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:
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.
"Our Gnostic Church is the Transcended Church. This church is found in the Superior Worlds." --Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
The Gnostic Church was established by Jesus of Nazareth in accordance with the rites of Melchizedek. The Apostle Peter, Patar, or Cephas, whose name means "stone," became the foundation for the Gnostic Church in the physical world, and symbolically represents the foundation for any spiritual practitioner entering into the Christic mysteries. Peter, Patar, with its three radical letters: P-T-R, represents a profound and hidden teaching. "Pater" is the Father or divinity within man; "T" is the mystical crossing of the apostle's gold and silver keys, granting access to the divine kingdom and demonstrating the marriage of masculine (solar) and feminine (lunar) principles in the ancient metallurgic science of holy alchemy. The cross also symbolizes the purification and crucifixion of lower, animal passions in obedience to divine will. Lastly, "R" signifies the Egyptian Ra, the solar deity, creator Logos or Word of the Gnostics, personified and incarnated within the Master Jesus, the Son or Sun of God, "the light of the world" (John 8:12).
While the Gnostic Church has existed in the physical world, the physical church is merely a material expression of the universal Christian Gnostic Church upheld by the great masters, priests, bishops, and patriarchs within the superior dimensions of nature. These supra-sensible regions are accessible through awakened consciousness within the dream state, which can only become realized within us through practical works and the application of a highly technical, mystical, and scientific methodology.
The Roman sect is a derivation of or deviation from the Gnostic Church, resulting from the dogmatism, fanaticism, and ignorance of mistaken individuals whose adherence to belief without evidence has obscured the experiential dimension of the nature of religion (Latin: religare, reunion with divinity). The Gnostic Church, on the other hand, has been secretly maintained by purified souls who, through rigorous esoteric discipline, have obtained personal knowledge of the divine mysteries as well as the specific means of acquiring that direct knowledge for oneself.
The Greek word gnosis signifies conscious experience devoid of theory, concept, belief, or ideation, a state of awakened, objective perception of the realities of life and death on the physical and spiritual planes. The Greek word myein, the root of the word mystery, means "to close the eyes" of external, sensory perception in order to develop inner, spiritual sight through the science of meditation. A person of any race, culture, or creed may realize their divine nature by closing their eyes to belief, theory, materialism and illusions, and through meditation, awaken their complete human potential, thereby becoming a mystikos or "initiate": one initiated into a new way of life and being.
Just as Jesus of Nazareth fasted for forty days and forty nights within the wilderness by engaging himself in contemplation, so we too, through learning to fast to our egotistical desires and inferior psychological qualities, may arrive at the threshold and amphitheater of cosmic wisdom. Likewise by following the example of Christ through his life, ministry, passion, death and resurrection, we too, by divine will and grace, may conquer temptation within ourselves and thereby overcome the inherent causes of suffering. This is "the straight and narrow gate that leadeth unto life" (Matthew 7:14) and the complete development of the human being.
The mysteries of the Gnostic Church teach the difficult path of selfless service leading to complete liberation, a road traversed by very few. However, this road was taken by the greatest and most venerated human beings our humanity has ever known: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, the Prophets, and the great masters whose example and teachings have crystallized into the major religions of the world today. Thus have all the great messengers, saints, and disciples of this universal mystery school defined themselves by their higher moral, ethical, and spiritual caliber in contrast to the common, unconscious, and suffering masses, whom they seek to serve out of mercy, compassion, and love.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. —Corinthians 2:7-8
The founding of Christianity was marked by the divergence of two different types of individuals: one initiated into the wisdom of God from direct experience, and the other merely accepting the testimonies of others based on dogma and hear-say, religious fanatics who would eventually use belief and superstition to manipulate others in order to gain power. The esoteric or secret teachings of Christianity were forced underground as those within the public or exoteric doctrine gained prominence and influence for political and personal means. Dion Fortune, famous author of The Mystical Qabalah, wrote the following regarding the split between the Gnostic and the orthodox traditions:
There naturally sprang up a keen rivalry between the two types of Christians; those who had accepted the teaching of Our Lord without any previous Mystery-training depended entirely upon spiritual intuition and good works; those who were already accustomed to the methods of the Mysteries sought to express the Christian truths in the language of the esoteric philosophy of their day. The first chapter of the Gospel according to John is an excellent example of the process whereby men already highly trained in mystical knowledge correlated the new teaching with that which was already familiar to them. In this Gospel we see the influence of the Greek Schools of initiation, but in the Apocalypse we see the influence of Qabalistic thought.
