This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
Gnosticism, in its pristine form, has been studied in accordance with four pillars, as we have been discussing throughout this course. As a tradition, it is founded upon the teachings and studies of science, mysticism, art and philosophy. With this lecture, we are going to conclude this series, by explaining the fundamentals of Gnostic philosophy.
It is important to look at the state of our humanity, the state of our planet, with all of its chaos, its afflictions and its great turmoil. It is this state that many types of politics, politicians, systems, codes of conduct are propitiated, are taught as a means of trying to contain and control the tremendous afflictions that humanity is enduring, its death throes.
We have to understand what is it that perpetuates suffering, conflict, disorder. For this, we have no other solution than to return to the ancient sciences, the ancient modes of spirituality, of conduct, or self-reflection. As Immanuel Kant, the great philosopher of Königsberg, stated, "The exterior is merely the reflection of the interior." So, the conflicts that we see in humanity, are precisely that which we carry inside; in our mind, in our heart, and which we act out in our body, to the detriment or benefit of others.
It is precisely this study of self, which is the core of the Gnostics, their endeavor, their philosophy. And, if we look at the original word "philos-sophia" in Greek, we understand that it means, "love of wisdom." It does not mean academic study, intellectualism, scholasticism, something to debate for or against, a means of belittling another person, in terms of pontificating academic vocabulary, a system of the intellect used to subjugate others, a way of thinking; it does not mean that. And, as we explain in etymological terms, science is genuine knowledge: scientia. Mysticism is when we close our eyes to illusion, "myein" in Greek, which is where we get the word mystikos, initiate, someone initiated into a superior way of being. And art, from "artus," and many other words, signifying to join, an expression of consciousness, which is the definition of art. So, philos-sophia is the same meaning as religion; the Latin "religare," which means to re-unite with the divine. We do that precisely by loving divinity. And, as Jesus stated, "love thy neighbour as thyself; first, love thy God above all things." Have philos for your own inner wisdom (sophia).
Sadly, people think that philosophy is a means of caging the intellect—which is what it does—of knowing the truth, of explaining the many diverse phenomena which we encounter; whether it be in politics, natural law, etc. But real philosophy is when we, as a soul, experience the truth, and that love that is born spontaneously from the heart, of recognizing that divinity for ourselves, a humility, that faith. This is the definition of philos-sophia; it is not a system to cage the mind, something to believe in, something to battle in a debate against an opponent, in terms of intellectual concepts, intellectual arsenal, we could say.
Our problems with our humanity will be resolved, easily, if each individual takes it upon him or herself, to rectify his or her own behavior; his mind, his heart, his behavior, his habits. As Buddha said, "We become what we think; mind precedes phenomena. " If our mind is full of degeneration, of desire, of passion and lust, of fear and anger, we are worshipping that which is impure. This prevents us from accessing love of wisdom, love of truth, the experience of the truth.
Genuine spirituality is real philosophy; it is not separate. As we have been emphasizing in this course, the four pillars of Gnosticism are integral, they are not separate. We must look at philosophy as something psychological and scientific, as something methodical, experiential and experimental. We have to look at philosophy and psychology as science, as a mysticism; as a way of closing our eyes to ignorance and illusion, in order to perceive with our own spiritual sight, the truths that are contained within religion. All of that is, of course, expressed and demonstrated in art. Many great mistikos, initiates of past times, conveyed to humanity the very keys of how to change for the better, how to transform the mind.
As you see in this opening image, we have the academy, with the great philosophers Aristotle and Plato in the very center, and in the image, we have many of the great thinkers and luminaries of humanity, which existed in Greece. In this school, we emphasize these core issues, that real knowledge is spiritual, conscious; real philosophy is conscious, what we have verified, what we know for ourselves. And that, when we possess this knowledge from experience, we are able to look at any work of art, as we were talking about previously, and interpret the symbolism, the instructions, the keys that will teach us how to transform our suffering into peace and harmony.
Genuine philosophy is the key; Gnostic philosophy is the essence of how we are going to change who we are, and how we are going to make the changes that we want for humanity. In this next graphic, we have the oracle at the Temple of Delphi, who famously stated, "Homo Nosce Te Ipsum," "Man know thyself (and you can know the universe and its Gods.)" This philosophy, this knowing, this love of truth, comes when we know ourselves.
We have to ask the question, do we know who we are, fundamentally? When we observe our psyche, when we learn to self-observe as Samael Aun Weor stated in his Revolutionary Psychology we begin to see with a new sense that thoughts, feelings, impulses, will, desires, these things are separate from the observer; they are a conglomeration of different factors, which are distinct and yet work together, through mechanical association, through our physical habits. We have to see that these elements, and their chaos, constitute our suffering, the causes of our pain. We call these different elements, defects, memories, thoughts, desires, "egos" which we have created. As much as we can discuss and point out the faults of American politics and all of the chaos that humanity has endured, for millennia, we have to see that, while that type of analysis bears merit, we have to see how we contribute to that chaos, that conflict. As Kant said, "We are the exterior, the exterior world is inside." So, it is better to not point the finger, but to look at ourselves; as the Temple of Delphi, the Oracle stated, "Know thyself, and you will know the universe and its Gods." By knowing our defects, our faults and errors, and by transforming them through the esoteric science of mysticism, of meditation, we in turn gain conscious knowledge of ourselves, of who we are, and where we need to go.
Spiritual Sight and the Repented Soul
Another word that relates to philosophy is the Sanskrit word, दर्शन "Darshan." In Hinduism, it means, "auspicious sight." It means to see directly, from the root word, "drs" meaning "to see." We included this image of Jesus before Mary Magdalene, after his resurrection, to demonstrate the relationship between philos and sophia, and also the nature of auspicious sight. What does it mean to be auspicious? To be in awe, to be filled with... even terror, before that which is divine. Not out of a sense of egotism, of insecurity, but to be overwhelmed by the immense power of the divine, and that beauty that is so penetrative that it transforms everything.
Mary Magdalene was seeing before her the physical Jesus, raised from the dead; the great Master Aberamentho, the head of the Gnostic Church. She wanted to approach him—she representing sophia, the fallen Sophia of the Coptic text Pistis Sophia, who, as a repented prostitute, seeks to unite with the truth, but recognizes the impurity of her psyche... which is us. And so, Jesus steps back and says, "You cannot touch me yet, for my hour has not yet come; you are not allowed to approach me with your degeneration, with your evil psychology," in other words, you have to transform that. Mary Magdalene is a soul that has prostituted itself, has created all of these discursive elements that we call ego: fear, anger, lust, etc. And yet, she recognizes her perversity, how she herself has been indoctrinated with systems and concepts and philosophies that have taught her how to ignore her divine nature. But, she needs to approach him, and she, out of divine love, approaches the Christ—which is a representation of our inner divinity. In this manner, she has a love of truth, because she has experienced it, and she recognizes her own perversity, and repents. Of course, Mary Magdalene became the great saint, canonized by the church, and who is the most beloved disciple of Jesus, amongst the Gnostics. When we genuinely see the truth for ourselves, we are filled with awe. We are filled with a recognition of our own faults, and what we must do to change them.
The Esoteric Philosophy in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
So, speaking on this concept of genuine philosophy, this love of wisdom, we have included an image, sketched by the initiate Jan Saenredam, but it has some Latin inscriptions, which emphasize the points we have made previously about Mary Magdalene: Lux Venit In Mundun Et Dilexerunt Homines Magis Tenebras Quam Lucem. This inscription states, "The light shineth in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not." And, "the light has shone in the world, but men have rejected the light because their ways are evil." This is from the book of John. But we have included this image explaining the Allegory of the Cave of Plato, to emphasize what is the nature of genuine philosophy, what does it mean to have love of wisdom, and what is the process that leads us to that recognition for ourselves. In the famous Allegory of the Cave by Plato, who was a Gnostic master, he explains a very famous process of obtaining knowledge and truth for oneself, which is very well documented and studied in universities, but I am going to be explaining the esoteric meaning of this, not the academic presentation.
In this myth, like Mary Magdalene, she is in darkness. We see a group of men who are in prison, in the far right corner, enchained. And, in Socrates narration in the text of The Republic, their necks, hands and arms are chained to the back of this wall, which we see. They do not see anything; they are in darkness, they are in ignorance. Ignorance does not mean to lack a university degree, or some form of education, but to not know the causes of suffering in ourselves. In that definition, all of us are ignorant; we ignore how we perpetuate our own pain. These men who are in darkness live in the shadows their entire life. But, there are some who happen to see shadows projected onto the wall before them, because there is a fire behind this wall onto which they are enchained, and people pass to and fro with objects, pottery, images, etc., on their heads or their hands, that, through the light of the fire in this cave, project onto the wall before these men, these prisoners. Sometimes, they see darkness, sometimes they may see images, shadows on the wall, illusions.
This is, of course, a representation of all the different theories, beliefs, ideas, idols that people worship, images that people have in their minds, systems, dogmas, that they project onto the screen of their existence, which is a very shallow, narrow cave in which they are imprisoned. That cave is a symbol of the mind, the intellect, which keeps us enchained, through its beliefs, ideations, etc.
One either sees nothing, a complete state of ignorance and sleep of the consciousness, or one see images; these are states of consciousness, we could say. We say that the first state of consciousness is the darkness of the cave, it is complete annihilation of awareness of self. This constitutes, in itself, a state of complete barbarity; all of the states of war, of persecution, torture, violence, hatred, etc., is the profound state of sleep. It is people who live in darkness, psychologically. But there are those who have images in their minds, idols in the minds, concepts and beliefs that they worship in their intellects. These could be Christianity, Judaism, Islam, metaphysics, occultism... many ideas in the intellect that have no verification within the psyche. These are dreams, these are illusions that people see in the projection from their mind, which is caused by all the statues, images, etc., in the background. These are all the different beliefs that people have formulated, that they study, adhere to and worship, as if they were God, as if they were the divine, ignoring that these are just projections, concepts, toys of the intellect. These are not conscious, experiential wisdom or knowledge.
Unfortunately, it is perhaps only one or two prisoners that might be released from their prison, their chains, taken by a Master, a guru, a Mahatma, an angelic being, who, out of sacrifice, goes into those hell regions, the darkness of that cave, to release prisoners. A prisoner who is released, is forced to look straight at the fire of this cave for the first time; that fire is blinding, dazzling. For, when one awakens consciousness, they perceive in a completely new way; that fire is the light of intelligence, the light of conscious perception of the truth. It is awakened knowledge. It means, to perceive the fire for the first time, and to make the analysis, to understand that all those images that we are seeing on the shadows of the wall are illusions, and that they have their source from this fire. Likewise, when we observe our mind, and see that we are not our thoughts; we are not our moods, our feelings, our sentiments; we are not our impulses; we are something else; we are something more intelligent; dynamic, conscious knowledge, conscious perception is born in us. We learn to revise our way of thinking, to understand that what we believed about ourselves, what we think about ourselves, was an illusion, a mistake. And yet, born from the experience, is developed real courage to change.
But this is not the end of the myth. For, the Guru, the master takes this proselyte, this disciple, who has seen the fire for the first time, and has pulled, dragged them out of this cave; out of the long tunnel that we see in the top left of this image, where that person is brought before genuine daylight. Actually in The Republic, it states that he sees, for the first time, the stars, and even the stars are blinding, because his entire existence has been in shadows, in psychological sleep. But, when the Sun rises for the first time, this prisoner is in awe. The sun is a representation of the Platonic Logos, the Christ in Gnostic terms, which is an intelligence, power, which permeates all of nature.
So, when we see the sun for the first time, it is a symbol of perceiving the divine for ourselves; whether it be in meditation, or when our physical body is asleep, when we as a soul exit out of our cave, this body that we have in which we are trapped. We go out, into the internal dimensions, up that magical Tree of Life, which we have discussed in lectures on Kabbalah, and we experience divinity; we talk face to face, for ourselves, with the truth. Of course, being in front of the presence of the sun is powerful. One feels oneself humbled and annihilated before the light, like Moses on Mount Sinai, saying to the Lord, "Show me your true form." And the Lord replies, "If I show you My true form, you will die." Meaning, not merely to die physically, but psychologically: "In order to see Me, you must be purified," he says.
This has been a symbol for academia, of how the individual person acquires some type of intellectual knowledge, or study, and becomes sophisticated, or knowing the truth in terms of concept. But that is not the real meaning: this pertains to how we, as a soul, escape the conditions of the psyche, and experience Christ, the light, fully in ourselves. That objective consciousness, or supra-consciousness, is beyond the limits of our physical senses. We learn to activate that, through the sciences of meditation and dream yoga, which we will be giving courses on in the near future.
Philosophy in the Ancient Mystery Schools
That is real philosophy, experience, love of truth, love of wisdom. In order to elaborate on these points, we are going to talk about how the ancients studied and knew this teaching. People look at the ancient schools of mysteries as somehow being unnecessary, simplistic; a concept that the ancient schools of mysteries in Greece, Egypt, Rome, Carthage, etc., were idolaters, or that they were superstitious. As we explained in the lecture on Gnostic mysticism, we talked about how the ancient mystery schools knew this knowledge directly from conscious experience; they verified what they had seen for themselves.
We have to take the same type of scrutiny, in relation to what we perceive, the same type of analysis. We don't doubt, we don't justify what we perceive; we discriminate, we look for facts. That is how the individual in the cave is looking at the fire and discriminating that the images that were projected on the wall are just pottery—concepts, intellect, ideas—they don't really constitute any substantial reality, in the most objective sense.
