Meditation is the science of knowing oneself completely. It is the method by which we learn to comprehend and to judge ourselves.
Psychologically, as we've been explaining throughout this course, we carry many elements, conditions, many psychological qualities, which trap our potential, our consciousness.
As we've explained, the consciousness is simply the capacity to perceive, to know, to understand, and to comprehend. It is a psychological sense of seeing without the need to think, without the need to identify with negative emotion, neither any impulses of our most subconscious, unconscious, and even infraconscious nature―elements that reside within the most profound depths of our psyche, in which religions and different cosmogonies have called hell―which is not just a literal place. It is a symbol, and more importantly for us, it is of a psychological way of being, because whenever we are filled with affliction and suffering, we are in hell.
Hell is not a place, specifically in terms of what should really concern us. Instead, what we are psychologically determines where we vibrate within the laws of nature, simply, by cause and effect.
Certain actions produce suffering. Certain actions produce harmony. To be able to distinguish within ourselves psychological states that are beneficial from psychological states that are detrimental has been known in different traditions by many names. Some people have called it intuition: to know right from wrong. Not from some moral sense, but from the understanding that certain actions produce harm psychologically, produce suffering, while other actions produce the happiness and genuine contentment of our soul.
Intuition is the ability to know how to act in life―to promote actions that are beneficial and promote the happiness of others, as well as our own well-being. Some people have called this intuition by the voice of conscience. Conscience is the whisper in the heart that tells us certain behaviors produce suffering and that certain actions, whether it be at work, with our family, with our loved ones, create conflict.
Therefore, meditation is how we resolve conflict, how we silence the mind, not through force, by gagging it or by repressing it, but simply looking at it. Looking at your own mind and observing what qualities condition and shape our experience.
This is a psychological sense that typically, in humanity, is very atrophied, because people don't know how to use it. Specifically, people, when they sit in and pursue meditation as a science and as a method, very soon discover the true nature of the mind. We can sit for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, we introspect and then we realize that the body is agitated. It is impulsive. It wants to move. Likewise, the emotions may be surging with a flux of negativity, of suffering, of fear, and of panic. Likewise, the mind carries many memories which seem to surge, fluctuate, and move without any order. The mind is wild and anyone who enters meditation for the first time realizes, with great perplexity, in astonishment, that the mind that we thought we had was unitary, is really fractured.
It is fragmented, because every memory, thought, preoccupation and all these things which surge in the mind, really don't have any order. And of course, this is an overwhelming realization, that the mind is really a type of beast, that anger, the negative emotions, that conditioning of the psyche, is animalistic, and when a meditator discovers this, obviously, this is very painful―to discover the true nature of the mind, that it is conditioned within psychological states of suffering, in which all the different mythologies of the ancient traditions depicted in symbols―how the soul, the consciousness, must learn to overcome fear, hatred and pride in oneself.
It comes to memory the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. A Greek myth. How Theseus, the soul, must go into a labyrinth in order to discover at the very center what is known as the Minotaur, who is a mythological beast, half man and half bull. In truth, that is a symbol of qualities like hatred, of wrath, fear; which we as a consciousness must go into the maze to fight, to confront with serenity and with insight.
We go into the mind to discover the secret conditions which trap our energy, because if you remember in the myth, Theseus goes into the maze and this beast, half man and half bull, is still half human being, because the qualities of our consciousness, who we are in our depth, is truly trapped by animal desire. There is an essence of humanity in that element. But of course as we have been explaining in this course, egotistical qualities like hatred, pride, vanity, these are conditions that trap the energy of our psyche and make us vibrate at a very low level of being. A way of thinking and a way of acting.
Our consciousness is trapped in those conditions, in those elements, and the meditator, through the science of introspection, must learn to go into the mind and into the maze of that intellect in order to find the sources of our suffering―the cause of our suffering, of our egotism, and of our negativity.
When you sit to meditate you may find that you get distracted very easily and the mind wanders. There isn't much focus, because in the beginning we realize that the mind is a maze. It is a labyrinth. We get easily distracted. But the method by which we go into the mind and discover ourselves for who we really are, how we know what actions are positive and negative, we call in these studies: judgment,―the ability to discriminate, psychologically, what in us is good and what in us is negative.
When we learn to discriminate and judge what psychological states produce happiness or sorrow, we learn to live life with greater rectitude and with responsibility, for the happiness of others. Because when we work for the happiness of others and when we eliminate negative emotions, we radiate, naturally, purity and light for humanity, in which they, likewise, people trapped and conditioned with suffering, can learn how to change.
Some people call this faculty intuition, that is, to know what is right from wrong. Others call it conscience, the voice that says in our heart that certain qualities in the mind stream are not productive and not helpful. It is a quality that we develop in meditation through daily discipline.
Of course, one thing I will mention is that the voice of conscience has been represented in different ways. The story of Pinocchio, written by Carlos Collodi, is a story of a young puppet that wants to become a boy of flesh and blood. A human being. He has a helper by the name of Jiminy Cricket, who is a small figure that sits on his shoulder and tells him, “This is good and this is bad. Don't do this. Don't do that.” Not out of some dogmatic authoritarian sense that one should obey some commandment, some or some ordainment, or some type of law that is man-made.
In the story, Jiminy Cricket tends to be ignored and in the story Pinocchio gets into problems, but he genuinely yearns to become a human being. Of course in these studies, we emphasize that a true human being, a master of meditation, an angel, has no egotism and no defect, but rather is pure, someone who, like us, that had learned meditation and learned to go against the Minotaur, to comprehend it, and to understand it; and by the grace of the divine within him, to eliminate, so that condition is broken and the consciousness is freed, is pure and united with divinity.
Many myths teach this process of meditation in allegorical form, but here we've only mentioned a few from the Greek tradition, as well as the Italian literature for children. What is masked as a children's story is really something more profound.
In this lecture, we will talk about some symbols and some very well-known stories, particularly from the Judeo-Christian Bible, which if read literally, does not detail much except some kind of history, and which is not the point. The language of the Bible and many other teachings is symbolic and allegorical. It is not meant to be read literally, as you'll see from this lecture. We will look at a scripture known as the Book of Judges and talk about its meditative symbolism and also the path of meditation that leads through the maze of the mind and towards understanding, serenity.
The Path of Meditation
As we have been indicating:
Internal meditation is a scientific system to receive information.
What information do we seek? What we seek or what any genuine practitioner of meditation seeks in him or herself is to understand the causes of suffering. To understand why we are in pain, why we are afflicted, why we are so filled with grief and seemingly no control over the fate of ourselves and humanity.
The information we seek is how psychological conditions trap the energy of our soul, so that by comprehending them and seeing them in action, we learn to eliminate them. We learn to break those shells. This is the path of self-knowledge. A path of knowing who we really are, and of course, this takes great courage, to confront oneself, but to really take responsibility for our actions, psychologically, as symbolized in the many myths.
Of course meditation is a science and it is really effective when it is daily, for meditation to be effective, we have to learn to be consistent. Daily meditation unfolds like a flower, like a rose; something spontaneous, something natural, which really only helps us when we see the fruits and results of that discipline in ourselves and in our daily life.
Meditation is how we learn to not only confront ourselves and the negativities of the mind, but better said, to comprehend the beauty of the soul, the beauty of the consciousness, which when it is free of conditions, produces happiness, contentment, genuine faith, and knowledge of the divine―a type of love that is so profound that it overcomes all obstacles, overcomes all sufferings, and overcomes all ordeals. But of course, that sense of knowledge of oneself only develops when we sincerely adopt a daily discipline with this type of exercises, some of which we initiated this lecture, with a mantra, OM.
