We are initiating a new course on The Voice of the Silence, an ancient manual of esoteric instruction. This work was translated by the eminent Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, whose scholarly and spiritual achievements cannot be easily estimated. This brief mystical text is a collection of fragments from The Book of the Golden Precepts, an obscure and rich scripture from which The Secret Doctrine was inspired.
The Voice of the Silence was not fully translated, since it would have required Blavatsky many years just to organize her documents, let alone translate the work in its totality. She also mentioned that much of this scripture is too sacred and profound to be understood by her students. This is a powerful statement, one that should not be overlooked. This guide, she said, is for serious practitioners who are awakening consciousness.
Although The Voice of the Silence is brief, it is dense, and therefore difficult to interpret. As with any deep work, it requires an awakening consciousness to decipher, apply, and realize. Despite the brevity of this work, it synthesizes the entire path to liberation. This is no small feat.
The origins and translation of this work has often been contested and disputed. However, the Panchen Lama affirmed its authenticity. In case you do not know, the Panchen Lama is second in command to the Dalai Lama within the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. As he stated in 1925:
It is the “only true exposition in English of the Heart Doctrine of the Mahayana and its noble ideal of self-sacrifice for humanity.” ―The Panchen Lama (1925)
This brief work is a condensation of many rich spiritual truths, which not only inform Tibetan Buddhism, but even Judeo-Christian and Western esoteric traditions. This might seem erroneous, especially for those who are very familiar with Blavatsky. She is well known for her expositions on Eastern mysticism, not so much with Western spiritual thought. However, we will demonstrate how both Western and Eastern mystical traditions can provide a deeper understanding of The Voice of the Silence. We will do so by juxtaposing and clarifying it with the writings of Samael Aun Weor.
Samael Aun Weor wrote about γνῶσις gnosis, the personal, experiential knowledge of divine reality. While this is a Greek term, gnosis is not the sole property of the Greeks. Different religions have different terms for this type of mystical experience, which are based on the language, culture, and idiosyncrasies of distinct messengers and time periods. Samael Aun Weor’s particular gift to humanity, given the ambiguity of many spiritual writings, is his clarity. He is direct, profound, insightful. More importantly, he is practical. He gave many keys for understanding the roots of all traditions. The root of all traditions, he emphasizes, is mystical experience.
What is the Voice of the Silence?
But what is the Voice of the Silence?
This title or principle is a paradox. How can a voice be silent? Who is speaking? To whom? More importantly, what, how, and why? What voice does one hear in the silence? What silence are we referring to?
The Voice of the Silence refers to mystical experiences. In meditation, we can receive direct guidance from divinity. By their very nature, such experiences are paradoxical, especially to our sensual and materialistic mind. How can one possibly experience divinity? How is this even possible given our current limitations or state? How can one perceive without the physical senses?
The root word for mysticism is the Greek myein, to close one’s eyes to illusion, so as to perceive inwardly, psychologically, spiritually. These are perceptions we experience even within dreams. Myein is also the root word for mystikos, an “initiate,” someone who has learned to develop their full conscious potential. An initiate is someone who perceives and understands realities beyond the body, heart, and mind. These are people who have some level of self-mastery over the causes of suffering, and therefore can immediately access knowledge from divinity.
This scripture emphasizes that we are yet to awaken to reality, to divinity, to the truth. Blinded by our passions, appetites, fears, sensuality, desires―we do not see reality. We do not perceive the truth of our situation. We also do not perceive clearly when we dream. As stated in 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. ―The Voice of the Silence
This verse is exceptionally compelling. Perception is dual. While gradations and distinct qualities of perception exist, there are really two fundamental modalities of being. We either see divine reality or we don’t. We either perceive and comprehend, or we do not understand what we perceive. In the worst case, we don’t even perceive things at all, because we don’t pay attention. We are often blinded and confused by our own sense of self, our identity, which fluctuates, is impermanent. However, by transforming ourselves, we can not only experience, but unite with divinity through a state of perfection. This is the fundamental argument of this scripture.
So what harmony must be attained so as to perceive as a soul? What must we do to unite with our divine Being, the truth, the Voice that speaks in our inner silence?
How Do I Hear the Voice of the Silence?
This harmony is psychological, internal. To use the technical language of meditation, harmony is serenity of mind, unwavering concentration on one thing without becoming distracted.
Tibetan Buddhism teaches that there are nine degrees of serenity or meditative concentration. These lead the disciple to the ultimate apprehension of reality. In the beginning of meditation, we do not perceive spiritual states easily, because we are distracted. But with gradual work in concentration, we do. The ability to exclusively focus on one object of meditation implies calmness of mind, silence of thought. Silence is the natural state of the consciousness. What is abnormal is our current state. How we see is usually obscured and filtered, conditioned, whether by pride or anger, negative thoughts, fear and desire. By observing thought and letting it subside, to cease in its activity, we access our true nature of being. This is why The Voice of the Silence teaches:
Silence thy thoughts and fix thy whole attention on thy Master whom yet thou does not see, but whom thou feelest. ―The Voice of the Silence
In the beginning of our studies we may experience this. We may feel a pressure in our heart. We have a hunch or intuition about a teaching. We do not have all the evidence, but we are inspired to practice, experience, to know. This inner voice in our heart, this voice that speaks in the silence of our mind, the solitude of our practice, is conscience. It is knowing right from wrong, even if we lack an intellectual justification or explanation. This voice is the call of our inner divinity, who seeks to inspire us, to enter the spiritual path that leads to our true origins.
It is this spiritual inquietude in our heart that drives us to approach spirituality and religion, to seek answers to our deepest problems and sufferings. It is also the voice of inner judgment, the voice of inner discrimination. It is intuiting right from wrong behavior. By performing right action, we avoid suffering. We develop inner clarity. This is the prerequisite for awakening consciousness and experiencing the truth. This sense is developed the more we answer its needs, especially through daily meditation.
