Many have well-developed conceptions about a variety of spiritual topics. While we respect people's beliefs, one's mental concepts are never equal to reality. Although one might read abundantly, it is an entirely different phenomenon to personally know something through investigation, experimentation, direct perception, and verification. Unless one has truly lived such experiences, then one cannot conceive anything remotely close to the true reality of such experiences.
Unfortunately, many materialistic people deny the possibility of conscious perception beyond the physical senses, even though such states have been extensively documented throughout the world’s diverse religious, spiritual, and mystical traditions. Despite the abundance of such literature, people either blindly accept or reject what they have never experienced. While innumerable devotees venerate and believe in spiritual testimony, the irony lies in their rejection of such experiential possibilities within themselves, primarily due to the conviction that such mystical insights were only accessible to the few through divine grace.
Contrary to such assumptions, the founders of religion taught how to experience divinity through practical methods, and by example, the means to convey that wisdom to others. The primary means of such realizations is meditation.
Meditation is a state of perception in which all psychological conditions and afflictions cease, so that our consciousness can awaken to its innate nature and directly experience reality. Through comprehending the internal causes of disharmony and discord, the mind enters a profound state of tranquility through which divine insight can manifest. Since the abstract knowledge of spiritual cognition subsists beyond our physical senses, it is necessary to train the body to rest while activating our psychological senses, so that, exercised and developed, our consciousness can perceive the metaphysical truths contained within religious doctrine.
For this precise reason, the science of meditation is indispensable. To those unpracticed in it, they can believe meditation is just sitting around thinking. This belief is also extremely far from the reality. In meditation, one awakens beyond the mind and lives the experiences of the inner worlds: the multidimensional structure of reality known as the Kabbalah that we access while we dream. One can even relive their past lives and experience firsthand the disciplines they learned, forgotten through the overpowering transition of death. Rather than believe in or deny the process of transmigration, one recalls and remembers the facts of previous incarnations. Such wisdom goes far beyond any concept or idea, since it is deeply personal, repeatable, and verifiable. Perhaps some have undervalued what meditative experiences can truly offer: vivid, living knowledge of reality, far beyond concepts. However, developing such a skill requires decades of training.
Do you have the willpower and self-discipline to master it? Only in that way will you discover the reason why meditation has been highly venerated across the world for millennia, long before even the first religious, spiritual, and mystical writings were well-established, serving as a wisdom tradition on which any esoteric, initiatic order could be founded.
Who or what can guarantee that concept and reality are exactly the same thing?
Begin Your Journey Beyond Beliefs:
Many have asked us whether or not a particular source of spiritual knowledge is reliable. Such a question reveals an interesting tendency in many spiritual seekers, which, ironically enough, can more often serve as an obstacle than a remedy. Often lacking personal experience, people go to others for spiritual guidance, animated by a genuine longing for self-improvement. However, acknowledging one's yearning for instruction is a precarious moment, one that can be marred by indiscrimination and naivety, for how does an aspirant identify when a teacher, teaching, or community truly practices what it professes? How does one determine the orientation, ethics, and qualifications of instructors and instructions? Since all spiritual traditions emphasize the necessity of experienced teachers, how does the sincere student know where to find and recognize them?
If we seriously examine our own mind, we discover with great shock that we lack stability or permanence in our psychology. Our thoughts, beliefs, identity, desires, and habits are afflictive, because such conditioned states of mind are constantly in flux. We are victims of ever-changing external stimuli and societal pressures. When we begin to look within ourselves, we discover our profound lack of personal integration, without which spiritual illumination is impossible. Our internal fragmentation is a source of abundant psychological suffering, in that the consciousness is trapped within psychological contaminants. Our soul is enmeshed within defects of pride, anger, fear, doubt, lust, envy, jealousy, and all types of inner conflicts. Rather than possessing the virtues of an awakened, unified soul, we discover that such qualities remain inert, suffocated by our polluted mind. When it comes to moments of great crises, we are often weak and ineffectual, lacking cohesion, order, and purpose.
Due to all of these terrifying realizations, and because we lack training and knowledge for cultivating a rich spiritual life, we seek out teachers. Likewise, when we discover our own inconsistencies, paradoxes, and egotistical states, we learn from hard experience how, like us, the vast majority of people suffer from this same problem, including those who profess to be enlightened and spiritual. Therefore, the serious student who possesses such disturbing revelations is not immediately willing to place their trust in the minds and beliefs of people who possess the very same deficiencies as their own. By trusting without personal verification, we risk altering our trajectory for the worse, since in our initial ignorance, we cannot foresee the consequences of our actions and the application of mistaken knowledge.
This danger does not discredit the need for authentic spiritual teachers. In fact, it highlights the rigorous, demanding, difficult, and necessary process of knowing where to look. Upon having found a teacher or teaching, we must then determine their authenticity through years of consideration. This process does not entail a morbid skepticism or denigrative suspicion of groups and traditions, although many aspirants may find such intense emotions difficult to curtail after having suffered traumas from different spiritual people. Instead, the type of inquiry we advocate is impersonal: distant, cold, equanimitous, and unbiased by neither delirious exultation nor outright rejection. One should approach a teacher or teaching in the same manner as a doctor dissects a carcass on an autopsy table.
There is no overwhelming need to win favors or impress others. It is unnecessary to merely join a community for the purpose of fending off loneliness. We no longer attend a school from fear of hell, or obey authorities because we lack inner discernment and confidence in our own intuitions. There is only the definite reality before us, beyond the need for trying to feel good through uncritical adherence or affiliation with a group.
While communities fostering respect, collaboration, and inspiration are very necessary, they are not the end goal in themselves. At most, groups can foster superior emotions to help elevate our noblest aspirations. They can also provide useful techniques by which to deepen our personal practice and overcome suffering. Yet one should not conflate participation with a group with spiritual progress. When seeking proper diagnoses, medical professionals consider a variety of different contexts, conditions, and facts to arrive at an unbiased conclusion of a person's health. Spiritual inquiry is no different. We must analyze and only confirm the facts, patiently appraising a teacher or teaching beyond saintly appearances or group conformity.