These ancient schools were very pure in the past. But, of course, they lost their essence, as they were exposed to more persecution, and were shut down. But these ancient schools were integrated into science, art, philosophy and mysticism. They had a love of wisdom that pertained to scientific knowledge, the study of botany, many types of studies, such as physics, chemistry, etc., and they expressed their knowledge in a mystical way through art.
Let us talk about how philosophy, in its genuine, most intrinsic sense, used to be integrated with these different pillars, for as Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, states in his book, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education:
"Thus, since ancient times, on the different scenarios of the theaters of life, psychology has always played its role by being intelligently disguised with the costumes of philosophy.
"Since the terrifying night of all times, on the banks of the Ganges in the sacred India of the Vedas, there have existed many forms of Yoga, which in their depth are pure, higher experimental psychology. The seven types of Yoga have always been described as methods, procedures, or philosophical systems.
"In the Arab world, the sacred, partly metaphysical, and partly religious teachings of the Sufis have indeed a purely psychological character.
"In old Europe (which is rotten to its very bone morrow because of so many wars, racial, religious, and political prejudices, etc.,) right up to the end of the nineteen century, psychology was disguised with the costumes of philosophy in order to pass unnoticed." —Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
We only have to look at the writings of Dostoevsky, for that example, who, embedded his characters, his literary forms, with psychological knowledge. You can even look back to the book Crime and Punishment with the Russian student, Raskolnikov, who was, in Russian, a split being. "Raskolv" means split, fractured, divided. He is a student who decides to commit a murder, of an old pawnbroker, a woman, because he wants to assert his superiority as a superman, to use Nietzsche’s term.
Of course, this refers to any of us who have killed, psychologically, our own potential to know the truth. The rest of that novel is about how this student comes to remorse and repentance. There are many symbols in that text, but Raskolnikov represents us; we are split between the sense of right and wrong. Meaning, we are wanting to enter spirituality, but we have committed many errors, whether we have murdered in past existences, or what not... and so, Dostoevsky, and many other writers, were philosophers and psychologists, and this is very well accepted, even in academia. But we find that these traditions are very rich. Philosophy and psychology were integrated.
"So, notwithstanding all the divisions and subdivisions of philosophy—such as logic, the theory of knowledge, ethics, aesthetics, etc.—nonetheless, psychology is undoubtedly in itself: evident self-reflection, mystical cognition of the Being (of the divine), a fundamental cognition of an awakened consciousness (as represented by the allegory of the cave). The error of many philosophical schools consists in having considered psychology as something inferior to philosophy, as something related only to the lowest and even trivial aspects of the human nature." –Samael Aun Weor, Fundamentals of Gnostic Education
Descartes, the Mind and Consciousness
We are going to talk about some of these different schools of thought and philosophy, in order to extract the best, and to disregard what is useless. We talked about the Gnostic teaching of knowing oneself, of transcending the intellect. Rene Descartes explained in his treatises, the very famous concept, "I think therefore I am." This statement is incorrect. But, many Western thinkers, people who identified with the demonic qualities of the intellect, fascinated with their shadows on the wall, approach Descartes like a God, as an idol.
"The concept of Descartes, “I think, therefore I am,” is completely false," as Samael Aun Weor states in Igneous Rose, "because the true Man is the Innermost, and the Innermost does not think, because He knows."
Of course, in relation to the allegory of the cave, the Innermost is represented by the sun, the Solar Logos; the Spirit, as an expression of that light, of that truth. God does not think, he is omniscient; meaning, he sees and perceives, beyond thought, will, sensation... he is knowledge of a supra-conscious state.
"The mind thinks, not the Innermost.
"In its current state of evolution, the human mind is the animal that we carry within. The Innermost does not need to think because He is omniscient." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We included this image of Jesus, riding upon the donkey, into the city of Jerusalem. That donkey is a representation of the mind, or as we say in Kabbalah, Netzach, the intellect. So, Christ, Jesus, representing the Inner Platonic Logos, within us, is that light, force, energy that must learn to control this donkey of a mind that we have, to train it. But, sadly, in most people, the donkey is riding us; as we can see with our present-day humanity.
This is emphasized by Rumi, the great Sufi poet, who said that Jesus needs to ride the donkey into the city, but most people have their donkey riding their Jesus, from a Sufi poem that he wrote.
This concept that, "I think therefore I am," is wrong. To think is not to be present, to be conscious; thinking is a very inferior way of being, of existing. We can only know this if we have escaped from that cave. If we escape the intellect, even if only for a few moments, we see that we are not the mind, that the mind is a machine, a tool; it can process information, useful for storing information, memorizing things, forming concepts, but that is all it does. The mind cannot know God. It cannot know the truth.
Even Christ, through Jesus, said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the father, but by me." —John 14:6
So, the cosmic truth said through Jesus, "I Am." This "I Am" is the Being; it is presence, cognizance, free of default, of affliction, of conditioning. Only the Being can say, "I Am" because he is the presence of life within every galaxy, atom, cosmos. He is present within every being, and yet, not all beings know Him.
God does not think. This "I Am," the Christ, does not conceptualize; he knows, therefore, he does not have to think. The intellect is useful, but it should not be our sole preoccupation, or what we identify ourselves with. Jesus did not disregard the donkey altogether, rather, he controlled it; he used it in order for it to be of service to humanity, represented by his entrance into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas
Philosophy, in modern times, is very much dedicated to this concept of fortifying the intellect. But, the ancient Gnostic gospel of Thomas, teaches us that real philosophy is psychological and spiritual. It is not based upon the limitations of the mind; it goes beyond it. For, as this gospel states, with Jesus narrating mystical teachings to his disciples:
"And he said, Whoever discovers what these sayings mean will not taste death." —Gospel of Thomas
This does not necessarily mean physical death, but spiritual, in which the soul, when released from its body, is sent into the inferior dimensions, in order to be cleansed of its defects, faults. We could say that hell, the inferior dimensions, is a recycling plant. If that soul does not willingly choose to destroy those errors, and ascend that Tree of Life, instead that soul enters into those inferior regions (hell, Avitchi, Averno, etc.), and devolves.
So, "Whosover discovers what these sayings mean" will escape that process of cleansing of the psyche within those dimensions those realms.
"Yeshua said, Seek and do not stop seeking until you find. When you find, you will be troubled. When you are troubled, you will marvel and rule over all." —Gospel of Thomas
This is real philosophy; to seek, and not stop seeking. To have inspiration to want to know the truth, and to not want to rest until we find it. And, when we find it, like the allegory of the cave states, we go back into the cave, to teach those who are less fortunate, who have not experienced what we have experienced, in order to help raise their level of being; to instruct them, teach them, to help them, in accordance with our talents, our dispositions, our skills. So, do not stop seeking until you find. Then, when you do find, "you will be troubled," because when we recognize that we are the cause of our own suffering, everything changes. We no longer blame others so easily, we don't accuse others so easily. We recognize that the faults we see in our neighbor, are what we possess in abundance, therefore we do not need to judge, as Christ taught.
"When you are troubled, you will marvel and rule over all," meaning, by entering that spiritual path out of the cave, that straight and narrow way that leadeth unto life, to freedom of the soul and to God, which few find. By following that path, and accomplishing the completion of this work, this path of initiation, as Samael Aun Weor states in The Perfect Matrimony, "We will marvel and rule over all, we will conquer ourselves."
"Yeshua said, Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be disclosed. There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed." —Gospel of Thomas
What is hidden from us are those truths contained within religion, that seem obscure and abstract, which we seek to experiment and to verify, as represented by doubting Thomas. Thomas was told by the apostles that Jesus had arisen from the dead, and yet, he would not believe them. He said, "I will only believe that this is true, when I have seen it for myself. I will not accept your testimony as fact." And so, the apostles brought Thomas to Jesus, and even then, in front of Jesus, he did not accept that he was the risen Christ yet. Jesus told him to approach, and to place his finger into the wound in his side where he was pierced by the lance of Longinus. And there, Thomas, with his finger in the wound—as we see in this image—stepped back and realized that, yes, he was Jesus, he was Christ.
People look at this historically as an account of how Thomas, as an apostle, was skeptical, and that he was not as good a believer as the others. This is not the point of this symbol. This symbol of how we as a consciousness must learn to discriminate fact from fiction, truth from falsehood. When anyone tells us anything, we say, "Well, it sounds plausible, but I really do not know. While I am not going to reject what you say, I am not going to affirm what you say; instead, I am going to test it." Then, in meditation, we as a soul go into our internal planes, and we speak face-to-face with Christ. We can speak to the Master Jesus outside of us, but we can also speak to our own Inner Christ, and recognize that we have that divine presence within us.
This reminds me of an experience I had in the astral plane, many years ago, in which I invoked Jesus. I was in the presence of my house, outside of my property, in the astral plane, I looked to the sky and invoked Jesus: "In the name of Christ, by the power of Christ, for the majesty of Christ, Aberamentho!" He came, and he was a being of such luminosity that I was terrified; I did not know how to approach him. I was afraid that I might be misled. But he then showed me something symbolic in that dream state, which I won't narrate in full, but he gave me a teaching that made me realize that yes, this is Aberamentho, teaching me. He came to my property from the heavens, to instruct me. It was like me being Thomas, putting my finger in his wound—not literally, but questioning him, asking him with my heart, to instruct me, to guide me, with certain problems I was having at that time. He gave me a teaching that was beautiful, very hard to grasp, since he is a very high master, very elevated.
I was like Thomas, testing him, inquiring, and of course, Jesus did not get upset. He accepted my poverty, my state of being, being inferior; he was there to teach me. It was not because I am special, but because, as Jesus said, "I have not come to teach the righteous, but the sinners." But he also said, "The first shall be last, and the last shall be first. He who is greatest in heaven will be your servant." So, I suggest that, if you learn dream yoga, you can invoke him, and acquire that knowledge, that truth for yourself, directly.
The Aquarian Age and Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy
There are eras and epochs in nature, in thought, in history, in politics and philosophy. Samael Aun Weor stated:
"The Age of Reason was initiated by Aristotle. It reached its culmination with Emmanuel Kant and ends now with the birth of the new Era of Aquarius." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
In astrology, we previously were in the era of Pisces, until the 1960s, approximately. Pisces, as an astrological influence, relates to how certain initiatic schools conserved a teaching or knowledge without disclosing it to the public. Pisces was an era of conservatism, of hiding; of teaching and instructing the truth, the higher levels of religion and mysticism, from mouth to ear. But the Aquarian era is very different; it is revolutionary.
Aquarius—the age in which we are presently—is symbolized by the water carrier, and is the age when knowledge if freely given. This woman carrying these water pails is bringing the truth and instruction to the public, openly, for the first time; particularly through the writings of Samael Aun Weor, who is the avatar of Aquarius. Samael came to teach the knowledge of how to work with those waters, which we carry within our body as the sexual energy, the sexual fluid. Through its transformation, we can learn to become true spiritual revolutionaries; not against other people, but against ourselves, by conquering ourselves.
So, Aristotle initiated the era of reason, and Emmanuel Kant concluded it. It is interesting, if you read the writings of Samael Aun Weor, where he states and emphasizes the teachings of Kant often. It is not that Kant was an initiate, but Kant made some understandings and insights that were very relevant for the Western tradition. What is important to recognize is that, in Kant’s writings he stated that the intellect cannot know the truth. Of course, many philosophers hated him for that, in the West. But, since Aristotle, and until Emmanuel Kant, people in the Western tradition have been fascinated with intellect, with reason. And yet, Emmanuel Kant, his major contribution to philosophy, is the fact that the mind cannot know anything of the truth. He states this in his Critique of Pure Reason, his Critique of Practical Reason, and his Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics, which is a much smaller, and much more approachable text.
The beauty of Kant’s teaching, which many have rejected, is understanding that the intellect, in itself, is just a tool, as we were stating previously. He provided four postulates, known as antinomies of reason. An antinomy is merely a postulation or statement that can go either way: thesis or antithesis, pro and con. An antinomy is basically a contradiction or paradox. Without going into some of the academic explanations of this, in synthesis, he was pointing out how the mind cannot know the truth, and that we can prove this through four antinomies.
Firstly, we have the mathematical antimony, in relation to space and time, atomism. Then, the dynamic or qualitative antinomies, relating to spontaneity and causal determinism, free will or mechanicity, laws of nature, likewise, whether or not there is a necessary being.
So, the philosophical discussions on space and time, which were very popular in the times of Aristotle and Plato, there is a thesis that the world has a beginning in time, likewise, it is also limited regarding space. But, then, there is an antithetical way of thinking, in relation to Aristotle's belief that the Earth was infinite, and eternal: he stated this in his Physics. He said that the world has no beginning, no limits in space; it is infinite regarding both time and space.
The second antinomy is a discussion on whether everything is made up of simple parts, or whether or not everything is complex, in terms of atomism: whether everything is made up of atoms, or compound substances, in large degree.
In relation to spontaneity and causal determinism, he emphasized that there is either complete mechanicity in nature, and that there is no possibility for free will (determinism); or, that there is the ability to have free will in the midst of this. And so there are different arguments, for and against, which many philosophers in the West have battled over in their treatises, for centuries. Likewise, whether there is a necessary Being or not; whether there is a God or not.
