This is the final lecture of our course on Beginning Self-Transformation. Here we will synthesize everything that we have learned through expedient and effective practices, and methods for lasting change, including a meditation and an exercise known in the Gnostic tradition as the transformation of impressions or retrospection meditation.
We have been discussing the importance and the principles for deep change, internal change. As you can see from this course, inner change is the direct result of comprehending how and why we perceive life, as well as intuitive, conscious action. This provides clarity, spiritual insight, profound wisdom. By understanding our psychology, we have a greater flexibility by which to work against limitations, conditions, personal obstacles.
But we will be clear, genuine psychology is not the study of the mind, the intellect, but is the relationship between psyche, the soul, the consciousness, with the Logos, divinity, the Being. We learn to relate to our Being through self-observation, self-remembrance, insight into karma, fulfilling superior action, enacting ethics, harnessing energy, mantra, imagination, intuition, etc. The reality is that all of our exercises help us to transform the manner by which we perceive ourselves, how we perceive existence, how we relate to humanity and the Being.
In Buddhism, it is stated that mistaken views are the most subtle psychological cause of suffering. It is the origin of a lot of pain: this egotistical sense of me, myself, “I.” Mistaken views do not refer to religion, with conflicting ideologies or political beliefs: being Catholic versus Protestant, Republican versus Democratic. Mistaken views, profound ignorance, is the lack of comprehension, cognizance of the fundamental nature of reality.
In the West, we typically like to think that ignorance means lacking education. However, the reality is even educated people are profoundly ignorant. This means to lack Gnosis. The prefix “I” signifies “without,” to have “no knowledge” of divinity, of conscious wisdom. It means to lack insight into our mind stream, how we are conditioned, how our psychological elements produce suffering. But how is this the case?
Despite our education, our erudition, our knowledge, our most venerated traditions, our experiences, we continue to suffer so much, whether from anger, pride, self-esteem, fear: which is the machinery of society, the gears by which every culture operates, grinding humanity with its tremendous pressure, its exertion, its slavery.
All of our defects have their own logic that we project onto life and the world. These are all the different political, religious, theoretical, scholarly ideologies, perceptions of life, which really do not have any practical basis of changing why and how we suffer. This is evident by examining humanity today, the state of the world. If people knew right view, awakened perception, supra-conscious imagination, people would be in happiness. We would not be in pain.
Right view, awakened consciousness, originates and is the cause for overcoming all condition. It is the enlightened perception of wisdom, which grants the practical meditator the means by which to tear the veil of the mysteries, to eliminate conditions, the defects of a mind, the animal ego. By refining and purifying our perception, we learn how to act with consciousness, with serenity, with love, which amplifies our happiness and the happiness of others. However, most people ignore that we really possess a psychology that is feasible to modify, to change.
The Definition of Transformation
But when people talk about self-transformation, what does this really mean? What does this practically look like in action, in daily life? Let us examine the definition of transformation.
"Transformation: it means that one thing changes into another, different one. It is logical that all things are susceptible to change.” ―Samael Aun Weor, "The Transformation of Impressions”
External changes are easily perceptible, but few people in practice actually strive towards and achieve psychological transformations. Many spiritual movements, belief systems, self-help, and self-transformation, self-improvement philosophies teach that changes are possible. Many such ideologies and practices have a very beneficial focus, paradigms, outlooks, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, overcoming alcoholism or addiction. These schools have noble intentions, however, in reality, they tend to focus on altering the personality, not the Essence. In most cases, many people replace old habits with new habits, which can be just as conditioning, hypnotizing, superficial.
We explained previously how our personality is developed in the first seven years of life, during childhood, and is modified throughout life experiences. It is the energetic interface of our language, our customs, eating habits, tastes: the way we interact with the exterior world. The personality, from the word persona, means “mask.” We cannot exist in this world without a personality. The problem is that we think the personality is our true identity, when in truth it is merely a mask. It is an interface we wear with each separate lifetime. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated, "The personality belongs to time and dies in time. It has no lasting reality."
The ego, the self, desire, this is precisely another major focus of many self-help, esoteric, spiritual schools. It is now a common belief and accepted practice in pretty much every spiritual movement to deify the ego, to fulfill desire, the “I,” to “get what you want,” worship the “I am” at all costs, even at the cost of your neighbor.
Yet as we have emphasized throughout this course, it is the ego that is the source of suffering. This is evident through self-examination, self-observation: looking at the facts. Yet when people really talk about change, no matter how noble their longings, their objectives, their efforts, in most cases they don't alter anything. They change their personality, their habits, but never the deep underlying psychological causes of suffering: the conditions of perception.
How do we know this? An alcoholic can make tremendous changes in his or her lifestyle: to no longer drink, to not indulge in intoxicants, yet the egos, the “I’s” of drunken revelry, of partying, of disease, of stupor, will continue to exist in the subconsciousness, the unconsciousness, and the infraconsciousness, without any serious internal introspection, examination, comprehension.
This is the only way that leads to annihilation of those faults. Because while a person may overcome those addictions in this life, if they die and are given another opportunity, they will return to repeat their existence, the same dramas, tragedies, comedies, failures. The ego repeats. This is known within the transmigration of souls, the doctrine sometimes denominated “reincarnation.” We call it return, because we don't choose to be here. We come here mechanically, unwillingly. And so those egos will continue to exist. The person may have stifled the beast to a degree, but so long as those aggregates, those defects of alcoholism, of addiction, have not been eliminated in meditation, it means that those egos still have the power to tempt.
Real lasting change, profound self-transformation occurs when we perform a true alchemy. We transform our egotistical states, the lead of the personality, into the gold of the Spirit, the awakened Essence.
The Path of Meditation
This is why meditation is the basis of self-transformation.
Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Great Rebellion:
"In life, the only thing of importance is a radical total and definitive change. The rest frankly is of no importance at all. Meditation is fundamental when we sincerely yearn for such a change." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
But why is meditation essential for real transformation? Why is it that people who don't meditate don't get anywhere, despite their convictions and their sincerity? Because it is impossible to explore our subconscious, unconscious, and infra-conscious tendencies while we are identified or interacting with the world.
Self-observation is the beginning, perceiving our defects throughout our multiple interactions in life. However, self-observation is not enough. It is necessary to abandon the physical body to introspect, to withdraw, and suspend the senses, to concentrate internally upon our divine conscious nature, to focus exclusively on comprehending our errors. The senses provide too much data. The senses provide too many distractions. If you think of it, if you are in a battle and you are surrounded by enemies, you can't really defend yourself effectively, if you are distracted by too many things, by too many people. You have to be very focused, but also aware: to be vigilant and perceptive, but also having the ethic and the concentration to focus on one enemy at a time as they come at you. Obviously in this example, we can be overwhelmed, and this is exactly what the work of the ego is like for people who are really meditating on their faults. It is impossible to annihilate all of our egos at once. We have to concentrate one upon one upon one.