This is why we teach people to be independent, logical, methodical, and dispassionate. This does not negate compassion or superior sentiments, but affirms one's ability to consciously engage with life's mysteries. We seek to comprehend the fundamental structures of reality without flaws, conditions, and prejudices. We do not engage in politics, arguments, or debates, since these activities tend to exacerbate negative emotions. Instead, we should rely on spiritual facts: scientific, provable, repeatable, consistent, verifiable, clear, and definite, without ambiguity or supposition. If the spiritual teachings we follow lack clarity regarding how to live an ethical life, or do not align with the consensus of the prophets, then it is necessary to embody restraint and caution with our conclusions.
Rather than hoard a library of theories in our intellect, we can awaken our own consciousness and experience the truths contained within religions, so that by comparing our experiences with authentic sources, we are not fooled. But unfortunately, the predisposition of most people is to be lazy, to merely accept what other people say without testing their validity with proven methods.
Therefore, spiritual candidates should inquire into the root of diverse teachings to determine their utility. Although lineages can present alluring promises of authenticity, they must not be taken at face value. Otherwise they petrify into unbreakable and unquestioned dogmas despite their genuine worth. Even the most refined and divine principles can imprison if we approach them without vitality, practicality, and intuition. Just as Western academia demands high standards through its rigorous stipulations, likewise spiritual students must be demanding with themselves, a teaching, or a teacher. It is not enough to sit and listen to gurus, to adopt their knowledge with blind devotion and unwavering belief. Buddhist scriptures often emphasize the need for a probationary period: the careful examination of an instructor over the course of many years before deciding to become a disciple. This recommendation also comes with meticulous knowledge of established scriptures, sutras, and tantras, whereby the testimonies of a teacher can be compared, cross-examined, and evaluated.
Many scientists validate research through triangulation: the utilization and convergence of multiple methods, theories, or qualitative data sources to comprehensively prove an understanding of a phenomenon. Likewise, the spiritual student learns to validate a teacher's qualifications through multiple areas of study and practice. If an instructor contradicts the divine law stipulated throughout the religious writings, then students can be certain that he or she is sincere but mistaken.
Considering these points, some definitive questions become: "How effective are the practices of a given tradition in understanding and eliminating the causes of suffering? How far on the spiritual path can these instructions take me? How do I know if I've reached the goal, and whether or not the knowledge I have learned is complete? How do I rely on spiritual facts to determine my trajectory and the expediency of what I have learned?"
Investigation and personal analysis is the essential precondition for developing spiritual competency, for just as artists long to develop and master their art, aspirants must rely on qualified individuals who have already demonstrated spiritual proficiency. Demonstrated by Christ's injunction to "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7), students should adopt a pragmatic approach, since practices, not theories, are the key to unlock hidden potential. However, the Western proclivity towards intellectualization presents a giant hurtle, for exclusively relying on the mind to resolve the issues of the heart more often leads to problems than solutions.
This is why, in our spiritual school, we learn and master the science of meditation. Meditation is the means of experiencing the truth for ourselves, and therefore constitutes the bread and butter of genuine Gnostic institutions. With internal meditation, we suspend the afflictions of thought, the disturbances of emotion, and the agitation of the body, thereby deepening concentration upon one object of inquiry. This is with the purpose of extracting its essential meaning. When the mind is translucent like an unperturbed lake, the heart is alert, awakened, and inspired by the penetrative insights it receives.
The mind believes, the mind that does not believe, the mind that doubts, is an ignorant mind. The path of wisdom does not rely on believing, not believing, or doubting. The path of wisdom consists of inquiring, analyzing, meditating, and experiencing. ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
We reap the joys of our meditations as we develop comprehension. Understanding is a creative act, whereby consciousness is awakened and developed. The consciousness is the only capacity within a human being that can intuit knowledge inaccessible to the physical senses. Since the realities professed throughout world scriptures are beyond physicality, it is logical that meditation is the door to accessing a deeper understanding of that knowledge. Through abandoning distractions, the consciousness can introspect within its own clarified perception to experience the reality of any given thing. This is realized through senses that are atrophied in most people, but are developed through meditative discipline. Comprehension, facilitated through meditation, is the spark of inspiration that inflames our being and drives us to seek greater union with divinity.
While some mistaken individuals have taken meditation at face value―adopting its principles as a system of belief without experience―this is not the goal of any genuine spiritual mystery school. What its founders demand is personal testimony born through the application of expedient techniques. Witnessing the divine is the state of meditation itself: cognizance of reality without the need to rationalize, speculate, doubt, believe, or assume.
Through meditation, we demonstrate our capacities for knowing the metaphysical realities informing the inception and deliverance of scripture. Since much of the knowledge presented in religious writings is abstract―transcending socio-political, cultural, and historical contexts―it is impossible to comprehend their deepest significance without learning how to activate the spiritual senses that inform their foundations. It also requires that we abandon our own suppositions, beliefs, and theories about a given tradition. When we no longer interpret through our own prejudices, we access their essential mysteries with the heart and mind of a child.
Meditation is the universal state of being whereby we apprehend the intuitive grammar of divine allegories, metaphors, symbols, and prophecies. This occurs through mystical visions within meditation and the multidimensionality of dreams. Through these internal experiences, the abstract takes on concrete forms so as to convey messages of the deepest social bearing and the greatest practical import. These dream symbols constitute the moral compass for navigating our daily lives with greater rectitude and conscious love. When the self, the mind, ego, or defects are absent, we experience the plenitude of spiritual creativity and divine fullness, which are born through the daily discipline of meditative practice.
Therefore, learn to rely on your own experiences in conjunction with the knowledge of established sources, i.e. the great religious scriptures of the world. It is not enough to place our trust in popular, contemporary authors whom we have not fully investigated nor personally experienced, primarily when much of their teachings contradict millennia of objective, proven testimonies. Much modern literature does not align with the basic ethical conduct of the prophets, evidenced by a lack of critical engagement with the fundamental notion of chastity. Without sexual purity, transmutation, or sublimation, there is no progress according to the consensus of humanity's greatest luminaries. Alchemy is the science of transforming base metals (desires) into spiritual gold (the virtues of an awakened consciousness). Through this delicate art, we transform lust into love, pollution into purity, and passion into compassion. If you wish to understand this unifying element at the heart of all authentic scriptures, you can study The Perfect Matrimony by Samael Aun Weor.
