The faculty of imagination is truly a compelling force within nature, within art, within humanity. Despite the grandeur and beauty of modern architecture, ancient sculptures, the greatest poetry in literature humanity has ever received, people tend to consider the faculty of imagination as something made up, superficial, vain.
We have examples like J.R.R. Tolkien, who is considered highly imaginative for creating an entire world in his books [The Lord of the Rings]. There are many examples of people with a tremendous imagination. We can think of business-people, poets, writers, artists; and while western society looks upon imagination as if it is a play thing for children, we tend to value, paradoxically, and worship people who have a tremendous capacity for imagination.
All the great works of humanity were developed by seers, visionaries, prophets. The geniuses of our modern society who have invented airplanes, the cell phone, iPhone, etc., possessed a small portion of the full potential of imagination.
So while these inventions and gifts to humanity have revolutionized everything, people don't like to look in themselves for the source of that very same potentiality.
Things exist first in the world of the mind. We imagine things first and then later, we create, we manifest, we embody, we perform, we do.
Imagination is the natural function of an awakened consciousness. In a superficial sense, we use imagination all the time. We forgot where we put our keys. We suddenly remember or recall with an image in the mind where in our home we left them. We forgot where we parked; we visualize the streets we were at, the places we visited. Or in travel, we imagine where we are headed, our destination, our goals.
So imagination is the capacity to see images in the mind. It is the ability to receive internal imagery, and while people like to think of imagination as the originator of fantasies, illusions, dreams, the truth is that imagination is a profound faculty of consciousness. It allows us to exist, to interact, to have life. If we could not imagine, we could not do, because it is the capacity to see imagery, which is more than just physical sensations, perceptions to the eyes, our vision.
There is an entire world open to the meditator if we learn to access through that same faculty called imagination, but in an intentional, controlled, intentional way.
Imagination and Serenity: The Keys to Meditation
Imagination along with concentration are the keys to meditation. Serenity must be combined with imagination to visualize, to see. This opens the doorway to wisdom, experience, self-knowledge. It is “clear seeing” [French: clairvoyance] within the mind, within the consciousness. This is how we access our inner God, which in our studies we did nominate “Being,” a quality of consciousness, a defined state, a presence embodying qualities like compassion, serenity, wisdom, understanding.
So in this course, we have been using an image of a man walking into a head filled with stars, with the heavens, with the divine, the cosmos, the universal soul, which the Gnostics denominate Christ, the Christic consciousness: a superlative awakened state of omniscience, of knowing the universe, and the divine—the gods, the angels, the buddhas, whatever name we like to give to those perfected human beings.
It is precisely through visualization within ourselves that we enter the mysteries, that we verify the truth contained within any religious, mystical, contemplative, or meditative tradition. But unfortunately, the faculty of imagination is atrophied, especially in the West.
We do not use our consciousness well—in fact, very little, or nothing at all. This is the result of ignorance of methods that can train and develop that perception with clarity, with depth. Modern science is only beginning to understand and explore the possibilities of imagination. For example, as recently as the past two decades, scientists believe, materialistic science believes that the highest capacity for retaining a mental image, a visualized image in the brain, in the minimum, is about 20 to 25 seconds. However, with studies of advanced Buddhism, meditation, visualization, and yoga, in the spiritual sense, are validating what the great masters of meditation have verified for millennia.
So to emphasize that we can develop our imagination, I like to relate to you an excerpt from a book called Supernormal by Dean Radin. He is a doctor of the Institute of Noetic Studies. He performs and relates research on the paranormal, on faculties like clairvoyance, clear vision, which is another term for imagination of which we will elaborate. The following is from Chapter Two, pages 30-31. This is in relation to the Buddhist teaching of deity yoga, of which he explains:
"Certain meditative practices of Buddhist monks involve creating and maintaining sequences of exceptionally detailed visual imagery. Advanced meditators report that these vivid images can be held from minutes to hours, and indeed the practice requires this because the images are so complex. Neuroscientist regarded such a claim to be absurd. Their understanding of the brain convinced them that it was virtually impossible to hold mental imagery from more than a few seconds.
“It took the Dalai Lama to go to the neuroscientists into conducting a test to see who was right—the meditators or the scientists. Maria Kozhevnikov of George Mason University and her colleagues took up the challenge by testing experienced monks at Sechen Monastery in Kathmandu. She used two standard tests of visual memory, one involving rotation of mental images and the other holding complex images in memory.
“The monks used two types of meditation. Deity yoga involves generating and holding a three-dimensional color image of a deity surrounded by his or her divine entourage. The other type of meditation is called Open Presence, in which attention is broadly distributed without focusing on any experiences, images, or thoughts that may arise. The claim tested about Deity Yoga was the assertion that highly complex images could be mentally maintained for minutes to hours. Kozhevnikov also tested non-meditators and meditators who did not engage in their practice prior to the test.
“The results showed that all the groups performed at the same level before meditation, but after meditation the Deity Yoga practitioners, according to Kozhevnikov, ‘demonstrated a dramatic increase in performance on imagery task compared with the other groups. Therefore, [Deity Yoga] specifically trains one's capacity to access heightened visuospatial memory resources via meditation, rather than generally improving long-lasting imagery abilities’ (pg. 645).
“That sounds like an unassuming success until we read the rest of the article in which Kozhevnikov reports that ‘we are not certain how long this state of access to heightened visual spatial resources might last... During the informal interviews, some of the practitioners reported that the powerful state of identification with the deity can be sustained for several hours or more. Whereas others reported that the effect lasted for only approximately 20 to 25 [minutes]’ (p. 645).
"To emphasize, she reported minutes to hours, as compared to seconds, which is what neuroscientists had previously believed was the limit. In addition, the description of a ‘dramatic increase’ in visual memory does not adequately highlight just how much the monks imagery ability shifted from before to after meditation. For the Open Presence and control participants, there is no statistical difference to the ability to hold imagery, but for the Deity Yoga participants, the difference was associated with odds against chance ranging from a million to a billion to one." —Dean Radin, Supernormal, Chapter Two, pgs. 30-31
So the odds are very rare that the results in this study would not be directly correlated, to not result from this type of Buddhist meditation. As the Dalai Lama taught, “Consciousness has the capacity to” expand to an infinite, “to increase to an infinite degree.” This is important to remember because we work in our studies of Gnosis with imagination, so that we can fully perfect the consciousness. So that what was found impossible by modern science, is a fact for the Gnostics. It is what we verify through our own experience.
Imagining is Seeing
As Samael Aun Weor wrote:
“For the wise, to imagine is to see." —Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
Imagination is perception. It is witnessing. It is perceiving imagery of a material or energetic or even psychic type. It is important to reflect: How do we see? How do we perceive?
Our psychology tends to be very active, or better said, hyperactive. Our mind, as we study in meditation, must become passive, serene. Receptivity is the natural state of the mind. Our mind is usually overwhelmed, churning with activity. The mind is a lake. If it is disturbed with negative egotistical states, then the images of heaven cannot reflect on its surface. When the mind is serene, the stars of the night can shine with clarity, with translucence, and resplendence upon the surface of the waters.
Therefore, how do we see? Is the water of our mind disturbed? Is it a whirlpool of negative emotion, of anger, of fear, of pride, of lust? Because, if our mind is agitated, identified with affliction, then we cannot see anything inside. We become conditioned by the ego, by the self, by the “I.” But if the lake is calm, if our mind is still, if we have obtained serenity within our consciousness, within our mental states, as we sit to meditate, as we introspect, we can begin to perceive images of a superior type, of a very distinct and different quality than the mind's projections of fear, anger, resentment, pride, etc.
There is positive imagination and there is negative imagination. Positive imagination is clear. It is liberated perception. It is when the mind is perfectly still, so that the images of heaven, our own inner divinity, can reflect inside in our meditations and through our exercises of astral projection, dream yoga. Yet when it is agitated by negative states, our perception is negative.
Our imagination is conditioned. It is illusory. We don't see what is real. A person who is angry cannot reason, cannot see the truth. Whether he or she has suffered some type of setback in life: the desperate, the morbid, the pessimistic, the violent only see according to the logic of their ego. Therefore, their waters are churning with great tides, a tsunami in a storm.
Real imagination is when we have perfect stillness, silence, and purity, which is why Jesus of Nazareth stated in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 22 to 23.
"The eye is the illumination of the σῶμά soma." —Matthew 6:22
So we are going to relate some Greek terms regarding these verses. Soma means “body.” That is a traditional translation. But even deeper, Soma can mean soul, or self. “The eye is the illumination of the self, the soul.”
"If thine eye be singular thy whole self (σῶμά soma) will be full of light." —Matthew 6:22
This verse is often confusing for people who don't study the esoteric meaning of the language, the original languages of the Bible. In Greek, the word for single or singular is ἁπλοῦς aplous. It means “clear, simple, uncomplicated, pure.”
"If thine eye be singular (if it is clear, if your vision is simple, uncomplicated, pristine) thy whole self will be full of light." —Matthew 6:22
Your imagination, your perception, will reflect the Being, its perfection, His majesty.
"It if thine eye be impure (πονηρός ponerros), thy whole self shall be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” —Matthew 6:23
If our imagination is polluted with negative emotion, with ego, we are living in the dark. We see but we do not see. And this is the meaning of the Christian parable, "Seeing they shall not see and hearing they shall not hear," because they are blind by their own defects.
Also, relating to the last lecture—if that light in thee is darkness how great is that darkness?—this is εἰκασία eikasia. In relation to the four states of consciousness that we explained, eikasia means “imagination.” It is a type of perception that ignores itself—profound states of barbarism, ignorance, violence, animal behavior, degeneration.
Because in those states, people are active in their bodies, such as in crowds or a lynching, a riot. That mob mentality, that perverse energy, pushes unconscious people to commit crimes. Eikasia is a form of seeing, but in the dark, just like in the Allegory of the Cave of Plato. The people in the cave were in the darkness or seeing the shadows of the images behind them as we explained in the former lecture.
So in our studies we wish to go beyond that. To awaken to διάνοια dianoia, which also means “imagination,” but it is positive, conscious, objective, to see the reality of our inner and outer universe with clarity.
So eikasia and πίστης pistis, especially, relate to the illusions, fantasies, or dreams of the mind. Pistis means “belief,” but also refers to the dreams and projections of our own ego. These are conditioned states of being. These are illusions, fantasies, dreams.
Most of humanity is already aware and familiar with negative imagination, which is conditioned perception, fantasy, desire. “I desire something, I see the image in my mind, I want it, I crave it, and I do whatever I can to get it, even at the cost of another person's life.” This is the logic of the ego, of desire.
So the ego is the source of activity in the mind. It churns the waters of the mind and it is craving its desires for impressions, sensations, experiences. And a simple example, we are hungry. We crave a burger. We are under quarantine. We see the object of our desire in our mind. We fortify that craving with fantasy. We visualize how we are going to get that item, where we are going to buy it from, the phone call for takeout or delivery, the drive and the route we will take, if necessary.
Likewise, we fantasize and use imagination in the wrong way with anger. Somebody insults us and we stew in a swamp of resentment, negative emotion. We imagine how we will get our revenge.
All these fantasies and desires, their conditions, they trap consciousness. They filter our ability to perceive clearly. Desire wastes energy. It depletes us of vitality, of power. The mind projects its desires onto the physical world. This is a form of dreams. People think that dreams only exist when the physical body goes to sleep. We rest for eight hours and perhaps right before we wake, we have some quaint visions, dreams or remnants of memory, of some type of internal experience, and then we awake.
As we clarified in our last lecture, waking consciousness is a state of self-observation and self-remembrance in which we are active within the consciousness. We are perceiving our three brains, our five centers, with a sense of separation and investigation.
Dreams are the desires of the ego that are projected, even in the physical world. The only difference between sleeping life and waking life for most people, is the fact that when we are physically asleep, we can do whatever we want in our dreams. We fulfill our unconscious desires. Whereas in the physical world, there are greater consequences to one's projections, one's actions, which is why dreams are dangerous.
So, why do we talk about dreams in relation to imagination? It is because the faculty of seeing, whether condition or the liberated, is represented in the direct quality of our sleeping life. When the body is asleep, what do we perceive? Do eight hours go by and we see nothing? Or do we see some fragments of memories, of dreams? Or are we awake in the dream state? Are we conscious in that dimension? That is the question. That is a barometer of how awake we are and of the quality of our perceptions, even in daily life.
The Dreams and Illusions of the Ego
So while the examples I gave before might be a little silly, this principle explains the chronic condition of our daily life and how we see ourselves. If we wish to awaken in dreams, in the dream state, we first awaken in the physical plane, because we are not awake. We are asleep. And unfortunately, we also dream, even while physically active.
We believe we are such and such a person, with the qualities of kindness, compassion, intelligence, respect, serenity, diligence: whatever virtues we like to enthrone upon the altar of our self-worship. We like to think the best of ourselves. Yet when a crisis appears, like what is going on now, with the coronavirus, we are forced into unpleasant or difficult circumstances where our true character emerges.
So different egos appear in relation to the impressions of life. So perhaps during the lockdown, we go to the grocery store, we look for the last roll of toilet paper and a person is also reaching for the same item. This person, an aggressor, feels justified and even slanders us to our face, saying vulgar, hurtful words. If we are vigilant and awake, self-observing ourselves, we can see an entire series of reactions inside in relation to our three brains, and how the impressions of the insulter affect our mind.
We have to understand that relationship moment by moment. Because, our reactions show us the quality of our mind. That is really who we are. We like to think the best of ourselves, but the reality is that we have not perceived the entirety of what we are, because much of us is subconscious, unconscious, and even infra-conscious, belonging to very degenerated and low aspects of the psyche.
Different egos in that incident will emerge. They all have their own thoughts, feelings, and impulses. Perhaps when that person insults us at the grocery store, we see hurt self-esteem with its logic: “I am always getting picked on in every situation.” Or followed by pride: “I didn't do anything wrong. This person is crazy!” And lastly the anger: “I really don't deserve this treatment. Why are people obsessing over stupid things?”
So, if we are observing ourselves, we can see three egos in action. We have to observe the process. We have to see it. We have to be separate from the mind looking into the three brains.
As we see in this graphic, as we have on this slide, we have to perceive the delusions that our mind projects. So all those thoughts, desires, impulses, feelings, and that incident, are illusory. They are fantasies. They are dreams. Those projections tried to go out from us to interact to the aggressor: to respond, to retaliate.
But those types of seeing, thinking, feeling, and behaving are negative. They are conditions. They are based off the words of the insulter, which we take with such severity and magnitude. But really, where is that self? Where does it come from? What does it depend on? How does the mind feed on those impressions? How does that pride, that self-esteem, and that anger work?
This is not a hypothetical evaluation. It is what we perceive, because real seeing and imagination, is self-observation. We are looking into the mind: to not judge, to not run away, to not push a way, to not label, but simply to look. This is clear vision. This is what concerns us most when we study meditation, because we have to discover how these egos function, so that we can eliminate them and free the consciousness trapped in those desires so that we no longer dream.
When that light is free, we naturally have spontaneous, intuitive astral projections, jinn experiences, etc. But if we don't observe this reaction in ourselves, we are going to mistake each thought, feeling, and emotion, each action, each reaction, as being attributed to a single self. But as we have explained, we are not a single self. We are multiplicity. We have to see this. Not as in a theory, but in action.
Structural and Transactional Analysis
Samael Aun Weor mentions this process in The Revolution of the Dialectic, of seeing our inner contradictions and all the exchanges and transactions in the mind. He calls it transactional and structural analysis.
So, he talks about banking. Banks make transactions and exchanges, different types of businesses. And structures have to do with how businesses are formed or how the banking system works. He uses this analogy to talk about the ego.
There are many transactions that occur in a single moment. First, in that example, self-esteem, followed by pride, followed by anger—these egos are connected. They relate to each other. It is rare to find an ego that works “solo.” And structural analysis has to do with the structures of how those egos manifest, how they function. What are their thoughts, feelings, and impulses? And how do they relate to each other? How do they trans-act or react to each other, and to the moment?
So, we like to believe we are saints, but observe yourself. This is the most profound doorway and entrance to real perception in meditation. It is imagination. It is clear seeing. We observe ourselves. We look into our thoughts, feelings, and will with the consciousness. If we don't watch ourselves in those critical moments, to see those psychological interactions, we are identified. Our identity is in that self. We invest those egos with our energy and therefore we strengthen the cage that traps us, and so we suffer.
Fantasy and Self-Deception
We believe we are holy. The person who is demanding we hand over the last roll of toilet paper thinks they are very saintly, but of course from external views and eyes, it is stupid. This allegory applies not only to absurd people like that, but to ourselves. We live in a fantasy world. We live thinking we are a certain way, but we are not. So our desires project their ideas onto the external world. We interpret everything relating to the mind: “What I want, what I crave, what I desire.” We don't see reality. We live in absurdity. We project our fear onto the world.
Look at the global pandemic, the kind of things people do because they are afraid. People who are more rational obviously see the stupidity in those behaviors, but fear is a compelling force. It is an illusion. It manipulates humanity and keeps humanity asleep.
So, while people are living in a lot of suffering now, the reality is that we should not judge anyone. We project our ideas unto people but also on to ourselves. We have a self-image that we like to uphold of who we are, and when people contradict that, we get angry. But when we do that to other people, they become angry too.
Therefore, this is why Jesus said, "Judge not that you be not judged," because as a very illuminated clairvoyant, as a visionary, as a prophet, he understood this law very simply and profoundly. People who are very awake don't judge others. They see the causes of suffering in others and they respect their freedom.
But given our level of being, we tend to be very identified with pride, projecting our ideologies and beliefs about who we are unto others. We only see through the lens of our political party, our religion, our group. And this is the problem of humanity. This is why people suffer.
People follow the Illusions and fantasies of fear that “If I don't go to the store to get all these items from the cleaning aisle or whatever, I am going to be in a lot of suffering.” And fear is completely hypnotizing humanity in this instance, which is why Samael Aun Weor wrote in Treaties of Revolutionary Psychology:
“Fantasy, besides placing us in ridiculous situations, stops all possibility of internal development... Fantasy is a real force which acts universally upon mankind. It keeps the intellectual humanoid in a state of sleep (hypnotic state), causing him to believe that he is already a Human Being, that he possesses true individuality, a will, awakened consciousness and a mind of his own, etc.” —Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
As we have mentioned many times, we are not human beings. Human beings have integration. They have a singularity of purpose and will. We on the other hand are fractured.
So imagine a mirror that is whole. It reflects images perfectly from floor to ceiling. When that mirror is shattered through violence, its fragments reflect millions of different images, which is a perfect allegory of our psychological state. A perfected mirror is a perfect human being. It sees and reflects imagery internally and externally, with perfection. But in us, because we are fragmented with different egos and selves, we have multiple images in the mind, because the ego takes on forms in the astral and mental planes.
This is why in the term εἰκασία eikasia, in Greek, meaning “imagination,” comes from εικόνων eikonon: “images,” which is where you get false images, idols—the origin of idolatry—not to worship statues and different religions, but to really worship our ego and its multiplicity. Therefore, we need to study deeply both positive and negative imagination.
Differences Between Liberated and Conditioned Imagination
So the main distinction is that positive imagination is received. It is imagery that we understand with wisdom. It arrives within the calm, serene consciousness, a mind that is in perfect equanimity.
Negative imagination is a projection of the ego, the mind.
Positive imagination is voluntary. We will it. We control it. But negative imagination is mechanical. It happens to us against our conscious will.
So we have already explained what insight is in other lectures: it means to understand what we see, to comprehend the truth. And in order to comprehend the truth, we have to see it first. This is the primary distinction of the Gnostic tradition against other religions and traditions. It is that we seek to know the truth through experience, through verifying, with facts.
Definitions of Positive and Negative Imagination
So fantasy we explained. it is a projected desire. We have a lot of different terms and definitions, or qualities associated with both positive and negative imagination, which we are going to relate.
Positive imagination in Buddhism is known as the Vipashyana, “special insight.” It means to visualize the object of meditation. So, we voluntarily concentrate on one object, we see it with clarity, with color, with depth.
The opposite of this can be spacing out, daydreaming. Daydreaming is when we have a multiplicity of projected desires or images, memories. We wander through these thoughts through mechanical associations in the mind.
So Vipashyana is also clairvoyance. Clairvoyance is a French term, created by a group of esotericists who wanted to protect their studies. Therefore, they created a technical term for a faculty that everybody already has, but in an undeveloped state. Clairvoyance, Vipashyana means to see clearly with the imagination. It is the opposite of spacing out, daydreaming.
When the consciousness and imagination is liberated, it is the same capacity to experience dreams, but in a conscious way—to see within the astral plane with depth, with penetration, with amplitude, with greater frequency, with greater focus and expansiveness. It means to see in that world, the people, the cities, the environment, oneself, but without subjectivity, without interacting with our own unconscious dreams, which, most of humanity is already aware of.
People know about dreams. They may have fragmentary remembrances of talking to a purple monkey on the side of the street, about whatever. This type of dreaming has nothing to do with awakened perception. It is the state of the ego, of absurdity, of delusion.
So even while we are physically awake, we continue to dream. We project our dreams onto the external world, but within the astral dimension, we no longer have the body to veil us. So therefore, we are more directly connected and related to our dreams. We can see them with greater clarity if we work on ourselves, so that we can transform them.
So visions: they are conscious experiences. These are the astral projections and awakened states that everybody longs for in our studies, to talk with divinity, the Being, with masters, to receive help.
The opposite is hallucinations, like those produced from drugs, which are conditions of mind. Marijuana, LSD, psychedelics, ayahuasca, mushrooms, and many other forms of substances condition the mind. They filter our perception so that we see, but this is not objective. This is within hell, the hell realms as we are going to explain.
Nightmares also fall into this category. So, these are psychic experiences within our own inner hell realms, which if we are chased by monsters, or are being chased by a murderer with an axe, those are usually projections of our own infra-conscious nature, our own egos, which have reality and existence within the most profound depths of our consciousness, within the ego.
Translucence is the clarity of seeing without conditions, to not be obscured, to not be obstructed. There is no “I,” ego, present if we are really developing our imagination. There is no ego or “I” to intervene, or interpret what we see.
So hypnosis is like the opposite of translucence. Hypnosis is a sleepy state. Hypnosis has become very popular today. Some people even use hypnosis as a type of therapy. But sadly, it is the sleep of the consciousness [from the Greek Ὕπνος Hypnos, the god of sleep]. Those methods put the patient or the practitioner under the control of the doctor, which is mind control. Controlling the minds of others is negative 100 percent. We don't advocate that in our teachings. Hypnosis is the opposite of gnosis, to experience, to awaken, because we don't want to sleep. We want to know and verify and investigate the source of our own egos, defects, traumas. Therefore, one does not need hypnosis to enter those states if one is a practical meditator.
The Basis of Insight: Kabbalah, Perception, and Ethics
So while we might experience internal imagery, inner perceptions, the danger becomes if we interpret through our ego, which is why we study the Tree of Life, the Kabbalah.
Meditation and intuition are necessary. When we want to interpret what we see, it is not enough to develop imagination. We have to become cultured, studious, ethical disciples. Samael Aun Weor mentions, we need ethical, intellectual, spiritual culture. But why is that?
He wrote a book about this principle in Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology.
He relates how the sources of crime are due to negative clairvoyance, negative imagination. All crimes are the result of infernal, unconscious, subconscious, infra-conscious perceptions. And the danger of the esoteric student, the meditator, is that when developing imagination, they don't question what they see.
They might see things that horrify their conscience. Perhaps they see an image of their wife or husband committing adultery, and therefore, that person goes out of their way to slander their spouse based off a vision that they misinterpreted. There are many cases like this in the Gnostic movement, in many spiritual groups, and it is very sad. This is why we emphasize the study of the Tree of Life, the study of Kabbalah, the study of ethical conduct, the scriptures, the lives of the prophets, because they knew that seeing is not enough. One has to be able to interpret what one perceives.
The Tree of Life is a map of our consciousness, from positive states to negative—from the heavens, to our body, to the hells. Heavens are liberated perception and hells are negative conditioned perceptions.
Every experience could be mapped by the Tree of Life. And so we have to investigate what we see. It is not enough to have a vision. We have to meditate on what we perceive and to really discriminate and question, “Where is it coming from?” Is it from heaven, or perhaps we are mistaken? Perhaps it is from our own hell realms?
And so people, and like in the case I mentioned, are seeing diabolic projections of their mind, or perhaps they are seeing the ego of their partner from a past life. But because they don't recognize that their partner is never capable of acting on that fault, because they are working on themselves, one can make a mistake, a judgment.
"Judge not that ye be not judged. For what measure ye meet, you shall be measured” [Matthew 7:1-2] by that same quality, that same measurement.
Ethical conduct teaches us how to behave in life, regardless of what negative perceptions we perceive in ourselves or others. The important thing is to know where our experiences come from, to discriminate with meditation. So, if you have an experience, I highly suggest that you take a lot of time to meditate on what you receive. Don't jump to conclusions that you are necessarily receiving a vision from God. It could be, but if those experiences are contrary to your own judgement, your own moral compass, your own ethics of doing compassionate deeds, then you have to consider or reconsider what you saw.
This is why Samael Aun Weor repeatedly stated, "That for every step you take in the acquisition of powers (of clairvoyance), you must take a thousand steps in sanctity."
So if you have inner experiences that are related to other people, but are negative, I recommend maintaining silence. Wait. Wait to see, and watch if what you experience really reflects the facts of daily life—if it's real—and be patient. Understanding unfolds through successive meditations.
So, in order to not be confused by our inner perceptions and to really have a sense of discrimination, we study the five types of clairvoyance.
First, we are going to examine the negative types. The subconsciousness is related with our memories, with our past experiences, with mental formations within the personality, which we have explained.
The subconsciousness is like a cave. It is beneath the surface of our perception and our understanding. Often in life, we behave mechanically without understanding the origin of our actions. Perhaps in the past we were bit by a dog. And therefore, any time we come across a dog, we become afraid. We have the memory, the past experience, the mental formation of fear in our personality. We see that dog and then we instantaneously react. We see through fear, the logic that claims, “This animal is going to hurt me. I am in danger!” This is all subconscious.
Subconsciousness is deeply related with racism. People's past experience or memories, not only from this life but from past lives, can relate to a lot of conflict on a social level—people’s assumed thoughts and projections of what people of different races or cultures are like. This is all very subconscious. People usually don't even question if that is an element that is truly ingrained in the personality.
These are not the only examples. There are many, but usually when it is subconscious, it is beneath the surface. We don't usually see unless we really introspect and question ourselves.
Unconsciousness is formed by unsatisfied frustrated desires. Unconscious perception, Samael Aun Weor states, is the origin of murder. It is the origin of crime. There are desires within our hidden depths that long for violence.
So, the anger we may feel at a boss for a particular action they took against us, or response to our own performance, can provoke deeper unconscious, frustrated desires. Perhaps we desired a promotion, but because it was not fulfilled, we are frustrated. We are angry. In a very deep unconscious layer of our psyche, that anger could be a form of murder. In the internal planes, that element can be committing violence against one's boss. So physically we may feel that anger. But then at night, when we physically go to sleep, we dream about killing that person.
This is unconscious imagination, unconscious clairvoyance. We don't even assume that it exists, but it does. It is totally beneath and even deeper than subconsciousness. So whenever our desires that are not fulfilled ferment and spillover, we can point towards the unconsciousness.
Deep desires are very difficult to see unless we meditate and go into the astral plane to investigate, because all of us, without exception, have these egos. We just haven't perceived them directly yet. It is rare to find a person without these types of desires for violence, for murder, for crime. This is why it is unconscious. We don't know it. We like to assume that we are holy. But any dream like the example I related to you is an example of that, proves that.
Lastly, we have infraconsciousness. These are the most hidden animal desires, our most perverse identities ourselves, traumas: the negative qualities of the lowest psyche. So as I said, nightmares are a form of infraconsciousness. This is perception within the most dense regions of our own psyche—within the lowest spheres of the astral plane, the hell realms, where we see beasts and creatures, monsters, gigantic creatures, deformed beings, and demons, attack us.
In most cases, these are not actual sorcerers or black magicians, as we state in this tradition, beings outside of us. These tend to be more of our own inner qualities, of yet we are to discover until the moments we have nightmares. We are in the hell realms. We are being chased. We are being murdered. We are being torn apart, tortured, killed. All sorts of horrible experiences within dreams: these are infraconscious. They are nightmares. They are diabolic and they have existence.
When people wake up from sleep, they like to think that, “Oh, it was just a dream!” But the reality is that dreams have a type of reality. They are projections of ourselves. They are extensions of who we are, and therefore, they exist in other dimensions inside. In a sense, they are not real, but they have a type of existence in us.
What do we mean that the ego is not real? It is because that type of identification of self doesn't know or reflect the real potential of consciousness. It doesn't reflect the heavenly realms.
We need to study consciousness. The positive form of consciousness or conscious imagination is precisely this. We learn to see things as they are in whatever dimension, not necessarily the heavenly realms, but even in hell. Consciousness or conscious imagination is the ability to perceive reality and whatever particular sphere of existence we are on the Tree of Life.
Conscious imagination means that even if we go into the hell realms, we are in a state of serenity, of watchfulness, of observation, of remembrance of the presence of our inner Being, so that we can investigate and gain knowledge. This is like the mirror that is first polished. So the broken mirror is a subconsciousness, the unconsciousness, and the infraconsciousness. But a conscious soul or perceptive being, is one who is polishing the mirror, who is bringing the pieces together, those fragments together, to reform that perfected image. So that it is singular [ἁπλοῦς aplous], so that [“If thine eye be singular, uncomplicated, pure”] it has greater depth, clarity, penetration, amplitude, perception.
Samael Aun Weor mentions:
"Only those who have achieved awakening in the superior worlds possess conscious clairvoyance." —Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
So we have to awaken in the dream state, to see the reality of our emotions and our mind. This is when we know we are really developing our consciousness. In meditation, we reach the drowsy state, allow our body to rest, but consciously, we are very active. The mind becomes receptive. We calm the mind. We become active as a soul, as a consciousness—concentrating on an object of visualization or imagination, so that we can extract information from it, of which we are going to explain.
This type of meditative practice is well known in Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, especially from Tibet, and within the Gnostic tradition. But conscious clairvoyance or imagination is not the end. There is supraconsciousness.
This is the perception of reality, its causes, and its relations within multiple dimensions. So the consciousness can awaken within the astral plane, the mental plane, or even in the hell realms, in order to investigate and gain knowledge of itself. But supraconsciousness is when we perceive multiple dimensions or the highest aspect of the Tree of Life related to Kether, Chokmah, and Binah: Crown, Wisdom, Intelligence—the three forces of Christianity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, which are intelligences, energies, principles—not people, but archetypes, qualities of Being, of divinity, which are very high.
This is supraconsciousness. Even entering the Absolute, which is above the Tree of Life, is a supraconscious state. Supraconsciousness sees from the eyes of God, from the Being, not from oneself, but from the universal consciousness of Christ.
We also experience supraconscious states within Chesed, the Spirit and Geburah, the divine soul. The top five spheres of the Tree of Life are supraconscious. They are divine. Below that, we have the possibility to see through the filters of our ego. We can say that Tiphereth, the human soul, the world of Nirvana, is an objective state, but the potential for mistakes originates from our will, which can follow Netzach (the mind), Hod (the emotions), Yesod (our energies), Malkuth (our physical body), and the inverted tree, the hell realms.
Our will must follow divinity. Our inner Tiphereth, the beauty of our soul, is a serene, concentrated state. In order to really reflect the higher five sephiroth, the spheres, the emanations of God, Tiphereth, the human soul must be serene.
Willpower, concentration, is a serene state. It is a calm state. We like to think of willpower in our modern society as if going to the gym to do a lot of exercise, to exert a lot of force and tension, but real serenity is true power. It is a state of perfect concentration, as mentioned within the nine stages of meditative concentration within Tibetan Buddhism, which you can explore on the course Meditation Essentials [from Glorian.org] but also the lecture Calm Abiding: The Stages of Serenity [within chicagognosis.org under the Gnostic Meditation Course].
We need a serene mind to reflect heaven within. To get there on the Tree of Life, to reach a supraconscious state, we first calm Malkuth, the body, our physicality.
We work with energy, Yesod, the vital forces. We circulate them throughout our body, throughout our internal vehicles, through pranayama, runes, meditation, mantras, alchemy, sacred rites of rejuvenation, many exercises for energy in our tradition.
We then calm the heart, our emotions, Hod, the astral body, the astral vehicle, which we operate within the dream state, but unconsciously.
We also calm the mind, the intellect, with its thoughts and surging concepts, memories, daydreams, etc.
When we really perfect that state, we reach Tiphereth in ourselves, in our meditation. It is serene concentration, because when you are really focused and attentive on the object of your meditation, if it is really perfected, we don't think of anything. We don't wander, but it also takes no effort.
In the beginning it takes a lot of will to control the body so that it stops moving in our meditation, to work to control energy consciously.
Likewise, to control our emotions and negative states are not easy, but necessary, if we wish to reach supraconsciousness.
And then silencing the mind, withdrawing the mind from the senses and introspecting within, it takes less effort the more you ascend within yourself.
When Tiphereth, the soul, our will, is fully balanced, it is a state of equanimity. Real will takes no effort, paradoxically speaking. It takes familiarity and experience, to use Zen language.
Intuition and Awakening
“When the door of fantasy are closed, the organ of intuition awakens.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
So we must no longer project our dreams. We must awaken to receive internal imagery. And not must we perceive internal perceptions, but we must understand them. This is the faculty of intuition—to understand, to comprehend the significance of what perception enters us, whether physically or internally.
So, imagination practice is founded upon some degree of serenity, which we have explained. Without serenity, we cannot concentrate and focus on our particular imagination or visualization exercise. So we state that once you have developed a serene mind through your work of self-observation, it is good to work with imagination exercises.
And Jesus stated that our eye of imagination must be singular. Meaning concentrated. To focus on one thing so that it becomes pure. "If thine eye be singular (ἁπλοῦς aplous clear, simple, uncomplicated, pure) thy whole self will be full of light." —Matthew 6:22
Difficulties with Developing Imagination
So some people really struggle to imagine anything, whether it be a stone, a candle, a picture, a statue. This type of exercise is important, as we stated at the beginning, in order to expand our ability to perceive beyond to the unknown.
Many people lack clarity in their imagination, or the image keeps changing. We have to discriminate in our meditative practice to see whether it is the ego that interferes and warps our perception, or is that experience unfolding into something new.
So we can take an example of imagining a cross. It can change or become something deformed or different, etc., and that can be the result of our ego. We have to discriminate and test the quality and the taste of that experience.
Part of the work of imagination is knowing the difference between positive and negative, both polarities, both poles. We do that through experience, through following our heart, our intuition, our conscience. Our heart will tell us that there is something more here, or that what we have just experienced is something negative.
We can imagine as I said, like a cross. If it changes, becomes malformed, distorted, that could be our own ego trying to infect our practice. But there is also something we have to remember too: it is that real imagination is receptive. We receive the new. So suddenly if we are really in a drowsy state and concentrated in ourselves, the image of the cross can change. Maybe it starts spinning, showing a profound symbolism of energy, tantra, movement. It is a symbol. We see new states, visuals, sounds, scenarios, even smells. We become a witness and a participant in our internal worlds.
So we have to really evaluate through our practice, successively, daily: “Is the ego changing my visualization? Is it projecting on to what I want to see? Or am I receiving something new? Is this something novel, receptive, illuminated?”
Receptivity does not mean passivity. The consciousness becomes highly active when the mind becomes pacified, silent. To receive superior messages from our Being, we need serenity first, and then we allow the experiences to unfold when we are drowsy. Drowsiness opens the doorway to the dream world, the internal worlds. And as we have stated previously in other lectures and meetings, that it is important to meditate when we are drowsy, because otherwise we can damage our brain. Meditation really unfolds as we enter a relaxed state, not when we are in tension.
So we conclude with this image from Alice from Wonderland. Remember that she goes down the rabbit hole into the subconsciousness, the unconsciousness, the infraconsciousness. And later, she rises up the stairs of being, to awaken to the light of reality.
Well will now open up the floor to questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: Two things. One, can you just fill in the blanks for me? Malkuth, body, physical? Yesod, what was Yesod?
Instructor: It is our energy, our vital force.
Question: Then Hod, astral, emotional. And then what went with mental?
Instructor: Netzach, the mind. Malkuth means “kingdom.” It is our inner, but also physical kingdom, because our body is a great city in which many people live. It is a great land. It is material, earthly, but also contains within it all of the potentiality of our soul.
It has all of our energies, Yesod, which means “Foundation.” It is the foundation of our spiritual life, the secret of סודי Sodi in Hebrew, because סודי Sodi means “secret,” and יסוד Yesod is the sphere related to the secret signs of Da'ath, which is the work of alchemy, of a marriage.
Hod means “Glory.” It is the glory of the heart temple that is perfected with meditation, and by working with the vital forces Yesod, but also Christ above, Chokmah.
And lastly, we have Netzach, the mind which means “Victory,” and if we conquer our mind, our distracted mind, we become victorious ones: buddhas. This is how we work with our willpower, Tiphereth, the human soul.
Question: And these four are the four bodies of sin. Is that correct?
Instructor: Yes, within Kabbalah. These are the bodies, or the vehicles by which our ego manifests. It is how we sin, how we make mistakes, whether through our mind, our emotions, our sexual behavior, and our physical body. This is how our desires manifest or they express.
Above that, Tiphereth can either go up or down, depending. "Father if it be possible,” said Jesus, “Take this cup of bitterness from me, but not my will but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42). So our will can follow and empower our ego, because we have freedom to choose how we want to live, or, we can follow the inner inclinations and guidance of our Spirit (Chesed), and our divine soul (Geburah). Chesed means “Mercy,” the mercy of God, and Geburah means “Justice,” the balance of the law, the divine soul.
So our consciousness is the law. How we judge ourselves, our intuitions, come from the divine soul. What we know is right and what we know is wrong is deep in our heart—that is Geburah. So we have to follow those inclinations in our meditations if we want to be successful.
Question: Then the other thing had to do with Tiphereth and will. And I am going to say just a couple things, but they are all one question really. Will you speak on willpower more and the relationship between imagination and willpower as with types of imagination? Are there more than one type of willpower? Is Thelema a specific type? I think you were just speaking on that a little bit.
Instructor: Great question. There are primarily two types of will: conditioned or unconditioned; liberated or imprisoned; conscious or unconscious will, egotistical will. So there is free consciousness, which is the essence, which we explained in this course in relation to “Discover Your True Self”—the essence, the ego, and the personality.
The essence is the essence of who we are. The consciousness that has the potential to become fully perfected. But in order to do that, we have to conquer the conditioned, egotistical wills, in our psyche.
Each ego has its own will, but in synthesis we say there are really two forms of will. Free and liberated, or imprisoned and encaged. So we have to learn to distinguish the difference, which we do through self-observation, self-remembering, transformation of impressions—learning to transform what we perceive.
The relationship between concentration and imagination is that it is impossible to imagine anything with objectivity if our mind is distracted by a multiplicity of wills. So the problem when a person begins meditation is that their mind is all over the place. We have a multitude of competing wills, desires that want to do this or that: to ride a bicycle, to scratch an itch, to eat something, to get some water—anything but the meditation.
The beginning of meditation is first controlling the body with our will. Not to move, so that as we still our body, the waters of our mind can become calm too. We have to suspend our senses, calm our energies, relax through pranayama, mantras, circulate force with our concentration, our will, so that that energy helps our body to be still, helps our emotions to calm, helps our mind to be silent.
When you have used your concentration well, with serenity, you start to clarify your perception with greater depth, because a mind that is agitated cannot reflect anything. The beginning of meditation within Buddhism, they teach you how to be serene of mind: nine stages of meditative concentration.
Learn to understand where you are on the path of concentration. Are you forgetting what you are doing in your practice? Or do you remember every moment? This is an important distinction to make. And as you are ascending that glyph, which is a man or monk chasing after an elephant, the elephant eventually becomes really calm and docile, where the monk is leading the elephant instead of the elephant leading the monk. That is a symbol of how the meditator controls the mind with the hook of vigilance and the rope of mindfulness, so that the mind is perfectly still.
If you are familiar with Tibetan Buddhist murals, eventually the elephant falls asleep after following the monk, and therefore, the monk is flying above in the sky and even rides the elephant over a rainbow bridge. So in that map, which we have talked about in other courses, because he has a obtained serenity of will and concentration, the mind can now reflect with greater clarity and perfection the heavenly realms.
Remember that if your mind is fractured into multiple wills, is distracted like a shattered mirror with multiple fragments and pieces, it is impossible to reflect a single object with clarity. It becomes malformed. But when you unite all those fragments together through concentration exercises, and you fuse them with your work with energy, such as alchemy or pranayama, to a lesser degree, that energy heals the mind, regenerates it, empowers the consciousness to work.
And again, if you look at that type of image, you notice that there is a fire blazing from the bottom of the path and extends upward in different segments of the glyph. It takes a lot of fire and energy and intensity in the beginning to control the mind. This is why pranayama is essential when we begin to meditate. And when that energy calms the mind, it takes less effort. But if you fuse the mirror back together by developing your concentration, you can reflect with greater precision, and that is the faculty of imagination.
Question: I was wondering, you were just talking about the map with the elephant and monkey, and I was wondering, I know it will be kind of hard to pinpoint it. It depends on the individual maybe, but where about do people in general start experiencing more of those, you know, conscious clairvoyance, and do you have to go all the way to the end there in that map before you can actually... It seems like a such a long road!
Instructor: Great question. Now, in the middle stages of concentration, that is really where we can begin working effectively on our own ego. Where we develop enough clarity in our perception that we can start to see things with more objectivity. Obviously the higher you go, the more clear things will be. Your imagination will be much stronger, but it is not fundamental that you have to reach the top of this glyph in order to be able to experience states of imagination in an objective way.
You can reach the fourth and fifth degrees of shamatha, which is meditative calm abiding, serenity, concentration, equanimity, in order to begin to develop your clairvoyance, especially. In the beginning it is very difficult because if you can't concentrate at all, then what you try to imagine will not be withheld within the memory or the consciousness very long. And this is the state of most people, which is why we quoted from the book Supernormal by Dean Radin who explained how scientists literally believe that the most length a person can hold an image in the mind is 25 seconds. You know, they don't understand that there is a greater capacity to create imagery in the mind than what is expected.
So, if you are in the fourth or fifth degrees of shamatha in which you don't forget what you are doing in your meditative practice, you can begin to start working effectively with imagination. Because you have enough stability and your concentration that if a distraction does arise, you know to avoid it.
Because most people get stuck in their concentration practice by forgetting what they are doing. You know, 20 minutes go by and they suddenly realize, “I am supposed to be meditating!” Or they are trying to visualize an object and then they forget what they are doing or the image morphs and changes, and then the person starts daydreaming, and then we think “Where was I?” It is because we didn't have enough serenity or concentration established. But if you are firm in your serenity and concentration, in the middle degrees, fourth or fifth, you don't forget what you are doing. That becomes a strong platform by which to start to clarify your imagination, especially, if that makes sense.
Question: And where is the fourth, fifth degree?
Instructor: It is in the middle parts of the glyph. If you go on to chicagognosis.org, we have a transcription for Calm Abiding: The Stages of Serenity: the fourth and fifth stages apply to when the monk is in front of the fire and a pair of cymbals I believe. There is a rabbit that appears on top of the elephant. That is the fourth degree. The fifth degree is just above that. So, if you look at the transcription in our gnostic meditation course, you can see how the fourth and fifth degrees are related to the left side of the curve of that path.
Question: So on your website, you have a description of what that means? The rabbit on top of the elephant? You have descriptions of what that means.
Instructor: Yes, so for those of you who are looking online, you can see the image here of the monk who is controlling, with the rope of mindfulness, the elephant itself, and is starting to control the mind, where you see half of the elephant is starting to be illuminated by a white color. That refers to the clarity of perception. We are seeing the mind, the elephant, that powerful animal, with clarity. Half of it is white, half of it is gray, because our perception is becoming a little bit more clarified. And the further we take that elephant up the path, our perception and imagination is becoming perfected as well. We start to see with greater depth, as I said.
So the third degree of calm abiding is patched placement. It refers to how the monk finally gets a hold of the elephant. It is starting to turn the head of the animal towards him and refers to how, in the same manner that you patch up a cloth to fix holes, you are starting to patch your awareness, your concentration. So we tend to forget the object of our concentration more than we remember it, but we are at least on the way to ascending further, so that we no longer forget what we are doing. In the fourth degree, close placement or good fixation, we don't forget what we are doing in our practice. However, at this stage we have the danger of becoming lazy, represented by the symbol of the rabbit, since while we have some success in concentration, we fail to refine it further. So it is important to reach the fourth and even fifth degrees of concentration so that we are able to see with greater depth, as represented by the mirror levitating above the path of the monk. This mirror reflects how our imagination becomes more sharp at this level.
