(Jacob wrestles the Angel Samael as referenced in the Zohar)
Sexual magic constitutes the most transformative and powerful element of the Gnostic teachings. However, it is also the most controversial and contested, because it strikes the heart of our most cherished beliefs, assumptions, and identities. This is why Peter―whose name is slang for a phallus, genitalia, or stone―symbolizes the foundation of genuine faith and the inner church, constituting "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" (1 Peter 2:8). While many can appreciate the versatility, depth, and eclecticism of Samael Aun Weor's writings, countless students, due to attachments and desires, cannot overcome an aversion towards his stipulations on chastity, thereby seeking evasions and justifications for denouncing his teachings.
The verse from 1 Peter 2:8 also states: "They stumble because they disobey the message," in that, while accepting other aspects of the Gnostic doctrine, detractors are unable to digest the provocative and paramount message of sexual purity. Such a conflict reflects a terrible paradox: how students who flock towards religions and scriptures reject the very principles upon which they were founded.
However, chastity is the foundation for understanding, from experience, the essential truths of religion, regardless of the time, space, language, messenger, or culture. The reality is that sexual magic is not the sole property of one man, but is a universal science present within all traditions. Such knowledge was encoded for those who know how to interpret wisely, primarily since this practice is so potent that it was only given to those who had first proven their purity, ethics, and candidacy within the esoteric mystery schools of initiation.
Some have asked if Samael Aun Weor's explicit denunciation of orgasm is just some trick to protect pleasure-seeking students from attempting these practices. On the contrary, the reason sexual magic was masked throughout the centuries by every authentic spiritual order was to protect pleasure-seeking students from the harm caused when one seeks power without purity. However, this teaching was always present for those initiated students, and we have a large collection of scriptural evidence to demonstrate its existence long before Samael Aun Weor wrote his books (Scroll down Scriptures and Sacred Texts to access this wisdom from all major religions).
Is Sexual Magic Repressive?
There is a need to comfortably manage our sexual desires rather than repressing them, and that is precisely the skill that Gnostic science teaches us. Certainly, pure sublimation of the chaotic sexual impulse is probably the most difficult skill for an ordinary person to master, hence, the rarity of true spiritual masters. However, it is possible to those with sufficient willpower and self-discipline. While we fear the deprivation of our greatest source of physical pleasure (orgasm), we remain ignorant of sacred sexuality’s blissful potential. Yes, the heights of spiritual development are very costly. No one can transform into someone greater without first sacrificing who he currently is.
A lot of spiritual movements preach abstinence. However, merely retaining the sexual energy is not enough, but sublimation and transmutation is what counts towards spiritual development. Through pranayama and other mantric exercises, the bachelor or bachelorette learns to not only conserve, but redirect that energy for conscious purposes such as meditation. This is how we regenerate ourselves and acquire longevity, health, mental stability, concentration, serenity, imagination, and psychic abilities. Transmutation is very positive, because we learn to guide the sexual force with intelligence and wisdom. However, many mistaken yogis and monks believe that prayer, celibacy, avoidance, and sexual repression is enough, and yet we can see some of the myriad problems that arise from it (like nocturnal pollutions and even sexual perversity among clergy, as well as all over the world). You can save energy, but if you do not utilize it with the consciousness, then such spiritual energy decays, degenerates, and devolves, much in the same manner that fuel in a car tank will degrade between three to six months when unused.
In the past before yoga and monasticism degenerated, practitioners were dedicated to transmutation for years before getting married. This is due to the fact that it is easier to learn how to direct sexual energy as a single person than with the added temptations of a marriage. Beginners often struggle if they are already married and never learned how to transmute their sexual energy on their own. Therefore, ethics and chastity are the requisites of the perfect matrimony, and only when students truly defined themselves for this work did they gain the right, in those ancient, Piscean, and conservative traditions, to enter a marriage. However, we are now in the Aquarian era where the sexual teachings are free and open to the public, so any couple can learn to consciously apply these principles with study and understanding.
Lust is not conquered by running away from it, neither by feeding or justifying it. Seeing and comprehending desire leads to its transformation. Just because one does not conquer lust by avoiding it does not mean we should seek out those scenarios (like going to bars or night clubs). Through consistent dedication and training in transmutation, divinity provides the necessary ordeals to face and overcome such adversities. To take advantage of hardships―which divinity places upon us when we work and dedicate ourselves to chastity―we must learn and practice meditation:
Why Are the Teachings on Chastity So Severe?
To answer this question, we must understand who סמאל און ואור Samael Aun Weor is, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition:
The first portion of this name is Samech Mem [סם].
