It is always good, at the beginning of lectures, to be present, to be aware of our mind, our mental state, our thoughts, but also our emotional qualities or mood, to take a moment, to get centered. If we are at home, if we’re driving, wherever we’re listening, we should become present, here and now, to listen with profound attention, to set aside analysis, interpretation, the mind, to learn to receive, with a pristine and clear cognition, to listen with our heart.
It is in this way that we can learn to perceive the new, and if you’ve been following the sequence of this lecture series, you’ve been given many practices that teach you how to perceive the novel, the unusual, the original, that which is sparkling and new, something we’ve never seen before, and which escapes the mind, that which cannot be confined to a label, a category, a box.
The intellect is useful for storing information. But it can only compare. It cannot discern the profound reality of the thing, the experience. If you’ve ever looked at a sunset, our concepts cannot equate with the beauty and the reality of that pristine moment. It is something unusual and rare. It escapes definition. This is the quality of conscious astral projections: a state of reality that is beyond the body, that is so clear, colorful and vibrant, that it is more real than our physical existence, our physical states.
It is this innate beauty that attracts us to the study of dreams. It is what draws us to remember dreams, which was the focus of our last lecture. Now we are going to take a close examination of how to consciously enter the dream state, to make something mechanical, unconscious and unintentional into something conscious. So rather than looking at a sunset and getting lost in our own approximations or estimations of that beauty, we merely see the dream for what it is, our illusions, our attachments, and instead, we can access something more, beyond the limits of the mind.
I will say that there are some advantages to being mechanical. We’ve talked a lot about this, how we often react to life without understanding. We don’t really understand the roots of our behaviors. We’re not really conscious of ourselves. Mechanicity is something that can be utilized for our spiritual development in the sense that our own behaviors, mind, and states are predictable. We can learn to anticipate and recognize the novelty of the moment by first becoming aware of our own psychology, to recognize the patterns of our daily life. When we do that in our waking state, we will do it within dreams, and in this way, we will start to see more.
We can even experience recurring dreams. We remember them because they emerge within our interior, boldly, and with great impact. These recurring dreams are useful. We can take dreams, we can focus upon them, and we can become conscious of them, so that by entering the dreaming state willingly, we learn to enter the astral world, and then to depart from the dream itself, to be awake, to see the reality, to see the internal dimensions.
We will talk a lot about this―recurring dream symbols―how we can use them to our advantage, how we can become aware of how we dream all the time, and how we can learn to see them for what they are, to enter them, to understand them, and then to transcend them. We will give you some techniques for this particular practice.
Preliminaries for Tantric Dream Discipline
There are a couple of preliminaries that I would like to review for you, briefly, so that we can have some context for why we are studying this discipline.
As we emphasized before, it is important to remember and document all dreams. We do so so that we have some material by which to study ourselves. We don’t want to forget our inner experiences within the astral world. We want to have enough data to look for the new.
We want to profoundly watch for unusual or anomalous dream experiences, because when you are documenting your dreams, you will start to see recurring themes, much in the same way that you will find a narrative in your own life: the things we tell ourselves at our work, in our relationships, in our homes, in our travels. We want to study that which repeats, so that we can transcend it, and when we document our dreams, we may find that something new emerges within our experience.
This constant awareness, this study of ourselves, is known as tantra within the Tibetan Buddhist sense. Tantra means “continuum.” It is the infinite. It is the continuity and comprehension of consciousness that we develop within ourselves through practice. It is a state of awakening that is constant. It does not rest. It is the state of awareness that does not sleep, but is present even in dreams, that can begin to understand the new, to see what is unusual.
Also by documenting our dreams, we can learn to distinguish a gradual progression of dream experiences. We see that there is a type of thread uniting all of it. In the beginning we may dream vague, incoherent, crazy states, though with time we begin to see there is more cohesion. Our dream states become more integral. They are less dispersed and fragmented amongst confused and delusional states.
We should also discriminate the distinct qualities, moods, and impact of our dreams, especially the dreams that have the most significance for us, even if we don’t know what they mean. The mood, the quality and the impact of the dream is really important to analyze within ourselves, because if a dream has a great influence on us―perhaps in a positive or a negative sense―it means that it is going to have some type of deeper significance and impact, a greater consequence for our spiritual life.
Now, to really begin to use our dreams to our advantage, to learn to take a dream and to learn how to enter it willingly, we have to really identify recurring dreams. We have to document them. When you find that pattern, it is like a key that can open up the door to the internal worlds. It is a doorway into our inner reality.
Usually, recurring dreams which have a spiritual flavor come in the form of symbols. They arrive from the spiritual world and condense within the astral dimension to teach us something profound. When we see those symbols, we can learn to consciously concentrate upon them, to imagine them, and then to enter them by falling asleep in meditation.
