In the course of this study and practice, we now arrive at a critical point. Everything we explained, about the science of meditation, thus far, establishes a certain foundation, which specifically is the capacity to awaken the consciousness, while placing the mind, heart, energies, and body in a state of suspension, in profound passivity, in deep repose.
When the obscurations that filter our perception are removed, we learn to activate an objective state that knows how to apprehend the essential nature of reality.
Most people, however, do not even get past the body. People are identified with sensations, a discomfort in their posture, an irritation, an itch, a scratch, a pain, making many movements and never entering introspection itself. If we are constantly attending to the body, we are not meditating. We have to put our body at a comfortable posture, so that we can relax it, and more importantly, so that we can forget about it. Let it be. Let it go.
We also have to harness vital energy, but with attention, so that we can guide it wisely, intelligently, so that it works for us, not the other way around. We explain many times that we must not be fascinated with energy. We need it. We cultivate it. We direct it. It is useful when it is directed within its specific orbit.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency in many spiritual movements and schools to identify with the chakras, those vital vortices of energy, to be fascinated by energy itself. But, just as a normal person would not be proud of having a full tank of fuel in their car, likewise, a genuine meditator does not identify him or herself with how much energy they have, with sensations of a psychic type, that they perceive with supernatural sense. What matters is how you drive your car. It does not matter how much fuel you have in it. Obviously, to a degree, we need it. But how you drive, how you manage your mind, your heart, and your body, with conscious awareness―that is essential.
We also must not identify or invest energy within feeling, with surging negative emotions, with inferior sentiments, with anger, with vanity, with pride.
Associative thought must also be suspended. It must be abandoned, and many people get stuck here. Their mind wonders. Their thoughts race. They think of what happened earlier in their day, and a chain of subjective memories hypnotize the consciousness. We become absorbed in what happened yesterday, and what we should have said, and how we felt, and what we thought.
It is important that we are no longer distracted, that we clarify our attention and learn to focus on one thing, to not let it be dispersed or fragmented. As we learn to direct and sustain our attention, we naturally develop continuity. We are in a constant state of self-remembrance. We feel the presence of divinity at all times. We have deepened serenity, and this is where the potential for certainty and insight becomes realized, as we explained in the last lecture. As you concentrate upon one thing, you can develop consciousness. You strengthen understanding and you experience certainty about it.
The natural function of the consciousness is to perceive and understand. If you do not perceive a phenomenon, you cannot comprehend it. It is a basic law of causality. However, just because we perceive something, does not mean we understand it, let alone perceive it clearly and objectively. For example, you can perceive a rope in the moonlight and initially believe it to be a snake. You can become filled with fear and terror. Many emotions surge within yourself as you see this object, thinking it is a serpent. It is only when you shine a flashlight upon the object that you perceive and understand what is happening. Magically, then, your fears vanish.
This principle applies not only to the exterior world, but to our inner states, our psychological states, our ways of being. We do not clearly perceive our internal worlds. For most of us, it is very muddy world, an obscured reality within ourselves. Situations tend to happen, and we just react. We can know that we are angry. We can feel upset. We can feel proud, or we can think our thoughts, but these are just mechanical reactions to life. They are not conscious. They are not directed with intelligence. We do not really understand or see that our minds are the source of our sufferings. But it is when you shine light through observations of yourself, when you look at yourself, that you gain clarity and peace.
Isn’t it true that once you understand a problem, what to do, what the solution is, how it was caused, where it came from, how it was sustained, how it made others suffer and other people involved in the situation, isn’t it true that we find peace? There is a cessation of suffering. Pain extinguishes, like a candle being snuffed out. The problem is that we have not trained our consciousness enough in order to really look at the facts, to not merely react to life, but to understand it, to perceive it in a new way.
We often experience a psychological state, but we do not question what we perceive. We are not objective. If we are honest, if we examine ourselves, if we look, we can know that we are angry. But are we observing the anger? It is only when we separate from the ego, when we observe it with an active consciousness, that we can arrive to a very beautiful and magical dimension known as comprehension, real peace, real depth of a spiritual nature.
Samael Aun Weor stated in many books, especially Igneous Rose, that comprehension and imagination must replace reasoning. We have explained before that imagination is the ability to perceive nonphysical imagery. It also applies to our sense of psychological self-observation. It is a different type of perception in which we are looking, psychologically, into the sources of our thoughts, our feelings, and our impulses. We examine where they come from, how they emerge, what they feed upon, how they sustain, how they pass, how they make us suffer. Some traditions have called this clear perception vipassana, insight, perception. The Sufis call it vigilance, مراقبة muraqaba. In Gnosis we call it imagination.
However, as we begin to perceive nonphysical imagery while we are meditating and during our dreams, we also have to master the science of interpretation―to discriminate what we see, to have certainty about what we see, and certainty about what we understand, what is happening. This establishes the confidence of real faith, not belief. It is not a matter of thinking something is true or feeling it is true but knowing it having seen it. This is the essential fulcrum of Gnostic studies.
However, we cannot really begin to understand what all the great messengers have talked about in terms of God, reality, the truth, if we do not practice in ourselves these principles, if we do not develop reverence and awe, real respect for these methods, because they work. We should learn to apply them as a scientist, not expecting a result and not running away from the results when they do emerge, but learning to see with a clear mind―to experiment, to verify, to test. This is why the Sufis, especially Al-Jurayri, in the Principles of Sufism stated:
Whoever does not establish awe of duty and vigilance (muraqaba, or awareness: muhadarah) in his relationship to God will not arrive at disclosure of the unseen (mukashafah) or contemplation (mushahadah) of the divine. ―Al-Jurayri
We have explained what some of these Arabic terms mean, in previous lectures. Here we are going to build upon the steps that lead toward comprehension of the truth, contemplation, to witness, which as the Sufis and Muslims state in the Shahadah: “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is His prophet.”
We bear witness of the truth when we have experience. It is conviction born from perceiving reality and understanding it. The term مراقبة muraqabah is not only known as vigilance, but it is the Sufi term for meditation itself―to watch oneself, to examine one’s thoughts, one’s perceptions. Without this foundation, we cannot really experience the divine and more importantly, understand the message. So, we will talk in this lecture about the stages that lead, specifically, towards not only experiencing these principles but verifying and understanding them, more importantly.
Three Steps of Initiation
We enter the internal worlds with cognizance and learn to initiate communication with our inner Being by studying three specific steps, three parameters, three principles. We preface this discussion in that these are not rigid plateaus, where you have to master one stage before you enter the next. These principles relate. They interrelate. They integrate. They support one another. They complement each other. While there is a sequence, in turn, and in truth, they represent one profound dynamic, which is self-realization, to know oneself within our multidimensional Being. We can fluctuate throughout these three stages even within a single moment in meditation. Samael Aun Weor states the following in his book, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology:
Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition are obligatory steps of the Initiation. ―Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
If you have listened to other lectures on our website, we have talked extensively about the path of initiation. You can also study the lecture Stations within this course, where we talk about what it means to initiate a new way of being, a path, a method, towards the realization of the divine.
Whosoever has raised these three steps of direct knowledge has reached supraconsciousness (which is the consciousness that is beyond our ordinary perceptions. It is the way that a god perceives, a master, a prophet). The world of Imaginative Knowledge is a world of symbolic images. Inspiration grants us the power of interpreting symbols. In the world of Intuition, we see the great cosmic theater and we are the spectators. We attend the great drama of life. ―Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
We study these principles to provide direction in our work, to give us focus, to give us orientation. You can see in the background of this image a prayer niche facing towards Mecca. You find these within any mosque. It is known as the قِبْلَة Qibla. It is how you direct yourself towards the stone of the الكعبة Ka’ba in the Middle East in order to pray. It is a symbol of your concentration, your focus, and your discipline, specifically with the stone, الكعبة the Ka’ba, יסוד Yesod in Kabbalah, the work with creative sexual energy, as we have mentioned many times.
So, in order to really master these three steps of initiation, to understand the process of experience and how to understand what we perceive, we have to be very dedicated, very prayerful, very devoted.
In synthesis, imagination is the perception of nonphysical imagery. Inspiration is the recognition of divine symbolism or iconography. Intuition is the comprehension. It is the understanding or the interpretation of internal symbols and experiences.
So, in a moment of meditation, you can be relaxed, entering profoundly into yourself, when you suddenly receive in your mind, that is quiet, a symbol. It arrived to you with clarity, with a perception that is very crisp, dynamic, powerful. You see it not with physical senses, but with psychological senses, with a capacity to perceive images, imagination.
