we study concentration of mind, concentration of will, meditation. God wants to express His perfection in us, but for that, the soul, the consciousness, the Essence, must be pure.
So meditation is the science that leads us to that unity, to the unification of the consciousness To develop consciousness, we study ethics. We practice purity. We work with energy. We work with our breath to empower our consciousness, so that it opens the inner doorway to understanding. As we are working with these preliminaries, we have to really study how the consciousness works, and for this the Sufis speak abundantly about two very important types of consciousness: contraction and expansion. For the sake of clarity, it will be good to define these terms within conventional english.
“Contraction is the process of becoming smaller. Some synonyms include shrinking, reduction in size, shrinkage, decline, decrease, dwindling, down tick; it is the process in which a muscle becomes, or is made, shorter and tighter.” This is similar to “tightening, tensing, flexing, constricting.” ―Online Dictionary
All of these definitions point towards a restriction or limiting, a heightened focus, a type of diminution, to really concentrate and restrict our vision to one thing.
The opposite of contraction is expansion. This definition includes:
“The action of becoming larger or more extensive. This is similar to growth, increase in size, and enlargement, extension, augmentation, development, evolution, build up, build-out, scaling up, spread, proliferation, multiplication, mushrooming, evolvement. It is the extension of a state’s territory by encroaching on that of other nations pursued as a political strategy,” (as an example of what expansion involves or as typically understood). ―Online Dictionary
These definitions relate how something within a small space moves outward to fill something greater in volume, much like smoke rising and filling the sky during a campfire. 
We find contraction and expansion in our breathing process. When we inhale air, our lungs expand, and when we exhale, our lungs contract, so that we can expel toxins and waste from the body. Likewise, the heart, when it fills with blood, the heart expands, and when pumping blood through the body, it contracts. This flux or rhythm in our body is essential to daily life.
While this is very true, we also possess, in our consciousness, states of contraction and expansion. These are fundamental and necessary for our spirituality, for psychological balance, for our meditation. All this of course is guided by divinity, for as the great Sufi poet Rumi taught:
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.” ―Rumi
Let us explain what contraction and expansion mean in regards to states of consciousness. 

​Definitions of Contraction and Expansion

So in meditation we study two very profound principles, which can aid us in awakening our consciousness. These are attention and awareness.
Attention is highly focused. It is directed. It is concentrated. If I were to tell you to direct your attention to your right thumb, you would experience a shift in your consciousness. You can try this at this moment.
You may suddenly have awareness or cognizance of your right thumb because you have directed your attention to it. Yet, how many of us were actually aware of our thumb, our hand, our fingers, our body? Probably before I even mentioned it, you might not have been paying attention, because you were following the thread, the continuity of my voice, and the ideas we are expressing.
Let's try another experiment. Become aware of your surroundings. What is your home like where you are at? Are you driving and listening to this lecture? Become aware of the street. Become aware of your surroundings. Become aware of your environment. No matter the time, the weather, the place, the people around you, or if there are no people, become aware of your external situation.
Not only should we be aware of our environment, but we have to be aware of whatever task we are involved in. How attentive are we right now to my words? Are we maintaining a continuity of directed attention towards these ideas that I am presenting to you? Or are we thinking of other things? Are we making a mechanical associations in our mind, such as “I heard something similar to this before,” or “this reminds me of another lecture I heard.” It could be any type of commentary in the mind, in the intellect.
Or as you have been listening to this conversation, this lecture, have you lost the thread of what was being said because you got distracted? Do you remember or did you forget what I said a minute ago?
So this little experiment reveals something very interesting. If we are talking in our heads instead of being attentive to this lecture, it means we are not conscious. Likewise, if we are not aware of our environment, we are also asleep. The Essence is not awake.
This is why we practice meditation, because the consciousness needs training. We typically get distracted very easily, and so in the beginning, we need more focus. We need will. We need concentration on whatever activity of life we engage in. However, many times we also tend to go through our home, the bedroom, our neighborhood, without any cognizance of our surroundings. We do so blindly, because we don't see what is new. We have a representation of our environment in our mind to which we relate, or we are so deep and lost in reverie and thought that we don't notice what is going around us.
What is happening? We could be driving our car in an alley and suddenly come across a person, perhaps someone who was injured lying on the ground, something very unusual. And if I am relating this example, it is because this happened to me today. I was driving my car back to my home after being away from work, and I suddenly realized as I was driving that a group of people were standing near the side of the alley where I usually park. There was a person who was injured or not moving. I was shocked. Obviously, you know, I spoke with the people there, that they had called the police and they were going to get an ambulance. You know, this is such a shocking and alarming thing, disturbing.
In that moment, I felt very alert, because I realized I wasn't paying attention. I was expecting that I was going to go home according to my routine, according to mechanicity, and it took awareness of my surroundings and a person driving the other direction to roll down their window and tell me that something was ahead. So we are very sleepy, and we have to train ourselves to be aware of what is happening at all times. 
We have to remember that the consciousness is like a light. It is perception itself. When we lack attention and awareness, it means that the light of our consciousness is diffused. It means that our light is obscured, because our mind, our egos, our defects, keep us preoccupied. We invest our energy, our light, into them. The ego, like a moon, has eclipsed our sun.  

So when we talk about these principles, we have to remember that attention is like a flashlight. When you use a flashlight, you direct it. You concentrate it. You focus it.
Now, awareness is a little different. It is expansive. It has volume. It is luminous. It is amplified. It spreads outward in its radiance and radius towards our surroundings, when we do so willingly.
Perhaps with these examples you can see where we are headed when talking about the Sufi teachings on contraction and expansion. So the Sufis explain that contraction and expansion, focus and broad spatiality, are attention and awareness. So contraction is when our attention is focused on one thing. So, as I was driving my car today and a person in the other lane pulled up and rolled down their window, I was contracted in my attention. I was directing my attention to that person, but I wasn't aware of what was ahead of me. I had a shift in my consciousness when I suddenly realized what was going on. So this is an example of how with contraction, we are focused on one thing, but with awareness, it is a broad spatial perception. We become aware of our surroundings.

Contraction in Self-Observation

So contraction also happens in our work of self-observation. This is really important to understand. When we study our different defects, our egos, moment by moment, we are focused on our interior. So while it's true that we have to be aware of what is happening outside of us, we have to divide our attention inside. You know, often times when we make a mistake, we can also feel a contraction in our heart, a state of remorse, and we can feel and exclaim or feel that we have really done something stupid.
As I am explaining these concepts, there is a lot of dynamic range with these principles. Here I am introducing just a few, but basically contraction and expansion occurs in self-observation, especially―the work of the ego. We can experience a state of contraction, of heightened focus, when we catch a defect within our three brains, because we are observing, we are conscious and attentive of our thoughts, feelings, and impulses. Usually we can feel the pangs of conscience, the remorse of the soul whenever we come upon very disturbing egos, very big errors that we created, that we are responsible for.
Self-observation amongst the Sufis is muhasabah, inner-accounting. In this work, we have to take an account of our psychological states, those defects we have in abundance and those virtues we must develop further. This principle is very important. This is the foundation of gathering data about ourselves, so that we can achieve annihilation of the ego, fana, in Arabic. There is only reunion with the Being when the ego is fully dead. So we have to study ourselves. We have to observe ourselves. 

​Expansion in Awareness

So expansion is awareness, and through it we experience an amplified state, a magnification and a deepening of our perception of everything around us. Have you ever noticed on a rainy day, walking down the street of your home city or town or wherever you may be, and have really contemplated a sunset? The vibrancy and color, the depth, the beauty, the profundity of the moment? The way that leaves shift in the wind, or how puddles form upon the streets, the stones, the architecture around you, the buildings? With a state of awareness or expansion, we are deeply enmeshed, aware of everything surrounding ourselves in the moment. We have to learn to develop that clarity, because it helps us to go deep into our own consciousness. The consciousness is very dynamic, as we are saying.
It can expand outward, but also it can focus on a point inside, which in our works of self-observation, is the work of the ego―understanding the relationship between the ego, personal states, and external events. Both qualities: attention and awareness, contraction and expansion, are often depicted as two poles within Sufism, two opposites. However, they are both essential as Rumi was teaching us, because both principles or qualities of consciousness help us to be well-rounded.
There is an exercise in our tradition, or in many schools of meditation. To learn to cease thinking so much, we can pay attention to our surroundings, whether it be a deep walk in the woods, a hike in nature, in which we focus on the external world and the beauty of our surroundings. But also we need to learn to develop internal insight, focus, attention upon our different egotistical states, and also how our ego relates to the external world. This provides a comprehensive basis by which to gather data for our meditations. 

​Levels of Contraction and Expansion

So attention and awareness are developed in levels, in accordance with the level of being of the practical meditator. A true Gnostic, a true Sufi, a true Muslim, experiences these states with will, because they trained themselves for many years. Meditation masters also experience these states in an open, receptive way, because the Being determines for them through intuition, through influence, through inquietudes, a hunch, what to focus on and what to become aware of. Our Being can guide us in our daily life when we learn to connect with that inner conscience, the continuity of awareness and self-observation or remembrance of the divine. So bearing this in mind, we can begin to approach this very high level of understanding by examining what the Sufis taught. The following is from Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism:
“Contraction is to the gnostic what fear is to the beginner, and expansion is to the gnostic what hope is to the beginner.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Beginners fear many things, including the exploration of the ego. Many people are afraid to look inside of themselves because of the ugliness that they have, and this is a normal reaction, but we have to learn to overcome our own nausea and disgust, to quote Nietzsche from Thus Spoke Zarathustra. So contraction can be focused on very unpleasant things, egotistical, negative states, but we have to learn to look inside, to feel that constriction and contraction of our attention, especially in moments of pain. We have to look at ourselves without running away. We have to not repress what we see, and we have to not justify it either. This is essential to develop maturity in this work.
Also, beginners hope to have awakened states, awareness of the superior worlds, through this discipline, and the Gnostics, those great masters of meditation, also enjoy an expansion of consciousness in the superior worlds through their meditation, their meditative practices.
Al-Qushayri continues:
"The distinction between contraction and fear and expansion and hope, is that fear only relates to something in the future, whether it be the loss of something dear or the onset of something dreaded. Hope likewise only relates to future events―the anticipation of something one likes or the awaited disappearance of something one dreads, the expected end of something one hates.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So beginners, we fear the uncertainties of the future, whether it be material or spiritual loss, difficult situations, challenges in life, ordeals. Likewise, we also hope for spiritual advancement and internal experiences in this path.
Yet, while these are normal sentiments for beginning meditators, we must learn to focus entirely on the moment, to be aware of all of its rich, enlightened, golden mysteries―alert novelties, the truth, the unknown.
Al-Qushayri continues:
"Contraction, however, is a subtle impact produced in the moment itself and the same is the case with expansion. The heart of the one who experiences fear and hope is attached by its two states to the future, while the “now” of the one who experiences contraction and expansion is captured by a feeling that overpowers him in the present.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is fundamental. We have to stop daydreaming. We have to stop thinking of some utopian future where experiences will come easily, by grace, that we must reach some plateau of wisdom and that the work is somehow magically done, easy, like blowing glass. Likewise, it's important to stop fearing the future and to mull over the past. It is important to have remorse and sincere work upon our errors, but not to be hypnotized by our histories, by our tragedies. We have to develop attention and awareness in the present. This occurs through self-observation.

​Dynamics of Contraction

Al-Qushayri relates a very beautiful teaching that I would like to share with you:
"As the Sufis’ states differ, the quality of their contraction and expansion also differs. Under one sort of influence, which is not total, contraction is produced but the possibility of outside concerns remains. Other people in a state of contraction may find that the influence affecting them permits no access to outside concerns. Thus one of these said, “I am a barrier”―that is, “There is no means of entry in me." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is very beautiful and profound. There is a lot of meaning here that I'd like to unpack for you. One of the defining characteristics of self-observation, that we are really focusing our attention well, is that we do not become identified with what we perceive. Samael Aun Weor explains that to gather data about our defects, we need a division of attention. We need to separate our Essence, our consciousness, from the ego. This is basic. Without this, we cannot meditate. Without this, we cannot perceive anything clearly.
So the consciousness, the Essence is the one that observes. It is perception itself. It is alert, focused, clear attention. The Essence, the liberated consciousness must observe the ego, our defects, our vices, within our three brains. The ego is what is observed. We have to observe our internal reactions to external life, much in the same way that a director of a film, films an actor in a drama, a comedy, a tragedy. These dramas, comedies and tragedies of life are the external events, the situations, the circumstances of our existence.
We must not invest our energy externally towards anything outside of us. But we must become hermetically sealed. This means that when we respond to situations, we do not waste energy. We don't give energy to negative thoughts. We don't empower negative emotions and we don't hurt ourselves through negative actions. This is an intuitive, qualitative state in which we have to make many mistakes, because we are learning. This is why we meditate. We clear our mind. We review the events of our day in which our ego acted, in which the self, the conditioned mind, emerged within the screen of our attention. 
So hermetical sealing, to be closed within, means to not waste our precious, conscious potential, because “Wherever we direct our attention, we expend creative energy,” says Samael Aun Weor. We have to be very clear, and to really be patient with ourselves, because it is not something we are going to master in one day. Instead, we learn to differentiate between egotistical states and conscious states.
You will know it through experience. What states of being produce happiness, liberation, contentment? And what states produce our suffering? We have explained this in depth previously. 
So in relation to this quote, for some disciples:
“Under one sort of influence, which is not total, contraction is produced but the possibility of outside concerns remains.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So we can be gathering data about the ego, such as a state of anger when we are criticized. We may still be a little bit identified with the event even though we are observing. We are consciously working not to invest ourselves into that element. So there are degrees of identification and degrees of remembrance, levels of being, “Light upon light,” says the Qur’an [24:35].
However, if we are really working seriously and very well, psychologically, if we are meditating on our mistakes and really working to retrospect at the end of our day, to catch those defects that emerged in certain events, we learn the distinct qualities of conditioning and we learn not to make those mistakes again, because we are comprehending more and more, how those errors manifest, how they feed, how they sustain, and how they pass. So if we are really working well, we do not lose any of our energy through the ego.
As Al-Qushayri states:
“Other people in a state of contraction may find that the influence affecting them permits no access to outside concerns. Thus one of these said, “I am a barrier”―that is, “There is no means of entry in me.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
We become a barrier. No matter how bad things are externally, we do not internalize negativity at all. Samael Aun Weor stated, “Shut your doors to negativity.” This doesn't mean that we abandon certain friends or family members who may be toxic. There is some credence to this. If we need some space, it could be good to associate or disassociate with certain crowds. This is basic. But in reality, this principle relates to how we shut our psychological doors, because we can't avoid negativity at all times. We have to face the reality of life and the social conflicts of our humanity. We have to learn not to identify with any problem, to shut out any possibility of investing ourselves in the world's problems.
It doesn't mean we ignore those problems or don't do anything about them. It means that psychologically we have a space, a clarity, a serenity that is not shaken, so that we can learn to focus on those issues with greater understanding and comprehension. When we are serene and insightful, we can respond to life with efficacy, but this is learned through experience.

​Dynamics of Expansion

So these principles also relate to expansion, to awareness. Al-Qushayri states:
“This is also how it is for people in the state of expansion. There may be an expansion in someone that widens his nature but does not cut him off from the majority of ordinary things. And there may be someone in bast who will not be affected by anything at all.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So when you expand conscious awareness, a broad spatial perception, a vividness of your surroundings, you learn to stop thinking. This is not forced. It is not repression. It is the natural quietude and silence of the mind. Our problem is that we invest too much in our internal chatter. By taking in the data of our surroundings, when we learn to have a receptive mind. As I said, such as through walks or hikes in nature, we can enter a very deep state of consciousness in which we are cut off from mundane things.
So the reality is that nothing around us is mundane, but it is rather our projection of our mind. We have to learn to see each moment as a golden child of Gnosis. You can study this in the “The Struggle of the Opposites,” a chapter in The Revolution of the Dialectic by Samael Aun Weor, in which he describes how we overcome the illusions of the mind. And of course, there are degrees. There are levels to this. Sometimes we enter deep states of expansion, of awareness, but part of our mind is still stuck, is identified. Yet, with the most lucid perception according to Al-Qushayri, “there may be someone in expansion (bast) who will not be affected by anything at all.” We can become so aware of the details of life with such awareness, such clarity, like in a lucid dream, an astral experience, a samadhi, an ecstasy of the soul, that nothing can break that continuity easily.
Of course in the beginning, we struggle. We want to experience and maintain these lucid states at will. This is why we have different practices of concentration and awareness to help us focus our attention, but also develop more vividness, an amplification of our perception, our awareness.

​The Signs of Contraction and Expansion

So as I mentioned, contraction-expansion are very broad principles. They have multiple levels of application and meaning according to the three levels or degrees of Sufism: Shariah, Tariqah, Haqiqah / Ma’rifah, or the introductory, the intermediate, and the advanced teaching.
So contraction, as a heightened focus, can occur during an ordeal, especially. In the beginning of our ethical discipline, we have to learn to become aware of everything that is happening outside and inside. When we feel remorse for a defect that we have observed in the moment, which is causing us a lot of pain, we have to really see it for what it is. This is impossible if we don't divide attention inward, but also have awareness of our external events.
We also experience expansions of a positive nature when we discover how to use our virtues, when we receive spiritual insight to a problem, that relieves us of a certain suffering and pain. So on one level, contraction feels like a restriction, and it can even sound painful when someone is restricted, is limited. But that inward contraction is necessary in this work, because if we don't confront our defects and feel that pain of remorse in our conscience, we will never change. It is through that introspective work, when we liberate consciousness and really pinpoint the defects we want to work on, that we can really work towards their elimination and expand our knowledge, our Being.
Al-Qushayri states:
“One of the lowest causes of contraction is the arrival in the heart of a feeling brought on by a sign of divine reproof or a hint that one deserves punishment. This inevitably produces a contraction in the heart. Other feelings may be prompted by an indication, through a sort of kindness and welcome, of approach to God or response from Him. This produces an expansion in the heart.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism

​Degrees of Contraction 

There are degrees of contraction and expansion, which again, as we stated, process in accordance with the level of being of the meditator. There are levels to our conscience, a restriction of the heart, whereby we feel a certain intuition, a sudden sentiment that a specific behavior is wrong. The more we listen to our conscience, the deeper we go in our understanding. It is a fundamental principle.
The intellect cannot resolve problems. The heart, our conscience, is what knows how to perceive reality and to understand. The less we follow our states of introspection of contraction, of inner focus, of remorse and analysis, the more we depart from religion, from the teaching, because we disconnect ourselves. We don't listen to what our heart is telling us, what is right and what is wrong. We feel that contraction in our heart, that pain, that deep suffering, perhaps about an action we took in the past that we want to rectify, or feel that we can't. That is contraction, a very deep and profound one. And so these two principles really complement each other. They are both essential, as stated in this scripture, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism:
In general, the degree of contraction of which someone is capable is the same as his potential expansion and his expansion is to the degree of his contraction.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So think of a heart that is perfectly balanced by its pumping of blood, its restrictive and expanding movements, just in the same way as Rumi said that the two wings of a bird extend and contract in order to create flight.
There may be a contraction whose cause is unclear to the one who experiences it. He finds in his heart a state of contraction for which he perceives no reason or motive.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So here we may feel remorse, but we don't understand why, and this is why we have to gain clarity. We have to review a particular moment in the day in which we were confused, or we are suffering with a problem, to visualize it and to see it in our imagination, our perception, and to look for the cause, to introspect, to look, and to wait. Therefore, the Sufis state:
"The proper course of action for such a one is submission until that moment passes from him. If he were to try to refuse it by his efforts or to bring on the moment [of the conclusion of this state] before it comes upon him of itself, his contraction would increase, and [his efforts] might be counted against him as an infringement of the principles of spiritual conduct.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So this has to do with moments of observation. We must be mindful of the moment. We must be attentive, alert, aware. We have to be receptive to internal states of Being. This is a quality of the heart, the remembrance of the presence of God. We have to remember that distinct quality of communion with our own inner Spirit as we carefully scrutinize the ego.
So again, it is a division of attention. We are observing our defects, where we are remembering that we are the Essence, which belongs to the Being. We have to learn to act appropriately towards each external event with the appropriate internal state. So sometimes in an ordeal, perhaps we are really criticized very hard and we feel a lot of resentment, pride, hatred, and a conglomeration of different egos and defects emerging in that scene. Sometimes the best thing is to wait. Be patient. Learn to see the impression of that person, the aggressor, with serenity, with compassion, with gladness.
We have to really transform our perceptions of life, and this is not easy, because we want to retaliate, to react egotistically. If we react in the moment, we constrict ourselves even more, in a manner of speaking. We make our situation worse, because if we argue back, we create conflict. So it is better to comprehend the situation, to look at it, to not let the ego react, and let anger subside. As Prophet Muhammad taught, "The strongest among you is he who controls his anger." If we don't do this, we do not submit to God, to the rules of the moment.
So Al-Qushayri continues:
“If he were to try to refuse it by his efforts or to bring on the moment [of the conclusion of this state] before it comes upon him of itself, his contraction would increase…” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So as I said, we tend to react to life. Here we need to learn to wait, to be patient, and sometimes in a situation, we have to respond quickly, and this is the great temptation of the mind. The ego reacts and wants to intervene. It is a mechanical reaction to life, but with patience and observation, we can wait for the appropriate internal state to follow our heart, so that we know how to respond with consciousness. To not do so is to contract oneself, to be delimited, to be egotistical, to be vain. Remember that the mind makes a swing between the battle of the opposites, “Should I or should I not retaliate to this critic?” Our mind also goes between how to get revenge, or perhaps we want to run away. Neither are viable, depending on the situation―in most cases. If we are just having an argument or a conflict at work or with a family member, instead, intuitive action, beyond the duality of oppositional thinking, leads the awakening of the consciousness.
Al-Qushayri continues:
"But if he surrenders to the rule of the moment, before long the state of contraction will vanish. As by God, may He be exalted, said, “And God brings about contraction and expansion” (2:245). ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So I know a lot of us may think that divinity is far away, but the reality is that our Being is in our heart and is always telling us what we need to do. The problem is that we have too many veils, too many conditions of mind that obscure that thread that we have to hold on to. This is why in meditation we learn to introspect, to remove the veils of our perception. 

​Degrees of Expansion 

Like breath, states of awareness or expansion suddenly arrived in accordance with divine will in a properly cultivated psychology. So when we train our attention to focus on one thing, to not be distracted, whether it be a candle, observing the flame and not thinking of other things, or practicing awareness of the present moment, this serenity of mind allows for light to reflect within our consciousness, to augment and expand it.
Again, Al-Qushayri states:
“And there may be an expansion that comes on suddenly―the one who experiences this encounters it unexpectedly, without knowing any reason for it. It shakes him and makes him giddy.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Sometimes in our practice, we can awaken in the astral plane. We suddenly have illumination and a vision which makes us very happy. The problem is that we tend to get overexcited, whereby we agitate the mind and lose the ecstasy, the experiences.
The proper course of action for someone in this circumstance is silence and the observance of correct behavior, for there is at that moment a great danger for him. Such a person must beware of a hidden scheme, a test in the form of a gift.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
How we handle visions is important, because even spiritual experiences can be a test to see whether or not we will act responsibly with light, or whether or not that light should be taken away because we abuse it―we indulge in negative states. It comes to my mind an experience I had in the astral plane, in which my awareness was expanded and I was flying over a beautiful landscape, enjoying the beauty of nature. I knew my God was with me, was guiding me. I landed in a forest upon a hill in the middle of the woods, and suddenly, I saw the numbers 600,000 on the ground, and certain women were approaching me―lustful women. 

I intuitively knew that this was related to Arcanum 6 of the sacred tarot [The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah] in which I had to fight against my own lust. So it was a test and a blessing at the same time. I was given a vision, but this was a hidden scheme, a test, an ordeal, because the masters of the White Lodge awaken us in the astral plane to give us experiences and to test us, to see whether or not we will act ethically, because in this vision that I had, this experience, these women were trying to make me fall sexually and I had to throw them off of me in a great battle. Very difficult. I was very exhausted by the end, but that experience relates how we can be given light, amplification, and experiences, and yet, we can make very grave mistakes if we are not careful.
Thus one of the Sufis said, “A door of expansion was opened upon me. I slipped so I was veiled from my station.” And on account of this they say. “Stay on the prayer-rug (bisat), and beware of delight (inbisat)!” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Or as the Buddhist state, “Don't get drunk on Nirvana.”
We can become very attached to internal experiences. We have to have that type of awareness but not be attached, to be unmoved, to be serene.
This ties into the joy of awakened experiences and the discipline we need to contract or restrain our mind. All meditators must learn to experience the bliss of the consciousness by restricting and disciplining the animal ego.

​Fear and Hope in God

Al-Junayd said the following, as quoted by Al-Qushayri in the Principles of Sufism:
“Junayd said, “Fear of God contracts me while hope of Him expands me. The real nature of things (haqiqah) unifies me [in His Presence], while the Truth of His Being (haqq) separates me [from Him in essence]. When He contracts me through fear, He makes me pass away from myself, and when He expands me through hope, He returns me to myself.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This fear is not egotistical. It is the reverence of the consciousness towards the divine law, especially chastity. We fear to make mistakes and to deviate from the path when we really revere God. So mystical experiences return us to ourselves, to remembrance of our reality, and this is how we learn to have genuine hope in the Being.
"When He unifies me through the real nature of things, He raises me to His Presence and when He separates me [from Him] through His Unique Truth, He makes me witness what is other than myself, and so veils me from Him." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So notice how mystical experience, states and stations in the path are governed by divinity. The Being contracts and expands our perceptions of consciousness depending on the need and His decisions, because the Being always manages our experiences, our light.
Al-Junayd continues:
"He, may He be exalted, in all of that moves me [from state to state], not holding me back. He estranges me [from all else] but does not make me familiar with Him. It is in His Presence that I taste the food of my being. Would that He would annihilate me from myself and so gratify me, or take me away from myself and so revive me!” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is very beautiful. God determines our path, if we learn to follow His will in our three brains, our human machine. He gives us experiences, but doesn't make us familiar with Him, because many times when we long for the Being, we work harder. There is a very famous saying in Islam how God often withholds divine blessings or experiences as he hears the prayers of the disciple, because the sound of it is sweet to Him.
How do we taste the food of our Being? Meditation. Samael Aun Weor states that meditation is the daily bread of the wise, the bread of being. We gain insight when we are establishing ourselves in attention and awareness. Self-observation of our states and awareness of their relation to external events provide us with holistic data about our internal, humanoid machine, our ego. Through developing serenity of mind, calmness and equanimity of consciousness, we expand our awareness of the internal worlds.
This comes about after we learn to concentrate on one thing. We could focus on a sacred sound, or as we stated in the previous lecture: Breath, Ham-Sah, mantras, etc. We constrict our attention to the object of concentration so that the mind stops chattering. In the silence of meditation, when we learn to focus internally without distraction, we can receive internal knowledge and awareness of the internal worlds.

​Three Types of Expansion

We spoke extensively about contraction. Abdullah Ansari of Herat speaks beautifully about expansion. His definition of expansion pertains also to enlightenment, spiritual insight, astral samadhis, conscious experiences within the internal worlds. As he states, citing the Qur’an:

God, the Most High and Holy [speaks of one],’whose heart God has opened to Islam so that he has received enlightenment from God’ (39:22).” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
We receive enlightenment through submission. How do we submit to God? It is by achieving equanimity of mind. So serenity is developed in degrees. We have to learn to overcome distractions to the object of our concentration, whether we are focusing on the breath, with a mantra, with pranayama, or a statue, an object, a candle flame. Or if you are familiar with Tibetan Buddhism, a mandala. You can also concentrate upon the Arabic and Hebrew letters, especially, to focus on a principle represented in that calligraphy, so that the mind stops thinking of other things.
In some of these practices, we imagine and concentrate upon that image. We can see it before our physical eyes, and then we visualize it in our imagination. But in order for imagination to be very crisp, to be stable, we have to not forget what we are doing. So equanimity comes first, when we no longer get distracted, when our attention is crisp and clear. When it no longer takes effort to focus on our object, when we are accustomed and familiar with the perfect state of equanimity, we can learn to submit to God. This is how we receive enlightenment. 
Notice how Muslims and Sufis, they bow their head towards the stone of Kaaba, as we see in this image―a symbol of working with the stone of Yesod. We have to bow our head by working with our energies, to calm the mind. We offer our calm, serene mind to the Being, but it is a process.
Of course, enlightenment occurs in levels. It begins with awakening physically, but also achieves or appears internally in our work.
Expansion is the opening that God bestows upon the heart, the spiritual time, and the aspiration of a servant. And that is of three kinds: the expansion of prayers and invocations, the expansion in service, and the expansion during seeking.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
Let us examine what these entail. 

​Prayers, Service, and Seeking

The expansion of prayers has three signs: invocations with reverence, awestruck humble supplications, and beseeching God through Qur’anic divination.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So invocations and conjurations, as we have stated previously, help us to protect our reverence.
Humble supplications are our prayers. We concentrate and pray for the help we need, enter silence, and then when the mind is serene and receptive, we can receive the answers we need.
Qur'anic divination, for the purposes of our studies, is to read and study the doctrine. We pray for help that God gives us understanding through whatever scripture we read, such as in the Qur’an or the writings of Samael Aun Weor. We can sit, close our eyes, and pray, asking divinity to lead us to a chapter, by flipping through the pages, to show us that which we must read and understand, what we must read about to help us in our particular situation.
And the expansion of service has three signs: lightly carrying the load of plentiful works, abundant prayers concealed from people, and a heart punctual in prayer.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So, sacrifice for humanity without seeking benefits in return. This means to be consistent in our meditations and prayer, that whatever our schedule is, we have a set time in which we enter meditation, silence of mind.
People want experiences. They want expansion without recognizing that experiences are the payment the Logos grants us for good works, for sacrifices for humanity.
Consistent discipline and meditations makes expansions more frequent, since meditation transforms the astral body, according to Samael Aun Weor. 
“And expansion during seeking as three signs: minimum audition yet great benefit, minimum service yet great joy, and minimum contemplative reflection yet great contemplative vision.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So we can listen to classical works of music, spiritual auditions, while being focused on the rhythm and the music as it enters our psyche, such as the works of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Liszt, and many others, which we have outlined in The Secret Teachings of Opera on our website. We can sit and concentrate upon the music, let our focus be entirely on our heart and the influence of those sounds upon our consciousness, which have the power to awaken our concentration and also our awareness, internally, of divine things. Classical compositions and music are Kabbalistic, and teaches many profound principles in nature.
Even when we perform small works of selfless service, sacrifice, the quality that it grants us when it is sincere is tremendous. It gives us motivation and happiness.
Lastly will conclude on one point: “An hour of meditation is better than a year of prayer” according to Prophet Muhammad. So minimum contemplative reflection, if it is very deep and profound, can really open a lot of doors for us. Quality, not quantity, is important. Although it is important that we build up our practices gradually, in accordance with our needs, so that we can train ourselves and deepen our discipline.
At this point in time I invite you to ask questions.

​Questions and Answers 

Question: How can you find your vocation or do good work, but not identify with your external situation?
Instructor: Obviously, every disciple of this teaching faces hardships, ordeals, and there is a saying within the Qur’an that "All good and bad comes from Allah," the Being. As for finding our vocation, that is something that we have to really meditate upon and reflect.
We can basically sit in a quiet space, close our eyes, shut off our senses from the world, and visualize in our imagination, and reflect upon our positive qualities, our skills. Those skills and those virtues of the soul belong to the Being, and the Being can show you through visions in your meditations, through experiences, what you can do with your life.
I think it's important to remember that when we do find our vocation, our genuine mission in life for the spiritual work, you will realize and will find from experience that it is never just something easy. If you look at Beethoven, his mission was to provide the doctrine of Gnosis in his symphonies, in his works, and yet he suffered tremendously. So, I know sometimes we may think that by finding our vocation, we are going to have everything easy, and that's something that obviously we hope for, but the reality is that there are always going to be difficulties. But the reason that we are able to overcome them, our external situations, to not identify with them, is because we love what we do. That is the key of finding your vocation.
When you are providing some kind of service or work that you really love from your heart and soul, even when you are challenged, when you have doubt, when you are filled with fear, uncertainty and difficulties, you do what is best for others, because it is the right thing. It is an expression of our internal integrity. You find your vacation based off your psychological work. Change your behaviors that are harmful. Adopt virtuous behaviors. Expand your awareness outward. Expand your virtues outward to humanity. Let your consciousness be the one that dictates how you relate to others, because if we are just going along with the flow of life, if we are just reacting to our situation, blaming others for our problems and suffering, we are creating a lot of pain for ourselves and for our neighbor.
But the beginning is, learn to constrict your attention inside. Learn to evaluate in yourself what egos are causing you trouble, because when you eliminate the ego, you develop virtue. You develop comprehension, and then you know as a soul, as an Essence, how to resolve problems. So, internal self-observation is the key.
As you begin to learn about yourself and your abilities, your Being will naturally lead you to situations and environments in which you will expand your knowledge and your experience, so that you learn how to really fulfill your role in society and within the Gnostic teachings.
Question: Why do discursive thoughts seem to always have some importance and relevance?
Instructor: Samael Aun Weor states that the thoughts and the egos of our intellect, our internal psychology, bear resemblance of half-truths. The reason why they seem compelling and important is because the ego is a mis-transformation of impressions.
So we have explained previously how the ego is created, the self is created, through a mis-transformation of consciousness. We use our consciousness in the wrong way, and so these defects always appear to be honest and truthful and sincere and important and relevant. But if you are observing yourself through self-observation, you begin to see the mistake of this, that the ego is a conglomeration of half-truths, mistakes, which take on the resemblance of truthful things.
The intellect is really a machine which we have made into something demonic, something negative, because the ego with its intellect uses thought to convince us to do the wrong things. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated in Tarot and Kabbalah that the greatest weapon that the Black Lodge has to pull students from the path is the intellect. So you learn to see the truth of things by looking inside, so that we can distinguish truth from falsehood, not looking for any justifications or repressing anything we see, but simply observing them―letting our heart be the judge. 
Question: It's so easy to rush past sitting quietly with the painful expressions of our actions and go pass to the end, all fixed, and my mind shuts off to any work. So how to make the mind shut down and for me to work on myself?
Instructor: Your comment seems to point towards a tendency in many students, which is to repress what we see. We want to shut down the mind because it is too painful. We see faults in ourselves and aggregates and nafs or defects that are so painful to look at, that we want to become numb. We want to repress what we see. But in truth, this work is a work of suffering. It is conscious works and voluntary suffering. We have to learn to be equanimitous  even when looking at the worst defects, and facing the worst ordeals that really bring out
our most hidden defects that we thought we never had. We have to learn to develop that equanimity in our daily life. It's not enough just to sit for fifteen minutes a day to clear the mind or to focus on an object of concentration. Those complement our daily work. We reach silence and serenity of mind by working all day―observing the mind, looking at it, and acting as a consciousness, following our conscience, our heart.
If we feed our desires, we suffer. This is a basic law and every religion, especially Sufism and Gnosticism. If we do not create a space in our interior, moment by moment, instant by instant, we don't have the means by which we can really work effectively.
And of course, there is a lot of components that can go into this process. Obviously, our home environment is important―having a clean, stable, perfumed home, such as one of our lecturers explained in a lecture called Basics of Spiritual Defense. It's important that we make our home a space for meditation, a place that we can really pray and contemplate and work and aspire to these principles, to fulfill them at whatever level we can, because the more we feed our heart through these disciplines and practices, such as in a lecture I referenced, we can protect our spirituality, but also give ourselves strength and motivation.
Audience: Thank you. 
Instructor: You're welcome.
Question: I had a couple of questions on my mind. I was kind of wondering about the sacrifice aspect as you were kind of discussing it, and I mean I have ideas about what that could be, but sometimes I feel like just like you were saying, it might be a while until you kind of even gain the clarity and openness of mind to receive information about your vocation. For instance, the way that you should be serving.
So I was wondering if it kind of counts towards the sacrifice that we are doing, that we work on ourselves, that we are always observing ourselves and checking ourselves and foregoing our anger in favor of being attentive to our feelings and trying to examine them and understand them. Is that considered sacrifice or is there some other meaning? 
That is one question, and another question I have is a little bit unrelated. But I have been listening to a lot of the Rune Course and on one of them it was talking about the seals, kind of like the way people do the sign of the cross, and how it's not really correct. I was wondering if there's anywhere that it shows how you do that, like a video, because I found it hard to follow the movements that were described in words. 
Instructor: Thank you. So as to the first question, it is a tremendous sacrifice to learn to be a decent person when our mind is filled with rage, with anger, with negative qualities, with defects, and we are put in situations in which we feel that we are not benefiting, that we are suffering―and yet, we learn to transform our own pain, to be compassionate to our neighbor. This is a form of sacrifice, a very noble one.
Now, obviously there are levels and degrees to sacrifice for humanity. But I think all that is predicated upon an understanding of how we live ethically in relation to humanity.
I know a lot of us may feel confused or lost in relation to finding a vocation in life. Some of us may be more advanced in our years trying to find new careers, and we often think that sacrifice for humanity means to have some kind of job, and of course, this is important, but the reality is that our vocation is something within the Being. Really, we have many vocations that we can fulfill. I mean, for example, you look at Samael Aun Weor: he was a writer, he was a lecturer, and he was a healer. He did many things that his Being called him to do, and so while we like to look towards some kind of job or vocation to fulfill us, to give us not only income but some kind of psychological and economic meaning, the important thing to remember is that if we were working on our ego, we will be guided to what we must do in our life in our daily existence.
As for the sign of the cross, we do not have a video that shows that, but perhaps that's something that we will develop, especially since we have had a video on the pentagram specifically.
Audience: Thank you. 
Instructor: You're welcome.
Question: I wanted to ask about some news I heard recently because of COVID-19, the stone of Mecca, that the visiting of that has been canceled. And in that it's an unprecedented event, and I was just wondering if the stone is related to contraction or expansion and if that is causing a lot of grief for people that want to see it. Is that a thing that can be done internally for people?
Instructor: So with the terms contraction-expansion, these apply to our consciousness, and as I provided an overall reference, there are many levels to that. Contraction can mean focus on an object of concentration, a restriction. It also is self-observation, when we feel constricted or our focus is on our internal psychology and what is occurring there. Of course, awareness is the opposite, where it is an expansion of consciousness outward.
Now the important thing to remember is that the stone of Mecca, physically, is a symbol, just in the same way that a cross on a church spire is a symbol. The stone of Mecca is a beautiful representation of the work with the sexual energy―the Kaaba, or the stone of La Vaca, the Cow, which is how you say it in Spanish. But you take the syllables and rearrange them, it is Kabbalah.
So it's a very profound symbol that has a lot of beauty and meaning, but while many Muslims cannot go to perform Hajj or go to the stone of Mecca to perform their pilgrimage, obviously for them that is a cause of great suffering. But the initiates of the mystical Sufi tradition have always known that according to the words of one initiate:
“When you are separate from the Kaaba, it is all right to turn toward it, but those who are in it can turn toward any direction they wish.” ―Bayazid Bastami
Basically, it's a symbol of how there is a great difference between exoteric Islam and esoteric Islam, which is the Gnostic teachings within Sufism, especially. If you are working with your sexual creative energies, your stone, your Kaaba, you are purifying that black stone into a purified white cubic stone as the foundation of your temple―then it doesn't matter if you pray towards the East or the West. It doesn't matter if you travel physically to those places, because really, real pilgrimage for the initiates is in the internal planes. And personally I have been to the Middle East in the astral plane many times. Really our consciousness, when awakened internally, we can see things what the symbols of any tradition represent. You know, those journeys to the Middle East and all the symbols of that tradition are very beautiful, but they are not necessarily meant to be a literal dogma. You know, they are a great reminder of what we must do esoterically, but of course there are levels to religion. If that makes sense.
Audience: Yes, it seems like there's a pointer in that being canceled that we should turn internally toward that stone and instead of relying on the external. Yeah, thank you.
Instructor: You're welcome.
Question: I have experienced my infra-conscious dimensions several times in my dreams, things I would never do or engage in physically. What message is my Being giving me and could this be a part of my past life?
Instructor: Yes, it can. It could be your Being showing you your ego, the things that you need to work on. Remember that there are two moons in the esoteric doctrine. There is the white moon and the black moon, Nahemah and Lilith in Hebrew. These are our representations of the ego that is visible and the ego that is hidden. Now as we awaken more consciousness, as we expand more consciousness and learn to perceive our infra-conscious realms, we begin to understand and perceive things in us, that even if we would not act upon them physically in this life because of our ethics, we still have an element inside that we need to eliminate. So your Being can be definitely showing you your errors that you need to work out.
So here is an example of where your consciousness is expanded. It is a profound awareness of what happened, but also you need to introspect or contract your attention inward in order to reflect on that remorse in your heart, as well as the source of this defect, so you can be free of it.
Question: When we see ourselves psychologically, it's like holding in our breath and indulging in desires gives us air. How should we deal with ourselves and our remorse when we know what we could do or what could and should be done, but do not have the ability to do it? Does knowing what should be done mean we have the ability to do it?
Instructor: This is an important thing to consider. Remorse is a quality of the heart. It is a conscious sentiment. It is very different from shame, from a sense of pessimism, of morbidity, and repression. The ego feels shame and says, “I am a bad person. I did this. I am so horrible! Look at what is in my mind,” and we can become very sour people if we invest our energy into that type of feeling.
Remorse is very different. It is the expansion of the consciousness when we learn to constrict ourselves. We feel that constriction or contraction in our heart, that we have something negative inside, but this is not something that is egotistical. You know, this is not something that is of the mind, because if we just dwell on the mind and not on our heart, on the Essence, we could become very dark people. So this is something to consider.
We have to remember the virtues of the Being. If you feel a lot of suffering for your faults, it is important to be realistic and to meditate on your virtues. So if you feel like you know what you should do and could do, but don't do it or don't have the ability, it's important to really meditate on our virtuous qualities, because oftentimes we adopt a negative skew of things, of reality, because we invest too much energy in our conditions. The reality is that we have a lot of hope, a lot of potential. Don't expect that you're going to be able to do everything all at once, but take the steps that you need, that you know you can do, and to do them.
Fundamentally, the important thing is chastity: save your sexual energy, transmute it. And if you struggle with maintaining this energy, keep trying. As Rumi taught us, "Come, oh wanderers and leavers. Even if you have broken your vows a thousand times, come, join us, for ours is not a caravan of despair." We learn to change gradually, but the important thing is that we repent sincerely. That is going to be an entire lecture in this course that we will give in the future, of what repentance looks like, what renunciation looks like as well.
Comment: We talked about being in the moment, but also we don't want to be lost in that moment through fantasy like watching TV. We are in the moment for hours, but at the same time, we are living someone else's dream, whether the writer, the producer, etc. So this is a form of attention, concentration, awareness, etc. But this is being lost in the moment for the consciousness, taking impressions that are stored in the memory. 
Instructor: This is a really good distinction to make. So while we are talking about states of awareness and attention in the moment, we have to be very specific about what is the quality of that awareness and attention. You know, we can sit in front of a television, as was stated, and be entirely focused on the theme of the story, the characters in the drama, and yet, it is entirely egotistical, because the ego knows how to direct attention, but it is through desire―the desire to watch and to receive the impressions and sensations of that moment, that perception from the television.
So real awareness, real concentration, is when we concentrate with complete voluntary will. You know, obviously, sitting in front of a television is very passive. It doesn't take any effort. But when you concentrate on a candle or a mantra or really work to exercise the Essence in you, you will find that it is very difficult in the beginning. It is very challenging, because our free consciousness is very weak and needs to be trained. We find that it is very difficult to voluntarily focus our attention on one thing or to be aware of our surroundings in a clear sense. So we have to learn to take impressions of life, but not passively where our mind and personality and ego is active. We have to put those in a state of suspension, of calm, and equanimity, and instead learn to make the consciousness be the one that is active, that is working.
Question: Do Gnostics have fun?
Instructor: Yes, especially the ones that I know, associate and work with. Yes, while we talk about very serious topics, we do have quite a profound sense of humor. If you come to our retreats, you definitely will pick up on that. So hopefully you can and will be able to meet you in person. That would be nice.
Question: Can you speak a little on the ego of self-love and self-compassion?
Instructor: It's important that we have compassion towards ourselves, especially because we are very weak. We make mistakes and we suffer a lot. But it doesn't mean that we are filled with self-love. A lot of times, in current spiritual movements, people often say that you should love yourself, that you should find yourself beautiful. And really, what these philosophies and polemics often do is reinforce self-esteem, which is a defect, an ego.
It is true that we need to be compassionate towards ourselves and to have a conscious love for our soul, but we have to be very merciless towards our ego. You know, the compassionate thing to do for ourselves is to have no mercy towards our defects. If we have a fit of anger, if we have a defect or a vice that emerges and we don't want to identify with it, we have to be very cruel to ourselves, in the sense that we don't identify or give it what it wants, because this is the compassionate thing, the loving thing. The soul knows how to give love towards others without expecting anything in return. Self-love says, “Other people should serve me because I deserve it.”
So our focus in this teaching is to learn how to introspect and to identify those egos of self-esteem that are particularly problematic, which create a lot of drama in different circumstances of life. So remember, compassion is that we serve others out of love for humanity, conscious love, not egotistical love, not complacency with error. Because compassion can be very strong for some people. Sometimes the compassionate thing is to be very severe with a person, but it doesn't mean that we don't love them. It means that we are enacting divine justice if necessary. Or as Shakespeare taught us, "I must be cruel only to be kind. Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind” (Hamlet 3.4.181-182). 
<![CDATA[Breath]]>Mon, 24 Aug 2020 23:27:53 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/breath
The following transcription is from an audio lecture on Sufi Principles of Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.

The role of breath within every religion is profoundly significant. All traditions point towards the power of breathing, which is currently being studied, repackaged, and sold as novelties to new age consumers. The reality is that all meditative traditions from both East and West have emphasized the necessity of spiritual breathing, exercises for the awakening and development of the consciousness.
In many eastern philosophies and traditions, the yogis speak of pranayama: to yoke the life force, the vital winds within our lungs, within the air we breathe, with the specific and express purpose of developing concentration, willpower, and mystical states.
The Sufis are no exception. They not only emphasize how breath is essential to life, moment by moment, they also explain in a very beautiful system how divine powers and union with God is achieved through it. The reality is that they knew how our behaviors, our mind-stream, our moment to moment decisions, affect our speech. Our level of being is expressed in the quality of our words, our breath, our expression.
Speech is an expression. It is an amplification, a modification of energy. There are hurtful and infamous words, as well as words of comfort, reconciliation, motivational power. How we speak determines how we manifest our internal psychology. As the Buddha Shakyamuni taught, “Mind precedes phenomena. We become what we think.” But likewise, we become what we say. This is why within Sufism, these masters state how it  is important to guard our breaths, our speech, through ethical conduct.
We have explained previously that this is Shariah, the law, which has nothing to do with punitive laws in Muslim countries. Instead, it relates to conscious ethics within the schools of Sufism, within any religion. Without ethical speech, without using our verb for the benefit of humanity, without being conscious of what we say, it is impossible to enter any spiritual path, known in Sufism as Tariqah, the way to the truth.
As James the Apostle stated, “The tongue is an unruly member,” which like the rudder of a ship, if it is not controlled, creates problems in humanity (James 3). And yet if we learn to guard our speech, our verb, our ways of speaking, we can uplift humanity. Our compassionate intention, magnified by our verb, harmonizes and reunites communities, produces happiness, produces contentment.
This is a fundamental reality within every single meditative tradition, especially Sufism and especially Gnosis. Our breath is essential to spiritual life, and how we use our expression determines our trajectory―where we manifest, where we go within nature. This is why within Sufism, they place such emphasis upon music, upon song, spiritual concert, such as sama in Arabic, the whirling dervishes of the great Mevlevi Sufis.
Vocal prayers―these are integral within that tradition―and they emphasize that our verb harmonizes every aspect of our psychology, if we use our speech for the benefit of others, if we use our breath with ethics, with concentration, with remembrance of the Being.
This is how we submit to God. This is how we communicate with God, because we have to be watchful of our breaths, the inhalation, the exhalation, our communication. All of this adds up. All of this accumulates forces and powers that determine our movement upon the lines of life and being, the present moment. 
Mantras and sacred sounds are essential in every mystical tradition, especially in Sufism and Gnosis. If you want to learn more about how mantra, sacred verb, sacred sounds are a crux within our practice, a foundation, you can study The Spiritual Power of Sound, which we have as a lecture on our website under the course, Beginning Self-Transformation.
We can submit to divinity through our words when we recite prayers or mantras. Our speech can elevate our soul, and yet if we use it to curse, to speak vulgarities, to use degenerated language, we disconnect ourselves from the Being. We lose the thread, the continuity of remembrance in the present moment, and therefore we enter condemnation, suffering, and pain. However, by controlling our speech and using the breath for the Spirit, we learn to develop every aspect of our soul, the consciousness.
But how do we know this? When we are born, we take in vital air and life. We cry. The breath is intimately related with our life. We could not exist if we could not breathe. And just as when we are born, how breath enters the lungs for the first time, we cry out in our new existence. This breath initiates both physical and spiritual life.
Breath initiates life in every level. However, while all creatures within the lower elemental kingdoms―amongst animals and plants, utilize and process the breath at their level―there is a type of breath or substance within human and divine beings, within initiates: meditators who have refined themselves through spiritual breathing disciplines.
The Sufis proclaim how the breath is the ultimate medium of divine expression, and when we command it with fidelity to the Being, to the presence of God, Hudur in Arabic, this becomes a perfected instrument through which we master the esoteric work. This is very well known within the alchemical traditions, how we use mantras and breath within alchemy, within a marriage, within tantra in Buddhism.
Farid Ad-Din 'Attar stated, "Nothing is more difficult for the friends of God than guarding their breaths in moments of rapture."
There exists divine states of rapture: joy, plenitude, and illumination, resulting from the conscious use of breath. While it might seem difficult for us as beginners to control our tongue and cease speaking vulgarities, among the friends of God, the saints or prophets, the initiates and masters of meditation, there is nothing more difficult for them than to control their speech when experiencing mystical union.
But why is this? Speech is an act of creation. Our vocal cords and throat are a womb by which the sacred verb is gestated. The more refined our mystical states, the greater our responsibility and power. Vulgar words or incorrect speech, the expression of animal desire, during moments of remembrance and clarity in the heart, is dishonorable, disgraceful, because we are blaspheming in the presence of the Being. As the Quran teaches, truly, “We are closer to you than your jugular vein” (50:16). When we act inappropriately and speak negative words, we go against the will of the Being.
This is a reality that is only comprehensible to meditators, because when the Being is present in us, we feel and perceive a pristine luminosity, superlative awakened consciousness. And it only takes one moment to speak absurdities, to manifest the ego, to lose the bliss of that moment. This is why the Sufis always teach, "You must guard your breaths against God Most High." We have to be careful with our words, since they carry power to transform or condition our states. 

​The Definition of Breath

But what is the definition of breath according to the Arabic mystical tradition, the Sufis?
“Inspiration, nafas―literally “breath,” also “breathing space” or ample room―is the refreshment of hearts by subtleties from the Unseen.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Notice that we spend a lot of time talking about the ego, animal desire, which the Sufis call nafs, the lower soul. Each ego is a breath. It is a modification of the energy of the consciousness. Each ego, each defect, vice or error, traps the Essence, our true soul or the consciousness. Each ego traps part of, really, what we are: the Essence that must be liberated, which we seek to free through our meditation practices, retrospection meditation, especially. We do so through comprehending and eliminating each ego because the ego is a shell. In Hebrew קְלִפָּה klipah, or the plural קְלִיפּוֹת Klipoth, the world of “shells,” is precisely our inner hell. The ego is hell. It is suffering. It is attachment, craving, aversion, ignorance.
So to free the soul, we have to achieve inspiration. We need to be inspired. This is the state of comprehension, of illumination. In our meditative discipline, we seek to self-observe ourselves from moment to moment, to see the ego in action within our three brains. We have to separate as the free liberated Essence, which is small and in a state of potentiality, in order to observe and activate it, to develop it. We do so by observing how the ego and our different egos, our nafs, manifest in our three brains. When we see the ego for what it is, within self-observation or inner accounting, muhasabah in Arabic, we gather data about ourselves. We begin to be inspired and understand that we are not anger. We are not pride. We are not lust, fear, vanity, gluttony, blasphemy. We are not these things, because we are freeing our Essence and we are perceiving and observing in ourselves that we are not these desires. We are not nafas, the lower soul, the ego.
Samael Aun Weor mentioned that the greatest joy of the Gnostic is the discovery of one of his or her defects. This is inspiration. We are inspired and feel joy that we are not desire. We are not this condition of mind, and therefore, we feel a great change in our level of being. This is the fundamentals of meditation. We have to gather data about our animal mind so that we can work upon its elimination.
But the beginning is, we have to take account of what we are, and for that, in order to give energy to the free consciousness, the Essence, we need energy. The soul or Essence is refreshed through working with the creative energy, the sexual energy.
Our breathing is profoundly and intimately related with sexuality. Our breathing is altered and impassioned during arousal. This is well-known. Now, within people who are filled with lust, couples who join sexually, their breathing becomes inflamed, erratic, quick, impassioned, uncontrolled, and because of their breath, their impassioned breathing, their creative energies begin to flow out of the body. They begin to become inflamed or excited to the point in which that energy is lost, is expelled.
In our studies of meditation and Gnosis, and within the most esoteric hearts of Sufism, they always teach that we have to conserve the sexual energy. You have to control the vital forces, because the semen is the matter that contains the fire and energy that is going to awaken you. Therefore, if your breathing is erratic, uncontrolled, the energies flow from inward to out. This is the opposite of our purposes in meditation. We have to learn to control our breath and the sexual energy, whether we are practicing as a single person or if we are married, especially if we are married, because there is more energy available to a couple, between husband and wife, man and woman.
If you control your breath through profound spiritual aspiration, the creative energy is harnessed. It is redirected. We use our conscious will, our concentration, through our breathing to make the energy flow from out to in, and therefore, not a single drop of that energy or matter is lost. It is this energy, precisely through breath, and these exercises of pranayama or alchemy, that help us to experience the subtle perceptions from the unknown. It is the “refreshment of hearts.”
What are these “subtleties of the unseen,” which Samael Aun Weor explains very beautifully throughout his works? These are visions and awakening from dreams, astral experiences, lucid cognizant experiences within the internal worlds, jinn science, samadhis, ecstasies, direct visions in which we speak to God. Sometimes these subtleties from the unseen are a form of lights, visions in meditation, the perception of energy flowing in us.
Comprehension, inspiration, unfolds through working with will power, by using our will to control our breath, so that we redirect energy. We make it flow inwards so that vital force regenerates our mind. It gives us power in the consciousness. Our soul, the Essence, becomes inspired. What does it mean to inspire, literally? It means to breathe, to take in the air, the spiritual potencies and life and vitality of God into our lungs, and this assimilates through our breathing and lungs within our blood, within our sexual system. When we inhale vital air, the life force is divinity, and when we combine them with spiritual longing, with conscious love, we aspire towards the heights of realization.
But there are levels of work with breath. 
“A person who receives inspirations is finer and clearer than a person who is open to mystical states. The person of the momentary inner experience is at the beginning, the inspired person is at the conclusion, and the person of states is between the two.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Beginning students often have internal experiences that can initiate or inspire them, to enter the path: Shariah, ethics. However, the reality is that such experiences are very fleeting. They are temporary. Through our meditative discipline, mystical states, conscious experiences, astral travels, become more developed, consistent, frequent and penetrative. This is Tariqah, the path, which sometimes can refer to a Sufi school, but also in general refers to the path that the master or the initiate travels within the desert, from oasis to oasis, from ordeal to ordeal within the wilderness of life, the hardships of existence.
Inspired initiates are those who have constant remembrance of divine realities: telepathy, intuition, out-of-body experiences, jinn science, astral projections, polyvoyance, omniscience, abilities common in elevated masters like Padmasambhava, Tsong Khapa, Prophet Muhammad, Samael Aun Weor. These are the adepts of حقيقة Haqiqah, the truth of معرفة Ma’rifah, knowledge, Gnosis. 

The Highest Form of Worship 

The Sufis emphasize how controlled breath is the ultimate form of worship. There are levels of practice within Sufism regarding breath work. So we mentioned a little bit about introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels of practice within any meditative tradition. In Sufism, this is Shariah, Tariqah, Haqiqah / Ma’rifah: truth and knowledge. 
“The states are means and inspirations are the end of progressive development. Moments belong to those who have hearts, states belong to those who possess a spirit (ruh), and inspirations belong to the people of inner being (sirr). The Sufis have said, “The best act of worship is to count the breaths along with God Glorified and Exalted.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This quote explains how the three degrees of any meditative tradition relate to the breath, relate to breathing exercises. In the introductory levels, Shariah, we work with counting our breath. This is a very common exercise within Buddhism known as anapana, within Sufism and within yoga. Now we have to remember that each degree of spiritual discipline works with breath in different ways, with greater expediency and impact within the higher levels. But in the beginning we have to learn to use our breath, to start with the basics, and this often comes with exercises of counting your breath, developing concentration, focusing on the inhalation, the retention, and the exhalation of air, and not forgetting what we are doing. Because the problem is that in the beginning, we could be focusing on such an exercise, trying to count to a hundred without forgetting our work, and yet we do forget. It means that our concentration is weak. We don't have enough will established to be consistent. But with practice and consistency, with dedication, we develop stamina.
Counting the breath, mental and verbal mantra recitation, pranayama, helps us to awaken here and now. Because if you are concentrated in the moment, focused on your breath and not forgetting what you are doing, that concentration and willpower will extend to your daily life in your interactions with humanity. This is what we want. We want to have firmness of will, to be able to direct our attention at one thing and not be distracted by anything, whether impressions from the external world or from our own mind―to not forget the Presence (Hudur) and our concentration upon God.
Mystical states belong to intermediary practitioners when they are consistent, when those states are prolonged, deepened, amplified, penetrative, frequent, when there is a continuity there, because in the beginning of our studies, we forget where we are and what we are doing, especially in the physical world, but also in the internal worlds. We may wake up in the astral plane for a moment, with a vision, and then immediately lose consciousness. This has to change. We have to be present moment by moment wherever we are, whether physically or in the astral world. We do this by working with breath and sexual energy.
People who have really established themselves are persistent in meditation and pranayama, yoking the breath. We get experiences and visions, but we have to be dedicated to chastity. We have to be dedicated to sexual purity, because this is the foundation: transforming the sexual energy. This is known as transmutation, to mutate or transform the brute matter of our semen through its conservation and sublimation into energy. This is the alchemical teachings of lead into gold. This is Allah-Khemia within the Middle East: to fuse and cast a metal, to purify the metals of the psyche and make it divine.
We have to transmute the sexual force. This is the meaning of the quote “how people who possess a Spirit,” “states belong to those who possess a Spirit (روح ruh)” or the Hebrew רוּחַ Ruach. The Spirit is “Hu,” as in the Sufi mantras, الله هو Allah Hu, الله هو الله Allah Hu Allah, signifying, “God is,” or “God, Just He!” There are many mantras sung by the Sufi initiates, which you can access online on YouTube. Very beautiful. It is a form of remembrance of God.
But what does it mean “to possess a Spirit?” We emphasize that the Spirit is not the soul, and this is where the study of Kabbalah becomes essential, whether in the Arabic traditions or in the Hebrew traditions, because Arabic and Hebrew shared the same roots. The Spirit is a form of breath, nafs, which is not tainted by ego. It is very pure, supra-divine, but also the Essence is a form of nafs. It is a soul. It is the Essence that is in potentiality that can learn to express the higher truths within. Then there is the egotistical nafs, the lower soul, because the ego is a form of breath. When we speak words of hatred, we feed that hatred, that lower animal egotistical defect, nafs. So there is a lot of diversity in these terms, a lot of dynamic range and we have to use our intuition and the study of Kabbalah, which we will emphasize towards the end, in order to reach clarification. 
The Spirit, the soul, and the ego are very distinct. You have to meditate to understand the difference. The Spirit, especially, is not the soul. The Spirit is God, the Innermost, חסד Chesed in Kabbalah. The Spirit is. The soul, the Essence, is developed. It is acquired.
But what does it mean to possess a Spirit? Many people like to think they are spiritual, but they never had any astral experiences in which they actually spoke with their Spirit. We possess a Spirit when we have frequent contact with the Being through inner vision. Spirit is a type of breath. The Being, God, the Spirit, is a very refined, subtle, and spiritual breath, an energy, a force.
I remember many years ago, I woke up in the astral plane. I was seeking to receive teachings from my inner Spirit. So I intuitively felt a call telepathically to descend into the Earth, and after entering a cave within those underground regions, I was in the dark, and I felt the presence of my Being. I felt that terror and that love and longing, which are all very profound and subtle. But I heard my Being breathing. I heard an inhalation and exhalation, very deep, and I felt that terror of love and law that Samael Aun Weor explains many times in his books. My Being was teaching me, “I am breath. I am the Presence (Hudur),” which is a form of vital force, which in Arabic is an ا Alif and in Hebrew is א Aleph, the vital winds, which we can access and experience when we control our own physical and vital breath.
This is a form of inspiration, a divine ecstasy in which my ego was not there. These inspirations belong to the heights. The advanced practices of Haqiqah and Ma’rifah, truth or ecstasy, these are known amongst the alchemists through معرفة Ma’rifah, γνῶσις Gnosis, דַעַת Da’ath, alchemy. 