In the process of this we have to revere and aspire through such divine archetypes, these allegories of the spirit. To revere and to aspire mean to feel a sense of beauty and awe before the new. In the conglomeration and messiness of our dreams, we find patterns that make sense. So, we can utilize them as a source of religion, of yoga, of reunion, because we know they come from God, and they help us to yearn for the truth. They are a rope that can pull us out of the abyss, into the heights of understanding.
The Divine Mother
The source of all that wisdom is the Divine Mother Kundalini. She is a symbol of a profound core reality of our Being, our inner divinity.
Many people talk about the divine feminine, and all religions pay homage to her. She is an expression, an enfoldment, a quality of God.
We have an image here of the Virgin Mary, a representation of the divine feminine that gives birth to something spiritual within us. Some people get caught up in the names of different religions, different traditions, rather than looking at what the sign points towards. You have many flags, many nations, with their symbols. Like diverse countries and states, all religions are like flags, with their symbols that represent the unity of the divine.
The Divine Mother is our inner goddess. She is part of us. She is profound compassion, serenity and love, and she, the truth, is the one who inspires us within dreams. The Tibetan Buddhists call her Tara. She is the one who creates order within us, equanimity, dispassion, peace. She is the light that illuminates our astral experiences when they are objective and real, and she can teach us within dreams, how to awaken.
Amongst the Aztecs, and I believe the Maya, she is known as Tonantzin. Tonantzin is an honorific title like “Our Lady” or “Our Great Mother.” This title has been used to designate the Goddess of Sustenance, the Snake Goddess, the Bringer of Maize, Mother of Corn, and the Honored Grandmother.
These are not literal representations. They are symbols, just as dreams are symbolic. Likewise, there are symbols within religion that are oneiric. They are condensed and compacted within the language and parables of dreams.
She is the one that gives us sustenance, who gives us hope, who gives us food for our soul. She feeds the consciousness with wisdom through astral experiences. She heals the broken heart, and she teaches through the inspirational symbols of dreams. So she may arrive in many forms, whatever is conducive for our development, like the snake, the serpent, which in its positive sense, is the divine energy of her, the bronze serpent that healed the Israelites in the wilderness of pain. She is a balm for all suffering, and that her energy, her wisdom, kills that which is impure within us.
She is known as Teteoinan, “Mother of the Gods” coming from Teteoh, plural of Teotl, “God,” and innan, “their mother.” This is another name for Quetzalcoatl, from coatl, “snake,” and icue, signifying “she who has the skirt of snakes.” Beautiful symbols with profound meaning, which make sense to us the more we awaken within the astral world where those symbols unfold magically before us.
She is the serpentine energy of Kundalini, mentioned in Hindu yoga, and we work with her through Tantric Buddhist practice, through the continual awakening of the soul, in order to see reality. We call upon her because she is the one who helps to organize our inner experiences. She is the one who creates integrity within the soul, and when in our dreams, when they are chaotic, futile, incoherent, strange, illogical, instinctive, animal, she comes to us like a breath of fresh air, with a quality that is so distinct that the soul knows that this is from our own divinity.
Recurring Dreams: The Initiator or Unifying Element
So as we are exploring our dreams, as we are documenting them, we begin to find patterns, as I said. We start to see recurring dreams. There are dreams that begin to repeat which no longer have the flavor of something subjective, illusory, or egotistical. They speak to our heart, even if we don’t understand what they mean. However, there is a way to learn to understand what they mean.
When you have a recurring dream, when something appears amongst the chaotic and formless expression of your own unconsciousness, you will start to see a state or a symbol, a situation, color, a sound, a person―anything that hits us and inspires us and makes us question what is really going on here. What is being taught to me? What am I seeing? What is happening here? This is known as the initiator or unifying element of dreams.
People call it recurring dreams. We call it the initiator element. It is the initiator element because it is the symbol, the key, the entrance to the internal worlds. It is a symbol or a message that is giving us some type of clue regarding our own psychological states, our situation in life, our sufferings, and also the solution. It is also a symbol that can be utilized to initiate a very particular type of spiritual work.
We call it the unifying element because out of the plethora and plurality of conflicting and disparate desires and dreams, we find a symbol that makes sense, even if intellectually we don’t have a definition or an explanation. But there is something there that is very deep. It is a unifying element.
All of our chaotic dreams begin to unify in a sense, within our attention, by this recurring dream. The symbol both initiates us, and we can use it to initiate conscious awakening. As I said, when you recognize a pattern in your life, you can begin to find a solution to things, whether it is in your daily states or within your dreams.
So when you learn to become conscious of a recurring dream, you can begin to utilize that for your understanding. When that recurring dream happens again and you recognize it, you immediately know that you are in the astral world. You are shocked. You are sparked to attention. You are alert and aware that you are not in your body. You are present.