Trying to catch ten hares at one time will result in catching none. We have to be methodical, introspective, very precise, logical, profound. We lack depth when we are distracted. It is better to go an inch wide and a mile deep, and not be scattered among so many different agendas. So our senses have too much information. We have to block them out, focus entirely on what is inside.
We need to go into the subterranean caverns of our Earth, the profundities of the ocean. These are symbols in the internal planes of the mind and our creative, energetic sexual waters. So just as a scuba diver needs equipment―oxygen to explore the bottom of the ocean―so too do we need energy, the breath, prana, pranayama, creative energy, mantra, to empower our perception and keep us spiritually alive, which is why we spent so much time in this course talking about mantras and energy, so that we can empower our work, so that we are focused, so that we are strong.
Three Types of Fuel
This is why in meditation we work with energy, pranayama, breathing exercises, so that we have strength and depth to our work. This is because we are a human machine.
We need fuel of different types. The intellectual humanoid is a factory with three floors. Each possesses unique nourishment and functions for the maintenance and the stability of our existence. If we want depth and understanding in our meditative discipline, we have to comprehend that there are three foods for a human machine.
It is easy to see how food and air give us life. We can live a few days, perhaps almost a month without eating. Without air, most would die after a few minutes. However, there is a type of nourishment that we need each instant of our lives, without which we could not have being: that is impressions.
Our brain is a marvelous machine, a transmitter of biochemistry, energy, spiritual force, information. While our digestion and lungs can rest temporarily without food or air, our brain would cease to function, to maintain our entire being, our organism, our psychology, if it were not for impressions.
But what are impressions?
From the Latin “impressio, impress, pressed in; from the verb imprimere, to imprint. It is an effect produced upon someone; a mark impressed on a surface by something.”
In conventional language, when we say that someone impressed us, we mean that our experience, our interrelations, our perception of that person, produced a pleasant response within us, made us feel good, comfortable, admiring, etc.
As we know from life, not all experiences or our impressions of others are pleasant, but unpleasant, negative, disturbing, averse. Experiences, perceptions, impressions constantly enter into us as information, giving us the capacity to interact with the world. Just as the term impression relates to effects produced upon us, it also refers to how existence imprints or presses upon our psyche in order for us to experience, to react, to respond.
The consciousness, when it is serene, stable, is like a lake, which is constantly reflecting images upon its surface. It is always mirroring, showing, reflecting reality: the outside conditions or elements of the world, such as the trees, the sky, the mountains, etc. We can say that the images, the impressions, enter our mind in the form of data, not the actual trees, mountains, sounds, etc. This is sensory data, that like a printing press, inscribes upon the pages of our awareness. Perceptions of our surroundings enter us through us through sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and touch. These are external impressions.
However, we also have internal impressions that emerge spontaneously in response or reaction to external stimuli.
Reactions of the Human Machine
This occurs in the form of our three brains, the five centers we have discussed at length. The reality is that even without external sensory perceptions, such as laying in an isolation tank, one is left with internal impressions, which is our thoughts, our feelings, and impulses. So if you are not familiar, an isolation tank is when you are in a chamber. People pay to go into a isolated area where they float above saltwater in the dark. They lay still, they relax, so that all sensory perceptions cease. One is left only with the mind, and the mind is a tremendous form or reality that has more grounding and more effect than any external experience.
We like to think that the world is outside, but really our mind is an entire world in itself, and we have to understand how the mind relates to impressions.
So the ego is precisely a reaction. It is a response within our three brains to the impressions of life.
Some impressions in life, perhaps when we have a dialogue with a friend or at a cafe or coffee shop having a discussion, we are producing intellectual reactions.
We are having discussions and are stimulated in our intellect within our human machine, but sometimes dialogue can turn into an argument, and this becomes a dysfunction or reaction of the emotional center or brain.
Other impressions, such as being attacked or burning your hand on a hot stove, produce a very quick reaction through instinct and movement. This is the reaction of the motor brain to this experience, whether it is frightening or painful.
So why explain all this? Why talk about the human machine again and again? The synthesis of self-transformation is our direct cognizance, our transformation of our reactions to life towards the impressions that enter us all the time.
Samael Aun Weor stated in his lecture “The Transformation of Impressions”:
"Life enters us, in our organism, in the form of mere impressions. One cannot really transform one's own life if one does not transform the impressions that reach one's mind." ―Samael Aun Weor, “The Transformation of Impressions”
The mind, the ego, always reacts, never stops talking, never ceases its commentary. It always chatters within the three brains, especially the intellectual center, but also manifests in our emotions and our impulses.
The ego is always reacting to life. It is a mechanical response in relation to external and even internal stimuli.
So spiritual transformation is about learning to transform our perception of life. We cease acting mechanically, egotistically. Such as, if somebody insults us, we do not react with anger, with self-esteem, with pride. We have to comprehend why we feel so invested in those insults. It is changing our perceptions of life that is the basis of this work. It is the foundation.
Personality: The Bad Secretary
However, as we are practicing seriously in Gnosis, we face a very difficult problem in relation to this work of transforming our perceptions, our impressions of life. It is precisely found in the personality.
While we need the personality to survive in this world, to know how to communicate, to work, to survive, by itself it causes many problems when it is not controlled by the Essence. So, language is not a bad thing. Whether you speak English, French, German, Swahili, whatever it is―the language is not so important as the psychological impetus behind the mask. The mask is not to blame for problems in society amongst different cultures, amongst different groups. It is because the ego, the monster, demon “I” acts through the personality, and because the personality does not know how to understand life at all.
We like to think that the personality is what created great civilizations: the cities of Chicago and New York. We like to think of how great personalities dominate the media, the news, comedy, sitcoms, and yet, the personality, while it can be very strong and it helps us to navigate the world to a degree, it is not the totality of what we are and what we need to focus on. In fact, it is the personality divorced of any conscious knowledge that is the origin of a lot of conflict, because the ego is the one that usually acts through the interface or mask of our personality.
Desire: anger, pride, fear, laziness, etc., these manifest through our language, our customs, our habits, our behaviors, which produce results. The personality, according to Samael Aun Weor, is like a very bad secretary who is really disorganized. Somebody like in this image who mismanages files, valuable information, is in a cluttered office, and this is exactly a representation of our senses and our three brains. The impressions of life usually enter us very spontaneously, without effort. Yet if we are not in self-observation, if we're not remembering ourselves, remembering the presence of your Being, the information of the senses are taken by the personality and they are mistranslated.