Breathing Space

The Sufis emphasize how we must enter our own internal worlds in order to extract wisdom and this is why we practice meditation.
And they have said, “God created the hearts and made them mines of the understanding of Him. After that He created the secret inner awarenesses and made them a place for declaring the Unity.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
What is a mind filled with gold? It is the heart. It is within the heart that we can grasp and understand the nature of our spiritual reality, the Being. So I mentioned that example of an experience where I descended into the Earth and then, in that, metaphorical sense, I entered the mine where I received the teaching of gold from my Being.
It is our heart that can understand the significance of divine things, not the intellect. The intellect is a wild animal, which we control with our breath, with concentration, with willpower.
The doctrine of unity is essential to Sufism and Islam. Unity of divinity is experiential, and we can only declare this with conviction and knowledge through inner experiences.
What is the place of secret inner awarenesses? Samael Aun Weor stated that "God searches them nothingness in order to fill it." This is from The Aquarian Message. So serenity of mind is the basis of illumination. The absence of the ego is the plenitude of the consciousness, the soul. To reach this state, we must remember our Being, here and now. This is the thread or secret continuity of conscious experience―the voice of conscience, the voice of ethics. If we don't follow our inner judgment, following our intuition about how we must behave in life, following our heart, if we don't follow our subtle voice in our conscience, we become lost.
Our heart is the mine of gold. It is the thread that connects us with the Being, which is why the Sufis state:
“Every breath that occurs without the guide of knowledge of God and the sign of Unity emerges from blind compulsion, and it is a dead thing. The one to whom it belongs is accountable for it.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Blind compulsion is of the ego. It is in our three brains. Without self-remembrance, without recalling the presence of our divinity, hudur, without being aware, muhadarah, here and now, without knowledge of that unitary state, that quality of our Being, our words become empty. They truly are vain. This is why in Ecclesiastes, you have the Hebrew term הֲבֵ֤ל הֲבָלִים֙ Habel Habelim:
“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” ―Ecclesiastes 1:2
הֲבֵ֤ל Habel means “breath.” It is the word for Abel. In the Bible, Abel is a symbol of the soul, the Essence, that is killed by the lower soul, קַיִן Cain, nafs, nafas.  And since we kill our soul by acting wrongly moment by moment, we suffer. So these are symbols. These are not literal, historical stories to simply document the past. They are a moral compass for our current, present moment.
We are killing our soul every instant when we speak gibberish, when we are filled with hate, when we lie. That is true vanity. We love ourselves too much at the cost of our soul. That is really the absurdity of the ego.
We are always accountable to the law. Inner judgment, גבורה Geburah in Kabbalah or in Arabic, الْدِّين Al-Din. Din means “religion” or “judgment.” It is the teaching of the Qur’an, the Judgment, the evaluation of humanity. That inner judgment, that inner religion, is inside. It is our conscience. It is our remorse. If we have lost that thread, it means we are very far from initiation. If we don't feel sorry for making mistakes, this doesn't mean we would become morbid, pessimistic, degenerate―people who are basically addicted to suffering, sadistic. It means that we have conscious sorrow and the regret that we made errors, so that we want to change them, so that we make the effort to revise our understanding, whether we made someone else suffer or whether or not we are suffering ourselves.
As beginners, we face this reality. We make a lot of mistakes. We say a lot of stupid things, perhaps in our daily life. We make errors. We struggle to remember God. But for Gnostics like Prophet Muhammad or Samael Aun Weor, they never forget the Being. Such masters have a profound intimacy with divinity, and the Being never leaves them, because they have perfected their work. It is a tremendous responsibility to have God within―to perfectly express and manifest the Innermost, which is why the Sufis state:
“I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say, “No ‘breathing space’ is granted to the gnostic because no indulgence can take place with him. But the lover in the early stages (muhibb) must necessarily have some ‘breathing space,’” since were there not a breath for him he would be ruined, because of his lack of capacity.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Again, this is a very deep teaching. This is not something that we are going to reach easily. It is something to understand and know and to work towards. A breathing space simply means a state in which the Being is not completely there. There are degrees and levels upon light. As the Surah of the Light in the Qur’an teaches "Light upon light” (24:35), levels upon levels of being.
The reality is that if God were to enter us without us being fully prepared, we would be annihilated, because that light is so profound. It is the power of a star, of a galaxy, of an infinite. The Being is a force that is tremendous, and therefore God enters and retracts when necessary.
In the beginner, they need time to learn to annihilate the ego, to adapt, because the ego and the Being are incompatible. If they had no room for himself or herself, they would be ruined, because they couldn't handle that energy. They are not capable. But if the ego is fully dead in you, the breath of God is fully manifest and therefore one can speak the words of truth like Mansur Al-Hallaj, which stated "Ana al-Haqq,” (أنا الحَقيقة) which means “I am the Truth!” Really, there was no Mansur there, because the personality in him was dead. There was only the Being. You can read about that in the book called The Narrow Way. It is at the end of that book in a chapter dedicated to this Muslim master (The Passion of Al-Hallaj).
God enters and retracts from the soul. There are states of presence and absence within the initiate. Much in the same way that when you inhale the air or when that air is present in you, it fills your lungs. But when you exhale, the breath is gone. The same with mystical states. This is why mystical states are so synonymous with breathing. They emerge and they pass. Only in those beings who are fully perfected in meditation, have that breath in them eternally. They are immortal. 

​Chastity: The Basis of Spiritual Breathing

Sublimation of the sexual energy is essential when we work with breath, known as pranayama or transmutation. This conserved energy is the basis by which breathing exercises function and work with efficacy. Spiritual insight is born through chastity. There is simply no way to avoid sexual purity, whether in Sufism or Gnosticism. Without conserving creative energy, the sexual force, and intentionally directing it through breathing exercises, there is no foundation by which to awaken conscious perception, spiritual insight, inner vision.
There are many people and students of religion who practice breathing exercises, but without chastity: conservation and transformation of the sexual energy. But why is this? Why is this damaging to the mind, to be expelling the energies and working with breath? Because it's like trying to pump fuel within an engine when there is no fuel, or like a pump that cannot work because there is no water there.

Your body and your psyche is a beautiful laboratory. It is a marvelous machine that has a specific function, purpose, and intention. It is a cosmos in itself. It is a miniature universe. It is a microcosm of the macrocosm. Our breath works much in the same way that the pistons of an engine function in a car. There is movement and there is direction. There is energy in ourselves when we work with breath. But our breath is only a medium in which we can direct energy, and without the storehouse of sexual creative power, we cannot draw upon anything to illuminate the psyche. Breathing exercises without sexual energy do not produce awakening. It is simple. Breath combined with creative energy is synonymous with light. It is the conduit, the means to energize the Essence. When the Essence has fuel, when that sexual energy is conserved, we can create something really divine. Our vision like in this image becomes cosmic. We perceive things. We develop insight, perceptions, because that energy has to create something. You can create a child physically with it, or you can use it for a very different purpose, a spiritual purpose. And this is what we teach in this tradition. When the Essence has fuel, when it is purified with clean energy, when the vital centers or channels of our internal physiology are flowing with sexual force, we have light.

The Spiritual Light of Breath

This is why the Sufis state very clearly:
“If someone’s share of this light is more perfect, his vision is wiser and his judgment based on his insight is more truer. Do you not see how the breathing of the Spirit into Adam made it necessary for the angels to prostrate before him? For the Most High said, ‘I formed him and I breathed into him of My Spirit, so fall down before him in prostration’ (15:29).” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is how we create a true hum-man, spiritual human being. हुं Hum is Spirit in Sanskrit, or the Arabic هُوَ Hu. It even relates with the Chinese mantra Wu, which we use in our practices in Gnosticism in order to silence the mind. 
Let us examine the following quote:
“Abu-l-Hasan al-Nuri was asked, “What is the origin of spiritual insight in the one who has it?”  He answered, “It comes from the saying of the Most High, ‘And I breathed into him (Adam) of My Spirit’ (15:29).” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This image of the creation of Adam is central not only within Judeo-Christianity, but within Islam and Sufism. The Qur’an often emphasizes the following:
“And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay. Then We placed him as a sperm-drop in a firm lodging. Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah, the best of creators.” ― Al-Muminun, “The Believers,” Qur’an 23:12-14
A lot of people read that quote within the Muslim tradition and think it only has to do with physical creation, when in reality it is about the creation of the soul. الخليق Al-Khaliq: the Creator in Arabic, best manifests as الودود Al-Wadud: the Loving. 
Where else is the ability of God to create a true human being than through the sexual force, through sexual love?
That energy can create spiritual realities in us. We call this solar bodies within esotericism. These are the wedding garments of the soul mentioned in the Bible (Matthew 22). This is libās al-taqwā in Arabic, “the garments of reverence” of the Qur’an:
“O Children of Adam! We have indeed sent down upon you raiment to cover your nakedness, and rich adornment. But the raiment of reverence, that is better. This is among the signs of God, that haply they may remember.” ―Al-A’rāf 26
But the reality is that we like to think we are human beings, true masters of the world, and yet we are animal in reality. This is evidenced by our behaviors. We do not engage in the sexuality of humans, spiritual beings, because in animal behavior is involved anger, pride, lust: the expulsion of the sexual energy to procreate in an animal way, behaviors like vanity, selfishness, greed, etc. To become human, we must renounce animality, which is orgasm, desire.
Chastity is the sexuality of angels. This does not mean abstention from sex. It means purity in sex, whether we are single or married. This is why when Adam was created, mentioned in the Qur’an, the angels prostrated. However, the reality is that nobody likes chastity, which is why also in the Qur’an, Iblis, the Devil, refuse to bow. So this is why religions and Sufism have degenerated, because people ignore the role of chastity. You cannot create life spiritually, you cannot reach inspiration without that force. It is simple.
The creative energy has the potential to develop the Essence. When a married couple who practices meditation, male-female, man and woman, use their sexual polarity in combination with the opposite, they have the power to create as a god. So whether you are married or single, you can work with your breath. Obviously, alchemy is much more intensive and requires study and practice and a lot of wisdom, which is why you can read books like The Perfect Matrimony and The Mystery of the Golden Flower by Samael Aun Weor. But individual practitioners can learn to transform sexual energy through breathing. If you are trained in chastity, you become prepared for the perfect matrimony: to consciously utilize the breath during the sexual act so that the sexual act is transformed. It is sanctified. It is purified.
Obviously, married couples have more energy to work with, but single people can make great progress through breathing exercises and chastity. This is how, as represented by the name Hasan Al-Nuri, we develop the beauty of the soul. We have to remember that names are kabbalistic in Arabic. حَسَن Hasan reminds of إحسان‎ ʾiḥsān: beautiful action, תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth in Hebrew, the human Essence. نوري‎ Nuri is the light, the Being. What is the most beautiful action to develop light? It is sexual purity. This is how light enters into us as the Being breathes the Spirit into us.

Inner Vision and Knowledge of God

Let's examine a few more quotes:
“This statement by Abu-l-Hasan al-Nuri is somewhat difficult, so be careful with it.  In this mention of the breathing of the Spirit he was aiming to correct those who say that souls are uncreated. The situation is not as it might occur to the hearts of the weak." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is also an essential point in Gnosis. The soul is created. It is not uncreated. The soul is created but the Spirit is. Visions develop as we learn to acquire Essence, or as Jesus taught "with patience possess ye your Souls” (Luke 21:19).
Al-Qushayri continues:
“That to which this breathing (and union and separation) are properly attributed is liable to influence and alteration, which are signs of the transitoriness of created things.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Breath is inhaled, is retained, and is exhaled. The soul can develop in us through that breath, and therefore it is transitory. It is transient. It is impermanent. Only through the complete work of initiation is the soul perfected, where the soul becomes a choir so that the Spirit reflects within it.
"Yet God Glorious and Exalted has chosen the believers for perceptions and lights through which they come to possess insight. In essence, these are forms of the knowledge of God. This is the import of the Prophet’s saying, “The believer sees by the light of God”―that is, by a knowledge and inner vision for which God Most High has specially chosen him and by means of which He has distinguished him from others like him. To call these kinds of knowledge and perceptions “lights” is not an innovation, and to describe that process as “breathing” is not reaching far afield. What is intended is one’s created nature. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So as a result of pranayama, transmutation, we could perceive astral visions, experiences, samadhis, lights, sounds, etc. We produce the foundation, the matrix, the womb, the conduit for light to emerge. 

The Three Types of Breath

In Sufism, there are three types of breath as we have already mentioned, but we are going to elaborate on what each entails. There is a Sufi initiate by the name of Abdullah Ansari of Herat, who wrote a book called Stations of the Sufi Path, in which he explains some of these principles very beautifully. We previously mentioned the present moment or the metaphysical moment, and in this instant, we are working with breath or learning about breath.
When we study these three types of breath within Sufism, in the Qur’an, within Hebraic Kabbalah as well, we are examining three schools in meditation: introductory, intermediate, and advanced, that structure of Shariah, Tariqah, and Haqiqah and Ma’rifah relate to these principles very beautifully. There is a correlation there which we will touch upon.
Abdullah Ansari of Herat states:
“From the field of the Metaphysical Moment the field of Breath is born. God, the Most High, says, ‘When he recovered his senses he said: Glory be to You!’ (7:143).
“The breath of the master of metaphysical time and moment is that which is untarnished by any matter pertaining to his self or ego. Adepts in spiritual reality have three different kinds of breath: a penitent plaint, an infatuated cry, and a shout of ecstasy.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So in this excerpt these three types of breath relate to adepts, not beginners. Although there is a correlation between the meditative schools of Shariah, Tariqah, and Haqiqah / Ma’rifah. In synthesis, this is ethics, meditation or ecstasy, and the highest, spiritual reality.
The breath of a master of the present moment is not tarnished by ego. We have to aspire to this height. We do so by learning to understand the stages of this path and also the different qualities of the soul. 

The Three Souls in the Qur’an

There are three types of soul within the Qur’an. If you have studied Kabbalah in depth, you'll be familiar with Nephesh, Ruach, Neshamah.
  1. The Carnal Soul (el-Nafsu-l-Ammara) (12:53)―Nephesh: Animal Soul
  2. The Blaming Soul (el-Nafsu-l-Lawwama) (75:2)―Ruach: Thinking / Emotional Soul
  3. The Soul at Peace (el-Nafsu-l-Mutma’inna) (89:27-8)―Neshamah: Spiritual Soul
So we have been talking a lot about the carnal soul, Nephesh, animality, the ego. Our egotistical breath or soul is passionate, filled with hate, with lust, with desire. We have to transform the lower soul by judging ourselves. We have to blame ourselves. We have to evaluate our psyche through the soul known as Ruach or Ruh in Arabic, Spirit.
The blaming soul, the thinking-emotional soul is that part of our Essence, our consciousness, that evaluates the ego, which critiques, dissects, understands and takes into account the different aggregates of the mind, the different vices and errors of the pluralized "I." This type of blaming has nothing to do with becoming a morbid or pessimistic person. Instead, it has to do with how we judge our lower animal nature so that we could become like the soul at peace, the spiritual soul: a purified, perfected Essence united with Geburah, which is our inner judgment, our divine soul.
The Qur’an speaks about these three souls in different verses:
From Surah 12 verse 53, we learn about the carnal soul.
"Yet I do not absolve my own carnal soul." In Arabic, nafs al-Ammara"For the carnal soul, indeed, prompts men to evil except in as much as my Lord has mercy. Indeed, my Lord is All-Forgiving, All-Merciful." ―Qur’an 12:53
The blaming soul is known in Surah 75 verse 2:
“And I swear by the self-blaming soul, the self-reproaching soul." ―Qur’an 75:2
And I believe this is in relation to the certainties of resurrection, the heights of the path.
Lastly the Soul at peace piece from Surah 89 verses 27 to 28:
"Oh, soul at peace, return to your Lord, content and contenting.” ―Qur’an 89:27-28
It's important to know these three souls especially as we practice meditation, because we are working to blame ourselves or blame the animal in us, so that we can reach peace. 

The Penitent Plaint, Infatuated Cry, and Shout of Ecstasy

So let us return to Abdullah Ansari of Herat's statement:
“The penitent plaint dispels demons, absolves sin and opens the heart.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
This relates to a meditators work against the carnal animal soul, our ego. Prayers in sincerity, mantras and invocations, sacred sounds and recitations, when they are performed consciously, purify the mind and reject tenebrous forces. This is why we do prayers like the Conjuration of the Four, the Conjuration of the Seven, and the Invocation of Solomon. These mantras are prayers which you can perform before you meditate, helping to dispel demons, helping us to absolve ourselves from sin. It means to reach a state of mind that is opened and prepared for meditation. We open the heart when we use our breath in this way. You can study a lecture given on our website called Basics of Spiritual Defense, in which these prayers are explained and referenced.
So it is good to pray and conjure, to defend our home, to prepare environment for meditation, so that we can transmute, but also you can perform these prayers before we practice alchemy. This establishes a good energetic environment in which we can practice effectively, with safety.
This master continues:
“The infatuated cry of the attracted person purges the love for the world, sweeps material causality away, and causes one to become oblivious of creation.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
This relates to the work with the blaming soul, in which we are judging ourselves―Ruach, the thinking-emotional soul. This blaming soul teaches us to renounce worldliness, to renounce egotism, to renounce attachment to negative things. It sweeps away material causality in the sense that our negative behaviors, our egos, which perpetuate addiction, suffering, and confusion, are removed. We blame ourselves through inner accounting, retrospection, meditation, as we explained in our last lecture and our course on Gnostic Meditation.
How do we become oblivious of creation? We sit on our home. We relax our body. We work with breathing exercises to transmute our sexual energy. We suspend our senses. We concentrate within. We go into our internal worlds to gather information. Without breath and transmutation, we cannot fully relax the body or achieve stillness and quietude of mind. So in this type of meditation, we abandon the world. We become oblivious to the world. We ignore material causality. We become attracted to spiritual things, attracted to the breath of God, so that we reach that luminosity and concentration, that joyfulness of Essence and Being that inspires us, so that we can go deep and begin to work on our mind.
Lastly, this is very profound:
“The shout of ecstasy of the raptured pierces the soul, sets the heart athirst and burns away the veils.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So the soul shouts with joy when experiencing states without ego. We feel that luminosity and amplification of the Essence. This occurs in the internal worlds, when we tear away the veils of the conditioned mind which prevent us from communicating with the Being. These are astral visions, astral samadhis, and even beyond. These experiences with God set us on fire, spiritually. Our longings are fulfilled and they are increased at the same time. We can aspire towards more light.

Conclusion: Ham-Sah Transmutation

Lastly we will conclude with a statement by Samael Aun Weor and a practice you can use to help you experience these internal states, some of which we have mentioned. He states in a lecture called The Transmutation of Sexual Energy: Part IV:
“…there is a profound relation between one’s sexual forces and one’s breathing, so that when both are duly combined and harmonized, they bring about fundamental changes in one’s physical and psychological anatomy.” –Samael Aun Weor, “The Transmutation of Sexual Energy: Part IV”

On the right we have the Caduceus of Mercury, a famous symbol within medicine. It is a structure in our back. The middle of this diagram is the spine, in which two energetic serpents or currents, vital energies, positive and negative, flow from the sexual organs up to the brain. These wings are the wings of our spirituality that blossom within our spinal column, and that allow us to have internal visions.
We have to work with that energy of sex that rises from our left and right gonads, whether the testicles or the ovaries. Both masculine and feminine forces, positive and negative, solar and lunar energy, rise from the organs of sex up to our mind. And we even have currents that run from our brain to our heart.
A very simple practice you can do is Ham-Sah, as explained in the lecture by Samael Aun Weor that we have referenced here. You sit in a quiet place. You relax. You let your body settle. You suspend your senses. As you are praying to your inner, divine Being, your Innermost, your Divine Mother, Al-Buraq within Islam and Sufism, you pray and ask that this energy can rise within you to illuminate your mind. When you inhale your breath to your nostrils, you imagine, in your mind's eye, the creative energies as light rising from your sexual organs, up the spine, in the form of this image of the caduceus. Imagine these energy circulating in the form of two entwined serpents like the holy eight within Kabbalah, and that this energy and light illuminates the mind. You want to mantralize internally, silently, HAM, prolonged like this:

You do this silently in your mind, when you are inhaling and bringing the energy to your intellect, your brain. And then, imagine that energy descending into your heart with the mantra: Sah!
This mantra Sah, you pronounce externally, vocally. Ham is internal and silent, prolonged. Sah is short, vocal, and exhaled. It is gentle. It is short. You want to pronounce Ham prolonged and internally, in relation to your inhalation, so that you bring the energy from sex to your brain and that you retain it, profoundly. Let that energy soak within your mind, illuminating you, giving you vitality and force. And then, exhale to the heart: SAH!
You do this because our energy is normally―because of our bad behaviors―flowing from inward to outward. You want to reverse this flow by making your emphasis on Ham, to bring the energies inward and up, but you also want to bring them to your heart through Sah.
The mantra Ham is solar, is elevated. It is prolonged. But the mantra Sah is short, lunar, and directed to the heart.
I have even seen YouTube videos of Sufis performing Ham-Sah when doing dances. So this practice is not only within the Gnostic tradition, but has been practiced by initiates for centuries, millennia. It is a very ancient work. 
Now there are some variations within the Sufi tradition where they pronounce mantras such as الله هو Allah Hu. The mantra ال Al is masculine, solar, relating to the serpent Pingala. Pingala is the solar positive serpent on this Caduceus of Mercury. لا La is feminine, the lunar energies of Ida, the left serpent on this diagram of the spine. Solar and lunar, positive and negative, form الله Allah: the God. And then هو Hu, the Spirit rises within our spinal column when we awaken sparks of the divine fire Kundalini.
As a single practitioner, you can perform this practice to wake sparks of Kundalini, the Spirit. This can grant you experiences and insights, but obviously married couples will have much more light when performing Ham-Sah if they are sexually connected. In the Sufi tradition also, they turn their head from right to left when they pronounce لا إله إلا الله La Ilaha ila Allah (“There is no god but God,” or الله هو Allah Hu, الله هو Allah Hu, because ال Al is masculine relating to the right, and then they turn their heads to the left relating to لا La. Together, this forms الله Allah. And to the breath, they are working with Spirit, هو Hu. So the Caduceus of Mercury is referenced in that practice, but also many initiates are practicing Ham-Sah. Very beautiful and profound.
So at this point I invite you to ask questions. You are welcome to type them into the chat box and towards the end, we could even take some questions via unmuting people. 

​Questions and Answers

Question: You mentioned there is a difference between the Spirit and the soul. How does the consciousness play into this? Can you elaborate?
Instructor: So the Spirit is the Innermost, the Being, our inner God, and the soul is our Essence, the consciousness. We have to learn to develop the consciousness and to create it. So that quote we mentioned from one of the Sufi masters explains how the soul is a created or a transitory thing. It has to be developed and perfected, initiated and expanded. The Spirit already exists. He is immutable and divine. And the reality is that in order to know the Spirit we have to first develop soul.
The soul is like a mirror. When you polish the mirror through dhikr,remembrance of God, you can reflect the perfect image of the Spirit in you. So consciousness has to be developed and purified. I believe Rumi even said that we are like a mirror, and yet, how could we develop purity if we resist every rub? Because our mirror, our consciousness is egotistical, filled with impurities, with mud, with obscurations. Those rubs or polishings of the heart have to do with our practices, but also difficulties in life in which we are confronted with our own egos, that we must observe and comprehend and work upon. In this way, we begin to polish our heart so that we can reflect divinity more and more.
Question: What would you recommend to improve consistency and daily practice against the ego? 
Instructor: Personally when I have struggled against my own mind, I take time to study scripture. I like to balance my meditations with study of the doctrine. We have to be inspired in our work, and sometimes we become clouded and even negligent. We don't do what we need to do. Sometimes we don't work effectively, daily, upon the ego, because we are too morbid or sad or negative. This is why Samael Aun Weor mentioned that “when you feel a lack of inspiration, when you suffer in your work, when you struggle against your mind, when you have doubt and confusion, study my books, study my writings.”
I also like to read the Qur’an to be reminded of what I must do. You know, you can read any scripture, really, that inspires you and hits you within your Essence, because that is the language of God.
Some people have a predisposition towards certain religions and traditions. Obviously, the best thing is to read writings from Samael Aun Weor, because he is the most clear. But you know, we have to really drink the wisdom of many traditions. For me, I like to read the Qur’an when I struggle or if I feel like I am vacillating or vegetating, becoming stagnant. It is a scripture that has a lot of power, speaks with a lot of force, to remind us of what we must do, what we must change.
You can also listen to good music, especially music that really reflects divine principles, and you know, we have given a course on chicagognosis.org called The Secret Teachings of Opera. One of my favorite operas is Turandot, in which you see the whole drama of initiation portrayed with a lot of force and beauty. Watching those operas and listening to divine concert, say the Sufis, is essential to the life of any initiate. You know, that music can really inspire you when you understand the message.
Question: Breathing seems to calm the mind, but when caught up in an argument, I forget to breathe. In the midst of an attack, what practices do you recommend?
Instructor: It's an excellent question. Samael Aun Weor answered this question in one of his books, Introduction to Gnosis. In one of his chapters he explains how if you are overwhelmed in a fit of anger, if you are filled with rage, if you become tense, breathe. Inhale and relax. Inhale through your nostrils count to six. Hold your breath for six seconds, and then exhale for six seconds. Obviously, if you are in an argument, you can take a moment to say, “Look, I need to take a break for a little bit” and to be polite and say, “I need to step away for a few minutes. Please give me some time." So that we don't seem offensive to the person we are speaking to, because arguments and heated debates are the result of ego.
Samael Aun Weor said that debates are satanic, because people are fortifying the carnal soul, Nephesh, the animal mind. Just take a minute to just breathe. You know, obviously that is the first step. If you forget to breathe, remember to breathe. That is the first half of the battle, remembering to do what you need to do, and inhale―count the six, hold for six seconds, exhale for six seconds. If you are breathing really profoundly and you are relaxing, closing your eyes if you can, sitting down is best, your anger will subside. I have used this many times. It's a very effective work. Then you can go back to your colleague or friend or family member who you are arguing with and you can approach that situation with clarity, not with rage.
Question: Is it expected that students will ebb and flow continuously from experiences or cognizance of God?
Instructor: Yes, this path is a process. We develop experiences gradually. Sometimes there are periods of light and there are periods of darkness. This is paralleled in Hindu cosmology and an even Gnostic cosmology when we talk about Mahamanvantaras and Mahapralayas, cosmic days or great cosmic days and great cosmic nights. Because the breath of creation flows, is always in fluctuation, is never static. The same way, our experiences come with greater lucidity and penetration, but also consistency during periods of activity. But sometimes we have to face what is known as the dark night of the soul in which we don't see anything. 

This is a necessary test for the disciple, a very painful one, which Beethoven composed and reflected upon in his Moonlight Sonata―very beautiful piece of music that reflects the sorrow of the initiate when under the moonlight, the darkness of the night. But of course, the sun emerges victoriously if we conquer those dark periods. Light returns. So there is always a flow of forces in us. So the necessary thing is to be patient, to wait and to pray, to be consistent, to continue practicing.
Question: I have learned a breathing exercise where you breathe in with the nostrils, hold the breath, then exhale through the mouth. Is this a form of pranayama other than Ham-Sah?
Instructor: Yes. Samael Aun Weor mentioned that practice in one of his books―a very simple exercise. You can imagine the energy is rising into your mind, and then when you exhale, sending it to your heart. But you want to breathe in through your nostrils. Hold the breath and retain the energy, and then exhale through your mouth. There are a lot of different forms of pranayama, and that is a very simple one.
But I recommend that if you are practicing a particular form of pranayama that you do so with fidelity to the instructions. This is just a general guideline for anyone practicing these exercises, because I know sometimes practitioners will like to mix pranayamas―for example―the Egyptian Christic Pranayama in The Yellow Book with other exercises. The important thing to remember is that each pranayama has its function. So the one that you mentioned is very simple, it doesn't involve a lot, but it is very effective. The same with any pranayama exercise in the books of Samael Aun Weor. So be true to the instructions, and you'll get the results you want.
Question: Is the blaming soul Sophia, trapped like Master Samael says in his book The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled?
Instructor: There is a relationship there. Sophia means “wisdom.” Pistis Sophia is the power or wisdom power of the liberated soul. In this path in which Sophia rises to the Pleroma, to the heavenly states that she had lost, she has to repent. So remember in that scripture and even the commentary that Master Samael gives, it is explained how Sophia needs to repent, I believe thirteen times. This is the blaming soul in action, in which we have to confront ourselves and take responsibility for the carnal soul, for the animal, because once you have killed the animal in you, the ego or lion-faced powers that try to steal the light of Sophia, you can begin to extract light and to drive the forces of the left and the right, positive-negative, male-female, Adam-Eve, Pingala and Ida, solar and lunar. A lot of beautiful relationships there.
Question: Where can we read about the dark night of the soul? Is that an entire lifetime?
Instructor: In relation to the dark night of the soul, there are periods in which we have to face a lot of darkness, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of pain. For some beings it can be many years, others, months and sometimes even longer. You know, it comes to mind some particular people such as Tchaikovsky or Beethoven. These masters depicted in their music very profound states of suffering that they encountered because they were great initiates, especially in the past and that they had fallen.
Sometimes these periods extend over many years, and the only way to emerge victoriously from them is with patience. It is with serenity. It comes to mind actually The Three Mountains by Samael Aun Weor where he talks about a few points in his own path and his experience in which he suffered a lot because he made mistakes, even times where he was cut off from astral experiences because he needed to pay karma. So that is one text that comes to mind that you can think about. You can also look at our glossary on gnosticteachings.org regarding the spiritual night.
Question: Have you any tips for overcoming an overactive mind? It seems when I am mindful in a day, I can almost guarantee that the next day some things may happen that would stimulate my mind and I would constantly be replaying things in my mind or just overthinking.
Instructor: Overcoming an overactive mind requires not repressing it, neither feeding it. We have to learn the path of balance. Breathing exercises like pranayama are great for having energy to calm the mind. Runes are exceptional, deep prayer in which we concentrate fully on our inner God to ask for illumination.
Personally, I like to do mantras if my mind becomes agitated. You can mentally pronounce those mantras or prayers many in our tradition are very beautiful such as O AO Kakof Na Khonsa:
This is an Egyptian mantra relating to the Divine Mother―the serpent Kundalini, Isis. Or Om Masi Padme Hum
Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Swaha, which you have to pronounce prolong, each syllable, very long such as this:
That mantra is exceptional for silencing the mind. Chant it mentally if you are active in the day, but if you are at home, you can pronounce it out loud. It is a very powerful mantra for silencing the mind in a genuine, conscious way.
Question: Is the Jesus prayer made use of in the Gnostic tradition? There seems to be some alignments between Eastern Orthodoxy, Sufism, and Gnosticism. It seems of all the mainstream Christian religions, that Eastern Orthodoxy would be the closest especially and their understandings of the Theosis and the Jesus prayer as the path towards that communion with God.
Instructor: We have many prayers that we use, you know, the Jesus prayer and many other prayers from different traditions. They are all valid. We use a lot of prayers from many faiths in our own daily discipline in accordance with our needs and disposition. So if that's something that resonates with you, you can use it.
Obviously we have certain prayers and mantras that we use more than others, such as the Conjurations of the Four, the Seven, the Invocation of Solomon, and many others that are really effective for specific purposes. But in terms of prayers, ways of communicating with God, those are as infinite as the different cultures that have existed in the world. They are as diverse as all the different religions our humanity has received. They are all very beautiful and necessary. Work with those prayers that resonate with you and that inspire your heart.
You can also look at gnosticteachings.org as well as a book called A Gnostic Prayer Book, which we have available on gnosticteachings.org, the store, where you can access and see many prayers from different faiths, whether from Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sufism, etc.
Question: When married, what is the best way to prepare to enter alchemy? Are there specific mantras or processes which must be or are preferred for the practice?
Instructor: The best way to prepare for alchemy is to be chaste when you are single, to spend a lot of time practicing the three factors. If you are not trained in your own body to transmute, when you are married and without that training of knowing how to circulate those forces, it is going to be very difficult. It's difficult enough when you practice for many years as a single person and then you finally meet your spouse.
Prepare your body, your mind, and your heart through pranayama, Ham-Sah, and transmutation, primarily because the body is acculturated to fornication. We have to retrain it to work properly, to transmute the energies and make them flow from outward to inward.
You are best prepared for alchemy when you annihilate lust. Obviously, there is going to be degrees in this, and nobody is perfect in the beginning, especially when you are beginning with alchemy. However, the more chastity you have established in yourself through the death of desire, by learning to circulate energy in you, and learning to act compassionately for humanity, the better prepared you will be for the rites of marriage. If you really want to protect and defend your love for your spouse and to really make it strong and prepared for when you do meet your partner, develop conscious love here and now, altruism or Bodhichitta in Buddhism.
You can use any mantras to help you with that process. We have many mantras for transmutation. I suggest you work with those that best help you and your needs, whether they are certain runes like Olin, the seven vowels, the mantra S, Ham-Sah, Egyptian Christic Pranayama, and retrospection meditation, especially. Meditate on the death of your ego. Annihilate your ego, because the more selfless you are and developed you are in your level of being, the more love that you can give to your partner when you do meet that person, the more you can receive.
Question: Would you speak on the relationship between breath and mantra when the mantra is internal versus out loud?
Instructor: Some initiates like Swami Sivananda explained that there is more power in silent mantras, primarily because when you are mantralizing internally, silently in your mind, you are making your mental body, your astral body, to vibrate. It's like working from the inside out. But there is also a necessity in our path and process to work from the outside in, and relating to our body and our internal physiology as well.
When we work with pranayama and breath, we are training our physical body to obey, to obey our Being, to obey our Spirit. Because unfortunately most of us, really everybody, has a long history with fornication. That is the common trend, and we need to learn to train our body to transmute. The best way to do it is through pranayama. Now as you are working to circulate energies in your body, make them flow from outward to inward through your breath, you begin to establish a conduit that makes it easier to access deeper internal states. In this way, internal mantras become very effective.
Now both are necessary. It's good to pronounce mantras out loud, to vocalize, to pray, to charge our physical body with energy such as with the runes. This is very essential. But also we have to learn to train our mind internally. So I suggest that you combine both internal and external breathwork, mantra recitation. Work from the inside out and the outside in, so to speak. This is a very comprehensive way to practice. Now, some instructors have mentioned that we have to be practicing mantras or pronouncing mantras moment by moment, each day. Now, obviously if you are in a crowded area or at work, you are not going to be able to pronounce mantras out loud without drawing attention to yourself. So you can just pronounce those prayers and mantras mentally, and they will have strong effect―if not even more than if you are vocalizing, because it requires a lot of concentration and willpower to be present in that state.
Question: Does breathing just out of the left or right nostril symbolize lunar or solar breath?
Instructor: That is a good question. Now in relation to breathing exercises, especially pranayama or interchangeable nostril breathing, the yogis of India have associated certain energetic currents relating to your left or right nostril. Now, for men and women this is reversed.

The left side of the body is relating to the lunar energies and the right side to the solar energies in relation to men. But in women, this is reversed. And so breathing through your left or right nostrils activates those different gonads, whether male or female, testicle or ovary. You can read a little bit more about that breathing science, especially in the book Kundalini Yoga by Samael Aun Weor, where he explains a lot of these principles in a lot of detail.
Question: I saw a flaming three in my mind's eye once. What can that mean?
Instructor: Numbers are kabbalistic. They are symbolic. They relate to principles and forces in nature. We gave a course called The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, which explain the principles of the sacred tarot, and the number three relates with creation, spiritual and physical. And obviously fire can relate to illumination, the sexual energy that is inflaming the third eye and creating that force. I advise you to study that course if you really wish to understand the meaning of numbers, how they apply to our physical life.
Question: Can you explain Al-Qushayri's quote: “A person who receives inspiration is finer and clearer than a person who is open to mystical states”? Are there dangers trying to interrupt inspiration?
Instructor: So in relation to the three schools of meditation within Sufism, or three stages of meditation within esoteric Islam, you find that the intermediate path is relating to people with mystical states, who have experiences, and inspiration is finer and clearer because it is the culmination of the path. It is the highest stages: Ma’rifah / Haqiqah, knowledge and truth. Now, those inspired states and samadhis are very refined and clear, because there is no ego there, and therefore, we become deeply inspired by what we perceive. In that state there is more understanding, because you realize and comprehend the meaning of the messages you receive in the internal planes.
Now, a person who is open to mystical states has some different meanings to that. Obviously, there could be positive and negative states, and oftentimes, what many people call mystical states in this day and age, oftentimes, is a result of degeneration. Some people like to mix meditation with drugs. Or people who are very imbalanced mentally may have experiences, but not from the consciousness, but rather in the hell realms. We can have mystical states as we are developing our meditative practices and working with the three factors of the revolution of the consciousness, with chastity and transmutation. Of course, those will be positive and gradual, because there are deeper insights that we receive more consistently and frequently the more we work with these practices, and don't mix these exercises with impure things such as drugs or alcohol or psychedelics, which we are strictly against.
But obviously, a person who is developing more and more, is consistent with their practices, will fluctuate between objective and subjective states. This is primarily because awakening is gradual. Nothing in nature takes leaps. Our practices develop the soul much in the same way that a tree grows from a sprout. It doesn't occur overnight. It doesn't appear instantaneously. It happens gradually over time. But obviously towards the end, we have greater clarity because we have less ego. So there are degrees and degrees of light there, even mentioned the Qur’an: "Light upon light” (24:35).
Question: I had a question on the Solfeggio frequency. So when we are doing, intoning mantras, and intonations, is there a linkage with the Solfeggio frequencies? I have been reading up on certain frequencies, that they have certain impacts on you know, the physical body and also spiritual bodies. And then the second part of that question is that there are several apps out there that actually, we can actually use those frequencies. Would you recommend using any of those things or is that or is that something that shouldn't be used?
Instructor: There is also a lot of talk in spiritual movements about certain vibrations and sounds. Even Samael Aun Weor mentions in some of his books how certain mantras have to be performed at a certain tone. But whether or not they have the specificity of certain hertz or specific wavelengths of frequency or vibration, that might be a little bit too specific than what is necessary, because I think some people might try to go into too much depth with something that is actually very simple.
Mantras can be intoned in certain ways, and the important thing is that you will learn those intonations and ways of expressing those mantras, such as from recordings from instructors or people who have experience with those practices themselves. You can learn more about that in the lecture called The Spiritual Power of Sound in our course called Beginning Self-Transformation. We talked about in detail what the six components of mantra recitations are. You know, we don't the time to explain all those in depth here, but part of it is intonation, which it's important, because some mantras have a certain song to them―ways that they were expressed by the guru who taught them. When you sing a note a certain way and intonation, you invoke energy. So, in that sense, it is important, but not necessary to get into hertz and specific mathematical frequencies. It is much simpler than that. 
Audience: Okay. Thank you.
Instructor: You're welcome.
Question: When fire burns or a plant grows, they interact with the air. Are they breathing on their level? One could say that the breath is in the skin in all organs. It seems like it would be good to both practice controlling that which is within us and breathing from the context that all things are breathing and we are merely a part of that. 
Instructor: Yes, and this gets into many of the metaphysical aspects of Hinduism and even Sufism, especially, how the breath of God creates all existence and creates all things. All creatures in nature within the different elemental Kingdoms breathe. Even minerals breathe and the earth itself breathes energy. Obviously with plants and animals and humanoids, this is much more complex, where we have lungs and organs and cells that allow us to take in oxygen. But with the minerals, they too are a form of breath. They circulate the electromagnetism of the earth, different parts of the globe. So all that is very important, especially.
It is important that we learn to develop our breath, our practices with pranayama in a spiritual sense, because notice that in accordance with evolution of souls, transmigration of souls, we gain greater complexity and abilities to assimilate, transmit, and retain that force in different ways. So obviously a plant is more complex than a mineral. But animals also are more complex than plants, and humanoids are even more complex machines than animals.
But we have to remember that through this evolution of breath, breathing and energy, that the humanoid is not the end. There instead is a spiritual illuminated way of being, and that the true human uses breath like a God. And this is where we digress from many movements in the world today, which basically deify animal desire. People are teaching that you can use your breath and your voice to communicate anger and hatred and violence. So instead, we learn to use the breath for spiritual purposes through prayer, through mantra.
And yes, our skin does assimilate air and many organisms can assimilate energies through the skin. This is why alchemy is so interesting, because the sense of touch is the most sensitive organ or sensitive faculty of the human being. In alchemy, we have to learn to control our touch, our sight, our hearing, our smell, our taste. We have to be a master of our human machine. So yes, while all things are breathing life, they do so on their level, whether mineral, plant, animal, humanoid. But in accordance with the human kingdom of the masters, the angels, we have to learn to breathe as a God, to transmute the sexual energy as an Elohim. So there are degrees. There are levels.
Question: Have you ever known anyone who is practicing chastity and meditation, etc., but seems to be degenerating rather than progressing? It seems I am getting less and less conscious as time goes on even though I am trying. There are external things interrupting me though.
Instructor: Some people, really all people, struggle in their own way. We all try to apply the teachings at our degree, with chastity, especially in meditation, and if we feel that we are regressing and not progressing, we have to re-evaluate what we are doing.
For some people, it can be as fundamental as not conserving the sexual energy, even if only in the mind. Because some people can be practicing sexual abstention, not letting out the sexual force at all, and yet can be experiencing lustful dreams or lustful states of mind in which that energy is being misdirected. So if we feel that we are not progressing, we have to be sincere―and everybody goes through this―where we feel that we are not really going forward. The solution is to take time to reflect on our practice, to evaluate what is it that we are doing well and what is it that we are weak in.
Obviously, if there are external things that are interrupting your practice, that is something you need to take into consideration, because if you feel that there are certain influences in your life that are bringing you down, it is important to renounce them, to not give them space in your life, whether it be certain people that could be draining you, perhaps, bad environments, negative relationships, certain behaviors. Even if not just fornication, there are ways that we waste energy, and if you have no energy, it is impossible to change.
So be sincere. We all have to be sincere in this path, to take the time to always reflect on what we are doing with efficacy and what we are failing in, so that we can, with a state of remorse and comprehension, change those things that we can and to celebrate those victories that we do have. It is unrealistic just to focus on the negative. I know a lot of people sometimes get very overwhelmed by the ego and like to concentrate on the negative at the exclusion of reality. So reflect on your virtues, but also take the time to figure out what things in your life must change.
So I thank you all for coming. 
<![CDATA[The Three Ways of Christ]]>Thu, 20 Aug 2020 22:32:03 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/the-three-ways-of-christ
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Mysteries of the Bible, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:

This is a continuation of a lecture we gave previously on the nature of what we denominated as four paths. We talked about fakirism. We talked about monasticism, yoga, and the Gnostic path, Gnosticism. We explained previously how these paths―individually, by themselves, the first three: the fakir, the monk, and the yogi―are incipient. They are deficient in themselves.
These previous paths only develop one aspect of the psyche at the exclusion of the others. The fakir only develops willpower over the body, to dominate instinct by lying on a bed of nails, sleeping in the storm, sleeping under the weather, and trying to dominate the physical body, thinking that it is a way to God.
We also discussed how the monk, through prayer, develops the heart, but at the exclusion of the mind and the motor center, our instinctuality, our sexuality, etc.
Then we talked about the yogi who only studies and develops knowledge of the mind, who performs pranayama and exercises to develop mind.
So we discuss how those paths by themselves are inefficient, and that we need to follow a synthetic teaching, a synthetic path, which is the Gnostic path. The Gnostic path incorporates all three. Now, in this lecture we are going to explain how there are three three ways, in the positive sense, by which we walk this path, by which we attain union within our Innermost, our inner God.
In these images we have Christ, the Master Aberamento, teaching and performing works. He is teaching the multitude on the left as a mystic. In the middle, we have Jesus as a Gnostic who is assisting Mary Magdalene. We have on the right Master Jesus the Christ who is being tempted by Shaitan, Satan, the demon, his mind in the wilderness.
In this lecture we are going to explain how the path of mysticism, Gnosticism, and yoga are an integral science. Previously we discussed how the fakirism, monasticism, and yoga, by themselves, are inefficient. They are not complete. We are going to explain the best of these systems and how they apply to the Gnostic path, how they apply to our work, and this lecture really is about one quote that the Master Samael Aun Weor gave in a book called Igneous Rose.
“Christ taught three ways in order to reach a union with the Innermost (our inner Buddha, our inner God). When he was preaching to the multitudes, when he was mystically exalted, he showed us the way of Ramakrishna, Kempis, and Francis of Assisi. This is the path of Anthony of Padua and Teresa of Jesus (or Avila). This is the mystical path. When Christ was walking with Magdalene, the repentant prostitute, when he was among publicans and sinners, fishermen and wine drinkers, he showed us the Gnostic path. When he retired to the solitude of the desert for forty days and forty nights, he then taught the way of oriental yoga. The seven rays of cosmic evolution are synthesized in these three ways that the Nazarene showed.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

The Three Brains and the Three Ways

To elaborate, we have this image or graphic of the human being with a symbol of the holy eight, which is the circuitry of energies and the makeup of our inner constitution. This explains these three paths in synthesis and how they really are one.
We explained how the path of yoga develops the intellect. We have the path of the monk which develops the heart, mysticism. And then we have the sexual center, which is Gnostic in its totality. Fakirism, as we explained, is only the work of movement and instinct. Now, we talk about in esotericism how we have three brains, three centers: intellect, emotion, and motor-instinctive-sexuality. We synthesize the last three, movement, instinct, and sex, because they really constitute the field of action within our psyche. So the path of the fakir only develops instinct, to dominate the sensations of the body, whereas the Gnostic is very different, and works to control instinct, motion, and sexual energy.
In relation to the three brains, the three paths we are explaining in synthesis, the path of yoga, the path of the yogi develops the mind, which we need in our work. We need also to develop mysticism, following the path of the monk in harmony with the other centers. We also need to develop the sexual center, the sexual brain, through the Gnostic path.
Question: Can an individual accomplish that without the belief of God?
Instructor: Yes, because we don't believe in anything. We seek to know. So to think something is true or to think something is not true, that is intellectual or emotional.  But to really know something with certainty is to have Gnosis. Therefore, there are certain things that I might believe in, but there are many things that I know for fact from my experience by working with these three paths.
Question: Do you think there is a benefit if you do have true belief in God?
Instructor: Blessed are those who believe, yet who do not see, for then in their belief they will work, like Master Jesus taught, and by following the three paths of yoga, mysticism, and Gnosticism, then we come to know God directly. Now, we are going to elaborate on this in relation to the mystical path. 
But in order to explain this lecture, we need to understand the three brains, because as we see in this image, we have three centers and usually in the field of psychological self-observation, in the beginning it is very difficult to ascertain from where thoughts come, where emotions emerge, and how do sensations arise. These three aspects of ourselves constitute one unity as symbolized by the holy eight. This symbol is a symbol of the infinite, meaning that God is within us, is infinite. In order to understand God, we need to know how our three brains function and how to develop them positively.
Question: So it's like a channel. You are trying to bind to that channel?
Instructor: Yes, and that channel is developed precisely by working with mind, with emotion or heart, and with sexuality, or the yoga, the mystic, and the Gnostic paths.

Mysticism: The Path of Spiritual Experience

In this image, we have Christ who is mystically exalted, and it is important to note that when we talk about mysticism, what the term actually means. The word mysticism comes from mystery or mysterion in Greek, which originates from the root word myein, which means “to close one's eyes.” Meaning: to close one’s physical eyes to the exterior world, to really become reflective. This relates to mystikos which means “initiate,” somebody who begins a new way of being, because if we don't know how to close, first, our physical eyes to the exterior world, and then if we don't learn how to close the illusory eyes of our perception to illusion, then we cannot know God.
For as it is stated in The Voice of the Silence, which is a scripture translated by Blavatsky:
"Before the Soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion." ―H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence
We talk many times about this term mystikos, mystery, mysterion, mysticism, because genuine mysticism is establishing a new way of being in this moment.
As Samael Aun Weor states:
"Initiation is life itself, lived intensely, with rectitude and with love." ―Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: Manual of Practical Magic
If we are not paying attention and we are not being intense in our efforts to self observe, it means that we are asleep. It means that we need to continue to remember our Being, to observe our three brains and to learn to receive the impressions of life in a new way. That is what it means to close one's eyes to illusion. It doesn't mean that we ignore things. It means that we cease to perceive life as we previously perceived it, and that occurs here and now, meaning that we forget the past. We don't think about the future. We close our eyes to all illusion and we really just focus on this moment, because we need to be the child of this moment.
I would like the quote for you some of the teachers mentioned in that quote I mentioned. The first is is Ramakrishna, where he explains the path of mysticism and the nature of belief, implicitly. He was a great yogi, a great master, highly venerable, a great initiate who practiced sexual magic with his wife. He gave a very profound doctrine that we are going to cite here, and we are going to quote in relation to the mystical path some of those teachers that Samael Aun Weor mentioned.
In relation to the mystical path, we need to really develop the heart, because most of us are dead emotionally, where it is very difficult to feel a genuine inspiration in our psyche towards God, to overcome those negative influences in our mind. This is why we began the lecture with that prayer, the Pater Noster in Latin, in order to invoke that energy in the heart, because if any of us need anything most of all, it is to develop the heart. This is why we begin with the mystical path, because if the heart is pure, then we will know God. If it is impure, we will not know God and we will suffer. This is why Prophet Muhammad taught in the Hadith, the Muslim oral tradition:
"For everything there is a polish, and the polish for the hearts is the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah. There is nothing more potent in saving a person from the punishment of Allah than the dhikr of Allah." ―Prophet Muhammad
So Prophet Muhammad taught that the path of jihad is the monasticism of the Muslim. Jihad is the war against our animal desires. It is the struggle against our mind, which we are going to explain in the path of yoga. And so Muhammad was explaining how the path of the monk is the path of striving, because mujahidah means “striving.” They translated it as “holy war,” but it really means “to strive,” “to make effort” against one's ego. 
Question: The mystical path, that is the monk's path?
Instructor: Yes, and with all this, we are explaining the positive aspect of this―not the past practices exclusively, alone, but how they all integrate. All these are really synthetic. They apply to each other and they overlap. 

Knowledge of Divinity

So in the beginning, all of us struggle to know God. We want to have that experience where we communicate with a master or with our Being. There are four stages that Ramakrishna explains on the path of mysticism or the path of God vision, because as we explained, mysticism means to close one's fleshly eyes to illusion, but to open our spiritual sight.
“M: "Sir, what is the meaning of the realization of God? What do you mean by God-vision? How does one attain it?"
MASTER: "According to the Vaishnavas the aspirants and the seers of God may be divided into different groups. These are the pravartaka, the sadhaka, the siddha, and the siddha of the siddha. He who has just set foot on the path may be called a pravartaka. He may be called a sadhaka who has for some time been practicing spiritual disciplines, such as worship, japa (mantra recitation), meditation, and the chanting of God's name and glories. He may be called a siddha who has known from his inner experience that God exists. An analogy is given in the Vedanta to explain this. The master of the house is asleep in a dark room. Someone is groping in the darkness to find him. He touches the couch and says, 'No, it is not he.' He touches the window and says, 'No, it is not he.' He touches the door and says, 'No, it is not he.' This is known in the Vedanta as the process of 'Neti, neti', 'Not this, not this'. At last his hand touches the master's body and he exclaims, 'Here he is!' In other words, he is now conscious of the 'existence' of the master. He has found him, but he doesn't yet know him intimately.” ―Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
So as we were mentioning, blessed are those who believe who don't see. This is us groping in the dark, feeling in the psychological depths of our mind, seeking God. We say, “No, this is not him.” We have that longing, that aspiration to know God. But he who seeks shall find. So if you continue in your path, to persist, and to practice, to experience God, it will happen as a law of nature. If you seek you will find. So it is a groping in the dark of our mind until finally through our discipline and meditation, we experience God in samadhi.
So we are practicing “Neti, neti, not this, not this.”
Question: But do you believe that in scripture, in John, that it is up to God to enable you?
Instructor: There is a Sufi saying by Bayazid Bastami. He said: "For thirty years I sought Allah. But in reality it was Allah that was the seeker and I the sought." So the one who pushes us is our Being, to seek Him, because “God is a treasure that wishes to be known,” as it says in the Qur’an and thus he made the universe and man so he could be known. He is a treasure that needs to be discovered in us, and the one who pushes us to work is Christ, Allah.
Question: Samael Aun Weor mentions this word “disquietude.” When that occurs, it is part of the inspiration?
Instructor: Yes, and spiritual inquietudes is precisely neti, neti. We are looking in our mind. We want to know God, but we haven't experienced Him yet. So we seek. We seek. We feel that disturbance in our heart.
Question: What is it called?
Instructor: Spiritual inquietudes. You can say disquietude too and inquietudes. It is mentioned in The Great Rebellion. There is a chapter on it specifically.
Question: Does it mean what it sounds like it means? Like the opposite of quiet?
Instructor: It doesn't mean disturbance. It means the heart or the soul is impassioned and yearning for God.
Question: Is that like the goat or Fool in the Tarot? Like a goat is pushing you...
Instructor: Yes, you can see that God is trying to ride His donkey, which is us, our mind, and that He is trying to lead us in the direction He wants. But if we disobey, then we don't seek him. But if we yearn for Him in the mystical path, we are seeking, and every experience in meditation or out of the body―any type of phenomenon we experience―we say, “Yes. This is interesting, but I know it is not God!” Until, finally arriving at the experience, when we communicate face-to-face with Christ, with our Innermost, and then we know. That makes us a siddha. So, before when we enter the path, we are pravartaka. Those who are practicing for some time who are performing “Neti, neti,” are sadhakas. Then those who experienced God are siddha, but there is another stage beyond that.
“There is another type, known as the siddha of the siddha, the 'supremely perfect'. It is quite a different thing when one talks to the master intimately, when one knows God very intimately through love and devotion. A siddha has undoubtedly attained God, but the 'supremely perfect' has known God very intimately.”  ―Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
It says in the Qur’an, “And they honor not God with the honor due Him” (6:91). Or: “Allah is not estimated as he deserves to be estimated,” which the Sufis translate as “He is not been known as He deserves to be known.” So there are those who know God to a degree, but then there are those who know God very intimately, who have incarnated the Lord. That is very high, as exemplified by the great masters of mysticism.
So that is what we seek: first to know God in meditation and out of the body, and then to constantly develop that and cultivate that. Or as Samael Aun Weor stated quoting Blavatsky’s Voice of the Silence, "Be humble in order to attain enlightenment, and upon having attained enlightenment, be humbler still." It doesn't mean that one has fully attained enlightenment. It means there are degrees, where there is always a cycle and fluctuation of experiences we have and don't have. It happens as a type of gradual process. It can't be rushed. It happens like the unfolding of a rose, and when the rose is exudes its beauty, it’s because the disciple has been cultivating that for many years. 

The Imitation of Christ

The way that we cultivate this mystical path is in the next graphic. We are going to quote Thomas à Kempis, a great monk, a great mystic, who actually was Samael Aun Weor in a past incarnation, as he stated in his books. When Samael Aun Weor was incarnated as this monk, he was really developing under the ray of monasticism: the spiritual influence of the Christian Church. We have this image of Christ exalted mystically, teaching the multitudes. I am going to quote for you from his book The Imitation of Christ, which is a powerful work, especially for developing the heart, spiritual emotion, conscious devotion to God. It is very divine. So this comes from “Four Things Which Bring Great Peace” (this is Christ speaking to the bodhisattva):
“My child, I will teach you now the way of peace and true liberty.
Seek, child, to do the will of others rather than your own.
Always choose to have less rather than more.
Look always for the last place and seek to be beneath all others.
Always wish and pray that the will of God be fully carried out in you.
Behold, such will enter into the realm of peace and rest.
―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: 23. Four Things Which Bring Great Peace
So, our ego does not want to do any of that. When we seek to do the will of others rather than our own, the mind struggles, contradicts, argues, debates, justifies. If we remember these axioms in relation to another person trying to resolve a conflict, then we will have peace. Instead of doing our will, we do the will of others, even if it hurts our pride. This is really the meaning of wearing our crown of thorns, or the crown of thorns that the Master Aberamentho wore in his Passion. Our desires want to act out, and yet we restrain our mind. The mind suffers. It bleeds. It cries out. It wants consolation. But out of love and compassion, as exemplified by Jesus, we have to bless those who curse us, who cause us pain, egotistically. We have peace when we cease to try to do our own will, but the will of others.
Question: But to achieve that, isn't it of great importance to open your heart first, because if you try to go in that route immediately, isn't it forcing it against everything?
Instructor: We have to begin where we are at, meaning: never try to take on any type of difficulty that is beyond one's capacity. Instead, we have to be compassionate with our current circumstances. 
Comment: It just grows...
Instructor: It grows by performing it, by renouncing our own and doing what is good for others. In that way, our Being may decide: “Now it is time for you to take the next step” and to provide extra help, extra difficulties.
Question: I feel like sometimes I get confused when people are being verbally abusive. That they should just take it. But that is not what it means either right?
Instructor: Right. It isn't the opposite. Mercy and justice, Chesed and Geburah, need to be balanced. 
Question: But what do you mean? Like if someone's verbally abusive to you? 
Another Question: Yeah, like I was telling that at work someone was being verbally abusive to me and I was confused. Do I just say, “I am so sorry,” or “whatever you want”? Or, do you stand up for yourself? How do you know what to do?
Instructor: Real Christian compassion and mercy doesn't mean complacency with crime, because we need to learn to do the will of others, but we also had need to know limits. If being complacent in a situation in which we need to act is going to harm ourselves, but also the harm the other person, then it means that we need to do something.
Comment: I had a situation like that, many actually, where I try to observe why they are the way they are being, but it's usually not you. I never try to return the abuse. I just try to understand them. 
Instructor: And the way that we do the will of others is by working for their happiness. Now if they are abusive and they are creating problems in a workspace, then we need to bring attention to authorities and other people if it is something serious and harmful. Now, we always choose to have less rather than more, meaning less material goods, less attachments, to material goods. 
Now, in relation to the what we were discussing, "always wish and pray that the will of God be fully carried out in you." That doesn't mean that we are like a doormat. It means that we take responsibility for the well-being of others. So yes, in one sense we need to do the will of others, try to make them happy. But if that is not working, then we need to be realistic, not resentful, but to fulfill the will of God within us, which might mean to confront the issue with the other person, but without hatred, without anger.
Question: Can't it be also part of our karma? Sometimes some of the situations that we have...
Instructor: Yes, in many situations, it is recurrence, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we allow karma to swallow us alive. It means that we learn to negotiate it for the benefit of others and ourselves.
Question: When you say we must work to make others happy, does that mean more like true happiness, not what they think will make them happy?
Instructor: Exactly!
Question: If someone is obsessed with money, giving them money isn't loving, right? 
Instructor: Exactly. We want to do what is good for the being of that person, which can make them very resentful and angry and derogatory, but you see how Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24).  He is crucified and he said that on the cross.
Comment: This presumes that they are receptive. 
Instructor: And even if they were not receptive, learn to give love regardless. Always seek to do the will of God above all things. Seek to make others happy. Be satisfied with less rather than more, and always pray that God's will will always be done within us, and that usually will mean contradicting other people. But we need to learn how to not act with anger or resentment. So the way that we do that is cultivating our psychological sense of peace, which is developed through devotion and mysticism. 

The Enlightenment of Christ

We have the image of the ascension of Christ on the right, and on the left we have a quote I am going to relate to you from Thomas à Kempis. It is a prayer he gave in order to calm the mind, to develop devotion, precisely relating to what we are discussing.
"Enlighten me, good Jesus (meaning enlighten me, my inner Christ, my Intimate Christ) with the brightness of internal light..." ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
So what is that internal light? It is direct cognizance through self-observation on the defects we wish to work on.
“…and take away all darkness from the habitation of my heart. Restrain my wandering thoughts and suppress the temptations which attack me so violently. Fight strongly for me, and vanquish these evil beasts―the alluring desires of the flesh―so that peace may come through your power and the fullness of Your praise resound in the holy courts, which is a pure conscience. Command the winds and the tempests; say to the sea: “Be still,” and to the north wind, “Do not blow,” and there will be a great calm.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
So what is that sea and storm? The sea is our sexual passions, the waters of sexuality, which are disturbed by lust in the mind, fornication, desire. The storm in the mind, the intellect, are all the churning of thoughts and desires which drive one, literally when we are observing ourselves, seemingly to the point of desperation. 
"Send forth Your light and Your truth to shine on the earth, for I am as earth, empty and formless until You illumine me.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
This is a kabbalistic teaching. This is the meaning of the first book of Genesis, “The earth was formless and void,” תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ tohu vay-bohu in Hebrew (Genesis 1:2). That earth is our psychology. That is, if we look inside, we see that we have a lot of darkness, chaos, anger, resentment, that is churning constantly. And so in the Book of Genesis, the ר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים  Ruach Elohim, the Spirit of God, our Innermost, floated above those waters, and it is through initiation that we calm the storm of the mind and that we calm the lake of our passions.
"Pour out Your grace from above. Shower my heart with heavenly dew.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
What is that heavenly dew, those waters? It is sexual, and dew is a result of rain from a previous night or morning, which has an alchemical teaching. We find an alchemical teaching even in nature. When there is heat in the soil, the water evaporates and rises upward. Likewise, through sexual magic, when man and women are united, sexually speaking, they develop heat, which raises the the waters of sexuality into steam, energy that rises up the spinal column. This is symbolized in alchemy as the athanor, which is boiling certain substances to purify the mind, to transform the lead of our passions into the gold of the spirit. When the water evaporates into the sky, it creates lightning, storms, which water the heart. So the dew is precisely the pure energies of our Christic energy, the semen, which are residing in the heart that have been transmuted. Through alchemy, we raise the water into steam, which forms a storm, we could say, in our mind, and the lightning of Christ emerges, is born in us.
The dew is precisely, like the flower of the heart, the pure seminal essence of our transmutations, which creates calm and peace. But it seems like when we begin transmutation, things are chaotic. We see a lot of evilness in our mind, that is seems unstoppable and uncontrollable. This is what it means that we have a storm in our mind. We start transmuting and suddenly we realize we are in a hailstorm. We are in a chaos.
Question: In other words, it is not like you are possessed. You are just going through that storm?
Instructor: You are just bracing the storm and you are seeing  the mind for what it is. What happens after the storm, the dew resides in the heart and there is peace. The thing is to persist in transmutation and not to be discouraged if the mind is crazy and chaotic and disturbing. But it will pass. The more we transmute and let the light of God illumine us through transmutation and alchemy or pranayama and mantra, and by meditating, then the storm calms by the grace of Christ.
"Open the springs of devotion to water the earth, that I may produce the best of good fruits.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
So again, the springs of devotion to the Divine Mother is sex: the fountain of life in which, if we never waste it, it will be regenerative in nature and we will never thirst again.
Question: I know you are not supposed to think of time. What is the time difference of going through that storm?
Instructor: It is a process. Time, we could say, is illusory, but we also say, practically, that it is a process. We say, sometimes it takes years to develop real discipline, but that discipline starts every day in this moment. So we don't need to think that, well, with time we are going to change. It means we have to work now, but we have to also be practical and understand that it is a process. Nature does not take leaps.
The rose grows gradually from the compost heap of our sins, to rise up into something pure. So these good fruits that are watered through devotion are precisely the virtues of the soul. We say the sexual organs of a plant is the fruit. That is the consummation of its regenerative and alchemical process in its growth.
So water, "open[s] the springs of devotion (through transmutation) to water the earth (our physical body, that it can be regenerated and that the virtues of the soul may flourish) as good fruits." 
Lift up my heart pressed down by the weight of sins, and direct all my desires to heavenly things, that having tasted the sweetness of supernal happiness, I may find no pleasure in thinking of earthly things. Snatch me up and deliver me from all the passing comfort of creatures, for no created thing can fully quiet and satisfy my desires (or my longing to know God). Join me to Yourself in an inseparable bond of love; because You alone can satisfy him who loves You, and without You all things are worthless.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
What is that ultimate devotion for God? When a man and woman are united sexually―that is where the couple can show genuine love to God by not fornicating, not reaching the orgasm, by not behaving in sex as a beast. Because as Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a great Sufi master, taught us, that the way that we have sex is the way that God will be with us. If we have sex like animals, God will be with us as the avenger, as justice―to punish us for our crimes, for indulging in negative behaviors and causing harm to others. But if we are in sex as a pure being, trying to develop chastity and sexual moral purity, God will be with us as mercy.

We have the two pillars of the Tree of Life: mercy and justice. If we want to follow God, we go to the right in sexuality, meaning: we go towards the right pillar trying to follow transmutation. The left pillar can represent the energies going down, because if we behave as animals in sex, then those energies go down Klipoth, to hell, and that is how God will be with us, if that is how we have sex. So Rumi is affirming what Thomas à Kempis or Samael Aun Weor taught.
Now, the way that we help to curtail the negative aspects of our mind, of our psychology, we have to learn how to pray for others and learn forgiveness, to not take accounts towards other people, to not justify our behavior, but to really become selfless. Mysticism really begins with transmutation, developing the heart. We cultivate this compassion for others with our transmutative work by developing compassion for others. We say bodhichitta, which in Sanskrit signifies the heart-mind of wisdom: the empty nature of all phenomena, how things are impermanent, and also compassion and love for others. 

​St. Francis of Assisi

We have this image of Saint Francis of Assisi, and we included his famous prayer from his teaching. You see that he has a skull at his knees, meaning all the garbage of the intellect is dead. It is in the grave. You notice in this image that he is praying up to the heavens, almost up towards his own middlebrow, which is where we have the atom of the Father, the spiritual atomic intelligence: Atom Anu.
It is through death of our own desires that we really develop true love for humanity, and we cease to be interested in our own welfare alone. Mysticism is founded on this. The way that we develop ourselves is by helping others. By learning to work for the benefit of all beings, we in turn benefit ourselves. This is a reciprocal law of nature. But the problem is, as soon as we want to do something that is selfless, the mind reacts, fights. What will help calm that storm is developing willpower.
So as Francis of Assisi taught us,
"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.”

―Saint Francis of Assisi
Question: Part of this is concentrating to observe your defects on this mystical path. Part of it is that?
Instructor: Yes, for the one whom God loves, whom Allah loves, as stated in the Sufi scriptures, there is no rest. For the one who fears God, there is no rest. So it is a constant battle. Always. This moment. Never losing one's guard. The way that we can help understand our own defects is by studying these teachings: the prayers of the great prophets and saints, because they teach us anecdotes and axioms that help us reflect on our selfish nature so that we can transform it into a selfless nature―egoless.

