Today we are going to discuss the science of meditation as taught within Buddhism, as well as in the esoteric teachings of Islam. We know this type of science is universal, regardless of the culture. As well, we will explain this path of meditation and its technical requirements in relation to the Sufi doctrine, which we know, in its heart, is pure Gnosticism.
Gnosis in Greek term that means knowledge, but not any type of knowledge that we find in a book, scripture, or even a lecture. It is knowledge that we experience when we come to know God directly and personally. Therefore, it is not intellectual. It is not something to be debated. It is not a theory. It is our cognizance of our real, divine, inner nature, divinity within our internal nature, that we seek to activate through the science of meditation.
In the spirit of Gnosis, we study many religions and traditions, so we emphasize that all religions are universal and teach the same path. Here today we are going to explain how meditation was taught in Sufism, as well as in Buddhism, which is how we practice within the Gnostic tradition.
You see here the word Marifah, which is Arabic for Gnosis. It is the same teaching, the same word or meaning. Anyone who possessed real knowledge of Allah, of God within, was considered an al-Arif, a Gnostic. In order to discuss what precisely the purpose meditation is and how it is the path that leads to divinity directly, we need to comprehend what this divinity is that we seek to unite with.
We talk about Allah―or in Greek Gnostic terms, Christ―as an energy or force, a power that is within a potential state within our interior and which we want to fully develop and actualize. Anyone that fully develops that force completely, in their interior, is a Gnostic, is an al-Arif. It is essential to understand what divinity is, and it is important to recognize that divinity cannot be reached with the intellect, with the mind, with the sense of self that we commonly carry with us. It is our own mental states which prevent us from truly accessing what God is, what divinity is.
Selflessness and the Tree of Life
It is our self-will, our own egotistical nature which prevents us from knowing divinity, degrees of development, as represented in this first graphic by the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
This Tree of Life represents for us stages of consciousness, stages of spiritual development, from the lowest regions of matter, energy, and consciousness to the highest spheres, which are the superior regions of the Being. This Tree of Life represents the man or the woman made completely into the image of the creator, of the divine.
Now specifically we find above this three circles, which in Kabbalah is known as the Absolute. This is primarily the goal that we seek in these studies. In Islam the Absolute is known as Allah, and as we know in the Islamic tradition, it is forbidden to make any graphic representation of Allah. It is impossible. Instead, we can only refer to the Arabic calligraphy, the Arabic words. Just as Moses stated that one must not make any graven image of God, this represents how divinity is profoundly unknowable, in a sense. We do not know divinity because this divine source is a type of emptiness, to use Buddhist terms, Ain Soph in Hebrew. It means limitless. God is limitless. God is type of cognizance that is empty and devoid of individual self-nature.
When we talk about “me,” “myself,” “I,” “this is who I am as a person,” it is an illusion of an individualistic sense of self which keeps us from accessing our real potential. Specifically, we have mistaken notions of who we are. When someone knocks on our door, we say “It’s me! (This is me in this instant).” But through the sense of psychological self-observation, we find that our mind and our emotions, our internal states are constantly fluctuating. There is no stability or real individuality. There is no real concrete, independently existing self. There is a churning of psychological factors. There is a fluctuation of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. These things come and go. They are not permanent.
Therefore, if we analyze ourselves in this way, when we affirm in a given instant that we feel a certain way―“I feel happy that I received a bonus from my job,” or, “I feel resentment toward my partner for criticizing me”―we find those are transitory factors. Impressions of life come and go. They emerge in our psyche and our mind translates these factors and reacts. This is how our psychology functions, specifically.
If we analyze that sense of self in a given instant that only coincides with a given moment, we find that sense of self really, in its nature, is impermanent. It is not eternal. As we are going to discuss in relation with Buddhist philosophy, the Eightfold Path of Buddha, this is the path of meditation as taught within Buddhism. In this lecture, it also relates to Gnosis, self-knowledge, and right view or right perception. Right perception is to be fully cognizant as an individual, fully cognizant in one’s consciousness, our spiritual principles.
There is a saying by a Sufi initiate, Abu Sa’id:
Wherever the delusion of your selfhood appears – there’s hell. Wherever “you” aren’t – that’s heaven. –Abū Sa’īd in Ibn Munawwar: Asrār at-tawḥīd, ed. Shafī‘ī-Kadkanī, 299
Our common and current state of perception is egotistical. We feel in a given instant that we are maybe proud, or angry, or resentful, or joyful. These states are fluctuating. They are not permanent. If we observe ourselves and analyze, we see that we are not those given egotistical states, but instead we are something more. This is what we call the consciousness in spirituality.
The beginning of Gnosis, Marifah, is to fully experience divinity, because God is empty of “I,” “me,” “myself,” “you,” “us,” because the divine, as a universal and cosmic intelligence, does not have egotistical self nature. There is no individual will. There is only universal will, and that is what is known in Arabic as Allah.
The Beginning of Divine Knowledge
In order to fully comprehend what God is, we need to comprehend ourselves.
There is a famous Sufi proverb, “He who knows himself knows his Lord.” This the same teaching as the Greek maxim at Delphi, which states, “Man, know thyself and you will know the universe and the gods.” If we analyze ourselves, and if we are sincere, we ask ourselves, “Do we really know god? Have we conversed face to face, in a type of experience such as in the dream state, where we receive direct teachings from our own inner divinity?”
It is by analyzing this that we realize that if we do not know God, it means that we do not really know ourselves in depth, what our true, real, divine, nature is. For by knowing ourselves we will know our Being, our Lord, our God. By developing this spiritual perception, spiritual cognition, awakening the consciousness, we develop what is Buddhism is called right view, right perception.
When we talk about right view, we are not speaking of morals, as if my view is right and your view is wrong. We are talking about the purity of perception, the clarity of perception without obscuration of ego, of self-will, of desire. There is no intellectual deliberation or reasoning. It is a type of cognition which is beyond thought, feeling, and the body. It is by learning how to really observe ourselves in this present state in which we are, in this moment (which the Sufis called waqt), whereby we always pay attention in this instant. Mindfulness is the beginning of real discipline in meditation, which is the path that we are discussing here.
There is a famous Hadith, which is a Muslim oral saying, recorded within Islam, where the Prophet Muhammad, a great master, stated:
Be mindful of Allah, and you will find him in front of you. ―Hadith Nawawi 19
It is the same teaching as the Sufi proverb. If we are really cognizant of our states in this moment, by learning to self-observe our thoughts, feelings, and body, we in turn learn to be cognizant of Allah, of God, or Buddha, or whatever name that we wish to give to that intelligence, which is within us.
It also states in this Hadith from Nawawi:
Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. ―Hadith Nawawi 19
All of us, especially in North America, have a lot leisure. We have the ability to dedicate ourselves to spiritual studies. Without this type of leisure, which is inaccessible to many parts of the world, we cannot really learn this science of meditation. The fact that we have leisure and time to practice, instead of perhaps watching television, we instead have the time and ability to dedicate ourselves to God, to divinity. Therefore, if we really are serious about knowing God then it is by establishing a type of discipline with our time of leisure in which Allah, divinity, will recognize us when we are really struggling.
That practice will strengthen our consciousness so that we can transform our life. How we develop this type of discipline, or when speaking about the highest knowledge of God, Marifah, Gnosis, and in Buddhism is known as right understanding and right view. The Buddha taught the following in the scripture The Dhammapada:
What now is Right Understanding (Right View)?
Right view is to comprehend what in us makes us suffer, which is desire, in its depth: “I want something. Because I do not have it, I suffer.”
Envy, because it does not have what it longs for, seeing the happiness of others, wants to inflict suffering on others. Anger, which seeks to destroy the object of its desire, is frustration for not getting what it wants. Pride, which feels resentment or disease for being criticized, is desire to be praised, to be elevated.
Desire is ego. Desire is the conditioning of our mind. It is a conditioning of our consciousness, our Essence, which we seek to liberate. Right view is to perceive clearly from the perception of the Essence, the consciousness, the soul, whatever name we wish to give to it. But consciousness is, when it is liberated, our legitimate identity.
