The following transcription is from an audio lecture on Sufi Principles of Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.
Everybody who enters and practices the gnostic teachings always wants to have direct experience, mystical states, knowledge of God. When we read the writings of Samael Aun Weor, it is difficult to not feel inspired by the beauty, the depth, the power of the many personal anecdotes and experiences that he conveys. He often speaks firsthand of astral projections, awakened experiences, out of the body in the internal planes, the higher dimensions of nature, in which he has spoken with his Inner God or the masters of the White Lodge. Jinn experiences. Tremendous ecstasies of the soul.
What is particularly attractive of this kind of writing is that it goes against the theories, the conjectures, the beliefs about religion, or spirituality. These writings are powerful. They inspire us and they should enliven our heart, to push us to want to experience these things for ourselves.
It is not the intention to merely show off this kind of knowledge. That was not the intention of the writings of Samael Aun Weor and many other prophets. As Ibn ‘Arabi, a great Sufi master, stated (paraphrased), “When someone raises a lamp, it is in order to show light, not to be proud of one's elevation.” This is why such experiences are beautiful, are necessary. But if we wish to have that kind of knowledge for ourselves, to follow in the footsteps of the prophets, we must be practical.
There are many people who study meditation. Many decades. People love to read about religion, about mystical experience, about divinity, but they don't practice. Many people are merely content with reading about the Being, reading about experiences, and not working effectively to have that knowledge for oneself.
This is similar to reading about the experience of drinking water and yet one is dying of thirst. If you wish to understand the experience of water, you have to walk to the faucet, the well, and extract that water for oneself and to drink it. While this analogy is very simple, this perfectly illustrates the state of many students, not only within Gnosticism, but all religions, all esoteric schools.
We can hear about how wonderful water tastes. How it nourishes our body. And yet we will be thirsty and starving, emaciated, weak, if we do not drink for ourselves.
This is the same nature of spiritual experience. It is refreshing to the soul. It is liberating. It is the essence of life. Without meditation we cannot drink from the fountain of God, which is the well of our own knowledge, our own inner wisdom, our Inner Being. It is through meditation that we refresh our souls. That we nourish our souls. That we become inspired.
It is fundamental. We cannot know divinity without meditation. It is the method that grants the capacity for transformation.
Annihilation and Subsistence
Transformation is essentially the purpose of our practice. We wish to cease suffering, to comprehend what in us gives us pain. Why do we not know divinity? What have we done that prevents our direct access with the truth?
We always state in these studies, every religion states in its esoteric heart, that the obstacle to interior illumination is the ego. The self. The "I." It is only when we die to the ego, eradicate the self, eliminate pride, fear, hatred, lust, that we can learn to approach divinity. We have been stating that our own conditions of mind obscure our consciousness from seeing the truth. This is well explained within Sufism.
They say that in order to know Allah, to experience the truth, the self must be annihilated. The Arabic term they use is fana. It means “annihilation.” When we die to our defects, when we annihilate the self, that multiplicity of defects: anger, resentment, fear, gluttony, etc., we extract the consciousness that was trapped, conditioned. That is how we generate light—the light of our soul that can allow us to see with intensity, with clarity, the profound mystical states of the Being.
The Sufis also state, when we have annihilated the self, we learn to subsist in divinity. We learn how to be, to be one with God. The term subsistence in Arabic is baqa. It is a profound term relating to Al-Baqarah, the second Surah of the Qur'an, “The Heifer,” “The Cow,” which relates to an aspect of our divinity known in different religions as the divine feminine, the Divine Mother, which the Muslims refer to as Baqarah.
That Surah is very profound. It is the longest in the the Qur’an. It refers to the verb, the power of speech, recitation, mantralization, which expresses the perfect unity of God.
Sufism in its heart, in its true expression, is a very profound and practical teaching through which we learn different levels of being, states of consciousness, elevated aspects of the soul and of divinity. We learned to subsist in our work, to continue in our path only through annihilation, fana. There is no way that we could obtain inspiration to continue in this work if we do not comprehend ourselves.
So we need help. We need inspiration. We need to feel joy in this path. It is very easy to sit in meditation, to observe in our day our own negative qualities of mind. If we only focus on the negative, our own morbidity, our pessimism, our despair, such feelings destroy the consciousness, enmesh oneself in suffering until eventually people abandon meditation because they don't see results.
States and Stations: Levels of Being
And this is the beauty of Sufism, is that we learn about the virtues of the soul, the higher levels of Being, the states of God. Which if we practice diligently, we learn to experience little by little, through gifts of divinity. Mystical states inspire us. They guide us in the work and help us to be consistent, to push ourselves, to be disciplined.
There are many different levels of being, as we stated in our previous lecture. Mystical states are dynamic. They are infinite. A mystical state does not necessarily have to focus on just some internal samadhi, ecstasy from the East, an experience out of the body, but can occur physically, when we understand something profoundly, when we feel joy, happiness, inspiration.
It is important to cultivate the virtues of the soul as we work on the ego. This is what creates balance. If we focus only on our hatred, on how dense the mind is, without comprehending the light, we will become very pessimistic, and such people eventually leave gnosis. They abandon meditation. They abandon what is best. So this is why in Sufism we study. In Gnosticism we study the stations and states of the path.
We explain that stations are levels of being which we acquire through work, initiation, degrees. The states of the soul are given to us from divinity in the moment as flashes of inspiration to help us continue in the path. States are gifts. Divinity provides us with light, but stations or initiations are earned. We need both. Without states of contentment, of magnanimity, of joy, of the power of the Being, we will not be motivated to work further.
Divinity seeks us. This is important to remember. The Being longs for realization of its own nature. We are part of the being and as Samael Aun Weor in The Revolution of the Dialectic stated, "The Being is the Being and the reason for the Being to be is to be the Being itself."
Our divinity wants to know itself and we are part of divinity. The soul is a mirror. It can reflect the images of hell, the infra-consciousness, or if it is polished, to give remembrance. We learn to reflect the heavens, which is something that Ibn ‘Arabi, a great Sufi master, taught in his Kitab al-Ahadiyyah, Treatise on the One Alone. Or as Bayazid Bastami stated, "For thirty years I sought God, but when I looked carefully, I found that in reality God was the seeker and I am the sought."
Inquietudes, yearnings of the soul—these are psychological pressures given to us in the heart from our inner Being to push us to return to Him, to Her. Without that we cannot rise up from our state of suffering.
In this way, we study the levels of being. There are infinite levels of being, but for the sake of clarity and organization, for the purposes of study, the Sufis referred to these mystical states in many ways. As we stated, they sometimes refer to seven states or stations. Forty. A hundred levels. A thousand levels. Really its infinite, but we refer to different systems of different Sufi schools to understand more about ourselves, the dynamism of the soul, the great breadth and profundity of the heart.
So these are degrees or initiations. The stations of the path., initiations that we earn. So the Sufi manuals of great Persian masters, especially, are very wonderful for knowing, contemplating the levels of being, the mystical ecstasies of the heart and the soul, which is why Samael Aun Weor in The Aquarian Message stated:
“The seven degrees of ecstasy through which the mystic reaches the perfect state of the soul are described in the school of Sufism. The school of Sufism teaches about ecstasy. The state and secret of our level [of Being] is revealed in Sufism, because this is the interior state of life in God." —Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message
Ecstasy and Being
What is ecstasy? From the Latin exstatuo, “to stand outside oneself.” This means that we go beyond the mind, our current, everyday, mundane perception. We learn to stand on our own feet spiritually. We remove the conditions in mind so that the genie from Aladdin's lamp may be liberated, even if but temporarily.
The word ecstasy in Arabic is wajd, and ecstasy simply means spiritual experience free of the ego. In the East, they refer to these states as Samadhis. The same definition. Meditations and experiences free of limited physical conditions. They are internal perceptions. The Sufis sometimes refer to these as lights, as inspirations that shine within the heart.
So all these states come to us when we meditate. And as we are proving our consistency, our diligence, our commitment to the Being, we receive help. We receive guidance, because there are certain experiences and qualities that we cannot obtain on our own without help. And we'll talk more about what this involves within the schools of Sufism, especially.
In Gnosis, we refer to this as borrowed light. Sometimes masters of the White Lodge may provide us with experiences to help us, to push us. The Sufis call this barakah, blessings from a master that temporarily awaken the student in a very intense or heightened, clarified state of internal perception, such as in dream yoga, astral experiences, jinn states.
But in order to even receive that help, we have to be working. We have to develop ethical discipline as we explain about Sharia in our first lecture.
“Ecstasy (wajd), befalls the heart suddenly and unexpectedly, coming upon it without design or artificial prompting. Of this the shaykhs have said, ‘Ecstasies are sudden events, but they are the fruits of assigned devotions.’ God increases His kindnesses toward all who increase their spiritual practice.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
The ultimate spiritual practice is meditation, which is fueled by our work with energy. Such as through mantras, pranayama, transmutation. It is important to combine our exercises of Gnosis with meditation because as Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Spiritual Power of Sound:
“We can experience the Being, the Innermost, only through profound meditation. The experience of the Being, the Innermost, transforms us radically…
“It is completely impossible to experience the Being—the Innermost, the Reality—without becoming true technical and scientific masters of that mysterious science called meditation. It is completely impossible to experience the Being—the Innermost, the Reality—without having reached a true mastery of the quietude and silence of the mind.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Spiritual Power of Sound
So the Sufis and our teacher Samael Aun Weor state the same thing. We must work with our assigned devotions, meaning our meditations, our prayers, because divinity provides us with light for all those who increase their discipline, which is why the following quote continues.
“I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq say that inner events arise out of systematic private devotions. He who has no assigned litany, in his outer being, has no spiritual influx in his inner being. An ecstasy that owes anything to the one who experiences it is not true ecstasy.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So what does it mean to have no assigned litany? It means to have no prayers or practice. Our tradition is replete with innumerable exercises: mantras, prayers, runes, pranayama, alchemy, sacred rites of rejuvenation, meditation. These exercises help to develop quietude of mind, serenity of thought, so that in the stillness of our consciousness, we can experience the truth.
These exercises are fundamental. However, we practice whatever we need in accordance with our level of being and our disposition. Obviously, some people will not be married and cannot practice alchemy until they do so. However, we work with energy: pranayama, runes, and most especially, meditation. Whether we are single or married, we must work with where we are at, so that through accumulating energy, saving our emotional energy, our mental energy, our sexual energy, we have the fuel necessary by which to discipline the mind. Because without energy, we cannot act.
This is why ethics, Shari’ah, is the beginning of religion. Save your energy. Do not waste it through the ego through explosions of anger, of resentment, of pride. It is inevitable that if we are fulfilling the necessary laws and requisites of the path, Shari’ah and Tariqah, we learn to experience the truth, Haqiqah. Through working with the influx of energy available to us when we meditate, we learn through rituals, exercises, practices, to focus our attention.
All of those exercises that work with energy help us with concentration and silence of mind. Without that we cannot have any experiences.
So it's important to establish that foundation First. That is the groundwork by which we enter samadhi, ecstasy, wajd.
“An ecstasy that owes anything to the one who experiences it is not true ecstasy,” said the Sufis, Abu Ali al-Daqqaq, the teacher of Qushayri in his Principles of Sufism.
This is a very subtle meaning. It means that certain experiences that are super normal, very elevated, are given to us as gifts, not because we have earned it, not because we have mastered it, or entered initiation, but because we are sincere and need help. We are yearning to know divinity and because we are practicing, the White Lodge looks upon us and says, “Let us help this disciple and provide an experience, an ecstasy so that it can validate the teaching for him or her.”
So it is very common in the beginning of Gnosis that as we save energy, we start to have experiences. Some people have very intense samadhis or astral projections that they cannot explain. They receive blessings and help which is known as “borrowed light” in our tradition. It is not light that we generate on our own, but we receive from God, from the prophets, because they want to show us something valuable. They want to show us that this teaching is real.
The Sufis call it barakah, blessings, and it is very common within the Muslim tradition to think of the saints, to worship the saints, to venerate them and to ask for their barakah, their blessings from holy shrines, temples, sacred spaces that have been the physical conduit where those masters lived and provided their divine force.
In a more profound level we can receive borrowed light, barakah, internally, when we are out of the physical body. When we stand outside of ourselves, literally, that is an astral projection, an ecstasy in which we are conscious of that dimension.
But all this is founded on our practice.
“Just as, in outward life, it is the ordinary daily transactions in which the servant engages that produce for him the sweetness of acts of worship, so, in inward life, the guidelines the servant confronts are what bring on his ecstasies. The sweetnesses of worship are the fruits of outer dealings, ecstasies are the results of inner efforts.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So, what is that sweetness of worship? When you are profoundly meditating, deeply enmeshed in your conversation with your Being, and you feel the elevation of your heart, the sweetness of the soul.
Outward worship at a temple is beautiful. It can be necessary for many people. Attending groups, Gnostic schools, can aid the disciple to feel that sweetness of worship through group practice. We also feel worship in the sweetness of the soul at our daily job, if we are conscious. We deal with people outwardly. We work to follow our own compassionate nature of the soul, raising our level of being in our work physically, and internally. And as we are working on our own negative states of mind, we are performing inner effort.
The internal is a reflection of the external. When your outward life reflects the beauty of your inward life, when you let virtue be your guide, your conscience, your motivation, we naturally develop the sweetness of the work. The joy of the work. We feel ecstasy when we comprehend anger and understand that a discovered defect is a dead defect.
We learn to stand outside of ourselves physically, at our jobs, at our work, in the bedroom. That means that you are observing yourself. The soul is observing the observed, which is the ego. We are standing outside of ourselves so that we can gather data, to comprehend the “I.” As we comprehend what the ego is, we feel joy.
This is what Samael Aun Weor stated, "The greatest joy of a gnostic is the discovery of one of his or her defects,” because when we separate from the mind, we see it for what it is and in that that way we can change. That gives us true ecstasy, joy.
I know people like to think that ecstasy is some samadhi in the clouds. While that is true, we get to that point when we stand outside of our ego as we work in self-observation, or as the Sufis refer to as inner-accounting, muhassabah. We have to take an account of our virtues and our defects. This is the result of inner effort, which develops the sweetness of the soul, and in that way we learn to access supra-conscious states.
There are states of being which everybody reads about and everybody craves. These are states of soul or Being that are at the top of the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah, which we studied previously in our lecture on stations. These are qualities of the Being that are very high, which we can only experience after annihilating the ego.
The Light, Unity, and Knowledge of the Being
Being in Arabic is known as wujud, and on the right of this slide we see Arabic calligraphy of the words Al-Nur, meaning “the light,” which is a very famous Surah in the Qur’an, of which we will relate some excerpts.
Al-Nur is the Being, the lights and purity of our own inner divine nature, which the Sufis and Muslims referred to as Allah. This is supraconsciousness, states of understanding that are omniscient, beyond the physical universe. They know how to see and travel throughout all the dimensions of the Tree of Life. So to reach that point, we have to meditate. The Sufis state:
“As for being or finding,” meaning to find God, “it follows on advancement out of wajd. There is no finding the Truth save after the extinction of the ordinary human condition, because when the power of reality manifests, the perception of material things cannot endure.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So these are samadhis or ecstasies, which happen outside the physical body, in which people commonly denominate as experiences. As a consciousness, we are in different dimensions of the Tree of Life as our physical body sleeps. To reach those very high experiences, we have to learn meditation. Suspend the physical senses. Relax the body. Calm the heart. Circulate the vital forces. Relax the mind and concentrate on the Being.
In the quietude the divinity within our very core nature manifests. This is how we learn to find our true nature, the Being, wujud, which is etymologically related to wajd, because the Being is ecstasy. It is a state of happiness that is so vast and limitless that it defies reasoning and bewilders the mind.
To reach that point, we have to lose our common everyday perception of what we think or who we think we are. This is the meaning of the saying by Abu-l Husayn al-Nuri, “For twenty years I have been finding and losing. When I found my Lord, I have lost my heart. And when I found my heart, I have lost my Lord."
There are many Sufis who write and talk about this principle, that to know God you have to lose yourself, but that tradition has not really explained any practical experiences or examples. You find those types of experiences very well explicated in the writings of Samael Aun Weor. For the purposes of this lecture, I will relate to you a samadhi that I experience as a consciousness many years ago.
I was practicing meditation, deeply concentrated, and I let my physical body fall asleep. I was undergoing an ordeal in the astral plane, which I conquered. And I was instructed and taught to project my soul through my crown chakra, the Church of Laodicea, which is the chakra relating to omniscience, polyvoyance, intuitive perception, intuitive clairvoyance. It is our link to the very heavens. And I remember pushing out through that chakra and I entered as a soul, divested of any bodies or vehicles, and returned to my own Ain Soph, which Samael Aun Weor relates to in his writings of Kabbalah.
It is our supra-atomic star, the synthesis of who we are, the real Being, which is a light that shines with glory and happiness in the absolute abstract space. And I as a soul had lost my identity as an individual, to what I thought I was, but was united with That. Pure ecstasy. Being. Wujud. However, I identified again with my mind. I lost the ecstasy and I fell back within the astral plane.
That was a beautiful moment of such joy that I don't forget or cease to think about every day of my life, because that is the real Being. The true identity. Our supra-individuality.
And I remember the saying of this Sufi initiate Abu-l Husayn al-Nuri, "When I found my Lord, I lost my heart, and when I found my heart, I lost my Lord." So in that moment, I was in samadhi, but then I thought about my mind back below and my consciousness got sucked back into existence. I identified with my own sense of self and became forgetful of that light.
It is interesting that even the name of Abu-l Husayn Al-Nuri, his name literally means "beautiful light" in Arabic. So many of the Sufi masters took on names, very symbolic and Kabbalistic, profound. Hassan, Hussein, relates to Ihsan, beautiful action—the beauty or light of the soul, or in Kabbalah, Tiphereth, the human consciousness.
Al-Nuri is the light. The light of Ain Soph, as we see in this calligraphy. It is the beauty of the light. It is supra-consciousness. Happiness without limitations. The limitless. It is the unity of perfect expression of the divine.
This is why the Sufis also state:
“It is also the meaning of the saying of Junayd, ‘The knowledge of Unity is contrary to its existence, and its existence is contrary to the knowledge of it.’” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So I'm relating to you this experience with my intellect, with words, but intellectual knowledge of that unity, Ain Soph, is contrary to its existence, because words fail to describe or to attribute anything relating to the Being. Its existence is contrary to Its knowledge or our knowledge of It.
The Shahadah: Declaring the Unity of God
So what is the unity in Islam? They pronounce the Shahadah, the Muslim declaration of faith:
“There is no god but God and Muhammad is His Prophet.”
lā ʾilāha ʾillā Llāh, Muḥammadun rasūlu Llāh (in Arabic).
There are many Muslims who pronounce this prayer, but knowing this phrase in the intellect is one thing, knowing it from experience is something else. Shahadah means “witnessing, to bear witness,” to experience the truth.
And what does it mean to submit to God in Arabic? Islam. Many people follow the tradition, physically thinking that through certain adaptation or adoption of prayers, rituals, behaviors, that one somehow is now following God. But it is important to remember that Shahadah, to witness the divine, comes from mushahadah, contemplation, meditation.
The Ain Soph is Allah in Arabic. The limitless. It is a point in space that is our own true light that wants to have cognizance of Its own happiness, Its own true nature. Allah in Arabic comes from أل Al and the syllable لا La, which literally means “The No,” “The Nothing,” “The emptiness,” which is the Buddhist Shunyata, the abstract light of perfect Seity, devoid of common individuality, that is a form of light, our true nature, Al-Nur. That beautiful light is our own star that guides our interior, which calls us back with longing, which seeks us so that we can return with knowledge to It.
There's a Surah in the Qur’an that relates this principle. From Surah Al-Nur (24:35):
“Allah is the light of the heavens (the nine sephiroth) and the Earth (Malkuth, the kingdom or bottom of the Tree of Life). The example whose light is like a [niche] within a lamp (a niche is a supra-atomic point, the synthesis, the Being). The lamp is within a glass, (which reminds us of hermetic science, the science of alchemy), the glass as if it were a pearly white star lit from the oil of a blessed olive tree…” ―Surah Al-Nur 35
That pearly white star is the light of our true nature in the heavens, Allah, Ain Soph, which we learn to experience by working with the oil of the blessed olive tree, known in Middle Eastern science as alchemy, Allah Khemia: the work with energy. That light, that oil, is:
“…neither from the east or the west.” ―Surah Al-Nur 35
That tree is neither of the east or the west. On the Tree of Life relating to the sphere of Tiphereth, the East, and Malkuth, the West. The sunrise rises in Tiphereth, the East, which is the goal of our path. To rise up the Tree of Life with light. But if we fall down from Malkuth into the West when the sun sets, we die spiritually. We lose inspiration, allegorically speaking, Kabbalistically speaking.
“Whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire.” ―Surah Al-Nur 35
We speak abundantly in our studies of the work with the oil, which is a symbol of our sexual matter and energy, which we learn to transform with chastity and purity so that that energy, elevated, is used by the soul, untouched by fire or lust.
“Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills and Allah presents parables (symbols, experiences) for the people and Allah is knowing of all things.” ―Surah Al-Nur 35
So we know in Kabbalah that Ain Soph, the Being, is beyond the Tree of Life. It is the negation of all that is existent. It is our true existence, which is non-existence. It is the negation of the self, the complete annihilation of individuality as we conceive it, of grasping at "me, myself, I."
It is only when we fully die, even if only for a moment, that we can enter samadhi, ecstasy. Ibn ‘Arabi speaks abundantly about the unity of God. He says that only divinity can comprehend Himself. So it is a very beautiful teaching, very subtle. While I am telling you that, conventionally-speaking, that my soul united with my own Ain Soph with that experience, it wasn't me knowing myself, but the Being through my soul.
It is a very thorny issue in theology. Very confusing for people who don't meditate. We can think of divinity as light, even as a person who can only know himself by looking in a mirror. That mirror is our soul, is our heart. If we purify the heart, we can reflect the light and therefore divinity gains consciousness of Its own true nature. He witnesses himself through the mirror of the soul.
“With this sense they recite: I find my true existence in vanishing from existence. And from all apparent evidence I see.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So true existence is the Being. It means vanishing from everything that is not that source. We know from our studies of initiation and the Tree of Life that we work in successive degrees, ascending to higher states of consciousness until finally at the very end of the path, we abandon everything that is manifested in this universe to return to that light. The yogis of India refer to this perfect bliss, knowledge, and Being absolute in Sanskrit terms: Sat Chit Ananda.
Sivananda writes about this very beautifully in his books. We can think of it as object, subject, union. These terms or principles describe the perfect state of ecstasy, in which the Being is the object. The soul is the subject and the union is completed. So in that experience the soul that is my true nature was united with That. The light was the light and one could see oneself as both the Being and the soul in union.
This is the meaning of religion, from the Latin religare. Reunion. In Sufism, they refer to this type of experience as Madkhur, the Invoked, which is the Being; Dhakr, the Invoker, who is the dervish or the soul; Dhikr, the Invocation: the call upon the divine, the consciousness of the divine.
In other terms, we say it is the Remembered, the Rememberer, and the Remembrance. It is in that state that the Being has cognizance of Its own happiness. This is the purpose of our spiritual work. To return to that abstract joy. That perfect Being. It is for our own Ain Soph, our own true star, light, and ecstasy of divinity, to have cognizance of That known as Paranishpanna in the writings of Samael Aun Weor.
This is known in Sufism and Islam as the Day of Alast: the covenant made between the soul and Allah, that the soul will return to divinity through the path. This is scripturally validated in the following verses from the Qur’an, Surah 7, verse 172 (Surah Al-Ar’af):
"And mention when your Lord took you from the children of Adam, from their loins—their descendants, and made them testify of themselves saying to them, ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said ‘Yes, we have testified.’ This less you should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Indeed we were of this unaware.’” ―Ar’af 172
So there is a very famous verse within Islam. Many people think it refers to the literal people of Adam and his descendants making a covenant with God. That they will return to their upright ways of living. Some people say this took place physically at Nu’man a valley near Arafat. There are other interpretations of the Qur’an known as tafsir, exegeses, or commentaries on that scripture, that this occurred when Adam descended to the Earth metaphysically. Some say before that or even after. Other Sufis and other initiates comment that it happened in heaven.
This is actually a metaphysical experience. Meaning, we all originated from our own Ain Soph, who is our true nature, our light, which sends its light down the Tree of Life into different matters, energy, into consciousness, forms of expression, so that it can return inward and upward, back to the source with knowledge. “Happiness is not true happiness without cognizance of That.” It is a very Kabbalistic statement by Samael Aun Weor, which you can read about in Tarot and Kabbalah, especially.
So the Being says, “Am I not your Lord? Am I not your true identity?” And that is our covenant. To return to the source, the synthesis of who we are. This is the voice of the silence. It is the source of our own longings and inquietudes. Our deep yearnings for studying this type of doctrine is to know That. To know the unity.
Mythomania and Mystical Experiences
So while many people think that these kinds of mystical states or experiences are indicators of progress, what happens with many people is that while having those types of experiences, many students and even instructors, followers of different traditions or teachings, become confused. They have those experiences and then they return to their body saying “I am a master. I am a great Being. I am liberated!”
What they don't understand is that those kind of experiences are merely states given to us by divinity as a gift. They do not signify that we have entered and subsisted in that state through initiation. We can have those experiences, states of liberation temporarily, but to really be permanently united in That, is a very lofty goal. Very difficult.
As Samael Aun Weor stated:
"Some hermits who isolated themselves within caves, based on rigorous disciplines, attained the ecstasy of the saints and were taken up to heaven. There they saw and heard things that are not easily comprehended by human beings. Nevertheless, their “I’s” continued to exist within their interior.
"Unquestionably, the Essence [consciousness or soul], through rigorous discipline, can escape from within the “I”; thus, it enjoys ecstasy. However, after such bliss, the Essence returns into the interior of the “myself.”
"Those who have become accustomed to ecstasy without having dissolved the ego believe that they have already reached liberation. They fool themselves by believing themselves to be Masters. They even enter into the submerged devolution [descent and destruction within the hell realms of nature, the inferior planes of Klipoth].
"Nonetheless, we are not pronouncing ourselves against mystical ecstasy, against the ecstasy and happiness of the soul while in the absence of the ego. We only want to place emphasis on the necessity of dissolving “I’s” [achieving fana: annihilation] in order to achieve the final liberation.
"The Essence of any disciplined hermit, accustomed to escaping from within the “I,” repeats such a feat after the death of his physical body. Then, his Essence enjoys the ecstasy for some time. Yet, after such time, his Essence returns as the Genie of Aladdin’s lamp, back into the interior of the lamp, the ego, the myself.
"Thereupon, he has no other choice but to return into a new physical body with the purpose of repeating his life on the stage of existence.
"Many mystics who lived and died in the caverns of the Himalayas in central Asia reincarnated again and are now vulgar, common and current people in this world, in spite of the fact that their followers still adore and venerate them.
"Therefore, any attempt at liberation, no matter how great it might be, if it does not take into consideration the necessity of dissolving the ego, it is condemned to failure." ―Samael Aun Weor, Treatise of Revolutionary Psychology
This is why in our tradition we speak abundantly about mythomania. There are people who have genuine experiences of God in different levels and because they don't study the doctrine, they get confused. They think they are gods. Mythomania comes from myth of manas, the Sanskrit term for mind. It means “to make a myth of the mind.” The mind thinks it is great, that it is God, but the mind is just the devil. As I explained that experience I had, I left behind my mind, my devil. However, when I identified with my mind again, I lost the experience, falling down into the astral plane, losing the ecstasy.
While that was a beautiful experience, I would never dare make the mistake to think that that is my permanent level. It was a gift. People get confused because they have those experiences but don't really evaluate the quality of their mind. They are not stations: permanent, established, levels of Being. They are states that come and go as blessings from God.
The Definition of States
So let us define what a state is according to the Sufi manuals of the great masters, especially Al-Qushayri from his Principles of Sufism.
“According to the Sufis, a state is a spiritual influence that arrives in the heart without their intending, contriving or earning it, such as joy or sorrow or expansion and contraction or desire or agitation, or awe, or need.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So these are experiences that we receive without intending it, without earning it. And that samadhi that I related to you, that was given to me without my intention and definitely without my earning it. However, I had been disciplined in my practices and was given the gift in order to relate it to this type of knowledge, to clarify things.
So other states such as experiences of that nature can sometimes be even more or less intense, but still very beautiful and profound, like joy or expanding our consciousness. Sometimes there are states that are contracted. We become focused on one thing. Expansion is a type of diffusion into space with a clarified awareness. Contraction is more concentrated, as if we are focusing only on one thing. A very disciplined contracted will. Very strong attention, which also can be as state, a gift, or a desire, or longing, to be agitated in a spiritual sense, to be filled with awe, yearning, or longing for God.
“While stations are earned, the states (ahwal) are gifts. The stations are attained through the expenditure of effort, but the states appear from the fount of generosity. The possessor of a station is confirmed in it…” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
…or has reached that level of being, has achieved The Major Mysteries according to Samael Aun Weor.
“The possessor of a state is transported beyond it.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So I claim that that experience I had was a gift. I am still in the process of working on myself. Hopefully that I will return to That, to be transported to That. But in order for that to happen, we have to work from the ground up.
“Dhul-Nun al-Misri was asked about the gnostic and said, ‘He was here, and he left.’” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So what is the true gnostic? A true Sufi, one who is perfected marif’ah, knowledge of God. Knowledge of the truth, and therefore, his or her states and stations are beyond our comprehension. So while that person can be physically present with us, consciously-speaking, they are aware of all the dimensions of nature. Here and now. “He was here and then he left.”