​Redemption on the Gnostic Path

Now what is necessary, in order to develop mysticism, we need to develop the Gnostic path within, which, as we mentioned, is precisely to work with sexual energy, but there is much more involved to it, which we are going to elaborate.
In this image, we have the resurrected Jesus before Mary Magdalene, and the Gnostic path precisely works with the sexual brain, the sexual center. I am going to read for you this quote from Samael Aun Weor, who explains the meaning of the archetype or symbol of Mary Magdalene. This is from The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled:
“’And Jesus, the compassionate, answered and said unto Mary (Magdalene): “Mary, thou blessed one, whom I will perfect in all mysteries of those of the height, discourse in openness, thou, whose heart is raised to the kingdom of heaven more than all thy brethren.’ ―Jesus
“Mary Magdalene is the repented sinner, Kundry, Gundrigia, the indispensable woman for the Great Work.
“In Wagner’s drama, Parsifal totally transforms the tempter Kundry after she submits to him.

“A man needs a Mary Magdalene in order to work in the Ninth Sphere (Yesod) and in order to obtain the resurrection (meaning, complete death of ego and to be fully united in Binah, the Holy Spirit).
What is magnificent is to be saved, and to save Kundry, Magdalene.
Tempter Gundrigia, Magdalene, Kundry, you will be perfected in all mysteries of those of the Height, more than all your brethren. […]” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
For as it states later in this text:
“…In the cathedral of the soul there is more happiness for one repented sinner than for a thousand righteous ones who do not need repentance.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, as the story goes. So what does Magdalene represent? The word mag in Indo-European language means “priest, magician, mage.” So a priest, a real magician, is one who works in alchemy, who is transforming the prostitute of the body, into something holy. As we discussed about the Sabbath, ב Beth is the house of the body. The fire of Christ is שׁ Shin. Together you spell שַׁבָּת Shabbat. To keep the Sabbath holy is to make one's body holy, meaning, we don't orgasm. We don't waste our forces, and we purify this body that we have. Mary Magdalene also represents the soul, because all of us are prostitutes, deep down in our psyche. We have all sinned against the Holy Ghost, the white swan mentioned in Wagner’s Parsifal that was wounded to death by an arrow.
Now, the way that we practice alchemy determines our purity, and from the great sinners are where great repentants are born. There is more joy for a great demon to repent then there is one who has never committed so much evil. It doesn't justify their action, but it shows the mercy of God. That if we repent, if we as psychologically speaking as prostitutes, as Mary Magdalene, we will be more exalted in heaven than all the angels have never been to such depths as we have.
Comment: Relating that... Victory is much sweeter after defeat...
Instructor: So all of us have committed sins against the Holy Ghost, have committed fornication. And as Samael Aun Weor states:
Mary Magdalene gleams, and will gleam terribly divine.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
So the way that we gleam is the work as a mag, a magician, a mage, a priest, with our spouse, with our partner. That is ultimately how we will be redeemed.
Question: I have run into individuals who are extremely strong in their faith and most of them are Christian and some believe, and there is no reason to doubt... They have abilities to heal their own children. There is no doubt their faith is extremely strong. They don't know and they don't practice what truly is the perfect matrimony. How is it possible for them to achieve some of these things?
Instructor: Grace of God, mercy, and also karma. In certain temples, it is well documented that the devotion of the congregation has been able to produce supernatural phenomena like statues moving, gaining life, bleeding sculptures―things of that nature. They don't necessarily know this science, but they have a love of God, which is sincere. But their love would be even more powerful if they were alchemists.
Question: If they are so close to God, why isn't something directing? Even if I were to go out, and I don't because I can see, it would create turmoil in a relationship. Why can't they just believe it? Because I did it to one individual and everything that came out of my mouth was blasphemy.
Instructor: The thing is that they are at a certain level, a certain understanding. Samael Aun Weor taught that we need to learn to respect the will of others. So in your case, you have to learn to do the will of the other person, meaning to not challenge their faith. That's really the most respectable thing to their God, because they are at a certain level, a certain understanding, but not as high as you are because you have been giving a deeper teaching. So the thing is you cannot, as in Buddhism, one should not give the greater Dharma to one of lesser Dharma because they are not mature. As we are going to explain, if you try to put new wine into old wineskins, the skin will break, which we will elaborate upon. 

Christ with Publicans and Sinners

So in this image, we have Christ among the publicans and sinners, which constitutes the Gnostic path where he elaborates a very profound teaching about the righteous and the sinners.
"And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” ―Matthew 9:10-13
So to have mercy and not sacrifice, meaning: we don't sacrifice our neighbor by criticizing them, by criticizing their beliefs. That's very challenging, especially when we want to share this type of knowledge with them. We want to help them, but to them it is criticism. We have to learn to respect the level of being of that person. So Jesus says, “I want mercy, not sacrifice.” Like Nietzsche said, many Christians don't know how to love their God except by sacrificing man, by crucifying man, and that is what we all do on a daily basis. With anger, we crucify, and so we need to learn mercy: to respect the will of of being on the other person and to know that if they want to enter this path, they have to recognize how they really are sinners, because many of them think they are very righteous, that they are holy. “Oh, I believe in Jesus and this is my path.” Really, what they think is that they are righteous even if they say that they are sinners. To really know that one is a sinner is to have comprehension of one's defects.
Comment: Because they truly believe trough the crucifixion of Jesus Christ that they are righteous immediately, and that they will forever be righteous because that is the reason God gave up his own Son. 
Instructor: They read things literally. They don't understand that Christ is an energy that needs to be incarnated within the soul.
Comment: So many of them say, “I believe in it. You must believe in it.” There are no practices as far as meditation, but they believe they have faith.
Instructor: Which is why James in the scriptures said, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). So they don't work with meditation. They don't have anything. So we have to learn to respect their level of being.
Comment: You can't because they get very recalcitrant. When they get that in their brain, better you back off. 
Instructor: Sometimes that is the only thing we can do.
"Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?” ―Matthew 9:14
So this is relating to how many people who follow the literal tradition of Judaism or any faith criticize the initiates, criticize those who are trying to walk the path of initiation.
"And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” ―Matthew 9:15
The disciples of the exoteric traditions confront us as and say, “Why don't you fast physically?” But Jesus says that isn't the meaning of fasting. He talked to them on an internal level. It means that when God is with us at some points and then retracts, and then we fast in one's soul. So many people confront, can confront us saying, “Why don't you do as we do, follow our tradition, our path?” And Jesus spoke to them as well―it is a psychological work. It isn't about external things, just raising one hand and saying, “I believe in Jesus.” It isn't about that. That isn't real mysticism, because faith without works is dead. 
In relation to people being able to receive this type of teaching, we have this quote, one, of my favorites, by the Master Aberamentho.
No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” ―Matthew 9:16-17
The wine of Gnosis, the wine of alchemy, the wine of transmutation, is this science and teaching. You cannot put this wine into a mind that is really degenerated and is attached to its own beliefs. People who say, “I want your wine, but let me pour it in my preconceptions, filthy bag of theories, this wine bag,” which is old and rotten. You pour the wine in and then the bottle breaks―having arguments and conflict with people because the wine is not appropriate for them.
We want to give them new wine, then they have to have a new wineskin, meaning: they have to have an entirely new type of mentality.
You can't put this type of teaching into someone who is antithetical to it. You can't also put an old piece of cloth on a new garment. You are going to ruin both. So in order for people to accept and follow this teaching, they need to learn to be receptive, meaning, like in Tsong Khapa's teaching in Buddhism in his Lam Rim Chen Mo: the bowl has to face upward. If it is facing down, you can't give anything.
Question: If you were to pray in the constant presence of Jesus Christ and you just don't ever speak to your Divine Mother, what are the consequences?
Instructor: One thing is: whom do we mean by Jesus Christ?
Comment: Christ, the love, God...
Instructor: When we pray to our inner Christ, we pray to our Being, we can pray to our Divine Mother too, and with it because within Christ is the Divine Mother. Within the Divine Mother is Christ. So these are aspects of our inner divinity, which become integrated through this work that we are doing. So we can pray to all or or one or the other, but follow your heart in terms of what part of your Being you wish to address, because a child doesn't need a formula to speak to God. 

The Wine of Spiritual Transmutation

Now in relation to this path of the wine drinkers, the Gnostic path, this wine of alchemy, we have the teachings of Jesus at the wedding of Cana. People think, literally, this is a story about how Jesus transformed physical water into physical wine to get people drunk. We have to understand that this is at a wedding. Man and woman together can produce and transform the water of sex into the wine of God, into the spiritual intoxication that the Sufis speak so abundantly about. We will explain this part of the Gospel:
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus [meaning Miriam in Hebrew, which means to raise the Kundalini that rises, the serpent of fire that rises up the spinal column. The mother of Jesus] was there:
And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” ―John 2:1-4
So this is a Kabbalistic teaching in its depth. They are at a marriage with many people who are fornicators and clairvoyantly, they see, well, Miriam, the Divine Mother, says this person does not have wine, meaning they don't have the serpents raised of fire. Then Jesus said, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come,” meaning he cannot incarnate within the soul until that wine is elevated, until the serpents of fire are developed in a marriage. 
"His mother [Miriam] saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
And there were set there six waterpots of stone [the work with Yesod through Arcanum 6], after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.” ―John 2:5-6

So the number six in Kabbalistic numerology relates to the sixth sephirah, Tiphereth, and the stone represents Yesod.
Question: Which is the heart, right?
Instructor: Yes, so Tiphereth is the heart and the stone is precisely Yesod, the sexual power. 
So the bodhisattva, we can say Jesus, has to transform that water into light, into wine, through Tiphereth and through Yesod, through sex. So Christ is working from above, the Trinity of the Tree of Life through the heart, and then commanding sex, because the fires of sexuality are dominated by the fires of the heart. 
“Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
“And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
“When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
“And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” ―John 2: 7-10
So what does it mean to keep the wine until later? It means that that development only comes through work. The best wine is saved for last. We have to progressively earn that right to raise the fire by developing the heart and working with Yesod.
“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” ―John 2:11

Fishers of Men: Sacrifice for Humanity

So the Gnostic path as the path of transmutation also relates to the teachings of sacrifice for humanity. We have in this image the fishermen following after Jesus where Jesus eventually said "Be thou fishers of men." So this refers to how, as the disciples of this teaching, we seek to help others learn the science. Now, not all of us necessarily may become an instructor or may want to or have that disposition, but many of the great masters who follow the Gnostic path perform this sacrifice. They became missionaries or teachers, instructors. They learn to fish for human beings, fish for students in the sea of life, in order to provide them this teaching. Scripturally, it is states in Mark, Chapter 1, verses 16 to 22:
"Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.” ―Mark 1:16-19
So what are these nets that people throw out into the world? The theories and doctrines that they have about religion to try to capture people and pull them into their congregation. “We are the chosen ones, the saved ones. Follow us and you are all set.” So Christ is actually against all those terrestrial doctrines, which are really ignorant of the esoteric heart of religion. 
"And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.” ―Mark 1:20
Or as Jesus taught:
“He who loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he who loves son and daughter more than me is not worthy of me (who does not follow after me).” ―Matthew 10:37
It doesn't mean that we disregard our parents or family. It means that we take priority in terms of: who do we love first? Christ. We do what is necessary to incarnate Christ, and then we can love family and neighbor. First, love thy God above all things and thy neighbor as thyself. The problem is people in their traditions and religions, they say they love God and then their brother is next, but really they love themselves. They love their beliefs.
"And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” ―Mark 1:21-22
Meaning, teaching the doctrine of Christ, he humbly provided higher teaching in which people were shocked. When they hear this type of science, they get shocked, even angry, because it contradicts everything they believe.
Comment: That is one of the reasons the Pharisees were down under him?
Instructor: Exactly. The Pharisees are also in our mind. Our egos don't like this teaching, fight against the work of Christ in our interior, our desires. 

To elaborate on this teaching of the fishermen, I'd like to quote to you an excerpt from Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, where he plays a bit on this teaching of fishers of men, but it is very insightful in terms of understanding what Jesus taught. So we have this image of the mountains upon which Nietzsche composed his book. So he says:
“Why sacrifice?  I squander what is given to me, I―a squanderer with a thousand hands; how could I call that sacrificing?” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Meaning, giving knowledge to others. So we talk about sacrifice for humanity, which Nietzsche was familiar with, and the fact that he is teaching his disciples, he says “Well, I don't call this sacrifice that I am giving so much,” and he says, “like a squandered, I am with a thousand hands.” Meaning, “I give what I receive internally in the internal worlds, that I give to my disciples.” This is what Nietzsche is saying. So to have a thousand hands is the symbol of Avalokiteshvara, the Cosmic Christ in Buddhism who has literally a thousand arms. 
"And when I desired honey, I merely desired bait and sweet mucus and mucilage, which even growling bears and queer, sullen, evil birds put out their tongues―the best bait, needed by hunters and fishermen." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
What is the honey a symbol of? A symbol of alchemy, because the pollen of the flower is transformed, transmuted, into the sweetness of the soul. It is interesting. We know that the bee is a devolving creature that degenerated. Samael Aun Weor explains the history of the kingdom of the bees and the ants. But the bees, the fact that it is a degenerate creature and is able to create something so beautiful like honey, attests to the grace and virtue of this path. That as evil as we are, we can change. We can produce honey, and every day our body produces honey, the semen, that when you transmute it, is the wine of the alchemists. 
Question: Because the bees fell?
Instructor: Yeah, we say that the race of humanity that devolved into bees, they fornicated, and they produce a very degenerated society, but that is another topic. 
But the fact is that this honey is mucus and mucilage, that even queer, evil birds, and growling bears who are angry people, are attracted to it. They are people who get angry when you contradict them, but when they see how sweet the honey of the doctrine is, they can't resist. Their soul can't resist. So their ego is fighting against you, but, “Well, this is the way it is,” and people get mad at you for trying to teach them this. Also, evil, queer, sullen birds, meaning black magicians, even they can change. Give them honey. This is the real path. Then if they renounce their old ways, then even they will pull out their tongues: “Give me more.”
"For if the world is like a dark jungle and a garden of delight for all wild hunters, it strikes me even more, and so I prefer to think of it, as an abysmal, rich sea―a sea full of colorful fish and crabs, which even gods might covet, that for their sakes they would wish to become fishermen and net-throwers: so rich is the world in queer things, great and small. Especially the human world, the human sea: that is where I now cast my golden fishing rod and say: Open up, you human abyss!” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
What is it that the gods might covet? The gods, like we said, “There is more joy for a sinner who repents than a thousand righteous ones who have no need for repentance.” So there are levels of realization involved. The gods covet, they feel love for those who are really ascending higher than them as a result of their work. The sea of life is the abysmal sea, the abyss in which the Gnostic seeks to catch fish.
"Open up and cast up to me your fish and glittering crabs! With my best bait I shall today bait the queerest human fish!” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
In these studies, we meet all sorts of people. We are unique in these studies.
"My happiness itself I cast out far and wide, between sunrise, noon, and sunset, to see if many human fish might not learn to wriggle and wiggle from my happiness until, biting at my sharp hidden hooks, they must come up to my height―the most colorful abysmal groundlings, to the most sarcastic of all who fish for men. For that is what I am through and through: reeling, reeling in, raising up, raising, a raiser, cultivator, and disciplinarian, who once counseled himself, not for nothing: Become who you are!" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
What is that in Hebrew? אהיה אשר אהיה Eheieh Asher Eheieh. “He is the One Who becomes.” So: become who you are, meaning, your inner Kether who is inside you.
"Thus men may now come up to me; for I am still waiting for the sign that the time has come for my descent (from Tiphereth down); I still do not myself go under, as I must do, under the eyes of men. That is why I wait here, cunning and mocking on high mountains, neither impatient nor patient, rather as one who has forgotten patience too, because his “passion” is over… " ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
This refers to teachers. I mean, we teach for a long time, and then one learns to be patient and not to be impatient about students coming to be able to help them. But we fish and we wait for souls to bite and then they taste the honey. They say, “I want more,” so you raise them up through discipline, through practice, so that they can become who they are, become who you are: your inner Kether. 
And verily my eternal destiny does not hurry and press me, and it leaves me time for jests and sarcasm (and joking around and laughing having a good sense of humor), so that I could climb this high mountain today to catch fish. Has a man ever caught fish on high mountains? And even though what I want and do up here be folly (to people who don't know anything about esotericism), it is still better than if I became solemn down there from waiting, and green and yellow―a swaggering wrath-snorter from waiting, a holy, howling storm out of the mountains, an impatient one who shouts down into the valleys, ‘Listen or I shall whip you with the scourge of God!’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Precisely all the people―the fanatics we are talking about. To fish for disciples on a mountain, that is what the initiates do―teaching and teaching and elevating their level of being, and seeking for others to rise up to their own intimate heights, their own Kether, to “become who you are.”

​The Path of Yoga

We are going to speak about the path of yoga next. We have this image of Shiva meditating and a quote from Samael Aun Weor from The Revolution of Beelzebub where he explains how yoga is completely synthesized within Gnostic doctrine.
All of the seven schools of Yoga are within Gnosis, yet they are in a synthesized and absolutely practical way.
There is Tantric Hatha Yoga in the practices of the Maithuna (Sexual Magic). There is practical Raja Yoga in the work with the chakras. There is Jnana Yoga in our practices and mental disciplines which we have cultivated in secrecy for millions of years. We have Bhakti Yoga in our prayers and Rituals. We have Laya Yoga in our meditation and respiratory exercises. Samadhi exists in our practices with the Maithuna and during our deepest meditations. We live the path of Karma Yoga in our upright actions, in our upright thoughts, in our upright feelings, etc.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub
So notice how this quote synthesizes everything we discussed about the three brains: upright thought, feeling, and action―how prayer is Bhakti Yoga, the path of the mystic. Sexual magic is the path of the Gnostic. All this is integral, and yoga is essential to the Gnostic path, just as mysticism is to the other two.
We had it before in the image of Master Jesus in the wilderness tempted by the devil. That devil is our mind, our own animal ego, who is constantly trying to lure our attention down to Klipoth, to material things. In the gospels, he says, “Bow to me and I'll give you all the kingdoms of the world.” We have here a quote from John Milton's Paradise Regained―which John Milton is a great master. He composed Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, and other classic works of English literature.
Question: Did he die young or…
Instructor: No, he was he was older. He was around 64 [66 years old] I think when he died, but he was blind. He went blind, a terrible karma he had to pay. He suffered a lot for it, but his poetry he dictated while he was blind―his great masterpieces near the end of his life, in which we are fortunate to have this literature. 

In this image, we have Christ confronted by the devil, and how Christ always points upward, like the pentagram always facing up towards heaven. The quote I am going to read to you is when Satan is tempting him with all the kingdoms of the world, and how he will give them power in Malkuth if he follows him. But this is what Jesus says through John Milton:
Extol not riches then, the toil of fools,
The wise man’s cumbrance if not snare, more apt
To slacken virtue, and abate her edge,
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise.
What if with like aversion I reject
Riches and realms; yet not for that a crown,
Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns,
Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights
To him that wears the regal diadem,
When on his shoulders each man’s burden lies;
For herein stands the office of a king,
His honor, virtue, merit and chief praise,
That for the public all this weight he bears.
Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king;
Which every wise and virtuous man attains:
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule
Cities of men or head-strong multitudes,
Subject himself to anarchy within,
Or lawless passions in him which he serves.
But to guide nations in the way of truth
By saving doctrine, and from error lead
To know, and knowing worship God aright,
(meaning to really teach them this science that we are practicing, so that they can know God, not to rule physical kingdoms)
Is yet more kingly; this attracts the soul,
(like the honey, the mucilage that Nietzsche mentions)
Governs the inner man, the nobler part,
That other o’er the body only reigns,
And oft by force, which to a generous mind
So reigning can be no sincere delight.”
–John Milton, Paradise Regained, Book II: ll. 453-480
And that might be easier for me because I study a lot of English, but I suggest to study Milton. He is a great master. His literature is profound. He gave a very divine teaching.

The Stages of Meditation

In this image, this graphic, we have Jesus meditating following the path of yoga with the symbol of AUM above his head, which is the mantra of Chesed, the eternal. So yoga―or in Jnana Yoga, as we are going to explain in terms of meditation―really is constituted or practiced in this way. This quote comes from Igneous Rose by Samael Aun Weor:
“Oriental wisdom practices meditation in the following order:
  1. Asana (posture of the body).
  2. Pratyahara (thinking in nothing).
  3. Dharana (concentration on only one thing).
  4. Dhyana (profound meditation).
  5. Samadhi (ecstasy).
It is necessary to place the body in the most comfortable position (Asana).”  ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

With yoga, we don't need to perform the full lotus or half lotus if that is discomforting for our body. We can sit like Maitreya in Buddhism. He is the only Buddha-figure in Mahayana Buddhism that sits in a chair, western-style―whatever posture is comfortable for us to practice.
Comment: He said that those are good for people in most parts of eastern areas. But he said the position is the most comfortable for you. 
Instructor: Right, because many people try meditating for years and they just spent twenty years trying to learn to sit with their body. They don't get anywhere with their mind. It is terrible.
Question: Same with sexual magic. Do you know how there are all these different positions given? Isn't it the same thing? Just whatever is most comfortable for that couple?
Instructor: Yes. So there are teachings of the Kama Sutra, which has a lot of degeneration in it, but there are postures that are beneficial. It is really a mixed book, I would say.
Comment: Yeah, well especially now. If you try to find that book now, it's pornographic. 
Instructor: They add a lot of things, but there are certain postures that were not adulterated. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that text. But there are certain postures that Samael Aun Weor mentions in The Mystery of the Golden Flower which are beneficial for different body types. 
Question: Can we still taste the energy?
Instructor: Yes. It also helps maintain one's strength and connection and prolong...
Question: Mystery of the Golden Flower?
Instructor: Yes, this text. 
Question: I always heard you say how it benefits sitting upright (regarding meditation), because the spine is sitting upright, but my most comfortable position is laying in bed. 
Instructor: Yes, so long as you can practice in the beginning, not necessarily falling asleep. I love lying and meditating on my back when I have a lot of energy. But if I am too tired, I know I am going to knock out so, I immediately sit down on a chair so it is easier. 
Comment: Ok, yeah, because it's evident that I am falling asleep...
Instructor: So the solution is work with japa: mantra recitation or pranayama, something to give you energy. You can do runes before you sit to practice so that you have more willpower to sit and not let your body dominate you.
Comment: You have to be comfortable but the breath... It relaxes you, but some people hyperventilate. I found it's different for different people. It's a cycle, but it's small, but it is also deep and when it comes up and then concentrating on your heart, there are different ways of doing this. It helps me a lot and you don't go asleep. 
Instructor: When you are praying, that is to work with the springs of devotion that Kempis mentioned, so that the storm in the mind and the turbulence of the waters are calm. So, asana in the beginning, we need to physically relax―any posture physically that's conducive for us to maintain our attention, but to be completely relaxed. So again, different postures for different people.
Comment: A candle works but also a diffuser. So you have frankincense. Frankincense really gets you in an elevated calm...
Instructor: If you don't like burning incense in your home, diffusers are excellent. So that can help you relax. I use a diffuser too. I like to use pine, or a company called Young Living, and one product called Thieves, which, if you don't necessarily want to burn incense in your home, you can use essential oils to clean the atmosphere through a diffuser. 
Comment: On the incense, I did get it but the company burnt Frankincense granules. The company in the past, it was slow burning and it was clean. Now some of these that are coming in very fast burning and is stronger. So that is why I went with the diffuser. It is the same company, but whatever they are using, the charcoal, it just burns fast and strong.
Instructor: You want to find one that will burn long and gradually. Sometimes you have to do some shopping. All that will help to calm the body. It is preliminary. 
Pratyahara is to not think about anything. For most people, the challenge is just finding a posture that's comfortable. But that's not even the beginning, really. The beginning of really entering concentration is to not think. Try not to think. That is the challenge. Don't let the intellect try to deliberate and speculate and think about other things.
In order to achieve concentration, which is to concentrate on only one thing, it doesn't mean that we have to have a mind, in the beginning, that is completely silent. There are degrees, like clarity in a storm, in which the clouds part for a moment and you can see the sun. It is an allegory for meditative states. Sometimes the storm is going on. You can see the storm, but the clouds open for a little bit and you have a sense of peace, a type of non-thought, a serenity of non-thought that Samael Aun Weor mentions.
Comment: When you feel calm here, in the heart, that will silence the mind at least for me. It is a lightness of heart. Not to have concentration. You know, to be still. None of that. It is a certain lightness in conjunction with the breath. Slowly when you get that conjoined, when you synthesize that, it seems like it silences the mind. 
Instructor: And one we silence the mind, we need to concentrate on one thing. Focus on an object of meditation, whether it be a line from scripture, a book, a teaching we received, an experience we had, an image. There are many things we can focus on, or as we are going to explain while we are giving classes in our new place, we are going to talk about retrospective meditation. You know we are going to talk about retrospective meditation: to meditate on our day, to focus on the egos we wish to comprehend and to annihilate. So we are going to practice it diligently when we meet.
There are many things we can concentrate on in our practice. Dhyana is meditation, when we actually reflect on the content of the object of concentration we wish to understand. Meditation is when we receive new information, new insight.
Samadhi is when we are fully conscious and we unite with God. Samadhi is also comprehension. It is a spark of understanding, like a lightning bolt that suddenly, in meditation, we understand something in a way we never understood before, and the mind is shocked and silent. It is a spark, and then afterwards, usually what happens, the thunder clouds come and say, “No, I don't understand what happened. No, that was just your mind, your ego.” But you knew you experienced something objective. That is Samadhi, a minor degree. There are many levels, as many and variant as the dimensions in the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah. 
Question: So that is in the physical and that is also in the spiritual realms?
Instructor: Samadhi can happen any moment if we are really diligent in paying attention. For as al-Junayd said in a Sufi doctrine:
“…whoever does not establish awe of duty and vigilance in his relationship to God will not arrive at disclosure of the unseen (unveiling) or contemplation (witnessing) of the divine." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
To establish awe of duty is to meditate, to respect and venerate the tradition in which we are practicing, so that we can cultivate the exercises we wish to work with. To establish vigilance in our relationship to us and our Being, then we can attain unveiling where the mind, the illusions of the mind, are torn and we witness God.
Question: So to get that lightning, that sharp shock that you are talking about, is through meditation?
Instructor: Yes, that is how we develop that.
Comment: Because that is the only way I can leave my body. I have to have that lightning. 
Instructor: You have to relax. Relax and develop comprehension of the body and your mental states. Mental states are more important.
Question: This can happen during the day too? That shock?
Instructor: Yes. When you are walking down the street and you are daydreaming and suddenly... I have had this instant where sometimes I am paying attention, but my mind is wandering and I am losing my focus. And so I get a shock like “wake up!” from my Being, just out of nowhere. Or I am just doing something completely trivial and then, getting shocked. It reminds me of a saying by Mansur al-Hallaj. He was a Muslim Christ. He said, “When God loves his disciple, he will use even his stray thoughts to bring him back to attention.” So he will address your thoughts like “You were just thinking about this and forgetting me.” “I'm sorry,” I say. “ I'm sorry that I disobeyed,” and then keep working. So in the daytime that is the type of Samadhi, a comprehension which is very alarming and provides awareness. It is a clear perception. 
“It is necessary to place the body in the most comfortable position (Asana).
It is indispensable to blank the mind before concentrating (Pratyahara).
It is urgent to know how to fix the mind on only one object (Dharana).
Then, we profoundly reflect on the content of the object itself (Dhyana).
Thus, through this way, we reach ecstasy (Samadhi).
All of these esoteric disciplines of the mind must saturate our daily life.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Like I mentioned to you, you can be walking on the street and your meditation should be when you are walking down the street. Everywhere we go, we need to be meditating, remembering God, so that insight comes spontaneously.
Question: What were those steps again? Relax, silence the mind...
Instructor: Yes. Asana is posture. Pratyahara is no thought. Dharana is concentration on one thing. Dhyana is meditation, when we reflect on the object of our concentration. Samadhi is ecstasy, comprehension.

​Conclusion: The Seven Rays of Spiritual Evolution

So to conclude, there is the end of the quote from the book I mentioned in the beginning, from the book Igneous Rose. Samael Aun Weor explains how the three paths: the mystic, yogi, and the Gnostic help to develop our own spiritual idiosyncrasy, known as the seven cosmic rays. So this is what Samael Aun Weor mentioned in the beginning, which I am going to reiterate.
The seven rays of cosmic evolution are synthesised in these three ways [the Mystical, Gnostic, and Yogic paths] that the Nazarene showed.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose

There are seven mighty rays. Now I am stepping aside from “ways” and talking about the “rays.” In this image, we have the lamb with seven horns and seven eyes mentioned in the Book of Revelation, which symbolizes the energy of Christ that manifests in seven primary fashions, seven primary ways. Every time a new God emerges from the Absolute, a new Spirit unfolding down the Tree of Life, that monad or Spirit, that Being, expresses and enters into one of seven rays. These are influences, or idiosyncrasies in God, in Christ.
So there are seven, because seven is the number or law of cosmic organization and order, just as we know that there are seven main planets in alchemy, seven primary virtues, seven vices, which relates to these influences. I have a quote from Samael Aun Weor. He explains in his book The Seven Words: 
“Each master belongs to a certain ray, for there are seven rays of cosmic evolution." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Divine Science: The Seven Words
And I am going to quote for you also the archangels that govern those rays. So each of us, our Being, belongs to one of the seven rays I am going to mention.
  1. The Lunar Ray [Gabriel]
  2. The Mercurian Ray [Raphael]
  3. The Venusian Ray [Uriel]
  4. The Solar Ray [Michael]
  5. The Martian Ray [Samael]
  6. The Jupiterian Ray [Zachariel]
  7. The Saturnian Ray [Orifiel]
―Samael Aun Weor, The Divine Science: The Seven Words
I reiterate, these rays refer to qualities in our inner God that are unique to that ray and unique to us. There are certain predispositions and qualities that associate with these different rays, which we develop in ourselves by working with the three ways: the mystic, the Gnostic, and the yogi. Samael mentions that our own ray or spiritual influence is developed particular to us by how we practice mysticism, transmutation, Gnosticism, meditation, and yoga.
The Lunar Ray pertains to Gabriel relating to the Moon, to preconception, conception, fertility, growth, the tides, lunar influences, maternity, birth, growth. Those refer to the angels of the Lunar Ray which are governed by Gabriel. Yesod relates to Gabriel.
We have the Mercurian Ray, which relates to medicine, philosophy, science, governed by Raphael. So the angels of medicine who heal many sick patients in the internal planes belong follow the Angel Raphael, Mercurial science, hermetic science, philosophy.
The Venusian Ray is governed by the Angel Uriel, the arts, love, compassion, music, flowers, poetry, art, literature―things of that nature. The angels of that ray follow Uriel. 
Question: Uriel, wasn't he assigned to Earth?
Instructor: Uriel relates to Venus, but Venus is the one who produces and blossoms and flowers in the Earth. 
The Solar Ray relates to Michael, relating to high dignitaries, courts, supreme officials. The Solar Ray and the Martian Ray have a close relationship.
The Martian Ray relates to the police, karma, the law, severity, the warriors of Mars: the angels or Elohim that are the masters of strength. This ray is governed by Samael, the Angel Samael. So he is an angel of protection like Michael.
Michael also relates to power because the sphere Geburah in the Tree of Life is astrologically related to Mars, but also to the Sun. So Geburah, the angels of Mars and the Solar Ray, have a deep connection.
The ray of Jupiter relates to politics. So it comes to my attention the 14th Dalai Lama who I suspect probably belongs to this ray because he is very involved with politics. Gandhi and many other individuals. Even Jesus is said to have belonged to the ray of Jupiter, which is governed by Zachariel.
Question: Is that why there is a Z with the sign of ♃ Jupiter on top?
Instructor: It looks like a Z, yeah, because it is Zachariel. The Hebrew letter ז Zayin can be formed to look like the sign of ♃ Jupiter. 
Now, the ray of Orifiel relate to the angels of death who are responsible for helping the souls after they disincarnate―also to properties, fortunes, anything related to mortuary science, death. 
Question: Isn't Pluto in there somewhere?
Instructor: Pluto we say is the kingdom of death and relates to hell. So the inverted aspect of Saturn is that.
Here we are only speaking about the positive relationship. There is also seven demons related to the infernal aspect, which we conjure with the Conjuration of the Seven, by invoking these angels.

As it says in the Book of Revelation, how Christ manifests in these ways:
"And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.“ ―Revelations 5:6
So all of us belong to one of these rays. 

Questions and Answers

Question: How do we find out which one we are from?
Instructor: Samael mentions one method. You raise your eyebrows. You count how many transverse lines you have over your forehead.
Comment: I have three. 
Instructor: Technically that should say you are from the ray of Uriel, because one line relates to the lunar. Two lines relate to the Mercurian ray. 
Question: Which that would be Saturn?
Instructor: No. Uriel is the arts. 
Question: That would be Venus? 
Instructor: Venus relates to three, the three lines. So the fourth ray, four lines relates to Michael. Five lines, the fifth ray relates to Samael. Six lines relates to Zachariel. And seven lines relates to Orifiel.
The problem is if we are old and if we have too many lines, it is hard to tell. Personally, the way that you figure out your ray is by learning to meditate and going out of your body, and then having experiences, because personally I have had many experiences about my ray and things about my Being that I learned from having Samadhis, in which Samael was teaching me, “This is your ray. This is where you belong. This is your path.” The way that I accomplished it, not that I am special, but you know, is just by practicing. By practicing and by being consistent. By practicing yoga, developing mysticism, and following the Gnostic path. It is how are you going to find the secret of your ray and what is the idiosyncrasy of your Being. 
Question: Can you start working with how the planets are being aligned? And you know how astrology is. Can you work with that in some ways?
Instructor: We teach astrology too, to know how to read the stars to understand influences in our life. We have a book available called Practical Astrology, which teaches about that. 
Now one thing I want to note about the seven rays is that it is eternal. It doesn't change. When your Being emerged from the Absolute and entered into the universe, that Being, that spark entered into one of the seven rays. It never leaves its ray. 
Question: So life after life?
Instructor: Same ray. So even if we have had many different personalities under different zodiacal signs, even though we have developed in certain ways in different lifetimes, different cultures, our ray is eternal. It never changes. So you take it with you all the way to the Absolute and beyond. So there are some theosophists who are saying that a person can change their ray, and that is impossible. 
Question: Is there a teaching within Gnosticism that if you are a male, you are always a male? 
Instructor: One is not always a male and one isn't always a female. Because if you are observing your mind, you'll find that you have many feminine egos and male egos. So, I have observed that in myself, like, “Where did this come from? I am not a woman!” But meditating on that you can see that there are connections to past lives.
Question: So is there a belief in soul mate?
Instructor: Yes, and we say in Kabbalah that our soul mate is Geburah.
Question: So whatever your soul mate is, are you opposite no matter what lifetime you are in?
Instructor: Not necessarily, and that is a very serious karma. Tchaikovsky experienced that. His closest male friend was his soul mate. They couldn't be together, because to do that would have been a crime. So, he was a great master who suffered a lot because his soul mate, as he represented in Romeo and Juliet, he couldn't be with her because she was in a male body.
Question: What happens with the homosexuals then? How come there is no polarity there according to the occultists?
Instructor: They are just like leaves. A lot of them were like leaves tossed the wind, sadly. And many don't even consider changing.
Question: Is your soul mate the same in every single life, but you just have a different relationship?
Instructor: Soul mate?
Question: Yeah. If you are married to someone and that is your husband and wife by law, were they your person in every... maybe once they were your son or once they were this?...
Instructor: Possibly. The way to investigate that is to really speak to a master of the law of karma and they will tell you. I mean, if you are married to a certain person, that means that you probably know them for a long time. There's nothing new under the earth, but what is new under the earth is that by investigating, you will see, “Okay, who was this person in my past lives?” Different relationships maybe. 
Question: When you say asking a master, you are talking about internally?
Instructor: Internally, yeah. 
Question: I don't know how to ask this question. Like do you have one soul mate for the whole cycle of eternity and that is like your partner in life?
Instructor: Samael talks about soul mates in different levels. He talks about Geburah and Tiphereth as soul mates. He also talks about, in his case, the reason he fell was because he fell in love with a certain woman when he was a god already, and he fell, meaning he didn't control his sexual energy. He had sex with her and he fell. She was, you could say, the first woman he was with even before Litelantes, which was the wife he worked with in order to rise upwards. So there could be variation. It depends on karma. 
Question: Wasn't he with other women after Litelantes?
Instructor: There was one woman he was with. He had certain partners before he married her and eventually after his wife Litelantes he had to practice with another woman. It is mentioned in his life's story. 
Question: So I guess that makes sense. 
Instructor: What matters is this: be with a person your God wants you to be with and follow your Being. Nothing else matters. So your God will tell you to be with a certain person that you love. Follow your heart and follow your inner God, the will of your Being. Sometimes, you know, karma is very painful, and many people may get into relationships and they break up, even if they are in a Gnostic relationship. It could be very heartbreaking, but the thing is to follow the will of your God. No matter what, you will be fine. So the one who joins together in marriages and dissolves marriages is the Lord, and we have to always obey the Lord. Pray and hope that we are always with a certain person in our life. If both partners are working seriously and are sacrificing and really working in a marriage, then there could be change, and there can be solidarity and the union is even stronger, depending on the work of the couple.
Are there any other questions?
Question: I remember you showing me your charm and I was looking for something similar. I don't know, but there is one charm that was just like this and it was made out of copper. But it also said Wiccan on it. So again, my intuition told me no, but I still purchased it and I'll be very honest, it it seemed to harm me more than help me, so I stopped wearing it.
Instructor: So the thing is, if you are dubious about the place you buy things, don't buy them from there necessarily. For places like that, I don't buy amulets, because those get charged from the atmosphere of the place they are in. There are other places you can get the Gnostic pentagram and there is a method to consecrate it as we give in the book The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled  in which you can bless any pentagram you have such as this one made of silver. 
Question: There is nothing bad if it's copper, but for some reason that told me something.
Instructor: Copper is fine, but typically you want to get a pentagram that has seven metals. Because the seven metals relate to the seven nervous systems of the seven planets. For Mercury, there is quicksilver and then the Venusian ray relates to copper. Gold relates to the Sun, Michael. Iron relates to Samael, the fifth ray, Mars. Tin relates to Jupiter. And then lead relates to Orifiel, the ray of death. 
Question: So your pentagram has all of those?
Instructor: It doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a big thing. 
Question: Is there any store in Chicago?
Instructor: I know people I can get it from so I can look into that and try to get some pentagrams for sale. 
Question: But you are also saying there is another process after that?
Instructor: Yes, so in The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled, you can consecrate a pentagram, an amulet, and it is in the very beginning of that book, the Gnostic Bible, that explains it in detail. 
Question: Did you say it had lead in that?
Instructor: Yes, Saturn. The seven metals relate to the seven rays. So each metal is pertinent to one of the angels. Now, I had an experience internally where my Being told me, “The name Samael is like a metal,” and I reflected on that and, well, iron relates to Samael. Iron is like the nervous system of the planet Mars. So if you go to Mars, just like the Earth, or if go to Saturn, they are just like the Earth, but different constitutions. Mars is red because of the iron content that has predominance. It is the nervous system of the planet Mars.
Earth is a mixture, but the different planets relate to the different metals because that's the primary metal that relates, physically, to that planet, but also to the energies of Christ manifested through those worlds.
Each archangel is a life force of a planet. All of us are connected to one of the rays, to one of the angels.
The thing is to meditate and to discover, “What is our ray?” and to be guided internally. When you learn certain things about your ray, some people ask me, “Why is it important to know my ray?” Well, I ask, “Well, why is it important to know about know your name, your address, your credit card numbers, your social security number?”―things that you consider important that make things work physically. So spiritually speaking, when you know your ray, it is going to tell you about how to work spiritually as it relates to your inner divinity.

<![CDATA[The Mysteries of Anointment]]>Sun, 09 Aug 2020 19:00:48 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/the-mysteries-of-anointment
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Mysteries of the Bible, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:

In these studies, within the Gnostic tradition, we seek to understand many mysteries pertaining to religion in symbolism. We explain many archetypes, principles, and meanings associated with the symbolism within the scriptures, whether in the Judeo-Christian tradition, or within Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, etc. Today we are going to explain the secret teachings of anointment as particularly elaborated within Judaism and within Christianity.
It is important to note that this science, denominated Gnosis, pertains to all religions. So we find not only the mysteries of anointment within within Christianity, we find it also within Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, etc., but we are going to elaborate on many principles pertinent to the Judeo-Christian tradition, especially the Hebraic Kabbalah.
Kabbalah is the science of Judaism. It is the teachings of the relationship of the human being to God, the structure of the human being in his or her internal constitution in relationship to divine principles. We are going to elaborate many things in relation to the Hebrew letters, because the Hebraic alphabet teaches us many things as you will see. Each letter symbolizes a principle, an archetype we need to cultivate psychologically, spiritually within ourselves, and which pertains to the teachings that Jesus gave regarding anointment. 
So we find in this image Jesus, his feet being bathed by the tears of the woman from Bethany preceding his crucifixion, his Passion. His disciples were alarmed and disturbed that this woman was in the party washing the feet of the Lord Jesus with her tears and anointing his feet with oil. You find scripturally stated within the Book of Luke, when Jesus is responding to his apostles' reaction:
"Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins which are many, are forgiven: for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."
―​Luke 7:44-47
So the teachings of anointment pertains to redemption of the human being, which we denominate as the studies of soteriology: how the soul is purified, is sanctified, is cleansed in order to unite fully with God, whether we call that entity Christ, which we are going to elaborate upon, Allah, Jehovah, Iod-Havah, etc. So the teachings of anointment specifically relate to the Eastern teachings of Tantra, associated with what we call in this tradition as sexual magic: the work of a couple, man and woman, in order to harness the most potent energies we possess in our interior, which is precisely the sexual energy that we call the Holy Spirit, the sexual force.
In order to elaborate on these teachings of anointment, it is important to note that in this scripture and Chapter 7 of Luke, Jesus is preparing for his Crucifixion, his path of the cross, and we emphasize very clearly in these studies that the cross is a sexual symbol. It is the union of man, the vertical beam, and woman the horizontal beam, within the sexual act, harnessed completely for God. Instead of that energy being utilized in the common carnal passion to engender children, the same energy can be utilized in order to unite with God. The mysteries of an ointment are associated directly with this, because in the Hebraic teachings, the Kabbalah, we talk about what is known as the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is a diagram illustrating ten spheres, ten סְפִירוֹת sephiroth (Hebrew: “emanations”). In the center middle of the tree, we have what is known as Yesod, the foundation. If we take the image of the Tree of Life and transpose it on a human being, we find that Yesod pertains to the sexual organs, and that this is the foundation stone of our temple, spiritually speaking―or as Peter, whose name signifies a stone, was denominated the founder of the Gnostic Church, the Gnostic Catholic Church, the Gnostic Universal Primeval Christian Church.
So as a symbol of Yesod, we have what is known as the sandals, because each of these spheres in the Tree of Life of the Kabbalists has a symbol. The symbol of Yesod is the sandals. It is how one walks the path of self-realization of the inner Being.
And so the fact that Jesus was anointed by his feet with oil and with tears is illustrating for us how we ourselves need to walk spiritually, because Jesus, the Master Aberamentho, was one individual who incarnated Christ through the power of Yesod. There are many who have incarnated the Christ. The Christ is an energy. It is a force and can become particularized within any individual that is fully prepared through the process we call initiation. Master Jesus was teaching physically with his life what we need to do. We need to anoint our feet, and the feet is a symbol of, we could say Malkuth as well. Because you take the Tree of Life, put it on the human being, Malkuth relates to the feet as well. But the symbol of Yesod is the sandals. How we walk is determined by how we use our energy, spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, and sexually, in union and harmony.

​The Christ Principle

Now, of course we need to understand exactly what Christ is, because the word Χρίστος Khristos literally means “anointed one.”  This is a title. It is not a specific name for one individual in the past. It pertains to a title that any initiate can acquire and we can acquire that ourselves if we walk this path. So we have the Greek god of fire Χρήστος Khristos and it literally means “anointed one,” from the adjective Khriein, “to anoint.” The Greek god Khristos means “fire,” and this fire is not physical, but psychological, spiritual, and is an energy. Many people talk about the Christ force, but none have openly explained how to directly work with this energy inside of ourselves, because the secret of anointment explains this teaching directly.
So we have on the right, an image of a Rabbi who is anointing a disciple with a horn. What is interesting is that the horn―and to elaborate on the sexual nature of this type of teaching―typically, whether in treatment of Taoism or even some forms of acupuncture for individuals who suffer impotence, one remedy they give is the horns of a goat or a type of deer or a type of buck, you could say, because the horns of any animal contain the sexual power of that animal, of the man, of the male. So men who physically suffer impotence are sometimes given treatment if they try alternative medicine such as this. Sadly, this is where the the term “horny” comes from, to explain some terms and the real origin and meaning of that.
Typically, the rabbis would anoint their disciples from a horn, because the horn is a symbol of how the sexual energy of God, when we conserve it and harness it for spiritual practice, how it goes inward and upward up our spinal column: the path of the cross, the Via Crucis that Jesus of Nazareth taught with his physical life.
Question: Is there a relationship between what you are talking about and the shofar?
Instructor: The shofar relates to that. The שׁוֹפָר shofar, they would blow on holidays because the horn, the rams horn pertains to this teaching, because the ram is a symbol of Christ, the spiritual power of the Verb, sound, vibration. And the horn is the sexual male power of an individual. This energy, we can conserve it, bring it inward and upward up the spinal column to the brain. This is where the horns of the initiates can be found, and not to be mistaken with the horns of demons, which is different. 
So to explain this teaching even further, the word oil in Hebrew is שמן shemen. We have this quote and we are going to give some more quotes that directly explain this teaching.
"Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies now; Thou has anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows." ―Psalms 23:5
The Hebrew word for oil is שמן shemen, semen, literally. And if we break down the Hebrew letters associated with the word oil, we arrive at the meaning. The letter ש Shin―and it is important to remember that each Hebrew letter represents a principle, something we need to develop within ourselves―the Hebrew letter ש Shin looks like a trident. It relates to the three primary forces of nature: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, or Christ in unity―the flame, the fire of God within us. מ Mem relates to water, such as in the word Stella Maris: Virgin of the Sea, relating to the Divine Mother מִרְיָם Miriam, the goddess of the waters. And the letter נ Nun, which in Aramaic literally means fish, but it can denote either the sperm or ovum within a man or a woman.
Now, we explained it in these teachings that the sexual physical matter known as semen is a container for powerful forces, which we could use for God, which we can use for Christ within us. We teach that this energy, when it is transformed, when it is conserved and never wasted, but retained in the body and transmuted into a higher substance through the science of alchemy, that this energy will grant us anointment. "Anoint thy head with oil," it says, meaning: we need to take that energy within us, bring it inward and upward, up our spine through the exercises we provide in this tradition, to the brain.
Like Jesus carrying the cross, we need to bring that energy, inward and upward, up the 33 canyons, the 33 vertebrae of the spinal medulla represented by the 33 years in the life of Jesus, or the 33 degrees of Freemasonry. So this energy is is sacred. It is the foundation of this science, of union with God, because we need to learn to work with this energy―the sexual power, which some call Holy Spirit, some call Kundalini―if we want to really unite with our inner Christ, our inner Being. 
To explain the teachings of anointment, it is important to elaborate on the first book of Genesis and explain it from a Kabbalistic point of view. So very famously we remember, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." But if we look at the original Hebrew, it gives us a much more direct translation. So we emphasize that a lot of the translations of the Bible are very mistaken, because they don't have a deep Kabbalistic knowledge, many translators, of the meaning of the Hebrew letters and how they teach us things that are not explicit. So the original Hebrew says:
בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ
Bereshit Bara Elohim At Hashamayim Vay’at Ha’aretz
“In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth.” ―Genesis 1:1
בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים Bereshit Bara Elohim, “In the beginning Elohim created.” So the word אֱלֹהִים Elohim, they say, is God. But if we look at it literally, breaking it down, אֵל El means God. Eloah or אֵלָה Elah means goddess. And the plural י Iod ם Mem at the end, that is masculine-plural. So it really should read “gods and goddesses.”
We teach that in these studies, in the Gnostic tradition, that when a man and woman unite sexually in holy matrimony, and when this energy is preserved and never wasted, the man and woman become a god. They become Elohim, because they now have the power to create life, whether physical or spiritual. They are a god and a goddess together, because every man needs his wife in order to be fully complemented, and every woman needs her husband in order to be complemented as well, spiritually (and sexually) speaking.
“In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth.” ―Genesis 1:1
We have to remember this is not just talking about physical creation of this planet. That is one meaning, but it is very symbolic. On another level, this pertains to how a married couple can create God within themselves, to develop spiritually those archetypes, the teachings of the Hebrew letters within themselves.
If you examine this: “In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth”―we are going to elaborate a lot about what the word “heavens” means. Heavens are שָּׁמַיִם Shamayim or “the Heavens,” הַשָּׁמַיִם Ha-Shamayim, literally speaking. Notice that in this word, and we are going to break this down further, we have the letter ה Hei, the letter שׁ Shin, the letter מ Mem, the letter י Iod, and the letter ם Final Mem. We are going to break this down further, as I mentioned, but הַשָּׁמַיִם Ha-Shamayim means “the heavens.” Heaven is not just some place in the clouds, that we need to somehow behave very well by paying our taxes and being a good husband or wife in order to go there. It pertains to psychological states, archetypes: principles we need to cultivate. As John Milton, the famous author Paradise Lost, said:
“The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n."
―John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I, ll. 254-55
So heaven is a state of mind, a state of being, even though there are dimensions represented by the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah that represent higher states of consciousness we can access when we are physically asleep or in meditation. What is important is that we cultivate this in ourselves here and now, fundamentally. So:
אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ
Elohim At Hashamayim Vay’at Ha’aretz
The letter אֵת At here, א Aleph ת Tav are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Or we say in Greek, Α-Ω, Alpha-Omega, beginning and ending, which is why we included in this next line.
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending saith the Lord, which is and which was and which is to come, the Almighty." ―Revelations 1:8
So the fact that in the beginning, Elohim created heaven through א Aleph ת Tav, Α-Ω, Alpha-Omega, through all the principles within the human being that make him or her complete. אֵת At is the Word. So we could say אֵת At is another way of saying “of begetting, becoming, creating” through these letters, these principles. Elohim, the spiritual couple, created the heavens and the earth, וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ Vay’at Ha’aretz. הָאָֽרֶץ Ha’aretz is “earth,” the earth, which is our body we could say. Our physical body is an earth. It is its own world in itself that has its own substances and forces. 
Now again, remember this is symbolic. The letters represent things for us that we need to comprehend. In the words of וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ Vay’at Ha’aretz, “and the earth,” and then “created the earth,” we have א Aleph ת Tav, again and another Hebrew letter, ו Vav, which is a straight line. ו Vav is our spinal column. So in tantra, we emphasize that the spinal column is important and that we need to raise the sexual power through the spinal medulla, from our sexual organs to our brain because it is the creative power of God. 
Question: Is that air? Would that be the central column? י Iod, ה Hei, ו Vau?
Instructor: Yes, in the sacred name י Iod, ה Hei, ו Vav, ה Hei or יהוה Jehovah is the name, ו Vav is present and the ו Vav represents the spinal column.
And so we need to raise these principles א Aleph ת Tav, the beginning and the ending, all the principles of God within us in our body through the science of breathing. So the Book of Genesis is explaining that all of the creative power and potential of the Being, of divinity within us, is precisely within our sexual organs, because it is the only power that can create a physical child, a physical life. There is no other way to create life except when a man and woman unite sexually to create, physically, in the manner that everybody knows. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh. But that which is born of the Spirit,” through the transformed sexual act, “is Spirit” (John 3:6). But here were explaining a superior spiritual teaching for how to use that energy, spiritually. 

The Heavenly Hebrew Letters of Kabbalah

So I mentioned to you, we are going to explain the word heavens or השמים Ha-Shamayim. In this image, we actually have the Tree of Life transposed over a golden figure, which is the Egyptian God Ptah, which is where we get the word pater or father. This is the real human being made into the image of God―the ten sephiroth, the spheres, which are the different aspects of the consciousness within a human being fully illuminated. The fact that this figures made of gold like in the manner of the Egyptian pharaohs emphasizes that psychologically, alchemically, he transformed the brute substance of his body into the gold of the Spirit, into that fully developed human being.
If you are familiar with the tradition of Christmas, the Christmas tree, the lights on the tree illuminated, this is the same symbol. The light of God, the light of Christ, has been elevated inward and upward to the brain, to the heart, and fully illuminating these different spheres, these different aspects of the human being. This the heavens within us.
The heavens is השמים Ha-Shamayim and we can also break it down as a ה-ש-מים Ha-Sha-Mim in Hebrew because Hebrew is very dynamic. There is a lot of meaning even in just one word. We can read many things from it. ה-ש-מים Ha-Sha-Mim means “The Names,” precisely these archetypes within the 22 Hebrew letters we wish to cultivate within us. We have “The Name,” השם Hashem, or we can say in Hebrew, יהוה Iod-Havah. Many devout Jews will, instead of saying Iod-Havah, יהוה Jehovah, many times they will pronounce ברוך השם אדני Baruch Hashem Adonai, “Blessed be the name of the Lord,” as a type of honorific or title to God, to be respectful, not to pronounce that name in vain.
The word שם shem means “name.” The letter ה Hei is simply, when you add ה Hei in front of any word, it's the indefinite article “the.” So השמים Ha-Shamayim, “The Heavens,” or ה-ש-מים Ha-Sha-Mim: “the Names.” השם Hashem, “The Name.” And then שם shem is literally “name.” What is interesting is that we just discussed the Hebrew letters in שמן shemen. The word שמן shemen has literally the Hebrew letter ש Shin and ם Final Mem which is “Name.”
The name of God is hidden within the sexual matter, the substance in our body which, sadly in these times, we think is only useful for pleasure or procreating children, physically speaking. But people have ignored and we are attempting to explain how this same power can be used for spiritual development, that it is really the foundation stone if we wish to transform our psyche.
The names of God, השמים Ha-Shamayim or ה-ש-מים Ha-Sha-Mim, or the heavens, meaning all those principles of God we need to cultivate are in us, literally are inside of our body, physically within מ Mem, contained within semen or שמן shemen, which is ש Shin, the fire of God, מ Mem, the waters, because the semen is a fiery water. When a man and woman are united, there is fire, sexually speaking. The question is whether the couple will conserve that fire and never lose it or, or will waste it or expel it. And so, שם shem, the divine name, is precisely within נ Nun, to spell שמן shemen. נ Nun, as I said, literally from Aramaic, is fish. So men have sperm and women have ovum. That is the fish in our waters, literally speaking, in which the principles, the שם Shem: name or השמים Ha-Sha-Mim are contained within.
This is really the fountain of youth within us that many explorers were seeking physically, thinking that alchemy was just this fountain of youth of the alchemical teachings is just about transforming physical substances into gold, physical lead into gold, but it is symbolic. This is a symbolic teaching of how the base and dense sexual instinct is transmuted into the gold of scientific chastity, the sexual purity of the gods. The potable gold of the alchemist is within our body. It is our שמן shemen, semen. It is our oil which we need to be anointed with precisely by conserving it and then transforming that energy, that oil into, precisely the השמים Ha-Shamayim, into the heavens: superior internal psychological and spiritual states of being.

So remember we mentioned in the third graphic talking about Genesis:
“In the beginning Elohim created. “In the beginning, gods and goddesses created the heavens and the earth.” ―Genesis 1:1
Man and woman together are a god, one Being. They create as Elohim precisely by working with all the archetypes that are found in a chaotic state, in a potential state. As you remember in the Book of Genesis:
“The earth was formless and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep." ―Genesis 1:2
Psychologically speaking, we are a type of darkness. If we examine our mind, we oftentimes find a lot of anger, resentment, pride, vanity, conflicting emotions, resentment―negative aspects about ourselves that we want to change, that we want to rectify, that we want to know how to remove, so that we can fully illuminate this light of God within us: Christ. But there are many books on self-help and many teachings, but if they ignore that without working with that energy of God, the sexual power, we cannot change and unite with God.
We need that energy, that power that is Patar, the foundation stone. Even in slang―and I am gonna explain some meaning of where certain slang words came from―the word Peter we say is a name for a phallus. It is a stone, Patar, of our temple. So Jesus said, "You will be my stone of my church, upon which I will found my church”―the rock upon which the house was built when the storms came, and it did not blow it away. But those who build their their house, their spiritual house, their beliefs, on theories, the wind, karma and circumstances will knock it down. We need to know what this stone is, Patar, which is the God Ptah in Egypt, and to develop these principles within us. 
So heaven is within us, is formless and void. So semen is really formless and void, but if the spirit of God hovers upon it, by working with our breath through the רוח אלהים Ruach Elohim mentioned in Genesis, we can transform that substance into light.
יְהִי אֹור וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור Yehi Ha-Aur, Va-Yehi-Aur
And Elohim said, “Let there be light, and there was light." –Genesis 1:3
אֹור Aur is light in Hebrew, and we are going to explain that further. But precisely the name of God, שם Shem or השם Hashem, is within our שמן shemen, in the physical sperm if we know how to use it. We find this symbolism all throughout the Bible. 

The Anointment of Biblical Kings

We have in the next graphic שמואל Shemuel or Samuel. Literally, it spells ש Shin, מ Mem, ו Vav, א Aleph, ל Lamed. So those who are not familiar and this is an image of שמואל Shemuel anointing Saul in the Bible. He was the son of חנה Hannah who was barren. A lot of women in the Bible are mentioned that, though she was barren, she became fertile through divine aid. At first she was unable to engender children―and many Jews interpret this literally thinking, well, it is about a physical woman in the past who couldn't have physical children, and amongst the Jewish race and other groups where family is very important, if you are familiar with different cultures like this. It is very intense, where many people are very concerned about having family, procreating, having children and very identified with just having kids. This is not the meaning there in this biblical allegory.
The meaning is that to be barren is, really, what we are psychologically, if we are honest and see that we in ourselves are barren, empty, formless, and void―psychological darkness, ignorance upon the deep of our mind. To be barren is to be sterile, meaning: to not have a lot of sexual, divine, spiritual creative potency. To be sterile is to be impotent, or for a man to be impotent, but barren is not having enough sexual creative energy to engender a child, even physically. But we are looking more at this: the spiritual meaning. We want to engender spiritual children inside of us, the golden child of alchemy or Christ, within our interior.
חנה Hannah means “favor” or “grace.” So we have the names like John which is והנןי Johannan or the angel אנאל Anael or חנאל Hanael, “Grace of God.” So חנה Hannah means “favor” or “grace,” and the word חנה Hannah is ח Chet, נ Nun, ה Hei. If you translate the נ Nun in the middle to a ו Vav, the letter V or the spinal medulla we mentioned, you spell חַוָה Chavah, Eve.
Eve is the “mother of the living” mentioned the Bible. She is the one who engenders and creates children according to physical history. But psychologically and spiritually, חַוָה Hava is the sexual organs of any man or woman, because it is through sex that we create. The problem is that in the times of Adam and Eve, individuals wanted to create, to have children by reaching the orgasm, having physical children, forgetting that that same energy can be used, when it is conserved and not wasted, to create spiritually. So if we wish to become like Hannah, we need to take this middle letter נ Nun, symbolic of the sexual energy within the sperm or ovum, and raise it up our spinal column, the ו Vav. Then you spell חַוָה Chavah: to create spiritually. 
And so שמואל Shemuel, Samuel―just some history or the tradition associated with him―he was the last judge of pre-monarchic Israel. He was the last judge before the anointment of the Kings Saul and David. According to the rabbinical literature, he was considered the first of the major prophets. So he is very highly regarded within Judaism. But one thing is שמואל Samuel in the past. What he represents is what we are concerned with. שמואל Samuel, we have the latter שם Shem, name, and the Hebrew letter ו Vav, which is the spine in our body. And then אל El is God, as I mentioned, as an אלוהים Elohim―the name of God שמואל Shemuel within the spine, the creative forces of God within our spinal column.
We need to find the name of our inner God, because each of us has our own inner Being and our Being has a name.
Question: Isn't Samuel [Samael] an angel or archangel associated to Geburah?
Instructor: Yes, and סמאל Samael sounds like שמואל Samuel, but it is different. It has different spelling too, since ס Samech is the serpentine fire of Kundalini in profound activity, yet ש Shin, the sexual fires in us, are dormant. But שמואל Samuel is a symbol of how we need to develop the archetypes of God, the names of God within us, the heavens within us, by precisely working with our own שמן shemen, semen. Because שם Shem, the Name, the Name of אל El, needs to rise up our spinal column, which is a precisely the work of alchemy or tantra. 
Question: You also have mantras. They help also?
Instructor: Yes, and when we do mantras, as we explained in books like The Perfect Matrimony, that is how we activate those forces if we are married and working with our spouse. That is the full meaning of how to develop שמואל Samuel within us. That is how we anoint within our interior, the King of our soul.
So King Shaul or Saul and David are mentioned. So before ourselves can become kings and queens of nature, we need to develop שמואל Shemuel first, by working with the name of God and cultivate that energy, so that we can receive חנה Hannah, grace from above. By working with חַוָה Chavah below in order to elevate ourselves.

