This lecture is about astral projection techniques. While we have discussed a lot of theories associated with astral projection, we will now discuss many practices to achieve it. Not only will we give many exercises from the writings of Samael Aun Weor, but we will also provide the necessary contexts for you to understand the purpose and utility of each exercise.
Voluntary astral projections are often achieved through mantra recitations. But what exactly are mantras?
A mantra is conventionally understood as a repeated slogan, keyword, or phrase. In Buddhism and Hinduism, meditators recite particular words to aid in concentration. Mantras are a series of vocalizations that resonate in our body, mind, and spirit. Such words are usually imbued with spiritual meaning, transmitted from master to disciple through a lineage or tradition.
The term mantra comes from the Sanskrit मन्त्र Man, “to think,” or manas, “mind.” Tra or Trai signifies “to protect, to free.” In synthesis, mantra means “mind protection” or “to free the mind” through sacred sounds.
Mantras help to protect our mind from negative states. They also teach our mind how to be serene, concentrated, and obedient to our own will.
Anyone who has attempted meditation or mantra recitation exercises has discovered that the mind is undisciplined or distracted. It is wild. Thoughts come and go, one after the other, in associative succession. They even appear to have no beginning or end. Although our meditation sessions might be brief, we do get a glimpse, in such moments, of our true psychological state. However, many tend to ignore this fact in their busy lives.
Mantras are an effective tool for teaching our consciousness how to be focused. Right now, our conscious faculties tend to be deficient. In the beginning, we lack stability of concentration and clarity of visualization. If we cannot focus on one thing, if we are constantly distracted, and if we cannot clearly visualize imagery in our mind, then we will not have the capacity to consciously astral project with the frequency or sustainability we long for.
Fortunately, mantras aid with concentration and visualization through the power of the divine word.
The Divine Power of the Word
All religious traditions describe how sound is sacred and powerful. We know conventionally that a soft word of kindness dissipates anger. We also know that rude, incoherent, and abrasive words offend the mind and sensibilities.
This is because the spoken word is the vehicle of psychological meaning. If our intentions are bad—egotistical—then our words will reflect that. If we operate from psychological states of altruism, kindness, selflessness—in other words, the Essence—then our words will benefit all sentient beings.
Not only do we create situations in life based upon the quality of our speech, likewise divinity creates spiritual being through the power of the word. As indicated by Samael Aun Weor:
The Gods create with the power of the word, because, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). —Samael Aun Weor, The Spiritual Power of Sound
This slide depicts various sacred languages. We see Tibetan, Chinese, Hebrew, Latin, and Arabic. They are sacred, not just because they convey the wisdom of the prophets across various cultures, but also because of their linguistic and archetypal complexity.
We can state without a doubt that these are examples of divine languages. These languages have great depth, power, and impact for the soul. They are divine because their alphabets and pronunciations reflect metaphysical realities. Each letter of their respective alphabets represent principles, intelligences, and forces. Moreover, their conscious enunciation can facilitate our complete development as a human being.
Languages represent the articulation of thought, of cognizance, and are referenced by the Greek term Λόγος logos. The first Christians iterated the fact that divinity is equivalent to the spoken word, because speech is the actualization of abstract potential. We bring into being our own psychological potential through speech. Therefore, what we say carries tremendous consequences for our own well-being and the well-being of others.
The Universal Language
Rather than exclusively speak about the negative impact of words (which is something that we are all probably already familiar with), we will emphasize how certain languages, like the ones we’ve cited, are mantric in nature. As stated by Samael Aun Weor:
There is a universal language of life spoken only by Angels, Archangels, Seraphim, etc. When the sacred fire blooms in our fertile lips made verb, the word becomes flesh in us. All the mantras known among the occultists are just syllables, letters, and isolated words of the language of the Light. —Samael Aun Weor, The Spiritual Power of Sound
All sacred languages stem from a universal language and are vehicles of internal truths. They are mantric languages. Their original structures are expressions of the Being. They are more in tune with the nature of divinity. As vehicles of expression, they reflect spiritual truths with greater accuracy than is afforded by our more modern languages.
Many languages have progressively distanced themselves from their sources, as dramatized in Genesis by the Tower of Babel. While it is normal for languages to change over time, mantric languages retain a primeval coherence and integrity in relation to divine truths. These languages are rich with meaning. Their nuances cannot be simplified or synthesized into a single English translation, primarily since each word and letter operates on multiple conceptual dimensions.
This is why if we wish to understand texts like the Bible or the Qur’an, we must have some familiarity with their original languages, since their letters contain tremendous significance. They embody eternal truths. One doesn’t need to be fluent in such languages to be successful in scriptural interpretation. One needs a basic education in the symbols of such alphabets, which, combined with an English translation, opens doors to wisdom that is not accessible to the uninitiated.
This is why we pronounce mantras in their original languages, such as Sanskrit, Hebrew, Latin, and Arabic, because they convey tremendous power. These mantras are magical in nature. If you wish to benefit from the power of a certain mantra, you must pronounce it according to its original language and form, in the same manner that it was transmitted from master to disciple. This is why religious traditions have existed: to accurately transmit spiritual practices for the awakening of the consciousness.
The Seven Chakras and Their Mantras
Mantras activate chakras. But what are chakras?
चक्र Chakra in Sanskrit means “wheel.” A chakra is a wheel of energy, formed whenever two meridians or currents of vital energy cross. We have thousands of chakras since we possess thousands of meridians. However, when people often speak about chakras, they often talk about the seven main ones connected to our spine.
Our astral body perceives the astral world through our chakras. Chakras help to channel divine energy in the same manner as a water mill. If there is no water flowing, the mill won’t turn. The same with the chakras. Most people typically don’t have their chakras activated, either permanently or even temporarily. This is why we train with mantra recitation, so that the senses of the astral body become rejuvenated.
Mantras help to activate our chakras by concentrating and directing energy. Different sounds vibrate in different parts of our body. Sounds not only vibrate and permeate our environment—such as when our words reach our neighbor during a conversation—but also reverberate within our body, consciousness, and astral body. Therefore, the quality of our speech has significant results, both for ourselves and others.
Just as we possess seven main chakras, we also activate them through seven primary sounds or vowels. Traditionally, a vowel is a basic unit of sound within any language, forming the nucleus of a syllable. In English we often reference five main vowels: A, E, I, O, and U. However, in our spiritual studies we also recognize that the letters M and S are also vowels.
This can be confusing, since traditionally, M and S are considered consonants, which join with vowels to form syllables. However, we emphasize how the letters I, E, O, U, A, M, and S are esoteric vowels, because whenever you vocalize and prolong their sounds, they vibrate within specific nuclei or chakras in our body. Since a vowel forms the center or nucleus of a syllable, likewise these seven vowels activate the seven nuclei or centers of our chakras along the spine.
There are seven main chakras, which each have their respective sounds, capacities, and astral powers. We will list them now from the top of our spine to the base:
Some native English speakers have been confused by Samael Aun Weor’s explanation of the seven vowels, primarily since he wrote in Spanish, which has some different vowel pronunciations than in English. We will list them here with examples:
The vowel I, pronounced as the vowel in “tree,” vibrates the crown chakra at the top of our head and the third eye chakra between our eyebrows. These develop the capacity for omniscience and clairvoyance.
The vowel E, as in “bet,” vibrates in the throat, activating the ability to hear mystical sounds.
The vowel O, as in “boat,” vibrates in the heart, awakening the power of intuition and the capacity for conscious astral projections.
The vowel U, as in “true,” vibrates in the solar plexus or abdomen, which grants us access to telepathy.
We also possess a pulmonary chakra in our lungs that is activated by the mantra A. This chakra helps with remembering past lives.
The vowel M, as in “hum,” vibrates in the prostrate in men or the uterus in women. It activates the ability to control and direct our creative energies, the waters of life.
The vowel S, as in “serpent,” vibrates at the base of the spine and awakens sparks of the sacred fire or energy known in some traditions as Kundalini or Pentecost.
Here is what the seven vowels sound like together from the top of the spine to the bottom:
Some people really struggle with pronouncing the letters M and S. M should be prolonged, with the lips closed, humming like a bull.
S is extended like the hissing of a snake. Place the tip of your tongue close to your tooth ridge. This is close to the upper backside of your top front teeth. Allow the air to pass through as you exhale, extending the sound.
By working with our chakras, we can learn to consciously astral project. Each astral projection mantra is a key to the internal worlds. Just as our speech is imbibed with meaning, likewise astral projection mantras contain a fundamental keynote that allows our consciousness to resonate with the superior worlds, thereby facilitating the transition of our Essence into the internal dimensions.
Types of Mantra Recitation
Before we get into actual astral projection mantras, let us describe different ways to vocalize them.
...the verb is of triple pronunciation and that it endows three norms: verbal, mental, and conscious. One can articulate with the creative larynx, one can vocalize with his thought, and one can vocalize with the superlative consciousness of the Being. —Samael Aun Weor, Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic
When we lie down to practice our astral projection exercises, we can first vocalize a mantra aloud, perhaps for fifteen minutes. Then we can whisper the mantra for just as long. Lastly, we pronounce the mantra in our mind. This gradual diminution of sound helps us to increase our concentration from vocalization, to whispering, then to silence. You allow yourself to eventually get drowsy as you are whispering, until finally you are concentrated within the mantra in your mind. Then, fall asleep reciting the mantra, immersing your entire being within it, until you consciously transition into the astral.
Many people complain that they cannot achieve conscious astral projections. This is often the consequence of having abused the senses of the astral body.
Despite the fact that we have made our internal bodies sick, depleted of spiritual force, there is a way to restore such powers to their normal functionalism and capacities. We do so through pronouncing the mantra Egipto for one hour daily.
We have included an image of the pyramids of Giza topped by an illuminated figure at their apex. This represents the illuminated powers of the astral body, which grants any initiate access to heavenly states of consciousness.
Some contemporary anthropologists have questioned the age, utility, and purpose of these pyramids. Some have argued that the pyramids, rather than serve as a catacomb for dead kings, instead were conduits for spiritual forces. These buildings were meant to channel energy conducive for the psychological and spiritual elevation of the local Egyptians, whose culture once resonated with and reflected higher principles.
Each corner of any pyramid represents the solar bodies: the physical, vital, astral, and mental vehicles. The apex can represent, much like in the American dollar bill, the divine eye of omniscience and mystical perception. It also can relate to the human consciousness or causal vehicle that has dominated the lower aspects of our psychology.
This mantra is a primer for our psychic machinery, the spiritual engines of our chakras. By pronouncing this mantra for one hour a day, minimum, the chakras of our astral body activate and operate in an optimal manner. In this way, like the pyramids, we charge ourselves with tremendous power and teach our astral body how to be a useful instrument for our inner divinity.
The mantra is pronounced like this:
Samael Aun Weor explained the significance of this mantra in The Seven Words, which was published in the book entitled The Divine Science:
Our disciples must acquire the power of astral body projection. This power is acquired by vocalizing daily for an hour the sacred mantra Egipto. The vowel “E” makes the thyroid gland vibrate and grants the initiate the power of the occult ear. The “G” awakens the chakra of the liver, and when this chakra has reached its full development, then, the initiate can enter and leave the physical body any time at will. The vowel “I,” combined with the letter “P,” develops clairvoyance in the initiate, and the power to depart in the astral body through the window of Brahma, which is the pineal gland. Pronounce the letter “T” with force over the vowel “O, “ which is intimately related with the chakra of the heart; this is how the initiate can acquire the power to project the self through this plexus and thus travel in his astral body. —Samael Aun Weor, The Divine Science: The Seven Words
Fe Uin Dagj
Another mantra for awakening our lost astral powers is Fe Uin Dagj (it’s quite an unusual series of sounds, especially for Westerners). Arnold Krumm-Heller (Master Huiracocha) stated in his book Esoteric Rose that this mantra is of Egyptian origin.
Many chakras exist in our internal bodies. While we speak of seven primary ones, we also have other important chakras in our liver and spleen that regulate our vital currency or energetic values, which must be conserved and consciously utilized to achieve astral projections.
Here is what Samael Aun Weor said about this:
During the night, the splenic chakra gathers the energies left by the sun during the day. With those energies, the splenic chakra transmutes the white blood cells into red blood cells. During the day, the organic refuse obstructs the nervous canals of the grand sympathetic nervous system. During sleep, the vital energy makes that chakra spin, and this chakra uses the energy of the sun which passes into the spleen in order to transmute the white blood cells into red blood cells. Then the energy passes to the solar plexus and is distributed into the whole nervous system. The thyroid gland cooperates by disinfecting the whole organism. It is clear that when the ego (lunar astral) returns into the organism after sleep, it is already repaired, and we feel healthier. When one awakes tired, it is because the organism is sick.
Also, he says elsewhere that:
The mantra Fe Uin Dagj (the last word pronounced gutturally) serves to awaken all the chakras of the astral body. —Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: Manual of Practical Magic
The pronunciation, especially with the guttural “G,” is in the back of the throat, like a prolonged “Gugh.”
Sing this mantra in the musical note Mi of the musical scale: Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si.
Therefore, we can find the right note by singing, then pronouncing the mantra like this:
Do… Re… Mi…
This mantra enlivens our chakras. But remember that the proper functioning of our chakras is deeply connected with our physical health. This exercise purifies our spleen, liver, and abdomen, since the vibrations of the mantra invigorate our glands to work with greater intensity, efficacy, and wisdom. When our glands work optimally, our mental and spiritual health is also sustained, since our hormones, digestion, and lymphatic system intimately relate to the purity of our consciousness.
We will now discuss the mantra Ephraim.
In Genesis, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh was the first born and Ephraim was the second born son. They were both adopted by Joseph’s father Jacob to share in Jacob’s inheritance. However, rather than bequeath the first-born Manasseh his inheritance, Jacob honored Ephraim, the youngest. Jacob placed his right hand upon Ephraim and his left upon Manasseh, Joseph’s first born. This act displeased Joseph, since this blessing symbolized how the first born would be second in patrilineal succession, an act that went against custom and tradition.
The Bible is a symbolic text, not just a literal retelling of history. Manasseh and Ephraim are mantras for the astral body, the former being inferior and the latter being superior. Manasseh symbolizes the lunar astral body, which is developed by black magicians, and Ephraim represents the superior qualities of the solar astral body, which is developed by white magicians.
Just as both brothers contend for Jacob’s favor, in the same manner our defects and virtues strive for primacy within our consciousness. Most of us incline, psychologically, towards the ego, represented by Manasseh. He is the first-born, which represents how our psychological center of gravity is within the ego. However, the Essence—fully developed in Jacob—always favors Ephraim (the superior astral forces), even though he is younger and less experienced (in that these energies are less developed in us).
Those powers are “of the stars,” signified by the term astra or astral. The Hebrew name אפרים Ephraim is also associated with “being fruitful” in Egypt, the land of affliction, since the mantra Ephraim makes our astral body fertile with heavenly forces.
It’s important to understand how the Bible is replete with sacred geography, which have a symbolic rather than a literal designation. Rather than exclusively represent physical places, they actually reference spiritual states and the multidimensionality of our universe. This is because divinity communicates through an abstract, symbolic language, which is often contemporaneous to any initiate’s cultural setting and idiosyncrasies. Therefore, the symbols that Moses received were documented in the Torah, using the names, language, and locations of his time. Likewise with any sacred writing. God speaks to certain initiates in a way that is understandable to them. Therefore, spiritual knowledge is always clothed in the garb of the times, so that such wisdom becomes accessible.
Egypt often represents our physical world where we live enslaved to mechanicity and suffering. To escape pain, we learn to ascend Mount Ephraim, a symbol of elevating our consciousness to superior states as outlined in the Tree of Life. We do so by making our consciousness fertile, to vibrate with divine power.
Ephraim is also considered an Egyptian mantra because this exercise, like many in the Gnostic tradition of Samael Aun Weor, transforms the fertility, potency, or virility of our physical body and elevates it to spiritual use. Mastering and directing our creative energy helps to liberate us from suffering, from slavery, which is what the mantra Ephraim does.
We will not elaborate upon using Manasseh as a mantra, because it is negative. We will explain how to work with the powerful mantra Ephraim instead.
This mantra activates all of our chakras and invokes the Cosmic Christ within our interior. This mantra is pronounced like this:
Here is what Samael Aun Weor said about this mantra in The Seven Words:
All the occult powers of the astral body enter into activity with this powerful Egyptian mantra.
The Microcosmic Star
We perform the microcosmic star before laying down to astral project, especially before vocalizing the Egyptian mantra Fa Ra On. Before we explain the next mantra, let us examine what the microcosmic star is.
It is a symbol of the perfected human being, made into the psychological and spiritual image of divinity. The upright apex represents the head, which should be above the rest of the body. This signifies that our spiritual understanding is in command of our other faculties, and not the other way around.
The inverted pentagram, with the apex facing down and the legs up, is negative, because one’s reason is governed by animal instinct. This represents how the soul falls downward into negative states.
We perform these movements to align our mind, heart, body, and soul with the divine. This exercise helps us to get into the right mood for astral projection, but also any spiritual practice. It is a form of spiritual protection against internal and external negativity. The gestures of the microcosmic star symbolize the descent of spiritual force into our inner universe. Movement is sacred, which is why Catholics genuflect with the sign of the cross, Muslims kneel and bow in submission to God, and Jews shuckle (sway back and forth) when reciting prayers.
Begin with your hands over your heart, the right hand over the left. This is the same posture as the Egyptian pharaohs praying to the solar deities, to the creative divine.
Next, join your palms together over your head. Then separate and lower them downward, so that your fingers touch your shoulders. Afterward, extend them to your sides. Next, lower your hands over your sexual organs. The right hand should be over the left.
Divine influences descend into the matter of our body and eventually synthesize in our sexual energy. Our hands form the cross over our sexual glands, representing the union of spiritual forces within us. The cross is also a sexual symbol, a representation of alchemy (as described in our other courses). When our right hand covers the left, it means we enact divine will to dominate our animal impulses.
We transform the sexual potential into a spiritual force through transmutation exercises. This is especially represented when we inhale and raise our hands. Hold them over your heart, the right hand over the left. Your palms should rest on your chest and your forearms should be crossed, right over left, with your fingertips reaching to the front of your shoulders.
This indicates that we have elevated the creative energy into our heart, thereby strengthening our spirituality. Breath is deeply related with transmutation and prayer, since through rhythmic and profound inhalations, we channel our sexual force and transform it into a source of spiritual empowerment.
Fa Ra On
Perform the microcosmic star whenever you feel the need. But also, perform it before you practice the mantra Fa Ra On.
This mantra is intimately associated with the mysticism of Egypt, since Fa Ra On syllabically and symbolically equates with the solar dynasties, the pharaohs or sacred kings of the Nile.
It is important to remember that Egyptian, Aztec, and Mayan mysticism share Atlantean roots, since their pyramids, religions, and cultures originated from the same wisdom. You can see that a lot of mystical knowledge came from Egypt, evidenced by the mantras Egipto, Ephraim, and Fa Ra On. Such mantras are passcodes for entering spiritual states and dimensions. You can even astral project and approach the pyramids of Giza in the superior worlds, since a marvelous temple of mysteries is active there within the astral world.
If you wish to visit this temple in the astral world, first lie down in the same position as the Aztec and Mayan sculpture of Chac Mool. This figure was described by Samael Aun Weor in Aztec Christic Magic:
In the Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City there exists a stone figure of a man who is partially lying down in a dorsal decubitus position. The soles of his feet rest on his bed; thus his knees are elevated. The backs of his thighs are pressed up against the backs of his calves because his legs are bent. His upper body is arched as if he may get up at his first impulse; his face is towards the left and his sight is fixed on the horizon. At the height of his solar plexus his hands hold a container. —Samael Aun Weor, Aztec Christic Magic
Chac Moon is significant. He is the god of rain, holding a receptacle at his solar plexus. This is a symbol of the abdominal chakra, which receives and stores divine, solar energy from our spiritual practices. This collection of energetic potential is like a cup that accumulates the dew of heaven, the rain of transmutation.
It is this reservoir of energy that helps one to astral project. If you deplete your energies throughout the day, emotionally, psychologically, and especially vitally, then you will not have the energy necessary to activate the consciousness.
However, saving energy is not enough. We must consciously utilize it. We do so through imitating the posture of this Aztec god. For this, our knees must be bent like the pyramids, whether of South America or Egypt. Our solar plexus receives the power of our solar divinity in the same manner as the pyramids transmit tremendous spiritual potential, which is why our knees must be bent in imitation of this fact.
When performing this practice, you can rest your hands over your solar plexus and prop your head up with a pillow. However, Samael Aun Weor also describes placing one’s hands to the sides if that is more comfortable.
What is also significant about Samael Aun Weor’s description of Chac Mool is the fact that he faces the left, his body is arched and ready to move “at his first impulse,” and “his sight is fixed on the horizon.”
The left side of the body signifies the lunar energies we seek to dominate within our interior. We represent this fact by laying our face on its left side during this exercise.
We must also be ready, through this practice, to get up in our astral body after we have consciously transitioned, thereby demonstrating Chac Mool’s alert and responsive state. These qualities are essential when distinguishing the time to transition and act through the astral body.
Lastly, Chac Mool stares at the horizon, a symbol of how the consciousness aspires towards the height of spiritual attainment. We do so through remembering the presence of divinity.
While in the Chac Mool position, concentrate upon and visualize the pyramids of Giza in your imagination. See it with as much color, vibrancy, and clarity as you can. Do not let your mind get distracted by thought. Become drowsy while pronouncing the mantra Fa Ra On.
Fa Ra On helps us to resonate with the cosmos. As Samael Aun Weor stated:
When this mantra is vocalized is must be divided into three syllables. The first is “FA,” which is the note that resounds in all of nature. The second is the Egyptian “RA.” The third is the “ON,” which reminds us of the famous Sanskrit mantra OM from India. —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
The mantra sounds like this:
Vocalize the mantra aloud at first, perhaps for fifteen or twenty minutes. Then whisper it for the same length of time. Finally, pronounce it mentally as you fall asleep.
The Mantra Rusti
Here we see an image a meditation mural, common amongst many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and temples. It represents the top of the nine stages of meditative concentration. It is a map of the different degrees of serenity, from a wild, distracted mind to a disciplined and tranquil mind.
As we explained previously, conscious astral projections are facilitated through serenity and concentration. We can deepen our serenity and concentration through pronouncing the mantra Rusti. Samael Aun Weor provided this exercise in relation to the zodiacal sign of Gemini, the astrological sign of the twins. They represent the two pillars of any temple of mysteries, since balance is achieved through serene reconciliation of opposites. When the mind is no longer afflicted by dualistic notions, it learns to perceive reality with penetrative insight and discovers how to open the doors to the higher worlds.
Some people become terrified by the idea of astral projection even though they unconsciously enact it every time they sleep. The mantra Rusti can help overcome that fear, to develop comprehension of the astral projection process. The mantra is pronounced like this:
Astral projection is natural. All living beings do it every time they sleep. When you pronounce this mantra, first aloud, then whispered, and lastly in the mind, you will become drowsy. Thereafter, get up out of bed. Do not imagine it. Actually do it. With enough practice, you will find that you have transitioned, seemingly without knowing how or when. Patience is the key.
Tai Re Re Re
The next mantra is Tai Re Re Re. It causes us to resonate with exceptional energetic vibrations. Like this image of a hummingbird, this mantra accelerates our consciousness into higher states, so that we rise like a bird to fly within the superior worlds.
The mantra Tai is chanted with strength, accentuating the vowel A. Chant the syllable Tai with a deep tone.
The remaining three syllables are pronounced like the ringing of a melodious and prolonged bell. In this exercise you do not need to roll the R. Simply pronounce it, giving unto the vowel E (as in “red”) a song-like quality. Sing the syllable Re three times in a higher tone than Tai.
Here is what the mantra sounds like:
With enough practice, you will transition into a drowsy state of equanimity, balanced between wakefulness and sleep. The student will rise from bed without hesitation, doubt, laziness, or reasoning. This is an instinctive, automatic process that does not require thinking. One must adopt the attitude of a child: inquisitive, alert, spontaneous. Birds don’t reason. They do not harbor doubts, nor entertain preconceptions. They simply fly away, naturally, instinctively, automatically. In the same manner, one must imitate the birds through this mantra, rising from bed to depart within the astral world towards any place of the cosmos.
The Anahat Sound of the Cricket
So what is the Anahat sound of the cricket?
Every existing thing is in perpetual motion, from the universal and the planetary level, down to the cellular, the molecular, and the atomic. Wherever there is movement, there is sound, even when it is not readily perceptible to our limited senses. Likewise, wherever there is movement, there is energy, since all action and activity requires the emergence, subsistence, and cessation of force.
Our physical brain also vibrates with energies and forces. Just because we don’t perceive them in our waking state doesn’t mean they don’t exist. One such vibration is the Anahat sound. It is a vibrational keynote that characterizes our physical brain.
All existing things are permeated by the spiritual power of sound, since every independent entity enacts a specific vibrational character. The combination and synthesis of such disparate notes make up a fundamental tone or keynote.
All the cells of our physical brain produce the harmonious keynote known as the Anahat sound, otherwise known as the “still small voice” that Elijah heard in a mountain cave (see 1 Kings 19:11-13 in the Bible). This sound is similar to the chirping of a cricket, which is accompanied by an electrical current of tremendous force.
This is why in the story of Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, which is southern slang for “Jesus Christ,” is the wooden puppet’s guide. The still small voice that Elijah heard in the cave is also associated with the voice of Christ within the soul.
Concentrating and meditating upon this mystical sound will unlock the entrance of the internal worlds. However, to hear it one must disassociate from all distractions, thoughts, preoccupations, memories, worries, problems. One must become absorbed within this sound, which is similar to a chirping cricket or the hissing of a serpent. Become like the bee that labors with love within the pollen of a flower, so as to transform that substance into divine nectar.
Quiet the mind. Do not repress it. Do not stifle, gag, or choke it. It is essential not to treat the mind with violence. Tranquility is not found through suffocating thought. We experience equanimity through serene observation of our states, not identifying with any thought. Let the mind settle by looking at it. Do not invest your energy into thinking. Let it be. If you learn how to listen with clarity and spontaneity, when you no longer let yourself get carried away by mental chatter, no longer anticipating what might happen, remaining unattached, you can begin to perceive these mystical sounds directly.
You can also acquire a cricket and keep it in a cage near your bedside. While falling asleep, concentrate and meditate upon the sound of the cricket. With enough discipline, attention, and consistency, your brain will start to vibrate with the cricket’s chirping, thereby expanding your own awareness of the Anahat sound. Allow your consciousness to vibrate with it. If your concentration is profound, these vibrations will produce the separation of the astral body with your physical body. Then you are free to travel to any place you wish in the astral world.
The next mantra, La Ra, is associated with the Caduceus of Mercury. This medical symbol has ancient roots, relating to the spiritual science of alchemical transmutation. The alchemical tradition is symbolic, representing the transformation of base metals (our terrestrial personality) into the gold of divine wisdom.
The staff is a spiritual symbol of the spinal column, whereby two serpents of power entwine. These serpents represent energetic channels where sexual energy rises to the mind, thereby blossoming, upon our backs, the wings of genuine spirituality.
One serpentine channel is composed of lunar forces and the other with solar forces. Sometimes esoteric authors refer to these forces as spiritual atomic intelligences, which are not atoms as we think of in conventional physics, but internal principles and potentials. These potencies originate from our sexual gonads, the testicles or ovaries, and can rise up the spine through their respective conduits to illuminate the mind. Such energies, elevated through spiritual practices, aid us in achieving conscious astral projections. One way is through the mantra La Ra.
Here is what Samael Aun Weor said about this:
The sexual energy is bipolarized into positive and negative. The solar atoms from our seminal system ascend through the right ganglionic cord, which entwines around the spinal medulla. Likewise, the lunar atoms from the seminal system ascend through the left ganglionic cord, which entwines around the spinal medulla.
Here is how we pronounce the mantra La Ra:
Through activating our sexual potential through these mantras, we in turn awaken the power of the two witnesses, the Caduceus of Mercury, which opens the door to internal, spiritual perceptions
The Mantra S
Another way to produce conscious astral projections is to pronounce the mantra S. This letter activates and transmutes the sexual energy, allowing one to resound with the still small voice within the brain. Some people pronounce the mantra S on its own to achieve conscious astral projections. Some have combined the mantra La Ra with S, as follows:
The mantra La can signify the element earth and the mantra Ra can signify the element fire. When you combine the syllables La, Ra, and S together, Ra becomes Ras, or the Hebrew ראש Rosh (or ר Reish, א Aleph, and ש Shin), which means “head.” These mantras raise the solar fire of our sexual energy (Ra) to the head, from our physical body or earth (La), to ראש Rosh. The letter S sounds like the hissing of a snake, which also represents the element of fire. The mantras La Ra S or just S can provide powerful results if practiced with dedication and consistency.
The Mantra O
A simple but effective way to develop internal illumination, the capacity to consciously travel in the fifth dimension, is to vocalize the mantra O.
This mantra is often recited within Hinduism and Buddhism. It has tremendous potential for awakening consciousness. As we mentioned before, many people suffer because they can’t consciously experience the astral dimension, even after many years of study and practice. There is, however, a remedy. Vocalize the mantra O for the development of the cardiac chakra.
As with other astral projection mantras, you vocalize the vowel O and immerse yourself within its vibration, energy, and sound. This exercise empowers the heart chakra, which grants the student the ability to project and travel within the astral world. For millennia, yogis have utilized this mantra to experience divinity and awaken intuition: the capacity to know without having to think. We’ve already mentioned how too much intellectual activity depletes us of energy, creates imbalances, and impedes the realizations of the heart. While the intellect is needed, balance is necessary, especially for Westerners whose intellectual pursuits predominate other activities. Conscious vocalization of the mantra O can aid in the restoration of our lost astral faculties.
You also pronounce the vowel O while falling asleep, prolonged and pronounced like this:
You might suddenly find yourself transitioning into the astral world through the heart chakra. People often report coming out of their bodies through the heart with this exercise. It is very effective, especially when you charge your heart chakra through an hour-long vocalization each day. This mantra reinvigorates the powers of the heart.
Tips for Astral Projection
Here is some practical advice for performing any of these exercises.
Practice an astral projection mantra consistently. If you select a mantra, don’t practice it sporadically. Perform it every night before you fall asleep. These exercises work when we are consistent. Just as you would brush your teeth as part of a healthy, hygienic routine, likewise you should vocalize a mantra every night you go to sleep without expecting results.
It is good to select a mantra to work with in accordance with your needs, intuition, and inspiration. Practice whatever mantra inspires you most. If you lack inspiration to use a particular mantra, then try another. However, whatever you select, be sure to stick with it for a prolonged period of time if you want results. Some people stick to a mantra for many years before getting results. Therefore, we should not expect immediate results from little practice. It takes dedication and effort.
Do not change mantras during your practice. If you lie down to pronounce a mantra, don’t switch it up in the middle of your practice. Whatever mantra you start with, dedicate yourself to it fully. This is because each mantra trains your concentration, which will not become integrated and strong if your attention is dispersed among different practices during the same session.
Vocalize a mantra aloud, gradually softening to a whisper, and then pronounce it internally. This general sequence helps us to initiate, sustain, and complete a practice. Vocal recitations help us get situated in the practice, since we are using our lungs and speech to concentrate and begin the exercise. You can vocalize for ten to fifteen minutes if you like. Then you can whisper the mantra as you get drowsy. Do so for another ten to fifteen minutes. Finally, recite the mantra in your mind, your being, silently as you go to sleep. This gradual abbreviation of sound, from vocal to silent recitation, helps us go from the body into our internal worlds.
Also, be sure to completely relax and concentrate upon the mantra. You cannot go to sleep and astral project if you’re tense. You also cannot concentrate effectively if your mind is chaotic and strained. Relaxation is essential. To relax, vocalize the mantra and dedicate your entire being to it. Do nothing else. Do not even think of a problem. Eventually you will calm down and start to become drowsy. The key is to not lose your attention as you become sleepy. This is why we must hold onto the mantra as we fall asleep, because otherwise we drift and get lost within dreams. Any astral projection mantra gives us a foothold into the internal worlds, so that we can eventually transition with awareness and intentionality.
Remember to practice astral projection whenever you sleep. This tip is simple: you cannot get results if you forget to practice every night.
Lastly, do not pretend or imagine getting up from bed. Actually do it when you feel you have detached from your physical body. As we mentioned earlier, some people think that astral projection is an imaginary exercise, that you do it in your mind. The kama rupa or astral body is material. You operate in it just as you do with your physical body, although with less restrictions on your activities. Therefore, translate your movements into facts. When you feel that you’ve transitioned, get up from bed and perform a quick reality check. Jump in the air. If you float, it’s because you’re in the astral world. If you don’t, come back to bed to reinitiate the practice. Keep practicing each day until you get results.
Throughout the day, develop self-observation.
Each day, for at least 10-20 minutes, develop meditative concentration through visualization of an image.
Select an astral projection mantra and work with it every time you go to sleep.
Lastly, continue your spiritual diary.
If you have any questions, you are free to ask them.
Questions and Answers
Question: How important is it to lay down with the head toward the north for astral projection?
Instructor: For those who are not familiar, Samael Aun Weor mentions in a bunch of writings of his that you can facilitate astral projections with greater frequency and sustainability by falling asleep with your head facing the north. This is because northern magnetism has a profound effect on astral projections. This is something we are going to talk about in a future lecture, but I will explain some of that detail here.
It is not necessary that you place your head toward the north to be successful with astral projections. What it does is increase the likelihood. So if it is possible in your room or your bedroom, your home, to place your bed with the head facing the north, that will be very helpful and conducive for your practices. If you can’t for whatever reason, whatever your living conditions are, that is not fundamental. But it is an additional help that can benefit us.
It is because the magnetism of the Earth acts upon the astral body. We know that the northern climate tends to be more cold, particularly in relation to how the forces of the Earth magnetize. Some esoteric authors have attributed colder weather to spiritual states, such as Friedrich Nietzsche in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra where he explains that by climbing the mountain, he always felt rejuvenated. He utilized mountain symbology and geography to correlate with the experience of higher states. In the same way, the magnetism of the Earth helps to activate certain astral potentials.
Since the astral body is fluidic and dynamic in nature, it responds readily to energy and magnetism. If you want to help facilitate astral projection practice, laying down with your head to the north can help with that. There is a deep correlation with that. But if you cannot, it is not going to be the end of the world. Yet it would be very useful.
Question: Is it possible to listen to an audio recording of a cricket for the still small voice practice?
Instructor: You can listen to the audio recording, but it is not going to create the vibrational equivalent of the real thing. The thing with this type of sound is that it acts upon the magnetism of the brain and the body. You need a physical cricket if you want to work with this, because the actual vibration of the sound has a much more profound and penetrative effect on the physical brain.
The sound actually enters the ears and affects the brain directly, and therefore strikes at the consciousness. You need an actual cricket to do this, not an artificial recording. An audio recording is synthetic, digital, and doesn’t produce the same vibrational output. This is why it is always good to go to classical music concerts. I know we talked in previous courses about the effects of classical music upon the psyche. It is good to listen to recordings, but nothing can replace the actual live performance because the vibrations of those instruments act upon the soul.
In the same way, the cricket has the potential to work upon the mind if we actually have the physical creature there to do the work.
