All of us may remember a time when we were young in which we knew of a state of being that was truly blissful, one of peace, one of serenity, one of freedom. As we have become adults, developing our personality, our language, our customs, our skills, we have forgotten that origin, that quality of mind that was free from all of the complications that we know today.
You may have noticed from the meditation, that it could be difficult to remember. We practiced with the mantra Raom Gaom, mentally, to recall a state of being that was unsullied. But unfortunately for us, there are gaps and we do not remember. We do not recall primarily because our acculturation to life has us hypnotized, unaware, and asleep. We do not really know who we were, except by hearsay or reports by our parents or friends. But if we truly know ourselves fundamentally, in the very depths of our consciousness, we would remember everything. We would know who we were, where we came from, why we are what we are today, and why we suffer. But more importantly, we would know how to change, how to practically, fundamentally change our state of being from one of suffering to one of peace, understanding, wisdom, and real knowledge.
This is why the Greeks, as we see here in the Temple of Delphi, had a very famous maxim, Γνῶθι σαυτόν gnōthi sauton in Greek, or in Latin, Nosce Te Ipsum, “Know Thyself.” In the full sense of the word you could say, Homo Nosce Te Ipsum, “Human, know thyself, and you will know the universe and the gods.”
We seek to understand our life and also to realize what all the prophets and avatars experienced. Beings like Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Isaiah, and the prophets, relayed their direct experience of divinity. They were people like us. We have problems. They had problems. They had sufferings. They had weaknesses. They were not born with an innate, miraculous gift. They built it from the ground up.
They did so by primarily learning how to pay attention to themselves. What in our psychology or their psychology creates so much pain, not only for themselves, but for others? In this way, by understanding the limitations of the psyche and also our own faults, we can become like them: truly divine, beings connected with divinity.
In the Gnostic tradition, we can become Χρίστος Christos or Christ. Christ is not only limited to Jesus of Nazareth. It is a universal and sacred identity which is within all beings, and that has been expressed by all of the avatars in diverse religions. These religions were not meant to be just codes of belief or convictions without evidence. They were inherently practical, accessible, and experiential.
This is why in the Gospel of Thomas, we find the seventeenth verse:
17. Yeshua (in Hebrew, meaning the Savior Jesus, the Inner Christ) said, I shall give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not risen in the human heart. ―The Gospel of Thomas
We can see from this that he is not talking about physical, sensorial experience. He is talking about mystical experience.
The Tree of Life: A Map of Our Universe
All of these stories of the masters ascending a mountain like Moses on Sinai to speak directly to divinity are represented here. They are symbols. We use a very profound symbol in our tradition, as you see here, to explain the map and levels and strata of being. We call it קבלה kabbalah. This is the Hebrew term קבל kabbel, meaning “to receive.” It is direct experience. It is not belief.
This tree, while it was mapped out by the thirteenth century kabbalists, whether from France or Spain, is merely an articulation of an eternal truth. Specifically, these principles have always existed. They are divine and universal, but the Jewish mystical tradition codified it. We know that all of the traditions teach the same thing. In Buddhism it is called the Bhavachakra, the Wheel of Becoming or the Wheel of Samsara, the Wheel of Return or Yggdrasil, which is the Tree of Life among the Nordics. Many names for the same truth.
Experience belongs to any being who is properly prepared and who can awaken their full potential to know these things for themselves. Here we see Jesus surrounded by twelve apostles. He is the center of this marvelous diagram. They represent these spheres. We see ten, from the bottom to the top, followed by three unknowables. In total, there are thirteen aspects of being that we can experience practically for ourselves.
Jesus, being a very high master, embodies and represents the very heights. In Hebrew, these heights are represented by the אין Ain, אין סוף Ain Soph, and אין סוף אור Ain Soph Aur―the Nothingness, the Limitless, and the Limitless Light. Or to use Gnostic terms, the region of Barbelo, fire and light, which are the elements of real, conscious, divine experience. These are symbols, because with the fire of devotion and practice, we gain light. We see the experience.
The gnostics also refer to these as aeons. An aeon in Greek means an age, a time that is very long, an eternity. These spheres ascend from more dense, more physical levels of matter and energy to more rarified, abstract, and spiritual. The Mayans depicted them as the thirteen katuns, the thirteen times, and in a sense when you experience these dimensions for yourself through meditation, through mystical experience, you begin to see and witness that they have a temporality of their own. They are different ways of being.
Obviously, we are in מלכות Malkuth, the physical body, which in Hebrew means Kingdom. But above that we have levels related to the fourth dimension, time, and space. You also have the fifth dimension related to eternity, the world of dreams. This is where we go every night when we sleep. We go there through astral projection, whether consciously or unconsciously, whether intentionally or not. We go there every time we fall asleep. But beyond that, there are levels which are very sacred, inaccessible to people who do not fundamentally practice or change their psychology.
But how do we actually experience these states for ourselves? How do we actually achieve conscious astral projections, awakened states of knowing divinity?
While we gave an extensive course on Dream Yoga and Astral Travel, which is available on our website and podcast, we can boil it down to something very simple. We call it conscience, the voice of the heart, your intuition: knowing how to act, to do without having to think about it, without having to deliberate, to choose, or to learn how to be.