We often think of imagination as something fanciful, and ironically, we think of it as something false, when in truth, imagination permeates everything. I know in our Western culture we like to look down upon people who use their imagination, like artists, so to speak. But in truth, the greatest inventors, architects, creators, builders, first perceived something in their mind and then they made it manifest in reality, physically. The problem is that for most of us, our imagination is conditioned. We tend to use it in the wrong way. But when it is purified and perfected, it becomes a vehicle through which divinity can speaks to us, can communicate to us directly.
So, you can be meditating and receive an image―not only that, but it arrives clearly and with a lot of vibrant colors, detailed, like a vivid lucid dream. You recognize a symbol and therefore you become inspired. You feel joy because you realize that God is speaking to you.
But, the problem with most of us is that even if we have that experience, we get bewildered. We do not understand the message, and then we run to our friends, our instructors, or dream dictionaries, or books to find some kind of answer to a specific message given to us by our inner Being, and the problem is that we get more confused, because no one can interpret your dreams for you. Instructors can give suggestions, but really, we do not understand the karma of a person. We do not see into other people’s minds. Especially over the internet, we get those inquiries online and we see it even on the forum. People ask people or instructors to interpret dreams.
The reality is that intuition, understanding of those experiences, will unfold naturally as we meditate. It is good to know symbols and different teachings from the prophets that relate to different symbols, but the truth is that the magical blossoming of realization unfolds when you put your mind aside, when you stop comparing with the intellect. You let your consciousness speak to your heart.
The Sufis do not use these terms, but we reference such stages in the following way:
Awareness (muhadarah) is the beginning; then follows disclosure (mukashafah), then contemplation (mushahadah). ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
First, we have to become aware of the divine presence inside. We become aware of images, imagination, perceptions, experiences, which unfold beautifully when we do not desire it, when we let our mind rest, and we wait and are open, receptive.
We acquire disclosure when we recognize with inspiration and joy that divinity has communicated with us through symbols, whether in meditation or in dreams. When you have an impactful experience, you feel great happiness. It hits you in your heart, even if you do not intellectually understand it, and the way to understand these messages is not with the intellect. It is with our heart, with our conscience. We can understand that divinity has disclosed, has unveiled a specific message for us, and it now is imperative that we learn how to interpret it with intelligence, without prejudice, without egotism, without desire.
When we learn to interpret without the ego, we arrive at intuition, contemplation. We put the self away. You cannot know the truth with your mind, with your intellect. Your mind can only compare data from the senses. You need a different type of understanding, intelligence. Reasoning has to be put aside and this is why people often do not know how to discriminate what they are seeing, and so this lecture will serve to explain that process.
Let us examine the definition and guidelines for imaginative knowledge, from Samael Aun Weor:
For the wise, to imagine is to see. Imagination is the translucence of the soul. ―Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
The question is, is our perception or imagination translucent? Is it clear? Can you take an object and visualize it perfectly? Can you sustain it for a long period of time?
Most of us, if we are honest, will find that the mind will distort the image. We cannot see clearly. We do not see with color, with intensity. We cannot sustain it. This is because our mind is conditioned. Our ego manipulates the practice. So, the solution is to be patient, because this skill, this sense, will only be developed with consistency, with intentionality. We all have the capacity to imagine. We all can perceive. We all have that potential.
Some people, unfortunately, have used the term clairvoyance to denominate a term that is natural to anyone. Primarily, this group of people, I believe this is a group of French initiates, wanted to confuse those who were not studying their teachings. Clairvoyance really signifies “clear vision.” They gave a technical term to a natural function. Therefore, people have come to many absurd conclusions about what clairvoyance or imagination is, like it is a gift that only few people have.
If I tell you to imagine an apple, you can see it, not with your physical eyes, but with your consciousness. The question is how developed is that skill and its very quality that can really help us to perceive divinity, internally within meditation and within dreams.
So, there is positive imagination and there is negative imagination. Positive imagination is free of ego. There is no conditioning there. There is no subjectivity or delusion. It is not mixed with impurity, like anger, or pride, or resentment, or fear, or lust. Negative imagination is the type of fantasies that we have and engage with all day, typically. We think of conversations and things we wanted to say to a person at a given moment, or we indulge in images in our mind related to lust, with pride, with anger, etc. This wastes a lot of energy, and it means that our imagination is not translucent. It is not clear. We purify it gradually with patience.
Samael Aun Weor continues:
Whosoever awakens consciousness has reached Imaginative Knowledge. This one moves in the world of symbolic images. The symbols that the student saw while he was dreaming he now sees without dreaming, as before he was seeing them with a sleeping consciousness. Now he moves himself among them with an awakened consciousness even when his physical body is profoundly asleep. When the student reaches Imaginative Knowledge, he sees the symbols but he does not understand them. He comprehends that all of nature is a living scripture that he does not know. The student needs to elevate himself into Inspired Knowledge in order to interpret the sacred symbols of Great Nature. ―Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
We have a lot of exercises in our tradition to develop imagination. There are visualization practices to strengthen their capacity, to perceive nonphysical imagery with color, with vibrancy, with intensity, with clarity, with depth, and with sustainability. Of course, our imagination in the beginning is going to be mixed. But, with practice, we transform conditioned perception into unconditioned perception, negative imagination into positive imagination.
It is important also to understand that there are two essential dynamics related to imagination. Visualization practice requires that we project an image. But it also requires that we learn how to receive images as well. With visualization, we take an object. We initiate it. We perceive it. We sustain it. We do it with gentleness.
Imagination is a beautiful flower, an immaculate rose, with very delicate petals. It is not achieved through force, with exertions, with strain. It arises from the mud of your psychology with time and patience and great care, with tenderness, with affection, with love. Imagination comes to us when we recollect. We do not force it. We do not coerce the mind. Imagination is translucent and natural, like a cool moon reflected within a pond, within the pristine and limpid waters of a lake. So, if you lose the lucidity of the image that you are trying to visualize, it is good to open your eyes again, look at your object again, then close your eyes and continue. Train yourself. Be consistent. With practice you will begin to sustain images with great accuracy and consistency, and this is the skill that is going to open up the internal worlds when you combine meditation with relaxation.
Ever have a dream? Ever enter the dream world consciously? Perceiving images and sounds and places and people and things? This is the doorway to real knowledge. So, when you work with imagination and you develop relaxation, you enter your psychology with concentration. You access knowledge of the superior dimensions: those realities that all the great prophets have called heavens.
So, what are some practices we can do to develop this? We got to remember that as we are practicing, the mind is going to attempt to distract us. It is going to distort what we perceive, and when this happens, it is good to look at the object again and recall the exercise without force.
You can take a candle and observe it. Light it. Look at its qualities and color and details, and then close your eyes gently and visualize the object. If you find that your mind is distracted, it can be good to engage with preliminary concentration exercises, like focusing on the breath or a mantra, or you can open up your eyes again and observe the candle. Bring your attention back gently, without force. Remind yourself, not with recrimination, but with delicacy and confidence. Bring yourself back to the practice, and eventually you will start to sustain your imagination over prolonged periods of time.
Start short. Begin with five-to-ten minute practices. Do them frequently, but daily, and then you will find you get better at it.
If you want to get even more profound into this type of exercise, you can visualize a plant. So, if you want this to work, it can be good to go on to google images, to actually own a specific plant, and find pictures that relate to its appearance but also to its internal physiology, this is so that you can understand its constituent parts, what it is made up of, because this is very important when you practice a technique given by Samael Aun Weor in the book Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology.
Our visualization has to be very scientific. We have to know what makes up a plant. We have to be exact if we want it to work. So, you can imagine the form, the figure, the structure, the perfume, the color of the plant. It can be any kind. If you can get an aloe or a maguey, or other plants we use for magical rituals, elemental magic, like in Igneous Rose by Samael Aun Weor, the better.
The important thing is that we have the plant of our choice and that we have precision with our visualization. You imagine the protoplasm, the membrane, the nucleus.
While maintaining drowsiness, we also reflect upon the four essential elements of the plant: its cell protoplasm, which is a viscous, elastic, and transparent substance, like an egg white. The four elements that relate to the protoplasm are carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.
Perceive the nucleus. It is a miniature solar system, where life palpitates with abundance. It circulates, it flows, like the planets around the sun. Examine the nucleus in your mind eye. Perceive the nuclear juice and the nucleolus, which is covered by a nuclear membrane. The nucleolus is constituted by corpuscles that shine with light.
We can also imagine how mineral substances make organic combinations within the plant cellular protoplasm. You can perceive the grains of starch within the luminous chlorophyll, which shines like a green light.
Samael Aun Weor explains that we can enter ecstasy when contemplating plant cell nutrition, its relationship, and its reproduction. So, this is a very skilled exercise. It takes a lot of focus, but if you invest a lot of time and energy and work into this, it is very fruitful, very positive.