We need to understand how to really meditate if we seek to annihilate or achieve the extinction of desire, which in Sanskrit is Nirvana. Heaven, as we mentioned, is a state of being. Wherever our “self” is, our delusion of self is, that’s hell. Wherever we aren’t, that’s heaven. The obstacle is our own selves, our own ego.
We need to learn to perceive our psychology as it is by learning to pay attention. This is the development of right view, which we deepen precisely in meditation. The path that leads to the extinction of suffering is precisely meditation. There is no other method. There is no other way to fully comprehend that conglomerate of disparate psychic functions, conflicted desire, negative thoughts, resentment, anger, which are the snakes represented on Medusa’s head, the beast.
Each snake is a different defect, and we need to kill Medusa through the shield, like Perseus, with the shield of self-reflection, in which he sees the image of that monster he needs to kill. It is by learning to work with imagery in meditation, as we are going to be explaining, that we are going to achieve the complete purification of the soul.
Ethics and Perception
It states in all religious traditions that ethics, or spiritual conduct, is the foundation of every legitimate realization. Those who seek to acquire power in spirituality, faculties, abilities, without recognizing the need for spiritual purity, in fact enter into a wrong path. Spiritual purity is the requisite in order to achieve the complete unification with the divine.
As we were explaining with right view, we have the following teaching by Lahiji, another Sufi initiate:
One cannot behold God by the eye of ratiocination derived from reason (meaning, the deliberation intellect of thought), for only through the eye of the heart, which is known as the faculty of inner vision, can one behold God. ―Lāhījī: Mafātīḥ, 66
Therefore, if we are constantly thinking and are churning in our intellect with thoughts, negative emotions, we cannot see God. Instead, this perception relates to the heart, which is the Essence, the consciousness that longs to be united with God.
There are specific requirements. Lahiji continues:
As long as you do not focus this eye so as to sharpen its vision with the collyrium of asceticism (meaning, spiritual practice), spiritual conduct, purgation of the soul, purification of the heart, and illumination of the spirit, you will be unable to witness the Friend’s Beauty in contemplation. ―Lāhījī: Mafātīḥ, 66
Who is this friend? It is Allah, our Being. Contemplation is a process of meditation. Therefore, if throughout a given day we feed our anger, if we react with resentment or pride towards other individuals, we are deepening the vision of our desire.
Desire is also that the capacity to perceive specifically. Gluttony, if it is not satisfied, presents us with many images in order to get the object of desire, whether it is alcohol, or maybe a hamburger or pizza, as a superficial example. Desire as a way of funneling our vision in order to make us acquire it wants above all things. That vision of the spirit can only be developed by curtailing those attitudes. The only way to develop the spirit is to be observant of these factors in ourselves.
The more that we restrain our mind, the more we comprehend our mind, the more we perceive that we are really not the thoughts, feelings, and impulses of our body that we commonly experience, we receive a sense of self-separation and detachment, which is not a type of blandness or an unappreciation of life. In fact, one lives life very intensely, with the joy of God. In order to comprehend the Friend, the Being, we need to restrain our negative emotions, to not act on them, to observe and when those elements arise in a given instant to observe it, not to feed, and to act with kindness and love, which is the opposite.
All of the masters of the path are in accordance that this reality can be realized only by the guidance of a Perfect Man who knows and contemplates God. ―Lāhījī: Mafātīḥ, 66
This is more in realization to guru yoga, how these types of teachings can only be taught by great masters, like Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha. Or in our tradition we have Samael Aun Weor, the author of the books that we have available by Glorian Publishing. We seek to become a perfect man or perfect woman, fully reflecting God. In order to really develop our consciousness, we need to develop ethics, conduct, comprehension of our internal states.
The Ten Non-Meritorious Actions
In Buddhism we talk about the Ten Non-Meritorious actions, and I am only going to be brief with this because it is enough to simply observe ourselves to comprehend what negativity is.
Right view, as taught by the Buddha Gautama Shakyamuni, is the comprehension of the Ten Non-Meritorious Actions:
To know in a given moment that anger is arising, to know in a given instant that pride is arising, to know within this instant that there is lust and to see it objectively, that is right view, self-knowledge, Marifah, Gnosis.
We have the destruction of living beings, which does not only pertain to physical murder or bloodshed in war, but anger, because it kills with sarcasm, cruel words. It literally brings blood to one’s face when one it is criticized. That is a type of bloodshed.
There is stealing, which does not necessarily pertain to physical objects, but how people steal or how we steal ideas, claiming it as our own, taking credit for other people’s work, plagiarism. There are many facets to this.
Unlawful sexual intercourse, which pertains to what we call fornication and adultery, is the abuse of the most pristine energy that we possess in our body, the sexual energy, which is a divine force when we cognizantly harness it through self-knowledge, Marifah. We attain the highest realms of unity with God.
Also, many people abuse the word, such as through lying, talebearing, harsh language and frivolous speech. When we speak without cognizance of our words, we in turn strengthen desire. We strengthen ego, specifically. We need to learn to save our energy by using our words with cognizance, real self-direction, and real attention.
We need also to understand the three sins of mind. We have been discussing the sins of body and speech. The sins of mind relate to covetousness, again a type of desire in the mind which creates tremendous suffering in this society in which we live.
Ill will, but also wrong views, pertain to all of our defects and how we are mistaken in that sense of identity, in those different defects. Wrong view is the source of all of the other sins. Socrates said that the greatest sin is ignorance, to not know, to be without Gnosis of God.
Direct Knowledge: Divine Presence and Egotistical Absence
It is this requisite as we look at the next graphic that we attain to the highest realms of spirituality. Here we have the Prophet Muhammad ascending up the seven heavens, which are are the same heavens of Nirvana, the same heavens of the Tree of Life of Kabbalah.
In order to really access those regions and realms, we have to develop right view here in this physical plane. The way that we develop that is precisely through attaining a sense self-separation from our ego and defects by learning to observe with our Essence, consciousness. Al-Qushayri was a great Sufi, Muslim scholar, and he wrote a book called Al-Risalah, which is from where we provided many of these quotes for this lecture. It is a profound Sufi manual which talks about very elevated states of Being. I quote from this text specifically because it can teach us how to meditate, in conjunction with the literature we have available, but here we are giving it in the Sufi way. Al-Qushayri stated the following in relation to what I have been discussing:
In general, it is the measure of one’s alienation from one’s own ego that one attains direct knowledge of one’s Lord. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Therefore, we need to become alienated from pride, anger, desire. Observe it. Do not identify with it. Do not indulge in lust, negative mental states. The more we alienate ourselves from identifying with those states, the greater our knowledge of God is. We save our energy in order to have the light in order fully experience God.
I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say, “One of the tokens of the Gnosis of God is the achievement of deep awe and reverence for God.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
I quote this because the sign of genuine self-observation, genuine remembrance of God is to feel a moment-by-moment continuous awe of divinity and that presence that is within the body, within the Being, within the heart. It is to constantly have that deep reverence, remembering the presence of our real Being within us. Self-observation is precisely this.
Each moment is not dull. Each moment is not mechanical. It is not a memory or a repetition of previous activities. Instead, every moment should be a new state, a novel awareness. We should see things that we never saw before. That is an indication that we are working on self-remembrance of God. That is what is means to constantly feel that awe, because one of the tokens of real Gnosis of God, Marifah, is to constantly be present and aware of that influence.
In order to deepen that state, which is precisely the science of meditation, we need to learn how to silence the mind in a comprehensive and peaceful way. Not to repress, not to indulge in desire, neither to run away nor to feed our mind its desires, but to just comprehend it as it is. This type of comprehension acquires an equilibrium within the consciousness and mind so that there is this type of stillness in which we can perceive and see clearly.
Al-Qushayri continues discussing what Abu Ali al-Daqqaq, a Sufi master, said:
And I heard him say, “Gnosis requires stillness of heart just as learning requires outward quiet. If someone’s Gnosis increases, his tranquility increases.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
The more peaceful we are in our mind and heart, the more we are able to reflect divinity, to know God. The first stage in meditation is to acquire that stability of tranquility in which the mind is not afflicted by so many thoughts, and the heart is not afflicted by so many emotions.