Understanding how our sexual conduct orients our spiritual life is the basis for accessing transcendent, revolutionary knowledge. This is how we manifest divinity through our works, beyond the shackles of ideation and belief.
I do not want henchmen nor followers, only imitators of my example. I have not come to form any sect, or one more belief, nor am I interested in the schools of today, or the particular beliefs of anyone! ―Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: Zodiacal Course
Resources for Further Study
Saturday, August 13th, 2022 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 influential planetary influences. Therefore, at the 13th hour (12 to 1 pm) 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].
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 Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
Numbers within kabbalah are intuitive principles, archetypes, cosmic laws, and blueprints for the creation and elaboration of the soul. Arcanum 13, the thirteenth law of The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, signifies death, purification, and the elimination of defects that obstruct the light of divinity within the consciousness. Through the annihilation of the ego, the soul attains immortality. In this manner, divinity edifies, sanctifies, and realizes the complete human being through the sacred precepts of judgment compassion.
Rabbi Ḥizkiyah opened, "Like a rose among thorns, so is my beloved among the maidens (Song of Songs 2:2). Who is a rose? Assembly of Israel (תפארת Tiphereth, the human soul, governed astrologically by Venus and the Sun). For there is a rose, and then there is a rose! Just as a rose among thorns is colored red and white, so Assembly of Israel includes judgment and compassion. Just as a rose has thirteen petals, so Assembly of Israel has thirteen qualities of compassion surrounding Her on every side. Similarly, from the moment אלהים (Elohim), God, is mentioned, it generates thirteen words to surround Assembly of Israel and protect Her; then it is mentioned again. Why again? To produce five sturdy leaves surrounding the rose. These five are called Salvation; they are five gates. Concerning this mystery, it is written: I raised the cup of salvation (Psalms 116:13). This is the cup of blessing, which should rest on five fingers—and no more—like the rose, sitting a five sturdy leaves, paradigm of the five fingers (the Gnostic pentagram or upright spiritual master). This rose is the cup of blessing." ―Zohar
Therefore, the planetary intelligence Melchizedek can aid the practitioner on any Saturday the 13th from 12 to 1 pm, the thirteenth hour, to give inner strength and assistance in the elimination of one's internal faults and impurities. Since calculating the appropriate time for these practices can seem confusing, you can reference the following chart:
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 compassionately lead the soul "into the Treasury of the Light," the heavenly realms, through benediction and divine justice.
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.
Learn how to contact the Lord Melchizedek:
May the Lord God of Truth within bring you harmony, peace and understanding!
Our interest in Gnosis is in reaching the full knowledge of the inner Being, which necessitates a radical psychological revolution, meaning that we must become fit vessels through which the Innermost can express. The path to achieve this is internal, psychological, and guided by the inner Being.
The method to achieve this has been taught by the greatest human beings: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, etc. When studied integrally, one can easily see they all taught the same methodology for the same path. Thus, since we seek to become like them, we follow in their footsteps. We aim to be like those masters, who are beautiful, pure beings, kings and queens over nature. A king or queen of nature commands nature, and is not dominated by nature, whether inside or outside. That is, such a master does not need plants or comestibles in order to awaken or acquire knowledge. They simply acquire it inside, through their own faculties.
We study the teachings of these great masters, not only the written scriptures that are made up of thousands of pages of deep and multilayered meanings, but also the secret knowledge that until very recently was not written down. In all of that knowledge, both written and secret, there is no mention anywhere of ingesting hallucinogens. The only places you will find such things are in teachings of black magic, which are very abundant, but only result in the formation of slaves of desire.
Those who sincerely practice according to the instructions given by the masters we study awaken consciousness, develop the powers of their inner Being to acquire knowledge directly, and thus they experience the steps of the path. This is known by all of our instructors and by the many thousands of students all over the world who are studying this path. All of us are experiencing what the greatest masters have taught. None of those masters taught the use of hallucinogens, thus none of us use such substances, need them, or want them.
Meditation, Psychedelics, and Awakening
Meditation is the science of awakening and liberating consciousness.
Contrary to popular belief, recreational drugs and psychedelics are completely antithetical to meditation.
Meditation is not a technique: relaxation, breathing or concentration exercises. While these are preliminary and facilitate the experience of meditation, the latter is a state of consciousness: luminous, clear, and unconditioned.
The purpose of meditation is to liberate the consciousness from all conditioning, specifically the limitations of self, ego, desire―the “me, myself, and I.”
Within all the ancient mystery schools and spiritual teachings of the prophets, desire is strictly equated with ego, defects, or conditions that produce suffering. They taught that such desires, and the behaviors that perpetuate them, must be renounced, comprehended, and systematically eliminated to produce happiness, serenity, and genuine enlightenment.
Desire never rests by enjoyment of lusts, as fire surely increases the more butter is offered to it. ―Laws of Manu 2.94
Meditation, as a state of pristine awareness and clarified perception, is utilized to remove desire: the afflictive psychological states, egos, and conditions of mind.
Ingesting drugs does the opposite: they condition the psyche within its egotistical cage.
Introducing substances into the consciousness does not liberate it from its conditions.
Marijuana is not used by white magicians. It is only used by black magicians.
LSD is a poisonous chemical used only by black magicians.
Psilocybin, as a substance that occurs naturally in certain plants, has a very limited medicinal function when used by a doctor whose consciousness is awakened. However, this use is strictly limited.
In synthesis, there is no acceptable, casual use of these substances because of their inherent dangers. In addition, there is no need for them: the awakened experiences you want to have are much more safely and easily acquired by learning how to meditate.
Meditation poses no risk, yet bestows all of the greatest gifts one can acquire. Yet, people are too lazy to learn, and always seek justifications to feed their desires, such as for drugs.
Feeding the desire for drugs, especially with the sophistry of experimentation and having “spiritual” experiences, only fortifies the ego with its subsequent hallucinations, which is not the purpose of meditation.
What Is the Difference between a Hallucination and a Mystical Vision?
In some native American cultures, initiates were sent on a vision quest, which required several days without food and sometimes without sleep. Modern scholars say that the visions seen on such a quest are hallucinations. So how can we be sure?