Samael Aun Weor explained the following about this:
The human being who allows that which is called self-judgment or inner-judgment to express itself in a spontaneous manner within will be guided by the voice of the consciousness. Thus, he will march on the upright path. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
This is the key. Such an inner voice, inclination, or inspiration is spontaneous. It is not premeditated, planned, conceptualized. It lacks suffering. It is spiritual action free of desire, of attachment, fear, craving, aversion. It is intuition: knowing how to act without having to think. It is like lightning. But while brilliant and astonishing in its novelty, it is oftentimes followed by the rumbling thunder of doubt, thought, negativity, maybe even despair.
The clarity of that insight emerges the more we reflect upon ourselves and question our intentions, our impulses, motives, thoughts. We must sift through the mud of passion to find the lotus of virtue.
Here is a compelling metaphor: when the lake of the mind is serene, it can reflect heaven upon its tranquil, clear surface. This is known as the faculty of imagination. This is when we perceive psychological images with great detail and depth. When our imagination is muddied, we see through impurity. When our imagination is pure, it reflects the revelations of heaven.
Samael Aun Weor also explained this in The Revolution of Beelzebub:
The intuitive person knows how to listen only to the voice of the silence. Thus, within his serene mind, the eternal truths of life are reflected with splendid beauty. The reasoning person converts his mind into a battlefield filled with prejudices, fears, anxieties, fanaticism, and theories, and his conclusions are always favorable to him. Yet, such a turbulent lake can never reflect the sun of truth. The mind of the intuitive one serenely and silently flows very far away from the black struggle of antithesis and from the storm of exclusivity. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of Beelzebub, “The Mind and Intuition"
Reasoning can provide false certainty. Our desires always feel justified. However, genuine mystical experience does not conform to our preferences, our prejudices, fears, anxieties, fanaticism, theories. The beginning of hearing the Voice of the Silence is abandonment of self. This requires conscious judgment.
Intuition or inner judgment can be intentionally strengthened. We do so through following the three levels or trainings of any meditative discipline.
The Three Trainings
These three trainings have different names in different traditions. They represent the path through which our consciousness conquers suffering and realizes its divine nature. These three trainings also structure The Voice of the Silence in its three fragments.
Every religion has three levels of knowledge and practice: introductory, intermediate, and advanced. Buddhism outlines three schools or movements corresponding to these levels: Shravakayana, Mahayana, and Tantrayana respectively.
Shravaka means “hearer.” Yana means “vehicle.” It is therefore the vehicle of instruction in which we hear about or learn religion for the first time. This level of knowledge is based in ethical discipline. Here we learn to not lie, kill, steal, lust, adulterate, consume drugs or intoxicants, envy, gossip, criticize, blame, hurt, or commit harms in any way. This is because negative actions pollute our mind stream. They make us confused, weak, disconnected from our inner divinity.
These behaviors distance us from the voice of the divine. They condition our consciousness and cloud our ways of seeing in the world. They even affect our dreams. They put our consciousness to sleep and activate negative ways of being. Such individuals cannot see reality, because they are not willing to let go of their desires, whether for sensations, praise, fame, money, drugs, respect, security, status, etc.
When practitioners have mastered some level of ethical discipline, cultivating a spiritual space within their bodies, hearts, and minds, they can begin working for the spiritual benefit of others. The more we recognize our sufferings and limitations, and the more we understand how and why people suffer, we become inspired to help them. This is compassion: selfless love based on the understanding of impermanence.
Nothing in existence is eternal, including our appetites and desires. We often chase after sensations, experiences, satisfaction, ignoring that our very cravings and aversions control us. However, they are not permanent. They always change. When we don’t get what we want, we suffer. When we get what we want, we want more. We are never satisfied.
But when we realize the futility of desire and how it produces pain, that nothing lasts, we also see how our own behaviors make others suffer, which is a great inspiration to change. Tibetan Buddhists uses a very specific term for compassion, guided by insight into reality. They call it bodhichitta. This is the awakening heart-mind of boundless compassion. This is a spiritual principle that focuses on liberating others from suffering, precisely because one understands the nature of selflessness.
Therefore, we work to not only edify our own spirituality, but that of others. Mahayana is the Greater Vehicle (since Maha means “great”). This level of religion is where we actively work for the benefit of all beings regardless of our own desires. This is a superior way.
However, it is not the most profound, expeditious, or powerful. The advanced level of religion is known as Tantrayana, the “Diamond Vehicle” or supreme way. This is divine sexuality. Tantra literally means “continuum,” whereby the consciousness conserves, harnesses, and elevates the most potent energies of the body for the spirit: the creative sexual force.
(Padmasambhava to his consort Yeshe Tsogyal:
"Lustful people do not enter into the path of liberation.")
Tantra is often represented in Buddhist iconography with various buddhas, masters, prophets, or gods in a state of sexual embrace. This has nothing to do with lust, but love. Some people get confused. How can one have sex without lust? Lust must gradually be eliminated so that the sexual act becomes a sacrament, a sacred ritual. This is why years of training prepared disciples for this level of knowledge, because sexual power without responsibility produces problems.
When a couple conserves and transforms the sexual energy with supreme adoration, purity, and love, never allowing the continuum or flow of forces to leave the body, then they radically awaken the consciousness. This power allows married men and women to develop the deepest insights, since the power to create life, the creative energy, awakens their full potential.
The Voice of the Silence addresses all three levels of religion. It is therefore a complete teaching, despite the fact that Blavatsky didn’t transcribe everything from her original source: The Book of the Golden Precepts.
The Three Essential Spiritual Sciences
But what else must we study to better understand this scripture? We must look to the three essential mystical sciences of antiquity. These are:
Kabbalah can mean “tradition” or “knowledge.” It also comes from the Hebrew term קבל kabbel, which means “to receive.” This secret wisdom was originally transmitted from mouth to ear, from master to disciple. It more importantly signifies how we as a consciousness receive spiritual experiences.