These are discussions that people are hypnotized by, to this day. And Kant laid it how very clearly: you can either be in one camp or another; so, what is the point? You can argue for it, or you can argue against it. You can fulfill and propound your own evidence for either case, and be just as right... and yet both are wrong, or right. That is the paradox.
He is emphasizing that the conviction of these philosophers is based upon a form of thinking that is devoid of actual knowing. And, that one can just argue for something, because one has a concept in their mind, and they have a lot of data to support it. Just look at the last presidential debates, in which we see two sides arguing against each other, and many people have in their own beliefs for one candidate or another, regardless of whether it is true or not. This shows a tendency in the mind to want to use data to propose a point, and to support a point. And yet, where is the objectivity in all of that? That is what Kant was teaching, that we are dealing with phenomena, we are not dealing with noumena. Phenomena are appearances, noumena are the things themselves, conscious principles, the truth, relating to the Greek word, "Pneuma" meaning spirit.
The Demonic Mind, Arguments, and Intellectual Liberty
So, all these philosophies are based upon this quality of the intellect and the heart; of wanting to assert an idea and gain dominance upon others. Of course, this is negative. We could also call it black magic or witchcraft: to assert oneself on another person; to control their intellect is sorcery, black magic. We see this dynamic ubiquitously, in every place. I have personally sat in philosophy debates for schools, in which you see these kids taking a position, one way or another, and trying to come up with as many reasons as they can for why they are right. And, while in Buddhism, certain schools have propounded the necessity of being able to argue for something or against it, you see, especially in the West, that this is very degenerated. I have personally seen people get very angry and inflict a lot of harm with their words, in the middle of these so-called debates.
As Samael Aun Weor stated in the Major Mysteries, we must avoid debate, arguments. This is because, in the act of arguing, we are asserting our own will upon another person. We can state our point, but, if they accept it or reject our ideas, that is their business. We have to learn how to speak without asserting ourselves over another person, without anger, without coercion. As Prophet Muhammed, in the doctrine of Islam, in the Qur'an states, "There is no coercion in religion." Religion is about bringing people together, but debates and arguments divide people. Philosophy has degenerated into this farce, this show of trying to dominate with our concepts. This has infected esoteric schools, in abundance: this is a very big problem in spiritual movements. It is enough to look at the Catholic Church, or even the Western Esoteric Tradition; certain individuals and speaks—I won't name them—but we can think of many different examples of people who are fighting in spiritual groups to assert their so-called superiority, upon others... saying, "I am a Master, therefore, if you disagree with me, you are going to hell." That type of nonsense.
"Discussions and polemics have ruined many spiritual schools. When two individuals argue, what they have is pride and arrogance in their mind; both want to demonstrate their boasted superiority to one another, both have Satan enthroned in their mind. We must always respectfully express our concept and allow our listener the freedom to accept or reject our concept. Everybody is free to think as they please and we cannot exercise power over our neighbor’s mind, because that would be black magic. Intellectual discussion is luciferic and demonic." —Samael Aun Weor, The Major Mysteries
It is very hard to achieve, but it can be done. We may be surrounded by people who disagree with us, disagree with Gnosis, esotericism, etc., yet instead of wanting to retaliate against those people, and to justify ourselves with that sense of hurt self-esteem or pride, it doesn't bother us. We learn to receive that impression, that criticism, and to not identify with it. But, of course, it is very obvious that debates totally destroy organizations, groups, etc. And, we should learn to avoid those types of conflicts.
The Three Minds and their Philosophical Movements
People base their entire understanding, or philosophy, in relation to three minds. We have talked a lot about the concept of the intellect, as the mind—the ability to think, rationalize, reason—as a form of mind, as a functionalism of the intellect. In Gnostic psychology, we talk about three minds; three different types or ways of thinking, way of being. These ways can help us to understand the nature of philosophy, the nature of different philosophical schools in this physical world, but also the nature of genuine philosophy in the internal worlds—this genuine love of wisdom born from experience.
We have included three images: we have Jesus before Pilate on the left, with the text stating, "Inner Mind." We have a group of Rabbis in a synagogue, in relation to the Intermediate and Mystical Mind. And, on the right, we have a bacchanalia, an orgy, in relation to the Sensual Mind.
Let us talk about the Sensual Mind first. What does it mean to have a Sensual Mind? A Sensual Mind is a way of conceptualizing oneself, identifying oneself, solely based on evidence from the five senses. We believe that we are a certain way, that the world is a certain way, based on our experience from sight, taste, hearing, touch, smell. There are many doctrines that are focused on merely the five senses, as if the material is all that exists; that material is the limit of all that there is possible to perceive. But, of course, Emmanuel Kant stated that phenomena are just the appearances of things, but that there is something deeper, something spiritual, as we know.
The Sensual Mind is a mind that is basing its theories and concepts on empirical evidence. Likewise, many philosophies, such as Epicureanism, which is propounded by the Scottish philosopher David Hume; you have Hedonism, the belief that one should gratify their senses, as much as possible, before dying and that pleasure is the highest good... according to Epicureans.
We represented this idea with the image of this bacchanalia. People who indulge in orgies, lust and desire, satisfying the pleasures of their senses, thinking that nothing matters and that there is no consequence to their actions. They believe that when one dies physically, one will cease to exist. These people ignore the fundamental law of karma, cause and effect. While a person gratifies their physical senses, the soul or consciousness, embedded in ego, perpetuates throughout time; it does not cease to exist. But people who are sensually indoctrinated think that, because they only see with the five senses—they do not have their spiritual senses developed—when they go to the grave, that nothing will happen, they will cease to exist. This is nihilism, of course. It is a very sad way to think.
The senses are not the limit of all there is to perceive. In fact, consciousness and perception can expand to an infinite degree, as the 14th Dalai Lama stated. But people who are fully indoctrinated by the intellect, the Sensual Mind, they only base themselves on evidence from their physical senses. Such people reject anything related to metaphysics or spirituality.
Of course, there is another degree of mind that is inferior. While, one type of mind, of the senses, is fascinated with impressions of an empirical nature, you have the intermediate or mystical mind, which constitute all the religions of the world today. All the beliefs about God, all the concepts and theologies that the universe is a certain way, because the scriptures state it, because one thinks it is true, therefore it must be true, and that if one believes in it, it must be true—this is the essential nature of the Mystical Mind. That, having this conviction, is based on a type of thinking which is not predicated on experience, not based on facts. So, all the schools of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, which are founded on scripture and are limited to those scriptures and ways of thinking, the people of these groups live with a Mystical Mind. They have mystical concepts, metaphysics, beliefs, ideas, ways of thinking that they may have in their mind, and yet, they do not have the real experience of it.
But, of course, there is a mind that is superior; the Inner Mind. This is the mind of a being like Jesus, of Buddha, of Krishna, of Moses. An "Inner Mind" is a type of perception relating to awakened consciousness. When we awaken our consciousness, as in the allegory of the cave, we are awakening our own intelligence. Like a fire that we learn to see in the dark, to make our way through the nature of our mind, and to experience the truth.
Jesus fully awakened his consciousness. And, by awakening the consciousness, we have to eliminate the ego. So, when the ego dies, little by little, the consciousness trapped within it awakens; it becomes expansive, more profound. The Inner Mind awakens in accordance with the death of the ego. So, the more consciousness that we liberate, the more our inner faculties will awaken. Like that experience I narrated to you—I was seeing Jesus in the astral plane, I was awakening my Inner Mind, and I could see Jesus of Nazareth, Master Aberamentho, and I talked with him. That is because I had my Inner Mind awakened, to a degree; I am not saying fully awakened, in that state... it was very clear, but, of course, in order for me to be fully awakened, I have to eliminate my defects. But an Inner Mind that is fully expansive, without any type of conditioning, is a being like Moses, who could really talk, completely, with God.
So, in this image, we have Jesus presented before Pilate, in his passion. After he was delivered 5000 lashes of the whip. Pilate is a symbol of the intellect. You can say that he is the Sensual and Intermediate Mind; a mind that is only believing in what the senses teach or instruct, or what the scriptures state, but that has not verified for themselves what the scriptures teach.
Pilate asks Jesus, "What is the truth?" Jesus kept silent; how could he teach the intellect, the mind, what the truth is? That is the beauty of this teaching. Pilate was confused... people think that this is just a historical account of Jesus talking to his persecutors, but Pilate represents our mind: the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, that ask, "What is the truth? How do I know what is real?" And Jesus, the Inner Christic principle, remained silent, because silence is the eloquence of wisdom. Instead of receiving that knowledge intellectually, through a book, lecture of concept, we experience it in the silence of meditation. I remember that experience, in which I was with Jesus, I said that I "talked" with him; I was speaking to him telepathically, with my heart, asking him things, because he could read my mind completely. He instructed me based on what I was asking him in my heart. So, he was teaching me in silence; he did not say anything verbally, but he was showing me through symbols in the astral plane, what I needed to do.
So, Jesus remained silent. And likewise, what Buddha was asked, "What is the truth?" He turned and walked away. Same teaching.
The Inner Mind is the genuine Gnostic philosophy of the great initiates, based on what we perceive, what we verify. The Intermediate Mind is the mind based on beliefs, on metaphysics, theologies; which are not grounded in conscious, experiential knowledge. Likewise, the Sensual Mind is a mind that is based on materialism.
There has always been a conflict between these three minds, in humanity. People who are very materialistic, reject and attack those who are very metaphysical, people who have metaphysical concepts. And, likewise, people who have certain religious beliefs, condemn those who are nihilists or anarchists, or whatever term we want to give to those types of people who follow the Sensual Mind. In the Sensual Mind, we have materialism, Marxism, etc. But the Inner Mind is tranquil; it does not argue. Of course, when Jesus was asked what is the truth, he kept silent—he did not argue, because he knew that he could not convey that truth to Pilate's mind—only the soul can know the truth.
Samael Aun Weor states and synthesizes, this teaching that I have been explaining, in a very profound and simple way, in his Revolution of the Dialectic, in which he talks about these different forms, different schools of thought.
"Matter is nothing but condensed energy. The infinite modifications of energy are absolutely unknown; this is true as much for historic materialism as for dialectic materialism.
"Energy is equal to mass multiplied by the velocity of the light squared. We the Gnostics separate ourselves from the antithetical struggle which exists between metaphysics and dialectical materialism. Those are the two poles of ignorance, the two antitheses of error.
"We walk on another path; we are Gnostics, we consider life as a whole. The object is a point in space which serves as a vehicle to specific sums of values.
"Inspired Knowledge permits us to study the intimate existent relationship between all shapes, all psychological values and nature.
"Dialectic materialism does not know the values." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Meaning, the consciousness, or even the different values of the ego that we carry within, they ignore that they have ego, or they really do not see the nature of the mind.
"It only studies the object. Metaphysics does not know the values or the object.
"Therefore, we, the Gnostics, withdraw ourselves from these two antitheses of ignorance. We, the Gnostics, study the human being and nature integrally, seeking an integral revolution." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
So, religious people and atheists arguing against each other—a very typical conversation that is had today—and yet, people do not have real understanding from experience; they have not awakened their Inner Mind. We need to learn to awaken our Inner Mind, which we do through meditation. If our mind is fully immersed in the senses, we fail to see life in its true form.
The Cosmic Christ and the Awakening of Consciousness
I mentioned to you about awakening the Inner Mind, like Moses before the Lord on Mount Sinai. We have included in this final graphic an image of Arjuna, from the Bhagavad Gita (the Song of the Lord, from the Mahabharata.) Arjuna, the great warrior, talking to Krishna, who is Christ, the Lord, the avatar of Vishnu, which is the Cosmic Christ, the Christic principle, that primordial root energy at the heart of every existing thing, that noumena of Kant. Of course, he did not use the term Christ, but that is what Kant was referring to; the truth in the things themselves, as being noumena. But we know in esotericism, the real Pneuma (spirit) is the Lord, the divine, within every atom, every existing cosmic unit.
"For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind (carries away) a boat on the waters." —Bhagavad-Gita 2:67
And so, as we talked about the nature of the mind, as being preoccupied and distracted with thoughts, memories, ideas, concepts, etc., this type of mind that is attached to the senses, one that is caught in beliefs and ideas, theories, etc., is carried away like a boat on the waters, according to the Bhagavad Gita.
As we emphasized previously, Krishna, the Lord, is speaking to Arjuna, much like Moses was talking to the Lord on Mount Sinai. We too, by awakening our consciousness, our Inner Mind, our spiritual potential, can speak face to face with that divinity, as represented in many religious cosmogonies, many religious scriptures.
So, we must learn to not identify with the intellect, but to learn how to use it for spiritual purposes. It is a tool, a machine, a means by which we can study ourselves, but also learn to interact and relate to the world. So, as we were explaining in this lecture, the intellect in itself is not useless: we need it. But we neither need to be identified or carried away by it. People think, in many spiritual circles, that to be spiritual means to be not focus on the intellect, to be simple, but that is another extreme that we seek to avoid in this type of studies.
We talked about how philosophies in different schools, based on the intellect, may be interesting or compelling, but they are not grounded in the experience of the truth, on direct facts, what we have verified with our consciousness. But this is not to say that the intellect must be disregarded. We saw in the example of Jesus riding into Jerusalem, upon the donkey of the mind—a symbol of the intellect—in order to enter into the heavenly city on Palm Sunday; the symbol of entering into those spiritual states of consciousness that we can access when we learn to control the intellect. It is not as though Jesus just threw away the animal, disregarded it; instead, he used it for God.