What happens when one stops eating, especially heavy foods like meat, is that the physical conditioning of the consciousness is lessened, and one can directly perceive the more subtle levels of nature. However, changing our physical conditioning doesn’t alter our psychological conditioning, and what we perceive in those subtle levels of nature can be heavenly or hellish, depending upon the quality of our psyche.
Dreams reflect the quality and conditioning of an individual’s internal psychological states, in that the body with its five senses, which originally filtered, obscured, or veiled one’s perceptions, is absent. What remains within the world of dreams is the consciousness, which, even without the five physical senses, processes in accordance with its own egotistical conditioning, i.e. the animal ego, attachments, cravings, or desires. A dream, therefore, is a projection of our conditioned selves within the astral dimension, much in the same manner that a film projects its images, qualities, and scenes upon the screen of a theater. One does not see what is actually there in its objective reality, but merely what one wants to see, precisely because in daily life, we constantly seek to feed our desires. Therefore, the consciousness is diffused, dispersed, or inattentive due to a lack of training.
We are typically not aware of our most submerged internal states because we lack strength, depth, and utility with our unconditioned consciousness: the natural capacity for innate wisdom, cognizance, and understanding of spiritual reality. So if the majority of our dreams and visions are actually subjective, how can one distinguish an objective vision?
Plato stated: “A man is known by his dreams” because our dream life reflects our daily psychological state. The type of mental projection we mentioned occurs not only during the hours of sleep, but even physically. Whenever we identify with a defect of anger, pride, lust, fear, avarice, hatred, or any egotistical desire, we interpret, view, and experience the impressions of life in accordance with those psychological conditions. Naturally, as stipulated in every religion, ignorance of this dynamic is the cause of suffering. Due to the heavily degenerated condition of our modern psyche, mushrooms and psychedelics exacerbate these demonic psychological perceptions, which can rightly be denominated hallucinations, dreams, or illusions.
The extra-sensory perceptions of mushrooms, psychedelics, and drugs intensify the egotistical conditioning of what already subsists within our subconscious, unconscious, and infraconscious desires. The consciousness is contrary to the desires, habits, tendencies, and cages of our defects, for the soul belongs to divinity and can see the truth, i.e. perceive mystical visions, whereas our defects perceive life without objectivity. Since our free consciousness is not trained, but weak, we lack the bandwidth to directly investigate the full spectrum of conscious experience with competence, efficacy, and skill. Unfortunately, this often becomes the excuse for people to experiment with psychedelia, so as to perceive that which is beyond the senses.
Psychedelia, the easy door to internal sensory perceptions, is a false one, for while offering experiences that are beyond our normal range of being, most individuals do not discriminate how their own states are a reflection of their submerged subjectivities. They are merely dreaming, not perceiving the reality of life free in its movement. Mushrooms and other plant substances are an extension of one’s dream life, the projected simulation of a conditioned mind that cannot see but through a glass darkly. This is the opposite of an objective spiritual experience: visions, whereby the consciousness witnesses higher realities without any self, attachment, craving, ego, or desire. This is the soul, the ability to observe a phenomenon and intuit its objective reality without relying on external stimuli. This is the natural functioning of the psyche we seek to activate with our Gnostic studies, but which is currently in a virginal or embryonic state. Enlightened beings, prophets, masters, buddhas, angels, or gods, never relied on chemicals or intoxicants, because that is contrary to the goal of objectively perceiving reality. The latter can only be witnessed when desire is absent, including that for psychedelia. This state does not require any external factors, but is spontaneously produced and sustained through meditation.
Just because one has experiences from such substances does not validate them, because awakening is a spectrum, either in more selfless states (without desire) or within greater densities (attachments and grasping at a false identity). Psychedelics activate the consciousness that is already trapped within one’s conditioning, thereby producing experiences, perceptions or sensations that were originally submerged, dormant, or hidden. One does not become free of such states through mushrooms, but is merely becoming awakened within the cage. Therefore, there is no correct way to experience psychedelia, because their sole function is to intensify conditioned states, which are inherently faulty, flawed, and mistaken, processed in accordance with the egotistical lens, dispensation, or flaws of the individual.
Experiences through Drugs
Experiences through cannabis, marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ayahuasca, DMT, mushrooms, ketamine, etc., are one hundred percent subjective and egotistical, within the inferior dimensions, the hell realms or Klipoth of the Hebraic Kabbalah.
Despite popular myths, there is no correct way to use drugs, because they all produce the conditioning of the consciousness.
Psychedelia comes from psyche (soul) and delia (drug). Some proponents of drug use state that such an etymology is not factual, since delia originates from delouse, signifying “to reveal.”
However, these “revelations,” perceptions, and visions are within conditioned states, egos, the hell realms.
The extra-perceptions of a drug addict have their own roots in the abominable Kundabuffer organ (the tempting serpent of Eden).
Mind-altering drugs or chemicals do not produce spiritual enlightenment, since these awaken perceptions or hallucinations within desire.
The problem is that people have extrasensory experiences as a result of these substances, but what they lack is discrimination of what is genuinely positive or negative. They do not know the difference between the consciousness and the ego.
There is a clear difference between awakened states of free consciousness and the subjective states of the ego.
Many people smoke marijuana to have astral projections, as addressed in one question to Samael Aun Weor during a lecture:
Student: There are many stimulant plants like marijuana, which, for example, serve in order to achieve astral projection in a quick manner…
There is nothing spiritual about desire, nor its hallucinations induced through plants and chemicals. The state of craving or aversion constitutes the ego, the self, which originates suffering.
The Being (divinity) and the ego (our inner satan) cannot mix, like oil and water. Drugs and meditation are incompatible. We naturally feel bliss in the consciousness free of the ego, yet drugs condition the soul and trap it in desire. Drugs cannot liberate the soul, but trap it. This is why divinity is very strict in every meditative tradition: do not take intoxicants. They will pollute your consciousness.
Genuine spirituality is about annihilating desire, so that the consciousness can be free, experiencing its own innate, blissful and divine nature.
Enlightened spiritual experiences are free of conditions, since they are the natural function of the awakened, liberated consciousness.
It is not necessary to ingest chemicals to awaken our natural state of being, since this is achievable through serious meditative training and psychological work.
Are Drugs and Psychedelia Natural?
