So throughout history, divinity has expressed itself to humanity in a variety of forms. We see the world’s great religions. We also hear about many spiritual movements that have taken place across time. And as humanity changes, as languages change, as people migrate to new places, we often lose touch with the old forms, but that light of divinity remains active and alive, and moving. And at different points in time, this light of divinity can become more active in certain places, in certain cultures. Now, that is not to mean that it does not exist in other cultures. It just moves its activity depending on certain contexts.
What we know is that God or divinity, however we like to conceive it in our mind, is a very living force. It is a universal force. It is a force of life, and love, and wisdom, and truth.
In our Gnostic teachings, we often use the commonly known word of Christ as the title of that universal force. But Christ is not just one individual, Jesus Christ for example, but it is actually the wisdom, and the love, and the intelligence that can express itself through a human being who is properly prepared. And we call these human beings masters or prophets, buddhas, Christs: these titles for an individual who has reached that level of self-realization—to be able to express more purely at their own degree, the love and the wisdom of divinity, the teachings to help humanity.
So in the gnostic teachings we have to understand that the light of divinity that touches each one of us, and that reaches out to each one of us is beyond any one form, any school or doctrine. These schools, these movements and these spiritual groups, and religions can be the vehicle through which God can express in multiple times and places. But if we just attend a school and we do not ourselves enter personally into contact and connection with our own inner connection to divinity, we do not experience what we call initiation.
The Definition of Initiation
Initiation is the beginning. To initiate means to start. And when we enter into initiation, we enter into a new birth, a spiritual birth, a spiritual growth. And this is something that does not have anything to do with schools, or titles that are given to you, or sold by different movements. But it is something that is deeply within ourselves. It is a profound growth and evolution of the human soul.
And, when we experience that, we change as a person. Not just externally, by acting in a different way, or hanging out with different kinds of people, but actually by our quality of presence, by the wisdom and love that we are able to express, by the way that we encounter situations and respond to them. We will notice that we are deeply changing because we do not force it, but naturally, we are evolving, we are growing as a soul, as a being. In a deeper way than to just externally achieve a kind of social rank, or spiritual title from a given community.
Contacting and Experiencing Divinity
How do we come into contact with that universal light of divinity? All of us at one point of time have experienced this. Maybe it has been as simple as going outside to a beautiful, natural scene and feeling that awe and that beauty within that is spontaneous to the human soul. Or perhaps is when we truly loved someone, purely and from the deepest part of our heart.
That is a form of experience that changes a person. And sometimes this can be little ways that we are changing. And sometimes it can be a more profound spiritual awakening, an experience where we really feel that connection to our inner divinity. Or maybe we have a mystical experience, an out-of-body experience for example, a near death experience, as we hear many people talk about. And that will change people in a profound level.
When we experience that, we are actually using a type of sense unrelated to our physical senses. So, we have five physical senses through which we experience the world as gateways that energy can come through and be processed. But there is also a sense within us, a spiritual sense: our imagination, our soul, our intuition, our ability to perceive something divine. And the more we awaken those spiritual faculties, the more that we are able to perceive things that are beyond just the physical level, that are beyond just physical nature, in a more energetic, more spiritual, more subtle and refined levels of nature.
These are still material in a sense, but not in the gross, physical material that we are used to experiencing with our physical touch. And so, as we awaken on deeper levels, we can even awaken out of our body. When we go to sleep physically, we can remain awake in the dream state with full consciousness, able to control what we do and where we go.
And all these kinds of spiritual gifts are often what people associate with initiation: to be able to awaken spiritual powers like telepathy or clairvoyance or prophecy, to be able to see the future, or to hear the word of divinity within us, so that we can share that light with others or to see what steps we need to take in our own life, to become better people.
So, if we want these types of powers, we often go to different schools and different places that promise us that they will enroll us in a certain course, and we will advance through degree to degree to degree, and be initiated and become masters, or become self-realized.
But as I mentioned previously, what we really want is the external validation from any other person, but that inner experience, that inner knowledge, that connection with divinity through which we know we are really growing as a soul and that we are really understanding life in a more profound way that decreases our suffering, and decreases the suffering of people around us. So we have the ability to understand other people and to help them. And most importantly is to begin by helping ourselves and understanding ourselves, to touch the truth of who we are.
The Practicality of Aquarian Gnosis
In this time, we have these Gnostic teachings as taught by Samael Aun Weor and the instructors and students of his tradition, which we call the Fifth Gospel [which explains the significance and secret meanings of the Four Gospels from the conservative Piscean Era]. This is the same light that has expressed itself throughout humanity’s history through many religions and that is why in this teaching, we discuss various religions and we talk about how their essence is the same. And how their essence is a practical teaching that each of us must strive to experience for ourselves. Not merely to learn it intellectually, or to take it as a belief, but to actually, practically experience it by using those spiritual faculties which awaken when we feel love, or awe for nature, or that genuine intuition within our divinity.
That’s why this Fifth Gospel is a very practical teaching. And if we really want to experience initiation, we have to be well prepared. Throughout history, when the ancient mystery schools in Egypt or Greece, or all around the world, in ancient Tibet as well, were going to take an aspirant into the secret teachings, they would prepare them rigorously for decades, to make sure that this person had purity of heart. They had worked to eliminate their vices and to practice virtue, and were skillful in meditation, awakening their concentration and awareness to be able to go deep within.