Such beings are very difficult to comprehend at our level because they can access all dimensions of the Tree of Life with will, with intentionality. They are not limited to one sphere. But for us, we find that states are temporary. They come and go. We can be meditating, introspecting, contemplating a verse from a scripture, concentrating on an image of divinity, whether a holy figure, or something as simple as a mandala, a stone, a picture. We can be reflecting on the virtues of our own consciousness, of our Being. And, states suddenly emerge in the screen of our awareness. You suddenly see a landscape, a place, a group of people, a conversation, a symbol, a form of life, images, sounds. These appear directly before us and we are both witnesses and participants. These are flashes of understanding or inspiration. Imagination. If we understand the import of those experiences, we develop intuition, understanding of what those states are communicating.
The Momentariness of States
“Some of the shaykhs have said, ‘The states are like lightning flashes.’” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Meaning, these experiences come upon the heart suddenly, without expectation. When we cease thinking.
“If one seems to continue, it is self-deception." ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Many times in our practices, especially in the beginning, we are meditating and we have an experience. We see an image, a sound, a symbol with the type of clarity that is very expensive or clear, and suddenly when we realize what is happening, we return to our body, back to our asana (posture). Those experiences are very temporary. They come in flashes, and then we are stuck in the mind again, seeing all sorts of contents, memories, anxieties, fears, worries that continue on and on. This is the meaning of how if these states seem to continue, it is self-deception.
We have states of the soul that are very clear, very profound, and have a particular taste that is distinct. Therefore we have to learn to sift through the mind and understand that genuine states of the soul appear like lightning. They appear, then they vanish. So we should question our mind. Be very diligent to understand that not everything we see in ourselves is going to be objective. If it seems to continue onward, like all the chain of associative thinking we know of, that is self-deception. That is the ego.
“And they have said, “The states are as their name,” [the verb hala means ‘to change’ or ‘to pass’], meaning that immediately as they come upon the heart, they vanish. They recite: Did it not change, it would not be called a state And everything that changes vanishes. Look at the shadow whenever it draws to an end. It begins its diminution when it has grown long.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
Validating Internal Experiences
So it is important that we understand something very essential. Having experiences is not enough. Having mystical states is not sufficient. We have to learn to verify what we see.
Scriptures allow us and show us understanding of what these types of ecstasies are. We have to both have experiences, but also read, study, reflect. When we see that our own experiences are reflected within the writings of the great prophets, we develop faith. We don't get confused. We understand precisely what God was telling us, and therefore we have no doubt as to what we know.
Personally, I have had many experiences that I witnessed firsthand, internally, and only later found evidence physically of what that meant. In the case of that experience I related to you, there are other symbols relating to that vision, that ecstasy, that I confirmed in many writings in order to evaluate its objectivity. And in that way I have faith. I know what that experience was communicating and so there is no confusion or doubt.
So many times we can read the writings of Samael Aun Weor, the Qur’an, the scriptures, any of the experiences that, before we read about them, we have.
I believe I related in our previous lectures knowing about the Tree of Life before reading about it. The ten spheres. the ten sephiroth. It is actually very beautiful to have that experience and then later confirm it. It shows us that we are progressing and that we are on strong ground.
We have to learn that we must not only be practical meditators, but studious disciples. We have to read and know the knowledge in depth. This is known as intellectual spiritual culture. Our knowledge, our studies, help us to clarify and decipher our internal experiences.
So we can have those types of experiences, but if we don't know the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, the nature of the path, we will be very lost. We will be receiving messages from divinity, but not having the knowledge to interpret.
Samael Aun Weor mentions that Kabbalah is the language of the internal worlds. We need to have intellectual spiritual culture. This means: have a very good knowledge of every tradition, especially the Gnostic tradition, so that we learn to be balanced, because many people can have experiences and think that they are objective. But if those experiences go against our ethics, the writings of the prophets, then we are deluded, we are confused. So experiences have to coincide with the writings. Otherwise, we will be in error. We will make false judgments and can make mistakes.
Which is why Abu Sulayman stated in Principles of Sufism (by Al-Qushayri):
“Sometimes one of the subtle sayings of the Sufis stays in my heart for days, but I will not accept it save on [the testimony of] two just witnesses: the Qur’an and the Sunnah.” ―Abu Sulayman al-Darani in Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So we have to rely on the teachings of the prophets, those who walked the path before. That is because these initiates have very high levels of attainment. They have a lot of awakened consciousness and can explain things for us that are very difficult. We have to learn to study from masters of Major Mysteries, the prophets, people who really established themselves in accordance with hierarchy, meaning their level being is very high, such as Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Krishna, Moses, Khidr in the Qur’an, Samael Aun Weor.
We have to study from masters whom we have validated, whom we know are objective. This is important because many people in our studies have committed crimes and even lost their sanity because they lacked culture. They had experiences that told them that such and such person is a black magician, a sorcerer, a demon. Or, experiences that are contrary to our fundamental ethics of how to behave in life, and therefore they literally committed crimes. You can read about this type of dynamic in Samael Aun Weor's book Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology, where he communicates the link between spiritual perception and the criminal code.
Internal States and Spiritual Facts
The foundational of reason why people make mistakes is because they have internal states that do not coincide with facts. They don't know how to interpret what they see. This is why study and practice is essential. Study the true sources of meditative knowledge, because:
“Being and knowing must be balanced to establish a sudden blaze of comprehension within our psyche. When knowing is greater than being, it causes all kinds of intellectual confusion. If being is greater than knowing, it can produce cases as serious as that of a stupid saint.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
Study is knowledge and practice is being.Together we produce comprehension. People who study a lot but don't experience become pessimistic, morbid, defeatist, confused. It is because they read about experiences that they don't have and wish that they can have that kind of knowledge for themselves, and feel covetous of those who do. They become dark, pessimistic, morbid, angry, envious.
It is important to really balance the two, because there are those who even have a lot of experiences, but don't have knowledge. They become stupid saints. They can receive knowledge from God, but because they can't interpret, they are stupid in a very blunt sense. They don't know how to relate their experiences to physical life. They don't know how to make their inner experiences practical for themselves, what those messages mean, because initiation is our own life lived intensely with rectitude and love.
So balance the two. Read the doctrine, study the books, but meditate. Meditate on what you read. We have to learn to digest all the beautiful symbols and concepts and understandings we get from our teachers, the prophets, the scriptures. And if you have experiences, learn to find books and teachings that explain what those are.
In my case, I remember having that one experience long ago before I even knew certain aspects of Kabbalah. I united with Ain Soph, but I was bewildered because I didn't understand the real depth of that experience. I knew it was my Being, but I didn't know how that related to the Tree of Life, the Kabbalah. Now, studying that aspect of this teaching, it has become very clear. Therefore I am no longer confused about what it meant.
Over the years of even studying more and more, I’m seeing that arch an experience is not particular to me, but it is mentioned in many cosmogonies and writings of great authors. Great yogis, great prophets. So I don't claim that this is something only special to a few people, because we all have that inside. We all can experience that. But it takes a type of work and blessings from divinity.
But learning to decipher what we see, what states we experiences, we have to learn to combine knowledge and being, as I said. That statement by Samael Aun Weor is corroborated by the Sufis:
“The best of states is that which goes together with knowledge.” ―Nahrajuri in Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
“Any mystical state that is not the fruit of formal religious knowledge brings more trouble than benefit to the one who experiences it.” ―Abu Amr bin Nujayd in Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
This is all based on ethics. We can have an experience internally that we are told we are a great God and that we should do such and such a thing, even when that action contradicts divine law, the ethics of the soul, upright behavior, upright thinking, upright feeling. There are many people in Gnosis who have committed crimes, made terrible mistakes because they did not study the doctrine. They were confused by a negative, subjective, egotistical state, thinking that they were in samadhi, that they were in ecstasy, when the truth is that they were just confused, by the ego, by Shaitan, the adversary, our ego, al-nafs, nafas, the soul or the lower soul.
So any mystical state must be corroborated by the doctrine, otherwise it brings trouble. So if you have those experiences that are confusing or dark, that don't coincide with the knowledge, then you have to discriminate, meditate, interpret, look for the source. And if that type of state is contrary to the law, then disregard it.
We have to be very exact with our concepts. Logical thought and exact concept are necessary in order to develop spiritual perception, says Samael Aun Weor, I believe in the book on Sexology: The Basis of Endocrinology and Criminology.
This is why we study the lives of the prophets. The Sunnah, the scriptures. This is so we know how to live ethically. Ethics empowers our actions and our actions influence our spiritual states. Our spiritual devotions physically is what determines what states we will experience.
There is a famous Hadith in the Muslim oral tradition which emphasizes this point: how our actions permeate everything we are mentally, physically, emotionally, instinctually, sexually. Prophet Muhammad was known to have stated:
“The outer law (shari'ah) is my word, the spiritual path (tariqah) my actions, and the inner reality (haqiqah) my inner states.” ―Prophet Muhammad
So these three levels of instruction: Shari’ah, Tariqah, and Haqiqah, are essential when we study mystical states.
Everything is based upon our ethics or code of conduct, which is the path of the heart. Without that foundation we cannot have true inner states or knowledge, Haqiqah: the experience of the Being, which is embodied in the life of any prophet.
So of course we emphasize again, develop your ethics. Question what you see in your mind stream. Without that we cannot discriminate with objectivity.
When we work effectively in the path, we progress into higher states of consciousness. This is always occurs in accordance with the death of the ego. There are masters prophets who, due to hierarchy, they enter incredibly vast, beautiful states that for average persons is inaccessible, incomprehensible. There is a particular beauty to studying what is known as progressive states (ahwal) because there are prophets who were so elevated in their level of being, that it is very difficult to understand. But, they can inspire us to change, to reach those heights. We have to learn to remove the covers of our perceptions. Remove the veil, the egos, through vigilance.
I heard Abu Ali al-Daqqaq speak about the saying of the Prophet, “Something covers my heart so that I ask forgiveness of God Most High seventy times a day.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So this has to do with our work of self-observation. We see things many times, in our mind, that are very negative. And so we learn to ask forgiveness for our faults. We don't have to have any prayer formula, but remorse. This is what this quote from the Prophet means. We are taking account of our own internal states, our egotistical states, so that we can enter superior spiritual states, experiences.
“He said that the states of the Prophet were always in progressive development. When he moved from one condition to a higher one, it would sometimes happen that his attention returned to what he had advanced beyond. He used to count this ‘a covering’ compared to what he was attaining in the immediate condition, for his states were always in increase.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
So while this may not apply to us, this is something important to acknowledge. Advanced initiates enter states progressively higher and higher, in accordance with the death of desire, by descending into the subconsciousness, the unconsciousness, the infra-consciousness.
So a prophet that has moved very far beyond the ego, still needs to go even higher and higher, because they are refining their consciousness very much. So a profound mystical state which to us can be very high, could be a barrier for a prophet. Because they are developing so much that they are always entering higher states of infinitude, which of course is very difficult to comprehend where we are at, but with practice and meditation we understand more.
These are the levels of being which as Abdul Karim al-Jili stated "The path to God is short. The path in God is infinite. " So even upon attaining union with divinity, there are levels of knowledge of God which go higher. States that go even deeper into that source.
"The Truth’s capacities for depth and subtlety are without end. And since honor is due to the Truth. It is impossible to fully attain this; the servant is always involved in the refinement of his states. No spiritual significance is conveyed to anyone unless there is in his destiny something beyond it, to which it may transport him. This is the point of the saying, “What is good in the righteous is bad in those brought closer to God.” Junayd was asked about this, and recited: Explosions of light glitter when they appear Making a secret visible and giving news of unification.” ―Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism by Al-Qushayri
These explosions of light are samadhis, experiences, states. And they are a brief allusion to what true unification is, true religion, unity, the Being.
We will conclude with a quote from Samael Aun Weor. The basis of our meditation is silence and perception. Concentration and imagination produce comprehension. Concentration and imagination produce ecstasy, illumination, understanding. When our mind is calm like a lake, it can reflect the heavens. We can reflect superior states.
“Illumination and ecstasy come when the mind is silent, when the mind is quiet. Drowsiness in combination with meditation produces ecstasy. God searches the nothingness in order to fill it.” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Aquarian Message
So if we wish to have those types of experiences, we must become empty. Empty of ego. Annihilate the ego. Abandon the ego, because in that nothingness, we can experience the true plenitude in beauty of God, who is a state of consciousness beyond all evidence and materiality. So it's good that we learn to study these states and even comprehend that there are levels and levels to that type of experience. And that is possible for us. Without that context, it is difficult to motivate ourselves, to know that there is a goal and that we can obtain it with patience and tenacity.
Questions and Answers
Question: I like to ask whether or not you know, besides just the telling us to okay meditate and quietude and things like that: did the Sufis have any specific practices that are, you know, that is known, that we can learn about?
Instructor: Yes, they speak abundantly about invocation and very commonly within the Sufi schools, they practice what's known as Dhikr, which means “remembrance” in Arabic. It can also mean invocation. In simple terms, this means mantra. Many Sufis will spend decades in their schools, in their masjid, under the jurisdiction or guidance of a Sheikh, a guru, a teacher, utilizing certain mantras.
So a very common one is Allah Hu Allah. They say these mantras out loud, repeatedly and in groups together, in unison, and many times they even encompass these mantras with dance, which is a very sacred form of religion. There has been a lot of controversy especially within the Muslim orthodoxy towards the Sufi schools, especially the Mevlevis, those who practice with the school of Rumi, the whirling dervishes in which those types of dances have been criticized.
But the purpose of any of those exercises like dance, sacred songs, and mantra, is in order to invoke energy. So they want to make sure that they unify song, mantra, movement in order to invoke divinity, and in that way, they bring in good energy. That energy helps to silence the mind, to concentrate the mind, to obtain serenity. Primarily because serenity is developed by working with sacred sounds.
The Sufis place emphasis on this. The mantra Allah Hu Allah relates to divinity on the Tree of Life, which is Ain Soph, Kether, Chokmah, Binah. As well as “Hu,” which means Spirit, Chesed: the Compassionate, the Merciful, which is why in the Qur’an it teaches Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim: “In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.”
The Sufis would recite this mantra Allah Hu Allah. Those mantras help the Sufis to obtain union with God. So in that experience I related, I was experiencing my own inner Allah or experiencing the Absolute. Through 'Hu,’ which relates to the breath, the Spirit. So the breath is deeply related, the mantras are deeply related with energy, with the divine.
They also perform exercises of dream yoga, but especially by working with mantra. A lot of the exercises that the Sufis practice in the most esoteric sense are very well hidden, which is why you won't find many aspects of that doctrine publicized. However, from the writings of Samael Aun Weor, it is easy to see that there are exercises that they do in secret, especially alchemy. Transmutation. Meditation. I remember even being on YouTube and looking at a video clip of Sufi group. They were performing Ham-Sah. They were spinning performing the dervishes and breathing Ham Sah in unison, with music, in harmony. So the Sufis know this doctrine, but they don't publicize many hidden roots that we study openly. But there is that relationship there.
Question: Thank you for the explanation and I'm guessing that you know, the Sufis practice, even though not very publicized or published, that the the practices from Master Samael, like you said Ham-Sah, they are probably pretty much include a lot of what Sufis do, right?
Instructor: Yes. Remember that Sufism is still a very Piscean tradition. They are very well known for their conservative nature, keeping their most esoteric practices hidden. That tradition is especially very occluded, meaning: they don't give their practices openly, but the truth is that they do practice the whirling dervishes, such as the sacred rites [of rejuvenation], which we have many similarities to. But their knowledge is not given openly.
The Aquarian knowledge is very different. With the Aquarian doctrine these practices are available to everybody. We don't need to attend a [physical] teacher, a Sheikh, a Guru, a master, to receive these practices. They are available to anybody [Editor’s Note: However, the true master is not to be found in the physical world, but within our own consciousness]. The Age of Pisces was known for its system of instruction in which a Sheikh or master would have to individually pick a student and teach them directly from mouth to ear. Without that, they would not provide their knowledge openly and so they still maintain that system very diligently.
So it would be very difficult to find any of those schools explaining some of the things we are doing here, because with the Aquarian knowledge, in the Age of Aquarius, the exercises for transformation are given openly. The only one who had authority to really do so with the accordance with the White Lodge was Samael Aun Weor, specifically.
Question: I have a question regarding something you said in the beginning about discipline of practice. In the book study ,that one of the first chapters in the book [Fundamentals of Gnostic Education] talks about discipline and the need to not have discipline. Now. I am guessing that you mean something else than what Samael Aun Weor is talking about by discipline and I'm wondering what it is that you mean when you say talk about discipline and practice.
Instructor: Sure, so the statement that the Master Samael Aun Weor makes in Fundamentals of Gnostic Education is a reference to the kind of rigid systems that people adopt intellectually in the mind, especially in relation to certain studies, such as at schools or academies. That type of discipline of intellectual study and eclectic approaches to any kind of field of knowledge, without a practical dimension, is useless.
It is useless to study any discipline of any field, whether in astronomy, science, anything—if it's not grounded in some type of practical work. So in the context of that book, he is referring a lot to the tendency in people to want to merely leave everything in the intellect through rigorous intellectual discipline, like getting a doctorate or PhD or being very obtuse in one's knowledge, specific to one thing that really doesn't address the heart, or the soul.
Real spiritual discipline is when we work on the mind. Samael Aun Weor speaks abundantly in other books, like Igneous Rose, that we must submit ourselves to profound esoteric discipline, which means meditate. Restrain the mind. Conquer the mind. But the danger is, especially with analysis or any religion, that we just study things intellectually and leave it there. The problem with that is that we may have a lot of knowledge intellectually, a lot of discipline intellectually, taking a lot of time in our schedule to read a lot, but not having any practice. It makes people unbalanced.
The essence of real spiritual discipline is combining our meditation with some type of study. One without the other is useless. But combining the two, we produce comprehension. Hope that answers your question.
Question: I think so. It reminds me of, I read about like lunar celibacy versus solar celibacy, and it seems like it's the difference between, I guess intellectually, deciding I'm going to do something or maintaining a rigid form of how something's going to go versus a preparation for which means an open-mindedness. So you're still involved. It's still very involved but it's how you're involved. Is that the way you participate differentiates discipline versus discipline?
Instructor: Real esoteric discipline involves both knowledge and being. We have to combine our studies with meditation. If we don't meditate on what we study, our understanding will be very shallow. But when you combine the two, spiritual experiences, with study of the doctrine, then it's very easy to remove any errors. We don't get confused.
In relation to lunar and solar celibacy, that is a little bit of a different practice. But yes, people who are commonly practicing what's called celibacy, they may read a lot of Christian writings or any other religion or teaching, but they don't really understand the practice of transmutation, working with the body and the energies, and so that's an incomplete discipline, which can relate to this dynamic. People can study that aspect of yoga and religion, but because they lack a practical dimension of what those traditions teach, they are confused and they suffer a lot. But real discipline is when we combine esoterically meditation, transmutation, service for others. Knowledge and being have to be united. Without that we don't comprehend anything.
Question: My question is about the stages of meditation and Master Samael Aun Weor talks about in Igneous Rose that appearing in the vision of the meditator, in a daily basis of the meditator. Like not particularly in the meditation session. I don't know if you are familiar with that quote.
Instructor: So you are saying that to have that experience is some kind of vision even when not in meditation?
Question: Yes. I think he called it color yellow, color red and I believe the third one is blue, and it's sort of like a stage. I believe he explains them as a stages of concentration you are maintaining throughout the day. How should we, if we receive that, how should you look? Is that like a phenomena? An experience? Is it something earned? It seems like it's coming and going and coming again. How should you look upon those things?
Instructor: Samael Aun Weor mentions in Igneous Rose that as we develop our meditative practice we learn to start seeing visions and images, even when being physically active. He refers to this as clairvoyance, spiritual perception, which can form as a type of psychic imagery in the mind, the consciousness, the third eye between our eyebrows. He explains how if we're really diligent about meditation, we will start to understand more things relating to our daily life.
You can be physically active involved in other activities, at work, being with people, and he explains how suddenly we may start to perceive psychic imagery—understanding of the thoughts, emotions, and motives of other people. He refers to this as clairvoyance. It is a profound form of concentration, our attention, of where we are focused, on what we are doing. In that way we start to become inspired by what we see in other people and ourselves.
He also explains in other books that inspirational knowledge pertains to our understanding of interrelations, interdependence, how our thoughts and the thoughts and emotions of others, interrelate—to see that in a conscious way. It can occur with imagery, understanding other people based on that kind of perception, which doesn't have to just occur when we are sitting in our posture, in a silent room in the dark with eyes closed.
It is good to see more and more things, more internal states in relation to external events in the process of meditating. The Sufis speak a lot about this too. We have to learn to match our internal state with the external event, and that comes about by understanding what we perceive. So questioning our internal states, which can be positive or negative, we can learn how to judge, to comprehend, and images can occur as we are interacting with people. It happens quite often and it will happen more with greater clarity as we are refining our meditative practice too.
Question: In the same line, I would say, how can we understand that at the same moment without letting the mind doing the judgment? You know, if you feel something from someone, let's say the mind labels it as a negative, but you know that it isn't actually negative. Everything is a lesson and every everybody has their own Being. So how can we have all the situation's going into the positive or constructive way, even though they appear at the surface as a gossip or it's something that we don't want, you know, to happen?
Instructor: Comprehension occurs as a result of following our inner judgment. That voice of conscience that says this is right and this is wrong. In most cases we tend to follow our mind, which can be clouded, if confused and burdened with a lot of negative emotion. In order to understand what we experience and what is objective, we have to follow our heart. Your heart will tell you that this situation is negative or positive, or this internal state is wrong or good. The only issue is that as you've mentioned, or you’ve implied, we have a lot of ego. It is difficult to discern what is positive and what is negative, what is objective.
So the solution is, because our senses are very deceiving, our mind is very deceiving, even our emotions can be very deceiving, we have to learn how to clarify our attention. This is really the value of meditative practice, is that after a day of self-observation, in which you have seen or witnessed certain things, we have acted our best in the different circumstances of our jobs or family life, we go home, we sit, we relax, we suspend our senses. We work with energy. Circulate the vital force, through pranayama, mantras, or even sexual alchemy if one is married.
When meditating and looking deep within, visualizing that event that we have questions about, put that scene in the screen of our imagination and try to picture everything that happened. But without adding to or taking away.
Be honest. So learning to be honest is a combination of two things. Sincerity is developed in the moment when we see a state or action in us that is negative. Or we sense a negative thing. We may not act perfectly in the moment. In many cases, we tend to follow what our ego wants and we feel the consequences, the suffering resulting from that. So that internal state influenced the external events of our job or our daily activities. And if we feel that pain and suffering and remorse, and even if we acted rightly in the situation, meaning, we felt that we followed our heart and produced a situation beneficial for everybody, still we go home, we meditate, we close our eyes, visualize the scene, and imagine everything that happened relating to that moment.
What was the event? Who is involved? Where did it take place? What time of the day? And going even deeper, what was our mood? What were the thoughts associated with that moment? What were the feelings, the actions that we took, whether for good or for ill? And to ask our Divine Being our Divine Mother, al-Baqarah in Islam, the sacred cow, the divine feminine, to show us what in us needs to be understood.
In many cases, we have too many Impressions entering our mind stream in a moment, which can be very intense and difficult to control and to decipher. So if we get overloaded by that event and may have acted wrongly, we should learn to say, “Well, I made a mistake or I think I did well in this situation, but let me go home later and meditate and examine that situation deeply,” because there may be certain behavior subconsciously that we are not aware of yet.
And this is really the importance of meditation. Real profound change, elimination of our internal states in our daily life, can only occur when we meditate. It is a combination of our daily work, being physically active in the day, learning the sweetness of worship by fulfilling our obligations, as the Sufis state.
So remember that quote that states that we learn to feel sweetness of worship in our outward deeds. This is the first step. We gather data about our ego. Moment by moment, instant by instant. Following our heart to the best of our ability. There are occasions where we may feel that joy, that sweetness in the heart that says, “I know I did the right thing,” or perhaps remorse, “I felt that I did a bad thing.”
Ecstasy occurs, understanding occurs, comprehension evolves, unfolds when we make inner effort. Meaning: go home, retrospect your day, visualize the scene as it happened and ask divinity to help you understand what was going on there and how you could have acted if the situation was wrong, or if one behave badly. That is the only way to really gain clarity, because it's difficult to trust what we see.
We tend to be very clouded people, but it is inevitable that if we are saving our energies meditating daily, reviewing our day, imagining those scenes and asking for understanding and comprehension of the ego, that naturally as we go back to work the next day or repeat the same situation, we will start to see things more and more. If we are changing more profoundly, psychologically, it means that we will act in better and better ways and that conscience in our heart gets stronger.
Question: I wanted to ask you at the beginning, when I first started studying, I only focused on you know, just the intellectual part, like just reading and reading and reading until I can build my practices little by little, but I'm still not... like sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough. Obviously. I am not doing enough, but I wanted to know what is the significance of the difference between, I guess, the [Church of] Laodicea and the Church of Philadelphia! because I was meditating and I went to a place and it was very beautiful, and I asked them what that place was and there was an older man. He said this was Philadelphia, so I'm not sure. Then later I see, well, you know, there's the two glands but maybe I'm not doing enough or I don't know. I don't know what that meant.
Instructor: Those two chakras, our churches, between the eyebrows, Philadelphia, and the Church of Laodicea at the crown, those chakras are known as the Chakra Ajna and the Chakra Sahasrara according to Eastern mysticism. According to the Book of Revelation they are known as churches, and the Sufis refer to these centers as Lataif, the seven world centers [seven organs of perception] in which the powers of the initiate are developed through the help of a master according to Sufi tradition.
Philadelphia literally means “brotherly love.” Philos, delphia: love of humanity, and that has to do with perceptions relating to astral projection, clairvoyance, understanding thought, understanding our own selves, self-observation, awareness. A lot of people like to think that this term clairvoyance only applies to a few people who have a special gift. It is a French term that means “clear vision.” It was invented by a group of people to confuse humanity to make them think that only a few people could have that knowledge, which is a mistake. It was an effort to deflect people from studying their knowledge.
But the reality is that clairvoyance or perception means “imagination.” It's the ability to perceive spiritual images. That clarity of vision occurs in the astral plane, especially, when we awaken in the dream state, or when we are meditating and we start to see images. They can be experiences or landscapes, as I said. Lights, illumination, internal states of the soul. Those visions greatly vary and apply to what we experience in meditation in terms of imagery, psychic experiences, visuals, sounds, even.
Sounds can also relate to the chakra of the throat which is the Church of Sardis in the Book of Revelation, relating to sound, mystical sounds. Those centers are active when we calm the body, calm the heart, calm the mind.
It gets deeper more and more as we are practicing self-observation, as well as imagination exercises. Meaning, we take an image and visualize it and try to picture it with clarity between our eyebrows. We have to develop that type of perception when we are in our work of self-observation.
It is a profound form of clairvoyance to see the ego objectively. To separate as an observer to the observed. The soul, the consciousness, is observing then the nafas, the ego, the animal "I’s,” the lower soul, desires, according to the Sufis. And learning to separate from that we develop greater clarity of perception.
A lot of factors pertain to that element, but the primary one is, in accordance to the name of Philadelphia, philos-delphia, love of humanity, brotherly love, we develop that chakra profoundly when we eliminate anger, because the opposite of brotherly love is hatred. If you want to develop that type of perception with greater clarity, illumination of the soul, we have to learn to eliminate negative internal states, the ego.
This is why in that excerpt from The Aquarian Message we read, "God searches the nothingness in order to fill it." If we are filled with anger, we cannot reflect God. Anger ripples the mind, the lake of the mind. It makes it agitated, and therefore the images of the superior world cannot reflect in our meditation and likewise in our daily states. If we are not working on that negative emotion in our daily life, we won't see with clarity. It will be difficult to understand right from wrong, to observe our own egos in action. But if we develop serenity, love of humanity, the mind calms, we transform our situation, we see our perception, our situation with clarity.
But even beyond that is the crown chakra, which is much higher. It has to do with very elevated experiences like the one I related to you all tonight, in which you leave behind the universe and enter the states of Being which are beyond thought, feeling, and will. Those are states that we can only understand through experience, but it's good that when you are meditating and studying and practicing, that you learn about these experiences so that when it happens you don't get confused.
We are going back to your comments and your question is, that if you want a greater clarity in your perceptions, if you want to understand what that aspect of your soul is, Philadelphia, the Church of the third eye, that Chakra Ajna, we have to learn how to develop serenity, patience, and love. Without that we don't have any clarity in what we see. Sometimes our perception, that third eye, can be negative if it's charged with pessimism, resentment, negativity. Therefore, everything we see will be clouded from that element, which is why when people are filled with anger, they don't see clearly. They can't rationalize. But it seems that the experience you just related has to do with the beauty of the soul that learns how to see with objectivity.
The Church of Philadelphia internally is very beautiful. All the churches of the Gnostic movement are very beautiful and profound. So there are places that you can visit internally, but also relates to certain qualities, perception. So if it's a beautiful experience that you had, it would seem to be that it's indicating to you the beauty of your own clairvoyance when it is pure. If it's clouded by negative internal states, then it becomes a problem. Hope that answers your question.
Question: Yeah, it does because I think this was like a gift like you were saying so that it would motivate me to work towards that.
Instructor: Yes. That is usually how those experiences unfold.
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Psychology, a course originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
"Before the Soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion." —H.P. Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence
In this lecture we are going to be discussing the nature of the three minds. In this type of knowledge, it's important to reflect and understand that this teaching or practical science has methods and practices that can change us and transform us radically. In studying the nature of the mind, and studying the nature of what we call consciousness or soul, we make an emphasis that we possess three types of mind.
Specifically we like to relate psychology, which we've been covering in the past few weeks, with the ancient scriptures, founded within the most upheld, venerated, respected and practiced traditions. This is very different from the psychology of today that has divorced itself from religion, and which is no longer very practical for developing one's spirituality. And while we find that Gnosis has a practical application, we do refer to a scholastic component, including the study of the Torah, or the Bhagavad-Gita, the Qur'an, the New Testament. Therefore in discussing these types of psychological teachings, we emphasize the explication and utilization of many languages. We like to refer to things in the original language of the scriptures, since they hold much more meaning than the adulterated and translated English, or "plain English" that really does not get to the point of what we spiritually seek.