Question: Do these practices work for a person who has experienced emotional pain? I currently meditate and am getting used to calming my mind and body. I am also trying to stay in the present moment.
Instructor: Yes, these practices work for anyone. They are universal in the same way that speech is universal to all human beings, the capacity to articulate thought. In the same way these mantras belong to the divine, golden, luminous language of the angels, of the prophets.
Obviously, it is difficult for a person who has an emotional illness or is suffering from depression, from negative emotions, from anger, from resentment, or from problems of the heart, to access a deeper state of serenity. We have mentioned in the previous lectures how serenity and visualization are essential in order to achieve conscious astral projections with frequency and sustainability. While it is an obstacle and a hurdle to overcome when dealing with emotional pain, there are remedies to help alleviate suffering and to develop equanimity in the heart, so that the heart, aligned with the mind with its capacity for imagination, can open the doors to the superior worlds.
These mantras are very helpful for calming the mind and the heart especially when you practice with them every night while falling asleep.
We do also have another practice in our tradition in order to deal with emotional pain. It is called the magic of the roses. You can find it on Glorian Publishing’s website and we’ve referenced it a couple times on our website as well.
The magic of the roses can help to deal with emotional and spiritual trauma. That, combined with the mantras, can help us gain really profound results. So don’t lose hope, because these practices work. What matters is that we are consistent with them.
Question: What is the first, best thing to do when we awake in the astral plane?
Instructor: It depends. Actually I am planning towards the end of this course to give a whole lecture on that. What do you do when you navigate the internal worlds? What do you do there? We kind of hinted at some of those things in the first lecture of this course (called Fact and Fiction).
I’d say listen to your heart, your intuition. Your soul will tell you what to do. The mind will deliberate and perhaps hesitate, vacillate, wander, but if you are very in tune with your sentiments when you are actually there, when you are conscious, many times you will know what to do without having to think. It is instinctive. It is not an animal instinct. It is actually more of an automatic, spontaneous impulse from the soul. It is very different from animal instinct, but it is, in a sense, automatic. Sometimes when you awake in the astral plane you can simply know what you got to do.
For some people it might be, in accordance with their dedication and practice, to visit a temple, to visit the white lodges, to go to pyramids of Giza, and enter, if possible, the threshold of that divine sanctuary, that temple of light.
Others might require an answer to a difficult spiritual problem, and therefore they invoke their inner God, their Being, to teach them what they need to know.
Some might wake up in the astral plane and wish to investigate a particular issue, maybe the past life of a prophet, or even their own particular past existences.
It is going to depend. There really isn’t a best thing for every person to do, but there are many things that you can do, and that depends upon your own inclinations, the inquietudes of your heart, and most of all, the inspiration in the moment.
Obviously, if you are practicing astral projection, it is because you want to visit, like with the mantra Fa Ra On, to the temples or pyramids of Giza. Then you have a specific, consistent, and established goal that is inspiring you to want to practice in the first place. So again follow your heart. Follow your intuition. The mind is the donkey that is awkward and flounders and stumbles. But if you listen to your heart, you will know what to do.
Question: When performing mantras, is it OK to raise the pitch from the usual low tone? Sometimes the lower tones dry or affect my capability to perform the mantra for so long.
Instructor: Yeah, I mean, you have the gauge your lungs and vocal cords when you pronounce these mantras. I have heard mantras from many different instructors and even pronounced by Samael Aun Weor, which are varied, different.
Certain mantras have very specific tones to pronounce such as Fe Uin Dagj, right? Samael Aun Weor specified that that mantra is pronounced in the musical note Mi. But he doesn’t really give other types of specifics such as the particular note on the musical scale that you have to perform.
There are generalities that are important to remember. Every person is going to be a little different. Obviously, our vocal capacities are unique and if you need to accommodate your lungs and your vocal cords by adjusting yourself when you pronounce these mantras, like raising your pitch from a lower tone, that’s fine.
It comes to my mind the mantra Tai Re Re Re as we pronounced it. If you’re listening to my example, I always have a deeper voice, so I am going to pronounce it in accordance with my own range. So you have to gauge and judge your own vocal cords when you pronounce these mantras. Some people who listen to other instructors or even such as in Tibetan Buddhist chants, try to imitate very deep voices, very deep tones that are not natural to their capacities, and that can actually harm the vocal cords. It is better that you pronounce in the range that is natural to you, and you only gauge that through practice.
So, it is good to keep in mind how the mantras were described in our tradition and to follow them accordingly. But there is going to be a little bit of leeway and play when you are actually performing them, to see how they actually work in your own circumstances.
OK! I thank you all for coming. This recording will be available online so that you can also study these pronunciations on your own time and I appreciate the turn out! It is a nice day here in Chicago, and hopefully the weather is bright and wonderful where you are at. So I thank you very much!
Today’s lecture is entitled “How and Why Do We Astral Project?” We have spent a lot of time discussing the preliminaries: the causes and expressions of dreams within our daily lives. Without an understanding of how our psyche functions (or malfunctions), it is impossible to consciously astral project at will.
You might practice what we present today, but without a thorough understanding of the psyche, your results will be sporadic and inconsistent at best. We suggest that if you are new to this series, that you take the time to study and reflect upon the previous lectures, since this course is structured in such a way that you can gain the necessary tools and understanding by which to make conscious astral projections a sustained reality.
Why Learn Astral Projection?
So why learn astral projection?
A lot of people approach dream yoga, astral projection, lucid dreams, or out-of-body experiences due to an innate curiosity. Some seek the supernatural, the spectacular, or the sensational: the ability to fly, levitate, teleport, or pass through walls in the astral world. Truly, such possibilities inspire many to approach the study of dreams, which is the doorway to genuine mysticism and religion.
However, many students do not realize that astral powers are just a tool. They are not an end. There is really a deeper objective than merely flying around or spying on one’s neighbor. Some have wanted to experiment and find material, physical proof of astral travel. However, this discipline is not about convincing skeptics. While some individuals have worked hard to scientifically demonstrate its reality to a larger public, the true depth of astral travel is personal and experiential.
Its beauty and mystery cannot be communicated by another, although the great prophets and luminaries who founded religions all expressed the same truths in the scriptures. The truth is that astral travel can only be verified by you, through your own work, since it directly relates to the quality and capacities of your consciousness.
The astral vehicle has many faculties that can help us find solutions to difficult spiritual problems. One can investigate the inner worlds to extract wisdom about how to live in one’s daily life. When we leave the physical body behind and enter the astral dimension, we have access to a type of knowledge that is truly transcendental. Beyond the limitations of the flesh, we can obtain objective knowledge that is not limited to any particular time, language, or place. Instead, our consciousness intuits and speaks a universal language, known through the divine archetypes or symbols of dreams.
Such astral experiences are truly esoteric or occult. While these two terms have a negative connotation within mainstream culture, they simply refer to knowledge hidden from and inaccessible to our ordinary senses. However, they are perceivable and comprehendible through the awakened consciousness.
The body of spiritual literature we possess, whether from religions or spiritual authors, are merely an introduction and not a conclusion. This is because mystical knowledge can only be known through experience. Therefore, the author M. of The Dayspring of Youth wrote:
This work is but a slight introduction to an unlimited science... —Morya, The Dayspring of Youth
Samael Aun Weor corroborates the former statement:
Occult science is studied in the internal worlds; therefore, the one who does not know how to be willingly projected in astral body does not know occultism. —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
As we have explained in the previous six lectures, we need to cease dreaming and awaken consciousness. However, there are degrees to this. Just as you find more skilled, practiced, and experienced people within all disciplines, the same occurs with astral travel.
Samael Aun Weor also wrote:
It is necessary for the dreamer to awaken within the internal worlds before converting himself into a competent investigator in the superior worlds. —Samael Aun Weor, Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology
By activating and training our consciousness, we can become familiar with the laws of the internal dimensions. However, you will only gain skill in navigating the internal worlds by first being aware of them. Some temporary experiences are not enough. One must sustain such states through practice.
Reasons to Astral Travel
There are great reasons to learn astral travel. One of them, which we previously discussed, is visiting the temples of the White Lodge. This is any order of divine beings, masters, prophets, or initiates who have perfected or are perfecting themselves spiritually.
“Whiteness” signifies the spiritual purity of the consciousness and has nothing to do with race. Many masters from all races constitute the White Lodges, including the Gnostic Church.
While many Gnostic Churches, lumisials, or temples of light exist in the physical world, the real Gnostic Church is in the internal worlds. There one can personally speak with awakened masters, luminaries, Christs, without any intermediary. This is why Samael Aun Weor wrote:
Our disciples should learn to project themselves in the astral body in order to visit all the White Lodges of the world. In the Gnostic Church, all our disciples will be able to receive inner instructions. —Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: The Manual of Practical Magic
While we might deeply value the insights of physical Gnostic instructors or missionaries, such knowledge and assistance is insufficient. This is due to the fact that even effective instructors have limitations, either in relation to their capacities or their lived experience of the teachings. Also, some students seek guidance about deeply personal issues that is not even appropriate for missionaries or instructors to solve. Teachers have their place and role in the work, but not to tell students what to do in their personal lives. That power lies only within the Innermost Being or divinity. The most that a physical instructor can do is teach the student how to investigate solutions within.
Inner instructions are communicated to us by divinity, who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Such instruction is personal and profound, conveyed through abstract dream symbols and spiritual experiences. They are direct representations of how to succeed in the secret path of initiation. This is the process whereby we spiritually develop, overcome inner obstacles, and transform our suffering for the benefit of others.
The one who provides such powerful guidance is God. Individuals are liable to make mistakes, yet divinity is infallible. Therefore, it is important to consider the contexts of physical groups and why we should train in astral travel.
The most secure guidance you can receive about difficult issues is within, from your Being. While physical groups can benefit us, the real transformations occur when we are in direct contact with the Gnostic Church of the higher worlds. In this case, the only obstacle to interpretation and insight we face is our own mind. Otherwise, we risk becoming confused by relying on people who may not be objective.
Why Do We Astral Project When We Sleep?
Many do not recognize how common astral projection is. Due to conflicting testimonies, theories, or embellishments, there have arisen mistaken concepts within the popular imagination regarding the nature and frequency of astral projection.
Many think that astral projection is for the few. However, just as our heart beats and our lungs breathe without our awareness, likewise we unconsciously enter the astral dimension every time we sleep.
Astral projection is a natural part of life. Without it, the human machine would not be able to recharge or revitalize itself.
When the body goes to sleep, the consciousness and the ego depart through astral projection. In the same manner that you drive to a gas station and step out to refill your vehicle, the Essence, bottled up within the different egos, detach from the five centers of the human machine and enter the internal worlds during sleep, so that our physical body can recharge.
Many people report hearing a cacophony of voices when falling asleep, random remnants of conversations, memories, moments, and recollections. These are the voices of our different egos which are separating from the five centers of the human machine. This occurs every time we go to sleep, whether we are aware of it or not.
It is important for our psychological values to astral project every time we go to bed. In the same manner that you cannot drive a car without fuel, likewise the physical body needs rest and recharging in order to function. Astral projection allows the vital body, which is an energetic vehicle, to restore life and energy to our physicality. The vital body penetrates every atom of our physical body but becomes more active at night when we rest.
We would not have life without the vital body, known as יסוד Yesod in Hebrew, “the Foundation” of our spiritual life in Kabbalah. This body attracts solar energy into our five centers and revitalizes them so that, once we get back into our physical body, we can operate in it again.
This is why Samael Aun Weor wrote:
During the hours of ordinary sleep, the internal man, dressed in his astral body, leaves his physical form so that the ethereal body can repair the physical body. […] Thus, this is how after sleep, our physical body is completely repaired for the new activities of the internal ego. —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Therefore, everyone astral projects. However, people who suffer from insomnia are an exception. They cannot enter the astral dimension regularly because they do not sleep. Therefore they suffer tremendous fatigue and illness because they cannot naturally recharge through the vital body, lacking the necessary fuel to optimally operate the human machine.
Who Can Astral Project?
Some people think astral projection is dangerous. But as we’ve demonstrated, this is a lie. We astral project every time we sleep, to recharge our batteries, so to speak. Our consciousness returns every time we awake in bed. Therefore, everyone does it. What happens is that most people are not conscious of the process, in just the same way that we lack cognizance of our heart beating and lungs breathing.
Here is what Samael Aun Weor had to say about this topic:
Indeed, projecting the astral body is not dangerous, because every human being projects the astral body during the hours of normal sleep. Unfortunately, all human beings project themselves in their astral body with their consciousness asleep.
Unfortunately, very mistaken people have spread propaganda against astral projection due to lacking an awakened consciousness. Those who have awakened consciousness know and have experienced this reality for themselves. Therefore they do not rely on any beliefs, either from others or within themselves. They simply know.
Do Not Confine Yourself
To know how to consciously astral project takes practice and experience. What we want is to transform an unconscious activity into a conscious one. For this we need practice and discipline, not theories.
It’s important to neither doubt nor believe in this discipline, but to experiment and know. One must test these principles with dispassion, just as a scientist has a hypothesis that he or she wants to explore through testing its principles.
The point is to neither affirm nor deny what we don’t know. However, most students either fall into the extreme of intense excitement or outright skepticism. Intense emotions actually block us from consciously accessing the internal worlds. What’s necessary is a middle ground: to have spiritual enthusiasm and inspiration without agitation or attachment. Success comes when we neither expect results nor rigidly refute their possibilities.
Skeptics reject these studies altogether due to doubt and pessimism. They might practice a few times and get no results. They ignore that this is a lifelong discipline predicated upon activating the consciousness, not the mind.
Astral projection is not an intellectual exercise. It is a conscious activity. We’ve already discussed how we dream all the time. People who do not comprehend how they dream, who do not cease dreaming, never awaken consciousness. These exercises work when we do them consciously. In the same manner that you cannot build a house if you do not know how to use the appropriate tools, likewise skeptical people who do not know how to consciously perform these exercises never get the results they want.
Also, craving experiences is an obstacle. Aversion towards astral phenomena is also an obstacle. To perceive these higher realities requires we learn to see without attachment or fear. One must see oneself and the astral transition process with equanimity and comprehension, neither chasing after nor running away from the facts.
Samael Aun Weor stated:
The disciple who wants to progress should not confine himself. The disciple who wants to progress must inevitably learn to project himself in the astral body so that he can transport himself to the Gnostic Church, where he shall be able to converse personally with Christ and with all the Masters of the White Lodge. —Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: The Manual of Practical Magic
We confine ourselves through theories and beliefs. We also confine ourselves with statements such as, “I will never learn how to consciously project into the astral world.” Or: “I am not capable like other spiritual people. It is impossible for me to do it.” Others might even believe that it will only happen in a remote future through some type blessing.
However, the reality is that we liberate ourselves and experience the realities of the spirit when we discover how to practice with directed attention and conscious awareness. Becoming conscious of our full potential requires patience, just as learning any new discipline takes familiarity and practice.
What Projects into the Astral?
People often talk about the astral body within esotericism, occultism, or New Age mysticism. However, there is a lot of ambiguity and imprecision when relating to others how we actually astral project.
I mentioned how the Essence, trapped within the ego, astral projects every time we sleep. This is an unconscious process. It is logical that if we astral project unconsciously, without will, then it means we are using mechanical methods and means. Falling asleep without cognizance, becoming unconscious for the eight hours when we sleep, is a mechanical function. It does not take any effort or will on our part.
We have a vehicle through which we enter the internal worlds every night with our egos, but it is not a conscious or voluntary one. We call this the kama rupa, the body of desires. This is a mechanical vehicle, a lunar apparatus, that—like the physical moon—regulates our unconscious and instinctual processes.
We know from astronomy and science that the moon influences many mechanical processes on our earth, like tides, vegetal life, and menstruation in women. These processes happen automatically. In the same way, we possess a lunar astral body that is a gift of nature. It is a vehicle composed of protoplasmic matter. As this term implies, such a substance is more ductile, malleable, and subtle than physical matter.
Some people have the wrong idea that the astral world is immaterial. Yet this is not true. It is a dimension of matter, energy, and consciousness, but in a form more subtle than our physical dimension. The kama rupa, which is made of astral matter, allows us to go into the astral dimension automatically.
However, there exists another type of vehicle that is not dependent upon mechanical laws or means. It is called a solar astral body. This vehicle is an earned luxury that few possess because it must be created through the spirit. It is the direct product of a particular labor known as initiation. Through the initiatic science of sexual alchemy, a married man and woman can conserve and transform their creative forces to give life to this interior vehicle. Just as a husband and wife can sexually join to create a physical child, likewise the same creative energy, through a specific procedure known as alchemy, can give birth to the solar astral body. It is made from a divine, solar matter and energy, the sexual energy, which is a solar force. We use the term “solar” to reference the creative potential and principle of God. This is the mystery of the second birth referenced by Jesus to Nicodemus in the New Testament, “to be born again” (John 3).
The solar astral body channels superior forces and laws beyond mechanical nature. It is like a light bulb that can manifest a certain capacity, amplification, or magnitude of spiritual potential. Therefore, this body gives an initiate conscious access to superior dimensions, spiritual states, and realms. Such experiences tend to be inaccessible for people whose psychological center of gravity is in the inferior worlds, within desire, the ego.
It is important to clarify that there are superior astral regions and inferior astral regions. The superior worlds are heavenly and divine, inhabited by angels, while the inferior astral world is negative, inhabited by demons. The inferior worlds are known throughout diverse religious traditions as hell.
We travel to places in nature in accordance with our affinities. If our psychological center of gravity is in the ego, then we will be attracted to the inferior worlds, because that is where the ego belongs. To possess a solar astral body grants us access to the heavens.
Now, people often confuse the legitimate, solar astral body with the kama rupa, and this is wrong. The differences between the solar and lunar astral bodies are like day and night. Even in appearance, the solar body possesses an interior luminosity and brilliance. When we speak face to face with a master of Major Mysteries within the astral plane, they often irradiate a powerful golden light with tremendous radiance, penetration, and depth. The kama rupa is also a material vehicle, but ephemeral, dark, phantasmic, like a ghost.
The former grants spiritual capacities, full lucidity of the higher dimensions, the ability to consciously project within the superior worlds at will. For most, the lunar astral body facilitates unconscious astral projections into the inferior astral regions, unless we begin to train ourselves and start to learn how to use this vehicle intentionally. But to create a solar astral body requires work in initiation. For that you can study The Perfect Matrimony by Samael Aun Weor.
It’s important to clarify for students that a solar astral body is not required in order to experience the superior dimensions of nature. It is possible to awaken within the kama rupa and learn to use it consciously, even to visit heavenly regions and the White Lodges.
Samael Aun Weor related in The Magic of the Runes how he and his priestess-wife Litelantes visited a temple of the superior worlds and saw many neophytes there. Dressed in lunar rags, lunar bodies, these sincere disciples were given access to the temple by the guardians out of compassion. Despite the fact that superior beings see our lunar rags as a form of disrespect, such masters possess conscious love, mercy, and understanding. What matters is that we are sincere and genuine when seeking divine aid.
How Do We Experience a Conscious Astral Projection?
Conscious astral projections are facilitated through comprehension and imagination.
Comprehension is a quality of the Essence, the consciousness. It is an alert, voluntary, cognitive state, whereby we discern the significance of any phenomenon without any sense of self.
This is a very different activity than thought. We’ve already demonstrated how thoughts can be active while our consciousness is inactive. Thoughts merely happen to us. They are mechanical, whereas conscious attention requires will.
Don’t believe me? Try to stop thinking. Tell yourself, “I will not think for the next ten minutes.” Observe the results. Anyone who has attempted meditation discovers this problem, that we cannot turn the mind off. This indicates that we are machines and have no control over our psyche.
Not only are we victims of thought, but also negative emotions. Similarly, we are driven by unconscious impulses and desires whose existence we are typically not willing to acknowledge in ourselves.
Each thought, feeling, and impulse originates from a different self, a desire or ego. Every ego expresses as a trio of thought, feeling, and will within our psychological centers, manifesting within us when the opportunity arises.
Most people never question their psychological states. They merely think what they think, feel what they feel, and do what they do, attributing their multiple contradictions and conflicting desires to the illusion of a unified entity. This is the state of identification. When we become fascinated with our desires, we sleep as a consciousness. We persist with the dream that we are singular, not multiple.
We shatter this dream through self-observation. What self are we observing? Our ego. Who is observing? The Essence, the soul. Compare your Essence to a director making a film. The director is the consciousness who observes the scene of any drama, comedy, or tragedy. The different actors are our defects, egos, reactions, thoughts, emotions, desires, etc.
What do we want from psychological self-observation? By looking at ourselves without presuppositions, assumptions, attachments, expectations, or beliefs, we activate the consciousness. We direct our attention within. We can then understand the roots of our thoughts, feelings, and desires, so that they don’t control us and waste our psychic energies. However, this can only occur if you comprehend your defects.
Comprehension is an active force born from direct observation. It is not static or passive, like knowledge. Observation of the facts is different from knowing. We may know we are angry, but are we observing this fact? Are we looking at the structures of anger, its logic, justifications, and reasoning? Are we actively perceiving this element and how it relates to a particular event? Or do we give it our energy and make it stronger, thereby deepening our suffering and the suffering of others?
Knowing we are angry doesn’t require will. It is mechanical. Observing anger is a highly active, conscious state. The same with comprehension.
Why does comprehension aid with astral projection? Remember that we involuntarily astral project every night without awareness. If you comprehend your psychological reactions during the day and no longer allow yourself to be mechanical, then that same skill will transfer to when you go to sleep. If you consciously manage your human machine when it is active, you will likewise consciously manage your psyche when it detaches and departs into the astral world.
Comprehension is strengthened through imagination, since the more you can perceive within the spectrum of dimensionality, the greater your conscious range for discovery and insights. By activating the consciousness and its capacities to perceive—such as through imagination exercises—we also gain greater penetration, depth, color, hues, tones, and resolution within our soul. The ability to perceive non-physical imagery is the door to accessing the superior worlds, since the latter is the dimension of imagination.
This is why Samael Aun Weor stated:
Comprehension and imagination must replace reasoning.
What Are the Superior Faculties of the Mind?
So what are the superior faculties of the mind that facilitate astral projection?
We already explained self-observation. Let’s talk about self-remembrance.
Self-remembrance must be combined with self-observation. We cannot perceive objectively within the astral world if we do not remember the presence of divinity.
What does it mean to remember divinity? This is a form of spiritual pressure within our interior awareness. We also sense it in the manner we direct attention. Is our attention and awareness manipulated by a desire? Or is it selfless, unconditioned, unafflicted?
We recognize the divine presence in our heart, the superior emotional center, through conscious states like altruism, compassion, patience, fidelity, and conscious love for others. Such genuine states have no “I,” no desire or self. This means that we feel ourselves to be a child of God within the body, that we are aware of being in the body.
Astral experiences are fueled by emotional energy. If you save such energies through curtailing negative emotion and enacting superior emotions, you open the door to the astral world.
These conscious qualities are distinct from the ego and can only be discerned through patient work and experience. As a general rule of thumb, the less self you experience in your alert perception, the more conscious and objective you will be. However, the more attachment or identification with a sense of self you feel, the more egotistical your states and the greater your disconnection with divinity.
Awareness is important for voluntary astral projection. To know our psychological states, surroundings, and locale are necessary, since you cannot consciously drive your car if you are inattentive at the wheel.
In our studies of dream yoga, we activate the consciousness through the Key of Sol, which is an acronym for subject, object, location.
First, Subject: become aware of your psychological states. Do not invest your energy into the ego, the self, desire, but learn to look at yourself like a director filming an actor, your own mind.
Second, Object: expand that awareness to your immediate objects. What are you interacting with? Whom are you with? What are you doing?
Lastly, Location: become aware of your environment. Where are you? What city are you in? What country are you at?
By utilizing these three parameters, the consciousness clarifies, expands, and strengthens.
However, awareness is not enough. Discernment is necessary. Are we aware as an ego or as an Essence? Who is using our body in a given instant? We already explained that the ego can be aware too, but that is not the type of awareness we are recommending. What we want is a selfless awareness, an awareness without any condition or sense of “I.” This is pristine cognition lacks an interpreter. It merely perceives and understands without having to label, compare, or critique with thought.
The continuity of this awareness throughout the day and night is mindfulness. This means that we do not forget ourselves or what we are doing at any moment in our life. The longer you remain awake as a consciousness, the greater the possibility that you will maintain awareness when you go to bed.
Through developing continuity of presence throughout the day, we also increase our potential for going much deeper into our understanding, to intuit what is really going on beneath the appearances of things. Intuition is the conscious ability of knowing without thought. You simply know without reliance upon the mind.
The Essence knows how to voluntarily astral project. It is intuitive and does not require any activity of the mind. The more you rely on your intuition throughout the day, the better your outcomes for conscious astral projections.
Likewise, the greater our serenity and equanimity, our dispassion or non-attachment, the greater our cognitive powers for astral projection will be. Strong emotions are an obstacle to astral experiences, but a calm and confident heart, a relaxed mind, are beneficial.
Lastly, the awakened faculty of imagination deepens our astral perceptions, since we allow ourselves to see beyond our normal range of cognition. We expand our imagination through visualization exercises, some of which we have previously referenced.
The Clue of Discernment
Let’s discuss a basic technique to achieve conscious astral projections.
The disciple should lull himself to sleep in his bed. When the disciple finds himself in that state of transition that exists between vigil and sleep, he should rise from his bed exactly the way a somnambulist does.
People often get caught up in their mind. What we are stating here is the need to actually get up from bed. Do not imagine doing so. Astral projections are an active phenomenon. Our consciousness must not be passive. The mind that fantasizes is an obstacle. The physical body must rest, yet the soul has to be alert.
Abandon thoughts as you lull yourself to sleep. However, we have to maintain a certain threshold between wakefulness and dreaming. This balance is very difficult to establish and maintain for beginners, yet is something one can learn through meditation.
Meditation is the doorway to the internal worlds. By consciously regulating drowsiness, we allow ourselves to access these inner dimensions. We must neither be too drowsy that we lose consciousness, nor too tense that we don’t relax at all. Temperance is the key. When you hit that perfect balance, you are then ready to consciously leave the body.
How to Astral Project
Samael Aun Weor also emphasized the following:
This is not a mental exercise. What we are saying here should be translated into facts.
A somnambulist is physically active while the consciousness is asleep. However with this exercise, we want the physical body to rest while the consciousness is active. The one who gets up like a somnambulist is the consciousness within the astral vehicle.
Detaching the astral vehicle is not something imaginary. It is factual. Do not imagine getting up from bed. Actually do it. Some people have the wrong idea that the astral vehicle is immaterial and unreal, and therefore they think that astral projection is a matter of the mind. As we stated earlier, the kama rupa is material, but of a more subtle composition. Yet recognizing this is not an imaginary exercise. It has to be done in the same way that you physically move your body.
You do so when you identify the right moment between wakefulness and dreaming. Recognizing this state requires practice. You have to learn how to balance your attention within the threshold of wakefulness and sleep so that, once you’ve transitioned into the internal worlds, you can become aware of being in this other vehicle.
Signs of Astral Projection
There are very specific signs that you have or are about to transition into the astral world.
They include “heaviness of body and lightness of soul.” As you are entering the dream state, your body might have the sensation that it weighs a ton, that it possesses a dense feeling of gravity and solidity, whereas your consciousness in the body is becoming like a feather, like it can float any second.
Many people relate hearing “sounds, voices, vibrations, electric sensations, and energy.” Usually the voices we hear are our own egos detaching from our body. But some people also hear non-physical mystical sounds, auditory perceptions that are not coming from the exterior world, but from within. This is known as the faculty of clairaudience, or “clear hearing.”
Another obvious sign that one is projecting are electrical sensations and vibrations, like energetic shocks permeating one’s body. This often occurs between the astral vehicle and the physical body during the detachment process.
You might also feel and hear “high-pitched whirring noises in your head.” Or your heart beats intensify. Psychic palpitations occur when your heart beat becomes loud and magnified. It’s like listening to your heartbeat through an amplifier, accompanied with a psychic energy or force that intensifies to the point that you project into the astral out of your heart.
Some people project out of their head by concentrating on those vibrations in the brain. Either option can work depending on the circumstance.
You might also feel physically immobilized while you are still aware. Such physical immobilization can be similar to sleep paralysis, except that you might begin to perceive voluntary movements transferring to your astral vehicle rather than your physical body.
Be mindful that there is no danger to sleep paralysis or astral projection. We transition every time we rest, but unconsciously. In such moments, one is now beginning the perceive a deeper reality. What matters is being fearless and intrepid, to take advantage of this marvelous opportunity.
Other times people start to float above their bed, levitating and suspending in the air. You might even begin to see with your astral eyes while your physical eyes are closed.
Types of Astral Projections
It is also important to mention that we can enter superior or inferior dimensions depending on which part of the body we project from. Astral projections through the heart or the head allow us to enter the superior dimensions. Astral projections through the anus or the base of the spine will take us to the inferior dimensions. But why is this?
The head and heart possess superior psychological centers. We discussed them previously as the superior intellectual and superior emotional centers. These register and process comprehension and superior emotion. The Being expresses through these two superior centers, whereas the ego manifests through the five centers or cylinders of the human machine.
The instinctual center is located at the base of the spine and the anus. If you astral project through this area, you do so with the instinctual drives of the kama rupa or body of desires. These types of projections take one to the infernal worlds or hell realms, because such egotistical states vibrate with the instinctual desires of the animal ego.
Not only are the five psychological centers relevant to different types of astral projections, but also our chakras. A chakra is a Sanskrit term for “wheel” or “disk.” These are wheels or vortexes of vital, psychic, and spiritual energies. Whenever two or more separate energetic currents flow together, they form a chakra. There are literally thousands of them animating our body and interior. However, we mostly speak about seven primary chakras parallel to the spine since they have the most influence in the way our psychology operates and expresses.
The heart chakra has marvelous potential for conscious astral projections, since the astral world is animated through emotional energy. Although we can experience superior astral projections through the heart, we can also experience the highest spiritual realizations by projecting through the crown chakra. This is the seat of omniscience, symbolized by the halos of the saints throughout every spiritual tradition in the world. Projecting through this chakra allows one to experience the world of the Being, the highest truths, even without vehicles of any kind.
After this explanation, some might wonder: how do you ensure that you have a positive astral projection and not a negative one?
How we astral project is based on our psychological work throughout the day. The less ego we have, the greater our affinity for superior astral projections. The greater our psychological density, the heavier our desires, the more likely we will gravitate towards negative realms.
Do not be discouraged if you experience an astral projection within the inferior worlds. It is actually a great step to realize our level of being or spiritual development. Only by honestly facing ourselves can we truly assess our situation and open the door to divine reality. Most of us are not saints yet. But to become one requires acknowledging what we presently are.
In whatever way you begin to experience an astral projection, the key is to not be afraid. Do not exert or force the process. Force and exertion is egotistical. What matters is conscious awareness and control. Real control is when the consciousness is in possession of itself, which you relinquish if you react negatively to what you perceive. The consciousness knows how to respond to astral projections, to either let it happen or to take appropriate action. Conscious will is distinct from egotistical desire. The ego always reacts, but the consciousness knows how to respond with equanimity and composure.
If you are experiencing an astral projection through the heart or crown chakra, do not force the process. Do not identify. Oftentimes one should let the process unfold of itself. Don’t try to accelerate or prevent superior states from happening. Just let these symptoms be. Sometimes acting prematurely can end the experience. Other times waiting for something to happen and remaining inactive can take you back to your body. You will gauge the appropriate time and way to respond as you familiarize yourself again and again with these states.
We always conclude these lectures with different exercises.
Throughout the day, develop self-observation.
Each day, for at least 10-20 minutes, develop meditative concentration through visualization of an image.
When in the transition state between wakefulness and dreaming, get up from bed and apply the clue of discernment: jump in the air to see if you float.
Lastly, continue with your spiritual diary.
At this point in time, I would like to open up the floor to questions. You are welcome to type in your questions in the chat box.
Questions and Answers
Question: I can sense people are able to stop me lucid dreaming as I’ve been doing it all my life, until the attacks really started. Now all of that has been taken away from me. What am I to do?
Instructor: We are going to have a lecture in the future regarding spiritual self-defense. We’ve actually given a course with some lectures on our website that discuss different practices that you can use to defend yourself spiritually, particularly within the internal worlds. This is a topic that we are going to revisit again in this course where we will provide some prayers and tools, must like the ones we’ve covered before, so that you can train yourself, train your consciousness, to enact superior, divine will.
It’s true that while we talk about astral projection as not being dangerous, there are entities within the interior worlds who can be an obstacle for our spiritual development, and therefore in the sense that there are negative entities within those regions, there are practices that we can fulfill to protect us from those influences. I recommend that you go on to our website, under the course Spiritual Self-Defense. We have three lectures up already, which talk about many different practices you can use that you can study and apply in your own spiritual discipline.
Some of the prayers are very elaborate. Some of them are very simple, but I recommend that when you memorize them, that you learn to apply them with your consciousness. These conjurations or prayers, that we use in this tradition to reject negative entities, are very effective--if we are conscious. We can protect ourselves during lucid dreaming by memorizing these tools and prayers and techniques. The reason is, if you don’t memorize these prayers, when you’re awake in the internal worlds again, you will not know how to apply the method. Likewise, you cannot take a physical Gnostic Prayer Book with you into the internal worlds. Glorian Publishing has a small little book available with that title that has many different compilations of prayers like we’ve mentioned, which we’ve talked about on our website in Spiritual Self-Defense.
The important thing is, remember the prayers, study them, use them every day, so that they become automatic. In the same way that you train in martial arts, you learn a technique from the basics and eventually develop it further. In the same way we use the prayers and conjurations of this tradition to be more effective in protecting ourselves. So yes, there are ways to help remove obstacles, whether they are from within your own mind or from entities that don’t want you to progress spiritually.
Question: When asking to go to the Gnostic lodge, after we have successfully projected, we may be asked for a password. Can you speak on that?
Instructor: There is a certain prayer that we use or password in order to enter the white lodges. What you do is you cross your hands over your heart, your right hand over the left. When you approach the guardian of any temple in the internal worlds, you then place your left hand on your solar plexus and extend your right hand in the form of the pentagram. You do so by folding your pinky and your ring fingers into your palm and extending your index, middle finger and thumb out. This is the real symbol of peace according to the Gnostic tradition.
You then say to the guardian: “Inverencial peace!” which basically means: “Peace unto your innermost divinity!” Cross your hands again over your heart, your right hand over your left, and then bow with your head to the right pillar of the temple, saying “Jachin,” and then bow to the left pillar of the temple, “Boaz.” Every genuine temple of divine mysteries has the two pillars of Gnostic esotericism, which is very well known with the masonic tradition, Freemasonry. Jachin is the pillar of mercy. Boaz is the pillar of severity. By this act you are showing the guardian of the temple that you are working in yourself, and that you promise to uphold conscious control of your mind within any sacred precinct, because these types of temples are very divine. You have to be at your best behavior. If you don’t, they can kick you out—and will.