Advocates of drugs, psilocybin, ayahuasca, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and psychedelia argue that these elements belong to nature, and that their ingestion is therefore natural. While hallucinogens belong to nature, psychonauts ignore its chief characteristic and fundamental law: eat and be eaten.
Nature functions in accordance with two principle laws: evolution and devolution. There is evolution in the birth, genesis, growth, life, nutrition, and blossoming of a plant. There is devolution in its degeneration, decay, withering, and death. These laws operate in all levels of mechanical nature: whether the mineral, plant, animal, and humanoid kingdoms. Everything that lives must die, including our psychological states.
Many other kingdoms exist beyond the mere humanoid level and possess an infinitude of variation, hierarchy, and orders: angels, archangels, cherubim, principalities, thrones, etc. These distinct levels of divine beings are mapped throughout the mystical Kabbalah and designate human beings who have conquered, within themselves, all conditioning elements that belong to nature itself. They are no longer subjected to external elements, pressures, and forces, since they have eliminated internal psychological conditions belonging to the kingdoms of nature that were acquired through the evolutionary process of cosmic transmigration. They now vibrate with superior laws beyond nature and mechanicity, subsisting as gods with mastery over the elements. Having conquered birth (evolution) and death (devolution), they are now immortal.
Humanoids like us have the potential to become spiritual, free from our animal desires, egotism, defects, vices, and evolutionary past, to enter the truly human and divine kingdom of enlightened masters, buddhas, angels, or prophets. If we do not remove our animal instincts, desires, and tendencies willingly so as to enter the kingdoms of divinity, nature will recapitulate the evolutionary process in its inverted form: devolution, which are retrogressive incorporations into inferior states of being via animal, plant, and mineral bodies, until nature has disintegrated the conditions of mind that belong to it. Religions call this purification process hell.
Nature is a recycling plant. Whenever there is disequilibrium, nature balances in proportion and intensity to humanity's disharmony. Also, nature balances constructive and catastrophic states with equal fervor. It does not discriminate in relation to our ideologies, assumptions, preferences, and beliefs. It does not care for our religious ideals, devotion, nationality, or political affiliations. It merely sustains and claims that which belongs to it. Nature abundantly provides the gifts of material and psychological vehicles, via mineral, plant, animal, and humanoid bodies, so that our consciousness can gain necessary experience throughout progressive lifetimes. However, nature progresses to a limit. When we choose not to remove the qualities of the inferior kingdoms from our psyche and enter those spiritual regions beyond mechanicity, nature claims what belongs to her: our psychological, animal, instinctual, and bestial tendencies, known as ego. The ego, self, desires, or identity we so ardently cling to belong to nature and must return to nature, willingly or not.
Humanoid existence is the height of evolution. It cannot progress further in accordance with nature. To transcend the humanoid state, one must revolutionize the consciousness against nature. We must be in control of it, and not its slave. What is natural or normal for humanoids, mistakenly called human beings, is to be swallowed by nature and recycled within the inferior dimensions, known as the hell realms, so that the consciousness can be liberated and reduced to its primeval state of innocence. In this manner, the soul reinitiates a new journey into the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms throughout millions of years, until finally regaining the long-lost opportunity of a humanoid existence.
Therefore the Conqueror (Buddha) said that just like
The psychic perceptions produced by hallucinogens belong to mechanical nature, not the superior kingdoms of the divine. To ingest psychedelia in any form is to be a slave to its conditions and influence. One can philosophize, argue, debate, and articulate delicate sophistries for their “balanced” use, yet nature does not consider our philosophies, religiosity, conceptions, or beliefs. When you consume from nature, you belong to nature, and will therefore be recycled by it when your desires for psychedelia and drugs subsist. Nature will balance out your imbalances through disintegrating you within hell, since the infernal worlds are the return to a primeval state with the purpose of equilibrating your consciousness. While a necessary step for those who refuse to change and follow superior laws, it is an extremely painful one, and not recommended. Drugs and psychedelia exacerbate, intensify, and prolong psychological conditioning, keeping the consciousness imprisoned within one's animal past. It is impossible to transcend nature while ingesting substances that condition oneself in its mechanicity and devolutionary laws.
The Dangers of Drug Use
One must comprehend based on conscious experience why drugs are harmful―yet this doesn't justify experimentation with drugs. Instructors can repeatedly warn and provide an intellectual basis for such an abstention, but that will not give comprehension from the heart.
Hearing how fire burns the hand is one thing, but being burned by it is another thing. To live, it is necessary to comprehend the dangers of fire. Yet by saying this, we are not instructing you to put your hand on a burning stove. It is not necessary to put your hand in the fire to know that it is dangerous, since one can learn its properties through observation.
In the same manner, we are not telling you that to know drugs are harmful, one must experiment with them. We only have to look at the life of drug addicts to perceive their affliction and low level of being. For “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16).
Comprehension of the ego and its illusory states lead the practical meditator to the conclusion that ingesting chemicals, plant substances, and intoxicants will deepen one’s identification with the animal “I,” because the hallucinations induced by drugs originate from the same Kundabuffer organ.
It is well known that drug use, recreationally or “spiritually,” degenerates the brain, heart, nervous and endocrine systems, sexual virility, etc. This affects the psychic connection between the mind or mental body to the physical brain.
Obviously, drugs annihilate alpha waves. Then, unquestionably, the intrinsic connection between mind and brain is lost. This, in fact, results in total failure. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
When the brain is no longer connected with the mental body, it devolves, degenerates, and ceases to operate.
The behavior of drug addicts is well documented. They experience a systematic decay of ethics, moral judgment, discriminative faculties, and the ability to ascertain proper conduct in various social situations, all of which run contrary to the purpose of Gnosis and genuine spirituality.
Drugs: A Gateway to Spirituality?
People are free to believe whatever they want about drugs. If students wish to continue using drugs for recreation, medical, or “mystical” purposes, that is a personal choice.
Despite the constant inquiries seeking the validation of drugs, our response will always be the same: psychedelics and recreational drugs condition the consciousness in hell, so that it remains awakened and trapped there. Ingesting psychedelics will keep one identified and trapped in the lower realms. There is no way to investigate and comprehend the lower realms of Kabbalah through drugs.