Sexual Teachings in Psalms and Proverbs

Now, to emphasize the importance of this in relation to anointment and how it is by working with this energy that we achieve salvation, we have the following quotes from the Psalms and then we have Proverbs. So in the Psalm book 45 verse 7:
אָהַבְתָּ צֶּדֶק וַתִּשְׂנָא רֶשַׁע עַל־כֵּן מְשָׁחֲךָ אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן שָׂשֹׂון מֵֽחֲבֵרֶֽיךָ׃
“Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the שֶׁמֶן oil of gladness above thy fellows.” –Psalm 45:7
Or more specifically:
אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֶׁמֶן שָׂשֹׂון מֵֽחֲבֵרֶֽיךָ׃
Elohim elohaika shemen shashon macheibareka
"I have found David my servant. With my holy oil have I anointed him." ―Psalm 89:20.
The Hebrew word for oil is שֶׁמֶן shemen. 
“There is treasure to be desired in oil in the dwelling of the wise… (or שֶׁמֶן shemen in the dwelling of the wise)." ―Proverbs 21:20
So what is that dwelling of the wise person? It is the physical body and our body is really how we can cultivate wisdom.
"…but a foolish man spendeth it up." ―Proverbs 21:20
So there is oil, שֶׁמֶן shemen, in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man expels it, ejaculates, it―fornicates. 
The word fornication means “to burn,” like a furnace, and then to expel the semen through a few moments of pleasure and then exhaustion afterward. שֶׁמֶן Shemen is precisely that oil that is our treasure. The word for treasure I believe is o’tsar אֹוצָר. So treasure is o’tsar אֹוצָר, which we have the three Hebrew letters that remind us of the Hebrew word אֹור Aur―which is light. אֹ Aleph, ו Vav, ר Resh. We have the word אֹור Aur which means “light.” So:
“There is a treasure, there is אֹור light to be desired and שֶׁמֶן shemen in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man wastes it,” expels it through many vices such as masturbation or prostitution, fornication―any act in which that semen is expelled.
In all the teachings of religion, the foundational tenet was you should not fornicate according to teachings of Moses, Moshe, the foundations. If we want to change ourselves, we need to understand this precept, because this energy, if it is wasted, we feed desire, we feed animality, we feed lust, anger pride. It is the original sin by which all of our defects manifest. If we want to really grab the bull by the horns and change psychologically, we need to have energy. If we don't have that energy, if we are giving into lust, we are feeding all our defects.
So it is light. It is o’tsar אֹוצָר  treasure, in the dwelling of the wise, and the foolish man spendeth it up. The word for “spendeth” is בַלְּעֶֽנּו [balenu]. We have three Hebrew letters that are significant. ב Bet, ל Lamed, ע Ayn. You take those three letters, you spell the name of a demon named בַּעַל Baal mentioned many times in the Bible. So, a fool is one who is a demon, who is wasting that energy, feeding desire and creating suffering for him or herself. A demon is not just some guy with horns in some fairy tale with a pitchfork. A demon is any person who has anger, vanity, pride, laziness, gluttony, defects.
Question: An archetype?
Instructor: Yeah, so we say it we say that a demon is a person who has faults. An angel has no faults―is a perfect human being.
If we waste that שֶׁמֶן shemen, that light, then we are formless and void, and then the Spirit cannot hover upon those waters, because there is no water there. There is no light to be created. Then we are left as בַּעַל Baal, a demon. This is why it is mentioned in the teachings of Moses, "Thou shalt not fornicate." Don't waste your energies, because the orgasm is a tremendous waste of energy. You lose everything: concentration, will, the ability to focus, meditate, because there are many people who try and meditation while continuing to indulge in behaviors that have been restricted within the foundation of every religion. They don’t progress. If we want to be successful meditators and to change psychologically, we study this foundation: working with this energy and not abusing it.
So to elaborate, we have in the mysteries of anointment, we have this image of Jesus, the resurrected Jesus before Mary Magdalene. And we are going to elaborate upon the teachings of The Perfect Matrimony, the sexual union and cooperation of a husband and wife to take that energy and use it for God. 
Comment: Then it certainly impossible for those who are not polarized, specifically homosexuality. There is no way!
Instructor: Exactly, which is why every religion, even Buddhism, which seems to be such a tolerant religion―the foundation is: you cannot engage in sexual vices. The Dalai Lama gave a talk to a homosexual community. They welcomed him at first because he's a very tolerant and understanding man. They asked him, "Can a homosexual practice Buddhism?" He said no. And so they got angry at him. They booed and hissed at him. But he was just being honest, you know. You cannot be a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jew, if you are adulterating the sexual energy in an abusive way, in a homosexual way. You need both polarities, man-woman, the vertical beam, the phallus―the horizontal beam, the uterus―the cross, to create the cross.
However, to avoid confusion, we are not only against homosexual behaviors, but heterosexual behaviors rooted in lust, desire, orgasm. Fornication, whether heterosexual or homosexual, cannot create the soul. We make this clear, because people today become enraged that the Gnostics teach chastity: purity in sex, and qualify our instructions as hate-speech or oppression against the LGBTQ community. We respect people’s free will and do not promote discrimination or violence against others. We only point out how certain behaviors, sexually speaking, can produce the bane or boon of the soul. For this, we are often accused of lacking compassion. Sadly, people mistake compassion with complacency, that to love others we must accept the behaviors that make them sick, afflicted, and diseased. The compassionate action is to teach humanity how the sexual energy can be used to achieve divine realizations, but for this, one must be pure. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). This is why the sexual teachings are rejected by humanity. People find the Gnostic teachings of sex, the stone of Peter, Patar, offensive:
“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” ―1 Peter 2:7-8
These sexual teachings are the foundation of religion, to build the temple of our inner divinity within our consciousness. You cannot do that through fornication, whether heterosexual or homosexual. To spiritually create within, you need both sexual polarities, male and female, combined through chastity, pure sexual union. Homosexuals cannot create, just as two men or two women cannot create a physical child together. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). The same sexual act, transformed between man and woman, can create, whether a physical child or the spiritual force of divinity within. It depends upon the couple, if they really want to enter the spiritual path of initiation as given within esoteric―not public―Christianity.
Homosexuals, we could say―and not to to disrespect these persons―but homosexuals have been considered vampires in ancient tradition. This is a symbol, not necessarily a literal accusation that “homosexuals drink other people’s blood,” because that would be an absurd generalization. The reality is that they don't create spiritually. Therefore, they steal energy from others, especially from the same sex in order to feed their desires. Now, that is why vampires were afraid of the cross in ancient traditions. They hate the cross. The homosexuals hate man and woman united, the force of Genesis, generation. They think it's disgusting, because they have lost their innate attraction towards the opposite sex, which is a form of degeneration, a form of abuse. We emphasize, as taught by Jesus, as taught by Buddha, Muhammad, that if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven, we need to take up our cross, as Jesus taught, sacrifice for others, and follow him. Deny oneself, take up your cross and follow him as he taught.
So the cross, again, is the work in a matrimony. This is not pleasant for fornicators addicted to lust. Often times the truth appears harsh. As Shakespeare declared through Hamlet: “I must be cruel only to be kind. Thus bad begins and worse remains behind” (Hamlet 3.4.181-82). 

​Magicians of the Divine Priesthood

So we have Mary Magdalene with Jesus, and the word mag in Indo-European language means “priest” or “priestess.” A priest of nature has his wife, a priestess, in which, by working with with alchemy, they learn to conquer their own inner nature, psychological, sexual, and spiritual nature, and therefore have power over the elements. This is the meaning of the word magician, mag, as we say. So Mary Magdalene, we say was the wife of Jesus and symbolically. She represents us, because she is a prostitute.
If we examine ourselves, we have a lot of lust, a lot of wanting, desire to look at the opposite sex, a lot of distractions―maybe vices like pornography and addiction of a psychological nature, of a sexual nature. That is our prostitute, our mind, Mary Magdalene. But she is repentant. She doesn't want to be a prostitute anymore. She wants to follow Christ. And so she was the most exalted initiate among those with Jesus, because the farther one falls, the higher one will rise. Jesus said that is why there is more joy in heaven for a sinner who repents than for a thousand righteous ones who have no need for repentance.
To elaborate on the teachings of alchemy and anointment, we have this teaching from the Gospel of Philip, which is a Gnostic scripture.
"No one can know when the husband and the wife have intercourse with one another, except the two of them. Indeed, marriage in the world is a mystery for those who have taken a wife. If there is a hidden quality to the marriage of defilement, how much more is the undefiled marriage a true mystery!” ―The Gospel of Philip
So what is this defiled marriage? When a man and woman unite sexually and they reach the orgasm, they defile the bed. If you remember the book of Hebrews, it says "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled”―meaning, without the culmination of the orgasm, without expelling that energy―"but whoremongers and fornicators [prostitutes] God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). To reach the orgasm is to make the body a whore, a prostitute, filthy physically and psychologically.
If there is a hidden quality to the marriage of defilement, the marriage that everyone knows today, how much more so is the undefiled marriage a true mystery? Meaning: the teachings of alchemy that we are teaching.
Question: In order to create a human being, there has to be an orgasm, so how can that be defilement?
Instructor: There are children as a result of sexuality without the orgasm. This is a form of immaculate conception. Children in the past, in a time so ancient that it's impossible to imagine given our current archaeologists and the study of anthropology, but the humanity of the past used to create physical children without orgasm. This is called immaculate conception, in which the Holy Spirit of an individual can guide one sperm from the phallus of a man into the uterus and guide it to an ovum without the necessity of spilling millions and billions of spermatozoa. But the way that people engender children today, that was the fall of Adam and Eve, which is a symbol of an ancient humanity that disobeyed these precepts from Elohim, from God, deciding that they want to have children of their own, to eat the forbidden fruit, without following the laws of nature.
This is why in the Book of Genesis, it says:
“And יהוה אלוהים Jehovah Elohim said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life…” ―Genesis 1:3
That energy now is being used for pollution, the serpent, the sexual power going down. And then Jehovah Elohim tells Eve, “You will suffer child pains in childbirth” (Genesis 3:16). Humanities in the past did not suffer that. There was no pain, because they procreated by immaculate conception, sexually uniting, but without wasting the seminal force. They engendered children in accordance with superior laws. Immaculate conception does not mean to not have sex, or that Mary was suddenly impregnated by some figure called the Holy Spirit and then she had a child. You can have children by copulating with your wife in a chaste, pure, clean way, because chastity means cleanliness, and to engender children without orgasm. It's very possible. The one who decides that is the Innermost, because if we are married and we want to have children, we petition to our Being and ask the Holy Spirit that we wish to engender a child in a pure way. If it is in accordance with karma and the forces are correct and divinity wants it, then it will be. But if we want children of our own accord, that is why humanity started at procreating like animals.
Question: So the whole point then, I have heard this before, to give control in any way, you are just instilling your will in the universe in any way, is considered somewhat sinful. Is that true?
Instructor: We say that sin is a psychological quality pertaining to our mind. Defects like anger, pride, lust, desire toward certain impressions, which are transitory, seeking fulfillment through those transitory impressions, is a form of suffering. We say that it is sin in Christian terms. 

But to sin is an archery term. Meaning: when you are aiming your bow, to go to the left, and in Kabbalah, the left pillar relates to how the forces from heaven go down to hell. That is why in traditions they say that the left hand is bad but the right hand is good. The right relates to the sun, the left to the moon, but to follow sin is to follow our own desires, our defects. To follow divinity, to be chaste, is go to the path to the right, shoot to the right, to aim one's efforts in meditation and concentration and contemplation towards eliminating our desires, our defects.
Desire, any desire, is an attachment. But just to say that by eliminating desire one is dead to the world, it doesn't mean that. In fact, we have a greater appreciation of life as a result. But that pertains to what we call the study of the ego, or desire, defects, synonyms for the same thing. All of that is fed depending on our sexual behavior.
That is the foundation. First, stop behaving in a negative sexual manner and use those energies in a pure way for God. That is how we learn to cultivate a serene mind, because if we give in to desire, the waters of the mind are disturbed. But if we anoint ourselves with that energy every day, we learn to cultivate a serene mind. 
So this undefiled marriage is a true mystery.
“It is not fleshly, but pure. It belongs not to desire, but to the will.” ―The Gospel of Phillip
So this is going back to what you were asking. Desire is an attachment or craving or an aversion to a certain phenomena and impression, whether it is people or food or friends or whatever. It is our psychological attachments to what we experience from life. Now, will is different, real willpower, meaning: to be united with our inner Being, our inner God, to do only His will and Her will, because we have a Divine Mother and a Divine Father.
"It belongs not to desire but to the will. It belongs not to the darkness nor the night (meaning ignorance) but to the day and the light (comprehension, cognizance). If a marriage is open to the public, it has become prostitution and the bride plays the harlot not only when she is impregnated by another man (in the common way), but even if she slips out of her bedroom and is seen." ―The Gospel of Phillip
So what does this mean that one's marriage has become public? Look at the world today. The institution of marriage as is commonly practiced, where by signing papers, a couple continues to engage in sex in an animal fashion, people engage in the way of prostitutes. The bride also plays the harlot, not only when being impregnated in the lustful way without immaculate conception, but when she shows herself. Many women do this and men too, show off their bodies in a lustful way. So this is everywhere, because modesty is dead. This parallels the type of degeneration we have in our world today.
"Let her show herself only to her father and her mother and to the friend of the bridegroom and the sons of the bridegroom. These are permitted to enter every day into the bridal chamber. But let the others yearn just to listen to her voice and to enjoy her ointment (שֶׁמֶן  shemen, her oil, lusting after her energy that makes her so attractive) and let them feed from the crumbs that fall from the table like the dogs (like animals). Bridegrooms and brides belong to the bridal chamber. No one shall be able to see the bridegroom with the bride unless he becomes such a one."  ―The Gospel of Phillip
So a lot of Christians interpret and they are right that the bridegroom is the Christ and that the bride is the soul that needs to be married. Brides and bridegrooms are symbols of alchemists: initiates who transform the sexual energy into the power of the soul, the anointment of the divine spiritual kings who have conquered themselves.
But how does one get married to Christ? By working with the cross, as we mentioned.

​The Symbolism of Baptism

In the next graphic, we have Jesus being baptized and anointed with water. It is the same symbol, same meaning. It was at this moment in which Christ, through anointment, Jesus of Nazareth incarnated his Intimate Christ, his own light, his own ray from which he emanated. And to explain further how sexuality can either be pure or sensual, we have this continuation from the Gospel of Philip.
"A bridal chamber is not for the animals, nor is it for the slaves, nor for defiled women; but it is for free men and virgins." ―The Gospel of Philip
What is the bridal chamber? It is the mysteries of alchemy that we are teaching: how to sexually unite with our partner, husband and wife, and to use that energy completely for God. That is the bridal chamber.
We are saying that these mysteries of alchemy are not for animals. People who want to continue having sex in a defiled way, in a lustful way, alchemy is not for them―not for animals, nor is it for slaves: people who are a slave of anger and resentment and pride and defects. Alchemy is not for slaves either. It is not for defiled women, women who are prostitutes― meaning all of us, really, who are defiled, psychologically speaking. To be defiled, the body, to be defiled as a prostitute is to constantly engage in masturbation or homosexuality or the ejaculation of the שמן shemen, the oil of God.
"But it is for free men and virgins." So a virgin doesn't necessarily mean someone who doesn't have sex. It means to have sex in a chaste way. To be a free man is to have enough potential to really change, because there are some people in this world, they don't care about changing themselves psychologically. They don't care about learning how to better themselves. Instead, they want to fornicate, drink alcohol, and destroy themselves.
So alchemy is for free men, people who still have some potential, some freedom left to study and meditate and practice and who really want to change, and for virgins, pure initiates, who want to be chaste and clean.
“We are born again through the Holy Spirit, and we are conceived through Christ in baptism with two elements. We are anointed through the Spirit, and when we were conceived, we were united.” ―The Gospel of Philip
So again talking about how the Holy Spirit is sexual. 
"No one can see oneself in the water (מים mayim) or in a mirror without light (אור aur), nor can you see yourself in the light (אור) without water (מים) or a mirror.  So it is necessary to baptize with two elements, light (אור), and water (מים), and light is chrism." ―The Gospel of Philip
So אור Aur and light and water are synonymous. As I mentioned, if you expel your treasure within you, your o’tsar אֹוצָר, and your שמן shemen, you lose light. Instead, that energy can be used to give light within us. In order to see spiritually, we need water and light, meaning we need to transform our waters into the light, into comprehension, because that energy is the most potent creative force in the universe. There is no greater power than God, and God is a sexual power. God gave man to have a woman and a woman to have a man in holy matrimony. 
Question: אור Aur, light, you would need water and fire right? 
Instructor:  Yes, so the fire is in the water, the sexual matter. The light is in the fire and the water contains all that.
So to elaborate and we are going to explain what chrism is. It is the mystery of anointment, the oil, the Christ within the oil. 

“There were three buildings specifically for sacrifice in Jerusalem. The one facing the west was called "The Holy.” Another, facing south, was called "The Holy of the Holy.” The third, facing east, was called "The Holy of the Holies," the place where only the high priest enters.“ ―The Gospel of Philip
So what is a priest? A mag, a magician. Every magician husband has his magician wife. 
“Baptism is "the Holy" building [and relating to Kabbalah, it is Malkuth].“ ―The Gospel of Philip
“The Holy” is our physical body, which we need to make our physicality a holy vehicle for God. As Paul of Tarsus taught:
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” ―1 Corinthians 6:18-19
So make your body holy. Whoremongers, adulterous prostitutes who abuse sex, they will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
But our body is “the holy.” So “redemption is the Holy of the Holy [Chesed].” So we say that is our inner Being, Chesed, because as the founder of this tradition, Samael Aun Weor, taught, that the opposite of our physical body is our Spirit above, Chesed in Kabbalah.
"The Holy of the Holies is the bridal chamber (דַעַת da’ath, these sexual mysteries that we are teaching, alchemy, alchemical science). Baptism includes the resurrection and the redemption; the redemption takes place in the bridal chamber." ―The Gospel of Philip
Literally, when a man is uniting sexually with his wife and fighting their lust, to contain their lust and eliminate their desires by using that energy, that is where redemption is found. It says “the redemption takes place in the bridal chamber.” So literally in the sexual act is really where the redemption of the human being or the damnation of the human being occurs. 
Question: As the Kundalini rises, can't that spiritual act also raise the vibrations of the etheric body?
Instructor: Yes, so when we work with a marriage, that is how to awaken Kundalini, the Divine Mother שכינה Shekinah in Kabbalah. And so when we wake that fire in a matrimony, that energy makes the physical body vibrate at a higher level of being, and the ethereal body, etheric body saturates the physicality much deeper. It makes it even holier. It makes it holy.

In this next graphic, we are going to explain more about the Kabbalah. This is the Tree of Life, and we explain that to the West is the Holy, Malkuth, the physical body. And that to the North we mentioned Chesed, the Spirit, the Innermost. And then to the East, Daath. The South is Geburah, judgment, the divine soul.
So this symbol of Kabbalah teaches us, can explain many scriptures for us, because this is a map of the human being made into the image of Christ. To synthesize, we have Malkuth, our physical body; Yesod, our vitality, our energy, our vital body. We have Hod, our emotions or astral body. We have Netzach, our mind, our intellect, the mental body. We have Tiphereth, will power, the soul or human soul. We have Geburah, divine soul relating to God. Chesed is our Spirit, our inner God. And then above is Christ, the Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit: Kether, Chokmah, Binah. Our willpower can either follow heaven or follow our own desires, as we mentioned previously.
Question: What is the role of Da’ath again?

Instructor: דַעַת Da’ath, again if we transpose this image on a person, this Logoic trinity relates to the head, this ethical trinity relates to the heart, this magical trinity relates to sex. Da’ath relates to the throat, the verb. So we teach that in alchemy, when a husband and wife are united, we can pronounce sacred mantras to activate the sacred fire, awakening the snake of Kundalini inward and upward, to begin the path of the cross.
Question: So mantras would be associated with Da’ath?
Instructor: Yes, because Da’ath relates to the throat and the verb. Da’ath is precisely the Holy of the Holies.
Now in explaining this, the previous scripture in the Gospel of Philip, it says that to the West is the Holy, which we said is Malkuth. Imagine that we are standing in Tiphereth, because we are using our willpower here: imagining that our will is situated in the center of the Tree of Life. To the East is above, towards heaven, because the Sun, when the Sun rises, represents the birth of Christ within us. So the East refers to going up towards heaven. The West refers to darkness relating to our body. So if we can imagine this transposing ourselves in our situating ourselves in Tiphereth, to the West is our physical body, to the South of Tiphereth is Geburah, the divine soul; to the North is Chesed, the Spirit, the Holy of the Holy, and then to the right, to the east above us is Da’ath, the Holy of the Holies, because it is through alchemy that God creates within us.

​The Elements of Redemption

We had this following scripture from Gnostic teachings where Jesus is addressing his disciples.
“Truly I tell thee that I have brought nothing to this world but Fire, Water, Wine and the Blood of Redemption. I have brought Fire and Water from the place of the Light, from there where the Light is found.” ―Gnostic Ritual
So in Kabbalah, we explain that water relates to Chesed, the Spirit, because the Spirit, of our inner God, works with our waters. So in the Book of Genesis, it says that the Spirit of God hovered about the face of the waters. That is Chesed that is performing this work here. But wine in spirituality relates to His divine soul. The divine soul, we have to remember that these five sephiroth above is God. Beneath is the human soul. We are part of Tiphereth. We are a fraction of that Soul needing to be developed that wants to follow God.
Question: Is that the abyss above Tiphereth?
Instructor: There is an abyss relating to Da’ath, relating to other studies of the Kabbalah, but the abyss refers to how we need to cross an abyss. How do we do it? By working with alchemy, by working with our Spirit. But we have to remember that these five sephiroth above never fall into degeneration. God never falls, but the human soul, which is us in potentiality, has fallen into abuse of mind, emotion, sexuality, and our physicality―to synthesize.
The wine of spirituality relates to our divine soul, we say in Kabbalah, because if you are familiar with the Book of Revelation, how:
“…out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God [שדי אל חי Shaddai El Chai].” ―Revelation 19:15
And the winepress, the wrath of God, the strength of God is Geburah, our divine soul, which needs to be united with our Innermost. 
So where is the region of the light from which the water (Chesed) and the wine (Geburah) emerge? Above, that light is the trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, which we also call the region of Barbelo, region of the light of Christ. 
“And I have brought the wine and Blood from the dwelling of Barbelo. After some time has passed, the Father has sent me to the Holy Spirit in the form of a White Dove. But listen: The Fire, the Water and the Wine are for the purification and the forgiveness of sins.” ―Gnostic Ritual

​Meaning, by working with our Spirit in alchemy, our divine soul, and working with our willpower represented by blood, Tiphereth, the soul, that is how we purify ourselves, because Tiphereth, if you transpose this image on a person, this is the heart, our human soul. We follow the will of God through our heart, and the heart circulates the blood and the blood contains many powerful archetypes that we need to develop, spiritually. So sex and blood is synonymous, because the blood gets charged with sexual power, with spiritual force by working with alchemy. That is how we achieve redemption by learning to work with these forces.
The Blood that was given to me as a symbol of the human body, I received in the dwelling of Barbelo, of the great Strength of the Universal God.” ―Gnostic Ritual

The Sexual Mysteries of the Holy Grail

So anointment pertains precisely to this teaching of working with the chalice as we see in this image. So we related the Gnostic scriptures that I just mentioned to talk about how redemption is by working with our Spirit, our inner God and with the archetypes, which are found in a potential state within sex.
And so in this image, we have a woman or even Mary Magdalene holding the Holy Grail. So the Grail is a symbol of the feminine sexual organs, the uterus, the chalice. The spear, the lance of Longinus, is a symbol of the phallus in the grail mysteries. So anointment pertains precisely to these mysteries of the Holy Grail.
So we have this explanation from the Gospel of Philip.
“The cup of prayer contains (יין) wine and (מים) water, since it is appointed as the type of the (דם) blood for which thanks is given.” ―The Gospel of Phillip
So wine in Hebrew is יין yayin, and water is מים Mayim since it is appointed as the type of the blood, דם Dam in Hebrew, for which thanks is given.
So we know from science that it takes 80 drops of blood to make one drop of semen. So individuals who ejaculate their semen lose vitality. They literally are expelling their blood from their body in a grotesque manner.
We need to charge our blood with spirit. The way that we do that is by working with our breath, the sexual exercises of transmutation we provide so the blood becomes saturated with with divine forces, becomes wine, spiritual wine. So the word blood is דם Dam in Hebrew. You add the letterא  Aleph, the wind, the spirit, and the name אל El or אלה Eloah or אלהים Elohim, God, add that letter דם Dam and you spell אדם Adam. So Adam is the first man made in the image of God, which if we work with our own breath, א Aleph, mantra, pranayama, sexual magic if we are married, we start to create the human being within us.
And so this cup is elaborated in terms of anointment.
"It is full of the Holy Spirit and it belongs to the holy perfect man (or woman we could say). When we drink this we shall receive for ourselves the perfect man. The living water (מים mayim) is a body. It is necessary that we put on the living man. Therefore, when he is about to go down into the water (מים mayim) he enclothes himself in order that he may put on the living man."  ―The Gospel of Phillip
So this relates to baptism, anointment. So what happens when a person who wants to baptize themselves in any tradition, they take off their clothes and they go into the water. This is a symbol of alchemy. When a man is with his wife, they take off their clothes and they purify themselves with those waters if they know this science. 
Question: How does this relate to the מקווה mikvah?
Instructor: It's the same meaning. The מקווה mikvah in Hebrew or Judaism refers to ritual bathing or cleansing of the rabbis. So traditionally it was a symbol of how to clean oneself psychologically by working with that energy of God and to purify the mind. They would take their clothes and dip themselves in the water as a form of anointment, baptism.
Question: Some just take their shoes off.
Instructor: Yeah, there are different ways of doing it in different cultures, but in explaining this in this scripture, you know, a man takes off his clothes because when he is with his wife, they are intimate. That is how they may put on the living man, or as Paul of Tarsus talks about the celestial man and the terrestrial man.
“Howbeit that was not first which is πνευματικός pneumatic [spiritual, relating to Chesed], but that which is ψυχικός psychic [carnal, animal]; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” ―1 Corinthians 15:46-49
Just as we bore the image of the earthly, meaning if we were working to create a certain archetypes within ourselves, we can then bear the image of the heavenly: the living man mentioned in the Gospel of Philip.

The Significance of Chrism

So we have this image of Jesus with a heart of thorns. So we are going to elaborate on the water in the fire. So precisely we are going to explain a little bit more about what chrism is. See here in this image, Christ is illuminated. His heart is illuminated. The blood of his heart is purified, emanating light, אֹור Aur, precisely because he worked with his waters.
So the thorns gripping the heart refers to how we need to restrain our animal passion, and it is painful. The mind does not want to give in. It wants to indulge in its desires and always fights against us to think bad thoughts or feel negative emotions or to identify with lust and is that pain we feel, that conflict when we are struggling against ourselves. But here he is showing a lot of peace, showing that it is through the power of the cross in his heart, by taking the cross of sex, the energies of the Kundalini up the spinal column to the brain and then to the heart, is how one can attain redemption.
"Soul and Spirit come into being from water (מ Mem) and fire (ש Shin). The attendant of the bridal chamber (we can say any initiate working in alchemy) has come into being from water, fire, and light (the Hebrew word is אֹור Aur for light). Fire is chrism. Light is fire. I do not mean ordinary fire which has no form, but other fire (which we say in these studies is astral light, INRI, Ignis Natura Renovatur Integra in Latin, or Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews), which is pure white in appearance, beautifully bright and imparting beauty." ―The Gospel of Phillip
The Hebrew word for beauty is תפארת Tiphereth, as we explained previously, the heart, the soul.
So what is chrism? It is that oil we have in our body, with which we can be anointed spiritually. We have another word, which unfortunately is a very vulgar term, which we are going to elaborate where the meaning comes from. In Hindi it is not so vulgar or commonplace, referring to the body or female sexual male organs, the vulva of a woman or the penis of a man.
The Hindu word is जिस्म jism, and the word chrism is the same thing―the same energy, which emanates from our sexual glands. So I hate saying the term, but you know it elaborates, it explains for us, provides clarity. Where did this term come from? I was doing some research and people are not sure where this word comes from. Well, it comes from chrism, the light of Christ within our semen. And it also means seminal fluid in Hindi, or energy and strength.

​The Astral Light and Fire

So what is that energy that we need to develop? In this image, we have Moses with the brazen serpent upon a staff, and I'll quote from the Master Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, who explains the significance of the astral light―what chrism is―what the seminal power of God is.
"The astral light is the deposit of all of great nature's past, present, and future forms." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So if we awaken in the astral plane, we can investigate many things within the astral light in the world of dreams, where, upon that etheric and astral atmosphere, we can perceive many things clairvoyantly, by invoking our Being to show us the memories of nature. This is known as the akashic records.
“The Astral Light is the deposit of all of great Nature's past, present and future forms. The Astral Light is the Azoth and Magnesia of the ancient Alchemists, Medea's Flying Dragon, the Christians' INRI, the Tarot of the Bohemians. The Astral Light is a terrific sexual fire springing from the Sun's nimbus and is fixed to the Earth by the force of gravity and the weight of the atmosphere. The Sun is the one that attracts and repels such an enchanting and delightful light. The Astral Light is Archimedes' lever. The old sage said: "Give me a fulcrum and I will move the universe." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
This is the fulcrum by which we can move mountains, with “faith the size of a mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20). Really, the seed relates to the semen. You can move a mountain or any ordeal.
“The semen is the human being's Astral liquid. The semen is the Astral Light. The semen is the key to all powers and the key to all empires. The Astral Light has two poles, one positive and the other negative. The ascending serpent is positive. The descending serpent is negative.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So we have Kundalini above and then we have Kundabuffer. The serpent above is the brazen serpent that healed the Israelites in the wilderness, the serpent of brass. Brass is an alchemical symbol referring to tin, Jupiter, the man; and copper, Venus, the woman. So copper and tin united is bronze, teaching us that in order to awaken the serpent that will heal us from all our sufferings, the people of Israel within us, we need to raise that serpent on the staff, which is our spine. And really, the staff is also here depicted as a cross―sexual union of man and woman. The other serpent that goes down as the tempting certificate of Eden: fornication, lust, homosexuality, lesbianism, masturbation, all those vices that awaken that fire downward.
Question: What about these poor souls? What do they call them, transgendered?
Instructor: Transgendered or transexual individuals―they commit a great crime against their bodies, against their Being, and it is very sad that people want to destroy themselves in that way. So those individuals become barren we can say. They lose their potential to change, because they physically destroy their organs in such a way. They want to become the other sex because of abusing their creative energies. They no longer find attraction for the opposite sex, and become confused regarding their sexual identities due to the negative polarization of the sexual fire.
This is due to the fact the sexual energy must act: it is creative. This energy must create something, but if it is utilized by lust, produces conflicts, confusion, and negativity. People are welcome to do what they want with their sexual lives and behavior, but well, there is a price for that.
They activate and develop that inverted fire in such a way. So we seek to develop Kundalini in a marriage, not Kundabuffer. Kundabuffer is the serpent that descends into hell. It is the tail of Satan which you can perceive in certain individuals in the astral plane.

​The Second Birth

We want to be born again. We want to be anointed, as mentioned in the teachings of Jesus, and so to raise that sexual serpent of the spinal column is precisely the meaning to be born again, because the spinal medulla is a womb in which we can engender the sacred fire of Kundalini, the Shekinah, amongst the rabbis of Israel. So Jesus is teaching Nicodemus. He says,
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born (ה) of water (מ) and [of] the Spirit (ש), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” ―John, 3:5. 
For the Word to be born relates to the letter ה Hei, which is a womb. If you see this image it looks like a womb. It represents the uterus.
Question: ה Hei is water?
Instructor: No, ה Hei relates to, in this case, the womb: to be born, to be gestated.
מ Mem is water and ש Shin is Spirit, the fire. Take those three letters together and you spell  השם Hashem. To be born again is to precisely to work with השם Hashem, our God, our שם Shem, the Name of our being, our שמן shemen. And beneath that we have―if you take the same letters and reverse it―you spell המש Moshe, Moses―to develop the archetype of Moses within ourselves, because Moses represents for us the need to develop Tiphereth through willpower is how we are born again, precisely through working with the tantra.
In this image, we have Christ on the cross some other scriptures to relate his teaching of being born again.
"Philip the apostle said, "Joseph the carpenter planted a garden because he needed wood for his trade. It was he who made the cross from the trees which he planted. His own offspring hung on that which he planted. His offspring was Jesus, and the planting was the cross." But the Tree of Life is in the middle of the Garden. However, it is from the olive tree that we got the chrism, and from the chrism, the resurrection.” ―The Gospel of Philip
So, what is that Tree of Life? It also refers to our spine. And Joseph or IO-Cephas or Io-Soph, Cephas means “head” or “stone,” and IO as in the name Jupiter, IO-Patar, Father-Mother united, man-woman united. So Jesus is really the initiate who is incarnating Christ, hangs upon the olive tree, and that tree is precisely the crucifix and the crucifix is a work with alchemy, by which, working in a matrimony, we work to eliminate our defects. We hang up on that cross. The ego dies in a very painful manner. It is a also a representative of how the initiate needs to pay certain karma, patiently.
But the garden, the Garden of Eden is precisely sexual. Man and woman united are a garden, is beautiful, bliss, divine. And the tree that is in the middle of the Garden of Eden is our the Tree of Life, our spine, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the olive tree. Ever wonder why an olive tree represents sexuality? Olives have the form of ovaries or testicles, producing oil that is wonderful for one’s health. He same with the sexual energy.
How do we develop knowledge, Daath, Gnosis? It is by working with energy, the sexual force, which is precisely of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in sex. So those two trees share the same roots.
Question: Do you have any knowledge in raising the Kundalini? Also, in the spinal column there are chakras, would that add to knowledge because once they spin you see certain phenomena?
Instructor: Yes, so the chakra is developed as a result of raising that fire and that is how our garden begins to blossom. The chakras are flowers, and if you see in the internal planes, you see many beautiful flowers in a dreams where you ask, How am I doing?”―they will show you flowers that are very beautiful and divine. It means that you are awakening your spiritual senses because you are raising that energy upward. 

​Truth and Nakedness

So the Garden of Eden is precisely that, and in this next image we have again Adam and Eve represented in paradise. So, this is again, from the Gospel of Philip and it elaborates on much that we have explained how the scriptures are symbolic, Kabbalistic.
"Truth did not come into the world naked but in symbols and images. The world cannot receive truth in any other way (because as the Zohar mentions, people don't understand it. They would be outraged to hear it literally. But now times are different. We are giving it publicly). There is rebirth and an image of rebirth (to be born again, Hashem) and it is by means of this image that one must be reborn (precisely in parentheses through sexual magic, alchemy with one's partner). What image is this? It is resurrection. Image must arise through image." ―The Gospel of Phillip
So what is image, being, referring to? It could either mean virtues or defects. Any defect in the mind is a type of image, an idol, a false idol that we all worship whenever we identify with a defect, desire. But we need to destroy those idols in order to liberate the soul that is trapped in them, to create spiritual images, to create the virtues of the soul. This is resurrection. By dying in those defects and liberating the soul, it resurrects like the Phoenix from its ashes.
"By means of this image, the bridal chamber (which also we could say is the physical body) and the image (psychological image of we say of the initiate) must approach the truth. This is restoration (or we could say is spiritual and sexual regeneration. So to restore ourselves back to the kingdom of heaven, we need to work with the bridal chamber, work with our bride, or if a woman, then working with her husband, bridegroom).
"Those who receive the name (Hebrew השם Hashem) of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and have accepted them must do this. If someone does not accept them, the name (השם Hashem) will be taken from that person. A person receives them in the chrism with the שמן oil of the power of the cross. A person receives them in the chrism with the שמן oil (shemen) of the power of the cross [sexual union]." ―The Gospel of Phillip
Very literal, very very direct. 

"The apostles called this the power of the right and the left." ―The Gospel of Phillip
So what is this power over the right and the left? It is Adam and Eve. We know from the symbol of the spinal medulla that the Caduceus of Mercury in medicine, that there is a spinal medulla and that there are two energetic channels which rise inward and upward, intertwining up the spine to the brain. To the right we have Adam, the solar sexual current, the solar masculine energy rising up. 
Question: Is that Ida and Pingala?
Instructor: Ida and Pingala in Sanskrit. 
On the left is Havah, Eve, lunar, the lunar energies. This doesn't mean good and bad. It just means that we have a polarization, like magnetism. We have a magnetism in our body and how those forces operate. So in men, the solar sexual current rises from the left testicle and then goes to the right nostril and the lunar energy goes from the right testicle to the left nostril. The left side relates to the moon, the lunar sexual current, the right to the positive solar current.
It is saying here that this power is given to the right and to the left, meaning we have those two energy channels. We call them the Two Witnesses in Book of Revelation, in which that energy can rise inward and upward to those channels, to the chalice of the brain, and then to the heart. 
Question: Does it have anything to do with the alternate breathing? 
Instructor: Yes. So we teach pranayama and that exactly relates to working with Ida-Pingala, Adam-Eve. Or in Hebrew עד Od and עבד Obd. Different names for the same currents.
This person, so the apostles call this power of the right, Pingala, and left, Ida, the two currents. And those who raise the energy, we can say, "This person is no longer a Christian, but it is Christ."  So that is how we become Christified. It is how the soul, the bridegroom, marries the bride.

​The Three Brains

So in this image we have, again, those two currents, Ida and Pingala represented by the holy eight. We referenced a little bit previously. We have three brains or three centers of activity. We have our intellectual brain where we have thoughts. We have the emotional brain relating to the heart and then the motor-instinctive-sexual brain or the sexual brain related to sex―three spheres by which we process our experience: thought, feeling, and action.
The sexual energy has to rise through these two channels to the brain in the form of the holy eight. And we didn't mention it in the beginning, but you know, the Hebrew letters are associated with the physical body. א Aleph is the air and it relates to the mind, thoughts that float, insubstantial. ש Shin, fire, in the heart relates to the blood, because if we have love or hate, it is fire in our interior. Then the waters relate to sex. So א Aleph, ש Shin, מ Mem, you can say, spells Ashem or השם Hashem, the Name of God.
So we elaborate on the points we made from Book of Revelation, book 3 Verse 18:
“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine (עיניים) eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” –Revelation 3:18
So what does it mean to buy gold tried of fire? In the sexual act, the fire is present, and if we control it, we can incinerate our defects. It is explained in The Perfect Matrimony and The Mystery of the Golden Flower. So that we can be rich spiritually and white raiment, meaning to create the soul. The soul is a vesture that we need to wear by creating it. As Jesus taught, he said "In patience possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19).  He didn't say that we have a soul yet. It means that we need to develop it.
And that “the shame of thy nakedness do not appear,” meaning we don't feel ashamed of being naked in front of God after having fallen.
But now we wish to “anoint thine eyes,” our perception with the oil of God. Our spiritual sight is illuminated by working with that energy. And this is the wine which in Hebrew is יין yayin, and the words for eyes is עיניים ayni’im, so the wine of spirituality helps to see clearly.
But the wine of fornication makes us very drunk and we stumble into the abyss, if that is what we choose. So eye salve is that that oil, that ointment that can allow us to see. And we are going to give a little practice briefly and how to work with that eye salve.
Question: What is that relationship with the letters (א Aleph, מ Mem, ש Shin) with the mother letters?
Instructor: Those are the mother letters. So we have three primary Hebrew letters in Kabbalah that are the basis of all Kabbalah. א Aleph in the mind, ש Shin in the heart, and מ Mem in sex. So those three letters are the foundation of Kabbalah in terms of the study of the Hebrew letters, and they relate to our three brains. It is interesting how they correlate.

​Ham-Sah: Mantras for Sexual Transmutation

So we have an exercise called Ham-Sah, in which we learn to control our breath, our respiration, so that we can take that energy inward and upward, up these two currents in our spine, to our brain and then to our heart.
When we inhale, we mentally pronounce Ham, very prolonged:
As we inhale, imagine that energy rising from our testicles or the ovaries, inward and upward, up the spine through the two channels to the brain. You do not vocalize Ham aloud. It is silent, internal, mental. This is because we are focusing on our inhalation, drawing the sexual energy up the spine to the mind. We mentally pronounce the powerful mantra Ham, which has the functionality of a suction pump. The pump is the mantra Ham combined with our inhalation, the pipes are the energetic channels or Two Witnesses of our spine, and the water is the creative sexual energies of Genesis.
When the air is fully inhaled, through prayer, and concentration, we bring that energy to our mind to illuminate our mind, we pronounce the mantra Sah, very light, and then imagine that energy going to the heart:
Ham is solar, meaning we are trying to change the flow of forces in our body to go inward and upward, because most of us, through bad education and or miseducation from our childhood, learning to masturbate or fornicate, those energies go from inward to outward, from inside to out. Our breath relates to how those forces fluctuate inside of ourselves.
We learn to reverse the momentum using our breath, breathing inward and accentuating, mentally, Ham, really focusing on the retention of the breath with that energy going from the sexual organs to the brain, and then we visualize the energy going in our heart. So Ham is more exaggerated, internal, mental, silent. Our exhalation, pronunciation, is a light Sah.
I know people who try to do it very fast, very fast rhythm, and it is not supposed to be labored like that. It is very relaxed. The body must have no tension. What is important is one's concentration and faith, and by imagining the energies working with our breath, the א Aleph, the wind, the spirit of God. 
So Ham-Sah is important in this tradition. It is an exercise that Samael Aun Weor gave in different lectures.
Question: Sah goes to the heart?
Instructor: Ham is solar, meaning inward and upward. Sah goes out, lunar. It goes to the heart. There is a four-part lecture given on gnosticteachings.org called The Transmutation of Sexual Energy, which is where you'll find a more elaborate explanation about HAM-SAH from the Master Samael Aun Weor [see the fourth part or section in this series of lectures from the founder of our modern Gnostic tradition].
So we have this following quote from Blavatsky in explaining this image. So Ham-Sah is the Kalahamsa swan of Hinduism. This is the famous swan that was killed by Wagner's Parsifal in his opera. If you watch that opera, because Wagner was a master who knew this science, you will clearly see that he taught how the redemption of the human being is in the bridal chamber. You see very clear in that opera how he needs to take the spear back from the evil magician, meaning his ego, and to wage war against him. But he does it precisely by conquering a woman, who is trying to tempt him into hell. Her name is Kundry, or Kundabuffer. We could say the tempting serpent. But Blavatsky, another great Master, she says in her Secret Doctrine:
…[Kala Hasa] is an important symbol, representing, for instance, Divine Wisdom, Wisdom in darkness beyond the reach of men.  For all exoteric purposes, Hasa, as every Hindu knows, is a fabulous bird, which, when given milk mixed with water for its food (in the allegory), separated the two, drinking the milk and leaving the water; thus showing inherent wisdom―milk standing symbolically for spirit, and water for matter.” ―H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine: “Primeval Radiations from the Unity”
So the shemen, the oil, we need to extract the soul from the substance so that we can illuminate our psyche. That is the mystery of alchemy, of transmutation. And we drink the milk of wisdom from the waters of sex. Milk is a very prevalent symbol within different religions, even Islam, the paradise of milk and honey where many houris or divine virgins serve one with cups of alabaster, or cups of divine Amrita. Or the Arabic word is Almizcle when transliterated into Spanish.
Question: Is that the same as turning the water to wine?
Instructor: Yes, so same meaning. Jesus' first miracle was at a marriage. It is really a symbol of anointment. In a wedding, where men and women are celebrating their sexual union, he turns water into wine. People interpret it literally thinking it's about Jesus trying to get some people drunk, and that is absurd. But the real meaning is these mysteries of anointment that we are teaching.

Questions and Answers

Do you have any questions?
Question: I was wondering the Hebrew behind fornication. Today, people think of fornication as sex outside of marriage and so too the Hebrews. They use the Ten Commandments. Does that tell us the real meaning? 
Instructor: People think that the sixth and the ninth commandment are the same. “Thou shalt not fornicate,” sixth commandment, and then “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Why would Moses, who was a great initiate, say the same thing twice? It really is incongruent, because fornication is 'to burn' as a furnace, from the Latin fornix. And adultery means to mix and make impure. So they are related. But to commit fornication is to burn with passion. And what comes to my mind, I believe is the second day of Genesis where it says: Let there be lights in the heaven of the firmament in order to divide the heaven from the superior waters from the inferior waters.
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.” –Genesis 1:14-15
The word for lights in heaven is  מְאֹרֹת  me’orot. It has the word אור Aur in it. If you ejaculate your אור Aur, your light from those waters, you have the Hebrew word מוות muut, which means “death.”  So מְאֹרֹת me’orot is like lights in heaven. You want to have lights in heaven, your Christmas tree―your spinal column needs to be illuminated. Work with your waters to divide the inferior waters with the superior, so that you can create lights in your head, your heaven, your pumpkin gourd, like in the mysteries of Halloween. Get that gunk out and put a candle in it so that you are spiritually illuminated. So that is the same meaning of dividing the waters. Now again, to fornicate is to burn that fire and then to ejaculate it. So the light מְאֹרֹת me’orot just becomes מוות muut death. One is dead spiritually through that act.

See also in the word מוות muut that you have two ו Vavs. These are the spinal columns of two fornicators, two people who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit: the sexual energy, within themselves, through expelling their light. Those two ו Vavs are empty of light, cavernous, dark, without illumination. This is the esoteric definition of fornication.
But the question is why would Moses say the same thing twice? This doesn't make sense. Or like the fact that there is a line in the Genesis that says "be fruitful and multiply." The original Hebrew says be fruitful and rabau, be fruitful and be a master, rabbi. And we have a whole series of lectures just about that line or those series of lines on our website from one of the other lecturers. But Hebrew tells us that fornication is really one thing. Adultery is to commit fornication outside of marriage. Or really, adultery pertains to simply looking at a member of the opposite sex with lust. Jesus said:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” ―Matthew 5:27-28
That is adultery. Fornication is actually to burn, is a furnace of passion, desire.
Question: So instead of the burning you transmute that into light?
Instructor: Yes, so we need to learn to work with fire, to steal the fire from the devil in a matter of speaking. Steal fire from your defects. The way the best way to do that is when you are united with your wife sexually. That is the moment of “To be or not to be.” You are going to control that fire or you are going to let it control you. One either enters עֵ֖דֶן Eden (Hebrew for sexual bliss) or is expelled from it through eating he forbidden fruit of the orgasm. So that is what it means to make light out of the darkness, and to really sanctify marriage, make it something holy.
Question: A lot of people, religious people too, they don't realize what you are saying here. They have sex then they go all the way to orgasm. There is nothing wrong with that. They could be religious people too. Go to church...
Instructor: And many Jews say “Be fruitful multiply.” The Bible says we can have kids. It does not mean that. It says:
“And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, וּרְבוּ and multiply [Va’Rabu], and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” ―Genesis 1:22
Or be fruitful and rabbi, be fruitful and a רַב rabbi, be a master, but the esoteric tradition in the scriptures was not given openly. The thing is, these books were not meant for the public. But they were taken and then they were used and interpreted literally for millennia.
But the reality is, why would God need to command beings to procreate in the animal way? No one needs to be told how to do it. It is instinctual. Rather, to learn how to transmute the sexual energy requires instruction and practice, to multiply the virtues of the soul through chastity.
So we need to learn how to see things in a very scientific matter and not approach it blindly. Yeah, people think that casual sex or just having... they think it is a game.
Audience: Recreational sex...
Instructor: They think it is something to be mocked and to have fun with, and really, it is a tremendous crime. The crime against the Son, Chokmah in the heart, can be forgiven: anger, pride, vanity… you can be forgiven of that. But crimes against the Holy Spirit in sex, you have to pay with pain. Many people are getting sick nowadays of cancer and all sorts of diseases because they abused that energy. They don't anoint themselves. 
Question: Have you heard of Wilhelm Reich?
Instructor: No
Comment: ...This was something he was saying. He was the guy who came up with the orgone energy. He came up with apparatuses to measure chi or Holy Spirit, whatever you are calling it, and really study... He made like a box and everything and he attributed illness to channeled sexual energy....
Instructor: Chi is precisely Christ. Chi is Christic energy that we need to learn to control. So yeah, there are a lot of scientists who are developing apparatuses to measure psychic phenomena like the Kirlian camera, photographs of auras. Those are Russian scientists who invented that. But yeah, mischanneled sexual energy… anyone who ejaculates, it is an explosion of energy, and the circuitry of the body fuses, burns out. But it can be healed and regenerated through a lot of patience, a lot of persistent work with this force. We have many many exercises we use to heal ourselves from our previous actions.
Any more questions?
Question: You mentioned about the stone and the foundation. Are there several words for that? I heard the word Aben or Eben…
Instructor: אֶבֶן Eben is Hebrew for stone and we get names like בנג'מין Benjamin. You have a famous movie בן חור Ben Hur orהאור  בן Beni-Ha-Aur, “son of the light.” Beni means “son” and the son emerges from the stone. A child emerges from the stones of a man and a woman. 
Comment: It is interesting you say that because they have that colloquial phrase: “Don't cross my stones." I wonder where that originated from?
Instructor: It comes from that because it's the stone. It is slang, but it's funny when you look at it. That is where the meaning comes from. 
Any more questions or comments or else we will conclude. 
We have a many exercises that help us to really experience and understand these principles from direct experience. So Gnosis is pertinent towards developing conscious knowledge of religion, what religion teaches. We are explaining some of the meanings behind different scriptures, but the real meaning is only really open to us as we learn to work within ourselves. This is a very practical teaching. So we gave a lot of theory and we explained many things, but really, that will come to fruit in our own understanding by studying and by practicing. I invite you to really study some of the literature we have available and study our websites for other lectures and materials that might be interesting to you. That is how understanding will blossom more and more. So we explained a lot about Kabbalah today and how it pertains to our development as a as a soul. The most important thing we need to do is to practice, to apply what we learn. Otherwise, as James the Apostle said, "Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). So I thank you for coming.

<![CDATA[The Transmigration of Souls]]>Sat, 25 Jul 2020 17:17:06 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/the-transmigration-of-souls
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Anthropology and Cosmology, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:

In Gnosis we always seek to study the laws that govern the expression of the psyche, the soul, of our consciousness. We seek to understand our place, in a cosmological scale, in relation to God and to our current physical existence. It is important to know that γνῶσις gnosis as a Greek term that signifies direct knowledge. It does not mean theory. It does not mean something that is interesting intellectually, or something to debate. It is not a philosophy to be argued for or against. Instead, it pertains to our direct knowledge of fundamental laws within the universe. And so, it is by understanding these laws and how they apply to our physical life, is that we will be able to advance in spiritual life.
Today we’re going to discuss what people typically call “reincarnation,” and we are going to clarify many misconceptions about the term and about how it applies to our present level of being.
We use the terms return and recurrence in replace of what people typically denominate reincarnation. Most individuals believe that reincarnation is the reincorporation of the psyche within different bodies. But in truth, within Gnostic esotericism, reincarnation has a much more rigorous application to spiritual development. Reincarnation means to willingly choose one’s body, to be cognizant of one’s incarnation within a certain physical circumstance or situation. It also refers to the manifestation of Christ, the supreme deity, divinity, the energy of God, within a specific individual or initiate that has fully prepared him or herself through development.
Typically what people denominate reincarnation or the transference of the soul within different bodies, we call that return, because all of us typically do not remember where we came from, because we lack cognizance. We don’t typically have that direct knowledge of who we were in past lives. Instead, we have returned to a new body without any cognizance or remembrance.
In the Greek myth, I believe that’s referenced by the river of Eunoe, in which the souls would drink the water of hell and they would forget what had happened to them. Specifically, if we don’t have cognizance of where we came from, who we were, where we have been, what was our past personality and identity, name, culture, it means that we have mechanically returned to this body. It means that we have not chosen our specific incarnation.
Recurrence is another matter pertaining to cyclical events within one’s physical life: the repetition of circumstances.
We are going to explain these three terms more in depth, in terms of our relationship to these laws. 

In synthesis, we have this image known as the Bhavacakra within Buddhism. We have a beautiful course online on gnosticteachings.org, which specifically explains this symbol, which is essential to Buddhism. We’re not going to explain all the intricacies of this image because we have a course available and it would take many lectures to explain it.
In synthesis this image is a wheel, pertaining to the cyclical manifestation of beings within different levels of existence. We see that there is a figure gripping this wheel with his teeth. This figure is known as Yama, which means “death.” In the center we have six levels or modes of existence. We have the humans, the demigods, the gods, the animals, the demons, and the hungry ghosts. These are different types of psychology, psychological ways of being. Because bhava means “becoming,” a way of being, a level of being, as we say in these studies. People have typically denominated this image as the Wheel of Samsara, which is mistaken. It is really the Bhavacakra: “wheel of becoming,” because, depending on our psychological state, depending on our attachments, or lack thereof, will determine whether or not we cycle through these different states of being.
These beings within this wheel of suffering, within different states of attachment, cling to a mistaken sense of identity. The essential tenant of Buddhism, which we will explain in relation to this study, pertains to how one’s psychological way of being attracts one’s life. Our psychological state determines our life, for as Buddha taught in the Dhammapada: “Mind proceeds phenomena. We become what we think.” And this determines our life. If we perform good actions, then good results will follow, like the cart following an ox. And if we perform bad deeds then likewise bad results will follow. This is particularly relevant in the doctrine of karma, which we are going to explain.
In synthesis, this image portrays how all of us, all beings within this universe, cycle within this ever-recurring and ever-rotating wheel of becoming. There is no freedom from suffering within these realms. In particular relation to us in the human state, it is easy to determine and look to see how the beings of the demon realm obviously suffer. Human beings with many problems suffer. It’s challenging to understand the other realms of “being,” such as the gods or the  demigods, but even they have a type of attachment―attachment to states of bliss, which for them is suffering. To comprehend these states we need to awaken our perception, awaken our consciousness.
Now, all beings within these realms are subject to laws of nature, in which they have no control. Typically, it is our lack of cognizance which produces our suffering. Because whether we are in a humanoid state or we have many blessings―such as the demigods or the gods within our life, because these don’t only represent realms of different universes or realms of being, they also pertain to states of psychology that every person possesses―whether or not we have many blessings, many gifts, or many types of comforts, these in the end will be lost. These in the end will be reduced to dust. Therefore we have to analyze our psychology and really determine what is it that is important to know.
This why we study return, recurrence, and reincarnation, because we seek to understand the laws in which we are subjected. Because if we are ignorant of these laws, then we cannot change our way of being. But if we are cognizant of these laws and experience, and how we, due to our state of mind, cycle within different types or states of being, of suffering, it is by knowing these things that we can change it, that we can transcend this wheel.
As we see in this image, there is a figure of a buddha or a bodhisattva, an illuminated initiate or being that has transcended this wheel, has escaped these different states of being, these levels of being, and has transcended these cycles of manifestation of being and of cyclical existence.
So again, this is not a theory. This is something we need to verify with experience.
Typically when we think of reincarnation or return, we think of Hinduism or Buddhism, and typically do not acknowledge that this doctrine of transmigration of souls has existed even within Western doctrine. Sadly, it has been manipulated or taken out of the scriptures and the teachings of Christianity, especially. 

The Greek Mysteries of Transmigration

We find the Greek figure Pythagoras, who is a great master of the White Lodge: those souls that have transcended that wheel of becoming and have entered into a perfect state of peace and cognizance. Some people call them supermen, initiates, bodhisattvas. Pythagoras is precisely such an individual who taught that all beings and all things cycle and manifest in cyclical ways. As a result of that they suffer.
Now what’s interesting to note in this image we have Pythagoras. The name Pythagoras comes from pythios―which means or signifies the name of Apollo. Ἀπόλλων Apollo, in Greek, is “Christ,” a figure of the solar god, the sun deity. Pythagoras also has the name Agora which means “market,” marketplace.
The serpent of the market, we could say, if we have studied German esotericism, we find the teachings of Friedrich Nietzsche, who also knew this science, in which he explained how he tried to give this type of doctrine of the eternal return, which we are going to explain, to the public by teaching in the marketplace. Pythagoras precisely had the wisdom of the serpent in his teaching, the wisdom of sexual alchemy. As we explain, the serpent pertains to the divine Mother Kundalini. He was a great master who taught amongst the markets, teaching and gathering disciples, through the wisdom of the serpent, like Nietzsche did fictionally through his Iranian Prophet in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
The word metampsychosis―if  we break the word down―comes from the Greek μετεμψύχωσις, metempsychousthai. Meta refers to “after” or “beyond.” And empsychos means “to animate, so that which is beyond our animated form. Anima, in Latin means “soul,” as well. It pertains to how the soul animates different bodies within different existences, before and after one’s current state of knowledge. Meta also related with em, “to be within the soul,” psyche, metempsychosis.
I’ll quote for you some early documentation about the teachings of Pythagoras which elaborates the doctrine of transmigration.
On the subject of reincarnation Xenophanes bears witness in an elegy which begins `Now I will turn to another tale and show the way'. What he says about Pythagoras runs thus: Once they say that he was passing by when a puppy was being whipped, and he took pity and said, `Stop, do not beat it. For it is the soul of a friend that I recognized when I heard it giving tongue.’” ―Diogenes, Laertius 8.36
This is from Diogenes in his book Laertius, Book 8 Verse 36. So this is an early documentation about the teachings of transmigration. And now we’ll be specific to state that metempsychosis or transmigration pertains to the manifestation of the soul within different types of bodies, not just human body to human body. Because that pertains to return, and we’re going to explain more deeply.
A transmigration, first, is how the soul manifests from different elemental kingdoms of nature within different bodies, whether from the mineral state, the plant state, to the animal state, and then to the humanoid state. This cycle of how the soul migrates within different kingdoms of nature, through forces of evolution. It pertains to transmigration: how the soul migrates within different bodies, different types of bodies. Return pertains to how one manifests again and again within a specific type of body, whether mineral, plant, animal or humanoid. So return pertains to one’s return to the same type of body within a specific type of kingdom. We’re going to elaborate about these kingdoms more specifically.
Pythagoras also teaches, or his doctrine was elaborate by Porthereus, in his Life of Pythagoras.
“None the less, the following became universally known: first, that he maintains that the soul is immortal; second, that it changes into other kinds of living things; third, that events recur in certain cycles and that nothing is ever absolutely new; and fourth, that all living things should be regarded as akin. Pythagoras seems to have been the first to bring these beliefs into Greece.” ―Porphyrius, Life of Pythagoras 19
Those people who are of the Western type of mentally, who reject the doctrine of reincarnation or return, should study Pythagoras, because as a great master of the Greek doctrine, he explained and firmly taught these laws within nature.
It is interesting that we have this document here. It states that the soul is immortal. Einstein said energy is neither created or destroyed. It simply changes form. Energy becomes matter, matter becomes energy. The soul can change types or states of consciousness and form, but it is never lost. It simply migrates. Second, that it changes into other kinds of living things, like we mentioned. Third, that events recur in certain cycles and that nothing is ever absolutely new. This pertains to the doctrine of recurrence, how, in our life, certain states of being or mentality, our mind, our heart, or physical circumstances around us, constantly recur. In our physical life, we have many things that appear psychically and that we need to become aware of. This is recurrence.
Return pertains to how the soul enters into new bodies within a specific kingdom. Return for us is a return into a new humanoid body. Return for animals is a return into a new animal body, whether it is an eagle or a serpent or whatever variety that exists. Return for plants pertains to animating new plant bodies. Even the minerals have a soul which transmit the vital forces of the earth. They too have physicality, body, within the minerals and metals. We say that the minerals and metals are the nervous system of the planet and that they too, have soul. 

You take a look at the Kirlian camera, I believe it was a Russian scientist, photographed how minerals and plants and animals have aura, have light, have an energy. Likewise, it is important to note that minerals have a type of life and soul and that we know them an gnomes and pygmies within different ancient-lore or Irish folklore, different traditions. And that the souls of plants also, or elementals of plants, have life and that they animate those physical bodies that we see as trees or flowers or different plants. Likewise, animals have soul, because the word anima means “soul.” People who affirm that animals don’t have a type of soul like many fundamentalist think, are completely mistaken. They should study the teachings of Pythagoras since Christianity is founded upon Greek dialectics and Greek teachings.

The Four Kingdoms

As we are explaining, there are different kingdoms within the department of nature. We use this image to explain the different kingdoms of elemental consciousness. This wheel or this diagram portrays those different kingdoms that I’ve just mentioned. When the soul first animates a new body, or manifests from the absolute source―we call it the Absolute; we call it the ocean of Christ, the light―the soul emanates down what we call the Tree of Life and Kabbalah, as different stages or degrees of matter, energy and consciousness, also reaching the physical plane, and the physical plane in that soul enters into mineral states.
That soul, or anima, animates mineral states. The minerals are of a very simple type of consciousness. But they are the life force of this planet. This mineral kingdom is needed to sustain our world as we know it, in terms of all the vitality and forces that plants receives, that the vitality of the water we drink relates to how the mineral forces are saturating this planet
The soul transmigrates between these different kingdoms, initially though the force of what we call evolution. Evolution is “progression, development, growth.” The souls that are in the mineral kingdom need to gain experience within that kingdom, learning to transmit forces of Christ within the mineral and metal state for the benefit of the universe and of humanity. Once the soul has developed as a mineral, it can progress and evolve, enter or transmigrate into the plant kingdom, into plant states or plant forms. Likewise, the souls of plants also transmit energies. If we look at the trees or the flowers, how they reach up toward the space, it is because the energies of life are now initiating a return upward towards the source. Plants, the elemental souls of the plant kingdom, help transmit vital forces that are necessary for this planet. Once the soul has evolved and developed cognizance and mastery of the level of the plant kingdom, that soul transmigrates to the animal kingdom. It evolves to that state.
Now in the animal kingdom, something unique happens. In the animal kingdom, the souls of the animals are given instinct. They receive a new type of psychology. They’re engrained with a type of instinctual force, given to them by gods, the angels or Elohim, that the Bible speaks of. This is a necessary stage within the evolution of the soul, because there are certain forces that are transmitted by the animals that are necessary for the planet. And now animals, they learn in this kingdom to perform what we call fornication. Fornication is the expulsion of the sexual energy. So in animals, that is natural. They obey the laws of nature. When they feel excited sexually, they copulate with their partner in order to procreate the species. This is a very natural tendency amongst animals. Now animals, they do so and they propagate their species and they gain experience within their consciousness, at that level.
Now once they have finally progressed and gained a higher degree of consciousness within the animal kingdom, they can then enter or transmigrate into a humanoid body.
Now what’s interesting to note is we don’t call this the human kingdom, as ironic as that might sound. We say humanoid, because really, all of us are animal souls that have reincarnated into human bodies. Again, remember that the word anima is “soul.” The special gift that the humanoids receive is the intellect. Now the intellect is a machine or vehicle that will allow us to learn to differentiate between good and evil. Animals, plants and minerals don’t know that difference. They don’t have intellect. They have a type of mind, a type of understanding or perception. But it is not intellectual. There’s no rationalization there. There’s no thesis/antithesis, theory/anti-theory, concept/anti-concept. That is a specific demarcation, the demarcation between the humanoid kingdom with the previous kingdoms. It is precisely that we have that intellect, and this a gift, that we need to learn how to use for divinity.
That is why Samael Aun Weor, the founder of this tradition, stated, with clarity, that really, we are intellectual animals. Meaning: we are souls with intellect. We have not yet entered into what we call the “Human Kingdom.” 

If you look in this image, we find a diagram or a path leading upward from the humanoid kingdom toward what we call “the heavens,” the superior kingdoms, represented as the Tree of Life as we have in this book available here. Now, the word hum-an is interesting. The word hum is “spirit.” The word man is “manas” or “mind.” Being refers to divinity. So a human being is an individual that has incarnated into their being, has incarnated God, a mind that is fully united with hum, the spirit, divinity.
As we are now, we are not that. It is necessary to recognize this fact because, if we mediated, examined our mind, what we will find are a lot of disordered thoughts, worries, preoccupations, fears, frustrations, anger, resentment―negative psychological elements which had emerged initially from the animal kingdom.
Now animals, due to the active fornication, the active expelling of that energy, the sexual force, in order to procreate, they develop what we call ego. But to a very minor degree. They develop a type of psychological element, sense of self, as a result of that act, because the sexual energy is creative. It needs to, in animals, it is used to create life, physical life. Likewise, this energy creates animal mind, or ego to a minor degree.
The problem is once we have entered into the humanoid kingdom, we carry these animal tendencies within our psyche. Notice that in the Bible when Adam and Eve, symbol of primordial humanity, were in the garden, they were told specifically, told by Jehovah Elohim, in Hebrew meaning the Tetragrammaton of Gods and Goddesses, the Holy Spirit, “In this Tree of Knowledge you shall not eat, neither shall you touch it, lest ye die. The trees of the Garden you may freely eat from, the Tree of Life.” Symbolically, it is representing how the soul on that level initially knew God and experienced the entire Tree of Life, representing the human being in his totality, reflecting the light of God. But humanity, using the intellect to justify animal passion, did not obey that commandment given by divinity towards that ancient humanity, which is lost within our memory within these times, but is well documented within ancient traditions.
Humanity indulged in that forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which we precisely state is the sexual energy, the most powerful force that we carry within our psyches, and within our bodies, in our spirit, in our mind. This energy, which has been evolving progressively through the inferior kingdoms, has complicated itself and manifested itself finally into a humanoid body, in which the souls have finally entered into humanoid state. The problem is that with the intellect, human beings have used it to justify animal passion, as I stated, which is the expulsion of that sexual energy. This in itself fortifies those animalistic elements called ego: anger, pride, vanity, laziness, lust, etcetera. The human beings of the superior kingdom, the angels, the Elohim, obey the sixth commandment of Moses, “Though shall not fornicate.” Meaning: to use that energy in purity. The angels told that ancient humanity, “Well, previously you used that energy to procreate as animals. Now you can’t do that anymore if you want to enter into the higher kingdoms.”