So, when you are imagining the reproduction of the plant, and you know its parts, you can observe and imagine the chalice of the flower, which are its sexual organs, and the pollen is the masculine, reproductive element. The pistil or gynoecium is the feminine sexual organ of the plant, with its ovary sac, which is filled with ova, the stylus, and stigma, specifically.
We can visualize the process of fecundation, which is really important, where you see the feminine germs and the masculine gametes, when they meet. After exiting the anther, the pollen, which is the masculine gamete, reaches the ovary of the plant, whereby the feminine gamete waits with longing, with sexual anticipation, with ecstasy.
It is important to remember that in this stage of the visualization, because we are focusing on the details of the plant, we are now going inside of the evolving and devolving processes of the plant itself. We have to perceive the sprout, the bud, which grows slowly, giving birth the leaves, to flower, and branches.
However, we have to recall that everything that lives must die. It must decay. It must devolve. This is the sister of evolution. Everything has birth, life, and genesis, gestation, formation, existence. But then it decays, devolves, degenerates, dies. You cannot have one without the other, and, as you are imagining the withering, the decomposition and death of the plant, you are perceiving its leaves and its stalk retracting and dying.
Now, what is the purpose of this exercise? We are becoming conscious of these spiritual laws and how they operate with all existing things. This visualization can apply to us as well, and if you go really deep, allowing the mind to settle, to calm, and you are visualizing all this with clarity, you can enter into the superior worlds as your body falls asleep. You enter the internal planes and receive higher knowledge about these processes, because to imagine is to see. It does not mean to fantasize: to project our desires of what we think or want. It means to receive new information.
In this practice you are projecting an image and you are sustaining it with accuracy. You are maintaining its vibrancy, its depth, its life. You hold it and you wait. The next step is that if you are patient, if you are serene, if you are concentrated, and you are not expecting anything, the truth emerges. You are going to receive new information. It is going to relate to the object of your practice, and this can occur in the form of a living drama, a scene, an event, a situation, whereby you are both the witness and the participant.
If you are meditating on a plant, specifically, you can eventually leave your body and speak face to face with the elemental of the plant. These innocent beings appear with beautiful colored tunics or togas. They are innocent children, very simple and pure.
Now, the Sufis refer to this principle of imagination in different ways. They speak about awareness, which can be a very broad and general term. But specifically, we have to become aware of this whole process, of all these principles, of all the details of our visualization. I will read for you a quote from Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah, which explain and corroborate what Samael Aun Weor wrote:
Awareness [from the same Arabic root word hudur, presence], is presence of heart, which may be produced by the coming together of innumerable small proofs of what is real. It is still behind the veil, even if the heart is present with the overwhelming power of the practice of remembering God. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
What are these innumerable, small proofs of what is real? There are many people who write to us about their experiences. They are meditating. They achieve a state of quietude, of introspection. The mind is at rest. The body is calm. The energies are circulated through pranayama and suddenly lights emerge, colors, sounds, experiences, visions. This is imaginative knowledge. It is the capacity of the soul to perceive the higher dimensions, which are inside.
Many people have different experiences when they work in Gnosis. This constitutes definite evidence or objective testimony of the truth, of divine states. However, such perceptions are still behind the veil, so to speak, because we can perceive all these things, but we do not understand what we perceive. We feel a powerful divine presence within our consciousness even if we do not grasp the full depth of the vision.
This is why we study mindfulness. The term مراقبة muraqaba is Sufi meditation: to watch oneself, one’s thoughts, one’s desires, one’s precondition or prejudices, assumptions, cravings, aversions, etc.
Our capacity to imagine is strengthened when we self-observe. You need both. If you want your imagination practices to go well, you should be observing yourself all day so that the very sense of perception is strengthened and complemented by your imagination exercises. It is the same capacity to perceive, although they do have their distinct qualities.
But when you are working with self-observation, you are working with positive imagination. You are learning to perceive your own inner worlds: your defects, your faults, learning to perceive objectively, learning to act objectively, to be in a state of equanimity.
To be successful in these studies, we have to be vigilant. We cannot sleep as a consciousness. It is important to remember divinity in our actions and perceive and understand and observe our psychological process at all times. The word vigil means “to not sleep,” to not lose attention. A vigil often encompasses a ritual in which you are praying over the dead, in which you do not sleep, or other practices in many indigenous cultures where they pray to the divine gods, the masters, the buddhas, the prophets, and renounce physical sleep, even if but for a day.
Some people refer to this process as mindfulness, which is the continuity of attention, or being aware at all times throughout our day, and even at night when we are asleep, physically. We learn to be conscious in the internal worlds. We achieve مراقبة muraqaba, meditation, by establishing ourselves within serenity. I will read for you some quotes from Abdullah Ansari of Herat from the Stations of the Sufi Path. He provides some guidelines for developing this introspective quality of perception:
From the field of Serenity the field of Mindfulness is born. God, the Most High, says, ‘They celebrate His praises night and day, nor do they even flag or intermit’ (21:20). ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So, this emphasizes that one cannot lose their attention even but a moment. It is a difficult process and training ground, but it is essential.
Mindfulness involves striving and is of three kinds: being mindful of service, being mindful of the spiritual moment, and being mindful of the inner consciousness. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
We must engage in selfless activities. We have to learn to serve our communities, families, our loved ones while in a state of vigilance. This is the prerequisite. However, this can only occur when we are no longer anticipate the future, nor ruminate about the past. We have to be present, here and now, as we explained in the lecture called The Present Moment in this course. Inner consciousness reflects our deepest connection, our solidarity and expression of Being. It means that we follow our hunches, our inquietudes, our longings, our intuition, where we know something without having to think about it. We know what to do in a given moment without having to rationalize. The quote continues:
Being mindful of service is achieved through three things: revering God’s command, knowing the Prophetic tradition, and recognizing pretension. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
How do we revere God’s command? We not only study the Piscean and Aquarian teachings, but we reflect upon how they are realized and related to our life. This is when the teachings become really fruitful and not an intellectual exercise. We learn to follow the commands of our being by following our heart. We learn to recognize which psychological states are harmful or beneficial. We do it through observations of the facts through experience, through trials, through errors, through failures.
The prophetic tradition, obviously in Islam, relates to the Prophet Muhammad, but it also refers to the ethical caliber, the lives of any genuine master. For us, as Gnostics of this tradition, we reflect upon the process of Samael Aun Weor, who describes the path of initiation through his example in books like The Three Mountains, which is a spiritual autobiography.
We have to also recognize pretension, to identify when we do things with pride or with humility. You can only examine yourself. You have to know this from experience to distinguish the difference.
And being mindful of the spiritual and metaphysical moment is achieved through three things: elimination of passion, purification of thought, and being overcome by divine love. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So, you master your abilities in the moment by comprehending and eliminating passions: the egos, nafs-al-ammara in Arabic. Purify your mind. We do it by discovering and restraining desire, by judging it through retrospection meditation, and praying for annihilation when we comprehend it fundamentally.
We have to remember the presence of God. We do this when we are tempted and when we do not allow ourselves to be guided by desire. We follow our intuition which knows right from wrong. Lastly:
And being mindful of the inner-consciousness is achieved through three things: losing [attachment to] the world, becoming free from the self, and returning to God through intimacy. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
We need to identify how we are attached to impressions, why we crave or possess aversions to certain situations. We have patterns that we repeat. We need to examine this. We have to follow the thread of inner consciousness, like Ariadne’s thread in the labyrinth, that Theseus follows in order to escape after slaying the Minotaur―follow the thread, the continuity of your consciousness, to get out of the mind. We do that by examining our impressions, psychologically and externally. We free ourselves from the ego when we realize that we are not ego. This is a profound state of joy, real happiness.
Intimacy is a sexual and alchemical term, which unfortunately many Sufis ignore, often attributing it to realizing divine states, exclusively. However, the greatest intimacy with our Divine Mother is achieved in the perfect matrimony. Study the lecture on our website called Divine Love. It is in The Sufi Path of Self-Knowledge.
Divinity speaks in symbols, which is always particular to the time, the needs, the interests, the language, the context, and the idiosyncrasies of a given culture. We can see in this graphic a representation of diverse religious forms, which contain esoteric principles. We should become familiar with them.
These 13 symbols starting at twelve o’clock, moving clockwise, are the Bahai faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native Spirituality, Sikhism, Taoism, Unitarian Universalism, and Zoroastrianism.
Different messengers have appeared to provide this wisdom, but since aspirants require different nourishment, possessing unique particularities―we all have different aspirations and tastes―divinity often conveys such truths in a way that it is going to be palatable. It is going to be accessible in a given moment in history.