So by performing this greeting after the guardian says “pass,” you step with your right foot first—not with the left. If you do that, they can bar you from entering. The reason is because the right foot is the symbol of spiritual force, and that we seek to walk the spiritual path by fulfilling the mercy of the law. The right pillar of the tree of life, the kabbalah—which finds its parallel within any gnostic temple—is a symbol of the purity of the consciousness, whereas the left can relate to how forces from heaven descend into the infernal worlds, and therefore there can be a negative connotation to that. So step in with your right foot. Perform that greeting and be very honest with the guardians. You can’t hide from them—anything. They literally see right through you and will prevent you from going further into the precinct if you do not know how to conduct yourself.
Question: When the ego is aware there is mental chatter, and when the Being is aware there is serene mind and intuition with no thought?
Instructor: In a sense, yes.
The ego can be very aware and awake, but that’s problematic. Every ego manifests in accordance with thought, feeling, and will. Mental chatter is a part of that continual stream of egotistical loquaciousness in our mind, with all the cacophony of thoughts, mechanical associations, memories, daydreams. But when the ego is aware, one is intentionally experiencing any negative element such as anger, with thought, desire to hurt, and the will to act. That type of awareness is very negative. We’ve mentioned and discussed some of the nuances of this problem in the other course we gave online called Spiritual Self-Defense, where we talked about positive and negative awakening.
A person can be very aware and awake, that they are killing someone. Of course this is very disastrous. The kind of awareness we are referring to [and promote] is when the Being is there, but within the Being there is no sense of “I,” or “me,” and “myself.” It is a serene conscious state in which there is no affliction of mind. There is no condition or self there. The Being is impersonal, is universal, is eternal. It is selfless in the sense of what we think of a self, but to experience and recognize that state requires that we abandon our thoughts.
We observe the mental chatter. We observe our mind stream and allow it to settle and rest. When the mind settles and rests, when the different elements of our psyche stratify within distinct layers, such as when you allow a cup full of water and sediment to rest, naturally the impurities will layer themselves and become visible to you. However, if our mind is agitated and conflicted with problems, then the waters of our mind become agitated and murky, muddied. The Being is there when the waters of our mind are clean. When you’re serene, observant without a self, without an “I,” then you can start to experience what intuition is, to know without having to think. This is why we practice meditation. This is why we study ourselves.
So it’s important. We have to discriminate what is going on psychologically. But for that, you have to train yourself in self-observation and self-remembrance, as we’ve explained. But usually, when there’s mental chatter, it often happens to us because we are on the threshold of sleep and wakefulness, even psychologically speaking. We may sense that we have a stream of mental chatter, but we just kind of let it happen. We are not even really aware of it. We are not conscious.
Negative awakening is something very distinct and also harmful, like in the example I provided. So to be awake within the Being requires serenity and no thought, yes.
Question: I feel like I am making progress in my meditations. It feels like I can get enough and there is much pressure in my heart space. Is this good progress?
Instructor: You have to judge for yourself. Personally, I am of the opinion that real success in meditation occurs the more we comprehend our psyche.
We focus a lot in our tradition on eliminating our defects. That only comes about by observing in ourselves our own faults in action, the ego, and then comprehending their roots. By comprehending the root of a problem, of our desires, we can eventually eliminate those elements and therefore liberate the consciousness.
Having some type of psychic perception like a pressure in the heart can be a signification that there are certain psychic senses that are developing. While this is good and necessary, it’s important to bear that within the contexts of a particular psychological work. By awakening our astral senses, by learning to astral project, there is a form of progress, or developing more sensitivity in the heart is good. But having that skill of knowing how to sense more phenomena, it has to be done consciously, has to be directed. So I recommend that if you are having these types of augmented perceptions, even in relation to astral projection—where you are learning to awaken in dreams as well—it’s good to learn how to apply those serene states of observation towards a deeper task.
For that we work on the ego. We study, such as in our course on Gnostic Meditation, the practice of retrospection meditation. That’s the discipline in which we review ourselves psychologically and evaluate the quality and content of our mind, so that we can comprehend our defects and remove them.
So going back to your question, there are different levels of progress, obviously. But having a pressure in your heart, you have to judge and evaluate for yourself. What is the real consequence of that? But also, how does it relate to a broader and deeper issue, such as how you are approaching your psychology throughout the day? If your heart is more sensitive, are you becoming more aware of how to fulfill your conscience? Superior emotion? The right way to act, feel, and behave in life? I think that’s even more significant. If you can get a better gauge and sense of judging your own errors and learning how to make your life a paradise by fulfilling divine will (the more we work on our ethical discipline as we teach in our other courses), the better we serve divinity and the more inflamed becomes our heart, the more powerful it becomes, the more insightful.
Question: How can we raise to a higher astral realm if we’ve already seen ourselves in an infernal dimension, and how can we differentiate one from the next? Where are we in our astral location?
Instructor: It’s a really good question because a lot of people may awaken in dreams but don’t really discriminate where they are at. For that you have to use the Key of SOL: Subject, Object, Location, but also not only becoming aware of the particular environment you’re in, but also judging the quality of that state.
You have to listen to your intuition, your conscience. Unfortunately for many of us, our heart is very deficient, depleted, and weak, mostly because of bad behaviors and bad choices in our life. But the more you learn to meditate on your distinct experiences, to look at a situation calmly and dispassionately, to visualize those experiences within your interior, you can allow those experiences to play out within the screen of your imagination and then listen to your heart. Pray to divinity to show you where you are at. What was this state that you experienced?
Other times with training and eventual development in your heart, you can have those types of experiences and then immediately know where you are at. You do not have to think about it because you just know. You ascertain the situation for what it is.
Now to go from a lower astral region to a higher one requires that we change our level of being, because as I said, we gravitate towards levels of nature in accordance with our dispositions. If you’re in an infernal astral state and you want to go to a superior one, I suggest you pray to your inner Being. Pray to your Divine Father. You can do the Our Father, the Pater Noster, especially, and if it is His will, He can pull you out, because divinity has that power. For that we have to rely on our inner God, the will of the Being.
But again discrimination again requires intuition, and it is difficult because often times in our daily life, we do not listen to our heart, and that is the problem. The more you follow your conscience, the more you develop your inner judgment, the greater your powers will be for discrimination.
There is a practice in our tradition called the runes. There is a series of yogic postures that we engage with whereby we adopt a certain posture and perform prayer and mantra (sacred sounds). There is a rune called Rita, which relates not only to divine inner judgment, to strengthen our inner conscience, but it is also very effective for deepening our intuition about what is right and what is wrong. Study in the book The Magic of the Runes by Samael Aun Weor. It’s a beautiful practice. It’s good for developing our inner discrimination of our own defects, and holding us accountable before divine law, but it can also help us be more conscientious about where we are at and what we are doing.
You can also do the mantra O to vibrate with the heart, to feed the heart with superior forces. In that way, you have more power by which to act consciously and to know your situation.
Question: Are object and location in the way the same, such as in the Key of SOL? For example, I notice an object in the room and become aware of the room, but the room itself is an object. Therefore I become aware of the object of the house that the room is in and then where I am is the town or street, which becomes then an object, etc., etc. So is it looking at the same thing in two different ways?
Instructor: OK. So first off with the Key of SOL, Subject is ourselves, as we know, knowing our psychological states. Object has to do with any item in our vicinity, and this can be such as anything constituting our room or home: pens, pencils, paintings, whatever it may be.
We differentiate objects with location because, for example, in the astral plane, you can be looking at certain objects that you’re familiar with in your daily life, and yet perhaps, strangely enough, you look outside your window in the astral world and see you’re in a totally different location. This can happen because the astral world is not limited to temporality, to time, or to any particular rigid location within the physical world. That dimension is very unusual, primarily because while we can see things there that are relative to our physical existence, there are going to be differences. The purpose of the Key of SOL is to be able to distinguish and discriminate that.
So an object really just has to do with, perhaps, you are looking at a book or a painting in the astral world, maybe even in your own home. The location is distinct because that tells you and gives you a bit of context for where and what exactly you are seeing. You can be looking at objects in your home, perhaps in a room, and yet if you explore a little bit, you discover that you’re actually not located where you thought you were. Instead you can be in another country. You can be on another planet. The only way to know that is to ask these questions: “What are my states (Subject)? What are the objects that I am interacting with?” and then, “Where am I? What is my location?”
Those three elements help us to expand consciousness. They give us the ability to comprehend what is really going on. So they are all aspects of one thing. They are different variations, but they combine together in the same way that if you want to expand the reflection of light, you can take multiple mirrors and reflect them. It is like expanding your consciousness. You’re perceiving and understanding more because you are distinguishing what is really happening, where you are at, but also what are the different items in your home. You can be in your home in the astral world, and yet you have objects in your room that are not specifically physical, things that you’ve never seen before. So? These are different: Object and Location.
There’s some nuance to this. What I want to emphasize is that we have to rely on all three and look at the connections between what we are seeing, between our psychological states, the different items that we are interacting with or the people we are seeing, and the overall location of our environment. When you combine those three and question those three things in relation to yourself, you open the doors to understanding and the discrimination of where you are at and what you are doing.
So do we have any other questions?
Question: Does astral travel depend on physical factors such as health? If you have an injury in one or more of the three brains, would that stop you?
Instructor: It’s a really good question! We astral travel or enter the internal worlds every time we go to physical sleep, so astral travel, or better said, astral projection, is a mechanical given. It’s a mechanical thing. It happens no matter what unless you have insomnia and you can’t fall asleep and therefore that’s another issue in itself. Now as to whether astral travel depends upon physical factors such as health, there is a relationship between how conscious we are and how we manage our life as a soul in relation to the three brains.
The three brains are themselves are machines. They have certain elements, energies and forces that are necessary for our spiritual life and also our physical life. There are many people who perhaps have some type of injury in their three brains. Maybe they suffer from a mental, emotional, or a physical illness. Now learning how to consciously astral travel is dependent on how we as a consciousness learn to manage and conserve the energies of the three brains. Obviously if you are physically ill, it is going to be very difficult to want to practice, to want to change, and to make progress, because there is a certain balance that needs to be reached in terms of physical health, so that we can perform our spiritual work.
Now the thing is that we go into the astral plane every time we fall asleep, regardless. We do it mechanically, involuntarily. So we are doing it no matter what, regardless of if we are healthy or ill. But if you want to know how to consciously astral travel, if you want to see that dimension for what it is, it is important to take care of our health, psychologically, emotionally, and physically, primarily because as we are going to elaborate on in a future lecture (and we have kind of touched upon this too), you need energy to awaken.
If we are wasting energy through any of the three brains, if our three brains are sick, if they’re not operating optimally, then the consciousness is going to be affected too, because consciousness is driving the car (or should be). What happens more often is that the ego abuses the three brains and therefore depletes us of energy, whether it is intellectual, emotional, mechanical, instinctive or sexual.
An injury in one of the three brains, obviously, that is a difficult thing to deal with. However, the consciousness can work, even with a serious condition injury or illness. Obviously, we want to take care of our car, our physical body. We want to drive it well. We want to treat it well, but even people who suffer from a serious condition, illness, or injury can still practice this teaching and still learn how to consciously astral travel.
It is going to mean that there will be some greater obstacles and conditions to deal with in the path, but it does not guarantee, well, that you’re not going to be able to perform this work. Anybody can perform this work, even if one is paraplegic, in a wheelchair, is sick, who suffered some kind of traumatic injury. What matters is that we work with where we are at, that one works with their particular karma in life, and does the best that with what they have because divinity helps any soul in accordance with their effort.
Question: Here is a follow up question. Are there any guidelines for working with the three brains in a book?
Instructor: For that, study Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, The Great Rebellion, The Revolution of the Dialectic, and Fundamentals of Gnostic Education by Samael Aun Weor. Those books go into great depth and detail about how to work with the three brains.
Question: Does heavy food make it hard to project within the astral dimension?
Instructor: We advise against eating a heavy meal before sleep. It is very well known in science that indigestion can cause nightmares. Those types of experiences are lived perceptions within the inferior worlds, the infernal dimensions. Heavy food can make it difficult for one to have a positive experience. It is good to go to bed with a free stomach because you do not want heavy foods like meats or other difficult elements to digest to basically activate inferior chakras within the abdomen. We’ve discussed how heavy foods like that can cause indigestion which activate certain energetic centers in the abdomen, relating to infernal chakras or elements that relate to the inferior worlds.
So its good to have an empty stomach when you are practicing. You don’t want to be hungry throughout the day, right? You do want to be conscious and manage how you take care of your body in relation to astral projection. We will talk later about certain elements related to that topic in a future lecture, such as on “Obstacles to Astral Projection and Their Remedies.” It’s going to be a future talk.
Question: Regarding insomnia, how long is it reasonable to go without physical sleep, willingly or unwillingly?
Instructor: I am not a doctor. I do not know all the science and mechanics behind how much should an insomniac sleep. It would be every night, I would think. I know in some traditions such as in Islam (it is even mentioned in the Qur’an), Prophet Muhammad would perform prayers in the middle of the night. Sometimes certain practitioners would meditate in the early hours of the dawn or even perform vigils. This is because they want to experience greater realities by making certain sacrifices.
Personally when I have done this practice, such as staying up late at night or waking up early in the morning to meditate—such as with astral projection exercises—basically you can open kind of the doorway into the internal worlds. Now a lot of research and science might mention that usually two to three days without any sleep can lead to some problems. But if you go without a day or if you make the sacrifice to perform a practice within the early hours of dawn, or to stay up for a few hours to meditate and pray, that is not going to harm you if you do it occasionally. But obviously you want to balance yourself. You have to gauge your energy levels and know how much you can do. Obviously, don’t do too much! Balance is the key.
Any other questions?
So I thank you all for coming! We will have another lecture in the coming month, continuing this discussion, primarily talking about specific mantras or sacred sounds in order to have conscious astral projections. I thank you all for coming!
Welcome everybody to our sixth lecture on Dream Yoga and Astral Travel. We spoke extensively about why we dream, the causes of oneiric experience, particularly in relation to our psychology—whether objective, clear, pure, selfless, factual, or subjective, based on the faults of our mind, our defects, our errors. We study our dreams because we have a very particular purpose, a very specific goal, which is to awaken our full potential, awaken to the reality of the divine.
Unfortunately, many approach the study of dreams with a mistaken attitude. There are many who wish to have lucidity, some type of intensity of experience related to the dream state, to have awareness of dreams. This has been called lucid dreaming, but we are different in these studies. We seek to eliminate dreams themselves, to no longer see through a lens or a glass darkly, but to see what is there within the reality of that dimension, the reality of that state, without any filter, any condition, any fault.
Awareness of dreams can be good in the beginning: to have a type of depth, flavor, and expansion of perception. However, there is a fundamental problem. Dreams are but dreams. They are illusory. They are not real. They are not objective. They do not truly reflect the truth of the divine, the realities of the spirit, our innermost Being or God. Dreams, as we have mentioned, are projections of the mind. They are merely an expression of our psychological content, like a projector on a screen, and while we can have greater resolution of that imagery, more vividness, like watching an improved television screen, it is still a mirage, an illusion, a lie.
The vividness and the intensity, the breadth and depth of imagination, to see what is there, that, in itself, is a quality of the consciousness, a quality of our true nature. While the capacity to perceive is wonderful, to have greater depth and breadth of one’s perception within the astral state, this, in itself, does not mean we are seeing reality, what is there. For that we need to turn off the projector, turn off the mind, and see with the soul, what we call the Essence, our true nature, our reality. Lucid dreaming, in itself, is a step. In these studies, we go further.
We need to understand not only why we dream, but how. What are the mechanisms? What are the structures of the mind? What are the ways in which we do not see life as it is? How do we perceive? How do we see ourselves?
This lecture is an expansion of the previous one where we talked about the cause of our psychological slumber, why we dream. But now we are going to explain the different dreams that manifest and what are the different types of dreams. By understanding the “how,” we can awaken.
So, this is our focus. We are going to examine the expression of dreams—their manifestation within our psychology. In this process we learn that through the types of dreams that we experience, we understand how we use energy, how we use force of various modifications, densities, rarities, and subtleties.
In order to awaken consciousness, we need to save energy. To awaken within the dream state requires that we conserve our psychological, spiritual forces. We are going to examine how dreaming wastes energy and by learning to control the energy of our psyche, we have the potential to activate and drive our car—the astral, the mental vehicles—and even beyond. In this process we have to discriminate what we are seeing. What are we perceiving? How are we perceiving?
In a sense, it is impossible to understand, or know how to liberate oneself from a cage, from a prison, if we do not know how we are locked up. What is the cell? What is the lock? When you understand how it all works together, you can free yourself—the same spiritually—free yourself and experience these higher realities.
Dream Logic and Awakening
Unfortunately when we study ourselves, we often approach our spiritual life with the wrong tools.
We all understand that we have a form of dream logic. When we look at dreams, we find that there is a narrative, a thread, a story in which we are the actors, the participants, and the witnesses. We emphasize that by understanding the logic of dreams, we can fully know ourselves, because our dreaming life is a reflection of something deeper, psychologically speaking, which we fundamentally ignore.
Anyone who has had a nightmare has directly perceived the reality of what religions call hell. Those are living manifestations of our deepest traumas, our deepest pains, our most unutterable fears.
Likewise, dreams in themselves do not merely have to reflect our own inferior states of mind. There is a potential within the dream state to see something real. We call them visions, astral experiences. We call them samadhis. They too have a type of logic, a type of narrative, a type of thread, but distinct from the inferior type. It is a very different quality than a nightmare or an incoherent dream.
This duality of dreams shows us that we are a true mystery. Our soul is an unexplored territory. Any person studying dream yoga and practicing it learns to experience and understand our real, inner worlds.
While dreams in themselves may seem unsolvable, difficult to interpret—(this logic which escapes a type of analysis or interpretation)—the truth is that it is possible to understand what our dreams are communicating, whether they are from above or below, whether they are a vision or an illusion. It is possible to discriminate what is going on and to interpret with wisdom, so that we can make better decisions with our life.
Visions from the divine teach us how to live. But for that we need to approach the logic of dreams with an entirely different apparatus. Many people approach the study of dreams with the intellect. They look to dream dictionaries, other people’s testimonies, symbols, to try and decipher what is going on. Many people rely upon the mind to solve the riddle of the soul.
If you have been studying the course of this series, we have been discussing that difference. Consciousness and the Essence, the pure soul, is not the intellect. It is what perceives before thought. It does not require intellectual direction, analysis. It is merely looking at phenomena and them seeing for what they are. Thought is much slower. It comes later. The intellect is a useful tool, but it has its limited utility.
People who study dreams with the intellect are like people trying to study the atom with a telescope, or study the stars with a microscope. The intellect has its place, but it must be used with understanding of its limitations. This implies that we are using the consciousness, the soul. Its distinct characteristic is comprehension, perception, and understanding—intuition. You know it without having to think. It is a quality of the heart. You perceive a phenomenon and you know what it means. It does not require comparison. The mind can only show A and B, good and bad, thesis and antithesis.
This logic of dreams in itself can be deciphered when we learn how to use the consciousness, when we direct it at will, when we train it. But for most of us, that is very difficult, primarily because our soul is not active. It is not trained. It is not awake. Everything we have explained up to this point in this course is leading us to understand that the study of dreams requires the appropriate tools, the right methods. For that we need to abandon any type of assumptions, presuppositions, attachments, fears, desires, wanting these dreams to mean a certain thing, wanting a particular phenomenon to fit within a box. We need to expand our categories, and this is a type of logic that is not intellectual. It is profound. It is universal. It does not require thinking.
Now this type of superior understanding does not mean that the intellect is not there. It is merely suspended. It ceases to be such an active force in our life, dominating our daily behaviors and making us dream. Instead, we activate a superior faculty of the mind, which is understanding: to receive knowledge, just like dreams are received or visions are received within the soul.
For that we need to put behind our terrestrial self. Use it in its place. Use it appropriately. But be aware of being here and now. You are a soul within the body, like driving a car. You are not the car. You are not the engine, the organs, the mechanism. We will talk about all of that—how we are made up—so that we can understand our psyche deeply. For that we have to study our life, our moment-to-moment existence.
As we stated, dreams at night are merely a reflection of our daily states.
No one has known himself truly, who has not studied his dreams. The study of dreams at once shows what a great mystery our soul is, and that this mystery is not altogether insoluble, as some metaphysicians supposed. Dreams reveal to us that aspect of our nature which transcends rational knowledge. That in the most rational and moral man there is an aspect of his being which is absurd and immoral, one knows only through the study of one's dreams. All our pride of nationality and morality melts into nothingness as soon as we reflect upon our dreams. There is logic in our dreams or rather the logic of our waking consciousness is just like the dream logic. —Sivananda, Philosophy of Dreams
There are levels. We stated that we are 3% awake as a consciousness and 97% submerged as subconsciousness, unconsciousness, and infra-consciousness. We study the relationship between our dreams and our daily life to understand the connections.
The way we do that is by studying our life, our impressions.
Life enters us all the time. We experience through our senses, sight, taste, touch, smell, hearing, all the different phenomena of life. We have a tendency in Western culture, especially, to go through existence without any awareness, thinking of something else, and yet we are not diligent. We are not present. Why is that? It is because we are not paying attention to our body and where we are at psychologically.
Life enters us through our senses as impressions. An impression is basically data: sensory, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, olfactory, gustatory information. Our psyche, our consciousness while in the body, learns to perceive with the senses. Information enters the senses, and it strikes the mind. But unfortunately because we are not really driving our mind, our body with awareness, we just take the impressions of life unconsciously without awareness.
Consider the mind and consciousness itself like a pool of water or like a film. For anyone who has done photography, you know that light imprints within a film strip in order to replicate an image. The psyche and the mind are no different. The mind receives the data of the world, and we ingest impressions within our psychology. It can be a food, conversation—really—there is an infinitude of impressions.
But we have very distinct ways of recording those experiences. We call it memory. We call it images, imagination. You ever watch a TV show and later have a dream that you are acting with its characters? It is because you took in those impressions from the television. They entered the mind unconsciously, and they were not transformed. They imprinted within the psyche, and therefore that image comes to life within your dreams.
This word impression comes From the Latin impressio, impress, “pressed in,” from the verb, imprimere, “to imprint.” We often relate the word impression “to an effect produced upon someone,” like “this person gave me a good impression,” or maybe a bad one.
What is ironic is that, in example of the television show, we take in images and we don’t digest them. We ingest information. These images and experiences imprint within our mind, but we do not question what they are. We do not question the consequences of what we psychologically take in.
The same applies to our relationships. For example, we meet a new person at work. They say something that offends us. We have a bad impression of them. That image entered our mind, our psyche, and we did not transform it. We did not understand it. That is because we are not awake. We are not conscious. We do not see, for example, that this person might have been having a bad day. Maybe their spouse is in the hospital. Maybe they are suffering from a terminal illness, and therefore, because we are ignorant of the situation, we may have anger, resentment, pride, fear and a conglomeration of different reactions which are based on fantasy. We are not seeing the reality of the person. We are merely interacting with the images that we have of them in our mind. This is dreaming.
If we do this during the daytime, then when we go to bed at night physically, we repeat the same process, because what you are in your dreams is what you are in your daily life. There is no difference, except when you are in your physical body, you have limitations.
Our mind is a film strip. We are constantly taking in data. But the question becomes: are we understanding what we perceive? Do we understand how we take in impressions and how we relate to them? It is not an intellectual exercise. It is a psychological sense that has to be intentionally activated. It has to be worked with. Otherwise these impressions enter us and leave a mark, as impressed upon a surface. The mind like water. When it is struck with a terrifying impression, a trauma, an ordeal, the mind is in chaos. It is a storm churning with emotion and pain. That typically defines the lives of most people. Perhaps a traumatic experience happened in our early years and because we have not trained ourselves to understand what we perceive and what have we perceived, we are living in disturbance, affliction.
The Human Machine
There is a method to cease suffering and to understand how we live now, but also how we can live better, and how we can understand dreams themselves. How do we dream during the day? How do we dream at night? We study what is called the human machine.
This diagram is a representation of us. We know that the physical body is marvelous machine. We have organs. We have different systems which regulate circulation, breathing, digestion, which are so miraculous primarily because we usually perform them without any intention, any awareness. These things often work without any need to regulate them consciously.
But likewise, not only is our body a machine, but also our psychology. We were discussing impressions. We receive data from the world, which enters our senses and then our mind reacts, intaking these different elements, these experiences. Then we have a type of response.
The human body needs its energy, needs fuel, from food, water, from air, in order to subsist. Likewise, the consciousness needs its food. What is that food? It is impressions, but not impressions taken in without awareness, but digested impressions, masticated, digested and processed nutrition. We call it understanding. We call it comprehension.
As of now, we take in information from the world, but without any cognizance, and then we react in different ways. We dream in different ways, whether it is through our intellect with our thoughts, comparisons, our beliefs, or emotions like pleasure, pain, etc. Similarly, we have movement relating to motor aspect of our psychology, which is where we process movement: to do or not to do, to act. Or instinct: fight or flight, freeze, for example. Lastly, we have our sexual reactions to life, our sexuality: attractions and repulsions.
These are five centers that constitute what we are not only physically, but also psychologically. We call them the five centers. We also call them the three brains within our studies. These are mechanisms that have a physical component in our body, but they also operate in a multidimensional level, psychologically, energetically and spiritually.
We know that we have an intellectual brain. This is well known from science. We likewise have an emotional brain or heart with its nervous systems. Lastly, we have our spinal column which gives us life. It allows to interact with the world—to do. These last three centers relate to our motor-instinctual-sexual brain. They are really three centers, but we conglomerate them as one for the sake of synthesis.
We dream through these centers all the time because we are not aware of this machine itself. Usually, we are not paying attention to our body. Who is driving our car? Have we ever observed this fact? We may know that we are seated, listening, perhaps with the intellect. We are taking in these impressions and comparing with what is said to what was said in the past. Maybe there is an emotional reaction, like or dislike, discomfort or enthusiasm. Maybe with our movement we feel we need to fidget. We are restless. Or the instinct perhaps of wanting to flee. Likewise, the sexual center has its form of functionalism related to attraction or repulsion, as I said.
This machine has marvelous potential. The body has marvelous capacities, but only if we know how to use them, if we know how to drive our car. We need to remember that the consciousness is not the car. This body is merely a vehicle, and this vehicle has many parts. Psychologically speaking, the vehicle of the intellectual brain is to process thought. The vehicle of the heart is to process feeling. Likewise with action, with the motor-instinctual-sexual brain. These brains have a very particular usage, and we use them all the time in life, but usually without awareness because we do not really observe the fact.
We may know that we are seated in this chair, but are we observing this fact? Are we seeing ourselves and paying attention?
If we wish to know how to awaken consciousness, we need to understand how we dream. To understand how we dream through different psychological reactions to life, it is important to understand how these machines work.
Relative Speed of the Five Centers
We all know that some computers have different processing speeds. Some are faster than others. The same thing with our human machine, our psychology. These different centers receive impressions from the external world, but also interiorly, processing or receiving them with different types of capacities.
The intellect is the slowest aspect of who we are. It is not the quickest. Thinking, daydreaming, memorizing, remembering, recollecting, these in themselves are not really quick, although because our consciousness is not really trained, we tend to get distracted by a memory or problem, something we are trying to solve with the mind.
There is something quicker than the intellect, which is our center of movement. We see that it is 30,000 times faster than the intellect. This is easily provable. Perhaps we are driving a car. Someone walks out in front of us and without thinking, we turn the wheel. We react and avoid an accident. That is because our motor center is quicker. It is faster.
Likewise, instinct is 30,000 times faster than the intellect, like movement. You put your hand on a hot stove. You feel the pain. Then you retract your hand, and then you think “That hurt.” Then you feel the emotional reaction, perhaps anger. Instinct is faster than the intellect, which explains why martial artists or boxers train the way they do by using the instinctual center in order to react and respond to danger.
Emotions are 60,000 times faster than the intellect because emotions are much more volatile than thought. Many like to pride themselves as intellectual people, being reasonable. Yet having a negative emotion is difficult because it is so quick. Maybe we received an impression of a loved one giving us criticism and then we reacted, feeling anger. That anger can be very difficult to control because emotion is quick. It is overpowering.
But even faster than the emotional center is the most profound, powerful, and influential aspect of our psychology, which is the sexual center. It is 120,000 times faster than the intellect. This explains why in a moment of introducing yourself to a new person, you can determine an immediate sexual affinity. It does not require thinking. It is just an immediate spark of attraction—love at first sight, is the phenomenon.
These centers operate in different speeds, and most of the time we receive impressions that interact in different ways with those centers. Our reactions are precisely, usually, egotistical. We react because we have anger, because we have pride. We have lust, resentment, attachments, fears. We said earlier in the previous lecture that this is ego, multiple defects, different errors.
We are studying the human machine in relation to how we dream because we dream through the five centers. An impression hits our consciousness, hits the senses, and the consciousness is not active. We are not driving our car. We are not paying attention psychologically to what is happening within us, and therefore that impression enters the psyche and it is not transformed. Maybe someone treats you with a lot of disrespect, saying something hurtful. Because we are not paying attention, that impression enters us and we receive it with the emotional center, which is very quick. Because we are not transforming it with the soul, immediately anger emerges. That anger has its own thoughts, its own will to do. Therefore, that emotional reaction, that emotional response is a dream.
We do not think of it as a dream, as an illusion, but it is. Perhaps, as in the former example, we are not listening or understanding where that person is coming from, or why they are upset. We feel anger in that moment, but we do not really question what is going on with the other person, to feel love for that person—compassion, understanding. Instead, impressions enter us, and we react. Maybe, we meet another person and we are married, and there is a sexual attraction there, lust, with its own logic, its own ways of thinking, its own ways of feeling. Because that impression of meeting that person was not transformed, it could lead to problems. This is why divorces happen. It is because our ego is making us dream all the time.
The Bad Secretary: Psychological Mistranslation and Disequilibrium
We call our ego and the personality a bad secretary. If we are not paying attention to our car, or we do not know how to use it in the moment, we can get into accidents. While this is a physical example, it is also a metaphor for our spiritual life. A moment of inattention can bring disgrace. We can make a wrong decision, an error, because we are not seeing reality. We are not understanding how we are dreaming in the moment.
So, these impressions enter the psyche, and we mistranslate them. We do this all the time. Maybe a person approaches us who is speaking with the heart, is kind, is altruistic, generally concerned with, perhaps, our well-being. Maybe because we take in that impression without being conscious of it. We take it through the sexual center and think “This person likes me,” and therefore we ask, declare one’s attractions, even though that person had no intention.
We often receive impressions through the wrong centers. When we should respond with our heart, sometimes we do it with our intellect. Maybe there is an argument between loved ones. One partner is dreaming through the intellect, having all these ideas: “I want to do this… and that. I think we should solve this problem with reason.” Meanwhile, the other partner is upset emotionally, responding with the heart, dreaming with that center and not seeing reality, not seeing the other partner, but seeing “what we want.” This produces disequilibrium.
Disequilibrium means in a moment of crisis—or perhaps when receiving a difficult impression—the intellect thinks one thing, the heart feels another, and the body wants to leave or fight. There is conflict. There is no integration there. It is confusion. Our desires, our defects, create confusion, create discordance and problems.
When we study our dreams, when we seek to understand how to awaken in dreams, we have to examine all these mechanical processes in ourselves during the day, because the way we react to life physically is a barometer of how we are going to act in the internal worlds, how we dream within the internal worlds. Our internal experiences are merely a deeper reflection of who we are all the time. But usually with our personality, our name, our language, our culture, our habits, our face, we do not tend to look in the depths or observe these mechanical actions in themselves.
If we want to awaken the consciousness, we must learn to save energy, as I said, to cease dreaming, to be aware of our human machine. We must be aware of how we waste energy, whether it is through thoughts, whether it is through negative emotions, resentment, pride, etc. Or maybe we waste energy through the motor center, always hyperactive, and never resting. Perhaps we engage in sports, like martial arts, too much. We get into fights. That is the instinctual center. Or we waste energy sexually, which is the biggest problem for people.
That energy has the potential to transform us completely psychologically. We know, even from Freud, how many of the unconscious drives of a person have a sexual root, the libido. This force often permeates the actions of our life: the way we dress, the way we talk, the way we try to impress others, our attitudes, our actions.
Likewise, it is important to understand the energies of the psyche. How do we use intellectual energy? How do we expend emotional energy? Or movement? Or instinct? Or sexuality? — which we study in many other courses available on our website, particularly in relation to alchemy, which is another topic.
Our Psychological Center of Gravity
It is important to ask ourselves a deep question: what is our psychological center of gravity? What center do we tend to use instead of others? Is it our mind, our heart, or is it our body?
The human machine needs energy to work. If we wish to use our conscious potential, it is necessary to save that energy and understand these processes in ourselves. It is because we waste energy in one of the centers that we get depleted. As just as an engine will not work without fuel, likewise, our psyche will not operate, to consciously investigate the higher dimensions, if we have wasted our mental, emotional, and vital force—whether through too much intellectual activity, or arguments and fights, sports, etc.
When we waste energy through any of the centers—because there is disequilibrium, and if we keep trying to use that engine—it is going to steal energy from the other centers. Thus, there is an imbalance.
It is like if you waste intellectual energy of the mind, that intellect will start to use the sexual force. Because the sexual energy is the most potent force we carry within, it will damage the mind. It does not belong there unless we know how to direct it with intelligence. That is why we study practices like alchemy, pranayama, runes, and many other exercises that we practice in this tradition. If the intellect runs out of energy and we steal from the sexual center it is like putting rocket fuel into a car. It will damage the mind. This is how people get mental illnesses. They become sick, whether through schizophrenia, paranoid delusions, many problems we see that are affecting humanity now.
Those who abuse the emotional center through anger or self-directed hate, depression, develop emotional sicknesses. They become imbalanced in the heart.
Those who waste the energy of the motor center become paraplegic, whether through excessive sports, violent sports, like UFC for example. That relates to the instinctive center as well. People who waste the instinctual forces of their body end up getting injured and sick.
Likewise, with the sexual force. Prostitutes, people who abuse the sexual energy, get sick. We know that from news, or people we know that may have some kind of illness related to that abuse.
Balancing the Five Centers
It is important to understand how to balance ourselves and that there are many ways to balance ourselves. By balancing ourselves, by having a reservoir of emotional energy, we can awaken consciousness in the astral world. Likewise, having a reservoir of mental energy, we can awaken within the mental world. Likewise, by saving our vital force, we can get access to all of it.
But for that, it is important to understand how to have equilibrium in our life, how to respond to different situations with intelligence, how to use our human machine.
Some people may have to develop the intellect more. Perhaps when we find that we are in a sour mood, we feel emotional, we feel upset, it can be good to read scripture in order to balance ourselves, to give us orientation ethically. It can be any scripture from a tradition that resonates with our heart and give us inspiration. It gives us joy in order continue our spiritual discipline.
Perhaps we are too intellectual, and we use the mind too much. We dream with the intellect too much. We analyze. We act through our head. It is good to put thought to rest when you feel like it is being drained and you cannot think anymore. Listen to classical music. Listen to great works of spiritual art that have a high vibration and help the consciousness resonate with superior forces. As we explained in the previous course called The Secret Teachings of Opera, there are art forms that teach about the path of the spirit and are direct reflections of higher truths. It is music like Beethoven, or Mozart especially, that have a type of emotional dynamism that help heal the heart and balance the mind. If your intellect is too active, balance it with activities relating to the heart. Listening to good music, lighting incense, aroma therapy, these things help calm the mind, help you be centered in yourself.