Another Sufi Master, in the next graphic we have here we see a Sufi praying or meditating. The following excerpt is from a book called Attar by Dhu’l-Nun Misri. He explains that the success to meditation is first tranquility, so that when the mind is serene, the mind or the consciousness can reflect the imagery of God, which is the real knowledge of God.
The key to success in worship lies in meditative reflection (fikrat, is the Arabic term)… whoever persists in such reflection in the heart will behold the invisible realm of the spirit. ―Dhū’l-Nūn Miṣrī in ‘Aṭṭār: Tadhkirat, 154
The reason being is if the lake of our mind is serene, then it can reflect the teachings of God, which come in images in meditation or in dream experiences.
Whoever contemplates God through keeping watch over the thoughts that pass through his heart will be exalted by God and all of his outward deeds. ―Dhū’l-Nūn Miṣrī in ‘Aṭṭār: Tadhkirat, 155
Again, it is to begin to learn to observe ourselves that we acquire tranquility. We do not identify so much with our problems. That saves energy which empowers the consciousness and it allows us to focus and concentrate with deeper attention and to go deeper in our comprehension of dignity.
Imagination or Genuine Spiritual Perception
Again, relating to what this science really entails, we seeks to activate what is known as imagination.
We were discussing right view, right perception, pure perception of the consciousness. The word imagination relates to this. People think that when they hear the term imagination that it means fantasy or fairy tale, something that is made up, but it simply is the capacity to perceive images. Images allows us to know reality just as much in the physical plane as in the internal planes. Imagination is precisely the capacity to perceive with the consciousness. It is the ability to perceive spiritually.
When we meditate, we seek to activate this type of perception, to perceive images in meditation. That is only possible if the mind is serene. If it is too chaotic, we cannot reflect images. That is why drowsiness is essential to this practice. Images come from inside of you, either from your ego or from the Being, and we make a difference between the two and are going to explain how this is so.
Typically, our imagination, our capacity to to perceive, is very egotistical. Meaning, that if we have dreams, they are belonging to our mind. They are not objective. The way to learn that science is precisely what we are going to be explaining. But in general, imagination is the capacity to perceive, and typically perception is negative and subjective. We usually see through the filter of our mind.
Samael Aun Weor, who is the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, explained in his book Igneous Rose what we must develop in order to be real meditators:
We must only extract golden fruit from reasoning.
Again, understanding is right view. Comprehension is a novel state, as I have been mentioning. We should see each moment as it is: new, uncontrived, non-artificial, something that is particular to this moment. Comprehension is a result of seeing the mind for what it is, and it is like a shock. It should not be something dull, cloudy, or obscure. It refers to a very sharp and clear perception of what things are, and typically it makes us go, “My Lord! I have never seen this before.” It is new and novel. Comprehension is precisely that.
Imagination allows us to perceive internal imagery, either in dreams or when we meditate. Specifically, with comprehension and imagination, comprehension results from stability of mind. If we are constantly identified with our problems, if we are not comprehending life, we are just being victims of our desire. Comprehension results from stability of mind. Imagination and self-observation are really the same thing, extenuations of the same principle. To perceive images like we do in this physical world is a work of perception, but the spiritual type of perception we seek to develop is a result of developing spiritual ethics in order to develop imagination.
When we sit to meditate, to perceive that type of imagery, we need to deepen our self-observation, because it is a very profound way of experiencing psychic imagery, so to speak. Anger has a very particular appearance. So does vanity or lust, and in dreams, if we see our own ego, they take on animal forms. It is very grotesque, but if we learn to perceive that in our everyday moment, here and now, we prepare ourselves for meditation.
Three Parameters for Meditation
This is why again in the Al-Risalah, Al-Qushayri said the following:
Al-Jurayri (a Sufi master) said that whoever does not establish awe of duty and vigilance in his relationship to God will not arrive to disclosure of the unseen (or unveiling) or contemplation of the divine. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Unveiling is to tear away the veil that blocks us from our spiritual sight, and contemplation is, through that type of perception, to intuitively cognize or know what God seeks to teach us within meditation or within dreams.
The word contemplation in Arabic says a lot for us. The word is “mushahadah.” In Islam, one of the pillars of their teaching is the Shahadah, which is the bearing witness of the faith. The disciples who enter Islam would say:
La Ilaha Ila Allah Muhammadun Rasul Allah
…which basically means, “There is no God but Allah. Allah is Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet.”
To bear witness of God is to really comprehend God from meditation. A real Muslim, someone who submits to God, is someone who meditates. There are many Muslims in the world today who have no contemplation at all. Therefore, they do not really give witness of God. To bear witness is to experience God through meditation. That is Shahadah, to bear witness, or contemplation, mushahadah, which we are going to explain more in depth in relation to the technicalities of the practice of imagination.
Many people long to know God, to perceive God in meditation, but do not have the capacity because it needs to be developed.
When I mentioned to you that one must establish awe of duty and vigilance in relationship to God, that awe of duty is to have reverence and respect for the practices that we have, whether in Gnosticism or in different religions, to have reverence for the practices to the point that we are consistently practicing everyday, because if we do not have awe that is born from fulfilling the practices, one can not really attain to vigilance, because in order to attain vigilance, we need to practice.
The Signs of God
When we meditate, many people long to have that experience of God, to perceive God. This is why it was stated in the Qur’an, in Surah 2, verse 18:
Those who have no knowledge (Gnosis, Marifah, many words for this teaching) say, “Why does Allah not speak to us or come to us with a sign?” So said those who are born before them, words similar to what they say. Alike are their hearts. We have certainly made the sign clear for a people who have certainty. ―Qur’an 2:28
What are these signs? When we meditate, we look for signs. We want to receive the teachings of God, which appear through images. God speaks in symbols. God speaks in allegorical and symbolic language, which come to us through images in meditation or even in the dream state. If we are very awake and in tune, we may recognize when God is working, but that takes a lot of intuition.
Sometimes God speaks in thoughts too. The way that we perceive that objective type of thinking is a type of image, cognizance which strikes our consciousness. But in order to experience that, we really have to learn how to meditate.
Those who sought signs from Allah, they wanted to receive signs from God, but meanwhile only those with certainty in meditation know those signs directly. To explain this quote from the Quran, Al-Qushayri states the following:
Knowledge does not come about except by prior fulfillment of its conditions. That is one must examine things in a pertinent and relevant way. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
What does it mean to examine things in a pertinent and relevant way? It means to sit down, to close one’s eyes, to forget about the problems outside and to analyze, not with thought or emotion, but with a type of cognizance born from self-observation in which we analyze in a pertinent and relevant way our daily life. To be more clear, knowledge is born as this type of analysis―perception, being vigilant, observing ourselves and acquiring that type of self-knowledge, seeing ourselves in a way that we never seen ourselves before.
That is the type of knowledge that we seek to cultivate. The prior conditions of meditation are that we fulfill this vigilance throughout the day so that we learn to concentrate our mind when we seek to practice, instead of getting distracted by thoughts and forgetting that we are sitting and meditating. It is instead to have a stability of consciousness. The prior fulfillment is concentration, which we develop by learning to pay attention, not forgetting that we are practicing.
Then when hints of the divine become continuous and clear, demonstrative evidence has been obtained, the perceiver, through the succession of lights and his deep reflections upon them become seeming independent of the consideration of proof. This is the state of certainty. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
When we acquire that type of serenity of mind in which we can perceive images in the consciousness, those are lights. Sometimes an image will emerge. Sometimes we are sitting relaxed, observing ourselves. Suddenly a landscape appears. We see a waterfall. We see people talking. We see a scene played out in a living drama, something that is very spontaneous and shocking. It is new.