Kabbalah is often synonymous with the Tree of Life, a map of consciousness, the universe, and divinity. The Tree of Life shares its roots, biblically speaking, with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, otherwise known as alchemy.
Alchemy, or اللّٰه Allah-χημεία Khemia, is an amalgam of Arabic and Greek wisdom, otherwise translated as “the chemistry of God.” Khemia means to “fuse or cast a metal.” Allah is the Arabic name for divinity. Traditionally, alchemy is associated with superstition, the belief that dense metals can be transformed, like lead into gold. Trans means “to carry over,” and mutation indicates how an inferior substance becomes a superior one.
This is a symbol. By conserving and transforming energy, we become fully developed beings, masters or gods, with complete knowledge of good and evil.
Psychology is understood today as the study of the mind. But etymologically, psychology is the relationship between psyche (the consciousness) and logos (the Word, the Being, divinity). By mastering our minds in meditation, we connect with and realize the truth.
Many will argue that kabbalah and alchemy have nothing to do with The Voice of the Silence, since kabbalah supposedly originated in 13th century Spain and alchemy in medieval Europe, with roots in Pre-Islamic Arabian mysticism. These are Western, not Eastern esoteric traditions. When we reference kabbalah and alchemy, we do so in accordance with their principles, not to their appearance or moment in history.
Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, is a map of consciousness. It is a map of our very being. These realities have always existed and will always exist, before and after medieval Judaism. Just in the same way that Sir Isaac Newton didn’t create, but documented gravity, likewise the medieval Jews documented the Tree of Life and didn’t originate it. Likewise, Eastern traditions taught the same truths, but in different forms, including Bhavachakra and Kalachakra. Therefore, the principles of kabbalah are universal.
Also, alchemy, the transformation of personality―the dense lead of selfhood into the gold of spirit. This is much older than medieval Europe. This law of transformation predates even our known universe. It is eternal. There have always existed individuals who, once common and ordinary people, worked in this alchemical science to become buddhas, angels, perfected beings. Likewise, there will always exist beings in future cosmic scenarios who will enter the path of liberation and fully unite themselves with divinity.
The same with psychology. Consciousness is inherent to life. Our psyche, our soul, when inspired to study spirituality, seeks a deeper, more personal relationship with divinity, the Voice of the Silence. There are levels to experiencing the Voice of the Silence. There are also levels of development whereby an individual unites with, realizes, and fully expresses that Voice. This is known through the path of initiation.
The Voice of the Silence is based on their universal principles. Therefore, it is useful to explain the essence of kabbalah, alchemy, and psychology with this scripture, since they complement the text. Eastern symbols can become more clear through context. By looking at the root knowledge of these traditions, we can gain greater confidence into this scripture’s meaning.
Initiation into Authentic Spirituality
However, to fulfill the requisites of these three sciences, we need absolute dedication and application. We call this the path of initiation.
Initiation refers to the beginning of something, or the conferral of recognition or membership to a group, such as through ceremonies celebrating coming of age, or entering adulthood, or even joining a secret society.
Initiation is the spiritual process whereby we enter, gradually, the community of enlightened beings. As with any process of initiation, our candidacy for membership is tested. We receive challenging situations or ordeals. We must prove our ethical caliber. By overcoming ordeals, we develop the spiritual capacity to experience, and act, through the divine. Through meditation, through the three spiritual sciences, we hear, more and more, the Voice of the Silence. This means, we experience, in meditation and visions, more and more, the nature of divinity. We also see the way to transform our suffering into wisdom. This is obviously no easy task, which is why The Voice of the Silence states:
Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become the Path itself. ―The Voice of the Silence
Samael Aun Weor also iterated this fact in one of his most famous sayings:
Initiation is life itself, lived intensely, with rectitude and with love. ―Samael Aun Weor
This is not some distant reality. To experience divinity, we must transform our minds. We must transform our states, and actions in daily life. Daily life is a theater, whereby the drama of initiation is played. We are both the audience and the actor, since we both act out and watch our life, our states. We must reflect upon and observe our psychology during great crises, so as to catch our most hidden defects, to gather data about them, to understand them.
We must become conscious agents of our destiny. We decide, based on our choices, whether to fulfill selfless, enlightened action, transforming our communities for the better. Or, behaving with selfishness and desire, we condemn ourselves, and others, to suffering.
If our spirituality is merely theoretical, if it does not impact our state of suffering in lasting and permanent ways, if we are repeating the same circumstances without changing our attitude or state of mind, if we are not eradicating suffering at its roots within our psyche, if we are not performing genuine service to our fellow human beings, it means we are not working effectively. This is why Jesus of Nazareth taught, “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20).
Why We Enter Initiation
But why enter initiation? Why intentionally take on a work that will initially provide tests, ordeals, challenges, and sufferings?
Many people enter our tradition and begin practicing it. However, they soon realize that their life is falling apart. Difficulties emerge in their personal, economic, professional, marital, or family life, seemingly without explanation. Things get so hard that many give up, saying, “This teaching is hurting me!” However, they don’t realize that they are getting exactly what they asked for. They are entering a probationary period whereby they must prove themselves to the work.
Genuine spiritual practice catalyzes latent karma. Karma is often associated with a blind law of retribution, with suffering bad consequences for wrong action, or “What goes around comes around.” In truth, karma is not a blind law. It is intelligently managed by divinity. We will explain how and why.
Karma comes from the Sanskrit karman, signifying “cause and effect.” We always follow the trajectory of our own actions and behaviors. We always receive the consequences of our former actions, including before our birth and after our death. What must happen will happen. But the question becomes: When? How, and why?