The Gnostic Schools were the Christian Mysteries, made by initiates of other Mystery Schools who had become converted to Christianity and sought to establish within the Christian dispensation the methods to which they were accustomed.
In the struggle between the two types of Christians, the initiates and the non-initiates, the latter eventually gained the day, and forthwith the order for persecution and abolition went forth against the Mysteries of Jesus. The orthodox element then gradually developed, as was inevitable, something of a Mystery System of their own in the sacraments, which are ritual magic pure and simple, as is agreed even by such an authority as Evelyn Underhill.
But with the development of the sacramental system did not, unfortunately, go the metaphysical interpretation thereof. Superstition has been defined as the use of a form whose significance has been forgotten. The sacraments, instead of being the symbol-systems of the Mysteries of Jesus, approach perilously near to vain observance in the hands of those who regard them with superstitious awe rather than an understanding of their psychological and esoteric significance.
Consequently there is an unbridged gulf in our modern Christianity between the mysticism of its deep spiritual truths and the symbolic and magical ceremonial of its ritual. This gulf it is the task of the modern Mystery Schools to bridge. These, however, have in many cases re-illumined their fires at an Eastern altar, so that the bridge they build does not lead to the Christian contacts of the West. Those of their followers who seek initiation, instead of having revealed to them the deeper issues of their own faith, have to change their religion and follow other Masters.
How are we of the West, therefore, to bridge this gulf? We must do what the original gnostics did: seek to express in the metaphysical language of the Mysteries the teachings of Our Lord, and thereby establish an esoteric Christian School—the Initiation of the West. The Gnostics drew their inspiration from two main sources: the Mysteries of Greece and the Mysticism of Israel, the Qabalah, with which Our Lord was obviously very familiar. These are the sources wherein we shall find the mental and magical interpretation of our religion which shall supply the missing keys.
The elements which were discarded from Christianity must be replaced if it is to become a true Wisdom Religion, and unless it can answer to the needs of the intellect as well as of the heart, those who need the food of the intellect rather than the heart will seek it elsewhere, and we cannot blame them. —Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago maintains the esoteric Christian tradition of the Gnostic Church as established by Jesus of Nazareth (Master Aberamentho) through his patriarchs, bishops, deacons, and priests. This tradition has been maintained by the gnostic institutions founded by Samael Aun Weor, as well as the awakened masters within the superior dimensions of nature. As Samael Aun Weor stated:
The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is not of this world; he himself said it, “My kingdom is not of this world.” In the mountain of the living God, there is a church, invisible to the eyes of the flesh, but visible to the eyes of the soul and the spirit. That is the primeval Gnostic Church, to which Christ and the prophets belong.
That church has its bishops, archbishops, deacons, subdeacons, and priests who officiate at the altar of the living God. The patriarch of that invisible church is Jesus Christ.
All Christians can go in soul and spirit (through astral projection) to that church.
In chapters four and five of this book we teach the secret to consciously exit the body and thus visit any distant land on the Earth.
All humans can also visit the Gnostic Church during sleep (in the astral plane, the fifth dimension). There in that holy church, we see the Virgin of Carmel together with her holy angels.
All the great saints of the church of God visit the Gnostic Church. Fridays and Sundays in the aurora there are masses and communions. By following the teachings given in chapters four and five of this book, all Christians can attend these masses and receive the communion of bread and wine.
In that church, all the devotees will be taught to prophesize.
In the Gnostic Church, we see Christ seated on his throne, and all the Gnostics can converse with him personally.
All the sufferings of Mary occurred when she married Joseph, the priest.
Mary was initiated in the mysteries of Egypt.
In the Gnostic Church, Christians learn how to prophesize.
What is important is to follow the path of perfect sanctity and chastity.
In our books entitled “The Perfect Matrimony” and “The Revolution of Beelzebub,” we thoroughly study the great mysteries of sex. In those books, we teach the greatest secrets of the universe.