Socrates is a great master who taught, with his life and his philosophy, this principle, which is the voice of the silence, the voice of the heart. It is this voice that we suffocate when we choose not to be, when we allow our mind to govern and dictate what we do. We suffocate this voice of the heart with our defects such as anger, pride, fear, laziness, lust, impatience, divisiveness, aggression, or whatever it may be. When we act on these negative elements, we do not act with intuition, which is that connection that we have to the divine, in our very being, our spirit, the truth, or God, for better lack of words, who is inside―our God inside our interior, psychologically speaking, whom we can access if we follow that voice, that silence.
But if you have studied philosophy, you saw that because Socrates followed this voice very intently, he got himself into trouble. He was hated by everybody and the Athenians, because by following his conscience, he revealed that real wisdom is not knowing or assuming that we know. It is not the intellect or sophistry of the mind. The sophists were his enemies, who were very articulate intellectuals and great debaters, yet they lacked intuition. They lacked conscience. They were not ethical.
Socrates was ethical, and because he chose to engage people in honest discussion, he was martyred. This is the fate of any prophet and master who truly does that which is ordered of them from divinity. But of course, it is difficult, especially as we did in our meditation. We have lost that thread when we were children, when we knew that state of being that was not so dense.
Socrates called this inner voice his inner daemon. This is not to be confused with demons or black magic, but the voice of Christ, Χρήστος Christos, speaking through him and leading him to real knowledge. He stated in the Apology, documented by Plato, which was his trial, where he defended himself:
I am subject to divine or supernatural experience, which Meletus (his prosecutor) saw fit to travesty in his indictment. It began in my early childhood―a sort of voice which comes to me, and when it comes it always dissuades me from what I am proposing to do, and never urges me on. It is this that debars me from entering public life (and politics). ―Plato’s Apology, 31d
When he knew something was wrong, he did not do it. He refused. He did not rely on other people to tell him what to do. But instead, he followed his heart.
It is this sense that leads us on the path, that leads to what is called initiation, to enter the superior worlds, to enter the temples of divine mysteries, and to know the truth for ourselves. But in our modern life, when the flame of inspiration arises, we tend to snuff it out. We do so by not feeding that aspiration, by distraction, by forgetting our divine presence, who we really are, the essence, the soul.
Obviously, anyone who attends a school, a spiritual group, has an immense yearning, who feels some kind of pain, who wants to understand why it is that we suffer so much in life, and why we continue to be ignorant. We may study all these traditions, teachings, and scriptures, but there is something fundamental that is lacking, which is that understanding of how our actions shape our life, whether we are conscious of it or not.
What guides or drives us to pursue any study is precisely this inquietude. It is like a hunch. It is a yearning. It is a fire which consumes us when we cannot sleep, when we look for answers, when we want, by crying out in our pain, to know divinity, to find the balm of our Divine Mother, our Divine Father, our inner spirit, which can heal our affliction.
Samael Aun Weor gave a whole chapter on this in his book, The Great Rebellion, which is an essential book. As the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, he explained how to practically change. I personally find this chapter very poignant, very direct, and very relevant. I will read a few verses:
There is no doubt that there is a big difference between thinking and feeling. This is indisputable.
We use the symbol of the moon to represent superficialness, mechanicity, and repeated habits. The cycles of the moon are predictable. Likewise, our behaviors, our psychology, how we act day by day, how we behave, and not only that, but our thoughts, our feelings and our actions are predictable.
If you meditate, reviewing your daily life, you will find that your thoughts were the same thoughts yesterday, your feelings are the same feelings that you had yesterday, and your state of being, and your actions are the same. They are repetitions. This is Samsara in Buddhism, cycling and repetition. But we tend not to ever ask, “Why do we repeat, and how can we act in a revolutionary way?”
We do that by first observing the fact, by looking at ourselves to see what in us is going to repeat the same problems. Because when you look, you can separate and then you can decide. That is the Essence, the soul looking directly within, separating from the mind, the personality, and all those things which keep us extinguished and spiritually expired.
There is no one who at some point in his or her life has not felt an impulse, a strange disquietude. Unfortunately, anything from the personality, however stupid it may seem, is sufficient to reduce to cosmic dust that which, in the silence of the night, disturbs us for a moment.
When we study the Gnostic doctrine, we speak abundantly about the Christ, the Sun and the Son. Christ is an energy, a potential, a force, that we need to activate through practice, through meditation, the runes, through the sacred rites of rejuvenation. These exercises help to inspire us so that with that energy active and the solar divinity activating our consciousness, we have fuel by which to drive our spiritual car.
Seek, Ask, and Find
It is this energy that helps us to seek and to find. We have the opening verses of the Gospel of Thomas whereby we see verses reflected in the canonical Gospels:
Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. ―Matthew 7:7
While this has a literal significance of finding a physical institution, the truth is that this is psychological, fundamentally. It is a symbol of internally verifying the doctrine and not merely having some adherence to an institution, which obviously there is an application there.
You really find the teachings when you live it. You find it when you experience it. You may not have a physical group, but you can find the doctrine. Fortunately for us, we have the internet, and we have podcasts so people can access more knowledge openly, but the truth is that even with these resources, we don’t find the teaching until we witness it for ourselves.