Certain karma or results of former deeds are latent. They only activate when the time is ripe, such as when a wave rises in an ocean to finally crash upon the surface. Such an influence emerges from the depths. The same with karma. What happens is that we are asleep. We don’t see the source of these influences. Neither do we realize that such karma would happen regardless of whether we enter this work or not. To not work on ourselves is to magnify disaster, for if we are not striving to unite with divinity, if we do not help ourselves, if we do not act properly, then no one can help us.
Divinity, out of compassion, seeing our sincerity, gives us challenges to bring us closer to Him. Also, when we suffer, we are more inclined to seek God. When in ease, we become complacent and lazy.
We also get doses rather than the whole payment all at once, despite what some people might believe. This intelligent manager of affairs ensures that we do not receive more than we can handle. It’s the same karma, but it is parsed in relation to the totality of what we owe. Initiation, therefore, is the path of paying all our karma, all our debts, with intelligence, wisdom, and good deeds. All of this is managed by divinity, because if we had to pay karma unwillingly, unconsciously, we will only exacerbate the situation, acting out of retaliation and spite, blaming others, blaming God for our situation. This obviously does not improve things. It makes it worse.
However, at times karma becomes more intense, because ordeals help us to burn away psychological impurities, to pay grievous debts from our past. By transforming ourselves in difficult circumstances, we pay what we owe. Oftentimes these karmic situations become intense because we need to learn valuable lessons as a consciousness. They also help us purify our mind stream. By dying to our defects, we become free.
This is why The Voice of the Silence teaches:
Strive with thy thoughts unclean before they overpower thee. Use them as they will thee, for if thou sparest them and they take root and grow, know well, these thoughts will overpower and kill thee. Beware, Disciple, suffer not, e'en though it be their shadow, to approach. For it will grow, increase in size and power, and then this thing of darkness will absorb thy being before thou hast well realized the black foul monster's presence. ―The Voice of the Silence
The scripture also states:
Kill thy desires, Lanoo, make thy vices impotent, ere the first step is taken on the solemn journey.
Some have also pointed out an apparent contradiction or paradox. How is this the path to liberation from suffering, and yet we must necessarily suffer? How is it that Samael Aun Weor stated that pain is Satanic, and yet we need to face karma and pain in order to grow?
Let us be very clear. Voluntary suffering is distinct from mechanical suffering. It is a difference in attitude.
The first is by choice. When you choose to work on yourself, you diminish your pain through insight and will. By consciously taking on ordeals, we gain joy and happiness, because we know this is the way to pay our debts and do good deeds. It sounds strange, right? Why be happy when things go South? In reality, by perceiving our defects during the worst times, we can eliminate them. This recognition brings true joy. It is a strange dynamic to observe in oneself.
The second, mechanical suffering, is unintentional. We experience hardship and we react, making things worse.
By initiating this work and willingly taking on “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” comprehending it and eliminating its roots in us, we in turn end strife. It is true that the self, the ego, our defects, suffer when unsatisfied. However, the soul, that which connects us with divinity, knows how to experience peace even in great turmoil.
What matters is our psychological center of gravity. Are we situated in the consciousness, or the ego? In the soul, or desire? Wherever we direct our attention, we spend creative energy. When we face conflict, do we give into our reactions, or do we respond with intelligence? There is a major difference between these two modes of being. Following the Voice of the Silence in such crises will get us through them. Ignoring what we must do in the moment guarantees our failure.
The path involves pain because we have defects that produce it. However, the true nature of the consciousness is serenity, understanding, and bliss. These strengthen the more we follow the Voice of the Silence, our intuition, our Innermost God.
Therefore, examine your mind. The more we strive and intuit the voice of divinity in our heart, the more we align ourselves with our conscience within the silence of our being, the more proper our conduct―the better the results will be in our life.
The Tree of Life: Solar and Lunar Nature
As we learn to eliminate defects, we awaken consciousness. We experience and come to inhabit the superior dimensions of the Tree of Life.
This diagram has ten spheres, known as sephiroth or “emanations” of the divine, from the most abstract and spiritual above to the most dense and material below.
The Voice of the Silence speaks of seven important steps for developing spiritually. These lower seven spheres, along with the sacred Word, the Trinity or three spheres above, constitute the ten sephiroth of the kabbalah.
These spheres are not only dimensions or places within nature, but also qualities and levels of being, and even vehicles that we inhabit in order to operate within those regions, whether physically or in dreams.
We access these higher regions when we sleep, if we are removing defects, conserving energy, and creating vehicles that help us operate in the superior regions of nature.
Blavatsky wrote extensively about the kama rupa or body of desires, the famous astral body of Hod. We also have an inferior manas or mental body, which we use to subsist within the world of Netzach, the mental world. What many don’t realize is that these two vehicles do not belong to divinity, but mechanical nature. They are lunar because they are given to us by nature and must return to nature, willingly or unwillingly. They relate to the moon in that the moon is mechanical, cyclical. It repeats. It does not have any autonomy or will of its own. It obeys nature’s laws.
The problem is that our consciousness, trapped in defects and desires, is asleep. It also inhabits the kama rupa and inferior manas. When those lunar bodies must eventually be disintegrated within lower spheres, within inferior dimensions, within the hell realms (because it belongs there, to inferior nature), our consciousness will also go through that process or purification within lunar nature, within the inferior worlds, because the consciousness is trapped. Until our defects that trap consciousness are eliminated, then we will never be free. The problem is that this mechanical process is very painful, involving involuntary or mechanical suffering that does not produce enlightenment.
The other way is to enter initiation. Destroy desire. Free the consciousness. Create superior vehicles. We call them the legitimate solar astral and solar mental bodies, along with superior manas, the solar causal body of Nirvana. These are solar bodies because they belong to the matter and energy of divinity, represented by the solar light. The power of life and generation is sexual. It is solar. It is creative and life sustaining. We create these bodies through tantra, through the sexual union of husband and wife, within The Perfect Matrimony as explained by Samael Aun Weor. Marriage is where we can harness the power of a sun, the solar logos, the divine.