Perhaps we are too emotional. Again, we are resonating with negative feelings. Sometimes it is good to get some exercise. Distract yourself from a problem. Put it aside for a moment and go jogging. Lift some weights, obviously, with some moderation. Extreme sports can drain the body, but everything in balance helps. Some people, in terms of the motor center as well, like to train in martial arts. Some people like to train in Tai Chi, Aikido, these help train the instinctual center—how to react to stressful situations and problems with equanimity.
These could be useful too in order to balance the other centers as well, especially when they are performed consciously. Again, these activities are useful when we are using them with the soul, when we give those activities our full attention.
Lastly, in order to balance all the centers—and probably the most profound activity—is working with the sexual energy. It is a very deep topic. We do exercises like pranayama, whether from yoga or Buddhism. We practice transmutation, which through deep breathing and visualization, prayer, we take the creative force and raise it up the spine, to the mind and then to the heart.
This is very different from abusing the intellect and the intellect stealing energy from that center because it is unmodified. It must be modified. It must be worked with consciously and with intelligence. When you take that energy and you transmute it, you take it from one form of base matter into a spiritual force. It learns to elevate your heart, your mind. This is why you have all the saints with a halo above their heads. That is because they are illuminated by that force. It is a deep discipline.
Sleeping, Subjective, and Objective Consciousness
It is also important to understand—in relation to how we dream and how to cease dreaming—how to understand different states of consciousness.
Most of the time we are not aware of our human machine, and unfortunately, we have the misconception in our modern society that just because we are active with the mind, heart, and body, this means that we are conscious. That is not true, not necessarily. We can be receiving the impressions of life, but, like I said, we are not transforming them. We are not even aware of our surroundings perhaps, observing actively where we are at, what we are doing, where we are going.
Maybe we are speaking with someone, or they are talking to us, and because we are thinking of something or feeling in remembrance of a problem we have, or filled with fear, with a trauma, we have to ask, “What did you say?” The impressions were coming in, but we were not aware of what is going on. It is because we are very asleep.
Now, what is important to also understand is that awakening has different qualities. Awakening consciousness physically, but also in dreams, has very distinct qualities. We all know about lucid dreaming, becoming aware in a dream, or seeing with greater lucidity. But just because we are aware of a dream does not mean that we are not identified with it. This is the subtle key that many people fail to grasp.
You can be involved in a dream, have some type of intense experience. You may know it is a dream at first, but then you get sucked into it. You do not have control. It takes you. This is what dreams are like. It is mechanical. It is a machine. The human machine which has the potential to be fully lucid, clear, awake, spontaneous, perceptive, and in tune with the divine, in most cases, is stuck within its own mechanical reactions. That is what a dream is.
Perhaps you go to sleep at night and you have dreamed of something really crazy. Maybe it has its own narrative: “Why is it that I thought I was some superhero in some other country fighting extraterrestrials?” But in the dream, it makes sense. Why is it that it makes sense? It is because we are not questioning how we are dreaming during the daytime. We do not have the same type of inquiry into what is going on in our daily states.
Now, in our daily life, as I said, perhaps, you could of probably be invested in a very intense emotion. You have a selfish desire in reaction to a problem or conflict. You may be very aware that it is happening, but that is not good. It is not positive, not constructive. Awareness is not everything. A lot of schools push this idea that awareness is somehow this brilliant key to everything. But being aware of yourself does not mean you are in control. Someone can be very aware of murdering a person. In fact, that is worse than being asleep, because there is more energy invested into that act.
What is necessary is that instead of being subjective or perceiving through our own selfish desires, we in turn have that type of lucidity and awakening with objective perception: no self there; no ego; no fear; no preference; no assumptions; no presuppositions; no attachments; no filter. We see reality, whether physically in our daily states or even in our dreams. We see clearly what is there and we do not dream. We do not interpret with a false sense of self, because any ego, vice, defect, error, is a false sense of self which misinterprets everything. We are dreaming like that all the time. The way to stop dreaming is to know how that error functions in you, to observe it in yourself.
Self-Observation and Filial Love: The Superior Centers of the Being
This is why we study two superior centers in relation to what we call self-observation and filial love.
The human machine has its limitations, but also has tremendous potential. Fortunately for us, there are superior qualities of being which can exist within us when we train. We call them the superior intellectual and the superior emotional centers.
These have a very different functionalism than what we are accustomed to. They allow us to receive divine data, the messages of God, the teachings of our inner buddha, our Being, our reality. These centers are like an antenna. They receive data from the heavens, the signals and messages from our Innermost, our spiritual potential.
Dreams are projected. The intellect projects. It is hyperactive. But with the superior intellectual center, you receive knowledge.
So, this happen often in a form of a vision in which you see a symbol acting out in front of you and you are engaging with it. Usually, you are the witness and the participant. The superior intellectual center is understanding. It is comprehension. Going back earlier to the beginning of this lecture, we were talking about the superior faculties of the mind, which is precisely this: the ability to perceive, but more importantly, to understand. It is possible in a dream to know what it means, if you are awake enough, and your intuition, your heart, is active.
The superior emotional center is filial love. It is love for our inner divinity. It is love for our real identity, who it is like this image. It is infinite. It can not be conceptualized or limited by a culture, by a theory. It is only something you can understand by living it. However, that infinite abstraction expresses within dreams through a type of symbolism or narrative, in order to teach us what we must do in our daily life, our spiritual life. When we have those experiences, when we are directly communicating with the divine, we experience tremendous love and awe for the power of divinity, for knowing what to do and how to change.
This also relates to self-observation, being aware, not just being aware with anger, or with pride. This means to be aware without a self. This can confuse people, because our contemporary ideas of identity, religion, and self are exclusive. We think of ourselves as “who I am”—these negative emotions typically associated with “me.” It is possible to be awake and aware without any “I,” to perceive without thought, without any reaction, without any perturbation.
In that sense, you can receive impressions. They enter the lake of the mind and there is no ripple. If you want to know what that is like, again, look at a lake. It receives impressions and there is no reaction. It does not mean that there is no consciousness there. It means that the consciousness is super active. The way that the consciousness is active is like a reflection on that surface. You can see beautiful images of the heavens upon that screen. It receives, reflects, refracts within you, and therefore you have direct knowledge. You have direct understanding.
So, the Being, our real identity, wants to teach us and often will give us hunches in our daily life. Perhaps we are doing something we know is wrong and we justify with our intellect. We dream that “I want to do this because I am going to get this result.” “I want this benefit in my life” even though we feel a sting of conscience that knows “Do not do this. It is wrong.” That comes from divinity.
Most of the time we snuff it out. We try to justify ourselves, and we wash our hands clean like Pontius Pilate in the Gospels. We betray our divinity all the time. But intuition is precisely this filial love. You know what is right without having to think, and likewise when you receive superior symbolism from the higher worlds, you do so with understanding of their meaning.
Visions and Astral Experiences
This is an image we come back to again and again. It is the Tree of Life. It is a map of our multidimensional reality, which we explained in one of our previous lectures of this course: Where Do We Dream? It is a map of our current perception, but also our potential, from the higher levels of energy, consciousness and perception to the densest materiality.
These ten spheres show us aspects of ourselves, and many times when we receive visions, superior dream, real prophetic, direct knowledge, it comes with this. This will teach us how to interpret what we are seeing, what we are perceiving within ourselves.
Real visions and astral experiences come to us when our human machine is clean. It is good to take care of the body. Some of us were discussing earlier that our physiology relates to our internal psychology. For example, there are cleanses you can do to clean out your liver, such as drinking half a glass of olive oil with half a glass of lemon juice. It purifies the toxins of the liver, and when that aspect of the machine relating to that motor-instinctual-sexual brain, connected to the liver, when that is clean, sometimes you will have very vivid experiences in the astral world. That is one example of how to clean our human machine.
But to be more specific to what I am talking about, in a deeper psychological sense, is cleaning out the ego, because the ego, our sense of self, the “I,” pollutes these five centers. These engines rust out and they work with less efficiency and less ability with time. If we abuse the intellect with too much thought, it rusts. It decays. It degenerates, likewise with the other centers.
When you are a pure vehicle, when you are conscious, when you understand the mechanisms of dreams, you start to irradiate and vibrate with a superior emotional quality and a superior mind.
We always end these classes with practices. Every day, develop your self-observation from moment to moment. Observe the energy it takes to pay attention. Also, extend your mindfulness, the length of time that you are aware of yourself. At the end of each day reflect on how conscious you were that day. Everyday do this preliminary meditation exercise:
One reason we do mantras or sacred sounds, is because they vibrate the human machine. The vowel “O” is a very sacred syllable within Hinduism and all religions, Buddhism especially. It teaches the emotional center how to vibrate with superior sentiment and feeling. In that way, that sound, when you sing it, when you vocalize it, it charges the heart with tremendous force. That mantra can help you go out of your body. It can help you be aware in your dreams, to be awake.
Likewise, we imagine, because imagination, as explained previously, is the capacity to perceive. You want to deepen the ability to be conscious while you dream? Develop your imagination: the ability to perceive images of a non-physical type. How well you are able to visualize in your mind, within your third eye, so to speak, can help you go a long way to acquire greater depth of perceptions within dreams.
The point is to concentrate on the mantra so that you do not forget what you are doing. Do not let the mind wander. Do not think of something else while singing the mantra. Sing the mantra and immerse yourself into it like you are a bee making honey. Let it be your labor. Let it be your sole focus.
Lastly, write the facts of your day in a spiritual diary. You can document your dreams by writing about what you perceive, but also what your spiritual work is about. You can study how to perform a spiritual diary within this link.
At this point in time, I would like to open the floor to questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: You mentioned that we should not be abusing the energy of the different brains or centers. Especially, you mentioned, sports. What is a good way to know that I am using the right amount of energy for each brain? How do I know when I have gone too far?
Instructor: That is a good question. It is good to gauge yourself. You have to learn and listen to your body. Your body will tell you, “This is too much.” But the problem becomes often because of too much desire or ambition, “I need to get thinner. I need to work out more. I need to train myself more.” That desire can indicate that this is too much. If you feel like you are pushing yourself too much—it is good to get exercise—but if you find that you are over fatigued, or that you are drained, give it a break.
Question: What about the other brains?
Instructor: Same thing with the intellect. For example, anyone that has gone to a university, you perhaps read, read, and read to the point that you cannot even understand what you have read. You have lost the thread. You read a page, and then you have to say to yourself, “I do not even know what I just read!” Take a break.
Emotionally, when you find that there is simply too much emotion going on there, you are too invested in a problem, it is literally driving the other centers to act within imbalance, take a break. Try to do something else. Do another activity.
One thing I did not mention was that even though the centers operate at different speeds, the ego always manifests in each of these centers. So, the ego of pride, for example, which is very emotional, may emerge in the heart immediately, overpowering perhaps, because its emotions are very quick. Then there is logic, thoughts that justify what is going on here and the will to act. So, in terms of finding balance, because the centers operate at different speeds, it is because the human machine, in a sense, balances itself out. If all the centers operate at the same speed, then there is no way to equilibrate the others, because everything is on the same wavelength, so to speak, in terms of the centers compensating for each other in different ways, so that if you overuse one center, take a break. Relax. Move to another.
Question: So what is the sign then that the mind is stealing from the sexual center?
Instructor: When the mind is stealing from the sexual center, you get a second wind. You ever hear that statement… a second wind? It is like you initially feel exhausted, whether intellectually or physically, and then suddenly you get a boost of energy here, operating like the white rabbit of Alice in Wonderland. It is a sudden reemergence of energy in which, if you are observing it carefully, you will see that it comes suddenly. You have the energy to do it again even though before you were too tired.
Another thing to think about, if the intellect is stealing energy from the sexual center, that produces many problems intellectually. That mind cannot concentrate. It gets more distracted. The mind corrodes. This can lead to illnesses, in some people, like schizophrenia, mental imbalances, delusions. The mind just does not work anymore because it is operating on unmodified fuel. That person can start seeing things in a way that is not real. It can be different in terms of intensities depending on the person.
Question: I have one more question. You have this lecture that also relates to today’s topic. It is the transformations of emotions [impressions]. Gurdjieff also talks about this. So every day we have to sit and observe. But it doesn’t always work. Which is the real work? I mean, which is the real way to do it?
Instructor: Both are necessary, in a sense that it is not enough to perceive something, but you must comprehend it. Gurdjieff was excellent about teaching beginners to first observe what is going on, because most of us do not even pay attention to where we are at. We are not looking actively. We have the intellectual knowledge that “We know we are here,” but it is a passive state.
Gurdjieff was teaching to activate the consciousness, meaning, first, observe what is going on. But the next step is to comprehend, transform, perhaps the impression that we received, and receive it in the right centers. Sometimes we take in information with the wrong centers, and that is one the way that we dream.
As I said, maybe you are having an argument with someone, and they are trying to solve it with the intellect. But maybe what they need is just validation within the heart. It is like using the right tool for the right situation. That only comes about after comprehension: knowing intuitively what to do.
It is one thing to, again, be aware, but it is a totally different thing to discriminate what you see.
Comment: But sometimes intuition can get confusing because of egotistical desires.
Instructor: That’s the big problem.
Comment: People say I have an intuition, but in reality, it is not. It is my ego wanting this.
Instructor: That is the big problem with many spiritual people. They attribute what they call intuitive impulse, when really it is a demon. It is why people have committed many crimes in many spiritual groups. They do things that are not ethical. The thing to understand about that is, if you really want to understand, if you really want to receive intuition from divinity, examine your precepts. Does it fit or coincide with compassion, with the laws given by the different spiritual teachers of humanity, like the prophets?
We can study different scriptures and texts which teach about ethics, about how to be a true human being. Usually, this is from sources that are very pure, like Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, masters that have proven their caliber. Study what they taught, and perhaps see if this impulse that we may have. Is it contradicting that? People do not question what they are doing. They think, “Oh, this feeling is coming from God,” wreally it is not.
Another Instructor: Another thing to consider is sometimes we say it does not work when we look at our emotions. At the beginning, when we are just observing our emotions or any of these three brains, what often happens is that the intellect starts to interfere and interpret, “What am I looking at?” There is this pressure of attention we have to exert. In the same way that we are sitting in a chair right now, if we think about it intellectually, we might imagine the chair or know that “I am sitting in this chair,” but if we actually feel it, we expand our attention. We feel our body. We feel the chair. The pressure of attention is the consciousness.
So, what happens is that people are not familiar with distinguishing from, “I think this is an intuition!” but really it is just the emotional center or the intellect coming up with what it feels right to that egotistical self that we believe in, versus the attention, expanding, opening, and receiving something new, which is the comprehension that we are talking about.
Instructor: In order to understand your intuitions, the mind needs to be passive, and the consciousness needs to be active. The only way to discriminate and really know is to taste it.
Comment: I read The Yellow Book. I am fascinated with Jinn science and how to get to the lodges. It fascinates me!
Instructor: Jinn science has a parallel with astral projection. In astral projection, you are leaving your physical body behind to enter with your soul in the fifth dimension. Jinn science, for one thing, you can take your physical body into the internal worlds. This is exemplified in stories like the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad in Islam.
According to Muslim theology, he was meditating with his head against the stone of Mecca, the Kaaba. In a Jinn state, divinity took him, symbolically riding on this mystical creature, al-Buraq, “the lighting” in Arabic, from Mecca to Jerusalem and to the seven heavens. It is a symbol of Jinn science.
That science is practiced similarly to astral projection but with a different objective. There are different exercises that you can use to train your body to vibrate with those forces, the superior energy of the hyperspace, the fourth dimension, which is related to spatiality and time. So, in a sense you are entering with your body into that state. Because of prayer and drowsiness you start to assimilate and accumulate forces that can help transport you. Similarly, that happens with astral projection.
With astral projection, there is something magical that happens when we fall asleep, particularly if we are awake as a consciousness when it is happening. You might have experiences where you are falling asleep and you start to hear voices. You see start to see scenes of landscape and places just flash within your awareness. Often, we return to our body suddenly, awake, because we realize that we were seeing something internally with our imagination. That happens when we get drowsy, because when we are falling asleep, you start to open that doorway to the inner worlds.
In training, especially for astral projection, you learn to take advantage of that state so that when you fall asleep with that awareness and attention, you enter that doorway with cognizance. Now, with Jinn science, you are asking divinity, “Take me into the internal worlds” — in order to experience something like Prophet Muhammad. The thing to remember is that it is not something that we can necessarily will for ourselves entirely. There must be divine help. Divinity does that magic.
I believe it was one of the uncles of Prophet Muhammad who was against him. He said, “I do not believe you what you did,” about this ascension called الإسراء والمعراج al-'Isrā' wal-Miʿrāj. “Lift up your right foot,” and he did. “Lift up your left foot.” He said, “I cannot.” The man said, “How is it that you can travel from Mecca to Jerusalem and into the seven heavens, but not lift both feet?” The Prophet said, “I did not say that I went. I said that I was taken.”
God does that work, and there are many exercises in The Yellow Book that can teach you how to do that. They are very powerful, and they work.
It will happen if the conditions are right.
Question: How do the 49 levels of the mind correspond to the centers?
Instructor: So, we talk about 49 levels of the mind because there are depths to our being that we are not aware of. In Kabbalah, we talk about the seven bodies, the seven lower spheres of the Tree of Life relating to different vehicles we operate with, the lowest being the physical body.
There are seven levels of the mind within those seven bodies, making a total of 49. The most superficial level of the human machine is the intellect. It is the first level of the 49 levels of the subconsciousness. The intellect, as we said, is the slowest aspect of the human machine, but if we want to understand the deeper levels of the mind, you need to be aware of your human machine: how are you dreaming in those centers all the time?
Again, you go into more complexity and depth of your psyche relating to the centers themselves. Some of the centers are easier to control, like the intellect, because it is the slowest. Motion is difficult, but sexuality is the most difficult. If you become conscious of those levels in yourself physically and you start to train in astral projection, you can go into those other bodies on the Tree of Life, those other dimensions, and learn to explore those regions within yourself.
Question: Going back to Jinn science. I like to have actual hardcore evidence to research. Besides the prophets, is there anything to research about Jinn science and teachers you recommend?
Instructor: Samael Aun Weor is a big one. He does not please the scholars too much. He has a very different style. First off, his writings are very comprehensive. He studied all religions really deeply. He did have a scholasticism about him, but he was not intellectual. He was not based in theory. His writing, especially, is really the most explicit of what Jinn science is. If you look at what he wrote compared to the Bible or any world mythologies, where you see heroes flying through space, like Perseus saving Andromeda with the boots of Hermes, that is a symbol of that.
When you work with the energies of Hermes, which is the science of creative energy, the sexual energy, you can fly not only in the physical world, but enter with your physical body in those regions. Samael Aun Weor’s writings specifically are the most direct.
Question: In The Yellow Book, it is not clear when he says, “as soon as you feel like you are falling asleep, you have to jump.” Are you doing an imaginary jump or are we doing a physical jump?
Instructor: It is a real jump. One of the things he said about that: when you are in Jinn state, he said, you should test yourself. If you have some space, you can do this. By taking a marker of some kind to mark how far you have jumped, jump a certain distance as far as you can. Mark where you landed. If you keep repeating the experiment, you may find that your jumps are getting much further than before.
Another clue that Jinn states are happening is, the main description that Samael Aun Weor gave—because the physical body is penetrated by the vital vehicle—you will feel this kind of expansion, like your feet to your ankles are bloated. It is similar to an astral experience. Your body is vibrating with that level of nature. You will find that you will be levitating. That is one of the main clues that he gives.
This is obviously very difficult for skeptics. We have trained ourselves, the mind, to be very materialistic. A lot of the times, that is an obstacle to experiencing that for oneself.
But if you simply practice with it and give it as much energy and time as you need to do it, the moment may come when suddenly, you will find that your feet are bloated and you are floating in the air. It is a very powerful practice.
In Samael Aun Weor’s writings, you will find it allegorized in many different writings and scriptures. I am not too familiar if there are other more contemporary esoteric authors who talked about that. Primarily because, my assumption is that the level of being of certain modern esoteric writers are not high in comparison to prophets. Obviously, prophets, in terms of hierarchy, are something different, very distinct.
Question: How does pranayama relate to the mind stealing energy from the sexual center?
Instructor: If the mind is stealing from the sexual center, you are going to have less battery power to charge yourself in the appropriate way. Pranayama, which is the transmutation of the sexual energy, is the conscious control and direction of that energy to awaken spirituality, consciousness, awaken to Jinn states, awaken to astral projections. We say that, in a sense, pranayama is the opposite of stealing energy from the centers. When you steal energy from the other centers, there is an imbalance. You are putting fuel that does not belong in the intellect and you are going to have problems in the future.
Pranayama is learning to transform and modify the sexual energy. This is the key: unmodified sexual energy can harm a person if it is not transformed or processed. What matters is that the consciousness must be present so that by processing that energy, it learns to circulate in a constructive way.
Another Instructor: When we are performing pranayama and we are performing sexual transmutation, that energy is feeding the consciousness and the superior centers and not necessarily feeding the intellectual brain. Whereas, when we are just depleting the intellectual brain, then the sexual energy is unconsciously being rerouted to a lower center.
Instructor: Thank you all for coming.
This is the third lecture in our course on Dream Yoga and Astral Travel. We discussed that there are degrees of consciousness, states of being. We are going to elaborate on the fact that consciousness is a spectrum. You have a polarity between awakened, divine, spiritual, conscious faculties, enlightenment, illumination. On the other hand, you have states of unconsciousness, sleep, dreaming.
For most of humanity, what we understand about ourselves can really be defined as a state of profound sleep, a state of dreaming. We explained that dreams are not only when we physically go to bed a night, and eight hours pass, or what we experience when the body is at rest. But we experience dreams all the time in our daily life, in many ways.
What concerns us in this particular course is understanding our state, our quality of life, the way we perceive, to understand what in us perhaps is a source of suffering, of many problems, of many conflicts. We can say with clarity, and assurance, that the cause of many sufferings is the lack of awareness, or that we are hypnotized by our own ways of thinking, our ways of reacting to the world, our habits. In this course, we are exploring a particular type of work in which we transform our consciousness from a state that is dreaming, unaware, or afflicted with suffering, into something that is brilliant, spiritual, ethical, virtuous, divine.
Types of Spiritual Beings
There are many different types of beings, especially in our world, but also in the universe, and they fall along this spectrum of consciousness. Among the heights, the most elevated nature of spiritual being, we have entities we call angels, prophets, masters, buddhas, gods. The term buddha means “awakened one,” to be cognizant, to know oneself. All the prophets that we, as a collective consciousness value and respect, were precisely beings who learned to awaken their full potential, to master themselves, and thereby exhibit and express qualities that are truly revolutionary.
We find such beings are like Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, the founders of religion that taught that by changing who we are, we can elevate ourselves and learn to communicate directly with the divine through experience, not a matter of belief. But the problem becomes individually, specifically, applying what they taught, and understanding what in us prevents our potential from being realized.
We call them conditions of mind. We talk about states like anger, pride, fear, anxiety, vengeance, many types of defects which characterize many of our daily states. It is precisely these types of emotions, thoughts, worries, and fears, which keep us in a state of hypnosis, not fully aware of why we suffer or how we affect others. By examining that quality, that dynamic, we are learning to become like these masters whose spiritual caliber has been tested by extreme circumstances, who demonstrated with their very soul and spirit the most beautiful attributes. We like to study their lives, their teachings, because they show a potential in us for truly finding and establishing real joy, real happiness.
So, all of that, egotism, selfishness, resentment, we call those conditions, because in a moment in which we have a conflict, someone criticizes us, we feel that reaction of anger emerging. We do not will it. It just happens, or with fear, many emotions, these qualities emerge in the moment in response to some type of stimulus, often without our control. That shows that we are conditioned. But by learning to work with what we call the consciousness, some religions call it soul, we can learn to transform the situation.
We have a statistic in our studies which can be daunting. We state that we have 97% of our potential, our consciousness, trapped, conditioned by all of those defects I mentioned. But we also have 3% consciousness that is not trapped yet by those faults, and that by working with that, that perception, by learning to understand what the consciousness, what the soul really is, that 3% can become gradually 4%, 5%, 10%, until radically all of the imperfections that we have within are removed, and the soul that was once trapped and encaged becomes free.
It is that soul that knows how to astral project at will, how to receive divine teachings from the masters internally, knows how to interpret dreams, knows how to investigate the realities of life and death with competency, with skill.
So, the question we can ask ourselves, what part of the spectrum of consciousness do we inhabit, if we are honest? Do we lean more towards selfishness? Or the other end: awakening, selflessness, compassion, real virtue?
So, we are going to examine today what qualities of awakening are. What is awakening? What does it mean to awaken? But also, what can one do when awakened? Also, more importantly, how do we awaken?
It is good to reflect on the reality of those beings that I mentioned, because they were once like us, and yet through this science we are able to become something truly brilliant, remarkable, and rare. We will talk about certain methods in this lecture, precisely about how to understand ourselves, and how to transform the conditions of mind into liberated perception. We are also going to examine―who are those who no longer dream? Who are awakened? What are these beings like? ― and also, why should we emulate the awakened ones?
The Lines of Life and Being
We come back to this image because it is very deep. It is called the Line of Life and the Line of Being.
We mentioned how all of humanity, all of us enter the line of life at our birth. It is horizontal because everybody belongs to it. It encompasses everyone. We progress in a temporal fashion from our birth, to childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, to maturity, old age, decrepitude, and then death. Everybody must face the inevitability of this path, of this process. A lot of people only focus on this, their life, and how they progress through the scenarios of life, often ignoring and fearing the unknown, and that one day we must die.
People preoccupy themselves at a young age with playing, friendship, communities, education, adulthood, finding a job, starting a family, retiring, and eventually being surrounded by loved ones, until finally we enter that door of death. But unfortunately, people tend to go through life very superficially, thinking that by only accumulating wealth, or money, prestige, a retirement fund, that somehow someone has lived truly well. These things in themselves are beautiful and necessary, but they are not everything.
This line is the line of time. The moment we are born, the moment that we die, is processed within time, and often as we go through life, we tend to be very absorbed and not in the present moment, but in our memories, our past, our future, not really looking at what is going on here and now. Perhaps we had a trauma as we were growing up, that we live with everyday thinking about, reminiscing, stewing. For other people it could be fear of security, not knowing what the future will hold, and always looking ahead. These are dreams. It is dreaming.
We dream in the body. Whenever we try to interpret the moment through the lens of the past, constantly analyzing, scrutinizing, assessing, perhaps through a psychological lens of anger or fear, or whatever it may be. Or we look to the future. We think ahead. We fear things that are not there. We are not present. We are not aware of ourselves. We are not here. We are not now.
That realization can only occur when we take a sincere look at ourselves. What is the quality of our life? What is our state of consciousness? What is our level of being, our ways of thinking, feeling, and acting? That is a realization that is only defined and realized in the―no longer dreaming of the past, no longer dreaming of the future, but paying attention, being aware, actively looking at the world and ourselves.
As we do that type of work, we begin to realize this Line of Being very well. We realize that there are different states of consciousness that are superior, and there are states of consciousness that are inferior. I have already named some. We have states of suffering, negativity, egotism, etc., feelings of density, of apprehension and fear. Or we could be weighed down perhaps by our own weaknesses and ambitions, prejudices, whatever it may be.
But there are also superior states, which religions call ethics, virtues, real compassion, selflessness, sacrifice for others, patience, perseverance, understanding. There are degrees of this, many shades, qualities, and nuances to those qualities of consciousness. In the present moment we have the potential and the decision to make, whether we are going to enact a higher level of being, or an inferior one. But the only way to recognize in the moment is if we are paying attention, observing ourselves―not from an intellectual standpoint, like a detective would labelling data, information, and phenomena. Instead, it is a different type of perception. This type of looking does not involve thought. But we can be thinking. It is just an act of consciously looking at ourselves, observing. It is in this way, by learning to perceive our circumstances and our relationship to it, that we can learn to stop dreaming, learn to enter superior states.
States of Consciousness
I will reiterate these states of consciousness that we talked about before, because it is really deep. Before I gave the Sanskrit terms from Hinduism: Sushupti, Swapna, Jagrat, and Turiya. Here in Greek, we have Eikasia, Pistis, Dianoia, and Nous. Different terms, but the same principles, because they are eternal. They do not belong to a particular culture, although different languages have been used to talk about the same thing.
Eikasia: Profound Sleep
In Eikasia we find profound sleep. It is important to remember that these are states of consciousness, not states of the body. The body could be active or inactive, but what concerns us is how we as a consciousness are behaving.
Profound sleep really has to do with a type of mentality, and mindset that is barbaric. I mentioned before that when you see a crowd or a mob, lynching, war, it is because the people involved are in a profound sleep. They are not aware of themselves or what they are doing. There have been soldiers who have been interviewed about their experiences in war, and how they said it does not take any thought to kill someone, and later dealing with the trauma of that act. The reality is that if humanity was awake, we would understand and love our neighbor, because we would feel ourselves one with humanity. But profound sleep involves no mindfulness, no presence, no understanding of our neighbor, and that is why the worst acts of genocide, murder, violence, have been performed by people profoundly asleep. Their consciousness not there.
In a more accessible example, we experience profound sleep all the time. We can reflect on moments of our day in which we lack remembrance, recollection of what we did, whom we met, whom we talked with, what we thought, what we felt, and what we did. If you sit to meditate, to kind of re-examine the moments of your day, there will be moments that will emerge within our attention that we cannot recall. There is no memory there. It is because we are not really awake.
Or perhaps watching television is a good example. In front of television, we could be receiving all of this data and information through dramas, through films or movies shows, tv shows, and be so immersed in what is going on we are not even aware of our own body. We feel and think and experience life through the characters, through their emotions, not realizing or discriminating that this is all an illusion. They are actors. They are presenting a mirage.
But also, we lose awareness of ourselves. Somebody could be talking to us from the other side of the room while we are watching whatever it may be, and not realize what is going on. That means we are really asleep. What is interesting too is that this term Eikasia (εἰκασία) in Greek comes from εικόνων eikonon. It means “images.” It is interesting. Why is it that profound sleep involves images? It is having to do with something psychological. We could be receiving information form the world, the images of life, impressions, scenery, wherever we are, walking, taking in the environment, but we are not mindful of what is going on. We are not aware of what place we are at, perhaps lost in reverie, and then we may be sparked or shocked into remembrance because we forgot our turn on our walk. Or maybe we were taking public transit; we are thinking so much, or just not aware of where we are at, that we just miss our stop. That is Eikasia. But also too, taking in information, but not really perceiving it or understanding it, not being aware of it.
Pistis: Dreaming Sleep
There is another type of sleep we call Pistis: dreaming sleep. πίστης Pistis comes from the Greek Πιστεύω Pisteuo, meaning “to have assurance,” “to have faith in,” “to believe,” “to have confidence in.” What is it that humanity has most confidence in? There are many different beliefs and philosophies, schools of thought, ideologies, theologies, religions, institutions, doctrines. There also exist many senses of identity, maybe based on our race, our language, our culture, our belief systems, our religion, our appearance, our job, our class, our gender. We have many ideas, and many concepts revolving about who we are, and we have a lot of faith in these things, like somehow, they are lasting, that they are eternal. But the reality is that they are not. They will not last when we die. What will return, or perhaps progress and develop, is the soul. We are not the body, the body with its appetites, cravings, and tastes one day will go. But what is it that will remain? It is a big question.
When we have faith or assurance in temporal things, we call this dreaming. All the ideas that we have, perhaps that may give us some type of temporal security, in truth these are not sustainable. They are not permanent. They are not lasting.
So we talked a lot about dreams. We dream all of the time. Perhaps driving our car, we are thinking of our friend, our fiancé, our partner, and we do not see someone walking across the street and we get in to an accident. It is because we are dreaming. We are not paying attention. Or perhaps someone is talking to us, and instead of hearing what they have to say, hearing the new, the novel, the immediate, we are interpreting through the lens of the past, waiting to say our next word, not really listening to what is going on.
Dianoia: Awakened Consciousness
There are many forms of dreams, Pistis, but what concerns us in this school is to learn how to access waking consciousness.
In Greek we call it Dianoia (διάνοια). Dianoia comes from the prefix, “Dia-” meaning “thoroughly, from side to side,” which intensifies “noia,” which is mind. This is very interesting that Dianoia means “to go side to side with the mind,” to be flexible, to be adaptive, to be intuitive, not really having to think about something, but knowing how to act correctly in every circumstance.
Waking consciousness is Dianoia. It is a state in which we really perceive life with greater lucidity, with intensity, with comprehension. Qualities like patience and happiness, compassion, like I mentioned, these are all qualities that relate to the awakened soul, the awakened consciousness, which knows how to act with intelligence. It can solve problems, knows how to be flexible.
I’m sure we can think of many people in life, perhaps we have known, who are inflexible. They cannot adapt to any situation. Maybe we have that difficulty in certain aspects of our life. We do not know how to intelligently respond to a problem, whatever it may be. We have a particular weakness perhaps. But Dianoia knows how to look with penetrative wisdom at any conflict, and knows how to dissolve it. It is profound.
Dianoia, this awakened state, really makes revise our mistaken beliefs. So looking back at Pistis: dreaming sleep, we talked about, perhaps, beliefs about ourselves, our identity especially. But in a moment of awakening consciousness, not only in the physical world, but also in the dream world, where we perceive life in that dimension, that reality, we realize that we are more than our body. In fact, the soul is much more ancient, predates our body. So all of these things that we have accumulated in life, like language, name, race, gender, culture, these things are temporary. The soul is much more profound than that.
While it is important to develop a healthy personality in this world, it is not the defining factor of a human being. But unfortunately, people have created division based of appearances instead of recognizing the soul of people, the humanity of others. So, we change our beliefs about ourselves. It is a form of revolution, because we realize that we have a divine origin and we can return to that if we are willing.
Nous: Spiritual Illumination
In that way, we enter νοῦς Nous. In Greek this means “mind,” but I think that is an inaccurate translation by scholars, primarily because the type of consciousness we are referring to is not intellectual. Spiritual illumination, cognizance, omniscience, this is the level and quality of a god, beings who can have perception of things which are inaccessible to ordinary people. But the reality is that like us, they had to develop. They had to recognize that they were asleep, and that they were dreaming. By working to awaken consciousness, they achieved illumination, brilliant qualities of being.
An Example of Nous
I will give you an example of what Nous is like. My wife and I recently came back from a trip visiting one of the other Gnostic institutions that we study with. A group of us were talking about different things, different matters, whether political, spiritual, etc., certain situations that were going on with us. The next day, the missionary who runs this center gave a talk, and even though he was not physically present when we met the day before, he was talking about things that we discussed in minute detail, from beginning to end, in sequence, giving us insight and helping us realize how foolish we were. We were debating and arguing about things. So this individual was possessing a quality known as Nous. He knew what we were talking about even though he was not physically there. That is one example.
There are many examples because these states of consciousness exist in a spectrum. There is not one layer above the other in a form of rigid, static hierarchy. Instead, it is graded. There are many depths of the consciousness in sleep. There are also many qualities in dreams, and likewise in the superior aspects of consciousness. When it is awake there are many degrees, from less perfect to more perfect, until finally amongst Nous, where there are even greater types of realizations.