May peace be to all human beings. (This chapter is from The Virgin of Carmel (1952) by Samael Aun Weor).
If you are interested in becoming a member of our Gnostic Church, you can first participate in a series of preparatory courses and introductory classes on the foundations, practices, and principles of this tradition.
For more information about the Gnostic Church, particularly its foundation within the Hebraic Kabbalah, Egyptian ceremonial magic, and the Greek mysteries, see the following resources:
The Greek word "gnosis" refers to the direct experiential knowledge of fundamental truths. Gnosis is not limited to conceptual theory, dogma or belief. In its universality of application, gnosticism consists of a vast body of esoteric writings across numerous cultures and has been expressed throughout all of the world's great religions and mystical traditions. Although each tradition has been taught differently according to the language, customs and needs of each culture, they in truth point to one science, whose sole objective is to free the consciousness from suffering.
As a tradition, Gnosticism seeks to impart unto aspirants key scientific methods for attaining genuine spiritual growth. All religions have taught such techniques, albeit in veiled and often cryptic forms throughout the religious scriptures. While the great teachers and spiritual guides of humanity offered many rituals, prayers and mystical practices to the public masses, much of their essential teachings have only been delivered from mouth to ear throughout an unbroken chain of secretive transmission between master and disciple. As a result, the very methods to procure profound spiritual change and enlightenment were only taught in a rudimentary form in public religion, whereas practitioners dedicated to the most rigorous esoteric disciplines secretly conserved and developed such techniques unbeknownst to a public blindly enamored by fanaticism, institutionalization, and dogmas.
Despite scholastic endeavors, such enigmatic methodologies have remained hidden within both eastern and western religious writings in allegorical form, unacknowledged and unexplained except through the daring of a few esoteric authors in the most recent centuries. The first revelations of this teaching are related with the emergence of the Western Esoteric Tradition, the writings of Manly P. Hall, the Anthroposophical works of Rudolf Steiner, and the esoteric teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky. However, this knowledge was also expressed by numerous accomplished yogis and authors of the eastern traditions, including the eminent Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Swami Sivananda, Yogananda, Vivekananda, and other great spiritual practitioners of eastern mysticism.
Yet despite their tremendous contributions to humanity, these initiates have only served to precede a much greater and revolutionary spiritual knowledge encompassing both western and eastern esoteric philosophies, and which has only been unveiled within the past few decades. Such knowledge embodies the most ancient and radical techniques for attaining spiritual transformation, and is now being disseminated worldwide in part of a humanitarian effort to alleviate the suffering of humanity.
This rare and unprecedented symbiosis of both eastern and western doctrines is found precisely in the writings of Samael Aun Weor, who, as an expositor of practical spirituality, expressed a highly synthetic teaching about the basis of religion that has served as the culmination of the rich and highly diverse tradition of esoteric thought. At the Gnostic Academy of Chicago, we study his writings precisely for their clarity, profundity, and pragmatism, in contrast with the literature of many philosophical, mystical, and spiritual systems that deliver complicated theories while lacking the practical dimension for acquiring deep personal change.
In conjunction with the works of Samael Aun Weor, we also study and teach from some of the most well-known literary monuments within esotericism, including Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's Theosophical writings, the Anthroposophical works of Rudolf Steiner, the Fourth Way teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky, the Kabbalistic and Initiatic literary canon of Dion Fortune and Manly P. Hall, the sacred Buddhist manuals of Padmasambhava, Tsong Khapa, Shantideva, and Nagarjuna, the occult middle eastern wisdom of the Holy Qur'an and mystical Sufi writings, the Eastern and Western Esoteric Traditions, etc.
We welcome you, from whatever denomination, faith or creed, to the study of this liberating mystical knowledge and the intimate realization of your divine potential.
If you would like to know more about this tradition, listen to an introductory lecture: The Spiritual Seed (with accompanying notes and slides. You can also view the video presentation below):
Or have a look at our introductory course: Fundamentals of Gnosticism.
Learn about the principles of our movement and how to become a member of our Gnostic Church.
For help navigating our resources, see Where to Start?
To familiarize yourself with the breadth and depth of subjects we study within universal Gnosticism, you may specifically refer to the Introductory Information section of gnosticteachings.org.
May the light and peace of divinity reign within your heart!
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
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