So as we discuss these types of principles, we will refer to many traditions and many different languages, but with the purpose of clarifying practical aspects of how to change oneself into something better, to unite with our divine source, that intelligence which religions have given many names: the inner Buddha, the inner Christ, Allah, Vishnu, or amongst the Nordics, Baldur, the Christ within that warrior culture, which at one time was not a culture of violence but the warrior ethics of the spirit, being strong within one's spirituality in order to conquer the internal factors that cause pain and ignorance.
With these principles, we seek to study ourselves. This is about the science or knowledge of understanding our inner nature, our inner divinity. When we approach this we study specifically what we call the three minds, which we are going to elaborate upon in depth.
It's important to recognize that the term “mind,” especially as it has been translated from eastern doctrine, has been misappropriated, and extremely abused, in relation with the term's practical application towards ones spiritual development. In this type of teaching we refer to the soul as consciousness, and we refer to the mind, which is something completely different, as the intellect, a tool in itself, which is not our authentic identity.
It's important for us, in order to have a strong foundation in this teaching, and when approaching the science of the mind, to reflect by studying the various world scriptures, and to comprehend that there are really two types of science, relating to the original Latin word scientia, which means "knowledge" or gnosis.
There are two types of science. The first is nothing more than a compost heap of subjective theories that abound out there; the second is the pure science of the great illuminati: the objective science of the Being. —Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
This demarcation between "official" and esoteric science is fundamental to the study of mind. For while there have been many great marvels in materialistic science, we know that science without genuine spiritual principles has produced atomic bombs, wars, chemical weapons, and more complex ways to harm each other. I believe Albert Einstein said that science without religion is lame, or better said, dangerous, and that religion without science is blind. Without these types of principles to guide one's ethics, one's spirituality, science in turn becomes something detrimental.
It is very obvious if we examine the times we live in. We find that despite technologies such as the iPhone, communication, attempts to traverse space, we have in turn become more cruel. Humanity has become more violent, more abusive in relation with drugs and alcohol. There are more acts of genocide than there has ever been. To quote the founder of this tradition, Samael Aun Weor, our humanity is morally bankrupt. This is very painful to behold, especially when we are honest, because we recognize that we are a part of this humanity, and in turn contribute to the global problem, which, to use Buddhist ideology or principles, is the suffering of all sentient beings.
If we really want to change the world, we need to change ourselves first, to rectify our own mistakes and to have the courage not to blame others. This in turn is perhaps one of the most difficult conflicts to overcome: the tendency to blame others for our suffering. "He offended me!" "She said this!" "Can you believe what my family member did?" "He betrayed me!" "He hurt me!" We undergo a constant slew of negative emotions and violent thoughts, an insurgence of profound suffering: anger, pride, vanity, etc., which in turn creates conflict and chaos within our internal and external worlds.
So if we really want to seek to know the divine, the Lord within, we need to know how to change our own internal world through a very particular mystical science, an esoteric or hidden teaching about the nature of mind. There is a saying in the Gnostic teachings that "God searches the nothingness in order to fill it." It's important to have a mind that is silent and serene, so that like a lake it can reflect the starry heavens of Urania, the Cosmic Christ, the Solar Logos, to use Greek terms for divinity.
To unite with divine reality and change our way of thinking, to improve the world for the better, we study the nature of two principles in Gnostic science. For this purpose, we use terms employed in Immanuel Kant's philosophy, the famous philosopher from Königsberg. He stated that there are really two types of experience, which we emphasize in relation with the study of mind:
We make this distinction, that phenomena relates with occurrence, circumstance, or facts that are perceptible by the senses. We know from original scriptures that the senses in themselves are merely a vehicle through which we experience life, but do not take us to the reality of things. Unfortunately it is due to the sleep of the consciousness, the sleep of the soul, the sleep of psyche to use Greek myth, that we fail to perceive the true and inherent reality of life, the truth of things-in-themselves, or noumena, as they are without contradiction, without illusion.
Some people say this world is maya, and that it is from this world of illusion that we must escape, so as to harmonize oneself and unite with God. This is partially true. In these types of studies, we seek to bring down and to experience our own pneuma, the spirit, or Khrestos, Christ, here and now. We consciously invoke that divine intelligence within ourselves, so that we know how to live fuller lives, without the mind wandering lost in distractions, hypnotized with the phenomena or "appearances" of the world.
This is the essence of the esoteric study of the mind, which was never given to the public until recently. Materialistic science looks towards phenomena to explain the universe, and even has the audacity to reject, through blind atheistic beliefs, that there are no guiding spiritual principles that direct the course of life. Phenomena is appearance, what we think something is like, but in truth we do not really perceive the inherent thing-in-itself. Such a principle was the basic tenet of Immanuel Kant's philosophy, for which he was greatly criticized, because for thousands of years humanity has tried to approach divinity through the intellect, which, according to Kant, cannot know the truth. A very radical postulation to admit and realize within oneself!
Most of humanity still does not have access to the divine spiritual truths contained within religion or real philosophy, which is philos, love, and sophia, wisdom. Wisdom in Hebrew is חכמה Chokmah, Christ in the Kabbalah. So genuine philosophy is one's love and connection with that divine source.
The Three Minds
In relation with the study of the mind, we talk about three types. If humanity were aware that we possess three distinct types of mentality, or ways or processing information, many things would be different on this planet. There would be no war, violence, ignorance, hatred and bigotry. Instead, there would be brotherhood, fraternity, and a unified world effort to alleviate the suffering of all beings. The reasons will become clear as we discuss the particularities of each type of cognition:
The Sensual Mind processes knowledge gained from physical senses or phenomena. The Intermediate or Mystical Mind is the storehouse of theories, beliefs, mysticism, and religions as commonly taught in the exoteric or public traditions of today. The Inner Mind relates with information garnered from direct mystical experience of the truth, and has constituted the esoteric heart of every authentic tradition in the world. This hidden knowledge was only given by mouth to ear, the science which we are explaining here.
The Limitations and Dualism of the Sensual Mind
The divine inner nature we call Christ, or Christ-mind, is a spiritual type of mentality and forms the basis of esoteric philosophy and genuine spiritual science. This is completely opposed to the intellect or type of Sensual Mind we commonly experience. In order to address Christ-mind, or a consciousness in harmony with the divine, the pneuma, it's necessary to address what we commonly term as the Sensual Mind.
The intellect is part of the inferior two types of mind. Here we are referring to the Sensual Mind, in which the intellect processes itself. We also find that intellect relates to the Intermediate Mind, which we are also going to explain in depth.
The Sensual Mind is what we typically think of as mind. "I think, therefore I am." Or, "I experience thought, therefore I exist." Or "I have a physical body, therefore I am." In these types of studies, we must politely contradict these statements. If we study the spiritual scriptures, the mind in itself is not the spirit, the pneuma, and if you're familiar with the Christian gospel, when Christ said, "I Am," or the Hebrew word אהיה Eheieh, this does not refer to the kind of thought we commonly experience. The latter state refers to the awakened and heightened perception of God, which brings peace, joy and harmony.
The Sensual Mind only knows how to categorize and formulate concepts and information in relation with physical senses. It is a type of mind or experience that only knows physicality. It only knows how to look at physical senses, and to establish or formulate information about it. We can see, then, that this is really the greatest source of our suffering, since the majority of our life is spent occupied with physical matters. The intellect, the psychological process or mechanism of the Sensual Mind, fills our life with worry, anxiety over bills, fear and uncertainty about living conditions today, fear about our health, how long we will live, our evaluations of our failures in this life and what we need to accomplish physically.
These types of sensual thoughts about physical life constitute the churning of the mind, which is the intellect, not connected with divinity. Someone who has a mind that is in harmony with the divine within has no fear, has no anxiety or worry. The problem lies in the Sensual Mind as we know it, our intellectual processes, which, when subservient to God, constitute a useful vehicle of the spirit.
But as I mentioned to you, if it is divorced from spiritual principles, it becomes the greatest enemy that any person can have. This is the essential tenet or teaching of Islam. Islam in Arabic means "submission." So Muslims who truly submit themselves to Allah, bowing to the east towards Mecca, in which they place their head completely to the earth, signify that the intellect or Sensual Mind must be a servant to God, and it must not be a tool for our own internal misery, anger, negative elements, which create friction in our life.
In discussing the nature of mind, we must address the misconceptions about it, and how the Sensual Mind is only a machine. It can present a thesis; it can present an antithesis, but only in relation with physical experience. It can present a theory; it can present a criticism of that theory based upon physical analysis. It has one concept, followed by another that can be in complete contradiction to it. This is how we find the common movement of philosophy, at least in the West specifically, such as with empiricism, but also in Eastern traditions as well, between good and bad; thesis, antithesis; a constant conflict of principles and disagreements amongst thinkers, because the intellect or Sensual Mind only knows how to sway between positive and negative, good and bad, in relation with physical information, physical phenomena. It is caught between what we call the duality of the mind.
People always justify themselves with "reason." They champion reason, but then again, there's two sides to it. Everyone has their point of view, and any argument can be defended to the death through rigorous analysis, evidence, and explanations. Reason always feeds itself through opposites.
This is a very famous principle in eastern traditions, the duality of forces within nature, the body, the soul. When we discuss the nature of reasoning in itself, there is duality, just as there is a duality within scientific investigation: one which can be cultured by the spirit, or another at the service of anger, pride, or negative internal psychological elements.
The Sensual Mind in itself is caught within dualistic tendencies: thesis, antithesis; good, bad; without capacity to perceive the nature of the synthesis, unable to see different perspectives at once. The Sensual Mind is rigid; it never accepts anything outside its own materialistic parameters. It cannot comprehend how two arguments may both be true, even when conflicting.
Never can the formulating power of logical concepts imply the authentic experience of what is real. ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
This statement really gets to the heart of what this entire lecture is about, because many people think that because they experienced a thought or concept about the nature of a physical phenomenon, they feel that they have understood the real intrinsic nature of this type of phenomenon. But the experience is something else. The thought or concept is a projection of the Sensual Mind. Typically when science observes any phenomena in this physical universe, they project their theories onto the screen of nature, and believe that their theories are the truth, even when they cannot verify the noumena of such an experience. They are trying to explain noumena through phenomena, the truth within appearances, ascertained through the senses and processed through the Sensual Mind.
For example, scientists have observed the process of rain and classify it as the accumulation of moisture through heat and evaporation from the earth. Little do they know that there are conscious intelligent principles behind physical phenomena—which the ancient traditions, such as folklore or fairy tales that we grew up with, talk about—sylphs and sylphids, nereids and mermaids, elementals of the air and of the water which help nature to function and flow.
Deep down, in these simple processes of life and nature, we find divine intelligent principles functioning throughout nature, which is a fact we can verify through direct conscious experience. We do not need to believe anything. We can learn to awaken our soul or clairvoyant vision, to awaken within dreams, to converse with those forces or intelligences, which work under the auspices of the divine architect, the Elohim in Hebrew, the angels of life and death. Then, such statements are no longer outrageous, because we are no longer skeptical. We simply know.
To present this type of postulation to materialistic scientists is to incur their ridicule and criticism, because due to the conditioning of their mind, they only see physical phenomena. They do not perceive the pneuma within things; they do not see the conscious and divine principles that animate nature, the noumena of life, because their consciousness is asleep. They rely completely on the physical senses.
Therefore many of them are extremely atheist. Atheism falls into the category of the Sensual Mind, because most people do not have the capacity to experience God, and therefore feel that there is no God, ignoring that their degenerated state of mind inhibits them from knowing the truth. Due to their spiritual emptiness, they concoct absurd and ignorant materialistic theories to explain how the universe operates, since they lack the ability to investigate life with the consciousness.
The Intermediate or Mystical Mind
So we find that the intellect as we know it only knows how to categorize and to theorize. While this pertains to the Sensual Mind and its processes of physical information, we also find it in relation with spiritual traditions, philosophy and mystical belief. As we mentioned, the Intermediate or Mystical Mind is the storehouse for beliefs of all types, whether in religion or metaphysical phenomena, but without being grounded in actual experience of divine truths: noumena.
Continuing with Kant's philosophy, who is a very interesting and eminent figure in Western thought, a significant point was made that has been completely ignored by many other philosophers, scientists, theologians, and other persons of knowledge and education. They ignore what he called the antinomy of reason.
Basically an antinomy is a paradox whereby two completely contradictory arguments about the same principle can both be valid. For example, Kant gave what are called his four antinomies:
We find different conflicting arguments, specifically and most importantly in relation with God. One antinomy: "There is a God." The mind debates, provides evidence, apparent facts to support that there is a divine intelligence. This is the reasoning of the Intermediate or Mystical Mind: it rationalizes based upon truths it has not experienced. And then there is the side of atheism, that says, "There is no God, and here are the facts." This is the counterclaim or reasoning of the Sensual Mind, establishing its thesis on inferences based upon physical evidence. Both arguments, founded upon their respective evidence, can both be right according to intellectual analysis, if we do not know how to activate what we call the pneuma within.
The Sensual Mind only knows how to create theories, concepts and store information from the physical senses. The Intermediate Mind, on the other hand, knows how to create theories and concepts, as well as store information, about metaphysical phenomena that one has not experienced. We know at least from education or the educational psychologists of modern school systems, that memory is the least reliable form of learning, which tends to be the main emphasis of secondary, middle school and elementary education, even in the primary grades.
Memory, or the ability to recite or quote information, to compare ideas, to present concepts or counterarguments, is the domain of the intellect. It can only theorize and memorize, but it cannot know the truth. The Mystical Mind, as well as the Sensual Mind, cannot perceive divine reality. This is why Kant was so ridiculed and opposed, because he said that in our present condition, the mind cannot know God—it cannot know noumena―it cannot know the truth. Meanwhile for thousands of years, people have been trying to prove the existence of God through the intellectual processes of the Intermediate Mind, the domain of beliefs. Kant’s statement bothered many philosophers, theologians and metaphysicians, incurring their criticism, especially while his teaching is a very valuable contribution to both exoteric and esoteric thought.
Samael Aun Weor wrote something very interesting about this in Igneous Rose:
"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
Interesting statement when taking into consideration that Kant's major contribution to philosophy is the realization that the mind cannot know the truth. Definitely a good end to the age of intellectualism or subjective reasoning!
We're not saying by this that Kant was an initiate and that he developed his own pneuma within, but he came to some potent realizations that the intellect, the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, cannot know God. It cannot know the divine within.
The Inner Mind and Direct Experience
It's important that we have an open, receptive mind, so as to impartially investigate this type of science or teaching. For as the Buddha taught, do not accept anything at face value. One must test his words like gold: burn it, scratch it, to see if it really is gold and of value. If not, disregard it. But through investigation and scientific inquiry, by developing the legitimate science of the Being within, we can verify for ourselves these truths, intrinsically within ourselves and within nature.
This is the purpose of the Inner Mind. The Inner Mind is a type of comprehension that only processes data derived from direct mystical experience within the consciousness of the Being. The consciousness which has freed itself from the dualism of the mind experiences the reality, which is far beyond the body, the affections and the mind. It is a type of experience that goes very far beyond the theories and debates that have plagued this planet for so long, in which people have argued over reality but have not experienced it for themselves.
"Any psychological process that is correctly structured using precise logic is opposed by a different one, strongly developed with similar or superior logic. Then what?” ―Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
The mind can present an intricate philosophical system, which is in conflict with another, and both of them may appear to be right, even though they disagree. The ability to form concepts in that way does not equate with genuine spiritual experience. This type of knowledge or spiritual experience in the consciousness has to do with transcending the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, so that we can verify in a didactic, clear, unbiased and vigorous way the essential teachings given in all the religions and scriptures.
Only the awakening of the Inner Mind grants us access to comprehending the world's scriptures. The Inner Mind stores all the information and spiritual experiences of the awakened consciousness. It is the only type of mind that can know God and properly comprehend Him, since it is a mind that has gained direct access to the nature of divinity, pneuma or noumena, the truth.
It's important to have this as our basis, to be sincere and to earnestly seek for that experience ourselves, in order to unite ourselves with the divine through awakening our Inner Mind.
The Inner Mind, Force, and Spiritual Realities
As we awaken the Inner Mind, we in turn come to know hidden realities. Rudolf Steiner said that once you develop yourself, your pneuma, you will experience the reality of etheric forces, the force field behind the physical. He mentioned how flowers, even animals, have a different force field. When you experience that, you feel astonished.
To quote Shakespeare in Hamlet, "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Act. I, scene v. ll. 166-7). There is even technology now that is able to capture this type of phenomena. It's called the Kirlian camera, developed by Russian scientists, in which they captured images of the auric energy or etheric depth of stones, plants, leaves, and water. This is the vital life behind physical matter, known as Yesod in Hebraic Kabbalistic terms, the mysticism of Judaism.
The camera in itself has the capacity to show us what is beyond the physical, but through this type of mystical science, we are able to experience that type of perception without the use of other technology. We can say that the greatest technology we possess is our own consciousness, for it has the capacity to perceive the very roots of nature, of all things, if we know how to awaken our Inner Mind in order to be in harmony with Christ.
In order to recognize the states of the Inner Mind, we have to introspect and be honest. We must evaluate our mind, and take an inventory of our experience: what is it that we project and what are moments where we truly comprehend the nature of life in its flow? This takes tremendous practice and esoteric discipline.
So when we talk about the intellect and the antinomies of reason, it's important to remember, especially if we're new to this type of knowledge, or even if we have a lot of experience in this or other traditions, to approach this science with the spirit, or pneuma, of investigation, of inquiry, and not to take things at face value. We should practice and employ the techniques of this tradition to awaken our Inner Mind. Through experimentation and experience, we transcend the theories, beliefs and limitations of the Sensual and Intermediate Minds.
People caught within materialism and intellectual dogmas become over-complicated. They lack the ability to discern reality from the mind. The Inner Mind is simple, but profound. It knows how to ascertain mystical truths without resorting to the depressing process of 'options,' of theories, speculating about everything but not knowing anything.
To reiterate, the Sensual Mind processes data from physical experience, the Intermediate Mind in relation with beliefs, theories from religion or mysticism, and the Inner Mind through knowledge of one's experience of God.
The Sensual Mind bases its theories on the physical senses, which are not reliable, since they are born in time and die in time. They have no direct correlation with the spirit and cannot get to the root of the pneuma or noumena of life. Within the Intermediate Mind are all the beliefs within traditions we find today, but which are not grounded in actual experience. There's a quote that comes to my mind which I find is very potent; it comes from Deepak Chopra:
"Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience."
This is the heart of this type of teaching. It is the essence of Gnosis, the essence of the Inner Mind, or Christ-mind, a mind which stores its information and direct experiences with God. If what we want is to know divinity, the etheric world, energies and consciousness, we must overcome our own predisposition towards the Sensual and/or Intermediate Minds.
The Three Minds in Scripture
In relation with the scriptures, there is a very famous story in the teachings of Jesus about the nature of the three minds. Particularly, the Sadducees and the Pharisees, who condemned Christ to death in the gospels.
The Sadducees, the materialists, are persons who belong to the Sensual Mind, who debate, argue and theorize about things of the physical senses. If we go back to Greek philosophy, we find the school of Epicureanism and Empiricism, or the nihilistic belief about acquiring as much sensation and pleasure in life as possible before dying. They say one should indulge in senses or "enjoy one's life fully." This, however, ignores the fundamental law that we call Karma, cause and effect, in that the soul, with all of its attachments, craving and ignorance, continues after the death of the body. This is a fact we can verify by awakening our Inner Mind.
The Intermediate Mind is represented by the Pharisees. The Pharisees are all of those who are very religious, have a lot of knowledge of scripture, and have studied religion very deeply, but who have no experience of what the scriptures and religions teach. This is the essential reason why they were always in conflict with Christ, or Jesus, who was the living representation of the Christ-principle in the times of the Middle East, two thousand years ago.
Christ was always in conflict with the Sadducees and the Pharisees, because he sought to teach them what he knew of the pneuma of God. Because they were incapable of experiencing God, all throughout the New Testament, in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; they constantly sought to test the Lord, and confront the Lord, using the intellect in the attempt to trick and sabotage Christ, into identifying with their negativity.
They asked questions such as, "Can you show us God?" This is beautifully represented by Pilate asking Jesus, "What is Truth?" Yet Christ remained silent. This is a beautiful answer, because the truth is the unknown, and to seek to explain it in words misses the point, although through lectures we seek to help students develop their spiritual practice so you can experience the truth on your own.
This raises a very important point, that Pilate represents the mind. The Sensual Mind cannot know the truth, and that is why Jesus in the gospels, who represents our own Intimate Christ, is always in conflict with these inferior types of mind, whether within ourselves or in other people.
This has been the great battle of all the prophets who have awakened their Inner Mind and experienced God. The masters always affirm knowledge from the scriptures and explain this science, coming to teach those of the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, but are always being rejected. Since humanity loves to defend egotism, desire, the Sensual and Intermediate Minds, it always rejects the Lord, in every time, place, and culture throughout history and today. The teachings of Christ are very radical and require the complete renunciation of one's egotistical sense of self, or one's inner negativity, symbolized as the seven deadly sins: anger, pride, lust, vanity, greed, gluttony, laziness.
This was symbolized in the story of Lazarus, or the man who was possessed by many demons. Christ asked him, "Who are you?" And the man said, "We are legion, for we are many." (Mark 5:9). This typifies a type of psychology that we commonly have and commonly find on this planet, a mind that is fractured, fragmented into a multiplicity of discursive psychological elements. This is what we call ego in Gnostic Psychology.
It is this inner negativity we seek to eliminate in order to awaken what we call the Inner Mind. What we call soul or consciousness is trapped within all those elements, the pluralized ego, or negative self. Do not confuse this with the Higher Self or Innermost, the Being, our Inner God. Our consciousness or soul can be referred to as נֶ֫פֶשׁ Nephesh, animal soul, which is trapped in the ego like the genie in Aladdin's lamp. This is a middle eastern symbol of this teaching. The lamp represents the ego which is the foundation of the Sensual and Intermediate Minds.
So when one knows how to awaken or to extract the genie from the lamp, one can perform miracles, and this is specifically in relation with the awakening of the Inner Mind.
The Inner Mind is the mind which stores and comprehends the information experienced with the spirit. It is a type of knowledge that relates with the soul. It is "inner" because it pertains to the very root of our being. All the mystical experiences that the disciple has, such as through samadhis or ecstasies, whether out of the physical body or in meditation, those are experiences of the Inner Mind. To go to the Latin root of ecstasy, we find ex-statuo: "to stand outside oneself." It is when the consciousness or the genie is pulled from the lamp, from the conditioning filters of the ego, in order to unite with the divine reality.
So when one has that type of knowledge, this indicates the synthesis of the Inner Mind, a mind which knows God; a Christ-mind that experiences the divine source. Therefore, we find a stark differentiation between this type of mind with the previous two: the Sensual Mind, which is only occupied with the five senses, which is transitory and phenomenal (not in the sense that it is "stellar," but that it relates with the world of phenomena or appearances). We have the Intermediate Mind that only has beliefs and no experience, which is commonly what we find in many religions and spiritual groups. But the awakening of the Inner Mind is very different and relates with the practical experience of God, the scientific experience or perception of the divine within.
Understanding this differentiation is important because Christ warned his disciples and warned us:
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, [It is] because we have taken no bread. [Which] when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?...
...How is it that ye do not understand that I spake [it] not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Then understood they how that he bade [them] not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. ―Matthew 16:6-8, 11-12
When we talk about "leaven," we are speaking about yeast, which is placed in bread in order to inflate it. Now this has no other practical purpose but to make the bread more appealing and enjoyable to the senses. It does not add to the bread itself. Jesus often said that "I am the living bread" (John 6:51) which is לחם Lechem in Hebrew. We also find ceremonial Jewish bread named חלה Chalah, which has the same letters, but in different sequence. This refers to the bread of knowledge or wisdom, symbolizing the science of the Inner Mind. ח Chet reminds us of חיה Chaiah, "life." ל Lamed is the letter of the hanged Apostle who sacrifices himself for humanity in the twelfth arcanum of the Tarot. And ה Hei is the "womb" through which the initiate is born. Together, the bread of Christ is the life force through which any apostle is born. Interesting that Christ was supposedly born in Bethlehem, which means "House of God" or "House of Bread," which hides this meaning here.
Now it's important to remember in the scriptures that the unleavened bread is the pure science of the divine, which is why in the Old Testament the Jews ate unleavened bread or מַצָּה Matzah, without the yeast of theories and beliefs, the yeast of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the theories which seemingly inflate and make the doctrine better than it is, which is an adulteration. מַצָּה Matzah is the pure manna from God, which means genuine faith or direct experience, and was eaten as a symbol of divine remembrance within one's psyche upon achieving states of liberation from suffering:
You are not to eat any hametz with it; for seven days you are to eat with it matzah, the bread of affliction; for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste. Thus you will remember the day you left the land of Egypt as long as you live. ―Deuteronomy 16:3
Matzah also has etymological similarity to מִצְוָה Mitzvah, which means "commandment." So this tradition is not about literally eating bread as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice, like the ignoramuses suppose, but of fulfilling the ten commandments within ourselves, which we receive through the strength of the bread, the holy Gnostic Unction as dictated by our Lord Melchizedek to Abraham in Genesis 14.
When we truly examine the religions of today, we find they are all adulterated and watered down. We find this degradation within all the great traditions of the world. It has happened to Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism—all religions have experienced this problem, where the great prophets would teach the science of the Inner Mind, the direct experience of God, and the followers who studied but didn't practice would only theorize, believe and condemn their teacher. This has happened with Jesus and many great masters, constituting a great problem.
Christ said, "I have come not to break the law, but to fulfill." Therefore we find his teachings are completely founded on the Old Testament, since he was a Rabbi of Kabbalah. Christ referred to himself as "the bread of wisdom." He was born in Bethlehem, "House of Bread," the pure science of direct experience: a very Kabbalistic statement. However, most Christians know nothing of Kabbalah, let alone the Gnostic Kabbalah, and thereby, even when they believe in the Eucharist, present a dead corpse without a heart.
Also, such imbeciles eat "inflated" bread; they take the Matzah, or better said, the מִצְוָה Mitzvah, the commandments and instructions given in the Old and New Testaments, or even the Qur'an, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Buddhist scriptures, etc., and give it a personal, whimsical interpretation without basis in the direct knowledge of God or the authentic scriptures. Pharisees not only exist in Judaism and Christianity, but all over the world, in every religion.
Christ taught to beware of the yeast or leaven of the Sadducees and Pharisees. Meaning: people very strongly rooted in the Sensual or Mystical Minds take the teachings of Christ and adulterated it. They project all their materialistic theories and metaphysical beliefs into that teaching, like yeast in bread, in order to inflate it, seemingly to make it "better" or more appealing. Meanwhile it only adulterates the original teaching, and this was Christ's warning: that his teachings would degenerate after his death and resurrection, because if we look in these times with Christianity, we understand that it died many centuries ago, precisely since it divorced itself from its Kabbalistic roots. It produced many initiates in the past, but every religion is born, has life, and dies in time. So Christ warned about this by saying there would be a time in which the Pharisees and Sadducees would take his teaching and adulterate it. You find in public Christianity people who raise their hand and say, "I believe in Christ and I am saved!" Meanwhile they ignore the Apostle James that "Faith without [internal] works is dead." (James 2:26).
Christ, or the Inner Mind, is always crucified amongst criminals, because the Sensual and Intermediate Minds have no direct knowledge of God. Therefore, humanity does not recognize Him and thereby rejects Him. It's interesting to note, however, that the word Pharisee in Arabic or Farsi can indicate, esoterically: "Worshipper of fire," someone who worships the flame, Christ. But, how do they worship Christ? That's the question. The Pharisees who condemn and crucify Christ supposedly worship the Lord. This is the great treason, irony and damnation of these individuals, since they crucify the Lord by even using His own words against Him.
So the teachings of the Master are given, and the disciples, who only remain within the Mystical Mind, take that knowledge in order to condemn their teacher. This problem happened with Christ and many other initiates.
Jesus warned very heavily against this fact.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within are full of extortion and excess. [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. ―Matthew 23:25-28
A Pharisee or Farsi studies this type of knowledge, studies this type of science, but only remains within beliefs. To quote Samael Aun Weor, the damnation of the Pharisees is that they use the very same words of the Christ in order to condemn Christ. They therefore have a grave karma to pay in relation with that, because they take the words of the Lord and reject the Lord, with the same teaching, but adulterated.
What many Pharisees don't understand is that Christ did not come to teach the angels; he came to teach the sinners.
And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. ―Mark 2:16-17
What great humility! That is the nature of the Inner Mind. Jesus, who incarnated the Christ, is the greatest initiate our humanity has ever known. For him to come and serve us is mind-boggling, because the greatest in heaven are those who serve best. These initiates were once in our position, therefore they feel tremendous compassion. The Pharisees, however, feel they are better than the sinners, and thereby are filled with sanctimoniousness and false piety, ignoring that the "goats" (individuals ignorant of the science of transmutation) may often be closer to the truth than the "sheep" (who know about alchemy, tantra, sexual transmutation, but who do not seriously practice). Their Mystical Mind is very inflated like the adulterated bread of knowledge.
Pharisees and Spiritual Communities
It comes into my mind an experience I had in the internal planes many years ago, before I physically met any other students or teachers of Gnosis. An initiate came to my house in the astral plane and was instructing me in relation with spiritual groups. She warned me to beware of the Gnostics, the spiritualists and other groups, individuals who say they practice, but don't practice. She warned that many of these people came from the times of Jesus, the return and recurrence of the individuals who condemned Christ and who are now studying this type of knowledge, but repeating their ancient fanaticism and mistakes.