Is Sexual Magic Dangerous?
Critics are absolutely correct that there is a dangerous aspect to sexual alchemy―those who remain impure while practicing alchemy can awaken as demons. Thus, we always advise those who are not serious about the total annihilation of the ego to avoid these studies altogether. Samael is very intimately related with the potency of our sexual energy, and depending on the purity or perversity of our sexuality, it will regenerate or poison us. Therefore, one who practices sexual magic will become either an angel or a demon: there is no other outcome.
A demon is a slave to desire. Such persons awaken powers within hatred, pride, envy, selfishness, vanity, gluttony, greed, avarice, conditioning, negativity, lust, etc. Ironically, these negative states are commonly taught, propagated, defended, and worshipped by "spiritual" groups, because many devotees never discriminate the origins of their behaviors. Most of us are not willing to question, renounce, and annihilate our most cherished sense of self. In this manner, humanity corrupts authentic spiritual traditions, scriptures, and mysticisms to fit a limited narrative. To become an angel, buddha, or master of oneself is therefore the greatest difficulty, since if orgasm were a way to liberation, then our humanity would already be perfect. Instead, we are witnessing greater and more intense suffering every day.
An angel is psychologically dead to desire and therefore possesses divine sexual expression: one that is in mastery of all sexual, instinctive, and creative faculties. They are no longer driven by the desire to copulate, for they have perfected the sexual act. Sex to them is no longer carnal―like beginners in the teachings―but spiritual.
And I brethren cannot speak unto you, as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal even as unto babes in Christ. ―1 Corinthians 3:1
While on the physical level the sexual act may look similar between alchemists (those who practice chaste sexual magic) and fornicators (those who expel their sexual energy), on the more subtle levels of nature, our purity or perversity generates totally different effects, either for liberation or pain.
When looking at humanity in light of these teachings, its psychological and spiritual level of being becomes astonishingly evident: wars, prostitution, slander, violence, murder, rape, extortion, crime, alcohol, drugs, addictions, pornography, sexual degeneration, perversity, morbidity, sectarianism, beliefs, and political systems. Many enslave their minds, hearts, bodies, and souls to spiritual theories, whose validity often remains unverified from experience. Since this is the common level of humanity, sexual magic can become a tool for destruction, which is why in the past such knowledge was secretly preserved for the sincere who proved their worth.
Out of compassion, divinity has recently made it possible for alchemy to be publicly known, understood, and practiced. Yet it comes at a terrible cost―one's life.
People with subjective psyches are absolutely utopian. They mistakenly suppose that they can be enlightened without having achieved the death of the ego in a radical and categorical way. These people do not want to understand that as long as they are self-imprisoned, genuine, objective enlightenment is completely impossible. The price of enlightenment is paid with one's own life. In the sacred land of the Vedas there are chelas (disciples) that after thirty years of intensive work are only at the beginning, in the prologue of their work. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Mystery of the Golden Flower
If we wish to receive the benefits of divine sexuality, then it is necessary to fulfill its ethical principles at all times, not inconsistently and half-heartedly, nor out of blind adherence, dogma, or fanaticism. Only the soul, the consciousness, knows how to capitalize on the libido for expedient, spiritual awakening.
Samael Aun Weor himself wrote:
We give this caution so that the student knows what to expect. It is best for the curious, the profane and the profaners of the temple to withdraw. This science is not for the curious. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Samael’s mission was to openly teach the dangerous truth that can regenerate or poison the soul: sexual magic is the key to the highest levels of spiritual awakening and power. He was not being duplicitous with his criticisms of orgasm, adultery, masturbation, homosexuality, etc. He was being so explicit with the truth that most of us contemporary people would merely laugh with disbelief, especially in the United States where we are most materialistic.
Isn't Chastity Just an Outdated Remnant of Puritanical Religions?
Some have condemned Samael Aun Weor's practices of chaste sexual magic as the product of puritanical white religions. Samael Aun Weor was neither white nor a puritanical Christian. He was Hispanic, born in Columbia, and spent decades in far-from-puritanical settings. Early in his young adulthood, he left the Jesuit tradition to investigate spiritualism. After discovering the harms incurred by the mediums he met, he went on in search of occult knowledge and joined the Rosicrucians. He was widely read in esoteric and religious literature and had many discussions with spiritual teachers and leaders from major world religions throughout his life. He practiced and learned from the ancient shamanic traditions while traveling through the Sierra Nevada en route to Mexico. As you can imagine, the Kogi masters taught Samael Aun Weor much more wisdom than any puritanical could have stomached.
