This arcanum pertains to what people have typically called destiny, fate, fortune. Building off of the prior lecture on karma, this arcanum is the fulfillment of the law, the fulfillment of the law of causality. The medieval tradition has symbolized this arcanum as the Wheel of Fortune, the forces of good and evil, evolution and devolution, in which we are going to elaborate in depth today.
In the East, this has been known as the Wheel of Samsara, which actually is a mis-translation of the word Bhavachakra. Bhava means “becoming.” Chakra means “wheel.” So, the English translation “Wheel of Samsara,” which has been used in certain writings, can refer to Bhavachakra, but it is better if we use specific terminology because bhava is Being, your psychology, your ways of thinking, your ways of feeling, your ways of acting.
What you think is what you become. If your mind is impure, then one experiences the consequences of that impurity: retribution. If we commit harm, not only towards others but to ourselves, we receive the consequences of those actions through suffering. However, it is by understanding this law of cause and effect, by which acting with pure mind, we produce harmony within our community, within humanity.
So this Bhavachakra, this Wheel of Becoming is precisely determined by who we are in the present moment, psychologically speaking. If our mind is pure and we continue to remove the impurities of the psyche, the conditioning of the ego, we ascend toward a higher level of being. We transcend the mechanical wheel of suffering, the Wheel of Fortune, the wheel of destiny.
So in this arcanum we are going to look at the battle of antitheses, which is represented in the Greek and Egyptian mythology. The forces of evolution, of progress, of development, are represented by Hermanubis, Hermes-Anubis, the science and knowledge of the law, because Anubis in Arcanum 5: The Hierarch relates to the law of karma, cause and effect. The forces of devolution, destruction, degeneration relate to Typhon, death, decay. We can say that evolution is a process by which the soul or consciousness develops in different levels of matter, energy, and perception until reaching a humanoid state.
It is this precise juncture in which we exist here and now, in which we have an opportunity to transcend the mechanical forces of nature. It is easy to understand, if we examine our psychological states, how certain egotistical qualities truly embody the forces of devolution, of destruction, of decay.
So what we call the Wheel of Fortune is really inside of us. It is our mind stream. It is the Bhavachakra. Who we are psychologically determines where in existence we go, where we transmigrate, whether it be in a humanoid body, an animal body, a plant body, a mineral body. The forces of evolution and devolution―birth, life and growth, and then decay, death and destruction―are two axes or two sides of a mechanical wheel, which constantly circles, repeats, again and again, lifetime to lifetime, existence to existence. We as a consciousness are trapped in that mechanicity.
It easy to see if we look at our psychology. We carry many elements that were from the animal kingdom. But not only from that, but from the plant kingdom, the mineral kingdom. We will talk about this transmigration of souls through different levels of materiality, energy, perception in this arcanum. But I mention in synthesis that this Wheel of Fortune is precisely an ever-churning cycle of events that repeat. It is easy to look in our own life to see how certain habits, events, people, repeat: fortune, misfortune; good, bad; positive, negative, of which, if we are honest, we can see that we typically have no control.
We have no command of what happens to us, unless we as a consciousness undergo a tremendous revolution, going inside of our mind and discovering what defects keep us enchained in this wheel of suffering, so that by changing our level being, our bhava, we can transcend this chakra, this wheel of recurrence.
So the wheel of the centuries has also been known by the name of the wheel of karma. It is the wheel of incorporation in which the consciousness transmigrates into different bodies, beginning with the mineral kingdom, transcending and elevating to the plant kingdom, followed by the animal kingdom, until finally reaching a humanoid state. That is a force of evolution in which the soul gains necessary experiences.
This wheel of centuries also refers to when we have a humanoid body, which we have 108 existences as represented by the necklace of Buddha and the 108 beads, or the ancient rosaries which would have 108 beads in the Christian tradition.
If we do not use our humanoid existences well, if we engage in mistaken habits and behaviors, we in turn continue to flow along that wheel. Instead of evolving, we begin to devolve.
Devolution is a force in nature that returns energy and consciousness back to its original state. So if we began in the mineral kingdom, if we do not transcend that mechanicity willingly in order to remove the impurities of the psyche, then our consciousness will migrate back into inferior states of being, from a humanoid to the animal to the plant to the mineral until finally our defects, our egos are disintegrated. That process is known as hell, as the infernal dimensions, as the inferno.
We develop ego through the process of evolution until reaching the humanoid state, and we are given a chance. If we want to be free of conditioning, if we want to escape mechanicity, that wheel, if we do not want to be taken by the current of our own ego, we have to work on ourselves consciously, to perceive our defects, because those egos, our selves, the “I,” trap consciousness within animalistic qualities, within “plant-like” qualities, within mineral-like qualities. The ego is animalistic. It developed originally from those previous states. If we do not willingly work on our desires, then the Wheel of Samsara will take us.
Hell is not just a place of punishment for people who do bad in a moral sense. That is a very subjective way to interpret this type of dynamic. Hell is a recycling plant. It is a level of matter and experience in which people who do not willingly eliminate anger, lust, pride, fear, nature will do it for them. Nature will disintegrate those elements through pressure, in which that soul descends into the interior of the Earth, retrogressing into those psychological states of the animal, of the plant, of the mineral, until finally that ego is disintegrated, after a lot of suffering. Then the consciousness that was trapped in those shells can be freed.
So this is a very different understanding from what Catholicism or Islam teaches in its public sense: that if you are bad then you go to hell or you suffer in the inferior worlds forever. It is a mistaken attitude.
Eternity is a cycle. It is a circle. It is not a straight line. There is a beginning and end to eternity. So, until the ego is completely dead, then the soul will have to dwell in those dimensions until being purified. Once that consciousness is purified of its egos, its shells, its קליפות Klipoth (to use the Hebrew term), the soul will then initiate a new journey into the mineral kingdom, followed by the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, until acquiring a new humanoid body. It is from this explanation to see that this is a very long process. It takes millions and millions of years, ages. It is rare to get a humanoid body. It is rare to be in this body of flesh and bones and to have the opportunity to change.
The Tenth Arcanum and the Mystery of the Sphinx
So this Wheel of Samsara, the Wheel of Becoming, is represented in this glyph. As I said to you, on the right we have Hermanubis, Hermes-Anubis, who takes those souls from the mineral kingdom to help elevate them up towards the apex, or better said, toward the top of the wheel, in which one acquires a humanoid body.
But we also see in this image the forces of devolution at work, through Typhon, the devolving serpent, the devolving energies, in which the ego, because it was not being eliminated willingly, is taken and sent into the infernal planes to be annihilated. Samael Aun Weor mentions that that process is extremely painful and unnecessary, because there is a superior path. There is a way to transcend these mechanical forces, which is represented by the top of this glyph with the mystery of the Sphinx.
The Sphinx is an animal composed of the wings of an eagle, the hooves of a bull, the paws of a lion, the face of a man, and a staff representing the ether, the spinal column. We will talk about the mystery of the Sphinx in detail today. It is the path of initiation, the path of spiritual revolution, in which one resolves the riddle of the Sphinx, the riddle that Oedipus the king was given in the famous play of the Greeks.
But that Sphinx is a mystery. The creation of a true human being is a mystery, a divine being. A divine being is in control of the elements of air, represented by the wings of the Sphinx; is in control of the element earth, the hooves of the ox; is in control of the fire of emotions represented by the paws of the lion; is in control of the waters of sex, which is the face of a human being or an angel; and lastly the staff of power, in which the Akashic power of Kundalini rises up the spine. It is the power of the ether, which is command. It is held within the paws of the lion, meaning that the fire is what rises up the spine until illuminating the intellect.
So the path to transcend mechanicity is in our spine. If we want to escape the fate of those beings who enter into Klipoth, we must comprehend our own errors, eliminate our errors, our mistakes. Otherwise, nature will do it for us.
I do not say this to inspire fear or a dogmatic sense, that if one does not do this work one will suffer intensely. There is that reality. But I invite you to really reflect in your own life and examine what psychological states make you suffer the most and why. By seeing them and truly comprehending how the ego creates problems, so much suffering, so much unnecessary grief, we learn that there really is a better way, a better path.
By the act of comprehending those errors, those defects, the Divine Mother Kundalini, the serpent of brass, can annihilate them. When we annihilate the ego, we feel tremendous peace because we no longer are influenced by this wheel: birth/death; good/bad; yes/no; duality. We enter the path of initiation in our spine in order to truly experience the bliss of divinity, contentment of divinity.
One thing that I will mention is that this wheel turns 3000 times. Samael Aun Weor mentions in his book The Mystery of the Golden Blossom that the consciousness originally emanated from the Absolute, from the divine. That soul emanating from Christ, from the Being, enters into a mineral body, a mineral state, and gradually evolves until becoming a plant, then an animal, and finally a humanoid. If the soul that has acquired a humanoid body does not work on the ego, then that soul or that person reincorporates into inferior bodies and descends into Klipoth. When the soul is finally disintegrated, or the ego is eliminated by the forces of nature, that consciousness will re-initiate a new journey. That constitutes one turn of that Wheel of Bhavachakra or Wheel of Samsara.