It was a very interesting experience. Just because a person studies this type of knowledge, doesn’t mean he or she practices it. Living the truth implies a lot of work and a lot of practice. It is very difficult. Many students, whether in Buddhism, Christianity, or Islam, Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Tarot, Kabbalah, Anthroposophy, Gnosis, etc., study the books, but they don't practice. They are Pharisees, Farsis; worshiping the fire in their beliefs, but crucifying the Lord in their actions, such as when authentic initiates come to teach them. The prophets are always rejected by students, even with the very same words that Christ taught. It's a very grave problem.
The problem is ignorance. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" Spiritual students are ignorant that they cause harm, and if they knew that what they're doing is harmful, they would not do it. Such as with the case of Paul of Tarsus, the great Gnostic Master, whose inner divine name is Hilarion IX. He was said to have been killing Christians before he had an illuminating experience that shattered his beliefs, completely converting him. He was a Pharisee, Farsi, studying the tradition of Kabbalah, and was traditionally depicted slaying Christians.
This type of behavior shouldn't surprise us. There were many initiates in the past who, before entering into initiation, physically killed, but afterward repented, understanding that their actions were wrong. We find this in the Buddhist story of Milarepa, who became the greatest saint of Tibet. He used to be a murderer. He practiced black magic and many other negative arts. But he had an experience, like Paul of Tarsus, and realized that what he was doing was wrong: that he was a Pharisee with many beliefs, and through humility he awoke his Inner Mind, transforming himself completely. He's a great master, a great initiate.
Usually, the greatest sinners become the greatest saints, because the lower one falls, the higher one can ascend. We find this such as with alcoholics, to use a mundane example. We find that since they have suffered so much, they repent and say, "I will never do that again." That is gnosis, real comprehension that those actions create suffering. When they fully comprehend that alcohol is destructive, they cease to indulge in those habits, no matter the temptations that arise.
However, the problem is that many spiritual devotees do not comprehend they are merely intellectual and fanatic, and therefore do not repent like Paul of Tarsus or Milarepa. Regarding spiritual groups, since we have participated in many, we can attest that this is a great problem. Members are often very indoctrinated with the intellect, but have no spiritual experience, simply because they do not practice what they preach. Spiritual schools can become grounds of contention, conflict and argument, without a genuine basis in love, fraternity, understanding, and compassion. Anyone who has been with Theosophists, Rosicrucians or other spiritual groups for a long enough time is able to witness the collective ego of such groups. The greatest crimes are usually committed within such communities.
Let us provide concrete examples. The esoteric tradition of the west, the Order of the Golden Dawn, was founded around the turn of the century, and was constituted by very intelligent persons. However, no matter how prestigious or exalted such esotericists considered themselves to be, many of them chose to enter into bickering, politics, and even sorcery. Many of them degenerated into black magic and competition for power. While presenting themselves as spiritual people, emphasizing divine ritual, Kabbalah and everything else, many of these practitioners entered into vicious types of psychic attacks. Dion Fortune wrote about it extensively, having been a member of the Golden Dawn. While the original order was very spiritual, beneficial, and altruistic, it degenerated to the point to where its members practiced psychic and occult violence in the internal planes.
This is why it is important to remember what Christ taught, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3). Those with a big intellect cannot even fit throughout a doorway, which is דעת Da'ath, Gnosis, since the mind is so stuck in books, intellectual theories and knowledge. Such people typically filled with bookish culture are extremely arrogant and proud, feeling they are better than other persons because they have read. Meanwhile, they have no experience. They simply don't know anything.
I will quote for you Samael Aun Weor in relation with this subject in his book The Major Mysteries, specifically in the section entitled “Preparation for Initiation”:
All spiritual schools, orders, and lodges are delectable gardens within which are nests of dangerous vipers and poisonous flowers filled with perfume. Ineffable enchantments that lead us to the abyss as well as sublime theories that can lead us to the precipice, and sweet smiles that carry us to disgrace exist within those schools where the devotees are filled with hypocrisy and fanaticism. Indeed, the opium of theories is more dangerous than death. Spiritualist devotees hug with one hand and with the other they stab the back with the sharp dagger of treason.
It's important to be aware of this fact, that people who say they are very spiritual commit the worst crimes. For example: Hitler. At one point, he knew this science, but he deviated. He let himself be hypnotized by a Tibetan known as "the man in the green gloves," who entered his occult order and convinced him to practice very negative arts, or black magic. So, he horribly destroyed himself, but also many millions of people. He had very good intentions. He was an initiate at one point, but who let his mind be pulled by a Pharisee. He was very convinced that what he was doing was right, feeling very holy.
People even commit adultery in the name of spirituality. There are innumerable examples of devotees who had sexual intercourse with their guru and not with their spouse because they were told that in order to advance spirituality, they must practice tantra with their teacher. Such individuals appear very holy, with big beards and very elaborate names, manipulating the naive and stupid. This is why Jesus taught, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matthew 7:15). They come to devour souls and steal power. This is the nature of the Pharisee.
Fear is a great motivator amongst spiritual groups: fear of hell, fear of death. People who only know the Sensual and Intermediate Minds have no experience of God, and therefore become associated and rely on groups out of fear of punishment.
Now, a spiritual group is important, simply for the benefit of transmitting the esoteric doctrine, the sciences, the methods by which we can change individually. It's important to learn what one can, but really it is an individual effort. Groups can provide energy, enthusiasm, strength, and instruction, but the real instruction comes from within, when we awaken our Inner Mind. This is how we know how to unite with our internal divinity.
Samael Aun Weor and many initiates warned about fanaticism in groups, where people feel that, because of their attendance, they are somehow saved. You find this in every tradition of spirituality, where fear is the motivating factor for maintaining spiritual communities.
In order not to be hypnotized by these distractions, one must be like Odysseus in the scene with the sirens, as depicted in the Greek myth by Homer. Odysseus was returning home to Ithaca from the Trojan War. Here you see an image of Odysseus tied to a mast of his ship, and the sirens are attempting to pull Odysseus and his crew to shipwreck. This is the essence of the Greek myth, where sirens would tempt sailors to crash into the reefs. This represents how negative elements of the mind, such as fear, lust and fanaticism, seek to pull the disciple out of the path. Notice how the mast is by Odysseus' spine, which means he is rooted in willpower through tantra, working with the forces of the Divine Mother Kundalini, which is the source of real faith, up the spinal column to the brain.
We also find that this image corresponds to what Nietzsche denominated the "tarantulas" in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. He employed this term for people who try to teach spiritual doctrines, but who are truly, extremely vengeful and spiteful, such as with the Christian priests who teach hellfire and damnation. However, this applies more to people in esotericism who know about gnosis, but are horrible hypocrites and do not have development, wisdom, or compassion. As it says in the aforementioned text:
Alas, then the tarantula, my old enemy, bit me. With godlike assurance and beauty it bit my finger. "Punishment there must be and justice," it thinks; "and here he shall not sing songs in honor of enmity in vain."
Indeed, it has avenged itself. And alas, now it will make my soul, too, whirl with revenge. But to keep me from whirling, my friends, tie me tight to this column. Rather would I be a stylite even, than a whirl of revenge.
Verily, Zarathustra is no cyclone or whirlwind; and if he is a dancer, he will never dance the tarantella.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.
When fanatics preach in this way, they bite the soul and seek to fulfill their mistaken sense of power and justice, trying to incite their victims to react. One must be like Odysseus amongst such people in order not to return evil with evil, to tie one’s mind to the mast of willpower, to be humble in spirit and not respond with anger or hatred.
One must control ones senses in order not to be pulled away from the teaching, just as the crew of Odysseus had wax in their ears in order to ignore the sirens, while Odysseus was tied to the mast in order to not abandon the ship and drown himself in the sea of theories.
While we address the nature of spiritual groups, what's most important is not to point our finger at others. We must address our own inner Pharisee, which believes and thinks it knows, but has no cognizance of the truth. Therefore, it's important to have genuine faith, but this term is poorly understood.
Belief and Faith / Phenomena and Noumena
Carl Jung said that "Faith is no substitute for experience." He also said that faith that comes by miraculously could disappear equally miraculously!
We are going to talk about the specific difference between belief and faith. In relation with Carl Jung's quote, he's speaking about belief. But in the Gnostic teachings we make a differentiation between authentic faith and the belief of the mind. That is precisely the problem we find in people, that they lack genuine faith, which is the direct experience of God, the pneuma or noumena behind all things.
Faith is one's cognitive experience, one's cognitive knowledge based upon the direct perception of God. Belief is the domain of the mind. The Intermediate and Sensual Minds only believe or theorize about the nature of God, but does not know. This is why Christ was crucified, and who pronounced with great pain, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34). The Pharisees or the great spiritualists of the time could not accept him as the prophet of that era. But this also represents something in our history. It more importantly represents something in our psychology, because the scriptures in themselves have an allegorical application to our life. Adhering to mere history is to be dead in the present moment.
Many Pharisees or persons of the Mystical Mind will say, "No, it is impossible. You cannot know God." That's what such individuals declare, through writings or pamphlets, that God is unknown. They say humanity cannot know God.
This is sad, because Christ said, "Know the Truth, and Truth shall make you free," referring to the original Greek root word, gnosis: the experience of God. The Intermediate or Mystical Mind only takes information and theorizes about what it doesn't know. It judges based on appearances, phenomena, without perception of the Noetic principles, the latter relating with Christ-mind, Nous or noumena. These are spiritual archetypes that vivify matter. It's sad but, when people say they are agnostic, or that one cannot experience or know God, that is admitting that one is a fool, incapable of living life with real understanding or wisdom. The truth is that the prophets were once like us, so if they could experience divinity, so can we. If this were not true, we would have never received so many scriptures from different religions, which all taught the science to experience God and to unite with the divine.
I would like to quote for you a passage from the Qur'an which beautifully explains the differentiation between the three minds and the true meaning of solar conscious faith.
And they say, "None but Jews or Christians (who follow the dogmas of the Intermediate Mind) shall enter Paradise.' This is their wish. SAY: Give your proofs (from the consciousness) if ye speak the truth.
But they who set their face with resignation Godward (meaning, to perform Islam, to submit one's Sensual and Intermediate Minds towards the east, towards one's pneuma), and do what is right (by awakening the Inner Mind),— their reward is with their Lord; no fear shall come on them, neither shall they be grieved.
Moreover, the Jews say, "The Christians lean on nought:" "On nought lean the Jews," say the Christians: Yet both are readers of the Book. So with like words say they who have no knowledge (Gnosis: direct experience). But on the resurrection day, Allah shall judge between them as to that in which they differ. ―Qur'an 2:5-7
So we find in the Qur'an that only men of knowledge, men of understanding, can interpret the scriptures through awakening the Inner Mind. The fanatics always kill and debate in the name of religion; if not physically, then with words, by seeking to indoctrinate members of other groups against their will, or by forcing their ways of thinking upon others. This is a form of black magic: to impose one's will upon another person in order to get what one wants. This is the problem with mistaken beliefs in degenerated religions.
As I said, the greatest sinners can become the greatest saints, and in the Bible we have the story of the Prodigal Son. He left his home, his father and his brothers, in order to enter the world of prostitution, drugs, sensualism, forgetting his pneuma, his inner Father or אבא Abba in Hebrew. Yet because he renounced, repented and came back, his Father had great celebrations in his honor, honoring him more because since he left, he returned. For "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Luke 15:7).
In order to truly repent, it's important that we are honest and seriously evaluate where we are spiritually, to really examine what it is we know and what it is we don't know. It's this honesty or humility that opens the gateway to genuine experience. So in these studies we often refer to the Heart Doctrine, the experience of God, and the Eye Doctrine, teachings that are merely theoretical, beliefs, speculation.
When we know how to awaken our Inner Mind, through our heart, when we actually experience God, here and now, the heart becomes inflamed, and we live life more intensely, with greater joy, humility, because we have experienced God and know that He is always with us. It is this direct knowledge that we call faith.
Faith is a force. It's not a belief. It is not a concept in the mind. It is knowledge from experience. Faith is the direct experience of the divine. This might sound redundant, but this is necessary to emphasize. Faith has nothing to do with speculations, scholasticism, or religious debates. When we know something from experience, our conviction is unbreakable. No outer force, no matter how strong, could break that faith.
This type of knowledge is within the heart, when we know with absolute certainty and conviction, that we have an Inner Being, that He guides and illuminates our actions in life and seeks to direct us to be in harmony and union with Him and Her. It is an unbreakable conviction that blossoms in the temple of the heart, which is why we refer to the awakening of the Inner Mind as the Doctrine of the Heart. It is a genuine type of joy and beauty when we come to know God for ourselves, to verify what the great authors have written about. We also understand that they taught a basic introduction to a limitless science, the science of one's personal knowledge of the divine, of Christ.
This experience gives us hope, for oftentimes we are overwhelmed by anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, depression, longing, or negative emotions. Faith transforms us radically and has the potential to completely illuminate our soul.
It's important to remember that this knowledge is always born within the heart and relates to this psychological center in the human machine. There's many experiences we can have in relation with superior emotion. We discussed in previous weeks how our psychology is composed of intellect, emotions, sexuality, instinct and movement, which are physical components to our body, but more importantly relate with psychological processes.
We have superior centers that don't belong to negativity or ego: superior intellect and superior emotions. It is in the superior emotional center where we experience genuine faith: that blossoming, joy and peace which is produced when we practice effectively and don't crave results, but simply let them come on their own.
The Heart Doctrine is one's knowledge of Christ. Therefore we teach that gnosis is a heart doctrine. It has nothing to do with theory, even though we study books and seek to possess a strong intellectual-spiritual culture so as to guide our heart. Book culture and knowledge by itself without the pneuma is dangerous and creates a lot of suffering, since individuals may read a lot, but have no experience of God. When we know how to experience God through practical science, discipline and methodology, then the literature becomes accessible and vivified, meaning that the knowledge in print becomes living and impregnates our heart. Even if all the demons of the ten directions, to quote Buddhist cosmology, want to pull that from you, they can't. They faith is so ingrained, is so potent, that it has the capacity to remove all obstacles.
In relation to solar conscious faith within the Heart Doctrine, we have the following passage from The Voice of the Silence, an ancient scripture transcribed by Blavatsky:
Learn above all to separate Head-learning from Soul-Wisdom, the “Eye” from the “Heart” doctrine…
False learning is rejected by the Wise, and scattered to the winds by the Good Law. Its wheel revolves for all, the humble and the proud. The “Doctrine of the Eye” is for the crowd, the “Doctrine of the Heart,” for the elect. The first repeat in pride: “Behold, I know,” the last, they who in humbleness garnered, low confess, “thus have I heard.”
“Great Sifter” is the name of the “Heart Doctrine,” O disciple. ―The Voice of the Silence
The Heart Doctrine is called the "Great Sifter," just like a person would go to a river during the Gold Rush in the Yukon, sifting for gold through the riverbed soil, sifting through the coarse sand to find the purities. This is a perfect analogy for this knowledge, evidenced by the fact that only a few people are interested in these studies. We have don't have a huge auditorium with thousands of people who genuinely want to sift through the mind in order to procure the gold of the spirit, the pneuma or noumena of life, because most people are fascinated with the theories of this world. They don't have willpower to really check within themselves and comprehend their inner illusions or phenomena, to see past the teachings of the Pharisees. They lack the courage to truly investigate the science of the living bread, the מַצָּה Maztah born from interior affliction, to recognize the horrendous state we are in. Many do not want to follow the Lord's commandments, the מצוות Mizvot of God. We accomplish this through practice.
It's a sifter because, as all the initiates have taught, not many individuals want to change. Not many want to get at the heart of life, the noumena, the heart of God. Instead, people are lost in the labyrinth of phenomena. This truth was beautifully illustrated in the Greek myth of the Minotaur, whereby a maze was constructed to house this mythological beast, half man and half bull, representing our dual nature composed of both spirit, the man or pneuma, and our animalistic psychology, the lunar ego. Many would go into the maze and get lost, slain by their own internal beast. However, the great solar hero Theseus conquered entered the maze and killed the Minotaur, the animal ego.
That maze is the mind. Many go into it, few return. As Christ taught, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." ―Matthew 7:13-14.
We need courage. It is the reason why we are here in this class, because we want to know for ourselves. It takes tremendous willpower and courage to be able to come to the realization that one is ignorant, lost within the mind, and wants to know the truth.
Belief is the Eye Doctrine. Faith is the Heart Doctrine. Faith is what we know. When we know something is true, we can't deny it, even if we would lose our life, and Joan of Arc lost her life for that very reason:
“I would rather die than do something which I know to be a sin, or to be against God's will." ―Joan of Arc
Knowledge or noumena of God is permanent; it cannot be forgotten. Martyrs of the past who were killed for their faith had loved God so much, their compassion for humanity was so great, that they gave their life willingly (see "The Passion of Al-Hallaj" in The Narrow Way by Samael Aun Weor, previously published as The Doomed Aryan Race). This might be inconceivable for us, swamped by our own negativity and problems, but we all have this potential for divine love within, Noetic thought or noumenal consciousness. As a foundation of this tradition, we seek to develop such compassion for self and others, borne from comprehension of the causes of suffering and the transformation of mistaken perceptions, or phenomena within.
The compassion of the Inner Mind or Christ Mind is so powerful within the initiate that he can give his life for others, such as with the crucifixion of the Master Jesus. This Master physically gave of himself completely in order to demonstrate, with his birth, life, passion, death and resurrection, this science, because his faith and love was so profound. The real initiates are always the embodiment of pure love, born from the direct knowledge and experience of the divine.
To quote Samael Aun Weor from, perhaps, the most important writings within Universal Gnosticism ever produced, an exegesis from a scripture called The Gnostic Bible: The Pistis Sophia Unveiled:
Faith is pure knowledge, direct experiential wisdom. Faith has always been confused with vain beliefs; Gnostics must never make such a serious mistake. Faith is direct experience of the real, the magnificent vivification of the Inner Human Being, authentic divine cognition... Faith is the direct perception of what is real, it is fundamental wisdom; it is the experience of that which is beyond the body, the affections and the mind.
Inner spiritual experiences unfold within our perception, through the application of forces. It is the perception of the pneuma within all things. Instead of seeing phenomena, such as leaves, plants, or people, we see auras, we see thoughts, we see feelings; we experience things in a more integral way. People who want to see miracles, such as the animation of statues, which is a well-documented phenomena, or individuals walking on water, can experience a much greater miracle: the transformation of one's negative states. That is really genuine change and spiritual experience.
This should not be confused with extreme forms of asceticism, such as walking on coals, which is a 'spiritual' form of circus performances. Some people think that entering a hypnotic trance, swallowing swords, or cutting one's flesh and surviving, makes certain practitioners 'spiritual' or 'holy.'
Such acts are not genuine mystical experience, but constitute Fakirism. Fakirs develop enough willpower to withstand pain. However, Fakirism does not develop the will of the spirit. It is merely the conquering of physical sensation for that purpose alone. Willpower, increased to an infinite degree, still cannot awaken the consciousness or develop the spirit within. That is because willpower must be guided by conscious efforts, not the mechanicity of the mind.
The type of faith we speak about is about spiritual perception, whereby we see the vital elements of life, our own internal worlds, our thoughts, feelings, in a new way—typically, a good sign of deepening spiritual perception is when we see a familiar thing in a completely new way, in a way we never saw before. This is how our state should be from moment to moment. That is the direct perception of what is real: seeing things in a new way—constantly, and not to be stuck within one's mental processes, the intellect: thesis, antithesis, etc., the duality of the mind.
We find this image of Doubting Thomas serves as a representation of what the Inner Mind is. When Christ was crucified, slain, and resurrected on the third day, he returned to teach his disciples. Many of them approached Thomas and said, "The Lord is arisen!" He replied, "I don't believe you! I need to see and experience for myself." Even when before the presence of the Master, he doubted. This demonstrates the level of investigation, inquiry and criticism he had enact to really verify what is true. After placing his finger in the Lord's side wound, he said, "Yes. This is the Christ!" This is the type of conviction we speak of. This demonstrates to us that even if Christ is before us, we must always seek to clarify our understanding, intimately, profoundly, so that we genuinely know, and so no one can divert or mislead us, because there exist many wolves in sheep's clothing, as we mentioned.
People often criticize Doubting Thomas, that he was skeptical. He represents the science of experimentation and verification, the Buddhist philosophy of experiential wisdom, to only stand upon experiences we have tested and proven true. Skepticism belongs to the Sensual Mind, not the experiential knowledge of the Inner Mind, the Apostle Thomas.
Knowing the truth for ourselves is intuition. We've spoken previously about imagination, inspiration, intuition, the three obligatory steps to initiation. Imagination is the perception of images or phenomena. Inspiration is the realization that there is a symbol involved, whether we see one in meditation or we perceive life in a new way—we feel inspired with cognizance, we feel that there is some meaning in this event or situation, in one's internal states or conscious sentiment, known as superior emotion. Intuition is comprehension, when we know something in our heart completely, and nothing can divert us.
This is the type of faith that Thomas had in relation with Christ. He only accepted what came from God, and we should do the same, meaning that as much as we have books, or as much as we have lectures and classes, what's important is to really receive that knowledge from God, to understand it in meditation. Our Inner Buddha, our Inner Christ—He is the teacher, the prophet, the messenger. We each have our own, therefore we must seek to investigate this so that we can verify these teachings for ourselves in more depth.
I'd like to quote for you the great Master Morya from The Dayspring of Youth, who talks about faith very beautifully. He describes faith as a manifestation of force, as the utilization of force. As we mentioned earlier, when we awaken our perception, we perceive forces in a new way—we perceive the energy behind phenomena. This perception is fueled precisely by that force, relating to Eros, the sexual energy. Eros awakens psyche.
Throughout The Dayspring of Youth, Master Morya describes how it is by this Determinative Energy that the yogi receives his or her strength and capacity for meditation or spiritual practice. It is this energy that fuels one's faith, one's internal experience, for as we find in the first commandment of Moshe, "You shall love thy God with all thy heart (emotional brain), with all thy mind (intellectual brain), with all thy soul (conscious will), and with all thy strength (bodily energies, especially the forces we carry within sex)." This energy, known as Kundalini in the east, has the power to transform us radically and elevate us to real faith.
Here we think a note upon faith should be of interest. Initiates say that its meaning has been misunderstood. Faith, as the world uses it, possesses no spiritual nature; though in the secondary system it means power and energy applied to action. All success in Yoga comes from this application; for the true quality of faith is a Solar force that illumines the mind and attracts to it atoms of power and energy. More human wrecks have resulted from the misconception of this quality than man realises. ―M. The Dayspring of Youth
So it's a force, the solar energy we have in our breath, in our body, within our sexual energy, within our psyche. Eros has the capacity to awaken us completely, which is discussed in literature such as The Perfect Matrimony, how a married couple can fully awaken that sexual force in order to awaken the Kundalini completely, the solar force, which can rise within the spinal column to illuminate the mind and then the heart. This is the path of initiation.
Single individuals can also practice with the solar force, but with less power, developing what can be called genuine faith. As Morya indicates, faith is not belief. It is intention and will, with force, applied to action. This is why James the Apostle stated:
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. ―James 2:20-26
You can believe in something, but if you don't practice, if you don't have the energy or force to fulfill practices of concentration, meditation, and samadhi, then one's faith is meaningless. It is then not genuine faith, the solar force applied to action. The solar force grants us the entire capacity to develop real faith and change within. To believe without working in transmutation is to be dead. The corpse of exoteric Christian religion is a testament to this fact.
If we possess even a grain of faith, it has the potential and capacity to remove any obstacle. When we have true conviction and knowledge, when we really experience God and apply his teachings to our life, we can overcome any difficulty. This is why Christ said:
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. ―Matthew 17:20
Even if we have one small experience, a moment of comprehension, which is something we all have, since we are interested in these studies, we are propelled to want to work on ourselves, to change, to be inspired, to want to practice, to want to learn real religion. It is this grain or seed that can blossom into a Tree of Life. It is the solar sexual force, the Determinative Energy of God, that grants us the ability to transform us radically.
Relating to this, we say that the Egyptian Tarot is the Hebraic Torah, meaning "law." These are different laws that govern our universe and psychological experience, mapped out by the Initiatic Kabbalah. We study in Gnostic Kabbalah the twenty-two major arcana of The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, as well as the minor arcana. The first card is the Magician, who initiates every genuine spiritual work. The Hebrew letter associated with this card is א Aleph, the wind or breath associated with the sacred name of God, "Eheieh Asher Eheieh"—"I Am that I Am," which is what God, or better said, Kether on the Tree of Life, the Burning Bush, said to Moses in Exodus 3:14.
א Aleph is the wind, the breath of pranayama or alchemy that transmutes the sexual matter into solar force of Christ. Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet—it is what initiates within us. The breath is in itself the solar force that we harness through pranayama and alchemy. It is the energy that grants us the capacity to change.
The blood in our body is the medium or means of transmission of that force. Blood in Hebrew is דם "Dam." When we breathe, we assimilate oxygen into our body, which mixes with our blood. א Aleph enters our blood, or דם Dam. א Aleph with ד Daleth, ם Mem is אדם Adam, the man made into the image of God. Therefore it is through the science of the breath where we accumulate solar force, and as the Master Morya explained, it is the solar force applied to action that constitutes real faith. Therefore if we do not transmute, we have no real faith.
I'm now going to describe a practice for you that can be performed in the morning hours. This is known as the runic exercises. What I want you to focus on is the Rune Man (see the figure on the right within the image). We have a man standing with his arms raised to heaven, this is the position of the rune. Simply put, this is the man made into the image of God, the symbol of Christ crucified with his hands and feet nailed to the cross, supplicating to God to be redeemed of his suffering.
Now when we say this represents the man, we are not excluding women, because the word "man" comes from the Sanskrit Manas, which means mind. Or better said, intuitive mind—Inner Mind. And when we say "human being," we are referring Hum, the Spirit, the Pneuma or Noumena within a person, that works as breath upon the mind. Therefore a real man or human being is the Spirit-Man, the Spirit-Mind, the Inner Mind. So as a posture, the Rune Man helps us awaken our Manas, or Inner Mind, through transmutation—the breath It is a yogic position than can be practiced in the early hours of the morning or at night. Those are good times to practice due to the energies present.
Again, with the assimilation of the breath, the Prana, the Christic force of the morning hours, which vibrates very intensely, this energy has the capacity to stimulate and awaken our consciousness, to develop what we call genuine faith. In this runic position, we pronounce a prayer, known as the prayer to the Solar Logos, as explained in Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic by Samael Aun Weor, in which we say:
Oh Thou, Solar Logos, Igneous Emanation, substance and consciousness of Christ, powerful life whereby everything advances, come unto me and penetrate me, enlighten me, bathe me, go through me and awaken within my Being all of those ineffable substances that are as much a part of Thee as a part of me.
Universal and cosmic force, mysterious energy, I conjure Thee, come unto me, remedy my affliction, cure me from this illness and take apart from me this suffering so I can have harmony, peace and health.
I ask Thee in thy sacred name, which the Mysteries and the Gnostic Church have taught me, so Thou can make all of the mysteries of this plane and superior planes vibrate within me, and that all of those forces together may achieve the miracle of my healing. So be it.
Remember that the Magician, from the first arcanum of the eternal tarot, assimilates the א Aleph, the Prana, the Christ force, which as Morya stated is the potency of real faith. Next, in this position, we repeatedly pronounce a sacred mantra:
OM TAT SAT
This mantra was mentioned in The Voice of the Silence, a holy scripture transcribed by the Master Blavatsky. OM generates and transmutes sexual power to the heart, awakens our superior emotional center. OM is prolonged. TAT, SAT, pronounced TAHT, SAHT, is short. These latter two mantras open the spiritual and psychic atmosphere around us, so as to bring down the forces of the Ain Soph Aur, the Limitless Light of Christ, and כתר Kether, since TAT reminds us of the Hebrew letter ת Tav, which is the central letter in the word Kether, signifying "seal," "covenant," "perfection," "completion." SAT is the Seity beyond Kether, the Solar Absolute. These mantras are exceptionally powerful, helping us to vibrate with the solar Christ forces of faith through the transmutation of our sexual energies.
Pneuma, or spirit, relates with the word pneumonia, which is a problem with breathing, indicating that the spirit is associated with the breath. When we talk about the science of energy, breath is highly important. Pneuma relates with pranayama, the science of breathing, in that the spirit has the capacity to generate and open a type of mind which is in harmony with Christ, the divine source, the divine intelligence. Let us recall that the runic exercises are a combination of meditation, prayer, and pranayama, which works with the erotic force. The psyche, as described in the Greek myth, is very asleep, and only Eros, the divine power of God harnessed through the science of breath and divine sexual energy, has the potential to awaken us spiritually. This is known in the traditions of alchemy and Tantra in the east.
We can do this mantra, OM TAT SAT, as long as we like within the position of the Rune Man. In the beginning we can practice for fifteen minutes, resting our arms down when we need to, then continuing with the prayer with the position of this rune, since it can be hard in the beginning to hold up our arms for a long period of time. We need to accustom the body through practice, as with any Yogic discipline. When we pray, or rest our arms, we should place our hands over our heart, with the right hand over the left, as in the style of the Egyptian initiates, since the right hand is solar and the left, lunar. The solar forces must conquer the lunar forces of our Sensual and Intermediate Minds, represented by how we place our hands on our heart (Tiphereth, our will).
This exercise, as part of the Nordic Runes, comes from the Nordic alphabet, which have an intimate relationship with the Hebrew alphabet. This is well discussed in the Runes Course on the gnosticteachings website.
Morya taught the Nordic runes to his disciples, and these exercises are alluded to in his book The Dayspring of Youth, specifically in how we invoke Christic, Transformation and Aspiration Atoms in order to develop solar faith. Through this invocation to Christ, with our eyes closed in prayer, focusing on our breath, we also imagine the solar light is entering our palms and breath in order to strengthen our soul. These practices charge our body, soul, and Spirit with Christ, and in turn constitute the martial arts or Judo of the Spirit.