Now, the Age of Aquarius has brought this new doctrine which openly gives the secret teachings, or at least a degree of them, so that anyone can enter into these practices immediately, and that is because all of us are well aware that the state of our world is becoming more chaotic. The crises that are impacting humanity are greater than ever. And there is just not enough time for all of us to go often to the mountains for twenty or thirty years in order to become really prepared.
But that puts the burden on all of us: to decide if we are truly going to commit to our spiritual growth. If this is truly something that we want to take seriously, then we have to take serious steps. It is not a practice that can be entered into at a whim. It is a very serious commitment of the soul, which has ramifications whether for good or for bad. So, if we make this decision, we have to work on our own level in order to progress, but constantly being progressing in the direction of improvement of virtue, of getting closer to divinity, and further away from the selfishness and the vice which has characterized much of humanity, and as all of us are well aware, characterizes much of our own lives.
The Conservation of Energy and Spiritual Awakening
And so, when we talk about initiation, as I mentioned, we are talking about an essential change, a change in the quality of our soul, and the birth of our soul is only possible when we are working with our own energy.
Each day we expend a tremendous amount of energy: emotionally, intellectually, physically and even consciously, our willpower. So, when take the step to become aware of our actions each day, and to meditate or reflect, in the evenings, on what we have done that day, how we are living our lives: are we living ethically, or are we really getting caught up in superfluous things that will pass away and not have much value to us in the future?
We can evaluate how we are using our energy. If we want to awaken spiritually, we have to really conserve our energy.
The reason that all the great religions taught ethical principles, or commandments, or rules for us to follow, is not because, arbitrarily, we need to do what someone else tells us to do, but because these principles, these ways of living an upright life actually change our energetic quality of being. If you have ever been around an angry person whether they are talking or not, you can feel that quality of their being. And if you have ever been around somebody who is truly loving, maybe they are expressing love to you, you felt that power of their being.
This is a spiritual energy that we are trying to cultivate. When we work with principles of honesty, selflessness, charity, chastity, and humility, we are actually cultivating a level of being that conserves energy and transforms it inwardly, to awaken our consciousness.
But when we engage in anger and envy, and all these other vices that have to with a false self, a false sense of self that needs to be defended at any cost, but which is just a figment of our own mind, that is when we lose our energy. We compromise our inner values. And we in essence forfeit our soul and our integrity for temporary gains, for that false self.
The Role of Kundalini, Initiation, and Spiritual Knowledge
Nāgārjuna was a Buddhist teacher and a great master, a great initiate. And we can tell as we look at this image of Nāgārjuna here that he is an initiate. Does anyone know why we can see in this image he is a master? There is a symbolism to this image.
Yes, the serpents. So, behind his head we see seven serpents. I am going to talk a little bit later about the structure of initiation. But simply put these seven serpents represent that he has mastered the seven initiations of Major Mysteries. This is a very high level of development. Raising the serpents.
Has anyone heard about Kundalini before? So, Kundalini is symbolized as a serpent rising up our spine. And this is because, as an initiate, we learn to work with that energy that we are conserving, to transform that energy up the spine into the brain, into the pineal gland, in particular, to awaken our consciousness. This awakens our spiritual faculties which are innate in all of us. But for many of us have become a bit atrophied over time.
This awakens our ability to become wiser, more compassionate to human beings, and to perceive our reality beyond the shell of our mind, and our false self.
As Nāgārjuna point out to us here, he stated that:
All philosophies are mental fabrications. There has never been a single doctrine by which one could enter the true essence of things. —Nāgārjuna
Sometimes people say that this type of statement means, “I don’t need any spiritual teachings. I don’t need to read any books. I can achieve awakening by myself.” And this is true that there are some masters who are illiterate, but for many of us we can actually benefit from practical teachings that guide us and that help us to realize where we may be imbalanced, or which techniques we may be able to use to gain some energy, to gain some strength, to then do our spiritual work, to then enter into the essence of things.
But if we just read books or if we go to a church or a temple, and we go through the motions of prayer or spiritual practice, but we ourselves never feel that connection, that power, that inner spark of divinity calling to us, then we are not truly growing internally.
We may externally receive some amount of recognition. But when we go to the end of our life, and we evaluate the quality of our quality of being, we may feel empty. We may feel that we have created as Christ said, the whitened sepulcher, which on the outside looks beautiful and holy, but in the inside is dead.
And so, what we want is the spiritual birth. We want to enter into the true essence of things, the true essence of ourselves, the true essence of nature and reality, and the true essence of divinity. All of which are essentially one and the same.
Conscience, Discernment and Internal Judgment of the Soul
Another great master, Swami Sivananda gave us this practical teaching:
The intelligent or wise one has to discriminate within and advance by himself towards his own goal, his own self, while also searching for the emancipation of others. —Swami Sivananda
It is not about following anyone who claims to be a master, but truly studying in an effort to awaken your own inner discrimination, to find the teachings that resonate with you, that call to you and that awaken your own inner judgment.
Many of us have been in situations where we feel a pang of conscience, when we are about to tell a lie and a part of us says: “Mmm… maybe I should just tell the truth!” But then our mind begins to rationalize and to say: “Why? Well, but I’m lying for a good reason. I have a good intention for doing this unethical thing. In the end, I might be able to work things out and brush it over and get away with it.”
For some of us, maybe it has been many years since we felt that pang of conscience. But we all have some direct experience of our inner judgment, that discernment. And this is really important as we try to prepare ourselves for initiation. Because, as I mentioned, it is not about any external master saying to you that you are ready. It is about your Internal God, your own inner divinity teaching you, and awakening you, and helping you to grow as a father and mother would a young child.