While his explicit instructions on sexual magic require purity of application, transmutation has nothing to do with Puritanical repression or forced celibacy. Unfortunately humanity is "third-force blind" as stated by Gurdjieff, because people approach sexuality in accordance with two mistaken extremes: indulgence or suppression. Neither gratifying lust nor abstaining from sexuality constitute its genuine function. Sexual energy must act: it is a dynamic, creative force with marvelous potential beyond mere reproduction or animal pleasure. Affirming or denying lust does not indicate governance of its power. Instead, the more one feeds or runs away from such an impulse, the greater one’s slavery and victimization to its influence. Rather, comprehension, sublimation, or intentional redirection of the sexual energy is the third force of reconciliation, whereby our psycho-biological and spiritual state achieves lasting equilibrium through the profound mastery of one's intelligence and understanding.
Are Samael Aun Weor's Sexual Teachings Misogynistic?
Samael Aun Weor has often been called a misogynist for emphasizing the need to conserve one's semen, which critics interpret as a direct correlative for men and not women. His utilization of the term (semen) is esoteric; it signifies not only the sexual, generative fluids, but the spiritual seed, principles, and virtues of the soul as possessed by both men and women.
Semen (pronounced שמן shemen in Hebrew) signifies the sexual oil that lights menorahs within Jewish temples during Hanukkah. Judeo-Christianity as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, and many world religions retain the outward forms of this esoteric symbol, how through harnessing the creative sexual energy for the spirit, a true human being can be anointed by such holy oil to receive the fire and light of divine favor. Throughout his writings, Samael Aun Weor specified that a true man is תפארת Tiphereth in Kabbalah, or the theosophical, Sanskrit मनस् manas: abstract mind or soul, which can occupy a male or female physical body. He enjoinders many times how women have the same rights as men in the esoteric work, and that one's physical sex is not a deterrent for spiritual progress:
Student: Master, the ladies always wonder why they are relegated by some to an inferior level. Consequently, they want to know what their accomplishments could be, that is, what they could get if they work on themselves with the three factors of the revolution of consciousness?
Unfortunately for millennia, many men have utilized scripture to defend misogyny, patriarchy, hierarchy, dispossession, and sexism, ignoring scriptural symbolism and the role of femininity within the esoteric work. Eve has served, in the Jewish and Christian traditions, as ammunition for an onslaught of degrading stereotypes and offensive diatribes against the feminine sex, ignoring that she is a symbol who represents the creative sexual organs, while Adam, who must control that force, is the brain. Eve (Hebrew חוה Chavah) is the "mother of the living" (Genesis 3:20) or sexual energy that gives both physical and spiritual life. אדם Adam, whose name means "red," is the blood that circulates the sexual force and constitutes the power of the mind and heart, which must control the serpentine sexual energy so as not to fall into temptation (orgasm). This subject is extremely dense, deep, and extensive. To understand more about the intricacies, nuances, and subtleties of this topic, you can rely on the following resource:
Likewise, Samael Aun Weor wrote extensively about the Divine Mother, the eternal feminine principle within all religions, which is symbolized within the feminine sex as the Divine Father is represented in the masculine sex. One without the other constitutes a degraded system, teaching, and religion:
Question: Venerable Master, what is your concept about woman; how do you define her?
Why Isn't Chastity Mainstream?
As evidenced by intensified animosity from both ends of the American political spectrum, it is very easy for anyone to give credence to a multitude of conflicting ideologies. Many views can be articulated and defended with conviction. Some individuals and groups can speak with greater eloquence, efficacy, and enthusiasm, convincing others through the craft of their arguments. And yet, the state of humanity has become increasingly chaotic, violent, destructive, and hateful as a result of such dissemination, which proves the point that if a great majority of people agree with a given belief, it is probably wrong. In the words of Jesus:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Compared with the rest of humanity, the number of people who practice sexual magic is small. Therefore it is evident that these teachings, while freely offered, have not achieved popularity, reach, interest, or engagement with the majority. Instead, most individuals hate chastity, which is normal, because such sexual behaviors run contrary to commonly held assumptions and beliefs regarding sex, marriage, lust, pornography, adultery, and desire.
