The following transcription is from an audio lecture on Gnostic Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.
We're continuing our discussion on meditation, particularly after having established serenity of mind and concentration in our psyche. Today, we're going to talk about the need to develop imagination, insight, otherwise known as clairvoyance.
It is important that we genuinely establish the preliminaries―as we were discussing―in terms of what we need to really meditate. Previously, we discussed the nine stages of concentration leading to calm abiding, a serene mind. However, serenity, by itself, is not enough. Instead, what we need is to develop spiritual perception into our inner psyche, understanding, through perfect visualization within our mind, within the subconscious, unconscious and infraconscious depths of our psyche.
As we were discussing in lieu of Buddhism, the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings, today we are talking about insight, the capacity to perceive inside, in relation to Sufism and Islam, the Middle Eastern occultism, esotericism.
Today, we're going to elaborate on the need for imagination. All of us here deeply need the capacity to genuinely understand the sources of our conflicts, our problems of a psychological nature. As Buddha taught, mind precedes phenomena: we become what we think. However, having a stability of awareness is not enough; we also need the capacity to perceive in the internal worlds, which is known as firasah in Arabic and Sufism; or, as we denominate, spiritual insight.
So, we are going to explain what is spiritual insight, imagination, clairvoyance, and how we develop that. And, particularly, we're going to explain what is known as the three stages of initiation: imagination, inspiration and intuition―not only as taught by our Sheikh and Guru, Samael Aun Weor, but also by the Sufis―to really pinpoint and explain that this teaching has not been taught by one man alone. However, as Samael Aun Weor explained, in a very explicit manner, we're now going to unveil the teachings given within Sufi scripture, that support and validate his explanations.
As we've mentioned, by developing serenity, in combination with insight, we develop comprehension. It is this comprehension that we really need to develop on a moment to moment basis. Comprehension is not when we sit to meditate or to relax the body. Comprehension is a moment to moment awareness within our psyche, here and now. Particularly, through self-observation, remembering our Being, the presence of our Inner Lord―which in Arabic is Allah, "the God."
We find that the word for awareness, in Arabic, is muhadarah, from the Arabic, "Hudur" which means presence. As the Master Samael explains, many times, we need to not only develop self-observation of our psyche, observing our intellectual, emotional and motor-instinctual-sexual centers; we also really need to be aware of that presence of our Lord, inside. That is how we effectively develop serenity, calm abiding, but also insight. For, when the lake of the mind is completely serene and stable, having achieved calm abiding itself, the ninth degree of concentration, in Tibetan Buddhism, likewise can we perfectly reflect the imagery of the superior worlds, inside.
Dhū’l-Nūn Miṣrī, one of my favorite Sufi masters, explains the following:
"The key to success in worship lies in meditative reflection (fikrat)…whoever persists in such reflection in the heart will behold the invisible realm in the spirit."
If we want to experience the internal planes―the astral world, mental world, causal plane―it begins here. We often get letters from students who complain about not being able to astral travel, who do not see the internal planes when they physically sleep, or have not conversed face to face with the Being. The solution to this is very simple: develop meditative reflection, or as Master Samael Aun Weor explains, serene reflection. The Chinese for this is Mo Chao, "serene reflection." Serenity pertains to a mind that has developed a degree of concentration and stabilization, as we discussed. Reflection is the capacity to perceive, to visualize, to actually receive the images from the higher dimensions, in meditation.
As we explained previously, if we attain the ninth degree of concentration, known as calm abiding, shamatha, serenity of mind, we can perfectly reflect internal images and experience our Being, face to face.
Those who want to be successful in worship must develop this reflection, in the moment. If we sit to meditate, and we find that our mind is unclear, we don't perceive where our thoughts come from, what is our psyche in a given instant, if there is a lot of murkiness, we need to develop sharper insight, imagination, clairvoyance. This is a reflection of the consciousness inside.
"Whoever contemplates God through keeping watch over the thoughts which pass through his heart will be exalted by God in all of his outward deeds." ―Dhū’l-Nūn Miṣrī in ‘Aṭṭār: Tadhkirat, 154-155
If we want our actions and our meditative practice to really bear fruit, we have to remember that hudur, that presence, to have that intimacy and awe of divinity, moment by moment. The Sufis often talk about haybah, the awe of the presence of divinity. We have to really be aware of that force, every moment. As the Sufis say, and I believe it is taught in the Qur'an: if you do not see your Lord, your Lord sees you. He knows all of our thoughts, our emotions and our instinctual impulses, our will. Every action that we take, has to be in remembrance of that force, that presence, so that when we feel tempted to do actions that we know are wrong, we retract and we develop our discipline in our mind. That is how we develop meditative reflection, or as Samael Aun Weor states, serene reflection, Mo Chao, in his book Magic of the Runes. I am going to explain a quote that he gives, that coincides with the Sufi doctrine, that we're going to elaborate upon:
"The Chinese word “Mo” signifies silence or serenity, and the word “Chao” signifies to reflect or to observe.
“Consequently, Mo Chao can be translated as “serene reflection” or “serene observation.
“However, it is clear to comprehend that in pure Gnosticism, the terms serenity and reflection have much more profound meanings and therefore should be comprehended with special connotations.
“The sense of serenity transcends that which is normally understood as calmness or tranquility. It implies a superlative state which is beyond reasoning, desires, contradictions and words. It signifies a situation that is beyond mundane noise." ―Samael Aun Weor, Magic of the Runes
He is really talking about the ninth degree of concentration, in which we have perfect equipoise.
So, to review, we have the first degree, which is called "mental placement." In this level, we sit to practice, and we realize that we forget the object of our concentration; we do not have any memory. We sit for twenty minutes, then we realize that we have not focussed on the object. That is the first degree.
The second degree is "continual placement." By continuously placing our focus on the object of our concentration, we have some moments of focus and remembrance of the purpose of our practice. But, there is many periods of forgetfulness.
The third degree, "patch-like placement," we remember the object of concentration more than we forget it. It is patch-like, because, like placing patches on a cloth, it is sporadic; it is not perfectly continuous.
The fourth degree, "close placement," or "good fixation," is that we never forget that we are concentrating. This is necessary to really effectively meditate on the ego, to never forget what we're doing.
The fifth degree is "subduing the mind." Here, we are dealing with more subtle forms of excitement or agitation in the psyche, or forms of the lethargy in the mind.
The sixth degree, in which we go deeper, we are pacifying the mind itself. There are more subtle forms of distraction which we need to observe as they arise.
The seventh degree is fully pacifying the mind, which is very important to establish. At this point, we see distractions before they even arise in the psyche, thoughts before they even emerge. This is a very profound state, which is deepened by vigilance, introspection, murāqabah in Arabic.
The eighth degree, "one-pointed concentration" is when there are no distractions; the mind is serene. However, at this level, it takes effort to maintain that state, so it is not perfect.
The ninth degree is calm abiding itself: there is no effort needed to maintain a perfectly serene mind. The lake of the mind has reached complete stillness. We find that there is no disturbance, and it takes no effort to maintain that state. In fact, to exert any effort in that type of consciousness is to lose the experience. Instead, we want to simply to be, to become familiar with that state.
When Samael Aun Weor says this is state beyond mundane noise, he is really talking about the eighth and ninth degrees of concentration, where there is no thought, and in which we have perfect silence.
He continues, in discussing insight:
"The sense of reflection in itself is beyond what is always understood as contemplation of a problem or idea. Here this word does not imply mental activity or contemplative thought, but rather a type of objective consciousness, clear and reflective, always illuminated within its own experience.
“Therefore, serenity signifies the serenity of no thought (calm abiding, shamatha), and reflection signifies intense and clear consciousness.
“Serene reflection is the clear consciousness within the tranquility of no thought.
“When perfect serenity reigns, true, profound illumination is achieved." ―Samael Aun Weor, Magic of the Runes
This is highly emphasized by the Sufi masters; specifically, Al-Qushayri in his Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism, wherein he describes the necessity to establish the capacity to not think:
"It is said, “Silence for the common people is with their tongues…”
Meaning, vulgar people who do not practice esoteric discipline.
"Silence for the gnostics is with their hearts, and silence for lovers is with restraining the stray thoughts that come to their innermost beings.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
As we're going to explain, this faculty or capacity to strive against one’s thoughts, to overcome them in the moment, to see where they originate from and to transcend that state is known as "striving," in Arabic, mujahadah, which is where we get the word Jihad. People translate this mistakenly as "Holy War." In Arabic, there is many words for holy war, and Jihad does not mean that, originally; it means striving.
We need to strive against our thoughts, precisely in order to develop that silence, that serenity. Once we have perfect serenity, then illumination comes; when the Being can express in us and teach us within the internal worlds, and in meditation.
Question: When you get to that silence, you said that the reflections come. But, you're not concentrating on anything like a candle flame at that point, right?
Instructor: In that state, you want to be. We want to be familiar with the presence of your Being, but, also, to be open. A simple practice is, when you reach serenity, you open your mind, and wait for the illumination. And, when we least expect it, that insight comes in a flash. We are going to explain more about that.
We have included an image of a Sufi in prayer, who has got japa beads. Japa is mantra recitation. To help us develop serenity, the practitioners of Islam, the Sufis, as well the Buddhist and Hindus would use prayer beads. For every bead, they would pronounce a mantra in the mind, to develop that serenity. Counting bead to bead, reciting a mantra, repeatedly. All throughout the day, so that the mind stabilizes.
It is with prayer, in this moment, that we are connecting with our inner God. If we are not aware of Him, and that psychological flavor, in our states, we are asleep.
States, Stations, and the Two Types of Initiates in Sufi Kabbalah
We're going to elaborate on insight, perception, imagination or clairvoyance. In order to explain insight, as taught within Sufism, it is necessary to explain some Sufi terms, which are technical, and relate to the path of meditation itself.
We have, what are known as "states," aḥwāl in Arabic, and "stations," maqāmāt. A state is something, as the Sufis explain, given to us by God; it is an insight, an inspiration or state of Being, given to us by divinity, in the moment. Stations are different: stations are qualities or virtues in our consciousness that we develop by our work, through striving, Jihad, mujahadah.
It is important to remember this distinction. Maqāmāt, stations, are sometimes translated as "initiations." So, initiation is gained by striving, through work, but insight, experiences of the Being, samadhi, out of body experiences, comprehension, aḥwāl, are states given to us by the Being, by Allah, may He be praised and exalted―our Innermost.
To explain this topic even further, how insight pertains to states, aḥwāl, given to us by divinity, we find two types of men or women, human beings, mentioned in a Sufi scripture, called Kashf-ul-Mahjoob, Revelation of the Mystery, a Persian text. It is important to understand that, as Samael Aun Weor explained, the best of Sufism came from Persia.
So, this is a seminal Persian text, which explains that there is these two men, the man of striving, Al-Ihsan Al-Mujahadah, the man of Jihad―then there is the man of contemplation, Al-Ihsan Al-Mushahadah. The word mushahadah, contemplation, means "witnessing, to perceive, to experience." This is where we get the Muslim declaration of faith, the Shahada, which many in the public, exoteric Muslims pronounce:
“Lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llāh”
“There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
What does it really mean to bear witness? Literally millions of Muslims believe that by pronouncing this prayer, one has entered into the faith. But, that is not the meaning. The real meaning is that, to bear witness of divinity, is to experience divinity, in meditation, through contemplation, to have insight, to have clairvoyance, very awakened―to the point where, as a soul, the spark of the consciousness is absorbed within Allah, the Being, who is glorified by our cooperation, through Him.
The man of striving is something that we are trying to develop in this moment. To strive, we need effort, in order to develop concentration, as we were explaining before. To develop concentration is the path of striving. But, when you get to the highest peaks of concentration, the ninth degree, establishing calm abiding, you do not need effort. That is when effort ends.
We state that, that natural state of mind, in which the lake of consciousness is serene, is the state of Tiphereth in Kabbalah, the human soul. Purest effort is no effort. At that point, we do not need striving; we no longer need Jihad at that point, to control the mind. The mind is already serene. Now, you need to enter into contemplation, imagination, mushahadah.
These two types of men also relate to Kabbalah. We find that the man of striving is precisely the Bodhisattva, the human soul, who is really working in the path of spiritual warfare, against animal desire, Al-Nafs in Arabic, the negative selves.
Tiphereth, dressed with the lower bodies―Netzach, the mind; Hod, the emotional body; Yesod, the vital body; Malkuth, the physical body; and the solar garment of the initiates, the masters, the Causal body―have been built in Alchemy. Alchemy itself is a path of striving, but also contemplation, mushahadah, witnessing, to experience the divine.
It is important to remember that, what is interesting in Sufism, particularly in the text that I mentioned, the Sufis would often wear wool garments. The word Sufi is even believed to come from the word suf, meaning "wool, pure garments." We know that wool comes from the lamb, and the lamb is the symbol of Christ, divinity. So, what are these wool garments that we need to wear, through Jihad, striving in meditation? The solar bodies, which we have to create in a matrimony.
The man of striving is dressed with these garments, by working in the perfect matrimony. But, the man of contemplation is the Being, we could say, in a manner of speaking―the man of witnessing, because the one who really witnesses is divinity, as we will explain more about.
Divinity in Kabbalah is composed of Kether-Chokmah-Binah, which are translated as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Christian terms. This is not three separate persons, as the Christians mistakenly believe, but three forces in one. This is perfectly in line with the Muslim doctrine of Tawhid, the unity of Allah. Allah is that light of the Christ, which is three forces in one, but also the Spirit, the Innermost, the Being, Chesed in Kabbalah, is part of divinity, dressed with his Divine Soul, Geburah. That is the Being, those five Sephiroth above; that is the man of witnessing, the one who really experiences. The Being needs to know Himself, as we teach, through His soul.
There is a famous mantra in Sufism, "Allah Hu Allah" which they recite many times. Allah, we say, is the triunity, the three primary forces―Kether-Chokmah-Binah―and Hu is the Spirit. In Sanskrit, we find the word Hum, meaning the Innermost. In the mantra Allah Hu, we refer to the Trinity and the Spirit, which are not separate forces, but one integral entity, aligning with Tawhid. Not entering into blasphemy, as many Muslims would argue, calling it shirk: to say that the unity of God can be broken. But, we are not speaking about a multiplicity, but one light.
In this image, we see Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, as a great master, who is illuminated by fire. Surrounded by his disciples, and the Angel Gibril, or Gabriel. This Angel is holding in his hands, the celestial Jerusalem, or Darusalam in Arabic, the city of peace. The Prophet Muhammad perfectly demonstrated the path of striving, in himself. He is a great master who here is demonstrating with his actions his perfect clairvoyance, his perfect perception, his perfect witnessing of divinity. Notice, his disciples, who are not surrounded by halos of flame, only look at Prophet Muhammad, but only Muhammad can see Gibril above. Muhammad, in the terms of Samael Aun Weor, and in Sanskrit, is a Turiya, a being that has perfect clairvoyance, perfect vision, insight. He sees both the superior worlds and the inferior worlds, the physical plane, at the same time with no confusion.
Question: Is in Daath, where you can see both worlds? That is the link between the superior and inferior worlds?
Instructor: Yes, because in Daath is precisely how the man of striving, in Alchemy, becomes a man of contemplation, a perfected being. That is how we cross the abyss.
Muhammad, as Turiya, perfectly enlightened one, is the only one who sees Gabriel there, with the Holy City. This explains how, in Buddhist doctrine, the fact that a perfectly awakened Buddha, a master, sees both the alternate truths of existence: the absolute nature of all things, the void or space, Allah, and the physical world, the conventional truth, phenomenal existence. Such a person sees both the noumena and phenomena, at the same time.
Audience: Is there a relationship to that with Janus, the Roman God who saw both ways?
Instructor: That relates, because Janus has two heads, and sees the superior and the inferior at the same time.
In Buddhist terms, we could say that Prophet Muhammad, as the man of striving, is a manifestation Buddha, as Samael Aun Weor explains in his books; the Bodhisattva, the terrestrial person. Then, the Being, represented by the Holy City, and even Gibril, the Holy Ghost, as is mentioned in the Qur'an, is the superior, the man of contemplation.
What is important to know, is that he is giving his insight to his disciples; he sees the Being in all things, the heavenly city, Darusalam, the heavenly Jerusalem mentioned in Revelation, is the superior worlds. At our level, it can refer to the psychological country, that we have to navigate. But, in the superior worlds, we have the perfectly developed master, represented by this city. So, the nature of insight is the substance of this truth.
"Abu Said al-Kharraz said, “One who sees with the light of spiritual insight, sees with the light of the Truth. The very substance of his knowledge comes from God, unmixed with either negligence or forgetfulness.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is a very elevated state of clairvoyance, which we are going to explain as supra-consciousness.
If we look in our mind, if we perceive internally, we often find that we may have periods of forgetfulness or negligence in our concentration. So, it is not perfected yet. The fact that, the type of clairvoyance, "clear vision" in French, insight, perception is unmixed with either negligence or forgetfulness, is the clairvoyance of masters, perfectly developed.
Audience: How does that relate to intuition then?
Instructor: We are going to explain that. Intuition, we say, is the capacity to know something immediately. That relates to imagination. We are going to talk about that in detail.
"Indeed, it is a judgment of Truth flowing from the tongue of a servant.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is a type of perception into the nature of mind; not only in himself, but, Muhammad sees the minds of his disciples, and is able to speak the truth. So, our clairvoyance is developed precisely by how we control our tongue: what we speak, what we say, what we produce in life. If we speak truthfully, and we are honest, our Satyam in Sanskrit, is the ethical discipline that trains the mind, so that, when the mind is serene, when we don't pronounce lies, or evil things, we have more serenity in our consciousness, so that imagery, that insight, comes more directly.
"Abu Said’s expression “looking with the light of the Truth” means seeing by a light with which the Truth has favored him." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is aḥwāl, states. We strive to concentrate, and then, when we reach the peak, no effort is needed. Then, insight comes to us, as a grace. Samael Aun Weor explained that: that insight, intuition, understanding, comes immediately when we are not seeking it, but when we are just open, when we are no longer striving. At that point, we have reached the threshold of entering into the states of being of a man of contemplation, of witnessing, mushahadah.