The soul gains experiences that way, but in a very painful sense, and very limited. If the consciousness re-initiates a new life, graduating through those different kingdoms of nature until becoming a humanoid, and then re-entering back down into Klipoth, if that soul goes through that cycle 3000 times, eventually that consciousness will return, will be taken, and will returned back to the Absolute permanently. There is a form of knowledge gained from experiences within the evolving and devolving kingdoms, yet it is limited. It is minor. But there is a better way.
Those beings that return to the Absolute, after having gone through these 3000 turns of the wheel, have a form of knowledge, understanding, after having many bitter experiences within the worlds of materiality of the Kabbalah. However, those beings who learn to transcend this wheel of karma, this wheel of suffering, gain a type of knowledge that is revolutionary. It is tremendous, because to willingly return to the Absolute with knowledge is greater than to return there mechanically without will, without impulse, without command.
Those beings who return to the Absolute willingly through the path of revolution are like human beings compared to ants, because the ant is like a being, or better said, those souls or those beings, those monads (a monad is a spirit, monad means “unity”), if those beings return to the Absolute unwillingly, mechanically, they are like an ant compared to those masters who follow the revolutionary path, because they developed their potential completely. They are like the human being. There really is no comparison between the two.
This path of evolution/devolution, birth/death, the cycles of existence, is obviously very painful. If we in our heart feel a sense of remorse and urgency when hearing this topic, it is because we have previously have gone through this cycle many times, but unknowingly. We don’t remember. People who enter these types of studies in the Gnostic tradition, when they learn about the Wheel of Samsara, the Bhavachakra, and they sense a certain type of urgency that they do not want to enter those types of realms mechanically, it is because the Being within one’s self, within ourselves, is pushing us to enter the revolutionary path.
Willingly we have to go against anger, fear, hatred, resentment, pride, the conglomeration of egos that we carry within. By willingly eliminating them, we acquire genuine knowledge and development in the Being. We do so by working with the serpent, the Kundalini, which is represented by the serpent on the right. You also have a negative serpent, which is the Kundabuffer, the tail of demons, which is developed through the orgasm, through lust.
White and Black Magic in the Qur’an
The Qur’an speaks about these two serpents in the confrontation of Moses before the magicians of Egypt, the black magicians of that country. I will read for you an excerpt, which explains how the power of the Kundalini has the power to end the negative devolving energies which descend from the coccyx downward, toward the Klipoth, the hell realms.
[Pharaoh] said, “Have you come to us, Moses, to expel us from our land with your magic?
So there is a lot going on in this language in the Qur’an. What does it mean that “Pharaoh says, ‘You have come to us Moses to expel us from your land with magic?’” Pharaoh is a representation of the ego, the mind, the intellect, which always confronts our will, represented by Moses. “Moses,” if you take the Hebrew is משה Moshe, containing the letters מ Mem, ש Shin, and ה Hei, indicates the three elements air, fire, and water. מ Mem is water. ש Shin is fire. ה Hei relates to the breath or א Aleph, the wind. Our willpower must command the waters of sex, the fires of heart, the airs of the mind. That is Moses. Moses is תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth, willpower, who is really the staff, represented between the paws of the Sphinx.
It is through willpower and controlling the energies of our sexuality in which we achieve tremendous revolution, tremendous power, which of course frightens and angers Pharaoh. Remember that Moses was trying to free the Israelites from Egypt. People read that story literally, but they do understand that Egypt is this wheel that constantly turns, in which the soul is enslaved. It is enchained by materiality, by the forces of nature, and does not know the power and the freedom of the Being, of God, of the Innermost.
So Pharaoh, the mind, confronts us when we, with our will, try to transcend this wheel, to go against the flow of nature, and says, “Have you come to us, Moses (meaning the egos, the Egyptians), you mean to expel us from your land with magic?” What is that land? The land in Hebrew is מלכות Malkuth, the Earth. Your body is your מלכות Malkuth.
When we study this doctrine and learn meditation and learn about chastity, we encounter the great problem of the mind, which fights against our will, that does not want to conserve the sexual energy, that does not want us to be chaste. The mind says, “You want to expel us (the egos) from your land (from your body)?” You want to escape Egypt, this wheel? Then Pharaoh fights and says, “Yes, truly we will give you a battle. And we will bring you magic to combat you. So fix a tryst between us so that we can fight or meet at a middle place.”
If you look at the Tree of Life, we know that the Middle East is תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the heart. So if we look at the Tree of Life, going up vertically toward תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the heart, we find that תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth is governed by the Sun, the Solar Logos. Therefore, it is the east. The Sun rises in the east. It rises in the heart. We fight the great battle in our heart, where the two serpents, Kundalini, Kundabuffer, are in a struggle, the forces of the Being and forces of the ego.
Then Pharaoh withdrew [to consult privately], summoned up his guile, and then arrived [at the scene of the contest].
Who are those people that fabricate lies against God? All those so-called spiritual people who say that fornication is good. They are merely slaves of nature. They get sucked down into the Klipoth, worshipping the devolving energies of the Kundabuffer, in the hell realms.
So they disputed their matter among themselves, and kept their confidential talks secret.
So what is this tradition that people defend? It is fornication, desire. They fight. When you teach them about being chaste, obviously they have a repugnance. As Samael Aun Weor mentions in The Perfect Matrimony, the doctrine of the demons is fornication, in which they defend fanatically. So this is the battle of Pharaoh against Moses.
“So summon up your ingenuity, then come in ranks. Today he who has the upper hand will be saved!”
This is interesting that the Qur’an teaches this, that Moses was afraid. When you confront your own desire, it is very painful. You see that your own lust is a big monster. With our willpower, we feel overwhelmed. We see that we have so many egos that are so gigantic that it seems impossible that we can overcome ourselves. However, the Qur’an mentions God, the Being, says to Moses:
We said, “Do not be afraid. Indeed you will have the upper hand.
So our Divine Mother has more power than any demon. But we have to have faith in Her that She can work with the waters of life. Our willpower is strengthened by many exercises like we did before this lecture, the runes. That is a way to work with Moses, your will.
The Four Ethers of the Vital Body
Moses is precisely the one who wields this staff of the magicians, or better said, the white magicians, in order to combat the negative forces. Samael Aun Weor also mentions that this Wheel of Samsara, or this Wheel of Fortune, contains the Tree of Knowledge.
The Tree of Knowledge has its roots in the four rivers of Eden, from which a fountain flows. He also says that the river flows into paradise, while another flows into hell. So the four rivers in the Kabbalah represent the four energies or the four ethers of the vital body: the luminous ether, the reflective ether, the chemical ether, and the ether of reproduction or life.
The luminous and reflective ethers are related to the luminosity of consciousness, the ability to meditate, to perceive, to imagine, to know.
The chemical ether relates to your metabolism, your biology.
Likewise the ether of life is the power that can give life to a child, physically.
When the Bible speaks about dividing the inferior waters from the superior waters, through the work of alchemy, what it represented is that you are separating the impurities of your sexual energies through runes, through sacred rites of rejuvenation, through meditation, through pranayama. The chemical ether and the ether of life are the lower waters which relate to the health of our body, physically. But when you work with your staff of your spinal column, you are raising the luminous and reflective ethers to Christify, to empower the mind. That separation of waters from waters is the work with the Kundalini and is what helps us transcend mechanicity. Otherwise, if we do not use the creative energies of sex, that energy has to go somewhere. So obviously it fills the mind, pushes our desires to act. It is important to learn to circulate that energy well, not only through pranayama, mantras, runes, etc., but through many activities that are creative: getting good exercise, doing something creative, channeling your transmuted energy into the arts, into music, especially classical music, especially pure art, art that really inspires us spiritually.
The Struggle of Good and Evil
These two aspects of the Wheel of Fortune, Hermanubis on the right, Typhon on the left, is also the battle of Eros and anti-Eros, the power of eroticism and the power of שָׂטָן Shaitan, the devil. So as I mentioned to you in our lecture on Arcanum 9: The Hermit, we talked about the Hebrew letter ט Teth. With the Hebrew letter ט Teth, the serpent can either ascend up the spine or descend. When it descends, through the fire of the orgasm, when the נ Nun, the sperm is ejaculated, that serpent ט Teth descends so that you have ש Shin, ט Teth, נ Nun, which is שָׂטָן Shaitan, Satan, the adversary.
This is the battle of light versus darkness. Of course, it is very painful. Arcanum 10 relates to how we transcend all of our negativity, not only that which is considered evil or impure but even the qualities that we consider so good about ourselves, what we think are our virtues. Because if you are meditating and you are observing yourself daily, you begin to see elements that really know how to do good, or better said, try to do good and yet are harmful in certain circumstances. Samael Aun Weor mentions that we can harm people with our virtues, those qualities that we consider evolutionary or beneficial. But really if we are meditating and discriminating and dissecting our mind with the terrible scalpel of self-criticism, we find that we have elements that are really just egos. So good egos, bad egos. It is better if we work on the bad egos Samael Aun Weor mentions in his lectures, and then when you are very pure, work on the good egos. It is better to work on that which is malignant first.