And as a soul, we need to be behaving in a certain kind of way through which we demonstrate the maturity within ourselves to our own inner divinity, that we are willing to learn, that we are humble to learn and to change as people.
That is something that only each of us can know. We have guidelines, we have general principles in all the world religions that we are all familiar with and which we can use as a great starting place to gain our bearings, to begin living more ethically. But it is really when we are in a situation and we are observant of ourselves, in the quality of our action, and we act on a vice, and we see the effect of that, and we see how that affects other people and affects us, and create problems in our life. Versus when we do something virtuous, and we see how that ripples towards other people and changes our own quality of being and gives us a sense of peace with ourselves.
So, as we begin to evaluate ourselves, regardless of what other people’s judgments about us may be, we have to be very severe with ourselves, and very honest with ourselves. We have to really see in our life: “What are the places where I have compromised myself? And maybe at that time, I did it for what I thought were good reasons. But now I realize that it was really a mistake and that I am missing something of value to me, part of my own soul that I want to reclaim. And what steps can I begin to take to gradually put my life back in order, to get myself back to the place where I feel that I am a person that I can respect, an individual with character that is noble or virtuous?”
Or at least striving to that point, because of course, we know this is not something that just happens magically overnight, but it is an effort of the soul that takes tremendous super efforts, day to day, to be continually honest with ourselves and to see where we have shortcomings, where we have anger, greed, gluttony or lust, that is creating problems, that is actually creating suffering. And not because someone else tells us this is creating suffering for us, but because we repeated these behaviors again and again and again and we know that they lead us to the same unfortunate places.
When we truly begin to work towards ourselves and understand deeply our own suffering, we begin to see how other people that we love and cherish around us are also suffering. That many people are controlled by their anger or their greed, or their fear, their insecurity and that they live their lives completely controlled by these negative states of mind and they do not understand how to access the power within themselves, to begin to take control over their lives and to access a higher state of being: a state of being that is within the spirit, that has faith not as a mere belief or good intention but truly by directly knowing that what we are doing will produce peace and happiness for themselves.
And so this come even more crucial for us as we search for the emancipation of others from their suffering, that we really work to liberate ourselves from our own negativity and our own problematic behaviors and delusional states of mind.
Identity, Illusion, and Conflicts with Reality
When I say a delusional state of mind, I mean the mental cage within which we often imprison ourselves. We hold to one belief so strongly. Maybe it is a belief about ourselves. Maybe we believe we are a certain type of person and if someone comes across us who shows us otherwise, who disagrees with us, or who insults us. We cannot help but suffer and be upset and argue or fight, or react in some strong way to that situation.
That is all because we have a belief. We have an idea in our mind about who we are. And when we notice challenges, we do not want to see reality. We want to refute reality. We want to argue with reality and observe that this idea that “What I believe is the truth and everyone else is wrong!”
And we just do not have ideas about ourselves, but many ideas about how other people are. Maybe many grudges against other people that “Well, you’re always this way. This is just the way that you’re gonna be!” Or ideas about life and maybe some of them are more cynical ideas that really good people don’t make it out in the end. “Maybe it’s only the bad people that really get what they want in life.” Or maybe we have nice beliefs, but that don’t actually produce fruit in our life.
So, we have to evaluate our beliefs and we do not necessarily have to throw all them all out right away, but we have to see them for what they are. We must have this discrimination. We must identify how beliefs in our life are a filter through which we are not able to perfectly perceive the reality beyond our mind.
Meditation, Introspection, and Inner Discrimination
Anybody who has tried to meditate and silence the mind knows that in the beginning the mind is very chaotic and that is often hard to actually achieve that stability and that quiet of mind through which we can hear any inner voice of the silence as many call that spiritual wisdom.
Much of this has to do with how we behave in our physical life. If we are constantly distracted in our physical life for behaving unethically, we are producing imbalances energetically in our mind and in our consciousness. They make it nearly impossible for us to be able to meditate. And we may develop a high degree of concentration, but we may not feel that we are accessing that inner wisdom, because we do not have that balance. We are not vibrating at that level in which we can be in tune with that.
It’s really essential for us that we try to not only meditate daily or regular—to an amount that is reasonable for us where we are at—but also that we try to behave ethically and become aware of the way that our mind acts during the day, ad how we become distracted.
These are the beginning steps to develop inner discrimination. To be able to see, first of all, our own mind for what it is, and to question our own mind. To separate our own consciousness from the mind. To know that we are not these thoughts, but that we are the perceiver of these thoughts. We are not these emotions, but we are the perceiver of these emotions, and the perceiver of our physical life. And that we have the power to free ourselves from the negative thoughts, and negative emotions, even to have the power to free ourselves from the suffering of our negative life experiences by changing our conscious attitude towards it, and by behaving in new ways that are inspired by our inner wisdom, rather than inspired by our fear or our envy, or anger or greed.
Exercise to Awaken Inner Judgment
When we need to awaken this type of judgment, when we realize that we lost the ability to discriminate within ourselves, we have a special practice in the Gnostic teachings that comes from The Magic of the Runes by Samael Aun Weor. But I wanted to read this excerpt for you about the Rune Rita which can you see pictured here, on the slide.