"Al-Wasiti said, “Spiritual insight means the rays of light that gleam in hearts and the solid establishment of a spiritual knowledge that conveys secrets of the invisible realm from one hidden place to another. Thus the possessor of insight witnesses things in the way that the Truth brings him to witness them…” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Meaning, that state is given to us, directly, without our effort. The insight comes from the Being. All we need to do is receive that.
"…and he speaks what is in people’s minds.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Now, one thing I want to mention is that, states are given to us by divinity. But, not only by our own divinity, but also other divinities. This is known in Sufism as Barakah, blessings. We call this in Gnosticism, borrowed light. So, by invoking a master, who is really developed, self-realized, that individual Monad or Being can give us experiences that are beyond our normal capacity of consciousness; things that we cannot experience on our own. Sometimes, the masters, especially in the beginning of our studies, give us light, experiences in the internal planes, that we could not have developed on our own. They are given to us as a grace, so that, as a witness, Shahid, we see the truth of divinity.
It comes into my mind, an experience that I had in the astral plane, where I invoked Master Samael. He explains in his book Igneous Rose the following:
"Every Master expresses himself through his disciples."
Personally, my affinity with Master Samael... I really love my Guru. I invoke him whenever I need him. I remember in the astral plane, I was becoming conscious, and I realized that I was being attacked. Someone was trying to knock me asleep, hitting me, punching me, pushing my consciousness... it was a type of psychological pressure that was pushing me into oblivion. So, I invoked Samael Aun Weor, in the name of Christ, by the power of Christ, by the majesty of Christ. And, instead of appearing, to stop the fight―there was a black magician who was attacking me―I suddenly had a perception that was expansive, where my awareness was illuminated, and I was seeing myself from the third person perspective. I was confronted by an Asian man in a black tunic, who was a sorcerer of the left hand path, and he was attacking me. Astrally, we were fighting, punching and kicking. Meanwhile, the presence of Samael was in my mind, in my heart, and I saw myself as if I was watching a video game. What is interesting, is that he did not stop the fight; he showed me what I needed to do to defend myself.
A good teacher does not give everything, but forces you to really develop yourself. Samael is very demanding in that way. So, I was fighting, third person, and I was having a lot of awareness in that state. Sadly, I got so identified with the experiences, while kicking, I kicked so hard that I physically acted that way, and I woke myself up―my leg flew up in the air, and I woke up; I lost the experience. But, the thing is, that was a form of barakah―that was a state I could not have achieved on my own. But, Samael, being the God of war, wanted to train me: this is what we need to do. So, he gave me that light, to see what was happening, and to learn to defend myself.
We also talk about borrowed states or borrowed light, aḥwāl, in relation to Vajrayana Buddhism. In Vajrayana teachings, the teachings of the diamond vehicle or indestructible vehicle of Tantra, we find that certain practitioners of sexual Alchemy envision themselves as a deity, or meditate through devotion on a Buddha. The most powerful form of prayer that we know is a matrimony, when sexually united. This is because, man is El in Hebrew, God; woman is Goddess Eloah. Man and woman united in Alchemy is Elohim, a unity, Tawhid in Arabic, the unity of Allah.
When a man and woman are practicing Alchemy, the best thing is to invoke a master, but especially Samael, who governs the sexual force, in order to raise that energy inward and upward, and to visualize oneself as him, as that Martian force that is in sex, to raise it to the mind. We know that Samael, as the Angel of War, governs two astrological signs: Aries in the brain, the mind, and Scorpio in sex. So, he is the power of the serpent, that we can train in a matrimony, to perform real Deity Yoga. So, he can really help us in that way.
The important thing is that aḥwāl is given to us, as a grace. Stations, then, we have to develop, on our own. That is why certain masters make us struggle, to strive and fail many times, in order to learn from our mistakes, so that, really, our comprehension is solid.
Audience: What you're saying is, you really have to strive to become religious?
Instructor: Exactly. As the Sufis teach, you cannot have contemplation, witnessing, without having striven in meditation to concentrate. Then, when you have achieved perfect concentration, then, witnessing comes naturally.
Master Samael emphasizes this point in Igneous Rose:
"Those who want to enter into the wisdom of the fire must overcome the process of reasoning and cultivate the ardent faculties of the mind.
“We must only extract the golden fruit from reasoning." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We do this moment by moment. We have to comprehend the mind instant by instant; that is how we develop our capacities, fully.
"The golden fruit of reasoning is comprehension.
“Comprehension and imagination must replace reasoning." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
What is this comprehension? It is the result of having stable mind, serene mind. Then, imagination comes to us as a result of developing our perceptive faculties, our fikrat, meditative reflection.
"Imagination and comprehension are the foundation of the superior faculties of the understanding.
“In order to enter the knowledge of the superior worlds, it is necessary to acquire the superior faculties of the mind." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We talked about this concentration and imagination, and how they produce in us genuine knowledge of the superior worlds. We gain comprehension as a result of stabilizing our mind, but, that comprehension is only really fulfilled more directly when we have insight, in combination with that. Stability and insight is what is necessary. We achieve that by working with the fire.
Here, we see the Sanskrit letters for Aum, for God, on this Buddha. It is important to remember that a Buddha, or an Angel, has attained complete cognizance by working with INRI, the sexual fire, or Allah, which is the same fire, the light of the Lord.
We're going to talk about the different qualities of insight, imagination.
What is interesting for me, is that we have we have an image of the Buddha, with a hand up and hand down. This signifies a perfectly awakened Master; one who has a fully developed budh, cognizance inside, who sees both the superior and the inferior. The hand that sees the higher dimensions and the lower dimensions, at the same time.
What is also interesting, is that we have a swastika on the chest of this Buddha, which is a symbol of Tantra. The Nordic Rune Gibor is the sexual cross of man and woman, the vertical phallus, the horizontal uterus, and the energies in motion. It also signifies the chakras that are fully illuminated, especially the chakra Ajna, the third eye of clairvoyance, that is fully strengthened, awakened, when we work with sexual magic.
Now, the thing is, this is the very same image as the image of the Prophet Muhammad, because this Buddha represents Gibril, Gibor-Ra-El: the Rune Gibor of El, the Buddha. El is the Spirit.
Audience: You said Jibril is Gabriel?
Instructor: Yes. Jibril in Arabic, Gabriel in Hebrew, and Gibor-Ra-El: the cross of Ra, the Solar God, the Christ, that inoculates the Spirit, El. Like we say in the prayer to the Solar Logos, "Come unto us and penetrate us, enlighten us, go through us, and awake within our Being (El, the Buddha) all of those marvelous substances, that are as much a part of thee, as a part of me."
So, this is Gabriel, as represented in Buddhism, the Angel or Buddha of the cross. Through that power, we see both heaven and hell, simultaneously, if we work with that perception in us.
Positive and Negative Clairvoyance
There are two forms of clairvoyance. It is important to note that clairvoyance is a term given by French initiates, in order to confuse people. The term clairvoyance was misappropriated to make people think that only a select few people had this faculty. Meanwhile, clairvoyance as a technical term, meaning "clear vision," simply is imagination, the capacity to visualize in the mind. That is clairvoyance, but people think that this is some type of supra-normal thing, that only a handful of people have. Really, everyone has that capacity inside.
We talk about this in terms of imagination; the capacity to perceive imagery. The thing is, there are two kinds of imagination: objective and subjective. Objective imagination is liberated, free of obscuration, of ego, of defect, of blemish, of filter. It is to see the reality in itself, reflected by conscious and, more importantly, supra-conscious clairvoyance. Subjective clairvoyance or imagination is perceptions that are filtered through the ego. This is very common in most of humanity. We were discussing earlier about the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, who was very clairvoyant; he saw demons in people and was writing about it, because he was morbidly fascinated. He was an alcoholic, and alcohol stimulates the negative perceptions of the psyche, as well as other, certain drugs, psychedelics, LSD, marijuana especially too. Now, those types of perception are in the mind, in the ego, defects. So, subjective clairvoyance is like being an animal, seeing in the dark; it is perception, but within the mind. This is something that we all can verify through our own experience, and we will give some examples.
Subconsciousness, unconsciousness and infraconsciousness pertain to filtered perception; meaning, subjective states, which have no reality. This is different from aḥwāl in Sufism. Aḥwāl, as superior states, really come to us as a result of consciousness, and more importantly, supra-consciousness. We will explain each in depth.
Conscious clairvoyance is, as Samael Aun Weor explains, only developed in those who awaken in the internal planes; he is clear about this in The Major Mysteries. Now, conscious clairvoyance is the capacity to see the mind as it is. In our beginning state, when we are becoming athletes in meditation and self-observation, we see egos and our perception becomes more clarified, as a result of strengthening that skill. We see egos take on shapes, qualities; we sense the mind as it is, and begin to see the mind, in the beginning state, as it is. Even deeper, if we go into the astral plane, you see your egos as very crazy creatures that are impossible to describe. Unless you look at a painting by Hieronymus Bosch... He was a great gnostic master, with supra-consciousness, who was illustrating the mind. You see a landscape with all these animal figures, in the Temptation of St. Anthony specifically, where St. Anthony is praying towards Christ in the temple, and there are all these defects surrounding him. I suggest you look at this image.
That happens to anyone that begins this path, to develop conscious clairvoyance. We begin to see the mind for what it is. This is the state of Dianoia, in Greek. Dianoia means "revision of beliefs, cultural, intellectual synthesis, awakened consciousness, spiritual culture, insight." When we begin to separate from the mind itself, we are developing conscious clairvoyance; we see the mind for what it is, in degrees. There are levels of light that we need to develop.
In order to develop conscious clairvoyance, as Samael Aun Weor explains, we need logical thoughts and exact concept. Specifically, this means that, when we are studying our mind in meditation, but also, more importantly, out of the body, we need to be very analytical about what we see. We need to be scientific, because the images that we perceive in the internal planes are symbolic. It is important to have a very good knowledge of scripture, and a lot of intuition to interpret what we see. Otherwise, we make mistakes, judgements about ourselves or other people, which we are going to talk about.
Logical thought is when we have an experience in the internal places; it has to coincide with physical facts, as the Master Samael explains in Sexology, the Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology: the superior has to agree with the inferior. So, if we have a dream or vision out of the body, that tells us about something in relation to our physical experience in life, that is when we know that it is authentic. Experiences in the internal planes given to us by our Being, or by the masters, signifies that there is a relationship there; there is no difference.
This morning, I had an experience that was very strange. I found myself in my garage, having a garage sale. And, there were people who were just taking things, taking my money, or paying me with nickels and dimes and not giving me everything I needed. They were laughing at me, and mocking me. And I was thinking, this is very strange; I didn’t know where this experience was coming from. I woke, and I thought, this is probably just my mind tricking me. But, I reflected and I realize, there were certain at my last job, recently, who were very manipulative, who were trying to take advantage of me. And, I realized, "Ah, my Being is showing me how people are trying to manipulate me, and were abusing me even." The physical experience has to coincide the internal facts, and the internal experience has to verify with the physical facts. There can't be a separation: if we experience something internally, but the physical circumstances don't really explain the vision, then, we have to discard it as subjective. But, if it tells us something about what is going on in our life, it is very applicable, then that gives us faith. So, this is conscious; this means that we're analyzing logically, but we see in the internal worlds, and also in meditation, and also in our daily experiences. It is integral―there is nothing separate.
On the other hand, subconscious clairvoyance relates to memory. This is "sub," beneath our awareness. We have a lot of experiences in our mind, in our memories, that are particularly subjective; such as traumas, difficult experiences in life. For instance, a woman who is betrayed by her father, or her father committed adultery, and later that daughter, having had this experience, gets involved with a man, in a relationship, then projects her visions of her father onto that man, and has a lot of fear and jealousy, or difficulties in relating to her future husband, as an example. This creates all sorts of problems, because that man may be very virtuous and honest, but, this woman believes her partner to be possibly an adulterer or cheating on her. So, this is subconscious. People like this are not even aware, but they are projecting their memories onto the screen of life, their traumas and past experiences.
We say that subconscious clairvoyance relates to three factors: genotype, phenotype and paratype. These are technical terms that Samael explains in Sexology, the Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology. I really recommend that you read that book and memorize it: it is very important. Genotype relates to our genes, our karma, our inheritance; such as, our language, our culture, the things that we absorb from our environment. These are things that are in our blood: habits, tendencies, illnesses that we may have, things that are genetic. These things reflect a type of psychology that institutes such results in our current existence. So, the body that we have is born from our previous actions. But, also, subconsciousness relates to many genotypic factors, such as, people’s attachment to culture, believing that their religion is better than others, their language is better than others, only liking certain foods and rejecting other cultural dishes, things like that. Things that seem simple like that, that is subconscious, because it is beneath one’s awareness, and these are things that relate a lot to our inheritance in life.
Likewise, we have phenotype, which is our education, what we learn in school. Oftentimes, this shapes the ways that we see the world; our high school, middle-school, preschool, these experiences shape our personality and how we are going to go through life, the kind of attitudes that we have. These are subconscious, because they are absorbed from others.
Lastly, we have paratype; meaning, circumstances. So, even though we have our genes and our education, certain circumstances in our life can really shape who we are and strengthen subconscious perceptions in us, very much; such as traumas, as I mentioned. This is very well known in psychology, where individuals who were abused sexually may not even remember what happened. But, later, when they talk with a psychologist, and they go through memory recall, then they remember those experiences, because they had blocked them out of their awareness. That is subconscious clairvoyance. And, the fact that it is re-surging means that they're becoming more aware of that state.
Now, unconsciousness is different; it is more profound, more submerged within what we could call animality, egotistical desires in the mind. Samael Aun Weor explains that 100% of homicides are a result of unconscious clairvoyance. To be in a state in which one lacks sympathy for another human being is very unconscious. To lack that connection with others, compassion with others, is to be in a very profound state even beneath subconsciousness. Also, many times we watch television or even being at a grocery store, there are magazine trays or counters with all sorts of paraphernalia, such as showing very lustful images of men and women, celebrities, and those images, if we're not careful about what we see, and how we transform the images as they enter into our mind, many times continue to exist as entities, egos that we create, as a result of our unconsciousness.
Samael explains that unconscious clairvoyance is a result of lustful dreams. So, if one is in the astral plane, and one is fornicating with an entity―a man or a woman―then, that is really unconscious clairvoyance. That is the cause of nocturnal pollutions, seminal emissions. As we're going to explain, that is remedied through being aware of what we eat, psychologically speaking, what impressions we take in.
It comes to my mind, the experience that one missionary had, who was walking in a grocery store, alluding to where he saw an image of a woman in a magazine that was very provocative. He immediately turned away. That night, he was fighting with this lustful succubi, this demon he created in his mind, that he saw in just one instant. Not even a fraction of a second. So, we are constantly receiving impressions from the world, but transforming them unconsciously, and then they become desires in the mind, the mental plane, which the devotees fornicate with. So, murder and fornication really are two aspects of that.
Infraconsciousness is the most submerged level of the psyche. It pertains to experiences such as nightmares, experiences of horror; like visions that Edgar Allen Poe had, describing murder, demons and all sorts of vile things, these pertain to his infraconscious which was very awakened. This is not to say that the nightmares, entities, demons and experiences that one has in dreams are not real. In fact, they have reality in our mind. In that state, one is aware of what is going on the very lower depths of the psyche.
Infraconsciousness has two polarities: prostitution and thievery. The two most infraconscious type individuals are those who are prostitutes, and also those who steal. Stealing creates a lot of disorder in communities; they think that no harm will come from stealing from someone who is rich, but that has consequences, not only in the community, but also in the mind. But, there are two polarities there, thievery and prostitution, in which the mind, the infraconsciousness relates to very sadistic sexual states, not just homosexuality and lesbianism, but extreme forms of sexual perversion, pertaining to those types of perceptions, or nightmares.
We want to become conscious of these elements in us, and, as we learn to become conscious of these subjective states and eliminate them, we really march on the path towards supra-consciousness.
Audience: These are what in psychopathology they talk about. And the techniques to get rid of them, or at least do something about them relate to spirituality. And that, once you realize these things exist, to do something about it; meditation techniques, etc. I just thought I'd mentioned that.
Instructor: To really know this in depth, study Sexology, the Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology by Samael Aun Weor. He talks about how the criminal justice system is a result of failing to really develop conscious clairvoyant psychiatrists, and also teaching delinquents how to remove these subjective forms of perception inside, by teaching them the best of yoga, Rosicrucianism, meditation, Gnosticism―teaching them the best of religion.
Now, Samael explains that the penal justice system goes hand in hand with clairvoyance, because, as the Sufis said, it is a word of justice that flows from the tongue of the servant. So, by developing clairvoyance, we become just people, and in that way, we can help individuals who killed, murdered, stole, because they felt they had to, as a result of their subjective impetus, that they're not even aware of.
Audience: These are all forms of clairvoyance though?
Instructor: Yes. We're talking about these lower three―filtered, conditioned by ego. These are forms of perception in the mind, the ego. Conscious clairvoyance, and super conscious clairvoyance pertain to states without ego, which are more purified.
Now, in relation to supra-consciousness, we find that this pertains to the level of prophets who have no ego, Turiya; Buddhas or prophets like Muhammad, who could see both the superior and inferior worlds at the same time.
The best way to explain supra-consciousness, for me, is to talk about a teaching in Advaita or Vedanta in Hinduism, the doctrine of oneness. There was a teaching given by Sivananda called Satcitananda, or "truth, knowledge and bliss absolute."
Sat is truth. So, when we do the rune Man, invoking the Lord Christ, by saying “Ommmm Tat Sat,” we are invoking the truth, the Absolute, which in Arabic is Allah, may He be exalted. We perform this by doing runes, circulating those forces to return back to Him. Tat relates to the Hebrew word ת Tav, which is the middle letter that you find in the word כֶּתֶר Kether, which is the truth. So, we say that the Father, the Lord who is in secret, is the truth, Allah is the truth, حقّ Haqq in Arabic which is one of the beautiful names in Arabic of Allah. Sat also means truth in Sanskrit, in Hinduism.
Audience: You mentioned Tav, isn't that the material plane, that has to do with the oracle of the world, Tau?
Instructor: ת Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet; it is the seal, the covenant, the truth, the perfection which we seek, after we have passed beyond the man of striving, when we become a man of contemplation, which is perfection in those degrees. This is pertaining to the Three Mountains, as we will explain at another time.