Question: So wouldn’t that mean being sanctimonious?
Instructor: Exactly, because many people, many saints are attached to virtue or what they think are good qualities, but are really egotistical. The Bhavachakra talks about six classes of beings, which includes demi-gods and gods. You also have humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and demons. So the demi-gods and the gods are those beings who have certain qualities that they developed through initiation, and yet they still have the ego alive, very fat. Therefore, they are attached to Nirvana, to powers, to abilities. They harm people with their virtues. They think that they are doing good, but they are not.
So a virtue that is out of its place is harmful. But when you know how to act in every moment of life under the intuition of your inner God, then you transcend good and evil. You no longer follow the path of the right or the path of the left, but you walk to middle path, the riddle of the Sphinx.
So in the superior part of this plate we see the Sphinx. As I mentioned to you, the Sphinx is a conglomeration of the four elements, or better said, the five elements, because the ether along with earth, air, fire, and water is the riddle of the human being. The riddle of the Sphinx is the riddle of initiation. How do we become a true human being? Because a true human being commands all of the elements of good and evil, because he or she is beyond that wheel of good and evil.
Arcanum Ten in Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Beyond Good and Evil is a title of a book by Nietzsche, which is very interesting. Probably my personal favorite of his writings before he deviated was a book called Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
In the very beginning of this book, he talks about Arcanum 10, the riddle of the transcendence of this wheel, which I would like to read for you in detail, in order to explain some of the concepts that we were talking about because this text is very deep, kabbalistic, alchemical.
So this is a fictional account of Zarathustra, the Iranian prophet, a prophet in the Middle East who is a master of the fifth initiation of fire, who has reached תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth. But in the beginning, it says:
When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and his solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
So what does this mean that he was thirty years old when he left his home? What is our home now? It is this wheel. We are stuck here. We are trapped in Egypt, in suffering, mechanicity. He was thirty years old, or better said 33 years old, meaning he left his home. He raised the energies of the lake of his home. It says he left his home and the lake of his home. That lake is the waters of יסוד Yesod, which, for us and most people, is dirty, blackened, through lust, through fornication.
Zarathustra leaves his home, his old ways of being, by raising the energies, climbing the mountains of the spinal column, the 33 canyons of the spine, the vertebrae, in order to reach the cave, his head, where he enjoyed his spirit and his solitude for ten years. In the work of initiation, he is going through all of the sufferings of life: good and bad, positive and negative, and yet he continued to practice. He continued to be disciplined.
But at last his heart changed, and rising one morning with the rosy dawn (the Solar Logos, the Christ) he went before the sun and spoke to it thus: “You great star! What would your happiness be, had you not those for whom you shine? For ten years have you climbed here to my cave: you would have tired of your light and the journey had it not been for me, my eagle, and my serpent. But we waited for you every morning, took from you your overflow, and blessed you for it.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
So what is that star? In Kabbalah, it is אין סוף Ain Soph, our super-atomic star, our Being, our genuine home, from which we emanated down the Tree of Life until reaching מלכות Malkuth. When the soul migrates for the first time from the Absolute down into the lower dimensions until reaching the physical body and its different modalities, we experience what the Bible calls Exile. The Israelites were exiled from their homeland, a symbol of how we left the Absolute. But now by working with the eagle and the serpent of Kundalini, we return that light up the spine to the cave of our head. Truly, that limitless divinity known as אין סוף Ain Soph is a form of happiness that is super-divine, which, when we experience that, we realize it and have greater fidelity in our practices because we see that we must continue to generate light.
So what does Zarathustra mean that he is praising the Sun, facing the East? Like we started with the Rune Fah, we are assimilating and praying to Christ. “You great star! What would your happiness be had you not those for whom you shine?” Or: “Marvelous forces of love, revive my sacred fires so that my consciousness will awaken!”
One must continue to practice alchemy, to raise the eagle, the wings of the spirit, through the serpent. “But we waited for you every morning, took from you your overflow, and blessed you for it.” It is good every morning to do runes. Nietzsche knew this very well. But he didn’t give the practices because he was not allowed to.
“Behold, I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that has gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it. I would rather give away and distribute (my wisdom, my knowledge, of having attained initiation, personally) until the wise among men (meaning those intellectuals who think that they are so knowledgeable) once more find joy in their folly and the poor in their riches.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
When they enter these studies, people may be very educated, but they realize that they do not know how to be chaste, how to be pure, to know Christ; also the poor and their riches, because when we begin these studies, we see that we are poor. We lack development. But we feel how rich it is to recognize that fact and that we can change.
“Therefore must I descend into the deep: as you do in the evening, when you go behind the sea, and give light also unto the underworld, you exuberant star! (Like you I must go down from תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth, because when you reach initiation and you transcend this wheel to a certain degree, you must return back to מלכות Malkuth to teach others, to guide them, because you have done it yourself. Now, you must teach others how to do the same). Like you, I have to go down, as men say, to whom I shall descend. Bless me then, you tranquil eye, that can look upon even the greatest happiness without envy! Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water (of life, of transmutation) may flow golden from it, and carry everywhere the reflection of your happiness (Because if you want happiness, again, chastity is essential, because that light will reflect in you and they will sense that peace that you get, such as when you do runes, pranayama, etc.). Behold, this cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is going to be a man again. Thus began Zarathustra’s going-under. ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
When you reach initiation, you have to return back to מלכות Malkuth in order to teach others, to guide them. Emptying the cup is by professing this knowledge about how to transcend this wheel of mechanicity. It also refers to the complete death of the ego, to go under, to descend, as we said about Arcanum 1: The Magician, in order to reascend as a superman, in the words of Nietzsche.
The Ordeals of the Elements
We talked a little about the mystery of the Sphinx. To become a master of one’s destiny, one has to resolve this riddle, the riddle of the elements. In the Gnostic tradition, we talk about the ordeals of the elements: the ordeal of air, the ordeal of fire, the ordeal of water, and the ordeal of earth, as explained in The Perfect Matrimony. These are experiences that we can have in the internal planes, certain tests, to see our level of development, how we react to certain circumstances.
With the ordeal of air, one witnesses one’s self falling into a precipice, into an abyss, risking death. If one cries out in fear, one loses the experience. One fails the ordeal, because in life, we have to be caught up in the air or circumstances but not be afraid, no matter what happens. If our financial situation is like a chasm, and we feel like we are going to fall into a pit of despair, we have to be serene no matter what. That is how we conquer the air, the nervousness of the mind that feels agitated and wants security all of the time. But in truth there is no security, except in the Being. Therefore, we have to remember ourselves when certain circumstances of life go against us. That is part of the riddle of solving the riddle of the air, as part of the riddle of the Sphinx.
Likewise you have the riddle of the earth, the ordeal of earth, in which it feels like there are walls closing in on you. In the internal planes, you may have the experience of the earth like two mountains collapsing on yourself. If you cry out of despair or panic, you fail the ordeal. But if you are serene, the walls stop. Then you are invited into the Children’s Chamber of the masters, where those Cherubim or angels, those perfected luminous beings greet you in their banquets, in order to feast among the gods.
Personally, I have had this experience where I overcame certain ordeals relating to the elements and was given their blessing, at my level, to continue forward. In relation to the riddles or the ordeals of the water and the fire, I had this experience where I found myself lying on a ground, on a floor, in some kind of room, and I saw darkness. I heard people laughing at me, trying to provoke my ego. I also got slapped in the face a few times by someone. I could not see who. I was being criticized, mocked, laughed at, ridiculed. To be ridiculed or criticized is the ordeal of fire, where you feel the heat of anger arising. The ordeal of water also relates to learning to swim against the current of life, to not get swallowed by life, but to continue with our daily spiritual discipline.
So in the experience, I kept getting mocked and slapped. I saw my ego acting up and wanting to react and retaliate, but I intuitively knew that I was being tested by these Cherubim. So, I remained peaceful and I irradiated love towards my aggressors. Then suddenly the light of the room went on and I found myself with a group of Cherubim, and looking at them, at their eyes, you could see a type innocence and radiance that is not from this world. It is something that I cannot forget, because they truly were immaculate, no ego, irradiating light.
They welcome you in their chambers and give you help and strength. They test you many times because they want to see that you are able to become like one of them, to control the elements, overcome the ordeals: air relating to mind, fire relating to the heart, water relating to sex, earth relating to the body. So we are tested many times with the four elements, not only in the internal planes but in our physical circumstances, because initiation is your own life, lived intensely with rectitude, moral purity, and love.