So I invite you to study that lecture. I will send a link out to people regarding that. We go into more depth about it in that lecture, but even better is the Meditation Essentials course, which has a whole series of lectures just on that diagram alone. So in total, to really comprehend that with practical depth, I invite you to study those resources.
Humanity is unaware of the complete potential of the human being. This is evident when we study religion, mystical traditions, meditation, primarily because we have beings and figures who manifested the greatest ideals of humanity: compassion, selflessness, wisdom, inner strength, patience, and faith. This is a type of knowledge and experience grounded in reality, not merely in belief or a theory, but from actually knowing through experience. This is the essence of Gnosticism, the Greek word γνῶσις gnosis: knowledge from experience, from one's first-hand account and direct perception of the truth.
So there are beings who fully manifested that truth. We call them avatars, prophets, masters, enlightened ones, buddhas, angels, gods. These are all different names, different terms, that point towards one reality―that we have the potential to become like that: perfect, awake, aware of reality, and primarily, the origins of suffering, the origins of pain―why we go through life on repeat, mechanically, identified with all of “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” to quote Hamlet.
For this course, we have been explaining and discussing, precisely, the means and the methods to overcome suffering, which of course relates to what we call mechanicity, the mechanics of nature. We spoke previously about the human machine: how our body is a transformer of energy, a transformer of food, air, water, but also vitamins, chemistry, principles, forces. Our human machine, when it is well, when it is balanced, knows how to maintain a state of homeostasis, of equilibrium, of health. When we get sick, when there is a break in the mechanics of that machine, we get ill and we suffer.
While this is a very specific example of our human organism, we also state that our thoughts, our feelings, and our will to act, are also mechanical―in most people. It is a machine. We tend to go through our day, repeating the same thoughts, repeating the same emotions, repeating the same actions without really comprehending how our own mind, our own thinking, our own ways of behaving, produce conflict.
The origin of suffering is psychological. It is internal. But sadly, many people do not ever question what the origin of suffering is. In most cases, we like to externalize: that yes, perhaps a system, a type of politics or machinery is imposing on us, and that can be true to a degree. But the manner by which we respond to life has greater force, greater impact, than anything.
When our human machine, our body, is in balance, we have health. But likewise, the mind and the heart, when they are imbalanced, when they are afflicted with negative emotions, with anger, with resentment, with anxiety, pain, fear, pride, lust, hatred, we become imbalanced beings. We are afflicted, and we go through life indulging in these negative habits, these qualities of mind, these conditions, which make us repetitive, mechanical, machines.
But there is a way out of suffering. This is what every religion teaches: how to cease being a machine, a mechanical being, so that those energies which come to us from nature, from our food, from the water we drink, the air we breathe, the impressions we take into our mind, those become transformed with consciousness, with attention, with awareness.
In that transformation, we have understanding of life. We don't go through life suffering, repeating the same mistakes, and not knowing the origin of pain. For example, perhaps at work a person insults us. The impression of that comment enters our mind and then there is a transformation that occurs in the moment. Suddenly, we have a surge of emotion, a surge of thought, that “This person insulted me.” It could be pride, but it also can be anger.
This is an egotistical reaction. It is a condition of mind that we typically do not question. We do not look at the origin of that process, of that mechanicity, of that machinery, so that, to that person, we respond, or better said, we react unconsciously, with anger or resentment, or criticism. And then suffering continues. This is the concept of samsara in Buddhism: cyclical existence, cycling, repetition, being on repeat, like a broken record.
But there is a way out of those types of situations and sufferings, to cease being mechanical. In the moment that person says a negative word, insults us, says something painful, but if we were awake, aware as a soul, as a consciousness, we can see and understand that the person who insults us is in suffering. They are afflicted with the disease which is ego, egotism, and a sense of self that is the origin of pain. By learning to understand the other person and the source of their pain―perhaps they have a tragedy in their life, a suffering, a conflict in their home―much of our own personal investment in that comment ceases, dissipates, is calmed.
In that way, we have peace. We have understanding. We have serenity, because if we are not aware of how our own mind reacts, and if we don't question our own reaction, we give in to that element. We call that ego, egotism, desire, negativity, conditions of mind. But in order to achieve that type of transformation, it requires a lot of intelligence, a lot of effort, a lot of will.
Precisely, it requires methods of transformation. There are techniques by which we can achieve that state moment by moment, day by day. But if we are content with our state, obviously we don't question where does our pain come from. This is why many people never approach a type of spirituality, or meditation or studying. But people who do, feel an inquietude, a longing to change, and that quality originates from our divine nature, which is Being, divinity, presence, which is not outside, but in the heart.
So the purpose of this lecture is to examine how to connect with divinity with precise methods, with intelligence, with wisdom, so that when we face specific conflicts in life, we transform them. We do so with understanding, with intelligence. We reduce our own negative reactions and transform them into comprehension, into peace.
The Three Brains and Nervous Systems
The way that we examine this process is by examining what we call three brains.
As we began our meditation today, we talked about the human machine, the human body as a temple. Our body is a temple with three floors, and in some Buddhist artwork, you can see traditionally, especially in the map of the nine stages of meditative concentration, a Buddhist monk ascending up a winding path, leaving a pagoda with three floors. In those traditional paintings, this is a representation of the human machine. Three floors: thought, feeling, and action―thought relating with our head, emotions with our heart, and will with our spinal column. We call these three brains.
A brain traditionally is associated only with the intellect, the cranial vault, the cerebral matter, but in profound esoteric studies, a brain is defined by a type of machine. It is a processor of force, of action, of intelligence, of will. A brain processes, physically, nutrients, chemicals, molecules, processes, vitamins, foods, etc. A brain has its material component within different aspects of our body, but on a deeper level, a brain in esotericism refers to how we process thought, emotions, and will.
“The first brain is enclosed within the cranial vault (our head, our spinal column. (This is known as the cerebral spinal nervous system.). The second brain concretely corresponds to the central medulla, the dorsal spine with all of its nervous branches (This relates with the grand sympathetic nervous system, the heart, our emotional qualities, the nerves). The third brain is not located at some specific place nor is it related to a specific organ; indeed, the third brain is constituted by the sympathetic nervous plexuses and, in general, by all the specific nervous centers of the physical organism (This is known as the parasympathetic nervous system).” ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
So the nervous systems in our body is a type of fluidic, material component that helps the body to transmit information. But in us, this tends to be very mechanical, unconscious. We are not aware of the process, usually of thought. This is evident in our daily life.
In most cases we tend to think mechanically. We are washing dishes and we are thinking of something else. We are on the “L,” we are riding the train, we are thinking of other things, and then if we were to snap to attention, in the moment, we forget what we were even thinking about. The mind was wandering. Our thoughts were elsewhere. Likewise, with emotion, the emotional brain, the heart. We are processing emotions and feelings, and sometimes we may not be even aware of why we are sad, or upset, or angry, or anxious, but that we are compelled by this mood in the emotional center without knowing why. That means that we are profoundly asleep.
We don't know why we think what we do, why we feel what we do, and also in relation to the third brain: the motor-instinctive-sexual brain, which is the spine, the sexual organs and the base of our head, or base of our neck―we usually don't understand why we act in certain ways, and this could be evident by extreme cases such as in a crisis.
In a moment, we have to act, respond to a very serious situation, but perhaps we mistakenly behave in the wrong way. We make an error and later we reflect, “Why did I do that? Why did I act mistakenly in that instant?” We may feel remorse, pain.
So these three brains, these three machines: the intellectual brain, the emotional brain, the motor-instinctive-sexual brain, these are mechanical instruments that can process negative qualities of mind, or if these centers are pure, can reflect divinity. And this is the essence of why we study the three brains, why we study the nervous systems, because it tells us our level and quality of being.
Equanimity within the Three Brains
I have been giving you examples of how our own egotism, our own negativities, our conditions of mind, misuse our thinking, our emotions and ways of acting. But we have to understand too that these three brains, these machines, are receptive when they are calm, through states and practices such as meditation.
In most people, our thoughts tend to be very chaotic, sometimes our life. Our emotions can be up and down depending on the situations of life, and our behaviors can be conditioned or negative depending on the degree of the person. If you examine yourself in meditation, you sit down and relax. You observe your mind. Observe your heart. Observe your body. What we usually find is a lot of chaos: thoughts all over the place, wandering. Emotions surging with pain. The body tense, sick, agitated, wanting to move. There is no stillness. This means that our three brains are imbalanced. They are not operating in an optimal way, and the way that you figure that out is by observing.
In our meditation, we were relaxing, looking. That means that our consciousness, our soul, our Essence, our buddha-nature, is actively looking inside at the origin of thought, the origin of feeling, the origin of will or impulse―not trying to repress the mind, the heart, the body; not trying to justify what we see either: to defeat it, to strengthen it, but looking. This is the key of awareness, which many teachers like Eckhart Tolle, many Buddhist philosophers, many Muslim, Christian, Jewish mystics all point towards. They all teach that we need to observe our human machine.
Observe the origin of our qualities of being, so that by looking at them, we can see. Is this thought correct? Is this emotion correct? Is this action correct? And so when you work to look inside, we start to awaken perception. This is the meaning of religion, to awaken consciousness, to awaken the soul, so that by first acquiring serenity of mind, heart, and body, we learn to access types of experiences, which are not normal, not accessible to the average lay person. These are mystical experiences. These are connections with the divine, because in the meditation, we are looking to calm the mind.
The mind, when it is clear like a lake, when there is no rippling of thought or agitation, likewise with the heart and the body, and when you physically fall asleep, let your body rest, but your consciousness is awake, you can experience states of being in the dream state, but not dreaming, not unconscious, but to be awake in that world, so that you want to communicate with what religions called divinity, whatever the name. That way, we acquire knowledge and intelligence, understanding, experience.
But to do that, we have to take care of our human machine, our nervous systems. Eat well. Drink good water. Take care of our body. Exercise. Meditate. Relax the body. Relax the mind. Relax the heart. Learn to observe and be aware throughout the day at what reactions emerge in us in a relation to certain situations. In that way, we transform our state. Also, learn to take in good impressions of life: exercise, sports, soothing music, activities that help to balance these centers so that they are calm; they are serene.
Energy, Tantrism, and the Infinite
So this trinity is very important within many religions. We have an intellectual brain, we have an emotional brain, and we have a sexual brain, sometimes referred to as the brain of action, movement, instinct, which is synthesized in the base of our sexual organs, but also the spine.
In Buddhism they spend a lot of time talking about tantra, which simply means continuum, and as you see here in this image of a man and woman, you find the symbol of the holy eight, the infinite, in which all the forces of these centers or parts of our machine are circulating energy properly. The energies rise from the sexual glands, go to the heart, to the brain, likewise circulating back again to the heart, then the sexual glands.
In Buddhism, there is a plethora of scriptures and teachings relating to how we use energy. It is one of the most important aspects of that tradition, especially, one of the highest levels of teaching, because how we use our energy determines our health mentally, emotionally, physically. How we take care of these three brains determines everything, determines a state of mind that is conducive for meditation, but also awakening within internal states, which we call the dream state, the dream world.
The Dalai Lama spoke a lot about the importance of energy, how we use our energy, because if we invest our energy in negative thoughts, negative emotions, negative will, we deepen suffering. But likewise, if we learn to understand how these energies work through awakening, through meditation, we learn to process those forces in a conscious way.
“In the view of Tantra, the body's vital energies are the vehicles of the mind. When the vital energies are pure and subtle, one's state of mind will be accordingly affected. By transforming these bodily energies we transform the state of consciousness. (We awaken. We attain states of experience which are very profound). It is vital to understand and develop the conviction that consciousness has the potential to increase to an infinite degree.” ―The 14th Dalai Lama
This is paralleled in the teachings of the Christian Gospels, especially by a very famous verse in the Book of Mark, chapter 12 verses 28 to 34, in which a lawyer, I believe, asked Jesus of Nazareth, who is a great master of meditation, about what is the highest commandment. What is the highest teaching that one can follow to really obtain the meaning of religion? Which is from the Latin religare, “to reunite,” reunion with divinity.
“Regarding the First Commandment, Jesus answered, ‘The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: Jehovah Elohim our God, Jehovah Elohim is one.’” ―Mark 12:29
So that term Jehovah Elohim is Hebrew. It refers to the teachings of Jewish mysticism called Kabbalah, which we study in this school and also in our courses. You may be familiar with what is called the Tree of Life, which is a map of the soul from the lowest levels of materiality to the highest. So that map is a means of understanding experiences in meditation.
As I said, you can awaken and dreams and you enter those dimensions when the physical body is asleep, so that you can converse in those worlds with your own divinity, which the mystics of Kabbalah call Jehovah Elohim: a beautiful name.
"And you shall love Jehovah Elohim your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all your mind, and with all of your strength." ―Mark 12:30
So notice here, this excerpt is talking about the three brains. To love one's God with one's thoughts, one's emotions, ones will, one's energy. These are the three brains.
What does it mean to love God in that way? It means that when we are at work, and we are criticized and we feel anger boiling inside, wanting to react, to say something hurtful, negative, instead, we love divinity by being aware of that element and not acting on it, but having compassion, by acting ethically for the benefit of others. This is the sacrifice of one's negativity, and is the beginning of religion. We do not act on negative qualities because it harms others, but also in a basic way, it harms ourselves. We create problems. And by loving God―or loving, better said, our Being, our presence, that quality of mind that is compassion, selflessness, understanding―we deepen that and cultivate that quality.
“The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.” ―Mark 12:31
So this is the essence of the Christian Gospel, “love thy neighbor as thyself.” If we feed anger, we don't love our neighbor, we instead love pain. And in that way we produce and contribute to all the sorrows of humanity.
The Path of Balance and Vital Currencies
So it's important that we understand that the three brains, in ancient cultures, were always cultivated, were always developed in a balanced way. For those of us here who have perhaps worked in education, might know that in the modern era there is a profound emphasis on the intellect at the exclusion of everything else. And this is a great problem with academic knowledge today. It does not take into consideration the need to balance everything: the emotions and our body in harmony. Usually there is too much emphasis placed on memorization, rote knowledge, intellect, but of course, the ancient societies and cultures knew that in order to really develop a balanced person, a happy person, all three brains must be cultivated, balanced, developed.
This is because each brain has its fuel, has its energy, and if you have studied teachings like that of Gurdjieff, the Fourth Way schools, they talk a lot about what is interestingly called Bobbin-Kandelnosts. This is a language from the internal worlds. It's a term that refers to vital currency, vital money―not material, but energy.
The intellectual brain has its currency, its energy, its fuel. Likewise the heart, the emotional brain. Likewise the spine, the body, our movement, our sexuality has a type of energy and fuel that it needs to operate effectively. When those values are abused or spent, then the car doesn't drive, doesn't operate well.
If the intellectual brain is abused, meaning, too much energy is being spent in the mind through too much intellectual activity, that produces mental imbalances, sicknesses, diseases such as schizophrenia, delusional disorders, qualities of mind that are very common in this humanity.
Likewise with the heart. If the emotions are churning with negative qualities, with anger, with resentment, people develop emotional sicknesses: depression, anxiety, fear, of which the medical profession is very aware of.
And likewise, the abuse of the motor brain, too much movement, too much exercise, that is out of balance―people become physically ill, paraplegic, incapacitated, in a wheelchair.
The ancient societies, whether of Greece, Rome, Chaldea, Babylon, these cultures knew in their heart, in their origins, that the three brains must be balanced, must be harmonized. Because if we waste our money, esoterically speaking, we spend too much money or vital values from our intellect, we become sick in the mind. Likewise, the heart and the body.
“The great law has wisely deposited within each of the three brains of the intellectual animal a definite capital of vital values (Bobbin-Kandelnosts).” ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
So we explained previously in this course how we are intellectual animals. The word animal comes from anima, meaning “soul,” to “animate,” to have life. And we know from the animal kingdom that they have behaviors such as competition, pride, resentment, anger, etc. Those belong to the animal kingdom. Because we have an intellect, we rationalize, we think, we are intellectual animals with the potential becoming truly human, a perfected being like Jesus, like Buddha, Moses, Krishna.
“Saving such capital prolongs life, whereas squandering such capital produces death.
“Even if this seems incredible, the truth is that―within each person―death is processed in thirds. It has already been demonstrated completely that every illness has its basis in one of the three brains.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
So we explain this how abusing the mind relates to mental illness, emotional illness, physical illness.
“The basis of a fundamental education lies in the intelligent cultivation of the three brains. In the ancient mysteries of Babylon, Greece, India, Persia, Egypt, etc., students received direct, integral information for their three brains by means of precepts, dances, music, etc., intelligently combined.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
So it's not enough just to have a hodgepodge of activities, but better said, to be used with balance and harmony. This is the origin of ancient theater, Greek theater, even British theater. Or exercise, sports, competition, music, art, painting, sculpture, etc.
“The theaters of ancient times were part of education. Drama, comedy, and tragedy in combination with special mimicry, music, oral teaching, etc., served to place information within the three brains of each individual.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
This type of teaching used to be spiritual. The ancient schools of mysteries, of Gnosticism, from whatever continent, always taught a spiritual wisdom of how to awaken the soul from its state of slumber, from its ignorance. It did that in the form of art, music, sculpture, painting, poetry, etc.
Unfortunately in these times, much of our art, theater, dance, etc., has forgotten this, but the origins and reason why these media existed was to communicate something profound. And if you are interested in learning more of how these spiritual teachings were present in different traditions, you can look at chicagognosis.org. We have a whole course dedicated to Opera, called The Secret Teachings of Opera, in which we explain the symbolism of certain artwork to communicate these ideals, these principles.
“At that time, students did not abuse the thinking brain, since they knew how to intelligently use their three brains in a balanced way.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
So again, the human machine is made of thought, feeling, and will, impulse, instinct. We spoke previously about ego, egotism, desire, the mind. The word ego in Latin means “I.”
Of course in modern pop psychology, we like to think that someone who has a big ego is somebody who is very proud or likes to put themselves before others. But in esotericism, the word ego is more profound and in fact relates to everybody. The sense of self that says “me, myself, I: my feelings, my culture, my race, my identity, my sexuality, my beliefs, my theories, my politics―me, myself, I.” That is ego, the sense of self we have now―egotism, ego, the sense of identity we have―is conditioned, unfortunately, but there is a way to transform that mechanicity, those negative qualities into something creative, something intelligent, that is for the benefit of oneself and others.
The “I” operates through our three brains. Sometimes we refer to this as five centers as we explained in the previous lecture: the intellectual center, the emotional center, and then through the spinal column: the motor-instinctive-sexual centers.
Movement relates to our spine at the top, because if someone is injured at the top of the spine, they can't move. They can't act. They have no ability to operate well.
You have instinct at the base of the spine, which is related to our animal inheritance, our animal past. Animal qualities like pride, resentment, etc., survival instinct.
And then sexuality relating to our glands.
The Ego and the Five Inferior Centers
So our ego, our “‘I’ exercises control over the five inferior centers of the human machine.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So as we stated, our own negativity, our conditions, our egotism, uses our thoughts, feelings, and will to operate. Of course, in those examples I provided you, when we react to life in a negative way, in a conditioned way, it is because of ego.
The ego is operating through our heart, through resentment, but also has thoughts. “This person wronged me,” and then the will to act, the will to behave, to respond with criticism. So notice that ego, each desire, each fault, has its own thinking, its own feeling, its own will, its own ways of behaving.
We also explained that the ego is not one. It is not an individual self, but it is multiple. Every defect: pride, resentment, anger, fear, lust, desire, is a multiplicity. It is a fracturing. This is very easy to see in ourselves if we are honest. In one moment, we may love somebody, in the next moment, we hate them. We like to attribute that quality to an individual identity. This is the failure of Western philosophy: to think that the self is unitary. This is a big mistake, which the Eastern religions and traditions understand is at fault, because in Buddhism, they always talk about some samskaras, kleshas, veils, conditions of mind, aggregates, defects.
Pride is a different ego. Fear is a different ego, hatred, etc. These are senses of self that don't have any order, and if you observe your mind, you pay attention, you can see that process in yourself. It is not pleasant to recognize that we are a multiplicity, but it explains many of our own contradictions. But of course, there is a way out, to acquire what we define as genuine individuality, which is sacred.
Real individuality is like that of a prophet, a self, a being that has no errors, no faults, no anger, no anger, no pride. They disintegrated the ego. And this is the meaning of the great religious battles within Christianity, Judaism, Islam―between God above and the devil below. This is not just about something external, but something psychological, because anger is a demon. Pride is a demon. Fear, resentment, the seven capital sins, whatever we want to refer to that as, is demonic. Therefore, we have to learn to eliminate those faults, comprehend them, so that we no longer go along with the mechanicity of life, suffering in those states. Because when you eliminate egotism, you extract the soul. You free the genie from Aladdin's lamp, in order to perform miracles in your state of mind.
Because when anger is eliminated, we develop sweetness and serenity. When lust is eliminated, we develop purity of body and mind. When pride is eliminated, we develop humility. When we annihilate anger too, we also develop compassion. So when the ego dies the soul is born.
This is the Christian allegory of resurrection. When the impurities die, the soul is reborn. It is revitalized. It is new. So to get to that point, we study our three brains. We observe our thoughts, our feelings, and our will, to understand how they function.
“Whosoever wants to dissolve the ‘I’ must study its functionalism within the five inferior centers. We must not condemn the defects; we must not justify them either. What is important is to comprehend them.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So this is a type of spiritual work, or as different traditions state, a type of warfare, in which one confronts oneself. This is the meaning of jihad in Islam, the esoteric meaning. It does not mean to kill someone who is not of your faith, but psychologically, we confront the causes of our own suffering.
We must not repress what we see, neither justify them. One must comprehend these elements. It is not enough just to label something and push it away, to not look at that state. And of course, it is very difficult to do. It's very unpleasant, because the mind doesn't like to acknowledge its faults. This is well known within the counseling profession, psychology, in terms of repression, where clients do not like to look at the origin of their traumas, their pain, their suffering. This is the type of resistance in the mind not to see that.
Neither must we justify our faults.To say, “Well that person deserved my comments, my resentment, because they wronged me.” This is also a wrong state of mind. We have to comprehend how those elements function in us. This is comprehension. This is understanding, because when you comprehend an error, you can work towards its elimination, and then we have peace, understanding. This is a the method for awakening, direct perception, awareness.
“It is urgent to comprehend the actions and reactions of the human machine. Each one of these five inferior centers has a whole set of extremely complicated actions and reactions.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
This is very easy to see if you observe. For example, if you put your hand on a hot stove, you feel pain. You react. You pull your hand away instinctively. You move. And then you feel the emotions and the pain of that experience, where you feel anger, perhaps, followed by the thoughts that hurt: “I shouldn't do that.”
There are all sorts of complicated processes in this one moment in which our body moves. We feel. We think, but typically we don't observe that process. So the work of transformation is precisely beginning with awareness, self-observation: observing one's mind, emotions, etc., from a state of equanimity, of dispassion. Neither looking to judge, nor to label, nor to repress what we see, but simply gather data about our states of mind. And in that way we comprehend the origins of suffering.
“The ‘I’ works with each one of these five inferior centers. Therefore, by deeply comprehending the whole mechanism of each one of these centers, we are on our way to dissolving the ‘I.’” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Or to use Christian terms, dissolving satan, the lower soul.
The Different Paths of the Three Brains
In the process of developing the three brains, we also talk a lot about different types of paths that existed. There have been paths in the world that had become firm traditions.
Fakirism: The Path of Physicality
There are people who simply want to develop their body, the ability to overcome pain, pleasure, sensations, impulse, instinct. We call that fakirism, and you find a lot of these cults exist today, where people are only dedicated to the body, overcoming pain, such as walking on hot coals, simply because they want to prove that they can dominate the physical body.
But of course, the problem with this path is that it is extreme. It is unnecessary. It develops will, but it does not develop understanding. The ability to overcome pain is not the not the primary focus of real spirituality. So in fakirism, people lie in a bed of nails. There are people who, literally fakirs raising their hand for 15 years until they lost all nerves and feeling in their arm, so that they couldn't move it.
The point and the question is, why do that? What's the point? Because they felt that by controlling the motor-instinctive-sexual brain, the body, that somehow they were going to reach God, divinity. Of course, this is a mistake.
Fakirism is very limited, unnecessary. Spirituality is not predicated on overcoming pain, physically. It is not the whole gamut of self-transformation.
Monasticism: The Path of Emotionality
Likewise, there is the path of emotionality, of monks, monasticism, emotion. There are people who feel that religion is only about developing the heart: praying, going to church, performing rituals. They feel that this is the only way to God, divinity, but also this is mistaken, because the emotional brain by itself is not enough.
We have to cultivate the body. We have to cultivate the mind. And so, these traditions, which originally were very sacred and developed all three brains at once, were balanced, but unfortunately, with time and traditions, things become habitualized, mechanical.
In most churches or synagogues or monasteries, they only develop the heart through prayer, which is good. It is beautiful to develop that and necessary, but to only do that one thing is not enough.
Yoga: The Path of Intellectuality
And lastly we have the path of intellectuality, of yoga, when we talk about the three brains. This is the path of scriptural study, the intellect, because when you study meditation, you have to read about it. You have to learn from somebody what the steps are, what the principles are, what the path is. Many people feel that simply by reading books and studying with the intellect is enough. But unfortunately, this is also mistaken, because people who tend to read a lot at the exclusion of the heart and the body become imbalanced.
Becoming a giant library or walking library still can't resolve the problems of suffering, because having a lot of intellectual knowledge doesn't make one wise. Instead, knowledge that is applied to practice is wisdom, is essential.
These three paths related to the three brains. These are the lower paths that relate to spiritual traditions.
Energy and the Tree of Life
On the image here we have the Tree of Life, which is the Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah. This is a map of different levels and gradations of energy, of materiality, of perception, and we use this glyph in this course and in these studies because they teach us about ourselves. It is a map of the soul of where we are and what we wish to achieve.
This image can be used to interpret any tradition, any religious cosmogony. It is associated typically with the science of numbers. So you notice that there are ten spheres here: three trinities and one sphere below at the bottom. If you are familiar with Christianity, we know that they are very identified with the Trinity itself, which we call Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Or to use Egyptian terms: Osiris, Horus, Isis. Amongst the Nordics: Wotan, Baldur, Thor.These are principles, not people. These are forces. These are energies that exists inside of us, which we can learn to cultivate if we know how.
Below that trinity we have seven spheres which are very important for our practical development. At the bottom, we have our physical body, physical energy.
We also have vital energy, creative energy, sexual energy.
We have emotional energy.
We have mental energy.
We have energy related to volition or will.
Then we have energy relating to consciousness, conscious perception.
And then we have the spirit, spiritual force.
The term spirit in strict esoteric language is Being, is divinity. It is the divine in us, the highest, or one of the highest forms of force, which we seek to practice and develop through our exercises that we have in this tradition.
It is important to remember that while we want to balance our three brains, while we want to use the energy as well, simply holding onto energy is not enough. Saving energy is not enough.
We talked a lot about in alchemical traditions, European traditions, how one must become hermetically sealed, according to hermetic philosophy. It is a very old tradition, which is depicted through symbols. Hermeticism means to not let out any energy at all, neither to waste energies of the mind, the body, or the heart.
What is important is that while we save energy, by not acting on ego, by performing spiritual action, compassionate action, we also learn to direct that energy with will, with perception, with understanding. That is the key.
Comprehend how the energies of thought work. Comprehend how the energies of emotion work. Comprehend how the energies of instinct, movement, and sexuality work. That is how we become a Tree of Life, a Christmas tree that is illuminated with perfection, because without energy there is no light, no force.
We can say that our intellectual brain relates to mental energy, the sphere below, the fourth of the bottom. And of course, in strict Hebrew terms, these are called sephiroth, which means emanations, spheres. Sephirah is singular. So this sephirah, relating with the mind, is the fourth in the bottom. It is our intellectual brain.
We also have the emotional brain, relating to the left, the third sephirah from the bottom.
And likewise, we have movement related to our physical body.
We have instincts relating to our will, our impulses, our ability to act in life.
And we also have creative-sexual-energy. These constitute the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.
It is important to remember that yes, we must save energy, but we have to know how to use the three brains, which is why Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition states the following in The Great Rebellion:
“No matter how much we might increase our strictly mechanical energy, we will never awaken consciousness." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
So that means by controlling the body through fakirism, overcoming sensation, the body, movement, one does not awaken.
“No matter how much we might increase the vital forces within our own organism, we will never awaken consciousness." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
That relates to vital breath and yoga. If you are familiar with yoga, they talk a lot about pranayama: interchangeable nostril breathing, in which you circulate vital force, prana, in Sanskrit meaning life: the life energy throughout your body, your mind, your heart. It is not enough just to work with that energy, to circulate it. It is important, but it is not the entirety of what one must do to obtain yoga.
“Many psychological processes take place within us without any intervention from the consciousness." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
This relates to emotion, the heart. So notice that consciousness is not the body. It is not physicality. People like to think superficially, in American culture and also abroad, that we are the body, that our appearance determines who we are, and sadly this is what many people believe. But the reality is that we are not the body, because we operate in the body. People often look at others and say, “I wish I could look as beautiful as that person.” It means that we are not the body, because we're thinking outside of that.
Neither are we the vital energies that we have within in us. We need vital energy to operate, to be awake physically. Sometimes in the morning, we have more energy, or in the evening we feel tired. That relates to our vital forces.
And likewise our emotions, our emotional energy. We tend to invest a lot of our identity into it. We tend to feel that we are really our emotions, whether it be anger, pride, resentment, etc. However, in strict spiritual terms, our emotions are not the consciousness, the soul. The soul is even deeper than those qualities.
So “Many psychological processes take place within us without any intervention from the consciousness.” This is something we have to discover for ourselves by observing our mind, our heart.
“However great the disciplines of the mind might be, mental energy can never achieve the awakening of the diverse functions of the consciousness.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
Meaning: reading a lot, studying a lot―having a lot of theory and knowledge in the mind. It is good. It is important, but it is not the totality of what we need to awaken the soul.
“Even if our willpower is multiplied infinitely, it can never bring about the awakening of the consciousness.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
So it is admirable that one has a lot of will in life, to survive and to thrive, but having will is not enough. Will has to be directed by our inner Spirit. As Jesus said, "Father if it is possible, take this cup of bitterness from me, but not my will, but Thine be done." So we have the will to go up towards higher states of being, or to go down. It depends on our actions. But even if we have a lot of willpower in life, it is not exclusive of the other spheres. Willpower is important, but even that must be directed and balanced, because notice that willpower, volitional energy, is at the very center.
It is very important, because if you take this image of the tree, you put it in a human being, you find that the top trinity relates with the head, the middle trinity relate to the heart, the lower trinity relates with our thighs and our sexual glands. The lower sphere (Malkuth) relates to our feet.
Our willpower can also relate to our heart, our emotions, especially in a higher sense. And so volition determines where we go. How we behave and how we act with will determines everything. That is why it is a much more subtle and refined element and very difficult to pinpoint, but something we can experience. Our will can either follow our divinity, or negativity and egotism. So willpower is not enough. It has to be directed.
“All these types of energy are graded into different levels and dimensions, which have nothing to do with the consciousness.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
Which is the sixth sphere from the bottom to the top in the left pillar.
“Consciousness can only be awakened through conscious work and upright efforts.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
So in our tradition we have a lot of practices that we use to develop the intellect, the emotions, and our body. We have yoga practices. We have sacred sounds or prayers, mantras. We have yogic positions. We have teachings of tantra, sexuality, marriage, matrimony, working with creative force, pranayama. We have exercises called the runes, which relate to the Nordic alphabet, in which we put our body into certain positions in accordance with the letters of the runic letters, in order to assimilate energy and force, to awaken the soul. We have meditative practices too, many. We use all these exercises in balance because they all take these forces and cultivate them in a conscious way.
Having a lot of energy is not enough in life. We can have a lot of vitality, will to act, a lot of energy in the mind, the heart, but we have to learn how to use that potential in a very intelligent way, which is the meaning of this quote. It doesn't mean that we have to disregard these forces below the consciousness. It means that we know how to use them. Because remember the soul is like a person driving a car. These spheres, these energies relate to how our car operates, our body operates. A person can have a lot of fuel in their car, but they can be reckless with their attention and they can get into an accident. So if we know how to drive our car well, take care of the car, feed it good fuel, that is what we drive to our destination.
The Three Factors
All this is synthesized in the Passion of Jesus who came to represent, with his physical life, these principles. So one thing is the man of Jesus of Nazareth who existed, who taught humanity a very vital teaching, and one thing is what he symbolized. He represents a type of willpower, of conscious work, that is: the ability to overcome all suffering, as we saw in the Passion, of his Crucifixion. He was ridiculed, spat upon, mocked, humiliated, beaten, tortured, killed. And yet throughout that entire time, he only said “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” So he was very conscious, had no pride, no anger. And he was showing a type of work that overcomes adversity.
Perhaps in life we have our own passion to go through, our own crucifixion, which is very painful, where we face ordeals and circumstances that are very difficult. But by learning to develop compassion, eliminate mistaken states of mind, we balance our three brains.
In the Book of Matthew chapter 16 verse 24 you find the principles of the three brains represented.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.’” ―Matthew 16:24
We call these three factors of spiritual awakening.
Birth, which means give birth to the soul. Learn to conserve your energy, especially the creative sexual energy, and then learn to direct it with will. We do that through exercise of yoga, the perfect matrimony, pranayama, many exercises, to take that energy, and instead of expelling it, we learn to conserve it, transform it. It gives birth to the soul. It awakens the soul.
But also one must deny oneself, meaning: negate all the impure qualities of the heart, as we have been explaining extensively.
And also to follow him, or divinity. So it is important to remember that we are not predicating or pushing for the worship of the physical personality of Jesus. Instead, he represents what in Gnostic terms is called Christ, which is an energy. And if you look back at the Tree of Life, we refer to Christ as the top trinity, or more specifically the second sphere. Because above is the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Jesus of Nazareth came to embody that force in his life to teach us something practical. So the top trinity can be called Christ, Krestos, which means “fire” in Greek. It is the fire of life in our body, in our three brains, that gives us life and spirituality. If we use it for divinity, it transforms us.
“Any man will come after me, he must deny himself,” negate his negative emotions or her negative emotions, “take up the cross and follow” him or divinity, our inner divinity, our inner Spirit.
The cross is a very beautiful symbol, which of course is not understood at all today. While it is a symbol of sacrifice, it is also a symbol of sexual teachings, teachings of tantrism in Buddhism, teachings of genuine yoga, the highest spiritual teachings. Because the phallus is the vertical beam, the uterus is a horizontal beam. Together, when a husband and wife unite, or a couple unites, by training their mind, cultivating the energies of love, they awaken the full potential of the being.
This is very well known within Buddhism, the highest teachings. Or amongst the Sufis in Islam, Marifah. Amongst the Gnostics, it is Gnosis. Or amongst the Jews, Daath, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil―symbols―that teach these truths.
To follow divinity is to affirm God, affirm our Being, which means to work for the benefit of humanity, not for our own selfish desires, but for others, with compassion.
These are important principles. We are going to talk about these three factors in more depth later in this course.
And so the Gnostic path is the balance of those three, the three brains, the three paths: fakirism, monasticism, yoga. The Gnostic path is the union and balancing of all three. It is the harmony, the synthesis, which you find represented in this image of the Rosicrucian Cross. And the Rosicrucians were a very ancient Gnostic order that once had a lot of value in life and teaching, which we study.
Notice that in this image, you have a lot of symbols which are very abstract. You have astrology, relating to the planets. You have the Hebrew letters circulating around a rose of spirituality. You have pentagrams, and all these intricate symbols which simply point, in their synthesis, in their representation, towards forces in the heart and the mind and the body.
A pentagram is really a human being standing upright―hands out, feet out, head towards the heavens. It is a symbol of the perfect human being. Meaning: the head is following divinity. It is positive, but some people have misappropriated that symbol by turning it upside down, which is an inverted image. It means that one's reason is going down into negative states called hell realms. This is the black pentagram or the pentagram of the black sabbath, which is a different path, a very negative one, in which one develops one’s conditions of mind intentionally.
All the letters of Hebrew which are symbols of principles from Aleph, the first letter of Hebrew to Tav, the final letter. These are symbols. These are representations of forces, which we all find synthesized in the harmonization of what we call the cross, a symbol of a matrimony, because when husband and wife cross themselves physically, they awaken spiritual energy, especially. If they know how to cultivate that energy well, conserve it and keep it sacred, in truth, they become a perfect human being. This is the secret teachings of all ages, which is now being made public since the 1960's in the writings of Samael Aun Weor.
This is the path of Taoism, balance, harmony.
“The Tao Path includes three paths, and Tao itself is the fourth. Much has been said about the four paths. We Gnostics travel along the fourth path in full consciousness. During the sexual act, we transmute the brutal instincts of our physical body into willpower…” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So this is a term that is very interesting: transmutation, transformation. This is known as alchemy: taking the brute lead of our negativity and transforming it into the gold of the spirit. It is a symbol. It does not mean that people were actually in Europe trying to turn lead into gold. There were some people who did think it could happen, but it is a symbol. You transform your lust, your desires, into purity, perfection. And you can also transform the seminal matter, and by conserving it, we can transform it into spiritual force that gives birth to divinity in us. The brutal instincts or passions of the body become will, a strong will, a profound will. Also:
“…the passionate emotions of the Astral Body into love…” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
And the astral body relates to the vehicle we operate with in dreams. So people often talk about lucid dreams, out-of-body experiences, awakening in dreams. That is a truth relating to, again, higher dimensions, which we access when we physically go to sleep. So the physical body rests and the soul travels mostly unconsciously in that realm, dreaming or projecting dreams, not being aware of what is around. So the emotions of this astral body become transformed into love:
“…and the mental impulses into comprehension.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So these are the three lower paths synthesized. We don't have to become fakirs, lying on a bed of nails, to develop will. Instead we have other practices which are much more expedient and useful.
“As Spirit, we perform the Great Work (which is religion, religare, reunion). This is how we travel along the four paths in practice. We do not need to become fakirs for the first path, neither monks for the second, nor scholars for the third. The path of the Perfect Matrimony permits us to travel the four paths during the sexual act itself.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Of course, this is a very high teaching, the highest ideals, because love is the greatest religion. A couple can learn to use all the energies they have, to “love thy God with all thy mind, all thy heart, all thy soul and all thy strength” (Matthew 22:37-39). Really, we get most of our strength from the sexual energy. It is what gives us life, and people who deplete their sexual energy excessively, they become weak.
The word virya in Sanskrit means “strength.” It is where where we get the word virility, virtue. The virtues of the soul blossom like a rose upon the cross of a marriage. So husband and wife can learn to use these forces to transform themselves and balance all three brains. But of course, we have many techniques and explanations about how to do that, which we will be talking about successively in our courses. But in synthesis, we want to state that by balancing our three brains and understanding the different traditions that have existed in the past in our humanity, we acquire understanding and harmony.
Questions and Answers
Question: I do a lot of academic work and sometimes I do feel that kind of intellectual depletion, but then I am able to keep going through that. How does esotericism explain that second wind?
Instructor: Yes, so the second winds symptom relates to, basically, when you use too much energy in one brain, unfortunately that brain, because it is depleted, it has to get energy from somewhere. So what it does is that it steals energy from the other centers, and that gives one a second wind, which you feel revitalized, re-energized, you are able to get back into work to do whatever one is focused on.
But that type of high is, in reality, negative, because we were tired an hour ago, but then suddenly we have more energy and we become hyper-manic sometimes, where you feel like you have more energy, you have to keep working. That is because the mind, the intellect, is depleted, and it starts stealing fuel from the sexual center. The sexual energy is the most powerful. Literally, it is the ability to create a human being, to create life, but it is like rocket fuel. It belongs in its center, in its form of modality and operation. If you put rocket fuel into a car, the car will be destroyed, and so gradually people who abuse the intellect keep losing their energy, they start stealing energy from the sexual center until it finally, over time and successfully throughout their life or even other lifetimes, destroys the mind.
Question: Does that work in another direction like, you know, if I deplete my sexual energy and steal energy from other centers in that way. Is that harmful too?
Instructor: Yes, that is the reality too. If we lose the sexual energy and don't conserve it, that throws everything out of balance. And of course, this is the original sin mentioned the Bible―eating from the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil―which has a lot of profound symbolism and hidden meanings, which we can explain. But in synthesis, if we deplete the energy that gives us life, it means that one is going to be weaker, spiritually speaking. And so that center will steal energy from the other centers.
But you have to think of the sexual energy like the foundation of everything that we are, because we come into existence through the sexual act, that force.
Now, you know the vital energy, we place a lot of emphasis on that part of in this teaching, because virya is the source of virility, virtue. That energy is literally the force that animates, and in this teaching, we talk a lot about how by conserving that energy, which can normally create a physical child. You take that same potential, and by circulating it through the vehicle of tantra―the continuum working throughout the different brains, like the image you saw with the man and woman with a symbol of the infinite―that revitalizes the mind, the heart, the body.
There is a lot more science coming out now. People have been studying the role of continence or chastity, which doesn't necessarily mean abstention from sex. It simply means using the sexual act in a significant, meaningful, loving relationship, with purity. Immaculate conception, sometimes people refer to in terms of the birth of Jesus. Again, another symbol. While the birth of Jesus was something physical, he represented something profound for us. We can give birth to the golden child of Christ through that very same energy. But of course, in order to do that, Mother Mary must be virgin. But the reality is that to be virgin does not mean to not have sex. It means to be pure in sex. So there is a very profound distinction there.
You know, Mother Mary is the matter, the mater, the matter of God, which is your body. Your body is a temple, which, when it is purified through practices, when it is made virgin and pure, it becomes holy, and then you can take that energy to create something else. That is what one wants by conserving it, transforming it.
We have a lot of material relating to this topic, especially. It's not my intention to talk about all the profound symbols of that path, but that is the essence of Taoism, the Tao, the path of balance. By working with that energy that can create life, you balance all three brains. You perform a continuum of energy. Continuum is tantra, and if you study Buddhism, they talk a lot about tantric marriage, literally seeing deities in sexual union, but not with lust. With love. A very profound difference.
Any other questions?
Question: So it seems like, from what you’ve said, sexuality can be useful on the spiritual path rather than outright repression of it. That is what I get from many spiritual traditions, it seems.
Instructor: They avoid the sexual aspect of religion and unfortunately, that was castrated from Christianity. But Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit” (John 3:6). You can create a child physically through the act that everybody knows, but through alchemy, to fuse oneself with God, one can in a marriage, cultivate that energy in a sacred way.
It is sad people reject that part of their teaching, which is in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, every tradition. So I invite you, if you are interested in learning more about the symbolism of those traditions, we have different texts available. You can read them here or purchase them here, but also you can go on gnosticteachings.org, which has a lot. All the books we have here, especially The Perfect Matrimony, you can go online and read. It talks about all that. You know, we like to be very specific. That's the one part of religion that has been missing, is how to use that energy.
It has never been taught publicly because it wasn't allowed. It's such a volatile and powerful thing to use that energy, that it has been kept secret for millennia. But now we live in a very different era, in which this information is allowed to be given openly in accordance with divinity since the 60s, especially. The sexual revolution, interestingly enough. So I invite you to study that if you are interested.
Question: (paraphrasing) That seems like that went from, when you were talking about the sexual revolution, like we are free from the repression, and it seems like you burned yourself out. I noticed that in myself. I grew up in a very conservative, church type of family... But then I was in the military and I had more choice than at home, and I discovered that there is this other side to it… Burned myself out as well.
Instructor: Exactly, and the thing is, that according to every tradition, sexuality is a door to liberation, but also the door to hell, because it is the most powerful element we carry. We can create life with it. It is the power of divinity to create, and so there are two ways to use that for us, which sadly, monasticism, it avoids. That tradition originally knew the sexual teachings and they practiced in secret with the nuns. A monk would train individually, doing energy exercises to learn to train themselves before they got married, and they were brought together with a nun. Monk and nun working together, but in secret, because it is such a scandalous thing for people to think about.