But, ת Tav relates with Satcitananda, which again is truth, knowledge and bliss; or, you could say, "the one who knows," and the act of knowledge. Or, to put it into Samael Aun Weor's terms, we have Chesed-Geburah-Tiphereth, Sat-cit-ananda. Sat is the Innermost, the truth, the Being, Hu, the Spirit of Rūḥ in Arabic. Cit is the one who cognizes or knows; this is the Divine Soul, Geburah. Then, bliss, when the human soul, Tiphereth is united with that the Monad―the Spirit and the Divine Soul―then you have happiness. That is one form of Satcitananda, at a certain level.
You also find Satcitananda in the higher Trinity: Kether-Chokmah-Binah. Kether is also Sat, the truth; Cit, the one who develops knowledge, the one who sees or perceives, is Chokmah, Christ, because wisdom means "the power to perceive," it is the one who gains knowledge' then, we find bliss absolute is the Holy Ghost, Binah, because, when man and woman are sexually united, they're working with the Holy Ghost, and that is bliss. The way that we attain to supra-consciousness, as Samael explained, is through Alchemy and meditation.
Audience: Binah is feminine right?
Instructor: It is actually masculine and feminine.
Audience: What about the Kundalini?
Instructor: We say that the Kundalini is a feminine force. But, it also relates to Chokmah, the Son of Man, within the initiate. But also with the Holy Ghost, as Shiva-Shakti, in Hinduism. Shiva is the masculine aspect of the Holy Ghost; Shakti is the feminine aspect. So, it is dual, as represented in Hebrew as Jehovah-Elohim, Iod-Havah, man-woman, God and Goddess.
Audience: So, in our society, I feel like we use the word imagination in a different way, and it is always really confused me. Basically, the way our psyche uses imagination, is not imagination at all, right?
Audience: Because, when I think of imagination, I think of, picture yourself walking across a bridge; and I've always really been confused with imagination and intuition being used together, but really that would be visualization, not imagination, right?
Instructor: People think that imagination is fantasy. But, in Gnostic terms, fantasy is subconsciousness, unconsciousness, infraconsciousness. The objective form of perception, to really know something, is conscious clairvoyance; even more, supra-consciousness.
Supra-consciousness is a state of consciousness in which the soul is absorbed by the Being, in which the one who knows is the Being, through you, when there is no you.
Audience: What about laying in bed at night, and picturing the Egyptian pyramids, while vocalizing? Is that imagination?
Instructor: Conscious clairvoyance is when you willingly imagine something such as the pyramids or an object of concentration; you are visualizing something concretely. Conscious clairvoyance is something you distinguish through practice, and you may find that you have certain degrees of clarity and insight, but really, any dream in the internal planes is conscious clairvoyance: when you awake, and you realize that you're in the astral plane―that is being conscious. That is the genuine type of conscious clairvoyance that we need. That develops in us, the more that we eliminate ego, through meditation.
Audience: And that is on another plane, you said?
Instructor: And that is really the only place that we can verify that we're developing consciousness, because that demonstrates that physically we are working and internally we are seeing on another level: we're unveiling the mind.
Audience: So, is that subjective, even when you're aware?
Instructor: It can be, because conscious clairvoyance is not perfected yet. Conscious clairvoyance has many degrees. Sometimes, we find that we may have an experience where the mind takes over, and that subconscious clairvoyance absorbs our attention, and we get lost in dreams.
Conscious clairvoyance is between the heights of heaven and really on the threshold above hell. And, depending on what we do with our perception, being mindful of our Being, we can either ascend higher or many times we identify with the mind, and we start projecting dreams.
Dreams pertain to the subconsciousness, unconsciousness and the infraconsciousness. We find that, you may be awake in the astral plane, but suddenly, you start thinking about other things, seeing other things, and begin to project.
Audience: So, subjective clairvoyance has to do with projections of the ego?
Instructor: Yes. Whereas, conscious clairvoyance is when you receive impressions objectively; there is no interference.
Audience: So, your Being gives you the conscious and supra-conscious...
Instructor: Supra-consciousness? Yes. Conscious clairvoyance, we have to learn to develop on our own. This is the path of striving to perfect our conscious clairvoyance. But also, to develop that perfect witnessing, we could say, we need to really rely on the Being. Now, aḥwāl, superior states that I have been mentioning to you, really pertains to supra-consciousness, in which there is no ego present: the soul is united with the Being, and there is only God.
So, the one who knows is God; the one who is knowing himself is the Lord; and the one who acts as cognizance at the same time is the Being. We are also part of that, we are witnessing the Lord, through the Lord. The Sufis say, "I know my Lord through my Lord."
It is really only the Being that can know himself; this is a very distinct, theological teaching given by Al-Sheikh Al-Akbar, the greatest Sufi Master, Ibn Arabi. He taught in his book, Treatise on the One Alone, Kitab Al-Ahadiyyah, that the only one that can know himself is the Lord. This is an important distinction, because the ego cannot enter there. However, the soul united, is one with the Lord, and the Being is reflected like a mirror of the soul, perfectly reflecting His image, so He contemplates His beauty.
It comes to my mind, the highest form of Satcitananda. We talk about Chesed-Geburah-Tiphereth, one trinity of the Being, truth, knowledge and bliss. Also, Kether-Chokmah-Binah, Father-Son-Holy Ghost, but, there is also Satcitananda in the Ain Soph, within the origin of who we are.
The Ain Soph is that supra-atomic star mentioned by Samael Aun Weor, that is a primordial atom from the Absolute, which is pure light, and always has been, and is inside of us. Sat is that Ain Soph, that truth. Cit is when Ain Soph has acquired cognizance of Himself. Bliss is Him contemplating Himself, through the soul. He needs the soul to be united with Him, because the soul is one with the Being. But, the problem is that we have ego. But, we can temporarily experience supra-consciousness in the Ain Soph if the Lord really wants that for the soul, if we deserve it.
You can have a samadhi, where if you meditate on the chakra Sahasrara, the crown chakra, you can project yourself in your church of Laodicea, the crown of omniscience, which is the halo of the saints, that unites with That, if that is what He wills. Then, He knows Himself, because only the Lord can know Himself.
So, when you are united with the Being, who is left? That is a philosophic question that many people have discussed for a long time, but the one who understands Himself is God, through His soul. This is known as Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the highest Samadhi. That is a form of Satcitananda; in Sufism, we call that Madhkur, Dhakir, and Dhikr: the Invoked, the Invoker and the Invocation. Dhikr, remembrance of God can mean an invocation, to really remember that presence, through a mantra, through meditation specifically.
Insight, Certainty, and Comprehension in Meditation
We included an image of a minaret, because this is what is used in mosques throughout the world to announce call to prayer, known as Adhan. They pray five times a day. We need to pray every moment. But, the meaning of the Muslim praying five times, is to maintain continual remembrance of the Being; this is the esoteric explanation of the custom. But, a minaret is a tower, meaning our brain, our pineal gland and pituitary gland, which relate to clairvoyance and omniscience. The chakra Ajna relates to the pituitary gland, the third eye, which is represented by the minaret. The Muslims cry, sing in Arabic, "Allāhu ʾakbar"; they mantralize, as a representation of remembering divinity, through mantra, sacred sounds.
We're going to explain a couple of quotes from Al-Qur'an, which teaches something about the nature of insight:
"God Most High has said, “In that are signs for those who read the signs” (15:75).
This is an exegesis from Al-Qushayri, his Principles of Sufism:
“By those who read the signs” means “for those who can see the inward state of things” or “those who have insight.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
I am going to elaborate a couple of quotes from the Qur'an, which are very misunderstood in these times. But, are understood precisely through this doctrine of insight. And, the explanation of the meaning of Muslim scriptures.
This is from Al-Imran, Sura 3:7:
"It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise―they are the foundation of the Book―and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge (Ilm, Marifah, Gnosis―real witnessing of divinity) say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding."
The thing is, those who seek what is metaphorical in the Qur'an, and do not know Kabbalah and Alchemy, these are the people of subconsciousness, unconsciousness and infraconsciousness. These are people who don't know how to see the signs in meditation. Signs are experiences one has, out of the body, or in contemplation (mushahadah), meditation.
It further states in Al-Baqarah, Sura 2:118:
"And those who have no knowledge say: "Why does not Allah speak to us (face to face) or why does not a sign come to us?" So said the people before them words of similar import. Their hearts are alike. We have indeed made plain the signs for people who believe with certainty (Yuqinun, or Yaqin)."
The Qur'an often talks about the "abundant signs of Allah (may He be exalted),” in which are references to the date palm, the trees, the rivers, the waters, the mountains―and Muslims literally interpret this, thinking that there is God because of we have these physical things, which is true to a degree. But, these signs have symbolic meanings. For example, the date palm, the fruit of the date tree, is the Muslim equivalent of the Fig tree, the sexual power. The rivers of milk and honey, paradise, refer to the transmutation of the waters, Al-Tasnim in Arabic.
“The just shall be guests of the Mansions of Delights.
“Lying in their nuptial couches they shall direct their vision anywhere.
“In their foreheads shall shine their joy.
“They shall drink an exquisite sealed wine (the wine of light of the alchemist).
“The seal shall be the Amizcle (musk).
“Whosever desires this happiness must strive (against the ego in meditation, mushahidah) to deserve it.
“This wine will be mixed with Tasnim’s water, the precious fountain where those brought near to the Eternal will quench their thirst.” ―Qur’an, Surat Al-Mutaffifin (The Defrauding) [83:21-28]
The Three Forms of Certainty
Those who have no knowledge, who really don't meditate, say, "Why does not Allah come to us with signs?" But, signs come to those who have certainty. Sufis talk about three forms of certainty, in relation to insight. You have ilm al-yaqin, meaning the knowledge of certainty; yaqin means certainty. The science of certainty is sometimes referred to as Ilm.
Then, we have "the seeing of certainty," ayn al-yaqin. Ayn in Arabic, as well as in Hebrew, means perception, eyes, sight.
Then, we have haqq al-yaqin, “the truth of certainty."
The distinction between these three is that, in the knowledge of certainty, one has certainty of the teachings after hearing it. So, there is a Sufi master who gave an explanation about this term. His name was Abū Bakr Sirāj ad-Dīn, and he gave this explanation in the book, The Book of Certainty. He describes ilm al-yaqin, as if hearing about a description of fire; receiving knowledge, hearing about it. Then, judging by the lecture or book, what is true, what is effective, and having certainty about the teaching based on having heard it. But, ayn al-yaqin is really conscious clairvoyance; meaning, to see the truth, to really experience what this lecture or what the books and Master Samael are talking about.
Then, haqq al-yaqin is like being burned by fire; meaning, the truth of certainty is the soul is united in the Being and the soul is obliterated, and there is only consciousness in God. That is to be burning with certainty. That flame, as we saw in the image of the Buddha before, is Gibor-Ra-El, Gabriel, the Holy Ghost, or we could say, the Ain Soph, that star from which we originated.
For me, when I am lecturing, I am giving you ilm al-yaqin. You have to meditate to really perceive, and hopefully go at the heat of what we're trying to convey. But, I am also explaining haqq al-yaqin, because I had the experience in which my soul was united with the Lord, with no ego, because He wanted it; not because I deserved it, but because He wanted to show me. So, giving witness as a Muslim... I really am Muslim, because I submit to Allah, and I have born witness of my Lord, having united with that truth, and that Lord was in me. But, there was no me, there was only Him. That is haqq al-yaqin, "the truth of certainty." So, I am talking about the fire that I have experienced, and the need to really meditate, to really bear certainty of your clairvoyance.
Abu-l-Hasan al-Nuri, who we're going to quote more of, the Sufi master, said:
“Certainty is contemplation (mushahadah.)”
So, real certainty is when you, the soul, are absent from the ego, and unite back with your Being. That is genuine certainty of truth, Satcitananda.
"Abu abd al-Rahman al-Sulami reported… from Abu Said al-Khudri that the Messenger of God (Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Fear the spiritual insight of the believer, for he sees by the light of God.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
That is supra-consciousness. That is a Turiya, one who really has no ego, is a real believer we could say. Real faith is born by what we see, directly, not what we believe. Belief has been misconstrued. Belief in the Qur'an, to be-lieve, to be through the power of love, through Alchemy. The symbol of Islam is the Moon, as you might see in this image; the crescent moon with the star of Venus. This is the Moon of Yesod of Alchemy, guided by the star of love, the Divine Mother; that is Angel Gibril, represented there, the Angel of the Moon.
"Firasah, the precise insight of people, comes suddenly upon the heart and negates whatever might contradict it." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is because real insight, conscious clairvoyance and even supra-conscious clairvoyance, is very direct. It cannot be contradicted: you know it directly. There is no doubt. You have an experience, you know it comes from divinity, and the mind is not divided by the battle of the opposites, trying to debate, whether it is from your Lord or not... you know it, directly.
So, the mind may try to contradict, but, especially when the experience coincides with physical facts, it is irrefutable; you cannot deny it.
"It (spiritual insight) has a kind of jurisdiction over the heart. The term is derived from “prey (farisa) of a lion.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Who is this lion? Our Inner Christ, the light of Allah, the light of unity, the light of Judah of Jehovah. Christ (Chokmah, Wisdom) is the capacity to perceive, wisdom, vis-dom, the kingdom of perception.
"The ego cannot oppose the spiritual insight of that which is usually regarded as correct and possible." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
As Samael Aun Weor states, we must know ourselves without the depressing processes of options. Insight comes in a flash, and you know something directly: it coincides with facts, physically, and it is irrefutable, you cannot deny it, even if the mind may try.
It comes to my mind, a certain experience that I had. And I'll give an example, but there were things that I experienced internally, before I physically learned about it, and then finding the physical facts. I am going to give some examples about that, later on.
"It exists to the same degree as one’s strength of faith: whoever has stronger faith has sharper insight.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
We have to examine, what is our level of Being, what is our level of faith, what have we verified, and what do we need to verify, so that we can work diligently, and strengthen our soul, so that we're not tempted by the devil in our mind. We have to resist ego.
Clairvoyance, Slander, and Ethical Discipline
In this next section that I am going to explain, coincides with what Samael Aun Weor wrote about in Sexology, the Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology; specifically, about the need to develop spiritual-intellectual culture, when developing clairvoyance. Because, the worst form of people are those who have developed clairvoyance without becoming good citizens. So, as we mentioned, the justice and truth of the servant must flow from his tongue, in a manner of speaking.
Really, the development of genuine insight has to coincide with ethical discipline. Really, being good citizens: not gossiping―not talking about other people―because, what has been destroying and affecting the Gnostic movement, are people who have been developing clairvoyance, and these people who have visions, and then judge other people. They have visions of other people, and then make criticisms of them, saying, "So and so is a black magician, a witch, is fallen, etc., etc." You can read about this in The Perfect Matrimony, extensively. The problem with these types of people is that they lack decency. They may have an experience about the ego of another person, but that is no reason to judge somebody.
To have experiences about another person, we should be silent about that. Perhaps we were seeing the ego of that person, as a source in a past life... It doesn't mean they are practicing witchcraft now. But, you have many people who call themselves Gnostics who are condemning other people, because they don't really follow what we call the Sunnah. The Sunnah in Islam is the life example of Prophet Muhammad: being a good person, being kind and merciful, and not judging others. The problem is that people have experiences they don’t know how to interpret; they may have insight, but they make judgements; they may not see the whole picture, they don't understand what they see. So, they may have conscious clairvoyance, but, without a strong intellectual culture, understanding the teaching and the fact that, really our perceptions may be limited. We won't fall into mistakes if we do...
Audience: What about, when you hear from others about someone who purports to be a spiritual teacher, and you know that they’re the left hand path, because it has been proven from what you've heard about them, their practices, and you warn someone about them? Is that a criticism, when you're sure that they're wrong?
Instructor: I just point to the teachings, and say, this is what the teachings say about being chaste, being holy.
For instance, there was a Sufi Master that was confronted by someone, who said, "So and so can fly in the air, has power." And, the Sufi Master said, "So what? Birds can fly. But, does he follow the Qur'an?" And the answer was no. “Shun him,” said the Master. And, if you want to correct people, correct by teaching the truth, not by pointing out people. If someone is causing harm, explain the teaching, "This is what is right." And let that person be the judge whether or not that instructor or missionary is really doing a good job.
To confront people and say, "This person is a black magician," even if he is, is wrong. We shouldn't necessarily confront people. But, speak the truth, talk about what you need to do to practice. And, if you suspect somebody is doing evil, tell the students, and explain to them what the path is, and let them judge. If they choose it, good; if they do not, that is their choice. You have to let people decide. And, the problem with people is they have insight, but, other people make judgements.
It comes to my mind Ibn Arabi, the greatest of Sufi masters, said, "Even if you have a genuine spiritual insight about another person, you should not talk about it to other people. That is satanic." To gossip is really a problem. Personally, I have been a victim of much gossip. "So and so is a black magician," well...
The thing is, that is in the past. Not anymore. We all have that past, most of us. So, we cannot judge anybody. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...
This explains that, in order to develop insight, real clairvoyance, we have to follow the penal code, to be a good person. In the Muslim way, we talk about the Sunnah, which is the oral tradition of Islam, talking about the life of Prophet Muhammad, and the life that he lived, the example that he showed, which is very pure:
"I heard Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami say that his grandfather, Abu Amr bin Nujayd, said that Shah al-Kirmani had keen spiritual insight. He did not err. He would say, “Whoever casts down his eyes before forbidden things, restrains his ego from lusts (attraction to pleasure), fills his inner being with continuous attentiveness and his outer being with adherence to the Sunnah (scriptures about the life of the Prophet Muhammad), and accustoms himself to eating what is lawful, will make no mistakes with his insight.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Again, we already explained about being good citizens, not commenting or gossiping about the life of others, if we have had experiences about others. I have had internal experiences about individuals, but I never went out of my way to confront them on the issue; let them do their thing. But, if you have insight, keep it to yourself.
Adhere to the Sunnah: be a moral person. Also, one must accustom themselves to eating what is lawful: this means to eat good impressions. So, watching a lot of television, playing video games, distractions, seeing lustful images on television or magazines, even at a glance, that is eating what is unlawful. We eat impressions; the mind eats what it sees. So, we have to transform what we receive in our mind. You can read more about that, about the mental stomach, in The Revolution of the Dialectic.