This unifying element is really like a thread, Ariadne’s thread within Greek mythology, that leads us out of the labyrinth of our mind. It is a rope given to us by divinity, for by concentrating upon it, by imagining it, by focusing on it when we fall asleep, we can start to initiate the conscious awakening of our soul within the astral dimension.
We can say that the initiator element symbolizes what we need to comprehend most in ourselves. More particularly, it relates to how we must change, how we must stop dreaming physically, daydreaming, letting the mind wander, not being concentrated, not being awake, alert in our daily life. This initiator element or recurring dream can teach us something about our essential problem in our life, what keeps us hypnotized. What is the repeating behavior that we continue to enact that makes us and others suffer? Because without rectifying that, we will not awaken. We will be dreaming all the time.
This initiator element helps us to make sense of physical events. Dreams are merely the internal reflection of our physical reality. If our dreams do not coincide with physical facts, then we have to discard them as illusory. But the initiator element, the recurring dream, helps us to recognize our problem, what we need to do, what we must work upon.
Now it is possible to possess more than one initiator element. What qualifies them is that they are impactful and that they recur. They have a very distinct quality, mood and even prophetic element. They can predict for us things that are going to happen in the daytime. Whatever situations of life hit us, they can teach us about what is going on.
An example of a recurring dream can be the sky. This is something that many people have experienced. We have in this image a citadel floating upon an island in the clouds. On the left we see the rising sun, and on the right, the moon. A young girl walks towards the horizon, contemplating both paths. Oftentimes, the sky in our dreams is showing us, by divinity, the state of our mind, the qualities of our mind.
If the sky is full of clouds, if they are obscured, it means that we are very asleep: physically and internally, in a spiritual sense. We do not understand where we are at, where we came from, or where we are going. If the sky is clear, if the sun is rising, that is something very positive, because something is being born in you, something spiritual: virtues, humility, patience, compassion.
The full moon will often reflect moral pain because it is related to the lunar forces. We know that the moon, physically, is mechanical, and it has great influence on our planet in terms of menstruation in women, the flowing of the tides, and a lot of animal life on our planet is regulated by the moon. Even crimes rates are deeply affected by the lunar influence. We even have the term “lunatic,” relating to those people whose minds are very diseased.
The moon is a symbol of suffering, and depending on how full it is, this determines for us the magnitude of whatever suffering we are going to experience. These are warnings from divinity, not meant to punish or put fear in the soul, but to help us be conscious, to be prepared for life.
If a person is sick with cancer, it is important that he or she knows the diagnosis from the doctor. Our doctor is our Divine Mother, and she shows us within dreams what is most necessary for us, what we need to be cautious about, to be prepared for, to be watchful.
Some people, their recurring dream might be their childhood home. Maybe you wake up in your old house where you grew up. You see your parents there, your family. These can also be a recurring, initiator, unifying symbol. Your divine parents often come in the form of your physical parents, and seeing them is important. We need to see divinity, who often takes the form of our physical parents, to teach us something symbolic.
Another recurring dream could be something like a car, an object. Some people dream of cars. A car is a symbol of knowledge. It is a vehicle of the mind. How you drive is how you drive your mind. So if you’re being shown a car in your dreams, it could be teaching you about how you’re using your mind in your daily life.
Are you driving off the cliff? Are the wheels falling off? Or are you on the road, arriving to your spiritual destination, with your loved ones, your friends, with your spiritual family?
Beautiful symbols. They repeat depending on the person. Not all people will have the same recurring dream, but these are some common ones, some interesting ones.
The car can also symbolize the internal bodies: our emotional body, the astral body, the mental body, the causal body. Beautiful symbols.
So when you recognize what that recurring dream is, you can take it, concentrate upon it, imagine it, and enter it willingly. This is often very useful for after you’ve just woken up from bed. Maybe you wake up in the middle of the night after having a recurring dream, something vivid, something profound, and you want to go back to sleep. You want to re-enter that dream. You want to enter it consciously. You want to see it for what it is, to confront it, live it, experience it more, and even transcend it for something more divine.
So the first clue is to not move your body when you wake up. We talked about this in How to Remember Dreams. Don’t open your eyes. You wake up. You are in bed again. You just returned to your body, perhaps early in the morning, 3 or 4 am. This is very common for people. Close your eyes, concentrate, and relax. Remember the dream you just left. Before, you had the dream. You experienced it. You brought the memory back into your physical brain. Now when you wake up in bed, you want to try to maintain the lucidity of that state, the clarity, the magic, and then, you are going to focus on it. You are going to imagine it, and you are going to fall asleep. In principle you are going to meditate on it.