Particularly in relation with faith, the Rune Man helps us in the generation of spiritual force, which grants us the capacity to awaken our consciousness and the Inner Mind. This grants us more peace and the ability to concentrate, helping us as a precursor to meditation.
So this relates with faith because it is energy applied to action. To clarify this further, Morya elaborates in The Dayspring of Youth:
When Jesus used this word in the sentence, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed,” He meant that one could work miracles if one possessed the atomic energy contained within a mustard seed. But in this world of illusion this is reversed, and the weak man sits still and believes that all will be applied to him if he has faith. It is not a force that should only be applied to religious belief. It is the power of the Innermost working through the densities of our bodies, and the more we respond to it the greater will be our powers.
The physical body is very dense, polluted with negative elements from the psyche. The runic exercises bring in the solar force, elevates our vibration, literally Christifying the body, little by little. Faith, therefore, is the power of the solar logos in the body applied through conscious action. With this, the real Man, the real Human Being, is developed, particularly through the rites of Sexual Magic within the Perfect Matrimony.
We always need to feel inspired in our hearts when we practice. That sincerity is what gives us strength and the capacity to effectively apply these techniques.
The Inner Mind and Mystical Death
It's difficult in the beginning to learn how to activate and generate that force. Later it is a matter of controlling it. With time, we learn how to apply that force in our daily life and in meditation, and this is where the teachings of mystical death come into play.
Once we activate the solar force, we become sensitive, and our psychological elements of anger, pride, and lust will attempt to use that energy in the wrong way. This is why self-restraint is essential within all teachings of genuine yoga, and how this energy is the foundation for helping us dominate the mind.
Whether or not we were practicing such things like Milarepa in the past, we all have some level of iniquity within, with pride, anger, vanity, etc., which we need to know how to renounce and to eliminate through practical meditation. If we do not remove those elements, then we will not grow spiritually and will not change. But when someone has comprehension that anger, pride, and vanity cause suffering for oneself and for others, we say, "I will not act on anger." This restraint is the beginning of mystical death, the restraint on the mind in order to stop feeding the ego. The less we feed the ego, the more we kill it. It starts to wither and die, but as a consequence, it fights to keep its life. The more we know how to restrain our mind and to kill the ego, the more we awaken the Inner Mind.
This is why the initiates of the past gave different commandments for their disciples to follow, so as to assist in the mystical death of the ego, such as, “Do not lie. Do not kill.” While this has physical applications, this really refers to not speak words of anger, to not indulge in pride, to not indulge in lust, psychologically speaking. It has to do with how we control our mind.
We need this force, so when this force is activated we can initiate a new way of seeing, a new way of living. It’s necessary to learn how to control the mind.
The runes are a form of pranayama as we have mentioned. Prana is Christ. Yama in Buddhism is death. It means “to yoke” or “to control,” but it also means “death.” Prana also means life. Therefore we have life and death within this practice, since it is the power of life and death, Shiva-Shakti, creator and destroyer. We find Prana in the air we breathe, but also in our semen, which is condensed and materialized Prana. We therefore seek to awaken the forces of life, but also death, in order to control the mind and eliminate its defects in meditation.
Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Great Rebellion:
The Angel of Death has the key to nature’s laboratory in his right hand. We can learn very little from the phenomenon of birth, but from death we can learn everything. The unprofaned temple of pure science is found in the depths of the dark sepulcher. If the seed does not die, the plant is not born. Only with death comes forth what is new. When the ego dies, the consciousness awakens to see the reality of all of Nature’s phenomena in and of themselves. ―Samael Aun Weor
So again, noumena, real faith. The transmutation of our energies is birth. But then we also have to learn how to control the mind, so this can produce mystical death. Therefore this is self-observation, self-restraint of our desires. Control the mind. Do not act or speak in harmful ways. Do not indulge in intoxicants or drugs. These are basic tenets of religion that have a foundation in this practice, because with the accumulation of solar force, we have greater potential not only to do good, but to do harm. This is why individuals such as Hitler were so dangerous, because he had so much force, but channeled it through his anger, thus destroying millions of people. That's how powerful this energy is, that if we know how to control, we can become like Jesus, leading millions of people. This relates to the science of good and evil, the tree of knowledge.
Another simple practice when we sit to meditate after working with the Rune Man is to observe the mind. Don’t think or occupy yourself with a certain image. Simply observe the mind as it is, be aware of the energies present. See what emerges. You will find that with this energy you will see a lot more. This is a simple exercise, but also very difficult, because the mind always wants to think about something. This is how the mind distracts us, wanting to abuse this energy in order to think, to think, to think. Or the emotional brain or center wants to indulge in anger, pride, or resentment. So after this practice, just sit and observe, so we can become more familiar with our internal worlds. It will give us more solidarity in our practice.
That is the beginning of mystical death, having restraint of the mind. Then when we learn to perceive in the moment, we develop genuine faith, because we see what in us in negative and what in us is positive. It is the awakening of the Inner Mind that provides us with the perception of the ego, so we can separate ourselves from it, comprehend it, and eradicate those defects.
It is through death that the Inner Mind awakens. The more ego we eliminate, the more consciousness and aspects of the Inner Mind develop. So it begins with saving our energies and transmuting, to not justify or repress defects in self-observation, but to comprehend them. We must not constantly swing between these extremes, which is known by the law of the pendulum, but to be equilibrated.
To conclude, we say that humility is the gateway to genuine faith. When we humble ourselves, such as through the Rune Man, we invite the solar logos into our home, meaning our body, in order to elevate our level of being. When we make this our foundation, we initiate a new way of being as exemplified by the Magician of the Tarot.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. ―Isaiah 40:4
Be humble, if thou would’st attain to Wisdom. Be humbler still, when Wisdom thou hast mastered. ―The Voice of the Silence, H. P. Blavatsky
Questions and Answers
Audience: You brought up a good point there about humility and about temptation. Pride can be insidious, but by developing humility that can off-set that. It’s easy, the temptation to almost be an elitist. It’s latent, I think, and its dangerous, and you brought that out when saying humility is important. As you discover these things, you might feel, “I’m one of the elect.” Or it could sneak in like a serpent, but to be aware of it is good.
Instructor: I will tell you a story that happened to me many years ago when I first started this type of teaching. I awoke in the astral plane and I asked my Being to take me to Egypt. So I found myself, through His power, going through the earth, and, whish, came out flying over the city of Cairo. It was very dark and obscure, nearly impossible to see anything. I flew over to the pyramids of Giza, where exists a great temple of the White Lodge, a very ancient place that has a lot of power, since the angels and Masters of Egypt are working there very intensely to help humanity. Mozart, the great composer, received an initiation in that temple.
So I wanted to gain access to the grounds there. When I approached the gate, the entrance, a guardian stopped me. I couldn’t see him, but I felt that he had a dagger pointed at my throat, and I was stunned when he said, with great severity, “Many are called… FEW are chosen!” I then returned to my body (snaps fingers) like that.
This experience haunts me still today, because the dagger symbolizes treason, and the fact that it was pointed at the throat is highly significant. If we transpose the Tree of Life upon the human body, the throat represents דעת Da’ath, which in Hebrew means “knowledge” or gnosis. It refers to the sexual teaching, the knowledge of using the creative energies in the right way. This was a humbling experience, because even if one has a lot of experiences, or is a missionary and instructor, practicing for many years, there is no guarantee that one is saved. One is only saved after the complete annihilation of the ego.
This Egyptian initiate did me a great service by humbling me, because I felt proud to be able to travel out of my body and visit temples of the White Lodge. He really put me in my place, for “Be humble to attain enlightenment, but after attaining it,” through having numerous Samadhis and mystical exaltations, “be humbler still.” This initiate told me this fact, that “Many are called… few are chosen.” Just because I am called here to teach this science, does not guarantee I will succeed. What matters is mystical death.
The Egyptian guardian sent me back to my body because I was not worthy to enter this temple. The experience he gave me indicates that by remaining faithful to the science of sexual energy and meditation, we do not betray the Lord. When we use our energies through vocalizations, we produce transmutation. Therefore, we must never cease in transmutation, and to never fornicate. Otherwise we will not be one of the few.
To have a dagger at one’s throat, as in my experience, tells us, “Be careful with how you use this energy!” If we use it in the wrong way, it will slay us. But if we know how to use it well, it becomes our sword for battle. If we know how to restrain our minds, we can enter the temples. But if we are like donkeys, kicking, flailing, and not obeying the Good Law, when we do not know how to submit to God, we will not be admitted.
Even if this might be a disturbing story, it was tremendously helpful, an honor to be instructed in such a way. It continues to push me to practice very hard.
So work with the Rune Man. It is very powerful. More questions or comments?
Audience: When you say conjure, what does that mean? Does it mean to evoke, to call on some entity?
Instructor: We have available the Gnostic Prayer Book, which contains prayers from most of the major traditions. It says here, "To conjure, comes from the Latin cum-jurare," meaning "to swear together." It means to invoke a superior force in order to be in communion with it. This indicates that we are asking a being to resonate with the Christ-force. So in the prayer to the solar logos, we say, "I conjure Thee!" we invoke the Lord so we are in harmony with Him. When we conjure, we bring down, we invoke the Christ.
Audience: And when you're trying to distance yourself from a negative force, you can use conjurations for that purpose?
Instructor: Yes, the conjurations have that purpose. When we conjure a being, we are commanding, "Swear with me that you are with Christ!" If they are not with Christ, they will show us through their actions that they do not swear on it. Then you will know you are with a demon. This relates with internal experiences, to awaken within dream yoga. Prayers to invoke Christ have the power to protect us.
When we assimilate Christ-force, we have the struggle with the mind, but also with outside negative forces that seek to deter us. However, this is nothing to be afraid of. It is very common for the one who matures and has experience, so they learn how to deal with those types of forces. The way that we learn to manage the negative energies of other beings is by controlling our own mind.
Audience: We're having access to this knowledge now. It certainly gives us pause for thought, really. Not only to reflect on, but to get into certain practices. You pass cemeteries, and there's millions of people there. Some of them went along with conventional religion. We students are a minority here, I believe. We're trying to open our minds up. Where do these souls end up if they didn't even know about this path? They were incarnated on this planet, and all you see are their headstones. This is the reality. They were human beings once, and all there is left are their decaying, organic remains in the ground. Where is this reservoir of souls? What's their destiny? They didn't even have access to thinking like this! They maybe went once a week to church on Sundays, and the most edifying thing they were thinking about was, "What are we going to have for supper tonight?" You know what I am saying? These are very profound subjects!
Instructor: The truth is, many decades ago, or better said, many centuries ago, people did not have access to this knowledge, yet they have returned in order to be given the chance to change. Right now, this knowledge is being given openly.
Those who are given the chance, but don't take it, they descend, they go towards what is called the Second Death.
Audience: Do those souls who never knew about this knowledge get punished? It would seem the vast majority of mankind was never exposed to this science!
Instructor: The truth is now this knowledge is being given openly. Anybody can get it. But people have to want it. They have to search. Those who have no longings, who don't search, are what we call "empty houses." They're dead already, which is why Christ said, "Let the dead bury their dead."
Audience: But there were a lot of people who would have. They just had no knowledge; they didn't have negative intent. They were incarnated...
Instructor: Those people who are sincere and want to change, and who have the capacity to change, they are given the opportunity. But they have to work to get it. It's learning to swim against the tide, and those who show that they want to change, even if they have no books or no knowledge, they WILL find the teachings. They will find them. All of us have been like that.
Christ said, "Out of a thousand who seek me, one finds me. Out of a thousand who find me, one follows me. Out of a thousand who follow me, one is mine. And out of a thousand who are mine, one knows me perfectly." Those who search, many times they get lost, because they're not strong enough. Those who are strong, who reject the orthodox teachings, they find the secret path, eventually, because God is pushing SO hard, even if the person breaks. Personally that is what I experienced, the breaking point, where real humility and acceptance is born, so as to find this knowledge.
Many run away from death, ignoring that death is the path to life. Those who are really searching for the knowledge really want to die in their defects, and when a person really wants to change fundamentally in that way, the angels look down and say, "Look! Help him or her!" They give you everything you need, and in accordance with Karma, sometimes those people have to suffer a lot in order to receive this wisdom. Since after that suffering and by finding this teaching, one experiences great joy and can finally appreciate the value of it. There are many who come and find this teaching, out of curiosity, and thereafter leave, developing nothing spiritually. Those who suffer the most comprehend this knowledge in depth, and thereafter they develop more faith. "For in much knowledge is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." (Ecclesiastes 1:18).
It's not that people were never given the chance. Everyone is given the opportunity, but there's work involved. In the past it was way more difficult to find this knowledge, because the great colleges of initiation were kept private. But times have changed. What was very difficult to find decades ago is now openly available. People are searching and able to find this science easily. The search was hard in the past for disciples like Gurdjieff, who eventually entered into an initiatic order and attained Mastery. This shows that those who really wanted the knowledge, found it. But they had to weep tears of blood to really get to it.
The truth is that now this knowledge is given openly, most people don't take it. Those who want Gnosis will find it. God ensures that the sincere devotee will find it. Whether the soul takes it is up to individual will. But those who genuinely want it, have suffered a lot, and develop very strong faith like Milarepa, since he realized how much harm he caused and feels true repentance. This is generally what it takes to really enter the path.
In the past, there was the excuse that one couldn't find the knowledge. It was extremely hard to find schools of initiation. In these times, there's no excuse. Everything is given openly and for almost for free. The books are not for profit, and the proceeds go towards future publications, and to maintain our website. There's no monetary gain here. It's solely for the dissemination of the teachings of Samael Aun Weor.
Whoever does not want gnosis, it's their choice. But there is no excuse now. This is why it was stated in Jeremiah 21:8, "Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death." How we use our sexual energy determines whether we walk the way of life or the way of death, again relating to Prana (life) and yama (death).
Those who found the knowledge, now it's just a matter of study and practice, applying and experimenting with the different exercises. It is hard to learn how to practice effectively, but we learn little by little, generating true faith, joy, and happiness, inspiring us to continue working. Since with "Faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains." We can take this a step further through Nietzsche's postulation:
"And the lover of knowledge (gnosis) shall learn to build with mountains. It means little that the spirit moves mountains. Did you know that?” ―Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: On the Famous Wise Men
This means to build with spirit through initiation.
Audience: Master Samael mentioned that each soul revolves through the Wheel of Samsara three thousand times in one of his books. This is in relation to your comment about individual souls that are searching but simply, because of their own will, do not find the path. They're drawn away by their own egotism or outside influences. As souls suffer tremendously through this Wheel of Samsara, do they build Dharma even if they do not enter the Direct Path?
Instructor: There's knowledge gained, but it is minor in comparison to the Direct Path. There are different paths in the development of the soul. Many simply incarnate, suffer in life and die, going to the abyss to be disintegrated, and returning once again to through progressive incarnations through mineral, plant, and animal consciousness, until becoming humanoid once again. That is one rotation of the Wheel of Samsara. Those souls that definitively do not want realization proceed on such a path, until finally, after the 3000th turn, are reabsorbed back into the Absolute. There is knowledge gained, but nothing in comparison to an initiate of the Straight Path, who consciously works towards realization. You can read more about this in The Mystery of the Golden Flower by Samael Aun Weor.
Audience: What is the role of Purgatory in esotericism?
Instructor: Purgatory is a place of suffering like hell, but for the conscious purification of sins. It refers to processes of initiation [Editor's Note: see our course on The Secret Path of Initiation], and is not simply a place of condemnation as misrepresented in many religions. It refers to a process of paying penance, purifying the mind while ascending to God. In hell, it's the opposite. One distances from God and suffers terribly, without gaining spiritual development. Purgatory is an ascension towards God, where the initiate works to unite with God by paying the Karma of their past actions through mystical death. This is the Second Mountain mentioned by Samael Aun Weor in The Three Mountains, entitled the Mountain of Resurrection (or mystical death).
To conclude, what we need most is practice, to develop real faith. Without practice, all of this is just conjecture. What's the point? It applies once we know how to awaken our pneuma, our noumena within through spiritual experience. These are interesting things to know, but don't let it just sit in your intellect. For with faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move, or climb, mountains. This has to do with how we use our seminal seed in order to change psychologically.
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from The Secret Teachings of Opera, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
As gnostics, we become enraptured, inflamed, delighted, by the works of the great classical composers such as Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Beethoven, Wagner. It also is remarkable that these paragons of music have taught in their art, the secret teachings of all ages, the secret path of initiation.
Just as we become enthralled by the pyramids of Egypt, Yucatan, the temples of the Maya, the Aztecs, the great churches and synagogues, the great mosques, all the architecture that the best of humanity has produced; these things inspire us. While these forms of art have always been profound, moving, inspiring, it is also a tremendous inspiration to understand how these great works of art have taught in their secret symbols, their allegory, the spiritual path that leads the disciple from ignorance into the light of comprehension. The path of yoga, reunion, religion.
Art has always been used to reflect divine principles, divine truths, with many meanings and symbols that hide tremendous cosmological truths and experiences of the consciousness. Even though in our studies of anthropology, or better said, gnostic anthropology, we have looked at the great architecture of the ancients, the philosophies of the Greeks, the ancient sciences of psychology, mysticism, kabbalah—it can be argued that opera is one of the most refined, and if not, the most synthetic teaching given to humanity.
This art form is truly a form of alchemy. It is alchemical, because it is a mixture of music, drama, theater, art: visual representations, costumes that are appropriate to the given context of a specific opera can help to convey profound truths about the nature of religion, of psychology.
Opera has always been utilized by the great initiates. It is very well known amongst writers that Puccini, Mozart, Beethoven and many others like Tchaikovsky, were Freemasons. Mozart's Magic Flute, which portrays the initiations of the Masonic Lodge, eventually got him into trouble, precisely because he was expressing truths in that opera that were not allowed to be conveyed to the public. But, given his inspiration, he provided a beautiful teaching about the nature of initiation, the spiritual path, of which we will be studying in this course on the Secret Teachings of Opera.
But today I want to just discuss for us some of the principles, the foundations in order to interpret opera, especially the kabbalah and alchemical knowledge that is the synthesis of this great art.
As I stated, the great architecture of humanity, the ancient religions and traditions, while profound and beautiful, are not as refined as this art form, because opera is the synthesis of many aeons of development—many centuries of expressing the teaching in a way that was only communicable and understood by other initiates.
And as I stated, this path is about קבלה kabbalah and alchemy. How is opera kabbalistic, alchemical? The word קבל kabbel in Hebrew means “to receive.” It is knowledge that we receive not only from books or scriptures, but from experience of the consciousness.
Classical music elevates the soul, because this music was composed by prophets.
Many people think that Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, and Liszt were simply musicians, and that they had a type of genius and creativity that could not be explained. But the profound reality is that they developed their music, their art form, as a result of awakening their full conscious potential.
In their music, they portray many truths relating to mathematics, to numbers. We know that music is very mathematical, kabbalistic, because kabbalah is the science of numbers. In these studies, we know that kabbalah is intuitive. Numbers are intuitive. They represent forces in nature: principles, archetypes, blueprints for the creation of the soul, in which we find represented in the many different characters of the operas like Rodolfo in La Bohème, a reference to the twenty-first arcanum of the tarot: the Fool, the ignorant, the Bohemian.
Likewise, we find the tremendous archaic teachings of the thirteenth arcanum in Puccini's Turandot; the mysteries of death and the Divine Mother. Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin teaches about the loss of the soul. Berlioz's Damnation of Faust, which has terrified many audiences, is a teaching about the path of failure.
So these great masters conveyed in their music, psychological truths about the dangers of the spiritual path of initiation. When we watch opera, we learn to receive the knowledge which is kabbalah, kabbel. We receive the music which inspires the heart, and through the drama of its characters, the narrative, the lyrics, or the libretto, we gain insight into the nature of what is known as the Tree of Life and its different sephiroth. For each character in an opera represents parts of the soul that must be developed, which must be integrated.
So divine art is precisely opera. It is the amalgamation or alchemy of the verb. Of music. Of drama. In opera there is sculpture, there are sets, there is music, there is poetry or literary narrative. In many cases there is dance. So, the initiates, throughout the centuries, for millennia, had provided their teachings within sculpture, within paintings, within music. As a synthesis of this great art, of these great teachings, we find that opera is the peak, the height, the most refined, precisely because it synthesizes all the art forms from the previous eras, of which we'll be talking about in this lecture.
Sadly as much as people love opera and classical music, they don't really comprehend the meaning of the great art forms. They don't understand that the dramas represented in these forms of art, in these presentations, show us something symbolic. They show us something about ourselves, if we are truly walking this path of initiation that we have been explaining in our course on the Tarot, especially.
Opera is a divine art, but in order to benefit from it, we have to awaken consciousness, because for many centuries people have listened to opera. They have watched it. They have been amused by it and have commented on it. They have debated about its purpose and the meanings of certain composers’ work. But sadly, humanity ignores the science of the Tree of Knowledge and the science of the Tree of Life, which are the synthesis of the secret teachings and which can unlock the door to understanding the great works of art, such as with Wagner's Parsifal, of which the Master Samael Aun Weor wrote a book specifically explaining its symbolism, its mysteries. Another opera of which we will be talking about later in this course.
Cosmogenesis and Anthropogenesis
So in order to discuss the nature of art and the place of opera within the scale of our humanity, it is necessary to speak about some very ancient forms of history which are not documented by our anthropologists, our scientists, who only study physical matter. We have to speak about cosmogenesis and the nature of what is called root races and subraces within our humanity and previous humanities, in order to discuss the teachings of opera. But why?
As we stated, through our many aeons, this teaching has been taught, it has been known, it has been practiced, and many operas teach an ancient form of history that is not known by humanity. It is enough to watch Wagner's Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold, in order to understand and first-hand witness the history of ancient humanities on our planet.
So in order to talk about the place of art that has developed throughout history and reached its peak with opera, we are going to talk about this ancient history in synthesis. We won't have the time in this lecture to really expound upon all the details of these ancient humanities that populated our planet, but we want to point and indicate their place in general in order to help us provide a context for this lecture.
So what is a cosmic era? A cosmic era is known as round, and as we see in this graphic, we have a beautiful depiction of ancient periods in our universal history. We have first what is known as the Mahamanvantara, which is known as the “great cosmic day.” Every universe is born, gives life, and then dies. When it is born, it has existence, when the universe manifests from the unknowable divinity known as the Ain Soph Aur, the Ain Soph, and the Ain in kabbalah, the Absolute.
It emerges and manifests into different levels of matter, energy, and perception, which are mapped by the kabbalah. So, life descends from more subtle forms of matter and energy into the more material.
Life first existed in the mental plane in what is known as the Saturnian Round. When life fully developed in its full capacity in that dimension, after many aeons, trillions of years, and after that round gave birth to seven races in its respective cycle.
It then materialized and entered into what is known as the Solar Round. Life then gestated within the astral plane. Likewise, in that era, seven races were born. When life fully developed at that level, matter, and energy descended into the ethereal plane, the fourth dimension and what is known as the Lunar Round of which Samael Aun Weor spoke about abundantly in his books.
Life in the lunar round existed in what is currently known as the moon, the physical moon which was a planet in previous eras, in the Lunar Round.
A planet always has life, it always has its humanities, its races, that are born and gestated in those eras. But when life fully develops at that level, the planet dies after many aeons, many ages. In that round, life then is extracted from that planet in order for that planet to become a moon, a cadaver.
A moon is a dead planet that once had life in previous rounds. The lunar round took place precisely in our moon, the physical moon and which is why certain writers like Madame Blavatsky taught that the moon is the mother of the Earth. This is contrary to people's belief that the moon was a part of the earth that broke off into space. But the moon was its own planet. It had its own life, its rivers, its forests, its civilizations, its races.
When that planet fully developed its races, its humanities, when the knowledge was given to those ancient epochs, those peoples, the planet eventually has to die, because life is born, is gestated, it sustains, and then it passes. So life once existed on the moon, but the soul of that planet entered into our Earth in the next round, the Terrestrial Round, of which we are currently in—the terrestrial period.
It is important to note that these rounds exist because life is descending. First through the force of involution into different states of matter and perception, so that the souls that are entering into the universe can gain experience, cognizance, understanding.
And what is a root race? There are seven races for each round, as Samael Aun Weor teaches in his books. A root race is precisely a humanity, an age in which certain people are given the opportunity to enter into the mysteries of the secret teachings. To experience and live the path of initiation.
And of course, this terrestrial period indicates with exactitude that life has reached its maximum. Its full materiality. Now we are currently in the process of entering into the higher dimensions once again, from which life first descended.
In the future rounds, life will continue to exist in the ethereal plane. Reconquering the ether. Ascending towards higher worlds and higher states of being. Likewise, the astral plane and the mental plane. Until finally, that universe or the life of the planet and the different worlds will enter back into the Absolute, what is known as the cosmic night: the Mahapralaya, the cosmic period of rest.
Each period has seven root races, of which we are currently in the fifth. We once experienced and had life on this planet through the Polar Race, followed by the Hyperborean Race, the Lemurian Race, the Atlantean Race, the Aryan Race.
Each race or root race has his life and its death. There are always periods of great cataclysms in which such humanities are exterminated once the fruits of those races have been produced. When a humanity has given forth solar men, solar initiates, solar beings through the spiritual path we have been teaching in our courses, then those humanities reach their peak of civilization, and then they decay. When they decay, they are finished through great cataclysms of which the Aztecs and the Maya have depicted in their sun calendars of Tonatiuh, in which these different humanities experience different forms of their demise, which we won't go into depth today.
But we mentioned in brief because in order to talk about opera and art, the great forms of the sacred mysteries, we have to speak about our ancient humanities.
The Seven Aryan Subraces
We are now in the fifth race, the Aryan Race, which should not be confused with the Germans, because the German people are merely one aspect of the Aryan Race.
Each race has seven subraces, of which we have an image of our Aryan Race in the top right. Why is the fifth root race the Aryan Race? Because we are governed by Ares, by Mars, by Samael, the angel of strength. The previous periods were governed by other angels, but now we are under the jurisdiction of Ares, of Samael.
It was a mistake of certain people amongst the Nordics, the Germanic peoples, to think that they were the only Aryans on the planet. That was a mistake. The Aryan Race has flourished upon the whole planet and every continent.
Each root race is divided into seven subraces as we stated.
Humanity amongst the Aryans first developed in Tibet, then moved into India and China.
The third subrace existed in the Middle East, the fourth in Greece and Rome, the fifth amongst the Nordics as well as the Anglo-Saxons, Teutons, and European people.
In Latin America, we have the sixth subrace. Right now, in the United States, we have the seventh subrace that is developing presently here and now. We have stated and it has been stated that the subraces, or better said, the subrace of the United States, is a mixture, is a crucible, a melting pot in which all the races of the our planet are mixing, precisely with the purpose of generating the seed for the next root race, which is the sixth in our terrestrial period.
The sixth root race will be known as Koradi, which is the new people, the new age, the new era of Aquarius cited by Samael Aun Weor, in the Book of Revelation. After our Aryan civilization is destroyed with great cataclysms, like the previous races before, certain people and certain seeds of our race, the seventh subrace, will be extracted and taken in order to develop the new humanity.
So the best seed is always used to cultivate new plants, new life. The same with the subrace of the United States in which the Gnostic movement is marching firmly forward, having originated from Latin America, but also has spread throughout every continent of the planet, to all of humanity, our Aryan race.
We have talked and have spoken a lot about the great cataclysm that is going to afflict our humanity in this present epoch. Nuclear wars, forms of destruction, the end of an era of perversity which has really reached the maximum. Because this Aryan race is so degenerated, divinity has no other option but to eliminate it and to save those seeds, those few people who want to change, psychologically. And through preparing ourselves to the initiative work, we provide ourselves the opportunity to exist in the future root race, if we are pure—if we fully eliminate the ego.
But why talk about opera in this context? It might seem like a digression, but it is important to note that this ancient history, which is not known by our scientists, has been taught in opera especially, Wagner's Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold.
We will talk about how these great works of art have always spoken about and alluded to these ancient forms of humanity, in a symbolic way, but which people who are very literal, don't know how to interpret… those who are very fanatical or who may like the classical composers, but don't understand the symbols of their work.
This history is only understood through the consciousness. We cannot necessarily find physical remnants of these ancient humanities. There are a few, but the real evidence lies in the internal planes in what is known as the Akashic Records. But to give some indications towards the past remnants of our ancient humanities, we know that there are statues and sculptures on Easter Island, which Samael Aun Weor stated are the remnants of Lemuria who were giants [like Fafner and Fasolt in Wagner’s Das Rheingold]. Gigantic figures, gigantic people, who existed in this third dimension, but also in the fourth before they finally descended into materiality.
What is also interesting is that there have been found by certain archaeologists and scientists, certain glass layers in the Earth found in the Sahara Desert, Libya, Mojave, and other places which could only be formed by the aftermath of tremendous atomic explosions. It is said that in order to create such layers of glass that have reached the diameter found, I believe in the Sahara or Mojave, it would take nuclear explosions 10,000 times more powerful than those used in New Mexico. The Mahabharata also has certain allusions towards nuclear war amongst the Atlanteans, who destroyed themselves through that type of technology, in which Plato, I believe in his Timaeus, hints at, that these ancient civilizations existed [Wagner even depicts the giants Fafner and Fasolt killing one another in Das Rheingold, reminiscent of how the giant civilization of Atlantis reached its tragic conclusion].
This type of history is not really easy to validate except through awakening consciousness in the internal planes, to really experience and understand from experience where these root races came from. How they lived. What they did. We have Easter Island and a few other remnants found across the planet that point towards the remnants of these civilizations.
It is interesting that we have these facts which scientists can't explain. They want to ignore that there were civilizations before us that were more powerful. The Atlantean science was by far, much more developed than our Aryan Race.