​Evolution and Devolution: The Mechanicity of Nature

Notice that evolution, as a process or development of the soul, takes the soul and transmigrates from these different kingdoms to the humanoid state through the process of evolution, meaning: there’s no effort involved. It is mechanical. It is a way that’s taking one up like a wheel, or a ferry ride, or a Ferris wheel. At the top, the soul has a choice: to follow superior laws or to continue with animal passion, to indulge in those negative psychological elements and fortify them. As we see in this image, we have a devolving current, meaning a retrogressive descent, back into those inferior kingdoms.
The force of devolution pertains to destruction, or disintegration, retrogression: to go backwards. Those souls that don’t enter into the human kingdom, the kingdom of the angels, let themselves be swallowed by the devolving forces of nature, because if those souls do not want to enter the kingdom of the human beings, the angels, if they don’t willingly want to destroy their defects by working with tantra and alchemy, to ascend inward and upward, to God, unfortunately they have to be disintegrated in the process known as hell.
Now hell refers to not only to a place, but a state of suffering. What religions call hell is really a type of, we can call, recycling plant, as a type of analogy. It’s not an eternal place of damnation where no one ever escapes. That is a ludicrous interpretation. Instead, it’s a retrogressive decline back into animal bodies, into plant bodies, into mineral bodies as the soul transmigrates back down towards the interior of the earth. This is known as the submerged mineral kingdom, or the abyss, hell, Avitchi, Tartarus, the infernos, given different names in different traditions. That’s in order that the soul can be liberated from the ego that has swallowed it, that has encapsulated it, because ego takes the soul and conditions it in a shell.
This is the meaning of the Genie of Aladdin’s lamp. You break the shell, you break the lamp, you free the genie, which is the soul that can produce miracles. But sadly, those who don’t want to disintegrate their ego, well, actually as an act of compassion by divinity, those souls are retrogressively sent down into the inferior kingdoms, descending down into the interior of the earth, in order to be disintegrated. We’re going to elaborate on this further. But that’s in order that the ego can be destroyed. That’s in order that those negative psychological elements can be eliminated so that the soul, the genie, can be liberated, and released back into nature.
Now this is a cycle that I mentioned to you. Many souls, they ascend through evolution up the different kingdoms and achieve a humanoid body, but choose to follow the devolving path, to let themselves be swallowed by nature, and therefore they retrogress and go back towards these inferior kingdoms until entering into the abyss or hell to be disintegrated. When the soul is liberated, it enters again into a mineral state and the cycle continues. This is a type of repetition or transmigration that we need to be aware of, not just intellectually, but from experience.

The Path of Revolutionary Self-Transformation

Now, we study the laws of the superior kingdoms. If we are in these studies, or interested in these studies, it is because we are tired of suffering, of repeating cyclical events in life. And deep down in the soul, we yearn not to be swallowed by nature, to be disintegrated in the inferior kingdoms, or the kingdoms of the abyss. Now to escape that, we need to follow the commandments of Jehovah Elohim, which is in the Bible, “Thou shall not fornicate,” and to willingly work on ourselves with the practices given in this tradition so that we can ascend towards heaven, through our practical work.
Now, this teaching was also given by the Sufi initiates such as Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi, or simply known as Rumi in the West. And many Sufis are not aware, not many individuals are aware, that we find this even in Middle Eastern doctrine, the esoteric teachings of Islam. Rumi explained this:
“I died as a mineral and became a plant, I died as plant and rose to animal, I died as animal and I was Man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?” ―Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
Then he elaborates that if we want to ascend towards God, we need to transcend the state of the humanoid person, the humanoid, in order to become an angel. This path that we discussed previously is the path of revolution. It means that it takes a particular effort on our part in order to actualize divinity within us and to develop it.
“Yet once more I shall die as Man, (or humanoid, human person) to soar with angels blest; but even from angelhood I must pass on: all except God doth perish.” ―Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
We are interested in becoming angles, and the angels are interested to coming closer to God, but that’s another level and would take other lectures to discuss. But here we’re just discussing how we want to transcend this wheel of return―transmigration, better said. And later Rumi says:
“When I have sacrificed my angel-soul, I shall become what no mind e'er conceived. Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence (meaning the absolute from which we emerged, that great source of divinity from which the gods emerged) proclaims in organ tones, To Him we shall return (which is a very famous teaching in Islam). –Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi

​Ego, Essence, and Personality in the Bible

Now, in the next graphic we have what we denominate the three aspects of gnostic psychology, which we’ve been discussing already. It is important to understand what in us returns into new bodies and what in us needs to be worked on and eliminated if we want to unite with divinity. The Bible talks about three principle characters, which are essential to understanding our psychology.
As I’ve been mentioning, we have the ego, which we can call Cain, in the Bible, in the Book of Genesis. From what happened in the original story was that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, meaning they abused of that sacred sexual power and did not use it for divine purposes and therefore, they were expelled.
Literally the word Eden means “bliss.” All the many theologians and philosophers have argued that it was God who expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden. The truth is that we expelled ourselves. Literally there is an expulsion of energy, the expulsion of the energies of bliss, when there is an orgasm, when there is the abuse of the sexual power. So willingly, as a result of following our animal passion, we continued along the path of procreation as animals instead of using that energy to create the soul within.
When Adam and Eve were expelled, we had this excerpt from the Book of Genesis, chapter 4 verses 1-2.
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from יהוה (Jehovah, Allah, the Lord). And she again bare his brother Abel (Habel). And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” –Genesis 4:1-2
So Adam knew his wife.” This means, to have knowledge of one’s wife is to engage in the sexual act, whether as animals or as angels, because the angels are born from sex, the same way that a physical body can be born from sex. The soul can also be created through that energy, and this is the teachings of tantra. Now if we abuse of that energy, we create Cain. So, these are not just people who live in the past, but archetypes: symbols of elements within our interior that we need to understand. Through the act of fornication, of abusing the energy, we heavily fortify the mind, the intellect, and strengthen animal passion.
So, Eve said, “I have gotten a man from Jehovah” because יהוה Jah-Chavah is sexual energy. The power of Christ is within the sexual matter. She said, “I gave birth to Cain as a result of my energy.” And she again bore his brother Abel, and Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. Now it is important to know that within alchemy Adam is not just representing man within the past, but refers to the brain. Eve, or חַוָה Havah, literally means “mother of the living.” It refers to the sexual organs, whether in man or in woman. So, Adam and Eve represent aspects of our physiology and our psychology, the mind, Adam, and Eve, Havah.
It is precisely through this energy, when Eve ate the forbidden fruit, because it was Eve that took fruit from the tree, meaning the sexual organs indulged in passion, in lust, and expelled that energy: ate from the forbidden fruit. She then gave it to Adam, to the brain, and said, “This feels wonderful. Taste this. Taste the orgasm.” So the brain is the one that received the effects afterward and then justified, “Oh this is a good feeling.” However, they realized that they were naked, meaning: they lost their connection with their divinity and they felt the absence of God within them. This is the esoteric meaning of Genesis. So later, I mean they were expelled by Jehovah Elohim, by Jehovah. Then Adam knew his wife again, Eve. And through that energy again, created Cain.
Cain is the type of mind that we have in these times, which is solely based on the senses, is very materialistic. This is what it means to be a tiller of the ground: only concerned with physical things, our job, our money, our career, our family, supporting ourselves physically, being identified with the senses. All of us are tillers of the ground. We are occupied with physical things.
We are typically not keepers of sheep. Sheep, in esotericism refers to, “the lamb of Christ”―sheep, lamb, ram. Jesus is referred to as the sacrificial lamb. To be a keeper of sheep is to work with the energy known as Christ. Those of us who entered into these types of studies, we work with mantra, and if we’re married, we work in alchemy, conserving the energies in order to become keeper of sheep, to develop those principles of Christ within us.
If we remember the story, Cain killed Abel. This refers to how our own ego, our own anger and pride and vanity and lust, kills the soul. Whenever we identify with any negative element in our mind, our heart, our body, we kill our soul. We destroy our consciousness. We deepen our suffering. We feed our consciousness and trap our soul within the cages of the ego, the mind. It is important to understand these principles, because our ego is the shell that cages our soul and prevents us from knowing God. Likewise, we study these principles because it is the ego and the Essence, or the ego and the soul, Cain and Abel, that constantly reincorporate into new bodies.
When we ask ourselves, well, what is it that returns to a new humanoid body? It is our ego and our soul, constantly returning to new bodies. Whenever we enter a new body, or have entered into new bodies, we develop what is called a personality. Personality pertains to one’s customs, language, name, heredity, culture, things that are extrinsic, particularly relating to physical things. That develops typically within the years four to seven within a child, and it is by developing a personality, which the Latin word persona means “masks,” we relate to the world. That’s how the ego can reincorporate. The ego needs its personality in order to manifest in the physical body, which is explained in books like Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology. But in synthesis, we talk about ego and essence and personality.
Now in the Bible, personality pertains to a figure known as Nimrod. Now Nimrod was the one who built the Tower of Babel, or we know it as the Tower of Babel. The Tower of Babel represents all the gibberish that we find in our planet, whether in politics, systems that state that they promote freedom and equality for all, but in fact are degenerate and destructive. We find this type of babble and incoherence within religions that teach that one is easily saved without having to work on oneself. We find this type of babble in the personality, in all the wars that have existed on this planet with our humanity.
The reason why, or let me explain further, in the myth, Nimrod was building this tower of Babel to heaven. And God, indignant, confounded humanity, and humanity then separated into different languages, and customs, and types of people, groups. Because in the past, it was stated in the Bible that “Humanity spoke one language.” When humanity was pure, they spoke only the language of God, called the “Pure Golden Language.” As a result of entering into fornication, the mind, or one, creates anger and all of these negative psychological elements, the ego. That in turn, creates division, and later manifests and propagated itself within different groups and cultures, where people began to experience a greater sense of separation. Different languages developed. Different customs and culture developed. That’s personality. Personality is a type of energy, and its crystalized within our body, within our psyche, within ourselves, here and now, so that we learn how to interact with the world.
Either the soul or the ego can use the personality. Now we want to use our personality, our ways of dealing with the world, our customs, our job, our language, in a conscious way, using it with the soul. But typically what happens is that our ego complicates things, fortifies things. Therefore, the personality becomes very degenerated as well. And really, we create our own towers of babble. In each life that we enter into, we create new problems for ourselves, just in a different language, maybe or a different type of culture, a different type of existence.
We have here in this, the book of Genesis, Chapter 10 verses 8 through 10:
“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before יהוה: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before יהוה. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” –Genesis 10:8-10
So what does it mean that Nimrod, the personality, is a mighty hunter? It means that with our personalities we are always constantly hunting after things. People, comedians, politicians, have very strong personalities and people feel attracted to that. Now, the personality is something that is born in one life and is disintegrated when that soul disincarnates. That soul reincorporates into a new body. The personality is something that is not immutable. It is something that is transient. People who are very clairvoyant and who look in graveyards, they often will see the personalities of the dead, mistaking them as the soul, or consciousness, or ghost of that person. They see the really the energy of that person, which is the personality. When that personality is very strong, it can even move physical things. Many people have documented this type of phenomenon. But a personality is born in life and then it dies in the grave, basically. The personality does not return. There’s always a new building. There’s always a new Tower of Babel that we create in each life, which creates problems for ourselves.
The doctrine of return was taught by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. He explained in the scripture how it is really the ego, and the soul, the consciousness or Essence, that reincorporates into new physical bodies. Now in these studies we teach that we are granted 108 opportunities within humanoid bodies, in order to perform this work that we call self-realization, to enter the path of tantra, to follow the commandments of Jehovah Elohim, so that, like in the Bible, we can create Seth.
So if you remember the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve begot Cain and Abel. Abel was killed and later Adam and Eve, Adam knew his wife again, and begot Seth. Seth is an archetype referring to working in alchemy, but it would take another lecture to explain the meaning of that. 

​Zodiacal Influences

But here we are discussing how the soul and the ego reincorporate and that we have 108 opportunities within humanoid bodies. The reason being is that we have 12 zodiacal signs. We incorporate within each zodiacal sign 9 times. 9 refers to, in Kabbalah, the secret teachings of alchemy, or Yesod, the foundation, the sexual energy. In order for us to gain experience with different types of personalities, learning about different ways of being, we are born 9 times within each zodiacal sign, so that we gain experience and become more rounded as a psyche. The problem is that we typically are not aware of where we came from or where we’re going. Therefore, we need to learn to meditate, so that we can comprehend where it is we came from. Yes?
Question: I have a question. What about this esoteric astrology? Where do they say that, at least in this incarnation, a competent astrologist says, think Steiner said it “This is the math of the soul”?
Instructor: These are certain tendencies that are manifested within certain horoscopes. I don’t suggest, as you know, the pop-horoscopes that people propagate. But esoteric astrology, which is very profound, there are certain tendencies we can learn about the type of personality that we develop in relationship to the zodiacal sign of which we belong. That will guide us to certain understandings of how to relate to the world.
Question: What happened in a previous incarnation? Is there a link there?
Instructor: The truth is, say for instance, if we’re in the sign of Libra, it probably means that we’ve already been in that sign many times. So, we have the zodiacal influences within ourselves here and now. We’re just not aware of it. It just happens to be that in this current incarnation, we are manifesting a specific tendency. So it is important to understand what is that chief characteristic, tendency, that we’re manifesting through the zodiac in which we are born in this life. It does relate to our past lives, because we’ve all developed under different zodiacal signs and they all relate. And we need to comprehend them. Yes?
Question: Isn’t it true too that, regardless of what your suns sign is in a particular life, in the books they talk about “your ray,” one of the seven, and that’s the continuous thing. Is that what you belong to?
Instructor: Yes, and we talk about in these studies the seven rays, which relates to God. Here we’re talking about the personality, which is transient. We develop many personalities. We discard them in each life. The spiritual way pertains to our inner divinity within, which is eternal.
Question: So are you saying that the zodiac sign influences your personality, or your ego? Or both?
Instructor: It pertains to our personality, but also, certain egos relate to certain tendencies in the personality. Because when we are all masked at a party for instance, I’m not sure if you studied Shakespeare, but there’s a certain play where characters were dressed in masks and they’re playing a role as a result of the mask that they wore. So they were exhibiting certain tendencies as a result of the performance they’re doing. Persona is the mask of the personality in how we relate to others. It does relate to certain egos that we have. Also, there’s certain positive influences in the zodiac that pertain to the soul. In the book Practical Astrology, the soul can manifest certain tendencies which are superior, relating to a zodiac. So it relates to all of that, but for us, we want to know how that relates to our personality, because our personality is very centered on the negative influence of our zodiac.
Comment: Just want to add to that. People say “I’m this” and that’s a big generalization. People have studied these prominent astrologies. There’s so much to it. I mean, what they call aspects, what they call planet in the sign, how it relates in the sextiles―and it gets complicated. So the sun sign is general. Then they’ll have what they call the moon sign, which is very important. Then the rising sign. Those are key. From what I read, I’m just giving you a consensus to what they’re saying. But then when you get into what they call the aspects, the good things, the negative things in other words, in math, that’s why these competent astrologers, they take some time. It gets involved. That’s all.
Instructor: And it’s a deep science, which would take many lectures. It would take a whole course to explain it. But in terms of our personality, and our ego, and our essence, the zodiac― we are born in each zodiac. We need to study our zodiac, because its just going to tell us about our personality, certain tendencies that we have. Now in each life, we return to a certain zodiac and we’re granted, as I said, 108 lives―opportunities―in order to enter the path of self-realization. 

Return in the Bhagavad-Gita

So, the Master Krishna spoke to our Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita, teaching this:
18. These bodies of the embodied Self (Atman, the Innermost Being, who is our own Father within), which is eternal, indestructible and immeasurable, are said to have an end (meaning the bodies are said to have an end). Therefore, fight, O Arjuna! 19. He who takes the Self to be the slayer and he who thinks He is slain, neither of them knows; He slays not nor is He slain. ―Bhagavad-Gita 2
He is giving a teaching here about the need to enter the path of self-realization, because the body will die, but the soul and ego will continue on. If we don’t develop our consciousness by working on the ego, by disintegrating it through meditation, by working with sexual energy, whether in mantras or working in a matrimony, we cannot enter into that straight path mentioned by Jesus, the path of revolution of the consciousness, to return to God and ascend to the higher kingdoms.
Krishna continues with atman, the spirit, our inner God:
20. He is not born nor does He ever die; after having been, He again ceases not to be. Unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, He is not killed when the body is killed, 21. Whosoever knows Him to be indestructible, eternal, unborn and inexhaustible, how can that man slay, O Arjuna, or cause to be slain? 22. Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new. ―Bhagavad-Gita 2
So like Rumi said, “Why worry?” in a sense. People are terrified of death, physically. They ignore that they may be given an opportunity to return to a new body depending on karma.
23. Weapons cut It not, fire burns It not, water wets It not, wind dries It not. 24. This Self cannot be cut, burnt, wetted nor dried up. It is eternal, all-pervading, stable, ancient and immovable. 25. This (Self) is said to be unmanifested, unthinkable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing This to be such, thou shouldst not grieve. 26. But, even if thou thinkest of It as being constantly born and dying, even then, O mighty-armed, thou shouldst not grieve! 27. For, certain is death for the born and certain is birth for the dead; therefore, over the inevitable thou shouldst not grieve. 28. Beings are unmanifested in their beginning, manifested in their middle state, O Arjuna, and unmanifested again in their end! What is there to grieve about? ―Bhagavad-Gita 2
And as I said Rumi mentioned the same thing, “When was I less by dying?”
What is important, this teaching by Krishna, if we don’t constantly work to destroy our defects, then nature will come and swallow us, because in order to be saved in Christian soteriology―the doctrine of salvation―we need to eliminate our defects so that we can return to God. This is the path of the cross taught by master Jesus. The other option is to allow oneself to be swallowed by nature. At the end of one’s 108 humanoid bodies, if one still has not made any effort to change, then there is no other choice but for that soul within the ego to be disintegrated, or the ego, that person, to be disintegrated by nature.

​Disintegration within Hell

​As representative in The Divine Comedy, the Inferno, where Dante, taken by his master Virgil, descends through the different inferior spheres of the Klipoth―the interior dimensions of the earth. This doesn’t mean that physically there are people in the earth suffering, but within the interior dimensions of nature, there are different beings that suffer. 
​If you remember the image of the Bhavacakra we showed, there are the hell beings who are trapped within that realm, being disintegrated by their own passion and by the forces of nature, which are exerting themselves, which are like the earth crushing coal in order to eliminate its impurities to produce a diamond, the liberated Essence. 
Dante here in this image, is with Virgil looking at the lost souls with the ninth sphere. So there’s nine heavens and nine hells we say in the Kabbalah. In the ninth sphere, we see souls that are disintegrating within the interior of the earth. They’re frozen at their neck up, or their bodies are lodged in place being destroyed, and the forces of nature are slowly disintegrating their ego.
We didn’t mention previously, but we elaborate that in relation to the development of the soul within the forces of evolution, upon entering the mineral kingdom, the soul receives certain bodies. Now, not only does the soul receive a physical body as a mineral, but also what we call internal bodies, or lunar bodies. These are gifts of nature that allow that soul to exist in superior dimensions, known as heaven, which we can access in the dream state. The souls develop within their lunar bodies, those vehicles that belong to nature, in order to progress up the different kingdoms. Those lunar bodies develop and grow as a result of those forces. Even upon entering the humanoid kingdom, we have the lunar bodies. And the problem is that our soul manifesting in those bodies, if it does not make the effort to change, the ego really integrates with those lunar bodies and nature, in a sense, swallows her own children, as in the law, “To eat or be eaten.” Those forces take those bodies, along with the soul, down into the interior kingdoms to be disintegrated. So what we see here are the souls within their lunar bodies being disintegrated. These are vehicles for the soul to manifest.
Question: Does that have anything to do with, Saturn devoured his children or something?
Comment: Kronos. Yes Saturn is Kronos too.
Question: That’s the same analogy you’re making here?
Instructor: Saturn is death. Really we can say that mother nature really attempts to swallow her own children. This is the meaning of the Goddess Kali in Hinduism, the inverted aspect of Kali, which is the one who devours her children. Shakespeare had a play called Titus Andronicus, and which, if you’re not familiar with it, a man gets revenge on this woman, his enemy, by secretly killing her children and then feeding it to her. Symbolically hidden in that is that she represents Kali eating her own children, eating her soul. Now, this path devolving and entering into inferior states, those lunar bodies are disintegrated along with the ego, by the forces of nature.
Comment: You said right now that Dante, in some of the books, was translated in the Italian language, it’s the same thing though when you translate it. It’s kind of really depressing. He was a little more graphic the way he described it in this book. A dry comedy. It was a sign, a cave with fumes coming out, and over the top was written in Latin: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
Instructor: Right. But there’s hope for us. The truth is even the souls that really want to change can be helped. Even though it says “abandon all hope,” well, there are many who are completely lost. But there are some that can be saved. As evidence, if you read a book called The Revolution of Beelzebub, a prince of demons repents. So even demons can change.
Question: Is the 108 lives strict, or if someone was really trying to change and ran out of time, is there any mercy for people?
Instructor: Yeah, there’s mercy. The law of karma is mercy and severity. There’s always opportunities if the soul is working. If they reach their 108th life and they’re showing, they’re demonstrating they want to continue on the path, they’re going to get another body. They’re going to be helped. Also, the soul is granted extra help by creating the solar bodies too, particularly in the relationship with the solar astral body, which we are going to explain.
Now Homer said:
“It is better to be a beggar upon earth than a king in the kingdom of darkness.” ―Homer
And Samael Aun Weor, states the following about this path of transmigration in his book The Magic of the Runes:
“Therefore, the descent into the tenebrous worlds is a backward trip through the devolving path. It is a downfall into an always increasing density, within obscurity and rigidity. It is a return, a repetition of the animal, plant, and mineral states, in short, a return into the primitive chaos.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes
And that chaos is within the interior of the earth, in the inferior dimensions, in which we find precisely, the soul is disintegrating as in this image, where lost souls are being dissolved, such in the lake of the ninth sphere, the frozen lake where they’re being disintegrated.
To continue:
“The souls of the abyss are liberated with the Second Death. These souls receive the token for their freedom when the ego and the lunar bodies are reduced to dust. The souls who are coming from the interior of the earth, who are marked by the frightful subterranean trip and covered with dust, convert themselves into gnomes of the mineral kingdom, then later into elementals of the plant kingdom, further into animals, and finally they reconquer the lost human state.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes
So the second death mentioned in the Book of Revelation, pertains to when the lunar bodies and the ego are disintegrated in the ninth sphere. But it doesn’t mean, like religion says, that there is eternal damnation, that one is in hell forever. It doesn’t mean that. It refers to eternity. Eternity is a circle, and that eternity has its own sense of temporality, of time―not linear, but circular. To suffer eternal damnation means to suffer within eternity. It doesn’t mean it is punishment without end. That would be ludicrous, because divinity is merciful.
The second death is necessary to free those souls from the hell realms, so the souls can evolve again up the elemental kingdoms.
This is the wise doctrine of Transmigration taught in foregone times by Krishna, the Hindustani Master. Millions of souls who died within the inferno are now playing as gnomes upon the rocks. Other souls are now delectable plants, or are living within animal creatures and longing to return to the human state.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes

The Aeneid and Roman Esotericism

It should not be surprising, that this teaching should not necessarily be for scholars of religion, something that is unusual. Because we find this teaching of return, or reincorporation, of transmigration, and the descent into the inferior kingdoms explained in many cosmogonies and theologies, especially within The Aeneid by Virgil, which is probably one of the most well-read documentations of Latin literature.
In the poem―describing Aeneas, the Trojan paladin who escapes the burning of Troy in order to found the kingdom of Italy, or Lavinium, to propagate his people―it represents how the soul is entering into the superior path, performing the exodus, we could say, like Moses, ascending up back to the Promised Land of Jehovah, the Tree of Life. In the poem, Aeneas comes upon an island where they’re ripping off the branches to perform a ritual, a ritual ceremony for fire, one of the trees starts to bleed and a voice cries out from it. The soldiers and Aeneas are alarmed when they hear this proclamation from this soul within the tree.
“Why do you tear my poor flesh, Aeneas? Take pity now on the man who is buried here and do not pollute your righteous hands. I am not stranger to you. It was Troy that bore me and this is not a tree that is oozing blood. Escape, I beg you, from these cruel shores, from this land of greed. It is Polydorus that speaks. This is where I was struck down and an iron crop of weapons covered my body. Their sharp points have rooted and grown in my flesh.” ―Virgil, The Aeneid

In this image we have, again, a picture from Dante’s Divine Comedy. The tree, the people who are the souls that are trapped within the bodies of trees, are suffering in these forms, tormented by the harpies―which are, what we say “witches” or “sorceresses” who take on the form of birds. With their humanoid faces intact, they are inflicting suffering on these souls that are devolving within these trees, within these elemental forms, within hell. Samael Aun Weor states the following in The Magic of the Runes:
“Since the ancient times of Arcadia, when worship to the gods of the four elements of the universe and to the deities of the tender corn was still performed, the old hierophants, with their hair growing white with wisdom, never ignored the multiplicity of the “I.” Is it then rare, perchance, for any one of these many entities that constitute the ego to seize itself to life with much obsession and to be re-born in a tree?” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes
The ego is not singular, but multiple. Each negative emotion in itself is an ego, a sense of self that can either reincorporate into new bodies, or as a gift of divinity, can be sent down into the infernal kingdoms to give help to the soul to which the ego belongs.
The ego is multiple, and when we examine our mind, each negative type of thought or feeling or emotion is separate. It’s a different type of entity. As taught by the great masters, we have this understanding that the ego is multiple and that, as a gift of grace, not all of our egos will manifest within the same body that we have. Sometimes, when reincorporating into a new humanoid body, certain egos are lost. Certainly, the most perverse egos are sent down into the inferno to be disintegrated as a gift of mercy. 
This particularly relates to the myth of the centaurs. Now, we have in this image, I believe it’s Athena or Minerva, her Romanized name, soothing or trying to ease the suffering of a centaur. A centaur is half human half animal. That’s really us. We are half humanoid. We have, really, the physical body of a human, but our mind is animal.
Another meaning of centaur is a being that has divinity within, has created what we call the solar bodies, but still has the ego to eliminate. A centaur is really a split being. We call them hasnamussen, beings with a split-polarity, one with development in God, but still the ego has not been fully eliminated.
So, Minerva is offering grace to this being. Certain beings are given that, really, I would say all of us are given, that help. When we’ve reincorporated into a new body, certain egos are lost, and the less perverse egos are given into our body in order for us to work on them. Samael Aun Weor states the following in The Magic of the Runes, elaborating on the points we made:
“Another case comes into my memory, that of Pythagoras and his friend who was reincorporated into a poor dog. But, is it not perhaps true that the centaurs are assisted? What are the legends of the centuries telling us? These epic warriors (centaurs) who fell bleeding among the helmets and bucklers of those who gloriously died for the love of their people and their country, receive a well-deserved extra help when they return into this world.
It is written with tremendous words that the centaurs, before returning into this valley of tears, eliminate part of themselves, part of their beloved ego. The law for centaurs is as follows: what is decisively criminal in them must enter the crematorium of the infernal worlds, and what is less perverse must be reincorporated into a human body. The old laurel-crowned Florentine Dante found many centaurs in the abyss. Let us remember Chiron, the old tutor of Achilles and Pholus, who was so frenzied. It is said with frightening and complete clarity in the great book of Nature, written with flaming embers, that before returning into this world, many parts of the ego are lost. Many psychic aggregates of the “itself” reincorporate into organisms of beasts, others are desperately seized (as the case of Polidorus) into the branches of trees, and finally, certain subjective elements of the “I” continue their devolution into the submerged mineral kingdom.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes
It’s an act of mercy, really. If we really had all of our egos, especially the worst ones, manifesting in our psyche at the level in which we are, we would be suffering a lot more. In many cases, really, we are given help. The centaurs, those initiates who develop the solar bodies or the superior vehicles of the soul, have received a special grace. Lunar bodies pertain to bodies given by nature. Solar bodies signify what is meant by Jesus to “be born again,” precisely through tantra, the path of the cross, to create spiritual vehicles that can manifest divinity within which relates to reincarnation, that we’re going to explain.

​Recurrence and Karma: The Infallible Law of Causality

In this image we have the wheel of fortune, the wheel of the centuries, the wheel of karma. Everything we’ve been explaining pertains to transmigration, or return: how the soul migrates into different bodies, into the different kingdoms. Now we’re going to talk about the laws that relate to our current physical life, pertaining to karma, which we also call recurrence. The law of recurrence pertains to karma.
In this image, we have the wheel of fortune, which can also be equated with the Bhavacakra, as well. In this image we have fortune that is blind, is rotating the wheel of destiny, in which the poor are elevated and the rich are denigrated, they descend. 

Carl Orff beautifully represented the suffering of this mechanical wheel in his Carmina Burana, a great initiatic work of art. It is a choral piece.

People often think fortune is some blind law that is controlled or managed by some outside external being, some external entity. They say, “Well, Justin emis blind. God is blind. It is causing my suffering and it is ignoring my pain and has no mercy.” This is an ignorant perspective to take, because the one that is blind in this image is us. The truth is we all have power over our own destiny if we take control of it. As Hamlet stated in, or as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them” (Hamlet Act III, ll. 57-61). Either to be swallowed through nature, devolving into hell or to revolt against those forces, in order to unite with God―to be or not to be. All of us are constantly receiving the results of our past actions, whether in this life or in previous lives. Recurrence pertains to the cycle or manifestation of events that have their roots in past lives and past actions, as well.
कर Karma in Sanskrit literally means, “deed.” Coming from the root word क kri, which means “to do, make, cause and effect.” The word karman means “to act.” It refers to cause and effects, causality. It does not mean a blind law in which we suffer a lot as a result. It refers to the equilibration of forces as a result of our past actions.
So, if we were evil in a past life, we will receive the results of our actions of that life. If we inflicted harm on another person, that person will return and come back in our life as a recurrence and will inflict that same harm on is. This is the law of the Talion.
Now typically, we identify too much with our situations, the recurrent themes of our life, and we have many psychological songs in which we justify our suffering. We all have that to a degree. The thing is to realize that we are the ones responsible for our own actions and therefore we can receive superior results if we learn to fulfill what we call Karma Yoga, helping others do good deeds, so that we can cancel out our past karma, and also recurring events that are negative in nature. This law is fundamental even within Christianity, Judaism, and a Islam, not just Hinduism or Buddhism.
“Be not deceived. God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” –Galatians 6:7.
So recurrence pertains to, say for instance, if we committed adultery in the past, in a past life. When meeting that partner again, karma will be in action and that individual may commit adultery against us as a type of equilibration of forces. If we did evil, we have to receive evil. Whatever we do we receive the result. Therefore, if we are not in control of our own mind, as we stated in the beginning about the Dhammapada, “mind precedes phenomena, we become what we think.” If we don’t comprehend this law in action, then we are always going to suffer as a result of our mistake and actions.
Question: What about your thinking?
Instructor: Exactly. What we are internally determines our life and also attracts our life. Events constantly repeat themselves so long as the ego is there. The ego that is responsible for certain crimes or conflicts in our lives, relating to past lives, is constantly fulfilling its own, enacting itself according to its own conditioning. Now, if we let ourselves be controlled by our mind, then we receive the results. The ego is an actor.
Samael Aun Weor states in Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology how we are constantly playing the same dramas, tragedies, comedies, etc., on the screen of life. If you kill the actor, the drama is over. If you kill the actor, there’s no more comedy. Instead, you have a superior way of life. So, we need to comprehend the ego and annihilate it, so we cease to repeat life in a mistaken way.

The Three Eternals

The Buddha said that there are three eternal things in life that pertain to this doctrine of recurrence, and karma, as well as cosmological teachings. There is the law, karma, which is eternal; there is nirvana; and then there is space. These are eternal things within nature.
The law pertains to the law of equilibrium. Scientists call it “invariance,” in which any energy that is enacted from a certain point of origin must always return to that point of origin in order to balance itself. Therefore, psychologically speaking, we need to understand how this applies to us, because if we constantly argue with our friends, our family, our spouse, feeding our anger, that energy that we expel outward is going to come back at us. Therefore, we have to receive the results of our actions.
Now what we need to understand is nirvana, because nirvana in Sanskrit means “cessation.” Cessation pertains to the elimination of the causes of our suffering, which is heaven. Heaven is a state of being. It is also a place, the superior dimensions of nature. But more importantly, it refers to here and now as a psychological state. We need to understand cessation and the causes of our suffering, according to Buddhism, if we want to enter a superior way of life.
Then there’s space, which is the eternal root origin of our Being. We call it the Absolute. We call it the emptiness: shunyata. We call it Allah. We call is Christ, the source of all creation of all beings. It’s emptiness is not an abstract nihilism, nor is it a complete negation of all things. Instead it is a type of being that can only be comprehended through meditation and experience.
In relation to this Buddhist doctrine, understanding the impermanent nature of phenomena is how we learn to comprehend our ego, because when we see how our egos’ physical sense of self is transient, how anger emerges in concurrence with causes and conditions and then disappears, how certain emotional states come and go, how they recur, how they repeat themselves, it is by comprehending this relationship to external phenomena that we comprehend that our internal states are really empty, and that anger is not eternal. It’s a transient emotional state, a mistaken perception of self, which traps our consciousness and makes us suffer. When we comprehend that it is intrinsically really empty, that no ego is independent of anything else, there’s nothing eternal about it. There are certain causes and conditions, certain karmas, that propel and enact that ego to manifest within a certain situation. We understand that that sense of self is really empty, and this is how we learn to comprehend the ego―comprehending that no defect is intrinsically existing of itself. There’s always causes and conditions upon which is depends.

​Spiritual Creation through Liberated Will

Nietzsche, who was a German initiate at one point, explains this teaching in his book Thus Spake Zarathustra, precisely the concepts we’ve been discussing. In this image we have the Iranian Prophet, Zarathustra, the founder of Zoroastrianism, holding in his right hand the staff of the initiates with a golden orb and serpent rotating around it. That serpent is the power of the Divine Mother and the staff represents the spinal column upon which the Kundalini rises in the teachings of alchemy, as we teach. What is interesting is that in his with his left hand, he’s performing in Buddhism what’s known as the vitarka mudra. Nietzsche is very famous for postulating in his book, the Doctrine of the Eternal Return, which we are going to be explaining.
Now, in Buddhism, this mudra, hand posture, is supposed to represent the transmission of a teaching from the Buddha, or from any buddha really. What is interesting is that we have a circle formed by our index finger and our thumb, which relates to the cycle of recurrence, or return. Then, with the three fingers, representing the three primary forces of nature, the power of Christ: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Or in Kabbalah: Kether, Chokmah, Binah. The trinity is the light of God that manifests from the Absolute, and it is through this trinity that we learn to create a spiritual life. These are not people, anthropomorphic figures, but energies. In order to overcome the wheel of samsara, or the wheel of becoming, the eternal return in the circle, we need to work with the three primary forces, which is what we do when we practice alchemy. Man and woman united, masculine, feminine, affirmative force, negative force, and then the sexual act, reconciliation, the synthesis, are the three forces in action. That is how we create spiritually. Nietzsche talks about this very beautifully in his book, particularly in the section called, “Upon the Blessed Isles”:

“Creation―that is the great redemption from suffering and life’s growing light. But that the creator may be, suffering is needed and much change. Indeed, there must be much bitter dying in your life, you creators. Thus are you advocates and justifiers of all impermanence.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “Upon the Blessed Isles”
Creation is redemption from suffering. Meaning: to create the soul precisely through alchemy in the higher stages of the path. It is also “life’s growing light.” We generate light precisely by working with our sexual energy to create spiritually. But in order for the creator to be, we need to suffer, meaning, we need to willingly take on and be responsible for our own suffering, the causes of our own afflictions, to take responsibility for what we did in the past, in order to recognize our faults. Karma comes back at us for past actions, whether in this life or in previous lives, and we learn to take it with a sense of rectitude. Instead of complaining about it, we use it to see those egos that manifest within a given psychological circumstance, so that we can die in those defects. Indeed, “there must be much bitter dying in your life.” He didn’t say that the path to salvation is easy. Instead, we need to suffer a lot so that ego emerges that’s causing our suffering, and comprehend it in meditation so that we can annihilate it.
“Thus are you advocates and justifiers of all impermanence.” So the doctrine of impermanence― same thing Nietzsche is teaching here―is how nothing is stable in this universe. Everything is dependent on something else, and it is by recognizing the empty nature of phenomena that we cease to be so attached to external phenomena, so that our ego has less power over us. It is in that way, by comprehending the ego, that we annihilate it, gradually.
“To be the child who is newly born, the creator must also want to be the mother who gives birth and the pangs of the birth-giver. Verily, through a hundred souls I have already passed on my way, and through a hundred cradles and birth pangs.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “Upon the Blessed Isles”
People who see that Nietzsche was an atheist at one point are mistaken. This is really teaching that, well, he’s been in many bodies, has been through many cradles and birth pangs.
“Many a farewell have I taken; I know the heart-rending last hours.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “Upon the Blessed Isles”
Because at one point, before he deviated, he was developing a lot of understanding in himself. He remembered his past lives and was explaining these teachings about the return of all things.
“But thus my creative will, my destiny, wills it. Or, to say it more honestly: this very destiny―my will wills.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “Upon the Blessed Isles”
So what does this mean, “my creative will”?
Creation pertains to the trinity above. So the Kabbalah, if you look in this diagram, we have ten spheres, ten sephiroth. Above is the trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In the middle, in the center of the Tree of Life, we have the sphere known as Tiphereth, which is willpower. Creative will pertains to how Christ manifests within the soul, within the heart. Because if we take this image and transpose it on a human being, the middle sephirah, or sphere, relates to the heart, Tiphereth. So creative will, he’s speaking Kabbalistically, how the trinity, the will to create manifests within the soul, within the human psyche.
This is important to understand in relation to his teaching, “Thus, my creative will, my destiny wills it.” The fact is that he is entering this path, “Or, to say it more honestly: this very destiny―my will wills.” Most of us talk about destiny as its some kind of outside thing that is influencing us. Few people have really exemplified how with their own willpower they can create their destiny. Karma is not a blind law. It can be overcome. It can be reconciled if we are working in the right way.
Question: What’s the relationship between the two again? There must be a relationship. You talked about willpower and the heart, which sounds like mantra.
Instructor: In sexual knowledge, sexual alchemy.
Question: But it’s also, mantra would originate here?
Instructor: The word is gestated from the throat. In alchemy, when we combine, when we sexually unite with our partner, we pronounce sacred mantras. Our own Yesod, our own Tree of Knowledge, when a man and a woman are united forming the cross―Yesod, the energy of God, ascends up the spinal medulla as we find in this staff of Zarathustra, and the serpent is ascending as result of working with those fires. With mantra we work with our willpower and our heart, following the creative will of God, the trinity above, in order to create spiritual life. So that’s a Kabbalistic relationship to the body. It is working in this way that we overcome our destiny, our karma. We pay our karma with good deeds, by dying in those egos that are responsible for our mistaken actions.
“Whatever in me has feeling, suffers and is in prison; but my will always comes to me as my liberator and joy-bringer. Willing liberates: that is the true teaching of will and liberty―thus Zarathustra teaches it.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “Upon the Blessed Isles”
So how do we overcome our suffering? With our willpower, we take arms against a sea of troubles, meaning: we fight against our ego. We cease to be cyclically recurring and reenacting all those tragedies, dramas, and comedies of the past. We try to initiate a new way of life. Not living life mechanically, but transcending that wheel of suffering.
“Willing no more and esteeming no more and creating no more―oh, that this great weariness might always remain far from me! In knowledge too (in Da’ath, in Gnosis) I feel only my will’s joy in begetting and becoming; and if there is innocence in my knowledge, it is because the will to beget is in it.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “Upon the Blessed Isles”
So, what does it mean “In knowledge too, I feel only my will’s joy in creating”? Meaning: in alchemy, in tantra, in the sexual act, using it for purity, using it for God. One feels only the joy of creating the soul, “and if there is innocence in my knowledge,” meaning if there is innocence in Da’ath, “if there’s innocence in me working in alchemy, to perform the sexual act without lust,” “it is because of my joy of begetting and becoming.” The wheel of becoming, you know becoming is bhava, as we mention in the Bhavacakra. This is a way of becoming in a mechanical means, but we can also become something spiritual by transcending that wheel. Nietzsche says something also very interesting and controversial, like many things:
“Away from God and gods this will has lured me; what could one create if gods existed?” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “Upon the Blessed Isles”
In us, God is not active. God is not manifested in our bodies. God is not incarnated, or better said, reincarnated. Instead, we have to create God within us. We have to create the development of the soul so that God, the Superman, can be creating through us.
Question: How do you reconcile that? I believe someone said it, perhaps you said it, we are all, since we’re part of God, which we’re sparks of the divine plane. The spark is still there!
Instructor: That’s the spark, but it’s not the bonfire. So that spark can be fed and developed into a bonfire. That bonfire is the lord, Christ. And so how can “one create a god if a god existed already?” And said, if you want to create a higher level of being, you need to develop that spark so it becomes a giant flame.
Question: So either you nurture it, or if you’re going to ascend, or if you destroy it, then...?

Instructor: Then that fire is extinguished in hell. We need to transcend this wheel of suffering, and in this next graphic we are going to talk about the solar bodies. In this image, we have an angel or Malachim. מלכים Malachim in Hebrew means “angels.” Malachim are kings. So, a king of nature is one who has conquered the animal state, the mineral state, the plant state, and even the humanoid state. What we are interested in these studies is to overcome our defects and the recurring cycles of life wherein we suffer mechanically, as a result, so that we can transcend those karmic situations and reconcile our past. That way we can initiate a new way of being.
Comment: That can be tricky too. I think in a way you have to analyze. You have to find your defects, but most of use at one point or another, we have certain desires. Then you have to qualify it perhaps as being not a good desire, and there’s a line.
Instructor: And its language. Desire, we say, is typically ego. But longing is the soul. Longing belongs to Habel, Abel, who follows the way of God. Cain is the desire of the mind to till the earth, and to fulfill material things. But in a poetic sense, we can say the soul has desire for God, like the Sufis teach. Now, we want to transcend our karma and enter into the path of what we call epigenesis. The ability to originate new circumstances because as Gurdjieff taught us, “Man does not know how to do.” Instead, we just repeat actions from the past. We don’t do anything new. We are like a train on a train track going one direction. But with effort we can divert that, and it is precisely by developing conscious will, to be in harmony with Christ, the trinity, is how we become, to beget, like Nietzsche says.

Epigenesis and the Solar Bodies

So we’re going to talk about the solar bodies, which I mention to you as the vehicles by which God can manifest and express. These pertain to the Tree of Life, Kabbalah, and pertain to what we call the astral body, the solar astral body, the solar mental body, the solar causal body, or solar emotional body, which can manifest superior emotions of God; solar mental body, that can manifest the abstract concepts and understanding of Christ; and the solar causal body, which is the body that can express the will of God, that can originate new causes. Samael Aun Weor states the following in Cosmic Teachings of a Lama:
“It is clear, obvious, and manifested that the clairvoyants from some pseudoesoteric and pseudo-occultist systems also become lamentably mistaken about this body [the causal body or body of conscious will]. This is due to the fact that they confuse the Essence with the causal body.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Cosmic Teachings of a Lama
So the Essence is the soul, but the causal body is the means by which the soul can act. Don’t mistake the person for the car, in synthesis.
“The Essence in itself is just a fraction of the human soul that is incarnated within ourselves. This Essence is bottled up within the ego; it is engulfed within the lunar bodies. It is unquestionable that the homunculi mistakenly called human being is submitted to the law of recurrence. He is not capable of originating anything new; he is a victim of circumstances.”  ―Samael Aun Weor, Cosmic Teachings of a Lama
It is enough to really analyze our life to see if this is true. I mean, do we have control over whether we’re going to get yelled at or someone in the street is going to honk at us? Or are we going to get upset, by simple daily things that we think we have control of, but we don’t?
“Each time that the ego returns into this valley of Samsara it repeats exactly all of the acts of its previous lives, sometimes in elevated spirals, sometimes in lower spirals.
In this day and age, within the cheap pseudo-occultism, much is spoken about the law of epigenesis, the capacity for originating new circumstances.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Cosmic Teachings of a Lama
This is when Nietzsche talks about creative will, to create something new within oneself.
It is obvious that only the authentic human beings with conscious will can modify their destiny and originate a new order of things. The intellectual animal has not built the body of conscious will, the causal vehicle. The wretched, rational homunculi is always a victim of the eternal laws of return and recurrence... We need to create the causal body if what we sincerely want is to incarnate the Being (God within). Only the Being is capable of doing. Only He can modify the circumstances and exercise with mastery the law of epigenesis.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Cosmic Teachings of a Lama
We say that in order to escape, we can say, the limitations of 108 lifetimes, or humanoid existences, we can create the solar astral body, in a marriage, in alchemy, so that we are submitted to superior laws. Therefore, we’re not necessarily limited to having 108 existences to do this work. Instead we transcend that law.

​Reincarnation: Divine Manifestation within the Consciousness

In order to incarnate God, we need to create the solar bodies, the causal body, specifically. This is beautifully represented in the life of Jesus. You’ll see in this next image we have John the Baptist, baptizing the master Jesus, the Christ. So really, reincarnation, we can say in context, in this lecture, pertains to when God manifests in the soul, to incarnate. It does not mean entering into new bodies. That is return, but reincarnation is an act of will, an act of creation, in which God, decidedly, decides to perform a mission within a certain human being and enters into that soul that has created those bodies.
Think of the solar bodies as a type of electric circuitry that can manifest high voltage. If you have poor wiring and you send a tremendous volt of energy through that circuitry, it’ll fuse. It will break. Christ is an energy and can only manifest in the circuitry of a human being that has those vehicles, because if the Being were to try to enter into a person with just the lunar bodies, with a lot of ego involved in it, that human being would be annihilated instantly, because Christ is the energy of life, the cosmos.
So in order to reincarnate the Being, we need to work on initiation. We need to work on sexual alchemy, which is described in The Perfect Matrimony and The Mystery of The Golden Flower. Samael Aun Weor states the following in The Mystery of The Golden Flower:
“Reincarnation is a feat accomplished only by the great illuminated souls, in which they consciously choose to be born in a particular time and place…” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of The Golden Flower
In other words, they choose to incarnate the Being in a new physical body. Only beings with conscious development can do this.
“The word reincarnation is most demanding, it must not be used carelessly: No one would be able to reincarnate without first having eliminated the ego, without truly possessing sacred Individuality. Incarnation is a very venerable word, signifying in fact the re-embodiment of the divine in a man.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of The Golden Flower
And we find this scripturally stated in Book of John, Chapter 1 verse 14
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” –John 1:14
Then, the book of Matthew:
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” ―Matthew 3:16-17
The waters refer to the sexual waters, in which the Holy Spirit can baptize the energy of God. So the incarnation of Jesus, the Christ within Jesus, is an act of reincarnation, but also many masters have incarnated the Christ. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus was the only one.  Because in fact, Muhammad, received the Qur’an upon Jabal al-Nur, the mountain of light in the Muslim tradition. He received the teachings from Gabriel, meaning he incarnated his inner law, his inner Qur’an [Arabic for “recitation,” the Word] from the Angel Gabriel, and Gabriel relates to procreation, the forces of the moon, the sexual energy. But also, Krishna also incarnated with Arjuna within the Bhagavad-Gita.
Question: What about Buddha?
Buddha is a great master who incarnated Christ. Zarathustra, many masters, they incarnated that fire because they entered into initiation and developed those bodies. Here we have the Bhagavad-Gita, where Arjuna, who represents the solar causal body, is speaking to the Christ, Krishna. There’s a couple more things we’ll explain in relation to the nature of these paths as we discussed, in accordance with Hinduism.
I would like to give you two phrases, first, specifically, explain two paths as we’ve been mentioning. Krishna stated the following to Arjuna,
“The Being is not born, does not die, nor does it reincarnate; it has no origin; it is eternal and changeless; it is the first of all, and does not die when the body passes away.” ―Bhagavad-Gita 2:20
Now this would seem to contradict the following statement:
“…As one sets aside worn out clothes and puts on new ones, so the embodied Being leaves its spent body and enters other new ones.” ―Bhagavad-Gita 2:22
Now what is interesting is that they seem to contradict. The Being doesn’t incarnate, but it does incarnate within certain beings.
What is not explicitly stated in the Bhagavad-Gita, or at least clearly, esoterically, is how when one follows a path of initiation, one incarnates the Being. But in lunar people, people with lunar bodies, they do not incarnate the Being. Those two paths are open there. The solar path, extending up the path of revelation to God, or the lunar path of being swallowed by nature. Now actually, the Bhagavad-Gita does explain this, but it elaborates upon this point,
“Upon leaving the body, taking the path of the fire, of the light, of the day, of the luminous lunar fortnight and of the northern solstice, those who know Brahma, go towards Brahma. Upon death, the yogi who takes the path of smoke of the dark Lunar fortnight and of the southern solstice, reaches the Lunar sphere (the astral world) and is then reborn (returns, re-embodies). These two paths, the luminous and the dark, are considered permanent. Through the first, one is emancipated, and through the second, one is reborn (returns).” ―Bhagavad-Gita 8:24-26
So in the solar path we incarnate God, but in the lunar path we continue to rotate in samsara, in synthesis.
“When the Lord (the Being) acquires a body, or leaves it, He associates with the six senses, or abandons them and passes like the breeze which carries with it the scent of flowers. Directing the ears, the eyes, the organs of touch, taste and smell as well as the mind, He experiences the objects of the senses. The deluded do not see Him who departs, stays and enjoys; but they who possess the eye of knowledge behold Him.” ―Bhagavad-Gita 15:8-10
Those who are not familiar with reincarnation, should study the Bhagavad-Gita. Specifically, I’d like to quote for you what reincarnation really means, as according to the Hindu gospel, we can say:
“The supreme personality of God (which is Vishnu, or Krishna, speaking to Arjuna) said: “Many, many incarnations both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy! (Meaning: subduer of his own egos). Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I incarnate dominating my Prakriti and appear in my original transcendental form; serving my self of my own maya. Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion―at that time I descent Myself. To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of Religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium. One who knows the transcendental nature of my appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My external abode, O Arjuna!” ―Bhagavad-Gita 4:5-9
So Christ only incarnates within an initiate. Reincarnation only occurs within the Gods. People, we, common human persons, human beings, we can say out of polite and respect, we just return. We don’t reincarnate. We don’t remember where we came from or where we’re going.
Question: Do we have lunar bodies?
We have lunar vehicles and we are subjected to the laws of nature, but we need to develop the solar bodies so that we can transcend this wheel of suffering.
Those who incarnate God are not recognized as God we can say. Those who incarnate the Christ, people don’t see the Christ, even though many times we may have walked past such a being. The first stage in the Bhagavad-Gita, when the Lord, the Being, acquires the body, or leaves it, he associates with the six senses, or abandons them and passes like the breeze, which carries with it the scent of flowers, directly in the ears, the eyes, the organs of touch, taste, and smell, as well as the mind. He experiences the objects, the senses. The diluted do not see him who departs, stays and enjoys. But they who possess the eye of knowledge, gnosis, Da’ath, only they behold him.

​Nietzsche’s Eternal Return

We need to incarnate the Being if we want to be liberated from suffering, if we want to attain a higher state of perception. We’ve been explaining what reincarnation means in context in terms of return and recurrence, studying the Pythagorean teachings, as well as the Muslim teachings of Rumi, and a little bit of Nietzsche. I’d actually like to conclude with the teachings of the eternal return as given by Nietzsche. I think its especially relevant to this discussion, since just as we mentioned the teachings of the Hindustani master, Krishna, the very same things that the German philosopher Nietzsche talked about are in the Bhagavad-Gita, or taught by Pythagoras, or taught in Buddhist doctrine, and the points that he makes are very poetic and beautiful. I think they will be very beneficial for you to hear. I’m going to read for you exactly what Nietzsche taught in his book about the eternal return, accompanied next to Jesus, of course. In this chapter, I’m not going to read the entirety. It is called “On the Vision and the Riddle,” where the fictional Zarathustra, the Iranian prophet, is speaking to a group of sailors about a vision he had, meaning: an astral experience.
“Not long ago, I walked gloomily through the deadly pallor of dusty―gloomy and hard, with lips pressed together. Not only one sun had set for me. A path that ascended defiantly through stones, malicious, lonely, not cheered by herb or shrub―a mountain path crunched under the defiance of my foot.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
Now a mountain in esoterism refers to initiation, to ascend up the mountain, the path that leads to God, the Superman. It is only attempted by those who are defiant, meaning: his step is crushing the stones defiantly in order to go up, seemingly against the forces of gravity.
“Striding silently over the mocking clatter of pebbles, crushing the rock that made it slip, my foot forced its way upward. Upward―defying the spirit that drew it downward toward the abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and arch enemy. Upward―although he sat on me, half dwarf, half mole, lame, making lame, dripping lead into my ear, leaden thoughts into my brain.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
This is the ego telling us we can’t enter into initiation. It’s always telling us things.
“’Oh Zarathustra,’ he whispered mockingly, syllable by syllable, ‘You philosopher’s stone! You threw yourself up high, but every stone that is thrown must fall.’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
So what he’s talking about is the philosopher’s stone. The stone relates to alchemy, the secret of Yesod, the foundation stone of Solomon’s temple, which is the sexual energy, our body is the temple, and our stone is the sexual energy.
This is talking about how, like many initiates, he tried to throw his stone up, to take that stone up the mountain, to return it to God,  so that he can finally unite with the Being, the Superman. But the ego is always there saying, “You threw your stone up high. You can’t follow this path. You’re going to drop your stone like Sisyphus.” Meaning: you’re going to let yourself fall sexually, fall to animal passion, desire.
“’Oh Zarathustra, you philosopher’s stone, you slingstone, you star-crusher. You threw yourself up so high; but every stone that is thrown must fall. Sentenced to yourself and to your own stoning―O Zarathustra, far indeed have you thrown the stone, but it will fall back on yourself.’
Then the dwarf fell silent, and that lasted a long time. His silence, however, oppressed me; and such twosomeness is surely more lonesome than being alone.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
So being alone with our own negative mind, thoughts, is really more lonely than being alone, we can say―being with other people.
“I climbed, I climbed, I dreamed, I thought; but everything oppressed me. I was like one sick whom his wicked torture makes weary, and who as he falls asleep is awakened by a still more wicked dream. But there is something in me that I call courage; that has so far slain my every discouragement. This courage finally made me stand still and speak, ‘Dwarf! It is you or I! […] ‘But I am the stronger of us two: you do not know my abysmal thought. That, you could not bear.’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
What does it mean abysmal thought? The fact that he wants to descend into his own hell in order to take the stone up the mountain, because our soul is trapped in hell. We need to liberate it through our creative will.
“Then something happened that made me lighter, for the dwarf jumped from my shoulder, being curious; and he crouched on a stone before me. But there was a gateway just where we stopped.
“‘Behold, this gateway, dwarf!’ I continued, ‘It has two faces. Two paths meet here; no one has yet followed either to its end. This long lane stretches back for an eternity. And the long lane out there, that is another eternity. They contradict each other, these paths; they offend each other face to face; and it is here at this gateway that they come together. The name of the gateway is ascribed above: ‘Moment.’ But whoever would follow one of them, on and on, farther and farther―do you believe, dwarf, that these paths can contradict each other eternally?’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
So, Krishna said there are two paths: the solar path that leads to Brahma, and the lunar path that leads down, backward. These are the two paths that Nietzsche is talking about, and that eternally they go on. This constant drama of souls within the universe is always repeated, is eternal.
Question: Is he using the force of Tiphereth to carry Hod?
Instructor: Yes, and that’s willpower. Zarathustra is willpower. He says “my courage is what conquers. My creative will. My destiny wills it.”
"’All that is straight, lies.,’ the dwarf murmured contemptuously. ‘All truth is crooked; time itself is circle.’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
Albert Einstein said our illusions of linear time are illusory. Time itself is a circle. Eternity is a circle. Nothing goes on from one trajectory to another. It’s really a cycle, cyclical.
“‘You spirit of gravity,’ I said angrily, ‘do not make things too easy for yourself! Or I shall let you crouch where you are crouching, lamefoot; and it was I that carried you to this height.
“‘Behold,’ I continued, ‘this moment! From this gateway, Moment, a long, eternal lane leads backward: Behind us lies an eternity. Must not whatever can walk have walked in this lane before? Must not whatever can happen have happened, have been done before, have passed by before? And if everything has been there before―what do you think, dwarf, of this moment? Must not this gateway too have been there before? And are not all things knotted together so firmly that this moment draws after it all that is to come? Therefore―itself too? For whatever can walk, in this long lane out there too, it must walk once more.’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
This is referencing to the fact that many individuals have walked the path of initiation before but they fell. Though they are trying to rise up again, they had crushed their star, were “star-crushers,” meaning: they killed the perfection of their Ain Soph Paranishpanna, their supra-atomic star, within themselves. So they have walked this path many times before. It happens.
“‘And this slow spider, which crawls in the moonlight, and this moonlight itself, and I and you in the gateway whispering together, whispering of eternal things―must not all of have been there before? And return and walk in that other lane out there, before us, in this long dreadful lane―must not we eternally return?’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
If we are in this type of classroom, it means that we’ve probably studied this science before. I remember having an experience with my Innermost in the astral plane. He told me, “97% of the people you meet you knew them before.” This is because 97% of our psyche is ego, according to Samael Aun Weor, so this is something I verified.
“Thus I spoke, more and more softly; for I was afraid of my thoughts and the thoughts behind my thoughts. Then suddenly I heard a dog howl nearby. Had I ever heard a dog howl like this? My thoughts raced back. Yes, when I was a child, in the most distant childhood: then I heard a dog howl like this. And I saw him too, bristling his head up, trembling, in the stillest midnight when even dogs believed in ghosts―and I took pity: for just then the full moon, silent as death, passed over the house; just then it stood still, a round glow―still on the flat roof, as if on another’s property―that was why the dog was terrified, for dogs believe in thieves and ghosts. And when I heard such howling again, I took pity again.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
So, what is the moon referencing? The lunar path, the path of devolution, the path of the destruction of the soul within hell. So, it haunts us. Those who are really seeking to know God, to set up the path to Christ, we suffer because the moon is always haunting us.
“Where has the dwarf gone now? And the gateway? And the spider? And all the whispering? Was I dreaming then? Was I waking up?” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
“Was I experiencing these things directly in meditation?”
Among wild cliffs I stood suddenly alone, bleak, in the bleakest moonlight. But there lay a man. And there―the dog, jumping, brisling, whining―now he saw me coming; then he howled again, he cried. Had I ever heard a dog cry like this for help? And verily, what I saw―I had never seen the like. A young shepherd I saw, writhing, gagging, in spasms, his face distorted, and a heavy black snake hung out of his mouth. Had I ever seen so much nausea and pale dread on one face? He seemed to have been asleep when the snake crawled into his throat, and there bit itself fast. My hand toward the snake, and tore in vain; it did not tear the snake out of his throat.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
What is this snake afflicting the shepherd, the initiate? It is the devolving serpent of hell that is our own sexual animal passion, which pushes us to fornicate, to be like animals.
“Then it cried out to me: ‘Bite! Bite its head off! Bite!’ Thus it cried out of me―my dread, my hatred, my nausea, my pity, all that is good and wicked in me cried out of me with a single cry.”  ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
Zarathustra was then speaking to the sailors:
“‘You bold ones who surround me! You searchers, you researchers, and whoever among you has embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas. You who are glad of riddles. Guess me this riddle that I saw then, interpret me the vision of the loneliest. For it was a vision and a forseeing. What did I see then in a parable,” in an astral experience, you could say? “And who is it who must yet come one day? Who is the shepherd into whose throat the snake crawled thus? Who is the man into whose throat all that is heaviest and blackest will crawl thus?’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
So it is that shepherd, Christ.
Nietzsche didn’t use the term Christ, because Christianity is degenerated. People worship a statue and not the terrible reality of the Intimate Christ, the Rebel Christ, the Superhuman. He talks about Superman. A Superman is an individual who has fully perfected God within, manifesting the three sephirah above: Kether, Chokmah, Binah, within the heart, the human soul. A shepherd, like the keeper of sheep, pertains to the one who is walking the path of initiation. But this is the Superman who takes on our own evil to annihilate it.
Question: That’s Abel, right?
Instructor: Habel relates to that, but this is even beyond Habel. This is Christ.
“The shepherd, however, bit as my cry counseled him; he bit with a good bite.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
Meaning with the mouth, or with the throat, the science of Da’ath, we kill the snake that is leading us into hell. We conquer animal passion.
“Far away he spewed the head of the snake―and he jumped up. No longer shepherd, no longer human―one changed, radiant, laughing! Never yet on earth has a human being laughed as he laughed. Oh, my brothers, I heard a laughter that was no human laughter...”  ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
Meaning because it was a superhuman laughter, God, terribly divine, beyond good and evil.
“…and now a thirst gnaws at me, a longing that never grows still. My longing for this laughter gnaws at me; oh, how do I bear to go on living? And [yet], how could I bear to die now?
“Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “On the Vision and the Riddle”
He’s talking about how Christ, the Superman, really, incarnates in the human being, to fully eliminate the ego. That is the path of reincarnation.