How are the impressions of life, the data of our experience, mistranslated? The personality takes those impressions and, instead of sending them to the proper centers, sends them to different centers in a malfunctioning way. A clear awakened consciousness perceives the impressions of life and knows how to discriminate what is perceived: to understand the reality and importance of any phenomenon. But the personality, when it is hyperactive, when it is in control, it takes Impressions and confuses them. It muddles them.
Here is an example. A man is at his job working with a beautiful woman, whose friendliness and professionalism become misconstrued as some type of amorous advance. The man thinks the woman loves him. He misinterprets the impressions of the woman and therefore he makes a confession of love to her in interest. And this woman can be totally surprised, completely shocked, alarmed because she had no intention of approaching this man in that way, had no thought whatsoever. The man's personality took the impression of his coworker, that emotional sentiment that she exuded, the cordiality and friendship she showed, and sent it to the sexual center. So the man's personality took that information and sent it to the wrong place, and therefore he became stimulated in his desires. It provoked his lust with its too familiar romantic tinge.
Such confusion and the mistranslation of the facts is not the fault of the colleague, the woman in this case, but the man's personality, his subjective desires, the ego.
And if we are asleep, the personality constantly takes information and sends it all over the place. This is why people are so confused. They don't read people well. There are misunderstandings amongst co-workers, in politics, and religion, everywhere. It is because the personality is dominating the situation. People are disorganized as a psyche, and this has to change.
Intellectual humanoids do not transform impressions. They send data to the wrong centers of the human machine. That which would go to the emotional goes to the intellect. For example, perhaps two colleagues are speaking about an issue: a problem at their job. One approaches with emotions, which could be the right response, and yet the intellectual takes that information and butchers it. He does not understand his colleague. He cannot resonate at a level that is conducive for the benefit of the company.
People don't relate because they don't understand each other. This is the tower of Babel in the Bible, and the personality is greatly at fault because it is not controlled. The personality in reality must rest. It has to become passive. We have to calm the personality so that the Essence is activated through self-observation and self-remembrance. This method helps us to transform the impressions of life with wisdom, so that we don't perceive life in the wrong way. So that we don't realize later that we were mistaken. This is because information gets filtered to the personality, which is strengthened by the ego, the “I,” desire.
This is how the Gnostic disciple transforms impressions.
"To transform the impressions of life is to transform oneself." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
So what does that look like? Comprehension of impressions leaves no wake in the lake of the mind. It is like a stone enters the water but leaves no splash, no ripple, no disturbance. Each ego is a ripple, a disturbance, an anomaly, a reaction towards impressions that strike the mind like a stone in a lake.
The ego, the self, emerges as a result of impressions. It depends on those impressions to exist, to emerge, to appear. Impressions are its food. The food of vanity is praise. The food of lust is sexual desire, sexual impressions. This ego does not have intrinsic existence. It does not exist eternally in and of itself. It depends upon impressions in order to emerge, to sustain and feed, and then to vanish from our awareness.
Pride cannot exist without the circumstances of humiliation or applause. Guttony would have no foundation without the impressions and sensation of eating. The same as with all egos. Each ego is sustained, each self or “I” has its conditioning, its desires, its identity in the moment, in relation to something, through the specific impressions that enter our senses which strike the mind.
So what is the transformation of impressions? This work is about understanding how external impressions arrived from the periphery of our senses to the center of our psychology. We have to learn to understand this dynamic very well: how the ego reacts from the center to the periphery, how it relates to the impressions of life. It is in this manner that we really develop a thorough, complete analysis of the ego.
When we comprehend the limitations, the conditioning of our reactions, when we really understand how anger is foolish, how we should not respond with hatred to our loved ones because they hurt our pride, we no longer let our defects dominate. We do not follow the path of pain, repetition, cycling. We do not react to any circumstance. It does not mean that we do not respond, and this is very different. A response, in strict language, is when the consciousness is in action, when the personality is passive, when the ego is in control by the Essence.
Reaction is egotistical. It is mechanical. We go to a family gathering, they push our buttons, we push theirs, back and forth. Repeat. That is desire. And so we achieve a transformation of impressions when we no longer react to life in the same way, when we train ourselves to change the perceptions of the moment and to understand them.
This is really difficult, obviously, for those of us who have been studying for a long time, but it is learned through repeated practice. It is something we can learn and achieve if we practice each day, each moment, adapting to life through our understanding of our experience, understanding our internal impressions and how they react to the external impressions of life.
It is obvious that if somebody insults us, we usually react with anger, self-esteem, pride. There is a whole conglomeration of defects, a chain of associative reactions involved, which are very intricate and complex and interrelated. We have to study all of that: how that experience unfolds in our awareness, our attention. Yet if we are being insulted, when we comprehend that insults only have bearing in relation to our own psychological investment in those words, we can transform the impression, the situation.
Somebody says something hurtful and if we really comprehend the meaninglessness of that insult, whether it is true or not, it does not matter. But that it is empty, that we have a Being inside that is supra-divine, beyond our personality, our sentiments, our thoughts, our will, that is our true identity. So why be insulted if somebody criticizes us? If we invest ourselves in those comments, then obviously we feel wounded, but if we do not, such a transaction becomes canceled. There is no effect. It leaves no ripple in the mind, no disturbance. There is only serenity and even love for the aggressor. This type of response is selfless love. It is conscious understanding. It is wisdom. It is profound spiritual intelligence.
So what is another example of transforming impressions? A big one is lust. This is the big problem for everybody, without exception, in Gnosis. When a man sees a beautiful young woman, he typically identifies and lusts after her, even if only in the mind. However, to transform lust, the man needs to comprehend how this beautiful feminine form will eventually age and decay. This woman will become decrepit, old, unattractive.
Comprehending this goes a very long way, because it weakens the hold of lust on the mind, the desire that is attached to a sensation, to an idea, to an impression. We weaken the ego when we comprehend the impermanence of nature. We reduce the power that lust has on the mind when we really comprehend how desire is really stupid. It goes after things which are empty of real existence.
We have to first weaken the ego, reduce it slowly, and then annihilate it. This only occurs through very successive comprehensions.
So both men and women need to comprehend lust: how desire seeks to satiate itself on illusions. By recognizing in this example, how that woman will one day become old, perhaps ugly, according to the man, and if the man really understands that this woman will no longer be young, why be attached? This lust is fleeting. It is an illusion and it is profoundly degenerated.
Comprehension breaks the power of the ego. It allows us to see the enemy as it is.