The mantra OM is an effective mantra for providing the soul with energy and with light, so that the consciousness learns to develop or to vibrate with a high level of energy. This helps to silence the mind and to be serene, because in the moments of serenity, of peace, we learn to see ourselves as we are and not as we think, or as we believe, but in actuality.
Knowledge and Being
One thing we emphasize in this teaching is the difference between knowledge and comprehension.
Knowledge is of the mind. Comprehension is of the heart. ―Samael Aun Weor
This is from Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology by the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor. Why study knowledge and comprehension when we study meditation? We will seek to know ourselves and to learn to confront the conditioning of the mind.
This is because typically, people confuse knowledge, that is from the intellect, with experience. When you comprehend in yourself how certain actions produce harm and produce pain, we realize with great understanding that to perpetuate those habits and those behaviors will only lead one down a mistaken path. However, many people may know certain knowledge intellectually, in the mind, with reasoning, and yet, that intellectual knowledge will not produce change in a fundamental sense.
An alcoholic knows that alcohol is destructive for him or her, but yet continues to indulge in those behaviors. But somebody who comprehends that being alcoholic, to consume that element and to perpetuate that habit, is to be destroyed. To comprehend means to know with your full being and with your full presence, what is helpful and what is not helpful for oneself, for one's psychological well-being.
There are many people who read books on meditation and they have a lot of knowledge intellectually, but yet fail to have a sense of genuine contentment, of peace, of serenity, and of insight.
Comprehension is when you see in yourself how something is destructive. It is a psychological state, a way of being, a way of perceiving, and a way of thinking. When you comprehend that certain emotions are destructive, you realize with great astonishment and peace that you do not need to invest your energy in those elements which produce pain, not only for ourselves, but for others. You see with great gratitude and serenity that you do not need to suffer anymore because you realize how having created what we call ego or egotism, this negative sense of self, this sense of "I,” of me, of “who I am, what I want, what I crave, what I desire”; when we stop feeding that negative sense of self, we realize that we don't have to engage with suffering. We don't need to be in pain. It is not necessary.
Meditation leads us to this understanding. When we realize that by acquiring serenity of mind and no longer giving our energies to negative habits, which produce certain conflicts, we naturally arrive in the intrinsic nature or state of the soul, which is peace.
The mind settles like a lake. When the mind is serene, it can reflect through its waters the images of the heavens and the stars. Divinity can manifest and express through you, and through your heart.
When you learn to follow your intuition, about the sense of right and wrong, of certain habits that are negative, we then learn to feed the consciousness. We learn to free ourselves from conditions.
Intellectual knowledge doesn't change anyone. University, books, and lectures, do not produce any change if we don't learn to apply the techniques of meditation in our daily life―to acquire information about ourselves and to be willing to look in oneself and see, comprehend, and take responsibility for our own actions. Not to blame anyone else for our suffering.
There is no one else who created our anger. We created that element. We like to externalize, to blame others, and to judge others, but rarely do we like to judge ourselves. This is the difference between someone who really learns to meditate and somebody who follows some religion, some institution, or some politics. Someone wanting to blame the government, society, a way of thinking, a way of believing, when really the reason why there is so much conflict is because people don't know how to judge themselves. Conscience. To feed the conscience of how we are responsible for our own actions, how we have to take ownership of our own mind, our own psychological states, and to be willing to change them.
We study many religions in this tradition because we recognize the universality of meditation among many faiths. We study the essence of every religion. Not the institution, but the practices which produce change.
There is a saying from the oral tradition of Islam from Prophet Muhammad, who gave a very beautiful teaching and which is grossly misunderstood today, he stated, "An hour of contemplation is better than a year of prayer."
Adopting a posture or certain prayers and methods in a mechanical sense don't change anybody and doesn’t change anything. People go to mosques, to churches, to synagogues, and they continue to suffer. These people need to analyze and to be willing to reflect. What are we doing? What are our methods?
In this tradition we have many methods to teach how to meditate, how to contemplate oneself, and to free oneself from the mind. Prayer by itself, if it's mechanical, if we just say certain words without meaning, without concentration, they will have no effect. They have no impulse, or better said, impact on our psyche. But if we learn to contemplate the presence of divinity and to follow the voice of our inner conscience, inner judgment, then we learn to change.
I have been explaining just briefly about some stories which many people read literally and don't know how to interpret with understanding, from the sense of experience or meditative science. We have been talking about judgment. We have talked about some symbols within the Greek myths as well as Pinocchio, but a book that has been greatly misunderstood for millennia are the Judeo-Christian texts. We are just going to explore a couple verses from the Book of Judges because it is a map or teaching of meditation. I will explain some of the symbolism for you to emphasize the struggle that the soul faces with its lower desires, lower defects, and negative qualities, because it is good to recognize and see if we are struggling with meditation itself, to understand that there have been others who have already went through this process. As I said, these beings are known as buddhas, masters, and prophets.
Israel, the Soul, in the Book of Judges
The Bible, in the Book of Judges, talks about how the people of Israel are afflicted great suffering. The word ישראל Israel is an acrostic relating to the Egyptian Mysteries. Isis, the goddess of the Egyptian mysteries, the divine feminine and Ra, or Osiris-Ra, the solar entity known as the Father amongst the Christians, which is an energy, a force. אל El in Hebrew means God. If you want to use the Sanskrit equivalent, you say ॐ Om. אל El is ॐ Om and אל El among the Kabbalists, the mystics of Judaism, depict the Hebrew letter אל El within the heart, because your Being, your divinity, is in your heart and can fill your whole consciousness if we learn to connect through practice.
What happened to the people of Israel in this myth is that:
…the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of יהוה Jehovah, when Ehud was dead. ―Judges 4:1
Again, who is this Israel?
The people of Israel who need to be freed from the Egyptians and many other people who constantly afflict them, the Philistines and groups of people who are trying to eliminate them. These people (Israelites) are the parts of our consciousness, our soul, which are trapped within anger, hatred, vanity, gluttony, laziness, sloth, fear, and pain, what we call ego, egotism, and desire. These parts of Israel or the people of Israel are the soul that has been fractured and conditioned in all these elements.
We need to learn how to free the consciousness from those conditions. We do so through meditation and through the help of our inner divine being, our spirit, our God, ॐ Om or אל El. The word יהוה Jehovah or Iod-Chavah is a representation of the highest form of divinity, which we will be exploring in relation to what is known as the Tree of Life, which is a symbolic map of consciousness and that meditators study in order to understand their experiences in meditation.
“The children of Israel did evil in the sight of Jehovah,” meaning: the soul invested its energy within wrong thinking, wrong feeling, and wrong acting. This happened when “Ehud was dead,” and the names in the Bible represents something symbolic, because the Hebrew word אֵהוּד Ehud comes from the Hebrew אֶחָֽד Echad, which means “unity.” The Jews speak abundantly about the unity of God through the Shema: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד “Shema Yisrael Iod-Chavah Eloheinu Iod-Chavah Echad.” Or: “Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is One.” The reason why we are in suffering is because we are not in unity.
