Humanity is in an unprecedented era of change. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens from every walk of life are forced to confront the terrible reality of their existence and the constitution of their moral caliber. Through the reduction and constraints of their regular commitments, individuals are compelled, under threat of possible infection, to examine the quality, foundations, and substance of their life. One's unconscious assumptions of "how things should be" in times of crisis belie a deeper, consummate reality and concern: whether or not a life of ignorance and adherence to the desiderata of life's banality is better than questioning the genuine causes and perpetrators of affliction. Contrary to biased logic of mass hysteria, people from every religious or secular tradition, under quarantine, are given a wonderful opportunity to evaluate and elevate their particular level of being.
Throughout many spiritual traditions, retreat has been practiced to establish, deepen, and maintain the greatest meditative disciplines and the actualization of divine experience. Disciples of every religion would take time in seclusion, ignoring the influence of mundane obligations, anxieties, stress, and worries, to focus on the more important matter of awakening and developing the soul. Free from worldly conditions, engagements, and pursuits, meditators introspect within the depths of their own consciousness in order to contemplate the source of sorrow and discover its remedy: profound comprehension and elimination of psychological defects, including the driver of all social hierarchies, institutions, and economies: fear.
Negative emotions have infected the entire globe as COVID-19 rapidly spreads. Fear, despair, and pessimism, rather than infect the body, are true diseases that infect the heart and mind. Anger, terror, and morbidity are far more contagious and dangerous than any virus, since negative emotions incapacitate the ability to reason, analyze, and solve problems, obscuring the discovery of relevant, practical solutions. Fear pushes countries to war, since they mistakenly believe that security and comfort comes through invasions, colonialism, and violence. This is why Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic Tradition, stated:
"Everyone is being dragged down by negative emotions, and this is very grave. There is nothing more harmful for profound internal development than negative emotions... Everyone is being shaken up by negative emotions and nothing could be more contagious than these emotions...
"A negative person can infect other negative people, and if this person dictates a lecture, then he infects thousands of people. They are more dangerous, thousand of times more dangerous, than viruses and bacteria...
"If a person goes everywhere from instant to instant with negative emotions, this person infects the whole world." ―Samael Aun Weor, Alcyone and Negative Emotions
This is why the most venerated spiritual traditions have always emphasized and practiced meditation retreats: to confront in oneself the possibilities and motives of conflict, egotism, and misery. By separating from the world, meditators learn to perceive the psychological causes that engender painful circumstances and therefore remove them with intelligence and understanding.
While every religion has a contemplative tradition, Sufism offers valuable wisdom and particular insightful regarding the parameters of meditation retreat.
Traditionally, Sufi masters would diagnose the needs of their disciples and determine whether they would benefit from entering retreat, due to the level of rigor, skill, and quality of internal work expected from them. This strict and conservative stipulation is a marked characteristic of the Piscean influence, since a codified adherence to a physical master was needed at the time, not only to determine the inner remedies for a student's deficiencies in temperament and character, but to qualify the spiritual worth of the candidate for the most elevated mystical knowledge.
Since the 1960's, our world has operated under the Aquarian influence, an Era defined by the dissemination and free exchange of mystical knowledge that was once forbidden and inaccessible to the public, but reserved for an elite through a secretive oral tradition between master and disciple. The secret teachings of all ages are now available, for the first time, to the public, because humanity no longer has time to abandon the world and study under the tutelage of a master for many decades. This is due to the impending cataclysms and calamities that mark the end and beginning of new cosmic ages.
In the Piscean Era, the master was found in a physical institution. In the Aquarian Era, the master is found within the internal worlds: the mysterious Tree of Life accessible only to practical meditators and internal experience.
Piscean knowledge demands obedience. Aquarian wisdom embodies independence.
What is old clings to life, and what is new cries for the death of the antiquated.
Due to quarantine, individuals are free to enter into spiritual retreat for the sake of their spirituality and the edification of their hearts without outward restrictions, impositions, or Piscean dogma.
The Principles of Retreat
Meditation retreat is a means of internal purification of conditioned states of mind and has been recommended, practiced, and upheld by the prophets of all great religious traditions:
"Khalwah, retreat, belongs to the purified, while uzlah, withdrawal from the world, marks the people of union. The seeker needs to withdraw from his own kind in the beginning stages. Then, in the last stages, he needs to retreat in order to confirm himself in intimacy with God." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Khalwah, meditation retreat, can be practiced in the solitude of one's own home. At the end of this article you will find recommendations for how to initiate and maintain a tentative meditation retreat schedule alongside different activities you can select from in accordance with your needs.
Withdrawal from the world is not only a form of self-reflection for masters of meditation, but a psychological state of detachment from mundane afflictions. Meditation becomes a means by which to achieve intimacy with divinity through mystical experiences and awakened consciousness during meditation and the normal hours of sleep.
Intentions for Retreat
Contrary to popular belief, meditators do not enter retreat to avoid the negativities of the world, but to protect humanity from their own negative, egotistical psychological states.
"If the servant chooses to withdraw, his intention must be to separate himself from people so that they will be safe from his evil—he must not be looking to protect himself from their evil. For the first of these attitudes come from thinking little of one’s own ego, while the second comes from making oneself out to be better than other people. A person who thinks little of himself is humble, while a person who sees himself as better than anybody else is arrogant." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
These are essential principles to consider. Given the realities of quarantine, students have the wonderful opportunity to work on their own defects so that, once external circumstances change, the disciple is psychologically prepared to face whatever hardships, extremities, or novelties emerge in relation to the global pandemic.
Rules of Retreat
"One of the rules of withdrawal is that whoever goes into seclusion must acquire the knowledge that makes his commitment to unity (tawhid) firm, so that satan (the "me, myself, and I," the animal ego) cannot seduce him through the (conditioned or negative) imagination (fantasy or delusional perceptions). Then he should acquire enough knowledge of the divine law (ethical conduct) that he is able to fulfill his religious duties so that his undertaking maybe built on definite and sure foundations." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Retreats are based upon one's commitment to unity, which, as a prominent theological point within Islam, has nuanced implications within the esoteric interpretations of Sufism.
Divinity is a perfect unity, a defined quality of Being, yet due to our own multiplicity of defects, vices, and errors―the pluralistic ego which traps the full potentiality of our consciousness―we are fractured beings lacking integration. To know the unity of divinity, the perfected states of the Being, requires that we integrate the consciousness through fulfilling divine law: the ethical discipline of internal meditation.
The consciousness, heart, or soul can serve as a mirror to reflect divine realities, yet it must be polished daily through the ethical conduct of self-observation, self-remembrance, meditation, runes, sacred rites of rejuvenation, mantras, prayers, alchemy, and through many other esoteric exercises within the Gnostic Tradition of Samael Aun Weor.
Through fulfilling the laws of requisites of religion, the consciousness that was trapped within the ego can be liberated and integrated, producing illumination or enlightenment.
"There is an organ in the body that, if it is righteous, ensures that the whole system will be righteous; and if it is corrupt, the whole body will become corrupt. This organ is the heart. There is a polish for everything that takes away rust; and the polish for the heart is dhikr, the remembrance of Allah." ―Prophet Muhammad, Hadith
A Recommended Schedule for Spiritual Retreat
The following is a meditation retreat schedule you can follow and adapt in accordance with your needs:
Recommended Sources for Meditation and Spiritual Practices
Alchemy Techniques for Married Couples
Dream Yoga Exercises
Mantras and Prayers for Protection
Pranayama for Single Practitioners
Sacred Rites of Rejuvenation
Many new gnostic students often write to us that they are overwhelmed by the breadth, depth, and profundity of the writings of Samael Aun Weor. There are simply so many spiritual exercises available that it becomes difficult to discern not just how to practice, but what, specifically in the context of a given day.
Gnosis is a path of balance. It is also personal, unique, and individual. While there are hundreds of techniques in our tradition, all of them establish and maintain serenity, awareness, and psychological equilibrium in accordance with students' idiosyncrasies. It would be impossible to apply all of the techniques in one's daily schedule, yet we can synthesize these practices into three categories, so that identifying and cultivating our own spiritual discipline becomes easier.
These three areas relate to three aspects of our basic psychological makeup:
Practicing Gnosis effectively depends upon a strong understanding of how our three brains (five centers) function: intellect, emotions, and action.
Gnosis provides numerous exercises to aid in balancing these three brains or centers of our human machine.
While most students are already familiar with studying gnosis intellectually, there are some helpful principles to consider when approaching a book, lecture, text, or initiatic work, so as to maximize one's leisure time for studying the doctrine.