Christ, as a principle, is within each of us. Our Inner Christ needs to learn to conquer this intellect that we have, and to use it for the well-being of humanity. Repeating the quote we gave earlier, "For the mind which follows in the wake of the wandering senses, carries away his discrimination as the wind (carries away) a boat on the waters." Our inner divinity must control this intellect that we have. But, of course, we learn to do that by cooperating with that inner presence, inner principle, through practices like meditation.
The Divine Philosophy of the Being
To conclude this lecture, we will talk about a quote given by Samael Aun Weor, in his book, Igneous Rose. In this book, he sums up the essence of this course we have been giving. We have talked about how philosophy is based on the senses, beliefs about who we are, but is not grounded on facts, experience, on the truth. So, we must learn to access that truth within us, by learning to direct our attention, by awakening our potential, our consciousness.
"Our Innermost is yes, yes, yes. The wisdom of our Innermost is yes, yes, yes. The love of our Innermost is yes, yes, yes." ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We have talked about philos-sophia, being "love of wisdom," of God, of the truth. That wisdom and love that we feel in the presence of the divine is born in us when we awaken that within us. The divine is always ready to aid us, in any moment, when we learn to pay attention here and now. It is always an affirmation of, "Yes…" "I will help you, I will aid you, I will not reject you." Like Rumi says in his poems, "Ours is not a caravan of despair. Even if you have broken your vow a thousand times, come, join us. Come."
So, the wisdom of our Innermost, our inner divine Being is like that.
"When we say, ‘I am hungry, I am thirsty,’ etc., we are affirming something absurd, because the Innermost is not hungry, neither thirsty. The one that is hungry and thirsty is the physical body. Therefore the most correct way to say this is, ‘My body is hungry, my body is thirsty.’
"The same happens with the mind when we say, ‘I have a powerful mental force, I have a problem, I have such a conflict, I have such suffering, some thoughts are arising in me,’ etc. We then are affirming very grave errors, because these things are from the mind, not from the Innermost.
"Our disciples must change the process of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension…
"…To reason is a crime of great magnitude against the Innermost." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This does not mean that the intellect is not useful, when it is guided by the spirit. As Samael Aun Weor stated, to reason is a great crime against God; this does not mean that the mind cannot be used in its genuine, original and intended sense. Our intellect, in these times, tends to dominate us. We are filled with thoughts, worries, anxieties, preoccupations, desires, impulses that really charge our life with a lot of negativity. So, that type reasoning is very negative; to be consumed by that type of conditioned mind, a Sensual Mind, which is only preoccupied with material things, and not with the treasuries of God within us. To reason, in that sense, is a crime, because the intellect, which says, "I think, therefore I am," like Descartes stated in his philosophy; this is wrong. Instead, the one who says, "I am here, I am present, I am the Being" is God, because that presence is within us, that truth is in us. The Innermost does not think, as we stated previously. God does not need to rationalize, to come up with a solution with the intellect to a problem. Of course, God is not a person, but an intelligence or force within us, which we have to actualize, to develop; it is in a potential state within us, here and now, but not fully active.
So, we must learn to "change the processes of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension." This is the essence of real philosophy. Real philosophy is not about academics, throwing large words around to sound clever or interesting, to make someone look stupid on the opposing side of the debate... instead, it refers to how we change the way we think. To not be so identified with thinking and rationalizing and worrying, but instead to be present, to be mindful, to be awake, as a spiritual being.
So, we "must change the process of reasoning for the beauty of comprehension." Comprehension is not reasoning. The distinction between Gnostic philosophy and regular philosophy is predicated on this point. Comprehension is when we know the truth for ourselves, when we understand the real solution to an intimate problem; not from having thought about it, by not thinking about it. This is very common in business circles, in which a committee gets together to discuss the solution to a problem, and yet, with all the thinking and rationalizing they do, they cannot find a solution. Instead, they all walk away, they take a break, and in those moments of not thinking about the problem, the insight comes, the realization of what needs to be done comes to the mind.
Comprehension is like when we put our hand on a hot stove, and we burn our hand. We retract our hand in pain, and we realize from the experience that if we put our hand there again, we will get burned. The same thing happens in psychology. When we look at a habit in our psyche, and we see that a certain tendency that we have is harmful, we may comprehend by getting burned in that situation, to not act on that habit, to change it.
But people who are great rationalists don't comprehend the truth behind the problems that they face. We can look at cases of alcoholics. A person who is an alcoholic may intellectually understand, reason that the habit is bad, yet they continue to indulge in the behavior. So, comprehension is realizing that this action is harmful, and that we need to stop, because if we don't, we will die. We have the same distinction in spiritual studies. When we see that certain habits like anger, fear, pride, lust, vanity, defects, etc., cause us to suffer, and make others suffer, we comprehend, and we learn not to behave in those ways any more. That is real, genuine spiritual philosophy. We have a love of wisdom, and we realize more and more how we create our daily suffering, we create our daily problems. If we identify with the mind, we will perpetuate our suffering.
Questions and Answers
Audience: So, the intellect is basically the five senses? And, then you mentioned, intelligence is different, more holistic?
Instructor: We could say that we have six senses, in synthesis: we have sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell, plus the ability to imagine. There is also the sense of intuition too. Intuition is knowing without having to reason. This is exactly the quality of awakening consciousness, in which you do not have to solve a problem with the intellect, instead, you simply know what you must do: that is intuition.
Audience: And that would be more intelligence, as opposed to intellect?
Instructor: Yes. It is intelligence. The intellect is a quality of ego, our defects; I will give a concrete example. Perhaps we have a conflict at work, in which someone says something derogatory towards us, and provokes our self-esteem, our pride, which feels hurt. Then, there is the concepts in those moments where we feel, "I should say this, in order to retaliate, to get retribution for what they said to me." That is a form of mind that is very degenerate, wrong, negative. But, comprehension is when we know that, that type of thinking is wrong. Then, we change, we do not react to life so mechanically; we learn to respond, which is intelligence, intuition, and the capacity to perceive consciously.
Again, consciousness has degrees; there is conditioned consciousness, which is anger, fear, pride, laziness, gluttony, defects—these are conditions of our psyche that make us feel weighted down, and make us suffer, and make others suffer too. But unconditioned consciousness is when we free our psyche from those elements, and we learn to develop peace, serenity, a mind that is perfectly pristine and clear, that can directly reflect like a lake on a mountain, the heavens of Urania.
We talked about the famous allegory of the cave of Plato; how a man or woman escapes the cave, after imprisonment, and sees the stars for the first time, on the mountainside. Escaping that narrow path of the cave, and entering onto the open landscape, is a symbol of spiritual liberation. Seeing the stars for the first time is seeing our inner divinity within us and recognizing that presence directly.
Our mind is like a lake. If we throw stones in it, if we thrash ourselves in those waters, through anger or fear, etc., we disturb the equilibrium of that pond. When the waters are churning, through reason, through intellect, through concepts, desires, we cannot see the reflection that could be naturally present there.
When we learn to still our mind, by comprehending those defects, and not letting the impressions of life enter us mechanically, where we just react constantly to the different stimulus of life, instead learn to receive it with a receptive mind, and we do not identify with these elements, the mind gradually stills, calms. This happens by learning to behave appropriately, learning to respond to life with a sense of dignity and rectitude, of ethics. Every religion has this concept, that, if you want to know God, you must follow certain rules. These are not just a list or memoranda or code of conduct that one thinks about, admires, but does not really follow. Instead, it refers to not killing, not stealing, not doing drugs, not fornicating, not committing adultery... people think that these are just physical laws to help communities stay together, at a physical level. They are that, it is true. But the real meaning is that, when we learn to curtail psychological habits, we look at our mind and see that we have violence, we have fear, we have anger, we have elements that commit adultery and fornicate in the mind, even if we might not physically do so.
As Jesus said, "You have heard it said of old, you should not commit adultery. But, even if you look at a person from the opposite sex out of lust, you have committed adultery in your heart."
First, stop those habits, and the mind begins to settle. Then, psychologically, we begin to enter deeper states of serenity.
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Fundamentals of Gnosticism, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
In this tradition of Gnosticism, we study what is known as the four pillars: four foundations to spirituality. These can help us to understand many of the religious traditions of which we may have been acclimated.
It is important to note again that the word Gnosis is Greek, and it refers to self-knowledge. This type of self-knowledge is not intellectual, nor is it found in any book or lecture. This type of knowledge pertains to one’s cognizance of spiritual truth, one’s experience of the divine.
So, we emphasize and teach, through many lectures and books, the foundations of spiritual practice. In this course, the fundamentals of Gnosticism, we are explaining how the science of self-knowledge has been taught in many religions and traditions, whether in Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, etc.
In the last lecture, we emphasized that Gnosis is a science, coming from the Greek word, "scientia" meaning knowledge. Again, this is not intellectual scholasticism; it is not something to be argued, to be debated. Instead, it pertains to how we perceive God, how we know God, directly. And, in the last lecture, we emphasized that this is a practical teaching that has been manifested in different religions.
Today, we are going to talk about the pillar of art, within Gnosis. There are four pillars: science, art, mysticism (religion) and philosophy. The study of our own, inner divine nature, our inner God, relates to these four pillars. We are going to explain how Gnosis, self-knowledge, knowledge of God within us, is an art; we explained how it is science and mysticism, but today we are going to explain how this methodology has been present in many great paintings, sculptures, music, classical compositions, architecture, etc. These art forms are physical representations of divine truths.
We explain that the purpose of Gnosis is to know God, to know our inner Being, from experience. We state, "to be made into the image of God." Many people think that, since people has this physical representation of this physical body, that the image of God is physical; that there is some anthropomorphic figure in the clouds, dictating the fate of this poor humanity. But that is not the image of God that we seek to develop.
The truth is, this image is psychological in nature, spiritual in nature. It has to do with our own self-perception. In the Bible, the Gnostic book of Genesis states that God (Jehovah-Elohim in Hebrew, Iod-Chavah Elohim) breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life, and he became a living soul. These are the spiritual principles and truths that we need to actualize; they have nothing to do with the mere physicality. The breath of life is precisely the energy and force of God. We say that God is an energy, not a person.
We find in this image, this archetype represented. This is a painting from the Sistine Chapel, by the Master Michelangelo, who is a Gnostic master. In this painting, he emphasizes and expresses the beauty of the creation of the soul. Many people think that they have soul, but, if we observe ourselves and analyze our psyche, typically, what we find are many discursive elements—frustration, pride, anger, resentment, lust, vanity—defects of a psychological type. But, here, if we are sincere in analyzing ourselves, and examine our psychological states, we will find that when we close our eyes to meditate, we see darkness. This means that we do not see our inner divinity within, who is represented in this image as an anthropomorphic figure, but, really, God is an energy. Thus, painters and great masters, in order to teach spiritual principles, would use physical forms to teach this path. This is precisely the creation of a soul made into the image of God.
God is like wind, breath, spirit, for as Jesus taught, "You must be born again of water and spirit, and the spirit bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:5, 8). This pertains to how God is an energy which we can find in our breath; it is an abstract force. It is not physical breath, but energy.
God, we find, is creating this human being: this is our goal in these studies. We want to be true human beings. To know what this means, we have to analyze the term. "Hum" in Sanskrit is wind, spirit; "man" comes from the Sanskrit "Manas" which means mind. So, a Hum-Man, human is a mind—whether from a male body or female body, it makes no difference—that is crafted into the psychological and spiritual image of divinity. A real human being—though they might look like us, having a body like ours—does not have pride, anger, vanity. Instead they embody the highest and most beautiful ideals that humanity has encountered, such as through figures like Jesus of Nazareth, Plato, Buddha, Krishna, the Prophet Muhammed... different religious teachers who taught the doctrine of peace, and how to become spiritual.
This is an artform, which has been represented in art. You will see by the diversity of expression, that this science is universal: it is not particular to one tradition. When speaking of Gnosis, we say that people typically think of Gnostic Christianity, but it pertains to all traditions, all religions, all paths.
The Gnostic Definition of Art
It is good to examine what the word art really means. Art from the Greek arti meaning "just"; to be just, to have justice. Or, as we say in Hebrew, the Tzadikim, the righteous ones, righteous before the eyes of God. This means that we work, psychologically, on our own imperfections, so that we can become perfect; or, as Jesus of Nazareth taught, "Be perfect as your father who is in Heaven is perfect."
It is also from the word artios meaning "complete, suitable." We see that the creation of Adam—which represents all of humanity, which can be made into the image of God—really is the work of becoming complete and suitable, before our divinity. This is something that we need to verify and examine, psychologically, to see whether or not we are suitable for the incarnation of God. God cannot mix with anger, resentment, wrath, and all the other defects that we carry inside. We have to remove all of that, if we want to be made like Adam into the image of Jehovah Elohim.
The word art also comes from the German word artizein, "to prepare." Gnosis as an art is the preparation of the human being to be made into the image of God; this is what we teach in many books and lectures, through many practices that we provide in this tradition.
The Latin, artus "joint." We find that this is the joining of the divine with the human, the divine with the terrestrial. This is the real meaning of religion, from the Latin religare, which means to re-unite. This is the same meaning as the word yoga, in Sanksrit: yug is the root word, meaning to unite or join. So, we want to join with our divinity, but, if we want to mix with the divine, while carrying our impurities, then that connection is impossible; only when the soul is pure can that union be made.