These are the lights that Al-Qushayri is speaking about. Images, lights, experiences which come when we are not expecting it, but when we are just open. We are serene. We are reflecting on ourselves, meditating, concentrating, to not be distracted, then suddenly these images appear. It is not like we build it or contrive it mechanically. It comes intuitively when we least expect it. They come as a result of relaxing and allowing the mind to be open. Therefore, the more one experiences these types of images in meditation, one does not associate so much intellectual consideration of proof. The intellect is not saying, “I need evidence of God.” Meanwhile, we experience God and the mind just shuts up. It becomes silent.
Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition
In order to understand how to differentiate between that which is objective and that which is subjective in nature, we refer to in this teaching to what is known as the three stages of initiation.
The term “initiation,” just to be brief, pertains to how we begin a new way of life, to initiate. It means to initiate a new type of perception in which we see life in a new way. We discussed imagination and that is the first step. We talk about inspiration and intuition. Imagination is the capacity to perceive images. Inspiration is the reaction of the psyche of the soul toward that symbol. It feels like there is some kind of meaning there, and intuition is direct cognizance and understand, mushahadah, contemplation of what that image or symbol means. So we are going to explain this in great detail.
First, I would like to explain to you from this slide a teaching of Ibn Karbala-i, who simply emphasizes the points that I have been making.
When the seeker realizes the station of contemplation (meaning, having attained a certain development of contemplation in meditation) which is witnessing God’s essence, comprehending and encompassing all phenomenon (meaning, God is in everything). And the statement from Surah 41 verse 53, “Does not your Lord suffice, since He is witness over all things?” ―Ibn Karbalā’ī, Rawḍāt al-janān, II 164
Meaning, God sees everything. There is nothing hidden from Allah, from Christ, from the Being. By becoming continuously aware of the presence of God within our interior, we learn to experience the internal worlds. He says:
He continually witnesses lights from the mundus invisibilis (the invisible world). From such a mystic’s perspective, this world and the hereafter are one and the same. This can only be realized by a vision (a type of imagination) that is all heart and spirit, not a view bound by mere mud and mire. ―Ibn Karbalā’ī, Rawḍāt al-janān, II 164
This again refers to how our perception can either be objective or subjective. Those who attain the highest degree of knowledge fully develop their capacities for imagination. Another word for this is clairvoyance. We are just using different terms. We use “imagination” to point out that everybody has that capacity, but we just need to develop it objectively.
Typically, our view is bound by mud and mire. Meaning, that when we act with anger, we perceive through anger. If it is pride, then we act through pride. We only see through these given defects. But we need a vision that is liberated and free. That is not conditioned by ego.
The way that we develop that is precisely through the work with these three stages. They are called imagination, inspiration, and intuition. Imagination is perception. Inspiration is the recognition of a symbol, of a meaning. There is something hidden there and inspires the heart. Intuition is the understanding, contemplation, knowing directly what that symbol entails and what it teaches. It is perception, but knowing what one is seeing. That is type of cognizance that is only born as a result of spiritual discipline.
Those who attain the heights of spiritual perception may perceive both the invisible world and the physical world at the same time. That is very elevated, but how we get to that point is by learning to meditate and learning to perceive that type of imagery when we are sleepy and are practicing.
Samael Aun Weor states the following in his book Igneous Rose:
Imagination, inspiration and intuition are three obligatory paths for the initiation. We reach these ineffable heights by means of concentration (meaning, to focus on one thing and not to be distracted by others), meditation (which means to receive information and comprehend, to receive new information and see things that we have never seen before) and samadhi. ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Concentration, meditation, and samadhi. Samadhi simply means ecstasy in Sanskrit, but it is the ecstasy of the soul being united with God. It refers more specifically to the soul that is pulled out of the cage of the mind, the ego, in order to see objectively in the consciousness. Specifically, we talk about the genie of Aladdin’s lamp. That lamp is the ego. The genie is our consciousness that can perform miracles if we know how to extract that Essence, that consciousness.
Whosoever has reached these ineffable heights of intuition has converted himself (or herself) into a master of samadhi. ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Awareness, Unveiling, and Witnessing
It is interesting also that the Sufis talk about this same teaching given many centuries ago, which Samael Aun Weor explains in more conventional terms, to be clear and to understand this science more profoundly. The Sufis called these three stages:
Awareness (muhadarah) as the beginning; then follows disclosure (mukashafah), then contemplation (mushahadah). ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
These are just the Arabic terms for the same teaching. I am not saying that it is important to know the Arabic, but it definitely demonstrates a lot for us that this teaching was given in very ancient times.
Samael Aun Weor states in Igneous Rose:
In the beginning (of meditation), the disciple perceives fleeting images. Later, the disciple totally perceives all of the images of the supra-sensible worlds. The first stage of knowledge belongs to “imaginative” knowledge (to know through images, perception, whether in dreams or in meditation). ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Al-Qushayri states the following:
Awareness (the same thing, from the same Arabic root as hudur, presence) is presence of heart which may be produced by the coming together of innumerable small proofs of what is real. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So what are these small proofs? It means that we see images, lights. These are proofs that we are developing, that we are beginning to see God.
It is still behind the veil, even if the heart is present with the overwhelming power of the practice of remembering God. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
We may feel in our heart that we are remembering God. We feel that presence in our level, but we do not necessarily see the entire picture. That comes about when the veil is torn, meaning that we perceive the images in a more clear way. Small, innumerable proofs are those images or experiences, sounds, even smells, tastes that we can experience when we are mediation, that come to us as a type of psychic phenomena, not physical, but internal.
The second stage is inspiration. Samael Aun Weor continues:
The disciple contemplates many images that are mysteries for him because he does not understand them. Yet as long as he perseveres with his practices of internal meditation, he will then feel that the supra-sensible images produce certain feelings of happiness or pain. The disciple then feels inspired in the presence of the internal images. He has thus arisen to the stage of inspired knowledge. ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
When we are meditating and we see an image or we have an experience and then we feel in our heart that this is something objective, we are inspired. We realize in our heart, we know with heart, that this experience comes from God. The intellect cannot debate it. We know that it comes from our Being. It is a type of conscious discrimination of the psyche.
The Sufis help elaborate on this. Al-Qushayri continues in Al-Risalah:
After this comes disclosure (inspiration, disclosure in Arabic is “unveiling,” mukashafah) which is the presence which has the quality of proof itself. In the condition the heart has no need of pondering indications or searching for the road, nor seeking protection from occasions of uncertainty. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
What does it mean to no longer be looking for the road? It means that we receive the image or the symbol from God. We know it comes from our Being. Therefore, we investigate that deeply. We concentrate on that experience, and we meditate further, concentrating on that experience and opening our consciousness to receive a deeper teaching.
Inspiration is precisely the condition of the heart that says, “I do not need to look for anything else. I know that God gave me a teaching. Therefore, I need to meditate further on this.”
There is a teaching in the Old Testament that says, “A dream uninterpreted is like a letter unread.” Therefore, during any experience that we receive when we are meditating, we need to learn to develop that inspiration.
Continuing with this quote: “One is not seeking protection on occasions of uncertainty, and it is not screened from the nature of the unseen.” Meaning, we are not blocked away from the path of the Truth. We have found it, what we need to focus and meditate on.
The last stage, intuition, is actually comprehension of the symbol or experience. Samael Aun Weor states in Igneous Rose:
Later, when he sees an internal image, instantaneously he knows its significance and reason for many things. This is the third stage of knowledge, known as intuitive knowledge. ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
It means to know exactly what the symbol means. What is important to remember is that any symbol or dream experience or anything that we perceive internally in meditation has to relate to our physical life. Otherwise, we have to discard it, meaning that any teaching that God gives to the consciousness is telling us how to live our life physically. It is not necessarily something that is far beyond us, although there are experiences when we can, through intuition, unite with God directly. That is a very elevated state of being.
What I am talking about, more importantly, is the type of symbols and teachings that a master gives in the internal planes or in meditation, or what our Being teaches us in dreams in order help us guide our physical life. That is why we make a direct integral analysis of our physical life with the symbols provided, because those symbols are just teaching us how to live more practically, and to deepen our relationship to God.