The riddle of the Sphinx embodies this. If you familiar with the story of Oedipus Rex, he was the one who resolved the riddle of the Sphinx in that Greek play. The Sphinx was sent by the goddess Hera to punish the city of Thebes because they failed to punish their king Laius, who had raped Chrysopsis, son of Pelops. So as a result of his homosexuality and desire he was punished by Apollo, the Sun god, or the Solar Logos, the Christ, who said to him, “If you give birth to a son, he will kill you and marry your wife, marry his mother.” Of course this is symbolic. It represents that if we continue to engage with lustful behaviors, following the path of Lilith and Nahemah, that means that we will fail the riddle of the Sphinx. We will suffer the punishment of the infernal worlds, the suffering of those realms.
What happened is that the Sphinx, in the myth, would devour any Theban who failed to answer the riddle, would kill them. This is the great ordeal one faces. When you enter into initiation, there are no promises. But they tell you, “If you are faithful, you will succeed. If you continue to practice, you will succeed. But if you are failing to work on the ego, of course the Sphinx, the five elements, will become inverted.”
It is easy to see that if we look at our mind, we can see that our air is polluted in the mind, intellect, with negative thoughts. Our emotions are polluted with fires of hate. Our lustful desires have poisoned the energies of our body, our sexuality; and the earth, we tend to get sick with a decrepit body, which becomes unhealthy, unable to work and obey us in this path.
But in the myth, Oedipus answers the riddle of the Sphinx and the Sphinx falls to his death. It is a symbol, how when you enter into initiation you are tested many times. If you overcome the riddle of the Sphinx, meaning that you command the four elements in you, then you enter into initiation. It is interesting that the word “Oedipus” means “swollen foot,” from Oidan, “to swell,” and pous, meaning “foot,” which where we get the word “pedestal” or “pedestrian,” “the feet.” So, Oedipus became king of Thebes, and he is represented as having a limp in his foot.
It is a symbol, reminding us of Achilles, the Achilles tendon, the Achilles heel. Oid is עד Od. We talked about עד Od and עבד Obd, the two serpents of energy: solar, lunar. The lunar serpent is Ida. And the solar serpent is Pingala. עבד Obd is the solar serpent, meaning that by working with that solar energy within our sexual glands, we can regenerate ourselves. But we are all lame footed. Even if we become kings of initiation, if we have ego, then we are lame in the foot because our weakness is in sex.
Achilles was a great warrior who, when he was born, his mother dipped him in immortal waters, except for his heel. So every part of his body was immortal, was impenetrable. Yet he was weak in the foot. We talked previously in the Kabbalah how the feet represent מלכות Malkuth: how you walk in this life. The sandals in the Kabbalah represent יסוד Yesod. So if you want to be strong spiritually, you need sexual energy. But if you are identified with lust, then you are weak in the foot. Because that is how Achilles gets killed. Paris shoots him with an arrow in the heel and he dies. It means that through fornication, by misusing the sandals, by not walking the path, we are not following the path of chastity. We get wounded. We suffer affliction. So Oedipus made that mistake. He was a fornicator. But if you work with the energies of עד Od and עבד Obd, you can transcend this dynamic.
Creation, Conservation, and Renovation
One thing that I will also mention relating to the Tenth Arcanum, the number 10, in the words of Samael Aun Weor, “grants one the ability to see the return, flux, and reflux of all things.”
So again, the Arcanum 10 is movement, cyclical existence, progression, regression. Nothing is static in nature. Everything is moving, including the mind. So if you learn to transcend the mind, you learn to see all of your psychological states as impermanent. You do not identify with egotistical qualities, the ego: hate, pride, lust, etc. You learn to see how everything is changing constantly. You do not get carried away by those elements.
The principles of Arcanum 10 also teach, as Samael Aun Weor wrote, about creation, conservation, and renovation. Creation is when the soul is born, when the Being is born from emanating from the Absolute. When the Being descends down the Tree of Life, as we see in the next graphic, the soul is created.
Conservation has to do with how the soul preserves its identity no matter what state of materiality it enters. So when we look in the Tree of Life, our consciousness emanated from the אין סוף Ain Soph, our super-atomic star, the Absolute. When light emanated from the Absolute, it became the אין סוף אור Ain Soph Aur, the limitless light. That light descends down the Tree of Life progressively until reaching מלכות Malkuth, the physical body.
So we talked in our previous lectures about this gradation of energies and modalities of forces. The spirit, חֶסֶד Chesed, the monad, is our Being, Atman, the Innermost, who unfolds his consciousness, גְּבוּרָה Geburah. Likewise, תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth, our willpower, has to control the lower elements: the air of נצח Netzach: the mind; the fires of הוד Hod, the heart: emotion; the waters of sex: יסוד Yesod; and the earth: our physicality.
Our consciousness evolves and devolves within מלכות Malkuth and in the infernal worlds. So the Wheel of Samsara is represented here by this physical body and the infernal dimensions, wherein the ego exists. So even if our consciousness enters into hell, the consciousness is eternal, is immortal. It belongs to the Absolute. Energy never dies. It just changes form. It gains experience. It gains knowledge. But of course when it is trapped in these lower levels of energy and matter, obviously that understanding is going to be very inferior, limited.
The inferior dimensions, the Klipoth, the hell realms, are very conditioned. There are more laws there. Everything is condensed, more material, more slow. Temporally, time in the inferior dimensions is prolonged. That is why religions call it eternity, because it lasts for ages. But this does not mean that it is linear, meaning that there is no end to it, because Samsara is a cycle, a circle. Likewise, eternity is a circle.
If your soul never transcends this wheel, constantly evolving, devolving, evolving, devolving, there comes a point where after the 3000 turns of this cycle, after being disintegrated for the last time in the infernal worlds, that soul returns back to the אין סוף Ain Soph, but of course only with limited knowledge, as I said, of the inferior worlds. But of course that consciousness, that spirit, that monad to which that soul belongs, gains a certain level of peace because certain experiences are acquired. That soul or the Being also deserves rest.
There are many beings like that, many souls that do not feel the urgency to change, to transcend that wheel. But anyone who enters the Gnostic tradition, the Gnostic studies, obviously feels discomfort with this process and wants to ascend the Tree of Life with willpower and knowledge. As I was stating, the soul remains eternal, is immortal. That is why Plato said that the soul is immortal in his doctrine. It is always conserved.
So as I mentioned to you those three principles: creation, conservation, renovation. The soul is created from the Absolute. It is conserved throughout its process and journeys, its transmigrations through different levels of matter, energy, and perception. When it returns back to the Absolute, it is renovated. It has gained knowledge. But of course, there are different ways to return back to the Absolute: either victoriously or as a failure. That is another thing.
So as I said to you, Samsara is a circle. A circle with a point represents these three circles above, the Absolute, because the circle is feminine. The divine, abstract, absolute, space―the Absolute is space. It is cosmic movement, freedom, limitless joy, uncreated light, created by neither any God nor any angel but is the one Being of all beings, an ocean of complete contentment.
The point is of course phallic, as we stated in relation to the Hebrew letter י Iod, of which we are going to talk about. The circle is receptive, but the point is projective, which is a symbol of the lingam-yoni, a sexual symbol of Hinduism. It is through the lingam-yoni that we return as husband and wife back to the Abstract Absolute Space. The Arcanum 10 is precisely the numbers 1 and 0, the phallus and the uterus. So to transcend that wheel, we work with the power of IO. The mantra of the Divine Mother is Ram-IO. If you spell that backward, it is Mary, the virgin.
One thing that we will talk about in relation to this Tree of Life is that מלכות Malkuth, this physical body, is a filter. Every soul in the universe must enter מלכות Malkuth, acquire physicality. Yet this physical body in this physical world is a testing ground, a churning or a grinding wheel, in order to remove the impurities and also to extract that which is pure from the grain. The wheel of destiny is often depicted as a great grinding stone that destroys the impure and liberates the pure. So the good escape, but the sinners descend.
The scripture known as The Voice of the Silence, transcribed by Blavatsky, of which we are going to be giving a course in the future, teaches this:
The Wheel of the Good Law moves swiftly on. It grinds by night and day. The worthless husks it drives out from the golden grain, the refuse from the flower. The hand of karma guides the wheel. The revolutions mark the beatings of the karmic heart. ―The Voice of the Silence
So why the grain? Because from the seed, the sexual seed, the Tree of Life is born. The Kabbalists refer to the ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life as Adam-Kadmon, the Christic Man, the Superman. If we want to develop this Tree of Life in us, we must work with the sexual seed, because from יסוד Yesod, our foundation, is how we control emotion, how we control mind, through our willpower. Therefore our consciousness is strengthened and our spiritual development is manifested, especially by working with the science of דעת Da’ath, marriage, alchemy. This is how we ascend to the heights of the Superman, which is the trinity: כֶּתֶר Kether, חָכְמָה Chokmah, בִּינָה Binah―Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
I remember that I mentioned to you that Oedipus Rex was swollen footed, lame footed. Achilles was wounded in the heel. יסוד Yesod is our foundation. The symbol of יסוד Yesod is the sandals, as I said to you. So if we do not work with the power of יסוד Yesod, we are wounded in the foot and the whole Tree of Life falls. But from יסוד Yesod is how we are founded and grounded, in order to ascend. If you look at יסוד Yesod in Hebrew, it is an acrostic, coming from the Hebrew word סוֹדי Sodi, which means “secret,” the great arcanum.