Samael Aun Weor explains in Igneous Rose, that serenity is the most powerful key to the development of clairvoyance. We are not serene if we gossip, or if we talk about our experiences about other people and that causes conflict or division. It is a serious crime, and it has happened in many spiritual groups, where individuals have experiences and then talk about it, to the point of creating conflict.
So, serenity develops clairvoyance. We also have to be aware of transforming our mind; anger destroys clairvoyance. A moment of rage poisons our perception. In that sense, we are eating what is unlawful, eating anger. We eat anger. There is a line from one of Shakespeare's plays, Coriolanus, where his mother says after his exile from the city of Rome, "Anger is my meat, and I will starve with feeding,” talking about the mentality of someone who is filled with wrath.
Audience: Steiner said the same thing. He said that it destroys the student who is on the path, the chakras specifically. He said the organs won't develop unless you control your emotions.
Instructor: Samael explained it. Anger creates a poison called "imperil," which destroys the lotus flower of the chakra Ajna. You see through anger, but that is subconscious, infraconscious, unconscious. Anger only sees what it wants to hurt, and gets pleasure from that. That is a form of seeing, but in hell, and that destroys the objective perception. Muhammad taught, the strongest among you is the one who controls his anger.
How to Develop Spiritual Insight
We have an image of the Sistine Chapel, the Creation of Adam. Jehovah, Allah, the Being is on the right. We're going to explain what you need to do to develop insight. We have a Sufi quote from Abu-l-Hasan al-Nuri. He was asked:
“What is the origin of spiritual insight in the one who has it?” He answered, “It comes from the saying of the Most High, ‘And I breathed into him (Adam) of My Spirit’ (15:29). ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This is very telling, because even the Sufi names and scriptures have symbolic meaning. Hasan means “beauty.” Nuri means “light.” So, Al-Hasan al-Nuri is “the beauty of the light.” It is interesting that this Master had that name. Hasan is precisely Tiphereth, beauty, the human soul. The light is Allah, as we see in this image; Jehovah on the right, Adam on the left: beauty and light.
This image depicts how one develops insight. Notice how Adam, the man of striving, the Bodhisattva, receives from the Being. He does not extend his hand out, reach out; he receives. That is ninth state of calm abiding emphasized here. It is to be in a state of active reception; no effort needed. Instead, the Being gives, as we see actively in this image of Jehovah reaching towards the human soul.
So, the man of striving, mujahadah, on the left, Adam; the man of contemplation, mushahadah, the Being, on the right.
What is interesting about the name Nur, the Arabic word from light (Aur in Hebrew); We find that Muhammad received the Qur'an on Jabal al-Nur, “the mountain of light.” So, by raising the fire of sexual magic to the mind, the mountain of initiation, he developed light and received Al-Qur'an from Gabriel, Jibril, the Angel of the cross. That Qur'an is our inner teaching, the law inside of us, the Being we could say. This is symbol as represented by Jesus receiving the Holy Ghost and being baptized in the river Jordan; it is the same meaning, but in the Muslim way.
There is also a Surah in the Qur'an called, Al-Nur, “The Light,” which contains one of the most important verses in Muslim doctrine. It describes how the light shines from an alabaster or clear vase. This is representing the Innermost, Sat, and the glass, the Divine Soul, Chit. So, there is Kabbalistic meaning here.
But, notice how, to develop insight, one must receive from the Being. Aḥwāl, the divine states, are given to us by divinity. It is when we are really working in ourselves that we find that it is the Being who seeks us. Bayazid al-Bastami, a Sufi master, stated:
“For thirty years I had sought Allah, until I realised that Allah was the seeker, and I was the sought.”
We need to strive to a degree to concentrate. But, the insight comes from the Lord. He is the one who seeks us.
I remember once being in the astral plane, and I invoked my Divine Mother. She came in the form of a bear. A bear is a symbol of the ego, of occult enemies, waiting to fight. She showed me a radar, one of those screens where you see a radius turning, with a green light, followed by blips if there is something on the radar. And, she said, "Where are you? I don't see you here. You're telling me you keep forgetting me; I am looking for you." Pointing at the radar. And, I realized that I hadn't been remembering as I needed to.
The Divine Mother seeks us; the Being is seeking us. We have to be receptive to that, to receive the light.
What is interesting is that, there are other, deeper meanings to the development of insight here. We find the Arabic word, Adam, from the Hebrew Adam. In Arabic, Adam means "not being, non-being." We talk about the Being, and then we talk about not- being, the Absolute. The Absolute, for our common perception, if we have had the experience of the illuminating void, the perception is emptiness, not-being, but the genuine Being.
So, it says here, "I breath into Adam (the not-being) with (of) my Spirit." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
It is important to explain what this not-being is.
In the Kashf Al-Mahjoob, Revelation of the Mystery, it states:
“And the expression of not-being and annihilation (Fanah) as they're used by Sufis, denote the disappearance of a blame-worthy instrument and disappearing attribute in the course of seeking a praise-worthy attribute.” Al-Hujwiri, Revelation of the Mystery
So, as I was explaining, real Samadhi in the Being, the Absolute, the not-being, the primordial space in our star, means that you have to be annihilated, no ego, in order for that subsistence, Baqa in Arabic, to be developed in us, to be in the Being. That is baqa.
The fact that the Lord breathes, in a cosmological scale, within the space, as the book of Genesis teaches: the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters of the deep, and breathed His Spirit into that emptiness. So, on a cosmological scale, we have the creation of any cosmos, the Tree of Life of any world. But, also, inside of us―how we develop insight is precisely when we cease to be egotistical; we are empty; we annihilate ourselves in the Being. We are empty.
Samael explains in The Aquarian Message that God searches the nothingness in order to fill it.
So, by working with the breath, the prana, transmutation, we develop light inside. That is how God breathes within the emptiness of the Divine Mother space to create any world, but also inside of us, our own darkness, to create light. That is when we develop beauty, Hasan Al-Nuri; the man of striving uniting with the man of contemplation.
Audience: The intermediary would be Tiphereth, the solar forces there, right? Prana comes from there? It ties in that way too, right?
Instructor: Prana comes from the Absolute. But, it is fully expressed within in the Bodhisattva, the human soul, the man of striving, when he works.
We find that primordial light is within our semen, those waters of Genesis, which can create light within us. So, we have to work on transmuting, always, every day.
There are more quotations here, in relation to Al-Risalah, discussing the nature of developing the soul and insight.
"If someone’s share of this light is more perfect, his vision is wiser and his judgment based on his insight is more truer. Do you not see how the breathing of the Spirit into Adam made it necessary for the angels to prostrate before him? For the Most High said, ‘I formed him and I breathed into him of My Spirit, so fall down before him in prostration’ (15:29).” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
When we're developing ourselves, insight, we are greeted in the internal planes by many Masters, who help us. They respect us. In a manner of speaking, they prostrate before us, because we are becoming a new God, a new Buddha, a new master. So, by developing that light and forming that Spirit inside, through transmutation, the Angels help us, in the internal planes.
“This statement by Abu-l-Hasan al-Nuri is somewhat difficult, so be careful with it. In this mentioning of the breath of the Spirit, he was aiming to direct those who say that souls are uncreated.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, Jesus said, "with patience possess ye your souls." Really, we develop the soul through insight. When we are comprehending ourselves every day, every moment, we are developing life inside of us, we're creating the soul. But, if we're asleep, we're not creating; we're unconscious, walking negligence.
The quote continues:
"The situation is not as it might occur to hearts of the weak." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Meaning, those who do not meditate.
"That to which this breathing and union and separation are properly attributed is liable to influence an alteration, which are signs of the transience or transitoriness of creative things. Yet, God, Glorious and Exalted, has chosen the believers, (the meditators, who transmute), for perceptions and lights through which they come to possess insight." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, experiences and the flashes of insight in the mind when we're meditating: that is how we really believe the truth of these things.
"In essence, these are the forms of the knowledge of God. This is the import of the prophets saying, "the believer sees by the light of God." It is by knowledge and an inner vision for which God Most High has especially chosen him, and by means of which he has distinguished him from others like him. To call these kinds of knowledge and perceptions, lights, is not an innovation. And, to describe this process as breathing is not reaching far afield. What is intended is one created nature." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, we create the soul through developing comprehension. This relates to the Tree of Life, as we explained.
"Wherever the delusion of your selfhood appears―there’s hell. Wherever “you” aren’t―that’s heaven." ―Abū Sa’īd in Ibn Munawwar: Asrār attawḥīd, ed. Shafī‘ī-Kadkanī, 299
So, we need to remove ourselves, and let our Being express and guide us, to give us insight.
The Tree of Life is a symbol that we can meditate on, to really comprehend and develop our concentration. But, also to visualize, so that we can experience in the internal planes and what the Tree of Life signifies.
Now, all the references to the subconsciousness, unconsciousness, infraconsciousness, pertain to us. The Being is supra-consciousness, and the road as represented in the allegory of the cave, is the path of conscious clairvoyance.
Audience: The Sephirah Daath has the hexagram on it, there must be a reason why it is projected in a different way?
Instructor: Because Daath is precisely the work of transmutation, that is going to develop insight.
Audience: It makes it stands out, on the Tree, because of the color.
Instructor: And we use that color to represent how Daath is that secret sphere, that was not taught for millennia. It is that knowledge of developing the beauty of lights, Hasan Al-Nuri, insight.
Audience: Does Daath relate with mantras?
Instructor: Yes. With how we gestate, perform Dhikr, invocation, mantra, remembrance.
So, as I mentioned to you, we know we're developing insight, when we're doing it moment by moment. If we are not clear about what we are seeing in our psyche, it means that we are not working with our clairvoyance, but being negligent.
Every moment, we need to have that vigilance, to strive, so that, through our striving, when we have serenity of mind, we see things in our psyche that are new.
Audience: Moment to moment, you said, right?
Audience: So, driving a car, working, what ever it is you're doing, it is taking your attention, your concentration. How do you reconcile that with being aware spiritually, moment to moment?
Instructor: Remember, your hudur, your Presence, your Being is always in you, with you. So, whatever you're doing, even though we don't see Allah, know that Allah sees you. We have to remember that fact, repeatedly, so that our daily activities are a reflection of our spiritual life, inside.
To emphasize the fact that, we're only alive when we're awake, when we're observing, when we remember.
"Concerning the saying of God Most High, “Or one who was dead―we have brought him to life” (6:122), a Sufi said, “Someone who was dead of mind, but God Most High brought him to life with the light of insight, and set for him the light of divine manifestation and direct vision―he will not be like someone who walks, unconscious, with the people of unconsciousness.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
We go through our day, we don't sense our Being: we are dead. It is terrible to say but, as Samael Aun Weor explains in The Revolution of the Dialectic, the one who is not transforming impressions―being awake moment by moment―is devolving, degenerating.
So, when we're unconscious we are not alive. But, if we are paying attention, that is when we have life. When we see something in a way that is new, regarding our daily job or experience, working with another person, our mind, when we have that flash of understanding, you see something in a completely brilliant, clear, cognitive way. We are alive in those instants.
Some people experience this rarely in their life, maybe as a result of an accident. A car accident that produces such a moment of shock, that that person awoke in their consciousness, and was seeing every detail of the accident, before it ended.
We need to develop that type of awareness, no matter what happens. That is mind training, Lojong in Buddhism, striving in Jihad.
"It is said that when insight becomes sound, its possessor progresses to the level of contemplation (mushahadah, supra-consciousness)." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition
Now, we're going to talk about imagination, inspiration and intuition, according to Sufism.
This is probably one of the most important quotes from this text, Al-Risalah:
"[Al-Jurayri] said that whoever does not establish awe of duty and vigilance (muraqaba, or awareness: muhadarah) in his relationship to God will not arrive at disclosure of the unseen (mukashafah) or contemplation (mushahadah) of the divine." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Everything that we're talking about here, awe of duty―we have to really feel that reverence and awe to practice, every day, to feel that reverence for the Being in every moment.
Awe of duty is to know that it is our duty to work for our Lord, no matter how difficult it is. That will lead us to disclosure of the unseen, mukashafah, and contemplation, mushahadah, of the divine. We're going to explain each of these stages.
In Sufism, the three stages that we talked about previously are known as awareness, unveiling or disclosure and contemplation. In Gnosticism, we call it, imagination, inspiration, intuition. I am going to parallel these scriptures for you, so that you see the unity of thought.
"Awareness (muhadarah) is the beginning; then follows disclosure (mukashafah), then contemplation (mushahadah)." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
"Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition are the three obligatory paths for the Initiation (maqamat, the path of striving, the path of the stations or initiations).
“We reach these ineffable heights by means of Concentration, Meditation and Samadhi." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Previously, we discussed concentration. What we are emphasizing here, is how to meditate, to receive new information. To meditate is to receive information. Everything that we have done previously about concentration is to prepare for that. Then, Samadhi is that state of witnessing, ecstasy. The word ecstasy, in Latin, is ex-statuo, "to stand outside of oneself." So, as the Sufi's say, "where you aren't, that is heaven." When you are outside of your subjective, subconscious, unconscious, infraconsciousness, you are entering witnessing, a Samadhi, contemplation of the divine.
"Whosoever has reached these ineffable heights of intuition has converted himself into a Master of Samadhi.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We're going to talk about the Sufi terms, but also what Samael Aun Weor explains.
Imagination is the ability to perceive images, to see, have insight of a conscious and supra-conscious nature.
Inspiration is when we see an image and we feel a reaction, a response in our heart, in our soul, about a given symbol or experience in the internal planes.
Intuition is when we directly know the meaning of that symbol, to have real cognizance or contemplation of what it means.
"In the beginning [of meditation], the disciple perceives fleeting images. Later, the disciple totally perceives all the images of the supra-sensible worlds.
“This first stage is known as imaginative knowledge.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
The Sufis refer to it as awareness. So, I invite you to really reflect on the parallels here.
"This first stage of knowledge belongs to ‘imaginative’ knowledge." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
"Awareness [muhadarah, comes from the same Arabic root as hudur, presence], is presence of heart, which may be produced by the coming together of innumerable small proofs of what is real." ―Al Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Meaning, visions, lights, perceptions, imagination.
"It is still behind the veil, even if the heart is present with the overwhelming power of the practice of remembering God (dhkir)." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, we see images, and we start to have flashes of insight. When we're meditating, we see people, places, things, hear sounds, even smells, visions; we're not entirely responsive in our heart, but we have these images and flashes that suddenly come to us, and we realize, we either wake up or return to our body, in meditation, after having seen those flashes. These are proofs, signs that we're developing our clairvoyance. This is a necessary and very good step; the fact that we see images means that we're stabilizing our mind, and that we're developing imaginative knowledge.
However, it is still behind the veil, because we have not really developed that real interpersonal connection to that symbol or to the visions that we're seeing.
The next stage, as cited in Igneous Rose:
“The disciple contemplates many images that are mysteries for him because he does not understand them." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This is when we see symbols, and we have an emotional response. We realize, this is a teaching, perhaps from our Being, that is really insightful and meaningful to us. We feel inspired, we may feel happiness or pain, pleasure, but we don't really know the meaning of what it entails. It is enigmatic to us. The solution is to meditate further.
"Yet as long as he perseveres with his practices of internal meditation, he will then feel that the supra-sensible images produce certain feelings of happiness or pain.
“The disciple then feels inspired in the presence of the internal images. He has thus risen to the stage of inspired knowledge." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
And, the Sufis teach the same thing:
"After this comes disclosure (unveiling, mukashafah) which is presence which has the quality of proof itself." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Meaning, we know that this is evidence from God, from our Lord.
"In the condition the heart has no need of pondering indications or searching for the road, nor seeking protection from occasions of uncertainty (the opposite of yaqin, the knowledge of certainty, or ayn al-yaqin, the seeing of certainty, or haqq al-yaqin, that truth of certainty), and it is not screened from the nature of the Unseen." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
At this point, we are no longer searching for other things. We receive a symbol, and we really reflect on what this symbol means; what is it teaching us. We no longer have other options, "I received this symbol, now I have to go deeper and understand what my Being is teaching me." That is when we're inspired, and have reached ayn al-yaqin, the perception of truth.
In this image, we have calligraphy of the word Allah, surrounded by light, a Sun of truth. And, there are twelve Sufis, referencing the twelve Sephiroth of the Tree of Life, and the Absolute, Allah.
Intuitional knowledge pertains to when we understand a symbol, when we understand what the experience is about.
"Later, when he sees an internal image, instantaneously he knows its significance and the reason for many things. This is the third stage of knowledge, known as intuitive knowledge." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Samael describes the Being as the Sun of Truth, the light of truth in Aztec Christic Magic. That is why we chose this image of Allah, the Sun of Truth, the Being, which the Sufis elaborate: that intuition is when you know something without any diversion, you know the meaning of the experience immediately.
"Then comes contemplation which is the presence of the Real without any remaining doubt. Suddenly the sky of one’s hidden inner being (sirr) becomes clear of the clouds of the veil, and the sun of vision (the Being, the Sun of Truth) rises in the sign of honor. The truth of contemplation is as Junayd said, “Finding the Real comes with losing yourself.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Meaning, no ego.
Audience: This is even above, the next stage after intuition?
Instructor: No, this is intuition. There are degrees of intuition, we could say, intuitional knowledge. Intuition is the level of the Being, the world of Geburah we say. But, you can have intuition, experiences in the whole Tree of Life, that pertain to imagination, inspiration, intuition.
It is important to remember that these are not plateaus; you conquer one then go to the next... you can have an experience within a millisecond, where you have the vision, you know it is a symbol, and you know what it means immediately. Other times, we just see images, we don't really feel inspired; other times, we don't see anything at all. So, if we're not seeing anything, we need to develop imaginative knowledge. But, if you have some capacity for clairvoyance, you can work with the heart, listening to classical compositions to develop inspirational knowledge. And, to develop intuition, meditate on the Being itself.
Audience: What about the practice with the aloe vera plant?
Instructor: So, the practice of imaging a plant to develop clairvoyance pertains to imaginative knowledge. Whereas, if you want to develop inspiration, meditate on music; such as Beethoven's Ninth symphony. And, if you really are meditating profoundly, you can experience what he was teaching in that piece, and that is intuition. Intuition is the world of mathematics: to know the Being, directly. And, there are levels to this, as represented by the Tree of Life.
Sometimes, when we're imagining, we're inspired by a symbol, and we don't really know the meaning. Other times, we need to meditate further, to get that meaning, that intuition. So, as I mentioned, these are not plateaus but, it can happen in one moment; it can happen over a course of many years.