In relation to intuition, which is precisely comprehension of the dream experience or the image that we receive in meditation, Al-Qushayri states the following:
Then comes contemplation, which is the presence of the real without any remaining doubt. Suddenly, the sky of one’s hidden inner Being (sirr) becomes clear of the clouds of the veil. And the sun of vision arises in the sign of honor. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Again, we are talking about signs, images. When look at signs on the street, we see a stop sign or yield sign, they tell us what we need to do. It is the same thing spiritually. God gives us signs. “And the sun of vision arises in the sign of honor.” Meaning that we are honored when we receive these experiences.
The truth of contemplation is as Junayd said, “Finding the Real comes with losing yourself.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Conclusion and Practice
Going back to the beginning of the lecture, we talked about how heaven is the absence of our ego, absence of self, but it is the direct perception of God. Hell is when we are identified with desire.
Everything that we have been discussing pertains to developing right perception. We synthesized this in meditation as imagination, inspiration, and intuition. To conclude, I would like to quote for you again a teaching by Al-Qushayri, and then we can open it up for questions, and I would also like to elaborate on some practices that we have in this tradition in order to develop imagination, inspiration, and intuition. To conclude, I have this statement by Al-Qushayri which explains a lot for us and how this path is a gradual process:
No one has improved upon the explanation of the achievement of contemplation (mushahadah) (to bear witness of God) given by Amr bin Uthman al-Makki. The gist of what he said is that the light of God’s manifestation falling upon the heart one after the other without a break with no veil or disruption intervening among them, resemble flashes of lightning, seemingly linked together continuously. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
These experiences are a shock. If we experience that profound perception that seems to be completely new, it means that we are awakening that sense. When we develop more, they happen more often, continuously.
For just as the darkest night, through the repetition and persistence of lightning-flashes in it would take on the brilliance of day, when continual divine manifestation takes place in the heart, the heart is full daylight and not night. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
With time we learn to perceive these types of experiences frequently, but it is a patient process of developing ourselves specifically through spiritual conduct, by working with the practices that we have in this tradition and learning to meditate.
I will just conclude with a practice that you can use to develop imagination. It is explained in the book Tarot and Kabbalah, as well as a book called Sexology: the Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology by Samael Aun Weor. He says that in order to develop imagination or right view, right understanding, we sit down and we take a plant, one that we love and appreciate. First, we look at the plant itself. We close our eyes and visualize. We imagine the seed of the plant growing into a full vegetable, into a full plant. We imagine its birth process, how it gains life and we examine in our imagination all of the different constituent parts that make up the plant, specifically the nucleus, the cellulose, the corpuscles.
Samael Aun Weor is very specific. We need to be very exact and logical about how analyze, so we need to have a little bit of knowledge of the anatomy of plant. But we want to visualize that, to be specific. When the mind is equilibrated, we imagine the different elements of the plant and we learn to perceive that image of the plant, its life, its vitality, its development, and then we imagine how that plant deteriorates and decays.
With practice, we will learn to travel out of the body in the dream state after the chakras, the astral senses of our internal bodies, begin to activate through the practices of imagination. We learn to travel out of the body, and then we can converse with the elemental of that plant in which we have in our home. We learn to see the soul or the spirit of the plant through practice, by awakening in the dream state to converse with that elemental. But first we need to develop imagination in order to fully actualize that.
Question and Answers
Question: What you said just now is exactly what Rudolf Steiner said, as an example that you mentioned. He mentions the plant. He even mentions the seed. You even take a live seed and you can take an imitation of a live seed that has no etheric force around it but the other one does. But he also mentions the plant, going through the process of growth, the process of decay, just what you mentioned here as Samael Aun Weor mentioned. The same thing in Occult Science. Steiner goes into detail with it. He said, “Humans will come around the heart after awhile.” Do you feel that is the same thing as the plant? It is interesting.
Instructor: And there are different practices that we also have for inspiration and intuition, which are available in the books.
Question: What is the importance of understanding the anatomy of the plant?
Instructor: That is in order to be exact in our visualization. It is good to maybe look on the internet and examine, “Okay. What makes up the plant that I have?” So that you can take that image and then when you sit to meditate, fully focus on that. The reason being is this. Mediation, as Samael Aun Weor states, is very exact. It is logical. It is precise. It cannot be vague, obscure, or incoherent. It has to be based on reasoning, not necessarily the subjective reasoning that we know and experience, but a type of logic which is very exact. Therefore, we have to be precise in our practices. I believe the saying by the master is, “We need logical thought and precise concept” in order for the mind to be balanced.
Meditation is not spacing out or being vague or just seeing images and then just drifting off into sleep. It is very exact. As the Sufi teachers were explaining, “It is a lightning strike.” When we look out at a storm, it is very profound. The elements of nature battling, and the lightning is a representation of Christ. It is an energy that strikes and emerges within the soul, when the soul is ready. But in the same way we receive flashes of illumination and knowledge from our internal experiences.
Just to synthesize, right view is again learning to see without the obscuration of the ego. The way that we develop that is precisely through imagination, inspiration, and intuition. Or as given by the Sufis, muhadarah, mukashafah, mushahadah, just to use the Arabic.
Question: Is it possible to know God with any attachment?
Instructor: To fully know God, we have to have no attachment. But there are degrees of cognizance.
Comment: When I asked you about attachments, I wonder sometimes if it goes obviously beyond material. I am not as well versed in scriptures in the Bible, but I recall when reading when Jesus was at a cross, I sensed that he had a sense detachment from when it was stated that that is his mother.
Question: His true mother and father are more spiritual. He was trying to distance himself. I do not know if I am saying it the correct way, but is being “unattached” also dealing with family?
Instructor: We carry psychological attachments in our mind. As exemplified by the path of Jesus, he specifically taught that path of non-attachment. It is a very Buddhist teaching because in very painful circumstances, he learned not to identify with his accusers or his persecutors specifically, those people who sought to kill him. It is a very profound psychology to possess because to not retaliate, whether with the verb, the word, or one’s actions or even in one’s mind, it takes a lot of self-restraint. To become fully cognizant of this fact, we need to fully abandon our mistaken perceptions of self, which in a given instant lead us to the unconsciousness, unconscious states of the psyche.
Question: Conscious reactions? Is this what will happen?
Instructor: Yes, to react and behave mechanically.
Question: One thing that I noticed, one of the biggest downfalls has to be television, because how do people observe if they spend so much time on it?
Instructor: People are typically hypnotized by film and television, in which by perceiving the images, we forget ourselves. We are not really cognizant of what we are thinking and feeling. People are watching television and they jump up and are screaming at the television if they are in a football game. This is a very profound state of sleep which we are in, even while we are not watching film all day. This is our common and current state of being which is only recognizable when we observe ourselves.
Question: Can you talk about Mozart being an initiate who practiced through his work? Are there known initiates of the black lodge that we would know of?
Instructor: There are certain musicians that are from the black lodge.
Question: Musicians, you said?
Instructor: Yeah, there is―not to get too side tracked―but there is a man named Paganini, which Samael Aun Weor mentioned was a sorcerer. We talk about sorcerers, demons, angels, and magicians. The thing to think about, what is important is that so long as we have ego we are demonic, but if we have no ego we are angels. An angel is perfect being, a perfect man or woman.
Question: Is it always through meditation, or can it be going for walks and just thinking?
Instructor: Wherever. The presence of God should be felt in every moment, but meditation is the science that takes us to those highest regions as represented by the Hebraic Kabbalah, the Tree of Life as we demonstrated.
Comment: I’ve found that in the literature somewhere that they mention also, that first thing in the morning, it seems to be a very good time for meditation. Of course sometimes one might have a nightmare or be fresh from dreams. It is more conducive, I’ve found, in fact, to have no light. Just a candle. It helps a lot. Dark in the room… it’s quiet when you first get up. Yeah, I’ve found it’s very conducive to stilling the mind as a prerequisite to meditation and even a few mantras also to help with silence sometimes, as opposed to working all day and then coming home, saying, “I have to meditate.” We should do this everyday when you have a lot of turmoil or you’ve got things during the day. Early morning seems to be, and I think Steiner said it helps a lot. It’s more conducive…
Instructor: Drowsiness allows us to perceive, in a deeper way, the different images within our interior. Whenever we are sleepy is the best time to practice. But typically in the morning hours, which have a lot of positive energy in which we are naturally relaxed, it is easier for us to perceive images, signs from God, because we already came from the dream state. We have naturally just came from sleep. Meditation is a balance between vigilance and physical drowsiness. We need to be clear in our perception, but physically we need to have that drowsiness so that we can access deeper levels of the mind.