​Questions and Answers

Question: That symbolism is really something else. I would wonder what Carl Jung, I don’t think he was mentioned anywhere, and he’s very much into symbolism, the subconscious mind… I wonder if that scenario, so to speak, that scenario you just were talking about, I wonder if Jung had made any?
Instructor: Well, I don’t know too much about Jung, but I know that many of the German initiates knew each other. Rudolph Steiner was the disciple of Nietzsche. Nietzsche was the disciple of Richard Wagner, who is a great master. They were all interrelated, and they all knew each other. They taught the doctrine of the Superman.
In conclusion, we seek to escape the laws of return and recurrence by developing our will in harmony with Christ, so we can kill the snake that tempts us into sin, which is our own inverted sexual fires, which we need to tame like Moses did, or we need to work with the positive serpent―the cross, as mentioned in Exodus, the bronze serpent that healed the Israelites in the wilderness.
Question: That was the negative serpent you are talking about?
Instructor: The negative serpent that the shepherd bit, that was the inverted aspect, the serpent that tempted Adam and Eve.
Comment: It is interesting, its like a sign, from when I read from Scorpio, they talk about the good and the eagle, which is sacred. They refer to the serpent as the negative one: “Get out of the way!”
Instructor: It is dual like the serpent Kundalini that Moses raised on the staff in the wilderness. The cross of man and woman, or the bronze serpent, the two metals of copper, representing woman, and tin, representing man, sexually united, and when that serpent is controlled, the energy is harnessed. The bronze serpent rises up the spine and can heal the Israelites. The serpent then that Nietzsche talks about is in the negative aspect. But in the beginning, and many times in that book, he mentions the positive serpent that works with the eagle―the serpent that rises up the spinal column, Kundalini, and the eagle’s wings flourish and take one up to the Absolute.
Question: So the bronze serpent, or I’ve always heard that Moses just healed the Israelites, but what about being bit by serpents?...
Instructor: Yes, exactly, thank you for bringing that up. The other serpents, there were fiery serpents that were biting the Israelites and causing them pain. Those fiery serpents are all of our animal passions that afflict us: anger, pride, vanity―as we’ve been mentioning, the ego, the inverted fire. And the only way to heal that ailment is to work with the solar serpent, the bronze serpent, in order to heal the Israelites. The Israelites are not just, in the Bible, a reference to people in the past, in the Middle East. It refers to archetypes, symbols, parts of us that we need to liberate and free. The same serpents that were biting the Israelites were biting the Superman, but the superman just bit it up, spat it out, and laughed. That is something only a god can do. And we all have God within―we need to reincarnate Him within us, to escape the return and recurrence of all things. Any questions?
Comment: Just a comment on epigenesis, the ability to change ourselves. It can be correlated to physicality, too. You know, in the medical community, there is compelling evidence, that through, one example, physical activity versus drug ages, we can change our genetic expressions. If someone has a pronation toward some disease, that can be halted, inhibited. Now, this was always possible, but as I was listening actively and such, I’m thinking Jesus and Moses could’ve had smartphones, but they were just not at that point in time where it wasn’t known, or you know the laws were not exact in such a way, or realized in such a way, that they couldn’t have smartphones. It was just impossible.
Instructor: They had much better communication than our smartphones. I mean, if you meet a Superman like that in the internal planes, really, they are incomprehensible to us. But it is true that genetically our actions can affect our genes, and our genes are the inheritors of karma. The very physical body that we have, our tendencies, our habits, our illnesses that reoccur cyclically, are in our genes. And those genes are formulated as a result of our karma, our past actions. Now we want to perform positive action in order to rectify that. That is a good point because it is by changing ourselves psychologically that we change our genes. We have many practices in this tradition where we work with energy, like alchemy, in which the genes change. The genes of an intellectual animal is what we are. We can change into the genes of a Superman or superwoman, basically.
Comment: Bruno Gröning, not sure if you have heard of him, but he is from Germany. Died in 1953. But he talked about an agent. It was Heilstrom, he called it. It is the prana and everything. That is what they were emphasizing. If you could get a nice state away, you could bring this force into your body through the bread. They have had healings, and this group is international. I went to one of the meetings. It was packed. It was on River Road. They had a German interpreter and a lot of Polish people were there. He says its not that complicated. It’s spiritual. We were talking about spirituality, but they were doctors by the way, that were there from Europe. It was getting in that state… you mention the genes. They’re doing something, where they had healings. If they were able to get into that relaxed state, it was like prana basically. Heilstrom is what the Bruno Gröning calls it. But vital force, if you could concentrate it somehow…
Instructor: The greatest healing is to work with alchemy, in sexual union. But we have many methods in this tradition that work with healing methods as well, such as in a book called Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic. There are many other schisms and teachings and things that work. Some of the teachings that we work with are ancient, older than this universe really. They’re eternal.
Comment: I’ve reflected a little bit on what you said a minute ago, in regards to time and evolution of technology and things like that. The real technologies is regeneration and development of faculties. Because if you actually paid attention to the New Testament, where its talking about the life of Jesus, he’s going around telepathically understanding what people are thinking, saying, “I saw you over there in the bushes with that woman, and you’re not going to stone her to death today,” and that sort of thing―communication. So, something like cell phones, would be completely irrelevant, obsolete. Because if someone had developed the kind of faculties like Jesus had, you wouldn’t need something like that. So time frame and time relevant, it’s something that ancient history had better technology than we did and we just don’t understand that fully yet.
Instructor: And I remember one of our other instructors mentioned, we have a technology better than Google inside. That’s meditation. We can investigate anything we need to.
Question: Going back to what you were saying, with karma. If a couple, the woman, had been an adulterer, then in the next life that same couple, that man would do the same thing? I’m just so confused by what, and I’ve already talked to you about this, by what in the person who was the victim the first time, what in the next life makes them know that they should do that? And then are they following God’s will by doing that?
Instructor: It is not God’s will. It is our own self will. The one that commits adultery and decides to do that is the ego. Particularly, the ego in a person, or, typically in our case, we’re compelled by so many egos and forces that we have no cognizance of the fact. We don’t see how we are just performing the same dramas, comedies, tragedies, that we’ve been doing for many lifetimes. It’s not God’s will. God does not say to us, “Okay, now you have to commit adultery to the other person.” This superior law, in fact, that person, if the couple is Gnostic, knows this science and is working, when those egos emerge that are of an adulterer’s nature, and that will happen with every couple―where certain karmic recurrences happen where partners from a past life come to one’s forefront in order to test us and tempt us. The law is testing us, is saying, “Do you want to follow the superior path or the inferior path?” If we give into our adulterer’s ego and we commit adultery, then we fail. But the couple that’s working Gnostically speaking, takes advantage of those circumstances in order to gain comprehension. Then those egos are annihilated and there’s greater love in the couple. It’s an ordeal Samael Aun Weor calls the Direne Ordeal in the book called The Three Mountains.
Question: Well, it is because you said that it has to do that to reach equilibrium. So say a Gnostic couple experiences that and that had happened in a past life, and then the woman transcends that, and does not act on that ego, are things out of whack?
Instructor: No, things are reconciled. In terms of balance, there’s an inferior way and a superior way. If we try to relate it to physics, if you punch a punching bag, it is going to move, then it will come back at you. So that force has to come back. Now, whether we decide to continue punching and foiling at it, that’s the problem. If you just punch it once and the force comes back to you, you grab it, and can hold it still. You comprehend that, well, you are too tired to keep up the monotony of hitting the bag and want to stop. In the same way, you realize that you can’t continue feeding those egos. When you comprehend that, you stop propelling that karma.
Comment: Because if you did punch it again, then it would have to come back and repeat the same thing over and over.
Instructor: Exactly. It is going to repeat, and to do that is to suffer and continue along that cycle of samsara.
Question: I have a question. You mentioned at the beginning of the lecture, a little bit about how, as you said, teachings on return, recurrence, reincarnation, sort of the whole subject matter here is taken, maybe not so much Western, but Christianity. Are there any examples of that you can elaborate or allude to? The only thing I can think of offhand is years ago, when I read the Old Testament and Book of Job in particular, and other scant places, in the Old and New Testaments, but particularly in the Book of Job, certain passages, led me to sort of see the possibility that Job, or the ones he was associating with had a notion of God…
Instructor: Yeah, that relates to recurrence. I’m speaking specifically about the doctrine of transmigration: the soul entering into different bodies. Now we have remnants of that in the Christian doctrine where the man who is possessed by many devils, those taking place in the souls of the bodies of pigs. It refers exactly to what I was referring to in relation to when we reincorporate into a new body, certain egos that are definitely criminal have to be taken out of us and put into different bodies like trees, animals, plants, cats, or dogs, or different beasts, to enter into devolution, as a type of mercy. The one who does that is Christ.
Also, Christ referred to John the Baptist as the return or reincarnation of Elijah (Matthew 11:13-14). You can also reference the return of Elijah in Malachi 4:5-6.
Comment: I rarely think of it in that context, because we think of casting out of demons and going somewhere else, on another level that’s like talking to…
Instructor: On one psychological level, it pertains to how we need to clean our temple. On another hand it talks about how certain psychological elements can reincorporate into animals. And its in the Bible, but people don’t really read deeply into it. Now, in Christianity, we find that a lot of things were taken out of the Bible, like Mary Magdalene’s role with Jesus as his wife―things of that nature―that he practiced alchemy with her.
Question: Not long ago I studied some of that with my father.
Instructor: Yeah, in the Bible a lot of things were edited or taken out. But you find it more common, the doctrine of transmigration, you find a lot in Buddhism and Hinduism. I wanted to point out how Pythagoras, how even Nietzsche, talked about the same thing. But many scholars of Nietzsche are saying, “No, he didn’t talk about reincarnation or reincorporation.” But in esotericism it is very clear.
Comment: Context.
Instructor: Exactly. So, a lot of those scholars they don’t know anything about an esoteric doctrine. They interpret things in a very literal manner.
Comment: Just as an aside, in India, they use the cow, I think for healing too, where they bring people to the cow and they touch the cow.
Instructor: The cow represents the Divine Mother. And there even was a five-legged cow that was found in India that Blavatsky wrote about. Now the cow is a sacred symbol of the Divine Mother Kundalini. Even in the second surah of the Qur’an, you have Al-Baqarah, which means “The Cow,” which is the longest surah of the Qur’an, which traditionally, in the Muslim tradition, one would sing the Qur’an, to recite. Qur’an means “recitation.” The cow is really the power of the verb, the Divine Mother. The cow, like in the myth of Mithras slaying the bull, he stabbed the bull in the throat, meaning to conquer the animal passion you have to work with Daath, sexual alchemy to kill that beast, that devolving serpent. Also, the way we do that is with the cow, the Divine Mother. Now traditionally, they would say the cow was supposed to have five legs. There was a cow found with five legs, literally, in India. There are five aspects to the Divine Mother that I mentioned in the books that we have, which you can read more about. But the cows relates to Devi-Kundalini [see the lecture The Divine Mother from Beginning Self-Transformation].
Comment: The healing also…
Instructor: Exactly. And the way that we heal is by working with our cow, by mantralizing, by working with that sacred power, and like Mithras, killing the animal ego so that we can unite with God. Yes?
Comment: As I’m listening,  don’t know if anyone has a frame of reference, preacher Dan was quite a famed Jesuit priest, based on Catholic order, known for his metaphysical pendants. I happen to get offered two tapes of his from his retreat, and its pretty profound. I mean back in 1955 on Easter Sunday, and its really good. The reader was saying how he was inhibited by the hierarchy of the church, that they actually did not want him to go and speak of these things because of the truth. Maybe they didn’t even know, I don’t know. But he was really held back and inhibited. And he had a message and here it is. Like in some cannon of knowledge somewhere, and I buy this tape, you know, about the cosmos and such.
Comment: Have you ever heard of Giordano Bruno? They burnt him to a crisp, the so-and-sos in the Vatican. This was during the Renaissance. He traveled all over Europe, and it was right along the same lines with this tape, same thing, only he was lucky. He was born 500 years before they would have burned him. They burnt Giordano Bruno and they burnt Savonarola.
Instructor: A lot of times, these were people, there were many initiates who had to keep silent about these things about return and reincarnation, especially within Christian doctrine, for fear of the Inquisition. It is a science that is well documented. Many of us don’t accept this at face value, but really investigate this understanding of our past lives, really investigate within meditation, but also in the astral plane. I remember, for instance, I was with the Master Samael Aun Weor in the astral plane, where I was trying to get help from him, and he kept telling me, “You need to remember your past lives.” And I was complaining, I was kind of whining that I don’t remember, and this was years ago. He said it doesn’t matter. You need to know your past lives now because it is going to tell you about your current situation. Everything we have physically now is a result of our relationship to the past. Yes?
Question: You said, alchemy must be completely absent of lust, but with so much ego isn’t it really hard to not even have like a lustful thought pop up?
Instructor: We want to strive to not have lust in the sexual act. In the beginning that is the way it is because we’re 97% ego.
Question: Is that a waste of energy then? When you avoid the fornication but you do have lustful thoughts that pop up?
Instructor: We have to work at our level. Wherever we’re at, we have to work at, we have to understand that we’re not going to be pure. We’re not going to perform the sexual acts like saints. We gradually train ourselves to do it like that. So in the beginning, yeah, there is a lot of lust. I would say practice in short increments to train the body and the mind. Then prolong the act so long as one can retain the energies.
Question: Do you have to be at the same level, spiritually, mentally, and spiritually? Because if one is more inclined to, you mentioned, the erotic order, then there’s no balance there. You have to be on the same…
Question: You mean the two people?
Comment: Yeah.
Comment: Because I was asking about that, and about a master who practiced with a non-believer and he rose. And she saw how he was glowing and said now I want to do this too. But I don’t think they need to be equal.
Instructor: What is important is that one has the potential to rise to the same level. But at the same time, we are at different levels of being. You can be very high up and your partner can be struggling. There are many stories about that with different initiates, but it really depends on our creative will, how we want to work on alchemy. If our partner is against it, but there’s still love there, we can work. And then by our example, the other person can want to rise to our level. Whether or not one is compatible that is another thing, capable of rising to the same level, basically speaking.
Question: We can save our partner through alchemy, right?
Instructor: Yes. This is exactly what Paul of Taurus has taught in the Bible. Disbelieving husband, how do you not know that your disbelieving wife can be saved? Or, wife, how do you not know that your disbelieving husband will not be saved? (1 Corinthians 7). It is by being a good example, by working with our creative will, is how we are going to change that.
Comment: And that’s a loving couple too.
Instructor: It’s a path of sacrifice. Of course, people think that alchemy, when people get married, “Oh, it’s going to be perfect and there’s going to be no problems.” People want to think like that, but it’s a crucifixion, one in which we can redeem ourselves.
Question: Well, then along with that, with sexual energy, she was talking about how if you practice all day and then go watch TV, you’ve wasted all the energy you’ve cultivated. So there’s a lot of other ways to waste that energy too, right?
Instructor: It depends on our psychological state and how we invest our energy into certain projects. So you can save a lot of energy in alchemy, but within a moment of anger, you say something really hateful, you lose all of that. It’s possible. The thing is to conserve the energy and restrain the mind. Because if we don’t restrain the mind, if we don’t have ethical discipline, then all the energy in the world is not going to save us. In fact, it will make us more destructive, which is symbolized by the centaurs who are in hell. They built solar bodies. They are half human, but have a lot of animal. They didn’t kill their ego entirely, so they fall there. It is very common.
Question: Is this from Nietzsche?
Instructor: Yeah, from what I know that happened with Nietzsche. He let himself fall intentionally.
Comment: That’s why he went crazy.
Comment: I was just going to say Rudolph Steiner, wrote about the centaurs, said they were highly intelligent and the natural science was ridiculous.
Instructor: The centaur is a symbol.
Comment: He said they came out of the universe and they made it with the daughters of men or something like that.
Instructor: He’s speaking symbolically, for people who don’t know kabbalah. When centaurs mated with daughters of men, it means certain initiates with solar bodies were mating with the ancient humanities, ancient phenomena that Samael Aun Weor talks about. Any more comments or questions? We’ll conclude.
Question: I have one. You mention briefly about spouses or someone you care about that’s suffering, and maybe they need more help. In eastern traditions there’s a lot of stories like in Buddhism, where a family member always burned incense for the Buddha or God or something like that, and then gave a special blessing for the person who, you know, was knee-deep in debt and that cleared a lot of it. There’s always certain things that can be done in that sort of thing, right?
Instructor: Well you know, we can say burning incense is helpful for our mental and emotional state. It doesn’t absolve karma. There are some people who think that doing certain things is going to liberate us, “Oh, if you sing this mantra a million times, 101 times, you’re going to absolve your karma.” It doesn’t work like that. It will help you adjust your mental state so that you can face your karma with more strength.
Question: Don’t the gods derive a great deal of ecstasy from being around that? Master Samael talks about having incense in your room and things like that. It draws the masters…
Instructor: Yeah, it attracts superior forces. I think it was mentioned in The Way of the Bodhisattva. We’ll conclude on this point, The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva. Anyone who begins to walk this path of initiation, who is developing the soul within, the gods [buddhas] look at that and they favor that. They hail that individual, “Finally, another soul is entering into the stream of nirvana.”
Many times I have had experiences where I was with certain masters and they were pleased. Lighting incense helps with that. It accentuates. It strengthens one’s prayer. It is something you can verify internally that they’re helping. As soon as you’re working with sexual energy and you’re trying to restrain your mind, they come to you and they will guide you, internally. If there are no more comments and questions we will conclude. Thank you all for coming. 

<![CDATA[Turandot (Act I)]]>Tue, 14 Jul 2020 19:39:05 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/turandot-act-i
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from The Secret Teachings of Opera, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:

As evidenced by this great work of art, we will discover how Puccini, as a great master of Freemasonry, was an initiate of the straight path, the direct path of the Bodhisattva: those who incarnate Christ in order to help humanity, to sacrifice for humanity. 

His particular focus in his last work of art that he composed is to talk about the Divine Mother, as evidenced by the name Turandot, which reminds us of the Nordic runes. As we began this lecture, we practiced the Rune Ur, the mantra Ram-IO. Ur we find in TUR-andot, and the mantra Ram-IO is found with Ra and O, the vowels and syllables of this name.
Ur is light, the divine, which in heaven is known as Kundalini. But when that energy is channeled within the ego, it is Kundabuffer. This opera teaches us this precise duality of the nature of that divine force, which, once it is purified, liberates the soul. But when it is fed through desire, through fornication, it becomes the tempting serpent of Eden, which is something we find symbolized in the great dramas of this opera, particularly Act One, of which we are going to focus on today.
Even the name Turandot, syllabically reminds us of תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the human soul. Ur or אוֹר Aur is light in Hebrew: תִּפְ-אֶוֹרֶ-ת Tiph-aur-ret. That name begins with the Hebrew letter ת Tav and ends in ת Tav: the Seal of God, the covenant, the pact of sexual magic which unites the brave heroes, the great warriors who are willing to answer three riddles, in order to marry the divine Princess Turandot, the Hebrew Shekinah of the Kabbalists.
So the human soul must incarnate the light, אוֹר Aur, or as we find in the Rune Ur, we pray, "Oh Divine Mother of mine, oh Isis of mine. You have the child Horus, my true Being within your arms." And what is that true being Horus? It is a symbol of Christ because the Divine Mother is the mother of Christ. We find in this opera by Puccini the Path of the Bodhisattva, of the incarnation of Christ, the path of sacrifice, in which the great heroes overcome trials and temptations in order to marry, to be purified within the Divine Mother.
As we find in that prayer, “You carry my true Being within your arms. I need to die within my defects so that my Essence may be lost in Him, in Him, in Him.” Three times, three riddles, three forces, which we find in the Christian trinity, which is a number in the tarot that we find repeated often in this opera, not only in its structure of three acts, but also three questions that the hero must answer in order to be liberated, to marry or self-realize the divine.
We will be talking about the tarot in depth in this explanation of the opera Turandot.

Death and Immortality

This Arcanum 13 we discussed previously. Immortality is the profound core of this opera, because we find in the first act of Turandot that anyone who wishes to marry Shekinah, the Divine Mother, must answer three riddles. If he fails in any one of them, he must die, which is a symbol of how one loses one's soul if one fails in the ordeals of the 13th Arcanum, because the work against the elimination of the ego is very difficult, very painful, very challenging.
But if we are faithful to our Divine Mother Death, She will give us a crown of life, immortality, perfection, because in order to marry or self-realize the Divine Mother, Binah in Kabbalah, the Holy Spirit or אם אלהים Aima Elohim, the feminine aspect of the Holy Ghost, we as a soul must be dead to the ego. The ego must not exist. In order to reach that point, we have to answer three riddles, which are symbols that we will be covering in Act Two.
But Arcanum 13 is a profound teaching that Puccini knew very well and depicted so beautifully in his work. Samael Aun Weor mentions in The Aquarian Message that many operas existed in relation to the mysteries of the tarot, as well as the 13th Arcanum, which is why he explains how in the 13 Arcanum, one faces what are known as the funereal ordeals, and that opera has been used to depict that path of the death of desire.
"The funeral ordeals of the thirteenth arcanum developed as a profound opera within the great archaic mysteries. The austere hierophants of the great mysteries rose from within the old sepulchers of ancient times." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message
Because who are those austere hierophants? Austere meaning “severe,” masters of the left pillar of the Tree of Life, reminding us of severity, justice. And on the right pillar we find mercy. These two pillars of Kabbalah of the Tree of Life resonate within the dramas and symbols of this opera. But these hierophants are those who master, precisely, the left pillar of the Tree of Life, the serpent Ida.
Remember that we have two serpents in our spine: the solar and the lunar serpents. Pingala and Ida, Adam-Eve, male-female, ו Vav and ז Zayin. That left serpent in most people has fallen because it has descended, down the Chakra Muladhara through the coccyx, to form what is known as the tail of demons within the astral body. That is the tempting serpent that any initiate must overcome through the death of desire.
“The old operas of the thirteenth arcanum resounded with their ineffable melodies in the terrifying night of the centuries within the subterranean caverns of the Earth." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message
Some people read this statement very literally, not understanding that Samael Aun Weor spoke in a very kabbalistic way, because these operas of the 13th Arcanum, they resound within this Kali Yuga, this age of darkness we live in, in order to teach those souls who are demonic, the path of the light―the straight path. We find that these operas resound within the subterranean caverns of the Earth. 

And what are these caverns the Earth? People like to think that the Master Samael literally meant underground somewhere, where some operas are being portrayed, but the meaning is much more symbolic. We are in מלכות Malkuth, but we also know from our studies that our sephirah Malkuth is submerged within the inferior laws of Klipoth, within negative infra-dimensions, which is why in certain cities like Chicago, New York, L.A., we find tremendous degeneration.
We are within the caverns of the Earth, because we are in the abyss, even when physically active. Because we find that those inferior qualities, laws of the infernal dimensions have surfaced, but symbolically, we are in the caves. We are in the darkness. And so, Turandot is an opera that resounds, with its symbolism of the 13th Arcanum, within the caverns of the Earth, which are the opera houses.
When we recognize the ineffable melodies that portray the teachings of Christ, we become filled with awe, inspiration, remembrance, so that we become inspired to work. And precisely, this opera is a tool for initiates, to remind them and to teach them what they must do if they want to succeed. It is through the mysteries of this opera of the 13th Arcanum, is how we rise from the sepulchers, like the austere hierophants of ancient ages, because through the teachings of this opera, we learn to overcome death. Not only psychologically, or better said, spiritually, but also physically through the path of resurrection, of reunion, of return to the divine.

In order to talk about this opera, we have to repeatedly refer to the Tree of Life, because there are many characters in places that are symbolized by the teachings of the Tree of Life. Each character is a different sephirah, a different aspect of the soul. And likewise, the multi-dimensionality of the Tree of Life teaches us how to interpret where we are in the opera, where the soul is and what it must do.

​The Opening of Act I 

So the opera begins with tremendous clamor, tumult, amongst the people of Peking, as an executioner of the law, the tribunal of divine justice, pronounces the following prophetic and deadly words:
“Any man of noble blood who desires to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles. If he fails, he will be beheaded.”
If we want to marry the Divine Mother Turandot, we must become an initiate, a man born of noble blood. What does it mean to be a human being? It means to reach mastery on the Tree of Life. 

We talk about five initiations of fire that lead to the creation of the human being by raising the Kundalini serpent from the body of Malkuth within its spine, from the Chakra Muladhara to the brain―likewise with the vital body, יְסוֹד Yesod; the astral body, הוד Hod; the mental body, נצח Netzach; and תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the causal body. At that point one can say he has become a true human being, a man of noble blood.
But that is not enough, because one could reach mastery, reach that level Tiphereth, the center of the Tree of Life, and yet, it is another thing to reach perfection in mastery through the straight path of the Bodhisattvas.
In order to reach that point, one must achieve what is called the Buddhist annihilation, the death of the ego, in a complete sense.  Right now, we are in Malkuth, and to use the terms of Freemasonry, of which Puccini was very familiar, we are imitatus, souls that imitate the works and lives of the great masters, the adeptus, the adepts. To become an adept, which is a master of the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries, we could say an adeptus minor, Tiphereth, we have to answer three riddles, which of course relate to how we work with the three brains, the three mother letters of Kabbalah: א Aleph, ש Shin, and מ Mem, which spell השם Hashem: the Name, which if we take the letter א Aleph and pronounce it as a letter ה Hei, השם Hashem, we spell the sacred name of God or the sacred appellation from the Name: יהוה Iod-Havah, Jehovah.
So in the beginning of this opera, we have an executioner who provides some context for why Peking is in chaos. It is also important to note that within the writings of Samael Aun Weor, he explains that in the tribunal of justice within the superior worlds, there are executioners. 
What is that tribunal of justice represented in this opera? We find by the holy city of China, the divine, which if you look on the Tree of Life, we find that there are different places mapped out here. China, the kingdom of Turandot, represents the Far East, the top trinity of the Tree of Life. It is important to recognize that when we look at the directions of this vertical glyph, we can transpose the four directions of any compass onto this glyph.
We know that Tiphereth is where the sun rises, which is the solar logos. Tiphereth is governed by Venus and the Sun. The Sun rises in the East in Tiphereth. Therefore it is the East. To go further is to reach the Far East, which is China: כֶּתֶר Kether, חָכְמָה Chokmah, בִּינָה Binah. We know that Binah or the feminine aspect of Binah is known as אם אלהים Aima Elohim, as I said, the Divine Mother Kundalini.
The West is where the Sun sets towards Malkuth, but also towards the infra-dimensions where the darkness of the mind exists. The West is towards what is known as the Tartarus, which is the opening of our opera. We could also say is the city of Peking, because in the opening of this great drama, we see there is tremendous chaos. There are crowds pushing against each other, screaming out in agony, suffering incredibly. That is hell. We begin this opera within the abyss. As you remember from the opening of this lecture, we talked about how the ineffable melodies of the 13th Arcanum resound as an opera within the abyss.
Just as we find that statement from Samael Aun Weor, we find that a great executioner of the law, a divine being, speaks to those multitudes of demons, that “If you wish to escape your fate within the infra-dimensions, you must answer three riddles. You must be of noble blood, an initiate. By answering those riddles, you will marry Turandot.” You will leave the West, which is the abyss, and enter towards China, the Far East, to marry the divine princess.
But of course, very few take that path. Very few aspire to unite with Christ, which is why in the beginning of the opera, you find that there is only one person who is willing to do so amongst the majority of people, of which we will be talking about in brief. He is the prince whose name is not given until the very end of the opera in Act Three. But it is important to remember that in order to escape Peking, Tartarus, the abyss, we must become initiates. We must answer the riddles and ascend the Tree of Life.
The initiate who does not die to the ego, who fails in those three ordeals―relating to how we work against the ego in the three brains: the intellectual brain, the emotional brain, and the motor-instinctive-sexual brain―if we fail in those trials and ordeals in the struggle against the elimination of our defects, it means that we cannot marry [self-realize] the Divine Mother. We fail like the Prince of Persia, who failed the ordeals and is executed in this act.
Kundalini above, Kundabuffer below. We notice that from the chorus of people in the opera, there are people who praise Turandot, but also fear her. This is why Samael Aun Weor said that “The Divine Mother is the terror of love and law.” Above she is heavenly, but down in the abyss, she is the tempting serpent that leads the lost souls, the demons, into the path of devolution.
The three principal characters we are introduced to in the beginning of this opera, his name is never given. His name is Timur. He is the father of the prince, who is the Prince Calaf. Timur is the exiled king of Tartary, and we find that he is with his faithful servant, Liu, before they reunite with their Prince Calaf, who is the son of Timur.
Timur is related to Tartary. He is exiled from his kingdom and now he is in Peking. He is with his servant Liu, who is the only person who supported him after losing his kingdom―a terrifying symbol of how our Spirit, our Innermost God, Timur, has been exiled. Our inner God, the 4th Arcanum of the Tarot: the Emperor, has lost his empire. And now he is lost seeking his son who has been separated from him.
That is a symbol of any person who, because of having created the ego, loses all development, and loses all innocence. Therefore, Timur, the Spirit, חֶסֶד Chesed in Kabbalah, as well as גְּבוּרָה Geburah, the divine soul, represented by Liu, the servant, are abandoned. They are separated from the soul, which is Tiphereth.
Tiphereth, the prince, is lost in Peking, but they reunite together within the city, indicating how any person who enters Gnosis and experiences their inner God, has that reunion, which is very beautifully depicted in this opera where the prince says, “Padre, mio padre,” “I have waited for you so long! I have lost you but now we are united!” because through meditation, through initial exercises in this tradition, we become reunited with our inner God. 

We will state that Tartary was a great tract of Northern and Central Asia stretching from the Caspian Sea in the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Tartary relates to the North, the regions of the cold of Asia. In Kabbalah, we say that Chesed is the North, because if you take the four directions―East is the vertical part of the Tree of Life towards China, the top Trinity of the Tree of Life, the West is Malkuth―the North is towards the right, Chesed; and the South relates to the left pillar of the Tree of Life, because we know that the further South you go on the globe, the hotter it gets, typically beneath the equator. Towards the northern regions, it gets colder, which is why certain authors like Friedrich Nietzsche depicted how initiates live within the North, and why many German authors and composers like Wagner always depicted the great heroes coming from the North, from the land of Boreas, Hyperboreas, Hyperborea, “the northern wind,” a symbol of an ancient humanity, but also representative of how spiritual forces dwell within the higher regions of the globe like the mountains―the mountain of initiation, the North.
Geburah, the South, relates to the left pillar of the Tree of Life because through the powers of the left pillar is how one can return to Binah, the Holy Ghost, or by abusing the powers of the left pillar, as we discussed in Arcanum 8: Justice, that force can descend down through Malkuth into the infernal planes.
This is why the very beginning of the opera, when Timur falls, the king falls, his servant Liu says, “My master has fallen! Will someone raise him for me?” It is a powerful symbol: how in us our master is no longer active. Our inner master has fallen, meaning: our development has been nullified. Why does Geburah, Liu, the servant, the divine soul, state, “My master has fallen. Will someone raise him?” This is because she is the power of the left pillar of the Tree of Life, which can raise the initiate, but she needs her help, and that is where the prince comes in, Prince Calaf, played by Placido Domingo in this version we have been watching.
That is when they are reunited. The prince, Tiphereth, emerges because only through the sephirah Tiphereth, our human willpower, can we conquer Netzach, the mind; Hod, the emotions; Yesod, our vitality, and Malkuth, our physicality, but also enter into the inferior worlds, the infra-dimensions, in order to work against the mind.

​The Fall of Tyr

This path of initiation and this recognition of one's psychological state has been depicted in the Bible. When Liu says, How my master is fallen,” we find this represented in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 23, with the fall of the city of Tyre.
1 Wail, you ships of Tarshish!
    For Tyre is destroyed
    and left without house or harbor.
From the land of Cyprus
    word has come to them.
2 Be silent, you people of the island
    and you merchants of Sidon,
    whom the seafarers have enriched.
3 On the great waters
    came the grain of the Shihor;
the harvest of the Nile[a] was the revenue of Tyre,
    and she became the marketplace of the nations

The city of Tyre was a representation of the city of the soul that was perfected. If you are familiar with the Rune Tyr amongst the Nordics, in our tradition, we do the mantra Tyr with our hands raised above our head, when we descend our hands down in the form of an arrow pointing up with our head as an apex. We do the mantra Tyr:
That is the power of Christ that descends through our mind, the Chakra Sahasrara, or China, the Far East in our head, because the solar logos enters our mind, our head, in order to descend down towards the Middle East, which is Tiphereth, our heart. Because Tiphereth is the East, but since it is in the middle of the Tree of Life, we call it the Middle East, which is why the character named the Prince of Persia in this opera was a master of the Middle East, the heart, but who failed the ordeals of the 13th Arcanum.
When that energy descends down into your body, it reaches what is called the West, which is your feet, Malkuth. The North is the right hand, South is the left hand. Chesed-Geburah. So when we work with that mantra Tyr, we are invoking those energies down to our body, and then we do the Rune Bar with our left hand on our left hip, our left heel against our right, our right hand against our side. 
Bar is fire because we take the enemies of Christ down through our organism our Tree of Life, our spine, and then charge our body with the Rune Bar. Bar in Aramaic means “son.” It also means “fire,” and it is the root word of words like “barbarian,” “bar-bar-Aryan,” Ares, the power of Samael.
Another interesting etymology is that the power of Tyr, Timur, the power of light of the Spirit of the Rune Tyr, also relates to the acrostic Artyr―Arthur. King Arthur is the Spirit, the Innermost. We find that the Rune Ar, with our left hand on our left side, our right foot out, our right hand on our right side. We do the mantra Ario:
This is in order to prepare for the awakening of the sacred fire of the Kundalini.
The Rune Tyr, again, is when Christ descends into us. So, Arthur in the Britannic myths relate to the Spirit, the power of Tartary, the North, because we know that Britain and many of the Nordic lands were relating to the northern regions.
So that energy from the heavenly worlds has been abused, has been lost, represented by the fall of Tyre in the Bible. That energy of Christ entered us, but because of our mistakes, the city has been punished. Our soul has been lost.
So “On the great waters came the grain of the Shihor;” when one of those great waters of alchemy, our energies, which is where the grain, the seed, of Shihor― שין האוֹר Shin Ha’Aur: the fire and light of our potential is carried through the waters. “That was the revenue of Tyr,” meeting that our spiritual city, our soul, in the past, might have had development, and yet we have lost it, evidenced by the fact that we are ignorant. We are in Peking. We are in the darkness of the mind, lost like in the beginning of this opera. 
4 Be ashamed, Sidon, and you fortress of the sea,
    for the sea has spoken:
“I have neither been in labor nor given birth;
    I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters.”
And why mention that the sea has spoken? That sea is the Divine Mother, the ocean of the uncreated light: the Ain, the Ain Soph, the Ain Soph Aur―represented by the very top of the Tree of Life, the Absolute. That is the great ocean, the cosmic space, Turandot, whom we seek to reunite with.
So “I have never been in labor nor given birth. I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters,” because that ocean of the great light has not created true men in many cases. Most of humanity does not want to be a child of God, an initiate. Therefore, the ocean of the light says, “I have not reared children, initiates, in this planet Earth, because it is a failure.” Where are the bodhisattvas, the masters?” As Liu says, “My master has fallen.” So our planet is precisely a mess. It is the city of Tyre that has been destroyed, and will be destroyed like Babylon in the Book of Revelations.
5 When word comes to Egypt,
    they will be in anguish at the report from Tyre.
And what is this Egypt? מִצְרָיִם Mitzraim in Hebrew, meaning “the place between the waters.” In this case, when news of the fall of Tyre has been made manifest, those initiates from the Egyptian pantheon in the internal worlds look at us with a great sorrow. 
6 Cross over to Tarshish;
    wail, you people of the island.
7 Is this your city of revelry,
    the old, old city,
whose feet have taken her
    to settle in far-off lands?
…meaning to become strangers to the kingdom of God, the soul.
8 Who planned this against Tyre,
    the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants are princes,
    whose traders are renowned in the earth?
So Tyr, again, is the bestower of crowns, because in the Rune Tyr, you are invoking Christ into your crown of your head, your chakra. So even though those forces have entered into us, because we have been degenerate, we have expelled that light. We have destroyed the city of our Inner Being.
9 The Lord Almighty planned it,
    to bring down her pride in all her splendor
    and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.
10 Till your land as they do along the Nile,
    Daughter Tarshish,
    for you no longer have a harbor.
Why mention the sea so much and the ships of Tarshish? In the internal planes, if you are driving a boat or riding in a boat, it is a symbol of working in alchemy, or it is a symbol also of working with the waters of sexuality, because the boat of the great arcanum, the great ark, the path of the arch-angels, hovers over the faces of the waters, of Genesis, of alchemy, of transmutation. Those ships have no harbor, meaning they have nowhere to go, because we have betrayed the great arcanum, the teachings of chastity.
11 The Lord has stretched out his hand over the sea
    and made its kingdoms tremble.
He has given an order concerning Phoenicia
    that her fortresses be destroyed.
12 He said, “No more of your reveling,
    Virgin Daughter Sidon, now crushed!
“Up, cross over to Cyprus;
    even there you will find no rest.”
Like the exiled king of Tartary, Timur. It is interesting that the word Tartary sounds like Tyr-tyry―Tyr, the powers of Tyr from above, the heavenly worlds that have been crushed, lost. And Timur, Liu, and the Prince Calaf have no place to rest, because they are in exile. They are being hunted, persecuted, because our soul is being persecuted by the ego, being hunted.
13 Look at the land of the Babylonians,
    this people that is now of no account!
The Assyrians have made it
    a place for desert creatures;
they raised up their siege towers,
    they stripped its fortresses bare
    and turned it into a ruin.
14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish;
    your fortress is destroyed!
15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king’s life

Arcanum 7 reminds us of war, battles, against the ego: Triumph. Because “Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, the span of a king's life.” If you reach and raise the seven serpents of fire within the lower sephiroth of the Tree of Life, you become a king. You reunite with Timur, your Spirit, the light. 
15 But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:
16 “Take up a harp, walk through the city,
    you forgotten prostitute;
play the harp well, sing many a song,
    so that you will be remembered.”
Why mention prostitution or prostitutes who sing their songs in remembrance of their past glories? Because right now, our soul is prostituted. It is lost. It is filthy. We may remember past days in our own meditations, our own experiences, in which we were once initiates. If you meditate and enter the internal worlds, you can find out from your inner God, what is your development? Because in most cases, for most people who are in the Gnostic movement, it is because we were here before, as a law of return a recurrence of all life. Many people who are in the Gnostic movement were once in other movements related to Gnosis in the past, but because they made mistakes, they left, and now they are returning again because Timur, the Spirit, is pushing for reunion.
But we are like that prostituted soul that sings about past glories. We may remember in our own meditations how perhaps we were up there, but now we are here. We are in suffering. So that is something you can verify and that is something very personal, because when you learn about your inner God and your development, perhaps in the past you were in initiate, but the point is that now we are here and we are not initiates. We have to regain what we lost. We have to regain what we remember. 
17 At the end of seventy years, the Lord will deal with Tyre. She will return to her lucrative prostitution and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. 18 Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the Lord; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the Lord, for abundant food and fine clothes. ―Isaiah 23
Because when you work with Arcanum 7, you develop many treasures and virtues of the soul. If you remember, we talked about how by overcoming the ego, we acquire great triumphs, blessings from divinity, glories from our inner God. “And we will return to trade,” meaning, working with the ocean, the sea, the ships―working in transmutation once again, so that those goods which are stored up, those virtues of the soul, will be like fine clothes, meaning: solar bodies, which are inflamed with fire and life.

Spiritual Reunion

So, in this opera, Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphereth: Timur, Liu, and Prince Calaf, are reunited. Meaning, the human soul has, by meditation, have experiences with the Spirit and the divine soul because the human soul, we have to remember, is where we get the Essence.
Right now, we are the Essence, which is 3% free and 97% conditioned by ego. But when we reunite with the divine, we feel a great joy, but also great sorrow, because any initiate who once finds the path again after having lost it is filled with a lot of lamentation and sweet melancholy. Really, to be without God is to be in the greatest suffering, which indicates why Calaf in this Opera, the prince, is filled with such remorse, because he is a fallen bodhisattva.
He suffers a lot. He is a man of noble blood, meaning: he once entered initiation in the past and now he is returning to the path, because he wants to return to the Divine Mother Turandot.
Also in the opera, Calaf hesitates to pronounce his father's name. In the beginning of this opera, he says to his father, “I won't say your name here because we are being persecuted.” It is interesting because Samael Aun Weor mentions that the Spirit, Chesed, has a sacred name. All of us, our inner Spirit, has a divine name. Samael Aun Weor is a sacred name of the Angel Samael. Every person, every Being, every Innermost, has a sacred name.
As we circulate through existence from existence adopting new personalities, new terrestrial names, either of the male or female sex, those things are temporary. In truth, we maintain and always continue on in our profound depths of our consciousness with the divine name, the name that belongs to our inner God, our Being. So the prince Calaf says to his father, "I won't say your name here because we are being hunted." He knows his inner name, who his true identity is, but he fears to pronounce it because of what might happen to him, also because they do not want to evoke the wrath of the secret enemy stated by Moriy in his Dayspring of Youth: the ego, desire, the animal “I.”
Liu is the only person out of the whole kingdom that was faithful to King Timur when everything fell apart, because the divine soul, which is known as Buddhi in Sanskrit, is part of the Innermost. The Spirit, Chesed, is known as Atman amongst the Hindus. Atman-Buddhi. And when you unite the human soul in that trinity, you form Atman-Buddhi-Manas: Spirit―divine soul―human soul. 
The divine soul is feminine, receptive, but she is also the power of Mars: strength, spirituality. She remains faithful to Timur because, again, she is part of him. Atman-Buddhi is one unit when one enters initiation, and so the human soul must unite with that inner trinity.
Another term for Liu is Beatrice: Dante's divine soul in his comedy, his Divine Comedy. It is Beatrice who always serves God, is divine. So she helps Tiphereth, and when the Prince Calaf asks her, “Why did you serve my father so much?” She says, “It is because you smiled at me once”―a reference to how the divine soul loves the human soul. Liu is in love with the Prince Calaf, and so serves him selflessly. Of course, Tiphereth wants to marry Binah, the Holy Spirit, simply because in the Tree of Life, Binah is the higher sephirah that we must attain above Geburah. But all parts of the soul must be integrated, must be united and must work together, as we will see in this opera.

​Devolution and the Second Death

Perhaps one of the most terrifying scenes in this opera is the very opening, where we find the phrase or the song “Gira la cote,” and they are singing about blood and death and destruction―violence, hell. Gira la cote means “spin the wheel,” sharpen the executioner's axe. This is the song of the demons of the abyss, in Peking or in the infernal worlds. It is the wheel of cyclical existence (Bhavachakra) that spins upon the axis of ignorance, craving, and aversion.
It is important to note that in the Bible we find the following phrase, "Nephesh, nephesh, blood is paid for blood." נפש Nephesh we explain is the animal soul, which we find in our blood, in our instinct.
When the energies of sex are expelled, we form the tail of Satan as I mentioned, Kundabuffer. That is a nephesh, animal soul. That is the energy that takes those fornicators down into the worlds of Klipoth in order to devolve, to be disintegrated, which is why all the people of Peking in the beginning are crying out and singing to hell. They are singing about the second death, because they want those fallen souls, for the initiates to join them within the abyss, within Tartarus, the infernal planes.
It is also interesting that in that part of the opera, they are waiting for the executioner to come. Pu-Tin-Pao is his name, which reminds us of I-A-O, but in hell, because the power of Tyr, the heavenly world, has been lost in the infernal dimensions. Christ has been inverted and the energies of Christ above, when they are taken and used through fornication, become the forces of the hell realms―the power of nephesh, the animal soul.
So all of these people are clamoring out in intoxication from desire. All those black initiates of the infernal planes don't want people to marry Turandot, and so they fight against them and sing against them, saying, “Let him try to answer the riddles, but he will fail and join us in death.” So the initiates of the Black Lodge, as we explained in Arcanum 8: Justice, identify and fortify the forces of devolution, so that through many aeons, they are disintegrated within the interior of the earth, within the astral and mental planes or the inferior astral and mental planes, the Klipoth. 
It always fills me with great horror whenever I watch that part of the opera, because I have had experiences related to it. I remember many years ago, I was in the astral plane and a group of black magicians came after me. They were very angry with me, because I am working in this path. So they took me and brought me into the interior of the earth, and forced me to watch a ceremony, which is similar to what we see in the opening of Turandot, which if you are familiar with the Metropolitan Opera version, you see that they are dancing with a dragon, a serpent. Where in the astral plane, I saw a ritual they were performing, showing how the devolving serpent is taking them down into the infernal planes. It was a kind of like a parade or ceremony.
But of course, at that time I didn't feel any fear or discomfort. I was simply happy to be awake, conscious. But I looked at them very sorrowful, and of course that made them angry because they weren't convincing me about what they were doing. But I remember being in that Black Lodge and they were trying to tempt me, and teach me about the inverted serpent, but I already know enough about that, and I have confronted them many times in my work, where they try to tempt you to enter the devolving path. 
This is the same multitudes, the lunar multitudes who worship Luna. When they are waiting for the executioner to arrive, to kill the Prince of Persia, the master who failed in the ordeals of the 13th Arcanum, we find that they bow down and worship the moon. It is a symbol of how black magicians worship the ego, because the moon as we explained in Arcanum 8 is the ego, desire, mechanicity, repetition, suffering. They even refer to the moon as “a lopped off head, a severed head.” It is a symbol of how those black magicians worship egotism, נפש nephesh, animality. And so, when they worship the moon, it is a symbol of how they are descending from Malkuth to the nine spheres of hell. The first sphere of hell relates to the moon, according to Dante in The Divine Comedy. And that is the entrance into the infernal worlds. 
Question: But doesn’t the moon also relate to Yesod?
Instructor: Yes, because Yesod is the vital energy. In heaven it is pure, but through fornication, it is limbo, the first sphere of hell. The chorus says a couple lines such as how they love “the bloodless one.” They are lovers of the dead, meaning: they are worshiping and loving hell because down there, there is no spirit. If you remember what Nietzsche is saying from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, he says that “Write with blood and you will discover that blood is spirit.” So the bloodless ones have no Spirit. They have no development, and because they are in hell, they are in Klipoth, the world of shells. They have no substance, no life, no reality, and they suffer for many eternities down there. 

But at the end of that choir calling for Pu-Tin-Pao―the power of I-A-O, diablo, the infernal powers that originally came from Christ, but have been filtered, conditioned, shelled, with animality, after the end of that song to Pu-Tin-Pao, the executioner―we hear a chorus of children singing a melody related to Turandot. It is very beautiful and innocent, very pure. It is a symbol of how after the soul devolves through the infernal worlds and after the ego is fully eliminated, then the consciousness can be extracted and returns as a child, an elemental, back within the paradises of the mineral kingdom, and then through evolution it can enter the plant kingdom, and then the animal kingdom, and then finally the humanoid kingdom again.
Those children are those souls that, after having entered and passed through the second death, the death of the ego within Klipoth, they return through transmigration back up the cycles of evolution. They are singing in their song about Turandot. They say “thousands of voices from the deserts of the sea call upon Turandot,” because those innocent children now have another opportunity in order to return to the Divine Mother. But of course, they failed, but they are going to restart the whole journey, again through many millions and millions and aeons of time. Of course, that is the great problem when initiates decide to fall: they lose everything and have to start over again, which of course is a very painful process.

When Masters Fall

At this point in the opera, the Prince of Persia is being led to his death. The Prince of Persia had answered or tried to answer three riddles, but failed them. And therefore, he is going to be executed. Persia is in the Middle East, which is why Puccini depicted how Tiphereth is in the Middle East of the glyph. Again, the Sun rises in Tiphereth, and since Tiphereth is in the middle of the Tree of Life, it has been depicted in certain religious scriptures as the Middle East. So the Prince of Persia is a master. He is a malik, a king, a warrior, Tiphereth, emphasized by the name Persia, or Pharisee, Farsi, which means “worshiper of fire,” INRI, Christ.
Question: But that’s the enlightened version of a Pharisee?
Instructor: Yes, so this character, he is a bodhisattva. But he failed the ordeals. He didn't eliminate the ego, and therefore he is going to be decapitated by the executioner, meaning: he is going to enter devolution because he failed. He couldn't eliminate his desires. They are too powerful.
At this point, the chorus shifts gears. It is interesting that the chorus sometimes praises the initiates but then sometimes praises hell. It is because in us, our kingdom is mixed. We are mixed with other virtues and vices, but everyone cries out to Turandot for mercy for the Prince of Persia, because they see how beautiful he is. Because any master who has light is beautiful, is Tiphereth, because Tiphereth in Hebrew means “beauty.” They want mercy for him. They don't want him to be executed. But of course, the Divine Mother is very severe, because if you want to marry her, you have to have no ego. That is why She is very demanding and why She is sometimes depicted in this opera as being very cruel: cold as jade, cold as a sword, because she is ז Zayin, the letter of Kabbalah relating to the spine, the Kundalini, the 7th Arcanum.
We will state that he was a prince of the Middle East who wanted to marry the Divine Mother in the Far East, China, and through the help of the Spirit and the divine soul. And so, it is a tragedy that this Prince of Persia failed, and it is very common. Many bodhisattvas fail in the work because they need to work more diligently in the death of the ego. And as we say, the chorus laments his death or his impending death because, coming from the Greek traditions, the word, the chorus, can either be congratulatory or condemning. It plays a dual function, referring to how the Word, the Christ, can be channeled in heaven or in hell.
Sometimes the crowd praises Christ saying, “Hosanna, hosanna in the highest! Glory to God in the highest!” And then next, “Crucifixia! Crucifixia!” So you find the duality in the chorus even from the Greek traditions, but also in this opera.
When Calaf sees the prince, sees the Prince of Persia going to his death, he says "Turandot, you are cruel. Let me see your face so I can curse you!” Because anyone in the beginning of these studies, when hearing about the severity of the Divine Mother, obviously feels fear or the ego feels fear and says, “Let me look at that divinity so I can curse her!” But this is the moment when he sees her for the first time and is overwhelmed and overcome by her beauty. When he sees her in this version of the opera, the stage rises along with the glorious theme or motif for the Divine Mother: kind of a mixture of Italian with Chinese music. It is a very beautiful alchemical synthesis of styles.
When he sees her for the first time, he is overwhelmed with love because anyone who experiences the Divine Mother in Her true form, wants to marry Her, to be reunited with Her, because She is perfection in an absolute sense. 

And Calaf, in this version of the opera, I don't know of what other versions may have this, but he has his hands outstretched raised, like this,  in the form of the Rune Man, because he wants to receive the power of the Divine Mother within him, the light. 
At this point in time, the crowds disperse. Turandot vanishes and the chorus states "Koung tzè, please take the soul of the dying Prince of Persia up to heaven." It is interesting that this word “Kung” is mentioned by Samael Aun Weor in his book Christ's Will, which reminds us of a gong, a keynote in nature. He explains in that book how all of nature has it sounds, its key notes within the spiritual realms as well as the physical. So he says that, I believe the line he uses in his book is, how “Christ resounds like the Chinese Kung,” and you find in this opera, ”Koung-tzè, please take this soul of this dying man up to heaven.” Because any sound, like a gong or a bell, is a symbol of the divine, of Christ. You say in the astral plane, looking to the sky, “In the name of Christ, by the power of Christ, for the glory of Christ!”―you will see from the sky a bell and hear a tremendous gong. 

You know those church bells that resound in the tops of cathedrals? They originated from that, because when you invoke Christ in the astral plane, you hear a gong, a bell, which also reminds us of ringing the bell three times when the Prince Calaf decides to take upon himself the ordeals of the 13th Arcanum by ringing the gong three times to awaken Turandot, a symbol of how we awaken the Kundalini within the Chakra Muladhara, which is coiled three-and-a-half times within the coccyx.
But before that point, Calaf has to face many trials. He becomes inebriated by her perfume, which is a symbol of chastity, because pure smells reminds us of incense, of transmutation, of the aroma of the sexual energy, which we inhale through the breath, the prana, and we circulate it throughout our body.
When he cries out her name, “Turandot!”  three times, the crowd becomes silent and then you hear the Prince of Persia yell, “Turandot!l and then he is executed. And of course, Timur and Liu in this part of the opera become very concerned. They don't want their child, the human soul to enter that path [of devolution]. But the fact that the crowds cry out in fear and terror when the Prince of Persia is executed also represents how in the internal planes, if you call out the name of the Virgin Mary, Miriam, the demons scream in terror. They despise chastity, which is something that Samael Aun Weor stated in his books.
But of course, King Timur and Liu, they are concerned with Calaf. They don't want him to enter that fate, and it seems contradictory that if Timur is the Spirit and Liu is the divine soul, why would they try to dissuade Calaf from the path? It is also something very subtle and symbolic, something very beautiful. They warn him about the consequences of failure, but they don't dissuade him from the path. They only tell him that if you fail, you will suffer more than had you never started. Because, when you work with energy, you build up power and force, and if that becomes diverted back down into hell again, one falls lower than one began.
They emphasize that the work of the ego is very dangerous, very difficult. If you fail, you will lose more than if you had never started. But this type of dynamic in the relationship refers to a scripture in the Book of Mark, chapter 10 verses 29 to 30, when Jesus refers to how one's family, one's friends will go against oneself, which is represented by this symbol, because when we enter the path of initiation, people go against us. They dislike the fact that we are working against the ego.
“And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 
“But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” ―Mark 10:29-30

Diablo, Lucifer, and the Three Traitors

At this point in time we meet three very enigmatic characters. Their names are Ping, Pang, and Pong. They come into the scene in order to stop the prince from following his destiny. They are coming into the scene order to tempt the prince, and their names aren't given at this point of the opera, but their names are Ping, Pang, and Pong. If you look at the vowels of their name, you find the meaning of their symbol: I-A-O. Igneous, Aqua, Origo. 
Question: A sacred symbol? That is a sacred name!
Instructor: Yes, because this force of I-A-O, when it is in heaven is pure, but within the ego, is the tempter. This is where we get the word diablo (DI-A-BLO). So this is Lucifer, which represents part of our Being. He is our psychological trainer. The light of Lucifer reminds us of luci feros, the light of Christ. Up in heaven, Lucifer was divine, but because we fell, we took Lucifer, the creative sexual energy, and destroyed it, conditioned it through desire, through ego. That light became the devil, the ego, desire.
So that energy is partly trapped in the ego. It needs to be liberated, which is why Samael Aun Weor stated that Lucifer is our psychological trainer who is mixed with desire. He is the part of our Being that gives us trials and ordeals and temptations so that we can face ourselves, face the mind, in order to see our problems, because without facing those psychological conflicts, those trials, those ordeals, we can't find and work on the ego. We can't see our defects.
He is the light of I-A-O, but in hell, he is diablo, the tempter. This is why in the Buddhist myth, Mara has three daughters who tempt Buddha when he is meditating beneath the Bodhi Tree. Likewise, Jesus is betrayed by three traitors: Judas, Pilate, and Caiphas. Calaf wants to climb the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, to work with a marriage. Of course, he is tempted in his three brains: his intellect, his emotions, and his sex, through desire, because the ego manifests in the three brains: I-A-O. “I” reminds us of the intellectual brain because the mantra “I,” pronounced “ee,” vibrates in the head. The mantra O vibrates in the heart. The vowel A reminds us of the waters, also the breath, because we work with the breath and the creative sexual energy through our lungs to work upon the waters of Genesis. I-A-O: intellectual brain related with Netzach, emotional brain relating to Hod, and the motor-instinctive-sexual brain relating to Yesod, our waters. 
For Calaf to be more determined in his path, he has to be tempted, and so his own mind goes against him, raging and conflicting with him by saying, “Turandot doesn't even exist. Why do you want to enter this path? Who are you? What do you want?” And that is a question that we ask ourselves and we are asked in our Gnostic studies. Who are we? What are we living for? Where we going? Why are we living?
Any student who enters Gnosis for the first time faces that conflict. When beginning to learn meditation, they find that the mind is fighting, is agitated, is addicted to sensations, to desires. I believe there is even one line that Ping, Pang, and Pong say, “Why do you want to marry Turandot so much? Why do you want the Divine Mother? You can have many women here in this physical plane.” And so that is lust and temptation in the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.
Calaf becomes very angry, very agitated. He says, “Leave me be! Let me follow my path.” But of course, the ego is always going after him. Lucifer is always tempting, trying to show him his own faults so that he can marry Turandot. That is the great mystery of diablo. If there is no temptation, there is no light. Temptation is fire. Triumph over temptation is light.
If you want to enter the Far East as a soul emanating from the Middle East, you have to descend to the West, the abyss, the Tartarus, where the power of Tyr, Tyrtarus, Tyr―the energies are inverted. You have to go down into your own hell realms through Arcanum 1: The Magician, through descending into the infernal worlds in order to reascend with power. That is the mystery of Lucifer.
We find that these three characters Ping, Pang, and Pong are represented in this work many times throughout the opera, in Acts Two and Three;, more importantly within Act One, but also in Act Three. Act Two is a little bit more subtle.
But it is important to note that if we want mastery, we have to be tempted.

Love of Divinity: The Sufi Trope of the Initiatic Madman 

Samael Aun Weor explains in his book The Mystery of the Golden Flower that there are many Spirits, many masters, or monads, inner Beings―because the word Monad means unity―that don't want mastery. Therefore, they don't push their soul with spiritual inquietudes or longings to want to enter into initiation. But those who are really pushed by the Being, who want to obtain self-realization, feel great disturbances, great longings, great sufferings, because they know that, intuitively, if they continue as they are, they will be taken by the forces of devolution in order to be destroyed in hell. If any one of us are in these studies and classrooms is because we know from experience, deep down, that we don't want to enter that path.
So many people think that those who enter initiation are crazy, insane, which is why Calaf is accused of being a lunatic in this opera, or in this act. They think he is mad because he wants to unite with Turandot and of course, you can look at the size of our classrooms, of people who are interested in marrying or self-realizing the Divine Mother Turandot. Most people, they run away. They are not interested in working on ego, because to marry Turandot is very demanding. To marry the Divine Princess Shekinah is very arduous, which is why Kahlil Gibran, who wrote many Sufi, Christian poems like The Prophet, describes this path very beautifully in relation to this opera. I am not saying that he saw this opera and commented on it, but there are certain allegories here in his writings, in The Madman, that relate to what Prince Calaf and what any person entering into initiation experiences.
"You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen,―the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives, ―ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, ‘Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves.’
“Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear of me.
“And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, ‘He is a madman.’ I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun (just as Calaf falls in love with the Divine Mother Turandot when he sees her for the first time) and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, “Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks.”
“Thus I became a madman.
“And I have found both freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.
“But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief.” ―Kahlil Gibran, The Madman
So what is that sun? It is Christ. We have to tear the veil of Isis in the seven bodies, “the seven masks we have worn in seven lives,” by raising the fire of Kundalini up the bodies of Malkuth, Yesod, Netzach, Tiphereth, Geburah, Chesed. We are tearing the seven masks off from our face so that Christ, the Sun, the Solar Logos, can inflame us with purity, so that we can become united with Christ.
People who enter this path are obviously accused of being lunatics. These types of topics don't please people. They don't please academics. They don't please the scholars, the religious fanatics, the fornicators. This type of knowledge is very distinct, which is why the mysteries of the 13th Arcanum resound within the darkness of the caverns of the Earth, where there are very few people who want to take advantage of it.

Temptations on the Path 

As Calaf and Ping, Pang, and Pong, Lucifer in the three brains―because Lucifer tempts us in our intellect, our emotions, and our sex―as they are arguing, certain mistresses to the Princess Turandot reprimand them that she is sleeping and that they shouldn't awaken her. It is a symbol of how our Kundalini is sleeping in the Chakra Muladhara and is awaiting for the moment of divine awakening within sexual alchemy, through I-A-O, which we know is the sacred mantra in The Perfect Matrimony, the supreme mantra for sexual alchemy. 
Ping, Pang, and Pong tell him, “Shun the riddles of Turandot. It's like shunning the mountains.” It is one word they use, meaning: “Don't enter initiation. Don't climb the mountain of the Tree of Life, but stay down here.” They tell him “Why do you want Turandot so much? She doesn't even exist. She is not real”―which is what the ego says, the mind says. Personally, I remember one retreat in which I was having a conversation with certain Buddhists―black magicians. They are awake and they were trying to convince me again that my love for my Divine Mother is illusory, that I should enter down in the infernal worlds, because they think, in a backward sense, that going into the interior of the earth is entering to development, because they are identified with those forces, with the Divine Mother in hell. So they offer many arguments and philosophical debates and theories and beliefs telling you why fornication is good and why the Divine Mother is bad. So these are very common conflicts that one faces.

​The Call of the Dead

It is here at this point in the opera that we hear the ghosts of the dead worshipping Devi Kundalini. Those are the disembodied souls who have entered into Klipoth, who fell into the abyss because they failed the ordeals of the 13th Arcanum. So even in their suffering when they are devolving, they are singing out. If you remember in the opera, they are showing the heads of the decapitated on spikes, and you hear their ghostly call from the infernal worlds calling up saying, "We still love Turandot." Because even when they are devolving and being disintegrated, they love the divine force of the Divine Mother, but of course, in heaven She is divine, but in hell, She devours Her own children. That is because that force is utilized depending on our level of being, our qualities of being.
It is also important to know that the Divine Mother never abandons Her child, because those souls who are filled with ego, who don't want to rise up to the light, they have to be disintegrated out of compassion. So the Divine Mother accompanies them down into the inferno worlds to be destroyed.
But at this point in time, the prince hears those ghosts calling out from the dead, from the abyss, and he says, "No, only I love Turandot!”
Only a prince of the Middle East can love Turandot perfectly, be reflected within her and her within him. It is also interesting to note that the sacred mantra for the sephirah Tiphereth is אלוה ודעת יהוה Eloah Va Daath Iod Hei Vau Hei, meaning “goddess of knowledge,” יהוה Iod-Havah, Jehovah, as described within the region of Atziluth within the world of Tiphereth, the sacred name of God in that sephirah.

Signore Ascolta: ​“Listen My Lord”

Liu sings for Calaf not to leave because she does not want him to fail. She says, "Your name has always been on my lips” as we have wandered within these infernal world seeking your remembrance. So the word for God is השם Hashem, the Name: “Your name has been on my lips,” and the lips refers to דעת Da’ath, meaning: “We have always remembered you, the soul,” but “we are separated from you as we are in exile,” because we are the Essence, which emanated from Tiphereth, but we are in Malkuth and we seek to be reunited with the Spirit and the divine soul.
So this is when she sings Signore, ascolta: “Listen my Lord.” This is a direct reference to:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.” ―Deuteronomy 6:4-5
In Kabbalah, Tiphereth is ישראל Israel, the son of Isis, the Divine Mother; Ra, the Solar Logos; and אל El, the Spirit, Timur. Prince Calaf is Israel, the willpower of the initiate, symbolized by Moses, who must liberate the different parts of the soul trapped in suffering, by the different egos, the people of Peking. Remember that they are enslaved to the devolving forces or inverted serpentine powers of the Kundabuffer, Kali: the negative aspect of the Divine Mother Death. To achieve liberation, we must love divinity within our three brains, with all our soul, heart, and strength. The three brains will be constantly referenced in the next two acts as well.
Signore ascolta also means, esoterically: don't fail in your work, because if you fail in the work, the thread that unites the soul with the Being will be cut. That is known as the Antahkarana thread, and in fallen souls, demons, who have no hope for redemption, that connection is severed. And so she sings in lamentation. “If you fail in this work, you will be cut off from us and you'll be devolving and suffering tremendously.”


At this point Calaf still remains resolved. He says (metaphorically), “I won't renounce my effort, my will, because I want to marry and self-realize my Divine Mother.” That is the type of willpower we need, the aspiration we need, when we practice. Calaf says he suffered too much. He no longer smiles. That is because any fallen bodhisattva has lost God, and so he says, “I once smiled in the past, but now I am unhappy. I will only be happy when I return to Devi Kundalini, my divine princess.” Really, every aspirant who finds the path does so because they want to cease suffering, but even more so for fallen masters. A fallen master suffers tremendously because they had the light and they lost it. Now they want to return back to their origins.
Question: The Divine Mother, is that also the princess? Are they synonymous?
Instructor: Yes, because the Divine Mother is Turandot. She is RAM-IO.
Question: Ok, well the mother and the princess, they are a little different...
Instructor: Right. So the concept of the Divine Mother may sound a little strange. Why is the Prince Calaf trying to marry the Divine Mother? It is because She is the mother of the soul. When our soul has perfected itself fully, it unites with Aima Elohim and Abba Elohim as a perfect unity. So you have Osiris-Ra and Horus. Osiris is the Divine Father. Isis is the Divine Mother and Horus is the Son. Through self realization, that trinity becomes perfected, unified.
But of course in order to get to that point, Calaf, the prince, has to suffer a lot, because it is through suffering in which one becomes inspired to change. So, fallen bodhisattvas, obviously, suffer more than other people, because they had a higher knowledge of the law, and because they broke the law, they are more accountable and have more responsibility. This is known as the lion of the law, Katancia: karma of the initiates and the gods, as we discussed in Arcanum 5.
The people around them say life is beautiful. Why do you want to abandon life? Why do you want to abandon this physical world? Why do you want to go up there and challenge love, to be united with Her and risk everything? But Calaf says, “I ask for pity from you, because I love Her so much that I am willing to do anything in my power.” He says, “No power on Earth can hold me back. I follow my destiny!” And the crowd is singing, “We are digging your grave for you, ready for you,” for those who challenge love, because the ordeals over the death of the ego are very challenging as we said.
Friedrich Nietzsche depicts this struggle in his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, of which we will relate in brief. This is from “On the Way of the Creator,” and I have added some commentary and explanations into some of the language he uses because it is very deep:
“Is it your wish, my brother (or fellow initiate) to go into solitude (meditation)? Is it your wish to seek the way to yourself? (your Divine Mother or your Ain Soph? Because remember when we do the Rune Ur, we say, “I need to die within my defects so that my Essence may be lost in Him, in Him, in Him.’ That Him is our Ain Soph, our inner Being as we discussed in Arcanum 2 of the  Eternal Tarot). Is it your wish to seek the way to yourself? Then linger a moment and listen to me.
“He who seeks the way to himself (initiation) easily gets lost (in the abyss and the second death). All loneliness is guilt (or better said, all loneliness or contemplation and self-remembering is guilt). Thus speaks the heard (the fornicators, the people of Peking). And you have longed belonged to the herd. The (egotistical) voice of the herd will still be audible in you, and when you will say, ‘I no longer have a common conscience with you,’ it will be a lament and agony. Behold, this agony itself was born of the common conscience (the collective lunar mind and of the intellectual animals, the lunar multitudes who worship the second death), and the last glimmer of that conscience still glows on your affliction (for you’re entering into initiation through conscious works and voluntary sufferings).
“But do you want to go the way of your affliction (the path of sacrifice of the 13th Arcanum, the denial of the ego), which is the way to yourself (Ain Soph Paranishpanna as we explained in Arcanum 2)? Then show me your right and your strength to do so. Are you a new strength and a new right? (Meaning: the aspiration, longing, and power of Bodhichitta, which claims for itself the end goal: self-realization, Ain Soph Paranishpanna). Are you a new strength and a new right? A first movement (related to Kether)? Are are you a self-propelled wheel? Can you compel the very stars to revolve around you?" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Way of the Creator”
This is what Calaf does. The whole world was against him, saying, “You can't do this. You can't rise. You want to go to the very heights of the Absolute, go beyond the universe, and yet you are down here. You think you can do this?” And so this is how the mind and the black magicians tempt you, fighting against you and railing and trying to tempt you in the astral plane and physically, trying to plant doubts to make you fail or to convince you that you can't do it.
This is a process that is beautifully described in the writings of Rudolf Steiner and also Samael Aun Weor where he talks about the Guardian of the Threshold. For those of you who are not familiar with the Guardian of the Threshold, Samael Aun Weor explains that this is part of our Being, which, in the beginning of this path, we have to face a certain ordeal in which we confront a figure of or manifestation of all of our defects. This can happen in the internal planes through internal experiences, in which you see a great monster, gigantic, a full reflection of what you are. And so you have to fight that monster and defeat it, in the Name of Christ, by the power of Christ, for the glory of Christ. This is partly alluded to in this opera in which he wants to ring the gong three times to awaken Devi Kundalini, because before we can awaken the Kundalini, we have to face the Guardian of the Threshold in which we are tempted by our own defects. We have to face that beast.
Personally, I remember fighting my own monster, my Guardian, and it was a very bloody battle, but fortunately, I succeeded, and I remember in that experience a group of black magicians were looking at me and they were horrified. I remember the light of Christ inspired me to speak and say “It can be done. You have to want it.” And they stood there amazed.
Comment: Just to add to what you said about the Dweller, the Guardian of the Threshold―a number of metaphysicians, one, he died not too long ago. His name was Stuart Wilde. Anyway, he was talking about the Guardian. He said that it was truly terrifying. He then knew what Carl Jung was up against when he described the Guardian. Carl Jung experienced it. Steiner said it too. It’s pretty heavy! Well, you experienced it. You see, it’s scary!
Instructor: But you see that reflected in the opera, in which you have all the voices of hell raised against him. He says, “Turandot!” and of course the people in the crowd say “muerte!” “Turandot!” “Muerte!” and then “Turandot!” again, muerte meaning “death.” Everytime he says her name, they say death, because that death will either occur through initiation, through victory, or in failure. There are two ways to die: willingly or unwillingly.
So after he overcomes their temptations, the struggle against the crowd, he strikes the gong three times in order to awaken the Divine Mother. So this is when the Kundalini awakens from the Chakra Muladhara, to rise up in the 33 vertebrae of the spine, and 33 reminds us of 3 plus 3, which is 6, Arcanum 6: Indecision, which is what we find reflected in this struggle, in this opera. It also refers to the commandment, “Thou shalt not fornicate.” This how he begins to initiate his journey back up the Tree of Life from Malkuth to Tiphereth, the Middle East. 

