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Today's lecture is about spiritual self-defense, and it is the first in a course that will be ongoing, about how do we defend ourselves from the various challenges, obstacles, and attacks that we might face as we engage more seriously in our spiritual work.
The most important question I want to begin with is, what is black magic? For many of us who are new to this path, we hear it mentioned, and it might evoke some fear or uncertainty. So I want to clarify upfront a simple basic understanding of what we mean when we talk about black magic.
Yes, black magic does include demons and individuals who are in physical bodies out there, performing rituals and cultivating energy, whether through sexual practices or other rituals― that we don't teach in our school, specifically―in order to be able to gain more power over other people and in the internal worlds. However, to clarify, the power that those people are gaining is fortifying their ego, which means that they will have power in the internal dimensions of the inverted Tree of Life, what we call the hell realms, the infernal dimensions.
Our goal on the white path of initiation is to enter into the higher levels of consciousness, to enter into the divine and heavenly realms, and it is important to know that black magicians, as much power as they may have in the lower realms, do not have power in the higher realms in which the divine law reigns. Some say that in the hell realms, whatever is the divine law is inverted, meaning that what is against the law in the divine realms becomes “the law,” the mandatory law in the hell realms. So if fornication and adultery is against divine law, in the hell realms, it is mandatory that everyone must fornicate. Everyone must commit adultery. This is a basic example to give us an understanding.
Additionally, we have to realize that all of us on this path are trapped between the two realms. We have a bit of our consciousness which is free, which is longing for the divine, which is virtuous, with many beautiful spiritual qualities, and we also have a large percentage of our consciousness that is trapped in infernal psychological states. It is that part of our consciousness through which black magicians can manipulate and control us.
And so, whenever someone is trying to control the will of others, to steal energy from them, by getting them to lust after them, to envy them, to worship them, whenever a person is trying to dominate others, confuse others, manipulate others, or hurt others, this is black magic. As you can tell with that general explanation, many of us in many points in our lives have used black magic. We have used our mind and our cleverness in order to try to manipulate or harm others, but at the same time we have also tried to get others to lust after us or to be envious of us, to make others feel that we are better than them. These are all forms of black magic.
And so while yes, we are looking out for black initiates, individuals out there who have actually been initiated into black paths and are working with black tantra, magical forms of energy manipulation and control of the elements, in order to gain power and steal power from others, our biggest weakness, when it comes to self-defense, is that we ourselves are very egotistical and we are very easily controlled.
The Buddha Gautama said that “It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him into evil ways.” About a year ago, I was watching the opera Parsifal, which many of us know from the books of Samael Aun Weor, specifically the book Parsifal Unveiled, and in the particular rendition that I was watching, there was a powerful scene when Parsifal, who represents the pure but foolish young initiate on a quest to save his Lord, has to enter into the kingdom of Klingsor, representing our egotistical foe. And Parsifal, once entering this kingdom, has to pass through a garden filled with beautiful and seductive women. Because of his purity of heart he is not seduced by these women and is able to enter into the chamber, in which he meets the temptress Kundry, and what happens from there, you'll have to watch the opera to learn the rest.
But as I watched the scene, it struck me that Parsifal did not need any weapons to defend himself from these beautiful and seductive women, because he in his mind was strong. If we have a fantasy in our own mind of a attractive man or woman, and then that person comes into our physical life and begins to try to seduce us, manipulate us, get our energy, or get us to lust after them, make us fall off the path, so to speak, we are very easily manipulated and able to fall in that case. But if in our mind we have already seen the truth of this person, we have no temptation towards lust for them, and then they come and approach us with the same lustful behaviors in an attempt to seduce us, we have nothing to fear, because it will be much more difficult in that case for them to be able to control us. Our best self-defense is cultivating the purity of mind, heart, and body that makes it impossible for any black magician to be able to manipulate us.
I think that this quote from Samael Aun Weor in his book Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology sums this example up perfectly. He wrote:
The best weapon that a human being can use in life is a correct psychological state. One can disarm beasts and unmask traitors by means of appropriate internal states. Wrong internal states convert us into defenseless victims of human perversity. You must learn to face the most unpleasant events of practical life with an appropriate internal uprightness. You must not become identified with any event. Remember that everything passes away. You must learn to look at life like a movie; thus, you shall receive the benefits. You must not forget that if you do not eliminate mistaken internal states from your psyche, then events of no value could bring you disgrace. ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
We need to know that in order to defend ourselves, our best weapon is to be conscious, to be awake in every moment, to be self-observing what is happening inside of us, and to be self-remembering our inner divinity, so that we behave with internal uprightness.
We behave according to our own conscience. This is not worrying about morality or what others will think of us, but knowing in our own heart we are doing what is right in God's eyes. And this is based on our own inner relationship with our own inner divinity that we cultivate through daily meditation and prayer. If you are meditating, you will have a better sense of what is a correct psychological state, because in certain moments in one's meditation practice, one can access this. What is my psychological state when I am, for a few moments, free of ego? And then when I sink back into an egotistical state, when I become identified with some defect, like pride or anger lust or envy, what is the change that I witnessed there? Because if I am self-observing, then I know if my consciousness is truly free and being guided by divinity, or if my consciousness is conditioned by a certain egotistical element in myself that I still need to further comprehend and eliminate.
If we break down this passage, which is filled with very deep wisdom, we see that it is possible for us to disarm beasts and unmask traitors by means of appropriate internal states. This means that if we are awakened, if we are self-observing, have our consciousness active and free of ego, we can see exactly how another person might be trying to manipulate or harm us. And rather than reacting with anger or with fear towards this person, we can become conscious internally of what is the correct response in order to protect ourselves, to guard ourselves in this situation.
When we have wrong internal states, we become defenseless victims of human perversity. If we have truly meditated in this tradition for quite some time, we are aware of the depths of perversity within our own mind. How often we wish to harm or control or dominate other people? And so we must have compassion for the human perversity that exists in others and be aware of it.
The best way to protect ourselves is not to let our own lust or anger or pride seduce us into wrong behaviors. As I mentioned in the example before, if we see an attractive man or woman and we are cultivating a fantasy, a lustful fantasy of the day that they will come and talk to us or ask us out and we are really putting a lot of energy, conscious energy into that fantasy, it is our own mind which has already set the trap for us. And when that person shows up in our physical life and begins to talk to us, it does not take much effort on their part in order to have a profound level of control over us.
Many times in our lives, perhaps we have had our heart broken or we felt betrayed, and the other person may not even have willingly done so to us, but it was our own mental state which set us up for that scenario. We have to recognize that as a consequence of karma, we have many ties to other people and each of these will play themselves out, and we must accept that because we have done wrong in this lifetime and in previous lifetimes, we will suffer. But, if we suffer consciously, and if we take those situations of pain and we transform them into an opportunity to learn about our own inner defects, to cleanse ourselves internally, to respond with more love and strength of heart towards the difficulties of life and towards our problems with other people, we will truly become an initiate, a warrior on this path, which is what we need.
It's a very difficult work. It's a work of a lifetime and not something easily achieved and not easy to follow through with. That is why these temptations come along in order for us to go to battle, to prove whether we are going to be defined for the will of God or whether we are going to fall fulminated at the feet of our own inner egos and defects.
Temptations are a chance for us to purify ourselves. However, most of the time we become identified with an event. We look at other people at our life situation as very real and as something that demands for us to react to it with a lot of self-esteem. When other people come along and insult us, or when life is not going the way that we had desired, we get identified. We have a lot of pride that comes out and says, “I don't deserve this. These people shouldn't be talking about me like that. They are so much worse.” Or “this situation shouldn't be happening to me. I am great and I have done all this hard work,” etc., etc. This is becoming identified with an event, and we will suffer much more through that identification.
It is much better to take a step back, to calm down, go for a walk or do something that calms us down, and then enter into meditation. Separate from our identification with the event and reflect on it serenely, allowing God to show us not what is wrong with the other person or what is wrong with the situation, or how can I change other people and situations to make them more the way that I want them to be, but rather, “what is it in me that is incorrectly responding to this circumstance?”
By understanding ourselves, which is truly the only thing that we can change, we will be able to find more peace. We will be able to radically change inside, and as we change inside, we know that the outside world will begin to reflect more and more our inner level of being. This is a process of alchemy, of transmutation, radical transformation of oneself from darkness, unconsciousness, and egotism, into light, selflessness and consciousness, unity with divinity. That is what we are doing. We are taking a heavy base metal like lead and transforming it into the purified gold of the spirit. This is a long work.
Events of no value, such as an argument with someone, which in the moment feels very serious and very real and causes a lot of anger in us, can bring us a lot of disgrace if we respond with that anger. However, if we transform that state, we feel peace with the situation. We accept it. We express kindness or compassion for the other person involved, then that event passes away. Everything passes away, is what Samael Aun Weor is writing here. If we keep that in mind, no matter how much we burn in the moment, we can find a rope to hold onto, a continuity of consciousness so that we do not lose our integrity over an event of no value.
Chastity: God’s Covenant
Most importantly, in maintaining the purity of our state of mind and of our soul, is chastity. For anyone who has been in this doctrine for some time, you know that we speak repeatedly about chastity as the renunciation of orgasm and the practice of sexual magic with one spouse, or the practice of pranayama: to transmute one’s sexual energy in a pure way for single people.
Chastity is our covenant with God, and when we break that covenant, we lose the divine protection which that covenant grants us. It is a very serious covenant to make, and I recommend that when you make that choice to commit to chastity as part of your spiritual practice, as part of your life, that you don't go back on it―that you fight with all of your being to preserve that chastity, because when one falls, depending on the severity of the fall, the consequences are very severe.
So we have to be very serious about chastity, when we take that step, because it offers us a lot of protection. What chastity does is it strengthens our inner connection with our inner Father, what we call the Innermost, related with Chesed on the Tree of Life, in Kabbalah, and with our Divine Mother, both of whom want us very much to succeed. This doesn't mean that difficulties will never happen to us because, of course, we have karma, and because we need to face our karma in order to develop our soul and to become strong souls to purify ourselves. But it does mean that we will have the comfort of the Holy Spirit with us in those moments, because our sexual energy is our direct connection with the Holy Spirit. And when we are transmuting and raising that energy up the spine, and conserving it in our body without ever letting that energy out, we are creating a hermetic seal in which our connection with God becomes stronger and stronger, and is never broken.
Years ago when I first took this step, I was seeing in a vision, in meditation practice, God's covenant with Abraham, and I realized that this symbol is about our sexual chastity. If you are familiar with the story from the Bible, God makes a covenant with Abraham that his seed will be as numerous as the stars. And this covenant is made because Abraham, at the time named Abram, was lamenting that he was childless.
This is our situation. We want to give birth to the soul. We do not want to be just an Essence, just the seed of a soul. We want to give birth to that child, that Christ child within our own soul. And so we go to God and we pray, “Give us a chance to achieve this work,” which is very sacred, and God says to Abraham that he must perform a sacrifice, an animal sacrifice.
Abraham does so, cutting the animals in two. Sometimes this is known as the covenant of the pieces. For us, it is important to realize that the sacrifice of the animal is the sacrifice of our own ego, all of those drives that cause us to become identified with situations in life: lust, anger, hatred, pride, gluttony, greed―all of these animal defects in us which are constantly controlling us and causing us to perform wrong actions that create more and more problems for us and for others. This is what we must sever, and of course the greatest example of the animal instinct is lust.
When we commit to chastity and we are renouncing orgasm, we are severing our ties with that animal. We are taking the animal instinct and we are taming it through sexual magic, or through pranayama if you are a single person. And we are transforming that animal into knowledge, into the power of God, the willpower of God. And this work takes time.
Also, the covenant that God made with Abraham required that all of his children and Abraham himself becomes circumcised. Obviously, this is a symbol of chastity: the circumcision while, yes, it is performed literally and physically, is truly about circumcising our own mind, our own animal instinct, and becoming pure in the way that we approach sex and sexuality. This takes time, and I recognize that preserving chastity is a challenge for many people, but it is the most important front in which we begin to define ourselves.
That is why I have listed here that we must master self-control. If you are tempted in a moment to look at pornography or to engage in some lustful fantasy of a person, to engage in behaviors that you know are directly counterproductive to your spiritual work that you are attempting here, you have to develop ways to control yourself, most importantly to control the mind. We often describe the mind as a donkey which must be whipped and controlled. This does not mean to repress and to beat oneself up, but merely in the beginning, find a way to redirect your mind.
If you are at home and you have access to things that will feed your lust, get rid of them, or go for a walk or read a spiritual scripture. Find a way to control yourself, and later on when you have calmed down, enter into meditation, and without becoming identified with what you are meditating on, pray for your inner divinity to help you, to keep your covenant. If you cannot control your own mind, then of course you are at great risk for black magicians or demons to control you.
When we engage in orgasm, we are opening up the doorway into the infernal worlds, and we are allowing lots of negative atoms into our inner bodies. So energetically, emotionally, mentally, we are filling ourselves with toxins and weakening our ability to be strong in our chastity. That is why we have to be very serious on this point, and why I put it so early on in this lecture. This is really the foundation of our work, and this is the way that people are so commonly swayed into the black path.
In many of the schools of black magic, they preach virtue and godliness and purity, and many of the same things that we teach in this school, but the defining difference between a white path and a black path is the orgasm. Samael Aun Weor says that if you are ever awakened internally in the astral plane and you believe that the person, the master who is talking to you may be a black magician, to ask them what they think of chastity, what they think of renouncing the orgasm. And without fail, if the person says to you that orgasm is good or orgasm is okay, then you know that this is someone of the black path and you need to protect yourself.