Symbols, however, convey greater meaning than words, which is why internal experiences have always been coded withing divine abstractions, within allegories, within parables, within situations, within dramas.
People often ask why God speaks in symbols. In truth, you simply cannot convey that much depth through plain English. As much as we may like Shakespeare, really the most deep truths are abstract and symbolic. A word can convey some variety of meaning, whether its connotative or denotative, implicit, or explicit, the hidden or the literal meaning. However, a symbol can operate on multiple conceptual and experiential dimensions―all at once. For example, you can receive a cross in a dream and overall, it can refer to a state of profound moral suffering, but also the four elements of the ordeals. It can relate to sexual temptations, the crossing of male and female forces, the death of the ego. It can also signify the return to divinity.
So, the language of God is intuition. It is a type of grammar. They are the building blocks of meaning, of an intuitive and spiritual type. It is difficult to learn, but if you are patient, you will learn it and it will guide you in your daily life. This grammar is synthesized through religious symbolism, especially the sacred arcana of The Eternal Tarot. These are the archetypes of the spiritual path itself.
Each arcanum or law represents a truth that can apply to many different, specific events or problems. These are universal ideas, which become particularized to an event. For example, you can meditate and inquire into a certain problem, visualizing it within your imagination. As you awaken consciousness within the internal worlds, you perceive a drama, which can unfold in relation to a number. This signifies that numbers and their symbolism are intuitive. They are dynamic. They represent principles and forces. They symbolize specific conflicts and struggles, as well the anecdotes and antidotes for change, for remedy, to whatever problem we are facing.
When you recognize that these symbols are a direct communication from your Innermost Being, you become inflamed. You become enraptured. You become inspired. You are perceiving something new in your consciousness. It is like a shock. It gives you joy. Literally, the term inspiration, from the Latin inspirare, signifies, “immediate influence of God or a god,” “to breathe upon.” Inspiration is when we recognize, through alert novel perception, that God has answered us.
However, while we recognize that divinity has given us an answer, in relation to a symbol or a problem, we have to learn to interpret the message. However, the problem is the ego. People who do not question their perceptions and how they interpret their internal experiences have gone even so far as to commit crimes, literally. For example, we can internally see that our spouse is committing adultery with someone else. We can wake up from the dream and then mistakenly condemn our partner―not realizing how that inner vision was either a projection of our own desires, or if it was objective, a scene from a past life, which our spouse is incapable of repeating again.
Internal perceptions have to be analyzed coldly, like you are dissecting a cadaver. You have to do it without superstition, without attachment, without assumption, not allowing any belief, any condition of mind to twist what you see. This is why we study religious symbolism.
We study the path so that we do not get confused. We can verify whether or not our experiences are objective when we measure them up to the works of the prophets―not by modern people, but by real initiates who we have verified. If our inner experiences do not coincide with physical facts, with evidence, with verification from scripture, from the teachings, from the instructions, then we can sincerely disregard what we perceived. It will be a projection of the ego. We can be very confident in that. Samael Aun Weor gives a quote regarding this:
Inspired Knowledge grants us the power of interpreting the symbols of Great Nature. […] When the “I” interferes by translating and interpreting symbols, then it alters the meaning of this secret scripture, and the clairvoyant (the imaginative one) falls into a crime that can conduct him to jail. Interpretation must be tremendously analytical, highly scientific, and essentially mystical. There is a need to learn how to see and how to interpret in the absence of the “I,” of the myself. ―Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
Inspirational knowledge is uplifting. Its invigorating. It is really a beautiful thing, because we are unveiling the mystery of our Being. We are receiving true wisdom and we are receiving guidance, ethically, about our problems―what to do―how to behave. This is why the Sufis explained:
After this comes disclosure (unveiling, mukashafah) which is presence which has the quality of proof itself. In the condition the heart has no need of pondering indications or searching for the road, nor seeking protection from occasions of uncertainty, and it is not screened from the nature of the Unseen. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
These are different terms than what Samael Aun Weor gave. Unveiling is inspiration. It is when we unveil the mysteries and receive direct proofs of divine reality. We do not question or “ponder” what to do, because we do not need to “search” anymore for “the road,” the path: the way to the answer to an issue. The answer has appeared, so we are no longer uncertain about what divinity wants from us or is guiding us to do. We are no longer “screened from the unseen,” the Being. We feel great inspiration. We feel shock. We can feel awe, because we have successfully communicated with God and that God is speaking to us.
In synthesis, if you want to develop inspirational knowledge, you can meditate on classical music, especially Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart, Puccini, Chopin, Liszt, the great masters. Their music teaches these archetypes and enliven the heart.
We see here an image of a woman wearing a burka, a face covering, which is an esoteric symbol of how the Divine Mother is hidden from the eyes of the profane, but is visible to those who maintain chastity. We achieve unveiling through working with transmutation, with breathwork, with pranayama. We do so through mantras and sexual alchemy. Abdullah Ansari of Herat continues:
From the field of Breath the field of Unveiling is generated. God, the Most High, says, ‘The heart in no way falsified that which he saw’ (53:11). ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
We have mentioned many times in this course that by harnessing the creating potential, we gain clarity in our perceptions, to the point that we acquire real faith, which is confidence born from experience, not belief. It does not matter if you think or do not think divinity is real, what matters is the experience, to verify, to know.
Unveiling is when the heart sees God, and the signs of such disclosure are three: the heart is drowned in the remembrance of God, the innermost consciousness overflows with His gaze, and the inner heart sees the Reality. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
To be drowned in remembrance is to be totally absorbed within that beautiful inspiration in the heart, because we have received a message, a symbol, and therefore, we are seeing God with the heart, not with the mind, but with the senses of the soul.
To gaze upon divinity is symbolic. God is formless, but divinity takes spiritual and religious forms so that we can apprehend its archetypical and intuitive nature.
To see reality is only possible with an awakened and discerning heart.
So many people approach spirituality with the intellect and therefore they do not understand mysticism, because it is not an intellectual process of comparing data. The mind can label phenomena, but it is no substitute for experience.
The first kind of unveiling involves three things: truthful discourse, fear of people, and inspiration in invocation. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
These are relating to, again, the three stages or degrees of Sufism: شَرِيعَة Shari’a, طريقة Tariqa, and حقيقه Haqiqah or معرفة Ma’rifah.
Here we find the first level of unveiling, which is شَرِيعَة Shari’a―listening to the doctrine, truthful discourse, to be inspired and feel that this teaching is true based off our intuition in the heart and what we hear and receive with gladness. It means to validate and recognize these teachings with a receptive mind and heart that knows how to pay attention.
We also feel inspiration or experience unveiling when we recognize how our actions bear consequences, especially when we relate with people. If we act with ego, we affect others, and therefore everyone is interdependent. No one is separate or isolated. In this way we feel great awe. We can feel fear, reverence, respect because we recognize that God is in all people and within ourselves, and therefore we do not act stupidly, intentionally.
We should also feel inspiration when we pray or invoke divinity, as we know in our practices and rituals.
The second kind of unveiling involves three things: stability of states, firmness in sincerity, and recognizing a higher bliss. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
This relates to طريقة Tariqa: the path of meditation, and it relates to the stability of states and the consistency and temperance of one’s practice. When we are consistent, we receive continual and consistent inspiration. We apply the knowledge daily and practically. We get results, even if but long-term.
We also remain firm in our sincerity, and we continually assess ourselves through inner accounting, محاسبة muhasabah in Arabic, self-observation.
Recognition of higher bliss has to do with Samadhi, ecstasies, absorptions, whereby, the soul penetrates the superior worlds and unites with divinity after abandoning the ego.
Lastly, relating to the higher paths of Sufism, we have حقيقه Haqiqah, the truth and معرفة Ma’rifah knowledge.
And the third kind of unveiling also involves three things: attaining stability and peacefulness, attaining dignity like that of the angels, and attaining steadfastness like that of holy and spiritual people. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
Stability is temperance, to be firm and resolute, and these are developed with serenity, gradually, as we renounce egotism. We can have dignity like the angels, which is nothing like pride. It is humble. It is a recognition of one’s real worth, which does not assert itself upon other people, which learns to respect the will of other people. It offers guidance and solutions to problems without force, without manipulation. We do this by learning to work with the forces of persuasion, not coercion.
While we can maintain our dignity, we learn to establish boundaries with people. Humility does not mean that we necessarily become a doormat but learn to act appropriately with dignity for the benefit of others, even if it contradicts others’ ego. Of course, to distinguish this quality requires a lot of discrimination and analysis of oneself, to not assume we are anything, but to be empty, like a clear sky.