Meditation in the Sacred Arcana
This process is beautifully symbolized by The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah. You see the first 3 arcana, the first 3 laws of the sacred tarot represented here. These 3 cards represent this entire practice, the essence of meditation, the essence of becoming conscious in dreams.
These are beautiful symbols from the Egyptian pantheon, but they’re not exclusive or limited to Egyptian mythology. They are eternal principles related to the consciousness. The tarot are often depicted with Egyptian symbols because it is most convenient for our understanding, particularly within Western esotericism. It is not to say that the tarot themselves, what they represent, is literal to the cards themselves. We use art to reflect consciousness, and these beautiful art forms show us something very luminous and spiritual. They are archetypes. They are principles and forces. They represent the qualities and states of divinity, and how we must practice if we want to enter consciously into dreams.
Numbers are in themselves something intuitive. Rather than just being mere quantities, they are qualities of the spirit. They represent forces, eternal truths.
The first card of the tarot is The Magician. He is a masculine principle. He is the Divine Father that initiates spiritual life. The staff in his hand is a symbol of willpower, and he stands above a cubic stone, mastering the stone of our energies, the foundation of our spiritual life, our vital force. Our vital energy, the vital body, is really the foundation of our spiritual practice. If you want to know more about how to work with the vital energy, you can study The Perfect Matrimony by Samael Aun Weor.
In synthesis, this magician stands upon a stone, because his foundation is in the work of conserving and transforming energy. By saving psychological, emotional, physical, vital and spiritual energy, we empower our consciousness. We learn to stand spiritually. We are no longer weak people, vulnerable, victims of circumstances. We can concentrate on anything and not get distracted.
We learn to see life for what it is, symbolized by the eyes of Ra or Horus, seen above the Magician, in the top third of the card. These eyes of the spirit are the sign of the infinite, the continuum of conscious awareness, remembering ourselves physically and when we sleep.
Those stars behind the Magician represent illuminated spiritual qualities when the mind is very serene and clear, calm, dispassionate. If you have dreams of seeing beautiful stars in the sky, that is very positive, because it represents that the Divine Father is present with you.
There are objects on the card: a vase and a sword. These are deep symbols, representing the duality of sexuality, which is also talked about in The Perfect Matrimony by Samael Aun Weor. They represent masculine and feminine energies that we can learn to work with, to develop concentration.
So with concentration, you are bringing to attention the dream that you just experienced. You focus on it. You remember it. But looking at it, unwaveringly without distraction, is not enough. You have to see it with deep, vibrant clarity. That is the quality of imagination, the next card: The High Priestess.
She is the Divine Mother Kundalini who holds an Ankh cross above her breast, a symbol of spiritual life. She feeds her children with wisdom, from an open book, and her dress is a mantle of stars, signifying her absolute perfection.
She represents for us, sitting there, the passive quality of the consciousness. Or better said, the passivity of our mind. She is active, reading a book. She is looking from behind her mysterious veil, because she sees through illusion.
She is the quality of imagination: the ability to take an image, such as from a dream, and to see it, to look at it with a lot of depth, range, color, hues. She has a profound, penetrative insight, the ability to see internal images, to see them for what they are. With imagination we are looking and seeing―with our mind’s eye, with a calm mind and an active consciousness―the dream itself.
The Magician is active because in the beginning it takes a lot of willpower to concentrate. But with imagination, with the Divine Mother, we learn to receive wisdom. That is why she sits on a throne. She is passive, not in that she allows bad things to happen, or doesn’t act, but she is perfect stillness of the lake of our mind. When the lake of our mind is calm, it can reflect images. If the surface of our waters, if our mental states are agitated, we will only see chaos. So the more equanimitous and calm we are in mind, the more we will see.
This is why it is very beautiful, wonderful, and opportune to wake up from a dream, and to have it fresh within our mind. We can go back to sleep, we can concentrate upon the dream, we can imagine it, so that we can awaken.
This is the third card of the tarot: The Empress. The Empress is the perfected soul. She has 12 stars above her head, relating to the Zodiac, the laws of eternity, and many beautiful spiritual archetypes.
A beautiful bird representing the Holy Spirit flocks to her. She sits on a cubic stone of perfection, a symbol of the purity, the clarity, and the magnitude of awakening. She is the ruler of our spiritual kingdom, and she represents for us the fact and quality of going back to sleep, and reliving the recurring dream.
When you concentrate upon it and imagine it with clarity, hold it with your attention and fall asleep, you will awaken again in the dream. You will relive it in full activity. This is the opportunity, when you awaken, to go from that dream to explore the astral dimension.
Separating from Dreams
Now, the initiator element is useful for this practice. But it is not the only dream we can use. This principle can be used with any dream experience. It just takes practice, takes some skill. But with patience, it can be done.