Question: Have you ever had a moment where you had that sight, that image... and you just felt you understood it at that moment?
Question: Did you still meditate? Maybe just in case you are wrong? Because I have had that instant where I just felt in my heart that I knew I understood it. I was wondering if I should meditate.
Instructor: Even when you are absolutely sure, you should meditate. That is the safe thing to do. I have had many experiences like that from years ago that I still meditate on because they are very profound, in which I am still to this day experiencing the results of those experiences internally.
Question: So that’s to be sure you absorb it all?
Instructor: Yes. And sometimes God gives us an experience from the past, maybe years ago, that only come to fruition later because we are only mature enough to really know that at a later time. That is known as prophesy.
Question: You can call that a dream, correct?
Instructor: This applies to dreams. It also applies to our experiences in meditation, because they are the same thing.
Question: So you could experience it when you are in that in between zone before you go to bed before you are about to sleep? Or when you know you are dreaming an image, but you feel that you know that you know you are asleep?
Instructor: It is the same teaching, whether in dreams or in meditation. It is the same thing. How we perceive life physically translates into how we dream in the internal planes. The kind of things we experience in meditation. It is a deepening of cognizance, a deepening of entering into subconsciousness levels of the mind. We seek to become conscious of all of that. The way that we do it is by developing first imagination.
Question: Is the hummingbird one of the symbols that was idolized because of that aspect of taking a moment to observe, to find joy, because the hummingbird and blue jay both mean joy?
Instructor: In the internal planes birds typically represent virtues.
Question: The world of dreams could be subjective or objective. There are times when you dream and you wake up clear and know what you were looking at but wonder, “what does this mean?” You know, this mountain, putting a sheet on a bed or something. Where did it come from? I can’t reason it, but it was there in the dream. You have a feeling that it meant to tell you something.
Instructor: The way to know for certain the meaning is to one thing study these different teachings that we provide. They symbols that we provide are in different religions, because God speaks through different symbols that are represented in different traditions, and we need to meditate deeper, so it is a combination of study and practice.
Comment: The more you destroy the ego, the more you narrow down those dreams that have nothing to do with egotistical thoughts.
Instructor: So everything that we are explaining today, precisely in relation to this statement, is right view, to see with clarity, objectively, our psychology. The more that we eliminate desire, our ego, in meditation, the clearer our perception becomes, so it is a gradual process. Here, we are talking in a general sense in relation to these three stages of meditation. Do not think that one first enters imagination, imaginative knowledge, and then that it is a plateau, second, inspirational knowledge, a second plateau, and then third intuitive knowledge. Instead, it is a dynamic thing. You can experience an image, feel inspired and immediately know its meaning in one moment.
Question: Would you say that the Tarot symbols are related to that? According to people who teach the Tarot, those are real symbols there, even though they look like medieval images. They are meant to, if you could see behind the image, the Tarot image. Then, if you cannot develop yourself to where you’re inspired by at, then you are inspired by them, then those images start to morph.
Instructor: You may experience different things, like images changing or receiving new images. The thing is to maintain concentration and to observe. Do not forget that you are meditating. Because the problem is that we often fall asleep again. We do not remember what happened. Or we get excited and we snap out of the experience. Instead, we need to develop a type of indifference, not to crave and not to run away but to achieve that middle path, which is known as vigilance or tranquility.
Comment: My image can only be deciphered through me and God, not me speaking to somebody and saying, “Hey, help me out here.”
Instructor: Yeah, I would say to do not rely on any other person.
Comment: A book or anything like that, you know.
Instructor: You have to rely on your knowledge of scripture, the symbols of religion and your own knowledge of your life and your relationship to your Being, because that is what determines your understanding. Even if I were fully clairvoyant, and I could see in you and say, “Well, I know what the meaning of your dream is.” It still does not necessarily give you that real comprehension on your own. That is something that we all develop through individual practice. It is good to ask for advice when we need it. Sometimes, an instructor can help us understand what a certain symbol means, and then the thing is to meditate deeper and to reflect on that.
Question: I am sure you have achieved this but have you seen great results being very observant, at least let us just say an entire day?
Instructor: Yes. The deeper we strengthen our vigilance of God, the more we experience. That is why those who do not establish awe of duty and vigilance in one’s practice will not attain an unveiling, being able to perceive that kind of imagery.
Comment: It is so simple to forget about it. Something is always happening that you catch yourself.
Instructor: This is the meaning of Jihad, war against one’s self, spiritual war. Vigilance is to not sleep. To be in vigil is to not lose one’s attention, to not forget one’s God. That means to self-observe.
Question: Steiner again said that during a meditation to develop a sense of expectancy, which is of course like a child… There’s something there. Could you elaborate on that?
Instructor: And to add to Steiner’s teaching, that is a longing of the consciousness, to know God. In a sense, we say that we should not have expectations for what we want to experience. Instead, we should open up our consciousness to simply be. To have vigilance is to be in this instant, to not think of anything else, to not contemplate anything other than God within us.
Question: To expect hurts us?
Instructor: Actually, expectations are typically of the mind. We desire an experience but we do not get it. So we need to curtail this kind of behavior. Instead, we should long for God. It is a different feeling, a different type of cognizance or emotion.
Question: You mentioned that... the Essence is probably our true nature, our Essence that we have within us. I believe Samael Aun Weor said that it is embottled in the many I’s of the egos. But in any case, how would you describe our true Essence?
Instructor: The Essence is the Gnostic term that we use for consciousness.
Comment: But there’s different types of consciousness! You’ve mentioned the subconsciousness, supraconsciousness…
Instructor: Yes, but the consciousness that I am speaking about, which is our divine nature, is liberated consciousness. Because all of us in our current state have consciousness which is channeled and trapped within the cage of the ego, the cage of the mind. This is our obstacle that prevents us from knowing God. We seek to liberate the consciousness that is trapped in desire, in ego, in multiple senses of selves, or defects which are a conglomerate. Many defects, but we refer to it as ego, as the subjective self, which is really many senses of selves.
Question: I read in one of the books, I think it was Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, that the Essence is something that grows in us the early years of our life?
Instructor: Yes. The consciousness in infants is naturally present, and this is the lost infancy that we seek to develop through meditation.
Question: You have been talking about the negative aspects of desire, but also would it not be a positive desire to want to spiritualize yourself?
Instructor: Yes. In Buddhist terms, desire relates to ego, but amongst the Sufis, interestingly, desire is a longing. So we use the term longing, specifically, to refer how the consciousness aspires. We use that terminology more specifically. We refer to desire as animal ego, animal desire, lust, pride, etc. There is the desire of the spirit, which in poetical terms refers to that intimate longing that the Sufis speak about.
Question: Is it not our nature to want?
Comment: Because we are programmed that way.
Instructor: One thing is to desire from the mind. One thing is to long for the well-being of others from the consciousness. We talk about the consciousness, it is not a complete abnegation of any type of selfhood. It is a type of individuality, which is not what we commonly and currently experience. I make that strong demarcation because there is a tendency to want to fortify what we already have within to justify what have within, when the truth is that a lot of that is very negative. One thing is to have longing for God and to have types of virtues developed in the consciousness. That is another thing. That is really our true human nature.
Question: So instead of coveting, we should be longing for God?
Instructor: Instead of coveting what another person has, we should feel grateful for what the other person has, for their own well-being. That is a type of altruism that is born when we comprehend that defect and annihilate it in meditation. So that is the goal, to annihilate the prison of the mind, the desires, so that the virtues of God are born.