Nature is dual. It is lunar below, mechanical, impure, but heavenly, solar, pure, conscious above. We gravitate to places in nature in accordance with our level of being.
The Voice of the Silence teaches:
Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.
We create superior vehicles through harnessing the sexual energy for the spirit. This is the true meaning of being born again.
Initiations of Fire and Light
Only married couples, husband and wife, joined through conscious love and affinity in multiple levels of being, can use the creative sexual energy and give birth to superior bodies. This occurs when the sexual fire known as the Kundalini rises up the spinal medulla of each of the seven lower bodies of the Tree of Life. These bodies allow us to become conscious citizens and inhabitants of those regions. They also allow us to approach and even incarnate divinity.
The Kundalini is symbolized in the Torah, specifically Numbers, whereby Moses erected a brass serpent upon a pole. Whenever anyone gazed upon it, they were healed of their fiery afflictions, the biting serpents of passion. Remember that the Israelites disobeyed divinity and were punished by fiery serpents. The Israelites are the parts of our consciousness who seek divinity. By going against our conscience, we become afflicted by passion. As Moses wrote in the Book of Numbers:
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. ―Numbers 21:9
What is brass? It is an alchemical symbol. It is an amalgamation of copper and tin. Copper relates to Venus, woman, and tin represents Jupiter, man. Through pure tantra, the couple heals and elevates their souls, raising the fire and intelligence of the Divine Mother Kundalini, whose intelligent power only rises in accordance with the merits of the heart.
When the Kundalini rises throughout the spine to the mind, and reaches the heart, we acquire an initiation of Major Mysteries. These initiations are steps for approaching the Voice of the Silence, our Being. There are five Major Mysteries or Initiations of Fire, relating to each of the lower bodies or sephiroth below.
The first initiation relates to Malkuth, the physical body.
The second initiation relates to Yesod, the vital body.
The third initiation relates with Hod, the astral body.
The fourth initiation relates with Netzach, the mental body.
The fifth initiation relates with Tiphereth, the causal body.
The divine soul, Geburah, and the Innermost Being, Chesed, never fall into temptation, and therefore have the creative fire already present in them.
However, what few realize is that raising the first five Kundalini serpents within the lower spheres of the Tree of Life are just the beginning. Beyond the serpents of fire are the serpents of light. This is the Son of Man, our particular, individual, intimate Christ, the Logos, the Word, the Voice of the Silence.
Christ is not a person, but a cosmic energy, universal, impersonal―a divine intelligence that can incarnate within any properly prepared initiate who has solar bodies. Without those bodies and without sacrifice, without a Mahayana attitude of bodhichitta, the Voice of the Silence, the sacred Word, our true Being, the Cosmic Christ, cannot enter, since solar bodies are the conduit through which this terrifyingly divine energy can express. Likewise, one needs true love for humanity and sacrifice for others to necessitate His incarnation.
When a disciple achieves the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries, has raised the Kundalini within the physical, vital, astral, mental, and causal bodies, he or she has a choice to make: to stay in heaven (Nirvana) and forget about the sufferings of humanity, or to renounce happiness and return to Malkuth (the physical world) to serve others selflessly, til the end.
Those who renounce Nirvana to serve humanity, and who have developed the Mahayana essence of bodhichitta, who embody selfless love and compassion for mortals, can enter what is known as the straight path, the path of renunciation, and therefore incarnate Christ.
Upon incarnating Christ, the initiate becomes a बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva. बोधि Bodhi is “wisdom,” and सत्त्व sattva is “essence.” Wisdom in kabbalah is חכמה Chokmah, the Second Logos of kabbalah, our Intimate Christ. Therefore, a bodhisattva is the essence of Christ, a master in the beginning of development.
Only Christ can help the bodhisattva fully eliminate the ego and pay all their karma, even in one life. One continues by now raising the serpents of light, by raising Christ, the Son of Man, the solar light, within the spine of the lower sephiroth of the Tree of Life. These Venustic Initiations―relating to Venus, conscious love, Christ―are symbolized by different episodes in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who exemplified the entire path to reaching and perfecting the Voice of the Silence in oneself.
As stated in the Book of John 3:14-15:
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. ―John 3:14-15
Eternal life is the intimate Self-realization of the Being, the full perfection of our internal master within our psyche, the union of the soul with the Verb, Christ, divinity, the Voice of the Silence, through the path of initiation.
The Four Noble Truths
The Voice of the Silence is a remarkable scripture that emphasizes the essential tenets of Buddhism and Christianity. The following verses emphasize the reality and application of the Four Noble Truths, which elaborate upon and demonstrate the esoteric truths we have expounded:
Hast thou not passed through knowledge of all misery – Truth the first? (Ku)
We begin to hear the Voice of the Silence, to receive hunches, insights, inner judgments, through recognizing our state of suffering. We also gain more clarity in ourselves when we recognize how our desires manifest in relation to diverse circumstances, assembling or manifesting within the screen of our inner awareness. By observing ourselves, we begin to gather data about our defects.
Meditation is the third truth, whereby we go deep in concentration, reflecting upon our errors, vices, defects, desires, egos, so that by comprehending them, we can eliminate them. This is the path of initiation, the path of Tau, the Tau Cross, the Hebrew ת Tav, or the Tao, wisdom beyond dualistic notions and concepts.
Bodhi is Sanskrit for “wisdom.” This is Christ, the Being, the true life of any initiate. We meditate and receive wisdom from the Bodhi tree, the Tree of Life in us, the totality of our consciousness, which must be perfected and integrated. The Bodhi tree can also represent the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, alchemy, since through transforming the sexual energy and giving it to divinity, we gain wisdom about the nature of positive and negative, solar and lunar, man and woman. This energy awakens us to Samadhi, mystical experiences free of ego, perfect, lucid revelations from the divine.
Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra: The Stillest Hour
We will conclude with a chapter from Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. This excerpt synthesizes everything we shared today.
Nietzsche at one point knew the path of initiation. Here he relates, through his fictional depiction of the Iranian Prophet Zarathustra, how one enters meditation to communicate with the Voice of the Silence. One must enter a drowsy state to access the internal worlds, to meditate in the threshold between waking and dreaming.
Also, he relates the difficulties and burdens that such a voice necessarily demands of us in the spiritual work. To give birth to the Voice, to the Word, to Christ, the Superman or Superhuman, we must die to our impurities, radically.
Zarathustra refers to the Voice of the Silence as his angry mistress, his Divine Mother, who reprimands him for his hesitation and faltering in the path. This voice of conscience is oftentimes severe and demanding us our best. Here is what Nietzsche wrote:
What happened to me, my friends? You see me distracted, driven away, unwillingly obedient, prepared to go―alas, to go away from you. Indeed, Zarathustra must return once more to his solitude; but this time the bear goes back to his cave without joy. What happened to me? Who ordered this? Alas, my angry mistress wants it, she spoke to me; have I ever yet mentioned her name to you? Yesterday, toward evening, there spoke to me my stillest hour: that is the name of my awesome mistress. And thus it happened; for I must tell you everything lest your hearts harden against me for departing suddenly.
Questions and Answers
Question: Sure, I got two questions. This path of initiation, currently, at some point you emphasized the path of initiation into the Major Mysteries. Then you briefly talked about initiation into the Christic mysteries, the path of the light, and then also, going back to the Minor Mysteries for those of us who are single. Can you just go into a little more detail about how those three paths relate to each other?
Instructor: Great. We have the Three Mountains poster. The First Mountain is Initiation. In the beginning of the path, as we are single or even if we are married, we have to enter probation. We have the Minor Mysteries, nine in total. Single people take much longer than married couples in the nine Minor Mysteries.
A Minor Mystery has to do with facing yourself in the beginning of the path. We learn for the first time that we are filled with ego. We realize that we are fallen, demonic, and so we may have experiences in the astral plane where you are being told, “Descend into the earth.” You may have the vision where a master might say, “Go down.”
This is symbolized in the first arcanum of the Tarot with the Magician pointing his finger up with his right hand and pointing down to the earth with his left. This means that if you want to go up, you have to go down first. Face yourself. It’s probation because the divine lodges are looking to see whether we are going to be serious, you know? The way that we get serious is if we look at our defects and become accountable.
As we are discovering ourselves and eliminating defects, we may finally find a partner. Some people do find this path when they are already married and they can begin where they are at. With more fire, the quicker you go. So the Minor Mysteries can be accelerated.
But obviously with the Forge of Hephaestus, which is the god of fire and smithery in Greek mythology, or Vulcan in Roman teachings, we take the fire of a matrimony and go up the Mountain of Initiation.
What happens is that you enter the Major Mysteries. We say that there are five that are more important for us. When you raise the Kundalini up the physical body, you receive the First Initiation of Major Mysteries. When you raise the fire up Yesod, the vital body, the Second Initiation. Likewise with Hod, the astral body, the Third Initiation of Major Mysteries. Netzach, the fourth, relating to the mental body, Fourth Initiation, and then finally, the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries in Tiphereth, the causal body, superior manas.
At that point―really because in the higher spheres the fire is always present within Geburah and Chesed, which never fall, the spirit and divine soul, Atman-Buddhi―you have a decision to make. When manas is united with Atman-Buddhi through initiation, the soul has a choice. Do you decide to fully eliminate the ego and even incarnate Christ, pay all your debts in one life? Or take a slower path, the spiral path, which you see in this poster people going onto the left and entering a spiral development, which is allegorized in The Voice of the Silence especially, I believe, in the second fragment that Blavatsky wrote. You must choose between the paths of liberation and renunciation.
In the spiral path, you have, really, like a vacation. You get to enjoy Nirvana. You are in that level of nature. You are with the gods. Everything is easy. You drink ambrosia all day. You are happy. Many of the Nirvanis (you call them Nirvani Buddhas), they slowly enter development over many cosmic days, mahamanvantaras, up a path that leads eventually to the source, but involves very little hardship. They may incarnate physically, periodically, here and there. There are a number of them who stay true to that path and they are happy. It is a good work.
But the straight path is different. It means you return to the physical world. You renounce your powers. You renounce happiness. You pay everything that you owe and you suffer the maximum. But as a grace, you receive Christ. You receive the Verb, the Voice of the Silence. That is when Christ is born in the manger, right? Because in Malkuth we have many animals surrounding us in our mind. Christ is born as a baby. It has to grow up.
At that point, in the process of Christ growing up and developing in us, you have to raise what are known as the serpents of light. That is represented by the path of Jesus. As you see from the Gospels, that is a very tumultuous way.
That is part of the First Mountain still. If you decide, if you have reached the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries, you descend down back into the physical world, you abandon Nirvana, you enter the path of renunciation, you return to serve humanity―then you can receive Christ, the Verb, the Logos. Then you have to raise the serpents of light up these bodies.
But again, that is just the First Mountain. So as elevated as that might be, after you have raised the serpents of light―we call them the Venustic Initiations―you enter the Second Mountain. Now Venus, the Venustic Initiations is when Christ incarnates in the soul. It is related to Venus because it is the path of love.
The Second Mountain is total death of the ego. Kill even the shadow of desire as Blavatsky taught. Fully eliminate the Tree of Zaqqum, the tree of death.
You descend down into your hell realms, nine of them in total, and after annihilating all of the egos related to the inverted first sphere, the moon, you go up one initiation. You enter the higher worlds. Likewise you annihilate the egos relating to the mercurial hells, you go up one heaven. Likewise you descend into all these lower spheres relating to the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and you ascend up those heavens after you fully clean out your inner hell realms.