So, initiate the dream. Begin it again and relive it. The next step, when you’re within the dream, is to know how to separate from it. Some people can do the first step, but not the second, and for that, we need meditation.
Meditation teaches us how to separate from illusory dreams, to discriminate what is true and what is false. We can train the consciousness within the daily state of our existence to not react to the different impressions and external stimuli of life.
We often go through life asleep, mechanically, with the five centers of the human machine, reacting to different situations, but not really comprehending them, understanding them, seeing them for what they are.
So in meditation, we pray to our Divine Mother. We ask for strength to awaken within a dream, and have the strength necessary to depart from it. Oftentimes people will relive the dream, but then become unaware again. Then a few hours pass, they return to bed, and they lost their chance. If you train yourself within your waking life to not get caught up in dreams, when you learn to meditate on your dreams—your thoughts, your emotions, your movements, your habits, your desires—you can see them for what they are, and no longer feed them the precious energy of your consciousness. We don’t waste energy. We examine dreams and how our ego keeps us asleep and steals that precious part of us that we need to cultivate.
Part of this practice in meditation involves becoming drowsy. Become drowsy. Let your body rest. Introspect. Concentrate and remember the events of your day. Examine and imagine the moments of your day in which you were interacting with other people, when you were at different places, when you were involved with life, and look at the ways that you dream.
At what moments did you get distracted?
When does your mind become confused?
When do your emotions make you bewildered, vulnerable and weak?
Where do you desires take control of you?
If you can’t see those instincts and impulses and thoughts for what they are, and separate from them, it will be very difficult to do this practice, to do the return practice. The return practice is taking the initiator element, concentrating and imagining it, falling asleep, and entering the dream willingly, to return to your dreams, to consciously enter dreams.
If you want to be able to enter the dream but then to leave it, at will, you have to train yourself.
Achieve the very delicate balance of wakefulness and sleep, when your body is drifting off but you’re very clear. You maintain continuity of remembrance, and look at the ways, in your daily life, that your ego keeps you pulled and dispersed and distracted, pulled in multiple directions.
You will gain more strength if you practice this: reviewing your day, retrospecting your day, remembering your day. Look at yourself, find your weaknesses, and comprehend them. In this way you take your initiator element willingly. You have a robust attention, a very well-developed imagination, and you can enter with great ease into your dreams, and then leave them if you wish to explore the astral world.
Four Blessings: Steps for Entering Dreams
As you are practicing this exercise, you will experience what is known in Tibetan Buddhism as the Four Blessings. These are the different steps for entering dreams.
The first is Revealing Light.
The second is Increasing Light.
The third is Immediate Realization, and the last is Inner Profound Illumination.
Every dream manifests through these four blessings. We have to learn to recognize what they are, because they are an eternal process. Every time you go to bed, every time you go to sleep, you go through these stages—consciously or unconsciously. The latter tends to be the case for most people. But if you learn to understand what these are, you can very intentionally comprehend and initiate your dream Tantric Buddhist practice.
But it takes a lot of efforts. We have to be very patient with ourselves, and to have some tenacity to try this every time we go to sleep, to try to recognize these states whenever we sleep.
These are known as the Four Lights within Tibetan Buddhism. More specifically, we call them the Four Blessings.
Revealing Light is perceived during the first hours of sleep. Many people report, when they go to bed, hearing a cacophony of voices or sounds. These are the voices of our different egos. They are residual impressions from our day that are manifesting within our consciousness.
So if you are paying attention as you are resting in bed or sleeping, you will start to hear these sounds. They are like fragmentary, broken expressions of half-truths. Some of them are male voices. Some of them are female. Some of them are animals. These are representations of our own ego, the multiplicity of our defects, which are slowly starting to detach themselves from the physical body. So as you are transitioning into dreaming, and you are trying to become conscious of your dreams, to learn to enter dreams willingly, you will start to see and perceive these things. They are memories, impressions, images, conversations, sounds, lights, and many different thoughts that flow and flux, that churn, through association, and seemingly without order. They emerge from the abyss of our consciousness, and if you’re watching them, you see them emerge, sustain, and then pass.
You want to maintain this state when you are entering dreams, to have enough distance from those elements that you don’t get caught up, identified or hypnotized by them. You want to see them for what they are, and just watch, like you are a director making a film and different actors are coming onto the stage and screen of your awareness.
These impressions are often very undesirable. Some people get very uncomfortable when they recognize that our psychology is riddled with faults. There may be snippets of conversations from earlier in our day that are tinged with negative emotion: anger, resentment, pride, fear. This Revealing Light is named so because you’re starting to tear the veil to the internal worlds. Such perceptions, coming from our interior, are often qualities that are undigested. They just emerge, and when we look at them and comprehend them, they lose their power and they pass.