We will get into ways of how you can protect yourself in an encounter like that in a few moments. But the seriousness of preserving chastity just cannot be overlooked. Temptations come along to force us to define ourselves. If you fail when you are facing a temptation, learn from it. All of us fail when facing temptations, but this is not an excuse to give up or to just continue in bad behaviors. If we fail, we should feel genuine remorse, and we should meditate seriously on that circumstance or that failure, praying to God with our whole heart, day after day, for comprehension, and really creating the circumstances in which that comprehension can come to us, by meditating and separating ourselves from bad influences.
Additionally, even when we can physically preserve our chastity and maintain that in our physical lives, sometimes we are attacked internally and we may be seduced, whether by men or women, in the internal planes. And this can cause us to lose our energy, what we refer to as wet dreams or nocturnal pollutions. This can happen for both men or women.
So if you wake up and you know that you have experienced an orgasm or a wet dream, there is a remedy that you can make, the melon drink remedy. And I have a link to it in the resources that I mentioned earlier, also at the end of this presentation. So that link has a beautiful video which illustrates exactly how to make that melon drink, and to continue to make it until you are able to recover from that.
So if this happens and you lose your energy, continue to transmute, continue to practice pranayama everyday. Do runes every day if you feel that you have a very fiery sexual temperament. You may need to perform runes in addition to pranayama.
There is no limit on how much pranayama you can do. You can perform as much of it in a day as you need to. So if you are feeling particularly tempted, go outside. Go for a walk. Take a break. Come back and perform pranayama for as long as you need until you have calmed down.
Okay, so this bit about knowing the conjurations is really your homework. If I were to give you an assignment on how to protect yourself, it would be to begin today memorizing these conjurations.
Choose one. Pray it every night before you go to sleep, and whether you have written it down or you are reading it, the more that you pray it, the more familiar you will become with it. And just as you had to memorize things in school, some of these conjurations will be a little bit difficult to memorize at first, but it is possible. And truly, of all the ways to defend yourself, memorizing these conjurations is one of the easiest and most valuable to do.
Now the first one that I have listed here is not exactly a conjuration, but more a mantra for protection. Klim Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Swaha. There are videos related to all of these mantras and conjurations at the end in the resources section.
So as I mentioned before, I am not going to go in depth into every resource, but give you an overview of where you should be looking, and then you will be able to refer to the videos and the articles on these very powerful prayers, in order to understand the true depth and meaning of each one of them.
Mantras of the Flaming Star
Now, Klim Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Swaha will project a pentagram, a flaming star, in the astral plane.
This is also a mantra that you can repeat in your head internally, mentally, whenever you are feeling threatened in the physical world. Sometimes during the day, I do not feel threatened by other individuals, but I feel that my own mind is becoming sleepy or perhaps angered by a situation, and so in order to conjure my own mind, I will use this mantra mentally. No one else knows that I am doing it, but it truly helps me to focus. I notice more brightness of consciousness coming in as I use this mantra. It is very helpful.
So while it may sound a little complicated to memorize at first, it's one of the easier mantras that can really be helpful in many, many moments.
Additionally, with all of these mantras, which are often in other languages such as Hebrew or Latin, it is okay if you are mispronouncing them. Yes, the videos give us an opportunity to know how they should be pronounced, and there are some audio clips as well of one of the other instructors pronouncing them, but what is most important is the sincerity of your heart and prayer, your inner connection with divinity, your purity. So do not get caught up over whether or not you are mispronouncing it. There are some conjurations, which I realized I was slightly mispronouncing a word for some time and then I corrected it, but even before correcting that mispronunciation, they still brought a lot of force and power. So do not let the mispronunciation piece become a barrier for you.
The Conjuration of the Four
Next is the Conjugation of the Four. This refers to the four elements, and this conjuration is used to reject all of the legions of demons, which can manipulate the elementals in order to attack us. And so this is usually the first conjuration that one would say before going to sleep at night.
The Conjuration of the Seven
Additionally after completing the Conjuration of the Four, one would then say the Conjuration of the Seven. This conjuration invokes the seven archangels in order to reject the seven archdemons. And so, for demons which are more powerful and not able to be rejected with Conjuration of the Four, we can use the Conjugation of the Seven.
The Invocation of Solomon
And finally, the third prayer that one would use before going to sleep would be the Invocation of Solomon. So with these three, we can protect ourselves before we go to sleep and enter the astral plane. The Invocation of Solomon actually works with the entire Tree of Life to be able to draw the forces of God to protect us.
Fons Alpha et Omega
In addition to these, one of my favorites is the Fons Alpha et Omega. This is actually a variety of mantras combined into one conjuration, and it is very powerful for rejecting negative forces. It also can help us to penetrate the meaning of a dream or a vision, so you can say it when you are sitting to meditate and asking for greater clarity on an experience that you have had. This conjuration can be used to mirror back the attack that someone has directed at you.
So we have heard it said that one who lives by the sword falls and dies by the sword. If an individual is directing harm towards you and you use the Fons Alpha et Omega, this actually will redirect that energy back at the creator of that conjuration.
So in that sense, we must be very careful that we are not trying to use these prayers to harm anyone, but are keeping compassion for the ones who might be attacking us in our hearts whenever we are using them.
Finally there is a song that we can use before bed, which many like, which can invoke the Angel Aroch. So Belilin is a song which we must sing as we are falling asleep, and the Angel Aroch will come to protect us and be with us.
All of these prayers that I mentioned in the slide are in A Gnostic Prayer Book, which is sold in the Gnostic Store on Glorian.org. As well, I have linked the Gnostic Store and the Gnostic Prayer Book in the resources section of this lecture, so that if you want to find copies of these prayers and have them all in one place to be able to memorize them, you can do so through that book.
So we will use these conjurations a lot in protecting our home and our body, and that is why I felt it was important to assign it to all of you as homework, that you really need to be memorizing them one at a time. And if you only have one memorized, go ahead and start using it all the time when you are praying. If you are walking around through the day and you are trying to strengthen your self-awareness, you can repeat that conjuration in your own head to give you strength of consciousness and to reject your own ego, your own defects within.
Additionally, in our home we want to include pentagrams. So a pentagram can be drawn with a charcoal pencil, which is something that does not leave a permanent, lasting mark on the floor, if you are worried about that. We also have some wonderful pentagrams which are very affordably priced on the Gnostic Store as well. So I have linked the Gnostic Store in the resources section for those who would like to buy them.
A pentagram should be placed on one's altar, and I will talk a little bit more about the altar. In addition to the altar, we should have a pentagram above our bed where we sleep at night and we should also have a pentagram at the doorway of our bedroom. When you place a pentagram in a doorway, you want to put the two feet facing out of the door so that if you were to stand that pentagram up on its two feet, it would be standing in the doorway. If we mistakenly reverse that, then we would be summoning negative forces into the bedroom. So it's very important that when you place it on the floor, you have the two feet facing out of the bedroom and the top point facing into the bedroom to reject the negative forces.
In addition to this, we have clear pentagrams, which you can place in windows. Some people as well like to place a pentagram in front of the doorway to their home. So again, with the two feet facing out of the doorway and the top point facing into the home. You can cover it with a rug if you are not wanting any visitors to see it. Clearer pentagram stickers can also be great for your car if you want a little bit of extra protection there.
A lot of those are optional, but the three main ones that we stress that Samael Aun Weor indicated are to have a pentagram on your altar, in the doorway of your bedroom, and above your bed.
Personal Space and Altar
Now I recognize that not everyone has their own personal space in which they can be displaying pentagrams. In which case I advise you to do what you can with all of the practices and techniques and strategies that I am giving in this lecture, and if it is something that is not possible for you because of your relationship with your roommates or significant other, then choose other ways to protect yourself. You don't need to do all of these. I advise all of them as best practice for those who are able, but of course, I recognize that not everyone will have the opportunity to do so, and that's okay.
If you do choose to draw the pentagram with charcoal, again, it's important that in the doorway, you have the two feet facing out of the door.
In addition to the pentagram we would like to create an altar. An altar is a space where we can pray and meditate, do our conjurations at night and this is where we can cultivate a lot of spiritual force. We can do runes there and practices, whatever we feel is our sacred practice in order to strengthen our connection with divinity.
It is great to have an altar. This can be a plain table. It doesn't have to be something elaborate, but it is a wonderful thing to do if you have the opportunity. So to give you a little more context on this altar, we are going to read directly from one of the resources that I linked.
Here are the Basic Elements for a Gnostic Altar:
A Gnostic altar should be a table or stand of some kind covered with a fine cloth, usually white. Some even cover this with glass. While you can make the altar from anything humble and inexpensive, the best altar will be made from scented would such as cyprus, cedar, sandal, etc. (On the altar you should also include) a copy of the Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled by Samael Aun Weor, and representations of the four elements.
For the element of water you can have “a bowl or a glass of water.” Keep this water clean. So you may need to refresh it over time.
To represent the air you can have “a feather,” and to represent the Earth, you can have flowers, a stone or something else of significance for you. Some people like to have a dish of soil.
In addition, on one's altar, we would include “a pentagram” as was already mentioned, and we would use “perfumes, incenses, or scented oils.”
I highly recommend that you use incense regularly. This draws a lot of positive forces into your home and it rejects negative forces.
So while we can of course use incense, if you are worried about the scent or you have a partner who does not enjoy the smell of incense, you can use essential oils. You can find a diffuser in which you can mix a few drops of essential oil with water and diffuse that scent through the home. Or you can of course put the essential oil directly on your skin in a small amount.
With essential oils, we recommend therapeutic grade. A lot of essential oils that are cheaper on the market have been diluted and are not pure qualities. So therapeutic grade is really the best that you can get when it comes to essential oils.
Beautiful Images and Sacred Environments
In addition, when we are trying to cultivate a spiritual atmosphere in our home, we want to have images, sacred images, like images of the Buddha, Christ, or any type of religious or spiritual master that really inspires you. This can be really powerful, and these of course can go on one's altar. You can put other sacred scriptures like the Qur’an, the Bible, the Sutras.
You can put sacred symbols like the cross or the menorah, and sometimes people like to include a symbolic blade, sword, or knife to represent the psychological work: to cut through the illusions of our own ego.
In addition, Samael Aun Weor wrote this about the home of Gnostic initiates:
The home of Gnostic initiates must be full of beauty. The flowers that perfume the air with their aroma, beautiful sculptures, perfect order and cleanliness, make of each home a true Gnostic sanctuary. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
This is from the Perfect Matrimony and in The Yellow Book, he again emphasized that:
Flowers, perfumes, symbolic pictures, and beautiful music contribute to creating an environment filled with wisdom and love. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Yellow Book
When we talk about beautiful music, we are talking primarily about classical music that elevates the soul, not popular music of nowadays.
Prayer to the Aloe
In addition to be able to protect one's home, there is a prayer that one can do with the aloe plant. Again, this prayer is written down in the Gnostic Prayer Book. I believe it is also in Igneous Rose.
So the prayer to the elemental fairy of the aloe vera plant is beneficial in order to protect against negative forces. Every Gnostic home should have an aloe plant. Use this prayer to invoke its assistance.
Cross, thou art holy and divine. Sorcerers and witches withdraw from this home. Such persons who intend to arrive here, let it be known that I am with God. Sovereign God, set me free from treason and from ruination. Blessed be the most Holy Mary and the consecrated host. ―Gnostic Prayer
After you say the prayer, bless the aloe plant with the sign of the cross.
Elemental Magic of the Maguey
Similarly, there is a ritual for a maguey plant (Agave Americana) that is very powerful to cut one's ties with the Black Lodge and to be able to conjure or reject any forces from a direct attack, if you suspect that a person is attacking you internally, and that prayer can be found in the book The Divine Science: “White Magic and Black Magic” if you are interested in learning about that.
Black Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds can be used to protect us from psychic attacks. So you can purchase online small tiny jars with a cork to put in the top, and then mustard seeds are available again from the Gnostic Store. You fill four little jars with mustard seeds and you place them in the four corners of your home where they will be able to create a sort of force field in order to protect you from psychic attacks. This can be helpful if you feel that when you are sitting down to practice or as you are falling asleep, you are being attacked psychically.
The Circle of Protection
And finally, the circle of protection is very powerful for protecting one's home and can be done every night before going to bed. If you are living in a home with other people, you can also perform the circle of protection directly around the room in which you sleep. If you get up in the middle of the night and you leave the circle for example to use the restroom, then come back in and draw the circle again before you go back to sleep.
So the circle of protection can be drawn by circling the room three times with a sword, which again is an item that some keep on their altar, a sword or a blade or with the sword of one's own imagination. So when I do this mantra, I will chant the mantra “Helion Melion Tetragrammaton” three times as I am imagining the fiery light circling around my room.
This mantra along with that entire practice can also be found in the Gnostic Prayer Book which is linked at the end.
Now to protect one's body, you can wear a pentagram. Pentagrams I have seen available in ring form and also in a form of a pendant, which you can wear around your neck. Those pentagrams have to be consecrated through a ritual that have linked again at the end in the resources, so you can find more information about that.
If you are interested in buying one of these metal pentagrams, we have some contact info for someone who makes them in seals of metals in the back of a gold pentagram, and you can contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in that.
However, if you are not able to buy one of these nicer pentagrams, then you can go and buy a simple silver or gold pentagram, and that should be helpful as well.
In addition to wearing a pentagram, you can put sulfur in your shoes. If you are going to a place, for example a bar or restaurant for a work event or a family event that you feel you need to be present, then you can put sulfur in your shoes, and this will help to keep astral larvae off of you and negative influences so that you will be able to stay cleaner, psychically-speaking, throughout that day. And of course each day, you might want to put sulfur in your shoes, especially if you live in a big city.
Spiritual Strength through Blessed Food and Drink
The Eucharist is a very powerful ritual which can be performed using bread and grape juice, as symbolic wine, every day after you finish transmuting your energy. So if you are a couple, you can perform this ritual after sexual magic, and if you are a single person, you can also perform this ritual after you are transmuting with pranayama. This is extremely powerful in awakening your consciousness. This ritual is actually invoking atoms of Christ to come into your system and to protect you not only from forces outside of you, but also within you. I cannot recommend it highly enough, and so that as well as linked in the resources section of this.