When we witness it for ourselves, we are filled with doubt, especially in the beginning like Thomas, poking his finger into the wound of the resurrected Jesus. This is a beautiful symbol, not of cynicism or skepticism, but of seeking to verify the truth. So, after Christ resurrected, the apostles told Thomas, “He is back,” but he said, “I will not believe it until I see it for myself.”
This is not pessimism. It is prudence: to not accept anything unless we have experienced it, because you may seek and find knowledge, but not know it for yourself. As we find here in this Gospel:
Real spirituality is uncomfortable. It is not pleasant when we personally see in ourselves our own agency and our suffering. But when you are troubled, you will marvel and rule over all. Meaning, if you overcome the ordeals of the spiritual path, you in turn can enter initiation.
Where is Heaven?
The Gospel also speaks about the nature of heaven, which is a state of being, not only a place of nature or dimensionality, but our psychology. It is easy to externalize, obviously. This is why:
3. Yeshua said, If your leaders tell you, “Look, the Kingdom is in Heaven” then the birds of heaven will precede you. If they say, ‘“It is in the sea,” then the fish will precede you. For the kingdom is inside you and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will understand that you are children of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty and you are poverty.” ―The Gospel of Thomas
When you know yourselves, then you will be known. This is a very direct statement. When you awaken consciousness in the physical and internal planes, you will know, and you will be known. Those initiates of the White Lodges watch everything we do. When you awaken in the dream state and are exploring that dimension, you may have and will have many experiences where masters from different pantheons come to you. They know our seriousness, our sincerity, if we are really working in this path. Magically they come to our aid. They inspire us. They teach us. They guide us.
Obviously there are levels among those masters. Whatever our level, we have to learn to give and to receive. In this way, you will understand that you are “children of the living father,” meaning, when we are awake.
When you are awake in the astral plane or beyond, you are like a child. You are the Essence, the soul that is learning to discover the truth, and then we no longer believe in a dead father, a dogma. We speak directly face to face with the Being, with God. But if we do not know ourselves, we dwell in poverty. That poverty is not material, it is spiritual, psychological.
We gain riches spiritually speaking, by transforming our mind, by becoming children again. Here we see the Master Jesus or Aberamentho, his sacred name, as cited in The Pistis Sophia, with a group of children he is instructing. In the Gospel of Thomas, we find a very powerful verse about what an initiate is like.
Initiates are like children. They are innocent. They are pure. They are not complicated. If you overcome ordeals in the astral plane, these masters often appear as children. If you conquer certain tests that they give you when you enter their temples, related to the four elements which are related to your life, after having conquered them, they come to you as cherubim, children. They are divine beings, and the beauty they exude is indescribable, because they are the innocence of Eden, the primeval state from which we come from and from which we seek to return.
This is why it states in the Gospel of Thomas:
4. Yeshua said, “A person old in days will not hesitate to ask a little child seven days old, about the place of life, and the person will live. For many of the first will be last and become a single one.” ―The Gospel of Thomas
Days are kabbalistic. They are symbols. A day of the seven days of Genesis are symbols of how the soul becomes perfected. It is not a literal history. A person who is old does not refer to physical age. It is psychological age. Whether we are young or old physically is not relevant. Psychologically, we are very old. We are heavy, dense, and complicated. We inherit many elements psychologically that do not originate from this physical life, but from previous existences. So, all of us are very old. We are jaded.
But we can become like Abraham in the Old Testament, who at ninety-nine years old, eventually found the path. It is a beautiful symbol of how we enter the spiritual path itself.
We seek to gain wisdom from these children, these masters that become innocent, who seek to teach us how to do the same. This is the essence of spiritual life, to really live, to be, truthfully, a human being in the full sense of the word.
Many of those who will be first, will be last and become a single one. Who are those first and the last? The first are those who are approaching any spiritual study that may feel that they know. They think because they have read that they know about astral travel or divine experiences, who become inflated or pharisaical and egotistical. But those people have to become innocent. They have to reduce that pride into dust, to become nothing so that the Being can express. That is how we become a single one, a perfected master, a unitary, divine creature.
The Hidden and Revealed
In the process, we learn to explore the hidden and revealed.
The beginning of the path is self-observation, to know how to pay attention, to know how to examine our thoughts, our feelings, and our desires, to separate, like the director watching an actor. You are the film maker, the consciousness who is watching. The actor is the different faults or conditions of mind that we possess. This is the sense that opens up the invisible world for us, not only physically, but also in dreams. This is why the Gospel of Thomas states:
5. Yeshua said, “Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be disclosed. There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.” ―The Gospel of Thomas
Our unconsciousness is the hidden, the unrevealed, the unknown. But when you look with light, with your consciousness, into your mind, you start to see what is actually there, what is present. This is how the path of ethics, within spiritual studies, begins.
As you are observing your mind and paying attention, you learn that it is not only necessary to be mindful, but to know how to transform. You can see your anger in a moment of clarity, but you may still act on it, and you do not transform it. But if you are paying attention, observing yourself, you learn how to follow that voice of the conscience: to know how to behave when we are being criticized, gossiped about, or lied to. We should transform the situation. This is why the Gospel continues:
6. His disciples asked him and said to him, ‘“Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?” ―The Gospel of Thomas
Many people ask these questions when they approach a school, or any tradition, whether it is Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism or whatever it may be. People what to know external things: “What physical austerity should I perform? What practices should I do? How should I pray? What mantras should I recite? What food should I eat?”