So why talk about opera? Opera developed amongst the fifth Aryan subrace, especially amongst the Anglo-Saxon, Teutonic, and European peoples. We find that beautiful forms of art that teach the secret knowledge that have been given in Tibet amongst the Indians and Chinese. Especially in the Middle East amongst the Muslims and Sufis. Likewise, amongst Grecians and Romans, and also in Europe amongst the Germans, the English, and other Europeans
While we state that opera is the synthesis of all other art forms, we also state that just because this form of art is synthetic and highly refined, doesn't indicate that the fifth Aryan subrace was superior, because we know from history that the first and second world wars were initiated by this subrace amongst the Aryans, amongst the German people as well as the Europeans, which is very degenerated.
But it was the purpose of the White Lodge to provide teachings within this subrace to give some type of knowledge and understanding for future peoples amongst the Latin Americans, among the Europeans, and especially within the United States, in which we are explaining this knowledge in a very open fashion.
In the age of Pisces, we had many forms of art that had inspired people, but people don't understand the real meaning, their significance.
In the age of Aquarius, the era of the water bearer, we are explaining this knowledge for the first time, the significance of these great works of art. The White Lodge gave many operas, many forms of music, of drama, that teach how to unite with Christ, with the truth but, because people were not necessarily benefiting from that knowledge, the White Lodge determined there was a time in which that knowledge had to be finished, concluded, which was around World War I, when the opera Parsifal debuted. We also have Turandot that came out in 1926, which is fairly late.
Since where we are now in the age of Aquarius, and because this Aryan Root Race is going to end through many great cataclysms, we are now explaining for the first time the meaning of these operas—to give to humanity the secret knowledge that has been hidden, but also has been visible to them for many centuries. But for the fact that people have not known kabbalah and alchemy, they could not interpret it. So now we give this knowledge explicitly for the benefit of those who suffer and who want to understand the path that leads out of suffering.
Art and the Sabbath
Art has always been considered sacred and the ancient epochs, but not in these present times. The Sabbath, the day of Saturn-day, Saturday, relating to the Holy Spirit, was the day of learning among the ancient cultures, in which people would recreate to listen to either opera or great works of art. To see dramas, presentations of the secret path on their day of rest, in which art is highly significant and relates not only to Venus, but to Saturn. Saturn-day—because the teachings of Saturn, the teachings of the Holy Spirit, as well as the teachings of the Third Logos, are precisely the wisdom or the intelligence of the divine, because Binah in Hebrew means “intelligence.” It is the knowledge of the higher mysteries, the secret path.
Ancient art was always used to convey profound cosmic truths, principles, realities. People would attend these performances because they understood from experience that they were divine, profound, and personal. Because when one has personal experience from initiation, from meditation, one sees one's own experience reflected in art.
Therefore, art becomes something very prophetic, divine.
“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 and the manifestations of the Being were transmitted to the initiates by means of drama. 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. 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
So what does it mean to become the Christ such a drama? Many operas teach the Christic path, in which the great heroes, such as Sigmund and Siegfried in the Wagnerian Cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen [The Ring of the Nibelungen]—they must overcome great traumas and tragedies and conflicts. Likewise, Prince Calaf from Turandot must conquer the heavenly divine kingdom of China, and marry the divine princess Turandot by overcoming the temptations of Christ.
So these works of art depict psychologically what one must do in those situations, here and now. That art reflects that path itself. It can provide inspiration for those who are working.
The Kabbalah and Alchemy of Music
As I stated, classical music is a medium for prophets. Music is the sacred language of kabbalah, of alchemy, of numbers, of intuitive principles. Music can teach us many profound things through the emotional center, through the heart. That language can only be understood when we know the Tree of Life and the mysteries of working within a matrimony, the Holy Spirit, the divine feminine, and the divine masculine.
So, art is based on these profound principles, on the world of numbers, on the worlds of numbers relating to the Tree of Life and its symbolic language.
When we have been discussing the nature of numbers in relation to the tarot, we have been talking about how those numbers reflect principles, aspects of our psychology, of our spirituality, which we must learn to work with in its progression, in its development. Music depicts through the heart, through its emotional impact in the soul—in relation to specific dramas—what one must do in the spiritual path when facing those types of temptations and ordeals.
It is also important to remember that music is divine, or can be divine. It can elevate the soul, or if it's degenerated, it can push the ego to act, the mind to indulge in negative thoughts, negative sentiment, negative feelings.
But, classical music is the language of the higher worlds. It is literally the messages of the superior angels, the prophets, who are teaching about higher levels of being, higher ways of being.
“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
And if you remember the opening of The Magic Flute with its three notes, it refers to the Pyramids of Giza. So again, you see how numbers and notes take on conceptual dimensions. They represent things which are very practical for those who are meditating and waking consciousness in the internal worlds, so that when one has those experiences, one can listen to music and interpret the meaning of those messages.
Obviously when listening to The Magic Flute, we hear an initiation relating to Egypt, and personally I have been to Egypt in the astral plane. I have been to the temple of Giza in that dimension. When listening to Mozart's Magic Flute I hear and I see in my mind, my experience of being accepted into the temple. But in order to understand those messages, we have to awaken consciousness, otherwise, those messages and music will not be interpreted. They will not be understood.
This is why Samael Aun Weor stated for someone who is awakening consciousness:
“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 (the angels, the Elohim, the Malachim, the masters) distill the perfume of happiness and the exquisite fragrance of music and joy.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
In the temples of the higher dimensions are beings that relate to the world of music. We know from Kabbalah that Tiphereth, of which we will be explaining in depth today, is the world of music.
Beethoven, the great master of major mysteries, is a guardian of the temple of music, which Samael Aun Weor confirmed when meeting him in that initiation or related to that state that he experienced.
The great masters of humanity, the angels, the Elohim, bear within their eyes, their consciousness, the beauty of divinity, the beauty of divine music. Personally, when I have been with certain Elohim, after experiencing certain ordeals and overcoming them, I remember in one occasion, I was tested in the astral plane, given certain symbolic experiences which I had to overcome in relation to the four elements.
This reminds us of The Magic Flute in how Tamino and Pamina must, in a matrimony, face the four deals of the elements. Personally, I have had that experience whereby I was tested through the elements, in a symbolic way, and after conquering those ordeals, I was face-to-face with the angels in a living room. When looking at them, one can only see the purity in their eyes, divinity, and the exquisite serenity that they exude is truly indescribable, but one can only describe it in forms of music.
The great classical compositions show us the beauty of the soul.
We could remember the sixth symphony of Tchaikovsky, in which, before the great battle in the first movement against the dragon, of which we've spoken about in Arcanum Six [Indecision from the Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah]. One hears the melodies and harmonies of the soul united with its consciousness (or Tiphereth united with Geburah; the human soul with the divine soul).
Music, again, is a profound medium for prophetic art. It teaches that through its dramas and symbols, its emotional impact, how the path of initiation is not taught in the dead letter of certain religions, and that when people look at religion and have made it something dead, there is a means to revive it. To give it life, specifically done through the great classical composers, which is why we heard Wagner state that:
"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…” ―Richard Wagner, “An End in Paris”
…those who have awakened consciousness in the internal worlds.
“—I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art…” through having experiences in meditation and having lived it personally in the higher dimensions, “is consecrate to Her for ever, and never can deny Her…” —Richard Wagner, “An End in Paris”
…when you verify, and the examples such as The Magic Flute of Mozart, certain experiences in the astral plane, you watch those operas and you become inflamed. When we witness the same experiences depicted in symbols through music, through art, and therefore, one feels amazed and “one is consecrate to” art “forever.”
Because through “Art all men are saved." —Richard Wagner, “An End in Paris”
Divine art, opera, is a means of saving humanity or saving those who want to enter into initiation.
Personally when we went to go see Turandot at the Lyric Opera House, for those of you who are listening online, we took some of our students to go see Puccini's masterpiece in the Lyric Opera House in Chicago, and I remember that morning having certain astral experiences about what was going to happen when watching this work of art. And personally, having experienced some of the mysteries of that piece of music, truly watching that art form, really puts one into ecstasy.
It elevates the soul and when you have experience of what these masters have taught, you are consequent to her forever. Even if your ego or doubt wanted to deny the truth, you would know it and you would not be able to deny her.
Richard Wagner is a great master who depicted the entire path of initiation in his Ring Cycle of which will be giving future courses most likely.
Classical Music and the Human Machine
Talking about some of the practical dimensions of listening to music, in our Gnostic studies we emphasize that classical music elevates the five centers of the human machine, and that negative forms of music are destructive for the emotional center, especially, but also the mind and even our sexual, instinctual, and motor centers, which certain vulgar music can inspire through the ego to dance or to act in negative ways.
But the way to discern the difference between conscious music and vulgar music is through meditation—by having familiarity with superior states of being, because many of our students ask us online, but also in person, about how one can discern between conscious art and diabolic art.
In many cases, such art forms may be very similar and very hard to discern, one from the other, but the way to resolve that question is to examine your emotional center when you are listening to certain forms of art.
Does it provoke anger, resentment, pride, laziness, gluttony, avarice, greed? Negative states? Which if we are observant, we will see that those forms of art provoke those elements and therefore we can know that they are negative.
But to learn how to perceive conscious art is through meditation, and by awakening within the higher dimensions, because when you listen to works like the nine symphonies of Beethoven, and observe the reaction of the heart in a profound state of concentration and awareness, we can sense and discriminate and interpret the impact in the emotional center of that art.
This is why the ancient schools of mysteries taught that the whole science and art of the secret path had to integrate all three brains of gnostic psychology. They knew very well that people don't just learn from the intellect through lecture, through books, but through movement and through emotion. Three brains: the intellectual brain, emotional brain, and the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.
This is why Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Revolution of the Dialectic that:
“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
If we are listening to Puccini's Turandot and we are very attentive, concentrated in our three brains, meditating, waiting, listening—we observe our heart—we can hear how some notes can inspire us to have profound understanding in the intellectual brain.
I believe you mentioned asking about the difference between the intellect that is superior and the intellect that is inferior. The inferior intellect churns with thought. It projects its ideas. But understanding is the capacity of the superior intellectual center in which one understands something without having to think about it, and that applies to music. You can listen to a composition and immediately know. You can understand through the notes and its emotional impact that it conceptually represents something that you experienced and therefore that produces a profound state of religiosity in the motor center. It can inspire.
The Sufis taught to dance, to perform the whirling dervishes, and we'll talk about that in our next slide about how religiosity can inspire the motor center. How certain notes produce ecstasy, not only in the mind and heart, but in the body.
This is why certain forms of dance are very sacred.
“Indeed, the old Hierophants never ignored that integral knowledge can only be acquired through the three cerebrums. A single cerebrum cannot give complete information.
“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
Inspirations and Meditations on Classical Music
This music was formed to teach conscious principles, like we find with the Sufis—many indigenous cultures, as well as ancient civilizations like amongst the Middle East. Among the esoteric circles, they would use music in conjunction with dance to portray or embody conscious principles. To inspire the devotee to want to practice the path.
So that is really the purpose of opera. Of any classical music. It is to inspire us to work, because that music is something heavenly and divine, and when we understand and feel that intuitive impact of an opera or a piece of music, and we understand its message and shows us that this path is possible, that it could be done, one then feels inspired to meditate, to work.
Music is also an expression of consciousness and the Sufis teach that one should listen to music and gather around certain dances and works in order to inspire us to enter the path, and also to help us keep walking it.
As we stated, when listening to conscious music, one should observe one's three brains. Music becomes a very profound form of concentration or concentration exercise, in which our object of meditation, we sit, or better said, our object of concentration, we relax in a chair, on a couch, or in bed. I actually don't recommend lying down because one may fall asleep, especially when the music is very calm and soothing. Instead we sit in a chair and we give our full attention, with eyes closed, to the music, to the composition.
The principle applies even to opera, but it's a little different because with opera, you need to have your eyes open. Which is why watching opera is much more demanding in terms of meditation, because with classical music you can sit, close your eyes in a chair, listen to the composition, be aware of its influence in the three brains—how the notes produce inspiration in the heart, concepts in the mind, or intuitive understandings in the mind, and religiosity in the motor center, humbleness, humility.
That is easier to do than watching an opera because when you watch an opera, you need to know who is saying what, what the characters are doing. Therefore, that type of meditation is much more difficult, which is why opera really was not intended for the masses—although people like Verdi, Wagner, Mozart, Beethoven, and others composed to earn money. In a superficial sense they had to live. But their real purpose in giving that art was to reach the few.
So people who were very trained in meditation would watch their operas, who were initiates. They would understand the meaning just by listening to the music and observing, because they had trained themselves in concentration for so long where they can listen to the music and not forget what they are doing.
Sufi Teachings on Spiritual Concerts
The Sufis teach these principles very beautifully which apply not only just to Middle Eastern dance and music, but also to opera. The Sufis taught that when one listens to such works of art, one should act like one is in a temple. That one is in the presence of the divine, because one truly is listening to Christ, to God, when one hears the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven.
As we stated in our lecture on our Arcanum Nine, literally we hear the verb, the voice of the divine Elohim, singing in unison. It is a representation of Christ. So, when we listen to music like that or watch operas, we have to be very attentive, in a state of humility, in prayer, because those works of art were not given haphazardly, but intentionally to teach specific truths.
So “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, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
The Sufis emphasized that when one listens to music one should do so in accordance with the Divine Law, which they call Sharia, not to be mistaken with the punitive laws of Muslim countries, but to the spiritual discipline of the initiates in the Middle East. Ethical work.
So, music should not inspire us to identify with pride or lust or anger or fear or degeneration. That is something we can only determine by listening and being awake and following our intuition. That music is permissible when it does not inspire the ego. It does not inspire our desires. That is only something we can discern through constant work and tasting the psychological flavor of higher states in comparison with lower states. It is like comparing water and wine. It is a distinct taste, but we have to learn to meditate to discriminate the difference.
“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.” —Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
The Sufis have often argued with the orthodoxy that poetry and music are divine expressions, such as with the Qur’an, which can be read in a very melodic and beautiful way and that Prophet Muhammad did not find those forms of recitation to be illicit, negative. This is something that has pertained to the Sufi schools and their fight for survival against the Muslim orthodoxy, because many Muslims think that poetry and music are not positive. But the truth is that according to the Sufis, music is something divine.
“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, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So while this pertains to listening to the Qur’an, one should feel inspired to listen to that scripture, but likewise with classical music, an opera. When we listen to such art, we should really feel motivated and inspired, which is not very difficult to do when we are approaching certain operas or music for the first time as some of us experienced with the opera Turandot at the Lyric Opera House.
“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, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So this principle applies to meditating on classical music.
“He should remember the degrees that God Most High has prepared for his servants who fear Him.” —Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Meaning, when we have respect and reverence for divinity, we listen to the music and we hear the power of the divine. Such as with Mozart's compositions, his Requiem. Especially Verdi's Requiem, in which we hear the severity of the law falling upon and punishing the souls of the damned. When we hear that music, we feel fear and reverence in recognition that we do not want to enter that fate. Likewise, when we listen to music and see operas:
“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, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Like with Parsifal, in which we find the hero is confronted in the garden of temptation by Kundry, Kundabuffer, the inverted serpent. Listening to the sublime music of Wagner's composition, we remember in our own experiences certain temptations in the astral plane, in which witches and sorcerers try to tempt one to fall from the path. One is tempted to engage in lust in that state when one renounces that like Parsifal does. One should fear and feel inspired to reject sins as required by religion, as preferred in the divine law, which is chastity.
The great Arcanum is the divine law, which the Muslims call Sharia, or the Sufis called Sharia, because the public orthodox Muslim doctrine does not know the spiritual dimension of these things. But instead, the divine law has to do with the great Arcanum, the stipulations of chastity.
“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, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So look at all the opera house today. Millions of individuals go see the opera, but it's vulgar for them because they are egotistical. They don't understand how to meditate. They don't know how to discern the conscious qualities of that, of that work of art. Therefore it is really forbidden because amongst the Sufis, they were very strict. They felt that their dances should not be given to people who are fornicators.
But because we live in a different era now, this knowledge is more open and therefore the spiritual concert is open to all. It is why Mozart, Puccini, Wagner, Beethoven, the latter who only composed one opera, Fidelio, they gave that opera and those art forms because they wanted to give the teachings for a future people. For people who have understanding.
But “spiritual concerts are forbidden to ordinary people because of the continued maintenance of their egos. It is permissible for renunciants, people who renounce lust, desire, fornication, and the ego, because of their pursuit of inner struggle.
“It is permissible for renunciates (people who renounce lust, desire, fornication, and the ego” because of their pursuit of inner struggle.” —Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
And how is this acceptable for renunciants? It is enough to look at an opera like Puccini's Turandot to see the path of renunciation there, especially in the first act in which Prince Calaf is going to ring the gong that is going to put him on trial for the three riddles—to answer before Devi Kundalini, the Divine Mother. Everyone goes against him. They strive to put him away from the path, but he fights very adamantly and very courageously, because he is renouncing evil, the infernal worlds. We will be talking about the dynamics of that opera in our next lecture.
Lastly, classical music or spiritual concert “is recommended for our companions,” for the initiates, for the masters, “for the sake of the life of their hearts.” —Al-Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
So going back to what we Richard Wagner taught, he stated that when one understands divine art, one is consecrate to her forever and cannot deny her.
Kabbalah: The Tree of Life and Classical Music
So where does music originate from, kabbalistically?
We talked about how the universe is emerged from the Absolute: the Ain, the Ain Soph, the Ain Soph Aur, descending down the different levels of materiality, energy, perception, and experience.
Music is Christ, the Word, the Logos.
“In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” —John 1:1
Christ is an energy. It is vibration. It is sound. It is harmony. It is the force that creates, that originates, that gives life.
Therefore, classical music as composed by the great masters of Tiphereth, those who reach the Fifth Initiation of Fire, are those who learn how to incarnate the Christ, the Word, through their heart, since Tiphereth relates to the heart.
They express the divine teachings down through Netzach, the mind, Hod, the emotional vehicle, Yesod, our vitality, and Malkuth, our physicality.
I like to read for you some quotations from a book called Christ's Will by Samael Aun Weor, who explains the nature of kabbalah, of music, of sound, of Christ, very synthetically and beautifully.
He emphasizes that the will of Christ is music, is art, because Christ is harmony, is beauty, is purity, which, can either reflect in music or in the heart of those initiates who know how to experience the truth.
16. Christ's will is ineffable music.
17. The world of willpower is the world of music...
18. Music grants to willpower the ineffable harmony of the Gods.
19. Music and willpower form a marriage of love, impossible to describe with human words.
20. Music grants willpower the quality of conjunct beauty... —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
And why is that? Music is Christ. The Divine Logos. The Verb. As we find in the Beethoven's Ninth Dymphony, relating to the nine heavens of the Tree of Life and also Kether, the Crown of Glory, which anoints or crowns any initiate who has fully reached the end of the path. Willpower is Tiphereth, the human soul, which must learn to conquer the disharmony of the mind, Netzach, the mind, Hod, the emotions, Yesod, our sexuality and instincts and Malkuth, our physical body.
So music, Chokmah, Christ, the world of sound, gives beauty to Tiphereth, because we find that the trinity finds its equilibrium within the heart, within Tiphereth.
21. Music grants willpower the harmony of the great cosmic diapason. —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
Or the great marching symphony of the cosmos, because as we heard in the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, the Ode to Joy:
“Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.”
The music is a march, is a symphony, in which all the Angels march towards the ineffable light of Christ, of the Absolute, the Ain Soph Aur, the “limitless light.” So those lyrics literally mean:
“Joy, beautiful spark of the Gods,
Daughter of Elysium (Empyrion: the ninth heaven, Kether).
We enter brought by fire (from Yesod, our foundation).
Himmlische dein Heiligtum! (Heavenly Thy sanctuary…)
…which is heilig, holy, Tum. We have done the mantra Tum previously, in which we invoke the crown, Kether, Chokmah, the Son, and Binah, the Holy Spirit, into our three brains. The mantra Tum is a profound mantra of ineffable power in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, enter inside of us.
“Heiligtum” means sanctuary. So, to return to that holy sanctuary is to return to the top trinity of the Tree of Life.
“Your magic reunites those whom stern custom has parted (Deine Zauber binden wieder. Was die Mode streng geteilt).”
Your magic reunites those whom the custom of the ego has separated, has pulled apart, because the ego is disharmony, is dissonance, is conflict.
“All men should become brothers under your gentle wing,” within the Absolute.
So that is the great cosmic march. diapason. The great symphony of the initiates in which one returns the light of divine truth.
So willpower relates to that principle, because it is through our will that we will decide to enter the harmonies above or the dissonance of the infernal worlds below, beneath the Tree of Life, which is Klipoth, the hell realms.
22. The volitive acts of music are as harmonious and solemn as the movement of the stars in the space... —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
...which again is something that Beethoven depicted.
23. As long as the fifth degree of the power of the fire has not entered the third spinal chamber of the body of willpower, volitive acts will not be in accord with the vibrant harmonies of the solemn cosmic symphonies. —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
So only by raising the fire of Kundalini up the lower bodies, the first initiation of fire, relating to Malkuth. The second initiation of fire related with Yesod. The third initiation fire relating to Hod. The fourth initiation of fire with Netzach and with Tiphereth, one must raise the serpent power of Kundalini in order to create the causal vehicle. To raise it up the spine, to the mind, then into the heart.
So only when that power has reached the third spinal chamber of the body of willpower, will our willpower, our actions, will be in accord with the vibrant symphonies of the divine.
24. When willpower is distant from music, it is coarse and rude, like the caress of a feline beast... —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
What does it mean that willpower is distant from music? Because when we act from anger, from resentment, from pride, we create music, but in hell. Through disharmony, through hatred, through fear, through our interactions with humanity.
25. However, once the Sacred Fire has entered the third spinal chamber of the body of willpower, volitive actions are true living symphonies... —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
Our actions become divine, and this explains why certain composers like Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Beethoven, they depicted so much in their art. People don't comprehend how they had the capacity to express so much. That is because people in Malkuth, do not know anything about spiritual development, but when someone raises the fire of Kundalini, one can awaken capacities of genius, of intelligence, Binah in kabbalah.
So conscious acts are represented by the works of the great initiates, the prophets. Beethoven is a prophet. I don't really consider him to be a musician because he really taught in his art how to unite with Christ. The same with Wagner, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Bach, and many others.
26. Christ's will has the majesty of the tempest and the love of the dawning star...
27. Music grants unto willpower that eurythmy of Apollo and that beauty of Venus de Milo...
28. The willpower of music is the phallus of the Gods...
29. The Masters of music are columns of the temple of the living God...
30. Music generates actions as perfect as the harmonies of the cosmic diapason.
31. The entire universe is the temple of music...
32. Arthur Shopenhauer, in his book entitled, "The World as Will and Representation," conceived Nature as a representation of willpower.
33. Nonetheless, he forgot that willpower is music... —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
And why is willpower music? Tiphereth is the causal world. We have Malkuth, the physical plane, the physical world. Yesod, the etheric world. Hod, the astral, emotional world. Netzach, the mental world. And Tiphereth, the causal plane.
I remember having an experience in Tiphereth after overcoming an ordeal in the astral plane in which Samael Aun Weor took me and let me experience a little vacation in Tiphereth, in which in that experience one sees the trees, the waves of the water, the wind as cause-and-effect, rippling in beautiful harmony, in perfection. I saw there many masters in their tunics of initiation who were welcoming me at that level saying, “This is what is possible for you if you work.”
So that world is a world of causality, cause and effect, in which you see how the rippling of the tides, the wind, the air, of people's speech, people's communication, of one's interactions, is of divine love, of purity.
So, the world of will is a world of music.
There is a temple of music in the world of Nirvana, the sixth dimension, the fifth sephirah of the Tree of Life [from the bottom up].
34. Every living flower, the sigh of every bird, and the love hidden within the bosom of the earth, are living incarnations of music...
35. Everything in nature has a key note, and the set of all those notes constitutes that magnificent tone of the Great Mother, which resounds in the ardent space with the Chinese Kung...
36. When Joshua blew the trumpet, the walls of Jericho collapsed, because he sounded the key note of those unconquered walls...
37. A soft word calms wrath, and discordant words break the harmony of the cosmic diapason, and generate disorder... —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
So this asks us to beg the question: what is our psychological state? Do our actions produce harmony, happiness, or suffering?
The comprehension, the beauty, and the harmony of the soul is represented in opera. Especially composed by the great masters. Not modern opera, but those composed by initiates.
Samael Aun Weor continues:
38. The ineffable orchestras of the zodiacal belt resound in the world of willpower, lifting us toward the most sublime summits of samadhi.
39. The great rhythms of fire produce the dances of the stars within the incommensurable spaces.
40. The will of music sustains the flux and reflux of life, and moves the pendulum of the infinite existences throughout the Mahamanvantara. —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
So harkening back to the beginning of our lecture, we spoke extensively about the cosmic days and the root races and the subraces. That is because when the universe forms from the absolute, it is because of music. It is because:
41. The Word is incarnated within the heart of every lotus, and in the throb of every life.
42. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
So remember what Wagner said about his belief in the illumined men, the initiates, those who have incarnated Christ and who teach the path of Christ and their art as bodhisattvas, as prophets.
42. “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
So look at the operas that our humanity has. The light shines in the darkness, but people don't understand the messages they contain.
42. “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” (That John is broken down acrostically is Johannes. I E O U A M S: the seven vowels, which we pronounce with our sacred runes, the runic exercises, the verb).
So in order to understand Christ, we have to work with those mantras, the seven notes of the musical scale.
42. “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.”
Or better said, follow him from having understood from experience what those teachings entail.
42. “He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him…”
Referring to those cosmic rounds we spoke about—the Saturnian, the Solar, the Lunar, and the Terrestrial periods.
42. “…and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him (through kabel, kabbalah, through listening to the great operas of music, and listening to what those symphonies entail, that art) to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name [Hashem, the Verb]: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh (through initiation), and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." – John 1:1-14
So Samael Aun Weor continues:
43. Music is will of God...
44. Music is Christ's will.
45. Classical music generates universes, and sustains suns during the great cosmic day...
46. One becomes enraptured when listening to compositions like the nine symphonies of Beethoven...
47. One becomes ecstatically overwhelmed amidst the notes of Mozart, Chopin, and Liszt...
48. Every upright action is music of light...
49. Every wrong action is fatal music.
50. Negative music like mambo, guaracha, porro, cumbia, etc., is infernal music from the abyss that only originates fornications, adulteries, hatreds, gormandize, drunkennesses, crimes, etc. —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
Now other forms of music like rock and roll, rap, many that we can list that are degenerate. They provoke the ego to act, which is why the Sufis taught that we should only listen to music that is accordance with the divine law, with Christ.
51. We prove with this that willpower is music, and that every action is a daughter of music.
52. War marches inflame the will of men and take them to violence.
53. Funeral marches fill the eyes with tears and produce confusion of faces and bitterness.
54. Human words are articulated music, sometimes sweet and calm like inneffable melodies, sometimes satanic and discordant like infernal notes...
55. The articulated word is a terrible weapon, as much for good as for evil.
56. When humanity had not yet left Eden, it only uttered the word of the light, which as a golden river sweetly slid through the thick, sunny jungle.
57. Within the ineffable profundity of music, all of nature utters that ineffable tongue of the Gods.
58. The tongue of the Gods is sacred music.
59. This divine tongue has its sacred alphabet, and to that sacred alphabet belong the divine runes (read Igneous Rose and Magic of the Runes).
60. The creative larynx is the sexual organ of Christ's will.
61. The word of the Gods places the worlds into existence.
62. The word of the Gods is Christ's will. —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
Therefore we can say that opera, as the manifestation of the spoken verb, drama, and music, is the perfect amalgamation and alchemy of Christ. Opera is divine. It is the synthesis of all the previous eras of art and music. It is the most refined. The most synthetic.
Now we cannot say that modern classical music portrays the higher principles of the divine, even though such compositions can be very mathematical, but they tend to be very cold, dissonant, and discordant.
Classical music in a modern times tends to be from the ego, and as we stated, the Age of Pisces ended quite a while ago, but at the same time, the White Lodge had determined that humanity does not need any more works of art, of that nature. There may be some people in these times who are Gnostic and who are working on music, which is wonderful. I know a few people who are trying to do some Aquarian music. But in terms of the great prophetic works of art like opera, the time has ended, because the Aryan Race is going to be concluded soon.
73. The golden tongue resounds in all creation.
74. The golden tongue is Christ's will.
75. Now, rejoice, oh Buddha, because you have entered into the temple of music... —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
…as he states in his book Christ's Will. He is talking to the initiates who have achieved the Fourth Initiation of Fire, who were entering into Tiphereth. By raising the sacred fire of Kundalini up that spine of the essence in the world of beauty, of Tiphereth.
A person who reaches the fourth initiation of fire becomes a buddha, a master that level, but is a neophyte when entering into this dimension.
76. With patience, study the divine art of music.
77. From this moment, the professor of this sacred college (within the world of Tiphereth, Nirvana) will teach music-will to you. —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
So if you really want to learn music and its significance, we should awaken consciousness in Nirvana, the sixth dimension, the world of Tiphereth, because when you are in that dimension, you see literally cause and effect of all phenomena: thoughts, actions, movements, people, things. Everything is in a great flux and reflux of life, cosmic movement.
And so those colleges of initiation in that level will teach you how to work with music, which is how Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, learned.
They physically received training in this world to become composers, but their real training consisted in meditation and learning in the higher dimensions, which explains why someone like Beethoven, who went completely deaf, I believe before composing his Ninth Symphony and the Missa Solemnis, he was able to compose his art, even though he physically couldn't hear anything.
So people don't have explanations other than he was a genius, and yes, he was, but we know that he was a prophet, because he was awakened in those dimensions.
78. Music-will is Christ's will.
79. Christ's will is the Word...
80. Christ's will is music.
81. Christ was the incarnation of the Word.
82. And the Word was made flesh (made manifest within the great works of art, the initiates), and dwelt among us (in our opera houses we can say).
83. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Will
Meaning: those prophets teach through Turandot, through Tosca, through the Ring Cycle, through The Damnation of Faust, through Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito, and many works of art of initiation, and yet people do not understand the art.
84. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. —Samael Aun Weor, Christ’s Wil
So we are discussing Christ-will, in the Verb. You see these Elohim are greeting the Sun, Chokmah, within the arms of the Divine Mother, and they are playing celestial music, which emphasizes again how when we work with sacred art, and we listen to sacred art especially, that that music can inspire us to form Christ within our hearts, within our souls, within our minds, in order to become like Elohim.
Conclusion of The Perfect Matrimony
We will conclude with an excerpt from the Perfect Matrimony, which provides a very beautiful experience by Samael Aun Weor, about an opera he saw in the fourth dimension.
He concluded The Perfect Matrimony by relating experience he had by going into a Rosicrucian temple in the Jinn state, the fourth dimension, where he watched an opera composed by an angel or performed by one of the Elohim, one of the Gods.
So as we stated, opera is the royal art of consciousness. It is a means of effectively communicating initiation and the path of the present development of our humanity, but also the past epics our humanity developed in.
Samael Aun Weor was in this temple, which was only populated by very few people. He said he could count on the fingers of one hand how many people deserved and had come present to this performance. So, this is in the fourth dimension, where he listened to an opera sung by an angel, a God.
So “…the master commanded the Angel to go up to the choir of musicians and singers in order to sing. The Angel obeyed, and after having ascended to the choir, he sang the history of the centuries in opera.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So this experience tells us that opera truly is a divine art and also that opera teaches us the ancient histories of humanity.
“The Angel, from the doctrinal point of view, placed himself mentally in the time of the future Fifth Round of planetary evolution.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So right now we are in the fourth round, the terrestrial epoch, and here in the opera that he was seeing in the higher dimensions, he was depicting the future fifth round that is going to take place in the etheric world.
“In that future age, the physical-chemical Earth will already be nothing more than a cadaver, a new moon. Then all the evolving life will develop within the ethereal plane or ethereal region of our Earth. The seven Root Races of flesh and bone will no longer exist. These races will have become extinct.
“The Angel sang with a voice so ineffable and sweet that it resembled The Magic Flute of Mozart. My whole being went into ecstasy. To hear an Angel sing is something that you can never forget in your life.
“The Angel, situated mentally in the future Earth of the Fifth Round, narrated in opera the history of terrestrial evolution. He mentioned all the prophets that have been sent to the Earth. With a melodious voice he narrated the history of the seven Root Races of the world, the apocalypse of the present Fifth Root Race, the continents that existed in the past and their general destruction, the great cataclysms of the Earth, the great wars, the superhuman efforts that had been made by the great Avatars to save humanity, the crucifixion of the Martyr of Golgotha, etc. Subsequently, he lamented with pain the few that had been saved. Only a few had managed to be born as Angels. The rest, the great majority of human beings, were swallowed up by the Abyss. Thus, from the billions of Souls that entered evolution and devolution on the planet Earth, only a handful of creatures were fit for the angelic state. ‘For many are called, but few are chosen.’
“When the Angel reached this part of his ineffable opera, I felt profoundly moved and amazed. Frankly, I had believed that the case of only a few being saved and the great majority being lost only applied to Earth, and in the past Mahamanvantara to the Earth-Moon… (which is the Lunar Period).” —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Because, in the Lunar Period, the Selenites, the inhabitants of Selene where Samael Aun Weor was teaching, even at that time, had degenerated and entered the path of black magic. Billions of souls in that planet became demons and the demons that we have now in our planet Earth, who are the heads of the black lodge, came from that epoch. Samael Aun Weor was even crucified in that world before, when he was giving his doctrine.
So he thought that the Earth-Moon, which reincarnated into the planet Earth, the life of that planet, carrying the karma of that ancient histories with it, somehow was something distinct, and that the other planets of other humanities did not experience or witness this great tragedy, of billions of souls being lost in the abyss.
“I believed that in the rest of the worlds things were different. The Angel pointed out this error when he said, ‘And this that has happened on Earth will always be repeated on all the worlds of the infinite space.’ When the Angel finished his ineffable song I understood why so many people had attended my meetings, and why, from the many who began, only a few remained with me. Now I am willing to continue with the few. I am no longer interested in having a room full of people. Indeed, many are they who begin, but few are those who arrive.” —Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So that experience with an opera explains for us the fact that humanity has reached its peak, or the Aryan Race has reached its end. Because no more art is being given, on a grand scale, as we found within Europe. Because humanity has received the knowledge within music, within art, but doesn't want it. It doesn't understand it, and it is now our duty in these lectures and courses to explain some of the operas, which we will be seeing not only at Lyric Opera house, but also viewing together.
It is important to remember that with opera, we are concluding this humanity by teaching the secret knowledge in a very explicit way. So, we are going to explain many operas and works of art from the kabbalistic and alchemical traditions, so that those few who want to learn the path itself and to practice it can do so.
Questions and Answers
Question: What about modern composers who compose Beethoven or Mozart? Is that considered a medium...?
Instructor: Yes, because someone could be a medium of Christ without knowing it [Editor’s Note: a “vehicle,” not a spiritualist or a practitioner of mediumship / channeling], and you know you have people like Pavarotti and many singers who are very talented and they are not initiates, but their skill is so profound and so dharmic.
Question: What about, Pink Floyd, if there are certain songs that you feel moved? Is it all or any song that is not classical or opera is considered negative?
Instructor: I know a lot about Pink Floyd. I mean I've listened, I grew up on Pink Floyd, too. That kind of music, you know, there are certain things which can be very negative. But then there's some that it's kind of in limbo, necessarily. Not so deep down, but still it may be beautiful. But it still belongs to Klipoth, not necessarily at the deepest degree, like you find with like death metal and black metal and all sorts of other evil things, that are gangster rap, or things that are very destructive.
Question: What about Gnostic art?
Instructor: I know this is a good question because I know some of our listeners and some of our students have asked us and wanted to pursue the creation of Gnostic art and rap, which personally, I'm actually a musician myself. I played piano for about ten years and I have certain compositions that I have been inspired to do, but personally, I don't have the time or the means, because I'm teaching these lectures. So, I found that my most effective means of helping humanity is explaining art that's already been done.
But people who want to pursue art, it's their business. Personally, I am a composer and, in a very amateurish degree, minor degree, I have music in my mind that I hear that I have heard in my meditations that are divine, but for me to articulate that, it would have to be an entirely different work that would take me away from teaching these lectures.
Question: Does one need to listen to the opera in full or only specific songs?
Instructor: The best effect is when you have watched it. When you have seen a performance. You have read the lyrics, you know what they are singing. Personally, I have listened to Turandot so much and I've seen the opera so many times that when I listen to the lyrics, I know certain words and lyrics, like with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony too, which is why I could relate to you the lyrics from that Ninth Symphony, because I have listened to it so much and I know the lyrics. So, I can just cut to the chase if I wanted to listen to certain parts, because I already know the meaning of it.
Question: Would you consider church music the same or close to classical music?
Instructor: It can inspire a lot of religiosity for sure. I mean, I have been to churches where, even though not Gnostic, you hear certain songs which have very ancient roots, which are beautiful. They can inspire you, which is why many people go to those churches because they hear the music and it inspires them. There are certain roots of divinity that try to teach them that way, you know, even using people who don't know any better.
But you know, the result is a little muddled, because as I said, people have listened to the operas of the masters. "The light shineth in the darkness." But people don't comprehend the light, because we need instructors and people to teach explicitly what the kabbalistic and alchemical teachings of all that work of art symbolize.
Question: The last things I have heard is that because they changed the hertz, the frequency....
Instructor: I have heard that too, and I know that Samael Aun Weor stated explicitly that, as I mentioned in this lecture, that certain music, the vibration affects the human machine very negatively—especially mechanical music, synthesizers, electronica. If you observe your five centers and you listen to that music, after having acculturated your body and mind to listening to opera and classical music, you find that there's a disconnect. It is very discordant.
The Master Samael explains that initiates feel great love for the classical composers and feel great repulsion or revulsion towards the music of vulgar people, because that kind of music you taste and you know exactly what the egotistical messages behind it. It doesn't inspire anything decent, because if you meditate for a long time, and some people who listen to classical music in our studies for the first time, don't like it. It is because they are not accustomed to it. So, people who are not accustomed to that kind of music, you mean obviously, we gravitate towards what our level of being is. If your level of being is high, you feel only attraction towards music like Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, his ballets, or other very beautiful music. But if we're very inferior in our states, we might listen to rock and roll or death metal or whatever.
Sadly, I know a lot of people in our movement, instructors who teach this knowledge, but they still like a lot of forms of degenerate music like metal. I remember one instructor was teaching in a certain place and he mentioned that he liked old metal music, which is stuff that I grew up on that now when I hear it, I cringe. I can't stand it, because the music is so degenerate, and you listen to it and you feel that it is bringing your level of being down.
Question: What about more like Crosby, Stills and Nash?
Instructor: My father enjoys that music and he showed me a lot. That stuff is not that degenerate. Some music is very superficial like if you look at the nine inverted spheres of Klipoth, some music is very beautiful. But it is still egotistical, we could say. It is in the first sphere of hell, which is known as limbo.
Some music is really down there, which certain bands, like black metal and not just black metal, but you know extreme forms of death metal, like Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse and things like that. I have known these bands and I know what their music preaches, where they talk about things that are very black. They are speaking in Aramaic and all these languages or Babylonian or whatever, and they are trying to invoke Klipoth. It is intentional. That is why these bands have inverted pentagrams, which of course for our listeners, represents the inverted man, the fallen man.
Question: On a side note, there are also all these microbreweries that are using satanic, or esoteric symbolism. I grew up on rock and rebelling against the system, so we listened to rock like Pink Floyd.
Instructor: Yeah, and sadly a lot of people in our movement don't understand that difference because they feel that, "Well this music is rebelling against the government and you know, all these political affiliations," but we emphasize in our teachings that music should elevate the soul. You should feel that your level of religiosity, your inspiration, your meditation should be lifted when you listen to music. So that's why, you know, personally I tend to be very strict. If I hear something on the radio I don't like, I avoid it.
Those listeners who are from Chicago, we listen to WFMT 98.7, which is a classical music station, and even the many things they play are very bad, because it is very modernized and very degenerate. But you can pick a good things out from them, and personally I use an iPad or iPod.
Question: I listen to Sirius Radio and I have listened to the modern songs and I just don't resonate with them.
Instructor: So the thing is our level of being attracts our life, and if we listen to music, and basically music is a type of food, and this is why the Muslim state, like in the quote amongst the Sufis that "we should only consume what is licit."
They often speak in their tradition about Halal, eating only what has been blessed or what is holy, which is similar to the Hebrew Kosher. People not only eat with food, but eat impressions, because Samael Aun Weor emphasized that one needs water for the body, air for the body, we have our food for our physical vehicle, but our mind also is nourished. Our consciousness is also nourished with impressions, which is why he also stated that if you want to have experiences in the higher dimensions, acculturate yourself to listen to classical music, because that will literally raise your level of being.
I know one missionary told me he was listening to Beethoven's symphonies and fell asleep. He had a tremendous samadhi where he left his physical body and entered the higher dimensions because he was so concentrated on the music when he fell asleep, that he awakened his consciousness. So, art can help us in that endeavor, because it gives us impressions that nourish our consciousness.
Question: Isn't it easier to surround yourself with good things rather than trying so hard to do this or do that?
Instructor: Which is why our home should be like a temple. Personally, my car is like my home because I drive so much, and I always play positive music. I listen to operas, I listen to classical compositions. Things I am really familiar with, readily, because when I listen to lyrics, I am able to hear certain things. When I really listen to a certain pieces, again and again, there are certain understandings that can kind of deepen, especially when you are studying a certain work of art.
[Editor's Endnote: If you are interesting in learning more about the principles of gnostic art, study Fundamentals of Gnostic Art].
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Gnostic Psychology, a course originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
There are many forms of intelligence. It is an inherent aspect of any living thing, down from the smallest microbe, to the atom, to any living thing: animals, plants, human beings.
Unfortunately in this humanity, people like to assume and believe that the human being as we are now is the height of intelligence, the height of wisdom. While certainly we have many advancements in technology, many marvels, the reality is that we continue to suffer and to be afflicted by many problems that our greatest scientists, philosophers, teachers, cannot provide for.
All religions have taught in their heart that there is the possibility for something more and that that development is internal. We have the potential to become something beyond comprehension at this level, of what a human being can be. Our humanity has received many messengers, many prophets, whether we call them angels, buddhas, masters, Gods: people who were once like us, and yet learned to change themselves, to comprehend their own inner conditioning, so that by transforming their negativity, they became what we emulate: Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, the great prophets—those who exemplified the highest ideals possible in a human being, compassion that is selfless, unrelenting, divine.
When Jesus was crucified, he only said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." He didn't have any malice in him, because all those defects were destroyed in him through a long process of meditation, of purification, of practice.
So contrary to popular belief, a figure like Jesus or Buddha was once like us, afflicted. And yet, they learned by developing their intelligence, their understanding, how to become great beings, great messengers. We can become like them. It is possible to overcome suffering on a grand scale within ourselves.
And all those teachers emphasize that this path is meditation, because it is an introspection, a method of looking, of gaining information, of developing our own understanding of who we are and not assuming that we know.
Oftentimes we say that we know a person. We mention their manners, their words, their language, their behaviors. How often in our lives have we known someone who we assume to be a certain image and yet in the next moment we learn of a great tragedy, a terrible action? We can look at the news to see people like this. Individuals who seem like great saints and then the next moment it's unveiled that they were into very degenerated behaviors, which is contrary to that popular image that people had.
While this is very common in our society, on a more psychological level we do this with ourselves: our own self-image, who we assume to be, what we like to project to the world, to present to others, to show. We like to think that we know who we are: our language, our name, our culture, the food we eat, the people we associate with, the music we listen to, the friends we have.
But, those things are temporary. They are not eternal. They are not our true divine nature. Divinity is not a person, an anthropomorphic figure in the clouds that sits on a throne of tyranny, dispensing lightning bolts to a poor humanity, like an ant hill. That anthropomorphic figure does not exist, which is why even Friedrich Nietzsche, the author of Thus Spoke Zarathustra said "God is dead," because that image does not exist.
Instead, what exists is a type of intelligence which is beyond good and evil, which is terribly divine and sacred. And of course, it is beyond our conceptions of what is good or bad, but is our true nature, our divine being, which is a state of consciousness, a state perception, a state of intelligence.
But in order to understand what that is, we have to learn to strip away that which is superfluous, which we think is us: our sentiments, our sense of pride, our fears, our anger, our laziness, gluttony, greed, lust, passion—these things that we like to assume is us, who we are, but which at the heart of every religion teaches that it is negative, because those elements produce suffering.
When we say something negative to someone with anger, we produce pain. That is not our divine nature and it is not our true nature, because a certain condition brought up that sense of self, in which we said something negative, and it created a lot of problems. But unfortunately, we like to hold onto a sense of image of ourselves. What we think we are. What we want other people to believe that we are. Many times we fight and even kill, or people even kill in the name of this sense of self that is so hurt. When one has betrayed. When one is slandered. When one is gossiped about. When one is lied to.
It is sad, because even people who are filled with great defects have the potential to become something great, but in order to do so, they must use their genuine intelligence, their understanding of what divinity is. To learn to discriminate within the mind that which is positive from that which is negative. That which produces happiness for oneself and others, or pain.
Everyone wants happiness, but not all people are willing to work on their own methods of how to acquire it, because everyone wants to enjoy life, not to suffer, to not be in pain. Yet, our behaviors in many cases are the very means by which we suffer, though we don't see it.
In a spiritual sense, we are not very awake, aware of our full potential, because if we knew divinity in us, moment by moment, without thinking of other things, without being distracted by life, naturally, in any moments of great crisis, when presented with great traumas, sufferings, which affect us, we then learn to engage in life with intelligence, understanding—knowing how to negotiate our spiritual nature with this chaotic world, which does not know any order, which is falling apart.
So real intelligence is divinity. It is spiritual, and in this lecture we will talk about how to develop that potential in us, how to change and how to make others happy, but not in the Hallmark sense. If we sacrifice our own needs, there is a type of negotiation there. How do we help other people without compromising our spiritual nature? Not ego nature, not pride, laziness, fear, defects, those things need to be eliminated so that our true potential can emerge spontaneously in a beautiful way. In a profound way.
Our True Nature and the Four Noble Truths
So our consciousness is in a potential state. It is not very active. Although in this level, we have a certain amount of intelligence and understanding, but that is not the full gamut of what we can become. We can become like a Jesus, a Buddha.
The word Buddha simply means “awakened one,” to be aware, to be attentive. From the prefix budh, which means “cognition,” which can mean intelligence. That is the type of intelligence that knows how to respond to any circumstance without identifying, without provoking the anger of others, or achieving this retaliation of an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. It is a compassionate state that can cut through illusion, through ignorance, and in that way help others, but also help oneself.
On a basic level we say that we are awake. We understand, we learn, we speak, we communicate, we interact with the world; but most people do not ever question the manner and method by which one does so, or even think that it is possible to change one's psychological states in relation to problems, ordeals, the sufferings of existence.
Fortunately, there have been teachers who have taught a method and means by which to understand the process, the path. That path is beautifully taught by many messengers, such as the Buddha, who explained that through understanding Four Noble Truths, one can reach the cessation of suffering and the complete development of the human being.
Other teachers knew the Four Noble Truths, whether from other religions, but the Buddha emphasized these four truths in a very didactic way, in a very profound way.
He said that in life there is suffering, which is from the word dukkha. That word can mean many things—displeasure, dissatisfaction, sorrow, pain. It could also mean disgust, and this is a very interesting term because for someone to really understand meditation, and to really access the divine, one needs to be very tired of suffering—to not want to suffer anymore, to reach that rock bottom when one realizes that if one does not change, then one will enter even greater states of suffering.
But it is a type of realization, a type of displeasure with the facts of life—to want to question, "Is there more? Is there something else in this life that will produce happiness rather than a job, marriage, money, bank accounts?” Things that in the end will leave us. But, where will our consciousness go?
Unfortunately for most people, they don't know or we don't know because we haven't awakened our perception. Most people have not. If you are familiar with teachings of astral projection, lucid dreams, out of body experiences, there have been people who by accident, have awakened consciousness in a state in which they were out of the body, physically.
When the physical body goes to sleep, the soul goes out and usually projects its dreams within the screen of that dimension, which we'll talk about in relation to the Kabbalah, the Jewish mysticism, the Tree of Life. For most of us, we go into that state every night when we go to sleep, but not aware. We may have some dreams, we project things, and then we wake up in the morning, possibly remembering some kind of event that one experienced and was very unclear. Usually very vague.
But, when we learn meditation, we can learn to be awake in that dream state and no longer be dreaming, but become aware of that world, which is a whole other way of being. We have many methods you can use to experience that, and in that way we realize that there is something more to life than just going through our grind.
But, when we learn to remove the causes of suffering in us, we awaken consciousness. Most people are not aware of what those causes are, which we explained in our courses of gnostic psychology. The word gnosis in Greek means “knowledge, experiential knowledge.” That which we know for fact. What we perceive from experience, like a lucid dream or astral projection. These things are very real for those who awaken their perception, who learn to meditate. Those kinds of experiences can help to inspire us, to want to know more, to want to change; and in this tradition we study practices to develop that potential, that intelligence, that wisdom.
Samudaya: The Internal Causes of Suffering
So suffering has causes: samudaya. This is where many people become hung up. The causes of suffering are internal. It is the hypnosis of the soul that we commonly experience, where we usually like to blame external life, the external world for our suffering. Material needs, food, clothing, shelter, struggles at jobs, marriage difficulties. We usually just like to project our dreams onto the external world, not realizing that we are not very conscious, we are not very awake, because somebody who is awake will not respond with anger to one's loved ones, in a spiritual sense.
The causes of suffering are psychological, are conditions of mind, negative states that we created. But of course, it takes tremendous courage to want to recognize that in ourselves. That we are responsible for the pains we go through. That our psychological state attracts our life. This is what happens to us in many cases, not all.
But those causes of suffering we call ego. The word ego in Latin means "I." The sense of “me, myself, who I am; my job, my race, my language, my habits, my friends.” The way that we feel about ourselves, which is usually very egotistical, selfish, negative.
Unfortunately, most people never question that self. They like to feed it. They like to indulge in desire, which is a craving for something that once it is given, once it is satiated, wants more.
Contrary to popular psychology, when we feed anger, we don't remove it. It isn't annihilated. It doesn't cease to exist. In fact, it gets stronger and bigger, and more monstrous. So, these are things in ourselves that we can see.
Nirvana: The Cessation of the Ego
Fortunately, those egotistical qualities can cease to be, and that is the third truth: nirvana. In Sanskrit the word nirvana means “cessation. To cease suffering.” If we study Jewish mysticism and astral projection, those types of things, we know that nirvana is also a state of consciousness in different dimensions, which we can access when the physical body is asleep. When we go out in the dream world and learn to be awake in that state in order to ascend those heavens, mentioned so many times by Dante in his Divine Comedy, the Greek mythology, Islam, Sufism, Judaism, the Bible. They are all talking about the same thing.
But if we want to access those states, we have to remove all the luggage from our subconsciousness, that which we are not aware of, because this is a type of baggage that we carry with us wherever we go. Anger is a profound lead of the soul. It is heavy. It brings us down and brings other people down. Unfortunately, we become victim to it many times, if we are honest, but by learning to meditate and to observe ourselves, we become aware of those qualities in us that need to change. We can change, so that the lead of the ego, according to the alchemists of medieval science, can be transformed and transmuted into the gold of the spirit—because part of our soul is trapped in anger, fear, pride, and all that conglomeration of defects we carry.
Like the genie from Aladdin's lamp, we can extract the genie, the intelligence, our divine nature, and then break the lamp. That is a beautiful Arabian myth about how our soul has so much potential. It can grant any wish, but we have to remove the causes of suffering, which are psychological.
We do that through meditation, specifically, and in that way, we learn to vibrate at higher levels of being, ways of consciousness, so that naturally we learn to that astral project every night, have experiences of a spiritual type, learn to meditate, speak face to face in that world, that dimension with Jesus or Buddha or Muhammed or Christ or whatever prophets we have an affinity for.
They are very awake, but we can talk to them like we are talking here or seeing each other here. It is a very real thing, but one has to work for it.
It is not easy to renounce anger, when we are criticized and suddenly, we feel that desire to say something very negative. And then we do. That of course provokes the other person and causes conflict. But, if we learn to be patient, no matter how wrong that person is or whatever crimes they have committed, we can create distance, or a sense of non-identification with them. Not judging them, because we tend to carry many elements in us that we blame in others. But seeing that is difficult.
Marga: The Gnostic Path of Meditation
There is a path that teaches us this process which is marga: the path of cessation. It means “path, a way, a method,” and that method is very specific. It has been in all religions, all traditions before. Of course, those teachings degenerate with time, because when exposed to humanity, obviously people's own psychological corruption adulterates, impedes, breaks apart that message.
That knowledge is known as gnosis in Greek, which is something we study in this school. It is a Greek word meaning “experiential knowledge”—what we verify through facts, and not what we assume to be.
So, as I said, we tend to assume many things about ourselves—if we are honest—but this doesn't mean this type of questioning of oneself should produce pessimism or negativity, but more of a type of inquiry, a type of investigation.
Buddha Nature: Consciousness and the Tree of Life
A lot of people that hear “my anger, my pride, my negativity, my ego… that myself must die,” and people become terrified. “What will I be when that is gone? My language, my name, my personality, my customs, my race?” But, at the same time we have something that is genuine in us, which is pure. The Buddhists call it buddhadatu, buddha nature: the possibility to be awake, to be intelligent, to be spiritual, because we all have that capacity. It is just not developed. It can easily be developed, and it takes a certain method and discipline with oneself. That path is in all religions, especially the Jewish Kabbalah.
You can see here an image of ten spheres, which are known in Hebrew as a sephiroth. This is a map of consciousness. A map of the soul, from the very heights of the divine, to the most basic, most material, most physical. This is a map of our intelligence, our whole spiritual nature.
At the top if you notice you'll see a trinity. There are three trinities here. An upright triangle, two lower triangles and a bottom sphere.
Kabbalah is known as the science of numbers. It is a means by which we can interpret any tradition on the planet. Any scripture, any book, as well as our own experiences in meditation. It is a map of the multi-dimensionality of the soul, from the external to the internal. We have the most divine principles in us, which some traditions have called Christ, which in Hebrew are known as Kether, Chokmah, Binah: Father, Son, Holy Spirit amongst the Christians. Or amongst the Egyptians it is Osiris, Horus, Isis. Or for the Nordics it is Wotan, Baldur, Thor. Different names, one reality.
This is an expression of what we really are in our most fundamental depth. In Hebrew those terms Kether, Chokmah, Binah mean “Crown, Wisdom, and Intelligence.” These are three forces in nature, within us, in the cosmos. This top trinity—these three forces are one but three. They express as three. They create every living thing in this universe. They spread as three points and then become one. Then they concentrate.
On a very basic level we can see that there is a father: a masculine principle, a woman: a feminine principle, and then the third which is the child: the synthesis of the man and woman on a sexual level. So, these three forces relate to creation and especially to what we call the creative energies in us, which, through meditative discipline, we can harness and use for spirituality.
But below that there is more. This divine force in the cosmos descends into more concrete levels of experience, of dimensionality, which again we can experience when we meditate, or when we have a astral projection, or in a waking experience.
We have Chesed in Hebrew and which means “Mercy.” That is our inner spirit. Our own particular Buddha nature, our inner God, which emanates from the top trinity, from the cosmos. That spirit is unique to us, individual in us, but also is a conduit by which we can be one with all things, all beings. The quality of that sephiroth or sphere is love, compassion
On the left, we have a sphere called Geburah, which in Hebrew means “Justice.” That is a type of conscious state that is very pure. It is the spiritual soul, spiritual consciousness, which never mixes with any type of impurity, any defect. It is Justice because our consciousness knows how to judge between right and wrong.
We usually call this voice conscience, like in the story of Pinocchio. He has a cricket on his shoulder name Jiminy who always tells him “this is good, this is bad.” It is a symbol of this: Pinocchio was a wooden boy, a puppet influenced by the strings of life, his own defects, but he wants to become a real human being, a divine being. Even the word Pinocchio in Tuscan is “pine seed.” The seed that could become a pine tree.
This is known as the Tree of Life in the Book of Genesis, in the Bible. It is a map, not a literal plant in the Middle East many ages ago. It is not a literal story, only a symbolical one.
So Jiminy Cricket is always warning Pinocchio, “You needed to do this and this,” but of course Jiminy cricket gets killed at one point, at least in the in the book by Carlos Collodi. In the film, it does a good job of depicting the same truths by Disney, but some things they left out. But of course, Jiminy Cricket comes back because the consciousness is eternal. It always comes back to warn us in our heart, that sense of judgment that knows that a certain action is wrong, but usually the mind interferes. It says, “I have many excuses. I should do this because it's the right thing,” and we rationalize later on, but in the heart we feel the consequences. That is judgment.
Beneath that we have a sphere called Tiphereth, which in Hebrew means “Beauty,” splendor. It is the beauty of the soul. Out true, we could say, Buddha nature. So again, there are unfoldments and levels and levels of divinity in us. But this is really what we call human soul, our will.
When we will something, we do it. It could be either conscious, or for most people, it tends to be unconscious. Even in popular psychology taught by Freud, he often spoke about competing wills, competing desires, subliminal impulses in the mind. So Tiphereth can either reflect the beauty of God or the negative beauty of our own defects, our own hell realms we could say, our own states of suffering.
Beneath that we have Netzach which means “Victory.” That is our mind, our thoughts, our concepts. We can see then that this is becoming more concrete. You can notice here that as we are descending down this Tree of Life, we can start to grasp certain things in ourselves. The mind is more concrete. We are more aware of that because we tend to be influenced or dominated by Netzach.
To the left of that is Hod, which in Hebrew means “Glory.” That is our emotions. What some people call the astral body. When we go to dream at night, we enter the world of Hod, which is known as the fifth dimension. That is a world in which we dream typically, but usually without awareness. It is an emotional plane, emotional dimension, because many people, they have dreams, they start to sense and feel strong emotional reactions and many times we tend to dream about things that happen at work or in our day; the reason being is the life we live here physically is repeated in the dream state. We just don't have any cognition of it. We are usually not aware of it.
So we repeat things, but without knowing where we are about recognizing where we are. But, we have techniques in this tradition that teach us how, when in that state, we can awaken. We will teach that in our courses of astral projection and dream yoga: the science of dreams.
Beneath that is Yesod, which means “Foundation.” This is our creative energy. As I said, the creative energy is divine. We can learn to use our energies and our body and our glands, especially the sexual glands, to learn to take those forces and use them for divinity. That can serve as a foundation by which we can access with consciousness, these higher spheres, these higher sephiroth. We see that Yesod is the foundation. Our energy is the foundation, because without vital energy we would not have life, even physically.
So Malkuth, if you look below, means “Kingdom.” It is our physical body. Our physicality. That is what we typically only know. But Malkuth, the physical body would not exist if we didn't have vitality, enough energy to get through our day, or to live. Some people feel depleted, they say "I need to sleep," because the vital body needs to recharge. That vital energy needs to work in us.
So I am mentioning different bodies, different vehicles by which we express ourselves in different dimensions. It is unfortunate that we tend to only believe that this physical plane is all there is, but when we learn to awaken in dreams, we find that even our vital energies form a vehicle, a kind of body that penetrates this physical body. It gives it life. It gives it the ability to act and move.
There's also an emotional body known as Hod: a vehicle we usually work with in dreams, but unconsciously. There is also a mind or mental body, a mental vehicle. Above that we have more subtle aspects of divinity, which are difficult to comprehend at this level, but we can access those in us through practice. We will see more and more how this glyph represents who we are and our potential.