The Microcosmic Star
We have an excellent video which demonstrates how you can form the pentagram, also known as the microcosmic star, with your body to invoke the Holy Spirit, to reject negative forces. And this can help you to protect your physical body.
And finally, juniper berries are a way that we can protect ourselves from contagion. I think that in a time like this, this is particularly relevant. So one can chew on juniper berries after blessing the berries and praying that that they will protect one from any contagion. And so if you bless the berries each day, that's sufficient.
Another great way to purify your home and your body is with a spiritual cleanse. The most common is a sage smudge. You can see it pictured here on the background of the slide. The sage smudge can be bought on the Gnostic Store, in any metaphysical book shop, and even Whole Foods sells sage. So it is pretty common and it's a good way to come home at the end of the night, after being out and about in the city or at work, and to be able to pray the Conjuration of the Four and the Conjuration of the Seven while you bathe yourself in the smoke of the sage. So you can light it, begin to pray and bathe yourself in that smoke by moving the sage smudge around your body. You can put out the sage smudge in a small bowl of sand and then you can use it again the next day.
Camphor is also an easy way to purify your environment. You can buy camphor incense sticks and you can burn them. This is a great purifying incense if you burn them around your home, whenever you feel that the energy is becoming a little bit too dense.
Rue, Sage, and Mugwort
A more powerful cleanse can be done with rue, sage, and mugwort. So these three herbs you can buy online or in a metaphysical bookshop. You would probably need to use a mortar and pestle to be able to grind them up into a powder. And from that point, you would use a charcoal censer, which is, usually in most cases, a small iron pot into which you can place a small hot burning charcoal. After a few minutes when the charcoal is heated up, you can place a little bit of the powder of the rue, sage, and mugwort mixture onto the charcoal. You can go around your home using the Conjugation of the Four and the Conjuration of the Seven, trying to move the smoke into the shape of a cross, in order to purify and bless your home.
I have heard it recommended that when you move into a new home, you can perform this cleanse for 14 days after moving in and then again every 14 days or every month, in order to keep the impurities out of your new home.
You can also burn sulfur if you are leaving for a few days. This is one of the most powerful cleanses. However, it is very dangerous to breathe sulfur in. So if you do burn sulfur in your home, make sure that you are going to be away for at least the rest of the day, if not for a weekend, and to keep a window open so that some of that smoke can get out of the home. If you breathe sulfur in directly, it is toxic and can harm your lungs. So be very careful with that.
If you would like to use sulfur in another way, you can take a little bit of sulfur powder, mix it into your warm bath, and bathe your body into that sulfur bath and be able to purify your body in that way.
The Egg Cleanse
Additionally, there is an egg cleanse. What you can do is you can begin with one egg and you can use two or three if you feel that you have a lot of impurities to remove. You want to rub the egg around your body in circular motion. All the parts of your body: your head, your arms, or legs, etc. And as you are using this egg, you are praying to your elemental advocate to work with the element of the egg in order to suck all of the toxins and impurities out of your internal body, your astral body, your mental body, your vital body. And then that egg, which is very gelatinous, will actually suck up the toxins from those inner bodies, and you should throw the egg onto a fire to destroy those toxins and expel them.
Some Gnostics like to say that the louder that your egg explodes, the more toxins that you had within you, so that can be an interesting twist on that cleanse as well.
So as you might have noticed with many of these cleanses, you are going to be using the Conjuration of the Four and the Conjuration of the Seven. If you don't have those memorized you can try to use another conjuration as well.
Relationships and Environments
In addition to all of these practical steps that we can take to protect ourselves, we should also be very aware of our relationships and our environments, and what types of elements we are inviting into our environments and into our relationships.
So, natural and religious sites can have a pure psychic atmosphere. This is what I find when I visit very old churches or temples. For those who were at the retreat in the Buddhist temple, I am sure you're aware of the very elevated conscious atmosphere of that place. Nature as well. Some say that God's temple is nature, so that can be a way to purify your mind, to purify your heart, to get away from the city for a little bit if you live in a crowded place, and to be able to invite some of those higher vibrations into your life. Being aware that those environments are positive and healing and can be good places to visit on a regular basis.
Conversely, places like bars, clubs, cinemas, cemeteries, etc., attract astral larvae. So astral larvae, we say, are like little bugs that will latch onto you and suck away your energy. They are attracted to a lot of Gnostic students because we are conserving so much energy through our transmutation practice. You can say that on the astral plane, we are glowing like candles with the amount of energy that we are conserving, and that is why the more serious you are in your chastity and in your practice, you may attract certain attacks. If you go to places like this because you are unable to avoid them for some reason or other, put sulfur in your shoes and cleanse yourself with sage or another form of a cleanse soon as you get home, if possible. This is the best way to try to keep your inner bodies clean if you are exposed to those types of places. But if possible, just try to avoid them altogether.
Additionally, we do not recommend seeing spiritualists, such as mediums, people who communicate with the dead, hypnotists, fortune-tellers, and people of that ilk. These types of people, even if they have good intentions, are many times letting in negative forces. Channelers as well come to mind. So while these people may think that they are communicating with positive entities and beings, talking a lot about Jesus or positive energies and things like that, much of the time, they unfortunately are being manipulated by other entities that are not so kind―entities that actually want us to fortify our desire rather than to become free from desire and to guide ourselves internally with the guidance of our own inner divinity.
You don't want to put your own mind and consciousness under the influence of another person. So if you go to a hypnotist, that is exactly what you are doing. Hypnosis means sleep. So we don't want to go and give someone else control over our mind. We want to develop the strength of our own soul and consciousness so that we can go and investigate any questions that we have internally. With the help of our inner divinity, we can pray and beg to our Being to take us to find the answers that we need.
I do not recommend going to places like that because interacting with individuals like this may expose you to negative entities, which can come internally and attack you.
More commonly, you should use conjurations mentally if you feel attacked. So I mentioned before using the mantra Klim Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Swaha, whenever I feel a little bit uneasy with my own ego manipulating me. But also, if you feel that someone else is trying to manipulate you, or confuse you, or dominate you, you can try to center yourself in your Being, and you can be able to use that conjuration to protect yourself.
It is really, really important that you are not using conjurations out of fear or anger. We should be trying to use these conjurations out of compassion for the ones who are attacking us.
People who are trying to control others many times think that they are doing what is right, that they are benefiting other people, and so we have to have compassion for their level of being and for the harm that they are causing. This individual who is attacking someone is cultivating a lot of bad karmic consequences, things that will come back to hurt them in the future. And so we have to really have compassion for them, and by protecting ourselves, we are actually preventing them from cultivating more negative consequences for themselves.
In addition, we should try to develop relationships with morally sound people. So these don't have to be necessarily spiritual people. I know many people often complain that they don't have enough spiritual friends who are into this. What is really important is that you have people in your life who are living with integrity, who are honest, hard-working, exemplifying virtues that you can learn from. This is excellent.
Sometimes people involved in spiritual movements can be some of the least virtuous people, so do not depend strictly on someone's point of view on spirituality to determine whether or not they are going to be a good influence on you. The best way to find out if someone is a good influence in your life is to meditate on the experiences that you have with them, and to see if they are someone who is really helping you to cultivate your own character and your own integrity, or if they are someone that is constantly dragging you into problems and negative states of being.
There is a careful distinction there. If somebody makes you angry, that does not necessarily mean they are a bad person. It could mean that you just need to see your anger and that person is really helping you to see your anger, which could be a good thing. So meditation will reveal the truth.
But especially, I cannot stress enough, that your intimate relationships with people, your romantic relationships, should be with people that you consider morally sound, ethical people, people who are living an ethical life style.
The choice to have a sexual relationship with someone, which is considered by the law and by nature as a marriage, whether or not we call it a marriage, is a powerful connection to that person, which will have ramifications for future lifetimes. So the quality of the person that you have a relationship with is really essential to determining the future lifetimes that you will have. So if you are serious about overcoming suffering and elevating your level of being and your consciousness, you may have to make some hard choices about who you choose not to have in your life. Sometimes this means that you have to love people from a distance. We may have friends whom we care for but whom we know are not particularly good influences on us. So if we have friends who are, perhaps, always inviting us to bars and clubs, we could invite them to do something like go for a hike in nature or do something that is less negative. Or we may just have to distance ourselves from them. This doesn't mean to lose compassion towards them, but rather just to create an environment that is more conducive for our spiritual work.
Obviously, this is a very personal decision and none of us can tell you how to cultivate your own relationships. This should be something that you are continually reflecting upon, meditating on, and asking for guidance from your inner divinity. Because it can be very difficult to lose relationships, but in the long run, if we have relationships that are really draining us energetically and bringing us into bad behaviors and we really don't want to live that way anymore, by changing our own level of being, by changing our behaviors, we can attract relationships that will guide us into the direction that we have consciously chosen to go.
So just be conscious of your environments that you are traveling into and be conscious of your relationships that you have with other people. It's important when you are thinking about protecting yourself.
Our Greatest Enemy
Finally circling back to that original quote, our greatest enemy, our greatest danger to ourselves, is our own mind, is our own ego.
We need to create a lifestyle of spiritual protection. The conjurations, the incenses, and the mantras: these are great tools for us to use, but what is most important in determining the circumstances of our lives is our karma.
Karma is cause and effect. Whatever we do today, we will reap tomorrow. If you are practicing black magic, if you are going around trying to manipulate and confuse other people, trying to exert your own will on other people to get them to behave how you want them to, trying to dominate others to gain their respect, or force others to think the way that you think, even if it is about Gnosis or about spiritual topics, and you think that you are benefiting the other person, this is harmful. This is black magic.
We must respect the free will of all people. If we are abusing others, this is the number one sign that we ourselves will attract that type of manipulation from other nefarious entities.
So be careful about the way that you are living your life. Are you living ethically with remembrance of divinity? At the end of your day, ask yourself that question. “How did I live today? Did I remember my Divine Mother? Did I remember my Being? Did I live in a way with consciousness of what I was doing? Am I learning from my mistakes? Am I truly seeking to be virtuous and to sacrifice for others?”
This is the best protection we can ever have. When someone is angry at you, when they are insulting you, and when you take in those impressions and you transform those impressions into understanding of the pain and suffering of the other person, and you respond with sweetness, with kindness, and with love, you have protected yourself from that anger. And who knows, you may have radically transformed that situation into a very positive relationship with the other person.
So the best tool that we have is to be conscious, to be aware, to transform our situations. How do you respond to life's events? If life's events come at you and you have a lot of negativity about them, you have a lot of negativity about other people, then meditate on that.
Of course, we all need to start where we are at, and it is not good to just repress your negativity and pretend to be kind to everyone. You should act kindly to everyone, and then if you are feeling like being unkind, meditate on what is causing that. Is it anger? Is it jealousy? Is it lust? What is driving your response to life's events?
We should be less concerned and identified with what is going on outside of us and more concerned with what is happening inside of our psychological world. How are you feeling, thinking, and behaving towards other people?
To conclude, I will say that we have a duty to protect ourselves. If we are really working on this path, it is because we believe that there is a way to really serve God and help humanity in the process. And so when other entities try to seduce us, to manipulate us, to attack us, we have a right to protect ourselves and we have a duty to protect ourselves, because the work that we are doing at this time is very important.
Many many people are suffering and the work that we are doing to become better human beings, to connect with divinity, to follow the will of God, the guidance that we are receiving internally, is very important, because as we see every day on the news, this planet is going through an intensifying period of suffering. So the more that we are doing to preserve our covenant with God and to work with the three factors to strengthen our consciousness, to live ethically, to follow the guidance of our own inner divinity, the better it will be for us, for everyone around us, and for humanity as a whole.
So take spiritual protection seriously, and do what you can, but most importantly, know that by purifying your own mind through daily meditation and following God's guidance and comprehension, that is the best protection that you can have.
At this point I will open it up for questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: Thank you for the lesson. My question is with the sulfur. When you take a bath and or when you put it in your shoes, can you use it in your shoes every day?
Instructor: Yes. So what I what I usually do is, I put the sulfur directly in my shoe, and then I put a sock on. However, my husband puts it directly into the sock. I will say, though, if you wash your laundry, try to wash the sulfuric socks separate so that all your clothes don't end up smelling like sulfur.
Question: Then, how much?
Instructor: I just use a pinch in my socks. When you take a sulfur bath, again, you can use again just a pinch. If you feel like you are quite dirty, then you might want to add a little bit more, but it doesn't take a lot.
Question: Can you do that with your hands? You can just pinch it with your hands?
Instructor: Yes. To touch it with your skin is fine. You just don't want to burn it and breathe the smoke. That is when it's toxic. That's a great question.
Question: So the first question is what is your advice or experience with salons, such as massages or waxing salons?
Instructor: Personally, I do find that it's challenging to find a place where you feel that it's a good person cutting your hair or touching your body, especially with massage. People can definitely steal energy through massage, through touching you. In general, if you feel that someone around you may be trying to steal energy from you, don't let them touch you. Especially don't let them touch your back, your spine. That can be a way that people, black magicians, can steal energy. So yes, you have to be cautious with this.
I have been able to kind of feel out different places and find places where I think the individual is, you know, at least a decent person, but if you go to a place and you feel very uncomfortable, then yes, you should probably not go back. I know my husband in particular doesn't advise massages. But let's say that you have an injury and massage therapy is going to be helpful for you, just look around to find someone that you don't get a bad feel from, is my advice. I know that's still a little vague, but really, the longer you have been practicing, you might have a better sense of people's energy.