The present runic practice has the power of liberating internal judgment. We need to convert ourselves into judges of consciousness. To awaken the Buddhata (the seed of our own Buddha nature), the soul, is urgent. This rune has the power of awakening the consciousness of the judges. Let us remember what is called remorse, which certainly is the accusing voice of the consciousness. —Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes
So, a lot of us have an accusing voice of self-criticism or we are evaluating ourselves according to standards of how others may view us. But this is very different from the genuine remorse of the soul, and the conscience, which tell us right from wrong, which in the moment when we are about to lie tugs at us and say: “Can you behave in a better way? Can you just tell the truth and put this bad behavior aside?” Or whatever that might be. Maybe it is not a lie. Maybe it is something else.
But we know that in some cases, what is the right behavior would be the wrong behavior in another circumstance. And that is why is so important to just not blanket a code of conduct, but to really develop our awakened sense of what is right and wrong. To re-awaken it, I should say, because as children I think many of us are more in touch with this. But the more that we act on bad behaviors—and our mind justifies it or gives a really great reason for why we should continue in this route—the further away we get from our inner conscience.
That is why we want to work with this runic practice, to work with this energy of nature, the energy of our own internal judge, our own inner divinity, which can help us to remember remorse. To remember the part of us that has a great spiritual value, and which suffers tremendously when we compromise it for things which, spiritually, are not of value. Whether that is money or recognition, or relationships, or social status, or a worldly success.
It is not that these things are bad in themselves, but if we have to compromise what we believe as right in order to get these things, we are losing a part of our soul. And that part of our soul we may have to work much harder and later on to reclaim. Each of us has to make the decision for ourselves on where we strike that balance of meeting our worldly needs, but doing so in a way that we feel is contributing for something good or a value to the rest of humanity. Or in whatever way we have a particular talent.
When we begin to steer off that course, and when we begin to take those steps into a different, which causes us suffering, that we feel that remorse, in order to re-evaluate: “Is this the path that I want to take or are there a variety of other responses that I can bring up, and think of, to this situation, some of which may help me to feel more peace with myself?”
And Samael Aun Weor goes on to describe this rune:
Those who never feel remorse are truly very far from their interior judge. Commonly, they are lost cases. People like that must work very intensely with the Rune Rita, thus they will liberate their interior judgement. We need with urgency to learn to be guided by the voice of the silence, that is to say, by the innermost judge. —Samael Aun Weor, The Magic of the Runes
Within each of us, we have an individualized connection to that universal force of divinity, which as I mentioned earlier, we call the universal consciousness of Christ in this particular tradition. Each of us has our inner spirit, our Innermost God that is our Father or our Mother that is helping us to grow as a soul.
When we hear the voice of the silence, we are hearing that powerful, direct experience of our own inner judgment, of our own inner wisdom, which is guiding us in our life. What we need to do next to continue to learn and grow and flourish as a soul, what we need to do is to perhaps make up for the error of our ways.
And now, this particular rune, we are going to practice—as I mentioned, if you stick around from the meditation afterwards—we will just try it three times. But simply put, you will stand with your left hand on your hip, and your left leg out to make the shape of an “R.” And then you will repeat:
Another Instructor: The mantras RA, RE, RI, RO, RU.
Instructor: Each time you pronounce the mantras RA, RE, RI, RO, RU, each of those vowels you are going to hold them for one long breath. What is important is not so much to focus on the vocalization, but to feel that energy, that current within in us, in the spine vibrating throughout our whole body and awakening our consciousness, giving strength to the consciousness, to the soul.
Working with this type of energy transforms the forces in nature, takes them into our own body and helps our consciousness to awaken and have more strength.
So, we will talk more about his later, but I felt his very important in relationship to preparation for initiation because, frankly, if we do not have our conscience awake, if we do not have to ability to discriminate by ourselves, it is easy to become lost in the sea of life—and in the multitude of spiritual movements and masters, and to no longer have that sight of our inner compass that guide us in our own growth, in our inner development. So, that is why it is truly urgent to awaken that.
Additionally, when we do awaken this, we have to act on it. We have to really follow our inner judge, our Inner God, because that will help us to achieve sanctity of our mind and heart.
The Sanctity of Mind and Heart
The purity of the mind and heart is a prerequisite for spiritual initiation. Now, what we are talking about is an initiation in Christ, in which, degree by degree, we begin to incarnate our own inner spirit more and more, and to express according to our level of development, divinity as it manifests in us. And if we do not have a temple in mind, heart, and body in which divinity can rest, because we are vibrating at an antithetical level of being, then we cannot enter into initiation.
Many people are able to develop spiritual powers, to awaken out of their bodies, to work with energy or concentration and all these practices, but they are awakening in a very egotistical way. In a way that strengthens the mind and that strengthens our desires, and many of these desires are desires to overpower other people, to make other people see things the way we want them to be. To gain more influence, to make people like us more or to have more success in our worldly affairs, but not necessarily for good reasons—not to want to have success in our worldly affairs to truly help people, even if that is what we tell ourselves. But maybe our intention on a deeper level is more selfish.
And so, that is why each one of us can really determine if we are awakening in a positive way towards God, if we are lessening the sense of our false self and we are really awakening more wisdom and compassion. Or if we are strengthening our sense of self and our sense of pride as an individual, and we are only wanting to accumulate more power and more knowledge in order to gain our selfish ends.
And that is why Samael Aun Weor teaches in the book The Major Mysteries:
We need to have the mind of a child in order to enter into the Major Mysteries. We need to be like children in our minds and hearts. We need to be perfect as our Father who is in the heaven is perfect. The great mysteries are not achievable through vain intellectualisms; the Major Mysteries are achievable with the heart of a child. —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
I know a lot people, a lot spiritual friends who spend much time, whether on the internet or with books, reading and studying about these things. And I myself of course am a very curious person and have read quite a bit about these things, but what is really important is that we can set aside the mental concepts, the intellectual concepts, and we can approach reality as it is, as it presents to us.