​Conclusion: A Spiritual Experience

In conclusion, I will relate to you another experience that relates to this topic. Many years ago I was meditating and had the experience of leaving my body, and then I found myself in the astral plane flying, being taken by my Divine Mother to a travel agency.

I knew I wanted a specific destination in the travel agency. I went up to the counter. I said to the lady at the desk, "I want to go to the Middle East. How much do I have to pay? The woman said, “355 dollars." 5 + 5 is 10, + 3 is 13. So they were telling me, “You want to go to the Middle East, Tiphereth, achieve Arcanum 13. Die in your ego.” I remember at that moment, I heard someone laughing at me, and I knew intuitively it was an executioner of the law, because in the opera, not necessarily in this version, but in other versions too, when he strikes the gong three times, Calaf, you hear the executioner laughs. And so I remember that experience. They were telling me that the executioner was laughing because there is going to be death either way, victoriously, or as a failure. It depends on our work.

​Questions and Answers

Do you have any questions?
Question: This has something to do with the ego. Is the best way to eliminate an ego would not be the dwell on it, if you did something good today at work or something, but to forget about it, and when you go home, to remember it for a split second and then just meditate on it and comprehend it?
Instructor: Yeah, so it's one thing to reflect on an ego, and another thing to be identified with it. I know that when we face certain uglinesses in the mind, relating to our faults, it gets very painful. But the thing we have to remember is that we have to observe what we witnessed, what we saw in that moment. Look at concrete facts, concrete details. So if we discovered in a moment of conflict with a co-worker, an element of anger and pride, and also resentment, and we feel that we acted wrong, we feel that intuitive discernment and remorse, the thing is to remember that and to again feel that longing, but also don't dwell on it. Don't beat oneself up over the fault, but to feel remorse is another thing, primarily because remorse is a conscious quality, but shame is something else. Shame is not useful. It doesn't help. But if we feel remorse and say to ourselves, “I really made a terrible mistake here,” personally when I have had that at work, certain conflicts, I tell myself, “Okay. Let me continue observing. Let me be mindful. Remember my God.” I continue to pray until when I get home, I go and I reflect on that mistake and pray for understanding. Imagine that scene as it happened, concentrate on my inner God, my Divine Mother. Ask Her, “Show me with insight, how did I make a mistake here? What did I do wrong?”
You’ll find with profundity of depth in the practice, without forgetting what we are concentrating on, what we are meditating on, the insight will come to you. In that way, you can pray for elimination. That is how we travel to the Middle East, go up the Tree of Life―not flagellating ourselves and saying, “I am a bad person. I am negative.” Because even though we are demons, there is no need to adopt a morbid attitude. It doesn't help anyone. People who are morbid end up leaving Gnosis because they don't see any benefit from the practices. But people who comprehend and feel remorse is something else, because they feel inspired. When you feel remorse, you recognize, you say, “I made a big mistake,” and that remorse in the heart is what is inspiring us from divinity to change. Because without that inspiration, without that remorse, we would be lost, which is why Calaf in the beginning of the opera, or better said at the end of the first Act, says “I have suffered too much. I am in so much pain. I feel so much remorse. I am no longer happy.” That recognition of the causes of suffering is what pushes one to want to enter the path of love, to challenge love.
Question: This is opera about the thirteenth arcanum?
Instructor: Yes, about death, death of the ego.
Question: Turandot then is the Shekinah?
Instructor: The Divine Mother.
Comment: You mentioned how you could hurt somebody or realized that you hurt them. You look at their heart, somehow. I think you mentioned how it is corrosive to the divine force, your negative feelings, even if you feel justified. It is not good. If you could sort of feel the pain and realize that you are wounding another body, and you are trying to justify it in your mind, it is still no good. It is a corrosive force that will hold you back on the path. But you really have feelings, and you tell yourself that―words are one thing―“Oh yeah, I was wrong,” But unless you feel it in your heart… It brings out a sense of empathy towards others.
Instructor: Right. And that sense develops the more you meditate, because you find that in your interactions with people, whether at work or with family or friends, you become more intuitive, more insightful. You see how even your thoughts affect people. Even your emotions affect others invisibly, which, you know, we like to think that we are separated from people in a very physical sense, like there is a barrier, “I can think whatever I want and feel whatever I want and that it is not going to affect anyone.” But the truth is that our mind influences people, and if you become very intuitive and clairvoyant and develop that faculty very well, you start to sense more and more, and recognize how wrong, negative, psychological states produce suffering.
Question: In The Revolution of the Dialectic, so Samael says that basically the mind is pretty much purely Satanic. Are we only supposed to use that for comprehension, whereas opinions are not really good to have? Obviously sarcasm is not good to have. But to use the mind, “I got to fix this. I have to work on this problem”?
Instructor: The solution is observe. Obviously, it is good not to talk about what one doesn't know. I know in my employment, my job, when people ask me things that I am not capable of or don't know, I say, “I don't know. I can give you an educated guess, but I think you should talk to so-and-so,” because it is important not to try to go about thinking that one knows things that one doesn't, which is something I apply very strictly to my lectures here―to teach things only that I know or to refer to the Master Samael for things I don't know. 
Comment: Or repeating...
Instructor: Or repeating what other people said and that I don't really have an experience, because it doesn't help anybody. You have a lot of people in the Gnostic movement who are like that. They parrot. They talk about things they haven't experienced. So it is always good to speak from our own knowledge, from experience, and to observe and just observe, what is our psychological sate, and to be mindful throughout the day. Observe in each moment, and that is how you get data about your defects, because as we say in this teaching, there is no golden maxim, that “I can follow this, this, this, and this and I am going to go up to the Middle East and the Far East and marry Turandot and I'll be done.” It is very difficult, as you'll see in Act Two. It is very difficult, very dangerous, because you find that when you have to answer those riddles in yourself, when you answer those ordeals, when you reach conflicts in your daily life, how you choose to respond determines your fate and where you go. So the way to understand proper psychological states is to observe, and then intuitively you'll know in any circumstance of life what to do. 
Question: Would you say that it is wrong to point that out to other people...
Instructor: If they need it and if you know that they are going to listen. But at the same time, there are certain people that, we respect their will. We say, if you don't want to change, that is your business. Personally, I work with certain clients that are very difficult. They test me all the time―try to find loopholes in my thinking, the way that I work with them. But they like me a lot because I don't judge them. It still doesn't mean that I don't instill punitive measures when I have to, but at the same time we have to help people based on our capacity, our abilities, but without forcing our will on others as we relate it with Arcanum 11: Persuasion.
Question: When you talk about the black magicians, witches... but then you say they are awake. What does that mean? They just have this knowledge...
Instructor: What I meant was that they are awakened in evil. To be awake doesn't necessarily mean they are awake in a good way. A black magician is being, a real full-fledged black magician, is a being who is aware that they are awake. They have powers in the ego. They can astral project. They can do jinn science. They can read people's minds. They can talk telepathically. So when I was talking about those specific cases, I should have been more clear, that they are awakened in evil. They are demons, and they are trying to pull me from my path, telling me things and trying to have arguments with me. I was trying to be like Prince Calaf, like I remember from the opera, just saying, “No. Just let me be. That is your path. So be it!”
Question: So they probably have this knowledge whether it's this or Rosicrucian or something and they just go off on the opposite end.
Instructor: Some of them do. A lot of them don't. There are many who do know now that Samael Aun Weor's teaching has been more explicit and open. They have been very aware of what he teaches. This is why the ineffable melodies of the 13th Arcanum resound as an opera within the caverns of the Earth, because this teaching is now open to everyone. Samael Aun Weor explained the symbols of these great operas in his teachings. So, they know the knowledge and it is even more painful for them when they reject the knowledge, because as you read the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad was teaching how he kept giving his doctrine, his light, but the unbelievers wouldn't accept it. Or as the Bible says, “The people who walketh in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2). They don't understand the light. A lot of them don't want to change. Some do. 
Comment: So right now, America is being inundated with the seven deadly sins. It is like ridiculous right now and even people are being tricked by pride, with pride parades.
Instructor: That is because no one loves death of the ego. They love the ego. This is why all the multitudes of humanity in the chorus (Gira la cote) are praising blood and death and fornication and evil. That is the multitudes who worship the moon, which is why the opera begins in that setting and they all are worshiping and bowing to the executioner who is going to kill, the second death. That is what humanity loves.
Question: Is this happening because we have to get this out of our system or is this whole negative thing that is going on?
Instructor: It is happening because the ego has been building up so much in our humanity that finally, there is only a maximum that it can reach before this humanity needs to be annihilated, as we explained in the first lecture in this course, the Introduction to the Secret Teachings of Opera available on chicagognosis.org. Humanity has reached its end. This Aryan Root Race will be pulverized, will be annihilated. But before that point, the teachings of the 13th Arcanum are made available in the opera houses to teach the demons who want to change. And those who don't, so be it. Let them be.
Question: A lot of people they go to see Turandot, they want to hear the music... not all, since some parts are not the most melodious. But as far as the metaphysical aspects... Maybe one in a hundred like… What do you think? You never hear them talk about it! They’re like, “Oh, Puccini!” Nothing metaphysical!
Instructor: Not even. I have looked on the internet to see if anyone in our tradition has commented on Turandot and I didn't find anyone yet. I mean, I know people who I have worked with in this tradition who know about it. They know the opera well, but I haven't found anyone who has explained it. So, personally this is an opera that has influenced me greatly so I felt it important for me to explain for people who don't know.
Question: The Guardian of the Threshold, is that a book by Samael?
Instructor: There are references to the Guardian of the Threshold in The Perfect Matrimony, specifically. This is where he introduces that, but also he talks about the Guardian of the Threshold in The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled. 
Question: What is the Guardian of the Threshold? What is the definition?
Instructor: The Guardian of the Threshold is an ordeal that the disciple faces at the beginning of the path to determine whether or not they are going to be qualified for what are known as the Major Mysteries. So in the beginning of the path, before we can awaken Devi Kundalini, we have to be tested. This is known as the probationary path or the Minor Mysteries. Any person who is single or even married has to pass through the minor initiations relating to nine degrees, which also relates to entering the interior of the earth and its nine strata, its nine infernal regions. It is a symbol of how we have to face ourselves to a certain degree, in which we recognize our egotism, our suffering and that we need to change.
Question: That is interesting. There are many books by metaphysicians on the Kundalini… how to raise it. Nothing about the Guardian of the Threshold.
Instructor: It is because the black magicians fortify that element in themselves. They don't want to work against it, but in the probationary path, you have to face the Guardian. You face an ordeal in the internal worlds, internally, in which you have to confront your own self. So the Guardian of the Threshold, Samael says, is your Being, but it reflects in you all of your garbage, all your evilness that you have accumulated over many millennia. You have to face it in a very great battle. You have to fight hand-to-hand, psychologically, against this beast and conjure it. If you don't defeat it, people who don't defeat it eventually leave Gnosis. They abandon the teaching, but people who have conquered, they stay, because they conquered the ordeal. And so you find that subtle reference in the opera where you have all these people going against them, all the voices clamoring, saying “Have pity on us! Don’t do this work! What do you think you are doing? You can't reach Turandot!” Ping, Pang, and Pong, Diablo, is part of that. It is related to the Guardian the Threshold because he is the tempter.
Question: But those are the three brains also right?
Instructor: Right, because Ping, Pang, and Pong, I-A-O, “I” vibrates in the head, the intellectual brain. “O” relates to the heart. “A,” the breath, can also relate to your seminal energies―three brains.
Question: Since we live in a dualistic world, isn't it better to not think positive thoughts...
Instructor: We have to learn how to use the mind intuitively. That is a very subtle skill we acquire through meditation, because even for a job, we need the intellect to help us, but it doesn't mean that the intellect has to be used all the time. 
Question: I am saying when you are walking down the street, you are in a car. Isn't it better to just keep it blank? You get a lot of self-help books that say “Think positive thoughts” with this and that. It is automatically going to weave, and some negative thoughts is going to come up. 
Instructor: The highest form of thought is no thought. But to reach that point as Samael Aun Weor states in his book Igneous Rose, thought must flow serenely and sweetly like a river without obstruction. Typically, our thinking tends to be very heavy, identified, and disturbing. But thought should be something serene and subtle, to the point that you are not thinking anymore. You are only receiving life. And I remember there is a lecture that Samael Aun Weor gave in which he gave to his students, “A lot of you struggle with your mind. Your mind is bossing you around. You are identified too much with it. Personally, my mind is perfectly under control. You know, there are moments in which I have to teach, and therefore, I use my mental body. But when I don't need to use it, I don't use it.”
Comment: ...the ability to rest the mind is of the greatest value. Because then when you need answers, they come out of nowhere like in the morning or during the day. It's amazing.
Instructor: So in the opera you find that that teaching of serenity very beautifully exemplified by the fact that, as strong as the Prince Calaf is, it may seem that he is very disturbed. Obviously, someone who is singing in an opera is very passionate, but we have to remember that equanimity, silence of the mind, serenity, is a quality distinctly related to Tiphereth, because the human soul, human willpower, pure concentration, is a state of serenity, of calmness, in which there is no agitation in the mind. We talked about this extensively in our lectures on Gnostic Meditation, about the nine stages of meditative concentration [or Calm Abiding: The Stages of Serenity] in which one ascends from a completely distracted mind to a fully serene and concentrated mind. So meditative equipoise is equanimity, is Tiphereth, because when we reach the ninth degree of concentration in which we are fully relaxed, serene, calm. We have reached Tiphereth, psychologically speaking, in terms of the part of our soul that is most active. 
Question: When you astral travel, are you sitting in your chair like this or are you laying down?
Instructor: Sometimes when I have meditated, I have fallen asleep in my chair, my meditation chair. Other times, I have lain down to go to bed, doing a mantra in my mind, falling asleep, and having that experience.
Question: What about when you are sleeping? Are you astral traveling or are you lucid dreaming?
Instructor: Well, with astral travel, what happens is, every person projects into the astral plane at night every time one goes to sleep. The problem is that we do so unconsciously. We tend to do so without any awareness. But if we train ourselves, we can take something that is mechanical and make it conscious. So lucid dreaming can happen often when we are working in mindfulness, working with what is known as the key of SOL: Subject, Object, Location.
Be aware that you are in your body. You are the subject. You are observing the objects around you and you question it and interpret: what is your location? Where are you situated? You train your mind like that when you are living physically, living life physically. You learn to do that in the astral plane because we go many places unconsciously without awareness, without any understanding about where we are at and where we are going. But we may have a moment in which we gain insight. We suddenly see ourselves in some place. We question, “Where am I? How did I get here?” You involve yourself in a type of questioning.
Question: But in what conscious state or dream state?
Instructor: And you ask that question and to test yourself. You can either jump in the air to see if you will float or pull your finger. Pull your finger to see if it will stretch. You pull your finger so that it stretches out. You will realize that you are in your lunar astral body and that you are in the dream state.
Comment: They say there are techniques I am trying to do, but sometimes it is not that easy. You can wake up in a dream and you need to give yourself a prompt before you go to sleep, but when that happens you are like "Oh, I am in a dream!” I have had that experience once. Its very unique to say that you know “I am here in the street.” Of course it’s in a dream. You see everything is similar as you see around here. But then you say to yourself, “Oh my God, but I am on my bed at the same time as I am watching this scene.” But to be able to will it, night after night, to repeat that…
Instructor: So what this opera teaches us in relation to that practice is that we need to be very defined. We need to be very passionate in the conscious sense, following the Passion of Christ. We have to be inspired, and the way that we can do that, like we began this lecture, with was with the runes. You know, get yourself good energy. Do the Runes Man, Fa, Ario, Isis, Ur, with the mantra Ram-IO, and work with practices every day so that we feel charged, because if you see in the opera, Calaf, what makes him such a memorable character, so loved by many audiences, is that he is determined to the point that he is not going to let anything stop him. That is the type of willpower we need in our practices, whether it be of astral projection, dream yoga, meditation.
Question: Building up the energy that you spoke about through certain actions, runes, getting solar energy, will that help you in the night time to access these planes, such as energy built up from meditations during the day time?
Instructor: Yes, because when there is no energy, there is no fire; there is no light. If you don't save your energy, if we waste it through negative emotions, we can't awaken in the astral plane, the world of emotions. If we waste our mental energy, we can't awaken in the mental plane because we have no fuel there. And likewise, the sexual energy too, which is the basis of all three, of all three brains, because the sexual energy circulates from Yesod to Tiphereth to Kether in your body―speaking of your body as a Tree of Life.
So we need energy. We need to enthusiasm, which is why I really love Prince Calaf so much as an initiate in this opera, and Puccini, who was reflecting what he went through, because no artist can reflect that if they haven't experienced it themselves. You can't teach something like that unless you have lived it. So he had a lot of passion, meaning he loved his Being so much that he was willing to do anything to work for Her. And so when we have that longing in our heart, when we are very determined, we don't let obstacles get in our way. Instead, we triumph through them and are willing to suffer no matter what the cost will be, because we love divinity so much and that has to come from inside, from experience. When you personally converse with your Divine Mother and see how beautiful she is, you can't help but melt. You enter ecstasy. She will come to you in symbols and dreams and different forms to teach you psychological truths about yourself. You know, as I gave the example of going into the travel agency. She was showing me, She was at the counter saying, “You want to go to the Middle East? Well, you want to return to me? Pay 355 dollars.” Money in the symbolic language has to do with dharma or karma. Paying money means you have to earn certain experiences. You have to work for them. And that is why I teach this doctrine, because I have been pushed by my Being to do what He and She wants, which is self-realization. I know that a lot of people don't want it. 
Question: Why not?
Instructor: Because some people realize how difficult it is and they run away. They had to face the Guardian of the Threshold and then they can't face that.
Question: They can't, but what about people wondering they are going to die someday and they are wondering about the day after life? You would think that would be an inducement. 
Instructor: So, many people like to follow the moon, like in the opera, but those who want to succeed in initiation are few. But if you are filled with inspiration and longing, we have to feed it daily so that we don't retrogress.
<![CDATA[Sacred Sexuality and Transmutation]]>Thu, 09 Jul 2020 20:19:05 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/sacred-sexuality-and-transmutation
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Introduction to Gnostic Studies, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.

The reason why many people approach spirituality often comes from the results of organized religion. We often find in popular institutions teachings that, while they resonate with our heart, they are lacking something critical, something profound, and something fulfilling. It might seem unusual that the very thing missing in organized religion is an understanding of sexuality.
People often, on the news and on television, show the results of monastic life, such as in the Catholic Church, which profoundly ignores how sexuality can be used for a divine purpose. In organized religion, they do not know how to utilize the natural expression of the human being, because sexuality is a part of life, and despite what people think, sexuality is also a part of religion, in a genuine sense, not from an institutional dogma.
The reason why there are cases of abuse, violence, is because priests do not understand how sexuality should be used and understood, and not repressed.
People look at sexuality as something filthy, something perverse, or something to gratify the pleasures of a couple.
There are extremes in our culture. In religion, we are taught to reject sex, which has its problems, because as you have seen with institutionalization and the rejection of sexuality, that quality of the human being has to be controlled or understood or worked with, and when people try to repress sexuality, it ends up in forms of perversion, such as molestation of children, deviant sexuality, abuse and degeneration.
But we have this other extreme in our culture, where in America, or all throughout the world, people feel that we should indulge in sex. We should acquire as many sensations as we can, pleasant experiences, relationships, and yet, we look at the results in humanity: divorce, suffering, marital conflicts, pain.
So it is very clear that when we look at society, people and religion do not understand what the role of sexuality is, from a spiritual perspective, from a divine perspective.
Some people think that sexuality is simply a means to procreate, to create children. That is a very noble aspiration, to be a father or a mother, to have a family, but, we do state that that is not the entire gamut of what sexuality is. To procreate the species, that is one part. People don't really understand that sexual expression, as the natural birth right of the human being, can be something divine, heavenly, sacred: not from the Christian perspective, that we are going to use this act as something to create a child, to create a family, but there is another purpose that has been taught in all the ancient schools of religion and mysteries that, unfortunately, have been gutted out, removed―primarily because people face a difficult problem when addressing this issue of sexuality.
Sexuality in itself, the creative energy itself, has marvelous potential. It can empower our most divine attributes. It can ennoble the soul, our most divine qualities, because the sexual energy is the ability to create. It always acts. It always has to move, to flow, to work. But the question is how? In what way do we use this energy which resides in our glands, whether male, female?
Unfortunately because people have not been educated, we think that sexuality is simply indulging in desire, pornography, prostitution, adultery, and our society worships these qualities and believes that you can indulge in all these actions and think that there are no consequences. But you see the result of what happens to people, the life of prostitutes or adultery.
Sexual action is the most profound action a human being can perform. If we push it away, it churns in the subconsciousness and becomes desire that is never satiated, and then it becomes a monster, which is why priests who don't understand how to consciously work with this energy in a divine way―with practices, with exercises, to transform that energy into something creative, into something expressive―that energy then ferments. It rots. It becomes putrid. This is why you see priests committing such horrible crimes against young people. It is really disastrous. 
So we have to look beyond just the beliefs about what our culture wants us to think. It is better if we can analyze and investigate what this energy is, and the purpose of this lecture is to talk about how the creative energy, in itself, has the potential to develop our spirituality, our true nature, which is the soul. 

Consciousness and Desire

You might have listened in to previous lectures. We talked a lot about the soul, consciousness, our true nature. Sometimes people think of Buddha nature in Buddhism. It is the pure element of consciousness that can reflect divinity, who is inside, in our hearts and our very qualities of being, qualities like compassion, happiness, serenity, faith, understanding, patience, love.
These are qualities that we have deep down, but unfortunately we have mixed it with impurities: anger, hatred, lust, envy, greed, which religion calls the seven deadly sins. Every tradition has its names for what we call ego, defects, desires. And all that, according to a real meditative tradition, has to be removed. All those negative qualities have to be eliminated. But first we have to comprehend them, understand how our own anger makes us suffer and makes other people suffer, how our own pride injures our neighbor and ourselves at the same time.
We don't really understand how our own egotism creates problems for ourselves, and because people do not understand how to work with the mind in an effective way, they take the most powerful energy available to them―the sexual energy―and they channel it through anger, through violence, through perversity. This is how you have all the monsters of today that are very abundant.

​Divine Eroticism and Awakening

So this is a very serious topic and we'll talk about how the soul, known as Psyche in the Greek myth, can be awakened to her true nature through Eros. Eros is the god of love, Cupid, in the Greek myth, which is a symbol. It teaches how our own divine spiritual nature, how through divine love, a divine marriage, the force of Eros, eroticism, awakens our full potential, which is pure, divine.
Different traditions symbolize that work in many ways, but of course, in this lecture we will be very explicit about what these traditions are. You may have heard of alchemy in the Middle East or medieval Europe, Middle Ages. They talk a lot about how we must transform lead into gold. But of course, that is symbolic. It teaches something spiritual, and even psychological.
Our egotism, our defects are like lead. They weigh us down. But if we learn to work with energy, the creative sexual energy and learn to direct it with our consciousness, our soul, that energy is going to empower us radically, and with that force we can transmute, transform, elevate, make our egotistical consciousness become a divine consciousness―lead into gold. 

In this image, we have Padmasambhava with his consort, his wife. They are in sexual union, but there are many misunderstandings about what this tradition teaches called Tantric Buddhism. A couple, man and woman, who embody masculine and feminine principles, can combine their energies to work in a very transformative way, and these ancient traditions teach us, whether from the East or the West, how a man and a woman, using the energy that is available to them, and the power and ability to procreate, can take that energy that they awaken within sexual union and transform it, use it to empower and create the soul.
As Jesus taught in the gospel, “that which is born of flesh is flesh” through the common sexual act. But the same sexual act or the sexual act transformed can be utilized for the Spirit, since “that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.”
So many Christians ignore what this teaching is about. They have no clue, because people haven't been educated. The physical sexual act can create a physical child. Anybody knows this. But with certain procedures, if the couple retains the sexual energy in their union and uses that energy with the soul, it can transform their marriage and make it a sacrament, a holy union. This is the meaning of religion, from the Latin religare, “to reunite.” This is the highest yoga, from the Sanskrit yug, “to reunite.” It is also known as tantra, which is where this image comes from.
The medieval alchemists, whom people denigrate today, knew this secret science. It was never taught publicly because it has tremendous power. The sexual energy can create anything, a child. It perpetuates the species. Sexual drive motivates every aspect of society, every aspect of life. Even chemicals, compounds, molecules, electrons, atoms, are driven by sexual propulsion, energy―attraction, rejection, repulsion, combinations of energies, a form of marriage.
That energy is everywhere, and in the human being, that most profound force, the ability to create, is in our sexual glands. This energy is so powerful that it can develop a human being to their highest potential.
So for many centuries, this knowledge was kept secret, because unfortunately many people would abuse it. But we are living in a very different age now, where this type of knowledge and spirituality, information, is given openly. The doors have been opened by divinity for people to understand this kind of knowledge, so that people who want to transform themselves and have a method to help them attain that goal, can. 

The Symbolism of Alchemy

But of course, the alchemical science was taught in symbols in medieval Europe to prevent persecution, such as with the Inquisition in the Catholic Church, which had completely extirpated the sexual teachings of esoteric Christianity.
Alchemy comes from Allah in Arabic, meaning the God, the name of divinity in Islam. And khemia, the Greek word for chemistry. It is the chemistry of God. It is how a couple, man and woman, using their sexualized polarities, can take their energy, combine them, and restraining the sexual energy, circulate that force, learning to control their egotistical desires, and unite out of love, to dominate their subconscious passions. Those individuals, those couples, can unite with God or divinity, whatever name we wish to give to that impersonal energy or force.

In Greek, the word khemia can also mean “to fuse or cast a metal.” There are many symbols in the Bible that retained this knowledge. Moses lifted up a brazen serpent on a staff to heal the Israelites wounded by divinity for having disobeyed Him. If you study alchemy, the science of metals, bronze is an amalgamation of copper and tin. Copper in alchemical science relates to femininity, woman, love, Venus. Tin relates to Jupiter, masculinity, man. When husband and wife unite their energies, they can awaken the brazen serpent known as kundalini amongst the Gnostics and the Yogis of the East. That serpent can be raised upon a staff, the spinal column, so as to heal our soul from the afflictions of our daily life.
In the Bible, Moses represents willpower, the power and the will to dominate temptation and desire. It doesn't mean to run away from sex, but to approach the sexual act with respect and veneration, with love, to remove passion and desire and connect out of divine love.

So this couple, Padmasambhava and his consort, are not united out of lust, to fulfill their animal desires. Unfortunately, people look at these kinds of images and only think with animality, with satisfying and having pleasant sensations. Pleasure is natural to the sexual act, but it should not be the only basis for which a couple unites. It should be for the couple to really develop their love, their consciousness, to take that energy and, through certain exercises, controlling the breath, even performing sacred sounds like mantras, we learn to circulate the energy. Instead of making go from in to out, to expel it, one makes the energy to go out to in, to circulate it, to control it, to elevate it. 

This is the mysteries of Jesus being baptized in the river Jordan. The word ירדן Jordan in Hebrew means “descender.” That energy that is deposited in our sexual glands is divine. It can create life. It is the power of life. The Jews say לחיים L’Chaim, to life, and the Christians call it the Holy Spirit, even if they don't understand what that energy is.
So that power of life can create spiritual life. The couple needs to learn to take that energy, which usually descends down into us and we expel it through a moment of pleasure or a few seconds of pleasure, which are fleeting―that energy instead of descending, we can learn to make it reascend, to make the river turn its course, which instead of going out, it goes in. It circulates as energy.
You have the actual matter or entity of semen, which is physical in either men or women. Sexual fluid, those waters which are symbolized in the Bible as the waters of Genesis, the waters of generation, we can learn to be baptized with that energy, transform it, the substance into divine power through very specific procedures. This is very well documented in every religious scripture in the world, but in allegory. 

Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding, the marriage of Cana. He turned water into wine. People think it is a literal story of Jesus getting people drunk, and they can believe that. But more profoundly, he is teaching a couple who knew this science, to transform the water or entity of semen, into energy, into the wine or ecstasy of the spirit, circulating it. And that is how you are baptized with water. He turned water into wine.
The mystics of Islam, the Sufis speak very beautifully about this too. Very abundantly, they talk about love of God. “Muhammad was in love with God,” and they make it an erotic teaching, which scandalizes many people because people like to separate religion from sex, and don't understand that you show true religion by loving your wife if you are a man, and as a woman, loving your husband.
This is a science from Egypt, from Al-Khem. This is a very ancient science that was studied in all the primeval cultures of the world before they degenerated, before people, instead of respecting these types of teachings or laws in themselves, decided to indulge in desire, because sexuality can be for animal pleasure or lust. Or it can be for the soul. It depends, and you have the judge in yourself how that is. This is why we study meditation too.
So this is a very deep topic. We are introducing some of the basics, because to really practice like Padmasambhava without lust, united sexually with his wife, takes a lot of work. Because of course, in the beginning we are full of animality, desire. But with training, we can ride upon desire, like a donkey, as Jesus rode up on a donkey into Jerusalem, the heavenly city. Symbols, but not explained for many years.
The Sufis also mention that, I believe the poet Rumi, who is the most popular poet in the West today, said that when you look at a cup full of water and you have your own desires, you only see your own face in it. But if you are looking as a result of love of God, you will see God in those waters.
He is talking about this. If you are married or husband and wife, male-female, in a relationship that is sexually active, we show our love for divinity in the sexual act. But of course, with training. One has to be educated how to do that. It takes time, but it can be done.
Or if one is filled with desire, we look at the sexual act and see just the gratification of pleasure. That is one extreme.


So this teaching is known as tantra in the East. In Sanskrit, it is a word for “continuum” or “unbroken stream.” It comes from the Sanskrit “tantrum, literally loom, warp.” Hence, it is a “groundwork, a system, a doctrine.”
What is this continuum? When the sexual energy is retained and transformed, it circulates in our body. We have certain energetic channels in our spine, in our body, that can take that energy and circulate it. And we will talk about what that particular aspect of our physiology relates to. But the energy has to be controlled. It has to be contained. That is the only way for energy to circulate. If the energy is released through the orgasm, there is a short circuit. That continuum is broken. So we are very explicit about how tantra works, because there are people who think that tantrism is just about sexually uniting with one's partner, enjoying pleasure, and then reaching the orgasm. There are many people who teach that kind of doctrine, but unfortunately, that type of action feeds desire.
In these studies, we are working to remove our imperfections like lust or desire itself. We want to empower the soul but in order for Psyche to waken, we have to work with Eros and retain that power. Even the 14th Dalai Lama explained that in tantra, the seminal force is never let out. We can contain it, conserve it, and make it circulate through mantras or prayer, through breath work. That is how it becomes an unbroken stream. That is how we perform the loom of God. A loom is where we create clothes. When we work with the energy, we create something. If that energy is conserved and worked with for many years, internally we create vehicles of expressing divinity in us. We talk a lot about this in the studies of alchemy as the vehicles of God, the wedding garment of the soul.
In the Gospels, it is stated that one cannot attend the marriage of divinity without the wedding garment. So that is the loom. We have to create a type of vehicle in which our soul can act. It is not physical, but it is internal, vehicles that relate to different aspects of our psyche within different dimensions. We will be explaining about what these vehicles are in-depth, but I just want to introduce to you that the energy has to create something. It can create a physical child, or it can create the vehicles of the soul, the soul itself, which is like a wedding garment.
Isn't there a saying that you are what you wear? Or “the apparel oft’ proclaims the man,” states Polonius in the play Hamlet. So we weave the soul through this energy. It is a groundwork. It is a system. It is a doctrine, from the word tan, “to stretch or extend.” Of course, this has a sexual significance, as represented by the erection of the male phallus. Tantra refers to “that continuum of vital energy that sustains all things.” So I stated, the creative energy is within our sexual glands, but we find it within everything, from down to the atom, to the galaxy. It is also “the class of knowledge and practices that help us harness that vital energy which can transform us radically, thereby transforming the practitioner.”


Some people also call this transmutation. You may hear this term a lot within the books of Samael Aun Weor and throughout different lectures on this topic. Tantra, alchemy, and transmutation are the same thing. So transmutation is broken down from trans, which is a prefix we find in words like transcend or transfix. It means to take something “across, beyond or through; to change something thoroughly; to move.”
The word mutate we find relates to “causing something to change in form or nature.” So what is transmutation or sexual transmutation? It means, through practice, to take the actual entity of the semen retained within our body, our receptacle, and with certain prayers, mantras, exercises of breath, we can take that actual matter and transform it into energy, mutate it. I know we are probably familiar with X-Men, mutants, people with power, but people don't want to recognize that Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, and many prophets were mutants. They took that energy of sex and created, or recreated themselves spiritually.
They became such great beings because they were married. They had that energy available to them, and through love, they changed themselves. So all those qualities that we admire and beings like the prophets, Jesus, their selflessness, their compassion, they did that because they became mutants. They mutated that matter and became an energy. They carried over that force within themselves, raising it from the sexual glands to the brain, and then to the heart. 

If you are familiar with the shepherd's staff so popular with in Biblical allegory, it refers to that image, the serpent of Kundalini rising from the coccyx to the head and then down to the heart. That is how one leads flocks, spiritually speaking, because they have that energy manifest, at least true teachers, with true prophets or gurus. Therefore, transmutation is “the act of changing, or the state of being changed into another form.”
It is logical that that energy which can create a child can create something inside of us. It has tremendous force. It is power of divinity. Divinity creates through the sexual act, through the sexual energy, but it depends on the quality of our mind.
What are we doing with that energy? Are we expelling it out? You can more radically take that force, conserve it, transmute it, make it into something more powerful, because as it is now, it is in a very rudimentary state, but that energy can really grant us access to many things. 

​Animal Desire and Divine Sex

So as I said, Krishna was a great mutant. He changed his spiritual form, and he had many powers that are documented in the Bhagavad-Gita, which of course, there was a master in the Hindu Pantheon who actually came many thousands of years ago to represent this principle known as Krishna. He is what is known as the Hindu Christ.
As I said Christ, divinity, is not a person, but an energy. It is impersonal. It is universal. And that energy is synonymous with sex. The power of life, the power of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of divinity, is here. Krishna, who is a beautiful symbol of that force, had power to act precisely because the soul or the person was working with that energy very beautifully, very profoundly.
As I mentioned, divinity is the sexual energy. It is a sacred force, which is why even in the Qur’an, the doctrine of the Muslims, some of the sacred names of divinity is Al-Khaliq, “the Creator,” and Al-Wadud, meaning: “the Loving.” And that scripture mentions how, “Did we not create you from a sperm-drop…” which of course can be a literal thing. We are created from the sperm and the ovum, but more profoundly, if you know the science of alchemy, Allah-Khemia, divinity creates in us by taking that very same matter and transforming it, transmuting it, creating the soul, creating life. "And truly it is easy for us if you are but believers." Meaning: people who are not fanatic or dogmatic, but who learn to be through the power of love. Be-lieve. That was the original meaning of the term. Now belief is something just to accept a doctrine with the intellect or to feel something is true, but to not know.
So there are a lot of parallels in different scriptures, but I would like to quote from the Bhagavad-Gita, which is a very powerful statement of how Krishna, Christ, is that creative energy.
"I am the strength of the strong, devoid of काम kama and राग  raga. I am धमम kama which is not contrary to धमम Dharma.” ―Bhagavad-Gita 7:11
There are a lot of words from the Sanskrit that have a lot of different meanings depending on the context of the phrase. So the same word काम kama in some context can mean, “sex life.” It can mean “lust.” It could be “desire,” or just “pleasure.” On the contrary, it can be “chastity.”
Chastity is an interesting term. People have been miseducated to think that chastity means abstention from sex. It is logical that people came up with this definition, because when people think of sexuality, they think of animal gratification.
So what does it mean to be chaste? It means not to engage in the sexual act with the orgasm. Chasity simply means “purity, immaculateness.” And it refers to a couple learning to use their energies. They can be sexually connected, but chaste. No confusion there.
People get hung up on the idea of immaculate conception. Was Jesus really born from Mary when she did not have sex with anyone? Obviously, that is a very ludicrous interpretation, because the only way to create is through the sexual act. But the question is: what is the definition of chastity?  Obviously, Jesus was born from his parents, and through an immaculate conception, which means through a union that did not involve orgasm. It is not necessary to expel millions of spermatozoon to create a one child, because only one sperm is going to fertilize an egg. It is not necessary. If the couple is working seriously and is working with divinity, if they want to have a child and they are praying to divinity to give them a son or a daughter or a girl, they can concentrate on their divinity and pray and work with the creative energy. If it is accordance with the law of divinity, they can take one sperm out from the man and it can fertilize the egg. That is an immaculate conception.
Obviously, it is very magical, you could say, because the sperm that is utilized in that instance is going to be very superior than one ejaculated out of lust. Obviously, there is a psychological quality embedded in the energy, depending on how we use it. If we are chaste and are pure in our minds and hearts, really loving our spouse and being divine or loving divinity, that energy becomes superior, elevated, for concentration and prayer. 
So “I am the strength of the strong, devoid of काम kama and राग  raga.” Devoid of lust, and the word for raga is “attachment, grasping; to clutch and to pull; to hold.” Pretty sure we can look at our own lives to see how much of our sexual activity was based on attachment, clinging, holding, grasping. We want those experiences. We chase after them. We change our appearance. We model our behaviors so that we can find a partner. We are grasping at sexual pleasure and sensations and being in a relationship and satisfying those desires. That is raga.
Love is something very different, something divine, which is born in the soul when the time is ripe and the appropriate partner is met. But raga is sexual attachment: wanting to indulge in animal pleasure, the sensations of sex, and grasping at those experiences at the expense of our soul. Desire is one thing, but the soul is another. The soul knows how to love, to respect the partner. Desire only wants to satisfy itself. That is the distinction between an angel and a demon. An angel has love, Eros towards Psyche, but desire only wants to fulfill itself at any cost. So:
 "I am the strength of the strong devoid of lust and attachment." ―Bhagavad-Gita 7:11
But then he uses something very interesting here.
“I am काम kama which is not contrary to धमम dharma.” ―Bhagavad-Gita 7:11
So many people get confused about this statement. How is it that he says I am not kama and yet he says I am kama? Because the word kama is dual. It's dualistic. It can mean lust. It can mean love. It can mean desire. It can mean chastity. So he is sexual drive that is not contrary to Dharma, and Dharma means “religious principles, law, truth, reality, virtue.”
So contrary to popular belief, there is a type of sexuality that is divine. It doesn't have to be animal. And in fact, Krishna is saying that “I am a sexual union of husband and wife, male-female, that is not contrary to the divine law.” It is respected by the gods, because the buddhas or angels or masters or prophets became what they were because of certain causes and conditions, spiritual laws. Like, if you wish to create a physical child, there is a procedure through the common way, through lust. But there is also a divine law that says if you want to create the soul, to be born of the spirit, one can use certain procedures or the science of alchemy.
So “I am sex that is not contrary to spirituality.” When we think of laws, we tend to think of laws given by society, by governments. When I mentioned husband and wife, I don't mean marriage papers. People are not married because of a paper or a ritual. Real marriage occurs between a couple when they sexually unite, and that is all that divinity really cares about, because when a couple unites, they are sharing all their mind, their energies, their emotions, their forces. It's a marriage. It is a type of union, but unfortunately, many of us have engaged in relationships or entered the sexual act with many partners without knowing about the Dharma, which is, you know, our situation. But of course, that can be changed and rectified. This is why we give classes on this type of knowledge.
So what I mean by law, Dharma, truth, reality, has to do with the causes and conditions that produce our happiness in the soul, our spiritual development, to help us become like Jesus or Buddha or Moses or the prophets.

Liberation from Desire

So again, I show Padmasambhava with his consort. He stated very interestingly that:
“Lustful people do not enter the path of liberation.”
Marriage, sexual union, the sexual act, can produce one's greatest happiness and one's greatest damnation, suffering. Look at humanity today, as I mentioned―people engaging in sexual behaviors that produce pain. Of course, people being hypnotized by kama and raga, desire and attachment, always go towards those experiences, grasping at pleasant experiences, and don't recognize that that very same act of lust and desire produces pain. Because once lust is fed, sex has culminated with animal pleasure, it can result in disillusionment pain, suffering. 
The sexual act itself, tantra, alchemy, is the narrow way mentioned by Jesus in the Gospels.
 "Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life and few there be that find it." ―Matthew 7:14

Of course, people think of this path of liberation as something devoid of a sexual flavor, but literally, the narrow way is when husband and wife unite, male-female. This is the symbol of the cross. Vertical phallus. Horizontal uterus. They unite so that those energies accumulate, and when directed by the couple, it can crucify our defects. It is a symbol of Jesus going on His Passion. He lived it literally, physically, but he was showing something symbolic and allegorical and sexual.
That energy which can create life can also destroy impurity. That is the nature of the Kundalini. It is the nature of Shiva-Shakti amongst the Hindus, the creator and destroyer. Shiva is the power of the Holy Spirit or the sexual energy, which in tantra. That energy can be directed at any defect, any fault that we have, that we have understood profoundly through meditation, and to remove it so that the soul is liberated and the soul is united with divinity. That is the path of liberation, the secret path that Jesus taught that few find.
It is obvious that humanity does not know the path, because you look at the state that it is in. Lustful people do not enter that path, meaning: they may be married and they may know this teaching and may know about conserving sexual energy and working on the mind, but if they don't actually work on themselves, they don't enter the path from experience.
On our websites we talk a lot about Gnosis, from the Greek, meaning “knowledge,” to have experience born from spiritual practice. We cannot have genuine spiritual knowledge, experience of divinity, if our soul is asleep, if Psyche is dormant, but we can awaken the soul by learning to use this energy. Of course, married couples have much more power to work with, but individual practitioners can learn through pranayama, spiritual exercises, how to work with that energy as an individual until, with work and patience, that person may find their partner in accordance with divinity. They may be helped. They may find their marriage.
This was originally the meaning of monastic life, which of course lost its true purpose. Monks and nuns would practice individually at their monasteries for many years, learning to circulate and work with that energy individually. When the time came, they would be brought their partner and they would learn to practice alchemy. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church and many groups didn't like the sexual flavor of this type of teaching, because, of course, it scandalizes many people, unfortunately. This is the stone of Peter: the rock of offense upon which we should build our church. “Is it not marvelous?” it says in the gospels (1 Peter 2:7-8). Many teachings hidden there.

​The Caduceus of Mercury

Lastly, we will talk about how that energy can circulate. The Bible calls the circuitry of tantra, those energetic channels that rise from our coccyx to our brain and then to our heart, the two witnesses in the Book of Revelation. It is known as Ida and Pingala in Sanskrit amongst the Hindu yogis. These are the two serpents that entwine a staff on the symbol of medicine, because we heal our soul like the bronze serpent healed the Israelites in the wilderness by working with these two energetic channels in us.
These two serpents are two forms of energy: masculine-feminine, solar-lunar, copper-tin. So whether we are male or female, we have those two energy circuits in our spine. But of course, men will tend to polarize more of the masculine energy and woman the feminine energy in their physicality, which is why it is important that if one is going to work with this energy in a marriage, you need both polarities to create. Physical man, physical woman. Together, just as they can create a child, they can create something more. But we also have those circuits in our spine.
As you notice, Adam-Eve in the Bible, male-female, Ida-Pingala, Solar and lunar. We can do certain exercises like in books called Kundalini Yoga, The Yellow Book, even some practices in The Perfect Matrimony by Samael Aun Weor, to work with mantras and prayer and breath work. If we are single, we can take that energy on our own and circulate it, and train ourselves so that we can use that energy to empower meditation. That is the primary purpose of working with that energy, to empower our soul. 

But if one is married, of course, it is more energy, more fire, but more difficulty, because the difficulty that couples face is that they are trying not to eat the forbidden fruit. In the Bible, Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It is a symbol of how they didn't respect the law of divinity, of conserving the energies of God in themselves. They expelled it, or better said: they expelled themselves from Eden, which is a symbol of the state of bliss in spirituality that our humanity once knew before it indulged in desire. This is eating the forbidden fruit, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, of positive and negative, Ida-Pingala: the two witnesses.
That forbidden fruit is, of course, the orgasm. Divinity said, “You shall not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Do not take that energy and expel it out of yourselves because the day that you do, you will surely die, spiritually speaking.” This is the foundation of the Judeo-Christian Bible. Of course, the one that tempted them was a serpent, because that serpent above is Kundalini. But if we are filled with egotism and desire, it is the tail of the demons, the tail of temptation
We have many practices that can teach you how to work with energy. To really understand how all the different symbols and traditions teach this science takes many years. It is very extensive studying the Bible or the Qur’an or the Bhagavad-Gita and many scriptures. I just wanted to introduce some of these elements for you to see that is very vast. It is a very profound teaching, which you can verify not only through reading books by Samael Aun Weor or other authors, but really examining the original root scriptures of tantra, of alchemy. It takes a lot of time to learn and understand how this science was taught and also more importantly, how we practice it in ourselves.
Do you have any questions? 

Questions and Answers

Question: You were talking about how we can use this energy, how we can eliminate imperfections. Is that only for married couples or is that for single people? 
Instructor: Good question. For both. Obviously, a single practitioner is going to have energy to a degree. They can learn to direct that energy through pranayama, mantras, prayer, so that they can eliminate certain defects that they have to a very minor extent. When a person is married, they have available to them the fire of a sun. More power. So when they are sexually united as a couple, they can have more force by which to eliminate defects.
So compare a single person to the light of a candle. Compare a married couple to the light of the sun. You can't compare the magnitude of that force. It is truly tremendous. So obviously, individuals can eliminate ego, defect, desires, but married couples can eliminate much more. They can do the totality of the work. So eventually people who are single, if they really want to pursue this type of path, they have to eventually get married. But of course, that is a delicate thing, a long process, and depends on the unique situations of the individual.
Question: What is the Buddhist root tantric script? I studied online, and I guess many teach adultery and black tantra in the scriptures. Are there any tantra scriptures that are still in tact that the Dalai Lama uses or any in other tradition?
Instructor: Sure. Just to be clear, as I mentioned, there are different forms of tantra. There is positive tantra. There is negative tantra. We call them white and black.
White tantra refers to purity in sex, meaning: never expelling the sexual energy in any form or way, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, to orgasm, or through desire.
You have black tantra, which is exclusively focused on expelling the energies and even taking that energy and directing it into desire, which of course is not what we teach here. That is something different.
That's called black tantra because it is impure. It is the science of demons. People who really feed their lust and desire direct that energy into anger and pride and fear, laziness, to fortify those elements. So obviously in the end, that produces a lot of suffering for individuals and other people.
There is also gray tantra, which sometimes a couple unites periodically. Sometimes they conserve the energy. Sometimes they expel it. Gray is in the middle, but eventually gray tantra degenerates into black tantra, because obviously these desires accumulated from indulging in lust. It becomes comes bigger.
The Dalai Lama talks a lot about Padmasambhava. He wrote a book called The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Bardo Thodol. A lot is about consciousness and dreams, but is one of the most seminal tantric texts available, which you can read about. It talks a lot about states of consciousness and dream yoga, dream science, which you can learn to take the energies of tantra, transmutation, prayer, pranayama, so that your consciousness can awaken from dreams, which is partially one of the symbols of Psyche and Eros. She awakens from her sleep, meaning internally, even when being in the dream state. She awakens our consciousness so that she can investigate those regions, those realms called heavens, different dimensions, which is where we gravitate to when our physical body sleeps. We go out in the dream state usually hypnotized by our own projections of mind, dreams, but we can awaken from dreams by using that energy.
So that is a key text that the Dalai Lama introduces, and I believe one of the most recent publications of that book, The Tibetan Book of the Dead and the works of Padmasambhava especially are powerful. Tsong Khapa too. It has more Mahayana Buddhism, but you know, he teaches the foundations by which to understand tantra, especially. And of course the study of tantra is very deep. [See also Tsong Khapa’s The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra in three volumes, also a key tantric text].
I just want to just give you a bit of the gamut of what that tradition is like, because people were never introduced to tantra right off the bat. This is a very different lecture than what has been done traditionally for thousands of years, because they would make the student study under a guru or sheikh or teacher or prophet, or whatever, for 10, 20, 30, 40 years, before they taught them, “Now that you know how to work with your energy as an individual, now, I am going to teach you the science of how to practice in a marriage.” So there are tantric texts out there and I can give you some references too to write them down.
Question: A lot of tantra from the Dalai Lama, they speak about visualization a lot. To visualize yourself as an enlightened being and visualize a mandala... How does Gnosis combine that visualization?
Instructor: You can read The Mystery of the Golden Flower as one book that we have available, where Samael Aun Weor explains how when a couple is united and after they have meditated profoundly, they can work together, and when they are sexually united, they can imagine an event and their day in which a certain defect that they observed in themselves popped up. Imagine that defect. If it's the husband's defect, he explains to his wife, “This is the defect I saw in myself earlier in this day at this moment. This is what I have comprehended. I noticed I saw lust in myself,” as an example. The partner, the wife imagines with him. They both develop their imagination and visualize that defect that they want to eliminate together. They pray. They do mantras, and they work to eliminate that defect through concentrating upon what we call the Divine Mother.
The Divine Mother Kundalini is Her name. She can eliminate defects when the couple is working together. Of course, that is a very powerful practice. It just takes a lot of communication and work and support, you know. You can read about that in The Mystery of the Golden Flower specifically. The whole book just talks about how to do that. You imagine the defect you want to eliminate, and because the couple is united, they are like God. They can create. Male-female. Adam-Eve. Or in the Hebrew name: יהוה Jehovah, Iod-Havah. י Iod is masculine, Adam. A הוה Havah is Eve, because the word for Eve in the Bible is חַוָה Chavah. Iod-Havah is our divinity.
So the couple has to work together, unite their polarities, and they can visualize together what they want to eliminate in the husband. And then, after the husband and eliminates that defect, together they eliminate that fault because they are sharing that power to create and destroy. They take turns and the wife can present a defect she observed in herself, understood, and meditated upon. They work on that defect together. That is the procedure. Of course, it takes a lot of time to learn that. Actually, you can read about it, but when you are practicing, it is another thing.
Question: Can single people do the visualization?
Instructor: Yeah, they can visualize whatever defect they have understood in themselves and ask for annihilation through certain mantras like Krim, is one mantra.
The vowel S is another.
We have explained this process of meditation in our course Gnostic Meditation on chicagognosis.org if you want to know how to practice that type of meditation. You can study the last lecture in that course that is called Retrospection Meditation.
Any final comments or questions?
So I invite you to study, because I know we talked about a lot of different things, but the main purpose is to present the breadth of this science. It is very deep and extensive. It takes a lot of study and practice and understanding. So if you are interested, you can see some of the books we have available that talk about these things. But also, if you want to read these books and scriptures online, you can go to gnosticteachings.org, which has everything available electronically too.
<![CDATA[Karma and Ethics]]>Wed, 08 Jul 2020 21:35:28 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/karma-and-ethics
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Introduction to Gnostic Studies, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.

Today we are going to be talking about karma. Karma has a Sanskrit root. It comes from the Sanskrit word karman, which means “to act.” Now, commonly many of us, especially in new spiritual circles toss this word around frequently, meaning karma is that people get what they are going to deserve, right? If you say something bad, it is going to be bad karma. Maybe you have seen the little tip jars that say, “If you leave money for your barista, you are going to get good karma.”
We hear the term karma quite a bit, but I think that karma should be taken very, very seriously for those of us who want to have mystical experiences and want to radically transform our life, want to achieve that self-knowledge and that mastery of self, which allows us to transform our experiences and our external situation by transforming our internal situation.
If you're looking for a road map to do just that, you need to comprehend karma. Karma, in its true comprehended state, is the key to helping us to get out of ignorance. Ignorance is known as one of the three poisons of Buddhism along with craving and aversion. It is said that if you can eliminate one of those three poisons, you can escape the wheel of suffering, the wheel of samsara: cyclic birth and death, the wheel of existence and escape to Nirvana, right? The heavenly realms, cessation of this cycle that we are stuck in.
But for that we need Gnosis. Gnosis is the opposite of ignorance. We see the same root there “gno.” Now, through true Gnosis and comprehension of karma, we can transform our own psychology quite a bit, and by transforming ourselves, we will see a consequence and transformation of our lives.
So it is very, very critical, and it is also very accessible, because if you are really waking up, if you have really been applying the practices that we have been teaching thus far in this course, like self-observation, retrospection meditation, observing the three brains, observing your internal states and your external states, then you should be able to see karma. You should be able to see very directly how when you say a certain word, it affects the people around you. It affects your own psychology. You should be able to see how one action you do may be a kind action for someone else. It leaves you feeling happy. Maybe you go home at the end of the day and you feel good. Whereas another action, maybe a cruel word, leaves you feeling unhappy, unsettled, frustrated, or angry. That is karma. That is seeing how a cause that you put into motion produces an effect.

The Perplexity and Reality of Karma

So we'll dive a little bit more into karma, but I wanted to start with a story from the Jewish tradition. This is a story about Moses after he died. He went to heaven and God gave Moses the opportunity to look down over the Earth at all of the events and situations and people, everything that was going on and to see it all from God's perspective. Moses was very pleased with this, and he saw that it was good. Its creation was good.
But there was one situation that Moses saw that really bewildered him. It perplexed Moses. He saw a soldier riding his horse along a hot dusty road. The soldier saw a shady tree next to a stream and he pulled over his horse, climbed down and got a drink out of the stream. He took a break. Now as he was climbing back on his horse, he didn't notice that he dropped his purse, a little bag of gold coins and he rode away. Not long after Moses saw that a young boy came walking down the road and next to the tree, he saw the purse full of gold coins. He opened it up and he was astonished to discover this. So he took the purse and he ran home in excitement.
Only a short while later, a very tired merchant came walking down the road and saw the shady tree next to the stream and decided to have a drink and rest for a while, under the tree, and he fell asleep. He awoke when the soldier had come back having realized that he had lost his purse. The soldier shook the merchant by the shoulders and yelled at him, asking where his money was. The merchant swore to the soldier that he had not stolen the coins, but the soldier did not believe him. So he took out his sword and slew the merchant down.
When Moses saw the situation, it really upset him. He went to God and he said, “I look at all of this creation that you show me and I see how all of it is orderly and good. But what is happening here in this situation with this merchant and the soldier? How could this merchant undergo such a tragic misfortune as to be killed by the soldier when he didn't steal the money?”
God showed Moses a scene from previously. The same merchant was in a busy marketplace when he saw a man walking with a bag full of gold coins looking at different items to buy, and this man had at his side his young son. Now the merchant was looking to get enough money to buy something that he needed, and so he went up and he struggled with a man to get the gold coins. But when the man wouldn't give up the coins, he killed the man and ran off with the money, leaving the young boy orphaned. God showed Moses how that same merchant was the one who was killed by the soldier who lost his purse, and how that young boy, whose father had been killed and who lost his inheritance that day, came to grab the purse of the gold coins that should have rightfully been his. 
Now that is a nice story. But I think that this story is very relevant for what we are going to talk about today, because we often don't have that bird's eye view. More frequently, we find that we are in the situation of being down on the ground and being very frustrated with what we see, all kinds of horrible acts and all kinds of terrible tragedies that are happening in our world every day. And we wonder: how can it be that there is a just law, a conscious divinity organizing this world, this creation, when these types of terrible things happen? We might become frustrated. So as much as we liked the theory of karma as a belief system that things will turn out the way that they should, people get what they deserve, at the same time, we may have those moments of frustration in which we are not sure that we are able to make sense of them. 

The Force and Energy of Action

Now up to this point, we have been talking a lot about energy, and the way that we use our energy is very directly related with karma, which is the law of cause and effect. So I am going to share a quote here from another Gnostic instructor that I think summarizes two very essential points. And the first he says this:
“In each moment of your life, you are creating. The human organism is a transformer of forces, and according to your will and your action, those forces are transformed, and those forces produce consequences, results. This is called karma in Sanskrit, from the word karman, which means “to act.” Karma is simply the Law of Cause and Effect.” —Gnostic Instructor
So we can imagine a crowded marketplace where you are standing in a long line, and it's hot and somebody shoves you. That is a cause, right? And you might turn and respond to them and shove them back, and that creates another cause. What kinds of effects arise from the initial cause and the responding cause? We can see in that very simple scenario a chain begin, a chain of cause and effect.
In this teaching we talk about recurrence, the law of return. That is, all of us as Essences return lifetime after lifetime, pulled by the very energy that we have put into motion. We create an imbalance in nature, a disharmony, and that disharmony will be equilibrated by this law of cause and effect. Every cause will produce an effect, and so this will follow us from lifetime to lifetime until all of those energies have been balanced again. That is why we can understand from previous studies about our human machine, our three brains, sexual transmutation, how energy becomes very important, especially very powerful energy like our sexual energy, because that is the energy with which we create.
In this present moment, we are creating consequences. Your thoughts are creating consequences. Your emotions are creating consequences. Your physical actions create consequences, your words. Everything is creating a consequence. But are we aware of it? Are we perceiving the effects of our actions? Are we perceiving the energies that come into us in each moment as we are stimulated by life, by all these difficult situations or happy situations, the varied experiences of life? Those energies strike us in a given way, strike our psychology, and produce an energetic reaction, a response from us.
We want that response to be conscious. We want it to be a virtuous response. We want it to be a very serene, peaceful, loving response from a place of wisdom, but many times, as you know, being where we are at, we react mechanically and we produce consequences that perhaps increase our suffering rather than diminish it.

​Interdependence and Internal Responsibility

So when we look at these situations on life, which are very frustrating, it seems so removed from the small actions that we are taking day-to-day, but we really have to be aware of our small actions, because our society is a reflection of the individuals who live within it. We like to place the blame somewhere else. To say, “Oh, it's them, not us! It was this person's fault, not me.” We have to look very critically first at what is in our control.
What is our response to life? What are the things in our life that we can change?—because they are caused by us, the problems and the suffering caused by us. How can we change and address those problems first and then worry about larger problems that may seem unrelated to us? Although, of course, we know that everything is interdependent and related.
So I'll continue with the rest of this quote from the Gnostic instructor that I mentioned.
“We are not here on this planet to do whatever we want, to just do whatever we please, even though this is the philosophy that our media loves to promote. Our culture loves to tell us that life is just about enjoying all of the pleasures we can, as much as we can, until we die. This is a very convenient lie for those who are benefiting from us behaving in that way, but we do not benefit from this behavior, neither does God, neither does humanity. The evidence is all around us. Because of our behaviors we have created this society. Because of how each of us behaves individually on a day-to-day basis, we have created this world, not God. We have created starvation, poverty, rape, war, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons. We are the ones who created all kinds of cunning ways to cheat one another. We have made all of that because of desire. To change this planet, we have to change ourselves.” —Gnostic Instructor
Now I am not advocating for extremism by sharing this quote. Of course, you know, we might know that there are many pieces of technology, like your smartphone, that have negative effects on the other side of the planet, and yet to be able to function in society, it would be very hard not to support certain industries. We want to do the best that we can, but we also have to realize that the real problem that we need to be addressing is not, perhaps the material problems of life, but rather the problem of desire.
If we can't first understand that in ourselves and address that in ourselves, the root problem, the moral problem, and the spiritual problem which causes our own suffering, then we won't be able to truly address it in the most efficient ways in our world. We might be able to work on some of the symptoms, treat the symptoms, suppress the symptoms, but can we truly get to the root of the disease that is creating a society that is totally out of balance? That is disharmonious within itself and with nature.
So as many things as we as we look at in this world that seem very unjust and unfair, until we truly understand within ourselves how we create those types of imbalances, we can't seek a greater comprehension and understanding of all of the greater things that are happening in this world. Our own divinity can teach us all of the reasons for the different situations that are happening on this planet right now, whether good or negative. But before all of that, our inner divinity is going to ask us whether or not we have been sincere with ourselves: whether or not we have addressed the problems that we have the power to change in our current situation.
Now what is wonderful for us as Gnostics is that when we take this kind of radical personal responsibility for the state of our life and for the state of the world, we are able to use karma for our own self-transformation. We are able to use karma to our benefit, not as a law which mercilessly punishes us for our ignorance and for our mistakes, but as a law that we can use consciously to understand how we can take better actions and achieve a better, higher state of life, a higher state of consciousness, a state of life with less worries.
Now, less worries doesn't necessarily mean that we're going to be rich. We might be, we might not be. It doesn't mean necessarily that we will have our dream job. We might, we might not. But it means that with harmonious actions we can create a harmonious state of being within ourselves and that means that whatever situation we find ourselves in, we are in a better position to experience that from a positive point of view and to respond to that situation from a positive point of view, rather than reacting negatively, unconsciously, and mechanically to situations in life and making problems even worse. We have a higher state of consciousness from which to comprehend our situation and respond to it. 