In North America, the focal point of sexual indulgence, decadence, insatiable appetites, and bacchanalias, many have made tremendous efforts to convince the world that giving in to your desires will produce happiness, and yet the results of such behaviors are accelerating and escalating humanity's collective decay. No one wants to confront in themselves how desire, which seeks to get what it wants at the expense of others, is the root cause of suffering, and yet this is the fundamental precondition of every genuine religion and mystical tradition. What you find, instead of virtue being proliferated and emulated, is the gratification of desire and lust, no matter what the cost. What else could constitute the most damaging (and successful) propaganda, especially when everyone believes it to be true?
Is Sexual Magic Suitable for the Modern World?
Whether or not the sexual teachings are "not entirely suitable for the modern world" is irrelevant. The truth doesn't change just because it has become inconvenient in our contemporary society. Precisely because promiscuity is everywhere in today's culture, we need the science to master our sexuality, to refine and purify it above the mainstream habits of our spiritually-asleep peers. How can we truly harness our sexual power if that instinct is out of control, pulling us in every direction, mandating fascination with particularly attractive people, so that we become hypnotized and obsessed with our own fantasies? That lifestyle will never lead us to reality, because through it we live as slaves to our animal instincts.
Personal Testimony on Sexual Magic
I speak from experience, because, like many, I also found a promiscuous lifestyle unavoidable in my youth. I believed (as I had been programmed to) that the only way to attract a partner was to be sexy and promiscuous, and that sex with multiple people before marriage was the best way to find the right fit for a long-term relationship. Therefore, when I found this teaching in my early 20s, I enjoyed the Gnostic philosophy while rejecting the sexual practices as an aberration. During that period, approximately three years, I endured the most painful series of heartbreaks of my life. As I was forced to face the reality that mainstream sexual practices and relationships were harmful, not only for me, but for my friends and the partners I damaged with my capriciousness, it never occurred to me that Samael Aun Weor's peculiar denunciation of orgasm could be true. Only at the end of that time, desperately crying out to divinity for help and guidance did the epiphany occur: I had had the wisdom I needed all along, practices I had discarded due to their uncomfortable impact on my well-educated American psyche. I had never taken them seriously before, so I had to return to the study of these teachings again to really learn how to practice chastity and transmutation. Through great willpower and the poignant comprehension of the deception of modern sexual propaganda, I never returned to the practices of orgasm or masturbation.
Why Do Gnostics Practice and Teach Sexual Magic?
Many read, study, reconstruct, and filter these teachings so one can more easily understand, and that is normal. We don't begrudge people's condemnation of sexual magic, because if it were actually as they imagined it to be (repressive, cultish, fanatical, inhibitive, unhealthy, weird, satanic, pornographic, etc.), then it would be condemnable. The reality is that innumerable students and instructors practice this science with profound and lasting results. There is no problem for alchemists who renounce orgasm within their marriage in conjunction with transmutation, meditation, comprehension, and elimination of defects. The health problems associated by most medical professionals towards continence apply to people who:
Alchemists learn to develop more fruitful, productive, energized, disciplined, intuitive, and happy lives, precisely because the sexual potential that could be used to produce a child or gratify the senses is utilized and transformed to empower one's psyche and spirituality. The vast majority of doctors, scientists, and religious paragons who reject sexual magic have not practiced it. Therefore they do not fulfill the very basis of the scientific method and lack a serious control group to invalidate sexual transmutation through clinical trials and experimentation.
Rather than rely on anyone's testimonies, it is better to investigate and practice for oneself. The positive results of sexual magic are experienced by anyone who takes the time to study, practice, and live by its principles, precisely because it leads to results that can only be determined through personal experience. To reject something we do not practice or understand is not a validation of one's suppositions. To believe or not believe does not signify comprehension of a given subject. Spiritual birth, as encoded by Jesus in the Gospels, is not a matter of belief, but investigation, action, and discernment within one's sexual domain.
It so happens that people think that by belonging to this or that faith, to such and such religion, or to one or another sect, that they are already saved. Naturally, this is false. A seed never germinates because of what a person believes or stops believing. An insect is never born because of what a human being thinks or stops thinking. A man is never born from the parchment of theory. This subject matter is sexual and in this, the Angel is no exception.
Our suggestion is only to first decide whether or not you seriously wish to pursue the levels of spiritual development that this doctrine describes. If you are not serious, then we advise against dabbling in these practices. However, if your soul genuinely seeks union with your inner divinity at any cost, then you must first genuinely attempt the practice of chastity before prejudging it. If your sincere interest is to experience and develop the skill for yourself, rather than to theorize about it with spiritual teachers, then we will help you.
Either way, we wish you the best in your spiritual journey!
Learn more about spiritual sexuality
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Gnostic articles on practical spirituality: the science, mysticism, art, and philosophy of conscious living.