6. Yeshua said, “Do not lie, do not do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. There is nothing that is hidden that will not be revealed and there is nothing covered that will remain undisclosed.” ―The Gospel of Thomas
Do not lie and do not do what you hate. When you are following your conscience, you discover that you do things that you do not like. It is very uncomfortable. It is very unpleasant when you see in yourself how you have defects or egos or behaviors which are complicated and create problems. To see that division in yourself can be very alarming, to say the least.
This is why real spirituality is difficult. You see that as much as you aspire to be noble and holy, you have a demon inside, or better said, multiple demons inside. But the beginning is, do not lie. When you see something in yourself that is unpleasant, meditate on it. Comprehend it and so do not act on it. Do not do what you hate, because everything we do is registered in a record. It is internal.
You find even in Islam, they speak abundantly in the Qur’an about how our very deeds are written in a book. It is a symbol. Even on the Day of Judgment, our very skin will speak out for what we have done.
Knowledge and Comprehension
This is why we have to study ourselves. We have to comprehend a very distinct difference between knowledge and comprehension. Samael Aun Weor stated in the Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology:
Knowledge and comprehension are different. Knowledge is of the mind; comprehension is of the heart. ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
Intellectual knowledge is insufficient. Even having some basic knowledge of our personality, our language, or our customs and who we are, is not enough. We may have knowledge in our mind that alcohol is bad, and yet when you observe the life of the alcoholic, they continue.
What changes is comprehension. What changes our psychology is understanding, because it comes from the voice of the silence.
When you understand in your very soul what behaviors and actions are harmful, you stop. We do not repeat. Samsara ends. Therefore, we experience, in the Buddhist sense, Nirvana, cessation and stillness.
As we are studying ourselves and gaining self-knowledge, moment by moment, we approach death. Instant by instant from our birth to our present moment, we accumulate experiences, knowledge, our understanding, our language, and our personality. These things are born in time and will eventually die. We will not take them with us in the grave.
What we will take with us is our psychology, our state of mind. If we are filled with pride, anger, fear, and lust, these things will not end when we physically die. They continue. They are matter, they are energy, and they are perception. They have life in a negative sense.
We call them egos, selves, defects, I’s, or vices. Those psychological states determine our trajectory for the negative. In a sense we make decisions, moment to moment, if we are paying attention to ourselves. If we identify with ego, we enter into suffering. We descend to lower levels of being. But if we pay attention and observe, if we consciously choose to follow the voice of our heart and learn to navigate our own internal world, to act for the benefit of others, we ascend.
It is always a choice that we focus on in this moment, what we do due to spiritual inquietudes, because we feel a yearning to want to change the situation and to do something about it.
The Level of Being
We call this the level of being. We always ask ourselves this question again and again, “What is our level of being? Do we want to stay where we are at, or do we want to change? Do we want to transcend?”
Our level of being determines our life. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated in the Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology:
Nobody can deny the fact that there are different social levels. There are church going people, people in brothels, farmers, businessmen, etc. In a like manner, there are different levels of being. Whatever we are internally, magnificent or mean, generous or miserly, violent or peaceful, chaste or lustful, attract the very circumstances of life. ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
This is something you can verify if you practice this teaching. If you are practicing transmutation exercises like pranayama, prayer, alchemy, meditation, you see the result.
What is your quality of life? In the beginning, we work in this path because we want to cease suffering for ourselves. But to ascend to a more refined degree, we must work for the spirituality of others. The only way to do that is by psychologically establishing that foundation.
Sincerity with Oneself
This is why we have to be sincere. We must be brutally honest. When you observe yourself, you find you are a universe in a microcosm. You have within good and bad, angelic and demonic, and sometimes indifferent. It is important in society that we cultivate certain habits, follow certain norms, have a certain job, and that we maintain our appearance. While these things have a certain practical utility for a job or whatever it may be, these things are really superficial.
We do not register the full character of a person because, psychologically, we have to wash the inside of our mind. Here we find a verse from the Gospel of Thomas which emphasizes a very important point which is repeated in the canonical Gospels:
89. Yeshua said, “Why do you wash the inside of the cup? Don’t you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?” ―The Gospel of Thomas
This is the basic tenet. We can be very cultured and refined, knowledgeable, having mannerisms of spirituality and spiritual personality, etc., but what matters is our mind.
What is our quality of being? What is our state?
We all try to some degree to make a certain impression on others, to have a certain result. Usually, it is because of a desire. Maybe we feel that we want to be liked, respected, admired, or welcomed. This is obviously a very natural tendency. But as we begin to know ourselves through self-observation, we have to let it go. Whatever people will think, they will think. What matters is whether we are connected to our Being, because divinity is the source of integrity, a real unity.
Divinity is the one who makes a real impact on our communities. That only comes about if we wash the inside of our mind, if we are meditating, observing ourselves, and changing day by day, because if we do not, we get worse. Personally, I am relating this verse especially because this is something that I have experienced. It has given me a lot of faith.