Even if some people find Gnosis while they are experimenting with drugs, that does not justify their use. What happens is that divinity is offering a means of escaping addiction, vice, and degeneration, i.e. through the teachings, not because DMT, LSD, ecstasy, marijuana, cannabis, ayahuasca, mandragora or mandrake root, peyote, or drugs led the way to spiritual realization. We teach how to liberate consciousness from these lower levels, not how to increase one's attachment to subjective and infernal states of being―so we will never advocate the use of intoxicants.
Our inner Being is trying to speak to us, to wake us up, in every moment of life. Some people nearly die before they awaken to the seriousness of their spiritual life. A personal tragedy, like the death of a loved one, can lead some into moral decay and others to God. Each experience matters due to what we make of it, how we respond. Even a shocking drug-induced episode can wake a person up when the Being fights to help the soul return to divinity, even though such an episode is traumatic, harmful, and unnecessary. But for some, this episode leads to addiction and confusion, while others set it aside and seek the truth within.
Why do psychedelics exist? In most cases, people continue to derive or ingest these substances to experience certain subjective sensations. They were then sold or given to others who may be open to such experiences, who would likewise become hypnotized by these sensations. Nowadays, they are produced mostly for drug users to make money and continue in their habits.
If some have the ability to experience war, illness, poverty, etc., as a chance to transform one’s life for the better, this is a good sign. But many misguided individuals consider themselves to be enlightened by whatever means and go off into even more confusion, because they cannot let go of desire.
Objective Consciousness and Reality
The experience of reality beautifully unfolds when we let go of desires and when the proper causes are met: the mind is silent, serenity and concentration are established, and the consciousness free of ego is activated.
As for using free, objective consciousness to explore the hell realms, this can be very useful. In an objective state, we can see the immense suffering of these realms and cultivate compassion for those who are hypnotized by these subjective states. However, many of us on this planet have the majority of consciousness in the hell realms, and we see them through the filters of our attachments and desires, not as they truly are.
If we wish to escape hell, you need to awaken the free consciousness, not the consciousness trapped in the ego. Psychedelics fortify the egotistical consciousness and keep it enslaved and imprisoned to desire. Unconditioned consciousness, free from desire, is the only way to free the rest of the consciousness that is caged.
A prisoner cannot free anyone else if he or she is trapped in their own cell. You have to escape the cell first to free others. The same with the consciousness.
The Philosophy and Religion of Drugs
The philosophy and mysticism of psychedelics hypnotizes many people. This type of mentality is evident in drug addicts who, while deteriorating and filled with incredible suffering, continue to defend their addiction despite the evidence around them, the sorrows of their loved ones, socio-economic, sexual, marital problems, etc.
Do not let a vice become your religion:
A drug addict turns vice into religion. Being misled, he thinks he experiences what is real under the influence of drugs. Unaware that the extra-perceptions produced by marijuana, L.S.D., morphine, hallucinogenic mushrooms, cocaine, heroin, hashish, tranquilizers in excess, amphetamine, barbiturates, etc., etc., are merely hallucinations produced by the abominable Kundabuffer organ.
Peyote, Astral Projection, and Shamanism
There exists a very profound mysticism surrounding the conscious souls of nature for the development and betterment not only of our own spirituality, but of others.
Every plant in nature has soul, known as an elemental. The conscious, spiritual work with the souls of plants is referred to elementotherapy.
In the past, shamanic traditions and indigenous religions have utilized the souls of plants to awaken consciousness.
Certain Masters of the White Lodge would work with certain elementals of plants, as explained by Samael Aun Weor in Igneous Rose and Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic, to help disciples. However, you will not find these masters in the physical plane, but in the internal dimensions.
We have personally received help in the internal worlds from masters who administered help through the elemental magic of specific plants. Yet we make this explicitly clear: you will not find these masters in the physical world, but inside.
Humanity is now so degenerated that authentic shamans and spiritual doctors are not easily found. Due to the dangers, it is best to avoid them in the physical world, and seek them within.
What you will find in this world, however, are confused individuals who use plants and substances to awaken conditioned consciousness: ego. They sincerely believe that perceptions induced by ingesting these plants are positive and objective. We call such persons, with awakened perception through conditioning, demons. Many people submit to such "wolves in sheep's clothing" due to naivety, inexperience, imprudence, and indiscretion.
There are countless people in this physical world who perform ceremonies to certain psychedelic plants and substances. However, "drug addicts turn their vice into a religion" and are filled with innumerable excuses to justify their desires.
Even positive practices with elementals have been abused due to the degeneration of these shamanic traditions. One such example is peyote.
The elemental of peyote has been traditionally used to provoke astral projections. Yet the original purity of such practices have been adulterated, corrupted, and lost through innovations and abuse.
To truly benefit from the elementals of plants such as peyote, it is necessary to enact the cosmic laws, ethical conduct, and divine principles necessary to command nature, not to be a slave of it.
As related in a lecture by Samael Aun Weor:
Student: You as well as the Master Huiracocha once spoke about peyote, precisely as help for these cases of astral projection.
One can achieve full and complete development without peyote, therefore it is not necessary. Considering how vulnerable humanity is to temptation, and how easy it is to be distracted from the real work, it is advisable to avoid potential dangers. Moreover, in many places it is illegal. Why court danger, when the path is dangerous enough on its own? Therefore, we advise avoiding reliance on external substances.
Did God Create Drugs?
Despite these explanations, some have asked: If peyote, marijuana, and other plants are harmful to consume, why did God create drugs?
The question is: Who said God made everything? God did not make concentration camps, atomic bombs, tequila, pornography, worldwide pollution, poisonous chemicals, etc. We took elements from nature and made our world the way it is now. "Drugs" are our invention.
The Demon of Alcohol
Firstly, regarding alcohol, no one here will tell you what to do. That is up to you to decide based on recommendations and advice.
Regarding alcohol, Samael Aun Weor was very clear in his writings:
Never drink the accursed liquor, I tell you, because if you drink it you will quickly stray from the path. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower
Alcohol is not necessary for self-realization. However, with one drop of liquor, one can stray from the path.