Examine your mind. In one moment, you may be inspired with love, but then the next moment towards the same person, we feel antagonism, hatred, then indifference, perhaps fear, resentment, and jealousy. There is no unity in the mind. The mind is constantly fluctuating. We like to assume that the sense of "I" that we worship is one. That all the thoughts, feelings, and impulses come from one's sense of self. But if you observe the mind, as we've been explaining in this course and in meditation, you see that there are different thoughts, feelings, and impulses which fluctuate. There is no order there. There is no unity there.
What we call ego is really a multiplicity: egos. Different "I’s,” myself, and desires which constantly fluctuate and take control of the mind, the heart, and the body to act.
When you learn meditation, you begin to see that this dynamic is something very real, but many have not experienced this yet. What we teach and advise is to learn to silence the mind and to look. Observe yourselves. What certain conditions do you think about, ways that you feel, and ways that you act in certain circumstances? Perhaps towards the same people, towards different people, towards strangers and observe. Examine your mind. Is there a sense of unity there or is there contradiction?
If we are honest, we see that we are walking contradictions. We are filled with afflictions, sufferings, pains, and ordeals and usually without our knowledge or understanding. This is why in the myth of Carlos Collodi (Pinocchio), he depicted us as a puppet, controlled by strings, and controlled by egos. Of course, this is a very unpleasant fact to realize in oneself, especially when you begin meditation. You see that the mind is in chaos. This is why many people run away from meditation because they realize how overwhelming the mind is and they become filled with fear. “When Ehud was dead,” when the unity of God was dead in us, that was when the soul became conditioned in suffering.
The Tree of Life: A Map of Meditation
We study this glyph in our tradition. This is known as the Kabbalah and this map has ten spheres, or what is known as ten sephiroth, which are levels of energy, matter, and consciousness, from the most rarefied and pure, divine, to the most material and dense.
This is a map that can explain our experiences in meditation and we will be explaining this graphic, with great detail, throughout our courses. Here I would like to introduce just a few concepts for you in order to understand meditation―also, the Book of Judges, because if you want to interpret what the Bible teaches, you need to know Kabbalah.
The word Kabbalah comes from the Hebrew word kabbel, which means “to receive,” to receive knowledge, not with the intellect or from a book, but from meditation. Remember the quote from the beginning of this lecture, "Meditation is a means of acquiring information." It is psychological and spiritual. When you want to understand yourself in meditation and after having certain mystical experiences, you can map your experiences based on this glyph or this dynamic.
This Tree of Life is not something literal, vertical in space, as if heavens are above your head or hell is below your feet. It refers to psychological qualities, which integrate, flow, and move within oneself in a very dynamic way. This is a map of our soul or consciousness.
Above we have what is known as the higher worlds or higher dimensions; higher levels of being, of perceiving, and of course the forces that come from the divine, from above, descend from this top trinity, to a middle trinity, and finally to what we call in Hebrew, Malkuth, which means “kingdom.” This is our physical body, our Earth. Our physical body is literally an amalgamation of forces which come from above, from the divine.
Above this physical body, of which we are all aware of, we have what is known as the vital body or vital energies, which is called Yesod in Hebrew. This is your vital energy. When you wake up in the morning and you go throughout your day, you may sense more or less vitality, an energy in yourself to act, to be, and to do. In the morning, you may have more energy. In the afternoon or in the evening you become tired. That relates to this vital force, which penetrates our physical body. Even though these spheres look like they are separate or static, they really integrate here and now in oneself.
Above our vital energies, we have what some traditions call the astral body and our emotions, which are known as Hod in Hebrew. Likewise, we have Netzach, which means “victory” and is related with our mind and our thoughts.
Notice that as we ascend this Tree of Life, we begin to sense, experience, and understand greater subtleties in our psychological constitution. The body is dense, but because our consciousness is also limited, this is typically all we sense or become aware of. But if we are more attentive, if we were observing ourselves, we sense that we have certain vital energy flowing in us from morning to evening. Likewise, with emotions and emotional states, moods, thoughts, and the mind.
In a more rarefied sense, we have what is called willpower, Tiphereth. Somebody who has a strong will, a strong urge or impulse to do certain occupations, jobs, or things, is working with Tiphereth, or willpower. But most of the time, if we examine ourselves and are honest, we tend to realize that our willpower is usually identified with our thinking, feeling, and our energies.
It is simply easy to reflect on our own experience of how most of the time, we go through our day preoccupied with certain day dreams, memories, emotional states, or vital forces that are in our inner constitution, as well as our physical body.
Above this willpower we have something more rarefied, which most people have no consciousness of.
When we sit to meditate, we may begin to sense our body as we relax it. Also our vital energies, by working with a mantra, as we worked with a mantra OM. We were working with the vital energy to saturate our heart and to send that energy circulating through our nervous system. By working with this energy known as Yesod, which is called the “foundation” of Kabbalah, we learn to ascend up this Tree of Life to higher levels of being.
This is why it is good before meditating to do a mantra and work with energy, so that the mind stabilizes. Notice that the heart and the mind become still when we work with that force. Of course, all this is only possible when we work with our willpower, Tiphereth―to have the will to sit still for a few minutes and to pronounce a mantra so that the body settles, the mind settles, and the heart settles. Likewise, the thing to remember is that willpower doesn't mean somebody who is aggressive. Real willpower is serene. Peaceful. There is no effort there.
In the beginning of meditation we struggle because the mind is in affliction. It is caught up in memories and daydreams, but when you learn to go deeper in meditation, or better said, when you develop your concentration, you realize that you require less effort to be still, and then naturally you sit with peace in one posture, and that is when the doorway to real meditation can begin.
Everything we are doing here is preliminary, but one thing I will mention about this Tree of Life in the relation to this lecture is that we have something divine within us, represented by the top five Sephiroth of this Tree of Life.
We have what is known as the consciousness, or Geburah in Hebrew, which means to “justice.” “Judgment.” This consciousness is beyond will; it is simply the ability to perceive, but that quality tends to be very conditioned in us and very limited.
Even beyond the consciousness, there is something more divine, known as Chesed, which means “mercy.” This is the Hebrew אל El. This is OM. Your Being. Your Spirit. That spirit is God. The Being is presence, understanding, and happiness without limits.
When people say that they are spiritual, what they really should say is that they have God incarnated, because to say that one is spiritual means to say that “I have the spirit within me and active.” Chesed is the spirit.
There are many confusions about what spirit is. People confuse spirit with soul. The spirit, God, is, but the soul, our willpower, is created. It has to be developed in meditation because the ability to focus our will on one thing is only developed through daily discipline.
Meditation is the daily bread of the wise, and in order to enter meditation, we have to be able to focus on one thing, such as a mantra or a sound and not get distracted. We tend to be distracted by our thinking, our emotions, and sensations of the body. If our body is moving in meditation, it means that we are not meditating.
Notice that this glyph is very profound and it's simple. It just takes a little familiarity. But even beyond this spirit, we have something even more divine, which is this top trinity. Our spirit, our Inner God, emanates from what is known as the Christian Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These are not people, but energies or forces within us which need to be incarnated or developed.
Some traditions have referred to this Trinity among the Nordics as Odin, or Wotan, Balder, and Thor. The Egyptians referred to it as Osiris, Horus, and Isis. The Buddhists use different names, Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. Every tradition uses these different definitions or terms for the same thing. This is the purest energy of the cosmos. This light governs all of existence from the atom, to a galaxy. We have that energy within us, which we can liberate the we use certain practices.