These egos emerge because as we are entering the astral world, our defects and our desires are beginning to detach themselves from the five cylinders of our human machine. So this is very good if you’re seeing this! It is important. It is necessary.
Do not lose your concentration, and your observation. Be present. In this way, you enter Increasing Light.
As your sleep becomes much deeper, the residual impressions and the train of discriminatory thoughts fortunately dissolve. They dissipate. They cease, and in the stillness and vastness of your consciousness, you start to receive a very profound and invigorating astral energy. These are the astral forces that are separating your consciousness from your physical body.
Many people report, at this stage, the electrical sensations of departing within the astral body. Your light is increasing, because you are beginning to transition to the astral world. You are about to achieve a conscious astral projection. Some people get very frightened by this stage, because the sensations are often very unusual. If you have not felt or experienced them before, you can be very frightened, mostly because they are unknown. But they are not dangerous! We do this all the time, but we’re just not aware of it. We are not conscious of it. We do not remember it.
With familiarity and practice, you will start to look forward to these sensations, these psychic vibrations, and welcome them, because they are indicating to you that you are on the right path. You are about to enter the astral world consciously. You are entering the threshold. Some people get very excited, or fearful, and they may lose the experience. But with meditation, with familiarity, with practice, you can learn to train yourself to experience this state again and again, so that you do not get afraid of it. You do not fear it. You allow it to happen.
Just like you breathe, just like you drink water, just like your heart beats, these are a part of you, in order to sustain your physical life. In a sense it is your spiritual life that is sustained. You are allowed to enter the internal worlds so that your body can rest. It is a function of nature. Nothing is dangerous about it, and you will come back to your body when it is time. So, nothing to fear there. So, do not be afraid, and do not get identified. Do not get caught up in it.
In this way, if you maintain your vigilance, and allow yourself to enter the astral plane, to consciously astral project and enter the dream of your choice, you enter Immediate Realization.
With our practice we are going beyond the first two lights to experience two superior lights. This here is the awakened consciousness. It is direct knowledge of the astral world. It is Immediate Realization because it happens in the moment. We are awake. We know that we have entered, and now we can begin to enter the dream, or revisit the dream of our choice, to understand it, and even to go beyond it.
So this happens oftentimes, in these recurring dreams, this Immediate Realization, often in an unconscious way. Sometimes we may have a dream or go through a recurring dream, where we are acting in it and seeing it, but not realizing it. Here in this practice, we want to be intentional. We want to be specific. We want to take the unconscious process and become aware of it. We know we are in the astral body. We are seeing things for what they are.
Inner Profound Illumination
But there is another stage, something much deeper than merely being awake in the astral plane. We have what is called Inner Profound Illumination.
These are the most elevated mystical states that are possible for us. This is when we are guided by our inner God, when we are speaking face to face with divinity, through symbols, through messages, through teachings.
Inner Profound Illumination is when the ego is not there. There is only the soul and the Being. So, the recurring dream is useful for this because it helps you enter the astral plane. You relive the dream, then you have the possibility of stepping away from it. You have the Immediate Realization that you are awake in your astral body, and now you have the choice to go explore that dimension and to invoke your inner God. So with Inner Profound Illumination we invoke divinity, and our Divine Mother and our Divine Father can concur to our call to teach us what we need to know. Usually these states that are the most illuminated do not have any type of egotistical element if we’re very dedicated. In the beginning, it will take some practice to get there.
Preparation for Death
This process of entering the Four Lights, the Four Blessings, returning to dreams consciously, is really preparing us for death.
Sleep and death are the same process. We have explained this before. If we lack cognizance of our internal life, if we do not see anything, it means that we will be unconscious when we die. So we have to learn to train and awaken ourselves now, to prepare for these states after death. This is the principal tenet of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bardo Thödol, and by awakening in the astral, we can investigate superior states and we can talk to people who have died.
The Four Blessings in themselves help us enter the heavenly realms represented by this diagram of the Tree of Life. These four blessings are a form of conscious death. You learn to willingly enter the dream, enter the dreaming world, the world of the dead, so that we can resurrect within it, to go beyond our dreams, to leave our dreams behind. This is a miniature form of death and resurrection. As stated in the Qur’an, Surah 39, verse 42:
It is Allah that takes the souls of men at death, and those that die not, he takes during their sleep. Those on whom he has passed the decree of death, he keeps back from returning to life. For the rest he sends to their bodies for a term appointed. Verily in this are signs for those who reflect. ―Qur’an 39:42
So awakening to the Four Blessings will allow us to explore the heavenly realms. This is why we practice the return practice.
The Guardian Angel
To consciously enter dreams, to go beyond them and to see the higher realities, and in the process of this, we can work with what is known as the Guardian Angel.
