Sexual union is holy and pure (chaste), when performed in the right way (through retention and sublimation of the libido), at the right time (in accordance with the creative magnetic pause), and with the right intention (bodhichitta). Let no one think that there is anything shameful (lascivious) or ugly (selfish and egotistical) in such (alchemical) union. The right kind of union is called knowing (דעת Da'ath, sexual transmutation or divine knowledge from experience). Unless it were very holy, it would not be called knowing (since through commanding sexual energy with expedient knowledge, comprehension, intelligence, purity, and compassion, we validate how love is the highest religion).
This matter is not as Rabbi Moses Maimonides, of blessed memory, imagined and thought in his Guide to the Perplexed, where he praises Aristotle for stating that the sense of touch is shameful (lustful). This matter is not as that Greek said; what he said smacks of subtle heresy (because there is more to sexual union than mere gratification of animal pleasure). If that Greek scoundrel believed that the world was created with divine intention, he would not have said what he said. But we, who possess the holy Torah (the law of the great arcanum: sexual magic), believe that God created everything as divine wisdom decreed (for in בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit, "In wisdom Elohim created" the superior states of consciousness and the solar bodies through a perfect matrimony). God created nothing shameful or ugly (since it is the ego, animal desire, that corrupts sexuality). If (chaste) sexual union is shameful, then the genitals (which can give birth to the superhuman through transmutation) are too. Yet God created them! How could God create something blemished, disgraceful, or deficient (since the רוח אלהים Ruach Elohim, the spirit of God, hovers upon the face of the Genesiatic waters of sexuality during alchemy)? After all, the Torah states: "God saw everything that he had made, and behold: very good!"
The evidence is clear (to alchemists who do not fornicate). In the account of Creation we read: "The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame" (since primordial humanity did not create the ego). Before they ate from the Tree of Knowledge (perverting the sacramental sexual act into prostituted desire), they were contemplating (in the superior worlds of consciousness) the pure forms (the masters of the White Lodge who completed the work and with whom ancient humanity could communicate with easily), and their intention (concentration and purpose for sexual union) was entirely holy (chaste). To them, the genitals were like eyes (עיניים Aynim, since the power of the testes is how we testify to divine truths from experience or דעת Da'ath) and hands (the force of action, since all of our psychological processes originate from the creative energy) or other parts of the (microcosmic) body (of Adam Kadmon, the solar human).
When sexual union is for the sake of heaven (spiritual development, and not the satisfaction of lust), there is nothing as holy or pure. The union of man and woman, when it is right (according to divine law), is the secret of civilization (the esoteric doctrine of all the great mystery schools throughout antiquity). Thereby, one becomes a partner with God in the act of Creation (for as stated in John 3:6: "that which is born of the flesh" through orgasm "is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit" through transmutation "is spirit"). This is the secret meaning of the sages: "When a man unites with his wife in holiness, the divine presence is between them."
Human thought (conscious willpower, תפארת Tiphereth: Jacob) has the power to expand (conscious virtues) and ascend (within the base of the spinal medulla) to its origin (the atom of the Holy Spirit, "Who," מי Mem-Iod, the מ waters of the Father, י Iod, residing within the brain, for as stated in Psalms 113:5: "מי Who is like unto אֱלֹהִים Elohim our God, who dwelleth on high?" within the cerebral-spinal fluids). Attaining the source (the Innermost, whose throne is the cranium and its nervous systems), she (Shekinah-Kundalini from the sacral Chakra Muladhara) is joined (via the spine, Tree of Life, or Jacob's ladder) with the upper light (of בינה Binah, the solar intelligence of our superior intellectual center) from which she emanated. She (Shekinah-Shakti, the force of מה Mah or מ waters of sexuality, the womb, ה Hei, of spiritual creation in יסוד Yesod) and he (אברהם Abraham, the Holy Spirit or Shiva) become one (through initiation, for as declared in Lamentations 2:13: "מה What thing shall I take to witness for thee?"). Then, when thought (conscious will, תפארת Tiphereth: Jacob, the power of the heart) emanates once again, all becomes a single ray (of perfected Kundalini): the upper light (or heavenly Akashic water, the cerebral spinal fluid) is drawn down by the power of thought (concentration and conscious perception, to coagulate and mingle within the sexual crucible of creative energy). In this way the divine presence appears on earth (מלכות Malkuth: the physical body). A bright light (superior level of being) shines and spreads around the place where the meditator is sitting (since the sacred fire helps to deepen one's internal states of serenity and focus). Similarly, when a man and woman unite (to practice white tantra: alchemy), and their thought (concentration and conscious perception) joins the beyond (the remembrance of divinity), that thought draws down the upper light (of the Logos within their spinal columns to guide their practices).
You should welcome her (your spouse) with words that draw her heart, calm her mind, and bring her joy (through "Happiness, Music, Dance, and the Kiss"). Then her mind will be linked with yours, and your (pure) intention (bodhichitta) with hers. Speak with her in (chaste and innocent) words that arouse desire (sexual yearning), (conscious) love, and passionate (fiery) union―and in words that draw her to the awe (remembrance) of God (within the blissful and divine ritual of tantra).
―Anonymous (thirteenth century) Iggeret ha-Qodesh, from The Essential Kabbalah by Daniel C. Matt
Seeking Alchemical Knowledge?
Flee, my friend, into your solitude (meditation)! I see you dazed by the noise of the great men (who pretend to be initiates) and stung all over by the stings of the little men (the common rabble, the fornicators). Woods and crags know how to keep a dignified silence with you. Be like the tree (of life of the Kabbalah) that you love with its wide branches: silently listening (in comprehension, knowledge, and understanding), it hangs over the sea (the creative waters of transmutation).
Where solitude (meditation) ceases the market place begins (the pseudo-spiritual and esoteric groups); and where the market place (esoteric schools) begins the noise of the great actors and the buzzing of the poisonous flies begins too. In the world even the best things amount to nothing without someone to make a show of them (not even the great teachings of the prophets, the messengers of the Superman, can remain alone; they are prostituted by the rabble): great men (initiates, masters) the people call these showmen.
Little do the people comprehend the great—that is, the creating (through sexual alchemy). But they have a mind for all showmen and actors of great things.
Around the inventors of new values the world revolves: invisibly it revolves (since the prophets, the heralds of the Superman, guide humanity). But around the actors revolve the people and fame: that is the way of the world.
The actor has spirit (גדולה Gedulah, the Innermost) but little conscience (awareness, conscious knowledge, or initiatic development) of the spirit. Always he has faith in that with which he inspires the most faith—faith in himself. Tomorrow he has a new faith, and the day after tomorrow a newer one (since these students are mere butterflies who wander from esoteric group to esoteric group, adopting and abandoning multiple teachings). He has quick senses, like the people, and capricious moods. To overthrow (in an argument)—that means to him: to prove. To drive to frenzy (through impassioned speech)—that means to him: to persuade. And blood (energy, attention, adulation) is to him the best of all reasons. A truth that slips into delicate ears alone he calls a lie and nothing (because these so-called "initiates" really are not that; they have no development). Verily, he believes only in gods (egos, idols in his mind) who make a big noise in the world!
Full of solemn jesters is the market place (these pseudo-esoteric and esoteric institutions throughout the world)—and the people (Gnostics) pride themselves on their great men, their masters of the hour. But the hour presses them; so they press you. And from you too they want a Yes or No (they secretly want you to agree with them or to provide an answer to their obtrusive questions). Alas, do you want to place your chair between pro and con (the battle of the antitheses, the subjective rationalizations of the animal ego)?
Do not be jealous of these unconditional, pressing men, you lover of truth (you genuine Gnostic initiate, who has suffered too much)! Never yet has truth hung on the arm of the unconditional (those who do not place into action the causes and conditions that would make these people genuine initiates). On account of these sudden men, go back to your security: it is only in the market place (public, esoteric schools) that one is assaulted with Yes? or No? Slow is the experience of all deep wells (for the hermits of the ninth arcanum, as described by Nietzsche in "On the Adder's Bite," do not genuinely understand the true initiates; the so-called practitioners of gnosis or esotericism are easily insulted by genuine generosity and the progress of others): long must they wait before they know what fell into their depth.
Far from the market place and from fame happens all that is great (away from the politics of esoteric institutions, the Gnostic Movement): far from the market place and from fame the inventors of new values have always dwelt.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude (upon the mountain of initiation): I see you stung all over by poisonous flies (the gossip and slander of these so-called missionaries and Gnostic students). Flee where the air is raw and strong.