The word Jehovah in Hebrew relates to this second sephiroth on the Tree of Life known as Chokmah, which is wisdom. We have Kether, the Father, the “Crown” in Hebrew. Chokmah, meaning “wisdom, insight, and perception.” We then have Binah, meaning “intelligence.” Chokmah, in Hebrew in its sacred name is Jehovah, because each Sephirah has a Hebrew term associated with it.
That is the energy known as Christ amongst the gnostics and whom Jesus incarnated. He wasn't the only one who incarnated that light, but any meditator can if they know how.
I want to just emphasize that from the highest levels of existence, we have light which descends and slowly conditions itself until reaching this physical body and materializes. That energy, if it's conditioned within our anger, fears, and our resentments, becomes what is known as the hell realms, what is called in Hebrew, Klipoth. Klifah means “shell.” Klipoth means conditions or “shells” in Hebrew. Every ego or sense of "I," whether it be pride, resentment, gluttony, etc., is a shell that traps our consciousness.
Every myth of the great hero is about descending from this top trinity, down below to Malkuth and entering the maze, the hell realms, in order to confront one's egotism and desires. Then by eliminating those desires, we learn to free the consciousness that is trapped there and return it back to the light above with knowledge and understanding. One thing I will mention is that in the Greek myth of Theseus and the minotaur, he went into the maze and killed the beast, but the way that he got out of the maze was by using what it was called Ariadne's thread. In the myth, in order to not get lost in the maze and to find his way back, he had a thread with him, which he unrolled as he moved through the labyrinth until finding the minotaur, killing the animal, and then following the thread back out to the open sunlight.
Dante in his myth, The Divine Comedy, explains that the descent into the inferno is easy, but the return is hard. When you are meditating, you may see certain defects and desires, which you want to work on, but you have to follow your conscience to find your way out of the maze. Your judgment. Your consciousness. We will elaborate on how the light returns from these infernal regions back to the higher levels of being, of consciousness, because real yoga or religion, is about taking all that light that is trapped in conditions, and integrating it with the Being, the Divine. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word Yug, that is, to “reunite.” Religion comes from the latin word, religare, which also means means to “reunite.”
That light becomes conditioned and more material, more dense and in greater states of suffering, the further it descends down this shadow of the Tree of Life until reaching the very bottom of existence. Again, these are symbols. They are different dimensions that exist that we can access in the dream state through meditation, but more importantly this refers to our daily state of being.
Kabbalah in the Book of Judges
And יהוה Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin, king of כְּנַעַן Canaan, that reigned in חָצוֹר Hazor… ―Judges 4:2
I have included some Hebrew terms because this meaning is very deep. The word for light is אֹֽור Aur. “Let there be light and there was light.” What is that light? It is the awakened consciousness. Our soul, when it is pure, is light, harmony, peace, and it is contentment.
But that light, the light of Israel, of the divine, is trapped. That light, when it becomes inverted, becomes part of the negative psychological qualities we are familiar with. As a result of having misused our energies in our consciousness, that light is dislocated, disconnected from Jehovah, and then enters into these infernal states of being.
What is כְּנַעַן Canaan in the Bible? When the Bible talks about different lands, they were referring to Malkuth, when Egyptians enslaved the Israelites. Egypt is a symbol of the body, within which is contained our desires, because our ego and defects act through the body.
What is that inverted light? The Hebrew term for it is חָצוֹר Hazor [Hatzor] because it sounds like אֹֽור Aur, the light, but it is trapped in the lower spectrum of light. The higher spectrum of light is ultraviolet, but the most dense form is infrared. There is a spectrum and the Tree of Life represents this.
And יהוה Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin, king of כְּנַעַן Canaan, that reigned in חָצוֹר Hazor… ―Judges 4:2
Meaning: the soul was disconnected and trapped in this body. Trapped within חָצוֹר Hazor or the inverted light that conditions the mind.
The captain of his host was סִיסְרָא Sisera. The sound סִיסְרָא Sisera or the name סִיסְרָא Sisera is a representation of what the Bible calls the serpent. There is a mantra amongst the gnostics, the letter S for "Sssssssss…" which we pronounce in order to work with what is known as the serpentine fire of Kundalini. This is the fire of the divine which is in our coccyx. You can do that mantra S or "Sssssssss" to make the energies rise up the spine to the brain.
Of course, there is a duality to that serpent as represented in the Bible. That serpent that healed the Israelites in the wilderness raised by Moses upon a staff, is a symbol of the Kundalini rising up the spine, if you are familiar with Hinduism. Of course, there is a tempting serpent in which that energy descends down and forms what is called the tail of the demons within the astral body of a human being. These are symbols, but also there are certain things that they represent that are psychological truths.
Therefore, סִיסְרָא Sisera is that negative crystallization of those energies:
...which dwelt in חֲרֹשֶׁת הַגֹּויִֽם Haroshet-Goyim (the land of the goyim). ―Judges 4:2
What is goyim? It is a Hebrew term, which many Jews believe refers simply to people who don't follow Judaism. If you look at the word goyim, you hear the word ego backwards. What does it mean to be a goyim? It means to be like any one of us, even if we are Jewish, because to have desire and egotism is to be goyim. To be exiled from the heavenly kingdom of God, the Being.
To be a real Jew in an objective sense, is to have this light incarnated.
And the children of Israel (the soul) cried unto יהוה Jehovah: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. ―Judges 4:3
Again, these are symbols. If you are interested in learning more about what the numbers mean in the Bible, I recommend you listen to our course we have been giving on the Eternal Tarot which is available on our website. We won't go into too much detail here, but the number nine is very symbolic. It represents again how we use our energies in the ninth sephirah of the Tree of Life.
Of course, that light and energy tends to be conditioned in us. We use our vitality in the wrong way with negative habits. We waste energy in many behaviors, which are not conducive for our spiritual well-being.
That twenty years is against symbolic, referring to the Kabbalah as we have been explaining.
The one who helps Israel in this process is known as Deborah.
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time… ―Judges 4:4
…and she was in the Bible represented as a great warrior and a prophetess who helped the Israelites in that narrative to achieve freedom against סִיסְרָא Sisera and his armies. Or better said the ego, his demons, and is legions.
Who is דְּבֹורָה Deborah?
And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. ―Judges 4:5
What is judgment? It is Geburah. Justice. Our conscience. The sense of right and wrong. She dwells underneath a palm tree, represented by this mystical sphere known as Daath in the Kabbalah, and which means knowledge.
Some people have called it alchemy, the science of transmuting the base lead of the personality into the gold of the spirit by the work of energy. She dwells beneath that tree, meaning: works like Buddha did meditating under the Bodhi tree until he achieved enlightenment (if you are familiar with the Buddhist mythology).
Geburah, our soul, our divine consciousness, dwells beneath this palm tree between Ramah and Bethel, because this glyph is represented as three pillars: one on the left, one on the right, and one in the middle. Ramah is the left pillar of the Tree of Life, Bethel is the right, and the mountain Ephraim is represented by the center of this glyph, Tiphereth.
To have dreams in the internal worlds when you are meditating, if you experience seeing a mountain or climbing a mountain, it means you are entering the higher dimensions with your spiritual work. The mountain represents the path that leads from the valleys of Klipoth, the infernal world, up towards the world of heaven. It is called the "heavens" in the different mythologies.