Question: Would having a pentagram at my door prevent demonic or possessed persons from gaining entrance? There's an unusual smell that comes about once or twice a week now for a month. It comes with headaches and pain elsewhere, but it goes away when I do the conjurations. Could this be a spiritual attack?
Instructor: Yes, it could be a spiritual attack, especially if it's going away when you're doing conjurations. That can be a sign that there's some kind of entity or attack going on there. So, again, protecting your home in the ways that we talked about can be really important if this smell, this entity is coming into your home. Physically, a person may still be able to come into your home if they are a possessed person and you have a pentagram at the door. But energetically, it's going to prevent those demonic and possessed people from gaining entrance.
Question: The sword. When you said to go in a circle. Does it matter the direction of the circle, you know in your room?
Instructor: Yes, I would visualize the circle around the floor. You would want to go clockwise. So if you are visualizing that circle being drawn around the floor of your room, then you would mentally visualize that circle being drawn clockwise, or you would spin clockwise around the room. So turning towards your right around the room in that way.
Question: If you are using our imagination, do you point if you don't have a sword, or just your imagination is fine? Just envisioning a circle, is that what you do?
Instructor: You can point. In fact, if you'd like to use the pentagram with your hand, what you can do is you raise your hand, you raise your thumb, index, and middle finger up, representing the three upward points of the star, and you would put your ring finger and your pinky finger facing downwards.
Using this pentagram, you can reach out and draw the circle as you would with a sword or a blade. However, if you are in a position where you can't physically draw that because maybe other people are in the room, then absolutely, you can imagine a point of light with your imagination, moving around the room and creating a flaming circle or a circle of light, circle of protection around the room. You don't need to physically point in that case.
Question: For egg cleanses, does it matter the source of the egg, for example a natural egg or a GMO egg?
Instructor: I would say with most things, we try to go with a more natural, organic egg. But in this case, whatever egg you are able to get a hold of should be okay.
Question: Is there a video on how to properly consecrate a pentagram?
Instructor: No, there is not. So you simply have to read the article. The article here in Daily Life on the Path, that is going to list I think five or six different articles. For example, one about the Eucharist, one of them will be about pentagrams and how to consecrate a pentagram (See Chapter One of The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled). We have also had that question on the forum, and so you can log into the forum and read about that question as well. And you know if there is a certain point about that that you are not sure, then you can also log on to the forum and check.
Question: If I am being attacked and I asked an elemental if it is an alignment with divine will to heal the attacker, is that considered black magic?
Instructor: No. We can do healing rituals. As long as we have a center of compassion, then any conjuration in a sense is a healing ritual. If we are considering someone who is attacking us and we are really trying to reject the negative forces in them, we are really conjuring their ego, not their soul, so to speak. So we are really trying to help them, but this again shouldn't be done in a way that has a lot of hate.
Question: I do not feel I have any enemies or anyone out to harm me that I am aware of. Should I still take all of these precautions? Also related, are there groups of black magicians who are attacking the general populace? If so, how common are these groups?
Instructor: Okay, with the first question, I would say yes, and be conscious of if you notice a difference. If you take these precautions and you do notice that you feel a little bit more energized or more conscious of yourself, less susceptible to your own vices, then that could be a sign that there might have been some energy being drained away from you that you just weren't aware of.
In addition, the cleanses are good for everyone. I would say, try doing a sage cleanse at least, once a week, or some form of cleanse once a week if you can, because in our world, anywhere we go, we are probably picking up astral larvae. So it's good to do that to protect ourselves.
Are the groups of black magicians who are attacking the general populace? Yes. In fact, you know a common example of black magic is advertising, right? We are trying to get others to agree with our will. We want someone to buy our product, not because it will help them, but because we want their money. We see black magic all the time in cinema and on television and many places, when we see sexual degeneration or pornography, things like that. That is all tapping into the entire population's energy.
And so I think we can see that it's pretty abundant in our society. Right now the Black Lodge has a lot of power in the physical world. This isn't a need for us to suddenly be afraid and paranoid all the time, but to just be aware that the work that we do to keep ourselves pure―and to not try to manipulate and control others, and also to think for ourselves, to follow our own inner conscience, our own connection to divinity―is very important, because there are not many people in the world you can trust. Even Samael Aun Weor said, “Do not follow me. I am just a signpost.” What we are trying to teach in this tradition is really to be reliant on our own inner divinity. But in order to connect with one's inner divinity, we have to strengthen that connection through the practices and the steps that we have outlined in many courses.
Question: So are we not our own best pentagram?
Instructor: So yes, the human body is the shape of the pentagram, and when we do the microcosmic star, which is linked spiritual protection with the microcosmic star right there, that video, you can see exactly how to make a pentagram with your own body.
Question: So now mentioning cemeteries?…
Instructor: This is an interesting question. So, sometimes cemeteries, because of the corpses and the decaying bodies, can attract a lot of astral larvae and negative influences. Certain groups do practices of black magic in cemeteries. They can just be not good places to hang out. However, of course, if we have a loved one in a cemetery and we would like to go see them and leave some flowers, you know, that is a very personal decision. I just mean maybe not hanging around in them, and using the sulfur in your shoes and purifying yourself afterwards, that can be a good practice.
Comment: I have had my job and been at work like usual, and things were changing, and I know people are suffering, and things kept escalating, and I kind of had this little emotional meltdown at work, because I started feeling like they are going to come and get me and try to force me to take a vaccine, you know, like I started really freaking out about it, and my sister's really into all the conspiracy theories. It is not that I don't believe it, but I generally don't let it get to me. But some people were laid off and then I was thinking, “Oh my God, this is really going!” I mean, this is really serious, you know. Not that I didn't think it was serious, but...
Instructor: It's hitting close to home now.
Question: It's hitting close to home. Yes, that's true. And that's the one thing that sends me over the edge. I am just wondering, out of all the things that you mentioned, when you start spiraling out of control, like nothing does it for me better than the thought of like... can you imagine having a world where your vehicle or body to go back to divinity is, you know, ruined, because they are forcing you to take things that are toxic, that have mercury or aluminum, that can ruin your neurological functions? You know?
Instructor: Samael Aun Weor said certain vaccines destroy the internal bodies. So this is a popular question. We have been getting this on the forum lately. Our best advice on the vaccines question is, sometimes you have to accept a lesser evil over a greater evil. Ideally, none of us would want to take the vaccines that have been contaminated, but in many cases, it would be impossible for you to get a job, or you know, if there is a public health requirement for us to protect the community, we have to accept vaccines.
Regardless of our personal beliefs, we have to make a difficult choice there. Are we going to be able to support our livelihood depending on our profession? Are you able to avoid vaccines because your profession allows that or not? Because sometimes through our job, we do a lot of good for humanity, and it would be worse for us to kind of selfishly avoid the vaccine and then lose our opportunity to serve. But that doesn't mean that if we do choose to avoid vaccines that there aren't other ways that we can serve. It is a very personal choice, but that's our best advice we have given so far.
Comment: To me, this is like a frontal black magic attack if I have ever seen one.
Instructor: It is a good point that you are bringing up here, because I think as as we see more and more of this, we see that sentiment going around in society. Many people are confused. “What am I supposed to believe, and especially with politics and things like that?” This goes back to the earlier question about, are there groups of black magicians really out there trying to attack the populace?
We can see that many of the structures in our society are centered around money, power, sex―all of these ways that people are continually manipulated, and in response to your question, I do not think that any situation or any crisis on this planet is unaffected by ego. The egos of people in power, the egos of people oppressed, the egos of everyone caught in the middle. So we have to be really conscious of ourselves, because while we go out there and we try to do the right thing, if we become consumed with negativity about what the people in power are doing, or all of these other horrible things that are going on, we become unable to help anyone. I, myself, am a pretty sensitive person, and there are many times when I weep at the state of humanity and how much pain and suffering is going on. And all of that we know has its root in ego. Until we can address the root of ego within ourselves, we will not be able to overcome ego as it manifests in our societies and in our civilization.
First we have to conquer ourselves, and that can be very difficult. Sometimes it's easier to point the finger and to get upset with the way that others are behaving, but it's most important and most useful to start changing ourselves. And then we will cultivate more power and more consciousness to be able to make a change in society.
I am by no means trying to blame anyone for getting upset with the way that things are in this planet. It is the worst on this planet that it has ever been, even in past root races like in Atlantis and Lemuria. It was never as bad as it is now. We have become extremely materialistic, turned against the true divinity so that even many religious institutions merely use divinity as a pawn for power, and they will be able to really take Christ and betray Christ in that way.
More than ever, it is important that we find a way to protect ourselves from our own negativity, from the negativity of the world, and each day be conscious of what good we can do, in what good we can bring to others. With any type of controversy where we feel divided, who draws the line and who is right?
God is right and God draws the line, and many times nature draws the line.
For us, like I said, it is most important that we focus on understanding in us what is causing our reaction to those situations, but it is best not to seek a physical person to tell you what is wrong and what is right. When it comes to making your everyday decisions, yes, we try to make our best educated guess, but in terms of misleading information in the world, no matter which side of that debate that you fall on, there is a lot of misinformation.
Even with the best intentions and the greatest intellectual knowledge, many people can really do a lot of harm, because they are rooted in a very materialistic view of the world and the way that things work. Science unfortunately has become dogmatic and quite separated from the spiritual aspect. And when we look just at the materialistic effects, the physical effects of certain things, we sometimes do not become aware of the internal, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual effects of those processes.
So I advise you whenever you have to make a personal decision based on a controversy, rather than watching hours of YouTube videos or reading lots of news pages, or checking what your friends are writing on social media, the best thing to do is to meditate and ask your inner divinity to send you a dream or to send you a vision in meditation over the next few days to guide you on that.
Question: You answered my question a bit earlier, but you do have all this information going on like a circus, and all those things, but when you say you should go meditate on it and go to your inner divinity, then that is extremely difficult though, because you have like all these aggregates. You know, you are trying to kill that part of yourself. I find it is easier to write first and then go into meditation and try to make it a bit easier for myself, because when you do meditation, you are kind of just jumping right off a cliff. My issue right now would be like the mask issue. I believe my side of the view is right. So is it better like to sacrifice your point and just go with other people on it? Or how would you differentiate that?
Instructor: That's a great question. I am so glad that you asked, and of course, it is very difficult in the beginning. So you are talking about being able to write out your ideas, and I often do that. I have a spiritual journal where I write down what I am struggling with, and it helps me to kind of clear my mind and calm myself down, and see on paper the different elements in me that are getting frustrated or upset, and then entering meditation and reflecting on that. So that is a great idea.
Sometimes the noble thing to do is to sacrifice one's pride and to do what everyone else is doing. And sometimes the noble thing to do is to do what you know to be right in your heart and not go with the crowd. So, of course, my advice to you is that only you can know what to do, and none of us can give you advice whether about wearing a mask or any other issue. I feel that it is most important for us, the ethical integrity of our action, regardless of what we do. What is most important is the quality of our heart.
If we are doing something out of fear or out of pride, thinking we are smarter than others on either side, because everybody on one side says, “We are smarter than the people not wearing masks,” and then the people who are not wearing masks say, “We are smarter than the people who are wearing masks.” Regardless of which side we fall on, we have to recognize what is driving us. And that is something that we really only can find in meditation.
So again, neither me nor any other physical person, whether in the news or YouTube or anywhere can tell you what is the right action for you. But I will say that sacrifice, when we talk about sacrifice in this tradition, sacrificing of one's own ego, is often painful. When Abraham went to the altar to sacrifice his son Isaac: can you imagine the tremendous psychological and emotional struggle that he was going through to do that? But he knew that that was what his inner God had commanded to him and he knew it to be right. Now, of course at the last moment, he was spared from making that sacrifice. When we sacrifice our own ego, in my experience, many times leading up to that action can be very stressful and painful and hard, but after the ego has been sacrificed, feeling joy and relief, and not understanding why that was so difficult.
To give a basic example, let's say you are really mad at someone, and you know from your meditation and in your heart that the right thing to do is to go and apologize to them for how you acted. But you are mad. And it would mean: sacrifice your anger and your pride and what you think the other person should do for you. If you went and apologized, all the way leading up to that apology, you might really be struggling with pushing yourself. That self-control that I mentioned early on in the lecture is to do what is right, to overcome the temptation to be angry and to be cruel to this other person, and to do what is right, to humble yourself and apologize. But after you have apologized and your friend smiles and hugs you and is happy, you see how that situation was really of no value, as Samael Aun Weor says in his quote, and that overcoming your anger is such a greater gift than any action could ever be.
Regardless of what physical actions we are taking, we need to be concerned with psychological integrity. For what motive are you doing that action? I am less concerned with what you do versus why you do it. If you are being driven by an ego, by a sense of self, which is a delusion and which is false, then that is probably a harmful action. But if you are being driven by your conscience, by your inner divinity, by doing what you know is right and beneficial for you and for others, then that is a positive action.
Question: What is astral larvae?
Instructor: Astral larvae, I kind of described it as a little energetic bug. And in fact, you can see them in the astral plane. They look like grubs and bugs, and they can basically attach to you, your astral body and suck energy out of you to feed themselves. So if you are in places that are filled with a lot of negativity, a lot of lust, a lot of greed, a lot of violence, these places would have a lot of these bugs sucking up the energy, because that is what they get drawn to. And in places like that, which we call filthy, energetically-filthy places, it is just a breeding ground for astral larvae.
Question: Since Gnostics strive to see objectively, can Gnostics be on different sides of an issue, like needing a vaccine, but also may be needing a vaccine for our livelihood? Who draws that line and who's right?
Instructor: Of course we can be on different sides of an issue, because as we are, we are striving to see objectively, but at this point we are caught between our own ego and our own confusion. It is said that when the gods want to punish humanity, they confuse them, and that is exactly what we see. We ourselves feel very confused. Our entire humanity is confused and arguing and fighting over many things, some things which don't really matter, some things which seem much more consequential.