Flee into your solitude! You have lived too close to the small and the miserable. Flee their invisible revenge! (For as Samael Aun Weor stated, "Unfortunately, and even if we were very courteous and even sincere at times, there is no doubt that invisibly and internally we treat each other very badly. People who are apparently very generous drag their fellow men daily into the secret caves of themselves to do with them whatever they please (abuse, mockery, contempt, etc.) ―Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology). Against you they are nothing but revenge.
No longer raise up your arm against them. Numberless are they, and it is not your lot to shoo flies. Numberless are these small and miserable creatures; and many a proud building (initiate) has perished of raindrops and weeds (gossip, criticism, and slander). You are no (philosopher's) stone (perfected completely through the Mountains of Initiation, Resurrection, and Ascension), but you have already become hollow from many drops. You will yet burst from many drops. I see you wearied by poisonous flies, bloody in a hundred places; and your pride (solar dignity) refuses even to be angry. Blood (energy and attention) is what they want from you in all innocence. Their bloodless souls crave blood, and so they sting in all innocence. But you, you deep one (you genuine hermit of Arcanum Nine), suffer too deeply even from small wounds; and even before you have healed, the same poisonous worm crawls over your hand. You are too proud (dignified) to kill these greedy creatures. But beware lest it become your downfall that you suffer all their poisonous injustice.
They hum around you with their praise too: obtrusiveness is their praise. They want the proximity of your skin and your blood. They flatter you as a god or devil; they whine before you as before a god or devil. What does it matter? They are flatterers and whiners and nothing more (they have no development and they will sooner or later enter devolution and the Second Death).
Often they affect charm. But that has always been the cleverness of cowards. Indeed, cowards are clever! They think a lot about you with their petty souls—you always seem problematic to them. Everything that one thinks about a lot becomes problematic.
They punish you for all your (solar) virtues. They forgive you entirely—your mistakes.
Because you are gentle and just in disposition you say, "They are guiltless in their small existence." ("They do not know any better and perhaps in time, through Gnosis, they will learn"). But their petty souls think, "Guilt is every great existence."
Even when you are gentle to them they still feel despised by you: and they return your benefaction with hidden malefactions. Your silent pride (humility and dignity) always runs counter to their taste; they are jubilant if for once you are modest enough to be vain (to entertain them and be a fool, to act upon the whims and enthusiasm of their animal ego, such as through functions and gatherings for these so-called esoteric groups). That which we recognize in a person we also inflame in him: therefore, beware of the small creatures. Before you they feel small (they recognize they are not initiates), and their baseness glimmers and glows in invisible revenge. Have you not noticed how often they became mute when you stepped among them, and how their strength went from them like smoke from a dying fire?
Indeed, my friend, you are the bad conscience of your neighbors: for they are unworthy of you. They hate you, therefore, and would like to suck your blood. Your neighbors will always be poisonous flies; that which is great in you, just that must make them more poisonous and more like flies.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude (upon the Mountain of Initiation, the Superior Worlds) and where the air is raw and strong! It is not your lot to shoo flies.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
From Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann
Behold, this is the hole (infraconsciousness) of the tarantula (pseudo-esoteric spiritual person or so-called "gnostic missionary"). Do you want to see the tarantula itself? Here hangs its web (deceits and lies); touch it, that it tremble!
There it comes willingly (to persecute you with its fanaticism): welcome, tarantula! Your triangle and symbol sits black on your back (representative of the three traitors: the demon of desire, the demon of the mind, and the demon of evil will); and I also know what sits in your soul. Revenge sits in your soul: wherever you bite (criticize and gossip), black scabs grow; your poison makes the soul whirl with revenge.
Thus I speak to you in a parable—you who make souls whirl, you preachers of equality (because the so-called "gnostic" missionaries, who pretend to be initiates, are filled with supreme spiritual envy towards their superiors, those initiates who know how to have internal experiences from daily meditation, even when such initiates are only students in these spiritual groups). To me you are tarantulas, and secretly vengeful (because you are jealous of those who actually succeed in the Great Work; you have no direct knowledge of the truth, so you hate those who do). But I shall bring your secrets to light; therefore I laugh in your faces with my laughter of the heights (because I have internal development and a higher Level of Being born from the rigors of the initiatic path). Therefore I tear at your webs (your false beliefs that you weave around yourself and which you use to inhibit, repress, and trap your students), that your rage may lure you out of your lie-holes and your revenge may leap out from behind your word justice (since the hypocritical gnostic pharisees use the words of Christ in order to condemn Christ; see Samael Aun Weor's Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled). For that man be delivered from revenge, that is for me the bridge to the highest hope (Kether), and a rainbow (of קֶשֶׁת Qesheth, the path which leads from Malkuth to Kether on the Tree of Life) after long storms (ordeals and karmic suffering).
The tarantulas, of course, would have it otherwise. "What justice means to us is precisely that the world be filled with the storms of our revenge"—thus they speak to each other (they want revenge because they are in despair; they lack conscious knowledge and direct experience of the internal worlds). "We shall wreak vengeance and abuse on all whose equals we are not"—thus do the tarantula-hearts vow. "And 'will to equality' shall henceforth be the name for virtue (which makes such people very small in comparison to the giants of initiation); and against all that has power we want to raise our clamor!"
You preachers of equality, the tyrannomania of impotence clamors thus out of you for equality (you are impotent because you suffer from nocturnal pollutions or are unable to command the sexual energy): your most secret ambitions to be tyrants thus shroud themselves in words of virtue (you pretend to be a great initiate when you cannot even meditate). Aggrieved conceit, repressed envy—perhaps the conceit and envy of your fathers (from the times of Jesus)—erupt from you as a flame and as the frenzy of revenge.
What was silent in the father speaks in the son; and often I found the son the unveiled secret of the father (because we live on in our descendants through return and recurrence; the hypocritical "gnostic" missionaries are simply the return and recurrence of the pharisees from the Piscean Era when Christ taught).
They are like enthusiasts, yet it is not the heart that fires them—but revenge. And when they become elegant and cold , it is not the spirit but envy that makes them elegant and cold (they criticize the solar initiates and belittle them with many inhibitions and so-called rules; they believe they are the only legitimate gnostic movement or school in the world and that the rest are of the black lodge). Their jealousy leads them even on the paths of thinkers (the great prophets and meditators); and this is the sign of their jealousy: they always go too far (they take what was taught by Samael Aun Weor and distort it), till their weariness must in the end lie down to sleep in the snow (of chastity, since such hypocritical gnostics may practice transmutation, and for a few moments their hypocrisy may go to sleep, only to reawaken later). Out of every one of their complaints (that they cannot be chaste, abstain from drugs, meditate, or transmute) sounds revenge; in their praise there is always a sting (because they recognize their worthlessness before the humble presence of the solar initiates), and to be a judge seems bliss to them (because in the gnostic congresses, such pharisees demand to be president, in command, at the head, so as to enjoy the spiritual envy of their subordinates).
But thus I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangman and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice! Verily, their souls lack more than honey (transmuted sexual seed and direct knowledge, the sweetness of the soul). And when they call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only they had—power.
My friends, I do not want to be mixed up and confused with others. Some preach my doctrine of life (חַיִים Chaim, transmutation and alchemy) and are at the same time preachers of equality and tarantulas (people who are in the gnostic movement and working as missionaries, yet who have no development and who seek to belittle others out of their spiritual envy). Although they are sitting in their holes (in Klipoth), these poisonous spiders, with their backs turned on life (Chokmah, the Christ), they speak in favor of life (Chokmah, the Second Logos, who is compassion and selfless love for humanity), but only because they wish to hurt. They wish to hurt those who now have power (through initiation, since they lack initiation themselves), for among these the preaching of death is still most at home (referring to those so-called spiritual leaders or instructors who have no genuine hope and illumination within themselves; they say they are in the gnostic movement, but do not practice at all; they believe in futility and the inevitability of the second death, like the soothsayer in the fourth part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra). If it were otherwise, the tarantulas would teach otherwise; they themselves were once the foremost slanderers of the world and burners of heretics (and have returned within the gnostic movement due to return, recurrence, and karma).