In order to do that, we do need a purity of mind. As a child, they can see many things which adults have forgotten how to see. If a child is in a room where his or her parents are fighting, they can see that situation and the pain of that situation in a way in which the parents, who may be identified with their particular perspective, are not able to see anymore. Because now they are caught up in the mind, caught up in the sense of self in the tallies of who did what and “What you have done wrong to me,” and “What I deserve,” and all of these ideas about ourselves that we have developed and strengthened into adulthood.
And so, we become more aware as adults of the many manipulations and complications of adult life, of our modern world, our society. But oftentimes, we are so caught up in this that we confuse them for reality.
Unfortunately, we need to be aware of this in order to navigate society, but society does not have much to do with reality of nature and its existence, and divinity, which is a natural experience that the soul can witness.
So, when I talk about simplicity of mind, we have to be able to not totally give up intellectualism, but to set it aside, to put it in his place. To have the mind become the servant of our spiritual goals, rather than to fortify the mind in order to serve the selfish goals of our desires.
Really, initiation is achieved by the quality of our heart. It is through the merits of our heart that we raise the Kundalini up each vertebrae of the spinal column and it is through the merits of our heart that our own inner Divine Mother, and our Innermost Father and spirit, judge us and determine whether or not we are worthy of genuine spiritual wisdom, powers and abilities and those types of things.
We cultivate this childlike quality the more that we are virtuous and act upon the genuine ideal that we have for ourselves, a spiritual ideal. If you remember as a child what you thought made up a good person, you may be interested in money or those types of things, but really there is a certain character that you might have strived for. And that is the ideal that we want to re-awaken: the best part of us from our childhood, but now with the wisdom of an adult, with the power of an adult, with the choice of an adult, to be able to actually give birth to that.
Psychological Death: The Initiatic Path of Life
Also, we have to die in many ways in order to give birth to that inner child.
I mentioned about our false beliefs, our false ideas about ourselves, the mental prison in which we live and suffer which causes suffering for us, because we cannot understand reality, we cannot understand other people or ourselves.
This is the part that we have to be willing to let go of. That we have to be willing to change. Maybe it is our addictions, which are not necessarily alcohol or drugs, but our addictions to certain behaviors or ways of thinking and living that we know create suffering for us, but that we just cannot seem to break out of.
If we really want to come a more enlightened person, if we really want to work toward the level of development that saints and prophets and masters were able to achieve through their own direct efforts, and through the grace of divinity, then we have to be willing to die to who we are today.
You cannot live in both heaven and hell at the same time. This is about our own psychological state of being. We have to be willing to let go of the way that we have lived, the person that we have been when our inner judgment tells us. That that is not taking us anywhere, but into pain. Then we have to be brave and to take those steps courageously into what we believe as right, in order to really have life. To have that inner power and inner life that gives us real meaning and peace.
So, Samael Aun Weor writes:
When one enters into gnosis (direct experience of divinity), one has to die in order to live; however, proud intellectual people who have the habit of thinking in accordance to their own whims, vanities and prejudices are not good for these gnostic studies; this is a very difficult enterprise for intellectual people because they only want to stuff their minds with these gnostic studies, and the reality is that gnosis is a very deep functionalism of the consciousness. What we have to do with the mind is to kill it, and thereafter to resurrect it, totally transformed. —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
We want a new quality of mind. For many of us, mind is out of control. It is going in the same directions day after day, repeating the same thoughts, the same worries, the same problems, seeking the same desires day after day just on repeat.
We want to get rid of this old mind, to really fight against it in those moments when we feel that pain of conscience, to not let our mind continue to justify and hypnotize us, but to break free and to allow something new to be born. Because with this new quality of mind, this totally transformed quality of mind, we will have that bright awareness of our experience of life, the quality of mind that can see the best in other people. That can enjoy other people and love other people spontaneously and naturally. That has a wisdom to penetrate into the heart of a situation and to really see its spiritual value, not just its value according to society.
Kundalini Yoga or Sexual Alchemy
In order to do this, we do need to work with a very powerful energy, in a very powerful practice. And in our tradition, we call this sexual alchemy.
Just as with the practice of the Rune Rita, we are working with our creative energies. We recognize that creativity is born of our sexual energy. And that is why the Kundalini rises from the bottom of the spine where our sexual organs are, and whether male or female, we have physical, sexual seed, sperm or ovum. But we also have an energy within that physical seed which can be transformed, which can be raised into the pineal gland, which will awaken the spiritual nature of our soul which will awaken consciousness, which is beyond the mind and beyond the body.
Now, as a single person we have the practices which we can use to awaken sparks of that Kundalini energy. We call these pranayamas, generally speaking, and we can talk more about them [see Gnostic Meditation: Pranayama and Sexual Transmutation], but the one that I primarily teach is just to sit, to focus on that energy, to sit in a meditative comfortable pose, in which the spine is straight or you can lie down if that is more comfortable and to just breathe deeply in trough the nostrils and out through the mouth. And as you are breathing in, visualize that energy as light coming up through the spine into the head, saturating our mind and our pineal gland with that energy, that light, and then breathing out, visualizing that energy moving to the heart.