We find the Armenian word arnam "make;" early 13c. Art is a "skill as a result of learning or practice." Likewise, when we want to know God, we have to learn the skills necessary to know our Being, to know divinity. As we find in sculpture or painting, one needs certain skills in order to produce certain results; one needs to study, intellectually, in order to develop practically. It is the same thing with spirituality, genuine knowledge of God, because it is a skill that we develop through learning, such as through books, and by applying these principles in our own life.
It is also from the French, artem, meaning, "work of art; practical skill; a business, craft.” This is what people typically think of when they think of art. But, here, we are looking at it a little more esoterically, a little more deeply; looking at the hidden meanings behind these terms.
We are going to look at many different works of art that portray and exemplify these principles.
The Secret Teachings in Art
Here we find the crucifixion of Christ, Jesus. We find his burial beneath, his crucifixion in the center, followed by John the Baptist pointing towards the Lord, emphasizing precisely what is this path of becoming a human being, a hum-man, a spirit-man. This is pointing towards death, precisely through the death of impurity is how one can unite in purity. For, as Paul of Tarsus taught, it is by throwing away a belief, throwing away corruption, that one can inherit incorruption.
Art, as in this painting, we find many symbols and messages which were transmitted in secret by initiates. What I mean by an initiate is a person who has been enculturated, has studied and learned from experience, the divine truths contained within religion; not the outward formalities of scripture and practice, but really the internal experience of what God is. These painters, musicians, artists would dedicate their entire lives to explaining the path of self-realization to humanity, through art.
Sadly, people always take from these art forms, yet they do not appreciate the genuine depth that these works of art demonstrate. As Helena Petrovna Blavatsky—founder of the Theosophical movement, and great Yogi and master, and proponent of Gnosticism—emphasizes in The Secret Doctrine:
"The ancients knew these powers so well, that, while concealing their true nature under various allegories, for the benefit (or to the detriment) of the uneducated rabble, they never departed from the multiple object in view, while inverting them. They contrived to throw a thick veil over the nucleus of truth concealed by the symbol, but they ever tried to preserve the latter as a record for future generations, sufficiently transparent to allow their wise men to discern that truth behind the fabulous form of the glyph or allegory." —H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine
Painting, music, art is symbolic, representative of experiences that we can have in meditation, or in the dream state, specifically.
"They are accused of superstition and credulity, those ancient sages; and this by those very nations, which, learned in all the modern arts and sciences, cultured and wise in their generation, accept to this day as their one living and infinite God, the anthropomorphic "Jehovah" of the Jews. " –H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, iv. “The Four Elements”
People who say that they are very religious, who believe in an anthropomorphic God in the clouds, really are ignorant about the esotericism, the experience represented behind these principles. Just as Jesus of Nazareth had to face his Passion, his crucifixion and his resurrection, this is a representation of what we need to do, inside. Jesus of Nazareth, a great master, taught how each of us carries within our own inner divinity, known as Christ; from the Greek Chrestos, Christos, meaning ‘anointed one.’ It also refers to the Greek God of fire, Chrestos.
We find these letters atop of Mount of Calvary, I.N.R.I., which from Latin translates as Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Judæorum, which we can break down in many ways. We can also say that it is Ignis Natura Renovatur Integra, which means "fire renews nature incessantly." So, Christ is not a physical person, but is a fire, an energy, a force that we can incarnate, if we know how; if we are prepared, if we know the method, the artform. Likewise, the Christ, through Jesus, taught us a very beautiful path, filled with difficulty, but one which can produce the peace and genuine development of the soul. We also find that the Latin inscription above Jesus can also mean, In Neci Renascor Integer: "In death I am reborn intact and pure." So, through the death of the psychological impurity, ego, defects, we can attain the resurrection of Christ within our soul. This is represented in this painting.
We also have an image by the Master Botticelli of the death of Christ. We find the three Mary’s of Christianity, followed by the Apostles, specifically Peter, who is holding the keys to Heaven. People think literally that these apostles were simply people from the past who documented a historical event, ignoring that these initiates, these people who were instructed into the inner mysteries of divinity, came to represent for us archetypes that we need to develop inside. Just as there is an Apostle Peter outside, a physical personage, he came to represent our own, inner Peter, the Latin Patar, which means stone, Caiaphas in Aramaic. What alchemists call in the medieval traditions the philosopher’s stone really refers to Peter. He represents in us, to synthesize, the work of sexual-spiritual-psychological energy within our interior. The word Peter, Patar, means stone, and it is the foundation of our spiritual work. We unfortunately find as a slang word for the phallus, the word Peter, which refers to the sexual nature of what this apostle represents, as we find represented in the keys that he holds in his hand. Often, in these studies, we talk about the mysteries of matrimony—how a man and woman, united sexually, can use those energies for God, which is the path of Tantra in the East.
He has a gold key and silver key in his hand. Gold represents the solar energy, the projective, masculine force, the man; silver represents the lunar, receptive, the feminine. The man and woman together can come to really know God, by working with the most holy energy that they carry within, which is the stone, that some people call the Holy Spirit, which we say is the sexual energy. It is an energy that can be used for divinity.
We find the three Mary’s which represent three aspects of our inner divinity that we need to develop. We have a Mary Magdalene, we have a Mary, mother of Jesus, and we see on the left Mary of Bethany, who is a repented soul that represents any person who genuinely enters onto this path of self-realization, who really yearns for a spiritual change.
The other apostles are in disarray, they are confounded. But, notice how all the apostles, as represented in this image, have their heads at a slant; the meaning of this is that in this process of self-realization there is disbalance. In the path of self-knowledge, we seek to acquire balance, to equilibrate these forces inside of us. When there is silence and balance within, we can really develop our full divine potential. Notice that Peter is the only one who is level—he is the foundation, the rock of the holy Christian Universal Gnostic Catholic Church. Catholic really means universal; it is not merely the Roman sect, which deviated from the Gnostic Church founded by Peter.
This image represents for us a beautiful teaching. This work with Peter is a representation of how we work with energy inside of us; it is our foundation, it is where we begin. The Freemasons often talk about the cubic stone that needs to be perfected, which is Peter. Our energies need to be reflected in our mind, our heart, and our body. The three Mary’s are representations of the feminine aspect of our inner divinity; just as we talk about the Divine Father, so too do we have a Divine Mother. We often talk about five aspects of our Divine Mother, but, three of them are very important for us: the Divine Mother Space, which is the abstract Seity, the universal Cosmic Mother, represented by all of the substance of space known as Akash or force. She is the origin of all worlds, stars, planets, suns, Gods. Likewise, we have Divine Mother Nature, which is our inner Divine Mother, the feminine principle of God, who creates our physical body. Our body is a type of Mother Nature, which contains many forces that we can use by following the path of Peter, to find balance and equilibrium. Likewise, we find our inner Divine Mother Kundalini, our particular individual Divine Mother; like each of us has a particular Divine Father, likewise we all have our own inner Divine Mother inside.
Usually, when we supplicate, we do so to our individual Divine Mother, represented in Kabbalah as Binah. Kabbalah is the study of the Hebrew letters, which are also principles and teachings within the individual letters of the language; as we find in this glyph.
The True Human Being or Upright Pentagram
So, through different paintings and art, we find many symbols represented in this path of self-knowledge. We find Leonardo DaVinci, the Vitruvian man, next to the symbol of the Gnostic pentagram. In regards to the pentagram, people typically think of Wiccans or witchcraft; but, this is a misconception based on propaganda. Unfortunately, this symbol has been denigrated by many traditions. It represents the human being made in the image of God. The star represents a man who's spiritual reasoning is governing his heart and his body; he is ascending towards God. Usually, when people think of the pentagram, they think of the inverted pentagram, which is the opposite of the human being; it is the head facing towards the earth, the legs facing up. That represents the demon, a being whose reasoning is subservient to sexual passion. It is represented by the sexual organs, which when inverted, sex governs the head. That produces, as we can see in our world today, grave suffering for humanity.
We are not going to explain every meaning and symbol of the pentagram, we could give a whole lecture on just this image, but one thing I would like you to notice is that we have the Hebrew letters Adam, then Iod-Havah. The right arm has Iod-Havah, which is Jehovah. Likewise, the word Adam is the human being, the man made into the image of God. This star is the man spiritually, psychologically, embodying all the divine virtues and principles of Christ, represented by יהוה Iod-Havah, which is the Hebrew name for Christ. The other letter, ש Shin, the three-pronged letter, in between יה Iod-Hei, and then וה Vav-Hei, you have the word יהשוה Yeshua, which is Jesus; that word means savior. It is the force that can save us, spiritually, psychologically, if we know how to work with it. So, the star is Adam Iod-Havah, like in the image of Adam being created by Jehovah, it is the same meaning, as the man is being approached by his Inner God. That is why it means to be made into the star.
I mention this briefly, because in our next image, we often find Jesus—such as in the Ghent altar piece, by Jan van Eyck—with this common greeting of Christ, where he extends his middle finger, index finger and his thumb out, with the other two fingers down. This is representative of the pentagram that we just saw; meaning, that Christ greets us, saying Inverential Peace, peace unto you, by showing the pentagram. This symbol really represents the arms extended outward, with the head towards heaven; this represents the human being that has been created by God. The people, like the hippies, who make that sign with two fingers pointing up (representing the legs), and the other three (the arms, and the head) pointing downward, the so-called symbol for peace, are actually making the sign of the inverted pentagram. We often talk about hippies and others who have this fascination with drugs, promiscuity, negative sexuality... theirs is really a very degenerated way; it is the opposite of the path of Christ, the latter which is a type of pure law.
On the left, we have the Divine Mother Mary, in the center we have the victorious, resurrected Christ, on the right, we have John the Baptist.
What is interesting, is that when we look at images like this, we find that there is a lot meaning; my intention is not to exhaust all the meaning in this, but to emphasize that many initiates portrayed, through art, beautiful teachings. For example, on the crown of Mary, Miriam, if we look closely, we can see that there is ten stars above her crown. The number ten is significant in the studies of Hebraic Kabbalah, which as we mentioned in a previous lecture, is one of the Trees of the Garden of Eden: the Tree of Life, which is the Kabbalah, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which is the science of Alchemy. The Tree of Life is represented as the map of the soul, in different degrees and elements. This Tree of Life is represented by ten spheres, ten sephiroth, which are modalities of energies and consciousness, as well as matter; they represent the heights of divinity within us, as well as our physicality, at its lowest. The fact that the Divine Mother has ten stars in her crown represents that she has fully developed in her child, which is us, all the aspects and principles of divinity within. You could say that this is like the Christmas tree, as a symbol. The Christmas tree represents that man, that Tree of Life, which is illuminated with stars, with light, with virtues, powers and understanding. Likewise, this image of the crown of stars represents how she has within herself those ten sephiroth fully developed, which is our ten aspects of our own psychology that we need to develop inside.
What is important, is the we see that she is looking at a book, she is studying. This is emphasizing that we need to study, and to really know the teachings well, in order to interpret what art is telling us. John also has a book, representing how he is studying deeply into these teachings. Christ wears three crowns on his head, this represents the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or in Kabbalah Kether (crown), Chokmah (wisdom, Christ) and Binah (understanding, the Holy Spirit). Within Christ are all three principles of the higher aspect of divinity, represented in this image.
Music, Numerology, and the Kabbalistic Teachings
Not only does painting represent many teachings, but so too does music, especially classical music. For divinity decided, many centuries ago, to spread this through many great musical compositions, specifically through opera, as well as classical symphonies. Really, music is a language; it is mathematical. Mathematics is the science of Kabbalah, the science of numerology, measurement. We say in this tradition that God is a geometrist, God creates through numbers. Numbers are infinite and holy, mathematical. The universe is created through many laws, which are governed by Christ, the energy of God.
Music represents, mathematically and through notation, spiritual, emotional and psychological principles that we can actualize within ourselves. Some examples of great masters who taught through music are Freemasons like Puccini, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, etc. Very little is known about their membership to these groups, such as Freemasonry, because they were very secretive. Instead of giving lectures or providing books, this knowledge used to be underground, due to the dangers that were present if they were to openly unveil these teachings. So, a lot of these composers would teach other initiates by making symphonies; they would create a symphony, then have it played; other masters would come, and being very awakened spiritually, they would understand the meanings of the symphonies, getting teachings, and communicating in that way. Since they had a lot time, and they were not allowed to openly divulge this type of knowledge—at the time, it would have been sacrilegious, but in this time, in the information age, there are very different laws in motion.
Classical Music and the Three Brains
We have the following quote from the founder of this tradition, Samael Aun Weor, from his book, The Revolution of the Dialectic. In it, he speaks about how music is a beautiful teaching that pertains to every aspect of our psychology, our constitution.
"In music it is well known that certain notes can produce happiness in the thinking (intellectual) center, other notes can produce sadness in the sensitive (emotional) center and other notes can produce religiosity in the motor center." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
In the last lecture, we discussed how the human being has three centers within our body and psyche; how we function intellectually through thought; how we process emotion or sentiment; and, our motor center, which is how we acquire movement, physicality.