I do not wish to be mixed up and confused with these preachers of equality. For, to me justice speaks thus: "Men are not equal." Nor shall they become equal! What would my love of the Superman be if I spoke otherwise? (since Christ, the Superman, is far above and beyond the degeneration of demons in Klipoth, the intellectual animals, and even the gods of the spiral path)
On a thousand bridges and paths they shall throng to the future, and ever more war and inequality shall divide them (because the gnostic movement has split into multiple factions and organizations that all fight for political supremacy; such division has occurred in every religion): thus does my great love make me speak. In their hostilities they shall become inventors of images (eikonon, relating to Eikasia, the state of unconscious sleep without dreams) and ghosts (Pistis, sleep with dreams, which resemble lunar phantoms of the mind), and with their images (Eikasia) and ghosts (Pistis) they shall yet fight the highest fight against one another (they will encounter those who truly understand and follow the gnostic teaching in order to recognize their emptiness and worthlessness). Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all the names of values—arms shall they be and clattering signs that life (חַיִים Chaim, the power of the Holy Spirit within our sexual glands) must overcome itself again and again (through incessant alchemical transmutations).
Life wants to build itself up into the heights with pillars (of Mercy, Justice, and Equilibrium) and steps (on the ladder of Being); it wants to look into vast distances and out toward stirring beauties (since to see mountains in the internal planes signifies that one is walking the path of initiation): therefore it requires height (elevated states of consciousness). And because it requires height, it requires steps and contradiction among the steps and the climbers (because until the ego is dead, one is contradictory). Life wants to climb and to overcome itself climbing.
And behold, my friends: here where the tarantula has its hole, the ruins of an ancient temple rise (since the pharisees base their hypocrisy in the most venerated traditions); behold it with enlightened (clairvoyant) eyes! Verily, the man who once piled his thoughts to the sky in these stones—he, like the wisest, knew the secret of all life (the ancient cultures knew the esoteric science of enlightenment in depth: alchemical transmutation). That struggle and inequality are present even in beauty (Tiphereth), and also war for power (Yesod) and more power (in Da'ath): that is what he teaches us here in the plainest parable. How divinely vault and arches (remind us of the great arcanum, the Ark of the Covenant) break through each other in a wrestling match (like Jacob against the angel Samael, whose doctrine unveils the secret of the great arcanum: sexual magic); how they strive against each other with light and shade (since the white lodge and black lodge fight an eternal war to the death), the godlike strivers (in meditation)—with such assurance and beauty let us be enemies too, my friends! Let us strive against one another like gods (because we must inspire one another to overcome our own egos by confronting each other and having dialogue, which the hypocritical gnostic pharisees are unwilling to do).
Alas, then the tarantula, my old enemy, bit me. With godlike assurance and beauty it bit my finger. "Punishment there must be and justice," it thinks; "and here he shall not sing songs in honor of enmity in vain."
Indeed, it has avenged itself. And alas, now it will make my soul, too, whirl with revenge. But to keep me from whirling, my friends, tie me tight to this column (like Odysseus tied to the mast of his ship in order not to go mad with lust from the sirens of the sea, who desired his shipwreck within the Abyss, Klipoth). Rather would I be a stylite even, than a whirl of revenge.
Verily, Zarathustra is no cyclone or whirlwind; and if he is a dancer, he will never dance the tarantella.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
From Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann
(Note: The writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, particularly his Thus Spoke Zarathustra, is esoteric and requires a strong knowledge of Kabbalah, Alchemy, Initiation, the Tarot, Dream Yoga, and Esotericism. Here is an excerpt of an important chapter in the aforementioned text, which will demonstrate that his writings convey a depth of knowledge that goes beyond the limits and interpretations of academia).
Is it your wish, my brother (fellow initiate), to go into solitude (meditation)? Is it your wish to seek the way to yourself (Ain Soph)? Then linger a moment, and listen to me.
"He who seeks (initiation), easily gets lost (in the abyss and second death). All loneliness (contemplation and self-remembering) is guilt"—thus speaks the herd (fornicators). And you have long belonged to the herd. The (egotistical) voice of the herd will still be audible in you. And when you will say, "I no longer have a common conscience with you," it will be a lament and an agony. Behold, this agony itself was born of the common conscience (the collective lunar mind of intellectual animals), and the last glimmer of that conscience still glows on your affliction (for you are entering into initiation through conscious works and voluntary sufferings).
But do you want to go the way of your affliction (the path of sacrifice and self-denial of the ego), which is the way to yourself (Ain Soph Paranishpanna)? Then show me your right and your strength to do so. Are you a new strength and a new right (the aspiration, longing, and power of Bodhichitta, which claims for itself the end goal, Self-realization: Ain Soph Paranishpanna)? A first movement (Kether)? A self-propelled wheel (of the Bhavachakra: the wheel of becoming)? Can you compel the very stars (divinity) to revolve around you (through your initiatic works)?
Alas, there is so much lusting for the heights (the three mountains of initiation, resurrection, and ascension)! There are so many convulsions of the ambitious (mythomaniacs and false gurus who proclaim to be initiates, and yet are not). Show me that you are not one of the lustful and ambitious.
Alas, there are so many great thoughts which do no more than a bellows: they puff up and make emptier (for theories and beliefs amount to nothing: only conscious works and actions produce results and the entrance into initiation, since as Goethe stated: every theory is gray and only the leaves from the Tree of Life are green).
You call yourself (spiritually) free? Your dominant (Dianoetic) thought I want to hear, and not that you have escaped from a yolk (from one pseudo-spiritual / pseudo-esoteric group to another). Are you one of those who had the right to escape from a yoke (by finding and entering into initiation)? There are some who threw away their last value when they threw away their servitude (to a particular religion or tradition).
Free from what (a religion, school, or esoteric system of thought)? As if that mattered to Zarathustra! But your eyes should tell me brightly: free for what (the Ain Soph Paranishpanna)?
Can you give yourself your own evil (the black Pillar of Justice) and your own good (the white Pillar of Mercy upon the Tree of Life, the Kabbalah) and hang your own will over yourself as a law (as an Apostolate of Arcanum 12 of the Initiatic Tarot)? Can you be your own judge and avenger of your law (Ain Soph, Glorian)? Terrible it is to be alone with the judge and avenger of one's own law (Glorian). Thus is a star (Ain Soph) thrown out into the void and into the icy breath of solitude (meditation and contemplation within the hell realms). Today you are still suffering from the many, being one (an initiate who has integrated his or her psyche through psychoanalytic meditation): today your courage and your hopes are still whole. But the time will come when solitude (meditation) will make you weary, when your pride (solar dignity) will double up, and your courage gnash its teeth. And you will cry, "I am alone!" The time will come when that which seems high to you will no longer be in sight (since you will undergo a spiritual night, whereby internal, mystical experiences remain obscured to you), and that which seems low (the fornicating ego) will be all-too-near; even what seems sublime to you will frighten you like a ghost (just as Hamlet's dead father, representative of the Innermost Spirit, haunted his son in Shakespeare's play, begging the Prince to avenge his murder from Claudius, the animal ego, since Chiram Abiff must resurrect from the dead after his death at the hands of the three traitors). And you will cry, "All is false!"
There are feelings which want to kill the lonely; and if they do not succeed, well, then they themselves must die. But are you capable of this—to be a murderer (of your own egos)?
My brother (initiate), do you know the word "contempt" yet? And the agony of your justice—being just to those who despise you? You force many to relearn about you; they charge it bitterly against you (since people you knew before you were an initiate want you to remain stagnant, the same, degenerate person). You came close to them and yet passed by; that they will never forgive. You pass over and beyond them (through climbing the mountain of initiation): but the higher you ascend, the smaller you appear to the eye of envy. But most of all they hate those who fly (to the heights of the Empyrean, Kether).
"How would you be just to me?" you must say. "I choose injustice as my proper lot." Injustice and filth they throw after the lonely one (the initiate): but, my brother, if you would be a star (Ain Soph Paranishpanna, an Ain Soph or supra-atomic star with Self-cognizance), you must not shine less for them because of that.
And beware of the good and the just (those who pretend to be initiates and yet are not)! They like to crucify those who invent their own virtue for themselves (the self-generated or Twice Born)—they hate the lonely one. Beware also of holy simplicity! Everything that is not simple it considers unholy; it also likes to play with fire—the stake (criticism, since in numerous esoteric circles, the students and instructors envy the masters and crucify them). And beware also of the attacks of your love (your longing and desire to be understood)! The lonely one offers his hand too quickly to whomever he encounters. To some people you may not give your hand, only a paw: and I desire that your paw should also have claws.