It is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense according to Peter, the stone of the Gnostic Church; Patar in Latin. So that is the teaching that has been cut out, but now we teach openly because it is the essence of religion. Literally, man and woman uniting together is a form of union, religare. If they love each other and learn to conserve that power, they can turn water into wine, and that is the first miracle of Jesus at a wedding. Husband and wife, the waters of the creative energy, could become the wine of God in your spine, rising up. Some traditions call it Kundalini. Some people call it the fire of Pentecost. Beautiful symbols.
Another Instructor: So when you said that there are three ways, one is to not have sex at all, to repress it, one is an overindulgence where it is abused or lustful way, and then this middle path. You know of the Tao, which you are talking about with sexual alchemy, where the sexual act is engaged in, but in a way working with that energy consciously and in purity, and transforming that energy. So there is not just two ways, but there is a middle path.
Instructor: Yes. Thanks for correcting me, because in that image I had of Jesus with the “deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow me” quote, relates to this teaching. There are people who like to justify all the types of animal behavior that exist in relation to sex through pornography, sadomasochism, behaviors that are really degenerate and causes a lot of suffering for humanity. But then there are people who like to repress sex saying, “Oh, that's filthy. It's all disgusting. I want nothing to do with it.” Two extremes. Neither are right. Neither of them are the path of balance. To balance the three brains, one has to know how to use that energy in a sacred way, neither by justifying lust or repressing lust, but looking at it directly.
Audience: Transforming lust into love.
Instructor: Transforming lust into chastity as well. Chasity mean purity. It doesn't mean abstention from sex. This is a confusion created by people who hate sexuality, because they, usually from lifetime to lifetime, they go to extremes: indulging in lust, repressing, indulging, repressing. This is the pendulum that keeps people hypnotized, but in reality, religion, the middle path, the path of genuine Tantric Buddhism, is by learning to take the sexual act and make it something sacred. It doesn't have to do with going to a church or synagogue or mosque, or believing in a tradition, or being repressive. It means enjoying the delights of love in a pure way. And that is something that is very difficult to do, but is gradually developed.
In Buddhism, this is emphasized in his life story, the story of Buddha, how he became an ascetic. He used to be a prince in a palace with many women. He had everything provided for him. He was lustful, indulging in desire, but then he realized the reality of suffering, that he will die one day. People are afflicted by old age, sickness, and death. Therefore, he decided to embark on the spiritual path. He became an ascetic, a fakir, going to the wilderness, meditating all day, living off only off a grain of rice, until he became emaciated and nearly dying. And he was in a lot of suffering, because he thought that this would take him to divinity, to his inner Buddha nature.
But then what happened was that he, I believe he was near a river, in which he heard someone playing a lyre, and then he realized: you can't make the strings too tight nor too loose in order to play music. You can't go to extremes: rejecting sex, indulging in sex. Instead, he realized that one has to use that sexual act in a different way, in a harmonious way. That is when a woman came up to him with a bowl of rice milk, and offered to rejuvenate him. When he drank that, he immediately became enlivened again. He no longer was emaciated. He became whole.
That is a symbol of a marriage: a woman offering him a bowl of milk made of rice. That grain is the sexual seed. It is the energy that is transformed and enlivening the soul. So he knew at that point, symbolically, as a teaching, that you can't repress sex. You can't justify it. You have to look at it in a balanced way, in a spiritual way: the path of balancing the three brains, because the rice milk―milk is a symbol of semen, of energy, how you take that energy, transform it, raise it up your spine to your mind, to your heart. That is how you balance your three centers or three brains.
So in Buddhism, there is that teaching. Very beautifully hidden. You find that in the life of Jesus, even Muhammad in Islam, many teachings relating to different prophets who represented this alchemical path.
We like to be balanced. It's not healthy to indulge in desire. You can look at humanity today. Prostitution rings, all sorts of, you know, filthy practices, which are really harmful. But it's not enough just to run away from it, and it's what people do in religion. They think religion has nothing to do with sex, that they can go to church, pray in the form of the cross and then they go home to the bedroom and act like demons. That is not religion. Religion is all three brains, and the original form of the cross, one points toward the head, the heart and to the sexual organs, and then raising it up to your left arm, to your right. Most Catholics, they do the head, the heart, left shoulder, right shoulder. They ignore the sexual glands.
Real religion is Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The Father, the energies of divinity, the Father in the head. The energies of the Christ, the Son are in the heart, the emotional brain. And the energies of the Holy Spirit is sex. So take the energy of sex, we do the head, the heart. When you gesticulate, then from sex you raise that energy up to your left shoulder over your heart and to your right shoulder. That is how the Gnostics perform the cross. This is what we do, because it symbolizes: take that energy, it descends from the Father, the Son, to the sexual glands, and then you consciously elevate it, bring it up for your will, relating to your left arm, in accordance with the Kabbalistic teachings, the lustful mind, bringing it to your heart and then your right arm which relates to your Spirit. So some symbology there that is very interesting.
Religion, yoga, is purely sexual. But of course, this topic offends many people because they either look at it with lust or as something to be repressed. But really, a marriage is one of the Holy Sacraments of the Gnostic Church and the Catholic Church too, but obviously, we try to go in more depth.
Question: It always seems like a contradiction how in one point like you said, the church has castrated the teachings of Jesus: teaching that he was not married when a lot of the texts reference his relationship with Mary Magdalene, and how marriage can be elevated into such as high sacrament when they are preaching celibacy and these types of repressive teachings, and what seemed more power exertion to control people rather than the actual teachings that were originally presented.
Instructor: Yes, and you find that in the Catholic Church, because the priests that do not work with the energy, they conserve it but they don't circulate it, they become very imbalanced, which is why you find, in any tradition really, people who practice celibacy, there are a lot of cases of homosexuality and molestation of children in the Catholic Church. There are documentaries, even on Netflix I believe, there is a few going―one going around, where these priests, because they don't know how to work with that energy, to cultivate it in a conscious way, that fire needs to act, but if it is not being directed spiritually or used to awaken the soul, it feeds desire.
Repressing doesn't resolve the problem. Pushing it away doesn't resolve the issues of lust or impurity. Instead, confronting it, take the energy, bear up the cross, deny yourself, deny your desires. That is the whole path. Monasticism only works with the heart, yoga with the intellect, and fakirism only with the physical body. But to be balanced, work with everything. Work with the creative energy. We have exercises to develop will and the heart through prayer. So balance is best, and unfortunately people don't know how to really approach sexuality in a balanced way. But obviously that is something that can be learned.
Question: That’s interesting because I mean, I read lot of things and have investigated orthodoxy for a period of time as well because of the greater depth of spirituality in orthodoxy. You will get a lot where they talk about the monk, the highest order of being: this is the one closest to Christ.
Instructor: Yeah, and it is in every tradition. Every tradition likes to say we have the knowledge and we have the way. We don't claim that we are special. We give teachings that are practical and are helpful, but people decide that on their own and can determine that on their own.
Another Instructor: That is very Piscean. We talk in this tradition about the Aquarian Era, which began around the 60's and that now, teachings which used to be secret in the Piscean Age have become the era of open knowledge. The water of knowledge flowing. And so it used to be that people would go into these secret kind of schools, these mystery schools, and learn these types of teachings, as the instructor was pointing out here, about working individually as a monk or a nun, and then in secret, performing this sexual union. In ancient times that wasn't shown publicly, because it would have been scandalous, but in the Aquarian Era this knowledge became open, so no longer do we have to run off to the woods or the secret esoteric temple in the pyramids to learn this stuff. But you know many traditions cling to the way that it always used to be without the actual essence of that knowledge, the secret, the esoteric part of it still being alive in those traditions. Now, we have the shell and the forms and the empty kind of rituals, which seem beautiful and attractive to us, but always seem to be missing that fire which is, you know, Christ and the Holy Spirit―the living energy of religion which seems to have kind of disappeared from many traditions.
Comment: I mean I can sense it in the Mass that there is something to it in an energetic level. But then it's what do you after you leave and stuff....
Instructor: Exactly. Dion Fortune, who wrote a lot of esoteric books, stated that the reason why the Catholic Church has existed for so long is because it performs Mass in Latin, and those prayers in that language are very powerful, because Oatin is a sacred mantric language, one of languages of God amongst the many: Hebrew, the Nordic Runes, Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese. Many languages have a powerful element that can invoke energy. So that serves like a conduit for those masses and prayers, in which divinity comes down from the superior worlds and is present there. But the problem becomes what to do with that energy, as you said, because those priests can attract and invoke God, but because their three brains are not circulating energy well, God can't enter into them, because if they don't work with the creative energy, they can't awaken.
If you remember that quote using the Tree of Life, “No matter how much we increase our strictly vital energy, it will never produce the awakening of the consciousness,” because saving energy and being celibate is not enough. You can save that energy, but if you don't direct it, it goes nowhere. And in fact that energy will be misused. It will be fortified or used to fortify desire.
Your three brains are a conduit. That is how you form tantra, the holy eight ∞ in your spine. And we talked a lot about the Caduceus of Mercury in medicine, but also a symbol of how from the sexual glands, there are energetic channels that rise up from the base of our spine and our sexual glands and crisscross up to the head in order to form the wings of the spirit.
So if you are familiar with, amongst veterinarians or doctors, they have that symbol as a symbol of medicine of healing, usually with the symbol of the Rune Hagal amongst the Nordics, a vertical beam with a cross like a six pointed star. It is a symbol of the cross, how the energies of sexuality circulate in the true master. And then, the spine with the wings of the spirit, the wings of the angels open. So when your three brains are fully harmonized and the energy of the Holy Spirit or the Kundalini rises up in a marriage, it awakens our spiritual faculties. That becomes the wings of the angel. And that also balances the three brains.
You have to be balanced in order to work with that energy. But when the priests are praying, they are saying, “God come into us.” Divinity is present. People, even who have a very asleep consciousness can feel that, which is why people flock to religion. They feel God there. But then the question is, “Well, what next?” The question is, you can approach the temple but your body must become a temple. Your mind, your heart, your sexuality, must become pure, so that God can enter into you, and in that way, the inner priest, the inner magician, the inner God, officiates inside of you. It gives you happiness. It is a gradual process though.
The most important principle of meditation, of genuine religion, is precisely the present moment. Studying Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, astrology, Kundalini, tantra, alchemy, the eternal tarot, the scriptures, all this will amount to nothing if we do not comprehend the moment we are in.
The teachings are vastly complex. The terms we use, the knowledge we reference, is highly technical, sophisticated, profound. Yet, despite this complexity, this vastness, all this knowledge can be synthesized into a very simple point, which is awareness of the present.
True knowledge is experienced. It is experiential. It is found here and now, not in some distant future or by reflecting only upon the past. It is found in the moment.
All traditions, all meditative disciplines teach the doctrine of the moment, since this is the key for realization, knowledge of divinity, experience of the truth. Samael Aun Weor, in The Elimination of Satan's Tail wrote the following:
“To achieve the stillness and silence of the mind, it is necessary to know how to live from instant to instant, to know how to take advantage of each moment, to not live the moment in doses.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Elimination of Satan’s Tail
All traditions of meditation teach that the origin of suffering is a lack of awareness of who we are, how we behave, what we are doing now. We have to be reflective. In Gnosticism, in the writings of Samael Aun Weor, we learn that we must know who we are, where we come from, where we are at.
Let us examine ourselves. How conscious are we throughout the day? This is not a matter of possessing vitality in the morning when we wake up, in order to be physically active. Wakefulness, vigilance, attention, awakening, is a direct state of perception of this instant, the moment we find ourselves in. So, how aware are we throughout the day? Are we awake from moment to moment? Are we attentive to what we are doing here and now?
Are we examining ourselves in whatever stage or action we are involved in? Or do we think of other things? Do we daydream? Do we fantasize? Do we worry?
Whenever we think of other things: planning, expecting, day dreaming, remembering, instead of focusing our attention on where we are at, what we are doing, it means our consciousness is asleep. We are not awake. We are dreaming.
Imagine that you are washing dishes. If we are cleaning dishes in our kitchen, but thinking of our loved ones, our friends, our family, we ignore what we are doing. We forget what we are doing. And in this way, we cut ourselves. Perhaps with a knife because we are not attentive to what we are doing in the kitchen. This is a very simple example of a profound truth: that when we lack attention in moments of critical engagement with life, we hurt ourselves.
What happens with people when they drive their car and they don't pay attention to the road? People have ended up in accidents or have killed themselves, injured others, because they are not awake. They were on their cell phone, daydreaming, thinking of other things, not focused on what they were doing.
So, there are serious consequences when we don't pay attention, and this is our chronic state. We have no cognizance of where we are or what we do, and because we act unconsciously upon negative thoughts, negative feelings, negative impulses, we produce suffering. We harm ourselves and others spiritually. It is this lack of comprehension of our internal states that produces all the sorrow of humanity.
The origin of pain is the "I." It is our sense of self that acts mechanically, that always thinks and behaves in accordance to hypotheses, theories, opinions, beliefs. The mind does not know the truth, because it is the past. This sense of self, the ego, the "I," is memory, according to Samael Aun Weor.
The Sufis refer to the self, the ego, as nafs, nafas, which can mean “breath,” a type of energy which works upon the mind. It is the expression of our words when they are filled with hatred, with envy, with pride. Someone who is awake and aware does not rely on the ego, does not speak the utterances of desire. In that way we avoid pain.
This is the beginning and the end of religion. It is found in this moment. Because when we pay attention to the present, when we observe our thoughts, our feelings, our impulses, we can access states of being that truly are inaccessible or comprehensible for people who know nothing of the soul, who are identified with pride, with lust, with hatred, with vanity, etc.
We speak in these studies of self-observation and self-remembering. The Sufis referred to self-observation as inner accounting, muhasabah: to make an account of our defects so that by discovering our defects, they may become dead defects. We have to learn to see ourselves in the moment, not to think we are a certain way or to assume, but to perceive. This is how we study the book of our life.
We look, we introspect the examined. We observe our mind, our heart, and our impulses, our behaviors. This is the beginning of religion, and you can only find it here in this instant.
But self-observation is not enough. This must be combined with presence of God, remembrance of divinity. This is a profound state of awareness known as hudur in Arabic: the presence of God, the presence of divinity. This is accessed through muhadarah, awareness of the present.
Many Gnostic students write to us and ask us, how do I remember my divinity? How do I know that I am observing myself correctly? The question unveils the answer. Self-observation and remembrance are not intellectual exercises. They are found when we stop thinking, when we learn to look―to look from a space between thought, when we were not identified with an idea, with a concept. Remembrance of God is a quality, a crystal, pristine fountain of divine states. We know this state and we experience it, especially in a moment when we are in a crisis, when all the elements of the psyche are mixed, churning; when we are boiling with ordeals, because anyone on this path must face crises so that the ego comes to the surface. This is why the Quran states:
“And We shall test you until We know those among you who strive and those who are patient, and We shall test your proclamations.” ―Muhammad (47:31)
“And We will surely test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient…” ―Al-Baqarah, “The Cow” (2:155).
“Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.” ―Al-Anbiya “The Prophets” (21:35)
We face hardships so that the ego emerges, but the question remains, what desire or what will do we act upon? In a moment when we are criticized, lied to, spat upon, hated. What behavior do we enact?
This is not an intellectual exercise. It is a quality of mind. It is a decision we make in the moment. Do we respond with anger, with self-esteem, with resentment, with pride? Or do we choose a better way of behaving? Conscious love, compassion, forgiveness, serenity and wisdom is the way.
We achieve serenity and wisdom when we don't act on the mind. When in that crisis of being criticized or insulted, we remain calm. We don't allow our external behavior to manifest with anger, but on a deeper level, we learn to introspect and not act upon anger in the mind.
This is why meditation is essential. This is why the present moment is fundamental. We have to be aware of where we are at; who we are; what we are doing. Because, the gospel of the moment, the doctrine of the moment, is precisely defined and written in the book of our deeds.
When we choose virtuous action, especially in those moments when, really, our desires and our ego want to retaliate, we gain wisdom when we act ethically―when we comprehend that our pride, that our hatred, is wrong. And in that way, we remember God. We contemplate God. We realize that to act with anger is to be unethical. Is to be a demon; to be a failure. But to allow virtue to spontaneously flourish, to let intuitive action emerge from the presence of our heart, we find happiness and we avoid problems.
This is why Samael Aun Weor in The Elimination of Satan's Tail:
“Take everything from each moment, because each moment is a child of Gnosis, each moment is absolute, alive and significant. Momentariness is a special characteristic of the Gnostics. We love the philosophy of momentariness.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Elimination of Satan’s Tail
So when people ask this question: how do I self-observe? How do I self-remember? It shows that we are not being spontaneous. These principles are understood by looking in ourselves here and now. It is spontaneity. It is alive: the doctrine of Gnosis, knowledge. You only gain understanding by looking at yourself.
When we look to the intellect for answers, we vacillate, we hesitate, we make mistakes. In a moment, we may think in a crisis that a certain action will be best, and yet our heart tells us otherwise. And because we don't act upon the intuitions of our heart, we go along with the intellect and justify ourselves. Meanwhile, we feel remorse and realize later that we acted wrongly.
So instead of hesitating about what to do in those moments, we have to learn to follow our heart. It is a quality of the heart. Remembrance of God is in the heart, within the soul. This is what it means to live intuitively, to live with intelligence, because the intellect cannot solve problems. It can store information. It can theorize. It can conceptualize, but it cannot know an answer.
So we have to remember this presence, to learn what this presence is. It is the wisdom of our own conscience: our heart that tells us this is right, and this is wrong. The more we feed that conscience, the stronger it gets. The more we deny that conscience in the moment, the more we suffer.
This is why the Sufis taught, especially through the writings of Rumi, "My friend, the Sufi is the son of the present moment. To say ‘tomorrow’ is not our way."
Defining the Moment
Let us define what the present moment is.
In our tradition, we spend a lot of time talking about self-observation and self-remembering. We do so through analyzing the lines of life and being.
The line of life is time. It is birth, life, and death. It is mechanical. It is the events of our existence that repeat mechanically through recurrence. It is our daily experience from morning to evening. It is a repetition. It is a cycle which the Buddhists call samsara: cycling. And in this way, we travel through life from our birth to our death, but usually without any understanding.
The line of being is very different. These are the qualities of the soul, the qualities of consciousness. These are the superior states of being, which are elevated and known by the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah. This is a map of our soul, of our Being, of our identity. These are the superior qualities that the Sufis state in their doctrine, in manuals such as Kashf al-Mahjub, Revelation of the Mystery by Al-Hujwiri and also the states and stations the path mentioned by many masters such as Al-Qushayri and Abdullah Ansari of Herat, of whom I will be quoting today.
These are the states and stations in the path. Each sphere or sephiroth is a quality of being, which is many elements, many principles. And so, the states and stations of the path are mapped by the Hebraic Kabbalah in a very intuitive way.
Now, we will be exploring how those principles relate to this diagram extensively, but in synthesis we state, the superior states of being are the sephiroth, the Tree of Life, and the inferior states of being are the Tree of Zaqqum mentioned in the Qur’an. This is the tree of death: the inverted spheres, the Klipoth, the hell realms.
Heaven and hell are states of being, and yet there are also places in nature that we access when we are sleeping in the dreaming state.
The law of attraction determines our life. What we are psychologically attracts where we go in nature. We always follow the trajectory of our mental stream, our mind, our behaviors. Virtuous people associate with virtuous people. Demonic people with demonic people. Everybody likes to talk about in these times of the law of attraction, about getting what you want, fulfilling desire. And yet people fail to realize that while this is true―we associate with people at our level of being―it doesn't mean that we should follow just desire, egotism.
Instead in our studies, we seek to change our level of being, our psychology in this instant, of where we are at. If we wish to access the Tree of Life, the heavenly dimensions, we do so by being in the moment―being present―which is why Al-Qushayri states the following in his book Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism:
“I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say that the “now”―waqt―is that in which you are. If you are in the world, your “now” is this world. If you are in the next world (the higher dimensions of the Tree of Life), your “now” is the next world. If you are in joy, your “now” is joy. If you are in sorrow, your “now” is sorrow. He means by this that the present moment is that which has dominance over a person.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Many people wanted to experience the higher dimensions, the Tree of Life, astral projections, jinn experiences, awakened knowledge, but often what they fail to do is practice in their daily life: vigilance, to be aware of the present, because one who is awakening physically in their daily state―that is no longer acting mechanically―that introspection and vigilance occurs within the internal planes until the present moment dominates.
Usually the moment defines us, and not the other way around. We suffer mechanically through circumstances, never knowing how to change our reactions to life. It is only when we learn to be aware of this instant that we can transform our state and ascend to higher levels of being.
Samael Aun Weor mentions that the ability to originate new circumstances, to no longer be a slave to the line of life, following, repeatedly, mechanically, the process of birth, life, and death, and then on repeat, to return―the law of return, transmigration―we can escape the mechanism of life by following epigenesis, which is “the ability to originate new circumstances."
Because we usually repeat things moment-by-moment, primarily because we are not aware of the “now.” Situations, events, people, dramas, tragedies, comedies: these incessantly repeat. If we want to transform the situation, we have to be aware of this instant, our internal states. We have to be aware of the instant, our states in relation to external events, because this is the requirement for the moment.
Requirements for the Moment
The Sufis use the technical term 'waqt' to define the present. They explain that superior or inferior action always depends upon the present. Our state of mind and what we decide in the moment determines our trajectory. We have to be aware of the impressions of life and what we experience, but also our internal state.
Al-Qushayri states in his Principles of Sufism the following,
“Waqt (the present moment) may refer specifically to the time in which one is. Some people say that the present moment is between the two times, that is, the past and the future.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So these constitute the line of life. We must decide to enact the qualities of the being or animal desires.
“And they say that the Sufi is the “son of his moment.” This means that he occupies himself immediately with whatever sort of devotion should come first in a given moment. He bases himself upon what is required of him at the time. It is said, “The dervish cares for neither the past nor the future of his moment: he cares for the moment in which he is.” And regarding this, “To be preoccupied with what escaped you in a moment that has passed is to waste a second moment.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Real devotion is remembrance of divinity in the present instant. It is only here and now. Now we can fulfill divine action, but if we are distracted, asleep, unconscious, we cannot respond ethically to the moment. So this is what Shari’ah is, the law, the instruction. The code of ethical conduct. We have to learn to be in the instant, to respond with ethics, with compassion, with wisdom. If we feel shame for having acted unethically, even if only in our mind, then we are distracted with the past. We must be present with our being and not be preoccupied with the past, to be conscious here and now. This is the essence of worship.
So people think that worship is something external. We always do so according to many mainstream religions, by attending a mosque, a church, synagogue, a temple. In reality, we have to learn to worship divinity in our actions. We do so by becoming aware of God.
The Governance of the Present
“The best act of worship is watchfulness of the moments. That is, that the servant not look beyond his limit, not contemplate anything other than his Lord, and not associate with anything other than his present moment.” ―Al-Wasiti, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
To not look beyond our limit means to follow our intuition: to not speculate “how I must act,” but know it in our heart.
Everybody struggles with the mind. The mind says one thing, the heart another. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated, "We must learn to think with the heart and feel with the head.” Intuition is an act of consciousness and plenitude, where the ego is not present.
Contemplation of God exists as we observe ourselves and no longer act upon the ego. We learn to speak and behave ethically, from a state of serenity, altruism, compassion, generosity. When we associate with anything other than the present, it means that we are unconscious. We are dreaming. We are thinking. We are associating other things with the present, meaning: we are driving our car, but we are associating in our mind with our job, thinking of our previous work day, or anticipating the future, or thinking of what a solution could be for a problem. These are beliefs, ideas, concepts, justifications. These elements cloud our perception of what we are doing in the moment.
The Muslims speak abundantly of not associating with anything other than God. The Qur’an speaks, many times, of “Far be He from that which they associate with Him!" Or: “Glory to Allah! He is free from the things they ascribe to Him!” (37:159).
So we included the calligraphy of Allah in Arabic in this slide to talk about the governance of the present, primarily because we have to learn to allow the Being to act through us. Of course, for some people this may seem like a very difficult endeavor, or better said, an impossible one. Many students ask us, how do I remember God? And we always answer very simply: Did your behavior produce suffering or happiness? What are the results in our midstream? The qualities of our mind?
Self-observation, inner-accounting, muhasabah, is when we take account of our defects, but remembrance of the presence of God, Hudur, is something qualitative; something psychological, spiritual. You learn to taste it by striving towards it again and again, by learning to overcome and not act upon the ego, as was mentioned by that quote from Al-Wasati.
“The best act of worship is watchfulness of the moment.” Don't look beyond your limit. Don't try to contemplate anything else than the present. If you are in this instant, don't think about some miraculous samadhi in the clouds when we can't even pay attention to tying our shoes. You learn to access those higher states by being aware of the most mundane things, which is not really so mundane if we are attentive. It is a quality of the new, alert novelty: when we see life in a new way.
The reality is that no one can teach you how to remember God. You do so through deep reflection on your internal states―by discriminating and analyzing in meditation the suffering of wrong action and the happiness of liberated action. When we learn to act without egotism, we are following our intuition, the voice of conscience, the heart doctrine. This is when we follow al-Haqq, the Truth, the Being.
The following quote is from the Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri.
“The Sufis also may use waqt to mean the power and direction of the Truth when it comes over them regardless of their own will. They say, “So-and-so is under the rule of the now,” (bi hukm il-waqt)―that is, he has surrendered himself without preference to whatever appears to him from the unknown.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
What is the unknown? The Being, the Truth. As Samael Aun Weor mentions, it is the unknowable from moment to moment. God is infinite and his states are a perfect multiple unity. Divinity as a unity is perfect, is integral, but the qualities of divinity are infinite―described by qualities such as altruism, patience, diligence, compassion, love.
Real Islam is when we submit to the qualities of God in the moment, and knowing how to act rightly in a crisis, in the instant, which is intuitive action. It doesn't mean that we follow a reason in the intellect, necessarily, but following an ethical conduct: the voice of our conscience in our heart.
When Muslims pray to the East towards Mecca, towards the stone, the Kaaba of the alchemists―the stone of la baca: the sacred cow, or the stone of the masons, Yesod―they do so by bowing their head to the earth. This is a beautiful symbol of allowing the Being to control the mind.
We have to submit our head to the East, towards the divine, a symbol of learning to be present in the moment. So in terms of salat, ritual prayer, Muslims bow their head to the East. It signifies how we have to obey the commands of our intuition, even when it is painful for our ego. This is Islam [submission], and this is what leads to salam, peace. When we act upon our conscience and our heart, we find true peace and serenity. We resolve problems. We find solutions, but knowing how to find that answer is very difficult, especially in the moment, which is why we have to meditate.
We have to reflect upon our day and to understand how we behaved internally, externally. This is how we learn to govern the present moment more effectively, when those situations and events repeat, so that we can comprehend more. We have to learn to submit to the inner voice of our divine Being, whom only we can recognize. We have to follow our intuition, even if it makes our mind scream with pain. This is the path of crucifixion mentioned by Jesus. We have to accept our internal states and also question what we see so that we can act rightly.
“So-and-so is under the rule of the now,” (bi hukm il-waqt)―that is, he has surrendered himself without preference to whatever appears to him from the unknown.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This means that the mind is receptive. The heart is receptive. We are awake. We are vigilant. The mind is serene, so that in the waters of our psyche, the pure images of heaven can reflect. Therefore, we have no preference to what God gives us. We obey God. We become a vehicle of the divine. That is what it means to be governed in the present, by a profound state of samadhi, ecstasy, wujud, here and now.
To reach these states, we have to be practical meditators. We have to really sift through the mud of the mind, so that we gain more clarity day by day, year by year. This is a very important aspect of Sufism and meditation. To access intuitive states in the daily moment of our life, but also in our meditations, especially. You cannot have one without the other.
“This can apply only to circumstances where God Most High has given no order, and where there is no model in the Divine Ordinance that one is obliged to follow.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
What this quote references is that some situations in life are more mundane. There is no crisis there. We are dealing with our daily obligations, our chores. It is not necessary that we receive a divine ordinance or command that we must follow in a particular ordeal.
Sometimes the Being, as we are in the process of self-realization, enters into us, but also retracts. It comes into my mind a story of the Master Samael Aun Weor, who even towards the end of his life, his last incarnation, before the advent of resurrection, he had no ego, but he went to go give a lecture in a large auditorium in South America where his Being entered him, according to one missionary. He was speaking with a lot of force, commanding and speaking to the audience and providing his teaching from the Logos Samael, the Martian Christ. And yet later, this missionary who told me the story went up to the Master Samael after the lecture, and saw that Samael Aun Weor was very calm and even childlike. He didn't have that Martian, powerful, commanding force that he exemplified in the lecture.
And this missionary explained, it is because during the lecture, the Being had to give a teaching, entering into him in the present moment and provided the knowledge that was so necessary for us. Then the Being retracts. This is known as absence and presence in Sufism, Ghaybah and Hudur, respectively.
Sometimes even at the very heights, the Being enters through us, but also retracts. But if we are serious about the work, eventually the Being will be fully present, always. That is achieved at the end of the Second Mountain as taught within our courses of initiation.
So we have to learn to follow the commands of God when it is given to us through our heart through our emotional center, especially―our superior emotions, our intuition.
“For to neglect that to which you have been ordered, to make an order an object of surmise, and to be indifferent to your falling short of your duty, is to depart from the religion.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So how often in our experience have we received an intuition that we speculated about? We knew the right thing, but we didn't do it, and only realized later with remorse that we failed do the do the right thing. This is what it means to speculate: to make an order from God a surmise―to let the intellect think and rationalize―every excuse to not do that thing, to not act intuitively, to not follow our heart. This is how we betray God.
This is emphasized in the story of Pilate who justified the execution of Jesus. He washed his hands clean. That is our intellect, a symbol of our mind. We speculate about an intuition we receive, and we don't do the right thing. And also “to be indifferent to falling short in our duty,” to not feel remorse, is to depart from religion.
So this is the path of demons. People who feel no remorse in this instant are disconnected. They are al-kafirin, “the unbelievers” mentioned in the Qur’an.
The Moment is a Sword
The moment is a sword. It depends upon our behaviors how we use that weapon. It defends the righteous and harms the wicked.
As I have been saying, our actions determine our life. In a moment, we could defend our virtue, our soul, our life, with a virtuous action, even in the worst circumstances―or we suffer spiritual death. We fall upon our own sword by acting with anger, perversity, wrath.
“One of the sayings of the Sufis is, “The moment is a sword.” That is, in just the way that a sword severs, the present moment shows forth the influence of God’s action, ending things and bringing them to be.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
As we explained previously, states emerge, they sustain, they pass. Events also emerge, they sustain, and pass. Our divinity is the one who arranges, for the initiates, the path of the moment: the beginning and the end. Our decisions are either to follow God or our desires. They determine where we go. What happens to us.
“It is said, ‘The touch of the flat of a sword is temperate, but its blade cuts’―the one who treats it gently is safe and the one who treats it rudely is destroyed. Thus with the “now”: Whoever submits himself to its authority is saved and whoever resists it deteriorates and declines. They have recited about this:
“Like a sword, if you polish it, its touch is soothing
But its edge, if you are harsh to it, is harsh.”
―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is a beautiful teaching. If you polish your consciousness, with dhikr, remembrance of God, with meditation, with comprehension of the ego, the moment is soothing like a sword. It's touch is temperate, cool, but it's edge, if we are harsh in the moment by acting upon the moment, it is harsh. We cut ourselves. We feel pain.
“If the moment makes someone happy,
it is just a moment to him.
If it makes him miserable, it becomes something hateful.”
―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So this is very beautiful. Very simple. The one who treats it gently is safe and the one who treats it really is destroyed. “Thus with the now, whoever submits himself to its authority is saved and whoever resists it deteriorates and declines.”
Self-remembrance is not complicated. If it sounds complicated or we think it is difficult, it is because we are approaching it with our intellect. Happiness is a state of the soul. It is not an intellectual concept, although we have many terms and stories and anecdotes to relate these principles. A moment that makes us happy is one, really, in which we stop thinking, stop daydreaming, stop reminiscing about the past or thinking of the future, but learning to act here and now.
The Sword of the Seekers
"Remembering God with the heart is called the sword of the seekers. With it the seeker slays his enemies [egos, defects, nafs] and drives off [karmic] troubles that are headed for him." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
It is by remembering God here and now, that we slay our enemies, which are the egos, the defects, or the nafs in Arabic―and, “drive off karmic troubles that are headed for us.” Meditation, astral projection, sacred rites of rejuvenation, runes, pranayama, alchemy: all these exercises are predicated on what we are doing here and now―how present we are when we practice.
Remembrance of God is a sword. Our states determine our life, and if we do not remember God, we act upon states of egotism. Again, God is not outside, but is inside. As the Quran teaches, "Truly We are closer to you than your jugular vein” (50:16).
By remembering that presence in us, we learn through practical life how to slay our enemies, our negative states, our defects as we are meditating, and drive off troubles that are headed for us, because if circumstances repeat, as karma and troubles emerge in our life that we have to resolve, if we respond or react with negativity, we exacerbate our pain. We complicate our issues. But if we act from serenity, we defend ourselves.
“Even if difficulty should overshadow the servant, his fleeing to God Most High in his heart immediately turns away from him the thing he hates.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Here we have an image of Saint Michael conquering the dragon, a symbol of how our soul can conquer our lower self. And notice that as he is wielding of this sword of justice, he is in a perfect state of equanimity. Remembrance of God is calm, is serene, is balanced. It is only through clear perception and serenity, awareness in the present, that we know how to act in the spontaneity of the moment.
Psychological States and External Events
Samael Aun Weor mentions in Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, how the best method for overcoming suffering is an appropriate psychological state:
“The best weapon that a human being can use in life is a correct psychological state.
“One can disarm beasts and unmask traitors by means of appropriate internal states.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
So perhaps at our job, with our friends, with our family, with our spouse, somebody approaches us with hatred, with anger, with violence. If we learn to act with an appropriate psychological state, we can disarm the situation, dismantle aggression, because serenity is a much more crushing force than anger. We can unveil the truth by acting with states of sincerity, with altruism, with integrity
"Wrong internal states convert us into defenseless victims of human perversity." ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
So if we face a crisis and yet we act with ego, at our job, in our career, we become defenseless. We become weak. People and their ego overwhelm us. We become victims of life, unable to act and orient the ship of our existence. We become slaves of suffering.
"You must learn to face the most unpleasant events of practical life with an appropriate internal uprightness.
“You must not become identified with any event. Remember that everything passes away.
“You must learn to look at life like a movie; thus you shall receive the benefits.
“You must not forget that if you do not eliminate mistaken internal states from your psyche, then events of no value could bring you disgrace." ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
This means we are practicing retrospection meditation. We have to learn to comprehend the ego in the moment, observe ourselves instant by instant, moment by moment, acting upon Shari’ah, ethics. We must not identify with any event, because that wastes energy. We must not identify with external circumstances or our egotistical reactions, but to observe it like a movie so that we acquire data, information. And then later in the evening, or later in our day, we meditate upon what we saw and ask for comprehension and elimination of mistaken states from divinity.
"Unquestionably, each external event needs its appropriate fare, that is, its precise psychological state." ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
Internal states must match external events. This is a very difficult concept to understand with the intellect, but it is something where we access and gain confidence in through meditation, reflection.
Every event needs its appropriate response. Impressions of life always enter us and we are always obligated to respond. We have to examine what states in us produce conflict, which are wrong, which are negative, but also to reflect on the virtues of the soul, to understand that which benefits oneself and others in a conscious way―in a spiritual way.
The Metaphysical Moment
This is the definition of the metaphysical moment as taught by Abdullah Ansari of Herat, who was a master from the Persian tradition of Sufism. He wrote in his Stations of the Sufi Path, a beautiful teaching about different levels of the moment as understood by levels of meditators, initiates.
God, the Most High, says, “Then did you come hither as ordained, O Moses!” (20:40). ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
Moses was a prophet, but he also symbolizes the principle of liberated will: a consciousness that knows how to act here and now. And in the path of initiation, Moses is associated with the causal body: the body of will power within the sixth dimension, nirvana, the sphere of Tiphereth on the Tree of Life.
It is that type of will which is liberated that knows how to perform miracles, feats of magic, which is in the positive sense, the control of elements of nature, in accordance with the will of God. So while Muslims reject anything resembling magic or magical ceremony, the truth is that the prophets were all magicians. They represented for us the magic of the Being, the magic of a purified will.
So "Then did you come hither as ordained, O Moses!" (20:40).
Meaning, “You obeyed My command,” said the Being, because at that level of a master, one can receive direct knowledge and know what to do. In our level we tend to be very confused. We have an intuition in our heart, but because we don't listen to it. We tend to commit many errors and suffer the consequences.
Let us examine the different levels of the metaphysical moment, waqt:
“The metaphysical moment or time constitutes an instant in which nothing but God can be contained.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
This has to do with being absorbed in divine states, in which we don't identify with anything but that state of bliss of divinity, whether in meditation or even in daily life, which we cultivate little by little.
“The people of the metaphysical moment are three groups. For one, the metaphysical moment is like a flash of lightning, for another, it is lasting, while for another, it is overwhelming.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
These are degrees as indicated by the levels of Sufism, of instruction, of understanding.
There are introductory levels known as Shari’ah, the exoteric, the law of ethics, discipline, restraint of mind.
There is an intermediate path known as Tariqa, the mesoteric level. Tariqa can also refer to a Sufi school, and there are different Tariqas that provide the knowledge of Sufism.
Then there is an advanced knowledge or wisdom, Haqiqah / Marifah.
So for one, the metaphysical moment is like a flash of lightning for those in the introductory level. In the beginning of our path, we get insight, little by little, like a flash of lightning. We have moments of intuition and understanding, which are spontaneous. They emerge and they vanish quickly. However, we become inspired because we realize that we are perceiving God at our level, in a very basic way. This is the very beginnings of practice, which we cultivate through ethics, Shari'ah and meditation.
For the middle group, it is lasting, because for those who are really working seriously in Tariqa, a path or discipline, the mesoteric level, are making their intuitions and experiences much more consistent. Therefore the light lasts longer for them, because they are generating more light.
But for the advanced initiates, the Prophets, the Gods, the metaphysical moment is overwhelming, because that state is constant for them. This is the level of Beings like Prophet Muhammad, Moses, Jesus, Samael Aun Weor.
So obviously most of us will be in the introductory level. We gain insights here and there. We do so by learning to follow our intuition and our ethics as best we can, so that we can get more wisdom and light.
But the intermediate levels and the advanced levels are for those who are really practicing daily, seriously, for an extensive period of time.
The Three Degrees of the Moment
Abdullah Ansari of Herat also elaborates on these three stages and what they entail―from the introductory, the intermediate, and advanced levels.
For the introductory level, practitioners, “The moment that is like a flash of lightning is purifying, washing away defects.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
In the beginning, we have to learn to wash away defects. We have to observe ourselves in the day and at night, or when we practice retrospection meditation: getting comprehension like a flash of lightning and purifying our psyche. For after comprehension comes annihilation, when working with the Divine Mother, Al-Baqarah, the sacred cow mentioned in the second surah of the Qur’an.
“The moment that is lasting is awe-inspiring and keeps one occupied.” ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So as we are working with the death of the ego, with Tariqa, our metaphysical moments are ecstasies. They become lasting, awe inspiring and keep us occupied. What does it mean to be occupied? It means that, whether physically or the internal planes, we are awake. We are busy. I have known missionaries in Gnosis, in our tradition, who have had many beautiful samadhis, many experiences, and personally when I have been in such states, I have been very occupied in what I have been experiencing in the astral plane, the mental plane, etc. This fills us with awe.
People who are unconscious and asleep are lazy. They are not occupied. They are unconscious. They go to bed for eight hours and wake up in the morning without awareness of what happened. This is the level of profound sleep, the path of ignorance. When we have those experiences we become filled with awe, but that light only emerges and sustains based on purification, Shari'ah, ethics.
"The moment that is overwhelming destroys and annihilates." ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So the moment of annihilation and destruction is of the self. This is the path of Haqiqah / Marifah, in which all sense of self is lost in the Being. This is the experience of the Truth in the highest degrees of the Tree of Life, the highest sephiroth of that diagram.
Let us examine the other requisites and degrees in the moment.
"The moment like a flash of lightning arises from contemplative reflection (fikrat)." ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
For the beginner level, that flash of intuition and lightning comes about through self-observation in meditation, contemplative reflection, or serene reflection mentioned in the writings of Samael Aun Weor. We have to contemplate ourselves and reflect daily.
"The moment that is lasting arises from delight in divine remembrance and invocation." ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So what does it mean to feel delight in divine remembrance and invocation? It means that we have our true joy through the work, when we are consistent, when we are defined.
That wisdom lasts in us as we take delight in the Gnostic work, when we love the Gnostic esoteric work above all things, when we invoke God every instant of our life, asking for understanding―praying for wisdom, moment-by-moment, instant-by-instant.
"The moment that is overwhelming arises from the audition of spiritual vision." ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
This is the level of Marifah / Haqiqah: Knowledge and Truth.
The moment that is overwhelming emerges from the audition of spiritual vision, from hearing and seeing the superior worlds, not only just from the lower sephiroth of the Tree of Life, but the top trinity and beyond. If you look at the Kabbalah, you remember that we have ten spheres―three trinities and then the lower sphere Malkuth, which is the physical body.
The levels of Sufism relate to the Tree of Life in these trinities.
The lower triangle, Yesod, Hod, and Netzach relate to our ethics (Shari’ah) because it is in those spheres where the ego manifests. They learn to control Netzach, our mind; Hod, our emotions; Yesod, our sexual energy. That is working with Shari'ah, the law, when we work with those elements consciously.
Tariqa, “the wisdom that lasts,” relates to the middle trinity: Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth.
Chesed, the Being, the Spirit, the Innermost, Mercy; Geburah, divine consciousness; and Tiphereth, the human soul. This is the path of Tariqa, the heart, when we really remember God at that level.
And lastly, spiritual vision, which is the height: Haqiqah, the Truth and Marifah, Knowledge, relates to the top trinity of the Tree of Life. Al-Haqq can relate to Kether, Chokmah, Binah: supreme wisdom, intelligence, and the glory of divinity. But also Marifah, which is knowledge, relates with the sphere of Da’ath, alchemy, Allah-Khemia: to fuse with Allah.
If you are interested in learning more about how Sufism speaks about alchemy, you could study our lecture, Divine Love on chicagognosis.org, especially the course: The Sufi Path of Self Knowledge, from which is listed.
"The moment that is overwhelming arises from the audition of spiritual vision." ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
Audition refers to hearing, and usually the Sufis speak about spiritual dance and listening to beautiful music with recitations of the Qur’an and other Sufi poetry.
This verse also has something much more profound related to it. What is spiritual audition? It has to do with, again recitation, the verb, with music: all that relates to the sphere of Da’ath on the Tree of Life, the hidden sephirah, which is the origin of spiritual vision: the science and mysteries of the perfect matrimony.
To reach those supreme heights of the spiritual moment, to know how to work with the highest degrees in the moment, obviously one has to be married. So that one becomes annihilated by the presence of God through alchemy, which we will explain progressively in this course, but also we have explained in other courses too on chicagognosis.org.
"That which is like a flash of lightning makes one oblivious to the world and illuminates one's recollection of the hereafter." ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
So when we have intuitions and understandings, here and now, we reflect more on the course of our life. It illuminates our hopes and our understandings of where we would like to be―where we aspire to on the Tree of Life, which is the hereafter, the superior worlds. We become oblivious to the negativities and the ignorance of the world, and therefore, contemplate a higher truth: a higher reality from experience. That is the, again, Shari'ah, the path of the beginner, which leads us through the secret path, Tariqa, towards the heights, Haqiqah.
"The moment that is lasting will keep one engaged in itself rather than preoccupied with the hereafter, until the Truth becomes evident." ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
What is interesting is for the beginners, we all want to go to heaven. We all want to go to the top of the Tree of Life, and we don't want to be down here. We don't want to be in the hell realms, so to speak. However, those who are really working with meditation, Tariqa, who are in “the moment that lasts,” when they are really awakening consciousness here and now, they'd rather be engaged in their work than preoccupied with the hereafter, because they understand from experience that to get to that point, they have to really work seriously―to be concerned with our daily life.
For as Samael Aun Weor mentioned, "Initiation is our own life, lived intensely, with rectitude and with love." These initiates who are really serious would rather be preoccupied with the death of the ego, engaged in the work itself, and not be preoccupied with salvation in some other world. They know that they have to get there by work, “until the Truth becomes evident.”
"The moment that is overwhelming eliminates the conditioned habits of the human state, so that the transcendent Truth alone abides." ―Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Stations of the Sufi Path
This is the path of Haqiqah / Marifah: those moments in which all the self is lost, annihilated, and only the Being is present in the soul.