I want to emphasize for you the importance of relating internal experience with physical facts, as emphasized by the following teachings of the Sufis:
"It is said that the spiritual insight of students is a thought that demands verification, but the insight of the gnostics is a verification that demands a reality." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, in the beginning, we have a hunch, a thought about the meaning of a scripture or teaching. Then, later, as we meditate, we go out of our body and investigate; then we verify what we had the hunch about, the intuition about, in relation to physical evidence.
But, then we have Gnostics, people who are really developing; people who have the experience, and then look for physical facts to verify what they experienced. Samael Aun Weor was like that for many years. He was having Samadhis and astral travels, and was trying to convey his experiences in physical terms to people. So, he had to investigate many scriptures, literature and books, to explain and verify the things that he experienced, in order to show people the real depth of the esotericism in religion.
I had an experience about the Tree of Life, before I knew Kabbalah. So, I had an experience where I saw the Tree of Life, the ten Sephiroth, before I knew anything about that diagram. Then, I asked an instructor, "I saw this image; what does it mean?" "Oh, that is the Tree of Life," I was instructed. Then I studied the books, then had that verification. So, I had that experience before I verified it physically.
Another time, I was in a fight with a black magician who did some form of martial arts on me, twisted my arm when I was trying to fight him and defend myself. This black magician told me, "I did Aikido on you." Which was the martial arts I was training with at the time. That day, when I woke up, I went to my Aikido instructor and said, "Someone I saw did a move on me, did this," and I showed him the move that this black magician did on me in the astral plane. "Oh, that is nikyo." He told me the technique. So, I had the experience before I physically learned the technique.
You can have the internal experience, and then verify it physically. That gives us more faith, because you see what you experience before you even read or learn about it physically. In terms of Master Samael, he had many experiences that, when you read his books, he is using many terms in different languages to explain his teaching, because he had an experience that demanded verification.
The rest of this quote talks about how these Masters are very observant of us. And, the need for us to really be aware of them, because if we don't see God, God sees us.
"Ahmad bin Asim al-Antaki said, “When you sit with the people of truthfulness (Turiyas, prophets in the internal worlds), sit with them in truthfulness, for they are the spies of the hearts. They will enter and leave your heart without your feeling it.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
I remember being with Master Samael, and he was teaching me something specifically, but I was starting to lose my concentration and remembrance of him, and my ego was trying to hide something from him. And he said, "No, you can't do that." He was showing me that he knew exactly what was going on in my mind. So, when you're with the Masters of truthfulness, be truthful, because they see through everything. You can't hide from a God of the heavens.
"I heard Muhammad ibn al-Husayn say… that Abu Jafar al-Haddad said, “Spiritual insight appears as a spontaneous intuition that nothing can challenge." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Real insight, when you have it, your mind can't argue about it: you simply know it. Especially when it verifies with facts, physically. Then, there is no argument. The mind may try to doubt, but it is irrefutable.
Audience: Just what you said now about, you don't have any doubts when you experience something. Then you have the people like bible thumpers, who say, all you have to do is have faith; that is their philosophy, without experience. But, what you're talking about here is having experience, and then you really have faith based on that experience; it seems like those other people come up short, or can only go so far...
Instructor: That is because those people don't even enter into the path of striving, mujahadah. As the Apostle James said, "Faith without works is dead." So, faith, as Samael explains, is direct perception of the truth, to know something without conceptualization. But, faith without works is dead. Meaning, if you don't strive, you don't work, you cannot have faith. So, you need both. Apostle James was really Muslim, if you break it down.
"What doth it profit, my brethren, if someone sayeth he hath faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother and sister is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace and be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself if it does not have works is dead." ―James 2:14-17
"If contradictions arise (when you feel like you have an insight, but there is contradictions in the mind, still churning), it is a simple thought, an event of the ego.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, the mind is churning and chaotic, and working through the process of mechanical associations is subjective. But, insight is lightning, it strikes the mind. You can have a vision, an experience, an insight, an understanding that comes very sporadically, out of nowhere, when we least expect it. And, there is no contradictions. But, if the mind is churning and you have that quality of cloudy, disorganized churning, impassive or indifferent mind, it means that we need more insight. That insight is a shock that gives us life. And, as Samael Aun Weor explains in Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology, we receive a form of shock to our physical selves even, our body, when we self-observe and remember our Being, the body receives nourishment; it is an energy from the Lord.
One thing I want to emphasize, is in relation to the need to coincide physical facts with spiritual experience. I will quote for you a teaching from Al-Risalah, where they talk about the need to combine study of the scriptures with practical experience. They call this in Muslim terms, Shariah and Haqiqah. Shariah is the law, which people in the Middle East interpret to be the law from Muslims in Arabia, the physical customs of their civilization. But, really, Shariah is the spiritual ethical discipline that we work with and develop, in order to develop our psyche. This is the path of striving: to be good persons, not to lie, not to steal, not to fornicate. This is Shariah, the law, the foundation.
Haqiqah is the truth, Haq is truth that we experience in meditation.
So, in the Sufi martyr, Al-Hallaj, said, "An Al-Haqq!” or “I am the truth!”―he wasn’t lying: he was expressing his Inner Being within him. There was no Hallaj there; there was only the Lord. He really reached Haqiqah, the truth. But, of course, the orthodox Muslims had him executed, because they considered it blasphemy, because Haqq is one of the names of God. So, he was saying, "I am God." But, it wasn't the man of striving saying that: it was the Being, the man of contemplation.
We need to follow Shariah, the divine law, to develop inner experience. We need both. So, it says here in the scripture:
"The divine law (Shariah) commands one to the duty of servanthood. The way the inner reality, Haqiqah, is the contemplation of the divine Lordship, mushahadah, to witness. Outward religious practice not confirmed by inner reality is not acceptable. Inner reality not anchored by outward religious practice is not acceptable. Divine Law brings obligation upon the creation, while the Way is founded upon the free action of the Real. The divine Law is that you serve Him. The Way is that you see Him.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, for us, in the beginning, we serve God, but we don't see Him yet. But, by experiencing, then we see Him, and we need to do both. We need to practice, to strive to the point of witnessing, then we know and have that insight.
"The divine Law is doing what you have been ordered to do. Haqiqah is bearing witness to what He has determined and ordained, hidden and revealed.
"I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say that God's saying [in the Opening Chapter, Al-Fatihah] iyyaka nabudu―"You we worship"―preserves the outward practice, the divine Law. Iyyaka nastain―"to You we turn for help"―establishes the inner reality, the Way." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, how do we worship? By striving, by working, by meditating.
Instructor: Through performing Jihad in ourselves, the internal war against the psychological "I." And then, "To you we turn for help," meaning, once we've reached concentration of the ninth degree, we receive the help, "Then we turn to you," we receive that help from the Being, that is aḥwāl, states, insight, lights, perceptions, the inner reality, Haqiqah, the truth.
"Know that religious obligation is a spiritual reality in that it was made necessary by His command." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
It makes me sad that I know people who have been in this teaching for thirty years, twenty years, who have done practices for so long and, speaking with them one on one, they tell me of their desperation that they haven't experienced what that they've read about. This is terrible, because the truth is, if we are really practicing well, then we will have that experience. We need both. Our discipline has to coincide with what we learn internally. Likewise, what we learn internally strengthens our physical daily life, our ethical discipline, our conduct. Both are fundamental.
In this quote we have Mansur Al-Hallaj, who I mentioned briefly that said, "An Al-Haq (I am the truth)" states:
“The man of spiritual insight hits his target with the first shot. He does not turn to interpretation or opinion or calculation.” ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This means that insight or intuition, when we know something directly, there is no doubt in the mind; it is very crisp. We distinguish it be the clarity of the experience, and the state beyond our normal perception.
Lastly, we will conclude with the necessity to develop continuous consciousness, or the permanent center of gravity, as Samael Aun Weor explains in his books.
In the beginning, we have sparks. Then, we develop flashes. And, as a result of our discipline, we develop more light, day by day in our practice daily, until finally, when reaching the goal, there is only the Sun of Being, continuous insight, understanding of reality, here and now.
"No one has improved upon the explanation of the achievement of contemplation (mushahadah) given by Amr bin Uthman al-Makki. The gist of what he said is that the light of God’s manifestation falling upon the heart one after another without a break, with no veil or disruption (meaning, there is unveiling here, mukashafah, and real contemplation, mushahadah) intervening among them, resemble flashes of lightning seemingly linked together continuously. For just as the darkest night, through the repetition and persistence of lightning-flashes in it, would take on the brilliance of day, when continual divine manifestation (continuous consciousness, here and now and in the internal planes) takes place in the heart, the heart is full of daylight, and not night." ―Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Read The Perfect Matrimony, where the Master Samael explains that in the beginning we realize that we're dreaming. Then, we realize we're awake in the astral plane. And the later, we're flying, and other times we're in the Jinn state. So, finally, through our progressive work, we are finally awakened: no ignorance.
Audience: There is a Tarot card called the Tower, which I believe is Mars, with the human beings falling down from the tower, which is an awakening or revelation, I believe. How does that fit in with all of this?
Instructor: The 16th card of the Tarot we call Fragility. It relates to the Hebrew letter Ayin. The reason why it is Ayin, the Arabic and Hebrew word means eyes, vision. The middle letter of the Hebrew word Daath is Ayin, and Daath is dual: it can take one to heaven or it can take one to hell. The problem with the card of Fragility is that the couple fornicates.
Audience: The other interpretation they have is that they use the letter Peh, and they say it is like a revelation, where you see the truth, like the lightning bolt hitting the tower.
Instructor: That thing is, with the Tarot especially, those cards were never meant for the public. What happened was that, what few teachings were given about the Tarot were stolen, and were given to the public in a very adulterated form. So, the cards that we use in this tradition...
Audience: They have to be esoteric then? And the others are the exoteric?
Instructor: A lot of the cards that are in game tables, and fortune teller type places, are adulterated. The cards that I personally have worked with in the internal planes have that intuitional knowledge and come from the cards that I verified in the literature that we have, and the diagrams that we use. But, we say that Ayin relates to the sixteenth card, because ע Ayin is the sixteenth Hebrew letter; ע Ayin is eyes, and it is the middle letter of דַעַת Daath, the work of perception is how one either rises or falls. But, in Fragility, the couple fornicates, and the tower of Babel is destroyed, they are punished by divinity.
So, those people who fornicate abuse their Ayin, their eyes, their perception, because we eat through our eyes. But also, those who fornicate lose all certainty, ayn al-yaqin, the knowledge of the truth, because they take away their energy or capacity to have that experience. That is my understanding. But, the Tarot cards were heavily adulterated. And, when I have receive tarot card readings internally, it is always from the literature that we have been using, and so I have faith in that deck.
Audience: And this deck is in the works?
Instructor: Yes, it is being published [Editor's Note: The Eternal Tarot is presently available through Glorian Publishing]. So, develop certainty, first strive, then strive to contemplate.
Audience: If I was to give my opinion, one of the most important things is really moment to moment awareness, that is really the goal; moment to moment during the day.
Instructor: And we will conclude with, "He who remembers God, in his inward states will be exalted by God in all his outward deeds."
The following transcription is from an audio lecture on Gnostic Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.
To aid us in our discipline, we're going to explore a very important teaching to Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, known as the nine stages of meditative concentration. Specifically, when we address concentration, we do so with a purpose of understanding where we are. We study the following diagram, which is a very famous mural that we find in pretty much every Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the world, in order to understand where we are in our practice.
The purpose of this lecture is to understand where we are: what is our level of being? What is our capability? Our ability when we sit to concentrate, close our eyes, and really reflect inside?
This teaching, pertaining to Buddhism, was taught by Samael Aun Weor in a very synthetic manner. He never explicitly detailed the nine degrees of calm abiding, or the nine steps leading to calm abiding―to have a serene mind―instead, he expected his students to really study and meditate on the teachings, and to work to comprehend this methodology in practice.
He also spoke, in a very synthetic manner, about these nine stages, emphasized in this image, which we are going to explain in detail. This image explains how, from the beginning of concentration, the mind is disturbed and wild. Then, through gradual training, our practice eventually leads us towards a mind that is completely serene, a mind that is completely still. So, to help us to really understand where we are, and how to effectively concentrate, this map will lead us towards the real gateway to meditation.
Everything that we do in these studies, pertaining to runes, mantra, pranayama, transmutation, sacred rites... these in themselves are means to develop concentration. When we sit to practice, we do these preliminary exercises to help us to focus our mind, which is really the beginning of actual meditation; it is not meditation itself.
My purpose in elaborating on what this diagram means, in relation to what Samael Aun Weor taught, is to help us be sincere and to examine the nature of our mind and what we need to do to develop concentration.
Previously, we were discussing the eightfold steps of Patanjali's yoga sutras, who wrote one of the key scriptures of yoga. When we talk about yoga, we do not refer to the physical calisthenics of the body: Hatha yoga. We are talking about "yug," from the Sanskrit, meaning union with Divinity; or "religare" in Latin, religion.
Patanjali taught that there are eight steps, which ties into the eightfold path of Buddhism. We have Yama / Niyama. Yama is restraint of mind from harmful action; Niyama is the precepts, developing real ethical discipline, purity of mind. Yama / Niyama are formed by things like Saucha (clarity), Santosha (contentment), Satya (truthfulness), Aparigraha (renunciation of worldly desires). In other words, these are the ten commandments, anything that we use as a discipline to train our mind: Yama / Niyama, to do or not to do. This is followed by Asana, which is our posture in our body. This is followed by Pranayama, transmutation, mantra, sexual energy, runes―any exercise that we use to work with the vital forces in our mind, in our body. That leads to Pratyahara, meaning, silence of mind, or suspension of the senses. This leads into Dharana, which is concentration, which is what we're going to be explaining, in detail.
Previously, in our lectures, we were talking about these preliminary steps: ethical discipline, the need to train our mind, to fulfill the vows of yoga, of religion, of discipline. As well as how to relax our body, in order to fully concentrate. We are discussing the preliminaries that lead to the actualization of learning how to focus the mind.
Samael Aun Weor taught that, when we sit to practice, we must stop thinking. This is the beginning, to learn how to concentrate. If we sit down and we examine our mind, and we see that we are thinking all the time, it means that we still have not yet developed Pratyahara, serenity of mind, suspension of the senses. Typically, the impressions of life enter our psyche, and our mind becomes disturbed as a result of not transforming those elements as they enter our mind. For example, we see a provocative image on a billboard, or on television; it strikes the mind; it offends the senses; the mind becomes identified, agitated; it becomes stimulated. We need to really refrain from these types of activities―which I will be elaborating on―as a requisite to developing concentration.
We find that our mind is over stimulated with all these impressions: they enter the mind; the mind is not still; we don't know how to transform the experience of life, as it happens in an instant. Without this understanding of mindfulness, and of fulfilling the basic vows―chastity (Brahmacharya in Sanskrit), sexual purity―the mind becomes overwhelmed, agitated; we cannot sit still.
This is represented by this image. We find here a monk who is chasing after an elephant. That elephant is our mind. The fact that is dark in the very bottom of the image refers to the dullness of our mind, the laxity of our mental states, the lethargy of our consciousness. This monk is chasing after this elephant. You see, gradually, this elephant becomes subdued, and it becomes white, purified, as a result of mind training, the nine degrees that we are going to explicitly detail.
This is precisely the path that we need to take, to realize that our mind, in the beginning, is―in this instant―very chaotic very wild. There is no control or dominance over the mind typically, in the beginning. This path that winds up towards the mountains of the superior worlds is precisely the path of Dorothy, the Wizard of Oz, the winding golden path of Jnana Yoga, which is knowledge yoga, mind yoga.
It is precisely these higher states where the elephant is tamed and subdued, in which we are free of the mind, and the mind fully obeys our will. We see an image of a monk flying in the astral plane, or in even higher dimensions, Tiphereth, etc., symbolized by the mountains of initiation. For, if we awaken in the internal planes, divinity can show you mountains. A mountain pertains to walking the path of initiation itself.
We want to calm our mind, to develop serene mind, which, as we find that these waters from the mountains descend, the waters of the pure energy of divinity. These waters become turbulent, as they descend toward Malkuth, the physical world, which is represented by this monk leaving a pagoda of three steps. This pagoda is really the body, Malkuth, represented by three floors, which are our three brains: our intellect, our emotions, and our motor-instinctual-sexual dynamics.
The waters are turbulent because the waters of our mind are chaotic. We receive impressions in life; we go through our day with our work, with our daily occupations, or with watching televisions; we receive impressions that enter the mind and are not transformed, that are disturbed. Therefore, the mind, the elephant, has no control.
We must understand this fact, and really be honest. When we sit to reflect, what is the state of our mind? If we want to really enter the path of what meditation actually is, we need to develop concentration first.
"When you lack the elements of serenity,
Even if you meditate assiduously,
You will not achieve concentration
Even in thousands of years."
―Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment
This is the core scripture that Tsong Khapa, a great reincarnation of Buddha, taught in his Lim Rim Chenmo, a Tibetan Buddhist doctrine.
We will explain more specifically each step of this image, in detail.
We really must understand what it means to concentrate, if we are going to practice. So, I'd like to quote from you a teaching from Pabongka Rinpoche from Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, where, in a very stark and explicit manner, he explains precisely and honestly, a maxim that we really need to contemplate, and to realize: are we actually practicing when we sit down? Are we really focused on what we're doing? No practice will have benefit―pranayama, mantra, runes―if we don't understand the nature of concentration itself.
"Though you may pretend you are doing a practice, you are not practicing at all if you do not know what is required to achieve single pointed concentration." ―Pabongka Rinpoche from Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand
In terms of the nine degrees, this is the eighth. It is the second highest rung of actual concentration itself.
"You must definitely achieve single pointed concentration with two features: great clarity together with some stability, and tight image retention." —Pabongka Rinpoche, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand
So the purpose of developing serenity is that when the mind is perfectly still, we can then begin to meditate and reflect the images from the superior worlds. When we're fully relaxed, the mind is completely still, there are no thoughts, no distractions; we have finally reached the highest degree of concertation, meditative equipoise; then imagery can reflect from our Being, from the internal worlds, into our mind, in our clairvoyance, into the lake of our perception. And, when it is still, it can reflect the superior worlds, and we will explain more about what one needs to do when in that state, in detail.