The reason why we talk about dreams is because we want to awaken. We want to cease dreaming, first physically, and then when we go to bed at night, we astral project willingly into that state and earn knowledge we yearn for, guidance from divinity.
Samael Aun Weor, who is the founder of this school, and this tradition that we study, stated in a book called The Revolution of the Dialectic:
One needs to cease dreaming within the internal worlds. When we stop dreaming in the physical world, we awaken here and now, and that awakening appears in the internal worlds. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Awakening through Intuitive Action
So how do we awaken? What is the path? What are the methods? We are explaining different practices sequentially in this course so that we can learn to awaken within the dream state, and also, we can awaken physically while active in our body of flesh and bone. There is one statement I will relate soon that Samael Aun Weor gave, which is really compelling in relation to this topic.
We see a woman, Alice in Wonderland, ascending a stairway towards light, towards those prophetic heights: Dianoia, Nous. She does so because she recognizes how she dreams. It is a symbol of the soul.
The first step is recognizing that we are dreaming in daily life through the examples that I mentioned. The mind can be thinking about one thing, our emotions could be acting in another way, and our will is divided. In a sense, this shows that we lack a type of integrity, or cohesion. So perhaps we have our daily sufferings in life. It maybe in our job, maybe a marriage, maybe with our friends. Whatever our idiosyncrasy is, we can learn to overcome that confusion by learning to follow our heart.
The heart knows without having to think. In our Western culture, we believe that the intellect is everything, and this is wrong. The Eastern cultures have it much more accurately. The heart can tell us many things. It is the heart that judges, that understands, that knows.
The term intuition is a spiritual buzzword. It has a lot of meaning which a lot of people do not understand. Intuition in its real sense is knowing without having to think, without having to deliberate with the intellect. We have a problem, a situation. The mind debates, driven by fear, mechanicity, the past, fantasizing about a solution, feeling insufficient and inadequate, feeling empty and full of despair. Intuition is the solution.
The reality is, to solve our problem, do not think about it. It does not mean that we are not going to act on something. It means that the process of thought churning, confusion, trying to solve it with the intellect, is not the surest way. Intuition is when you examine your heart, when you examine your soul. It is not a thinking process. The heart knows how to act in a situation. If you put the mind aside, understanding can emerge. Sometimes this can come as a form of an idea, and with training―because right now we are very afflicted with a lot of problems―we do not know how to solve them. We dream about a solution, and we ignore that grasping at that type of solidity or solution is precisely how we stir up the mud, and we do not see within the depth of ourselves. This is why serenity, calmness of mind, and opening of the heart is the answer.
Intuitive action occurs when you know in the heart what to do, even when the mind screams, kicks, yells, does not want to do it. It takes a lot of willpower and a lot of skill, and this is why we train in meditation, different exercises in this course, which leads to this type of facility and faculty.
Samael Aun Weor stated that:
Intuitive action leads us by the hand towards the awakening of the consciousness. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
One example I can give of this: I think of my present job, just day to day interacting with people, my co-workers. I will have different emotions emerge as I am observing myself, being mindful throughout the day, being aware of my thoughts, my impulses, and just knowing in situations, without having to deliberate, how should I behave around this person, because this has been a new job for me along my career path. Obviously, there is always that hesitance and discomfort when meeting knew people, especially when you do not know who they are, how they are viewing you, how they evaluate you perhaps. So what I have learned in those moments is put my mind aside, open my heart, be attentive, and if you are really connecting in your heart, being present, being aware of your own inner divinity, your Being, you suddenly know what to do. It just comes out seemingly from nowhere, and the results speak for themselves. As you examine the quality of your relationships, your actions, this leads to success, builds communities, solves problems. The intellect does not solve problems. It is the heart.
There are many examples such as businessmen having long meetings, trying to solve or fix something, and then they say, “Let’s take a 15-minute break.” They will leave, do not think about the problem, and suddenly five members have an idea. It just comes. It is a simple example, but it is the same dynamic.
Thinking is usually an obstacle in us. We might have jobs that require the use of the intellect where we need to think about things, store information, relay information, compare, analyze, contrast. Personally, my job is very intellectual, but that is not the primary gear that runs my relationships with people at my job. Instead, it is learning to use the intellect with understanding, with the soul, with the consciousness.
The consciousness is not the intellect. The consciousness does not have to think. In the same way where you have to drive a car, the consciousness drives the mind. It is behind it. Thinking is secondary. I will give you an example. Put your hand on a hot stove. You burn it. You retract your hand in pain. You perceive it immediately. The instinct was to get out of danger. The emotion was anger, or stress, and then a thought emerges, “That hurt!” Thought is very slow. This is not the main ingredient of a person, as much as our Western academia would have us believe, and because we tend to put so much investment into our thinking, we have depleted ourselves of other faculties, which is the heart.
Serenity of Mind
People wonder why they cannot astral project at will. It is because usually, in the West, we are too intellectual. If you develop the intellect too much, the heart gets weak. This is not to say that people from other cultures that may be less illiterate than us have an advantage. There has to be a balance between the mind and the heart. But our mind tends to storm, like in this image of this man looking out of the window towards his internal psychological atmosphere. Our thoughts are like wind, clouds, and if we are full of rage―like storms.
We want to calm the mind in these studies. By calming the mind, by entering a state of serenity, by learning equanimity with unwavering focus, with relaxation, we open the door to the internal worlds. Right now, our consciousness is not trained yet. Typically, in the beginning, we are usually very distracted, thinking of other things, or very much caught up in the cycles of life, our daily schedule, getting up for work, taking care of our family, responsibilities, pets even. We tend to go through our cycles in life with our attention very much dispersed, even fragmented, multitasking, right? That is a very big thing in our American culture. But that type of distraction keeps us from perceiving what is going on here and now.
Impressions emerge in life. In different situations, it is necessary to know how to respond. What I am emphasizing is that we need to know how to act, and that is different. Reactivity is basically, as I said, we are criticized; we feel anger; we retaliate. Very mechanical, but if you are learning to observe yourself, and learning that reaction in you, you can understand the source of that pain, and understand perhaps the other person is afflicted too, is suffering, and is asleep. They are not aware of what they are doing or their effect on you. Therefore, you have compassion. You respond with love, with patience, with sweetness.
That type of understanding is based on mindfulness, being aware of each moment, like on that diagram of the Line of Life and Line of Being. Moment by moment, we learn to act in a superior way of ethics, of understanding, of patience. This requires that we have a mind that is receptive.
Right now, the intellect is active. Someone could be talking to us and yet our thoughts are churning or going place to place. The mind is not calm, and if the mind is active, then the consciousness is asleep. So having a receptive mind indicates a state in which we are aware of our surroundings at all times and we are also observing our psychology, examining the relationship of events with our inner states. That does not require that we have to use the intellect so much. Obviously with a job, we use our intellect when we need to, but it is important not to necessarily do things in life while thinking every process out. It is an exertion of the mind that creates tension, but also depletes us of energy that we need if what we want is to awaken the soul.
Samael Aun Weor mentioned in The Revolution of the Dialectic an interesting quote about the need to be mindful, in the sense of being aware of oneself without having to deliberate step by step, thinking: “This is what I am going to do. I am going to do this,” etc. But instead, it is to have an alert novelty in the same way as if you are walking down the street, in perhaps some European city, a cobbled-stoned path after a rainfall and a sunset, appreciating the beauty and novelty of the color and vibrancy of one's scenery with a feeling of awe. The mind is not there. The intellect is not there labelling, “This is beautiful.” Obviously if we think that, then we lose the power of that moment. We are not seeing it for what it is.
If you are eating, eat; if you are getting dressed, get dressed, and if you are walking on the street, walk, walk, walk, but do not think about anything else. Do only what you are doing. Do not run away from the facts. Do not fill them with so many meanings, symbols, sermons and warnings. Live them without allegories. Live them with a receptive mind from moment to moment. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
As we are observing ourselves and becoming aware moment by moment, developing a continuity of perception, we start to gather new information about ourselves and about the world that we never knew. This type of information is psychological. It has to do with the Line of Being. It has to do with our internal qualities. We may know we are a certain type of person with certain likes, dislikes, habits, preferences, tastes, prejudices. But are we actively observing that? We may know that we are seated in these chairs, but are we observing them? It is one thing to know. It is another thing to observe. It is a different quality.
Another example is we take a certain route to work, but we are not really observing what is going on outside of us. We know the path, so we go on autopilot. We put on our playlist from YouTube, listen to music, prepare for the day, but we do not really pay attention to what is going on outside of us. That is a profound state of sleep.
This awakening has to do with looking at the repeatable, verifiable facts of oneself. By facts I am not referring to what we can read in a book, or from the news. It has to do with what do we see in ourselves. Those are the type of facts we are examining in these studies. Putting aside politics, religion, beliefs, ideology, differences, what are the observable facts of who we are? How do we relate to the world, how we dream, how we live?
We may think we are one way, have certain beliefs, concepts about who we are, but perhaps someone at work has a conflict with us and says, “You have wronged me.” The instinct might be to react and say, “I did nothing wrong” even after hearing the facts. But the truth is that people see us more clearly than we see ourselves. But everybody is dreaming as I said. We are dreaming about ourselves, who we are. But what are the observable, concrete details of our daily life?
So, in that circumstance, where we have a conflict at work, are we observing that? We may know a situation is one thing, but are we looking at it? Are we examining it? Are we looking at our own mental states, emotional states, physical states? ― to look and examine as child would smelling a flower. Jesus said we must become as little as children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. It does not mean that physically we have to become small, naïve, stupid, or gullible. It means to appreciate what is happening around us and within us. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated:
Gnosis is lived upon facts, withers away in abstractions, and is difficult to find even in the noblest of thoughts. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
That observable understanding is γνῶσις gnosis. It is a Greek term. People commonly translate it as knowledge. But in reality, it is not of the intellect. It is of the heart, what we see in ourselves, what we understand. It withers away in abstractions, in that this type of spiritual life is not based on beliefs, or what we prefer, or what we like, or what we dislike. It is based on what are the consequences of our own actions, of within ourselves, and within our communities. What are the cause-and-effect relationships? Even if we are noble in our aspirations―and anyone who approaches spirituality is―that is not enough. What is important are the facts. What are the consequences of our actions? When we examine that, we awaken, when we live it, when we do it.
The Three Degrees of Cognizance
In this process we examine three degrees of cognizance. This is from Fundamentals of Gnostic Education. It is a tool that can help us examine the quality of our internal states, so that by looking at our life physically, our dream life changes. We start to awaken more and more within that dimension. It starts physically.
Some questions we can start to ask ourselves, maybe at the beginning of the day before we engage in life, or perhaps at the end before we go asleep:
1st – Time. How long did we remain cognizant?
Perhaps we were walking on the street going to work. We began our day with a spiritual practice. We are observing ourselves, aware. We are very lucid. We are looking at the environment surrounding us. We see the colors and the fashion that the people wear, the streets, the location, the city. We see it with a vivid intensiveness, a sharp perception. There is more color and vibrancy. We are alert and we are maintaining that from moment to moment. We are walking, not thinking of other things, just observing, and then we pass a store perhaps. We see something in the shop window that sparks our attention, and we suddenly feel that attachment and that longing to possess that thing.
So we immediately go towards the window. It takes our attention. We start thinking of how we can owe it, what would we have to earn, the steps we would need to take to possess that object, and then we as we walk away, we are continuing to think about possessing whatever it is that we want, whatever we desire. Maybe an hour passes. We are at work, and suddenly we remember, “I was supposed to be observing myself! I started thinking of something else. I got hypnotized,” and then we can recall, reflect: “How long were we cognizant walking down the street?” That is something concrete that we can examine and ask.
2nd – Frequency. How many times have we awakened our consciousness?
But also too, we want to examine: “How often do we awaken? How often do we have that state and experience it?”
We could be walking down the street, going to work, realizing that perhaps we maintained that type of continuity of perception and awareness in certain moments of the day. Perhaps we awaken in the morning before certain situations occur. That shows us a pattern of our mental process, our way of being. We are looking at how frequently are we able to sustain that state. That is frequency. Another important factor is the last one.
3rd – Amplitude and penetration. What was one cognizant of?
This has to do with the quality of our perception. How much are we seeing? What are we seeing? How deeply are we experiencing life? How intensely with the soul? What are we understanding?
As we reflect on these three principles and as we apply them, assessing our daily life, we start to develop that type of consciousness within the dream state, where suddenly after we go to bed, we suddenly find ourselves swimming in our street, right? These types of things happen in the dream world. We may become aware for a moment. It may be very brief in the beginning, especially, and suddenly we wake up. We realize, “I was just dreaming!”
But with practice that type of experience becomes more frequent. If you are more frequently awakening consciousness in your physical life, when you go to bed at night you start to awaken more and more. In the beginning, we dream. We start to remember our dreams, to recall our dreams. We have more depth and color and vibrancy.
These things intensify with time, gradually, until again we suddenly find ourselves swimming in the street, and because of training, we recognize this happened before, you cannot do this in the physical world. You are aware. You realize, “I am in the internal planes, the astral dimension!” Also, the amplitude, the magnitude, the penetration, the depth of our perception becomes more and more and more, greater and greater as we are evaluating ourselves.
Until with patient work, we can start to experience what the religions call the highest states of consciousness, such as Nous. The word तुरीय Turiya is Sanskrit, and we talked about it briefly in a former lecture. It is the state of Nous. Turiya is Sanskrit. It is spiritually illuminated, awakened perception. It is the quality of a prophet, of a master, of a god.
In the beginning, obviously, as we are progressing, we start to become more cognizant of dreams. But with training, we can start to taste experiences that are really sacred, really rare. They come as a spark, as a flash, usually very quickly, a type of perception that is not limited to even the fifth dimension: the dream world. Instead, one can ascend to higher planes of consciousness, which we are going to talk about in the next lecture: “Where Do We Dream?”
There are spiritual planes beyond the astral. The astral plane is not the only internal dimension. There are degrees and hierarchies amongst higher levels of experience, from the material physical world, towards the more rarefied and abstract, subtle. Those spiritual dimensions are very enlightening, and in those states, there is no possibility of misperception, because the astral world, even though it is in a more subtle state, is not necessarily the most objective.
We can all relate to the fact that we all had dreams that reflect some situation in life, or a fear, or a conflict, whatever it may be. In the astral world, one still has the potential of seeing only the conditions of our mind, our own dreams. They are not objective. They are not real, in a pure sense, in a pervasive sense. When you go up those different dimensions that we talked about in the Tree of Life, previously, you enter states of consciousness that are less afflicted by any type of self, selfishness, egotism.
Within higher dimensions like the realm of the spirit, the Being, the divine, one can become conscious that they are perceiving this table, and they can see all the atoms that it possesses. In that level or dimension of conscious, divine expression, one sees things in a very penetrative way. It relates to the world of mathematics, which, if you are interested in learning more about how numbers are sacred―numbers relate to intuitive principles―you can study our course we gave called The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, where we talked about numerology. Numbers are spiritual. They represent forces of nature, and so in this spiritual state you can see things that are not accessible even in the astral plane, which still has an element of illusion to it.
Instead, we are concerned about Nous, perfect awakened consciousness:
Nous is perfect awakened consciousness. Nous is the state of Turiya, profound interior illumination. Nous is legitimate objective clairvoyance. Nous is intuition. Nous is the world of divine archetypes. Noetic thought is clear, objective, illuminated. Whosoever reaches the height of noetic thought totally awakens consciousness and becomes a Turiya. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So, I mentioned that we should rely on intuition. That relates to Nous. You know a thing immediately. There is no need to conceptualize or deliberate. Nous is also perfect clairvoyance, and this is a term that has unfortunately mislead a lot of people. It simply in French means “clear vision.” It is the faculty of imagination, to imagine, to perceive non-physical imagery.
This is what we do every time we dream. We are seeing with clairvoyance. But for most of us, it tends to be very filtered, obscured, fragmented, dispersed. But with training, your perceptive quality, the capacity to receive images of an internal, psychological type, becomes much more robust. When it is perfected, you achieve what is called Turiya. It is clear, objective, illuminated. It is the world of archetypes, and the word archetype, if you are familiar with Jungian psychology, has to do with principles in the universe that are basically the building blocks of the soul. Study the course on Tarot that we gave if you are interested in learning more about that.
On the other hand, as Samael Aun Weor continues:
The lowest part of man is irrational and subjective and is related with the five ordinary senses. The highest part of man is the world of intuition and objective spiritual consciousness. In the world of intuition, the archetypes of all things in nature develop. Only those who have penetrated the world of objective intuition, only those who have reached the solemn heights of noetic thought are truly awakened and illuminated. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
It is important too, to remember that in our process of meditation, we can experience glimpses of that state. Having a temporary vision or experience does not mean that we are fully and permanently established in that. So, it has been a mistake amongst certain people in groups who have had that type of experience to think they are mahatmas, or gods, or saints, and they can create a lot of problems, right? One thing is to temporary experience that state, and another thing is to permanently be at that level. That is something very different.
The Qualities of the Awakened
So, what does it mean to be like the Turiya, the prophets, the enlightened ones, the awakened ones?
We see an image here of Jesus serving the poor. Real masters are humble. Those who awaken consciousness in its full sense and degree are very simple. They do not boast of titles. They do not demand allegiance. Their sole concern is for us, for suffering humanity, as we see in the example of Jesus who literally died for others―or Buddha, Moses, or Krishna―whoever we can name.
They are defined and distinctly characterized by their tremendous love, like a sun that shines for both sinners and saints, regardless.
Their ethics do not weaver. They are kind even when crucified. They are patient even when those for whom they suffer for do not appreciate what they have to give.
These types of beings are not understood, primarily because their caliber of divine personality is contrary to what humanity loves, which is pride, vengeance, hatred, violence.
These beings really work, and serve, and endure for the sake of our planet, and often times they work in secrecy because they know the current state of humanity. They understand that to announce themselves is, first, to be proud of what does not belong to them, but to divinity. On the second hand, they do not want followers. They do not demand attendance. They do not command for our respect. They are loving. They are forgiving, and most of all, they are understanding.
They perceive a person within all the dimensions of their being. They understand the circumstances of people, and how to solve problems. But they do not give advice because they want to be put on a pedestal. In fact, they are really humble.
We mentioned these examples of these masters and prophets because this is our goal. This is why we want to stop dreaming in daily life, to cease being a machine, mechanically repeating behaviors and habits, conditions and sufferings, without knowing why. Instead, by bearing this goal in mind, we know what we can become.
These masters do not dream. They do not dream in the sense that, physically, they go to bed and they see nothing. Instead, they do not have any illusion about themselves, who they are, who others are. Because they have radically altered their own psychology, have removed their own causes of suffering, they are able to help others with expediency, with intuition, with wisdom.
Jesus was once like us, despite what many centuries of theology state. Buddha was the same. All the masters were once ordinary. But because they had an aspiration, an inquietude of the heart, a longing to know something more of reality, they decided to end their dreams, to look, to work. Therefore, they do not dream. They are awakened in the physical world, but also the internal worlds. They can see even physically that they have a body―multiple dimensions at once―no confusion there. But for us, we have a very difficult time even conceptualizing even what the astral world is, unless we have had that experience.
This is why we have emphasized in this school: “Do not take these words at face value, but test them.” You can experiment with the practices we give lecture by lecture to verify this for yourself.
Samael Aun Weor stated in The Perfect Matrimony:
A true Turiya cannot dream. The Turiya who has reached the heights of Noetic thought never goes about saying so, never presumes to be wise; he is truly simple and humble, pure and perfect. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
In the West, we often denigrate these terms: simplicity, humility, because we believe in our North American culture that to be simple, to be humble, is to be taken advantage of. In reality, the truth cannot be more distinct.
Jesus was a very learned man. He studied all religions, and he synthesised them in a way that was very accessible to people. Now, whatever people teach or interpret what he taught is another thing, but actually looking at the knowledge he disseminated is something different.
To be humble means to have dignity, but not to self-aggrandize oneself, to assume one is something that one is not.
These are the qualities of those who do not dream, who are perfect, who are illuminated. Their sole concern is for humanity.
Therefore let us not sleep as others do; but let us watch and be sober. ―Thessalonians 5:6.
Let us not be intoxicated but our own defects, our own errors. Let us take responsibility for our own conditions of mind so that we are not asleep, unaware, not knowing where we came from, and not knowing where we are at.
Samael Aun Weor stated in The Revolution of the Dialectic:
First seek enlightenment, and all else will be added unto you. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Putting aside dreams, ambitions, that “First I must do this, this, and that, and then I will be spiritual,” or the concept of "One day I will be a master, illuminated”―those two are dreams, spiritual dreams―noble thoughts, but abstractions that wither from the facts. Instead, by learning who we are moment by moment and we traverse the road of our own inner work, we get insight and guidance.
So the exercise for this lecture: everyday develop your self-observation from moment to moment. Also extend your mindfulness: the length of time you were aware of yourself.
At the end of each day reflect on how you did.
Everyday develop your meditation. Adopt a meditation posture. Relax completely, then focus 100% of your attention on a chosen object.
We talked about observing a candle and watching the flame, a simple practice in which, as you are observing the candle flame, you are also observing how you observe. You are examining your mind. If you start thinking of something else, daydreaming, recollecting, gently bring yourself back to your attention.
Look at the candle. The mind tends to be attached and distracted, jumping from one thing to the next. This exercise teaches one to focus on one thing so that we can understand ourselves. That is one practice you can do for meditative concentration. That concentration will help us to astral project consciously.
You can take any other object―pretty much anything. You can take a stone even. Observe a stone, a rock. Just look at it, and if your mind starts to wander, just bring your attention back. You can do that for 10 to 15 minutes, maybe 2 sessions or 3 a day―up to you.
And then lastly, write the facts of your day in a spiritual diary. This is a beautiful practice that was taught by Swami Sivananda especially, a great yogi and master of Hinduism. Look at this link on the PDF. You will find a resource on Glorian Publishing’s website, an article about how to perform a spiritual diary.
Basically, with this practice, at the end of each day or whenever you feel inspired, sit down and write. Write about what you have experienced, about what you have observed in yourself, how you practice, where it is taking you, perhaps your fears, your troubles. This diary is only for you. Nobody else can read it, not even your spouse. Instead, it is a way for us basically to be very concrete about what we are doing, about where we are at, but also what do we observe. What do we see in ourselves?
There are questions in this article basically describing what your states in the morning were, what were you like in the daytime, what were you like in the evening, and you can be as detailed as you want, or as simple as you want. It is up to you. But if you write in your journal every day and you reflect what you have learned, overtime you start to recognize patterns. You have a very deep, factual document that is showing you yourself. There are no ambiguities there. It is not running away from the facts. We are seeing what is there. This exercise can help us go a very long way. I highly recommend it.
At this point in time, I would like to open the floor to questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: How do you set up the space for the candle practice. I mean I never done it, so how do I do it?
Instructor: You can have an altar, if possible, but it is not necessary. Any table, it is nice to have an altar obviously to have a place where you can dedicate your meditation and your devotion. Have a cloth on top. Any candle will do. Light it and observe the flame.
Question: Lights off probably or...?
Instructor: Yes, the more ambiance the better. It gets us in the mood to really focus.
Question: Thank you.
Instructor: You are welcome.
Instructor: At the end of each lecture, we do a practice. So I explained the exercise for this lecture. We can stay after, and we are going to do a retrospection meditation. 10 minutes, very brief, just so you can get the flavor of what this exercise is.
In it you relax your body. You pick a posture. Get comfortable. Close your eyes and introspect. Focus on your breath, breathing in deeply―inhaling, retaining the air, exhaling. Let yourself settle in the same way a stone sinks to the bottom of a lake.
Relaxation is the beginning. If we cannot relax, we are not going to enter a state of meditation. Meditation is not a technique. It is a state of being in which we are perceiving the phenomena and impressions of life with an alert, cognitive state. Relaxation is the beginning.
If you need to breathe deeply, you can. If you find that you are sufficiently relaxed in your body, you can begin to relax your mind. Relax your heart. We often carry a lot of negative emotions with us―tensions, anxieties, worries. The key is to look at that, observe it. As you observe it, like an actor in a film and you are the director, you start to see different qualities in yourself that are churning, like the image of a cloudy sky in the PowerPoint. The more you look without investing yourself into thought, or feeling, or discomfort in the body, you start to see that the waters of the mind begin to settle. They become still, serene.
As we enter relaxation and suspension of our senses, no longer looking at the external world, but closing off to all distractions internally as well, we can start to concentrate on our experience. We can take a moment of our day that we recall, that we remember. You also can visualize any scenes that you went through.
Perhaps you take a moment in your morning. Simply recall the event. Play it on the screen of your imagination. Look at it. You will find in the beginning, especially, the mind will try to alter certain things. The key is to just be honest―are we concretely observing the scene?―and look at it. If I tell you to imagine an apple, you can. It just emerges. It is the same faculty: imagination. Some people call it clairvoyance. It is a fancy term for something very universal and human.
Now imagine the scene as it happened. Try to remember the day, maybe from the very beginning to the end, or you can retrospect backwards from the end of the day to the beginning. Follow your heart and look within your recollections for moments in the day where you do not have any remembrance. You just cannot see the details. You do not know what you thought, felt, acted, did, and if you do not remember, that is fine in the beginning. Just try to recollect as much information as you can.
There are other depths to this practice which we are going to get in to later on in this course. But the beginning is just gaining the ability to just remember and try to visualize it in as much detail as you saw it.
So do not force your mind. Do not exert your mind. In the same way you can remember what you ate for breakfast, just remember it. It is gentle. It does not require force. Some people will be sitting in their meditations scrunching their eyes, trying to exert their mind to do something. It does not work that way. Serenity is key.
We are continuing our course on the science of dreams, the experiential knowledge of awakening consciousness. We talked previously about some common ideas surrounding what people have called astral projection, out-of-body experiences, lucid dreams, awakening, near-death experiences, and we are going to dive very deeply into many practices so that we can augment our perception.
Our consciousness has the capacity, when trained, to be awake even when the physical body is asleep. Even when dreaming during the eight hours we go to bed, we are in an intensified state of awareness. We do not enter into a type of amnesia, unconsciousness, sleep, dullness, but learn to instead verify what religions have called heaven. When one has that experience for oneself, one knows. It is not a matter of belief, of thinking a tradition or institution is true or not. It is rather about testing these realities for ourselves. When we verify what these states are like from experience, we have what is called genuine faith, real knowledge, real understanding.
Theories Regarding Dreams
But what are dreams and visions specifically?
In psychology, Sigmund Freud believed that dreams are the doorway to the unconscious and that by looking at our dreams we can understand ourselves.
He talked about what is known as manifest and latent content within dreams. The manifest content of a dream is its narrative. We can all think of a dream that we had in which there was a form of logic, a storyline, a progression of scenes, dramas, comedies, tragedies within our own consciousness.
The latent content of a dream has to do with its meaning, and this is something that has deeply interested many people, psychologists. The latent content of a dream, according to Freud, could signify how that dream represents something physical. For example, we could have a dream of being assaulted by an animal. We are filled with fear, terror, resentment, agony, and if we carefully examine our life, we can find that these psychological states that we find in dreams reflect something that is going on in our personal life. Perhaps we have a relationship with someone in which we feel that fear, like we are being hunted, persecuted, shamed, and therefore, the animal in the dream could represent how we react to a particular person in our physical existence.
Or perhaps someone has a dream of a serpent, being bitten and attacked by a snake. Obviously, that symbol is prominent in many religions for a good reason, because the language of different religious traditions and mythologies is oneiric. It is dreamlike. It is from the world of dreams.
Carl Jung emphasized how the symbols of dreams are the foundation of all religion because all religious traditions teach symbols, allegories, parables, stories that are processed and have been manifested through dreams, through that language, a type of logic.
Having a dream about a serpent obviously can be something about temptation in one's physical life. We are very familiar with the Genesiatic story of the Bible.
Now other people have posited different ideas about dreams. John Hobson basically described through neuroscience that dreams are a form of protoconsciousness. They are a virtual reality, according to this theory, that helps us to navigate the problems of daily life.
Some have posited different theories, different ideas, like the threat-simulation theory. People have argued that dreams are engrained in our biology from an evolutionary perspective, in that dreams were developed within the consciousness in people, growing humanity, evolving humanity, in which people were trained to confront their fears in dreams. That is one possibility that is described by scientists.
There are other theories too: expectation-fulfillment theory, basically referring to how dreams release built-up tension. Someone can experience emotion in a dream that is a form of release because those desires in daily life can be repressed. That is very known within psychoanalysis and Freudian psychology. This also explains, according to some scientists, how when those types of dreams are fulfilled, they are forgotten, because the energy related to that emotion is released. That is one perspective.
There are many theories about dreams, many beliefs, and they all offer some type of perspective in relation to why this occurs. In our Gnostic tradition, we have very different approaches to the study of dreams, not just merely limited to a biological component or the study of the brain, such as in NREM sleep (non-rapid eye movement), or REM sleep in which we dream. Those are valuable in their level, but they have a very limited utility. Merely looking at the biology of a person when approaching dreams, this often delimits or cuts off any type of mystical, experiential, divine component.
Now Carl Jung was very interesting because he risked his reputation by declaring the spirituality of dreams, often to the denigration of his colleagues. So much of the knowledge that he taught was very ciphered because the type of wisdom he was expressing about how to experience dreams and how to understand them is often very much misunderstood or condemned.
Now what is interesting about Carl Jung's theories about dreams is that he talked about what is known as a collective unconscious. He believed that humanity inherits, through lineages, biology, and ancestry, different religious symbols. That would explain, according to this idea, why different religions across the world, different cultures, shared the same symbols or what he called archetypes.
Archetypes are basically parables. They are codes. They are an intuitive, spiritual, and divine grammar. A symbol can carry multiple dimensions and levels of meaning, which is why dreams are so powerful. They do not merely just communicate on the level of a type of logical analysis of our common current everyday intellect, but instead, they reveal a type of logic that is beyond our current level of cognition. It is something that has to be developed and practiced with in order to deepen, in order to be worked with and effective.
Carl Jung and Freud had very different opinions about dreams. They came into many conflicts and it would seem that the collective unconsciousness of Carl Jung would contradict Freud's interpretation that dreams are merely just a personal expression of your own daily life. So there was that apparent contradiction between theories according to scientists.
Now what is interesting is that despite this difference, they are both revealing different aspects of a very nuanced problem. Dreams are often a reflection of our daily life, our habits, our actions, our drives, our impulses, our desires. But also according to Jung, there is something spiritual that can be experienced within that state. It does not mean that our desires, conditions of mind, mental projections, fears, anxieties, and worries that manifest in dreams are somehow sacred. In fact, there is a duality within our perception that we study very deeply in this tradition.
There is a conditioned self: pride, fear, anger, lust, envy, jealousy, hatred. There is also a part of us that is not conditioned by any element of that nature. It is spontaneous joy, freedom from pain, compassion. We call that the soul, or in our tradition, consciousness, the Essence of a person, their true nature. It is this Essence that we seek to develop because the Essence, the soul, which right now is in a very undeveloped, latent state, can be awakened. It can be free of all types of distractions of mind: paranoia, hatred, wrath, vanity, defects. It is that part of us that is not conditioned. It has the capacity, as we said previously, to communicate with divinity, our own inner truth, reality, what religions have called God in their original essence.
But the problem is that our consciousness is very much trapped and limited. So, often for most people, our dreams seem to be just a personal reflection of our daily life. We feel fear. We are worried about our jobs. We are insecure. We are proud. We are hateful, whatever it may be, whatever our particular idiosyncrasy, psychological crutch, or limp that manifests within dreams. But also Jung is pointing out there is something more here that is possible for individuals to experience and to understand, to not only initiate, but also to sustain and to perfect at will.
Dreams and Visions
So we make a very clear distinction in our studies between dreams and visions. This is where you find that distinction between Carl Jung and Freud in relation to whether dreams are collective or whether they are personal.
Dreams are merely projections of our own minds. Think of your experience like a film projector in which reality is a screen. Often times, rather than looking at what is there, we are always projecting ourselves onto reality. This not only occurs within the eight hours when we go to bed at night, but also even physically while we are awake. Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they are talking and then you are thinking more about what to say next? We do not even hear what they are saying. It is because we are projecting our mind, our desires, onto the impression of this person who is talking with us. That is a dream.
There are many types of dreams. We dream all the time, not only when we physically go to bed. We are dreaming in our waking life by distractions and afflictions of mind. We are going to go very deep into this very nuanced problem, how we dream all the time.
But a vision is different. That is when the projector stops projecting. When you are physically at rest, your consciousness is active but the mind is perfectly still, in a state of calm, peace. Then instead of churning with affliction, in the stillness and the perfect quietude of being, images from our internal worlds emerge. They reflect within our consciousness and then we live those dramas within the internal worlds. You can experience astral projections. You can experience dream yoga, lucid dreaming. We are awake in that state and then you can see what is actually there.
A vision often includes a type of symbol. It is a drama that is living, in which you are both a participant and a witness. Those dreams have a very allegorical character. They are very sacred, and they teach something very practical about how to live our daily life. Divinity always wants to teach us through visions, when the mind is calm and receptive, so that we can learn how to be better people, how to be more ethical, how to bind our communities, how to make people strong, to help others no longer suffer. But of course, this requires training. It is a type of work in which we are going to didactically explain through each lecture. We will study different practices so that we train the consciousness to be alert, aware, mindful.
This in itself is genuine mysticism. The word mysticism comes from the Greek mysterion. It originates from the root word myein, “to close the eyes,” and relates to mystikos: an “initiate,” or someone who initiates a different lifestyle, what religions have defined as the sacred mysteries of communicating with the divine, like Moses on Mount Sinai, Arjuna talking to Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita, Prophet Mohammed receiving the Qur’an from the Angel Gabriel.
Many of these stories bear a type of unifying element, and that is the science of dreams. These are all dream symbols. These are all visions in which, instead of having a mind that is clouded and obscured, driven by problems, by negative habits, mechanical desires, instincts, we instead have a crystal clear, sharp, open, receptive, intuitive mind, a mind that is not always churning with thoughts, but instead knows how to put thoughts in their place in order to understand.
That is a very distinct and different quality that meditation teaches us, not to be so caught up in rationalization, because that is a type of obscurity. As I said, we could be thinking about something, perhaps a friend, a family member, a relative, or something else, while we are with someone having a conversation. That is a dream. That is not being awake, even while physically being in the body.
Learning to become a mystic means becoming a meditator. Silence the mind. Let it relax, calm. Be clear. Be sharp and alert, not distracted, so that we can receive insight, intuitions, and understandings from that intelligence that religions have called God.
Again, God is not some anthropomorphic figure in the clouds, but is presence, formlessness, Being. That is how you learn to see the heavens, not just some physical place in the atmosphere or some temple someone goes to on pilgrimage. Instead, that journey is within. That understanding and experience is personal. But to do that requires we learn to comprehend how we dream. We must understand the path that leads to the cessation of dreams and leads to the awakening of consciousness.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky stated in the scripture she transcribed known as The Voice of the Silence:
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
So that consciousness can perceive in the superior worlds where we go every night. When we dream, we go to sleep at night for eight hours. We astral project and enter that region, but without awareness. If we learn to overcome our own illusions, psychological habits, and conditions that trap us, we can learn to see and know these realities for ourselves. That is a form of harmony, real harmony, real integrity, the perfection of the soul, in which we end pride. We end hatred. We end fear. We stop laziness. We end lust. We end all these passions of mind and defects that we often very much cling to. When those cease and are perfectly still, then we can know something superior. That is a form of harmony in which we integrate consciousness that is usually very much dispersed in many different habits, right?