These are the states of Prophets, the moments of our Prophet, which are very elevated. Of course, we can taste those levels if we are meditating, if we learn, first of all, to contemplate ourselves, here and now. Of course, the moment is always divided in different ways, according to the path of initiation, and according to a level of being. In order to explore this topic further, I invite you to ask questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: My question is, I would like to know what will be the best attitude for someone who is trying to stay alert. But, you know, its is going back and forth, back and forth, you know, so sometimes you know the feeling of discouragement wants to take it away. So what will be the best attitude for someone who is in that situation and would like to keep on going?
Instructor: That is a good question. Prayer is fundamental. Prayer is essential. When we feel weak and discouraged, we have to remember our experiences, when we acted virtuously, when we acted consciously for the benefit of others. We have to really reflect on our victories, things we have done well with, our virtues. It is not enough just to meditate on the death of the ego, but the contemplate right action. Because the more we see that we are capable of acting uprightly, the more we realize that we are capable of doing this work, that it can be done.
It is very easy in this knowledge to become pessimistic. Many people see the ego and become terrified at how vast and big it is―and get discouraged. But that is not an accurate depiction of our capacities for change. To really see how much work we have to do, it is important that we recognize that we do need a lot of work, but at the same time that shouldn't mean we become morbid, pessimistic, doubtful of our abilities.
The reality is, as we are having experiences internally, we gain flashes of lightning, inspirations, understandings, which keep pushing us to change. Of course, in the beginning those moments are like flashes of inspiration. They are not lasting yet. But in order to progress from the stage of Shari'ah to Tariqa, instead of going back and forth in our practice, we have to develop consistency, to really work regardless of whether or not we think we see results. Because the results will emerge spontaneously in our day to day, instant by instant life. Moment by moment. Little by little. And not to get discouraged, because of course, it is not easy to change, given the magnitude of our faults. But we also should not be one-sided and think with shame, "Oh I am such a negative bad person." But to realize we have the virtues of God inside. As small as that may be, remember that even David killed Goliath. The Essence, the soul, killed the giant.
I recommend meditating and praying and reflecting upon the virtues of your soul―taking the time to imagine and reflect on those moments in your life in which you acted virtuously, even when it was difficult to do so, because that gives us hope. Hope is important, to have hope in ourselves and divinity, in our abilities.
So it's necessary to be balanced in meditations, but also pray a lot for that help, because you gain help in the moment, when we pray, in those moments in which we are tested. When I have been in my current job, receiving a lot of difficulties, and I can feel my ego wanting to surge and act and affect the people I work with, I pray for a lot of help, for serenity. And I have been able to find through my meditations and my self-observations, not only the ego that I must work on, but also the virtuous qualities that I need to enact in those moments.
Meditation and self-observation, in the moment, go hand-in-hand. We deepen our understanding through prayer. To pray sincerely. Ask for your Divinity to help you. You don't need a formula in order to receive help or to ask for it, but simply with whatever longings you feel. You can ask, and I recommend take your question and your prayers to meditation, and then in that way, fall asleep, and examine your dreams for the answers. In that way, we gain experiences, more of those lightning flashes, so to speak, so that we continue to develop light.
It is not enough just to reflect on the bad. We have to reflect on the good in ourselves too, because that wouldn't be realistic.
Question: I was wondering if you would say more on what you were saying about. If you are enjoying a moment, then you are enjoying. If you're sorrowful then you are in sorrow. Can you speak about the difference between questioning where you are in and examining where you are? Sometimes I feel like in examining where I am, I am sort of questioning it. But it masks as examination, but sometimes there's almost a doubt within, that examination.
Instructor: It is stated by the Sufis how the “now” is the instant. We can be occupied with states of happiness or sorrow, because even the soul, can also experience states of remorse, of regrets for wrong action, which is the different kind of pain than just the ego not being satisfied.
So examination in the strict sense has to do with looking with the consciousness here and now. One thing is the intellect labeling and doubting what we see. But unfortunately, because our intellect tends to be much more developed in us than our conscience, we have that center of gravity in the mind.
Examination is nothing to do with the intellect. As Samael Aun Weor mentions, the intellect can give itself the luxury of labeling a defect and passing it to other levels of the subconsciousness, or the unconsciousness, or infraconsciousness. Real examination has to do with seeing the mind for what it is through conscious perception [muhasabah: inner accounting]. But we can only do that by being alert to what is going on―really examining and seeing without judgment, without labeling, without repressing what the contents of our psychology are. Examination has nothing to do with saying “This is an ego, pride,” or “This is an ego, vanity,” etc., but really seeing its qualities.
Judgment―we have to reserve for later in meditation and judgment can only occur once we have fully seen an ego in action and have comprehended it in meditation, because in the moment we can see egos in our daily state, defects. However, meditation is needed to go deeper.
So, examination is twofold. Self-observation, first, is what gives us the food and the fuel for meditation. And then judgment is the comprehension we get as we are meditating―when we really understand why a certain defect behaves or acts a certain way. Where did it come from? What is its conditioning? This is the knowing “the how and the why of the mind” according to Samael Aun Weor.
This is examination. comprehension, understanding. But of course, in the beginning, it is difficult because self-observation is a faculty in us that is atrophied. We gain strength with it more and more as we discipline ourselves to pay attention, instant by instant, moment by moment.
"By degrees this object shaped itself to his sight. It was as that of a human head, covered with a dark veil, through which glared, with livid and demoniac fire, eyes that froze the marrow of his bones. Nothing else of the face was distinguishable—nothing but those intolerable eyes; but his terror, that even at the first seemed beyond nature to endure, was increased a thousandfold, when, after a pause, the Phantom glided slowly into the chamber. The cloud retreated from it as it advanced; the bright lamps grew wan, and flickered restlessly as at the breadth of its presence. Its form was veiled as the face, but the outline was that of a female; yet it moved not as move even the ghosts that simulate the living. It seemed rather to crawl as some vast misshapen reptile; and pausing at length it cowered beside the table which held the mystic volume, and again fixed its eyes through the filmy veil on the rash invoker." ―Zanoni, Edward Bulwer-Lytton
That passage is from a famous book called Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and this passage which describes the Guardian of the Threshold has inspired many spiritual seekers and mystics who themselves wish to enter into the most sacred secret teachings of all world religions, of the occult brotherhoods and the schools of mystery.
Each student knows, as they begin to work towards initiation, that there is a threshold in which they pass from their outer ordinary course of life into the inner worlds: the world of the soul. Sometimes this can be experienced in our dreams, or in astral projection, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, but we come at a certain point in our path, in our journey, where we realize that there is more than just the physical reality.
Now in order to cross that threshold as an individual of one's own will is very different from having this happen accidentally, or by chance. What we seek to do, as we develop our own soul, as we awaken internally and spiritually in order to bring that spiritual light into our physical life, is to invoke the Guardian of the Threshold.
The Guardian of the Threshold: A Reflection of the Ego
This terrifying being that was described in the book Zanoni is actually a part of our own self.
We see here in this first quote from Samuel Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, that:
“The first ordeal that the candidate has to face is the trial of the Guardian of the Threshold. This Guardian is the reflection of the ‘I,’ the intimate depths of the ‘I.’” —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
In many eastern religions, we learn that the self, the ego, is our biggest barrier to spiritual development, that if we become enmeshed in a deep sense of egotism, it becomes very hard to connect with other people, to connect with the truth and the realities of nature and existence.
What we see summarized here in this quote is that the Guardian, as terrifying as this beast may appear to be, is actually our own self. The prison of the self encloses our mind in a cage and conditions our vision of life, to be either angry, or sad, or happy, dependent on the way that we are wired mentally, psychologically.
If someone insults us, we have an instant reaction and that reaction is different from person to person. Some of your friends might laugh when other people make a joke about them. Whereas, maybe you have a friend who is more sensitive, who gets very angry and fired up if someone insults him. So we see that it is not necessarily the external shape of life, but rather our own conditioning that shapes the way that we respond to life. If we respond to life in a positive way, that is uplifting for us and for others, we will have a totally different quality of life than the person who is stuck in those negative ways of thinking and being and behaving.
Now for most of us, it is a mixture, where sometimes we can do really great things. We can be very happy, and at other times, seemingly beyond our control, we become trapped in a behavior or a feeling or a mood that we wish we could get out of, but we are stuck.
Working with one's own mind, seeing that conditioning, seeing one's own behavior for what it is, is facing one's Guardian of the Threshold. When we learn to really look at ourselves without seeing ourselves from our own subjective point of view, but seeing ourselves as an outsider might, from a higher point of view, we begin to separate from that identity that we have created. We begin to have some freedom of will and emotion and thought to act in new ways, to initiate a spiritual growth within us.
Rudolf Steiner also went on to describe about the Guardian of the Threshold:
“However horrible the form assumed by the Guardian, it is only the effect of the student's own past life, his own character risen out of him into independent existence.” —Rudolf Steiner, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds
So if we are awakening internally in dreams or in astral projections, we can actually see this figure, this terrifying beast. We must be able to face the Guardian of the Threshold without fear―to understand that its true nature is an illusion―an illusion created by us.
As Dion Fortune said:
“The ‘Facing of the Dweller on the Threshold’ is the confrontation with the entire past (of the individual) and calls for the full acceptance of that past and of all that has gone to make the individual what he now is.” —Dion Fortune, Applied Magic
In the Gnostic tradition, we learn about the law of recurrence―that we have multiple past lives in which we have oftentimes repeated the same mistakes and strengthened the same patterns of behavior, of thinking, and feeling. When we come to face the Guardian, it can project both the positive and the negative of all of our past deeds. It is in fact looking in a psychological mirror in the astral plane and seeing what in us we may be terrified to see. We may be afraid to see those moments in which we did actions that now we feel guilty about, or painful experiences, of loss and grief in past lives, that have now embodied themselves and take a form internally within us.
We have not just a physical body, but also an energetic vital body, an emotional body called the astral body, a mental body of all our thoughts, and a causal body of our will, and even higher bodies beyond that. But it is important to know these internal bodies' existence because within them is where we carry the defects, the forms, the structures of the mind, of the emotions, of behavior that come out instantaneously in us in the moment of action.
Go back to the example I gave of the person insulting someone. Let's say this person insults you and it is an insult that for some reason hurts you. It provokes an immediate response. Now maybe this response is to become cold and withdrawn. Maybe this response is to yell or to argue or to defend yourself. For each one of us, it might be different. Only we can know what our own response is, but we see from the moment, the experience when that insult struck us, that our mind transformed it in a certain way with an instant reaction to it―a response of feeling bad, of feeling angry, of feeling ashamed―whatever that feeling might be. What we are looking to do when we confront ourselves with the Guardian of the Threshold is to separate from the conditioned reactions―the conditioned way of being―the false self that we have created.
Facing the Guardian in the Internal Worlds
Now, it is said that when one encounters the Guardian of the Threshold in the astral plane in their first encounter, that he or she must be able to defeat the Guardian of the Threshold. This is not to destroy and eliminate in one moment. That is a long, long work to eliminate the Guardian of the Threshold. But the one who is not able to face his or her fear in order to defeat this Guardian of the Threshold, will then become enslaved to the Guardian of the Threshold. He or she will become a servant and a worshipper of this entity and they will then be enslaved to a false sense of egotism―they will lose control over every action, every thought, every emotion. They will all be determined by what that false egotistical self dictates.
If we want to work with the Guardian of the Threshold, we have to understand that this takes three different forms. In fact, Samael Aun Weor wrote in his books that the Guardian of the Threshold exists on the astral plane, on the mental plane, and also on the causal plane, and that at different points in our spiritual work in our initiation, we will have to confront each one of these.
The Three Traitors
We relate the Guardian of the Threshold to the three traitors. These three traitors are known in a variety of traditions.
In Buddhism, they can be the three daughters of Mara that came to tempt the Buddha Shakyamuni as he was meditating.
In Christianity we know them as Judas, Pilate, and Caiaphas―the three traitors that betrayed Christ.
There are three traitors in the masonic tradition that killed Hiram Abiff.
When we look at the first level the astral plane, we identify the demon of desire. The Guardian of the Threshold that we encounter on the astral plane will be related with our own desires, our own emotions. This is an emotional encounter. So the things in us that struggle, that want many varieties of experiences or sensations, that want pleasure but want to avoid pain, that is exactly what we need to encounter and be prepared to face with serenity, with stability—to recognize that all of those desires that are pulling at us from moment to moment are illusory. They are illusions.
This calls to mind a story that I was reading in a psychological journal about a patient who came to a therapist and complained that many times in her relationship with her husband, she felt pulled by opposite wills. There were some days where she felt like the good wife, and she loved her husband and wanted to do kind things for him and was happy to see him. Then there were other days where she felt like what she described as an evil witch, and when the witch came out, she hated her husband. She wanted to scream at him, to hurt him, and she couldn't understand why these two sides of her kept coming up. So she went to the therapist in order to discover what she could do to resolve this conflict of having opposing wills. How could she loved her husband and yet at the same time hate him?
You know, how do we make sense of this? And yet many of us have experienced this type of situation where we may like someone. They are our friend, or we love our family, but then in the right moment, in the right circumstances, we feel anger towards them or hatred or resentment. We want to hurt them. Maybe we are envious of them and we recognize that tension, that conflict. There is something here that is not compatible. How can I care for this person and value the virtues of friendship, and at the same time want to betray them―sometimes even act or say things that betray them?
This is the conflict of the demon of desire, that there is a part of us that we don't control but that comes alive in certain circumstances and controls us by making us want to do evil things. This demon of desire is not somewhere outside of us, but lives within our own heart.
In the story of the woman going to the therapist, in order to resolve conflict, it was not just to push down the evil witch and repress it and ignore it and try to pretend that it had no power. Rather what she needed to do was to, in a space of reflection and contemplation, recognize the true nature behind that evil will, that evil desire to hurt her husband.
She had to comprehend her pain and also comprehend her love. What is it about her that makes her the good wife? To resolve the conflict between these two, she had to come to face herself and to understand that both of these are a part of her. When she can comprehend on the deepest level the truth of herself, it will eliminate the problem.
Those unconscious drives to act and to behave in an angry way can be satiated. They can be calmed and negated so that she can interact with her husband in harmony from her own free will, and not from a conditioned emotional response.
This example also touches on the other two levels of the demon of the mind and the demon of evil will. When we have an angry feeling towards someone or an envious feeling, we also have those thoughts associated with it, and it can be a mind that plans evil actions.
We can have the demon of the evil will because there is a part of us that wants to act―that has the will to crush others, to take power from others, to steal what someone else has that "I want."
Each of us in different degrees have our own psychological makeup. We have virtues in a certain amount, and we have defects and vices in a certain amount. As I mentioned in the example, the important part―as we come to recognize these three levels of evil will, evil desire, and evil thoughts within us―is not to repress them or to ignore them or to label them as bad, and then try to only do the other things, the good things―but rather, to meditate on them, to contemplate, to understand where these arose from.
Perhaps we will have a memory come up from childhood, and at first we do not realize how this is related to the situation we are currently in. We sit, we meditate on it a little longer. Maybe the next day we are going for a walk and suddenly we have that inspiration to see the connection there: “I felt this way as a child and now this person is making me relive that painful experience.”
As we become more developed as meditators, better able to leave the body, the physical body, we can even investigate in our past lives the traumas and the crimes that we have committed which have now shaped our karma in this life. Our physical body, our emotions, our mental state, even our environment, even our physical situation, is all shaped by the causes that we put into motion in past lives, which have now manifested into this existence.
So to face oneself, to understand oneself, and to no longer fear having to look at what is unpleasant and what is difficult in oneself, is how we truly come to defeat the Guardian of the Threshold and to then enter into the initiation of the soul.
It is important because the initiation of the soul can only happen if a person is able to separate themselves from the false ego. If one is still submerged and fully stuck within the ego, when they are meditating or when they are developing willpower, or spiritual powers, they will turn into a black magician. This is the term that we use: a person who is totally controlled by selfishness and the selfishness which is of a false ego.
So, we want to liberate ourselves from this to enter into the white initiation, in which we awaken the soul free of any ego―little by little, disintegrating the ego so that we can have the enlightenment of the flame of the spirit in our own heart.
Meditative Serenity and Discipline of Mind
Samael Aun Weor writes at length about facing the Guardian of the Mind in his book Igneous Rose. I'd like to highlight a few passages here because no matter what tradition we come from, we can learn to work on our own mind by using these passages. This is what our meditation after the lecture will be based on, this exact practice.
"The mind lives reacting against the impacts that come from the exterior world." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This simple sentence is a very powerful truth, that many of us who live mechanically on autopilot for much of our lives, have never really deeply contemplated.
If we are walking down the street and we see a dog. How do we respond to that? For some of us who grew up with dogs as pets, we might be happy. We might want to go and play with the dog. For other people who have been scared or traumatized or bit by a dog, they might want to run away from that dog. So the mind that we inhabit reacts against impacts that come from the exterior world.
Let's use this example, the dog is in the exterior world. The impression of the dog, the image of the dog, strikes our mind―then our mind reacts to that impression with thoughts, with feelings, with will, with actions. This is the entire process of our life and we go through this like a machine without transforming that consciously. Something happens, we see a certain person, and we don't really like that person. We feel a certain way. We try to get away from them. We see another person. We like them. We go up and we try to impress them. These are all coming images, coming in from the exterior world into our mind, which perceives them.
Now mind is not just the intellect here. It is in the Buddhist sense, the Being, the perception in which we are experiencing life. The body, our psychological body, carries us, and really, even if we were to close our eyes and go into a sensory deprivation tank, which are becoming popular nowadays, we would still have images. We would still have memories. We would still have thoughts emerging in the mind that we would react to. So, whether from within or from without, our entire experience of life is determined by how our mind responds to stimuli, whether internal or external.
So in the case of the dog, we have the external phenomenon of seeing that dog, and then we have our fear come up. Then maybe in response to our fear, which is an internal impression, we might feel embarrassed. "Oh I shouldn't be afraid! I'm an adult now. I shouldn't be afraid of dogs!" and that is a response to an internal impression.
To enter into meditation is to be able to calm down your perception: to become serene, bright and awake, concentrated, and to be able to perceive all of these processes as they happen without needing to control them―without needing to interrupt them―merely seeking to see them happen. It's great if during the day we are awake enough and we are meditative enough in our experience of life to do this, to digest the impressions of life in the moment that they come to us, but this can be challenging and that is why we do a retrospection meditation at the end of the day. We reflect on experiences that were particularly impactful for us, and we digest what was going on inside of us. We don't try to blame the situation or blame the other person. We don't even try to blame ourselves for feeling what we felt. We merely seek to see, to observe, and to understand.
Samael Aun Weor goes on:
"One must control these reactions of the mind by means of willpower.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
As we are progressing in our spiritual work, we will have moments in which we feel anger, we feel envy, we feel lust, and in those situations we have to apply a superior will to control ourselves, to control our mind.
If the mind is fantasizing and dreaming of an evil scheme, let's say, to get a promotion over your co-workers, something that involves lying or cheating and stealing, and our mind is beginning to play that fantasy, we have to apply our willpower and say “No! That is not the person I want to be. That is not the character I want to develop.” We need to be able to rein in and control the reaction of the mind and then, rather than going outward into that fantasy, we can turn our perception inward into the source of that fantasy. “What is it in me that wants this so badly? That is so attached to the sensation of getting a promotion, that I would be willing to compromise my character or to harm others? To do something unethical in order to achieve that sensation, that experience of life?”
“If one throws a rock into a lake, then one will see crystalline waves extending from the center to the periphery. The waves become the reaction of the water against the rock. If someone insults us, then we feel anger. This anger is a reaction to the words of the insulter." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Most of us live believing that we are the victim of circumstances. Other people should treat us better, should talk to us better. Life should be easier. We should have more things. When one wants to enter initiation, wants to face the Guardian of the Threshold, it is because one is finally taking responsibility for one's self.
One must understand that our entire experience of life is dictated by how our mind behaves. If we cannot control and rein in our mind with our willpower, we are likely to have a miserable life that is chaotic, that has a lot of negativity, in which we are constantly feeling that everything that we experience is beyond our control. However, the one who is able to take a loss or a defeat, and still finds serenity and peace and happiness within him or herself, that person is truly developing a level of freedom―a level of liberation of the consciousness―because he or she is free from that conditioned response to the stimulus.
He or she is able to control and to determine, "I am feeling anger right now. Let me go into a space of serenity." This is not to repress the anger under false happiness. This is to understand that the anger itself is a choice. It may have arisen spontaneously inside of us, but the choice to feed that anger and to continue is up to us.
Samael Aun Weor describes this process in more detail:
“We must subdue the senses and command the mind with the mighty whip of willpower. Our mind lives reacting against the impacts of the exterior world. The incessant reactions of the mind deliver pleasure and pain to us. Likes and dislikes are nothing more than the result of the reactions of the subjective mind.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Pleasure and pain are determined by the quality of our mind.
We know that there are some people who love chocolate cake and other people who hate chocolate cake, so it is our subjective perception of mind, from our egotistical point of view, that determines how we are going to respond.
As Samael Aun Weor says:
“It is necessary to control these reactions of the subjective mind in order to pass beyond pleasure and pain. We must become serene and indifferent before praise and slander and before triumph and failure.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This principle is taught in many religions: that in order to have true peace, true enlightenment and serenity, we have to go beyond these opposites of pleasure, pain, loss, gain, pride, and shame. We have to, in a sense, be indifferent to the different manifestations of life and of other people. We must feel peace regardless of what comes up before us.
However, this indifference is not a sort of apathy or death. It is rather an awakened bright experience of life. Without the conditioning of dislike and like, we are able to see things in the crystalline beauty that they possess, free of that cloudy filter of our own mind, and that experience of life, while it is beyond pleasure and pain, is in itself blissful. It is the ecstasy of samadhi that is talked about.
It is what we want to enter into and we can only do this by no longer fearing pleasure and pain, like and dislike. By being willing to apply our own willpower against our mind, even if our mind doesn't like it.
So maybe our mind wants to go eat ten tubs of ice cream. And then we say, “Well, I'm on this path of initiation and I don't want to feed that desire anymore.” So even though the mind argues and fights against us and wants that ice cream, we have the willpower. We developed the strength of will to tell the mind “No,” and to redirect it into a more positive activity.
This is a silly example with the ice cream, but in many experiences of life, we really don't control ourselves. We really let ourselves run amok. When we really study the cause and effect of our own life, the karma of our own lifetime, and we look at how certain behaviors created certain effects in our life, then we see that we no longer want to just allow our mind to run wild. We want to consciously and intelligently direct our response to life, our reaction to life. We need a lot of willpower to do that and in the beginning, we are weak, but, little by little on this path, we develop that.
He goes on:
“All the tempests of our existence are nothing more than the result of the reactions of the subjective mind before the impacts that come from the exterior world. A clairvoyant examination permits us to comprehend that the reactions of the mind come from a nuclear center. This nuclear center of the subjective mind is the Guardian of the Threshold of the mind.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
I mentioned a few moments ago that we might see our mind going off on a fantasy or on the negative circle of worry or anxiety, negative thinking, and we want to redirect our attention. Instead of going outward into that negative thinking, we want to turn our attention around and go inward into this nuclear center. That is where the Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is. So when we turn our perception within and we look within ourselves, we see the seeds of evil will that actually cause us to respond to life with unhappiness, with anger, with negativity.
“The Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is similar to the smoke of the flame. The Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is a terrible demonic creature. It lives by reacting against the exterior world with waves of pleasure and pain, with waves of likes and dislikes, and with waves of hatred, envy, greed, slander, selfishness, etc. We have created this guardian on our own, with all the evil of our subjective mind. There is the need to carefully separate the smoke from the flames.” —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
What we want to awaken within us is the flame of our consciousness, our soul, our inner spirit. We want that bright lucidity, that bliss and that peace that is perceptive of everything. When we awaken that inner perception, we see the smoke of our mind for what it is. All of these waves, all of these reactions, these emotions, these thoughts, even our behaviors become smoke from our inner center. If we are able to calm ourselves, to rest in the center, we can respond to life intelligently, acting in positive ways—in ways that we have consciously decided to respond to life, rather than responding to life unconsciously, according to our behavior, our trained behavior.
As he says, we have created this Guardian on our own. Now we may not remember when we created that. Many of us don't remember what we ate for breakfast last week, you know, or where we were two weeks ago at this time. Many of us, many more of us, don't remember anything of our past lives. That is why it's very important to go deep within our own Being, to the part of ourselves that is eternal―to understand where these seeds, whether positive or negative, arise. That is facing the Guardian of the Threshold.
It is to take responsibility for “Who I am―my positive qualities and my negative qualities―to take responsibility for the way that I think, the way that I feel, and the way that I behaved. If I am behaving in a way that I don't agree with, I can use superior will, the will of my inner spirit, to overcome that negativity―not to repress it with the mind or with another quality that is embarrassed or ashamed of it, or doesn't like to see that I am bad, but to recognize that this is what it is―not good or bad―just the way that it is. By seeing it, by being the flame within the smoke, I have the choice of whether or not I would like to change that.”
This is deep state of meditation, to really get to the roots of these things, and I want to end with an excerpt from a Buddhist texts called the Treatise on the Six Yogas of Niguma, who is often related as either the sister or the consort of Naropa, if you are familiar with that teacher.
The scripture states:
“If we do not know how to meditate
On the illusory nature of whatever appears,
How can we ever apply the opponent forces?
How can we overcome negativities
Merely by trying to avoid them?
By recognizing their illusory nature,
Liberation arises of itself.” ―Treatise on the Six Yogas of Niguma
As I mentioned, many of us don't remember what we did in the past. Perhaps there is a person where, from the moment you met them, you dislike them, but you don't remember why. You don't remember if maybe in a past life you knew them, and they betrayed you or they hurt you. The things that make us upset in this moment―in this present life; the things that make us unhappy or angry―are illusory.
Our reaction to them is entirely a fantasy of our own mind. It exists only in the mind, as I have described in these examples. Some people perceive one situation with happiness when other people perceive it with fear or anger. So if we are able to see that the mind is our experience of life, the way that we experience life is fully rooted in the mind, and the way that the mind is responding to external phenomena, then we have that power to control our experience of life.
Everything in our mind is an illusion. It is just a reflection of the external world that has been manipulated by the conditioning of our mind, of our emotions, of our will, and so when we perceive that “the way that I see this person that I dislike is actually just an Illusion in my mind that I have created―I am not even really seeing the person anymore―I am seeing a mental representation of them that I, myself, am projecting and that I myself hate or dislike”—then we have the power to get rid of the illusion itself. Maybe for the first time we meet that person and interact with them as they are, an entirely new being that we have never experienced before: to see them with the lucidity and the peace and the serenity of the soul; to see them as they truly are; not to have that mental image of them as an enemy that filters every interaction that we have with them.
That is what Niguma is pointing to here. When we recognize the illusory nature of our negativity, that it is something self-produced and can be self-erased, liberation from suffering arises of itself. So we must first know how to meditate on the negative experiences of life that we are having, to turn our perception in meditation away from blaming or analyzing the external phenomenon, and inward, into analyzing what is happening within us in our reaction to those phenomenon. Finally we see that our reaction truly is an illusion. Truly it is something that we create, and we have control over. We can begin to enter degree by degree into the liberation of our consciousness from the false self of ego.
Questions and Answers
Question: It’s kind of a question, kind of a comment. So, one thing I noticed about myself is, well, trying to take that attitude of right action, and living more selflessly and trying to help people when possible. But you know, it's not really the first reaction. I’ve noticed the right thing to do, but maybe I’m still missing that. I am selfish for whatever reasons. And because I want to take this attitude of right action, I will force myself with the will, I guess, to do it. It’s kind of the attitude I am taking about it, is: “Fake it till you make it.” I am wondering if this is the right approach.
Instructor: That is a great question, because many of us do this and that actually sounds like what is described here, that if we have a negative reaction, we should try to almost override it with a more positive reaction, whether that is what we feel or not now.
In meditation, if we analyze this type of situation, we will see that there are two wills to analyze. So, we can't determine that one is bad right away. If we are feeling selfish and lazy that day, that's the first will that in meditation we will analyze. What was going on there? Why was I feeling that way? What happened that made me feel that way?
Then we have another will which says, “Well, actually I'm trying to be kind to people,” and that might be the one that actually expressed itself in the situation, but again, there is another will.
We are doing that because truly, all of us, all people, have a connection to divinity within them that wants to do what is good―that wants to help people. If that is what is expressing and dominating the lower will, then great, but sometimes if it's just pride or a sense of self—selfishness that is now expressing by wanting to help others—then that's okay. We just need to see it for what it is.
So in any situation in life, whether we have the will power to restrain negative behavior and try to do something that we feel is a little better, or whether we express that negativity right away, or whether we're doing something positive right from the get-go, there is always a lesson to learn when we take it into meditation. Even if we are behaving positively, we may go into meditation and see some beautiful virtue or truth of our own divine nature, or we might go into meditation and see that what seemed positive was really self-serving. Who knows? It's really up to us and in each situation. It can be different. That's a good question. Something that I know I have experienced, and I am sure many others do.
Question: Does comprehension liberate the soul?
Instructor: When one sees that their enemy is actually an illusion in their own mind, what is there to fight against anymore? For some of us, our enemy is existence itself. Our complaints against existence: “Why am I not smarter, or richer, or better looking or whatever? Why is my life not easier? Why are people not kinder to me?” All of that we comprehend at its roots is some illusion. We can see that there is nothing to struggle against anymore and we can find peace and what it is to be a conscious being. To experience life with lucidity and happiness. But as long as we are filtering our genuine perception of life through selfish desires, likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain, we are disrupting the quality of our life.
Question: If I feel anything negative, that is because I have a secret will or entity that I’m not aware of?
Instructor: That is pretty close. If we experience something negative, yes, in this teaching we are saying if we experience something negative, it is because there is something within us that is negative. Now it's not that I want it to be negative or that I want this experience to go badly. But we have an entity inside of us that perhaps...
Let's use envy as an example. So, envy doesn't want to have a negative experience. Envy wants to get something good for oneself that another person has. So if this person has the job position that I want, I have a secret will inside of me that wants to get this person in trouble so I can have that job. I think this will bring me happiness, right? I think when I have that job, then I'm going to feel happy, but truly in meditation, if I go and I analyze that will, and I really come to understand that other person's situation and my situation, I will see that that will does not produce happiness.
All of us are seeking happiness, right? We are seeking pleasure or the things that we like, but we often do not realize that in its root, it is it is a will that produces unhappiness, ultimately. Maybe in the short term, we tell a lie, and we get some praise and people like us, but in the long term people realize “We can't trust her! She is a liar,” and we lose the good things that we had.
So meditation and going deep is what is most important. Not to see the mind and judge it and say, “Oh that's bad… that's bad!" Just to see the mind and go deeper into the mind and deeper, because when we comprehend it, we don't need to intellectually judge it. When we comprehend it, we see it fully from its roots. It can dissolve.
If you see a coiled rope in the closet and it's dark, at first you think it's a snake. Maybe you jump, you are afraid, but when you turn on the light and you go deeper into the closet, you see that it's a rope. Your fear is gone, right? But when it was dark, when it was unexamined, when it was too sudden, you thought it was a snake, and you responded. Your reality of your mind is that this is a snake. So really just to go deeper and deeper is what we need, that illumination.
Question: You talked extensively about the three traitors, especially the demon of desire, and how we are conflicted between like and dislike, pleasure and pain. What about the demon of the mind and will? And how the mind justifies itself? So in the example you gave about envy, how I want the job that this co-worker has and the excuses that we tell ourselves to get what we want. Also, how is that process experienced in us and how does evil will fit into that as well?
Instructor: Okay, there's a lot of in that question so I am going to do my best. So, if we look at the three traitors again, the demon of desire in Christianity is represented as Judas. Our desire loves Christ, love spirituality, loves all the positive things about virtues and helping humanity, but at the end of the day, when that moment comes, Judas sells Jesus for thirty silver coins. These silver coins represent material wealth, sensational experiences, so physical pleasure. Even though we say with our heart, “I love the good things. I love divinity,” with our actions in certain moments, we can sell, we can betray our own inner divinity. So that is the demon of desire.
The demon of the mind in Christianity is represented by Pontius Pilate. He sentences Jesus to death, and he washes his hands and says, “It wasn't my fault. Don't blame me. I wasn't the one who set him up!” So the mind decides, “Okay, I am going to do this behavior. I am going to try to steal this other person's job,” but it will come up with excuses so that mentally we feel okay about it. For example, “Really, I am doing my company a favor because she is not good at that job and I will be better at that job.” The mind can create its own fantasy to justify why what it is doing is a good deed, but it is all just a trick of the mind.
The demon of our mind, which hypnotizes us and puts us into an illusion so that we believe we are doing what is right, when all along what is really behind it is the demon of evil will, which in Christianity is Caiaphas, the high priest who is plotting behind the scenes to kill Jesus. So while we see that Judas is the one that sold him, that Pontius Pilate is the one who passed the sentence, really the most powerful of all is the one that is our will, that behind-the-scenes is arranging things, is moving the mind into position, is moving the emotions into position, in order to enact its will.
It is this will that is ultimately evil. Good and evil are terms we don't want to get too caught up in, because it's not a dichotomy of good and evil, but we say that it is a selfish will. An egotistical will. A will that is based on an identity that doesn't actually have a natural reality. It is a psychological identity that we as a consciousness have produced, but is false. Our true self is our inner divinity and our inner Spirit. So when we sacrifice evil will and evil mind, evil desire, the flame of our inner spirit is able to express, and when we are one with our inner divinity, we feel true bliss. We experience life with peace and with joy, but we have to renounce these three traitors that exist within ourselves in order to experience that more and more.
Another Instructor: Also, in The Perfect Matrimony, Samael Aun Weor mentions how this Guardian is really three, whom we must face within the astral plane, the mental plane, the causal plane. So, we have to face this guardian in the astral plane in the beginning. Especially towards the beginning of our studies, where we are tested in our resolve to see whether or not we will continue in this path. And if we conquer that demon, the Guardian of the astral plane, we can then enter higher stages of initiation, which are symbolized, allegorized by the science of Kabbalah, which we talked about previously in the recent lecture: What is Initiation?
So we have to face a Guardian in the mental plane next, which is another figure, as our lecturer described, that reflects all the mind that we have. We also have to conquer ourselves in the mental plane, because we have our emotional desires or own interior Judas whom we have to conquer, and by conquering in this struggle of the self internally, we enter into higher degrees.
So first, Guardian of the Threshold in astral plane, relating to our emotions followed by the Guardian of the Threshold in the mental plane, our mind. Then we may have the experience of facing a Guardian in the sixth dimension, relating to will. In Kabbalah, we call that Tiphereth, which is really where we face the extremity of our egotistical will, which is represented by Caiaphas.
And so we can correlate Judas, Pilate, Caiaphas to those elements.
Instructor: A Western esotericist did mention the variety of the Guardians of the mind. Guardians at different levels. Steiner called it the Lesser Guardian, the first one that we encounter, but as I was going on with this longer discourse, that would be what Steiner would call the Greater Guardian: the Guardian of the Mind that we encounter that is at a further stage of development. That is why it requires so much willpower and stability in meditation to be able to conquer.
Are there any other questions?
Another Instructor: I know some people also think that, especially from reading The Perfect Matrimony from Samael Aun Weor, where he describes these three guardians, followed by the four ordeals of the elements, that one has to face the guardian first before entering into the elements, which I know is an interpretation of some schools, but could you talk about the relationship of the ordeals of the elements and the Guardians themselves?
Instructor: So as I said, the Guardian of the Threshold, ultimately whether it is our emotions or our mind or our will, is about facing ourselves, and seeing ourselves from a distinct point of view, from a point of view that is not enmeshed in our subjective perspective.
There are four elements and many times when we are facing the Guardian of the Threshold, these different ordeals of the elements, come to us whether in physical life or internally. They can come in any variety, any order.
But the first that I'll mention is that the ordeal of the air. This often has to do with the loss of stability, the loss of something that we love. The ordeal of air tests our ability to have non-attachment―that even when we experience tremendous loss or defeat or our situation in life becomes too unstable, that we don't go crazy―that we don't let our mind react and scream. Instead, we keep our serenity. We recognize that everything passes away. Everything is transient. So, what brings us stability today will eventually pass, and yet something new will come to give us new stability. If one can hold one's peace through this type of ordeal, then one is able to change the shape of his or her psychology to make it more balanced: a stronger identity that doesn't respond out of conditioning, but has a degree of willpower and self-control.
The same goes for the other three ordeals. The ordeal of water has to do with tremendous emotional upheaval. So if this is being overwhelmed emotionally by, you know, a new social situation. Are we able to adapt, to be flexible, to develop that part of ourselves, or do we merely react to that situation and feel overwhelmed and give up? The ones who give up fail this ordeal.
There is the ordeal of earth which tests our perseverance. Our ability to keep going in spite of difficult obstacles. To keep pushing through, developing our will power even when the tremendous pressure is resisting us.
Finally, the ordeal fire in which we are criticized or slandered, or certain emotional qualities within us inflamed us and we need to learn how to respond to different situations with the correct temperature. If we are insulted, how do we respond to the slanderer with sweetness, with patience, with the correct temperature of our heart?
So all of these four ordeals are part of our mind, our will, and our emotions, and therefore they are related to the three guardians: the Guardian of the astral plane, of the mental plane, and of the causal plane.
[Editor’s Note: The instructor, during the post-lecture meditation, read the following chapter from Igneous Rose to students as a guided meditation. One can take these verses, or any teachings from Samael Aun Weor, the masters of the White Lodge, etc., in order to reflect upon their content in meditation so as to arrive at deeper comprehension. This chapter, especially, holds tremendous wisdom for those who seek to understand and overcome the Guardian of the Threshold]:
The Guardian of the Mind
1. The mind lives reacting against the impacts that come from the exterior world. One must control these reactions of the mind by means of willpower.
2. If one throws a rock into a lake, then one will see crystalline waves extending from the center to the periphery. The waves become the reaction of the water against the rock.
3. If someone insults us, then we feel anger. This anger is a reaction to the words of the insulter.
4. A pornographic image offends our external senses. The mind then reacts as the lake in the given example, with waves of animal passion that extend from the center to the periphery.
5. We must subdue the senses and command the mind with the mighty whip of willpower.
6. Our mind lives reacting against the impacts of the exterior world.
7. The incessant reactions of the mind deliver pleasure and pain to us.
8. Likes and dislikes are nothing more than the result of the reactions of the subjective mind.
9. It is necessary to control these reactions of the subjective mind in order to pass beyond pleasure and pain.
10. We must become serene and indifferent before praise and slander and before triumph and failure.
11. All the tempests of our existence are nothing more than the result of the reactions of the subjective mind before the impacts that come from the exterior world.
12. A clairvoyant examination permits us to comprehend that the reactions of the mind come from a nuclear center.
13. This nuclear center of the subjective mind is the Guardian of the Threshold of the mind.
14. The Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is similar to the smoke of the flame.
15. The Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is a terrible demonic creature. It lives by reacting against the exterior world with waves of pleasure and pain, with waves of likes and dislikes, and with waves of hatred, envy, greed, slander, selfishness, etc.
16. We have created this guardian on our own, with all the evil of our subjective mind.
17. There is the need to carefully separate the smoke from the flames.
18. It is urgent to deprive ourselves of the Guardian of the Threshold of the mind in order to become liberated from our animal past.
19. After opening his igneous wings, the arhat must now pass the ordeal of the Guardian of the Threshold of the mental world.
20. Have courage, oh warrior, oh fighter. This is a supreme moment.
21. Take your igneous sword from its sheath and thrust yourself intrepidly towards the Guardian of the Threshold of the mind.
22. Now you will be free. Now your mind will be under the complete control of the Innermost.
23. When you were longing to be a Chela, you then passed the first ordeal of the Guardian of the Threshold. Now you face the ordeal of the great worldly Guardian of the Threshold.
24. Now you, as a master, have to encounter the Guardian of the mind. Defeat him, and your mind will be free from the external senses.
25. The external wings are opened within the blazing fire of the mind. The tenebrous ones of the world of the mind attack you within the blazing flames. Defeat them, oh arhat!
26. Control your mind with the whip of willpower.
27. When the mind pursues you with perverse representations of hatred or passion, envy or selfishness, etc., speak to the mind as follows:
28. “Mental body, I do not accept this representation. Take it away from me. I do not accept this from you. You must obey me, because I am your lord.”
29. The Innermost can control the mind, but only by means of willpower. There is no other way.
30. Let us affirm our Being.
31. “I am not the body. I am not desire. I am not the mind. I am not the willpower. I am not the consciousness. I am not the intelligence.
32. “I am the Innermost.
33. “I will break all the chains of the world. I am the living God. I am the Being. I am life. I am the bread of life. I am the wine.”
34. When we affirm the majesty of the Being, the igneous roses of our objective mind glow within the blazing universal fire.
35. When the Guardian of the Threshold of the mind is defeated and flees, the three enigmas of time are broken. Our mind then sparkles with the flames within the great rhythms of the fire. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This is a continuation of a lecture we gave previously on the nature of what we denominated as four paths. We talked about fakirism. We talked about monasticism, yoga, and the Gnostic path, Gnosticism. We explained previously how these paths―individually, by themselves, the first three: the fakir, the monk, and the yogi―are incipient. They are deficient in themselves.
These previous paths only develop one aspect of the psyche at the exclusion of the others. The fakir only develops willpower over the body, to dominate instinct by lying on a bed of nails, sleeping in the storm, sleeping under the weather, and trying to dominate the physical body, thinking that it is a way to God.
We also discussed how the monk, through prayer, develops the heart, but at the exclusion of the mind and the motor center, our instinctuality, our sexuality, etc.
Then we talked about the yogi who only studies and develops knowledge of the mind, who performs pranayama and exercises to develop mind.
So we discuss how those paths by themselves are inefficient, and that we need to follow a synthetic teaching, a synthetic path, which is the Gnostic path. The Gnostic path incorporates all three. Now, in this lecture we are going to explain how there are three three ways, in the positive sense, by which we walk this path, by which we attain union within our Innermost, our inner God.
In these images we have Christ, the Master Aberamento, teaching and performing works. He is teaching the multitude on the left as a mystic. In the middle, we have Jesus as a Gnostic who is assisting Mary Magdalene. We have on the right Master Jesus the Christ who is being tempted by Shaitan, Satan, the demon, his mind in the wilderness.
In this lecture we are going to explain how the path of mysticism, Gnosticism, and yoga are an integral science. Previously we discussed how the fakirism, monasticism, and yoga, by themselves, are inefficient. They are not complete. We are going to explain the best of these systems and how they apply to the Gnostic path, how they apply to our work, and this lecture really is about one quote that the Master Samael Aun Weor gave in a book called Igneous Rose.
“Christ taught three ways in order to reach a union with the Innermost (our inner Buddha, our inner God). When he was preaching to the multitudes, when he was mystically exalted, he showed us the way of Ramakrishna, Kempis, and Francis of Assisi. This is the path of Anthony of Padua and Teresa of Jesus (or Avila). This is the mystical path. When Christ was walking with Magdalene, the repentant prostitute, when he was among publicans and sinners, fishermen and wine drinkers, he showed us the Gnostic path. When he retired to the solitude of the desert for forty days and forty nights, he then taught the way of oriental yoga. The seven rays of cosmic evolution are synthesized in these three ways that the Nazarene showed.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
The Three Brains and the Three Ways
To elaborate, we have this image or graphic of the human being with a symbol of the holy eight, which is the circuitry of energies and the makeup of our inner constitution. This explains these three paths in synthesis and how they really are one.
We explained how the path of yoga develops the intellect. We have the path of the monk which develops the heart, mysticism. And then we have the sexual center, which is Gnostic in its totality. Fakirism, as we explained, is only the work of movement and instinct. Now, we talk about in esotericism how we have three brains, three centers: intellect, emotion, and motor-instinctive-sexuality. We synthesize the last three, movement, instinct, and sex, because they really constitute the field of action within our psyche. So the path of the fakir only develops instinct, to dominate the sensations of the body, whereas the Gnostic is very different, and works to control instinct, motion, and sexual energy.
In relation to the three brains, the three paths we are explaining in synthesis, the path of yoga, the path of the yogi develops the mind, which we need in our work. We need also to develop mysticism, following the path of the monk in harmony with the other centers. We also need to develop the sexual center, the sexual brain, through the Gnostic path.
Question: Can an individual accomplish that without the belief of God?