Gnosis as fourth way teaching, relates to what Master Gurdjieff taught. We emphasize a lot of things that he taught, as he was a very humorous and very strong Master. So, like Gurdjieff taught, we find the following teachings in this book:
"Indeed, the old Hierophants (the Masters of the temples of Mysteries, the Freemasons, etc.) never ignored that integral knowledge can only be acquired through the three cerebrums." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
We talk about the three brains in these studies. People think that we only have one brain, but the reality is different; the term brain, in these studies, denominates how we process information in a psychological experience. So, we process information intellectually, through thought, concept, argument, debate, idea, thesis/antithesis, etc. We also have the emotional brain where we process psychic perception, intuition, sentiment, love, compassion, etc. And finally, we have movement, which includes how we experience sensation, as well as our sexual impulses and our instinct. Likewise, music was really intended for all three aspects of our psyche; it nourishes our mind, our heart and our body, when it is coming from divinity.
"A single cerebrum cannot give complete information." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Usually, in life, we tend to only develop one of our three brains over the others. However, in the ancient schools, instead of just studying intellectually so much every day, they used to provide theatre and dance, sculpture, music, in order to work with different aspects of our psychology and our centers, so they could understand deeper messages.
With the three brains, you can think of it like a car: our body has three aspects, a mind, a heart and a body. How we use those three brains depends upon our consciousness, which is our soul, which can either follow the will of God, or can get carried away the whims of the intellect, the heart or the body. In order to really understand superior messages in music, we need to really have a lot of perception in meditation, practical skill, which is the definition of the word art. We need to have experience, internally, such as in meditation or in the dream yoga state. As the Master Samael, the founder of this tradition states:
"The sacred dance and the cosmic drama, wisely combined with music, served to transmit tremendous archaic teachings of a cosmogenetic, psychobiological, psychochemical, metaphysical type, etc., to the neophytes." –Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Cosmogenesis relates to how the cosmos, the divine, relates to our genes, our genesis, creation: how we create the image of God within us. How we bring the spiritual down to the physical, which is really what artists like Beethoven did, and you will see through some quotes of his that this is really what he was getting at in his symphonies.
So, like I said, opera is one of my most favorite artforms, because it is an amalgamation of theatre, music, drama, containing many symbolic teachings, which is something that we can go very extensively into.
In The Perfect Matrimony, the Master Samael Aun Weor explains that art has always been dual in nature: it can express the most divine in the human being, but it can also express the most diabolic, and I am sure we can think of many examples of both.
"The Initiate loves great classical music and feels repugnance for the infernal music of vulgar people. Afro-Cuban music awakens the lowest animal instincts of the human being. The Initiate loves the music of the great composers." —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
This is not to say that to say that all music from Africa is degenerated or negative. In fact, there are many tribal teachings, Native America, Tibetan, African, which are very positive. But, typically, in these times, when we think of Afro-Cuban music, we think of salsa, and many types of dance and music which if we are examining ourselves, provokes a lot of subjective elements, psychologically speaking, if we are observant; if we really pay attention to how our three brains respond, what we think, what we feel and how we act. When we awaken, psychologically, spiritually, we in turn can comprehend the great messages of the superior worlds.
Divine Art and the Masters of Music
We have this image of the Master Jesus, or the Christ, who has ascended to Heaven. We put this image here to represent how divinity comes down and can express through any Master who is fully prepared, who is developing the art of the initiate within him or herself.
Samael Aun Weor states in the book, Igneous Rose:
"We must comprehend the significance of music, happiness, and optimism.
"One remains in ecstasy when listening to The Magic Flute of Mozart, which reminds us of an Egyptian Initiation." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
Mozart, when he wrote The Magic Flute, in the dream state he received a blessing or celebration in the temple of Egypt in the Astral plane—what people call the world of dreams. He was awakened in that state, and due to his work as a practitioner, he was accepted into that temple.
In The Magic Flute, at the very end there are three notes that are played in successive order, representing the three pyramids, which is the trinity of God, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, but also the pyramids of Giza, where he was initiated in the internal worlds.
We work here physically, spiritually speaking, but celebrations such as what Mozart went through, happen when we are physically asleep and our soul is awake, outside of the body.
"One feels amazed when listening to the nine symphonies of Beethoven, or the ineffable melodies of Chopin and Liszt.
"The ineffable music of the great classics comes from the exquisite regions of Nirvana where only happiness that is beyond love reigns.
"All the great Children of the Fire (Angels, Elohim) distill the perfume of happiness and the exquisite fragrance of music and joy." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
All that music, the beautiful symphonies of Beethoven, particularly the ninth, the Choral symphony, Ode to Joy, represents the happiness of God, that is flowing within all of nature.
If we learn to travel in the internal planes, achieve what is known as astral projection, we can meet these Angels, as well as Beethoven, many other Masters, and speak to them, face-to-face. With this type of perception, we can speak to the Gods, the Angels, the Buddhas, the Jinns, whatever names we want to give to those beings. We can see that they really embody the highest virtues represented by the beauty of the great symphonies, in the music of Lizst, Chopin, etc.
We say in these studies that art is intimately related to what we know as the soul of the plant known as saffron. In these studies, we have been explaining how there are initiates or masters who have attained development; in other words, we could say that they are apostles. So, without exaggerating in anyway, we could say that Lizst, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart, etc., they were apostles of art, prophets of art; they taught how to unite with the soul, through their music.
In these studies, we often talk about the work with the elemental souls of nature, such as through elemental magic; specifically through plants, by working with the souls of plants. We have many methods that we explain in books like Igneous Rose, in which we can really work with elemental souls of nature, in order to help protect ourselves and inspire us to work spiritually.
The saffron is the plant of the apostolate. We see this image of the Buddha, who is tempted by the three daughters of Mara, represented in Christianity as Judas, Pilot, Caiaphas, the three traitors, who are trying to tempt Buddha from attaining his enlightenment. This represents our inner God within us, the initiate who is really acquiring equanimity of mind through meditation. He is doing the Vitarka Mudra, where he has his three fingers up, and the index finger and thumb together; this represents the transmission of a teaching. Buddha is transmitting the teaching of self-knowledge, because the color saffron, yellow, pertains to knowledge, Gnosis, objective knowledge. If we have an internal experience with the color yellow, it pertains to self-knowledge, understanding oneself, in a dream.
"The saffron is the plant of the apostolate.
"The elemental population of the saffron is found to be intimately related with the apostolate." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We chose this image because the Buddha is conquering his own mind, represented by these three temptresses. He conquers his own mind, in order to provide a teaching. With the Vitarka Mudra, he is expressing the doctrine of the Inner Buddha, and meditation.
Likewise, an apostle of art, like Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Chopin, they cultivated their mind through studying music, and practicing their art, in order to express a divine teaching. So, like Buddha giving the self-knowledge of inner mind, likewise, the different masters of music gave teachings through their art.
The three daughters of Mara in this image, or Judas, Pilot and Caiaphas in Christianity, are intimately related with the number three. Three is a very symbolic number: it relates to creation, Father-Son-Holy Spirit, positive force, negative force, neutral force. The three daughters of Mara are not people who lived in the past, but represent legion. We can characterize our own inner demons, our own defects as three, because we have three brains. Pilot is the demon of the mind, who always washes his hands, and justifies himself of sin; Caiaphas is the demon of the heart who rejects the lord, who does his own will, such as through anger, violence, etc.; Judas is the demon of desire, who sells the Lord for thirty coins, sexual passion essentially, through lust. Yet, even though we have three brains, and we say that there are three traitors, represented by how we wrongly use our mind, heart and body, but we have many defects, which is represented by Lazarus, the man who is possessed by many demons, that Jesus exorcized. Jesus asked him, and the man said, "We are legion, for we are many." There are a multitude of defects that we have inside. We can synthesize those defects as three, because we have three brains.
This is what Buddha overcame; this is what Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart overcame in themselves, in order to give their teaching, a very potent wisdom through their music.
"The apostle is a martyr of the cosmic mind.
"The mind of the authentic apostle is crucified." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This is a very powerful statement. Is it not true that many of these masters who gave their music, were heavily criticized? Many people have created a lot of books, writings, propaganda against certain musicians; things that are not true. Being criticized for their work, these apostles suffered; they had to crucify their mind, in order to overcome their reactions to a public that does not really understand the esoteric message behind the music, but which they give for love of humanity.
"The mind of the authentic apostle is intimately related with the elemental department of the saffron." -Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
If we want to work with developing happiness and optimism, we can work with the elemental magic of the saffron plant, which is intimately related with the apostles of art.
"The mind of the arhat (the meditator who has conquered his mind) is intimately related with this elemental department of the saffron.
"The apostle is a martyr.
"Everyone in the world benefits from the works of the apostles. Everyone is the world reads their books [or listens to their music]. Everyone in the world pays the apostle with the coin of ingratitude because, according to popular concept, ‘the apostle has not the right to know.’" —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
This is referring to how people, humanity, typically masters like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and exchanges their divine works with ingratitude. People say, "How can anyone know God? Beethoven, Mozart... they did not know God. So how could they know this?" Out of ignorance, people reject the deeper message behind these works of art. The apostles suffered for that; it is a tremendous suffering to give a teaching like the ninth symphony, and humanity applauds and venerates this work of art, but they don't really understand the meaning, or they criticize it, not knowing the message. People think that no one can possibly know God, which is agnosticism; if you put an ‘A’ in front of Gnosticism, it means to not know, to be ignorant. It does not merely mean to not read books, it means to not have experience of God, which is really all of us, to a greater or lesser degree. But, through conquering our mind, like Buddha, we can emanate that light, which is Christ, the light of God, our inner energies, forces.
"However, all the great works of the world are due to the apostles." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
And I say, without exception:
"The saffron is intimately related with the great apostles of art: Beethoven, Mozart, Berlioz, Wagner, Bach, etc.
"The planet related to saffron is Venus, the star of love." —Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
In relation to medieval Alchemy, Venus relates to arts, the influences of music, culture, literature, etc.
Here is Beethoven, who, in his own words, really demonstrates what this teaching is about, and what his music is about. He said in a letter to Archduke Rudolph, in 1823:
"There is no loftier mission than to approach the Divinity nearer than other men, and to disseminate the divine rays among mankind."
He was experiencing many things in the meditations he had, as well as out of his body, in order to transmit the teachings of his God. People are astounded that before even composing the ninth symphony, one of his greatest works, he was physically deaf: he couldn't hear a thing. And yet, his expression, and his notation in the music is perfect. People debate, and wonder how that could be possible. That a deaf man could compose something as tremendous as this; that this is unfathomable. The explanation of this is that, while physically he was deaf, but when he would go out of his body, in the Astral plane, or even in Nirvana, in different dimensions, represented by the Tree of Life, he was hearing that music from his inner divinity. He was memorizing everything, retaining everything, then returning to his body, where he was physically deaf, and trying to notate everything that he experienced. He was very awakened. I have verified, and give testimony, that his music teaches very elevated principles. We can know these things directly, if we investigate.
He also stated:
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend." —Quoted by Bettina von Arnin, letter to Goethe, 1810
Meaning, we cannot comprehend with the intellect, which is what people try to do with his music. They look at it intellectually, and are amazed by its complexity, but, it is like learning Hebrew, but not understanding the Bible. It is a said fact, but it is a reality.
Quoted by Bettina van Arnin, in a letter to Goethe, another great master of literature that we also venerate, Beethoven stated:
"When I open my eyes I must sigh, for what I see is contrary to my religion, and I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."
This is my favorite quote of his:
"He who understands my music can never know unhappiness again."
If you listen to the ninth symphony, it is really about self-realization; you unite with your God, then you can truly sing the chorus from that symphony. That is the angels expressing that joy that another soul has entered into Nirvana, into bliss. It is really a profound teaching. So, if you understand that from experience, you won't be so dejected, and you will really work harder to know God.
Even Wagner, who is tremendously slandered in these times, as an anti-Semite, as a misogynist, was a great master. If we understand that all the apostles of art have been denigrated by the critics, by people who don't really understand religion, or science, or mysticism, art, we understand that his teachings are very profound. His operas teach a lot of Kabbalah; they are Hebraic teachings. So, it is incongruous to say that he was an anti-Semite, when his operas represent the entire Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge of Genesis.
In synthesis, he states the following, regarding the purpose of art:
"When religion becomes artificial, art has a duty to rescue it. Art can show that the symbols which religions would have us believe literally true are actually figurative. Art can idealize those symbols, and so reveal the profound truths they contain…
"…I believe in God, Mozart and Beethoven, and likewise their disciples and apostles; —I believe in the Holy Spirit and the truth of the one, indivisible Art; —I believe that this Art proceeds from God, and lives within the hearts of all illumined men (initiates); —I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art, is consecrate to Her for ever, and never can deny Her;—I believe that through Art all men are saved." —Richard Wagner
Art teaches us the path. When we study art, it inspires us to really work ourselves, psychologically, spiritually. To have that experience of what his opera Parsifal teaches, such as the Master Samael teaches in the book, Parsifal Unveiled... it is mind boggling; it inspires us to really change, and make effort to overcome our own suffering, as well as the suffering of others.
We have an image of Parsifal, with the temptress Kundry, which is another representation of how Buddha was facing his inner devil, the temptresses of Mara, which are represented in this opera as Kundry; it is the same drama. Parsifal is the knight who seeks to retrieve the lance of Longinus, which pierced the side of the Lord.
We find that, just as there is divinity in art, there is also a lot of diabolic representations within art too. This is easy to find if we look at our modern media, as well as much of the artforms that are presented in these times; such as through things like death metal, gangster rap, violent forms of music, which are provocative, usually of a lustful nature as well.