We can be at home, obviously, many people are working from home now. Hopefully, that has changed. We can be at the computer desk doing a project, but then think of something else, thinking of a friend, a fiancée, a partner, a spouse, a relative. Or we feel hungry and have the instinct to get up, to get something to snack on. Or we have the emotional feeling that “I want to listen to some other type of music now because I want to relax.” We have many elements in our psychology that are always going all over the place. We are very distracted. That in itself is the origin of many problems, because we are not really addressing the necessities of life with full consciousness, directed attention, awareness, focus―in which we finish a task, give it all of our depth, and soul, and being, so that it can be something magnificent―and really create something superior, instead of just multitasking, because that is the mind and desires going in many places. We lack integrity.
This is why consciousness, when it is trained, can be focused and sharpened so that when we practice that skill in the day, physically, when you go to bed at night, your consciousness is already trained. It is exercised. It knows how to work. Instead of falling asleep and after eight hours, waking up in the morning without any remembrance, we enter that dream world with lucidity, with intentionality, with focus.
The Fifth Dimension
So what is the dream world? This is something that has fascinated a lot of people for as long as there has been recorded history and scriptures.
We mentioned in the first lecture how the world of dreams is the same place as the world of the dead. This is why in Greek mythology, Hypnos and Thanatos, sleep and death, are brothers. If you want to know how conscious you will be when you die, look at how you are when you go to sleep. Do you remember anything? Or do you just sleep eight hours and nothing? That is a barometer of how conscious you are.
While this can be a very disturbing realization, the truth and reality are that there is the potential to develop something truly profound. That is something that is learned. It is a gradual skill.
I know some people like to think of astral projection as given to only the few who are graced by divinity. It was just given to them at birth. The reality is that is not true. At some point in the development of that individual soul, that person had to work. It is acquired. It is a form of self-mastery, in which by training oneself, one can go into what is known as the fifth dimension. Some people call it the astral plane, the world of dreams, heavens, jannat amongst the Sufis and the Muslims. Whatever name we want to give to that reality, it is the fifth dimension.
Now, in terms of dimensionality, we are all familiar with three dimensions: length, height, and width, the physical plane. But scientists have also talked about the fourth dimension, which is time. Einstein is very famous for talking about relativity, the space-time continuum, which is basically a form of development and temporality in which all experience at our level is processed.
But the astral world is beyond time. The world of dreams, the world of the dead, is beyond time. That is why if you awaken consciousness within that state, you can see things happen there that are going to come true physically later. The fifth dimension is beyond time, things you can witness that are from the past, the present, and the future. That is why in the Book of Daniel in the Bible, prophets such as Daniel were able to interpret events that were going to come true later through his dreams. This is the essence of prophecy.
But also one can see the past in a very visual form. It is like watching a movie, in which you are witnessing events but also participating in them. Some people have called this the Akashic Records, the memories of nature in which every action is recorded and imprinted within nature. That is known as eternity. Eternity is also a circle, but it is also a loop, because past, present, future meld into an eternal now―something very beautiful, mystical.
If you want an example of that, I remember, a long time ago, walking in the astral plane. I was in some city. I was just looking at the billboards because I was curious. I was practicing my mindfulness and being in remembrance of myself and not losing my attention, just observing the things going on there.
When I am talking about that type of experience, I do not mean it is something vague or unclear or amorphous. There is more color, lucidity, crispness, depth than even being physically awake. We have that potential.
So I remember looking at a billboard and I saw an advertisement for a movie that had not come out yet. I believe it was one of the Indiana Jones films: “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” or something like that. I woke up, and then, I do not know, six, seven years later they announced that they are making this film. So I just found that interesting. Whether or not it has some utility is another thing, but it is interesting. I saw something that existed in the internal world before it became physical.
That is what inventions are like. People imagine or conceptualize or have an idea for something. It exists within the astral world before it becomes physical. That is just the way the universe and the mind work. Things kind of just trickle down from more abstract realities into more manifest reality―so, something timeless, but because it is beyond time, you can see things that are going to happen, that have happened.
In this dimension, you can fly. You can teleport. You can walk through walls, because that dimension is governed by very different laws: elasticity, plasticity, levitation. This is why people report dreams of flying. Perhaps we have had that experience ourselves, levitating in the air, going places.
But for most of us, we do not really see what is there objectively. We tend to just interact with our own mind, because our mind, as I said, projects its dreams onto the screen of that dimension. So we do not really, in our current state, see the objectivity of that plane. But if you turn the projector off, quiet the mind, enter meditation, concentration, awareness, you can enter that state with vigilance, with awareness, and then actually see what is going on. That is the real joy and beauty and mystery of that type of science.
So the question becomes: who dreams?
As I said, or hinted at, we often like to think that because we go to bed for eight hours and we do not see anything, that we do not dream, but the truth is that we are dreaming all the time.
We dream when we are washing the dishes. We are remembering or recalling something in the day or projecting an idea about the future, like what we are going to do later, but not actually watching what we are doing.
We can be driving our car, having a conversation, or listening to the radio, thinking about it, trying to analyze a podcast, perhaps, but we are not paying attention to the road and we get into an accident. It is because we are dreaming.
People get on the train and while reading a book, get lost in revelry, thoughts, fantasies, daydreams, recollections, and then we realize that we missed our stop. It is because we are dreaming. We are not awake.
Of course, even at a very basic level, it is easy to understand that there are certain problems to this. Perhaps we are at a job where we have to pay attention to learn new skills, but if we are thinking of something else and we get distracted, we are losing something essential and that we have to ask again for help, and perhaps that could be annoying to an employer. We are dreaming all the time.
So what is important to remember is that the dreamer can awaken. It is a very famous trope you find even in movies like Dune, or Frank Herbert's book. “The sleeper must awaken.”
All religions teach the need to awaken consciousness. “Awake, awake, Deborah, arise Barak," says the Old Testament, I believe in the Book of Judges, the story of the Prophetess Deborah, made the declaration saying "you need to awaken consciousness," because we have the illusion that we are awake, that we are present, that we are mindful, that we are aware.
Often times, if we are very serious and analyze our daily state, we find that we are usually very distracted. Our thoughts are in one place, our feelings are in another, and our desire to act is conflicted. We are split. But by learning through training to focus on what we are doing at all times, to be aware, to be observing ourselves, our thought processes, our emotional reactions to life, our sentiments, and also our will to act, our impulses, we start to discover that we are something much deeper than thought, feeling, and will―something much more profound.
Consciousness exists even before thought. I know in our Western culture we like to idolize thinking quite a bit, but in truth, it is actually a very slow machine. It is a processor of energy and matter and perception at its level. We need the intellect and to know how to use it, but it is not really the defining factor of an individual.
We can touch a hot stove, burn our hand, and retract our hand in pain. We have the instinct, the impulse, to first get out of danger. Perhaps we feel frustrated and angry. We feel that visceral pain of having been burned, and then we think right after that, “that really hurt!” It shows us that thought is actually a much slower process than many other aspects of our psychology.
The reason why I am mentioning all of this is that if we want to understand what awakening consciousness is within the dream state, it is important to understand how we process information and experiences in life in different ways. We will go into a lot of depth into this, specifically when we talk about “How Do We Dream?” But by understanding our own thinking, our feelings, and our impulses, we no longer let those habits and desires simply run amuck. We understand them.
Instead, we can respond to life with intelligence instead of just reacting to someone when someone criticizes us or when we feel anger or fear or depression or whatever it may be. All of those are forms of dreams, different thoughts perhaps, but also many times different types of emotions which we often indulge in, in life.
Sushupti: Profound Sleep
We explain that there are different types of consciousness, different states.
There is Sushupti, which is profound sleep. That often is associated within Hinduism and Yoga as physically going to bed, and when eight hours pass, we do not remember anything.
But also on a more practical level for us, there is profound sleep when we look at mobs, lynches, crowds propelled by violence, war, because those people, even though they are physically active doing things, they are not really conscious of their neighbor. They are driven by fear, instinct, self-preservation, the desire to kill. That is a profound state of sleep, in a spiritual sense, in a conscious sense. If we were really conscious of other human beings, we would feel love and compassion for them, because we understand that we all have the natural inclination to avoid suffering and find happiness. Everyone has that ingrained within the substrate of their very being.
So Sushupti is profound sleep. Basically, people who are murderers, who kill, who commit violence in any form, are very unconscious. It is important to dissociate from the assumption that sleep is merely just related to the physical body, because the physical body, in truth, could be doing things, but yet we are not aware. This is very well known in Yoga and Buddhism especially.
Swapna: Dreaming Sleep
Let us talk about Swapna, dreaming sleep. What is dreaming sleep?
As I said, we dream in the day, often. We can argue with people, wanting to assert our beliefs, political ideas, religion, culture, race, doctrine. All these things that our modern world often adulates and worships are in fact a form of dreaming. It is an illusion. These such things are very temporal. They do not last. They are not eternal.
The soul, the consciousness is eternal. It does not have a beginning and an end in its ultimate sense. We adopt different beliefs and ideas and cultures and habits and ways of thinking whenever we lose that connection with our true origins. We are often very much distanced from our true nature, but we can see glimpses of it day-to-day. We find selfless acts of heroism, compassion, love, sacrifice, benevolence, patience, kindness, in which we are not really thinking for ourselves. We are doing for others. But those types of experiences tend to be very minimal―if we are honest―very limited.
What we have instead are a lot of dreams: “I am a republican.” “I am a democrat.” “I am a capitalist. “I am a socialist.” “I am a philosopher.” “I am a scientist.” We have a lot of ideas about who we are. We often cling to things―our name, our culture, our habits, our beliefs―as something substantial, as something permanent. But the truth is that these things always change, right? There are always perhaps different circumstances that happen in our life. To use a very silly example, maybe we are a republican, then something happened in the media, especially in this past year, and then we change our beliefs. We change our ideas. But the truth is that even those ideas do not necessarily have a type of eternity. There are conditions. They do not really reflect the type of values that we call the divine. So knowing that distinction is very challenging. It is very difficult because of attachment, because of the type of hypnosis of identifying with our own conditions of mind, habits, etc.
Jagrat: Waking Consciousness
This is why we study Jagrat, which is waking consciousness. Notice we are not just talking about the wakeful body, that the body is awake. This does not just refer to the physical body being active and doing things, because we can be, as I said, driving our car but not paying attention. It has to do with consciousness that is perceptive, that is alert, that is understanding, that is seeing the impressions of life, but not necessarily just labeling experiences with the intellect or judging a person based on our emotions.
Perhaps we feel aversion to someone based on their race or their caste, their culture, their language, their beliefs, their politics. We feel perhaps negative emotions about them, resentments, pride―whatever it may be. Or certain relationships, we feel conflicted. We do not know how to act around certain people and we kind of get stuck between this clumsy deliberation.
But the reality is that waking consciousness knows how to intuitively respond to any situation with lucidity, with compassion. It does not necessarily mean complacency, like letting a person walk all over you. Consciousness can be firm, but loving, kind, patient. It does not identify with problems in life. It does not suffer. The consciousness knows how to act. It is the intuition of knowing what to do at any time. You do not have to think about it. It is beyond thought.
I know in one example, I remember I had a conflict with a person from years ago and I was in a situation where, years later, I had to speak to her out of necessity. I could not avoid her. I felt that conflict in myself, that fear like “I do not want to talk to this person,” the thoughts, and the logic, and the reasoning, and the resentments, that were stewing there. But then I was observing all that process in myself and I understood that, just by looking at that defect within me, that it was wrong. I intuitively knew that this person is suffering, therefore, “I am going to act.” Putting my prejudice and self behind me, I went up to the person and had a conversation with her, and it turns out that she was very grateful for me, for showing that olive branch and making that connection. That is one example of really being awake. I just saw myself, my own defects, observing that. That is waking consciousness.
We have a practice in our tradition called self-observation in which we learn to understand the origin of thought, feeling, and will, even before they emerge, because we are activating that sense and skill within us that is often very atrophied.
Turiya: Spiritual Illumination
It is in that way that we can access what is known as Turiya. This is spiritual illumination. This is what all the diverse religious traditions have called ecstasy, samadhi, spiritual states in which there is no distortion of mind there. In terms of dream yoga, you can be physically in bed, have an astral projection, and there is no type of obscuration in your perception. You are seeing what is there. You are fully lucid. You are clear. You are in control, and you can investigate and you can navigate those regions with competency.
It also has to do with the type of perception relating to a divine being like a prophet. We call them masters. We call them buddhas, angels, gods. They do not have pride, laziness, fear, calumny, gossip. They are perfect―no fault. We can access a state like that in a temporary sense, but obviously, it is something that has to be gradually developed through discipline. But there are beings, prophets, angels―whatever you want to call them―who did it. This is why we study their teachings very profoundly, in their original sources, not what institutions say they say, but what are they actually saying from experience. In that way, we have no doubt.
The Line of Life
We talk in our studies about the line of life.
It is very important to analyze where we have come from and where we are going. That is why many people study religion and spirituality in general. They have a yearning to understand the origin of the soul, the origin of the world, the meaning of faith, the meaning of compassion, where we came from and why do we suffer. Perhaps that is the most compelling reason why anyone goes to any church or school or religion or community.
We study the line of our life very diligently because our own life is a book. It has many chapters. If we want to have self-knowledge about higher realities, it begins by knowing ourselves, knowing where we came from physically, but also psychologically, our habits, our ideas, our personality, our culture. These are the things that come to us. Or better even said, we come to it. I think that is even an more accurate description.
We are born in this world, and as children, we are very innocent. If we look at any child, we see the beauty of the soul there that has not been tainted or contaminated by defects. But with time and through gradual exposure to parents, school, family, language, culture, customs, that initial brilliance of a child is dimmed. It gets swallowed by pride, anger, hatred, defects. We call that ego, self, egotism, desire.
Most people tend to go through their life, from that initial state, acquiring and acquiring more experiences, accumulating more and more―family, job, reputation, income, retirement, whatever it may be. While there are necessary components of life that we need to work with, it is not the definition of a person. There is something more. There has to be something more than being born and going through adolescence with all of its turmoil and suffering, its pain, its uncertainty, its abuse, becoming adults who are trying to piece together their lives, and then getting married, having children, and then dying, and then… what then?
Why be so caught up in that? It does not mean that we reject all these things and live like hermits. That is another extreme to life that does not offer a very long-term solution.
The Line of Being
Instead, we begin where we are at. Fortunately for our spiritual life, there is something more. There is a point that intersects with our daily existence. We call it the vertical path. On the horizontal beam, we have the line of life, but here vertically intersecting in the form of a cross, we have a line of being. This has to do with the quality of our life, the quality of our states.
Of course, as you see here, there are inferior qualities of life and psychology and also superior states of mind. I have named some of them for you. In the inferior levels, you have ego, selfishness, more attachment, more aversion, more craving, more desire to accumulate more and more, many ideas, theories, beliefs, philosophies, doctrines. The mind just wants to saturate itself and acquire more and more information, because it thinks by feeding that desire, we are going to be happy.
Knowledge is useful in its place, but it is not fundamental for a person to be spiritual. There is a balance there. We have to make that distinction.
We often go from birth to death dreaming. We dream while we drive our car. We dream on the train. We dream while married. We dream while making love. We dream and have many desires and beliefs and habits that we invest our energy into. Wherever we direct our attention, we expend energy. We often find in life that we are very depleted, which is why as we approach our elder years, we are decrepit. We are sick. We are old. We are weakened. That energy that can fuel our spirituality is often very much wasted, invested in the wrong things, identified with the wrong things.
When we die, most people go to the grave, they enter the dream world, but are not aware that they are dead. Personally, I met my grandfather in the astral plane. He died a long time ago. I was in a room with my family who were still alive, talking with them, and then I realized, “why am I talking to my grandfather here? He is dead!” As I was talking to them, they did not know where they were.
So it is a pretty alarming thing, and something that should not necessarily fill someone with fear, but with urgency. It is a very different, nuanced principle, to have urgency. To want to awaken consciousness is different from being fearful: “Oh, if I go to the grave, then what?” Fear is another condition of the mind. It is an inferior state of being, something that we can overcome by looking at it. By learning to understand ourselves in the moment, we can access superior states of consciousness and then we stop dreaming. We are no longer filled with fear, with agony, more problems.
The superior line of being is developed in us where we ascend vertically in the moment. It has nothing to do with time. Spiritual development, in a conventional sense, occurs gradually, obviously, because we are in physical bodies. We are in this physical world and we are subjected to the laws of nature, time especially, the fourth dimension. But the consciousness does not belong to time. It is eternal. But unfortunately, because we dream physically, we are not aware of it. We do not realize it from experience.
Anybody who has had an astral projection obviously has tasted some glimpse of that and knows for themselves that it is real, and that we are more than just our physical body. So this pushes us to want to know ourselves, know our defects, our faults, so that we cease dreaming.
We are aware of the moment, because every moment we advance towards death. We progress in this line of life towards an inescapable end. But this should not be a source of morbidity or shame, anxiety. Obviously, these are emotions that are very common for people, because we do not understand where we came from or where we are going. But if you awaken your consciousness, you will know. You know where you came from, where you are, and where you are going, what your trajectory is.
We follow the trajectory of our actions through life, consciously or unconsciously. By making conscious decisions, we are learning to develop our perception so that, physically, when we die, we welcome it―not out of some quirkiness, being dark. Instead, it is born out of acceptance and understanding. For me personally, I know what will happen when I die. I have been able to awaken enough consciousness within the internal worlds to be shown what it is like after the body is dead. Therefore, why be afraid? You do not have to be afraid. It is a natural process.
What one could be afraid of instead is not living one's life ethically, taking advantage of this precious time that we have, moment by moment, to make changes, small changes, gradually. In that way, we do not necessarily become victims of life. We do not react to problems. Instead, we can comprehend our situation and learn to respond with intelligence.
Kabbalah: The Tree of Life
We talked briefly about this image in our previous lecture, something that we will go back to periodically. It is known as the Tree of Life. It is a Jewish symbol, but also a universal one.
In Jewish mysticism, they talk about Kabbalah. This is the Tree of Life within the Book of Genesis. Rather than constituting a literal tree in Mesopotamia that existed however long ago in the physical Middle East, it is really a symbol. It is a map of consciousness.
It depicts the inferior states of consciousness and the most superior, ascending towards a higher and more elevated spirituality. These are not spheres or levels of being that are mapped out in physical space. It is not like there is some sort of verticality to this. It is a symbol. It is an allegory. These spheres, known as סְפִירוֹת sephiroth in Hebrew, are known as emanations. They are qualities of consciousness. They are also dimensions. This is a map of us as a psyche, but also of divinity, and also where we go when we sleep, when we dream. There are different levels of matter, energy, and consciousness.
Right now we are in the bottom sphere. This is known as מלכות Malkuth in Hebrew [the Kingdom], the physical world? It is our physical body.
Above that, we have our vitality, our creative energy. This is known as the fourth dimension. So the third dimension is below and the fourth dimension is above. This is time. It is known as יְסוֹד
Yesod, the foundation, because how we work with our energy is the foundation of spiritual life. As I said, wherever we direct attention and energy, we spend it. So if we spend it within our consciousness, we can conserve that force and learn to awaken our potential.
What people call the astral plane is known as הוד Hod, meaning “splendor” in Hebrew. It is this sphere at bottom of the left pillar, as you see here. We call that the astral plane. This is typically where people go when they have superior astral projections.
To the right of that, we have נצח Netzach, which means “victory.” This is known as the mental world. So there is a mental plane and an emotional plane, mind and heart. These two spheres constitute what is known as the fifth dimension. This is eternity. יְסוֹד Yesod is the fourth dimension. מלכות Malkuth is the third dimension.
But we have inferior dimensions as well, what religions have called hell or the hell realms. Those states are experienced through nightmares. That is hell in a direct way. It is a type of experience that is real, but not in physical matter, energy, and perception, but it is in a more subtle form of experience. This is why we often interact within those states within dreams but do not realize that it is not physical, because the internal worlds reflect the physical and vice versa.
Above we have more superior states, which I will not go into depth here. We have a future lecture that we will talk about called Where Do We Dream? But I want to just summarize this because it is a very beautiful graphic, a very practical tool.
We can use it to understand our experiences, but also when we travel within those dimensions, we can know how to navigate it, because this is the map so to speak. It is important to know and learn this glyph with time because just as one would not travel to another country without knowing its language, its geography, its culture, its goods and bad, in the same way, it is reasonable for dream yogis, practitioners of this science, to understand the structure of that inner reality, so that when you experience it, you know how to navigate. It is a very gradual process which we will talk about in detail.
So we will conclude with an exercise that you can use in order to develop what is known as concentration. As I said, by learning to develop concentration, awareness, mindfulness throughout the day, the ability to focus on one thing without being distracted, we no longer dream. We teach the consciousness to not dream. We teach it to be awake. In that way, that skill will transition from visible life to dreaming life.
So every day, develop self-observation from moment to moment. At the end of each day, reflect on how you did. So this has to do with learning to observe our psychology. It is like being a director in a movie, in which you are the actor, but you are also viewing the scene. Consciousness has the capacity to observe, to intuit, to understand, and this skill has to do with whenever a thought emerges, look at it. Observe it.
You may know that you are seated in this chair listening to me, but are you observing the fact? It is a different skill. Then as we are learning to self-observe throughout the day, obviously it is going to be very challenging. You might realize even before coming here that learning to be mindful and aware throughout the day can be difficult because there are just so many distractions, whether externally or even our own emotional reactions, our thoughts, etc.
At the end of each day, just take five minutes. Reflect: how mindful were you? How observant? how aware? Then, every day perform this preliminary meditation exercise:
Carefully relax your body, heart, and mind. Observe an object such as an image or a lit candle flame without preoccupying yourself in thought, memories or distractions. If you forget yourself, return to the object of the practice.
Practice ten to fifteen-minute sessions at least two or three times a day.
So, we are going to practice this together―if you like―we can stay after. We have a candle here. You just take the candle and observe it. If your mind starts thinking of something else or labeling ideas or talking about it, just become aware of it. Do not try to repress, push it away, or try to get lost in it. Instead, just return to the candle. It is a beautiful exercise in which we learn to understand the distinction between knowing what is going on but also observing it. As I said, you can know something is going on. By sitting in a chair, you can know that you are in the chair, but observing it is active. Knowing is passive―different quality.
At this time I would like to invite you to ask questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: I am a little confused about the self-observation practice. So you are saying that if I am thinking about something that I can not be self-observing? Or is it possible to be both thinking and self-observing? In my job I am thinking a lot. It is an intellectual job, and how am I supposed to be self-observing during the day when I need to also think in my job?
Instructor: That is a good question. The latter is the answer. You can be thinking and doing intellectual things, but observe that. Some people think of self-observation as like “I have to stop thinking.” In the higher degrees of understanding, we do not need to think. But we begin with where we are at. If we have a job that is very intellectual where we are thinking, or teaching, perhaps reading a book, reading something about our job that we have to do―read, but observe that. It is difficult, but it is a skill that is acquired. It comes with patience.
Question: I have seen people who are yogis and they sit still. Is it normal or is it an indication that something is not right if you are not still? There are some actions of the body, which while sitting for a long time that suddenly happens, and I get that feeling that it is not right. Does it show a lack of attention or concentration? How do I realize that? Am I in the moment or not in the moment?
Instructor: Great question. For most people who are not training in mindfulness, it is not a problem because they are not really interested in learning about being conscious of themselves. But as we are learning to self-observe or do a meditation practice, it is important to understand even our involuntary movements―like, perhaps, scratching, or twisting our fingers, or moving a leg, or whatever it may be. Tapping your foot, you know, is a very common thing.
But we have to become aware of that. If you find that you are doing that, observe yourself and then reflect: where is that impulse coming from? It is not necessarily an intellectual question, but it is a perceptive one. You are just analyzing and being mindful of why you are doing that. I think oftentimes, at least for me, when I have observed that in myself, I have come to understand that there is some type of psychological defect in me that is perhaps impatient, or bored―or whatever it may be―agitated. Something psychological is going on in a deeper sense that I am not aware of.
So it does not necessarily mean to have to force your body to be still, but it is better if you just observe it and understand it, because if you understand it, then your psychology is quiet, right? All physical actions are a material manifestation of our internal reality. So things that happen physically come because, psychologically, there is something there.
One thing I wanted to mention is that in one of the earlier slides about the fifth dimension, I mentioned that things happen internally and then manifest physically. The same thing happens with our psychology. So this proves to us that we are in truth very multidimensional. Our thoughts are one thing, our emotions are another dimension to ourselves, and our instincts are another. The more understanding you have of your own psychological impulses, the more you comprehend why you are tapping, and you will stop.
It does not have to be something like, “I cannot tap my foot,” right? That is kind of the mind fighting the mind, and that is not what we are advocating. Instead, it is something about observing yourself, understanding where it comes from, and when you understand that impulse, it quiets, ceases. I believe even Gurdjieff mentioned quite a bit about the need to no longer be doing movements of our body involuntarily, carelessly. It means that we are very unconscious. In fact, one of the best ways to learn self-observation is learning about your posture. Learn about your breathing. Learn about your habits. It is a very simple way to begin. You may notice that perhaps you crack your fingers, or whatever it may be. Begin with that, and as you get more confident, understanding those impulses, then the more relaxed you become. That is really important for meditation, having a relaxed mind, heart, and body. When you have that, meditation is open to you when you are concentrated, when you are aware.
Question: Is there a difference between waking in a dream versus allowing your body to fall asleep and maintaining consciousness?
Instructor: Yeah, it has to do with when you enter the astral world. You might fall asleep physically and unconsciously project and then you wake up in a dream later. That happens all the time. Then other times, obviously, the goal is to learn to fall asleep consciously, so that you enter that state with awareness. So it has to do with how attentive you are.
Oftentimes you can wake up in a dream later because, even though you were not conscious in the beginning, suddenly you start to expand your perception, where you are seeing your surroundings in the astral plane. Maybe you are walking down a street of your old neighborhood wherever you grew up, and then you realized, “Oh, what am I doing here?” For me, I tend to have dreams where I will be at my old house where I grew up as a kid, and I will recognize my surroundings and question, “What am I doing here? How did I get here?” I remember where I came from. I am living in the city now, not out in the suburbs.
So then you can learn to question that and develop that inquiry. That is something you can only develop by learning mindfulness throughout the day. You are self-observing. You are becoming aware of your different thought processes, feelings, impulses, and when you train your consciousness to do that during the day, even when you physically go to sleep, even if you are not aware of an astral projection, you can suddenly start to see things in your dreams where you are getting more lucidity. The consciousness is being trained, is being strengthened. So learning to concentrate and develop those skills helps to see more clearly, awaken more perception. So you can wake up later in the night too. It is different from a conscious astral projection. We are going to talk about how to awaken in dreams later on, specifically.
Question: So earlier you were talking about how Sushupti is a sign of that most profound state of unconscious sleep. You mentioned that some murderers are in a state of profound sleep of consciousness because they do not feel compassion for other people. But can some people be awakened in evil, because some murderers are very conscious of what they are doing you know, like serial killers? It is not like they are asleep. I see what you are saying that they are identified with, like anger or violence or something like that. Could you explain that distinction?
Instructor: Sure! It has to do with the individual. As we mentioned before, we can be aware that we are killing someone. I know a lot of people talk about mindfulness and awareness as sometimes the end-all and be-all of spirituality, but it is just the beginning. Being aware of yourself, so that you can be understanding of where you are at, is the initial step of learning to be a conscious and ethical person. The next step is learning to transform situations with compassion, learning to transform the impression of a situation with awareness, with understanding, better said.
But there is also another flip side to that coin. I mentioned to you and showed you that image of superior states of being and inferior states. We can awaken positively within our consciousness or we can awaken within desire, within hatred, within anger, within pride, because awakening is dual. It does not always end up positively. Now, awakening negatively has to do with giving one's energy to one's desires. So one can be very awake, but through hatred or pride or vanity, and therefore they develop a lot of power in that element. They tend to be very dangerous individuals because they are very influential. They can even be charismatic, influential people.
The difference between the type of unconsciousness I was referring to is for most people. People who have never really trained in any type of spirituality tend to just go with the flow of life. If there is a crowd, they get attracted to it and they go to it. It is kind of a collective hive mind so to speak. But there are people that learn to train themselves to awaken within their own defects, and that is something we do not teach. It is a negative thing.
Question: So the first step is to be awake and be conscious of what I am doing? Then you are saying later on that I have to learn to discern between if what I am doing is driven by pride, or anger, or revenge, on someone? How do I know that it is not that and I am awakening in a good way?
Instructor: Follow your heart. Look at your heart. Your conscience is the best guide. Unfortunately, there are people in our society, in our world, that do not even have a conscience anymore, and therefore those people tend to be very lost causes. But if you look in your heart and examine in a moment an action you performed where you felt pain; your heart will tell you what is right and what is wrong, in most normal people, but not psychopaths, so to speak.
For example, you get into an argument with someone and you are telling yourself, “I want to be patient with this family member.” Then you start to observe in yourself that they start pushing your buttons, because family members know how to do that―resentment, pride, fear, anger, whatever comes up. You are aware of that. Now, just because you are aware of that does not mean that you are going to act ethically, transforming the situation, transforming your consciousness.
The way that you do it is by following the different precepts of different traditions, religions, like kindness and selflessness. If someone insults you; understand the insult, understand where it is coming from and why. Understand that we are not perfect, so why be offended? It is really nothing stable there. Then follow your heart about how you should act, because your heart knows. That is conscience. That is intuition, knowing without having to think about it.
But of course, the difficulty becomes that our mind wants to devour us: anger with its logic says: “They offended me. I am going to get back at them!” So when you observe that process in you, that is great. You are starting to see and understand how you are dreaming. The anger is dreaming. It is projecting its desires. It thinks it is being offended and insulted and it is seeing the situation through a lens. Is it not true that when we are angry, we only see through anger? You do not see through any other way. Every situation becomes interpreted through a false door. That is one way that we sleep. So observe that.
The beginning of change is to stop dreaming. But just because you learn to stop dreaming, in the beginning, does not mean that you are going to be successful, because you just have to really work at it. See what is happening. Be aware of it, and then act appropriately. That is the next step.
Question: We are about to do the practice with the candle and I know there are other techniques that you can use to awaken in dreams. What would be the best method to awaken consciousness here and now?
Instructor: So, there is a lot of things that complement this, right? There is a lot of facets. We will talk about it in a lot of detail. I will explain this to you now, but in the future, we are going to go really in-depth about different ways to do it. Working with all of them together is like building a puzzle.
Now as you said, the primary method is to be aware of yourself in the day. That is why at the very beginning of this course, we are just talking about p, “what are dreams, who dreams, how do we dream?” Be aware of it because that is the foundation. Be aware of how you get distracted in the day and learn to curtail that, not with a type of militant despotism, but with recollection. Remembering yourself is how you start to really use the tools in this course. It is like, for example, if you learn to work with a machine. You have to be aware of yourself first to work it. Children obviously can not operate difficult machinery and that is why you get trained physically. First, you let them grow up. In the same way, we learn to grow up spiritually as a child by learning to awaken our consciousness. Then we start using these different tools and techniques to kind of augment that.
So one of the techniques we use is called the Key of Sol. We have a whole lecture that is going to be about that, where it is an acronym: subject, object, location.
Subject: who am I? What are my thoughts? What are my feelings? What are my actions?
Object: what is in front of me? What am I seeing? Not necessarily questioning with the intellect, but just being inquisitive, the way that a child is inquisitive when they are growing up and looking at a toy or creating something from the imagination. It is a very innocent quality. It does not assume that there is anything there, or merely just projects memories onto reality, but looks at it.
You know, we can be in our house oftentimes, our home, and we do not really observe where we are at, because we just have things in our memory, right? It is easy to get into an accident even in your own home. A lot of people get hurt in their own homes because they are not paying attention. They think they know what is going on or what is around them. Instead, we are not observing. Object has to do with what is in front of us. Subject―ourselves.
Location: where are we? Inquire. Where am I? What am I doing? It might seem silly, obviously, being physically here in this world, but if you learn to train your consciousness in that way, you will eventually start to see things in your dreams because you are observing your thoughts, your feelings, your actions. You start to see objects in front of you and then a location in dreams. Maybe you are not in Chicago in a dream. That is a big alert. Question yourself: “I live in Chicago. How did I get here?” And then you start to realize, “I think I am dreaming. How did I end up in Spain? How did that happen to me?” I found myself in Spain in the astral plane and I am like, “people are talking Spanish. Why are they talking Spanish? What is going on? Where am I?” I realized that I was dreaming.
Then if you want to test yourself, you pull your finger. In the astral plane, the matter of your astral body is ductile. It is elastic. Pull it with the intention of making it stretch. If you are intentional enough and gentle enough, obviously, physically, you do not want to do this too hard. You do not want to hurt yourself. In the dream, it will stretch. Then you will realize, “I could not do that physically. I am dreaming. I am in the astral world! “ That is something you can do physically where you are just training yourself, and then you just get in the habit of questioning, “where am I?” Then physically, discretely, when no one is watching you―thinking you are perhaps weird or unusual―just pull your finger.
In dreams, you can also jump in the air and see if you are going to levitate, right? See if you fly. You can do it physically too, but I like to be more discrete because I am not going to be jumping around and my co-workers looking around at me like, “something strange is going on.” Instead, pull your finger. That is one method, a very good one, very effective.
Or try something else: you can put your hand through a window to see if you are going to pass it through. I have done that many times and it works too. The only reason that it works is because we learn to question our dreams. Be self-observant moment by moment.
Question: In the questioning of daily life when we are not sleeping, is that what helps us to wake up when we are sleeping?
Instructor: Exactly. It is the questioning. It is the inquiry.
Question: Is this an intellectual kind of labeling like, “Ok, location. You are in the studio―me, my name?” Or how can I make this conscious and not just in the intellect?
Instructor: Practice. Just do it. Then you find in time that it is not an intellectual thing. In the beginning, you can question yourself. It is easier that way, right? It becomes more of a habit. The beauty of the practice is that it teaches us how to start from being mechanical to how to be conscious. So you are learning to take something that is very mechanical like just walking in the street, or even pulling your finger, or jumping in the air, right? It is a common thing you can do, but with time and practice, you learn to start doing it with awareness. It just takes acclimation, getting used to it, to the point that you may even have times where you have trained yourself so well that suddenly you become vivid in a dream and you know you are dreaming, and then you jump in the air and fly away and go and investigate something.
Question: You talked about the two kinds of dreams you can have, the self-projecting kind and then the fifth dimension kind. Can you lucid dream in both of those?
Instructor: Definitely. Great question. Both. You could be lucid in a dream where you still do not realize you are dreaming.
For a lot of people there is a big step or hurdle there, where suddenly you may have the experience where you see a lot of different colors, and images, and landscapes, perhaps, but you do not really question that you are dreaming. The first step is awareness. The second step is discernment. That is a very delicate skill that comes about as we learn to be more aware physically but also learning to discern our own psychological states. This is the same skill that you use to comprehend how whether or not you are seeing things clearly through the lens of fear, or anxiety, or anger, or whatever it may be. Instead, we are learning to see life without egotism. We need to discern our own psychological states.