Instructor: Yes, because we don't believe in anything. We seek to know. So to think something is true or to think something is not true, that is intellectual or emotional. But to really know something with certainty is to have Gnosis. Therefore, there are certain things that I might believe in, but there are many things that I know for fact from my experience by working with these three paths.
Question: Do you think there is a benefit if you do have true belief in God?
Instructor: Blessed are those who believe, yet who do not see, for then in their belief they will work, like Master Jesus taught, and by following the three paths of yoga, mysticism, and Gnosticism, then we come to know God directly. Now, we are going to elaborate on this in relation to the mystical path.
But in order to explain this lecture, we need to understand the three brains, because as we see in this image, we have three centers and usually in the field of psychological self-observation, in the beginning it is very difficult to ascertain from where thoughts come, where emotions emerge, and how do sensations arise. These three aspects of ourselves constitute one unity as symbolized by the holy eight. This symbol is a symbol of the infinite, meaning that God is within us, is infinite. In order to understand God, we need to know how our three brains function and how to develop them positively.
Question: So it's like a channel. You are trying to bind to that channel?
Instructor: Yes, and that channel is developed precisely by working with mind, with emotion or heart, and with sexuality, or the yoga, the mystic, and the Gnostic paths.
Mysticism: The Path of Spiritual Experience
In this image, we have Christ who is mystically exalted, and it is important to note that when we talk about mysticism, what the term actually means. The word mysticism comes from mystery or mysterion in Greek, which originates from the root word myein, which means “to close one's eyes.” Meaning: to close one’s physical eyes to the exterior world, to really become reflective. This relates to mystikos which means “initiate,” somebody who begins a new way of being, because if we don't know how to close, first, our physical eyes to the exterior world, and then if we don't learn how to close the illusory eyes of our perception to illusion, then we cannot know God.
For as it is stated in The Voice of the Silence, which is a scripture translated by Blavatsky:
"Before the Soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion." ―H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence
We talk many times about this term mystikos, mystery, mysterion, mysticism, because genuine mysticism is establishing a new way of being in this moment.
As Samael Aun Weor states:
"Initiation is life itself, lived intensely, with rectitude and with love." ―Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: Manual of Practical Magic
If we are not paying attention and we are not being intense in our efforts to self observe, it means that we are asleep. It means that we need to continue to remember our Being, to observe our three brains and to learn to receive the impressions of life in a new way. That is what it means to close one's eyes to illusion. It doesn't mean that we ignore things. It means that we cease to perceive life as we previously perceived it, and that occurs here and now, meaning that we forget the past. We don't think about the future. We close our eyes to all illusion and we really just focus on this moment, because we need to be the child of this moment.
I would like the quote for you some of the teachers mentioned in that quote I mentioned. The first is is Ramakrishna, where he explains the path of mysticism and the nature of belief, implicitly. He was a great yogi, a great master, highly venerable, a great initiate who practiced sexual magic with his wife. He gave a very profound doctrine that we are going to cite here, and we are going to quote in relation to the mystical path some of those teachers that Samael Aun Weor mentioned.
In relation to the mystical path, we need to really develop the heart, because most of us are dead emotionally, where it is very difficult to feel a genuine inspiration in our psyche towards God, to overcome those negative influences in our mind. This is why we began the lecture with that prayer, the Pater Noster in Latin, in order to invoke that energy in the heart, because if any of us need anything most of all, it is to develop the heart. This is why we begin with the mystical path, because if the heart is pure, then we will know God. If it is impure, we will not know God and we will suffer. This is why Prophet Muhammad taught in the Hadith, the Muslim oral tradition:
"For everything there is a polish, and the polish for the hearts is the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah. There is nothing more potent in saving a person from the punishment of Allah than the dhikr of Allah." ―Prophet Muhammad
So Prophet Muhammad taught that the path of jihad is the monasticism of the Muslim. Jihad is the war against our animal desires. It is the struggle against our mind, which we are going to explain in the path of yoga. And so Muhammad was explaining how the path of the monk is the path of striving, because mujahidah means “striving.” They translated it as “holy war,” but it really means “to strive,” “to make effort” against one's ego.
Question: The mystical path, that is the monk's path?
Instructor: Yes, and with all this, we are explaining the positive aspect of this―not the past practices exclusively, alone, but how they all integrate. All these are really synthetic. They apply to each other and they overlap.
Knowledge of Divinity
So in the beginning, all of us struggle to know God. We want to have that experience where we communicate with a master or with our Being. There are four stages that Ramakrishna explains on the path of mysticism or the path of God vision, because as we explained, mysticism means to close one's fleshly eyes to illusion, but to open our spiritual sight.
“M: "Sir, what is the meaning of the realization of God? What do you mean by God-vision? How does one attain it?"
MASTER: "According to the Vaishnavas the aspirants and the seers of God may be divided into different groups. These are the pravartaka, the sadhaka, the siddha, and the siddha of the siddha. He who has just set foot on the path may be called a pravartaka. He may be called a sadhaka who has for some time been practicing spiritual disciplines, such as worship, japa (mantra recitation), meditation, and the chanting of God's name and glories. He may be called a siddha who has known from his inner experience that God exists. An analogy is given in the Vedanta to explain this. The master of the house is asleep in a dark room. Someone is groping in the darkness to find him. He touches the couch and says, 'No, it is not he.' He touches the window and says, 'No, it is not he.' He touches the door and says, 'No, it is not he.' This is known in the Vedanta as the process of 'Neti, neti', 'Not this, not this'. At last his hand touches the master's body and he exclaims, 'Here he is!' In other words, he is now conscious of the 'existence' of the master. He has found him, but he doesn't yet know him intimately.” ―Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
So as we were mentioning, blessed are those who believe who don't see. This is us groping in the dark, feeling in the psychological depths of our mind, seeking God. We say, “No, this is not him.” We have that longing, that aspiration to know God. But he who seeks shall find. So if you continue in your path, to persist, and to practice, to experience God, it will happen as a law of nature. If you seek you will find. So it is a groping in the dark of our mind until finally through our discipline and meditation, we experience God in samadhi.
So we are practicing “Neti, neti, not this, not this.”
Question: But do you believe that in scripture, in John, that it is up to God to enable you?
Instructor: There is a Sufi saying by Bayazid Bastami. He said: "For thirty years I sought Allah. But in reality it was Allah that was the seeker and I the sought." So the one who pushes us is our Being, to seek Him, because “God is a treasure that wishes to be known,” as it says in the Qur’an and thus he made the universe and man so he could be known. He is a treasure that needs to be discovered in us, and the one who pushes us to work is Christ, Allah.
Question: Samael Aun Weor mentions this word “disquietude.” When that occurs, it is part of the inspiration?
Instructor: Yes, and spiritual inquietudes is precisely neti, neti. We are looking in our mind. We want to know God, but we haven't experienced Him yet. So we seek. We seek. We feel that disturbance in our heart.
Question: What is it called?
Instructor: Spiritual inquietudes. You can say disquietude too and inquietudes. It is mentioned in The Great Rebellion. There is a chapter on it specifically.
Question: Does it mean what it sounds like it means? Like the opposite of quiet?
Instructor: It doesn't mean disturbance. It means the heart or the soul is impassioned and yearning for God.
Question: Is that like the goat or Fool in the Tarot? Like a goat is pushing you...
Instructor: Yes, you can see that God is trying to ride His donkey, which is us, our mind, and that He is trying to lead us in the direction He wants. But if we disobey, then we don't seek him. But if we yearn for Him in the mystical path, we are seeking, and every experience in meditation or out of the body―any type of phenomenon we experience―we say, “Yes. This is interesting, but I know it is not God!” Until, finally arriving at the experience, when we communicate face-to-face with Christ, with our Innermost, and then we know. That makes us a siddha. So, before when we enter the path, we are pravartaka. Those who are practicing for some time who are performing “Neti, neti,” are sadhakas. Then those who experienced God are siddha, but there is another stage beyond that.
“There is another type, known as the siddha of the siddha, the 'supremely perfect'. It is quite a different thing when one talks to the master intimately, when one knows God very intimately through love and devotion. A siddha has undoubtedly attained God, but the 'supremely perfect' has known God very intimately.” ―Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
It says in the Qur’an, “And they honor not God with the honor due Him” (6:91). Or: “Allah is not estimated as he deserves to be estimated,” which the Sufis translate as “He is not been known as He deserves to be known.” So there are those who know God to a degree, but then there are those who know God very intimately, who have incarnated the Lord. That is very high, as exemplified by the great masters of mysticism.
So that is what we seek: first to know God in meditation and out of the body, and then to constantly develop that and cultivate that. Or as Samael Aun Weor stated quoting Blavatsky’s Voice of the Silence, "Be humble in order to attain enlightenment, and upon having attained enlightenment, be humbler still." It doesn't mean that one has fully attained enlightenment. It means there are degrees, where there is always a cycle and fluctuation of experiences we have and don't have. It happens as a type of gradual process. It can't be rushed. It happens like the unfolding of a rose, and when the rose is exudes its beauty, it’s because the disciple has been cultivating that for many years.
The Imitation of Christ
The way that we cultivate this mystical path is in the next graphic. We are going to quote Thomas à Kempis, a great monk, a great mystic, who actually was Samael Aun Weor in a past incarnation, as he stated in his books. When Samael Aun Weor was incarnated as this monk, he was really developing under the ray of monasticism: the spiritual influence of the Christian Church. We have this image of Christ exalted mystically, teaching the multitudes. I am going to quote for you from his book The Imitation of Christ, which is a powerful work, especially for developing the heart, spiritual emotion, conscious devotion to God. It is very divine. So this comes from “Four Things Which Bring Great Peace” (this is Christ speaking to the bodhisattva):
“My child, I will teach you now the way of peace and true liberty.
Seek, child, to do the will of others rather than your own.
Always choose to have less rather than more.
Look always for the last place and seek to be beneath all others.
Always wish and pray that the will of God be fully carried out in you.
Behold, such will enter into the realm of peace and rest.
―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: 23. Four Things Which Bring Great Peace
So, our ego does not want to do any of that. When we seek to do the will of others rather than our own, the mind struggles, contradicts, argues, debates, justifies. If we remember these axioms in relation to another person trying to resolve a conflict, then we will have peace. Instead of doing our will, we do the will of others, even if it hurts our pride. This is really the meaning of wearing our crown of thorns, or the crown of thorns that the Master Aberamentho wore in his Passion. Our desires want to act out, and yet we restrain our mind. The mind suffers. It bleeds. It cries out. It wants consolation. But out of love and compassion, as exemplified by Jesus, we have to bless those who curse us, who cause us pain, egotistically. We have peace when we cease to try to do our own will, but the will of others.
Question: But to achieve that, isn't it of great importance to open your heart first, because if you try to go in that route immediately, isn't it forcing it against everything?
Instructor: We have to begin where we are at, meaning: never try to take on any type of difficulty that is beyond one's capacity. Instead, we have to be compassionate with our current circumstances.
Comment: It just grows...
Instructor: It grows by performing it, by renouncing our own and doing what is good for others. In that way, our Being may decide: “Now it is time for you to take the next step” and to provide extra help, extra difficulties.
Question: I feel like sometimes I get confused when people are being verbally abusive. That they should just take it. But that is not what it means either right?
Instructor: Right. It isn't the opposite. Mercy and justice, Chesed and Geburah, need to be balanced.
Question: But what do you mean? Like if someone's verbally abusive to you?
Another Question: Yeah, like I was telling that at work someone was being verbally abusive to me and I was confused. Do I just say, “I am so sorry,” or “whatever you want”? Or, do you stand up for yourself? How do you know what to do?
Instructor: Real Christian compassion and mercy doesn't mean complacency with crime, because we need to learn to do the will of others, but we also had need to know limits. If being complacent in a situation in which we need to act is going to harm ourselves, but also harm the other person, then it means that we need to do something.
Comment: I had a situation like that, many actually, where I try to observe why they are the way they are being, but it's usually not you. I never try to return the abuse. I just try to understand them.
Instructor: And the way that we do the will of others is by working for their happiness. Now if they are abusive and they are creating problems in a workspace, then we need to bring attention to authorities and other people if it is something serious and harmful. Now, we always choose to have less rather than more, meaning less material goods, less attachments, to material goods.
Now, in relation to the what we were discussing, "always wish and pray that the will of God be fully carried out in you." That doesn't mean that we are like a doormat. It means that we take responsibility for the well-being of others. So yes, in one sense we need to do the will of others, try to make them happy. But if that is not working, then we need to be realistic, not resentful, but to fulfill the will of God within us, which might mean to confront the issue with the other person, but without hatred, without anger.
Question: Can't it be also part of our karma? Sometimes some of the situations that we have...
Instructor: Yes, in many situations, it is recurrence, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we allow karma to swallow us alive. It means that we learn to negotiate it for the benefit of others and ourselves.
Question: When you say we must work to make others happy, does that mean more like true happiness, not what they think will make them happy?
Question: If someone is obsessed with money, giving them money isn't loving, right?
Instructor: Exactly. We want to do what is good for the being of that person, which can make them very resentful and angry and derogatory, but you see how Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24). He is crucified and he said that on the cross.
Comment: This presumes that they are receptive.
Instructor: And even if they were not receptive, learn to give love regardless. Always seek to do the will of God above all things. Seek to make others happy. Be satisfied with less rather than more, and always pray that God's will will always be done within us, and that usually will mean contradicting other people. But we need to learn how to not act with anger or resentment. So the way that we do that is cultivating our psychological sense of peace, which is developed through devotion and mysticism.
The Enlightenment of Christ
We have the image of the ascension of Christ on the right, and on the left we have a quote I am going to relate to you from Thomas à Kempis. It is a prayer he gave in order to calm the mind, to develop devotion, precisely relating to what we are discussing.
"Enlighten me, good Jesus (meaning enlighten me, my inner Christ, my Intimate Christ) with the brightness of internal light..." ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
So what is that internal light? It is direct cognizance through self-observation on the defects we wish to work on.
“…and take away all darkness from the habitation of my heart. Restrain my wandering thoughts and suppress the temptations which attack me so violently. Fight strongly for me, and vanquish these evil beasts―the alluring desires of the flesh―so that peace may come through your power and the fullness of Your praise resound in the holy courts, which is a pure conscience. Command the winds and the tempests; say to the sea: “Be still,” and to the north wind, “Do not blow,” and there will be a great calm.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
So what is that sea and storm? The sea is our sexual passions, the waters of sexuality, which are disturbed by lust in the mind, fornication, desire. The storm in the mind, the intellect, are all the churning of thoughts and desires which drive one, literally when we are observing ourselves, seemingly to the point of desperation.
"Send forth Your light and Your truth to shine on the earth, for I am as earth, empty and formless until You illumine me.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
This is a kabbalistic teaching. This is the meaning of the first book of Genesis, “The earth was formless and void,” תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ tohu vay-bohu in Hebrew (Genesis 1:2). That earth is our psychology. That is, if we look inside, we see that we have a lot of darkness, chaos, anger, resentment, that is churning constantly. And so in the Book of Genesis, the ר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים Ruach Elohim, the Spirit of God, our Innermost, floated above those waters, and it is through initiation that we calm the storm of the mind and that we calm the lake of our passions.
"Pour out Your grace from above. Shower my heart with heavenly dew.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
What is that heavenly dew, those waters? It is sexual, and dew is a result of rain from a previous night or morning, which has an alchemical teaching. We find an alchemical teaching even in nature. When there is heat in the soil, the water evaporates and rises upward. Likewise, through sexual magic, when man and women are united, sexually speaking, they develop heat, which raises the the waters of sexuality into steam, energy that rises up the spinal column. This is symbolized in alchemy as the athanor, which is boiling certain substances to purify the mind, to transform the lead of our passions into the gold of the spirit. When the water evaporates into the sky, it creates lightning, storms, which water the heart. So the dew is precisely the pure energies of our Christic energy, the semen, which are residing in the heart that have been transmuted. Through alchemy, we raise the water into steam, which forms a storm, we could say, in our mind, and the lightning of Christ emerges, is born in us.
The dew is precisely, like the flower of the heart, the pure seminal essence of our transmutations, which creates calm and peace. But it seems like when we begin transmutation, things are chaotic. We see a lot of evilness in our mind, that is seems unstoppable and uncontrollable. This is what it means that we have a storm in our mind. We start transmuting and suddenly we realize we are in a hailstorm. We are in a chaos.
Question: In other words, it is not like you are possessed. You are just going through that storm?
Instructor: You are just bracing the storm and you are seeing the mind for what it is. What happens after the storm, the dew resides in the heart and there is peace. The thing is to persist in transmutation and not to be discouraged if the mind is crazy and chaotic and disturbing. But it will pass. The more we transmute and let the light of God illumine us through transmutation and alchemy or pranayama and mantra, and by meditating, then the storm calms by the grace of Christ.
"Open the springs of devotion to water the earth, that I may produce the best of good fruits.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
So again, the springs of devotion to the Divine Mother is sex: the fountain of life in which, if we never waste it, it will be regenerative in nature and we will never thirst again.
Question: I know you are not supposed to think of time. What is the time difference of going through that storm?
Instructor: It is a process. Time, we could say, is illusory, but we also say, practically, that it is a process. We say, sometimes it takes years to develop real discipline, but that discipline starts every day in this moment. So we don't need to think that, well, with time we are going to change. It means we have to work now, but we have to also be practical and understand that it is a process. Nature does not take leaps.
The rose grows gradually from the compost heap of our sins, to rise up into something pure. So these good fruits that are watered through devotion are precisely the virtues of the soul. We say the sexual organs of a plant is the fruit. That is the consummation of its regenerative and alchemical process in its growth.
So water, "open[s] the springs of devotion (through transmutation) to water the earth (our physical body, that it can be regenerated and that the virtues of the soul may flourish) as good fruits."
“Lift up my heart pressed down by the weight of sins, and direct all my desires to heavenly things, that having tasted the sweetness of supernal happiness, I may find no pleasure in thinking of earthly things. Snatch me up and deliver me from all the passing comfort of creatures, for no created thing can fully quiet and satisfy my desires (or my longing to know God). Join me to Yourself in an inseparable bond of love; because You alone can satisfy him who loves You, and without You all things are worthless.” ―Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ: A Prayer for Enlightening the Mind
What is that ultimate devotion for God? When a man and woman are united sexually―that is where the couple can show genuine love to God by not fornicating, not reaching the orgasm, by not behaving in sex as a beast. Because as Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a great Sufi master, taught us, that the way that we have sex is the way that God will be with us. If we have sex like animals, God will be with us as the avenger, as justice―to punish us for our crimes, for indulging in negative behaviors and causing harm to others. But if we are in sex as a pure being, trying to develop chastity and sexual moral purity, God will be with us as mercy.
We have the two pillars of the Tree of Life: mercy and justice. If we want to follow God, we go to the right in sexuality, meaning: we go towards the right pillar trying to follow transmutation. The left pillar can represent the energies going down, because if we behave as animals in sex, then those energies go down Klipoth, to hell, and that is how God will be with us, if that is how we have sex. So Rumi is affirming what Thomas à Kempis or Samael Aun Weor taught.
Now, the way that we help to curtail the negative aspects of our mind, of our psychology, we have to learn how to pray for others and learn forgiveness, to not take accounts towards other people, to not justify our behavior, but to really become selfless. Mysticism really begins with transmutation, developing the heart. We cultivate this compassion for others with our transmutative work by developing compassion for others. We say bodhichitta, which in Sanskrit signifies the heart-mind of wisdom: the empty nature of all phenomena, how things are impermanent, and also compassion and love for others.
St. Francis of Assisi
We have this image of Saint Francis of Assisi, and we included his famous prayer from his teaching. You see that he has a skull at his knees, meaning all the garbage of the intellect is dead. It is in the grave. You notice in this image that he is praying up to the heavens, almost up towards his own middlebrow, which is where we have the atom of the Father, the spiritual atomic intelligence: Atom Anu.
It is through death of our own desires that we really develop true love for humanity, and we cease to be interested in our own welfare alone. Mysticism is founded on this. The way that we develop ourselves is by helping others. By learning to work for the benefit of all beings, we in turn benefit ourselves. This is a reciprocal law of nature. But the problem is, as soon as we want to do something that is selfless, the mind reacts, fights. What will help calm that storm is developing willpower.
So as Francis of Assisi taught us,
"Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.”
―Saint Francis of Assisi
Question: Part of this is concentrating to observe your defects on this mystical path. Part of it is that?
Instructor: Yes, for the one whom God loves, whom Allah loves, as stated in the Sufi scriptures, there is no rest. For the one who fears God, there is no rest. So it is a constant battle. Always. This moment. Never losing one's guard. The way that we can help understand our own defects is by studying these teachings: the prayers of the great prophets and saints, because they teach us anecdotes and axioms that help us reflect on our selfish nature so that we can transform it into a selfless nature―egoless.
Redemption on the Gnostic Path
Now what is necessary, in order to develop mysticism, we need to develop the Gnostic path within, which, as we mentioned, is precisely to work with sexual energy, but there is much more involved to it, which we are going to elaborate.
In this image, we have the resurrected Jesus before Mary Magdalene, and the Gnostic path precisely works with the sexual brain, the sexual center. I am going to read for you this quote from Samael Aun Weor, who explains the meaning of the archetype or symbol of Mary Magdalene. This is from The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled:
“’And Jesus, the compassionate, answered and said unto Mary (Magdalene): “Mary, thou blessed one, whom I will perfect in all mysteries of those of the height, discourse in openness, thou, whose heart is raised to the kingdom of heaven more than all thy brethren.’ ―Jesus
“Mary Magdalene is the repented sinner, Kundry, Gundrigia, the indispensable woman for the Great Work.
“In Wagner’s drama, Parsifal totally transforms the tempter Kundry after she submits to him.
“A man needs a Mary Magdalene in order to work in the Ninth Sphere (Yesod) and in order to obtain the resurrection (meaning, complete death of ego and to be fully united in Binah, the Holy Spirit).
“What is magnificent is to be saved, and to save Kundry, Magdalene.
“Tempter Gundrigia, Magdalene, Kundry, you will be perfected in all mysteries of those of the Height, more than all your brethren. […]” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
For as it states later in this text:
“…In the cathedral of the soul there is more happiness for one repented sinner than for a thousand righteous ones who do not need repentance.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, as the story goes. So what does Magdalene represent? The word mag in Indo-European language means “priest, magician, mage.” So a priest, a real magician, is one who works in alchemy, who is transforming the prostitute of the body, into something holy. As we discussed about the Sabbath, ב Beth is the house of the body. The fire of Christ is שׁ Shin. Together you spell שַׁבָּת Shabbat. To keep the Sabbath holy is to make one's body holy, meaning, we don't orgasm. We don't waste our forces, and we purify this body that we have. Mary Magdalene also represents the soul, because all of us are prostitutes, deep down in our psyche. We have all sinned against the Holy Ghost, the white swan mentioned in Wagner’s Parsifal that was wounded to death by an arrow.
Now, the way that we practice alchemy determines our purity, and from the great sinners are where great repentants are born. There is more joy for a great demon to repent then there is one who has never committed so much evil. It doesn't justify their action, but it shows the mercy of God. That if we repent, if we as psychologically speaking as prostitutes, as Mary Magdalene, we will be more exalted in heaven than all the angels have never been to such depths as we have.
Comment: Relating that... Victory is much sweeter after defeat...
Instructor: So all of us have committed sins against the Holy Ghost, have committed fornication. And as Samael Aun Weor states:
“Mary Magdalene gleams, and will gleam terribly divine.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled
So the way that we gleam is the work as a mag, a magician, a mage, a priest, with our spouse, with our partner. That is ultimately how we will be redeemed.
Question: I have run into individuals who are extremely strong in their faith and most of them are Christian and some believe, and there is no reason to doubt... They have abilities to heal their own children. There is no doubt their faith is extremely strong. They don't know and they don't practice what truly is the perfect matrimony. How is it possible for them to achieve some of these things?
Instructor: Grace of God, mercy, and also karma. In certain temples, it is well documented that the devotion of the congregation has been able to produce supernatural phenomena like statues moving, gaining life, bleeding sculptures―things of that nature. They don't necessarily know this science, but they have a love of God, which is sincere. But their love would be even more powerful if they were alchemists.
Question: If they are so close to God, why isn't something directing? Even if I were to go out, and I don't because I can see, it would create turmoil in a relationship. Why can't they just believe it? Because I did it to one individual and everything that came out of my mouth was blasphemy.
Instructor: The thing is that they are at a certain level, a certain understanding. Samael Aun Weor taught that we need to learn to respect the will of others. So in your case, you have to learn to do the will of the other person, meaning to not challenge their faith. That's really the most respectable thing to their God, because they are at a certain level, a certain understanding, but not as high as you are because you have been giving a deeper teaching. So the thing is you cannot, as in Buddhism, one should not give the greater Dharma to one of lesser Dharma because they are not mature. As we are going to explain, if you try to put new wine into old wineskins, the skin will break, which we will elaborate upon.
Christ with Publicans and Sinners
So in this image, we have Christ among the publicans and sinners, which constitutes the Gnostic path where he elaborates a very profound teaching about the righteous and the sinners.
"And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
“And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” ―Matthew 9:10-13
So to have mercy and not sacrifice, meaning: we don't sacrifice our neighbor by criticizing them, by criticizing their beliefs. That's very challenging, especially when we want to share this type of knowledge with them. We want to help them, but to them it is criticism. We have to learn to respect the level of being of that person. So Jesus says, “I want mercy, not sacrifice.” Like Nietzsche said, many Christians don't know how to love their God except by sacrificing man, by crucifying man, and that is what we all do on a daily basis. With anger, we crucify, and so we need to learn mercy: to respect the will of of being on the other person and to know that if they want to enter this path, they have to recognize how they really are sinners, because many of them think they are very righteous, that they are holy. “Oh, I believe in Jesus and this is my path.” Really, what they think is that they are righteous even if they say that they are sinners. To really know that one is a sinner is to have comprehension of one's defects.
Comment: Because they truly believe trough the crucifixion of Jesus Christ that they are righteous immediately, and that they will forever be righteous because that is the reason God gave up his own Son.
Instructor: They read things literally. They don't understand that Christ is an energy that needs to be incarnated within the soul.
Comment: So many of them say, “I believe in it. You must believe in it.” There are no practices as far as meditation, but they believe they have faith.
Instructor: Which is why James in the scriptures said, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). So they don't work with meditation. They don't have anything. So we have to learn to respect their level of being.
Comment: You can't because they get very recalcitrant. When they get that in their brain, better you back off.
Instructor: Sometimes that is the only thing we can do.
"Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?” ―Matthew 9:14
So this is relating to how many people who follow the literal tradition of Judaism or any faith criticize the initiates, criticize those who are trying to walk the path of initiation.
"And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” ―Matthew 9:15
The disciples of the exoteric traditions confront us as and say, “Why don't you fast physically?” But Jesus says that isn't the meaning of fasting. He talked to them on an internal level. It means that when God is with us at some points and then retracts, and then we fast in one's soul. So many people confront, can confront us saying, “Why don't you do as we do, follow our tradition, our path?” And Jesus spoke to them as well―it is a psychological work. It isn't about external things, just raising one hand and saying, “I believe in Jesus.” It isn't about that. That isn't real mysticism, because faith without works is dead.
In relation to people being able to receive this type of teaching, we have this quote, one, of my favorites, by the Master Aberamentho.
“No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” ―Matthew 9:16-17
The wine of Gnosis, the wine of alchemy, the wine of transmutation, is this science and teaching. You cannot put this wine into a mind that is really degenerated and is attached to its own beliefs. People who say, “I want your wine, but let me pour it in my preconceptions, filthy bag of theories, this wine bag,” which is old and rotten. You pour the wine in and then the bottle breaks―having arguments and conflict with people because the wine is not appropriate for them.
We want to give them new wine, then they have to have a new wineskin, meaning: they have to have an entirely new type of mentality.
You can't put this type of teaching into someone who is antithetical to it. You can't also put an old piece of cloth on a new garment. You are going to ruin both. So in order for people to accept and follow this teaching, they need to learn to be receptive, meaning, like in Tsong Khapa's teaching in Buddhism in his Lam Rim Chen Mo: the bowl has to face upward. If it is facing down, you can't give anything.
Question: If you were to pray in the constant presence of Jesus Christ and you just don't ever speak to your Divine Mother, what are the consequences?
Instructor: One thing is: whom do we mean by Jesus Christ?
Comment: Christ, the love, God...
Instructor: When we pray to our inner Christ, we pray to our Being, we can pray to our Divine Mother too, and with it because within Christ is the Divine Mother. Within the Divine Mother is Christ. So these are aspects of our inner divinity, which become integrated through this work that we are doing. So we can pray to all or or one or the other, but follow your heart in terms of what part of your Being you wish to address, because a child doesn't need a formula to speak to God.
The Wine of Spiritual Transmutation
Now in relation to this path of the wine drinkers, the Gnostic path, this wine of alchemy, we have the teachings of Jesus at the wedding of Cana. People think, literally, this is a story about how Jesus transformed physical water into physical wine to get people drunk. We have to understand that this is at a wedding. Man and woman together can produce and transform the water of sex into the wine of God, into the spiritual intoxication that the Sufis speak so abundantly about. We will explain this part of the Gospel:
“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus [meaning Miriam in Hebrew, which means to raise the Kundalini that rises, the serpent of fire that rises up the spinal column. The mother of Jesus] was there:
“And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
“And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” ―John 2:1-4
So this is a Kabbalistic teaching in its depth. They are at a marriage with many people who are fornicators and clairvoyantly, they see, well, Miriam, the Divine Mother, says this person does not have wine, meaning they don't have the serpents raised of fire. Then Jesus said, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come,” meaning he cannot incarnate within the soul until that wine is elevated, until the serpents of fire are developed in a marriage.
"His mother [Miriam] saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
“And there were set there six waterpots of stone [the work with Yesod through Arcanum 6], after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.” ―John 2:5-6
So the number six in Kabbalistic numerology relates to the sixth sephirah, Tiphereth, and the stone represents Yesod.
Question: Which is the heart, right?
Instructor: Yes, so Tiphereth is the heart and the stone is precisely Yesod, the sexual power.
So the bodhisattva, we can say Jesus, has to transform that water into light, into wine, through Tiphereth and through Yesod, through sex. So Christ is working from above, the Trinity of the Tree of Life through the heart, and then commanding sex, because the fires of sexuality are dominated by the fires of the heart.
“Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
“And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
“When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
“And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” ―John 2: 7-10
So what does it mean to keep the wine until later? It means that that development only comes through work. The best wine is saved for last. We have to progressively earn that right to raise the fire by developing the heart and working with Yesod.
“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” ―John 2:11
Fishers of Men: Sacrifice for Humanity
So the Gnostic path as the path of transmutation also relates to the teachings of sacrifice for humanity. We have in this image the fishermen following after Jesus where Jesus eventually said "Be thou fishers of men." So this refers to how, as the disciples of this teaching, we seek to help others learn the science. Now, not all of us necessarily may become an instructor or may want to or have that disposition, but many of the great masters who follow the Gnostic path perform this sacrifice. They became missionaries or teachers, instructors. They learn to fish for human beings, fish for students in the sea of life, in order to provide them this teaching. Scripturally, it is states in Mark, Chapter 1, verses 16 to 22:
"Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
“And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
“And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
“And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.” ―Mark 1:16-19
So what are these nets that people throw out into the world? The theories and doctrines that they have about religion to try to capture people and pull them into their congregation. “We are the chosen ones, the saved ones. Follow us and you are all set.” So Christ is actually against all those terrestrial doctrines, which are really ignorant of the esoteric heart of religion.
"And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.” ―Mark 1:20
Or as Jesus taught:
“He who loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he who loves son and daughter more than me is not worthy of me (who does not follow after me).” ―Matthew 10:37
It doesn't mean that we disregard our parents or family. It means that we take priority in terms of: who do we love first? Christ. We do what is necessary to incarnate Christ, and then we can love family and neighbor. First, love thy God above all things and thy neighbor as thyself. The problem is people in their traditions and religions, they say they love God and then their brother is next, but really they love themselves. They love their beliefs.
"And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
“And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” ―Mark 1:21-22
Meaning, teaching the doctrine of Christ, he humbly provided higher teaching in which people were shocked. When they hear this type of science, they get shocked, even angry, because it contradicts everything they believe.
Comment: That is one of the reasons the Pharisees were down under him?
Instructor: Exactly. The Pharisees are also in our mind. Our egos don't like this teaching, fight against the work of Christ in our interior, our desires.
To elaborate on this teaching of the fishermen, I'd like to quote to you an excerpt from Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, where he plays a bit on this teaching of fishers of men, but it is very insightful in terms of understanding what Jesus taught. So we have this image of the mountains upon which Nietzsche composed his book. So he says:
“Why sacrifice? I squander what is given to me, I―a squanderer with a thousand hands; how could I call that sacrificing?” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Meaning, giving knowledge to others. So we talk about sacrifice for humanity, which Nietzsche was familiar with, and the fact that he is teaching his disciples, he says “Well, I don't call this sacrifice that I am giving so much,” and he says, “like a squandered, I am with a thousand hands.” Meaning, “I give what I receive internally in the internal worlds, that I give to my disciples.” This is what Nietzsche is saying. So to have a thousand hands is the symbol of Avalokiteshvara, the Cosmic Christ in Buddhism who has literally a thousand arms.
"And when I desired honey, I merely desired bait and sweet mucus and mucilage, which even growling bears and queer, sullen, evil birds put out their tongues―the best bait, needed by hunters and fishermen." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
What is the honey a symbol of? A symbol of alchemy, because the pollen of the flower is transformed, transmuted, into the sweetness of the soul. It is interesting. We know that the bee is a devolving creature that degenerated. Samael Aun Weor explains the history of the kingdom of the bees and the ants. But the bees, the fact that it is a degenerate creature and is able to create something so beautiful like honey, attests to the grace and virtue of this path. That as evil as we are, we can change. We can produce honey, and every day our body produces honey, the semen, that when you transmute it, is the wine of the alchemists.
Question: Because the bees fell?
Instructor: Yeah, we say that the race of humanity that devolved into bees, they fornicated, and they produce a very degenerated society, but that is another topic.
But the fact is that this honey is mucus and mucilage, that even queer, evil birds, and growling bears who are angry people, are attracted to it. They are people who get angry when you contradict them, but when they see how sweet the honey of the doctrine is, they can't resist. Their soul can't resist. So their ego is fighting against you, but, “Well, this is the way it is,” and people get mad at you for trying to teach them this. Also, evil, queer, sullen birds, meaning black magicians, even they can change. Give them honey. This is the real path. Then if they renounce their old ways, then even they will pull out their tongues: “Give me more.”
"For if the world is like a dark jungle and a garden of delight for all wild hunters, it strikes me even more, and so I prefer to think of it, as an abysmal, rich sea―a sea full of colorful fish and crabs, which even gods might covet, that for their sakes they would wish to become fishermen and net-throwers: so rich is the world in queer things, great and small. Especially the human world, the human sea: that is where I now cast my golden fishing rod and say: Open up, you human abyss!” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
What is it that the gods might covet? The gods, like we said, “There is more joy for a sinner who repents than a thousand righteous ones who have no need for repentance.” So there are levels of realization involved. The gods covet, they feel love for those who are really ascending higher than them as a result of their work. The sea of life is the abysmal sea, the abyss in which the Gnostic seeks to catch fish.
"Open up and cast up to me your fish and glittering crabs! With my best bait I shall today bait the queerest human fish!” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
In these studies, we meet all sorts of people. We are unique in these studies.
"My happiness itself I cast out far and wide, between sunrise, noon, and sunset, to see if many human fish might not learn to wriggle and wiggle from my happiness until, biting at my sharp hidden hooks, they must come up to my height―the most colorful abysmal groundlings, to the most sarcastic of all who fish for men. For that is what I am through and through: reeling, reeling in, raising up, raising, a raiser, cultivator, and disciplinarian, who once counseled himself, not for nothing: Become who you are!" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
What is that in Hebrew? אהיה אשר אהיה Eheieh Asher Eheieh. “He is the One Who becomes.” So: become who you are, meaning, your inner Kether who is inside you.
"Thus men may now come up to me; for I am still waiting for the sign that the time has come for my descent (from Tiphereth down); I still do not myself go under, as I must do, under the eyes of men. That is why I wait here, cunning and mocking on high mountains, neither impatient nor patient, rather as one who has forgotten patience too, because his “passion” is over… " ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
This refers to teachers. I mean, we teach for a long time, and then one learns to be patient and not to be impatient about students coming to be able to help them. But we fish and we wait for souls to bite and then they taste the honey. They say, “I want more,” so you raise them up through discipline, through practice, so that they can become who they are, become who you are: your inner Kether.
“And verily my eternal destiny does not hurry and press me, and it leaves me time for jests and sarcasm (and joking around and laughing having a good sense of humor), so that I could climb this high mountain today to catch fish. Has a man ever caught fish on high mountains? And even though what I want and do up here be folly (to people who don't know anything about esotericism), it is still better than if I became solemn down there from waiting, and green and yellow―a swaggering wrath-snorter from waiting, a holy, howling storm out of the mountains, an impatient one who shouts down into the valleys, ‘Listen or I shall whip you with the scourge of God!’” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Precisely all the people―the fanatics we are talking about. To fish for disciples on a mountain, that is what the initiates do―teaching and teaching and elevating their level of being, and seeking for others to rise up to their own intimate heights, their own Kether, to “become who you are.”
The Path of Yoga
We are going to speak about the path of yoga next. We have this image of Shiva meditating and a quote from Samael Aun Weor from The Revolution of Beelzebub where he explains how yoga is completely synthesized within Gnostic doctrine.
“All of the seven schools of Yoga are within Gnosis, yet they are in a synthesized and absolutely practical way.
“There is Tantric Hatha Yoga in the practices of the Maithuna (Sexual Magic). There is practical Raja Yoga in the work with the chakras. There is Jnana Yoga in our practices and mental disciplines which we have cultivated in secrecy for millions of years. We have Bhakti Yoga in our prayers and Rituals. We have Laya Yoga in our meditation and respiratory exercises. Samadhi exists in our practices with the Maithuna and during our deepest meditations. We live the path of Karma Yoga in our upright actions, in our upright thoughts, in our upright feelings, etc.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub
So notice how this quote synthesizes everything we discussed about the three brains: upright thought, feeling, and action―how prayer is Bhakti Yoga, the path of the mystic. Sexual magic is the path of the Gnostic. All this is integral, and yoga is essential to the Gnostic path, just as mysticism is to the other two.
We had it before in the image of Master Jesus in the wilderness tempted by the devil. That devil is our mind, our own animal ego, who is constantly trying to lure our attention down to Klipoth, to material things. In the gospels, he says, “Bow to me and I'll give you all the kingdoms of the world.” We have here a quote from John Milton's Paradise Regained―which John Milton is a great master. He composed Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, and other classic works of English literature.
Question: Did he die young or…
Instructor: No, he was he was older. He was around 64 [66 years old] I think when he died, but he was blind. He went blind, a terrible karma he had to pay. He suffered a lot for it, but his poetry he dictated while he was blind―his great masterpieces near the end of his life, in which we are fortunate to have this literature.
In this image, we have Christ confronted by the devil, and how Christ always points upward, like the pentagram always facing up towards heaven. The quote I am going to read to you is when Satan is tempting him with all the kingdoms of the world, and how he will give them power in Malkuth if he follows him. But this is what Jesus says through John Milton:
“Extol not riches then, the toil of fools,
The wise man’s cumbrance if not snare, more apt
To slacken virtue, and abate her edge,
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise.
What if with like aversion I reject
Riches and realms; yet not for that a crown,
Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns,
Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights
To him that wears the regal diadem,
When on his shoulders each man’s burden lies;
For herein stands the office of a king,
His honor, virtue, merit and chief praise,
That for the public all this weight he bears.
Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king;
Which every wise and virtuous man attains:
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule
Cities of men or head-strong multitudes,
Subject himself to anarchy within,
Or lawless passions in him which he serves.
But to guide nations in the way of truth
By saving doctrine, and from error lead
To know, and knowing worship God aright,
(meaning to really teach them this science that we are practicing, so that they can know God, not to rule physical kingdoms)
Is yet more kingly; this attracts the soul,
(like the honey, the mucilage that Nietzsche mentions)
Governs the inner man, the nobler part,
That other o’er the body only reigns,
And oft by force, which to a generous mind
So reigning can be no sincere delight.”
–John Milton, Paradise Regained, Book II: ll. 453-480
And that might be easier for me because I study a lot of English, but I suggest to study Milton. He is a great master. His literature is profound. He gave a very divine teaching.
The Stages of Meditation
In this image, this graphic, we have Jesus meditating following the path of yoga with the symbol of AUM above his head, which is the mantra of Chesed, the eternal. So yoga―or in Jnana Yoga, as we are going to explain in terms of meditation―really is constituted or practiced in this way. This quote comes from Igneous Rose by Samael Aun Weor:
“Oriental wisdom practices meditation in the following order:
“It is necessary to place the body in the most comfortable position (Asana).” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
With yoga, we don't need to perform the full lotus or half lotus if that is discomforting for our body. We can sit like Maitreya in Buddhism. He is the only Buddha-figure in Mahayana Buddhism that sits in a chair, western-style―whatever posture is comfortable for us to practice.
Comment: He said that those are good for people in most parts of eastern areas. But he said the position is the most comfortable for you.
Instructor: Right, because many people try meditating for years and they just spent twenty years trying to learn to sit with their body. They don't get anywhere with their mind. It is terrible.
Question: Same with sexual magic. Do you know how there are all these different positions given? Isn't it the same thing? Just whatever is most comfortable for that couple?
Instructor: Yes. So there are teachings of the Kama Sutra, which has a lot of degeneration in it, but there are postures that are beneficial. It is really a mixed book, I would say.
Comment: Yeah, well especially now. If you try to find that book now, it's pornographic.
Instructor: They add a lot of things, but there are certain postures that were not adulterated. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that text. But there are certain postures that Samael Aun Weor mentions in The Mystery of the Golden Flower which are beneficial for different body types.
Question: Can we still taste the energy?
Instructor: Yes. It also helps maintain one's strength and connection and prolong...
Question: Mystery of the Golden Flower?
Instructor: Yes, this text.
Question: I always heard you say how it benefits sitting upright (regarding meditation), because the spine is sitting upright, but my most comfortable position is laying in bed.
Instructor: Yes, so long as you can practice in the beginning, not necessarily falling asleep. I love lying and meditating on my back when I have a lot of energy. But if I am too tired, I know I am going to knock out so, I immediately sit down on a chair so it is easier.
Comment: Ok, yeah, because it's evident that I am falling asleep...
Instructor: So the solution is work with japa: mantra recitation or pranayama, something to give you energy. You can do runes before you sit to practice so that you have more willpower to sit and not let your body dominate you.
Comment: You have to be comfortable but the breath... It relaxes you, but some people hyperventilate. I found it's different for different people. It's a cycle, but it's small, but it is also deep and when it comes up and then concentrating on your heart, there are different ways of doing this. It helps me a lot and you don't go asleep.
Instructor: When you are praying, that is to work with the springs of devotion that Kempis mentioned, so that the storm in the mind and the turbulence of the waters are calm. So, asana in the beginning, we need to physically relax―any posture physically that's conducive for us to maintain our attention, but to be completely relaxed. So again, different postures for different people.
Comment: A candle works but also a diffuser. So you have frankincense. Frankincense really gets you in an elevated calm...
Instructor: If you don't like burning incense in your home, diffusers are excellent. So that can help you relax. I use a diffuser too. I like to use pine, or a company called Young Living, and one product called Thieves, which, if you don't necessarily want to burn incense in your home, you can use essential oils to clean the atmosphere through a diffuser.
Comment: On the incense, I did get it but the company burnt Frankincense granules. The company in the past, it was slow burning and it was clean. Now some of these that are coming in very fast burning and is stronger. So that is why I went with the diffuser. It is the same company, but whatever they are using, the charcoal, it just burns fast and strong.
Instructor: You want to find one that will burn long and gradually. Sometimes you have to do some shopping. All that will help to calm the body. It is preliminary.
Pratyahara is to not think about anything. For most people, the challenge is just finding a posture that's comfortable. But that's not even the beginning, really. The beginning of really entering concentration is to not think. Try not to think. That is the challenge. Don't let the intellect try to deliberate and speculate and think about other things.
In order to achieve concentration, which is to concentrate on only one thing, it doesn't mean that we have to have a mind, in the beginning, that is completely silent. There are degrees, like clarity in a storm, in which the clouds part for a moment and you can see the sun. It is an allegory for meditative states. Sometimes the storm is going on. You can see the storm, but the clouds open for a little bit and you have a sense of peace, a type of non-thought, a serenity of non-thought that Samael Aun Weor mentions.