Then, at the very height, what happens is that you pay all of your karma, usually in the form of an incurable sickness, a disease. The physical body will die and the soul will resurrect. There are some masters like Jesus who resurrected with their physical body. But others choose like Samael Aun Weor did, or Joan of Arc, to resurrect with the body of liberation, Yesod, the perfected vital body.
So that is a very extreme path, very difficult, very powerful. But it is really the one that leads to the Absolute, the source of all things. To get to there, you have to pay all your karma, have no ego, and then at that point you’re on the Third Mountain. This is even more daring because those are levels of perfection that relate to the top trinity of the Tree of Life, which are very incomprehensible for us. But that level is a path relating to masters who are resurrected, so even they have to work.
Long path. I know we say it is short but in a sense it feels like long because we face suffering. It can be intense.
Nirvanis in the spiral path see how much the masters of the straight path suffer. We call them bodhisattvas. They incarnate Bodhi, the light of “wisdom,” the essence of wisdom or Christ. Wisdom in Hebrew is Chokmah, the second sphere in the Tree of Life. The Nirvanis say, “Don’t take the difficult path. It is very challenging. You will suffer.” The gods tempt the bodhisattvas.
This is a decision that we should not make on our own. It is something that your inner Being will decide. If the Being says, “I want this,” then you do it. Ambition is one thing, like “I want to be more spiritual, go to these higher levels,” but really the one who decides that is your Innermost. Your Being can show you in meditation or experiences what He wants. Hopefully that is a very concise explanation of the three mountains. If you want to know more about the path in its totality, you can study The Three Mountains by Samael Aun Weor.
When we study The Voice of the Silence, we are going to break that down in more detail.
Question: Yes, a second question. You mentioned briefly that the Bodhi tree, if I caught it, is related to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, correct?
Instructor: It can be. Usually the tree of wisdom is the Tree of Life. But it is ambiguous because, where do you get wisdom from but the sexual energy? When you raise the energy up your spine. You know the tree is like a Christmas tree. When you put the lights on it, you have wisdom, Chokmah, Christ manifest. The Bodhi tree is our Tree of Life that is illuminated by the Tree of Knowledge. They share the same roots.
You can say that it is the Tree of Knowledge too. There is a duality of interpretation. The thing about kabbalah, even with Eastern mysticism―which may not be distinctly Jewish, but symbolic―that language is abstract. You can be fluidic with your interpretation because there is a lot of dynamic potential in a symbol, whether it is Eastern or Western. So there are levels of meaning.
Question: I appreciated what you said about the gods tempting bodhisattvas. Could you explain a little more about that? Because it seems mischievous, right? It’s gods and bodhisattvas, which are also good factors in themselves.
Instructor: Right. The Nirvanis have eliminated some level of defects. They have a level of purity which is very sacred, but they’re not perfect. They have one foot in heaven but still have much of their consciousness that is trapped in ego, in hell. While part of them is enjoying the bliss of Nirvana, they also don’t have their full consciousness developed. It is interesting.
Samael Aun Weor mentioned that the temptations of the Nirvanis are worse than demons because they offer you solace and comfort with good things. “Stay with us! You won’t be hurt. You’ll be happy here. You’re peaceful. Forget about the world. Forget about humanity.” This is the opening lesson of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, where his fictional Prophet Zarathustra goes to the mountain cave to meditate for ten years, a symbol for how he worked in Malkuth, meditating in his cave. He said, greeting the Sun:
“Behold, you great star! (Ain Soph, the origin we wish to return to). For what would your happiness be had you not those for whom you shine! For ten years you have climbed to my cave.” Ten years, Malkuth, the tenth sphere. “You would have tired of your light and of the journey had it not been for me, and my eagle, and my serpent.” Kundalini, Kukulcan amongst the Mayans, the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl, the fires of the Holy Ghost rising up the spine as the wings of the spirit.
In the opening of that book, he decides, “I must descend from my mountain, to go down to the valleys, and to teach the people who are lost there.” This is because he is a bodhisattva. But as he goes there, and he is leaving his cave and going down the mountain, he encounters a hermit, a person in solitude. He says, “Why do you go to the people, Zarathustra? They will laugh at you, and mock you, and shame you. They will spit in your face and condemn you. Why do you not stay in nature among the birds and the flowers and the trees? Here the bears and the animals will be your companions.”
And Zarathustra says something like, “What is a hermit doing out here in the wilderness?” The hermit says, “I hum. I sing. I do mantras, prayers in the wilderness, and I am happy here.” Zarathustra replies, “Let me leave from you now so that I do not take something from you.” Then the two old men laugh at each other jovially and Zarathustra goes on his way. He then says the famous line that Nietzsche got in trouble for: “Doesn’t this hermit know that God is dead?”
Really, God is dead in us if we do not descend, kill all the ego, take energies out of hell and return it as the Superman, the Superhuman. But the hermit tempts him, “You’ll be happy here.”
In some ways, Samael says, this is worse than demons, because demons attack you or are suffering a lot and it is easy to say “no,” because it is obvious. But with the gods, the level of nature among the heavens, if you have an experience in Nirvana, it is very beautiful. You don’t want to leave. You see in the causal plane the trees and the waters moving and rippling with cause and effect like a perfect symphony, and the masters of Nirvana with their robes of heaven welcoming you. They treat you with a lot of love. But the bodhisattvas have to renounce that because there are higher levels beyond good and evil (even to use the title of one of Nietzsche’s books). So it’s really interesting.
I mean, what’s worse? A temptation from someone who is a drug addict, saying, “Come take drugs with us”? Well, it’s obvious. But what about those who tempt you, but are kind? “Join us! Stay with us.” But that will open up to us if we first of all reach that point. It’s a decision we don’t make now. You have to become a master of Major Mysteries, incarnate your soul.
Question: How many people accomplish all three of these mountains in one lifetime? Realistically, are we going to do it in one life?