As simple as that, we can harness the breath, we can harness the energy that is within the breath, and within our body and within nature, and begin to strengthen our consciousness that way.
But as Samael Aun Weor points out here in his quote, we need sexual alchemy in order to really create the bodies of the soul. This is because nothing in nature, whether physical or spiritual, is born without the union of masculine and feminine principles, the activity of masculine and feminine forces. He writes:
The only objective of the [first] five initiations of Major Mysteries is the fabrication of the solar bodies [the vehicles of the soul]. In Gnosticism and esotericism, one understands that the fabrication of the solar bodies and the incarnation of the Being are known as the Second Birth. —Samael Aun Weor, Practical Astrology: The Esoteric Treatise of Hermetic Astrology
If we truly want to incarnate the force of our inner spirit, of our internal Christ, that is a frequency which is very, very powerful. We have within us currently astral bodies and mental bodies that can transform mental, emotional, and spiritual energies to a degree. But these are relatively weak and dirty vessels and through which the light of divinity struggles to shine.
Now through the cooperation of male and female, retaining that energy in the body, we are able to create spiritual bodies, spiritual vehicles: a solar physical body, a solar vital body, a solar astral body, a solar mental body, a solar causal body through which divinity can express on all levels.
Now what is important is when we talk about sexual alchemy, we have to retain the sexual, so seed whether male or female, we have to refrain from orgasm, and to transmute that energy upwards. We know that when we let that physical energy out of the body, we produce a physical body. But to harness this energy and to move it inward into the soul, into the consciousness, we can create a spiritual body, a spiritual vessel which is talked about in the Bible as the terrestrial man and the celestial man. We want to create a new type of individual, and so we work with this very powerful energy.
The warning here is that we talked about white initiations, which are initiations into divinity, into the light of Christ, and black initiations through which we awaken in ego. We become demons.
Now, we may be convinced that we have good intentions, and that we are awakening power because we are really becoming great people. But we have to trust our inner judge to determine if we are walking on an egotistical path or the path of light. When we practice White Sexual Alchemy, we are trying to come into connection with our Inner Christ, our inner divinity. And we are working with a very powerful energy.
The outcome of this type of practice is either an angel or demon. So, we will either awaken our own spiritual potential and give birth to our soul, or we will awaken powers, but powers that are demonic, that are entirely engaged in the prison of our false self which grows, and grows, and grows in intensity and increases the suffering of us as an individual and also in others. So we have to really be prepared and really establish our own ethical center before we step into initiation.
So, we will be talking a lot more about sexual alchemy and what is involved with that in the rest of the course, which will be talked about by the other instructors.
The Structure of Initiation
But simply put, to give you an outline, for what initiation is—as we teach it here—this outline is just a framework. Of course, the experience of it is something internal, which is experience in our daily life. In fact, Samael Aun Weor says that “Initiation is life itself intensely lived with rectitude and with love.” It is an inner experience, the development of the hero within our own heart, within our soul. But it is something that we create by the way that we face the ordeals presented to us in physical life.
Sometimes in astral experiences, in our dream state, we may experience ordeals, symbolic ordeals that strengthen us. But many times these are conflicts that we are having in our physical life, or problems which challenge us, exactly in the way that we talked about before, in which we are very tempted to go in a behavior, which we have repeated many times, but which we have the opportunity now to face ourselves, to understand ourselves, to understand why we have gone in wrong direction before, and to take a step in a more positive direction as we see fit.
The Guardian of the Threshold
I separated this chart into four levels or four parts to enter the Major Mysteries. The first is the Guardian of the Threshold. Now, this is described in many traditions as a terrifying beast, which we know in our tradition is the form of our own inner defects. If we looked at ourselves as we truly are, we would see there is a monstrous beast in the mental plane or the astral plane, that we have many vices and many problems, and a lot of suffering within us that we cultivated in and fed our creative energy to throughout this lifetime and even previous lifetimes.
And so, when we face our own ego, we face the Guardian of the Threshold, we are actually breaking our ties with all of the vices that we carry within. Sometimes, this is described, as in Hinduism, as going to battle with our own beloved relatives. Because our vices and our defects are part of ourselves that we very much cling to. And that feels very comfortable for us that we like a lot. And in Hinduism, Arjuna has to go to battle with his own family members who are doing wrong behaviors. And Krishna, which is in Hinduism the representation of Christ, comes to him an says: “You must do your duty. You must go to battle here.”
When we face the Guardian of the Threshold, when we begin to enter into initiation, we begin by breaking all of our ties to the Black Lodge, the Black Lodge being a representation of the black path of initiation, which is the path of vice and selfishness.
And we make a commitment to really go against ourselves because we are own worst enemy. So, this is about taking on and battling ourselves. And if we defeat the inner guardian, we have not fully destroyed, but if we defeat it, then we become the master of our energy. We begin to be able to have more power, more self-control in situations.
But if we fail in this ordeal, then the Guardian of the Threshold becomes our master and our ego dictates how we will live our life, and creates more suffering for us.
Of course, we can battle again, and again, and again. So, we have to be persistent if we fail.
The Four Ordeals of the Elements
The next step is the four ordeals of the elements: air, fire, water and earth.
These elements come to us through many situations in our life.
Air is often associated with instability, with the loss of what one loves, maybe the loss of the job, in which we face a total uncertainty in life and this forces us to develop a quality of consciousness which is unattached, which is able to continue on even in spite of losing stability. We have a lot of movement. And this develops and helps us to balance our consciousness in that area.