Comment: When you feel calm here, in the heart, that will silence the mind at least for me. It is a lightness of heart. Not to have concentration. You know, to be still. None of that. It is a certain lightness in conjunction with the breath. Slowly when you get that conjoined, when you synthesize that, it seems like it silences the mind.
Instructor: And one we silence the mind, we need to concentrate on one thing. Focus on an object of meditation, whether it be a line from scripture, a book, a teaching we received, an experience we had, an image. There are many things we can focus on, or as we are going to explain while we are giving classes in our new place, we are going to talk about retrospective meditation. You know we are going to talk about retrospective meditation: to meditate on our day, to focus on the egos we wish to comprehend and to annihilate. So we are going to practice it diligently when we meet.
There are many things we can concentrate on in our practice. Dhyana is meditation, when we actually reflect on the content of the object of concentration we wish to understand. Meditation is when we receive new information, new insight.
Samadhi is when we are fully conscious and we unite with God. Samadhi is also comprehension. It is a spark of understanding, like a lightning bolt that suddenly, in meditation, we understand something in a way we never understood before, and the mind is shocked and silent. It is a spark, and then afterwards, usually what happens, the thunder clouds come and say, “No, I don't understand what happened. No, that was just your mind, your ego.” But you knew you experienced something objective. That is Samadhi, a minor degree. There are many levels, as many and variant as the dimensions in the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah.
Question: So that is in the physical and that is also in the spiritual realms?
Instructor: Samadhi can happen any moment if we are really diligent in paying attention. For as al-Junayd said in a Sufi doctrine:
“…whoever does not establish awe of duty and vigilance in his relationship to God will not arrive at disclosure of the unseen (unveiling) or contemplation (witnessing) of the divine." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
To establish awe of duty is to meditate, to respect and venerate the tradition in which we are practicing, so that we can cultivate the exercises we wish to work with. To establish vigilance in our relationship to us and our Being, then we can attain unveiling where the mind, the illusions of the mind, are torn and we witness God.
Question: So to get that lightning, that sharp shock that you are talking about, is through meditation?
Instructor: Yes, that is how we develop that.
Comment: Because that is the only way I can leave my body. I have to have that lightning.
Instructor: You have to relax. Relax and develop comprehension of the body and your mental states. Mental states are more important.
Question: This can happen during the day too? That shock?
Instructor: Yes. When you are walking down the street and you are daydreaming and suddenly... I have had this instant where sometimes I am paying attention, but my mind is wandering and I am losing my focus. And so I get a shock like “wake up!” from my Being, just out of nowhere. Or I am just doing something completely trivial and then, getting shocked. It reminds me of a saying by Mansur al-Hallaj. He was a Muslim Christ. He said, “When God loves his disciple, he will use even his stray thoughts to bring him back to attention.” So he will address your thoughts like “You were just thinking about this and forgetting me.” “I'm sorry,” I say. “ I'm sorry that I disobeyed,” and then keep working. So in the daytime that is the type of Samadhi, a comprehension which is very alarming and provides awareness. It is a clear perception.
“It is necessary to place the body in the most comfortable position (Asana).
“It is indispensable to blank the mind before concentrating (Pratyahara).
“It is urgent to know how to fix the mind on only one object (Dharana).
“Then, we profoundly reflect on the content of the object itself (Dhyana).
“Thus, through this way, we reach ecstasy (Samadhi).
“All of these esoteric disciplines of the mind must saturate our daily life.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Like I mentioned to you, you can be walking on the street and your meditation should be when you are walking down the street. Everywhere we go, we need to be meditating, remembering God, so that insight comes spontaneously.
Question: What were those steps again? Relax, silence the mind...
Instructor: Yes. Asana is posture. Pratyahara is no thought. Dharana is concentration on one thing. Dhyana is meditation, when we reflect on the object of our concentration. Samadhi is ecstasy, comprehension.
Conclusion: The Seven Rays of Spiritual Evolution
So to conclude, there is the end of the quote from the book I mentioned in the beginning, from the book Igneous Rose. Samael Aun Weor explains how the three paths: the mystic, yogi, and the Gnostic help to develop our own spiritual idiosyncrasy, known as the seven cosmic rays. So this is what Samael Aun Weor mentioned in the beginning, which I am going to reiterate.
“The seven rays of cosmic evolution are synthesised in these three ways [the Mystical, Gnostic, and Yogic paths] that the Nazarene showed.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
There are seven mighty rays. Now I am stepping aside from “ways” and talking about the “rays.” In this image, we have the lamb with seven horns and seven eyes mentioned in the Book of Revelation, which symbolizes the energy of Christ that manifests in seven primary fashions, seven primary ways. Every time a new God emerges from the Absolute, a new Spirit unfolding down the Tree of Life, that monad or Spirit, that Being, expresses and enters into one of seven rays. These are influences, or idiosyncrasies in God, in Christ.
So there are seven, because seven is the number or law of cosmic organization and order, just as we know that there are seven main planets in alchemy, seven primary virtues, seven vices, which relates to these influences. I have a quote from Samael Aun Weor. He explains in his book The Seven Words:
“Each master belongs to a certain ray, for there are seven rays of cosmic evolution." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Divine Science: The Seven Words
And I am going to quote for you also the archangels that govern those rays. So each of us, our Being, belongs to one of the seven rays I am going to mention.
I reiterate, these rays refer to qualities in our inner God that are unique to that ray and unique to us. There are certain predispositions and qualities that associate with these different rays, which we develop in ourselves by working with the three ways: the mystic, the Gnostic, and the yogi. Samael mentions that our own ray or spiritual influence is developed particular to us by how we practice mysticism, transmutation, Gnosticism, meditation, and yoga.
The Lunar Ray pertains to Gabriel relating to the Moon, to preconception, conception, fertility, growth, the tides, lunar influences, maternity, birth, growth. Those refer to the angels of the Lunar Ray which are governed by Gabriel. Yesod relates to Gabriel.
We have the Mercurian Ray, which relates to medicine, philosophy, science, governed by Raphael. So the angels of medicine who heal many sick patients in the internal planes belong follow the Angel Raphael, Mercurial science, hermetic science, philosophy.
The Venusian Ray is governed by the Angel Uriel, the arts, love, compassion, music, flowers, poetry, art, literature―things of that nature. The angels of that ray follow Uriel.
Question: Uriel, wasn't he assigned to Earth?
Instructor: Uriel relates to Venus, but Venus is the one who produces and blossoms and flowers in the Earth.
The Solar Ray relates to Michael, relating to high dignitaries, courts, supreme officials. The Solar Ray and the Martian Ray have a close relationship.
The Martian Ray relates to the police, karma, the law, severity, the warriors of Mars: the angels or Elohim that are the masters of strength. This ray is governed by Samael, the Angel Samael. So he is an angel of protection like Michael.
Michael also relates to power because the sphere Geburah in the Tree of Life is astrologically related to Mars, but also to the Sun. So Geburah, the angels of Mars and the Solar Ray, have a deep connection.
The ray of Jupiter relates to politics. So it comes to my attention the 14th Dalai Lama who I suspect probably belongs to this ray because he is very involved with politics. Gandhi and many other individuals. Even Jesus is said to have belonged to the ray of Jupiter, which is governed by Zachariel.
Question: Is that why there is a Z with the sign of ♃ Jupiter on top?
Instructor: It looks like a Z, yeah, because it is Zachariel. The Hebrew letter ז Zayin can be formed to look like the sign of ♃ Jupiter.
Now, the ray of Orifiel relate to the angels of death who are responsible for helping the souls after they disincarnate―also to properties, fortunes, anything related to mortuary science, death.
Question: Isn't Pluto in there somewhere?
Instructor: Pluto we say is the kingdom of death and relates to hell. So the inverted aspect of Saturn is that.
Here we are only speaking about the positive relationship. There is also seven demons related to the infernal aspect, which we conjure with the Conjuration of the Seven, by invoking these angels.
As it says in the Book of Revelation, how Christ manifests in these ways:
"And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.“ ―Revelations 5:6
So all of us belong to one of these rays.
Questions and Answers
Question: How do we find out which one we are from?
Instructor: Samael mentions one method. You raise your eyebrows. You count how many transverse lines you have over your forehead.
Comment: I have three.
Instructor: Technically that should say you are from the ray of Uriel, because one line relates to the lunar. Two lines relate to the Mercurian ray.
Question: Which that would be Saturn?
Instructor: No. Uriel is the arts.
Question: That would be Venus?
Instructor: Venus relates to three, the three lines. So the fourth ray, four lines relates to Michael. Five lines, the fifth ray relates to Samael. Six lines relates to Zachariel. And seven lines relates to Orifiel.
The problem is if we are old and if we have too many lines, it is hard to tell. Personally, the way that you figure out your ray is by learning to meditate and going out of your body, and then having experiences, because personally I have had many experiences about my ray and things about my Being that I learned from having Samadhis, in which Samael was teaching me, “This is your ray. This is where you belong. This is your path.” The way that I accomplished it, not that I am special, but you know, is just by practicing. By practicing and by being consistent. By practicing yoga, developing mysticism, and following the Gnostic path. It is how are you going to find the secret of your ray and what is the idiosyncrasy of your Being.
Question: Can you start working with how the planets are being aligned? And you know how astrology is. Can you work with that in some ways?
Instructor: We teach astrology too, to know how to read the stars to understand influences in our life. We have a book available called Practical Astrology, which teaches about that.
Now one thing I want to note about the seven rays is that it is eternal. It doesn't change. When your Being emerged from the Absolute and entered into the universe, that Being, that spark entered into one of the seven rays. It never leaves its ray.
Question: So life after life?
Instructor: Same ray. So even if we have had many different personalities under different zodiacal signs, even though we have developed in certain ways in different lifetimes, different cultures, our ray is eternal. It never changes. So you take it with you all the way to the Absolute and beyond. So there are some theosophists who are saying that a person can change their ray, and that is impossible.
Question: Is there a teaching within Gnosticism that if you are a male, you are always a male?
Instructor: One is not always a male and one isn't always a female. Because if you are observing your mind, you'll find that you have many feminine egos and male egos. So, I have observed that in myself, like, “Where did this come from? I am not a woman!” But meditating on that you can see that there are connections to past lives.
Question: So is there a belief in soul mate?
Instructor: Yes, and we say in Kabbalah that our soul mate is Geburah.
Question: So whatever your soul mate is, are you opposite no matter what lifetime you are in?
Instructor: Not necessarily, and that is a very serious karma. Tchaikovsky experienced that. His closest male friend was his soul mate. They couldn't be together, because to do that would have been a crime. So, he was a great master who suffered a lot because his soul mate, as he represented in Romeo and Juliet, he couldn't be with her because she was in a male body.
Question: What happens with the homosexuals then? How come there is no polarity there according to the occultists?
Instructor: They are just like leaves. A lot of them were like leaves tossed the wind, sadly. And many don't even consider changing.
Question: Is your soul mate the same in every single life, but you just have a different relationship?
Instructor: Soul mate?
Question: Yeah. If you are married to someone and that is your husband and wife by law, were they your person in every... maybe once they were your son or once they were this?...
Instructor: Possibly. The way to investigate that is to really speak to a master of the law of karma and they will tell you. I mean, if you are married to a certain person, that means that you probably know them for a long time. There's nothing new under the earth, but what is new under the earth is that by investigating, you will see, “Okay, who was this person in my past lives?” Different relationships maybe.
Question: When you say asking a master, you are talking about internally?
Instructor: Internally, yeah.
Question: I don't know how to ask this question. Like do you have one soul mate for the whole cycle of eternity and that is like your partner in life?
Instructor: Samael talks about soul mates in different levels. He talks about Geburah and Tiphereth as soul mates. He also talks about, in his case, the reason he fell was because he fell in love with a certain woman when he was a god already, and he fell, meaning he didn't control his sexual energy. He had sex with her and he fell. She was, you could say, the first woman he was with even before Litelantes, which was the wife he worked with in order to rise upwards. So there could be variation. It depends on karma.
Question: Wasn't he with other women after Litelantes?
Instructor: There was one woman he was with. He had certain partners before he married her and eventually after his wife Litelantes he had to practice with another woman. It is mentioned in his life's story.
Question: So I guess that makes sense.
Instructor: What matters is this: be with a person your God wants you to be with and follow your Being. Nothing else matters. So your God will tell you to be with a certain person that you love. Follow your heart and follow your inner God, the will of your Being. Sometimes, you know, karma is very painful, and many people may get into relationships and they break up, even if they are in a Gnostic relationship. It could be very heartbreaking, but the thing is to follow the will of your God. No matter what, you will be fine. So the one who joins together in marriages and dissolves marriages is the Lord, and we have to always obey the Lord. Pray and hope that we are always with a certain person in our life. If both partners are working seriously and are sacrificing and really working in a marriage, then there could be change, and there can be solidarity and the union is even stronger, depending on the work of the couple.
Are there any other questions?
Question: I remember you showing me your charm and I was looking for something similar. I don't know, but there is one charm that was just like this and it was made out of copper. But it also said Wiccan on it. So again, my intuition told me no, but I still purchased it and I'll be very honest, it it seemed to harm me more than help me, so I stopped wearing it.
Instructor: So the thing is, if you are dubious about the place you buy things, don't buy them from there necessarily. For places like that, I don't buy amulets, because those get charged from the atmosphere of the place they are in. There are other places you can get the Gnostic pentagram and there is a method to consecrate it as we give in the book The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled in which you can bless any pentagram you have such as this one made of silver.
Question: There is nothing bad if it's copper, but for some reason that told me something.
Instructor: Copper is fine, but typically you want to get a pentagram that has seven metals. Because the seven metals relate to the seven nervous systems of the seven planets. For Mercury, there is quicksilver and then the Venusian ray relates to copper. Gold relates to the Sun, Michael. Iron relates to Samael, the fifth ray, Mars. Tin relates to Jupiter. And then lead relates to Orifiel, the ray of death.
Question: So your pentagram has all of those?
Instructor: It doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a big thing.
Question: Is there any store in Chicago?
Instructor: I know people I can get it from so I can look into that and try to get some pentagrams for sale.
Question: But you are also saying there is another process after that?
Instructor: Yes, so in The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled, you can consecrate a pentagram, an amulet, and it is in the very beginning of that book, the Gnostic Bible, that explains it in detail.
Question: Did you say it had lead in that?
Instructor: Yes, Saturn. The seven metals relate to the seven rays. So each metal is pertinent to one of the angels. Now, I had an experience internally where my Being told me, “The name Samael is like a metal,” and I reflected on that and, well, iron relates to Samael. Iron is like the nervous system of the planet Mars. So if you go to Mars, just like the Earth, or if go to Saturn, they are just like the Earth, but different constitutions. Mars is red because of the iron content that has predominance. It is the nervous system of the planet Mars.
Earth is a mixture, but the different planets relate to the different metals because that's the primary metal that relates, physically, to that planet, but also to the energies of Christ manifested through those worlds.
Each archangel is a life force of a planet. All of us are connected to one of the rays, to one of the angels.
The thing is to meditate and to discover, “What is our ray?” and to be guided internally. When you learn certain things about your ray, some people ask me, “Why is it important to know my ray?” Well, I ask, “Well, why is it important to know about know your name, your address, your credit card numbers, your social security number?”―things that you consider important that make things work physically. So spiritually speaking, when you know your ray, it is going to tell you about how to work spiritually as it relates to your inner divinity.
Today we are going to discuss more in depth the nature of energy in relation with the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, and how the energies of our psychology, of our mentality, of our spirit, in different gradations, how they effect and influence conscious perception. So we are going to discuss what consciousness is. We discussed the science of consciousness, meaning: the methodology for awakening spiritual perception. Today we are going to talk about how energy plays a role, in its different levels, to spiritual awakening.
In this image we have Ptah, who is an Egyptian god. His body is made of gold. We have transposed the image of the Tree of Life in this graphic over this great figure. Ptah relates to Patar, which is the “Father.” We chose this image precisely because, to emphasize a certain point, that the purpose of these studies is to develop the solar human being, made into the image of the Christ, the Christ energy, the Christ force.
So, a real Hu-Man being, is a manas, a mind, a man (whether man or woman) united with Hum, which is wind, which is the spirit, which is רוּחַ Ruach, which is the breath, which is God. So a human being that is solar in nature, has fully developed the ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life, which is the map of our consciousness and different gradations of energy.
A solar human being is one who has incarnated the Christ energy, and has manifested that force within the different sephiroth. Sephiroth means "sphere" or better said, "emanations,” emanations of consciousness, expressions of God, a map of our cosmos but also our inner constitution.
Ptah, the Father, is the ten sephiroth fully realized within us. The Father is an energy, is a force, and if we wish to understand what consciousness is, we need to deeply understand the nature of energy.
Many people conflate energy with consciousness, and do not understand that there is a distinction.
Also, in relation to this topic of the energies of the consciousness, we are going to explain the different paths that have existed in tradition, in order to develop specific types of energy. We are going to discuss specifically the paths of the fakir, the monk, the yogi, and the Gnostic.
We explained that the consciousness is a type of energy. It is a type of force, and when we discuss this energy we talk about the Tree of Life. This is a map of the human being. We have placed this graphic, in the next slide, to discuss the different gradations of matter, energy and perception. Consciousness is a force. It is a spiritual intelligence that is markedly different from the common and current everyday perception that we have. Specifically, it is not mind. Consciousness is not thought, although thought is a type of energy. Consciousness is not emotion. It is not desire, craving, aversion: these relate to the heart. The consciousness is not emotional energy. The consciousness is neither sensation in the body, meaning it is not related to our mechanical or vital energy.
To explain in clarity, we are going to talk about seven types of energy, and how they relate to consciousness, and how we need to use these forces in order to awaken our consciousness within the Being, within the Christ force.
Consciousness and the Sephiroth
Above in this tree, we have the top triangle. You notice in this image of the Tree of Life of the Kabbalists that we have three triangles. Above is the triangle of the Logos, which in the center-top of the pillar, we have Kether, which is the Father, or Patar. We have on the right Chokmah, the Christ, the Son. To the left we have on the top of the left pillar of the Tree of Life, we have Binah, which is the Holy Spirit.
Christ is a force, is an energy we need to develop. In order to understand what Christ is, we need to understand the lower seven sephiroth. Without a knowledge of how we function in this physical plane, which is Malkuth, at the bottom of the tree, we cannot even begin to understand how vital energy works, how emotional energy works, how the mind, our willpower, our consciousness and our spirit work.
To understand Christ, we need to understand how Christ acts in us through different forces, different energies. So Kether means "Crown.” It is the supreme energy of the lord. As we have mentioned in other lectures, Christ comes from the Greek Khrestos, which means "fire," the Greek god of flames. On the right we have Chokmah, the Son. Chokmah means "Wisdom," and it is interesting in relation to this topic, on the nature of perception, wisdom means “the power to perceive.” This is also the meaning of the Hindu name Vishnu, which means “he who penetrates” within every atom of the cosmos. Then Binah means "Understanding," the Holy Spirit, or we could say Jehovah Elohim, in the Bible.
We have on the right, the seven sephiroth counting from the bottom of the tree. So sephiroth is plural for "emanations," sephirah is singular―a sphere of consciousness and of energy. On the right we have the Spirit, which is our Inner Being, our Inner Buddha, and when we perform the prayer of the Lord, the Pater Noster, we are also praying to our Spirit, which is the spiritual energy of the Being within.
To his left we have the consciousness, which is the sixth sphere counting from the bottom of the tree. It is a conscious energy, and this is an energy that most deeply concerns us, because it is the consciousness we seek to awaken and to develop fully within ourselves.
Now, beneath the consciousness we have willpower, relating to Tiphereth, the human soul, the human mind, the superior manas, superior mind. The Hebrew terms for this are Chesed for the Spirit, Geburah for the consciousness, Tiphereth for the human soul, or willpower.
Willpower is in the center of the Tree of Life because our will can either follow the consciousness, from the Being above, or can descend down and follow the animal mind, the ego, desire.
We refer to the next four sephiroth below as the lower quaternary, or the four bodies of sin. So in our previous lecture we discussed the nature of mind and solar bodies, and how each of these spheres is not only a type of energy, but a type of matter, and we talked about the different bodies related to the Tree of Life.
We could say with Chesed is the spiritual body, or spiritual energy. With the consciousness there is the body of consciousness, or conscious energy. In the middle we have the body of willpower, the causal body, or the energy of volition. Beneath that we have four lower bodies, four lower vehicles through which our consciousness can express.
In the physical plane we have to understand that typically these four bodies express through our anatomy, which we are going to be discussing. In the bottom right we have, in Hebrew it is Netzach, which means "Victory," and this is the mental body, or the energy of the mind, mental force.
To the left we have Hod, the third sphere from the bottom, which is "Glory," and as you remember from the Prayer of the Lord, "Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory." Glory is Hod.
The power of God is the vital energy, which is the second sphere from the bottom. Again, the bottom left is Hod, which is emotional energy, psychic energy, the energy of the psyche. Beneath that in the very center of the tree near the bottom is the foundation, Yesod, the vital energy, which as we are going to explain is essential to actualizing the power of Christ within our interior.
Beneath that is Malkuth, the physical body. Malkuth in Hebrew means "Kingdom," and again Yesod is "Foundation."
When we say in the Prayer of the Lord, "Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory," we are referring to Malkuth, the “Kingdom,” the "Power" of Yesod, the sexual force, and the "Glory" which is the astral vehicle, or better said the solar astral body, which we need to develop in sexual magic.
These are gradations of different bodies in which the soul can act, in which the energies of the Lord can manifest. Specifically, in the same way that a vehicle drives with fuel, so to do these vehicles function in accordance with the appropriate energies within them. Therefore, if we want to know these vehicles within our interior, we need to know about these energies, and we need to know about what consciousness is.
As you can see from this glyph, the consciousness, the sixth sphere from the bottom, is neither willpower, volition. Neither is it mental energy. Nor is it emotional force, desire, craving, aversion within the heart. Neither is it vital force. Neither is it our physicality, mechanical energy. Consciousness is the ability to perceive, and extends beyond mind, emotions and sensation, relating to, we can say, the mental body, which correlates to our physical brain. Neither is the consciousness limited to the emotional body, relating to our heart. Neither does sensation, relating to our physicality, our motor center, relating to sex―that is also not consciousness.
Question: Can you give me an example of consciousness?
Instructor: Consciousness is what occurs before we even think, before we even feel, before we experience sensation. For instance, if you are examining your mind, you will find there is a constant fluctuation of thought, of emotions and sensations. The very fact that you are observing this fact in yourself, is demonstrating a type of consciousness, to a minor degree. It needs to develop.
What will deepen that perception is by working precisely with the energies we are going to be explaining. Consciousness is the ability to perceive. An example is, if you are observing yourself, different thoughts emerge, different emotions, and we experience different sensations. We are not those elements. We are not those phenomena that we experience. We are neither mind. We are neither emotion. We are neither sensation, but the ability to perceive is something very distinct. It extends far beyond what we commonly experience.
Usually in our day we are identified with our thoughts, our preoccupations, our projects in the mind. Also, we have certain expectations. We feel happiness, joy or pain in our heart, and we experience sensations when we eat, when we follow our everyday activities.
Question: So with the fifth sphere, which is will, correct?
Question: As you live your life, and utilize that willpower, it helps with your perception as you observe your defects and the different things about you?
Instructor: Good question, we are going to be explaining that, precisely.
Consciousness needs to control the lower sephiroth, so we cannot have our mind independent from consciousness, doing its own thing. That is typically what is our common experience. Our mind is always thinking, projecting, theorizing, debating, arguing, even if towards ourselves and our mind. It never follows a discipline. What we need is the consciousness to control the mind, precisely through our own willpower. Again, our will is our intention, whether we want to follow our being, the consciousness above, or if we follow animal will, which is ego, the animal intellect, or our emotions, or identifying with sensation in the body.
Consciousness, as I said, is the ability to perceive, and we need to, as a consciousness, control the lower sephiroth, the mind, the emotions, our vital energies precisely through willpower.
Question: So could consciousness also be when you know that you are doing something wrong, you are perceiving and knowing that you are doing something wrong, you are observing yourself doing something wrong, but you are still doing it, but that consciousness knows when you are doing something wrong as opposed to when you are doing something right?
Instructor: Yes, and that is exactly symbolized by Jiminy Cricket, in Pinocchio, where the cricket is telling him "Don't do that!" Pinocchio's mind, his mental body, is telling him "No, you should follow your desires and do whatever you want."
Question: So the cricket is the consciousness?
Instructor: It is the consciousness, and also it is very small. It needs to be developed. Pinocchio again is from the Tuscan language, Pinocchio, "pine tree" or "pine seed," a seed that can become a Tree of Life, which is the Kabbalah, עֵץ הַחַיִּים Otz Chayim [literally: Tree of Lives]. We need to follow our consciousness, our own Jiminy Cricket, in order to enter the path. We need to understand that consciousness, again, is not these lower energies. These are energies that can be used by consciousness, if we are disciplined, if we use our willpower.
Question: Going back to that question that he just asked, let us just say your will tells you, "You shouldn't do this," you decide not to, but deep down inside you wanted to. How do you go, what is happening to you as an individual, where I decide not to do the action, but I wanted to?
Instructor: That is what Paul of Tarsus referred to in the Epistles. He said, "That which I want to do, I do not, and that which I do, I should not" (Romans 7:15). I cannot paraphrase it word for word, but he is explaining that if we do not follow the will of our consciousness, we suffer the consequences. We experience the negative effects of our actions.
Our willpower, every time it follows the consciousness, if we act according to the will of the Being and not our own self will, we can start to develop consciousness.
Question: Doesn't it get a little confusing though, because can't you also have egos that tell you something is wrong? You know what I mean? Can't guilt also come from an ego that is dressed up as if it were...
Instructor: The only way to know is to observe. The only way to know is to awaken, to know the difference between what is good, meaning an ego that wants to do good things, but is selfish, and a mind that only wants to do evil. So, we need to awaken the psyche, the consciousness, in order to differentiate.
Question: Through meditation?
Instructor: Through meditation.
Samael Aun Weor explains how consciousness cannot be awakened exclusively by developing the energies below. What we mean by exclusively is, with specific focus and intention to develop these forces through certain practices, which we are going to explain in relation to the paths of the fakir, the monk and the yogi.
Samael Aun Weor explains in The Great Rebellion, the requisite for developing consciousness, in relation to these energies:
"No matter how much we might increase our strictly mechanical energy, we will never awaken consciousness.
“No matter how much we might increase the vital forces within our own organism, we will never awaken consciousness.
“Many psychological processes take place within us without any intervention from the consciousness.
“However great the disciplines of the mind might be, mental energy can never achieve the awakening of the diverse functions of the consciousness.
“Even if our willpower is multiplied infinitely, it can never bring about the awakening of the consciousness.
“All these types of energy are graded into different levels and dimensions, which have nothing to do with the consciousness.
“Consciousness can only be awakened through conscious work and upright efforts." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
No matter how much we may control our physical body, choosing what we eat in our diet, that will never awaken our perception. Even if we perform a lot of mantra and pranayama, conserving our energies, if we do not know how to work with our own perception, by working with our consciousness, then that vital energy cannot be used for the awakening of the consciousness. Even if we are very devoted in our heart, we pray, we go to church, we develop the emotional energies of our emotional center, that will not awaken the consciousness, exclusively. Even if we have studied many books, read vast amounts of literature, and have tremendous discipline with our mind, the way we study, that will never awaken the consciousness. Even if our will, if we develop willpower by dominating our body, which we are going to explain in relation to the path of the fakir, that willpower alone cannot awaken consciousness. Only conscious perception, work within itself by the pressure of the Spirit, can the consciousness awaken.
Do not mistake that, by this quote, the consciousness can awaken without these energies below. That is not the meaning of the statement. Conscious works implies controlling and developing all the energies of our psyche below, in harmony, in union. If we just develop our mechanical energy alone, we cannot awaken; the same thing with vital force, emotional energy or psychic energy related with the astral body, mental force, willpower. These things alone do not awaken the consciousness. Only the consciousness that is disciplined through meditation, by learning to perceive through self-observation, can control the lower energies below, and thereby use them for the awakening of the consciousness.
Energy and the Three Brains
So these energies of the Tree of Life relate to what we call three brains. Some people might be surprised to think that the human being is actually three-brained, instead of one-brained. We have to understand that a brain is a center for physiological and psychological activity. It is a center for action, in which we can process different elements of our psyche, but also our body.
We talk about three brains in relation to the Tree of Life, and this Tree of Life you can see, can be transposed upon the human being in this image. The image of the Kabbalah, the three sephiroth above, relate to the head, relate to what we call the intellectual brain, which is where we process thought: thesis, antithesis, ideas, concepts, projects.
The triangle beneath in the center, which is the triangle of the Spirit, relates to the heart, or the emotional brain, which is where we process desire, craving, aversion, sentiments of the heart, attachment of an emotional nature.
Then the third triangle, near the bottom of the tree, relates to the motor-instinctive-sexual brain. That is a brain that processes all of our movement within our body, our instinct and sexuality.
So a brain, again, is a center for activity, like a machine. As a machine, they process energies, that we need to understand in relation to our body. The way to overcome attachment and to understand how to overcome craving, aversion, relating to our three brains, we need to study our three brains. This is the art of self-observation.
All of our likes and dislikes are processed through these brains. We like certain foods; we dislike certain foods. We like certain people; we dislike certain people. We like certain concepts; we dislike others. The three brains are caught within this duality: like, dislike; craving, aversion; and they process this in accordance with energy.
We say mental energy relates to the intellectual brain, emotional energy relates to the emotional brain and vital energy relates to the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.
The vital force pertains to how our physicality functions. Without the vital energy we physically cannot exist. We would not have biochemistry within our organism. We would not have metabolism, catabolism, digestion, the breaking down of fats, and all the chemical processes in our body. The physical body operates precisely due to the vital energy, the vital force.
You will also notice that this image has three Hebrew letters, and pertain to the different energies of the Tree of Life, which are very important to understand in relation to the energies of our psyche.
Question: What letter is that in the motor?
Instructor: The motor center is מ Mem. Above in the brain we have א Aleph, the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet. ש Shin, which is the twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, relates to the heart. מ Mem is the thirteenth letter, and relates to the waters. So א Aleph literally means "wind, breath."
Question: Does the letter ש Shin have any relation to the trident?
Instructor: Yes, the ש Shin is fire, the three primary forces of God. ש Shin is the flames of the heart, the emotional energy, which comes down from the Tree of Life. Notice that we can transpose the top three spheres of the Tree of Life, as well as the three triangles of the Tree of Life to our three brains.
א Aleph relates to the Father, related to our intellectual brain. The energies of God, when they enter our physical organism, they are channeled in specific ways, in order to grant us the ability to exist in this physical plane. The power or the energies of the Father, enter into the intellectual brain in order to grant us the capacity to do the spiritual work. It encompasses the processes of mental energy. Unfortunately, in us our mental energy is used in an egotistical way, whether through the projection of negative habits, like even pornography or filthiness in the mind. That mental energy is abused.
The power of ש Shin relates to Chokmah, the Christ. That sphere, that sephirah relates to the heart, because we have Christ, the Son, in the heart. It relates to the fires of the emotional center, which unfortunately in us is abused through hatred, through pride, through vanity, and instead, we need to develop the energy of the heart with the purity of Christ within, the purity of the Being.
מ Mem relates to the Holy Spirit, which is precisely the sexual energy, the waters of life. We get the word מים mayim, which begins and ends with מם Mem, related to the motor-instinctive-sexual brain. מ Mem, the waters, is precisely the vital energy we can use to balance the other centers, when we transmute that force, when we work with that energy precisely through either a matrimony, or through the sexual transmutation we teach.
As I mentioned that these energies relate to the three brains, we state this with the emphasis that in order to awaken spiritually, we need to conserve these forces. We need to use these energies in accordance with the will of the Being. So the mind, the primordial energy of א Aleph, the Father, needs to be used for the Being. Typically in us, we abuse it, and those who squander the energy of the mind, the intellectual brain, and who do not develop spiritually, using their mind for spiritual purposes, they end up insane. Individuals who abuse the mind either develop dementia, schizophrenia, delusional disorders, many types of psychological or mental ailments. When those energies are exhausted, those people become mentally sick.
Likewise with the different brains: if there is no energy in those brains, the car cannot run. So if the emotional energy is exhausted, such as with many actors or actresses, who abuse the emotional brain, they in turn develop many emotional sicknesses, sometimes manic depressive disorder, bipolar, diseases related to the heart.
Then related to the sexual brain, the motor-instinctive centers, those who fornicate, meaning: ejaculate the waters of life, develop many illnesses like cancer, which are incurable, because these are crimes against the Holy Spirit. You remember from the Gospel, "the sins against the Son may be forgiven," relating to the emotional brain, "but the sins against the Holy Ghost are not forgivable," meaning they have to be paid with pain. All of us have, we could say, killed the white swan of Wagner's opera Parsifal. The beautiful swan that is the Holy Ghost, the energy of the Lord, which manifests in the motor-instinctive-sexual brain, within our sexual center as מים mayim, as water.
It is important to know that we study these energies so that we can develop consciousness. The consciousness cannot manifest within the three brains if we are exhausting our energies everyday. If we use our mental, intellectual brain, our mental center too often, we incapacitate our ability to express God through superior concepts, superior understanding related to the Being. Likewise if we abuse the heart we then in turn destroy our ability to experience positive spiritual emotion, related to Christ, the Son. If we abuse our sexual center through fornication, meaning the ejaculation of the waters of life, then we develop many sicknesses. Those also who abuse the motor brain, such as through too many sports, they end up paraplegic, unable to walk, they destroy their capacity to move physically. So that also relates to the motor-instinctive-sexual brain. Or even boxers, they abuse their instinctual center, because they are always fighting.
Question: So we are supposed to keep a nice balance of the three?
Question: So take for instance, someone who, the emotional state is worried about something. You could go ahead and balance it out with the motor by going to work out...
Question: Which will in turn help out the consciousness, correct?
Instructor: Yes, so we want to balance these three brains. If we are using one brain too much, we need to balance those centers by performing other activities, as you mentioned. If we have no energy, we cannot perceive, meaning, if we fail to conserve the forces of our three brains, then we cannot control those elements within us. If we have energy, we can control it with our perception. That entails working with self-observation, self-remembering.
The Four Spiritual Paths
As I explained, there are certain illnesses related to the three brains, but also there are certain paths which exclusively develop one of these three brains at the exclusion of the others. These are the paths that I am going to explain to you, related to the fakir, the monk, the yogi and the last, which is the Gnostic. It is important to understand the energies of the three brains, the energies of our mind, of our perception, because without understanding how these energies work in us, we cannot fully develop our potential as a consciousness.
There are those in this world who only develop, we could say, their willpower, who develop their ability to control the sensations and instincts of the body, the impulses of pain and pleasure. Individuals who dominate their physical body in a very extreme way, we call them fakirs. Individuals who, like in this image in the next graphic, sleep on a bed of nails, or like certain Sufi sects which have degenerated, they impale themselves with swords to show their ability to heal, and supposedly the power of God. This is a type of extremism which we do not recommend. Fakir literally means "poor person."
I am going to explain to you these three paths in accordance with the wisdom of a certain German initiate, a man who at one point was not an initiate [because he fell]. His name was Friedrich Nietzsche. He explained in his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, about the Persian prophet, or Iranian prophet, how these three paths have existed in the world, and how we need to be educated about these paths, so that we understand: how do we function in our three brains? How do we develop our three brains? How do we develop these energies within us, so that we can walk the path of the Gnostic?
You are going to find that his style is very, you could say, condemnatory towards these practices, and he is justified because these three paths do not fully develop the potential of God within.
The Path of the Fakir
So the path of the fakir only develops the motor-instinctive brain, we can say, the motor center, the ability to control pain and pleasure. Unfortunately this path, as Nietzsche is going to explain, does not create the soul. We talked about previously in a lecture called The Solar Bodies and Bodhichitta, how the solar vehicles, as expressions of the Lord, the Being, can only be created through sexual magic, through the perfect matrimony. Fakirs seek to develop their willpower thinking it is going to take them to God, but they are ignorant, because even though one develops willpower infinitely, if one does not work with the consciousness, and also the vital sexual energy, one cannot create the solar body of causal will.
Nietzsche says the following to these fanatics of Fakirism:
"I want to speak to the despisers of the body. It is their respect that begets their contempt." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Despisers of the Body”
So when he is talking about respect, he means these fakirs they have a respect for tradition, and their respect for spiritual things does beget their contempt of their own body.
"What is it that created respect and contempt and worth and will? The creative self created respect and contempt; it created pleasure and pain. The creative body created the spirit as a hand for its will." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Despisers of the Body”
What is this creative self? It is our Inner Buddha, the Being who creates within us, if we know the science. The Being created our longings and respect for these type of teachings, and our own contempt, we could say, of that which is filthy and degenerate. It also created pleasure and pain, because those energies manifest in our physical body and we experience sensation through the vital force, as an emanation of the Spirit down the Tree of Life.
“The creative body created the spirit as a hand for its will.” So what is this creative body? It is our physical body. We know we have the Kundalini force within our coccyx, and the body needs to create spiritually. We need to create the spirit within us, if we know the science; if we know the method. So he is telling these fakirs, "You want to develop your willpower and create your solar body of will, but you do not work with sexual magic. You do not know how to create with your own body, because you disrespect your body, your temple, for God [the Superhuman]."
"Even in your folly and contempt, you despisers of the body, you serve your self. I say unto you: your self wants to die and turns away from life. It is no longer capable of what it would do above all else: to create beyond itself. That is what it would do above all else, that is its fervent wish." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Despisers of the Body”
The Being wants to create the solar bodies, but that individual needs to work in alchemy. So these fakirs, because they do not want to get married, they think that the physical body, by dominating with their own willpower, is going to create the soul. They fail in their development. In fact, they do not get anywhere. So he is saying that “your Being wants you to do this above all else,” to die in your defects in meditation, through comprehension, and “it wants to create beyond itself,” create the solar vehicles, which are bodies in which the energies of Christ can manifest, as we have mentioned in the previous lecture.
"But now it is too late for it to do this: so your self wants to go under, O despisers of the body. Your self wants to go under, and that is why you have become despisers of the body! For you are no longer able to create beyond yourselves." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Despisers of the Body”
So he is saying, their Inner Being wants them to go under, meaning, as he mentions elsewhere in this text, the Being wants the soul to die in those egos that we all carry within, so that the Being can create within. Because they are no longer able to create through sexual alchemy, they do not want to get married, the Being is not able to create in them. They develop willpower over their body, but they do not awaken anything.
"And that is why you are angry with life and the earth. An unconscious envy speaks out of the squint-eyed glance of your contempt." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Despisers of the Body”
What is the Earth that he repeatedly mentions? It is Malkuth, in Kabbalah, the physical body. He says they despise the physical body. They do not use the physical body as it should be used, through purity, through sexual magic.
"I shall not go your way, O despisers of the body! You are no bridge to the Superman!" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Despisers of the Body”
What is the Superman? It is Nietzsche's term for the Christ-man. Nietzsche never used the term Christ, but he talked about the Superman, or we could say―as we mentioned in the beginning of the lecture―Ptah, the solar man, in the image of the solar bodies created from the work with alchemy.
The Path of the Monk
He not only condemns the fakirs, but he also condemns many of the monks. This also deserves analysis.
Here he talks about the path of the monk. We have an image of a somber, solemn individual in black, in the next slide. You could say that Nietzsche had the most antagonism for the priests of his time, and justifiably so, because these priests are devoted with their heart to God, but sadly they do not know God. The God they believe in is dead―to quote Nietzsche, this is why he says very famously "God is dead," and many atheists say, "Oh Nietzsche is a prophet for us, because he does not believe in God." He did not say that. He said "God is dead," meaning the Judeo-Christian God that most people worship in their heart, is false, does not exist.
He says elsewhere, "God is dead, now we want the Superman to live." In a lecture by Samael Aun Weor, someone asked him, "Do you believe in the Christ that people worship in these times?" and he said "No," because people worship an effeminate, castrated, weak Christ―an effeminate figure that is stripped of any sexuality. The teachings of his work in alchemy were stripped from the Bible. So Samael said, "We do not believe in that Christ. We follow the rebel Christ, the Red Christ, the Warrior of Mars, who works in alchemy."
Nietzsche even said in one of his books that he is the anti-Christ. Samael Aun Weor said nearly the same thing: how the Gnostics follow the Superman, not the dead statue of Christ that is so adored by the fanatics of religion.
Question: So they are taking his words in their own view?
Instructor: Yes, because in this book, it is a very esoteric book, and we are going to show you especially towards the end...
Question: What is the name of the book?
Instructor: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and you are going to see in the end one of the slides that I have, you will see exactly what he knew, and how irrefutable it is.
So he talks about the path of the monk, and how devotion by itself does not take one to God, or towards the Being, or the Superman:
"Behold these huts which these priests built! Churches they call their sweet-smelling caves. Oh, that falsified light! That musty air! Here the soul is not allowed to soar to its height. For thus their faith commands, ‘Crawl up the stairs on your knees, ye sinners!’
“Verily, rather would I see even the shameless than the contorted eyes of their shame and devotion! Who created for themselves such caves and stairways of repentance? Was it not such as wanted to hide themselves and were ashamed before the pure sky?" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Priests”
What is that pure sky? That pure sky is the Being, because if you awaken in the internal worlds, and any master shows you your level of Being, they show the Being through the sky. If you see a cloudy sky in the internal worlds, it means that you are asleep, that there is darkness in your mind. But when the clouds are clear and the sky is reflecting the heavens, the galaxies, the stars, that means that you are awakening. The Being relates to the stars. So the pure sky is relating to God, the purity of the psyche, the purity of א Aleph―again the air, the wind, the breath―relating to the Father, Patar.
"And only when the pure sky again looks through broken ceilings and down upon grass and red poppies near broken walls, will I again turn my heart to the abodes of this god." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Priests”
So meaning, when all the broken remnants of their doctrines which are empty of any spiritual meaning, when they are finally exposed by the Spirit, maybe I will look at their teachings again.
"They have called ‘God’ what was contrary to them and gave them pain; and verily, there was much of the heroic in their adoration. And they did not know how to love their god except by crucifying man." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Priests”
Just look at the crusades, their devotion―they are developing the heart and they are praying and meanwhile they are killing other human beings, supposedly in the name of God.
"As corpses they meant to live; in black they decked out their corpses; out of their speech, too, I still smell the bad odor of death chambers." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Priests”
So why are they dead? They are the living dead that the Bible talks about. They are corpses because they do not work in transmutation. They do not work with the power of חַיָה Chaiah, the life of the body.
"And whoever lives near them lives near black ponds out of which an ominous frog sings its song with sweet melancholy. They would have to sing better songs for me to learn to have faith in their Redeemer: and his disciples would have to look more redeemed!" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Priests”
The redeemer that people believe in does not exist. They believe in, as I said, a "castrated Christ," without any of the sexual teachings manifested in them. So truly, the disciples would have to look more redeemed, like they are actually making any progress, but they are not.
"Naked would I see them: for only beauty should preach repentance." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Priests”
So notice that Nietzsche did not reject repentance outright. He says, "Naked would I see them," meaning without their false beliefs of the heart. Naked and innocent, like in the Garden of Eden, “for only beauty should preach repentance." “Beauty” in Kabbalah is תִּפְאֶרֶת Tiphereth, which is the human soul, which is willpower, united with God. So only that type of will that follows the Being should preach repentance.
"But who would be persuaded by this muffled melancholy? Verily, their redeemers themselves did not come out of freedom and the seventh heaven of freedom. Verily, they themselves have never walked on the carpets of knowledge." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Priests”
What does it mean to walk on the carpets of knowledge? To walk the path of Gnosis, the Gnostic path.
"Of gaps was the spirit of these redeemers made up; but into every gap they put their delusion, their stopgap, which they called God." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Priests”
What does this mean? "Of gaps of knowledge was the spirit of these redeemers made up." Meaning: the parts of the Bible they can’t explain, they put their delusion in it, and they call that God, meanwhile they have no experience. They develop a lot of devotion, the energies of the heart through prayer, but they do not walk on the path of knowledge, Gnosis. In Hebrew it is דעת Daath: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Path of the Yogi
Lastly Nietzsche talks about the path of the yogi. Here we have in the next slide, an individual performing austerities in the wilderness. We see him covered in soot and he is dirty, with a thick beard and a holy appearance.