We can work with a part of our Being that can help us to awaken within dreams. The Guardian Angel is very popular within our culture, especially Christianity. But often those symbols are now caricatures of a distant reality.
The Guardian Angel has many powers within the soul. It is a part of our inner divinity who helps guard us in our spiritual life, our spiritual path. But more importantly, it teaches us how to consciously access our dreams.
So we explained previously how the Being has many manifold expressions that all work in unity with the diverse functions of our being, which become perfected as we transform our psychology. We mentioned a few before like Morpheus and the Maiden of Memories, but the Guardian Angel is very distinct. This Guardian Angel is something very special and unique to us, and can help us maintain continuity of attention within the dreaming state. Once we are there, we can call upon our Guardian Angel within dreams to perform many magical works for us, which are very universal and unlimited.
The authentic knowledge of the Guardian Angel was preserved amongst the initiatory Mystery Schools and was maintained within distinct monasteries and orders from antiquity.
So we can invoke our Guardian Angel as we are falling to sleep, but also in the dream state itself, when we return to a dream, in order to take us to where we want to go, to go beyond ourselves.
Initiates of dream yoga discipline can awaken internally, and when we are clear, awake, ecstatic with joy, we can work with the Guardian Angel. You can learn more about this in The Perfect Matrimony, for other practices relating to the Guardian Angel besides merely transporting yourself in dreams and helping you to guard your spiritual life.
In conclusion, throughout the day, practice self observation in the Key of SOL.
Before falling asleep, pray to your Divine Mother and Guardian Angel to help you consciously enter the internal worlds.
Upon awaking from a dream, concentrate and visualize it while falling asleep again, praying to divinity to help you return to it.
Lastly, record your dream experiences in your spiritual diary.
Questions and Answers
Question: What are these symbols from the spiritual world and how can we recognize them?
Instructor: We kind of touched on them briefly. You will know them by your heart.
What is your mood in relation to the dream?
How did it impact you?
What did you feel?
Is it disturbing?
Does it make you worry?
Does it fill you with remorse?
Does it inspire you?
In the next lecture we are going to talk about this in great detail: How to Interpret Dreams. We will talk about inspirational knowledge. Usually, a spiritual symbol hits us with a lot of force. We are inspired in the consciousness by the distinct mood and flavor of the dream. We feel in our soul that there’s something unique about it, something out of the ordinary. It has nothing to do with any murky quality, muddled or confused state which can typify most dreams. It is something that is very profound and penetrative.
So we talked about that, but also we’re going to go into a lot more depth in the next lecture about this problem specifically: how to recognize dreams from illusions, or better said, visions from illusions.
Question: In the astral plane, I don’t have any doubt that I’m experiencing something very profound, and more real than the waking world. However upon returning to the waking world, sometimes I start doubting my own experiences. Was this part of my own psyche creating these images? Were they really real?
These doubts are exacerbated by non-linearity of time and space in the astral plane. Although on a couple of occasions I have seen places that seem to be on another planet, in most cases all objects and places seem to have a quality of the waking world. So I ask myself: how come I never experience or see something I’ve never seen before? I ask myself: if time is relative in the astral plane, then why did people who traveled in the astral plane a thousand years ago not see our time? To see reports of people flying by airplanes, watching TVs and using iPhones? In the same way if time is relative in the astral plane, then why can’t I see our own distant future and technology? Of course I’m not interested in seeing our future, I just want to find a way to validate my experiences in the astral plane.
Instructor: So there is a lot going on here, I’ll break down some points.
It is common in the beginning to doubt our experiences, to fear that somehow we are going to be manipulated by our own illusions, that our ego and our mind are really projecting the contents of our own subjectivity. This is oftentimes compounded with the difficulty of the real nature of the astral plane, which is eternity, beyond the scope of our material temporality and time.
You will learn what is real and what is false by meditating. When you look at your own desires and see them for what they are, and learn to be conscious physically, and when you meditate, discriminating images in the astral world becomes easier, because you are transferring the same skill from your physical life to your internal life.
You learn to stop projecting like a film on a screen. When the mind stops projecting, when it is clear and luminous, when you have reached the Immediate Realization of the consciousness, you see reality.
Even if you see things objectively within dreams, it is important to have caution—to learn to compare the vision with physical facts, to compare data. What was the dream about? How does it relate to our daily life? If it doesn’t relate, then it is a lie. But if it is teaching you something about something physical, what is going on in your daily experience, teaching you about an ordeal or problem, a challenge, you can be more certain that there is more objectivity there and that you are receiving something spiritual.
When you stop projecting your mind onto the screen of the astral world, you can start to see that dimension for what it is—whether it is traveling to other planets, seeing cities and buildings, seeing landscapes, seeing the future, seeing architecture from other eras and ages, whether from the past like in Atlantis, or perhaps even in the future, with the Koradi. All these things can play out within our vision if we have clarified it. So, be patient. You can start to see those things more objectively and more consistently the more you meditate.