Learning gnosis is not about memorization, but comprehension. Having the capacity to recite, word-for-word, the lines of any scripture, does not indicate that the student has deeply understood the practical importance of such verses.
"It is necessary to study much and acquire knowledge, but it is also urgent to develop the spiritual Being within us.
"Knowledge without having the spiritual Being harmoniously well developed within us becomes the cause of that which is called “swindling.” Whereas, having the Being well developed within us, but without any type of intellectual knowledge, is the origin of stupid saints.
"A stupid saint has his spiritual Being very well developed, however, since he does not have intellectual knowledge, he cannot do anything because he does not know how. Yes, a stupid saint has the power of doing, but he cannot do because he does not know how.
"Intellectual knowledge without the spiritual Being very well developed produces intellectual confusion, perversity, pride, etc." ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education: "Wisdom and Love"
Knowledge is of the intellect. While necessary in order to live in this physical world, knowledge by itself, divorced from practice and experience, is not only useless, but harmful. We can know many particulars of esoteric knowledge: astral projections, out of body experiences, jinn travels, awakened perceptions within the dream state, telepathy, the Tree of Life, Kabbalah, Alchemy, etc., and yet have no practical experience of these subjects for ourselves.
When knowledge overrides being, students and even so-called missionaries of this movement become "swindlers," possessing vast amounts of intellectual data, but no conscious development. Students often become swindled when their teachers, who profess such experiential wisdom, have no practical understanding of it for themselves, and therefore cannot offer any real guidance to orient their suffering disciples.
Comprehension is much different. It is conscious experience of the awakened soul, the Essence. Comprehension is when we know, directly, the significance of a particular passage or symbol. This relates to the profound functionalism of the heart center, the emotional brain.
Students who have a lot of experiences, but have no intellectual knowledge of the scriptures and teachings, easily get confused, and become, what Samael Aun Weor denominated, "stupid saints." Therefore, both knowledge and being are both important. What matters is that we balance the two in order to spark the fires of comprehension.
When we die, memory will not carry over from the grave into a new existence, in accordance with the doctrine of cosmic transmigration. If we wish to never forget what we study, we must experience it, since such knowledge then transforms into experiential wisdom of the superlative, awakened consciousness.
Balancing Intellectual Study
The question then becomes: "How do I study Gnosis? How do I take what I learn, intellectually, and make it conscious, so that, upon dying, I do not forget what I've read?"
Samael Aun Weor answered this beautifully in The Revolution of the Dialectic:
With the practice, the experience or the direct living of any of the works that I have delivered to humanity, the practitioner will obviously achieve psychological emancipation.
When you meditate, take a verse from your reading and concentrate upon it. Ask your Innermost, your Divine Mother Kundalini, to help you comprehend the deep significance of this verse or passage.
You can recite the verse mentally if that helps you to concentrate in the beginning. You can also visualize the contents of the passage in your imagination.
Pray deeply to your internal God. To pray is to talk with divinity. You do not need formulas to speak with your physical parents, neither for your divine parents. Ask from the center of your heart about the meaning of the scripture or verse you are studying.
After asking your question, empty your mind. Clear your intellectual center and enter profound concentration. Do not let your mind wander or think of other things.
You might experience a chain of associative thinking, where the intellect tries to answer the question for you. Do not go along with it. Merely watch, vigilant in spiritual warfare, over the clouds of memories, anxieties, concepts, and thoughts that pass within the screen of your attention.
If your mind thinks of these things, do not repress them. Do not justify them either. Instead, be alert, vigilant, and watchful. See them as something separate from you, since you, as a consciousness, an Essence, is free and perceptive, examining and looking at the contents of the mind.
If you persist with this exercise, if you do not forget what you are doing, and while provoking a state of drowsiness and slumber with alert cognition, you will suddenly experience flashes of insight. This is known as imaginative knowledge. This can emerge as scenes, living dramas, internal experiences, whereby you are both a spectator and participant. You may perceive new symbols that inspire your consciousness, which is the arena of inspired knowledge. When you deeply comprehend the significance of such visions, you have successfully entered into the field of intuitive knowledge.
These three forms of knowledge are the three obligatory steps to initiation. To learn more about this process, you can study the following lecture from our Gnostic Meditation Course: Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition.
Meditation: Developing Comprehension and the Emotional Brain
Meditation is not only useful for comprehending scriptures, but for understanding our own psychology.
The most important aspect of meditation for achieving psychological change is comprehension and death of the ego.
Without the elimination of desire, the pluralized ego, the "I" on a daily basis, we will not be able to effectively awaken our consciousness or experience the internal realities of the higher dimensions through dream yoga.
When defects like avarice, laziness, lust, pride, anger, envy, and gluttony are annihilated, we develop their corresponding virtues: altruism, diligence, chastity, humility, conscious love, philanthropy, and temperance.
Contrary to popular belief among certain gnostic groups, meditation on the death of the ego is the most important practice we can engage with, not alchemy. Alchemy is important for entering the higher degrees of the spiritual path, yet without a practical foundation in comprehending and dying to the ego, then no amount of alchemical work will avail us.
Samael Aun Weor wrote of these dangers quite often, that a person who practices alchemy but does not die to the self transforms him or herself into a hasnamuss (an abortion of the Cosmic Mother) with a double center of gravity.
Therefore, you should learn to practice psychoanalytical meditation (retrospection meditation on the death of desire) as the most essential component of your discipline.
However, to learn retrospective meditation, the student needs to develop serenity (concentration) first. Below are some valuable resources for how to begin approaching the technique of psychoanalytical meditation:
Energy Work and Selfless Service
While meditation is important, it is impossible to access deeper states of serenity, consciousness, and awakening without the use of creative energy.
This is a fundamental aspect of the gnostic teachings that is not found in mainstream spiritual writings. Without knowing how to properly transform and direct creative force, primarily the sexual energy, then the consciousness or soul will have no fuel to have spiritual experience.
Just as light cannot emerge without proper circuitry, or a lamp without well-sustained oil, the spiritual student cannot positively awaken the light of their consciousness without the assistance of transmutation.
Our tradition has innumerable exercises for transforming and transmuting the seminal matter, or elevating the sexual force. Transmutation means "to carry over through mutation," to "transform" the substance of the semen into energy.
As an essential point, students who have not dedicated themselves to conserving and transmuting their sexual energy daily cannot achieve any progress. The vast majority of students' complaints, that they cannot meditate or experience divinity, is due to a lack of chastity (sexual purity, not to be confused with sexual abstention).
Not only must we save energy, but we must consciously direct it. We do so through selfless service, finding ways to help humanity with our unique skills, talents, and dispositions.
When we learn how to support and benefit the spirituality of others, we accelerate and catalyze our own spiritual development.
Learn ways to serve humanity!
Exercises for Awakening Spiritual Energy
The following resources will also teach you how to work with the creative energy. The two most essential are pranayama (for singles) and alchemy (for married couples).
However, we have included many other exercises to help you, which you can pick and choose in accordance with your needs. Select what works best for you in your situation.
Pranayama for Single Practitioners
Alchemy Techniques for Married Couples
Mantras and Prayers for Protection
Spiritual Rituals for Strength and Healing
Sacred Rites of Rejuvenation
Yet remember that to find balance in your own work, you will need a combination of all three aspects:
In synthesis, these constitute three factors for the revolution of the consciousness.
Nature is cyclical, sustained through distinct, repeating periods of time (days, months, seasons). The rhythms and tempos of our Earth, Moon, Sun, constellations, and worlds, act upon the physical and internal nature of the human being in definitive ways. Such forces have been judiciously studied throughout numerous astrological and astronomical traditions, which all point with exactitude to particular cosmic influences.
Regardless of our knowledge, beliefs, or acceptance of the facts, such conditions profoundly act upon our body, energies, and mind, often moving humanity to act in unconscious, mechanical, or revolutionary ways.
Just as there are planetary seasons, there are also celestial periods of time. Humanity, while knowledgeable of and dependent upon the conditions of spring, summer, autumn, and fall, is also dependent, but ignorant of greater cosmic phenomena, which determine not only our physical existence, but the trajectory, level, and quality of our spirituality.
(The Constellation of Aquarius)
Our solar system travels across the zodiacal belt, receiving the stellar influences of particular constellations. Just as the hand of a clock points with precision to the time of day, likewise our zodiac determines cosmological aeons or periods of time within zodiacal history. Our solar system experiences twelve distinct eras or periods, which respectively take prominence every two thousand years.
Presently, our humanity has moved away from the Era of Pisces and is now governed by the constellatory influence of Aquarius.