But again, I want to refer back to this quote towards the beginning of the lecture. Remember that everything passes away. That's the heart of it, even as painful as the suffering and the level of suffering on this planet right now, it will pass away. What we want to do is make sure that as we are living our lives and moving through it, we are taking this opportunity to take what's beneficial from a human existence, and that, we can obtain by comprehending ourselves first. As we come to know ourselves, we will be able to then see more and more objectively the outside world. But as long as we are not aware of our own internal states, which can confuse and manipulate us―the illusions of our ego―then how can we cut through the illusions of the external world?
On any issue that you feel divided on, you can meditate. See what in you is trying to control you. Are you being controlled by fear that does not want the vaccine? By pride that says, “I am smarter and I am not going to fall for this trap”? Or conversely, are you being manipulated by fear that says, “I have to take this vaccine for my livelihood to be able to keep my job.” Much of the time it is fear. And so at the end of the day, what is going to be more important than whether we receive a vaccine or whether we don't receive a vaccine is going to be what have we done with the reaction that was created in us in response to that stimulus. So if the case is a vaccine or a certain take on what is going on with the coronavirus in our world right now, use that circumstance not to try to make judgments about what is the truth in the outside world, but use it as a circumstance to see “What is the truth of myself?” and “Can I use this as fuel for my own transmutation?”―to become a wiser and better individual.
As II mentioned before, as horrible things as the Black Lodge can do and is doing in our society and to us as individuals, what is much worse is our own state of slumber and delusion. And if we don't clean up our own mind, wake ourselves up, and get rid of the illusions that are keeping us hypnotized and asleep, then we are sheep on the way to the slaughter, so to speak, in terms of any attacks from the Black Lodge.
Question: I have two quick questions. The first is while you were talking, I felt inspired and I drew two pentagrams for myself for the bedroom and altar, and I was just wondering, because you specified how to have the pentagram at the at the bedroom door, is there a certain way to use it on the altar? How it should be positioned or to use it?
Instructor: Yeah, that's a great question. I can't believe I missed that. Thank you so much. Of course, when we position the pentagram above our bed or on the altar, we might pin it to the wall against or upright above the altar for example, or prop it up on the altar. You want to make sure, again, that those two feet are facing down to the floor and that the top point is facing up to the ceiling. Okay?
Question: Okay. The other question was in the Gnostic Prayer Book, I sometimes look at the healing prayers and there is the exorcism of salt that is performed. Two things on that one, because you mentioned how with the sword you use your imagination and use the fiery sword in your room. I often use my imagination for the exorcism of salt and seems like that's okay. Do I need to go put salt in a tray and get the alcohol and do it physically?
Instructor: It's best if you can do it physically. Of course, you know fire indoors can be challenging for some people. I myself bought a small bronze pan that was relatively inexpensive, where I can put a little bit of alcohol so that when I light the salt on fire that it doesn't get out of control. But of course, as I mentioned before, I recognize that not all of these things are possible for everyone, and when we do it with sincerity in our heart and our imagination, that's better than not doing the ritual at all, if you understand what I mean.
Question: Is there a certain type of alcohol?
Instructor: I use rubbing alcohol.
Audience: Okay, cool. Thank you.
Instructor: Actually, this reminded me of another point. You know, with my first altar, I wanted to put up some pictures of sacred images, sacred masters that inspired me, and at the time being a very poor student, I actually went to the school library where I was able to print and print off those images and just tape them up to the wall. So if there are ways like that, that you can find a way to make your home personalized and inspiring for you, and really bringing divinity's presence into your home, that can be great. It doesn't have to be going all out and spending hundreds of dollars on these different steps that are mentioned. Just do what you can and bring your own soul into it, because the soul has a beauty and an art to it that the mind could never have.
Question: Is there a link to nicer pentagram necklaces?
Instructor: No, unfortunately, but I will send you the email here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Just email us and we will get that information to you if you are interested in the pentagram.
Resources and References
2020 is a very strange year for humanity, which very few could predict the consequences and results that are affecting everyone. Our politicians, our governments, our great sages of philosophy, of law, of spirituality, while we respect these individuals, at the same time, not even they could predict the intensity and the trauma that we find afflicting humanity. But the reality is that while on a global scale, we are experiencing great sufferings, the truth is that it should not surprise us, as ironic as that might seem, because humanity ignores a very fundamental law of nature, which we are finding is being fulfilled with exactitude today.
It is the law of cause and effect. Every action has a consequence. What I do as an individual affects humanity and vice versa. In the east we call this law karma, which is not some type of blind law where “you are going to get what you deserve.” It is an infallible, immutable law that every action we produce has some type of impact. There are consequences to behaviors that are either upright and pure, or conditioned and filled with suffering.
Humanity today ignores the causes of its current position, and, as we began the meditation, it sometimes takes a great trauma, conflict, wars, violence, pandemics, political disputes, police brutality, racial violence, in order for people to really begin to want to ask this question about why we suffer, about why we are in pain. The reality is that there have been beings like Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, prophets, messengers of the divine, who knew from their own experience the trajectory of humanity, and how certain actions produce consequences of great significance.
While this is a law that has governed the rise and fall of societies, in truth this should raise a very profound question for ourselves: how do we produce suffering? Why do we suffer? What are our actions that produce this mess that we see today?
Rather than blame the government, the negligence of bureaucracy, of politicians, of political parties, it is better to be practical. How do we in a moment-to-moment basis, in our day-to-day existence, produce suffering, not only for ourselves but for others?
Humanity is blind. People ignore this law, that when we act with desire, with conditioned states of being, we become afflicted. Whether one believes in any particular religion or faith does not really matter, unless we look at the facts of why there is so much conflict today.
So, sadly, despite the efforts of many messengers, as we mentioned, to teach people how to change, how to alter the trajectory of humanity, their essential message, which is universal, has been adulterated, has been sterilized. They all taught that there is a way out of suffering, a path that in accordance to the religion or the tradition, is distinct to the form of a culture. But, essentially, the message is the same.
While it is discouraging to look at the news, the reality is that there is great cause to be inspired, because there is a method and a way to overcome all of this, whether on a collective scale or on an individual scale, which is more important.
We have been very blessed. There are methods and instructions and teachings that can really change us, and it does not require any belief. Through experimentation, through practice, through verification from experience, we can lessen our suffering and have a clarity and an insight by which to help others. This science is meditation.
To be specific, meditation is not a technique. It is not spacing out or entering into a state of relaxation. All these [calming the body, heart, and mind] are preliminary. Meditation is a state of being, a state of consciousness that is not conditioned at all, that knows how to see and perceive life, reality, in a state of clarity, precision, understanding, with wisdom, with intelligence, with love. This is the essential quality you find in all the great masters of humanity, from any religion, who embody this ideal. They all taught in their synthesis how to access the essential nature of our consciousness, because right now, the reason we are afflicted is because we have many desires, many beliefs, that are split.
It is a fracturing. We are fragmented, and if you don’t believe me, we can simply perform a practice in which we examine a moment in our day. Perhaps we have a conflict or a trial, a chaotic moment, in which we feel that our mind, our heart and our body are torn in many directions. The reality is we do not have a singular purpose of will, of direction, because perhaps somebody criticizes us at work, or we simply watch television to see what is going on in the political world, and we have many reactions that emerge in a single instant. We may be filled with anger, the thoughts of resentment towards a certain person. We may feel fear and pulled towards fight or flight, possibly even despair. This is a moment in which we can see multiple reactions, multiple states of conflicted wills.
All meditative traditions teach if you want to enter a profound state of serenity and understanding, your will has to be one, perfected, sharp, without any type of obscuration or filter. We call that conditioned sense of self, or desire or will, ego. That is the Latin term for “I, me, myself.” Meditation teaches us how to look at what we are, who we are, without judgment, without labeling, without prejudice, but simply, look at the self, at these different wills, these impulses.
The Universality of Meditation
Meditation has been known by many names. भावना Bhavana in Sanskrit means “mental development” or “becoming.” भव Bhava, in Buddhism, we hear भावचक्र Bhavachakra, the wheel of being, which is a map of different states of consciousness within Tibetan Buddhism especially, which has its symbolic representation in the West in the Jewish tradition of Kabbalah, which we will talk about today.
We have the term ध्यान Dhyan or Dhyana which means “to see, to perceive.” This is where we get words like 禅 Chan Buddhism in Chinese or 禅 Zen in Japan.
Contemplation in the early tradition of the church fathers was known by the Latin term meditatri, meditation, contemplation.
Amongst the Sufis of the mystical tradition of Islam, they refer to it as fikrat: serene reflection, serene perception, which is the synthesis of meditation.
Meditation is Direct Experience
A lot of people think that meditation is simply being calm. It is a necessary step and a beautiful thing when we have a state of equanimity and stillness that is so deep that we rest from thought, from emotion, and from impulse, from the body. That is the groundwork by which you can really enter the highest teachings of meditation, which is a state of perception, to receive information about a given phenomenon, whether it be from a scripture, a book, about reality, about ourselves.
That state of reflection, of gaining new knowledge, that aha moment, of understanding, has been known by the term witnessing amongst the Sufis. In Islam they have a very beautiful teaching in their doctrine that is very misunderstood. They pronounce what is called the Shahada (الشهادة). In order to become Muslim, you say:
لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ
In reality, the Arabic term, شهادة Shahada means to witness: مشاهدة mushahada. It means to see divinity, which is not outside, but inside. To bear witness of something, like in a court of law, you have seen it, you have verified it, you have experienced it, and therefor you have no doubt. There is no belief. There is no ambiguity. There is no conflict of interest. We simply know, and therefore if we bear witness that there really is God, and Krishna is His prophet, Buddha is His prophet, Moses, and many masters like Jesus, were His prophets, it is because we have seen it for ourselves, within.
So to really understand meditation, of course, we first have to relax, that is the first step. But it is much deeper than that. We will talk about these stages themselves.
But it can be very difficult now, in these times, especially if you live in Chicago, which is where I am from, where literally you see all sorts of violence being perpetuated throughout the country. We see the state of different cities and countries that are in uprising. They are afflicted with great injustices, whether material and even psychological. It is easy to say we really live in unprecedented times, but the reality is that “there is nothing new under the sun,” to quote Solomon from the Bible. Everything repeats. Life is cyclical. Habits are ingrained. The reality is that while these crises that is afflicting this planet are intense and becoming more severe, as I said, it should not surprise us that this is happening.
If we examine our mind, and if we are very sincere, we realize, with great discomfort, that we have many elements, psychologically speaking, that are destructive. We may not believe that, but the question is: have we looked inside of ourselves to examine our own anger, our own fear, our own pride, our own avarice?—qualities that we like to externalize and blame others of possessing in abundance, but in reality, if we are sincere, we see that we have that inside. That can be very disconcerting, very uncomfortable, but that is the reality.
Humanity, you can see according to history, operates in cycles. There have been many plagues that have afflicted humanity, whether in Europe, whether influenza. There have been many times in history in which diseases have sprouted and killed many people. But we have the arrogance today to believe that somehow, we are special, that this has never happened before. While this is a terrible reality and does not, in any way diminish or devalue the suffering of people, it is a reflection of a cosmic law. In Buddhism we call it संसार Samsara: cycling, returning, repeating. While this happens on a global scale, in our daily life, which is a snapshot, a microcosm, a picture of humanity itself, we find that we have habits and behaviors and ways of being that we repeat. This is something that we should examine, that we should question.
Self-Governance is Real Freedom
Governments have always tried to fix these problems, but they have always failed. The reality is no government, no institution, can change the individual. To quote Krishnamurti, we have to govern ourselves. If we as an individual being were to follow laws of ethics, of compassion, of kindness, of tolerance, of patience, then society would reflect that. But we find that our political institutions and governments smother the problem. They do not know or teach the way for the individual to change, for there to be real equity in humanity.
I would like to read for you an excerpt from a book by Samael Aun Weor, who is the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition. The Greek term γνῶσις gnosis means “knowledge,” and as we are explaining meditation, it is knowledge from experience, without deviation into belief or theory. He wrote in a book called The Great Rebellion about the nature of genuine freedom, what this means for our meditation practice. I will read for you at length:
The meaning of freedom is something that has not yet been understood by humanity.
Freedom, a lovely word, a beautiful term: so many crimes have been committed in its name! (Think of the French Revolution, at least one million people were killed in that event alone.)
So this sense of self we mentioned, ego, is a condition, a shell, that traps our real potential. There is more to us than our language, our names, our culture, our customs, our habits. The essential nature of our being is consciousness, which is altruism, love, happiness, philanthropy, patience, etc., which is the opposite of the self.
Understanding the myself, "my persona, what I am," is imperative if we sincerely wish to attain freedom.
It is very easy to see that we are a slave to what other people think. If they say something negative about our appearance, our habits, our behaviors, we react with anger, with resentment, with pride. It means that any person can push our button and make us react exactly as they want. However, if you comprehend in yourself your own anger and eliminate it, you have serenity. This is why beings like Jesus, when he was being tortured, horribly crucified, was able to say with love, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)
While the "I" exists, the consciousness remains imprisoned. Escaping from that prison is only possible through Buddhist Annihilation (it’s a term that means the dissolution or) dissolving the self, reducing it to ashes, to cosmic dust. —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
This is symbolized in many traditions, such as Jesus being on the cross in his Passion, to die to what is impure so that he can be resurrected as a soul, as a perfected being. So, while he literally existed in the past, it also represents something allegorical for us in this individual work of meditation.
The liberated consciousness, devoid of the "I," absolutely absent of ego, without desires, without passions, without cravings and fears, directly experiences true freedom.