It gets easier to discern our surroundings, so that when you are lucid dreaming, you see things more clearly, you can start to question things and then make the leap. When you recognize, “Ok, I think I am dreaming here,” where you even make that first declaration to yourself. That is a big step, just recognizing and questioning, “Am I here?” That is the starting point.
Sometimes it is possible to have visions where you are receiving a divine symbol from your inner divinity through a mystical experience. It can be happening and you are kind of just taking it all in, but you are not necessarily fully aware that you are dreaming, or that you are in that experience, and then you wake up and then suddenly realize, “Whoa, I think I just got an experience from my inner God!” So there is that reality too. But with enough training, you start to learn to be in that state and then suddenly make the discerned judgment of what is actually going on, and then you can say with confidence that “I am dreaming.”
Question: So can you be lucid during a projection of your own mind? Like how you dream at night is a projection of my fear. Can I wake up in that?
Question: Or I can only wake up in the objective in the fifth dimension?
Instructor: Both. In the sense that you can be having a very lucid dream in which your ego is projecting things and you are just seeing your own desires, and even in the middle of that, even if it is very intense and vivid, you can start to realize that “This is kind of crazy,” like “why am I seeing this action film playing out in front of me, and all this weird logic going on?” You can discern, “There is something going on here,” and then you realize, “I think I am dreaming!” It is possible, but usually, with those very intense egotistical dreams, we tend to just go along with it because we are very sleepy.
But visions that are more objective, relating to our own inner divinity, occur within the superior fifth dimension, you could say. We call it the heavenly realms, the heavenly world. It just takes practice and a lot of meditation. You have those experiences and maybe you do not understand them at first, but you know, with patience you learn to discern between them.
This is a powerful topic, one that has captivated generations of people, primarily because in reality, the study of dreams, internal experiences, and the awakening of consciousness within our interior, has very ancient traditions, very profound roots that are not merely a new age novelty. Instead, there have been many practitioners, amongst many diverse religions, who have learned to experience the reality of the dreaming state, and to verify, from their own internal work, how to receive guidance about truly pertinent problems in our daily life.
Anyone who has approached the study of dreams is obviously very interested and invested in understanding some type of experience, some type of inner vision. Perhaps in childhood, we experienced a dream of vivid intensity, of profound clarity, of deep mysticism. This demonstrates for us what is lacking in many forms of religion, which is precisely this experiential dynamic of knowing, for oneself, higher mysteries, higher truths, so that with this knowledge, we can orient ourselves and have a deeper, more profound, enriched spiritual life.
What are out-of-body experiences (OBEs)?
Out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, astral projections, lucid dreams, have been known by many names. It is known as dream yoga, from the Sanskrit yug (योग yoga), “to unite, to bind.” But to bind with what?
All religions teach, from the experiences of their founders, that there is a divinity inside, whom we can access and understand from experience. We can reunite with a truly higher principle, and in that way, we experience genuine religion, from the Latin, religare, “to rebind.” It is the same meaning in both East, and West―different terms, the same principle.
Even the Arabic دين Din, meaning “religion,” has to do with this type of experience. It is judgment, but not of a tyrannical God who punishes those who does not obey a certain code. Instead, it is our own inner process of judging our own faults, so that by comprehending our own conditions and mistakes, our own flaws of character, we can truly awaken our full potential. Thereby we experience the realities of what people call lucid dreams, astral projections, etc.
The Yoga of the Dream State
In the East this term is known as स्वप्नदर्शन Svapnadarśana: the yoga of the dream state. Swapna indicates “dreaming sleep,” and darshana is “auspicious sight,” “revealing” or “appearance.” It is the reverence and the awe that the soul feels when in that state and is directly communicating with our innermost divinity.
If you want examples of what this is presenting, we can look at the story of Moses, such as receiving on a mountain a prophetic vision, where he received the Decalogue, a guidance and instruction for humanity. Or in the Baghavad Gita, Arjuna seeing Krishna when he asks, “Show me your true form. Show me who you really are.” ― and then a vision, an infinitude of figures, men, women, children, full of beautiful forms. This is an exact representation of how the divine abstract becomes concrete, and this is processed in the medium of dreams, where an internal principle becomes a manifested reality. So in that state, we feel genuine reverence, great respect. It is auspiciousness. It is the amazement of an awakened consciousness before the divine.
We also have terms like Theophany, “the manifestation or visions of the divine” in Hinduism, and Darshan can also mean “an opportunity or occasion of seeing a holy person, or the image of a deity.”
So not only do we have our own inner divinity inside, our own particular unique Being, there have been many people in history who have perfected themselves. We call them saints. We call them prophets. We call them masters, buddhas, gods. In the dream state, you can learn to communicate with those who have fully awakened in that realm, who have really refined their conduct, so that we can gain insight in how to live.
Dream Yoga in Tibetan Buddhism
In Tibetan Buddhism, dream yoga is very prevalent. Vasubandhu and Asanga taught five paths to liberation, the third being darshana-marga, “the path of seeing.” It is based on facts, based on the direct perception of that state in which the consciousness, devoid of any type of filter or obscurity, any vagueness, sees the reality of that state for what it is.
I know some people that when they reflect on dreams, they describe, perhaps, a repetition of their day, or a nightmare, a chaotic state, dreams of fear and suffering. While these dreams in themselves demonstrate a quality of our mind that is often ignored, we can learn to take advantage of the dreaming state to understand these deep traumas, perhaps, and experiences. By clearing them away, any type of subjective states of mind, we see directly what is there, the reality of those states without any type of filter or condition of our own mind.
So most of the time when we dream, we are seeing our own psychological condition, usually, as I said, a repetition of our day, perhaps a memory, something very fleeting. Instead, in darshana-marga, dream yoga, we take the potential of that inner reality and make it something amplified, clear, without vagueness. We make it something penetrative and profound.
This is accomplished by learning how to practice certain exercises. It is like training for a new job or going to the gym. You can learn to train your consciousness not to merely project its own desires into that reality, but to see what is actually there. In that way, you are no longer dreaming. You are awake. You are perceiving that dimension, that state of being, without any type of confusion or doubt.
We do this through what in Tibetan Buddhism is known as sadhana. It is daily consistent practice. In this way, we perform a type of Tantra, which is a very popular term in East and West, especially. It means “continuum.” It is a perpetual flow and flux of perception.
So in the beginning, we may find that we do not remember dreams. We do not perceive our dreams. We do not understand them. They are fleeting. They are fragmented or confused. We can learn to become, through training, awake in that state, so that by awakening our potential consciousness, we augment it. By learning to be in a perpetual state of remembrance, to be awake at all times, even when our physical body goes to sleep, we as a consciousness are awake.
In Tibetan, it is known as Milam, known in the Nyingma or Kagyu schools of Buddhism. So, these are very ancient traditions with very deep roots. This image here is popularised within any school of Buddhism. It is called the nine stages of meditative concentration.
You perceive a monk ascending up a spiral path towards the heights of a mountain. He is chasing after an elephant. It is a symbol of how in the beginning of approaching spirituality, we have a very distracted mind, very scattered, very dispersed. We tend to be very identified with memory, or associative thought, or different fears, different chain reactions towards life, and never examining the source. In every Tibetan Buddhist monastery, you find this image, whereby slowly training the mind to slowly overcome its own obstructions, its own faults, we clarify and perfect it, like you see in this image. The elephant goes to sleep. The mind is relaxed―no disturbance―no ripple. It is in perfect equipoise. It is in perfect concentration, to be able to focus on one thing without being distracted. In its highest form, it is effortless. In that way, the consciousness within the meditator enters the dreaming state, but with lucidity, with clarity.
OBEs in the Old Testament
There are many examples within the Bible about dreams. We have the famous story of Jacob’s ladder, where Jacob went to sleep with his head on a stone, and he dreamed of a vision. I would like to relate this excerpt to you:
And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
What is interesting is that these are symbols, seeing a ladder from earth to heaven. It is the same symbol that is in Tibetan Buddhism, from being in an inferior, lower state of being in life, and learning to go up in oneself. Perhaps in the beginning, we are afflicted by many problems in life. We lack solutions to difficult issues. We do not how to resolve conflict, perhaps in our relationships, perhaps in our communities. If we introspect and examine ourselves, we can learn to discover that there is potential to, again, awaken and develop a type of consciousness, which, as its foundation, grants us access to higher way of being. So like this dream, Jacob symbolically saw angels ascending and descending―levels and qualities of being, of life, of internal life, of internal spirituality.
OBEs in the Book of Daniel
In the famous Book of Daniel, we also find the emphasis of interpreting dreams, of understanding dreams, understanding our experiences.
Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. ―Daniel 1:17
You see in this image a very famous depiction of King Balthasar, who was the son of Nebuchadnezzar. Now a little history in terms of Judaism. You find Kng Nebuchadnezzar had sieged the kingdom of Judea back in 586 / 587 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar was from the kingdom of Babylon, and they sacked the sacred temple of Jerusalem, the first temple of Solomon, and took the Jews there, brought them to Babylon. Daniel was among them, and Daniel was known for his ability to interpret dreams, which made him rise to prominence within that kingdom.
Primarily the story that I would like to relate to you is when Balthasar was hosting a feast, in which they used the sacred vessels of the temple of Jerusalem for their party, which was a blasphemy according to the scripture. So according to this, Balthasar and the people in the feast saw a vison that they could not interpret. The words: “Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin” appeared. This is very much a dream-like state, a representation. So the men, the sages, and the astrologers could not resolve its interpretation, what it meant, its significance. It was the queen who stepped in to say:
O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
So dreams do not have to necessarily reflect a type of disorder, but instead, we can receive insight in dreams from a superior origin. In that way, by practices and experiences, we interpret and decipher their meaning so that we can better orient our life.
OBEs in the New Testament
We find out-of-body experiences even in the New Testament, Corinthians especially, the sayings of Paul of Tarsus. He mentions:
It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
OBEs in the Qur’an
Even within the Quran you find the same teaching. In all the Abrahamic traditions, but even in the mysticism of the Middle East, you find similar explanations:
And with Him are the keys of the secret things; none knows them but He; He knows whatever is on the land and in the sea; and no leaf falls but He knows it; neither is there a grain in the darknesses of the earth, nor a thing green or sere, but it is noted in a distinct writing.
What is very beautiful about this verse is that it is stating that by learning to adopt and practice superior ethics, compassion, kindness, divine love, we get rewarded with experiences. We are shown, in dreams, the quality of a particular psychological work, of our behaviors, of which we get symbols about. This is where you are at, your level of being on that ladder going from earth to heaven. We get insights and we get inspired because we are being shown, in a very direct way, what we can do about suffering.
It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect. ―Qur’an 39:42
So what are these signs? It is inner visions. It is dreams, experiences.
OBEs in Sufism
There are references amongst the Sufis especially, who are the mystics of Islam. Ibn ‘Arabi is known as the greatest of Sufi teachers. He gives some very interesting examples of what we are talking about as well. This is from The Meccan Revelations:
Know that these bodies are the coffins of the spirits and what beclouds them; they are what veil them so that they do not witness the spiritual world and are not witnessed. ―Ibn ‘Arabi, The Meccan Revelations
What is interesting is that this word “witnessing” has to do with awakening, experiencing in its most profound sense. It does not mean believing in a tradition or disbelieving, but actually seeing for oneself what diverse religions teach.
So our body veils our perceptions. We are often very conditioned by our senses. But when you go to sleep, you abandon that. You learn to see with internal senses, and therefore you begin to witness higher realities.
So the spirits do not see, nor are they seen, except through being parted from these bodily tombs (cf. Qur'an 102:2)―by becoming oblivious (fanâ) to them in their absorption in spiritual things (and this simply means entering a state of meditation, falling asleep physically, and awakening consciousness in the internal worlds) not through physical separation [which is death]. ―Ibn ‘Arabi, The Meccan Revelations
I know there is an assumption in our modern culture that we cannot know what will happen when we die, primarily because, the argument is, no one has ever come back to talk about it. What is ignored by that assumption―which we will talk about a little bit later―is that the same dimension or state that one accesses when one dies is precisely the same as when we are in a dream. So by learning to awaken in our dreams, we can awaken after death.
Therefore since they have inner vision, when they become oblivious to witnessing [their physical] bodies then they witness the One Who gives them Being in the very act of witnessing [being conscious of] themselves. ―Ibn ‘Arabi, The Meccan Revelations
Are out-of-body experiences real?
So while religion has talked about out-of-body experiences and mystical states, modern scientists are still trying to catch up. What is interesting is that the Dalai Lama―who is a great master of Tibetan Buddhism―is also a practitioner of dream yoga with a lot of experience about this type of science. He has been making a lot of effort in talking at conferences with different scientists to get them to investigate, in a scientific way with different instruments, these types of testimonies.
Now the problem is there tends to be a lot of skepticism and doubt, which, when we are trying to scientifically verify phenomena, you want to be very rigorous, obviously. So, the Dalai Lama was talking to a Harvard scientist by the name of Alan Hobson. It is known as the Mind and Life Conference. I would like to relate some of this to you at length and talk about this.
Returning to the Mind and Life conference, in his conversation with [Harvard psychiatrist Allan] Hobson, the Dalai Lama raised the issue of knowledge obtained in dreams:
So unfortunately, there is a tendency in some scientists to want to dismiss certain propositions because they seem very unlikely, or they do not fit within a type of dogma, even of a materialistic type. But fortunately, there are a lot of people who are pushing to understand these types of phenomena, of how physical facts align with internal experiences. In that way, we learn to develop conviction, verification, understanding.
As we talked about in previous quotes from religious scriptures, we learn from practice how these types of dreams coincide with certain evidence in the physical world. That gives us what is called genuine faith―not a belief, not a theory, but we know. It is that type of understanding which pushes one to want to investigate, to inquire, and to look into these types of phenomena.
A while later, the Dalai Lama returned to other phenomena that are taken for granted by the Tibetans… ―Dean Radin, Supernormal: “Mysticism and Miracles” (pp. 57)
…because in Tibetan Buddhist culture, these types of studies are a very common place. In the West, we are very much alienated from a lot of religious principles, unfortunately, due to the perhaps bad examples of many religious institutions.
Dalai Lama: There are certain people who feel they have out-of-body experiences while dreaming.
Dean Radin makes an interesting point here:
This exchange highlights a central problem in dealing with discussions of miracles. Scientists meeting with the Dalai Lama are undoubtedly interested in anything he has to say, but having been selected as scientific and scholarly experts in their fields, they probably feel a certain pressure to behave like experts, even when they don’t know what they’re talking about. ―Dean Radin, Supernormal: “Mysticism and Miracles” (p. 58)
Some examples of how our own inner dreams can validate physical facts and how that is a foundation of genuine faith―my wife and I, before we were friends, had many dreams about each other. We both related, in our friendship and eventually our relationship, that we had certain experiences about each other that were really profound, very beautiful and symbolic, archetypal. As I was learning from my wife certain experiences that she had from training in this science, my own experiences came to my mind. I realized the connection, even though this experience happened ten years ago. It shocked me because I immediately knew the person I was going to marry. But we let the relationship unfold, despite our knowledge, like a flower letting itself show its own innate beauty.
That is an example, one of many, in which you can have a dream that comes true. What validates it? You look at the diverse symbols that are presented and study them. Meditate on them and look at the connection between the facts. That is what really is very moving.
There are lots of examples in which scientists are making a lot of effort to validate these types of perceptions from a materialistic basis, which is wonderful. You can find even on Netflix a show called Surviving Death, where you have the testimony of people who died and have come back, describing very similar experiences amongst many people. You can also look at a documentary on Amazon Prime. It is called Third Eyed Spies. Lttle bit different topic, but it does relate to a lot of these principles.
Now as Dean Radin states:
The discussion panel’s answer to the Dalai Lama’s questions about reincarnation, precognition, and veridical out-of-body experiences might have been a more modest “I don’t know.” Instead, they asserted that science has not studied these issues, or they gave the impression that the reason there is no scientific evidence is because the beliefs are not true. In fact, there is substantial evidence, and the results confirm that at least some of the Tibetans’ beliefs are almost certainly true. ―Dean Radin, Supernormal: “Mysticism and Miracles” (p. 58)
Are out-of-body experiences provable?
So building off of this question about “Are out of body experiences provable?” ― we can talk about a very interesting teaching from Sufism where they talk about three certainties. They discuss how there are different forms of knowledge, understanding, and experience, which can apply to many walks of life, many aspects of living.
Now the knowledge of certainty has to do with listening to a lecture, reading a book, studying a scripture, in which you have certainty in an intellectual sense. You are listening, and you are learning, and you are looking at these type of teachings, and they are making sense at their level, in terms of intellectual knowledge. So it is useful. It is useful to have that in the beginning.
But there is something much more deep than that, which is known as seeing of certainty. It is when you have a dream that is so intense, that you feel it is greater and more real than your physical life. You are seeing it. You are just perceiving in that state, accessing a type of experience that is beyond the senses. So what people call astral projections, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, this is seeing of certainty. You have certainty that there is something more than just the body.
But there is something more profound than that as well. There is the truth of certainty. The truth of certainty has to do with when your experiences are coinciding with the physical facts, and you know you have received guidance from the divine, from an inner source.
You can compare the knowledge of certainty to hearing about a fire in a certain part of the country. The seeing of certainty is like seeing the fire for yourself, very distinct. You can read a textbook, and―when you actually do it―it is a very different thing when you are burned by fire. This can apply to different states of being.
So I mentioned an example of having a nightmare, the seeing of certainty, in which you are perceiving a state that is real. You are interacting, whether it is our own mind, or perhaps other qualities of our being, within a different state that is inaccessible to the senses.
Now a nightmare, in reality, can be caused by a number of things. For one, we are perceiving a deeper part of ourselves that is really beyond the range of our ordinary senses. So we can have dreams of being persecuted, or being killed, or even killing, things that we would never do in our daily life, and yet are there. That is seeing of certainty and seeing our own inner hell. A nightmare is seeing what religions call infernal worlds, negative states, and obviously we wake up and we feel relieved that it is over. Some people may have this problem of having nightmares, and what those type of experiences within are showing are very deep seated traumas within the mind, rooted in anger, in pride, in lust, in fear, in vanity, in doubt, that are trapping part of our consciousness in that state. So actually having a nightmare―as difficult and as painful that might be―it can be a blessing, because we are seeing something in us that needs to change. We are seeing the reality of ourselves.
In having certainty of the truth, that just as there is a hell, there is also a heaven, we can really aquire the truth of certainty, because there is not only infernal states of being that are not only accessible to us, we can access what religions call heaven, in which all those conditions of mind, those defects that are mentioned, are stripped away. They are gone, in which you are vibrating with a level of being which is superior, heavenly states in which all the different prophets that came to humanity were teaching people to experience, to know. That is the truth of certainty, when we realize that there is something more than just what modern scientists, or perhaps our contemporary culture, would have us believe.
What are astral projections?
So what are astral projections? This has to do with when we physically go to sleep every night. The issue becomes: are we conscious of the process of falling asleep?
It might seem like a catch-22, or a conundrum, a paradox. How can you be awake when you go to sleep? The reality is your physical body goes to sleep every night, and the consciousness, our soul, the root of our very being, our perception, leaves it. Because it is not very active, we tend to go to bed and we wake up eight hours later and we do not remember anything.
Now the reality―if we really train ourselves and really learn to experience this for ourselves―is that whenever we go asleep physically, we enter the dream world. We astral project every night. We just do not have consciousness of it. We are not aware of it. This is verifiable when you practice some of these exercises that we are going to be teaching sequentially in this course. You can see this where, if you have a conscious astral projection in which your body goes to sleep and your soul is awake, you learn to transition with lucidity, with intentionality, with will.
Eventually with practice it becomes very familiar. It becomes a very welcomed thing. I know how some people can get scared about what is happening. Some of us might even had an experience where we were astral projecting, and perhaps we lost that experience. Perhaps we got scared. We got emotional or fearful. It is easy to be fearful of what we do not know. But the truth is that we do it every night. It is just a matter of becoming accustomed to it, becoming aware of it.
Who can astral project?
Some people think that it is gift for an exceptional few. In reality, anyone can train themselves to do it at will. It is not because some people have received the grace of God and are able to do it intentionally. It is a matter of training, of becoming aware of ourselves, especially throughout the day. Mindfulness is especially well known in many contemporary spiritual schools. We talk about that a lot.
How do I astral project at will?
But we can all learn to astral project at will, to enter that dreaming state with intentionality, when we develop the faculties of consciousness: being aware of ourselves at all times, being mindful, learning to concentrate so that instead of having a mind that is dispersed, thinking of different things, or many thoughts as we are going to sleep, we focus on one thing, one exercise. By integrating our willpower, our consciousness, our concentration, we go into that state with clarity.
We also develop exercises of visualization, which is very popular in meditation schools, especially in Tibetan Buddhism. By learning to visualize images in the mind, we develop the faculty that allows us to deeply perceive dreams. It is the same faculty. It is the same characteristic. Those who have a more robust ability to imagine and concentrate on one thing, on one visualization, and be able to see the different colors of an object, the different details, with real intensity or detail, are able to awaken in dreams much more easily, because you are using the same faculty.
Also, we learn to develop a relationship with divinity within ourselves. That is something that comes with time, obviously, with practice. When you experience these things, obviously, they inspire you. They fuel your efforts.
What are different ways to experience the astral?
So there are four ways we can really experience the astral dimension. One of them is being conscious when we astral project at night, whenever we go to sleep.
Some people awaken in their dreams. They are dreaming and suddenly they realize, “I am in the dream world. I am not here physically!” There are different techniques we can use to verify and test the reality of where you are at, so that you know.
People have also experienced near-death experiences, like in the Netflix show Surviving Death. One lady mentioned how she died on a rafting trip and they brought her back, and she was able to talk about what happened. So she entered the astral world, came back, because it was not her time yet.
Or we can die, and that is the last way one can enter the astral world. So it is interesting that either when we die or go to sleep, we enter that region.
What is the astral plane like?
In truth, it is a material dimension. It is interesting, because for a lot of people, if we just have dreams, things can be very vague or incoherent. But when you remove all the subjective conditions of mind and learn to access that state with an awakened consciousness, we see that there are cities. There is Chicago. There are people driving cars. People are doing things that they do normally in their physical life. Nothing vague there. The reality is it is a type of matter and energy that is not as dense as this physical world, which is why people have reported dreams of flying, passing through walls, putting their hands through a glass window, for example. That is one thing I liked to do when I first started testing if I am here physically, or if I am in the internal worlds. I would go up to a window and press my finger, slightly, with the will that I put my hand through it. Because it is more subtle, you do it, so that you can then realize, “I am dreaming.” But it is a type of matter, energy. There is a reality there. It is just less materialistic. It is less dense, governed by laws like levitation, elasticity, plasticity, ductileness. You are basically able to even pull your finger and see it stretch, fly to distant places. You can drink a cup of water there. You can eat and drink in the astral plane, but it is very different.
What are lucid dreams?
This has to do with having more vibrancy in our dreams, in our inner experiences. We may have moments in which we see something with greater expansiveness or perception, greater depth, and we wake up. Or a lucid dream is you are basically seeing more to what is there.
There is a greater range of perception. You see more colors there than you see physically. But what is interesting about lucid dreaming is that just because we are seeing a panorama of what is there, it does not necessarily mean that we realize where we are at. We could be dreaming or having all of these great images. We are perceiving things in a new way, but we do not realize that we are dreaming.
I know some people like to say that lucid dreaming has to do with waking up, but we make a very clear distinction between a dream and a vision in these studies. Dreaming has to do with the fact that you are projecting from your mind onto that screen of reality. So you are dreaming and interacting with your own contents of your psychology. But a vision has to do with when you let all of that to subside. You let it all rest and you receive knew insights.
But also, lucid dreaming is a wonderful gateway into deeper knowledge, because if you realize or see greater range of perception in your dreams, it means that you are going to be able to see more. But there is some steps that are necessary to transcend dreams.
How do I perceive the astral plane?
We have to train our consciousness through concentration, imagination, meditation. These are techniques that will help us to really know these truths.
How do I navigate the internal worlds?
With familiarity―you become familiar with it. In the beginning, we can get scared. I remember when I first started to practice astral projection when I was really young, I was terrified, because I was lifting out of my body and levitating over my bed, seeing things with more depth than was physically possible. So my fear took me out. But eventually after getting used to that process, now when that happens, I get really happy, because now it is another wonderful opportunity to pursue my spiritual life, internally.
You learn to navigate the internal worlds the same way you learn to ride a bike. You learn the neighborhood. You learn where to go and where not to go with the guidance of your parents, meaning, not just physical instructors, but your own inner divinity. You learn.
Is astral projection dangerous?
No. we do it every night. If it were dangerous, no one would be alive, primarily because you fall asleep, and every time you fall asleep you go into the astral dimension. People who do not go into the astral dimension have insomnia. They cannot sleep, so it is good to take care of that.
Can I get lost in the astral plane and not return to my body?
You can not. A lot of traditions have talked about what is called the silver cord, the Antakarana thread. It is very important in astral literature, where you have a silver cord that connects you with your physical body. You can basically travel throughout the planet. You can go to other planets in the solar system, even to the edge of the galaxy if you want, and yet that cord will bring you back to your body when it is time, when you wake up.
The only time when that cord gets cut, and the person cannot return to their physical body, is when it is their time to die, and that is something that is governed by divine beings. We call them the angels of death. I know in our popular imagination we think of these hooded, skeletoal figures with a scythe as something very demonic and terrifying, and it is because we are not familiar with the process of dying. We are not aware of it. We do not remember, perhaps, in previous lives when we entered this life, and how we have died many times before. That is something you can also verify through experience, by learning how to astral project.
But these beings are very divine. Personally, I have met one such being. When I saw this angel, I was crying because it was so powerful, the presence of divinity, and this is a type of being that can really guide us through the process of sleep and death if we learn to train ourselves
Can one be injured in the astral plane?
No. So you can jump of a roof and end up like Neo in The Matrix, landing on your face first ton the pavement―you are not going to get hurt. It is because your astral vehicle, the body you use in dreams, is subjected to the laws of elasticity, plasticity, levitation. You cannot get hurt like that. Also:
Can entities take over my body during astral projection?
No. It is not like you leave your body and then someone can creep in to your house, your physical body,. It cannot happen. You belong to your car, so to speak, or your car belongs to, you better said. Your body is a vehicle that you operate. You drive it every day. If you want someone else to take over your car and drive your car for you, well, that is what mediums are for. We do not recommend that practice because mediumship, allowing different entities to enter within oneself, is a practice we do not teach. So it is not like you can leave your physical body behind and someone else can sneak in. It cannot happen.
Hypnos and Thanatos: Sleep and Death
Now what is interesting about the relationship between sleep and death, is the Greek myth of Hypnos and Thanatos. So I touched briefly on how we enter the world of death every night whenever we go to sleep. Whenever we go to bed and we dream, we are in the world of the dead. The problem is that we are not aware of it.
Hypnos and Thanatos in Greek, sleep and death, were brothers, because the ancient Greeks knew that relationship. They taught that if we want to awaken after death, we have to awaken in dreams. It is the same process as going to sleep.
The question becomes, “How do we become conscious during dreams?” and “What does it mean to awaken consciousness?”
The Tibetan Buddhists mention that every time you go to sleep, it is like you are dying a little death, which is a quote from Samael Aun Weor as well:
It is stated that a dream is nothing but a small death. ―Samael Aun Weor, Gazing at the Mystery
Our consciousness is not awakened to its full potential. While we have a degree of perception in this physical world, it is very limited. It is conditioned and it is censored through many layers and factors. We call them thoughts, feelings, sentiments, anxieties, worries, daydreams, fantasies, preoccupations, resentments, hatred, desires, appetites. Often times we are so dedicated in our Western culture, catering to our bodies, that we forget to be aware of ourselves, even of our breathing. This is why all meditative traditions teach the need to be mindful, especially, throughout our day, because if we are mindful and awake in our physical body, when we physically go to sleep, we are going to awaken in dreams. It is the same process.
Your eight hours of sleep are a barometer of how awake you are. It can be a very scary proposition. If we go to bed and eight hours pass and we do not see anything, it means we are very unconscious. However, if you have dreams, it means we can start to nudge the door open a bit more until we can enter the temple of mysteries.
Even Plato mentioned this in The Republic. Here is an example of a negative person:
The most evil type of man… in his waking hours, has the qualities we found in his dream state. ―Plato, Republic 9:65
Now it applies not to just bad people, but good people. We have preoccupations. We have thoughts, worries, and daydreams. Perhaps we are driving to work. We have a certain routine we go through. We take the train. Maybe we are thinking so much that we are remembering the past; we forget our stop. We are not awake. We are driving our car. We are thinking of our friend, and then suddenly we nearly get into an accident. It means we are not paying attention. We are not conscious. We are not aware.
Most people tend to go to sleep and merely just repeat their daily life within the dream state. It is because we are not really focusing on our internal states. We tend to go through life mechanically, just reacting to different situations. However, if you learn to become awake of the process, of your moment-to-moment life, your daily states, you start to expand consciousness within dreams.
What are the different qualities of consciousness?
This is bringing us to a point about four states of consciousness that we study. These are Hindu terms. Sushupti is profound sleep. Swapna is dreaming sleep. Jagrat is awakening consciousness, and Turiya is spiritual illumination.
The easiest characterization of this dynamic has to do with physically―you go to sleep―Sushupti. Swapna is when you dream. A lot of people associate, within yoga, Jagrat as being physically awake, but it is wrong. The truth is that these are qualities of consciousness, not whether or not if you are in your physical body or not. Profound sleep is like when we go to bed. Eight hours go by and then we awake, but also physically, if we go through our occupation throughout our day, oblivious to, perhaps, physical danger on the street, or on the train, or driving a car, it means that we are not conscious.
I am pretty sure that we can all think of moments in our day, or perhaps trying to remember months ago what you ate for breakfast on a Tuesday. We cannot remember it. In our contemporary culture, we like to accept this type of distracted state of mind. But the truth is that, spiritually speaking, it indicates for us that we are not aware. We are not conscious. We cannot remember where we went two years ago for a vacation, or amongst friends, what we said, what we thought, what felt, what we did. We are not awake. We do not remember. That is profound sleep.
In certain cases, too, Sushupti has to do with a common state of barbarism of humanity. In one context, it has to do with mob mentality. For example, we see people get in fights on the street, or commit violence, or go to war. That is Sushupti, because people who are conscious of the humanity of other beings would never kill, would never commit violence, even in their thoughts.
So we can see that we all have this inside. We spend eight hours in the bed, and we do not even remember anything. That is Sushupti as well.
Swapna is interesting. It not only has to do with dreams at night when the physical body is at rest, but all of the dreams we engage with in the day. We are washing dishes and we are thinking of that television show we want to watch. We are riding our bike thinking of our neighbor. We had a conflict at work and we are ruminating on what they said or we are anticipating our revenge. We are always projecting our mind and thoughts onto other things and never looking at where we are at. We are not concentrated. We are not lucid. We are dreaming, and physically if you are dreaming all day, then at night we will dream as well.
This is why all religions teach the need to awaken. This is Jagrat. It has to do with adopting a certain discipline in which you pay attention all the time. You observe not only our body, but, with the psychological senses of the consciousness, we learn to observe the sources of even our thoughts, our emotions, our impulses. We learn to become aware of all that, and then we develop the continuity of paying attention all day and not getting distracted by anything. That is mindfulness. It is the continuity of perception. It is Tantra: a continuum and flow of awareness at all times.
When you really develop that in yourself, you begin to get glimpses of Turiya: spiritual illumination, in which we perceive things without conditions or filters, without prejudice, without bias. It is a state of consciousness that is very dynamic and it applies to a very profound range. It has to do with perceiving with objectivity, perceiving like a god, and you can have that in dreams, especially. Physically you can experience glimpses of illumination like that. But especially when you go to sleep with an awakened consciousness, you can be given certain visions from divinity that are very beautiful, and so penetrative that we could not do it on our own,. It is a grace and gift of divinity, but also when the conditions are right, the cause and effects are applicable. When we have set the foundations for experiencing that type of insight, it emerges.
Going back to that Sufi teaching, you will find that it has to do with the truth of certainty, because when you have that type of experience, you have great joy. But the thing to remember is that just having a temporary experience like that does not mean we are enlightened. It is a glimpse into what is possible. It can be given to us as a gift, but to sustain that takes training.
Can machines, frequencies, synthetic sounds, and binaural beats affect the brain and awaken consciousness?
A lot of people have approached astral projection wanting to use different material techniques to produce a spiritual phenomenon, and unfortunately it is mistaken. It is not that simple. For those of you who are not familiar with binaural beats, it has to do with listening to two simultaneous tones, one at a slightly different frequency so that when you are listening, it creates the illusion of creating a third beat, which is in your brain, in order to produce a type of mental state. So there have been certain studies how synthetic sounds or artificial sounds can produce astral projection, primarily from the perspective that it is the brain that we are trying to affect and that the brain is something malleable and can be influenced easily so as to awaken consciousness.
It is true that you can have experiences with these things, but the question is “Of what quality and of what state?” Merely having an astral projection is not enough, because there can be superior astral projections or there can be inferior astral projections. This is something that many people ignore, unfortunately. As I mentioned to you briefly, like that ladder of Jacob, there are heavenly states and there are inferior states. There are more liberated, unconditioned, luminous, unobstructed, clear, divine perceptions, and there are conditioned, selfish, negative, egotistical states―heaven and hell.
We emphasize that spiritual experiences cannot be influenced by mechanical means, primarily because if you are trying to influence the brain to do things for you, it is treating oneself like a machine. Machines know how to react. They are conditioned and they are constructed in such a way as to react to influences.
Now the brain, we have to remember, is merely a vehicle. It is a car that we have to drive. Who is driving the car though? The consciousness is not the brain. The brain is a vehicle of consciousness. It is not the originator of perception. We use the brain and our physical body to interact in this physical world. But it is just that. It is a machine that you can operate with intelligence. Or perhaps it is like working at a franchise or a fast food restaurant, or a meat packing plant. You are just doing things mechanically. You are not thinking, because you just have so much to do. These machines and mechanical methods can not produce the type of unconditioned awakening that we seek, if we are sincere.
Projections, again, can be conditioned by external influences, such as by synthetic sounds, frequencies, binaural beats, but those will awaken perceptions that are conditioned. Awakening is dual. I know in modern spiritual circles, people like to think of awakening as something positive. But there are two forms. If you look at the statements in the Book of Daniel in the Bible:
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. ―Daniel 12:2
…because there are ways to awaken powers and abilities like this, whether for good or for ill. So there is a distinction there. We do not rely on these types of things. We do not need to in order to have positive spiritual experiences. There are many more intrinsic ways to do this.
Can drugs, psychedelia, and intoxicants produce astral projections?
They do, but down in the infernal worlds. Primarily because, whenever you ingest an intoxicant, it is a condition. It is conditioning the consciousness. It is stimulating the consciousness to act, but within pride, anger, fear, laziness, lust, hatred etc. There are ways of experiencing these truths without relying on anything outside of us, but inside. So if you are interested in learning more of the nuances of this topic, you can study an article we wrote on our website. It is called: “How Do Drugs Affect Our Spiritual Development?” We go into a lot more detail than we have the time to elaborate here, but that is the synthesis.