The Israelites, in order to receive help from Deborah, had to climb the mountain, Ephraim and receive judgment. It is a symbol. It means that God doesn't come out of the clouds to give us some kind of magical experience, although that can happen, and it is very beautiful and necessary. However, to obtain comprehension of our faults, God doesn't come out of the clouds to give it to us. Instead we have to work and raise our level of being up within ourselves towards this higher sephiroth, Tiphereth, the mountain.
By learning to overcome our body, our energies, our emotions, and our mind with willpower in meditation―that is how you climb Ephraim, the mountain, to receive judgment. It is a symbol. If you want to reach comprehension in yourself, peace, and understanding, you have to raise your level of being.
This myth is also very beautiful and explains other things relating to many other mythologies, such as the teachings of the Kundalini in Hinduism. If you are familiar with the force of the Kundalini, it is the serpentine power of the divine feminine which rises up the spine from the base chakra, Muladhara. Then up the spine to the brain. In the Bible a mountain also represents the spinal column which one must climb.
The prophets must climb in order to receive the commandments of the divine, like Moses did on Mount Sinai. It is a symbol of how he raised the energies of the divine up his spine through certain practices in order to illuminate his intellect. If you see the halos of the saints in many myths, it is because those heroes, those masters, those prophets, worked with energy and illuminated the mind. They climbed the mountain and when they illuminated their crown chakra like Moses, Muhammed, or whatever prophet you want to refer to, that is when they were able to receive knowledge and understanding. Commandments from the Being. Direct experiences in meditation. The Bible and the Book of Judges refers to that force of the serpent as Barak.
And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of (קֶּדֶשׁ) Kedesh in Naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not (יהוה) the LORD GOD of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward (בְּהַר תָּבֹור) Mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun. ―Judges 4:6
In the story you see that Deborah and Barak go to war against the armies of Sisera, as a symbol of the consciousness going into battle against our desires. How does our consciousness work against desire? By working with the Kundalini.
She says, "Go and draw towards Mount Tabor."
Again the mountain refers to the sephirah, the heart, Tiphereth. "Take with yourself ten thousand men," meaning the ten sephiroth and integrate all the parts of your Being within you in meditation in order to have command of yourself, in order to work against desire and against defects.
“And I will draw סִיסְרָא Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude, unto thee to the river Kishon; and I will deliver him into thine hand.” ―Judges 4:7
What is that river Kishon? These are your vital energies, because how you use your vitality, your vital forces in meditation, determines whether you will have that inner strength to work against your own defects.
But of course Deborah says, “I will fight against סִיסְרָא Sisera, which is "Sssssssss," the fire of our own divine energies that has been inverted and negative. It is the tempting serpent of Eden. It is a symbol of the misuse of our energies and which, by misusing that force, we were kicked out of bliss, Eden.
The word עֵדֶן Eden means “bliss.” It isn't a literal place in the Mesopotamia in the Middle East, but refers to the original state of the consciousness before it's conditioning.
In the myth סִיסְרָא Sisera is killed by a woman named יָעֵל Yael, and the name is very symbolic, because the word יה Ya, if you know Kabbalah, is י Iod ה Hei, reading it from right to left. Hebrew is written from right to left, representing the Father, known as Kether in the Kabbalah, the height of our Being, of our divinity. אל El is your spirit, your inner God.
This woman is literally the forces of the divine and the spirit within us who works in order to eliminate our defects. She is part of our conscience. In the myth, she takes a hammer and chisel and then pummels his head in order to kill him when he sleeps. But what first happened was that she brought סִיסְרָא Sisera into her tent or into a tent and brought him milk in order to put him to sleep. When he was asleep, she killed him.
These are symbols how when you work with vital energy, like with the mantra OM, or sacred sounds, the mind settles and become serene. Then from a state of serenity, you put your defects into an inactive state; your egotism and your desires, so that when the mind settles, you can learn to look inside in meditation and comprehend the causes of suffering. When you then see your own desires or certain defects you want to work on, you take the hammer of willpower and the chisel of understanding, and you slay it.
We mentioned in the previous lecture of this course how developing concentration, to focus on one thing, is willpower and is essential. The next step is developing insight, the ability to proceed images in the mind clearly. To see through the sense of observation of ourselves―self-observation and imagination: the ability to perceive psychic imagery.
In the Book of Judges (5:24-26), there is a song:
Extolled above woman be Yael, extolled above woman in the tent. He asked for water. She gave him milk... ―Judges 5:24-25
...which is the energies of our vital forces, referring to the creative energies of sexuality and which we will be talking about within tantrism and other teachings related to alchemy and the perfect matrimony. The work with the vital forces in you and the creative energies in you can be done by working with mantras such as OM. You circulate that force in you. It is like milk, which is nourishment for the soul.
As I said, silence the mind and then you can work on yourself.
She brought him cream in a lordly dish. She stretched forth her hand to the nail, Her right hand to the workman's hammer, And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head, She crashed through and transfixed his temples. ―Judges 5:25-26
The word יָעֵל Yael signifies an “ibex, a goat.” And again, there are many symbols here. The sheep separating from the goats. In the Christian tradition, this is a symbol of how one is either purified as a lamb, following the teachings of the divine or Christ, and the goat, meaning a person with egotism. Of desires. יָעֵל Yael literally means “a goat,” a desert dwelling goat, because any one of us who begins meditation is filled with desires and defects.
Symbolically as in the Christian symbols, we are goats and by purifying the soul one becomes a sheep. Interesting etymology.
Conscience, Judgment, and the Symbolism of Deborah
How do we work with the force of conscience, of judgment, of Deborah? We work with mantras.
There's a song in the Book of Judges, which says:
Awake, עוּר awake, דְּבֹורָה Deborah: עוּר awake, עוּר awake, דָּבַר utter a song: arise, בָּרָק Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam. ―Judges 5:1
The word for awake in Hebrew is עוּר Ur, which is similar, etymologically to the word אֹֽור Aur, which means “light.”
“Awake, Deborah, awaken the consciousness, awake our soul” to its true nature, its peaceful nature, its serenity and its compassion. You do so by working with songs, which are mantras.
“Utter a song,” it says, דָּבַר Dabar in Hebrew. “To utter, to speak.”
The word דְּבֹורָה Deborah has these Hebrew letters, ד Dalet, ב Beth, ר Resh. De-Bur-Ah. If you want to work with your inner judgment, you can work with those sacred sounds to empower your soul and your concentration.
"Arise Barak," referring to the Kundalini, which rises in the spine. "Lead thy captivity captive," which means take control of your situations and learn to live with greater rectitude and love.
Who is this בָּרָק Barak? The Muslim tradition teaches some interesting symbols. In the Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad, he rode on a creature called الْبُرَاق Al-Buraq, which literally means “the lightning.” Where is that lightning? It is in your spine, or better said, it it contained in the Chakra Muladhara and needs to awaken. So, by riding that creature up the spine, the energies, and the forces, we ascend towards the heavens as symbolized in the Muslim myth. Barak is that energy or Al-Buraq, which helped Deborah fight against the afflictions of the mind.
We will be giving courses about the mystical teachings of Islam known as Sufism. We gave a course called The Sufi Path of Self-Knowledge, which explains some of these interesting symbols in relation with the path of meditation.
Inner Self-Remembrance, Mantras, and Sacred Sounds
We will read a few excerpts from some Sufi scriptures, which are very valuable. In these teachings we study the path of remembrance of the divine. Meditation is about remembering our own inner divinity, by developing serenity and insight so that we learn to connect and strengthen our connection with that presence. We do so by following the voice of our inner judgment, our conscience, our heart, and our intuition, how certain behaviors are negative or harmful. The way that we can empower that remembrance is by working with the sacred sounds, as I have been mentioning.