Here we see the Master Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is praying before his Passion. You have seen other depictions or other films where you see that he is in great turmoil, in a lot of pain. He says, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup of bitterness pass from me. But not my will be done, but thine will be done” (Matthew 26:39).
Here we see something similar in the Gospel of Thomas:
70. Yeshua said, “If you bring forth that which is in you, what you have will save you. If you have nothing within you, what you don’t have then will kill you.” ―The Gospel of Thomas
This again is psychological. Personally, I remember at one point in my life when I first started this teaching, I was given a very heavy ordeal. I almost physically died. I remember at that time, being in the hospital, praying and meditating, and internally in the astral plane, I was being assisted. What they basically said was this, “If you are virtuous, if you want to change, and if you do it, you will not die.”
Obviously, we have karma. We call it the consequences of our former deeds. All of us have debts, because we made a lot of mistakes. So, at this point in my life, when I found the doctrine, they told me that “If you do not change, we cannot help you. You will have to go.” I prayed. I fought psychologically, internally, through certain ordeals, and fortunately with the help of God, that did not happen.
“If you bring forth what you have in you, what you have will save you.” But if we have nothing, what option is there? It seemed very dark and dismal and very scary but, in those moments, if you are very sincere, like in the Muslim oral tradition, in the Hadith, Allah, the divine, says: “If you turn to me, I will come walking to you. If you come running, I come flying to you.”
Allah says, “I am just as My slave thinks I am, and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than them; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running. If he comes to me with sins that will fill the world without associating partners with Me, I will welcome him with pardoning as big as that." ―Bukhari, Tawhid 16, 35; Muslim, Dhikr 2, (2675), Tawba 1, (2675)
“If you come running, I come flying to you.” Divinity makes sacrifices and has tremendous mercy, but obviously we have to do our part. We have to be willing to do what is truly right, even if it is difficult.
Internal States and Their Consequences
This is why our internal state determines our consequences in our life. Here we see the Archangel Michael, which in Hebrew means, “He who is like God,” or “Who is like God?”
He is holding a sword and a scale of justice. We chose this image because he represents an archetype, something we should follow in ourselves. To be like divinity, we need to have balance, and the sword of insight to cut through illusion.
You may see the same in Catholic paintings of Michael slaying demons or rejecting demons. It is the same principle as when you have insight on your own pride, and eventually with meditation, you eliminate it.
With the scales, you first have to have psychological equilibrium. Mind and heart, thought and feeling, have to be in perfect balance. We learn that through meditation, through serenity. It is in this way that we are armored for the worst ordeals that we can face, the inevitable. This is why Samael Aun Weor states the following in the Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology:
The best weapon that a human being can use in life is a correct psychological state.
So, if you are paying attention, observing your heart, following your intuition, you learn to act moment by moment in the right way. That right way is not something that is dictated by anyone to anyone. It is something you know in the particular karma in your life, your circumstances, your job, your career, your marriage, your family life, your friendships, your relationships with co-workers―in whatever sphere of life. That is how we navigate ourselves.
The Tendency to Externalize
As we are self-observing, we tend to have a resistance. When you are looking in the mirror of your mind, at yourself, and you are looking at your ego, your defects, the ego fights back. It resists. You are directing attention within, and as you are self-observing, you find that it can become cloudy, like we see in this image. The mind always rejects our efforts because the subconscious ego knows that it will die through this work. So, we have a battle in a sense.
But obviously, in a moment of life where we have an ordeal―maybe it is at our job, something challenging happens that tests our psychological caliber―you find that the tendency is to act outwardly. If we are looking inside, observing ourselves, our anger, pride, fear, these things externalize. They like to blame others. That attitude has to change. To know ourselves, we have to take full responsibility of what we have inside. This is why Jesus stated in the Gospel of Thomas:
91. They said to him, “Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you.” He said to them, “You examine the face of heaven and earth and yet you have not come to know the one who is in your presence and you do not know how to examine this moment.” ―The Gospel of Thomas
This is the key. If you want to know your Inner Christ, examine your mind. Examine the moment, instant by instant. Be mindful, state by state, whatever occurs, whatever emerges, whatever happens. Observe it, and with time and practice, you begin to recognize that continuity as it becomes more consistent, such as we find in the nine stages of concentration in Buddhism, as we have here on the wall.
Here the monk is ascending this winding path to the heights of perfect serenity, perfect self-observation, perfect remembrance [Learn more by studying Calm Abiding: The Stages of Serenity].
Who Takes Advantage of Wisdom?
We have to ask ourselves, who takes advantage of wisdom? This is an interesting verse. I reflected on this in relation to this talk because there are some interesting circumstances with growing up with a spiritual group. Maybe our parents had a teaching or spiritual tradition. Maybe we grew up in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or whatever it may be.
Despite the plethora and access to wisdom of all continents, from all times, that we have recorded, we still find that people suffer. It is an unprecedented age where we can open up our phone and find the Gnostic Gospels, or any scripture. There are Buddhist tantras that are now being published for the first time that have been physically inaccessible to people. But they have been accessible to initiates like Samael Aun Weor who even commented on scriptures that had not been published yet, but he knew them internally. This is a very profound thing.