Question: A defect comes up and we recognize it. Do you have to develop a sense of objectivity through detachment when you observe this, rather than an emotion saying, “No! That is bad. There it is.” How would you face it objectively?
Instructor: Yeah, we need a sense of self-separation, observing ourselves like we are watching a film. Now, we should not run away from what we are seeing. Neither should we feed what we are seeing, feeding the desire. It is the middle path taught by Buddha. This is what develops real tranquility in which we can develop what is called right view, to perceive God, in this instant. Not in the future. Not in the past.
Question: What about the reprehension? In other words, the disgust? That is going to bring an emotion, like we discussed. If you are looking at it objectively, in other words you are toning it down. I see it but it is not bothering me that much, maybe it’s the way it should because it is negative. I do not want to get too deep into this, but there is emotion involved here. The detachment is one thing. If I am detached, I am not that resentful toward that negative emotion. Is that right?
Instructor: That is the mind reacting to the mind. That is a type of mechanical observation, which every student develops when approaching this science. Because we see a lot of ugliness that we do not want to face, so the mind sees that and reacts and does not want to face it. But the consciousness simply observes and lets it be and does not worry about it. The consciousness can experience emotions, which are superior in nature. To experience that we can listen to great symphonies of music, like by Beethoven, Wagner, Chopin. That expresses pure conscious emotion. So it is very dynamic. When I say “detachment,” I do not mean a zombie. People who have no enjoyment of life, as I mentioned. Instead, it is a superior type of being, which we develop by acquiring tranquility, which is right view.
Question: All of this way that we have to learn to live all comes down to increasing an energy in us, correct?
Question: Not lying, not hurting, not stealing. It all comes down to that because we are all energy. Correct?
Question: And as long as we go ahead and attack these defects, we get closer to getting enlightened?
Instructor: Energy relates to consciousness, and how we use our consciousness, we expend energy. The reason why we have to restrain our mind is precisely for that factor, to save energy. Right view conserves our energy so that we can use it to meditate, because if we are exhausted from a day from being emotionally abused or being emotionally abusive, anger totally destroys the mind and the body and heart, so without that energy, spiritual energy, one cannot stabilize the mind and meditate. There is too much chaos.
Question: So the anger and worry is an energy that is going to waste, and that is hurting you?
Question: But love, which is an energy that I feel does not take anything, just builds upon it?
Instructor: Yes. We say, “Love is the law, but cognizant love.” Love that is born from an awakened perception, right view, because many people love, but it is egotistical. To know the difference is to possess right view. We have to analyze ourselves, be observant of ourselves, of our mental states, our emotional states, and to see that we are in truth not these elements. That is how we save energy.
Question: I am sure you have answered this before, but why it has never been that blatant, where it is a science of turning this energy into us, instead of just saying, “Follow these ten commandments?” Because it just never made sense.
Instructor: This type of science was given secretly, cryptically, for those who are ready to access the deeper levels of knowledge or Marifah, specifically. It was a secret teaching for thousands of years, time immemorial, and has only recently been unveiled.
Question: Why was this kept from humanity, because it did not start out that way, did it?
Instructor: No. Because people with this science could abuse the power of God. It is not my intention to delve too much into the tradition, but just to answer your question, specifically, this is a powerful teaching, and it has the capacity to create either an angel or a demon, depending on how we use our will. That is why in all religion, ethical discipline is the foundation, because without moral restraint, without remembrance of the commandments given by the different masters, the perfect men and women, as mentioned in the Sufi scripture, then one will fortify their own desire and therefore deepen their suffering and also the suffering of others.
Question: Steiner again says that whenever there are so called “religious groups” and they try to preach to and say, “No, this is they way it is done,” there is one thing that all lack, and that is compassion for other human beings.
Instructor: And the nature of God is compassion.
Question: I do not know what book I read it though. They talk about how in the past certain individuals would take drugs to enhance a spiritual experience, and you also stated that you leave yourself open to dark forces, but what is the drug doing to an individual who does have a spiritual experience?
Instructor: There are certain plants and substances utilized by especially indigenous tribes, which in the past were considered very sacred. At the end of this day those tribes in certain cultures still render respect to the soul of the plant and the elementals. The problems is that many of the individuals who do engage in these types of substances, like peyote, ayahuasca, are not initiates, meaning that they are not spiritual masters with a lot of command over the elementals of nature. Therefore they just take these substances, and basically those forces are psychedelic, meaning psyche-delia. Delia is drug, drug for the mind, and it produces a kind of experience because it is a very powerful substance.
Question: But are they activating the pineal gland? Is that what is happening?
Instructor: It can, but in most cases it is subjective. What a lot of people do not know is that the original plants, like peyote, to increase imagination, used to be from very specific places on the Earth. There are individuals who ingest peyote now, which are basically from other sources, other places, which do not have that purity. Most importantly, those individuals do not have spiritual development to really command the elemental. So, the elemental will not do anything. Personally, I do not advise anyone taking any substance of any nature because we do not need them to awaken. Many people smoke marijuana and basically fortify the ego. Those drugs take the perceptions of the mind and strengthen it in hell. That is why in Dante’s Inferno, the drug addicts are in the abyss.
Question: That is why you are not supposed to expect anything because in due time, when you are ready, you are ready.
Instructor: God will give you experience when we are working, and accept, and are patient. Personally, I receive such help in the internal planes from a certain group of angels, that I will not explain in more detail, but they give me a certain substance to give me a samadhi to help me stay conscious and awake in the dream state. Now, I never asked for that. I never went out of my way to pray, “Please, I want to have this experience.” Instead, they came to me and said, “We are going to help you. You need to receive something very important.” So these masters were completely awakened, angels. They gave me a certain substance that produced the conscious awakening in the astral plane.
Now, people who take drugs and substances physically do so at a great risk, because they just fortify the ego. When a master gives you a substance, especially in the internal planes, and you know that this is an angel speaking, then take it, and you are receiving a special kind of help. But personally, we can experience these types of things not through drugs, but through our own discipline. That is why abstention was a foundation of Buddhism and any religion. Even in Islam they say, “You cannot drink alcohol.” Because alcohol awakens the clairvoyance of the ego, the vision of the ego. So, I say do not. For students who are studying this doctrine, we do not take drugs because that will only fortify the negative perceptions of animal desire, which is hell. It is not objective.
Question: It is interesting again to me what Don Juan is teaching, and even Don Juan warned them. He says that there are entities out there that want to seduce you. He said that it is very dangerous out there. He said that weed will bring you to there presence or bring them to you. Peyote gypsum weed or something else that they mentioned. Someone said to him, “Why did you do this to me, Don Juan?” He says, “Because your mind was so directed toward materialistic things and rational things that I had to blast you.” It is interesting to see what he said and what he went through. He said that there are dangerous entities out there that if you let them in then they have control of your mind and as Steiner said, “There is much more to this universe than organized religion is teaching.” When you think about these things, you say, “Wow! Well, no drugs, number one. It’s for the right type of spirituality.”
Instructor: Certain masters in the past would give those kind of special types of substances, like specific kinds of peyote to help awaken clairvoyance. Now, if it was given by a master, we know personally that it is from a good source. I am not talking physical. I am talking about in the internal planes. Then, take it by all means. But physically, we are easily manipulated and asleep. We are unaware of many forces that are active. That is why―no drugs. Just develop your discipline and you will have spiritual experiences.
Question: Could you define for me again “Gnostic” religion?
Instructor: Gnosis in Greek means knowledge. The term that we use in Arabic is Marifah. It is the same teaching given in different languages. This type of knowledge that we have been discussing is our own knowledge of God. That is Gnosis. What we explained through imagination, inspiration, and intuition pertains to how to come to know God.
First, we develop self-knowledge. We observe ourselves throughout the day. We are vigilant. We are learning to perceive with the eyes of the spirit, separating from animal desire, developing the consciousness within. Specifically, first we know ourselves and then we know God as a result. He who knows himself knows his Lord, specifically. In order to attain that knowledge we need to first observe and know ourselves. That leads to the direct experience of the divine.