The path of the yogi is the development of the mind. The fakir develops the motor-instinctive-sexual brain, or the motor brain specifically, by developing willpower, to control mechanical forces within the body. The path of the monk only develops the heart, the emotional energies through prayer. The path of the yogi exclusively develops the mind, but also the vital energy. But understand that vital energy and mental energy by themselves do not awaken consciousness. Only conscious work does, by being disciplined in our consciousness, by following the impulses of our Being.
Nietzsche makes fun of and really criticizes the yogis too, who think they are very holy, living in the woods, eating grapes and berries, seeds and thistles, but they do not get anywhere.
Nietzsche says the following about the yogis:
"One who was sublime I saw today, one who was solemn, an ascetic of the spirit; oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! With a swelled chest and like one who holds in his breath..." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Those Who Are Sublime”
Meaning: performing pranayama.
"…he stood there, the sublime one, silent, decked out with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and rich in torn garments; many thorns too adorned him― yet I saw no rose." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Those Who Are Sublime”
What is the sublime one? Somebody who practices sublimation, who even by practicing pranayama, working with vital energy, tries to control the mind. But to live in the woods, abandoned from society is, we say, a mistaken way [we now live in the Age of Aquarius, an era of confraternity and cooperation, not isolation from humanity]. So we see this individual, he is covered with soot and dirt thinking he is attaining great realizations, studying the Vedas, the scriptures, studying very diligently, and trying to control his mind.
But we have to understand that only the consciousness can control the mind. Only the consciousness can understand the mind. The vital force by itself, pranayama, is not enough. Working with energy is not enough. We need to awaken consciousness by developing our perception through self-observation.
So he says, "many thorns to adorned him―yet I saw no rose." This is also a Kabbalistic teaching. In the Tree of Life, according to Dion Fortune, we have different symbols related to the sephiroth. Relating to Netzach, the mind, is the rose [Samael Aun Weor also wrote a book dedicated to the Fourth Initiation of Major Mysteries, related to the fires of the solar mind: Igneous Rose]. So, Nietzsche is saying, “I see these yogis trying to control their mind, yet I do not see any rose in them. I do not see any real development or beauty in them.” All they have are thorns―they just suffer a lot with their mind, not able to control their mind, because they do not work with the consciousness. They have not been taught better.
"As yet he has not learned laughter of beauty." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Those Who Are Sublime”
So again, he says "beauty." So first he talked to the monks: “Only beauty should preach repentance," and now he is saying of the yogis, "As yet he has not learned laughter of beauty." Meaning: that joy that emerges in the human consciousness, our willpower, when it is following God.
"Gloomy this hunter returned from the woods of knowledge." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Those Who Are Sublime”
Or we could say Jnana yoga, which is the path of the yogi.
"He came home from a fight with savage beasts; but out of his seriousness there also peers a savage beast―one not overcome." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Those Who Are Sublime
Meaning he lived in the woods with animals, but he cannot control his own ego, because he is not awakening his consciousness. He is not overcoming himself.
"He still stands there like a tiger who wants to leap; but I do not like these tense souls, and my taste does not favor all these who withdraw (meaning: into the woods)." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Those Who Are Sublime”
The Gnostic Path of the Balanced Human Being
So again, the yogi only develops the mind and vital energy. The monk only develops the heart, and the fakir only develops willpower. We have to understand these three paths in order to explain the Gnostic path. So, we have what is known as the path of the Tao, or the path of Gnosis, which is known as the path or the way of the balanced human being. Notice that the three paths work with the different brains at the exclusion of the others. The Gnostic path is one that encompasses the development of all three brains, in harmony, in unison.
We have an interesting graphic on the right, which is known as the law of the scale. We use this scale to explain the different types of human beings, or different types of humanoids that exist. We have the seven notes, starting from the bottom, "Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si.” This is very well discussed in the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. They were the teachers of the Fourth Way School. The Fourth Way is the path of the Gnostic.
Notice in the bottom we have, for number one, the note "Do," the instinctive human being, meaning fakirs, who only work to control their instincts, their physicality.
Above that we have the note "Re," the emotional energy, the monks who only develop the heart.
Above that we have the intellectuals or the yogis, who only develop the mind according with the musical note "Mi."
Above that we have the note "Fa," which is known as the fourth type of human being, the path of the Gnostic.
The path of the Gnostic equilibrates the three brains. Notice that in this diagram we have a shock in between these notes, leading from "Mi" to "Fa," because that shock is a sparking of consciousness. That shock only occurs in us when we are developing our perception, when we are learning to pay attention. That shock is the alert state of novelty in which we see life in a way we have never seen before, and every moment of our existence should be like that. That is the teachings of self-observation and self-remembering.
Above that we have other types of human beings, which relate to the lecture we previously gave called The Solar Bodies and Bodhichitta, in which, above, the balanced human being, there are superior types of human beings: individuals who possess the solar bodies.
Above the note "Fa" we have the creation of the solar astral body, relating to the note "Sol" or sun.
The note "La" above relates to the creation of the solar mental body, a Christ mind.
Above that we have what is known as the solar causal body, relating to the note "Si."
Again there is another shock associated with reaching that type of development, because it is a very different type of perception to awaken within Nirvana, so to speak, the causal world, to develop the causal body. This is a superior work. It would take another lecture to explain that.
But here we are talking in synthesis in relation to the Gnostic path.
We need to balance our three brains, work with the energies of our three brains, and use them for the consciousness.
In the Gnostic path we take what is the best from all of these traditions and we discard what is useless. This is why it is known as the path of balance, the path of harmony. So Samael Aun Weor explains in The Perfect Matrimony:
"The Universal Christian Gnostic Movement has a school and a religion. We experience the first path (meaning the path of the fakir) "in practical matters, learning to live with rectitude.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So this means that instead of lying on a bed of nails to develop our willpower, we simply go to our job, take care of our family, do our daily activities―that is how we develop willpower, by fulfilling our obligations with rectitude, with love and ethical discipline.
"The second path lies within our church (the path of the monk). Our Gnostic Church has its sacraments, rituals, and its convent life. The third path has to do with occult practices (or the path of the yogi). We have our esoteric practices, special exercises for the development of the latent powers in the human being. Within the fourth path, which is ‘the Path of the Astute Man,’ we live practically in the most complete equilibrium." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So why is it called the "Path of the Astute Man"? Sometimes Master Ouspensky said, "It was the path of the sly man”―sly or clever―because the fourth type of human being takes what is good from these other paths, discards what is useless, in order to attain very quick development, without having to renounce one's lifestyle and live in the woods or live in a convent.
"We study Alchemy and Kabbalah (in the Gnostic path). We work on the disintegration of the psychological ‘I.’” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Again, the path of alchemy is the path of sexual magic. Here we are also explaining the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life―in synthesis, the Gnostic path. So within the fourth path, again as I said, we take what is best for our development.
The Disharmony of the Three Brains
We have the next graphic, which also explains, according to P. D. Ouspensky, the nature of the three other paths that we just discussed, in relation to the fourth. You might be familiar with some of these images of Alice in Wonderland, in which we have the Mad Hatter in the top left, the white rabbit on the right, and the Queen of Hearts below. These figures in Alice in Wonderland represent the three brains, in disharmony.
The motor-instinctive man, the instinctual human being is the White Rabbit, he is always looking at his watch, "I'm late, I'm late for an important date!" He is always running off and doing things. Never thinks about what he does. He is always impelled by mechanical and instinctive forces, meaning: a very brutish and unconscious type of individual.
So we find individuals who are obsessed with work, who do not have any emotional interests or intellectual pursuits, people who just have their job and they live their life making money, thinking life is about having a job, a career, having kids and then dying. This is an instinctive type of person. This is the White Rabbit.
Beneath we have the Queen of Hearts. This is a person who is very emotional. It is always cursing and condemning others with the heart, abusing the emotional energies of the emotional brain. I believe in the Disney cartoon she is always saying "Off with her head! Off with his head!" because in our emotional brain we are always trying to kill others with our emotions. We may not say criticism, but we feel in our heart a type of negativity in which we want to condemn others.
Then we have the Mad Hatter, which is the abuse of the intellectual brain, somebody who makes no sense. These are all of the scholars and college professors in the world, because they read so much and they know so much intellectually, but even in some practical matters they have no sense, and Nietzsche, really condemns these individuals. He calls them "the scholars," who have taken every knowledge; they take any knowledge and they grind it to whiteness, to adopt it to their super-intellect. These types of people are really, you could say, crazy in the head. They have a lot of ideas but their intellectual brain is totally imbalanced, because they use the intellect too much.
The fakir relates to the White Rabbit, always developing, is always controlled by instinct, or trying to control instinct. The monk is the Queen of Hearts, relating to the abuse of the emotional brain, developing the heart at the exclusion of the other centers. The Mad Hatter is the yogi, taken to the extreme, trying to develop the mind at the exclusion of the other centers.
So Ouspensky gave a very interesting analysis of these paths, and explains them in relation to the fourth:
"Although in many respects these ways are very efficient, the characteristic thing about them is that the first step is the most difficult. From the very first moment you have to give up everything and do what you are told. If you keep one little thing, you cannot follow any of these ways. So, although the three ways are good in many other respects” (because they do develop, and to a certain extent they can develop certain capacities within us) they are not sufficiently elastic (they are not broad; they are not eclectic). For instance, they do not suit our present mode of life. The Fakir is an exaggerated No. 1 man (meaning an instinctive individual) with a heavy predominance of instinctive-moving centre. The Monk is an exaggerated No. 2 man (the emotional center) with the emotional center developed and the others underdeveloped. The Yogi is an exaggerated No. 3 man with the intellectual centre developed and the others not sufficiently developed. If only these three traditional ways existed, there would be nothing for us, for we are too overeducated for these ways." ―P. D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
So it is important to understand these paths because it tells us how we work with energy, and the fourth path balances these energies, through conscious attention, conscious work. When Samael Aun Weor talks about conscious efforts and conscious works and upright efforts, he means the consciousness needs to control the different energies in our three brains.
The one that squanders the energies of the three brains is the ego. We as a consciousness need to control our three brains. We need to be in control of our machine, because the human body is a machine. The psyche is a machine, that channels forces and we need to be aware of these energies, so that we can drive our car, to lead us to, we could say, the land of Oz, as we have discussed many times, following the yellow brick road that leads to the heavenly city.
Ouspensky continues in his book called The Fourth Way, someone asked him a question:
"Q. Does the Fourth Way embrace the three other ways?
“A. No, this is a wrong description, because the Fourth Way does not have many of the things which enter into the first three ways, and it has many other things that do not enter into the three ways. The idea of the Fourth Way is that it discards from the three ways all that is unnecessary in them, because besides the necessary things the three ways have other things which have remained there purely through tradition, imitation, and so on. In the Fourth Way all the sides can develop, develop at the same time (meaning we develop all three brains in harmony) and this makes it different from other ways where you first develop one side and then go back and develop another, then again go back and develop a third side. In the Fourth Way all the four centres must be more or less alive, on the surface, open to receive impressions, otherwise long preliminary work to open them is necessary before one can begin." ―P. D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
We find here in this image a man who is praying, he is meditating, and he is studying, and he is sitting in a firm posture like a fakir. We picked this image because we see an individual performing the three paths. He is meditating as a yogi, studying; he is praying up to heaven; and he is controlling his body. That is the essence of the Gnostic path. We need to understand the Fourth Way because it is different from the others, as Ouspensky taught.
With the other paths one would have to discard their family life, live in the woods, live as a monk in a convent, or sleep on a bed of nails. As Ouspensky said, we are over-educated for these paths, because we know better. We need to develop all three brains in balance.
The Fourth Way: The Path of the Cross
The Fourth Way was taught by Jesus, as we see in the next graphic: the path of the cross. Remember that Samael said, "In the Gnostic path we study Alchemy and Kabbalah. We also disintegrate the psychological 'I,' the ego." These are the three sciences of Alchemy, Kabbalah and Psychology.
The Fourth Way, as taught by Master Aberamentho, the Christ, as his name is given in The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled. He taught that we do not necessarily have to abandon our life as it is, but to quote Shakespeare, "Take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them." Meaning, face our current everyday problems, and work with them, not to abandon them.
So what makes the Fourth Way different is that we do not need to abandon our current way of life. Instead we need to take on our present conditions, and use them for our benefit, because these are precisely the best scenarios we need for our spiritual development.
"But there is a Fourth Way which is a special way, not a combination of the other three. It is different from others first of all in that there is no external giving up of things, for all the work is inner. A man must begin work in the same conditions in which he finds himself when he meets it, because these conditions are the best for him. If he begins to work and study in these conditions, he can attain something, and later, if it is necessary, he will be able to change them, but not before he sees the necessity for it. So at first one continues to live the same life as before, in the same circumstances as before (meaning we keep our job, our family, our career, everything). In many respects this way proves more difficult than the others, for nothing is harder than to change oneself internally without changing externally." ―P. D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way
By far, it is a thousand times more difficult to live in this current society we are in, than to abandon everything and live as a yogi, despite what the yogis, fakirs and monks think. It is more difficult to take on one's circumstances, to change oneself psychologically, so that we can develop the consciousness.
Jesus taught this in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 10, verses 37 to 39:
"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." ―Matthew 10:37-39
What does this mean to not love father and mother? It does not mean that we abandon father and mother. It means we overcome our attachments to family, to career, to everything, and we follow Christ. It means to follow the path of the cross, which, as the cross is an image of four points, it is the union of the four paths.
The Kabbalistic Symbolism of the Rose Cross
So again, we are going to talk about the cross, the path of Tao. We did not mention, but the word Tao is very interesting, and has a lot of Kabbalistic symbolism. The "T" is the cross, which is the union of man and woman united sexually: the vertical phallus with the horizontal uterus. Then we have, or better said the letter "T" the cross is fire, we could say Ignis, combined with the vowels "A-O.” “I-A-O" the Lord, or יהוה Iod-Havah, י Iod ה Hei ו Vau, in Hebrew.
So Tao, as in Taoism, refers to , י Iod ה Hei ו Vau: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or Ignis, Aqua, Origo. Ignis is fire, Aqua is water, Origo is spirit.
What is interesting if you look at this diagram of the Rosicrucian cross, we have the twenty-two Hebrew letters in the center. In the very middle we have the three primary mother Hebrew letters of Kabbalah. א Aleph, ש Shin, מ Mem. א Aleph again is water, air, Origo, wind. מ Mem is water, Aqua. Fire is ש Shin, Ignis. So we have it synthesized as "I-A-O," or the Tao path.
The path of the Tao is working with the three brains in union, in harmony. Now we look at this graphic, we find there is principally five sections of the cross, relating to the four elements and the ether. The ether is the sexual power of God, or Akash, plus the four elements, represented by these different colors: the earth, the air, the fire and the water.
So the cross, the blossoming of the rose of spirituality, is the direct result―as we see in the Rosicross, in the center―of working with all three brains. So remember that Nietzsche said, "I saw on this yogi many thorns, but no rose." The rose can only develop, the igneous rose of God, the solar Christic mind, is only developed through alchemy, through the cross.
Samael Aun Weor explains the following in The Perfect Matrimony:
"The Tao Path includes three paths, and Tao itself is the fourth. Much has been said about the four paths. We Gnostics travel along the fourth path in full Consciousness. During the sexual act, we transmute the brutal instincts of our physical body into willpower (so that is the path of the fakir, controlling the physical body, transmuting instinct into consciousness, into will, solar conscious will) the passionate emotions of the Astral Body into love (the path of the monk, controlling emotional desire and uniting it with God) and the mental impulses into comprehension (which is the path of the yogi. So we need to control all of these energies with consciousness. We cannot just develop all of these energies by themselves; we need to have conscious, cognizance of how these forces function, and to use them for our Being). As Spirit, we perform the Great Work (so again he says, in alchemy we work with the three brains, and then lastly we work as Spirit). We do not need to become fakirs for the first path, neither monks for the second, nor scholars for the third. The path of the Perfect Matrimony permits us to travel the four paths during the sexual act itself." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Sexual Magic in Thus Spoke Zarathustra
I mentioned that I was going to quote again Nietzsche for you, and this is just to demonstrate that Samael Aun Weor was not the only one who talked about sexual magic. Master Samael was the only one to explain it explicitly, clear for everybody, but we find many initiates in history were talking about the nature of sex, and how it is the Gnostic path of controlling the three brains.
This is probably my favorite quote by Nietzsche. Here we have in this image, in the next slide, where he talks about the Gnostic path of Alchemy, we have the lion, which is a great symbol in his book for the Superman. The lion is the Lion of the tribe of יהודה Iehudah, Judah. Judah is י Iod ה Hei ו Vav ד Daleth ה Hei. We have the name יהוה Iod-Havah, Jehovah, the Lord, with ד Daleth. ד Daleth in Hebrew signifies the Kabbalah; it represents דעת Daath, which is qlchemy. So to realize the lion or the Superman within us, we need to perform the work of qlchemy in a matrimony.
He even emphasizes the other paths that we just explained. He uses the word "sex.” This is in one translation, some translations translate it as "voluptuousness," which is another word for Eden, and Eden is the garden of sexuality, the garden of knowledge:
"Sex: to all hair-shirted despisers of the body (meaning the fakirs), their thorn and stake, and cursed as ‘world’ among all the afterworldly because it mocks and fools all teachers of error and confusion." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Three Evils”
Who are these "afterworldly"? These are the monks who believe in another world, a vague incipient and nonsensical afterlife. Nietzsche calls them the "afterworldly." So all those monks that say, "Oh sex is bad, you should not have sex. It is filthy” because they are filthy in their mind. That is all they see in it. Like Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi stated, "When you look at the cup of water, you thirst for Allah, but if you only have your own desires, you only see your own reflection in it." So that water is מ Mem, the sexual energy.
The priests they cursed it as "world”, worldly, filthy. “You should not have sex," and the fakirs they absolutely despise alchemy.
"Sex: for the rabble, the slow fire on which they are burned; for all worm-eaten wood and all stinking rags, the ever-ready rut and oven." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Three Evils”
Who are "the rabble"? These are the fornicators, people who are common everyday people, they think the orgasm is good and they degenerate themselves.
"It is the slow fire in which they are burned.” Their mind is "worm eaten-wood," filthiness, filled with fornication, "and all stinking rags," meaning their lunar bodies―they do not have the solar vehicles of God. They have never worked in Alchemy. Instead, they have lunar bodies: kama rupa, the lunar astral body; they have the manas, the lunar mind―that is how they travel in the internal planes, and when they sleep. Their rags stink, because their ego is so penetrated in their lunar bodies that they are filthy, and when we see them in the internal planes, they are very filthy people, filled with a lot of lust, and they smell [with animal desire].
On the contrary:
"Sex: for free hearts, innocent and free, the garden happiness of the earth, the future's exuberant gratitude to the present." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Three Evils”
What are these "free hearts"? These are the alchemists, who look at sex and they see that it can be used for purity, for God. So if one is innocent like a child, one can look at sex for what it is, as a pure communion with Christ, the energy of God. It is "the garden happiness of the earth," the Garden, Eden, resides in our physical body, Malkuth, the earth. Sex is "the future's exuberant gratitude to the present," meaning the future, meaning: when we fully develop Christ one day in us, is gracious, is grateful for the initiate to be working, "the future's gratitude to the present."
Question: So when you are talking about sex, are you referring to Tantric sex, because obviously that is different than, I guess you could say a lustful type of sex?
Instructor: Yes, we are talking about sexual magic here. Sex to the common people is just filthy, "stinking rags," is for "the rabble," "the slow fire on which they are burned." That is the fornicative sex that everybody knows, but now we are talking about what Nietzsche is talking about: sexual alchemy, in which we conserve our semen. We do not spill it. We preserve that Garden of Eden within, so that we do not lose our forces.
"Sex: only for the wilted, a sweet poison..." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Three Evils”
What is this "wilted," like a flower that is dying, decaying? The virtues of the soul in the internal planes are represented as flowers, and when one is losing one's virtues, they wither. Also, "sex is a sweet poison, for the wilted," meaning the orgasm is very sweet, but it is poison to the mind. It destroys the soul.
"…for the lion-willed, however, the great invigoration of the heart and the reverently reserved wine of wines." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Three Evils”
What does it mean: "invigoration of the heart"? When we transmute, we are bringing the energy up the spinal column to the brain and to the heart. This is what we explained in The Solar Bodies and Bodhichitta. What is this "reverently reserved wine of wines"? Meaning the wine, the waters that can be transmuted into wine by Christ in the marriage of Canaan. We have to reserve our wine. We cannot spill it. You spill your wine, you are a wilted flower, and a part of the rabble in which the slow fire burns oneself.
"Sex: the happiness that is the great parable of a higher happiness and the highest hope. For to many is marriage promised, and more than marriage..." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Three Evils”
So many people, when they grow up, "you need to get married, get a partner," but "for to many, marriage is promised, and more than marriage," meaning more than the marriage that people commonly experience, a marriage in which the couple does not waste the energy, does not orgasm. That is rare. So that is what it means for it to be promised more than a marriage, more than a typical wedding that people commonly support.
"…to many who are stranger to each other than man and woman. And who can wholly comprehend how strange man and woman are to each other?
Sex―but I want to have fences around my thoughts and even around my words, lest swine and swooners break into my garden!" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On the Three Evils”
Who are these "swine"? Meaning the intellectual fornicators. So they are reading Nietzsche's book and they say "yes, he is an atheist," and they see what they want in his text. Meanwhile Nietzsche is saying "I am putting fences around my words. I cannot explain this openly," because it is sacred. The only one who explained it openly was Samael Aun Weor, in these times. So, Nietzsche is saying, "I do not want the fornicators to read this, because they are just going to mock it."
So the lion-willed, again, as he mentioned "for the free hearts," the image of a lion, represents Christ. We need to have the will of Christ, a will that only obeys the Being, a type of willpower that follows the consciousness.
Question: When people talk about the higher self, is the Inner Being the higher self? Is this just semantics?
Instructor: Yes the Being is the inner self, we could say Atman, we could say Christ.
Question: He is the higher self, right? Since that is a term that is used so often…
Instructor: Especially by Theosophists, and they talk about Atman, the Innermost, the Being.
Question: Is that the Inner Being, Atman?
Instructor: Yes the Inner Self, we could say.
Comment: It is the higher self...
Instructor: And Christ is even beyond the Innermost, as we mention in the Kabbalah.
In the next graphic we are going to explain a little more about the Gnostic path. We have an image of Moses, Moshe, where he explains in Leviticus, precisely the requisites of alchemy. This is important to understanding the Gnostic path, because in order to equilibrate our three brains, to conserve our mental energy, our emotional energy, our physical energy, we need to conserve our vital forces, and we need to sublimate them, whether in alchemy as a married couple, or pranayama or mantra as a bachelor.
But exclusively, in order to develop as a Gnostic, to develop that type of self-knowledge from God, is to conserve the semen. For it says in Hebrews chapter 13 verse 4:
"Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." ―Hebrews 13:4
What does it mean "undefiled"? A bed that does not have semen all over it. So, a marriage is honorable, but when one fornicates, there is no honor in it. One spills and wastes the energy. These are the "swine and swooners" that Nietzsche was against, and if you even read the chapter on "The Rabble" you see he talks exclusively about that, and very beautifully how we need to ascend up the mountain of initiation in order to escape all of the fornication in this physical world, to breathe the pure air of the Spirit, the pure sky, the א Aleph, the breath of God.
Question: As man and wife practice, and it continues after a long period of time, do they in some ways become one? Thoughts… emotions?
Instructor: Yes, when you unite sexually, you become one being, because man is אל El, woman is אלה Eloah, man and woman together is אלהים Elohim: Gods and Goddesses. So sexually connected, the husband and wife are one flesh, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave into his wife, and they shall be one flesh," as mentioned in the Bible. So Adam unites with הוהHavah (חַוָה Chavah), man and woman, to make יהוה Iod-Havah, the power of Christ. The Lion of Judah, because Iod-Havah is the same letters as יהודה Iehudah, except with the Hebrew letter, the ד D, which is the science of ד Daath, alchemy.
So that is what it means when Nietzsche is saying to have a "lion will," to practice alchemy with the will of a lion, to not ever waste that wine, to reserve it, and to revere it.
It says in Leviticus, chapter 15, verses 16 through 18, what happens if one has an orgasm:
"And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him (or even the woman's as well), then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even.
“And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.
“The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even." ―Leviticus 15:16-18
The Jews typically interpret this as being something physical, but they ignore that the waters are symbolic. If one has an emission of semen, one needs to first clean up, and then transmute the energy that was lost, meaning: after a loss of that force, one needs to work with the waters again to regenerate, because depending on the magnitude of the fault, we need to recuperate, if we have an accident.
What does it mean to be "unclean"? To be psychologically filthy, to be "worm-eaten wood and all stinking rags," mentioned by Nietzsche. So what are these "stinking rags," well, any of the lunar bodies fortified with ego, meaning: "And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed," meaning our inner bodies have become filthy―have become "stinking rags" that need to be purified. The only way we purify those bodies, annihilating the ego, is through the Gnostic path.
What does it mean to be "unclean until the even"? "Evening" is hell, so one will be unclean until one descends into hell and annihilates the ego, otherwise one will always remain impure. So the Gnostic path again is to work with these energies in a matrimony.
On Child and Marriage
The last graphic, we are going to finish with another quote from Nietzsche, where he synthesizes pretty much everything we have discussed. This is an image of a famous painting of Nietzsche on the mountain, as the wanderer, so often cited from Zarathustra.
Again, marriage is honorable and all, but the marriage of the many is superficial and filthy. So, if we want to have the energy in order to awaken consciousness, we cannot be fornicating. We say that explicitly. I know some people do not like to say it openly, but really, Samael Aun Weor was very clear. He expressed it very publicly in his books.
The very first thing is to not fornicate. We need to save the energies of our three brains so that we can awaken our psyche. The Gnostic path as the path of balance, working with energy, is the direct result of conserving these forces.
If we want to create the solar bodies, we need to have the energies related to those bodies. So even if we are conserving our energies, we are transmuting through mantra and prayer, if we waste our emotional energies, we cannot create the solar astral body. The solar astral body is created through sex, but we need to work with emotional energy as well. Likewise, the solar mental body is only created when we have mental energy. If we are constantly exhausting our mind, even we transmute, then we are disbalanced. The path of Gnosis, the path of Tao, is the path of balance.
Question: So overworking your mental energy, could that just be doing too much of something?
Instructor: Yes exactly, and that tends to be it. Or it could just be a very bad habit. Some people, they look at pornography, and that takes the energies of sex and destroys the mind, because the mind is fantasizing these sexual images, and Samael Aun Weor explained that the result of watching pornography is impotence, because when those individuals, those men who are watching so much pornography, they are in the moment when they are going to have sex, they cannot get an erection because they lose all of their energy through masturbation.
They destroy their mind as well, because now they have all of these images in the intellect associated with filthiness. These are the "stinking rags" that we mentioned, by Nietzsche. So if you want to create the solar bodies we need energy, that is the Gnostic path.
Question: What about some people who are just devoted to, nothing say, sexual, but, I have met people where just about every thought in their mind was to find a new way or creative way to make money?
Instructor: That is the path of the fakir.
Question: That is the fakir?
Instructor: Because they just want to control material means, mechanicity. I know many people who, they have no spiritual emotions, no emotions, they are not even interested in reading; they just want to make money. They only do anything to make a living, and so these instinctive types of people are very unconscious. They go nowhere.
Question: So they are wasting...
Instructor: They are wasting their time. Same thing with the fakirs, and also the monks develop the heart, but they have no cognizance of God. Therefore, they have all of these beliefs and that is their stopgap, like Nietzsche said. They impregnate the religious teachings with their beliefs, and they just have a lot of emotional energy, but they also, unfortunately, they fornicate. They squander their energies. They cannot create anything. And the yogis, they try to control the mind, but if there is no comprehension, then they are just wasting their time as well.
Question: I also know people who think and theorize a lot and love conspiracy theories. They seem to love God but they just think so much. Is that an imbalance of the mental brain?
Instructor: Yes, the mental body, when there is too much thinking, the mental body gets disfigured. Meaning: the anatomy of the mental body, the aura gets impregnated with a lot of filthiness, especially the individuals that are masturbating, that are abusing the sexual force.
So too much reading, too much theorizing, intellectualizing, that destroys the mind. Too much negative emotion destroys the heart, and fornication totally destroys everything, because the different energies of the three brains are different modifications of sexual energy, different manifestations of the energies of God.
I would like to conclude with a quote from Nietzsche, where he emphasizes the main points we discussed. This is on a chapter called "On Child and Marriage":
"You are young and wish for a child and marriage. But I ask you: Are you a man entitled to wish for a child? Are you the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the commander of your senses, the master of your virtues? This I ask you. Or is it the animal and need that speak out of your wish? Or loneliness? Or lack of peace with yourself?" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Child and Marriage”
So he is saying, "you want to be married," those who are single, but one should be more concerned with being a conqueror of one's own mind, a conqueror of one's own emotions, and a conqueror of instinct. Control the three brains, and therefore be a "master of your own virtues," and the "commander of your senses." So, these are the three paths, synthesized.
"Let your victory and your freedom long for a child. You shall build living monuments to your victory and your liberation. You shall build over and beyond yourself, but first you must be built yourself, perpendicular in body and soul.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Child and Marriage”
So what does this mean, "build living monuments of victory and liberation"? These are the solar bodies, because that is the step we need to take in order to be liberated. Victory in Hebrew is Netzach, which is the solar Christ Mind. "Let these be living monuments to your victory,” dominating your mind “and your liberation."
If you wish to "build over and beyond yourself," create the solar bodies, first you need to be built yourself, "perpendicular in body and soul." Meaning: we need to follow the path of the cross, the path of Tao, balancing our three brains. If we want to create the soul, we need the energies in order to create them. Therefore, you need to be "built perpendicular," meaning you need to have the balance established, the path of the Gnostic.
"You shall not only reproduce yourself, but produce something higher. May the garden of marriage help you in that!
“You shall create a higher body, a first movement, a self-propelled wheel―you shall create a creator." ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Child and Marriage”
So literally it says "higher body," solar bodies. What is the "first movement"? It is to initiate. So what does it always mean to be in the first movement? It is to be an initiate, constantly moving, constantly flowing.
The Hebrew word for, we could say, the Spirit, the wind, the breath, is אהיה אשר אהיה Eheieh Asher Eheieh, which is the sacred name of God and Kether in the Kabbalah. "I Am He Who Becomes,” “I Am He Who Initiates”―so a first movement. You should create a higher body in a first movement. You shall initiate. You shall walk on this Gnostic path.
"A self-propelled wheel," meaning the chakras are active, spinning positively left to right, like we are viewing a clock, the same direction on our body, transposed on us, rotating in that direction―that is the proper rotation of the chakras. "You shall create a self-propelled wheel," meaning you have the sexual energy active and your chakras are awakened. Those who fornicate, those who masturbate, who ejaculate the semen, they have no development, and so they have development in hell.
"You shall create a creator," meaning the solar bodies, they generate power in you, solar force.
"Marriage: thus I name the will of two to create the one that is more than those who created it (because the solar bodies, the golden child of alchemy, is greater than the two who created it). Reverence for each other, as for those willing with such a will (meaning the will of a lion, will of Tiphereth, following Christ; will with obedience to the consciousness) that is what I name marriage. Let this be the meaning and the truth of your marriage. But that which the all-too-many, the superfluous, call marriage―alas, what shall I name that? Alas, this poverty of the soul in pair! Alas, this filth of the soul in pair! Alas, this wretched contentment in pair! Marriage they call this; and they say that their marriages are made in heaven. Well, I do not like it, this heaven of the superfluous. No, I do not like them―these animals entangled in the heavenly net. And let the god who limps near to bless what he never joined keep his distance from me! Do not laugh at such marriages! What child would not have cause to weep over its parents?" ―Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “On Child and Marriage”
So this is kind of a reference to the Roman myth, when Vulcan the god of fire, smithing, forging, catches his wife Venus having an affair with Mars. So Vulcan represents, like Samael Aun Weor mentions many times, sexual magic is the flaming forge of Vulcan, in which the solar bodies, the armor of the heroes is built. Like Aeneas in The Aeneid, like Achilles, his armor is created by the gods so that he can wage war and destroy the ego.
So in this myth Vulcan catches his wife Venus having an affair, so he develops a bronze net, puts it on the bed in which they are going to be copulating, and it drops in the right moment when they are together. Vulcan gets all of the gods, and they point towards the couple and they are laughing, they are mocking them.
This is a symbol for how, for instance, bronze is an alchemical symbol. Bronze is the union of copper, which is Venus, the woman, and tin, which is Jupiter, the man. So it is an alchemical symbol of how man and woman should unite sexually. Now when the net drops and the gods are laughing at this couple, this represents how Mars, the man, is having sex with his wife in the wrong way, meaning: they are fornicating, they are abusing the fires of the forge of Vulcan, of sexuality, for perverse purposes. So the gods, they mock that, they mock those people, the fornicators. It is tremendous the disgust they have for that type of activity.
Question: I just want to add, Dion Fortune wrote that if man and woman get together, copulation, their state of mind, the state of spirituality has a lot to do with that―assuming another soul, another partner I guess, resulted in copulation―she mentions drunkards, people on drugs, it definitely effects the child, they give birth in a very negative way.
Instructor: Yes, it destroys the energies of our psyche, and destroys the three brains. Not only for the couple but for the child.
So to conclude, the Gnostic path is the path of balance, balancing the three brains, being a master of our own senses, and master of our virtues. If we do not have control over our intellectual brain, our emotional brain, our motor-instinctive-sexual brain, we will have no energy to create spiritually. So the consciousness, again, is awakened through upright efforts, but again, in order for the consciousness to manifest in our three brains, we need energy, specifically the vital force. If we abuse that energy, if we do not walk the Gnostic path, then well, we are swallowed by nature, so to speak.
Questions and Answers
Do you have any questions?
Question: What if you are single? You are sort of screwed!
Instructor: There are many single yogis and initiates who develop tremendous capacities, even while being single. It comes to my mind Yogananda. Yogananda is a great yogi. This is not to say he did not understand this teaching.
Now one thing I would like to clarify is, typically the paths we see today as the fakir, the monk and the yogi, these are exaggerations. These were divergent. There is demarcation between these paths today, but in the past they were integrated, because they were Gnostic paths at one point. But they diverged and became very extreme in their own ways, only developing one brain at one time.
Now, Yogananda as a yogi, he knew the Gnostic teachings. He knew about sexual magic, but he thought he could self-realize without it. But even so, he was developing a lot of power as an individual, so he comprehended a lot of egos and annihilated many defects, and acquired tremendous power.
Samael Aun Weor says he is a very beautiful elemental. His soul is very pure, but they told him, Samael reprimanded him and said, "Okay now that you have a lot of power here," talking to him in the internal planes, in Limbo, he said "If you want to go higher you need to reincarnate and get married." So Yogananda was reprimanded by the Master of the temple in which they were in [see The Narrow Way, “Limbo” by Samael Aun Weor].
So who knows where he is now. But many individuals, they acquire great power and progress, even while being single. Matrimony is just another―it really just accelerates many processes, so one walks faster. It does not mean that one is damned because one is not married, no. In fact there are many people who are married in the Gnostic teachings or in different religions, and they make their life a true hell. So what matters is one's individual effort.
So remember, when we work with energy, we need to balance our three brains. We need to understand these paths, so that we can understand the Gnostic path. So again, you know, learning to live with rectitude every day in our life, with comprehension, is the path of the fakir. The path of the monk is when we develop our heart through prayer and supplication or mantra. Then we have the path of the yogi in our meditations, controlling the mind and by studying, and the Gnostic path synthesizes that by working with alchemy.
Comment: The one that really, I did not even know that was one of the pathways, but how you, practice and study, that is how I have seen major results.
Instructor: We need to balance. Gnosis is the path of balance, balancing our energies. So to walk the path we need to study, we need to read, but we also need to meditate. We need to balance the two.
Question: Yeah because if I just meditate, I did not see the same results as if I would meditate and study.
Instructor: Exactly, so knowledge, we say Knowledge and Being need to be united in harmony in order to establish comprehension, as stated in Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology.
Because personally, and, people who do not study, who do not really study the path of the yoga, even if they have a lot of experiences, they are not going to understand what their experiences are telling them.
Personally, I remember having experiences in the internal planes related to the Kabbalah, before I knew anything about Kabbalah. So, I saw the Tree of Life. I saw many things related to the Being, that I could not explain until I read the books by Samael Aun Weor, which explained, "This is the Tree of Life." So I studied and I improved my comprehension.
So the way that we develop deeper understanding is by studying and meditating at the same time.
The term initiation has not been well understood, especially in the West.
According to the dictionary definition, initiation pertains to “formal admission or acceptance into an organization or club. Adult status in one's community or society,” etc. This relates to “ceremonies, rites of admission, rites of passage.”
You may be familiar with Judaism, Bar Mitzvahs, Quinceañeras, ages in which youth come into adulthood, or certain groups like the Masons who would initiate a student into their order in order to become a member, an aspirant of the path.
But, more formally, these terms do not adequately represent the reality of initiation itself. In fact, initiation means to begin. To initiate, and as we find in this beautiful image, a knight being knighted by a beautiful female figure, it represents the reality of spiritual initiation.
This woman is known amongst the Hebraic Kabbalists, the mystics of Judaism, as Neshamah, the divine soul, which represents a part of us. Some people call it Geburah, strength, justice, and the human counterpart known as Tiphereth in the Kabbalah, is will―the will to change, really a representation of us, human soul, consciousness, that part of us that needs to work in order to be initiated, in order to enter those divine hierarchies among the gods.
And this is of course a personal work. It is doesn’t mean that in order to be coronated by this divine figure, we need to belong to a group, because real initiation is our life. It is what we do in our daily work upon ourselves. The work upon our mind, our faults.
And so this beautiful divine soul, which is usually represented as a feminine principle, is honoring the hero. And who is that hero? It has to be us. Because in reality, in our life, we face many hardships. Many sufferings. Many conflicts, tragedies, pains. And if any one of us is attending a group of this nature, it is because deep down in our heart we have a longing to know divinity and to enter initiation. To initiate the entrance, the door, into true happiness, known by all of those beings known as angels, prophets, buddhas, Elohim, gods.
Those beings like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Moses, were once like us, and they decided that in order to genuinely know divinity, they had to work. They had to renounce their faults: anger, resentment, pride, fear, hatred. And by removing those qualities in themselves, they initiated a new way of life. Because among the gods, there is no anger. There is no fear. There is no suffering. But to reach those heights, they had to change. They had to renounce those qualities in themselves that produce their pain and made others suffer.
And so those beings taught humanity through religion, through yoga, how to enter that path, which is never easy. Because if we wish to be honored by divinity, we first have to face great trials. We have to become heroes. It is heroic to change and to face and take responsibility for our own faults. Our own anger, our own lust, our own faults, errors. To take responsibility for our own life. Not to blame others, but to change.
We can change, and by eliminating our own anger and defects, we naturally irradiate light, beauty, compassion, and that is how we become like this knight who is initiated. Not by some external force, but by his own divine soul, the divine principle of Geburah, because in the mysticism of Judaism, kabbalah, this woman or this figure of justice represents the law of divinity, the law of balance.
There are causes and conditions that can produce suffering and there are the causes and conditions that produce happiness. Divinity weighs the scales, but we determine what coins we place on either end, whether for good or for ill. Therefore that law naturally gives unto us what we have earned.
So we cannot blame others for our suffering. We have to balance the scales. This is known in the east as karma. Or in the Bible, there is a statement, “Do you not know that you shall reap what you sow?” We receive the consequences of our own actions.
And so we must learn to balance this scale in ourselves and before the divine hierarchies of this law of karma, we learn to cancel suffering. We learn to pay our debts, whether from this life or, if we have studied the doctrine of reincarnation, from other lives. And this is not something theoretical. It is something conscious when we experience it.
Personally, I do not believe in reincarnation. I know of it because I have meditated and I have awakened in the astral plane and investigated these things for myself. Knowing where I come from and why I am in the situation that I am now.
So this is how we really know initiation. It has nothing to do with reading a book, attending a lecture, or believing in a scripture. It has to do with what we experience. And so we can become like this hero, to initiate, to enter those degrees of knowledge through experience. Which is why Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition stated, "Initiation is life itself, lived intensely, with rectitude and with love."
Our life can become like a beautiful rose, immaculate with the fragrance of God, a purity that is so refined and strong that, in the face of any adversity, we can transform conflict, remediate disagreements, and transform our life into something beautiful.
But of course we have to face the thorns, as the allegory goes, and that has to do with our own personal path, because initiation is individual to you. Your life is unique and your karma is unique and your sufferings are unique. And the way that you resolve them depends upon your inner divinity, which is also unique to you.
We do this path by living intensely. It does not mean to become a daredevil. What it means is that our consciousness is so awake, is so heightened, that we learn to become aware of any situation and all the minute details, all of its struggles, so that we can transform it profoundly, and to live with rectitude, ethics, and these ethics are within any religion: compassion, kindness, altruism, love, sacrifice, but not as a moral code to believe in, but as a quality of mind, as our former lecturer mentioned in the previous discussion in this course.
The preparation for initiation is based on the quality of our heart. Our heart is what determines whether we will enter and be among the angels, or to be among the fallen.
So those are the two ways. We learn to enter this path through love. Really when we love humanity and love others more than we love ourselves, because that is how we become someone like Jesus, whose whole life was based on the well-being of others, even when he was being nailed to the cross. He said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Truly, Jesus of Nazareth represents the highest ideals an initiate can embody, and in fact he is the patriarch of the Gnostic Church. He is the head of the cosmic hierarchies of the divine. And we find his life representing the path of initiation itself, which he was the only one to physically represent that drama in flesh and bone―where you find in his birth, ministry, passion, crucifixion, resurrection―a teaching about our own individual nature.
While he physically lived these things, his life is a representation of what we have to follow in us. And in this course, we are going to discuss what those stages are in depth. But primarily he represented a type of will that any initiate needs in order to really be successful, because of course, we find in his life, tremendous conflict, tremendous struggle. People against him. Being betrayed. And that has to do with the fact that anyone who enters initiation has to pay all of their karma in one life. They have to pay everything that they owe, and because they love divinity so much, they do it gladly, even though it means that their life will be intense.
But they do it with compassion, and that willpower is known as telesis. It is a Greek term meaning “perfection or progress that is intelligently planned and directed.”
So if we have read the Gospels, we find that Jesus, his life and his path, was intelligently planned by divinity or in, Kabbalah, Kether, the Father. And we all have our own inner Father inside who intelligently plans and directs the course of our life, our own individual path.
But of course we have to do our part. We have our own will that could either follow heaven above or our own inner hell below.
It (telesis) is also “the attainment of a desired end by the application of intelligent effort.”
It is the will of Christ incarnated in a human being, and that Christic force is not a person, but an energy, which we work with. So we learn to attain the end of initiation by applying certain practices and techniques on a daily basis so that we transform our situations, which are intense, full of suffering, into understanding. And when we have understanding we have peace. To pay what we owe, but to do so with wisdom and not to merely go through the sufferings of life, “The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” according to Shakespeare's Hamlet. But, “to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them.”
The Hidden Wisdom
And that is how we enter amongst the gods, represented in many cosmogonies and paintings as the illuminated masters or angels, ascending and ascending up into the unknowable divine.
I remember one experience many years ago in which I invoked, in the astral plane, Samael Aun Weor, who is a great prophet, a master of our tradition. I looked up in the sky in the astral plane and I started to call, “In the name of Christ, by the power of Christ, for the glory of Christ!” And when you pronounce these sacred mantras, or invocations, or prayers, suddenly I saw the clouds, in the atmosphere open and I saw this image. Immaculate light. And I saw millions of angels moving and looking down at me with a lot of sympathy and compassion.
So I said, “Samael Aun Weor!” And I invoked him and he came down. And if you have seen his pictures on the internet from his times in Mexico, he came down and was teaching me many things, was helping me. And he had a lot of compassion for me because I was suffering a lot in my work.
I said to him, “I am having difficulty in my path,” and he simply said, very sweetly, but strong, "But there is always difficulty." Then I returned to my body.
So he was teaching me, “You wish to become and perfect yourself as an initiate, you have to remember that this path is not like what religion teaches. That you simply believe, belong to a church, mosque, or a synagogue, say your prayers, go to bed, and then you'll be fine when you die. That has nothing to do with reality. In fact, initiation is earned. We do it by working with telesis, with will.”
So this is the hidden wisdom within any religion that has not been taught openly.