Steadfastness, like holy and spiritual people, applies to those who practice meditation and transmutation, even for hours. It was said by Samael Aun Weor that a serious meditator practices five to six hours a day. Of course, this is the level of a master and has to be built towards―very difficult, but, as by his example, it can be done. We have to start with where we are at. With patience we shall possess our soul.
After receiving a divine symbol, we have to comprehend and intuit its meaning.
As we explained earlier, mathematics is divine. It is symbolic. It is archetypical. It is allegorical. It is parabolic. It is symbolic. Each number represents a principle. Each of the divine arcana, the laws of the cosmos, represent higher truths. About this, we find the following verses from Samael Aun Weor:
The world of intuition is the world of mathematics. The student that wants to elevate himself to the world of intuition must be a mathematician or at least must have notions of arithmetic. […]. In the world of intuition, we find only omniscience. The world of intuition is the world of the being; it is the world of the intimate. In this world, the “I”, the myself, the ego, cannot enter. The world of intuition is the universal spirit of life. ―Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
So, no self can be present. If you really wish to experience the highest levels and dimensionalities of Tree of Life, we cannot have any ego present. The self must be absent. There must not be any condition there. It does not mean that the whole ego has to be dead right away, but we have to learn to train ourselves to separate from that so that we can go within.
If you wish to understand and comprehend intuitive knowledge, you can meditate on mathematical formulas. Now it is easy to rationalize how 2 + 2 = 4. However, to understand the archetypes behind this, from experience, requires a lot of depth. Now, if you look at the Hebrew language, you find that the four-letter name י Iod ה Hei ו Vau ה Hei represents “man, woman, phallus, uterus” within alchemical terms. It is the synthesis and power of the Divine Father and the Divine Mother manifested within a couple. This synthesis expresses the creative power of God. You can analyze this intellectually, but to understand how a god creates, from experience, is very distinct.
Intuition is known by the Sufis as contemplation. It has been called witnessing, مشاهدة mushahada. At this stage, we perceive a symbol, and we understand what it means. As stated by Al-Qushayri:
Then comes contemplation which is the presence of the Real without any remaining doubt. Suddenly, the sky of one’s hidden inner being (sirr) becomes clear of the clouds of the veil, and the sun of vision rises in the sign of honor. The truth of contemplation is as Junayd said, “Finding the Real comes with losing yourself.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
With comprehension, contemplation, witnessing, we do not have any doubts about what we perceive. There are many levels of comprehension. We can have it in the physical world. We can even have it in the internal worlds, levels of intuitive knowledge as dynamic and broad and deep, and pervasive as the Tree of Life, which is why we study that kabbalistic glyph many times. However, to really have this type of understanding, the ego, the self, has to be absent, even if but for a few moments.
Some people have the mistaken notion that intuition exclusively applies to having a samadhi, in which you enter the superior worlds and enter a vacation. You leave the physical world behind and have some powerful, tremendously mystical experience. The truth is that intuition is that, but also it is as simple as comprehending an ego, where you perceive that shock in your consciousness, that presence from divinity that showed you right from wrong. It can last a second and then it is gone―but you felt it―you experienced it. It was deep. In this way, we have no doubts about what we perceive.
As you see in this image, the sun represents Christ, the Logos, the truth, which arrives when we lose our ego, even if but temporarily. As Samael Aun Weor explained, the “I” cannot enter the intuitive worlds―only the consciousness. Therefore, we have to abandon our mind to experience the Truth, reality.
The Kabbalistic and Alchemical Significance of the Light Verse
Imagination, inspiration, and intuition are represented in one of the most famous verses of the Qur’an. I will read it for you in brief:
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is a niche wherein is a lamp ―the lamp is in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star―lit from a blessed olive tree, neither eastern nor western, whose oil almost lights up, though fire should not touch it. Light upon light. Allah guides to His Light whomever He wishes. Allah draws parables for mankind, and Allah has knowledge of all things. ―Surah An-Nūr [Qur’an 24:35]
The Qur’an is a book of kabbalah and alchemy. The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, a map of the multidimensionality of our being, from the most divine rarified states to the most dense and crude―our physical body or the earth.
Divinity is a light. It is a form of cognizance, which does not have any form, but can take form. It is clear perception, like within a lamp. If you study the Tarot, you know of the Ninth Arcanum: the Hermit, who bears the lamp of wisdom from which real knowledge is born. Yet, this is not knowledge from any book, but from experience, your own life lessons.
Samael Aun Weor often describes our Innermost Spirit as a light within a glass of alabaster, which is buddhi, the divine soul or consciousness. The oil that lights the lamp is the science of Hermes. It is the sexual energy that has to be hermetically sealed and transmuted, as we explained in the lecture on Breath.
An olive tree represents the sexual force, since our gonads are two olives, whether two testicles or two ovaries, from which the oil, the Hebrew שֶׁמֶן shemen, which is semen, provides the light of our temple and our spiritual life. That olive tree is neither from the East or the West in terms of physical direction. It is within us. But why is that tree not from the East or the West?
People are very fanatic in their religion and think that the truth is only to be found in a certain scripture, in a certain religion, in some certain direction on the earth. But the truth is that you carry knowledge within your sexual glands. It has to be untouched by the fires of lust when we practice chastity. Without this basis, there is no light or understanding.
Without the fuel for spiritual experience, we cannot awaken consciousness―period―which is why it states: “Allah guides to his light whomever he wishes.” That light is imagination. It is the capacity to perceive with spiritual sight, insight, certainty.
“Allah draws parable for mankind and Allah has knowledge of all things.” These parables are symbols, allegories, archetypes, which inspire us to work, and to have knowledge of all things is to possess intuition, understanding of its meaning.
Contemplation and Witnessing
We have a couple of versus from Stations of the Sufi Path, accompanied by an image of the Prophet Muhammad ascending the seven heavens upon الْبُرَاق al-Buraq, the lightning, the creative power of the Divine Mother. It is that energy that can give us the capacity to perceive the higher worlds. You cannot perceive heaven without it, divine states, which is why this initiate states:
God, the Most High, says, ‘Verily in this is a Message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ears and earnestly witness the truth’ [50:37] ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
Unfortunately, in these times, many people do not even have a heart. They cannot understand mysticism because they approach these studies solely with the intellect. It is good to acquire knowledge of the books, and scripture, and teachings, but then it is merely knowledge in the mind. Whether we understand what we have read is another thing. We understand it from experience. To witness the truth, we have to learn to listen with a receptive mind and an active heart, an active consciousness. This verse continues:
Contemplation occurs when the veils between the obedient servant and God are removed. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
What are the veils that obscure perceptions of the divine? It is desire: anger, pride, lust, vanity, greed, avarice, jealousy, skepticism, morbidity, attachment, obsession, pessimism, selfishness, doubt. If we are desiring an experience, we will not have it. If we calm and quiet the mind and await the answer, patiently and with concentration and imagination, then the experience arrives magically.
There are three ways to realize contemplation: The first is to advance from the level of knowledge the level of wisdom; the second is to advance from the level of patience to the level of purity, and the third is to advance from the level of gnosis to the level of divine Reality. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
These three ways are mapped out by, again, شَرِيعَة Shari’a, طريقة Tariqa, and حقيقه Haqiqah- معرفة Ma’rifah, which we are going to elaborate here.
Wisdom, Purity, and Reality
A person will advance from the level of knowledge to the level of wisdom through three things: by putting one’s knowledge into practice, by revering the divine commandments, and adherence to the prophetic tradition. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
This is the beginning of spiritual knowledge. We learn how to apply what we learn. Knowledge and being must be balanced. If knowledge is greater than your Being, then you become constipated. There is a lot of data in your mind, but it can be confusing and disorienting. It ferments when we do not actually perceive what we read, and a lot of people become very morbid that way. It is unfortunate. We recommend you study a little bit, but practice a lot, and in that way you gain experience of what is being written here and achieve equilibrium and balance.
Revering divine commandments does not mean to obey a tradition literally because someone told us to, but because we recognize the positive results of our practice. We feel happiness when we enact compassion and ethics and chastity, especially.
Adhering to a prophetic tradition refers to living one’s life like the masters, like the prophets.
Likewise, a person will rise from the level of patience to that of purity through three things: abandoning disputation (munaqisha’), abandoning self-will and personal deliberations (tadbir), and understanding the necessity of contentment. This is the spiritual station of the contented. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So, on the path of meditation, when we are content with our lot, we rise from the level of patience to that of purity.