Comment: That was probably one of the biggest things that awoke me because I grew up Catholic also. It just seemed to be a reverse of how the Catholic Church is. It is like baptism is first thing that you do when you are born, but in truth you are not baptized until you ascend. It is just tradition, but in truth it is just kind of backwards.
Instructor: Baptism pertains to working with the waters of spirituality, which is precisely the sexual aspect of the teaching. Again, we talk about the waters of the mind. Those become stable when we stabilize ourselves with waters of our body, with the energies, specifically the seminal forces, whether with the ovum in the woman or the sperm in the man. Those energies have the potential when we use breathing practices to awaken imagination, because the brain is nourished by the energies of sexuality, which is the rites of holy matrimony, the perfect matrimony, which the Roman Catholic Church unfortunately removed as really the essential teaching of Christianity specifically.
Any other questions?
Question: During your lecture, one of the notes that I took is that in our dreams, our egos show up as animals. I dream animals frequently. I have done since I was a child. So when I have those dreams, should I examine them in that way?
Instructor: Not necessarily, because you may have an experience where you are seeing an animal and it can be symbolic. It could be your Being maybe showing you representations of certain defects that you may have. It could represent the ego. There are different interpretations of animals. Like if you have in Christianity or in the Old Testament what is known as the Chaioth Ha Kadosh, which is the holy creatures of Ezekiel: the bull, the lion, the angel, and the eagle. Those lions can represent something very divine, but typically what we experience is our own animality. The only way for you is to remember those experiences in meditation and to go deeper because symbols can have dual meaning. It can be subjective or objective.
Comment: These laws of meaning. You can look at any dream dictionary and see lots of symbols…
Comment: They have a lot of tigers…
Instructor: The way to understand symbolism, which God may give us, is to study this doctrine and to study the scriptures and to know the different symbols of religion. Because if we see a cross in the internal planes it means that we are going to have suffering, as taught by the path of Jesus. Or if we see waters, it represents the waters of the energies that we have been working with in exercises like pranayama. It means that we are acquiring stability and purity in our consciousness.
Question: You mentioned pranayama a number of times. Is that like a separate teaching in itself?
Instructor: It is really integral to meditation. We didn’t explain it fully in depth because it requires a lot of attention, but pranayama is to simply yoke the energies of the body that we have. Prana is life.
Question: Through breathing?
Instructor: Yes, through breathing. “Yama” means to yoke. We have life in our body known as prana, which is precisely our sexual matter, whether semen in man or woman. Because men and women both possess that seminal fluid whether as ovum or as sperm. That energy, through working with breath and conserving that force and never spilling it, that energy will elevate to the mind and will stabilize our consciousness. This is part of the meaning of to establish awe of duty in vigilance in one’s relationship to God. To have awe of duty is to again respect the practices that we fulfill in relationship to God, and part of that practice specifically is to work with what is know as transmutation, to transform an inferior substance into a superior substance. We transform our seminal matter into the light and energy of the Christ. That is the meaning there. It is an energy. Prana is life in our body. We need to save that prana, those forces, and work with mantra, sacred words and sounds, in order to activate the superior faculties of perception.
Question: So two different examples would be the seminal fluids that you transmute from lead into gold and the same thing where you take in the air make it into what? The Holy Spirit?
Instructor: The Holy Spirit is a force known as Kundalini, the sacred fire.
Question: So when we breath in the air, what does it become when you consciously breathe?
Instructor: When we take in prana, through the nostrils, we take in the vital forces of nature. So it is good to practice these exercises by ocean or lake front specifically because there is a lot of vitality there. That prana enters our organism and it stimulates the sacred energies of sexuality, and then through the inhalation, we bring those energies inward and upward to illuminate the brain.
So the force of the Holy Spirit, the fire of God in sexuality, only awakens in a matrimony as we have been discussing. By awakening that fire in a matrimony is how we produce the halo of the saints.
Question: Is imagery important when breathing?
Instructor: In some exercises, yes. We learn to visualize what is known as Ida and Pingala, these two energetic channels that intertwine up the spinal column. You can visualize your pineal gland when you are doing certain mantras.
I will give you an exercise that you can use to activate it. It is the mantra INRI: Igneous Natura Renovatur Integra in Latin. INRI represents “Fire renews nature incessantly.” In this practice you just sit and visualize your brain and pronounce the mantras: INRI…
So that energy and mantra activates the pineal and pituitary gland between the eyebrows. When we visualize that light of Christ entering our brain, it activates our psychological centers and awakens clairvoyance.
Question: How critical is the R? Because I am having a difficult problem prolonging it.
Instructor: With practice you will develop it. It is actually a vowel. People think that there are only 5 vowels in English, but really there are many vowels in nature, mainly 7. But the sound Rrrrrrr activates the chakra of the brain related to Ain Soph, specifically, in Kabbalah, our real Being.
Question: You mentioned about the prana and how it is always good to work with it by the ocean. What about first thing in the morning? From what I read anyway, the Sun activates, when it hits the atmosphere of the Earth, the prana is there in the air as well as in the ocean. But isn’t that a pretty direct link?
Instructor: There are certain magical forces present when the Sun rises, which is good to practice in the early morning, especially if we work with our practices of visualization and imagination specifically. We learn to take those vital forces that are present in the atmosphere, known as the tattvas, or Adi and Samadhi tattva in Hinduism, the very powerful forces related to Christ, that energy of life. Those energies, when we work in the early morning, help to develop profound cognizance. Specifically, if we develop clairvoyance in the morning or practice visualization exercises in the morning, we can use the mantra INRI.
Question: So you have got the mantra INRI, ENRE, ONRO, UNRU, and your liver is ANRA or is that the lungs?
Instructor: So the vowel “Ii,” when we pronounce that mantra, vibrates in the chakra of crown and in between the eyebrows. So you have those two chakras, and then “Eh” in the throat, “Oh” in the heart, “Uu” in the solar plexus, “Ah” is in the lungs. Then we have vowel “Mm” in the sexual organs and then we have vowel “Ss” which is the fire.
These mantras can help us to activate imagination. So they help stabilize the mind. In relation to this lecture, mantra helps us to strengthen our free consciousness and help us to control our mind. “Mantra” literally in Sanskrit means “mind protection,” how we guard our mind against negativity. That is why through out the day, we can learn to mantralize internally different mantras to help us remember our Being, such as Om Masi Padme Hum, or many long mantras like Klim Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijanavallabaya Swaha, different mantras which have tremendous power. They are available in the books that we have.
Question: What is the difference essentially between prayer and meditation?
Instructor: Prayer is to talk with God. To meditate is to receive information. Really, they are synonymous. When we meditate, we seek to receive information from God. When we receive that information through imagination, we are inspired by the symbols that we receive, and then we have to intuit their meaning.
Question: So you should not do them both? Like let us say that you sit there and you speak to God. And then you meditate?
Instructor: Meditation is prayer.
Question: I guess I kind of caught myself there. I give prayer. I meditate in that sequence how I am asking to receive, then I keep doing that over and over again. Is that kind of hurting me?
Instructor: Prayer, when it is sincere, is what opens our access and communication to our Being. Prayer is simply to communicate to God. When a child says, “Mother, Father, help me!” you do not need a formula to really receive the attention of your parents or your family. When we pray, it does have to be with words. It can simply be, “Mother, Father, my Being!” Your Being will be present with you. What matters is your sincerity.
Meditation is our relationship to God. So when we meditate, we always pray constantly in order control our mind and dominate our thoughts. Prayer is essential to developing clairvoyance because it is that humility in relationship to God that allows one to attain deeper states of being. It says in the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, one of the characters who committed murder says, “My words fly up to heaven, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” So if we just give words and we are reciting formula, but there is no heart, God does not listen. But if you are sincere and just say, “My Being, help me!” God responds, and often that will happen when we are meditating, we will receive an image or an experience.
Any other questions?
Comment: We covered a lot.
Instructor: In synthesis, just to conclude, right view is how we perceive life, and meditation is deepening our spiritual perception. I invite you to study the literature that we have available so that you can understand in a deeper way what this science of meditation really is. So I thank you very much for coming!
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