But for us we now have the knowledge. We have the internet, books, lectures, scriptures, instruction, workshops, meditation practices, and things that can help. But in the end, they are not going to guarantee that we know ourselves. We have to bring that to our own practice.
Now, in this verse you find that there is a treasure that is hidden in a field that was left as an inheritance to a son. This is a beautiful symbol of inheriting traditions. I will read the verse for you.
109. Yeshua said, “The kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field. He did not know it and when he died, he left it to his son. The son did not know about it. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer was plowing and found the treasure and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished.” ―The Gospel of Thomas
All of us inherit traditions. If we are from a secular family, even our North American ideals and attitudes are very much rooted in a Judeo-Christian basis, whether people are conscious of it or not. But if we have grown up in a family, being Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Buddhist, we inherit profound wisdom. These scriptures are so deep, from all religions and traditions, and they are very practical if we know how to apply them.
But unfortunately, these things tend to be buried. You have to excavate them. You have to extract it from your own practice and experience to know what these teachings are providing, because with time, people inherit religions and traditions, but they do not unearth the real meaning.
But then there is a buyer that takes over the field, who comes to Gnosticism or Judaism, etc., and by plowing in the field, by working practically in the earth, מלכות Malkuth, the physical world, applying its teachings, you find wisdom and inherit it. Then one can begin to lend money at interest to whomever he wishes.
Obviously, this is not physical money. It is spiritual money. Symbolically in dreams, if you get money, it is because you are performing good deeds and you get paid with experiences. That is called dharma, the divine blessings.
We may have been born into a gnostic family. I know plenty of missionaries and students who were born into a household that practices the gnostic teachings of Samael Aun Weor, and some of the kids do not take advantage of it. Obviously, we respect the will of others. That is the important thing. The parents should do the same. Some people have to fight, to suffer, and to bleed to find the teaching, but also, they appreciate it too.
Renunciation and Spiritual Freedom
This is how and why we enter into renunciation.
We chose an image of Buddha Gautama Shakyamuni when he renounced his princely life by cutting off his hair. This is when he became a renunciate, an ascetic. He went to the wilderness to meditate, day by day living off of a grain of rice. People interpret this literally, but it is a symbol, how psychologically or physically he renounced his own attachments. This is why Yeshua stated in the Gospel of Thomas:
110. You who have found the world and have become wealthy, renounce the world. ―The Gospel of Thomas
This wealth, again, is not material. There are many people among spiritual groups who are not attached, who do not care about status, or about bank accounts. The truth is that as we are renouncing our attachments to things in life, divinity provides whatever we need on whatever fundamental level. What matters is that no matter what our circumstances, as we are learning to know ourselves, we renounce those psychological states which make us very weak and worldly. It is good to know how to navigate the world. But there are many people who know how to do that without integrity. The truth is that if we are changing inside, our physical circumstances do change. Our level of being determines our life.
In conclusion, if you want to study more about this topic, you can study two books from Glorian Publishing by Samael Aun Weor and on the Glorian.org website. I quoted some of their excerpts at length. They are Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology and The Great Rebellion. Very powerful texts to study altogether. If you meditate on them, they will provide great insights.
Lastly, we have resources on meditation. These two courses above are from Glorian: Meditation Essentials and Meditation without Exertion.
We also have our courses on Gnostic Meditation and Sufi Principles of Meditation. If you really want to know, at the fundamental level of who you are or who we are, we learn to meditate. That is the primary way.
At this point in time, I invite you to ask questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: You mentioned on earlier slides about avoiding death or that we shouldn’t have to go through adverse stuff. It wasn’t referring to physical death, but you were referring to something else?
Instructor: More importantly it is the second death that Samael talks about. All of us have ego, which is our connection to the infernal worlds or the hell realms. If we do not consciously eliminate those defects willingly, then nature follows with this process. We eventually are recycled, Samsara. This is the negative turn of the wheel called devolution, meaning, the soul enters more inferior states until entering the submerged mineral kingdom. The ego is eventually purified. Then the Essence that was trapped becomes free.
The problem is that, that path does not result in mastery. You do not gain self-knowledge to a very high degree going that way. Also, it is very painful, very distressing. If you look at all the cosmologies of the world, or scriptures that talk about the infernal planes, they are truly terrifying―not only so just by reading it, but when you experience it, when you see in the dream state those dimensions and what they are like.
It is good to have that experience because you get to see what will happen if we do not change. So, you will not taste death by following the Word, meaning, that this is the way to consciously eliminate the ego and not be swallowed by nature, by the Moon. There are two ways. Moses said:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live... ―Deuteronomy 30:19
The seed of your Essence, the seed of your creative energy too. Our work with the energies of our sexuality is what determines everything.
Comment: I am reading a book called, In Love with the World by Rinpoche. He talks about how he went through this experience of death, almost physical death, and he was able to get what he calls “luminous.” It is a period of time in the middle of dying, that you have an opportunity, if you are conscious, if you haven’t passed out, to experience enlightenment or bliss or that connection to oneness. He was describing how that is the ultimate teacher, death. So, I was thinking of how we can use death as a way to reconnect with our inner divinity.