The Sufis or the mystics of Islam, not to be confused with the orthodoxy, has some very interesting explanations about how to remember the divine. We work with mantras to strengthen that inner judgment and to be aware, mindfully, throughout our day in a state of attention.
If we want to learn to meditate, what is necessary is to learn to be observant all day. Meditation, when you sit to close your eyes and relax, is only an extension of your daily practice, your daily life. Learning to be mindful throughout the day and not being distracted in the mind is the beginning. If you are washing your dishes, don't think of other things. If you are driving your car, don't talk on the cellphone. Don't listen to the radio. Just drive. Don't think about what you are going to do later, but be mindful of where you are at. The reason why there are so many accidents is because people are asleep, consciously. They may be driving and physically active, but as a consciousness, they are distracted. Their mind is elsewhere. Their emotions are elsewhere. Their bodies are doing one thing but they are not really present in the body.
Remembrance is strengthened when we work with mantras, which is known as Dhikr amongst the Sufis.
Remembrance is a powerful support on the path to God [the divine, the Being] (Glorious and Majestic). Indeed, it is the very foundation of this Sufi [or we can say, Gnostic] path. No one reaches God save by continual remembrance of Him. [Our inner OM. Our spirit.] There are two kinds of remembrance: that of the tongue and that of the heart. The servant attains perpetual remembrance of the heart by making vocal remembrance. It is remembrance of the heart, however, that yields true effect. ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Meaning, to pronounce, verbally, certain mantras, but to do it with concentration, because if you vocalize but are not mindful what you are doing, there is no power there. We are distracted. Therefore:
It is remembrance of the heart that yields true effect. When a person makes remembrance with his tongue and his heart simultaneously (with concentration), he attains perfection in his or her wayfaring. ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
To be focused. Concentration is important. If you want certain mantras to be effective and to produce greater depth of understanding and concentration, you have to invest everything you have into that practice. Don't think about other things. Let your mind be immersed in those vibrations. As I said, be like the bee that is immersed in the flower or the pollen as it is creating honey.
The Sufis also teach that it is good in the beginning to work with a mantra that helps to strengthen our heart, our conscience. However, many practitioners write to us through letters and correspondences; people and many students perform certain mantras, but still they don't feel like they have any results and experiences. The thing to think about with that is to revise what is the psychological state we are in when we engage in a practice.
As you start in this meditation, what is your mental states? What are your moods? What are your qualities? What are you feeling? What are you thinking now? Become aware of that, relax, breathe deep, and then begin a sacred mantra so that there is sweetness or genuine genuine power in that practice.
As the Sufis teach:
A group of wayfarers complained to Abu Uthman, "We make vocal remembrance of God Most High, but we experience no sweetness in our hearts." He advised, ‘Give thanks to God Most High for adorning you at least your limbs with obedience.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Meaning: at least you are consistent, because some people begin a mantra one day and and don't finish it. Don't continue it. The thing to remember is, it's good to be diligent with one's practices.
Three Stages of Comprehension
In this course, we have been talking about three stages of comprehension. We talk a lot about discovery, self-observation, to see ourselves, to observe, to be mindful. By learning to observe ourselves like a director watching an actor, we begin to gain information or acquire knowledge of our conditioning of mind, so that by seeing it, we go home, we go to meditate, we go to judge our defects.
In the beginning we learn to gather data. What are the thoughts, feelings, and impulses we experience whenever we engage at work in the morning, with friends, our boss, our co-workers? Analyze, what are the qualities that are go on within us whenever we interact with other human beings? And, in that way you learn to discover your defects in action.
I recommend if you haven't heard those lectures yet, to do so. It will give greater context for this lecture, but we've been talking a lot about judgment, following our intuition, which is the path of meditation.
As you begin to discover yourself in action, finding defects that you never suspected you had, you take that information, that sense of remorse, that sense of responsibility, and go home, relax, meditate, silence the mind, and learn to ask for help from your inner being. Work with a mantra and power your heart with energy, and then pray and ask, "My divine Being, show me, help me to understand what I observed in myself today." Perhaps it was anger. Perhaps it was fear. Perhaps it was lust. A quality that you notice produces suffering in you and that you want to remove.
The next step is execution, which is prayer. When you comprehend a certain condition of mind, fully, then you can ask for its elimination within you by the help of your Divine Mother Kundalini, the divine feminine.
And as we have been discussing also in our courses of meditation, “The first stage of worship is silence” as Prophet Muhammad taught.
So silence of mind is generated when you learn to relax. Don't identify with your thinking, your feeling, your impulses, negativity, and negative emotions. Those things will sap you of your energy and will make you weak. So to have a mind that is in silence, a mind that is able to be intuitive, it is necessary to observe, relax, be aware. As I mentioned, when you are aware of yourself and you relax throughout the day, your body becomes less tense, your mind is relaxed. If you don't invest your negative qualities with so much energy, when you go home to meditate, you can sit in a minute and immediately enter meditation, easy, because your body is not tense, your mind is not tense. You are not depleted of energy.
So silence occurs naturally, spontaneously; when you fulfill the necessary requisites, meaning: follow your conscience. If we are investing our energy into psychological states that are harmful, the mind becomes a churning chaos, overwhelmed, an ocean that is in the middle of a storm, in the flux of tides, overwhelming the mind. But if you naturally observe it like you are in a helicopter viewing from the sky, you can observe the tides and gradually the storm will settle on its own, because you are not churning along with it, going on with the flow.
Silence occurs in levels. There are levels of introductory teaching relating to concentration or serenity, and there are more higher levels of serenity obtained by people who have entered meditation very deeply.
Abu Bakr al-Farisi mentioned in the scripture called Principles of Sufism, a very beautiful teaching:
If one's homeland is not silence, he is talking to excess, even though he is silent with the tongue. Silence is not confined to the tongue but concerns the heart and all the limbs. ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
If we have sat to meditate, we may have found that even though our bodies are quiet, we here in the mind, we feel in the heart a constant commentary, a chatter―the mind wanting to label things, point at things, and explain things. The mind is like a monkey, attached, craving, always wanting to move. It indicates that the mind is not serene.
We are constantly grasping at the external world. The body wants to move. It is an animal that needs to be tamed. So silence doesn't occur just with the physical tongue, but mentally. If you don't want your mind to be overflowing with thoughts, observe. Don't invest your energy with it. Don't identify yourself with that. But serenity naturally occurs when you distance yourself from that internal chatter.
Silence for the common people is with their tongues, but silence for the gnostics is with their hearts… ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Meaning: those who really know the Being, the divine, do so because they even attained some type of internal silence and inner serenity in which they are not influenced by thinking so much, but instead are relaxed, at peace.
Yet there is “silence for lovers,” meaning prophets, “by restraining the stray thoughts that come into their innermost beings.” So that's a stage of serenity or concentration in which one sees a distraction in the mind before it even emerges. This is well discussed in our course on Gnostic Meditation on our website as well as the lecture called Calm Abiding: the Stages of Serenity.