We find that even theatre, as well as places that once transmitted the divine teachings, have been overcome by people who really do not understand these messages. So, just as people who play in a symphony, they may not know the meaning of the music, they can at least express that teaching; it is the same thing as works by Shakespeare, which are esoteric plays, esoteric dramas. A lot of times, the theatre, and many other forms and expressions of art, have been infiltrated and degenerated by lude interpretations.
Samael Aun Weor is very clear in the Revolution of the Dialectic. He states:
"The tenebrous ones have stolen the theatre and the stage. They have miserably profaned it. They have totally prostituted it." ―Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
This may seem harsh, but the thing to realize is that, if we look at theatre, we see that a lot of the representations are very provocative, lustful, sexually charged, and are usually devoid of any inherit esoteric divine principles.
We were talking a little about how divinity expresses through art, but now we are explaining how art can also be an expression of negativity.
"The Sabbath, the day of the theatre, the day of the mysteries, was very popular in the ancient temples. Marvelous cosmic dramas were then presented.
"Drama served to transmit valuable teachings to the Initiates. Different ways to experience the Being (divinity) and the manifestations of the Being were transmitted to the initiates by means of drama." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Shakespeare retains a lot of this teaching; such as Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, Macbeth... these characters represent principles that we need to study and understand in ourselves.
"Among the dramas, the most ancient one is that of the Cosmic Christ. The Initiates knew very well that each of us must become the Christ of such a drama if we indeed aspire to the Kingdom of the Superman." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
The superman is the term denominated by Nietzsche, who also knew this science. A superman is a man who is a human being, fully integrated with Christ: a fully developed being. Like, King Solomon, the Solar king from the Bible.
"The cosmic dramas are based on the Law of Seven. Certain intelligent deviations of such a law were always utilized in order to transmit transcendental teachings to the neophyte." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
We talk about the Law of Seven, which relates to Kabbalah. You may hear how the ancients studied seven planets, and many people have this assumption that the ancients must be stupid, because there are more than seven planets. That is not the case. They actually knew of all the planets in the solar system, even while our modern astronomers do not. The explanation for this is that they had awakened internally, in order to investigate things about the solar system. The law of seven is a law of organization. We find the seven notes in our musical scale; likewise, seven is represented by the organization of our psyche, namely with our physical, energetic, emotional, mental, volitive, conscious and spiritual principles. This relates to Kabbalah, which we will explain about more in other lectures. But, a lot of art and drama explains this mystery of the law of seven. Plus, if you had the law of three, the law of creation (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) to the law of seven, you have ten: the ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life, in Kabbalah.
Spiritual Sculpture, Architecture, and the True Human Being
Here we see an image of the sphinx, which is an Egyptian work of art. It represents a great mystery that we need to solve. I am sure we have all heard of the mystery of the sphinx; Oedipus Rex had to solve the mystery of the sphinx, in order to save his city.
"In addition to this, it is suitable here to mention sculpture. The latter was grandiose in bygone times. The allegorical beings chiseled on hard rock reveal to us that the ancient Masters never ignored the Law of Seven." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
So, sculpture like the pyramids, the great buildings of antiquity, show us principles that we need to develop. Many Egyptologists, archaeologists laugh at the Egyptians, thinking that they worshipped idols, statues... this is wrong. These sculptures are symbols, they are not literal. To look at the flag of the United States literally, we would see that there is 50 stars, 13 white stripes, and that is literally there... that would be absurd. The Egyptians did not think that way. They represented cosmic principles in their sculpture.
"Let us remember the Sphinx of Giza, in Egypt. The sphinx depicts for us the four elements of nature and the four basic conditions of the Superman." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
We see the paws of a lion; the face of a man; hooves of a bull; and the wings of an eagle; this is the traditional representation. The bull represents earth, our physicality. We have the elements in our body that we need to conquer. Likewise, the face of the man, which represents water, referring to our sexual forces, our energetic principles, our vitality, etc. We have the wings of the eagle, related to air, the mind; the mind is of an aerial nature, breath. And then we have the paws of the lion, which represent fire; emotional processes. We feel fire in the heart when we're angry, or with love, etc.
In order to become an angel, we need to conquer those elements, which is what the riddle of the sphinx tells us. If we want to become a man or woman made into the image of God, we need to conquer these elements inside of us. Or, as Jesus taught, "You should worship your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your will, and all your strength." These are the four elements represented here.
To emphasize how these teachers like Michelangelo, and other artists, taught us a hidden teaching, I would like to emphasize some quotes, specifically about Michelangelo.
This is an image of the Pieta by Michelangelo, the dead Christ being held by the Virgin Mary, after his Passion. Here are some quotes that I am going to explain a little, in order to look at them at a deeper level. These are sayings by Michelangelo:
"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."
Just as we say that, in order to create a beautiful sculpture, we need to see the image in our mind, then chisel it into the stone, which is the literal meaning that Michelangelo is saying here. On a deeper level, we understand that, like that stone of Peter, our psyche is a stone that is impure, rough, and that we need to chisel in order to produce that image of God inside. So, Patar, Peter, the stone, is our energies that we need to purify, chisel away, by bearing in mind the image of our creator, so that we can create that sculpture, which is that perfected human being: a human being that is a work of divine art.
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
We all have an Angel inside our stone, symbolically. We need to chisel away that stone, so that we can work patiently, with a lot of love, in order to produce this Angel inside.
"The best artist has that thought alone which is contained within the marble shell; the sculptor's hand can only break the spell to free the figures slumbering in the stone."
Again, these figures are slumbering, sleeping in the stone. We say in this teaching that we are asleep, like the myth of Psyche and Cupid. Psyche, our soul, is not awake to her full potential. Cupid has to awaken her. This represents how only Christ, Cupid, can awaken us. In order to chisel that stone, and produce that awakened, perfected image; to become fully illuminated, awakened, a Buddha.
"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.
"The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.
"My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness."
Another beautiful teaching. People think that Heaven is some abstract thing in the clouds... but, we reach Heaven by working here physically, in order body, by meditating, praying, etc.
This also refers to Earths loveliness; which is a matrimony. To enjoy one's earth, one's body, is to be married; that is really when Earth's loveliness is shown. It is in a matrimony when the power of God can really be realized in depth. This is what Samael Aun Weor taught in The Perfect Matrimony.
"I live in sin, to kill myself I live; no longer my life my own, but sin's; my good is given to me by heaven, my evil by myself, by my free will, of which I am deprived."
This is a very honest examination of himself; he was saying that he had a lot of sin inside himself, but that he wanted to be purified. "To kill myself, I live," meaning, to kill one’s defects, which is the passion of Christ.
"Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."
If we meditate a little bit at a time, and really work little by little to gain perfection, we will do it. Perfection is no trifle.
"Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.
"It is necessary to keep one's compass in one's eyes and not in the hand, for the hands execute, but the eye judges."
Meaning, every action that we perform, we need to be observant of our mind. We need to really let our Being, our God, express through us, and to not be identified with physicality so much.
"Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish."
To always want to know more of divinity. Or, as the Qur'an states, "Allah has not been known as he deserves to be known." In knowing God, there is always levels.
Kukulcan, the Feathered Serpent, and the Pyramid of Chichen Itza
Here we see another sculpture, the pyramid of Kukulkan, the feathered serpent of the Maya. The Mayan civilization bore a great teaching in their architecture and taught many divine principles. The pyramid of Chichen Itza has four sides contain 365 steps (depicting the solar year). There are 52 panels (for each year in the Mayan century as well as each week in the solar year). 18 terraces (for the 18 months in the religious year). Designed by astronomers, astrologers, and mathematicians.
Maya and Toltec people worshipped Kukulkan, the feathered serpent or in the Aztec language, Quetzacoatl; this same bronze serpent that Moses raised on the staff for the Israelites, in order to heal them. It is a representation of what the Hindus call the Kundalini, which we can work with in a matrimony. The sculptures and architecture of the Maya depicted all of this; it is a very profound and beautiful teaching. We also see in this image, a snake of light that appears on the pyramid in seven degrees during the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, when day and night are in equilibrium. The fact that they planned this with such precision, to show this serpent of light raising up to the top of the temple, is representing many beautiful things for us; that if we work with that energy called Kundalini, we can ascend into our inner temple, to receive initiation.
Likewise, sacred dances such as those found in the Middle East, in the Sufi, Muslim traditions, teach us a lot. We have the following teaching given by Samael Aun Weor, in The Revolution of the Dialectic:
"Sacred dances were authentic informative books which were deliberately transmitting certain transcendental cosmic teachings.
"The Whirling Dervishes do not ignore the mutually equilibrated seven temptations of living organisms." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Again, the Law of Seven is present here. We can say that we have seven main defects that we have to face: the seven deadly sins, lust, pride, greed, gluttony, laziness, anger, envy.
"The ancient dancers knew the seven independent parts of the body and knew very well what the seven different lines of movement are. The sacred dancers knew very well that each of the seven lines of movement possesses seven points of dynamic concentration." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
So, these Sufi dancers would concentrate and pray very deeply, and they would focus on the movements of their bodies, on their seven points of concentration, which we call the seven chakras in Hinduism.
By doing this whirling, they would activate their chakras positively, so that they could perceive things spiritually; through movement and prayer by focusing on their seven centers, in order to awaken them.
"The dancers of Babylon, Greece, and Egypt did not ignore that all of this crystallized in the whirling atom and on the gigantic planet that dances around its center of cosmic gravitation.
"If we could invent a machine that would imitate with exactness all the movements of the seven planets of our solar system around the sun, we would then discover with amazement the secret of the Whirling Dervishes. Indeed, the Whirling Dervishes perfectly imitate all of the movements of the planets around the Sun." –Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
So, as a practice, it is a work with energy: doing movement, dance, with prayer and recitation. These dances represent how the cosmos functions.
Spiritual Concert According to Sufism
We find this Sufi text, Al-Risalah, which translates as Principles of Sufism by a Sufi Master by the name of Al Qushayri. He explains that music and poetry is divine; it can express, as through Shakespeare and other great works of art, many intimate experiences of the heart. It states:
"Know that listening to poetry with beautiful melodies and delightful intonation—when the one who listens does not believe it to be forbidden, does not hear anything that is blamable according to the divine Command, is not driven by the reins of his lust, and does not gather with others for the sake of lusts—is wholly permissible." —Al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism
A lot of the Muslims were arguing whether music is acceptable. This argument emphasizes that there is always a conflict between whether art can express the divine in man, or if the people who perform these dances would do so out of lust for others within the congregation, which was a common problem back then, but even more so now.
"There is no denying that poetry was recited before the Messenger of God, and that he listened to it and did not censure those who recited it. So if hearing it without beautiful melody is licit, how should the rule be altered by hearing it with melody?
"This is the obvious side of the matter. What comes next is that the one who listens should find his wish to perform acts of devotion increased. " ―Al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism
So, to really know whether music or art is really objective or not, is really spiritual, we have to sincerely examine ourselves: do we feel more devoted and concentrated? Or, do we feel anger or lust or certain other negative psychological elements inside, when we encounter this type of art?
"He should remember the degrees that God Most High has prepared for his servants who fear Him.
"This should lead him to guard against sins, and immediately convey to his heart the purity of feeling and impression required by the religion and preferred in the divine Law." —Al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism
Music should really inspire us to love God more deeply, to know God more deeply; to study as it is according to the divine law. The translation of this is really Shariah, but here we are not talking about the law in the MIddle East, in the Muslim countries, which is a deviation of the spiritual meaning of Shariah, which you could call in Hebrew, Torah, or Dharma in Sanskrit, the law, the instruction we get through books or teachings.
“I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say, ‘The spiritual concert is forbidden to ordinary people because of the continued maintenance of their egos.’" —Al-Qushayri, Principles of Sufism
A lot of these concerts were forbidden for people who never knew anything about esotericism, because they would always approach it with lust or filthiness.
"It is permissible for renunciates (practitioners) because of their pursuit of inner struggle (meaning struggling with their own defects, to become more pure in mind, body and heart, so that God can incarnate). It is recommended (music, art, poetry) for our companions, for the sake of the life of their hearts." —Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So, like the symphonies of Beethoven, it is really for companions. What does it meant to be a companion of God? It is to experience God directly, in meditation, or out of the body.
The Degeneration of Modern Art
I'd like to emphasize modern art, which is a deviation from the ancient, esoteric principles we were discussing. We find that this time of materialism and the bankruptcy of morals, demonstrates itself through the type of art that people create nowadays. Where in comparison with ancient times, we have experienced a rapid acceleration of violence, prostitution, drugs, alcoholism, mental illness, disease, etc. This reflects in our art. People minds are focused on the diabolic, and not the divine. This image here is literally of the Venus de Milo made of excrement. We see here statues made of garbage; another image by Andy Warhol of Campbell's Soup Cans... the message behind this, is that there really is no message behind it: it is empty. The word for can, or empty shell, in Hebrew, is Klipah, Klifah, which is where we get the word Klipoth from, which means Hell. So, the emptiness of spirituality is represented in our art.
Samael Aun Weor, in The Revolution of the Dialectic states:
"When the first symptoms of atheism, skepticism, and materialism began to appear in Babylon, the degeneration of the five senses accelerated in a frightening manner.
"It is perfectly demonstrated that we are what we think." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
This is what Buddha taught, 2500 years ago.
"Therefore, if we think as materialists, we degenerate and fossilize ourselves.
"Karl Marx committed an unforgivable crime. He took away the spiritual values of humanity. Marxism has unleashed religious persecution. Marxism has precipitated humanity to its total degeneration." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
We find this in countries that adopted Marxism, Communism, in which people’s human rights were taken away from them, and they weren't allowed to have any belief in spirituality. We see that humanity without religion is barbaric; without beliefs as to how to live a good life, life becomes chaos, chaotic. This shows in the different art that is being produced.