“We speak wisdom [σοφία, sophia] among them that are perfect [τελείοις, teleios] (because through divine will, human effort, we become perfected), yet not the wisdom of this world [αἰών, aeon], nor of the princes [ἀρχόντων archons] of this world, that come to nought:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery [μυστήριον, mustérion], even the hidden [ἀποκρύπτω, apokruptó] wisdom [σοφία, sophia], which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” ―1 Corinthians 2:6-7
Paul of Tarsus was a great initiate who taught in his scriptures the symbolic language of Kabbalah.
So what does it mean to be entering into the mysteries? μυστήριον, mustérion, from the Greek mystikos, meaning “initiate,” myein, the root word, meaning “to close the eyes” to illusion in order to see internally.
It means to become a practical meditator. We physically close our eyes, we go into our mind. We examine the qualities of our heart. We work on what we have observed in ourselves, our faults throughout the day, and then at night we work consciously to understand our defects, which we call in this tradition, ego. But in the Bible they call it Shaytan, the devil (Hebrew for adversary).
Our own anger, fear, lust, hatred, pride, laziness, is demonic. It does not belong to God. Therefore we have to eliminate all of it. But we do it by closing our eyes to illusion. It doesn't mean to close one's eyes, as if one is being naive or to be manipulated. Instead it has to do with learning the science of meditation itself, so that we could have experiences like this in which you are face to face with God, and you can receive help about your work.
And so this is the hidden wisdom, ἀποκρύπτω, apokruptó, from the Greek reminding us of apocalypse. If you are familiar with the Book of Revelations, it is a very controversial text written in the language of Kabbalah. It is symbolic. If you want to have revelations of divine experience in yourself, you need to face great ordeals, because revelations is all about cataclysms, tremendous suffering, conflict.
But, it has nothing to do, in the most important sense, with what is going to happen to this physical world. That is one level of meaning. More importantly, it refers to, as we are entering initiation, we have to face our own apocalypse where we face moments of crisis in which we are tested to the extreme. We have to make the decision: will we act virtuously or selfishly? And how we act determines our trajectory, which is why we examine two forms of initiation.
Christic and Demonic Initiation
This is a painting by Hans Memling, the Last Judgment, in which you see Jesus with his right hand up in the form of the pentagram. Three fingers up, two fingers down, which is a gnostic symbol. And, a beautiful wreath and flowers stemming from or levitating above his hand.
Towards his right we find many initiates entering into the temples of the mysteries, entering into the White Lodge.
The White Lodge is a term used by Samael Aun Weor to refer to the hierarchies of the divine. It refers to the purity of the soul. And on the left of Jesus we find he has a sword levitating towards his left and his hand extending downward to reject the tenebrous, or the initiates of the black path.
It is important to remember that white and black has to do with initiation and that there are many people of many races in the White Lodge. There are many people of many races in the Black Lodge. White and black has to do with the quality of the soul. Physicality has nothing to do with initiation.
So we have the Angel Michael weighing the scales of cosmic justice in which the souls are evaluated whether they will enter into happiness and bliss, or they will enter into suffering.
Many religions talk about hell, damnation, heaven, in a very tyrannical, fearful way. It is better to think of these things not as places, but as qualities of the heart. When we are afflicted with anger, with pride, with sarcasm, we are in hell. And if we feed those elements, we initiate ourselves in hell and we develop further and further as a demon.
So what is a demon? People like to think of this caricature of a person with horns, long tail, wings. Somebody who disobeyed God many millennia ago as a type of comic-book figure, which has no basis in reality. It is a symbol, as we see in this image. These are symbols of qualities of the soul and all of our defects, which we find represented by all these evil qualities like jealousy, lust, desire.
But on the right or towards the right of Jesus, our left, we have Saint Peter initiating those souls into a better way of life, a superior way of life, which is based upon and predicated on virtue.
Notice that he has the keys of heaven in his hand, silver, gold. And we'll talk more explicitly about these symbols. These silver and gold keys represent alchemy among some traditions. The work with the stone of Peter, Patar, or the work with energy. Silver, feminine. Gold, masculine. And we'll talk about this specifically in relation to The Perfect Matrimony, which is a book that Samael Aun Weor wrote that clarifies these symbols.
So we can either become initiated into the divine hierarchy or as a demon, and what most people talk about in this time when they say, “Join our group, we will initiate you.” It has to do with the black path, the negative path, because while those schools may teach about purity of mind, love, and brotherhood, we find that through their actions, their behavior, their character shows everything.
How many times have we heard of groups speak of beauty and harmony in which they excommunicate their members, curse their members, betray their members? This is very common. You find this in many groups, not only in many world religions, but esoteric groups. Even in gnosis too. It is sad, but we have to remember that initiation is our own character, our life. What we do on a daily basis.
Addiction to Suffering
Which is why John Milton and his epic poem Paradise Lost explain these principles. He was an initiate who taught about these truths in his poem, in his works. Many people love, and sadly, they don't renounce their own causes of suffering, which is pride, hatred, defects.
People love to feed animality, violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, qualities that perpetuate suffering, and you find that many aspects of our culture in North America, which is infecting the whole planet, is addicted to behaviors that cause pain. And it's sad. People make a heaven of hell. They justify lust, pornography, elements that produce a lot of conflict and degeneration. And this is how people are initiating themselves as a planet into the black path, into hell, into the infernal dimensions, which is why Milton, knowing this truth stated, through the lips of his character Lucifer (who was the angel that fell from heaven and became the head of the the Black Lodge).
“The mind is its own place, and in itself
“Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.”
And unfortunately when the qualities that are needed to enter initiation are taught, people hate it. People do not like virtue. Compassion is not rewarded in this era. Kindness is looked down upon as a weakness, and so people make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
“What matter where, if I be still the same,
“And what I should be, all but less then he
“Whom Thunder hath made greater?”
So he is contemplating what will I be now that I am fallen. And he is referring to the divine who exiled him from heaven for his transgression.
“Here at least We shall be free (meaning in hell. In the infernal dimensions); th' Almighty hath not built
“Here [the Abyss] for his envy, will not drive us hence:
“Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
“To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
“Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.”
―John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I, ll. 254-263
This is the mentality of advertisement, politics, government. People think that they can behave as if there is no divinity watching. People justifying extortion, crime, sexual degeneration, poverty, affliction, all the problems that afflict this country, humanity, this planet. People justify the worst crimes in the penal code, in the human rights codes, all because they say "Is it not better that we reign in hell than serve in heaven?" Because as Paul of Tarsus stated, or I believe one of the initiates of the Bible stated, how the initiates of the white path are looked down upon as if they are weak, because it seems that the devil has more power.
“The wisdom of the Secret Enemy is seemingly far greater than the wisdom of the Nous atom. As a great prophet once said, ‘The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.’” ―Morya, The Dayspring of Youth
So this is the mentality of many people. They feel that there is no consequence.
Diogenes, Alexander the Great, and the True Human Being
We find this paralleled in the story of Diogenes and Alexander the Great. Diogenes is a very interesting figure in Greek philosophy. He was known as the cynic, the doubter. He was known to live in a barrel, was a beggar, and lived away from society primarily because of this reason. He felt that the society around them was degenerated, was evil, and therefore he chose to live away from cities, culture, and all the means by which people perpetuate false ideals.
Samael Aun Weor mentioned that Diogenes was a great master. He would walk around the daytime with a lamp, a symbol, going door to door asking people if he could find a man. And when obviously people in the house would say “Yes, there are many men around in the city!” Diogenes would say “No. These are not men. These are pigs, vulgar creatures.” And so obviously he made many enemies.
People didn't understand that he was looking for a real Hum-Man from the Sanskrit Hum, spirit, and man or manas, mind. A real hum-man, or individual man or woman, is a mind of the spirit, that emulates qualities like that of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc.
So Diogenes was saying, “I am looking for an initiate, but I don't see any here.” And so obviously he was creating many problems for the people around him, because he was very radical and was making a statement, and symbolically represented through his life these truths.
There is one moment mentioned in his history where Alexander the Great came to him and saw him lying in agony underneath the sun ,and asked him kindly, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Diogenes very curtly stated, dismissively, "You can get out of the way of my sun. You are blocking the light." Alexander the Great was so shocked that he had no other choice but to walk away.
Who else could have that type of power to dismiss a person who owned pretty much half the world in power. It is an initiate, because he demonstrated through his quality of heart, not his physical material life, where real virtue is. So Diogenes was poor, physically had nothing, but his heart was in God. Alexander the Great had all the materialism and life of this world, but no soul.
This is why Homer stated, “It is better to be a beggar on earth than a king in the empire of shadows.” He was the author, originator of The Iliad and The Odyssey.
So Diogenes represents a symbol known in the Tarot, the ninth arcanum, the ninth law, as The Hermit. A wandering beggar. One who is in solitude. That hermit is an initiate, somebody who works with the staff of the spine in the lamp of wisdom.
Diogenes literally was representing with his life, choosing to live in poverty to show a truth, sacrificing everything to teach something symbolically for us. For people who would understand it at a later date.
That lamp of wisdom is the lamp of hermetic science, which relates to the God Hermes or Mercury within the tradition of alchemy. Hermes refers to being hermetically sealed, and that has to do with saving energy. The basis of that is, we save energy when we renounce defects, anger, lust, pride, etc., because if we act on anger, we waste energy, and if we have no energy, we cannot awaken consciousness.
That is the beginning of initiation. We work on our faults so that we can have light. That light is fire, is energy, is force. We have no light, no fire, no force. The lamp is dark. We can't see the path. And if we are serious about this work, we can learn to save enough energy so that we awaken what is known as Kundalini, which rises up the staff of our spine, symbolized in this ninth arcanum, and of course that has to do with the work with energy, which we are going to be talking more explicitly in our forthcoming lectures.
So “If you want to initiation, write it upon a staff,” says Samael Aun Weor in The Perfect Matrimony. "Whosoever has understanding, let him understand because there is wisdom within."
Initiation is when we are working ethically upon ourselves, so that that force, the Kundalini, can rise up the spine to the mind, to the heart.
The Second Birth
That path was taught by Jesus. It is known as the second birth. He said:
"Verily I say unto you Nicodemus, you must be born again of water and spirit. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” ―John 3:5-6
People typically think this has to do with belief. That “If I believe in Jesus, if I get physically baptized, I enter the kingdom of heaven, I am initiated.” But, his teaching was very much more secretive. He never publicly taught the meaning of that verse.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh." Meaning, physical birth is born and predicated on the sexual act in the common ordinary way. But “that which is born of the spirit” through the same sexual act transformed, “is spirit.”
This is known in the East is Tantra, sacred alchemy. The practice between husband and wife in order to conserve their vital forces and to elevate them.
When that sexual energy is conserved, it is transformed. We give birth to the fire of the Holy Ghost in the spine that rises, and gives birth spiritually. If people engage in the sexual act that is commonly known, you give birth to a physical child, but through specific procedures, by conserving the waters of baptism, that energy rises up to our mind and coronates us so that we can receive Christ, the energy, which is born through birth.
Nobody is born through theory, through belief. Everyone is born in this world through sex. And so when we learn to use that energy in a spiritual way, we enter initiation, which is why Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Major Mysteries:
“Every initiation is a spiritual birth. Whosoever wants to be born has to enter into the feminine womb in order to be gestated; thus, this is how the right to be born is acquired by the one who wants to be born. Initiation is totally sexual, thus if we want to be born, we need to practice sexual magic with our spouse.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
Sexual magic or alchemy refers to, again, teachings given in Buddhism, in the highest levels of practice. Here we see Padmasambhava with his consort Yeshe Tsoygal, where he is depicted in the sexual act with his wife. And many people become confused by this, because they say, “How is it that this Buddhist master says you have to renounce lust, and yet he is having sex with his wife?”
And this is clarified very simply by his statement:
“Lustful people do not enter the path of liberation." ―Padmasambhava
So the reality is, the answer is, he was having sexual connection with his wife, but without lust, without ego, without desire, without animality. Instead, he learned to use the sexual act with love, with chastity.
People think this term chastity has to do with not having sex or being in an abstention. Chasity simply means “purity, immaculateness.” It means to not emit the sexual seed, which is why Yeshe Tsoygal said:
“Practice to perfection the skill of retaining your seed essence…” ―Yeshe Tsoygal
…the seminal matter, because that life force if it is expelled, it is wasted, either through giving birth to a child or through animal pleasure.
Instead if you conserve that seed, you can let it germinate into spiritual powers: clairvoyance, telepathy, clairaudience, astral travel, jinn experiences. That seed power, which can give birth to a child, is the power of God, and if you conserve that force and transform it, you give birth to the soul.
And so one must learn to use that force without lust. So in the beginning, male-female, husband and wife, are obviously going to struggle because, of course in us, we have a lot of lust, a lot of desire. But the beginning of initiation is based on this principle. Renounce desire. Renounce lust. Renounce the animal spasm. The orgasm. That is known as the original sin in the Bible.
Adam and Eve were in the garden when a snake came by and told Eve, “Eat this apple because it will make you like a God.” Eve ate, tempted Adam, they fell, and they were kicked out of the garden by God.
People read this story literally. It is a symbol. What else is that but a symbol of a naked man and a naked woman in a garden, who are tempted by a snake, which is of course, the serpent, but inverted. So that is the tempting serpent, or lust, or desire, which pulls people down into suffering. And of course, when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, the sexual energy in the wrong way, they were kicked out.
But of course, if we want to re-enter the garden of Eden, we have to learn to conserve the energies, primarily because the word for Eden in Hebrew means “bliss” or “voluptuousness.” It can refer to sexuality.
The Sword of Kundalini
What is the sword mentioned in the great myths of the heroes? It is the Kundalini. It is the sword of the heroes. It is the fire of the Holy Ghost that rises victoriously from the base Chakra Muladhara, to the mind.
Samael Aun Weor mentioned in Tarot and Kabbalah:
“Without woman, no initiate can receive the sword."
Or no male initiate, because every man is a priest, every woman is a priestess. Together they work in the greatest priesthood, which is alchemy. Male-female, positive-negative, moon-sun. Together they work to transform these energies represented by Adam Eve, solar-lunar.
These physical polarities are necessary because together they form the serpent, the sword. Moses raised a brazen serpent upon a staff in the wilderness made of the amalgamation of copper and tin, to use metallurgical science, metallurgical terminology.
Copper is Venus, woman, the feminine. Tin is Jupiter, masculine, the male. Together you form the bronze serpent, which rises upon the spine, to the mind, to the heart.
Together, man and woman in matrimony can enter initiation.
But of course, matrimony, doesn’t have to do with paperwork. It doesn't have to do with going to the judge down the circuit court and then filing for a marriage, saying “I want to marry this person.” This paperwork has nothing to do with the reality of the couple. Real marriage is between man and woman when they sexually connect. That is the only thing that God judges, because sexual connection is a marriage. It is religion, “religare.” To reunite Adam and Eve, those principles, before they fell. So together, they enter back into bliss. And the way that we do so is by studying the tradition of alchemy, which we will be explaining progressively in this course.
The Secret Teachings of Alchemy
We have an image here of Vitriol, a teaching about this precise science. Samael Aun Weor mentions that in order to enter initiation, we have to work with this energy known as the stone of the Masons.
So we mentioned previously about Patar, Peter, the Church or the rock upon which the Gnostic Church is founded. That is a symbol of Kabbalah. In Kabbalah, we refer to in this Jewish mystical teaching, the stone upon which we base ourselves.
That stone is known as Vitriol among the alchemists. It is known as the Ka’aba amongst the Muslims: the blackened stone of our sexual energy that must be purified. That doctrine, which has a physical component and an esoteric component, represents these truths. We have to learn to pray towards Mecca where the stone is. Meaning: work with that energy.
So here we are mentioning something that not a lot of people understand spiritually because those teachings were lost. That stone is the creative force, and even in terms of slang we find that a person's stones has to do with their sexual organs. Either the testicles or the ovaries.
As the Old Testament [Deuteronomy 23:1] states, "He who is wounded in the stones or has his privy member cutoff shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Because, that energy is fundamental. That is how we build our church. Build our spirit. That is how we create.
Vitriol is one of the clues of the Gnostic alchemist. The word signifies:
“Visitam Interiorem Terre Rectificatum Invenias Ocultum Lapidum.”
Visit the interior of the earth which through rectifying, you will find the occult stone.
What is the earth in Kabbalah? Our body. Our physical body is the earth, which has all the elements inside: fire, air, water, earth. All those forces are necessary for our development.
Fire relates to our emotions. Air to our mind. Waters to our seminal sexual force. And the earth is the well that contains all of it.
We have to visit the interior of the earth, meaning, meditate. Go into yourself. Examine how the sexual energy works in a spiritual way, and through practices, we learn to enter initiation.
We have to first work with the stone so that we can open the doors for ourselves of the path.
What is interesting too is that amongst these symbols you find the seven planets, and the stone relating to “corpus.” There is an arrow pointing down towards this figure. It has as the letter of Saturn (♄) represented there.
Saturn, astrologically speaking relates with death. It means death of desire. The death of animality. If you wish to work with your stone, we have to remove the impurities so that we can give birth, as we see in this image on the top left, to anima, the soul. At the top right spiritus, the spirit. And when we work more on our faults, our defects, we enter the actual path and we have to face certain trials and ordeals.
The Guardian of the Threshold and the Children’s Chamber
In this next slide we see an image of the Guardian of the Threshold, which is mentioned many times in the writings of Rudolf Steiner. Many other initiates talk about this ordeal. Samael Aun Weor spent a lot more time explaining these things in a very clear way. Some of the other authors were a little bit more ambiguous.
So, if we are very serious about entering the path, we will face a certain trial. It has nothing to do with having attended the lecture, but more so internally, when we are practicing. We are working with the creative energy. We are meditating, trying to work on our egos and our faults.
This experience is internal, where, when your physical body is asleep, you may be awakened in the astral plane in which you have to face yourself. This guardian is a representation of you. It represents all of your defects from this life and all your past lives. So this figure usually takes on a demonic figure. Very monstrous, huge, because our defects are very great.
This guardian is of the threshold because that is the threshold of entering the mysteries. If we wish to really advance towards the light, we have to face our own darkness.
Personally, if I am telling you about this is because I remember facing my guardian. A huge monster. Very hideous, and I had to keep invoking and invoking again and again because I kept failing and I felt so much pain not being able to face this monster in myself, because I desperately do not want to fail. And personally, in my case, it was very severe, because I was told internally that the White Lodge would end my life if I didn't succeed, because my karma was very severe.
I was at the time physically very sick. I was actually hospitalized, and I later found out from medical reports afterward that I could have died. And I was told during that time internally, “If you do not face yourself now, it'll be over for you and you'll go down.” And so, I had to fight again and again and again.
The time that I succeeded was when I told myself, “I will have no fear. I will not be afraid of myself.” And then I decided..."So be it!" Locked, hand in hand, with this monster, conjured it and defeated it. And I remember at that time there were a group of black magicians, sorcerers of the evil path, who were watching the whole time to see what my fate would be. They looked at me with horror because the light of Christ was in me, and I said unto them, "It can be done."
I looked at them because they were afraid and I told them that, “You don't have to be afraid. You don't have to run away from yourself.” Because, those demons, they feed the Guardian of the Threshold. They worship it. It is their fears and anger and all their faults. When they saw that I had completely renounced that, at that level, they were scared.
But of course, that was one ordeal. In the path you face many ordeals, but when you succeed in facing certain ordeals internally, the angels welcome you. I remember being helped by certain Cherubim, masters who were very happy, and celebrated my achievements internally. This is why we have this image of these angels represented there, because when you conquer ordeals internally, they appear to you in the form of children.
Only those who are like little children shall enter the kingdom of God, meaning: to have the mind, the simplicity of an infant. It doesn't mean to be stupid or to be ignorant, but to be pure.
The Ordeals of the Elements
We also face the four deals of the elements: fire, air, water, and earth, which we will be talking separately, giving a lecture on each element, I believe around July.
The Ordeal of Fire
What are the ordeals of the fire? It has to do with criticism: somebody or people in our life speak ill about us. We feel heat, pressure. We feel that we are burning. We are being provoked to act negatively, with resentment, anger, sarcasm.
But in order to conquer the ordeal of fire, we have to be sweet, kind, compassionate. To really not identify with their criticism, but to respond with love. It doesn't mean that we pretend to be kind, but to really do it. It is very difficult, but if you transform the fire of that situation, you reach equanimity, calm.
Personally, I work at a job in which I get a lot of fire. It is a good element to work with, in which I have clients that are very difficult to work with. Very troublesome, who constantly may criticize, and so they have really given me a blessing, taught me to respond with love, and when I have worked and acted kindly towards my clients, it dissipates everything. It transforms the situation.
The Ordeal of Air
We also have the ordeals of the air, relating to the mind. You know the saying, when we are “up in the air.” It has to do with financial situations. Maybe we feel like we lost a job or reach a crisis in our life in which we don't know where to go. We literally feel like we are falling in life. We don't know where we are going to land. It has to do with mobility. The virtue of this element is mobility. To be able to move. To adapt. To know how to control our own fears. The air of the mind that always thinks, “How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to live? What am I going to do?”
The Ordeal of Water
Likewise we have the ordeal of water, relating to fluidity. Sometimes in life we feel that we are drowning. Again, it can relate to finances, to problems, conflicts where we are in a big storm. The water is pulling us down and we have to learn to swim against the current. We feel our depression wants to pull us in, to give up. But if we swim against the current, do what no one else does and be heroic, we end up on top.
So the virtue of water has to do with, we can say, confidence, strength: to swim against the waters that are seeking to pull us down into the whirlpool.
The Ordeal of Earth
Lastly: the earth. In life, we may feel like we have a mountain collapsing on us. We are being crushed. The situation in our life is fearful. We feel that we are being buried beneath a rock, and that we can't escape the situation. If we cry out in fear, we fail. But if we show constancy, stability, confidence, we succeed.
Ordeals in the Astral Plane
So these elements not only relate to our physical life, but even internally, you may have those ordeals in the astral plane. We get tested in the physical world, but also in the internal planes as we enter initiation.
I remember one time I woke up in the astral plane and I found myself lying on my back in the dark, in some room. I knew I was awake, and then I suddenly heard a lot of voices around me laughing. At that time, I knew this was a test and I was really happy about it, because I knew that the beings around me were angels, but they were secretly testing me.
I heard them laughing and mocking me, calling me names, criticizing me, slapping me, pouring water on me, doing all sorts of things. The funny part was, I even had one of them sit on my head and fart on my head, trying to get me to react, and I felt my ego at the time was trying to come out and was getting really angry.
But I knew, “I am not going to act on my anger, because I know this is an ordeal and that they are helping me to show me my ego.” To work on it.
And after I conquered the ordeal, the lights turn on, and a group of these angels from the previous graphic, like Cherubim, celebrated. They all cheered, and I remember looking in their eyes and seeing the beauty of heaven there. The purity of soul.
They invited me into their children's chamber where they taught me many things. That was a great victory, but to reach those celebrations, we have to work with the elements. Conquer fire, our anger. Conquer the air, our thoughts. Conquer the water, our creative energy. Conquer the earth, our physical life.
The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
This is how we work with this science, which is synthesized in the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. The Tree of Life is a beautiful glyph known as the Kabbalah, the Jewish mysticism, which relates to the body.
This Tree of Life is a map of consciousness. It is made up of three trinities. Above, middle, and below, followed by a separate sphere known as Malkuth, which is the physical world. It is a diagram of the soul, from the highest levels of divine expression, to the most dense.
At the top we find Kether, Chokmah, Binah, which are energies of God known in Christianity as Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Known in Egypt as Osiris, Horus, Isis. Amongst the Nordics: Wotan, Baldur, Thor. Or in Buddhism, we have Nirmanakaya, Binah; Sambhogakaya, Chokmah; and Dharmakaya, Kether.
All these religions are synthesized by this glyph. We can interpret any tradition based on this diagram, because it is a map of the soul, and all religions have the same roots. We use the Jewish mysticism to interpret the scriptures, but also to understand our meditative experiences.
We also have Chesed, our inner God, the spirit; Geburah, the divine soul, Neshamah; Tiphereth, the human soul, the heart, which is where we determine everything.
So as we spoke about Telesis, willpower, the will of the initiate, it is based on the qualities of our heart. So, if you take this image and map it on yourself, we find this represented.
The qualities of a heart determine initiation. It is how we enter the path, because these five sephiroth or spheres of God above, these emanations, because the word sephiroth means “emanations, jewels” or qualities of God, these represent the most divine in us. But below Tiphereth, we have Netzach, the mind, Hod, the emotions, Yesod, our sexual energy. Likewise, Malkuth, the physical body.
These lower spheres, these four lower sephiroth, are what are infiltrated by ego, which we have to purify.
It is interesting also that Yesod on this glyph relate to the sexual organs. It is the secret science in Hebrew. יסוד Yesod means foundation. It is the stone. The basis upon which we build our temple to God.
Interestingly enough, you take the Hebrew letters of יסוד Yesod and reverse them, take this letter י Yod and put it at the end, and you spell סודי, which means “secret.” It is the path that has never been taught openly until as recently as 1950 in the writings of Samael Aun Weor.
As it states in The Major Mysteries:
“The Tree of Life is represented in our physical body by the spinal column, and the Tree of Knowledge is represented by our sexual organs; these trees of Eden even share their roots.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
So we study these two trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge in order to understand the path itself, but more importantly to walk it. This Tree of Knowledge is known as Da’ath, knowledge, alchemy. Amongst the Sufis and Muslims, it is Mari’fah. Amongst the Greeks it is Gnosis. So, I invite you to ask questions about anything we have discussed.
Questions and Answers
Question: You talked about Kundalini awakening at one point. How common would you say that is in the gnostic world?
Instructor: Yes, well for those who are really serious about chastity and purity, they do it. I know many people who are working seriously. Internally, I have investigated them and verified their level. So yes, there are many people who are doing it, but commonly what people talk about Kundalini awakening, it could be a variety of things. Two primarily.
There are people who know the doctrine, who knew about transmutation, chastity. Whether they are gnostic or not. They may be working with the creative energy, conserving it, because in many schools of yoga and Buddhism, they teach you: don't lose your energy.
They may be practicing pranayama, such as in the teachings of Sivananda, who is a great master of yoga and Hinduism. They could be awakening sparks. Through breath work, they are beginning to flame the coals in their spinal column so to speak. So they may have sparks of light which emerge that rise up the spine and give them spiritual experiences.
Personally, before I was married, I remember years ago, since being in this teaching, I practiced pranayama very diligently and I remember having many, very powerful, samadhis, spiritual experiences, because of working individually with that force. But you know, when being married, finally there is more fire available, more energy available. That energy is more consistent.
But, there are people who can awaken those experiences through pranayama, which is breath-work. Controlling your breath is known as interchangeable nostril breathing. You close one nostril, inhale through the left, close, send the energy the prana or life force to your coccyx. Exhale to the other nostril, send that energy to your mind, to your heart.
Then do the same thing with your other nostril, right, close, exhale through the left.
So you can have many experiences like that, but people who don't study confuse their pranayama, as a single practitioner, with Kundalini awakening. It is true that you can only have experiences when the Kundalini is awakened, but is that a spark, or is it a sun?
Because when working individually, you can have sparks of fire. But if you are married, it's like having the power of a sun.
So I know many people whether single or married who have experiences. But only those who are working in a matrimony can awaken the Kundalini, because She is the power of Durga in Hinduism. Kali, Miriam, Mary. She is the Divine Mother of Jesus.
When we talk about the birth of Jesus, he was born through an immaculate conception, but doesn't mean that Mary just believed and was impregnated by the Holy Ghost through theory. In fact, Jesus the spiritual son, is born in an immaculate conception, meaning, to conceive without orgasm. To be pure, because you can't create without sex.
If you want to create the Christ child in you, you have to be married. This is what Jesus taught, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” You need both polarities.
Question: What about people who claim to have a sudden Kundalini awakening? What is going on there?
Instructor: A variety of things. Some people, genuinely, because they are practicing pranayama, they have the experiences. There are people who may just start to study these type of teachings and because they start to have some kind of internal dreams or experiences that they don't decipher or comprehend, they attribute it to Kundalini.
Sadly, I know a lot of people too, and my wife and I have worked with many people who are mentally ill, who attribute spiritual experiences with Kundalini, when their life and their character demonstrate that they are ill, unfortunately.
This is why in initiation, we are very rigorous, we are very demanding. Initiation is born and founded upon ethics. Qualities of purity of mind. Balance. If we are imbalanced, that light cannot be generated but, people also attribute those experiences with Kundalini because they may be working with meditation and spiritual practices, but they are not working with chastity, and therefore, because they are expelling their energies and trying to meditate, they are damaging themselves and they start to awaken powers in the ego, which is initiation of the black path.
Question: What about people who think they are working with Kundalini but really they are not chaste? They are having experiences, is that black magic or what is wrong with that case?
Instructor: Yeah, people who are having experiences, but they are fornicating...
Question: So if it's not Kundalini, then what is it?
Instructor: It is the inverted serpent. You can have powers with the superior serpent Kundalini or, Kundabuffer, the tail of the demons.
So initiation is written upon a staff. It either ascends or descends.
If we conserve the sexual energy, it will rise up the spine as the brazen serpent of victory, but if we give in to fornication and lust, expelling those forces, feeding desire, it becomes the fallen serpent that tempted Adam and Eve.
It is the seraphim, the fiery serpents that bit the Israelites in the wilderness when they betrayed Jehovah. So that is when Moses stepped in to save them. He told Moses “Raise a serpent upon a staff, so whoever looks upon it will be healed.”
It is a symbol and the Israelites are a representation of the soul. Isis-Ra-El. Isis the Divine Mother. Ra, Osiris-Ra, the Christ. El, the Spirit. It's all Kabbalistic and when you work with the brazen serpent, you heal your soul.
Question: So you can only come to this kind of knowledge through hermetics? Everything is a process and if everything is a process then you have to go through the physical self in order to get to the point where spirituality or the Christ spirit can be born within you. So, can you do that by way of working your way through organized religion and then coming through it?
Instructor: Oh yes.
Comment: (paraphrasing) Because I was ready to take my daughter and walk out... Because I know all this stuff have touched upon, all this stuff, I have experienced all the stuff. I did not know that that woman was who you said she was. She was always there. I would know that something was coming up because she would be there. You know the one with the sword. “Not now, I got other things to do!” We don't have time for this one, you know, so I know at times for years she was always around. She was always around.
I was always being told I was too loud when I would, you call it the astral plane. See, it never occurred to me that I was up on the astral plane when I would be you know, you know, somebody better talk to me right now and tell me what's going on. That kind of thing because things in my life would be so intense.
But for you to tell me that I could get to this, through the many, many, many, many, many sufferings and rejections of religion, and constantly taken off one snake skin, for lack of a better word; yes, taking off one snake skin, and then being told that “Yeah, you got to get through this this...” There is no way you can do that in one lifetime and then to get it through and then to be told, “Well, no. We need to get through all that muck and mire before we could get you here.”
So for you to tell me that... I have been doing this on my own all these years because I knew that it had to be real. Something's got to be real. Everything in life can be... So, take this and focus on this. But that's not really what I was doing. I was just being allowed to announce to myself that this is the path you are on. You are going to stay on this path no matter what, and if you try to get off, we are going to slice you in two. That's pretty much happened and that is what the suffering is. Because I was like “No, no, no please let me off. I want to be off. I want to be wonderful!” No, no, you are not going to be any of those. You are going to grow spiritually.
Instructor: Yes, and Samael Aun Weor mentions that there are many people who are not attending any group, any religious institution, not following any creed, and those people are actually closer to initiation than many people who say they are holy, so to speak.
Comment: (paraphrasing) Well, I don't go there, I certainly don't know with that, but I just came through an initiation. That made me say, “Oh my God... am I going to die?” That is how bad initiation was. But I was like, “Am I going to die? Am I going to make it through this?” I did but it was very long. It was like three or four years.
Instructor: Yes, and as we'll talk in the future lectures, there are initiation of Minor Mysteries and there are initiations of Major Mysteries. There are many people who enter the Minor Mysteries who are working with the energies of sex and who don't have experiences internally about it. They may be asleep consciously-speaking, and be entering the Minor Mysteries and working at that level.
To enter the Major Mysteries, the highest initiations is a work of alchemy and involves a certain type of telesis or will.
But yes, obviously, there are many people who enter through life and enter the path seemingly without knowing it. They don't necessarily have those astral experiences, where in dreams, they are face to face and having that direct communication.
But the purpose of our studies to be specific. So, while in the beginning we have a certain level of faith, we want to develop it even further. We want to be able to have that face-to-face conversation with a master of the White Lodge in dreams, awake, so that we have even more knowledge. But of course, level upon level, “Light upon light,” says the Qur’an. Degree upon degree.
There are levels of initiation. There are beginning levels of initiation. There is mastery and then there is even higher, perfection in mastery, like Jesus, Buddha, and all of them. So, there are levels and degrees, and it's good to know…
Comment: (paraphrasing) That's hard for me to get my head around that. You know I was taught for sixty-six years, probably in the womb, that you can be a Christian. “Try to do the best with what you can,” and that's it. And then for somebody standing in front of me at the age of sixty-six years… No, no, you can talk to these.... I mean and and that's how I get through life.
I have no one I can talk to, so I had to, you know, somebody needs to teach me, how to have humor, because I ain't going to get through this, and they did. They gave me a sense of humor, I guess. I mean she hates it, so it works for me... So for you to tell me, “Yes, you can get to that point,” I never thought that. That never entered into my mind.
I remember that, twenty-five years ago being exposed to Samael Aun Weor, initially through Gurdjieff and him saying “You are a lazy human being, wake the heck up!” That led me to Samael, but that was too advanced for me... Now after all that time, maybe six, seven, eight initiations, I can understand exactly what you are saying. The Pistis Sophia, I have had that. I understand that. But for you to say that you can see Jesus face to face, again, it never occurred to me that it would ever be possible.
Instructor: If you enter higher degrees of initiation, you can speak to him, because I have personally been with him in the astral plane. He is the highest initiate we know of, and personally, he gave me some teachings that were very profound. I don't want to relate them here, but definitely, when you have that awakened consciousness, you can have greater access to real knowledge, because the master Samael Aun Weor says that a real occultist is someone who knows how to travel in the astral body. In the dream state. Because in that way, we find the occult wisdom, the hidden wisdom.
Comment: I thought that this was not real, and now I am here. This is real. I told myself, “I never heard of this group,” but I'm going to see what's happening...
Question: On the topic of the transmutation of sexual energy. In relation to Kundalini and the necessity to reach that level, how would you say you approach it, in the sense of, sometimes you are saying, seed energy, sometimes maybe you are supposed to expel it. What is the balance? I can't imagine saying that you can never ejaculate it.
Instructor: For the initiations, we say never, because as Yeshe Tsoygal said, “we must always perfect the practice of retaining the seed essence.” Of course, in the beginning it's difficult, because through this lifetime or even previous lifetimes, we have been forcing our mind and are used to that act.
So, we have always been out of Eden, exiled. But to enter the straight and narrow gate is precisely when husband and wife unite. The straight path mentioned by Jesus. The narrow way, physically, even relating to sexual copulation, but also a psychological type of work is needed.
In the beginning it is difficult, because the mind is full of lust. The body is trained to expel, but with training, you never lose any energy.
Personally, this has been my path. I don't lose my energy even while practicing alchemy, because I have trained myself to that degree never to lose it.
Question: What about reproduction?
Instructor: Now, interestingly enough, there are ways to conceive a child without orgasm. As partly allegorized in the birth of Jesus, you know the immaculate conception. But of course, people think that myth is silly because they think it has to do with Mary not having sex with a man, and then she gave birth to a child. That is the conventional belief of that story.
But really the truth is that Joseph and Mary were alchemists, and we have procedures where if a gnostic couple wants to have a child, they can perform certain prayers and practices while conserving their energy, because only one sperm is needed to procreate.
It is not necessary to expel millions of sperm for that conception. It is a more profound form of conception because what the Holy Spirit does, the conceiver of Christ, this intelligence takes one seed in order to create a superior child. Because a child born from fornication obviously has many problems physically. That is why in most people their bodies get sick. They may have certain conditions or ailments.
But the Holy Spirit, which is the force of intelligence, is the force of our inner God that can take one sperm and, through prayer and intelligence and wise copulation, take that energy create one child.
Question: Why do doctors tell us orgasm is healthy and what about women and orgasm?
Instructor: Because they like fornication. The doctors. Most people have never been initiated in this science, so they don't know any better. Unfortunately, when you do try to introduce... I have known people try to introduce this science to doctors, many people can be very skeptical and they laugh at it because they have a materialistic mind. But I do know other doctors and people in our tradition who have learned the benefits of this practice, because transmutation promotes our health.
There are even some scientific studies that show how transmutation or alchemy as we teach, promotes health, life, longevity, the health of our endocrine system, the health of our emotional center, our heart, and the mind. It is well known that the greatest artists, philosophers, and teachers were traditionally known as celibates, but they actually new alchemy.
They kept that life private because people would criticize. Beethoven. Mozart. Beethoven was known to be single for you pretty much his whole life, but he had an amazing brain because he had parts of his mind active from working with that energy that people couldn't explain. But he was an alchemist. He knew the science.
Question: Do women lose energy?
Instructor: Yes, women can lose their energy too because orgasm, whether from male or female, emits the seed. Women can lose their seminal waters, which is semen.
Semen in esoteric language has to do with not only just the physical matter, but force.
So, either men or women can lose their seed. We have to conserve it because those are the waters that we transform into our baptism. That requires that we renounce the adversary, shaitan, our ego. The lust that says, “I enjoy engaging in sex in this way.”
This is the meaning of Judas in the Bible. Judas is a symbol of an ego that we have. Loves religion. Loves spirituality. Loves Christ, but loves fornication more. So we may believe that we are spiritual and that we love divinity and all these things, but our actions prove otherwise.
If we give in to fornication and we enjoy emitting the energies, then we have no water by which we can baptize ourselves.
Judas represents that. He betrays Christ. Gives away the Lord for thirty pieces of silver: a symbol of pleasure for a few moments, or like Esau in the Bible. Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of lentils. Same symbol.
It is very strict, obviously, but this is the way. You need energy, water to baptize yourself.
I promise you that if you are serious about it, you will find the benefits of it and naturally you will have more energy, more vitality, more enthusiasm. You have the energy by which you empower your virtue. Your compassion, your happiness. Less anger. Less violent emotions.
I have known people in this science who even suffered mental illness and yet by practicing alchemy, they were rejuvenated. They were no longer sick. It is the healing power of the Holy Spirit. It is the creative force of God.
Swami Sivananda wrote in one of his books about the benefits of pranayama, and even we could say, synonymously, alchemy. Skin is lighter or more rejuvenated. More vitality, more health, suppleness, strength, everything, because that energy, that matter, is transformed into force.
When it goes up the spine through those energetic channels known as the Caduceus of Mercury in medicine, it fills the brain and rejuvenates the endocrine system. Heals the heart, everything. It empowers us. So, we need those energies if we want to awaken spiritually.
Question: Just as a single person, would you recommend a specific practice? I know there are multiple pranayamas...
Instructor: You have to experiment and find the ones that work for you. I mean, we have an abundance of practices for transmutation in The Yellow Book, Kundalini Yoga, and others.
You could work with one that is very easy to work. It is Ham-Sah.
You in-inhale through your nostrils. First you pray to your inner divinity, your Divine Mother, “Please awaken my consciousness. Help me to work with this force!”
Inhale through your nostrils, and you imagine that there is light ascending from your sexual glands up the spine to the channels of your back, which are known as Adam and Eve. Od and Obd. Ida and Pingala in different traditions.
Imagine that light saturating the brain and as you are inhaling with the breath, you pronounce mentally the mantra, “Haaaaaaammmm!” in the mind.
The breath should be more prolonged with the inhalation because you are raising the energies of sex to your mind.
And then imagine that light going to your heart. A very brief quick exhalation, “Ssssaaaaahhh!”
This is because your breath relates with your sexual energy. In the Bible, the spirit of God, the wind of God, hovered above the face of the waters in order to create the planet from the fathomless abyss.
A symbol of working with this force. You create your spiritual earth through your stone, the sexual force.
Likewise, you imagine that circulation in yourself. “Ssssaaaaah!” That is how it should sound, but mentally the mantra Ham, takes a force up to your brain, saturates it.
It is a very easy practice. You can even that if you are married. Or practicing alchemy, but that's a very good practice you can initiate with.
Question: I am just curious. You mentioned you have reached the status of being able to talk to Jesus, so if a person is not religious and if you reach that status, what will he see?
Instructor: Personally, I remember when I had talked with him that for a long time, I was atheist. I was a very pessimistic, morbid person, very sad. Felt like I had no meaning to my life.
Eventually when I met him, he was in the astral plane, he came to me because I invoked him and at least the symbol that he gave to me was very beautiful. He saw me, obviously, but what he saw in me was my own ego, and he was trying to show me how to get out.
I remember that experience. It was a outside my house. It was a very dark night, cloudy sky, which of course, your dreams are symbolic. So, darkness or cloudiness represents the mind. The cloudiness of the ego that obscures the light of God in you. So, I invoked him, begging him, “please teach me!” I remember he came up to me and the way that he was described in one of Samael Aun Weor's books, in The Revolution of Beelzebub, I saw him exactly like that.
[Editor's Note: Samael Aun Weor wrote the following describing Master Aberamentho, Jesus of Nazareth: "Then, I kneeled and prostrated myself before the most powerful Hierarch of the cosmos, who is called by the Tibetans “the Mother of Mercy” or “the Melodious Voice Oeaoeh.” He is the Only Begotten, the great universal Word of life, whose body is all of the sounds played in the infinite. His beauty is ineffable. He bears a crown with three points, and his very long cape is carried by the Elohim. They carry the long train of his cape."]
So if you read that book, that is how he appeared to me and I remember at that moment I was watching him and I was being filled with fear. Obviously, he is a great being and suddenly he gave me a supra-conscious experience. He gave me light. I saw myself in third person. He took my vision expanded it and I was standing on the lawn of my house and he just shot up as a beam of light into the sky in the clouds. They parted and I saw in the atmosphere beautiful stars. A galaxy, and he just vanished. I just stood up looking at him like this… and then I woke up.
He was teaching me that “You want to be like me, with freedom, going beyond to the infinite? You have to clear your mind. Clear you ego,” and was very humbled by that.
He is very difficult to comprehend. He is a level of master that is so high that not even the gods understand him, because he has gone beyond. Even beyond an angel. So, there are hierarchies and hierarchies and levels.
Another Instructor’s Comment: So, there are many masters, some whom work anonymously or have worked anonymously on earth, so we can meet a master internally and not even realize it. The case for people who are not religious is often you know that they'll be receiving some kind of guidance, in particular the Divine Mother.
Interesting that you mention Her. She has the ability to take a variety of forms and, in my experiences, I have seen my Divine Mother in different forms, and She will take different aspects, but She appears to you in order to teach you something. Masters as well can appear to you as a symbol, like a butterfly or something, when you invoke them, because they are teaching you something in the way that they can appear to you.
So regardless of what religious tradition we come from, or if we don't come from any religious tradition, we can sense in our heart the power and the purity of that master. We can understand that guidance, even if the form that they take is unknown to us, or we don't recognize them for who they are.
Sometimes they will show themselves in a form we can recognize, of course, so that we will understand, and you know, develop that relationship, but God itself is formless, and many different beings have worked to purify themselves to become vehicles in which the light of God can express. But the light of God itself is beyond form. So, I feel, you know, that many people will experience what they call their inner voice, their conscience. Many times, that is a manifestation of our Divine Mother, always present with us at any time.
Comment: (paraphrasing) I had one experience where, this was when I was first working with transmutation when I was younger. I didn't know what to expect. Didn't know if it was divine or something, but was walking down the road, like a state park or something. There was a man with a very well-trimmed beard, buttoned-up shirt. I was sitting there blaming the system for my problems, like this and that. He said “You just need to lighten up,” and patted me on my shoulder.
I guess what I learned from that experience is that we have help and we have brotherhood. So in this path, it isn't so lonely and miserable. There has to be a point, being called to service, so that we can grow and find truth together. So it just it's a small experience that I had. It doesn't have to be Jesus Christ. It doesn't have to be this magnificent experience. It could just be walking through a park and a tap on a shoulder from a friend.
Instructor: Samael Aun Weor also mentions that the greatest joy of the gnostic is the discovery of one of his or her defects, because a discovered defect is a dead defect. Which is why in this course, we will be talking about how to practice that self-observation, comprehension, elimination. The work on the ego, because when you comprehend the ego, eliminate those faults, you free light, and in that way we enter initiation.
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