מלכות Malkuth is also a receptacle of all of the forces of nature which descend from the Tree of Life. It is a common misconception amongst esoteric students that these different sephiroth are not integrated, that they are not related, as if your physical body is something separate from your vital body, or your emotions from your vital body, or your mind from your emotional body. All of this is integrated here and now, moment by moment.
In a moment of your interactions of life, you are using your physical body. But in certain times of the day you may sense more or less energy: יסוד Yesod, vitality. Likewise, an emotional state may emerge, accompanied by a thought, with a certain will to act. So you see these lower five sephiroth are manifested here and now. All of this is occurring in מלכות Malkuth, because מלכות Malkuth means “kingdom” in Hebrew. This is the kingdom of all of the forces of nature. This is why this great ordeal or experiment of the Sphinx is here, because here in your physical body is how you determine how you use all of the forces of nature in the Tree of Life in you, whether to return to the source or to descend into the infernal dimensions.
I also had an experience many years ago where I was talking to my Innermost in the astral plane, relating to חֶסֶד Chesed, the Spirit, my Being. I was asking him about my Tree of Life, and he told me that “I am with you in all of the sephiroth, here and now.” Nothing is separate. Nothing is divorced from one another.
Transmigration through the Kingdoms of Nature
We talked a lot about transmigration. We already discussed the mineral, plant, animal, and humanoid kingdoms, how through evolution the soul develops through many eons in different metals, minerals, earth compounds.
The soul gains experiences working as a pure soul in nature within the mineral kingdom. This is of course the most simple kingdom, but an essential one for the health and vitality of our Earth, because without the gnomes and pigmies of the Earth, the elementals of that realm, all of the electricity of nature, bio-magnetism, all of the energies and forces within the elements that fluctuate and transmit to the Earth through the metals, life would be impossible. The mineral kingdom is like the nervous system of the planet. All of the forces and electricity of life, all of the parts of the Earth flow and fluctuate because of the minerals. Their job is to transmit the forces of divinity, manifested in the different elements, into the Earth, through the Earth.
This is why in the Gnostic tradition we like to form pentagrams, of which you [in the audience] both have, made of the seven metals. So with the seven metals (silver, mercury, copper, gold, iron, tin, and lead) you are channeling and keeping with you the forces of the seven main archangels. The seven archangels work through the seven planetary metals, which is the job in the mineral kingdom, to transmit those forces so that life can exist.
After the soul gains many millions of years of experience within the mineral kingdom and they have proven their development, they are then graduated into the plant kingdom, which is still a kingdom of great innocence, of great purity. Those souls have more power, but also they have not left Eden yet. Plants do not know the orgasm. Plants only know how to pollenate and to germinate with chastity. That is why when you look at a flower, you see its beauty, its purity, its simplicity. That is chastity, because it is transmuting the energies from the mineral kingdom, contributing and flowing those forces through its petals, through its fruits, which are so essential for our health and our life in this physical plane.
In the plant kingdom you have many elementals that are very powerful, which is why Samael Aun Weor dedicated a whole book to plant magic called Igneous Rose, but also his book Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic, which is an essential read for learning how to work with the angels of the plant kingdom. Samael Aun Weor calls them “little angels” because they have not left Eden yet. They are in paradise. Those souls of the plant kingdom go to the temple of divinity. They receive help from the angels, who instruct how to channel the forces of nature.
But of course, the plant kingdom is not the maximum development of any being. Be a use those souls learn to control the forces of nature and obey the divine beings, the Elohim, the gods, proving their development through many eons, they enter the animal kingdom, which is where they begin to procreate through orgasm. They also learn to have collective mind. But likewise, the mineral and plant kingdoms as well is a type of collective consciousness. But in the animal kingdom, those types of beings are learning to develop individuality, starting to or trying to learn to think more for themselves, or to exist more for their own being, like certain high-flying birds like the eagle, animals like the lion, which are very dominant, independent, the bear. Those are very well-developed animals in that kingdom who are preparing to enter a humanoid state.
So those are animal souls. The word anima means “to animate,” “life,” “to exist.” Those animals are given instruction in that level, and they are driven by the forces of nature, by instinct, to have sex with orgasm as a means of procreation. But of course, these animals are innocent. They do not have the intellect, to know of a superior way. They are just obeying the forces of nature that flow through them. This is really where our ego is born, in the animal kingdom, because desire is formed in that level.
However, the animals, after developing for many eons, or after we have developed in many different animal bodies, likewise after many plant bodies, likewise many different mineral compounds, we graduate from the mineral, plant, animal, to the humanoid kingdom, the intellectual animal. By this we say “humanoid” because a human being is a master who has conquered the four elements in him or herself, whereas a humanoid is any one of us, an animal with intellect.
In the intellectual animal kingdom, we have a capacity for reason that can understand the doctrines of the superior path. When we reach the humanoid kingdom, the angels gave to our ancient humanity, represented in the Bible as Adam and Eve, the continent of Lemuria, the commandment: Thou shall not fornicate.
Animals fornicate because that is all that they know. They do not have their reason to justify or understand why fornication is an element of the animals. They do not know any better. But when we reach the humanoid state, we are given the intellect and the commandment, “Before, you copulated as an animal as a simple elemental of nature. You have ego, animal desire. But now, if you want to enter a higher way of being, you must learn to control the sexual energy.”
So this is where the commandment, “Thou shall not fornicate” comes from, because to enter the higher dimensions, the conscious evolution of the higher kingdoms, one needs a humanoid body and the intellect and to learn to overcome all of the elements of the previous kingdoms so as to transcend this whole wheel. We are given 108 humanoid bodies, as I said. But if we fail to use our opportunities, nature will take us, to retrogress in animal bodies, plant bodies, and mineral bodies until finally disintegrating within Klipoth.
Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, the great Sufi poet, explains this process in one of his poems, which we have quoted at length here. He talks about transmigration, how one needs to die in one level in order to ascend to a higher level.
Question: What if you spent this life in the first half doing wrong, but then the second half of that doing right?
Instructor: Good question. It is because there is always mercy with the law. Obviously for most of us, we tend to be in our last few existences, if not our last. Personally, I have had the experience where they have warned me, “If you do not take advantage of your humanoid body, you are going to devolve very soon.” Personally, I have made too many mistakes, which is why after receiving that commandment and that knowledge and having certain experiences, I have been able to work further because the law has shown mercy.
The law is mercy and justice. When justice overweighs mercy, we have tyranny. If there is too much mercy, it is complacency with crime. But divinity is beyond that: good and evil, the balance of mercy and justice. If you are on your last few lives, which in most cases is most of us, it does not mean that they are going to cut the cord, so to speak. But you can talk to them and show them by your practices and your work that you want to change. Therefore they show mercy. Personally, I am looking at my own mind, and I do not see any reason for mercy there. But the Being is forgiving. The Qur’an teaches, بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ Bismillah ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim: “In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” So, God forgives.
God is not a tyrant but can help us to transcend this wheel, as Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi teaches:
I died as a mineral and became a plant. I died as a plant and rose to animal. I died as animal, and I was man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? And once more, I shall die as a man to sore with angels blessed. But even from angelhood I must pass on. All except God doth perish. ― Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
So this is talking about levels and levels of being, which are very high. Why be afraid of the death of the ego? This is what Rumi teaches very beautifully in his doctrine, his poems, because we were once minerals and we died to that level of being. We entered a higher way of being. We died as plants and became animals, and likewise to a humanoid state. Likewise, why should we fear the death of the ego in this humanoid body? ― because there are higher ways of being, more blissful.
Even the angels, they die further and further because they reject or renounce lower ways of being for higher ways of being. They continue to ascend up the Tree of Life but also to the Absolute, which is represented in certain images like The Divine Comedy, if you are familiar with the Empyrean of Dante where he saw the angels ascending and circling around the light.
Question: As you get older, don’t you automatically fornicate less?
Instructor: That is because older people have in their youth have typically squandered the energy, and they feel less desire as a result, or less impulse, because the libido is not there. But even older people―who have learned to transmute for years―women do not go into menopause and the men remain virile and healthy without any impotence.
When I sacrificed my angel soul, I shall become what no mind has ever conceived. Oh, let me not exist! For non-existence proclaims in organ tones: To him we shall return. ―Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
So, let me not be myself, my individuality. Let me be the Being, the Lord, the Christ, which is one light. It is the cosmic space which is universal, whose center is everywhere and his periphery is nowhere. So let me die to myself, meaning: let me not exist, but let my soul be one with that light, that great march and symphony of Beethoven of the Ode to Joy:
Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium.