On February 4–5, 1962, humanity witnessed a new moon, a full solar eclipse, and the remarkable alignment of the seven primary planets of our solar system with the Earth: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. All seven planets were within three degrees of each other, indicating with prophetic exactitude the initiation of a new cosmic era with all of its cataclysms, revolutions, and transformations: the Age of Aquarius.
Uranus is the chief planet associated with Aquarius and bears a direct relationship to sexual behavior. The Chaldean Ur-Anas signifies "fire" or the Hebrew אור Aur, "light," and anas, "water." These fires of spirituality are born from the Genesiatic waters, a symbol of sexual energy within all ancient cosmogonies and scriptures.
Light, understanding, and practical spirituality are born when aspirants learn to work with the source of their creative genius: the transformation of the base sexual matter into a purified, synthetic energy: a sacrament of Uranus, Ouranos, the Greek word for "heaven." This is the metallurgical science of alchemy: the symbolic transformation of inferior metals (dense matter and egotism) into the purified gold of the spirit (conscious development). This is how spiritual aspirants can truly generate a new life, a revolution of conscious expression.
Sexual energy is not only the power of physical life, but spirituality as well. There is sexuality amongst molecules that make chemical compounds; between atoms, neutrons, and electrons; between planets and the sun; within the animal kingdom; and lastly, amongst humans and divine beings.
Sexuality is also the basis of authentic religion [from the Latin religare, to "reunite"]. It is literally the union, on a psycho-physical, bio-spiritual, and sexual-chemical level, of two bodies and souls: one who loves more, the other who loves better. In the sexual act, man and woman have the capacity to create, and with this power, become a living representation of divinity.
Sexual behavior has the greatest impact for psychological well-being. It is also the source of many intense psychological traumas and diseases, which are deviations from divine principles. Satyrion or nymphomaniacal desires, which only see sexuality as the means for carnal pleasure, impel one to act at the expense of one's conscience or ethical nature, originating the degradation of the soul.
However, sexual expression can be divine when it is pure. Yet the term "purity" should not be associated with conservative adherence to religious organizations, institutionalization, fanaticism and dogmas, which are remnants of the antiquated Piscean traditions. Such views are divorced them from the practical import, revolutionary character, and liberating science of love.
Purity, in Aquarian language, refers to the transformations of energy and the qualities of the consciousness, which become free of egotistical conditions like anger, pride, fear, resentment, lust, and jealousy. Purity has nothing to do with belief in a tradition or fulfilling moral obligations, but to the quality of one's mind, which becomes radically illuminated when empowered through sexual force.
This creative, Aquarian influence is an energy that pushes entire populations to act. But depending upon the level of spirituality of the individual and the masses, such forces are either channeled through the awakened consciousness, or through the desires of the animal mind.
Humanity is ignorant of how to utilize this Aquarian energy in a practical and spiritual way, as demonstrated by the schisms, revolutions and upheavals in modern culture, politics, and sexual relations from the 1960's onward.
Sexual Revolutions, Inebriation, and Spiritual Ecstasy
Aquarius is a revolutionary sign. It is the cosmic force of inspired rebellion against decrepit institutions, repressive idealism, and profound ignorance that produces suffering. As evidence for this, humanity has witnessed, in the 1960's, a tremendous upheaval in the world of politics, religion, institutions, education, and most of all: sexuality. This is a direct result of the Aquarian influence.
The Hippie Movement of the 1960's, with its identification with Epicurean and nihilistic ideals, led to the disassociation, disenfranchisement, and ethical deterioration of its adherents. This is represented by the Nordic Rune Yr, a symbol of the inverted human being with arms and head to the earth and feet in the air.
While commonly interpreted as a symbol for peace, the Rune Yr demonstrates a polarization, inversion, or downward flux of consciousness and energy, a symbol of the involution of spirituality into density, matter, and inferior states of perception. Rather than symbolize "peace" and "prosperity," it actually indicates mental, emotional, and spiritual degeneration. The fallen man, with his head to the ground, demonstrates modern humanity's fascination with money, materialism, and avarice, which is the source of violence, suffering, and war.
The Rune Man represents the conscious ascent, the redirection and sublimation of creative sexual impulses from one's genitalia to the brain. This is the synthesis of Aquarian wisdom and the significance of medieval alchemy: the transformation of the lead of desire and personality into the gold of spirituality.
The Aquarian Era is constituted by two principle influences: the awakening of revolutionary spiritual longings within the sexual, alchemical sphere, and their antithesis: the exacerbation of desire, egoism, sensuality, and suffering born from indulgence in pleasure.
Such a polarity was discussed by Samael Aun Weor in The Three Mountains as the Dionysian Pole:
Positive Dionysian Pole: sexual enjoyment by means of sublimation; voluntary transmutation of the entity of semen; awakened consciousness; objective knowledge; superlative intuition; transcendental music of the great classical masters, etc.
Negative Dionysian Pole: sexual degeneration; infrasexuality of many types; homosexuality, lesbianism; demonic pleasures within the infernal worlds by means of drugs, mushrooms, alcohol, etc., infernal music such as the “music” of these modern days, etc. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains
The result of sexual expression is dual: specific behaviors can produce the most genuine fulfillment, or the most profound pain. This duality is referenced in the Greek myth of Bacchus (the Roman Dionysus).
Dionysus is the god of wine (the source of the Christian Eucharist) or mysteries of transubstantiation: the transmutation of the fermented grape into the flesh and blood of divinity. He professed liberation through ecstasy and rituals of love, which bear a dual significance.
In the ancient mystery schools, sexuality was symbolized by the transformation of water (sexual matter) into wine (spiritual substance) through a matrimony, allegorized in the parables of Jesus at the wedding of Cana (John 2:1-11) and before the woman at the well (John 4:13-16). This produced the intoxication and liberation of the soul from suffering.
Its opposite is represented by bacchanalia: indulgence in inferior pleasures, drugs, psychedelia [psyche: soul, and delia: drugs, delusions or perceptions within the internal hell realms of nature], bestial sexuality and orgies; the drunkenness, stupor, and deterioration of our intelligence through intoxicating substances, animal desire, violence, sadism, etc.
Inferior sexuality is degenerated, since it does not result in psycho-genesis: the creation of the soul mentioned by Jesus. Through his instruction to Nicodemus about the second birth, Christ prophesied the promulgation of the alchemical teachings in the future Aquarian age:
"Except a man be born of water (the sexual energy, Aquas) and of the Spirit (sexual fire, Aries, synthesized as the wisdom of Aquarius), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (Ouranos, Uranus, the heavens). That which is born of the flesh is flesh (through common sexuality); and that which is born of the Spirit (through the transformed sexual act) is spirit." (John 3:5-6).
People ignore their spiritual potential because the majority are addicted to inferior forms of sexuality: the fulfillment of lower desires through orgasm. Rather than constituting a sexual revolution, humanity, under the influence of Aquarian, Dionysian vibrations, is intensifying latent and repressed sexual desires. This is going with the flow of animal nature, which is progressively entering greater states of ignorance and suffering.
Sexual revolution is the doctrine of the Aquarian Era. It is a rebellion against lust, animality, and depravity, since Aquarian, sexual spirituality vivifies the noblest aspirations in humanity while fulfilling the ethical conduct of all spiritual traditions: altruism, perseverance, philanthropy, service, compassion, conscious love, and moral purity.
Pisces, which was eclipsed by the Aquarian influence, was noted for its conservatism of the esoteric knowledge and the repression of sexual expression from the public sphere. Such Victorian ideals are opposed by the Aquarian influence, whose chief astrological character is divine spirituality, catalyzed, expressed and taught through harnessing the sexual impulse.
As Rumi aptly stated:
"If in [spiritual] thirst you drink water from a cup [approach sexuality with spiritual longings], you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces [lustful desires] in it." ―Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi
It was only in 1950, with the publication of The Perfect Matrimony, that the teachings for how to consciously channel sexual volatility were first taught. Such knowledge, within the Piscean Era, remained veiled, but now, due to Aquarian generosity, is being disseminated.
The Avatar of Aquarius and the Sexual Mysteries
Each cosmic era has always determined the spiritual and religious climate of humanity through the qualities particular to each zodiac. Such powers demarcate the beginning and end of prophetic intervention: the manifestation of divine aid in the form of avatars, messengers, or heavenly beings, who come to renew and revitalize spirituality upon the earth after the divine teachings (dharma) degenerate.
"Though I [Krishna, the Cosmic Christ] am unborn and of imperishable nature, and though I am the Lord of all beings, yet, ruling over My own Nature, I am born by My own Maya [I enter materiality and manifestation].