So likewise, women need to train their eyes, and men too, to transform our impressions of the opposite sex of lustful images in the same way. We can visualize that one day this person will get old. Therefore, upon what grounds does lust stand? What does this lust want? When we really understand that this image of this person is not objective and real, that it is not eternal, then the sense of self that grasps at this impression becomes weakened. So why lust after that which is ephemeral? Which is fleeting? Which is impermanent? This is how we judge ourselves. It is how we follow upright conduct.
This produces a very high level of being, as well as helping us to raise the level being of others.
Interdependence, Selflessness, and Impermanence
So when we comprehend selfless, intuitive action in response to the different circumstances of life, it means we are following our inner judgment, our conscience: the sense of right and wrong. We develop serenity, stability, insight, wisdom, compassion. This is pure Mahayana: pure Tibetan, esoteric Buddhism. This is the law of interdependence: how our consciousness has no self, no ego, no “I.”
Interdependence teaches that no phenomena or internal and external impressions are separate. Nothing exists independently, intrinsically in, of, and for itself. Our mind and impressions coexist and affect each other in a very dynamic way.
So, because all impressions fluctuate, our mental states lack eternal existence. They depend upon different, transient, changing impressions in order to be realized, to emerge, to come into being and to fade from our attention when we change our mind. Or better said: when our mind changes us. Therefore, the self we grasp onto is empty. It lacks a foundation.
This is not to say that our experience of life does not have some validity. What happens is that we perceive life through a prism. It is a lens that distorts the reality of what we see. Each ego is a filter. It is a prism. It is a cage. It traps light. It is seeing of some degree, but of what quality is it? That is the question we have to ask. Each defect filters and traps the pure light of consciousness, the Essence. So therefore, this illusion of the self is very hypnotic. Hypnosis is the sleep of the soul. From the god Hypnos: sleep, unconsciousness, unawareness.
Each ego takes control of the human machine in order to assert its will, but it is only to be replaced by other egos: boisterous, quarrelsome, degenerated. Just because the intellect is in activity does not mean that the consciousness is, and so this is something we have talked about a lot, what awareness is, what cognizance is.
But let us be clear, emptiness of self within Buddhist and Gnostic doctrine has nothing to do with nihilism: the belief that nothing matters and that nothing is real. This is a very mistaken view that ignores karma, that there is cause and effect, that there are causes for superior ways of being and causes for negative ways of being.
So what interdependence teaches is how the illusion of a permanent self is sustained by impressions, which are transformed and perceive in their transient nature when we learn to observe our states, moment by moment. Only through observation do we realize that each psychological state is subjective. It is one of many thousands of egos that we have, that we need to eliminate. Such a reality of the doctrine of a pluralized self is only verified through self-observation, yet, it demonstrates that the self, the ego, lacks eternal existence. It is a conglomeration of factors. They lack stability and permanence. The egos are always fluctuating and changing according to the situation. Therefore, in Buddhist terms, this self is empty because it depends upon impressions for their reality, their existence.
Emptiness: Christ Consciousness and Compassion
But in reality, the Buddhist doctrine of emptiness is interdependence. It is the same doctrine of compassion through Christ.
Christ is not a person, but an energy. It is the universal wisdom of enlightened cognizance, the light of liberated, joyful emptiness, luminous and clear. In esoteric Buddhism, Christ is Avalokiteshvara, is Chenrezig, is Kuan Kin, is Amitabha, is Adi-Buddha: the pristine light of clarity, cognizant love, conscious wisdom, awakening. This light is known in Kabbalah as the אין סוף אור Ain Soph Aur, the Limitless Light in Hebrew. Christ is the light of conscious perception devoid of self, of me, of “I,” which when entering into the universe, manifests as three in order to create.
So we are going to look at these three forces in depth, how they create life within us, just as the three factors create life spiritually and bring death to desire, so that we can serve humanity.
This light is known as כֶּתֶר Kether, חָכְמָה Chokmah, and בִּינָה Binah in Kabbalah: the Crown, Wisdom, and Intelligence of divinity. The Christians call these three forces Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but again, these are not persons, but aspects of one intelligence. Buddhism refers to these as a trikaya or bodies of the Buddha: Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya.
I will relate to you an excerpt from The Tibetan Book of the Dead by Padmasambava that explains this very beautifully.
“…in this intrinsic awareness, the three buddha-bodies are inseparable, and fully present as one:
“Its emptiness and utter lack of inherent existence is the Buddha- body of Reality (Kether);
“The natural resonance and radiance of this emptiness is the Buddha- body of Perfect Resource (Chokmah);
“And its unimpeded arising in any form whatsoever is the Buddha- body of Emanation (Binah).
“These three, fully present as one, are the very essence of awareness itself.” ―Padmasambhava, The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Introduction to Awareness
So a body of the Buddha is an expression or vehicle of those principles, which are very elevated, but we can begin to experience these qualities in ourselves if we are really transforming impressions.
The purpose of Gnosis is to incarnate, develop this light, Christ within, but to do that the ego must be dead.
The ego always demands pleasant impressions and reacts towards negative impressions. However, Christ, the Christic consciousness, is perfectly serene before slander, before persecution, before blame.
Are we like that? Are we serene before the insulter? Before the executioner who beats us with their whip? Are we willing to kiss the whip of our executioner? The people in our life that give us problems, that make us suffer, that bring out the most contradictory, condemnatory elements in our psyche?
Really to develop Christ within, we have to be willing to transform the most unpleasant situations with ethical uprightness, spiritual conduct, the right thing: ethics.
“We have to learn to receive with gladness the unpleasant manifestations of our fellow man." ― Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
This state is known as Christ-centrism. In Kabbalistic language, Christ’s center is everywhere and periphery is nowhere. Christ is everywhere, is absolute. There is no self or individual there. It is universal supra-individuality. It is a type of self or awareness that is devoid of “I,” of subjectivity. It is omniscient, omnipresent, conscious, everywhere. This is pure selflessness, awakened cognizance, Christ wisdom.
That sense of being that is within all creatures and therefore does not discriminate against anyone. Does not judge anyone. Christ is the divine absolute abstraction of cosmic space―the compassionate exchange of self with other. Through Christ-centrism, by comprehending how praise is fleeting, is illusory, is ephemeral, we understand the reactions of vanity in our own mind, our three brains.
We recognize that vanity, that sense of self-importance, which we defend to the death, is empty. It does not have real existence, has no substance, has no stability. When we realize how insignificant we really are in this universe, we really cancel this sense of self-importance, this vanity that says “I am. I am important. This is who I am. Therefore, everybody should love me.” Unfortunately, this is how everybody thinks.