Instructor: Probably not. I mean, a few people do it.
Question: So how many lifetimes would it take an average person?
Instructor: It depends on their will, and karma, and what the Being manages. You know, you look a someone like Padmasambhava―one life. Joan of Arc, Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, or Samael Aun Weor, you look at the life that they lived, how intense it was. It is really… all that suffering from multiple lifetimes they accumulated are now condensed in the span of like twenty years, thirty years, forty years―very intense. Are we really willing to take it? If our Being says, “This is what I want for you,” so be it! It is not something we wish upon ourselves. Nobody likes the straight path.
Question: When you say Being, who are you referring to?
Instructor: So the Being has many levels. We obviously talk about the first lower five spheres relating to the soul. But above that we have Geburah, the divine consciousness known as Buddhi in Sanskrit, and then we have Atman, Chesed in Hebrew, the spirit. Atman-Buddhi is our Inner God. The spirit, Chesed, which is the light mentioned in the Light Surah of the Qur’an. “Allah is a light within a lamp.” Chesed, the spirit, and the lamp is Geburah from which the light of Nur, or Aur in Hebrew, Nur in Arabic, the top trinity, Christ, to use Gnostic terms.
So we have Atman-Buddhi―which is the spirit and divine soul―never falls, really, the spirit and intuitive consciousness. But above that we have even more refined levels: Kether, Chokmah, Binah―Father, Son, Holy Spirit―or the supremacy, wisdom, and the intelligence of God, which are really just one light. They are a unity. But they are not people, which is why especially in the Muslim tradition, Prophet Muhammad denounced the degeneration of the Trinity because many Christians had devolved their faith, thinking these are three people. It is really one light. Just different expressions.
Question: So when you say אהיה Eheieh, which means “to be,” which sphere does that term relate to? Is that the Being?
Question: The highest?
Instructor: אהיה אשר אהיה Eheieh Asher Eheieh, “I Am That I Am,” is really the Father of the supreme light from the Absolute above the Tree of Life, the top, managing and governing the rest.
There are different names in Hebrew and also in Arabic as well that relate to the Tree of Life. We have the ten spheres themselves, which are referenced in the Bible, the Old Testament, with sacred names of divinity.
In Kether you have אהיה אשר אהיה Eheieh Asher Eheieh, “I Am That I Am.”
You have יהוה Iod-Chavah within Chokmah.
יהוה אלהים Iod-Chavah Elohim in Binah.
אל El in Chesed.
אלהים גיבור Elohim Gibur in Geburah.
אלוה ודעת יהוה Eloah Va Da’ath Iod Hei Vau Hei in Tiphereth.
יהוה צבאות Iod-Chavah Sabaoth in Netzach.
אלהים צבאות Elohim Sabaoth in Hod.
שדי אל חי Shaddai El Chai in Yesod, and אדני הארץ Adonai Ha’aretz in Malkuth.
That’s one way of looking at things. It’s very deep, and obviously different traditions map out the names of divinity in different ways along with the Tree of Life.
But the Being is really these top five spheres. These parts of the consciousness never fall. They are perfect, but they gain wisdom and understanding of their true nature when we are working and cooperating.
Question: So you’re saying when we reach the highest sphere, when someone reaches that sphere, so there is no way of falling from this sphere, going down?
Instructor: The soul can fall, but the Being never does.
Question: So if there’s a being, so we really reach that level where we are one with the Being?
Another Instructor: That level already exists within us. All these levels are already there. So when we say that the sphere of Kether never falls, what we mean is that level of divinity which is already present in us cannot fall. So the person who is doing the work to try to redeem itself, or ourself, is Tiphereth, the sphere that has fallen. So would you say that Tiphereth reaches Kether, or that Tiphereth comes to know that aspect of Kether that is already present within us? But Tiphereth can still fall again. We have seen masters like Jesus, Aberamentho, that had fallen multiple times even after completing the whole work. They fall and they have to do it all over again.
Question: As Ibn ‘Arabi said, “The soul is a mirror.” The soul, if it is perfected and polished, will reflect the light. The light never falls. It is eternal. But whether or not we reflect that truth is another thing.
We can enter the Absolute and know really the Ain Soph. We can return to that star of heaven. But so long as we have our foot in the door of the universe, within creation, we can fall, and that is a very delicate thing to think about. But masters at that level don’t fall because of lust. They are way beyond that, even way beyond love. Like Zanoni, in the book of his name by Edward Bulwer Lytton, he was Chaldean Master with a resurrected body. He was a resurrected master living in France right before the French Revolution. He fell in love with an actress from Naples, and he fell, with full knowledge that he was forbidden to do that. He fell because he loved this woman.
Samael Aun Weor fell in Lemuria because he fell in love too. They said it was forbidden to him because when you reach those heights, sex is already conquered. You don’t need to use it anymore. You’re way beyond that. And so to abandon or go down from your first love, the Divine Mother, She says, “You can’t do that, unless the Father commands you to descend.” That’s another thing. But many masters fall because they fell in love and in the act they couldn’t control the energy.
What happened with Zanoni is that as punishment he was decapitated in the French Revolution because he had more responsibility. You know, you’re a god, an immortal, you have a job to do. Then the law says, “OK.”
You find this symbolized in Hector Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastique. In the fourth movement you hear the French Revolution and the drum roll as the guillotine is decapitating the aristocrats. You find one part at the end of the fourth movement like a flute playing of a pleading, begging nature, where Berlioz was teaching how Zanoni was praying, “Please, forgive me!” Then, the drum roll as he is decapitated.
That is a level of responsibility. You’re the god of a planet, a cosmos, a galaxy, whatever it is, and if you fall, it is serious. There are more consequences for that level of knowledge. That is why in Ecclesiastes it states, “For in much knowledge is much grief. He who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (1:17-18), especially for those masters who were perfected and then they abandoned it. Trying to rise again is then very difficult. They have to pay a lot.
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