"Whenever there is a decline of righteousness, O Arjuna, and rise of unrighteousness, then I manifest Myself!
"For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I am born in every age." ―Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 4:6-8
"Avataras [Avatar: (Sanskrit) avatāra अवतार literally, “descent”] appear for special reasons in special circumstances. Whenever there is much unrighteousness, whenever confusion and disorder set in on account of unrighteousness and baffle the well-ordered progress of people, whenever the balance of human society is upset by selfish, ruthless and cruel beings, whenever irreligion and Adharma prevail, whenever the foundations of social organisations are undermined, Avataras appear to establish Dharma and to restore peace. Avatara is a descent of God for the ascent of man. A ray from the Hiranyagarbha descends on earth with mighty powers to keep up the harmony of the universe. The work done by the Avataras and their teachings produce a benign spiritual influence on human beings and help them in their upward divine unfoldment and Self-realisation. The Avatara comes to reveal the divine nature in man and makes him rise above the petty materialistic life of passion and egoism." ―Swami Sivananda, Lord Krishna, His Lilas and Teachings
Aquarius is symbolized by a female water carrier, and is the age when spiritual truth, knowledge, and esoteric instruction is freely given. Direct knowledge of divinity has always been represented in ancient traditions by water: the well of wisdom that nourishes and refreshes the soul in its thirst for divinity. The symbol of Aquarius represents the proliferation, depth, magnitude, and vastness of the secret teachings, which finds its culmination and synthesis within the writings of Samael Aun Weor.
As the avatar of the Aquarian Age and the founder of the modern Gnostic movement, he is known for his comprehensive approach to practical spirituality: the explanation of meditative and spiritual exercises to awaken consciousness. His particular gift to humanity is the wisdom or science of the waters, the methods for storing, sublimating, and elevating the sexual energies as a tool for spiritual transformation.
The creative sexual energies have always been symbolized by water and woman, the primordial Eve who is not only the departure, but the entry back into paradise: a blissful, conscious state before humanity had desecrated the sexual mysteries. Every Biblical cosmogony speaks, in symbolism, of the spiritual powers of water, a direct reference to sexual conduct. Through harmonizing one's sexuality with divine laws, the aspirant can return back to paradise, since the power of all life, including spirituality, is based on the creative impulse or libido.
Samael Aun Weor's writings, marked by the unique character of the Aquarian influence, is a revolution against stagnant ideologies, dogmas, and incipient spiritual beliefs. His teachings are a war against all that is ineffective and weak, since the majority of spiritual aspirants, out of fear, superstition, inheritance, or religious indoctrination, cling to systems that do not affect genuine change, ignoring that without consciously harnessing the sexual energy, one cannot create spiritually. These facts are evident to any person who seriously analyzes and meditates upon the state of humanity, whose terrifyingly profound and pervasive suffering, predicated upon the misuse of sexuality, is unprecedented in our history.
If humanity, which is so attached to its religions, beliefs, and doctrines, knew and practiced the science for overcoming suffering, then it would already be transformed. While many spiritual traditions and modern spiritual schools talk about divine principles, few actually offer effective methods to obtain direct experience of it. The sad reality is that most aspirants are ignorant of effective methods, or if in possession of them, lack consistent application, indulging in behaviors that produce sorrow. Since many do not want to renounce egotism, addiction, and theories, change becomes impossible and the doors of initiation remain closed.
Samael Aun Weor came to teach the knowledge of how to work with the Aquarian waters, which we carry within our body in the form of our sexual energy, the sexual fluid. Through its conservation and transmutation, we can learn to become initiates: true spiritual revolutionaries who enter into direct experience of the divine, based on the most powerful, creative force of the universe for the empowerment of our spirituality.
Aquarian Philosophy and Alchemy
Alchemy is the science of Dionysian, Aquarian intoxication and spiritual elevation that Friedrich Nietzsche knew and articulated in his philosophy:
"Watch for every hour, my brothers, in which your spirit wants to speak in parables (the language of Kabbalah through the science of dreams): there lies the origin of your virtue (etymologically relating to the root word virya, virility, sexual potency). There your body is elevated and resurrected; with its rapture it delights the spirit so that it turns creator and esteemer and lover and benefactor of all things...
"With knowledge (gnosis), the body purifies itself; making (sexual) experiments with knowledge, it elevates itself; in the lover of (Dionysian, alchemical) knowledge all (sexual) instincts become holy; in the elevated, the soul becomes joyful." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: 'On the Gift-Giving Virtue'
"All solar (conscious) love is innocence and creative longing. Look there: how she approaches impatiently over the sea. Do you not feel the (Dionysian) thirst and the hot breath of her love? She would suck at the sea and drink its depth into her heights (through raising the sexual energies up the spine); and the sea's desire rises toward her with a thousand breasts. It wants to be kissed and sucked by the thirst of the sun (the Solar Logos: the Superman or Rebel Christ); it wants to become air and height and a footpath of light, and itself light (אור Aur, through the mysteries or Ouranos, Ur-Anas, the fire and waters of spiritual sublimity).
"Verily like the sun (divinity) I love life and all deep seas (the sexual force of creation). And this is what perceptive knowledge (alchemy, gnosis) means to me: all that is deep shall rise up to my heights." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: 'On Immaculate Perception'
Such a stellar influence is referenced within the writings of M. in The Dayspring of Youth:
"The Dayspring of Youth has several strands that run into us as a stream runs into the ocean, and each strand is the manifestation of some attribute of the Innermost. Though at first we cannot register these ever-increasing waves of energy we can tune our own wave-lengths by aspiration (transmutation, to in-spire the vital breath and raise it, as-pire, to the mind and heart). We then bend these waves into our secondary system (our sexual glands and energies) by attracting their (spiritual) atoms into us and gaining their intelligence." ―M. The Dayspring of Youth
The primary power of the Aquarian influence, the Dayspring of Youth, is its capacity to grant spiritual intelligence, wisdom, and understanding. Master M. (Morya) indicates how the sexual energy, influenced by the Dionysian influence: the Dayspring of Youth, determines every aspect of our existence, including our spirituality:
"When we determine to do a thing it has already been accomplished within our secondary system (sexual glands, nervous channels, and energies, since the transformation of the libido grants one the power to create and perform either profound spiritual action or negative behaviors), and this gives us a determination to work and accomplish this on the objective plane. But we generally fail if we do not consciously or unconsciously draw upon the determinative (sexual, Dionysian) energy in Nature (through the astrological sign of Aquarius). If we use this principle we shall complete our determined work in this life or in our next incarnation (since the Aquarian influence accelerates all spiritual endeavors through its rebellious character). For we all incarnate to gain certain experiences, and we can not be happy if we fail in this." ―M., The Dayspring of Youth
The Aquarian New Year commemorates the advent of the initiatic, alchemical knowledge to humanity. Since all of us were born from the sexual seed, our potential to create the spiritual human being is also predicated on yoking both internal and universal forces. The synthesis of a person is their seminal matter, which, as the prima matter of any cosmic body, is the source and originator of all things, including animals, demons, human beings, and gods.
"In the crude root of our existence, we only find the coitus of a man and a woman...
"We were born nude; somebody cut our umbilical cord; we cried, and then we searched for the maternal breast...
"Clothing? Schools? Theories? Erudition? Money, etc.? All of these came later on, as an addition.
"Beliefs of all types exist everywhere. However, the unique force that can transform us in an integral and unitotal way is the force that placed us on the carpet of existence. I am referring to the creative energy of the first instant, to the sexual potency.
"The delightful love, the erotic enjoyment, is by logical sequence the greatest joy...
"To know how to wisely copulate is indispensable when a definitive psychological change is sincerely longed for.
"The hippies forebode all of this when they revolted against Mammon, but they erred in their way. They did not know how to synchronize themselves with the positive pole of Dionysus.
"We, the Gnostics, are different; we know how to enjoy. To transmute and sublimate the libido is enjoyable for us. This is not a crime.
"The hippie movement and subsequent cultures resolutely march on the devolving, descending path of infrasexuality.
"The universal, international, Christian, Gnostic movements victoriously progress on the ascendant, revolutionary path of suprasexuality." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains: "The Dionysian Wave"
Celebrate the Aquarian New Year through profound meditation, deep reflection on the teachings, and if you can, the company of spiritual friends. To learn more about the sexual, Aquarian mysteries, you may study the following resources:
Saturday, June 13, 2020 is a very special day within the gnostic tradition. This is the only day in the year where the 13th falls on a Saturday, indicating to us through practical astrology the manifestation of powerful planetary influences. Therefore, at the 13th hour (1 o'clock in the afternoon) on these dates, our planet earth will vibrate with powerful cosmic forces as a result of the Genii Melchizedek, who, according to Samael Aun Weor, is the angelic intelligence that governs our planet earth.