They have to comprehend that this sense of self is illusory. And when you really understand through a great crisis, by transforming difficult impressions when people really persecute you, will you respond with love? When you comprehend that they too are suffering and they don't know why, we understand that our sense of self is not important. It lacks substance. It lacks cohesion. And it is that recognition of such emptiness, which is the pure, pristine light of consciousness. It does not identify with oneself, but feels love for all beings, because they are also trapped in pain.
This is insight. This is clarity. This perception naturally awakens the consciousness. It naturally awakens our compassion, which is spacious. It is a liberated. It is a spontaneously joyful moment, a recognition of emptiness. This is known as prajna in Buddhism, wisdom, or Christ.
The Three Forces of Transformation
So three forces come into play when we transform impressions in the moment and in meditation. It relates to the top trinity of the Tree of Life. We have affirmation, negation, reconciliation.
Impressions always emerge, they sustain, and they pass within our experience in an unbroken chain. We are always experiencing impressions and their data moment-by-moment. Impressions always affirm themselves upon our attention, our awareness. They impress or imprint their data upon our psyche much in the same way that a film captures scenes and imagery and sounds. That film is our own consciousness, our own mind stream, and we have to study this film.
Samael Aun Weor mentions repeatedly how we have to study the film of our life, the dramas, comedies, and tragedies, to watch it like a movie, to not be identified with all the scenes of that experience.
Impressions are always affirming themselves within us. When a person insults us, speaks vulgarities or criticism, we usually react with anger, with hurt self-esteem, with pride. This is the second principle: negation. It is the response, the reaction of the ego against impressions.
Unfortunately, most people in life go between these two extremes: affirming / denying, good / bad, yes / no. We find these binaries in social conflicts, in religious debates, in politics, in racism. This is the duality, the dualism of hypnosis. It is the swinging pendulum of good and bad that keeps us very unconscious, which makes us very uncritical of ourselves.
Someone praises us, we are gratified and we are vain. When we are insulted, we feel hatred. We are mechanical. We are predictable. We are machines.
If we wish to develop Christ within, to cease being a machine, we have to negate the ego. We have to observe the mind in relation to the impressions of life that arrive within our perception. We have to comprehend the words of the insulter and our relationship to it, our connection, and question, really, sincerely: “Why do I believe these words? What value do they have? Are these criticisms perhaps objective and right? If they are, I have nothing by which to be offended, since I can learn and grow as a person. Yet if it is wrong, why should I feel hurt and slandered if I am not guilty?”
Such an analysis is not intellectual, but comprehensive, cognizant, conscious. This is how we reconcile ourselves before the world when we work with the third force: reconciliation, synthesis, understanding.
True intelligence is knowing how to transform impressions and to respond with intelligence, with consciousness. This is Binah in Kabbalah, the Holy Spirit: the manifestation of comprehension in time and space, Nirmanakaya.
Reconciliation is knowing how to respond to a situation with intelligence: to not react to whatever diverse, unpleasant manifestations our fellow men are giving us, even when we feel that we are being crucified. And really, this is the path that Jesus taught with his flesh and bones. As you see in this image, he is receiving the whips and scorns of his fellow man, but instead of responding with resentment, with hatred, with despair, he said, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do." This state of serenity is profound. It is revolutionary.
This type of consciousness scares demons, terrifies them because they can't affect him, Christ. Denying ourselves is affirming Christ.
But feeding our desires is negating Christ. People who feed their anger in moments of crisis do not reconcile anything. Instead, they live within the law of retaliation, with the law of retribution: the dualism of aggressor and victim, which perpetuates violence, pain.
Denying ourselves is affirming Christ, reconciling us before the law of karma, because a superior action always washes away an inferior one. This is Christ-centrism.
But the ego is self-centrism. It is the opposite of the Christ principle. Whenever we identify with the ego, in our confusion, its periphery is everywhere in the senses and its center is nowhere. The feeling of identification, after we have been working in self-observation, is like being lost, losing energy. We become disoriented. We don't see the center of the ego, where it came from, how it fed, how it sustained and how it stole our vital forces. We get lost.
This is like muddying the waters of our mind. When we feed anger, those limpid waters of our psyche become agitated. They become chaotic like a hurricane, a tsunami, a storm.
With comprehension, images reflect on the surface with clarity, with a type of crispness and vitality that is only distinguishable to the one who meditates.
It is impossible to gain enough stability in life, in our ordeals, if we are not meditating, because there is just too much chaos. We need a third force, the synthesis, spiritual intelligence, understanding, to have a foundation under which we can stand and have ground, so that we have real understanding or better said, serenity, insight―a real foundation that is not shaken easily by crises.
So while the lake of the mind is serene within those who transform impressions, the ego on the other hand thrashes like a wild animal in the lake of the mind.
The ego is disturbance. This is very evident if we are blinded by anger. Samael Aun Weor mentioned in Igneous Rose that the greatest obstacle to developing clairvoyance, clear seeing, imagination, self-observation, is anger. And this is why Prophet Muhammad taught “The strongest among you is he who controls his anger.” Serenity and sweetness is the key to unlocking the mysteries.
When observing and comprehending the ego, we find that its center is in the three brains, because we do not let it project outwards into our senses and onto our experience. Through identification, we become blinded and we do not see the origin or how that defect took over. But when we are working with the transformation of impressions, as the Essence, we are learning to comprehend the insults or the ordeals of the moment and not allowing the ego to express outwardly.
This does not mean repression. It means comprehension. Comprehension is very different. We do not let the mind react, but not because we subject it and stifle it and gag it and shout to it to be silent, but because we look at it serenely and do not feed it our energy. This is the basis by which we can really go deep, to have a stability and foundation in ourselves where we don't go along with the flow.
When we eliminate self esteem, pride, selfishness, anger, we naturally irradiate serenity, compassion towards others. We no longer judge others. We learn to see the soul within humanity. We see the good in others, and this is a very profound sign that we are really changing.
As Samael Aun Weor states in The Revolution of the Dialectic:
“When one things differently and positively about people, it is a sign that one is changing. We need to cease being what we are in order to become what we are not. One has to become missing to oneself. The outcome of all this is the advent of someone who is not oneself." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
There is a Sufi by the name of Mansur Al-Hallaj who is very famous for saying "I am the Truth,” (Ana 'l-Ḥaqq in Arabic), which means, basically, that he was God, because Al-Haqq is one of the sacred names of God in Islam, and that statement got him executed by the orthodoxy. Now what is interesting about this great master was that he had no ego in him, but only the Being was present who spoke through his lips.
In his poetry, he states "I have become lost to myself. I do not know who I am!” And this is a type of feeling which the consciousness can experience, which is very different from the ego, when the consciousness really begins to understand that real identity is in selflessness. But this is a very subtle point to understand and comprehend, because the ego, in its disconnection from the Being, can create a type of ephemerality, of vagueness, of fogginess, which is not what we are talking about.