It is important to learn to avoid arguments with people. People who want to dispute with us or argue and debate, enter conflict verbally, to violate the minds of others, mentally, verbally, and likewise ourselves, waste a lot of energy, as we mentioned earlier, in this course. It is good to save energy, to be patient, to offer these teachings from a state of humility and understanding, not from fanaticism or dogma, like we want to coerce someone to follow our faith. Persuasion is better, not coercion.
Self-will has to be abandoned also, to no longer deliberate with the intellect for solutions to problems, because the mind is a machine. Instead, we should use intuition. It is also necessary to be content with our lot, to overcome the craving, the desire for more, like “I will only be spiritual if I get a partner,” or “I’ve studied this book,” or “received blessings from this master,” or “had this spiritual experience.” We have to start with where we are at. Be patient. You will acquire purity by enduring your karma, in experiencing suffering patiently, with humility, with love. Every valley should be exalted, every mountain and hill laid low, says Isaiah.
Lastly, in relation to the path of حقيقه Haqiqah, the Truth, and معرفة Ma’rifah, Gnosis:
Likewise, a person will ascend from the level of gnosis to the level of divine Reality through three things: behaving with awe and respect whilst in solitude and retreat, cultivating humility in service, and acting with self-sacrificing generosity to his companions. ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
It is important, if we really want to develop intuitive knowledge, we practice these three principles: wisdom, purity, and reality. We should respect and revere divinity and the practices when we meditate. We do so from experience. To blindly accept is not to comprehend, is not to intuit, is not to experience. We should do so when we are alone, but also on retreats, especially.
You can experience this if you come out to our Gnostic retreats that we have, in which Glorian Publishing hosts. Hopefully with COVID, things will settle down so that we can again have retreats in person and practice in company with spiritual people.
Respect in reverence. Cultivate an atmosphere of happiness, of elevation, of inspiration, of intuition. Humility is really important when we sacrifice for others, because we have to learn to help others without pride, not thinking we are better than others, that we are sacrificing for people because we are spiritual, and they are not. Condescension and pity do not help anybody. Instead, even being humiliated and shamed by others, but also helping them regardless, is a noble quality.
Lastly, we show true generosity when we give to others without self-interest. It can be time and services or skills. For some people its money. For other people its teaching. We have our own unique talents and dispositions that can help. So, these skills can guide you in developing intuitive knowledge, intuition, in accordance with the three stages of the Sufi path.
We always conclude these lectures with practices.
1. Each day, develop your self-observation or inner accounting محاسبة muhasabah from moment to moment. As part of your self-observation, become aware of your use of imagination.
Are you using it mechanically? Are you fantasizing about things that are not there, that are not real, that are subjective and relating to your ego? Or are you in a receptive, alert, and cognitive state, perceiving your surroundings and your internal worlds with clarity?
2. Every day, practice meditative retrospection. Recall what you perceived externally and internally from the entire day. Also, more importantly, question the validity of what you perceive.
At this point in time, I would like to open up the floor to questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: How does one work on the fear of what we are unable to grasp as our Being begins to move and interact with us while unconscious (sleeping) yet conscious?
Instructor: So, from my understanding of the question is the fear of the unknown. As we are experiencing new things, we have perceptions such as in sleep. Some people have become terrified of astral projections. Specifically, the sensations of leaving the body or even having visions internally that are very powerful, profound, and shocking. In relation to that, if I understand your question correctly, fear vanishes as we first become familiar with the phenomenon, but also as we learn to understand what in us is scared.
Fear is an ego. It is a condition. It is a self, which traps our attention within a very limited scope. You have to observe that fear when it arises within you. If it takes over and you lose an experience as a result―because those times of emotion pulls us away from samadhi―we have to meditate, to relax, to observe, to introspect, and visualize that event as it happened, not according to our desires, but based on facts. What did we perceive that happened, in relation to the event? Examine the quality of the dream, the vision. Examine your reactions. Be patient. Concentrate and imagine it. Sustain the visualization. Pray to your inner divinity, your Divine Mother, to give you understanding―and then wait.
When your mind is still and you are not even expecting it, the intuition or the understanding will emerge about what that fear is doing to you, what it is, where it came from, how it manifested, how it has been fed, how it kept you in darkness. Therefore, when you have deep comprehension of that ego, you can pray to your Divine Mother to eliminate, and She will in accordance with the magnitude of the fault, the depth of the karma involved, but also how much energy you have, because some egos are really gigantic, monstrous, and are not capable of being eliminated on one’s own.
So sometimes, in reality, for those really deep-seated egos like fear, which obviously have very deep roots, we will need special help, for the deepest egos. You can eliminate what you perceive at your level as a single practitioner, but married couples can have more force by which to go into the really unconscious, subconscious, and infra-conscious elements of the mind, so that you can really clean your abyss inside. But of course, beginners can start with where they are at and eliminate a lot of ego on their own. So, there is no excuse if one is not married.
Question: How does one tell the difference between the mind or with the mind and heart?
Instructor: Now, if you study Kabbalah, Tree of Life, there are four spheres from the bottom to the top, or four spheres especially that should concern us when we study meditation and practice it. You have מלכות Malkuth, the physical body. You have יְסוֹד Yesod, the vital energies. You have הוד Hod, the emotions, and you have נצח Netzach, which is the mind. These are the lower qualities of our psychology, which are impure, conditioned by ego and self.
הוד Hod and נצח Netzach, the emotional and mental worlds, exists within the fifth dimension. Some people have a difficult time distinguishing between the two. Sometimes, even having dreams, one can have a difficult time discerning if they are in the emotional world, הוד Hod, or the mental world, נצח Netzach. It all stems from a lack of discrimination, physically.
We study what is known as the three brains, which are machines that operate within our internal physiology, but also our psychology. We have a physical brain in our head, in our cranium and esoterically, a brain is merely a machine that processes energies and matter and forces. So, we know the intellectual brain obviously, but the emotions of the heart is a brain within itself, how we process feeling.
If you have a hard time distinguishing between the mind and the heart, you can practice certain exercises relating to the heart itself, like the mantra “O,” where you focus on a vibration in the heart center, to fill it with divine energy and force so that it becomes inflamed, awakened, and inspired.
We also have a third brain, which is the motor-instinctive sexual brain. It is a combination of movement, instinct, and sexuality, relating to our spine and its nervous systems. We have to take care of our human machine because the body is a temple that can manifest divine aid and force. You learn how these brains function in you by learning to observe yourself. I recommend you study a lecture called Self-Observation and The Three Brains (these are separate lectures), within the course Beginning Self Transformation. You can also study the earlier lectures in this course, since they will help to clarify that for you.
Question: First, is death of the ego an appropriate perspective considering the ego consist of such a significant representation of this reality and conquering, maybe, more responsible?
Instructor: So, I will repeat the first question. Death of the ego is the best perspective because our consciousness needs to eliminate our defects, our egos, our faults. So, if I understand your question, we understand reality when, it becomes significant for us, when we die to the self. This means to conquer oneself. We really conquer our inner universe, become kings and queens of our spiritual and psychological nature, when we eliminate impurities like anger, pride, vanity, fear, laziness, lust, gluttony, pessimism, morbidity, shame, etc. If the ego does not die, the soul is not born, because those egos trap and condition ourselves. If you want to have a clarified imagination, really deep and penetrative, objective, you have to remove the ego.
The soul and the Being are inspiration. They are states of happiness and joy, which emerge when the ego expires. So, inspiration occurs, when you, as we mention in other lectures too, about working with the breath, to inspire, inhale the vital force, the prana, the life energy of our body, in order to awaken the consciousness. But we also have to expire the ego, or the ego must die. If we do not eliminate the ego, especially those that really prevent us from practicing, we become very degenerated, or better said, expired, so to speak. We lack inspiration, enthusiasm, and happiness.
So, yes, we become responsible individuals as we eliminate anger because we know how to relate to others with greater inspiration and joy, with greater understanding and intuition of people.
Question: What is crying a sign of within the human being?
Instructor: I would have to ask you to clarify the question. Is that in relation to a dream, a vision that you had? If so, you would have to understand and relate the context for what happened, because I will just speak in general about dream interpretation as we are studying this topic of imagination, inspiration, intuition in accordance with the Sufis.
In order to understand an experience like a dream, we have to relate it to a lot of different principles. Intuition, inspiration, and imagination are the preliminaries, the basics. As we are going to relate in a course on Dream Yoga and Astral Projection in the future, we also study in our dreams, in relation to the symbols that we receive, four laws which relate to how we interpret inner experiences, or the way that God speaks to us. He does so through contraries, philosophical analogies, correspondences, and numerology.
I briefly mentioned the role of numbers and The Eternal Tarot and how we can use that sacred symbology to interpret the hours and dates and times within our dreams, so that we can understand what is going on objectively, what is God trying to tell us.