This enigmatic figure or spiritual king taught Abraham the rite of transubstantiation (the Gnostic Unction or Eucharist) after great battles against the Sodomites and Gomorrites. It is stated in the Bible (Genesis 14) that he was the King of שָׁלֵם Salem, which is highly symbolic, since this word shares etymological correspondence to the Hebrew word for "peace": שָׁלוֹם Shalom, and Shelamut שְׁלֵמוּת "perfection." Those who know Kabbalah will not be surprised that these words relate with שְׁלֹמֹה Sholomah or Solomon, who is an archetype of the perfected human being made into the image of God.
"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was [is] the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, "Blessed be Abram to the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand." And he gave him tithe from all." —Genesis 14:18-20
Melchizedek's blessing of Abraham symbolizes how our inner divinity, represented by Abram or Abraham, is given honors from the god of the earth as a result of the initiatic process within each one of us. מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק Melchizedek is literally "King" (מֶ֖לֶךְ Melech) of divine "Justice" (צדק Tzadik) on our planet earth. Therefore, it is important to work with this intelligence in order to become a righteous one (צדיק Tzaddik), known in other words as: an "initiate."
Those who attain genuine initiation through this spiritual and psychological work do so in accordance with the order of Melchizedek. He is the divine planetary intelligence of the earth who grants entryway to the heights of spiritual realization for our humanity. Since he is the life and strength of this planet, we seek to become "Kings" and "Queens" of nature through his beneficence and help, just as all the "righteous ones" (Tzaddikim) צדיקים have done before (including Abraham, Moses, Jonah, Job, Elijah, and all the prophets).
Melchizedek's hierarchy is mentioned and alluded to by Master Morya:
"The story of Moses and his master, Melchizedek, is related in the Koran. It should be read by every searcher of Truth and every occult student, for it teaches that the Kingdom of Heaven can only be taken by energy." ―M., The Lord God of Truth Within
The Qur'an, the esoteric book of the Muslims, depicts Melchizedek as the mysterious companion of Moses. Amongst the Sufis, Melchizedek is known as Khidr, the "servant of Allah," whose transcendental wisdom surpasses that of many great prophets, since those who enter initiation on our earth do so through the commands of this great master.
"And [Moses] found a servant [Khidr] from among Our servants to whom we had given mercy from us and had taught him from Us a certain knowledge [marifah in Arabic, gnosis in Greek, da'ath in Hebrew, experiential knowledge from the awakened consciousness].
"Moses said to him, 'May I follow you on the condition that you teach me from what you have been taught of sound judgement?'
"He [Khidr, Melchizedek] said, 'Indeed, with me you will never be able to have patience [because his level of being is superior and more radical, revolutionary]. And how can you have patience for what you do not encompass in knowledge?'" ―Surah Al-Kahf, "The Cave," verses 65-68
It is interesting that the Qur'anic story of Melchizedek is in Surah Al-Kahf, "The Cave," since Melchizedek's temple resides, within the superior dimensions of nature, in the caves or heart of the earth.
Melchizedek is also referenced by Jesus within The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia:
"Jesus, — that is Aberamentho, — said: “Since indeed the father of my father, — that is Yew,— is the foreminder of all the rulers, Gods and powers who have arisen out of the matter of the Light of the Treasury, and Zorokothora Melchisedec is the envoy to all the lights which are purified in the rulers, leading them into the Treasury of the Light, — these two alone are the great Lights, and their ordinance is that they down go to the rulers and purify them, and that Zorokothora Melchisedec carrieth away the purification of the lights which they have purified in the rulers and leadeth them into the Treasury of the Light, — when the cipher and the time of their ordinance cometh, that they go down to the rulers and oppress and constrain them, carrying away the purification from the rulers." ―The Pistis Sophia
The number 13, in accordance with The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, signifies death, purification, and the elimination of defects that obstruct the light of divinity within the consciousness. Therefore, the planetary intelligence Melchizedek can aid the practitioner on any Saturday the 13th at 1 PM, the thirteenth hour, to give inner strength and assistance in the elimination of one's internal faults and impurities. Through eliminating our psychological defects, we can in turn generate light, thereby entering the superior worlds with serenity, happiness, contentment. This is the meaning of Melchizedek "carrying away the purification of the lights" to lead the soul "into the Treasury of the Light," the heavenly realms.
A Gnostic Instructor explained, in a lecture entitled A New Heaven and Earth, a special practice for this date:
"The practice to ask for help from Melchisedec is quite simple. It is performed on any Saturday the thirteenth, at the thirteenth hour (one o’clock). Lie face down (on your stomach or solar plexus). You will pray and meditate for one hour, so adopt a posture that will allow you to be fully relaxed for that time. You can use a pillows or cushion as needed. You can rest your head on your hands or arms. Some students prefer to adopt the shape of a star with arms and legs out. As Samael Aun Weor emphasized, the main feature of our posture is that we should be deeply relaxed, capable of totally forgetting about the physical body. If you are distracted by your posture, you will not be able to concentrate effectively.
"Close your eyes and pray to your inner Being, asking to go to the temple of Melchisedec for help. Visualize this happening. The temple is in the center of the Earth. Relax, pray, concentrate, and visualize this process. Imagine talking to him. Generally, students sustain this prayer for the entire hour, meditating throughout.
"Call upon the help of Melchisedec to learn about yourself. Do not call upon Melchisedec and ask him to help you get a new car, or to get a new house, because people do that, and that is not the point of the practice. The point of the practice is to get help from Melchisedec to learn about your own Earth (your self) and to learn about your relationship to his Earth, this planet, and to change. My personal recommendation is to ask for help with your ego and your karma, since they are the root of suffering.
"Most importantly, one must have faith and sincere longing for inner change."
May the Lord God of Truth within bring you harmony, peace and understanding!
―The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Gnosis signifies knowledge from experience. Gnosticism, as a field of study, pertains to all the ancient schools of mysteries from both East and West, whose scriptures encompass the practical science of awakening consciousness. Gnosis is not isolated to the first Christians, but permeates all times, cultures, and spaces, for while consciousness is universal, the means of expressing such experiential wisdom of the divine is temporal and idiosyncratic to the language, mentality, and needs of a particular society.
Gnosis is what we have verified through experience and experimentation, predicated upon practical methods and personal effort. It is never the product of a belief system, of adopting a religious or mystical attitude, demeanor, or behavior. It is never achieved through attendance, adherence to, or acceptance from a group, by believing in doctrine or creed. It is the flowering and natural unfolding of the soul, which is created and developed when the proper causes and conditions have been met.
Just as there are laws that govern the physical universe, so too are there spiritual laws, causes, and methods to originate the soul: the awakening of the consciousness.
Therefore, the term gnosis is synonymous with genuine faith. Faith has nothing to do with belief, with accepting or rejecting a concept in the mind or upholding a sentiment in the heart. Faith is what we know from facts, from witnessing and understanding reality. Belief takes no effort to foster or develop, whereas the awakening of consciousness and divine experience requires tremendous discipline and the application of spiritual works.
Many religious traditions today fail to recognize this distinction, yet it constitutes an essential dynamic for genuine spirituality as taught within the ancient mystery schools:
"What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." (James 2:14-17).
"Here we think a note on faith should be of interest. Initiates say its meaning has been misunderstood. Faith, as the world uses it, possesses no spiritual nature; though in the secondary system it means power and energy applied to action. All success in Yoga comes from this application; for the true quality of faith is a Solar force that illumines the mind and attracts to it atoms of power and energy. More human wrecks have resulted from the misconception of this quality than man realises." -M., The Dayspring of Youth
Esoteric schools have always represented the highest divinity by the sun, the Platonic or Solar Logos, the Absolute Good or creative Verb that initiates and sustains any cosmos. Therefore, the realization of divine knowledge is a solar quality, distinguished by the luminosity of character, the brilliance of conduct, and the limitless power of any master who has fully developed divinity within themselves. The solar quality of faith can only be actualized through practical spirituality, since it indicates the complete application of one's energies and efforts to the awakening of consciousness.