Turn off the projector of your mind. Do not let it dominate yourself in your daily life. Work hard to differentiate in your waking states what is real from what is false, and in that way you will start to have more clarity and intuition about how to discriminate what your dreams are about.
In that way, when you actually see things that are objective, you will not interpret them egotistically, because you could be very awake internally, and yet you are going to be interpreting things in the wrong way. That is a very dangerous place to be. Many people in different movements have made very grave errors, because they mistook an authentic vision which was true, and turned it into a falsehood, giving it meaning that is not there. It is a very deep topic. We will talk more about it in the next lecture. I hope this will suffice.
Question: We understand that proper invocation involves spontaneity, sincerity, a willingness to experiment. My question is: in working with invoking the Guardian Angel, do you have suggestions of movements, mantra, prayers, and how?
Instructor: Sure. “In the Name of Christ, by the Power of Christ, for the Majesty of Christ, come unto me, my Guardian Angel! Divine Father, bring my Guardian Angel unto me. Help me to perform this magical work.”
Speak from your heart. You can call to divinity in that way. The best formula is from your own being, from your soul. You can say, “My Guardian Angel, help me!” when you’re in that state. Often you will get a response if the time is ripe, if you are ready, and if what will be offered is something that you can use for your spiritual benefit.
That often happens with invoking our Divine Mother and Divine Father too. Divinity will come to us, or give us an experience, right there. Sometimes the landscape can change. Many things can happen. But really, the best invocation is whatever is most sincere. You do not really need a script. Your heart knows what is best. But if you want something to begin with, you can try that.
Question: What is a crab a symbol of esoterically?
Instructor: The crab is the symbol of Cancer in the Zodiac. There is a deep relationship there. You may have dreams of crabs. It could be related to the zodiacal sign of Cancer, to the waters. Crabs are shellfish, and in a sense shellfish are a symbol of our ego: lunar forces, lunar entities.
My understanding is very limited, so you can take this with some discretion, depending on whatever it is you have experienced. Because only you can really judge and ascertain the meaning of what these crabs may be symbolizing in a dream of yours. It is good to really open our intuition more to our own judgement and wisdom from our meditations, than to perhaps look for explanations online. However, my limited knowledge is that the crab could relate to the Zodiac.
If you dream of shellfish, it could represent perhaps egotistical elements, desires that live in the waters. This is why in the Book of Leviticus, I believe in the Old Testament, stipulated for Jewish dietary guidelines not to consume shellfish. Some people interpret this literally, but I like to look at things within the astral language presented in the Old Testament. The shellfish could represent, like lobsters specifically―maybe not crabs, but lobsters―can relate to ego or egos.
But there are dual elements and dual relationships within any symbol. There could be positive and negative meanings embedded all at the same time. This is the real mystery of dreams, because while there is a literal narrative within the experience, the symbols can operate on multiple conceptual dimensions all at once. There could be 15 different things happening all at once, in terms of how the symbol plays out in your dream.
So rather than looking at someone’s definition of it, it is good to meditate on what was going on in the dream.
What was the situation?
What was the impact or mood of the experience?
How did it play our in your vision?
What was the situation?
What was your relationship to the situation? How did it unfold?
What was the problem or the ordeal or the storyline related to that experience?
Because there are a lot of elements that are condensed within a dream, and this is why dreams are so powerful. This is why divinity does not speak oftentimes to us in a very literal way, and when he does, it is often very succinct, because symbols communicante much more than any language physically. So I hope that satisfies your question or curiosity. But that’s just my limited understanding.
Question: My dreams have the same recurring element of water. The water is always different, but water is usually present when I can remember my dreams. Should I focus on water as I fall asleep, or a dream that I can remember that had water present?
Instructor: You can do both. It is interesting that you dreamed of water. Water is a universal symbol. We often talk about its meaning within the writings of Samael Aun Weor, who explains that water is related to our sexual, creative, vital energies, and the quality of those waters are depicting for us the quality of our psychological states. You can focus on water. You can imagine it, or you can even pick out a dream―which is better, one that you actually experienced―and visualize that quality and its impact on your consciousness. That’s the best approach. Because when you have an internal experience, you can use that and should use those images as meditation symbols, like the recurring dream, the initiator element, the unifying element. They’re showing us something deep and significant. So imagine the image that you saw in your dreams.
If you have any other questions, feel free to unmute yourself.
Ok, there are no more comments or questions, we will conclude. I thank you all for coming! We will continue I believe in the beginning of October, the lecture on How to Interpret Dreams. So, I thank you all! Much appreciated.
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
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