We need great clarity. If we sit and examine our mind, what do we see, and what do we not see? That is the question. If we don't see anything, if we just experience the sensations or memories of the day, from the events of our life, if they are just surging in our mind, without any order, without any clarity, it means that the mind is very dull; it means that we really need to work very hard to develop that clarity, which is born from acquiring more stability.
This is, of course, achieved through self-observation, as we always teach. But, more importantly, mindfulness, as we will elaborate on.
When the mind is serene, meditation is easy; images come of their accord. We talk a lot about imaginative, inspirational and intuitive knowledge. Imagination is when we receive images inside. Inspiration is when we feel the soul's reaction or response of an emotional, superior nature, towards that image; we know that it is a symbol that comes from our Being; we are inspired. Intuition is direct cognition, understanding the nature of that symbol. But, imagination, inspiration and intuition, which we will explain next, come as a result of serene mind; if the mind is completely still. If it is not, we cannot develop insight.
In Buddhism, we talk a lot about two terms: vipassana (special insight) and shamatha (serenity).
Samael Aun Weor explained this very beautifully as imagination and willpower. Imagination is the power to perceive. If the mind is chaotic, if we are not transforming impressions in the moment in which we receive them, we lack that tight image retention, that clarity of mind.
First, we develop, through willpower, control of the mind, as the Master Samael Aun Weor explains in Igneous Rose: that we must dominate the mind with the terrible whip of willpower. So, we need effort, especially in the beginning, to control the mind. But, in the higher degrees of concentration, there is no effort. But, as Master Samael also explained and emphasized, Tsong Khapa says:
"Nowhere does it say anything else but this: if you hope to develop insight (vipassana: comprehension), the training of wisdom, you must find quietude (shamatha / dhyana), that of concentration." —Tsong Khapa
So, if we want insight into the ego, into our defects, we must develop that stability. If we lack that, then there is no wisdom; wisdom meaning: "the power to perceive."
The teachings that we're presenting here come from Tsong Khapa's text, the Lim Rim Chenmo, known as, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. This is one of the core texts of Tibetan Buddhism and is very useful to study.
I know that when the Dalai Lama was fleeing Tibet from the Chinese, he made a special case to take with him his text of the Lim Rim Chenmo, before he escaped from Tibet into India.
Prerequisites for Developing Genuine Concentration
This text explains the physical requisites, and the psychological training we need to acquire that stability, if what we want is insight. I invite you to really reflect on the nature of these statements, very deeply:
Dwelling in an Appropriate Area
We cannot meditate if our home is chaotic or cluttered, or if we live with other people who are noisy, who are distracting, especially in the beginning, when we need a sense of quietude, to really focus. To not meditate in a place that is filthy or disorganized. It should be some place that, when we come to sit to practice, we have inspiration to really sit and to relax. Also, if we live in a warzone, we can't meditate; an adept can meditate in any circumstance.
Living in an appropriate area means that we need to leave in a place that there is peace, that there is no threat of our life being in danger. The fact that living here, in this city, in a relatively safe environment, we are fortunate. There are people across the world who cannot even fulfill this requisite, even if they want to meditate. We get this on our forum, people who are writing about this problem.
An appropriate area must be clean, peaceful. It doesn't need to be a temple in our own home, but what matters is that we have a space dedicated to practice. It can be simple: an altar, white tablecloth, candle, religious image; or no altar. What matters is that our environment inspires us, and gives us the capacity to really practice.
Having Little Desire
This is something that, honestly, most of us don't have. We usually have a lot of desires in our mind that are constantly conflicting, pushing us to do other things other than meditate or practice preliminary concentration exercises; defects which emerge and say, "I want to ride my bike, watch television, take care of this or that responsibility, etc." The mind is surging with this torrent of forces and energies which we have previously put into motion, which formulate into our egos. This is represented by that water in that first image, = descending in torrents from the mountains, into Malkuth, towards the monk in that image. The waters above are very pure, but when these energies of God enter us, into our mind, they become transformed and blackened by desire.
So, we need to have little desire, meaning: curtail our appetite, such as overstimulating foods or elements which may impede us from practicing well.
The term for this, in Sanskrit, is Santosha. In Patanjali's yoga sutras, Santosha means being grateful for what we have, and not craving things that we do not have. Craving gnaws at the mind and produces the inability to sit still.
Completely Giving Up Many Activities
Meaning, give up fruitless activities, things that are just useless. We all have our habits that we do that push us to do, honestly, dumb things. I am no exception. For instance, Swami Sivananda said, you should give up reading novels, especially things that are just useless―magazines, journal articles, things which do not promote anything in relation to our spirituality. Really, we must abandon that. Typically, in a monastic life, initiates would meditate six hours a day, and study six hours a day. But they would study scriptures that are important, whether in Tibetan Buddhism, the Bardo Thodol, The Tibetan Book of the Dead; in India, the Bhagavad Gita; or the Muslim initiates in the past, with the Qur'an... studying scriptures that matter.
We must abandon useless things, such as watching tv shows, things that fill the mind with garbage. A lot of shows are based on sarcasm and abuse of the mind, or movies that are violent or things that offend the senses.
Pure Ethical Discipline
This is probably one of the most important: examining our ethics. In a given day, have we lied to someone? This doesn't mean that we said something, but, internally, in our mind, we may have had the thought.
Ethics begins with restraining (Yama) the mind, the senses, from not physically verbalizing, expressing our ego or defects. Niyama pertains to training the mind, deeper, to not have that reaction inside. This is the internal silence that Samael Aun Weor talks about in Revolutionary Psychology.
Our ethics must be very pure. We have to examine where in the day we transgressed, in our mind, in our hearts.
Completely Getting Rid of Thoughts of Desire
If we have been studying this teaching, and practicing for a long time, this is really the most difficult. Not thinking evil, but even if we have the thought that we don't want to do this, the mind continues to churn and to gestate with these elements.
So, if we really want to develop meditative serenity, we must abandon all of that. To not think, to not conceptualize, for as Samael Aun Weor stated, in Igneous Rose, in the chapter "Esoteric Discipline of the Mind":
"It is necessary to change the process of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension..." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Most of the time in the day, we are thinking, and we do not comprehend where our thoughts come from, where they go, what they are doing, how they arise, why they arise. If we are not comprehending those processes in ourselves, in the instant that they happen, we are asleep.
This means that we are churning in the mind in the battle of the opposites. He often talks, such as in The Magic of the Runes, the sensation of contemplation. We must comprehend what arises in us in an instant.
"Those who want to enter into the wisdom of the fire must overcome the process of reasoning and cultivate the ardent faculties of the mind.
"We must only extract the golden fruit from reasoning. The golden fruit of reasoning is comprehension. Comprehension and imagination must replace reasoning." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose, "Esoteric Discipline of the Mind"
Comprehension emerges when the mind is still; this is serenity in Buddhism, shamatha. Imagination is the capacity to perceive, vipassana. So, in his terms, he is explaining the same concept that Tsong Khapa taught.
If we do not comprehend the mind in the instant, we can't perceive. Comprehension is the understanding of something without the need to think about it. Master Samael said that to reason is great crime against the Innermost, because God does think. In our everyday affairs, we need to learn to resolve our issues without the ego involved. The ego thinks, puts thoughts into our minds, impulses in our body to act, but comprehension is when we know how to act without thinking. This is the demarcation between an angel and a demon, precisely.
So, as we learn how to act without thinking, that is how we enter the path of concentration.
I want to emphasize something that Samael Aun Weor stated, which is something that, typically, many students and instructors tend to ignore:
"1. The Gnostic must first attain the ability to stop the course of his thoughts, the capacity to not think. Indeed, only the one who achieves that capacity will hear the Voice of the Silence." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
When we sit, we should not think. But, if we are thinking, distracted, we are not even able to enter concentration. That is the important point.
Usually, we will attempt to practice with the mind churning, distraught, agitated. But, in order to really receive that insight—which is the voice of the silence, the direct action of your Being within your psyche, the impulse of your Innermost, divinity within you—you can't let your mind interfere. This is a type of experience in which you do not think, you know. God knows without thinking, God does not rationalize.
We have here in this image the Buddha, with one hand up and one hand down. This is referring to the need to receive—usually, with the left hand we receive the forces of divinity, and the right hand expresses action. The left refers to the left hand of the body, the lunar receptive nature of ourselves; the right is action. The root word bud, in the word Buddha, means cognizance, awareness, which knows how to receive and knows how to act. But this is not an intellectual process. This is an intuitive process. We must learn how to act from our Being without thinking about it. Usually, the Being gives us a hunch, an insight, and we feel that inclination that comes from somewhere, but we don't know where usually, when we know in our hearts whether an action is right or wrong, and yet, the mind then conceptualizes: "Well, I should do this, because I have this reason," and then the intellect is debating against what we know is right in our heart.
Insight is lightning: you know it's wrong. But, then the mind says, "Well..." and starts to debate. So, the lightning emerges, but the thunder of the mind comes after. This is the demarcation. We can only develop that as we learn to not think. This does not mean that we become stupid, that we don't know how to do our daily obligations and affairs: it means that we do so consciously. We use the intellectual brain under the influence of our Inner God.
So, the first step is, don't think; and then, learn to concentrate.
"2. When the Gnostic disciple attains the capacity to not think, then he must learn to concentrate his thoughts on only one thing." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
That is when real concentration comes into play. We need a certain degree of serenity of mind to really concentrate.
It's important to understand that learning not to think is not the same as mindlessness, or inattention. We need to learn to use our personality, according to the will of our God. We need personality to subsist in this society. We need to be trained, to have vocation, to have certain intellectual knowledge. But, this does not mean that we let our defects use that knowledge in a subjective or harmful way. Instead, we let the Being use that insight to direct our course.
Our daily life is our practice: that is what we really need to analyze and understand. If we sit to meditate for an hour, yet all day, the other 23 hours, we are daydreaming, arguing, fighting, debating, having conflicts―that is a lot of energy that is going contrary to our practice. This is why Samael Aun Weor said that these activities have to saturate every instant of our life. So, our practice is at work, with an intellectual job, or working with other people in a very tough environment.
Our spiritual practice is when we relate to other human beings. Every instant is our spiritual work. If we have the concept that our practices only exist when we sit in our home, isolated from our experience, then we will get nowhere. But, if we let our life be our training ground, in developing genuine concentration, then our understanding will be very robust.
So, we develop that capacity to not think, Pratyahara, which leads to Dharana (concentration)—focusing only on one thing.
"3. The third step is correct meditation. This brings the first flashes of the new consciousness into the mind." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Real meditation is when you receive information in a new way, when you understand something spontaneously... no thinking involved. Your insight can come as a concept in the mind, but it is not egotistical. The way to differentiate between the superior messages of the Being from the subjective notions of our ego requires developing a lot of clarity, which is why the Master Samael says that we must learn to carefully separate the smoke from the flames. Flames are insight, the Being, the virtues; the smoke is our mind. We must learn how to sift through that in every instant, if what we want is to really develop the capacity to concentrate.
Then, when we can focus on one element at a time, without being distracted from our purpose, that is when we receive new insight: that is when we are meditating.
"4. The fourth step is contemplation, ecstasy or Samadhi. This is the state of Turiya (perfect clairvoyance)." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
This is perception without any filter. It is supra-conscious, no ego involved. We can this experience in our daily life; we don't need to have an experience out of the body, an astral projection, to experience the supra-conscious nature of the Being.
This is perception that is beyond the mind.
Swami Sivananda states that one cannot have any experiences without the Kundalini awakened. Now, this does not mean that the Kundalini has to be fully awakened through sexual magic, but you can awaken sparks through runes, through transmutation... and, that energy in motion, which we need, will awaken the consciousness to have that experience. So, we need that force. We cannot do it without the Divine Mother.
The Five Flaws to Concentration
Now, to explain the flaws in relation to our concentration, when we sit to practice, I am going to emphasize a teaching from Buddha Maitreya.
Maitreya is a title, but it was given to a certain Master in the past, who gave this teaching of the nature of concentration in his Separation of the Middle from the Extremes.
So, we are going to explain a little what the common flaws in what learning to concentrate are, so that we can examine our practice.
The mind being dull, which is for most people a common problem.
2. Forgetting the Object (of Concentration)
We sit to practice, we forget what we're doing. 20-30 minutes go by, and we don't remember anything. We sit, and we wonder to ourselves what we were doing. We forget what we're focusing on.
3. Excitement and Laxity (of the Mind)
This is the mind that is agitated, with either negative emotions, or laxity, meaning that the mind is dull or that there are certain egotistical elements that are influencing our perception, making it dull, as it relates to laziness.
4. Failing to Apply the Antidotes When Excitement or Laxity Arises
In Buddhist teaching, there are certain remedies that we use that Tsong Khapa explained. When we are concentrating, or if the mind becomes dull, there are certain things that we can focus our attention on, in order to remedy that thought, in the instant that it emerges. Likewise with excitement in the mind. Dullness, apathy, or agitation. The mind must be equilibrated. We will explain more about this.
5. Excessive Exertion
Meaning, when the mind has reached certain degrees of stability, it is pointless to exert effort. This is pertaining to the highest degrees of concentration, in which you don't need effort to attain it. All you need is familiarization with that state.
When we work with breath, pranayama, mantra, that can be an object of our concentration. Those energies, the vital forces, by awakening the sparks of the Kundalini, we can have insight. I am going to explain, precisely this point, in relation to this slide.
The Eight Antidotes to Flawed Concentration
There are eight antidotes to flawed concentration, that Tsong Khapa explains.
This is an image of Tsong Khapa in meditation, who Master Samael explained was the reincarnation of the Buddha. Floating in the clouds, he is meditating next to his disciples. Above him is the heavenly city of the Gods, the Buddhas, or, the Celestial Jerusalem of Revelations. Below are the waters. We see many flowers, many virtues of the Being. If you have an experience in the astral plane, where they show you flowers, they are showing the virtues of your Inner God, inside you. Beautiful flowers, roses, are representations of virtue, since the plant elementals have not left Eden yet; they transmute their creative energies.
We see roses, flowers, immaculate clouds, and the waters. This realization appears as a result of working with our watesr, our seminal force, our sexual energy. And so, one of the best methods to countering laziness, when we are trying to concentrate, is to transmute. Use your breath to mantralize, "Sssssssssssss," "IIIIINNNNRRRRIIII," or "IIIIIIIAAAAAAOOOOO." There are many mantras that we use to sublimate that energy.
Tsong Khapa explained that, to counter laziness, we need to develop faith, aspiration, effort and pliancy.
Faith is in relation, in Buddhist doctrine, to the understanding of the nature of mind; the certainty of the benefits of meditative stabilization. We must really comprehend the benefit of when the mind is really serene, and which we genuinely perceive, from a state of peace, what that state is like. If we don't taste that experience directly, there is no striving.
So, faith does not mean in the Christian sense of belief. In Buddhist doctrine, it is understanding of the genuine, pristine cognitive nature of mind, without flaws. We must have faith in this teaching and about the transformation of our mind, otherwise, we will not do it. The mind is lazy. We must really understand that benefits of having a stable mind, and to actually see it.
If the mind is chaotic, and we don't see what the benefit is of meditative stabilization, we won't strive and practice to achieve it.
Willpower pertains to the need to control the mind, through Tiphereth controlling Netzach. We use our will every time we do runes, pranayama, transmutation, sexual magic... To develop faith in effort in our practice―applying more effort to really concentrate, developing more pliancy in the mind, more stability in the body―we work with aspiration: to aspire. Through inspiration, we inhale the prana in the nostrils, then we bring that energy inward and upward, to aspire, bringing up to our mind, to illuminate it. That develops pliancy. In Buddhist terms, pliancy refers to the flexibility of the consciousness to perceive. This is the dynamic of seeing our mind, as it is, and all the structures of the ego that resist and opposes our effort, because, when we direct our attention towards it, the ego fights back, to not be seen.
In The Revolution of the Dialectic, this is known as structural and transactional analysis. We must see the structure of the ego, when they emerge in the mind. Transactions―such as in a bank, depositing cheques, moneys, accounts, etc.―refers to the movement in the mind. Pliancy pertains to understanding those structures in our mind, as they appear and emerge, and how we're flexible in our perception. We're not distracted, like we're practicing martial arts; we have stability in our body, and we're calmly fighting an enemy, with composure. This is pliancy.
Effort pertains to having strength in our will, which is pertaining to our consciousness, conscious will.
Some benefits I personally have experienced with effort is, listening to a really powerful piece of classical music. For instance, I listened to Mars, by Gustav Holst, who is a gnostic master. He is explaining the effort the we need as a consciousness to fight against degeneration of the mind. This is the power of Samael, the angel of war, but, also our Being, our Innermost relates to Mars, strength. Our Being can inspire us―when we understand the message―to really make efforts to concentrate.
For forgetfulness, if we are forgetting that we are practicing, we need to develop more mindfulness throughout the day. Self-observation is perceiving ourselves in a given instant. Mindfulness is that self-observation throughout an entire day. So, if we keep forgetting that we are meditating or concentrating, we must really be vigilant in our day to day practice: our daily practice has to be our spiritual practice.
When we sit to meditate, and things emerge in the mind, and we become aware of them, then another element emerges saying, "I don't like that," this thought is still subjective. This is excitement of mind: seeing a thought that emerges, that is spontaneous; you don't know where it comes from; it disturbs you, then there is the reaction, "I don't want to see this, I don't want this." This is another ego in the mind. The solution is to develop vigilance. We need to perceive that element as it arises, otherwise, if it passes into the screen of our experience, enters our intellectual brain and has passed already, we have missed the moment. So, we must be in vigil, meaning, awake, not looking at other things, but examining the thought as it emerges. We will explain more about this.
Laxity is if the mind is dull, and we feel sleepy as a consciousness. We need greater clarity in our perception. If our internal sight is befuddled, where we have thoughts and memories and desires, but we don't really see their nature, we need vigilance, which is introspection, perception. We must develop our clarity, and the best way to develop vigilance is to exercise that muscle.
Transmutation is not enough. You can have energy, but, if we don't know how to harness that energy, then the ego takes it. We need force, but we need to have discipline: energy and will, in harmony.