The opposite of solar faith is lunar belief. The moon represents all that is mechanical, repetitious, and destitute of life. Just as divinity originates all life, the moon is the culmination of the process of death; it is a dead planet. Any lunar satellite operates like a parasite of any planet or sun. Individuals who only cultivate theories are like the moon, empty, cold, and cadaverous, borrowing the light of insight from others in the same manner that a vampire gains its vitality from stealing and sucking blood. They have no real individuality or spiritual understanding born from experience; they have to borrow or merely repeat what others have learned, what the prophets said, what certain teachers have written, or what groups have discussed, but have no real cognizance of the truths contained within religion. Such persons are completely mechanical and conditioned by their own negative habits, obscuring the light of consciousness in the same manner as a solar eclipse.
While the sun of knowledge gives life, the beliefs and theories of humanity have thrust it into limbo, a mechanical, psychological slumber wherein the consciousness is hypnotized and incapable of acting on its own. Theories fascinate, debilitate, and intoxicate. High on theories, humanity has precipitated itself towards complete degeneration, with all of its wars, prostitution, and modern-day slavery. Since the reality of suffering is too intense for most people to confront, belief has been used to opiate the masses and to fundamentally ignore its tragic and terrible trajectory.
Therefore, the great initiates have always used the moon to symbolize all the complicated, contradictory, and convoluted theories of the masses that perpetuate mistaken views and sorrow. When an individual bases him or herself upon the assumption that one already knows truth, such a person will never strive in the implementation of solar values and the elimination of the causes of suffering. Therefore with just reason did Jesus of Nazareth state, "With patience possess ye your souls" (Luke 21:19), for it is only through patiently working with effective spiritual methods that one can develop one's solar consciousness.
When individuals are not willing to experiment, test, and verify spiritual truths, they ensure the repetition of their sorrows, dramas, comedies, and tragedies of life, the perils of fortune sung so painfully in Carl Orff's "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana.
No real spiritual knowledge can be realized without efforts and change, for as Christ taught in the Gospel of Thomas, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find."
Practice, therefore, and not theories, produce radical changes and the experience of the real. If you wish to experience divinity, you must enact the proper causes for its fruition. This is why we offer so many spiritual practices in this tradition. While numerous spiritual schools exclusively focus on memorization, recitation, and labyrinthine discussions of esoteric philosophy, the Gnostic Academy of Chicago and other Gnostic institutions integrate profound study with conscious action. It is through precise methods that one can see concrete results and achieve the complete development of the human being. We invite you towards the realization of your intimate potential and the full expression of your innermost divinity, here and now.
For further study, please see the following resources on practical spirituality:
Students who approach gnosticism are often overwhelmed by the vastness and profundity of its knowledge. Presented with a plethora of teachings, techniques, and exercises, beginning practitioners normally experience a great sense of intimidation, disorientation, and longing. While recognizing the need to change and overcome the internal causes of affliction, newcomers usually do not know how or where to begin their process of transforming suffering and acquiring practical, personal knowledge of divinity.
The answer to such confusion, bewilderment, and aspiration is to reflect within:
“In the beginning, the esotericist does not know where to start. He feels the necessity of working on himself but is completely disoriented. Yet, if we take advantage of the critical moments, of the more unpleasant situations, the most adverse instances, we shall then discover, if we are alert, our outstanding defects, the “I’s” that we must urgently disintegrate.” —Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
All suffering and happiness come from within. To find liberation, we must perceive the obscurations that prevent the light of divinity from reflecting within our inner nature. By studying ourselves, our identity, our sense of self in the most difficult circumstances, we acquire knowledge of that which imprisons the mind, the soul, the consciousness. By comprehending and removing the psychological conditions that afflict us, we in turn live life with greater serenity, understanding, and contentment.
By seeing ourselves as we are, exploring the reasons for why we suffer, and by transforming our most hidden reactions to adverse circumstances, we open the doorway to genuine knowledge of the mysteries of life and death. Through learning to give birth to spiritual perception and compassionately serving others, we establish the foundations by which to receive divine favor.
To aid in such a process, gnosticism offers extensive instruction on spiritual psychology, Hebraic kabbalah, medieval alchemy, ceremonial magic, tantrism, prayers, astrology, tarot, kundalini, meditation, astral projection, dream yoga, and more. All of these teachings form one unique whole, the synthesis of the “straight and narrow gate that leads to life” that “few find” (Matthew 7:14). None of these instructions are isolated or unrelated, but constitute an integral method for achieving the full awakening, development, and birth of the consciousness. Therefore, all aspects of the teaching are important.
However, the gnostic teachings should be approached in accordance with the disposition and needs of the student. There is no set, perfect curriculum by which to approach gnosis, since a “one-size-fits-all” for developing the soul does not exist. This is why, in this tradition, so many books have been written on diverse topics, to address a wide variety of spiritual subjects, interests, and needs. While gnosis encompasses many forms of esoteric wisdom, it is a unique, indivisible, and inclusive system, devoid of the speculations, theories, and exclusivity of spiritual schools that study one form of knowledge at the expense and rejection of the others. What matters is that the student is interested in a particular subject, seeks to move beyond the limitations of scholasticism, theory, dogmatism, and debate, and practices with the longing and aspiration for change.
Gnosis is an introduction to an infinite science, and should be approached with patience, close attention, and application to one's daily life. It is impossible to fully comprehend the entire teaching in a short span of time, but must be integrated within one's routines and life gradually. Study should be accompanied with strong application and practice of the methods. We recommend that you approach these studies with the purpose of learning how to change yourself, how to comprehend the psychological causes of suffering. Meditation is the best means for accomplishing deep, lasting, internal change.
Below are recommendations for where to start if you are new to gnosticism, as well as a general sequence of instruction that you can follow on our courses page. These lectures and courses help prepare students to comprehend and apply the practice of meditation in their own lives.
This is by no means an exhaustive or mandatory list, since students are always welcome to study whatever subjects resonate most with their level of understanding, interests, and needs.
Gnostic Commentary on a Buddhist Text:
On a certain day when the Buddha dwelt at Jetavana, a celestial deva (angel, master) came to him in the shape of a Brahman (priest), whose countenance was bright and whose (inner) garments (solar bodies) were white as snow (due to his perfect chastity).
The deva asked the Buddha, "What is the sharpest sword? What is the deadliest poison? What is the fiercest fire? What is the darkest night?"
The Buddha replied, "A word spoken in wrath is the sharpest sword (because it cuts both speaker and hearer); covetousness is the deadliest poison (because poison kills the entire body, not just the mouth that ingests it); hatred is the fiercest fire (the agony of hatred burns without rest); ignorance is the darkest night (lack of gnosis is the deepest suffering)."
The deva asked, "What is the greatest gain? What is the greatest loss? What armor is invulnerable? What is the best weapon?"
The Buddha replied, "The greatest gain is to give to others (this is the law of the Christ); the greatest loss is to receive (Kabbalah) without gratitude (those who receive wisdom and horde it, or who corrupt it, suffer the greatest loss, because the Christ will never incarnate in them). Patience is an invulnerable armor (patience is the secret key to initiation, and with it, one can never be harmed by any ordeal); wisdom (Chokmah, Christ) is the best weapon."
The deva asked, "Who is the most dangerous thief? What is the most precious treasure?"
The Buddha replied, "Unwholesome thought is the most dangerous thief (the mind is our worst enemy); virtue (vir- comes from virility: sexual potency) is the most precious treasure."
The deva asked, "What is attractive? What is unpleasant? What is the most horrible pain? What is the greatest enjoyment?"
The Buddha replied, "Wholesomeness (that which is in accordance with the Law; that is, it is whole in Christ) is attractive; unwholesomeness (that which is contrary to the Law) is unpleasant. A bad conscience is the most tormenting pain (that is, a consciousness trapped in evil deeds); awakening the height of bliss (ecstasy, samadhi, the clear perception of the awakened bodhicitta)."
The deva asked, "What causes ruin in the world? What breaks off friendships? What is the most violent fever? Who is the best physician?"
The Buddha replied, "Ignorance (lack of gnosis / da'ath) causes ruin in the world; envy and selfishness break off friendships; hatred is the most violent fever; the (inner) Buddha is the best physician." (These are the three poisons which are the axle of the wheel of suffering.)
The deva then continued, "Now I have only one doubt to be cleared away: What is it fire cannot burn, nor moisture corrode, nor wind crush down, but is able to benefit the whole world?"
The Buddha replied, "Blessing! Neither fire, nor moisture, nor wind can destroy the blessing of a good deed (right action); and blessings benefit the whole world." (Therefore, learn how to embody right action: the will of the Inner Buddha as performed by his human soul: Tiphereth.)
Hearing these answers, the deva was filled with joy. Bowing down in respect, he dissapeared suddenly from the presence of the Buddha.