And in synthesis we can state:
In life, the only thing of importance is a radical, total and definitive change. The rest, frankly, is of no importance at all. —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion, “Meditation”
Genuine Spirituality is Based on Facts
So meditation teaches us how to gather that knowledge so that we can really go deep into our psychology and to change in a real way, a permanent way, a lasting way. In today’s era we live, we can say, in a period of information. We can find knowledge about any type of study on the internet alone. But it is also true that we live in an era of misinformation. While we have access to knowledge we have never been privy to before, we still continue to be confused.
It is ironic, right? We have more knowledge and more information than we have ever possessed, and yet we are more conflicted, more divisive, and in more suffering than we have ever been.
The reality is we need to develop a type of consciousness that has to do with wisdom and not knowledge. Intellectual knowledge is necessary to a point. What matters is the quality of our heart, our ways of being, and so in our studies of meditation, we develop our knowledge of ourselves. We call it gnosis, experiential wisdom about the causes of suffering. Of course, it has nothing to do with theory, with beliefs, with concepts, because we can think that we are a certain way, but if you observe in a very difficult moment of life, the facts emerge. Right? I am sure we have all had an experience where somebody said something really negative to us, or we had a very traumatic moment in which we acted in a way that we did not like. We later reflected and said, “How did I think, feel and behave that way?” Those are the facts. Those are the concrete experiences that show us what we can work on, so we can really develop altruism and compassion and serenity: all these virtues that are really beautiful and our true nature. This is why no amount of theory or belief can change anyone.
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
I know that a lot of people, especially approaching many of the world’s events of today, have a lot of conspiracies about what is going on, but rather than focus on any type of external phenomena, it is better if we ask the question, “How does our mind conspire against us?” So, I love this image of a hand holding up a puppet or puppets, which we can associate with either political party or whatever anyone believes, but the reality is that if we have ego, and our government and politicians have ego, then obviously there is going to be fights and conflict, and no type of harmony negotiated at all. Our mind needs to be free of any concepts about life, but rather to just examine with our soul.
Samael Aun Weor states the following in Igneous Rose:
There is the need to liberate the mind from every type of school, religion, sect, political party, concept of mother country, flag, prejudice, desire, and fear. There is the need to liberate the mind from the process of rationalization. There is the need to change the process of rationalization for comprehension. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Comprehension is very different from thinking. You do not necessarily have to label anything with the intellect. You simply know it, like you put your hand on a hot stove; it gets burned. That is a form of gnosis, of knowledge, that if you do that again you get hurt, and then you later think “That was very painful.” So that is the mind. The mind is slower than our other capacities as a consciousness. So, there is a very stark difference there.
Freedom has to do with transforming our internal state in the moment, where we are at here and now. This is why all meditative traditions teach mindfulness, awareness, watchfulness: to gather data, to look at the facts of our own behaviors and not to conceptualize anything, but to simply look. It does not require thinking there, and that is how we cut away from the abstractions, from the philosophy, from the theology, from the theories, and we get to what is practical.
Ashtanga Yoga: The Eight Steps of Meditation
So we will talk about, in synthesis, what meditation is really about, what it involves. This is from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, who was a great master of meditation. In synthesis we have eight profound steps. It is better said if we call them principles. It does not mean that, like a check list, you are going to go through each one: “First I need you to do this, followed by this step, and then next” in a mechanical way. These are very living things, principles, qualities of being, which if you follow in sequence and are really diligent about establishing them in your life, you will find that you will have a great clarity by which to understand any problem that you are suffering and the ways to change it.
The beginning is yama. These are Sanskrit terms. Yama means “restraint.” It means to restrain the mind. So you are at work or you are with a friend, and someone says something very negative, maybe even political (obviously there is a lot of debate going on today), you feel anger come up, thoughts of “You should not think that! You should not say that” or whatever reactions we feel in that instant, and if we restrain that impulse—not repressing it, not hiding it, not judging it, but simply with your attention direct it in yourself—you see it for what it is, and that if you really act this way, to speak these words of anger, is obviously going to make the other person angry.
In the moment you restrain yourself, you do not act on that behavior, because it is going to create conflict, perhaps even split friendships, cause divorces, and many other problems.
Restraint is the beginning. First: retraining your egotistical reactions to life with your consciousness, and that is a state of comprehension in which you see, “If I act as a soul on this lower animal desire, it is going to create problems.”
But that is not enough. We have to follow what is known as niyamas, precepts. In every meditative tradition and any religion, they teach you: be kind, be patient, be compassionate. Forgive your neighbor. Put other people’s needs first before your own. Show philanthropy. Accept when you are wrong with humility. These are all precepts and virtuous qualities that you find in every scripture, without exception.
It is not enough to restrain bad behaviors. It is necessary to enact good behaviors. This is something only you can judge in yourself, moment by moment. You can memorize the Bhagavad Gita, the Qur’an, the New Testament, the Old Testament, whatever scriptures inspire you, but knowing that knowledge of virtue does not mean you are enacting it. So the knowledge is different, but the application of it is wisdom.
I know many people that approach meditation, and they become very morbid because they see a lot of negativity within themselves, and they suffer and they want to get out of it, but they are not reflecting on the virtuous qualities of their consciousness, of their Being, of their divinity. So it is important not to reflect just on the bad, but to contemplate your virtues, those profound ethics of the soul.
When you have really worked hard at developing restraint and following these precepts in your actions, your asana becomes perfected. It is easy to see if you act on anger and you drain your mind and your heart, deplete your body of energy from getting into an argument, it is very difficult to sit. You cannot sit still. You cannot relax. Your body is tense, filled with pain, discomfort. This is why yama and niyama are essential. If you want your body to be able to obey you and relax at will, you have to learn to act ethically.
So it is important when you are practicing meditation that you pick an asana that works for you. It does not have to be full lotus, half lotus. If you are that flexible, great. Personally, I am obviously more of a western style person. I sit in a chair. You can even lie down on your back if you have the stability of attention not to fall asleep, because that is the important thing. Your body can relax but your consciousness is awake, is vigilant, attentive.
Pranayama: Energy Work
Once you have found your posture, you can work with energy. In our tradition, we have many exercises to work with energy. Energy is essential to life. We find many forms within our body. If you have studied Hinduism or yoga, they teach you all about the chakras, which are vortices or wheels of vital force that circulate in a subtle form in our body. In our glands, there is energy that flows, and there are certain practices you can use, whether they be through prayer or sacred sounds called mantras. You vocalize or you pray. You can work with energy in your body, circulate it, get it flowing, so that those channels of force, like the chakras, open. Then you can have greater stability of mind, since it helps you to concentrate, helps you to focus.
Everything we do in life, there is energy involved. “Wherever we direct attention, we expend creative energy,” says Samael Aun Weor, the founder of our tradition. So if you have no energy there, if you waste it on anger and pride, and lust especially, desire, you have no energy by which to work. Your consciousness is depleted. You cannot drive your car. You mind will be dull, will be out of fuel. This is why in every level and moment of our life we seek to conserve energy, conserve emotional energy, conserve mental energy, conserve vital energy, in all forms.
In this way when you have energy, your mind will start to calm, and this is where the crux of meditation begins to really unfold. We call it pratyahara. It means “suspension of the senses,” “to withdraw.” So you can be seated. You can be in a meditation posture. You can work with energy itself, and in those moments you start to find that, with profundity of application and will, you start to withdraw your mind, your senses, from the external world.
Everything goes inside. It is like the flow or ebb of a river that is going towards one source and then the rest dries up. You just focus on your interior. You forget the world. Many people do not get to this point. They do not get past the body. There is an itch, a discomfort. You want to move. You are in pain, and the reality is that you have to forget the body is even there if you really want to go profoundly into meditation. Forget the body. First take care of it. Treat it well. Relax, and when you are really working with your energies, you do not pay attention to anything outside. You go within. There is a stillness there, which, when it is really profound, is the fulcrum by which meditation is experienced, the state of understanding.
When there is silence of mind, when you withdraw from the senses, you can really concentrate on something. These are the preliminaries of meditation that get really interesting. So when your senses are calm and you are relaxed, you can direct your attention at one thing.
Even at this stage there seems to be a lot of difficulty for people, because our mind is all over the place. We are thinking of many things. We are distracted. We have associative thoughts: good, bad; yes, no. We think of a friend that we talked to earlier in the day and what they said, and that brings on a whole discussion in our mind, and then our mind is just replaying the day, but it is foggy. It is dull. There is no clarity or crispness there.
Real concentration knows how to look at one object, focus, and not get distracted. In many traditions, they teach you how to take a stone or a candle, to observe a flame or to do a mantra, a sacred sound, and just focus on that one thing at exclusion of everything. If you are sincere, in the beginning you find you cannot focus on that object. Your mind starts doing other things, so you got to gently refocus yourself. Bring it back to that one object of concentration.
I suggest that when you begin a meditation, whatever your focus is, stick to it. If it is just to concentrate on the candle flame, just do that one thing. Then the trick is when you get distracted, bring yourself back. It is not forceful. It is not violent. You are not gagging the mind. You are gently redirecting your attention, to the focus. The Buddha Shakyamuni stated that if you forget yourself a thousand times and you remember a thousand times to return to the practice, it means that you have practiced really well. So when you are able to concentrate on one thing, then you can really enter meditation itself.
So all this is just preliminary. Meditation is when you are able to extract information about that object. For example, maybe you are concentrating on a scripture you read, or a book. You want to understand a certain verse or line. You read it. You reflect on it. You enter the stages of meditation. You relax, withdraw, and concentrate on that meaning. In meditation you can have experiences, in which the senses are shut down, but internally, as a consciousness, you experience, such as in dreams, different forms of knowledge that are inaccessible to the senses. Some people call it lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, dream yoga, astral projection. It is when your body goes to sleep, but you as a consciousness are fully lucid, and so you abandon your physicality and you enter the internal worlds, your inner psyche.
Then you can start to get knowledge about things that certain prophets wrote about, that they hinted at, but not many of them really spoke openly about the meaning. That is how you really get knowledge. That is real wisdom. In that state, you can talk directly with divinity just as I am talking to you—nothing vague there, nothing amorphous, nothing ambiguous. It is a clean, clear, pristine state of being in which you can gain information.
Even beyond meditation there is one more step. This is the synthesis of everything. When your consciousness is fully lucid and focused, as receiving information, you can escape from the limitations of your mind and any type of conditioning that has kept you in suffering and pain, etc. You escape. You get out of it. That consciousness gets extracted from the ego.
I’m sure you are familiar with the story of Aladdin and his lamp. That lamp is your ego and the Genie, the Djinn, an Arabic term for spirit or an enlightened being, you could say, is your own wisdom, your consciousness. You break the lamp. You destroy the ego permanently, then the Genie is free. You can perform miracles. This is where you get figures like Moses and many prophets performing supernormal things, because they liberated their consciousness from conditioning. They are able to control nature even. Very powerful and beautiful.
The Tree of Life: A Map of Being
But there is more than just examining those eight stages. There are a lot of principles involved. When you are having those experiences with divinity, you can study what is called the Tree of Life.
On the right you see a map of ten spheres. From the top you have the most rarefied states of being, which are very divine. Notice in this glyph you have three trinities. Kabbalah in Jewish mysticism, this map, this Tree of Life, is really an expression of us and our totality, in the multidimensionality of our being. It is a road map for who we are and where we are at and where we need to go. So any experience in meditation can be mapped by any one of these spheres.
On the top trinity we have qualities of being and consciousness that are extremely divine, beyond our comprehension at this level. It has to do with what religions call Father, Son, Holy Spirit in Christianity. In Hebrew we call it כֶּתֶר Kether, חָכְמָה Chokmah, בִּינָה Binah, which means “Crown,” “Wisdom” and “Intelligence.” This is the supremacy, the wisdom and intelligence of divinity, which is inside our true nature, liberated, and is with us here and now. We just do not perceive it because we have so much other conditioning that we see represented by these lower spheres.
Beneath that we have חֶסֶד Chesed, גְּבוּרָה Geburah, תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, or you could say “Mercy,” “Justice,” and “Beauty.” We could say is our inner divine spark, our inner Buddha we could say, our divine soul and our human soul, our human will. It is the beautiful action of a perfected being, and we are really a part of that. Part of us, known as the consciousness, emanates from this sphere, תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, and descends down into the lower conditioned states of being: נצח Netzach (Victory), הוד Hod (Splendor), יְסוֹד Yesod (Foundation) and מלכות Malkuth (Kingdom).
מלכות Malkuth is the physical world that we live in. יְסוֹד Yesod is our vital energy, sometimes known as the etheric world, the vital world. It is where we have all the forces that animate our body. If you study the Kirlian camera, amongst Russian scientists, they even take pictures of people, stones’ and animals’ aura. So the vital force is יְסוֹד Yesod, which is the aura, the living being. We have הוד Hod which relates to our emotions, נצח Netzach relating to our mind. This is a beautiful map of meditation because it teaches us that if our will power, our consciousness, is conditioned by thought, by feeling and by desire, instincts, it means that we are attached, not only to our physical body, but even to lower realms of being.
The map that is below is called the tree of death. It is the shadow of the Tree of life. It is known as the hell realms. So you can call this map a reference point of external realities and even our internal states. There is a relationship there, different dimensions of expression and being. Above we have superior levels. Below we have inferior ones.
In our moment to moment awareness, from our birth to our death, we have an opportunity in this instant in which to ascend. This is why we do practices of concentration, prayer, meditation. All these things help us to purify this will, that is at the center of the Tree of Life, so that we can obey and follow our own divinity within. This sphere תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, in Hebrew meaning beauty, is the essence. It is the beauty of our soul that knows how to act uprightly. But unfortunately for us, we are conditioned by negative thoughts, negative feelings, and negative impulses, desires.
So we have many books and courses that explain this glyph in great detail and I invite you to study them. But in synthesis, this is just the map of who we are and where we need to go and what we need to do.