But serenity occurs in levels and that inner serenity is natural and spontaneous, it is not forced. People think that concentration has to be something aggressive. That one has to be exerting some type of energy or force in order to meditate. But the reality is that serenity is natural, relaxed, spontaneous, at peace. Judgment occurs naturally when we are at peace; when the mind is silent. Comprehension emerges like a spark, an insight, that emerges in the mind when you are not looking for it. When you are simply concentrated, relaxed, at peace
Exertion, Comprehension, and the Dialectic of Consciousness
Comprehension replaces exertion when one tries to comprehend the truth intimately hidden in the secret depths of each problem. We do not need any exertion to comprehend each and every defect that we carry hidden within the different levels of the mind. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
In our previous lecture, we talked about the dialectic of consciousness: how the consciousness, represented by Christ in this image, overcomes the mind―how to receive insights, intuition, understanding from the Being, represented by Jesus, and the devil on the right is a representation of our ego, the mind that points towards materialism, egotism, desires. That is the difference between a mind that is distracted and a mind that is concentrated.
And in this myth, Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. It is a symbol of how we, in meditation, learn to overcome the distractions of the mind in order to overcome him. So I mentioned to you that in the Kabbalah, the word wisdom is simply the ability to perceive, to judge, to know.
We have an image of The Last Judgement, painted by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. The word judgment relates etymologically to the word “wisdom.” Wisdom is the power of perception, of knowing, of seeing, which occurs spontaneously in us when we learn to look, to observe, and not to anticipate what we may see, but simply engaged in the act of looking, of seeing.
The word wisdom is derived from vid, videre (to see) and from dom (judgment). Thus, wisdom alludes to that which one can see with the senses of the soul and of the Innermost; to the wise judgments which must be based on the ultra-sensorial perceptions and not simply on dogmatic intellectualism or vain professional sufficiency, which are already in declination and decrepitude. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
So again, the intellect cannot know the truth. It can store knowledge, ideas, beliefs, concepts, and memories. Real wisdom is when you learn to see in yourself the causes of your suffering. It is the power of perception, of knowing. So we learn to develop light through meditation. Through seeing. Through observing ourselves. We gain genuine contentment, serenity, and happiness when we learn to experience is what perception is, what light is, the qualities of the Being, the qualities of our Inner God.
Spiritual Insight and Witnessing
The Sufis in the Qur’an also teach that this sense of understanding is represented by light, because light is the power of seeing. With light we know, we understand. So to have light in meditation means to have experiences.
You may have the experience when your mind is silent, in which your body falls asleep, and you as a consciousness enter into the dream state, the dream world, and experience the higher dimensions of that Tree of Life we have been looking at. You climb Mount Tabor or Mount Ephraim. You enter the higher regions of the divine in order to converse face-to-face with your Innermost God.
A person who has that experience in meditation is obviously very different from those who haven't, because with that type of experience comes conviction. What we call real faith―real judgment―because then by having that help from your Inner God, you learn to help others and to help yourself, more importantly, so that you can be of benefit.
Concerning the saying of God Most High, ‘Or one who was dead―we have brought him to life’ (6:122), a Sufi said, "Someone who was dead of mind, but God Most High brought him to life with the light of insight, and set for him the light of divine manifestation and direct vision―he will not be like someone who walks, unconscious, with the people of unconsciousness.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
It is easy to see that, after having those experiences, we realize that humanity is really dead, spiritually. They lack genuine understanding, but with that understanding comes the determination to help them to experience that for themselves
It is said that when insight becomes sound, its possessor progresses to the level of contemplation (mushahadah) [meditation]. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
The Arabic is mushahadah, which relates to the Arabic saying of the declaration of faith, the Shahadah, "There is no god, but God and Muhammad is His Prophet."
Many people recite that intellectually, but have they meditated and experienced in higher dimensions, talking with their Inner Being, or Allah, or God, their El, their OM, their Spirit? The truth is that they don't, so are they really Muslim in the objective sense? You can say that they are not, because if you experience your divine Being in the higher dimensions, in meditation, then you bear witness. You say, "I see my God face to face.” Therefore, there is no god but God and Muhammad is His Prophet, or Krishna is His Prophet, or Buddha is His Prophet. Many teachers, one light.
Ascension to Higher Levels of Being
That process of seeing is inner judgment and the path of inner judgment is like a like a staircase. We discussed in our previous lectures about the levels of being; how the ascension to the path of genuine spirituality is like climbing a staircase and having a dream in the internal worlds, or your dreams themselves in meditation, that you are climbing a staircase, means that you are going to higher levels of being.
You are experiencing higher states of consciousness, and I believe that is from Alice in Wonderland climbing a staircase, or something symbolic of that nature, because the soul, we could say, is feminine, whether in a male body or masculine body, because the soul receives the forces from above. It is receptive and so:
Abu Said al-Kharraz said, “One who sees with the light of spiritual insight, sees with the light of the Truth.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
…because when you see a problem, when you see a defect for what it is and you don't make excuses for it, or justify it, or repress it, but simply observe, you can comprehend it and that is how you arrive at judgment, conscience.
In the beginning, we follow our hunch, our intuitions that certain psychological states are destructive and by learning to comprehend them deeper and deeper in meditation, we develop light.
The very substance of his knowledge comes from God, unmixed with either negligence or forgetfulness. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
The very substance of this knowledge comes from God, because your Being gives you that understanding, unmixed with either negligence or forgetfulness. Meaning: negligence is referring to begin meditation and then to stop, to be negligent and to not work.
This is a spiritual work and is very difficult, but it is rewarding because it provides the beauty of the soul within oneself.
And forgetfulness, meaning to not forget what you are doing. You sit to meditate. You have a specific practice. You are going to review your day. What you observed in yourself. Or take an object to meditate on like a candle, a stone, a picture, and you want to understand a certain scripture, or whatever it is you want to meditate on. You have to have the focus to the point that you don't forget what you are doing when you sit. If you forget what you are doing when you sit to meditate, it means that we are distracted, we are forgetful
Indeed, it is a judgment of Truth flowing from the tongue of a servant. ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufis
…because when you have that knowledge for yourself then it becomes crystallized in you.
We will conclude by stating that the way to develop meditative practice is by following our inner judgment, our inner conscience―again, that sense of right and wrong.
The human being who allows that which is called self-judgement 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
Meaning: by learning to live with attentiveness and consciousness in our daily life, our work, our job, or career, we learn to do our work not only better, but we naturally help humanity and enter deeper states of awareness.
Questions and Answers
Question: How can we experience the divine when meditating?
Instructor: If you want to experience the divine through some type of samadhi in meditation, and the word samadhi means “ecstasy,” where your consciousness is liberated from its conditions so that it perceives without egotism in the higher worlds―to have a samadhi, I like to quote for you Rumi, a great Sufi poet. He said, "Finding love, the divine, is not by seeking it but instead looking for all the obstacles you place to obstruct it."
So that love is your inner God, your Spirit, OM, and if you want to know that Being in you, the way to develop that light and have those experiences is by working on your defects. Because remember the Bible says "Let there be light and there was light.” From the darkness, God spoke and said that verse. From the darkness of our ignorance, light emerges. You develop light by working on your egos, comprehending them, because when you eliminate your egos, you are extracting the genie from the bottle, and when you extract the genie from the bottle, like in the myth, you integrate those conscious qualities, and then you naturally are awake in the higher worlds when your body is asleep, physically, and you are traveling in the astral plane, the world of dreams. Your dream states.
If you learn to awaken consciousness physically in that way, then you have easier access when you are dreaming or when you are meditating. So samadhi occurs naturally when you remove the conditions that trap your consciousness, which is why even Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra, an esoteric text which modeled this philosophy; he stated that "I love he who does not make any excuses for him or herself, but instead doesn’t reach for the stars first, but decides to descend in order to be a sacrifice."