With the sinister demon Algol, it is impossible to make compromises, arrangements, or any kind of crooked deal. Alcohol is very treacherous and sooner or later will stab us in the back. Many people with Thelema (will) only drink one or two glasses a day; a terrific ruse, isn’t it? ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower
As stated in the teachings and known by science, alcohol is a poison. We have to remember that the physical body is the temple of the Lord. Therefore, to be successful in alchemical practice, it is necessary to keep our temple pure. Alcohol destroys the body, mind and soul, and highly toxifies the blood. We know that the blood is the vehicle of the spirit, and when our blood is weak, toxic and impure, the quality of our seminal energy is also effected.
There is no question that being a product of disintegration... alcohol has a vibratory disintegrating, dissolving and destructive tendency, drying our tissues and destroying the nerve cells, which are then gradually substituted by cartilage.
In other words, alcohol promotes the exact opposite of the path.
Dionysus, the god of revelry and wine, is a symbol of two distinct, contrasting forms of psychology.
The positive polarity of the Dionysian influence is spiritual intoxication through objective consciousness, unconditioned mystical experiences, chastity, positive astral projections, lucid awakening in dreams, purity in ethics, body, speech, and mind, etc.
The negative polarity of the Dionysian influence is intoxication of the ego through lust, fornication, drugs, and alcoholism.
Regarding both polarities of Dionysus, you can learn more in: The Aquarian New Year.
A student once said, "This path is not a path of deprivation." Actually, this path is 100% about depriving the ego of what strengthens it, such as fornication, drugs, alcohol, etc. The consciousness, the Being, does not need or want alcohol.
Alcohol degenerates the mind, heart, and body. This is why it was forbidden by Prophet Muhammad amongst his disciples.
O you who have faith! Indeed intoxicants [alcohol, drugs], gambling, idols and the divining arrows are abominations of Satan’s doing, so avoid them, so that you may be felicitous. ―Qur’an 5:90
Samael Aun Weor also specified that the Gnostic must not drink, smoke, or fornicate.
Flee from lust and alcohol. Kill the most inner roots of desire. ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
Knowing alcohol is destructive is one thing. But comprehending its destructive attributes is another.
The alcoholic knows alcohol is harmful, yet continues to drink anyway. Therefore, knowing alcohol is harmful does nothing.
The person who comprehends how alcohol is destructive to the spiritual work no longer drinks it, because one understands the need to keep one's temple (physical body) clean and suitable for the Being. This is comprehension.
Some people believe that to comprehend alcohol, it should be tolerated and consumed. However, as Samael Aun Weor states:
Liquor and fornication must be banished from the bosom of Gnostic homes. However, we must not be fanatics. Whoever is incapable of handling one drink at a social gathering is as weak as someone who cannot control his liquor and gets drunk. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
This line about handling a drink does not mean that one should willingly drink alcohol, especially just to "prove" something. Rather, it means that one should know how to handle social situations with grace: holding a drink does not mean one gets drunk. In this case, the graceful one avoids offending his hosts, yet also avoids intoxication. This is how we fool the foolish.
Regarding social gatherings: those initiates who have strong will, sometimes politely allow themselves to sip or to taste up to three small quantities of liquor or up to three small quantities of beer. They never go beyond three; if they do, they violate the law. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Divine Science: "Logos, Mantra, Theurgy"
Most of us do not have strong will. Therefore students should be cautious.
There are people who claim that avoiding alcohol is fanatical, thus they drink to "prove" they are not "fanatics." Perhaps they prove they are not fanatics, but they also prove they are stupid, for by that reasoning, they should also fornicate, take drugs, murder, rob, and in general perform all the other actions that lead to suffering. This is how their ego fools them easily. Wanting to prove themselves strong, they instead prove they are weak.
And who are these idiots who seek to negotiate with Satan? Listen, my friends! With the sinister demon Algol, it is impossible to make compromises, arrangements, or any kind of crooked deal. Alcohol is very treacherous and sooner or later will stab us in the back. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower
Nevertheless, there is evil in good and good in evil. This is how we sometimes find medicine in poison. There are medicinal treatments that utilize small amounts of alcohol. These treatments are not sufficient to create intoxication. If someone becomes intoxicated, they have consumed too much.
As you can see in the medicine book, there are medicinal uses for alcohol, but in very small doses. Yet once again, many people drink it for "medicinal purposes," when in reality they are drinking it because of desire for it.
Drugs and Gnostic Medicine
If you study Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic, you will find that many presumed impure or even poisonous sources can provide medicine. This is evidence that the genuine Gnostic approach is not fundamentalist, shallow-minded, or judgmental, but rather seeks to use what is useful while discarding what is not. Any element in nature can be used for benefit or for harm. However, humanity has no idea how to discriminate between them, since humanity is dominated by desires, hypnotized by whatever appears to produce blissful sensations, and oblivious to the harm that results from their mistaken actions.
Elementals are simply the intelligence in living things. When you look into the eyes of an animal, the elemental is gazing back at you. If you study the mentioned book, it will explain.
Cigarettes destroy the pulmonary and circulatory systems, which are essential to sexual magic. The oxygen or Prana should infiltrate our blood, purifying our internal glands and systems. Yet when we smoke tobacco, the lungs become incapacitated in their intake of oxygen.
Prana, signified by the Hebrew letter א Aleph, becomes obstructed in its process of purifying the blood, or דם Dam. א Prana / oxygen and דם blood together spell אדם Adam, the man made into the image of God. Therefore, if we pollute our דם blood, we make it more difficult for א Aleph to purify it, thereby obstructing us on our path to becoming אדם Adam.
While marijuana is medically used to treat symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue, it comes with a cost to the consciousness.
There are many ways to heal the body, soul, and mind without resorting to marijuana or the elemental of marijuana. Therefore, since most people only want to get high, we do not recommend using this plant.
There also exist many plants that intoxicate the soul once smoked, inhaled or ingested. This is due to the fact that fire, Fohat, releases chemicals by transforming matter.
Smoking plants introduces many harmful chemicals into the body due to the destructive and transformative capacities of Fohat, and in the case of marijuana, ingesting its chemicals is absolutely detrimental to the soul, since it fortifies our animal nature in a terrible manner, heightened even more through crystallizing its properties through fire.
This is why we do not recommend smoking or ingesting intoxicating plants, i.e. marijuana, nicotine, yage, at all. Smoking is a filthy habit that Samael Aun Weor expressly forbade his students from engaging in.