Now, when you examine a dream itself, usually what happens is that there is a situation that unfolds in relation to a specific drama with characters, and usually this represents us, or we can be involved in the drama itself like a participant, but also, we are witnessing like a third person.
If you are examining a crying person in a dream, you have to analyze the context. What is happening to the person? What is the situation? What is the drama? because sometimes based on your intuition, your hunches, you might have to relate that symbol in relation to an analogy to something else. It can correspond to certain details in your physical life. It can contradict what you want or what you want to happen.
Dream interpretation is very beautiful and dynamic. It is very subtle and intuitive. I invite you, in the meantime, you can go online to Glorian.org and study the course on dream yoga and astral projection. They give you some details about how to work with the four laws, specifically, for dream interpretation. We are going to give a course of our own, eventually, and we are going to talk about that in a lot of depth, specifically. With that explanation, I hope that is a basis for understanding your particular symbol that you are perceiving or have perceived.
Question: In the light verse slide, what does the calligraphy signify?
(A mosque ceiling with Arabic calligraphy: النور An-Nur, "The Light")
Instructor: In Arabic, it is النور An-Nur, which means “the light.” Now, Arabic calligraphy is very beautiful and dense as a tradition, primarily because in Islam, they are not allowed to anthropomorphize divinity, because you cannot. Now, divinity or الله Allah, which is a four-lettered name for God in Arabic, signifies the Absolute. Also, the light that emanates from that unmanifested potential, known as אין Ain, אין סוף Ain Soph, and אין סוף אור Ain Soph Aur: the “nothing,” the “limitless,” and the “limitless light” in the Kabbalah. That light, which we call Christ in Gnosis, is an energy that manifests from the void, from the uncreated, from the limitless potential of cosmic abstraction.
So, the Muslims would depict divine truth in relation to Arabic Calligraphy. That light verse is An-Nur, which is very beautiful and very deep. So, that is the basic explanation, especially why calligraphy exists in that tradition.
Question: According to Sufi teachings, we cannot eliminate the ego. In fact, we need to utilize it. We can work on the ego, but how can we eliminate? It is not possible. Ego cannot die, correct?
Instructor: So, this common confusion can arise when we are not familiar with the different gradations of soul within Sufi Kabbalah. The Sufis talk about نَفْس nafs, which means “breath.” It also means soul or أنفاس nafas can mean “inspiration” as well, to inspire, to breath in.
There are levels to the soul, and we explained in a lecture on breath, especially, how there is nafs al-ammara, which is the lower animal soul, which we call ego.
Then you have nafs al-lawwamah, which relates to the more conscious soul known as רוּחַ ruach in Hebrew, the Kabbalah, the thinking-emotional soul, the conscience, which knows how to judge and evaluate the conditioned psyche, the lower soul, or ego, in that sense.
Then you have nafs al-mutma’innah, which means “the soul at peace,” נשמה Neshamah in Hebrew, the Kabbalah. This the spiritual soul, the divine consciousness, which is never mixed with impurity.
So, the Sufis explain that the soul has to be transformed, the lower soul into the pure. It has to be tamed and dominated. Now, we are a little bit more specific in Gnosis, in that, that whole condition itself, the lower animal passions, have to die completely. If you study the poetry of Rumi, especially, it is very obvious that when he talks about the death of himself and the death of desire, the death of myself, he is talking about the lower animal functions of the psyche. So, the ego has to die. That lower animal soul, or the consciousness that is trapped within lower animal qualities, is transmuted. It is a form of alchemy. The soul is extracted from the impurities and the impurities are eliminated. So that the lower soul―the animal soul―becomes a human soul. It could be an issue of semantics. I mean, if you are more specific about a particular verse or teaching from the Sufis, I can clarify that for you.
Question: Can you speak a bit more on how to eliminate one’s ego?
Instructor: Yes, there is a whole procedure and process we come back to again and again, as we mentioned in this course. But, if you really want to know how to eliminate the ego, you can study on the Gnostic Meditation Course the lecture called retrospection meditation. It is at the end of that course. We have a whole analysis about the steps and stages for dying to the ego. That lecture is based on three books: Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, The Great Rebellion and The Revolution of the Dialectic by Samael Aun Weor.
The basic process involves three stages: discovery, judgement, execution, meaning self-observe your ego in the day. Gather data about the facts. When you meditate, you introspect and judge your faults, like you are judging a criminal in a court of law, a spy you have seen in action and have gathered information about. You judge that defect in your meditation and then you eliminate through prayer. Study that lecture on Gnostic Meditation: Retrospection Meditation. That goes into much more depth than we have the time to elaborate here, but it is very thorough. I hope you study it.
Question: Can you explain the difference between intentionality and ridding ourselves of self-will, and how to be both intentional and humble, intentional without expectation?
Instructor: It depends on what we intend. Who wants what, when, why, and how? You can only know the difference when you are examining yourself, observing with your consciousness in a given instance. Is your ego trying to act in a certain situation or was it your conscience? You have to judge in the moment. Observe the facts, and if it is not clear, especially, meditate on the event. Visualize it.
Now, the difference between intentionality and ridding ourselves of self-will, is that our ego, like pride, intends to fill itself, sometimes by belittling others, by harming others―by being angry, even. It intends harm. It has its thoughts, its feelings, and its impulse to act. You have to see it in action. Observe it in the moment. That is the first step if ridding yourself of self-will, because you have to separate from it. You have to look at it and observe it. If you are identified with it and you feeling that you are those thoughts, feelings and will to act in mistaken ways, then we are merely suffering and making other people suffer.
The beginning is to be humble and to recognize, in a state of observation, how we are not innocent people. It is easy to blame others for their faults, but difficult to examine our own. You only reach that point of understanding when you are serious about looking at yourself, not with physical eyes, but with psychological self-observation.
Now, the soul knows how to act intentionally in any instance of life. That is only determined through conscience, through intuition, following your heart. Your heart will tell you how to behave and act even if it contradicts your mind, and usually, our mind will fight us very hard. But you have to look at the results. Perhaps, for example, you are at work. You see someone who is a coworker that is suffering a lot. You feel inspired to talk to them but maybe you are shy or hesitant. If you listen to your ego, you do not say anything and therefore you miss an opportunity. But, by following your heart, you can speak words of encouragement, even if it is difficult for you. Usually, in those situations that are challenging to fulfill, because the mind resists, those tend to be the right actions. But you have to gauge it in your heart. Examine your conscience.
I suggest, if you want to know more about that topic and the difference, study the lecture Spiritual Discipline in our Sufi Path of Self-Knowledge Course. We go into a lot of detail about will and self-will, what does it mean to act with consciousness, and desire―the difference between them.
Question: I just had a question in reference to what you were talking about, ego death. Is there a correlation to it in the Bible? It mentioned the fatted calf is the thing killed for the prodigal son―the Son of Man is offered as a spotless lamb? Is that in correlation to the animal soul that as one purifies or works on ego, baser egos, stains, spots, are cleared from that ego, but still has to die, because subtler egos are seen more refined or pure, but there, still must be a sacrifice in the end?
Instructor: Sure, so, the calf that we are talking about is the Golden Calf, so to speak, which is out own egotism and idolatry. Now, I am not too familiar with the verse that you are referring to…
Question: In the prodigal son story, the fatted calf is killed. It says, “Go and kill the fatted calf for my son has returned home. He was dead and now he is alive again.” It just what you were describing with the animal soul and how even that can seem to be, they are keeping a fatted calf. It is not a sickly calf. The spotless lamb is not a sickly, disabled lamb. It is a pure, healthy thing, but still must die in those cases.
Instructor: Yes. In relation to the prodigal son especially, that represents any one of us, who was once wayward, and lost, spiritually speaking, and has returned to divinity, and as a celebration for having returned to our divine origins. Divinity rewards us by hosting a dinner, the banquet of the lamb, the feast of initiation, so to speak, because internally, a banquet or a dinner party, usually with angels and masters, occurs because we conquer ordeals internally, overcoming certain obstacles. There could be some symbolism there in relation to sacrificing one’s ego, killing the ego so that you can really enjoy supper with the lamb, so to speak, with Christ.
Question: The reason I thought of it is because it seems like as one works with Gnosis, then powers can be acquired. Experiences can be had, which gives, as you say, inspiration, but it also seems that it doesn’t necessarily mean that one’s sense of self is dead, and Samael says, “Don’t be identified with magical powers.” So there is an ego that must die, but ego is gaining knowledge along with the soul, right? So, in the end, despite all its grandeur, which this process can seem to add a sense of grandeur for oneself, unless discerned, it has to die, even if its grand, which can be very horrifying, to discover you are something great, and must be the lowest, as Christ. You must be the least.