The final antidote to inappropriate application of exertion or effort is equanimity. And, this really applies to the higher degrees to concentration, in which you do not need effort. To exert the mind is to disturb the mind, and you can lose the experience. So, when you have greater stillness pertaining to the eighth and ninth degrees of concentration, you don't need to exert any effort. It is effortless, pertaining to the ninth degree. You need some effort in the eighth degree, which we will explain.
Equanimity means to not need to apply anything, any antidote.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the Four States of Consciousness
We have included some images of the diagram that we have been explaining. Some of you may be familiar with Plato's Allegory of the Cave. In book seven of his Republic, Master Plato explains the nature of the path to truth and understanding. This is synonymous with this map of the nine degrees or stages of concentration in Buddhism.
Likewise, we have Christ, who is ascended, representing any initiate who has fully mastered that state, such as the Tibetan yogi, who is flying in the clouds.
Those of you who are not familiar with The Republic, there is the myth, or Allegory of the Cave, pertaining to any initiate who is ascending from the subconsciousness towards supra-consciousness.
In this image, we have people, who should be depicted as being enchained by their necks, legs and hands, to a wall. Behind them is a fire that burns. These people see nothing but darkness, or, at most, they see people who are passing between the fire and the wall, carrying objects on their heads, pottery, clay, etc. These images project their shadows on the wall. These people who are enchained only see darkness, or they see shadows on the wall, and this is all they know.
So, to reiterate what these states are, we talk about four states of consciousness in the Gnostic doctrine. We have Eikasia, pertaining to sleep of a barbaric nature: complete unconsciousness, darkness. We look in our mind, we see nothing. We know there is thoughts and feelings and emotions, surges of desires, but we don't really see where they are coming from. This is the darkness mentioned in the Book of Genesis, "And darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Ruach Elohim (the Spirit of God) floated on those waters (to transform them.)"
The images on the wall are dreams, Pistis in Greek. Sleep with dreams pertains to the fact that we see images and how we experience life; we have ideas in our mind, concepts; we have thoughts, feelings and expectations, longings, but they are not objective. When we really examine their nature, they are devoid of any substantiality. That is Pistis: people's beliefs about religion, faith, mind, ideas, the way they interact with society.
But we see in this image that there is a superior way out of that. There is a person who is unchained, and who is forced to see the fire directly. That fire is the energy of Christ, and it pertains to the third state of consciousness known as Dianoia.
Dianoia means revision of beliefs, revision of Pistis. This is the perception of the mind without desire. Dianoia is when we are examining our mind, and we see that we are not the mind; we perceive the mind, that it is something distinct and separate from us, with thoughts, feelings, sensations. But we must be forced to experience that―meaning, divinity pushes us to really examine what the shadows on the wall are, which are our previous conceptions of our self: our ideas, culture, language, our pride, our faith, our hatred, our vanity. And so, this guru takes this initiate out of the cave. This winding path out of the cave is precisely this diagram that we see here.
In the Allegory of the Cave, the initiate is forced out of the cave, through a winding path, until finally reaching outdoors, experiencing the starry sky. For the first time, this person who has lived their entire life in the cave, sees the sun and the dawn, which is overwhelming. This is a representation of Nous: a high state of consciousness, super-consciousness. Nous pertains to perception of divinity, to perceive as God perceives. Our God is inside, so, when we unite as a soul with our inner divinity, the soul is one with divinity; it is integral to that. One experiences perception, life, from the perspective of the Being. That is the sun, the Solar Logos. Likewise, in this image, this monk is training to get out of the cave, going up this path, until finally reaching meditative serenity at this stage. And, when walking on this rainbow bridge, one is in Samadhi. Those who are familiar with Richard Wagner, his opera Das Rheingold, which we will watch, the gods tread on this path of the rainbow, to the city of the gods, Valhalla, the hall of the warrior who has defeated himself in battle.
The Nine Stages of Meditative Concentration
To explain how this Buddhist glyph pertains to the Allegory of the Cave, we will explain some of the symbols. The fact that this path is winding is the work of Dianoia; we are constantly having to revise our concepts of ourselves. When we observe our mind for what it is, we see that we are not who we thought we were. We must change our self-concept.
Master Samael explains that Dianoia pertains to cultural and intellectual synthesis, spiritual knowledge, revision of beliefs, direct perception of what is real. This is awakened consciousness. Dianoia is when we see ourselves differently from how we used to see ourselves, when we change our beliefs about who we were as a person. We cease to be what we were. But Dianoia, on this path of concentration, also pertains to intellectual knowledge of a superior type. So, when Master Samael explains that Dianoia is a cultural, intellectual, spiritual knowledge, this is not the intellectual knowledge of the ego, but a new type of understanding in our mental center, which is superior, abstract. This is a mind that can conceptualize superior concepts without struggling between the battle of opposites in the mind. This is what epiphany refers to, the spark of joy that the soul feels, the pliancy of the mind, in the Buddhist doctrine of the mind, which is free from distraction.
We have here this image of a monk chasing an elephant. That elephant is the mind. The fact that it is black in the beginning represents the dullness of our mind. We do not see anything; we don't understand what our mind is.
There is a fire here on this path; referring to the type of willpower we need to dominate the mind. The monk is chasing after this elephant, likewise, there is a monkey, following before the elephant. The monkey is a restless mind. The monkey is always grabbing things; the intellect, our desires, our emotions are always trying to satiate itself, with desire.
Notice that this fire gets smaller the further up the path that one goes. This is because the amount of effort or engagement one needs with the mind becomes lessened the more that the mind is controlled. In the beginning, it takes a tremendous effort to remember that we are practicing, that we are concentrating, and to not get distracted.
Likewise, the fact that the elephant starts to gain color, becomes white, means that there is gradual purification of the mind. There is greater insight, clarity. Likewise, the monk with the rope in his hand, represents mindfulness, and the hook, vigilance. He gets ahold of the elephant and is starting to turn it towards his direction, meaning, the mind is becoming subdued.
What is important to note, is as this process occurs, the elephant becomes purified of its dullness; the monkey is tamed, until the elephant is completely stabilized, and the meditator is fully in control of the mind, entering the superior worlds.
We also have, in this image, a silk cloth, representing the sense of touch; some fruit, representing taste; a perfumed conch, representing smell; cymbals representing hearing; and a mirror, representing sight. This is because it is through our five senses that we learn to develop concentration. It is not by running away from life, but by using your daily life to develop that concentration, that we make it rigorous. Until we reach the end, the rainbow path of Valhalla, towards the city of the gods, one can enter into higher degrees of calm abiding.
What I am going to explain now, are the nine stages of concentration, that lead to calm abiding. As the Dalai Lama explained, calm abiding pertains to what one attains after the ninth degree of concentration, which is represented by the monk flying in the air, and the monk with the sword, riding an elephant. That sword of fire is wisdom, also representing the Kundalini of any master; it is that energy that gives one the root cognizance of cutting through delusion. So, if you see images of Manjushri in Buddhism, that sword cuts through the distraction of the mind. In that image of Tsong Khapa―I didn't explain―but there is also a sword of fire, to his right. And, there was a book on the left, pertaining to the book of studying one’s life, directly, studying the methods that lead to that insight. So, study, method and wisdom; wisdom is the sword, method is the study. We need a combination of studying the steps of concentration, along with our practical work, the sword, if what we want is to develop that union.
In the image, we also see a bunny. The bunny represents laziness, a subtle form of laziness that appears in the mind when we think we know what we're doing, when we're trying to concentrate. I will explain this specific detail.
1. Mental Placement
The first degree is mental placement, which is the beginning of when we sit to practice and we can't remember that we're concentrating. We sit down, and we know that we should be practicing, but we don't know what we're doing. Before this, you could say is stage zero, which is a wild mind; meaning, there is no control whatsoever. This is the state of every human being on this planet. But, when we begin to start to concentrate, we're placing our mind on the practice, and we realize that we can't concentrate. The elephant is running around, but we notice this fact―that is the distinction here.
So, the monk is chasing after the elephant with a hook, representing vigilance, or wisdom, insight, and the rope, represents mindfulness, remembrance of divinity, moment-to-moment.
"The elephant of the mind, wandering wildly, is to be securely bound with the rope of mindfulness, to the pillar of the object of meditation, gradually to be tamed with the hook of wisdom." ―Bhavaviveka
Now, the object of our concentration can be a mantra, an image of a Buddha, an image of a master―I have personally meditated on an image of Master Samael, to invoke him. And, when my mind has been stable and clear, I sense him in my home, with me, and in many other places, when I put that image in my mind, I focus on that as an object of concentration, to receive his help. But, you can also meditate on the mind itself, which is a teaching of Dzogchen, or Mahamudra, the great seal or great perfection teachings of the Nyigma tradition of Tibetan Buddhist, in the Gelugpa; there are four schools of Tibetan Buddhism that we talk about.
So, we can meditate on the mind. Let your own mind be the object of concentration. Observe your mind―what is it like? Let that be your focus. You can develop great stability of concentration that way. Or, you can take a visualization of a stone, or pebble, or piece of art. If you are going to choose an artwork, I would suggest something simple in the beginning, nothing elaborate. Usually, to visualize all the details of an object, of a mandala, a sacred painting in Buddhism, or a painting of Christianity, to master the visualization of that image takes a lot of effort. So, I would recommend, in the beginning, start with something simple, and then, as your capacity to visualize and concentrate grows, expand that. Then, choose images that are more complicated. For instance, it comes to my mind, something that could be useful: which is that, when you are concentrating, if you have an experience in the internal planes, of an image, such as you speak with your Divine Mother, let that be your object of concentration. You sit to meditate, imagine your Divine Mother, as you saw her. That would be more personal to you; you'll have more investment in that practice, that way.
That is mental placement; we forget that we're meditating. We realize that we can't remember what we're doing. So, the type of engagement that we need, the type of effort that we need to really get in control of this element, of the mind, is tightly focused engagement. It takes a lot of effort to control the mind, to catch up to, to run after that elephant. Buddha Maitreya, who gave this teaching, he explained that there is certain antidotes to each stage. It is important to know what these antidotes are. This is not something intellectual; this is something very practical, to help you understand your own experience, your own practice.
He says that, for mental placement, you need to hear the teachings of mindfulness: to really hear them, study them, and apply them, if what we want is to understand what mental placement is. To even realize that the mind is out of control, we need to hear the teachings, in order to change that.
2. Continual Placement, or Fixation with Some Continuity
Notice that the elephant starts to get a little bit white, the monkey too. The dull mind and the restless mind have a slight purification. This is when we are concentrated; we have some flashes of insight, minor flashes. We tend to forget what we're doing, but we are gaining some insight through understanding what the object of concentration is. The monk still has to chase after the elephant, to gain control. There is more forgetfulness than there is remembrance. The flames represent the effort that we need, the type of willpower we need to gain control. So, at this level, the fire is still very intense. But it diminishes the further along one ascends the path.
3. Patched Placement
The monk has finally, with the rope of mindfulness, gained ahold of the elephant, and has turned the head towards him. This means that there are more periods of remembrance and control than there are forgetfulness. This is called patched placement, like putting patches on a cloth, to fix up holes. One is basically "patching" their awareness into the practice―there are still periods of forgetfulness, but there is more remembrance than there is forgetfulness. This is a big improvement. The monkey also becomes more purified, the elephant starts to become more tamed. This is the beginning of it becoming tamed. We remember that we are concentrating more than we are forgetting.
4. Close Placement, or Good Fixation
This is a period in our concentration in which we don't forget what we're doing. If we want to meditate on the ego, to annihilate the ego, we need to develop this. We need to reach at least stability in this degree: when we sit to practice and concentrate; we do not forget what we're doing. The problem with this stage is the rabbit on the elephant, which represents laziness. This means that, when we remember that we are practicing, there is a sentiment or influence of the mind that makes us feel that we know what we're doing. We remember that we are meditating, and there is an interference or distraction from the mind that is subtle, that convinces us that we're practicing effectively, when it is really a distraction. That is what the rabbit represents. Notice that the fire is again diminishing; meaning, the amount of effort we need is becoming less.
For the third and fourth degrees, patch-like placement and close placement, is developing more remembrance, mindfulness throughout the day. This means to self-observe and to remember our Being more and perceiving more.
5. Subduing, Taming, or Becoming Disciplined
At this point, one is dealing more with, rather than the fact that we don't forget what we're practicing, we're dealing with more subtle forms of distraction in the mind. We don't forget what we're doing, but still there is laxity or excitement in the mind, agitation or laziness in the mind in subtle levels, that we need to address. The solution to that―as we see the rabbit there, that is the symbol of laziness, that thinks we know what we're doing―is to develop insight. Specifically, in this stage, referring to awareness or introspection, as Buddha Maitreya teaches, we need to develop our clarity of perception more, insight.
What makes the fifth degree different from the fourth, is that at this point, instead of focusing on the object of concentration, we are focusing on how we perceive. In the beginning, mental placement, we are trying to remember that we're practicing. In the second, we have some brief flashes of insight into the object of concentration. At patch-like placement, we remember to concentrate more than we forget. The fourth degree, we don't forget the object of concentration―this is all about the object, up to this point. At the fifth degree, we are now focusing more on our perception: how do we perceive the object of concentration. We observe how we observe. In studies, we call it meta-cognition. The solution to this, is to develop more awareness for introspection. The difference between introspection and mindfulness has to do with the quality of our perception. Mindfulness is remembrance throughout the day, but introspection is that we're sharpening that, applying antidotes when we need to. When the mind is agitated or relaxed, we direct our attention to that, we turn to the object of concentration.
Also, you now notice that the monkey is becoming tame: it is following the elephant, and it is half purity, half dullness, in this image of the elephant.
6. Pacification or Becoming Peaceful
The mind is becoming very crisp. There is greater serenity of mind. One is still dealing with some subtle forms of laxity and excitement, which we must carefully address. At this point, what makes the sixth degree different from the fifth degree is that we must not over-apply the remedy to excitement; we don't want to heighten the mind more. We want it to become more pacified, more clear. By antidotes, we are referring to countering the influences of laziness or excitement. Such as, if the mind is excited, one can reflect on the impermanence or transient nature of the ego that emerges in the mind, or the impermanence of life and death, of fatality, to curb the excitement of that mind. Or, if there is laziness, we apply effort. But, here, we don't want to over-apply the remedy, so that the waters of the mind become agitated. But we do want to become more pacified.
7. Complete Pacification or Becoming Very Pacified
This degree is very important. In the previous degrees, from the third degree to the sixth degree, we were referring to a type of engagement with the mind, which is called, in Buddhist terms, interrupted engagement. Meaning, we are applying effort, but our efforts are always being interrupted by distractions―to one degree or another. Whether, gross, like at the fourth degree, when we don't forget to practice, towards the sixth degree, as we become more pacified―we are still dealing with distraction.
But, at this degree, complete pacification, this is a state of concentration in which you see distractions before they even arise. So, you see a thought before it even appears; you see from where it comes from. This is a very clear and sharp cognizance. The elephant is now following the monk, the monk does not have to use any force. Still, he is using effort to a degree, to lead the elephant after him, but the mind is pacified, meaning, one still has distractions, but one catches them before they even appear. This is going to be very hard to understand. But, you may have had the experience, such as an out of body experience when meditating, when you see the ego before it even projects its films on the screen of our mind.
There is a Sufi saying by Al Qushayri that emphasizes this point.
“It is said, ‘Silence for the common people is with their tongues, silence for the gnostics is with their hearts, and silence for lovers is with restraining the stray thoughts that come to their innermost beings.’" ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
At this point, you catch the mind before it even acts. This is very sharp. I have experienced this in different occasions, such as out of the body, receiving teachings where I could sense my ego was about to act, before it even happened. So, this is a very sharp cognizance that we need to cultivate.
8. Single-pointed Attention
I chose the image of a samurai to illustrate this, because the type of attention we need is a sword. One-pointed means that there are no distractions; there is no subtle excitement, no subtle laxity in the mind. If you are familiar with the spiritual culture of the samurai, which is bushido, the way of the warrior, their training was such that, they eliminated all fear or excitement from their minds before they went to battle. This is before this tradition degenerated. For instance, the samurai would symbolically commit harakiri, or seppuku, to kill themselves. When this tradition degenerated, they did it literally. But this is symbolic of the need to die in the ego. So, with one pointed perception, one can deal with one’s mind, one’s enemies, without being distracted, with perfect awareness, or rather, close to perfect, because there is a degree higher than this... The fact that one is in single-pointed attention or concentration, demonstrates that there isn’t even any subtlety or laxity in the mind at all. There are no distractions, but still, it is not perfect, because we need effort to maintain that state.
9. Balanced Placement, Fixed Absorption or Meditative Equipoise
This pertains to the mind that has reached its natural state. This does not mean that the ego has been eliminated. It means that the mind is settled to its original point of being; no distractions. It takes no effort to maintain this state. One just simply must be familiar with how the consciousness functions at this degree.
There is a Sufi quote that explains this very well.
"According to etymology, the disciple is ‘he who possesses will,’ just as the knower is ‘he who possesses knowledge’ because the word belongs to the class of derived nouns. But in Sufi usage, the disciple is he who possesses no will at all!"
So, in the lower degrees, we need effort, we need will, to act to really control the mind. But, in the higher degrees, to really be a Sufi, to be pure in mind—Suf means "purity" in Arabic, referring to wool-like clothing, which is a symbol of purity—we don't need any effort. To be a Sufi, to have that realization, there is no effort involved.
"Here, one who does not abandon will cannot be called a disciple, just as, linguistically, one who does not possess will cannot be called a disciple." ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So, to reach this point, you need will, effort. But, when you reach that point where the mind is completely equilibrated, you don't need any effort, you just need to be familiar with that state. The elephant is completely tamed at this degree; one just need to be settled at that state.
Now, this ninth degree, meditative equipoise, pertains to Tiphereth in Kabbalah. Tiphereth is the human consciousness or soul, which we call willpower, our human will. It seems ironic that real willpower requires no effort. But it is true. If you are in the internal planes, in a very clear, lucid state, you don't need effort to maintain it, when it is very fully developed. But, if you find that you are struggling to maintain that state, then you need some effort. But all it takes to maintain this state is to be equilibrated.
To elaborate on this teaching that Buddha Maitreya taught, I'll relate to you an experience that I had, in the astral plane, many years ago, where my Being taught me this, before I even knew about these nine stages.