There was once a cult in the middle east called the hashishans, who would ritually smoke hashish, marijuana, in order to awaken themselves in the ego and to murder for their religious leader. This is where we get the term "assassin."
Therefore, those who smokes hashish or marijuana assassinate their inner Buddha.
The Astral Atmosphere of Drug Addicts
Consuming alcohol, intoxicants, and drugs not only has adverse effects upon ones psychology, but also one’s home environment, aura, energy, and psychic atmosphere.
Spiritual literature speaks often of incubi and succubi, negative, self-created astral entities that, due to fornication, adhere themselves to the astral atmosphere of their progenitors. Through masturbation and lust, fornicators engender such diabolic entities that have a singular purpose: to drain the sexual life force from their creators.
Drugs, alcohol, and excessive stimulants feed such entities and give them tremendous strength:
By permitting his senses to become deadened through indulgence in habit-forming drugs or alcoholic stimulants, the individual becomes temporarily en rapport with these denizens [succubi and incubi] of the astral plane. ― Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
Such entities can be eradicated by changing one’s behaviors and cleansing our homes with high quality incense, invocations, and prayers. Learn how to defend and beautify your Home and Altar.
Mixing Gnosis with Drugs
There are people all over the world who mix drugs with Gnosis. These people define themselves as demons.
This is why Samael Aun Weor announced, sadly, towards the end of his lifetime, that the entire country of Colombia has produced a rich harvest of hasnamussen: beings with a split personality: one heavenly, one diabolic―an abortion of the Divine Mother.
Why? Because the Gnostic rituals are extremely powerful. When you mix the energies of Christ with hallucinogenic mushrooms, ayahuasca, marijuana, LSD, acid, or drugs, you take those powers and awaken them in the ego.
All rituals have to do with blood and semen. Ritual is a double-edged sword that defends and gives life to the pure and virtuous, but hurts and destroys the impure and tenebrous. Ritual is more powerful than dynamite and the knife.
It is only in rituals of black magic, black masses, where chemicals, intoxicants, and drugs are utilized. Black masses incorporate drugs to provoke delirium, hallucinations, and convulsions, accompanied with rape, orgies, and sexual violence. Such acts produce a synergy of devolving forces, which precipitate the consciousness of their practitioners into diabolic awakenings and the fortification of desire.
Intelligence Resolves Problems, Not Drugs
You may have a tremendous and explosive experience through one of these drugs, but will the deep-rooted aggression, bestiality and sorrow of man disappear? If these drugs can solve the intricate and complex problems of relationship, then there is nothing more to be said, for then relationship, the demand for truth, the ending of sorrow, are all a very superficial affair to be resolved by taking a pinch of the new golden drug. Surely this is a false approach, isn't it? It is said that these drugs give an experience approximating to reality, therefore they give hope and encouragement. But the shadow is not the real; the symbol is never the fact. As is observed throughout the world, the symbol is worshipped and not the truth. So isn't it a phoney assertion to say that the result of these drugs is near the truth? No dynamic golden pill is ever going to solve our human problems. They can be solved only by bringing about a radical revolution in the mind and the heart of man. This demands hard, constant work, seeing and listening, and thus being highly sensitive. The highest form of sensitivity is the highest intelligence, and no drug ever invented by man will give this intelligence. ―Krishnamurti, The Only Revolution, Europe, Collected Works (Volume 13)
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 fascination with the desiderata of life's banality is better than questioning the genuine causes and origins of affliction. Contrary to the 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...
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 insights 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
Learn more about the principles of retreat:
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
Meditation Courses and Resources
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 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 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: 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
The Synthesis of Spiritual Balance and Practice
Remember that to find balance in your own work, you will need a combination of all three aspects below:
In synthesis, these constitute three factors for the revolution of the consciousness.
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 list of books and 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.
Meditation is a means of acquiring information about ourselves, why we suffer, and what we can do to transform our suffering into wisdom and happiness.
It is also a technique for accessing personal knowledge of the divine and receiving insight on how to live with greater rectitude and love.
Meditation is a means of awakening and expanding consciousness beyond conditions and limitations of the physical senses.
Since consciousness is the ability to perceive, meditation is a deepening of that perception, a means of perceiving facts on a psychological and spiritual level.
Meditation is the natural state of the unconditioned, liberated consciousness. Therefore, the practice of meditation is a method of stripping away conditioning, illusions, and misperceptions. It is a means of gathering information about who we are. It is not "spacing out," nor is it solely focused on having ecstatic mystical "experiences."
Meditation is also not produced through artificial means, technology, machines, or drugs, since chemicals and psychedelic substances further condition the mind and psyche. Meditation is a state of being free of conditioning; therefore it is unnecessary to take substances or use technology in order to produce the natural state of awakened perception.
In order to perceive in its natural state, the consciousness must be purified of its conditions through practice and the application of conscious attention.
By removing the conditions of the psyche that make us suffer: anger, pride, fear, resentment, anxiety, desire, envy, etc., we can in turn see past illusions in order to access the essential nature of the consciousness: a profound state of happiness and contentment.
The meditator also possesses subtle energies in the mind, heart, and body that can be harnessed for meditative discipline. This is well explained in certain schools of Yoga and Buddhism.
Since we have everything we need within ourselves in order to strip away what is unnecessary within our consciousness, learning to return to the natural state of perception is only a matter of individual training.
As a practical technique and way of life, meditation is a method of gaining comprehension and guidance in relation to problems, difficulties, and challenges in life that seem impossible to resolve.
By gaining direct knowledge about the causes of our most intimate problems, we can then arrive at peace, serenity, and insight.
This personal, self-knowledge has been called gnosis in Greek. Gnosis is beyond belief, theory, scholasticism, argumentation, debate, concepts, etc. It is in fact the direct apprehension of truths through our very capacity to perceive.
In meditation, we rely on facts and evidence to support our understanding of the truths contained and taught within different traditions.
Here, we do not speculate. We know. For as the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor, stated:
Gnosis is lived upon facts, withers away in abstractions, and is difficult to find even in the noblest of thoughts. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Want to learn meditation?
Lectures on Meditation
Explanations of Spiritual Practices
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Gnostic articles on practical spirituality: the science, mysticism, art, and philosophy of conscious living.