Herein is contained The Introduction to Awareness: Natural Liberation through Naked Perception, which is an extract from the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities: A Profound and Sacred Teaching, entitled Natural Liberation through Recognition of Enlightened Intention.
The Introduction to Awareness
Though this single nature of mind, which completely pervades both cyclic existence and nirvana,
Has been naturally present from the beginning, you have not recognised it.
Even though its radiance and awareness have never been interrupted,
You have not yet encountered its true face.
Even though it arises unimpededly in every facet of existence,
You have not as yet recognised this single nature of mind.
In order that this single nature might be recognised by you,
The Conquerors of the three times have taught an inconceivably vast number of practices,
Including the eighty-four thousand aspects of the sacred teachings.
Yet, despite this diversity, not even one of these teachings has been given by the Conquerors,
Outside the context of an understanding of this nature!
And even though there are inestimable volumes of sacred writings, equally vast as the limits of space,
Actually, these teachings can be succinctly expressed in a few words, which are the introduction to awareness.
The Actual Introduction to Awareness
Of fortunate children, listen to these words!
The term 'mind' is commonplace and widely used,
Yet there are those who do not understand its meaning,
Those who falsely understand it, those who partially understand it,
And those who have not quite understood its genuine reality.
Thus there has arisen an inconceivably vast number of assertions as to the nature of mind,
Posited by the various philosophical systems.
Further, since ordinary persons do not understand the meaning of the term 'mind,'
And do not intuitively recognise its nature,
They continue to roam through the six classes of sentient rebirth within the three world-systems,
And consequently experience suffering.
This is the fault of not understanding this intrinsic nature of mind.
The Three Considerations
The following is the introduction to the means of experiencing this single nature of mind
Through the application of three considerations:
First, recognise that past thoughts are traceless, clear, and empty,
Second, recognise that future thoughts are unproduced and fresh,
And third, recognise that the present moment abides naturally and unconstructed.
When this ordinary, momentary consciousness is examined nakedly and directly by oneself,
Upon examination, it is a radiant awareness,
Which is free from the presence of an observer,
Manifestly stark and clear,
Completely empty and uncreated in all respects,
Lucid, without duality of radiance and emptiness,
Not permanent, for it is lacking inherent existence in all respects,
Not a mere nothingness, for it is radiant and clear,
Not a single entity, for it is clearly perceptible as a multiplicity,
Yet not existing inherently as a multiplicity, for it is indivisible and of a single savour.
This intrinsic awareness, which is not extraneously derived,
Is itself the genuine introduction to the abiding nature of all things.
Consequences of the Introduction to Awareness
When the introduction is powerfully applied in accordance with the above method for entering into this reality:
One's own immediate consciousness is this very reality!
Abiding in this reality, which is uncontrived and naturally radiant,
How can one say that one does not understand the nature of mind?
Abiding in this reality, wherein there is nothing on which to meditate,
How can one say that, by having entered into meditation, one was not successful?
Abiding in this reality, which is one's actual awareness itself,
How can one say that one could not find one's own mind?
Abiding in this reality, the uninterrupted union of radiance and awareness,
How can one say that the true face of mind has not been seen?
Abiding in this reality, which is itself the cogniser,
How can one say that, though sought, this cogniser could not be found?
Abiding in this reality, where there is nothing at all to be done,
How can one say that, whatever one did, one did not succeed?
Given that it is sufficient to leave this awareness as it is, uncontrived,
How can one say that one could not continue to abide in that state?
Given that it is sufficient to leave it as it is, without doing anything whatsoever,
How can one say that one could not do just that?
Given that, within this reality, radiance, awareness, and emptiness are inseparable and spontaneously present,
How can one say that, by having practised, one attained nothing?
Given that this reality is naturally originating and spontaneously present, without causes or conditions,
How can one say that, by having made the effort to find it, one was incapable of success?
Given that the arising and liberation of conceptual thoughts occur simultaneously,
How can one say that, by having applied this antidote to conceptual thoughts, one was not effective?
Abiding in this immediate consciousness itself,
How can one say that one does not know this reality?
Observations Related to Examining the Nature of Mind
Be certain that the nature of mind is empty and without foundation.
One's own mind is insubstantial, like an empty sky.
Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.
Divorced from views which constructedly determine the nature of emptiness,
Be certain that pristine cognition, naturally originating, is primordially radiant --
Just like the nucleus of the sun, which is itself naturally originating.
Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
Be certain that this awareness, which is pristine cognition, is uninterrupted,
Like the coursing central torrent of a river which flows unceasingly.
Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
Be certain that conceptual thoughts and fleeting memories are not strictly identifiable,
But insubstantial in their motion, like the breezes of the atmosphere.
Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
Be certain that all that appears is naturally manifest in the mind,
Like the images in a mirror which also appear naturally.
Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
Be certain that all characteristics are liberated right where they are,
Like the clouds of the atmosphere, naturally originating and naturally dissolving.
Look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not!
There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
So, how could there be anything on which to mediate apart from the mind?
There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
So there are no modes of conduct to be undertaken extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
So, there are no commitments to be kept extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
So, there are no results to be attained extraneous to those that originate from the mind.
There are no phenomena extraneous to those that originate from the mind,
So one should observe one's own mind, looking into its nature again and again.
If, upon looking outwards towards the external expanse of the sky,
There are no projections emanated by the mind,
And if, on looking inwards at one's own mind,
There is no projectionist who projects thoughts by thinking them,
Then, one's own mind, completely free from conceptual projections, will become luminously clear.
―Excerpts from The Tibetan Book of the Dead by Padmasambhava
Listen to an audio lecture on this subject:
Gnostic Psychology: Introduction to Awareness
Flee, my friend, into your solitude (meditation)! I see you dazed by the noise of the great men (who pretend to be initiates) and stung all over by the stings of the little men (the common rabble, the fornicators). Woods and crags know how to keep a dignified silence with you. Be like the tree (of life of the Kabbalah) that you love with its wide branches: silently listening (in comprehension, knowledge, and understanding), it hangs over the sea (the creative waters of transmutation).
Where solitude (meditation) ceases the market place begins (the pseudo-spiritual and esoteric groups); and where the market place (esoteric schools) begins the noise of the great actors and the buzzing of the poisonous flies begins too. In the world even the best things amount to nothing without someone to make a show of them (not even the great teachings of the prophets, the messengers of the Superman, can remain alone; they are prostituted by the rabble): great men (initiates, masters) the people call these showmen.
Little do the people comprehend the great—that is, the creating (through sexual alchemy). But they have a mind for all showmen and actors of great things.
Around the inventors of new values the world revolves: invisibly it revolves (since the prophets, the heralds of the Superman, guide humanity). But around the actors revolve the people and fame: that is the way of the world.
The actor has spirit (גדולה Gedulah, the Innermost) but little conscience (awareness, conscious knowledge, or initiatic development) of the spirit. Always he has faith in that with which he inspires the most faith—faith in himself. Tomorrow he has a new faith, and the day after tomorrow a newer one (since these students are mere butterflies who wander from esoteric group to esoteric group, adopting and abandoning multiple teachings). He has quick senses, like the people, and capricious moods. To overthrow (in an argument)—that means to him: to prove. To drive to frenzy (through impassioned speech)—that means to him: to persuade. And blood (energy, attention, adulation) is to him the best of all reasons. A truth that slips into delicate ears alone he calls a lie and nothing (because these so-called "initiates" really are not that; they have no development). Verily, he believes only in gods (egos, idols in his mind) who make a big noise in the world!
Full of solemn jesters is the market place (these pseudo-esoteric and esoteric institutions throughout the world)—and the people (gnostics) pride themselves on their great men, their masters of the hour. But the hour presses them; so they press you. And from you too they want a Yes or No (they secretly want you to agree with them or to provide an answer to their obtrusive questions). Alas, do you want to place your chair between pro and con (the battle of the antitheses, the subjective rationalizations of the animal ego)?
Do not be jealous of these unconditional, pressing men, you lover of truth (you genuine gnostic, initiate, who has suffered too much)! Never yet has truth hung on the arm of the unconditional (those who do not place into action the causes and conditions that would make these people genuine initiates). On account of these sudden men, go back to your security: it is only in the market place (public, esoteric schools) that one is assaulted with Yes? or No? Slow is the experience of all deep wells (for the hermits of the ninth arcanum, as described by Nietzsche in "On the Adder's Bite," do not genuinely understand the true initiates; the so-called practitioners of gnosis or esotericism are easily insulted by genuine generosity and the progress of others): long must they wait before they know what fell into their depth.