Types of Meditation
There are also two very profound principles we have touched upon. In some schools they talk about stabilizing and analytical meditation and often refer to both of them as complimentary.
When you are working to concentrate your will on one thing, you are learning to stabilize the mind. You are developing serenity. You are developing focus and equanimity. It is when you can look at something clearly without wavering at all. We call that faculty, in the Gnostic tradition, concentration. In Buddhism they call it shamatha. Amongst the Sufis they call it silence, in which your mind does not talk.
I am sure when we practice meditation today you probably experienced a chain of thought and thinking, even at a very subtle level. When you learn to go deep, you can enter states in which there is no thought involved and you are able to focus on one thing without distraction. That can stabilize our attention and there are many practices to do that.
But there is another skill we need to develop to really enter meditation. We call it imagination. Imagination is the ability to receive non-physical imagery. So when I related to you certain examples, talking about having inner experiences, like you have dreams, those are forms of images that exist in your mind, in your interior. They are real. They exist. The problem is that we tend to go through that inner world without any awareness of it and not discriminating what is really real or conditioned or unconditioned by our own egotism.
It is easy to see that we have dreams of hatred and violence. We are projecting our own mind into that world. But if you learn to pay attention and clarify your perception, you can perceive those worlds, that Tree of Life, as it is, in its real, fundamental expression. When you are able to imagine, amongst concentration, the ability to visualize certain images, you develop the full dynamism and potential of the consciousness.
So imagination in us tends to be very conditioned. If I say, “imagine an apple” (snaps fingers) you can see it. It is not physical, but it is internal. That same capacity, when it is developed intentionally, whether you take a candle and visualize a flame or something really difficult and ornate, like a Buddhist mandala or painting, something very intricate, that develops the capacity of the consciousness to perceive with great depth, with great width and clarity.
In Buddhism, they call that faculty, Vipassana. Amongst the Sufis it is insight. When you combine those two faculties, concentration and imagination, you can really enter meditation.
So we need both. We need the ability to stabilize the consciousness so that it is calm, but then we also need the ability to see, and that is insight. When you combine the two, you gain knowledge. That is how you really enter the higher stages of real religion, of mystical experience. I know these are very synthetic principles. They are very deep and you could basically spend a lot of time studying what these practically entail. We have a lot of resources that you can research on your own. We have courses. We have books that talk about all of these principles in depth. I wanted to just survey them and provide an outline, so that you have a picture of where to start.
So whether you are interested in learning basic concentration or equanimity, you can study courses like Meditation Essentials and Meditation without Exertion on Glorian.org. We also have some courses based on Gnostic principles, Gnostic Meditation, and even Sufism; we are giving a course about meditation taught within the Sufi teachings, the mystical teachings of Islam [See Sufi Principles of Meditation]. These outline for you how to develop concentration, serenity and insight.
We also have some books you can study as well to learn the basics of self-reflection: Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology and The Great Rebellion by Samael Aun Weor are perfect for this. You can learn the basics of how to examine, observe yourself, so that you can begin to gain knowledge and enter the path that is culminating in meditation. You can also study The Elimination of Satan’s Tail and The Revolution of the Dialectic, as well. These are very profound books, very practical.
If you have any questions, I invite you to ask them.
Questions and Answers
Question: Being in a time of an election year and all these things going on and we really need to separate ourselves from all these different concepts, is the goal to be passive with all this stuff and not be involved, and sit back and observe what is going on in the world and not get identified with it?
Instructor: Sure. I would state the important thing is not to identify psychologically. Whatever a person believes politically, that is a personal choice. But the important thing is to approach this situation with clarity. It does not mean we necessarily have to belong to any party, either one or the other, or take a middle stance. You know personally, I do not really get involved in politics, because you see the type of behavior that is being propagated, and the confusion and the anger and the resentment that people feel. I think the important thing to remember is that regardless of anyone’s political beliefs, in these studies we like to be more effective.
Regardless of anyone we vote for or who you favor or whatever we believe in, the important thing is that we have a good heart. We change our own psychological states, because the world is going to be what it is going to be. I know we like to think we have a lot of agency in our political system, but I think a lot of people are realistic in saying that these things are going to happen regardless, because you see the state of humanity. People on an individual scale are not changing, and so, what result can we expect? And that is the fundamental irony of people, being shocked by what is happening, because this is just the consequence of wrong action on a global scale from everybody.
I invite us to really reflect upon our own psychological states, because that is something we can change. That is something we can alter and remedy. But the direction of this country and humanity, in a sense, we have to be humble, to accept there are certain things that we cannot change, but there are certain things that we can do. That is better evaluated on an individual basis.
Question: From what I have learned through time from this Gnostic tradition, I have noticed that sexual alchemy is not the central practice—meditation is. Alchemy is more like the foundation of a practice. So the question is: Buddhist and Hindu traditions are the only religions that teach how to meditate. Why have the religions in the West not spread this light? Why did Jesus teach only how to believe in him and why did Muhammad teach only how to believe in Allah? And Moses mainly taught how to follow laws and nothing about meditation. Why is that?
Instructor: That is a good question. The reality is that they all taught it. If you look at the different traditions that developed in their original sources, their scriptures, the reality is they all taught the same thing. You study the Sufi teachings of Al-Qushayri, Al-Hujwiri, Rumi, many other Muslim mystics, they all, even Ibn ‘Arabi especially, they all teach meditation, but maybe not as explicitly as we find today.
The path of Jesus is the path of meditation, especially. He taught by fasting forty days and forty nights in the wilderness, how to overcome your own devil, the mind.
We find meditation in all teachings. The problem is that due to the cultural palate of certain people, they adulterated, they sterilized, they castrated the teaching. So people adulterate the wisdom of the prophets with time and therefore the religions of today do not resemble anything they used to. Now there are certain remnants we can pick and extract and gain knowledge from, and this is important. But it is important to remember that these religions and teachings have died. The form is what is left. The essence and the spirit have long left these traditions. You find this cyclically repeated in this humanity or humanities and different cultures.
Every religion has a birth, life and death. Comes to mind even a saying by a certain Sufi mystic in Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism, this is around 1000 AD. He said, “In this time Sufism is dead.” So back then even that tradition had long been eclipsed, because these traditions have life and are sustained based on the qualities of the practitioners. Divinity works in different places and times and periods, and reinitiates that effort among different faiths throughout the course of history, because time, with exposure to humanity, obviously people’s interpretations and conditions of mind pollute the original doctrine. This is why Jesus said, “Beware the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees” (Matthew 16:6) who take the original bread of knowledge and inflate it so that it is more palatable and “tasty” to the public. The reality is nobody likes the original teachings of the mystics and the meditators and the prophets, because it goes contrary to what people believe. But if you really examine, in synthesis, what these different traditions teach, they all teach meditation, but in different ways.
You find meditation in Kabbalah, in the Jewish mystical traditions. You find it in Sufism. You find it in the Bible. But of course with time, people take out what they do not like. So I do not know, maybe we can say in the West we like to be hyperactive and not really sit still in the moment. In the East, a lot more people, as part of the culture, practice meditation. So we study all traditions in synthesis.
Question: When meditating on an ego, what is the best way to visualize it during meditation in order to comprehend it?
Instructor: So for those of you who are not familiar with that type of meditation, we call it psychoanalysis, where you are sitting and performing these preliminary steps: relaxing, working with energy, withdrawing your senses, concentrating upon your consciousness and even your inner divinity, your Being. You can also imagine. We practice what is called retrospection meditation.
You visualize in a day, with your vision itself, what happened. Perhaps you had a moment at work in which you faced a conflict. In that work, you saw certain reactions emerge that work together. Maybe it was anger, resentment, pride and fear. Four different egos you could say, different senses of self, different wills, manifested in you as you were observing your mind, your heart and your body. In the day you were gathering data about those qualities as they emerged. But when you are sitting to meditate and go deeper, to gain more understanding, you can just simply look at those states. Visualize what happened, and the trick is when you start to visualize that scene, your ego, your defects, will start to emerge. They will want to feed on that memory. They will want to repeat those behaviors and thoughts and desires, etc. You have to separate enough from yourself that you can look at that internal mechanism and to see it for what it is.
When you are concentrating and visualizing, you look and you examine the taste of that conditioned self. You have to look at the flavor it brings into your mind, but have enough separation that you do not identify. If you identify with resentment, pride, fear, anger, you get sucked into memories and then you are not even meditating any more. You are just lost in a chaos. You are just churning with those sentiments.
So the best visualization, obviously, occurs in levels. You have to follow your heart in terms of what you need to study. Your conscience will tell you what you need to work on. If you feel that anger was a big problem in your moment to moment experience, focus on that and look at it. You can pray to your inner divinity to help you understand. We call that divinity the Divine Mother, the feminine aspect of our inner Being, symbolized by Mary and many other feminine figures in world mythologies. She is a part of us that helps us work on those faults. You can pray to Her and ask Her show you about this particular ego you need to understand. If you really go deep and you are concentrating very profoundly, you can have an experience in the astral world or the internal world of dreams. Your Divine Mother will show you what this ego is, how it works, what it looks like, what are its thoughts, and you will intuit the meaning if you are very vigilant. You will know and understand where it came from, why it behaves, what it does, how it feeds, how it sustains itself, how it relates to other aggregates and different egos.
The best visualization is going to be based on your conscience. Follow your heart. If you feel you need to focus on a specific ego, one by one, do that. And focus and ask your divinity to help you understand. The next step is just do not identify with it. Do not feed it. Do not give it your energy, because when you start to conserve your energy and not spend it on negative behaviors, it is like starving a lion. So obviously, anger and fear and all these different defects are going to come up in your life wanting to feed, because you are starving them. They are starting to get weak. So look at the ego and have a receptive mind. Wait for the answer, and when you are really in a state of silence and insight, the experience will unfold on its own.
This is the magic and beauty of meditation. It is never the same moment by moment. There are always different experiences that reflect a huge range, an infinite range, of experiences, but that is the result. When you gain insight, you may ask for elimination, to remove that ego, when you really understood what it is, how it works, how it traps you, how it repeats. Pray to your Divine Mother and visualize that defect to be killed, and then you free the soul that is trapped in it gradually, little by little, as your comprehension goes deeper. I hope that answers your question.
Question: So you were explaining earlier about freedom and the way you were explaining it also reminds me of what is going on in life right now, for example looting and stealing. So where I am coming from is, the people who are committing these atrocities, right, they are acting for freedom, but in reality it is fear. So how can we even identify? Like, you said you see these people that are doing these things, they are the extension of who we are already, so how come within us, how can we identify the sense of freedom with the sense of fear and discern that and act accordingly?
Instructor: Sure. Gnosis is lived upon facts, withers away from distractions, from theories and beliefs, and it is difficult to find in even the noblest of thoughts. The way that you are going to figure out what is from the soul and what is from the ego, what is fear and desire, what is true from what is false, is by looking. It means that we approach our mind and our heart without trying to label what we see. You will learn to discriminate that quality based on experience.
It is not easy to learn how to sift through the mud so that you can find the gold of our soul. It is a qualitative state. Through observation and repeated verification of that state, you find that there are qualities that are pure and conditioned, and sometimes mixed. That is why we meditate so that we can discriminate, because it is not easy in the moment. When you are having a scene in life, or like seeing the looting and violence going on, like in Chicago, where people are screaming for freedom and are destroying so many people’s properties and homes and lives, the abstraction of freedom is not enough.
Real freedom is when you do not act on anger. You have to look at your anger and what it wants and what it thinks, and have the strength to not repress it, to hide from it, or justify it. But when you look at it with clarity, meaning, you are seeing it for what it is, you notice how your own anger wants to feed, how to act. You only learn that through trial and error, by repeatedly training yourself. It takes time and training, and I always say that this superior knowledge is beyond time. You are not looking to the past or future, but it takes experience to verify what is right and what is wrong. You have to follow your conscience, your heart.
I know, for example, when I trained in martial arts for many years, you do not really learn to do the techniques well until after a very long time of just repeated trial and error and even maybe getting hurt.
That is our struggle. We suffer a lot as we are trying to change. But the purpose is not to get discouraged. You are going to feel pain and suffering as a soul by making mistakes. But by repeated effort and struggle against yourself, that is going to take some repeated experience. It is a war, you can say. This is why in Islam they talk about Jihad, holy war, but not against other people, against people who do not follow your faith. It has to do with the struggle against your desires. The only way that you are going to really conquer is if you do not give up. If you just give into anger, then it is very painful. But it is a struggle to learn how to acculturate our mind and heart to taste that quality of being that we know is from God and that is not unfiltered by anything.
If you have doubts about certain experiences or actions you did, and you feel in your heart that there is something you need to investigate, then that is what you need to meditate on. Because that moral pain, the pangs of conscience, the intuition of the heart is what is going to really direct you. Follow that.
Question: So a lot of us are surrounded by people who are acting with fear. So in a practical manner, what is the best way not to scold them, more with comprehension, but how can we aide? Because we are surrounded by them. It could be a family member. It can be a friend. It can be a co-worker. So how can we assist them?
Instructor: Love. It has been demonstrated throughout historical movements, whether Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, ahimsa: non-violence, is the key. We show violence towards people even with our thoughts. We think that violence only occurs physically, but if you have an argument with someone, you disagree, if you want to coerce someone to think like you, if you create a division whereby, “I am a democrat and you are a republican,” or “I am a Jew and you are a Muslim, or a Buddhist,” Krishnamurti says that is a form of violence, because we are saying that we are separate.
I like what the Dalai Lama said, is that we are all individuals, human beings. We all have the same longing for happiness and the same aversion towards pain. Everyone is like that, regardless of your theological position or beliefs.