But the worst enemy you can encounter will also be you, yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caves and woods (the psychological country / landscape of the ego as cited by Samael Aun Weor in The Great Rebellion and illustrated by Hieronymus Bosch in his "Temptation of St. Anthony").
Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself. And your way leads past yourself and your seven devils (seven principal defects: lust, pride, anger, gluttony, laziness, greed, envy). You will be a heretic to yourself and a witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and a villain (because within the field of psychological self-observation, you will perceive all of your secret evilness and degeneration). You must wish to consume yourself in your own flame (Glorian, your Intimate Christ, the Superman): how could you wish to become new unless you had first become ashes (through mystical death and psychological decapitation of the animal ego, of animal desire)!
Lonely one, you are going the way of the creator (the Twice-born, those who are born again through sexual alchemy, who generate the solar bodies in the Perfect Matrimony): you would create a god for yourself out of your seven devils (for through Arcanum 15: Passion, you white-wash the devil, you burn the devil in you in order to free the Essence, the consciousness. Through mystical death, you chastise and clean the demon-I's in your psyche, thereby freeing the soul from bondage and uniting it with the Lion of Judah, the Superman).
Lonely one, you are going the way of the lover (Arcanum 6: Indecision): yourself (Ain Soph) you love (through scientific chastity), and therefore you despise yourself (your fornicating, animal ego), as only lovers (initiates in sexual transmutation, in holy alchemy) despise. The lover (initiate) would create (the solar bodies) because he despises (his ego). What does he know of (conscious) love who did not have to despise precisely what he loved (when he was a fornicator)!
Go into your loneliness (meditation) with your love (Gedulah, Spirit, Innermost) and with your creation (solar bodies), my brother; and only much later will justice limp after you (relating to Arcanum 8: the blessings of the Divine Mother born from expiation and the balancing of the scales or measurements of karma).
With my tears go into your loneliness, my brother. I love him who wants to create over and beyond himself (create the solar bodies through the Perfect Matrimony) and thus perishes (through initiatic death).
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
From Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann
(Note: the Old Iranian root of the name Zarathustra comes from: Zarat, "golden" combined with ushtra, "camel." This is significant for understanding this passage. Gnostic exegesis is provided in parentheses.)
Of three metamorphoses of the spirit I tell you: how the spirit becomes a camel; and the camel, a lion; and the lion, finally, a child.
There is much that is difficult for the spirit, the strong reverent spirit that would bear much (karma through initiation): but the difficult and the most difficult are what his strength demands.
What is difficult? asks the spirit (of the neophyte) that would bear much, and kneels down like a camel (ushtra in Old Iranian, גמל Gamal in Hebrew) wanting to be well loaded (to take upon itself the bitter path of initiation). What is most difficult, O (solar) heroes, asks the spirit that would bear much, that I may take it upon myself and exult in my (sexual) strength (און aun)? Is it not humbling oneself to wound one's haughtiness? Letting one's folly shine to mock one's (false) wisdom?
Or is it this: parting from our cause when it triumphs (Sattvic action mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gita)? Climbing high mountains (of initiation) to tempt the tempter (Christus-Lucifer)?
Or is it this: feeding on the acorns and grass of knowledge (דעת da'ath, gnosis) and, for the sake of the truth, suffering hunger in one's soul (like Tantalus awaiting the solemn banquet of the Pascal Lamb)?
Or is it this: being (psychologically) sick and sending home the comforters (by not seeking spiritual advice from others, but delving into profound meditation in order to receive wisdom within) and making friends with the (spiritually) deaf, who never hear what you want?
Or is it this: stepping into filthy waters (in transmutation) when they are the waters of truth (poisoned by fornication as mentioned in "On the Rabble" in Part Two of Thus Spoke Zarathustra), and not repulsing cold frogs and hot toads? (This signifies not running away from our own internal, psychological ugliness that we begin to perceive when working with the "hot" and "cold" synpathetic cords of our spinal column, the solar and lunar energetic channels known as Ida and Pingala, which come from our waters, wherein reside the frogs and toads, symbolic of the fertility of Yesod).
Or is it this: loving those who despise us and offering a hand to the ghost (our Innermost) that would frighten us? (since our animal mind is terrified before the presence of the divine; in Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Claudius, the ego, has slain the King of Denmark, and now the ghost of the dead king, the Intimate Being, haunts our very souls through intense spiritual inquietudes).
All these most difficult things the spirit (of the neophyte) that would bear much takes upon itself: like the camel (ushtra) that, burdened, speeds into the desert (מִּדְבָּר Hebrew: mid'bar), thus the spirit (of the neophyte) speeds into its desert (for in the מִּדְבָּר wilderness, the desert of life, we work to incarnate and worship the Word, דָּבָר Dabar, the Christ; see Exodus 3:18).
In the loneliest desert, however, the second metamorphosis occurs: here the spirit becomes a lion (from the Tribe of Judaea through the Venustic Initiation) who would conquer his freedom and be master in his own desert (his מִּדְבָּר mid'bar by incarnating דָּבָר Dabar, the Word). Here he seeks out his last master (the black psychological moon, Lilith): he wants to fight him and his last god (the dragon of darkness of our atomic psychological infernos mentioned by Samael Aun Weor in The Three Mountains); for ultimate victory he wants to fight with the great dragon.
Who is the great dragon whom the spirit (of Christ in the Venustic Initiation) will no longer call lord and god? (for "Thou shalt have no other אֱלֹהִים Elohim, gods, before me." -Exodus 20:3). "Thou shalt" is the name of the great dragon (for our own animal ego takes the commandments, the Law of Moshe, and subverts it for itself; it abuses the law and seeks to make us slaves of Egypt, מצרים Mitzraim, Malkuth). But the spirit of the lion (of the Tribe of Judah, the Cosmic Christ) says, "I will" (or we can say, Eheieh Asher Eheieh אהיה אשר אהיה, "I AM THAT I AM," better translated as "HE IS WHAT HE IS"). "Thou shalt" lies in his way, sparkling like gold, an animal covered with scales; and on every scale shines a golden "thou shalt" (resembling the golden calf of Moloch, mentioned in Exodus 32, and his tenebrous agents of darkness who strive to tempt and slay the Superman).
Values, thousands of years old, shine on these scales (with false, diabolic light); and thus speaks the mightiest of all dragons: "All value of all things shines on me. All value has long been created, and I am all created value (through fornication). Verily, there shall be no more 'I will ( אהיה Eheieh, I AM, or better said, HE IS).'" Thus speaks the dragon (of darkness).
My brothers, why is there a need in the spirit for the lion? Why is not the beast of burden (the initiate who has not incarnated the Lion of Christ), which renounces (self-will) and is reverent (to the Law of Moses), enough?
To create new values—that even the lion (the Bodhisattva of the Straight Path) cannot do; but the creation of freedom for oneself for new creation—that is within the power of the lion (for the acquisition of Mastery is one thing, but perfection in it is another; see the Three Wise Men or Magi in The Gnostic Nativity of Christ). The creation of freedom for oneself (through the First Law of the Glorian) and a sacred "No" even to duty (the written commandments or Second Law: Deuteronomy)—for that, my brothers, the lion (the Bodhisattva) is needed (since only Christ incarnated within the initiate can perform the Great Work by transcending the Second Law). To assume the right to new values—that is the most terrifying assumption for a reverent spirit (the neophyte or initiates who have not yet become lions of Judaea). Verily, to him it is preying (immorality, since the neophytes do not comprehend the Path of the Bodhisattva, the Rebel Christ), and a matter for a beast of prey (who renounces and annihilates the morals of the populace). He once loved "thou shalt" as most sacred (because before incarnating the First Law, one must follow the Second Law): now he must find illusion and caprice even in the most sacred (for he once followed the Second Law, but now must incarnate the Revolutionary Christ, Who transcends the Second Law), that freedom from his love (psychological attachments) may become his prey: the lion is needed for such prey (since only Christ, the First Law, can annihilate the entirety of the ego on the Second Mountain).