This is the famous chorus: “Freude schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken Himmlische dein Heiligtum!” Because that soul has returned back to the joy of that light, is not him or herself, but is only the Being, the Absolute. So even the angels die, in joy. They ascend further and further in the light. This is the doctrine of transmigration.
Solar and Lunar Mind
So in order to escape the Wheel of Samsara, we have to overcome our lunar mind and develop a solar mind. In order to liberate ourselves from the wheel of mechanicity, the ego must die. So this is known as the path of Isis, the serpent power that eliminates the ego in order to return us to Osiris-Christ, the Solar Logos, the Absolute.
The lunar mind is represented in the Bible as קַיִן Cain. The solar mind is Abel. In most people, our intellect, our Cain, has killed our conscience. הֶבֶל Habel or Abel was the purity of the soul that only worshipped divinity. God rewarded Abel but not Cain. Cain was a tiller of the Earth. He was materialistic, identified with his job and his money and his bank account solely, exclusively, without any sentiment or longing for something higher.
But Abel was different. Abel is a keeper of sheep, meaning that he is an initiate. The work with the sheep is the work with people who know how to transmute sexual energy. To be a shepherd is a symbol of Christ. A shepherd is one who has the staff of power, who is an initiate, a master.
So Abel was killed by Cain. That is precisely the act of fornication, the residue or remnants of the original sin: Thou shall not fornicate. So Cain, our intellect, has gotten very fat, has squandered the energies of God, and has become very materialistic in this day and age to the point that our conscience, our Abel, has died. However, Adam and Eve give birth to another son, which is Seth, in the Old Testament.
The story goes on as a process of how one develops solar conscience. So a lunar conscience is ego, relating to the sleep of the consciousness and has to do with all of the mechanicity that we are typically associated with. Many people are identified with a type of lunar thinking: their race, their inheritance, their culture, their religion, their belief systems, their politics, their family, certain desires, prejudices, fears, which are ancestral.
We know the saying that “the sins of the father live on in the son,” and likewise. It is because people, through the process of transmigration, recurrence, or better said, return, tend to be born in the very same families that they have known for many centuries, but in different existences. We tend to exist and return to new bodies within our own children, through our own families, because the karma is so dense that we tend to get attracted back to where we have most familiarity.
So that is a type of lunar thinking, when we identify with all of the prejudices and beliefs of people in our families, certain superstitions, etc., certain appetites. Samael Aun Weor mentions that this quality is known as the lunar Adam, the lunar man who gets carried away by the flow of life, mechanicity, and only returns to new existences in order to gain more knowledge and experiences of an intellectual type. But we tend to get so complicated that we lose simplicity, purity, innocence.
He also mentions that the ego can never gain perfection because the ego is a result of imperfection. People who want to continue to develop their intellect at the exclusion of their soul is a path of lunar conscience. It is also the path of the moon: evolution/devolution; waxing moon/waning moon; cycles represented by the moon, mechanicity, of which we are going to listen to an excerpt from Carmina Burana: “O Fortuna,” the moon, which talks about these concepts in synthesis. But to escape that lunar mechanicity (we know that the moon relates to many laws of nature like the flux and reflux of tides, menstruation in women, the flow of sap in trees during the full moon and the waning moon), likewise, we see that the moon can be transcended and that the moon is a representation of the mechanical forces of nature, of evolution and devolution.
Solar conscience is very different. Solar consciousness or conscience is that insight that you get when you are channeling the energies of Christ in you, in which you see without ego and can see the mind for what it is. So anytime that you recharge your battery through runes, through mantras, you are awakening consciousness, learning to perceive with serene mind. When you work with the runes, you are liberating the solar energies in your body, in your semen, so that those energies circulate through you and make you one with Christ in nature. When you have solar energy, you can awaken consciousness and you can learn to judge your own defects, the moon, the ego.
The religious cosmogonies teach that the sun relates to Christ, the consciousness, Abel. The moon represents the mind, the “I,” the ego, suffering. Having experiences in the internal planes of seeing the moon means that one is going to suffer. But if you see the sun, it means that something is being born. I also gave an experience I had in Arcanum 9: The Hermit in which I saw the sun and the moon. Personally, I have seen this many times. But those are symbols of how one is changing one’s level of being or one is failing at one’s level of being. Because if you see the moon, it means that you are suffering and that you are going to descend into pain.
But to see the sun is something different. Solar consciousness, the path of the sun, the path of the revolution of the spirit (because the אין סוף Ain Soph and also the Son of God, the Son of Man, Christ) is what guides one to transcend the wheel of centuries. The Christ, the Christic light, emanates from the אין סוף Ain Soph down the Tree of Life until reaching מלכות Malkuth. By working with our practices, we send that light back up our spine to our mind and then beyond, which is why Nietzsche said, “You great star, what would your happiness be without those for whom you shine?”
That light cannot fully develop its potential unless we cooperate. This is why Samael Aun Weor calls this the solar experiment, because the creation of the human being is a laboratory, created in the laboratory of nature, in which a Superman can be gestated, a Christ-man, a solar man, a being who is not influenced by prejudice, by intellect, by defect, but fully manifests the light of divinity.
The Sexual Cycles of Uranus
The wheel of the centuries also relates to the planet Uranus and sexual cycles. It is interesting to study planetary influences in relation to this arcanum, because Uranus is a planet which charges and channels many forces in nature that affect the sexuality of human beings on this planet.
Uranus is governed by two poles. The two poles basically directly face the sun. So there is always one or the other type of magnetic influence that is always reaching the planet Earth at certain periods of time. There are forty-two years for each cycle, which relate to the influence of the masculine and feminine influences in our politics, our religion, our communities. When the masculine pole faces the Earth or reaches the Earth within a cycle of forty-two years, then men tend to take dominance with certain social influences, whereas another forty-two years is related to women. This creates a bio-rhythm in nature of eighty-four years, which tends to be the typical life-span of a typical human-being. It is 84, the average length of human life.
So we should learn about his influence of Uranus within our sexual glands because Uranus is a powerful planet that relates to the influence of our sexual energy and can explain many influences within our countries, when men dominate or women dominate. But also one thing that Samael Aun Weor mentions is that one should take advantage of the age of forty in their life, because in that point of time in one’s life, one has experienced both polarities of the sexual cycles of Uranus, both masculine and feminine. One reaches sexual maturity as a result of this influence on the planet around the age of forty, which is why the age of forty is the best age to begin sexual alchemy according to Samael Aun Weor. One’s emotional sentiment is more mature, whereas when people are younger, they typically tend to be influenced too much by passion, which is not conducive for a sexual chaste marriage, typically in most couples.
ידיך עשוני ויכוננוני הבינני ואלמדה מצותיך׃
We also talk about the Hebrew alphabet at the end of these lectures. We have Psalm 119. We see here the Hebrew letter י Iod beginning each of the verses of Psalm 119, verses 73-80. These principles sum up what we were discussing in the previous lectures of this course, but also this lecture. We will read in synthesis:
73 Your hands made me and fixed me; give me understanding that I may learn your commands.
The Kabbalistic Mysteries of י Iod
We see the image of Joseph in relation to the mysteries of י Iod or יוסף IO-Soph, Yosef. So י Iod symbolized a point or the lingam, the phallus. ה Hei is the uterus, י Iod-ה Hei-ו Vau-ה Hei, יהוה Jehovah. The Hebrew letter י Iod is a representation of the semen, the sperm or the ovum, because it is simply a point, a dot, representing כֶּתֶר Kether, the tenth sephirah on the Tree of Life. It is the primordial point of light that emanates from the Absolute, which manifests within the universe for the first time as a point of light, as a י Iod. This is why י Iod is the first letter in the sacred name of God: Jehovah, יהוה Iod-Havah.
The Zohar talks a lot about the Hebrew letter י Iod. In relation to the Tree of Life, we will talk about an excerpt from the Zohar. The Hebrew letters themselves, in the mystical commentary of the Zohar, came to Jehovah and asked for permission to create the universe. So each letter is a representation of archetypes, principles of nature, of divinity, blueprints for the creation of the soul. Each card of the Tarot is a principle, associated with a Hebrew letter. So י Iod relates to Retribution, this card, because י Iod, the power of the sperm or ovum, when it is liberated of its energy, grants us the capacity to escape the wheel of suffering.
So in the Zohar:
The letter י yod entered (at the beginning of the universe’s creation). She said to Him, “Master of the world, may it please You to create the world by me, for I am the beginning of the holy Name. It is fitting for You to create the world by me!” He replied, “it is enough for you to be engraved in Me, to be inscribed in Me. My desire culminates in you (because the powers of י Iod, IO, descend from the Ain Soph, the Absolute, to Yesod, IO-Soph). You should not be uprooted from My name. ―Zohar
So what does it mean that “my desire culminates in you?” We know the Tree of Life. י Iod is at the top, כֶּתֶר Kether, the tenth sephirah. But when that energy descends down the Tree of Life and manifests in יסוד Yesod, it becomes the foundational stone of the temple of mysteries.