We show love for others when we respect their ways of thinking. We may know that they are ignorant, or you may feel that sentiment in a subtle way that wants to say, “Oh, they do not know any better,” and yet we have resentment of our own, that is our problem. Often times we do not reach people and we are not effective because we have our own ego, our own desires that think they know better. That is the problem with abstractions, with the ideologies and ways of thinking that convince us “they are wrong. I am right.” But the reality is that they think the same way. So rather than take a position, you can show them love. But this does not mean that we accept behaviors from their part that are wrong.
It also does not mean that we are forceful, or we are imposing on their free will. Persuasion is much more elegant and eloquent than coercion. Coercion is when you want someone to think like you according to your ideologies. But persuasion is when, from your Being and your conscience, you offer a solution. From that threshold you are offering something as an olive branch to that person, to help them from your heart, and not expecting that they are going to follow it, nor demanding that they do, but simply offering it. That is the type of space that is really powerful. It comes from divinity, from really cultivating that.
We have to respect people’s free will. The reason why this political race and state of humanity is so crazy is because no one respects each other’s will. Everybody thinks they know the answer and therefore they are arguing, debating. Arguments, we can say, are really satanic, honestly—one person against another, who thinks they know better, and their pride is just a big battle. It is violence. It is like watching people box. It is really sad. Instead, the reality is we need to approach a person with love, and that love knows how to set boundaries even for oneself, while respecting the will of the other person. That respect for others only comes when we respect our inner divinity, who knows right from wrong. When you intuit that, you know that, you can offer it to a person.
But you cannot expect that people are going to follow that. Look what happened to Jesus, and he’s a great master, and look what humanity did. So we have to be willing to face the consequences of our ethics. If people do not like it, that is fine. We do not expect that people are going to respect what we have to say, and we have to be fine with that.
Question: Are psychological identification and karmic circumstances the same thing, or is non-identification the way out of our karmic situation into real freedom?
Instructor: Our karma is based on what we do, whether you are identified with the situation or not. So, in strict language, identification has to do with when you, as a consciousness, feel and think and behave that you are the desire, the condition: fear, pride, resentment, anger, laziness, gluttony, whatever defect. The quality of your mind in this moment determines your trajectory, where you go, whether in life or in nature. So if we act with a polluted mind, then obviously we are going to experience pain. But if we act with purity, then the logical consequence is that we bring harmony, in our situation, in our politics, in our humanity, in our life.
Your karma is based on the quality of your mind. You receive what you do. You reap what you sow, in synthesis. So if you want better states and experiences in life, act with ethics. Show compassion. Have love for others even if it hurts, and basically, even Shantideva said it, “All happiness in this life comes from wanting the happiness of others, and all pain in this life occurs because we wish happiness for ourselves.” Simple dynamic, but very profound. It is the essence of Tibetan Buddhism. So if you want better circumstances, act ethically. Do not identify with your egotism, your pride. In fact eliminate it, if you want to have radical changes.
Question: Once you accept yourself from squandering energy, what steps should one take next? When one achieves equilibrium, it can be challenging to accept the sustained energy. Many experiences occur, for instance premonitions, past life experiences, and consistently receiving messages. This can be overwhelming. What can one do to adjust to this new experience instead of being cast out due to the fatigue that arrives, with mitigating the mind’s inability to explain this new experience logically?
Instructor: Be patient. When you have experiences, obviously it can be very alarming. I know when I first started meditating and practicing these kinds of principles, I had a lot of experiences in my dreams, especially, which obviously in the beginning, you can get freaked out, or you can feel like a messiah and be like, “Oh, I know the mysteries of life and death” and tell everybody, right? I suggest that if you find when you are working with energy and you feel perhaps overwhelmed by it, you can minimize that if you need to. It is good to work with energy, but more importantly, it is good to have self-control.
I suggest if you are overwhelmed by these types of things, it is important to learn to, in a simple sense, have fun. You do not have to ruminate over the state of humanity. Being morbid or in a state of suffering is not going to help anybody. Being concerned for humanity—yes. If you are overwhelmed, it is normal in the beginning, but you gain stability through practice. So I suggest meditating on your own discomforts and uneasiness even. But also it is good to have a community of people you can socialize with too, who hopefully study these things and who are spiritually like-minded. Have fun. Relax. It does not mean you are going to go crazy, like drinking, sleeping around, and doing drugs, but just to help settle your mind with healthy and balanced activities. Recreation is a necessary quality to a degree, according to Swami Sivananda. You cannot just be serious. It is good to be serious in this work, but if you become morbid, that is a problem. If you become over agitated, filled with fear or anxiety, it is an issue. So learn to recreate, whether it is painting, sculpting, getting exercise, doing yoga. Some people like to do yoga classes. Meditation is especially helpful. Going out in nature, hiking is especially something I like to do. So it is important.
Question: I have some questions on non-exclusive meditation or Mo-Chao, a few questions about that. In that mode of meditation, is there division between observer and observed? Is there imagination involved when you are just observing in the screen of your mind the images, the thoughts, the conversations, the problems, the preoccupations, and all of that? Would you recommend that we get really good at one-pointed meditation to get better at non-exclusive?
Instructor: Good questions. In synthesis with non-exclusive meditation, you examine your state of mind as it is, which we began our practice today to a degree using that. If you find you are not able to maintain enough stability, to remember that presence, your own innate observation, it is good to return to a concentration practice where you can just focus on an object and let that be your anchor.
Now imagination is in all things. That is a beautiful teaching about consciousness. Every living thing, even the atom, in an electron, sub-atomic particles, have consciousness. This is something that has been verified by quantum physicists. They have studied the behavior of light and that even light makes choices in experiments, depending on who is observing and what is going on. Imagination is the capacity to perceive. So we have imagination at our level.
Now when you are developing imagination with, say, non-exclusive meditation, you are looking in yourself and not dividing yourself, making these separations in yourself about what you are perceiving. That is a very deep, profound state of perception, when you are looking in, which that state of looking is not conflicted between “Am I observing or am I not observing?” because as soon as you do that, then you lose the state. But if you are really deep in that perception, you do not make any false divisions, which Samael Aun Weor states, some people make the mistake of dividing themselves between a superior “I” and an inferior “I,” ignoring that it is two sides of the same coin.
When you are looking at yourself, you do not want to make those divisions. Do not identify when the ego starts to divide itself. It makes the mechanism of superior “I” or inferior “I.” There is division, dualism there. That is the problem. What sees synthetically into the nature of any phenomena is when your consciousness is clear, and you just look at the state of your being, where you are at. But if you find that it is difficult to maintain that continuity, it is important to do concentration exercises to build that.
They call that mindfulness. So people make a blurred definition of mindfulness and awareness, very commonly, today. Awareness is being present in the moment, where you are at, what you are doing, what you are thinking. Paying attention is when you are directing your attention on one thing. Awareness is when you are expanding you consciousness outward and perceiving all the details of life. Mindfulness if the continuity of that perception, in which you do not forget that you are watching. That is vigilance. When your consciousness is not sleeping, you are paying attention. So if you find it difficult to practice non-exclusive meditation where you are just observing what is going on in your mind, you cannot maintain that continuity, then return to concentration. It can help you regroup yourself until you have that stamina, so to speak.
Question: Could you speak a little bit about grief? Because I know a lot of people are suffering and a lot of people have lost loved ones due to COVID or cancer, and when you are in that deep state of grief, it just depletes your energy and you are really kind of thrown off track. How to get yourself back to a state of equanimity?
Instructor: We have many practices in this tradition to help with depression. One of them is relying on prayer, especially. We have a book called Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic. There are some exercises in which—when we are developing the powers of the consciousness, which is the ability to perceive and to concentrate, to pray and to influence nature—we can work with the souls of plants. We call it elementotherapy. There are ways to work with, for example, the essence or soul, or really the spirit of a plant, you can say.
Now every living thing has consciousness at its level, some in less evolved degrees and some more evolved. Plants have a certain power and potency which is very much studied in Latin American countries, but we have practices in our traditions where we can work with the soul of the rose. Obviously, the rose is a prominent symbol of love and romantic relationships, but people do not understand too that the rose has the power to heal sicknesses. It does not require anything more than taking three roses and placing them in three glass cups, or three glasses of pure water. There is a sequence where you pray to the soul of the plant or your divinity, “Help me to work with the soul of this plant, the rose,” which is like a queen, really, in the elemental kingdom of souls, progressing in their development towards entering a humanoid state. They are very pure and innocent. They are like the purity of Eden. Those souls have not left paradise, so to speak, unlike us.
You drink one glass in the morning, one glass in the afternoon, and one glass in the evening, before dinner, or before each meal, and it simply involves prayer. It is simple. A lot of people might scorn these types of things because they do not really practice it. But I know when I have had emotional traumas and sufferings, I always go to the roses, and this ritual and prayer that you can do which you find in that book, Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic, [see specifically The Magic of the Roses] because the souls of nature have the power to heal. Each plant in nature has the capacity and the means of channeling certain energies and forces that are conducive for our well-being. You find that type of culture in amongst the indigenous tribes of Latin America, the Maya, the Aztecs, the mamas of the Sierra Nevada, and many other tribes that have ancient traditions, which fortunately we have access to this knowledge.
So the roses are effective for that. I mean I have had moments in my life where I was really traumatized, not only just by maybe losing someone, but facing conflicts in spiritual groups. There is nothing worse that hurts than the spiritual stab, when you are betrayed by groups of people. When I had that happen to me, I worked with the roses, and you know, I am fine. You can heal. You can do the same thing with traumas too.
Question: I have a follow up question. So when it comes to meditation with grief, is grief a defect that we need to meditate on like an ego we need to comprehend, or is it something else, some other part of our experience of life?
Instructor: Good question. There are the pains of the soul and the pains of the ego. The ego of shame or grief is really anger, inverted anger. It may not be directed at other people, but directed inside. So it is a form of self-hatred, which can be very deep. But there are types of sufferings in the soul that are also very profound, which have to be healed if we want to advance.
But a lot of times when people deal with grief, it can be a mixture. You know, obviously, there is that natural grief and sentiment of loss when we as a soul lose someone. Obviously there is that quality of essence there, that consciousness. But sometimes we may feel grief for things that are really inconsequential. It can be inverted anger where it is hatred, but directed at oneself. This is why certain people become suicidal. Their hatred is directed at themselves. Consciousness is not there. Obviously when people commit suicide, it is a great tragedy, but the reality is they have so much self-hatred that they cannot separate from it. But meditation can teach you how to extract the consciousness from those depressive elements so you can see them for what they are. In that way you do not get caught up in that vortex of suffering.
Question: So is grief for someone that we love the problem of attachment? Or is it okay?
Instructor: It can be both. You got to examine your mind, because some, in most cases, most of us are very conditioned by attachments where, you know, we obviously suffer, but it is a natural sentiment of the soul to feel that longing for that person and obviously feel upset, but a lot of our attachments, our psychology, is conditioned. We are 97% conditioned perception. So most of the time, if we lose someone, it is going to be mixed with impurities, with attachments, obviously. We have to love people regardless of if they are with us or not with us, and if we really love a person, we have to be willing to love in accordance with their karma, their life, their trajectory, their journey, that they need to go through their process and to respect that. We can still feel sorrow for them and miss them, but it doesn’t mean that we become completely distraught and suicidal.
Question: I actually have two questions. One has to do with what you mentioned about grief. I experienced something in my life that was very traumatic, which was the death of my first daughter, and she passed away at a very young age. Even at the beginning of today’s reflection / meditation, you mentioned trauma, and it brought me back to that and it immediately brought tears to my eyes. And it has been years and I will say “I will go back to that when I am ready.” But when you are experiencing such a strong pain in that reflection, how can you combat that, so you are able to penetrate into that trauma and actually see things? So one of my things is, how do I observe what went down that day without getting so identified? And then the follow up question to that is, you talked about reflecting on good qualities, like love, but most of us do not even know what love is, so how can we even tap into that and reflect on something so positive when we have something so strong, which is the ego?
Instructor: As for the first question, in the words of Samael Aun Weor, he says that if we really want to annihilate an ego, we have to be willing to break and even weep tears of blood, if necessary, to feel that grief and even just cry, because bottling it up is not good. Sometimes if you have really seen an ego and comprehended it and really understood a pain of a certain moment, really deeply, you will cry. It is painful. But there is a certain type of release that is there when you are able to confront that emotion, because repressing it and numbing it does not get anywhere. If we numb ourselves, it is just going to churn and get stronger underneath the surface. Sometimes when I have seen certain egos and meditated on my own culpability, seeing things I have done wrong in my life, I have wept myself silly. I mean, just really cried, broke into pieces, sobbing. We need that. Sometimes we have to just let ourselves confront that emotion and to experience it, that remorse.
Now in terms of the second question, you know the fact that we are so filled with ego that it becomes very difficult to know what is virtuous. As you said in your example, how you lost your daughter, you can reflect on that love that you felt from her and for her, because really, that is a strong bond to share with someone. I know sometimes we like to think that to really know what love is, we have to be very elevated, but we all have our level of experience. As a mother, obviously losing their child, you have that intense love and sacrifice for that person, for your child. So reflect on that. Obviously, all the other emotions and sentiments and confusion, maybe agony and anger and resentment at the situation, it is all circling around one thing—that is the love you feel for her. The ego is secondary. Consciousness is first. That shows us that our essential nature is love, but we tend to distract ourselves from that. So you can reflect on that, especially that bond, that relationship, because it is showing you that everything else is gravitating around that essential quality.
There are ways to heal and to regroup, but sometimes it means we really have to break the shell, and it is painful. It is not easy. That is why many people do not stick with meditation. They leave because they do not want to confront this. But when you have the courage to let yourself shatter for however long you need, you can begin to regroup, fit the pieces together. Bottling up is not going to be healthy. Reflect on that love you felt [for more information on this topic, study Trauma and Spiritual Healing].
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