The Etymology of Intelligence and Understanding
So I mentioned the Tree of Life and a lecture about intelligence. The word intelligence comes from Latin, meaning: “realizing, understanding, perceiving, discerning. It refers to “intelligō”: inter, meaning: “between” and “legō,” meaning “collect,” or “recite,” from the verb.
Real intelligence is knowing the relationship of ourselves to other things, and even within us. It is a profound state of intelligence to know the relationship between mind and heart, mind and body, will and spirit, spirit and the highest divinity.
Intelligence is represented in the Kabbalah, this third sephiroth or sphere Binah. Remember that this top trinity is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Kether, Chokmah, and Binah. Binah is known as “intelligence, understanding.” It is a part of us, an energy that makes it possible to experience the whole Tree of Life and to learn how to work in this physical world with wisdom, so that we may be crowned by divinity through our actions. Rewarded for performing good things, good deeds.
What is interesting is that the word קבלה Kabbalah in Hebrew comes from לקבל la’kabbel, which means “to receive.” It is what we receive from divinity. It is a word that refers to the Greek gnosis. Knowledge we experience. Things that we see for ourselves, that we witness directly.
And in that way, in meditation we calm the body, relax our energies, relax our heart, relax our mind. In that way we can start to learn to direct our will power, our concentration, which if you are familiar with meditation, we often speak about concentration exercises. These are means by which we learn to focus on one thing without thinking.
In that simple synopsis we find the lower five sephiroth of the Tree of Life represented. Our physical body Malkuth needs to relax. We need to understand our relationship to our body, so that we could be healthy and be strong. That is one form of intelligence. Also, we need to learn to work with our vital forces, our vital energies, which we can do so through breathing exercises or mantras, that help to circulate energy by vocalizing throughout our vital depth, our vital body. That helps to stabilize everything, because if you notice that Yesod is the center of the Tree of Life at the very bottom, it's the foundation of all practice.
We have to learn how to conserve energy. Most of the time in our day, we expel energy: physically, emotionally, mentally. That is why many people who begin meditation usually leave, because they are not seeing results. The problem is that they are not working with the foundation. It is important to work with energies, so that it can empower our consciousness, our soul, so that it can be awake, spontaneously, natural, happy.
Likewise in meditation, we calm heart, the emotional center, Hod. We need to understand our relationship with our emotions and not be a victim of them. I believe it was the founder of the Muslim tradition said something very interesting. The Prophet Muhammad said, "The strongest among you is he who controls his anger." Very interesting, because when we learn to control the heart and conserve our emotional energies, we learn to awaken in that dimension. We naturally experience that state for ourselves. We learn to understand and discern with intelligence, to perceive that which is objective from that which is subjective. Real from false. Awake from dreaming. So, we want to stop dreaming in that state. You want to be awake, to be intelligent, to know our relationship with those things directly.
Likewise, we have to relax the mind, and this is very difficult for many people. It is common that when we sit to practice, we find that the mind is thinking. We are always thinking of other things, being distracted, filled with memories or daydreams, concepts, comparisons, contrasts, disagreements, agreements. The mind is always churning. It's a big ocean. It is always in a storm or flux, and when people see this in themselves, usually they get frightened. They see that the mind is so chaotic in the beginning, they get scared and they say, “This practice is harming me, because this is what I see in myself.”
The reality is that one is coming to see for oneself what is already there. It is subconscious. Our mind, as Freud taught, is very subconscious. Likewise, with our emotions and our impulses, our drives.
But, if one is persistent, by working with concentration exercises, by using one's willpower, one's focus to take an object of practice and not let the mind wander, just focus on one thing like a stone or a statue or a painting, then the mind calms. It settles. If you fight the mind, it will churn. It will be in chaos. But if you just observe the mind and relax, everything settles.
So meditation is, or preparation for meditation involves that: relax your body, your energies, your heart, your mind, and then direct your will on one thing.
It could be many things you want to meditate on. Maybe a problem. Asking a question to divinity where you want to receive an answer. Maybe a personal challenge or difficulty. Looking for guidance for something in your daily life that you can't resolve.
It's funny that people think that the mind is going to answer that question. It is a common assumption even in business meetings. There are people who spend hours and hours debating, using their intellect to argue the solution for a problem. Then when they take a break for fifteen minutes, they walk away and they stop thinking of the problem, suddenly the answer comes: the intuition, the insight. And in that way they come back to the meeting recharged, understanding what they need to do.
That is a basic example, but when we learn meditation, the first preliminary concentration exercise is relaxing the mind, the heart, the energies in the body. Then everything settles, so that we can learn to perceive these higher five sephiroth, up these higher spheres with our consciousness, which is Geburah, the sphere on the left.
It is also in that way that we can even have astral experiences, in which we speak face-to-face with our own inner spirit, our own inner God, our Buddha—even higher spheres above that which are very difficult to conceptualize at our level, but they exist in us nonetheless.
So this is a map of intelligence, our relationship to different things in us, and in the multi-dimensionality of nature. It is a process of discernment. Questioning in us what is real. What is factual? Then discarding what is useless so that we can learn to have that communication, that understanding of what divinity is.
Even the word understandan, from old English, to understand, we know is very basic. That is, to grasp the idea, to comprehend. To perceive the significance, meaning, explanation, or cause of something.
Meditation is about comprehension, understanding, so that when our mind and heart and body are settled, we can concentrate and even reflect on our day where we are observing ourselves, becoming aware of what situations in life provokes certain defects, certain problems that we want to change, and then we can concentrate on those moments. Reflect and imagine them, visualize them, see them with our consciousness so that we can get knowledge, understanding. What is the appropriate way to behave in this situation? For example at work I have been reflecting on conflict with some clients of mine who are very aggressive and very disrespectful. I have noticed they have been provoking with their behavior certain qualities in me that are negative or egotistical. Frustration. I want them to be a certain way, to behave in a certain way, because it's the right thing. Or that is the logic that is associated with that thought.
You can see that you have the mind there, but also the negative emotion, Hod, which feels that “I am being wronged.” Also the will to act, but negatively. To say the wrong things, to do the wrong things that make the situation worse.
So, I have been meditating on certain circumstances of my job, and by learning to relax, to concentrate and to ask for help from my inner divinity, my inner spirit, a beginning experience is about what I need to do at my job. Understanding the right way to act, the right way to think, to feel and to do. According to the Buddha: upright thought, upright feeling, upright action.
In that way, I have been able to transform many problems. Now, my clients who in the beginning were very rough, they can still be pretty antagonistic, but they respect me. There isn't that type of distrust anymore from the beginning.
Concentration and Imagination
So things can change, but gradually. Then when we work with our concentration, again, we are working with our consciousness too. The ability to imagine or perceive. This word imagination is often denigrated today as something fake or fantastical, but if I ask you to imagine an apple, you can see it. Not with physical senses, but psychological ones. That is a quality of our consciousness.
When you combine your will, your concentration, your focus on one thing, and imagining your scene in a day where you want to understand something, suddenly the comprehension emerges, relating to the spirit, Chesed. That helps us to become spiritual beings, because a spiritual being has intelligence, understands how to resolve problems, but without thinking. Not rationalizing, but knowing intuitively and acting immediately in the moment, so that it's very profound, divine.
Understanding can also refer to “interpreting or view something in a particular way.” To view ourselves in a new way. To understand something about ourselves that we never thought we had.
It can be negative, but it can also can be very positive, because we have qualities in us that are divine that we have no idea that exist. But, when you meditate you find that true divine heroic nature in you, which knows how to conquer affliction and all suffering.
So, understanding also refers to “perceiving the significance, explanation, or cause of something.” In this Buddhist sense, or in a religious or spiritual sense, it can refer to understanding the causes of our own suffering, our own egotistical drives, which manifests in our thoughts, our feeling, our body and energies, but also our will, depending on how we use it.
If you remember the prayer of Jesus of Nazareth in the garden of Gethsemane, he says, "Father, if it be possible, take this cup of bitterness from me, but not my will, but thine be done." That refers to Tiphereth, the heart. That is a symbol and his Passion is that he lived physically—it was a means of teaching something psychological, because every person needs to face their own types of ordeals and struggles in life, their own crucifixion, in a manner of speaking.
If we learn to meditate and remove the causes of suffering, we can, according to the myth of Jesus, resurrect. The soul is absorbed in the divinity, and then one is self-realized, realizing all the spheres of the Tree of Life. They are integrated. They are one, because right now our thoughts, our feelings, and our wills, tend to be very disparate.
In a moment, we may be washing our dishes and thinking of one thing, feeling another. We have the desire to go out and work out, followed by the desire for eating. “Now I want to read something else.” “Now I want to do something else.” We are always changing, in flux. We are constantly thinking and doing other things, never aware of where we are at or what we are doing.
We call that ego, and the ego is not singular as we like to think, or popular culture likes to think. Ego is egos. Anger, pride, fear, lust, laziness, gluttony—all those faults we carry inside—are multiple. They have their own agendas, ways of thinking, feeling, and doing. But, it's because we are not attentive, we don't really discriminate or distinguish between the differences, between those states. Meditation will teach one how to discern with intelligence, what is going on psychologically. Of course, it is unpleasant in the beginning to realize that this anger, or this fear, this sense of self is not singular. It is a big chaos. Multiple. But, as taught by many myths and as taught by the Tree of Life and through meditation, we can unify the soul. Achieve the realization of divinity in us.
So “to interpret something in a particular way, to be thoroughly familiar with, apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of something.”
Again, to interpret or view something in a particular way, how do we view ourselves? It's good to ask this question, not from a skeptical, pessimistic, standpoint. Nor a morbid sense of self-flagellation and shame. "Oh, I am a bad person." But just to ask the question and look what is going on in me. “Who am I?” To question and to examine oneself with a psychological sense.
We call it self-observation. To be aware of oneself. To not want to judge or praise or condemn what we see. Just to be aware, awake. And in that way, we gather data about our own faults, so that we can change.
Therefore, our understanding of ourselves will be on a true foundation, because the word understand literally implies that we are standing on something. We all tend to stand on some sense of identity. Our assumptions of ourselves, which other people may criticize and point out are wrong, but usually we feel very hurt. We don't want to be criticized or questioned.
It is good to ask the question when that experience unfolds, “Well, maybe they are right to ask that question. What if they are right that they see something in me that I don't see?” Other people tend to see things in ourselves that we don't see ourselves. Not to be afraid, but just examine. To be aware. This is the foundational method of meditation so that we can stand on strong ground, because when you stand on fact, we are not hurt.
I believe there is a saying in the book Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva where he explains how, if somebody says something to us and it is hurtful, if it is a lie, why get mad? If it is true, why get mad?
If one confronts oneself and is working, it doesn't hurt. It doesn't matter. And in this way, by asking that type of question, we learn to transform our situation.
The Impressions of Life and Internal Reactions
In these studies, we talk about the transformation of impressions. We say that life exists as it does in the form of impressions. We see through our senses, we hear, we feel, we taste, we touch, we smell. We can say that all of life exists in the form of energies or impressions. Whether we are looking outside, we see the rain, people walking. We can say that those people are outside of us, but at the same time, the impressions of those experiences always enter into the psyche, moment by moment.
There is never a moment in which we don't perceive perceptions, or perceive something, even at death, or in sleep, usually. Because, the consciousness is eternal. It always will exist, but in different modalities or formations, depending on how we use it. How we use our mind, our energies, our heart, our will, our consciousness.
So, everything always exists in the form of impressions. You are here listening to me, receiving the impressions of my words. It may enter your psyche, emotionally, maybe feeling or ascertaining something, or thinking of something related to it.
The mind is always reacting to impressions. It is a dynamic thing, and if we learn to be aware as meditators, we realize that the sense that, there is an external world, is illusory. Everything is within us, if we are attentive.
I am sure all of us have experienced, especially in youth, moments in which we are very clear and awake, just seeing life and movement without thinking, without rationalizing. Especially in childhood, we might have had many of those experiences in which we just see the impressions of life without judging, without labeling, without conceptualizing, “This is good. This is bad.”
That tends to be the psychological dynamic of our experience. We are caught in duality. Back and forth. Good, bad. Yes, no. Pleasure, pain. Happiness, sadness. Excitement, fear. Duality. That is a pendulum of the consciousness that puts us to sleep.
We are always running away from unpleasant impressions in life and running towards pleasant ones. But the thing is: why get attached to either a coffee cake or one's family? And want to run away from one's boss when he's angry? The reality is that all that is temporary. Nothing is permanent. Everything is in flux. Impressions emerge and enter our consciousness, our psyche.
But the problem is that we tend to receive life in a very mechanical way. We don't really question what we are seeing, or better said, how we are perceiving those experiences. So physically we may know that we are seated here, but the question is, are we actively observing where we are? Are we aware of the ceiling, the murals, or the decorations, the plants, the equipment around ourselves, the art, the street? Are we really looking at those impressions with a fresh look? Are we seeing it with new eyes, moment by moment? Or, do we just look at things and get lost in our thoughts?
Sometimes we may be walking on the street, such as in Chicago or any city, and then we are thinking and thinking and thinking of a problem. We don't see where we are at or where we are going. It means that we are not awake. We are dreaming. It is that type of psychology that goes with us wherever we go. So, if we are not training ourselves, our moment by moment, or day by day, then when we physically go to sleep or when we die, we are going to repeat the same mechanical habits and go through that delicate transition point without attention, without understanding.
So, I know I mentioned a lot about death in dreams. It is interesting that in the Greek mythology, Thanatos and Hypnos, death and sleep, are brothers. If we are awake in our dreams, we will be awake when we die.
Meditation is a means of preparing for that and the way that we prepare for that is learning to look at life with awareness. To see impressions of life, but attentive, and not reacting all the time, mentally.
The mind tends to chatter. We are always commenting on what we see, what we hear, what we feel, what we do. Someone says something negative, we have the reaction of anger or pride. Impressions enter us and we are reacting.
The way that you enter into comprehension or meditation is learning to receive those impressions of life, whether good or bad, but with neutrality. Neither favoring nor rejecting, but it doesn't mean that one is going to be bland.
Neutrality, we think means neither hot or cold, or just lukewarm, dispassionate, unconcerned. There is a connotation in the english language, but it's better that we say that this type of sentiment or neutrality is very clear, very pristine, very divine. In which one enjoys the flow of life, free in its movement, here and now. It doesn't get caught up with the repetitions of life, the duality, “I must be successful in my job. I must run away from painful circumstances,” but confront every situation with consciousness.
So when we have a problem at work, with our mind training, we are not affected by what happens. We can respond with understanding, intelligence: negotiating our sense of self with the exterior world, and in that way we transform our situations.
We tend to react to life with ego, defects, but in those critical moments at work or in a certain challenging circumstances of life, someone says something negative, but with our mind training, we question the insulters words. They say something bad about us.
I remember at my work I had one client [sarcastically] say to me, "Yeah, he thinks he's really good." About me. I looked at him and I was starting to sense in myself a reaction of negativity, like I was being insulted or hurt, but then I realized that the words of this person didn’t really matter so much as my investment in those words. I thought about what he said. In that moment I comprehended that, well, he has his understanding of what I am and he could be right, or he could be wrong. Then I had a sense of peace in order to respond to him more appropriately. I said, "No, you are wrong. I am not good, I am great!" And being funny about it and joking around dissipated the tension.
So comprehension can work like that. We learn to negotiate ourselves with other people. We don't respond with negativity. But even when people are very bad around us, we don't have to go along with it. But, that sense of self, which is neutral, that attention, our conscious state in which we are no longer thinking, we learn to act with love, with serenity, with insight.
The Nature of Impressions and Inner Transformation
Some people think or get worried that if “I annihilate the ego, my defects, what will I be?” Well, you'll be charismatic or compassionate or happy or patient or loving or funny or humorous and divine—knowing how to respond to any circumstance appropriately.
So, this is what we call a transformation of impressions.
It is interesting if we look at some of the etymology of this word. Impressio: “to impress,” meaning “pressed in,” from the verb, impremere: “to imprint; an effect produced upon someone; a mark impressed on a surface by something.”
It is interesting that we find the word “imprint.” You know when people say things that are bad, if we just identify and invest all of our energy into that comment, those words imprint something in our psyche, that conditions us. We feed our anger and feel resentful, proud, hurt. It is a type of imprinting on the soul, on the mind, and that creates more problems, more defects, because we are investing our energy in a sense of self, which is in the spiritual sense, not real, not objective.
Real intelligence is knowing that the relationship between self and other is illusory, and Buddhism talks about this a lot. That everything exists upon other things. There is nothing intrinsically existing in and of itself. Impressions emerge, we react, and there is always a dynamic interchange of relationships, of problems. But if we learn to see that those words no longer have any meaning, someone criticizes us, we don't invest ourselves in those words. We don't feel hurt.
Maybe psychologically there is something deep down that we need to see, so we go home, we meditate on what we saw, so that we could remove all those latent subtle frustrations or desires which are lingering. Then more and more, we learn to transform our psyche day by day.
On another level, the transformation Impressions exist when we develop our intelligence. Again, intelligence is: “How do we discriminate between phenomena of what we see, of what we sense?”
Another example of this is a person may walk down the street and sees images of a lustful type, of a degenerate type, which is making certain desires emerge in the psyche and which are negative. If one comprehends that this person, which one is attracted to so much, this woman or this figure, if we imagine that well in twenty, thirty, fifty, sixty, seventy years, this person may be dust and bones.
So what is the nature of this lustful intention that I feel in myself? What is it? What is this desire? What does it want? How does it exist? Because our defects, our desires, our egotism, our egos, always feed upon the impressions of life. Always want certain stimuli.
Anger wants to hurt the other person because it is hurt. Pride wants to belittle because it wants praise. Greed wants to accumulate material things or even spiritual things, ideas, fame, attention, energy. Fear wants security. It wants things to be what it wants.
So those defects are always wanting certain impressions of life and the reason why we suffer so much is because we are attached to that sense of self, which wants something that doesn't exist. It is not there. We are always fighting against the reality of our situation. We want things to be a different way.
But if we learn to accept our situation with gladness, things will change, as we are changing our negative states. Transforming the impressions of our psyche that we didn't transform in the past.
This is where traumas emerge. Something happened, an impression emerged and came into our psyche and we weren't aware and it affected us. We can think of something like 9/11. People on the site who witnessed those buildings come crashing down and people dying, were traumatized. They weren't aware of what was going on and obviously that kind of violence is very destructive, even psychologically. Some people are still grappling with the pains of that incident, even from across the world who just watched it on television.
But imagine someone who actually was in that situation, where they receive those impressions, and because they were not aware, they didn't know how to transform it. So that type of experience replays in the mind again and again and again. Those impressions are in the psyche. They form new defects, new desires, new traumas, new problems. The way to resolve that is to develop attention, awareness, and in that way we learn to see suffering and go to the root of our problems. [Editor: Listen to the lecture Trauma and Spiritual Healing for advice].
Meditation in the Gnostic Tarot
In this last slide we are looking at, it is the summation of meditative discipline, according to what we call the Egyptian Tarot. So if you have listened on chicagognosis.org, we have a course that is presently ongoing about these cards. These are images that reflect spiritual principles, spiritual truths. We have the first three arcana, or laws of the divine. These cards represent qualities of consciousness, qualities of being. It also can teach us about meditation, more importantly.
In the first image we have the Magician, a representation of what we call the Divine Father, our spirit, our true Buddha nature, our Being, our inner God. I won't explain all the symbolism of these images in depth. If you are interested in learning more about this, you can study our course, The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah online.
But you notice that he is a standing figure. He is masculine. He has a staff in his hand representing his willpower, his assertiveness, his masculinity.
Likewise, we have his opposite, the second arcanum, the second law, which is the High Priestess. She is sitting. She is the Divine Feminine, the Divine Mother of any religion, whether it be Mary amongst the Christians, Maya, Miriam, Adonia amongst the Kabbalists, Shekinah, Diana, Hera, or the wife of Jupiter.
So all those religions can be explained through these principles, but more importantly, what is interesting is that she is sitting. She represents a feminine aspect of our consciousness, a feminine quality, which is more perceptive, more intuitive, more emotional.
The first aspect of ourselves is will, assertiveness, which we call willpower.
In the last image we find a woman seated with a beautiful ibis bird. She is the Empress of the Tarot. She has stars above her head, meaning that she is illuminated. She has comprehension. She has understanding.
So these three cards are interesting because they summarize the path of meditation and death. In order to really meditate on a problem or issue, or to gain understanding, or intelligence of something, we concentrate, we use our willpower. We focus on one thing at the exclusion of everything.
If we sit to practice, if we want to understand a scripture, a book, we read a verse and we concentrate on it. We can also visualize in our consciousness and imagine what the words are representing. We concentrate, we relax.
Some people think concentration is something over-exertive, like if one is lifting weights. Concentration is a profound state of relaxation. It knows how to act but without exerting the mind, without agitation, without disturbance. It is calm, serene.
Notice that even although he is standing very firmly, he is also very calm. On his right, The High Priestess, the Divine Feminine, is seated and reading a book. It is a symbol of how we learn to read the book of our life, the chapters of our existence. Our mornings, our afternoons, our days, our evenings, and then really reflect with our imagination and see how those circumstances need to be studied.
Through the combination of will and imagination, we gain understanding, intelligence. We learn to discern right from wrong, good from bad, positive from negative. That state of understanding is what gives us real peace. We are no longer afflicted, even if we have problems that can't get resolved. Sufferings we can't change. At least we are not identified with those circumstances, then we are at peace and very strong, because we know that eventually, this body will go and the soul will move on. If we are awake, we will take advantage of those circumstances. If we are not, that is another issue.
The Path of Comprehension
Willpower and imagination make comprehension. So, in the example I gave you, you can concentrate and develop your concentration by focusing on one thing. Some people begin with a stone or a pebble or something basic that doesn't take much effort to focus on.
I like to use a candle when I first started. I would take a candle, light the flame and look at it. Observe the fire. You'll find that the mind will start to drift and start thinking of other things, but the purpose of the practice is: don't think, just look. That is the state of consciousness of attention. When we are no longer thinking of other things, that concentration becomes very profound, so that you can learn to direct it at more elevated things like a scripture, or book, the meaning thereof.
Comprehending a certain defect that emerged in the day, you focus and concentrate on remembering those events. Then imagine, visualize those scenes.
Also, visualization can be developed through that candle practice. Sometimes in the beginning, it is difficult to see things mentally. We don't see much clarity or color or depth, but if you learn to take that candle and observe it for a few moments, then close your eyes and try to imagine that candle in your mind, without vacillating, or letting the mind change it. If you find the mind starts doing that, then just relax, look again at the candle and gently reinitiate the practice. In that way we learn to develop more clarity and depth in our visualization practices.
The combination of concentration and imagination allows us to access any knowledge we want. We can fall asleep while concentrating and imagining a certain thing. Then when we go to sleep physically, the soul awakens in the internal dimensions and we see those states of being with clarity.
In the beginning people will see very vague things and amorphous things. With practice such as with these two exercises, we gain more clarity and understanding. In that way we learn to develop more understanding in our own life: how to navigate this world we live in with patience and serenity, because if we have understanding, we are no longer so troubled or conflicted. We learn to negotiate ourselves with intelligence with this world, with clarity.
If you are interested, I invite you to study the writings we have available. You can view them online and they are full publications of gnostic teachings.org. If there is a particular topic that you listened or hear today in relation to our synopsis or synthesis, you can go online and look at the books we have available. We do have some available in print here, but you can always go online and read them if you are interested and purchase them from online. There is a lot we covered but the synthesis is this: Be aware. Be attentive. These practices can help to elevate our level of being, our way of being so that we learn to find more happiness in our life, find joy, even when circumstances are very painful. Because one who has divinity inside active, doesn't despair. Doesn't fear. Doesn't worry.
Questions and Answers
Question: What is your favorite book?
Instructor: Oh, my favorite book! I do like a lot of classical mythology, especially because those myths teach us Kabbalah. I remember taking a course on classical mythology, classical literature, specifically, which of course the professor didn't know the real esoteric depth of these stories. Some of my favorites are like The Odyssey, which relates to the principles we talked about today.
In the poem by Homer, Odysseus is stranded from place to place after he is victorious in the Trojan War. He was the mastermind that created the Trojan Horse and invaded the city in order to sack it. Then he goes home having angered Poseidon, and Poseidon is a representation in the Kabbalah of Binah, the Holy Spirit amongst the Christians. He angered Poseidon because he took credit for the works that divinity did for him.
That symbolism of war and all that is not literal. It is about the war of the soul against desire, but he has to journey from island to island, again and again, facing death, starvation, assault, and all sorts of terrible things which are symbolic of the spiritual path one has to face. Of course, he gets to the end and his whole crew has been annihilated, basically. They all died, and he was the only one who survived, swam to shore, to Ithaca, his home.
He gets there and Athena warns him, "your wife is under assault here. There are many suitors trying to marry your wife Penelope because it's been twenty years since you've been here. They think you are dead." It is very interesting. All these men are trying to marry his wife, and Penelope is a beautiful symbol of the soul. She is the soul that is being afflicted by many suitors, many lustful elements, egos, defects, and Athena the Divine Feminine, which we can call the Divine Mother, Kundalini amongst the Hindus, She disguises him as a beggar and then he has to gain “intel” about all the suitors who are trying to marry his wife. He can't show who he is. If he gets mad and shows himself that he is Odysseus, they are going to kill him.
But it is interesting that if you look at the word intelligence, even the word “intel” is government slang, finding data about your enemies. So, he is finding all this intelligence, information about how these suitors are working. Who are they aligned to? Who are they? What are they doing? What is their methods? It is a symbol of how one in meditation is working against certain defects, gaining understanding of them.
Of course, they humiliate him, they beat him, they call him a beggar, they mock him for many chapters towards the end of the book, in the poem. But, the crowning moment is when he is in the throne room facing a challenge that Penelope places. She will only marry the suitor or man who can fire an arrow through, I don't remember the number of rings of an ax, lodged in the floor there, but can fire an arrow through all of them.
All the suitors are trying to take Odysseus's bow and pull the string, but it is so heavy and strong that they can't. Here is this beggar Odysseus, or disguised as the beggar and who comes up and says, "I'll take the challenge." Of course, all the suitors become enraged because they have been mocking him the whole time. They don't know who he is.
He pulls the bow, puts the string on easily, and then he takes the arrow and fires it through the rings. All of them are shocked that he accomplished it. Then he takes an arrow and fires it at one of the suitors and kills him. They become terrified in rage and say, "What are you doing old man?" Athena unveils who he is. He says, "I am Odysseus whom you thought was dead. Now I will kill every single one of you for having tried to take my home and squander my property."
It is a symbol of how the soul, our consciousness, goes to war against our defects, and it is very strong at that level, especially. Even the bow is a symbol of negotiating the external with the internal. You pull the bow, you are focusing on what's outside of you, your target, with your concentration. With your willpower, you take the arrow, your perception, see the target, and fire. Concentration and imagination. Then in that way, when we comprehend our defects, we kill them. Then you can extract the soul that has been trapped in there and develop virtue.
It is a symbol of what some people call Buddhist annihilation, which is a term that frightens people, but you know when the ego is annihilated, the soul is born. It is pure.
I love that poem a lot. You know, it's a very beautiful symbol, but people read it and they are very entertained. Yeah, Odysseus gets revenge, they think it is a literal story. Yeah, I mean you can read it that way, but there are a lot of esoteric truths in these fables or stories which are very beautiful.
So, with the bow and arrow, your concentration, your perception, your imagination, you focus on each defect you want to work on. When the moment comes, when the comprehension is full, you can kill that element and be free of it.
I remember The Odyssey is a very beautiful story about that, but there are many more stories that are very profound. But, a lot of the stories that we have been able to study and explain in our courses come from the writings of Samael Aun Weor, specifically. He is a writer on many esoteric topics, whose works are just becoming more familiar in the West, in North America, especially. He was from Latin America.
Some of my favorite books of his when I first started was Treaties of Revolutionary Psychology. He explains many of the principles we talked about: Self-observation, remembering the presence of divinity, learning to gather data about one's faults. It is a very good book to begin with. I know I began many years ago with that book especially. It is one of my favorites. Something you revisit again and because you are always learning. A very deep text and very direct. It has a lot of knowledge there and very rich too.
When you understand that type of teaching, you can look at any scripture, any book, any mythology and you can interpret what is going on. You can use your intelligence to understand the relationship between characters and ideas. It ceases to be some kind of academic, literary thing, but you are seeing things in the book that people don't really understand or know about. They are very profound.
Question: I stopped seeing violent stuff like the media. How do you look at? Is sports demonic? Can one do the work and watch football?
Instructor: It's your business. I know some sports are much more vulgar, like UFC fighting championship, boxing, those that are very violent. Those things are obviously very negative. I mean, I know many people, even instructors in our tradition, who may still watch sports and games. I don't know many who watch UFC, where guys are pounding each other into hamburger. But you know the kind of thing is very negative especially.
I believe Samael Aun Weor was writing in some of his books how certain sports were the degeneration of ancient traditions from long ago. From history that many people don't even know about. Like for example, the bullfighting rings. He talks about how bullfighting was an art that was practiced by a different humanity on this planet before our race emerged, very long ago, which not many people are familiar with, but he stated that those people would not kill the bull in a vulgar way like we see today. It is a symbol of how the toreador would use a lasso, a rope, and a sword symbolically to subdue the bull. It is a symbol of conquering the mind, controlling the mind. But they wouldn't kill the bull because the bull has a beautiful soul. An elemental soul which is pure.
Today you find in Spain, you know the running of the bull, or people killing those animals in the ring. It is very vulgar and degenerated. That tradition came from a long ago. It was a symbolic thing, but over time people corrupted it. So, sports, if you are interested, if you like football, it is your business. It is a violent sport, but when I have seen football games in the past, I don't find that they left any super lasting mark on me in a negative way. [But you know, if you enjoy it, then enjoy it. It is better, though, to take in good impressions that uplift the soul, not just to entertain the mind.]
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