יסוד Yesod is the energies of the alchemy, of sexuality, which is composed of the following Hebrew letters: י Iod, ס Samech, ו Vav, ד Daleth. י Iod is the power of כֶּתֶר Kether, the Logos, the Christ. ס Samech is the circle, the serpent, or the ouroboros that we mentioned in our previous lectures, the serpent that swallows its own tail, a symbol of eternity. ו Vav is the spinal column in which that serpent ס Samech rises. ד Daleth relates to the mysteries of דעת Da’ath, alchemy, the alchemical teachings.
So, why is it that the Lord says, “My desire culminates in you (י yod). You should not be uprooted from my name”? It is because the power of י Iod, or IO, descends from above and enters into יסוד Yesod, IO-Sod, יוסף IO-Soph.
The word סוף soph means “end,” “limit,” “the limit or an end.” It is interesting that the book of Genesis talks about the character Yosef, IO-Soph, יוסף Joseph, because he is a character that represents the power of initiation, the soul that can return to the light. Joseph represents יסוד Yesod, even etymologically in his name. He is the limit or end of IO, because he is the power of the depository or the well of יסוד Yesod.
So the sexual organs are represented by a well in which we find the waters of life. Our physical body is מלכות Malkuth, the Earth. And if you remember the myth of Joseph, he was betrayed by his brothers and thrown into a well, by Ruben, his other affiliates, his family members who were jealous of his relationship to Jacob. Jacob represents the heart, תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth, the human consciousness, and Joseph is יסוד Yesod. Joseph in the myth was thrown into a well, meaning the force of divinity descended from the Absolute and entered into יסוד Yesod. It is from the well that we have to get out in order to enter into initiation.
So one thing that we have to remember is that Joseph in the book of Genesis is the last figure mentioned in the book of Genesis. He is the final character in that text because Joseph, יוסף IO-Soph, is the end of IO, the power of the divine entering the waters into life.
The Bible and Qur’an also talk about a teaching, how in the Qur’an, the brothers lie to their father, Jacob, that Joseph was eaten by a wolf, and the wolf is a symbol, as we said in Arcanum 5, of karma.
There are some interesting folklore commentaries about the Qur’an which are very interesting to relate. It was said that when he was placed in the well, the water was at first bitter, but when he entered and touched the water it became sweet. Because when we are conscious of the sexual energy and we learn to transmute it those waters (that were bitter from fornication), become the sweetness of the soul.
Likewise, the well was dark before in folkloric commentary, and yet when he entered the well, it became light. So in the darkness emerges the light of cognizance.
He was also brought down in the well naked, except for an amulet which supposedly carried the silk of paradise. If you are familiar with the previous lecture on the solar bodies in Islam, they refer to the garment of reverence known as لباس التقوى libas al-taqwa, the garment of reverence, how one has to create this garment of reverence, the solar bodies, to generate the light of the divine, which you do so by learning to work with the well, the waters of transmutation. In this commentary of the myth, the amulet that Joseph wore around his neck supposedly carried the silk of paradise. Gabriel originally gave it to Abraham when he was put into a fire by his people, whom then gave it to Isaac, then gave it to Jacob, then to Joseph. When Gabriel opened the amulet, says the myth, it gave him comfort specifically and clothed him in the well.
So Joseph is the power of י Iod, the sperm or the ovum, from which emerges the serpent Kundalini power, the electronic akashic divine serpent, the ouroboros, the light of the אין סוף אור Ain Soph Aur, which rises within the spine through the power of דעת Da’ath, alchemy. By learning to practice transmutation with one’s partner―if one is a husband, one has one’s wife; if one is a wife, one has one’s husband―in order to generate and work with the power of Joseph.
Dr. Arnold Krumm-Heller on Sexual Magic
Arnold Krumm-Heller, the great doctor of medicine and teacher of Samael Aun Weor, gave some beautiful explanations about the nature of sexual magic which became some of the foundations of which Samael Aun Weor, his disciple, came to teach the knowledge. Dr. Arnold Krumm-Heller was known as the Master Huiracocha, a master of science. He states the following about the mysteries of Joseph, the mysteries of alchemy:
Instead of the coitus which reaches the orgasm, sweet caresses, amorous phrases and delicate touching should be lavished reflectively, keeping the mind constantly separated from animal sexuality, sustaining the purest spirituality as if the act were a true religious ceremony.
Samael Aun Weor often talks about the lyre of Orpheus and that that is the spinal medulla with its seven notes, the seven chakras that resound with power within husband and wife who are practicing sexual alchemy.
י Iod is the light of כֶּתֶר Kether, the divine that emerges from the Absolute. י Iod is also hidden within the Hebrew letter ט Teth of which we discussed in Arcanum 9. So we need to return that light, transform the י Iod into Christic energy so as to escape the well.
If you remember the myth of Joseph, he is lead out of the well and he is sold into slavery, into Egypt. So that myth of being in Egypt represents how we are also slaves of materiality, in which Joseph was tempted by a woman. She is referred to as Zulaikha in the Qur’an, who is married to another man but is sexually attracted to Joseph, so much that she constantly tempts him. But he remains chaste. That is a symbol of chastity in the Qur’an, but also the Bible, because he is tempted by his own mind, his lust, but remains faithful to chastity, to purity.
י Iod also reminds us of the Ten Commandments that we must fulfill on Earth as it is in heaven. How we use energy determines our life, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually. The Ten Commandments state:
10. Thou shall not covet they neighbor’s goods (relating to מלכות Malkuth).
We will be talking about and giving courses on the Ten Commandments in the near future, because they really deserve further explanation.
But to conclude, we will look at a sound clip from Carmina Burana, the Wheel of Fortune, composed by Carl Orff, a great master who knew Kabbalah and Alchemy very well. Carmina Burana relates to karma―Ur-ana, Ur-anas, Uranus―because Uranus in Chaldean represents fire and water. Uranus relates to Christ, again, to the cycles of sexuality that govern humanity within periods of forty-two years: masculine/feminine influences. That power of Uranus also relates to Christ, the Christic force, because Christ planetarily relates to Uranus.
We see that this great piece of music depicts the rise and fall of tyrants, of initiates, of Gods. There are those who are made kings through this Wheel of Fortune, who transcend the wheel and yet who fail, who re-enter into suffering and descend into the negative, devolving worlds. That is represented in this great piece of music which we will listen to.
So Carmina Burana, if you break down the language is “karma of the gods,” because ur-anas means “light and water.” So what is the karma of light and water? It is referring to those beings who were once angels. They transcended the wheel of karma, and yet they chose to enter back into suffering. They fornicated again. Therefore they entered the wheel of pain in order to be disintegrated in the infernal worlds.
There is a line at the end of O Fortuna (“Oh Fortune, like the Moon”)―the final explanation of that short piece is that “Fate strikes down the strong man. Everybody weep with me.” So who is that strong man? In Kabbalah, the image of יסוד Yesod relates to the strong man, a naked man, representing the virile power of יסוד Yesod, the sexual energy. So, fate strikes down the initiates through karma, through suffering, for having disobeyed the commandments of Jehovah. “Let everyone weep,” he says.
You also have some references in the medieval texts, which Carl Orff based music on, of “the baldness of fortune.” To be bald in the internal planes means to be a fornicator, to not have hair on one’s head. In ancient times, when a woman was caught committing adultery, they would shave her head as a symbol of infidelity, because that was an internal symbol of how if one’s hair is full, it is bringing the sexual energy through transmutation into the mind to rejuvenate it.
In the second clip, we will look at a piece by Carl Orff called Fortuna Plango. There is a statement that says, “Let the king fear falling.” Or let him fear falling down from the wheel of centuries, because if one chooses to fall, having transcended that wheel of cyclical existence, one enters into the infernal worlds like Queen Hecuba. Queen Hecuba’s fate was the fate of any master who enters into degeneration after having entered initiation. Queen Hecuba was the wife of King Priam of Troy. When the Trojans took over the city, it is a symbol of how the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, is destroyed and purity of the soul is desecrated. This is a very powerful piece, very potent, of which we will listen to real briefly before we take questions.
So that clip teaches us how fortune is like the moon, waxing and waning, providing benefits and then taking away, the wheel of karma, the Wheel of Fortune. Supposedly we get good things and then the next moment they are taken from us. Karma is like that, to create suffering because of our mistaken actions. But the only way to transcend that mechanicity of pain and agony is by working in a marriage, because the lines from the medieval text that Carl Orff used in his music state, “Pluck the vibrating strings.” If we remember that quote from Dr. Arnold Krumm-Heller, husband and wife are like musical instruments playing the notes of divinity between the couple. So if you want to transcend that moon, the mechanicity of desire, you have to work in a marriage to transform the moon into a sun.