"Materialistic Marxist ideas have infiltrated everywhere, in schools and in the home, in the temple and in the office, etc.
"The artists of each new generation have become true apologists of dialectical materialism. Every breath of spirituality has disappeared in ultramodern art.
"Modern artists no longer know anything about the Law of Seven. They no longer know anything about the cosmic dramas. They no longer know anything about the sacred dances of the ancient mysteries." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic –Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
Not all art that is of a diabolic nature, is necessarily ugly, aesthetically speaking. This is a painting by Salvador Dali, who is a very famous painter, and a very good one by his own right; the only thing is, his imagery, while possessing tremendous technical skill and artistry, really conveys a lot of the subconscious nature that he demonstrated. This is evident by his own life, his quotes, his sayings, as well as his actions. Here are some quotes of his, to contrast Michelangelo:
"Have no fear of perfection—you'll never reach it."
To say that one will never reach perfection with divinity is really diabolic.
"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.
"The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant."
So, this is explaining that, even knowing that there is a spiritual, divine path, he is saying that is better to follow one’s own subconscious, diabolic nature; saying that it is the deceptive nature which is better.
So, he is really showing the opposite in his artwork: he even recommended to other artists to masturbate into their paintings, to use their sexual bodily fluids in their art, to paint. We say that masturbation is truly contrary to the teachings that we provide here; masturbation, if we take the Latin word, it is manus-stuprare. Manus is hand, stuprare means "defilment," or stupare, which means to become stupid. We lose our intelligence if we masturbate, because that energy which can be used for God is lost. Salvidor Dali was addicted to that. He said:
"I don't do drugs. I am drugs."
And we emphasize that drugs can only awaken infernal, diabolic perceptions, such as through LSD, marijuana, etc. This is what many artists take into their body and mind, in order to have, what they say, are spiritual experience, but are really inverted experiences. We do not teach any dependence on drugs in this teaching. To know God, we seek to know God without filters, without any external substance, but directly, within ourselves.
"There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad."
He knew what he was doing was diabolic, in the kind of art that he was expressing.
"Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.
"Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glory."
So, he was very materialistic; he expressed through his art, his own subconscious perception. We can say that, a person who has perception does not necessarily have it objectively. This is the meaning of the word clairvoyance.
I have seen some of his paintings in different museums, and it is a very hypnotic and fascinating thing. We say that hypnosis is the opposite of Gnosis. Hypnosis puts the soul to sleep, but Gnosis is about awakening the soul, in order to know God. We have this dual nature: we have the consciousness, which can awaken to divinity, which can awaken from sleep; then, we have our own diabolic subconscious nature. Dali was saying that it is better to follow your passions than to follow your divinity. He knew this, so he was really emphasizing the opposite of what we teach. Art communicates energetically, psychologically. So, we do not recommend indulging in these kinds of art forms.
This is a painting by Miro. Again, technically, very well done, masterful. But, there is no esoteric message behind it, there is no divine principle expressed through it.
We find the following quote from Samael Aun Weor in The Revolution of the Dialectic:
"It is already proven by observation and experience that the absence of spiritual values produces degeneration.
"The paintings of this day and age, as well as the music, the sculptures, etc., are nothing but the product of degeneration."
We look at art, and we find that people use art to express violence, hatred, pornography, sickness, disease of the mind, etc.
"The initiates of ancient times, the sacred female dancers, the true artists of ancient great times, no longer appear on the stage. Now, only sick automatons, degenerated singers, rebels without a cause, etc. appear on the stage."
If you look at television... for instance, I try to exercise at a gym, and they always play music videos of modern music, and it is very filthy; women dancing in very provocative and lustful ways. It is always a challenge going there. We find that art in these times does not reflect God at all; it is very easy to analyze this.
If you look a couple of hundred years ago, we find beautiful, artistic paintings representing religious principles. But now? It is completely deviated, we have gibberish. And, I am sorry to say to Miro, that it is very well done... but that is what the mind is like inside; different egos, defects.
"Ultramodern theatres are the antithesis of the sacred theatres of the great mysteries of Egypt, Greece, India, etc. The art of this day and age is tenebrous; it is the antithesis of Light. Modern artists are tenebrous as well.
"Surrealistic and Marxist paintings, ultramodern sculpture, Afro-Cuban music and the modern female dancers are the outcome of human degeneration.
"The young men and women of the new generations receive by means of their three cerebrums data which is sufficient to convert them into swindlers, thieves, assassins, bandits, homosexuals, prostitutes, etc." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
We find that, if we look at today’s art, people are learning how to become, like with video games, more violent, more angry, more lustful, more proud. Art, in this times, reflects the consciousness of our humanity, which is of a very degenerating type. It is absent of kindness, compassion, love, understanding, which are all from divinity. But we find that a lot of art is really just the expressing of what is negative and evil in our person; instead, we want to cultivate art that shows us our own divine potential.
This is another good painting, it is by Edvard Munch, which actually very well captures the modern mentality, "The Scream." To clarify this use of this image, we will again quote Samael Aun Weor:
"After the Second World War, existentialist philosophy and art were born. When we have seen the existentialist actors on stage, we have arrived at the conclusion that they are truly maniacal and perversely sick people."
We find that this image of a human being screaming in horror at the modern mentality, really demonstrates the type of degeneration that occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries. Even now, onward, onto the 21st century, since the 1960s.
"If Marxism continues to be disseminated, then the human being will end up totally losing his five senses (which are in the process of degeneration)." —Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
We emphasize that art expresses the consciousness of a person; the level of development or non-development of a person. We look at art and we find that the ancient music, theatre, dance, etc., really conveyed in their depth a profound wisdom that we need to actualize in ourselves, if we want to know God. But, also, art in these times has veered away from its genuine purpose, represented by existentialist art. Existentialist philosophy pertains to a belief that there is no God, and that one must make meaning from meaninglessness. It is a philosophy founded on hopelessness; it is the myth of Sisyphus, such as taught by existentialist philosophers like Albert Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard and others.
Questions and Answers
Audience: What you talk about, is it derivative of some lineage related to Samael Aun Weor?
Instructor: Yes. He is the founder of the tradition we study. I use his writings, principally because, in comparison with other authors, of his clarity and his depth. We study in this tradition many authors, particularly Gurdjieff, Steiner, Blavatsky, Dion Fortune, Max Heindel... many other occultists; people who have studied the hidden within the human being. But, we particularly use Samael Aun Weor's writings for his potency of his knowledge that he expressed in different books, which can provide clarity and insight into works of other occultists who came before him.
His teachings, I have found, have helped clarify the relationship between many principles and ideas which, in occult circles, may seem very divergent and separate, but he explains how they connect. His particular gift was that he explained the synthesis of religions, and how to interpret these different religious teachings and art, specifically.
Audience: It seems like he connected the dots.
Instructor: Yes. He really explains a lot in his books.
Audience: You also mentioned Paul of Tarsus.
Instructor: Yes. Referring specifically to the apostle who wrote the Epistles, part of the New Testament.
Audience: So, how is this different from Freemasonry?
Instructor: Freemasonry was once a Gnostic teaching. The rituals that were performed by the Freemasons are really Gnostic in origin. If you look at the symbol of Masonry, you have the compass and square with the letter G in the middle; that letter G is Gnosis, knowledge. They say that by working with your stone, Peter, chiseling that force inside, we can attain to unity with God.
Freemasonry was once a Gnostic tradition, before it became a social club, essentially. People who attend say that they are masters of the 33rd degree... but, they have just read books, they have not really practiced the meaning of their tradition. Which is the same with any religion nowadays. But, Freemasonry was a very active force in Europe; even in the Middle East as well. For instance, the meaning of the stone of Kaaba, in Islam, pertains to the cubic stone that we need to perfect, the stone of Peter. This, in the Middle East, is black, representing how our soul is impure, and that we need to chisel it to make it pure. We do that by performing seven circumambulations around the Kaaba, during the Hajj. So, the meaning of that, is working with the law of seven, which even the Muslims know about... it is a very beautiful tradition that they have. Again, like we said about how seven is the organizing principle, in all religions.
Audience: You mentioned Judas, and then you also mentioned that he was lustful, can you explain what lust is?
Instructor: Lust is a sexual desire that seeks to be satiated by sensation; specifically, the orgasm. So, the epitome of lust is to reach the sexual climax in which the energies of Peter, Patar, the stone, are expelled. Lust pertains, if we examine our mind, to desire for sexual sensations. The only way to really understand what lust is, is to see it in action, by learning to develop our spiritual purity, our chastity. By chastity, we do not mean sexual abstinence, but, purity. One can be engaged sexually, as a husband and wife in a chaste, pure way. Lust is the opposite of sexual attraction; it takes the sexual attraction that one naturally has in one’s magnetism, as a couple, and then abuses it for the experience of sensations, for no purpose other than that. So, we say that it is an animal tendency, lust. The opposite is the virtues of God, which is chastity. Virtue is the opposite, coming from the word Virya, meaning warrior; to be a warrior is to conquer one’s animal desires. It is to have virtue, which is the same root word as virility.
The only way we can understand what lust is, is to observe it.
Audience: But, how is the related to Judas; he just sold out Jesus?
Instructor: We have to understand that all the apostles came to represent something inside of us, that we need to encounter. So, just as there was Jesus Christ physically, we also have our own, internal Jesus Christ, who is our Being. Likewise, we also have inside of us, Pilate, a demon who crucifies the Christ; meaning, we crucify our Being, and our ego washes its hand of that, saying, "I am not guilty. I did not do anything wrong." Caiaphas is our evil will; whenever we feel hatred towards another person, we are disobeying the commandment of God to love thy neighbor as thyself: that is Caiaphas inside of us. Judas is a type of sexual desire; he sells the Lord for thirty pieces of silver...
Audience: The titillation of the orgasm abuses the Christic force?
Instructor: Yes. The energies of sex are the Christ. So, Judas, as desire, passion, sells the Lord for an orgasm, basically. Meaning, how our own ego makes our Lord suffer, hands over our Inner Being to our own defects by selling the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. Thirty represents the power of creation, and silver is the moon. So, again, in relation to our body, the moon relates to lunar forces relating to sex. The powers of sex relate to what we call Yesod in Kabbalah, relates to procreation and lunar habits, which are not Christic, which are not Solar; they are the opposite. We need to make the moon into a Sun.
Judas gives away his Being, meaning, a person who is a Judas is someone who orgasms, who wastes that energy, in order to have thirty pieces of silver, a moment of pleasure that is ephemeral... it’s gone. But, that energy which could create the soul inside, is lost. That is the meaning of Judas. He represented, in all of us, our own desire, which betrays God; particularly within the sexual act.
Audience: What about the dangers of repression of the sexual force?
Instructor: Like the Buddha taught, to observe is to know God. We have to learn how to see ourselves without pushing away, not looking at that inside of ourselves which we don't like, hiding from ourselves; that doesn't produce any comprehension. In fact, what that develops is a lot of frustration and mental tension, which eventually resurfaces as storm, basically. Neither do you want to feed that desire. To learn the middle way is precisely the entire path of self-realization; to balance those forces within oneself.
Like that image I showed of Botticelli, the death of Christ: everyone is disbalanced and is trying to equilibrate. And then you have Peter, who is level, upright, and who says, "I know that my Lord will resurrect within me, if I am balanced." So, the way that we balance ourselves is by working with those two keys that he has in his hand; the gold key and then silver key, masculine force / feminine force, a matrimony. That is the ultimate meaning of that. However, individual practitioners can work with those two forces, in a minor degree, in order to learn to balance the mind.
We learn how to overcome repression and suppression, as well as justification, simply by balancing our psyche, little by little. This does not come immediately, but through a lifetime, or even lifetimes, of work. But we get that balance gradually.
Audience: Why were the days of the week changed?
Instructor: Because of people who do not know Astrology. There was an original astrological calendar, which was adulterated by the Catholic church, by people who did not understand the esoteric nature of how the days of the week relate to the seven planets, the law of seven of Alchemy. We currently have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. But, the original calendar was Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Saturday is the only day that is actually in its right place, the Sabbath. The days relate to the planets; Monday relates to the Moon, Lunes in Spanish, Lunar, the Moon. Wednesday is Mercury, Miercoles in Spanish—sometimes the Spanish words have a deeper connection to this. Viernes, or Venus, which is Friday, the Goddess of love. Jueves, the Sun, Sunday. Then you have Tuesday, Martes, or Mars. Jupiter is Thursday. Saturn is Saturday. They were changed because the people in the Catholic Church did not know what they were doing, and they wanted to make Sunday the last day of the week, instead of the middle of the week, because they believed that after the six days in the Garden of Eden, God rested on the seventh day. They wanted the seventh day to be Sunday, for their own political purposes and misconceptions.
Audience: Do we get any benefit by going with the old days of the week?
Instructor: Yes... so long as you don't get confused when you wake up for work.
Audience: Where do we encounter this other way of doing it?
Instructor: We have a book called Practical Astrology; it explains the calendar.
Audience: I mean, which cultures used this?
Instructor: All the ancient cultures knew these seven days in depth. It is only recently, in the last couple of thousand years or so that it was changed.
Thank you very much.
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Free online courses, lectures, podcasts, and transcriptions.