Instructor: Yes, physical death is obviously a significant moment. Samael Aun Weor said that there are three moments in life that are the most important: birth, marriage, and death―birth, life, and our physical conclusion. In Buddhism, they teach how to consciously take advantage of death, that moment by moment, we live, knowing that we will die, and we prepare for it.
The fact is that if we do not prepare now, when we die, we will not know where we will go. So, if we train ourselves, if we awaken within dreams, we awaken within death. Birth and death, or better said, birth and sleep, in Greek mythology, are the brothers Thanatos and Hypnos. We do talk about it in the course Dream Yoga and Astral Travel, but again, if you are asleep here, you will be asleep when you die.
If you want to know what will happen when you die, if you are conscious when you die, you have much more agency than if you were not conscious. You can speak face to face with the hierarch of law, Anubis, in Egyptian mythology, the gods of judgment, and you can talk about your trajectory, what you want and what you need to do. Your Being will help you because if you are helping other people, divinity will give you insights like that. I believe they talk about that in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, especially the Bardos. If you are gaining light here and now, then the transition will be very easy, or easier. It depends on karma and what we do.
Question: We talk about death in a lot of different ways in this tradition. Can you clarify the difference between the second death that you mentioned earlier and ego death or psychological death which we see as a positive thing?
Instructor: Yes. Psychological death of the ego is good because you eliminate pride, hatred, fear, lust. You extract the soul that is trapped in those elements and you awaken. You develop mastery. The second death occurs when we choose not to get rid of our pride, our ego, our fear, our laziness, our defects. Then we have no choice but to be taken down to a very specific type of processing plant, the recycling plant of nature, and we call that hell. In that state, the ego gets disintegrated against our will. But that process is very painful, because it takes a long time depending on the magnitude of our actions, our defects, how dense they are, to be eliminated.
Psychological death is preferred, even though it is unpleasant, because you do so willingly and you gain knowledge. You gain wisdom. Then you integrate all the parts of your soul that were trapped, and because you are doing it intentionally, you gain self-knowledge, mastery. So, that is the difference.
Question: You also referenced some of the higher levels of the Tree of Life, those states of being. If we are able through meditation to achieve a moment of ego death, where we can extract our soul, our consciousness, out of those egotistical, vicious states, will we enter into those higher states, or where will we go? Are we going to enter the illuminated void and achieve enlightenment in that moment, or what happens?
Instructor: It depends. Our Being is the one who manages those experiences. Obviously, greater results occur when we make great efforts. Divinity rewards us according to our deeds. You could be working on an ego here in מלכות Malkuth, the physical body, and you could enter through astral projection into הוד Hod, the Astral World. Then from that state, you can go higher. You can pray to your Divine Mother and ask, “Show me the truth. Take me to the Absolute.” In some cases, she will take you without even asking. She knows, before we even act, what we will do, and that is a blessing.
It is a blessing to receive that guidance and that is managed by divinity. What experiences we reach according to the Tree of Life is always negotiated by our Innermost, our spirit, our Inner Christ. If we have the dharma, we go. There are levels of experiences and dreams and internal states and that always occurs when we have earned it and when we are ready.
Fortunately, we have divinity to manage that. Sometimes having an experience, even though it is very positive, could have consequences for us if we identify too much. In Buddhism, there is talk about being drunk on Nirvana―maybe having a beautiful experience, even approaching the illuminated void and being proud as in “Look what I have experienced!” We have to watch out for that and be very careful, because that pride will take us out and will keep us down here.
Question: Along with that comment on the illuminating void, is that what a person experiences when everything becomes very bright and there is a high vibrational sensation?
Instructor: The Absolute is what we call the eternal abstract space. The void is like an ocean, a dark abyss, but which is truly light. It is a form of illumination, but to our eyes it is black. It almost appears like the rippling of water with some luminosity, but eternal, just space. You may experience it if you are meditation.
In the astral plane, your Divine Mother can take you to that state. So, it is not sensation. Sensation relates to יסוד Yesod, which is our vital body. Our vital body is the energetic vehicle that allows us to experience sensation. Our physical body would not have life if it were not for our vital body. Truly, to go to the Absolute, we have to rely on our Divine Mother, and that transcends even the Tree of Life. All the vehicles, all of the spheres represent vehicles of Being.
In synthesis, we have מלכות Malkuth, the physical body.
הוד Hod which is our astral body, where we experience emotion.
נצח Netzach, the mental body where we experience thought.
Beyond that is Nirvana and here the ego cannot enter. This is תפארת Tiphereth. תפארת Tiphereth is the beauty of the human soul. In that state of Nirvana, you see many masters there, with their tunics of luminosity. You see the flow of life, cause and effect, movement of the wind in the trees, the ripples, cause and effects. But this is beyond the ego. The ego cannot go there.
Beyond that, you have גבורה Geburah which is the divine soul, consciousness, which is really the root of conscience. So, everything we talked about today relates to גבורה Geburah because she, the divine soul, our conscience, is the one who organizes the scales of justice in ourselves. She is the source of intuition.
She is the vehicle by which the spirit acts, חסד Chesed, which is mercy in Kabbalah.