“Therefore, I turn my back to your bare villainy” refers to any initiate who enters the path of the revolution of consciousness, because when we recognize that we are at fault for our own errors, we make the decision to accept our karma with patience, with diligence. We turn our back to the executioner who whips us, who beats us, so that we can return their hatred with love, transforming any circumstance of karmic sorrow into understanding. Therefore, it says in the text, “I turn my bare back to your villainy” in order to be whipped, to pay karma, like how Jesus was whipped five-thousand times by the Romans―a symbol of how one experiences Arcanum 5: The Hierarch, karma, but also with Retribution (Arcanum 10).
Karma seizes an opportunity, as represented as a woman with full head of hair. But whenever it comes to taking an opportunity to evoke suffering, she is bald, meaning that the karma of fornication is pain, suffering, agony. The other piece Fortuna Plango talks about those kings as I said who must fear downfall, because when you enter into initiation, it does not mean that you cannot fall again, enter back into the wheel and get ground up by that cycle again. So let the king who sits at the top of the peak of initiation, the mountain of תִפאֶרֶת Tiphereth, let him fear falling. But let him continue upward.
Of course this piece is very powerful. It is a great warning to the bodhisattvas, those masters who take the direct path to the Absolute, so that they know what mistakes not to make. “Let fate strike down the strong man,” meaning, the initiate who takes upon their karma to pay completely. When he does, so “let everyone weep with me.” Then you have that triumphant conclusion of the trumpets at the end of that piece, because one is victorious. But if you listen to the whole Carmina Burana, the cycle, it begins with that piece O Fortuna and ends with that piece, because that initial beginning and ending of that piece demonstrates for us what we call “the four seasons,” the cycle of nature.
The music progresses through different stages, from spring to summer to fall and winter, becoming more jovial and then becoming more serious and then reaching the end, a representation of the path of initiation. Again, the number four relates to the four kingdoms of the world of מלכות Malkuth. You have the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, and the humanoid kingdom, relating to the four elements. So Carmina Burana is a very deep piece which highlights the things that we talked about.
Do you have questions?
Questions and Answers
Question: Yes, I have a couple actually. The first one would be what you just talked about. You talked about the first kings who fall from the peak. Is there a chance of salvation for those who have chosen to fall?
Instructor: It depends. It depends on divinity, because some masters fall very hard. Others make the mistake like Samael Aun Weor did in Lemuria. He fell in love with a woman, not because he wanted to enter black magic like Jahve and many other fallen bodhisattvas did. So for those masters who fell in order to commit black magic, the karma is very serious. They end up devolving in the infernal worlds. Samael mentions that they will be given an opportunity to repent in the future, but it is unlikely that they will take it. Whereas others like Samael Aun Weor who had entered into initiation and recognized his mistakes, he was forgiven. He was able to rise again, this time higher, with more knowledge.
Question: This is related. If they fall and after they fall, they realize that they made a mistake, does that improve their chances?
Instructor: Well, yes, because if the bodhisattva recognizes his mistake or her mistake, it is because God is guiding that soul to return. There is a Sufi initiate, a female master, by the name of Rabi’a. She was asked by a disciple, “If I repent, will God forgive me?” and she said, “No. Because if God forgives you, then you will repent.” You need that impetus from God, the Being, to manifest in the soul in order for that soul to have the possibility for remorse, because remorse is a sign that one is repentant and that God wants to redeem that consciousness. People who have no remorse, no judgment, are empty houses, meaning, they live in the physical plane and yet they do not have any consciousness left. They are already devolving in hell. Their bodies are being manipulated by egos. There is nothing left there.
Question: That kind of actually relates to my next question. It more has to be with me being myself. I in my life have been driven in this direction before learning the mysteries, my whole life. Then there are other people that have absolutely no interest whatsoever. Could that be a sort of a similar situation?
Instructor: It is, because if you read The Mystery of the Golden Blossom, and what Samael Aun Weor talks about, how there are monads or spirits, beings that emanated from the Absolute, there are many who do not want self-realization. People like us who are inspired to teach or study this knowledge feel that yearning, what Samael Aun Weor calls inquietudes. Now, we have received many letters from students and messages that they do not understand how some beings, some monads, may be inspired to do the work, and others not. Well, in order to really understand why a monad is not interested in the knowledge or in acquiring self-realization, one has to go into the internal planes.
But some people feel that great discomfort and feel tremendous despair or terror when they learn the fate of those who do not work on themselves. Obviously, it is because the Being in that person, the Being in us, is pushing us to work to escape that fate. So the only reason that we will have inquietudes is because the Being wants self-realization. If the Being does not want self-realization, for the soul to return up the Tree of Life back to the Absolute with knowledge, it is because the monad is not pushing that soul to work. There are many people who are very afraid, who ask us, “How do I know if my Being is pushing me to work? I feel terrified!” Well, that impulse that you feel, that despair that you feel, is that answer, because your Being is pushing you to change. People who have no conscience are already disconnected from their monad. There is no light there. The light has gone off in the house. The electricity is gone. It is empty.
Question: I think you may have actually answered this earlier, but I am going to ask it again anyway. You know me after I’ve come back. I am literally in the middle of a Jihad. I am battling my ego really hard: I fall and come back, fall and come back, right? Quick! It is a little bit of a power issue for me. Are there practices, and I think you answered this earlier, to improve our willpower?
Instructor: Yes. So we initiated this practice with the runes. All of the runes that we did, including Fah, the seven vowels, the Rune Rita, help with willpower. But more specifically, there is one for Christ will.
Face the East, heels together, left hand on your left side, right hand on your right hip. This is the Rune Dorn. Dorn is included in the book Magic of the Runes by Samael Aun Weor.
You can begin with your hands over your heart like we did, your hands over your heart in the beginning. You do not need a formula for this. You just ask, “My Being, my God, help me!” ― whatever comes natural to you. You want more willpower, more strength to combat your demons, simply ask from your heart what you need. Afterward, heels together, in the military position, left hand on your left side, right hand on your right hip, you close your eyes. Work with the mantras TA, TE, TI, TO, TU. It sounds like this:
You can do that whole cycle seven times, fourteen times, as many as you need, asking your Inner Christ to make your will Christic. Right now we have a lot of egotistical will, what we are fighting against. But you as a consciousness may struggle or feel the weakness of confronting the mind, which is why when we want to strengthen our will, we work with Christ will. So the path of Moses that I mentioned to you is Christic will, willpower that only knows how to obey the Being.
So this is a Rune that we do in the morning when the sun rises, early, as soon as the sun comes up. You ask your Being, “My God, I beg you, give me Christ will, the will of the Being, so that I can conquer my defects.” It can be as simple as that. What matters is your sincerity and that you are really trying to visualize how that light is circulating in you, like we did with the Rune Fah and the other practices, in order to circulate that energy.
If you do that for an hour in the morning, it will give you a lot of willpower, not only to work against your desires, but even with your vocation, your job, when you are active in the day and you need to be concentrated. But Christic will will help you, that rune. Dorn will help you.
Dorn reminds us of the God Donner, or Thor. The symbol of Thor is the hammer in the form of a cross, because the power of Christ is the power of chastity. If you have ever seen the opera Das Rhinegold by Richard Wagner (which I am hoping that it will play in the Lyric Opera House so that we can go see it. They are playing Die Valkyrie, the second opera, but not the first), in Das Rhinegold you see Donner comes in the scene because the gods have just witnessed a murder in heaven, in Asgard, the heavenly realms. Two giants: one of them kills the other. The sky becomes full of darkness, cloudiness. The staging on some of the MET (Metropolitan Opera House) performances that I have seen show very beautifully how gloomy it becomes, and the music dies down. The gods are depressed because there is no energy, no light there. The soul has been killed through fornication.
But Thor comes on the scene. He emerges and sings this very beautiful recitatif, pulls out the hammer and says, “Heda, Heda Hedo!” He sings it. When you hear the mantras: Heda, Heda Hedo! You hear IA, IAO. Come onto me!” He is invoking the clouds to disperse. The way that he does it is that he takes the hammer and strikes a rock, creates a spark. Then the clouds vanish and the gods are greeted by celestial music and you see a rainbow leading to the heavenly city.
In order to see the path of initiation, you have to clear your mind. The way you do it is by working with Thor, Donner. You work with that Christic will in you with the Rune Dorn. You are working with the Holy Spirit, who is Thor. That music is very powerful too. You could look it up, in which Wagner depicted the same thing. But if you want to help fight against any ego and to develop Christ will, do the Rune Dorn. It is a militant rune. You can also combine that rune with other runes if you find that you need some variety to keep your body moving, to stay concentrated. You can do the Rune Fah as we did, the Rune Man, the seven vowels, the Rune Rita, and the Rune Dorn especially.
Comment: I did notice that some energy flowed when you did that.
Instructor: You feel that every day in the morning especially. You can handle any situation. Personally, in my job I deal with certain people who are very difficult. But when I do the runes and I do my mantras and prayers, I have willpower to face it and not get identified.
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Free online courses, lectures, podcasts, and transcriptions.