But say, my brothers, what can the child (of the Resurrection) do that even the lion (Bodhisattva of compassion) could not do? Why must the preying lion (the warrior of the Straight Path) still become a child? The child (of the Resurrection) is innocence and forgetting (through purification and the waters of Lethe; see also Matthew 18:3), a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled wheel (Sanskrit: chakra, which now turns through the bhava, the becoming, of אהיה אשר אהיה Eheieh Asher Eheieh, "I AM HE WHO BECOMES," "I AM HE WHO INITIATES," see the Bhavachakra course), a first movement, a sacred "Yes." (As Samael Aun Weor stated in Igneous Rose, "Our Innermost is Yes, Yes, Yes. The wisdom of our Innermost is Yes, Yes, Yes. The love of our Innermost is Yes, Yes, Yes.") For the game of creation (as a Cosmocreator), my brothers, a sacred "Yes" is needed (we need our Innermost to be realized within ourselves through Resurrection): the spirit (Kether, upon Resurrection) now wills his own will (for תפארת Tiphereth is united with the will of the Father, for אהיה אשר אהיה "HE IS WHO HE IS"), and he who had been lost to the world (through initiation) now conquers his own world (through Resurrection).
Of the three metamorphoses of the spirit (through initiation) I have told you: how the spirit became a camel (a neophyte on the path of renunciation); and the camel, a lion (of Judah, a Bodhisattva of Compassion); and the lion, finally, a (golden) child (of Alchemy and the Resurrection—golden in Old Iranian is Zarat, which when combined with ushtra, the camel of the renunciate, is Zarathustra).
Thus spoke Zarathustra (the golden camel who traverses the wilderness in order to become a Superman). And at that time he sojourned in the town that is called The Motley Cow (the sacred Hindustani symbol of the Divine Mother Kundalini).
From Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, translated by Walter Kaufmann.
Excerpted from "Principles of Sufism" by Al-Qushayri. Published by Mizan Press (1990), translated from the Arabic by B.R. Von Schlegell
God says, "Turn all together toward God [in repentance], O Believers, that you may attain bliss" (24:31).
It is reported on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of God (may God's blessing and peace be upon him and his family) said, "The one who repents from sin is like one without sin, and if God loves a servant, sin does not adhere to him." Then he recited, "Verily God loves those who turn unto Him [in repentance], and He loves those who purify themselves" (2:222). It was asked, "O Messenger of God, what is the sign of repentance?" He replied, "Remorse."
On the authority of Anas b. Malik, the Messenger of God (may God's blessing and peace be upon him and his family) is reported to have said, "There is nothing more loved by God than the youth who repents."
Therefore repentance is the first degree among the degrees of the wayfarers and the first station among the stations of the seekers. The inner meaning of repentance in Arabic is "return." It is said, "He repented," meaning, "He returned." So repentance is to return from what is blameworthy in the law of Islam to what is praiseworthy in it.
The Prophet (may God's blessing and peace be upon him) said, "Remorse is an act of repentance." Therefore, those well versed in the fundamentals of religion among the people of the Sunna have said, "There are three conditions of repentance [which must be present] in order that it be sound: remorse for the violations that have been committed, immediate abandonment of the lapse, and firm resolve not to return to similar acts of disobedience." One must apply these principles to make repentance effective.
Someone has stated, "By the saying 'Remorse is an act of repentance' he meant that the major portion of repentance is remorse, just as he (may God's blessing and peace be upon him) said, "Pilgrimage is 'Arafat.'" That is, the greatest part of its elements is the standing at 'Arafat, not that there are no other elements in pilgrimage. So his saying, "Remorse is an act of repentance" means that the greatest part of the elements of repentance is remorse.
One among the people of realization has said, "Remorse is sufficient in fulfillment of that because it has as its consequence the other two conditions, for it is impossible one should be remorseful for an act in which he persists or the like of which he intends to commit." This is the meaning of repentance by way of summary definition.
By way of elucidation and explanation, we may say that repentance has causes, an order, an arrangement, and divisions. The first cause is the awakening of the heart from the slumber of heedlessness and the servant's becoming aware of his evil state. He attains this by means of the divine favor of attentiveness to the restraints imposed by God (may He be exalted). that come to his mind. This is by means of the audition of his heart, for it has come in the report, "The warner of God in the heart of every person is a Muslim." The tradition "There is a piece of flesh in the body which if it be healthy, the whole body is healthy and if it be corrupt, the whole body is corrupt. Truly, it is the heart." also speaks to this matter. If his heart reflects on the evil of his deeds, he perceives the despicable actions he commits, and the desire for repentance comes to his heart, along with refraining from repugnant doings. Then God (may He be exalted) supports him in correcting his firm intention, in embarking on the path to a goodly return, and in becoming receptive to the means of repentance.
The first of these means is to part company with brothers in evil, for they prompt him to deny this goal and cause him to doubt the correctness of this firm intention. And that is not complete except by perseverance in witnessing, which increases his longing for repentance, and by the presence of motives impelling him to fulfill his resolve, from which he strengthens his fear and hope. Then the despicable actions that form a knot of insistence on his heart are loosened, he ceases the practice of forbidden things, and the rein of his self (nafs) is held back from pursuing passions. Then he immediately abandons his sin and concludes a firm resolve not to return to similar sins in the future. If he continues in accordance with his goal and acts in conformity with his firm will, this means that he has been granted true sincerity.
If repentance diminishes once or twice and his desire causes him to renew the lapse―which may happen quite frequently―one should continue to hope for the repentance of such a person, for "Verily, to each period is a decree established" (13:38). Abu Sulayman ad-Darani said, "I frequented the gathering of a preacher, for his words made an impression on my heart. But when I departed, nothing remained in my heart of his words. So I returned a second time. That time there did remain a trace of his words in my heart until I returned to my house. Then I broken the instruments of sin and I adhered to the path." Yahya b. Mu'adh commented on this tale, "A sparrow catches a crane." By the sparrow he intended that preacher and, by the crane, Abu Sulayman ad-Darani.
Abu Hafs al-Haddad remarked, "I abandoned a certain [reprehensible] deed and returned to it. Then the deed abandoned me, and I did not return to it after that."
Abu 'Amr b. Nujayd, in the beginning of his wayfaring, frequented the gathering of Abu 'Uthman. His words made an impression on his heart, and he repented. Then a trial came upon him. Abu 'Amr began to flee Abu 'Uthman when he saw him, and he absented himself from his gathering. One day when Abu 'Uthman met him, Abu 'Amr turned away and went down another path. So Abu 'Uthman followed him. He continued with him, following his tracks until he overtook him and declared, "O my son, do not be a companion to one who does not love you unless it be one who is sinless. It is only Abu 'Uthman who will help you in your present condition." Then Abu 'Amr b. Nujayd repented and returned to muridship and remained faithful to it." [Note: Murid, the one who "wills," i.e., wills to attain the goal of the Path precisely by submitting his will to that of the spiritual guide.]
Sheikh Abu 'Ali ad-Daqqaq (may God grant him mercy) said, "One of the murids repented, and then there came upon him a trial. He was wondering, 'If I return to repentance, how will it be?'"
"Then an invisible caller said to him, 'You obeyed Us, so We thanked you; then you abandoned Us, so We granted you respite. If you return to Us, We will accept you.' So the youth returned to muridship and remained faithful to it."
When a man abandons major sin, loosens from his heart the bond of persistence, and firmly intends not to return to sin, at that moment true remorse comes to his heart. He regrets what he has done and reproaches himself for the repugnant acts he has committed. Then his repentance is complete, his striving is true, and he exchanges the comradeship of evil companions he previously kept for isolation and for aversion to them. He works day and night in sorrow, and he embraces sincerity of regret in all of his states, erasing by the flood of his tears the traces of his stumbling and treats the wounds of his sin with the goodness of his repentance. He is known among his peers by his debility, and his emaciation testifies to the soundness of his state.
None of this will ever be complete except after satisfying the just grievances of his adversaries and putting aside the acts of oppression in which he persisted. The first stage of repentance is satisfaction of adversaries as much as possible. If what he has is sufficient for restoring their rights or if they consent to abandon their claim and pronounce him innocent, so be it. If not, then he should firmly resolve in his heart to fulfill their claim whenever possible to God (may He be exalted) with sound supplication and prayer for them.
There are qualities and states for those who repent. They are characteristics of the penitent which belong to repentance without its being conditional upon them. This is indicated in the sayings of the masters on the meaning of repentance.
The master Abu 'Ali ad-Daqqaq (may God grant him mercy) said, "Repentance is divided into three parts. The first is tawba [repentance], the middle is inaba [to turn to God], and the last is awba [return]." He placed tawba at the beginning, awba at the end, and inaba between the two. Whoever repents out of desire for [divine] reward is in the state of inaba. Whoever repents for the sake of obeying the divine command, neither for the desire of reward nor for the fear of punishment, is in the state of awba.