And the next area in which we need to balance our consciousness or our state of being will be fire, which causes in the ordeals an emotional pain. Criticism from others is often a common ordeal of fire in which we have to respond with the right temperature. Sweetness in many cases is hard to develop in the face of criticism. And so, after we balance our nature to be firm when we must be firm. And to be soft, and gentle, and sweet when we must be. And to not be completely controlled by how other people behave or what the external situation is, but to really have a level of being in ourselves in which we have control over our response.
The next area in which we balance the consciousness is water, which is often a very emotional ordeal in that we feel overwhelmed. We are thrown into social circumstances in life, which overwhelm us or force to adapt. Or radically adapt: maybe after moving to a new place, and really radically being able to adapt to a new situation.
And finally earth, which helps us to develop the stability and the perseverance of the soul in response to obstacles and difficulties in our life.
The Initiations of Minor Mysteries
After we have made the commitment to the path, and the Guardian of the Threshold in that battle, and then we balance our own consciousness in the four ordeals of the elements, then we begin the initiations of the Minor Mysteries.
Now, there are nine initiations of the Minor Mysteries which relate with nine spheres of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, if you are familiar with Judaic mysticism.
But what is important is to understand that these Minor Mysteries are different ordeals in our physical life, which may have these qualities of the different elements, but which ultimately test our ability to persevere and to remain true to our spiritual goal, in spite of many temptations and challenges which call us off of the path.
It is often called the probationary path because we must pass this before we truly enter into the initiations of the Major Mysteries in which we are giving birth to the soul.
Now, a single person can progress through all of three of these parts of the initiatic path [the Guardian of the Threshold, the four ordeals of the elements, and the Minor Mysteries]: the entrance into the initiatic path. But in order to enter into the initiations of the Major Mysteries, in which we give birth to the solar bodies, the solar vehicles, we must be married. We must be working with our spouse in Sexual Alchemy.
As I mentioned, we are going to talk a lot more about that, and all of these different faces of initiation in future lectures.
What I really want to emphasize and summarize in this preparation for initiation is that is completely up to us to enter into initiation. Each person, regardless of their culture or their religious background, or their upbringing, or their current physical situation in life, has within the main connection to their inner divinity—has a spark of conscience which can be fed and strengthened. And each of us has within us an inner Father and Mother that want us to grow spiritually.
The whole purpose of our existence physically is for us to realize a certain spiritual truth about ourselves: to have an understanding of nature, and reality, and divinity, and ourselves. And oftentimes we are so distracted and hypnotized by the many things that we must keep up with in society, that we forget about the real reason why we are alive.
So, to take the time to really assess our current situation in life in meditation, and to really evaluate the different areas of our life that we spend most of our time and energy and to see where we have compromised our values, and to begin to take steps back to where we really believe we are leaving our spiritual dignity and integrity as a person—that is the preparation for initiation.
And when we couple that with preservation and the purity of our sexual energy through transmutation, then we are really knocking on the door to enter into initiation. And our inner divinity, and all of these masters—that we have talked about in religions, which still exist in the spiritual nature of our reality—will come. The masters of the White Lodge, the prophets, you know, whichever spiritual master that you resonate with can help you, can aid you in this journey because it is very difficult, but that will come from within.
We can be in spiritual groups and we can be in spiritual schools, and we can read spiritual books. And these can be of help to us if we are awakening our own inner discernment. But we must be careful not to get caught up in the politics of many religions. And to not get caught up in problems that will distract us from the real growth of the soul, and from cultivating within us that type of being and spiritual potential that we are really capable of.
Does anyone have questions?
Questions and Answers
Question: How do we know when you have created solar bodies?
Instructor: Some people have created solar bodies in previous lifetimes, although this is pretty rare, speaking for humanity. And so, if that is the case you would know because you will be awakened in the astral plane, in the mental plane, in the causal plane, depending on which solar bodies were used, and not just a moment of awakening which every person can experience, but continuous awakening and being able to consciously project oneself out of the body and travel at will.
Now, if one has created these bodies in past lives and but then fell, for example, lost their sexual energy or behaved very unethically and lost that level of development, the spirit still maintains that degree of initiation. The initiations never belong to the human person, but always belong to the inner spirit. And so, that spirit can never fall, but the soul can fall. So, the soul will have to recapitulate and re-go through all of these steps of initiation in order to re-gain access to those solar vehicles.
Question: When the Kundalini rises according to degrees…
Instructor: According to the vertebrae…
Question: If it doesn’t do that, it just rises?
Instructor: We can have sparks. We can have very vivid experiences in which all at once you now feel this fire, this illumination. But if that experience passes, and we’re back with the same problems that we always have in life, if we haven’t fundamentally shifted as a person in our quality of being, the essence of who we are hasn’t really grown and developed.
That was just an experience meant to help us and to teach us that we actually have to do the hard work. Just as physical body is important in a day and develops over many months, so with our soul do we have to go through the pains of labor, so to speak, and develop those growing pains of the soul, in which we struggle against ourselves in order to become upright individuals.
Question: So that’s almost better though?
Instructor: Well, nature doesn’t take leaps. So, naturally speaking, there are certain people who say you can pay us twenty thousand dollars and we’ll awaken your Kundalini and they will produce some sort of energetic experience for you, but that’s very different from what we’re talking about initiations into the Christic Path, actually incarnating our own Being happens degree by degree.
Question: Kind of going back to the topic of Kundalini. So, you’re saying that in the Minor Mysteries, the Probationary Path, that’s when you’re moving up the Tree of Life, correct?