States of the Being a very clear and crisp and based on facts. So this advent of someone who is not us means that we have to transcend, little by little, transform little by little. This is how we clarify our imagination and remove fantasies. We develop it through clarity, through crispness of mind, tranquility, conscious love, especially for our worst enemies, which is why Samael Aun Weor also stated, "We violate the law of the tranquil heart when we criticize others."
The Mental Stomach
In the process of transforming Impressions and awakening consciousness, we begin to form what Samael Aun Weor calls a mental stomach.
Right now we are humanoid machines. We mechanically take in impressions, but do not transform them with consciousness, with understanding, which is why Samael Aun Weor, in The Revolution of the Dialectic stated:
“In the same manner that the digestive apparatus has a stomach in order to assimilate food, in the same manner that the respiratory system has lungs to assimilate oxygen, so too must a mental stomach be created by the mechanical human being." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
The mental stomach must be created through meditation and alchemy. When we become skilled meditators, when we are transforming impressions daily, we digest nourishment from the diverse experiences and ordeals of life. This is why Samael Aun Weor stated that meditation is the daily bread of the Gnostics. It is the daily bread of the wise.
We have to learn to meditate on our different egos, to understand how they emerged, what fed them, what provoked them, what impressions they were after, why they have strength in our psyche, where they came from, what associates they have, what egos they tagged along with, how they function, why hey function. By extracting this type of knowledge, we sustain our spirituality.
Just as we need to chew on food, to break it down so that our stomach can assimilate vital nutrients, digest principles, so too do we need to contemplate the impressions of life, to create a mental stomach, meaning: we are creating a center of gravity in ourselves that is being more effective and developed and profound.
We need these nutrients in order to grow spiritually, because the mental stomach does not exist in humanoids, which is all of us.
So what happens to a person if they don't have a stomach? A person who cannot break down foods? What happens is that the person becomes constipated. In a psychological sense, intellectual humanoids who do not digest impressions become psychologically constipated. They are filled with refuse and trauma.
So traumas and conflicts can be resolved if we learn to go inside and create this apparatus, which is psychological. It is not an actual stomach, but it is based upon the question of “Who am I? Where do I come from? What are my psychological states? Who is this sense of self in a particular moment or in different moments? How do these identities and selves relate? How do they feed? What are their impressions? What is their nourishment? How can I transform these situations so that I no longer suffer in them?” It is in this way that we develop this type of inner digestion.
The best method for that is retrospection meditation. We gave a practice on chicagognosis.org in our Gnostic Meditation course that explains in detail how to practice this exercise.
In synthesis, what it involves is that we enter a state of serenity. We withdraw our senses. We relax. We close our eyes to the external world. We work with pranayama or energy so that we have vital force by which to stabilize our concentration. After we have transmuted our sexual creative energy, created a flow of forces that produce stability, serenity, we then concentrate upon our day. We also visualize a particular event in our day that we want to understand, because in our self-observation, we, perhaps, have seen four or five egos in relation to an event.
It is good to remember all the events of our day, but with the retrospection meditation, we should focus on those events or one event, especially, in which we had certainly seen egos emerge that really need to be eliminated.
We have to concentrate upon those scenes. Imagine them with clarity. Do not add to or detract from what was seen, what was heard, what was thought, what was felt, but simply look at the facts. We review and pray to our Divine Mother Kundalini to help us have understanding, because She is intelligence in Kabbalah. She is Binah, understanding. We beg Her to help us understand the egos that act in a certain situation, because we want to eliminate them.
But first we have to see them. That is the first step. We have to transform the impressions in the moment, so that we understand and see those egos in action and do not act upon them. But the next step, which is much more profound, is to go home at the end of our day: we sit down. We pray. We relax. We introspect. We visualize. We relax.
We look at those egos and ask for comprehension for each one. We can spend 10-15 minutes or however long we can or need to on each ego. And once we have arrived at comprehension, we eliminate. We pray toward our Divine Mother to eradicate these faults.
I invite you to explore this lecture. It explains the system in great detail. This method is very transformative. And so this lecture on the transformation of Impressions is a beginning step for really practicing retrospection meditation. So that by understanding the principles, we can really go deep and start to make radical changes in ourselves.
I invite you to ask questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: What is the difference between the subconsciousness and the infraconsciousness?
Instructor: It is a good question. We explain the significance of the two in a lecture called “Imagination and Fantasy” in this course. Basically the subconsciousness is that which is beneath our awareness. It is just under the surface, and most of the time the egos we perceive in our work, in the physical world, are subconscious, because they are just beneath the radar of our awareness, typically. They are inferior or beneath our regular perceptions, unless we are looking.
Our subconscious has a lot to do with our memories, our habits, things that we grew up with, early life experiences, which become deepened with repeated experiences. The subconsciousness is like a cave. It is the darkness just beneath the light of attention, and often times that type of element in our psyche can be very deep, but obviously there are deeper forms of egos that we have to work on.
The deepest is the infraconsciousness. That is the lowest hell realms of the psyche, where we have the most diabolic qualities of mind that we cannot even accept that we have, because they are so degenerated, and yet everybody has it. We experience those infraconscious states in nightmares, in hallucinations, drug-induced experiences, traumas, forms of violence that are very horrible. The infraconsciousness is so deep down in the psyche that we do not recognize or want to acknowledge that we have that. However, it influences everything.
There is also another type of psychological state, the unconsciousness, which is frustrated desire, which is even further down beneath the subconsciousness, but in terms of degrees, the subconsciousness, the unconsciousness, and the infraconsciousness are merely different stratifications of the ego. Some egos are very deep, some are in the surface, and obviously we work upon what we can see in our daily life.
Comment: Even though I concur with the meditation process for greater insight beyond our ego and learning not to respond and overreact during adversity and impulsivity, but to reflect and release for resolve, at the same token as I have learned over the course of several years, we coexist among narcissist and sociopaths. Although these encounters are yet moments of personal evolution, yet still, we need our ego not just to thrive but to survive certain encounters that are most detrimental.
Instructor: So I am not sure if that is phrased in terms of a question, but the reality is that we do not need the ego to live. In this society, which is based upon ego, obviously, if we are learning to vibrate at a different level of being, it becomes difficult for us, because we no longer resonate with all the interests or qualities of being of our neighbors. This can become a tremendous source of conflict for the student, especially in the beginning, where we are trying to raise our level of being and no longer vibrate with the culture around us, which is degenerated and degenerating.
But in reality, if we are working effectively with these methods, as we are raising our level of being, we can learn how to navigate the world with consciousness, with wisdom, because divinity knows how to relate to all beings regardless of distinction, regardless of their level of being.