Far from the market place and from fame happens all that is great (away from the politics of esoteric institutions, the Gnostic Movement): far from the market place and from fame the inventors of new values have always dwelt.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude (upon the mountain of initiation): I see you stung all over by poisonous flies (the gossip and slander of these so-called missionaries and gnostic students). Flee where the air is raw and strong.
Flee into your solitude! You have lived too close to the small and the miserable. Flee their invisible revenge! (For as Samael Aun Weor stated, "Unfortunately, and even if we were very courteous and even sincere at times, there is no doubt that invisibly and internally we treat each other very badly. People who are apparently very generous drag their fellow men daily into the secret caves of themselves to do with them whatever they please (abuse, mockery, contempt, etc.)." -Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology). Against you they are nothing but revenge.
No longer raise up your arm against them. Numberless are they, and it is not your lot to shoo flies. Numberless are these small and miserable creatures; and many a proud building (initiate) has perished of raindrops and weeds (gossip, criticism, and slander). You are no (philosopher's) stone (perfected completely through the Mountains of Initiation, Resurrection, and Ascension), but you have already become hollow from many drops. You will yet burst from many drops. I see you wearied by poisonous flies, bloody in a hundred places; and your pride (solar dignity) refuses even to be angry. Blood (energy and attention) is what they want from you in all innocence. Their bloodless souls crave blood, and so they sting in all innocence. But you, you deep one (you genuine hermit of Arcanum Nine), suffer too deeply even from small wounds; and even before you have healed, the same poisonous worm crawls over your hand. You are too proud (dignified) to kill these greedy creatures. But beware lest it become your downfall that you suffer all their poisonous injustice.
They hum around you with their praise too: obtrusiveness is their praise. They want the proximity of your skin and your blood. They flatter you as a god or devil; they whine before you as before a god or devil. What does it matter? They are flatterers and whiners and nothing more (they have no development and they will sooner or later enter devolution and the Second Death).
Often they affect charm. But that has always been the cleverness of cowards. Indeed, cowards are clever! They think a lot about you with their petty souls—you always seem problematic to them. Everything that one thinks about a lot becomes problematic.
They punish you for all your (solar) virtues. They forgive you entirely—your mistakes.
Because you are gentle and just in disposition you say, "They are guiltless in their small existence." ("They do not know any better and perhaps in time, through Gnosis, they will learn"). But their petty souls think, "Guilt is every great existence."
Even when you are gentle to them they still feel despised by you: and they return your benefaction with hidden malefactions. Your silent pride (humility and dignity) always runs counter to their taste; they are jubilant if for once you are modest enough to be vain (to entertain them and be a fool, to act upon the whims and enthusiasm of their animal ego, such as through functions and gatherings for these so-called esoteric groups). That which we recognize in a person we also inflame in him: therefore, beware of the small creatures. Before you they feel small (they recognize they are not initiates), and their baseness glimmers and glows in invisible revenge. Have you not noticed how often they became mute when you stepped among them, and how their strength went from them like smoke from a dying fire?
Indeed, my friend, you are the bad conscience of your neighbors: for they are unworthy of you. They hate you, therefore, and would like to suck your blood. Your neighbors will always be poisonous flies; that which is great in you, just that must make them more poisonous and more like flies.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude (upon the Mountain of Initiation, the Superior Worlds) and where the air is raw and strong! It is not your lot to shoo flies.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
I have a question for you alone, my brother: like a sounding lead, I cast this question into your soul that I might know how deep it is.
You are young and wish for a child and marriage. But I ask you: Are you a man entitled to wish for a child? Are you the victorious one (who has conquered Netzach: the mind, Victory in Hebraic Kabbalah), the self-conqueror, the commander of your senses (pratyahara in the eightfold path of meditation), the master of your virtues (Bodhichitta)? This I ask you. Or is it the animal (ego) and (lustful) need that speak out of your wish? Or loneliness? Or lack of peace (Shamatha: the nine stages of calm abiding) with yourself?
Let your victory (Arcanum 7: Triumph in the spiritual revolution) and your freedom long for a (golden) child (of alchemy: the revolutionary Christos or Superhuman). You shall build living monuments (solar bodies) to your victory and your liberation. You shall build over and beyond yourself (through sexual magic), but first you must be built yourself, perpendicular in body and soul (you must achieve the four points of the cross in yourself, the equilibrium of the four elements: air (thought), fire (emotions), water (sexuality) and earth (physicality) This is achieved by becoming the fourth type of human being in the Fourth Way teachings: a psychologically equilibrated human being). You shall not only reproduce yourself (for that which is born of the flesh is flesh), but produce something higher (since that which is born of the spirit, is spirit; John 3:6). May the garden of marriage (עֵדֶן Eden, signifying voluptuousness and sexual bliss in Hebrew) help you in that!
You shall create a higher (solar) body (Christ Astral, Christ Mental, and Christ Causal), a first movement (Kether, for "He is the One Who He is" or "I Am the One Who is Becoming" in a perpetual state of movement), a self-propelled wheel (or chakra, since the chakras are enlivened and permanently spin once awakening / raising the sexual Kundalini fire through initiation)—you shall create a creator (since the solar bodies create Christic power continually through the continuum of tantra).
Marriage: thus I name the will of two (Adam and Eve, male-female, י Iod and הוה Chavah) to create the one (יהוה Iod-Chavah: the Solar Human Being) that is more than those who created it. Reverence for each other (Awe or פחד pechad on the leg of the gnostic pentagram indicates reverence for controlling the sexual energy, the thigh where is written "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" [Revelation 19:16] since this power makes one a מלך Melech, a solar king of nature), as for those willing with such a (solar) will (תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the human soul), is what I name marriage. Let this be the meaning and truth of your marriage. But that which the all-too-many, the superfluous (fornicators), call marriage—alas, what shall I name that? Alas, this poverty of the soul in pair! Alas, this filth of the soul in pair! Alas, this wretched contentment in pair! Marriage they call this; and they say that their marriages are made in heaven. Well, I do not like it, this (egotistical) heaven of the superfluous. No, I do not like them—these (lustful) animals entangled in the heavenly net (who use marriage papers to justify fornication and prostitution of the soul). And let the god who limps near (Vulcan) to bless what he never joined keep his distance from me (since when man and woman sexually unite, they establish a bond in the world of eternity, Hod and Netzach; fornicators abuse the powers of the forge of Vulcan / Yesod: sexuality)! Do not laugh at such marriages! What child would not have cause to weep over its parents?
Worthy I deemed this man (initiate), and ripe for the sense of the earth (how to practice sexual magic by dominating his own מַלְכוּת Malkuth, his kingdom / body, so as to become a King, מלך Melech); but when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me a house for the senseless. Indeed, I wished that the earth might tremble in convulsions when a saint (initiate) mates with a goose (a woman who has no inclination to practice gnosis).
This one went out like a hero in quest of truths, and eventually he conquered a little dressed-up lie. His marriage he calls it.
That one was reserved and chose choosily. But all at once he spoiled his company forever: his marriage he calls it.
That one sought a maid with the virtues of an angel (a woman who practices transmutation and gnosticism). But all at once he became the maid (slave) of a woman (who does not want anything to do with the spiritual work); and now he must turn himself into an angel (since certain gnostics marry persons who do not support them in the path of initiation).
Careful I have found all buyers now, and all of them have cunning eyes. But even the most cunning still buys his wife in a poke.
Many brief follies—that is what you call love (גדולה Gedulah, the spirit). And your marriage concludes many brief follies, as a long stupidity. Your love of woman, and woman's love of man—oh, that it were compassion for suffering (Bodhichitta), and shrouded gods (Elohim)! But, for the most part, two beasts (fornicators) find each other.
But even your best love is merely an ecstatic parable and a painful ardor. It is a torch that should light up higher paths for you (upon the Tree of Life). Over and beyond yourselves you shall love one day (since חֶסֶד Chesed / גדולה Gedulah, the spirit, is above תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth and גבורה Geburah: the human and divine souls). Thus learn first to love (as גדולה Gedulah / Love or Goodness, the Innermost Spirit). And for that you had to drain the bitter cup of your love (in meditation upon the death of your defects). Bitterness (karmic suffering) lies in the (alchemical) cup of even the best love: thus it arouses longing for the Superman; thus it arouses your thirst, creator (alchemist). Thirst for the creator (Chesed, Binah, Chokmah, and Kether, since the upper trinity of the Tree of Life creates along with the spirit), an arrow and longing for the Superman: tell me, my brother, is this your will to marriage? Holy I call such a will and such a marriage.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
From Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
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