Instructor: Yes. That is why it is important that when we are working on ourselves and acquiring spiritual experiences, we cannot become proud. Mystical pride is a terrible problem in spiritual movements where we have experiences about certain phenomena that are very powerful, and then our pride will take what is pure in that experience and attribute that to itself. But it has nothing to do with inspiration. That is the opposite. That is expiration, we can say. We kill our heart whenever we assume that those experiences belong to us, when in truth they belong to divinity, our soul. Our soul is the one that receives initiation, not the self. So, it is important to make a distinction there because the mind will take ownership of experiences that do not belong to it. Therefore, we have to be humble like Christ and to accept the worst humiliations within our ordeals and paths because those are the medicine, we receive so that we learn to keep our feet on the ground, to really understand our perspective in this work. When the ego interferes, we create problems. That is why we have to be patient with our experiences, but to also be humble and recognize that these things belong to God, not to us.
Question: What is the meaning of resurrection?
Instructor: You can study The Eternal Tarot on our website, where we talk about that Arcanum and the Tarot, specifically, but in one sense resurrection is a card in the Tarot that comes after inspiration. What is interesting is that Arcanum 19: Inspiration relates to how we acquire understanding of symbols and the relationship of interdependent things, how all phenomena interrelate with each other, and that we are a part of a great cosmic whole, and that we feel joy, and inspiration, and happiness when we understand that relationship.
Resurrection is a card that relates to when the soul has really perfected itself. The ego is fully dead, and the soul is reborn within the Being. There are many levels of application of this. I invite you to study the Arcanum 20: Resurrection on The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah course. You can study that whole series even, if you really want to understand the context for resurrection, especially. But, in synthesis, resurrection comes after inspiration. We can say resurrection is a form of rebirth, in which you have a solidified and deepened understanding of higher truths, kind of like the world of intuition.
Question: Can you discuss the ego of lust? I have always only thought of it a sexual lust, but I understood that it exists in many other subtle ways, such as in a deep desire for sensations, emotional, intellectual, passion, mental stimulation, or even methods to escape from boredom. This understanding has allowed me to comprehend why I have suffered for so many years.
Instructor: Yes, because lust is a desire. Typically, we think of sexual desire, but there is also lust in gluttony. We lust after certain foods and drinks, certain intoxicating substances. We also have lust in avarice, in greed. We lust after material things. We feel jealousy. We lust after a person’s destruction. It is easy to categorize the ego in terms of seven types, like the seven deadly sins. But the reality is that the ego is much more complex than that.
We use the law of seven, the seven primary defects, to have a basis for understanding the plethora of conflicting desires we carry within. Now, pride can be lustful. Lust can be angry. Greed can be proud of having position in money and wealth and acquisition. You can only really understand the depths of any ego specifically, by looking at it for what it is and not labelling it, because there is a tendency and danger in us to want to label our inner psychology with the mind and not really looking at it for what it is. The ego is a really complex mess. One label does not describe it. There is a beginning by studying the three traitors, especially: the demon of the mind, Pilate; the demon of the heart, Caiaphas; the demon of desire, Judas, but as well as the seven deadly sins. This can give us some more intuition and basis for going deeper into ourselves. But, yes, lust is really in all things. It is the original sin, and that really explains why all our defects are lustful, in a sense. They crave after certain desires and impressions.
Question: Is the Divine Mother really our highest selves or higher self?
Instructor: She is the heights of our Being, and the Divine Mother, we can say, permeates the entire Tree of Life. If you want to understand our place in the cosmos and our own psychology and spirituality, we study the Kabbalah.
Now, the Tree of Life maps out our entire Being, and there are many levels to the Being. As the Qur’an states, “Light upon light” (24:35): level upon level of Being. The Divine Mother, we can say is בִּינָה Binah, the Holy Spirit, in Kabbalah. But also, She is the אין סוף Ain Soph, the womb and limitless abstract space from which all beings emerge. She is also related to גְּבוּרָה Geburah, Divine Mother Death, but also our instincts, יְסוֹד Yesod, and even our physical body, the Earth.
So, yes, She is the highest aspect of ourselves, but She permeates the entire multidimensional nature of our Being. So, she cannot be studied in isolation, but has to be understood in relation to the five aspects, which are explained in the book, The Three Mountains by Samael Aun Weor. You can also study the lecture The Divine Mother in our course on Beginning Self-Transformation.
Question: I attempt to self-observe during the day, practice observation and imagination techniques at night. I feel, for the most part, like its mechanical now. How can I change that?
Instructor: Examine your habits, how you are doing things, and look for patterns. The solution is, sit and reflect. Empty your mind. Do not think. Do not label anything. Suspend your senses. It can be good to do pranayama, mantras, transmutation. Establish some degree of serenity. If you find that you are very mechanical, it could most likely mean that you are not concentrated enough, or you are doing things unconsciously, which means we have to clarify our observations of what we are actually doing.
Self-observation can be mechanical. We can observe ourselves and look at data, see our physical surroundings and our environment, and know that we are feeling certain emotions and thoughts, but we have to learn how to separate from that. It could be good to change your routine so that you do something new to kind of shock you out of the habit of just repeating the same schedule, but not seeing any results in your practice.
Self-observation, when its properly performed, is when you see something new for the first time. If you think you are examining things mechanically, examine the examiner. Observe the observer. Who in you is looking? Turn the question back on your own mind. When you observe something, like a fresh rain fall on a cobblestone street, like in Europe or some beautiful place, some ancient city, some immaculate surrounding, you feel great inspiration and joy that you cannot describe in words, a type of sentiment that is very deep or profound. You do not know where it comes from. It is not forced. It is not manipulated. It is not labeled. It is something natural and spontaneous to you. That inspiration is what you should feel like when you are self-observing. You are looking at the world like you have never seen it before. In reality, you have not. Everything is changing. Everything is in flux. All phenomena are interdependent.
So, learn to find joy in your perception. Examine what in you is trying to do things mechanically. Turn in on yourself. This is kind of a very Krishnamurtian effort. He talks a lot about observing without a self or an “I.” That is what you need to do. Just keep looking. Keep working at it. It is not going to be perfect in the beginning, because we develop Gnostic egos that want to do the work, so observe those Gnostic egos who are trying to observe in you. In that way you keep things fresh.
Question: What are your thoughts on ayahuasca and how it relates to Divine Mother?
Instructor: In these studies, we do not use drugs or plant substances like that, like Ayahuasca, or other drugs like marijuana, cocaine, drugs, alcohol, especially. This is primarily because those substances condition the consciousness. They awaken perceptions within the conditioned ego, the self. The kind of inspiration in spiritual experiences we are talking about in these studies do not require any type of outward influence. It only requires a certain inner discipline, and therefore is very pure. We are very pure in our studies and application of these principles.
There are a lot of indigenous cultures and traditions that have utilized plants like peyote, ayahuasca, and other substances, but mostly those traditions are degenerations. They have lost the essential value of working with the soul or elemental of the plant, not ingesting it like a drug.
The Divine Mother demands purity. There are two aspects of the Divine Mother, we can say, in synthesis. There is the heavenly Virgin Mary and then there is Santa Maria, which is the inverted influence of that divine force. It channels within our ego and becomes demonic. This is what certain entities like black magicians or demons invoke and utilize in their practices, like using ayahuasca and these substances, because they are awakening powers of the Divine Mother, but channeled through hell. They are seeing perceptions and experiences, but they do not question what they see, unfortunately, and mistake hell for heaven. There are infra-conscious perceptions relating to our ego, our conditioning itself. We try to remove conditions from our psyche and therefore do not reply on any substances, and neither did any master of the White Lodge.
We have an article on How Drugs affect our Spiritual Development. We go into that question and problem very deeply. So, I invite you to study that if you are interested.
Question: Is the Divine Mother experienced in between breath or in between breaths?
Instructor: I am assuming this is pranayama or mantras, especially pranayama, you can say, in sexual transmutation, even in alchemy. Now, the inbreath and holding the breath is important because you are learning to circulate the sexual energy to your brain. As for experiencing the Divine Mother as a result of breath, you can experience intuitive sparks of understanding and comprehension any time during the practice. If you are inhaling the energy and really circulating it well and containing it, directing it, you will feel ecstasy in relation to your Being, pretty much at any stage. What matters is your concentration and your awareness of what you are doing. That is how you are going to gain mastery of the practices itself.
Any other comments and questions?
So, I thank you all from coming. We have one more lecture in this series. It has been a long one. The next lecture will be on Gnosis, Subsistence, and Divine Love. I thank you all for coming!
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