So that in being a sacrifice, one can be of service, says the very beginning of that text. So symbolically, what he is talking about is: you want to experience heaven? We all want that. To see the stars of the divinity in the internal worlds. To reflect God in us. We want to go to heaven, but the reality is that we are trapped down here. We are trapped by our egotism, in the valley of Klipoth. But in order to get out to experience those dimensions, those realms, those realities, you have to climb the mountain. You do it by working with where you are at and not worrying about having experiences.
Many people read certain books such as by Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, and get very inspired. You know, people read that, and they say, “I want to talk to my Inner God. I want to know my Being and many have that inspiration,” but in order to actualize the experience of your God, you have to work on what you can see here and now, because your Being will give you experiences as you are working to change yourself.
Personally, I remember many years ago before I found the Gnostic tradition, I was studying many schools of meditation and other teachings, and then I was going back and forth with certain places and things and scriptures and books, and what I decided was following my inner judgment, my conscience, about changing certain habits that I was engaging in that was destructive for myself. As I started to renounce those behaviors and not going back, comprehending how that behavior was wrong, I started to have experiences like I did when I was a teenager, in the dream world, and then in that way when of my body was asleep, I was awakened in the astral plane and I received certain teachings about my development.
I remember climbing a staircase and being led by a woman up the stairs, and that woman was my Divine Mother, my Being, my Divine Mother Kundalini was showing me, "you are ascending, you are ascending up this path, but be careful." She was warning me about certain things.
Question: I had a dream of a torch, and there was a, well, I was not scared though, kind of a grey wolf, and it was watching me in concentration.
Instructor: The torch is light. Developing insight. You have an experience of seeing fire or light, it means your consciousness. It is a symbol of that because consciousness is the ability to perceive, to see. A wolf, we have been talking about in Arcanum 5, the fifth card of the tarot in our website. That symbol of the wolf is a symbol of what we call Karma. Karma is a law that is governed by divineb as we have been explaining. I have had experiences of wolves too and the wolf, if it is attacking you, it means the law is against you, the Divine Law, because we committed some kind of wrong and we have to face the consequences. But, if it is calm, it means it is good. It means the law is at bay.
I know in the beginning of my path, I had certain situations postponed or withheld from me as a result of changing certain habits. But because I made those changes, they said okay, you know what you prevented this from happening and they showed me what would have happened to me if I had continued along that mistaken path.
So dreams are very symbolic. To interpret them literally is a mistake, but you learn how to interpret dreams by studying Kabbalah, which is the symbolic language of the divine.
I invite you to study some of the resources we have available and we will be getting more courses on meditation as well as practices you can use to develop your discipline, in order to cease suffering and develop genuine serenity. We gave a course on meditation on our website, which you can study. We will be giving more material of that name of that on Chicagognosis.org, especially, but I invite you to study some of the literature written by Samael Aun Weor, whose writings are the focus of this school, primarily because of their efficacy, their directness, and simplicity.
In relation to some other schools, many people tend to get lost in intellectual knowledge. So, I have been explaining a lot of about the Kabbalah lot because it is very rich and complex, but it is very simple when you boil it down. It refers to: how do you meditate? How do you control the mind? How do you learn about yourself? You do so by becoming serene. Observing yourself. So, if you haven't heard the previous lectures in this course, I recommend you study them.
We talked about discovery, judgment, execution. Discover your defects. Work on what you can perceive in yourself, that you can change and then when you gather data about yourself, you learn to judge those habits. You ask for guidance insight. You ask my Being, my God, show me what I need to change in myself. Help me to see my errors. Help me to understand this anger that I witness in myself and my work. How can I change that?
And if you concentrate on that question, relax, wait. When the mind is serene, suddenly insight comes like an experience. Sometimes insight emerges as a type of "aha!" moment. We certainly understand that condition, and then you realize that you you are liberated from that element, to a degree, and at that moment you ask for help. You ask, “My Divine Mother, my inner Goddess,” as we have explained in this course, “help me to eliminate this desire,” and in many cases that ego doesn't get eliminated right away, but gradually. So, you will see progress day by day and you know that there is change occurring when you reach the same situation in your life, same people, same circumstances, because things repeat mechanically; you don't react like you did. Then you don't have to perpetuate a certain dynamic of "an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth," where you get mad at someone or they get mad at you, and there is an aggression that builds up and pain for everyone.
I know that in the case of my new job that I have been working at, I had to work with very difficult people, very challenging, and I know that one thing: I have been working on is my inner judgment. Finding the right psychological state to engage with, in order to help the people I am working with. So, what happened was I have been meditating and training day by day asking my Inner God, "show me what I need to do. How do I act with these people, in this situation, in this circumstance." I have been finding and I have been getting insight where working on certain defects of mine where I have been going to work facing the same people, and when I have been treated disrespectfully, respond with love. With patience. Patience and love are much more crushing forces than anger, because when you respond with anger, the other person is going to retaliate in the same way and the cycle repeats.
But if you are patient with that person, kind, and naturally appears in you spontaneously, without force, without expectation, suddenly you realize that those people who are your enemies become your friends. And you change everything and then you stop suffering. You stop making the other person suffer. That is judgment. When you see in yourself what needs to change and then you work on it day by day. But that occurs when we comprehend our psychological states. It doesn't occur overnight, and many times we have to struggle and suffer a lot with mistakes, until we get it, and then when you get it right, the situation is transformed.
You notice that people always want to change things externally. Change the job, change the work environment, get a new job, do something else. But, we tend to carry the psychological disease with us of suffering―wanting everyone to change but us. I have had people say to me or certain people I worked ask, "How did you manage to change the situation?" I had my boss ask me that. She said, “I don't know what your secret is.” I just kept silent because some things you don't talk about with an employer. I can't tell my employer that I worked on my ego with my Divine Mother [laughter from audience], you know, some people will think I'm nuts but they see it, they see the results and they feel the results and they say, "this is is amazing." They say, "how did you do it this well?" I did mention I teach meditation and yoga, and that is a very easy answer for people to understand and they say, "OK, it's good."
But you know, if you make a you make the changes you need to change, then the pieces externally will situate themselves and then you won't have to feel depleted and worried about going to work, or doing certain things, or being with certain people. You don't try to change the other person with force, with coercion, but instead, you change your psychological habits. That is how you walk the path of judgment.
As I quoted Samael Aun Weor at the end of this lecture, "Inner judgment is what lead you on the upright path." Meaning: you don't suffer so much, unnecessarily. Meditation will unfold naturally for you when you see how it applies to your life, because if you don't see how it will benefit you, that is why people leave. People stop practicing meditation because they don't see results. The question is not the technique, it is the mind. How effective are the methods if we're using any method? But also, when the method is effective, what is our application of it? What is our daily discipline? How is it applying to our life? Because if our spirituality doesn't apply when we go to work, or talk with friends, or in the bedroom, or whatnot; if our spirituality is divorced from every aspect of our life, it isn't spiritual. It is just an excuse we tell ourselves, because we continue to engage in negative habits. So, if you want to learn how to meditate, I recommend you study some of our other resources we have available on our website. We gave a few courses, one of them, which is very introductory like this is known as The Sufi Path of Self-Knowledge, but also Gnostic Meditation.
Thank you for coming.
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