Of course this is a learned skill. Obviously, we do not learn how to relate to the world easily unless we are meditating and changing internally, but it is possible. The ego does not need to exist in order to really make changes or to thrive or to survive. There was a comment made by a student to Samael Aun Weor who said, “I have a factory where I create pants, and if I eliminate the ego that creates pants and runs this factory, how will I survive?” And Samael Aun Weor stated that the wisdom enclosed within the consciousness that is trapped in those egos, “know how to make better pants than your ego ever will.”
So there is wisdom in the consciousness. The ego can only produce pain. This is the fundamental stipulation of every spiritual tradition, every meditative path.
Question: I still really struggle a lot with understanding or, what we use the term to say, comprehending some of my reactions and behaviors, and I'll just take for instance anger. I feel like there are like many levels and I think that's why it seems to always elude me. I know I have read some things where it says like if you pray to eliminate things before understanding them, that it can be detrimental too, because you haven't really taken it out by the root so speak.
But should one, should I, should any one of us take whatever situation and pray to eliminate it? Or first pray to understand it, and couldn't that possibly take years? Because if you keep having an experience where it comes up, doesn't it mean like you haven't really quite understood it yet if it comes up and again and again? I think that's the question.
Instructor: Great question. There are levels of upon levels of understanding. The beauty of comprehension is that it is dynamic. It is organic and fluid. It is not a static thing, like one day you are going to understand this, and then, therefore, we are done. Comprehension unfolds in a very magical way when we are really practicing meditation each day, because we can understand a defect in a very superficial level, but as we are eliminating those faults to a degree, we are beginning to perceive more and more light, because we are extracting consciousness daily.
In that way, we strengthen our perception so that we can go deeper. And obviously, the deeper you go, the more results you get, but of course, we have to work with where we are at. You know, usually we start with the subconscious elements that we can perceive in this daily life as we are learning to awaken ourselves. And I would say that the fundamental quality of that perception is always something very new. So the way that you know that you are doing it is if every time you sit to meditate and observe yourself, you are seeing new qualities. There is a type of sharpness there and a type of nourishment to the soul when it understands that we are beginning to reflect more and more understanding of the daily reality of our subconsciousness in our experience.
Now another point that you had brought up about asking for annihilation of an ego that you have not fully comprehended. It is not bad to ask for annihilation, you know. We have to work with where we are at. If we see a defect in action and we want to eliminate, but based on what we have seen, we can pray for more understanding and we can also pray for elimination. Now the Divine Mother won't fully eliminate that ego unless the comprehension is total, because She knows that she cannot eliminate that aggregate without our help.
We have to rely on Her to help us go deeper. But also there is no risk or harm involved by asking Her, because you have to remember that She is the divine force of intelligence. She is Binah. She is the understanding of God, so She knows how to work with us very well. You know, it is up to us to really develop the training, to really sincerely go deeper and to eliminate. But of course, do not feel like you cannot ask for annihilation, because you feel like you do not know enough. Obviously, if there is something more there that you sense, obviously, go deeper. But based off what we perceive, we can ask for elimination at our level, because you have to think of the ego like an iceberg, and this is a common trope within psychology too, about the subconscious nature of the mind, because that which is beneath the surface is obviously a huge structure that's very complex and intricate. And we of course have to go underwater in order to really understand the depths. But of course, the more depth you understand, the more you can work upon. The thing to remember is that we have to develop clarity in our perception, meaning: we are seeing the new always in our daily work. That is how we know that we're really marching in the right direction, if that makes sense.
Audience: Yeah. I am going to put it into practice and and understand it better. Thank you very much.
Instructor: You are welcome.
Question: Can this practice have an impact on our dreams or is it common to receive comprehension in dreams after retrospection?
Instructor: They go hand-in-hand. Samael Aun Weor mentions that meditation unfolds the chakras of the astral body. So they can have a very profound effect, not only in our waking states, but also our internal states. So the more you awaken in dreams, the more understanding you have. And the more you meditate in retrospection, the more you begin to understand your dreams. They are really two sides of the same coin, two aspects of the same thing. I found that over the years, my understanding of my internal experiences has become much richer as a result of meditating, and that my meditations and recognizing comprehension is much more robust as a result of recognizing those same states within the astral plane. So they really go hand-in-hand.
Question: Why does meditation feel like hard work at times? Can you please expand on the annihilation of the ego of lust?
Instructor: Meditation is hard or feels hard because we have a lot of resistance in the mind. There is a force that the ego exerts upon our psyche as we are trying to introspect. So going back to the three forces: affirmation, negation, and reconciliation. We find these three principles related to that struggle. We affirm the work, we want to meditate, to initiate this path, and are working with the first principle.
However, the ego tries to deflect any type of introspection. It is very well known within psychology and counseling when a patient tries to ignore or to externalize blame for situations. Perhaps a person suffered a great trauma and committed the wrong action and is traumatized by it. And therefore the mind is so defensive that it has these barriers up and resists analysis, because the pain of confronting that is too great.
And so the ego is like that. The ego knows that we are going to annihilate it in this work, and therefore our own defects do not ignore the reality of the Gnostic path, that it will result in the death of the ego, and so it fights. The ego resists analysis. It pushes against our understanding. This is known as counter-transference within Gnostic psychology, Gnostic psychoanalysis. Because when we are analyzing our mind in meditation, the ego resists. It doesn't want to be seen, because it knows that if it is caught, it will be dead.
Lust is especially the worst, or one of the worst egos, really. It is the origin of all the other defects: the misuse of sexual energy. And therefore, lust tries to disguise itself in many ways, whether as romance, as love… very sentimental ways. But we have to be very serious and understand how lust produces a lot of suffering, and has many subtleties, because lust will often even take on the robe of mysticism. This is why you find in certain religious groups, why gurus and teachers sleep with their students, and commit all sorts of degeneration and adultery. It is very sad, because lust has confused people.
So our lust is like that. It likes to love God, even believe in Christ, but it is Judas. Judas is an ego that loves divinity, loves religion, loves spirituality, but loves fornication more.
And so we have to recognize the subtleties of desire in ourselves. But of course, lust really presents an obstacle because it projects, basically, its desires upon our life. So the way to understand and overcome that counter-transference, that resistance of the ego of lust of the mind, is the third force, reconciliation. We do that when we comprehend and really look at the different structures the mind presents in its defense.
The way that you overcome the resistance of the mind is through a superior energy, which is why we have to work with transmutation, with chastity, because without chastity, we cannot have power to work on lust. It is impossible. I have spoken with a lot of different peoples or students in different groups, and many people who struggle with lust, who can't get over the physical foundation of chastity. It is difficult. But the reality is if you want comprehension, if we want understanding, we have to really master the science of energy.