It is also said, "Tawba is the quality of the Believers." As God Most High says, " Turn [tubu] all together toward God in repentance, O Believers" (24:31). Inaba is the quality of the saints and those drawn nigh unto God. God Most High says, "And those who brought a heart turned in devotion [munib] [to Him]" (50:33). Awba is the quality of the prophets and messengers. God Most High says, "How excellent a slave. Ever did he [Solomon] turn [awwab] [to Us]" (38:30 and 38:44).
Al-Junayd stated, "Repentance has three senses. The first is remorse; the second is the resolve to give up reverting to what God has forbidden; and the third is the righting of grievances."
Sahl b. 'Abdallah declared, "Repentance is giving up procrastination." Al-Harith asserted, "I never say, 'O God, I ask You for repentance.' I say, 'I ask You for the longing for repentance.'"
Al-Junayd went to see as-Sari one day and found him distraught. He asked, "What has happened to you?" As-Sari replied, "I encountered a youth, and he asked me about repentance. I told him, "Repentance is that you not forget your sins." Then he contradicted me, saying that repentance is that you do forget your sins." Al-Junayd said that in his opinion what the youth said was correct, and as-Sari asked him why he held that opinion. Al-Junayd replied, "Because if I were in a state of infidelity and then He delivered me into a state of fidelity, remembrance of infidelity in a state of purity would be infidelity." Then as-Sari fell silent.
Abu Nasr as-Sarraj is reported to have said that, when Sahl was asked about repentance, he answered, "It is that you not forget you sins." Al-Junayd was asked, and he said, "It is that you do forget your sins." Abu Nasr as-Sarraj related, "Sahl was indicating the states of the murids and novices [muta'arridun], which are constantly changing. Al-Junayd alluded to the repentance of those who have attained the truth; for they do not remember their sins because of the majesty of God Most High, which has granted mastery over their hearts, and their constant remembrance of Him." He also observed that this is like what Ruwaym said about repentance: "It is repentance from repentance." Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri commented, "Repentance of the common people is from sin, and for the elect, it is from forgetfulness."
Abu'l-Hussayn an-Nuri said, "Repentance is that you turn away from everything other than God [may He be exalted and glorified]." 'Abdallah b. 'Ali Muhammad at-Tamimi declared, "How great a difference there is between a repenter who repents from sins, one who repents from forgetfulness, and one who repents from the awareness of his own good deeds." Al-Wasiti said, "True repentance is that there not remain a single trace of sin, hidden or open. One whose repentance is true does not concern himself, morning and evening, with what state he is in."
Yahya b. Mu'adh stated, "O my Lord, I do not say, 'I have repented.' I do not return to You because of what I know to be my disposition, I do not swear that I will not sin again, for I know my own frailty. I do not say that I return [to You] because I might die before [truly] returning." Dhu'n-Nun noted, "The plea for forgiveness made without abstaining is the repentance of liars."
When Ibn Yazdanyar was asked about the principles underlying a servant's setting out toward God, he replied, "They are that he not return to that which he left behind, not heed anyone other than the One to Whom he goes, and preserve his innermost heart from perception of that from which he has dissociated himself." It was said to him, "This is the rule for one who has departed from existence. How will it be for one who has departed from non-existence?" He replied, "The experience of sweetness in the future in exchange for bitterness in the past."
Al-Bushanji was asked about repentance, and he answered, "If you remember sin, and find no sweetness in it when remembering it, that is repentance." And Dhu'n-Nun observed, "The essence of repentance is that the earth be too confined for you, for all its spaciousness, so that there is no rest for you. Then your soul will be too confined for you as God Most High has told in His Book by His saying, "And their souls seemed straightened to them, and they saw that there is no fleeing from God, except to Him. Then He turned to them that they might repent (9:118). Ibn 'Ata' declared, "Repentance is of two kinds: repentance of inaba [return] and repentance of istijaba [answering or fulfillment'. The repentance of inaba is that the servant repent out of fear for his punishment. Repentance of istijaba is that he repent out of shame due to His generosity."
Abu Hafs was asked, "Why does the repenter loathe the world?" He answered, "Because it is a dwelling where sins are pursued." And it was said to him, "But it is also a dwelling that God has honored with repentance." He said, "The sinner has certainty from his sin, but danger from acceptance of his repentance." Al-Wasiti stated, "The joy of David (peace be upon him) and the sweetness of submissiveness he enjoyed caused him to plunge into lifting breaths [lasting sorrow]. While he was in the second state [of sorrow] he was more complete than the time when the matter was hidden from him." One of them remarked, "The liars' repentance is on the tips of their tongues." That is, the saying "Astaghfiru'llah [I ask forgiveness of God]." Abu Hafs said, "The servant has nothing to do with repentance. Repentance comes to him (from God), not from him."
It is said that God (may He be exalted) revealed to Adam, "O Adam, I have bequeathed to your descendants burdens and hardship. I have also bequeathed to them repentance. I respond to the one among them who implores Me as you have implored me [just] as I respond to you. O Adam, I will raise up the penitent from their graves cheerful and laughing, and their supplication will be answered."
A man asked Rabi'a, "I have sinned much and been exceedingly disobedient. But if I repent, will He forgive me?" She replied, "No. But if He forgives you, then you will repent."
Know that God Most High says, "Verily God loves those who turn unto Him [in repentance] and He loves those who purify themselves" (2:222). One who allows himself to yield to error is certain as to the slip. But if he repents, he is in doubt as to the acceptance of his repentance, particularly because God's love for him is a condition of that acceptance, and it will be some time before the sinner comes to a point where he finds marks of God's love for him in his character. The duty of the servant, when he knows that he has committed an act calling for repentance, is that he be consistently contrite, persevering in renunciation and asking forgiveness, as in the saying, "The awareness of dread until the time of death." And as it is said in God's words, "Say, if you love God, follow me, that God may love you" (3:31).
It was the practice of the Prophet (may God's blessing and peace be upon him) to ask for forgiveness constantly. He said, "My heart is clouded, so I ask forgiveness of God seventy times a day."
Yahya b. Mu'adh stated, "One single lapse after repentance is more dreadful than seventy before it." Abu 'Uthman observed, "As to the meaning of His saying, 'Lo, unto Us is their return' (78:25), it indicates 'Unto Us is their return, even if they roam freely in the commission of sin.'"
'Ali b. 'Isa the vizier rode in a great procession, and strangers began asking, "Who is this? Who is this?" A woman who was standing by the side of the road inquired, "How long will you say, 'Who is this? Who is this?' This is a servant who has fallen from God's protection. So He has afflicted him in the way that you see." When 'Ali b. 'Isa heard her, he returned to his house, resigned from the vizierate, went to Mecca, and never left it again.
Excerpted from Chapter Six of Signs of the Unseen by Jalaluddin Rumi. Published by Threshold Books (1994), translated from the Arabic by W.M. Thackston, Jr.
Someone said, "We are imperfect."
The very fact that someone thinks this and reproaches himself, saying, "Alas, what am I about? Why do I act like this?" is a proof of God's love and favor. "Love persists as long as reproach persists," because one rebukes those one loves, not strangers. Now there are different kinds of reproof. To suffer pain while aware of it is a proof of God's love and favor. One the other hand, when a type of reproof is inflicted and the reproved does not experience pain, there is no proof of love (as when one beats a carpet to get the dust out), and such is not called rebuke by the intelligent. If, on the other hand, one rebukes one's child or beloved, a proof of love does arise in such a case. Therefore, so long as you experience pain and regret within yourself, it is proof of God's love and favor.
When you see a fault in your brother, the fault really lies in yourself but you see it reflected in him. Likewise, the world is a mirror in which you see your own image. "The believer is a mirror to the believer." Rid yourself of your own fault because what distastes you in another is really in yourself.