​The Four Certainties of Karma

I recommend a book that is sold through the Gnostic Store online. It is called Karma is Negotiable. These four rules or the four certainties of karma are extracted from that book, and you can definitely read a lot more about them in the book.
But to cover them simply, this is the road map that I was telling you about. This is what we need to investigate to see if it is true, if we are really experiencing this in our lives and if we find and validate these laws to work with them to our benefit, rather than being unconscious victims of the law of karma, to work with the law of karma—to become, in a sense, a magi, a magician who uses this law to his advantage to very quickly and expediently transform his or her life. 

1. ​Actions produce related consequences

So the first certainty of karma or rule of action and consequence is that actions produce related consequences. Simply put, if you plant the seed of a pine tree, you are not going to grow an orange tree. So whatever you hope to be the consequences, you have to examine if you are taking the actions that are really going to produce those consequences.
Let's say that you really want to have a consequence of great relationship with one of your family members. But in your actions, if you really sit and meditate on your actions, you see that the seeds you are planting are seeds of discord. Maybe you are criticizing them, or you know, doing different actions that create disharmony in that relationship. So you have to analyze your actions and ask yourself: “Are these actions that I am taking in my family life, in my work life, in my relationships and in my personal life, going to produce the consequences that I really want? Are they going to create a higher level of being, a more harmonious lifestyle? Or are they going to create more problems, more complications, more suffering?” Because our actions will produce related consequences.

2. ​Consequences are greater than their cause

The second is that the consequences of our actions are greater than the actions themselves. So if we think about throwing a pebble into some water, we know that the water will be displaced. But what about all of the creatures that are living in that water? What about the plants in the water? Yes, we might see the superficial ripples of that water, but what about all the ripples that move down through the deeper parts of the water as that stone travels downward?
We know that a few words on Twitter can have enormous consequences, right? A few words spoken at the right time and the right place can move a nation to war, to rebellion, maybe even inspire them to peace.
At the same time, silence in just the right moment can have dramatic consequences. So when we do a small action, like maybe telling a white lie and we think it will have very small effects, we should really pay attention. We should really observe what those consequences are, not just physically, not just in our relationships with the people we have lied to, but also in our own heart, in our own mind, in our spiritual life. What are the consequences of that?

3. ​You cannot receive a consequence without committing its corresponding action

The third rule is that you cannot receive the consequence without committing its corresponding action. So if we hope to achieve a very high level of spiritual development and spiritual awakening, we have to commit their corresponding actions. You need to take the actions and invest the energy in order to receive receive that result.
If we are investing 99.9% of our time into a bunch of things that, in, perhaps, the spiritual view of things, are irrelevant, and only 0.01% percent of our time into our spiritual life, well, that is how much consequence we are going to get out of it. I am not saying that we should disregard our responsibilities. We absolutely need to live in a harmonious way in society. We need to take care of our family. We need to do our job. We need to be able to have the things to provide for ourselves to be able to live and have a good life and take care of ourselves, but at the same time, if we are over investing in certain areas of our life and yet expecting, you know, tremendous results in our spiritual growth, when we are not investing in that particular area, then we are kidding ourselves.

4. ​Once an action is performed, the consequence cannot be erased

The fourth law or fourth rule of the law of karma is that once an action is performed, the consequence cannot be erased. Once you pull the trigger, you cannot take the bullet back into the gun. Once you say that cruel word, you can never remove that from the other person's memory. The consequence and the effects of what we do are guaranteed.
So if we are performing good actions, we can have great joy in that because we know that those actions, those virtuous actions, selfless actions, that are not motivated by our own egotism, will produce positive results. But, if on the other hand, we are doing harmful actions, we will have to pay for that.
It said in the Bible, "Be not deceived. God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man sows, that he shall reap” (Galatians 6:7). We see it in all traditions, that law of cause and effect. 
So we should take these, and we should examine our actions and look at the consequences they produce. Try doing something kind for someone and observe, self-observe yourself. What are the consequences within yourself, within your heart, your mind, your body? What are the observations you have of the other person in that situation? And conversely, maybe you catch yourself doing something else, something that you have come to regret. Well, observe the consequences of that and consider these four certainties of karma, and investigate them for yourself. Don't take our word for it, but truly investigate them in your own life.
Now many of us might feel that it can be a heavy weight to think that we have had many previous lifetimes where we might have done bad things, good things, and we are not sure and now we can't erase the consequences of those actions. Well, the important thing is that we have this present moment and we have each moment after this to use it to our advantage.
This is where that line at the bottom of the screen becomes very important. 

5. ​A superior law always overcomes an inferior one.

The law of karma is an infallible law. Actions produce consequences. We see that in physics. We all know that. But a superior law, a spiritual and divine law of mercy, perhaps, or the law of sacrifice, can be used by us consciously in order to overcome our karma. There is some karmas that we can't totally erase, certain karmas related with our sexual energy. Karmas related to adultery and fornication are crimes against the Holy Spirit, which, we have been taught especially in the Christian tradition, cannot be forgiven. But many of our actions that might have produced negative consequences for us or will produce negative consequences for us, can be overcome by working with superior laws like the law of sacrifice for others.
If we have done something wrong to hurt someone, if we said a cruel word, we can apologize. We can go and try to make it up to them. Now we can't erase the consequence of the previous action, the previous wrong that we have done, but if we are sincere in our action to make up for that or our apology, we may be able to overcome some of that damage. That would be working with a superior law in that case. 

​Personal Accountability and Causality

So let's talk about superior laws that we want to work with. Well, actually before we get to that, that's actually a few slides ahead, I want to talk first about how we usually respond to any situation. So this is a quote from Samael Aun Weor. He is talking about how many times we experience injustices or what we what we believe to be injustices, and it is very difficult for us to transform them. We, many times, feel like we are the victims of others’ cruelty. The victims of others’ criticisms. That it is other people's fault that we are suffering the way that we are and if other people, you know, would just understand us or respect us or do their share of the work better, then we wouldn't have these problems.
We very rarely want to look at ourselves. We very rarely want to assume that radical personal responsibility that I talked about earlier, where we accept that if something bad is happening to me, I have caused it in one way or another. I have contributed to causing this result.
That also means I have the power to change it. If I had the power to create this, I have the power to change it in a fundamental way. Perhaps not entirely, but I have some power in the situation.
We see here that many of the times, more in these situations where we are very upset, we feel overwhelmed by negative emotions and we complain. Rather than taking that type of responsibility for our lives, we rebel against our circumstances. We get mad at God. We get mad at karma. I think that this is a really powerful quote from Samael Aun Weor, so I'll share it with you.
“We ask for love when we have been merciless and cruel. We demand comprehension when we have never known how to comprehend anyone, when we have never learned to see the other person’s point of view. We long for immense good fortune when we have always been the origin of many misfortunes.We protest against persons who insult us when we have always insulted everyone who surrounds us. Slander annoys us terribly when we were always slanderers and filled the world with pain. Gossip upsets us, we do not want anyone to gossip about us, however we were always involved in gossip and backbiting, talking badly about our fellowmen, mortifying the lives of others. That is, we always demand what we have not given; we were evil and we deserve the worst, but we suppose that we should be given the best.” —Samael Aun Weor
So we should examine ourselves in the way that we respond to situations. When something bad happens to us, do we immediately criticize and gossip about the other people involved? When we are mad that somebody is not understanding our point of view and how much they are causing us to suffer, have we taken the time to meditate on their point of view and how they may be suffering? We want a ton of fortune for ourselves, but how much have we contributed to the well-being and good fortune of others? We make some very profound statement here, and I think it's worth meditating on and reflecting more.
When we respond to life in that way, we are not using our energy in a way that will produce positive results for us. We are actually making our situation worse. We're in a bad situation and we go and we say bad things about the other person, we are going to create more problems for ourselves. If we are in a bad situation and people are saying bad things about us and we learn to control ourselves, to recognize that what other people are saying. If it's not true, then it will pass away, and if it's true, then they are speaking the truth and why should we protest against that? If we learn to be calm and not react mechanically to life, soon enough people will be on talking about something else and we will have freed ourselves from the cycle of creating more and more problems in that situation. We will pay the karma and that situation will dissolve, eventually. Some situations take longer to resolve themselves than others.
But Samael Aun Weor taught us that the best way to get rid of a problem is to stop thinking about the problem. Many times we obsess about our problems and we put a lot of mental energy into that, and then the next time we see that person, we start screaming at them without them even saying anything, because we worked ourselves up over it. That might be an exaggerated example, but if we would merely let the problem be and move on to the other duties that we have to take care of, many times things resolve themselves. And when they can't resolve themselves, we should meditate on it, ask for guidance within.

Ethics: The Foundation of Spirituality 

So the best way for us to work positively in any situation we are in life and to start cultivating a foundation for our own spiritual developments, the right environment for us to awaken, to be able to observe more, to be able to comprehend more, to have mystical experiences, is to work with ethics.
Here is another quote from gnosticteachings.org I am going to share:
“Ethics are not just mechanical laws that some external authority is trying to impose upon us. These rules, commandments, or vows have a very specific function, which must be clearly grasped, and that is this: If you perform actions that are harmful, you create disharmony not only in your environment but in your mind. Yet if you follow these ‘observances,’ or positive practices, you create positive energy, not only into your environment, but in your mind. So the purpose of Yama and Niyama or the Commandments of Moses is to stabilize our psychology so that we are no longer vibrating with so much negative emotion.” —Gnostic Instructor
How do we cultivate an energetic environment in which we can have a connection with divinity? Well, if we are going around all day lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, talking about nonsense, what is the quality of our mind? Our mind is filled with energetic garbage, so to speak. So we need a way, we need a method, in which we can harness positive energies and we can restrain negative energies. Working with energy is a form of magic, right? All of us wish that we could snap our fingers and have a better situation in life where we were happier, right? Well if you truly master ethics, if you truly learn how to work with the energy of your own psychology and to respond consciously and positively to the energies in your environment, you become a magician in that sense. This is the basis for magic, is to be conscious and to be controlling energies.
Now we talked in our last lecture about harnessing our sexual energy. That is an extremely tremendous force. And if we don't harness that energy alongside a tremendous effort of ethics and self-discipline, we will create a lot of problems for ourselves, because we will be working with a large, powerful force of energy and we will be pouring it into all of the directions that create more and more disharmony, more suffering for ourselves and for others. We need the Ten Commandments of Moses or Twelve Commandments Moses. We need teachings like Yama and Niyama to be our map, so that we can understand how to work with our own energy within us and the energy that we want to give into our environment. Because when we know how to master ourselves and become masters of the energy within ourselves and within our own psychology, then we have the foundation for becoming masters and kings and queens of nature. 

​The Eightfold Path of Yoga 

I have taken the first two steps from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras of his Eightfold Path: Yama and Niyama. Yama means “restraint” and Niyama means “precepts.” So with Yama, we will be talking about what types of actions we want to restrain and with Niyama, we will be talking about what types of actions we want to put forward. We want to follow those precepts. We want to take those actions in order to produce the type of psychological and spiritual environment in which we can awaken and have a more harmonious lifestyle.
All of us know, if our life is very chaotic, if we have a lot of problems, it is very hard to calm down your heart, to calm down your mind, to calm down your body and to sit for meditation and try to communicate with God. It is very difficult if you have a very disharmonious environment or a very chaotic life with lots of problems. By following these steps little by little, getting control over our own actions, we will gradually be able to transform ourselves and transform our environment as a result. “As within, so without.” This is a very common Gnostic adage. 

Ahimsa: Non-Violence

In Yama, restraint, the first principal is ahimsa, non-violence. Each one of these builds off of the previous one, so that means that before we can even go on to the next steps, we need to look at what mastering non-violence is within ourselves, to the best of our ability. Okay? So first we should have a good grasp on what non-violence means, and how we can restrain violence within ourselves and within our actions in order to then build on to the next one.
I want to point out that violence is not just physical violence, going and punching somebody or hurting someone physically. There are other levels of violence. We can have violence against ourselves. How do we talk to ourselves? Are we constantly saying negative things about ourselves? Because if we know that in our Essence we have divinity within, we shouldn't be performing those types of violent emotional actions against ourselves. In the same way, we shouldn't be criticizing others, whether we are saying those words out loud or whether we are thinking them mentally or emotionally, just having evil will towards others. Those are forms of violence. You can kill someone with a word, with a look, to a degree. You can emotionally wound people with your silence. Sarcasm is a tremendous example of violence on the mental plane. There are many times where people will use sarcasm as a way to criticize and mock others in a very cruel and demeaning way, but then to brush it aside and say that they were joking when all along, mentally, they meant it. And you can sense that. You can feel that disconnect in between somebody's words and what you feel is their intention behind them.
But before we look at it in others, we need to look at it in ourselves. So just becoming aware of what we are doing is the first step, and if we observe something in ourselves that we think is creating violence mentally, emotionally, physically, against someone else or against ourselves and our own inner divinity, then we should try to restrain that as best we can, because it's going to produce negative consequences. It is going to imbalance our mind, our heart, and our physical life, and our relationship with others.

Satya: Truthfulness 

So after that we have satya, which is truthfulness. Now this doesn't mean to go around just all honesty all the time in everyone's face, because sometimes that would be a form of violence. If we know that being bluntly honest would really hurt someone, then perhaps it is best to keep silence.
What we want to restrain is our inclination to deceive people. Maybe we are a secretive person and we take a lot of actions that are very deceptive. Are we living in a genuine, sincere way in our interactions with other people? Or are we being deceptive? Are we lying? Are we presenting ourselves as one sort of person so that we can win somebody's favors, so we can impress the people on the interview committee for a new job, so we can attract a partner that we want? Are we presenting ourselves in a false way or are we being genuine and humble and showing ourselves for who we truly are? Because it may be the case that you get that spouse or that job based on a false presentation of yourself, and sooner or later that will crumble, because you aren't actually meant to be in those situations. It is based on a lie.
So truthfulness goes beyond just what we say. It goes into the very way that we express ourselves in life, and it starts with honesty with ourselves, sincerity with ourselves. As long as we are pointing our fingers at everybody else and blaming them for our situation, and we refuse to take any personal responsibility for our situation, we are not being fully honest. Yes, there are systemic problems that exist in this world, but there are also many problems that we ourselves create in our lives, and we have to address those before we can address anything else.

​Asteya: Non-Stealing

After we have mastered, or I guess gotten the basics of non-violence and truthfulness, we move to asteya, non-stealing. So again, this isn't just stealing people's money and stealing other people's possessions, although of course, it includes those. How do we steal other people's time? How do we steal other people's attention or goodwill? Do we steal the credit for something when we weren't actually the person who put in the hard work and the effort to do it? Do we, through a false presentation of ourselves, steal a relationship from someone because we attracted them based on a lie, when they should have been perhaps with another partner?
Stealing hits on many levels, and again, all of these are working with energies. You know if we are violent against other people, that violence will come back and will strike us mentally, emotionally, physically. If we are deceiving others, how will we ever see the truth of God, the truth of reality, the truth of divinity, if within ourselves we are producing deception and lies? And if we were stealing from others, then that energy will again be stolen from us.
We say that people who practice black magic, because they don't get their energy from their own inner divinity, they steal energy from other people. They hypnotize other people through those people's desires, whether lust or greed or so on, and they feed their energy from those people.
So in this, we want to practice harmonious action, trusting that, you know, by performing good deeds, by doing our daily responsibilities, we will have what we need.

Brahmacharya: Chastity

The next is brahmacharya, chastity. So in our previous lecture, we spoke about this at length. It is essential that we keep our energies pure, that we transform our energies and transmute them. If we are wasting those energies, if we are pouring those energies into harmful desires, into lust, which only seeks personal satisfaction at the expense of others, then how will we ever have peace and harmony within ourselves?
This is our root force, our creative power. Our sexual energy is directly related with our consciousness, our mind, our soul. If we don't have good control over that force, then our mind is going to be all over the place. Our conscious attention is going to be all over the place. Now if we can harness that force through purity, we will have sexuality, but a pure type of sexuality. We will transform that energy according to its divine archetype, rather than in a way that is against the laws of divinity. 

We see this in a tree or a rose, which perfectly takes the energies of nature, its own sexual energies, and transforms those energies and follows its own archetype. It becomes something beautiful and harmonious. It does not have to steal from nature, because it's in balance with nature. That is what chastity is.
Many times people equate chastity with celibacy and they think, “Well, if I am not lustful, then I just won't have any sexual desire. Well, then I am just going to have nothing, right? I just won't feel anything.” Chastity is a form of sexuality. There is sexual impulse there, but it is pure. It is loving. It is about divinity. It is about what is best for others and not about selfish desire.

​Aparigraha: Non-Avariciousness

Now, building upon those foundations, we come to aparigraha, which is non-avariciousness, non-greediness: not trying to take more than what we need. This is restraining the part of the animal instinct that always wants to hoard and hoard and get more and get more. You know, it is accepting having enough, to be comfortable, to live a secure life, but not having to always be chasing more and more material things, or more and more emotional sensations.
Maybe we are somebody who is addicted to praise, and so we are always trying to put ourselves in situations where more and more people will praise us and think highly of us, dressing a certain way or making certain jokes or talking a certain way to get more attention. Well, are we stealing in that case? Shouldn't we be happy with enough? Why are we always seeking more? Why are we addicted to those sensations? So again, all of these go beyond just physicality. How are we emotionally using our energy, our sexual energy? How are we mentally using those energies?

​Niyama: Precepts

Now once we have restrained these negative energies, we have tried to restrain our actions physically, emotionally, and mentally to a certain degree, we need to take actions that are positive physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. So these are Niyama, precepts. These are the positive actions which will produce positive results. The ones we talked about before will produce negative consequences for us. These will produce positive consequences for us and for others. 

​Saucha: Purity

The first saucha is purity from desire. So again, purity is not just the absence of impurities. Purity is not just having nothing in it that makes it dirty, the way that many times we think of it. Purity itself is virtue. It is beauty. It is harmony. It is divinity in a pure form. Divinity has an energy, has a presence, a very powerful presence, but it is not seeking something. It exists. It has will, but it is not motivated by egotistical desires. Having purity from egotism is what this principle is all about. It is about being in harmony with the energy and the will of our inner divinity, cultivating that connection, and when other things come up to pollute that energy, we choose to hold true to our conscience rather than following egotism. 

Santosha: Contentment

Next we have santosha, contentment with what one has. So this is pretty much the opposite of aparigraha, non-avariciousness. In non-avariciousness, it is non-attachment. It is non-grasping. It is about not seeking more. Santosha is about the quality of just being genuinely happy with what you have.
Unfortunately, this is becoming rarer and rarer. You see people on the street. Often they don't look very happy. Many people are often looking stressed or worried, but if we were at peace, if we were like a child connected with our inner divinity and fully conscious of everything that is happening in life, we would have this contentment, this peace and serenity with what we have. We would feel joy to be alive, to be in a beautiful world like this, to have the relationships we have with people. So it is quality in itself, but of course, as I mentioned before, we can't often reach these states and so we have at least a basic grasp on Yama, on restraint. 

Tapas: Austerities

Tapas are austerities, spiritual practices. So we have many practices in Gnosis, which work with energy, and produce very positive and harmonious results for us—to cultivate a lot of energy, a lot of will power, a lot of joy in connection to divinity, and gives us the energy that we need for mystical experiences.
These are things that many times beginning practitioners complain about, having to sit to meditate or do runes or different yogic exercises. We will actually talk about them in a forthcoming lecture, but when you have worked with these and you truly see energetic results that come from them, you understand the value. These practices awaken consciousness, awaken the compassion of the heart, the wisdom of the mind, strength and vitality in the body. So we work with those practices daily in order to produce positive effects for ourselves and for others. 

Svadhyaya: Scriptural Study

Next is svadhyaya, the study of scriptures. No matter which tradition you have a relationship with, studying the root scriptures from the highest teachers in those traditions is important, not the modern commentaries that are watered down, but actually going to those roots scriptures, reading a verse, sitting and reflecting on it, meditating on it, praying to divinity, “God, help me understand what is meant by this verse.” Maybe you read a passage and one line sticks out to you. Taking that one line and sitting down praying, praying for guidance and then meditating on it for 15 or 20 minutes, writing down the results that you got from your meditation—that is a great way to study the scriptures, not just on an intellectual level, but emotionally and spiritually engage with them. 

Ishvarapranidhana: Remembrance of Divinity

And finally, Ishvarapranidhana, continual remembrance of God. This is our shield. If we are in remembrance of God, deeply and profoundly feeling the presence of our own inner divinity, how can we steal from others? How can we lie, or be violent, or be greedy, or be lustful? If we feel God within us, if we feel this contentment with what we have, if we feel energized by our spiritual practice, inspired by the wisdom of scriptures, and we feel pure in our heart like a child, innocent like a child, well then, why would we want to harm others? Why would we want to do these egotistical actions, which we know from our own study of our life and of karma, produce harmful effects for us and for others. 
Working with these steps is the foundation for being able to manage your own energy, and as a result, transform your life, to create a lifestyle that is harmonious for spiritual practice. This might mean giving up, temporarily or for a time, distancing yourself from certain people or certain environments: not going out to bars or places where you know there are many lustful people, places where there is violence, but staying in environments and with people who you know cultivate positive energetic responses in you.
Especially at the beginning, this is really critical, because we kind of have a bandwidth, energetically, of how much we can transform before we become overwhelmed and hypnotized and fall asleep and just get sucked in again—like turning on a really really powerful engaging TV show and just becoming immediately hypnotized.
Now, maybe a master could do that and have no problems staying awake and maintaining themselves, but for many of us, we might get sucked in. So maybe we need to take a break from those types of TV shows and just focus on calming down our mind, calming down our heart. Stop taking in tons of impressions and energy that is disharmonious and actually let our mind set a little bit so that we can see: “Why am I suffering? What is hurting in me?” rather than running away and distracting ourselves, really looking at our suffering, looking it in the face because it's there. Whether we choose to see it or ignore it, it's there. By looking at our suffering, we will be able perhaps to see what has caused it and then perhaps to understand what actions we can take, such as these positive ethical actions, to resolve it. So we work with that energy daily.


Now finally, I want to conclude with sacrifice, because sacrifice is the ultimate tool that we use to negotiate our karma. Previously, the instructor mentions that we have three factors in Gnosis that are very commonly talked about. The first being death, psychological death, which we gave a lecture on. The second being spiritual birth, which was the previous lecture. And the third is sacrifice for humanity, conscious, willing sacrifice for humanity.
If you have ever done something and then you felt remorse for it, genuine remorse, you wish that there was a way you could take back that deed. You wish that there was a way you could go and make it up to that person. That is the type of longing that the sincere spiritual aspirant has.
When we look at ourselves, when we look at the problems that we have created for ourselves and the pain that we have caused others, we have a longing to do something positive to resolve that. Not just so that we won't have to have those negative consequences, but because we genuinely, deeply comprehend the harm that we have produced and no longer being ignorant of that. Now having the knowledge of how much good we could have done instead, we wish to take actions to produce that amount of good, to achieve our potential as a spiritual being.
We follow the guidance of our inner divinity and we find the best way that we can sacrifice for others. Sometimes that means going to the soup kitchen or donating money, or donating clothes. Those are good acts, but many times sacrifice goes beyond mere service for others. It is a sacrifice to practice the ethics that we just talked about. For many of us, that is a tremendous sacrifice to change our lifestyle, our way of thinking, our way of talking and acting and feeling, to try to transform our lives down to a more ethical lifestyle. But the results of doing that for the people in our lives and for everyone we may meet in the future, the results of that for ourselves, are extremely positive. So whether or not we have money to donate or time to go volunteer, or perhaps opportunities to teach spiritual teachings to others, we can all make a tremendous sacrifice by working on ourselves to become better people.
People who follow their own inner divinity, who live a harmonious lifestyle, feel sincere compassion and act on that compassion in intelligent and wise ways for the benefit of others. If we can't create that environment for ourselves, it becomes very hard to truly create it for others many times. We think we are helping someone, and really we are just adding more trouble to the situation.
Many times we want to help someone else so that we don't have to look at our own problems and deal with our own problems. So in the beginning, let's not get confused with over-sacrificing ourselves and giving up everything to take care of others, so that then we have no energy left to take care of ourselves. We need to be able to take care of our own responsibilities, to manage our own energy, to be living a harmonious life ourselves. By doing that, we are producing a tremendously good effect for others, everybody around us and for humanity as a whole. And then from that state, we might be able to know what is intelligent action, to be able to help others whether spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, whatever ways we have a unique vocation or calling to do so.
But we should not be sacrificing for others to the extent that we ourselves are getting burnt out, and then have no energy left to work on ourselves spiritually. That would be counter-productive.
Sacrifice builds upon birth and death. We need the death of our own egotism. We need that work on our own psychology and our own defects related with Yama, restraint. And we need the birth of our soul related with Niyama, those spiritual precepts that we can follow, those positive actions that we can take. But in addition to that, we need to also have a mindset which values the benefit of others as well, which hopes for the good benefit of those around us, of our family members, our friends, of all of humanity and all beings. 
As our teacher Samael Aun Weor stated:
"Those who only preoccupy themselves with their own spiritual progress and do not work for others achieve absolutely nothing. Whosoever wants to progress must sacrifice the self for others." —Samael Aun a Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
We know, as we talked about at length, that to sacrifice the self is to sacrifice our egotism. That doesn't mean that we run ourselves dry trying to run here and there and do favors for everybody. We sacrifice our self-interest, our selfish desires, our desire for more attention, for more pleasant sensations, for more praise—whatever these desires are that are beyond what we actually need to survive and to be able to take care of ourselves and our duties. We sacrifice those egotistical desires and instead spend some time reflecting on how we can be a source of benefit to the people around us.
We all have jobs. Many of these jobs are focused on service, customer service. How can we transform our job and make it a place where we don't just drag our feet and try to get the next paycheck, but really try to do a good job so that our customers or our clients or our co-workers benefit from from having us in that environment, from speaking with us from the work that we do? That is a great place to start, working with this factor sacrifice.
But in addition to that, we need to be conserving our energies, putting them into positive actions, positive spiritual actions, and we need to be restraining our own egotism, our own negative habits, our own negativity, and trying to replace that negativity through meditation with positive insight and comprehension from our inner divinity. If we have a negative thought, it's not just repress it and push it down, but to truly investigate, “Why am I so angry?” To go, to pray, to sit and to meditate on your anger and look at it. Maybe meditate on the other person's point of view whom you are angry with and see how they are suffering, and to truly work at it until you gain some comprehension that helps you to feel a positive state, a virtuous state, a compassionate state. Then you have achieved Gnosis. You have achieved a bit of Gnosis about yourself in that situation, and when we know ourselves, we come to understand others much, much better. When we understand others, then we know what we can truly do to help them.

<![CDATA[Psychological Death]]>Tue, 07 Jul 2020 15:55:06 GMThttp://chicagognosis.org/transcriptions/psychological-death
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Introduction to Gnostic Studies, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.

Maybe some of you may have heard of this concept before, of letting yourself die to attachment or desire. But what does it mean in practice? It can be a very lofty ideal, but sometimes it is hard to figure out exactly what is meant by that. We are going to go through some of the different teachings around this topic of psychological death, break it down a bit, and then we will finish up with a practical aspects of how we might hope to achieve this little by little in our daily lives.
I want to begin with a quote from Samael Aun Weor. He states in his book Tarot and Kabbalah:
“Intimate self-realization costs has a price, life itself.” ―Samael Aun a Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
The intimate self-realization, which is related to the work of our soul and our spiritual development, costs life itself. What does that mean? Well, I am going to keep you waiting and I am not going to explain right now what it means, but we will come back to it a little later on, and should it keep it in mind as we talk about death, because of course, death is something that all of us should be very aware off.
All of us will die one day physically. Although this is unavoidable part of life, many times we try to avoid it, even if the news or in a media, we often see that images of death can be covered up: funerals, closed caskets. We have a society that tries to shield us from death and keep us focused on goals we want to attain from life: wealth or status, worldly success. Many times we are glad to avoid the topic of death, because we fear death, although we know it is inevitable. We have a strong fear of dying. Part of that has to do with a loss of all of those things that we cling to and hold.
Another part of it is fear of the unknown. What comes after death? We might have many beliefs about this or many ideas about this, but who truly remembers dying? Who truly knows and has experience what will happen to them after death?
We sometimes hear stories of saints or prophets or masters, who were crucified or burned alive or tortured and killed―many gruesome deaths―and yet we hear that throughout all of that they had a type of serenity and love, even for the ones who were harming them. So, why were they not afraid of death or even the pain associated with it? What was the difference between us, as common people, and those who have achieved the higher degree of self-development, spiritual development? What comes after death? 
Well, in this teaching we understand the law of karma, the law of cause and effect, and we know that whatever actions we sow in this lifetime, we will reap the effects of those actions, whether in this life or after this life. So what comes after death is entirely determined by what we do today, maybe what we have done yesterday―what we will do tomorrow and for the remaining days of our life. And yet, many times we find that it is hard to live by that principle. Although we know that we should be treating others well, perhaps it can be difficult. 

Genuine Faith

So, I want to begin our talk today with this quote from the Bible from the Book of James:
"What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.” ―James 2:14-17
I am going to begin this discussion today by thinking about: what do we put our faith in? We may say: "I have faith in God" or "I have faith in,” perhaps, something like “reincarnation or heaven or hell.” We may say we have faith in karma, and that we know if we do these good deeds today, that we will reap the benefit for them after this life comes to an end.
But does that faith produce works? Do we truly see that our actions reflect the things we claim to have faith in? Or is that faith merely a belief? And when push comes to shove, do we act in a way that we feel will get us the one up now?
Maybe we have to lie to get what we want in a certain situation, and even though we say we have faith and the truth, and we know that lying is bad and will cause us pain later on. Does our action reflect that we truly know that? Or is it merely a belief, because we see that faith, if its merely a belief, and does not reflect itself in our actions and in our works, is dead. It is dead faith.
We want living faith, because when we speak of faith in this tradition, we try to emphasize that it is different from mere belief, that faith is something that we know from direct experience, that we know so deeply, that no matter what anyone says, we will not be shaken. We would not have to react or argue with them. We will not doubt ourselves, because we would know that this is true, because we have lived it. We have experienced it directly. 
I will give you an example of something that most of us, if not all, have living faith in. Perhaps you burned yourself―whether it is on a hot tap or a fire. And maybe when you were a little kid, there was something hot around, and you accidentally burned yourself. Now, if you know nowadays that something is hot or you see a fire, no matter how many people tell you: "Oh, no no! Go ahead! Touch the hot stove!" or "stick your hand in the fire! Go ahead, and step into the fire!"―you will not do it. Maybe if your house is burning down and there is something very, very precious, you might risk it, but must of the time, if there is not a very good reason―no matter what anyone said to try to convince us―we would not touch that fire, because we know we would be burned. We know that from experience, and it is just not worth it to take someone's word for something. We already know it is true. 
In the same way we do not have to argue with people about whether or not grass is green, or the sky is blue, because we know these things. And even if somebody comes up to you and tells you: "No, the sky is neon green!"―you will just perhaps think "that's a little strange,” but you wouldn't have to waste your time in an argument or doubt yourself, because you can see that that is true. 
So, when we hear that prophets and saints, that Jesus and Buddha, Krishna, all these great masters have given us some message that divinity, that angels, that demons, hell and heaven, that these types of places and beings are real, it can be hard for us to have faith in that if we don't have an experience or remembrance, or we have not seen that directly. So it might feel that we have to just believe and take that person's word for it, that we have to trust that the saints and prophets, who preach these type of messages―they experienced it―and so we should take their word for it.
But the reason that Gnostic path is such a difficult one, is because we take nothing on mere belief. We truly have to test and investigate these teachings, the teachings from beautiful masters, beautiful spiritual teachers, and we have to test them and evaluate them in our own experience and in our own practice. And that takes more than just normal efforts. It takes super efforts. And, so, in this tradition we work very hard to do that.

The Reality of Death

I start with this sentiment about faith, because all of us know for a fact that we will die. We know that intellectually. Perhaps we’ve seen our loved ones die and that hit us with a lot of grief and, perhaps, made us think about our own mortality. But do we truly deeply comprehend the reality of death? Do we know it so deeply that we live our life truly knowing that this day could be our last? So that co-worker or friend, or family member, who you have a grudge against, and you know that: "OK, yeah, sure I should let that grudge go,” but still it eats away at you. Do you truly stop and think: "If I die tomorrow, would this grudge really matter to me? Would getting my revenge on this person really be that important? If I would have die tomorrow, wouldn't I wish instead that I felt love for them? That I have forgiven them?"
So, we have to question whether or not we deeply comprehend the reality of our inevitable death. Because if we did, perhaps we would be living quite differently. So, one practice is that at the end of each day is to contemplate your daily activities, to do that retrospection, meditation of everything that have said and done, thought and fell that day from the perspective if you were to die that night―and to think if you would have done something differently, because, hopefully, God willing, the next day will have another chance to try to do it differently. 

Death in the Tarot

There is Arcanum in the Tarot that is very commonly associated with death. The Arcanum of death is Arcanum 13. But as you noticed here in the Tarot card from the Gnostic, Eternal Tarot deck, Arcanum 13 is immortality.
So, there is a relationship there. Immortality has in its center the root "mort,” which relates to death. But "immortality" is to be able to overcome death, to be able to resist death. So even in this card, we see the rebirth―reaping the wheat, representing death. And we see young wheat that is growing in the period of, perhaps, youth and we see up above the flowers, representing birth and rebirth. 
As we think about this hierarch of the law, reaping the grains of wheat, Samael Aun Weor explains in his teaching that these grains of wheat―each little grain and the long grains and the short grains―represent vital energies, vital qualities that we have, vital values. 

We learned previously about the three brains. We have an intellectual brain, our intellectual center, which processes intellectual energy. We have an emotional brain, which processes emotional energy, and we have a motor-instinctive-sexual brain, which processes energy in those levels. And those three brains are mechanical. They are machines. And each of those brains run on a certain type of fuel, which we can think of as vital values. We can compare each one to, perhaps, an engine. And just like the engine in your car requires gasoline to run, each of these three brains requires vital values to be able to run. 
Now we have a kind of funny word to talk about―Bobbin-Kandelnosts, but whether or not you remember the word, it is important to know that at the beginning of our life, each of us are given a different number of vital values in each of our three brains, and that after the quantity of vital values has been used up, that that brain will no longer function properly.
If we use up all of our intellectual values, perhaps, we will have it illnesses of the mind, mental illnesses. If we do so with our emotional values, we might have disorders of the emotional center: depression, anxiety. And if we do so with our motor-instinctive-sexual center, we may have very difficult physical illnesses as well.
What is important to recognize is that conserving energy is very important. And when we have some states of Being, like pride, or envy, or anger, or lust, we use up a lot of those vital values. Whereas, where we have a calm disposition, when we are able to respond to life with genuine compassion and serenity, we do not use hardly as much energy, and we prolong our life by preserving those vital values.
So, the qualities that waste the most energy are egotistical. You might think that you have a problem at work and so you need to deal with that problem at work. But let's say that you are home from work, and there is nothing you can do to work on that problem right now, but you are spending all night or maybe your whole weekend worrying and thinking about, and trying to figure it out, and going back and forth, thinking the same thoughts over and over, and really getting anxious about it. This can waste a tremendous amount of energy. At the end of the day, you just to have to go to work and take and action. You just have to do what you can to solve the problem.
But we tend to think that we can use our intellectual brain to solve the problem. This is might be helpful for certain types of problems, but for many problems it is actually the wrong center be using to try to fix them. For example, in that case, perhaps, we need to use our motor center to act, to do something, to take care of it. We have to judge each situation on case by case basis. But we also need to be observing how we are responding to the different situations in our life and evaluating how much energy we are expending, and what are we truly gaining from that energy. We know that: "Yes, it takes energy" to be able to sit for half an hour or an hour to meditate. But what do we gain from an hour of meditation? 
I think that there is no one, who would truly say that they regret meditating. But perhaps we spend an hour yelling at the person that we are angry at and we might come to regret that later on.
So, thinking of these types of perspectives, when you review your daily activities, what are you truly getting out of it? Are you preserving your life force, your vital values? Or are you squandering it on things that, when the moment of death comes, will not have as much significance as you might feel they do in this moment? 

​Opposing the Ego

For that reason, we seek in the study to radically oppose our ego, our own sense of self. The things that we have planned for this life, that we want for this life, that are entirely egotistical, that are about our prestige, our success, our material wealth, all of these things. Yes, we need to be concerned with worldly affairs to certain degree, in order to live and to survive in this society, and to do our job, but when do we go overboard? When are being wasteful of those energies, and when are we actually using those energies in an appropriate amount to complete the daily tasks that we have to perform?

So that is why we seek annihilate our ego entirely. This work takes a very long time, but this is a work of this arcanum, because Arcanum 13 is related with Gospel of Judas Iscariot. And most of us will be familiar with the story of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ. He sold Christ to the authorities for 30 coins of silver. Those 30 coins of silver can have many levels of meaning, but simply put, they might represent worldly desires: desires for wealth, desires for sensual pleasures, desires for power and fame, sensation.
So, do we sell our Intimate Christ for the worldly sensations, for the desires of our personality or our ego? Do we sell our spiritual life for worldly life? And when the moment of death comes, when everything that we have accumulated in this world, when life has taken away from us, what would we truly have left? What would we have invested into our soul, into the part of ourselves that will go on after death? 
So, let's look at what Samael Aun Weor has told us about this arcanum. He says that this Arcanum relates to our true identity:
“Common and ordinary people do not have a true identity, because only those phantoms of the pluralized “I” are expressed through them. Thus, after death each human is a legion.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Alchemy and Kabbalah in the Tarot
We talked before about ego in contrast with consciousness and personality. The ego we sometimes refer to as one, like we need to annihilate the entire ego, because it is an aggregate, but it is an aggregate of many different egos, many different desires. We might experience in any given moment that we desire multiple things. Maybe we want to go out and get some exercise today, but we are also really tired, and we just want to sit on the couch. In that moment we are pulled by two desires.
Or, perhaps, we want to scream at the person that has just criticized us, but at the same time another part of us troubles to have a kind reaction, to express compassion instead of anger.
Many times we feel this conflict. That is why Samael Aun Weor is pointing out here that common, ordinary people like us do not have a true identity. We have a plural life identity. We have all these little "I's" that in each moment are fighting for control of our machine, our human machine, fighting to drive the intellectual center in one direction, and the emotional center in another direction, and a physical center in another direction. So, we need to be aware of that, that many times we say: "Oh, yes, this is truly what I want, this is me. This is what is important to me and what I value. I value honesty!" But a little while later, just in a right situation pressure, we betray the things that we have said we value. We lie when we say that honesty is our policy, or any number of things. 
So, as much as we believe we may be good people, who would never do certain immoral actions or unethical steps, at the same time we have to realize that we don't truly know ourselves, that there are depths of our identity, in our subconsciousness, that would terrify us. We don't know what we are capable of in a given situation, when pressures are just right. We don't know what might emerge out of us, when we are truly frightened or when we are tempted by something more than what we can resist.
We have to recognize the part of ourselves that we are aware of, but also always are thriving to know our deeper self―things about ourselves that might emerge in our dreams or in our fantasies, and we are examining: "Who am I really?" Because everything that emerges in your mind has a relationship with you. It is a part of you. So, we might think some angry, hateful thought or a violent thought, and then we say: "Oh, but I am not a violent person. I would never do that!" But if it is a part of our mind, it is a part of us.
We are more than just our actions. We are more than just our thoughts, more than just our emotions, more than just our instincts. These people are complex.

Consciousness: Our True Identity

So, what is soul? Soul, which should be our true identity? Samael Aun Weor states:
"Whosoever incarnates their soul acquires true identity and thus already IS. Present humans are not self-realized beings.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Alchemy and Kabbalah in the Tarot
This points out to us that we have more to accomplish, that we are not in our most developed state. We try to state that people nowadays are the most evolved civilization that there has ever been on this planet, but when we look at the state of our world, when we read the newspapers and hear about all the violent acts that go on, we know that it cannot be true, that people cannot be living at their highest potential of spiritual development, compassion and wisdom, and virtue, and all those qualities that we see represented in saints and Christ-like figures. 
So those figures are divine because they are representations of their own inner divinity, of their own inner spirit. On that level our Being, our spirit, is perfect, and is perfect knowledge. It does not have to think, because it knows, because it is truth and beauty, and perfection, wisdom, love and virtue. It already is. But how do we reach a state in which that spirit is what is emanating from us? Physically, emotionally, mentally―in our words, in our deeds. 

Willpower and Desire

The next section here on willpower gives a very important clue onto a big obstacle that we might encounter:
"Present humans confuse the force of desire with willpower. We need to engender Christ-Will.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Alchemy and Kabbalah in the Tarot
Many times we had a desire that is so powerful that we felt we would do anything to pursue it. Maybe this was a desire for job or a new car, or certain partner. Any number of things, maybe even a desire for certain type of food. We take all kinds of actions and maybe we have violated our own ethics in order to be able to get what we wanted. All the time we thought we were fighting for "what I want,” that is "my will,” but truly from a spiritual perspective, in those moments, we were controlled by desire. We were not in control of that situation. The desire was driving us, that egotistical desire was driving our human machine. Perhaps, a desire was to get revenge on someone who has betrayed us and truly hurt us, and all the time we felt: "This is my will. My will is to get revenge and make this person feel the pain that they would make me feel.” All along we think we are doing our will, but afterwards, when the deed is done, and we see the suffering, and that we have a look in the mirror and know we have truly hurt someone that we once cared about, then we might question: "Was that really my will? Or was I being driven by a demonic force within myself? An egotistical force that now I wish I had never had that desire in the first place?”
So, we need to be analyzing our day every day, because we can catch things. We can see things. We can recognize a desire, and we can comprehend it before it drives us to take actions that are harmful for ourselves or for others. When we do that, when we meditate, when we pray, when we ask God to illuminate our mind, to help us to comprehend the truth, and what is the right action in those situations, we can begin to gain true willpower. Because our will should be united with the will of our inner divinity.
Our inner Spirit is the best part of each one of us. If every person could reflect their Spirit and perform the will of their Spirit, they would perform truly miraculous deeds. They would be a beacon of love and wisdom. So, we want to engender that―that Christ-will, the will of divinity within us, our own unique representation of divinity.
Many people might claim that they feel they are channeling the divine, and maybe in a moment they have a mystical experience that is truly beautiful and is divine. But can we sustain that state on a regular basis? Or is our willpower constantly overrun by different desires that are driving the car? 

The Relationship Between Life and Death

We need to ask ourselves: "Who do we live for? Do we live our lives for God? For the will our inner Spirit, to truly become the best that we are able to become under the guidance of our inner Father? Or do we live our life for an ego? For the worst parts of ourselves? The demonic parts of us, the vices that we carry within?”
Samael Aun Weor goes on to say that:
"Life and death are two phenomena of the same thing.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Alchemy and Kabbalah in the Tarot
In every moment that we are living in a certain way, there is another rout of possibilities that is dying. Every time we come to a fork in a road and we choose to go right, we are not going left. Right, simply put. When you make a decision, you are putting into motion a new chain of events, a new chain of a facts. And, so, when we act on a harmful quality, we are giving life to that harmful quality. We are feeding it our energy. We are letting it live and express itself through our body, through our heart, through our mind, through our words and actions. We are giving it more strength and vitality. But what dies as a consequence of that?
If I spent 75% of my day thinking about me, doing actions for me, pushing others aside, so that I can get at the front of the line, well―what is dying in the 75% of my day? What is dying, is the will of Being, the life of my own soul, the possibilities that my Spirit might have performed through me had I truly been awake, had I truly been mindful and at one, and in a state in which I could hear the will of my inner divinity, could feel that will, could be that will and perform it. 
Every time we make a decision or we say something, we are sowing the consequences. We are sowing the causes that we will reap different consequences. So, we need to be aware of that, when we go and we evaluate our life. 

We see here a butterfly, coming out of cocoon. What has to die for the butterfly to live? Well, we know. If we know a little bit about biology, we know that for the butterfly, the caterpillar has to die. A lot of us like to think that we are already butterflies and we are flying around and maybe we know so much about what there is to know, and we are really living life for a full potential. Some people like to think that. But the reality is we are actually closer to that of the caterpillar. We are very limited in our thoughts, in our emotions, in our physical abilities, in our spiritual abilities. We are not merely invisible. We truly cannot fly into the higher realms of existence, and experience and see the truth of reality in nature for ourselves. We have a very narrow ability to perceive. 
What happens of the caterpillar? Does it know what it takes to become a butterfly? What if the caterpillar refuses to die, refuses to build the cocoon, fights to death to preserve its existence as a caterpillar? Feels that being caterpillar is the height of all there is to be and it chooses instead to focus on getting fat, eating a lot of leaves, reaming the earth and never wants to fly? It will never know what potential it had.
This is the analogy here with the fool. We say that we have an Essence. We have a seed of the soul and we believe that that there is an ego and our personality in our physical body, that that is "who I am,” and that is all that we know of ourselves. So, to give up things that “I egotistically want, that maybe I spent many years wanting and worked for, a certain number of my bank accounts, a certain promotion at work, a certain type of spouse, to give that up―seems like giving up myself. What else would there be for me if I didn't have that?” Because we do not know what it would be like to truly experience possibilities of our soul and of our Spirit.
If we knew that, if we knew what it was to be the butterfly, which actually is used in many symbols to represent the soul, the psyche, if we knew what that was, we would be so glad to let that caterpillar go, because we have already experienced what the caterpillar is like. Now we want to know what it is to be a fully self-realized being.
But in order for our soul to live―the ego has to die. That is why life and death are part of the same thing. In every moment, in order for you to live, something has to die. Even if we are vegetarian, we have to kill plants in order for us to live. And in order for anything to live, for anything to be born, there must be death as well.
Jesus said the same thing in the Bible. In the Book of John he said:
"Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed. But if it dies, it bares much fruit." ―John 12:24
So, we want to know what fruit we could bare if we are performing the will of our Being. Perhaps you had an experience where you have done a good deed, a truly selfless deed, and maybe something just came over to you in that moment and you put aside whatever else you were doing or worrying about to truly help someone who needed help. The consequences of that action were far greater than the act itself. Some of us are fortunate to have had that person come back to us at some point and share with us what a difference we made in their lives, but sometimes we never find out. Maybe, that kind word or that kind deed, was the only thing helping that person to keep going or the break that that person finally needed to get to the next stage of their life. Or maybe it was the example of kindness that gave that person faith in humanity, that gave that person faith in their own goodness.
There are many jaded people in the world today, unfortunately, very cynical, who believe that it is naive to believe in goodness or in these virtues of the spirit. Those people were have been hurt enough times to know that trusting people can sometimes cause pain. But trust is actually a quality of strength, because after that period of naivety, after that period of cynicism, we come to realize that regardless of getting hurt, what we do is a reflection of who we are. If we truly want to reflect on our life and on ourselves with self-respect, with dignity, with the piece and serenity, they come saying: "Hey, maybe I didn't always did a great job, but I truly know that I strived every day of my life to do the best that I could, to do the will of my inner divinity, to do what my conscience called upon me to do.” That brings the type of serenity that no matter what anybody else says about us, no matter how we are judged or persecuted by the world, or whatever criticism our loved ones might say, we know that we are truly striving for the best that we believe we are capable of―truly trying to follow the guidance of our inner divinity, to manifest greatness of self.
We have to realize that all these saints and prophets, and great beings, like Jesus, Krishna, Muhammad, Moses, Buddha, all of them were once people just like us, whether in that lifetime or previous lifetimes. All of them had to fight. Of course, yes, it was partially the grace of divine will that all of us have access to the mercy of divine will, but also it was a result of their own super-efforts, their tremendous discipline to work on themselves and to strive for the best of what they knew they were capable of in their heart, in their conscience.
Samael Aun Weor also says that: "When one dies to the cosmos, one is born for the Absolute."
The cosmos is representation of this material world, the realm of Samsara in Buddhism, the realm of cause and effect, in which we are chained to the wheel of suffering. The Absolute represents the unmanifested reality, the perfect divinity, nirvana in Buddhism, the part of us that is deeply within us right now that we can realize, that even in this body we can have access to the Absolute, to nirvana, to the state that is free from suffering, because it is, because it knows, because it is perfection and love, and wisdom. But we have to die to this world to be born into that world. 
And that is why Jesus also stated in the Book of Mathew:
"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it." ―Matthew 16:25
Jesus is speaking there as a representation of the Christ, that is older divinity, that is universal. That is an energy and an intelligence that is beyond anyone person, but can manifest within us―you and me, if we work, if we eliminate our ego, if we die to what we feel right now is “my life and the things I want, the things that my personality and my culture, and my family says, I should do.” We give up those temporary pleasures, those temporary desires of this life, and we work to give up our life and dedicate our life and our daily actions and our words for the sake of our inner divinity.
We lose our life for the sake of God, our inner Spirit. Then we truly find our life, we find our soul, the potentials of reality that we can scarcely imagine in this moment. We begin to see another side of life, another side of ourselves that is much greater and what we currently experience. But if we desire merely to save our life, our property, our bank account, our prestige, our status, our success, then at the end of our life, when death comes, we will lose that and we will lose the opportunity we had to develop our soul as well.
That is why we have to work hard. This brings us back to that quote that I mentioned at the beginning: "Intimate self-realization costs. It has a price, life itself.” We have to work extremely hard on our mind. Each day we have to get better and better. Yes, we start where we are. We start with little actions, little changes, whatever we are capable of today. Then tomorrow we will be capable of a little more, but we have to be truly giving all that we can give in each moment, in each day―those moments when we are awake and catching ourselves, when we are tempted to choose, to not to give into temptation, but instead to pray in our heart: "God, guide me in this moment to do your will, to do the will of the best part of myself, my soul, my Spirit.” That is how we live, that is how we find our life. We give up our life in order to find eternal life, the life of our soul, our self-realization. 

The Psychological Work

We see in this image Perseus holding the head of Medusa. Medusa, if you are nor familiar with the myth, was the Gorgon, a mythical beast, and anyone who looked at her and saw her eyes, would turn into stone, would die. They would be immobilized, unable to act ever again. Perseus is the hero who finally conquered Medusa. This is related with the problem we have been talking about, about giving up the ego. How do we overcome our ego? Well, we can use the example of Perseus here. Perseus, in order to kill Medusa, had two tools in particular. He had others, but in particular, there are two tools that he had in the myth. 
One was the sword, the sword with which he was able to cut off her head. That sword is related with willpower. The sword is the symbol of our will, divine will, the power of the will of divinity. For if God wills something, it will be done. Nothing can stop our inner divinity. If we incarnate that will, we will be capable of much more than we are capable in our present egotistical form, because of that power of divinity. So, Perseus was demonstrating to us that it takes tremendous willpower, not tremendous desire. Desire is an obstacle we all face. We are replacing that desire with true willpower. 
He also had a shield that was very reflective. He was able to use this shield like a mirror to see around the corner, to see Medusa without looking directly into her eyes. And thus, he was able to avoid being killed by her, being turned to stone, and he was able to use her reflection to see what she was, to observe her and to kill her with the sword of his willpower. 
So, we know that we need willpower and we also know that we need reflection. That is the self-observation, self-reflection that we do. It is also meditation. We might be angry during the day. In that moment we see something in ourselves coming out. Or we might feel envy, and we feel that envy and we see somebody getting something good without us, and we feel really envious, and we say: "Oh, yeah. I see that. I wish I didn't feel envious, but I do.” So, we go home, and we use that shield, that meditative state, in which we are able to separate from our ego, to separate from ourselves and to reflect on it in a state of peace and serenity. We are able to observe that envy as though it were a separate person, as though its desires were not our desires, but were separate from us. In that state we can learn a lot about it. We can see for what it is. We can separate from it, and we can avoid being killed by it. We can avoid being turned to stone. That is how we can cut off its head with our own willpower. 


Perhaps that sounds a little bit too abstract for some of us, but I promise at the end here―we are moving into the last section―I will give a practical example. But I want to wrap up with renunciation, because renunciation is truly the method that we use to die psychologically. Renunciation is truly the way that we kill our ego.
What does it mean to renounce something? It means to give something up. Sometimes this is something precious to us, and when we renounce it and we give it up, it can be painful. But sometimes, if we have meditated on something, like our envy, or our pride, or our lust, or our anger, our greed―we meditated on it and we have seen how ugly it is, how much it really causes us suffering―every time I act on it, it causes me to suffer, and causes others to suffer. Then we go to renounce it on the altar of our inner divinity. We are happy to be rid of it!
That is a state of comprehension, that is when you truly know from your own deep comprehension, from your own meditation, your own direct experience that that action, that that state, that quality of mind and emotion, brings harm, brings pain, brings suffering. And, so, you want to renounce it. You invoke your Divine Mother and you pray to Her to help you to destroy that part of yourself, that ego―to free your soul, your Essence, your consciousness from that egotistical desire, and to destroy the desire and regain that energy, that willpower into your soul. 
Renunciation is the first of the Three Principle Paths in Buddhism, as taught by Tsong Khapa, the great Buddhist teacher. So, I am going to read you a little passage from the Three Principle Paths, which is a short scripture that Tsong Khapa wrote. 
"Without pure renunciation, there is no way to end
This striving for pleasant results in the ocean of life.
It is because of their hankering life as well that beings
Are fettered, so seek renunciation first." ―Tsong Khapa, Three Principal Paths
So, what does it mean "the striving for pleasant results in the ocean of life"?
Life has many experiences and many possibilities. We are striving for many pleasant results. None of us wants to experience suffering. None of us wants to experience old age or illness, or death. We want to experience happiness, and pleasure, and joy, and feeling looked up to and respected. We want those pleasant results, and so each day we devote a large portion of our life to pursuing those pleasant results, to pursue more money. Maybe we work at the job that we really do not feel good about. Maybe we do not even like our job, but we work there because we want more money. That is a pleasant result we are seeking, the feeling of security we get from having a lot of money or the feeling pride from having a lot of money. So, we devote how much of our time and our energy and our efforts to pursuing that, to striving for that.
Without renouncing that desire or any number of that desires that we have, there is no way that we can end that striving for pleasant results. As long as we hold on to that desire and we say: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I want my Spirit to develop. I want to be self-realized, but also I want to be wealthy and I want to have a yard, and a big house, and a lot of people respecting me, and I want to be famous."
Whatever it is for us, maybe it is not such materialistic things. Maybe there are other desires we have that we want to achieve in our life. As long as we hold on to those, we are killing the potential of our soul, at least to the degree that we are holding on to these desires. That is why he stated: "It is because of their hankering life”―hankering after all the things that we want in life―that beings are fettered, that we are being chained up, that we are bound here. We are not able to achieve our full potential, that we are not able to experience those higher possibilities of the soul and the Spirit, to see the rest of life. It is because of our striving after pleasant results that we are the caterpillar instead of the butterfly. 
So, first we must seek renunciation. Without renouncing egotism, as it manifests in in our daily deeds, then we cannot begin on the path. We cannot achieve freedom and liberation from suffering. Tsong Khapa goes on to say:
"Leisure and fortune are hard to find, life is not long;
Think it constantly; stop desire for this life.
Think over and over how deeds and their fruits never fail,
And the cycle’s suffering: stop desire for the future.” ―Tsong Khapa, Three Principal Paths
So, he is talking exactly about we have been talking about. Death is inevitable, and we need to think about that constantly. In fact, in Buddhism there is a practice of meditating on one's death. Truly sitting and meditating on what it would be like if in this moment your body began to die, life began to fade from your organs, from your body, from your tissues and you began to be able to lose your last breath, and think about, perhaps, your funeral and the grieving relatives and all the things that you would leave behind. You realize that this is inevitable, that this actually will happen―maybe not in a way you have visualized in your meditation, but it will happen. How you are living your life reflects how you hope to feel at that moment of death―or other things before that moment change, because we do not know when it will come.
So, we have to think about how all the things that we invest our time into might be reaping fruit later on that we will only lose, because they are temporary. So that is how deeds and our fruits never fail. It is the teaching of karma. Whatever actions we take today, will have an effect even if we see in this lifetime. If we perform good deeds, we will see the fruits of those deeds someday.
He goes on to say:
“When you have meditated thus and feel not even
A moment’s wish for the good things of cyclic life,
(that is the cycle of Samsara, the cycle of suffering that keeps us bound here in this world)
And when you begin to think both night and day
Of achieving freedom, you have found renunciation.” ―Tsong Khapa, Three Principal Paths
So, we have to begin where we are at of course. We need to renounce what we can today and those things that we cannot renounce, we just need to observe them and study them more, until we learn about them and understand the true effects of what those are attaining for us. 
I had some rare moments when I thought something was bad and then by observing it and meditating for a while, I actually found that it was producing good effects for others and for me, but I have been beating myself up about it, because of some beliefs that I had. At the same time there were things that I believed were good deeds that I was doing to help others and later came to find were not actually the case. 

​A Practical Example of Renunciation 

So, here is where I deliver on my promise of giving you a practical example. Here at our level, how can we experience renunciation? How can we die psychologically? So, several years ago I was practicing self-observation during the day and retrospecting the entire day each night in meditation. I was assigned to a project to work on with two colleagues of mine. It was a group project and I was very excited about the topic that we working on, because it was a project that I actually had much previous experience in. So, I would see, I could feel that excitement in myself and that energy. I wanted to get work on this project. And when I sat down for the first meeting with my two colleagues and we talked about the topic of our project, I discovered that they were not so enthusiastic about it. They wished that they got assigned to different project and they didn't have the experience that I had in it. So, I thought: "Oh, well, if you guys aren't excited about it, I could really take on a lot of the work here. I have a lot of ideas about this. I have got a lot of experience in it. I am really excited about it. So, you can kick back and relax, and do not worry about it too much.” So here in this case I thought I was doing a good thing. 
Now, time went on and we continued to have meetings and I felt something was off. I could intuitively feel in those meetings that there was some distance between me and the other two. And there was one meeting that I remember, where we sat together, and I was pitching some ideas to them and they were shooting down my ideas. Then they began to talk about their ideas, and I realized from their discussion that they have been meeting together separately from me and discussing their own ideas. I felt this pain in my heart in that moment and I felt hurt, and I felt that they didn't appreciate me and the good things that I was trying to do. I went home that night and I was meditating on my day and I took some extra time to focus on that experience and to think: "Why was I so hurt in that moment?" And to observe it: "What did I feel? What was the look from their faces? How were they feeling?" Just to replay it as best as I could.
Suddenly I had an experience, where I saw the situation in the other person. I was not trying to do it. It just happened. In a meditative state, I was seeing it as if though from another person's perspective, and I was replaying and seeing all the things that I was saying. And I realized that from the very beginning, I have come into this project, although I thought I was doing something good, there was actually a desire for my own ideas, my own pride in my ideas and my experience, and what I had to contribute and the success I wanted to see for myself in this project. I had not seen that, because of course I was inside of that desire. But when I saw this in meditation from the perspective of  third person point of view, I actually saw that I was being quite arrogant and that I wasn't giving them the same appreciation of their ideas, that I have kind of written them off at the beginning, and  gone off on what I wanted to do. So, was it any surprise to me that they have felt that they had to meet on their own and come up with their ideas on their own, and push back against me, when I had out of arrogance not even listened or valued their perspectives? 
So, I felt very humble when I saw this. Although initially I felt hurt and angry at my two colleagues, after comprehending this in meditation, I actually felt embarrassed. I felt shame for the pride that I had shown and I had just honestly not seen it. But now that I saw it, I knew that I had to renounce it.
It was actually difficult for me despite having seen this and comprehended to a degree in meditation. It was difficult for me, but at the next meeting with them, I started off the meeting by apologizing, by admitting that I felt I hadn't really valued their opinions from the beginning, and that because I was so excited about the project, invested in my own ideas, I hadn't really listened to them enough. I apologized for that and said that I would like to work in a more collaborative fashion from now on. And for the rest of the project, what they will experience will be completely different.
I had to die in my pride. It was painful to renounce my pride. I was embarrassed of how I was, how I have been acting. I was also in those moments, when I had to apologize, still kind of feeling like: "Uh, I should not have to apologize to these people. They still did something wrong too!" So I had to renounce. I had to be humble. I had to give that up and die. I felt pain emotionally as I was dying.
But after I did that act, I reaped the benefits of what it was truly like to collaborate with others, what it was truly to like learn from them and share valuable ideas that I had, and to appreciate them and to see the way then. They came to the way to appreciate me as well. I had no regrets about having renounced my pride. So, as I was fortunate in that situation to see something in myself that I had not seen before, to see my life from the perspective of others―my actions from the perspective of others, and to let my pride in that moment die, to take the action that I felt the guidance of my conscience leading me to take, which was to apologize and to humble myself.
Additionally, I will add that not long after that I was hired for a new job and I went in to that job with a lot more humility. I listened to my colleagues and I valued their ideas and I supported their ideas, and I didn't just go into every meeting boasting about how great my ideas were and trying to get everybody to listen to me about how great I was, because from that experience I had truly learned something that had changed me on a deep enough level, that I would never go back and want to act the way that I had behaved before.
So that is a very practical example. I picked a very little example, but as small as that example is, and as insignificant as may seem, it had effects in my life. There have been bigger effects, bigger examples in my life that are a bit too personal to share, but each of us in our own way (whether big or small) can be analyzing our life like this, can be praying to our divinity to overcome our defects and sometimes, to lay the desire that we cling so tightly to on the altar of divinity, and to sacrifice that for our inner Spirit, can be painful. But the gifts are bestowed upon us―the potentials, the capabilities, the wisdom, the virtue, and the love that is bestowed upon us in degrees as a result of that action, are much much more valuable than anything we have lost in the process of sacrificing and renouncing. 


So, I conclude the lecture with one more quote, which I feel truly summarizes everything that we have talked about today in a very practical way. This quote comes from Dion Fortune:
“The personality and the things of the senses have to be sacrificed in order that the Higher Self may manifest; there can be no dispute on this point. All the Initiates have declared it to be so." ―Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate
She is talking about all the great spiritual teachers, the initiates, have taught―that when you sacrifice the things of our physical senses, our personality, our egotism, in order that our higher self, our Spirit, our highest potential, can manifest. 
She goes on to state:
“We are inclined to think that, having sacrificed the personality, we shall be bereft of all things. This is because the mind of the West still clings to its habit of believing that the death of the body ends existence. So we believe sub-consciously that the death of personality ends enjoyment of the fullness of life." ―Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate
Here she is talking about how whether or not believe that there is life after death, we actually live as though we feel that survival in this world is all there is. Our actions demonstrate where faith truly lies. 
We might state that: "Oh, yeah, it is good to be generous and to donate money,” but at the same time, another part of us truly takes actions to gather more money, because our faith is in the security of the world, the security of money, the security of material possession and status as well. So we believe that the death of our personality would end our enjoyment of the fullness of life, but we do not realize that our ego actually restricts our experience of the rest of existence―all of those states of consciousness that are beyond our current state of consciousness. As long as we remain trapped in ego, trapped in that cocoon, we will never achieve those higher states, the greater potentials that we are capable of. We never will become a butterfly, who can fly into the realms of the heavens and truly meet divinity face to face. 
And finally, she concludes:
"We forget that the merchant who sold all he had was able to purchase the Great Pearl. True, he had realized all his assets, but they were re-invested in something of far greater value. The Gospel story implies that he bore off the Pearl in triumph. So it is with us if we make the sacrifice of the things of the senses that permits of the incarnation of the Higher Self in the physical body." ―Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate
So we sacrifice the things of this lifetime that we want and we desire egotistically "Just for me, just because I want it,” in order for our divinity to manifest in our physical body and to perform good deeds and great teachings for the benefit of humanity. Just in case you are not familiar with the parable of the Great Pearl that she references here, it is in the Gospel of Mathew that Jesus taught:
“Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, who when he found one of great value, went away and sold everything he had, and bought it." ―Matthew 13:45-46
The Pearl of great value that Jesus is referring to here is our soul, is our spiritual life. It is of such great value that it is worth selling everything that we own. And that is why Dion Fortune mentions that "the merchant bore off the Pearl in triumph.” He did not sit around crying about all the things that he had to give up and renounce for the spiritual work. He went off so happy, because he truly knew and experienced the benefits for spiritual life, for his soul, the benefits that we was able to perform good works for others, for those he cared about, for the world, which is experiencing so much suffering.