So learn to transmute the energy, work with runes, sacred rites of rejuvenation, pranayama, alchemy, so that that third force, the Holy Spirit, reconciliation, can give us the power to penetrate the mind. And that way, by simply looking at desires, or what structures they present in our psyche, we could begin to understand the how and why of the mind. We no longer become hypnotized by it.
It is difficult, but work with energy, and work with psychoanalysis in yourself. Really practice some of the principles from the lecture we recommended, where you look at the mind and do not judge. Do not label. Do not evaluate. Just look at it. Introspect. See it for what it is, and suddenly understanding will emerge, as you are not identifying with those desires, with the resistance, in struggles of the intellect.
Question: I am unable to successfully transform impressions. Our attempts to respond with sweetness sometimes seems disingenuous to other people and ourselves. What is most necessary to remember in our actions with other people? Because it is tough to remember our divinity, have awareness of ourselves and other people at all the same time.
Instructor: The important thing to remember is that if we have remorse in our heart, if we are patient, if we are really determined to be successful in this path, we will be successful. What it takes is a type of super-effort. The thing to remember is that in those moments in which we are perhaps failing in transforming impressions, is to remember God, to pray.
This prayer does not have to be any type of formula, but it is simply the connection of our sincerity, and simply admitting to out Being, “My God, help me! I cannot transform this situation. It is killing me!” And personally, if I am teaching you this is because this is a reality for me. There were certain situations in my life that really, and even physically, could have killed me, and I prayed to my Being, “Help me to overcome this, to transform these impressions, this situation, to remember You!” Because I was facing ordeals at certain moments in my life where really, I could have been killed. I faced some pretty extreme karma, so to speak, but in those moments, I relied only on my Being and prayed, “Help me to have the humility to face myself.”
Humility and sincerity are the key to repentance. We have to remember, in most interactions with other people, that we have to be humble. Most of the time we like to assert ourselves upon others, to be proud. Now, we have to learn to receive the unpleasant situations of humanity, but to remember to be sincere―to really reflect, “What am I doing in myself that needs to change?” and to really have the humility to receive that wisdom and insight from our Being, and even from other people who can tell us exactly what the situation is. But we may not be looking at it because we are stubborn or proud.
Yes, it is very difficult to remember divinity, but divinity is always with us. We learn to recognize that state more and more if we are persistent. There is a reason why in the Sufi tradition they refer to this path as a holy war: to strive against the ego. It is not easy. It is a battle. But we have to remember what it is we want most. Do we want to be happy people because we are no longer afflicted with desire? Because we recognize how conscious states are superior? Or do we wish to cave in? So, the choice is ours.
Question: How not to be overwhelmed with the amount of work it takes to eliminate our egos?
Instructor: Personally, when I look at my own mind and I see how much I have to work on, I reflect on my Being. I pray to my God to help me remember His blessings and Her blessings in my life. Because the reality is that we cannot be one-sided.
Yes, we have ego. We have defects. We have faults. But that does not mean that this is all to us. We have to remember that yes, while we have faults, we also have virtues. We have to meditate on virtue, and this is something that many people ignore. A lot of people approach the transformation of impressions, thinking that we have to just focus on the ego. Obviously, that is an important step, but we also have to remember to meditate on our Being, the qualities of God, the mercy of God―to reflect on those qualities in our life and how we have really manifested, or seen or expressed, and tasted that state of compassion and selflessness and real conscious love.
When you really recognize how beautiful that psychological state is, you will fight to the death for it. You will not go down easily. You will not give up, because really the virtues of your Being are so vast and so worth the effort that it does not matter how painful it is, how difficult the cross is, but you carry it because you love humanity and you love your Being more than all things. So remember your Being.
Now if you have had experiences, in the astral plane, of your Being, that is even better, because you can meditate on those qualities in yourself and remember that positive strength and charge, that quality that you felt when you were before God. Of course, there is levels and degrees of this, but it is going to be personal for each one of us.
Question: You mentioned political involvement in the beginning of your lecture, which would encompass the ego. Are you suggesting that we refrain from involvement in politics?
Instructor: I would say not necessarily. There is one great master of Buddhism in the Gnostic tradition who is in politics, and it is the Dalai Lama. He is working with the ray of politics to help humanity. And obviously he is performing a great mission. So while I am saying to avoid egotistical, political, petty debates, it doesn't mean that we can't help in politics. Obviously, if that is something in our vocation and within our spiritual ray, our particular qualities of Being, that is something we need to pursue. We have to follow God above all things.
Question: Does having a bad secretary mean I cannot trust myself, thoughts, feelings, or instincts?
Instructor: We need a type of self-criticism, which is very deep, but also we need to have trust in positive states. We have to learn not to approach this type of self-criticism, or scalpel of putting our ego on the dissection table, with a type of one-sided morbidity, like we are working in a morgue. We are dealing with a lot of dead things, filled with refuse, and being very poisoned by the environment. This is how many people end up leaving Gnosis, because they do not meditate on the virtues of God.
So yes, you have to not trust your thoughts, your feelings, your instincts, the ego, but there are superior thoughts and superior emotions, which we can experience through the superior intellectual and superior emotional centers. We learn to develop more trust and confidence in our states when we follow inner judgment. We follow our conscience, and that is something that only you can learn in yourself. Nobody else can teach you how to do that. But when you learn that quality in yourself and you develop it more and more, it becomes the ark upon which you sail, no matter how stormy the ocean, your daily life. And that is a state that you have to recognize.
Now it comes to my memory the story of Doubting Thomas in the Bible, how, when everyone was ranting about how Jesus was risen from the dead, Thomas said, “I will not believe it unless I see him for myself.” And so a lot of people like to accuse this apostle with a type of skepticism, but the reality is that he is a type of conscious discrimination: how the Essence knows how to analyze and to test things without doubt, without skepticism, without pessimism. It is a type of analysis that only accepts what is verified through experience and is a type of confidence. It is stability of concentration and will that is very deep.
So learn to develop that by meditating on positive states. The thing to remember when you are transforming impressions and meditating on the transformation of impressions, we also have to remember what virtuous qualities we have enacted in the day as well, in our retrospections, because, yes, while the secretary of the personality is terrible, makes mistakes, it does not mean that we are making mistakes all day. We have to look at the positive actions we have enacted and to be honest and sincere, not trying to go one way or the other.
So we thank you for attending this course, and I look forward to providing and sharing with you more of this knowledge, which has helped myself in many ways and which I am greatly indebted to our teacher, Samael Aun Weor. I thank you all for coming.
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