You are not offended by any bad qualities you have in yourself such as injustice, rancor, greed, envy, insensitivity, or pride. Yet when you see them in another, you shy away, offended. No one is revolted by a scab or abscess of his own; anyone will put his own sore finger into the stew, lick that finger, and not feel squeamish in the least. If, however, there is a minor abscess or cut on someone else's hand, you would never be able to stomach the stew that hand had been in. Bad moral qualities are just like those scabs and abscesses: no one is offended by his own; yet everyone suffers distress and is horrified at seeing only a bit in another. Just as you shy away from another, you must excuse him for shying away when offended by you. Your distress is his excuse because your distress comes from seeing something he also sees. The believer is a mirror to the believer. The Prophet did not say that the infidel is a mirror to the infidel―not because the infidel does not have the quality to be a mirror, but because he is unaware of the mirror of his own soul.
A king was sitting by a brook, dejected. The princes were terrified of him while he was in such a state, and no matter what they did they couldn't cheer him up. The king had a jester who was extremely privileged. The princes undertook to reward him if he would make the king laugh. The jester went to the king, but try as he might, the king would not even look up at him so that he could make a face and cause the king to laugh. All the king did was stare at the brook with his head down.
"What does the king see in the water?" asked the jester.
"I see a cuckold," said the king.
"Sire," the jester replied, "your servant is not blind either."
So it is when you see in another something that distresses you. That person is not blind. He sees the same thing you do.
With God there is no room for two egos. You say "I," and He says "I." In order for this duality to disappear, either you must die for Him or He for you. It is not possible, however, for Him to die―either phenomenally or conceptually―because "He is the Ever-living who dieth not." He is so gracious, however, that if it were possible He would die for you in order that the duality might disappear. Since it is not possible for Him to die, you must die that He may be manifested to you, thus eliminating the duality.
You can tie two birds together; but, although they may be of the same species and their two wings have become four, l they will not be able to fly because duality still pertains. If, however, you tie a dead bird to a live one, it will be able to fly since there is no duality.
The sun is so gracious that it would die for a bat if it were possible. "My dear bat," the sun would say, "my grace touches everything. I would like to do something of beneficence for you too. Since it is possible for you to die, die that you may enjoy the light of my splendor and, shedding your "bat-ness," become the phoenix of the Mount Qaf of proximity to me."
One of God's servants was capable of annihilating himself for the sake of a beloved. He asked God to give him such a beloved, but this was not acceptable to Him. A voice came, saying, "I do not desire that you should see such a one."
The servant of God, however, insisted and would not cease his entreaty, saying, "O Lord, you have placed the desire for such a one within me, and it will not go away!"
Finally a voice came, saying, "If you want this to come about, then sacrifice yourself and become nought. Tarry not in departing from the world."
"O Lord," he said, "I am content." And thus he did, sacrificing his life for the sake of that beloved so that his desire was fulfilled.
If a servant of God can possess the grace to sacrifice his life, one day of which is worth more than the life of the whole world from beginning to end, could the Author of Grace be less gracious? That would be ludicrous. Since, however, His annihilation is not possible, you must be annihilated.
A dullard came and sat himself above a saint. The saint said, "What difference does it make whether one is above or below a lamp? If the lamp is inclined to be above, it does not do so for its own sake. Its only purpose is to benefit others so that they may enjoy its light. Otherwise, wherever the lamp may be, high or low, it is still a lamp. It is the eternal sun."
If the saints seek status and exalted position in this world, they do so because people are unable to perceive their exaltedness. They want to ensnare worldly people with their trap of this world so that they may find their way to that other exaltedness and fall into the snare of the next world. Similarly, the Prophet conquered Mecca and the surrounding countries, not because he needed them but in order to bestow life and light on all. "This hand is accustomed to give; it is not accustomed to take." The saints deceive men in order to give to them, not in order to take anything from them.
When someone traps little birds by means of trickery in order to eat them or sell them, that is called deception. When, however, a king lays a trap to catch a rough, worthless falcon that does not know its own essence and then trains it to his arm so that it becomes noble, tutored, and polished, that is not called deception. Although outwardly it appears to be fraudulent, it is considered the essence of straightforwardness and munificence. It is like reviving the dead, turning base stone into ruby, turning inanimate sperm into a living human being, and more. If the falcon knew why he was being captured, he would not need grain as an enticement but would search for the snare with all his heart and soul and fly to the arm of the king.
People look only at the literal meaning of the saints' words and say, "We've heard all this talk many times before. We've had enough of such words. Our hearts are uncircumcised: but God hath cursed them with their infidelity [2:88]. The infidels say, "Our hearts are full of such talk." God answers them thus: "Woe betid them that they be full of these words. They are full of temptations of the devil and vain imaginings. They are full of hypocrisy and doubt―nay, they are full of damnation." God hath cursed them with their infidelity. Would that they were free of those ravings, for then they would be capable of receiving these words. But they are not even capable of that. God has plugged up their ears and eyes and hearts so that they see the wrong color. They perceive Joseph as a wolf. Their ears hear the wrong sound. They heart wisdom as nonsense and raving. And their hearts, having become repositories for temptation and vain imaginings, perceive falsely. Having been knotted up with compounded imaginings, their hearts have frozen solid like ice in winter. God hath sealed up their hearts and their hearing; a dimness covereth their sight [2:7]. How then can they be full? In their whole lives neither they nor those on whom they pride themselves have ever sensed or perceived. They are not blessed by the jug that God gives to some full in order that they may drink to their fill. He gives it to some empty, and then why should they render thanks? The person who receives a full jug renders thanks.
When God made Adam of clay and water, "He kneaded the clay of Adam for forty days." He completed Adam's shell and left it for a period of time on the earth. Iblis [Editor's Note: Satan] came down and went into Adam's shell. Going through and inspecting every vein, he saw that it was full of blood and humors. Adam said, "Ugh! It is a wonder if this be not the very Iblis who, at the foot of God's Throne, I saw would appear. If that Iblis exists, this must be he."
Peace be with you!
Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 58, Number 227
Narrated Abbas bin Malik:
Malik bin Sasaa said that Allah's Apostle described to them his Night Journey saying, "While I was lying in Al-Hatim or Al-Hijr, suddenly someone came to me and cut my body open from here to here." I asked Al-Jarud who was by my side, "What does he mean?" He said, "It means from his throat to his pubic area," or said, "From the top of the chest." The Prophet further said, "He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray of Belief was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Belief) and then returned to its original place. Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me." (On this Al-Jarud asked, "Was it the Buraq, O Abu Hamza?" I (i.e. Anas) replied in the affirmative). The Prophet said, "The animal's step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal's sight. I was carried on it, and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven.
When he asked for the gate to be opened, it was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel answered, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has Muhammad been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened, and when I went over the first heaven, I saw Adam there. Gabriel said (to me). 'This is your father, Adam; pay him your greetings.' So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me till we reached the second heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel answered, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel answered in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened.
When I went over the second heaven, there I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and 'Isa (i.e. Jesus) who were cousins of each other. Gabriel said (to me), 'These are John and Jesus; pay them your greetings.' So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the third heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened, and when I went over the third heaven there I saw Joseph. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is Joseph; pay him your greetings.' So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fourth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excel lent visit his is!'
The gate was opened, and when I went over the fourth heaven, there I saw Idris. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is Idris; pay him your greetings.' So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fifth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked. 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is! So when I went over the fifth heaven, there I saw Harun (i.e. Aaron), Gabriel said, (to me). This is Aaron; pay him your greetings.' I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the sixth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked. 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. It was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!'
When I went (over the sixth heaven), there I saw Moses. Gabriel said (to me),' This is Moses; pay him your greeting. So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.' When I left him (i.e. Moses) he wept. Someone asked him, 'What makes you weep?' Moses said, 'I weep because after me there has been sent (as Prophet) a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.' Then Gabriel ascended with me to the seventh heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?' Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.' It was asked,' Who is accompanying you?' Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.' It was asked, 'Has he been called?' Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!'
So when I went (over the seventh heaven), there I saw Abraham. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is your father; pay your greetings to him.' So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.' Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Gabriel said, 'This is the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) . Behold ! There ran four rivers, two were hidden and two were visible, I asked, 'What are these two kinds of rivers, O Gabriel?' He replied,' As for the hidden rivers, they are two rivers in Paradise and the visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.'
Then Al-Bait-ul-Ma'mur (i.e. the Sacred House) was shown to me and a container full of wine and another full of milk and a third full of honey were brought to me. I took the milk. Gabriel remarked, 'This is the Islamic religion which you and your followers are following.' Then the prayers were enjoined on me: They were fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Moses who asked (me), 'What have you been ordered to do?' I replied, 'I have been ordered to offer fifty prayers a day.' Moses said, 'Your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by Allah, I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel (in vain). Go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers' burden.' So I went back, and Allah reduced ten prayers for me. Then again I came to Moses, but he repeated the same as he had said before. Then again I went back to Allah and He reduced ten more prayers. When I came back to Moses he said the same, I went back to Allah and He ordered me to observe ten prayers a day. When I came back to Moses, he repeated the same advice, so I went back to Allah and was ordered to observe five prayers a day.