Instructor: You are actually cleaning out the parts of you that are submerged in the inferior Tree of Life. So the Tree of Life has a shadow in the hell realms. And we actually have each time to clean out the parts of us that are trapped there.
Question: So at that point you’re starting off from Malkuth (the Kingdom)?
Instructor: Sure, actually, I guess it would be the inverted Yesod. Not much is written about the Minor Mysteries. Experientially, you are experiencing parts of yourself that are very rigid, psychologically speaking, that are very hard to work against. Perhaps you have an answer to this if you start in the inverted Kether or if you start in the inverted Yesod.
Another Instructor: So Dante talks about the nine inverted hell realms, spheres of Klipoth, which is the Hebrew term meaing, “shells” or the world of ego, which exists as they mentioned within the interior of the Earth. If you physically go into the terrestrial crust, you will find caves or caverns, but not people, because the infraconscious dimensions are in the astral plane, but inverted. And as part of the Minor Mysteries, we need to transform ourselves. So, we start to perceive internally experiences about our own inner hell. Because the White Lodge, the Christic Lodge is showing us what you need to work on in order to change.
So, yes, to go up you first will go down. Every ascension is preceded by a descent. This is why in every cosmogony or epic the hero has to enter the hell realms first, which is why Aeneas, from The Aeneid by Virgil, has to descend in order to find the truth that is hidden in those realms. Because our soul is trapped. Part of our consciousness is conditioned in ego, which belongs to those dense regions of nature.
Then, if you want to go up, to ascend the Tree of Life, you progressively must go down, to see and investigate parts of yourself: your anger, pride, lust, fear, laziness, ego. So that by working on those false and understanding them, we can extract light. So, first as Dante depicted in The Divine Comedy, you want to go to Paradiso, Paradise. He states that if you first descend Inferno, relating to initiation, because every type of exaltation in divinity, every type of progress is stipulated upon what we have worked on eliminate the Guardian. Maybe in that way, you get started into higher stages of the path, such as Purgatory, and then, at the end to experience all the bliss.
Unfortunately humanity, whenever people enter religion, or spiritual studies of this type, we all want to go the Paradise first. But the truth is, if you enter the Major Mysteries, you will have astral experiences where the masters of the White Lodge will come to you and will show you: “you need to descend first.”
Personally, when I first started this teaching, I had an experience in which I was being attacked by a demon in the astral plane. And so, I was of course, in the beginning, terrified. Then, a master came up to me from the White Lodge and said, “Descend into the Earth!” He started to conjure this demon and kept him away from me. So, I obeyed these orders and went down through many layers within this internal dimension.
Finally I came to a cavern where found sepulchers, tomb with the bones, debris. I intuitively got that I had to go out of that cave and in that experience I eventually found myself in Egypt in the astral plane, where I saw the temple of Giza, which physically is an ancient piece of architecture, which is a cadaver.
But in the internal planes the temple of Giza is active, and that temple was, I remember looking at the three pyramids and seeing the light of Christ there. The Egyptian masters opened the doorway and let me in. I remember having many other teachings they gave me related to this process. But the simple reality is that they were showing me: “You want to enter this temple, like the great masters before in antiquity, but first go into your Earth, descend down into your own mind. Confront yourself!” The term descent simply means to face the results of our previous actions, our mistakes.
So, you can have experiences like that, that show you what the Minor Mysteries are. There are many other ways to verify where you are at through symbols, which is why we study the Kabbalah, which is Jewish mysticism, the language of the internal planes.
Every religion has its symbolism. The cross of Christianity or Jainism, many traditions have the same symbols, which is why we balance the study the different religious traditions and accompany them with our meditation, so that we can verify and understand: “This is where I am at.” First, you have to face that which conditions us first, and when you free consciousness then, they say, “Enter our temple, and let us help you.”
In the beginning we get a lot of help, because, as we are now, we need light. And sometimes those masters will come to you and awaken your consciousness with the [snaps fingers] spark, when you are working with energy exercises, such as pranayama, mantras, runes, sacred rites of rejuvenation, which we have available in books, but also on the websites.
When you start to spark that energy in yourselves, the sexual energy, conserving it, transforming it, you start to have the fire that is going to empower your soul. And that is the beginning, to initiate. So, you can awaken sparks of Kundalini; it does not rise immediately, but you are, so to speak, fanning the flames. The coal is heated, so you have a spark, so you could have ecstasies, experiences, but to do that you need to descend, not only to the Earth, but literally into your physical life. Because Malkuth in Kabbalah, the bottom sphere of the Tree of Life, is our body.
In the internal planes or in the cavern so to speak, you have to discriminate what is happening physically, in our jobs, in our homes, in our bedroom, looking at our behaviors. Because if we act egotistically, we are wasting energy. And then, if you have no energy, you cannot see. I mean if physically you waste energy or expend energies, you feel tired. The consciousness also goes to sleep if we have no force, which is why in the beginning of religion: ethics. If you want to enter the Minor Mysteries, train your mind. Save your energy. And when you build that up, and you are changing your physical life, your behaviors, and no longer performing actions that harm yourself or others, then you have a reservoir [of energy] which you can start to see.
Instructor: So, as you can tell, that is why we will be continuing with this course because there is much to say on each of these different parts. And even more beyond this. This is just the beginning. There are initiations of fire and initiations of light. Many things are already written on the books, so this will be an ongoing course in which we have a lot more to say.
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Free online courses, lectures, podcasts, and transcriptions.