Specifically, I woke up in the astral plane, and I went outside my home and I invoked my Innermost, my God, and I dove into the Earth, into the crust, to go towards the center of the planet, to be with my Being. The astral plane is material, like the physical plane, but it is a little more subtle in nature. So, you can fly through walls, or go through the Earth, breathe in water, fly through the seas. So, I went into the Earth, and I entered darkness. At that moment, I felt the presence of my Inner Being, and I heard a breathing, and this symbol of the breath pertains to the spirit, because the Innermost is the presence of force, the breath of God, which the Sufi's talked about, Al-Nafs, Ruh, in Arabic, or Ruach in Hebrew. It was a terribly divine presence.
In that moment, my God showed me something where, if you can imagine a silent film, such as when a camera lens opens, to see an image emerge from the center of a black screen, to see a scene that immediately played out. There was a yellow car skidding, like a souped-up race car. Immediately, driving off, wildly, toward the distance. And, I knew, intuitively, I had to catch it. So, I flew after it. This was a test from my Being, and it took a lot of effort to catch up to it. I was fighting to catch after it, but then, I saw that the car was starting to slow down, I was gaining ground, I had to put less effort to get to it. And so, eventually, I was victorious, and the car was starting to stop, I came up to it, and the car opened, and a bald man came out. I asked him, "Are you my Innermost?" He said, "No, I am just a representation." And I woke up.
So, the car was yellow. Yellow is the symbol of the mental body, the mind, knowledge. That car was my mental body, driving around chaotically, crazily, and it took a lot of effort to catch up to it. The teaching was pertaining to the need for me to catch up to my elephant. It took less and less effort the closer I got, until the point where the car stopped on its own, and I was able to talk to the driver. The fact that the driver was bald is a representation of the ego, because the ego is bald from fornication; baldness is a symbol of the mind that fornicates.
So, I caught up with the car, and this is a symbol of obtaining these nine degrees. I am going to provide you this glyph, which is everything we just discussed. It explains here what the characteristics are of each stage, what is the type of engagement that we need when we concentrate, and also the power that is needed.
We explained how mental placement is when we can't remember that we're meditating. So, we need to use a lot of effort and to really hear the teachings, to understand them.
Continual placement: flashes and moments of comprehension, we still need a lot of force and engagement to catch up with the mind. At this point, we need to contemplate the teachings. Here, we need to really understand the value of the teaching from experience, and not to observe merely intellectually.
I won't go through the entire list now, but you have in this glyph everything that we discussed, to help with understanding these stages.
Something else I also want to mention, in relation to the ninth degree, meditative equipoise. In this state, we don't need to apply any effort. Another experience that I had, recently, I found myself looking in the astral plane, looking at the horizon. I have been doing a lot of the practice of the mantra S M HON, to clear my mind. I found myself in the astral plane, before dawn, there was some light on the horizon, and there was a sky with barely any patches of cloud, but was otherwise very clear; I saw the stars. To see stars in the internal planes, means that the mind is clear, and that divinity is expressing, present. I didn't need to apply any effort at that point. I was just awake, and they were showing me, that when you're transmuting and clearing your mind, let that be your object of concentration, this is your mental state. To see stars is a good thing. If you see stars, they are showing you that you're being connected with your divinity. Stars pertain to the Divine Mother, Nut in Egyptian mythology.
But I also saw something very interesting there, which is relevant to this topic. When I was looking in the stars, I saw a ship, spaceship, like a boat. At first, I was almost going to ignore it. But it was hovering in the horizon, and I saw this ship was just floating there. Telepathically, I asked, "Come take me, I want to be helped." Immediately, the ship came, a magnetic force pulled me on board, and I was on the ship.
To be invited on a space ship, in the astral plane, is divinity inviting you to go to a higher level of being, asking you to ascend from an inferior level, like in the Allegory of the Cave, to see the stars for the first time, divinity. This is a state of Noetic consciousness, Nous, where you are perceiving divinity directly.
When your mind is illuminated, if you are clear, the natural state of the mind is stars, divinity. So, if you see that, it means that they're showing you your level. In the astral plane, if you ask, "How am I doing?" And you see the sky, the nature of the sky is the nature of your mind. If it is cloudy with storms, that is your mind churning. But, if you see stars, that means that your mind is so clear that, for once, your divinity can help you. But the fact that I was invited by this ship demonstrates that if you really want to get help, you have to reach that state. That is the point of me relating this experience. The thing is, we receive help all the time, but we don't see it. But, when you're in the ninth degree of concentration, which is seeing the stars, clearly, then you can receive even more help. This is represented by the image at the top of the Tibetan mural. If we really want to be aware of who is helping us, to have that clarity, reach the ninth degree, in which you don't need effort or exertion, and in which you see clearly. So, it is from the ninth degree of concentration in which you can enter higher degrees of understanding in the internal planes.
The Myth of Proteus
The Buddhist doctrine, and the teachings of Plato are not the only ones that explain this. We find this teaching in the Odyssey, by Homer, the Greek poet.
In the Odyssey, after the Trojan war, Menelaus—who we see in this image—the King, was returning back to Sparta. He was stranded at sea without wind, and he was trying to discover which God was punishing him, so that he could make appeasement in ritual, to produce his return home. He was confronted by Eidothea, a sea goddess, a sea nymph, who explained to him that, "My father, the God Proteus, will help you return, and prophecy for you, if you catch him."
So, in this poem, there is a scene where King Menelaus was disguised as a seal, a creature of the sea, in order to ambush Proteus and to wrestle him to the ground, to get him to provide answers to his questions.
Menelaus states to Eidothea, the daughter of Proteus—Proteus is a God of the sea, who could shapeshift, and Eidolthea, the daughter says, if you want to get the answers you need, you have to catch Proteus: Proteus is going to shapeshift on you, change the sea creatures into beasts, into fowl, into all sorts of serpents and creatures... and no matter what he turns into, you have to hold on to him. This relates to how, when we are concentrating and controlling our mind, the mind shapeshifts: desires, thoughts, beliefs, ideas, concepts—Proteus, in our mind, is always shifting. But, if you want to get the answers you seek, you must hold on for dear life, and use that will, until finally, Proteus will give in. And, when your mind is completely controlled, then the Gods can speak to you; such as the stars in the experience I provided.
Menelaus says to Eidothea: “Show me the trick to trap this ancient power, or he’ll see or sense me first and slip away. It’s hard for a mortal man to force a god.” ―The Odyssey, IV. ll. 442-444
Samael Aun Weor says, when you're with your Being in meditation, you must be demanding with your God. It sounds blasphemous... but, the thing is, when you're concentrating, you must be so dedicated that, no matter what happens, you're never going to forget what you're doing. Then, you will demand to your Being, "Show me and teach me, so that you can give me the insight that I need."
So, Menelaus was describing, in his story, how he caught Proteus:
“Now there was an ambush that would have overpowered us all―overpowering, true, the awful reek of all those sea-fed brutes!"
So, Proteus was surrounded by sea lions, and many other animals that smelled terrible: that is our mind. Lust smells awful; it is a psychological characteristic which hypnotizes the mind and is filthy. When we try to meditate on our lust, that element fights to feed itself and is really overpowering. The solution is given by Eidothea, which was a kind of ambrosia, applied under the nose.
"Who’d dream of bedding down with a monster of the deep? But the goddess (Eidothea) sped to our rescue, found the cure with ambrosia, daubing it under each man’s nose—that lovely scent, it drowned the creatures’ stench.” ―The Odyssey, IV. ll. 495-501
What is that ambrosia? It is our transmutation. When you transmute the sexual energy, you can confront your mind with strength, the lust of the sea animals that we carry within.
"…but we with a battle-cry, we rushed him, flung out arms around him—he’d lost nothing, the old rascal, none of his cunning quick techniques! First he shifted into a great bearded lion and then a serpent—a panther—a ramping wild boar—a torrent of water—a tree with soaring branch tops—but we held on for dear life, braving it out until, at last, that quick-change artist, the old wizard, began to weary of all this.” ―The Odyssey, IV, ll. 509-517
You must control your mind, even if it shapeshifts. We need pliancy of the mind to control it, no matter what distraction it provides, as Homer teaches.
So, the higher levels of shamatha, which is really what calm abiding is, pertains to superior consciousness in the internal planes.
The nine degrees of concentration we were explaining lead to this point, which is a kind of concentration in which we become very skilled in the astral world, and beyond. So, the image of the top of the Tibetan mural, being above the mountains, represents the superior dimensions of the Tree of Life.
We emphasize, in brief, the nature of Kabbalah. We have on the left an image of Arik Anpin, the celestial man, divided into four worlds. Likewise, the Tree of Life on the right, divided into four worlds, which are Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah. Assiah is the world of action, matter, energy; Yetzirah is the world of formation; Briah, creation; and, Atziluth, archetypes.
So, the simple way in which we can break this down is, on the Tree of Life, the world of archetypes, which are very abstract, the nature of Christ, is Atziluth, which is Kether-Chokmah-Binah, Father-Son-Holy Spirit. In the world of Briah, we have the Innermost, Chesed, the Divine Soul, Geburah, and the human soul, Tiphereth. So, everything that we have been talking about in relation with concentration, pertains to how we use our willpower. In the higher levels of shamatha, we are in the world of Briah, represented by the rainbow, as well as the world of Yetzirah, which is the mental world, Netzach, the astral world of Hod and the vital world, Yesod. Everything that we are describing here, pertains to Assiah, at first; how we, in our physical body, learn to meditate. Then, when we develop concentration here, we can investigate the world of Yetzirah, the world of formation, the astral world, the mental world. Yetzirah is governed by angels; Briah is governed by Archangels, like Samael, Orifiel, Gabriel, Raphael, etc. Atziluth pertains to direct influence of God within the Tree of Life.
We will explain more about this image in another lecture, how the Tree of Life is represented in each of these four worlds. We use this glyph of the ten Sephiroth as a map of our consciousness, or the higher levels of concentration too, in which each Sephiroth has four aspects; Atziluth, in which God acts directly; Briah, in which the forces of divinity work through the Archangels, in the different Sephiroth; Yetzirah, the angels working under the Archangels, the Cosmo-Creators; and, Assiah is our physical plane.
In a more complicated sense, we say that there are forty spheres, but we talk about ten in synthesis. I point this out because, we're at the feet here, Malkuth. We're trying to concentrate, and we must work with our waters, control our earth, then we can enter into the superior worlds, represented by the Solar System, the genitalia of the celestial man, and likewise up the Tree of Life. So, there are degrees of how we develop cognizance.
Lastly, to emphasize the points we made, I'd like to quote a Sufi teaching, from Al-Risalah, Principles of Sufism, a teaching by Al-Jurayri.
“[Al-Jurayri] said that whoever does not establish awe of duty and vigilance in his relationship to God will not arrive at disclosure of the unseen or contemplation (mushahadah) of the divine." —Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah
What is divinity on the Tree of Life? Allah, the top of the Tree of Life, Kether-Chokmah-Binah, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, light of divinity, manifested on the Tree of Life. This is the Being. Da’ath is the secret sphere in the throat, pertaining to knowledge, sexual knowledge: how we work in transmutation. It is with the throat, by using mantra, is how we work with our creative potential in our vital body, specifically.
So, if we do not establish "awe of duty" meaning, we don't feel that awe and fear of divinity, and the fear that, if we don't practice, we will degenerate. It is only by developing that awe of our practices that, really, the respect that we have towards the tradition, the exercises we use to develop vigilance, in relationship to ourselves and our Being, we can obtain disclosure―meaning, to tear the veil, to see the internal planes and to develop contemplation, cognizance, like when you see the stars in the astral plane. Contemplation, in Arabic, is mushahadah, which relates to the Arabic pillar of faith, the Shahadah, which is, "I believe in Allah, Allah is Allah, and Muhammed is His Prophet." A real Muslim is someone who has really experienced divinity, who has cognizance of the divine. We can only reach that if we develop our capacity to concentrate, then, once you develop concentration, insight will come, spontaneously. That is the next stage we are going to talk about.
Questions and Answers
Audience: Samael Aun Weor said, more or less, you're not going anywhere in meditation unless you develop serenity first... that's really high up there on that diagram. Personally, I've found that, to progress on that path, getting serenity first, is related to the breath, rhythmic breath, is what leads to serenity.
Instructor: Right. Transmuting, working with Da’ath, is how you clear your mind; especially with something like the mantra S M HON, I have found that very effective, personally, to illuminate the sky of the mind. You can also do vowel Sssss, which is great for that; you can do INRI, Om Masi Padme Yum, Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Swaha; Klim Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Swaha, and many other mantras that you can use to train your mind.
This is basic. We should do that every time we practice, so that the mind is clear. Then, we can develop that serenity that we need.
Audience: I find also that, when you do concentration on mantra, more and more it is effective at knocking out those extraneous thoughts. There is just no room, and I concentrate on that vibration, and it is a serene state of mind; that is what is helping me more. There is no room for those crazy thoughts, because I am concentrating on the mantra.
Instructor: The thing is, if you're not experiencing any distractions, that pertains to a state related to the ninth degree, in which the mind is not distracted; there are no elements perturbing the mind: there is serenity. And, there are degrees. Sometimes, that ninth degree for one person maybe different for another, even within a single individual. It will fluctuate. So, don't think that, by describing these nine stages, that you go from one to the other, strictly, like a checklist. There is fluctuation. In one meditation session, you can go from the first degree to the sixth, or the fourth degree to the ninth, and back again. You can have an experience, lose it, and go back to a wild mind. It is dynamic; pertaining to our effort of will, and our work, as well as what our Being wants.
Audience: That is what I was going to say about what Samael Aun Weor said about emptying your mind. It seems that, we must practice with ethics, and with an object in meditation and that is going to get us closer to the point when we can empty our minds of thoughts. But, it's not like it is going to just happen step by step―it is going to be a combination of steps, and that's how it feels to me.
Instructor: Yes, and that is why Samael Aun Weor said that there are many students of, say Krishnamurti ―Krishnamurti is a great Master, taught a lot of valuable things about the mind. But, the problem with his students is that... well, first off, Krishnamurti did not teach chastity. He was not allowed to teach that. So, he did not teach it openly. Therefore, students study him very intellectually, meanwhile, they fornicate. Therefore, the mind of the one who does not practice chastity has no purity of mind, no pure ethical discipline―the mind is chaotic. So, these people who study these doctrines, but fornicate, they're not fulfilling the very basic requisite of religion, of yoga; which is Yama / Niyama, restrain the mind, restrain the body... that is basic. Many people try to meditate, for twenty years, thirty years or more... but they fornicate. They are just wasting their time. It really is tragic.
People try to skip steps. They think, "Oh, I don't need to practice Brahmacharya." But, Patanjali says that this is basic; Buddha said that you need to be chaste, Jesus the same thing, "You must be born again of water and spirit."
Here is the thing, like Sivananda said, if you fulfill the basic requirements of ethics in your daily life, your concentration will be very strong, and meditation will be easy. So, try to apply ethical discipline and purity in mind, body and heart, moment by moment, day by day. Then, when you concentrate, it will be much easier. The mind will be stable. Then, you can practice the higher degrees of meditation itself. But the firmer we are in our foundation, like in that image of the pagoda, then we can ascend towards the superior worlds.
Audience: Who painted the image of the Allegory of the Cave?
Instructor: I don't know.
Audience: So, that's not all symbolism, right? There is so much random stuff in there.
Instructor: I think in that painting, there is people looking at iphones, televisions, etc. I chose that image in particular because that is typically what we do. Personally, if I watch television, I try to watch opera, or films that are meaningful. But the fact that people are hypnotized by the television screen... they don't see the light.
Eikasia, in Greek, literally translates as "imagination." But, Samael calls it darkness. So, there is an interesting dynamic here. With Eikasia, we can be visually very awake, perceiving images and light, physically, but, psychologically, we can be completely asleep. So, we have perception, but, it is not conscious.
With television, people typically get hypnotized. The world really is what the book of Genesis says: "The world was formless and void, darkness was upon the face of the deep." That is our elephant, that is sitting in front of the television, our distractions.
One of the things that the Buddhists teach is the need to refrain from the paths of distraction. Meaning, part of our ethical discipline should be avoiding, say, going to movie theatres, where in the astral atmosphere, there is a lot of filth.
Audience: You mentioned dance halls once…
Instructor: It depends. Brothels, places like that, bars, are filled with larvae and filth. However, ethical discipline is to avoid places like that. I always recommend, for students, don't go to those places, if you want your mind to be clean. It is good to feed our mind with healthy impressions. If you watch a movie, watch an opera―which we will be doing more of here―something positive. That gives you good impressions in the mind, that can inspire you to really connect with your Being. Whereas, watching the movie Seven, or something about violence or bloodshed, or films that are very offensive to the sight...
Audience: More and more, they're not innocuous at all. They're graphic...
Instructor: Feed your mind with good impressions. I personally try to avoid that kind of thing.
Audience: Going back to that painting about the Allegory of the Cave, did you see the peeker? The eyes behind the bench? Is there symbolism behind that?
Instructor: We could say that, that person is someone on the other side of the wall, and has the opportunity to see the light, but, such a person doesn't care; that is my interpretation of that image. But, the fact that their faces are like zombies... that is really our daily life.
In order to change, we must work with the fire, which is Daath, the sexual energy, to give us light. And then, when you are transmuting, watch what you eat. The Muslims say, eat only what is lawful, in Sufi scripture. This doesn't pertain to merely physical food―not eating pork is one thing. Pork is a food with a lot of degenerative elements, that can feed our lust. To eat what is lawful is to eat the right impressions, meaning, what you feed your mind. It is avoiding consuming garbage, whether television, books, or visiting bad places.
Audience: I was wondering if you could go over the first rite of rejuvenation again? It's after the first one, when you spin? You said that, after completing that, and shutting your eyes and standing there, you did some other thing?
Instructor: You bend your knees. Take your three fingers, put them on your third eye... this is partially to gain your balance, but, you're also taking all that energy that you accumulated through that gyration, and sending it to your third eye. You close your eyes, gain your balance, and you focus that energy, that chi, that ki, in the third eye, to awaken your clairvoyance.
Audience: You don't say any mantra at this point? You just focus?
Instructor: No, you just focus. The only other mantra you need to do in that practice is, "Open Sesame." And, that mantra, is something that we need to accomplish, symbolically. We need to open our mind, to receive the solar light.
So, again, to concentrate, the runes can help us, the sacred rites can help us.
Thank you for coming.
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