When I came back to Moses, he said, 'What have you been ordered?' I replied, 'I have been ordered to observe five prayers a day.' He said, 'Your followers cannot bear five prayers a day, and no doubt, I have got an experience of the people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel, so go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your follower's burden.' I said, 'I have requested so much of my Lord that I feel ashamed, but I am satisfied now and surrender to Allah's Order.' When I left, I heard a voice saying, 'I have passed My Order and have lessened the burden of My Worshipers."
Excerpted from Volume I of The Meccan Revelations (al-Futûhât al-Makkiya) by Ibn 'Arabi. Published by Pir Press (2002, 2005), translated from the Arabic by Michel Chodkiewicz, William C. Chittick and James W. Morris.
The final outcome of the affair (al-amr) is the return from the many to the One, for both the man of faith and the polytheist (mushrik). This is because the man of faith who is granted the unveiling of "things as they really are" is granted [the immediate vision of] this, as He said: "Now We have removed from you your veil, so your vision today is keen" (Qur'an 50:22). And this is before he leaves this world. For everyone who is taken [by physical death] is in [a state of spiritual] "unveiling" at the moment he is taken, so that at that point he inclines toward God (al-Haqq) and toward faith in Him and [the true awareness of] divine Unity. Hence the person who attains this certainty before being brought into the presence [of God at the time of physical "death"] is absolutely sure of his felicity and his conjunction with [that condition of blessedness]. For certainty which comes from sound [rational] inquiry and unambiguous [experiential] unveiling prevents him from straying from the Truly Real, since he has "a clear proof" (Qur'an 6:57, etc.) in the matter and "discerning inner vision" (Qur'an 12:108).
But the person who attains this certainty [only] when he is brought into the presence [of death] is subject to the [ineluctable] divine Will. And although the final outcome is [also] felicity, however that is only after the imposition of torments and afflictions with respect to the person who is punished for his sins. For one is only "brought into the presence [of death]" after having witnessed that (al-amr) to which the creatures (al-khalq) are transferred [after death]. So long as he has not witnessed that, death has not come near him (Qur'an 4:18; etc.), nor is that [what we mean here by] "being brought into [its] presence."
...Now God has brought two Resurrections into existence, the lesser Resurrection and the greater Resurrection. The lesser Resurrection is the transferring of the servant from the life of this world to the life of the intermediate world (barzakh) in the imaginal body, as in [the Prophet's] saying: "When someone dies, his Resurrection has already begun." Thus whoever is among the People of Vision actually sees his Lord. For [as] God's Messenger says, in warning his community about the Antichrist: "No one sees God until he dies." The greater Resurrection is the Resurrection of the Raising (ba'th) [of all men from their graves] and the supreme Gathering (al-hashr al-a'zam) in which all men are joined....
Know that these bodies are the coffins of the spirits and what beclouds them; they are what veil them so that they do not witness [the spiritual world] and are not witnessed. So the spirits do not see, nor are they seen, except through being parted from these [bodily] tombs (cf. Qur'an 102:2)―by becoming oblivious (fanâ) to them [in their absorption in spiritual things], not through [physical] separation. Therefore since they have inner vision, when they become oblivious to witnessing the bodies then they witness the One Who gives them Being in the very act of witnessing themselves.
So "he who knows his self knows his Lord." Likewise he who witnesses his self witnesses his Lord, and thereby moves from the "certainty of knowledge" to the "certainty of seeing." Then when he is returned to his [bodily] tomb he is returned to [the highest stage of] "true certainty" (yaqîn haqq), not to the "certainty of knowledge." This is how man learns the [inner] differentiation of the Truly Real (al-Haqq), through His informing [us] of the true saying concerning the true reality of certainty (Qur'an 56:95), the seeing of certainty and the knowing of certainty (cf. Qur'an 103:3-7). So for [the person who reaches this stage] every property [of reality] becomes firmly established in its proper rank, and things are not confused for him (cf. Qur'an 2:42; 3:71). And he knows that the [prophetic] announcements did not mislead him (cf. Qur'an 6:5, etc.).
Therefore whoever truly knows God in this way has truly known and understood the wisdom [underlying] the formation (takwîn) of the pearl in its shell from fresh sweet [water] in salty bitter [water] (Qur'an 25:53): the shell is its body and its saltiness is its [physical] nature. So the influence of nature predominates in its shell, but the salt is [also] its whiteness―and that is like the Light which is revealed through it. So realize [what is meant by] this sign!
(Excerpted from Volume I of The Meccan Revelations (al-Futûhât al-Makkiya) by Ibn 'Arabi. Published by Pir Press (2002, 2005), translated from the Arabic by Michel Chodkiewicz, William C. Chittick and James W. Morris)
The voluntary return to God is something for which the servant is most thankful. God said: "The whole affair is returned to Him" (Qur'an 11:123). So since you know that, return to Him willingly and you will not be returned to Him by compulsion. For there is no escaping your return to Him, and you will surely have to meet Him, either willingly or against your will. For He meets you in [the form of] your attributes, nothing else but that―so examine yourself, my friend! [The Prophet] said: "Whoever loves to meet God, God loves to meet him; and whoever is averse to meeting God, God is averse to meeting him...."
Now since we knew that our meeting with God can only be through death, and because we knew the inner meaning of death, we sought to bring it about sooner, in the life of this world. Hence we died, in the very Source of our life, to all our concerns and activities and desires, so that when death overcame us in the midst of that Life which never passes from us―inasmuch as we are that [Life] with which our selves and our limbs and every part of us glorifies and praises [God] ―we met God and He met us. And ours was the case [mentioned in the hadith above] of "those who meet Him while loving to meet Him" [so that He loves to meet us].
Thus when there comes what is commonly known as death, and the veil of this body is removed from us (Qur'an 50:22), our state will not change and our certainty will not be any greater than what we already experience now. For we tasted no death but the first death, which we died during our life in this world, because our Lord protected us from the torment of hell as a bounty from your Lord; that is the Supreme Achievement (Qur'an 44:56-57). [As the Imam] 'Alî said: "Even if the veil were removed, I would not be any more certain."
So the person who returns to God in this way is among the blessed, and he does not even feel the inevitable, compulsory return [of physical] death, because it only comes to him when he is already there with God. The most that what is [ordinarily] known as death can mean for him is that his soul, which is with God, is kept from governing this body that it used to govern, so that the soul remains with God, in its same condition, while that body reverts to its origin, the dust from which it was formed (Qur'an 3:59, etc.). For it was a house whose occupant has traveled away, then the King established that person with Him in a firm position (Qur'an 54:55) until the Day they are raised (Qur'an 23:100, etc.). And his condition when he is raised up will be just like that: it will not change insofar as his being with God is concerned, nor with regard to what God gives him at every instant.
It is also like this in the general Gathering (al-hashr al-'âmm [on the Day of Resurrection]) and in the Gardens [of Paradise] which are this person's residence and dwelling place, and in the realm [of being (nash'a)] which he inhabits. For there he sees a realm created without any [fixed] pattern, a realm that provides him in its outward manifestation what the realm of this world provides in its inner [psychic and spiritual] dimension (bâtin) and its imagination (khayâl). So this is the way he freely controls the outward dimension (zâhir) of the realm of the other world. He enjoys all that he possesses in a single instant. Nothing that belongs to him, whether his wives or other things, is ever separated from him, nor is he ever separated from them: he is among them [simply] through his being desired, and they are in him through their being desired.
For the other world is an abode of swift reaction, without any delay, [where external appearances constantly change] just as is the case with passing thoughts (khawâtir) in the inner dimension of the realm of this world. Except that for man the planes are reversed in the other world, so that his inward dimension permanently maintains a single form―just as his outward dimension does here―while the forms of his outward dimension undergo rapid transformations like those of his inner dimension here. [God] said: "...by what a reversal they will be transformed!" (Qur'an 26:227), yet when we have undergone our transformation, nothing will have been added to the way we were. So understand...
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Scriptures from all major religions and spiritual traditions with Gnostic commentaries.