How do I interpret my dreams?
I have talked a little bit about heaven and hell. We see it represented on that graphic on the left. This is the Hebrew Kabbalah, the Tree of Life. It is the mysticism of all religions, not just Judaism. It is a map of consciousness, from inferior to superior levels of being, levels and states of perception.
We have our physicality, which is this bottom sphere. We call it מלכות Malkuth, which means “the Kingdom,” because we have to reign and rule in our kingdom: our body.
But there are superior states and spheres. We call them סְפִירוֹת sephiroth in Hebrew, emanations from the unknowable, divine abstractions or source, and which we seek to return to in our studies. But there are also the inversion, which are the hell realms.
We use the Kabbalah as a map in the same way that you travel to another country. You learn the language. You learn about places to go, the geography, the culture, the customs, so that you can be more informed and navigate with facility. This image is precisely the same thing, but for the inner worlds. If you want to understand your dreams and where you are dreaming, or where you are experiencing things, we study and apply this glyph. It is deep. It is very scientific, very precise, and can give us clarity and understanding about what we are seeing.
We also use the Tarot. On the right we have The Eternal Tarot deck from Glorian Publishing. We use what is known as the major arcana. These are the principles and laws of nature depicted through images. The numbers themselves represent spiritual principles. Some of us may have had dreams where we received a date, or a number, or a time. It is Kabbalah. Kabbalah in Judaism is the science of numbers, how numbers represent abstract principles, which in a dream can apply to certain situations or dramas.
For example, you may have a dream about a certain situation in which you receive a number, and that number, especially one through twenty-two, relating to the first twenty-two cards of the Tarot, give us insight about what is happening there, about what we need to do about a certain situation in life.
These are very deep principles,. There is a lot of extensive knowledge available about them. Especially on our website, you can study The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah if you want to go into depth about what these cards mean.
Even receiving a card in the astral dimension, you can actually see these images. Personally I remember even receiving a Tarot reading from an Egyptian initiate in the astral place, who was showing me cards related to what I needed to develop. The cards coincided with this. Now these cards, they are living art. While they are described through Egyptian imagery and mysticism, they are really universal. The Tarot are beyond Egyptian cultural phenomena. They are even older than our humanity, even other worlds, with other humanities. The same laws apply. We just contextualize them with Egyptian images because it is convenient for our understanding.
But the truth is that these twenty-two laws apply to everywhere in the universe. They all represent different qualities. So we study them so that when we receive a number in our dreams, we can perform certain calculations with how the numbers add up to a unified synthesis or sum. We get the meaning, and we do not get confused about what we perceived. This is why we emphasize in our tradition that all traditions are golden pearls strung upon the golden thread of divinity, because all religious forms embody the same principles like the Tarot.
These numbers apply to all religions, and if we study the scriptures themselves with the knowledge of what the Tarot mean, you find that they mean the same thing. It is the intuitive grammar and building blocks of meaning from the spirit, because the different cards and numbers can add up together to create a synthesis. It is very elegant. It is very extensive. But more importantly, it is very simple. We study it. We learn it. We apply it. So all of these traditions represent these truths.
Should I use dream symbol dictionaries?
Some people have asked: “Should we use dream symbol dictionaries?” We always emphasize the need for independent thought, self-reliance, investigation. It is very easy to open a book, look for the symbol, and try to get an answer. It is the most normal reaction to have when we are experiencing dreams. We want to know what we are seeing, and see what other people have said.
Personally, my preference is to rely on what the prophets have taught, beings who have really demonstrated, through millennia, their caliber, because there are a lot of books in the world that are written by people who never reached that development. It is good to rely on instructors, but proven ones, prophets like Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, who, through the scriptures, have related in their symbols the very fabric of meaning. In our spiritual path, when scripture is applied to our spiritual work, we can really interpret what is going on there.
So the thing about dream dictionaries is that the lack intuition, and here is why: you can look at a symbol in a dictionary, and look at one level of meaning of it, but there are many layers to a dream symbol. It is very extensive. Perhaps you have a dream of a cross. I have had that before in relation to a kind of work that I needed to do. But the overall tone was a state of suffering. You are bearing your cross and you will have ordeals. That was the meaning that played out in relation to my physical life, certain hardships I had to face.
But the cross is not just about suffering. It can be the four elements: earth, air, fire, water, or related to our psychology: mind, emotions, physicality, and sexuality, certain aspects of our constitution. We also need to look at what is happening in relation to the symbol. Were we carrying the cross? Was it in front of us? What happened? There are a lot of applications that do not get codified in one strict book.
This is why even in diverse religions traditions you do not find a book with the absolute meaning for everything, although that is what a lot of people think when they think of their religion. But the truth is that all of these teachers and all of these prophets taught in accordance with their capacities, and also of the level of development of the student. While their insights are valuable, it is also good to look at all religions to see how they all complement. Now, that is even at a level of a prophet who can give really deep insight, but just studying one source isolated by itself is like… we are not looking at the bigger picture.
The problem with dream dictionaries is that you find a lot of these testimonies from different people are very contradictory. They conflict with each other. The reality is, if you want genuine insight into the reality of dreams, we have to look to sources that really agree. They all say the same thing. It is all unified. It all points to the same direction. When we have that foundation and see how it relates to our experience, we then gain confidence in its source. But the problem is there are too many contradictory opinions, mostly made from people who have not reached those heights. So it is out of caution of our own development that we don’t rely on dream dictionaries. It is good to be prudent
Can someone interpret my dreams for me?
A lot of people ask―and we have gotten this question from people too―“Can someone interpret my dreams for me?”
It also begs an interesting question too. Obviously, we have a yearning to know what a dream is. We look for insight, perspective, and so we might go to people that hopefully provide that for us. But this relates an interesting dynamic within students, especially.
The Talmud states:
A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read. ―Talmud
Most people in the beginning do not know how to read spiritually. We have a dream. We do not know what it means. We want someone else to read it for us. What would be better, relying on someone to read and teach you through what they can read, or someone to teach you yourself? Is it not true that a person who does not know how to read is vulnerable? Someone could tell you, “This is what it means,” even for example, they do not know what it means or have bad intentions. We do not know, and because we do not know, we should be cautious.
Be prudent, because dreams are important. They are essential for learning to master our spiritual life, to awaken there. Therefore, we should really be critical, not of other people, but of our own selves. This need and this desire for security―we want to be secure in our spiritual life. We want someone to tell us that everything is ok, or to tell us this is what that means. It does not work that way. In reality, the magic of dreams unfold as we meditate.
Practice meditation. Learn the science of meditation. Become a self-reliant meditator, because really, we can unpack meanings and unfold the significance of dreams over many years. Personally, I had dreams decades ago that have only come true recently, and part of the awe and the joy of that realization is from having worked upon myself, not going to other people: “Tell me what this means!”
If we learn to study genuine sources, such as learning Kabbalah and the Tarot, and learn the diverse symbolism within different traditions, you gain a very expansive lexicon by which to interpret what is happening. It gets easier. It gets intuitive. So in the beginning, we start to study, intellectually, different sources. But the real work comes in meditation. Put aside the mind. Put aside thought, the desire, the fear: “I want this to mean a certain thing,” the anticipation that “I want a certain result. This is what I want the dream to mean!” This is where people can start to get into problems especially. Having a dream, thinking it is one thing, but it means another. Therefore, why get another person in the mix, especially if we do not know their experience or qualifications? So it is good to be prudent.
How do I know if a dream is real or not?
We made a distinction earlier. We mentioned that there is a difference between dreams and visions. A dream is a projection of our mind, which, with its levels and qualities, perceptions and states, can be more objective or less. But the mind for most of us is very heavy. We have a lot of errors. We have flaws. We are not perfect. We have defects. We have fear and anxiety, the yearning for security, ambition, perhaps not for physical things, but maybe spiritual things.
We have a lot of qualities in our mind that is really best described as desire, ego. We want something. We desire something. Therefore, we try to feed our desires. These are conditions.
The soul is something different. The soul can feel great joy and aspiration, yearning for the truth, love for others, philanthropy, kindness, compassion, patience, and the consciousness that realizes its true nature does not dream. It sees. It has visons. It knows. So a dream is a projection of our mind. We are enmeshed within our desires, and as we mentioned, going about our day is being lost in daydreams. It is like being lost in thought, memory, sleep. But a vison is when the mind is calm. It is receptive and it is at peace. We are seeing the reality before us, whether physically or internally.
This is why Samael Aun Weor, who is the founder of our tradition, stated in the lecture called "Mental Representations":
True illuminates have no dreams. Dreams are for those who are asleep. True illuminates live in the higher worlds, out of the physical body, in a state of intensified wakefulness without ever dreaming. ―Samael Aun Weor, ”Mental Representations”
There are many examples of this: Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Krishna, Moses… we could go on for ever. They did not have a sleeping consciousness. They did not dream. Physically, they can go to sleep at will and project into the internal worlds at will, for as long as they wanted, because they were so exact and rigorous with themselves, holding themselves to such a high standard. Therefore, they taught it to others. We can do the same.
What can I do through astral projection?
There are a lot of things. I find this is perhaps one of the most compelling points about these types of studies, which drew me into studying and practicing this.
Through astral projection, we can receive divine teachings. We can communicate with our inner God. We can receive insight on difficult situations and how to solve them with efficacy, with complete equanimity.
We can also explore the superior and inferior worlds, as demonstrated by this graphic on the right: the Tree of Life, the heaven and hell realms.
In the astral world, you can visit other planets. You can see other humanities that dwell there. When we talk about other humanities, we are not talking about other little green men with antennas, and perhaps little crustacean features, or something really exotic or disturbing like Hollywood would have us presume. Instead, we learn to interact with different species and humanoids who are very spiritual, who are awake. We can get insight from them and they can help us internally.
You can also visit the temples of the universal fraternity of the divine. There are temples in the physical world such as Egypt and other places that are now cadavers. They used to be flourishing with life physically, but internally they are active. You can go into the temples of Giza in the astral world and receive initiation and guidance from the masters there, luminous, enlightened beings. There are many temples throughout the world in the internal worlds, throughout all cultures, because this type of knowledge is universal.
We can invoke genuine spiritual masters. You can learn certain prayers with which you can call unto divinity to send this master to you, to teach you, and that can give you guidance. That is really better than relying on someone helping you physically, is when internally you invoke and you ask a master about a solution to a problem. They will always come, especially if they have perfected themselves. They are here to help.
We can also enact―and this is an uncomfortable topic for some people―spiritual self-defence, because just as there are friendly beings, there are also negative beings. We call them witches. We call them black magicians, sorcerers, warlocks, those that can astral project, but within hell. The live and they dwell within the inferior regions of the astral, the negative infernal planes, and because we have ego, we tend to gravitate to those states, unfortunately. But with training we can awaken and change ourselves.
In that process, we do get confrontations even, but there are proven ways to defend oneself, through prayer, through sacred invocations. We call them conjurations. This is where the term “magic” came from. It is when you exert the consciousness in its defense, so that it is not influenced by any negativity. These methods that we teach in courses like Spiritual Self-Defense on our website go in to great detail about how to practice that. They work, but with training and time we learn to practice these techniques the same way that you go to a dojo to do martial arts. In the beginning you are sloppy―and I speak from experience―but with practice you get very efficient.
You can negotiate your destiny with the Lords of Karma. These are masters who guide the trajectory of humanity. Karma is a very popular term. It means cause and effect. These are beings beyond good and evil. They manage the law of destiny out of compassion. Karma is not some blind law of retribution in which we suffer or “get what we deserve.” Instead, despite our past actions and mistakes, we can receive mercy. We can even go to those hierarches, such as Anubis in the Egyptian mythology, in order to discuss our problems and how to negotiate it, because the scales can be balanced in our favor. We learn to do that by personally speaking with the law.
We can also face and conquer ordeals. This has to do with tests the student can face as a means of provoking and pushing us to develop. So in our spiritual path, we learn to overcome certain adversities and hardships, whether physically or also in the internal worlds. You can have symbolic dreams that represent certain challenges that you need to overcome. They are always managed by divinity. We have related a little bit in our courses previously, but you will find more about that in The Secret Path of Initiation on our website.
We can enter initiation, meaning, we enter a new way of life, to be welcomed amongst the gods, to become perfect like the gods. Also, see the same course in which we talk about that, the degrees and stages by which one unites with the divine, so as to be welcomed by those who have walked before.
We also, lastly, can watch or view the Akashic Records, view prophecies. This is a very compelling topic, and I know a lot of people have talked about the Akashic Records. It is basically like a film of nature. In the astral world, which is very fluidic in the sense that it is very impressionable, it relates to emotions, sentiment, a subtle form of matter and energy. In that dimension, everything is recorded, every action. Even if you speak into an old tape recorder, you can find that there are actually geometric shapes that are imprinted in the film. The same thing with the Akashic Records.
All the history about ancient humanities in different civilizations are imprinted within the consciousness and the memory of the astral world. So if you ask your inner divinity to show you about an ancient point in time, or a certain thing you need to know about the future, you will see images. You will see living dramas, a film. It is like watching a movie, but you are seeing reality. You are not seeing illusion. You are seeing what happened, what is, and what will be. We can learn to access that and really understand things about our humanity and our world that are inaccessible to our physical senses.
In conclusion, we will mention that by knowing ourselves, we will know these things.
The oracle of Delphi mentioned:
Know thyself, and thou shalt know the universe and its gods! ―Oracle of Delphi
Hence the importance for learning how to awaken consciousness.
So at this time we are going to open up the floor to questions. We have some from the chat, most likely. The other instructor will be reading them for us at the appropriate time, but we also have a lot of people here as well. So feel free to ask.
Questions and Answers
Question: When using the Tarot are you supposed to take in to account the three cards, or just the final number you are supposed to add up?
Instructor: Good question. For those of you who are not familiar with the Tarot themselves, such as doing your own reading, we mentioned some of this in the lecture called The Magician, the first arcanum in our course The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah.
The major arcanum sets the tone, one of the first of twenty-two cards. So there are twenty-two major arcana, and fifty-six minor arcana. You first separate the major arcana from the minor. Shuffle them. Pull out one card face down. You look at the minor arcana. Shuffle, pull out one card. Shuffle, pull out one again. What you do is you look at their relationship. First you look at the individual cards, but the minor arcana and major arcana complement. They work together. So just as you form sentences with words, in the same way, the different arcana all constitute a certain meaning in the end. So you look at the synthesis. You look at the relationship between them, and you also look at them independently. So look at them all together.
Question: How often can one use it, like, can one use it every day or should you change it?
Instructor: You can use them every day if you want. Once a day. If you want to learn about genuine spiritual issues, the thing is not to get caught up in when you get an answer, to doing the tarot reading again, in a sense like you do not like the answer. Therefore you want to get another one. You cannot trick divinity. But if you have a certain issue that you want to explore, you can work with the Tarot. You can use it once a day, even if you want to know different things, such as “How do I proceed about my day? What do I need to know?” I have done it in the past, especially in order to learn about all the different cards, not just the first twenty-two, but all the minor arcana as well. So you can do it once a day if you want, but really dedicate it to genuine issues.
Other Instructor: It can be done more than once a day if you have more than one serious spiritual question to ask.
Question: How can you go about being successful in meditation, because I try but my mind is like “You got to do this… you got to do that!” I find it very difficult to like keep my mind blank, and to not think about anything.
Instructor: Sure! It is a learned skill. We have some resources online. You can study courses we gave, such as Gnostic Meditation, and the Sufi Principles of Meditation, teaching meditation with the Sufis scriptures. We did a whole course on that. What I also like more is on Glorian.org: Meditation Essentials. That is a very synthesized and a very refined way of explaining meditation, step by step, with weekly exercises. I recommend that especially. So if you study that on Glorian.org, practicing each of the exercises for each week, in each lecture, you will get very profound results. That image we talked about, the nine stages of meditative concentration, the course elaborates on that a lot, so I highly recommend it.
Question: You mentioned that with out-of-body experiences, it happens when you are falling asleep. But then I know that the dream state is through REM, so that does not usually happen until you have actually been sleeping for a while. So what is the difference between those two, and the timing? And what happens when you go out-of-body? Do you immediately go in to that realm, or do you, like you said, you see yourself, and then you go into that realm?
Instructor: Sure! So there is a deep connection between the brain and our internal life, because like the Antahkarana thread, we are united with the physical world and our internal worlds. Now a lot of people record having deeper dreams and experiences when we are in REM sleep, when you are really deeply within the internal worlds themselves. It does not mean that people are astral projecting during REM. The reality is that we are projecting in the initial phases of sleep as you are stripping away your identity. Such as when you are falling asleep, you see memories, and dreams, and voices, and sounds, and landscapes, or whatever it may be. That is indicating to us a type of process in which we are starting to increase the light of perception, in which you are in the process of entering slowly in the dream state.
Now a lot people get caught up in those initial phenomena and they are unconscious again. Then they might later have experiences relating to deeper stages of sleep, REM. Now in Tibetan Buddhism, we talk a lot about the four lights. We will give a whole lecture about this especially. In the beginning phases, we start to perceive that we are about to enter into a dream. But if you maintain your concentration in that process, you enter willingly. But with REM sleep, we have already been in the astral plane for a couple of hours, typically. With training and learning to awaken your consciousness, you can be fully lucid throughout the entire time, even to the point that you physically leave your body, you go in to the astral world for a couple of hours, physically, terrestrially, and you can come back with full consciousness without forgetting anything. So that is possible. You can have the potential to be that skilled. It is very possible. It just takes work.
Question: Is sleep paralysis our ego not willing to leave our body?
Instructor: Some people have reported sleep paralysis associated with nightmares even. You are in your body but you are not conscious or you cannot move your body. That is usually just the process, sometimes, when you are returning to your body and you have not fully integrated into your physicality, in order to be able to move yourself after having come from dreams. It is not something to be really alarmed about or fearful. I know some people who have mentioned, for an example, I have a relative who had sleep paralysis associated with nightmares. He would see aliens or some other negative things coming at him when he is in sleep paralysis, and he felt defenseless when that happened. But the thing is not to be identified. Sometimes you have just not fully gotten your car to start, so to speak. You cannot be harmed. So nothing to worry about.
Question: Is it possible to get to the astral plane through meditation instead of going to sleep?
Instructor: Absolutely! So actually with meditation and practicing that skill, we are learning to go to sleep consciously. So when you meditate, with enough skill, you let your body relax. You are fully concentrated within. You are focusing on something to investigate. You can imagine whatever the object or goal is. Visualize it and let your body start to slumber. What is interesting about this state of meditation is that we learn to receive new information, when all of the mental obscurations are settled, like the sediment in a jar with water and all sorts of elements. If you shake it all of the time―which tends to be our daily waking state―you have a muddled chaos. But with learning meditation and applying these principles in our daily states, the sediment begins to stratify, layering itself so you can begin to see all the different contents of the jug of your mind.
What helps with that is when you are learning to meditate, you are falling asleep intentionally. It is the same skill. In fact, as you are learning meditation and you learn to go to bed, you are meditating while you are falling asleep. You are meditating even when you are laying down. So meditation, even in your chair or whatever position, you can learn to do that. In some meditations, you want to balance that threshold between wakefulness and sleep. But certain meditations you may find that if you want to learn to astral project, you do so while you are meditating. In fact, the best end result of a real successful meditation is an astral projection, because now you leave the body behind. You have removed certain layers that obstruct your investigation into certain phenomena, and then you can go. So meditation is a state of mind. It is a quality of being, when receive information in a new way.
Question: So when you are in that meditative state, does the body always go to sleep, or can you have visualizations and the body can be still mobile or functional?
Instructor: Great question! The best visualizations occur when you are still, in which you have relaxed enough to the point in which your thoughts cease to be a distraction. You are not churning with emotion. Your body is not agitated, and when you are perfectly still, meaning, you do not move physically or internally, mentally, suddenly images appear. They emerge. We do not will them. We do not intend them. But they just arrive, flashes of insight. You see visions. You see dream-like symbols. You see experiences, landscapes, especially, perhaps. That is indicating that we are approaching it in the right way.
You can have certain insights when you are physically active. It is true, but that take a lot more training. But with time, if you are sitting to meditate and you are stilling all the contents of your psychology, those visions appear magically on their own, and can really inform us about certain things we need to take care of.
Question: Ok, and so any visualization, I guess in that aspect, would be considered astral projection, regardless?
Instructor: Good question. An astral projection is when you are conscious of leaving the body. But often times when you are meditating, you are beginning to enter that threshold of that state, not necessarily projecting all the way through, but you are starting to perceive your inner reality. It is like stepping in between the doorway of two chambers: the physical and the internal. If you are really focused as you are receiving these visions and experiences from your internal dream state, you let your body fall asleep and you go out. But sometimes we might of fallen asleep in our meditation and suddenly we are seeing all of these things too. So there is a dynamic here too. But in both cases, you are perceiving your inner reality. An astral projection is when you are aware of leaving your body. In some cases, we fall asleep and we have no awareness of it at all. So… a little difference.
Question: Can we learn to heal others or ourselves through astral projection or when dreaming?
Instructor: Yes. The important thing is that when you learn to astral project, you use that ability for good. Use that capacity to help other people. You can do so by learning how investigate the karma of your particular situation, or another person if that is granted by divinity, if it is allowed. There ways to communicate not only with the Lords of Karma, but also the masters of medicine. There are beings that are governed by the archangelic hierarchies of influence known as the Angel Raphael―very famous in Christianity, in the Judeo-Christian tradition―who can help heal people if it is in accordance with the law and with the will of divinity. So you can learn to astral project and go to the temples of healing, to ask for benediction for those who are suffering, always in accordance with the mercy of the law, the stringency of the law, the rigor of the law, but also with compassion, we ask. We can pray. So you can do that.
Question: When one awakens consciousness in an astral projection, what are the keys to staying awake?
Instructor: We have certain mantras we use. A mantra is a sacred sound. It is a vibratory force. We know that through regular speech, our words can have blessings or curses. There are improper words and proper words. There are qualities of speech in reflection of the quality of our mind. Words spoken from hate harm the mental atmosphere of people, but compassion and blessings unite communities.
In the same way, a mantra is a type of keynote, a sacred sound which through, either physically or mentally, vocalizing like the mantra “O,” we are learning to attract superior forces.
One simple mantra to do, even when you are driving your car or doing it mentally at work, is “Om” [or O]. Prolong the vowels. You sing it mentally. That type of practice helps to strengthen our concentration so we are focusing on what we are doing. We are aware of what we are doing. We are not distracted. Even when you do that physically, when you learn to train yourself with practice and time, you can find yourself in the astral world suddenly awake. If you feel your consciousness is getting a little weak, a little tired, sing the mantra mentally.
You can sing it out loud even in the astral plane. People are asleep anyways in the astral world. People are not going to care. I know one time I was doing the mantra “Om Tat Sat” repeatedly, and some person in the astral plane was making fun of me: “You look weird.” I did not say anything because he was asleep. He did not realize he was in the astral plane. So it does not matter. Physically, you may not want to say it out loud because people may think you are a little strange, but in the astral plane it does not matter. They can judge you, but they will not remember.
Question: If one cannot be harmed in an astral projection, why do we need to enact spiritual self-defense?
Instructor: Good question! Astral projection is unharmful. Learning to transition into the internal worlds is not a problem. The issue becomes when you encounter beings like sorcerers or demons, black magicians who want to pull you into their path. Now there is not something dangerous about transitioning into the internal worlds. You cannot be hurt in the internal worlds like when you get punched or hit, or you fall over, or you scrape yourself. There is no danger to that. The struggle between positive and negative forces is in the mind. It is a conscious quality in which certain entities will try to exert their will on you to get you to act how they want. We call it black magic. But white magic is wanting to invoke the aid of divinity to work through you, so that you can nullify those types of efforts.
For example, someone comes up to you with a lot of anger, very hateful, very resentful. Maybe we did something wrong, and then if we learn to transform that situation and act kindly, like with genuine compassion, you diffuse it. In the same way, when you are working with certain prayers, you can learn to nullify those type of influences. But astral projection is not dangerous.
Question: Should we conjure and protect ourselves in the astral plane even if it is a beautiful angel, deity, etc.?
Instructor: You can, and it is actually recommended to be cautious, because there are beings that say, “Yeah, I am Jesus.” Anyone can say that, but it does not mean you should trust them. I remember even when I met the Master Jesus, I was scared because when I invoked him, he was a very luminous being. I was so terrified of the intensity of his presence, and I felt fear, like perhaps I called upon a demon instead. But I started to pray more and eventually clarity came.
You can do certain prayers and invocations to ask, “Show me who you really are!” So we will talk more about different practices later on, but you can call upon divinity to say, “Show me who you are” with certain conjurations that will basically clear up the astral environment for you, so that you can discriminate what is going on.
Question: At times in my dreams, I get a sensation of extreme intoxication. It happens suddenly and without taking any intoxicants within or out of my dreams. I feel extremely disorientated and have a very hard time standing up or walking. It feels as though I am very drunk. I tend to work through it, but eventually I have to just sit down. Could you please explain what this may be?
Instructor: Those type of dreams that a recurring are showing us something. If something keeps repeating, like a recurring dream, it means that we need to see something about ourselves. Now, feeling like one has no control over the body in dreams like in the astral vehicle, to be drunk in that state, could imply that there is a lack of control in one’s daily life. Usually dreams will show us something going on factually, something that is happening in your daily state.
So there is a relationship there. You should always examine your dreams in relation to your physical life. If there is a correlation there, then you can have confidence that something is factual here in what you are seeing. So if you feel like you have no control in your dream, examine your life. Examine what is happening throughout your day. Where do you lack ethics in your work?
Question: During lucid dreaming, do you recommend talking to other dream characters? I notice that most try to convince me that I am not lucid when I wake up.
Instructor: Well, if they are trying to talk you out of being awake, then yes, ignore them. There are a lot of weird entities you can encounter, and most of them are projections of our own mind. So if something is starting to distract you in the astral plane, with practice you learn to say, “Ok, I am going to put this aside. I am going to do something else…” so you maintain continuity of your mindfulness.
Question: What about sleep walking? People who go to sleep and within an hour, they get up and walk around a bit with no recollection of it the next day?
Instructor: Sure. In terms of sleep walking, I am not an expert. I have known people who have suffered from sleep walking. It is kind of like having one foot in the dream world and one foot in the body, where you are in such a comatose, psychological sleep that you are acting in a way that you are not aware of. It is like you are dreaming while you are awake, in the conventional sense.
Now the reality is that sleep walkers are in a profound state of Sushupti, which is the deepest form of psychological unconsciousness. But it is interesting. They can be physically active, but they are not aware of what they are doing. That is a more intensified example of what we do all of the time. Now there are greater intensities to these type of conditions. For us, most people tend to get distracted by certain things in the day. We are not really aware, but a sleep walker, we can see them being unconscious. That is all I can really draw from it. I am not really an expert in that. I know some people can get that treated. Pretty sure there are other sources where people can look.
Question: Could it be that they are maybe too identified with their body?
Instructor: Well, in the case of a sleep walker, they are identified, or they are in the body, but they are not aware. So yes, they are identified by some psychological quality, and that is a really good point to make because the reason why we sleep, in a spiritual sense, in a psychic sense, is because we are identified with some psychological condition in us. If we are ruminating in a problem, or stewing in anger, or identified with anger, we feel that we are that identity. We are investing our energy into those extremes. In that way, you lose consciousness of everything else.
So in a future lecture, we will talk about awakening consciousness in dreams, especially, awakening in dreams. We will talk about what it means to identify, where you lose awareness for yourself. Perhaps you are walking down the street and you see some kind of item in a store. Perhaps you go by a book store―that is kind of my guilty pleasure. I will see a book on a shelf, and my energy, my attention, is drawn to it, where I want to go into the store perhaps. If I am not paying attention, I can get distracted by my desire to go explore.
That is identifying and that leads to sleep. There are ways to train against that. So a sleep walker is identified with something, but even they are not aware because they are so unconscious.
Question: Can you speak about the arcana, after the first twenty-two? Why are there minor arcana?
Instructor: So the minor arcana are really an important part of the whole Tarot. We focus very extensively on the twenty-two major arcana because those are the main laws that we investigate. They are really the essential structures of reality. Now for example, the twenty-two arcana, we can associate them with the twenty-two Hebrew letters, and the twenty-two Hebrew letters relate to these twenty-two cards. Just because we synthesize everything into twenty-two characters does not mean that we do not look at the other fifty-six.
Now the fifty-six minor arcana are really important, in that they unpack the nuance of the original major arcana. When you get a Tarot reading for example, whatever major arcanum you receive, that kind of sets the tone for the larger picture. But then how does it apply to you life? How does it relate to different circumstances? How does it show you what is happening in your spiritual work? Those minor arcana clarify the context of those things, and they are really powerful intuitive messages and principles. We sum up everything to the twenty-two cards because those are the main building blocks for everything. But the minor fifty-six arcana are also really important to elaborate what is going on.
Question: I woke in my dreams, but I end up going straight to the hell realms. People, or entities there, kept grabbing or holding me. I tried various techniques to get rid of them, but their response was that they cannot be banished anywhere, because I came to them. I woke up with one still grabbing on to me and I could still see its face. Is it possible to bring entities from the lower realms back to this dimension?
Instructor: I would say in most people, no. There have been certain magicians or practitioners who learned to manifest the astral within the physical, and that takes a certain type of work and discipline. Now sometimes when we wake up physically from a dream, like a nightmare like that or a very intense experience, we still have the residue on us. We are still enmeshed in the dream when we are physically awake. So you might feel a psychic sensation when you are physically awake when you transition back.
I would say, from that experience, it sounds a lot like your own egos, your own defects. You were shown, and they told you that you came to them. It is true. We created the ego, and we gravitate to our own negative conditions of mind because of our own will. It depends on how we want to act. We have a choice in everything.
Now since we understand the teachings and the ways to remedy the problem, we learn to face our own particular karma or situation that we are now in, not with defeatism or with the feeling that “I am such a bad person,” or “I cannot make it.” But instead, we have the tools and we know right from wrong. We can act and change the situation. But unless you are someone like Iamblichus, like a real powerful theurgist, a magician who can invoke angels into the physical world, I would not necessarily fear of having a dream like that and suddenly your own egos are going to come after you from the infernal worlds. The reality is that even though they physically not going to appear, they are with you all of the time in your mind. So the solution is, just be patient.
Question: The statement that you can awaken positively or negatively is extremely intense. Can you give more details? Can a person awaken negatively by accident, meaning without absolute intent, and understanding of what is happening, or do they have to want that to happen? The Essence is always the innocent victim of egos, so I have a hard time understanding these two seemingly opposite ideas. Does that negatively awakened state eventually end?
Instructor: Good question. Now for a lot of us in these types of studies, we tend to carry with us certain defects from past existences. So even if physically we may have not dabbled in black magic or negative arts, it is rare to find someone who does not have that ego. Now for a lot of us who have so much condition of mind, it is very easy to simply push us over the edge, because as Samael Aun Weor mentioned, we are typically 97% ego and 3% free. The 3% needs to learn how to work on the other 97%k like the story of David and the Goliath. David conquered because he had faith in God and a pebble―a powerful allegory.
Now there are people who willingly and intentionally know that they are practicing that kind of art, and they enter into it with full consciousness or they enter into it knowingly, that these exercises are going to awaken them. Because they have those experiences, even though they are within conditioning in hell, they think it is positive. They do not discriminate what they see. For most of us who are in Gnosis, who have dabbled in that type of thing in past existences, we might have an encounter with another entity who seeing our weakness, our vulnerabilities, and can target us. That is exactly the way that these type of situations work, where a black magician will look for a weakness in your defenses, psychologically speaking, in order to pull you or to awaken you negatively.
So sometimes that can happen against our will, in the sense like, perhaps, we are confronted by a black magician and they can disarm us and take our consciousness, especially by grabbing your solar plexus, which is a very venerable area. They take your consciousness and they awaken you within your ego.
But that does not mean it is going to be a permanent state, because you can conjure and get your way out of it. You can defend yourself, get out, and you can return to your physical body and be fine. The reality is that, because we have these weaknesses, it does not take much to trigger us in certain situations. But it does not mean it is going to last forever. You can get insight and guidance from a divinity to help you, especially if you are feeling tested or tempted internally by these negative entities.
Personally, I have encountered a lot of them in my work. I have received guidance internally from my inner Being who was comforting me, especially after certain situations that were very painful where I felt very defeated, like I got beat up by a sorcerer. My Being told me, “You have nothing to worry about.” It is a learning experience. So be patient.
Question: Can we meet our ancestors, or loved ones during astral projection? Would they have information specifically about us or current conditions on earth?
Instructor: They can. It depends on their level of being. There is an assumption in Judeo- Christianity, and even in Islam, that when we die, we are going to go into the afterlife with awareness. But that is not true. It is not based on the scriptures. So we can meet loved ones. Personally, I have met family who have died before. I found them in the astral plane, but they were not awake. They did not know they were dead. That is the case with a lot of people who die. So if you really want to learn about situations on earth and about life, it is good to relate to awakened beings, awakened masters. Sometimes people have recorded moments in their near-death experiences or astral projections where they have met family and loved ones who were comforting them with a lot of light, showing them a strong presence of divinity inside, who were inspiring them that there is something more to life than just bank accounts.
My personal experience with having seen certain family members in the astral has been divinity often takes on forms familiar to us, out of comfort. For example, I have met people in the astral who appeared as a relative of mine in order to demonstrate that there is a person in my physical life who is like a brother to me, or like a sister. It is a symbol. Sometimes when people have these types of experiences, they come back to their body and they think that their loved one is awake in the astral plane. But it could be that divinity was just teaching them and giving them a lot of comfort or support through a familiar figure. So there is that dynamic too. But each person needs to analyze and discriminate for themselves to really understand what is going on here.
Question: Doing some of the practices, I am learning that I am having less lucid or mystical dreams now. Could it be that prior to the exercises I was having lucid dreams based on the ego, and now that I am going back to the basics to build up in the proper way, is it more aligning to an Egregore?
Instructor: You have to discriminate in yourself. Look at the facts. Examine your quality of life. Now divinity will give us experiences, will help us have those experiences when he wants. There are ebbs and flows in perception, in experiences. In the beginning, we tend to get a lot of light. Divinity inspires us with experiences to push us to want to study these things. But you may find that while practicing the knowledge, suddenly you do not have experiences, and there is an interesting dynamic here. Light comes and goes. There are periods of light and darkness, sun and moon, so to speak, philosophically speaking.
The thing to remember is that the practices do not put one to sleep, but there are many factors that go in to play. What is the karma of you situation? What does your Being want for you? Sometimes having experiences can be a problem. Having lots of visions and thinking one is a god, and therefore God says, “You are a megalomaniac,” meaning, you are too proud. Therefore, they cut it off from you.
We learn by bringing light into our own darkness, not by being in the heavens, so to speak. So look to your karma. Investigate it. Pray to your Being. What does he want for you? Be patient, because those types of experiences come and go when the conditions are ripe, when they are necessary.
I thank you all for coming. We appreciate our online audience, and we will continue next month. Thank you!
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