Beyond that, we have the top trinity, which is כתר Kether, חכמה Chokmah, and בינה Binah: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Christianity. In Hebrew, this is the Crown, Wisdom, and Intelligence, the Intelligence of God. בינה Binah is the Divine Mother, but also the Divine Father too. They are masculine and feminine, which are the אלוהים Elohim in Hebrew. חכמה Chokmah is Christ. כתר Kether is the Father, the Supreme.
The Absolute is beyond the Tree of Life. In a sense, we can say that כתר Kether is like מלכות Malkuth to the אין סוף Ain Soph, the Limitless, but you can go there if you pray to your Divine Mother, and say, “Take me to the Absolute.” If we are serious, we will go.
In that state, when you are faced with the void, you feel like your whole identity is being annihilated. The ego, on that threshold of the astral plane, when it enters into a portal or into the void, with ego it is like you are entering into an abyss, when your self is being reduced to nothing. The ego becomes terrified, and that fear can knock you out of that experience. You come back, you fall back into the astral plane and then you may return into your body.
Samael Aun Weor had that experience three times when he was eighteen. He meditated, he prayed, he approached the threshold of the void and he always stumbled. He got identified or attached or afraid. Eventually, for his last time, he did what he called the great jump, and he leaped right in. In the annihilation of his self, his singular identity, he became the true identity of the universe, the cosmos, beyond the universe even. He became a forest, a butterfly, a planet, a galaxy, a star.
When you lose your identity as a self, you gain the true identity which is universal, and therefore you become a drop in the ocean of universal life, free in its movement. That is exactly it.
This universe is governed by duality, even though you have three pillars. The right and the left balanced with the scales only in equilibrium, through this middle pillar, you go up to the source. If you have that experience but you fail, just be patient. Keep working, because it is not easy to let go. It would be terrifying to the mind. Samael even said that “Satan took me out,” his own ego, his own mind. In trying to know himself, he eventually had to let go.
If you notice the sephiroth going from the bottom up, you find that you abandon more dense materialism and sense of self. Obviously, the physical body is very apparent, and people think they are the body. Energy or vitality, emotions and even thoughts, when you go up, you find that these qualities in the psyche become more rarified. They are harder to pinpoint.
It is easy to point out our thoughts and emotions generally, but our will is more subtle. The willpower to do. You can sense it by your willpower to do something, like a project, or planning to come to class. We use our willpower to a degree. But beyond that, more rarified levels until you reach the top and enter the beyond, there is no self―no singular identity, just universal perception, cosmic. That is Christ: the Limitless Light, the Limitless, and the Nothing.
Question: So, you say in the lecture that we need to know our unconscious self, our egotistical defects, such as pride, fear, etc. And yet, if we want to enter this illuminating void, we have to let go of our self. So, it seems like a contradiction. We want to know our conscious self. Can you clarify that?
Instructor: Good question. The self we identify with is Klipoth, ego. קליפות Klipoth in Hebrew means, “shells.” These are our defects, because our pride, our anger, our vanity, and our lust are shells that capture and trap our soul, the Essence, the light. We have to abandon the ego, but to abandon it, you need to know it. You cannot get out of a prison cell if you do not have the key or if you do not know you are in a cage. When you know that you are trapped in an ego like anger, you can find your way out. When you get out of it, you experience freedom.
But there are levels of the self. The ego inhabits מלכות Malkuth, יסוד Yesod, הוד Hod and נצח Netzach. These are the physical body, the vital body, or the emotions and the mind. This is the realm of the ego, our terrestrial self. To go higher, you have to know your limitations―to look at them, to understand them, and eliminate them, because you can experience the void, like you could have a vacation, but it does not mean that we are a citizen there.
We learn to do that by becoming conscious citizens of the cosmos by getting rid of all the baggage. The ego keeps us weighed down. They are more dense, and if you experience the higher regions, you feel less self in the egotistical sense. But there is a real and legitimate identity there, the Being, which is not what we think of here. It is something much more beautiful, profound, and real.
Comment: There are so many examples in our culture like in the eighties fantasy movies where they are always describing the same concept of duality becoming one. You have two different races. One is like the ego that desires oneness and then you have the ones that are in line with nature, one with nature. At the great conjunction, the two become one. It is amazing to me that in the eighties, it talks about this, which is what you are describing.
Instructor: The collective unconsciousness of humanity has been expressing more of these ideas, but often without an intentional [or coherent] way. Now, the best thing is when we study art, or any cultural phenomena and we look at the intentionality behind it. For example, there are stories, old folklore and fantasy or tales that teach this, such as Pinocchio. It is a very objective initiatic story written by an initiate. Carlo Collodi was describing how a wooden puppet, who is a slave of the forces of nature, becomes a true human being, and escapes Klipoth in order to go to the heights. In the story, he was even swallowed biblically by a whale. This was a resurrection. He becomes a true human being because of the blue fairy, his Divine Mother, and because of his good deeds, he accomplishes it. So, there are a lot of symbols. The myths are very profound, and we explain them through Kabbalah. Kabbalah teaches everything.
Since there are no more questions, we will conclude.
In the next lecture, we will continue with the Gnostic Gospels. We will talk about Our Divine Potential. It will be the focus of the three sciences of the Gnostic tradition: Kabbalah, Alchemy, and Psychology.
Thank you all for coming!
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
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